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And so he plays his part: the sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slippered pantaloon ;

With spectacles on nose, and pouch on side;
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank; and his big, manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound: last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness, and mere oblivion;
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

PORTIA'S SPEECH TO SHYLOCK.

The Merchant of Venice.

THE quality of mercy is not strained;
It droppeth, as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice blessed;
It blesseth him that gives, and him that takes:
"T is mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown;
His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
But mercy is above this sceptred sway,
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
It is an attribute to God himself;

And earthly power doth then show likest God's
When mercy seasons justice. Therefore, Jew,
Though justice be thy plea, consider this—
That in the course of justice, none of us
Should see salvation: we do pray for mercy ;
And that same prayer doth teach us all to render

The deeds of mercy. I have spoke thus much,
To mitigate the justice of thy plea;

Which if thou follow, this strict court of Venice Must needs give sentence 'gainst the merchant there.

PROSPERO'S INVOCATION.

The Tempest.

YE elves of hills, brooks, standing lakes, and groves;
And ye
that on the sands with printless foot
Do chase the ebbing Neptune, and do fly him,
When he comes back; you demi-puppets, that
By moonshine do the green-sour ringlets make,
Whereof the ewe not bites; and you, whose pastime
Is to make midnight mushrooms; that rejoice
To hear the solemn curfew: by whose aid
(Weak masters though ye be) I have bedimmed
The noontide sun, called forth the mutinous winds,
And 'twixt the green sea and the azured vault
Set roaring war: to the dread rattling thunder
Have I given fire, and rifted Jove's stout oak
With his own bolt: the strong-based promontory
Have I made shake; and by the spurs plucked up
The pine and cedar: graves, at my command,
Have waked their sleepers; oped, and let them forth
By my so potent art: but this rough magic
I here abjure and, when I have required
Some heavenly music, (which even now I do,)
To work mine end upon their senses, that
This airy charm is for, I'll break my staff,
Bury it certain fathoms in the earth,
And, deeper than did ever plummet sound,
I'll drown my book.

RICHARD THE SECOND ON KINGLY GREATNESS.

Richard II.

OF comfort no man speak :

Let's talk of graves, of worms, and epitaphs;

Make dust our paper, and with rainy eyes
Write sorrow on the bosom of the earth.
Let's choose executors and talk of wills:
And yet not so,-for what can we bequeath
Save our deposed bodies to the ground?
Our lands, our lives, and all, are Bolingbroke's,
And nothing can we call our own but death,
And that small model' of the barren earth,
Which serves as paste and cover to our bones.
For heaven's sake, let us sit upon the ground,
And tell sad stories of the death of kings :-
How some have been deposed, some slain in war,
Some haunted by the ghosts they have deposed:2
Some poisoned by their wives, some sleeping killed;
All murdered:-For within the hollow crown
That rounds the mortal temples of a king,

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Keeps Death his court; and there the antic sits,
Scoffing his state, and grinning at his pomp,-
Allowing him a breath, a little scene
To monarchise, be feared, and kill with looks;
Infusing him with self and vain conceit,-
As if this flesh, which walls about our life,
Were brass impregnable,— and, humoured thus,
Comes at the last, and with a little pin

Bores through his castle wall, and-farewell, king!
Cover your heads, and mock not flesh and blood
With solemn reverence; throw away respect,

1 Something formed or fashioned. The earth assumes the shape of the body which it covers.

2 Ghosts of those whom they have deposed.

Tradition, form, and ceremonious duty,

For you have but mistook me all this while :
I live with bread like you, feel want, taste grief,
Need friends :-Subjected thus,

How can you say to me I am a king?

HOTSPUR'S DESCRIPTION OF A FOP.

Henry IV. Part I.

My liege, I did deny no prisoners;

But I remember, when the fight was done,
When I was dry with rage and extreme toil,
Breathless and faint, leaning upon my sword,
Came there a certain lord, neat and trimly dressed,
Fresh, as a bridegroom; and his chin, new reaped,
Showed like a stubble-land at harvest-home;
He was perfumed like a milliner ;

And 'twixt his finger and his thumb he held
A pouncet-box, which ever and anon

He gave his nose, and took 't away again;

Who, therewith angry, when it next came there,
Took it in snuff: and still he smiled and talked ;
And as the soldiers bore dead bodies by,
He called them untaught knaves, unmannerly,
To bring a slovenly unhandsome corse
Betwixt the wind and his nobility.

With many holiday and lady terms

He questioned me; among the rest, demanded
My prisoners in your majesty's behalf.

I then, all smarting, with my wounds being cold,
To be so pestered with a popinjay,

Out of my grief and my impatience

Answered neglectingly I know not what;

He should, or he should not ;- for he made me mad,
To see him shine so brisk, and smell so sweet,

And talk so like a waiting-gentlewoman,

Of guns, and drums, and wounds, (God save the mark!)

And telling me, the sovereignest thing on earth
Was parmaceti for an inward bruise;
And that it was great pity, so it was,
That villanous saltpetre should be digged
Out of the bowels of the harmless earth,
Which many a good tall fellow had destroyed
So cowardly; and but for these vile guns
He would himself have been a soldier.
This bald, unjointed chat of his, my lord,
I answered indirectly, as I said;

And, I beseech you, let not this report
Come current for an accusation
Betwixt my love and your high majesty.

66

HOTSPUR READING A LETTER.

Henry IV. Part I.

“BUT for mine own part, my lord, I could be well contented to be there, in respect of the love I bear your house." He could be contented,-why is he not then? In respect of the love he bears our house:- he shows in this, he loves his own barn better than he loves our house. Let me see some more. "The purpose you undertake is dangerous;"-Why that's certain; 'tis dangerous to take a cold, to sleep, to drink: but I tell you, my lord fool, out of this nettle, danger, we pluck this flower, safety. "The purpose you undertake is dangerous; the friends you have named uncertain; the time itself unsorted; and your whole plot too light for the counterpoise of so great an

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