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Archbishop of York. An habitation giddy and unsure Hath he that buildeth on the vulgar heart.

Oh, thou fond many! &c., &c.

2nd part King Henry IV. Acti. Scene 3.

Cade. Was ever feather so lightly blown to and fro, as this multitude.

2nd part King Henry VI. Act iv. Scene 8.

King Henry VI. Look! as I blow this feather from my face,

And as the air blows it to me again,
Obeying with my wind when I do blow,
And yielding to another when it blows,
Commanded always by the greater gust;
Such is the lightness of you common men.

3rd part King Henry VI. Act iii. Scene 1.

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Upon your favours, swims with fins of lead,
And hews down oaks with rushes.

With every minute you do change a mind,
And call him noble, that was now your hate,
Him vile, that was your garland.

Coriolanus. Acti. Scene 1.

* Meaning" the people's."

Hastings. Oh, momentary grace of mortal men,
Which we more hunt for than the grace of God!
Who builds his hope in air of your fair looks,
Lives like a drunken sailor on a mast;
Ready with every nod to tumble down

Into the fatal bowels of the deep.

King Richard III. Act iii. Scene 4.



What am I poor of late?—

"Tis certain, greatness, once fallen out with fortune,
Must fall out with men too. What the declin❜d is,
He shall as soon read in the eyes of others,
As feel in his own fall: for men, like butterflies,
Show not their mealy wings, but to the summer;
And not a man,
for being simply man,
Hath any honour; but honour for those honours
That are without him, as place, riches, favour,
Prizes of accident as oft as merit:

Which, when they fall, as being slippery standers,
The love that lean'd on them as slippery too,
Do one pluck down another, and together

Die in the fall.

Troilus and Cressida. Act iii. Scene 3.


Ulysses. Time hath, my lord, a wallet at his back, Wherein he puts alms for oblivion,

A great-siz❜d monster of ingratitudes:

Those scraps are good deeds past; which are devour'd

As fast as they are made, forgot as soon

As they are done. Perséverance, my lord,

Keeps honour bright: to have done, is to hang

Quite out of fashion, like a rusty mail,

In monumental mockery. Take the instant way
For honour travels in a strait so narrow.

Where one but goes abreast: keep then the path;
For emulation hath a thousand sons,

If you give way,

That one by one pursue.
Or hedge aside from the direct forthright,
Like to an entered tide they all rush by,
And leave you hindmost ;-

Or, like a gallant horse fall'n in first rank,

Lie there for pavement to the abject rear,


O'er-run and trampled on: Then what they do in present, Though less than yours in past, must o'ertop yours;

For time is like a fashionable host,

That slightly shakes his parting guest by the hand;
And with his arms outstretch'd, as he would fly,
Grasps-in the comer.

Welcome ever smiles,

And farewell goes out sighing. Oh, let not virtue seek
Remuneration for the thing it was;

For beauty, wit,

High birth, vigour of bone, desert in service,
Love, friendship, charity, are subjects all

To envious and calumniating time.

One touch of nature makes the whole world kin,
That all, with one consent, praise new-born gawds,
Though they are made and moulded of things past;
And give to dust, that is a little gilt,

More laud than gilt o'er-dusted,

The present eye praises the present object.

Troilus and Cressida. Act iii. Scene 3.


2nd Officer. 'Faith, there have been many great men that have flattered the people, who ne'er loved them; and there be many that they have loved, they know not wherefore: so that, if they love they know not why, they hate upon no better ground: therefore, for Coriolanus neither to care

whether they love or hate him, manifests the true knowledge he has in their disposition: and, out of his noble carelessness, lets them plainly see't.

1st Officer. If he did not care whether he had their love, or no, he wavered indifferently 'twixt doing them neither good, nor harm: but he seeks their hate with greater devotion than they can render it him; and leaves nothing undone, that may fully discover him their opposite. Now, to seem to affect the malice and displeasure of the people, is as bad as that which he dislikes, to flatter them for their love.

Coriolanus. Act ii. Scene 2.


Octavius Cæsar.

This common body,

Like to a vagabond flag upon the stream,
Goes to, and back, lackeying the varying tide,
To rot itself with motion.

Antony and Cleopatra. Act i. Scene 4.

THERE is much severity in several of Shakspere's observations on the character of the multitude. I would willingly defend the people from such attacks, if my conscience would allow me, but it will not. Meanwhile, where does the blame lie, if passion, and ignorance, and fickleness do pervade the masses of our human brethren? With those who have it in their power to instil principle, and knowledge, and constancy into the bosoms of their less favoured fellow-men, and have not done so! I trust another century will not elapse, before Shakspere's remarks upon this point will have lost all their force.






Can counsel, and speak comfort to that grief
Which they themselves not feel; but, tasting it,
Their counsel turns to passion, which before
Would give preceptial medicine to rage,
Fetter strong madness in a silken thread,
Charm ache with air, and agony with words:
No, no; 'tis all men's office to speak patience
To those that wring under the load of sorrow;
But no man's virtue, nor sufficiency,

To be so moral, when he shall endure
The like himself—

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For there was never yet philosopher
That could endure the tooth-ache patiently;
However they have writ the style of gods,
And made a pish at chance and sufferance.

Much ado about Nothing. Act v. Scene 1.

Portia. If to do were as easy as to know what were good to do, chapels had been churches, and poor men's cottages princes' palaces. It is a good divine that follows his own instructions: I can easier teach twenty what were

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