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SUICIDE.

ITS COWARDICE.

Brutus.

I know not how,
But I do find it cowardly and vile,
For fear of what might fall, so to prevent
The time of life : arming myself with patience,
To stay the providence of some high powers,
That govern us below.

Julius Caesar, Act v. Scene l.

ITS WICKEDNESS.

Imogen.

Against self-slaughter
There is a prohibition so divine,
That cravens my weak hand.

Cymbeline, Act iii. Scene 4.

This is a painful topic. It cannot be denied that the crime continues only too common, and a shocking crime it is. There is only one remark that I am inclined to make in connexion with it. Why that solemn farce kept up at coroner's inquests of bringing in a verdict of“ temporary insanity,” without a tittle of evidence to support it? Is not all crime in a degree insanity of the mind ? Why is not the same verdict given in the case of murder ? Why not in the case of petty larceny ? Oh! what an amount of mockery there is in the world !

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SYMPATHY.

Leonato. How much better is it to weep at joy, than to joy at weeping !

Much ado about Nothing, Act i. Scene l.

Antony, Thy heart is big ; get thee apart and weep.
Passion, I see, is catching ; for mine eyes,
Seeing those beads of sorrow stand in thine,
Began to water.

Julius Cæsar. Act iii. Scene 1.

T E M P ER ANCE;

ITS PHYSICAL ADVANTAGES.

Adam. Though I look old, yet I am strong and lusty ; For in my youth I never did apply Hot and rebellious liquors in my blood; Nor did not with unbashful forehead woo The means of weakness and debility : Therefore my age is as a lusty winter, Frosty but kindly.

As you like it. Act i. Scene 3.

* Vide the remarks on “ Drunkenness" ante,

TEMPTATION.

ITS MODE OF OPERATION.

Angelo. The tempter, or the tempted, who sins most ? Not she, nor doth she tempt; but it is 1,* That lying by the violet, in the sun, Do, as the carrion does not as the flower, Corrupt with virtuous season.

Measure for Measure. Act ii. Scene 2,

King John. How oft the sight of means to do ill deeds Makes deeds ill done! Hadst thou not been by, A fellow by the hand of nature mark'd, Quoted, and sign’d, to do a deed of shame, This murder had not come into my

mind : But, taking note of thy abhorr'd aspect, Finding thee fit for bloody villany, Apt, liable, to be employ'd in danger, I faintly broke with thee of Arthur's death ; And thou, to be endeared to a king, Made it no conscience to destroy a prince. Hadst thou but shook thy head, or made a pause, When I spake darkly what I purposed ; Or turn'd an eye of doubt upon my face, As bid me tell my tale in express words ; Deep shame had struck me dumb, made me break off, And those thy fears might have wrought fears in me: But thou didst understand me by my signs, And didst in signs again parley with sin; Yea, without stop, didst let thy heart consent, And, consequently, thy rude hand to act The deed, which both our tongues held vile to name.

King John. Act iv. Scene 2. * The scriptural passage will immediately occur to the reader, “Man is tempted when he is drawn away by his own lusts and enticed."

T HOU G H T.

NOT AMENABLE TO LAW.

Isabella. His act did not o'ertake his bad intent:
And must be buried but as an intent
That perish'd by the way: thoughts are no subjects;
Intents but merely thoughts.

Measure for Mcasure. Act v. Scene 1.

RAPIDITY OF THOUGHT.

Juliet.

Thoughts,
Which ten times faster glide than the sun's beams,
Driving back shadows over low'ring hills.

Romeo and Juliet. Act ii, Scene 5.

The difficulty, indeed the next-to-impossibility, of divining precisely the motives of man, or the exact tendency of his thoughts, ought to make legislators sufficiently cautious in framing laws touching anything but acts; for it is those that we have to deal with : and, as I have before hinted in the remarks on Severity in Laws, we had best leave a man's thoughts and conscience to a more infallible Tribunal than can exist on earth. Many blunders have been committed by statesmen and legislators, by not attending to this distinction. What is positively injurious to society, (not what we may fancy injurious to a man's own soul,) is what we should take cognizance of in human legislation.

T I M E.

ITS DIFFERENT PACES.

Rosalind. (T ime travels in divers paces with divers persons. I'll

tell you who time ambles withal, who time trots withal, who time gallops withal, and who he stands still withal.

Orlando. I pr’ythee, who doth he trot withal ?

Rosalind. Marry, he trots hard * with a young maid, between the contract of her marriage, and the day it is solemnized ; if the interim be but a se'nnight, time's pace is so hard that it seems the length of seven years.

Orlando. Who ambles time withal ?

Rosalind. With a priest that lacks Latin, and a rich man that hath not the gout; for the one sleeps easily, because he cannot study; and the other lives merrily, because he feels no pain: the one lacking the burden of lean and wasteful learning; the other knowing no burden of heavy tedious penury. These time ambles withal.

Orlando. Who doth he gallop withal ?

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* This relates to the rough and unpleasant motion of the trot, and not to its rapidity.

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