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WOMAN'S IMPERFECTIONS.

Ferdinand,

Full many a lady
I have ey'd with best regard ; and many a time
The harmony of their tongues hath into bondage
Brought my too diligent ear; for several virtues
Have I lik'd several women; never any
With so full soul, but some defect in her
Did quarrel with the noblest grace she ow'd,
And put it to the foil.

Tempest. Act iii. Scene 1.

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Viola. How easy is it, for the proper-false
In women's waxen hearts to set their forms!
Alas, our frailty is the cause, not we;
For such as we are made of, such we be.

Twelfth Night. Act ii. Scene 2.

Angelo.

Nay, women are frail too. Isabella. Aye, as the glasses where they view themselves ; Which are as easy broke as they make forms. Women ! help Heaven! men their creation mar In profiting by them. Nay, call us ten times frail; For we are soft as our complexions are, And credulous to false prints.

Measure for Measure. Act ii. Scene 4,

*“Proper-false," may mean here" a fair exterior with specious demeanour.”

Rosalind. Do you not know I am a woman? When I think, I must speak. Ι

Is you like it. Act ji. Scene 2.

Cressida. Ah! poor our sex! this fault in us I find, The error of our eye directs our mind.

Troilus and Cressida. Act v. Scene 2,

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Portia. Oh, constancy, be strong upon my side!
Set a huge mountain 'tween my heart and tongue!
I have a man's mind, but a woman's might.
How hard it is for women to keep counsel!

Julius Cæsar. Act ii, Scene 4.

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Viola (disguised as Cesario.)

Ay, but I know
Too well what love women to men may owe:
In faith, they are as true of heart as we.
My father had a daughter lov'd a man,
As it might be, perhaps, were I a woman,
I should your lordship.
Duke.

And what's her history?
Viola. A blank, my lord. She never told her love,
But let concealment, like a worm i' the bud,
Feed on her damask cheek: she pined in thought;
And with a green and yellow melancholy,
She sat like patience on a monument,
Smiling at grief. Was not this love, indeed ?
We men may say more, swear more; but, indeed,
Our shows are more than will;

for still we prove Much in our vows, but little in our love.

Twelfth Night. Act ii Scene 4.

OFTEN WON BY VALOUR.

Sir Toby. Why then, build me thy fortunes upon the basis of valour. Challenge me the Count's youth to fight with him; hurt him in eleven places; my niece shall take note of it; and assure thyself, there is no love-broker in the world can more prevail in man's commendation with woman, than report of valour.

Ibid. Act iii. Scene 2.

BROOKS NOT CONTRADICTION.

Julia. Didst thou but know the inly touch of love,
Thou wouldst as soon go kindle fire with snow,
As seek to quench the fire of love with words.
The more thou dam'st it up, the more it burns.
The current, that with gentle murmur glides,
Thou know'st, being stopp'd, impatiently doth rage:
But when his fair course is not bindered,
He makes sweet music with the enamel'd stones,
Giving a gentle kiss to every sedge
He overtaketh in his pilgrimage ;
And so by many winding nooks he strays,
With willing sport, to the wild ocean.
Then let me go, and hinder not my course:
I'll be as patient as a gentle stream,
And make a pastime of each weary step,
Till the last step have brought me to my love;
And there I'll rest, as, after much turmoil,
A blessed soul doth in Elysium.

Two Gentlemen of Verona. Act ii. Scene 7.

WOMAN'S LOVE SUPERIOR TO AFFLICTION.

Camillo.

You know,
Prosperity's the very bond of love:
Whose fresh complexion and whose heart together
Affliction alters.
Perdita.

One of these is true :
I think, affliction may subdue the cheek,
But not take in the mind.

Winter's Tale. Act iv. Scene 3.

WOMAN'S STATION IN SOCIETY.

Luciana. There's nothing situate under heaven's eye, But hath its bound, in earth, in sea, in sky: The beasts, the fishes, and the winged fowls, Are their males' subject, and at their controls : Men, more divine, the masters of all these, Lords of the wide world, and wild wat’ry seas, Indued with intellectual sense and souls, Of more pre-eminence than fish and fowls, Are masters to their females, and their lords: Then let your will attend on their accords.

Comedy of Errors. Act ii, Scene 1,

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Time was when this subject would have been smiled at, and dismissed with a joke; but the temper of the times is changing, and great truths are now-a-days treated with more attention than the bestowing on them of a curl of the lip, or a repartee; and assuredly, if any topic be worth probing to its utmost depths, the happiness of half human existence is one. After the writings of such women as Miss Martineau, Lady Morgan, Mrs. Jameson, Miss Sedgewick, and the authoress of “ Woman's Mission,” the question is not likely to be dropped until it shall be determined on principles of reason and justice. What those principles are, it is my present purpose slightly to glance at. A

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