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Troilus. But something may be done, which we will not: And sometimes we are devils to ourselves, When we will tempt the frailty of our powers, Presuming on their changeful potency.
Troilus and Cressida. Act iv. Scene 4.
SOME SELF-RESPECT ALLOWABLE.
Dauphin. Self-love, my liege, is not so vile a sin, As self-neglecting.
King Henry V. Act ii. Scene 4.
Earl of Gloster, (blind.) I have no way, and therefore SELF-DECEPTION.
want no eyes ;
King Lear. Act iv. Scene 1.
* That is, “our abilities and powers make us rash and unwary." In other parts of Shakspere's works our Author uses "secure" in the same sense. In all the comments I have seen on this passage, the critics appear to have foundered in errors of all sorts, in their endeavours to make out its meaning.
Tempest. Act i. Scene 2.
Banquo. . Oftentimes, to win us to our harm, The instruments of darkness tell us truths; Win us with honest trifles, to betray us In deepest consequence.
Macbeth. Act i. Scene 3.
* "It" here relates to the word “lie,” at the end of the sentence, by telling of which he made his memory a sidner unto truth. Shakspere looked deep into the habits of the mind when he wrote this passage.
SEVERITY IN LAWS IMPOLITIC.
Duke. We have strict statutes, and most biting laws,
Measure for Measure. Act i. Scene 4.
Angelo. We must not make a scare-crow of the law, Setting it up to fear * the birds of
prey, And let it keep one shape, till custom make it Their perch, and not their terror.
Ibid. Act ii. Scene 1.
The civilized world is at last beginning to see the impolicy of the Draconian system, and the Christian world its wickedness. Since our Poet lived, much has been done to soften the severity of penal codes, but much still remains. Indeed, the systems of penal law have hitherto generally involved an essentially false principle in their construction—the right of vindictive punishment. Now the objects of penal laws are these : Firstly, the prevention of the origin and commission of crime: Secondly, the preven. tion of its repetition : and thirdly, the safe custody and reformation of the offender. One step farther, in the shape of vengeance, is folly and wickedness. All further punishment of the criminal should be left to a Tribunal, not of this world.
The subject of the entire reformation of criminal law is now occupying the attention of many of our philanthropists. They can scarcely have a more noble mission than its accomplishment,
Claudio. Silence is the perfectest herald of joy; I were but little happy, if I could say how much.
Much ado about Nothing. Act ii. Scene 1.
Paulina. The silence often of pure innocence Persuades, when speaking fails.
Winter's Tale. Act ii. Scene 2.
Paulina. I like your silence, it the more shows off Your wonder.
Ibid. Act v, Scene 3.
The grief, that do not speak, Whispers the o'erfraught heart, and bids it break.
Macbeth. Activ. Scene 3.
S I N.
SOMETIMES DECEPTIVE IN EXTERNALS.
Isabella. Oh, 'tis the cunning livery of hell,
Measure for Measure, Act iii. Scene 1.
Duchess. Ah, that deceit should steal such gentle shapes, And with a virtuous visor hide deep vice!
King Richard III. Act ii. Scene 2. * This word in our Author's time was sometimes used to signify “ trappings,” and
other such ornaments.