Man, proud man! Drest in a little brief authority, Most ignorant of what he’s most assur’d, His glassy essence, like an angry ape, Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven As makes the angels weep. ~ Shakespeare
Authority intoxicates, And makes mere sots of magistrates. The fumes of it invade the brain, And make men giddy, proud and vain; By this the fool commands the wise The noble with the base complies. The sot assumes the rule of wit, And cowards make the base submit. ~ Butler
The ass is still an ass, e’en though he wears a lion’s hide.
The chameleon may change its color, but it is the chameleon still.
The world is still deceived by ornament.
In law, what plea so tainted and corrupt. But being seasoned with a gracious voice, obscures the show of error?
In religion, what damn’d error, but some sober brow will bless it and approve it with a text, hiding the grossness with fair ornament?
There is no vice so simple, but assumes some mark of virtue on its outward parts.
How many cowards, whose hearts are all as false as stairs of sand, wear yet upon their chins the beards of Hercules, and frowning Mars; who inward search’d have livers white as milk?
And these assume but valor’s excrement, to render them redoubted. Look on beauty, and you shall see ’tis purchas’d by the weight; which therein works a miracle in nature, making them lightest that wear most of it.
So are those crisped, snaky, golden locks, which make such wanton gambols with the wind, upon supposed fairness, often known to be the dowry of the second head, the skull that bred them, in the sepulchre.
Thus ornament is but the guilded shore to the most dangerous sea; the beauteous scarf veiling an Indian beauty; in a word, the seeming truth which cunning times put on to entrap the wisest.
The Soest Painting This highly regarded portrait was painted at least thirty years after Shakespeare died, possibly after the theatres reopened following the Restoration, by yet another Dutch artist Gerard Soest. It was owned by Joseph Wright, an artist who lived in Covent Garden and now belongs to the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. Status: definite but not from life
So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours.
Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life.
Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people. Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide. Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, even a stranger, when in a lonely place.
Show respect to all people and grovel to none.
When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself. Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision.
When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way.
Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.