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of death, had allowed him to purchase, we read as follows:
There is thy gold; worse poison to men's souls,
Act v. Sc. I.
i.e., none as compared with that which I have given you. And, most of all, in Timon of Athens, Act iv. Sc. 3, we find a full and very doleful catalogue of the sins and miseries which arise from the love of money —the root,' as S. Paul teaches us, of all evil.' 1 Tim.
There is another species of injustice, of which (as of niggardliness or avarice) the tribunals of this world take no account, and into which, therefore, men are too apt to fall without thought or concern; I mean the misspending of our time and other talents, which God has sent us to occupy and to trade with for His glory, and for the benefit of our fellow-creatures. The notion of our steward- . ship in this respect, as well as in respect of our pecuniary means, is one which the Bible leaves us no room to doubt of; and accordingly our poet sets it forth with all faithfulness and with his wonted
Thyself and thy belongings
Not light them for themselves : for if our virtues
Measure for Measure, Act i. Sc. 1.
Moreover, we know how the Bible condemns the purpose of doing evil that good may come; see Rom. ii. 8. In like manner, in the Merchant of Venice, when Bassanio had urged the Court to pronounce in favour of Antonio, against Shylock
Wrest once the law to your authority:
Portia at once virtuously rejects the plea :
It may not be.
Act iv. Sc. I.
With regard to the administration of justice, I have noted only the following passages as coming within the scope of my design. It is recorded in the Acts how that
King Agrippa and Bernice came unto Cesarea to salute Festus. And when they had been there many days, Festus declared Paul's cause unto the king, saying, “There is a certain man left in bonds by Felix, about whom, when I was at Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews informed me, desiring to have judgment against him. To whom I answered, It is not the manner of the Romans to deliver any man to die, before that he which is accused have the accusers face to face, and have licence to answer for himself concerning the crime laid against him.'
Well therefore does Archbishop Cranmer, in King
I do beseech your lordships,
Act v. Sc. 2. And well too does the Bishop of Carlisle, in King Richard II., argue the same in behalf of his sovereign against those who had conspired to dethrone him :
Thieves are not judged, but they are by to hear,
Act iv. Sc. 1.
Sect. 12. Of the use and abuse of the Tongue.
'I will speak daggers,' says Hamlet, Act iii. Sc. 2, using a metaphor which the Bible has made familiar to us. 'Swords are in their lips,' says the Psalmist, lix. 7. And again, Who whet their tongue like a sword, and bend their bows to shoot their arrows-even
bitter words,' Ixiv. 3. And no doubt there are many cases in which this is found by experience to be too true. For instance :
'Tis slander ;
Out-venoms * all the worms of Nile ; whose breath
And the heinousness of slander lies in this, that nothing is more precious to a man than his good name. There is an admirable sermon of Bishop Sanderson † upon the text, “A good name is better than precious ointment,' Eccles. vii. 1; in which he observes-the more precious a good name is, the more grievous is their sin who seek to rob others of it. Neither thieves nor murderers are more cruel and injurious than slanderers, backbiters, and false accusers are.'! This is vigorously put by that great divine, but not so effectively as our poet has expressed the same ; and he has added the original idea, that though so much is lost by him against whom the sin is committed, nothing is gained by him who commits it:
Good name in man or woman, dear my lord,
* See below, chap. iii. 13, p. 332. Compare King Richard II. :
‘Pierced to the soul with slander's venom'd spear.' Act i. Sc. i. And As you like it, 'She speaks poniards,' etc. Act ii. Sc. 1.; + Born 1587, died 1662.
| Works, vol. i. p. 21.
Where Mr. Malone has quoted Proverbs xxii. 1, ‘A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches.' But our poet might also have remembered the following passage in the Book of Homilies ::
Many times there cometh less hurt of a thief than of a railing tongue: for the one taketh away a man's good name; the other taketh but his riches, which is of much less value.'— Against Contention,
It is in the same strain that the Duke of Norfolk declares, in King Richard II.:
The purest treasure mortal times afford
Act i. Sc. i.
When Jaques proposes to Orlando, in As you like it
Will you sit down with me? And we two will rail against our mistress the world, and all our misery :
how admirable is the answer which the latter makes !
I will chide no breather in the world but myself; against whom I know most faults.
Act iii. Sc. 2.
And not less just or less scriptural is the argument of Isabel in Measure for Measure, when she pleads with the wicked deputy for her brother's life :
Go to your bosom;