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If it should prove my son, now, after all,
Say you, say you ! light, lend me a taper;
Let me look again.
O God! confusion, mischief, torment, death and hell,
Drop all your stings at once in my cold bosom,
That now is stiff with horror; kill me quickly:
Be gracious to me, thou infective night,
And drop this deed of murder down on me;
Gird in my waste of grief with thy large darkness,
And let me not survive to see the light,
May put me in the mind I had a son.
Isaä. O sweet Horatio ! O my dearest son
Hier. How strangely had I lost my way to grief

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Hier. 'Tis neither as you think, nor as you think, Nor as you think: you are wide all : These slippers are not mine, they were my son

Horatio's.

My son 2 And what's a son 2
A thing begot within a pair of minutes—thereabout :
A lump bred up in darkness, and doth serve
To balance those light creatures we call women:
And, at nine months' end, creeps forth to light.
What is there yet in a son,
To make a father doat, rave, or run mad 2
Being born it pouts, cries, raves, and breeds teeth.
What is there yet in a son 2
He must be fed, be taught to go, and speak:
Ay, or yet : why might not a man love a calf as well?
Or melt in passion o'er a striking kid, as for a son 2
Methinks, a young bacon,
Or a fine little smooth horse colt,
Should move a man as much as doth a son:
For one of these, in very little time,

Will grow to some good use; whereas a son,
The more he grows in stature and in years,
The more unsquared, unbevelled he appears,
Reckons his parents among the rank of fools,
Strikes care upon their heads with his mad riots:
Makes them look old before they meet with age.
This is a son; And what a loss were this considered
truly 2
O, but my Horatio grew out of reach of those
Insatiate humours : he loved his loving parents;
He was my comfort and his mother's joy—
The very arm that did hold up our house:
Our hopes were stored up in him :
None but a damned murderer could hate him.
He had not seen the back of nineteen years,
When his strong arm unhorsed the proud Prince
Balthazar;
And his great mind, too full of honour, took him to
Mercy that valiant but ignoble Portingal.
Well, heaven is heaven still !
And there is Nemesis and Furies,
And things called whips;
And they sometimes do meet with murderers:
They do not always escape, that's some comfort.
Ay, ay, ay, and then time steals on, and steals, and
steals,
Till violence leaps forth, like thunder, wrapped
In a ball of fire,
And so doth bring confusion to them all.

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BEN JONSON'S CONVERSATIONS WITH WILLIAM DRUMMOND

OF HAWTHORNDEN.

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Will grow to some good use; whereas a son, The more he grows in stature and in years, The more unsquared, unbevelled he appears, Reckons his parents among the rank of fools, Strikes care upon their heads with his mad riots: Makes them look old before they meet with age. This is a son; And what a loss were this considered truly 2 O, but my Horatio grew out of reach of those Insatiate humours : he loved his loving parents; He was my comfort and his mother's joy— The very arm that did hold up our house: Our hopes were stored up in him : None but a damned murderer could hate him. He had not seen the back of nineteen years, When his strong arm unhorsed the proud Prince Balthazar; And his great mind, too full of honour, took him to Mercy that valiant but ignoble Portingal. Well, heaven is heaven still And there is Nemesis and Furies, And things called whips; And they sometimes do meet with murderers: They do not always escape, that's some comfort. Ay, ay, ay, and then time steals on, and steals, and

steals, Till violence leaps forth, like thunder, wrapped

In a ball of fire,
And so doth bring confusion to them all.

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