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Titles similar to “plague”:

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Speeches containing “plague”:

All’s Well That Ends Well (1.1.84) HELEN: O, were that all! I think not on my father, / And these great tears grace his remembrance more / Than those I shed for him. What was he like? / I have forgot him. My imagination / Carries no favor in ’t but Bertram’s. / I am undone. There is no living, none, / If Bertram be away. ’Twere all one / That I should love a bright particular star / And think to wed it, he is so above me. / In his bright radiance and collateral light / Must I be comforted, not in his sphere. / Th’ ambition in my love thus plagues itself: / The hind that would be mated by the lion / Must die for love. ’Twas pretty, though a plague, / To see him every hour, to sit and draw / His archèd brows, his hawking eye, his curls / In our heart’s table—heart too capable / Of every line and trick of his sweet favor. / But now he’s gone, and my idolatrous fancy / Must sanctify his relics. Who comes here? / One that goes with him. I love him for his sake, / And yet I know him a notorious liar, / Think him a great way fool, solely a coward. / Yet these fixed evils sit so fit in him / That they take place when virtue’s steely bones / Looks bleak i’ th’ cold wind. Withal, full oft we see / Cold wisdom waiting on superfluous folly.

All’s Well That Ends Well (4.3.122) BERTRAM: A plague upon him! Muffled! He can say nothing of me.

All’s Well That Ends Well (4.3.317) PAROLLES: I’ll no more drumming. A plague of all drums! Only to seem to deserve well, and to beguile the supposition of that lascivious young boy the Count, have I run into this danger. Yet who would have suspected an ambush where I was taken?

Coriolanus (1.4.41) MARTIUS: All the contagion of the south light on you, / You shames of Rome! You herd of—Boils and plagues / Plaster you o’er, that you may be abhorred / Farther than seen, and one infect another / Against the wind a mile! You souls of geese, / That bear the shapes of men, how have you run / From slaves that apes would beat! Pluto and hell! / All hurt behind. Backs red, and faces pale / With flight and agued fear! Mend, and charge home, / Or, by the fires of heaven, I’ll leave the foe / And make my wars on you. Look to ’t. Come on! / If you’ll stand fast, we’ll beat them to their wives, / As they us to our trenches. Follow ’s! / So, now the gates are ope. Now prove good seconds! / ’Tis for the followers fortune widens them, / Not for the fliers. Mark me, and do the like.

Coriolanus (1.6.53) MARTIUS: Let him alone. / He did inform the truth. But for our gentlemen, / The common file—a plague! Tribunes for them!— / The mouse ne’er shunned the cat as they did budge / From rascals worse than they.

Coriolanus (2.3.53) CORIOLANUS: What must I say? / “I pray, sir?”—plague upon ’t! I cannot bring / My tongue to such a pace. “Look, sir, my wounds! / I got them in my country’s service when / Some certain of your brethren roared and ran / From th’ noise of our own drums.”

Coriolanus (4.2.16) VOLUMNIA: O, you’re well met. The hoarded plague o’ th’ gods / Requite your love!

Coriolanus (5.3.152) VOLUMNIA: Nay, go not from us thus. / If it were so, that our request did tend / To save the Romans, thereby to destroy / The Volsces whom you serve, you might condemn us / As poisonous of your honor. No, our suit / Is that you reconcile them, while the Volsces / May say “This mercy we have showed,” the Romans / “This we received,” and each in either side / Give the all-hail to thee and cry “Be blest / For making up this peace!” Thou know’st, great son, / The end of war’s uncertain, but this certain, / That, if thou conquer Rome, the benefit / Which thou shalt thereby reap is such a name / Whose repetition will be dogged with curses, / Whose chronicle thus writ: “The man was noble, / But with his last attempt he wiped it out, / Destroyed his country, and his name remains / To th’ ensuing age abhorred.” Speak to me, son. / Thou hast affected the fine strains of honor / To imitate the graces of the gods, / To tear with thunder the wide cheeks o’ th’ air / And yet to charge thy sulfur with a bolt / That should but rive an oak. Why dost not speak? / Think’st thou it honorable for a noble man / Still to remember wrongs?—Daughter, speak you. / He cares not for your weeping.—Speak thou, boy. / Perhaps thy childishness will move him more / Than can our reasons.—There’s no man in the world / More bound to ’s mother, yet here he lets me prate / Like one i’ th’ stocks. Thou hast never in thy life / Showed thy dear mother any courtesy / When she, poor hen, fond of no second brood, / Has clucked thee to the wars and safely home, / Loaden with honor. Say my request’s unjust / And spurn me back; but if it be not so, / Thou art not honest, and the gods will plague thee / That thou restrain’st from me the duty which / To a mother’s part belongs.—He turns away.— / Down, ladies! Let us shame him with our knees. / To his surname Coriolanus ’longs more pride / Than pity to our prayers. Down! An end. / This is the last. So, we will home to Rome / And die among our neighbors.—Nay, behold ’s. / This boy that cannot tell what he would have, / But kneels and holds up hands for fellowship, / Does reason our petition with more strength / Than thou hast to deny ’t.—Come, let us go. / This fellow had a Volscian to his mother, / His wife is in Corioles, and his child / Like him by chance.—Yet give us our dispatch. / I am hushed until our city be afire, / And then I’ll speak a little.

Cymbeline (1.6.119) IACHIMO: Had I this cheek / To bathe my lips upon; this hand, whose touch, / Whose every touch, would force the feeler’s soul / To th’ oath of loyalty; this object which / Takes prisoner the wild motion of mine eye, / Fixing it only here; should I, damned then, / Slaver with lips as common as the stairs / That mount the Capitol, join gripes with hands / Made hard with hourly falsehood—falsehood as / With labor; then by-peeping in an eye / Base and illustrous as the smoky light / That’s fed with stinking tallow; it were fit / That all the plagues of hell should at one time / Encounter such revolt.

Cymbeline (2.5.1) POSTHUMUS: Is there no way for men to be, but women / Must be half-workers? We are all bastards, / And that most venerable man which I / Did call my father was I know not where / When I was stamped. Some coiner with his tools / Made me a counterfeit; yet my mother seemed / The Dian of that time; so doth my wife / The nonpareil of this. O, vengeance, vengeance! / Me of my lawful pleasure she restrained / And prayed me oft forbearance; did it with / A pudency so rosy the sweet view on ’t / Might well have warmed old Saturn, that I thought her / As chaste as unsunned snow. O, all the devils! / This yellow Iachimo in an hour, was ’t not? / Or less? At first? Perchance he spoke not, but, / Like a full-acorned boar, a German one, / Cried “O!” and mounted; found no opposition / But what he looked for should oppose and she / Should from encounter guard. Could I find out / The woman’s part in me—for there’s no motion / That tends to vice in man but I affirm / It is the woman’s part: be it lying, note it, / The woman’s; flattering, hers; deceiving, hers; / Lust and rank thoughts, hers, hers; revenges, hers; / Ambitions, covetings, change of prides, disdain, / Nice longing, slanders, mutability, / All faults that have a name, nay, that hell knows, / Why, hers, in part or all, but rather all. / For even to vice / They are not constant, but are changing still / One vice but of a minute old for one / Not half so old as that. I’ll write against them, / Detest them, curse them. Yet ’tis greater skill / In a true hate to pray they have their will; / The very devils cannot plague them better.

Hamlet (3.1.146) HAMLET: If thou dost marry, I’ll give thee this plague for thy dowry: be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow, thou shalt not escape calumny. Get thee to a nunnery, farewell. Or if thou wilt needs marry, marry a fool, for wise men know well enough what monsters you make of them. To a nunnery, go, and quickly too. Farewell.

Hamlet (4.7.11) KING: O, for two special reasons, / Which may to you perhaps seem much unsinewed, / But yet to me they’re strong. The Queen his mother / Lives almost by his looks, and for myself / (My virtue or my plague, be it either which), / She is so conjunctive to my life and soul / That, as the star moves not but in his sphere, / I could not but by her. The other motive / Why to a public count I might not go / Is the great love the general gender bear him, / Who, dipping all his faults in their affection, / Work like the spring that turneth wood to stone, / Convert his gyves to graces, so that my arrows, / Too slightly timbered for so loud a wind, / Would have reverted to my bow again, / But not where I have aimed them.

Henry IV, Part 1 (1.2.47) FALSTAFF: How now, how now, mad wag? What, in thy quips and thy quiddities? What a plague have I to do with a buff jerkin?

Henry IV, Part 1 (1.3.247) HOTSPUR: Why, look you, I am whipped and scourged with rods, / Nettled and stung with pismires, when I hear / Of this vile politician, Bolingbroke. / In Richard’s time—what do you call the place? / A plague upon it! It is in Gloucestershire. / ’Twas where the madcap duke his uncle kept, / His uncle York, where I first bowed my knee / Unto this king of smiles, this Bolingbroke. / ’Sblood, when you and he came back from Ravenspurgh.

Henry IV, Part 1 (2.1.29) FIRST CARRIER: God’s body, the turkeys in my pannier are quite starved.—What, ostler! A plague on thee! Hast thou never an eye in thy head? Canst not hear? An ’twere not as good deed as drink to break the pate on thee, I am a very villain. Come, and be hanged. Hast no faith in thee?

Henry IV, Part 1 (2.2.10) FALSTAFF: I am accursed to rob in that thief’s company. The rascal hath removed my horse and tied him I know not where. If I travel but four foot by the square further afoot, I shall break my wind. Well, I doubt not but to die a fair death for all this, if I ’scape hanging for killing that rogue. I have forsworn his company hourly any time this two-and-twenty years, and yet I am bewitched with the rogue’s company. If the rascal have not given me medicines to make me love him, I’ll be hanged. It could not be else: I have drunk medicines.—Poins! Hal! A plague upon you both.—Bardolph! Peto!— I’ll starve ere I’ll rob a foot further. An ’twere not as good a deed as drink to turn true man and to leave these rogues, I am the veriest varlet that ever chewed with a tooth. Eight yards of uneven ground is threescore and ten miles afoot with me, and the stony-hearted villains know it well enough. A plague upon it when thieves cannot be true one to another! Whew! A plague upon you all! Give me my horse, you rogues. Give me my horse and be hanged!

Henry IV, Part 1 (2.2.36) FALSTAFF: Have you any levers to lift me up again being down? ’Sblood, I’ll not bear my own flesh so far afoot again for all the coin in thy father’s Exchequer. What a plague mean you to colt me thus?

Henry IV, Part 1 (2.4.117) FALSTAFF: A plague of all cowards, I say, and a vengeance too! Marry and amen!—Give me a cup of sack, boy.—Ere I lead this life long, I’ll sew netherstocks and mend them, and foot them too. A plague of all cowards!—Give me a cup of sack, rogue!—Is there no virtue extant?

Henry IV, Part 1 (2.4.127) FALSTAFF: You rogue, here’s lime in this sack too.—There is nothing but roguery to be found in villainous man, yet a coward is worse than a cup of sack with lime in it. A villainous coward! Go thy ways, old Jack. Die when thou wilt. If manhood, good manhood, be not forgot upon the face of the Earth, then am I a shotten herring. There lives not three good men unhanged in England, and one of them is fat and grows old, God help the while. A bad world, I say. I would I were a weaver. I could sing psalms, or anything. A plague of all cowards, I say still.

Henry IV, Part 1 (2.4.151) FALSTAFF: I call thee coward? I’ll see thee damned ere I call thee coward, but I would give a thousand pound I could run as fast as thou canst. You are straight enough in the shoulders you care not who sees your back. Call you that backing of your friends? A plague upon such backing! Give me them that will face me.—Give me a cup of sack.—I am a rogue if I drunk today.

Henry IV, Part 1 (2.4.161) FALSTAFF: All is one for that. A plague of all cowards, still say I.

Henry IV, Part 1 (2.4.170) FALSTAFF: I am a rogue if I were not at half-sword with a dozen of them two hours together. I have ’scaped by miracle. I am eight times thrust through the doublet, four through the hose, my buckler cut through and through, my sword hacked like a handsaw. Ecce signum! I never dealt better since I was a man. All would not do. A plague of all cowards! Let them speak.If they speak more or less than truth, they are villains, and the sons of darkness.

Henry IV, Part 1 (2.4.341) FALSTAFF: My own knee? When I was about thy years, Hal, I was not an eagle’s talon in the waist. I could have crept into any alderman’s thumb-ring. A plague of sighing and grief! It blows a man up like a bladder. There’s villainous news abroad. Here was Sir John Bracy from your father. You must to the court in the morning. That same mad fellow of the north, Percy, and he of Wales that gave Amamon the bastinado, and made Lucifer cuckold, and swore the devil his true liegeman upon the cross of a Welsh hook—what a plague call you him?

Henry IV, Part 1 (2.4.514) FALSTAFF: I deny your major. If you will deny the Sheriff, so; if not, let him enter. If I become not a cart as well as another man, a plague on my bringing up. I hope I shall as soon be strangled with a halter as another.

Henry IV, Part 1 (3.1.3) HOTSPUR: Lord Mortimer and cousin Glendower, / Will you sit down? And uncle Worcester— / A plague upon it, I have forgot the map.

Henry V (4.3.94) KING HENRY: I pray thee bear my former answer back. / Bid them achieve me and then sell my bones. / Good God, why should they mock poor fellows thus? / The man that once did sell the lion’s skin / While the beast lived was killed with hunting him. / A many of our bodies shall no doubt / Find native graves, upon the which, I trust, / Shall witness live in brass of this day’s work. / And those that leave their valiant bones in France, / Dying like men, though buried in your dunghills, / They shall be famed; for there the sun shall greet them / And draw their honors reeking up to heaven, / Leaving their earthly parts to choke your clime, / The smell whereof shall breed a plague in France. / Mark, then, abounding valor in our English, / That being dead, like to the bullet’s crazing, / Break out into a second course of mischief, / Killing in relapse of mortality. / Let me speak proudly: tell the Constable / We are but warriors for the working day; / Our gayness and our gilt are all besmirched / With rainy marching in the painful field. / There’s not a piece of feather in our host— / Good argument, I hope, we will not fly— / And time hath worn us into slovenry. / But, by the Mass, our hearts are in the trim, / And my poor soldiers tell me, yet ere night / They’ll be in fresher robes, or they will pluck / The gay new coats o’er the French soldiers’ heads / And turn them out of service. If they do this, / As, if God please, they shall, my ransom then / Will soon be levied. Herald, save thou thy labor. / Come thou no more for ransom, gentle herald. / They shall have none, I swear, but these my joints, / Which, if they have, as I will leave ’em them, / Shall yield them little, tell the Constable.

Henry VI, Part 1 (4.3.10) YORK: A plague upon that villain Somerset / That thus delays my promisèd supply / Of horsemen that were levied for this siege! / Renownèd Talbot doth expect my aid, / And I am louted by a traitor villain / And cannot help the noble chevalier. / God comfort him in this necessity. / If he miscarry, farewell wars in France.

Henry VI, Part 1 (5.4.148) YORK: Insulting Charles, hast thou by secret means / Used intercession to obtain a league / And, now the matter grows to compromise, / Stand’st thou aloof upon comparison? / Either accept the title thou usurp’st, / Of benefit proceeding from our king / And not of any challenge of desert, / Or we will plague thee with incessant wars.

Henry VI, Part 2 (3.2.320) SUFFOLK: A plague upon them! Wherefore should I curse them? / Could curses kill, as doth the mandrake’s groan, / I would invent as bitter searching terms, / As curst, as harsh, and horrible to hear, / Delivered strongly through my fixèd teeth, / With full as many signs of deadly hate, / As lean-faced Envy in her loathsome cave. / My tongue should stumble in mine earnest words; / Mine eyes should sparkle like the beaten flint; / Mine hair be fixed on end, as one distract; / Ay, every joint should seem to curse and ban; / And even now my burdened heart would break / Should I not curse them. Poison be their drink! / Gall, worse than gall, the daintiest that they taste; / Their sweetest shade, a grove of cypress trees; / Their chiefest prospect, murd’ring basilisks; / Their softest touch, as smart as lizards’ stings! / Their music, frightful as the serpent’s hiss, / And boding screech owls make the consort full! / All the foul terrors in dark-seated hell—

Henry VI, Part 3 (5.1.82) CLARENCE: Father of Warwick, know you what this means? / Look, here I throw my infamy at thee. / I will not ruinate my father’s house, / Who gave his blood to lime the stones together / And set up Lancaster. Why, trowest thou, Warwick, / That Clarence is so harsh, so blunt, unnatural, / To bend the fatal instruments of war / Against his brother and his lawful king? / Perhaps thou wilt object my holy oath. / To keep that oath were more impiety / Than Jephthah when he sacrificed his daughter. / I am so sorry for my trespass made / That, to deserve well at my brother’s hands, / I here proclaim myself thy mortal foe, / With resolution, wheresoe’er I meet thee— / As I will meet thee if thou stir abroad— / To plague thee for thy foul misleading me. / And so, proud-hearted Warwick, I defy thee / And to my brother turn my blushing cheeks.— / Pardon me, Edward, I will make amends.— / And, Richard, do not frown upon my faults, / For I will henceforth be no more unconstant.

Henry VI, Part 3 (5.5.27) RICHARD: By heaven, brat, I’ll plague you for that word.

Henry VI, Part 3 (5.5.28) QUEEN MARGARET: Ay, thou wast born to be a plague to men.

Henry VIII (3.2.312) SURREY: Thy ambition, / Thou scarlet sin, robbed this bewailing land / Of noble Buckingham, my father-in-law. / The heads of all thy brother cardinals, / With thee and all thy best parts bound together, / Weighed not a hair of his. Plague of your policy! / You sent me Deputy for Ireland, / Far from his succor, from the King, from all / That might have mercy on the fault thou gav’st him, / Whilst your great goodness, out of holy pity, / Absolved him with an ax.

Julius Caesar (1.1.36) MARULLUS: Wherefore rejoice? What conquest brings he home? / What tributaries follow him to Rome / To grace in captive bonds his chariot wheels? / You blocks, you stones, you worse than senseless things! / O you hard hearts, you cruel men of Rome, / Knew you not Pompey? Many a time and oft / Have you climbed up to walls and battlements, / To towers and windows, yea, to chimney tops, / Your infants in your arms, and there have sat / The livelong day, with patient expectation, / To see great Pompey pass the streets of Rome. / And when you saw his chariot but appear, / Have you not made an universal shout, / That Tiber trembled underneath her banks / To hear the replication of your sounds / Made in her concave shores? / And do you now put on your best attire? / And do you now cull out a holiday? / And do you now strew flowers in his way / That comes in triumph over Pompey’s blood? / Be gone! / Run to your houses, fall upon your knees, / Pray to the gods to intermit the plague / That needs must light on this ingratitude.

King John (2.1.191) CONSTANCE: I have but this to say, / That he is not only plaguèd for her sin, / But God hath made her sin and her the plague / On this removèd issue, plagued for her, / And with her plague; her sin his injury, / Her injury the beadle to her sin, / All punished in the person of this child / And all for her. A plague upon her!

King John (3.4.45) CONSTANCE: Thou art not holy to belie me so. / I am not mad. This hair I tear is mine; / My name is Constance; I was Geoffrey’s wife; / Young Arthur is my son, and he is lost. / I am not mad; I would to heaven I were, / For then ’tis like I should forget myself. / O, if I could, what grief should I forget! / Preach some philosophy to make me mad, / And thou shalt be canonized, cardinal. / For, being not mad but sensible of grief, / My reasonable part produces reason / How I may be delivered of these woes, / And teaches me to kill or hang myself. / If I were mad, I should forget my son, / Or madly think a babe of clouts were he. / I am not mad. Too well, too well I feel / The different plague of each calamity.

King Lear (1.2.1) EDMUND: Thou, Nature, art my goddess. To thy law / My services are bound. Wherefore should I / Stand in the plague of custom, and permit / The curiosity of nations to deprive me / For that I am some twelve or fourteen moonshines / Lag of a brother? why “bastard”? Wherefore “base,” / When my dimensions are as well compact, / My mind as generous and my shape as true / As honest madam’s issue? Why brand they us / With “base,” with “baseness,” “bastardy,” “base,” “base,” / Who, in the lusty stealth of nature, take / More composition and fierce quality / Than doth within a dull, stale, tired bed / Go to th’ creating a whole tribe of fops / Got ’tween asleep and wake? Well then, / Legitimate Edgar, I must have your land. / Our father’s love is to the bastard Edmund / As to th’ legitimate. Fine word, “legitimate.” / Well, my legitimate, if this letter speed / And my invention thrive, Edmund the base / Shall top th’ legitimate. I grow, I prosper. / Now, gods, stand up for bastards!

King Lear (2.2.74) KENT: That such a slave as this should wear a sword, / Who wears no honesty. Such smiling rogues as these, / Like rats, oft bite the holy cords atwain / Which are too intrinse t’ unloose; smooth every passion / That in the natures of their lords rebel— / Being oil to fire, snow to the colder moods— / Renege, affirm, and turn their halcyon beaks / With every gale and vary of their masters, / Knowing naught, like dogs, but following.— / A plague upon your epileptic visage! / Smile you my speeches, as I were a fool? / Goose, if I had you upon Sarum plain, / I’d drive you cackling home to Camelot.

King Lear (2.4.103) LEAR: Vengeance, plague, death, confusion! / / “Fiery”? What “quality”? Why Gloucester, Gloucester, / / I’d speak with the Duke of Cornwall and his wife.

King Lear (2.4.251) LEAR: I prithee, daughter, do not make me mad. / / I will not trouble thee, my child. Farewell. / / We’ll no more meet, no more see one another. / / But yet thou art my flesh, my blood, my daughter, / / Or, rather, a disease that’s in my flesh, / / Which I must needs call mine. Thou art a boil, / / A plague-sore or embossèd carbuncle / / In my corrupted blood. But I’ll not chide thee. / / Let shame come when it will; I do not call it. / / I do not bid the thunder-bearer shoot, / / Nor tell tales of thee to high-judging Jove. / / Mend when thou canst. Be better at thy leisure. / / I can be patient. I can stay with Regan, / / I and my hundred knights.

King Lear (3.4.73) LEAR: Now all the plagues that in the pendulous air / Hang fated o’er men’s faults light on thy daughters!

King Lear (4.1.54) GLOUCESTER: ’Tis the time’s plague when madmen lead the blind. / Do as I bid thee, or rather do thy pleasure. / Above the rest, begone.

King Lear (4.1.73) GLOUCESTER: Here, take this purse, thou whom the heavens’ plagues / Have humbled to all strokes. That I am wretched / Makes thee the happier. Heavens, deal so still: / Let the superfluous and lust-dieted man, / That slaves your ordinance, that will not see / Because he does not feel, feel your power quickly. / So distribution should undo excess / And each man have enough. Dost thou know Dover?

King Lear (5.3.200) EDGAR: Let’s exchange charity. / I am no less in blood than thou art, Edmund; / If more, the more th’ hast wronged me. / My name is Edgar and thy father’s son. / The gods are just, and of our pleasant vices / Make instruments to plague us. / The dark and vicious place where thee he got / Cost him his eyes.

King Lear (5.3.325) LEAR: A plague upon you, murderers, traitors all! / I might have saved her. Now she’s gone forever.— / Cordelia, Cordelia, stay a little. Ha! / What is ’t thou sayst?—Her voice was ever soft, / Gentle, and low, an excellent thing in woman. / I killed the slave that was a-hanging thee.

Love’s Labor’s Lost (3.1.184) BEROWNE: And I forsooth in love! I that have been love’s whip, / A very beadle to a humorous sigh, / A critic, nay, a nightwatch constable, / A domineering pedant o’er the boy, / Than whom no mortal so magnificent. / This wimpled, whining, purblind, wayward boy, / This Signior Junior, giant dwarf, Dan Cupid, / Regent of love rhymes, lord of folded arms, / Th’ anointed sovereign of sighs and groans, / Liege of all loiterers and malcontents, / Dread prince of plackets, king of codpieces, / Sole imperator and great general / Of trotting paritors—O my little heart! / And I to be a corporal of his field / And wear his colors like a tumbler’s hoop! / What? I love, I sue, I seek a wife? / A woman, that is like a German clock, / Still a-repairing, ever out of frame, / And never going aright, being a watch, / But being watched that it may still go right. / Nay, to be perjured, which is worst of all. / And, among three, to love the worst of all, / A whitely wanton with a velvet brow, / With two pitch-balls stuck in her face for eyes. / Ay, and by heaven, one that will do the deed / Though Argus were her eunuch and her guard. / And I to sigh for her, to watch for her, / To pray for her! Go to. It is a plague / That Cupid will impose for my neglect / Of his almighty dreadful little might. / Well, I will love, write, sigh, pray, sue, groan. / Some men must love my lady, and some Joan.

Love’s Labor’s Lost (4.3.377) BEROWNE: Allons! Allons! Sowed cockle reaped no corn, / And justice always whirls in equal measure. / Light wenches may prove plagues to men forsworn; / If so, our copper buys no better treasure.

Love’s Labor’s Lost (5.2.430) BEROWNE: Thus pour the stars down plagues for perjury. / Can any face of brass hold longer out? / Here stand I, lady. Dart thy skill at me. / Bruise me with scorn, confound me with a flout. / Thrust thy sharp wit quite through my ignorance. / Cut me to pieces with thy keen conceit, / And I will wish thee nevermore to dance, / Nor nevermore in Russian habit wait. / O, never will I trust to speeches penned, / Nor to the motion of a schoolboy’s tongue, / Nor never come in vizard to my friend, / Nor woo in rhyme like a blind harper’s song. / Taffeta phrases, silken terms precise, / Three-piled hyperboles, spruce affectation, / Figures pedantical—these summer flies / Have blown me full of maggot ostentation. / I do forswear them, and I here protest / By this white glove—how white the hand, God knows!— / Henceforth my wooing mind shall be expressed / In russet yeas and honest kersey noes. / And to begin: Wench, so God help me, law, / My love to thee is sound, sans crack or flaw.

Love’s Labor’s Lost (5.2.454) BEROWNE: Yet I have a trick / Of the old rage. Bear with me, I am sick; / I’ll leave it by degrees. Soft, let us see: / Write “Lord have mercy on us” on those three. / They are infected; in their hearts it lies. / They have the plague, and caught it of your eyes. / These lords are visited. You are not free, / For the Lord’s tokens on you do I see.

Lucrece, 855: The agèd man that coffers up his gold / Is plagued with cramps and gouts and painful fits / And scarce hath eyes his treasure to behold, / But like still-pining Tantalus he sits, / And useless barns the harvest of his wits, / Having no other pleasure of his gain / But torment that it cannot cure his pain.

Lucrece, 1478: Why should the private pleasure of some one / Become the public plague of many moe? / Let sin, alone committed, light alone / Upon his head that hath transgressèd so; / Let guiltless souls be freed from guilty woe. / For one’s offense why should so many fall, / To plague a private sin in general?

Macbeth (1.7.1) MACBETH: If it were done when ’tis done, then ’twere well / It were done quickly. If th’ assassination / Could trammel up the consequence and catch / With his surcease success, that but this blow / Might be the be-all and the end-all here, / But here, upon this bank and shoal of time, / We’d jump the life to come. But in these cases / We still have judgment here, that we but teach / Bloody instructions, which, being taught, return / To plague th’ inventor. This even-handed justice / Commends th’ ingredience of our poisoned chalice / To our own lips. He’s here in double trust: / First, as I am his kinsman and his subject, / Strong both against the deed; then, as his host, / Who should against his murderer shut the door, / Not bear the knife myself. Besides, this Duncan / Hath borne his faculties so meek, hath been / So clear in his great office, that his virtues / Will plead like angels, trumpet-tongued, against / The deep damnation of his taking-off; / And pity, like a naked newborn babe / Striding the blast, or heaven’s cherubin horsed / Upon the sightless couriers of the air, / Shall blow the horrid deed in every eye, / That tears shall drown the wind. I have no spur / To prick the sides of my intent, but only / Vaulting ambition, which o’erleaps itself / And falls on th’ other— / How now, what news?

Merchant of Venice (3.1.115) SHYLOCK: I am very glad of it. I’ll plague him, I’ll torture him. I am glad of it.

Much Ado About Nothing (2.3.84) BENEDICK: An he had been a dog that should have howled thus, they would have hanged him. And I pray God his bad voice bode no mischief. I had as lief have heard the night raven, come what plague could have come after it.

Much Ado About Nothing (3.2.126) DON JOHN: O plague right well prevented! So will you say when you have seen the sequel.

Othello (1.1.74) IAGO: Call up her father. / Rouse him. Make after him, poison his delight, / Proclaim him in the streets; incense her kinsmen, / And, though he in a fertile climate dwell, / Plague him with flies. Though that his joy be joy, / Yet throw such chances of vexation on ’t / As it may lose some color.

Othello (3.3.170) IAGO: I do beseech you, / Though I perchance am vicious in my guess— / As, I confess, it is my nature’s plague / To spy into abuses, and oft my jealousy / Shapes faults that are not—that your wisdom / From one that so imperfectly conceits / Would take no notice, nor build yourself a trouble / Out of his scattering and unsure observance. / It were not for your quiet nor your good, / Nor for my manhood, honesty, and wisdom, / To let you know my thoughts.

Othello (3.3.299) OTHELLO: This fellow’s of exceeding honesty, / And knows all qualities with a learnèd spirit / Of human dealings. If I do prove her haggard, / Though that her jesses were my dear heartstrings, / I’d whistle her off and let her down the wind / To prey at fortune. Haply, for I am black / And have not those soft parts of conversation / That chamberers have, or for I am declined / Into the vale of years—yet that’s not much— / She’s gone, I am abused, and my relief / Must be to loathe her. O curse of marriage, / That we can call these delicate creatures ours / And not their appetites! I had rather be a toad / And live upon the vapor of a dungeon / Than keep a corner in the thing I love / For others’ uses. Yet ’tis the plague of great ones; / Prerogatived are they less than the base. / ’Tis destiny unshunnable, like death. / Even then this forkèd plague is fated to us / When we do quicken. Look where she comes. / If she be false, heaven mocks itself! / I’ll not believe ’t.

Othello (4.1.110) IAGO: That’s not amiss. / / But yet keep time in all. Will you withdraw? / / Now will I question Cassio of Bianca, / / A huswife that by selling her desires / / Buys herself bread and clothes. It is a creature / / That dotes on Cassio—as ’tis the strumpet’s plague / / To beguile many and be beguiled by one. / / He, when he hears of her, cannot restrain / / From the excess of laughter. Here he comes. / / As he shall smile, Othello shall go mad, / / And his unbookish jealousy must construe / / Poor Cassio’s smiles, gestures, and light behaviors / / Quite in the wrong.—How do you, lieutenant?

Pericles (2.1.24) THIRD FISHERMAN: Nay, master, said not I as much when I saw the porpoise how he bounced and tumbled? They say they’re half fish, half flesh. A plague on them! They ne’er come but I look to be washed. Master, I marvel how the fishes live in the sea.

Richard II (3.1.35) GREEN: My comfort is that heaven will take our souls / And plague injustice with the pains of hell.

Richard II (5.3.1) KING HENRY: Can no man tell me of my unthrifty son? / ’Tis full three months since I did see him last. / If any plague hang over us, ’tis he. / I would to God, my lords, he might be found. / Inquire at London, ’mongst the taverns there, / For there, they say, he daily doth frequent / With unrestrainèd loose companions, / Even such, they say, as stand in narrow lanes / And beat our watch and rob our passengers, / While he, young wanton and effeminate boy, / Takes on the point of honor to support / So dissolute a crew.

Richard III (1.3.56) RICHARD: To thee, that hast nor honesty nor grace. / When have I injured thee? When done thee wrong?— / Or thee?—Or thee? Or any of your faction? / A plague upon you all! His royal Grace, / Whom God preserve better than you would wish, / Cannot be quiet scarce a breathing while / But you must trouble him with lewd complaints.

Richard III (1.3.180) RICHARD: The curse my noble father laid on thee / When thou didst crown his warlike brows with paper, / And with thy scorns drew’st rivers from his eyes, / And then, to dry them, gav’st the Duke a clout / Steeped in the faultless blood of pretty Rutland— / His curses then, from bitterness of soul / Denounced against thee, are all fall’n upon thee, / And God, not we, hath plagued thy bloody deed.

Richard III (1.3.226) QUEEN MARGARET: And leave out thee? Stay, dog, for thou shalt hear me. / If heaven have any grievous plague in store / Exceeding those that I can wish upon thee, / O, let them keep it till thy sins be ripe / And then hurl down their indignation / On thee, the troubler of the poor world’s peace. / The worm of conscience still begnaw thy soul. / Thy friends suspect for traitors while thou liv’st, / And take deep traitors for thy dearest friends. / No sleep close up that deadly eye of thine, / Unless it be while some tormenting dream / Affrights thee with a hell of ugly devils. / Thou elvish-marked, abortive, rooting hog, / Thou that wast sealed in thy nativity / The slave of nature and the son of hell, / Thou slander of thy heavy mother’s womb, / Thou loathèd issue of thy father’s loins, / Thou rag of honor, thou detested—

Romeo and Juliet (1.4.58) MERCUTIO: O, then I see Queen Mab hath been with you. / She is the fairies’ midwife, and she comes / In shape no bigger than an agate stone / On the forefinger of an alderman, / Drawn with a team of little atomi / Over men’s noses as they lie asleep. / Her wagon spokes made of long spinners’ legs, / The cover of the wings of grasshoppers, / Her traces of the smallest spider web, / Her collars of the moonshine’s wat’ry beams, / Her whip of cricket’s bone, the lash of film, / Her wagoner a small gray-coated gnat, / Not half so big as a round little worm / Pricked from the lazy finger of a maid. / Her chariot is an empty hazelnut, / Made by the joiner squirrel or old grub, / Time out o’ mind the fairies’ coachmakers. / And in this state she gallops night by night / Through lovers’ brains, and then they dream of love; / On courtiers’ knees, that dream on cur’sies straight; / O’er lawyers’ fingers, who straight dream on fees; / O’er ladies’ lips, who straight on kisses dream, / Which oft the angry Mab with blisters plagues / Because their breaths with sweetmeats tainted are. / Sometime she gallops o’er a courtier’s nose, / And then dreams he of smelling out a suit. / And sometime comes she with a tithe-pig’s tail, / Tickling a parson’s nose as he lies asleep; / Then he dreams of another benefice. / Sometime she driveth o’er a soldier’s neck, / And then dreams he of cutting foreign throats, / Of breaches, ambuscadoes, Spanish blades, / Of healths five fathom deep, and then anon / Drums in his ear, at which he starts and wakes / And, being thus frighted, swears a prayer or two / And sleeps again. This is that very Mab / That plats the manes of horses in the night / And bakes the elflocks in foul sluttish hairs, / Which once untangled much misfortune bodes. / This is the hag, when maids lie on their backs, / That presses them and learns them first to bear, / Making them women of good carriage. / This is she—

Romeo and Juliet (1.5.18) CAPULET: Welcome, gentlemen. Ladies that have their toes / Unplagued with corns will walk a bout with you.— / Ah, my mistresses, which of you all / Will now deny to dance? She that makes dainty, / She, I’ll swear, hath corns. Am I come near you now?— / Welcome, gentlemen. I have seen the day / That I have worn a visor and could tell / A whispering tale in a fair lady’s ear, / Such as would please. ’Tis gone, ’tis gone, ’tis gone. / You are welcome, gentlemen.—Come, musicians, play. / A hall, a hall, give room!—And foot it, girls.— / More light, you knaves, and turn the tables up, / And quench the fire; the room is grown too hot.— / Ah, sirrah, this unlooked-for sport comes well.— / Nay, sit, nay, sit, good cousin Capulet, / For you and I are past our dancing days. / How long is ’t now since last yourself and I / Were in a mask?

Romeo and Juliet (3.1.93) MERCUTIO: I am hurt. / A plague o’ both houses! I am sped. / Is he gone and hath nothing?

Romeo and Juliet (3.1.100) MERCUTIO: No, ’tis not so deep as a well, nor so wide as a church door, but ’tis enough. ’Twill serve. Ask for me tomorrow, and you shall find me a grave man. I am peppered, I warrant, for this world. A plague o’ both your houses! Zounds, a dog, a rat, a mouse, a cat, to scratch a man to death! A braggart, a rogue, a villain that fights by the book of arithmetic! Why the devil came you between us? I was hurt under your arm.

Romeo and Juliet (3.1.110) MERCUTIO: Help me into some house, Benvolio, / Or I shall faint. A plague o’ both your houses! / They have made worms’ meat of me. / I have it, and soundly, too. Your houses!

Sonnet 14: Not from the stars do I my judgment pluck, / And yet methinks I have astronomy— / But not to tell of good or evil luck, / Of plagues, of dearths, or seasons’ quality; / Nor can I fortune to brief minutes tell, / Pointing to each his thunder, rain, and wind, / Or say with princes if it shall go well / By oft predict that I in heaven find. / But from thine eyes my knowledge I derive, / And, constant stars, in them I read such art / As truth and beauty shall together thrive / If from thyself to store thou wouldst convert; / Or else of thee this I prognosticate: / Thy end is truth’s and beauty’s doom and date.

Sonnet 114: Or whether doth my mind, being crowned with you, / Drink up the monarch’s plague, this flattery? / Or whether shall I say mine eye saith true, / And that your love taught it this alchemy, / To make of monsters and things indigest / Such cherubins as your sweet self resemble, / Creating every bad a perfect best / As fast as objects to his beams assemble? / O, ’tis the first: ’tis flattery in my seeing, / And my great mind most kingly drinks it up. / Mine eye well knows what with his gust is greeing, / And to his palate doth prepare the cup. / If it be poisoned, ’tis the lesser sin / That mine eye loves it and doth first begin.

Sonnet 137: Thou blind fool, Love, what dost thou to mine eyes / That they behold and see not what they see? / They know what beauty is, see where it lies, / Yet what the best is take the worst to be. / If eyes, corrupt by overpartial looks, / Be anchored in the bay where all men ride, / Why of eyes’ falsehood hast thou forgèd hooks, / Whereto the judgment of my heart is tied? / Why should my heart think that a several plot / Which my heart knows the wide world’s common place? / Or mine eyes, seeing this, say this is not, / To put fair truth upon so foul a face? / In things right true my heart and eyes have erred, / And to this false plague are they now transferred.

Sonnet 141: In faith, I do not love thee with mine eyes, / For they in thee a thousand errors note; / But ’tis my heart that loves what they despise, / Who in despite of view is pleased to dote. / Nor are mine ears with thy tongue’s tune delighted, / Nor tender feeling to base touches prone, / Nor taste, nor smell, desire to be invited / To any sensual feast with thee alone. / But my five wits nor my five senses can / Dissuade one foolish heart from serving thee, / Who leaves unswayed the likeness of a man, / Thy proud heart’s slave and vassal wretch to be. / Only my plague thus far I count my gain, / That she that makes me sin awards me pain.

The Tempest (1.1.35) BOATSWAIN: Down with the topmast! Yare! Lower, lower! Bring her to try wi’ th’ main course.A plague upon this howling! They are louder than the weather or our office. Yet again? What do you here? Shall we give o’er and drown? Have you a mind to sink?

The Tempest (1.2.437) CALIBAN: You taught me language, and my profit on ’t / Is I know how to curse. The red plague rid you / For learning me your language!

The Tempest (2.2.166) CALIBAN: I’ll show thee the best springs. I’ll pluck thee berries. / I’ll fish for thee and get thee wood enough. / A plague upon the tyrant that I serve. / I’ll bear him no more sticks, but follow thee, / Thou wondrous man.

The Tempest (4.1.211) PROSPERO: A devil, a born devil, on whose nature / Nurture can never stick; on whom my pains, / Humanely taken, all, all lost, quite lost; / And as with age his body uglier grows, / So his mind cankers. I will plague them all / Even to roaring. Come, hang them on this line.

Timon of Athens (2.2.62) ISIDORE’S MAN: A plague upon him, dog!

Timon of Athens (4.1.1) TIMON: Let me look back upon thee. O thou wall / That girdles in those wolves, dive in the earth / And fence not Athens! Matrons, turn incontinent! / Obedience fail in children! Slaves and fools, / Pluck the grave wrinkled Senate from the bench / And minister in their steads! To general filths / Convert o’ th’ instant, green virginity! / Do ’t in your parents’ eyes! Bankrupts, hold fast! / Rather than render back, out with your knives / And cut your trusters’ throats! Bound servants, steal! / Large-handed robbers your grave masters are, / And pill by law. Maid, to thy master’s bed! / Thy mistress is o’ th’ brothel. Son of sixteen, / Pluck the lined crutch from thy old limping sire; / With it beat out his brains! Piety and fear, / Religion to the gods, peace, justice, truth, / Domestic awe, night rest, and neighborhood, / Instruction, manners, mysteries, and trades, / Degrees, observances, customs, and laws, / Decline to your confounding contraries, / And yet confusion live! Plagues incident to men, / Your potent and infectious fevers heap / On Athens, ripe for stroke! Thou cold sciatica, / Cripple our senators, that their limbs may halt / As lamely as their manners! Lust and liberty, / Creep in the minds and marrows of our youth, / That ’gainst the stream of virtue they may strive / And drown themselves in riot! Itches, blains, / Sow all th’ Athenian bosoms, and their crop / Be general leprosy! Breath infect breath, / That their society, as their friendship, may / Be merely poison! Nothing I’ll bear from thee / But nakedness, thou detestable town! / Take thou that too, with multiplying bans! / Timon will to the woods, where he shall find / Th’ unkindest beast more kinder than mankind. / The gods confound—hear me, you good gods all!— / Th’ Athenians both within and out that wall, / And grant, as Timon grows, his hate may grow / To the whole race of mankind, high and low! / Amen.

Timon of Athens (4.3.81) TIMON: Promise me friendship, but perform none. If thou wilt not promise, the gods plague thee, for thou art a man. If thou dost perform, confound thee, for thou art a man.

Timon of Athens (4.3.119) TIMON: That by killing of villains / Thou wast born to conquer my country. / Put up thy gold. Go on. Here’s gold. Go on. / Be as a planetary plague when Jove / Will o’er some high-viced city hang his poison / In the sick air. Let not thy sword skip one. / Pity not honored age for his white beard; / He is an usurer. Strike me the counterfeit matron; / It is her habit only that is honest, / Herself’s a bawd. Let not the virgin’s cheek / Make soft thy trenchant sword, for those milk paps, / That through the window-bars bore at men’s eyes, / Are not within the leaf of pity writ, / But set them down horrible traitors. Spare not the babe, / Whose dimpled smiles from fools exhaust their mercy; / Think it a bastard whom the oracle / Hath doubtfully pronounced the throat shall cut, / And mince it sans remorse. Swear against objects; / Put armor on thine ears and on thine eyes, / Whose proof nor yells of mothers, maids, nor babes, / Nor sight of priests in holy vestments bleeding, / Shall pierce a jot. There’s gold to pay thy soldiers. / Make large confusion and, thy fury spent, / Confounded be thyself! Speak not. Begone.

Timon of Athens (4.3.170) TIMON: Consumptions sow / In hollow bones of man; strike their sharp shins, / And mar men’s spurring. Crack the lawyer’s voice, / That he may never more false title plead / Nor sound his quillets shrilly. Hoar the flamen, / That scolds against the quality of flesh / And not believes himself. Down with the nose— / Down with it flat, take the bridge quite away— / Of him that, his particular to foresee, / Smells from the general weal. Make curled-pate ruffians bald, / And let the unscarred braggarts of the war / Derive some pain from you. Plague all, / That your activity may defeat and quell / The source of all erection. There’s more gold. / Do you damn others, and let this damn you, / And ditches grave you all!

Timon of Athens (4.3.201) TIMON: That nature, being sick of man’s unkindness, / Should yet be hungry! Common mother, thou / Whose womb unmeasurable and infinite breast / Teems and feeds all; whose selfsame mettle— / Whereof thy proud child, arrogant man, is puffed— / Engenders the black toad and adder blue, / The gilded newt and eyeless venomed worm, / With all th’ abhorrèd births below crisp heaven / Whereon Hyperion’s quick’ning fire doth shine: / Yield him who all thy human sons do hate, / From forth thy plenteous bosom, one poor root! / Ensear thy fertile and conceptious womb; / Let it no more bring out ingrateful man. / Go great with tigers, dragons, wolves, and bears; / Teem with new monsters, whom thy upward face / Hath to the marbled mansion all above / Never presented. O, a root! Dear thanks! / Dry up thy marrows, vines, and plow-torn leas, / Whereof ingrateful man with liquorish drafts / And morsels unctuous greases his pure mind, / That from it all consideration slips— / More man? Plague, plague!

Timon of Athens (4.3.394) APEMANTUS: Yonder comes a poet and a painter. The plague of company light upon thee! I will fear to catch it and give way. When I know not what else to do, I’ll see thee again.

Timon of Athens (4.3.403) APEMANTUS: A plague on thee! Thou art too bad to curse.

Timon of Athens (5.1.48) TIMON: I’ll meet you at the turn. What a god’s gold / That he is worshiped in a baser temple / Than where swine feed! / ’Tis thou that rigg’st the bark and plow’st the foam, / Settlest admirèd reverence in a slave. / To thee be worship, and thy saints for aye / Be crowned with plagues, that thee alone obey! / Fit I meet them.

Timon of Athens (5.1.158) TIMON: I thank them and would send them back the plague, / Could I but catch it for them.

Timon of Athens (5.1.212) TIMON: Why, I was writing of my epitaph. / It will be seen tomorrow. My long sickness / Of health and living now begins to mend, / And nothing brings me all things. Go, live still. / Be Alcibiades your plague, you his, / And last so long enough!

Timon of Athens (5.1.246) TIMON: Come not to me again, but say to Athens, / Timon hath made his everlasting mansion / Upon the beachèd verge of the salt flood, / Who once a day with his embossèd froth / The turbulent surge shall cover. Thither come / And let my gravestone be your oracle. / Lips, let four words go by and language end. / What is amiss, plague and infection mend. / Graves only be men’s works, and death their gain. / Sun, hide thy beams. Timon hath done his reign.

Timon of Athens (5.4.81) ALCIBIADES: Here lies a wretched corse, of wretched soul bereft. / Seek not my name. A plague consume you, wicked caitiffs left! / Here lie I, Timon, who, alive, all living men did hate. / Pass by and curse thy fill, but pass and stay not here thy gait. / These well express in thee thy latter spirits. / Though thou abhorred’st in us our human griefs, / Scorned’st our brains’ flow and those our droplets which / From niggard nature fall, yet rich conceit / Taught thee to make vast Neptune weep for aye / On thy low grave, on faults forgiven. Dead / Is noble Timon, of whose memory / Hereafter more. Bring me into your city, / And I will use the olive with my sword, / Make war breed peace, make peace stint war, make each / Prescribe to other as each other’s leech. / Let our drums strike.

Troilus and Cressida (1.1.91) TROILUS: Peace, you ungracious clamors! Peace, rude sounds! / Fools on both sides! Helen must needs be fair / When with your blood you daily paint her thus. / I cannot fight upon this argument; / It is too starved a subject for my sword. / But Pandarus—O gods, how do you plague me! / I cannot come to Cressid but by Pandar, / And he’s as tetchy to be wooed to woo / As she is stubborn-chaste against all suit. / Tell me, Apollo, for thy Daphnes love, / What Cressid is, what Pandar, and what we. / Her bed is India; there she lies, a pearl. / Between our Ilium and where she resides, / Let it be called the wild and wand’ring flood, / Ourself the merchant, and this sailing Pandar / Our doubtful hope, our convoy, and our bark.

Troilus and Cressida (1.3.79) ULYSSES: Troy, yet upon his basis, had been down, / And the great Hector’s sword had lacked a master / But for these instances: / The specialty of rule hath been neglected, / And look how many Grecian tents do stand / Hollow upon this plain, so many hollow factions. / When that the general is not like the hive / To whom the foragers shall all repair, / What honey is expected? Degree being vizarded, / Th’ unworthiest shows as fairly in the mask. / The heavens themselves, the planets, and this center / Observe degree, priority, and place, / Insisture, course, proportion, season, form, / Office, and custom, in all line of order. / And therefore is the glorious planet Sol / In noble eminence enthroned and sphered / Amidst the other, whose med’cinable eye / Corrects the influence of evil planets, / And posts, like the commandment of a king, / Sans check, to good and bad. But when the planets / In evil mixture to disorder wander, / What plagues and what portents, what mutiny, / What raging of the sea, shaking of Earth, / Commotion in the winds, frights, changes, horrors / Divert and crack, rend and deracinate / The unity and married calm of states / Quite from their fixture! O, when degree is shaked, / Which is the ladder of all high designs, / The enterprise is sick. How could communities, / Degrees in schools and brotherhoods in cities, / Peaceful commerce from dividable shores, / The primogeneity and due of birth, / Prerogative of age, crowns, scepters, laurels, / But by degree stand in authentic place? / Take but degree away, untune that string, / And hark what discord follows. Each thing meets / In mere oppugnancy. The bounded waters / Should lift their bosoms higher than the shores / And make a sop of all this solid globe; / Strength should be lord of imbecility, / And the rude son should strike his father dead; / Force should be right, or, rather, right and wrong, / Between whose endless jar justice resides, / Should lose their names, and so should justice too. / Then everything includes itself in power, / Power into will, will into appetite, / And appetite, an universal wolf, / So doubly seconded with will and power, / Must make perforce an universal prey / And last eat up himself. Great Agamemnon, / This chaos, when degree is suffocate, / Follows the choking. / And this neglection of degree it is / That by a pace goes backward, with a purpose / It hath to climb. The General’s disdained / By him one step below, he by the next, / That next by him beneath; so every step, / Exampled by the first pace that is sick / Of his superior, grows to an envious fever / Of pale and bloodless emulation. / And ’tis this fever that keeps Troy on foot, / Not her own sinews. To end a tale of length, / Troy in our weakness stands, not in her strength.

Troilus and Cressida (2.1.12) THERSITES: The plague of Greece upon thee, thou mongrel beef-witted lord!

Troilus and Cressida (3.3.263) THERSITES: Why, he stalks up and down like a peacock— a stride and a stand; ruminates like an hostess that hath no arithmetic but her brain to set down her reckoning; bites his lip with a politic regard, as who should say “There were wit in this head an ’twould out”—and so there is, but it lies as coldly in him as fire in a flint, which will not show without knocking. The man’s undone forever, for if Hector break not his neck i’ th’ combat, he’ll break ’t himself in vainglory. He knows not me. I said “Good morrow, Ajax,” and he replies “Thanks, Agamemnon.” What think you of this man that takes me for the General? He’s grown a very land-fish, languageless, a monster. A plague of opinion! A man may wear it on both sides, like a leather jerkin.

Troilus and Cressida (4.2.80) PANDARUS: Is ’t possible? No sooner got but lost? The devil take Antenor! The young prince will go mad. A plague upon Antenor! I would they had broke ’s neck!

Troilus and Cressida (4.2.91) PANDARUS: Pray thee, get thee in. Would thou hadst ne’er been born! I knew thou wouldst be his death. O, poor gentleman! A plague upon Antenor!

Troilus and Cressida (5.2.38) TROILUS: O plague and madness!

Troilus and Cressida (5.2.127) CRESSIDA: Ay, come.—O Jove!—Do, come.—I shall be plagued.

Troilus and Cressida (5.4.33) THERSITES: God-a-mercy, that thou wilt believe me! But a plague break thy neck for frighting me! What’s become of the wenching rogues? I think they have swallowed one another. I would laugh at that miracle—yet, in a sort, lechery eats itself. I’ll seek them.

Troilus and Cressida (5.11.5) TROILUS: He’s dead, and at the murderer’s horse’s tail, / In beastly sort, dragged through the shameful field. / Frown on, you heavens; effect your rage with speed. / Sit, gods, upon your thrones, and smite at Troy! / I say at once: let your brief plagues be mercy, / And linger not our sure destructions on!

Twelfth Night (1.3.1) TOBY: What a plague means my niece to take the death of her brother thus? I am sure care’s an enemy to life.

Twelfth Night (1.5.119) TOBY: ’Tis a gentleman here—a plague o’ these pickle herring!—How now, sot?

Twelfth Night (1.5.294) OLIVIA: “What is your parentage?” / “Above my fortunes, yet my state is well. / I am a gentleman.” I’ll be sworn thou art. / Thy tongue, thy face, thy limbs, actions, and spirit / Do give thee fivefold blazon. Not too fast! Soft, soft! / Unless the master were the man. How now? / Even so quickly may one catch the plague? / Methinks I feel this youth’s perfections / With an invisible and subtle stealth / To creep in at mine eyes. Well, let it be.— / What ho, Malvolio!

Twelfth Night (3.4.294) ANDREW: Plague on ’t! An I thought he had been valiant, and so cunning in fence, I’d have seen him damned ere I’d have challenged him. Let him let the matter slip, and I’ll give him my horse, gray Capilet.

Two Gentlemen of Verona (4.3.13) SYLVIA: O Eglamour, thou art a gentleman— / Think not I flatter, for I swear I do not— / Valiant, wise, remorseful, well accomplished. / Thou art not ignorant what dear good will / I bear unto the banished Valentine, / Nor how my father would enforce me marry / Vain Thurio, whom my very soul abhorred. / Thyself hast loved, and I have heard thee say / No grief did ever come so near thy heart / As when thy lady and thy true love died, / Upon whose grave thou vow’dst pure chastity. / Sir Eglamour, I would to Valentine, / To Mantua, where I hear he makes abode; / And for the ways are dangerous to pass, / I do desire thy worthy company, / Upon whose faith and honor I repose. / Urge not my father’s anger, Eglamour, / But think upon my grief, a lady’s grief, / And on the justice of my flying hence / To keep me from a most unholy match, / Which heaven and fortune still rewards with plagues. / I do desire thee, even from a heart / As full of sorrows as the sea of sands, / To bear me company and go with me; / If not, to hide what I have said to thee, / That I may venture to depart alone.

Venus and Adonis, 505: Long may they kiss each other for this cure! / O, never let their crimson liveries wear, / And, as they last, their verdure still endure / To drive infection from the dangerous year, / That the star-gazers, having writ on death, / May say the plague is banished by thy breath!

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