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Monologues for Men


Be absolute for death: either death or life

Shall thereby be the sweeter. Reason thus with life:

If I do lose thee, I do lose a thing

That none but fools would keep. A breath thou art,

Servile to all the skyey influences,

That dost this habitation where thou keep’st

Hourly afflict. Merely, thou art death’s fool,

For him thou labor’st by thy flight to shun,

And yet run’st toward him still. Thou art not noble,

For all th’ accommodations that thou bear’st

Are nurs’d by baseness. Thou’rt by no means valiant,

For thou dost fear the soft and tender fork

Of a poor worm. Thy best of rest is sleep,

And that thou oft provok’st, yet grossly fear’st

Thy death, which is no more. Thou art not thyself,

For thou exists on many a thousand grains

That issue out of dust. Happy thou art not,

For what thou hast not, still thou striv’st to get,

And what thou hast, forget’st. Thou art not certain,

For thy complexion shifts to strange effects,

After the moon. If thou art rich, thou’rt poor,

For like an ass, whose back with ingots bows,

Thou bear’st thy heavy riches but a journey,

And death unloads thee. Friend hast thou none,

For thine own bowels, which do call thee sire,

The mere effusion of thy proper loins,

Do curse the gout, sapego, and the rheum

For ending thee no sooner. Thou hast nor youth nor age,

But as it were an after-dinner’s sleep,

Dreaming on both, for all thy blessed youth

Becomes as aged, and doth beg the alms

Of palsied eld; and when thou art old and rich,

Thou hast neither heat, affection, limb, nor beauty,

To make thy riches pleasant. What’s yet in this

That bears the name of life? Yet in this life

Lie hid moe thousand deaths; yet death we fear

That makes these odds all even.

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