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Time hath, my lord, a wallet at his back

Time hath, my lord, a wallet at his back
Wherein he puts alms for oblivion,
A great-sized monster of ingratitudes.
Those scraps are good deeds past, which are devoured
As fast as they are made, forgot as soon
As done. Perseverance, dear my lord,
Keeps honor bright. To have done is to hang
Quite out of fashion like a rusty mail
In monumental mock'ry. Take the instant way,
For honor travels in a strait so narrow
Where one but goes abreast. Keep, then, the path,
For Emulation hath a thousand sons
That one by one pursue. If you give way
Or turn aside from the direct forthright,
Like to an entered tide they all rush by
And leave you hindmost;
Or, like a gallant horse fall'n in first rank,
Lie there for pavement to the abject rear,
O'errun and trampled on. Then what they do in present,
Though less than yours in past, must o'ertop yours;
For Time is like a fashionable host
That slightly shakes his parting guest by th' hand
And, with his arms outstretched as he would fly,
Grasps in the comer. Welcome ever smiles,
And Farewell goes out sighing. Let not virtue seek
Remuneration for the thing it was,
For beauty, wit,
High birth, vigor of bone, desert in service,
Love, friendship, charity are subjects all
To envious and calumniating Time.
One touch of nature makes the whole world kin,
That all, with one consent, praise newborn gauds,
Though they are made and molded of things past,
And give  to dust that is a little gilt
More laud than gilt o'erdusted.
The present eye praises the present object.
Then marvel not, thou great and complete man,
That all the Greeks begin to worship Ajax,
Since things in motion sooner catch the eye
Than what stirs not. The cry went once on thee,
And still it might, and yet it may again,
If thou wouldst not entomb thyself alive
And case thy reputation in thy tent,
Whose glorious deeds but in these fields of late
Made emulous missions ‘mongst the gods themselves
And drave great Mars to faction.

Act 3
Scene 3
Line 150

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