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The Mutable Many

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A Novel


(1896)


For the imitable, rank-scented many, let them
Regard me as I do not flatter, and
Therein behold themselves?
--Coriolanus.


He that trusts you,
Where he should find you lions, finds you hares;
Where foxes, geese. You are no surer, no,
Than is the coal of fire upon the ice,
Or hailstone in the sun. Your virtue is,
To make him worthy, whose offence subdues him
And curse that justice did it.

Who deserves greatness,
Deserves your hate: and your affections are
A sick manís appetite, who desires most that
Which would increase his evil. He that depends
Upon your favours, swims with fins of lead,
And hews down oaks with rushes.. Hang ye!
Trust ye?
With every minute you do change a mind;
And call him noble that was now your hate,
Him vile, that was now your garland.Ē--Coriolanus.

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