"Had I but ..." Quote of William Shakespeare

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Had I but died an hour before this chance, I had lived a blessed time; for from this instant There's nothing serious in mortality. All is but toys; renown and grace is dead, The wine of life is drawn, and the mere lees Is left this vault to brag of.

William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 2, sc. 3, l. 91-6. "Chance" means mischance, meaning the killing of Duncan; life ("mortality") from henceforth is trivial ("toys"); the "vault" is the sky covering the earth.
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