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Sweet are the uses of adversity which, like the toad, ugly and venomous, wears yet a precious jewel in his head. Options
Daemon
Posted: Thursday, November 28, 2013 12:00:00 AM
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Sweet are the uses of adversity which, like the toad, ugly and venomous, wears yet a precious jewel in his head.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
Bully_rus
Posted: Thursday, November 28, 2013 5:53:30 AM
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Duke Senior as the precursor of Thoreau... Difference between Shakespeare and Thoreau like that of titan and craftsman.
PS Jewel in head (perhaps crown jewel) may be consolation, but sweet - if only for the toad consort.

>> DUKE SENIOR
Now, my co-mates and brothers in exile,
Hath not old custom made this life more sweet
Than that of painted pomp? Are not these woods
More free from peril than the envious court?
Here feel we but the penalty of Adam,
The seasons' difference, as the icy fang
And churlish chiding of the winter's wind,
Which, when it bites and blows upon my body,
Even till I shrink with cold, I smile and say
'This is no flattery: these are counsellors
That feelingly persuade me what I am.'
Sweet are the uses of adversity,
Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
Wears yet a precious jewel in his head;
And this our life exempt from public haunt
Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
Sermons in stones and good in every thing.
I would not change it.
jcbarros
Posted: Thursday, November 28, 2013 10:48:08 AM

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And sometimes the toad turns into a prince...
GreenBanana
Posted: Thursday, November 28, 2013 2:14:52 PM

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Toads have jewels now? The closest I can interpret from this is "crunchy frog".

Make every post as if it was the first one in the thread.
MTC
Posted: Friday, November 29, 2013 12:58:56 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 1/18/2011
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Neurons: 8,606

Shakespeare was referring to a then popular but erroneous belief about toads:

Toad.—Among the vulgar errors of Shakespeare's day was the belief that the head of the toad contained a stone possessing

p. 246

great medicinal virtues. In "As you Like It" (ii. 1) the Duke says—

"Sweet are the uses of adversity,
Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
Wears yet a precious jewel in his head."
Lupton in his "One Thousand Notable Things" says that "a toadstone, called Crepaudina, touching any part envenomed by the bite of a rat, wasp, spider, or other venomous beast, ceases the pain and swelling thereof." In the Londesborough Collection is a silver ring of the fifteenth century, in which one of these stones is set."


Folk-lore of Shakespeare, by T.F. Thiselton Dyer, [1883]

p. 236

CHAPTER IX.

INSECTS AND REPTILES.

http://www.sacred-texts.com/sks/flos/flos11.htm

I myself once saw a jeweled toad, but that was under the .... Well, let's move on.

Regardless, the saying "Every cloud has a silver lining" has a similar meaning.





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