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C.N. Douglas, comp.  Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical.  1917.
 
Deformity
 
  Do you suppose we owe nothing to Pope’s deformity? He said to himself, “If my person be crooked, my verses shall be straight.”
Hazlitt.    
  1
        In nature there’s no blemish but the mind;
None can be call’d deform’d but the unkind:
Virtue is beauty; but the beauteous evil
Are empty trunks, o’er-flourish’d by the devil.
Shakespeare.    
  2
        Deformity of the heart I call
The worst deformity of all;
For what is form, or what is face,
But the soul’s index, or its case?
Colton.    
  3
  Deformity is either natural, voluntary or adventitious, being either caused by God’s unseen Providence (by men nicknamed chance), or by men’s cruelty.
Fuller.    
  4
        Deform’d, unfinish’d, sent before my time
Into this breathing world, scarce half made up,
And that so lamely and unfashionably,
That dogs bark at me, as I halt by them.
But I,—that am not shap’d for sportive tricks,
Nor made to court an amorous looking-glass;
I that am rudely stamp’d, and want love’s majesty,
To strut before a wanton ambling nymph.
Shakespeare.    
  5
  From whence comes it that a cripple in body does not irritate us, and that a crippled mind enrages us? It is because a cripple sees that we go right, and a distorted mind says that it is we who go astray. But for that we should have more pity and less rage.
Pascal.    
  6
                    Deformity is daring;
It is its essence to o’ertake mankind
By heart and soul, and make itself the equal—
Ay, the superior of the rest. There is
A spur in its halt movements, to become
All that the others cannot, in such things
As still are free for both, to compensate
For stepdame Nature’s avarice at first.
Byron.    
  7
        Nature herself started back when thou wert born,
And cried, “the work’s not mine.”
The midwife stood aghast; and when she saw
Thy mountain back and thy distorted legs,
Thy face itself,
Half-minted with the royal stamp of man,
And half o’ercome with beast, she doubted long
Whose right in thee were more;
And know not if to burn thee in the flames
Were not the holier work.
Lee.    
  8
        Why, love forswore me in my mother’s womb:
And, for I should not deal in her soft laws,
She did corrupt frail nature with some bribe
To shrink mine arm up like a wither’d shrub,
To make an envious mountain on my back,
Where sits deformity to make my body;
To shape my legs of an unequal size;
To disproportion me in every part,
Like to a chaos, or an unlick’d bear-whelp,
That carries no impression like the dam.
And am I then a man to be belov’d?
Shakespeare.    
  9
        Am I to blame, if nature threw my body
In so perverse a mould! yet when she cast
Her envious hand upon my supple joints,
Unable to resist, and rumpled them
On heaps in their dark lodging; to revenge
Her bungled work, she stamped my mind more fair,
And as from chaos, huddled and deform’d,
The gods struck fire, and lighted up the lamps
That beautify the sky; so she inform’d
This ill-shap’d body with a daring soul,
And, making less than man, she made me more.
Lee.    
  10
  Many a man has risen to eminence under the powerful reaction of his mind in fierce counter-agency to the scorn of the unworthy, daily evoked by his personal defects, who with a handsome person would have sunk into the luxury of a careless life under the tranquillizing smiles of continual admiration.
De Quincey.    
  11
 
 
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