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DEFORMITY
[ Also see Beauty ]

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.
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron)

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?
      - Charles Caleb Colton

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.
      - Thomas De Quincey ("The Opium Eater")

Deformity is either natural, voluntary or adventitious, being either caused by God's unseen Providence (by men nicknamed chance), or by men's cruelty.
      - Thomas Fuller (1)

Do you suppose we owe nothing to Pope's deformity? He said to himself, "If my person be crooked, my verses I shall be straight."
      - William Hazlitt (1)

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
        0n 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.
      - Nathaniel Lee

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.
      - Nathaniel Lee

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.
      - Blaise Pascal

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.
      - William Shakespeare

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?
      - William Shakespeare


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