Careful Words

disposition (n.)

Angels and ministers of grace, defend us!

Be thou a spirit of health or goblin damn'd,

Bring with thee airs from heaven or blasts from hell,

Be thy intents wicked or charitable,

Thou comest in such a questionable shape

That I will speak to thee: I 'll call thee Hamlet,

King, father, royal Dane: O, answer me!

Let me not burst in ignorance, but tell

Why thy canonized bones, hearsed in death,

Have burst their cerements; why the sepulchre,

Wherein we saw thee quietly inurn'd,

Hath oped his ponderous and marble jaws

To cast thee up again. What may this mean,

That thou, dead corse, again in complete steel

Revisit'st thus the glimpses of the moon,

Making night hideous, and we fools of nature

So horridly to shake our disposition

With thoughts beyond the reaches of our souls?

William Shakespeare (1564-1616): Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 4.

He is of a very melancholy disposition.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616): Much Ado about Nothing. Act i. Sc. 1.

  Not by years but by disposition is wisdom acquired.

Plautus (254(?)-184 b c): Trinummus. Act ii. Sc. 2, 88. (367.)