From Antony and Cleopatra (2.1.94-95), a note to myself as I begin a long holiday:
O, then we bring forth weeds,
When our quick minds lie still
And some other Shakespearean uses of weed/weeds as the noun in its not-clothes sense. It is not a favorite but is certainly a repeated metaphor:
Henry IV pt. II – 4.4:
Most subject is the fattest soil to weeds
Henry VI pt. II – 3.1:
Now ’tis the spring, and weeds are shallow-rooted;
Suffer them now, and they’ll o’ergrow the garden
And choke the herbs for want of husbandry.
Measure for Measure – 1.3:
We have strict statutes and most biting laws.
The needful bits and curbs to headstrong weeds,
Which for this nineteen years we have let slip;
Even like an o’ergrown lion in a cave,
That goes not out to prey.
Rape of Lucrece – 920-926:
‘Unruly blasts wait on the tender spring;
Unwholesome weeds take root with precious flowers;
The adder hisses where the sweet birds sing;
What virtue breeds iniquity devours:
We have no good that we can say is ours,
But ill-annexed Opportunity
Or kills his life or else his quality.
Richard II 3.4:
I will go root away
The noisome weeds, which without profit suck
The soil’s fertility from wholesome flowers.
Richard III 2.4:
‘Small herbs have grace, great weeds do grow apace:’
And since, methinks, I would not grow so fast,
Because sweet flowers are slow and weeds make haste.
I find thee apt;
And duller shouldst thou be than the fat weed
That rots itself in ease on Lethe wharf,
Wouldst thou not stir in this.
Henry V 4.1:
For our bad neighbour makes us early stirrers,
Which is both healthful and good husbandry:
Besides, they are our outward consciences,
And preachers to us all, admonishing
That we should dress us fairly for our end.
Thus may we gather honey from the weed,
And make a moral of the devil himself.