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Quotation by Shakespeare
A soldier's a man,
O, man's life's but a span,
Why then, let a soldier drink.
William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Iago, in Othello, act 2, sc. 3, l. 71-3.
A "span" is literally a hand's breadth from thumb to little finger; here a short time, as in 38:5 (Book of Common Prayer); the phrase "life's but a span" became proverbial.
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