Page images
PDF
EPUB

Save our deposed bodies to the ground?
Our lands, our lives, and all are Bolingbroke's,
And nothing can we call our own, but death;
And that small model of the barren earth,
Which serves as paste and cover to our bones.
For heaven's sake, let us sit upon the ground,
And tell sad stories of the death of kings:-
How some have been depos'd, some slain in war;
Some haunted by the ghosts they have depos’d;
Some poison'd by their wives, some sleeping kill'd;
All murder'd:-For within the hollow crown
That rounds the mortal temples of a king,
Keeps death his court: and there the antic sits,
Scoffing his state, and grinning at his pomp;
Allowing him a breath, a little scene,
To monarchize, be fear'd, and kill with looks;
Infusing him with self and vain conceit,-
As if this flesh, which walls about our life,
Were brass impregnable; and humour'd thus,
Comes at the last, and with a little pin
Bores through his castle wall, and—-farewell king!
Cover your heads, and mock not flesh and blood
With solemn reverence; throw away respect,
Tradition, form, and ceremonious duty,
For
you

have but mistook me all this while:
I live with bread like you, feel want, taste grief,
Need friends:-Subjected thus,
How can you say to memI am a king?

ACT V.

MELANCHOLY STORIES.

In winter's tedious nights, sit by the fire With good old folks; and let them tell thee tales

Of woful ages long ago betid*:
And ere they bid good night, to quitt their grief,
Tell thou the lamentable fall of ine,
And send the hearers weeping to their beds.

PUBLIC ENTRY.

[ocr errors]

York. Then, as I said, the duke, great Boling-
Mounted upon a hot and fiery steed, [broke,
Which his aspiring rider seem'd to know,
With slow, but stately pace, kept on his course,
While all tongues cried—God save thee, Boling-

broke! You would have thought the very windows spake, So many greedy looks of

young

and old
Through casements darted their desiring eyes
Upon his visage: and that all the walls,
With painted imag'ry I, had said at once,
Jesu preserve thee! welcome, Bolingbroke!
Whilst he, from one side to the other turning,
Bare-headed, lower than his proud steed's neck,
Bespake them thus,—I thank you, countrymen:
And thus still doing, thus he pass'd along.

Duch. Alas, poor Richard, where rides he the

York. As in a theatre, the eyes of men, (while?' After a well-grac'd actor leaves the stage, Are idly bentg on him that enters next, Thinking his prattle to be tedious: Even so, or with much more contempt, men's eyes Did scowl on Richard ; no man cried, God save him; No joyful tongue gave him his welcome home: But dust was thrown upon his sacred head; Which with such gentle sorrow he shook off,His face still combating with tears and smiles, * Passed.

+ Be even with them. *Tapestry hung from the windows. 'S Carelessly turned.

a

a

The badges of his grief and patience,-
That had not God for some strong purpose steeld
The hearts of men, they must perforce have melted,
And barbarism itself have pitied him.

VIOLETS. Who are the violets now, That strew the green lap of the new-come spring?

A SOLILOQUY IN PRISON. I have been studying how I may compare This prison, where I live, unto the world: And, for because the world is populous, And here is not a creature but myself, I cannot do it;-Yet I'll hammer it out. My brain I'll prove the female to my soul ; My soul, the father: and these two beget A generation of still-breeding thoughts, And these same thoughts people this little world* In humours, like the people of this world, For no thought is contented. Thoughts tending to content, flatter themselves, That they are not the first of fortune's slaves, Nor shall not be the last; like silly beggars, Who, sitting in the stocks, refuge their shame,That

many have, and others must sit there: And in this thought they find a kind of ease, Bearing their own misfortune on the back,

j
Of such as have before endur'd the like,
Thus play I, in one person, many people,
And none contented: Sometimes am I king,
Then treason makes me wish myself a beggar,
And so I am: Then crushing penury

* His own body

Persuades me I was better when a king;
Then am I king'd again: and, by-and-by,
Think that I am unking'd by Bolingbroke,
And straight am nothing :-But, whate'er I am,
Nor I, nor any man, that but man is,
With nothing shall be pleas'd, till he be eas'd
With being nothing.

KING HENRY IV.

PART I.

ACT I.

PEACE AFTER CIVIL WAR.

So shaken as we are, so wan with care,
Find we a time for frighted peace to pant,
And breathe short-winded accents of new broils
To be commenc'd in stronds* afar remote.
No more the thirsty Erinnyst of this soil
Shall daub her lips with her own children's blood;
No more shall trenching war channel her fields,
Nor bruise her flow'rets with the armed hoofs
Of hostile paces: those opposed eyes,
Which, like the meteors of a troubled heaven,
All of one nature, of one substance bred,
Did lately meet in the intestine shock
And furious close of civil butchery,
Shall now, in mutual, well-beseeming ranks,
March all one way; and be no more oppos'd
Against acquaintance, kindred, and allies :
The edge of war, like an ill-sheathed knife,
No more shall cut his master,
* Strands, banks of the sea. * The fury of discord.

KING HENRY'S CHARACTER OF, PERCY, AND OF HIS

SON PRINCE HENRY. Yea, there thou mak'st me sad, and mak'st me sin In envy that my

lord Northumberland
Should be the father of so bless'd a son:
A son, who is the theme of honour's tongue;
Amongst a grove, the very straightest plant;
Who is sweet fortune's minion, and her pride:
Whilst I, by looking on the praise of him,
See riot and dishonour stain the brow
Of my young Harry.

PRINCE HENRY'S SOLILOQUY.
I know you all, and will a while uphold
The unyok'd humour of your idleness:
Yet herein will I imitate the sun;
Who doth permit the base contagious clouds
To smother up his beauty from the world,
That, when he please again to be himself,
Being wanted, he may be more wonder'd at,
By breaking through the foul and ugly mists
Of vapours that did seem to strangle him.
If all the year were playing holidays,
To sport would be as tedious as to work;
But, when they seldom come, they wish'd for come,
And nothing pleaseth but rare accidents.
So, when this loose behaviour I throw off,
And
pay

the debt I never promised, By how much better than my word I am, By so much shall I falsify men's hopes* ; And like bright metal on a sullent ground, My reformation, glittering o'er my fault, Shall show more goodly, and attract more eyes,

* Expectations.

+ Dull.

« PreviousContinue »