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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;
Insusing 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 me, I am a king?
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 thou bid good night, to quitf their grief,
Tell thou the lamentable fall of me,
And send the hearers weeping to their beds
York. Then, as I said, the duke, great Boling
broke, Mounted upon a hot and fiery steed, Which his aspiring rider seem'd to know,With slow, but stately pace, kept on his course, While all tongues cried-God save thee, Bolingo
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, had said at once,* Passed.
† Be even with them Tapestry hung from the windows.
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,-1 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,
After a well-grac'd actor leaves the stage,
Are idly bent* 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,
The badges of his grief and patience,-
That had not God, for some strong purpose, steel'd The hearts of men, they must perforce have melted, And barbarism itself bave pitied him.
Who are the violets now,
That strew the green lap of the new-come spring?
À 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 worldt
In humors, 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, * Carelessly turned.
+ His own body
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
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.
Persuades me I was better when a king;
Then I am king'd again: and by-and-by,
Think that I am unking’d by Bolingbroke,
And straight am nothing:--But, whatc'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.
ACT I. PEACE AFTER CIVIL WAR. SO shaken as we are, so wan with care, Find we a time for frighted peace to paint, And breathe short-winded accents of new broils To be commenc'd in strands* 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,
* Strands, banks of the sea. 1 The fury of discord
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.
KING HENRY'S CHARACTER OF PERCY, AND OF
HIS SON PRINCE HENRY.
Yea, there thou mak'st me sad, and makost 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 awhile 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, Than that which hath no foil to set it off. I'll so offend, to make offence a skill; Redeeming time, when men think least I will. * Expectations.
HOTSPUR'S DESCRIPTION OF A FINICAL COURTIER.
But, I remember, when the fight was done,
When I was dry with rage, and extreme toil,
Breathless and saint, leaning upon my sword,
Came there a certain lord, neat, trimly dressid,
Fresh as a bridegroom; and his chin new reapd,
Show'd like a stubble-land at harvest home;
He was perfumed like a milliner;
And 'twixt his finger and his thumb he held
A pouncet-box,* which ever and anon
his nose, and took’t away again;-
Who, therewith angry, when it next came there,
Took it in snuff:-and still he smild, and talk'd;
And, as the soldiers bore dead bodies by,
He call?d them—untaught knaves, unmannerly,
To bring a slovenly unhandsome corse
Betwixt the wind and his nobility.
With many holiday and lady terms
He questioned me; among the rest demanded
My prisoners, in your majesty's behalf.
I then, all smarting, with my wounds being cold,
To be so pester'd with a popinjay,t
Out of my grieff and my impatience,
Answer'd neglectingly, I know not what;
He should, or he should not;,for he made me mad,
To see him shine so brisk, and smell so sweet,
And talk so like a waiting-gentlewoman,
Of guns, and drums, and wounds, (God save the
And telling me, the sovereign'st thing on earth
Was permaceti, for an inward bruise;
And that it was great pity, so it was,
That villanous salt-petre should be digg'd
Out of the bowels of the harmless earth,
Which many a good talış fellow had destroy'd
So cowardly; and, but for these vile guns,
He would himself have been a soldier.
* A small box for musk or other perfumes.