« PreviousContinue »
I had rather been a kitten, and cry mew!
Than one of these same metre-ballad mongers !
I'd rather hear a brazen candlestick turn'd,
Or a dry wheel grate on the axle-tree,
And that would nothing set my teeth on edge,
Nothing so much as mincing poetry;
Tis like the forc'd gait of a shuffling nag-
Glen. And I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
Hot. Why, so can I, or so can any man:
But will they come when you do call for them.?
Glen. Why, I can teach thee to command the devil,
Hot. And I can teach thee, coz, to shame the devil, By telling truth ; Tell truth and shame the devil.If thou hast pow'r to raise him, bring him hither. And I'll be sworn I've power to shame him hence. Oh, while you live, Tell truth and shame, the devil.
“ BUT for mine own part, my Lord, I could be well " contented to be there, in respect of the love I bear your " house.” He could be contented to be there; why is he not then ? “In respect of the love he bears our house !” He shows in this, he loves his own barn better than he loves our house. Let me see some more, “ The purpose you undertake is dangerous." Why, that is certain : it is dangerous to take a cold, to sleep, to drink; but I tell you, my Lord fool, out of this nettle danger, we pluck this flower safety. “ you undertake is dangerous, the friends you have na.
. “ med uncertain, the time itself unsorted,and your whole
« plot too light, for the counterpoise of so great an op“ position.” Say you so, say you so ? I say unto you again, you are a shallow cowardly hind, and you lie. What a lackbrain is this ! By the Lord, our plot is a good plot as ever was laid ; our friends true and constant : a good plot, good friends, and full of expectation ; an excellent plot, very good friends. What a frosty-spirited rogue this is ! Why, my Lord of York commends the plot, and the general of the action. By this hand, if I were now by this rașcal, I could brain him with his Lady's fan. Are there not my father, my uncle, and myself, Lord Edmund Mortimer, my Lord of York, and Owen Glendower? Is there not, besides the Douglas ? have I not all their letters to meet me in arms by the ninth of next month ? and are there not some of them set forwards already? What a pagan rascal is this ! an infidel! Ha! you shall see now, in very sincerity of fear and cold heart, will he to the King, and lay open all our proceedings. Ó, I could divide myself, and go to buffets,for moving such a dish of skimmed milk with so honourable an action. Hang him, let him tell the King. We are prepared, I will set forward to night.
HENRY IV'S SOLILOQUY ON SLEEP.
HOW many thousands of my poorest subjects
Are at this hour asleep! O gentle Sleep,
Nature's soft nurse, how have 1 frighted thee,
That thou no more wilt weigh my eye-lids down,
And steep my senses in forgetfulness!
Why rather, Sleep, lay'st thou in smoaky cribs,
Upon uneasy pallets stretching thee,
And hush'd with buzzing night-flies to thy slumber;
Than in the perfum'd chambers of the great,
Under the canopies of costly state,
And lulld with sounds of sweetest melody?
thou dull god, why lay'st thou with the vile
In loathsome beds, and leav'st the kingly couch
A watch-case to a common larum-bell ?
• Wilt thou, upon the high and giddy mast,
Seal up the ship boy's eyes, and rock his brains,
In cradle of the rude imperious surge ;
And in the visitation of the winds,
Who take the ruffian billows by the top,
Curling their monstrous heads, and hanging them
With deaf'ning clamours in the slipp'ry shrouds,
That, with the hurly, death itself awakes ;
Canst thou, O partial Sleep, give thy repose
To the wet sea-boy in an hour so rude ;
And, in the calmest and the stillest night,
With all appliances and means to boot,
Deny it to a king? Then, happy lowly clown;
Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.
HENRY IV, AND PRINCE HENRY.
P. Henry. I NEVER thought to hear you speak again.
K. Henry. Thy wish was father,Harry, to that thought. I stay too long by thee, I weary thee. Dost thou so hunger for my empty chair, That thou wilt needs invest thee with my honours, Before thy hour be ripe? O foolish youth!
Thou seek'st the greatness that will overwhelm thee.
Stay but a little ; for my cloud of dignity
Is held from falling with so weak a wind,
That it will quickly drop; my day is dim.
Thou hast stolu that, which after some few hours,
Were thine without offence; and at my death
Thou hast seal'd up my expectation;
Thy life did manifest thou lov'd'st me not ;
And thou wilt have me die assur'd of it.
Thou hid'st a thousand daggers in thy thoughts,
Which thou hast whetted on thy stony heart,
To stab at half an hour of my frail life.
What! canst thou not forbear me half an hour ?
Then get thee gone, and dig my grave thyself,
And bid the merry bells ring to thine ear,
That thou art crowned, not that I am dead.
Let all the tears that should bedew my hearse,
Be drops of balm to sanctify thy head;
Only compound me with forgotten dust,
Give that which gave thee life unto the worms.
Pluck down my officers, break my decrees;
For now a time is come to mock at form;
Henry the fifth is crown'd; up, Vanity!
Down, Royal state! All you sage counsellors, hence!
And to the English court assemble now,
From ev'ry region, apes of idleness :
Now, neighbour confines, purge you of your scum :
Have you a ruffian that will swear? drink? dance ?
Revel the night ? rob? murder? and commit
The oldest sins the newest kind of ways ?
Be happy, he will trouble you no more :
England shall give him office, honour, might:
For the Fifth Harry from curb'd licence plucks
The muzzle of restraint! and the wild dog
Shall flesh his tooth on every innocent.
O my poor kingdom, sick with civil blows!
When that my care could not with-hold thy riot,
What wilt thou do when riot is thy care?
O, thou wilt be a wilderness again,
Peopled with wolves, thy old inhabitants.
P. Henry. O pardon me, my Leige ! but for my tears
(The moist impediments into my speech)
Ì had forestall'd this dear and deep rebuke,
Ere you with grief had spoke, and I had heard
The course of it so far. There is your crown ;
And he that wears the crown immortally,
Long guard it your's! If I affect it more,
Than as your honor, and as your renown,
Let me no more from this obedience rise,
Which my most true and inward duteous spirit
Teacheth this prostrate and exterior bending.
Heav'n witness with me, when I here came it,
And found no course of breath within your Majesty,
How cold it struck my heart! If I do feign,
O let me in my present wildness die,
And never live to shew th' incredulous world
The noble change that I have purposed.
Coming to look on you, thinking you dead,
(And dead almost, my Liege, to think you were)
I spake unto the crown, as having sense,
And thus upbraided it. The care on thee depending
Hath fed upon the body of my father,
Therefore thou best of gold art worst of gold,
Other less fine in carat, is more precious,
Preserving life in medcine potable :
But thou, most fine, most honour'd, most renown'd,
Hast eat thy bearer up. Thus, Royal Liege,
Accusing it, I put it on my head,
To try with it (as with an enemy,
That had before my face murder'd my father)
The quarrel of a true inheritor.
But if it did infect my blood with joy,
Or swell my thought to any strain of pride,
If any rebel or vain spirit of mine