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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 I frighted thee,
That thou no more wilt weigh my eyelids down,
And steep my senses in forgetfulness ?
Why rather, Sleep, liest thou in sinoky 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?
O thou dull God! why liest 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 shipboy's eves, 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 deafning clamours in the slipp'ry shrouds,
That with the hurly Death itselt awakes :
Can'st thou, O partial Sleep! give thy repose
To the wet seaboy in an hour su 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 överwhelm 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 stol'n that, which after some few hours
Were thine without offence; and at my death
Thou hast seaľd up my expectation :
Thy life did manifest, thou lov'dst 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 couns’llors, hence;
And to the English court assemble now,
From ev'ry region, apes of idleness :
Now neighbour-confiues, 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 license plucks
The muzzle of restraint ! and the wild dog
Shall flesh bis tooth on ev'ry innocent.
O my poor kingdom, sick with civil blows !
When that my care could not withhold thy riot,
What wilt thou do when riot is thy care ?
Oh, thou wilt be a wilderness agaiii,
Peopled with wolves, thy old inhabitants !
P. Henry. O pardon me, my Liege! but for my tears,
(The moist impediments unto my speech)
Ì had forestalsd 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 yours! If I affect it more,
Thau as your honour, and as your renown,
Let ine 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 in,
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 show th' incred'lous world
The noble change that I have purposed !
Coming to look on you, thinking yon 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 med'cine 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 affect my blood with joy,
Or swell iny thoughts to any strain of pride,
any rebel or vain spirit of mine
Did with the least affection of a welcome
Give entertainment to the miglit of it,
Let Heav'n for ever keep it from my head,
And make me as the poorest vassal is,
That doth with awe and terrour kneel to it!
K. Henry. O my son!
Heav'n put it in thy mind to take it hence,
That thou might'st win the more thy father's love,
Pleading so wisely in excuse of it.
Come lither, Harry, sit thou by my bed;
And hear, I think, the very latest counsel
That ever I shall breathe. Heav'n knows, my son,
By what by-paths and indirect crooked ways
I met this crown; and I myself know well
How troublesome it sat upon my head.
To thee it shall descend with better quiet,
Better opinion, better confirmation;
For all the soil of the achievement goes
With me into the earth. It seem'd in me
But as an honour snatch'd with boist'rous hand,
And I had many living to upbraid
My gain of it by their assistances;
Which daily grew io quarrel and to bloodshed,
Wounditig supposed peace. All their bold feats,
Thou seest, with peril I have answered.
For all my reign hath been but as a scene
Acting that argument: and now my death
Changes the node ; for what in me was purchas'd,
Falls upon thee in a much fairer sort :
For thou the garland wear'st successively.
Yet though thou stand’st more sure than I could do,
Thou art not firm enough, since griefs are green;
And all my friends, which thou must make thy friends,
Have but their stings and teeth newly ta'en out,
By whose fell working I was first advanc'd,
And by wbuse pow'r I well miglit lodge a fear,
To be again displac'd : which to avoid,
I cut them off, and had a purpose now
To lead out many to the Holy Land;
Lest rest and lying still miglit make them look
Too near into my state. Therefore, ny Harry,
Be it thy course to busy giddy minds
With foreign quarrels ; that action, hence borne out,
May waste the memory of former days.
More would I, but my lungs are wasted so,
That strength of speech is utterly denied me.
How I came by the crown, O God, forgive !
And grant it may with thee in true peace live!
P. Henry. My gracious Liege,
You won it, wore it, kept it, gave it me;
Then plain and right must my possession be;
Which I with more than with a coinmon pain,
'Gainst all the world, will rightfully maintain.
HENRY VI, WARWICK, AND CARDINAL BEAUFORT. K. Hen. How fares my Lord? Speak, Beaufort, to
thy Sov'reign. Car. If thou be'st Death, I'll give thee England's treasure, Enough to purchase such another Island, So thou wilt let me live, and feel no pain.
K. Hen. Ah, what a sign it is of evil life, Where Death's approach is seen so terrible!
War. Beaufort, it is thy Sov'reign speaks to thee.
Car. Bring me unto my trial when you will.
Died he not in his bed? Where should he die ?
Can I make men live whether they will or no ?
Oh, torture me no more, I will confess-
Alive again? Then show me where he is :
I'll give a thousand pounds to look upon him
He hath no eyes, the dust hath blinded them;
Comb down his hair-look! look ! it stands upright,
Like lime twigs set to catch my winged soul.
Give me some drink, and bid th' apothecary
Bring the strong poison that I bought of him.