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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 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 woeful ages, long ago betid*:
And ere thou bid good night, to quit† 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 Bolingbroke,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, Bolingbroke!
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,—
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 while?
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 have pitied him.
Who are the violets now,
That strew the green lap of the new-come spring?
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
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 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.
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 Erinnys † 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,
+ The fury of discord.
Strands, banks of the sea.
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.
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 staightest 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 sullen* 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.
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 faint, leaning upon my sword,
Came there a certain lord, neat, trimly dress'd,
Fresh as a bridegroom; and his chin, new reap'd,
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
He gave his nose, and took't away again;-
Who, therewith angry, when it next came there,
Took it in snuff:-and still he smil'd and talk'd;
And, as the soldiers bore dead bodies by,
He call'd them untaught knaves, unmannerly,
To bring a slovenly unhandsome corse
Beswixt the wind and his nobility.
With many holiday and lady terms
He question'd 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 §,
Out of my grief|| 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 parmaceti for an inward bruise;
And that t was great pity, so it was,
That villanous salt-petre should be digg'd
* Dull. + A small box for musk or other perfumes.