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Which once,” quoth Forrest, “almost changed my
But, O, the devil”—their the villain stopp'd ;
When Dighton thus told on,—“ We smothered
The most replenished sweet work of Nature,
That, from the prime creation, e’er she fram’d.”—
Hence both are gone, with conscience and remorse ;
They could not speak; and so I left them both,
To bear this tidings to the bloody king.
I have learn'd that fearful commenting
Is leaden servitor to dull delay;
Delay leads impotent and snail-pac'd beggary:
Then fiery expedition be my wing,
Jove’s Mercury, and herald for a king!
Queen Margaret's Upbraidings of Queen Elizabeth.
I callid thee then vain flourish of my fortune ; I callid thee then poor shadow, painted queen : The presentation of but what I was, The flattering index of a direful pageant, One heav'd a-high, to be hurl'd down below: A mother only mock'd with two fair babes ; A dream of what thou wast; a garish * flag, To be the aim of every dangerous shot ; A sign of dignity, a breath, a bubble ; A queen in jest, only to fill the scene. Where is thy husband now? where be thy brothers ? Where be thy two sons ? wherein dost thou joy? Who sues, and kneels, and says God save the queen ? Where be the bending peers that flatter'd thee? Where be the thronging troops that follow'd thee?
* Flaring, conspicuous.
Decline all this, and see what now thou art.
For happy wife, a most distressed widow;
For joyful mother, one that wails the name :
For one being sued to, one that humbly sues :
For queen, a very caitiff crown’d with care ;
For one that scorn’d at me, now scorn'd of me;
For one being fear'd of all, now fearing one ;
For one commanding all, obey'd of none.
Thus hath the course of justice wheel'd about,
And left thee but a very prey to time;
Having no more but thought of what thou wert,
To torture thee the more, being what thou art.
Character of King Richard by his Mother.
Tetchy * and wayward was thy infancy;
Thy school-days frightful, desperate, wild, and furious ;
Thy prime of manhood daring, bold, and venturous :
Thy age confirm’d, proud, subtle, sly, and bloody.
Act V. Richmond's Address to his Army before the Battle of
Bosworth Field. Fellows in arms, and my most loving friends, Bruis’d underneath the yoke of tyranny, Thus far into the bowels of the land Have we march'd on without impediment ; And here receive we from our father Stanley Lines of fair comfort and encouragement. The wretched, bloody, and usurping boar, , That spoild your summer fields and fruitful vines, Swills your warm blood like wash, and makes his trough In your embowellid bosoms,—this foul swine
* Touchy, fretful.
Lies now even in the centre of this isle,
Near to the town of Leicester, as we learn :
From Tamworth thither, is but one day's march.
Jo God's name, cheerly on, courageous friends,
To reap the harvest of perpetual peace
By this one bloody trial of sharp war.
True hope is swift, and flies with swallows wings,
Kings it makes gods, and meaner creatures kings.
The silent hours steal on,
And flaky darkness breaks within the east.
Richmond's Prayer before the Battle.
O Thou, whose captain I account myself,
Look on my forces with a gracious eye ;
Put in their hands thy bruising irons of wrath,
That they may crush down with a heavy fall
The usurping helmets of our adversaries !
Make us thy ministers of chastisement,
That we may praise thee in thy victory!
To thee I do commend my watchful soul,
Ere I let fall the windows of mine eyes ;
Sleeping, and waking, O, defend me still !
Richard Starting out of his Dream.
Give me another horse,—bind up my wounds,—
Have mercy, Jesu !-Soft ; I did but dream.-
O coward conscience, how dost thou afflict me!
The lights burn blue. It is now dead midnight.
Cold fearful drops stand on my trembling flesh.
Conscience is but a word that cowards use,
Devis’d at first to keep the strong in awe.
Richard's Address before the Battle.
A thousand hearts are great within my bosom :
Advance our standards, set upon our foes ;
Our ancient word of courage, fair Saint George,
Inspire us with the spleen of fiery dragons !
Upon them! Victory sits on our helms.
Richard's Desperation on the Battlefield.
Slave, I have set my life upon a cast,
And I will stand the hazard of the die :
I think there be six Richmonds in the field;
Five have I slain to-day instead of him :
A horse ! a horse ! my kingdom for a horse !
In this play is recorded the fall of Cardinal Wolsey, who, full of anguish at losing the favour of the king, retires to Leicester Abbey, where he expires. The dying moments of Katharine, wife of the king, are depicted, and the union of the king with Anne Bullen. The christening of the Princess Elizabeth (afterwards Queen Elizabeth) concludes the play, an eloquent prophecy as to her future greatness being delivered by Archbishop Cranmer. In speaking of Shakspere's historical plays, Dr. Johnson pronounces the two parts of Henry the Fourth and Henry the Fifth to possess the greatest excellence; and “King John, Richard the Third, and Henry the Eighth, deservedly stand in the second class."
To climb steep hills,
Requires slow pace at first : Anger is like
A full hot horse, who being allow'd his way,
Self-mettle tires him.
Action to be carried on with Resolution.
If I am traduced by tongues which neither know
My faculties nor person, yet will be
The chronicles of my doing, let me say,
'Tis but the fate of place, and the rough brake*
That virtue must go through. We must not stint
Our necessary actions in the fear
To cope | malicious censurers ; which ever
As ravenous fishes, do a vessel follow
That is new trimm’d; but benefit no further
Than vainly longing. What we oft do best,
By sick interpreters, once weak ones, is
Not ours, or not allow'd :|| what worst, as oft,
Hitting a grosser quality is cried up
For our best act. If we shall stand still,
In fear our motion will be mock'd or carp'd at,
We should take root here where we sit, or sit
State statues only.
Though they be never so ridiculous,
Nay, let them be unmanly, yet are followed.