Page images
PDF
EPUB

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 furge ;
And in the visitation of the winds,
Who take the ruffian billows by the top,
Curling their monstrous heads, and hanging them
With deafʼning clamours in the slipp?ry. Throuds,
That, with the hurly, Death itself awakes ;
Can't thou, O partial Sleep! give thy repose
To the wet fea-boy in an hour fo 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.

SHAKSPEARE

CH A P: XVI.

HENRY IV. AND PRINCE HENRY. P. Hen. I never thought to hear you speak again.

K. Hen. Thy wish was father, Harry, to that thought.
I stay too long by thee I weary thee.
Doft 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 o'erwhelm thee.
Stay but a little; for my cloud of dignity
Is held from falling, with fo weak a wind,
That it will quickly drop; my day is dim.
Thou hast stol'n that, which, after some few hours,

Were

Were thine without offence; and at my death
Thou hast seal'd up my expectation :
Thy life did manifest thou lov'dít me not ;
And thou wilt have me die assured of it.
Thou hid'st a thousand daggers in thy thoughts,
Which thou hast whetted on thy ftony heart,
To slab at half an hour of my frail life.
What! canst thou not forbear me half an hour?
Then get you gone, and dig my grave thyself,
And bid the merry bells ring to thine ear,
That thou art crown'd, not that I am dead.
Let all the tears that should bedew my hearse,
Be drops of balm to fanctify thy head :
Only compound me with forgotten duft;
Give that which gave thee life unto the worms,
Plučk 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 fcum ;
Have ruffian that will fwear? drink? dance ?
Revel the night ? rob ? murder? and commit
The oldest fins the newest kind of ways ?
Be happy, he will trouble you no more :
England thall 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, fick with civil blows ! When that my care could not withhold thy riot,

"What 4

you a

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 Liege! but for my tears (The moist.impediments unto my speech) I 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 yours! If I affect it more, Than as your honour, and as your renown, Let me no more from this obedience rise, Which my most true and inward-duteous spirit Teacheth this proftrate 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 ftruck my heart! If I do feign, O let me in my present wildness die, And never live to fhew the 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 carrat is more precious, Preserving life in med'cine potable ! But thou, most fine, most honour'd, most renown'd, Haft eat thy bearer up.” Thus, Royal Liege, Accusing it, I put it on my head, To try with it (as with an enemy)

That

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 thoughts to any strain of pride,
If
any

rebel or vain spirit of mine
Did with the least affection of a welcome
Give entertainment to the might 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 terror kneel to it!

K. Henry. O my son !
Heav'n put 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 hither, Harry, fit thou by my bed ;
And hear, I think, the very

latest counsel
That ever I shall breathe. Heav'n knows, my son,
By what bye-paths, and indirect crook'd 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 to quarrel and to bloodshed,
Wounding supposed peace. All their bold feats,
Thou feeft, with peril I have answer'd;
For all my reign hath been but as a scene
Ading that argument; and now my death

Changes

Changes the mode; for what in me was purchas'd,
Falls upon

thee in a much fairer fort,
For thou the garland wears successively.
Yet though thou stand'It 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'n ont;
By whose fell working I was first advancd,
And by whose pow'r I well might 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;
Left reft'and lying still might make them look
Too near unto my state. Therefore, my Harry,
Be it thy course to busy giddy minds
With foreign quarrels; that action, hence borne out,
May walte the memory of former days.
More would I, but my lungs are waited fo,
That strength of speech is utterly deny'd me.
How I came to 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 poffeffion be ; Which I, with more than with a common pain, 'Gainst all the world, will rightfully maintain,

SHAKSPEARE,

CHAP

« PreviousContinue »