Page images
PDF

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 in,
And found no course of breath within your Majesty}
How cold it struck my heart! If I do feign,

0 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 wore)

1 spake unto the crown, as having sense,

And thus upbraided it. The care on thee depending

Hath fed upen 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 3 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 terrc* kneel to it!

K. Henry. O my.son! Heav'n put it in thy mind to take it hen.ce* That thou might'st wis the more thy father's Jove* Pleading so wisely in excuse of it. Come hither, Harry, sit thou by my bed; And hear, I think, the very latest counsel That ever.1 shall breathe. Heav'n knows, my son, hy what by-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: *°r 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 assistance* y >,

Which daily grew to quarreland to bloodshed,

Wounding 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 mode; for what in me was purchas'cl,

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 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;

Lest rest and lying still might make them look

Too near into my state. Therefore, my 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 deny'd 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 common pain,
'Gainst all the world will rightfully maintain.

Undaunted Courage in the Midst ^danger.

HENRY V. TO HIS SOLDIERS.
{SHAKESPEARE.)

What's he that wishes for more men from England!
My cousin Westmoreland? No, my fair cousin.
If we are mark'd to die, we are enow
To do our country loss; and if tp live.

The fewer men, the greater share of honour.

God's will! I pray thee wish not one man more.

By Jove, I am not covetous of gold;

Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;

It yearns me not if men my garments wear;

Such outward things dwell not in my desires:

But if it be a sin to covet honour,

J am the most offending soul alive.

No, 'faith, my Lord, wish not a man from~England:

God's peace! I would not lose so great an honour,

As one man more, methinks, would share from me,

For the best hopes I have. Don't wish one more:

Rather proclaim it (Westmoreland) through my host,

That he which hath no stomach to this fight,

Let hTm depart; his passport shall be made,

And crowns for convoy put into his purse;

We would not die in that man's company,

That fears his fellowship to die with us.

This day is called the feast of Crispian:

He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,

Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam'd,

And rouse him at the name of Crispian:

He that outlives this day, and sees old age,

Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,

And say, To-morrow is Saint Crispian:

Then will he strip his sleeve, and shew his scars.

Old men forget; yet shall not all forget,

But they'll remember, with advantages,

The feats they did that day. Then shall our names,

Familiar in their mouth as household-words,

Harry the King, Bedford, and Exeter,

Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Glo'ster,

Be in their flowing cups freshly remember'd.

This story shall the good man teach his son:

And Crispin Crispian shall nee'r go by,

From this day to the ending of the world,

But we in it shall be remember'd;

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;

For he to-day that sheds his blood with me,

Shall be my brother; be he e'er so vile.

This day shall gentle his condition.

And gentlemen in England, now a-bed,

Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here;

And hold their manhoods cheap, while any speaks,

That fought with us upon St. Crispian's day.

The World compared to a Stage,

{SHAKESPEARE.)
All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms:
And then the whining school-boy with his satehil,.
And shining morning-face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then, the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his Mistress' eyebrow. Then, a soldier, ■
Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard,.
Jealous in honour", sudden aud quick in quarrel;
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon's mouth. And then, the justice
In fair round belly, with good capon lin'd,
With eyes severe, and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws aud modern instances,
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slipper'd pantaloon,
With spectacles on's nose, and pouch on's side;.
His youthful hose well sav'd, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,.
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes,
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends thi* strange eventful history,
Is second childishness, and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans every tiiing.

Honour ought to b& conferred on Mjjrit onlf*

{SHAKESPEARE.) For who shall go about

To cozen Fortunes and be honourable
Without the stamp or merit? Let none presume
To wear an undeserved dignity.
O, that estates, degrees and offices,
Were not deriv'd corruptly; that clear honour
Were purchas'd by the merit of the wearer!
How many then shou'd cover, that stand bare?'
How many be commanded, that command?

How much low peasantry wou'd then be glean'd
From the true seed of honour? How much honour
Pick'd from the chafF'and ruin of the times,
To be new varnish'd?

Mercy. {shakespeare.)

The quality of Mercy \s not strain'd;

It droppeth as the gentle rain from hearen

Upon the place beneath. It is twice blessed;

It blesseth him that gives, and him that takes;

'Tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes

The throned monarch better than his crown.

His sceptre shews the force of temporal pow'r,

The attribute to awe and majesty,

Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;

But mercy is above the sceptr'd s..vay,

It is enthroned in the hearts of kings;

It is an attribute to God himself;

And earthly power doth then shew flkest God's,

When mercy seasons justice.

. Music.

{SHAKESPEARE.) Jes. I'm never merry when I hear sweet music. Lor. The reason is, your spirits are attentive; For do but note a wild and wanton herd, Or race of youthful and unhandled colts, Fetching mad bounds, bellowing and neighing loud, (Which is the hot condition of their blood) If they perchance but hear a trumpet sound, Or any air of music touch their ears, You shall perceive them make a mutual stand; Their savage eyes turn'd to a modest gaze, By the sweet power of music. Therefore the poet Did feign that Orpheus drew treas, stones and floods; Since nought so stockish, hard and full of rage, But music for the time doth change his nature. The man that hath not music in himself, Nor is not mov'd with concord of sweet sounds, Is fit for treasons, stratagems and spoils; The motions of his spirit are dull as night. And his affections dark as Erebus: Let no such man be trusted.

« PreviousContinue »