Page images

Duke. But what said Jaques? . , -...--- ..
Did he not moralize this spectacle?

Lord. O yes, into a thousand similies,
First, for his weeping in the needless stream;
Poor Deer, quoth he, thou mak'st a testament
As worldlings do, giving thy sum of more
To that which had tos much. Then being alone,
Left and abandon'd of his velvet friends;
iTis right, quoth he, thus misery doth part
The flux of company. Auon a careless herd,
Full of the pasture, jumps, along by him,
And never stays to greet him: Ay, quoth Jaques
Sweep on, you fat and greasy citizens,
'Tis just the fashion: wherefore do you look
Upon that poor and broken bankrupt there?
Thus moat invectively he pierceth through
The body of the country, city, court,
Yea, and of this our life; swearing that we
Are mere usurpers, tyrants, and what's worse,
To fright the animals, and to kill them up
In their assign'd and native dwelling-place.

Duke. And did you leave him in this contemplation-?.

Lord. We did, my Lord, weeping and commenting Upon the sobbing deer,

Duke. Show me the place £
I love to cope him in these sullen fits,,
For then he's full of matter.

Lord. I'll bring you to him straight.




Duke. WHY, how now, monsieur, what a life is this, That your poor friends must woo your company? 'What? you look merrily.

Jag. A fool, a fool; 1 met a fool i' th' forest,

A motley fool; a miserable varlet I

As I do live by food, I met a fool,

Who laid him down and bask'd him in the sun,

And rail'd on Lady Fortune in good terms,

In good set terms, and yet a motley fool.

Good morrow, fool, quoth I; No, sir, quoth he,

Call me not fool, till Heaven hath sent me fortune;

And then he drew a dial from his poak,

And looking on it with lack-lustre eye,

Says very wisely, It is ten o'clock:

Thus ,may we see, quoth he, how the world wags:

>Tis but an hour ago since it was nine,

And after one hour more 'twill be eleven;

And so from hour to hour we ripe and ripe,

And then from hour to hour we rot and rot,

And thereby hangs a tale. When I did hear

The motley fbol thus moral oh the time,

My lungs began to crow like chanticleer, ".?'

That fools should be so deep contemplative:

And I did laugh sans intermission,

An hour by his 'dial. 0' noble fool,

A worthy fool! motley's the only wear.

Duke. What fool is this?

Jaq. O worthy'fool! one that hath been a courtier, And says, if biit young and fair, They have the gift to know it: and in his brain, Which is as dry as the remaind,er-bisket After a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd With observations^ the which he vents In mangled forms. O that I were a fool.' lam ambitious for a motley coat.

Duke. Thou shall have one.

Jaq. It is my only itii't;
Provided that you weed your better judgments
Of all opinion, that grows rank in them,
That J am wi&e. I nfcxsrt bare Kberty

Withal, as large a charter as the wind,

To blow on whom I please; for so fools have, , v ,,

And .they that are most galled with my folly "&%&.

They most must laugh. And why, sir, must-they so.?

The why is plain, as way to parish-churchy;

He whom a fool does very wisely hit, /

Doth very foolishly, although he smart, /

Not to seem senseless of.the bob. If not,

The wise man's folly is anatomiz'd

Even by the squad'ring glances of a fool. . . , ., »

Invest me in my motley, give me leave

To speak my mind, and I will, through and through

Cleanse the foul body of th' infected world,

If they will patiently receive my medicine.

Duke. Fie on thee! I can tell what thou would'st do.

Jag. What for a counter, would I do but good ?,''

Duhe. Most mischievous foul sin, in chiding sin;
For thou thyself hast been a libertine,
And all th' embossed sores and headed evils,
That thou with licence of free foot hast caught,
'Would'st thou disgorge into the general world..

Jag. Why, who cries out on pride,.
That can therein tax any private party?
Doth it not flow as hugely as the sea^
Till that the very means do. ebb?
AVhat woman in the city do I name, .
'When that I say, the city-woman bears
The cost of princes on unworthy shoulders?'
'Whocan com* in, and say, that-1 mean her; . .
'When such a one as she, such is her neighbour?'
Or what is he of basest function,
That says his bravery is not on my cost;
Thinking, that I mean him, but therein su ts
His folly to the metal of my speech?
There then; how then ?, what then? let me see wherein
My tongue has wrong'd him; if it do him right,
Then he hath wrong'd himself; if he be free,

Why, then my taxing, like a wild goosfe fifes
Unclaim'd of any man.




Ch. Just. I AM assur'd, if I be rneasur'd rightly, Your majesty hath iio just cause to hate me.

P. Henry. No! might a prince of my great hopes forget So great indignities you laid upon me? What! rate, rebuke, and roughly send to ptisob Th' immediate heir of England! was this easy? May this be wash'd in Lethe and forgotten?

Ch. Just. I then did use the person of your fatheV; The image of his power lay then in me: And in th^ administration of his law, While I was busy for the commonwealth, Your Highness pleased to forget my place, The majesty and pow'r of law and justice, The image of the King whom I presented j And struck me in my very seat of Judgment: Whereon, as an offender to your fattier, I gave bold way to my authority,* And did commit you. If the deed were ill, Be you contented, wearing now the garland, To have a son set your decrees at nought: To pluck down justice 'from your awful bench, To trip the course of law, and blunt the sw.x»rd • That guards the peace and safety of your person: Nay more, to spurh at your most royal image, And mock your working in a second body. Question your royal thoughts, make the case yours;

Be now the fatiher, and propose A son;
Hear your own dignity sd much prophan'd;
See your most dreadful laws so loosely slighted;
Behold yourself so by A sdn disdained:
And then imagine me taking your part,
And in your pow'r so silencing your Sob.
After this coli consid'ra-n'ce, sentence me;
And, as you are a King, speak in your state,
What I have done that misbecame my place,
My person, or my Liege's sovereignty.

P. Henry. You are right, Justice, and you weigh this


Therefore stffl bear the baiafcce and the sword Jl
And I do wish your honours may increase,
Till you do live to see a son of mine
Offend you, and obey yeu, as I did:
So shall I live to speak my father'* words:
'Happy am I, that tare a maa so bold
That dares do justice on my proper son;
And no less happy, having such a son,
That would deliver up his greatness so
Into the hand of justice.—You committed* me;
For which I do commit into your hand
Th' unstain'd sword that you have us'd to bear;
With this remembrance, that you use the same
Wfth a Hhe bold, just, and impartial 'spirit,
As you have done 'gainst me. There is my hand,
You shaH be as a father to my youth:
My voice shall sound ds yoa do prompt miae ear;
And I will stoop and humble my intents,
To your well practis'd wise directions.
And, Princes all, believe me, I beseech you';
My father is gone wild into his grave;
For in his tomb lie 'flay affections;
And with his spirit sadly I Survive,
To mock the expectations of the world;
To frustrate prophecies, and to raze out

« PreviousContinue »