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So stale and cheap to vulgar company,
Opipion, that did help me to the crown,
Had still kept loyal to possession,
And left me in reputeless banishment,
A fellow of no mark, nor likelihood.
By being seldom seen, I could not stir,
But, like a comet, I was wonder'd at:
That men would tell their children,—This is he;
Others would say,–Where? which is Bolingbroke ?
And then I stole all courtesy from heaven,
And dress’d myself in such humility,
That I did pluck allegiance from men's hearts,
Loud shouts and salutations from their mouths,
Even in the presence of the crowned king.
Thus I did keep my person fresh, and new;
My presence, like a robe pontifical,
Ne'er seen but wonder'd at: and so my state,
Seldom, but sumptuous, showed like a feast;
And won, by rareness, such solemnity.
The skipping king, he ambled up and down
With shallow jesters and rash bavin wits,
Soon kindled and soon burn'd: carded his state;
Mingled his royalty with carping fools;
Had his great name profaned with their scorns :
And gave his countenance, against his name,
To laugh at gibing boys, and stand the push
Of every beardless vain comparative :
Grew a companion to the common streets,
Enfeoffd himself to popularity :
That being daily swallow'd by men's eyes,
They surfeited with honey, and began
To loathe the taste of sweetness, whereof a little
More than a little is by much too much.
So, when he had occasion to be seen,
He was but as the cuckoo is in June,
Heard, not regarded ; seen, but with such eyes,
As, sick and blunted with community,
Afford no extraordinary gaze,
Such as is bent on sun-like majesty
When it shines seldom in admiring eyes :
But rather drows'd, and hung their eyelids down,
PRINCE HENRY AND HIS FATHER.
Slept in his face, and rendered such aspect
As cloudy men use to their adversaries ;
Being with his presence glutted, gorg'd, and full.
And in that very line, Harry, standest thou :
For thou hast lost thy princely privilege
With vile participation; not an eye
But is a-weary of thy common sight,
Save mine, which hath desir'd to see thee more;
Which now doth that I would not have it do,
Make blind itself with foolish tenderness.
P. Hen. I shall hereafter, my thrice-gracious lord,
Be more myself.
K. Hen. For all the world
As thou art to this hour, was Richard then
When I from France set foot at Ravenspurg ;
And even as I was then is Percy now.
Now by my sceptre, and my soul to boot,
He hath more worthy interest to the state,
Than thou, the shadow of succession :
For, of no right, nor colour like to right,
He doth fill fields with harness in the realm :
Turns head against the lion's armed jaws ;
And, being no more in debt to years than thou,
Leads ancient lords and reverend bishops on,
To bloody battles, and to bruising arms.
What never-dying honour hath he got
Against renowned Douglas; whose high deeds,
Whose hot incursions, and great name in arms,
Holds from all soldiers chief majority,
And military title capital,
Through all the kingdoms that acknowledge Christ :
Thrice hath this Hotspur, Mars in swaddling clothes,
This infant warrior, in his enterprises
Discomfited great Douglas ; ta’en him once,
Enlarged him, and made a friend of him,
To fill the mouth of deep defiance up,
And shake the peace and safety of our throne.
And what say you to this ? Percy, Northumberian:1,
The archbishop's grace of York, Douglas, Mortimer,
Capitulate against us, and are up.
But wherefore do I tell these news to thee?
Why, Harry, do I tell thee of my foes,
Which art my near'st and dearest enemy?
Thou that art like enough,– through vassal fear,
Base inclination, and the start of spleen,-
To fight against me, under Percy's pay,
To dog his heels, and court'sy at his frowns,
To show how much thou art degenerate.
P. Hen. Do not think so, you shall not find it so ;
And God forgive them that so much have sway'd
Your majesty's good thoughts away from me!
I will redeem all this on Percy's head,
And, in the closing of some glorious day,
Be bold to tell you that I am your son ;
When I will wear a garment all of blood,
And stain my favours in a bloody mask,
Which, wash'd away, shall scour my shame with it.
And that shall be the day, whene'er it lights,
That this same child of honour and renown,
This gallant Hotspur, this all-praised knight,
And your unthought-of Harry, chance to meet:
For every honour sitting on his helm,
'Would they were multitudes;
My shames redoubled ! for the time will come,
That I shall make this northern youth exchange
His glorious deeds for my indignities.
Percy is but my factor, good my lord,
To engross up glorious deeds on my behalf;
And I will call him to so strict account,
That he shall render every glory up,
Yea, even the slightest worship of his time,
Or I will tear the reckoning from his heart.
This, in the name of God, I promise here:
The which, if He be pleas'd I shall perforin,
I do beseech your majesty, may salve
The long-grown wounds of my intemperance;
If not, the end of life cancels all bands;
And I will die a hundred thousand deaths,
Ere break the smallest parcel of this vow.
K. Hen. A hundred thousand rebels die in this:--
Thou shalt have charge, and sovereign trust, herein.
Shakspeare (Henry IV.' Pt. 1.).
Creeping murmur, and the poring dark
Fills the wide vessel of the universe.
to camp, through the foul womb of night,
The hum of either army stilly sounds,
That the fix'd sentinels almost receive
The secret whispers of each other's watch :
Fire answers fire : and through their paly flames
Each battle sees the other's umber'd face :
Steed threatens steed, in high and boastful neighs
Piercing the night's dull ear; and from the tents,
The armourers, accomplishing the knights,
With busy hammers closing rivets up,
Give dreadful note of preparation.
The country cocks do crow, the clocks do toll,
And the third hour of drowsy morning name.
Proud of their numbers, and secure in soul,
The confident and over-lusty French
Do the low-rated English play at dice;
And chide the cripple tardy-gaited night,
Who, like a foul and ugly witch, doth limp
So tediously away. The poor condemned English,
Like sacrifices, by their watchful fires
Sit patiently, and inly ruminate
The morning's danger; and their gesture sad
Investing lank-lean cheeks, and war-worn coats,
Presenteth them unto the gazing moon
many horrid ghosts. O, now, who will behold
The royal captain of this ruin'd band,
Walking from watch to watch, from tent to tent,
Let him cry,-Praise and glory on his head !
For forth he goes, and visits all his host;
Bids them good morrow, with a modest smile :
And calls them—brothers, friends, and countrymen.
Upon his royal face there is no note
How dread an army hath enrounded him;
Nor doth he dedicate one jot of colour
Unto the weary and all-watched night:
But freshly looks, and overbears attaint
With cheerful semblance and sweet majesty;
That every wretch, pining and pale before,
Beholding him, plucks comfort from his looks :
A largess universal, like the sun,
His liberal eye doth give to every one,
Thawing cold fear, that mean and gentle all
Behold (as may unworthiness define)
A little touch of Harry in the night.
Shakspeare ('Henry V.).
CARDINAL WOLSEY AND CROMWELL.
Wol. Farewell, a long farewell
, to all my greatness !
This is the state of man: To-day he puts forth
The tender leaves of hope, to-morrow blossoms,
And bears his blushing honours thick upon
The third day comes a frost, a killing frost;
And,—when he thinks, good easy man, full surely
His greatness is a ripening,-nips his root,
And then he falls, as I do. I have ventur’d,
Like little wanton boys that swim on bladders,
This many summers in a sea of glory;
But far beyond my depth : my high-blown pride
At length broke under me; and now has left me,
Weary, and old with service, to the mercy
Of a rude stream, that must for ever hide me.
and glory of this world, I hate ye;
I feel my heart new open'd : 0, how wretched
Is that poor man that hanys on princes' favours !
There is, betwixt that smile we would aspire to,
That sweet aspect of princes, and their ruin,
More pangs and fears than wars or women have;
And when he falls, he falls like Lucifer,
Never to hope again.—
Enter CROMWELL, amazedly.
Why, how now, Cromwell? Crom. I have no power to speak, sir.