Page images
PDF
EPUB

He, that no more must say, is listen'd more

Than they whom youth and eafe have taught to k glofe; More are men's ends mark’d, than their lives before :

The setting fun, and music at the close,
(As the last taste of sweets is sweetest) laft,
Writ in remembrance, more than things long past :
Though Richard my life's counsel would not hear,
My death's sad tale may yet undeaf his ear.

York. No; it is stop'd with other flattering sounds,
As, praises of his state: then, there are found
Lascivious 'meeters; to whofe venom’d found
The open ear of youth doth always listen :
* Reports of fashions in proud Italy;
Whose manners ftill our tardy apish nation
Limps after, in base aukward imitation.
Where doth the world throlt forth a vanity,
(So it be new, there's no respect how vile)
That is not quickly buzz'd into his ears?
Then all too late comes counsel to be heard,
Where will doth " mutiny with wit's regard.
Direct not him, whose way himself will chuse ;
'Tis breath thou Jack'st, and that breath wilt thou lose.

Gaunt. Methinks, I am a prophet new inspir’d;
And thus, expiring, do foretell of him :
His rafh fierce blaze of riot cannot last;
For violent fires foon burn out themselves :
Small showers last long, but sudden storms are short;
He tires betimes, that fpurs too fast betimes ;
With eager feeding, food doch choak the feeder :

glofe ;)—fatter, deceive.
meeters.; ]-persons about him ; metresverfes, ditties.
m Reports - Reporters.
And have my lea

from some true reports."

ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA, AC II. S. 2. Ant. * mutiny with wit's regard. ]-rebel against reason. rah]-balty.

[ocr errors]

Light'vanity, insatiate cormorant,
Consuming ' means, foon preys upon itself.
This royal throne of kings, this scepter'd ifle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demy paradise ;
This fortress, built by nature for herfelf,
Against 'infection, and the hand of war;
This happy breed of men, this little world ;
This precious stone set in the silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall,
Or as a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier lands;
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England,
This nurse, this teeming womb of royal kings,
'Fear'd for their breed, and famous for their birth,
Renowned for their deeds as far from home,
(For Christian service, and true chivalry)
As is the sepulchre in stubborn Jewry,
Of the world's ransom, blessed Mary's fon;
This land of such dear fouls, this dear dear land,
Dear for her reputation through the world,
Is now leas'd out (I die pronouncing it)
Like to a tenement, or pelting farm :
England, bound in with the triumphant sea,
Whose rocky shore beats back the envious ' siege
Of

watry Neptune, is now bound in with shame, "With inky blots, and rotten parchment bonds; That England, that was wont to conquer others,

P means, ]-that feed it, of its subsistence.

9 infection, ]—pestilence, from its insular situation; the contagion of continental vices.

Fear'd for their breed, and famous for their birth,)-For their here: ditary valour. pelting ]-paltry. surge of angry Neptune.

" With inky blots, and rotten parchment bonds, ]-alluding to the vast fums raised by loans, &c. in this reign,

Hath

Сс 3

Hath made a shameful conqueft of itself :
Ah! would the scandal vanish with my life,
How happy then were my ensuing death!
Enter King Richard, Queen, Aumerle, Busby, Green, Bagot,

Ross, and Willoughby.
York. The king is come: deal mildly with his youth;
For young hot colts, being " rag'd, do rage the more.

Queen. How fares our noble uncle, Lancaster ?
K. Rich. What comfort, man? How is’t with aged

Gaunt?
Gaunt. Oh, how that name befits my composition !
* Old Gaunt, indeed ; and gaunt in being old;
Within me grief hath kept a tedious faft;,
And who abftains from meat, that is not gaunt?
For Neeping England long time have I watch'd ;
Watching breeds leanness, leanness is all gaunt :
The pleasure, that some fathers feed upon,
Is my strict fast, I mean-my children's looks;
And, therein fasting, thou hast made me gaunt :
Gaunt am I for the grave, gaunt as a grave,
Whose hollow womb inherits nought but bones.

K. Rich. Can fick men play so nicely with their names ?

Gaunt. No, misery makes sport to mock itself :
Since thou doft seek to kill my name in me,
I mock my name, great king, to fatter thee.

K. Rich. Should dying men then flatter those that live?
Gaunt. No, no; men living flatter those that die.
K. Rich. Thou, now a dying, say'st-thou Aatter'it me.
Gaunt. Oh! no; thou dy'st, though I the ficker be.
K. Ricb. I am in health, I breathe, I see thee ill.
W rag'd, ]-rated at.

Old Gaunt, indeed; and gaunt in being old :)-emaciated, meagrę, hollow.-Ghent.

Gaunt.

[ocr errors]

Gaunt. Now, he that made me, knows I see thee ill; Ill in myself to see, and in thee seeing ill. Thy death-bed is no lesser than the land, Wherein thou lieft in reputation fick ; And thou, too careless patient as thou art, Commit'st thy anointed body to the cure Of those physicians that first wounded thee ; y A thoysand flatcerers. sit within thy crown, Whose compass is no bigger than thy head ; And yet, incaged in so small a verge, The waste is no whit lesser than thy land, Oh, had thy grandfire, with a prophet's eye, Seen how his son's fon should destroy his fons, From forth thy reach he would have laid thy shame; Deposing theç before thoạ wert possess’d, Who art postess’d now to depose thyself, Why, cousin, wert thou regent of the world, It were a shame, to let this land by lease : But, for thy world, enjoying but this land, Is it not more than shame, to shame it so? Landlord of England art thou now, not king: 2 Thy state of law is bond-Nave to the law; And —

K. Ricb. - Thou a lunatic lean-witted foal, Presuming on an ague's privilege, Dar'st with thy frozen admonition Make pale our cheek; chasing the royal blood, With fury, from his native residence. Now by my seat's right royal majefty, Wert thou not brother to great Edward's son, y A tbousand flatterers,]-whose tongues will footh thee to thy ruin.

z Tby flate of law is bond.jave to the law; ]--Ry farming out thy royalties, thy sovereignty is become amenable to laws, from which it was formerly exempt.

This

Сс 4

This tongue, that runs so roundly in thy head,
Should run thy head from thy unreverend fhoulders.

Gaunt. Oh, spare me not, my brother Edward's son,
For that I was his father Edward's son;
That blood already, like the pelican,
Hast thou tapt out, and drunkenly carows'd :
My brother Gloster, plain well-meaning foul,
(Whom fair befal in heaven 'mongst happy fouls !)
May be a precedent and witness good,
That thou respectft not spilling Edward's blood :
Join with the present fickness that I have;
And thy unkindnessa be like crooked age, ,
To crop at once a too-long wither'd flower.

Live in thy shame, but die not shame with thee !
These words hereafter thy tormentors be!
Convey me to my bed, then to my grave :-
Love they to live, that love and honour have.

[Exit, borne out. K. Rich. And let them die, that age and fullens have; For both hast thou, and both become the grave.

York. 'Beseech your majesty, impute his words
To wayward fickliness and age in him:
He loves you, on my life, and holds

you

dear As Harry duke of Hereford, were he here.

K. Rich. Right; you fay true : as Hereford's love, fo

his;

As theirs, so mine; and all be as it is.

Enter Northumberland.

North. My liege, old Gaunt commends him to your

majesty. K. Ricb. What says he ? a be like crooked age, ]-armed with a crook, or fickle--be rime's crooked edge—do the office of time's fcyrbe; unite with the ravages of age in accelerating my destruction. Love I bey]-Let them love.

North,

b Die.

« PreviousContinue »