Page images

And what have kings, that privates have not too,
Save ceremony, save general ceremony?
And what art thou, thou idol ceremony?
What kind of god art thou, that suffer’st more
Of mortal griefs than do thy worshippers ?
What are thy rents? what are thy comings-in?
O ceremony, show me but thy worth !
What is the soul 1 of adoration ?
Art thou aught else but place, degree, and form,
Creating awe and fear in other men ?
Wherein thou art less happy, being fear'd,
Than they in fearing.
What drink'st thou oft, instead of homage sweet,
But poison'd flattery? O, be sick, great greatness,
And bid thy ceremony give thee cure !
Think'st thou, the fiery fever will go out
With titles blown from adulation ?
Will it give place to flexure and low bending ?
Canst thou, when thou command’st the beggar's

Command the health of it? No, thou proud dream,
That play'st so subtly with a king's repose;
I am a king, that find thee; and I know,
'Tis not the balm, the sceptre, and the ball,
The sword, the mace, the crown imperial,
The intertissued robe of gold and pearl,
The farced ? title running 'fore the king,
The throne he sits on, nor the tide of pomp

1 Intrinsic value.

2 Stuffed, tumid.


That beats upon the high shore of this world, -
No, not all these, thrice-gorgeous ceremony,
Not all these, laid in bed majestical,
Can sleep so soundly as the wretched slave;
Who, with a body fill’d, and vacant mind,
Gets him to rest, cramm'd with distressful bread;
Never sees horrid night, the child of hell;
But, like a lackey, from the rise to set,
Sweats in the eye of Phæbus, and all night
Sleeps in Elysium ; next day, after dawn,
Doth rise, and help Hyperion 1 to his horse ;
And follows so the ever-running year
With profitable labor, to his grave:
And, but for ceremony, such a wretch,
Winding up days with toil and nights with sleep,
Had the forehand and vantage of a king.
The slave, a member of the country's peace,
Enjoys it; but in gross brain little wots,
What watch the king keeps to maintain the peace,
Whose hours the peasant best advantages.


Erp. My lord, your nobles, jealous of your ab

sence, Seek through your camp to find you. K. Hen.

Good old knight, Collect them all together at my tent: I'll be before thee.

1 The sun.

I shall do 't, my

lord. [Exit. K. Hen. O God of battles! steel my soldiers'

hearts ! Possess them not with fear; take from them now The sense of reckoning, if the opposed numbers Pluck their hearts from them !-Not to-day, O


0, not to-day, think not upon the fault
My father made in compassing the crown !
I Richard's body have interred new;
And on it have bestow'd more contrite tears,
Than from it issued forced drops of blood.
Five hundred poor I have in yearly pay,
Who twice a day their wither'd hands hold up
Toward heaven, to pardon blood.; and I have built
Two chantries, where the sad and solemn priests
Sing still for Richard's soul. More will I do:
Though all that I can do, is nothing worth ;
Since that my penitence comes after all,
Imploring pardon.


Glos. My liege!

K. Hen.. My brother Gloster's voice ?-Ay; I know thy errand; I will go with thee. The day, my friends, and all things stay for me.



The French camp.


Orl. The sun doth gild our armor; up, my

lords. Dau. Montez à cheval :-My horse! valet ! lac

quay ! ha !

Orl. O brave spirit !
Dau. Via !1les eaux et la terre-
Orl. Rien puis ? l'air et le feu-
Dau. Ciel! cousin Orleans.-

Enter coNSTABLE.



lord Constable ! Con. Hark, how our steeds for present service

neigh. Dau. Mount them, and make incision in their


That their hot blood may spin in English eyes,
And dout them 2 with superfluous courage. Ha!
Ram. What, will you have them weep our horses'

blood ? How shall we then behold their natural tears ?

1 An old exclamation of encouragement.

Do them out, extinguish them.

And your

Enter MESSENGER. Mes. The English are embattled, you French

peers. Con. To horse, you gallant princes! straight to

horse! Do but behold yon poor and starved band,

fair show shall suck away their souls, Leaving them but the shales and husks of men. There is not work enough for all our hands; Scarce blood enough in all their sickly veins, To give each naked curtle-axe a stain, That our French gallants shall to-day draw out, And sheathe for lack of sport: let us but blow on

them, The

vapor of our valor will o'erturn them. 'Tis positive 'gainst all exceptions, lords, That our superfluous lackeys, and our peasants, Who, in unnecessary action, swarm About our squares of battle, ,—were enough To purge this field of such a hilding 1 foe; T'hough we, upon this mountain's basis by, Took stand for idle speculation : But that our honors must not. What's to say ? A very

little little let us do, And all is done. Then let the trumpets sound The tucket-sonuance, and the note to mount: For our approach shall so much dare the field, That England shall couch down in fear, and yield.

· Despicable.

2 An introductory florish.

« PreviousContinue »