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And that thou oft provok'st ; yet grossly fear'st
Thy death, which is no more. Thou'rt not thyself;
For thou exist'st on many a thousand grains,
That issue out of dust. Happy thou art not ;
For what thou hast not, still thou striv'st to get;
And what thou hast, forgett'st. Thou art not certain;
For thy complexion shifts to strange effects,
After the moon. . If thou art rich, thou'rt poor;
For, like an ass, whose back with ingots bows,
Thou bear'st thy heavy riches but a journey, . .
And death unloadeth thee. Friend thou hast none;
For thy own bowels, which do call thee sire,
The mere effusion of thy proper loins,
Do curse the Gout, Serpigo, and the Rheum,
For ending thee no sooner. Thou hast nor youth nor age;
But as it were an after dinner's sleep,
Dreaming on both; for all thy blessed youth
Becomes as aged, and doth beg the alms -
Of palsied Eld; and when thou'rt old and rich,
Thou hast neither heat, affection, limb, nor bounty,
To make thy riches pleasant. What's yet in this
That bears the name of life? yet in this life
Lie hid more thousand deaths; yet death we fear,
That makes these odds all even. . SHAKSPEARE.
HOTSPUR'S DESCRIPTION OF A FOR.
I do remember when the fight was done,
When I was dry with rage and extreme toil,
Breathless and faint, leaning upon my sword,
Came there a certain lord, neat, trimly dress'd;
Fresh as a bridegroom, and his chin, new reap'd,
Show'd like a stubble land at harvest home.
He was perfumed like a milliner;
And 'twixt his finger and his thumb he lield
A pouncet-box, which ever and anon
He gave his nose, and took’t away again;
. Who, therewith angry, when it next came there,
Took it in snuff.-And still he smil'd, and talk'd;
And as the soldiers' bare dead bodies by,
He call'd them untaught knaves, unmannerly,
To bring a slovenly, unhandsome corse
Betwixt the wind and his nobility.
With many holiday and lady terms .
He question'd me: among the rest demanded
My pris'ners, in your Majesty's behalf. -
I then, all smarting with my wounds, being gall'd
To be so pester'd with a popinjay,
Out of my grief, and my impatience,
Answer'd negligently, I know not what :
He should, or should not ; for he made me mad, '
To see him shine so brisk, and smell so sweet,
And talk so like a waiting gentlewoman,
Of guns, and drums, and wounds; (God save the mark!)
And telling me, the sovereign'st thing on earth
Was spermaceti for an inward bruise;
And that it was great pity, so it was,
This villanous saltpetre should be digg'd
Out of the bowels of the harmless earth,
Which many a good tall fellow had destroy'd
So cowardly : and, but for these vile guns,
He would himself have been a soldier.
Brak. Why looks your Grace so heavily to day?
Clar. , O, I have pass'd a miserable night,
So full of ugly sights, of ghastly dreams,
That as I am a christian faithful man,
I would not spend another such a night,
Though 'twere to buy a world of happy days;
So full of dismal terrour was the time !
Brak. What was your dream, my lord? I pray you tell me. •. Clar. Methought that I had broken from the tow'r, And was embark'd to cross to Burgundy, And in my company my brother Glo'ster, Who from my cabin tempted me to walk Upon the hatches. Thence we look'd tow'rd England, And cited up a thousand heavy times, During the wars of York and Lancaster, That had befall'n us. As we pass'd along Upon the giddy footing of the hatches, Methought that Glo'ster stumbled, and in falling . . Struck me (that sought to stay him) overboard, Into the tumbling billows of the main. Lord ' Lord! methought, what pain it was to drown 1 What dreadful noise of waters in my ears : What sights of ugly death within my eyes! I thought I saw a thousand fearful wrecks; A thousand men, that fishes gnaw’d upon; Wedges of gold, great anchors, heaps of pearl, Inestimable stones, unvalu'd jewels; Some lay in dead men's sculls; and in those holes Where eyes did once inhabit, there were crept, As 'twere in scorn of eyes, reflecting gems, . That woo'd the slimy bottom of the deep, And mock'd the dead bones that lay scatter'd by. Brak. Had you such leisure in the time of death, To gaze upon the secrets of the deep Clar. Methought I had ; and often did I strive To yield the ghost; but still the envious flood Kept in my soul, and would not let it forth To find the empty, vast, and wand'ring air; But smother'd it within my panting bulk, Which almost burst to belch it in the sea. Brak. Awak'd you not with this sore agony . Clar. No, no; my dream was lengthen’d after life; O then began the tempest to my soul : I pass'd, methought, the melancholy flood, With that grim ferryman which poets write of, Unto the kingdom of perpetual night. , The first that there did greet my stranger-soul,
Was my great father-in-law, renowned Warwick,
Who cried aloud “What scourge for perjury
, “Can this dark monarchy afford false Clarence #"
And so he vanish'd. Then came wand'ring by
A shadow like an angel, with bright hair.
Dabbled in bloed, and he shriek'd out aloud
“Clarence is come ! false, fleeting, perjur’d Clarence,
“That stabb'd me in the field by Tewksbury
“Seize on him, furies! take him to your torments!”
With that, methought, a legion of foul fiends -
Environ'd me, and howled in mine ears *
Such hideous cries, that with the very noise *
I trembling wak'd ; and for a season after * . . -
Could not believe but that I was in Hell; -
Such terrible impression made my dream.
Brak. No marvel, lord, that it affrighted you;
I am afraid, methinks, to hear you tell it.
Clar. Ah! Brakenbury, I have done those things,
That now give evidence against my soul,
For Edward's sake; and see how he requites me !
O God! if my deep pray'rs cannot appease thee,
But thou wilt be aveng'd on my misdeeds,
Yet execute thy wrath on me alone: -
O spare my guiltless wife, and my poor children I
I prithee, Brakenbury, stay by me:
My soul is heavy, and I sain would sleep.
O then I see queen Mab has been with you.
She is the fancy's midwife, and she comes
In shape no bigger than an agate-stone
On the forefinger of an alderman;
Drawn with a team of little atomies
Athwart men's noses as they lie asleep:
Her waggon-spokes made of long spinners' legs
The cover, of the wings of grasshoppers;
The traces, of the smallest spider's web;
The collars, of the moonshine's wat'ry beams;
Her whip, of cricket's bones; the lash of film;
Her waggoner, a small gray-coated gnat,
Not hali so big as a round little worm
Prick'd from the lazy singer of a maid.
Her chariot is an empty hazel-nut,
Made by the joiner squirrel, or old grub,
Time out of mind the fairies' coach-makers.
And in this state she gallops, night by night,
Through lovers' brains, and then they dream of love;
On courtiers' knees, that dream on curtsies straight:
O'er lawyers' fingers, who straight dream on fees:
O'er ladies' lips, who straight on kisses dream:
Sometimes she gallops o'er a courtier's nose,
And then dreams he of smelling out a suit:
And sometimes comes she with a tithe-pig's tail,
Tickling the parson as he lies asleep;
Then dreams he of another benefice.
Sometimes she driveth o'er a soldier's neck,
And then he dreams of cutting foreign throats,
Of breaches, ambuscadoes, Spanish blades,
Of healths five fathom deep; and then anon
Drums in his ears, at which he starts and wakes;
And being thus frighted swears a pray'r or two,
And sleeps again. SHAKsp EAR R.
I do remember an apothecary,
And hereabouts he dwells, whom late I noted
In tatter'd weeds, with overwhelming brows,
Culling of simples; meagre were his looks;
Sharp Misery had worn him to the bones:
And in his needy shop a tortoise hung, -
An alligator stuff'd, and other skins
Of ill shap'd fishes; and about his shelves
A beggarly account of empty boxes,