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HENRY IV AND PRINCE HENRY.
P. Henry. I Never thought to hear you speak again.
K. Henry. Thy wish was father, Harry, to that thought
I stay too long by thee, I weary thee.
Dost thou so hunger for my empty chair,
That thou wilt needs invest thee with my honours,
Before thy hour be ripe O foolish youth !
Thou seek'st the greatness, that will overwhelm thee.
Stay but a little; for my cloud of dignity
Is held from falling with so weak a wind,
That it will quickly drop; my day is dim.
Thou hast stol’n that, which after some few hours
Were thine without offence; and at my death
Thou hast seal’d up my expectation:
Thy life did manifest, thou lov'dst me not: -
And thou wilt have me die assur'd of it.
Thou hid'st a thousand daggers in thy thoughts,
Which thou hast whetted on thy stony heart,
To stab at half an hour of my frail life. - -
What canst thou not forbear me half an hour? * ...
Then get thee gone, and dig my grave thyself, . . .
And bid the merry bells ring to thine ear,
That thou art crowned, not that I am dead.
Let all the tears, that should bedev my hearse
Be drops of balm to sanctify thy head ;
Only compound me with forgotten dust,
Give that which gave thee life unto the worms,
Pluck down my officers, break my decrees,
For now a time is come to mock at form;
Henry the Fifth is crown'd up, Vanity! -
Down, Royal state 1 All you sage couns’llors, hence;
And to the English court assemble now,
From ev’ry region, apes of idleness:
Now neighbour-confines, purge you of your scuin;
Have you a ruflian, that will swear, drink, dance,
Revel the night, rob, murder, and commit
The oldest sins the newest kind of ways?
Be happy, he will trouble you no more;
England shall give him office, honour, might;
For the Fifth Harry from curb’d license plucks
The muzzle of restraint and the wild dog
Shall flesh his tooth on ev'ry innocent.
O my poor kingdom, sick with civil blows!
When that my care could not withhold thy riot,
What wilt thou do when riot is thy care :
Oh, thou wilt be a wilderness again,
Peopled with wolves, thy old inhabitants!
P. Henry. O pardon me, my Liege but for my tear;
(The moist impediments unto my speech)
I had forestall'd this dear and deep rebuke,
Ere you with grief had spoke, and I had heard
The course of it so far. There is your crown;
And He that wears the crown immortally
Long guard it yours | If I affect it more,
Than as your honour, and as your renown,
Let me no more from this obedience rise,
Which my most true and inward duteous spirit a
Teacheth this prostrate and exterior bending. . . .
Heav'n witness with me, when I here came in, - *** -
And found no course of breath within your Majesty,
How cold it struck my heart! If I do feign,
O let me in my present wildness die,
And never live to show th’ incred'lous world
The noble change that I have purposed I
Coming to look on you, thinking you dead,
(And dead almost, my Liege, to think you were,)
I spake unto the crown as having sense,
And thus upbraided it. The care on thee depending .
Hath fed upon the body of my father, ... .
Therefore thou best of gold art worst of gold;
Other, less fine in carat, is more precious, - *
Preserving life in med'cine potable; 4.
But thou, most fine, most honour'd, most renown'd,"
Hast eat thy bearer up. Thus, Royal Liege,
Accusing it, I put it on my head, -
To try with it (as with an enemy,
That had before my face murder'd my father)
The quarrel of a true inheritor. -
But if it did affect my blood with joy,
Or swell my thoughts to any strain of pride,
If any rebel or vain spirit of mine -
Did with the least affection of a welcome
Give entertainment to the might of it,
Let Heav'n for ever keep it from my head,
And make me as the poorest vassal is,
That doth with awe and terrour kneel to it!
K. Henry. O my son!
Heav'n put it in thy mind to take it hence,
That thou might'st win the more thy father's love,
Pleading so wisely in excuse of it.
Come hither, Harry, sit thou by my bed;
And hear, I think, the very satest counsel
That ever I shall breathe. Heav'n knows, my son,
By what by-paths and indirect crooked ways
I met this crown; and I myself know well
How troublesome it sat upon my head.
To thee it shall descend with better quiet,
Better opinion, better confirmation;
For all the soil of the achievement goes
With me into the earth. It seem'd in me
But as an honour snatch'd with boist'rous hand,
And I had many living to upbraid
My gain of it by their assistances;
Which daily grew to quarrel and to bloodshed,
Wounding supposed peace. All their bold feats,
Thou seest, with peril I have answered. -
For all my reign hath been but as a scene
Acting that argument: and now my death
Changes the mode; for what in me was purchas'd,
Falls upon thee in a much fairer sort:
For thou the garland wear'st successively.
Yet though thou stand'st more sure than I could do,
Thou art not firm enough, since griefs are green;
And all my friends, which thou must make thy frientle,
Have but iheir stings and teeth newly ta'en out,
By whose fell working I was first advanc'd,
And by whose pow'r I well might lodge a fear,
To be again displac'd : which to avoid,
I cut them off, and had a purpose now
To lead out many to the Holy Land;
Lest rest and lying still might make them look
Too near into my state. Therefore, my Harry,
Be it thy course to busy giddy minds
With foreign quarrels; that action, hence borne out,
May waste the memory of former days.
More would I, but my lungs are wasted so,
That strength of speech is utterly denied me.
How I came by the crown, O God, forgive!
And grant it may with thee in true peace live 1
P. Henry. My gracious Liege,
You won it, wore it, kept it, gave it me;
Then plain and right must my possession be;
Which I with more than with a common pain,
'Gainst all the world, will rightfully maintain.
CHAP. . XIII.
HENRY WI, WARWICK, AND CARDINAL BEAUFORT
R. Hen. How fares my Lord? Speak, Beaufort, to
Car. If thou be'st Dea h, I'll give thee England's treasure,
Enbugh to purchase such another Island.
So thou wilt let me live, and feel no pain.
R. Hen. Ah, what a sign it is of evil life,
Where Death's approach is seen so terrible!
War. Beaufort, it is thy Sov’reign speaks to thee.
Car. Bring me unto my trial when you will.
Died he not in his bed Where should he die?
Can I make men live whether they will or no
Oh, torture me no more, I will confess—
Alive again Then show me where he is:
I'll give a thousand pounds to look upon him—
He hath no eyes, the dust hath blinded them;
Comb down his hair—look look it stands upright,
Like lime twigs set to catch my winged soul.
Give me some drink, and bid th' apothecary
Bring the strong poison that I bought of him
K. Hen. O thou Eternal Mover of the Heav'ns,
Look with a gentle eye upon this wretch;
O, beat away the busy meddling fiend,
That lays strong siege unto this wretch's soul,
And from his bosom purge this black despair.
—Peace to his soul, if God's good pleasure bel
Lord Card'nal, if thou think'st on Heav'n's bliss,
Hold up thy hand, make signal of thy hope. -
He dies, and makes no sign O God, forgive him :
War. So bad a death argues a monstrous life.
K. Hen. Forbear to judge, for we are sinners all. Close up his eyes, and draw the curtain close, And let us all to meditation. . SHAKSPEARE.
IVol. 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 him; The third day comes a frost—a killing frost, And when he thinks, good easy man, full surely His greatness is a rip'ning, nips his shoot; And then he falls, as I do. I have ventur'd, , Like little wanton boys, that swim on bladders, These many summers in a sea of glory; But far beyond uy 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. Vain pomp and glory of the world, I hate yel I feel my heart new open'd. Oh, how wretched Is that poor man that hangs on princes' favours! There is, betwixt that smile he would aspire to, That sweet aspect of princes, and his ruin, More pangs and fears than war or women have; And when he falls, he falls like Lucifer,