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Attended with the pleasures of the world,
Is all too wanton, and too full of gawds,*
To give me audience:-If the midnight bell
Did, with his iron tongue and brazen mouth,
Sound one unto the drowsy race of night;
If this same were a churchyard where we stand,
And thou possessed with a thousand wrongs;
Or if that surly spirit, melancholy,
Had bak'd thy blood, and made it heavy, thick;
(Which, else runs tickling up and down the veins,
Making that idiot, laughter, keep men's eyes,
And strain their cheeks to idle merriment,
A passion hateful to my purposes;)
Or if that thou could'st see me without eyes,
Hear me without thine ears, and make reply
Without a tongue, using conceit† alone,
Without eyes, ears, and harmful sound of words:
Then, in despite of brooded watchful day,
I would into thy bosom pour my thoughts:
But, ah, I will not.
O amiable, lovely death!
Thou odoriferous stench! sound rottenness!
Arise forth from the couch of lasting night,
Thou hate and terror to prosperity,
And I will kiss thy detestable bones;
And put my eye-balls in thy vaulty brows;
And ring these fingers with thy household worm:
And stop this gap of breath with fulsome dust,
And be a carrion monster like thyself:
Come, grin on me; and I will think thou smil'st,
And buss thee as thy wife! Misery's love,
O, come to me!
A MOTHER'S RAVINGS.
I am not mad: this hair I tear, is mine;
My name is Constance; I was Geffrey's wife;
Young Arthur is my son, and he is lost:
I am not mad;-I would to heaven I were!
For then, 'tis like I should forget myself:
O, if I could, what grief should I forget!—
Preach some philosophy to make me mad,
And thou shalt be canoniz'd, cardinal;
For, being not mad, but sensible of grief,
My reasonable part produces reason
How I may be deliver'd of these woes,
And teaches me to kill or hang myself:
If I were mad, I should forget my son;
Or madly think, a babe of clouts were he:
I am not mad; too well, too well I feel
The different plague of each calamity.
A MOTHER'S GRIEF FOR THE LOSS OF A SON.
Father cardinal, I have heard you say, That we shall see and know our friends in heaven. If that be true, I shall see my boy again; For, since the birth of Cain, the first male child, To him that did but yesterday suspire,* There was not such a gracioust creature born, But now will canker sorrow eat my bud, And chase the native beauty from his cheek, And he will look as hollow as a ghost; As dim and meagre as an ague's fit; And so he'll die; and, rising so again, When I shall meet him in the court of heaven I shall not know him: therefore never, never Must I behold my pretty Arthur more.
Pand. You hold too heinous a respect of grief. Const. He talks to me, that never had a son. K. Phi. You are as fond of grief, as of your child. Const. Grief fills the room up of my absent child. Lies in his bed, walks up and down with me; Puts on his pretty looks, repeats his words, Remembers me of all his gracious parts, Stuffs out his vacant garments with his form: Then, have I reason to be fond of grief.
There's nothing in this world can make me joy: Life is as tedious as a twice-told tale, Vexing the dull ear of a drowsy man.
STRENGTH OF DEPARTING DISEASES.
Before the curing of a strong disease, Even in the instant of repair and health, The fit is strongest; evils, that take leave, On their departure most of all show evil.
DANGER TAKES HOLD OF ANY SUPPORT.
He, that stands upon a slippery place, Makes nice of no vile hold to stay him up.
ARTHUR'S PATHETIC SPEECHES TO HUBert.
Methinks, no body should be sad but I:
Yet, I remember, when I was in France,
Young gentlemen would be as sad as night,
Only for wantonness. By my christendom,
So I were out of prison, and kept sheep,
I should be as merry as the day is long.
Have you the heart? When your head did but
I knit my handkerchief about your brows,
(The best I had, a princess wrought it me,)
And I did never ask it you again:
And with my hand at midnight held your head,
And, like the watchful minutes to the hour,
Still and anon cheer'd up the heavy time;
Saying, What lack you? and, where lies your grief?
Or, What good love may I perform for you?
Many a poor man's son would have lain still
And ne'er have spoke a loving word to you;
But you at your sick service had a prince.
Nay, you may think my love, was crafty love,
And call it cunning: Do, an if you will:
If heaven be pleas'd that you must use me ill,
Why, then you must.-Will you put out mine eyes?
These eyes, that never did, nor never shall,
So much as frown on you?
Alas, what need you be so boist'rous rough'
not struggle, I will stand stone-still.
For heaven's sake, Hubert, let me not be bound!
Nay, hear me, Hubert! drive these men away,
And I will sit as quiet as a lamb;
I will not stir, nor wince, nor speak a word,
Nor look upon the iron angerly;
Thrust but these men away, I'll forgive you,
Whatever torment you do put me to.
Is there no remedy?
None, but to lose your eyes.
Arth. O heaven!-that there were but a moat in
A grain, a dust, a gnat, a wand'ring hair,
Any annoyance in that precious sense!
Then, feeling what small things are boist❜rous there,
Your vile intent must needs seem horrible.
PERFECTION ADMITS OF NO ADDITON,
To gild refined gold, to paint the lily,
To throw a perfume on the violet,
To smooth the ice, or add another hue
Unto the rainbow, or with taper light
To seek the beauteous eye of heaven to garnish,
Is wasteful, and ridiculous excess.
In this, the antique and well noted-face,
Of plain old form is much disigured:
And, like a shifted wind unto a sail,
It makes the course of thoughts to fetch about:
Startles and frights consideration;
Makes sound opinion sick, and truth suspected,
For putting on so new a fashioned robe.
THE COUNTENANCE OF A MURDERER.
This is the man should do the bloody deed;
The image of a wicked henious fault
Lives in his eye; that close aspect of his
Does show the inood of a much-troubled breast,
A STRUGGLING CONSCIENCE.
The colour of the king doth come and go, Between his purpose and his conscience,
Like heralds 'twixt two dreadful battles set,
His passion is so ripe, it needs must break:
Old men, and beldams, in the streets
Do prophesy upon it dangerously:
Young Arthur's death is common in their mouths:
And when they talk of him they shake their heads,
And whisper one another in the ear;
And he, that speaks, doth gripe the hearer's wrist;
Whilst he, that hears, makes fearful action.
With wrinkled brows, with nods, with rolling eyes,
I saw a smith stand with his hammer, thus,
The whilst his iron did on the anvil cool,
With open mouth swallowing a tailor's news.
Who, with his shears and measure in his hand,
Standing on slippers, (which his nimble haste
Had falsely thrust upon contrary feet,)
Told of a many thousand warlike French,
That were embattled and rank'd in Kent:
Another lean unwash'd artificer
· Cuts off his tale, and talks of Arthur's death.
THE EVIL PURPOSES OF KINGS TOO SERVILELY
It is the curse of kings, to be attended
By slaves, that take their humours for a warrant
To break within the bloody house of life:
And, on the winking of authority,
To understand a law; to know the meaning
Of dangerous majesty, when, perchance, it frowns
More upon humour than advis'd respect.*
A VILLAIN'S LOOK, AND READY ZEAL. How oft the sight of means to do ill deeds, Makes deeds ill done! Hadst not thou been by, A fellow by the hand of nature mark'd, Quoted, and sign'd, to do a deed of shame, This murder had not come into my mind. Hadst thou but shook thy head, or made a pause, When I spake darkly what I purposed; Or turn'd an eye of doubt upon my face,
* Deliberate consideration.