« PreviousContinue »
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,
Harry the fifth is crown'd:-Up, vanity!
Down, royal state! all you sage counsellors, hence!
And to the English court assemble now,
From every region, apes of idleness!
Now, neighbour confines, purge you of your of scum:
Have you a ruffian, 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 double gild his treble guilt;
England shall give him office, honour, might;
For the fifth Harry from curb'd licence plucks
The muzzle of restraint, and the wild dog
Shall flesh his tooth in every innocent.
O my poor kingdom, sick with civil blows!
When that my care could not withhold thy riots,
What wilt thou do, when riot is thy care?
O, thou wilt be a wilderness again,
Peopled with wolves, thy old inhabitants!
P. Hen. O, pardon me, my liege! but for my tears, [Kneeling.
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
Teacheth) this prostrate and exterior bending!
Heaven 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 the incredulous world
The noble change that I have purposed!
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 medicine potable:†
But thou, most fine, most honour'd, most renown'd, Hast eat thy bearer up. Thus, my most 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 infect 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 God for ever keep it from my head!
And make me as the poorest vassal is,
That doth with awe and terror kneel to it!
K. Hen. O my son!
Heaven 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 latest counsel
That ever I shall breathe. Heaven knows, my son,
By what by-paths, and indirect crook'd 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 soilt of the achievement goes
With me into the earth. It seem'd in me,
But as an honour snatch'd with boisterous 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 these bold fears,
Thou see'st, 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 more fairer sort;
So 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 thy friends, which thou must make thy
Have but their stings and teeth newly ta'en out;
By whose fell working I was first advanc'd.
And by whose power 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 unto 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 the 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!
P. Hen. My gracious liege,
You won it, wore it, kept, 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.
ADDRESS OF THE CHIEF JUSTICE TO KING HENRY V. WHOM HE HAD IMPRISONED.
Be you contented, wearing now the garland,§
Purchase, in Shakspeare, frequently means stolen § Crown.
To have a son set your decrees at naught;
To pluck down justice from your awful bench;
To trip the course of law, and blunt the sword
That guards the peace and safety of your person;
Nay, more; to spurn at your most royal image,
And mock your workings in a second body.*
Question your royal thoughts, make the case yours;
Be now the father, and propose a son;
Hear your own dignity so much profan'd,
See your most dreadful laws so loosely slighted,
Behold yourself so by a son disdained;
And then imagine me taking your part,
And, in your power, soft silencing your son.
INVOCATION TO THE MUSE.
0, FOR a muse of fire, that would ascend The brightest heaven of invention!
A kingdom for a stage, princes to act,
And monarchs to behold the swelling scene!
Then should the warlike Harry, like himself,
Assume the port of Mars; and, at his heels,
Leash'd in like hounds, should famine, sword, and fire
Crouch for employment.
Consideration like an angel came,
And whipp'd the offending Adam out of him:
Leaving his body as a paradise,
To envelop and contain celestial spirits.
PERFECTIONS OF KING HENRY V.
Hear him but reason in divinity,
And, all-admiring, with an inward wish
You would desire the king were made a prelate:
Hear him debate of commonwealth affairs,
*Treat with contempt your acts executed by a representative.
You would say,-it had been all-in-all his study:
List* his discourse of war, and you shall hear
A fearful battle render'd you in music:
Turn him to any cause of policy,
The Gordian knot of it he will unloose,
Familiar as his garter; that when he speaks,
The air, a charter'd libertine, is still,
And the mute wonder lurketh in men's ears,
To steal his sweet and honeyed sentences.
THE COMMONWEALTH OF BEES.
So work the honey bees;
Creatures, that, by a rule in nature, teach
The act of order to a peopled kingdom.
They have a king, and officers of sorts:†
Where some, like magistrates, correct at home;
Others, like merchants, venture trade abroad;
Others, like soldiers, armed in their stings,
Make boot upon the summer's velvet buds;
Which pillage they with merry march bring home
To the tent-royal of their emperor:
Who, busied in his majesty, surveys
The singing masons building roofs of gold;
The civil citizens kneading up the honey;
The poor mechanic porters crowding in
Their heavy burdens at his narrrow gate;
The sad-ey'd justice, with his surly hum,
Delivering o'er to the executors§ pale
The lazy yawning drone.
Now all the youth of England are on fire, And silken dalliance in the wardrobe lies; Now thrive the armourers, and honour's thought Reigns solely in the breast of every man: They sell the pasture now, to buy the horse; Following the mirror of all Christian kings,
* Listen to.
+ Sober, grave.
† Different degrees.