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To be no better than a homely swain;
To sit upon a hill, as I do now,
To carve out dials quaintly, point by point,
Thereby to see the minutes how they run:
How many make the hour full complete,
How many hours bring about the day,
How many days will finish
How many years a mortal man may live.
When this is known, then to divide the times :
hours must I tend my flock; So many hours must I take my rest; So many
hours must I contemplate;
So many hours must I sport myself;
So many days my ewes have been with young ;
weeks ere the poor
So many years ere I shall shear the fleece:
So minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and years,
Pass'd over to the end they were created,
Would bring white hairs unto a quiet grave.
Ah, what a life were this! How sweet! How lovely!
Gives not the hawthorn bush a sweeter shade
To shepherds, looking on their silly sheep,
Than doth a rich embroider'd canopy
To kings, that fear their subjects' treachery?
0, yes, it doth ; a thousandfold it doth.
And to conclude --The shepherd's homely curds,
His cold thin drink out of his leather bottle,
His wonted sleep under a fresh tree's shade,
All which secure and sweetly he enjoys,
Is far beyond a prince's delicates,
His viands sparkling in a golden cup,
His body couched in a curious bed,
When care, mistrust, and treason wait on him.
QUEEN MARGARET ENCOURAGES HER FOLLOWERS ON THE
PLAINS NEAR TEWKESBURY.
GREAT lords, wise men ne'er sit and wail their loss,
But cheerly seek how to redress their harms.
What though the mast be now blown overboard,
The cable broke, the holding anchor lost,
And half our sailors swallow'd in the flood ?
Yet lives our pilot still: Is 't meet, that he
Should leave the helm, and, like a fearful lad,
With tearful eyes add water to the sea,
And give more strength to that which hath too much;
While, in his moan, the ship splits on the rock,
Which industry and courage might have saved?
Ah, what a shame! ah, what a fault were this!
Say, Warwick was our anchor; What of that?
And Montague our top-mast; What of him?
Our slaughter'd friends the tackles; What of these?
Why, is not Oxford here another anchor ?
And Somerset another goodly mast;
The friends of France our shrouds and tacklings?
And, though unskilful, why not Ned and I
For once allow'd the skilful pilot's charge ?
We will not from the helm, to sit and weep;
But keep our course, though the rough wind say–No,
From shelves and rocks that threaten us with wreck.
As good to chide the waves, as speak them fair.
And what is Edward, but a ruthless sea ?
What Clarence, but a quicksand of deceit?
And Richard, but a ragged fatal rock ?
All these the enemies to our poor bark.
Say, you can swim; alas, 't is but a while :
Tread on the sand; why, there you quickly sink :
Bestride the rock; the tide will wash you off:
famish :—that's a threefold death. This speak I, lords, to let you understand, In case some one of you would fly from us, That there's no hoped-for mercy with the brothers, More than with ruthless waves, with sands, and rocks. Why, courage, then! what cannot be avoided, 'T were childish weakness to lament, or fear.
GLOSTER KILLS KING HENRY IN THE TOWER.
K. Hen. Wherefore dost thou come? is 't for
Glo. Think'st thou I am an executioner?
K. Hen. A persecutor, I am sure, thou art:
If murdering innocents be executing,
Why then thou art an executioner.
Glo. Thy son I kill'd for his presumption.
K. Hen. Hadst thou been killd, when first thou didst
Which now mistrust no parcel of my fear;
And many an old man's sigh, and many a widow's,
And many an orphan's water-standing eye,
Men for their sons, wives for their husbands' fate,
And orphans for their parents' timeless death,
Shall rue the hour that ever thou wast born.
The owl shriek'd at thy birth, an evil sign;
The night-crow cried, aboding luckless time;
Dogs howld, and hideous tempests shook down trees;
The raven rook'd her on the chimney's top;
And chattering pies in dismal discords sung.
Thy mother felt more than a mother's pain,
And yet brought forth less than a mother's hope ;
To wit-an indigest deformed lump,
Not like the fruit of such a goodly tree.
Teeth hadst thou in thy head, when thou wast born,
To signify,—thou cam’st to bite the world :
And, if the rest be true which I have heard,
Glo. I'll hear no more ;-Die, prophet, in thy speech;
[Stabs him. For this, amongst the rest, was I ordain'd.
GLOSTER DESCANTS ON THE TIMES AND HIS PERSONAL
Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this sun of York;
And all the clouds, that lour'd upon our house,
In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.
Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths;
Our bruised arms hung up for monuments;
Our stern alarums changed to merry meetings,
Our dreadful marches to delightful measures.
Grim-visaged war hath smooth'd his wrinkled front;
And now,-instead of mounting barbed steeds,
To fright the souls of fearful adversaries
He capers nimbly in a lady's chamber,
To the lascivious pleasing of a lute.
But 1,--that am not shaped for sportive tricks,
Nor made to court an amorous looking-glass ;
I, that am rudely stamp'd, and want love's majesty,
To strut before a wanton ambling nymph;
I, that am curtaild of this fair proportion,
Cheated of feature by dissembling nature,
Deform’d, unfinish’d, sent before my time
Into this breathing world, scarce half made up,
And that so lamely and unfashionable,
That dogs bark at me, as I halt by them ;-
Why, I, in this weak piping time of peace,
Have no delight to pass away the time;
Unless to spy my shadow in the sun,
And descant on mine own deformity ;
And therefore,—since I cannot prove a lover,
To entertain these fair well-spoken days,
I am determined to prove a villain,
And hate the idle pleasures of these days.
RICHMOND'S ADDRESS TO HIS FOLLOWERS.
FELLOWS in arms, and my most loving friends,
Bruised underneath the yoke of tyranny,
Thus far into the bowels of the land
Have we march'd on without impediment;
And here receive we from our father Stanley
Lines of fair comfort and encouragement.
The wretched, bloody, and usurping boar,
That spoild your summer fields, and fruitful vines,
Swills your warm blood like wash, and makes his trough
In your embowell’d bosoms, this foul swine
Lies now even in the centre of this isle,
Near to the town of Leicester, as we learn:
From Tamworth thither, is but one day's march.
In God's name, cheerly on, courageous friends,
To reap the harvest of perpetual peace
By this one bloody trial of sharp war.
The weary sun hath made a golden set,
And, by the bright track of his fiery car,
Gives token of a goodly day to-morrow.
Sir William Brandon, you shall bear my
Give me some ink and paper in my tent;-
I'll draw the form and model of our battle,
Limit each leader to his several charge,
And part in just proportion our small power.
KING RICHARD STARTS OUT OF HIS DREAM.
Give me another horse,-bind up my wounds —
Have mercy, Jesu !-Soft; I did but dream.-
O coward conscience, how dost thou afflict me!
The lights burn blue.-It is now dead midnight.
Cold fearful drops stand on my trembling flesh.
What do I fear? myself? there's none else by:
Richard loves Richard ; that is, I am I.
Is there a murderer here? No ;-Yes; I am :
Then fly,—What, from myself? Great reason : Why?
Lest I revenge. What? Myself on myself ?
I love myself. Wherefore ? for any good,
That I myself have done unto myself?
0, no: alas, I rather hate myself,
For hateful deeds committed by myself.
I am a villain : Yet I lie, I am not.
Fool, of thyself speak well :--Fool, do not flatter.
My conscience hath a thousand several tongues,
And every tongue brings in a several tale,
tale condemns me for a villain.
Perjury, perjury, in the highest degree;
Murder, stern murder, in the direst degree;
All several sins, all used in each degree;
Throng to the bar, crying all -Guilty! guilty!
I shall despair.—There is no creature loves me;
And, if I die, no soul will pity me :
Nay, wherefore should they? since that I myself
Find in myself no pity to myself.
Methought the souls of all that I had murder'd
Came to my tent; and every one did threat
To-morrow's vengeance on the head of Richard.
KING HENRY REVOKES AN UNPOPULAR TAX LAID ON BY
K. Hen. Things done well,
And with a care, exempt themselves from fear :
Things done without example, in their issue
Are to be fear’d. Have you a precedent