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Brakenbury. Why looks your grace so heavily to-day?
Clarence. O, I have pass'd a miserable night,
So full of fearful dreams, of ugly sights,
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 terror was the time.
Brak. What was your dream, my lord? I pray you tell me.
Clar. Methought, that I had broken from the Tower,
And was embark d to cross to Burgundy;
And, in my company, my brother Gloster:
Who from my cabin tempted me to walk
Upon the hatches; thence we look`d toward England,
And cited up a thousand heavy times,
During the wars of York and Lancaster,
That had befall'n us. As we paced along
Upon the giddy footing of the hatches,
Methought, that Gloster stumbled; and, in falling,
Struck me, that thought to stay him, overboard
Into the tumbling billows of the main.
O Lord! methought, what pain it was to drown!
What dreadful noise of water in mine ears!
What sights of ugly death within mine eyes!
Methought I saw a thousand fearful wrecks;
A thousand men, that fishes gnaw'd upon;
Wedges of gold, great anchors, heaps of pearl,
Inestimable stones, unvalued 2 jewels,
All scatter'd in the bottom of the sea.
Some lay in dead men's skulls; 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 these 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 seek the empty, vast, and wandering air;
But smother'd it within my panting bulk,
Which almost burst to belch it in the sea.
Brak. Awaked you not with this sore agony?
Clar. O, no, my dream was lengthen’d after life;
0, 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 nigbt.
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 wandering by
A shadow like an angel, with bright hair
Dabbled in blood; and he shriekd out aloud,
Clarence is come—false, fleeting,' perjured 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
Environd me, and howled in mine ears
Such hideous cries, that, with the very noise,
I trembling waked, and, for a season after,
Could not believe but that I was in hell:
Such terrible impression made my dream.
Brak. No marvel, lord, though it affrighted you;
I am afraid, methinks, to hear you tell it.
Clar. O Brakenbury, I have done these things,
That now give evidence against my soul,
For Edward's sake, and see how he requites me!
O God! if my deep prayers cannot appease thee,
But thou wilt be avenged on my misdeeds,
Yet execute thy wrath on me alone:
O, spare my guiltless wife, and my poor children!
Richard III., Act I, Scene IV.
Cardinal Wolsey, after his fall from the favor of Henry VIII., thus solilo quizes and afterwards confers with his servant Cromwell :
Wolsey. 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 honors 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 ripening,-nips his root,
And then he falls, as I do. I have ventured,
Like little wanton boys that swim on bladders,
This many summers in a sea of glory;
But far beyond my 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 hiile me.
Vain pomp, and glory of this world, I hate ye;
I feel my heart new open'd: 0, how wretched
Is that poor man that hangs on princes' favors !
There is, betwixt that smile he would aspire to,
That sweet aspect of princes, and their ruin,
More pangs and fears than wars or women have;
And when he falls, he falls like Lucifer,
Never to hope again.-
Enter Cromwell, amazedly.
Why, how now, Cromwell?
I have no power to speak, sir.
At my misfortunes ? can tly spirit wonder
A great man should decline? Nay, and you weep,
I am fallen indeed.
How does your grace ?
Never so truly happy, my good Cromwell.
I know myself now, and I feel within me
A peace above all earthly dignities,
A still and quiet conscience. The king has cured me,
I humbly thank his grace; and from these shoulders,
These ruin'd pillars, out of pity, taken
A load would sink a navy, too much honor:
( 'tis a burden, Cromwell, 'tis a burden,
Too heavy for a man that hopes for heaven.
Crom. I am glad, your grace has made that right use of it.
Wol. I hope I have; I am able now, methinks,
(Out of a fortitude of soul I feel,)
To endure more miseries, and greater far,
Than my weak-hearted enemies dare offer.
What news abroad?
The heaviest, and the worst,
Is your displeasure with the king.
God bless him!
Crom. The next is, that Sir Thomas More is chosen
Lord Chancellor in your place.
That's somewhat sudden:
But he's a learned man. May he continue
Long in his highness' favor, and do justice
For truth's sake, and his conscience; that his bones,
When he has run his course, and sleeps in blessings,
May have a tomb of orphans' tears wept on 'em!!
Crom. That Cranmer is return'd with welcome,
Install d lord archbishop of Canterbury.
Wol. That's news indeed.
Last, that the Lady Anne,
Whom the king hath in secrecy long married,
This day was view'd in open, as his queen,
Going to chapel; and the voice is now
Only about her coronation.
Wol. There was the weight that pulld me down. O Cromwell,
The king has gone beyond me, all my glories
In that one woman I have lost for ever:
No sun shall ever usher forth mine honors,
Or gild again the noble troops that waited
Upon my smiles. Go, get thee from me, Cromwell;
I am a poor fallen man, unworthy now
To be thy lord and master: Seek the king;
That sun I pray may never set! I have told him
What, and how true thou art; he will advance thee;
Some little memory of me will stir liim,
(I know his noble nature,) not to let
Thy hopeful service perishi too: Good Cromwell,
Neglect him not, make use now, and provide
For thine own future safety.
O my lord,
Must I then leave you? Must I needs forego
So good, so noble, and so true a master ?
Bear witness, all that have not hearts of iron,
With what a sorrow Cromwell leaves his lord.
The king shall have my service; but my prayers
For ever, and for ever, shall be yours.
Wol. Cromwell, I did not think to shed a tear
In all my miseries; but thou hast forced me
Out of thy honest truth to play the woman.
Let's dry our eyes; and thus far hear me, Cromwell;
And, -when I am forgotten, as I shall be,
And sleep in dull cold marble, where no mention
Of me more must be heard of,—say, I taught thee;
Say, Wolsey,—that once trod the ways of glory,
And sounded all the depths and shoals of honor,
Found thee a way, out of his wreck, to rise in;
A sure and safe one, though thy master miss d it.
Mark but my fall, and that that ruin'd me.
Cromwell, I charge thee, fling away ambition;'
By that sin fell the angels; how can man, then,
The image of his Maker, hope to win by t?
Love thyself last: cherish those hearts that hate thee;
Corruption wins not more than honesty.
Still in thy right hand carry gentle peace,
To silence envious tongues. Be just, and fear not:
Let all the ends thou aim'st at be thy country's,
Thy God's, and truth's; then if thou fallist, O Cromwell,
Thou fallist a blessed martyr. Serve the king;
And, Prythee, lead me in:
There take an inventory of all I have,
To the last penny; 'tis the king's; my robe,
And my integrity to heaven, is all
I dare now call mine own. O Cromwell, Cromwell,
Had I but served my God with half the zeal
I served my king, he would not in mine age
Have left me naked to mine enemies.?
Crom. Good sir, have patience.
So I have. Farewell
The hopes of court! my hopes in heaven do dwell.
Henry VIII., Act III. Scene II.
QUEEN MAB, THE QUEEN OF THE FAIRIES.3
O, then, I see Queen Mab hath been with you.
She is the fairies' midwife, and she comes
In shape no bigger than an agate-stone
On the fore-finger of an alderman,
Drawn with a team of little atomies,
Athwart men's noses as they lie asleep:
Her wagon-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 bone; the lash, of film;
Her wagoner, a small gray-coated gnat,
Not half so big as a round little worm,
Prick'd from the lazy finger 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 court'sies straight;
O'er lawyers' fingers, who straight dream on fees;
O'er ladies' lips, who straight on kisses dream;
Which oft the angry Mab with blisters plagues,
Because their breaths with sweetmeats tainted are.
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 a parson's nose as 'a lies asleep,
Then dreams he of another benefice!
Sometimes she driveth o'er a soldier's neck,
And then dreams he of cutting foreign throats,
Of breaches, ambuscadoes, Spanish blades,1
Of healths five fathom deep;2 and ther, anon,
Drums in his ear, at which he starts and wakes;
And, being thus frighted, swears a prayer or two,
And sleeps again. This is that very Mab
That plats the manes of horses in the night;
And bakes the elf-locks in foul sluttish hairs,
Which, once untangled, much misfortune bodes.
Romeo and Juliet, Act 1. Scene IV.
LIFE AND DEATH WEIGHED.
To be, or not to be, that is the question:Whether 'tis nobler in the mind, to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And, by opposing, end them? To die,-to sleep,No more; and by a sleep to say we end The heart-ache, and the thousand natural shocks That flesh is heir to,-'tis a consummation Devoutly to be wish'd. To die;—to sleep ;To sleep!-perchance to dream;-ay, there's the rub; For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,
1 Swords made of Spanish steel were thought the best.
2 That is, drinking deeply each other's health.