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every part of the house in succession, and sounded the death-knell of the secretary's forbearance and prudence.

With both his clinched hands upon the table, he hurled at him an accusation more dreadful in its gall, and more 5 torturing in its effects, than has ever been hurled at mortal man within the same walls. The result was instantaneous — was electric: it was as when the thunder-cloud descends upon some giant peak — one flash, one peal! — the sublimity vanished, and all that remained was a small patter10 ing of rain. Canning started to his feet, and was able only to utter the unguarded words, "It is false !" — to which followed a dull chapter of apologies. From that moment, the house became more a scene of real business than of airy display and of angry vituperation.



[This dialogue is from the first act of the " First Part of King Henry IV." The King, Henry Bolingbroke, now Henry IV., had deposed his predecessor, Richard II., and was reigning in his stead. Thomas Percy, Earl of Worcester, and Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland, father of Hotspur, had been partisans of the reigning king, and he was under obligations to them. An invading armyof the Scots had recently been defeated by Hotspur, and the King demands that the prisoners should be surrendered to him. Sir Edmund Mortimer, brother-in-law of Hotspur, had been taken prisoner by the Welsh chieftain, Owen Glendower, and the King had refused to ransom him because he was the lawful heir to the throne after the death of Richard II. This is according to Shakspeare; but the real heir, according to history, was the nephew of Mortimer, the Earl of March, a young boy whom the King kept confined in Windsor Castle. The dialogue is supposed to take place in the royal palace in London.]

[king Henry IV., Hotspur, Worcester, And Northumberland.J
Kino Henry. Henceforth
Let me not hear you speak of Mortimer:
Send me your prisoners with the speediest means,
Or you shall hear in such a kind from me
As will displease you. My lord Northumberland,

We license your departure with your son: —
Seud us your prisoners, or you 'll hear of it.

[Exit King Henry. Hotspur. And if the devil come and roar for them, I will not send them: I will after straight, 5 And tell him so; for I will ease my heart, Although it be with hazard of my head. Northumberland. What! drunk with choler? stay, and pause awhile; — Here comes your uncle. [Enter Worcester.

Hot. Speak of Mortimer!

10 Zounds! I will speak of him, and let my soul
Want mercy, if I do not join with him.
Yea, on his part, I 'll empty all these veins,
And shed my dear blood drop by drop i' the dust,
But I will lift the down-trod Mortimer
15 As high i' the air as this unthankful king,
As this ingrate and cankered Bolingbroke.

North. [to Worcester.~\ Brother, the king hath made

your nephew mad. Worcester. Who struck this heat up, after I was gone? Hot. He will, forsooth, have all my prisoners; 20 And when I urged the ransom once again

Of my wife's brother, then his cheek looked pale, And on my face he turned an eye of death, Trembling even at the name of Mortimer. Wor. I cannot blame him. Was he not proclaimed 25 By Richard that dead is, the next of blood?North. He was: I heard the proclamation; And then it was when the unhappy king (Whose wrongs in us God pardon!) did set forth Upon his Irish expedition: 30 From whence he, intercepted, did return To be deposed, and shortly, murdered.

Wor. And for whose death we in the world's wide mouth Live scandalized and foully spoken of.

But now I will unclasp a secret book,
And to your quick-conceiving discontents
I '11 read you matter deep and dangerous,
As full of peril and advent'rous spirit
5 As to o'erwalk a current roaring loud,
On the unsteadfast footing of a spear.

Hot. If he fall in, good night! —or sink or swim,
Send danger from the East unto the West,
So honor cross it from the North to South, 10 And let them grapple. O, the blood more stirs
To rouse a lion than to start a hare 1

North. Imagination of some great exploit
Drives him beyond the bounds of patience.

Hot. By Heaven! methinks it were an easy leap
15 To pluck bright honor from the pale-faced moon;
Or dive into the bottom of the deep,
Where fathom-line could never touch the ground,
And pluck up drowned honor by the locks,
So he that doth redeem her thence might wear,
20 Without corrival,° all her dignities:
But out upon this half-faced fellowship!

Wor. He apprehends a world of figures here,
But not the form of what he should attend.
Good cousin.f give me audience for a while,
25 And list to me.

Hot. I cry you mercy:Wor. Those same noble Scots,

That are your prisoners —

Hot. I '11 keep them all, —

30 By Heaven! he shall not have a Scot of them: No, if a Scot would save his soul, he shall not: I '11 keep them, by this hand!

Wor. You start away,

* Corrival, same as rival.

t In Shakspeare's time, cousin was an address frequently applied to a rci«r ttve of any kind. Hotspur was Worcester's nephew.

And lend no ear unto my purposes: J Those prisoners you shall keep. Hot. Nay, I will; that's flat. He said he would not ransom Mortimer; Forbade my tongue to speak of Mortimer; But I will find him when he lies asleep, 5 And in his ear I '11 holla— " Mortimer!"

Nay, I '11 have a starling shall be taught to speak
Nothing but "Mortimer," and give it him,
To keep his anger still in motion.
Wor. Hear you, cousin; a word.
10 Hot. All studies here i solemnly defy,
Save how to gall and pinch this Bolingbroke,
And that same sword-and-buckler f Prince of Wales —
But that I think his father loves him not,
And would be glad he met with some mischance,
15 I'd have him poisoned with a pot of ale.

Wor. Farewell, kinsman. I will talk to you
When you are better tempered to attend.


[This poem was published in 1842. The author, in an introduction, says: u The following ballad was suggested to me while riding on the sea-shore at Newport. A year or two previous a skeleton had been dug up at Fall Uivcr, clad in broken and corroded armor; and the idea occurred to me of connecting it with the Kound Tower at Newport, generally known hitherto as the Old Wind Mill, though now claimed by the Danes as a work of their early ancestors."]

1 "Speak! Speak! thou fearful guest!
Who, with thy hollow breast
Still in rude armor drest,
Comest to daunt me!

* Purposes, conversation.

T The sword and buckler were weapons worn by low fellows. * Viktng, a Northman pirate. f Skald, an ancient Sc;ui<Uuarlan poet

Wrapt not in Eastern balms,
But with thy fleshlcss palms
Stretched, as if asking alms,
Why dost thou haunt me?"

2 Then, from those cavernous cyefl
Pale flashes seemed to rise,
As when the Northern skies

Gleam in December;And, like the water's flow Under December's snow, Came a dull voice of woe

From the heart's chamber.

3 "I was a Viking° old!
My deeds, though manifold,
No Skald f in song has told,

No Saga J taught thee!
Take heed, that in thy verse
Thou dost the tale rehearse,
Else dread a dead man's curse;

For this I sought thee.

4 "Far in the Northern Land,
By the wild Baltic's strand,
I, with my childish hand,

Tamed the ger-falcon;
And, with my skates fast-bound,
Skimmed the half-frozen Sound,
That the poor whimpering hound Trembled to walk on.

5 "Oft to his frozen lair
Tracked I the grisly bear,

% Saga, an old heroic Scandinavian tale.

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