« AnteriorContinua »
tled, left the liver white and pale, which is the badge of pusillanimity and cowardice. But the sherris warms it, and makes it course from the inwards to the parts extreme. It illuminateth the face; which, as a beacon, gives warning to all the rest of this little kingdom, man, to arm; and then, the vital commoners, and inland petty spirits, muster me all to their captain, the heart; who great and puffed up with this retinue, doth any deed of courage-and this valor comes of sherris. So that skill in the weapon is nothing without sack, for that sets it at work; and learning, a mere hoard of gold kept by a devil till sack commences it, and sets it in act and use. Hereof comes it that Prince Harry is valiant; for the cold blood he did naturally inherit of his father, he bath, like lean, sterile and bare land, manured, husbanded and tilled, with drinking good, and good store of fertile sherris. If I had a thousand sons, the first human principle I would teach them, should be to forswear thin pota tions, and to addict themselves to sack.
XIV-Prologue to the Tragedy of Cato.-Port.
TO wake the soul by tender strokes of art,
To raise the genius and to mend the heart,
To make mankind in conscious virtue bold,
Live o'er each scene, and be what they behold;
For this the tragic muse first trod the stage,
Commanding tears to stream through every age;
Tyrants no more their savage nature kept,
And foes to virtue wonder'd how they wept.
Our author shuns by vulgar springs to move
The hero's glory or the virgin's love:
In pitying love we but our weakness show,
And wild ambition well deserves its woe.
Here tears shall flow from a more gen'rous cause;
Such tears as patriots shed for dying laws;
He bids your breast with ancient ardors rise,
And calls forth Roman drops from British eyes;
Virtue confess'd in human shape he draws,
What Plato thought, and godlike Cato was:
No common object to your sight displays,
But what, with pleasure, heaven itself surveys:
A brave man struggling in the storms of fate,
And greatly falling with a falling state!
While Cato gives his little senate laws,
What bosom beats not in his country's cause
Who sees him act, but envies every deed?
Who hears him groan, and does not wish to bleed?
E'en when proud Cesar, 'midst triumphal cars,
The spoils of nations and the pomp of wars,
Ignobly vain, and impotently great,
Show'd Rome her Cato's figure drawn in state;
As her dead tather's rev'rend image pass'd,
The pomp was darken'd and the day o'ercast,
The triumph ceas'd-tears gush'd from every eye;
The world's great victor pass'd unheeded by ;
Her last good man. dejected Rome ador'd,
And honor'd Cesar's less than Cato's sword.
Britons attend. Be worth like this approv'd;
And show you have the vir ue to be mov'd.
With honest scorn the first fam'd Cato view'd
Rome learning arts from Greece, whom she subdu'..
Our scene precariously subsists too long
On French translation and Italian song.
Dare to have sense yourselves; assert the stage;
Be justly warm'd with your own native rage.
Such plays alone should please a British ear,
As Cato's self had not disdain'd to hear.
XV-Cato's Soliloquy on the Immortality of the Soul.
TRAGEDY OF CATO.
IT must be so Plato thou reasonest well!
Else, Whence this pleasing hope, this fond desire,
This longing after immortality?
Or, whence this secret dread, and inward horror,
Of falling into nought? Why shrinks the soul
Back on herself, and startles at destruction?
"Tis the divinity that stirs within us:
"Tis heaven itself that points out an Hereafter, And intimates Eternity to man.
Eternity!-thou pleasing. dreadful thought!
Through what variety of untried being
Through what new seenes and changes must we pass !
The wide, th' unbounded prospect lies before me;
But shadows, clouds and darkness rest upon it.
Here will I hold. If there's a Power above us,
(And that there is all nature cries aloud
Through all her works) he must delight in virtue ;
And that which he delights in must be happy.
But when? Or where? This world was made for Cesar.
I'm weary of conjectures—this must end them.
[Laying his hand on his sword.
Thus I am doubly arm'd. My death and life,
My bane and antidote are both before me.
This in a moment brings me to an end
But this informs me 1 shall never die.
The soul, secur'd in her existence, smiles
3 At the drawn dagger, and defies its point.
The stars shall fade away, the sun himself
Grow dim with age, and nature sink in years;
But thou shalt flourish in immortal youth;
Unhurt amidst the war of elements,
The wreck of matter, and the crush of worlds.
XVI.-Speech of Henry V. to the Soldiers at the Siege of Harfleur.-SHAKESPEARE'S HENRY V.
ONCE more unto the breach, dear friends once more,
Or close the wall up with the English dead.
In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility;
But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tyger;
Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,
Disguise fair nature with hard favor'd rage:
Then lend the eye a terrible aspect:
Let it pray o'er the portage of the head
Like the brass cannon; let the brow o'erwhelm it.
And fearfully as doth a galled rock
O'erhang and jutty his confounded base
Swill'd with the wild and wasteful ocean.
Now set the teeth, and stretch the nostril wide;
Hold hard the breath, and bend up every spirit
To its full height. Now on, you noblest English,
Whose blood is fetch'd from fathers of war proof;
Fathers, that like so many Alexanders,
Have in these parts from morn till even fought,
And sheath'd their swords for lack of argument.
Dishonor not your mother; now attest
That those whom you call'd fathers did beget you.
Be copy now to men of grosser blood,
And teach them how to war. And you, good yeoman,
Whose limbs were made in England, show us here
The metal of your pasture; let us swear
That you are worth your breeding; which I doubt not;
For there is none of you so mean and base,
That hath not noble lustre in your eyes.
I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
Straining upon the start. The game's afoot:
Follow your spirit; and, upon this charge,
Cry, God for Harry, England and St. George !
XVII-Speech of Henry V. before the Battle of Agincourt, on the Earl of Westmoreland's wishing for more Men from England-1B.
WHAT'S he that wishes more men from England ?
My cousin Westmoreland? No, my fair cousin ;
If we are mark'd to die, we are enow
To do our country loss; and, if to live,
The fewer men, the greater share of honor.
No, no, my Lord; wish not a man from England.
Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland throughout my host,
That he who hath no stomach to this fight,
May straight depart; his passport shall be made;
And crowns, for convoy, put into his purse.
He would not die in that man's company.
This day is called the feast of Crispian.
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tiptoe, when this day is nam'd,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that outlives this day, and sees old age,
Will yearly, on the vigil, feast his neighbors,
And say, Tomorrow is St. Crispian ;
Then will be strip his sleeve, and show his scarş.
Old men forget, yet shall not all forget,
And they'll remember, with advantages,
What feats they did that day. Then shall our namės,
Familiar in their mouths as household words,
Harry the king, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Glo'ster,
Be in their flowing cups, freshly remembered.
This story shall the good man teach his son :
And Crispian's day shall ne'er go by
From this time to the ending of the world,
But we and it shall be remembered;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he today that sheds his blood with me,
Shall be my brother; be he e'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition
And gentlemen in England, now abed,
Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here;
And hold their manhoods cheap, while any speaks
That fought with us upon St. Crispian's day.
XVIII-Soliloquy of Dick the ApprenticeFARCE, THE APPRENTICE. THUS far we run before the windcary!-Make an apothecary of me!What, cramp -An apothe my genius over a pestle and mortar; or mew me up in
a shop, with an alligator stuffed. and a beggarly account of empty boxes! To be culling simples, and constantly adding to the bills of mortality!No! no! It will be much better to be pasted up in capitals, THE PART OF ROMEO BY A YOUNG GENTLEMAN, WHO NEVER APPEARED ON ANY STAGE BEFORE! My ambition fires at the thought-But hold; mayn't I run some chance of failing in my attempt? Hissed-peltedlaughed at-not admitted into the green room; will never do-down, busy devil, down, down; try it again-loved by the women-envied by the en-applauded by the pit, clapped by the gallery, admired by the boxes, "Dear colonel, is'nt he a charming creature? My lord, don't you like him of all things P-Makes love like an angel!- What an eye he has ! -Fine legs!"
I shall certainly go to his benefit "Celestial sounds!And then I'll get in with the painters, and have myself put up in every print shop-in the character of Macbeth! "This is a sorry sight." (Stands an attitude.) In the character of Richard, "Give me another horse! Bind up my wounds!" This will do rarely-And then I have a chance of getting well married-O glorious thought! I will enjoy it, though but in fancy. But what's o'clock it must be almost nine. I'll away at once; this is club night-the spouters are all met little think they I'm in town-they'll be surprised to see me—o -off I go; and then for my assignation with my master Gargle's daughter.
XIX.-Cassius instigating Brutus to join the Conspiracy against Cesar.-TRAGEDY OF JULIUS CESAR.
HONOR is the subject of my story.
I cannot tell what you and other men
Think of this life; but for my single self,
I had as lief not be as live to be
In awe of such a thing as myself.
I was born free as Cesar; so were you :
We both have fed as well; and we can both
Endure the winter's cold as well as he.
For once upon a raw and gusty day,
The troubled Tiber chafing with his shores,
Cesar says to me.Dar'st thou. Cassius, now
Leap in with me into this angry flood,