Imatges de pàgina
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Re-enter Prince HENRY. Lo, where he comes, -Come hither to me, Harry :Depart the chamber, leave us here alone.

[Exeunt CLARENCE, Prince HUMPHRBY,

Lords, &c. P. Hen. I never thought to hear you speak again. K. Hen. Thy wish was father, Harry, to that

thought: I stay too long by thee, I weary thee. Dost thou so hunger for my empty chair, That thou wilt needs invest thee with mine honours Before thy hour be ripe? O foolish youth! Thou seek'st the greatness that will overwhelm thee. Stay but a little; for my cloud of dignity Is held from falling with so weak a wind, That it will quickly drop: my day is dim. Thou hast stol'n that, which, after some few hours, Were thine without offence; and, at my death, Thou hast seal'd up my expectation: Thy life did manifest, thou lov'dst me not, And thou wilt have me die assured of it. Thou hid'st a thousand daggers in thy thoughts; Which thou hast whetted on thy stony heart, To stab at half an hour of my life. What! canst thou not forbear me half an hour? Then get thee gone; and dig my grave thyself; And bid the merry bells ring to thine ear, That thou art crowned, not that I am dead. Let all the tears that should bedew my hearse, 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;

seald up my expectation:] Thou hast confirmed my

opinion.

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 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, 0, 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 medcine potable:S
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:

- in med'cine potable :) There has long prevailed an opinion that a solution of gold has great medicinal virtues, and that the incorruptibility of gold might be conumunicated to the body impregnated with it.

To thee it shall descend with better quiet,
Better opinion, better confirmation;
For all the soil 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:9 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

friends,
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;'

7

8

soil -] Is spot, dirt, turpitude, reproach.
supposed peace:] Counterfeited, imagined, not real.

all these bold fears,] Fear is here used in the active sense, for that which causes fear. . Changes the mode:] Mode is the form or state of things.

- for what in me was purchas’d,] Purchased, in this place, signifies acquired by unjust and indirect methods. Purchase, in Shakspeare, frequently means stolen goods, or goods dishonestly obtained.

successively.) By order of succession. Every usurper snatches a claim of hereditary right as soon as he can.

* To lead out many to the Holy Land;] The sense is: Of those who assisted my usurpation, some I have cut off, and many I intended to lead abroad. This journey to the Holy Land, of which

VOL. V.

I 1

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 it, 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.
Enter Prince John of LANCASTER, WARWICK,

Lords, and Others. K. Hen. Look, look, here comes iny John of

Lancaster. P. John. Health, peace, and happiness, to my

royal father K. Hen. Thou bring'st me happiness, and peace,

son John;
But health, alack, with youthful wings is flown
From this bare, wither'd trunk: upon thy sight,
My worldly business makes a period.
Where is my lord of Warwick?
P. Hen.

My lord of Warwick!
K. Hen. Doth any name particular belong
Unto the lodging where I first did swoon?

the King very frequently revives the mention, had two motives, religion and policy. He durst not wear the ill-gotten crown without expiation, but in the act of expiation he contrives to make his wickedness successful. JOHNSON.

4 How I came, &c.] This is a true picture of a mind divided between heaven and earth. He prays for the prosperity of guilt while he deprecates its punishment. Johnson.

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