Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

You would have thought the very windows spake,
So many greedy looks of young and old
Through casements darted their desiring eyes
Upon his visage.

Ourself, and Bushy, Bagot here, and Green,
Observ'd his courtship to the common people:-
How he did seem to dive into their hearts,
With humble and familiar courtesy ;

What reverence he did throw away on slaves;
Wooing poor crafts-men with the craft of smiles.

Off goes his bonnet to an oyster wench;
A brace of dray-men bid-God speed him well,
And had the tribute of his supple knee,
With thanks, my countrymen, my loving friends;
As were our England in reversion his,
And he our subjects' next degree in hope.

Whilst he, from one side to the other turning, Bare-headed, lower than his proud steed's neck, Bespake them thus; I thank you, countrymen; And thus still doing, thus he past along.

Ev'ry wretch, pining and pale before,
Beholding him, plucks comfort from his looks;
A largess universal, like the sun,

His lib'ral eye doth give to ev'ry one,
Thawing cold fear.

And then I stole all courtesy from heaven,
And dress'd myself in such humility,

That I did pluck allegiance from men's hearts,
Loud shouts and salutations from their mouths,
Even in the presence of the crowned King.

How dangerous is it, that this man goes loose!
Yet must not we put the strong law on him :
He's lov'd of the distracted multitude,

Who like not in their judgment, but their eyes;
And, where 'tis so, the offender's scourge is weigh'd,
But never the offence.

And now, forsooth, takes on him to reform
Some certain edicts, and some strait decrees,
That lie too heavy on the commonwealth :
Cries out upon abuses, seems to weep
Over his country's wrongs; and, by this face,
This seeming brow of justice, did he win
The hearts of all that he did angle for.

When he had done, some followers of mine own,
At lower end o' th' hall, hurl'd up their caps,
And some ten voices cried, God save king Richard !
And thus I took the vantage of those few,-
Thanks, gentle citizens, and friends, quoth I;
This general applause, and cheerful shout,
Argues your wisdom, and your love to Richard.

Then shall our names,
Familiar in their mouth as household words,-
Harry the King, Bedford, and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Glo'ster.
Be in their flowing cups freshly remember'd.

Why have you stol'n upon us thus? You come not
Like Cæsar's sister: The wife of Antony

Should have an army for an usher, and
The neighs of horse to tell of her approach,
Long ere she did appear; the trees by the way,
Should have born men ; and expectation fainted,
Longing for what it had not.

PORTRAIT.

What find I here?

Fair Portia's counterfeit ? What demy-god
Hath come so near creation ?

But her eyes

How could he see to do them? having made one,
Methinks, it should have power to steal both his,
And leave itself unfurnish'd.

POVERTY.

Through tatter'd cloaths small vices do appear;
Robes, and furr'd gowns, hide all.

Women are not,

In their best fortunes, strong; but want will perjure The ne'er-touch'd vestal.

Poor naked wretches, wheresoe'er you are,
That bide the pelting of this pitiless storm!

How shall your houseless heads, and unfed sides,
Your loop'd and window'd raggedness, defend you
From seasons such as these?

Why should you want? Behold, the earth hath roots?
Within this mile break forth an hundred springs:
The oaks bear mast, the briars scarlet hips;
The bounteous huswife, nature, on each bush
Lays her full mess before you. Want? why want?

O, reason not the need, our basest beggars
Are in the poorest thing superfluous;
Allow not nature more than nature needs,
Man's life is cheap as beast's.

Art thou so bare, and full of wretchedness,
And fear'st to die? famine is in thy cheeks,
Need and oppression stareth in thy eyes,
Upon thy back hangs ragged misery,

The world is not thy friend, nor the world's law.

Well whiles I am a beggar, I will rail,
And say, there is no sin, but to be rich;
And being rich, my virtue then shall be,
To say, there is no vice, but beggary.

PRAISE.

Praising what is lost,

Makes the remembrance dear.

You shall not be

The grave of your deserving; Rome must know The value of her own: 'twere a concealment Worse than a theft, no less than a traducement, To hide your doings.

Pray now, no more: my mother,

Who has a charter to extol her blood,
When she does praise me, grieves me.

He gave you all the duties of a man ;
Trimm'd up your praises with a princely tongue;
Spoke your deservings like a chronicle;
Making you ever better than his praise,
By still dispraising praise, valued with you.

Pardon me, Caius Cassius:

The enemies of Cæsar shall say this;
Then, in a friend, it is cold modesty.

Do not smile at me, that I boast her off,
For thou shalt find she will outstrip all praise,
And make it halt behind her.

Cram us with praise, and make us

As fat as tame things: One good deed, dying tongue

less,

Slaughters a thousand, waiting upon that :
Our praises are our wages.

PRAYERS.

We, ignorant of ourselves,

Beg often our own harms, which the wise
Deny us for our good; so find we profit,
By losing of our prayers.

When holy and devout religious men

powers

Are at their beads, 'tis hard to draw them thence
So sweet is zealous contemplation.

A thousand knees,
Ten thousand years together, naked, fasting,
Upon a barren mountain, and still winter
In storm perpetual, could not move the gods
To look that way thou wert.

My words fly up, my thoughts remain below:
Words, without thoughts, never to heaven go.

If you bethink yourself of any crime,
Unreconcil'd as yet to heaven and grace,
Solicit for it straight.

I pray thee, leave me to myself to-night;
For I have need of many orisons

To move the heavens to smile upon my state,
Which, well thou know'st, is cross and full of sin.

Nymph, in thy orisons

Be all my

sins remember'd.

« AnteriorContinua »