Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

PRECIPICE.

How fearful

And dizzy 'tis, to cast one's eyes so low!

The crows, and choughs, that wing the midway air,
Shew scarce so gross as beetles. Half way down
Hangs one that gathers samphire; dreadful trade!
Methinks, he seems no bigger than his head.
The fishermen, that walk upon the beach,
Appear like mice; and yon tall anchoring bark,
Diminish'd to her cock; her cock, a buoy
Almost too small for sight. The murmuring surge,
That on th' unnumber'd idle pebbles chafes,
Cannot be heard so high. I'll look no more,
Lest my brain turn, and the deficient sight
Topple down headlong.

The very place puts toys of desperation,
Without more motive, into every brain,
That looks so many fathoms to the sea,
And hears it roar beneath.

From the dread summits of this chalky bourn!
Look up a-height;-the shrill-gorg'd lark so far
Cannot be seen or heard: do but look up.

PRIDE.

Pride hath no other glass

To shew itself, but pride; for supple knees
Feed arrogance, and are the proud man's fees.

Why who cries out on pride,

That can therein tax any private party?
Doth it not flow as hugely as the sea,
Till that the very very means do ebb.

Things small as nothing, for request's sake only,
He makes important: Possess'd he is with greatness;
And speaks not to himself, but with a pride
That quarrels at self breath.

You speak o' th' people,

As if you were a god to punish, not
A man of their infirmity.

I am too high-born to be property'd,
To be a secondary at controul,

Or useful serving-man, and instrument,
To any sovereign.

I will from henceforth rather be myself,
Mighty, and to be fear'd, than my condition;
Which hath been smooth as oil, soft as young down,
And therefore lost that title of respect,

Which the proud soul ne'er pays, but to the proud.

Harsh rage,
Defect of manners, want of government,
Pride, haughtiness, opinion, and disdain :
The least of which, haunting a nobleman,
Loseth men's hearts.

But when we in our viciousness grow hard,
(O misery on't) the wise gods seal our eyes;
In our own filth drop our clear judgments; make us
Adore our errors; laugh at us, while we strut
To our confusion.

PRODIGIES.

In the most high and palmy state of Rome,
A little ere the mightiest Julius fell,

The graves stood tenantless, and the sheeted dead

Did squeak and gibber in the Roman streets.

At my nativity,

The front of heaven was full of fiery shapes,
Of burning cressets; and, at my birth,
The frame and huge foundation of the earth,
Shak'd like a coward.

The night has been unruly: Where we lay,
Our chimneys were blown down: and, as they say,
Lamentings heard i' the air; strange screams of death;
And prophesying, with accents terrible,

Of dire combustion, and confus'd events,

New hatch'd to the woeful time: The obscure bird
Clamour'd the live-long night: some say the earth
Was feverous, and did shake.

When beggars die, there are no comets seen:

The heavens themselves blaze forth the death of

princes.

When these prodigies Do so conjointly meet, let not men say, These are their reasons,―They are natural; For, I believe, they are portentous things Unto the climate that they point upon.

Can such things be, And overcome us like a summer's cloud, Without our special wonder?

The spring, the summer,

The chilling autumn, angry winter, change
Their wonted liveries, and the 'mazed world,
By their increase, now knows not which is which.
No scape of nature, no distemper'd day,
No common wind, no customed event,
But they will pluck away its natural cause,
And call them meteors, prodigies, and signs,
Abortives, presages, and tongues of heaven.
PROPHECY.

There is a history in all men's lives,
Figuring the nature of the times deceas'd;
The which observ'd, a man may prophecy,
With a near aim, of the main chance of things
As yet not come to life, which in their seeds,
And weak beginnings, lie intreasured.

PROMISES.

His promises were, as he then was, mighty;
But his performance, as he now is, nothing.

He lin❜d himself with hope,

Eating the air on promise of supply,

Flattering himself with project of a power
Much smaller than the smallest of his thoughts;
And so, with great imagination,

Proper to madmen, led his powers to death,
And, winking, leap'd into destruction.

The king is kind; and, well we know, the King
Knows at what time to promise, when to pay.

I see, sir, you are liberal in offers:

You taught me first to beg; and now, methinks,
You teach me how a beggar should be answer'd.

Divinest creature, bright Astrea's daughter,
How shall I honour thee for this success!
Thy promises are like Adonis' gardens

That one day bloom'd, and fruitful were the next.

Promise me friendship, but perform none:
If thou wilt not promise, the gods plague thee,
For thou art a man! if thou dost perform,
Confound thee, for thou art a man!

PROVIDENCE.

Our indiscretion sometimes serves us well;

When our deep plots do pall: and that should teach us, There's a divinity that shapes our ends,

Rough-hew them how we will.

PROVIDENCE.-PUNISHMENT.-REBELLION. 215

That high all-seer which I dallied with,
Hath turn'd my feigned prayer on my head,
And given in earnest what I begg'd in jest.
Thus doth he force the swords of wicked men
To turn their own points on their masters' bosoms.
Strives Bolingbroke to be as great as we ?
Greater he shall not be; if he serves God,
We'll serve him too, and be his fellow so.

Shall we serve heaven
With less respect than we do minister
To our gross selves?

PUNISHMENT.

The Moor's abus'd by some most villainous knave,
Some base notorious knave, some scurvy fellow :-
O, heaven, that such companions thou'dst unfold;
And put in every honest hand a whip,

To lash the rascal naked through the world.

A wisp of straw were worth a thousand crowns,
To make this shameless callet know herself.

R.

REBELLION.

White beards have arm'd their thin and hairless scalps
Against thy Majesty; boys with women's voice.
Strive to speak big, and clap their female joints
In stiff unwieldly arms, against thy crown.

All the regions

Do smilingly revolt; and, who resist,
Are only mock'd for valiant ignorance,
And perish constant fools.

« AnteriorContinua »