Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

P. Hum. No, my good lord; he is in presence

here.

Cla. What would my lord and father?

K. Hen. Nothing but well to thee, Thomas of Clarence.

How chance, thou art not with the prince thy brother?

He loves thee, and thou dost neglect him, Thomas.
Thou hast a better place in his affection
Than all thy brothers: cherish it, my boy;
And noble offices thou mayst effect

Of mediation, after I am dead,

Between his greatness and thy other brethren:
Therefore omit him not; blunt not his love;

Nor lose the good advantage of his

grace,
By seeming cold, or careless of his will.
For he is gracious, if he be observed; 1
He hath a tear for pity, and a hand
Open as day for melting charity:

Yet notwithstanding, being incensed, he's flint;
As humorous 2 as winter, and as sudden

As flaws congealed in the spring of day.
His temper, therefore, must be well observed:
Chide him for faults, and do it reverently,
When you perceive his blood inclined to mirth :
But, being moody, give him line and scope;
Till that his passions, like a whale on ground,

If he has respectful attention shown to him.

2 Capricious

3 Gusts of wind.

Confound themselves with working. Learn this,

Thomas,

And thou shalt prove a shelter to thy friends;

A hoop of gold, to bind thy brothers in;
That the united vessel of their blood,
Mingled with venom of suggestion,1

(As, force perforce, the age will pour it in)
Shall never leak, though it do work as strong
As aconitum, or rash gunpowder.

Cla. I shall observe him with all care and love. K. Hen. Why art thou not at Windsor with him, Thomas?

Cla. He is not there to-day: he dines in London. K. Hen. And how accompanied? Canst thou tell

that?

Cla. With Poins, and other his continual followers.

K. Hen. Most subject is the fattest soil to weeds;

And he, the noble image of my youth,

Is overspread with them: therefore my grief
Stretches itself beyond the hour of death;

The blood weeps from my heart, when I do shape,
In forms imaginary, the unguided days,

And rotten times, that you shall look upon

When I am sleeping with my ancestors:

Though their blood be inflamed by the temptations to which youth is prone.

2 Wolf's-bane, a poisonous herb.

[blocks in formation]

For when his headstrong riot hath no curb,
When rage and hot blood are his counsellors,
When means and lavish manners meet together ;—
O, with what wings shall his affections fly
Towards fronting peril and opposed decay!

War. My gracious lord, you look beyond him quite.

The prince but studies his companions,

Like a strange tongue; wherein, to gain the lan

guage,

'Tis needful, that the most immodest word

Be look'd upon, and learn'd; which once attain’d,
Your highness knows, comes to no farther use,
But to be known and hated. So, like gross terms,
The prince will, in the perfectness of time,
Cast off his followers; and their memory

Shall as a pattern or a measure live,

By which his grace must mete the lives of others; Turning past evils to advantages.

K. Hen. 'Tis seldom, when the bee doth leave her comb

In the dead carrion. Who's here? Westmoreland?

Enter WESTMORELAND.

West. Health to my sovereign, and new happi

ness

Added to that that I am to deliver!

Prince John, your son, doth kiss your grace's hand:
Mowbray, the bishop Scroop, Hastings, and all,
Are brought to the correction of your law:

There is not now a rebel's sword unsheathed,
But peace puts forth her olive every where.
The manner how this action hath been borne,
Here, at more leisure, may your highness read;
With every course, in his particular.1

K. Hen. O Westmoreland, thou art a summer bird,

Which ever in the haunch of winter sings

The lifting up of day. Look! here's more news.

Enter HARCourt.

Har. From enemies Heaven keep your majesty; And, when they stand against you, may they fall As those that I am come to tell you of!

The earl Northumberland, and the lord Bardolph,
With a great power of English and of Scots,
Are by the sheriff of Yorkshire overthrown:
The manner and true order of the fight,

This packet, please it you, contains at large.

K. Hen. And wherefore should these good news

make me sick?

Will Fortune never come with both hands full,
But write her fair words still in foulest letters?
She either gives a stomach, and no food,-
Such are the poor, in health; or else a feast,
And takes away the stomach;-such are the rich,
That have abundance, and enjoy it not.

The detail contained in Prince John's letter.

I should rejoice now at this happy news;

And now my sight fails, and my brain is giddy.

O me! come near me; now I am much ill. [swoons. P. Hum. Comfort, your majesty!

Cla.

O my royal father! West. My sovereign lord, cheer up yourself, look

up!

War. Be patient, princes; you do know, these fits Are with his highness very ordinary.

Stand from him; give him air: he'll straight be well.

Cla. No, no; he cannot long hold out these

pangs:

The incessant care and labor of his mind

Hath wrought the mure,1 that should confine it in, So thin, that life looks through, and will break out. P. Hum. The people fear me; for they do ob

serve

2

Unfather'd heirs,3 and loathly birds of nature:
The seasons change their manners, as the year
Had found some months asleep, and leap'd them

over.

Cla. The river hath thrice flow'd, no ebb be

tween ;

And the old folk, time's doting chronicles,

Say, it did so, a little time before

That our great grandsire, Edward, sick'd and died.

[blocks in formation]
« AnteriorContinua »