Imatges de pÓgina

Than amply to imbare 1 their crooked titles
Usurp'd from you and your progenitors.

K. Hen. May I, with right and conscience, make this claim?

Cant. The sin upon my head, dread sovereign! For in the book of Numbers is it writ,—

When the son dies, let the inheritance

Descend unto the daughter.

Gracious lord,

Stand for your own; unwind your bloody flag;
Look back unto your mighty ancestors :

Go, my dread lord, to your great grandsire's tomb,
From whom you claim; invoke his warlike spirit,
And your great uncle's, Edward the black prince,
Who on the French ground play'd a tragedy,
Making defeat on the full power of France;
Whiles his most mighty father on a hill
Stood smiling, to behold his lion's whelp
Forage in blood of French nobility.

O noble English, that could entertain
With half their forces the full pride of France;
And let another half stand laughing by,
All out of work, and cold for action!

Ely. Awake remembrance of these valiant dead,
And with your puissant arm renew their feats.
You are their heir; you sit upon their throne;
The blood and courage, that renowned them,
Runs in your veins; and my thrice-puissant liege
Is in the very May-morn of his youth,

1 Lay open.

Ripe for exploits and mighty enterprises.

Exe. Your brother kings and monarchs of the earth

Do all expect that you should rouse yourself,

As did the former lions of your blood.

West. They know, your grace hath cause, and means, and might;

So hath your highness: never king of England
Had nobles richer, and more loyal subjects;
Whose hearts have left their bodies here in Eng-

And lie pavilion'd in the fields of France.

Cant. O, let their bodies follow, my dear liege, With blood, and sword, and fire, to win your right; In aid whereof, we of the spiritualty

Will raise your highness such a mighty sum,

As never did the clergy at one time

Bring in to any of your ancestors.

K. Hen. We must not only arm to invade the French;

But lay down our proportions to defend

Against the Scot, who will make road upon us

With all advantages.

Cant. They of those marches, gracious sovereign,

Shall be a wall sufficient to defend

Our inland from the pilfering borderers.

K. Hen. We do not mean the coursing snatchers only,

The borders of England and Scotland.

But fear the main intendment 1 of the Scot,
Who hath been still a giddy neighbor to us;
For you
shall read, that my great grandfather
Never went with his forces into France,
But that the Scot on his unfurnish'd kingdom
Came pouring, like the tide into a breach,
With ample and brim fulness of his force;
Galling the gleaned land with hot essays;
Girding with grievous siege castles and towns;
That England, being empty of defence,

Hath shook, and trembled at the bruit thereof.
Cant. She hath been then more fear'd 2 than
harm'd, my liege :

For hear her but exampled by herself ;-
When all her chivalry hath been in France,
And she a mourning widow of her nobles,
She hath herself not only well defended,
But taken, and impounded as a stray,

The king of Scots, whom she did send to France,
To fill king Edward's fame with prisoner kings;
And make your chronicle as rich with praise,
As is the ooze and bottom of the sea

With sunken wreck and sumless treasuries.
West. But there's a saying, very old and true,-
If that you will France win,

Then with Scotland first begin :'

For once the eagle England being in prey,
To her unguarded nest the weasel Scot

1 General disposition.

2 Frightened.

Comes sneaking, and so sucks her princely eggs; Playing the mouse in absence of the cat,

To spoil and havock more than she can eat.

Exe. It follows then, the cat must stay at home: Yet that is but a cursed necessity;

Since we have locks to safeguard necessaries,

And pretty traps to catch the petty thieves.
While that the armed hand doth fight abroad,
The advised head defends itself at home;

For government, though high, and low, and lower,
Put into parts, doth keep in one concent; 1
Congruing in a full and natural close,
Like music.

Cant. True; therefore doth Heaven divide
The state of man in divers functions,
Setting endeavor in continual motion;
To which is fixed, as an aim or butt,
Obedience: for so work the honey bees;
Creatures, that, by a rule in nature, teach
The act of order to a peopled kingdom.
They have a king, and officers of sorts: 3
Where some, like magistrates, correct at home;
Others, like merchants, venture trade abroad;
Others, like soldiers, armed in their stings,
Make boot upon the summer's velvet buds;
Which pillage they with merry march bring home
To the tent-royal of their emperor;

Who, busied in his majesty, surveys

1 Harmony. 2 Agreeing. 3 Of different degrees.

The singing masons building roofs of gold;
The civil citizens kneading up the honey;
The poor mechanic porters crowding in
Their heavy burdens at his narrow gate;
The sad-eyed justice, with his surly hum,
Delivering up to executors 1 pale


The lazy yawning drone. I this infer ;—
That many things, having full reference
To one concent, may work contrariously ;
As many arrows, loosed several ways,
Fly to one mark :

As many several ways meet in one town;
As many fresh streams run in one self sea;
As many lines close in the dial's centre;
So may a thousand actions, once afoot,
End in one purpose, and be all well borne
Without defeat. Therefore to France, my liege.
Divide your happy England into four;
Whereof take you one quarter into France,
And you withal shall make all Gallia shake.
If we, with thrice that power left at home,
Cannot defend our own door from the dog,
Let us be worried, and our nation lose

The name of hardiness and policy.

K. Hen. Call in the messengers sent from the Dauphin.

[Exit an Attendant. The King ascends his throne. Now are we well resolved; and, by God's help,—

1 Executioners.

« AnteriorContinua »