Imatges de pàgina


Then Henry the Fourth was on his Death-bed, he ordered the

Crown to be laid by bim on his Pillow. The Prince of Wales, who had hitherto lived a very wild and disolute Life, (though afterwards he was the famous Henry the Fifth, who conquered France) fitting by his Bed-fide, and imagining his Father was dead, took the Crown from his Pillow, refleeting and moralizing upon it, and retired into the next Room very forrowful. The King awaking, called for his Crown and Son, who entering hastily the Room, fays, I never thought to hear you speak again; upon which the King takes occasion to rebuke him in the following Speech, [The Prince of

Wales's Answer to be spoken by another Boy.)
K. Henry. THY Wilh was Father, Harry, to that

T 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 my Honours,
Before thy Hour be ripe? O foolish Youth!
Thou suck'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 done.
Thou hast stol'n That, which, after a 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 assurd of it.
Thou hid'st a thousand Daggers in thy Thoughts,
Which thou hast whetted on thy stony Heart,
To ftab at half an Hour of my frail 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 thy Ear
That Thou art crowned, not that I am dead.
Let all the Tears, that should bedew my Herse,
Be Drops of Balm to sanctify thy Head
Only compound me with forgotten Duft,
Give that which gave thee Life, unto the Worms.
Pluck down my Officers, break my Decrees;
For now a Time is come to mock at Form;


Henry the Fifth is crown'd: Up, Vanity!
Down royal State ! all you fage Counsellors, hence;
And at the English Court assemble now,
From ev'ry 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 oldeft Sins the newest kind of Ways?
Be happy, he will trouble you no more:
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 on every Innocent.
O my poor Kingdom, fick with Civil Blows !
When that my Care would 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. Henry. O pardon me, my Liege ! but for my Tears I had forestall'd this dear and deep Rebuke, [Kneeling: 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 inimortally, 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 moft true and inward-duteous Spirit Teacheth this proftrate and exterior Bending. Heav'n 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, O let me in my present Wildness die, And never live to shew th' 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.” Accusing it, I put it on my Herd, 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 affect 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 Heav'n for ever keep it from my Head,
And make me as the poorest Vassal is,
That doth with Awe and Terror kneel to it!

LESSON V. The Speech of King Henry the Fifth at the Siege of Harfleur.

[ocr errors]

NCE more unto the Breach, dear Friends, once more,

Or close the Wall up with the English Dead.
In Peace there's nothing lo becomes a Man
As modest Stillness and Humility:
But when the Blast of War blows in our Ears,
Then imitate the Action of the Tiger;
Stiffen the Sinews, fummon up the Blood,
Disguise fair Nature with hard-favour'd Rage;

Then lend the Eye a terrible Aspect;
Let it pry o'er the Portage of the Head,
Like the Brass Cannon: let the Brow o'erwhelm it, .
As fearfully as doth a galled Rock
O'erhang and jutty his confounded Base,
Swill'd with the wild and wasteful Ocean.
Now set the Teeth, and stretch the Nostril wide;
Hold hard the Breath, and bend up every Spirit
To his full Height. Now on, you noblest English,
Whose Blood is fetch'd from Fathers of War-proof;
Fathers, that, like so many Alexanders,
Have in these Parts from Morn till Even fought,
And sheath'd their Swords for lack of Argument.
Dishonour not your Mothers; now attest,
That those, whom you call’d Fathers, did beget you.
Be Copy now to Men of grosser Blood,
And teach them how to war. And you, good Yeomen,
Whole Limbs were made in England, fhew us here
The Metal of your Pasture: Let us swear
That you are worth your Breeding, which I doubt not:
For there is none of you so mean and base,
That hath not noble Lustre in your Eyes;
VuL. I.

I see


I see you stand like Greyhounds in the Slips,
Straining upon the Start. The Game's afoot;
Follow your Spirit; and, upon this Charge,
Cry, God for Harry! England! and St. George!

LESSON VI. Part of the Speech spoken by the Chorus in the Play of Henry

the Fifth. The Time supposed to be the Night before the

Battle of Agincourt.
N OW let Imagination form a Time,

I When creeping Murmur, and the poring Dark,
Fills the wide Vestel of the Universe.
From Camp to Camp, through the foul Womb of Night,
The Hum of either Army stilly sounds;
That the fixt Centinels almost receive
The secret Whispers of each other's Watch.
Fire answers Fire; and through their paly Flames
Each Battle sees the other's umber'd Face.
Steed threatens Steed, in high and boastful Neighs
Piercing the Night's dull Ear, and from the Tents
The Armourers, accomplishing the Knights,
With busy Hammers closing Rivets up,
Give dreadful Note of Preparation.
The Country Cocks do crow, the Clocks do toll:
And (the third Hour of drousy Morning nam'd)
Proud of their Numbers and secure in Soul,
The confident and over-hasty French
Do chide the cripple tardy-paced Night,
Who, like a foul and ugly Witch, does limp
So tediously away. The poor condemned English,
Like Sacrifices, by their watchful Fires
Sit patiently, and inly ruminate
The Morning's Danger: and their Danger fad,
Set forth in lank-lean Cheeks and War-worn Coats,
Presenteth them unto the gazing Moon
So many horrid Ghosts. - Who now beholds
The royal Captain of this ruin'd Band
Walking from Watch to Watch, from Tent to Tent,
Let him cry, Praise and Glory on his Head !
For forth he goes and visits all his Hoft, .
Bids them Gcod-morrow with a modest Smile,


And calls them Brothers, Friends, and Countrymen.
Upon his royal Face there is no Note,
How dread an Army hath enrounded him :
Nor doth he give up the least Jot of Colour
Unto the weary and all-watched Night;
But freshly looks, and over-bears Fatigue
With chearful Semblance and sweet Majesty :

That ev'ry Wretch, pining and pale before,
Beholding him, plucks Comfort from his Looks.

LESSON VII. The Speech of Henry the Fifth at the Battle of Agincourt, where

be gained that glorious Victory, which compleated the Conquest of France, and which is so highly celebrated by all our Historians, as he encountered near fixty thousand Frenchmen, with so small a Number as 12000 English. The Earl of Westmoreland saying,

O that we now had here
But one ten thousand of those Men in England,

That do no Work to-day ! King Henry, with a noble and undaunted Spirit, spoke as follows.

1! covereed up Garmer my D

(THAT's he, that wilhes so?

W My Cousin Wefimoreland ? No, my fair Cousin,
If we are mark'd to die, we are enow
To do our Country Loss; and if to live,
The fewer Men, the greater share of Honour.
God's Will! I pray thee with not one Man more,
I am not the least covetous of Gold;
Nor care I who doth feed upon my Cost;
It yerns me not if Men my Garments wear ;
Such outward Things dwell not in my Desire :
But if it be a Sin to covet Honour,
I am the most offending Soul alive.
No, no, my Lord, with not a Man from England :
I would not lose so great, so high an Honour
As one Man more, methirks, should fare from me,
For the best Hopes I have. Don't with one more :
Rather proclaim it, IVefimoreland, throughout my Hoft,
That he who hath no Stomach to this Fight,

G 2


« AnteriorContinua »