Imatges de pÓgina

As were our England in reverfion his,

And he our subjects next degree in hope.

[blocks in formation]

This royal throne of kings, this scepter'd isle,
This earth of majesty, this feat of Mars,
This other Eden, demy Paradise,

This fortress, built by nature for herself,
Against infection, and the hand of war ;
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in the filver sea,
Which ferves it in the office of a wall,."
Or of a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of lefs happier lands;

* *

England, bound in with the triumphant fea,
Whofe rocky fhores beats back the envious fiege
Of watry Neptune, is bound in with fhame,
With inky blots, and rotten parchment bonds.
That England, that was wont to conquer others,
Hath made a fhameful conqueft of itself.


Each fubftance of a grief hath twenty fhadows,. Which fhew like grief itself, but are not fo: For forrow's eye, glazed with blinding tears, Divides one thing entire, to many objects; Like perspectives, which, rightly gaz'd upon, Shew nothing but confufion; ey'd awry, Diftinguifh form.


SCENE VI. Hope, deceitful.

I will defpair, and be at enmity
With cozening hope; he is a flatterer,
A parafite, a keeper back of death;
Who gently would diffolve the bands of life,
Which falfe hopes linger, in extremity.

[ocr errors]

SCENE XI. The Prognoftics of War.

The bay-trees in our country all are wither'd,
And meteors fright the fixed stars of heav'n;
The pale-fac'd moon looks bloody on the earth;
And lean-look'd prophets whisper fearful change.
Rich men look fad, and ruffians dance and leap:

[blocks in formation]

Richard to England, on his Arrival

As a long-parted mother * with her child Plays fondly with her tears, and smiles in meeting; So weeping, fmiling, greet I thee, my earth, And do thee favour with my royal hands. Feed not thy fovereign's foe, my gentle earth, Nor with thy fweets comfort his rav'nous fenfe But let thy fpiders which fuck up thy venom, And heavy-gaited toads, lye in their way; Doing annoyance to the treacherous feet, Which with ufurping fteps do trample thee.. Yield ftinking nettles to mine enemies; And when they from thy bofom pluck a flow'r, Guard it, I pr'ythee, with a lurking adder; Whofe double tongue may with a mortal touch. 1 hrow death upon thy fovereign's enemies. Mock not my fenfelefs conjuration, lords;

With, &c.] The fenfe feems evidently to require from.

This earth shall have a feeling; and these ftones
Prove armed foldiers, ere her native king
Shall faulter under foul rebellious arms.

The Sun, rifing after a dork Night.

Know'st thou not,

That when the fearching eye of heav'n is hid
Behind the globe, and lights the lower world:
Then thieves and robbers range abroad unfeen,
In murders, and in outrage bloody here:
But when from under this terreftial ball
He fires the proud tops of the eastern pines,
And darts his light through ev'ry guilty hole;
Then murders, treafons, aud detefted fins,

The cloak of night being pluck'd from off their backs,

Stand bare and naked, trembling at themselves.

SCENE IV. On the Vanity of Power, and Mifery. of Kings...

No matter where; of comfort no man speak:.
Let's talk of graves, of worms, and epitaphs,
Make duft our paper, and with rainy eyes
Write forrow on the bofom of the earth!
Let's chufe executors, and talk of wills
And yet not fo-for what can we bequeath,.
Save our deposed bodies to the ground?
Our lands, our lives, and all are Bolingbroke's,
And nothing can we call our own, but death;.
And that fmail model of the barren earth,
Which ferves as paste and cover to our bones.
For heav'ns fake, let us fit upon the ground,
And tell fad stories of the death of kings.


How some have been depos'd; fome slain in war;
Some haunted by the ghofts they difpoffefs'd;
Some poifon'd by their wives; fome sleeping kill'd:
All murther'd.—For within the hollow crown,*
That rounds the mortal temples of a king,
Keeps Death his court: and there the antick fits,
Scoffing his ftate, and grinning at his pomp ;
Allowing him a breath, a little scene

To monarchize, be fear'd, and kill with looks:
Infufing him with felf, and vain conceit,
As if this flesh, which walls about our life,
Were brass impregnable: and humour'd thus,
Comes at the laft, and, with a little pin,

Bores through his caftle walls, and farewel king t
Cover your heads, and mock not flesh and blood
With folemn rev'rence: throw away refpect,
Tradition, form, and ceremonious duty,
For you have but mistook me all this while :
I live on bread like you; feel want like you;
Tafte grief, want friends like you; subjected thus,
How can you fay to me, I am a king?


[ocr errors]


Melancholy Stories.

In winter's tedious nights fit by the fire,


With good old-folks, and let them tell thee tales
Of woeful ages, long ago betid:

And ere thou bid good-night, to quit their grief,.
Tell them the lamentable fall of me,

And fend the hearers weeping to their beds.

* For, &c.] So in Philafter the king fays,
Alas, what are we kings?

Why do you, gods, place us above the reft,.
To be ferv'd, flatter'd, and ador'd, till we
Believe we hold within our hands your thunder ;:
And when we come to try the pow'r we have,
There's not a leaf shakes at our threatnings!


SCENE III. A Description of Bolingbroke's and Richard's Entry into London.

Them, as I faid, the duke, great Bolingbroke
* Mounted upon a hot and fiery fteed,
Which his afpiring rider feem'd to know,

With flow, but ftately pace, kept on his courfe:
While all tongues cry'd, God fave thee, Bolingbroke!
You wou'd have thought, the very windows spoke,
So many greedy looks of young and old
Through cafements darted their defiring eyes
Upon his vifage; and that all the walls,.
With painted imag'ry, had said at once,
Jefu, preferve thee, welcome Bolingbroke !!
Whilft he, from one fide to the other turning,
Bare-headed, lower than his proud fteed's neck,
Bespoke them thus; I thank you, countrymen;
And this ftill doing, thus he paft along.

Dutch. Alas! poor Richard, where rides he the while?

York. As in a theatre, the eyes of men,

After a well-grac'd actor leaves the stage,
Are idly bent on him that enters next,
Thinking his prattle to be tedious:

Even fo, or with much more contempt, mens eyes
Did fcowl on Richard: no man cry'd, God fave him!
No joyful.tongue gave him his welcome home;
But duft was thrown upon his facred head;
Which with fuch gentle forrow he fhook off,

[ocr errors]

The king afterwards hearing of this horfe from his groom obferves,

So proud, that Bolingbrooke was on his back!

The jade hath eat bread from my royal hand.

This hand hath made him proud with clapping him.
Wou'd he not stumble ? &c.

« AnteriorContinua »