Imatges de pàgina
PDF
EPUB

Bare-headed, sweating, knocking at the taverns,
And asking every one for sir John Falstaff.
P. Hen. By heaven, Poins, I feel me much to

blame,
So idly to profane the precious time;
When tempest of commotion, like the south
Borne with black vapour, doth begin to melt,
And drop upon our bare unarmed heads.
Give me my sword, and cloak:-Falstaff, good night.

[Exeunt Prince Henry, Poins, Pero,

and BARDOLPH. Fal. Now comes in the sweetest morsel of the night, and we must hence, and leave it unpicked. [Knocking heard.] More knocking at the door?

Re-enter BARDOLPH.

How now? what's the matter?

Bard. You must away to court, sir, presently; a dozen captains stay at door for you.

Fal. Pay the musicians, sirrah. [To the Page.] Farewell, hostess;- farewell, Doll.—You see, my good wenches, how men of merit are sought after: the undeserver may sleep, when the man of action is called on.

Farewell, good wenches: If I be not sent away post, I will see you again ere I go.

Dol. I cannot speak ;-If my heart be not ready to burst:—Well, sweet Jack, have a care of thyself. Fal. Farewell, farewell.

[Exeunt Falstaff and BARDOLPH. Host. Well, fare thee well: I have known thee these twenty-nine years, come peascod time; but an honester and truer-hearted man,—Well, fare thee well.

Bard. [Within.] Mistress Tear-sheet, —-
Host. What's the matter?

Bard. [Within.] Bid mistress Tear-sheet come to my master. Host. O run, Doll, run; run, good Doll.

[Exeunt.

ACT III.

SCENE I. A Room in the Palace.

Enter King Henry in his Nightgown, with a Page. K. Hen. Go, call the earls of Surrey and of

Warwick; But, ere they come, bid them o'er-read these letters, And well consider of them: Make good speed.

[Exit Page. How many thousand of my poorest subjects Are at this hour asleep!-Sleep, gentle sleep, Nature's soft nurse, how have I frighted thee, That thou no more wilt weigh my eye-lids down, And steep my senses in forgetfulness? Why rather, sleep, liest thou in smoky cribs, Upon uneasy pallets stretching thee, And hush'd with buzzing night-flies to thy slumber; Than in the perfum'd chambers of the great, Under the canopies of costly state, And lulld with sounds of sweetest melody? O thou dull god, why liest thou with the vile, In loathsome beds; and leav'st the kingly couch, A watch-case, or a common 'larum-bell? Wilt thou upon the high and giddy mast Seal up the ship-boy's eyes, and rock his brains In cradle of the rude imperious surge; And in the visitation of the winds, Who take the ruffian billows by the top,

Curling their monstrous heads, and hanging them
With deafʼning clamours in the slippery clouds,
That, with the hurly, death itself awakes?
Can'st thou, O partial sleep! give thy repose
To the wet sea-boy in an hour so rude ;
And, in the calmest and most stillest night,
With all appliances and means to boot,
Deny it to a king? Then, happy low, lie down !
Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.

Enter WARWICK and SURREY. War. Many good morrows to your majesty! K. Hen. Is it good morrow, lords? War. 'Tis one o'clock, and past. K. Hen. Why then, good morrow to you all, my

lords.
Have you read o'er the letters that I sent you ?

War. We have, my liege.
K. Hen. Then you perceive, the body of our

kingdom
How foul it is; what rank diseases grow,
And with what danger, near the heart of it.

War. It is but as a body, yet, distemper'd; Which to his former strength may be restor’d, With good advice, and little medicine: My lord Northumberland will soon be cool’d. K. Hen. O heaven! that one might read the

book of fate; And see the revolution of the times Make mountains level, and the continent (Weary of solid firinness,) melt itself Into the sea! and, other times, to see The beachy girdle of the ocean Too wide for Neptune's hips; how chances mock,

7 That, with the hurly,] Hurly is noise, derived from the French hurler to howl, as hurly-burly from Hurluberlu, Fr.

And changes fill the cup of alteration
With divers liquors! O, if this were seen,
The happiest youth,—viewing his progress through,
What perils past, what crosses to ensue,-
Would shut the book, and sit him down and die.
'Tis not ten years gone,
Since Richard, and Northumberland, great friends,
Did feast together, and, in two years after,
Were they at wars: It is but eight years, since
This Percy was the man nearest my soul;
Who like a brother toil'd in my affairs,
And laid his love and life under my foot ;
Yea, for my sake, even to the eyes of Richard,
Gave him defiance. But which of you was by,"
(You, cousin Nevil, as I may remember,)

,

[To WARWICK. When Richard,—with his eye brimfull of tears, Then check'd and rated by Northumberland, Did speak these words, now prov'd a prophecy? Northumberland, thou ladder, by the which My cousin Bolingbroke ascends my

throne;Though then, heaven knows, I had no such intent;' But that necessity so bow'd the state,

But which of you was by, &c.] He refers to King Richard II. Act. IV. sc. ii. But whether the king's or the author's memory fails him, so was, that Warwick was not present at that conversation. Neither was the King himself present, so that he must have received information of what passed from Northumberland. His memory, indeed, is singularly treacherous, as, at the time of which he is now speaking, he had actually ascended the throne. Besides, Shakspeare has mistaken the name of the present nobleman. The earldom of Warwick was at this time in the family of Beauchamp, and did not come into that of the Nevils till many years after.

9- I had no such intent;] He means, I should have had no such intent, but that necessity" &c. or Shakspeare has here also forgotten his former play, or has chosen to make Henry forget bis situation at the time mentioned. He had then actually accepted the crown.

That I and greatness were compelled to kiss:-
The time shall come, thus did he follow it,
The time will come, that foul sin, gathering head,
Shall break into corruption :-so went on,
Foretelling this same time's condition,
And the division of our amity.

War. 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.
Such things become the hatch and brood of time;
And, by the necessary form of this,
King Richard might create a perfect guess,
That great Northumberland, then false to him,
Would, of that seed, grow to a greater falseness;
Which should not find a ground to root upon,
Unless on you.

K. Hen. Are these things then necessities? Then let us meet them like necessities:And that same word even now cries out on us; They say, the bishop and Northumberland Are fifty thousand strong. War.

It cannot be, my lord; Rumour doth double, like the voice and echo, The numbers of the fear'd:-Please it your grace,

:

, To go to bed; upon my life, my lord, The

you already have sent forth,
Shall bring this prize in very easily.
To comfort you the more, I have receiv'd
A certain instance, that Glendower is dead."
Your majesty hath been this fortnight ill;

powers that

1

that Glendower is dead.] Glendower did not die till after King Henry IV. Shakspeare was led into this error by Holinshed, who places Owen Glendower's death in the tenth year of Henry's reign.

« AnteriorContinua »