Page images
[ocr errors]
[graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small]


The oldest sins the newest kind of ways?
Be happy; he will trouble you no more :
England shall double gild his treble guilt;
England shall give him office, honor, might;
For the fifth Harry from curb'd license plucks
The muzzle of restraint, and the wild dog
Shall flesh his tooth in every innocent.
O my poor kingdom, sick with civil blows !
When that my care could 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. Hen. O, pardon me, my liege! but for my

The moist impediments unto my speech,
I had forestall’d this dear and deep rebuke,
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 immortally,
Long guard it yours! If I affect it more,
Than as your honor, and as your renown,
Let me no more from this obedience rise,
(Which my most true 1 and inward-duteous spirit
Teacheth) this prostrate and exterior bending!
Heaven 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,
0, let me in my present wildness die;

į Loyal.

And never live to show the 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 de pending, Hath fed upon the body of my father ; Therefore, thou, best of gold, art worst of gold : Other, less fine in carat,1 is more precious, Preserving life in medicine potable ; But thou, most fine, most honor'd, most renown'd, Hast eat thy bearer up. Thus, my most royal

Accusing it, I put it on my head ;
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 infect my blood with joy,
Or swell my thoughts to any strain of pride ;

any rebel or vain spirit of mine
Did, with the least affection of a welcome,
Give entertainment to the might of it,
Let God for ever keep it from my head;
And make me as the poorest vassal is,
That doth with awe and terror kneel to it!

K. Hen. O my son,
Heaven put it in thy mind to take it hence,

"Weight, which distinguishes the fineness of gold.

That thou mightst win the more thy father's love,
Pleading so wisely in excuse of it.
Come hither, Harry ; sit thou by my bed ;
And hear, I think, the very latest counsel
That ever I shall breathe. Heaven knows, my son,
By what by-paths, and indirect crook'd ways,
I met this crown; and I myself know well,
How troublesome it sat upon my head.
To thee it shall descend with better quiet,
Better opinion, better confirmation;
For all the soil of the achievement goes
With me into the earth. It seem'd in me,
But as an honor snatch'd with boisterous hand;
And I had many living, to upbraid
My gain of it by their assistances;
Which daily grew to quarrel and to bloodshed,
Wounding supposed peace : all these bold fears,

1 Thou seest, with peril I have answered ; For all my reign hath been but as a scene Acting that argument; and now my death Changes the mode : for what in me was purchased, 2 Falls upon

thee in a more fairer sort: So thou the garland wear'st successively. Yet, though thou stand’st more sure than I could do, Thou art not firm enough, since griefs are green; And all thy friends, which thou must make thy


ii. e. not real.

2 'Acquired hy unjust methods. Purchase, in Shakspeare's time, frequently meant stolen goods.'-M. Mason.

« PreviousContinue »