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A WISE KING, and a BOLD and IMPARTIAL JUDGE,
INSTANCED IN THE CONDUCT OF HENRY V. AND LORD CHIEF JUSTICE GASCOIGNE.
CH. JUST. I AM assur'd, if I be measur'd rightly, Your Majesty hath no just cause to hate me.
P. HENRY. No! might a Prince of my great hopes forget So great indignities you laid upon me? What! rate, rebuke, and roughly send to prison Th' immediate heir of England! was this easy? May this be wash'd in Lethe, and forgotten?
CH. JUST. I then did use the person of your father;
The image of his power lay then in me:
And in th' administration of his law,
While I was busy for the commonwealth,
Your Highness pleased to forget my place,
The majesty and pow'r of law and justice,
The image of the King whom I presented;
And struck me in my very seat of judgment:
Whereon, as an offender to your father,
gave bold way to my authority,
And did commit you. If the deed were ill,
Be you contented, wearing now the garland,
To have a son set your decrees at naught,
To pluck down justice from your awful bench,
To trip the course of law, and blunt the sword
That guards the peace and safety of your person;
Nay more, to spurn at your most RoyaNmage,
And mock your working in a second body.
Question your Royal thoughts, make the case yours :
Be now the father, and propose a son;`
Hear your own dignity so much profan'd;
See your most dreadful laws so loosely slighted;
Behold yourself so by a son disdain'd :
And then imagine me taking your part,
And in your pow'r so silencing your son.
After this cold consid'rance, sentence nie;
And, as you are a King, speak in your state,
What I have done that misbecame my place,
My person, or my Liege's sovereignty.
P. HENRY. You are right, Justice, and you weigh this well; Therefore still bear the balance and the sword:
And I do wish your honours may increase,
Till you do live to see a son of mine
Offend you, and obey you, as I did:
So shall I live to speak my father's words:
Happy am I, that have a man so bold
That dares do justice on my proper son;
And no less happy, having such a son,
That would deliver up his greatness so
Into the hand of justice.. You committed me;
For which I do commit into your hand
Th' unstained sword that you have us'd to bear;
With this remembrance, that you use the same
With a like bold, just, and impartial spirit,
have done 'gainst me. There is my hand,
You shall be as a father to my youth:
My voice shall sound as you do prompt mine ear ;
And I will stoop and humble my intents
To your well-practis'd wise directions.
And, Princes all, believe me, I beseech you;
My father is gone wild into his grave;
For in his tomb lie my affections;
And with his spirit sadly I survive,
To mock the expectations of the world;
To frustrate prophecies, and to raze out
Rotten opinion, which hath writ me down
After my seeming. Though my tide of blood
Hath proudly flow'd in vanity till now;
Now doth it turn and ebb back to the sea,
Where it shall mingle with the state of floods,
And flow henceforth in formal majesty.
Now call we our high court of parliament;
And let us chuse such limbs of noble counsel,
That the great body of our state may go
In equal rank with the best govern'd nation;
That war or peace, or both at once, may be
As things acquainted and familiar to us,
In which you, father, shall have foremost hand.
Our coronation done, we will accite
(As 1 before remember'd) all our state.
And (Heav'n consigning to my good intents)
No prince, nor peer, shall have just cause to say,
Heav'n shorten Harry's happy life one day.
The VANITY of POWER and the MISERY of KINGS:
A DIALOGUE BETWEEN SCROOP AND RICHARD II. (SHAKESPEARE.)
SCROOP. MORE health and happiness betide my Liege, Than can my care-tun'd tongue deliver him!
K. RICH. Mine ear is open and mine heart prepar'd;
The worst is worldly loss thou canst unfold.
Say, is my kingdom lost? Why, 'twas my care;
And what loss is it to be rid of care?
Strives Bolingbroke to be as great as we?
Greater he shall not be; if he serve God,
We'll serve him too, and be his fellow so.
Revolt our subjects? That we cannot mend;
They break their faith to God, as well as us.
Cry, woe, destruction, ruin, loss, decay;
The worst is death, and death will have his day.
SCROOP. Glad am I that your Highness is so arm'd
To bear the tidings of calamity.
Like an unseasonable stormy day,
Which makes the silver rivers drown their shores,
As if the world were all dissolv'd to tears;
So high above his limits swells the rage
Of Bolingbroke, cov'ring your fearful land
With hard bright steel, and hearts more hard than steel.
White beards have arm'd their thin and hairless scalps
Against thy Majesty; boys with women's voices
Strive to speak big, and clasp their female joints
In stiff unweildy arms, against thy crown.
The very beadsmen learn to bend their bows
Of double-fatal yew, against thy state:
Yea, distaff-women manage rusty bills.
Against thy seat both young and old rebel,
And all goes worse than I have pow'r to tell.
K. RICH. Too well, too well thou tell'st a tale so ill.
Where is the Earl of Wiltshire? where is he got?
What is become of Bushy? Where is Green?
--No matter where; of comfort no man speak.
Let's talk of graves, of worms, and epitaphs,
Make dust our paper, and with rainy eyes
Write sorrow on the bosom of the earth!
Let's chuse executors, and talk of wills;
And yet not so
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 small model of the barren earth,
Which serves as paste and cover to our bones.
For heav'n's sake, let us sit upon
And tell sad stories of the death of Kings;
How some have been depos'd, some slain in war;
Some haunted by the ghosts they dispossess'd;
Some poison'd by their wives, some sleeping kill'd;
All murder'd.-For within the hollow crown,
That rounds the mortal temples of a King,
Keeps Death his court; and there the antic sits,
Scoffing his state, and grinning at his pomp;
Allowing him a breath, a little scene
To monarchize, be fear'd, and kill with looks;
Infusing him with self and vain conceit,
As if this flesh, which walls about our life,
Were brass impregnable; and, humour'd thus,
Comes at the last, and with a little pin
Bores through his castle walls, and farewel King!
Cover your heads, and mock not flesh and blood
With solemn rev'rence: throw away respect,
Tradition, form, and ceremonious duty,
For you have but mistook me all this while.
I live on bread like you, feel want like you;
Taste grief, need friends like you: subjected thus,
How can you say to me I am a king?
The UPBRAIDINGS of a FATHER, and the PIETY of a SoN:
A DIALOGUE BETWEEN KING HENRY IV. AND PRINCE HENRY.
P. HENRY. I NEVER thought to hear you speak again.
K. HENRY. Thy wish was father, Harry, to that 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 seek'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 dim.
Thou hast stol'n that, which, after some 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 assur'd of it.
Thou hid'st a thousand daggers in thy thoughts,
Which thou hast whetted on thy stony heart,
To stab 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 bearse,
Be drops of balm to sanctify thy head;
Only compound me with forgotten dust,
Give that which gave thee life unto the worms.
Pluck down my officers, break my decrees;
For now a time is conie to mock at form;
Henry the Fifth is crown'd: up, Vanity!
Down, Royal state! All you sage counsellors, hence!
And to 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 oldest 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 ev'ry innocent.
0 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. HENRY. O pardon me, my Liege! but for my tears,
(1 he 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 honour, and as your renown