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O hard condition! twin-born with greatness, Subjected to the breath of every fool,
Whose sense no more can feel but his own wringing! What infinite heart's ease must king's neglect,
That private men enjoy?
And what have kings, that privates have not too,
Save ceremony, save general ceremony?
And what art thou, thou idol ceremony?
What kind of God art thou, that suffer'st more
Of mortal griefs, than do thy worshippers?
What are thy rents? what are thy comings-in?
O, ceremony, show me but thy worth!
What is the soul of adoration*?
Art thou aught else but place, degree, and form,
Creating awe and fear in other men?
Wherein thou art less happy being fear'd
Than they in fearing.
What drink'st thou oft, instead of homage sweet,
But poison'd flattery? O, be sick, great greatness,
And bid thy ceremony give thee cure!
Think'st thou, the fiery fever will go out
With titles blown from adulation?
"What is the real worth and intrinsic value of adoration?"
Will it give place to flexure and low bending?
Canst thou, when thou command'st the beggar's knee,
Command the health of it? No, thou proud dream,
That play'st so subtly with a king's repose;
I am a king, that find thee; and I know,
"Tis not the balm, the sceptre, and the ball,
The sword, the mace, the crown imperial,
The enter-tissued robe of gold and pearl,
The farced* title running 'fore the king,
The throne he sits on, nor the tide of pomp
That beats upon the high shore of this world,
No, not all these, thrice gorgeous ceremony,
Not all these, laid in bed majestical,
Can sleep so soundly as the wretched slave;
Who, with a body fill'd, and vacant mind,
Gets him to rest, cramm'd with distressful bread;
Never sees horrid night, the child of hell;
But, like a lackey, from the rise to set,
Sweats in the eye of Phoebus, and all night
Sleeps in Elysium; next day, after dawn,
Doth rise, and help Hyperion† to his horse;
And follows so the ever-running year
With profitable labour to bis grave:
And, but for ceremony, such a wretch,
Winding up days with toil, and nights with sleep,
Had the fore-hand and 'vantage of a king.
DESCRIPTION OF THE MISERABLE STATE OF THE
Yon island carrions, desperate of their bones,
Ill-favour'dly become the morning field:
Their ragged curtains poorly are let loose,
And our air shakes them passing scornfully.
Big Mars seems bankrupt in their beggar'd host,
And faintly through a rusty beaver peeps.
Their horsemen sit like fixed candlesticks,
With torch-staves in their hand: and their poor jades
*Farced is stuffed. The tumid puffy titles with which a king's name is introduced. + The sun. + Colours.
Lob down their heads, dropping the hides and hips;
The gum down-roping from their pale-dead eyes;
And in their pale dull mouths the gimmal* bit
Lies foul with chew'd grass still and motionless;
And their executors, the knavish crows,
Fly o'er them all, impatient for their hour.
KING HENRY'S SPEECH BEFORE THE BATTLE OF
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home, Will stand a tiptoe when this day is nam'd, And rouse him at the name of Crispian. He, that shall live this day, and see old age, Will yearly on the vigil feast his friends, And say-to-morrow is Saint Crispian: Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars, And say, these wounds I had on Crispin's day. Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot, But he'll remember, with advantages,
What feats he did that day: Then shall our names,
Familiar in their mouths as household words,—
Harry the king, Bedford, and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloster,-
Be in their flowing cups freshly remember'd.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DUKE OF YORK'S DEATH.
He smil❜d me in the face, raught+ me his hand, And, with a feeble gripe, says,-Dear my lord, Commend my service to my sovereign.
So did he turn, and over Suffolk's neck
He threw his wounded arm, and kiss'd his lips;
And so, espous'd to death, with blood he seal'd
A testament of noble-ending love.
The pretty and sweet manner of it forc'd
Those waters from me, which I would have stopp'd; But I had not so much of man in me,
But all my mother came into mine eyes,
And gave me up to tears.
HER Vine, the merry cheerer of the heart,
Unpruned dies: her hedges even-pleached,-
Like prisoners wildly overgrown with hair,
Put forth disordered twigs: her fallow leas
The darnel, hemlock, and rank fumitory,
Doth root upon; while that the coulter* rusts,
That should deracinate † such savagery:
The even mead, that erst brought sweetly forth
The freckled cowslip, burnet, and green clover,
Wanting the scythe, all uncorrected, rank,
Conceives by idleness; and nothing teems,
But hateful docks, rough thistles, kecksies, burs,
Losing both beauty and utility.
And as our vineyards, fallows, meads, and hedges,
Defective in their natures, grow to wildness.
GLORY is like a circle in the water,
Which never ceaseth to enlarge itself,
Till, by broad spreading, it disperse to nought.
To deracinate is to force up the roots.
MARRIAGE is a matter of more worth
Than to be dealt in by attorneyship*.
For what is wedlock forced, but a hell,
An age of discord and continual strife?
Whereas the contrary bringeth forth bliss,
And is a pattern of celestial peace.
A RESOLVED AND AMBITIOUS WOMAN.
FOLLOW I must, I cannot go before,
While Gloster bears this base and humble mind.
Were I a man, a duke, and next of blood,
I would remove these tedious stumbling-blocks,
And smooth my way upon their headless necks:
And, being a woman, I will not be slack
To play my part in fortune's pageant.
GOD'S GOODNESS EVER TO BE REMEMBERED.
LET never day nor night unhallow'd pass,
But still remember what the Lord hath done.
* By the discretional agency of another.