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that hath dismiss'd us from our stewardship;
for well we know, no hand, of blood and bone
can gripe the sacred handle of our sceptre,
unless he do profane, steal or usurp.
DUKE OF MILAN_VALENTINE-LAUNCE-PROTEUS Duke.
BEGONE, I will not hear thy vain excuse ;
but, as thou lov’st thy life, make speed from hence. Val. And why not death, rather than living torment?
to die, is to be banish'd from myself ;
and Silvia is myself: banish'd from her,
is self from self; a deadly banishment !
What light is light, if Silvia be not seen ?
what joy is joy, if Silvia be not by?
unless it be to think that she is by,
and feed upon the shadow of perfection.
Except I be by Silvia in the night,
there is no music in the nightingale ;
unless I look on Silvia in the day,
there is no day for me to look upon :
she is my essence; and I leave to be,
if I be not by her fair influence
foster'd, illumin'd, cherish'd, kept alive.
I fly not death, to fly his deadly doom:
tarry I here, I but attend on death;
but, fly I hence, I fly away from life. 777 Pro Run, boy, run, run, and seek him out. Laun. So-ho! so-ho! Pro. What seest thou? Laun. Him we go to find: there's not a hair on's head
but 'tis a Valentine.
Pro. Who then? his spirit?
Pro. What then?
Laun. Can nothing speak? master, shall I strike?
Pro. Whom would'st thou strike?
Pro. Villain, forbear.
F. S. III
have I deservéd at your highness' hands.
The language I have learn’d these forty years,
my native English, now I must forego
and now my tongue's use is to me no more
than an unstringéd viol or a harp;
or like a cunning instrument cas'd up,
or, being open, put into his hands
that knows no touch to tune the harmony :
within my mouth you have engaol'd my tongue,
doubly portcullis'd with my teeth and lips;
and dull unfeeling barren ignorance
is made my gaoler to attend on me.
I am too old to fawn upon a nurse,
too far in years to be a pupil now:
what is thy sentence, then, but speechless death,
which robs my tongue from breathing native breath?
CHARACTER OF A NOBLE COURTIER BY AN OLD
THE KING OF FRANCE TO BERTRAM
WOULD I had that corporal soundness now,
as when thy father and myself, in friendship
first tried our soldiership! He did look far
into the service of the time, and was
discipled of the bravest: he lasted long;
but on us both did haggish age steal on,
and wore us out of act. It much repairs me
to talk of your good father. In his youth
he had the wit, which I can well observe
to-day in our young lords; but they may jest,
till their own scorn return to them unnoted,
ere they can hide their levity in honour.
So like a courtier, contempt not bitterness
were in his pride or sharpness; if they were,
his equal had awak'd them; and his honour,
clock to itself, knew the true minute when
exception bid him speak, and at this time
his tongue obey'd his hand: who were below him
he used as creatures of another place ;
and bow'd his eminent top to their low ranks,
making them proud of his humility,
772 in their poor praise he humbled. Such a man
might be a copy to these younger times;
which, follow'd well, would demonstrate them now
but goers backward.
'Would, I were with him! He would always say,
(methinks, I hear him now; his plausive words
he scatter'd not in ears, but grafted them,
to grow there, and to bear,) — Let me not live -
thus his good melancholy oft began,
on the catastrophe and heel of pastime,
when it was out,-Let me not live, quoth he,
after my flame lacks oil, to be the snuff
of younger spirits, whose apprehensive senses
all but new things disdain; whose judgements are
mere fathers of their garments; whose constancies
expire before their fashions:'--this he wish'd:
I, after him, do after him wish too,
since I nor wax, nor honey, can bring home,
I quickly were dissolved from my hive,
to give some labourers room.
CREON-TIRESIAS Cre. HY wouldest thou that he should not be here? Tir. I would not have him heare, what I should say. Cre. He is my sonne, ne will he it reveale. Tir. And shall I then while he is present speake? Cre. Yea, be thou sure that he no lesse than I
doth wish ful well unto this commonweale. Tir. Then, Creon, shalt thou know: the meane to save
this citie, is that thou shalt slea thy sonne
for his countrey. Cre.
Oh, oh what hast thou said, thou cruell soothsayer ! Tir.
Even that that Heaven hath ordered once and needes it must ensue. Cre. How many evils hast thou knit up in one? Tir. Though evil for thee, yet for thy countrey good. Cre. And let my countrey perish, what care I? Tir. Above all things we ought to hold it deare. Cre. Cruel were he that would not love his child. Tir. For common weale were well that one man wayle.
Laun. Why, Sir, I'll strike nothing: I pray you, --
Pro. Sirrah, I say, forbear: Friend Valentine, a word.
Val. My ears are stopp'd, and cannot hear good news,
so much of bad already hath possess’d them. Pro. Then in dumb silence will I bury mine,
for they are harsh, untuneable, and bad.
Val. Is Silvia dead?
Pro. No, Valentine.
Val. No Valentine, indeed, for sacred Silvia !-
Hath she forsworn me?
Pro. No, Valentine.
Val. No Valentine, if Silvia have forsworn me!-
what is your news? 778 Laun. Sir, there's a proclamation that you ’re vanished. Pro. That thou art banishéd—0, that's the news,
from hence, from Silvia and from me thy friend. Val. O, I have fed upon this woe already,
and now excess of it will make me surfeit.
Doth Silvia know that I am banished?
Pro. Ay, ay; and she hath offer'd to the doom,-
which, unrevers’d, stands in effectual force-
a sea of melting pearl, which some call tears:
those at her father's churlish feet she tenderd;
with them, upon her knees, her humble self;
wringing her hands, whose whiteness so became them
as if but now they waxéd pale for woe:
but neither bended knees, pure hands held up,
sad sighs, deep groans, nor silver-shedding tears,
could penetrate her uncompassionate sire;
but Valentine, if he be ta’en, must die.
Besides, her intercession chaf’d him so,
when she for thy repeal was suppliant,
that to close prison he commanded her,
with many bitter threats of biding there. 779 Val. No more; unless the next word that thou speaks't
have some malignant power upon my life;
if so, I pray thee, breathe it in my ear.
Pro. Cease to lament for that thou canst not help,
and study help for that which thou lament'st.
Time is the nurse and breeder of all good.
Here if thou stay, thou canst not see thy love;
besides, thy staying will abridge thy life.
Hope is a lover's staff: walk hence with that,
and manage it against despairing thoughts.
Thy letters may be here, though thou art hence ;
which, being writ to me, shall be deliver'd
even in the milk-white bosom of thy love.
The time now serves not to expostulate:
come, I'll convey thee through the city-gate:
and, ere I part with thee, confer at large
of all that may concern thy love-affairs.
As thou lov'st Silvia, though not for thyself,
regard thy danger and along with me.
COME not here, you gods, to plead the right
by which antiquity assigned my deity, though no peculiar station ’mongst the stars, yet general power to rule their influence, or boast the title of omnipotent, ascribed me then, by which I riválld Jove, since you have cancelled all those old records; but confident in my good cause and merit, claim a succession in the vacant orb; for since Astræa fled to heaven, I sit her deputy on earth; I hold her scales, and weigh men's fates out, who have made me blind because themselves want eyes to see my causes : call me inconstant, 'cause my works surpass the shallow fathom of their human reason : yet here, like blinded Justice, I dispense with their impartial hands their constant lots, and if desertless, impious men engross my best rewards, the fault is yours, ye gods, that scant your graces to mortality.
781 SENSATIONS OF THEODORE UPON THE APPROACH
OF SOME SUPERNATURAL DANGER
E wander'd on, unknowing where he went,
lost in the wood, and all on love intent;
the day already half his race had run,
and summoned him to due repast at noon;
but love could feel no hunger but his own.
Whilst listening to the murmuring leaves he stood,
more than a mile immersed within the wood,
at once the wind was laid ; the whispering sound