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see it with justice, and confer their blessings
on him that never flung one grain of incense
upon their altars? never bowed his knee yet?
ARCHAS TO HIS MUTINOUS SOLDIERS
DO believe you innocent, a good man,
and Heaven forgive that naughty thing that wrong'd
Why look ye wild, my friends? why stare ye on me?
I charge ye, as ye are men, my men, my lovers,
as ye are honest faithful men, fair soldiers,
let down your anger! Is not this our sovereign ?
the head of mercy and of law ? who dares, then,
but rebels scorning law, appear thus violent?
is this a place for swords, for threatening fires?
the reverence of this house dares any touch,
but with obedient knees and pious duties ?
are we not all his subjects, all sworn to him ?
has not he power to punish our offences,
and do not we daily fall into 'em? Assure your-
I did offend, and highly, grievously;
this good sweet prince I offended, my life forfeited,
which yet his mercy and his old love met with,
and only let me feel his light rod this way:
ye are to thank him for your general,
pray for his life and fortune, sweat your bloods for
Cre. would I not, so would Eteocles.
Ant. He cruel was, you fond to hold his hestes.
C. Is then a fault to doe a king's command ?
A. When his commaund is cruel and unjust.
C. Is it unjust that he unburied be?
A. He not deserved so cruel punishment.
C. He was his country's cruel enemie.
A. Or else was he that held him from his right.
C. Bare he not armes against his native land?
A. Offendeth he that seekes to winne his owne?
In spite of thee he shal unburyed be.
In spite of thee these hands shall bury him.
And with him eke then will I bury thee.
So grant the gods I get none other grave
then with my Polynices dear to rest.
Go, Sirs, lay hold on her and take her in.
I will not leave this corps unburyed.
Canst thou undoe the thing that is decreed !
A wicked foule decree to wrong the dead.
The ground ne shall ne ought to cover him.
Creon, yet I beseech thee for thy love.
Away, I say, thy prayers not prevayle.
is no answer, thou unfeeling man,
Shy. I am not bound to please thee with my answer.
Bass. Do all men kill the things they do not love?
Shy. Hates any man the thing he would not kill?
Bass. Every offence is not a hate at first.
Shy. What, would'st thou have a serpent sting thee twice?
Ant. I pray you, think you question with the Jew:
you may as well go stand upon the beach,
and bid the main flood bate his usual height;
you may as well use question with the wolf,
why he hath made the ewe bleat for the lamb;
you may as well forbid the mountain pines
to wag their high tops, and to make no noise,
when they are fretted with the gusts of heaven;
you may as well do any thing most hard,
as seek to soften that (than which what's harder?)
his Jewish heart :-therefore, I do beseech you,
make no more offers, use no further means,
but, with all brief and plain conveniency,
let me have judgment, and the Jew his will.
THE EFFICACY OF FAITH
E who by the card
o'th' world's opinion steers his course shall harbour
in no safe port. But to your ear, my lord,
I give this free account. Seven winters past,
when I set sail from Sicily, a storm
o'ertook the ship so powerful that the pilot
gave up the stern to th' ordering of the waves;
his art and hand grown useless: those kind stars,
the sailors used ť invoke, were lost i th' tempest,
and nothing but a night not to be seen
was seen by us. When every one began
ť advance himself toward death, as men condemn'd
to th' axe, when hope of pardon is shut out;
I, spite o' th’ envious cloud, look'd up to heaven,
and darted my faith thither, vowing to
forsake the flatter'd pomp and business of
the faithless world, if I with safety might
attain the land.
O'the sudden, night forsook us, and the loud
unruly winds fled to their unknown dwellings;
when a soft breath 'gan whisper to our sails,
a calm was to ensue.
UT he, though blind of sight,
despised, and thought extinguished quite,
with inward eyes illuminated,
his fiery virtue roused
from under ashes into sudden flame;
and as an evening dragon came,
assailant on the perched roosts,
and nests in order ranged
of tame villatic fowl, but as an eagle
his cloudless thunder bolted on their heads.
So Virtue, given for lost,
depressed and overthrown, as seemed,
like that self-begotten bird,
in the Arabian woods embost,
that no second knows nor third,
and lay erewhile a holocaust,
from out her ashy womb now teemed,
revives, reflourishes, then vigorous most
when most unactive deemed;
and, though her body die, her fame survives,
a secular bird, ages of lives. 840 Man. Come, come; no time for lamentation now
nor much more cause; Samson hath quit himself
like Samson, and heroicly hath finished
a life heroic, on his enemies
fully revenged; hath left them years of mou
and lamentation to the sons of Caphtor,
through all Philistian bounds; to Israël
honour hath left and freedom, let but them
find courage to lay hold on this occasion;
to himself and father's house eternal fame;
and, which is best and happiest yet, all this
with God not parted from him, as was feared,
but favouring and assisting to the end.
Nothing is here for tears, nothing to wail
or knock the breast; no weakness, no contempt,
dispraise, or blame; nothing but well and fair,
and what may quiet us in a death so noble. 841 Let us go find the body where it lies
soaked in his enemies' blood, and from the stream
with lavers pure and cleansing herbs wash off
the clotted gore.
I with what speed the while
will send for all my kindred, all my friends,
to fetch him hence, and solemnly attend,
with silent obsequy and funeral train,
home to his father's house. There will I build him
a monument, and plant it round with shade
of laurel ever-green, and branching palm,
with all his trophies hung, and acts inrolled
in copious legend, or sweet lyric song.
Thither shall all the valiant youth resort,
and from his memory inflame their breasts
to matchless valour and adventures high:
the virgins also shall, on feastful days,
visit his tomb with flowers, only bewailing
his lot unfortunate in nuptial choice,
from whence captivity and loss of eyes.
ND when the dead by cruel tyrant's spite,
lie out to ravenous birds and beasts exposed,
his yearnful heart pitying that wretched sight,
in seemly graves their weary flesh enclosed,
and strewed with dainty flowers the lowly hearse;
then all alone the last words did rehearse, bidding them softly sleep in his sad sighing verse. So once that royal maid fierce Thebes beguiled,
though wilful Creon proudly did forbid her,
her brother, from his home and tomb exiled,
(while willing night in darkness safely hid her)
she lowly laid in Earth's all covering shade:
her dainty hands (not used to such a trade) she with a mattock toils, and with a weary spade. Yet feels she neither sweat nor irksome pain,
till now his grave was fully finished;
then on his wounds her cloudy eyes 'gin rain,
to wash the guilt painted in bloody red:
and falling down upon his goréd side,
with hundred varied 'plaints she often cry'd, 'Oh, had I died for thee, or with thee might have
843 WARWICK BY THE DEAD BODY OF GLOSTER
DO believe that violent hands were laid
upon the life of this thrice-faméd duke. See how the blood is settled in his face! Oft have I seen a timely-parted ghost, of ashy semblance, meager, pale and bloodless, being all descended to the labouring heart; who, in the conflict that it holds with death, attracts the same for aidance 'gainst the enemy; which with the heart there cools and ne'er returneth to blush and beautify the cheek again. But see, his face is black, and full of blood; his eyeballs further out than when he liv'd, staring full ghastly like a strangled man; his hair up-rear'd, his nostrils stretch'd with struggling; his hands abroad display'd, as one that grasp'd and tugg'd for life, and was by strength subdued: look on the sheets, his hair, you see, is sticking; his well-proportioned beard made rough and rugged, like to the summer's corn by tempest lodg'd.