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Why rather, sleep, liest thou in smoky cribs,
upon uneasy pallets stretching thee,
and hushed with buzzing night-flies to thy slumber,
than in the pérfumed chambers of the great,
under the canopies of costly state,
and lulled with sounds of sweetest melody?
O thou dull god, why liest thou with the vile,
in loathsome beds, and leav'st the kingly couch,
a watch-case, or a common 'larum-bell?
Wilt thou upon the high and giddy mast
seal up the ship-boy's eyes, and rock his brains
in cradle of the rude imperious surge;
and in the visitation of the winds,
who take the ruffian billows by the top,
curling their monstrous heads, and hanging them
with deafening clamours in the slippery clouds,
that, with the hurly, death itself awakes?
Canst thou, O partial sleep, give thy repose
to the wet sea-boy in an hour so rude;
and, in the calmest and most stillest night,
with all appliances and means to boot,
deny it to a king? Then, happy low, lie down!
uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.
MARULLUS TO THE UNGRATEFUL ROMANS
THEREFORE rejoice? What conquest brings he home?
what tributaries follow him to Rome,
to grace in captive bonds his chariot wheels?
you blocks, you stones, you worse than senseless
O, you hard hearts, you cruel men of Rome,
knew you not Pompey? Many a time and oft
have you climb'd up to walls and battlements,
to towers and windows, yea, to chimney-tops,
your infants in your arms, and there have sat
the live-long day, with patient expectation,
to see great Pompey pass the streets of Rome :
and when you saw his chariot but appear,
have you not made a universal shout,
that Tyber trembled underneath her banks,
to hear the replication of your sounds,
made in her concave shores?
and do you now put on your best attire?
and do you now cull out a holiday?
and do you now strew flowers in his way,
that comes in triumph over Pompey's blood?
run to your houses, fall upon your knees,
pray to the gods to intermit the plague
that needs must light on this ingratitude.
944 LADY PERCY'S PATHETIC SPEECH TO HER
MY good lord, why are you thus alone?
for what offence have I, this fortnight, been
a banish'd woman from my Harry's bed?
Tell me, sweet lord, what is't that takes from thee
thy stomach, pleasure, and thy golden sleep?
why dost thou bend thine eyes upon the earth;
and start so often when thou sit'st alone?
why hast thou lost the fresh blood in thy cheeks?
In thy faint slumbers I by thee have watched,
and heard thee murmur tales of iron wars;
speak terms of manage to thy bounding steed;
Cry, Courage!—to the field! and thou hast talk'd
of sallies and retires; of trenches, tents,
of palisadoes, frontiers, parapets;
of prisoners' ransom, and of soldiers slain,
and all the 'currents of a heady fight.
Thy spirit within thee hath been so at war,
and thus hath so bestirr'd thee in thy sleep,
that beads of sweat have stood upon thy brow,
like bubbles in a late-disturbéd stream:
and in thy face strange motions have appeared,
such as we see when men restrain their breath
on some great sudden haste. O, what portents are
some heavy business hath my lord in hand,
and I must know it, else he loves me not.
BRUTUS ON JULIUS CÆSAR
T must be by his death: and for my part
II must no byersonal cause to spurn at him,
but for the general. He would be crowned :-
how that might change his nature, there's the
It is the bright day that brings forth the adder;
and that craves wary walking. Crown him?-that,—
and then, I grant, we put a sting in him,
that at his will he may do danger with.
The abuse of greatness is, when it disjoins
remorse from power: and, to speak truth of Cæsar,
I have not known when his affections swayed
more than his reason. But 'tis a common proof,
that lowliness is young ambition's ladder,
whereto the climber-upward turns his face;
but when he once attains the upmost round,
he then unto the ladder turns his back,
looks in the clouds, scorning the base degrees
by which he did ascend: So Cæsar may:
then, lest he may, prevent. And, since the quarrel
will bear no colour for the thing he is,
fashion it thus; that what he is, augmented,
would run to these and these extremities:
and therefore think him as a serpent's egg,
which, hatched, would, as his kind, grow mischievous,
and kill him in the shell.
DUKE OF AUMERLE-KING RICHARD II
OW brooks your grace the air,
Aum. after late tossing on the breaking seas?
K.Ric. Needs must I like it well; I weep for joy
to stand upon my kingdom once again.—
Dear earth, I do salute thee with my hand,
though rebels wound thee with their horses' hoofs:
as a long parted mother with her child
plays fondly with her tears and smiles, in meeting;
so, weeping, smiling, greet I thee, my earth,
and do thee favour with my royal hands.
Feed not thy sovereign's foe, my gentle earth,
nor with thy sweets comfort his ravenous sense;
but let thy spiders, that suck up thy venom,
and heavy-gaited toads, lie in their way:
doing annoyance to the treacherous feet,
which with usurping steps do trample thee:
yield stinging nettles to mine enemies:
and when they from thy bosom pluck a flower,
guard it, I pray thee, with a lurking adder ;
whose double tongue may with a mortal touch
throw death upon thy sovereign's enemies.—
Mock not my senseless conjuration, lords;
this earth shall have a feeling, and these stones
prove arméd soldiers, ere her native king
shall falter under foul rebellion's arms.
IME, since Man first drew breath, has never
with such a weight upon his wings as now;
but they will soon be lightened. Os. Ay, look up-
cast round you your mind's eye and you will learn
Fortitude is the child of Enterprise:
great actions move our admiration, chiefly.
because they carry in themselves an earnest
that we can suffer greatly. Ma. Very true.
Action is transitory-a step, a blow,
the motion of a muscle-this way or that-
'tis done, and in the after vacancy
we wonder at ourselves like men betrayed:
suffering is permanent, obscure and dark,
and shares the nature of infinity.
Ma. Truth and I feel it. Os. What! if you had bid eternal farewell to unmingled joy
and the light dancing of the thoughtless heart;
it is the toy of fools, and little fit
for such a world as this. The wise abjure
all thoughts whose idle composition lives
in the entire forgetfulness of pain.
-I see I have disturbed you. Ma. By no means. Os. Compassion! pity! pride can do without them; and what if you should never know them more!
He is a puny soul who, feeling pain,
finds ease because another feels it too.
948 LOVEL'S ANSWER TO THE QUESTION WHAT true
So help me, Love, and my good sword at need.
It is the greatest virtue, and the safety
of all mankind, the object of it is danger.
A certain mean 'twixt fear and confidence:
no inconsiderate rashness or vain appetite
of false encountering formidable things:
but a true science of distinguishing
what's good or evil. It springs out of reason,
and intends to perfect honesty; the scope
is always honour, and the public good:
it is no valour for a private cause.
L. Beau. No! not for reputation?
Lov. That's man's idol,
set up 'gainst God, the maker of all laws,
who hath commanded us we should not kill;
and yet we say, we must for reputation.
What honest man can either fear his own,
or else will hurt another's reputation?
fear to do base, unworthy things, is valour:
if they be done to us, to suffer them
is valour too. The office of a man
that's truly valiant, is considerable
three ways: the first is in respect of matter,
which still is danger; in respect of form,
wherein he must preserve his dignity;
and in the end, which must be ever lawful.
SIR R. BRAKENBURY-DUKE OF CLARENCE
HAT was your dream, my lord? I pray you
Methought, that I had broken from the Tower,
and was embark'd to cross to Burgundy;
and, in my company, my brother Gloster:
who from my cabin tempted me to walk