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when from the mountain-top Pisanio show'd thee,
thou wast within a ken: O Jove! I think
foundations fly the wretched; such, I mean,
where they should be reliev'd. Two beggars told me
I could not miss my way: will poor folks lie,
that have afflictions on them, knowing 'tis
a punishment or trial? Yes; no wonder,
when riches once scarce tell true: to lapse in fulness
is sorer than to lie for need; and falsehood
is worse in kings, than beggars. My dear lord!
thou art one o' the false ones: now I think on thee,
my hunger's gone; but even before, I was
at point to sink for food.-But what is this?
here is a path to 't: 'tis some savage hold:
I were best not call; I dare not call; yet famine,
ere clean it o'erthrow nature, makes it valiant.
Plenty and peace breeds cowards; hardness ever
of hardiness is mother.
KING JOHN TO HUBERT
HAD a thing to say;-but let it go;
the sun is in the heaven, and the proud day,
attended with the pleasures of the world,
is all too wanton and too full of gawds
to give me audience :-if the midnight bell
did, with his iron tongue and brazen mouth,
sound one into the drowsy race of night;
if this same were a churchyard where we stand,
and thou possessed with a thousand wrongs;
or if that surly spirit, melancholy,
had baked thy blood, and made it heavy, thick;
(which else runs tickling up and down the veins,
making that idiot, laughter, keep men's eyes,
and strain their cheeks to idle merriment,
a passion hateful to my purposes);
or if that thou couldst see me without eyes,
hear me without thine ears, and make reply
without a tongue, using conceit alone,
without eyes, ears, and harmful sound of words;
then, in despite of brooded watchful day,
I would into thy bosom pour my thoughts:
but, ah, I will not!
885 TYRREL'S SOLILOQUY ON the murder of the
TWO PRINces, children of qUEEN ELIZABETH
HE tyrannous and bloody act is done;
the most arch deed of piteous massacre
that ever yet this land was guilty of.
Dighton and Forrest, whom I did suborn
to do this piece of ruthless butchery,
albeit they were flesh'd villains, bloody dogs,
melting with tenderness and mild compassion,
wept like two children in their death's sad story.
O thus, quoth Dighton, lay the gentle babes,—
thus, thus, quoth Forrest, girdling one another
within their alabaster innocent arms:
their lips were four red roses on a stalk,
which in their summer beauty kiss'd each other.
A book of prayers on their pillow lay;
which once, quoth Forrest, almost changed my mind;
but, O! the devil,-there the villain stopp'd;
when Dighton thus told on,-we smother'd
the most replenished sweet work of nature,
that from the prime creation e'er she framed.—
Hence both are gone with conscience and remorse
they could not speak; and so I left them both,
to bear this tidings to the bloody king.
IS Cæsar that you mean: is it not, Cassius? Let it be who it is; for Romans now have thewes and limbs like to their ancestors; but, woe the while! our fathers' minds are dead, and we are govern'd with our mothers' spirits; our yoke and sufferance show us womanish. Casc. Indeed, they say the senators to-morrow mean to establish Cæsar as a king:
and he shall wear his crown by sea and land,
in every place, save here in Italy.
Cas. I know where I will wear this dagger then;
Cassius from bondage will deliver Cassius:
therein, ye gods, you make the weak most strong;
therein, ye gods, you tyrants do defeat:
nor stony tower, nor walls of beaten brass,
nor airless dungeon, nor strong links of iron,
can be retentive to the strength of spirit;
but life, being weary of these worldly bars,
never lacks power to dismiss itself.
If I know this, know all the world besides,
that part of tyranny, that I do bear,
I can shake off at pleasure.
887 "ALAS!" said they, "such fictions children feare, 887"
these are not terrours, shewing danger neare,
but motives sent by some propitious power,
to make you watchfull at this early hower:
these proue that your uictorious care preuents
your slouthfull foes, that slumber in their tents.
This precious time must not in uaine be spent,
which God (your helpe) by heau'nly meanes hath lent."
He by these false coniectures much appeas'd,
contemning fancies, which his mind diseas'd,
replies: "I should haue been asham'd to tell
fond dreames to wise men: whether Heau'n or Hell,
or troubled Nature these effects hath wrought,
I know, this day requires another thought.
If some resistless strength my cause should crosse,
fear will increase, and not redeeme the losse;
all dangers, clouded with the mist of feare,
seeme great farre off, but lessen comming neare.
Away, ye black illusions of the night!
if ye, combin'd with Fortune, haue the might
to hinder my designes, ye shall not barre
my courage seeking glorious death in warre."
HAPPINESS will thus, my friend, be thine, which I must needs forego; say, is that right? Thou only would'st forego what thou thyself, as things at present stand, could'st not enjoy. So calmly shall I banish hence a friend? Rather retain, whom thou dost seem to banish.
The duke will ne'er consent to part with him.
When he shall see as we do, he will yield.
'Tis painful in one's friend to doom oneself.
Yet with thy friend, thou'lt also save thyself.
I cannot give my voice that this shall be.
An evil still more grievous then expect.
Thou giv'st me pain,-uncertain thy success.
Ere long we shall discover which is right.
Well, if it needs must be so, say no more.
He conquers grief, who firmly can resolve.
Resolv'd I'm not; but even let it be,
if he does not absent himself too long.
And let us, Leonora, care for him,
that he may never be oppress'd by want,
but that the duke, e'en in a distant land,
may graciously assign him maintenance.
THE WIFE'S DUTY TO HER HUSBAND
IE, fie! unknit that threatening unkind brow; and dart not scornful glances from those eyes, to wound thy lord, thy king, thy governor:
it blots thy beauty, as frosts do bite the meads;
confounds thy fame, as whirlwinds shake fair buds;
and in no sense is meet or amiable.
A woman mov'd is like a fountain 'troubled,
muddy, ill-seeming, thick, bereft of beauty;
and while it is so, none so dry or thirsty
will deign to sip, or touch one drop of it.
Thy husband is thy lord, thy life, thy keeper,
thy head, thy sovereign; one that cares for thee,
and for thy maintenance: commits his body
to painful labour both by sea and land,
to watch the night in storms, the day in cold,
while thou liest warm at home, secure and safe;
and craves no other tribute at thy hands
but love, fair looks, and true obedience,-
too little payment for so great a debt.
890 Such duty as the subject owes the prince,
even such a woman oweth to her husband;
and, when she is froward, peevish, sullen, sour,
and not obedient to his honest will,
what is she but a foul contending rebel,
and graceless traitor to her loving lord?—
I am ashamed that women are so simple
to offer war, where they should kneel for peace;
or seek for rule, supremacy, and sway,
when they are bound to serve, love, and obey.
Why are our bodies soft and weak and smooth,
unapt to toil and trouble in the world,
but that our soft conditions and our hearts,
should well agree with our external parts?
Come, come you froward and unable worms!
my mind has been as big as one of yours,
my heart as great; my reason, haply, more,
to bandy word for word, and frown for frown:
but now I see our lances are but straws;
our strength as weak, our weakness past compare,-
that seeming to be most, which we indeed least are.
Then vail your stomachs, for it is no boot,
and place your hands below your husband's foot:
in token of which duty, if he please,
my hand is ready, may it do him ease.
891 CHARACTEr of the duke of devonshire
ILD, affable, and easy of access
he was; but with a due reservedness;
so that the passage to his favour lay
not common to all comers; nor yet was
so narrow, but it gave a gentle way
to such as fitly might, or ought to pass.
Nor sold he smoke; nor took he up to-day
commodities of men's attendances,
and of their hopes; to pay them with delay,
and entertain them with fair promises.
But as a man that lov'd no great commerce
with bus'ness and with noise, he ever flies
that maze of many ways, which might disperse
him into other men's uncertainties:
and with a quiet calm sincerity,
he effects his undertakings really.