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'Till that his paffions, like a whale on ground, Confound themselves with working.
SCENE IX. Qn Fortune.
(9) Will fortune never come with both hands full, But write her fair words still in fouleft letters? She either gives a stomach and no food, Such are the poor in health; or else a feast, And takes away the ftomach; fuch the rich That have abundance and enjoy it not.
Dialogue between Prince Henry and his Father. Come hither to me, Harry, Depart the chamber, leave us here alone.
P. Hen. I never thought to hear you fpeak again. K. Hen. Thy wish was father, Harry, to that thought; I ftay too long by thee, I weary thee. Doft thou fo hunger for my empty chair, That thou wilt needs inveft thee with my honours, Before thy hour be ripe? O foolish youth! Thou seek'ft the greatness that will overwhelm thee;
(9) Will, &c.] This obfervation is no lefs common than true: Ovid fays,
Nulli fincera Voluptas,
Sollicitique aliquid ketis intervenit.
No mortal bleffings ever come fincere,
Pleasure may lead, but grief brings up the rear.
And in Plautus his Amphitrion there is a like remark,
Satin parva,' &c.
How fhort, how trifling are the joys of life,
If with the evils that it brings compar'd?
This is the state of man, decreed by heav'n,
That all his pleasure shall be mix'd with pain,
And lafting woe fucceed each fhort delight.
Stay but a little; for my cloud of dignity
Is held from falling with so weak a wind,
That it will quickly drop; my day is dim.
Thou haft ftol'n that, which after fome few hours
Were thine without offence: and at my death
Thou haft feal'd up my expectation:
Thy life did manifest thou lov'dft me not,
And thou wilt have me die affur'd of it.
Thou hid'ft a thoufand daggers in thy thoughts,
Which thou haft whetted on thy ftony heart,
To stab at half an hour of my frail life.
What? can't thou not forbear me half an hour?
Then get thee gone and dig my grave thyself,
And bid the merry bells ring to thy ear
That thou art crowned, not that I am dead.
Let all the tears that fhould bedew
Be drops of balm to fanctify thy head;
Only compound me with forgotten duft,
Give that which gave thee life unto the worms.
Pluck down my officers, break my decrees:
For now a time is come to mock at form.
Henry the fifth is crown'd: up vanity!
Down royal state! All you fage counsellors hence!
And to the English court affemble now,
From every region, apes of idleness:
Now neighbour-confines, purge you of your feum;
Have you a ruffian that will fwear? drink? dance?
Revel the night? rob? murder? and commit
The oldeft fins the newest kind of ways?
Be happy, he will trouble you no more:
England fhall give him office, honour, might:
For the fifth Harry from curb'd licence plucks
The muzzle of restraint, and the wild dog
Shall flesh his tooth in every innocent.
O my poor kingdom! fick with civil blows:
When that my care could not with-hold thy riots,
What wilt thou do when riot is thy care?
O, thou wilt be a wilderness again,
Peopled with wolves, thy old inhabitants!
P. Hen. O pardon me, my liege! but for my tears, [Kneeling
(The moift impediments unto my speech)
I had fore-stall'd this dear and deep rebuke,
Ere you with grief had fpoke, and I had heard
The course of it fo far. There is your crown,
And he that wears the crown immortally
Long guard it yours; if I affect it more,
Than as your honour, and as your renown,
Let me no more from this obedience rife,
Which my most true and inward-duteous fpirit
Teacheth this proftrate and exterior bending.
Heav'n witnefs with me, when I here came in
And found no course of breath within
How cold it ftruck my heart! if I do feign,
O let me in my prefent wildness die,
And never live to fhew th' incredulous world
The noble change that I have purposed.
Coming to look on you, thinking you dead, '
(And dead almost, my liege, to think you were)
I spake unto the crown, as having sense,
And thus upbraided it. The care on thee depending
Hath fed upon the body of my father,
Therefore thou best of gold art worst of gold;
Other, lefs fine in carrat, is more precious,
Preferving life in med'cine potable:
But thou, most fine, most honour'd, most renown'd,
Haft eat thy bearer up. Thus, my moft royal liege,
Accufing it, I put it on my head
To try with it (as with an enemy,
That had before my face murder'd my father)
The quarrel of a true inheritor.
But if it did infect my blood with joy,
Or fwell my thoughts to any ftrain of pride,
If any rebel or vain fpirit of mine
Did with the least affection of a welcome
Give entertainment to the might of it;
Let heav'n for ever keep it from my head!
And make me as the poorest vaffal is,
That doth with awe and terror kneel to it!
K. Hen. O my fon!
Heav'n put it in thy mind to take it hence,
That thou mightft win the more thy father's love,
Pleading fo wifely in excuse of it.
Come hither, Harry, fit thou by my bed,
And hear, I think, the very latest counsel
That ever I shall breathe. Heav'n knows, my son,
By what by-paths and indirect crook'd ways
I met this crown; and I myself know well
How troublesome it fat upon my head.
To thee it shall defcend with better quiet,
Better opinion, better confirmation :
For all the foil of the atchievement goes
With me into the earth. It feem'd in me
But as an honour snatch'd with boisterous hand,
And I had many living to upbraid
My gain of it by their affiftances,
Which daily grew to quarrel and to blood-shed,
Wounding fuppofed peace. All these bold fears,
Thou feeft, with peril I have answered;
For all my reign hath been but as a scene
Acting that argument and now my death
Changes the mode; for what in me was purchas'd,
Falls upon thee in a much fairer fort.
So thou the garland wear'ft fucceffively:
Yet tho' thou ftand'st more fure than I could do,
Thou art not firm enough, fince griefs are green;
And all thy friends, which thou must make thy friends,
Have but their ftings and teeth newly ta'n out;
By whofe fell-working I was first advanc'd,
And by whofe pow'r I well might lodge a fear
To be again difplac'd: which to avoid
I cut them off, and had a purpose now
To lead out many to the holy land;
Left reft and lying ftill might make them look
Too near into my ftate. Therefore, my Harry,
Be it thy course to bufy giddy minds
With foreign wars; that action, hence borne out,
May wafte the memory of former days.
More would I, but my lungs are wafted fo
That strength of fpeech is utterly deny'd me.
How I came by the crown, O God, forgive!
And grant it may with thee in true peace live!
P. Hen. My gracious liege,
You won it, wore it, kept it, gave it me;
Then plain and right muit my poffeffion be;
Which I with more than with a common pain
'Gainst all the world will rightfully maintain.
SCENE X. Reflections on a Crown.
O polish'd perturbation! golden care! That keeps the ports of flumber open wide To many a watchful night: fleep with it now! Yet not fo found, and half fo deeply fweet, (10) As he, whofe brow with homely biggen Lound, Snores out the watch of night. O majesty!
(10) As, &c.] The word biggen fignifies properly a cap or coif of linen, worn by children, and here any meaner kind of night-cap. The poets abound with complaints of the miferies of greatness: in one of the chorufes of Seneca's Hercules Octæus, they fing,
O fi pateant, &c.
Oh were the minds of great ones feen,
What cares tempeftuous rage within,
And fcourge their fouls; the Brutian fea
Tofs'd by wild storms, more calm than they:
Let others infolent and great,
Enjoy the treach'rous fmiles of fate:
To courts, oh, never let me roam;
Bleft with content and peace at home.
May my fmall bark in fafety fail,
Ne'er tempted by a profp'rous gale,
Roving to leave the fight of fhore:
And dang'rous diftant deeps explore!