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Who is to bear me, like a thunderholt,
FALSTAFF'S CATECHISM. Well, 'tis no matter: Honour pricks me on. Yea, but how if honour prick me off when I come on? how then? Can honour set to a leg? No. Or an arm? No. Or take away the grief of a wound? No. Honour hath no skill in surgery then? No. What is honour: A word. What is in that word? Honour, What is that honour? Air. A trim reckoning!Who hath it? He that died o’Wednesday.. Doth he feel it? No. Doth he hear it? No. Is it insensible then? Yea, to the dead. But will it not live with the Jiving? No. Why? Detraction will not suffer it: therefore I'II none of it. Honour is a mere escutcheon,* and so ends my catechism.
* Painted heraldry in funerals.
LIFE DEMANDS ACTION.
PRINCE HENRY'S PATHETIC SPEECH ON THL
DEATH OF HOTSPUR.
Brave Percy, fare thee well. Ill weav'd ambition, how much art thou shrunk! When that this body did contain a spirit, A kingdom for it was too small a bound; But now, two paces of the vilest earth Is room enough: This earth, that bears thee dead Bears not alive so stout a gentleman. If thou wert sensible of courtesy, I should not make so dear a show of zeal: But let my favours* hide thy mangled face; And even, in thy behall, I'll thank myself For doing thee these fair rites of tenderness. Adieu, and take thy praise with thee to heaven' Thy ignominy sleep with thee in the grave, But not remember'd in thy epitaph!
KING HENRY IV.
I, FROM the orient to the drooping west,
* Scarf, with which he covers Peroy's face.
And who but Rumour, who but only I,
Contention, like a horse
Aster him, came, spurring hard, A gentleman alınost forespent* with speed, That stoppd by me to breathe his bloodied horse. He ask'd the way to Chester; and of him I did demand, what news from Shrewsbury. He told me, that rebellion had bad luck, And that young Harry Percy's spur was cold; With that, he gave his able horse the head, And, bending forward, struck his armed heels Against the panting sides of his poor jade Up to the rowei-head; and, starting so. He spena'd in running to devour the way, Staying no longer question.
MESSENGER WITH ILL NEWS,
This man's brow, like to a title-leaf, Foretells the nature of a tragic volume: So looks the strand, whereon the imperious food Hath lest a witness'd usurpation.tThou tremblest; and the whiteness in thy check Is apter than thy tongue to tell thy errand. Even such a man, so faint, so spiritless,
* Exhausted. + An attestation of its ravage.
So dull, so dead in look, so wo-begone,
GREATER GRIEFS DESTROY THE LESS.
As the wretch, whose fever-weaken'd joiuts, Like strengthless hinges buckle under life, Impatient of his tit, breaks like a fire Out of his keeper's arms; even so my limbs, Weaken’d with grief, being now enrag'd with grier Are thrice themselves: hence therefore, thou nice*
crutch; A scaly gauntlet now, with joints of steel, Must glove this hand: and hence, thou sickly quois,“ Thou art a guard too wanton for the head, Which princes, flesh'd with conquest, aim to hit Now bind my brows with iron; and approach The ragged’st hour that time and spite dare bring, To frown upon the enrag'd Northumberland! Let heaven kiss earth! Now let not nature's hand Keep the wild flood confin’d! let order die! And let this world no longer be a stage, To feed contention in a lingering act; But let one spirit of the firsi-born Cain Reign in all bosoms, that, each heart being set On bloody courses, the rude scene may end, And darkness be the burier of the dead.
THE FICKLENESS OF THE VULGAR,
An habitation giddy and unsure Hath he, that buildeth on the vulgar heart. * Trifling.
O thou fond many!* with what loud applause
APOSTROPHE TO SLEEP.
Sleep: gentle sleep, Nature's soft nurse, how have I frighted thee, That thou no more wilt weigh my eyelids down, And steep my senses in forgetfulness? Why rather, sleep, liest thou in smoky cribs, Upon uneasy pallets stretching thee, And hush'd with buzzing night-flies to thy slumber: Than in the perfum'd chambers of the great, Under the canopies of costly state, And lull'd 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 'laurum 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 deafʼning clamours in the slippery clouds, That, with the hurly,f 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, Deng it to a king?
* Multitude. + Dressed. # Noise.