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XXXIII.-SURPRISE AT UNEXPECTED EVENTS.
GONE to be married! gone to swear a peace! False blood to false blood join'd! Gone to be friends! Shall Louis have Blanche? and Blanche those provinces ? It is not so: Thou hast mis-spoke, mis-heard?
Be well advis'd, tell o'er thy tale again :
It cannot be? thou dost but say, 'tis so:
I trust, I may not trust thee; for thy word
Is but the vain breath of a common man :
Believe me, I do not believe thee, man;
I have a king's oath to the contrary.
Thou shalt be punished for thus frighting me.
What dost thou mean by shaking of thy head?
Why dost thou look so sadly on my son?
What means that hand upon that breast of thine?
Why holds thine eye that lamentable rheum,
Like a proud river peering o'er his bounds?
Be these sad sighs confirmers of thy words?
Then speak again; not all thy former tale,
But this one word, whether thy tale be true.
XXXIV. AMAZEMENT AT STRANGE NEWS.
OLD men and beldames, in the streets, Do prophesy upon it dangerously:
Young Arthur's death is common in their mouths ;
And when they talk of him they shake their heads,
And whisper one another in the ear;
And he that speaks doth gripe the hearer's wrist;
Whilst he that hears makes fearful action,
With wrinkled brows, with nods, with rolling eyes.
I saw a smith stand with his hammer, thus,
The whilst his iron did on the anvil cool,
With open mouth swallowing a tailor's news;
Who, with his shears and measure in his hand,
Standing on slippers, (which his nimble haste
Had falsely thrust upon contrary feet,)
Told of a many thousand warlike French,
That were embattled and rank'd in Kent:
Another lean unwash'd artificer
Cuts off his tale, and talks of Arthur's death.
HEAVEN for his mercy! what a tide of woes
Comes rushing on this woeful land at once!
I know not what to do:-I would to heav'n
(So my disloyalty had not provok'd him to it)
The king had cut off my head with my brother's.—
What, are these posts despatch'd for Ireland?-
How shall we do for money for these wars?—
Come, sister,-cousin, I would say; pray pardon me.
Go, fellow, get thee home, provide some carts,
And bring away the armour that is there.
Gentlemen, will you go to muster men? If I know
How, or which way, to order these affairs,
Thus disorderly thrust into my hands,
Never believe me. Both are my kinsmen :—
The one's my sovereign, whom both my oath
And duty bids defend; the other again
Is my kinsman, whom the king has wrong'd;
Whom conscience and my kindred bids to right.
Well, somewhat we must do-Come, cousin, I'll
Dispose of you: go muster up your men,
And meet me presently at Berkley castle—
I should to Plashy too;-
But time will not permit :-All is uneven,
And every thing is left at six and seven.-Richard II
XXXVI. VEXATION AT NEGLECTING ONE'S DUTY.
Он, what a rogue and peasant slave am I!
Is it not monstrous, that this player here,
But in a fiction, in a dream of passion,
Could force his soul so to his own conceit,
That, from her working, all his visage wann'd,
Tears in his eyes, distraction in his aspect,
A broken voice, and his whole function suiting
With forms to his conceit. And all for nothing!
What's Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba,
That he should weep for her? What would he do,
Had he the motive and the cue for passion
That I have? He would drown the stage with tears,
And cleave the general ear with horrid speech;
Make mad the guilty, and appal the free,
Confound the ignorant, and amaze, indeed,
The very faculties of eyes and ears. Yet I,
A dull and muddy-mettled rascal, peak,
Like John a-dreams, unpregnant of my cause,
And can say nothing-no, not for a king.
XXXVII. MALICE AND REVENGE.
How like a fawning publican he looks:
I hate him, for he is a Christian,
But more for that in low simplicity,
He lends out money gratis, and brings down
The rate of usance here with us in Venice.
If I can catch him once upon the hip,
I will feed fat the ancient grudge I bear him.
He hates our sacred nation, and he rails
E'en there, where merchants most do congregate,
On me my bargains and my well-won thrift,
Which he calls interest. Cursed be my tribe
If I forgive him.
Merchant of Venice.
XXXVIII.—GRAVE DELIBERATION ON WAR AND PEACE.
FATHERS, we once again are met in council:
Cæsar's approach has summon'd us together,
And Rome attends her fate from our resolves.
How shall we treat this bold aspiring man?
Success still follows him, and backs his crimes:
Pharsalia gave him Rome: Egypt has since
Receiv'd his yoke, and the whole Nile is Cæsar's.
Why should I mention Juba's overthrow,
Or Scipio's death? Numidia's burning sands
Still smoke with blood. 'Tis time we should decree
What course to take; our foe advances on us,
And envies us even Lybia's sultry deserts.
Fathers, pronounce your thoughts; are they still fix'd
To hold it out and fight it to the last?
Or are your hearts subdu'd at length, and wrought,
By time and ill success, to a submission?
But wherefore do you droop? Why look you Be great in act as you have been in thought; Let not the world see fear and sad distrust Govern the motion of a kingly eye: Be stirring as the time; be fire with fire; Threaten the threatener, and outface the brow Of bragging horror: so shall inferior eyes, That borrow their behaviours from the great, Grow great by your example; and put on The dauntless spirit of resolution; Show boldness and aspiring confidence: What! shall they seek the lion in his den? And fright him there? and make him tremble there?
FIGHT, gentlemen of England! fight, bold yeomen!
Draw, archers, draw your arrows to the head:
Spur your proud horses hard, and ride in blood;
Amaze the welkin with your broken staves-
A thousand hearts are great within my bosom :
Advance our standards, set upon our foes;
Our ancient word of courage, fair St. George,
Inspire us with the spleen of fiery dragons!
Upon them! Victory sits on our helms.—Shakspeare.
We shall insert here, as being the most appropriate place, Collins's celebrated "Ode on the Passions."
WHEN Music, heavenly maid! was young,
While yet in early Greece she sung,
The Passions oft, to hear her shell,
Throng'd around her magic cell;
Exulting, trembling, raging, fainting,
Possess'd beyond the Muse's painting,
By turns they felt the glowing mind
Disturb'd, delighted, rais'd, refin'd;
Till once, 'tis said, when all were fir'd,
Fill'd with fury, rapt, inspir'd,
From the supporting myrtles round
They snatch'd her instruments of sound;
And as they oft had heard apart
Sweet lessons of her forceful art,
Each (for madness ruled the hour)
Would prove his own expressive pow'r.
First FEAR his hand, its skill to try,
Amid the chords, bewilder'd laid—
And back recoil'd, he knew not why,
E'en at the sound himself had made.