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HENRY THE FIFTH TO HIS ARMY AT
If we are marked to die, we are enow
To do our country loss ; and if to live,
The fewer men the greater share of honour.
God's will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.
By Jove, I am not covetous for gold ;
Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
It yearns me not if men my garments wear ;
Such outward things dwell not in my desires :
But if it be a sin to covet honour,
I am the most offending soul alive.
No, 'faith, my coz, wish not a man from England:
God's peace ! I would not lose so great an honour,
As one man more, methinks, would share from me,
For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more:
Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, though my host,
That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
Let him depart; his passport shall be made,
And crowns for convoy put into his purse :
We would not die in that man's company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
This day is called the feast of Crispian :
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when this day is named,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say, To-morrow is Saint Crispian :
Then will he strip his sleeve, and show his scars,
These wounds I had on Crispian's day.
Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But he 'll remember, with advantages,
What feats he did that day: Then shall our names
Familiar in his mouth as household words,
Harry the king, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloster,
Be in their flowing cups freshly remembered :
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered :
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England, now a-bed,
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here ;
And hold their manhoods cheap, while any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispian's day.
GLOSTER’S (RICHARD III.) SOLILOQUY AFTER
KILLING HENRY THE SIXTH.
WHAT, will the aspiring blood of Lancaster
Sink in the ground ? I thought it would have mounted.
for the poor king's death!
O, may such purple tears be always shed
From those that wish the downfal of our house !
If any spark of life be yet remaining,
Down, down to hell, and say-I sent thee thither,–
[Stabs him again.
I, that have neither pity, love, nor fear.
Indeed, 'tis true that Henry told me of ;
For I have often heard my mother say
I came into the world with my legs forward :
Had I not reason, think ye, to make haste,
And seek their ruin that usurped our right ?
The midwife wondered : and the women cried,
“O, Jesus bless us, he is born with teeth!”
And so I was ; which plainly signified
That I should snarl, and bite, and play the dog.
Then, since the heavens have shaped my body so,
Let hell make crooked my mind to answer it.
I have no brother, I am like no brother :
And this word-love, which greybeards call divine,
Be resident in men like one another,
And not in me; I am myself alone.
Clarence, beware; thou keep'st me from the light;
But I will sort a pitchy day for thee :
For I will buzz abroad such prophecies,
That Edward shall be fearful of his life;
And then, to purge his fear, I'll be thy death.
King Henry, and the prince his son, are gone :
Clarence, thy turn is next, and then the rest,
Counting myself but bad till I be best.
I'll throw thy body in another room,
And triumph, Henry, in thy day of doom.
GLOSTER'S SOLILOQUY—“NOW IS THE WINTER
OF OUR DISCONTENT.”
Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this sun of York ;'
cognizance of Edward Mortimer's Cross.
And all the clouds that lowered upon our house
In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.
Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths ;
Our bruisèd arms hung up for monuments;
Our stern alarums changed to merry meetings,
Our dreadful marches to delightful measures.
Grim-visaged war hath smoothed his wrinkled front;
And now, instead of mounting barbed ’ steeds,
To fright the souls of fearful adversaries,
He capers nimbly in a lady's chamber,
To the lascivious pleasing of a lute.
But I, that am not shaped for sportive tricks,
Nor made to court an amorous looking-glass ;-
I, that am rudely stamped, and want love's majesty
To strut before a wanton ambling nymph ;-
I, that am curtailed of this fair proportion,
Cheated of feature by dissembling nature,
Deformed, unfinished, sent before my time
Into this breathing world, scarce half made up,
And that so lamely and unfashionable
That dogs bark at me, as I halt by them ;-
Why I, in this weak piping time of peace,
Have no delight to pass away the time,
Unless to spy my shadow in the sun,
And descant on mine own deformity :
And therefore, since I cannot prove a lover
To entertain these fair well-spoken days,
I am determined to prove a villain,
And hate the idle pleasures of these days.
Plots have I laid, inductions dangerous,
By drunken prophecies, libels, and dreams,
To set my brother Clarence and the king
In deadly hate the one against the other :
And, if King Edward be as true and just,
As I am subtle, false, and treacherous,
This day should Clarence closely be mewed up,
About a prophecy, which says — that G
Of Edward's heirs the murderer shall be.
Dive, thoughts, down to my soul! here Clarence comes.
Oh, I have passed a miserable night,
So full of fearful dreams, of ugly sights,
That, as I am a Christian faithful man,
I would not spend another such a night,
Though 'twere to buy a world of happy days;
So full of dismal terror was the time.-
Methought that I had broken from the Tower
And was embarked to cross to Burgundy;
And in my company my brother Gloster;
Who from my cabin tempted me to walk
Upon the hatches; there we looked toward England,
And cited up a thousand heavy times,
During the wars of York and Lancaster
That had befallen us. As we paced along
Upon the giddy footing of the hatches,
Methought that Gloster stumbled ; and, in falling,
Struck me, that thought to stay him, overboard,
Into the tumbling billows of the main.
O Lord ! methought what pain it was to drown !
What dreadful noise of water in mine ears!
What sights of ugly death within mine eyes !
Methought I saw a thousand fearful wrecks;
A thousand men that fishes gnawed upon;
Wedges of gold, great anchors, heaps of pearl,