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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 ;'
1 The cognizance of Edward IV. was adopted after the battle of 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 bruised 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 2 steeds,
To fright the souls of fearful adversaries,
He capers nimbly in a lady's chamber,
To the lascivious pleasing of a lute.
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,
I Barbed and barded were indifferently applied to a caparisoned horse.
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.
Он, 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
As we paced along
Upon the giddy footing of the hatches,
That had befallen us.
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,
Inestimable stones, unvalued jewels,
All scattered in the bottom of the sea.
Some lay in dead men's skulls; and in those, holes
Where eyes did once inhabit there were crept,
As 'twere in scorn of eyes, reflecting gems,
That wooed the slimy bottom of the deep,
And mocked the dead bones that lay scattered by.
Often did I strive
To yield the ghost: but still the envious flood
Stopt in my soul, and would not let it forth
To find the empty, vast, and wandering air;
But smothered it within my panting bulk,
Which almost burst to belch it in the sea.
Oh, then began the tempest to my soul!
I passed, methought, the melancholy flood
With that sour ferryman which poets write of,
Unto the kingdom of perpetual night.
The first that there did greet my stranger soul
Was my great father-in-law, renowned Warwick;
Who spake aloud,—“ What scourge for perjury
Can this dark monarchy afford false Clarence?"
And so he vanished: Then came wandering by
A shadow like an angel, with bright hair
Dabbled in blood; and he shrieked out aloud,—
"Clarence is come,—false, fleeting, perjured Clarence,—
That stabbed me in the field by Tewksbury;
Seize on him, furies, take him unto torment!"
With that, methought, a legion of foul fiends
Environed me, and howled in mine ears
Such hideous cries, that, with the very noise
I trembling waked, and, for a season after,
Could not believe but that I was in hell;
Such terrible impression made my dream.
CARDINAL WOLSEY'S SOLILOQUY ON HIS FALL.
FAREWELL, a long farewell, to all my greatness!
This is the state of man: To-day he puts forth
The tender leaves of hopes, to-morrow blossoms,
And bears his blushing honours thick upon him:
The third day comes a frost, a killing frost;
And,-when he thinks, good easy man, full surely
His greatness is a ripening,―nips his root;
And then he falls, as I do. I have ventured,
Like little wanton boys that swim on bladders,
This many summers in a sea of glory;
But far beyond my depth: my high-blown pride
At length broke under me; and now has left me,
Weary, and old with service, to the mercy
Of a rude stream, that must for ever hide me.
Vain pomp and glory of this world, I hate ye;
I feel my heart new opened: Oh, how wretched
Is that poor man that hangs on princes' favours!
There is, betwixt that smile we would aspire to,
That sweet aspect of princes, and their ruin,
More pangs and fears than wars or women have;
And when he falls, he falls like Lucifer,
Never to hope again.—
Cromwell, I did not think to shed a tear
In all my miseries; but thou hast forced me,
Out of thy honest truth, to play the woman.
Let's dry our eyes and thus far hear me, Cromwell;
And,-when I am forgotten, as I shall be,
And sleep in dull cold marble, where no mention
Of me more must be heard of,—say, I taught thee:
Say, Wolsey, that once trod the ways of glory,
And sounded all the depths and shoals of honour,—
Found thee a way, out of his wreck, to rise in ;