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To disproportion me in every part,

Like to a chaos, or an unlick'd bear-whelp,
That carries no impression like the dam.
And am I then a man to be beloved?

Gloster's Dissimulation.

Why, I can smile, and murder while I smile; And cry, content, to that which grieves my heart; And wet my cheeks with artificial tears,

And frame my face to all occasions;

I'll drown more sailors than the mermaid shall ;
I'll slay more gazers than the basilisk;
I'll play the orator as well as Nestor;
Deceive more slily than Ulysses could,
And, like a Sinon, take another Troy :
I can add colours to the cameleon;
Change shapes with Proteus for advantages,
And set the murd'rous Machiavel to school.
Can I do this and cannot get a crown ?


Henry VI. on his own Lenity.

I have not stopp'd mine ears to their demands, Nor posted off their suits with slow delays; My pity hath been balm to heal their wounds, My mildness hath allay'd their swelling griefs, My mercy dried their water-flowing tears: I have not been desirous of their wealth, Nor much oppress'd them with great subsidies, Nor forward of revenge, though they much err'd.


Dying Speech of the Earl of Warwick.

Ah, who is nigh? come to me, friend or foe, And tell me who is victor, York or Warwick ? Why ask I that? my mangled body shows,

My blood, my want of strength, my sick heart shows,
That I must yield my body to the earth,

And by my fall, the conquest to my foe.
Thus yields the cedar to the axe's edge,
Whose arms gave shelter to the princely eagle,
Under whose shade the ramping lion slept,

Whose top branch over-peer'd Jove's spreading tree,
And kept low shrubs from winter's powerful wind.
These eyes, that now are dimm'd with death's black

Have been as piercing as the mid day sun,

To search the secret treasons of the world:

The wrinkles in my brows, now fill'd with blood,
Were liken'd oft to kingly sepulchres:

For who liv'd king, but I could dig his grave?

And who durst smile when Warwick bent his brow?
Lo, now my glory smear'd in dust and blood!
My parks, my walks, my manors that I had,
Even now forsake me; and of all my lands,
Is nothing left me but my body's length.

Why, what is pomp, rule, reign, but earth and dust?
And, live we how we can, yet die we must.

Queen Margaret's Speech before the Battle of

Lords, knights, and gentlemen, what I should say, My tears gainsay;* for every word I speak,

* Unsay, deny.

Ye see, I drink the water of mine eyes.
Therefore, no more but this:-Henry your sovereign
Is a prisoner to the foe; his state usurp'd,
His realm a slaughter-house, his subjects slain,
His statutes cancell'd, and his treasure spent;
And yonder is the wolf that makes this spoil.
You fight in justice: then in God's name, lords,
Be valiant, and give signal to the fight.

Omens on the Birth of Richard III.

The owl shriek'd at thy birth, an evil sign; The night-crow cried, aboding luckless time; Dogs howl'd, and hideous tempests shook down trees. The raven rook'd* her on the chimney's top, And chattering pies in dismal discord sung.



This historical tragedy describes the sanguinary career of King Richard, his murder of his brother (the Duke of Clarence), and the two young princes in the Tower, and his final overthrow and death, at the battle of Bosworth Field, by the Earl of Richmond, afterwards Henry the Seventh, who unites the rival houses of York and Lancaster, and ends the wars of the white and red roses. Dr. Johnson describes this play as one of the most celebrated of Shakspere's performances, but adds :-"I know not whether it has not happened to him, as to others, to be praised most when praise is not most deserved. That this play has scenes, noble in themselves, and very well contrived to strike in the exhibition, cannot be denied; but some parts are trifling, others shocking, and some improbable."

* To rook signified to squat down or lodge on any thing.

Аст І.

The Duke of Gloster on his Deformity.

Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this sun of York;
And all the clouds that lower'd 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-visag'd war has smooth'd his wrinkled front;
And now, instead of mounting barbed † steeds,
To fright the souls of fearful adversaries,—
He caper's 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 stamp'd, and want love's majesty,
To strut before a wanton ambling nymph;
I, that am curtail'd of this fair proportion,
Cheated of feature by dissembling nature,
Deform'd, unfinish'd, 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.

* Dances.

† Armed.

Gloster's Love for Lady Anne.

Those eyes
of thine from mine have drawn salt tears,
Sham'd their aspects with store of childish drops:
These eyes which never shed remorseful* tear,—
Not, when my father York and Edward wept,
To hear the piteous moan that Rutland made
When black-faced Clifford shook his sword at him :
Nor when thy warlike father, like a child,
Told the sad story of my father's death;
And twenty times made pause, to sob and weep,
That all the standers-by had wet their cheeks,
Like trees bedash'd with rain; in that sad time
My manly eyes did scorn an humble tear;

And what these sorrows could not thence exhale
Thy beauty hath, and made them blind with weeping.
I never sued to friend nor enemy;

My tongue could never learn sweet soothing word;
But now thy beauty is proposed my fee,

My proud heart sues, and prompts my tongue to speak.

Gloster's praises of his own Person after his successful
Wooing of Lady Anne.

My dukedom to a beggarly denier,†
I do mistake my person all this while ;
Upon my life, she finds, although I cannot,
Myself to be a marvellous proper man.
I'll be at charges for a looking-glass :
And entertain a score or two of tailors,
To study fashions to adorn my body:
Since I am crept in favour with myself,
I will maintain it with some little cost.

* Pitiful.

† A small French coin.

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