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To disproportion me in every part,
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.
Act V. 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
veil, 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
Tewksbury. Lords, knights, and gentlemen, what I should say, My tears gainsay ; * for every word I speak,
* Unsay, deny.
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 howld, and hideous tempests shook down trees. The raven rook'd* her on the chimney's top, And chattering pies in dismal discord sung.
KING RICHARD III.
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 triling, others shocking, and some improbable."
* To rook signified to squat down or lodge on any thing.
Gloster's Love for Lady Anne. Those
of thine from mine have drawn salt tears,
Wooing of Lady Anne.
+ A small French coin.