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Hotspur's ironical speech to his Wife.
Come, wilt thou see me ride?
And, when I am o' horseback, I will swear
I love thee infinitely. But hark you, Kate
I must not have you henceforth question me
Whither I go, nor reason whereabout:
Whither I must, I must; and, to conclude,
This evening must I leave you, gentle Kate.
I know you wise; but yet no further wise
Than Harry Percy's wife: constant you are,
But yet a woman: and for secrecy,
No lady closer; for I well believe,
Thou wilt not utter what thou dost not know,
And so far will I trust thee, gentle Kate!
Prodigies at Glendower's birth.
To tell you once again, that at my birth
The front of heaven was full of fiery shapes;
The goats ran from the mountains, and the herds
Were strangely clamorous to the frighted fields.
These signs have mark'd me extraordinary;
And all the courses of my life do show
I am not in the roll of common men.
Where is he living, clipp'd in with the sea
That chides the banks of England, Scotland, Wales,
Which calls me pupil, or hath read to me?
And bring him out, that is but woman's son,
Can trace me in the tedious ways of art,
And hold me pace in deep experiments.
Hotspur's contempt for Rhymers.
I had rather be a kitten, and cry—mew,
Than one of these same metre ballad-mongers:
I'd rather hear a brazen canstick* turn'd,
Or a dry wheel grate on an axle-tree;
And that would set my teeth nothing on edge,
Nothing so much as mincing poetry;
'Tis like the forced gait of a shuffling nag.
Punctuality in Bargains.
I'll give thrice so much land
To any well-deserving friend;
But in the way of bargain, mark ye me,
I'll cavil on the ninth part of a hair.
A Husband sung to Sleep by his Wife.
Upon the wanton rushes lay you down,
And rest your gentle head upon her lap,
And she will sing the song that pleaseth you;
And on your eyelids crown the god of sleep,
Charming your blood with pleasing heaviness:
Making such difference betwixt wake and sleep,
As is the difference betwixt day and night,
The hour before the heavenly-harness'd team
Begins his golden progress in the east.
King Henry's Address to his Son on his irregularities. Had I so lavish of my presence been, So common-hackney'd in the eyes of men, So stale and cheap to vulgar company; Opinion that did help me to the crown,
Had still kept loyal to possession:*
And left me in reputeless banishment,
A fellow of no mark nor likelihood.
By being seldom seen, I could not stir,
But, like a comet, I was wonder'd at:
That men would tell their children, “This is he;"
Others would say, "Where?—which is Bolingbroke?"
And then I stole all courtesy from heaven,
And dress'd myself in such humility,
That I did pluck allegiance from men's hearts,
Loud shouts and salutations from their mouths,
Even in the presence of the crowned king.
Thus did I keep my person fresh and new;
My presence, like a robe pontifical,
Ne'er seen, but wonder'd at; and so my state,
Seldom, but sumptuous, showed like a feast ;
And won, by rareness, such solemnity.
The skipping king, he ambled up and down.
With shallow jesters, and rash bavin† wits,
Soon kindled, and soon burn'd; carded his state;
Mingled his royalty with capering fools;
Had his great name profaned with their scorns,
And gave his countenance, against his name,
To laugh at gibing boys, and stand the push
Of every beardless vain comparative :‡
Grew a companion to the common streets,
Enfeoff'd himself to popularity:
That being daily swallow'd by men's eyes,
They surfeited with honey, and began
To loathe the taste of sweetness, whereof a little
More than a little, is by much too much.
So, when he had occasion to be seen,
*Had kept me loyal to him who possessed the crown.
He was but as the cuckoo is in June,
Heard, not regarded; seen, but with such eyes,
As, sick and blunted with community,
Afford no extraordinary gaze,
Such as is bent on sun-like majesty,
When it shines seldom in admiring eyes :
But rather drows'd, and hung their eyelids down,
Slept in his face and render'd such aspect
As cloudy men use to their adversaries :
Being with his presence glutted, gorged and full.
Prince Henry's Defence of Himself.
God forgive them, that have so much sway'd
Your majesty's good thoughts away from me!
I will redeem all this on Percy's head,
And, in the closing of some glorious day,
Be bold to tell you that I am your son;
When I will wear a garment all of blood,
And stain my favours* in a bloody mask,
Which, wash'd away, shall scour my shame with it.
And that shall be the day, whene'er it lights,
That this same child of honour and renown,
This gallant Hotspur, this all-praised knight,
And your unthought-of Harry chance to meet :
For every honour sitting on his helm,
Would they were multitudes; and on my head
My shames redoubled! for the time will come
That I shall make this northern youth exchange
His glorious deeds for my indignities.
Percy is but my factor, good my lord,
To engross up glorious deeds on my behalf;
And I will call him to so strict account,
That he shall render every glory up,
Yea, even the slightest worship of his time,
Or I will tear the reckoning from his heart.
This, in the name of God, I promise here :
The which, if He be pleas'd I shall perform,
I do beseech your majesty may salve
The long-grown wounds of my intemperance :
If not, the end of life cancels all bands;
And I will die a hundred thousand deaths,
Ere break the smallest parcel* of this vow.
I saw young Harry,—with his beaver on,
His cuissest on his thighs, gallantly arm'd-
Rise from the ground like feather'd Mercury,
And vaulted with such ease into his seat,
As if an angel dropp'd down from the clouds,
To turn and wind a fiery Pegasus,
And witch the world with noble horsemanship.
Hotspur's Impatience for the Battle.
They come like sacrifices in their trim,
And to the fire-eye'd maid of smoky war,
All hot and bleeding will we offer them :
The mailed Mars shall on his altar sit,
Up to the ears in blood. I am on fire,
To hear this rich reprisal is so nigh,
And yet not ours:-come, let me take my horse,
Who is to bear me, like a thunderbolt,
Against the bosom of the Prince of Wales:
Harry to Harry shall, hot horse to horse,