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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.
But first, I'll turn yon fellow in his grave;
And then return lamenting to my love.
Shine out, fair sun, till I have bought a glass,
That I may see my shadow as I
SHAKESPEARE'S "RICHARD III."
Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this sun of York;
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 are 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 lass;-
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.
SHAKESPEARE'S "RICHARD III."
O, 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 't were 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 waters 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 't were 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.
My dream was lengthened after life;
O, then began the tempest to my soul!
I passed, methought, the melancholy flood
With that grim 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.
O, Brackenbury, I have done these things,
That now give evidence against my soul,
For Edward's sake; and see how he requites me !
O God! if my deep prayers cannot appease thee,
But thou wilt be avenged on my misdeeds,
Yet execute thy wrath on me alone :
O, spare my guiltless wife, and my poor children!
EDWARD THE FOURTH'S REMORSE
FOR HIS BROTHER'S EXECUTION.
SHAKESPEARE'S "RICHARD III."
HAVE I a tongue to doom my brother's death
And shall that tongue give pardon to a slave?
My brother killed no man; his fault was thought,
And yet his punishment was bitter death.
Who sued to me for him? who, in my wrath,
Kneeled at my feet, and bade me be advised?
Who spoke of brotherhood? who spoke of love?
Who told me, how the poor soul did forsake
The mighty Warwick, and did fight for me?
Who told me in the field at Tewkesbury,
When Oxford had me down, he rescued me,
And said, "Dear brother, live, and be a king?"
Who told me, when we both lay in the field,
Frozen almost to death, how he did lap me
Even in his garments; and did give himself,
All thin and naked, to the numb-cold night?
All this from my remembrance brutish wrath
Sinfully plucked, and not a man of you
Had so much grace to put it in my mind.
But when your carters, or your waiting-vassals,
Have done a drunken slaughter, and defaced
The precious image of our dear Redeemer,
You straight are on your knees for pardon, pardon;
And I unjustly too, must grant it you :-
But for my brother, not a man would speak,
Nor I, ungracious, speak unto myself
For him, poor soul. The proudest of you all
Have been beholden to him in his life
Yet none of you would once plead for his life.
O God! I fear thy justice will take hold
On me, and you, and mine, and yours, for this.
Come, Hastings, help me to my closet.
Ah! poor Clarence!
No ceremony that to great ones 'longs,
Not the king's crown, nor the deputed sword,
The marshal's truncheon, nor the judge's robe,
Become them with one half so good a grace
As mercy does. If he had been as you,
And you as he, you would have slipt like him ;
But he, like you, would not have been so stern.
SHAKESPEARE'S "Measure for Measure."