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And telling me, the sovereign’st thing on earth
Was parmaceti for an inward bruise;
And that it was great pity—so it was,
That villainous saltpetre should be digged
Out of the bowels of the harmless earth,
Which many a good tall fellow had destroyed
So cowardly : and but for these vile guns,
He would himself have been a soldier.
13. CLARENCE AND BRAKENBURY.
BRAK. Why looks your grace so heavily to-day?
CLAR. O, I have passed a miserable night,
So full of ugly sights, of ghastly dreams,
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.
BRAK. What was your dream, my lord ? I pray you teli
CLAR. 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. Thence 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 sought to stay him) overboard, Into the tumbling billows of the main. Lord, Lord, methought what pain it was to drown! What dreadful noise of waters in mine ears! What ugly sights of death within mine eyes ! Methought I saw a thousand fearful wrecks; Ten 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.
BRAK. Had you such leisure in the time of death,
To gaze upon the secrets of the deep ?
CLAR. Methought I had ; and often did I strive
To yield the ghost; but still the envious flood
Kept in my soul, and would not let it forth
To seek the empty vast and wandering air;
But smothered it within my panting bulk,
Which almost burst to belch it in the sea.
BRAK. Awaked you not with this sore agony ?
CLAR. No, no; my dream was lengthened after life.
O then began the tempest to my soul :
I passed, methought, the melancholy flood,
With that grim ferryman that 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 cried 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
Dappled in blood, and he shrieked out aloud-
“ Clarence is come, false, fleeting, perjured Clarence,
That stabbed me in the field by Tewkesbury;
Seize on him, Furies, take him to your torinents !”
With that, methought, a legion of foul fiends
Environed me, and howlèd 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.
BRAK. No marvel, lord, that it affrighted you;
I am afraid, I promise you, to hear you tell it.
CLAR. O, Brakenbury, I have done those things
Which 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!
I pr'ythee, gentle keeper, stay by me:
My soul is heavy, and I fain would sleep.
14. SCROOP AND RICHARD. SCROOP. More health and happiness betide my liege, Than can my care-tuned tongue deliver him!
K. Rich. Mine ear is open, and my heart prepared ; The worst is worldly loss thou canst unfold. Say, is my kingdom lost? Why 'twas my care; And what loss is it to be rid of care ? Strives Bolingbroke to be as great as we ? Greater he shall pot be; if he serve God, We'll serve him too, and be his fellow so. Revolt our subjects ? that we cannot mend; They break their faith to God, as well as us. Cry woe, destruction, ruin, loss, decay; The worst is death, and death will have his day.
SCBOOP. Glad am I that your highness is so armed To bear the tidings of calamity. Like an unseasonable stormy day, Which makes the silver rivers drown their shores, As if the world were all dissolved to tears ; So high above his limits swells the rage Of Bolingbrokecovering your fearful land With hard bright steel, and hearts more hard than steel. White beards have armed their thin and hairless scalps Against thy majesty ; boys, with women's voices, Strive to speak big, and clasp their female joints In stiff unwieldy arms, against thy erown; The very beadsmen learn to bend their bows Of double fatal yew against thy state. Yea, distaff women manage rusty bills Against thy seat: both young and old rebel, And all goes worse than I have power to tell.
K. Rich. Too well, too well, thou tell'st a tale so ill. Where is the earl of Wiltshire? where is Bagot? What is become of Bushy? where is Green ?
.. No matter where : of comfort no man speak, Let's talk of graves, of worms and epitaphs. Make dust our paper, and with rainy eyes
And found no course of breath within your majesty,
How cold it struck my heart! if I do feign,
O let me in my present wildness die,
And never live to show th' incredulous world
The noble change that I have purposed.
Coming to look on you, thinking you dead,
(And dead almost, my liege, to think you were,)
I spake unto the crown, as having sense,
And thus upbraided it : “ The care on thee depending
Hath fed upon the body of my father,
Therefore, thou best of gold, art worst of gold :
Other, less fine in carat, is more precious,
Preserving life in medicine potable :
But thou, most fine, most honour'd, most renown'd,
Hast eat thy bearer up.” Thus, my most royal liege,
Accusing it, I put it on my head,
To try with it (as with an enemy,
That had before my face murder'd my father)
The quarrel of a true inheritor.
But if it did infect my blood with joy,
Or swell my thoughts to any strain of pride,
If any rebel or vain spirit of mine
Did with the least affection of a welcome
Give entertainment to the might of it,
Let Heaven for ever keep it from my head,
And make me as the poorest vassal is,
That doth with awe and terror kneel to it!
K. HEN. O my son !
Heaven put it in thi“ mind to take it hence,
That thou might'st win the more thy father's love,
Pleading so wisely in excuse of it.
Come hither, Harry, sit thou by my bed;
And hear, I think, the very latest counsel
That ever I shall breathe. Heaven knows, my son,
By what by-paths, and indirect crook'd ways,
I met this crown; and I myself know well
How troublesome it sat upon my head.
To thee it shall descend with better quiet,
Better opinion, better confirmation :
For all the soil of the achievement goes