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Nor with thy sweets comfort his rav’nous sense;
But let thy spiders which suck up thy venom,
And heavy-gaited toads lie in their way ;
Doing annoyance to the treacherous feet,
Which with usurping steps do trample thee.
Yield stinking nettles to mine enemies;
And when they from thy bofom pluck a flow'r,
Guard it, I prythee, with a lurking adder;
Whose double tongue may with a mortal touch
Throw death upon thy sovereign's enemies.
Mock not my senseless conjuration, lords ;
This earth shall have a feeling ; and these stones
Prove armed soldiers, ere her native king.
Shall faulter under foul rebellious arms.
The Sun rising after a dark Night.
-Know'st thou not, That when the searching eye of heav'n is hid Behind the globe, and lights the lower world; Then thieves and robbers range abroad unseen, In murders, and in outrage bloody here : But when from under this terrestrial ball He fires the proud tops of the eastern pines, And darts his light through every guilty hole ; Then murders, treasons, and deteited lins, The cloak of night being pluck'd from off their backs, Stand bare and naked, trembling at themselves.
Scene IV. On the Vanity of Power, and Misery
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
Write forrow on the bofom of the earth!
Let's chuse executors, and talk of wills;
And yet not fo-for what can we bequeath,
Save our deposed bodies to the ground?
Our lands, our lives, and all are Bolingbroke's,
And nothing can we call our own, but death;
And that small model of the barren earth,
Which serves as paste and cover to our bones.
For heav'n's fake, let us fit upon the ground,
And tell fad stories of the death of kings.
How some have been depos'd, some Nain in war;
Some haunted by the ghosts they dilpoffefs’d;
Some poison'd by their wives; fome sleeping kill'd :
All murther’d.For within the hollow crown (4),
That rounds the mortal temples of a king,
Keeps death his court: and there the antic fits,
Scofling his state, and grinning at his pomp;
Allowing him a breath, a little scene
To monarchize, be fear’d, and kill with looks ::
Infufing him with self and vain conceit,
As if this fleth which walls about our life,
Were brafs impregnable: and humour'd thus,
Comes at the lait, and with a little pin,
Bores through his castle walls, and farewel king !
heads, and mock not flesh and blood
With folemn rev’rence: throw away respect,
Tradition, form, and ceremonious duty,
For you have but mistook me all this while:
I live on bread like you ; feel want like you;
Taite grief, w:int friends like you: subjected thus,
How can you lay to me, I am a king ?
(4) For, &c.] So in PBilofter, the king says:
Alas, what are we kings?
Why do you, gods, place us above the rest,
To be serv'd, Aatter'd, and ador'd, till we
Believe we hold within our hands your thunder :
And when we come to try the pow'r we have,
There's not a leaf ibakes at our threatnings!
In winter's tedious nights fit by the fire,
With good old folks, and let them tell thee tales
Of woeful ages long ago
And ere thou bid good-night, to quit their grief,
Tell them the lamentable fall of me,
And send the hearers weeping to their beds.
SCENE III. A Defcription of Bolingbroke's and
Richard's Entry into London. Them, as I said, the duke, great Bolingbroke, (5) Mounted upon a hot and fiery steed, Which his afpiring rider seem'd to know, With flow, but stately pace, kept on his course : While all tongues cry’d, God save thee, Bolingbroke! You wou'd have thought the very windows spoke, So many greedy looks of young and old Throu, h casements darted their desiring eyes Upon his visage; and that all the walls, With painted imag'ry,'had said at once, Fefu, preserve thee! welcome Bolingbroke ! Whilft he, from one side to the other turning, Bare-headed, lower than his proud 1teed's neck, Bespoke them thus ; I thank you, countrymen ; And this still doing, thus he pass'd along. Duch. Alas! poor Richard, where rides he the
while ? York. As in a theatre the eyes of men,
(5) The king afterwards hearing of this horfe from his groom obferves,
So proud, that Bolingbroke was on his back!
The jade hath eat bread from my royal hand.
This hand hath made him proud with clapping him.
Wou'd he not stumble : &c.
After a well-grac'd actor leaves the stage,
Are idly bent on him that enters next,
Thinking his prattle to be tedious:
Ev'n so, or with much more contempt, mens eyes
Did scowl on Richard: no man cry'd, God save him!
No joyful tongue gave hiin his welcome home;
But duit was thrown upon his facred head;
Which with such gentle sorrow he shook off,
His face still combating with tears and smiles,
The badges of his grief and patience
That had not God, for some strong purpose, steel'd
The hearts of men, they must perforce have melted;
And barbarism itself have pitied him.
(6) Who are the violets now,
That strew the green lap of the new-come spring ?
SCENE X. King Richard's Soliloquy in Prison,
I have been studying how to compare
This prison where I live, unto the world;
And, for because the world is populous,
And here is not a creature but myself,
I cannot do it ; yet I'll hammer on't.
My brain I'll prove the female to my foul,
My soul, the father: and these two beget
A generation of still-breeding thoughts.
And these fame thoughts people this little world,
In humour, like the people of this world,
For no thought is contented-
(6) Who, &c.] Milion doubtless had this passage in his eye, when in his pretty song, On May-morning, he wrote,
Now the briglit morning-sar, day's harbinger,
Comes dancing from the east, and leads with her
The flowery May, who from her green lip throws
The yellow cowlip, and the pale primrose.
Thoughts tending to content, flatter themselves
That they are not the first of fortune's flaves,
And shall not be the last: (like filly beggars,
Who, fitting in the stocks, refuge their shame,
That many have, and others must fit there)
And in this thought they find a kind of ease,
Bearing their own misfortune-on the back
Of such as have before endur'd the like.
Thus play I, in one prison, many people,
And none contented. Sometimes am I king,
Then treason makes me with myself a beggar;
And so I am. Then crushing penurý .
Persuades me, I was better when a king;.
Then am I king'd again; and by and by,
Think, that I am unking'd by Bolingbroke,
And strait am nothing But whate'er I am,
Nor I, nor any man, that but man is,
With nothing shall be pleas'd, till he be eas'd
With being nothing.-
THIS play (says Johnson) is extracted from the Chronicle of HoIngstad, in which many páffages may be found which Shakespear has, with very little alteration, transplanted into his scenes ; particularly a speech of the bishop of Carlisle in defence of king Richard's unalienableright, and immunity from human jurisdiction.
Fon on who, in his Cariline and Sejanus,, has inserted many speeches from the Roman historians, was perhaps induced to that practice by the example of Shakespear, who had condescended sometimes to copy more ignoble writers. But Shakespear had more of his own than Jomson, and, if he sometimes was willing. to spare his labour, shewed by what he performed at other. times, that his extracts were made by choice or idleness rather than pecessity.
This play is one of those which Shakifprar has apparently re-vised; but as success in works of invention is not always propor-tionate to labour, it is not finished at last with the happy force of some other of his tragedies, nor can be said much to affect the passions, or enlarge the understanding.