Puslapio vaizdai

That, with the hurly, death itself awakes?
Can't thou, O partial fleep, give thy repofe
To the wet fea-boy in an hour fo rude?
And, in the calmeft, and the ftilleft night,
With all appliances and means to boot,
Deny it to a king ?


The character of king HENRY V. by his father.

He is gracious if he be obferv'd;

He hath a tear for pity, and a hand
Open as day, for melting charity:

Yet notwithstanding, being incens'd, he's flint:
As humorous as winter, and as fudden,
(6) As flaws congealed in the fpring of day.
His temper therefore must be well obferv'd;
Chide him for faults, and do it reverently,
When you perceive his blood inclin'd to mirth ;
But being moody, give him line and scope,
Till, that his paflions, like a whale on ground,
Confound themselves with working.


(7) Will fortune never come with both hands full, But write her fair words ftill in fouleft letters ?


(6) As flaws. The meaning of the word in this place feems to be, the fmall blades of ice, which are ftruck on the edges of the water in winter mornings. and which I have heard called by that name. Edwards. See canons of criticism, p. 71.

(7) Will, &e.] This obfervation is no less common than true. Ovid fays,

Nulli fincera Voluptas,

Sollicitique aliquid lætis intervenit.

No mortal bleffings ever come fincere,

Met. 1. 7.

Pleasure may lead, but grief brings up the rear.


She either gives a stomach and no food,
Such are the poor, in health; or else a feast,
And takes away the ftomach: fuch the rich
That have abundance and enjoy it not.


Reflections on a Crow.

O polish'd pertubation! golden care! That keep'ft the ports of flumber open wide To many a watchful night: fleep with it now! Yet not fo found, and half fo deeply sweet, (8) As he, whofe brow, with homely biggen bound, Snores out the watch of night. O majesty ! When thou doft pinch thy bearer, thou doft fit

And in Plautus his Ampbytrion there is a like remark,
'Satin parva, &c.'

How fhort, how trifling are the joys of life
If with the evils that it brings compar'd?
This is the fate of man, decreed by heav'n,
That all his pleasure fhall be mix'd with pain,
And lafting woe fucceed each fhort delight.

Anony, (8) As &c.] The word biggen fignifies properly a cap or coif of linnen, worn by children, and here any meaner kind of nighteap. The poets abound with complaints of the miferies of greatnefs: In one of the chorufes of Seneca's Hercules Oetaus, they fing O fi pateant, &c.

Oh were the minds of great ones feen,
What cares tempeftuous rage within,

And scourge their fouls; the Brutian fea
Fofs'd by wild ftorms, more calm than they :

And again

Let others infolent and great,
Enjoy the treach'rous smiles of fate:
To courts, oh, never let me roam;
Bleft with content and peace at home.
May my fmall bark in fafety fail,
Ne'er tempted by a profp'rous gale,
Roving to leave the fight of shore:
And dang'rous diftant deeps explore!


Like a rich armour, worn in heat of day,
That fcalds with fafety.

[blocks in formation]

(9) How quickly nature

Falls to revolt, when gold becomes her object?
For this, the foolish over-careful fathers

Have broke their fleep with thought, their brains with care,

Their bones with induftry: for this engroffed
The canker'd heaps of ftrange-atchieved gold :
For this they have been thoughtful to inveft
Their fons with arts and martial exercises :
When, like the bee, culling from ev'ry flow'r,
Our thighs are packt with wax, our mouths with

We bring it to the hive; and, like the bees,"

Are murther'd for our pains,


The chief justice to king Henry V. whom he had


If the deed were ill,

Be you contented, wearing now the garland,
To have a fon, fet your decrees at naught,
To pluck down juftice from your awful bench:
To trip the course of law, and blunt the fword

(9) How &c.] If the miferies of greatnefs be fo univerfal a topic, we have one before us that is ftill more fo: Shakespear perhaps has excelled any writer on the subject in this place and other parts of his works, but more particularly in Timon of Athens. (which fee A. 4. S. 3, &c.) It would he easy to quote numberless fimilar paffages, but the univerfality of the topic, and every reader's obfervation must render it tedious and unneceffary.

[ocr errors][merged small]

That guards the peace and fafety of your perfon.
Nay more to fpurn at your moft royal image,
And mock your working in a fecond body.
Question your royal thoughts, make the cafe yours,
Be now the father, and propofe a fon :
Hear your own dignity fo much profan'd:
See your moft dreadful laws fo loosely flighted,
Behold yourself so by a fon disdain'd,
And then imagine me taking your part,
And in your power fo filencing your fon.




The Life of HENRY V.


For a mufe of fire, that would ascend The brightest heaven of invention ! A kingdom for a ftage, princes to act, And monarchs to behold the swelling scene! Then should the warlike Harry, like himself, Affume the part of Mars; and at his heels, (Leafht in, like hounds) fhould famine, fword, and fire,

Crouch for employment.




Confideration, like an angel, came,

(2) And whipt th' offending Adam out of him;


(1) O for, &c.] Milton, who was a zealous admirer and studious imitator of our author, feems to have had the fine opening of this prologue in his eye, when he began the 4th book of his Paradife Loft.

O for that warning voice! which he, who saw
Th' Apocalyps, heard cry in heav'n aloud,
Then, when the dragon put to fecond rout,
Came furious down to be reveng'd on men,
Woe to th' inhabitants of earth.


(2) And whipt, &c.] Shakespear enriched himself, and greatly improved his incomparable genius from the fcriptures, that end


« AnkstesnisTęsti »