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O that these hands could so redeem my son,
As they have given these hairs their hberty!
But now I envy at their liberty,
And will again commit them to their bonds,
Because my poor child is a prisoner.-
And, father cardinal, I have heard you say,
That we shall see and know our friends in heaven:
If that be true, I shall see my boy again;
For, since the birth of Cain, the first male child,
To him that did but yesterday suspire,
There was not such a gracious creature born.
But now will canker-sorrow eat my bud,
And chase the native beauty from his cheek,
And he will look as hollow as a ghost ;
As dim and meagre as an ague's fit;
And so he'll die; and, rising so again,
When I shall meet him in the court of heaven
I shall not know him : therefore, never, never
Must I behold my pretty Arthur more.
Pand. You hold too heinous a respect of grief.
Const. He talks to me, that never had a son.
K. Phi. You are as fond of grief, as of your child.
Const. Grief fills the room up of
absent child, Lies in his bed, walks up and down with me; Puts on his pretty looks, repeats his words, Remembers me of all his gracious parts, Stuffs out his vacant garments with his form ; Then, have I reason to be fond of grief. Fare you well: had
such a loss as I, I could give better comfort than you
do.I will not keep this form upon my head,
[Tearing off her head-dress,
When there is such disorder in my wit.
O Lord ! my boy, my Arthur, my fair son!
My life, my joy, my food, my all the world!
My widow-comfort, and my sorrows' cure !
HENRY as King.
Archbishop of Canterbury and Bishop of Ely.
Canterbury. The king is full of grace, and fair regard.
Ely. And a true lover of the holy Church,
Cant. The courses of his youth promised it not.
The breath no sooner left his father's body,
But that his wildness, mortified in him,
Seemed to die too: yea, at that very moment,.
Consideration like an angel came,
And whipped the offending Adam out of him;
Leaving his body as a paradise,
To envelop and contain celestial spirits.
Never was such a sudden scholar made :
Never came reformation in a flood,
With such a heady current, scouring faults ;
Nor never Hydra-headed wilfulness
So soon did lose his seat, and all at once,
As in this king.
Ely. We are blessed in the change.
Cant. Hear him but reason in divinity,
And, ail-admiring, with an inward wish
You would desire, the king were made a prelate:
Hear him debate of commonwealth affairs,
You would say,—it hath been all-in-all his study:
List his discourse of
A fearful battle rendered you in music:
Turn him to any cause of policy,
The Gordian knot of it he will unloose,
Familiar as his garter; that, when he speaks,
The air, a chartered libertine, is still,
And the mute wonder lurketh in men's ears,
To steal his sweet and honeyed sentences ;
So that the art and practic part of life
Must be the mistress to this theoric:
Which is a wonder, how his grace should glean it,
Since his addiction was to courses vain :
His companies unlettered, rude, and shallow;
His hours filled up with riots, banquets, sports ;
And never noted in him any study,
Any retirement, any sequestration
From open haunts and popularity.
Ely. The strawberry grows underneath the nettle:
And wholesome berries thrive and ripen best,
Neighboured by fruit of baser quality :
And so the prince obscured his contemplation
Under the veil of wildness; which, no doubt,
Grew like the summer grass, fastest by night,
Unseen, yet crescive in his faculty.
Night before the Battle of Agincourt. Now entertain conjecture of a time, When creeping murmur, and the poring dark, Fills the wide vessel of the universe. From camp to camp, through the foul womb of night The hum of either army lly sounds, That the fixed sentinels almost receive
The secret whispers of each other's watch:
Fire answers fire: and through their paly flames
Each battle sees the other's umbered face:
Steed threatens steed, in high and boastful neighs
Piercing the night's dull ear; and from the tents,
The armourers, accomplishing the knights,
With busy hammers closing rivets up,
Give dreadful note of preparation.
The country cocks do crow, the clocks do toll,
And the third hour of drowsy morning name.
Proud of their numbers, and secure in soul,
The confident and over-lusty French
Do the low-rated English play at dice;
And chide the cripple tardy-gaited Night,
Who, like a foul and ugly witch, doth limp
So tediously away. The poor condemned English,
Like sacrifices, by their watchful fires
Sit patiently, and inly ruminate
The morning's danger; and their gesture sad,
Investing lank-lean cheeks, and war-worn coats,
Presenteth them unto the gazing moon
many horrid ghosts. O, now, who will behold
The royal captain of this ruined band,
Walking from watch to watch, from tent to tent,
Let him cry—Praise and glory on his head !
For forth he goes, and visits all his host;
Bids them good-morrow, with a modest smile :
And calls them-brothers, friends, and countrymen.
Upon his royal face there is no note,
How dread an army hath enrounded him;
Nor doth he dedicate one jot of colour
Unto the weary and all-watched night:
But freshly looks, and over-bears attaint,
With cheerful semblance, and sweet majesty;
That every wretch, pining and pale before,
Beholding him, plucks comfort from his looks. ...
Henry's Reflections on his Fallen State.
Would I were dead! if God's good will were so: For what is in this world but grief and woe? O God! methinks it were a happy life, To be no better than a homely swain; To sit upon a hill, as I do now, To carve out dials quaintly, point by point, Thereby to see the minutes how they run : How many make the hour full complete, How many hours bring about the day, How many days will finish up the year, How many years a mortal man may live. When this is known, then to divide the times : So many hours must I tend
hours must I take my rest;
So many hours must I contemplate;
So many hours must I sport myself ;
So many days my ewes have been with young;
So many weeks ere the poor fools will yean;
So many years ere I shall shear the fleece;
So minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and years,
Passed over to the end they were created,
Would bring white hairs unto a quiet grave.
Ah, what a life were this ! how sweet! how lovely!