Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

THE MUSIC OF THE SPHERES.

How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank !
Here will we sit, and let the sounds of music
Creep in our ears; soft stillness and the night
Become the touches of sweet harmony.
Sit, Jessica : look how the floor of heaven
Is thick inlaid with patines of bright gold !
There's not the smallest orb, which thou behold’st,
But in his motion like an angel sings,
Still choiring to the young-eyed cherubims :
Such harmony is in immortal souls !
But whilst this muddy vesture of decay
Doth grossly close us in, we cannot hear it.
Come, ho, and wake Diana with a hymn;
With sweetest touches pierce your mistress'

ear, And draw her home with music,

MERCY.

The quality of mercy is not strain'd;
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice bless'd;
It blesseth him that gives, and him that takes :
'Tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes
The thronèd monarch better than his crown:
His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
But mercy is above this sceptred sway ;
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings;

It is an attribute to God himself ;
And earthly power doth then show likest God's,
When mercy seasons justice. Therefore, Jew,
Though justice be thy plea, consider this,-
That, in the course of justice, none of us
Should see salvation; we do pray for mercy;
And that same prayer doth teach us all to render
The deeds of mercy.

SPEECH OF BRUTUS.

ROMANS, countrymen, and lovers ! hear me for my cause ; and be silent, that you may hear: believe me for mine honour, and have respect to mine honour, that you may believe: censure me in your wisdom, and awake your senses, that you may the better judge. If there be any in this assembly, any dear friend of Cesar's, to him I say, that Brutus' love to Cesar was no less than his. If, then, that friend demand, why Brutus rose against Cesar? this is my answer : not that I loved Cesar less, but that I loved Rome more.

Had

you rather Cesar were living, and die all slaves, than that Cesar were dead, to live all free

As Cesar loved me, I weep for him; as he was fortunate, I rejoice at it; as he was valiant, I honour him; but as he was ambitious, I slew him. There are tears for his love, joy for his fortune, honour for his valour, and death for his ambition. Who is here so base, that would be a bondman? If any, speak; for him have I offended. Who is here so rude, that would not be a Roman ? If any, speak; for him have I offended. Who is here so vile, that would not love his country? If any, speak; for him have I offenderi I

for a reply.

pause

men.

HENRY THE FOURTH'S SOLILOQUY ON

SLEEP.

How many thousands of my poorest subjects
Are at this hour asleep! O sleep! O gentle sleep,
Nature's soft nurse, how have I frighted thee,
That thou no more wilt weigh my eyelids down,
And steep my senses in forgetfulness ?
Why, rather, sleep, liest thou in smoky cribs,
Upon uneasy pallets stretching thee,
And hush'd with buzzing night-flies to thy slumber,
Than in the perfumed chambers of the great,
Under the canopies of costly state,
And lulld with sounds of sweetest melody?
O thou dull god, why liest thou with the vile
In loathsome beds; and leavest the kingly couch
A watch-case, or a common 'larum bell ?
Wilt thou upon the high and giddy mast
Seal up the ship-boy's eyes, and rock his brains
In cradle of the rude imperious surge,
And in the visitation of the winds,
Who take the ruffian billows by the top,
Curling their monstrous heads, and hanging them
With deafening clamours in the slippery clouds,
That with the hurly death itself awakes?
Canst thou, O partial sleep! give thy repose
To the wet sea-boy in an hour so rude ;
And in the calmest and the stillest night,
With all appliances and means to boot,
Deny it to a king? Then, happy low, lie down!
Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.

THE SEVEN AGES.

All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players : They have their exits and their entrances ; And one man in his time plays many parts, His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant, Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms; And then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel, And shining morning face, creeping like snail Unwillingly to school; and then, the lover, Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad, Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then, the soldier, Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard, Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel, Seeking the bubble reputation Even in the cannon's mouth: and then, the justice, In fair round belly, with good capon lined, With

eyes severe, and beard of formal cut, Full of wise saws and modern instances; And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts Into the lean and slipper'd pantaloon, With spectacles on nose, and pouch on side; His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide For his shrunk shanks; and his big manly voice, Turning again toward childish treble, pipes And whistles in his sound : Last scene of all, That ends this strange eventful history, Is second childishness, and mere oblivion : Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

BALLANTYNE, ROBERTS, AND COMPANY, PRINTERS, EDINBURGH.

[ocr errors]
« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »