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THE BLESSINGS OF A SHEPHERDS Life. 167

THE BLESSINGS OF A SHEPHERD'S LIFE.
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 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 my flock; So many 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 fools will

yean; So many years ere I shall shear the fleece: So minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and years, Pass'd over to the end they were created, Would bring white hairs unto a quiet grave, Ah! what a lise were this! how sweet! how lovely! Gives not the hawthorn bush a sweeter shade To shepherds, looking on their silly sheep, Than doth a rich embroider'd canopy To kings, that fear their subjects' treachery? O, yes it doth: a thousand fold it doth. And to conclude ---the shepherd's homely curds, His cold thin drink out of his leather bottle, His wonted sleep under a fresh tree's shade, All which secure and sweetly he enjoys, Is far beyond a prince's delicates, His viands sparkling in a golden cup, His body couched in a curious bed, When care, mistrust, and treason wait on him.

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ACT III.

NO STABILITY IN A MOB.

Look, as I blow this feather from my face,
And as the air blows it to me again,
Obeying with my wind when I do blow,
And yielding to another when it blows,
Commanded always by the greater gust;
Such is the likeness of you common men.

A SIMILE ON AMBITIOUS THOUGHTS. Why, then I do but dream on sovereignty; Like one that stands upon a promontúry, And spies a far-off shore where he would tread, Wishing his foot were equal with his eye; And chides the sea that sunders him from thence, Saying-he'll lade it dry to have his way.

GLOSTER'S DEFORMITY. Why, love forswore me in my mother's womb: And, for I should not deal in her soft laws She did corrupt frail nature with some bribe To shrink mine arm up like a wither'd shrub; To make an envious mountain on my back, Where sits deformity to mock my body; To shape my legs of an unequal size; To disproportion me in every part, Like to a chaos, or an unlick'd bear-whelp, That carries no impression like the dam. And am I then a man to be belov’d?

GLOSTER'S DISSIMULATION. Why, I can smile, and murder while I smile; And cry, content, to, that which grieves my heart; And wet my cheeks with artificial tears,

And frame my face to all occasions.
I'll drown more sailors than the mermaid shall;
I'll slay more gazers than the basilisk;
I'll play the orator as well as Nestor,
Deceive more slily than Ulysses could,
And, like a Sinon, take another Troy:
I can add colours to the cameleon ;
Change shapes, with Proteus, for advantages,
And set the murd'rous Machiavel to school.
Can I do this, and cannot get a crown?

ACT IV.

HENRY VI. ON HIS OWN LENITY.

I have not stopp'd mine ears to their demands, Nor posted off their suits with slow delays; My pity hath been balm to heal their wounds, My mildness hath allay'd their swelling griefs, My mercy dry'd their water-flowing tears: I have not been desirous of their wealth, Nor much oppress’d them with great subsidies, Nor forward of revenge, though they much err'd.

ACT V.

DYING SPEECH OF THE EARL OF WARWICK.

Ah, who is nigh? come to me, friend, or foe, And tell me, who is victor, York, or Warwick? Why ask I that? my mangled body shows, My blood, my want of strength, my sick heart shows, That I must yield my body to the earth, And, by my fall, the conquest to my foe. Thus yields the cedar to the axe's edge, Whose arms gave shelter to the princely eagle, Under whose shade the ramping lion slept;

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Whose top-branch over-peer'd Jove's spreading

tree, And kept low shrubs from winter's powerful wind. These eyes,

that now are dimm’d with death's black Have been as piercing as the mid-day sun, (veil, To search the secret treasons of the world : The wrinkles in my brows, now fill'd with blood, Were liken'd oft to kingly sepulchres; For who liv'd king, but I could dig his grave? And who durst smile, when Warwick bent his brow? Lo, now my glory smear'd in dust and blood! My parks, my walks, my manors that I had, Even now forsake me: and, of all my lands, Is nothing left me, but my body's length!

QUEEN MARGARET'S SPEECH BEFORE THE BATTLE

OF TEWKSBURY.

Lords, knights, and gentlemen, what I should say, My tears gainsay*; for every word I speak, Ye see,

I drink the water of mine eyes. (reign, Therefore, no more but this:-Henry, your soveIs prisoner to the foe; his state usurp'd, His realm a slaughter-house, his subjects slain, His statutes cancell’d, and his treasure spent; And yonder is the wolf, that makes this spoil. You fight in justice : then, in God's name, lords, Be valiant, and give signal to the fight.

OMENS ON THE BIRTH OF RICHARD III.

The owl shriek'd at thy birth, an evil sign; The night-crow cried, aboding luckless time; Dogs howld, and hideous tempests shook down The raven rook’dt her on the chimney's top, [trees :

Unsay, deny. + To rook, signified to squat down or lodge on any thing.

*

And chattering pies in dismal discords sung.
Thy mother felt more than a mother's pain,
And yet brought forth less than a mother's hope ;
To wit,--an indigest deformed lump,
Not like the fruit of such a goodly tree.
Teeth hadst thou in thy head, when thou wast born,
To signify,—thou cam'st to bite the world.

KING RICHARD III.

ACT I. THE DUKE OF GLOSTER ON HIS OWN DEFORMITY. Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths; Our bruised arms hung up for monuments; Our stern alarums chang'd to merry meetings, Our dreadful marches to delightful measures*. Grim-visag'd war hath smooth’d his wrinkled front; And now,-instead of mounting barbedt steeds To fright the souls of fearful adversaries,He capers nimbly in a lady's chamber, To the lascivious pleasing of a lute. But I,--that am not shap'd for sportive tricks, Nor made to court an amorous looking-glass: I, that am rudely stamp'd, and want love's majesty, To strut before a wanton ambling nymph; I, that am curtail'd of this fair proportion, Cheated of feature by dissembling nature, Deform’d, unfinish’d, sent before my

time Into this breathing world, scarce half made up, And that so lamely and unfashionable, That dogs bark at me, as I halt by them ;Why I, in this weak piping time of peace, Have no delight to pass away the time, * Dances.

+ Armed.

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