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old in judgement and understanding; and he that will caper with me for a thousand marks, let him lend me the money, and have at him!'
The play is a mere bundle of individual passages, but each of these passages is admirable. example is King Henry's soliloquy which opens the third act, the profoundly imaginative apostrophe to Sleep:
O thou dull god, why liest thou with the vile
Throughout this Second Part, the King, besieged by cares and living in the shadow of death, is richer in thought and wisdom than ever before. What he says, and what is said to him, seems drawn by the poet from the very depths of his own experience, and addressed to men of the like experience and thought. Every word of that first scene of the third act is in the highest degree significant and admirable. It is here that the King turns to what we now call geology for an image of the historical mutability of all things. When he
mournfully reminds his attendants that Richard II., whom he displaced, prophesied a Nemesis to come from those who had helped him to the throne, and that this Nemesis has now overtaken him, Warwick answers with the profound and astonishingly modern reflection that history is apparently governed by laws, and that each man's life
'Figuring the nature of the times deceased;
As yet not come to life.'
*Are these things then necessities?
Then let us meet them like necessities.' But it is at the close of the fourth act, where news of the total defeat of the rebels is brought to the dying King, that he utters what is perhaps his most profoundly pessimistic speech, complaining that Fortune never comes with both hands full, but writes her fair words still in foulest letters,' so that life is like a feast at which either the food or the appetite (or the guests] are always lacking.
KING HENRY IV.
King Henry V.
-country justices. SILENCE, Davy, servant to Shallow. MOULDY, SHADOW, WART, FEEBLE, and BULLCALF,
Beadles, Grooms, etc.
SECOND PART OF
KING HENRY IV.
Warkworth. Before the castle. Enter Rumour, painted full of tongues. Rum. Open your ears; for which of you will stop The vent of hearing when loud Rumour speaks? I, from the orient to the drooping west, Making the wind my post-horse, still unfold The acts commenced on this ball of earth: Upon my tongues continual slanders ride, The which in every language I pronounce, Stuffing the ears of men with false reports. I speak of peace, while covert enmity Under the smile of safety wounds the world: And who but Rumour, who but only I, Make fearful musters and prepared defence, Whiles the big year, swoln with some other grief, Is thought with child by the stern tyrant war, And no such matter? Rumour is a pipe Blown by surmises, jealousies, conjectures, And of so easy and so plain a stop