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Unlikely wonders: how these vain weak nails
May tear a passage through the flinty ribs
Of this hard world, my ragged prison walls;
And, for they cannot, die in their own pride.
Thoughts tending to content, flatter themselves,—
That they are not the first of fortune's slaves,
Nor shall not be the last; like silly beggars,
Who, sitting in the stocks, refuge their shame,—
That many have, and others must sit there:
And in this thought they find a kind of ease,
Bearing their own misfortune on the back
Of such as have before endur'd the like.
Thus play I, in one person, many people,
And none contented: Sometimes am I king;
Then treason makes me wish myself a beggar,
And so I am: Then crushing penury
Persuades me I was better when a king;
Then am I king'd again: and, by-and-by,
Think that I am unking'd by Bolingbroke,
And straight am nothing :—But, whate'er I am,
Nor I, nor any man, that but man is,
With nothing shall be pleas'd, till he be eas'd
With being nothing.—Musick do I hear? [Miaidi.
Ha, ha! keep time : —How sour sweet musick is.
When time is broke, and no proportion kept!
So is it in the musick of men's lives.
And here have I the daintiness of ear,
To check time broke in a disorder'd string;
But, tor the concord of my state and time,
Had not an ear to hear my true time broke.
VOL. vI. D D
I wasted time, and now doth time waste me.
Groom. Hail, royal prince!
K. Rich. Thanks, noble peer;
The cheapest of us is ten groats too dear.
Groom. I was a poor groom of thy stable, king,
O, how it yern'd my heart, when I beheld,
K. Rich. Rode he on Barbary? Tell me, gentle
friend, How went he under him?
Groom. So proudly, as if he disdain'd the ground.
K. Rich. So proud that Bolingbroke was on his
That jade hath eat bread from my royal hand;
Enter Keeper, with a dish.
Keep. Fellow, give place; here is no longer stay.
[To the Groom. K. Etch. If thou love me, 'tis time thou wert
away. Groom. What my tongue dares not, that my heart
shall say. [Exit.
Keep. My lord, will't please you to fall to?
K. Rich. Taste of it first, as thou art wont to do. Keep. My lord, I dare not; sir Pierce of Exton,
Lately came from the king, commands the contrary. K. Rich. The devil take Henry of Lancaster, and
thee! Patience is stale, and I am weary of it.
[Beats the Keeper. Keep. Help, help, help!
Enter Exton, and Servants, armed.
K. Rich. How now? what means death in this
rude assault? Villain, thy own hand yields thy death's instrument.
[Snatching a weapon, and killing one, Go thou, and fill another room in hell.
[He kills another; then Exton strikes him dawn. That hand shall burn in never-quenching fire, That staggers thus my person.—Exton, thy fierce hand Hath with the king's blood stain'd the king's own
Mount, mount, my soul! thy seat is up on high; Whilst my gross flesh sinks downward, here to die.
Exton. As full of valour, as of royal blood:
[Exeunt. SCENE VI.
Windsor. A Room in the Castle.
Flourish. Enter Bolinobroke, and York,
Boling. Kind uncle York, the latest news we hear,
Welcome, my lord: What is the news?
North. First, to thy sacred state wish I all happiness. The next news is,—I have to London sent The heads of Salisbury, Spencer, Blunt, and Kent: The manner of their taking may appear At large discoursed in this paper here.
[Presenting a paper.
Boling. We thank thee, gentle Percy, for thy pains; And to thy worth will add right worthy gains.
Fitz. My lord, I have from Oxford sent to London The heads of Brocas, and Sir Bennet Seely; Two of the dangerous consorted traitors, That sought at Oxford thy dire overthrow.
Baling. Thy pains, Fitzwater, shall not be forgot; Right noble is thy merit, well I wot.