Henry Iv, Part I Monologue
|Henry Iv, Part I Monologue by William Shakespeare|
- KING: God pardon thee! Yet let me wonder, Harry,
- At thy affections, which do hold a wing
- Quite from the flight of all thy ancestors.
- Thy place in council thou hast rudely lost,
- Which by thy younger brother is supplied,
- And art almost an alien to the hearts
- Of all the court and princes of my blood.
- The hope and expectation of thy time
- Is ruined, and the soul of every man
- Prophetically do forethink thy fall.
- Had I so lavish of my presence been,
- So common-hackneyed in the eyes of men,
- So stale and cheap to vulgar company,
- Opinion, that did help me to the crown,
- Had still kept loyal to possession
- And left me in reputeless banishment,
- A fellow of no mark nor likelihood.
- By being seldom seen, I could not stir
- But, like a comet, I was wond'red at;
- That men would tell their children, 'This is he!'
- Others would say, 'Where? Which is Bolingbrook?'
- And then I stole all courtesy from heaven,
- And dressed myself in such humility
- That I did pluck allegiance from men's hearts,
- Loud shouts and salutations from their mouths
- Even in the presence of the crownèd king.
- Thus did I keep my person fresh and new,
- My presence, like a robe pontifical,
- Ne'er seen but wond'red at; and so my state,
- Seldom but sumptuous, showed like a feast
- And wan by rareness such solemnity.
- The skipping king, he ambled up and down
- With shallow jesters and rash bavin wits,
- Soon kindled and soon burnt; carded his state;
- Mingled his royalty with cap'ring fools;
- Had his great name profanèd with their scorns
- And gave his countenance, against his name,
- To laugh at gibing boys and stand the push
- Of every beardless vain comparative;
- Grew a companion to the common streets,
- Enfeoffed himself to popularity;
- That, being daily swallowed by men's eyes,
- They surfeited with honey and began
- To loathe the taste of sweetness, whereof a little
- More than a little is by much too much.
- So, when he had occasion to be seen,
- He was but as the cuckoo is in June,
- Heard, not regarded -- seen, but with such eyes
- As, sick and blunted with community,
- Afford no extraordinary gaze,
- Such as is bent on sunlike majesty
- When it shines seldom in admiring eyes;
- But rather drowsed and hung their eyelids down,
- Slept in his face, and rend'red such aspect
- As cloudy men use to their adversaries,
- Being with his presence glutted, gorged, and full.
- And in that very line, Harry, standest thou;
- For thou hast lost thy princely privilege
- With vile participation. Not an eye
- But is aweary of thy common sight,
- Save mine, which hath desired to see thee more;
- Which now doth that I would not have it do--
- Make blind itself with foolish tenderness.