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Steed threatens steed, in high and boastful neighs
The country cocks do crow, the clocks do toll,
Sit patiently, and inly ruminate
The morning's danger; and their gesture sad,
So many horrid ghosts. O, now, who will behold
Walking from watch to watch, from tent to tent,
How dread an army hath enrounded him;
His liberal eye doth give to every one,
His bloody brow
With his mail'd hand‡ then wiping, forth he goes;
Or all, or lose his hire.
i. e. His hand covered, or armed, with mail.
That Julius Cæsar was a famous man;
The Greeks are strong, and skilful to their strength,
And skill-less as unpractised infancy.
I have, thou gallant Trojan, seen thee oft,
Through ranks of Greekish youth: and I have seen thee,
As hot as Perseus, spur thy Phrygian steed,
Despising many forfeits and subduements,
When thou hast hung thy advanced sword i' the air,
Lo, Jupiter is yonder, dealing life !
And I have seen thee pause, and take thy breath,
To what base uses we may return! Why may not imagination trace the noble dust of Alexander, till it find it stopping a bung-hole? As thus, Alexander died, Alexander was buried, Alexander returneth to dust; the dust is earth of earth we make loam: And why of that loam, whereto he was converted, might they not stop a beer barrel?
Imperious Cæsar, dead, and turn'd to clay,
I remember, when the fight was done,
And 'twixt his finger and his thumb he held
Who, therewith angry, when it next came there,
With many holiday and lady terms
I then, all smarting, with my wounds being cold,
Out of my grieft and my impatience,
Answer'd neglectingly, I know not what;
For he made me mad,
To see him shine so brisk, and smell so sweet,
And talk so like a waiting-gentlewoman,
Of guns, and drums, and wounds, (God save the mark!) And telling me, the sovereign'st thing on earth
Was parmaceti, for an inward bruise;
And that it was great pity, so it was,
O Hero! what a Hero had'st thou been,
Those he commands, move only in command,
* A small box for musk or other perfumes. + Pain.
Nothing in love: now does he feel his title
His nature is too noble for the world:
He would not flatter Neptune for his trident,
Or Jove for his power to thunder. His heart's his
What his breast forges, that his tongue must vent;
And being angry, does forget that ever
He heard the name of death.
Turn him to any cause of policy,
The Gordian knot of it he will unloose,
Familiar as his garter; that, when he speaks,
And the mute wonder lurketh in men's ears,
To steal his sweet and honey'd sentences.
So much is my poverty of spirit,
So mighty, and so many, my defects,
That I would rather hide me from my greatness,―
A sponge that soaks up the king's countenance, his rewards, his authorities. But such officers do the king best service in the end: He keeps them, like an ape, in the corner of his jaw; first mouthed, to be last swallowed: When he needs what you have gleaned, it is but squeezing you, and, sponge, you shall be dry again. 36-iv. 2.
He hath resisted law,
And therefore law shall scorn him farther trial
Than the severity of the public power,
Which he so sets at nought.
So cowards fight when they can fly no farther;
So doves do peck the falcon's piercing talons;
That face of his I do remember well;
To seem to affect the malice and displeasure of the people, is as bad as that which he dislikes, to flatter them for their love.
The common people swarm like summer-flies:
They do prank them in authority,
Against all noble sufferance.
How smooth and even they do bear themselves!
As if allegiance in their bosom sat,
Crowned with faith and constant loyalty.
He's loved of the distracted multitude,
Who like not in their judgment, but their eyes;
And, where 'tis so, the offender's scourge is weigh'd,
But never the offence.
Look, as I blow this feather from my face,
And as the air blows it to me again,
Such is the lightness of you common men. 23-iii. 1.