God pardon thee! yet let me wonder, Harr...

Henry IV Part I

King Henry IV

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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 ruin'd, and the soul of every man

Prophetically doth forethink thy fall.

Had I so lavish of my presence been,

So common-hackney'd 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 wonder'd at;

That men would tell their children 'This is he;'

Others would say 'Where, which is Bolingbroke?'

And then I stole all courtesy from heaven,

And dress'd 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 crowned king.

Thus did I keep my person fresh and new;

My presence, like a robe pontifical,

Ne'er seen but wonder'd at: and so my state,

Seldom but sumptuous, showed like a feast

And won 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 capering fools,

Had his great name profaned 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,

Enfeoff'd himself to popularity;

That, being daily swallow'd 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 sun-like majesty

When it shines seldom in admiring eyes;

But rather drowzed and hung their eyelids down,

Slept in his face and render'd 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 has lost thy princely privilege

With vile participation: not an eye

But is a-weary 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.

William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part One. http://shakespeare.mit.edu/1henryiv/1henryiv.3.2.html.

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