A monologue from the
play by William
MORE MONOLOGUES BY WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
- KING: The mercy that was quick in us but late,
- By your own counsel is suppressed and killed.
- You must not dare for shame to talk of mercy;
- For your own reasons turn into your bosoms
- As dogs upon their masters, worrying you.
- See you, my princes and my noble peers,
- These English monsters! My Lord of Cambridge here--
- You know how apt our love was to accord
- To furnish him with all appertinents
- Belonging to his honor; and this man
- Hath, for a few light crowns, lightly conspired
- And sworn unto the practices of France
- To kill us here in Hampton; to the which
- This knight, no less for bounty bound to us
- Than Cambridge is, hath likewise sworn. But O,
- What shall I say to thee, Lord Scroop, thou cruel,
- Ingrateful, savage, and inhuman creature?
- Thou that didst bear the key of all my counsels,
- That knew'st the very bottom of my soul,
- That almost mightst have coined me into gold,
- Wouldst thou have practiced on me for thy use?
- May it be possible that foreign hire
- Could out of thee extract one spark of evil
- That might annoy my finger? 'Tis so strange
- That, though the truth of it stands off as gross
- As black and white, my eye will scarcely see it.
- Treason and murder ever kept together,
- As two yoke-devils sworn to either's purpose,
- Working so grossly in a natural cause
- That admiration did not whoop at them;
- But thou, 'gainst all proportion, didst bring in
- Wonder to wait on treason and on murder;
- And whatsoever cunning fiend it was
- That wrought upon thee so preposterously
- Hath got the voice in hell for excellence.
- All other devils that suggest by treasons
- Do botch and bungle up damnation
- With patches, colors, and with forms being fetched
- From glist'ring semblances of piety;
- But he that tempered thee bade thee stand up,
- Gave thee no instance why thou shouldst do treason,
- Unless to dub thee with the name of traitor.
- If that same demon that hath gulled thee thus
- Should with his lion gait walk the whole world,
- He might return to vasty Tartar back
- And tell the legions, 'I can never win
- A soul so easy as that Englishman's.'
- O, how hast thou with jealousy infected
- The sweetness of affiance! Show men dutiful?
- Why, so didst thou. Seem they grave and learnèd?
- Why, so didst thou. Come they of noble family?
- Why, so didst thou. Seem they religious?
- Why, so didst thou. Or are they spare in diet,
- Free from gross passion or of mirth or anger,
- Constant in spirit, not swerving with the blood,
- Garnished and decked in modest complement,
- Not working with the eye without the ear,
- And but in purgèd judgment trusting neither?
- Such and so finely bolted didst thou seem;
- And thus thy fall hath left a kind of blot
- To mark the full-fraught man and best indued
- With some suspicion. I will weep for thee;
- For this revolt of thine, methinks, is like
- Another fall of man. Their faults are open.
- Arrest them to the answer of the law;
- And God acquit them of their practices!