Open main menu

Page:Henry VI Part 3 (1923) Yale.djvu/114

This page has been validated.
The Third Part of

Our slaughter'd friends the tackles; what of these?
Why, is not Oxford here another anchor?16
And Somerset another goodly mast?
The friends of France our shrouds and tacklings?
And, though unskilful, why not Ned and I
For once allow'd the skilful pilot's charge?20
We will not from the helm, to sit and weep,
But keep our course, though the rough wind say no,
From shelves and rocks that threaten us with wrack.
As good to chide the waves as speak them fair.24
And what is Edward but a ruthless sea?
What Clarence but a quicksand of deceit?
And Richard but a ragged fatal rock?
All those the enemies to our poor bark.28
Say you can swim; alas! 'tis but a while:
Tread on the sand; why, there you quickly sink:
Bestride the rock; the tide will wash you off,
Or else you famish; that's a threefold death.32
This speak I, lords, to let you understand,
If case some one of you would fly from us,
That there's no hop'd-for mercy with the brothers
More than with ruthless waves, with sands and rocks,
Why, courage, then! what cannot be avoided
'Twere childish weakness to lament or fear.

Prince. Methinks a woman of this valiant spirit
Should, if a coward heard her speak these words,40
Infuse his breast with magnanimity,
And make him, naked, foil a man at arms.
I speak not this, as doubting any here;
For did I but suspect a fearful man,44
He should have leave to go away betimes,

15 tackles: ropes
23 shelves: sandbanks
27 ragged: jagged
34 If case: if it should happen
41 magnanimity: courage