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Henry the Fifth, IV. i

Canst thou, when thou command'st the beggar's knee, 276
Command the health of it? No, thou proud dream,
That play'st so subtly with a king's repose;
I am a king that find thee; and I know
'Tis not the balm, the sceptre and the ball, 280
The sword, the mace, the crown imperial,
The intertissued robe of gold and pearl,
The farced title running 'fore the king,
The throne he sits on, nor the tide of pomp 284
That beats upon the high shore of this world,
No, not all these, thrice-gorgeous ceremony,
Not all these, laid in bed majestical,
Can sleep so soundly as the wretched slave, 288
Who with a body fill'd and vacant mind
Gets him to rest, cramm'd with distressful bread;
Never sees horrid night, the child of hell,
But, like a lackey, from the rise to set 292
Sweats in the eye of Phoebus, and all night
Sleeps in Elysium; next day after dawn,
Doth rise and help Hyperion to his horse,
And follows so the ever-running year 296
With profitable labour to his grave:
And, but for ceremony, such a wretch,
Winding up days with toil and nights with sleep,
Had the fore-hand and vantage of a king. 300
The slave, a member of the country's peace,
Enjoys it; but in gross brain little wots
What watch the king keeps to maintain the peace,
Whose hours the peasant best advantages. 304

280 balm: anointing oil
ball: carried by a king as a sign of sovereignty
282 intertissued: interwoven
283 farced: stuffed out with pompous phrases; cf. n.
290 distressful: earned by painful labor
295 help . . . horse: is up before the sun
300 Had: would have
fore-hand: upper hand
301 member: sharer
304 the peasant best advantages: most benefit the peasant