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is their argument? Now, if these men do not die well, it will be black matter for the king, that led them to it, whom to disobey were against all proportion of subjection.

K. Henry. So, if a son, that is sent by his father about merchandize, do fall into some lewd action and miscarry, the imputation of his wickedness, by your rule, should be imposed upon his father, that sent him; or if a servant, under his master's command transporting a sum of money, be assailed by robbers, and die in many irreconciled iniquities, you may call the business of the master the author of the servant's damnation: but this is not so: the king is not bound to answer the particular endings of his soldiers, the father of his son, nor the master of his servant; for they purpose not their death, when they purpose their services. Besides, there is no king, be his cause never so spotless, if it come to the arbitrement of swords, can try it out with all unspotted soldiers: some, peradventure, have on them the guilt of premeditated and contrived murder; some, of beguiling virgins with the broken seal of perjury; some, making the wars their bulwark, that have before gored the gentle bosom of peace with pillage and robbery. Now if these men have defeated the law, and outrun civil punishment; though they can outstrip men, they have no wings to fly from God. War is his beadle, war is his vengeance; so that here men are punished, for before breach of the king's laws, in the king's quarrel now: where they feared the death, they have borne life away; and where they would be safe, they perish. Then if they die unprovided, no more is the king guilty

of their damnation, than he was before guilty of those impieties for which they are now visited. Every subject's duty is the king's, but every subject's soul is his own. Therefore should every soldier in the wars do as every sick man in his bed, wash every moth out of his conscience :- and dying so, death is to him an advantage; or not dying, the time was blessedly lost, wherein such preparation was gained: and, in him that escapes, it were not sin to think, that making God so free an offer, he let him outlive that day, to see his greatness, and to teach others how they should prepare.

Will. "Tis certain, every man that dies ill, the ill is upon his own head, the king is not to answer for it. Shakspeare.

THE POWER OF CONSCIENCE.

BRAKENBURY, AND TWO VILLAINS, MURDERERS.

1st Vil. Ho, who's there?

Brak. In God's name, what art thou? how cam'st thou hither?

2d Vil. I would speak with Clarence, and I came hither on my legs.

Brak. What, so brief?

1st Vil. 'Tis better, sir, than to be tedious. Let him see our commission, and talk no more.

Brak. [Reads.] I am in this commanded, to deliver the noble duke of Clarence to your hands. I will not reason what is meant hereby, because I will be guiltless of the meaning. There lies the duke asleep, and there the keys. I'll to the king,

and signify to him, that thus I have resigned to you my charge.

[Exit. 1st Vil. You may, sir, 'tis a point of wisdom: fare you well.

2d Vil. What, shall we stab him as he sleeps? 1st Vil. No; he'll say, 'twas done cowardly, when he wakes.

2d Vil. When he wakes! why, fool, he shall never wake until the great judgment day.

1st Vil. Why, then he'll say, we stabbed him sleeping.

2d Vil. The urging of that word, judgment, hath bred a kind of remorse in me.

1st Vil. What? art thou afraid?

2d Vil. Not to kill him, having a warrant for it: but to be damned for killing him, from the which no warrant can defend me.

1st Vil. I'll back to the duke of Glo'ster, and tell him so.

2d Vil. Nay, pr'ythee, stay awhile: I hope this holy humour of mine will change: it was wont to hold me but while one could tell twenty.

1st Vil. How dost thou feel thyself now?

2d Vil. Faith, some certain dregs of conscience are yet within me.

1st Vil. Remember the reward, when the deed's done.

2d Vil. Come, he dies: I had forgot the reward.

1st Vil. Where's thy conscience now?

2d Vil. O, in the duke of Glo'ster's purse.

1st Vil. When he opens his purse to give us our reward, thy conscience flies out.

2d Vil. 'Tis no matter, let it go; there's few or none will entertain it.

1st Vil. What if it come to thee again?

2d Vil. I'll not meddle with it; it is a dangerous thing, it makes a man a coward: a man caunot steal, but it accuseth him; a man cannot swear, but it checks him; a man cannot lie with his neighbour's wife, but it detects him. "Tis a blushing shame-faced spirit, that mutinies in a man's bosom: it fills one full of obstacles. It made me once restore a purse of gold, that by chance I found. It beggars any man, that keeps it. It is turned out of towns and cities for a dangerous thing; and every man, that means to live well, endeavours to trust to himself, and live without it. 1st Vil. 'Tis even now at my elbow, persuading me not to kill the duke. Shakspeare.

A GRAVE SCENE.

HAMLET, HORATIO, AND SEXTON.

Ham. Has this fellow no feeling of his business, that he sings at grave-making?

Hor. Custom hath made it to him a property of easiness.

Ham. 'Tis e'en so; the hand of little employment hath the daintier sense.-That scull had a tongue in it, and could sing once; how the knave jowles it to the ground, as if it were Cain's jawbone that did the first murder! this might be the

pate of a politician, which this ass o'er-offices, one that could circumvent God, might it not? Hor. It might, my lord.

Ham. Or of a courtier, which could say,' Good morrow, sweet lord; how dost thou, great lord?' this might be my lord such a one, that prais'd my lord such a ones horse, when he meant to beg it; might it not?

Hor. Ay, my lord.

Ham. Why, e'en so: and now my lady Worm's chapless, and knocked about the mazzard with a sexton's spade. Here is a fine revolution, if we had the trick to see it. Did these bones cost no more the breeding, but to play at loggats with 'em? mine ake to think on't.-There's another: why may not that be the scull of a lawyer? where be his quiddits now; his quillets? his cases? his tenures, and his tricks? why does he suffer this rude knave now to knock him about the sconce with a dirty shovel, and will not tell him of his action of battery? hum! this fellow might be in his time, a great buyer of land, with his statutes, his recognizances, his fines, his double vouchers, his recoveries. Is this the fine of his fines, and the recovery of his recoveries, to have his fine pate full of fine dirt? will his vouchers vouch him no more of his purchases, and double ones too, than the length and breadth of a pair of indentures? the very conveyances of his lands will hardly lie in this box; and must the inheritor himself have no more? ha?

Hor. Not a jot more, my lord.

Ham. Is not parchment made of sheep-skins? Hor. Ay, my lord, and of calf-skins too.

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