King Henry IX - The War of the Noses





(Thus to Thumpingbroke) all the world’s his stage,
And all the men and women his players;
They have their exits and their entrances;
And but one man, him alone, doth matter,
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in silk sheetéd bed;
Cradled with but a nurse's cold comfort.
And then the whining school-boy, with foul mood
And pouting morning face, limo driven
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Burning like furnace, with a lustful boasting
On any mistress’ virtue. Then soldier
Not, for his sore foot and rank cowardice;
Yet full of strange oaths, jealous of honour,
Sudden and quick in quarrel, seeking still
Unearn'd reputation. And then magnate,
In gross round belly with good feeding lined,
With dry pufféd eyes and ill-color'd jowls,
Full of bald lies and 'uge inflated worth;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
To unearnéd glory, a rung too high
In his most vain and ambitous climbing.
His youthful gambols, neglected study,
His foreign mergers, entanglements rash;
High crimes and misdemeanors pull him down.
His big self-beclaiming voice, sounding out
Only inane babble. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion;
Sans hair, sans friend, sans crown, sans everything.


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