The flat unraised spirit, that hath dared,
On this unworthy scaffold to bring forth
So great an object: Can this cockpit hold
The vasty fields of France? or may we cram
Within this wooden O,* the very casques,
That did affright the air at Agincourt?
O, pardon! since a crooked figure may
Attest, in little place, a million;
And let us, ciphers to this great accompt,
On your imaginary forcest work:
Suppose, within the girdle of these walls
Are now confined two mighty monarchies,
Whose high upreared and abutting fronts
The perilous, narrow ocean parts asunder.
Pierce out our imperfections with your thoughts;
Into a thousand parts divide one man,
And make imaginary puissance :
Think, when we talk of horses, that you see them
Printing their proud hoofs i' the receiving earth:
For 'tis your thoughts that now must deck our kings
Carry them here and there; jumping o'er times;
Turning the accomplishment of many years
Into an hour-glass; For the which supply,
Admit me chorus to this history;
Who, prologue-like, your humble patience pray,
Gently to hear, kindly to judge, our play.
An allusion to the circular form of the Globe Theatre.
+ Powers of fancy.
WO KHERA 443% 2.6X3P
SCENE I-London. An Antichamber in the King's Palace.
Enter the Archbishop of CANTERBURY, and Bishop of ELY.
Cant. My lord, I'll tell you, that self bill is urged,
Which, in the eleventh year o' the last king's reign
Was like, and had indeed against us pass'd,
But that the scambling and unquiet time
Did push it out of further question.
Ely. But how, my lord, shall we resist it now?
Cant. It must be thought on. If it pass against us,
We lose the better half of our possession:
For all the temporal lands, which men devout
By testament have given to the church,
Would they strip from us; being valued thus,-
As much as would maintain, to the king's honour,
Full fifteen earls, and fifteen hundred knights;
Six thousand and two hundred good esquires;
And to relief of lazars, and weak age,