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Shakespeare's Law

 
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Alan Edward Roberts



Joined: 26 Nov 2008
Posts: 188
Location: Twickenham, London, UK

PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 11:48 am    Post subject: Shakespeare's Law Reply with quote

“..... The tide of blood in me
Hath proudly flow’d in vanity till now:

Now it doth turn and ebb back to the sea,
Where it shall flow henceforth in formal majesty”.


The attached scene, taken from Shakespeare’s Henry IV Part 2, is a lovely enacting of a moment when the expressions of majesty (or executive power) and of justice meet in a nation - in the persons of young King Henry V and of the Lord Chief Justice to his father, the newly-dead King Henry IV.

The other characters in the scene are the Earl of Warwick and the three younger brothers - Prince John of Lancaster, the Duke of Gloucester and the Duke of Clarence - of the new King. Sir John Falstaff, as referred to by Clarence, has been the drinking companion and fellow roisterer of the young Prince Henry (otherwise known as Harry or Hal).



Henry IV Part 2 Act V Scene II.doc
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Alan Edward Roberts



Joined: 26 Nov 2008
Posts: 188
Location: Twickenham, London, UK

PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is the main part of the final speech of the new King Henry V, addressing the Lord Chief-Justice and summarising his mature understanding of majesty and the rule of law ...

You are right, justice, and you weigh this well;
Therefore still bear the balance and the sword:
And I do wish your honours may increase,
Till you do live to see a son of mine
Offend you and obey you, as I did.
So shall I live to speak my father's words:
'Happy am I, that have a man so bold,
That dares do justice on my proper son;
And not less happy, having such a son,
That would deliver up his greatness so
Into the hands of justice.' You did commit me:
For which, I do commit into your hand
The unstained sword that you have used to bear;
With this remembrance, that you use the same
With the like bold, just and impartial spirit
As you have done 'gainst me. There is my hand.
You shall be as a father to my youth:
My voice shall sound as you do prompt mine ear,
And I will stoop and humble my intents
To your well-practised wise directions.
And, princes all, believe me, I beseech you;
My father is gone wild into his grave,
For in his tomb lie my affections;
And with his spirit sadly I survive,
To mock the expectation of the world,
To frustrate prophecies and to raze out
Rotten opinion, who hath writ me down
After my seeming. The tide of blood in me
Hath proudly flow'd in vanity till now:
Now doth it turn and ebb back to the sea,
Where it shall mingle with the state of floods
And flow henceforth in formal majesty.
Now call we our high court of parliament:
And let us choose such limbs of noble counsel,
That the great body of our state may go
In equal rank with the best govern'd nation;
That war, or peace, or both at once, may be
As things acquainted and familiar to us;
In which you, father, shall have foremost hand.
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