Verse > Anthologies > Ralph Waldo Emerson, ed. > Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry
Ralph Waldo Emerson, comp. (1803–1882).  Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry.  1880.
Speech of the Dauphin
By William Shakespeare (1564–1616)
(See full text.)

  Dauphin.—Your grace shall pardon me, I will not back;
I am too high-born to be propertied,
To be a secondary at control,
Or useful serving-man and instrument,
To any sovereign state throughout the world.        5
Your breath first kindled the dead coal of wars,
Between this chástised kingdom and myself,
And brought in matter that should feed this fire;
And now ’tis far too huge to be blown out
With that same weak wind which enkindled it.        10
You taught me how to know the face of right,
Acquainted me with interest to this land,
Yea, thrust this enterprise into my heart;
And come you now to tell me, John hath made
His peace with Rome? What is that peace to me?        15
I, by the honor of my marriage-bed,
After young Arthur, claim this land for mine;
And, now it is half conquered, must I back,
Because that John hath made his peace with Rome?
Am I Rome’s slave? What penny hath Rome borne,        20
What men provided, what munition sent,
To underprop this action? Is’t not I,
That undergo this charge? Who else but I,
And such as to my claim are liable,
Sweat in this business, and maintain this war?        25
Have I not heard these islanders shout out.
Vive le roy! as I have banked their towns?
Have I not here the best cards for the game,
To win this easy match played for a crown?
And shall I now give o’er the yielded set?        30
No, on my soul, it never shall be said.
  Outside or inside, I will not return
Till my attempt so much be glorified
As to my ample hope was promisèd
Before I drew this gallant head of war,        35
And culled these fiery spirits from the world,
To outlook conquest, and to win renown
Even in the jaws of danger and of death.

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