Puslapio vaizdai


And now loud howling wolves arouse the jades,
That drag the tragick melancholy night;
Who with their drowfie, flow, and flagging wings,
Clip dead mens graves ; and from their mifty jaws
Breathe foul contagious darkness in the air.

Scene VI. KEN T.
(9) Kent, in the commentaries Cæsar writ,
Is term'd the civil ft place of all this ifle ;
Sweet is the country, because full of riches :
The people liberal, valiant, adive, wealthy.

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And all the while the stood upon the ground,
The wakeful dogs did never cease to bay,
- As giving warning of th' unwonted sound,
With which her iron wheels d'd them affray,
And her dark griefly look, them much dismay.
The messenger of death, the ghastly owl,
With dreary shrieks, did also her bewray:
And hungry wolves continually did howl,
At her abhorred face, so filthy and so foul.

See Faerie Queene, B. 1. c.5. At. 30. No numbers can better express the thing than these. Sbakefpear thews us, that he can as well excel in that, as in every other branch of poetry. None of the so celebrated lines of Homer and Virgil, of this fort, deserve more commendation : here the line, as it ought, justly labours, and the verse moves Now. However, I intend not to enter into any criticism on Shakespear's verfification, wherein could we prove him fuperior to all other writers, we must still acknowledge it the least and most trifling matter, wherein he is superior. It is worth observing, that what Shakespear fays of the clipping dead mens graves, might not impossibly be taken from Theocritus, who, speaking of Hecate, the infernal and nocturnal deity, in his ad Idyllium, says--

Τα χθονια θ' Eκατα, &c.
Infernal Hecate, howling dogs abhor,
When 'midit the dead mens graves, and putrid gore,

She Italks (9) Kent, &c.] York, in the next play, A. 1. 1.4. speaking of the Kentishmen, says

In them I trust; for they are soldiers,
Healthy, and courteous, liberal, full of spirit,


Lord Say's Apology for bimself. Juftice, with favour, have I always done; Prayers and tears have mov'd me, gifts could never : (10) When have I aught exacted at your hands? Kent, to maintain, the king, the realm and you, Large gifts have I bestow'd on learned clerks ; Because my book preferr'd me to the king : And seeing, ignorance is the curse of God, Knowledge the wing wherewith we fly to Heav'n, Unless you be possess'd with dev’lifh fpirits, You cannot but forbear to murther me.

(10) Wben, &c.] The interrogation in all the editions is plac'd at the end of this line : the passage, in my opinion, should be pointed thus: mer

When have I aught exacted at your hands,

Kent to maintain, the king, the realm, and you? This renders the passage plain and easy: that he should have be. Rowed gifts on learned clerks to maintain Kent, the king, &c. is something very unreasonable ; that he fhould have bestowed gifts on them because his book preferr’d him to the king, is not only reasonable, but extremely probable.

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The Third Part of Henry VI.

The Transports of a Crawn.
0 but think
How sweet a thing it is to wear a

crown ;
Within whose circuit is Elisium,
And all that poets feign of bliss and joy.


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(1) Do bat, &c.] In the second part of Henry IV. (p. 21.) we have some fine reflections on the miseries that attend a crown: these, on the transports it bestows, are beautifully in character, alld come very aptly from the mouth of the ambitious Gloucester, In the double marriage of Beaumont and Fletcber, Ferrand the tyrant, complaining of the miseries that attend royalty, a courtier Jonging to enjoy the honour, is put into poffeffion of them for one day, and finds them sufficiently burthensom. See the third act. Some of the tyrants complaints, and the courtiers praises of royalty, are the following: Ferr. Tell me no more,

I faint beneath the burden of my cares,

And yield myself most wretched.
Vill. Look but on this,

Has not a man that has but means to keep
A hawk, a grey-hound, and a hunting-nag,

More pleasure than this king ?
Catri A dull fool ftill:

Make me a king, and let me scratch with care,
And see who'll have the better : give me rule,
Command, obedience, pleasure of a king,
And let the devil rear ; the greatest corrosive
A king can have, is of mere precious tickling,
And handled to the height more dear delight,
Than other mens whole lives, let them be safe too.


Scene V. A hungry Lion.
So looks the pent-up lion o'er the wretch
That trembles under his devouring paws;
And so he walks insulting o'er his prey,
And so he comes to rend his limbs asunder.

Scene VI. The Duke of York on the gallant Be

haviour of his Sons. My sons, God knows, what hath bechanced them : But this I know, they have demean'd themselves Like men born to renown, by life or death. Three times did Richard make a lane to me, And thrice cry'd, courage father ! fight it out: And full as oft came Edward to my side, With purple falchion painted to the hilt In blood of those, that had encounter'd him: And when the hardieft warriors did retire ; Richard cry'd, charge ! and give no foot of ground;


Thou enemy to majesty,

What think it thou of a king ? Vill. As of a man,

That hath power to do all 'ill.
Caftr. Or a thing rather

That does divide an empire with the Gods ;
Observe but with how little breath he shakes
A populous city, which would stand unmov'd
Against a whirlwind !

I do profess it
Were I offer'd to be any thing on earth,

I wou'd be mighty Ferrando,
Ferr. Did'it thou but feel

The weighty sorrows that fit on a crown,
Tho thou should'st find one in the streets, Caftruccio,
Thou would'st not think it worth the taking up :
But fince thou art enamour'd of my fortune,

Thou shalt ere long taste it
Caffe. But one Day,
And then let me expire.


And cry'd a crown, or else a glorious tomb,
A scepter, or an earthly fepulchre.
With this we charg'd again; but out ! alas,
We bodg'd again ; as I have seen a fwan
With bootless labour swim against the tide
And spend her strength with over-matching waves.

A Father's Pasion on the Murder of a favourite


Oh tyger's heart wrapt in a woman's hide! How could'It thou drain the life-blood of the child, To bid the father wipe his eyes withal, And yet

be seen to wear a woman's face? Women are soft, mild, pitiful, and flexible ; Thou stern, obdurate, Ainty, rough, remorseless.

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That face of his the hungry cannibals
(2) Would not have touch'd, would not have stain'd

with blood :
But you are more inhuman, more inexorable,
Oh ten times more, than tygers of Hyrcania.
See, ruthless queen, a hapless father's tears :
This cloth thou dip'dft in blood of my sweet boy,
And I with tears do wash the blood

away. Keep thou the napkin, and go boast of this ;

(2) Would not, &c.] The first folios and the old quarto read this passage as it is here printed ; the second folio reads,

Wou'd not have touch'd, Wou'd not have stained the roses just with blood. Which Mr. Theobald for the sake of an alteration of his own, prefers to this, for which we have so good authority. He reads,

Wou'd not have stain'd the roses juic'd with blood; Sir T. Hanmer, not pleas'd with this criticism, trics another cast, and gives us The roles just in bud.


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