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Why, I can fmile, and murther while I fmile; And cry, content, to that which grieves my heart And wet my cheeks with artificial tears;
And frame my face to all occafions:
I'll drown more failors than the mermaid fhall;
ACT IV. SCENE IX.
Henry VI. on his own Lenity.
I have not ftopt mine ears to their demands,
(8) And fet, &c.]. I am of Mr. Warburton's opinion, this reading which is of the old quarto, is greatly preferable to that commonly received; not only because we thereby avoid an anachronism, but becaufe Richard, perhaps, may be more aptly compared to Catiline, and because he inftances, all through the fpeech, from the ancients..The other reading is,
And fet the murd'rous Machiavel to fchool..
ACT V. SCENE III.
The Duke of Warwick's dying Speech.
Ah, who is nigh? Come to me, friend, or foe, And tell me, who is victor, York or Warwick ? Why afk I that? My mangled body fhews,
My blood, my want of ftrength, my fick heart fhews,
And, by my fall, the conqueft to my foe.
(9) Thus yields, &c.] For this grand and noble fimile, ShakeSpear is plainly indebted there, where, for the first time thro' this work, I am obliged, and gladly, to acknowledge him outdone. 'Tis from the 31ft chapter of the prophet Ezekiel, ver. 3. "Behold the Affyrian was a cedar in Lebanon with fair branches, and with a shadowing shroud, and of an high ftature, and his top was among the thick boughs. 4. The waters made him great, the deep fet him up on high with her rivers running round about his plants, and fent out her little rivers unto all the trees of the field. 5. Therefore his height was exalted above all the trees of the field, and his boughs were multiplied, and his branches became long, because of the multitude of waters, when he fhot forth. 6. All the fowls of heaven made their nefts in his boughs, and under his branches did all the beafts of the field bring forth their young, and under his fhadow dwelt all great nations. 7. Thus was he fair in his greatness, in the length of his branches: for his root was by great waters, 8. The cedars in the garden of God could not hide him: the fir-trees were not like his boughs, and the chefnut-trees were not like his branches; not any tree in the garden of God was like unto him in his beauty. &c. 12. And Atrangers, the terrible of the nations have cut him off, and have left him: upon the mountains, and in all the valleys his branches are fallen, and his boughs are broken by all the rivers of the land, and all the people of the earth are gone down from his fhadow, and have left him. 13. Upon his ruin fhall all the fowls of the heaven remain, and all the beafts of the field fhall be upon his branches. &c. See the chapter.
The fcriptures, and more especially the prophets, abound with many fimilar paffages, fublime and exalted as this, which it would be endless to produce here.
Whose top-branch over peer'd Jove's spreading tree;
To fearch the fecret treasons of the world.
For who liv'd king, but I could dig his grave?
Is nothing left me, but my body's length.
SCENE VII, Omens on the Birth of Richard III. (11) The owl shriek'd at thy birth, an evil fign;: The night crow cry'd, a boding luckless tune;
(10) My parks, &c.] "I won't venture to affirm, fays Mr. Theobald, our author is imitating Horace here: but furely this paffage is very much of a caft with that which I am about to quote.'
Linquenda tellus, et Domus, et placens
Ulla brevem Dominum fequetur.
Thy fpacious fields, thy fplendid house,
B. 2. ode 141
Nor of thofe trees, thy hands have rais'd,
Shall one attend their short-liv'd lord below.
Dryden has beautifully copied the last line, in his Antony and Cleopatra, where he makes the defponding hero, throwing himfelf on the ground, thus lament..
Lie there, the shadow of an emperor,
The place thou preffeft on thy mother earth
Is all thy empire now.--
(11) The owl, &c.] See an account of the prodigies on the
birth of Glendower, p. 6. n.6.
Dogs howl'd, and hideous tempefts fhook down trees;
Teeth hadft thou in thy mouth when thou waft born,
And, if the reft be true which I have heard,
The Life of HENRY VIII.
ACT I. SCENE II.
Requires flow pace at firft. Anger is
A full-hot horfe, who, being allow'd his way,
Self-mettle tires him.
SCENE IV. Action to be carried on with Refolution.
If I'm traduc'd by tongues, which neither know
The chronicles of my doing: let me fay,
'Tis but the fate of place, and the rough brake That virtue muft go through: we must not stint Our neceffary actions, in the fear,
malicious cenfurers: which ever, As rav'nous fishes, do a veffel follow
'That is new trimm'd: but benefit no further
We should take root here, where we fit; or fit