« AnteriorContinuar »
No joyful tongue gave him his welcome home: Duch. Strike him, Aumerle.- Poor boy, thog But dust was thrown upon his sacred head ;
art amaz'd: Which with such gentle sorrow he shook ofl, - Hence, villain; never more come in my sight.His face still combating with tears and smiles,
[To the Servant. The badges of his grief and patience,
York. Give me my boots, I say. 'That had not God, for some strong purpose, steeld Duch. Why, York, what wilt thou do? The hearts of men, they must perforce have melted, Wilt thou noi hide the trespass of thine own? And barbarisin itself have pitied him.
Have we more sons? or are we like to have? But heaven hath a hand in these events;
Is not my teeming date drunk up with time?
Is he not like thee? is he not thine own?
York. Thou fond mad woman,
Wilt thou conceal this dark conspiracy? Duch. Here comes my son Aumerle.
A dozen of them here have ta'en the sacrament, York.
Aumerle that was; And interchangeably set down their hands, But that is lost, for being Richard's friend;
To kill the king at Oxford. And, madam, you must call him Rutland' now:
He shall be none; I am in parliament pledge for his truth,
We'll keep him here: Then what is that to him? And lasting fealty to the new-mado king.
York. Away, Duch. Welcome, my son: Who are the violets
Fond woman were he twenty times my son, now,
I would appeach him.
Hadst thou groan'd for him, God knows, I had as lief be none as one.
But now I know thy mind; thou dost suspect, York. Well, bear you well in this new spring of That I have been disloyal to thy bed, time,
And that he is a bastard, not thy son:
Sweet York, sweet husband, be not of that mind: triumpbs ?
Not like to me, or any of my kin, Aum. For aught I know, my lord, they do.
And yet I love hiin. York. You will be there, I know.
Make Aum. If God prevent it not; I purpose so.
way, unruly woman.
[Erit. York. What seal is that, that hangs without thy
Duch. After, Aumerle; mount thee upon his bosom?
horse ; Yea, look'st thou pale ? let me see the writing.
Spur, post; and get before him to the king,
And beg thy pardon ere he do accuse thee.
I doubt not but to ride as fast as York: Aum. I do beseech your grace to pardon me ; And never will I rise up from the ground, It is a matter of small consequence,
Till Bolingbroke have pardon'd thee : Away; Which for some reasons I would not have seen.
(Exeunt. York, Which for some reasons, sir, I mean to see. I fear, I fear,
SCENE III. Windsor. A Room in the Castle. Duch. What should you fear?
Enter BOLING BROKE as King; Percy, and "Tis nothing but some bond that he is enter'd into other Lords. For gay apparel, 'gainst the triumph day. York. Bound to himself? what doth he with a Tis full three months since I did see him last :
Boling. Can no man tell of my unthrifty son ? bond That he is bound to ? Wife, thou art a fool.
If any, plague hang over us, 'tis he. Boy, let me see the writing.
I would to God, my lords, he might be found : Aum. I do beseech you, pardon me; I may not Inquire at London, 'mongst the taverns there, show it.
For there, they say, he daily doth frequent, York. I will be satisfied ; let me see it, I say.
With unrestrained loose companions ;
[Snatches it, and reads. Even such, they say, as stand in narrow lanes, Treason! foul treason !--villain! traitor! slave!
And beat our watch, and rob our passengers ; Duch. What is the matter, my lord ?
While he, young, wanton, and effeminate boy, York, Ho! who is within there? [Enter a Ser- Takes on the point of honour, to support
So dissolute a crew, vant.] Saddle my horse. God for his mercy! what treachery is here !
Percy. My lord, some two days since I saw the Duch. Why, what is it, my lord ?
prince ; York. Give me my boots, I say; saddle my
And told him of these triumphs held at Oxford. horse :-
Boling. And what said the gallant ? Now by mine honour, by my life, my troth,
Percy. His answer was,-he would unto tho I will appeach the villain.
stews ; Duch. What's the matter?
And from the commonest creature pluck a glove, York. Peaco, foolish woman.
And wear it as a favour; and with that Duch. I will not peace :-What is the matter, son? He would unhorse the lustiest challenger. Aum. Good mother, be content; it is no more
Boling. As dissolute, as desperate : yot, through
both Than my poor life must answer. Duch.
Thy life answer? I see some sparkles“ of a better hope,
Which elder days may happily bring forth.
But who comes here?
Enter AUMERLE, hastily.
Where is the king? 1 The dukes of Aumerle, Surrey, and Exeter were deprived of their dukedoms by an act of Henry's first 4 This is a very proper introduction to the futuro parliament, but were allowed to retain the earldoms of character of King Henry V. to his debaucheries in his Rutland, Kent, and Huntingdon. --Holinshed. youth, and his greatness in his manhood, as the poet 2 So in Milton's Song on May Morning :
has described them. But it has been ably contended by who from her green lap throws
Mr. Luders that the whole story of his dissipation was a The yellow cowslip and the pale primrose.' fiction. Al this period (i, e. 00) he was bus twelve 3 The seals of decils were formerly impressed on years old, being born in 1388, alipo or labels of parchment appendant io them.
5 The folio reads sparks
Boling. What means
And now chang'd to The Beggar and the King. Our cousin, that he stares and looks so wildly? My dangerous cousin, let your mother in; Aum. God save your grace. I do beseech your I know, she's come to pray for your foul sin. majesty,
York. If thou do pardon, whosoever pray, To have some conference with your grace alone. More sins, for his forgiveness, prosper inay. Boling. Withdraw yourselves, and leave us here This fester'd joint cut off, the rest rests sound, alone.
(Eseunt Percy and Lords. This let alone, will all the rest confound. What is the matter with our cousin now? Aum. For ever may my knees grow to the earth,
Enter Duchess. (Kneels!
Duch. O king, believe not this hard-hearted man; My tongue cleave to my roof within my mouth, Love, loving not itself, none other can. Unless a pardon, ere I rise, or speak.
York. Thou frantic woman, what dost thou makes Boling. Intended, or committed, was this fault ? here? If but the first, how heinous e'er it be,
Shall thy old dugs once more a traitor rear ? To win thy after-love, I pardon thee.
Duch. Sweet York, be patient: Hear me, gentle Aun. Then give me leave that I may turn the key, liege.
(K'neels. That no man enter till my tale be done.
Boling. Rise up, good aunt. Boling. Have thy desire. [Aun. locks the door. Duch.
Not yet, I thee beseech : York. (Within.) My liege, beware ; look to thy- For ever will I kneele upon my knees, self;
And never see day that the happy sees, Thou hast a traitor in thy presence there.
Till thou give joy ; until thou bid me joy, Boling. Villain, I'll make thee safe. [Drawing. By pardoning Rutland, my transgressing boy. Aum. Stay thy revengeful hand ;
's prayers, I bend my knee, Thou hast no cause to fear.
[Kneels. York. (Within.] Open the door, secure, fool York. Against them both, my true joints bended hardy king :
[Kneels. Shall I, for love, speak treason to thy face? III may'st thou thrive, if thou grant any grace! Open the door, or I will break it open.
Duch. Pleads he in earnest? look upon his face; (BOLINGBROKE opens the door. His eyes do drop no tears, his prayers are in jest ; Enter York.
His words come from his mouth, ours from our
breast; Boling. What is the matter, uncle ? speak; Recover breath; tell us how near is danger,
He prays but faintly, and would be denied ; That we may arm us to encounter it.
We pray with heart, and soul, and all beside : York. Peruse this writing here, and thou shalt Our knees shall kneel till to the ground they grow:
His weary joints would gladly rise, I know; know The treason that my haste forbids me show,
His prayers are full of false hypocrisy; Aum. Remember, as thou read'st, thy promise Ours, of true zeal and deep iniegrity.
Our prayers do out-pray his; then let them have past : I do repent me; read not my name there,
That mercy, which irue prayers ought to have.
Boling. Good aunt, stand up. My heart is not confederate with my hand.
Nay, do not say-stand up ; York. 'Twas, villain, ere thy hand did set it down. I tore it from the traitor's bosom, king :
But, pardon, first; and afterwards, stand up.
An if I were thy nurse, thy tongue to teach,
Pardon-should be the first word of thy speech,
I never long'd to hear a word till now;
Say—pardon, king; let pity teach thee how:
No word like pardon, for kings' mouths so meet. From whence this stream through muddy passages,
York. Speak it in French, king; say, pardonnez Hath held his current, and defild himself!
Duch. Post thou teach pardon pardon to destroy? Thy overflow of good converts to bad; And thy abundant goodness shall excuse
Ah, my sour husband, my hard-hearted lord, This deadly blot in thy digressing) son.
That sett'st the word itself against the word !-York. So shall my virtue be his vice's bawd;
Speak, pardon, as 'tis current in our land : And he shall spend mine honour with his shame,
The chopping. French we do not understand, As thriftless sons their scraping fathers' gold.
Thine eye begins to speak, set thy tongue there, Mine honour lives when his dishonour dies,
Or, in thy pitoons heart plant thou thine car ; Or my sham'd life in his dishonour lies:
That, hearing how our plaints and prayers
do pierce, Thou kill'st me in his life; giving him breath,
Pity may move thee, pardon to rehearse.
Boling. Good aunt, stand up.
I do not sue to stand, sake let me in. Boling. What shrill-voic'd suppliant makes this
Boling. I pardon him, as God shall pardon me.
Duch. O happy vantage of a kneeling knee! eager cry? Duch. A woman, and thine aunt, great king; 'tis I. Yet am I sick for fear; speak it again; Speak with me, pity me, open the door;
Twice saying pardon, doth not pardon twain,
But makes one pardon strong.
With all my heart Duch.
A god on earth thou art. 1 The old copies read “If on,' &c Pope made the alteration,
7 This line is not in the folie. 2 Sheer is pellucid, transparent.
8 The French moy being made to rhime with destroy, 3 Thus in Romeo and Juliet :
would seem to imply that the poet was not well ac. · Digressing from the valour of a man.' quainted with the true pronunciation of that language : To digrees is to deviate from what is right or regular. perhaps it was imperfectly understood in his time by
4. It is probable that the old ballad of King Cophetua those who had not visited France, and the Beggar Maid' is here alluded to. The reader 9 The chopping French, i.e. the changing or changewill find it in the first volume of Dr. Percy's Reliques of able French. Thus chopping churches is changing Ancient Poetry. There may have been a popular Inter-one church for another; and chopping logic is discours. lude on the subject, for the story is alluded to by other ing or interchanging logic with another. To chop and cotemporaries of the poet.
change is still a common idiom. 5 i. e. what dost thou do here?
10 The old copies read 'I pardon him with all iny 8 Thus the folio. The quarto copies read walk heart. The transposition was made by Pope.
Boling. But for our trusty brother-in-law,'—and | And in this thought they find a kind of ease, the abbot, 2
Bearing their own misfortune on the back With all the rest of that consorted crew,
of such as have before endur'd the like : Destruction straight shall dog them at the heels. Thus play I, in one person, many people, Good uncle, help to order several powers
And none contented: Sometimes am I king: To Oxford, or where'er these traitors are : Then treason makes me wish myself a beggar, They shall not live within this world, I swear, And so I am: Then crushing penury But I will have them, if I once know where.
Persuades me, I was better when a king; Uncle, farewell,—and cousin too,“ adieu :
Then am I king'd again: and, by-and-by, Yonr mother well hath pray'd, and prove you true. Think that I am unking’d by Bolingbroke, Duch. Come, my old son ;-I pray God make And -straight am nothing :-But, whate'er I am, thee new.
[Ereunt. Nor I, nor any man, that but man is,
With nothing shall be pleas'd, till he be eas'd SCENE IV. Enter Exton, and a Servant.
With being nothing.--Music do I hear? [Musica Exton. Didst thou not mark the king, what words Ha, ha! keep time:—How sour sweet music is, he spake?
When time is broke, and no proportion kept! Have I no friend will-rid me of this living fear ? So is it in the music of men's lives. Was it not so ?
And here have I the daintiness of ear Serv.
very words. To check time broke in a disorder'd string; Exton. Have I no friend ? quoth he; he spake it But for the concord of my state and time, twice,
Had not an ear to hear my true time broke. And urg'd it twice together; did he not ?
I wasted time, and now doth time waste me. Serv. He did.
For now hath'time made me his numb'ring clock : Exton. And, speaking it, he wistfully look'd on me; My thoughts are minutes; and, with sighs, they jar! As who should say, I would, thou wert the man Their watches on to mine eyes, the outward That would divorce this terror from my heart; Meaning, the king at Pomfret. Come, let's go;
Whereto my finger, like a dial's point, I am the king's friend, and will rids his foe. Is pointing still, in cleansing them from tears.
[Exeunt. Now, sir, the sound, that tells what hour it is, 12
Are clamorous groans, that strike upon my heart, SCENE V. Pomfret. The Dungeon of the Castle. Which is the bell: So sighs, and tears, and groans, Enter King RichaRD.
Show minutes, times, and hours :--but my time
Runs posting on in Bolingbroke's proud joy, K. Rich. I have been studying how I may compare While I stand fooling here, his Jack o' the clock." This prison, where I live, unto the world:
This music mads me, let it sound no more; And, for because the world is populous,
For, though it have holp madmen to their wits, 14 And here is not a creature but myself,
In me, it seems, it will make wise men mad; I cannot do it;-Yet I'll hammer it out.
Yet blessing on his heart that gives it me!
Groom. Hail, royal prince !
K. Rich. For no thought is contented. The better sort,
Thanks, noble peer ; As thoughts of things divine,-are intermix'd
The cheapest of us is ten groats too dear. With scruples, and do set the word itself
What art thou ? and how comest thou hither, Against the word :'
Where no man never comes, but that sad dog As thus, Come, lillle ones; and then again,
That brings me food, to make misfortune live ? It is as hard to come, as for a camel
Groom. I was a poor groom of thy stable, king, To thread the postern of a needle's eye.
When thou wert king; who, travelling towards Thoughts tending to mbition, they do plot Unlikely wonders : how these vain weak nails
With much ado, at length have gotten leave May tear a passage through the finty ribs To look upon my sometimes16 master's face. or this hard world, my ragged prison walls ;
O, how it yearn'd my heart, when I beheld, And, for they cannot, die in their own pride.
In London streets, that coronation day,
When Bolingbroke rode on roan Barbary!
That horse, that I so carefully have dress’d!
K. Rich. Rode he on Barbary? Tell me, gentle That many have, and others must sit there:
How went he under him? | The brother-in-law meant was John duke of Exeter and earl of Huntingdon (own brother to Edward II.) | vibration of the pendulum, the index on the dial, and the who had married the Lady Elizabeth, Bolingbroke's striking of the hour. To these the king, in his comsister.
parison, severally alludes; his sighs corresponding to 2 i. e. the abbot of Westminster.
ihe jarring or ticking of the pendulum, which, at the 3 Death and destruction dog thee at the heels.' same time that it watches or numbers the seconds, marks
King Richard III. also their progress in minutes on the dial-plate, or out4 Too, which is not in the old copies, was added by ward icalch, to which the king compares his eyes; and Theobald for the sake of the metre.
their want of figures is supplied by a succession of tears 5 To rid and to dispatch were formerly synonymous, (or minute drops, to use an expression of Milton,) his as may be seen in the old Dictionaries, 'To ridde or finger, by as regularly wiping these away, performs the dispaiche himself of any man.'-'To dispatche or ridde office of the dial's point: his clamorous groans are the one quickly.' Vide Baret's Alvearie, 1576, in Ridde sounds that tell the hour. and Dispatche.
12 Should we not read: 6 i. e. his own body.
"Now, sir, the sounds that tell what hour it is 7 By the word is meant the Holy Scriptures. The Are clamorous groans ? &c. folio reads the faith itself against the fuith.
13 That is, I strike for him. One of these automa. 8 This is the reading of the quarto, 1997; alluding, tons is alluded to in King Richard III. Act. iv. Sc.perhaps, to the custom of our early theatres. The title " Because that, like a Jack, thou keep'st the stroke pages of some of our Moralities show that three or four Between thy begging and my meditation.' characters were frequently represented by one person. 14 See Burion's Anatomy of Melancholy, part ii. sec.2. The folio, and other copres, read in one prison.' 15 Brooch, an ornamenied buckle, and also a jewel in 9 The folio reads 'to hear.' 10 Tick.
general, here figuratively used for jerrel. 11 It should be recollected that there are three ways in 16 Sometimes was used for former, as well as some. which a clock notices the progress of time, viz. by the time. Aliquando.
Groom. So proudly, as if he disdain'd the ground.' | The heads of Salisbury, Spencer, Blunt, and Kent: K.Rich. So proud that Bolingbroke was on his back! The manner of their taking may appear That jade hath eat bread from my royal hand; At large discoursed in this paper here. This hand hath made him proud with clapping him.
[Presenting a paper Would he not stumble? Would he not fall down Boling. We thank thee, gentle Percy, for thy (Since pride must have a fall), and break the neck
pains; or that proud man that did usurp his back ? And to thy worth will add right worthy gains. Forgiveness, horse! why do I rail on thee, Since thou, created to be awed by man,
Enter FITZWATER. Wast born to bear? I was not made a horse ;
Fitz. My lord, I have from Oxford sent to London And yet I bear a burden like an ass,
The heads of Brocas and Sir Bennet Seely; Spur-galld, and tir'd by jauncing? Bolingbroke.
Two of the dangerous consorted traitors,
That sought at Oxford thy dire overthrow.
Boling. Thy pains, Fitzwater, shall not be forgot;
[To the Groom. K. Rich. If thou love me, 'tis time thou wert away.
Enter Percy, with the Bishop of Carlisle. Groom. What my tongue dares not, that my Percy. The grand conspirator, abbot of Westheart shall say.
minster, Keep. My lord, will't please you to fall to With clog of conscience, and sour melancholy, K. Rich. Taste of it first, as ihou art wont to do. Hath yielded up his body to the grave:
Keep. My lord, I dare not; Sir Pierce of Exton, who But here is Carlisle living to abide
Choose out some secret place, some reverend room, Patience is stale, and I am weary of it.
More than thou hast, and with it 'joy thy life;
| Beats the Keeper. So, as thou liv'st in peace, die free from strise: Keep. Help, help, help!
For though mine enemy thou hast ever been,
High sparks of honour in thee have I seen. K. Rich. How now? what means death in this Enter Exton, with Attendants bearing a Coffin.. rude assault ?
Erton. Great king, within this coffin I present Villain, thy own hand yields thy death's instrument. Thy buried fear: herein all breathless lies
(Snatching a weapon and killing one. The mightiest of thy greatest enemies, Go thou, and fill another room in hell.
Richard of Bourdeaux, by me hither brought. (He kills another, and then Exton strikes
Boling. Exton, I thank thee not; for thou hast him down.
wrought That hand shall burn in never-quenching fire, A deed of slander, with thy fatal hand, That staggers thus my person. -Exton, thy fierce Upon my head, and all this famous land. [deed. hand
[land. Exton. From your own mouth, my lord, did I this Hath with the king's blood stain’d the king's own Boling. They love not poison that do poison need, Mount, mount, my soul! thy seat is up on high, Nor do 1 thee; though I did wish him dead, Whilst my gross flesh sioks downward, here to die. I hate the murderer, love him murdered.
(Dies. The guilt of conscience take thou for thy labour, Erlon. As full of valour, as of royal blood : But neither my good word nor princely favour : Both have I spilt! 0, 'would the deed were good! With Cain go wander through the shade of night, For now the devil, that told me,I did well, And never show thy head by day nor light.Says, that this deed is chronicled in hell.
Lords, I protest, my soul is full of woe, This dead king to the living king I'll bear ; That blood should sprinkle me, to make me grow : Take hence the rest, and give them burial here. Come, mourn with me for what I do lament,
(Ereunt. And put on sullen black incontinent :: SCENE VI. Windsor. A Room in the Castle. I'll make a voyage to the Holy Land, Flourish. Enter BoLING BROKE, and York, with To wash this blood off from my guilty hand :
March sadly after; grace my mournings here, Lords and Attendants.
In weeping after this untimely bier. [Exeunt. Boling. Kind uncle York, the latest news we hear Is--that the rebels have consum'd with fire
THIS play is one of those which Sbakspeare bas Our town of Cicester in Glocestershire ;
apparently revized; but as sucrers in works of inven. But whether they be ta'en, or slain, we hear not. tion is not always proportionate to labour, it is nie Enter NORTHUMBERLAND.
finished at last with the happy force of some other of his
tragedies, nor can it be said much to affect the passions, Welcome, my lord: What is the news? [ness. or enlarge the understanding.
JOHNSON. North. First, to thy sacred state wish I all happiThe next news is,--I have to London sent
Cathedral. Stowe seems to have had before him a
manuscript history of the latter part of King Richard's i Froissart relates a yet more silly tale of a greyhound life, wrillen by a person who was with him in Wales. of King Richard's, who was wont to leape upon the He says he was imprisoned in Pomfrait Castle, where king, but lest the king and came to the erle of Derby, xy dayes and nightes they vexed him with continual duke of Lancastre, and made to him the same friendly hunger, thirxe, and cold, and finally bereti liim of his conntenance and chere as he was wont to do to the king.' lile with such a kind of death as never before that tiine -Froissart, by Berners, v. 11. fo.cccxxx.
was knowen in England.' 2 Jancing is hard riding, from the old French word 5 So the folio. The quarto reads of 0.7 ford, Silis. jancer, which Cotgrave explains 'To stir a horse in bury, Blunt, and Kent. The folio is right according to the stable till he sweat withal; or (as our) to jaunt.' the histuries.
3 These stnge directions are not in the old copies. 6 This abhot of Westminster was William de Col.
4 The representation here given of the king's death is chester. The relation, which is taken from Holinshed perfectly agreeable to Hall and Holinshed (who copied is untrue, as he survived the king many years; and from Fabian, with whom the story of Exton is thought to though callcit'the grand conspirator,' iu is very Joulusul have its origin.)
But the fact wag otherwise. He whether he had any concern in the conspiracy; at least refused food for several days, and died-eaf abstinence nothing was proved against him. and a broken heart. See Walkingham, Otterburne, the 7 The bishop of Carlisle was committed to the Tower, monk of Evesham, the Continuator of the History of but on the intercession of his friends obtajned leave to Croyland, and the Godstow Chronicle. His body, after change his prison for Westminster Abbey. In order to being submitted to public inspection in the church or deprive him of his see, the pape, at the kingos instance, Pomfret, was brought to London, and exposed in Cheap, translated him to a bishopric in partilnis infidelium ; side for two hours, ' his heade on a black cushion, and and the only preserment he couid ever after oblain was his visage open,' when it was viewed, says Froissart, a rectory in Gloucestershire. by twenty thousand persons, and finally in St. Paul's 8 Immediately.
FIRST PART OF
KING HENRY THE FOURTH.
SHAKSPEARE has apparently designed a regular ( shade; but they only serve to make the supereminent
connection of these dramatic histories, from Ri- humour of the knight doubly conspicuous. What can chard the Second to Henry the Fifth. King Henry, at come nig ber to trinh and real individual nature than the end of Richard the Second, declares his purpose to those adinirable delineations, Shallow and Silence ? visit the Holy Land, which he resumes in the first speech How irresistibly comic are all the scenes in which Fal. of this play. The complaint made by King Henry, in staff is made to humour the fatuity and vanity of this the last act of King Richard the Second, of the wildness precious pair. of his son, prepares the reader for the frolics which are The historic characters are delineated with a felicity here to be recounted, and the characters to be exhibited.' and individuality not inferior in any respect. Harry -Johnson.
Percy is a creation of the first order; and our favourite The historical dramas of Shakspeare have indeed he. harebrained Prince of Wales, in whom mirthful pleacome the popular history. Vain attempts have been santry and midnight dissipation are mixed up with he. made by Walpole to vindicate the character of King roic dignity and generous feeling, is a rival worthy of Richard III. and in later times by Mr. Luders, to prove him. Owen Glendower is another personification, ma. that the youthful dissipation ascribed to King Henry V. naged with the most consummate skill; and the graver is without foundation. The arguments are probable, characters are sustained and opposed to each other in a and ingeniously urged, but we still cling to our early manner peculiar to our great poet alone. notions of that mad-cap-chat same sword and buckler The transactions contained in the First Part of King Prince of Wales. No plays were ever more read, nor Henry IV. are comprised within the period of about ten does the inimitable, all powerful genius of the poet months; for the action commences with the news brought ever shine out more than in the two parts of King Henry of Hotspur having defeated the Scots under Archibald IV. which may be considered as one long drama di- earl of Douglas, at Holmedon (or Halidown Hill,) which vided.
battle was fought on Holyrood-day (the 14th of Septem. It has been said that 'Falstaff is the summit of Shak. berg) 1402; and it closes with the baule of Shrewsbury, speare's comic invention,' and we may consequently on Saturday, the 21st of July, 1403. add, the most iniinitable comic character ever delineated'; Malone places the date of the composition of thia play for who could invent like Shak-peare? Falstaff is now in 1397 ; Dr. Drake in 1596. It was first entered at Sta. to us hardly a creature of the imagination, he is so defi- tioners' Hall, February 25, 1597. There are no less nitely and distinctly drawn, that the mere reader of these than five quarto editions published during the author's dramas has the complete impression of a personal ac- life, viz. in 1598, 1599, 1604, 1609, 1613. For the piece quaintance. He is surrounded by a group of comic per, which is supposed to have been its original the reader is sonages from time to time, each of which would have referred to the Six Old Plays on which Shakspeare been sufficient to throw any ordinary creation into the I founded,' &c. published by Sleevens and Nichols,
King HENRY THE FOURTH.
Sons to the King.
Friends to the King.
Sir John FALSTAFF.
Wife to Mortimer.
And breathe short-winded accents of new broils
To be commenc'd in stronds' afar remote. SCENE I. London. A Room in the Palace.
No more the thirsty entrance of this soil? Enter King HenrY, WESTMORELAND, SIR WaL- Shall daub her lips with her own children's blood; TER BLUNT, and others.
No more shall trenching war channel her fields,
Nor bruise her flowrets with the armed hoofs
Of hostile paces: those opposed eyes,
Which,-like the meteors of a troubled heaven, Find we a time for frighted peace to pant,
All of one nature, of one substance bred, 1 Strands, banks of the sea.
which, in my opinion, does not make the passage 2 Upon this passage the reader is favoured with three clearer, to say nothing of the improbability of such a pages of notes in the Variorum Shakspeare. Steerens corruption as entrance for Erinnys. Mr. Douce pro. adopted Monk Mason's bold conjectural emendation, posed to read entrails instead of entrance; and Steevens and reads
once thought that we should read entrants. I am satis"No more the thirsty Erinnys of this soil;' fied with the following explanation of the text, modified