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“Glo. Why, what a peevishl fool was that of Crete, ‘That taught his son the office of a fowl? “And yet, for all his wings, the fool was drown'd. “K. Hen. I, Daedalus; my poor boy, Icarus; *H. Minos, that ão. course; “The sun, that sear'd the wings of my sweet boy, “Thy brother Edward; and thyself, the sea, ‘Whose envious gulf did swallow up his life. * Ah, kill me with thy weapon, not with words! : My breast can better brook thy dagger's point, Than can my ears that tragic history*But wherefore dost thou come? is't for my life? “Glo. Think'st thou I am an executioner? K. Hen. A persecutor, I am sure, thou art; “If murdering innocents be executing, “Why, then thou art an executioner. Glo.Thy son I kill'd for his presumption. K. Hen. Hadst thou been kill'd, when first thou didst presume, Thou hadst not liv'd to kill a son of mine. “And thus I prophesy, that many a thousand, “Which now mistrust no parcel.2 of my fear; “And many, an old man's sigh, and many a widow's, “And many an orphan's water-standing eye, “Men for their sons, wives for their husbands' fate, “And orphans for their parents' timeless death, “Shall rue the hour that ever thou wast born. The owl shriek'd at thy birth, an evil sign; ‘The night-crow cried, aboding luckless time; Dogs howl'd, and hideous tempests shook down
trees; The raven rook'd her on the chimney's top, And chattering pies in dismal discords sung. Thy mother felt more than a mother's pain, And yet brought forth less than a mother's hope; “To wit, an indi deformed lump, Not like the fruit of such a goodly tree. Teeth hadst thou in thy head, when thou wastborn, To signify-thou cam'st to bite the world: And, if rest be true which I have heard, * Thou cam'st— Glo. I'll hear no more;—Die, prophet, in thy speech; Stabs him. For this, amongst the rest, was I ordain'd. K. Hen. Ay, and for much more slaughter af. ter this. O God! forgive my sins, and pardon thee! [Dies. Glo. What, will the aspiring plood of Lancaster Sink in the ground? I thought it would have moun See, how my swordweeps for the poorking's death! “O, may such purple tears be always shed “From those that wish the downfal of our house!— * If any spark of life be yet remaining, Down, down to hell; and say—I sent thee thither, (Stabs him again. I, that have neither pity, love, nor fear— Indeed, 'tis true, that Henry told me of; For I have often heard my mother say, I came into the world with my le łoward : Had I not reason, think ye, to make haste, ‘And seek their ruin that usurp'd our right? The midwife wonder'd; and the women cried, 0, Jesus bless us, he is born with teeth? ‘And so I was; which plainly signified— That I should snarl, o bite, and play the dog. “Then, since the heavens have shap'd my body so,
(2) No part of what my fears presage.
Lethell make crook'd my mind to answer it.
SCENE VII.-The same. A room in the pal. ace. King Edward is discovered sitting on his throne; Queen Elizabeth with the infantprince, once. Gloster, Hastings, and others, near tort.
K. Edw. Once more we sit in England's royal
rone, Re-purchas'd with the blood of enemies. What valiant foe-men, like to autumn's corn, Have we mow’d down, in tops of all their pride? Three dukes of Somerset, threefold renown'd For hardy and undoubted champions: Two Cliffords, as the father and the son, And two Northumberlands; two braver men Ne'er spurr'd their coursers at the trumpet's sound: “With them, the two brave bears, Warwick and
ontague, That in their chains setter'd the kingly lion, And made the forest tremble when they roar'd. Thus have we swept suspicion from our seat, And made our footstool of security.— Come hither, Bess, and let me kiss my boy – Young Ned, for thee, thine uncles, and myself, Have in our armours watch'd the winter's night; “Went all afoot in summer's scalding heat, That thou might'st repossess the crown in peace; And of our labours thou shalt reap the gain. Glo. I'll blast his harvest, if your head were laid: For yet I am not look'd on in the world. This shoulder was ordain'd so thick, to heave; And heave it shall some weight, or break my back:— Work thou the way,+2nd thou shalt execute. [Aside. K. Edw. Clarence, and Gloster, love my lovely queen; And kiss your princely nephew, brothers both. Clar. +. d; that I owe unto your majesty, I seal upon the lips of this sweet babe. K. }. Thanks, noble Clarence; worthy brother, thanks. * Glo. And, that I love the tree from whence thou sprang'st, “Witness the loving kiss I give the fruit:To say the truth, so Judas kiss'd his
master: ‘And coolihull-whenashemeant?” —all harm; K. Edw. Now am I seated as my soul delights, Having my country's peace, and brothers' loves, Clar. What will your grace have done with Margaret? Reignier, her father, to the king of France Hath pawn'd the Sicils and Jerusalem,
(3) To rook, signified to squat down or lodge on anything. (4) Select.
And hither have they sent it for her ransom.
The three parts of King Henry VI. are suspected, by Mr. Theobald, of being supposititious, and are declared, by Dr. Warburton, to be certainly not Shakspeare's. Mr. Theobald's suspicion arises from some obsolete words; but the phraseology is like the rest of our author's style, and single words, of which however I do not observe more two, can conclude little.
Dr. Warburton gives no reason, but I suppose him to judge upon dee rinciples and more comprehensive views, and to draw his opinion from the ;. effect and spirit of the composition, which he thinks inferior to the other historical plays,
From mere inferiority nothing can be inferred; in the productions of wit, there will be inequality.
Sometimes judgment will err, and sometimes the
matter itself will defeat the artist. Of every au. thor's works one will be the best, and one will be the worst. The colours are not equally pleasing, nor the attitudes equally graceful, in all the pictures of Titian or Reynolds. Dissimilitude of style and heterogeneousness of sentiment, may sufficiently show that a work does not really belong to the reputed author. But in these plays no such marks of spuriousness are found. The diction, the versification, and the figures, are Shakspeare's. These *:::: considered without regard to characters and incidents, merely as narratives in verse, are more happily conceived, and more accurately finished, than those of King John, Richard II. or the tragic scenes of King Henry IV. and W. . If we take these plays from Shakspeare, to whom shall they be given: What aulor of that age had the same easiness of expression and fluency of numbers? Of these three plays I think the second the best. The truth is, that they have not sufficient variety of action, for the incidents are too often of the same kind; yet many of the characters are well discriminated. King Henry, and his Queen, Ki Edward, the Duke of Gloucester, and the Earl o Warwick, are very strongly and distinctly painted. JOHNSON.
Now is the winter of our discontent
And i the clouds, that lower'd upon our house,
That bark at me, as I halt by them;-
And hate the idle pleasures of these days.
Enter Clarence, guarded, and Brakenbury.
Brother, good day: What means this armed guard That waits upon your grace?
Clar. His majesty, Tendering my person's safety, hath appointed This conduct to convey me to the Tower. Glo. Upon what cause?
Clar. Because my name is—George. Glo. Alack, my lord, that fault is none of yours; He should, for that, commit your godfathers – O, belike, his majesty hath some intent, That you shall be new christen’d in the Tower. But what's the matter, Clarence? may I know? Clar. Yea, Richard, when I know; for I protest, As yet I do not: But, as I can learn, He hearkens after prophecies, and dreams; And from the cross-row plucks the letter G, And says—a wizard told him, that by G His issue disinherited should be; And, for my name of George begins with G, It follows in his thought, that I am he These, as I learn, and such like toys as these, Have mov’d his highness to commit me now.
(1) Dances. (2) Armed.
(3) Preparations for mischief. (4) Fancies.
3lo. Why, this it is, when men are rul’d by women :
'Tis not the o that sends you to the Tower;
Clar. By heaven, I think, there is no man secure,
Glo. Humbly ...; to her deity Got o lord chamberlain his liberty. I'll tell you what, I think, it is our way, If we will keep in favour with the king, To be her men, and wear her livery: The jealous o'er-worn widow, and herself, Since that our brother dubb'd them gentlewomen, Are mighty 5. in this monarchy.
}.} I beseech your graces both topardonme; #. majesty hath straitly given in charge,
hat no man shall have private conference, Of what degree soever, with his brother.
Glo. Even so? an please your worship, Braken
ury, You may partake of any thing we say: We speak no treason, man;–We say the king Is wise and virtuous; and his noble queen Well struck in years; fair, and not jealous; We say, that Shore's wife hath a pretty foot, A cherry lip, A bonny eye, a passing pleasing tongue; And the ...ofare made gentlefolks: How say W. sir? can you deny all this? Brak. . this, my lord, myself have nought to do. Glo. Naught to do with mistress Shore? I tell e, fellow, He that doth naught with her, excepting one, Were best to do it secretly, alone. Brak. What one, my lord? Glo. Her husband, knave:—Would'st thou betray me? Brak. I o your grace to pardon me; and, withal, Forbear your conference with the noble duke. Clar. We know thy charge, Brakenbury, and will obey. Glo. We are the To: abjects,” and must obey. Brother, farewell: I will unto the king; And whatsoever you will employ me in, Were it, to call king Edward's widow—sister, I will perform it to enfranchise you. Mean time, this deep disgrace in brotherhood, Touches me deeper than you can imagine. Clar. I know it pleaseth neither of us well. Glo. Well, your imprisonment shall not be long; I will deliver you, or else lie for you: Mean time, have patience. Clar. I must perforce; farewell. [Ereunt Clarence, Brakenbury, and Guard. Glo. Go, tread the path that thou shalt ne'er return. Simple, plain Clarence!—I do love thee so, That I will shortly send thy soul to heaven, If heaven will take the present at our hands. But who comes here? the new-deliver'd Hastings?
(1) The queen and Shore. (2) Lowest of subjects.
- Enter Hastings.
Hast. Good time of day unto my gracious lord' Glo. As much unto my lord chamberlain! Well are you welcome to this open air. How hath your lordship brook'd imprisonment? Hast. W. patience, noble lord, as prisoners must: But I shall live, my lord, to give them thanks, That were the cause of my imprisonment. Glo. No doubt, no doubt; and so shall Clarence too; For they, that were your enemies, are his, And have prevail'd as much on him, as you. Hast. More pity that the eagle should bemew'd,” While kites and buzzards prey at liberty. Glo. What news .. * Hast. No news so bad abroad, as this at home:The king is sickly, weak, and melancholy. And his physicians fear him mightily. Glo. Now, by saint Paul, this news is bad indeed. 0, he hath kept an evil diet long, A. over-much consum'd his royal person; 'Tis very grievous to be thought upon. What, §§ in his bed ” ught upon He is.
Hast. Glo. Go you before, and I will follow you. [Erit Hastings. He cannot live, I hope; and must not die, Till George be pack'd with posthorse up to heaven. I'll in to urge his hatred more to Clarence, With lies well steel'd with weighty arguments; And, if I fail not in my deep intent, Clarence hath not another day to live: Which done, God take king Edward to his mercy, And leave the world for me to bustle in For then I'll marry Warwick's youngest daughter: What though I kill'd her husband, and her father? The readiest way to make the wench amends, Is—to become her husband, and her father: The which will I; not all so much for love, As for another secret close intent, By marrying her, which I must reach unto. But yet I run before my horse to market: Clarence still breathes: Edward still lives, and
reigns; When they are gone, then must I count my gains. [Exit.
SCE.WE II.-The same. Another street. Enter the corpse of King Henry the Sixth, borne in an open coffin, Gentlemen bearing halberds, to guard it; and Lady Anne as mourner.
.Anne. Set down, set down, your honourable
oad, If honour may be shrouded in a hearse, Whilst I a while obsequiously lament The untimely fall of virtuous Lancaster— Poor key-cold figure of a holy king! Pale ashes of the house of Lancaster! Thou bloodless remnant of that royal blood! Be it lawful that I invocate thy ghost, To hear the lamentations of poor Anne, Wife to thy Edward, to thy slaughter'd son, Stabb'd by the self-same hand that made these wounds ! Lo, in these windows, that let forth thy life, I pour the helpless balm of my poor eyes;– O, cursed be the hand that made these holes! Cursed the heart, that had the heart to do it! Cursed the blood, that let this blood from hence' More direful hap betide that hated wretch,
(3) Confined. (4) Funereal.
That makes us wretched by the death of thee,
Paul in make a rose of him that disobeys. 1 Gent. Mylord, standback, andletthecoffin pass. Glo. * dog! stand thou when I com
rtland Advance thy halberd higher than my breast, Or, by saint Paul, I'll strike thee to my foot, And spurn upon thee, beggar, for thy boldness. The bearers set down the coffin. Anne. What, do you tremble? are you all afraid? Alas, I blame you not; for you are nortal, And mortal eyes cannot endure the devil.— Avaunt, thou dreadful minister of hell! Thou hadst but power over his mortal body, His soul thou canst not have; therefore be gone. Glo. Sweet saint, for charity, be not so curst. .Anne. Foul devil, for §: sake, hence, and trouble us not: For thou hast made the happy earth thy hell, Fill'd it with cursing cries, and deep exclaims. If thou delight to view thy heinous deeds, Behold this pattern of thy butcheries:— O, gentlemen, see, see! dead Henry's wounds §: their congeal'd mouths, and bleed afresh!— Blush, blush, thou lump of foul deformity; For 'tis thy presence that exhales this blood From cold and empty veins, where noblood dwells; Thy deed, inhuman and unnatural, Provokes this deluge most unnatural.— O God, which this blood mad'st, revenge his death! Oearth, which this blood drink'st, revenge his death! Either, heaven, with lightning strike the murderer dead, Or, earth, gape open wide, and eat him quick; As thou dost swallow up this king's blood, Which his hell-govern'd arm hath butchered: Glo. Lady, you know no rules of charity, Which renders good for bad, blessings for curses. ...Anne. Willain, thou know'st no law of God nor
man; No beast so fierce, but knows some touch of pity. Glo. But I know none, and therefore am no beast. ...Anne, O wonderful, when devils tell the truth! Glo. Morewonderful, whenangelsaresoangry.— Wouchsafe, divine perfection of a woman, Of these su evils, to give me leave, By circumstance, but to acquit myself. ..Anne. Vouchsafe, diffus'd infection of a man,
For these known evils, but to give me leave,
For doing worthy vengeance on thyself,