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As 'twere to banish their affections with him.
Off goes bis bonnet to an oyster wench;
A brace of draymen bid God speed him well,
And had the tribute of his supple knee,
With, thanks my countrymen, my loving friends';
As were our England in reversion his,
And he our subjects' next degree in hope."

Afterwards, he gives his own character to Percy, in these words :

“ I thank thee, gentle Percy, and be sure
I count myself in nothing else so happy,
As in a soul rememb'riog my good friends;
And as my fortune ripens with thy love,
It shall be still thy true love's recompense."

We know how he afterwards kept his promise. His bold assertion of his own rights, his pretended submission to the king, and the ascendancy which he tacitly assumes over him without openly claiming it, as soon as he has him in his power, are characteristick traits of this ambitious and politick usurper. But the part of Richard himself gives the chief interest to the play. His folly, his vices, his misfortunes, his reluctance to part with the crown, his fear to keep it, his weak and womanish regrets, his starting tears, his fits of hectick passion, his smothered majesty, pass in succession before us, and make a picture as natural as it is affecting. Among the most striking touches of pathos are his wish “O that I were a mockery king of snow, to melt away before the sun of Bolingbroke,” and the incident of the poor groom who comes to visit him in prison, and tells him how" it yearned his heart, that Bolingbroke, upon his coronation day, rode on Roan Barbary." We shall have occasion to return hereafter to the character of Richard II., in speaking of Henry VI. There is only one passage more, the description of his entrance into London with Bolingbroke, which we should like to quote here, if it had not been so used and worn out, so thumbed and got by rote, so praised and painted; but its beauty surmounts all these considerations.

Duchess. My lord, you told me you would tell the rest, When weeping made you break the story off Of our two cousins coming into Londoo.

York. Where did I leave?

Duchess. At that sad stop, my lord,
Where rude misgovern'd hands, from window tops,
Threw dust and rubbish on king Richard's head.

York. Then, as I said, the duke, great Bolingbroke,
Mounted upon a hot and fiery steed,
Which his aspiring rider seem'd to know,
With slow but stately pace, kept on his course,
While all tongues cried-God save thee, Bolingbroke !
You would have thought the very windows spake,
So many greedy looks of young and old

Through casements darted their desiring eyes
Upon his visage ; and that all the walls,
With painted imag'ry, had said at once-
Jesu preserve thee! welcome, Bolingbroke !
Whilst he, from one side to the other turning,
Bare-headed, lower than his proud steed's veck,
Bespake them thus-1 thank you, countrymen :
And thus still doing thus he pass'd along.
Duchess. Alas, poor Richard ! where rides he the while?
York. As in a theatre, the eyes of

After a well grac'd actor leaves the stage,
Are idly bent on him that enters next,
Thinking his prattle to be tedious:
Even so, or with much more contempt, men's eyes
Did scowl on Richard ; no man cried, God save him !
No joyful tongue gave him his welcome home :

But dust was thrown upon his sacred head !
Which with such gentle sorrow he shook off--
His face still combating with tears and smiles,
The badges of his grief and patience -
That had not God, for some strong purpose, steel'd
The hearts of men, they must perforce bave melted,
And barbarism itself have pitied him."

16 *




F Shakspeare's fondness for the ludicrous some. times led to faults in his tragedies (which was not often the case) he has made us amends by the character of Falstaff. This is perhaps the most substantial comick character that ever was invented. Sir John carries a most portly presence in the mind's eye; and in him, not to speak it profanely, “we behold the fullness of the spirit of wit and humour bodily.” We are as well acquainted with his person as his mind, and his jokes come upon us with double force and relish from the quantity of flesh through which they make their way, as he shakes his fat sides with laughter, or “ lards the lean earth as he walks along." Other comick characters seem, if we approach and handle them, to resolve themselves into air, “ into thin air;" but this is embodied and palpable to the grossest apprehension : it lies “ three fingers deep upon the ribs," it plays about the lungs and the diaphragm with all the force of animal enjoyment. His body is like a good estate to

his mind, from which he receives rents and revenues of profit and pleasure in kind, according to its extent, and the richness of the soil. Wit is often a meagre substitute for pleasurable sensation ; an effusion of spleen and petty spite at the comforts of others, from feeling none in itself. Falstaff's wit is an emanation of a fine constitution; an exuberance of good-humour and good-nature ; an overflowing of his love of laughter, and good-fellowship; a giving vent to his heart's ease and over-contentment with himself and others. He would not be in character, if he were not so fat as he is ; for there is the greatest keeping in the boundless luxury of his imagination and the pampered self-indulgence of his physical appetites. He manures and nourishes his mind wiih jests, as he does his body with sack

He carves out his jokes, as he would a capon, or a haunch of venison, where there is cut and come again ; and pours out upon them the oil of gladness. His tongue drops fatness, and in the chambers of his brain " it snows of meat and drink.” Ile keeps up perpetual holiday and open house, and we live with him in a round of iravitations to a romp and dozen.-Yet tre are not to suppose that he was a mere sensualist. All this is as much in imagination as in reality. His sensuality does not engross and stupify his other faculties, but “ascends me into the brain, clears away all the dull, crude vapours that environ it, and makes it full of nimble, fiery, and delectable shapes." His imagination keeps up the ball after his senses have done with it. He seenus to have even a greater enjoyment of the freedom from restraint, of

and sugar.

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