« PreviousContinue »
Scene IV. King Henry the 4th to his Sor,
Had I fo lavish of my presence been, So common hackney'd in the eyes of men, So ftale and cheap to vulgar company ; Opinion, that did help me to the crown, Had Atill kept loyal to poffeffion; And left me in reputeless banishment, A fellow of no mark, nor likelihood. But being seldom feen, I could not stir But, like a comet, I was wonder'd at ! (10) That men would tell their children, “ This
is he." Others would say, “ Where? which is Bolinbroke?" And then I ftole all courtesy from heav'n, And drest myself in much humility, That I did pluck allegiance from mens hearts, Loud fhouts and falutations from their mouths, Even in the presence of the crowned king. Thus did I keep my person fresh and new, My presence like a robe pontifical, Ne'er seen, but wonder'd at : and so my
state, Seldom, but fumptuous, thewed like a feast, And won, by rarene's, such folemnity. 'The skipping king, he ambled up and down With shallow jesters, and rash bavin wits, Soon kindled, and soon burnt: (11) 'scarded his state:
(10) That be, &c.] At pulchrum eft digito monftrarier, & dicier bic eft. Perfius.
Oh it is brave to be admired, to see
* That's he."
(11) 'Scarded, &c.] 1. e. discarded, threw off. This reading is Nir. Warburton's: the old one is, cardid: this elifion is not unusual With the poets ; frequently amongst the older ones
we have 'Lucign for disdain, C. B 5
Mingled his royalty with carping fools;
gave his countenance, against his name,
ACTIV. SCENE II.
A gallant Warrior.
On] Others read up; and there seems great probability in it,
ACT V. SCENE II.
(12) Well, 'tis no matter, honour pricks me on. But how, if honour prick me off, when I come on? How then? Can honour set to a leg? No; or an arm ! no; or take away the grief of a wound ? No: Honour hath no kill in surgery then? No ; what is honour ? a word: . What is the word honour air : a trim reckoning.-Who hath it? he that dy'd a Wednesday. Doth he feel it? No: doth he hear it? No? is it insenfible then ? yea, to the dead;- but will it not live with the living ? No: why ? detraction will not suffer it. Therefore, I'll none of it ; honour is a meer scuţcheon ; and so ends my catechism.
(12) Well, &c.] In the king and no king of Beaumont and Fletcher, we have a character, plainly drawn from Shakespear's Falstaff; how short it is, and must necessarily be of the original, I need not observe. “ I think, says Mr. Theobald, in his first note on that play, the character of Beffus must be allowed in general a fine copy from Shakespear's inimitable Falfaff. He is a coward, yet wou'd fain set up for a hero : ostentatious without any grain of merit to support his vain-glory : a lyar throughout, to exalt his affumed qualifications; and lewd, without any countenance from the ladies to give him an umbrage for it. As to his wit and humour, the precedence must certainly be adjudg’d to Falstaff, the great original.” The authors, in the third act, have introduced him talking on the same subject with Falstaff here ; though not in the same excellent manner, (an account of which see in Mr. Upton's observacions on Shakespear, p. 113.) Bellis. They talk of fame, I have gotten it in the wars, and will afford any man a reasonable penny-worth ; fome will fay, they could be content to have it, but that it is to be atchievd with danger; but my opinion is otherwise : fot if I might stand still in cannon-proof, and have fame fall upon me, I would refuse it; my reputation came principally by thinking to run away, which no body knows but Mardonius, and, I think, lie conceals it anger me, &c." The false and foolish notions of fame and honour are no where, that I know of, so well and justly eenfüred, as in Mr. Wollajton's religion oj Nature delineated, fect 5. p. 116. printed in 1726.
Scene V. Life demands Aztiont.
(13) O gentlemen, the time of life is short ;
(13) O gentlemen, &c.] See Als well tbat ends well. A& 56 Scene
4, and the note. Virgil beautifully observes
The second Part of Henry IV,
Prologue to the second Part of Henry IV.
RU MOU R.
Making the wind my poft-horfe, ftill unfold
(1} Upon my, &c.] In the stage-direction, rumour is said to enter painted full of tongues. Sbakespear, in his description of rumour, had doubtless a view either to Virgil's celebrated description of fame, or Ovid's description of her cave in the 12th book of his metamorphoses : I shall give the reader part of both: and in as close a translation as possible, that he may judge the better.
Monstrum, borrendum, &c.
See Trap. Virg. Æn. 4