Page images
PDF
EPUB

Gloucester's Disimulation,
Why, I can smile, and murther while I smile ;
And cry, content, to that which grieves my heart
And wet my cheeks with artificial tears ;
And frame my face to all occasions :
I'll drown more sailors than the mermaid shall ;
I'll say more gazers than the basilisk;
I'll play the orator, as well as Neftor;
Deceive more slily, than Ulysses could ;
And, like a Sinon, take another Troy :
I can add colours ev'n to the camelion;'
Change shapes with Proteus, for advantages;
(8) And set th' aspiring Catiline to school.
Can I do this, and cannot get a crown?

ACT IV. SCENE IX.

Henry VI. on his own Lenity.
I have not stopt mine ears to their demands,
Nor posted off their suits with flow delays;
My pity hath been balm to heal their wounds ;
My mildnefs hath allay'd their swelling gries;
My mercy dry'd their water-flowing tears..
I have not been desirous of their wealth,
Nor much opprest them with great subfidies,
Nor forward of revenge, though they much errd.

(8) And set, &c.) I am of Mr. Warburton's opinion, this read. ing which is of the old quarto, is greatly preferable to that commonly received; not only because we thereby avoid an anachronism, but because Richard, perhaps, may be more aptly compared to Catiline, and because he instances, all through the speech, from the ancients... The other reading is,

And set the murd'rous Machiavel to school.

ACT

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 aik I that ? My mangled body shews, My blood, my want of strength, my fick heart shews, That I must yield my body to the earth, And, by my fall, the conquest to my foe. (9) Thus yields the cedar to the ax's edge, Whose arms gave shelter to the princely eagle ; Under whose thade the ramping lion slept ;

(9) Tbus yields, &c.] For this grand and noble fimile, SbakeSpear is plainly indebted there, where, for the first time thro' this work, I am obliged, and gladly, to acknowledge him outdone. 'Tis from the 31st chapter of the prophet Ezekiel, ver. 3. “ Behold the Allyrian was a cedar in Lebanon with fair branches, and with a shadowing shroud, and of an high stature, and his top was among the thick boughs. 4. The waters made him great, the deep set him up on high with her rivers running round about his plants, and sent 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 shot forth. 6. All the fowls of heaven made their nefts in his boughs, and under his branches did all the beasts of the field bring forth their young, and under his shadow 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 chesnut-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 shadow, and have left him. 13. Upon his ruin fhall all the fowls of the heaven remain, and all the beasts of the field fhall be upon his branches. @c. See the chapter.

The scriptures, and more especially the prophets, abound with Inany fimilar passages, sublime and exalted as this, which it would bę endless to produce here,

Wholes

[ocr errors]

Whose top-branch over peer'd Jove's spreading tree ; And kept low shrubs from winter's pow'rful wind. These

eyes, that now are dim'd with death's black veil, Have been as piercing as the mid-day fun, To search the secret treasons of the world. The wrinkles in my brow, now fill'd with blood, Were lik’ned oft to kingly fepulchres : For who liv'd king, but I could dig his grave ? And who durst smile, when Warwick bent his brow I Lo! now my glory smear'd in duft and blood, (10) My parks, my walks, my manors that I had, Ev'n now forsake me; and of all my lands Is nothing left me, but my body's length. SCENE VII. Omens on the Birth of Richard III.

(11) The owl Mriek'd at thy birth, an evil sign ;: The night crow cry'd; a boding luckless tune;

(10) My parks, &c.]" I won't venture to affirm, says Mr. Tbeobald, our author is imitating Horace here : but surely this paslage is very much of a cast with that which I am about to quote.'

Linquenda tellus, et Domus, et placens
Uxor : 'neque barum quas colis, arborum
Je præter invisas cuprelos,
Ulla brevem Dominum fequetur.

B. 2. ode 141
Thy spacious fields, thy splendid house,
Thy plealing wife must thou forego,
Nor of those trees, thy hands have rais'd,
Except the baleful cypress boughs,

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 desponding hero, throwing him-
self on the ground, thus lament.

Lie there, the shadow of an emperor,
The place thou presseft 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. 9.6.

Dogs

A. I,

Dogs howl'd, and hideous tempefts shook down trees;
The raven croak'd hoarse on the chimney's top,
And chattering pyes in dismal difcords fung:
Thy mother felt more than a mother's pain,
And yet brought forth less than a mother's hope,
To wit, an indigested, deform'd lump,
Not like the fruit of such a goodly tree.
Teeth hadit thou in thy mouth when thou wast born,
To signify, thou cam't to bite the world:
And, if the reft be true which I have heard,
Thou cam'it into the world with thy legs forward.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

The Life of Henry VIII.

ACT I. SCENE II.

A N GER.
O climb steep hills
Requires flow pace at first. Anger is

like.
A full-hot horse, who, being allow'd his way,
Self-mettle tires him,

--T

SCENE IV. Action to be carried on with Re

solution.
If I'm traduc'd by tongues, which neither know
My faculties, nor person ; yet will be
The chronicles of my doing : let me say,
"Tis but the fate of place, and the rough brake
That virtue must go through: we must not stinti
Our neceffary actions, in the fear,
To cope malicious censurers : which

ever,
As rav'nous fishes, do a vessel follow
'That is new trimm'd: but benefit no further
Than vainly longing. What we oft do best,
By fick interpreters, or weak ones, is
Not ours, or not allow'd: what worst, as oft
Hitting a groffer quality, is cry'd up
For our best act: if we stand ftill, in fear,
Our motion will be mock'd or carped at,
We should take root here, where we fit; or fit
State-fatues only,

SCENE

« PreviousContinue »