Imatges de pÓgina

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, and thou shalt execute. [Aside.
K. Edw. Clarence, and Gloster, love my lovely queen;
And kiss your princely nephew, brothers both.

Clar. The duty that I owe unto your majesty,
I seal upon the lips of this sweet babe.

[thanks. K. Edw. Thanks, noble Clarence; worthy brother, Glo. And, that I love the tree from whence thou Witness the loving kiss I give the fruit: [sprang'st, To say the truth, so Judas kiss'd his master;

And cried-all hail!-when as he meant all Aside. 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,

And hither have they sent it for her ransom. [France.
K. Edw. Away with her, and waft her hence to
And now what rests, but that we spend the time
With stately triumphs, mirthful comic shows,
Such as befit the pleasures of the court?—
Sound, drums and trumpets!-farewell, sour annoy!
For here, I hope, begins our lasting joy. [Exeunt.

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 than two, can conclude little.

Dr. Warburton gives no reason, but I suppose him to judge upon deeper principles and more comprehensive views, and to draw his opinion from the general 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 author'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 plays, 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 V. If we take these plays from Shakspeare, to whom shall they be given? What author 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 diseriminated. King Henry, and his queen, king Edward, the duke of Gloster, and the earl of Warwick, are very strongly and distinctly painted.


C. Whittingham, Printer, Chiswick.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][graphic][merged small]

King Edward the Fourth.

Edward, Prince of Wales, after

wards King Edward V.

Richard, Duke of York,

George, Duke of Clarence,

Sons to the King:

Richard, Duke of Gloster, after-Brothers to the King. wards King Richard III.

A young Son of Clarence.

Henry, Earl of Richmond, afterwards King Henry VII. Cardinal Bourchier, Archbishop of Canterbury. Thomas Rotheram, Archbishop of York.

John Morton, Bishop of Ely.

Duke of Buckingham."

Duke of Norfolk: Earl of Surry, his Son.

Earl Rivers, Brother to King Edward's Queen.

Marquis of Dorset, and Lord Grey, her Sons.

Earl of Oxford. Lord Hastings. Lord Stanley. Lord

Sir Thomas Vaughan. Sir Richard Ratcliff.
Sir William Catesby. Sir James Tyrrel.
Sir James Blount. Sir Walter Herbert.

Sir Robert Brakenbury, Lieutenant of the Tower.
Christopher Urswick, a Priest. Another Priest.
Lord Mayor of London. Sheriff of Wiltshire.

Elizabeth, Queen of King Edward IV.
Margaret, Widow of King Henry VI.

Duchess of York, Mother to King Edward IV., Clarence, and Gloster.

Lady Anne, Widow of Edward, Prince of Wales, Son to King Henry VI.; afterwards married to the Duke of Gloster.

A young Daughter of Clarence.

Lords and other Attendants; two Gentlemen, a Pursuivant, Scrivener, Citizens, Murderers, Messengers, Ghosts, Soldiers, &c.

SCENE, England.

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

LONDON. A Street.


Glo. Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this sun of York:
And all the clouds, that lour'd upon our house,
In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.

Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths;
Our bruised arms hung up for monuments;
Our stern alarums chang'd to merry meetings,
Our dreadful marches to delightful measures.
Grim-visag'd war hath smooth'd his wrinkled front;
And now, instead of mounting barbed steeds,
To fright the souls of fearful adversaries,-
He capers nimbly in a lady's chamber,
To the lascivious pleasing of a late.

But I,-that am not shap'd for sportive tricks,
Nor made to court an amorous looking-glass;
I, that am rudely stamp'd and want love's majesty,
To strut before a wanton ambling nymph;

« AnteriorContinua »