Imatges de pÓgina

witnessed the most painful effects from it in the unweighed expressions of young persons suddenly introduced into society; and therefore, I repeat, unless you are aware of anything in the text of Shakspeare that must be kept not only out of hearing, but, if possible, out of knowledge, 1 desire that the whole text may be placed unreservedly in my daughters' hands.”

I shall presume, then, that the persons into whose hands these my Readings fall, are in possession, or will in proper time be put in possession, of Shakspeare entire; and my apology for them is, that they are selected and adapted as exercises for the voice, (may I not add, for the heart and understanding also, and the formation of a healthy taste in poetry ?) to be used as auxiliary to, not in place of, the full, unmutilated text.-In this volume, the selections are only from the histories; but a second volume is in contemplation, with selections illustrative of character from the tragedies and comedies. 55, Connaught Terrace,

Hyde Park, 1839


Hints to the Audible Reader
General Proemium

Page xyii





Section 1. English History illustrated by Readings from the

Chronicle Plays.
Introduction to the Readings from the Chronicle Plays

The contending interests under which the reign of John com-
menced, represented by scenes imagined to occur before the
walls of Angiers (Angers), the capital of Anjou, in France

The desertion of Arthur's cause; the grief and anger of Constance; the interposition of Papal Power; the excommunication of John; and the services of King Philip engaged in favour of the Pope ; represented by scenes which are imagined to occur in King Philip's tent in sequence of the foregoing

The indignation of Philip and his son at the temporary successes of King John; the despair of Constance on the capture of Arthur; and the rising hopes of Lewis ; represented by scenes imagined to occur at the French Court.

John's instigation of his servants to murder Arthur; the pretence of his death; and other circumstances connected with that prince's history; represented by scenes imagined to take place at the court of King John, and in the castle where the prince was confined

The discontent of the Barons; the Report of Arthur's death ; contradiction of the report; news of the death of Eleanor ; of the invasion by the dauphin; and of the murder of Arthur ; indicated by scenes supposed to occur at the Court of King John

The death of King John, and the circumstances before and after it, indicated by a supposed scene at Swinstead Abbey, in Lincolnshire




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