Imatges de pÓgina


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The enmities and machinations prevalent in the court of

Edward IV., when the civil wars had ceased ; indicated by

scenes supposed to occur in a street of London; at the Palace ;

in the Tower; and again at the Palace .

The arts of the Protector, Richard Duke of Gloster, to obtain

the crown during the short reign of Edward V.; indicated by

scenes supposed

to occur in London, namely, in a public place;

in the council chamber at the Tower; on the walls of the same;

and in the court of Baynard's Castle

The two years' reign of restless anxiety, and the troubled

death of Richard III. ; indicated by scenes supposed to occur

in the Palace; on a plain near Tamworth, Leicestershire; and

on another at Bosworth, in the same county



The Court of Henry VIII. in Wolsey's plenitude of power ;

the haughty and overbearing spirit of that minister exemplified

by his influence in procuring the attainder of Buckingham; the

state of public expectation which preceded the king's divorce

from Catherine ; and the events which ultimately led to

Wolsey's disgrace; represented by scenes supposed to occur in

an ante-chamber of the palace; and in an ante-chamber of the

queen's apartment

The ceremony of holding a court under a commission from

Rome, to try the validity of King Henry's marriage with

Catherine ; and the subsequent visit of the Cardinals to Ca-

therine; represented by scenes in a hall at Blackfriars; and in

the queen's apartments of the palace at Bridewell

The fall of Wolsey, indicated by a scene supposed to occur

in an ante-chamber of the palace

The declining and last years of Queen Catherine ; indicated

by a scene supposed to occur at her place of residence in Hun-


The christening of the Princess Elizabeth, indicated by a

scene supposed to occur at the palace


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The domestic dissensions of the Romans in the early days of

the republic, indicated by a scene imagined to occur in the city,

about twenty years after the expulsion of Tarquin

The character of a Roman matron, represented by that of

Volumnia, the mother of Caius Marcius, in scenes imagined to

occur at the house of Caius Marcius, and in the city

The pride of the patrician orders, and the factious character

of the plebeians under the direction of their tribunes, indicated

by scenes representing the events that led to the exile of Co-


Rome saved by the mediation of the women, illustrated by

scenes representing the concluding part of the story of Corio-

lanus, and supposed to take place in Rome ; in the camp of

the Volscians; and at Antium

Rome under the First of the Cæsars, represented by scenes

imagined to take place in the streets of the city, and in the

garden of Marcus Brutus, during the progress of the conspiracy

against Cæsar

The assassination of Cæsar; the defence of Brutus ; and

the Funeral Oration of Antony; indicated by scenes supposed

to occur at Cæsar's Palace; at the Senate-house; and in the

Forum .

The various character and similar fate of those who took part

in Cæsar's death, indicated by scenes supposed to occur in the

camp of Brutus at Sardis ; and on the plains of Philippi


The state of the Roman empire after the death of Brutus,

Cassius, and their associates, during the struggles of Octavius

and Antony for supreme power; indicated by scenes supposed

to occur at the house of Octavius in Rome; and at that of

Lepidus .

The characters of Cleopatra and Octavia contrasted, in scenes

supposed to occur in Cæsar's house at Rome; at the palace in

Egypt; on the Italian shore near Misenum ; again in Rome ;

and again in Egypt

Antony's infatuation, ruin, and death ; indicated by scenes

supposed to occur in Cæsar's house at Rome; in Antony's

camp near the promontory of Actium; in the palace at Alex-

andria ; in Cæsar's camp before Alexandria ; again in the

palace; and in Cleopatra's monument




All that the following pages present to the eye has been prepared with a view to audible reading; and there is nothing which is not meant to be so read, except the name of the person before each speech, and the suggestion every now and then for a pause : and thes are kept separate from what is to be uttered aloud, by being placed in brackets. Dispensing with the technical stage directions found in play-books, and with all formal introduction of the persons speaking, other than is supplied by the context, or by descriptive passages not included in brackets, the reader is left to his own resources to make his audience understand the business of every passing scene, and imagine the circumstances necessary to its interest. That he may accomplish this, the description and dialogue are so arranged, that, with very little change of voice and manner, such as can hardly fail to suggest itself to even a reader of moderate powers, every speech will be easily recognised as proper alone to the person who is supposed to utter it. And this effect which, as the several Readings are arranged, will be found within the scope of only ordinary ability, may be exceedingly heightened by a reader who has the power of discriminating character and passion, and will take some pains to prepare himself for each reading, so as not to be compelled to keep his eye constantly on the page. In this case, holding the book freely in one hand, or placing it on a desk, he will use his eyes and his hands to assist his voice, and produce the desired effect on the imagination of his auditors. The hand, for instance, may mark the relative place of each speaker in the dialogue ;-it may point out, in conjunction with the looks, the side at which a new speaker enters; and some of the gesture, or special actions, which the imagined speaker's words imply, may accompany the representative delivery-as the pointing up or down, or to an object distantly descried ; not to mention whatever passionate action the language may require, without “o'erstepping the modesty of nature,” or quite converting reading into acting. The [pauses] so denoted will, it is hoped, supply many opportunities for expressive look or gesture; and where these are not needed, it is expected that the short silence itself will suggest a something that may advantageously be imagined to take place, before the dialogue recommences.

To read Shakspeare we'l, it is indispensable that the exquisite rhythm of his blank verse should be felt, and that, being enforced by the reader, the delivery should nevertheless have the easy, and apparently inartificial drift of unpremeditated prose. As this volume is meant for young persons as well as others, some pains have been taken, by extra apostrophes and other marks, to assist the reader in meeting these demands of practical prosody; and that they may not perplex, or be mistaken, a few observations are subjoined.

First be it noticed, that except the elisions usual in the pronunciation of our language, many of which have their actual correspondent elisions in print,* the marks are not

* For instance the e in the preterit and participle, when it is actually sunk, as in lov'd, pleas’d, begg'd. But the written contraction as being unnecessary, is not made, the e being always audibly ab. sent, in the termination of such words as envied, pitied, denied, supplied,

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