Imatges de pÓgina
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ACT V. SCENE I.

Melancholy Stories.
In winter's tedious nights fit by the fire,
With good old folks, and let them tell thee tales
Of woeful ages long ago

betid :
And ere thou bid good-night, to quit their grief,
Tell them the lamentable fall of me,
And send the hearers weeping to their beds.

SCENE III. A Defcription of Bolingbroke's and

Richard's Entry into London. Them, as I said, the duke, great Bolingbroke, (5) Mounted upon a hot and fiery steed, Which his afpiring rider seem'd to know, With flow, but stately pace, kept on his course : While all tongues cry’d, God save thee, Bolingbroke! You wou'd have thought the very windows spoke, So many greedy looks of

young

and old Throuh cafements darted their defiring eyes Upon his visage; and that all the walls, With painted imag'ry,'had said at once, Fefu, preserve thee! welcome Bolingbroke ! Whilft he, from one side to the other turning, Bare-headed, lower than his proud 1teed's neck, Bespoke them thus ; I thank you, countrymen ; And this still doing, thus he pass'd along. Duch. Alas! poor Richard, where rides he the

while ? York. As in a theatre the eyes of men,

After

(5) The king afterwards hearing of this horfe from his groom obferves,

So proud, that Bolingbroke was on his back!
The jade hath eat bread from my royal hand.
This hand hath made him proud with clapping him.
Wou'd he not stumble : &c.

After a well-grac'd actor leaves the stage,
Are idly bent on him that enters next,
Thinking his prattle to be tedious :
Ev'n so, or with much more contempt, mens eyes
Did scowl on Richard: no man cry'd, God save him!
No joyful tongue gave hiin his welcome home;
But duit was thrown upon his facred head;
Which with such gentle sorrow he shook off,
His face still combating with tears and smiles,
The badges of his grief and patience
That had not God, for some strong purpose, steel'd
The hearts of men, they must perforce have melted;
And barbarism itself have pitied him.

SCENE IV. Violets.

(6) Who are the violets now,
That strew the green lap of the new-come spring ?
SCENE X. King Richard's Soliloquy in Prison.

I have been studying how to compare
This prison where I live, unto the world;
And, for because the world is populous,
And here is not a creature but myself,
I cannot do it ; yet I'll hammer on't.
My brain I'll prove the female to my foul,
My soul, the father: and these two beget
A generation of still-breeding thoughts.
And these fame thoughts people this little world,
In humour, like the people of this world,
For no thought is contented-

Thoughts

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(6) Who, &c.] Milion doubtless had this passage in his eye, when in his pretty song, On May-morning, he wrote,

Now the briglit morning-sar, day's harbinger,
Comes dancing from the east, and leads with her
The flowery May, who from her green lip throws
The yellow cowlip, and the pale primrose.

Thoughts tending to content, flatter themselves
That they are not the first of fortune's flaves,
And shall not be the last: (like filly beggars,
Who, fitting in the stocks, refuge their shame,
That many have, and others must fit there)
And in this thought they find a kind of ease,
Bearing their own misfortune-on the back
Of such as have before endur'd the like.
Thus play I, in one prison, many people,
And none contented. Sometimes am I king,
Then treason makes me with myself a beggar;
And so I am. Then crushing penurý .
Persuades me, I was better when a king;.
Then am I king'd again; and by and by,
Think, that I am unking'd by Bolingbroke,
And strait am nothing But whate'er I am,
Nor I, nor any man, that but man is,
With nothing shall be pleas'd, till he be eas'd
With being nothing.-

General Observation

THIS play (says Johnson) is extracted from the Chronicle of HoIngstad, in which many páffages may be found which Shakespear has, with very little alteration, transplanted into his scenes ; particularly a speech of the bishop of Carlisle in defence of king Richard's unalienableright, and immunity from human jurisdiction.

Fon on who, in his Cariline and Sejanus,, has inserted many speeches from the Roman historians, was perhaps induced to that practice by the example of Shakespear, who had condescended sometimes to copy more ignoble writers. But Shakespear had more of his own than Jomson, and, if he sometimes was willing. to spare his labour, shewed by what he performed at other. times, that his extracts were made by choice or idleness rather than pecessity.

This play is one of those which Shakifprar has apparently re-vised; but as success in works of invention is not always propor-tionate to labour, it is not finished at last with the happy force of some other of his tragedies, nor can be said much to affect the passions, or enlarge the understanding.

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COW are our brows bound with victorious wreaths
Our bruised

for monuments :
Our stern alarums chang’d to inerry meetings ;
Our dreadful marches to delightful measures.
Grim-vifag'd war hath smooth'd his wrinkled front;
And now, instead of mountain barbed steeds
To fright the souls of fearful adversaries,
He capers nimbly in a lady's chamber,
To the lascivious pleasing of a lute.
(1) But I, that am not Thap'd for sportive tricks,
Nor made to court an am'rous looking-glass,
I, that am rudely itampt, and want love's majesty,
To strut before a wanton, ambling nymph;
I, that am curtail'd of this fair proportion,
Cheated of feature by diffembling nature,

Deform’d,

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(1) But, &c.] See Longinus on the Sublime, fect. 38. the latter end.

Deform’d, unfinish'd, sent before my time
Into this breathing world, fcarce half made up,
And that so lamely and unfashionably,
That dogs bark at me, as I halt by them :
Why I, (in this meek piping time of peace)
Have no delight to pass away the time;
Unless to spy my shadow in the fun,
And descant on my own deformity.
And therefore, since I cannot prove a lover,
To entertain these fair, well-spoken days (2)
I am determined to prove a villain,
And hate the idle pleasures of these days.

SCENE JI. Richard's Love for Lady Anne.

Those

eyes of thine from mine hath drawn salt tears Sham'd their aspects with store of childish drops : These eyes, which never shed remorseful tear, Not when

my

father York, and Edward wept, To hear the piteous moan that Rutland made; When black-fac'd Clifford shook his sword at him; Nor when thy warlike-father, like a child, Told the sad story of my father's death, And twenty times made pause to fob and weep, That all the standers-by had wet their cheeks, Like trees bedash'd with rain: in that fad time, My manly eyes did scorn an humble tear : And what these sorrows could not thence exhale, Thy beauty hath, and made them blind with weeping. I never sued to friend nor enemy: My tongue could never learn sweet smoothing words ; But now thy beauty is propos'd my fee, My proud heart sues, and prompts my tongue to speak.

On

(2) See Othello, p. 207. n. 3.

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