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ACT V. SCENE II.
A Man's Tears.
Let me wipe off this honourable dew,
SCENE IV. Drums.
Strike up the drums, and let the tongue of war Plead for our int'reft. * * * *
* * *
Do but start
An eccho with the clamour of thy drum,
SCENE IX. The approach of Death.
It is too late, the life of all his blood Is touch'd corruptibly; and his pure brain, (Which, fome fuppofe, the foul's frail dwelling-house,) Doth, by the idle comments that it makes, Foretel the ending of mortality.
Madness, occafioned by Poifon,
(12) Ay, marry, now my foul hath elbow-room, It would not out at windows, nor at doors. There is fo hot a fummer in my bofom, That all my bowels crumble up to dust:
(12) Ay, marry, &c.] In the Valentinian of Beaumont and Fletcher, the emperor is brought on the ftage, poifoned.There he calls out for
Drink, drink, drink, colder, colder
Than fnow on Seythian mountains: oh my heart-strings;
I'll have brought through my body:
And Volga, on whofe face the north wind freezes.
I am an hundred hells, an hundred piles
Shall I not drink?
But far more terrible and full of flaughter,
A thousand April fhowers fall in my bofom;
See A&t 5. S. 2.
But in another play of theirs wife for a month, is a poifoning fcene, which better deferves to be compar'd with this of our author, and which Mr. Seward obferves, " every reader of taste will acknowledge fuperior to it." Alphonfo, long a prey to melancholy, is poifoned with a hot, burning potion, and in the midst of his tortures, raves thus.
Give me more air, more air, air: blow, blow, blow,
And rivers run through my afflicted fpirit.
I am a fcribbled form, drawn with a pen
The cold, cold springs, that I may leap into them,
Where treasures of delicious fnow are nourish'd,
Rug. Hold him fåst, friar,
Alph. What will ye facrifice me?
Upon the altar lay my willing body,
And pile your wood up, fling your holy incense:
Mart. To bed, good Sir.
Alph. My bed will burn about me:
Like Phaeton, in all confuming flashes
Am I inclos'd: let me fly, let me fly, give room;
'Twixt the cold bears, far from the raging lion, was read, (before corrected by Mr. Seward.)
Betwixt the cold bear and the raging lion.
Poifon'd, ill fare! dead, forfook, cast off;
SCENE X. England, invincible, if unanimous
England never did, nor ever shall
Lye at the proud foot of a conqueror,
The tragedy of King John (lays Johnson) though not written with the utmoft power of Shakespear, is varied with a very pleafing interchange of incidents and characters. The Lady's grief is very affecting; and the character of the baftard contains that mixture of greatnefs and levity which this author delighted to exhibit.
ACT I. SCENE IIL
HAT is it, that you would impart to me? If it be aught towards the general good, Set honour in one eye, and death i' th' other, And I will look on both indifferently:
(1) What, &c. "How agreeable to his ftoic character, does Shakespear make Brutus fpeak here? Cicero de fin. iii. 16. Qu'd enim illi AAIA OPON dicunt, id mihi ita occurrit, ut indifferens dicerem. One of the great divifion of things among the ftoics was into good, bad, indifferent: virtue, and whatever partook of virtue, was good: vice, bad: but what partook of neither virtue, nor vice, being not in our power, was indifferent: fuch as honour, wealth, death, &c. But of thefe indifferent things, fome might be esteemed more than others; as here Brutus fays, I love the name of honour, more than I fear death. See Cicero de fin. ii. 15, 16. The ftoics never deftroyed choice among indifferent things. -This being premised, let us fee Brutus's fpeech--"If it be aught (fays he) towards the general good, (S TO: OROD Jog Ty To) as I am a part of that whole, a citizen of that