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A wilderness is populous enough,
So Suffolk had thy heavenly company,
For where thou art, there is the world itself:
SCENE IX. Dying, with the Perfon belov'd, preferable to parting.
If I depart from thee, I cannot live; And in thy fight to die, what wert it elfe, But like a pleafant flumber in thy lap? Here could I breathe my foul into the air, As mild and gentle as the cradle-babe Dying with mother's dug between his lips.
SCENE X. The Death-bed Horrors of a guilty Confcience.
(8) Bring me unto my trial, when you will. Dy'd he not in his bed? Where fhould he die? Can I make men live whether they will or no?
language of love, and employed by Tibullus to his own mif trefs,
Sic ego fecretis poffum bene vivere fylvis,
L. 4. c. 122
A wilderness, unknown to man, with thee
I have often lamented we have not fo good a translation of this delicate poet and polite lover, as his excellence deferves.
(8) Bring, &c.] Nothing can more admirably picture to us the horror of a guilty confcience, than this frantic raving of the cardinal:
Oh, torture me no more, I will confess-
ACT IV. SCENE I.
(9) The gaudy, babling, and remorfeful day Is crept into the bofom of the fea :
(10) And now loud howling wolves aroufe the jades, That dragic melancholy night;
When death's approach is feen fo terrible-
Thus hath guilt, even in this world, its due reward, and iniquity is not fuffered to go unpunished: the well-weighing fuch frightful scenes might, perhaps, be of no fmall fervice to fuch as defpife lectures from the pulpit, and laugh at the interested reprefentations of divines.
(9) The, &c,] See the laft paffage in the Midsummer Night's Dream. Spencer, speaking of night, fays;
And all the while fhe stood upon the ground,
(10) No numbers can better exprefs the thing than these, Shakespear fhews us, that he can as well excel in that, as in every other branch of poetry. None of the fo celebrated lines of Ho
Who with their drowsy, flow, and flagging wings,
SCENE VI. Kent.
(11) Kent, in the commentaries Cæfar writ,
Lord Say's Apology for himself.
Justice, with favour, have I always done; Prayers and tears have mov'd me, gifts could never: (12) When have I aught exacted at your hands? Kent, to maintain, the king, the realm and you.
mer and Virgil, of this fort, deferve more commendation: here the line, as it ought, justly labours, and the verfe moves flow. However, I intend not to enter into any criticifm on Shakespear's verfification, wherein could we prove him fuperior to all other writers, we must still acknowledge it the least and most trifling matter wherein he is fuperior. It is worth obferving, that what Shakespear fays of the clipping dead mens graves, might not impoffibly be taken from Theocritus, who, fpeaking of Hecate, the infernal and nocturnal deity, in his 2d Idyllium, fays
Τα χθονια Εκατα, &c.
Infernal Hecate, howling dogs abhor,
When 'midft the dead mens graves, and putrid gore,
(11) Kent, &c.] York, in the next play, A. 1. S. 4. speaking of the Kentimen, says,
In them I truft; for they are foldiers,
(12) When, &c.] The interrogation in all the editions is placed at the end of this line: the paffage, in my opinion, fhould be pointed thus:
Large gifts have I bestow'd on learned clerks;
When have I ought exacted at your hands,
This renders the passage plain and easy that he should have bestowed gifts on learned clerks to maintain Kent, the king, &c. is fomething very unreasonable; that he should have bestowed gifts on them becaufe his book preferred him to the king, is not only reasonable, but extremely probable.
THE contention (fays Mrs. Lenox between the two houfes of York and Lancafter furnishes the incidents which compofe this play. The action begins with King Henry's marriage, which was in the twenty-third year of his reign, and clofes with the firft battle fought at St. Albans and won by the York faction, in the thirtythird year of his reign; so that it takes in the history and tranfactions of ten years.
Shakespear has copied Holing fhed pretty clofely throughout this whole play, except in his relation of the Duke of Suffolk's death. The Chronicle tells us, that King Henry, to fatisfy the nobility and people, who hated this favourite, condemned him to banishment during the space of five years. In his paffage to France he was taken by a ship of war belonging to the Duke of Exeter, conftable of the Tower; the captain of which ship carried him into Dover road, and there ftruck off his head on the fide of a cock-boat.
In Shakespear, he is taken by English pirates on the coast of Kent, who, notwithstanding the large ranfom he offers them, refolve to murder him. One of them, in the course of his converfation with the Duke, tells him, that his name is Walter
Whitmore; and observing him start, asks him, if he is frighted at death, to which Suffolk replied.
Thy name affrights me, in whofe found is death,
This circumstance is not to be found, either in Hall or Høling fhed; and as it has greatly the air of fiction, Shakespear probably "borrowed it from the fame tale that furnished him with the loves of Suffolk and the Queen, on which feveral paffionate scenes in this play, as well as the former, are built.