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And made the forest tremble when they roared,
back.Work thou the way ;-and thou shalt execute.
[ Aside. K. Edw. Clarence and Gloster, love my lovely
Queen; And kiss your princely nephew, brothers both.
Clar. The duty that I owe unto your majesty, I seal upon the lips of this sweet babe.
K. Edw. Thanks, noble Clarence; worthy bro
ther, thanks. Glo. And that I love the tree from whence
thou sprang'st, Witness the loving kiss I give the fruit.To say the truth, so Judas kissed his master; And cried “all hail !" whenas he meant “all harm."
Aside. K. Edw. Now am I seated as my soul delights, Having my country's peace and brothers’ loves. Clar. What will your grace have done with
Margaret? Reignier, her father, to the King of France Hath pawned the Sicils and Jerusalem : And hither have they sent it for her ransom. K. Edw. Away with her, and wast her hence
to France. And now what rests but that we spend the time With stately triumphs, mirthful comic shows, Such as befit the pleasures of the court ?Sound, drums and trumpets! farewell sour annoy: For here, I hope, begins our lastingjoy. (Exeunt.
"I wonder how the King escaped our hands."
Act I., Scene 1. This play is only divided from the former for the convenience of exhibition ; for the series of action is continued without interruption; nor are any two scenes of any play more closely connected than the first scene of this play with the last of the former.
“Stern Falconbridge commands the narrow seas."
Act 1., Scene 1. The person here meant was Thomas Nevil, bastard son to the Lord Falconbridge :-"A man (says Hall) of no less courage than audacity; who, for his cruel conditions, was such an apt person, that a more meter could not be chosen to set all the world in a broil, and to put the estate of the realm on an ill hazard."
He had been appointed by Warwick vice-admiral of the seas, and had in charge so to keep the passage between Dover and Calais, that none which either favoured King Henry or his friends should escape untaken or undrowned: such, at least, were his instructions with respect to the friends and favourers of King Edward, after the rupture between him and Warwick.
On Warwick's death, Falconbridge fell into poverty, and robbed, both by sea and land, as well friends as enemies. He once brought his ships up the Thames; and, with a considerable body of the men of Kent and Essex, made a spirited assault on the City, with a view to plunder and pillage, which was not repelled but after a sharp conflict. He was finally taken at Southampton, and beheaded.Ritson.
"An oath is of no moment being nol took
Before a true and lawful magistrate,
Act I., Scene 2. The obligation of an oath is here avoided by a very despicable sophistry. A lawful magistrate alone has the power to exact an oath, but the oath derives no part of its force from the magistrate. The plea against the obligation of an oath, obliging to maintain a usurper (taken from the unlawfulness of the oath itself), in the foregoing play, was rational and just.-JOHNSON.
fiercely setting on his enemies, put them to flight: and for this cause men imagined that he gave the sun, in his full brightness, for his badge or cognisance."-HOLINSIED.
“Ah, Warwick, why hast thou withdrawn thyself?
Act II., Scene 3. The brother of Warwick here alluded to was a natural son of the Earl of Salisbury Holinshed, relating the death of Clifford, says, “He was slain ; and with him the bastard of Salisbury, brother to the Earl of Warwick, a valiant young gentleman and of great audacity."
" This batlle fares like to the morning's war,
Act II., Scene 5. This speech is mournful and soft, exquisitely suited to the character of the King; and makes a pleasing interchange, by affording, amidst the tumult and horror of the battle, an unexpected glimpse of rural innocence and pastoral tranquillity.--Johnson.
"Now breathe we, lords: good fortune bids us pause."
Act II., Scene 6. This battle, in which the house of York was victorious, was fought on a plain between Towton and Saxton, on the 29th of March (Palm Sunday), 1461.-“This conflict (says Hall) was in manner unnatural: for in it the son fought against the father, the brother against the brother, the nephew against the uncle, and the tenant against his lord.”
“Let me be Duke of Clarence; George, of Gloster :
Act II., Scene 6. Richard here alludes to the deaths of Thomas of Woodstock (son to Edward III), and Humphrey, Duke of Gloster, whose tragical end is recorded in the preceding play.
“From Scotland am I stolen, even of pure love,
Act III., Scene 1. It is stated by Hall and Holinshed that Henry "was no sooner entered into England but he was known'and taken of one Cantlow, and brought to the King."
It appears, however, from records in the Duchy-office, that King Edward granted a rentcharge of 1001. to Sir James Harrington, in recompense of his services in the capture and detention of the unfortunate Lancasterian monarch. Annuities were also given to four other persons on the like account.
“Then, since this earth offords no joy to me
Act III., Scene 2. Richard speaks here the language of nature. Whoever is stigmatised with deformity has a constant source of enmity in his mind, and would counterbalance by some
other superiority those advantages which he feels himself to want. Bacon remarks that the deformed are commonly daring; and it almost proverbially observed that they are ill-natured. The truth is, that the deformed, like all other men, are displeased with inferiority, and endeavour to gain ground by good or bad means, as they are virtuous or corrupt.-Johnson.
Henry VII., to shew his gratitude to Henry VI. for this early presage in his favour, solicited Pope Julius to canonize Joim as a saint: but either Henry would not pay the money demanded, or (as Bacon supposes), the Pope refused, lest, "as Henry was reputed in the world abroad but for a simple man, the estimation of that kind of honour might be diminished if there were not a distance kept between innocents and saints."- MALONE.
“K. Edw. Thanks, noble Clarence; worthy hrother thanks."
Act V., Scene 7. The old quarto play appropriates this line to the Queen, The first and second folios, by mistake, have given it to Clarence.-In Steevens's copy of the second folio, which had belonged to King Charles I., his Majesty had erased · Cia.," and written "King"in its stead. Shakspere, therefore, in the catalogue of his restorers, may boast a royal name.-SINGER.
"Welcome, brave Warwick : what brings thee to France ?"
Act III., Scene 3. This nobleman's embassy and commission, the insult he received by the King's hasty marriage, and his consequent resolution to avenge it, with the capture, imprisonment, and escape of the King (Edward), Shakspere found in Hall and Holinshed: but later, as well as earlier writers, of better authority, incline us to discredit the whole ; and to refer the rupture between the King and his political creator to other causes.-There needs no other proof how little our common histories are to be depended on than this fabulous story of Warwick and the Lady Bona. The King was privately married to the Lady Elizabeth Widville in 1463 ; and in February, 1465, Warwick actually stood sponsor to the Princess Elizabeth, their first child.-SINGER. “Did I let pass the abuse done to my niece ?"
Act III., Scene 3. “ King Edward (says Holinshed) did attempt a thing once in the earl's house, which was much against the earl's honesty:-whether he would have deflowered his daughter, or his niece, the certainty was not, for both their honours, revealed: for surely such a thing was attempted by King Edward."
“ Or else you would not have besloured the heir
Act IV., Scene 1. It must be remembered that, till the Restoration (of Charles II.), the heiresses of great estates were in the wardship of the King; who, in their minority, gave them up to plunder, and afterwards matched them to his favourites. I know not when liberty gained more than by the abolition of the Court of Wards.-JOHNSON.
The Three Parts of King HENRY VI. are suspected by Mr. Theobald of being supposititious, and are declared by Dr. Warburton to be certainly not Shakspere's. Mr. Theobald's suspicion arises from some obsolete words: but the phraseology is like the rest of our author's style; and single words (of which, however, I do not observe more than two) can conclude little.
Dr. Warburton gives no reason; but I suppose him to judge upon deeper principles and more comprehensive views, and to draw his opinion from the general effect and spirit of the composition, which he thinks inferior to the other historical plays.
From mere inferiority nothing can be inferred. In the productions of wit there will be inequality: sometimes judgment will err, and sometimes the matter itself will defeat the artist. Of every author's works one will be the best, and one will be the worst. The colours are not equally pleasing, nor the attitudes equally graceful, in all the pictures of Titian or Reynolds.
Dissimilitude of style and heterogeneousness of sentiment, may sufficiently shew that a work does not really belong to the reputed author. But in these works no such marks of spuriousness are found: the diction, the versification, and the figures, are Shakspere's. These plays, considered without regard to character and incidents, merely as narratives in verse, are more happily conceived and more accurately finished than those of “Kixg Jonx," “ Kixg RICHARD II.," or the tragic scenes of " King HENRY IV. and V."-If we take these plays from Shakspere, to whom shall they be given! What author of that age had the same easiness of expression and fluency of numbers?
of these three plays, I think the second the best. The truth is, that they have not sufficient variety of action, for the incidents are too often of the same kind. Yet many of the characters are well discriminated :- King Henry and his Queen, King Edward, the Duke of Gloster, and the Earl of Warwick, are very strongly and distivctly painted.- Jouxsox.
"My lords, before it pleascd his majesty
To raise my state to title of a queen,
Act IV., Scene 1. The father of the unfortunate Queen of Edward IV. was Sir Richard Widville, afterwards Earl Rivers. Her mother was Jaqueline, daughter of the Earl of St. Paul, and widow of John, Duke of Bedford, brother to Henry V.
"Come hither, England's hope.- If secret powers
Suggest but Iruth to my divining thoughts,
Act IV., Scene 6. This "pretty lad” was afterwards the fortunate and crafty Henry VII.—Holinshed, relating this incident, says, “Whom when the King (Henry VI.) had a good while beheld, he said to such princes as were with him,- Lo, surely this is he to whom both we and our adversaries, leaving the possession of all things, shall hereafter give room and place.""
Johnson's belief that Shakspere was the original author of the Three Parts of “HENRY VI." is ably combated in Malone's “Dissertation" on the subject. That treatise is well worthy the perusal of those who would wish further to investigate the interminable question. The praise of acuteness and elaborate research must also be accorded to a recent" Essay" by Mr. C. Knight, in opposition to the theory of Malone.-0.