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SCENE VI. LONDON. A Room in the TOWER. KING HENRY is discovered sitting with a Book in his Hand, the Lieutenant attending. Enter GLOSTER. Glo. Good day, my lord! What, at your book so hard ?
K. Hen. Ay, my good lord: My lord, I should say "Tis sin to flatter, good was little better: [ralher; Good Gloster, and good devil, were alike, And both preposterous; therefore, not good lord. Glo. Sirrah, leave us to ourselves : we must confer.
[Exit Lieutenant. K. Hen. So flies the reckless shepherd from the wolf: So first the harmless sheep doth yield his fleece, And next his throat unto the butcher's knife.What scene of death hath Roscius now to act?
Glo. Suspicion always haunts the guilty mind; The thief doth fear each bush an officer.
K. Hen. The bird, that hath been limed in a bush, With trembling wings misdoubleth every bush: And I, the hapless male to one sweet bird, Have now the fatal object in my eye, Where my poor
young was lim’d, was caught, and kill'd.
K. Hen. I, Dædalus; my poor boy, Icarus;
Glo. Think'st thou I am an executioner?
Glo. Thy son I kill'd for his presumption.
Thou hadst not liv'd to kill a son of mine.
[Stubs him For this, amongst the rest, was I ordain’d.
K. Hen. Ay, and for much more slaughter after this. 0. God! forgive my sins, and pardon thee! [Dies.
Glo. What, will the aspiring blood of Lancasler Sink in the ground? I thought it would have mounted. See, how my sword weeps for the poor king's death! O, may such purple tears be always shed From those that wish the downfall of our house!If any spark of life be yet remaining, Down, down to hell; and say—I sent thee thither,
[Stabs him again. I, that have neither pity, love, nor fear. Indeed, 'tis true, that Henry told nie of; For I bave often heard my mother say, I came into the world with my legs forward : Had I not reason, think ye, to make haste, And seek their roin that usurp'd our right? The midwife wonder'd; and the women cried,
0, Jesus bless us, he is born with teeth!
ȘCENE VII. The same. A Room in the Palace. KING EDWARD is discovered sitting on his Throne;
QUEEN ELIZABETH with the infant Prince, CLA-
K. Edw. Once more we sit in England's royal throne,
Have in our armours watch'd the winler's night;
Glo. I'll blast bis barvest, if your head were laid;
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. (thanks.
K. Edw. Thanks, noble Clarence; worthy brother,
Glo. And, that I love the tree from whence thou Witness the loving kiss I give the fruit:- (sprang'st, To say the truth, so Judas kiss'd his master; Aud cried-all bail!—when as he meant-all Aside.
harm. 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 Fravce Hath pawn'd the Sicils and Jerusalem, And hither have they sent it for her ransom. [France.
K. Edw. Away with her, and waft her hence to 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 lasting joy. [Exeunt.
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 Shakspeare'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, wlrich 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 show that a work does not really belong to the reputed author. But in these plays no such marks of spuriousness are found. The diction, the versification, and the figures, are Shakspeare's. These plays, considered without regard to characters and incidents, merely as narratives in verse, are more happily conceived, and more accurately finished, than those of King John, Richard II. or the tragic scenes of King Henry IV. and V. If we take these plays from Shakspeare, 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 distinctly painted.
C. Whittingham, Printer, Chiswick.