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A wilderness is populous enough,
SCENE IX. Dying, with the Person belov'd, pre
ferable to parting.
Scene X. The Death-bed Horrors of a guilty
will. Dyd he not in his bed 'Where should he die? Can I make men live whether they will or no?
language of love, and employed by Tibullus to his own mif. tress,
Sic ego fecretis possum bene vivere fylvis,
Qua nulla humano fit via trita pede :
L. 4. e. 121
Desarts are worlds, and night outshines the day. I have often lamented we have not so good a translation of this delicate poet and polite lover, as his excellence deserves.
(8) Bring, &c.] Nothing can more admirably picture to us the horror of a guilty conscience, than this frantic raving of the cardinal :
Oh, torture me no more, I will confess.
ACT IV. SCENE I.
Night. (9) The gaudy, babling, and remorseful day Is crept into the bofom of the sea : (10) And now loud howling wolves arouse the jades, That dragic melancholy night;
When death's approach is seen fo terrible
Ah, what a sign it is of evil life! Thus hath guilt, even in this world, its due reward, and iniquity is not suffered to go unpunished : the well-weighing such frightful scenes might, perhaps, be of no small service to fuch. as despise lectures from the pulpit, and laugh at the interested representations of divines.
(9) The, &c,] See the last passage in the Midsummer Night's Dream. Spencer, speaking of night, says;
And all the while she stood upon the ground,
See Faerie Queene, B. 1. C. 5. I. 30. (10) No numbers can better express the thing than these, Shakespear shews us, that he can as well excel in that, as in every other branch of poetry. None of the so celebrated lines of Ho
Who with their drowsy, flow, and flagging wings,
SCENE VI. Kent.
Lord Say's Apology for himself.
hands? Kent, to maintain, the king, the realm and you.
mer and Virgil, of this fort, deserve more commendation : here
Τα χθονια Εκατα, &c.
In them I trust; for they are soldiers,
(12) When, &c.] The interrogation in all the editions is placed at the end of this line: the passage, in my opinion, hould be pointed chus:
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 something very unreasonable; that he should have bestowed gifts on them because his book preferred him to the king, is Bot only reasonable, but extremely probable.
THE contention (says Mrs. Lenox ) between the two houses of York and Lancaster furnishes the incidents which compose this play. 'The action begins with King Henry's marriage, which wasin the twenty-third year of his reign, and closes with the first 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 transactions of ten years.
Shakespear has copied Holing shed pretty closely throughout this whole play, except in his relation of the Duke of Suffolk's death. The Chronicle tells us, that King Henry, to satisfy the nobility and people, who hated this favourite, condemned him to banishment during the space of five years. In his passage to France he was taken by a ship of war belonging to the Duke of Excer, constable of the Tower; the captain of which ship carried him into Dover road, and there struck off his head on the side of a cock-boat.
In Shakespear, he is taken by English pirates on the coast of Kent, who, notwithstanding the large ransom he offers them, resolve to murder him. One of them, in the course of his conversation with the Duke, tells him, that his name is Walter
Whilmore ; and observing him start, asks him, if he is frighted at death, to which Suffolk replied.
Thy name atfrights me, in whose found is death,
And told me that by Walter I should die. This circumstance is not to be found, either in Hall or Holingfhed; and as it has greatly the air of fiction, Sbakespear probably borrowed it from the same tale that furnished him with the loves of Suffolk and the Queen, on which several passionate scenes in this play, as well as the former, are built.