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The transports of a Crown.
O but think (1)-D
How sweet a thing it is to wear a crown; Within
whose circuit is Elysium, And all that poets feign of bliss and joy.
(1) Do but, &c.] In the Second part of Henry IV. (p. 21.) we have some fine reflections on the miseries that attend a crown: these, on the transports it bestows, are beautifully in character, and come very aptly from the mouth of the ambitious Gloucester. In the Double Marriage of Beaumont and Fletcher, Ferrand the tyrant, complaining of the miseries that attend royalty, a courtier longing to enjoy the honour, is put into pofleffion of them for one day, and finds them sufficiently burthensome. See the third act. Some of the tyrant's complaint sig and the courtiers' praises of royalty, are the following: Ferr. Tell me no more;
I faint beneath the burden of my cares,
And yield myself most wretched.
SCENE V. A hungry Lion.
So looks the pent-up lion o'er the wretch That trembles under his devouring paws ; And fo he walks insulting o'er his prey, And so he comes to rend his limbs asunder.
A hawk, a grey-hound, and a hunting nag,
More pleasure than this king ?
Make me a king, and let me scratch with care,
What think'd thou of a king ?
That hath power to do all ill.
That does divide an empire with the gods;
I would be mighty Ferrand.
The weighty forrows that fit on a crown,
Thou shalt ere long taste it.
And then let me expire.
Scene VI. The Duke of York on the gallant
Behaviour of his Sons.
My sons, God knows, what hath bechanced them; But this I know, they have demean'd themselves Like men born to renown, by life death. Three times did Richard make a lane to me, And thrice cry'd, courage, father! fight it out : And full as oft came Edward to my side, With purple falchion painted to the hilt In blood of those that had encounter'd him: And when the hardiest warriors did retire; Richard cry'd charge! and give no foot of ground; And cry'd a crown, or else a glorious tomb, A fceptre, or an earthly fepulchre. With this we charg'd again; but out, alas! We bodg'd again; as I have seen a fwan With bootless labour swim against the tide, And spend her strength with over-matching waves.
A Father's Passion on the Murder of a favourite
Oh tyger's heart wrapt in a woman's hide !
* That face of his the hungry cannibals (2) Would not have touch'd, would not have stain'd with blood :
(2) Would nct, &c.] The first folios and the old quarto read shis passage as it is here printed; the second folio reads,
But you are more inhuman, more inexorable,
ACT II. SCENE I.
The Duke of York in Battle.
-Wou'd not have touch'd,
Wou'd not have stain'd the roses just with blood. Which Mr. Theobald, for the sake of an alteration of his own, prefers to this, for which we have so good authority. He reads,
Wou'd not have fain'd the roses juic'd with blood; Sir T. Hanmer, not pleased with this criticism, tries another cast, and gives us
The roses jufi in dud. (3) As, &c.] The poets abound with numberless fimiles of this kind ; particularly Homer and Virgil: but none perhaps is finer than the following from that book, where every page abounds with beauties, and true fublimity. Isaiah xxxi. 4. 66 Like as the lion, and the young lion roaring on his prey ; when a multitude of thepherds is called forth against him, he will not be afraid of their voice Áor abase himself for the noise of them."
SCENE VI. The Morning's Dawn.
The Blessings of a Shepherd's Life.
(4) How, &c.] There is something very peculiar in this passage, “ The prime of youth and like a younker, seeming nearly the same thing ; but it is extremely beautiful, the author personifies the prime of youth, and describes him as an allegorical person, trimm'd like a younker, which with us fignifies a brisk, lively young man ; but more properly perhaps from its original, a nobleman, or young lord. See Skinner. The plain manner of understanding it is difficult, and the construction very involv’d, however it seems no more than this,“ how well resembles it, a younker trimm'd out in the prime of youth, prancing to his love.
(5) This, &c.] The expression of blowing his nails is peculiarly natural and beautiful; the reader may remember that Shakespear uses it in the pretty song at the end of Love's Labour Loll
And Dick the shepherd blows his nail. (6) O God, &c.] There is something very pleasing and natural in this passage; it is a good deal in the manner of Virgil, who speaks highly of a rural life in his second Georgic, which the reader will be much delighted with, if he compares it with our author, and no less with Horace's fecond Epode expressly on this subject! these are in almost every body's hands ; less