« PreviousContinue »
Enter Northumberland. Welcome, my lord : what is the news?
North. First to thy sacred state wilh I all happiness; The next news is, I have to London fent The heads of Salifbury, Spencer, Blunt, and Kent: The manner of their taking may appear At large discoursed in this paper here.
[Presenting a paper. Boling. We thank thee, gentle Percy, for thy pains ; And to thy worth will add right-worthy gains.
Enter Fitzwalter. Fitz. My lord, I have from Oxford sent to London The heads of Brocas, and Sir Benner Seeley ; Two of the dangerous consorted traitors, That sought at Oxford thy dire overthrow.
Boling. Thy pains, Fitzwalter, shall not be forgot ; Right noble is thy merít, well I wot.
Enter Percy, with the bishop of Carlisle.
Enter Exton, with a coffin,
Boling. Exton, I thank thee not; for thou hast
wrought A deed of Nander with thy fatal hand, Upon my head, and all this famous land. Exton. From your own mouth, my lord, did I this
deed. Boling. They love not poison, that do poison need, Nor do I thee : though I did wish him dead, I hate the murderer, love him murdered. The guilt of conscience take thou for thy labour, But neither my good word, nor princely favour : With Cain go wander through the shade of night, And never shew thy head by day, nor light. Lords, I protest, my soul is full of woe, That blood should sprinkle me, to make me grow. Come, mourn with me for what I do lament, And put on sullen black, incontinent : I'll make a voyage to the Holy-land, To wash this blood off from my guilty hand :March sadly after; grace my mourning here, In weeping over this
untimely bier. (Exeunt omnes *.
This play is extracted from the Chronicle of Hollinshed, in which many paffages may be found which Shakespeare has, with very little alteration, transplanted into his scenes ; particularly a speech of the bishop of Carlisle in defence of king Richard's unalienable right, and immunity from human jurisdiction.
Jonson who, in his Catiline and Sejanus, has inserted many speeches from the Roman historians, was perhaps induced to that practice by the example of Shakespeare, who had condescended sometimes to copy more ignoble writers. But Shakespeare had more of his own than Jonson, and, if he sometimes was willing to spare his labour, thewed by what he performed at other times, that his extracts were made by choice or idleness rather than neceflity.
This play is one of those which Shakespeare has apparently revised; but as success in works of invention is not always proportionate to labour, it is not finished at laft with the happy force of some other of his tragedies, nor can be said much to affect the paffions, or enlarge the understanding. JOHNSON,
THE FIRST PART OF
H E N R Y IV.
LIFE AND DEATH
Henry, Sirnamed HOTSPUR. Persons Represented.
King HENRY the Fourth.
Lady Percy, wife to Hotspur.
Sheriff, vintner, chamberlain, drawers, two carriers,
travellers, and attendants.
The persons of the drama were first collected by Rowe.