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North. First to thy sacred state wish I all happiness. The next news is, I have to London sent The heads of Salisbury, 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 l'ercy, for thy pains; And to thy worth will add right worthy gains.
Enter Fitzwater. Fitz. My lord, I have from Oxford sent to London The heads of Brocas, and fir Bennet Seely; Two of the dangerous consorted traitors, That sought at Oxford thy dire overthrow.
Boling. Thy pains, Fitzwater, shall not be forgot ; Right noble is thy merit, well I wot.
Enter Perry, with the bishop of Carlisle.
Boling, Garlisle, this is your doom :
Enter Exton, with a coffin.
-of Salisbury, Spenser, Blunt, and Kent:) The quartos -of Oxford, Salisbury, and Kent. STEEVENS.
Boling. Exton, I thank thee not ; for thou haft
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 with 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 mournings here, In weeping after this untimely bier. [Exeunt onines *
* This play is extracted from the Chronicle of Holinshed, in which many passages 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 labour, shewed by what he performed at other times, that his extracts were made by choice or idleness rather than necessity.
This play is one of those which Shakespeare has apparently revised; but as success in works of invention is not always propora tionate to labour, it is not finished at last with the happy force of some other of his tragedies, nor can be said much to affect the pas. fions, or enlarge the understanding. Johnson.
King Henry the Fourth.
, } fons to the king,
Mortimer. Quickly, hostess of a taverii in Eastcheap, Sheriff, vintner, chamberlain, drawers, two carriers,
travellers, and attendants, &c.
SCENE, England. John, duke of Lancaster,] It should be Prince John of Lan, safter. Steevens.
The persons of the drama were originally collected by Mr. Rowe, who has given the title of Duke of Lancaster to Prince Fobn, a mistake which Shakespeare has been no where guilty of in the first part of this play, though in the second he has fallen into the same error. k. Henry IV. was himself the last person that ever bore the title of Duke of Lancaster. But all his sons ('till they had peerages, as Clarence, Bedford, Gloucester) were diltinguished by the name of *royal house, as John of Lancaster, Humphrey of Lancaster &c, and in that proper style, the present John (who became afterwards so illustrious by the title of Duke of Bedford) is always mentioned in the play before us. STEEVENS.
K I N G HENRY IV.
SCE N E I.
The court in London,
Enter king Henry, earl of Westmoreland, Sir Walter Blunt,
K. Henry. So shaken as we are, so wan with care, 3 Find we a time for frighted peace to pant,
2 The First Part of Henry IV.] The transactions contained in this historical drama are comprised within the period of about ten months; for the action commences with the news brought of Hotspur having defeated the Scots under Archibald earl Douglas at Holmedon (or Halidown-hill) which battle was fought on Holyrood-day (the 14th of September) 1402; and it closes with the defeat and death of Hotspur at Shrewsbury; which engagement happened on Saturday the 21st of July (the eve of Saint Mary Magdalen) in the year 1403. THEOBALD.
This play was first entered at Stationers' Hall, Feb. 25. 1597, by Andrew Wise. Again by M. Woolff, Jan. 9. 1598. For the piece supposed to have been its original, see Six old Plays on which Shakespeare founded &c. publifhed for S. Leacroft, CharingCross. STEEVENS.
Shakespeare has apparently designed a regular connection of these dramatic histories from Richard the Second to Henry the Fifth. King Henry, at the end of Richard the Second, declares his purpose to visit the Holy land, which he resumes in this speech. The complaint made by king Henry in the last act of Richard the Second, of the wildness of his fon, prepares the reader for the frolicks which are here to be recounted, and the characters which are now to be exhibited. Johnson,