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infinite possibilities of drollery lodged in Pat to be bagged by Thackeray. Nor is very much made of the Scot, though Sandy even then, in ways suitable to the times, had learned his trick of fattening his lantern jaws on the good things of the South :

There's a saying, very old and true,
“If that you will France win,

Then with Scotland first begin":
For, once the eagle England being in prey,
To her unguarded nest the weasel Scot
Comes sneaking, and so sucks her princely eggs,
Playing the mouse in absence of the cat,
To tear and havoc more than she can eat.

As the representative of patriotism in the Histories may be taken Faulconbridge in the first of them. This is one of Shakspeare's most peculiar characters, and he appears to be

a pure

creation. When first he comes upon the scene, he seems intended for a comic character; and there is in him throughout an element of sarcastic criticism; he makes fun of the conventionalities of life and of the pomp and pretence of war, and not less does he turn his scorn against himself in a tone of raillery that recalls Thackeray ; but, as the action proceeds, his character deepens; the peril of his country makes a hero of him ; and the play closes with these rousing words of his :

This England never did, nor never shall
Lie at the proud foot of a conqueror,
But when it first did help to wound itself.
Now these her princes are come home again,
Come the three corners of the world in arms,
And we shall shock them ; nought shall make us rue,
If England to itself do rest but true.

ROYALTY.-Shakspeare is no demagogue; he has no idea even of the sovereignty of the people, of which everybody nowadays speaks with so much respect. To him the people was

The blunt monster with uncounted heads,
The still-discordant, wavering multitude.

In the period of which he was writing in these Histories the most conspicuous and perfect form of human life was that of the king, and he paints it in all its opulence -in its dignities, prerogatives and functions. The position that came nearest to it was perhaps that of the great ecclesiastic; and this also he has portrayed in the proud papal legate Pandulph and the extravagant Cardinal Wolsey. Next came the great nobles; and these also are described in their ambitions and services; but it is in the sunshine of the throne that they live, and they wither in its shadow. The middle class hardly appears in Shakspeare except as the hurrahing multitude on a day of triumph: its day and its histor

ians were still in the future. As for the multitude, they are, as Falstaff calls them, “food for powder" in the quarrels of their superiors.

So supreme was the position of the king that he to whom it was vouchsafed was supposed to have been destined for it by the special appointment of Heaven, and it was sacrilege to remove him:

Not all the water in the rough-rude sea
Can wash the balm from an anointed king.
The breath of worldly men cannot depose
The deputy elected by the Lord.

But, although this was the accepted theory, which was of course firmly held by those to whom, in the distribution of fortune, had fallen this incomparable lot, yet the divinity that doth hedge a king did not prevent those who were not born to the position from aiming at it. The Histories are full of the attempts of princes to dethrone the Lord's anointed. King John usurped the seat which belonged by right to Arthur; King Henry the Fourth reigned through the deposition of Richard Second; Richard Third had to cut ever so many rivals out of the way before he reached the throne. These ambitions are the springs on which the history moves.

Shakspeare discusses every aspect of the regal position; and out of these plays there might easily be culled a book of maxims for those in authority :

A sceptre snatched with an unruly hand
Must be as boisterously maintained as gained,
And he that stands upon a slippery place
Makes nice of no vile hold to stay him up.

Let not the world see fear and sad distrust
Govern the motion of a kingly eye.
Be stirring as the time; be fire with fire;
Threaten the threatener; and outface the brow
Of bragging horror. So shall inferior eyes,
That borrow their behaviours from the great,
Grow great by your example.

Treason is but trusted like the fox,
Who, ne'er so tame, so cherished and locked up,
Will have a wild trick of his ancestors.

When King John, aware of the unsoundness of his own title, resolved to be crowned a second time, a wise councillor said:

To be possessed with double pomp,
To guard a title that was rich before,
To gild refined gold, to paint the lily,
To throw a perfume on the violet,
To smooth the ice, or add another hue
Unto the rainbow, or with taper-light
To seek the beautous eye of heaven to garnish
Is wasteful and ridiculous excess.

When a king is asked whence he has obtained his

commission to fight in the quarrel of one who is being wronged, he answers nobly:

From that supernal Judge that stirs good thoughts
In any breast of high authority
To look into the blots and stains of right.

Those, however, who, whether by inheritance or by force, attained the coveted possession of the crown found that it was not all of velvet. It brought with it a thousand duties which, if performed, wore out the life prematurely and, being neglected, involved the land in confusion. Says a king :

O God, methinks it were a happy life
To be no better than a homely swain :
To sit upon a hill, as I do now,
To carve out dials quaintly, point by point,
Thereby to see the minutes how they run;
When this is known, then to divide the times:
So many hours must I tend my flock,
So many hours must I take my rest,
So many hours must I contemplate,
So many hours must I sport myself;
So many days my ewes have been with young,
So many weeks ere the poor fools will yean,
So many months ere I shall shear the fleece;
So minutes, hours, days, months and years,
Passed over to the end they were created,
Would bring white hairs into a quiet grave.

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