« AnteriorContinuar »
forth for to warne the Wanton Wittes how to kepe their Heads on their Shoulders, by T. Churchyard, 12mo. 1570:
"O Britayne bloud, marke this at my desire-
This sentiment may be traced still higher: Andrew Borde, in his Fyrst Boke of the Introduction of Knowledge, bl. 1. printed for Copland, sig. A 4, says, "They (i. e. the English) fare sumptuously; God is served in their churches devoutli, but treason and deceit amonge them is used craftyly, the more pitie, for if they were true wythin themselves they nede not to feare although al nacions were set against them, specialli now consydering our noble prince (i. e. Henry VIII.) hath and dayly dothe make noble defences, as castells," &c.
Again, in Fuimus Troes, 1633:
"Yet maugre all, if we ourselves are true,
"We may despise what all the earth can do." REED.
4 The tragedy of King John, though not written with the utmost power of Shakspeare, is varied with a very pleasing interchange of incidents and characters. The lady's grief is very affecting; and the character of the Bastard contains that mixture of greatness and levity which this author delighted to exhibit.
THE TITLE AND PART OF THE STORY
AND ITS TRUE DATE ASCERTAINED.
At the commencement of this volume, I have inadvertently retained Mr. Malone's reference to his Essay on the Chronological Order of Shakspeare's Plays, for a full exposition of the theory contained in the following pages. But, upon further consideration, it appeared to me, that it would be more for the convenience of the reader, if this Essay, like the Dissertation on the Three Parts of Henry VI. should be found in the same volume with the play, of which it not only is intended to fix the date; but which in other respects it is calculated to illustrate. It was drawn up some years ago, by Mr. Malone; and at that time he printed a limited number of copies, which he presented to his friends, and literary acquaintance. One of them, under circumstances which were by no means honourable to its possessor, who has since made himself too well known by a posthumous publication full of falsehood and malignity, but whom the grave shall shelter from further reproach, was sold at an auction, and purchased by Mr. George Chalmers. This gentleman, of whom it may be said, as by Johnson of Jeremy Collier, (I write it without the slightest disrespect) that "contest is his delight," lost no time in putting together the arguments by which