Re-enter Audley hastily.
Aud. Renowned Edward, give me leave, I pray,
To lead my soldiers where I may relieve
Your grace's son, in danger to be slain.
The snares of French, like emmets on a bank,
Muster about him; whilst he, lion-like,
Entangled in the net of their assaults,
Franticly rends, and bites the woven toil:
But all in vain, he cannot free himself.

Edw. Audley, content; I will not have a man,
On pain of death, sent forth to succour him :
This is the day ordain’d by destiny
To season his green courage with those thoughts,
That, if he break’th out Nestor's years on earth,
Will make him savour still of this exploit.

Der. Ah! but he shall not live to see those days.
Edw. Why, then his epitaph is lasting praise.

Aud. Yet, good my lord, 't is too much wilfulness
To let his blood be spilt, that may be sav'd.

Edw. Exclaim no more; for none of you can tell
Whether a borrow'd aid will serve, or no;
Perhaps he is already slain, or ta'en :
And dare a falcon when she 's in her flight,
And ever after she 'll be haggard-like:
Let Edward be deliver'd by our hands,
And still, in danger, he 'll expect the like;
But if himself himself redeem from thence,
He will have vanquish d, cheerful, death and fear,
And ever after dread their force no more
Than if they were but babes, or captive slaves.

Aud. O, cruel father!-Farewell, Edward, then!
Der. Farewell, sweet prince, the hope of chivalry!
Art. O, would my life might ransom him from death!
Edw. But, soft; methinks I hear

[Retreat sounded.
The dismal charge of trumpets' loud retreat :
All are not slain, I hope, that went with him;
Some will return witb tidings, good or bad.
Flourish. Enter Prince EDWARD in triumph, bearing in his

hand his shivered lance ; his sword and battered armour borne
before him, and the body of the King of Bohemia, wrapped
in the colours : Lords run and embrace him.
Aud. O joyful sight! victorious Edward lives!
Der. Welcome, brave prince!

Welcome, Plantagenet !" There is a fine scene where the Prince of Wales is surrounded by the French army before the battle of Poitiers; but it is something too prolonged and rhetorical; it has not the Shaksperian rush which belongs to such a situation. One specimen will suffice, where the prince exhorts his companion in arms, old Audley, to fly from the danger Vol. XII.

“Now, Audley, sound those silver wings of thine,
And let those milk-white messengers of time
Show thy time's learning in this dangerous time:
Thyself art bruis d and bent with many broils,
And stratagems forepast with iron pens
Are texed in thine honourable face;
Thou art a married man in this distress,
But danger woos me as a blushing maid;
Teach me an answer to this perilous time.

Aud. To die is all as common as to live;
The one in choice, the other holds in chace;
For, from the instant we begin to live,
We do pursue and hunt the time to die:
First bud we, then we blow, and after seed;
Then presently we fall; and, as a shade
Follows the body, 80 we follow death.
If then we hunt for death, why do we fear it!
Or, if we fear it, why do we follow it?
If we do fear, with fear we do but aid
The thing we fear to seize on us the sooner :
If we fear not, then no resolved proffer
Can overthrow the limit of our fate :
For, whether ripe or rotten, drop we shall,
As we do draw the lottery of our doom.

Pri. Ah, good old man, a thousand thousand armours
These words of thine have buckled on my back :
Ah, what an idiot hast thou made of life,
To seek the thing it fears! and how disgrac'd
The imperial victory of murdering death!
Since all the lives his conquering arrows strike
Seek him, and he not them, to shame his glory.
I will not give a penny for a life,
Nor half a halfpenny to shun grim death ;
Since for to live is but to seek to die,
And dying but beginning of new life:
Let come the hour when he that rules it will !

To live, or die, I hold indifferent." The victory of Poitiers ensues; but previous to the knowledge of this triumph the celebrated scene of the surrender of Calais is thus dramatised :

Enter, from the town, six Citizens in their shirts, and bare

footed, with halters about their necks.
Cit. Mercy, king Edward! mercy, gracious lord !

Edw. Contemptuous villains! call ye now for truce ?
Mine ears are stopp'd against your bootless cries :-
Sound drums; (alarum) draw, threat'ning swords !
1 c.

Ah, noble prince,
Take pity on this town, and hear us, mighty king!
We claim the promise that your highness made :
The two days' respite is not yet expir'd,

And we are come, with willingness, to bear
What torturing death, or punishment, you please,
So that the trembling multitude be sav'd.

Edw. My promise ? well, I do confess as much:
But I require the chiefest citizens,
And men of most account, that should submit;
You, peradventure, are but servile grooms,
Or some felonious robbers on the sea,
Whom, apprehended, law would execute,
Albeit severity lay dead in us :
No, no, ye cannot overreach us thus.

2 C. The sun, dread lord, that in the western fall
Beholds us now low brought through misery,
Did in the orient purple of the morn
Salute our coming forth, when we were known;
Or may our portion be with damned fiends.

Edw. If it be so, then let our covenant stand;
We take possession of the town in peace :
But, for yourselves, look you for no remorse;
But, as imperial justice hath decreed,
Your bodies shall be dragg‘d about these walls,
And after feel the stroke of quartering steel :
This is your doom :-Go, soldiers, see it done.

Que. Ah, be more mild unto these yielding men!
It is a glorious thing to 'stablish peace;
And kings approach the nearest unto God,
By giving life and safety unto men:
As thou intendest to be king of France,
So let her people live to call thee king;
For what the sword cuts down, or fire hath spoil'd,
Is held in reputation none of ours.

Edw. Although experience teach us this is true,
That peaceful quietness brings most delight
When most of all abuses are controllid,
Yet, insomuch it shall be known, that we
As well can master our affections,
As conquer other by the Dint of sword,
Philippe, prevail; we yield to thy request ;
These men shall live to boast of clemency,–

And, tyranny, strike terror to thyself." This assuredly we think is not what Shakspere would have made of such a situation. How altogether inferior is it in the higher requisites of poetry to the exquisite narrative of Froissart !

“ Then the barriers were opened, the burgesses went towards the king, and the captain entered again into the town. When Sir Walter presented these burgesses to the king, they kneeled down, and held up their hands and said, “Gentle king, behold here we who were bur ses of Calais and great merchants; we have brought the keys of the town and of the castle, and we submit ourselves clearly into your will and pleasure, to save the residue of the people of Calais, who have suf. fered great pain. Sir, we beseech your grace to have mercy and pity on us through



your high noblesse.' Then all the earls and barons and other that were there wept for pity. The king looked felly on them, for greatly he hated the people of Calais for the great damage and displeasures they had done him on the sea before. Then he commanded their heads to be stricken off. Then every man required the king for mercy, but he would hear no man in that behalf. Then Sir Walter of Manny said, 'Ah, noble king, for God's sake refrain your courage; ye have the name of sovereign noblesse ; therefore, now do not a thing that should blemish your renown, nor to give cause to some to speak of you villainously; every man will say it is a great cruelty to put to death such honest persons, who by their own wills put themselves into your grace to save their company.' Then the king wryed away from him and commanded to send for the hangman, and said, “ They of Calais had caused many of my men to be slain, wherefore these shall die in like wise.' Then the queen, being great with child, kneeled down, and, sore weeping, said, " Ah, gentle sir, sith I passed the sea in great peril I have desired nothing of you ; therefore, now I humbly require you, in the honour of the son of the Virgin Mary, and for the love of me, that ye will take mercy of these six burgesses.' The king beheld the queen, and stood still in a study a space, and then said, Ah, dame, I would ye had been as now in some other place; ye make such request to me that I cannot deny you, wherefore I give them to you to do your pleasure with them.' Then the queen caused them to be brought into her chamber, and made the halters to be taken from their necks, and caused them to be new clothed, and gave them their dinner at their leisure, and then she gave each of them six nobles, and made them to be brought out of the host in safeguard, and set at their liberty.”

The concluding scene, in which the Prince of Wales offers up to the Most High a prayer and thanksgiving, is imbued with a patriotic spirit, but it has not the depth and discrimination of Shakspere's patriotism :

“ Now, father, this petition Edward makes :
To Thee, [kneels) whose grace hath been his strongest shield,
That, as thy pleasure chose me for the man
To be the instrument to show thy power,
So thou wilt grant, that many princes more,
Bred and brought up within that little isle,
May still be famous for like victories! --
And, for my part, the bloody scars I bear,
The weary nights that I have watch'd in field,
The dangerous conflicts I have often had,
The fearful menaces were profferd me,
The heat, and cold, and what else might displease,
I wish were now redoubled twenty-fold;
So that hereafter ages, when they read
The painful traffic of my tender youth,
Might thereby be inflam'd with such resolve,
As not the territories of France alone,
But likewise Spain, Turkey, and what countries else
That justly would provoke fair England's ire,

Might, at their presence, tremble, and retire !" We have thus presented to our readers some of the most striking passages of this play. It does not, in our opinion, bear the marks of


being a very youthful performance of any man. Its great fault is tameness; the author does not rise with the elevation of his subject. To judge of its inferiority to the matured power of Shakspere, dealing with a somewhat similar theme, it should be compared with the · Henry V.' The question then should be asked, Will the possible difference of age account for this difference of power? We say possible, for we have no evidence that the 'Edward III.' was produced earlier than 1595, nor have we evidence that the Henry V.,' in some shape, was produced later. Ulrici considers that this play forms an essential introduction to that series of plays commencing with Richard II.' If Shakspere wrote that wonderful series upon a plan which necessarily included · Henry V.,' we think he would advisedly have omitted . Edward III. ;' for the main subject of the conquest of France would be included in each play. The concluding observation of Ulrici is—“ Truly, if this piece, as the English critics assert, is not Shakspere's own, it is a shame for them that they have done nothing to recover from forgetfulness the name of this second Shakspere, this twin-brother of their great poet.” Resting this opinion upon one play only, the expression “twin-brother” has somewhat an unnecessary strength. Admitting, which we do not, that the best scenes of this play display the same poetical power, though somewhat immature, which is found in Shakspere's historical plays, there is one thing wanting to make the writer a "twinbrother,” which is found in all those productions. Where is the comedy of Edward III.'? The heroic of Shakspere's histories might be capable of imitation; but the genius which created Faulconbridge, and Cade, and Pistol, and Fluellen (Falstaff is out of the question), could not be approached.


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