Philosophy cannot better set forth the superior danger of a rebellion sanctified by the Church, than by the following words of Morton.


The gentle Archbishop of York is up

With well appointed powers. He is a man,
Who with a double surety binds his followers.
My lord, your son had only but the corps,
But shadows, and the shews of men to fight:
For that same word, rebellion, did divide
The action of their bodies from their souls,
And they did fight with queasiness, constrain'd,
As men drink potions, that their weapons only
Seem'd on our side, but for their spirits and souls,
This word, rebellion, it had froze them up.
But now,
the bishop

Turns insurrection to religion:

Suppos'd sincere and holy in his thoughts,

He's follow'd both with body and with mind,
And doth enlarge his rising with the blood
Of fair king Richard, scrap'd from Pomfret stones;
Derives from Heaven his quarrel and his cause;
Tells them he doth bestride a bleeding land
Gasping for life under great Bolingbroke:
And more, and less, do flock to follow him.


Nor can the indecency of a prelate's appearing in arms, and the abuse of an authority derived from the sacred function, be more strongly arraigned, than in the speeches of Westmorland, and John of Lancaster.


Then, my lord,

Unto your grace do I in chief address

The substance of my speech. If that rebellion
Came like itself, in base and abject routs,
Led on by bloody youth, goaded with rage,
And countenanc'd by boys and beggary;
I say, if damn'd commotion so appear'd
In his true, native, and most proper shape,
You, reverend father, and these noble lords,
Had not been here to dress the ugly form

Of base and bloody insurrection,

With your fair honours. You, my lord archbishop,

Whose see is by a civil peace maintain'd,

Whose beard the silver hand of peace hath touch'd,
Whose learning and good letters peace hath tutor❜d,
Whose white investments figure innocence,
The dove and very blessed spirit of peace;


Wherefore do you so ill translate yourself
Out of the speech of peace, that bears such grace,
Into the harsh and boist'rous tongue of war?


My lord of York, it better shew'd with you,
When that your flock, assembled by the bell,
Encircled you to hear with reverence

Your exposition on the holy text;
Than now to see you here an iron man,
Cheering a rout of rebels with your drum,
Turning the word to sword, and life to death.
That man that sits within a monarch's heart,
And ripens in the sun-shine of his favour,
Would he abuse the count'nance of the king,
Alack, what mischiefs might be set abroach,
In shadow of such greatness! With you, lord bishop,

It is ev'n so. Who hath not heard it spoken,

How deep you were within the books of Heav'n

To us, the speaker in his parliament,

To us, th' imagin'd voice of Heav'n itself,
The very opener and intelligencer
Between the grace, the sanctities of Heav'n,
And our dull workings: O, who shall believe
But you misuse the rev'rence of your place,
Employ the countenance and grace of Heav'n,.

As a false favourite doth his prince's name,
In deeds dishonourable? You've taken up,
Under the counterfeited zeal of God,

The subjects of his substitute, my father;
And both against the peace of Heav'n and him,
Have here up-swarm'd them.

The Archbishop of York, even when he appears an iron man, keeps up the gravity and seeming sanctity of his character, and wears the mitre over his helmet. He is not, like Hotspur, a valiant rebel, full of noble anger and fierce defiance: he speaks like a cool politician to his friends, and like a deep designing hypocrite to his enemies, and pretends he is only acting as physician to the state.

I have before observed, that Shakspeare had the talents of an orator, as much as of a poet; and I believe it will be allowed, that the speeches of Westmorland and Lancaster are as proper on this occasion, and the particular circumstances as happily touched, as they could have been by the most judicious.


orator. I know not that any poet, ancient or modern, has shewn so perfect a judgment in rhetoric as our countryman. I wish he had employed his eloquence likewise, in arraigning the baseness and treachery of John of Lancaster's conduct, in breaking his covenant with the rebels.

Pistol is an odd kind of personage, intendcd probably to ridicule some fashionable affectation of bombast language. When such characters exist no longer but in the writings, where they have been ridiculed, they seem to have been monsters of the poet's brain. The originals lost and the mode forgotten, one can neither praise the imitation, nor laugh at the ridicule. Comic writers should therefore always exhibit some characteristic distinctions, as well as temporary modes. Justice Shallow will for ever rank with a certain species of men; he is like a well-painted portrait in the dress of his age. Pistol appears a mere antiquated habit, so uncouthly fashioned, we can hardly believe, it was made for any thing but a masquerade

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