change the course of rivers, dry up springs, darken Shakspeare has expanded into & vivid picture o the sun in the firmament, stay both day and night, intellectual cowardice. Yet, Richard the Second and convert the one into the other. So that the though an admirable poem, is a heavy play; it in poet was guilty of no exaggeration in arming them deficient in variety and contrast ; the dialogue is with supernatural powers, bat has only availed him- not always interesting; and while dramas of far self of their agency, then geuerally believed, to in- inferior merit keep, possession of the stage, this crease the effect of his astonishing drama.

tragedy, from its inherent defect, a want of power

in its action, is seldom represented. KING JOHN. SHAKSPEARE seems to have been indebted for KING HENRY IV. (Parts I. and II.) the plot of this drama to an anonymous play, printed

KING HENRY V. in 1591, called The Troublesome Raigne of John, The Chronicles of Holinshed have also furnished King of England, with the Discoverie of King the ground-work of these plays; and Sbakspeare is, Richard Cordelion's base Sonne, (vulgarly named likewise, indebted to an old drama, called The the Bastard Faulconbridge :) also, the Death of Famoas Victories of Henry the Firth, containing King Jobin at Swinstead Abbes. Indeed, be bas the bonourable Battell of Agincourt. The old so little attended to bistorical detail, that John's play does not allude to the intestine broils which quarrel with the barons, and the signature of occupied the reign of Henry IV. Shakspeare de. Magna Charta, are entirely neglected. He bas rived nothing from it, in describing these civil followed the old tragedy, even in its errors; as he feuds, and he took but few hints from that source, attributes Richard's deaib to a duke of Austria, for the fifth Harry's French wars. Jo fact, the though he must have known, that that monarch historical events of the three plays are solely epiwas slain by Bertrand de Gourdon, at the siege of tomised from Holinshed, in the perusal of whose Chalus. King John is represented, by both dra work, he appears to have been anxious to meet with matists, jealous, vindictive, and mean-spirited; traits of personal character, and when he found though Shakspeare occasionally makes him evince them, his fertile imagination embodied thert with a lofty-mindedness hardly compatible with such a singular felicity. His Heury IV. nobly exemplifies character. Shakspeare's best scene is where John the prudence and dignity evinced by ihat monarch insinuates to Hubert bis desire to bave Arthur in his declining years; wherein, says Holinsbed, murdered. In the old play, it is bluntly announced "be shewed himself so gentle, that he got more in the following meagre lines :

love amongst the nobles and people of this realın, “ Hubert de Burgh, take Arthur here to thee, than he bad purcbased malice and evil will in the Be he thy prisoner; Hubert, keep him safe; beginning." "Our bard pays a just tribute to the For on his life doth hang thy sovereign's crown, amiable Scroop, by transfusing the historian's euBut in his death cousists thy sovereign's bliss : logium into elegant verse. Hotspur is entirely his Then, Hubert, as thou shortly hear'st from me, own creation : such a person is, of course, to So use the prisoner I have given in charge.” be found in the Chronicle, but he is a very different

Hubert's explanation to John tbat Arthar is not being from the chivalrous hero of the tragedy. dead, is original in its best parts. The representa: double character of a dissolute young man and an

The old play brought Henry V.on the stage in the tion of Jobn's death by poison, and the attendant circumstances, are borrowed, but have been most accomplished warrior. Shakspeare does ample eloquently amplified: the best lines in the old text justice to the ideas of his precursor, but in deli. are these :

had recourse neating his more finished portrait

to the historian: Holinshed describes him as “Philip, some drink: ol! for the frozen Alps, To tumble on, and cool this inward heat

"youthfully given, grown to audacity, and had

chosen bis companions agreeably to his age; with That rageth as the furnace seven-fold hot.”

whom he spent the time in such recreations, exerThe pleadings of Artbur, in the original, for his cises, and delights, as he fancied,” &c. The robeyes, are dull, quaint, and harsh; the mere reason bery, to which the prince consents, is, in the old ings of an aduli: bat Shakspeare arrays his sap- play, an act of extreme profligacy; but Shakspeare, plications in the beautiful simplicity of a child. taking Stowe for his authority, gives to the transNothing can be more pathetic; and their influence action the air of an harmless jest. Both writers on Hubert is the triumph of humanity. Constance conduct the prince and his associates, after the is neither a prominent nor an amiable character in bbery, to tavern in Eastcbeap: bnt how can history; and, in King John's Troublesome Raigne, we sufficiently admire the judgment of Shakspeare her maternal tenderness, her clamorous grief, and for substituting the exquisitely comic scenes wbich oppressed widowhood, are chiefly insisted upon : occur there for such trash as we find in the old play; but Shakspeare, while he has preserved her sorrows take a specimen : “ Came the young prince and and complainings, has invested them with dignity. three or four more of his companious, and called for

The sketch of Faulconbridge is to be found in the wine good store; and then they sent for a noyse of old play, and though the character has none of the musicians, and were very merry for the space of an highly-wrought effect of Sbakspeare's, it possesses bour; then whether their music liked them not, or much vigour.

whether they bad drupke too much wine or po, I

cannot tell; but our pots flew against the walls, KING RICHARD II.

and then they drew their swords, and went into HOLINSHED furnished the facts of this drama, and the street and fought; and some took one part, and with a few trilling exceptions, Shakspeare has im some took another." In The Famous Victories, plicitly followed bim. The short period embraced prince Henry strikes the chief-justice on the stage: in the action of the drama is deficient in incidents; Shakspeare, far more judiciously, merely gives s and the author made one attempt to remedy the narrative of the fact after Holinsbed. Holinshed, defect, by representing Isabell, Richard's queen, and both the dramatists, distinguish Henry V. on who was only twelve years old when he was de the throne by similar circumstances, and ihe ter. posed, with the speech and actions of maturity. rible conflicts on the plains of France are common Shakspeare's genius bas been lavishly poured out to the two plays; but it is the glow of Shakspeare's on the character of Ricbard. He could not entirely imagination alone which makes the warlike monarch pass over his bad qualities, but they are lightly so glorious a character. touched. Holinshed says, that under bis misfor. Holinolied says, that Henry, in his youth, "made tunes he was almost consumed with bis sorrow, himself a companion unto misruly mates of dissoand ball dead with care;” which slight notice lute order and life;" and the old play associates

whole year,

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bie witb "Ned, Tom, sir John Oldcastle, and Car. 0, death! if thou wilt let me live but one
Grasshill." Falstafl, Poins, Mardolph, and Peto,
Be substituted for these reprobates. Shakspeare I'll give thee as much gold as will purchase such
bas not been very careful of their morals; but he

another island,

(troubled. bus given them qualities which palliate, though King. O, see, ny lord of Salisbury, how he is thes caminot justify bis choice. Falstaff is a won Lord cardinal, remember, Christ must have thy soul. derful esample of the writer's comic powers; the Car. Why dy'd he not in his bed ? caracter sladds absolately alone, unimitated and What would you have me do then? inmitable. The dismissal of the fat knight is con- Can I make men live, wbether they will or no? formable to the chronicler, but his commitment to Sirrab, go fetch me the strong poison, which the Fleet is without any authority; and the bard | The 'pothecary sent me. certanly does an annecessary violence to our feel- 1 0, see where duke Humphrey's ghost doth stand, ings, by killing our ancient favourite through the Aod stares me in the face! Look, look! comb down severity of his former companion. Stowe gives a

his hair. mac more pleasing account of the king's conduct: So, now, be's gone again. Oh, oh, oh! "After his coronation, king Henry called unto Salis. See how the pangs of death doth gripe bis bim all those young lords and gentlemen who were

heart! táz followers of his young acts, to every one of whom King. Lord cardinal, if thou diest assured of de gente rich gifts; and then commanded that as

heavenly bliss, or as would change their manners, as he intended Hold up thy band, and make some sign to me. to do, should abide with him in his court; and to all

(The cardinal dies.) that would persevere in their former like conver O see, he dies, and makes no sign at all! ratio, be gave express commandment, apon pain O God, forgive his soul ! of their beads, never after that day to come in his Salis. So bad an end did never none behold: presence." Shallow and Silence have no prototypes | But as his death, so was bis life in all. in the old play: something faintly resembling the King. Forbear to judge, good Salisbury, forbear; duaçbanimous Pistol may, probably, be found there; For God will judge us all. Go take bim heuce, hat the character, if copied, is vastly improved; and Avd see his funerals be perform’d.” the amiable, but ridicalons Flaellen, is an entirely original character. on the wbole, it appears playing the character, the old dramatist has drawn

Considering the narrow scope he had for disthat Shakspeare's obligations to the anonymous his Richard with great vigour; and Shakspeare, in author of the Famoas Victories are extremely some respects, may almost be deemed a plagiarist. tilling, and what be bas taken from Stowe and Holioshed should ratber increase our admiration of

A quotation or two will be acceptable: his genius, than diminish bis claims to our applause.

“I'll make my heaven in a lady's lap,

And deck my body in gay ornaments, KING HENRY VI. (Parts I., II., and III.) And witch sweet ladies with my words and looks : Twest three plays bave been ascribed to Shak-o miserable thought! and more unlikely, speare on the aalbority of his first editors, an allu- Than to accomplish twenty golden crowns ! sion to them by himself, and the seeming connection Why, love forswore me in my mother's womb: bet ka the end of the third part and the commence And, for I should not deal in her soft laws, Best of Richard III. The first part of a drama She did corrupt frail nature with some bribe which still exists, was printed in 1594, under the To shrink mine arm up like a 'wither'd shrub; title of The Contention of the Two Famous Houses To make an envious mountain on my back, of York and Lancaster; the continuation appeared Where sits deformity to inock my body: in 1.595, as The True Tragedy of Richard, duke of And am I, then, a man to be belov'd ? isk, and the good king Henry the Sixth ; with the o, monstrous fault, to harbour sach a thought!” whole Contention between the Two Houses of Yorku Lancaster. Tbese plays were originally Why, I can smile, and murder while I smile; published without any author's name ; but, in 1619, And cry content, to that which grieves my heart; they were parily assigned to Shakspeare ; and there I can add colours to the cameleon; cu be no doubt, that he was largely indebted to Change shapes with Proteus, for advantages, Obe for the two last parts of Henry VI., as the And set the murderous Machiavel to school. Evels represented, the arrangement of the ac. Can I do this, and cannot get a crown? bro, and the cbaracters, are generally the same; Tat! were it further off, I'll pluck it down." and not only single lives, but whole speeches are found in Shakspeare, merely distinguishable from “ I have bo brother, I am like no brother : tone in the old tragedies by trilling verbal differ- And this word, love, wbich greybeards call divine, turns. Little need be said with regard to the First Be resident in men like one another, Hart of Henry VI. Neither the sentiments, alla And not in me; I am myself alone. cous, diction, nor measure, bear the smallest retetntianee to our dramatist's undisputed composi- What, will the aspiring blood of Lancaster tusas: a few passages are interspersed, which he Siuk in the ground? I thought it would have Eught have written, for it is not unlikely that a

play, suitable by way of introduction to others, was All this is from the Whole Contention, and cer-
» wholly neglected by him. Indeed, the manner tainly deserves high praise; bat much remains in
is shish La Pucelle, the heroic maid of Arc, is these plays wbich Shakspeare does not divide with
treated in this drama, is sufficient proof that Shak- any claimant. He polished, invigorated, and cor-
Ware bul little or no hand in it. If the second rected what be found rude, uncouth, or feeble;
o third parts of Heory VI. ranked high among and the part of Gloster, which came to him a fine
the works of the writer, a mipate inquiry as to his but imperfect sketch, he has left one of the most
deristions from his predecessor might be desirable ; terrible pictures of determined ambition which our
het as they are much inferior to his other produc- stage can boast.
then, it will be enough to direct attention to the
are prominent passages. The scene of cardinal

Besalert's death, which we shall transcribe from The historical authorities used by Shak speare in

la quarto, will give no conteinptible idea of this tragedy, were The History of Richard III, by its ador. Shakspeare altered it materially in bis sir Thomas More, and its continuation in Holinshed. play, but the conception is precisely similar. More's work is enriched with much eloquence

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of style. The following vivid portrait of the hero , "it was a goodly ory, and a joyfol to hear, every must have been useful to the dramatist : " Richard, man with one voice, no man saying nay. Where the third son, (of Richard, duke of York,) was in fore friends, quoth the duke, since that we perceive wit and courage equal with either of them, (his it all your whole minds to have this nobleman brothers Edward the Fourth, and George, duke of for your king, whereof we shall make bis grace so Clarence,) in body and prowess far under them effectual report, that we doubt not bat it shall both; little of stature, ill-featured of limbs, crook- redound onto your great weal and commodity: we backed, his left shoulder much higher than bis right, require ye that ye to-morrow go with us, and we bard-favoured of visage, and such as is in states with you, unto bís noble grace, to make our humble called warlie, in other men otherwise; he was request into him in manner before remembered.malicious, wrathful, envious, and from afore his Sir James Tirrell, Miles Forest, and John Dighbirth ever froward. It is for truth reported, that ton, whom Shakspeare makes the murderers of ihe the duchess, his mother, had so much ado in her young princes, were the persons actually employed travail, that she could not be delivered of him in that diabolical office. Tirrell, in the play, prouncut; and that he came into the world with the fesses his ignorance of the place where his victims seet forward, as men be born outward, and (as the are buried; the history informs us, that be bimself fame runneth also,) not untoothed, whether men of saw them interred “at the stair-loot, meetly deep hatred report above the truth, or else that nature in the ground, under a great beap of stones. It is changed ber course in his beginning, which, in added, however, the bodies were afterwards rethe course of his life, many things unnaturally con moved by “a priest of sir Robert Brakenbury, and nected. None evil captain was be in the war, as to secretly interred in such place, as, by the occasion which bis disposition was more merely than for of bis death, which only knew it, could never since peace. Sundry victories bad he, and sometime come to light. Very trath it is, and well known, overthrows, but never in default as for bis own that at such time as sir James Tirrell was in the person of hardiness or politic order: free was he Tower, for treason committed against the most called of dispense, and somewhat above bis power famous prince, king Henry the Seventb, boch liberal ; with large gifts he got him anstedfast Dighton and he were examined, and confessed the friendship, for which be was fain to pil and spoil in murder in manner above written, but whether the other places, and get him stedfasi hatred. He bodies were removed they could nothing tell.Buck: was close and secret, a deep dissembler, lowly of ingham's rebellion, Richmond's expedition, and coantenance, arrogant of heart, outwardly compa- the tyrant's distrust of Stanley, are taken from the nionable where he inwardly bated, not letting to Chronicle, which is copied with great minuteness. kiss whom be thought to kill : dispiteous and cruel, The night before the battle, was, says the chronot for evil will alway, but often for ambition, and nicler, terrible to the usurper. “The fame went either for the surety or increase of his estate. that lie had a dreadful and terrible dream: for it Friend and foe was much what indifferent; where seemed to him, being asleep, that he did see divers bis advantage grew, he spared no man's' death, images like terrible devils, which pulled and haled whose life withstood his purpose.” Here were him, not suffering him to take any quiet or rest. ample materials for a poet's mind, and gloriously The which strange vision not so suddenly strake have they been improved in the play before us. bis heart with a sudden fear, but it staffed bis bead Shakspeare, however, has blackened the character and troubled his mind with many busy and dreadful of Richard much beyond the truth of history. Lady imaginations. **** And lest that it might be Anne was not married, bot merely betrothed, to suspected that he was abashed for fear of his eneEdward, the prince of Wales: there is no good mies, and for that cause looked so piteously, be ground for believing that Richard caused bis wife recited and declared to his faniliar friends in the to be murdered; nor does it appear that he was morning, bis wonderful vision and fearful dream." accessory to the death of his brother Clarence ; and His frenzy in the night is suggested by a passage with respect to his proposed union with his niece in sir Thomas More : after the murder of his neElizabeth, the marriage seems not to have been phews, “he never had quiet in his mind, he never disagreeable to that youthful princess, since she thought bimself sure. * * He took ill rest a wrote to the duke of Norfolk, with ber own land, nights, lay long waking and musing, sore wearied begging him to recommend the alliance to Richard. with care and watch, rather slumbered than slept, But the occarrences of his short reign were re troubled with searful dreams, would suddenly somecorded under the government of the Tudors, and times start up, leap out of his bed and run about the bis name has reached posterity covered with a chamber.On the morning of the battle, both in the cloud of obloqay, wbich the efforts of more impar- tragedy and the Chronicle, Richard resames all the tial writers will never entirely remove. The duke grandeur of his character, and is invested with all of Buckingham's reception by the citizens, as de- the commanding attributes of a warrior and a king. scribed in the drama, is historically correct. When The following prores Sbakspeare's close adherence at the conclusion of bis barangue, the duke ex to his authority. The quotations are from the pected the shout of “king Richard, king Richard !” speech which Holinshed's Richard makes to his all was hush and mute, and not one word answered soldiers. “You see, also, what a number of begthereunto. * * *

When the mayor saw this, he garly Britains and faint-hearted Frenchmen be with drew unto the duke, and said, “ that the people had | bim (Richmond), arrived to destroy us, our wires, not been accustomed there to be spoke unto but by and children. *** And to begin with the earl of the recorder, wbich is the mouth of the city, and Richmopd, captain of this rebellion, he is a Welsh happely, to him they will answer." The recorder milk-sop, a man of small courage, and of less experepeated the duke's words, but so tempered his rience, in martial acts and feats of war, brought up tale, “that he shewed everything as the duke's by my mother's means, and mine, like a captive in words and no part bis own.' The result was, that a close cage, in the court of Francis, duke of " at last, in the nether part of the ball, a bushment Britain ; and never saw army, nor was exercised in of the duke's servants, and Nashfeld's, and other martial affairs; hy reason whereof he neither can longing to the protector, with some 'prentices and nor is able by his own witt or experience to guide lads that thrust into the hall among the press, began or rule an host. *** And as for the Frenchmen suddenly at men's backs to cry out as loud as their and Britains, their valiantness is such that our throats would give: “King Richard, king Richard!” noble progenitors and your valiant parts have them and threw up their caps in token of joy.

oftener vanquished and overcome in one month, And when the duke and the mayor saw ibis manner, than they in the beginning imagined possible to they wisely turned it to their purpose, and said : compass and finish in a whole year. Wbat will

dramatist gires of his intrepidity:

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point, without advantage, longer than his compa-
and be bimself, manfully fighting in the middle of hate he bare to the emperor, because he would not
be worthily had deserved." A tragedy founded on
previously to Shakspeare's drama, and there is an with the French king, but also sought a divorce

This fine drama was not suggested by any pre- the mis-delivery to Henry of a letter intended for
vious play on the same subject; differing in that the pope, and an inventory of his private wealth ;
been embodied on the stage long before he wrote.
The materials used on this occasion were furnished Chronicle is pretty closely followed. Holinshed
the outline of which is commonly found to have prevent the marriage of the king with Anne Bullen.
Shakspeare in bis adherence to his authorities, that throw, wherein he shewed such moderation, and
entirely from the page of history, and so exact is says, that Wolsey was“ never happy till bis over-
there are scarcely any passages in the play, which ended so perfectly, that the hour of his death did
are not deducible from Fox's Acts and Monuments him more honour than all the pomp of his life past."
Wolsey, as it appears in Holinshed's Chronicles. tion: the celebrated exclamation in the tragedy,
of Christian Martyrs, or Cavendisbe's Life of Shakspeare has strictly conformed to this descrip-,
We shall point out some of the most important
points. The character of cardinal Wolsey is per-
fretly developed, though dismissed in the tbird act.
That most daring act of his whole life, the attempt
to exact money from the people, without any legal is copied almost literally from the Chronicle. “If
pretext, is thus related by the historian : “ Where. I had served God as diligently as I have done the
fore, by the cardinal, there was devised strange king, he would not have given me over in my gray
soumissions, and sent into every shire, and com-
missioners appointed, and privy instructions sent
to them bow they should proceed in their sittings, the history. Queen Katharine was, in reality, rather
and order the people to bring them to their pur-
pose, which was, that the sixth part of every man's into dignity and interest. The speech assigned her
sabstance should be paid in money or plate to the in the court, where the validity of her marriage is
king. Hereof followed such corsing, weeping, and
erelamation against both king and cardinal, that shed. “ The queen, in presence of the whole court,
sitting in commission about this subsidy, persuaded | deceit, wickedness and malice, which had sown dis-

roa make of them? Beggars without andacity, | by courteous means, the rich olothiers to assent
drunkards witbout discretion, ribalds without rea- inereto; but when they came bome, and went about
sob. cowards without resisting, and, in conclusion, to discharge and put from them their spinners,
the most efleminate and lascivious people that ever carders, fullers, weavers, and other artificers, which
sbewed themselves in front of battle; ten times they kept in work aforetime, the people began to
more courageous to flee and escape, than once to assemble in companies. * * * The king then came
assaalt the breast of our strong and populous
army to Westminster, to the cardinal's

palace, and asAs for me, I assure you, this day I will triumphi sembled

there a counoil, in the which he openly by glorioas victory, or suffer death for immortal protested,

that his mind was never to ask anything fame." of his courage in combat, and disdainful of his commons which

might sound to the breach rejection of the means of escape, when offered him, of his laws ; wherefore, he willed to know by whose the following extracts are satisfactory evidences, means the commissions were so strictly given forth, and fally justify the glowing description which the

to demand the sixth part of every man's goods. The

“ When the cardinal excused himself, and said, that when it loss of the battle was imminent and apparent, they was moved in council how to levy money to the brought to him a swift and a light horse, to convey king's use, the king's

council, and, namely, the bim away; bat, disdaining flighe, and ini amed with judges, said,

that he might lawfully demand any

sum by commission; and that by consent of the spars to bis horse, and rode oat of the side of the whole council it was done, and took God to witrange of his batlle, leaving the van-guard fighting, niss that he never desired the hinderance of the and, like a buogry lion, ran with spear in rest 10wards bin. The earl of Richmond perceived well

commons, but, like a true counsellor, devised how

to enrich the king. The king, indeed, was much the king coming furiously toward bin, and because offended. * * Tberefore, he would no more of the whole hope of his wealth and purpose was to be that trouble, but

caused letters to be sent into all

shires, that the matter should no further be talked counter with him body to body, and man to man. of; and

be pardoned all

them that had denied the that be overthrew the earl's

standard, and slew sir bimself of the evil will of the commons, purchased William Brandon, his standard-bearer; and matched by procaring and advancing

of this demand, affirmed force and strength, which would have resisted

Lim, his intercession

the king had pardoned and released bat the said John was by him manfully overthrown all


The representation in the play of the cardinal's as be went forward, the Pearl Richmond with- banquet at York house, is faithfully copied from stood bis violence, and kept him at the sword's the Chronicle : the introduction of Anne Bullen is biors either thought

a contrivance of the poet's. The passage which judged, which being almost follows will shew that Shakspeare was justified in by sir William Stanley, which came to succours in despair of victory, were suddenly re-comforted his account of Wolsey's resentment, when the with three thousand tall men, at which very instant,

emperor refused him the archbishoprio of Toledo.

“The cardinal verily was put in most blame for this king Richard's men were driven back, and fled, scruple now cast into the king's conscience, for the

he was a suitor. And, therefore, he did not only the composition of one of his predecessors.

have had in marriage the duchess of Alençon, sister unto the French kiug.” The cause of Wolsey's

disgrace is ingeniously ascribed, in this drama, to et fire ,

scenes succeed cardinal's ruin Had I bat serv'd my God, with half the zeal I serv'd my king, he would not in mine age Have left me naked to mine enemies,"

." The opposite of him queen Katharine and Griffith are both derived from a passive ,

disputed, is taken with little variation from Holin** The duke of , most of ,


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was to


sension between her and the king her husband; , of mean stature, white and medled with red, and and, therefore, openly protested that she did atterly well inade, sweet and piteous, and whom many abhor, refuse, and forsake such a judge, as was not men loved for her beauty." Chaucer amplifies only a most malicious enemy to her, but also a these commendations. manifest adversary to all right and justice, and Shakspeare has acted more judiciously : intending therewith did she appeal unto the pope, committing to represent her as anything but virtuous in the ber whole cause to be judged of him.” Katharine's sequel, he makes her conduct light and wanton dignified departure from the court, which, it might from the first; and, hence, there is no inconsistency be supposed, was a contrivance of the poet's, is in the picture he has given us. Pandaros is a also bistorical. “ The king being advertised that very prominent agent in Chaucer's tale, and our she was ready to go out of the house, commanded author has followed his original, perhaps too the crier to call her again, who called her by these closely. words : Katharine, queen of England, come into the court. With that, (quoth master Griffith,) madam,

TIMON OF ATHENS. you be called again. On, on, (quoth she,) it maketh SHAKSPEARE was partially indebted for the fable no matter, I will not tarry, go on your ways. And of this drama to an old manuscript play, bearing thus she departed, without any further answer at date 1600; but much more to Painter's Palace of that time, or any other, and never would appear Pleasure, and Plutarch's Life of Antoninus. The aster in any court.” The scene between Katharine cause of Timon's misanthropy is thus given in sir and the cardinal was also suggested by the Chro- Thomas North’s translation of that work: “Benicle, but is wrought into eloquence and beauty by cause of the unthankfulness of those be had done our great dramatist.

good unto, and whom he tooke to be his friends, he An extract from Holinshed will curiously illas

was angry with all men, and would trust no man.' trate our author's method when availing bimself of Lucian's Dialogue of Timon must also have been bistory. “The princess-dowager, lying at Kim- used; though, as there existed no translation at the bolton, fell into her last sickness, whereof the king period, there is a difficulty as to the mode in wbich being advertised, appointed the emperor's ambas our author became acquainted with it. It might sador, that was legier here with him, named Eusta- have been suggested to him by some classical friend, chius Caputius, to go to visit her, and do his who might also have furnisbed him with a translacommendations to her, and will ber to be of good tion. The story in Lucian is not only nearly the comfort. The ambassador, with all diligence, did same, but there are many parallel passages. When his duty therein, comforting her the best he might; | Alcibiades asks Shakspeare's Timon, « What is but she, within six days after, perceiving herself to thy name?” he replies, “ I am misanthropos, and wax very weak and feeble, and to feel dealb ap hate mankind.” Lucian's Timon says, "The fair. proaching at hand, caused one of ber gentlewomen est name I would wish to be distinguished by is to write a letter to the king, commeuding to him that of misanthrope." There is also a well marked her daughter and his, beseeching him to stand agreement between the following: good father unto her; and further, desired him to " It is, it must be gold; fine, yellow, noble gold, have some consideration for her gentlewomen that heavy, sweet to behold.”.

LUCIAN. had served her, and to see them bestowed in mar

“ What is here? riage. Further, that it would please bim to appoint Gold? yellow, glittering, precious gold? that her servants might have their dae wages, and

SHAKSPEARE. a year's wages beside. This, in effect, was all that In the play, we find Timon's Natterers returning she requested, and so immediately hereupon she to him the moment bis new riches are heard of. So departed this life the 8th day of January, at Kim, in Lucian : " But, hush! whence all this noise and bolton aforesaid, and was buried at Peterborough." hurry? What crowds are here, all covered with If we compare this dry narrative with the last dast and out of breath; somehow or other they scene in which Katharine appears in the play, we have smelt out the gold. I'll get opon this hill and shall be able duly to appreciate the extent of the pelt them from it with stones.' This he actually poet's genius.

does in order to be rid of some of his visitors, Sbakspeare has treated the voluptuous and crael others he very unceremoniously beats. Timon, in Henry much more favourably than he deserved; the play, pelis Apemantus, and beats the poet and but if we reflect that he wrote during the reign of painter. Nothing can be more admirable than the that monarch's daughter, we shall be sensible that manner in which Timon, who is of a noble nature, he had a very delicate task to perform. The tur is discriminated from Apemantus, whom he only bulence of his passions, however, is solliciently resembles in his hatred of mankind. This very marked; and, though his motives for the divorce unamiable character is, in fact, a mere cynic; and are represented as conscientious, very unequivocal Shakspeare found bis information respecting that allusions are made to his love for Anne Bullen, as sect in Lucian, the real cause wbich induced him to cast away “a jewel, that bad hung for twenty years about his

CORIOLANUS. neck, yet never lost her lustre.” On the whole, we In the composition of this play, Sbakspeare may form a more lively idea of Henry's true cha- followed Plutarch's narrative very closely; with, racter from this drama, than from any of the histo- however, such deviations from the history as were rical monuments of his reign.

requisite in order to make the hero appear more

amiable. Plutarcb (as translated by North,) says, TROILUS AND CRESSIDA.

“He was so cholericke and impatient that be CHAUCER's Booke of Troilus and Creseide, and would yield to no living creature; which made Caxton's Recuyel, were the authorities Shakspeare him churlish, uncivil, and altogether unfit for followed in the construction of this drama. He any man's conversation. Yet men marvelling might also bave availed himself of some portions much at his constancie, that he was never overof the Iliad, which had appeared in English before come with pleasure nor money, and how he would the play was written.. The character of Troilus is endure easily all manner of paines and travels : nearly the same both io Caxton and Chaucer, and thereupon they well liked and commended his Sbakspeare has adopted their idea of his bero, stoutness and temperancy. But for all that, but has invested bim with greater dignity of cha- they could not be acquainted with him as one racter. Both Caxton and Chaucer describe Cres- citizen useth to be with another in the city: his sida with attributes considerably at variance with behaviour was so unpleasant to them, by reason of her actions. Caxton says, “She was passing fair, 1 a certain insolent and stero manuer he had, which,

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