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King Henry the Eightb.
Several Lords and Ladies in the dumb shows ;
Women tending upon the Queen; Spirits, which appear to her ;
Scribes, Officers, Guards, and other Attendants. SCENE, chiefly in London, and Westminster ; once, at
I come no more to make you laugh; things now,
in a long motley coat,] Alluding to the foals and buffoons, intro: duced for the generality in the plays a little before our author's time: and of whom he has left us a small taste in his own. THEOBALD.
So, Naih, in his Epiftie Dedicatory to Have witb you to Saffror Wal. der, or Gabriel Harvey's Hune is Up, 1596: " -- fcoles, ye know, al. waies for the most part (especiallie if they bee naturall fcoles) are futed in long coats." STIEVENS. 2 — fucb a first
As fol and figbe is,-] This is not the only passage in which Shakspeare has discovered his conviction of the impropriety of battles represented on the stage. He knew that five or fix men with swords, gave a very unsatisfactory idea of an army, and therefore, without much care to excuse his former practice, he allows that a theatrical figne would destroy all opinion of trulb, and leave him never en underHarding friend. Magnis ingeniis et mulia nibilominus babituris fimplex convenir erroris confcio. Yet I know not whether the coronation thewn in this play may not be liable to all that can be cbjected against a battle. JOMNSON. B 2
(To make that only true we now intend",) Will leave us never an understanding friend.
Therefore 3 tbe opinion ebat we bring,
(To make ebat only true we now intend,)] These lines I do not on. derstand, and suspect them of corruption. I believe we may better read tbus:
-ib' opinion, that we bring
Or make; that only truth we now intend. Johnson. To intend in our author, has sometimes the same meaning as to pre tend. So, in the preceding play
“ Intend some deep fufpicion." STEEVENS. If any alteration were necesary, I thould be for only changing the order of the words and reading
That only true to make we now intend: i, e. that now we intend to exbibit only what is prae.
This pallage, and others of this Prologue in which great stress is laid upon obe trutb of the ensuing representation, would lead one to suspect, that this play of Henry the Vilith, is the very play mentioned by Sir H. Wotton, [in his letter of 2 July, 1613, Reliq. Wotton. p. 425.] under the description of a “ a new play, (acted by the king's players as the Bank's Side) called All is True, representing some principal pieces of the reign of Henry the VIIIth." The extraordinary circumstances of pomp and majesty, with which, fir Henry says, that play was set forth, and the particular incident of certain cannons foot off at the king's entry to a masque at ibe cardinal Wolsey's boufe, (by which the theatre was set on fire and burnt to the ground,) are strictly applicable to the play be. fore us. Mr. Chamberlaine, in Winwood's Memorials, Vol. III. p. 469, mentions,“ the burning of obe Globe or playhouse, on the Banke fide, on St. Peter's-day (1613,] which, (says he) fell out by a peale of chambers, that I know not on what occafion were to be used in the play.” B. Jonson, in his Execration upon Vulcan, says, they were two poor cbambers. (See the stage direction in this play, a little before the king's entrance. Drum and trumpet, chambers disi barged.] The continuator of Stowe's Cbrenicle, relating the same accident, p. 1003, says expressly, that it happened at obe play of Henry obe VIllıb.
In a MS. letter of Thomas Lorkin to fir Thomas Puckering, dated London, ibis left of June, 1613, the same fact is thus related. " No longer fince than yefterday, while Bourbage his companie were acting at the Globe the play of Henry VIII. and there shooting of certayne obambers in way of triumph, the fire catch'd &c. MS. Harlo 17002.
TYRWHITT I have followed a regulation recommended by an anonymous correspondent, and only included the contested line in a parenthesis, which in some editions was placed before the word beside. Opinion, I believe, means here, as in one of the parts of King Henry IV. cbarafier.-TO realize and fulfil the expectations formed of our play, is now our object. This sentiment (to say nothing of the general style of this prologue,) could
Therefore, for goodness' sake, and as you are knows