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Philosophy cannot better set forth the su-
But now, the bishop
Nor can the indecency of a prelate's appearing in arms, and the abuse of an autho
, rity derived from the sacred function, be more strongly arraigned, than in the speeches of Westmorland, and John of Lancaster.
Then, my lord,
if damn'd commotion so appear'd
Wherefore do you so ill translate yourself
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 be 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'o so. Who hath not heard it spoken, How deep you were within the books of Heav'n То
ils, 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: 0, who shall believe But you misuse the rey’rence of your place, Employ the countenance and grace of Heav'n,
As a false favourite doth his prince's name,
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 af. fectation 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 ineither 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