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cannot, I fear," be denied; but the passage quoted by Theobald from the Knight of the Burning Pestle is an imitation. If it be chargeable with any fault, it is with plagiarism, not with sarcasm.
Act. I. sc. 2. Westmoreland's speech :-
domains and legal revenue, and highness' his feudal rights in the military service of his nobles -I have sometimes thought it possible that the words grace' and 'cause may have been transposed in the copying or printing ;
They know your cause hath grace, ac. What Theobald meant, I cannot guess. To me his pointing makes the passage still more obscure. Perhaps the lines ought to be recited dramatically thus : They know your Grace hath cause, and means, and might :So hath your Highness-never King of England Harl nobles richer, &c.
He breaks off from the grammar and natural order from earnestness, and in order to give the meaning more passionately.
Ib. Exeter's speech :
Yet that is but a crush'd necessity. Perhaps it may be crash' for " crass' from crassus, clumsy; or it may be curt,' defective, imperfect : anything would be better than Warburton's " 'scus’d,' which honest Theobald, of course, adopts. By the by, it seems clear to me that this speech of Exeter's properly belongs to Canterbury, and was altered by the actors for convenience. Act iv. sc. 3. K. IIenry's speech :
lle would not die in that man's company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
Ib. sc. j.
Reproach and everlasting shanie
Do not run away!
appear still more judicious, when we reflect on the scanty apparatus of distinguishing dresses in Shakspeare's tyring-room.
HENRY VI. PART I.
Act I. sc. 1. Bedford's speech :-
EAD aloud any two or three passages in blank
as Love's Labour's Lost, or Romeo and Juliet; and then read in the same way this speech, with especial attention to the metre; and if you do not feel the impossibility of the latter having been written by Shakspeare, all I dare suggest is, that you may have ears,—for so has another animal,--but an ear you cannot have, me judice.
"HIS play should be contrasted with Richard
II. Pride of intellect is the characteristic of Richard, carried to the extent of even boasting to his own-mind...of_his villany, whilst others are present to feed his pride of superiority; as in his first speech, act II. sc. 1. Shakspeare here, as in all his great parts, developes in a tone of sublime morality the dreadful consequences of placing the moral, in subordination to the mere intellectual, being. In Richard there is a predominance of irony, accompanied with apparently blunt manners to those immediately about him, but formalized into a more set hypocrisy towards the people as represented by their magistrates.
Fall Shakspeare's plays Macbeth is the most
rapid, Hamlet the slowest, in movement. Lear combines length with rapidity, - like the hurricane and the whirlpool, absorbing while it advances. It begins as i stormy day in summer, with brightness; but that brightness is lurid, and anticipates the tempest. (1)
It was not without forethought, nor is it without its due significance, that the division of Lear's kingdom is in the first six lines of the play stated as a thing already determined in all its particulars, previously to the trial of professions, as the relative rewards of which the daughters were to be made to consider their several portions. The strange, yet by no means unnatural, mixture of selfishness, sensibility, and habit of feeling derived from, and fostered by, the particular rank and usages of the individual;— the intense desire of being intensely beloved, — selfish, and yet characteristic of the selfishness of a-loving and kindly nature alone ; the self-supportless leaning for all pleasure on another's breast ;-the craving after sympathy with a prodigal disinterestedness, frustrated by its own ostentation, and the mode and nature of its claims; - the anxiety, the distrust, the jealousy, which more or less accompany all seltish atfections, and are amongst the surest contradistinctions of mere fondness from true love, and which originate Lear's eager wish to enjoy his daughter's violent professions, whilst the inveterate habits of sovereignty convert the wish into claim and positive right, and an incompliance with it into crime and treason; these facts, these passions, these moral verities, on which the whole tragedly is founded, are all prepared for, and will to the retrospect be found implied, in these first four or five lines of the play. They let us know that the trial is but a trick; and that the grossness of the old king's rage is in part the natural result of a silly trick suddenly and most unexpectedly baffled and disappointed. It
may here be worthy of notice, that Lear is the only serious performance of Shakspeare, the interest and situations of which are derived from the assumption of a gross improbability ; whereas Beaumont and Fletcher's tragedies are, almost all of them, founded on some out of the way accident or exception to the general experience of mankind. But observe the matchless judgment of our Shakspeare. First, improbable as the conduct of Lear