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PLAYS OF SHAKSPEARE
THE "FALCON" EDITION
With Introduction and Notes to each Play.
JULIUS CÆSAR. By H. C. Beeching.
KING HENRY IV. Part II. By A. D. INNES.
TWELFTH NIGHT. By H. HOWARD CRAWLEY. IS. 6d. MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING. By A. W. VERITY. IS. 6d.
CORIOLANUS. By H. C. BEECHING. 25.
KING JOHN. By OLIVER ELTON.
AS YOU LIKE IT. By Professor A. C. BRADLEY.
Others to follow.
King Henry the Fifth
A. D. INNES, M.A.
LATE SCHOLAR OF ORIEL COLLEGE, OXFORD
LONGMANS, GREEN, AND CO.
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N reading any play of Shakspeare's we are tempted at first to adopt one of two theories--that he wrote to teach a moral, or that no moral is to be found in his writing. Neither theory is true; in fact, after brief consideration, it becomes difficult to say whether it is more absurd to fancy Shakspeare asking himself, “What moral truth shall I inculcate in my next play? What shall be the text of my next sermon?" or to suppose that you can arouse the keen interest and sympathies of an audience without producing on them a moral effect, elevating or degrading, as the interest is healthy or unhealthy in other words, as the mirror held up to Nature gives a true or distorted reflexion. If the poet be -as Shakspeare was pre-eminently-a person of healthy mind, the result follows by a natural law. You cannot read him without feeling morally healthier; not because he writes with the intention of teaching this or that particular moral lesson, but because he is true to Nature.
So when Shakspeare wrote Richard II., the two parts of Henry IV. and Henry V., he did not say to himself, "I will teach the world that evil-doers come to a bad