And their executors, the knavish crows,
Fly o’er them all impatient for their hour.

SCENE X. King Henry's Speech before the Battle

at Agincourt. He that out-lives this day, and comes safe home, Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam'd: And rouse him at the name of Crispian : He that out-lives this day, and sees old-age, Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbour, And say, to-morrow is Saint Crispian; Then will he strip his sleeve, and shew his scars; Old men forget; yet shall not all forget, But they'll remember, with advantages, What feats they did that day. Then shall our names, Familiar in their mouth, as' houshold words, Harry the king, Bedford, and Exeter, Warwick, and Talbot, Salisbury, and Gloster, Be in their flowing cups freshly remember'd. SCENE XII. Description of the Earl of York's


(16) He smil'd me in the face, gave me his hand And, with a feeble gripe, says, dear my lord,


(16) He smild, &c.] This tender and pathetic description of the earl of *York's death always reminds me of Virgil's celebrated episode on the friendship of Nijus and Euryalus, who fell undivided in death, and lovely as they had lived-Euryalus was wounded when his friend rush'd to his assistance, and begg'd his life : the poet tells us ;

'In vain he spoke, for ah, the sword addrest

With ruthless r.age, had pierc'd his lovely breast,
With blood his snowy limbs are purpled o'e
And pale in death he welters in his gore


* Nifus.

Commend my service to my fovereign;
So did he turn, and over Suffolk's neck
He threw his wounded arm, and kiss'd his lips ;
And so espous'd to death, with blood he feal'a
A testament of noble-ending love.

and sweet manner of it forc'd
Those waters from me, which I would have stoppid;
But I had not so much of man in me;
And all

my mother came into mine eyes, And gave me up to tears.


The Miseries of War.
(17) Her vine, the merry chearer of the heart,
Unpruned lies : her hedges even pleachd,
Like prisoners, wildly over-grown with hair,


As a gay Aower with blooming beauties crown'd,
Cut by the share, lies languid on the ground:
Or some tall poppy, that o'er-charg'd with rain
Bends the faint head and finks upon the plain :
So fair, fo languishingly sweet he lies,
His head declin’d, and drooping, as he dies.

Now ’midst the foe, distracted Nisus flew ;
Volfcens, and him alone, he keeps in view :
The gathering train, the furious youth surround,
Darts follow darts; and wound succeeds to wound:
All, all unfelt : he seeks their guilty lord,
In fiery circles, flies his thundering sword :
Nor ceas’d, but found at length the destin'd way,
And buried in his mouth the falchion lay.
Thus cover'd o'er with wounds on every side,
Brave Nifus New the murderer as he died ;
Then on the dear Euryalus his breast,
Sunk down, and number'd in eternal reft.

See Pitt, Æn. g. (17) Her, &c.] This is from the psalms, Wine that makesla glad ihe heart of man, Pf. 104. 15. The word lies in the text is an emendation of Mr. Warburton's : the old reading is dies:

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Put forth disorder'd twigs : her fallow leas-
The darnel, hemloc, and rank fumitory,
Doth root upon; while that the culture rusts,
That should deracinate such savagery:
The even mead, that erst brought tweetly forth
The freckled cowslip, burnet, and green clover,
Wanting the scythe, all uncorrected, rank,
Conceives by idleness; and nothing teens,
But hateful docks, rough thistles, kecksies, burs,
Lofing both beauty and utility:
And all our vineyards, fallows, meads and hedges,
Defective in their natures, grow to wildness.

in confirmation of it, it may be observed, the author speaks all through of the husbandry corrupting its own fertility, as he says, the vine unpruned, grows wild and unfruitful : the hedges unpleached, putting forth disorder'd twigs; the fallow leas are over-run with weeds, darnel, Sr. and so every thing, vine. yards, fallows, meads, and liec!ges, defective in their natures, grow to wildness : defective in their own particular nature, " Sva deficiuntur natura; (says Mr. Upton, in the preface to his Observations, &c. p. 41.) they were not defective in their creslive nature, for they grew to wildness: but were defective in their proper and favourable natures, which was to bring forth food for man.”

General Observations.

SHAKESPEAR throughout this play (fays Mrs. Lenox) has copied many of the sentiments and even words of Holing shed, sometimes almost literally, at others he has just taken hints which the force of his own imagination improves into the most Ariking beauties, the following passage of Holingsbed furnished him with some of the noblest thoughts that ever animated the mind of a hero.

The historian fays, page 553, that a iittle time before the battle of Agincourt was fought, King Henry overheard a soldier fay to his fellow : “ I would to God there were with us now so many good foldiers as are at this hour within England." To which the King replied: “I would not with a man more here


than I have ; we are, indeed, in comparison to the enemies, but a few; but if God, of his clemency, do favour us and our just cause (as I trust he will) we shall speed well enough: but let no man ascribe victory to our own ftrength and might, but only to God's affistance, to whom, I have no doubt we shall worthily have cause to give thanks therefore : and if so be that, for our offences fakes, we shall be delivered into the hands of our enemies, the less number we be, the leís damage shall the realm of England sustain.” Holing Shed.

This paisage is thus improved by Shakespear: The Earl of Wifimourland having been to take a view of the enemies forces, as they were drawn up in order of battle, alarmed at the fupea riority of their numbers, cries out as the King meets him,

Oh! that we now had here,
But one ten thousand of those men in England,
That do no work to day !

K. Hen. What's he that wilbes fo? ks. See the Play


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(1) The First Part of Henry VI.




ILORY is like a circle in the water;

Till by broad spreading it disperse to nought.

(2) GWWwhich never ceareth to enlarge itself,


(1) It is not the business or intention of this work to enter into a consideration of the genuineness of some of those compositions, which are generally received as Shakespear's tho' dif. puted, and I think, we may add justly by the critics. Among the rest none appear less worthy of our inimitable author, than the three following; some fine strokes in them sufficiently assure us Shakespear lent a hand; that he composed the whole, I can by no means persuade myself ; however, I leave it to the discussion of others, and only beg leave to observe, there are be. side the few passages I have selected, many single lines, which I could not well produce as beauties separately considered, that merit observation.

(2) Glory, &c.] Braumont and Fletcher in their Bloody Brother, use this fine fimile, tho' on another subject with equal beauty.


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