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ACT V. SCENE VIII.
For marriage is a matter of more worth, Than to be dealt in by attorneyship.
For what is wedlock forced but a hell,
The jars of brothers, two such mighty ones,
Ad 2. Sc. i.
THE historical transactions (says Mrs. Lenox) contained in this play, take in the compass of about thirty years; they are all extracted from Holingbed's Chronicle : but Shakespear, in this, as well as in the two following parts of this King's reign, has not been very exact to the date and disposition of the facts, shuffling them backwards and forwards, out of the order of time in which they happened, as it best suited his purpose. The characters are almost all faithfully copied from the historian; but the Poet has exaggerated the affection of Queen Margaret for the Duke of Suffolk, representing that Princess as engaged in a criminal amour with the Duke, for which there is no foundation in history.
The loves of the Queen and Duke of Suffolk, which make the subject of several scenes in the play, not being mentioned either by Hali or Holingshed, 'tis probable that Shakespear saw D3
fome little novel of the lives of these two great persons, from whence he copied such incidents as he thought proper for the embellishment of his play; but, by introducing the Queen in the second part, weeping and lamenting over the head of her mordered lover, which lies on her bosom, in the presence of the King her husband, and several noblemen, he has either very injudiciously copied, or very coarsely invented. For the absurdity of such a behaviour must give difgust to the meaneft and least intelligent reader or fpectator.
But if Shakespear has been mifled by roinance, or oral tradition, to give Tuch improper manners to a queen, and in a historical play, contradict the known facts on which' it is found. ed, he has, on the other hand, worked up the simple relation of the deaths of a father and son, in the history, into one of the most beautiful and affecting episodes imaginable.
(1) FWhile Gurlerbears this baie and humble mind,
A refolv'd ambitious Woman.
I must, go
The Lord ever to be remembered.
Let never day or night unhallow'd pass,
(1) Follow, &c.] There is something very like the character of lady M th, in this ambitious wife of the duke of Gl'fter.
SCENE VII. Eleanor to the Duke of Glo'ster,
when doing Penance.
For whilst I think I am thy married wife,
(3) Smooth runs the water where the brook is deep; And in his simple shew he harbours treason.
Scene IV. A guilty Countenance.
Description of a murderd Perfon.
(2) Mail'd.] Cover'd in a sheet as a man is in a coat of mail. (3) Smooth.] Swallowing waters Run deep and filent, till they're satisfied, And smile in thousand curls to gild their craft.
The bloody Brotber, Act 2. Sc. I.
(4) Being all defcended to the lab'ring heart,
SCENE VII. A good Conscience.
(5) What stronger breast-plate than a heart una
tainted? Thrice is he arm’d, that hath his quarrel just;
(4) Being, &c.] There is some little irregularity in grammar here ; I have put a hyphen at blood-less, to make it the plainer; being all, i. e. all the blood being descended, &c. I cannot quite be reconciled to who in the next line; it may indeed be allowed but I should rather transpose that, and read
That in the conflict which it holds with death. Tho' perhaps, which foon after following, may be an objection. And we may observe, he uses cubo almost in the same mannerin the fourth page of this volume :
He gave his nose
Who therewith angry (5) Whai, &c.] A little before it is said, A heart unspotted is not easily daunted.