Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

97

After the foregoing quotation, my readers will not be surprised, if the name of the last mentioned person is not to be found in the following plays. I hope that all obscenity is equally banished from them. I wish it were in my power in like manner to exclude every expression which approaches to vulgarity or indelicacy; but this, I fear, cannot be done, unless the whole of those scenes are omitted, in which any of the comic characters appear. The present publication may possibly be censured by two classes of readers, of very different sentiments. Those persons who are unwilling to be deprived of any part of the wit of Falstaff (whatever may be the expense of retaining it) will perhaps be displeased at the omission of the evening scene between him and Doll Tearsheet, and their followers. To them I reply, that consistently with the design of the present edition of Shakspeare, the omission was unavoidable; but I regret it the less, because, as was suggested in my preface, those readers can gratify their taste by having recourse to former editions of the Second Part of Henry the IVth.

Other persons may possibly complain that there still remain in this work, some expressions which are not consistent with that perfect delicacy of sentiment, with which it were desirable that every publication should be conducted. To this objection I fear that I can give no answer that will be quite satisfactory. I can only say, that I have endeavoured to render the speeches of Falstaff and his companions as correct as they could be rendered, without losing sight of their characters and dispositions. Those persons who still object to their language, cannot I believe do better, than confine their reading to the serious parts of the three following plays, which possess such merit, as can hardly be equalled in any other dramatic poet, and is seldom exceeded by our own immortal bard.

Thomas BOWDLER.

[blocks in formation]

PERSONS REPRESENTED.

KING HENRY THE FOURTH.
Henry, Prince of Wales,

of ,} sons to the King.
EARL of WESTMORELAND, }friends to the King.
SIR WALTER BLUNT,
Thomas PERCY, Earl of Worcester.
HENRY PERCY, Earl of Northumberland :
HENRY PERCY, surnamed HOTSPUR, his son.
EDWARD MORTIMER, Earl of March.
SCROOP, Archbishop of York.
ARCHIBALD, Earl of Douglas.
OWEN GLENDOWER.
SIR RICHARD VERNON.
Sir John FALSTAFF.
Poins.
GADSHILL.
Peto. BARDOLPH.

LADY Percy, wife to Hotspur, and sister to Mur

timer. LADY MORTIMER, daughter to Glendower, and wife

to Mortimer. MRS. QUICKLY, Hostess of a Tavern in Eastcheap.

Lords, Officers, Sheriff, Vintner, Chamberlain,

Drawers, two Carriers, Travellers, and Attendants.

SCENE, England.

FIRST PART

OF

KING HENRY IV.

ACT THE FIRST.

SCENE I.

London. A Room in the Palace.

Enter King Henry, WESTMORELAND, Sir

Walter BLUNT, and Others. K. Hen. So shaken as we are, so wan with care, Find we a time for frighted peace to pant, And breathe short-winded accents of new broils To be commenc'd in stronds' afar remote. No more the thirsty Erinnys? of this soil Shall daub her lips with her own children's blood; No more shall trenching war channel her fields, Nor bruise her flowrets with the armed hoofs Of hostile paces: those opposed eyes, Which, - like the meteors of a troubled heaven, All of one nature, of one substance bred, Did lately meet in the intestine shock And furious close of civil butchery, Shall now, in mutual, well-beseeming ranks, March all one way; and be no more oppos'd Against acquaintance, kindred, and allies : The edge of war, like an ill-sheathed knife,

i Strands, banks of the sea.

2 The fury of discord.

No more shall cut his master. Therefore, friends,
As far as to the sepulchre of Christ,
(Whose soldier now, under whose blessed cross
We are impressed and engag'd to fight)
Forthwith a power of English shall we levy;
Whose arms were moulded in their mothers' womb
To chase these pagans, in those holy fields,
Over whose acres walk'd those blessed feet,
Which, fourteen hundred years ago, were nail'd
For our advantage, on the bitter cross.
But this our purpose is a twelve-month old,
And bootless 'tis to tell

you — we will

go; Therefore we meet not now:- Then let me hear Of you, my gentle cousin Westmoreland, What yesternight our council did decree, In forwarding this dear expedience.

West. My liege, this haste was hot in question, And many limits of the charge set down But yesternight: when, all athwart, there came A post from Wales, loaden with heavy news; Whose worst was,

- that the noble Mortimer, Leading the men of Herefordshire to fight Against the irregular and wild Glendower, Was by the rude hands of that Welshman taken, And a thousand of his people butchered: K. Hen. It seems then, that the tidings of this

broil Brake off our business for the Holy Land. West. This, match'd with other, did, my gracious

lord;
For more uneven and unwelcome news
Came from the north, and thus it did import.
On Holy-rood day, the gallant Hotspur there,
Young Harry Percy, and brave Archibald,
That ever-valiant and approved Scot,
At Holmedon met,
Where they did spend a sad and bloody hour ;

3 Expedition.

4 Estimates.

5 September 14.

As by discharge of their artillery,
And shape of likelihood, the news was told;
For he that brought them, in the very heat
And pride of their contention did take horse,
Uncertain of the issue any way.
K. Hen. Here is a dear and true industrious

friend,
Sir Walter Blunt, new lighted from his horse,
Stain'd with the variation of each soil
Betwixt that Holmedon and this seat of ours;
And he hath brought us smooth and welcome news.
The earl of Douglas is discomfited ;
Ten thousand bold Scots, two-and-twenty knights,
Balk'd in their own blood, did sir Walter see
On Holmedon's plains : Of prisoners, Hotspur took
Mordake the earl of Fife, and eldest son
To beaten Douglas; and the earls of Athol,
Of Murray, Angus, and Menteith.
And is not this an honourable spoil ?
A gallant prize? ha, cousin, is it not?

West. It is a conquest for a prince to boast of. K. Hen. Yea, there thou mak'st me sad, and

mak'st me sin In envy that my

lord Northumberland Should be the father of so blest a son : A son, who is the theme of honour's tongue; Amongst a grove, the very straightest plant; Who is sweet fortune's minion, and her pride: Whilst I, by looking on the praise of him, See riot and dishonour stain the brow Of my young Harry. O, that it could be prov'd, That some night-tripping fairy had exchang'd In cradle-clothes our children where they lay, And call'd mine – Percy, his — Plantagenet ! Then would I have his Harry, and he mine. But let him from my thoughts :- What think you,

coz,

6 Piled up in a heap.

« ElőzőTovább »