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To fit upon a hill, as I do now,
make the hour full compleat,
many years a mortal man may live : When this is known, then to divide the time; So many hours must I tend
my So many hours must I take my reit; So many hours must I contemplate; So many
hours must I sport myself; So many days, my ewes have been with young; So many weeks, ere the poor
yean; So many months, ere I shall sheer the fleece ; So minutes, hours, days, weeks, inonths and years, Past over, to the end they were created, Would bring white hairs unto a quiet grave. Oh! what a life were this ! how sweet! how lovely! Gives not the hawthorn bush a sweeter shade
known are the following lines from Seneca's IIcrcules Oeticus on the subject, and perhaps they may therefore be more agree
Stretch'd on the turf in fylvan fhades;
Secure he rears the beachen bowl,
His modest wife of virtue try'd
To shepherds looking on their filly sheep,
(7) Than, &c.] The miseries of royalty (as have been before observed, 2 Henry IV. A. 4. S. 10.) is a very general topic with the poets ; on which, as indeed on most others, they muft yield the superiority to Shakespear ; Monsieur Racine in his celebrated tragedy of Esther, fpeaks thus on the subject.
A prince encompass'd with a busy crowd
But all with one confent promote our vengeance. In another part of this performance, the author sets in contrast the pleasures and pains of vicious greatness; thus the wicked man's alluring pomp is described,
His days appear a constant scene of joy ;
To crown his tow'ring and ambitious hopes,
Now see the reverse.
With plenty crown'd, his conscious heart repines,
He still unnumber'd pleasures tries :
And happiness his fond embraces fies.'
To kings that fear their subjects treachery?
Look, as I blow this feather from my face,
SCENE III. A Simile on ambitious Thoughts
Why, then I do but dream on fov'reignty,
The Reader with me, is indebted to my worthy friend Mr. Duncombe for the translation of these passages from the French, who hath finished the whole of this tragedy, and some years Since published a tranflation of our author's other most famous performance, Athaliah.
(8) Wby, &c.] See the beginning of Richard the Third.
(9) And fet, &c.} I am of Mr. Warburton's opinion, this reading which is of the old quarto, is greatly preferable to that commonly received; not only because we thereby avoid au anachronism, but because Richard, perhaps, may be more aptly compared to Catiline, and because he instances, all through the speech, from the ancients. The other reading is,
And set the murd'rous Machiavel to school,
ACT IV. SCENE IX.
On his own Lenity.
The Earl of Warwick's dying Speech. Ah, who is nigh? Come to me, friend, or foe, And tell me who is victor, York or Warwick ? Why ask I that? My mangled body shews My blood, my want of strength, my fick heart shews, That I must yield my body to the earth, And, by my fall, the conquest to my foe. (10) Thus yields the cedar to the axe's edge,
(10) Thus yields, &c.] For this grand and noble fimile, ShakeSpear is plainly indebted there, where for the first time through this work, I am obliged, and gladly, to acknowledge him outdone. 'Tis from the 31st chapter of the prophet Ezekiel, ver. 3. 30. Behold the Asyrian was a cedar in Lebanon with fair branches, and with a shadowing throud, and of an high ftature, and his top was among the thick boughs. 4. The waters made him great, the deep set him up on high with her rivers running round about his plants, and sent out her little rivers unto all the trees of the field. 5. Therefore his height was exalted above all the trees of the field, and his boughs were multiplied, and his branches became long, because of the multitude of waters, when he shot forth. 6. All the fowls of heaven made their nests in his boughs, and under his branches did all the beasts of the field bring forth their young, and under his shadow dwelt all great nations. 7. Thus was he fair in his greatness, ja