Obrazy na stronie
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]




F. J. FURNIVALL, M.A., Ph.D., D.Litt.


KING HENRY THE FOURTH, Part II.,1 is not up to the spirit and freshness of the First Part; all continuations do fall off, and this is no exception to the rule. How are Hotspur and the first impression of Falstaff to be equalld ? Even Shallow cannot make up for them. There's a quieter tone, too, in this Part II., though the rhetorical speeches are still kept up by Northumberland and Mowbray. The king leads, not at the head of his army, but in his quiet progress to the grave. The most striking speech in the play is Henry the Fourth’s on sleep-to be set against Hotspur's fiery words in Part And as illustrating the change in Shakspere's manner of work as he grew, let us set this sleep-speech (III. i., p. 89) of the Second Period against the sleep-speech of the Third Period ? :

| Probably written 1597-8. Enterd in the Stationers' Registers August 23, 1600 : publisht in Quarto in 1600. The Folio text is from a different original, having many lines that are not in the Quarto, while the Quarto contains passages not in the Folio. The play ranges from Hotspur's death, July 23, 1403, to Henry V.'s accession, March 21, 1413 (1412-13). Its dramatic time is nine days, represented on the stage, with three extra Falstaffian days, and with intervals ; for the whole, "a couple of months would be a liberal estimate."-P. A. Daniel, New Shaks. Soc. Trans., 1877-9, pp. 288-9. • Ten Brink adopted this contrast from me.

“How many thousand of my poorest subjects

Are at this hour asleep!-0 sleep, gentle sleep,
Nature's soft nurse, how have I frighted thee,
That thou no more wilt weigh my eyelids down,
And steep my senses in forgetfulness ?
Why rather, sleep, liest thou in smoky cribs,
Upon uneasy pallets stretching thee,
And hush'd with buzzing night-flies to thy slumber,
Than in the perfumed chambers of the great,
Under the canopies of costly state,
And lull'd with sounds of sweetest melody?
O thou dull god ! why liest thou with the vile
In loathsoine beds, and leavst the kingly couch
A watch-case, or a common 'larum bell?
Wilt thou upon the high and giddy mast
Seal up the ship-boy's eyes, and rock his brains
In cradle of the rude imperious surge ;
And in the visitation of the winds
Who take the ruffian billows by the top,
Curling their monstrous heads, and hanging them
With deafening clamours in the slippery clou is,
That with the hurly, death itself awakes ?
Canst thou, O partial sleep! give thy repose
To the wet sea-boy in an hour so rude;
And, in the calmest and most stille t night,
With all appliances and means to boot,
Deny it to a king ? Then, happy low, lie down !
Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.
Macb. Methought I heard a voice cry, Sleep no

more !
Macbeth does murder sleep! the innocent sleep ;
Sleep, that knits up the ravelled sleave of care,
The death of each day's life, sore labour's bath,
Balm of hurt minds, great nature's second course,

Chief nourisher in life's feast.” (II. ii., p. 50.) Contrast in the Second Period the single idea and its elaboration, though justified by Henry's meditative


« PoprzedniaDalej »