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(12) Mens evil manners live in brass ; their virtues We write in water. * * *
* * This cardinal, Though from an humble stock, undoubtedly Was fashion'd .co much honour, from his cradle ; He was a scholar, and a ripe and good one ; Exceeding wife; fair spoken, and persuading ; Lofty, and four to them that lov'd him not : But to those men that fought him, sweet as fummer. And though he was unsatisfy'd in getting, (Which was a fin) yet in bestowing, madam, He was most princely : Ever witness for him Those twins of learning that he rais'd in you, Ipswich and Oxford ! one of which fell with him, Unwilling to out-live the good he did it: The other, though unfinish'd, yet so famous, So excellent in art, and ftill so rising, That Christendom shall ever speak his virtue. His overthrow heap'd happiness upon him; For then, and not till then, he felt himself, And found the blessedness of being little ; And to add greater honours to his age Than man could give him, he dy'd, fearing God.
was (way'd; but I pretend not to say any thing certain ; the ju. dicious reader will soon see whether the explication given fatisfies hin.
(12) Mens, &c.] Beaumont and Fletcher borrow'd this fentiment from Shakespear in their Pbilafter. Act si
All your better deeds
ACT ACT V. SCENE V.
(13) Men that make Envy and crooked malice nourishment, Dare bite the best,
Love and meekness, Lord,
(14) 'Tis a cruelty To load a falling man.
Scene VIII. Archbishop Cranmer's Prophecy.
Let me speak, Sir ; (For heav'n now bids me) and the words I utter,
(13) Men, &c.] In Paftor Fida, there is a fine sentiment not unlike this. AEt 5. S. 1.
Who now can boast of earth’s felicity,
treads on virtue's heels ? S. R. Fanshaw. (14) 'Tis, &c.] The poet, in the former part of the play, gives us the same humane and tender sentiment
O my lord, Press not a falling man too far ; 'tis virtue. A&t 3. S. 6. Nothing can afford us a better idea of the author's excellent mind; and we are assured, from the account we have of his character, He was remarkable for his humanity, benevolence, and many virtues.
Look how the father's face, (says Ben Johnson)
Let none think flatt'ry, for they'll find 'em truth.
All princely graces,
her: Her foes shake, like a field of beaten corn, : And hang their heads with sorrow. Good grows
(15) In, &c.] The poet's excellence in so beautifully keeping up the propriety of his characters, can never be sufficiently admired ; no expressions could have so well become the mouth of an archbishop as scripture ones; and we may observe, what graces this elegant compliment to his princess gains from thence ; the bleffings of Solomon's reign are set forth in the first of Kings, Ch. iv. where particularly 'tis faid, “ Every man dwelt safely under his vine ;' and so in the prophet Micah, “ They shall fit every man under his vine, and under his fig-trce ; and none shall make them afraid ; for all people will walk every one in the name of his God, &c. See Cb, iv. Ver. 4.
The bird of wonder dies, the maiden phønix,
(16) This cloud of darkness. ] Milton in his Comus, at the beginning, thus speaks in contempt of the earth :
Above the smoak and stir of this dim spot,
OOD-den, Sir Richard,
King John.] The style all thro' this excellent play is grand and equal, and it abounds with a great variety of fine topic's, and affecting pafiages : Shakespear feems to have had a particular refpect for Faulconbridge, whose character is well maintain’d, as is that of the king, than whom none could have been a more proper person for tragedy ; I know not by what singular good fortune too it has happened, that the text is remarkably correct, and free from that multitude of mistakes, wherewith most of our author's works fo unhappily abound. • (1) My piked.]' Mr. Pope explains this by “
a Man formally bearded." “ The old copies, (says Theebald) give it us picked, by a Night corruption in the spelling ; but the author certainly design id picqued (from the French verb, je piquer) i, e touchy, tart, apprehensive, upon his guard.” A fense, (that perhaps may seem ridiculous to some readers, and which I by no means advance as