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EP I L O G U E.*
Spoken by a DANCE R.
VRST, my fear; then, my courtly; lajt, my speech.
My fear is your displeasure; my courtsy, my duty; and my speech, to beg your pardons. If you look for a good speech now, you undo me ; for what I have to say is of mine own making, and what, indeed, I should say, will
, 1 doubt, prove mine own marring. But to the purpose, and go to the venture. Be it known to you, (as it is very well) I was lately bere in the end of a difpleasing Play, to pray your patience for it, and to promise you a better. I did mean, indeed, to pay you with this; which if, like an ill venture, it come unluckily bome, I break; and you, my gentle creditors, lose. Here, I promised you, I would be, and here I commit my body to your mercies : bate me some, and I will pay you fome, and, as most debtors do, promise you infinitely.
If my tongue cannot entreat you to acquit me, will you command me to use my legs? and yet that were but light Payment, to dance out of your debt. But a good conscience will make any posible satisfaction, and so will l. + All the gentlewomen here have forgiven me; if the gentlemen will not, then the gentlemen do not agree with the gentlewomen, which was never seen before in such an assembly.
One word more, I beseech you ; if you be not too much clo'd with fat meat, our humble author will continue the story with Sir John in it, and make you merry with
* This epilogue was merely one part of the audience by the occasional, and alludes to some favour of the other, has bee: theatrical tranfaéiion.
played already in the epilogue to + This trick of inAuencing As you like it.
A 2 3
fair Catharine of France; where, for any thing I know, Falstaff small die of a Sweat, unless already be be kill'd with your bard opinions ; ' for Oldcastle died a martyr, and this is not the man. My tongue is weary; when my Legs are too, I will bid you good night, and so kneel down before you ; but, indeed, to pray for tbe Queen.
for Oldcastle died a martyr,] Sir John Oldcafile was put for This alludes to a play in which Falstaff.
KING Henry The Fifth.
, } Uncles to the King.
Conspirators against the King.
morris, Jamy, Cficers in King Henry's Army. Nym, Bardolph, Pistol, Boy, formerly Servants to
Falstaff, now Soldiers in the King's Army. Bates, Court, Williams, Soldiërs. Charles, King of France. The Dauphin. Duke of Burgundy. Constable, Orleans, Rambures, Bourbon, Grandpree,
French Lords. Governor of Harfleur. Mountjoy, o Herald Ambafjaders to the King of England. Isabel, Queen of France. Catharine, Daughter to the King of France. Alice, e L dy attending on the Princess Catharine. Quickly, Pistol’s Wife, an Hostess. CHORU S. Loids, Mesengers, French and English Soldiers, with
other Attendants. The Scene, at the beginning of the Play, lies in England ;
but afterwards, wholly in France. Of this play the editions are, 111. 1623, &c. Folio.
troo, 11:0. Crede for Tlo. I have the second quarto and Mlin, 410)
folio. The folio edition is much il 160°, for J. P. of to. enlarged.
PRO L O G U E.
For a Muse of fire, that would ascend
The brightest heaven of invention! A kingdom for a stage, * Princes to aft, And Monarchs to be bold the swelling scene ! Then should the warlike Harry, like himself, Afsume the port of Mars; and, at bis heels, Leafht in, like hounds, Jould famine, sword and fire Crouch for employment. But pardon, gentles all, The flat unraised Spirit, that bath dar'd, On this univortby scaffold, to bring forth
great an object. Can ibis Cock-pit bold The vafly field of France ? or may we cram,
Within this wooden 0, + the very caskes
"O for a Mufe of fire, &c ] 3 Within this wooden 0.] No. This goes upon the notion of the thing shews more evidently the Peripatetic System, which ima- power of custom over language, gines several 'Heavens one above than that the frequent use of calanother ; the last and highest of ling a circle an O could so much which was one of fire.
hide the meanness of the metaWARBURTON. phor from Shakespeare, that he It alludes likewise to the al- has used it many times where he piring nature of fire, which, by makes his most eager attempts its levity, at the feparation of the at dignity of ftile. chaos, took the higheit feat of all
4 The very cakes.] The hel-Princes to ac, 5 Ima inary forces.] ImagiAnd monarchs to behold.)
nary for imaginative, or your Shakespeare does not seem to set powers of fancy. Active and distance enough between the per- pallive words are by this authour
förners and spectators.