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All the best men are ours; for 'tis ill hap,
If they hold, when their ladies bid them clap.

The historical dramas are now concluded, of which the two Parts of Henry the Fourth, and Henry the Fifth, are among the happiest of our author's compositions; and King John, Richard the Third, and Henry the Eighth, deservedly stand in the second class. Those whose curiosity would refer the historical scenes to their original, may consult Holinshed, and sometimes Hall: from Holinshed Shakspeare has often inserted whole speeches, with no more alteration than was necessary to the numbers of his verse. To transcribe them into the margin was unnecessary, because the original is easily examined, and they are seldom less perspicuous in the poet than in the historian.

To play histories, or to exhibit a succession of events by action or dialogue, was a common entertainment among our rude ancestors upon great festivities. The parish clerks once performed at Clerkenwell a play which lasted three days, containing The History of the World. Johnson.

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Prsland in F&O Arrington London.14 Apr '1864

TROILUS AND CRESSIDA.*

VOL. VII.

X

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