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Boling. Exton, I thank thee not; for thou hast
A deed of slander, with thy fatal hand,
Exton. From your own mouth, my lord, did I this deed.
Boling. They love not poison that do poison need,
The guilt of conscience take thou for thy labour,
That blood should sprinkle me, to make me grow:
6 This play is extracted from the Chronicle of Holinshed, in which many passages may be found which Shakspeare has, with very little alteration, transplanted into his scenes; particularly a speech of the Bishop of Carlisle, in defence of King Richard's unalienable right, and immunity from human jurisdiction.
Jonson, who, in his Catiline and Sejanus, has inserted many speeches from the Roman historians, was perhaps induced to that practice by the example of Shakspeare, who had condescended sometimes to copy more ignoble writers. But Shakspeare had more of his own than Jonson; and, if he sometimes was willing to spare his labour, showed by what he performed at other times, that his extracts were made by choice or idleness rather than necessity.
This play is one of those which Shakspeare has apparently revised; but as success in works of invention is not always proportionate to labour, it is not finished at last with the happy force of some other of his tragedies, nor can be said much to affect the passions, or enlarge the understanding. JOHNSON.
The notion that Shakspeare revised this play, though it has long prevailed, appears to me extremely doubtful; or, to speak more plainly, I do not believe it. MALONE.
Hotspur. Trent shall not wind with such a deep indent. Glendow: Not wind? it shall, it must; you see it doth:
Publish'd by F & C. Rivington, London, Oct 29 1803.