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THE FIRST PART;
A HISTORICAL PLAY,
IN FIVE ACTS;
BY WILLIAM SHAKSPEARE.
AS PERFORMED AT THE
THEATRE ROYAL, COVENT GARDEN.
PRINTED UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF THE MANAGERS
FROM THE PROMPT BOOK.
BY MRS. INCHBALD.
PRINTED FOR LONGMAN, HURST, REES, AND ORML
This is a play which all men admire, and which most women dislike. Many revolting expressions in the comic parts, much boisterous courage in some of the graver scenes, together with Falstaff's unwieldy person, offend every female auditor; and whilst a facetious Prince of Wales is employed in taking purses on the highway, a lady would rather see him stealing hearts at a ball, though the event might produce more fatal
consequences. The great Percy, they confess, pays some attention to his wife, but still inore to his horse : and, as the king was a rebel before he mounted the throne, and all women are naturally loyal, they shudder at a crowned head leagued with a traitor's heart.
With all these plausible objections, infinite entertainment and instruction, may be received from this drama, even by the most delicate readers. observe the pen of a faithful historian, as well as of a great poet; and they ought, surely, to be charmed with every character, as a complete copy of nature; admiring even the delinquency of them all, far beyond that false display of unsullied virtue, so easy
for a bard to bestow upon the creatures of his fancy, when