« AnteriorContinuar »
But this is worshipful society,
Enter lady Faulconbridge and James Gurney.
Lady. Where is that have, thy brother where is he? That holds in chase mine honour up and down?
Phil. My brother Robert ? old fir Robert's fon? 2 Colbrand the giant, that same mighty man? Is it fir Robert's son, that you seek to ?
Lady. Sir Robert's son! Ay, thou unreverend boy, Sir Robert's fon : Why scorn'lt thou at fir Robert ? He is fir Robert's fon; and fo art thou.
: Wlich shough &c.] The construction will be mended, if instead of which ilough, we read thi though. Johnson,
9 But who corris &c.-----] Milton, in his tragedy, introduces Dalilah with such an interrogatory exclamation. Johnson.
to blow a born--] He means, that a woman who travelled about like a poli, was likely to horn her husband.
Johxson. 2 Collrand- - 1 Colbrand was a Danish giant, whom Guy of Warwick discomfited in the presence of king Athelitan. The combat is very pompoudly described by Drayton in his Polyolbion.
Phil. James Gurney, wilt thou give us leave a
while ? Gur. Good leave ', good Philip. Phil. * Philip ?- sparrow !- James,
3 Good leave, &c.] Good leave means a ready allent. So, in K. Hen. VI. P. III. a&t III. sc. ii :
“ K. Edw. Lords, give us leave ; I'll try this widow's wit. “ Glo. Ay, good leave have you, for you will have leave.”
STEEVENS. 4 Philip!--Sparrow!--James ] I think the poet wrote:
Philip! spare me, James, i. e. don't affront me with an appellation that comes from a family which I disdain. WARBURTON.
The old reading is far more agreeable to the character of th speaker. Dr. Gray observes, that Skelton has a poem to the m mory of Philip Sparrow ; and Mr. Pope in a short note remark that a Sparrow is called Philip. Johnson.
Gascoigne has likewise a poem entitled, The Praise of Phi. Sparrow; and in Jack Drum's Entertainment, 1601, is the fol lowing paffage :
* The birds fit chirping, chirping, &c."
« Pbilip is treading, treading, &c.' Again, in the Northern Lafs, 1633 :
“ A bird whose pastime made me glad,
“And Pbilip 'twas my sparrow. Again, in Magnificence an ancient Interlude by Skelton, published by Rastell : “ With me in kepynge such a Plylyp Sparowe."
STEEVENS. The following quotation seems to confirm Mr. Pope's explanation. In the Widow, see Dods. Old Plays, vol. VI. p. 38: " Phil. I would my letter, wench, were here again,
" I'd know him wiser ere I sent him one;
" And travel fome five year first. " Viol. So he had need, methinks,
“ To understand the words; methinks the words
“ And yet to fee, if he can come when he's call’d.” The Bastard therefore means : Philip! Do you take me for a spare row, James? HAWKINS.
There's toys abroad'; anon I'll tell thee more.
[Exit James. Madam, I was not old fir Robert's son ; Sir Robert might have eat his part in me Upon Good-friday, and ne'er broke his fast: Sir Robert could do well; Marry, to confess! Could he get me? Sir Robert could not do it ; Weknow his handy-work:-Therefore, good mother, To whom am I beholden for these limbs? Sir Robert never holp to make this leg.
Lady. Haft thou conspired with thy brother too, That for thine own gain should'st defend mine ho
nour ? What means this scorn, thou most untoward knave? Phil. ? Knight, knight, good mother, -Bafilisco like :
5 There's toys abroad; &c.] i. e. rumours, idle reports. So, in B. Jonson's Sejanus:
Toys, mere toys, 6 What wisdom's in the streets." So, in a poftfcript to a letter from the countess of Eflex to Dr. Forman, in relation to the trial of Anne Turner for the murder of sir Tho. Overbury : " they may tell my father and mother, and fill their ears full of toys." State Trials, vol. I. p. 322.
parte on good fridaie eate;
STEEVENS. ? Knight, knight, good mother, Bafilisco like :} Thus must this pallage be pointed; and, to come at the humour of it, I must clear up an old circumstance of stage history. Faulconbridge's words here carry a concealed piece of satire on a stupid drama of that age, printed in 1599, and called Soliman and Perseda. In this piece there is the character of a bragging cowardly knight, called Balilisco. His pretension to valour is so blou n; and feen through, that Piston, a buffoon-fervant in the play, jumps upon his back, and will not disengage him, till he makes Balilisco swear
What! I am dub'd; I have it on my fhoulder.
Lady. Haft thou deny thyself a Faulconbridge ?
Lady. King Richard Caur-de-lion was thy father; By long and vehement suit I was seduc'd To make room for him in my husband's bed : Heaven lay not my transgression to my charge ! Thou art the issue of my dear offence, Which was so ftrongly urg'd, past my defence.
Phil. Now, by this light, were I to get again, Madam, I would not with a better father.
Some fins do bear their privilege on earth, And so doth yours; your fault was not your folly :
upon his dudgeon dagger to the contents, and in the terms he dic
: as, for instance : “ Baf. O, I swear, I swear. “ Pift. By the contents of this blade, “ Baf. By the contents of this blade. " Pift. I, the aforesaid Basilisco. “ Baf. I, the aforesaid Bafilisco, knight, good fellow, knight,
knight " Pift. Knave, good fellow, knave, knave." So that it is clear, our poet is sneering at this play ; and makes Philip, when his mother calls him knave, throw off that reproach by humourously laying claim to his new dignity of knighthood; as Bafilisco arrogantly insists on his title of knight in the passage above quoted. The old play is an execrable bad one; and, I suppose, was sufficiently exploded in the representation : which might make this circumstance to well known, as to become the butt for a stageSarcasm. THEOBALD.
The character of Bafilisco is mentioned in Nash's Have with you to Saffron Walden, &c. printed in 1596. Steevens.
Some fins — ] There are fins, that whatever be determined of them above, are not much censured on carth. Johnson,
Needs must you lay your heart at his dispose',
And they shall say, when Richard me begot,
Before the walls of Angiers in France, Enter Philip king of France, Lewis the dauphin, the arch
duke of Austria, Constance, and Arthur. Lewis. Before Angiers well met, brave Austria, Arthur, that great fore-runner of thy blood, .... 9 Needs
must you lay your heari at his dispose, &c. Against chose fury and unmatched force
The awless lion could not wage the fight, &c.] Shakespeare here alludes to the old metrical romance of Richard Cour de lion, wherein this once celebrated monarch is related to have acquired his distinguishing appellation, by having plucked out a lion's heart to whose fury he was exposed by the duke o Austria, for having flain his fon with a blow of his fiit. From this ancient romance the story has crept into some of our old chronicles : but the original palage may be seen at large in the intro, duction to the third vol. of Reliques of ancient English Poetry.