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Eli. There's a good mother, boy, that blots thy
father. Conft. There's a good grandam, boy, that would
Faule. One that will play the devil, sir, with you,
Blanch. O, well did he become that lion's robe, That did disrobe the lion of that robe !
Fauli. It lies as sightly on the back of him, As great Alcides' shoes upon an ass :
But, 4 You are the hare, -] So, in the Sparish Tragedy :
" He hunted well that was a lion's death;
“ So hares may pull dead lions by the beard.” STEEVENS, s It lies as hightly on the back of bim,
As great Alcides' shoes upon an ass : -] But why his shoes in the name of propriety? For let Hercules and his shoes have been really as big as they were ever supposed to be, yet they (I mean the shoes) would not have been an overload for an ass. I am persuaded, I have retrieved the true reading; and let us observe the juftness of the comparison now. Faulconbridge in his resentment would say this to Austria : “ That lion's skin, which my great father king Richard once wore, looks as uncouthiy on thy back, as that other noble hide, which was borne by Hercules, would look on the back of an afs.” A double allusion was intended; first, to the fable of the ass in the lion's kin; then Richard I. is finely set in competition with Alcides, as Austria is Latirically coupled with the ass. THEOBALD. Mr. Theobald had the art of making the most of his discoveries,
JOHNSON The shoes of Hercules are more than once introduced in the old comedies on much the same occasions. So, in The Isle of Gulls, by J. Day, 1606:
-are as fit, as Hercules's shoe for the foot of a pigmy." Again, in Greene's Epittle Dedicatory to Perimedes the Blacksmith,
But, ass, I'll take that burden from your back;
Auft. What cracker is this same, that deafs our ears
ference. King John, this is the very sumn of all;— England, and Ireland, Anjou, Touraine, Maine, In right of Arthur do I claim of thee : Wilt thou resign them, and lay down thy arms ?
K. John. My life as foon :- I do defy thee, France,
Eli. Come to thy grandam, child.
. Do, child, go to it' grandam, child:
Arth. Good my mother, peace !
1588: “ — and fo least I should shape Hercules' shoe for a child's foot, I commend your worship to the Almighty.” Again, in Greene's Penelope's Web, 1601 : “ I will not make a long harvest for a small crop, nor go about to pull a Hercules' shoe on Achilles' foot.” Again, ibid. “ Hercules' Boe will never ferve a child's foot." Again, in Stephen Goffon's School of Abuse, 1579: draw the lyon's skin upon Æsop's asse, or Hercules' shoes on a childes feete." STEEVENS.
6 King Lewis,-) Thus the folio. The modern editors read -Philip, which appears to be right. It is however observable, that the answer is given in the old copy to Lewis, as if the dauphin, who was afterwards Lewis VIII. was meant to have been the speaker. The speech itself, indeed, seems appropriated to the king, and nothing can be inferred from the folio with any certainty, but that the editors of it were careless and ignorant.
Eli. His mother Thames him fo, poor boy, he
weeps. Conft. Now Thame upon you, whe'r she does, or no! His grandam's wrongs, and not his mother's shames, Draw those heaven-moving pearls from his poor eyes, Which heaven shall take in nature of a fee; Ay, with these crystal beads heaven shall be bribd To do him justice, and revenge on you.
Eli. Thou monstrous flanderer of heaven and earth!
Const. Thou monstrous injurer of heaven and earth! Call not me Nanderer; thou, and thine, usurp The dominations, royalties, and rights, Of this opprefled boy : This is the eldest son's son, Infortunate in nothing but in thee; Thy fins are visited in this poor child ; The canion of the law is laid on him, Being but the second generation Removed from thy sin-conceiving womb.
K. John. Bedlanı, have done.
Const. ? I have but this to say,-
7 I have but this to say, –
That he's not only plagued for her fin,
But, &c.] This paliage appears to- me very obscure. The chief difficulty arises from this, that Constance having told Elinor of her fin-conceiving womb, pursues the thought, and uses fin through the next lines in an ambiguous fente, sometimes for crime, and fometimes for offspring,
He's not only plagued for her fin, &c. He is not only made miserable by vengeance for her fin or crime; but her fin, her offspring, and she, are made the instruments of that vengeance, on this defcendant; who, though of the second generation, is plagued for her and with ber; to whom the is not only the cause but the inNrument of evil. The next clause is more perplexed. All the editions read :
-plagu'd for her,
But God hath made her fin and her the plague
I point thus :
Her injury, the beadle to her fin. That is ; instead of inflicting vengeance on this innocent and remote descendant, punish her son, her immediate offspring: then the affliction will fall where it is deserved; bis injury will be her injury, and the misery of her fin; her son will be a beadle, or chastiler, to her crimes, which are now all punish'd in the person of this child. JOHNSON. Mr. Roderick reads :
-plagu'd for her,
this I have to say, -
Her injury, the beadle to her fin. ie God hath made ber and her fin together, the plague of her most remote descendants, who are plagued for her ; the same power hath likewise made her fin her own plague, and the injury She has done to bim her own injury, as a beadle to last that fin, i.e. Providence has so order'd it, that Me who is made the instrument of punishment to another, has, in the end, converted that other into an instrument of punishment for herself. STEEVENS.
Constance observes that he (ifte, pointing to King John, “whom from the flow of gall the names nor") is not only plagued (with the present war] for his mother's fin, but God hath made her fin and her the plague also on this removed issue, Arthur, plagued on her account, and by the means of her finful offspring, whose injury (the usurpation of Arthur's rights) may be considered as her injury, or the injury of her fin-conceiving womb; and John's injury may also be considered as the beadle or officer of correction employed by her crimes to inflict all these punishments on the person of this child. TOLLET,
A will, A will, that bars the title of thy son.
Conft. Ay, who doubts that? a will! a wicked
A woman's will; a cankred grandam's will !
K. Phil. Peace, lady; pause, or be more temperate : $ It ill beseems this presence, to cry aim To these ill-tuned repetitions.Some trumpet summon hither to the walls These men of Angiers ; let us hear them speak, Whose title they admit, Arthur's, or John's.
Enter Citizens upon the walls. i Cit. Who is it, that hath warn'd us to the walls? K. Phil. "Tis France, for England.
K. John. England, for itself: You men of Angiers, and my loving subjects, ·K. Phil. You loving men of Angiers, Arthur's sub
jects, Our trumpet calld you to this gentle parle.
& It ill beseems this presence, to cry aim
To these ill-tuned repetitions.] Dr. Warburton has well observed on one of the former plays, that to cry aim is to encourage. I once thought it was borrowed from archery; and that ain? having been the word of command, as we now say present! to cry aim had been to incite notice, or raise attention. But I rather think, that the old word of applause was J'aime, I love it, and that to applaud was to cry J'aime, which the English, not easily pronouncing Je, funk into aime or aim. Our exclamations of applause are still borrowed, as bravo and encore. Johns
Dr. Johnfon's first thought, I believe, is best. So, in Beaumont and Fletcher's Love's Cure, or The Martial Maid:
Can I cry aim “ To this against myself?”. So, in our author's Merry Wives of Windsor, act II. scene the last, where Ford says: “ and to these violent proceedings all my neighbours Thall cry aim." See the note on that passage.