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Eli. There's a good mother, boy, that blots thy father.

Conft. There's a good grandam, boy, that would blot thee.

Auft. Peace!

Faulc. Hear the crier.

Auft. What the devil art thou?

Faule. One that will play the devil, fir, with you,
An a' may catch your hide and you alone.
You are the hare of whom the proverb goes,
Whofe valour plucks dead lions by the beard;
I'll fmoak your fkin-coat, an I catch you right;
Sirrah, look to't; i'faith, I will, i'faith.

Blanch. O, well did he become that lion's robe, That did difrobe the lion of that robe!

Faule. It lies as fightly on the back of him, As great Alcides' fhoes upon an afs :-


• You are the hare,-] So, in the Spanish Tragedy:
"He hunted well that was a lion's death;
"Not he that in a garment wore his skin :

"So bares may pull dead lions by the beard." STEEVENS,
It lies as fightly on the back of him,

As great Alcides' fhoes upon an ass :-]

But why his hoes in the name of propriety? For let Hercules and his hoes have been really as big as they were ever supposed to be, yet they (I mean the hoes) would not have been an overload for an afs. I am perfuaded, I have retrieved the true reading; and let us obferve the juftnefs of the comparifon now. Faulconbridge in his refentment would fay this to Auftria: "That lion's fkin, which my great father king Richard once wore, looks as uncouthly on thy back, as that other noble hide, which was borne by Hercules, would look on the back of an afs." A double allufion was intended; first, to the fable of the afs in the lion's fkin; then Richard L. is finely fet in competition with Alcides, as Auftria is Latirically coupled with the afs. 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 fame occafions. So, in The Ile of Gulls, by J. Day, 1606:


-are as fit, as Hercules's hoe for the foot of a pigmy." Again, in Greene's Epiftle Dedicatory to Perimedes the Blacksmith,

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But, afs, I'll take that burden from your back;
Or lay on that, shall make your fhoulders crack.
Auft. What cracker is this fame, that deafs our ears
With this abundance of fuperfluous breath?
King Lewis, determine what we shall do strait.

K. Philip. Women, and fools, break off your conference.

King John, this is the very fum of all,-
England, and Ireland, Anjou, Touraine, Maine,
In right of Arthur do I claim of thee:

Wilt thou refign them, and lay down thy arms?
K. John. My life as foon :-I do defy thee, France.
Arthur of Bretagne, yield thee to my hand;
And, out of my dear love, I'll give thee more
Than e'er the coward hand of France can win :
Submit thee, boy.

Eli. Come to thy grandam, child.

Conft. Do, child, go to it' grandam, child:
Give grandam kingdom, and it' grandam will
Give it a plum, a cherry, and a fig:
There's a good grandam.

Arth. Good my mother, peace!

I would, that I were low laid in my grave;
I am not worth this coil, that's made for me.

1588: "—and fo leaft I fhould fhape 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' hoe on Achilles' foot." Again, ibid." Hercules hoe will never ferve a child's foot." Again, in Stephen Goffon's School of Abufe, 1579: -- to draw the lyon's skin upon Æsop's affe, 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 obfervable, 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 fpeaker. The fpeech itself, indeed, feems appropriated to the king, and nothing can be inferred from the folio with any certainty, but that the editors of it were carelefs and ignorant.


Eli. His mother fhames 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 fhames, Draw those heaven-moving pearls from his poor eyes, Which heaven fhall take in nature of a fee; Ay, with thefe cryftal beads heaven fhall be brib'd To do him juftice, and revenge on you.

Eli. Thou monftrous flanderer of heaven and earth! Conft. Thou monftrous injurer of heaven and earth! Call not me flanderer; thou, and thine, ufurp The dominations, royalties, and rights, Of this oppreffed boy: This is the eldeft fon's fon, Infortunate in nothing but in thee; Thy fins are vifited in this poor child; The canon of the law is laid on him, Being but the fecond generation Removed from thy fin-conceiving womb. K. John. Bedlam, have done. Conft. I have but this to fay,That he's not only plagued for her fin,

7 I have but this to fay,

That he's not only plagued for her fin,
But, &c.]

This paffage appears to me very obfcure. The chief difficulty arifes from this, that Conftance having told Elinor of her fin-conceiving womb, purfues the thought, and ufes fin through the next lines in an ambiguous fenfe, fometimes for crime, and fometimes for offspring.

He's not only plagued for her fin, &c. He is not only made miferable by vengeance for her fin or crime; but her fin, her offspring, and fhe, are made the inftruments of that vengeance, on this defcendant; who, though of the fecond generation, is plagued for her and with her; to whom he is not only the cause but the infrument of evil.

All the editions read:

The next claufe is more perplexed. -plagu'd for her,


And with her plague her fin; his injury,
Her injury, the beadle to her fin,
All punish'd in the perfon of this child,

I point

But God hath made her fin and her the plague
On this removed iffue, plagu'd for her,
And with her.-Plague her fon; his injury,
Her injury, the beadle to her fin,

All punish'd in the perfon of this child,
And all for her; A plague upon her!
Eli. Thou unadvifed fcold, I can produce

I point thus:

plagu'd for her

And with her.-Plague her fon! his injury
Her injury, the beadle to her fin.

That is; instead of inflicting vengeance on this innocent and remote defcendant, punish her fon, her immediate offspring: then the affliction will fall where it is deserved; his injury will be her injury, and the mifery of her fin; her fon will be a beadle, or chaftifer, to her crimes, which are now all punish'd in the perfon of this child. JOHNSON.

Mr. Roderick reads:

-plagu'd for her,

And with her plagu’d; her fin, his injury. We may read :

this I have to fay,
That he's not only plagued for her fin,
But God hath made her fin and her the plague
On this removed issue, plagu'd for her;
And, with her fin, her plague, bis injury
Her injury, the beadle to her fin.

i.e God hath made ber and her fin together, the plague of her mot remote defcendants, who are plagued for her; the fame power hath likewife made her fin her own plague, and the injury fhe has done to him her own injury, as a beadle to lafh that fin. i. e. Providence has fo order'd it, that the who is made the inftrument of punishment to another, has, in the end, converted that other into an inftrument of punishment for herself. STEEVENS.

Conftance obferves that he (ifte, pointing to King John, "whom from the flow of gall fhe names not") is not only plagued [with the prefent war] for his mother's fin, but God hath made her fin and her the plague alfo on this removed iffue, Arthur, plagued on her account, and by the means of her finful offspring, whose injury [the ufurpation of Arthur's rights] may be confidered as her injury, or the injury of her fin-conceiving womb; and John's injury may alfo be confidered as the beadle or officer of correction employed by her crimes to inflict all these punishments on the perfon of this child. TOLLET.

A will,

A will, that bars the title of thy fon.

Conft. Ay, who doubts that? a will! a wicked will;

A woman's will; a cankred grandam's will!

K. Phil. Peace, lady; paufe, or be more temperate : It ill befeems this prefence, to cry aim

To thefe ill-tuned repetitions.-
Some trumpet fummon hither to the walls
Thefe men of Angiers; let us hear them fpeak,
Whose title they admit, Arthur's, or John's.

[Trumpets found.

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Enter Citizens upon the walls.

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 fubjects,— K. Phil. You loving men of Angiers, Arthur's fubjects,

Our trumpet call'd you to this gentle parle.

It ill befeems this prefence, to cry aim
To thefe ill-tuned repetitions.]

Dr. Warburton has well obferved on one of the former plays, that to cry aim is to encourage. I once thought it was borrowed from archery; and that aim! having been the word of command, as we now fay prefent! 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 eafily pronouncing Fe, funk into aime or aim. Our exclamations of applause are still borrowed, as bravo and encore. JOHNSON.

Dr. Johnfon's first thought, I believe, is beft. 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 Windfor, act II. fcene the laft, where Ford fays: and to these violent proceedings all my neighbours shall cry aim." See the note on that paffage.


K. John

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