« AnteriorContinuar »
Bast. Art thou gone so? I do but stay behind With other princes that may best be spar'd, To do the office for thee of revenge ;
Shall wait upon your father's funeral. And then my soul shall wait on thee to heaven, P. Hen. At Worcester must his body be As it on earth hath been thy servant still.
interr'd; (4) Now, now, you stars, that move in your right For so he will'd it. spheres,
Thither shall it then. Where be your powers ? Shew now your mended And happily may your sweet self put on
The lineal state and glory of the land ! And instantly return with me again,
To whom, with all submission, on my knee, To push destruction, and perpetual shame, I do bequeath my faithful services Out of the weak door of our fainting land : And true subjection everlastingly. Straight let us seek, or straight we shall be sought; SAL. And the like tender of our love we make, The Dauphin rages at our very heels.
To rest without a spot for evermore. SAL. It seems, you know not then so much as we: P. HEN. I have a kind soul, that would give The cardinal Pandulph is within at rest,
you* thanks, Who half an hour since came from the Dauphin ; And knows not how to do it, but with tears. And brings from him such offers of our peace Bast. O, let us pay the time but needful woe, As we with honour and respect may take,
Since it hath been beforehand with our griefs.With purpose presently to leave this war.
This England never did, nor never shall, Bast. He will the rather do it, when he sees Lie at the proud foot of a conqueror, Ourselves well sinewed to our defence.
But when it first did help to wound itself. SAL. Nay, 'tis in a manner done already; Now these her princes are come home again, For many carriages he hath dispatch'd
Come the three corners of the world in arms, To the sea-side, and put his cause and quarrel And we shall shock them. Nought shall make us To the disposing of the cardinal;
rue, With whom yourself, myself, and other lords, If England to itself do rest but true. (5) [Exeunt.
think meet, this afternoon will post To consummate this business happily.
a That would give you thanks,-) The word you, which is Bast. Let it be so. And you,
my noble prince, wanting in the original, was supplied by Rowe.
(1) SCENE I.
With that half-face would he have all my land :
A half-fac'd groat, five hundred pound a-year /] The old text, which has “with half that face," was corrected by Theobald. Half-faced groat appears to have been a popular epithet for a meagre visage ; and was derived from the issue of groats by Henry VII., which, in opposition to the general coinage, bore a half-face, or profile, instead of a full-face. Steevens quotes a passage from “The Downfall of Robert Earl of Huntingdon," 1601, where we meet the same allusion :
"You half-fac'd groat, you thick-cheek'd chitty face." (2) SCENE I. That in mine ear I durst not stick a rose,
Lest men should say, Look, where three farthings goes.] In his chapter “On the Coines of England,” Holinshed tells us that, after the death of Mary, “The ladie Elizabeth her sister, and now our most gratious queene, sovereigne and princesse, did finish the matter wholie, utterly abolishing the use of copper and brasen coine, and converting the same into guns and great ordinance, she restored sundrie coines of fine silver, as peeces of halfepenie farding, of a penie, of three halfe pence, peeces of two pence, of three pence, of foure pence (called the groat), of six pence, usuallie named the testone, and shilling of twelve pence, whereon she hath imprinted her owne image, and emphatical superscription.”
The silver three-farthings was, of course, very thin; and as with the profile of the sovereign it bore the emblem of a rose, its similitude to a weazen-faced beau with that flower stuck in his ear, according to a courtly fashion of Shakespeare's day, is sufficiently intelligible and humorous. (3) SCENE I.
Now, your traveller, — He and his tooth-pick at my worship's mess.] We may readily believe that in an "age of newly-excited curiosity," as Dr. Johnson describes it, when intelligence was transmitted with incredible slowness and uncertainty, the company of a travelled man, conversant with the manners and languages of foreign countries, must have been eagerly sought after. The craving, indeed, for such society appears to have been carried at one time to so extravagant a pitch that there are good grounds for believing & professed traveller, engaged to relate his adventures, formed a not unfrequent source of entertainment at the dinner-table of the opulent. The writers of the period abound in allusions, invariably sarcastic, to this Tom Odcomb tribe. According to them, your professed traveller was the synonyme for a formal, mendacious coxcomb. Thus, in Marlowe's “Edward II.” Act I, Sc. 1, Gaveston asks one of the "three poor men :' “What art thou !
Man. A traveller.
To wait at my trencher, and tell me lies at dinner time." So, too, in Jonson's “Cynthia's Revels,” Act II, Sc. 1, (Gifford's Edition :)
“He that is with him is Amorphus, a traveller, one so made out of the mixture of shreds of forms that himself is truly deform'd. He walks most commonly with a clove or pick-tooth in his mouth. * * * He will lie cheaper than any beggar, and louder than most clocks." Overbury, in his "Characters," has hit off the ridiculous peculiarities of “An Affectate Traveller" with his accustomed penetration : not omitting, any more than Shakespeare or Jonson, who, in such portraiture, omit nothing, the indispensable tooth-pick :
“ His attire speakes French or Italian, and his gate cries, Behold me. He censures all things by countenances, and shrugs and speakes his own language with shame and lis ping: he will choake, rather than confess beere good drinke; and his pick-tooth is a maine part of his behaviour."
(4) SCENE I.--Knight, knight, good mother,—Basiliscolike.] A satirical reference to the old play of “Soliman and Perseda,” in one scene of which the clownish servant, Piston, springs on the back of a certain swaggering, cowardly knight, called Basilisco, and compels him to swear as he dictates :
“ Bas. O, I swear, I swear.
Bas. I, the aforesaid Basilisco,-knight, good fellow, knight, knight,
Pist. Knave, good fellow, knave, knave." For the episode of the brothers Faulconbridge, appealing to the king to decide upon their respective right to old Sir Robert's estate, as, indeed, for nearly every other incident in the play, Shakespeare is indebted to Troublesome Raigne of King John.” Malone had the temerity to assert, and his dictum has been taken for granted by the critics since, that, “ In expanding the character of the Bastard, Shakspeare seems to have procoeded on the following slight hint in the original play :
• Near them, a bastard of the king's deceas'd,
A hardie wild-head, rough and venturous."" How far this statement is justifiable, let the reader determine after perusing only a few extracts from the earlier work. In the parallel scene, King John decrees that the paternity of Philip shall be determined by his mother and himself; the mother, on being questioned, declares his father was Sir Robert Faulconbridge ; whereupon the king
“Aske Philip whose sonne he is.
Essex. Philip, who was thy father?
Philip. Mas my lord and that's a question : and you had not Taken some paines with her before, I should have desired You to aske my mother.
John. Say, who was thy father?
Philip. Faith (my lord) to answere you, sure hee is my Father that was neerest my mother when I was begotten, And him I think to be Sir Robert Fauconbridge.
John. Essex, for fashions sake demand agen,
Robert. Was ever man thus wrongd as Robert is ? *
Quo me rapit tempestas !
thoughts ywrapt in honors heaven?
No, keepe thy land, though Richard were thy sire,
John. Speake man, be sodaine, who thy father was.
(5) SCENE I.--Compare the corresponding passage in the old play, beginning,
“Then Robin Fauconbridge I wish thee joy,
My sire a king, and I a landlesse boy," &c.
(1) SCENE I.–Richard, that robb'd the lion of his heart.] Cuckoo so long, that it's had it head bit off by it young,' The exploit by which this pattern of chivalry was supposed (that is, that it has had its head,--not that it had its head, to have acquired his distinguishing appellation, Cour-de- as the modern editors give the passage, after the Second lion, is related in the ancient metrical romance which bears Folio, in which it stands, that it had its head bit off by it his name : * and from thence was probably transferred into young.' So likewise, long before its was generally received, our old chronicles :-" It is sayd that á lyon was put to we have it self commonly printed in two words, evidently Kynge Richarde beynge in prison to have devoured him, under the impression that it was a possessive, of the same and when the lyon was gapynge he put his arme in his syntactical force with the pronouns in my self, your self, her mouth and pulled the lyon by the harte so harde, that he self."- The English of Shakespeare, &ő., by GEORGE L. slew the lyon, and therefore some say he is called Rycharde CRAIK, &c. &c. Cure de Lyon : but some say he is called Cure dě Lyon, because of his boldenesse and hardy stomake.”-RASTALL'S (4) SCENE I. Chronicle.
Be pleased then
To pay that duty, which you truly owe, (2) SCENE I.
To him that owes it.]
In this passage the verb to owe is used both in its current
acceptation, to be indebted, and in the sense which it reThe old text has shoes, instead of shows ; and the com- peatedly bears in Shakespeare and his contemporaries of mentators have produced a formidable array of instances in our old comedies where the shoes of Hercules are men
“To him that owes it"tioned. Notwithstanding these, I feel persuaded that the allusion, as Theobald pointed out, is to the fable of the
“To him that it belongs to." ass in the lion's skin. Shoe and show were often spelt Owe, when used for own, generally implies absolute posalike :
session. Thus, in “Othello," Act fil. Śc. 3 :-
Not poppy, nor mandragora,
Nor all the drowsy syrups of the world,
Shall ever medicine thee to that sweet sleep
Which thou owed 'st yesterday.” (3) SCENE I.
That is, which thou possessed, or which was thy property, Do, child, go to it grandame, child;
yesterday. So, also, in “ The Two Gentlemen of Verona,"
Act V. Sc. 2:
“ Thu. Considers she my possessions ! " Mr. Guost (Phil. Pro.' I. 280) has observed that, in the
Pro. 0, ay; and pities them. dialects of the North-Wostern Counties, formerly it was
Thu. Wherefore? sometimes used for its ; and that, accordingly, we have not
Jul. That such an ass should owe them." only in Shakespeare's 'King John,' 'Goe to yt grandame, childe **** and it grandame will giue yt a plum,' but, in
(5) SCENE II.- Do like the mutines of Jerusalem.) Mutines
for mutineers. An allusion to the combination of the civil Ben Jonson's 'Silent Woman,' II. 3, 'It knighthood and it friends.' So in ‘Lear,' I. 4, we have, in a speech of the
factions in Jerusalem when the city was threatened by
Titus. Malone thinks it probable that Shakespeare derived Fool, ‘For you know, Nunckle, the Hedge-Sparrow fed the the reference from Joseph Ben Gorion's “History of the
Latter Times of the Jewes Common-Weale,” translated + See WEBER'S Metrical Romances, ii. 44.
from Hebrew into English by Peter Morwyn, 1575.
Kynge Johan, a Play in two Parts, &c. &c., by John Bale. Printed
for the Camden Society, from the MS. of the author in the library of the Duke of Devonshire.
(4) SCENE II.—Some airy devil hovers in the sky.] The demonologists distributed their good and evil spirits into many divisions and subordinations, each class having its peculiar attributes and functions. Of the Sublunary devils, Burton tells us,
"Psellus makes six kinds : fiery, aeriall, terrestiall, watery, and subterranean devils, besides those faieries, satyres, nymphs," &c.
"Fiery spirits or devills, are such as commonly worke by blazing starres, fire-drakes, or ignes fatui ; * *.*' * likewise they counterfeit sunnes and moones, stars oftentimes, and sit on ship masts," &c. &c.
“ Aeriall spirits or devils, such as keep quarter most part in the aire, cause many tempests, thunder and lightnings, teare oakes, fire steeples, houses, strike men and beasts, make it raine stones, as in Livy's time, woole, frogs, &c. * * * * These can corrupt the aire, and cause plagues, sicknesse, storms, shipwrecks, fires, inundations," &c. &c.
BURTON's Anatomie of Melancholy, P. I. Sc. II.
(1) SCENE I.
I will instruct my sorrows to be proud,
For grief is proud, and makes his owner stout.] This passage has long been, and will long continue to be, a torment to critics. The old text reads,“ makes his owner stoope.” Hanmer first proposed the substitution of stout for stoope; and he has been generally, but not invariably, followed by the other editors. I must confess, despite the elaborato defence of the ancient reading by Malone, and its adoption by Messrs. Collier and Knight, that stoop appears to me entirely inconsistent both with the context and with the subsequent language and demeanour of Lady Constance before the Kings of France and England. Shakespeare, I conceive, intended to express the very natural sentiment, that grief is proud, and renders its possessor proud also; but wishing to avoid the repotition of proud, which had been introduced twice immediately before, he adopted a word, stout, which was commonly used in the same sense.
The argument that in other passages of these plays the effect of grief is to deject and dishearten has been so admirably answered by Dr. Johnson, that it would be presumptuous to add anything to a criticism so discriminative and profound. “In Much Ado About Nothing,' the father of Hero, depressed by her disgrace, declares himself so subdued by grief that a thread may lead him. How is it that grief, in Leonato and Lady Constance, produces effects directly opposite, and yet both agreeable to nature ? Sorrow softens the mind while yet it is warmed by hope; but hardens it when it is congealed by despair. Distress, while there remains any prospect of relief, is weak and flexible; but when no succour remains, is fearless and stubborn : angry alike at those that injure, and at those that do not help; careless to please where nothing can be gained, and fearless to offend when there is nothing further to be dreaded. Such was this writer's knowledge of the passions !"
(2) SCENE I.- Lymoges ! 0 Austria /] Historically, these titles indicate two distinct personages. The one, Leopold Duke of Austria, by whom Richard Cour-de-Lion was imprisoned in the year 1193; and the other, Vidomar, Viscount of Limoges, before whose Castle of Chaluz, in 1199, the King was wounded by an archer, one Bertrand de Gourdon, of which wound he died. The author of the old play ascribes the death of Richard to the Duke of Austria, uniting in his person both the well-known enemies of the lion-hearted Monarch, and Shakespeare has followed him. (3) SCENE I.
And meritorious shall that hand be calld,
Thy hateful life.] The similar denunciation from “The Troublesome Raigne," &c., which was the model of this play, is given in the Preliminary Notice; but there is a still older dramatic piece entitled “Kynge Johan," written by Bishop Bale, wherein the sentence of excommunication pronounced by the Pope upon the contumacious monarch is far more curious and circumstantial ;“Por as moch as Kyng Johan doth Holy Church so handle,
(5) SCENE II.
Austria's head, lie there ; While Philip breathes.] Shakespeare follows the old play in making the Bastard kill Austria to revenge the death of Cour-de-Lion :
“ Thus hath K. Richards son performed his vowes,
And offred Austria's blood for his sacrifice
Unto his father's everliving soule." According to history, it was the Viscount of Lymoges who was slain by Philip :-"The same yere, Philip bastard sonne to King Richard, to whome his father had given the castell and honor of Coinacke, killed the Vicount of Limoges, in revenge of his father's death, who was slaine (as yee have heard) in besieging the castell of Chalus Cheverell.”-HOLINSHED, under the year 1199.
(6) SCENE III.
If the midnight bell
Sound one into the drowsy ear of night.]
" Sound on into the drowsy race of night." The main pose in this troublesome passage is the word race: on was so frequently printed for one, both in these plays and in other books of the period, that there is great probability of its being so here; and into was often used formerly where we now employ unto: but race must be a corruption. What is meant by “the drowsy race ?" I, at one time, conjectured that race was a misprint, by transposition of the letters, for carr, or carre, and that the
Sound on" might be applicable to “Night's black chariot:"
Here I do curse hym wyth crosse, boke, bell and candle.
burnyng flame goth from this candle in syght,
“ All drowsy night who in a car of jet
drawn through the sky."
BROWNE's Britannia's Pastorals. B. II. Song 1. I am now, however, firmly assured that it is a corruption of eare, a word which occurred to me many years ago, as it did to Mr. Dyce, Mr. Collier, and no doubt to a hundred people besides. It has been suggested that the "midnight bell” might mean the bell which summoned the monks to prayer at that time, and that the “Sound on” referred to repeated strokes rather than to the hour of one proclaimed elements.
by the clock; but is there not something infinitely more silence here described as so propitious to the dreadful purawful and impressive in the idea of the solemn, single, poses of the King. Though the hour of one be not the boom of a church clock, knelling the death of time, and natural midnight, it is yet the most solemn moment of the startling the hushed and drowsy ear of Night, than in the poetical one; and Shakespeare himself has chosen to inclangour of a whole peal of bells? Steevens thought so:- troduce his Ghost in Hamlet, — "The repeated strokes have less of solemnity than the single notice, as they take from the horror and awful
• The bell then beating one.'"
(1) SCENE I.
Silence! no more. Go closely in with me;
Much danger do I undergo for thee. (Exeunt.] Let the reader who would appreciate in some degree the infusive, enriching faculty which Shakespeare possessed -marvellous almost as his wisdom, and creative power, compare the foregoing scene with its original in the old drama : “ Enter Arthur to Hubert de Burgh.
[They issue forth.
* Hubert, these are to commaund thee, as thou tendrest our quiet in minde, and the estate of our person, that presently upon the receipt of our commaund, thou put out the eies of Arthur Plantaginet!'
Arthur. Ah monstrous damned man! his very breath infects the
Contagious venome dwelleth in his heart,