Imagens das páginas
[ocr errors]

Shall, for my legacy, be sanctified
By the luckiest stars in heaven: and, would your

But give me leave to try success, I'd venture
The well-lost life of mine on his grace's cure,
By such a day, and hour.

Dost thou believe't?
HEL. Ay, madam, knowingly.
Count. Why, Helen, thou shalt have my leave,

and love, Means, and attendants, and my loving greetings To those of mine in court; I'll stay at home, And pray

God's blessing into thy attempt :Be gone to-morrow; and be sure of this, What I can help thee to, thou shalt not miss.


There's something hints
More than my father's skill,-

that his good receipt i. e. I have a secret premonition, or presage. WARBURTON. This necessary correction was made by Sir Thomas Hanmer.

MALONE. into thy attempt :] So in the old copy. We might more intelligibly read, according to the third folio,-unto thy attempt. STEEVENS.



Paris. A Room in the King's Palace.

Flourish.' Enter King, with young Lords taking

leave for the Florentine war; BERTRAM, PaROLLES, and Attendants.

KING. Farewell, young lord, these warlike prin

ciples Do not throw from you :-and you, my lord,

farewell : 6_
Share the advice betwixt you; if both gain all,
The gift doth stretch itself as 'tis receiv'd,
And is enough for both.

thus :

[ocr errors]

* Farewell, &c.] In all the latter copies these lines stood

Farewell, young lords; these warlike principles
Do not throw from you. You, my lords, farewell ;
Share the advice betwixt you ; if both again,

The gift doth stretch itself as 'tis receiv'd.
The third line in that state was unintelligible. Sir Thomas
Hanmer reads thus:

Farewell, young lord: these warlike principles
Do not throw from you; you, my lord, farewell ;
Share the advice betwixt you: If both gain, well!
The gift doth stretch itself as ?tis receiv’d,

And is enough for both. The first edition, from which the passage is restored, was sufficiently clear; yet it is plain, that the latter editors preferred a reading which they did not understand. Johnson.

6 and you, my lord, farewell :] The old copy, both in this and the following instance, reads-lords. STEEVENS.

It does not any where appear that more than two. French lords (besides Bertram) went to serve in Italy; and therefore, I think, the King's speech should be corrected thus :


It is our hope, sir,
After well-enter'd soldiers, to return
And find your grace in health.

King. No, no, it cannot be; and yet my heart
Will not confess he owes the malady
That doth my life besiege. Farewell, young lords;
Whether I live or die, be you the sons
Of worthy Frenchmen: let higher Italy
(Those 'bated, that inherit but the fall
Of the last monarchy,) see, that you come
Not to woo honour, but to wed it; 8 when

Farewell, young lord; these warlike principles

Do not throw from you ; and you, my lord, farewell ; what follows, shows this correction to be necessary; Share the advice betwixt you ; if both gain all, &c.

TYRWHITT. Tyrwhitt's emendation is clearly right. Advice is the only thing that may be shared between two, and yet both gain all.

M. Mason. and yet my heart Will not confess he owes the malady

That doth my life besiege.] i. e. as the common phrase runs, I am still heart-whole; my spirits, by not sinking under my distemper, do not acknowledge its influence. Steevens.

let higher Italy
(Those 'bated, that inherit but the fall

Of the last monarchy,) see, &c.] The ancient geographers have divided Italy into the higher and the lower, the Apennine hills being a kind of natural line of partition ; the side next the Adriatic was denominated the higher Italy, and the other side the lower : and the two seas followed the same terms of distinction, the Adriatic being called the upper Sea, and the Tyrrhene or Tuscan the lower. Now the Sennones, or Senois, with whom the Florentines are here supposed to be at war, inhabited the higher Italy, their chief town being Arminium, now called Rimini, upon the Adriatic. HANMER. Italy, at the time of this scene, was under three very

different tenures. The emperor, as successor of the Roman emperors, had one part; the pope, by a pretended donation from Constantine, another; and the third was composed of free states..

The bravest questant shrinks, find what you seek,

Now by the last monarchy is meant the Roman, the last of the four general monarchies. Upon the fall of this monarchy, in the scramble, several cities set up for themselves, and became free states: now these might be said properly to inherit the fall of the monarchy. This being premised, let us now consider sense. The King says higher Italy ;-giving it the rank of preference to France; but he corrects himself, and says, I except those from that precedency, who only inherit the fall of the last monarchy; as all the little petty states; for instance, Florence, to whom these volunteers were going. As if he had said, I give the place of honour to the emperor and the pope, but not to the free states. WARBURTON. Sir T. Hanmer reads:

Those bastards that inherit, &c. with this note :

“ Reflecting upon the abject and degenerate condition of the cities and states which arose out of the ruins of the Roman empire, the last of the four great monarchies of the world.”

Dr. Warburton's observation is learned, but rather too subtle; Sir Thomas Hanmer's alteration is merely arbitrary. The passage is confessedly obscure, and therefore I may offer another explanation. I am of opinion that the epithet higher is to be understood of situation rather than of dignity. The sense may then be this : Let upper Italy, where you are to exercise your valour, see that you come to gain honour, to the abatement, that is, to the disgrace and depression of those that have now lost their ancient military fame, and inherit but the fall of the last monarchy. To abate is used by Shakspeare in the original sense of abatre, to depress, to sink, to deject, to subdue. So, in Coriolanus :

till ignorance deliver you,
“ As most abated captives to some nation

That won you without blows." And bated is used in a kindred sense in The Merchant of Venice :

in a bondman's key, “ With bated breath, and whisp'ring humbleness.” The word has still the same meaning in the language of the law. JOHNSON.

In confirmation of Johnson's opinion, that higher relates to situation, not to dignity, we find, in the third scene of the fourth Act, that one of the Lords says: “ What will Count Rousillon do then? will he travel higher, or return again to France ?” M. Mason.

That fame may cry you loud:' I say,

farewell. 2 LORD. Health, at your bidding, serve your

majesty! King. Those girls of Italy, take heed of them; They say, our French lack language to deny, If they demand : beware of being captives, Before you serve."

Вотн. . Our hearts receive your warnings. King. Farewell. Come hither to me.

[The King retires to a couch. 1 LORD. O my sweet lord, that you

will hind us! PAR. 'Tis not his fault; the spark2 LORD.

O, 'tis brave wars ! PAR. Most admirable: I have seen those wars. BER. I am commanded here, and kept a coil

with; Too young, and the next year, and 'tis too early. PAR. An thy mind stand to it, boy, steal away

bravely. BER. I shall stay here the forehorse to a smock,

stay be

Those 'bated may here signify “ those being taken away or excepted." Bate, thus contracted, is in colloquial language still used with this meaning. This parenthetical sentence implies no more than they excepted who possess modern Italy, the remains of the Roman empire. 'HOLT WHITE.

9 That fame may cry you loud :] So, in Troilus and Cressida :

- fame with her loud'st O yes, “ Cries, This is he." STEEVENS. - beware of being captives,

Before you serve.] The word serve is equivocal ; the sense is, Be not captives before you serve in the war. Be not captives before you are soldiers. Johnson.


« AnteriorContinuar »