« AnteriorContinuar »
Their cold intent, tenour and substance, thus :-
Enter a Messenger.
Now, what news? Mess. West of this forest, scarcely off a mile, In goodly form comes on the enemy: And, by the ground they hide, I judge their number Upon, or near, the rate of thirty thousand. Mows. The juft proportion that we gave them
out. Let us fway on,' and face them in the field.
Let us sway on,] I know not that I have ever seen sway in this fenfe; but I believe it is the true word, and was intended to express the uniform and forcible motion of a compact body. There is a sense of the noun in Milton kindred to this, where, speaking of a weighty sword, he says, “ It descends with huge two-handed sway." Johnson.
The word is used in Holinshed, English History, p. 986: “ The left side of the enemy was compelled to sway a good way back, and give ground," &c. 'Again, in King Henry VI. Part III. A II. sc. V:
“ Now fways it this way, like a mightie sea,
“ Now fways it that way,” &c.
Arch. What well-appointed leader 2 fronts us
here? Mows. I think, it is my lord of Westmoreland.
West. Health and fair greeting from our general, The prince, lord John and duke of Lancaster.
ARCH. Say on, my lord of Westmoreland, in peace; What doth concern your coming ? WEST.
Then, my lord, Unto your grace do I in chief address The substance of my speech. If that rebellion Came like itself, in base and abject routs, Led on by bloody youth,guarded with rage, 4
? —well-appointed leader - Well-appointed is completely accoutred. So, in The Miseries of Queen Margaret, by Drayton:
“ Ten thousand valiant, well-appointed men." Again, in The Ordinary, by Cartwright:
-Naked piety “ Dares more, than fury well-appointed." STEEVENS. 3 Led on by bloody youth,] I believe Shakspeare wrote heady youth. WARBURTON.
Bloody youth is only fanguine youth, or youth full of blood, and of those paflions which blood is supposed to incite or nourish. Johnson.
So, The Merry Wives of Windsor : “ Lust is but a bloody fire,” Malone.
-guarded with rage,] Guarded is an expression taken from dress; it means the same as faced, turned up. Mr. Pope, who has been followed by succeeding editors, reads goaded. Guarded is the reading both of quarto and folio. Shakspeare uses the same expression in the former part of this play:
• Velvet guards and Sunday citizens,” &c. Again, in The Merchant of Venice:
Give him a livery
And countenanc'd by boys, and beggary;
hath tutor'd; Whose white investments figure innocence,? The dove and very blessed spirit of peace,
, Wherefore do you so ill translate yourself, Out of the speech of peace, that bears such grace, Into the harsh and boist'rous tongue of war? Turning your books to graves, your ink to blood, ,
Mr. Steevens is certainly right. We have the same allofion in a former part of this play:
“To face the garment of rebellion
“ Of fickle changelings,” &c. So again, in the speech before us :
to dress the ugly form
so appear’d,] Old copies—fo appear. Corrected by Mr. Pope. MALONE.
• Whose fee is by a civil peace maintain'd;] Civil is grave, decent, folemn. So, in Romeo and Juliet :
Come civil night, - Thou sober-suited matron, all in black.” STEEVENS. ? Whose white investments figure innocence,] Formerly, (fays Dr. Hody, History of Convocations, p. 141,) all bishops wore white, even when they travelled. Grey.
By comparing this passage with another in p.91, of Dr. Grey's notes, we learn that the white investment meant the episcopal rochet; and this should be worn by the theatrick archbishop.
TOLLET. 8-graves,] For graves Dr. Warburton very plausibly reads glaives, and is followed by Sir Thomas Hanmer.
Your pens to lances; and your tongue divine
We might perhaps as plausibly read greaves, i:e, armour for the legs, a kind of boots. In one of The Discourses on the Art Military, written by Sir John Smythe, Knight, 1586, greaves are mentioned as necessary to be worn; and Ben Jonson employs the same word in his Hymenæi :
upon their legs they wore filver greaves." Again, in The Four Prentices of London, 1615 :
“ Arm'd with their greaves and maces.” Again, in the second Canto
of The Barons Wars, by Drayton : Marching in greaves, a helmet on her head.” Warner, in his Albion's England, 1602, B. XII. ch. Ixix. spells the word as it is found in the old copies of Shakspeare: “ The tailhes, cushes, and the graves, staff, pensell,
baises, all.” I know not whether it be worth adding, that the ideal metamorphosis of leathern covers of books into greaves, i.e. boots, seems to be more apposite than the conversion of them into instruments of war.
Mr. M. Mason, however, adduces a quotation (from the next scene) which seems to support Dr. Warburton's conjecture : Turning the word to sword, and life to death.”
STEEVENS. The emendation, or rather interpretation, proposed by Mr. Steevens, appears to me extremely probable ; yet a following line, in which the Archbifhop's again addressed, may be urged in favour of glaives, i. e. swords :
Chearing a rout of rebels with your drum,
“ Turning the word to SWORD, and life to death." The latter part of the second of these lines, however, may be adduced in support of graves in its ordinary sense. Mr. Steevens observes, that “the metamorphosis of the leathern covers of books into
greaves, i. e. boots, feems to be more appofite than the conversion of them into such inttruments of war as glaives ;" but surely Shakspeare did not mean, if he wrote either greaves or glaives, that they actually made boots or swords of their books, any more than that they made lances of their pens. The passage already quoted, “ turning the word to sword,” sufficiently proves that he had no such meaning. Malone.
I am afraid that the expression “turning the word to sword," will be found but a feeble support for “ glaives,” if it be confidered as a mere jeu de mots. Douce.
ARCA. Wherefore do I this fo the question
our griefs-] i.e. our grievances. See Vol. X. p. 248, n. 6. MALONE.
And are enforc'd from our most quiet sphere-] In former editions :
And are enforc'd from our most quiet there. This is said in answer to Westmoreland's upbraiding the Archbishop for engaging in a course which so ill became his profeffion :
you, my lord archbishop, “ Whose see is by a civil peace maintain'd;" &c. So that the reply must be this : And are enforc'd from our most quiet sphere.
WARBURTON. The alteration of Dr. Warburton destroys the sense of the passage. There refers to the new channel which the rapidity of the flood from the stream of time would force itself into.