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For hear her but exampled by herself,-
* Quarto, Whom like a caytiffe she did leade to France.
8 And make YOUR chronicle as rich with praise, &c.] The similitude between the chronicle and the sea consists only in this, that they are both full, and filled with something valuable. The quarto has your, the folio their chronicle.
Your and their, written by contraction yr, are just alike, and her, in the old hands, is not much unlike yr. I believe we should read her chronicle. JOHNSON.
Your chronicle means, I think, the chronicle of your kingdom, England. MALONE.
and SUMLESS treasuries.] The quartos, 1600 and 1608,
and shipless treasury." STEEVENS.
West. But there's a saying, &c.] This speech, which is dissuasive of war with France, is absurdly given to one of the churchmen in confederacy to push the king upon it, as appears by the first scene of this Act. Besides, the poet had here an eye to Hall, who gives this observation to the Duke of Exeter. But the editors have made Ely and Exeter change sides, and speak one another's speeches for this, which is given to Ely, is Exeter's; and the following given to Exeter, is Ely's. WARBURTON.
This speech is given in the folio to the Bishop of Ely. But it appears from Holinshed, (whom our author followed,) and from Hall, that these words were the conclusion of the Earl of Westmoreland's speech; to whom, therefore, I have assigned them. In the quarto Lord only is prefixed to this speech. Dr. Warburton and the subsequent editors attributed it to Exeter, but certainly without propriety; for he, on the other hand, maintained that "he whiche would Scotland winne, with France must first beginne." MALONE.
For once the eagle England being in prey,
EXE. It follows then, the cat must stay at home: Yet that is but a curs'd necessity*:
2 If that you will France win, &c.] Hall's Chronicle, Hen. V. year 2, fol. 7, (p. 2,) x. POPE.
It is likewise found in Holinshed, and in the old anonymous play of King Henry V. STEEVENS.
3 TO SPOIL and havock more than she can eat.] It is not much the quality of the mouse to tear the food it comes at, but to run over it and defile it. The old quarto reads, spoile; and the two first folios, tame: from which last corrupted word, I think, I have retrieved the poet's genuine reading, taint. THEobald.
4 Yet that is but a CURS'D necessity;] So, the old quarto . The folios read crush'd: neither of the words convey any tolerable idea; but give us a counter-reasoning, and not at all pertinent. We should read-"'scus'd necessity." It is Exeter's business to show there is no real necessity for staying at home: he must therefore mean, that though there be a seeming necessity, yet it is one that may be well excus'd and got over. WARBURTON.
Neither the old readings nor the emendation seem very satisfactory. "A curs'd necessity" has no sense; a 'scus'd necessity" is so harsh that one would not admit it, if any thing else can be found. "A crush'd necessity" may mean a necessity which is subdued and overpowered by contrary reasons.' We might read-" a crude necessity," a necessity not complete, or not well considered and digested; but it is too harsh.
Sir T. Hanmer reads:
"Yet that is not o' course a necessity." JOHNSON. "A curs'd necessity" means, I believe, only an unfortunate necessity. Curs'd, in colloquial phrase, signifies any thing unfortunate. So we say, such a one leads a cursed life; another has got into a cursed scrape. It may mean, a necessity to be execrated.
This vulgarism is often used by Sir Arthur Gorges, in his translation of Lucan, 1614. So, book vii. p. 293:
"His cursed fortune he condemned."
Since we have locks to safeguard necessaries,
Again, in Chapman's translation of the 5th Odyssey: while thus discourse he held,
"A curs'd surge 'gainst a cutting rock impell'd
Mr. M. Mason justly observes that this interpretation, though perhaps the true one, does not agree with the context; [Yet that is but an unfortunate necessity, since we, &c.] and therefore proposes to read—
"Yet that is not a curs'd necessity."
But and not are so often confounded in these plays, that I think his conjecture extremely probable. See vol. xiv. p. 92, n. 5. It is certainly (as Dr. Warburton has observed) the speaker's business to show that there is no real necessity for staying at home.
5 And PRETTY traps-] Thus the old copy; but I believe we should read petty.
Pretty, however, is a term colloquially employed by our author in Romeo and Juliet:
my daughter's of a pretty age." STEEVENS.
6 For GOVERNMENT, though HIGH, and Low, and LOWER,] The foundation and expression of this thought seems to be borrowed from Cicero, De Republica, lib. ii. Sic ex summis, et mediis, et infimis interjectis ordinibus, ut sonis, moderatam ratione civitatem, consensu dissimiliorum concinere; et quæ harmonia à musicis dicitur in cantu, eam esse in civitate concordiam."
7 — in one CONCENT;] I learn from Dr. Burney, that consent is connected harmony, in general, and not confined to any specific consonance. Thus, (says the same elegant and well-informed writer,) concentio and concentus are both used by Cicero for the union of voices or instruments in what we should now call a chorus, or concert.
In the same sense I suppose Ben Jonson to have used the word in his Volpone, Act III. Sc. IV.:
as Plato holds, your music
"Is your true rapture, when there is consent
Congruing in a full and natural close,
True: therefore doth heaven divide The state of man in divers functions, Setting endeavour in continual motion; To which is fixed, as an aim or butt, Obedience: for so work the honey bees; Creatures, that, by a rule in nature, teach The act of order' to a peopled kingdom. They have a king2, and officers of sorts3:
8 Congruing-] The folio has congreeing. The quarto congrueth. Corrected by Mr. Pope. MALONE,
In the old quarto, 1608, the passage stands thus:
"For government, though high or low, being put into parts, Congrueth with a mutuall consent like musicke."
9 Setting endeavour in continual motion; To which is fixed, as an aim or butt,
Obedience:] Neither the sense nor the construction of this passage is very obvious. The construction is, endeavour,-as an aim or butt to which endeavour, obedience is fixed.' The sense is, ' that all endeavour is to terminate in obedience, to be subordinate to the publick good and general design of government.'
The ACT of order-] Act here means law, or statute; as appears from the old quarto, where the words are, "Creatures that by awe ordain an act of order to a peopled kingdom."
Mr. Pope changed act to art, and was followed by all the subsequent editors. MALONE.
for so work the honey bees;
They have a king, &c.] Our author, in this parallel, had, I have no doubt, the following passage, in Lyly's Euphues and his England, 1580, in view: "In like manner, Euphues, is the government of a monarchie,—that it is neither the wise foxe nor the malicious woolfe, should venture so farre, as to learne whether the lyon sleepe or wake in his denne, whether the prince fast or feast in the court; but this should be their order,—to understand there is a king, but what he doth, is for the gods to examine, whose ordinance he is, not for men whose overseer he is. Then how vain is it,that the foot should neglect his office, to correct the face; or that subjects should seeke more to know what their princes doe, than what they are; wherein they shew themselves as bad as beasts, and much worse than my bees, who, in my conceit,
Where some, like magistrates, correct at home;
observe more order than they. If I might crave pardon, I would a little acquaint you with the commonwealth of my bees.-I have for the space of these twenty yeeres dwelt in this place, taking no delight in any thing but only keeping my bees, and marking them; and this I find, which had I not seen I should hardly have believed, that they use as great wit by induction, and art by workmanship, as ever man hath or can; using between themselves no lesse justice than wisdome, and yet not so much wisdome as majestie; insomuch as thou wouldest thinke that they were a kind of people, a commonwealth of Plato; where they all labour, all gather hony, flie together in a swarme, eat in a swarme, and sleepe in a swarme. They live under a law, using great reverence to their elder as to the wiser. They choose a king, whose palace they frame, both braver in shew, and stronger in substance.-If their prince die, they know not how to live; they languish, weepe, sigh, neither intending their worke, nor keeping their old society. And that which is most marvellous and almost incredible, if there be any that hath disobeyed his commandment, either of purpose or unwitting, he killeth himself with his own sting, as an executioner to his own stubbornnesse. The king himselfe hath a sting, which he useth rather for honour than punishment. And yet, Euphues, albeit they live under a prince, they have their priviledges, and as great liberties as strait lawes. They call a parliament, wherein they consult for lawes, statutes, penalties, choosing officers, and creating their king.-Every one hath his office; some trimming the honey, some working the wax, one framing hives, another the combes; and that so artificially, that Dedalus could not with greater art or excellency better dispose the orders, measures, proportions, distinctions, joints, and circles. Diverse hew, others polish, and are careful to do their worke so strongly as they may resist the craft of such drones as seek to live by their labours; which maketh them to keepe watch and ward, as living in a camp to others, and as in a court to themselves.-When they goe forth to worke, they marke the winde, the clouds, and whatsoever doth threaten either their ruin or rage; and having gathered out of every flower hony, they return, loaded in their mouthes, thighes, winges, and all the body; whom they that tarried at home receive readily, as easing their backs of so great burthens. The king himselfe, not idle, goeth up and down, intreating, threatening, commanding; using the counsel of a sequell, but not losing the dignity of a prince; preferring those that labour in greater authority, and punishing those that loiter with due severity."-"The commonwealth of your bees [replied Euphues] did so delight me, that I