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Aust. O, that a man should speak those words to me!
Bast. And hang a calf's-skin on those recreant limbs.
Aust. Thou dar’st not say so, villain, for thy life.
Bast. And hang a calf's-skin on those recreant limbs.2
K. John. We like not this; thou dost forget thyself.

Enter PANDULPH.
K. Phi. Here comes the holy legate of the pope.

Pand. Hail, you anointed deputies of heaven!-
To thee, king John, my holy errand is.
I Pandulph, of fair Milan cardinal,
And from pope Innocent the legate here,
Do, in his name, religiously demand,
Why thou against the church, our holy mother,
So wilfully dost spurn; and, force perforce,

The speaker in the play (Wily Beguiled) is Robin Goodfellow. Perhaps, as has been suggested, Constance, by clothing Austria in a calf's-skin, means only to insinuate that he is a coward. The word recreant seems to favour such a supposition. Malone.

2 Here Mr. Pope inserts the following speeches from the old play of King John, printed in 1591, before Shakspeare appears to have commenced a writer:

Aust. Methinks, that Richard's pride, and Richard's

fall,
“ Should be a precedent to fright you all.
Faulc. What words are these? how do my sinews

shake!
“My father's foe clad in my father's spoil!
“ Hów doth Alecto whisper in my ears,
Delay not, Richard, kill the villain straight;
Disrobe him of the matchless monument,
" Thy father's triumph o'er the savages !-
“ Now by his soul I swear, my father's soul,
“Twice will I not review the morning's rise,
“ Till I have torn that trophy from thy back,

“ And split thy heart for wearing it so long.” Steedens. I cannot, by any means, approve of the insertion of these lines from the other play. If they were necessary to explain the ground of the bastard's quarrel to Austria, as Mr. Pope supposes, they should rather be inserted in the first scene of the second Act, at the time of the first altercation between the Bastard and Austria. But indeed the ground of their quarrel seems to be as clearly expressed in the first scene as in these lines; so that they are unnecessary in either place; and therefore, I think, should be thrown out of the text, as well as the three other lines, which have been inserted, with as little reason, in Act III, sc. ii : Thus hath King Richard's, &c. Tyrwhitt.

3

Keep Stephen Langton, chosen archbishop
Of Canterbury, from that holy see?
This, in our 'foresaid holy father's name,
Pope Innocent, I do demand of thee.

K. John. What earthly name to interrogatories,
Can task the free breath of a sacred king?
Thou canst not, cardinal, devise a name
So slight, unworthy, and ridiculous,
To charge me to an answer, as the pope.
Tell him this tale; and from the mouth of England,
Add thus much more,—That no Italian priest
Shall tithe or toll in our dominions;
But as we under heaven are supreme head,

scene.

3 What earthly &c.] This must have been, at the time when it was written, in our struggles with popery, a very captivating

So many passages remain in which Shakspeare evidently takes his advantage of the facts then recent, and of the passions then in motion, that I cannot but suspect that time has obscured much of his art, and that many allusions yet remain undiscovered, which perhaps may be gradually retrieved by succeeding commentators. Johnson.

The speech stands thus in the old spurious play: “ And what hast thou, or the pope thy master, to do, to demand of me how I employ mine own? Know, sir priest, as I honour the church and holy churchmen, so I scorne to be subject to the greatest prelate in the world. Tell thy master so from me; and say, John of England said it, that never an Italian priest of them all, shall either have tythe, toll, or polling penny out of England ; but as I am king, so will I reign next under God, supreme head both over spiritual and temporal: and he that contradicts me in this, I'll make him hop headless.” Steevens.

What earthly name to interrogatories,

Can task the free breath &c.) i.e. What earthly name subjoined to interrogatories, can force a king to speak and answer them? The old copy reads_earthy. The emendation was made by Mr. Pope. It has also tast instead of task, which was substituted by Mr. Theobald. Breath for speech is common with our author. So, in a subsequent part of this scene :

“ The latest breath that gave the sound of words." Again, in The Merchant of Venice, breathing courtesy," for verbal courtesy. Malone.

The emendation (task] may be justified by the following passage in King Henry IV, P. I:

“ How show'd his tasking.? seem'd it in contempt?” Again, in King Henry. V: “That task our thoughts concerning us and France."

Steevens

So, under him, that great supremacy,
Where we do reign, we will alone uphold,
Without the assistance of a mortal hand:
So tell the pope; all reverence set apart,
To him, and his usurp'd authority.

K. Phi. Brother of England, you blaspheme in this.

K. John. Though you and all the kings of Christendom,
Are led so grossly by this meddling priest,
Dreading the curse that money may buy out;
And, by the merit of vile gold, dross, dust,
Purchase corrupted pardon of a man,
Who, in that sale, sells pardon from himself:
Though you, and all the rest, so grossly led,
This juggling witchcraft with revenue cherish;
Yet I, alone, alone do me oppose
Against the pope, and count his friends my foes.

Pand. Then, by the lawful power that I have,
Thou shalt stand curs'd, and excommunicate:
And blessed shall he be, that doth revolt
From his allegiance to an heretick;
And meritorious shall that hand be call'd,
Canonized, and worship'd as a saint,
That takes away by any secret course
Thy hateful life.
Const.

(), lawful let it be,
That I have room with Rome to curse a while!
Good father cardinal, cry thou, amen,

1

4 That takes away by any secret course

Thy hateful life.] This may allude to the bull published against Queen Elizabeth. Or we may suppose, since we have no proof that this play appeared in its present state before the reign of King James, that it was exhibited soon after the popish plot. I have seen a Spanish book in which Garnet, Faux, and their accomplices, are registered as saints. Johnson.

If any allusion to his own times was intended by the author of the old play, (for this speech is formed on one in King John, 1591) it must have been to the bull of Pope Pius the Fifth, 1569: “ Then I Pandulph of Padua, legate from the Apostolike sea, doe in the name of Saint Peter, and his successor, our holy father Pope Innocent, pronounce thee accursed, discharging every of thy subjects of all dutie and fealtie that they do owe to thee, and pardon and forgivenesse of sinne to those or them whatsoever which shall carrie armes against thee or murder thee. This I pronounce, and charge all good men to abhorre thee as an excom. municate person.”

Malone.

To my keen curses; for, without my wrong,
There is no tongue hath power to curse him right.

Pand. There's law and warrant, lady, for my curse.

Const. And for mine too; when law can do no right, Let it be lawful, that law bar no wrong: Law cannot give my child his kingdom here; For he, that holds his kingdom, holds the law: Therefore, since law itself is perfect wrong, How can the law forbid my tongue to curse?

Pand. Philip of France, on peril of a curse Let

go

the hand of that arch-heretick; And raise the power of France upon his head, Unless he do submit himself to kome.

Eli. Look'st thou pale, France? do not let go thy hand.

Const. Look to that, devil! lest that France repent, And, by disjoining hands, hell lose a soul.

Aust. King Philip, listen to the cardinal.
Bast. And hang a calf's-skin on his recreant limbs.

Aust. Well, ruffian, I must pocket up these wrongs, Because

Bast. Your breeches best may carry them.5
K. John. Philip, what say'st thou to the cardinal?
Const. What should he say, but as the cardinal?

Lew. Bethink you, father; for the difference
Is, purchase of a heavy curse from Rome,
Or the light loss of England for a friend :
Forgo the easier.
Blanch.

That's the curse of Rome.
Const. O Lewis, stand fast; the devil tempts thee here,
In likeness of a new untrimmed bride.?

5

Your breeches best may carry them.] Perhaps there is somewhat proverbial in this sarcasm. So, in the old play of King Leir, 1605:

Mum. Well I have a payre of slops for the nonce,

“Will hold all your mocks.” Steevens. 6 Is, purchase of a heavy curse from Rome,] It is a political maxim, that kingdoms are never married. Lewis, upon the wedding, is for making war upon his new relations. Fohnson.

the devil tempts thee here, In likeness of a new untrimmed bride.] Though all the copies concur in this reading, yet as untrimmed cannot bear any signifi. cation to square with the sense required, I cannot help thinking it a corrupted reading. I have ventured to throw out the negative, and read:

7

Blanch. The lady Constance speaks not from her faith, But from her need.

In likeness of a new and trimmed bride. i.e. of a new bride, and one decked and adorned as well by art as nature.

Theobald. Mr. Theobald says, “that as untrimmed cannot bear any signification to square with the sense required,” it must be corrupt; therefore he will cashier it, and read-and trimmed; in which he is followed by the Oxford editor: but they are both too hasty. It squares very well with the sense, and signifies unsteady. The term is taken from navigation. We say too, in a similar way of speaking, not well manned. Warburton.

I think Mr. Theobald's correction more plausible than Dr. Warburton's explanation. A commentator should be grave, and therefore I can read these notes with proper severity of attention; but the idea of trimming a lady to keep her steady, would be too risible for any common power of face. Fohnson.

Trim is dress. An untrimmed bride is a bride undrest. Could the tempter of mankind assume a semblance in which he was more likely to be successful? But notwithstanding what Aristænetus assures us concerning Lais-«ενδεδυμένη μεν, ευπροσωπολατη déo endüoc de oan apóowToy Paivetar."—that drest she was beautiful, undrest she was all beauty--by Shakspeare's epithet-untrimmed, I do not mean absolutely naked, but

“Nuda pedem, discincta sinum, spoliata lacertos ;" in short, whatever is comprized in Lothario's idea of unattired.

“ Non mihi ancta Diana placet, nec nuda Cythere;

“ Illa voluptatis nil habet, hæc nimium.” The devil (says Constance) raises to your imagination your bride disencumbered of the forbidding forms of dress, and the memory of my wrongs is lost in the anticipation of future enjoy. ment.

Ben Jonson, in his New Inn, says: Bur. Here's a lady gay:

Tip. A well-trimm'd lady!" Again, in The Two Gentlemen of Verona :

“ And I was trimm'd in madam Julia's gown." Again, in King Henry VI, P. III, Act II:

Trimm'd like a younker prancing to his love." Again, in Reginald Scott's Discovery of Witchcraft, 1584:

a good huswife, and also well trimmed up in apparel.” Mr. Collins inclines to a colder interpretation, and is willing to suppose that by an untrimmed briile is meant a briile unadorned with the usual pomp and formality of a nuptial habit. The propriety of this epithet he infers from the haste in which the match was made, and further justifies it from King John's preceding words:

“Go we, as well as haste will suffer us,

“ To this unlook'd for, unprepared pomp.”. Mr. Tollet is of the same opinion, and offers two instances in

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