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K. John. Come hither, Hubert. O my gentle Hubert, We owe thee much; within this wall of flesh There is a soul, counts thee her creditor, And with advantage means to pay thy love: And, my good friend, thy voluntary oath Lives in this bosom, dearly cherished. Give me thy hand. I had a thing to say, But I will fit it with some better time.8 By heaven, Hubert, I am almost asham'd To say what good respect I have of thee.
Hub. I am much bounden to your majesty.
K. John. Good friend, thou hast no cause to say so yet: But thou shalt have; and creep time ne'er so slow, Yet it shall come, for me to do thee good. I had a thing to say,—But let it go: The sun is in the heaven; and the proud day, Attended with the pleasures of the world, Is all too wanton, and too full of gawds, 9 To give me audience:-If the midnight bell Did, with his iron tongue and brazen mouth, Sound one unto the drowsy race of night;?
with some better time.] The old copy reads-tune. Corrected by Mr. Pope. The same mistake has happened in Twelfth Night. See that play, Vol. III. In Macbeth, Act IV, sc. ult. we have—“This time goes manly," instead of " This tune goes manly.” Malone.
In the hand-writing of Shakspeare's age, the words time and tune are scarcely to be distinguished from each other. Steevens.
- full of gawds,] Gawds are any showy ornaments. So, in The Dumb Knight, 1633:
“To caper in his grave, and with vain gawds
“ Trick up his coffin.” See A Midsummer Night's Dream, Vol. II, p. 245, n. 6. Steevens. 1 Sound one unto the drowsy race of night;] Old copy-Sound
I should suppose the meaning of_Sound on, to be this: If the midnight bell by repeated strokes, was to hasten away the race of beings who are busy at that hour, or quicken night itself in its progress ; the morning bell (that is, the bell that strikes one,) could not, with strict propriety, be made the agent; for the bell has ceased to be in the service of night, when it proclaims the arrival of day. Sound on may also have a peculiar propriety, because, by the repetition of the strokes at twelve, it gives a much more forcible warning than when it only strikes one.
If this same were a church-yard where we stand,
Such was once my opinion concerning the old reading; but, or re-consideration, its propriety cannot appear more doubtful to any one than to myself.
It is too late to talk of hastening the night, when the arrival of the morning is announced: and I am afraid that the repeated strokes have less of solemnity than the single notice, as they take from the horror and awful silence here described as so propitious to the dreadful purposes of the king. Though the hour of one be not the natural midnight, it is yet the most solemn moment of the poetical one; and Shakspeare himself has chosen, to introduce his Ghost in Hamlet,
“The bell then beating one." Steevens. The word one is here, as in many other passages in these plays, written on in the old copy. Mr. Theobald made the correction. He likewise substituted unto for into, the reading of the original copy; a change that requires no support. In Chaucer, and other old writers, one is usually written on. See Mr. Tyrwhitt's Glos. sary to The Canterbury Tales. So once was anciently written ons. And it sbould seem, from a quibbling passage in The Tavo Gentlemen of Verona, that one, in some counties at least, was pronounced, in our author's time, as if written on. Hence the transcriber's ear might easily have deceived him. One of the per. sons whom I employed to read aloud to me each sheet of the present work (Mr. Malone's edition of our author] before it was printed off, constantly sounded the word one in this manner. He was a native of Herefordshire.
The instances that are found in the original editions of our author's plays, in which on is printed instead of one, are so nume. rous, that there cannot, in my apprehension, be the smallest doubt that one is the true reading in the line before us. Thus, in Coriolanus, edit. 1623, p. 15:
This double worship,-
“ Insult without all reason." Again, in Cymbeline, 1623, p. 380:
perchance he spoke not; but “ Like a full-acorn'd boar, a Jarmen on," &c. Again, in Romeo' and Juliet, 1623, p. 66:
“And thou, and Romeo, press on heavie bier." Again, in The Comedy of Errors, 1623, p. 94:
“ On, whose hard heart is button'd up with steel.” Again, in All 's Well that Ends Well, 1623, p. 240: “A good traveller is something at the latter end of a dinner,-but on that lies three thirds,” &c. Again, in Love's Labour's Lost, quarto, 1598:
"On, whom the musick of his own vain tongue." Again, ibid, edit. 1623, p. 133:
“On, her hairs were gold, crystal the other's eyes."
Or if that surly spirit, melancholy,
The same spelling is found in many other books. So, in Holland's Suetonius, .1606, p. 14: “ he caught from on of them a trumpet,” &c.
I should not have produced so many passages to prove a fact of which po one can be ignorant, who has the slightest knowledge of the early editions of these plays, or of our old writers, had not the author of Remarks, &c. on the last edition of Shakspeare, asserted, with that modesty and accuracy by which his pamphlet is distinguished, that the observation contained in the former part of this note was made by one totally unacquainted with the old copies, and that “it would be difficult to find a single instance” in which on and one are confounded in those copies. Malone.
using conceit alone,] Conceit here, as in many other places, signifies conception, thought. So, in King Richard 111:
“ There's some conceit or other likes him well,
Malone. brooded -) So the old copy. Mr. Pope reads-broadey'd, which alteration, however elegant, may be unnecessary. All animals while brooded, i. e. with a brood of young ones under their protection, are remarkably vigilant.-The King says of Hamlet:
something's in his soul “O’er which his melancholy sits at brood." In P. Holland's translation of Pliny's Natural History, a broodie hen is the term for a hen that sits on eggs. See p. 301, edit. 1601. Milton also, in L'Allegro, desires Melancholy to
Find out some uncouth cell “Where brooding darkness spreads his jealous wings: plainly alluding to the watchfulness of fowls while they are sitting. Broad-eyed, however, is a compound epithet to be found in Chap. man's version of the eighth Iliad:
“ And hinder broad-ey'd Jove's proud will —”. Steevens. Brooded, I apprehend, is here used, with our author's usual license, fór brooding; i. e. day, who is as vigilant, as ready with open eye to mark what is done in his presence, as an animal at brood. Malone.
I am not thoroughly reconciled to this reading; but it would
I would into thy bosom pour my thoughts :
Hub. So well, that what you bid me undertake,
Do not I know, thou would'st?
And I will keep him so,
K. John Death.
A grave. Hub.
He shall not live. K. John.
Eli. My blessing go with thee!
For England, cousin:*
be somewhat improved by joining the words brooded and watchful by a hyphen-brooded-watchful. M. Mason.
4 Remember.] This is one of the scenes to which may be promised a lasting commendation. Art could add little to its perfection; no change in dramatic taste can injure it; and time itself can subtract nothing from its beauties. Steevens. 5 For England, cousin:] The old copy
For England, cousin, go: I have omitted the last useless and redundant word, which the eye of the compositor seems to have caught from the preceding hemistich. Steevens.
King John, after he had taken Arthur prisoner, sent him to the town of Falaise, in Normandy, under the care of Hubert, his Chamberlain; from whence he was afterwards removed to Rouen, and delivered to the custody of Robert de Veypont. Here he was secretly put to death, Malone.
The French King's Tent.
K. Phi. So, by a roaring tempest on the flood,
Pand. Courage and comfort! all shall yet go well.
K. Phi. What can go well, when we have run so ill?
Lew. What he hath won, that hath he fortified:
6 A whole armado - ] This similitude, as little as it makes for the purpose in hand, was, I do not question, a very taking one when the play was first represented; which was a winter or two at most after the Spanish invasion in 1588. It was in reference likewise to that glorious period that Shakspeare concludes his play in that triumphant manner:
“This England never did, nor never shall,
“ Lie at the proud foot of a conqueror,” &c. But the whole play abounds with touches relative to the then posture of affairs. Warburton.
This play, so far as I can discover, was not played till a long time after the defeat of the armado. The old play, I think, wants this simile. The commentator should not have affirmed what he can only guess. Johnson.
Armado is a Spanish word signifying a fleet of war. mado in 1588 was called so by way of distinction. Steevens.
of convicted sail – ] Overpowered, baffled, destroyed. To convict and to convince were in our author's time synonymous. See Minshieu's Dictionary, 1617: “ To convict, or convince, a Lat. convictus, overcome. So, in Macbeth:
their malady convinces “ The great assay of art.” Mr. Pope, who ejected from the text almost every word that he did not understand, reads-collected sail; and the change was too hastily adopted by the subsequent editors.
See also Florio's Italian Dictionary, 1598: “Convitto, Vanquished, convicted, convinced.” Malone.
- in so fierce a cause,] We should read course, i. e. march. The Oxford editor condescends to this emendation. Warburton. VOL. VII.