Page images
PDF
EPUB

A cocker'd filken wanton brave our fields,
And flesh his spirit in a warlike soil,
Mocking the air with colours idly spread,
And find no check? Let us, my liege, to arms:
Perchance, the cardinal cannot make your peace;
Or if he do, let it at least be said,
They saw we had a purpose of defence.
K. youn. Have thou the ordering of this prefent

time. Bast. Away then, with good courage; yet, I

know, Our party may well meet a prouder foe. [Exeunt.

3 Mocking the air with colours idly Spread,] He has the same image in Macbeth:

“ Where the Norweyan banners flout the sky,

“ And fan our people cold." JOHNSON. From these two paffages Mr. Gray seems to have formed the first Atanza of his celebrated Ode :

“ Ruin seize thee, ruthless king!
“ Confusion on thy banners wait!
“ Though fann'd by conquest's crimfon wing

They mock the air with idle ftate.” MALONE.
4 Away then, with good courage; yet, I know,
Our party may well meet a prouder foe.] Let us then

away with courage; yet I fo well know the faintness of our party, that I think it may easily happen that they shall encounter enemies who have more spirit than themselves. JOHNSON.

Dr. Johnson is, I believe, mistaken. Faulconbridge meansfor all their boasting, I know very well that our party is able to cope with one yet prouder and more confident of its strength than theirs. Faulconbridge would otherwise dispirit the King, whom he means to animate. STEEVENS,

[ocr errors]

SCENE II. A Plain, near St. Edmund's-Bury.* Enter, in arms, Lewis, SALISBURY, Melun, Pem

BROKE, Bigot, and Soldiers. Lew. My lord Melun, let this be copied out, And keep it safe for our remembrance: Return the precedents to these lords again; That, having our fair order written down, Both they, and we, perusing o'er these notes, May know wherefore we took the sacrament, And keep our faiths firm and inviolable.

SAL. Upon our sides it never shall be broken. And, noble Dauphin, albeit we swear A voluntary zeal, and unurg'd faith, To your proceedings; yet, believe me, prince, I am not glad that such a sore of time

- near St. Edmund's-Bury.] I have ventored to fix the place of the scene here, which is specified by none of the editors, on the following authorities. In the preceding act, where Salisbury has fixed to go over to the Dauphin; he says:

Lords, I will meet him at St. Edmund's-Bury." And Count Melun, in this last act says:

and many more with me,
Upon the altar at St. Edmund's-Bury;
“ Even on that altar, where we swore to you

“ Dear amity, and everlasting love." And it appears likewise from The Troublesome Reign of King John, in two parts, (the first rough model of this play,) that the interchange of vows betwixt the Dauphin and the English barons, was at St. Edmund's-Bury. THEOBALD.

sthe precedent, &c.) i. e. the rough draft of the original treaty between the Dauphin and the English lords. Thus (adds Mr. M. Mason) in K. Richard III, the scrivener employed to engrofs the indictment of Lord Hastings, says, " that it took him eleven hours to write it, and that the precedent was full as long doing." STEEVENS.

2

Should seek a plaster by contemn'd revolt,
And heal the inveterate canker of one wound,
By making many: 0, it grieves my soul,
That I must draw this metal from my side
To be a widow-maker; 0, and there,
Where honourable rescue, and defence,
Cries out upon the name of Salisbury:
But such is the infection of the time,
That, for the health and physick of our right,
We cannot deal but with the very hand
Of stern injustice and confused wrong:-
And is’t not pity, O my grieved friends!
That we, the sons and children of this isle,
Were born to see so fad an hour as this;
Wherein we step after a stranger marcho
Upon her gentle bosom, and fill up
Her enemies' ranks, (I must withdraw and wecp
Upon the spot of this enforced cause,) ?
To grace the gentry of a land remote,
And follow unacquainted colours here?
What, here?- nation, that thou could'st remove!
That Neptune's arms, who clippeth thee about,
Would bear thee from the knowledge of thyself,
And grapple thee' unto a pagan shore;?

8

6 — after a stranger marcb-] Our author often uses Atranger as an adjective. See the last scene. Malone.

7 - the spot of this enforced cause,] Spor probably means, Rain or disgrace. M. Mason. So, in a former passage: “ To look into the spots and stains of right."

MALONE. clippeth thee about,] i. e, embraceth. So, in Coriolanus :

“ Enter the city; clip your wives." STEEVENS. 9 And grapple thee-] The old copy reads---And cripple thee,

Perhaps our author wrote gripple, a word used by Drayton in his Polyolbion, fong 1 :

“ That thruits his gripple hand into her golden maw."

Where these two Christian armies might combine
The blood of malice in a vein of league,
And not to-spend it so unneighbourly! 3

Lew. A noble temper dost thou show in this;
And great affections, wrestling in thy bosom,
Do make an earthquake of nobility.
O, what a noble combat haft thou fought,
Between compulsion, and a brave respect!
Let me wipe off this honourable dew,
That silverly doth progress on thy cheeks:

5

[ocr errors]

Our author, however, in Macbeth has the verb-grapple:

Grapples thee to the heart and love of usm. The emendation (as Mr. Malone obferves) was made by Mr. Pope.

STEEVENS. unto a pagan hore;] Our author seems to have been thinking on the wars carried on by Christian princes in the holy land against the Saracens; where the united armies of France and England might have laid their mutual animofities aside, and fought in the cause of Chrift, instead of fighting against brethren and countrymen, as Salisbury and the other English noblemen who had joined the Dauphin, were about to do. MALONE.

3 And not to-Spend it so unneighbourly!) This is one of many passages, in which Shakspeare concludes a sentence without aitending to the manner in which the former part of it is constructed.

MALONE. Shakspeare only employs in the present instance a phraseology which he had used before in The Merry Wives of Windsor:

“ And, fairy-like, to-pinch the unclean-knight." To, in composition with verbs, is common enough in ancient language. See Mr. Tyrwhitt's obfervations on this last passage, and my instances in support of his position, Vol. III. p. 461. n. 5.

STEEVENS. -haft thou fought,] Thou, which appears to have been accidentally omitted by the transcriber or compositor, was inserted by the editor of the fourth folio. MALONE.

s Between compulfion, and a brave repeat!] This compulfion was the necessity of a reformation in the state; which, according to Salisbury's opinion (who, in his speech preceding, calls it an enforced cause,) could only be procured by foreign arms: and che brave refpeë was the love of his country. WARBURTON,

[ocr errors]

My heart hath melted at a lady's tears,
Being an ordinary inundation;
But this effusion of such manly drops,
This shower, blown up by tempest of the soul,
Startles mine eyes, and makes me more amaz'd
Than had I seen the vaulty top of heaven
Figur'd quite o’er with burning meteors.
Lift up thy brow, renowned Salisbury,
And with a great heart heave away this storm :
Commend these waters to those baby eyes,
That never saw the giant world enrag'd;
Nor met with fortune other than at feasts,
Full warm of blood, of mirth, of gossiping.
Come, come; for thou shalt thrust thy hand as deep
Into the purse of rich prosperity,
As Lewis himself: so, nobles, shall you all,
That knit your sinews to the strength of mine.

Enter PANDULPH, attended.

And even there, methinks, an angel spake:?
Look, where the holy legate comes apace,
To give us warrant from the hand of heaven;

6 This shower, blown up by tempest of the foul,] So, in our author's Rape of Lucrece:

“ This windy tempeft, till it blow up rain,

“ Held back' his forrow's tide-," MALONE.
1 — an angel spake:] Sir T. Hanmer, and after him Dr.
Warburton read here-an angel speeds. I think unnecessarily.
The Dauphin does not yet hear the legate indeed, nor pretend to
hear him; but seeing him advance, and conclading that he comes
to animate and authorize him with the power of the church, he
cries out, at the fight of this boly man, I am encouraged as by the
voice of an angel. Johnson.

Rather, In what I have now said, an angel fpake; for see, the
holy legate approaches, to give a warrant from beaten, and the
name of right to our cause. MALONE.

This Stronght is for some new ore;
Heue, vi föns Je comfojmove kmantie:

Her thought it rouned in bez ere,
As through that it an angell were."

*Precuen

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »