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And being not done, where doing tends to ill,
By placing the second couplet of this sentence before the first, the passage will appear perfectly clear. Where doing tends to ill, where an intended act is criminal, the truth is most done, by not da. ing the act. The criminal act therefore which thou hast sworn to do, is not amiss, will not be imputed to you as a crime, if it be done truly, in the sense I have now affixed to truth; that is, if you do not do it. Malone.
But thou haft fworn against religion ; &c.] The propositions, that the voice of the church is the voice of beaven, and that the pope utters the voice of the church, neither of which Pandulph's auditors would deny, being once granted, the argument here used is irrefiftible; nor is it easy, notwithstanding the gingle, to enforce it with greater brevity or propriety:
But thou haft sworn against religion :
Tofwear, swear only not to be forsworn.
And makilt an oath the furety for thy truth,
And mak'f an oath the furety for thy truth,
To fwear, &c,
Against an oath the truth thou art unfare-
By what thou swear'ft, against the thing thou
I know not whether there is any corruption beyond the omission of a point. The sense, after I had considered it, appeared to me only this: In wearing by religion against religion, to which thou hafi already sworn, thou makes an oath the security for thy faith against an oath already taken. I will give, Jays be, a rule for conscience in these cases. Thou may'st be in doubt about the matter of an oath; when thou sweareft, ihon mayft not be always sure to fwear rightly; but let this be thy settled principle, ftvear only not to be for worn; let not the latter oaths be at variance with the former. Truth, through this whole speech, means rectitude of conduct.
JOHNSON. I believe the old reading is right; and that the line “ By what," &c. is put in apposition with that which precedes it; " But thou haft sworn against religion; thou hast sworn, by what theu fweareft, i. e. in that which thou haft sworn, against the thing thou weareft by; i. e. religion. Our author has many such elliptical expressions. So, in K. Henry VIII:
-Whoever the king favours,
“ And far enough from court too. Again, ibidem :
“ This is about that which the bishop spake” [of]. Again, in K. Richard III:
“ True ornaments to know a holy man" (by). Again, in The Winter's Tale :
“ A bed-swerver, even as bad as those
“ That vulgars give bold'ft titles" [to]. Again, ibidem:
the queen is spotless“ In this that you accuse her” [of]. MALONE. ? — swear only not to be for worn;] The old copy readsfwears, which in my apprehension Thews that two half lines have been loft, in which the person supposed to savear was mentioned. When the same word is repeated in two succeeding lines, the eye of the compositor often glances from the first to the second, and in consequence the intermediate words are omitted. For what has
Else, what a mockery should it be to swear?,
Aust. Rebellion, flat rebellion !
Will't not be? Will not a calf's-skin stop that mouth of thine?
Lew. Father, to arms!
Upon thy wedding day?
been lost, it is now in vain to seek; I have therefore adopted the emendation made by Mr. Pope, which makes some kind of sense.
MALONE. 3 - braying trumpets,] Bray appears to have been particularly applied to express the harsh grating sound of the trumpet. So, in Spenser's Faery Queen, B. IV. c. xii. ft. 6:
“ And when it ceaft shrill trompets loud did braz." Again, B. IV. c. iv. ft. 48:
“ Then thrilling trompets loudly 'gan to bray.” And elsewhere in the play before us:
Hard-resounding trumpets' dreadful bray." Again, in Hamlet:
“ The trumpet shall bray out" Gawin Douglas, in his Translation of the Æneid, renders “ sub axe tonanti ” (Lib. V. v. 820:)
! Under the brayand quhelis and affiltre." Blackmore is ridiculed in the Dunciad, (B. II.) for endeavonring
Clamours of hell,-be measures * to our pomp?
O, upon my knee,
may Be stronger with thee than the name of wife? Const. That which upholdeth him that thee
upholds, His honour: O, thine honour, Lewis, thine honour!
Lew: I muse, your majesty doth seem so cold, When such profound respects do pull you on.
to enxeble this word by applying it to the found of armorr, war, &c. He might have pleaded these authorities, and that of Milton:
“ Arms on armour clashing bray'd
" Horrible discord.” Paradije Loft, B. VI. v. 209. Nor did Gray, scrupulous as he was in language, reject it in The Bard:
« Heard ye the din of battle bray?” Holt White.
be measures —] The measures, it has already been more than once observed, were a species of folemn dance in our author's time. This speech is formed on the following lines in the old play:
- Blanch. And will your grace upon your wedding-day
“ And why thou stailt so long, I muse,
Pand. I will denounce a curse upon his head.
ton time, Is it as he will? well then, France shall rue. Blanch. The sun's o'ercast with blood : Fair
day, adieu ! Which is the side that I must go withal? I am with both : each army hath a hand; And, in their rage, I having hold of both, They whirl asunder, and dismember me. Husband, I cannot pray that thou may’st win; Uncle, I neçds must pray that thou may'st lose; Father, I may not wish the fortune thine; Grandam, I will not wish thy wishes thrive: Whoever wins, on that side shall I lose; Affured loss, before the match be play'd.
Lew. Lady, with me; with me thy fortune lies, Blanch. There where my fortune lives, there my
life dies. K.John.Cousin, go draw our puissance together.
[Exit Bastard. France, I am burn'd up with inflaming wrath; A rage, whose heat hath this condition, Than nothing can allay, nothing but blood, The blood, and dearest-valu'd blood, of France.
$ They whirl afunder, and dismember me.] Alluding to a wellknown Roman punishment :
Metium in diversa quadriga