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229. “Come to the king, and tell him what
miracle." It is not easy to decide who is the more censurable, the early transcriber, or the modern editor, for admitting into the text so clumsy, discordant, and useless a hypermeter as the word him makes here. 234. “ You made, in a day, my lord, whole towns
to fly." The gross violations of metre so often occurring in this play, and those other two which immediately precede and follow it, are less to be wondered at, than that the modern editors, so tenacious as they often seem to be of minute accuracy, should suffer such barbarism to continue. The present line might be read thus : “ You in a day, my lord, made whole towns fly.” 237.
Justice equal scales, “Whose beam stands sure, whose rightful
cause prevails.” This appears to me one among very few instances in which Dr. Johnson's good sense and ingenuity descends to petty and absurd emendation. He would have the verbs to stand and to prevail in the optative mood : “ Whose beam stand sure! whose rightful cause
prevail !” But there can be no doubt the sense of the expression is consequence, deduction; the equal scales of Justice, whose beam is firm, and whose cause is sure ultimately to prevail.
Justice' equal scales, " Whose beam stands sure, whose rightful
cause prevails." Whose rule of equity is stedfast, and who is sure to maintain it. There seems to be no need of Dr. Johnson's emendation.
253. “ Maild up in shame.”
Covered, cased-up in disgrace, as with armour. 255. “ Entreat her not the worse.”
Treat her, use her not the worse, &c.
ACT IHI. SCENE I.
These faults are easy. i. e. Tolerable to be endured quietly.
It is strange that Mr. Steevens should dissent here from Dr. Johnson's explanation of easy, and think, with Mr. Ritson, that it is put adverbially: we find the word used just in the present sense in Henry IV. Second Part, Act 5—was this
267. “ Free lords."
Free is merely at liberty, unrestrained ; as in Macbeth, Act 1: “ Let us speak our free hearts cach to other.” 271. “ It skills not greatly who impugns our
Perhaps it requires not skill to determine who are to be our opposers, since what we resolve upon cannot be counteracted. This is all I can do towards reconciling the expression. The sense intended seems merely-it matters not—it is of no moment. The phrase itself was common. 275.
Tedious snares.” 66 Tedious" seems to mean embarrassing, vexatious, cumbrous."
“ John Cade of Ashford.” Something has been lost here. Perhaps, " with a headlong crew.”
Oft have I seen a timely-parted ghost.” A timely-parted ghost is put to express a body from which the ghost or spirit had recently parted. I would read, with Dr. Johnson, corse. 297. “Would curses kill."
Jaffier makes the same reflection in Venice Preserved : " Curses stick not. Could I kill with cursing,”
The seal, “ Through whom. “ Whom,” for “ which.”
306. “ Died he not in his bed? where should he
Something like this we find in Macbeth :
“ Thou canst not say I did it.”
ACT IV. SCENE I.
To reconcile the terror which this name excites in Suffolk, with the caution he had received from the spirit, in the first act, we must suppose that the l in Walter was not usually sounded; and, indeed, in the quarto, the letter is omitted in the name, which is printed IVater.
324.“ Je John Cade,” &c.
Mr. Malone remarks rightly on Mr. Tyrwhitt's proposed transposition, to justify which, we must change the word “of” to for.”
355. “That you should leave me at the White
Hart in Southwark." I suspect that a conceit was here intended, referring at once to the sign of the inn, and to cowardice with a white heart,
361. “ For yet,” &c. Perhaps we should read:
“ Or yet,” &c.
367. “ And hang thee o'er my tomb," &c.
Hang,” perhaps, was meant imperatively or optatively, and addressed to the sword; in which case we must read “ thou :” but I rather think, Mr. Malone is right, and that by “ hang thee, we are to understand," have thee hung."
ACT V. SCENE II.
389. “ As did Æneas old Anchises bear.”
This allusion occurs in Julius Cæsar : “ As Æneas, our great ancestor, “ Did on his shoulders, from the flames of Troy, « The old Anchises bear.”
394. “ — A gallant in the brow of youth."
“ The brow of youth” means, I believe, the countenance and complexion of youth, its forehead, openly-advanced front, “its bloom of lustihood.” Thus in King Lear: “ Let it plant wrinkles in her brow of youth." 396. We have not got that which we have.” Thus in Cymbeline :
“ Ye gentle gods, give me but this I have."