« AnteriorContinua »
Ah, Joan, sweet daughter Joan, I'll die with thee!
Thou art no father, nor no friend of mine.
Shep. Out, out! My lords, an please you, 'tis not so, I did beget her, all the parish knows :
Her mother liveth yet, can testify,
War. Graceless! wilt thou deny thy parentage? York. This argues what her kind of life hath been; Wicked and vile; and so her death concludes.
Shep. Fye, Joan! that thou wilt be so obstacle3: God knows, thou art a collop of my flesh; And for thy sake have I shed many a tear: Deny me not, I pr'ythee, gentle Joan.
Puc. Peasant, avaunt!-You have suborn'd this man, Of purpose to obscure my noble birth.
Shep. "Tis true, I gave a noble to the priest, The morn that I was wedded to her mother.Kneel down and take my blessing, good my girl. Wilt thou not stoop? Now cursed be the time Of thy nativity! I would the milk
Thy mother gave thee, when thou suck'dst her breast,
2 Miser has no relation to avarice in this passage, but simply means a miserable creature. Thus Holinshed, p. 760, speaking of the death of King Richard III.—" And so this miser, at the same verie point had like chance and fortune,” &c. And describing the death of Lord Cromwell, he says:-" And so patiently suffered the stroke of the axe, by a ragged and butcherlie miser, which ill-favouredlie performed the office," p. 951. See also Nares's Glossary and Variorum Shakespeare.
3 Obstacle. This vulgar corruption of obstinate has oddly lasted till now, says Johnson. It occurs in Chapman's May Day, 1611:— It is there put into the mouth of a slip-slop waiting maid.
"An obstacle young thing it is."
We have the phrase a collop of his flesh in the History of Morindos and Miracola, 1609:-"Yet being his second selfe, a collop
of his own flesh."
Thus also in The Winter's Tale:
"Most dearest! my collop."
Had been a little ratsbane for thy sake!
Or else, when thou didst keep my lambs a-field,
O, burn her, burn her; hanging is too good. [Exit.
Puc. First, let me tell you whom you demn'd;
Not one begotten of a shepherd swain,
York. Ay, ay.-Away with her to execution.
Puc. Will nothing turn your unrelenting hearts ?— Then, Joan, discover thine infirmity, That warranteth by law to be thy privilege.
The old copies misprint me for one, which the sense evidently requires.
I am with child, ye bloody homicides;
Murder not then the fruit within my womb,
York. Now heaven forefend! the holy maid with child!
War. The greatest miracle that e'er ye wrought ; Is all your strict preciseness come to this?
York. She and the Dauphin have been juggling; I did imagine what would be her refuge.
War. Well, go to; we'll have no bastards live; Especially, since Charles must father it.
Puc. You are deceived; my child is none of his : It was Alençon, that enjoy'd my love.
York. Alençon! that notorious Machiavel1! It dies, an if it had a thousand lives.
Puc. O! give me leave, I have deluded you; 'Twas neither Charles, nor yet the duke I nam'd, But Reignier, king of Naples, that prevail'd.
War. A married man! that's most intolerable. York. Why, here's a girl! I think, she knows not well,
There were so many, whom she may accuse.
War. It's sign, she hath been liberal and free. York. And yet, forsooth, she is a virgin pure.— Strumpet, thy words condemn thy brat, and thee: Use no entreaty, for it is in vain.
Puc. Then lead me hence ;-with whom I leave
May never glorious sun reflex his beams
▲ The character of Machiavel seems to have made so very deep an impression on the dramatic writers of this age, that he is many times introduced without regard to anachronism. Thus in The Valiant Welchman, 1615, one of the characters bids Caradoc (i. e. Caractacus):
Princes that would aspire must mock at hell."
But darkness and the gloomy shade of death
Enter CARDINAL BEAUFORT, attended.
Car. Lord regent, I do greet your excellence
York. Is all our travail turn'd to this effect?
War. Be patient, York: if we conclude a peace,
The poet, in the calumnies and vituperations of the Pucelle, of course follows the chroniclers, and the prevailing popular tradition. The facts relating to this extraordinary young heroine, with the authentic documents, have been industriously collected in the interesting work of Lenglet du Fresnoy, Histoire de Jeanne d'Arc, Vierge Héroine et Martyre d'Etat, 1753. The good Abbé, though not always credulous, seems to have believed in her inspiration. It is a lasting reproach to Charles VII. whose cause she so essentially served, that he abandoned her to her fate.
• Remorse, i. e. compassion, pity.
It shall be with such strict and severe covenants,
Enter CHARLES, attended; ALENÇON, Bastard,
Char. Since, lords of England, it is thus agreed,
York. Speak, Winchester; for boiling choler chokes
Win. Charles, and the rest, it is enacted thus:
Alen. Must he be then as shadow of himself?
Char. 'Tis known, already, that I am possess'd
7 The old copy has poison'd. The correction is Pope's. Baleful had anciently the same meaning as baneful. It is an
epithet frequently bestowed on poisonous plants and reptiles.
Romeo and Juliet:
With baleful weeds, and precious-juiced flowers."