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PAND. What can'st thou say, but will perplex thee more,
If thou stand excommunicate, and curs'd?
And tell me, how you would bestow yourself.
- so strong in both,] I believe the meaning is, “love so strong in both parties." JOHNSON.
Rather, in hatred and in love; in deeds of amity or blood.
5- this kind REGREET?] A regreet is an exchange of saluta
tion. So, in Heywood's Iron Age, 1632:
So bear our kind regrects to Hecuba." STEEVENS.
Some gentle order; and then we shall be bless'd To do your pleasure, and continue friends.
PAND. All form is formless, order orderless, Save what is opposite to England's love. Therefore, to arms! be champion of our church! Or let the church, our mother, breathe her curse, A mother's curse, on her revolting son. France, thou may'st hold a serpent by the tongue, A cased lion by the mortal paw,
A fasting tiger safer by the tooth, Than keep in peace that hand which thou dost hold.
K. PHI. I may disjoin my hand, but not my faith.
PAND. So mak'st thou faith an enemy to faith; And, like a civil war, set'st oath to oath, Thy tongue against thy tongue. O, let thy vow First made to heaven, first be to heaven perform'd; That is, to be the champion of our church! What since thou swor'st, is sworn against thyself, And may not be performed by thyself: For that, which thou hast sworn to do amiss, Is not amiss when it is truly done 7;
A CASED lion-] The modern editors read-a chafed lion. I see little reason for change. "A cased lion" is a lion irritated by confinement. So, in King Henry VI. Part III. Act I. Sc. III. : "So looks the pent-up lion o'er the wretch "That trembles under his devouring paws;" &c.
Again, in Rowley's When you See Me you Know Me, 1621: "The lyon in his cage is not so sterne
"As royal Henry in his wrathful spleene."
Our author was probably thinking on the lions, which in his time, as at present, were kept in the Tower, in dens so small as fully to justify the epithet he has used. MALONE.
7 Is NOT amiss, when it is truly done;] This is a conclusion de travers. We should read:
Is yet amiss
The Oxford editor, according to his usual custom, will improve it further, and reads-most amiss. WARBURTON,
And being not done, where doing tends to ill,
And falsehood falsehood cures; as fire cools fire,
I rather read:
"Is't not amiss, when it is truly done?" as the alteration is less, and the sense which Dr. Warburton first discovered is preserved. JOHNSON.
The old copies read :
"Is not amiss, when it is truly done."
Pandulph, having conjured the King to perform his first vow to heaven, to be champion of the church,-tells him, that what he has since sworn is sworn against himself, and therefore may not be performed by him: for that, says he, which you have sworn to do amiss, is not amiss, (i. e. becomes right) when it is done truly (that is, as he explains it, not done at all); and being not done, where it would be a sin to do it, the truth is most done when you do it not. So, in Love's Labour's Lost: "It is religion to be thus forsworn." RITSON. Again, in Cymbeline:
she is fool'd
"With a most false effect, and I the truer
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 doing 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.
8 But thou hast sworn against religion; &c.] The propositions, that the voice of the church is the voice of heaven," 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 irresistible; nor is it easy, notwithstanding the gingle, to enforce it with greater brevity or propriety: "But thou hast sworn against religion :
By what thou swear'st against the thing thou swear'st: "And mak'st an oath the surety for thy truth,
By what thou swear'st, against the thing thou
Against an oath the truth thou art unsure "To swear, swear only not to be forsworn."
By what." Sir T. Hanmer reads-By that. I think it should
be rather by which. That is, "thou swear'st against the thing,
by which thou swear'st; that is, " against religion."
The most formidable difficulty is in these lines:
"And mak'st an oath the surety for thy truth,
This Sir T. Hanmer reforms thus:
And mak'st an oath the surety for thy truth, Against an oath; this truth thou art unsure "To swear," &c.
Dr. Warburton writes it thus:
Against an oath the truth thou art unsure—.” which leaves the passage to me as obscure as before.
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 swearing by religion against religion, to which thou hast already sworn, thou makest an oath the security for thy faith against an oath already taken." I will give, says he, a rule for conscience in these cases. Thou may'st be in doubt about the matter of an oath; "when thou swearest, thou may'st not be always sure to swear rightly; " but let this be thy settled principle, swear only not to be forsworn :" 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 hast sworn against religion; thou hast sworn, by what thou swearest, i. e. in that which thou hast sworn, against the thing thou swearest by; i. e. religion. Our author has many such elliptical expressions. So, in King Henry VIII.:
Whoever the king favours,
"The cardinal will quickly find employment [for], "And far enough from court too." Again, ibidem:
"This is about that which the bishop spake " [of]. Again, in King 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'st titles " [to].
And mak'st an oath the surety for thy truth
And better conquest never canst thou make,
Will't not be ? Will not a calf's-skin stop that mouth of thine? LEW. Father, to arms!
BLANCH. Upon thy wedding day? Against the blood that thou hast married? What, shall our feast be kept with slaughter'd men? Shall braying trumpets', and loud churlish drums,—
the queen is spotless
"In this that you accuse her" [of]. MALONE.
9 -SWEAR only not to be forsworn ;] The old copy readsswears, which, in my apprehension, shows that two half lines have been lost, in which the person supposed to swear 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 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.
And when it ceast shrill trompets loud did bray.” Again, b. iv. c. iv. st. 48:
-braying trumpets,] Bray appears to have been particularly applied to express the harsh grating sound of the trumpet.
So, in Spenser's Fairy Queen, b. iv. c. xii. st. 6: