Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

Use our commission in his utmost force.

3

BAST. Bell, book, and candle shall not drive me

back,

When gold and silver becks me to come on.
I leave your highness :-Grandam, I will pray

Either emendation may be unnecessary. Perhaps, the "hungry now" is this hungry instant.' Shakspeare uses the word now as a substantive, in Measure for Measure:

"

66

till this very now,

"When men were fond, I smil'd and wonder'd how."

STEEVENS.

[ocr errors]

The meaning, I think, is, “ the fat ribs of peace must now be fed upon by the hungry troops,"-to whom some share of this ecclesiastical spoil would naturally fall. The expression, like many other of our author's, is taken from the sacred writings: "And there he maketh the hungry to dwell, that they may prepare a city for habitation." 107th Psalm.-Again: "He hath filled the hungry with good things," &c. St. Luke, i. 53.

This interpretation is supported by the passage in the old play, which is here imitated;

"Philip, I make thee chief in this affair ;
"Ransack their abbeys, cloysters, priories,
"Convert their coin unto my soldiers' use."

When I read this passage in the old play, the first idea that suggested itself was, that a word had dropped out at the press, in the line before us, and that our author wrote:

"Must by the hungry soldiers now be fed on." But the interpretation above given renders any alteration unnecessary. MALONE.

3 BELL, BOOK, and CANDLE] In an account of the Romish curse given by Dr. Grey, it appears that three candles were extinguished, one by one, in different parts of the execration.

JOHNSON.

I meet with the same expression in Ram-Alley, or Merry Tricks, 1611:

"I'll have a priest shall mumble up a marriage
"Without bell, book, or candle." STEEVENS.

In Archbishop Winchelsea's Sentences of Excommunication, anno 1298, (see Johnson's Ecclesiastical Laws, vol. ii.) it is directed that the sentence against infringers of certain articles should be "throughout explained in order in English, with bells tolling, and candies lighted, that it may cause the greater dread; for laymen have greater regard to this solemnity, than to the effect of See Dodsley's Old Plays, vol. xii. p. 397, edit.

such sentences."

1780. REED.

VOL. XV.

U

(If ever I remember to be holy,)
For your fair safety; so I kiss your hand.
ELI. Farewell, my gentle cousin.
K. JOHN.

Coz, farewell. [Exit Bastard. ELI. Come hither, little kinsman; hark, a word. [She takes ARThur aside. K. JOHN. Come hither, Hubert. O my gentle Hubert,

We owe thee much; within this wall of flesh
There is a soul, counts thee her creditor,
And with advantage means to pay thy love:
And, my good friend, thy voluntary oath
Lives in this bosom, dearly cherished.
Give me thy hand. I had a thing to say,-
But I will fit it with some better time 1.
By heaven, Hubert, I am almost asham'd
To say what good respect I have of thee.

HUB. I am much bounden to your majesty.
K. JOHN. Good friend, thou hast no cause to say
so yet:

But thou shalt have; and creep time ne'er so slow,
Yet it shall come, for me to do thee good.
I had a thing to say,-But let it go:
The sun is in the heaven, and the proud day,
Attended with the pleasures of the world,
Is all too wanton, and too full of gawds",

[ocr errors]

"To caper in his grave. and with vain gawds

66

Trick up his coffin."

4

with some better TIME.] The old copy reads-tune. Corrected by Mr. Pope. The same mistake has happened in Twelfth Night. See that play, vol. xi. p. 397, n. 3. In Macbeth, Act IV. Sc. ult. we have "This time goes manly," instead of—“ This tune goes manly." MALONE.

In the hand-writing of Shakspeare's age, the words time and tune are scarcely to be distinguished from each other. STEEVENS. full of GAWDS,] Gawds are any showy ornaments. So, in The Dumb Knight, 1633:

S

See A Midsummer-Night's Dream, vol. v. p. 178, n. 8.

STEEVENS.

To give me audience :-If the midnight bell
Did, with his iron tongue and brazen mouth,
Sound one into the drowsy race of night;
If this same were a church-yard where we stand,

"Sound ONE into the drowsy race of night;] The word one is here, as in many other passages in these plays, written on in the old copy. Mr. Theobald made the correction. In Chaucer, and other old writers, one is usually written on. See Mr. Tyrwhitt's Glossary to The Canterbury Tales. So once was anciently written ons. And it should seem, from a quibbling passage in The Two Gentlemen of Verona, that one, in some counties at least, was pronounced, in our author's time, as if written on. Hence the transcriber's ear might easily have deceived him. One of the persons whom I employed to read aloud to me each sheet of the present work [Mr. Malone's edition, 1790] before it was printed off, constantly sounded the word one in this manner. He was a native of Herefordshire.

The instances that are found in the original editions of our author's plays, in which on is printed instead of one, are so numerous, that there cannot, in my apprehension, be the smallest doubt that one is the true reading in the line before us. Thus, in Coriolanus, edit. 1623, p. 15:

66

This double worship,

"Where on part does disdain with cause, the other
"Insult without all reason."

[merged small][ocr errors]

perchance he spoke not; but

"Like a full-acorn'd boar, a Jarmen on," &c. Again, in Romeo and Juliet, 1623, p. 66:

"And thou, and Romeo, press on heavie bier." Again, in The Comedy of Errors, 1623, p. 94:

66

"On, whose hard heart is button'd up with steel." Again, in All's Well That End's Well, 1623, p. 240: A good traveller is something at the latter end of a dinner,-but on that lies three thirds," &c.

Again, in Love's Labour's Lost, quarto, 1598:

"On, whom the musick of his own vaine tongue-." Again, ibid. edit. 1623, p. 113:

"On, her hairs were gold, crystal the other's eyes." The same spelling is found in many other books. So, in Holland's Suetonius, 1606, p. 14 : he caught from on of them a trumpet," &c.

66

I should not have produced so many passages to prove a fact of which no one can be ignorant, who has the slightest knowledge of

And thou possessed with a thousand wrongs;
Or if that surly spirit, melancholy,

the early editions of these plays, or of our older writers, had not the author of Remarks, &c. on the last Edition of Shakspeare, asserted, with that modesty and accuracy by which his pamphlet is distinguished, that the observation contained in the former part of this note was made by one totally unacquainted with the old copies, and that "it would be difficult to find a single instance" in which on and one are confounded in those copies.

Mr. Theobald also proposed to read unto for into, which has been too hastily adopted; for into seems to have been frequently used for unto in Shakspeare's time. So, in Harsnet's Declaration, &c. 1603; when the nimble vice would skip up nimbly into the devil's neck."

66

66

Again, in Daniel's Civil Wars, b. iv. folio, 1602:
"She doth conspire to have him made away,
Thrust thereinto not only with her pride,
"But by her father's counsel and consent."
Again, in our poet's King Henry V.:

"Which to reduce into our former favour-." Again, in King Henry VIII.:

66

Yes, that goodness

"Of gleaning all the land's wealth into one." i. e. into one man. Here we should now certainly write one."

[blocks in formation]

Independently, indeed, of what has been now stated, into ought to be restored. So, Marlowe, in his King Edward II. 1598: I'll thunder such a peal into his ears," &c.

66

So also Bishop Hall, in his Heaven upon Earth: "These courses are not incident into an almighty power, who having the command of all vengeance, can smite when he list!" MALONE.

I should suppose the meaning of "Sound on," to be this: 'If the midnight bell, by repeated strokes, was to hasten away the race of beings who are busy at that hour, or quicken night itself in its progress; the morning bell (that is, the bell that strikes one,) could not, with strict propriety, be made the agent; for the bell has ceased to be in the service of night, when it proclaims the arrival of day. Sound on may also have a peculiar propriety, because, by the repetition of the strokes at twelve, it gives a much more forcible warning than when it only strikes one.

Such was once my opinion concerning the old reading; but on re-consideration, its propriety cannot appear more doubtful to any one than to myself.

It is too late to talk of hastening the night, when the arrival of the morning is announced: and I am afraid that the repeated strokes have less of solemnity than the single notice, as they take

Had bak'd thy blood, and made it heavy, thick ;
(Which, else, runs tickling up and down the veins,
Making that idiot, laughter, keep men's eyes,
And strain their cheeks to idle merriment,
A passion hateful to my purposes ;)

Or if that thou could'st see me without eyes,
Hear me without thine ears, and make reply
Without a tongue, using conceit alone 7,
Without eyes, ears, and harmful sound of words;
Then, in despite of brooded watchful day,

8

from the horror and awful silence here described as so propitious to the dreadful purposes of the king. Though the hour of one be not the natural midnight, it is yet the most solemn moment of the poetical one; and Shakspeare himself has chosen to introduce his Ghost in Hamlet,

"The bell then beating one."

Shakspeare may be restored into obscurity. I retain Mr. Theobald's correction; for though "thundering a peal into a man's ears" is good English, I do not perceive that such an expression as "sounding one into a drowsy race," is countenanced by any example hitherto produced. STEEVENS.

7-using CONCEIT alone,] Conceit here, as in many other places, signifies conception, thought. So, in King Richard III.: "There's some conceit or other likes him well, "When that he bids good-morrow with such spirit."

MALONE.

8 - brooded -] So the old copy. Mr. Pope reads-broadey'd, which alteration, however elegant, may be unnecessary. All animals while brooded, i. e. "with a brood of young ones under their protection," are remarkably vigilant.—The King says of Hamlet:

66

there's something in his soul

"O'er which his melancholy sits on brood."

In P. Holland's translation of Pliny's Natural History, a broodie hen is the term for a hen that sits on eggs. See p. 301, edit. 1601:

Milton also, in L'Allegro, desires Melancholy to-
Find out some uncouth cell

66

"Where brooding darkness spreads his jealous wings:" plainly alluding to the watchfulness of fowls while they are sitting. Broad-eyed, however, is a compound epithet to be found in Chapman's version of the eighth Iliad:

66

And hinder broad-ey'd Jove's proud will-." STEEVENS. Brooded, I apprehend, is here used, with our author's usual

« AnteriorContinua »