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Deep shame had struck me dumb, made me break off,
And those thy fears might have wrought fears in
But thou didst understand me by my signs,
Out of my sight, and never see me more!
This kingdom, this confine of blood and breath,
"And in this glorious and well foughten field "We kept together in our chivalry." MALONE. As, in ancient language, has sometimes the power of—as for instance. So, in Hamlet:
As, stars with trains of fire," &c.
In the present instance it seems to mean, as if.
(says the King, speaking elliptically,) turned an eye of doubt on my face, as if to bid me tell my tale in express words," &c. So, in Spenser's Fairy Queen :
"That with the noise it shook as it would fall;" i. e. as if.—I have not therefore disturbed the old reading.
3 The dreadful motion of a MURD'ROUS thought,] Nothing can be falser than what Hubert here says in his own vindication; for we find, from a preceding scene, "the motion of a murd'rous thought had entered into him," and that very deeply and it was
And you have slander'd nature in my form;
Than to be butcher of an innocent child.
K. JOHN. Doth Arthur live? O, haste thee to the peers,
Throw this report on their incensed rage,
The Same. Before the Castle.
Enter ARTHUR, on the Walls. ARTH. The wall is high; and yet will I leap down 5 :
with difficulty that the tears, the intreaties, and the innocence of Arthur had diverted and suppressed it. WARBURTon.
4 I conjure thee but slowly; run more fast.] The old play is divided into two parts, the first of which concludes with the King's despatch of Hubert on this message; the second begins with "Enter Arthur," &c. as in the following scene. STEEVENS.
5 The wall is high; and yet I will leap down :] Our author has here followed the old play. In what manner Arthur was deprived of his life is not ascertained. Matthew Paris, relating the event, uses the word evanuit; and, indeed, as King Philip afterwards publickly accused King John of putting his nephew to death, without either mentioning the manner of it, or his accomplices, we may conclude that it was conducted with impenetrable secrecy. The French historians, however, say, that John coming in a boat, during the night-time, to the castle of Rouen, where the
Good ground, be pitiful, and hurt me not!—
If I get down, and do not break my limbs,
O me! my uncle's spirit is in these stones:Heaven take my soul, and England keep my bones! [Dies.
Enter PEMBROKE, SALISBURY, and BIGoz
SAL. Lords, I will meet him at saint Edmund's
It is our safety, and we must embrace
PEM. Who brought that letter from the cardinal?
BIG. To-morrow morning let us meet him then. SAL. Or, rather then set forward: for 'twill be Two long days' journey, lords, or e'er we meet 7.
young prince was confined, ordered him to be brought forth, and having stabbed him, while supplicating for mercy, the King fastened a stone to the dead body, and threw it into the Seine, in order to give some colour to a report, which he afterwards caused to be spread, that the prince attempting to escape out of a window of the tower of the castle, fell into the river, and was drowned.
6 Whose private, &c.] i. e. whose private account of the Dauphin's affection to our cause is much more ample than the letters. POPE.
OR E'ER we meet.] This phrase, so frequent in our old writers, is not well understood. Or is here the same as ere, i. e. before, and should be written (as it is still pronounced in Shropshire) ore. There the common people use it often. Thus, they say, Ore to-morrow, for ere or before to-morrow. The addition of ever, or e'er, is merely augmentative.
Enter the Bastard.
BAST. Once more to-day well met, distemper'd lords!
The king, by me, requests your presence straight.
SAL. Our griefs, and not our manners, reason now 9.
That or has the full sense of before, and that e'er, when joined with it, is merely augmentative, is proved from innumerable passages in our ancient writers, wherein or occurs simply without e'er, and must bear that signification. Thus, in the old tragedy of Master Arden of Feversham, 1599, quarto, (attributed by some, though falsely, to Shakspeare,) the wife says:
"He shall be murdered or the guests come in." Sig. H. iii. b. So, in All for Money, an old Morality, 1574: "I could sit in the cold a good while I swear, "Or I would be weary such suitors to hear." Again, in Every Man, another Morality, no date :
"As, or we departe, thou shalt know."
Again, in the interlude of The Disobedient Child, bl. 1. no date : "To send for victuals or I came away."
That or should be written ore I am by no means convinced. The vulgar pronunciation of a particular county ought not to be received as a general guide. Ere is nearer the Saxon primitive ær. STEEVENS.
See vol. xv. p. 25, n. 8. Boswell.
8 distemper'd i. e. ruffled, out of humour. So, in Hamlet:
in his retirement marvellous distemper'd."
- reason with the fellow
"Before you punish him." STEEVENS.
9- REASON NOW.] To reason, in Shakspeare, is not so often to argue, as to talk. JOHNSON.
So, in Coriolanus:
BAST. But there is little reason in your grief; Therefore, 'twere reason, you had manners now. PEM. Sir, sir, impatience hath his privilege. BAST. 'Tis true; to hurt his master, no man else 1.
SAL. This is the prison: What is he lies here? [Seeing ARTHUR. PEM. O death, made proud with pure and princely beauty!
The earth had not a hole to hide this deed.
SAL. Murder, as hating what himself hath done, Doth lay it open, to urge on revenge.
BIG. Or, when he doom'd this beauty to a grave, Found it too precious-princely for a grave. SAL. Sir Richard, what think you? beheld 2,
Or have you read, or heard? or could you think 3?
Form such another? This is the very top,
I no MAN else.] Old copy-no man's. Corrected by the editor of the second folio. MALONE.
2 HAVE YOU beheld,] Old copy-" You have," &c. CorMALONE. rected by the editor of the third folio.
3 Or have you read, or heard? &c.]
have been already urged by the Dauphin, Act III. Sc. IV.: Who hath read, or heard,
"Of any kindred action like to this?" STEEVENS. 4-WALL-EY'D wrath,] So, in Titus Andronicus, Lucius, addressing himself to Aaron the Moor:
Say, wall-ey'd slave." STEEVENS.