Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

To meet displeasure further from the doors;
And grapple with him, ere he come so nigh.

K. JOHN. The legate of the pope hath been with

me,

And I have made a happy peace with him;
And he hath promis'd to dismiss the powers
Led by the Dauphin.

BAST.

O inglorious league!
Shall we, upon the footing of our land,
Send fair-play orders, and make compromise,
Insinuation, parley, and base truce,

To arms invasive? shall a beardless boy,
A cocker'd silken wanton brave our fields,
And flesh his spirit in a warlike soil,
Mocking the air with colours idly spread 2,
And find no check? Let us, my liege, to arms:
Perchance, the cardinal cannot make your peace;
Or if he do, let it at least be said,

They saw we had a purpose of defence.

K. JOHN. Have thou the ordering of this present time.

BAST. Away then, with good courage; yet, I know,

Our party may well meet a prouder foe3. [Exeunt.

2 Mocking the air with colours idly spread,] He has the same image in Macbeth:

"Where the Norweyan banners flout the sky,
"And fan our people cold." JOHNSON.

From these two passages Mr. Gray seems to have formed the first stanza of his celebrated Ode:

"Ruin seize thee, ruthless king!
"Confusion on thy banners wait!

"Though fann'd by conquest's crimson wing

6.

"Let us then

They mock the air with idle state." MALONE. 3 Away then, with good courage; yet, I know, Our party may well meet a prouder foe.] away with courage; yet I so well know the faintness of our party, that I think it may easily happen that they shall encounter enemies who have more spirit than themselves." JOHNSON.

SCENE II.

A Plain, near St. Edmund's-Bury*.

Enter, in arms, LEWIS, SALISBURY, MELUN, PEM-
BROKE, BIGOT, and Soldiers.

LEW. My lord Melun, let this be copied out,
And keep it safe for our remembrance:
Return the precedent to these lords again;
That, having our fair order written down,
Both they, and we, perusing o'er these notes,
May know wherefore we took the sacrament,
And keep our faiths firm and inviolable.

SAL. Upon our sides it never shall be broken. And, noble Dauphin, albeit we swear

Dr. Johnson is, I believe, mistaken. Faulconbridge means— 'for all their boasting, I know very well that our party is able to cope with one yet prouder and more confident of its strength than theirs. Faulconbridge would otherwise dispirit the King, whom he means to animate. STEEVENS.

Yet I know, is-still I know.

BOSWELL.

4 ――

near St. Edmund's-Bury.] I have ventured to fix the place of the scene here, which is specified by none of the editors, on the following authorities. In the preceding Act, where Salisbury has fixed to go over to the Dauphin, he says:

"Lords, I will meet him at St. Edmund's-Bury."

And Count Melun, in this last Act, says:

66

and many more with me,

Upon the altar at St. Edmund's-Bury;

"Even on that altar, where we swore to you
"Dear amity, and everlasting love."

[ocr errors]

And it appears likewise, from The Troublesome Reign of King John, in two Parts, (the first rough model of this play.) that the interchange of vows betwixt the Dauphin and the English barons was at St. Edmund's-Bury. THEOBALD.

5 — the PRECEDENT, &c.] i. e. the rough draught of the original treaty between the Dauphin and the English lords. Thus (adds Mr. M. Mason) in King Richard III. the scrivener employed to engross the indictment of Lord Hastings, says, "that it took him eleven hours to write it, and that the precedent was full as long a doing." STEEVENS.

Would bear thee from the knowledge of thyself,
A voluntary zeal, and unurg'd faith,

To your proceedings; yet, believe me, prince,
I am not glad that such a sore of time
Should seek a plaster by contemn'd revolt,
And heal the inveterate canker of one wound,
By making many: O, it grieves my soul,
That I must draw this metal from my side
To be a widow-maker; O, and there,
Where honourable rescue, and defence,
Cries out upon the name of Salisbury:
But such is the infection of the time,
That, for the health and physick of our right,
We cannot deal but with the very hand
Of stern injustice and confused wrong.-
And is't not pity, O my grieved friends!
That we, the sons and children of this isle,
Were born to see so sad an hour as this;
Wherein we step after a stranger march
Upon her gentle bosom, and fill up

Her enemies' ranks, (I must withdraw and weep
Upon the spot of this enforced cause',)

To grace the gentry of a land remote,
And follow unacquainted colours here?
What, here?-O nation, that thou could'st re-
move!

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

That Neptune's arms, who clippeth thee about3,

6 after a STRANGER march —] Our author often uses stran

ger as an adjective. See the last scene, p. 341:

66

Swearing allegiance, and the love of soul, "To stranger blood, to foreign royalty."

So, in A Midsummer-Night's Dream, vol. v. p. 190: "To seek new friends, and stranger companies."

MALONE.

7

the SPOT of this enforced cause,] Spot probably means, stain or disgrace. M. MASON.

So, in a former passage:

"To look into the spots and stains of right." MALONE. 8 - CLIPPETH thee about,] i. e. embraceth. So, in Coriolanus:

"Enter the city; clip your wives." STEEVENS.

And grapple thee unto a pagan shore';
Where these two Christian armies might combine
The blood of malice in a vein of league,
And not to-spend it so unneighbourly 2!

3

LEW. A noble temper dost thou show in this; And great affections, wrestling in thy bosom, Do make an earthquake of nobility. O, what a noble combat hast thou fought 3, Between compulsion and a brave respect '! Let me wipe off this honourable dew, That silverly doth progress on thy cheeks: My heart hath melted at a lady's tears,

9 And GRAPPLE thee-] The old copy reads-" And cripple thee," &c. Perhaps our author wrote gripple, a word used by Drayton, in his Polyolbion, Song 1:

"That thrusts his gripple hand into her golden maw."

Our author, however, in Macbeth, has the verb-grapple : Grapples thee to the heart and love of us." The emendation (as Mr. Malone observes) was made by Mr. Pope.

[ocr errors]

STEEVENS.

unto a PAGAN shore ;] Our author seems to have been thinking on the wars carried on by Christian princes in the holy land against the Saracens, where the united armies of France and England might have laid their mutual animosities aside, and fought in the cause of Christ, instead of fighting against brethren and countrymen, as Salisbury and the other English noblemen who had joined the Dauphin were about to do. MALone.

2 And not To-spend it so unneighbourly.] Shakspeare employs, in the present instance, a phraseology which he had used before in The Merry Wives of Windsor :

"And fairy-like, to-pinch the unclean-knight."

I

To, in composition with verbs, is common enough in ancient language. See Mr. Tyrwhitt's observations on this last passage, and many instances in support of his position, vol. viii. p. 164, n. 9. STEEVENS.

3 hast THOU fought,] Thou, which appears to have been accidentally omitted by the transcriber or compositor, was inserted by the editor of the fourth folio. MALONE.

4 Between COMPULSION and a brave respect!] This compulsion was the necessity of a reformation in the state; which, according to Salisbury's opinion, (who, in his speech preceding, calls it an enforced cause,) could only be procured by foreign arms: and the brave respect was the love of his country. WARBURTON.

Being an ordinary inundation;
But this effusion of such manly drops,

This shower, blown up by tempest of the soul',
Startles mine eyes, and makes me more amaz'd
Than had I seen the vaulty top of heaven
Figur'd quite o'er with burning meteors.
Lift up thy brow, renowned Salisbury,
And with a great heart heave away this storm:
Commend these waters to those baby eyes,
That never saw the giant world enrag'd;
Nor met with fortune other than at feasts,
Full warm of blood, of mirth, of gossiping.
Come, come; for thou shalt thrust thy hand as

deep

Into the purse of rich prosperity,

As Lewis himself:-so, nobles, shall you all,
That knit your sinews to the strength of mine.
Enter PANDULPH, attended.

And even there, methinks, an angel spake
Look, where the holy legate comes apace,
To give us warrant from the hand of heaven;

6

5 This SHOWER, blown up by TEMPEST of the soul,] our author's Rape of Lucrece :

"This windy tempest, till it blow up
"Held back his sorrow's tide."

"Hem thought it sowned in her ere,
"As though that it an angell were." STEEVENS.

So, in

rain,
MALONE.

6 — an angel SPAKE :] Sir T. Hanmer, and, after him, Dr. Warburton, read here-" an angel speeds," I think unnecessarily. The Dauphin does not yet hear the legate indeed, nor pretend to hear him; but seeing him advance, and concluding that he comes to animate and authorize him with the power of the church, he cries out," at the sight of this holy man, I am encouraged as by the voice of an angel." JOHNSON.

Rather, In what I have now said, an angel spake; for see, the holy legate approaches, to give a warrant from heaven, and the name of right to our cause. MALONE.

This thought is far from a new one. fessione Amantis :

Thus, in Gower, De Con

« AnteriorContinua »