« AnteriorContinua »
For I do see the cruel pangs of death
Right in thine eye 2.-Away, my friends! New
And happy newness, that intends old right. [Exeunt, leading off MELUN.
The Same. The French Camp.
Enter LEWIS and his Train.
LEW. The sun of heaven, methought, was loath to set;
But stay'd, and made the western welkin blush, When the English measur'd backward their own
In faint retire: O, bravely came we off,
2 RIGHT in thine eye.] This is the old reading. Right signifies immediate. It is now obsolete. Some commentators would read-pight, i. e. pitched as a tent is; others, "Fight in thine eye." STEEVENS.
3-happy NEWNESS, &c.] Happy innovation, that purposed the restoration of the ancient rightful government. JOHNSON.
4 When the English MEASUR'D] Old copy-When English measure, &c. Corrected by Mr. Pope. MALONE. statter'd] For tatter'd, the folio reads, tottering.
Tattering, which, in the spelling of our author's time, was tottering, is used for tatter'd. The active and passive participles are employed by him very indiscriminately. MALONE.
It is remarkable through such old copies of our author as I have hitherto seen, that wherever the modern editors read tatter'd, the old editions give us totter'd in its room. Perhaps the present broad pronunciation, almost peculiar to the Scots, was at that time common to both nations.
So, in Marlowe's King Edward II. 1598:
Last in the field, and almost lords of it!
Enter a Messenger,
MESS. Where is my prince, the Dauphin ?
By his persuasion, are again fallen off:
And your supply, which you have wish'd so long,
LEW. Ah, foul shrewd news!-Beshrew thy very heart!
I did not think to be so sad to-night,
As this hath made me.-Who was he, that said,
LEW. Well; keep good quarter, and good care to-night;
The day shall not be up so soon as I,
To try the fair adventure of to-morrow. [Exeunt.
"This tottered ensign of my ancestors."
"As doth this water from my totter'd robes." Again, in The Downfall of Robert Earl of Huntington, 1601: "I will not bid my ensign-bearer wave
My totter'd colours in this worthless air."
I read tatter'd, an epithet which occurs again in King Lear and Romeo and Juliet. Of tattering (which would obviously mean tearing to tatters) our author's works afford no parallel.
Mr. Steevens says there is no parallel for this phraseology in our author's works; but see his own note on all-obeying, in Antony and Cleopatra, vol. xii. p. 326, n. 8. BOSWELL.
6 keep good QUARTER,] i. e. keep in your allotted posts or stations. So, in Timon of Athens:
not a man
"Shall pass his quarter." STEEVENS.
An open Place in the Neighbourhood of Swinstead
Enter the Bastard and HUBERT, meeting.
HUB. Who's there? speak, ho! speak quickly, or I shoot.
BAST. A friend :-What art thou?
Of thine affairs, as well as thou of mine?
BAST. Hubert, I think.
Of the part of England
Thou hast a perfect thought":
I will, upon all hazards, well believe
Who thou wilt: an if thou please, Thou may'st befriend me so much, as to think I come one way of the Plantagenets.
HUB. Unkind remembrance! thou, and eyeless
PERFECT thought:] i. e. a well-informed one. So, in Cymbeline:
"I am perfect;
"That the Pannonians," &c.
thou, and EYELESS night,] The old copy reads-endless. STEEVENS. We should read eyeless. So, Pindar calls the moon, the eye of night. WARBUkton.
This epithet I find in Jarvis Markham's English Arcadia, 1607: O eyeless night, the portraiture of death!"
Again, in Gower, De Confessione Amantis, lib. v. fol. 102, b.:
"The daie made ende, and loste his sight,
"And comen was the darke night,
"The whiche all the daies eie blent." STEEVENS.
Have done me shame :-Brave soldier, pardon me, That any accent, breaking from thy tongue, Should 'scape the true acquaintance of mine ear. BAST. Come, come; sans compliment, what news abroad?
HUB. Why, here walk I, in the black brow of night,
To find you out.
BAST. Brief, then; and what's the news? HUB. O, my sweet sir, news fitting to the night, Black, fearful, comfortless, and horrible.
BAST. Show me the very wound of this ill news; I am no woman, I'll not swoon at it.
HUB. The king, I fear, is poison'd by a monk': I left him almost speechless, and broke out To acquaint you with this evil; that you might The better arm you to the sudden time,
The emendation was made by Mr. Theobald. With Pindar our author had certainly no acquaintance; but, I believe, the correction is right. Shakspeare has, however, twice applied the epithet endless to night, in King Richard II.:
"Then thus I turn me from my country's light, "To dwell in solemn shades of endless night." Again:
"My oil-dry'd lamp
"Shall be extinct with age and endless night."
But in the latter of these passages a natural, and in the former, a kind of civil, death, is alluded to. In the present passage the epithet endless is inadmissible, because, if understood literally, it is false. On the other hand, eyeless is peculiarly applicable. The emendation is also supported by our author's Rape of Lucrece : "Poor grooms are sightless night; kings, glorious day."
9 The king, I fear, is poison'd by a monk :] Not one of the historians who wrote within sixty years after the death of King John, mentions this very improbable story. The tale is, that a monk, to revenge himself on the king for a saying at which he took offence, poisoned a cup of ale, and having brought it to his majesty, drank some of it himself, to induce the king to taste it, and soon afterwards expired. Thomas Wykes is the first, who relates it in his Chronicle, as a report. According to the best accounts, John died at Newark, of a fever. MALONE.
you had at leisure known of this'. BAST. How did he take it? who did taste to him? HUB. A monk, I tell you; a resolved villain, Whose bowels suddenly burst out: the king Yet speaks, and, peradventure, may recover.
BAST. Who didst thou leave to tend his majesty? HUB. Why, know you not? the lords are all come back,
And brought prince Henry in their company2;
And tempt us not to bear above our power!
that you might
The better arm you to the sudden time,
Than if you had AT LEISURE known of this.] It appears to me, that at leisure means less speedily, after some delay. M. MASON. 2 Why, know you not? the lords, &c.] Perhaps we ought to point thus:
"Why know you not, the lords are all come back,