Imatges de pÓgina
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Or made it not mine too? Or which of your friends
Have I not strove to love, although I knew
He were mine enemy? what friend of mine
That had to him deriv'd your anger, did I
Continue in my liking? nay, gave notice1
He was from thence discharg'd? Sir, call to mind
That I have been your wife, in this obedience,
Upward of twenty years, and have been blest
With many children by you: If, in the course
And process of this time, you can report,
And prove it too, against mine honour aught,
My bond to wedlock, or my love and duty,
Against your sacred person2, in God's name,

NAY, gave notice] In modern editions:


nay, gave not notice -."

Though the author's common liberties of speech might justify the old reading, yet I cannot but think that not was dropped before notice, having the same letters, and would therefore follow Sir T. Hanmer's correction." JOHNSON.

Our author is so licentious in his construction, that I suspect no corruption. MALONE.

Perhaps this inaccuracy (like a thousand others) is chargeable only on the blundering superintendants of the first folio.-Instead of-nay, we might read:


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nor gave notice

"He was from thence discharg'd?"

or my love and duty,


AGAINST your sacred person,] There seems to be an error in the phrase "Against your sacred person; " but I don't know how to amend it. The sense would require that we should read, wards your sacred person,' or some word of a similar import, which against will not bear: and it is not likely that against should be written by mistake for towards. M. MASON.


In the old copy there is not a comma in the preceding line after duty. Mr. M. Mason has justly_observed that, with such a punctuation, the sense requires-Towards your sacred person. A comma being placed at duty, the construction is-If you can report and prove aught against mine honour, my love and duty, or aught against your sacred person, &c.' but I doubt whether this was our author's intention; for such an arrangement seems to make a breach of her honour and matrimonial bond to be something distinct from an offence against the king's person, which is VOL. XIX. 2 C

Turn me away; and let the foul'st contempt
Shut door upon me, and so give me up
To the sharpest kind of justice. Please you, sir,
The king, your father, was reputed for
A prince most prudent, of an excellent
And unmatch'd wit and judgment: Ferdinand,
My father, king of Spain, was reckon❜d one
The wisest prince, that there had reign'd by many
A year before: It is not to be question'd
That they had gather'd a wise council to them
Of every realm, that did debate this business,
Who deem'd our marriage lawful: Wherefore I

Beseech you, sir, to spare me, till I may
Be by my friends in Spain advis'd; whose counsel
I will implore: if not; i' the name of God,
Your pleasure be fullfill'd!


You have here, lady,

not the case. Perhaps, however, by the latter words Shakspeare meant, against your life. MALONE.



against my honour aught,

My bond to wedlock, or my love and duty


Against your sacred person," &c. The meaning of this passage is sufficiently clear, but the construction of it has puzzled us all. It is evidently erroneous, but may be amended by merely removing the word or from the middle of the second line to the end of it. It will then run thus

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"against my honour aught,

"My bond to wedlock,- my love and duty,-or


Against your sacred person," &c.

This slight alteration makes it grammatical, as well as intelligible. M. MASON.

The word or may very well be understood. Mr. Malone's remark that a breach of her honour and matrimonial bond cannot be represented as "something distinct from an offence against the king's person, "might be applied with equal or greater force to what precedes; for a breach of her honour would certainly be a breach of her bond to wedlock, and her love and duty; but lesser violations of the respect she owed to his person would not necessarily infer that she had broke her marriage vow. BOSWELL.

(And of your choice,) these reverend fathers; men Of singular integrity and learning,

Yea, the elect of the land, who are assembled

To plead your cause: It shall be therefore bootless,
That longer you desire the court3; as well
For your own quiet, as to rectify
What is unsettled in the king.


His grace

Hath spoken well, and justly: Therefore, madam,
It's fit this royal session do proceed;
And that, without delay, their arguments
Be now produc'd and heard.

Lord cardinal,


you I speak. WOL.


Your pleasure, madam?



I am about to weep*; but, thinking that
We are a queen, (or long have dream'd so,) certain,
The daughter of a king, my drops of tears

I'll turn to sparks of fire.


Be patient yet.

Q. KATH. I will, when you are humble; nay, before,

Or God will punish me. I do believe,
Induc'd by potent circumstances, that
You are mine enemy; and make my challenge,

3 That LONGER you DESIRE the court;] That you desire to protract the business of the court; that you solicit a more distant session and trial. "To pray for a longer day," i. e. ' a more distant one, when the trial or execution of criminals is agitated, is yet the language of the bar.-In the fourth folio, and all the modern editions, defer is substituted for desire. MALONE.

4 I am about to weep; &c.] Shakspeare has given almost a similar sentiment to Hermione, in The Winter's Tale, on an almost similar occasion:

"I am not prone to weeping, as our sex


Commonly are, &c.-but I have

"That honourable grief lodg'd here, which burns

"Worse than tears drown;" &c. STEEVENS.

You shall not be my judge': for it is you
Have blown this coal betwixt my lord and me,-
Which God's dew quench!--Therefore, I say, again,
I utterly abhor, yea, from my soul,

Refuse you for my judge; whom, yet once more,
I hold my most malicious foe, and think not
At all a friend to truth.



I have no spleen against you; nor injustice
For you, or any: how far I have proceeded,
Or how far further shall, is warranted

I do profess,
You speak not like yourself; who ever yet
Have stood to charity, and display'd the effects
Of disposition gentle, and of wisdom

O'ertopping woman's power. Madam, you do me

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By a commission from the consistory,

Yea, the whole consistory of Rome. You charge


That I have blown this coal: I do deny it:
The king is present: if it be known to him,
That I gainsay my deed, how may he wound,
And worthily, my falsehood? yea, as much


and make my CHALLENGE You shall not be my judge:] Challenge is here a verbum juris, a law term. The criminal, when he refuses a juryman, says "I challenge him." JOHNSON.



I utterly ABHOR, yea, from my soul REFUSE you for my judge;] These are not mere words of passion, but technical terms in the canon law.

Detestor and Recuso. The former, in the language of canonists, signifies no more, than-I protest against. BLACKSTONE.

The words are Holinshed's: and therefore openly protested that she did utterly abhor, refuse, and forsake such a judge." MALONE. 7- gainsay -] i. e. deny. So, in Lord Surrey's translation of the fourth book of the Æneid:

"I hold thee not, nor yet gainsay thy words."


As you have done my truth. But if he know
That I am free of your report, he knows,
I am not of your wrong. Therefore in him
It lies, to cure me: and the cure is, to
Remove these thoughts from you: The which before
His highness shall speak in, I do beseech
You, gracious madam, to unthink your speaking,
And to say so no more.


My lord, my lord,
I am a simple woman, much too weak
To oppose your cunning.

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You are meek, and


You sign your place and calling 9, in full seeming,
With meekness and humility: but your heart
Is cramm'd with arrogancy, spleen, and pride.
You have, by fortune, and his highness' favours,
Gone slightly o'er low steps; and now are mounted
Where powers are your retainers: and your words,
Domesticks to you, serve your will1, as't please

8 BUT if] The conjunction-But, which is wanting in the old copy, was supplied, for the sake of measure, by Sir T. Hanmer. STEEVENS.

9 You SIGN your place and calling,] Sign, for answer.


I think, to sign, must here be to show, to denote. By your outward meekness and humility, you show that you are of an holy order, but, &c. JOHNSON.

So, with a kindred sense, in Julius Cæsar :

"Sign'd in thy spoil, and crimson'd in thy lethe."


Where POWERs are your retainers: and your words, Domesticks to you, serve your will,] You have now got power at your beck, following in your retinue; and words therefore are degraded to the servile state of performing any office which you shall give them. In humbler and more common terms: " Having now got power, you do not regard your word."


The word power, when used in the plural and applied to one person only, will not bear the meaning that Dr. Johnson wishes to give it.

By powers are meant the Emperor and the King of France, in

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