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When I fpake darkly what I purposed;
Hub. Arm you against your other enemies,
than that bad men ufe all the arts of fallacy upon themselves,, palliate their actions to their own minds by gentle terms, and hide themselves from their own detection in ambiguities and subterfuges.
JOHNSON. 8 The dreadful motion of a murd'rous thought,] Nothing can be falfer than what Hubert here fays in his own vindication ; yet · was the poet's purpose that he should speak truth; for we find, from a preceding scene, the motion of a murd'rous thought had ena tered into him, and that very deeply: and it was with difficulty that the tears, the intreaties, and the innocence of Arthur had diverted and suppressed it. Nor is the exprefsion, in this reading, at all exact, it not being the necessary quality of a murd'rous thought to be dreadful, aftrighting, or terrible : for it being coms monly excited by the flattering views of interest, pleasure, or revenge, the mind is often too much taken up with those ideas to ate
have flander'd nature in my forın; Which, howsoever rude exteriorly, Is yet the cover of a fairer mind 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, And make them tame to their obedience ! Forgive the comment that my passion made Upon thy feature; for my rage was blind, And foul imaginary eyes of blood Presented thee more hideous than thou art. Oh, answer not; but to my closet bring The angry lords, with all expedient haste : I conjure thee but Nowly; run more fast'. [Exeunt.
tend, steadily, to the consequences. We must conclude therefore that Shakespeare wrote:
-a murderer's thought. And this makes Hubert speak truth, as the poet intended he should. He had not committed the murder, and consequently the motion of a murderer's thought had never entered his bosom. And in this reading, the epithet dreadful is admirably juít, and in nature, For after the perpetration of the fact, the appetites, that hurried their owner to it, lose their force; and nothing succeeds to take possession of the mind, but a dreadful consciousness, that torments the murderer without respite or intermission. WARBURTON.
I do not see any thing in this change worth the vehemence with which it is recominended. Read the line either way, the fenfe is nearly the same, nor does Hubert tell truth in either reading when he charges John with flandering his form. He that could once intend to
urn out the eyes of a captive prince, had a mind not too fair for the rudes form. JOHNSON.
9 The fpurious play is divided into two parts, the first of which concludes with the king's dispatch of Hubert on this message; the second begins with “ Enter Arthur, &c.” as in the following scene. STEEVINS.
Arth. The wall is high; and yet will I leap down:Good ground, be pitiful, and hurt me not ! There's few, or none, do know me; if they did, This ship-boy's semblance hath disguis'd me quite. I am afraid ; and yet I'll venture it. If I get
down, and do not break my limbs, I'll find a thousand shifts to get away : As good to die, and go, as die, and stay.
[Leaps down. Oh me! my uncle's spirit is in these stones :Heaven take my soul, and England keep my bones!
(Dies. Enter Pembroke, Salisbury, and Bigot. Sal. Lords, I will meet him at faint Edmund's-bury; It is our safety, and we must embrace This gentle offer of the perilous time.
Pemb. Who brought that letter from the cardinal ? Sal. The count Melun, a noble lord of France; Whose private with me, of the Dauphin's love, Is much more general than these lines import.
Bigot. 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”.
* 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 Shropħire) ore. There the common people use it often. Thus, they
Sal. The king hath dispofsess’d himself of us;
Faulc. But there is little reason in your grief; Therefore, 'twere reason, you had manners now.
fay, Ore to-morrow, for ere or before to-morrow. The addition of ever, or e'er, is merely augmentative.
That or has the full sense of before; and that e'er when joined with it is merely augmentative, is proved from innumerable palsages in our ancient writers, wherein or occurs simply without e'er, and must bear that fignification. Thus, in the old tragedy of Master Arden of Feversham, 1599, quarto, (attributed by some, though falsely, to Shakespeare) the wife says: 6* He shall be murdered or the guests come in.”
Sig. H. B. III. PERCY. So, in All for Money, an old Morality, 1574 :
6 I could fit 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, black letter, no date :
" To send for victuals or I came away.” That or should be written ore, I am by no means convinced. The vulgar pronounciation of a particular county, ought not iu ba received as a general guide. Ere is nearer the Saxon primitive, ær.
-reason with the fellow,
Pemb. Sir, sir, impatience hath its privilege.
Sal. Murder, as hating what himself hath done,
Bigot. Or, when he doom'd this beauty to the grave,
Pemb. All murders past do stand excus'd in this ;
prove a deadly bloodfhed but a jest,
Faulc. It is a damned and a bloody work ;
Sal. If that it be the work of any hand ?