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Eli. There's a good mother, boy, that blots thy
Fault. One that will play the devil, fir, with you,
Blanch. O, well did he become that lion's robe, That did disrobe the lion of that robe!
Faulc. It lies as sightly on the back of him”, As great Alcides' shoes upon an ass ;
4 You are the hare, -] So, in the Spanish Tragedy :
66 He hunted well that was a lion's death;
66 So hares may pull dead lions by the beard,” STEEVENS, s It lies as hightly on the back of him,
As great Alcides' shoes upon an ass:] But why his moes in the name of propriety? For let Hercules and his shoes have been really as big as they were ever supposed to be, yet they (I mean the shoes) would not have been an overload for an ass. I am persuaded, I have retrieved the true reading; and let us observe the justness of the comparison now. Faulconbridge in his resentment would say this to Austria : “ That lion's skin, which my great father king Richard once wore, looks as uncouthly on thy back, as that other noble hide, which was borne by Hercules, would look on the back of an ass.” A double allufion was • intended; first, to the fable of the ass in the lion's skin ; then Richard I, is finely set in competition with Alcides, as Auftria is Satirically coupled with the ass. ThÈOBALD. Mr. Theobald had the art of making the most of his discoveries.
Johnson. The Moes of Hercules are more than once introduced in the old comedies on much the same occasions. So, in The Isle of Gulls, by J. Day, 1606:
are as fit, as Hercules's shoe for the foot of a pigmy." Again, in Greene's Epistle Dedicatory to Perimedes the Blacksmith,
But, ass, I'll take that burden from your back;
Auft. What cracker is this same, that deafs our ears
ference. King John, this is the very sum of all,England, and Ireland, Anjou, Touraine, Maine, In right of Arthur do I claim of thee : Wilt thou resign them, and lay down thy arms?
K. John. My life as soon :- I do defy thee, France, Arthur of Bretagne, yield thee to my hand; And, out of my dear love, I'll give thee more Than e'er the coward hand of France can win : Submit thee, boy.
Eli. Come to thy grandam, child.
Conft. Do, child, go to it' grandam, child:
Arth. Good my mother, peace !
1588: " and fo least I should shape Hercules' shoe for a child's foot, I commend your worship tothe Almighty." Again, in Greene's Penelope's Web, 1601: “I will not make a long harvest for a small crop, nor go about to pull a Hercules' shoe on Achilles' foot.” Again, ibid. “ Hercules' shoe will never serve a child's foot." Again, in Stephen Golson's School of Abuse, 1579:
to draw the lyon's skin upon Æsop's afie, or Hercules' shoes on a childes feete." STEEVENS.
King Lewis, -] Thus the folio. The modern editors read -Philip, which appears to be right. It is however observable, that the answer is given in the old copy to Lewis, as if the dauphin, who was afterwards Lewis VIII. was meant to have been the speaker. The speech itself, indeed, seems appropriated to the king, and nothing can be inferred from the folio with any certainty, but that the editors of it were careless and ignorant.
Eli. His mother shames him so, poor boy, he
Eli. Thou monstrous slanderer of heaven and earth!
Const. Thou monstrous injurer of heaven and earth!
K. Fohn. Bedlam, have done.
Const. ? I have but this to say,-
? I have but this to say,
That he's not only plagued for her fin,
But, &c.) This pafiage appears to me very obscure. The chief difficulty arises from this, that Constance having told Elinor of her fin-conceiving womb, pursues the thought, and uses fin through the next lines in an ambiguous fenfe, fometimes for crimè; and sometimes for offspring
He's not only plagued for her fin, &c. He is not only made miser-
But God hath made her fin and her the plague
Eli. Thou unadvised (cold, I can produce
I point thus :
Her injury, the beadle to her fin.
innocent and remote descendant, punish her son, her immediate offspring: then the affliction will fall where it is deserved; his injury will be her injury, and the misery of her fin; her son will be a beadle, or chaftiler, to her crimes, which are now all punish'd in the person of this child. JOHNSON. Mr. Roderick reads :
-plagu'd for her,
this I have to say,
Her injury, the beadle to her fina lie God hath made her and her fin together, the plague of ber molt remote descendants, who are plagued for her ; the faine power hath likewise made her fin her own plague, and the injury shoe has done to kim her own injury, as a beadle to lash that fin. irge. Providence has to order'd it, that she who is made the instrument of punishment to another, has, in the end, converted that other into an instrument of punishment for herself. STEEVENS.
Constance observes that he (ifte, pointing to King John, “whom from the flow of gall fhe names nor") is not only plagued (with the present war] for his mother's fin, but God hath made her fin and her the plague also on this removed issue, Arthur, plagued on her account, and by the means of her finful offspring, whose injury (the usurpation of Arthur's rights] may be considered; as her injury, or the injury of her sin-conceiving womb; and John's in, jury may also be considered as the beadle or officer of correction employed by her crimes to inflict all these punishments on the per son of this child. TOLLET.
A will, that bars the title of thy son.
Conft. Ay, who doubts that? a will! a wicked
A woman's will; a cankred grandam's will !
K. Phil. Peace, lady; pause, or be more teinperate : 8 It ill beseems this presence, to cry aim To thefe ill-tuned repetitions. Some trumpet summon hither to the walls These men of Angiers ; let us hear them speak, Whose title they admit, Arthur's, or John's.
Enter Citizens upon the walls. 1 Cit. Who is it, that hath warn'd us to the walls? K. Phil. 'Tis France, for England.
K. John. England, for itself: You men of Angiers, and my loving subjects, K. Phil. You loving men of Angiers, Arthur's sub
jects, Our trumpet call'd you to this gentle parle.
8 It ill befeems this presence, to cry aim
To these ill-tuned repetitions. ] Dr. Warburton has well observed on one of the former plays, that to cry aim is to encourage.
I once thought it was borrowed from archery; and that aim! having been the word of command, as we now say present! to cry aim had been to incite notice, or raise attention. But ! rather think, that the old word of applause was J'aime, I love it, and that to applaud was to cry J'aime, which the English, not easily pronouncing Je, funk into aime or aim. Our exclamations of applause are still borrowed, as bravo and encore. JOHNSON.
Dr. Johnfon's first thought, I believe, is best. So, in Beaumont and Fletcher's Love's Cure, or The Martial Maid:
Can I cry aim " To this against myself?". So, in our author's Merry Wives of Windsor, act II. scene the last, where Ford fays: “ and to these violent proceedings all my neighbours fhall cry aim," See the note on that paffage.