Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

And France; (whose armour conscience buckled on;
Whom zeal and charity brought to the field,
As God's own soldier) 8 rounded in the ear
With that same purpose-changer, that fly devil;
That broker, that still breaks the pate of faith ;
That daily break-vow; he that wins of all,
Of kings, of beggars, old men, young men, maids,
(Who having no external thing to lose
But the word maid, cheats the poor maid of that)
That smooth-fac’dgentleman, tickling commodity,
Commodity, the bias of the world,
The world, who of itself is peised well,
Made to run even, upon even ground;
'Till this advantage, this vile drawing bias,
This fway of motion, this commodity,
Makes it take head from all indifferency,
From all direction, purpose, course, intent :
And this faine bias, this commodity,
This bawd, this broker, this all-changing word,
Clapt on the outward eye of fickle France,
Hath drawn him from his own determin'd aid,
From a refolv'd and honourable war,

8

[ocr errors]

Again, in the Downfal of Robert E. of Huntington, 1601 :

“ The world shall not depart us 'till we die." STEEVENS.

-rounded in the ear] i.e. Whispered in the ear. The word is frequently used by Chaucer, as well as later writers. So, in Lingua, or A Combat of the Tongue, &c. 1697:

" I help'd Herodotus to pen some part of his Muses; lent Pliny ink to write his hiftory, and roünded Rabelais in the car when he historified Pantagruel. Again, in The Spanish Tragedy : • Forthwith Revenge, De rounded me if th' ear.

STEEVENS, . Commodity, the bias of the world ;] Commodity is intereft. So, in Damon and Pythiasg 1582 :

for vertue's fake only; “. They would Ironour friendship, and not for commoditie.Again : I will use his friendship to mine own commoditic."

STEEVENS.

Το

[ocr errors]

To a moft base and vile-concluded peace.
And why rail I on this commodity ?
But for because he hath not woo'd me yet :
Not that I have the power to clutch' my hand,
When his fair angels would falute my palm;
But for my hand, as unattempted yet,
Like a poor beggar, raileth on the rich.
Well, whiles I am a beggar, I will rail,
And say,--there is no sin, but to be rich;
And being rich, my virtue then shall be,
To say,--there is no vice, but beggary:
Since kings break faith upon commodity,
Gain, be iny lord; for I will worship thee! [Exit.

A CT III.

SC EN EI.

The French king's pavilion.
Enter Constance, Arthur, and Salisbury.
Conft. Gone to be marry'd! gone to swear a peace!
False blood to false blood join'd! Gone to be friends!
Shall Lewis have Blanch ? and Blanch those pro-

vinces ?
It is not so; thou hast mif-spoke, mis-heard ;
Be well advis'd, tell o'er thy tale again :
It cannot be; thou dost but say, 'tis fo;
I trust, I may not trust thee; for thy word
Is but the vain breath of a common man:
Believe me, I do not believe thee, man;
I have a king's oath to the contrary.

clutch my hand,] To clutch my hand, is to clasp it close. So, in Antonio's Revenge, 1602:

The fift of strenuous vengeance is clutch'd." STEEVENS. Vol. V.

E

Thou

1

Thou shalt be punish'd for thus frighting me,
For I am fick, and capable of fears;
Oppress'd with wrongs, and therefore full of fears ;
A widow, husbandless, subject to fears ;
A woman, naturally born to fears :
And though thou now confess, thou didst but jest,
With my vext spirits I cannot take a truce,
But they will quake and tremble all this day.
What doit thou mean by shaking of thy head?
Why doit thou look so fadly on my fon?
What means that hand upon that breast of thine ?
Why holds thine eye that lamentable rheum,
Like a proud river peering o'er his bounds ?
Be these fad fighs confirmers of thy words?
Then speak again; not all thy former tale,
But this one word, whether thy tale be true.

Sul. As true, as, I belicve, you think them false, That give you cause to prove my saying true.

Coriji. Oh, if thou teach me to believe this forrow, Teach thou this forrow how to make me die; And let belief and life encounter so, As doth the fury of two desperate men, Which, in the very meeting, fall, and die.-Lewis marry Blanch! Oh, boy, then where art thou? France friend with England! what becomes of me?-Follow, be gone; I cannot brook thy fight ; This news hath made thee a most ugly man.

S1:1. What other harın have I, good lady, done, Lur spoke the harm that is by others done?

Conji. Which harin within itself fo heinous is,
As it makes harınlus all that speak of it.

Aith. I do beseech you, madam, be content.
Confi. If thou”, that bidit me be content, wert grim,

Ugly,

3 If tbou, &c.] Meflinger appears to have copied this paffage in The Unnatural Combat :

166 If thou hadit been born
" Deformn'd and crooked in the features of

46 Thy

Ugly, and land’rous to thy mother's womb,
Full of unpleasing blots, and 3 fightless stains, ,
Lame, foolish, crooked, swart, prodigious “,
Patch'd with foul moles, and eye-offending marks,
I would not care, I then would be content;
For then I should not love thee; no, nor thou
Become thy great birth, nor deserve a crown.
But thou art fair; and at thy birth, dear boy!
Nature and fortune join'd to make thee'great :
Of nature's gifts thou may'lt with lilies boast,
And with the half-blown rose: but fortune, oh!
She is corrupted, chang’d, and won from thee;
She adulterates hourly with thine uncle John;
And with her golden hand hath pluck'd on France
To tread down fair respect of sovereignty,
And made his majesty the bawd to theirs.
France is a bawd to fortune, and king John;
That strumpet fortune, that usurping John :-
Tell me, thou fellow, is not France forsworn;
Envenom him with words ; or get thee gone,
And leave those woes alone, which I alone
Am bound to under-bear.

3

4

Thy body, as the manners of thy mind,
“ Moor-lip'd, flat-nos'd, &c. &c.
" I had been blest." STEEVENS.

-fightless--] The poet uses fightless for that which we now exprels by unsightly, disagreeable to the eyes. JOHNSON.

prodigious,] That is, portentous, fo deformed as to be taken for a foretoken of evil. JOHNSON.

In this sense it is used by Decker in the first part of the Honeft
Wbore, 1635 :

yon comet shews his head again ;
66 Twice hath he thus at cross-turns thrown on us

Prodigious looks.”
Again, in The Revenger's Tragedy, 1607":

“ Over whose roof hangs this prodigious comet." Again, in the English Arcadia, by Jarvis Markham, 1607: "0 yes, I was prodigious to thy birth-right, and as a blazing star at ihine unlook'd for funeral." Steevens. E 2

Sale

[ocr errors]

Sal. Pardon me, madam,
I
may not go without you to the kings.
Conft. Thou may'st, thou shalt, I will not go with

thee:
I will instruct my sorrows to be proud;
For grief is proud, and makes his owner stout s.
To me, and to the state of my great griefo,
Let kings assemble; for my grief's so

great,
That no supporter but the huge firm earth
Can hold it up: here I and sorrows fit;
Here is my throne, bid kings come bow to it?.

[Throws herself on the ground.

Enter

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

SrEEVENS.

[ocr errors]

makes its owner stout.) The old editions have :-- makes its oruxer stoop: the emendation is Hanıner's. Johnson. So, in Daniel's Civil Wars, b. vi:

“ Full with fout grief and with disdainful woe.” 6 To me, and to the state of my great grief,

Let king's assemble; In Much ado about Nothing, the father of Hero, depressed by her disgrace, declares himtelf to subdued by grief that a thread may lead him. How is it that grief in Leonato and lady Constance produces effects directly oppofite, and yet both agreeable to nature? Sorrow softens the mind while it is yet warmed by hope, but hardens it when it is congealed by despair. Distress, while there remains any prospect of relief, is weak and flexible, but when no fuccour remains, is fearless and stubborn; angry alike at those that injure, and at those that do not help; careless to please where noa thing can be gained, and fearless to offend when there is nothing further to be dreaded. Such was this writer's knowledge of the $ paffions. Johnson.

bid kings come bo: to it.] I must here account for the liberty I have taken to make a change in the divifion of the ad and 3d acts. In the old editions, the 2d act was made to end here; though it is evident, lady Constance here, in her despair, seats herself on the floor: and the muit be supposed, as I formerly obTerved, inmediately to rise again, only to go off and end the act decently; or the flat fiene mult fhut her in from the fight of the audience, an absurdity I cannot accuse Shakespeare of. Mr. Gil. don and some other criticks fancied, that a considerable part of the. ad act' was loft ; and that the chalm began here. I had joined in

this

7

« ForrigeFortsett »