« ForrigeFortsett »
Enter king John, king Philip, Lewis, Blanch, Elinor,
Faulconbridge, and Austria. K. Phil. 'Tis true, fair daughter; and this bleffed
day Ever in France shall be kept festival : To solemnize this day, the glorious fun
this suspicion of a scene or two being loft; and unwittingly drew Mr. Pope into this error, " It seems to be fo, says he, and it were to be wish'd the restorer (meaning me) coulà supply it," To deterve this great man's thanks, I'll venture at the talk; and hope to convince my readers, that nothing is loft; but that I have supplied the suspected chasm, only by rectifying the division of the acts, Upon looking a little more narrowly into the conftitution of the play, I am fatisfied that the 3d act ought to begin with that scene which has hitherto been accounted the last of the 2d act; and my reasons for it are these : the match being concluded, in the scene before that, betwixt the Dauphin and Blanch, a messenger is fent for lady Constance to king Philip's tent, for her to come to Saint Mary's church to the folemnity: The princes all go out, as to the marriage ; and the bastard staying a little behind, to descant on interest and commodity, very properly ends the act. The next scene then, in the French king's tent, brings us Salisbury delivering his message to Constance, who, refusing to go to the folema nity, fets herself down on the floor. The whole train returning from the church to the French king's pavilion, Philip exprefles such satisfaction on occasion of the happy folemnity of that day, that Constance rises from the floor, and joins in the scene by entering her protest against their joy, and curfing the business of the day. Thus, I conceive, the scenes are fairly continued ; and there is no chasm in the action, but a proper interval made both for Salisbury's coming to lady Constance, and for the folemnization of the marriage. Besides, as Faulconbridge is evidently the poet's favourite character, it was very well judged to close the act with his foliloquy. THEOBALD.
This whole note seems judicious enough; but Mr. Theobald forgets that there were, in Shakespeare's time, no moveable scenes in common playhouses. JOHNSON. It
appears from many paffages that the ancient theatres had the advantages of machinery as well as the more modern stages. See a note on the fourth scene of the fifth act of Cymbeline. STEEVENS.
* To folemnize this day, &c.) From this paffage Rowe seems to have borrowed the first lines of his Fair Penitent, JOHNSON.
Stays in his course, and plays the alchymist';
and plays the alchymist;] Milton has borrowed this thought, Paradise Lost, b. iii:
66 when with one virtuous touch • Tl' arch-chemic sun, &c.?? STEEVENS.
-high tides, -] i. e. folemn seasons, times to be observa ed above others. STEEVENS.
prodigiously be croft:] i. e. be disappointed by the pro, duction of a prodigy, a moniter. So, in the Midsummer Night's Dream :
“ Nor mark prodigious, such as are
" Despised in nativity." STEEVENS.
No bargains break, &c.]
In the ancient almanacs (one of which I have in my possession, dated 1562) the days supposed to be favourable or unfavourable to bargains, are distinguished among a number of other particulars of the like importance. This circumstance is alluded to in Webster's Dutchefs of Malsy, 1623 :
By the almanac, I think
" To choose good days and shun the critical.”? Again, in The Elder Brother of Beaumont and Fletcher:
This day, all things begun come to ill end;
K. Phil. By heaven, lady, you fhall have no cause
Const. You have beguild me with a counterfeit, Resembling majesty ; which, being touch'd, and
try'd, Proves valueless : You are forsworn, forsworn; 4 You came in arms to spill mine enemies' blood, But now in arms you strengthen it with yours : The grappling vigour and rough frown of war, Is cold in amity and painted peace, And our oppression hath made up this league :Arm, arm, you heavens, against these perjur'd kings! A widow cries; be husband to me, heavens ! Let not the hours of this ungodly day Wear out the day in peace; but, ere sun-set, sSet armed discord 'twixt these perjur'd kings! Hear me, oh, hear me!
Auft. Lady Constance, peace.
Conft. War! war! no peace! peace is to me a war. O Lymoges ! 0 Ausiria! thou dost shame
4 You came in arms to spill mine enemies' blood,
But not in arus you sirengthen it with yours : ] I am afraid here is a clinch intended; You came in war to desiroy my enemies, but now you strengthen them in embraces. Jonsson.
s Set armed difcord &c.] Shakespeare makes this Þitter curse effectual. Johnson.
O Lymoges! O Aufria!-] The propriety or impropriety of these titles, which every editor has suffered to pass unnoted, deferves a little confideration. Shakespeare has, on this occation, followed the old play, which at cnce furnithed him with the character of Faulconbridge, and ascribed the death of Richar.' I. to the duke of Austria. In the person of Austria, he has conjoined the two well-known enemies of Cour-de-lion. Leopold, duke of Austria, threw him into prison, in a former expedition, but the castle of Chalus, before which he fell, belonged to Vidoinar, viscount of Limoges; and the archer, who pierced his shoulder with an arrow (of which wound he died) was Bertrand de Gour. E 4
That bloody spoil: Thou slave, thou wretch, thou
don. The editors seem hitherto to have understood Lymoges az being an appendage to the title of Austria, and therefore enquired no il!rther about it.
Holinthed says on this occasion : - The same yere, Phillip, baitard sonne to king Richard, to whome his father had given the caftell and honor of Coinacke, killed the viscount of Limoges, in revenge
of his father's death, &c." Austria, in the fpurious play, is called Lymoges the Auftrich duke.
With this note, I was favoured by a gentleman to whom I have yet more confiderable obligations in regard to Shakespeare, His extentive knowledge of history and manners, has frequently sup: plied me with apt and necessary illustrations, at the same time that his judgment has corrected my errors ; yet such has been his constant folicitude to remain concealed, that I know not but I may give offence while I indulge my own vanity in affixing to this note the name of my friend HENRY BLAKE, efq. STEEVENS.
? doff it for shame,] To doff is to do off, to put off So, in Fuimus Troes, 1603 :
“ Sorrow must doff her fable weeds," Steevens. 8 and hang a calf's-skin on those recreant limbs.] When fools were kept for diversion in great families, they were distinguished by a calf-skin cont, which had the buttons down the back; and this they wore that they might be known for fools, and escape the resentment of those whom they provoked with their waggeries. In a little penny book, intitled The Birth, Life, and Death of
: O, that a man would speak those words to me Faul. And hang a calf's-ikin on those recreant
limbs. Auft. Thou dar'it not say so, villain, for thy life. Faulc. And hang a calf's-skin on those recreant limbs%.
John Franks, with the Pranks he played though a meer Fool, menfion is made in several places of a calf's-skin. In chap x. of this book, Jack is said to have made his appearance at his lord's table, having then a new calf-skin suit, red and white spotted. This fact will explain the farcasm of Constance and Faulconbridge, who mean to call Austria a fool. Sir J. HAWKINS.
I may add, that the custom is still preserved in Ireland ; and the fool, in any of the legends which the mummers act at Christmas, always appears in a calf's or cow's skin. In the prologue to Wily Beguiled, are the two following passages :
* I'll make him do penance upon the fage in a calf's skin." Again :
“ His calf's skin jests from hence are clean exil'd." Again, in the play :
" I'll come wrapp'd in a calf's skin, and cry bo, bo." Again :-"I'll wrap me in a routing calf-Skin fuit, and come like fome Hobgoblin.”-“ Į mean my Christmas calf-skin suit.”
STEEVENS. • Here Mr. Pope inserts the following speeches from the old play of K. John, printed in 1591, (before Shakespeare appears to have commenced a writer) with the following note upon them.
“ Auft. Methinks, that Richard's pride, and Richard's fall, “ Should be a precedent to fright you all.
" Faulc. What words are there? how do my finews shake! " My father's foe clad in my father's spoil ! " How doth Alecto whisper in my ears, “ Delay not, Richard, kill the villain Arait; “ Difrobe bim of the matchless monument, • Thy father's triumph o'er the favages.“ Now by his soul I swear, my father's soul, “ Twice will I not review the morning's rise, « Till I have torn that trophy from thy back,
"And split thy heart, for wearing it fo long." " Methinks, that Richard's pride, &c.] What was the ground of this quarrel of the bastard to Austria is no where specified in the prefent play: nor is there in this place, or the scene where it is first hinted at (namely the second of act II.) the least mention of