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That still I lay upon my mother's head;
K. John. Mine eye hath well examined his parts, And finds them perfect Richard.Sirrah, speak, What doth move you to claim your brother's land?
Phil. Because he hath a half-face, like my father; → With that half-face would he have all my land : A half-fac'd groat five hundred pound a year!
6 He hath a trick of Caur-de-lion's face, ] The trick, or tricking, is the fame as the tracing of a drawing, meaning that peculiarity, of face which may be sufficiently shewn by the flightest outline. This expression is used by Heywood and Rowley in their comedy called Fortune by Land and Sea : 6 Her face, the trick of her eye, her leer." The following paffages may more evidently prove the expression to be borrowed from delineation, Ben Jonson’s Every Man out of his Humour :
- You can blazon the rest, Signior? ay, I have it in writing here o' purpose; it cost me twa Thillings the tricking.” So agair, in Cynthia's Revels:
the parish-buckets with his name at length trick'd upon them." STEEVENS.
7 With half that face-] But why with balf that face? There is no question but the poet wrote, as I have restored the text ; With that half-face-Mr. Pope, perhaps, will be angry with me for discovering an anachroniím of our poet's in the next line, where he alludes to a coin not struck till the year 1504, in the reign of king Henry VII. viz. a groat, which, as weil as the half groat, bare but half faces imprefied. Vide Stow's Survey of Lone don, p. 47. Holinshed, Camden's Remains, &ç, The poet sneers.
Rob. My gracious liege, when that my father liv'd, Your brother did employ my father much ;
Phil. Well, fir, by this you cannot get my land; Your tale must be, how he employ'd my mother,
Rob. And once dispatch'd him in an embassy To Germany, there, with the emperor, To treat of high affairs touching that time : The advantage of his abfence took the king, And in the mean time sojourn'd at my father's ; Where how he did prevail, I shame to speak : But truth is truth ; large lengths of seas and shores Between my father and my mother lay, (As I have heard my father speak himself) When this same lusty gentleman was got. Upon his death-bed he by will bequeath'd His lands to me; and took it on his death, That this, my mother's son, was none of his; And, if he were, he came into the world Full fourteen weeks before the course of time. Then, good my liege, let me have what is mine, My father's land, as was my father's will.
at the meagre sharp visage of the elder brother, by comparing him to a filver groat, that bore the king's face in profile, so thewed but half the face : the groats of all our kings of England, and indeed all their other coins of silver, one or two only excepted, had a full face crowned; till Henry VII. at the time above-mentioned, coined groats and half-groats, as also fome shillings, with half faces, i. e. faces in profile, as all our coin has now. The first groats of kirg Henry VIII. were like thofe of his father; though afterwards he returned to the broad faces again. These groats, with the impression in profile, are undoubtedly here alluded to: though, as I said, the poet is knowingly guilty of an anachronism in it: for in the time of king John there were no groats at all; they being firit, as far as appears, coined in the reign of king Edward III. THEOBALD.
The same contemptuous allusion occurs in The Downfall of Robert Earl of Huntington, 1601 :
“ You balf-fai'd groat, you thick-cheek'd chitty-face." Again, in Hifriomaftix, 1610 : " Whilst I behold yon half fac'd minion.". STEEVENS
K. John. Sirrah, your brother is legitimate ; Your father's wife did after wedlock bear him : And, if she did play false, the fault was hers; Which fault lies on the hazard of all husbands
wives. Tell ine, how if my brother, Who, as you say, took pains to get this son, Had of your father claim'd this son for his ? In footh, good friend, your father might have kept This calf, bred from his cow, from all the world; In sooth, he might: then, if he were my brother's, My brother might not claim him; nor your father, Being none of his, refufe himn : This concludes My mother's son did get your father's heir; Your father's heir must have your father's land.
Rob. Shall then my father's will be of no force, To dispossess that child which is not his ?
Phil. Of no more force to dispossess me, fir, Than was his will to get me, as I think. Eli. Whether hadit thou rather,-be a Faulcon,
bridge, And like thy brother, to enjoy thy land; Or the reputed son of Cæur-de-lion, 9 Lord of thy presence, and no land beside ?
Pbil. Madamn, an if my brother had my shape, ' And I had his, sir Robert's his, like him
And 8 This concludes com] This is a decisive argument,
As ther, if he liked him, could not have been forced to resign him, fo, nor liking him, he is not at liberty to reject him. Johnson.
9 Lord of thy presence, and no land beside ?] Lord of tly presence can signify only, master of thyself; and it is a strange expression to fignity even that. However that he might be, without parting with his land, We Ahould read : Lord of the presence, i, e. prince of the blood. WAR BURTON.
Lord of thy presence may fignify fomething more distinct than master of thyself: it means matter of that dignity and grandeur of appearance that may sufficiently distinguish thee from the vylgar, without the help of fortune.
Lord of his presence apparently signifies, great in his own perlan, and is used in this sense by king John in one of the following icenes.
JOHNSON. And I had his, fir Robert's bis, like bim;] This is obfcure and
And if my legs were two such riding-rods,
ill expressed. The meaning is: If I had bis Shape--fir Robert's as be bas.
Sir Robert bis, for fir Robert's, is agreeable to the practice of that time, when the 's added to the nominative was believed, I think erroneously, to be a contraction of his. So, Donne :
-Who now lives to age,
- my face so thin,
Left men should say, Look, where three-farthings goes ! ] In this very obscure pafiage our poet is anticipating the date of another coin; humoroully to rally a thin face, eclipsed, as it were, by a full-blown rose. We must observe, to explain this allusion, that queen Elizabeth was the first, and indeed the only prince, who coined in England three-half-pence, and three-farthing pieces. She at one and the same time coined shillings, six-pences, groats, three-pences, two-pences, three-halt-pence, pence, threc-tarthings, and half-pence. And these pieces all had her head, and were alternately with the rose behind, and without the rose. The fhilling, groat, two-pence, penny, and half-penny had it not : the other intermediate coins, viz. the fix-pence, three-pence, three-half-pence, and three-farthings had the roje. THEOBALD.
So, in The Shoemaker's Holiday, &c. 1610 : • Here's a three-penny piece for thy tidings.'
“ Firk. 'Tis but three-half-pence I think : yes, 'tis threepence ; I smell the rose." STEEVENS.
As we are on the subject of coinage, it may be observed that the following pafiage in Ben Jonson's Devil is an Afs, remains unexplained :
" I will not bate a Harrington o'th' fum." Lord Harrington obtained a patent from K. James I. for making brass farthings. See a Historical Narration of the First 14 l'ears of K. James I. p. 56. TOLLET. The fame term occurs in Ben Jonson's Magnetic Lady: They shall ne'er be a Harrington the better for't."
STEEVENS. 3 That in mine ear I durft not flick a rose,] The sticking roses about them was then all the court-fashion, as appears from this patiage of the Confession Catholique du S. de Sancy, 1. 1. c. 1:
• је luy ay appris à mettre des rofes par tous les coins," i. e. in every place about him, lays the speaker, of one to whom he had taught all the court-lalhions. WARBURTON.
Lest men should say, Look, where three-farthings
Eli. I like thee well; Wilt thou forsake thy fortune,
These roses were, I believe, only roses composed of ribbands. In Mariton's What you will is the following paffage :
" Dupatzo the elder brother, the fool, he that bought the half-penny ribband, wearing it in his ear, &c.”
Again, in Every Man out of his Humour : 56 -This ribband in my ear, or so." Again, in Love and Honour, by sir W. Davenant, 1649:
• A lock on the left side, so rarely hung
“ With ribbanding, &c.” I think I remember, among Vandyck's pictures in the duke of Qucensberry's collection at Ambrosbury, to have seen one with the lock nearest the ear ornamented with ribbands which terminate in roses; and Burton, in his Anatomy of Melancholy, says, 66 that it was once the fashion to stick real flowers in the car."
STEEVENS. Marston also in his Satires, 1599, alludes to this fashion as fantastical :
"..Castilios, Cyprians, court-boyes, Spanish blocks,
" Ribanded eares, Grenada pether-stocks."!
5. Thou know'st I love thee, dear ;
unto the death.] This expression is common among our ancient writers. So, in Ä Merye feft of a Man called Howleglas, bl. l. no date: 66
Howleglas found a woulie that was frozen to the deth." STEEVENS,