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Hel. I will tell truth : by grace itself, I swear. You know, my father left me some prescriptions Of rare and prov'd effects, such as his reading, And manifest experience, had collected For general sovereignty; and that he willd me In heedfullest reservation to bestow them, As notes, whose faculties inclusive' were, More than they were in note : amongst the rest, There is a remedy, approv'd, set down, To cure the desperate languishes, whereof The king is render'd lost.
This was your motive
But think you, Helen,
There's something hints, More than my father's skill, which was the greatest Of his profession, that his good receipt 3
because it repeats what the Countess had already said: it is injurious, because it spoils the measure. STEEVENS,
1- notes, whose faculties inCLUSIVE -] Receipts in which greater virtues were inclosed than appeared to observation.
Johnson. ? EMBOWELL'D of their doctrine,) i. e. exhausted of their skill. So, in the old spurious play of K. John : “ Back war-men, back; embowel not the clime."
Shall, for my legacy, be sanctified
Dost thou believe't ?
Core into theme of the miss.
3 There's something HINTS More than my father's skill,
that his good receipt, &c.] The old copy reads something in't. STEEVENS.
Here is an inference [that] without any thing preceding, to which it refers, .which makes the sentence vicious, and shows that we should read
“ There's something hints
“ that his good receipt " i. e. I have a secret premonition, or presage. WARBURTON. This necessary correction was made by Sir Thomas Hanmer.
Malone, 4 — INTO thy attempt :] So in the old copy. We might more intelligibly read, according to the third folio_" unto thy attempt." STEEVENS.
ACT II. SCENE I.
Paris. A Room in the King's Palace.
Flourish. Enter King, with young Lords taking
ciples Do not throw from you :—and you, my lords, fare
5 Farewell, &c.] In all the latter copies these lines stood thus :
“ Farewell, young lords ; these warlike principles
“ The gift doth stretch itself as 'tis receiv'd.” The third line in that state was unintelligible. Sir Thomas Hanmer reads thus :
“Farewell, young lord : these warlike principles
“ And is enough for both.” The first edition, from which the passage is restored, was sufficiently clear : yet it is plain, that the latter editors preferred a reading which they did not understand. Johnson. :
6 — and you, my LORD, farewell:] The old copy, both in this and the following instance, reads--lords. STEEVENS.
It does not any where appear that more than two French lords: (besides Bertram) went to serve in Italy; and therefore, I think, the King's speech should be corrected thus :
“ Farewell, young lord ; these warlike principles
“ Do not throw from you; and you, my lord, farewell;" what follows, shows this correction to be necessary : “ Share the advice betwixt you ; if both gain all,” &c.
TYRWHITT. Bertram, it was supposed, was to stay at home; and therefore this speech could not properly be addressed to him. Boswell.
Tyrwhitt’s emendation is clearly right. Advice is the only thing that may be shared between two, and yet both gain all.
Share the advice betwixt you ; if both gain all,
It is our hope, sir,
King. No, no, it cannot be; and yet my heart
7- and yet my heart
That doth my life besiege.] i. e. as the common phrase runs, I am still heart-whole; my spirits, by not sinking under my distemper, do not acknowledge its influence. STEEVENS. ,
let higher Italy
Of the last monarchy,) see, &c.] The ancient geographers have divided Italy into the higher and the lower, the Apennine hills being a kind of natural line of partition ; the side next the Adriatic was denominated the higher Italy, and the other side the lower : and the two seas followed the same ternis of distinction, the Adriatic being called the upper Sea, and the Tyrrhene or Tuscan tlie lower. Now the Sennones, or Senois, with whom the Florentines are here supposed to be at war, inhabited the higher Italy, their chief town being Arminium, now called Rimini, upon the Adriatic. HANMER.
Italy, at the time of this scene, was under three very different tenures. The emperor, as successor of the Roman emperors, had one part; the pope, by a pretended donation from Constantine, another; and the third was composed of free states. Now by the last monarchy is meant the Roman, the last of the four general monarchies. Upon the fall of this monarchy, in the scramble, several cities set up for themselves, and became free states : now these might be said properly to inherit the fall of the monarchy. This being premised, let us now consider sense. The King says higher Italy ;-giving it the rank of preference to France; but he corrects himself, and says, I except those from that precedency, who only inherit the fall of the last monarchy; as all the little VOL. X.
The bravest questant shrinks, find what you seek, That fame may cry you loud o: I say, farewell. 2 Lord. Health, at your bidding, serve your
petty states; for instance, Florence, to whom these volunteers were going. As if he had said, I give the place of honour to the emperor and the pope, but not to the free states. WARBURTON. Sir T. Hanmer reads :
“ Those bastards that inherit,” &c. with this note:
“ Reflecting upon the abject and degenerate condition of the cities and states which arose out of the ruins of the Roman empire, the last of the four great monarchies of the world.”
Dr. Warburton's observation is learned, but rather too subtle; Sir Thomas Hanmer's alteration is merely arbitrary. The passage is confessedly obscure, and therefore I may offer another explanation. I am of opinion that the epithet higher is to be understood of situation rather than of dignity. The sense may then be this: • Let upper Italy, where you are to exercise your valour, see that you come to gain honour, to the abatement, that is, to the disgrace and depression of those that have now lost their ancient military fame, and inherit but the fall of the last monarchy.' To abate is used by Shakspeare in the original sense of abatre, to depress, to sink, to deject, to subdue. So, in Coriolanus :
- till ignorance deliver you,
“ That won you without blows." And bated is used in a kindred sense in The Merchant of Venice :
" in a bondman's key,
“With bated breath, and whisp'ring humbleness." The word has still the same meaning in the language of the law. Johnson.
In confirmation of Johnson's opinion, that higher relates to situation, not to dignity, we find, in the third scene of the fourth Act, that one of the Lords says : “ What will Count Rousillon do then ? will he travel higher, or return again to France ?”
M. Mason. Those 'bated may here signify“ those being taken away or excepted.” Bate, thus contracted, is in colloquial language still used with this meaning. This parenthetical sentence implies no · more than they excepted who possess modern Italy, the remains of the Roman empire.' Hort WHITE. 9 That fame may cry you loud :) So in Troilus and Cressida :
“ fame with her loud'st ( yes,