Imágenes de páginas

And furbish new the name of John of Gaunt,

Even in the lusty 'haviour of his son.

Gaunt. Heaven in thy, good cause make thee prosperous!

Be swift like lightning in the execution;
And let thy blows, doubly redoubled,
Fall like amazing thunder on the casque
Of thy adverse pernicious enemy:

Rouse up thy youthful blood, be valiant and live.


Boling. Mine innocency, and saint George to thrive!
[He takes his seat.
Nor. [rising] However heaven, or fortune, cast my lot,
There lives, or dies, true to king Richard's throne,
A loyal, just, and upright gentleman:
Never did captive with a freer heart

Cast off his chains of bondage, and embrace
His golden uncontroll'd enfranchisement,
More than my dancing soul doth celebrate
This feast of battle with mine adversary.-
Most mighty liege,-and my companion peers,—
Take from my mouth the wish of happy years:
As gentle and as jocund, as to jest,1

Go I to fight; Truth hath a quiet breast.

ther, and yet so flexible as to accommodate the dress they form to every motion of the body. Of these many are still to be seen in the Tower of London. Steevens.

The object of Bolingbroke's request is, that the temper of his lance's point might as much exceed the mail of his adversary, as the iron of that mail was harder than wax. Henley.

6 And furbish—] Thus the quartos, 1608 and 1615. The folio reads-furnish. Either word will do, as to furnish in the time of Shakspeare signified to dress. So, twice in As you Like it: "furnished like a huntsman.”—“ — furnished like a beggar." Steevens.

7 Fall like amazing thunder on the casque-] To amaze, in ancient language, signifies to stun, to confound. Thus, in Arthur Hall's translation of the third Iliad, 4to. 1581:

"And striking him upon the helme, his foe amazed makes." See also, King John, Act IV, sc. iii. Steevens.

8 Mine innocency,] Old copies-innocence. Corrected by Mr. Steevens. Malone.

9 This feast of battle-] "War is death's feast," is a proverbial saying. See Ray's Collection. Steevens.

As gentle and as jocund, as to jest,] Not so neither. We should read to just; i. e. to tilt or tourney, which was a kind of sport too,



K. Rich. Farewel, my lord: securely I espy Virtue with valour couched in thine eye.Order the trial, marshal, and begin.

[The King and the Lords return to their seats. Mar. Harry of Hereford, Lancaster, and Derby, Receive thy lance; and God defend the right!

Boling. [rising] Strong as a tower in hope, I cry—


Mar. Go bear this lance [to an Offi.] to Thomas duke of Norfolk.

1 Her. Harry of Hereford, Lancaster, and Derby, Stands here for God, his sovereign, and himself, On pain to be found false and recreant,


prove the duke of Norfolk, Thomas Mowbray, A traitor to his God, his king, and him,

And dares him to set forward to the fight.

2 Her. Here standeth Thomas Mowbray, duke of Norfolk,

On pain to be found false and recreant,
Both to defend himself, and to approve
Henry of Hereford, Lancaster, and Derby,

To God, his sovereign, and to him, disloyal;
Courageously, and with a free desire,

Attending but the signal to begin.

Mar. Sound, trumpets; and set forward, combatants.

[A charge sounded.

Stay, the king hath thrown his warder down.2

The sense would perhaps have been better if the author had written what his commentator substitutes; but the rhyme, to which sense is too often enslaved, obliged Shakspeare to write jest, and obliges us to read it.

The commentators forget that to jest sometimes signifies in old language to play a part in a mask. Thus, in Hieronimo: "He promised us in honour of our guest,

"To grace our banquet with some pompous jest."

and accordingly a mask is performed. Farmer.

Dr. Farmer has well explained the force of this word. So, in The Third Part of King Henry VI:



as if the tragedy

"Were play'd in jest by counterfeited actors." Tollet.

hath thrown his warder down.] A warder appears to have been a kind of truncheon carried by the person who presided at these single combats. So, in Daniel's Civil Wars, &c. B. I:


K. Rich. Let them lay by their helmets and their


And both return back to their chairs again:-
Withdraw with us:-and let the trumpets sound,
While we return these dukes what we decree.-

Draw near,

[A long flourish. [To the Combatants.

And list, what with our council we have done.
For that our kingdom's earth should not be soil'd
With that dear blood which it hath fostered;3
And for our eyes do hate the dire aspéct

Of civil wounds plough'd up with neighbours' swords; [And for we think the eagle-winged pride

Of sky-aspiring and ambitious thoughts,
With rival-hating envy, set you on3

To wake our peace, which in our country's cradle
Draws the sweet infant breath of gentle sleep;]
Which so rous'd up with boisterous untun'd drums,
With harsh-resounding trumpets' dreadful bray,
And grating shock of wrathful iron arms,
Might from our quiet confines fright fair peace,

"When lo, the king, suddenly changed his mind,

"Casts down his warder to arrest them there." Steevens. 3 With that dear blood which it hath fostered;] The quartos read

With that dear blood which it hath been foster'd.

I believe the author wrote

With that dear blood with which it hath been foster'd.

The quarto, 1608, reads, as in the text. Steevens.


4 And for we think the eagle-winged pride &c.] These five verses are omitted in the other editions, and restored from the first of 1598. Pope.


set you on] The old copy reads-on you. Corrected by Mr. Pope. Malone.

6 To wake our peace,

Which so rous'd up


Might fright fair peace,] Thus the sentence stands in the common reading absurdly enough; which made the Oxford editor, instead of fright fair peace, read, be affrighted; as if these latter words could ever, possibly, have been blundered into the former by transcribers. But his business is to alter as his fancy leads him, not to reform errors, as the text and rules of criticism direct. In a word then, the true original of the blunder

And make us wade even in our kindred's blood;-
Therefore, we banish you our territories:-
You, cousin Hereford, upon pain of death,

Till twice five summers have enrich'd our fields,
Shall not regreet our fair dominions,

But tread the stranger paths of banishment.

Boling. Your will be done: This must my comfort be,

That sun, that warms you here, shall shine on me;
And those his golden beams, to you here lent,
Shall point on me and gild my banishment.

K. Rich. Norfolk, for thee remains a heavier doom, Which I with some unwillingness pronounce:

was this: the editors, before Mr. Pope, had taken their editions from the folios, in which the text stood thus:

the dire aspect

Of civil wounds plough'd up with neighbour swords;
Which so rouz'd up

fright fair peace.

This is sense. But Mr. Pope, who carefully examined the first printed plays in quarto, (very much to the advantage of his edition) coming to this place, found five lines, in the first edition of this play printed in 1598, omitted in the first general collection of the poet's works; and, not enough attending to their agreement with the common text, put them into their place. Whereas, in truth, the five lines were omitted by Shakspeare himself, as not agreeing to the rest of the context; which, on revise, he thought fit to alter. On this account I have put them into hooks, not as spurious, but as rejected on the author's revise; and, in deed, with great judgment; for

To wake our peace, which in our country's cradle
Draws the sweet infant breath of gentle sleep,

as pretty as it is in the image, is absurd in the sense for peace awake is still peace, as well as when asleep. The difference is, that peace asleep gives one the notion of a happy people sunk in sloth and luxury, which is not the idea the speaker would raise, and from which state the sooner it was awaked the better.


To this note, written with such an appearance of taste and judgment, I am afraid every reader will not subscribe. It is true, that peace awake is still peace, as well as when asleep; but peace awakened by the tumults of these jarring nobles, and peace indulging in profound tranquillity, convey images sufficiently opposed to each other for the poet's purpose. To wake peace, is, to introduce discord. Peace asleep, is peace exerting its natural influence, from which it would be frighted by the clamours of war. Steevens.

The fly-slow hours shall not determinate
The dateless limit of thy dear exíle;—
The hopeless word of-never to return
Breathe I against thee, upon pain of life.

Nor. A heavy sentence, my most sovereign liege,
And all unlook'd-for from your highness' mouth:
A dearer merit, not so deep a maim

As to be cast forth in the common air,
Have I deserved at your highness' hand.
The language I have learn'd these forty years,
My native English, now I must forego:
And now my tongue's use is to me no more,
Than an unstringed viol, or a harp;
Or like a cunning instrument cas'd up,
Or, being open, put into his hands

That knows no touch to tune the harmony.

7 The fly-slow hours ] The old copies read-The sly-slow hours. Mr. Pope made the change; whether it was necessary or not, let the poetical reader determine.

In Chapman's version of the second Book of Homer's Odyssey, we have:


and those slie hours

"That still surprise at length."

It is remarkable, that Pope, in the 4th Book of his Essay on Man, v. 226, has employed the epithet which, in the present instance, he has rejected:

"All sly slow things, with circumspective eyes." See Warton's edit. of Pope's Works, Vol. III, p. 145.

Steevens. The latter word appears to me more intelligible:-"the thiev ish minutes as they pass." Malone.

8 A dearer merit, not so deep a maim·

Have I deserved -] To deserve a merit is a phrase of which I know not any example. I wish some copy would exhibit: A dearer meed, and not so deep a maim.

To deserve a meed or reward, is regular and easy. Johnson. As Shakspeare uses merit in this place, in the sense of reward, he frequently uses the word meed, which properly signifies reward, to express merit. So, in Timon of Athens, Lucullus says: -no meed but he repays


"Seven fold above itself."

And in The Third Part of K. Henry VI, Prince Edward says:
"We are the sons of brave Plantagenet,
"Each one already blazing by our meeds."

And again, in the same play, King Henry says:

"That's not my fear, my meed hath got me fame."

M. Mason

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