Page images

Bast. Drawn in the flattering table of her eye!

Hang'd in the frowning wrinkle of her brow! And quarter'd in her heart he doth espy

Himself love's traitor: This is pity now, That hang'd, and drawn, and quarter'd, there

should be, In such a love, so vile a lout as he. Blanch. My uncle's will, in this respect, is

mine: If he see aught in you, that makes him like, That any thing he sees, which moves his liking, I can with ease translate it to my will; Or, if you will, (to speak more properly,) I will enforce it easily to my love. Further I will not flatter you, my lord, That all I see in you is worthy love, Than this,--that nothing do I see in you, (Though churlish thoughts themselves should be

your judge,) That I can find should merit any hate. K. John. What say these young ones? What say

you, my niece ? BLANCH. That she is bound in honour still to do What you

in wisdom shall vouchsafe to say. K. John. Speak then, prince Dauphin ; can you

love this lady?
Lew. Nay, ask me if I can refrain from love;
For I do love her most unfeignedly.
K. John. Then do I give Volquessen", Touraine,

Poictiers, and Anjou, these five provinces,
With her to thee; and this addition more,


- Volquessen,] This is the ancient name for the country now called the Vexin ; in Latin, Pagus Velocassinus. That part of it called the Norman Vexin, was in dispute between Philip and John. Steevens.

This and the subsequent line (except the words, “ do I give,") are taken from the old play. Malone.

your hands?

Full thirty thousand marks of English coin.--
Philip of France, if thou be pleas'd withal,
Command thy son and daughter to join hands.
K. Par. It likes us well ;-Young princes, close

. Aust. And your lips too; for, I am well assur’d, That I did so, when I was first assur'd'.

K. Par. Now, citizens of Angiers, ope your gates, Let in that amity which you have made; For at saint Mary's chapel, presently, The rites of marriage shall be solemniz'd.Is not the lady Constance in this troop ?I know, she is not; for this match, made up, Her presence would have interrupted much : Where is she and her son ? tell me, who knows. Lew. She is sad and passionate at your highness'

tent 4. K. Phi. And, by my faith, this league, that we

have made,
Will give her sadness very little cure.-
Brother of England, how may we content
This widow lady ? In her right we came;


- Young princes, close your hands.] See The Winter's Tale, vol. xiv. p. 246, n. 8.

MALONE. 3 – I am well ASSUR’D,

That I did so, when I was first AssUR'D.] Assur'd is here used both in its common sense, and in an uncommon one, where it signifies affianced, contracted. So, in The Comedy of Errors : called me Dromio, swore I was assur'd to her.”

Steevens. 4 She is sad and PASSIONATE at your highness'tent.] Passionate, in this instance, does not signify disposed to anger, but a prey to mournful sensations. So, in Beaumont and Fletcher's Wit without Money :

Thou art passionate, “ Hast been brought up with girls.” Steevens. Again, in the old play entitled The true Tragedie of Richard Duke of Yorke, 1600:

“ Tell me, good madam,

Why is your grace so passionate of late ?" Malone.

Which we, God knows, have turn'd another way,
To our own vantage.
K. John.

We will heal up all;
For we'll create young Arthur duke of Bretagne,
And earl of Richmond, and this rich fair town
We make him lord of.—Call the lady Constance;
Some speedy messenger bid her repair
To our solemnity :-I trust we shall,
If not fill up the measure of her will,
Yet in some measure satisfy her so,
That we shall stop her exclamation.
Go we, as well as haste will suffer us,
To this unlook'd for unprepared pomp.
[Exeunt all but the Bastard. --The Citizens

retire from the walls. Bast. Mad world ! mad kings ! mad composition ! John, to stop Arthur's title in the whole, Hath willingly departed with a part": And France, (whose armour conscience buckled on; Whom zeal and charity brought to the field, As God's own soldier, rounded in the ear 6

DEPARTED with a part :) To part and to depart were formerly synonymous. So, in Every Man in his Humour : Faith, sir, I can hardly depart with ready money.” Again, in Every Woman in her Humour, 1609 : - She'll serve under him till death us depart.Steevens. So, in Love's Labour Lost, vol. iv. p. 314 :

“ Which we much rather had depart withal.” Malone. — ROUNDED in the ear-] i. e. whispered in the ear. This phrase is frequently used by Chaucer, as well as later writers. So, in Lingua, or A Combat of the Tongue, &c. 1607 : “I help'd Herodotus to pen some part of his Muses, lent Pliny ink to write his history, and rounded Rabelais in the ear when he historified Pantagruel.” Again, in The Spanish Tragedy :

“ Forthwith Revenge she rounded me i' th' ear." STEEVENS. So, in The Winter's Tale, vol. xiv. p. 257, n. 6.

“ They're here with me already: whispering, rounding,

“ Sicilia is a so-forth.” See an explanation of the word and its etymology in a letter from Sir Henry Spelman. Wormii Literatura Runica Hafniæ, 1651, p. 4. Boswell.





With that same purpose-changer, that sly 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-faced gentleman, tickling commo-

Commodity, the bias of the world 8
The world, who of itself is peised well,
Made to run even, upon even ground;
Till this advantage, this vile drawing bias,
This sway of motion, this commodity,


7 Who having no external thing to lose

But the word maid, -cheats the poor maid of that ;] The construction here appears extremely harsh to our ears, yet I do not believe there is any corruption ; for I have observed a similar phraseology in other places in these plays. The construction isCommodity, he that wins of all,—he that cheats the poor maid of that only external thing she has to lose, namely, the word maid, i. e. her chastity. Who having is used as the absolute case, in the sense of “ they having—;" and the words “ who having no external thing to lose but the word maid," are in some measure parenthetical; yet they cannot with propriety be included in a parenthesis, because then there would remain nothing to which the relative that at the end of the line could be referred. In The Winter's Tale are the following lines, in which we find a similar phraseology:


your son-in-law,
“ And son unto the king, (whom heavens directing,)

“Is troth-plight to your daughter." Here the pronoun whom is used for him, as who, in the passage before us, is used for they. Malone.

8 COMMODITY, the bias of the world ;] Commodity is interest. So, in Damon and Pythias, 1582:

for vertue's sake only, They would honour friendship, and not for commoditie.Again, “ I will use his friendship to mine own commoditie.

STEEVENS. So, in Cupid's Whirligig, 1607 :

“O the world is like a byas bowle, and it runs all on the rich men's sides.” HENDERSON.

Makes it take head from all indifferency,
From all direction, purpose, course, intent:
And this same bias, this commodity,
This bawd, this broker', this all-changing word,
Clapp'd on the outward eye of fickle France,
Hath drawn him from his own determin’d aid',
From a resolv'd and honourable war,
To a most 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 salute 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 my lord ! for I will worship thee! [Exito.




- this BROKER] A broker in old language meant a pimp or procuress. See a note on Hamlet, vol. vii.


224 :
“ Do not believe his vows, for they are brokers,” &c.

MALONE. - from his own determined Aid,] The word eye, in the line preceding, and the word own, which can ill agree with aid, induces me to think that we ought to read—“his own determined aim," instead of aid. His own aid is little better than nonsense.

M. Mason. - CLUTCh my hand,] To clutch my hand, is to clasp close. So, in Measure for Measure: “putting the hand into the pocket, and extracting it clutched.Again, in Antonio's Re

“ The fist of strenuous vengeance is clutch'd." 3 But for, &c.] i. e. because. So, in The Two Gentlemen of Verona :

“ I curse myself, for they are sent by me.” Reed. Again, in Othello :

or for I am declin'd “ Into the vale of years." MALONE. 4 In the old copy the second Act extends to the end of the

venge, 1602 :

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »