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O, lawful let it bé, That I have room with Rome to curse a while ! Good father Cardinal, cry thou, amen, To my keen curses; for, without my wrong, There is no tongue hath power to curse him right.
Pand. There's law and warrant, lady, for my
Const. And for mine too, when law can do no
Pand. Philip of France, on peril of a curse,
thy hand. Const. Look to that, devil, lest that France re
Aust. King Philip, listen to the cardinal.
proof that this play appeared before the reign of King James. It is mentioned by Meres in the year 1598 : but if any allusion to his own times was intended by the author of the old play, (for this speech is formed on one in King John, 1591,) it must have been to the bull of Pope Pius the Fifth, 1569: “ Then I Pandulph of Padua, legate from the Apostolike sea, doe in the name of Saint Peter, and his successor, our holy father Pope Innocent, pronounce thee accursed, discharging every of thy subjects of all dutie and fealtie that they do owe to thee, and pardon and forgivenesse of sinne to those or them whatsoever which shall carrie armes against thee or murder thee. This I pronounce, and charge all good men to abhorre thee as an excommunicate person.” Malone.
Aust. Well, ruffian, I must pocket up these
BAST. Your breeches best may carry them'.
Lew. Bethink you, father; for the difference
That's the curse of Rome. Const. O Lewis, stand fast ; the devil tempts
thee here, In likeness of a new untrimmed bride 3
1 Your breeches best may carry them.] Perhaps there is somewhat proverbial in this sarcasm. So, in the old play of King Leir, 1605:
“ Mum. Well I have a payre of slops for the nonce,
“ Will hold all your mocks.” Steevens. ? Is, purchase of a heavy curse from Rome,] It is a political maxim, that kingdoms are never married. Lewis, upon the wedding, is for making war upon his new relations. Johnson.
the devil tempts thee here, In likeness of a new UNTRIMMED bride.] · Though all the copies concur in this reading, yet as untrimmed cannot bear any signification to square with the sense required, I cannot help think. ing it a corrupted reading. I have ventured to throw out the negative, and read:
“ In likeness of a new and trimmed bride." i. e. of a new bride, and one decked and adorned as well by art as nature. THEOBALD. Mr. Theobald says,
" that as untrimmed cannot bear any sige nification to square with the sense required," it must be corrupt ; therefore he will cashier it, and read -and trimmed ; in which he is followed by the Oxford editor : but they are both too hasty. It squares very well with the sense, and signifies unsteady. The term is taken from navigation. We say too, in a similar way
of speaking, not well manned.
WARBURTON. I think Mr. Theobald's correction more plausible than Dr. Warburton's explanation. A commentator should be grave, and therefore I can read these notes with proper severity of attention; but the idea of trimming a lady to keep her steady, would be too risible for any common power of face. “Johnson.
Blanch. The lady Constance speaks not from
her faith, But from her need.
Trim is dress. An untrimmed bride is a bride undrest. Could the tempter of mankind assume a semblance in which he was more likely to be successful ? But notwithstanding what Aristænetus assures us concerning Lais-ενδεδυμένη μεν, ευπροσωπoτάτη δέ εκδύσα δε όλη πρόσωπον φαίνεται,--that drest she was beautiful, undrest she was all beauty-by Shakspeare's epithet-untrimmed, I do not mean absolutely naked, but
Nuda pedem, discincta sinum, spoliata lacertos; in short, whatever is comprized in Lothario's idea of unattired.
Non mihi sancta Diana placet, nec nuda Cythere;
Illa voluptatis nil habet, hæc nimium. The devil (says Constance) raises to your imagination your bride disencumbered of the forbidding forms of dress, and the memory of my wrongs is lost in the articipation of future enjoyment. Ben Jonson in his New Inn, says :
- Bur. Here's a lady gay:
Tip. A well-trimm'd lady!”
“ And I was trimm'd in madam Julia's gown.” Agaip, in King Henry VI. Part III. Act II. : Trimm'd like
a younker prancing to his love." Again, in Reginald Scott's Discovery of Witchcraft, 1514 :
a good huswife, and also well trimmed up in apparel." Mr. Collins inclines to a colder interpretation, and is willing to suppose that by an “untrimmed bride” is meant 'a bride unadorned with the usual pomp and formality of a nuptial habit.' The propriety of this epithet he infers from the haste in which the match was made, and further justifies it from King John's preceding words :
“ Go we, as well as haste will suffer us,
** To this unlook'd for, unprepared pomp." Mr. Tollet is of the same opinion, and offers two instances in which untrimmed indicates a deshabille or a frugal vesture. In Minsheu's Dictionary, it signifies one not finely dressed or attired. Again, in Vives's Instruction of a Christian Woman, 1592, p. 98 and 99: “Let her (the mistress of the house] bee content with a maide not faire and wanton, that can sing a ballad with a clere voice, but sad, pale, and untrimmed.”
STEEVENS. I incline to think that the transcriber's ear deceived him, and that we should read, as Mr. Theobald has proposed
a new and trimmed bride."
O, if thou grant my need, Which only lives but by the death of faith, That need must needs infer this principle,That faith would live again by death of need; O, then, tread down my need, and faith mounts up; Keep my need up, and faith is trodden down. K. John. The king is mov’d, and answers not to
this. Const. O, be remov'd from him, and answer well. Aust. Do so, king Philip; hang no more in
doubt. Bast. Hang nothing but a calf's-skin, most
sweet lout. K. Phi. I am perplex'd, and know not what to
say. The following passage in King Henry IV. Part I. appears to me strongly to support his conjecture :
“When I was dry with rage, and extreme toil,
“ Fresh as a bridegroom
“ Go, waken Juliet ; go, and trim her up;
“ Make haste; the bridegroom he is come already." Again, in Cymbeline :
“ You made great Juno angry.” Again, in our author's Venus and Adonis :
“ The flowers are sweet, their colours fresh and trim ." The freshness which our author has connected with the word trim, in the first and last of these passages, and the laboursome and dainty trims that made great Juno angry,' which surely a bride may be supposed most likely to indulge in, (however scantily Blanch’s toilet may have been furnished in a camp,) prove, either that this emendation is right, or that Mr. Collins's interpretation of the word untrimmed is the true one. Minsheu's definition of untrimmed, " qui n'est point orné,-inornatus incultus," as well as his explanation of the verb “ to trim,” which, according to him, means the same as “to prank up," may also be adduced to the same point. See his Dictionary, 1617. Mr. M. Mason justly observes, that “to trim means to dress out, but not to clothe; and, consequently, though it might mean unadorned, it cannot mean unclad, or naked.” Malone.
PAND. What can’st thou say, but will perplex
thee more, If thou stand excommunicate, and curs'd ? K. Phi. Good reverend father, make my person
peace, Heaven knows, they were besmear’d and overstain'd With slaughter's pencil ; where revenge did paint The fearful difference of incensed kings: And shall these hands, so lately purg'd of blood, So newly join’d in love, so strong in both “, Unyoke this seizure, and this kind regreet" ? Play fast and loose with faith ? so jest with heaven, Make such unconstant children of ourselves, As now again to snatch our palm from palm; Unswear faith sworn; and on the marriage bed Of smiling peace to march a bloody host, And make a riot on the gentle brow Of true sincerity ? O holy sir, My reverend father, let it not be so: Out of your grace, devise, ordain, impose
so strong in both,] I believe the meaning is, “ love so strong in both parties.” Johnson. Rather, in hatred and in love ; in deeds of amity or blood.
HENLEY. 5 -- this kind REGREET?] A regreet is an exchange of salutation. So, in Heywood's Iron Age, 1632:
So bear our kind regreels to Hecuba.” Steevens.