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Eli. My blessing go with thee!
For England, cousin', go:
The Same. The French King's Tent.
Enter King PhilIP, LEWIS, PANDULPH, and Attend
ants. K. Phi. So, by a roaring tempest on the flood, A whole armado 2 of convicted sail 3
9 Remember.] This is one of the scenes to which may be promised a lasting commendation. Art could add little to its perfection ; no change in dramatick taste can injure it; and time itself can substract nothing from its beauties. Steevens. 1 For England, cousin :) The old copy
“ For England, cousin, go : I have omitted the last useless and redundant word, which the eye of the compositor seems to have caught from the preceding hemistich. STEEVENS.
King John, after he had taken Arthur prisoner, sent him to the town of Falaise, in Norinandy, under the care of Hubert, his Chamberlain ; from whence he was afterwards removed to Rouen, and delivered to the custody of Robert de Veypont. Here he was secretly put to death. Malone.
2 A whole ARMADO -] This similitude, as little as it makes for the purpose in hand, was, I do not question, a very taking one when the play was first represented; which was a winter or two at most after the Spanish invasion in 1588. It was in reference likewise to that glorious period that Shakspeare concludes his play in that triumphant manner :
“ This England never did, nor never shall,
Is scatter'd and disjoin'd from fellowship.
well, K. Phi. What can go well, when we have run
so ill ? Are we not beaten ? Is not Angiers lost ? Arthur ta'en prisoner ? divers dear friends slain ? And bloody England into England gone, O'erbearing interruption, spite of France ?
LEW. What he hath won, that hath he fortified: So hot a speed with such advice dispos'd, Such temperate order in so fierce a cause *, Doth want example: Who hath read, or heard, Of any kindred action like to this? K. Phi. Well could I bear that England had this
praise, So we could find some pattern of our shame.
But the whole play abounds with touches relative to the then posture of affairs. WARBURTON.
This play, so far as I can discover, was not played till a long time after the defeat of the armado. The old play, I think, wants this simile. The commentator should not have affirmed what he can only guess. JOHNSON.
Armado is a Spanish word signifying a fleet of war. The armado in 1588 was called so by way of distinction. STEEVENS.
3 - of convicted sail — ] Overpowered, baffled, destroyed. To convict and to convince were in our author's time synonymous. See Minsheu's Dictionary, 1617: “ To convict, or convince, a Lat. convictus, overcome.” So, in Macbeth :
their malady convinces
“ The great assay of art.” Mr. Pope, who ejected from the text almost every word that he did not understand, reads-collected sail ; and the change was too hastily adopted by the subsequent editors.
See also Florio's Italian Dictionary, 1598: “ Convitto. Vanquished, convicted, convinced.” Malone.
- in so fierce a Cause,] We should read course, i. e. march. The Oxford editor condescends to this emendation.
WARBURTON. Change is needless fierce cause is a cause conducted with precipitation. “ Fierce wretchedness,” in Timon, is, hasty, sudden misery. STEEVENS.
Sa grave unto a soul ;
Holding the eternal spirit, against her will,
In the vile prison of afflicted BREATH:] I think we should read earth. The passage seenis to have been copied from Sir Thomas More : “ If the
body be to the soule a prison, how strait a prison maketh he the body, that stuffeth it with riff-raff, that the soule can have no room to stirre itself—but is, as it were, enclosed not in a prison, but in a grave.” FARMER.
There is surely no need of change. ". The vile prison of afflicted breath,” is the body, the prison in which the distressed soul is confined. We have the same image in King Henry VI. Part III. :
“Now my soul's palace is become her prison." Again, more appositely, in his Rape of Lucrece:
“ Even here she sheathed in her harmless breast
“Of that polluted prison where it breath’d.” Again, in Sir John Davies's Nosce Teipsum :
“ Yet in the body's prison so she lies,
Malone. Perhaps the old reading is justifiable. So, in Measure for Measure :
“ 'To be imprison'd in the viewless winds.” Steevens. It appears, from the amendment proposed by Farmer, and by the quotation adduced by Steevens in support of the old reading, that they both consider this passage in the same light, and suppose that King Philip intended to say, " that the breath was the prison of the soul; but I think they have mistaken the sense of it; and that by “the vile prison of afflicted breath,” he means the same vile prison in which the breath is confined; that is, the body.
In the second scene of the fourth Act, King John says to Hubert, speaking of what passed in his own mind :
“Nay, in the body of this fleshly land,
“ Hostility and civil tumult reign." And Hubert says, in the following scene :
Const. Lo, now ! now see the issue of your
K. Phi. Patience, good lady! comfort, gentle
Constance ! Const. No, I defy © all counsel, all redress, But that which ends all counsel, true redress, Death, death:40 amiable lovely death ! Thou odoriferous stench! sound rottenness! Arise forth from the couch of lasting night, Thou hate and terror to prosperity, And I will kiss thy détestable bones; And put my eye-balls in thy vaulty brows; And ring these fingers with thy household worms; And stop this gap of breath? with fulsome dust, And be a carrion monster like thyself: Come, grin on me; and I will think thou smil'st, And buss thee as thy wife $ ! Misery's love”, O, come to me!
" If I, in act, consent, or sin of thought,
• May hell want pains enough to torture me! It is evident that, in this last passage, the breath is considered as embounded in the body; but I will not venture to assert that the same inference may with equal certainty be drawn from the former. M. Mason.
6 No, I DEFY, &c.] To defy anciently signified to refuse. So, in Romeo and Juliet :
“I do defy thy commiseration." STEEVENS. 7 And stop this GAP OF BREATH -] The gap of breath is the mouth; the outlet from whence the breath issues. MALONE. 8 And Buss thee as thy wife!] Thus the old
copy. The word buss, however, being now only used in vulgar language, our modern editors have exchanged it for kiss. The former is used by Drayton, in the third canto of his Barons' Wars, where Queen Isabel says:
And we by signs sent many a secret buss.” Again, in Spenser's Fairy Queen, b. iii. c. x. :
every satyre first did give a busse “ To Hellenore; so busses did abound.” Again, Stanyhurst, the translator of Virgil, 1582, renders
K. PHI. O fair affliction, peace.
Pand. Lady, you utter madness, and not sorrow.
Const. Thou art not holy? to belie me so ;
oscula libavit natæ
Bust his prittye parrat prating, &c. Steevens. ? Misery's LOVE, &c.] Thou, death, who art courted by misery to come to his relief, O come to me. So before :
“ Thou hate and terror to prosperity.” Malone. -- MODERN invocation.] It is hard to say what Shakspeare means by modern : it is not opposed to ancient. In All's Well That Ends Well, speaking of a girl in contempt, he uses this word : “ her modern grace.” It apparently means something slight and inconsiderable. Johnson. Modern, is trite, ordinary, common. So, in As You Like It:
“ Full of wise saws, and modern instances.” Again, in Antony and Cleopatra :
“ As we greet modern friends withal.” STEEVENS. 2 Thou art not holy – ] The word not, which is not in the old copy, (evidently omitted by the carelessness of the transcriber or compositor,) was inserted in the fourth folio. MalonE. Perhaps our author wrote:
“ Thou art unholy," &c. STEEVENS.