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And you shall say indeed, it is the time,
Mowb. What thing, in honour, had my father lost,
what is done in these times according to the exigencies that overrule us.
“As, force perforce, the age will put it in." Malone.
4 Their armed staves in charge, &c.] An armed staff is a lance.
Johnson. their beavers down,] Beaver, it has been already observed in a former note, (see vol. xvi. p. 364, n. 5,) meant properly that part of the helmet which let down, to enable the wearer to drink ; but is confounded both here and in Hamlet with visiere, or used for helmet in general.
Shakspeare, however, is not answerable for any confusion on this subject. He used the word beaver in the same sense in which it was used by all his contemporaries. Malone,
See Mr. Douce's note, vol. xvi. p. 429. Boswell.
Their eyes of fire sparkling through sights of steel",
— Sights of steel,] i. e. the perforated part of their helmets, through which they could see to direct their aim.
Visiere, Fr. STEEVENS.
7 The earl of Hereford – ] This is a mistake of our author's. He was Duke of Hereford. See King Richard II. MALONE.
* And bless'd, and grac'd indeed, more than the king.] The two oldest folios, (which first gave us this speech of Westmoreland,) read this line thus :
“ And bless'd and grac'd and did more than the king." Dr. Thirlby reformed the text very near to the traces of the core rupted reading. THEOBALD.
It shall appear that your demands are just,
Mow. But he hath forc'd us to compel this offer;
West. Mowbray, you overween, to take it so;
Hast. Hath the prince John a full commission,
West. That is intended in the general's name':
The sense is clear without alteration. Reason wills-is, reason determines, directs. STEVENS.
" That is intended in the general's name :) That is, this power is included in the name or office of a general. We wonder that you can ask a question so trifling. Johnson.
Intended—is understood, i, e. meant without expressing, like entendu, Fr. subauditur, Lat. STEEVENS.
For this contains our general grievances :
substantial form ;] That is, by a pardon of due form and legal validity. Johnson.
3 To us, and to our PURPOSES, CONSIGN'D;] The old copies confin'd. STEEVENS.
This schedule we see consists of three parts : 1. A redress of general grievances. 2. A pardon for those in arms. 3. Some demands of advantage for them. But this third part is very strangely expressed.
And present execution of our wills
“ To us, and to our purposes, confin'd.” The first line shows they had something to demand, and the second expresses the modesty of that demand. The demand, says the speaker, “is confined to us and to our purposes.” A very modest kind of restriction truly! only as extensive as their appetites and passions. Without question Shakspeare wrote
" To us and to our properties confin'd; i. e. we desire no more than security for our liberties and properties ; and this was no unreasonable demand. WARBURTON.
This passage is so obscure that I know not what to make of it.
Perhaps we should read (with Sir Thomas Hanmer) confirmid.
“ For this contains our general grievances,
“ To us and to our purposes confin'd.” FARMER.
The quarto has--confin'd. In my copy of the first folio, the word appears to be consin'd. The types used in that edition were so worn, that f and s are scarcely distinguishable. But however it
may have been printed, I am persuaded that the true reading is consign'd; that is, sealed, ratified, confirmed; a Latin
We come within our awful banks again“,
sense : auctoritate consignatæ literæ, Cicero pro Cluentio." It has this signification again in this play:
“ And (God consigning to my good intents)
“No prince nor peer,” &c. Again, in King Henry V.:
“ And take with you free power to ratify,
Augment or alter, as your wisdoms best “Shall see advantageable for our dignity,
Any thing in or out of our demands ;
“ And we'll consign thereto." Again, ibid. : “ It were, my lord, a hard condition for a maid to consign to-". Confin'd, in my apprehension, is unintelligible.
Supposing these copies to have been made by the ear, and one to have transcribed while another read, the mistake might easily have happened, for consign'd and consin'd are, in sound, undistinguishable; and when the compositor found the latter word in the manuscript, he would naturally print confin'd, instead of a word that has no existence.
Dr. Johnson proposed the reading that I have adopted, but explains the word differently. The examples above quoted show, I think, that the explication of this word already given is the true one. Malone.
Though I have followed Mr. Malone's example by admitting Dr. Johnson's conjecture, the notes of various commentators are left before the reader, to whose judgment they are submitted.
Steevens. 4 We come within our AWFUL banks again,] Awful banks are the proper limits of reverence. Johnson. So, in The Two Gentlemen of Verona :
“ From the society of awful men.” Steevens. It is also used in the same sense in Pericles :
“A better prince and benign lord
“ Prove awful both in deed and word.” M. Mason. Dr. Warburton reads lawful. We have awful in the last Act
To pluck down justice from her awful bench." Here it certainly means inspiring awe. If awful banks be right, the words must mean due and orderly limits, Malone,
of this play: