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the arbitrement of swords, can try it out with all unspotted soldiers. Some, peradventure, have on them the guilt of premeditated and contrived murder; some, of beguiling virgins with the broken seals of perjury'; some, making the wars their bulwark, that have before gored the gentle bosom of peace with pillage and robbery. Now, if these men have defeated the law, and outrun native punishment', though they can outstrip men, they have no wings to fly from God: war is his beadle, war is his vengeance; so that here men are punished, for before-breach of the king's laws, in now the king's quarrel : where they feared the death, they have borne life away; and where they would be safe, they perish: Then if they die unprovided, no more is the king guilty of their damnation, than he was before guilty of those impieties for the which they are now visited. Every subject's duty ? is the king's; but every subject's soul is his own. Therefore should every soldier in the wars do as every sick man in his bed, wash every mote out of his conscience : and dying so, death is to him advan
9 — the broken seals of PERJURY ;) So, in the song at the beginning of the fourth Act of Measure for Measure :
“ That so sweetly were forsworn
“ Seals of love, but seal'd in vain." Steevens. 1- Native punishment,] That is, punishment in their native country. Heath. So, in a subsequent scene:
“A many of our bodies shall, no doubt,
“ Find native graves." MALONE. Native punishment is such as they are born to, if they offend.
STEEVENS, ? Every subject's duty-] This is a very just distinction, and the whole argument is well followed, and properly concluded.
JOHNSON. every MOTE —] Old copy-moth, which was only the ancient spelling of mote. I have shewn this to be the case, where I have proposed the true reading of a passage in King John. See vol. xv. p. 312, n. 1. MALONE,
tage; or not dying, the time was blessedly lost, wherein such preparation was gained: and, in him that escapes, it were not sin to think, that making God so free an offer, he let him outlive that day to see' his greatness, and to teach others how they
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Will. 'Tis certain *, every man that dies ill, the ill is upon his own head, the king is not to answer for it.
Bares. I do not desire he should answer for me; and yet I determine to fight lustily for him.
K. Hen. I myself heard the king say, he would not be ransomed.
Will. Ay, he said so, to make us fight cheerfully : but, when our throats are cut, he may be ransomed, and we ne'er the wiser.
K. Hen. If I live to see it, I will never trust his word after.
Will. 'Mass, you'll pay him then”! That's a
Will. 'Tis certain, &c.] In the quarto this little speech is not given to the same soldier who endeavours to prove that the King was answerable for the mischiefs of war; and who afterwards gives his glove to Henry. The persons are indeed there only distinguished by figures, 1, 2, 3. But this circumstance, as well as the tenour of the present speech, shows, that it does not belong to Williams, who has just been maintaining the contrary, doctrine. It might with propriety be transferred to Court, who is on the scene, and says scarcely a word. Malone.
5 'Mass, you'll pay him then !) To pay, in old language, meant to thrash or beat; and here signifies to bring to account, to punish. See vol. xvi. p. 276, n. 2. The test is here made out from the folio and quarto. Malone.
It is from the folio, except that it reads merely-You pay him then. The quarto gives the speech thus :
“Mas youle pay him then, 'tis a great displeasure
BOSWELL. pay him-" In addition to my note, vol. xvi. p. 276, it may be observed, that Falstaff says, in the same vol.
p. 396; “ have paid Percy. I have made him sure.” Here he certainly means more than thrashed or beaten. Reep.
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perilous shot out of an elder gun', that a poor and private displeasure can do against a monarch! you may as well go about to turn the sun to ice, with fanning in his face with a peacock's feather. You'll never trust his word after! come, 'tis a foolish saying.
K. Hen. Your reproof is something too round *
Will. Let it be a quarrel between us, if you live.
K. Hen. Give me any gage of thine, and I will wear it in my bonnet: then, if ever thou darest acknowledge it, I will make it my quarrel.
Will. Here's my glove; give me another of thine.
Will. This will I also wear in my cap: if ever thou come to me and say, after to-morrow, This is my glove, by this hand, I will take thee a box on the ear.
K. Hen. If ever I live to see it, I will challenge it.
K. Hen. Well, I will do it, though I take thee in the king's company.
Will. Keep thy word : fare thee well.
Bates. Be friends, you English fools, be friends; we have French quarrels enough, if you could tell how to reckon.
K. Hen. Indeed, the French may lay twenty French crowns to one, they will beat us; for they
* Quarto, somewhat better. That's a perilous shot out of an elder gun,] In the old play (the quarto 1600,] the thought is more opened. It is a great displeasure that an elder gun can do against a cannon, or a subject against a monarch. Johnson. too ROUND;] i. e. too rough, too unceremonious.
So, in Hamlet : 'Pray you, be round with him.”
STEEVENS. - twenty French crowns -] This conceit, rather too low for a king, has been already explained, as alluding to the venereal disease. Johxsox.
bear them on their shoulders : But it is no English
There is surely no necessity for supposing any allusion in this passage to the venereal disease. The conceit here seems to turn merely upon the equivocal sense of crown, which signifies either a coin, or a head. TYRWHITT,
9 Upon the king ! &c.] This beautiful speech was added after the first edition. Pope.
There is something very striking and solemn in this soliloquy, into which the King breaks immediately as soon as he is left alone. Something like this, on less occasions, every breast has felt. Reflection and seriousness rush upon the mind upon the separation of a gay company, and especially after forced and unwilling merriment. Johnson.
SUBJECTED to the breath -] The old copies have onlysubject; but (for the sake of metre) I have not scrupled to readsubjected, on the authority of the following passage in King John :
" Subjected tribute to commanding love" STEVENS. ? What are thy rents ? what are thy comings-in?
O ceremony, show me but thy worth!
* What? is thy soul of adoration ?”
Art thou aught else but place, degree, and form,
This is incorrect, but I think we may discover the true reading easily enough to be,
“What is thy soul, O adoration ? " That is, “O reverence paid to kings, what art thou within? What are thy real qualities ? What is thy intrinsick value ?"
Johnson. I have received Mr. Malone's amendment, which he thus explains :—“What is the real worth and intrinsick value of adoration?" The quarto has not this speech. The folio reads :
• What ? is thy soul of odoration ?" Steevens. The latter word was corrected in the second folio. For the other emendation now made I am answerable. Thy, thee, and they, are frequently confounded in the old copies. In many of our author's plays we find similar expressions. In Troilus and Cressida,“ my very soul of counsel ;” in King Henry IV. Part I. “ the soul of hope ; " and in A Midsummer-Night's Dream, “the soul of love." Again, in the play before us :
“ There is some soul of goodness in things evil." Dr. Johnson reads :
“What is thy soul, O adoration ? " But the mistake appears to me more likely to have happened in the word thy than in of; and the examples that I have produced support that opinion. MALONE.
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