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I gave bold way to my authority,
If the deed were ill,
And here it may be noted, that Shakspeare bas deviated from history in bringing the Chief Justice and Henry V together, for it is expressly said by Fuller, in his Worthies of Yorkshire, and that on the best authority, that Gascoigne died in the life-time of his father, viz. on the first day of November, 14 Henry IV. See Dugd. Origines Juridic in the Chronica Series, fol. 54, 56. Neither is it to be presumed but that this laboured defence of his conduct is a fiction of the poet: and it may justly be inferred from the character of this very able lawyer, whose name frequently occurs in the year-book of his time, that, having had spirit and resolution to vindicate the authority of the law, in the punishment of the prince, he disdained a formal apology for arf act that is recorded to his honour. Sir 7. Hawkins.
In the foregoing account of this transaction, there is no mention of the Prince's having struck Gascoigne, the Chief Justice. Holinshed, however, whom our author copied, speaking of the “wanton pastime” in which Prince Henry passed his youth, says, that “where on a time hee stroke the chiefe justice on the face with his fiste, for emprisoning one of his mates, he was not only committed to straighte prison himselfe by the sayde chief justice, but also of his father put out of the privie counsell and banished the courte.” Holinshed has here followed Hall. Our author (as an anonymous writer has observed) (Mr. Ritson] might have found the same circumstance in the old play of King Henry V.
With respect to the anachronism, Sir William Gascoigne certainly died before the accession of Henry V to the throne, as appears from the inscription which was once legible on his tombstone, in Harwood church, in Yorkshire, and was as follows: “Hic jacet Wilmus Gascoigne, nuper capit. justic. de banco, Hen. nuper regis Angliæ quarti, qui quidem Wilmus ob. die domi'ca 17.a die Decembris. an dom. 1412, 14.to Henrici quarti. factus index, 1401.” See Gent. Magazine, Vol. LI, P 624.
Shakspeare, however, might have been misled on the authority of Stowe, who in a marginal note, 1 Henry V, erroneously asserts that “ William Gascoigne was chief justice of the Kings Bench from the sixt of Henry IV, to the third of Henry the Fift:” or, (which is full as probable) Shakspeare might have been careless about the matter. Malone.
8 To trip the course of law,] To defeat the process of justice; a metaphor taken from the act of tripping a runner. Johnson. So, in Hamlet : “Then trip him, that his heels may kick at heaven.”
That guards the peace and safety of your person:
King. You are right, justice, and you weigh this well;
9 And mock your workings in a second body.] To treat with con. tempt your acts executed by a representative. Johnson.
1—and propose a son:) i. e. image to yourself a son, con. trive for a moment to think you have one. So, in Titus Andro. nicus:
a thousand deaths I could propose." Steevens. 2- in your state,] In your regal character and office, not with the passion of a man interested, but with the impartiality of a legislator. Fohnson.
You did commit me: &c.] So, in the play on this subject, antecedent to that of Shakspeare:
" You sent me to the Fleet; and for revengement,
I have chosen you to be the protector
With the like bold, just, and impartial spirit,
5 My father is gone wild — ) Mr. Pope, by substituting waild for wild, without sufficient consideration, afforded Mr. Theobald much matter of ostentatious triumph. Johnson.
The meaning is--My wild dispositions having ceased on my father's death, and being now as it were buried in his tomb, he and wildness are interred in the same grave.
A passage in King Henry V, Act I, sc. i, very strongly confirms this interpretation:
“ The courses of his youth promis'd it not:
" Seem'd to die too." So, in King Henry VIII:
“ And when old time shall lead him to his end,
" Goodness and he, fill up one monument.”
“ And so suppose am I; for in his grave
- with his spirit sadly I survive,] Sadly is the same as soberly, seriously, gravely. Sad is opposed to wild. Fohnson.
The quarto and first folio have spirits. The correction was made by the editor of the third folio. Malone.
the state of foods,] i.e. the assembly, or general meeting of the floods: for all rivers, running to the sea, are there represented as holding their sessions. This thought naturally introduced the following:
“ Now call we our high court of parliament." But the Oxford editor, much a stranger to the phraseology of
And flow henceforth in formal majesty.
[To the Ld. Ch. Just.
Glostershire. The Garden of Shallow's House. Enter FALSTAFF, SHALLOW, SILENCE, BARDOLPH,
the Page, and Davy. Shal. Nay, you shall see mine orchard: where, in an arbour, we will eat a last year's pippin of my own graffing, with a dish of caraways, and so forth ; 8-come, cousin Silence;--and then to bed.
that time in general, and to his author's in particular, out of mere loss for his meaning, reads it backwards, the floods of state.
Warburton The objection to Warburton's explanation is, that the word state, in the singular, does not imply the sense he contends for: we say an assembly of the states, not of the state. I believe we must either adopt Hanmer's amendment, or suppose that state means dignity; and that, “to mingle with the state of floods," is to partake of the dignity of floods I should prefer the amendment to this interpretation. M. Mason.
I prefer the interpretation to the amendment. State most evi, dently means dignity. So, in The Tempest:
Highest queen of state,
with the state of floods,] With the majestick dignity of the ocean, the chief of foods. So before, in this scene:
“ And, as you are a king, speak in your state, -" State and estate, however, were used in our author's time for a person of high dignity, and may in that sense be applied to tbe sea, supposing it to be personified. Malone.
Fal. 'Fore God, you have here a goodly dwelling, and
Shal. Barren, barren, barren; beggars all, beggars all, sir John:-marry, good air.'-Spread, Davy; spread, Davy: well said, Davy.
Fal. This Davy serves you for good uses; he is your serving-man, and your husbandman.
Shal. A good varlet, a good varlet, a very good varlet, sir John. By the mass, I have drunk too much sack at supper;-A good varlet. Now sit down, now sit down: come, cousin.
Sil. Ah, sirrah! quoth-a-we shall
a dish of caraways, &c.] A comfit or confection so called in our author's time.
A passage in De Vigneul Marville's Melanges d'Histoire et de Litt. will explain this odd treat: “ Dans le dernier siecle ou l'on avoit le gout delicat, on ne croioit pas pouvoir vivre sans Dragées. Il n'etoit fils de bonne mere, qui n'eut son Dragier; et il est reporté dans l'histoire du duc de Guise, que quand il fut tué à Blois, il avoit son Dragier à la main."
Warburton. Mr. Edwards has diverted himself with this note of Dr. War. burton's, but without producing a happy illustration of the pas. sage. The dish of caraways here mentioned was a dish of apples of that name.
Goldsmith. It would be easy to prove, by several instances, that caraways were generally part of the desert in Shakspeare's time. See par. ticularly Murrel's Cookery, &c. A late writer however asserts that caraways is the name of an apple as well known to the natural inhabitants of Bath, as nonpareil is in London, and as gene. rally associated with golden pippins. He observes also that if Shakspeare had meant comfits he would have said, “a dish of last year's pippins with carraways.”-With a dish, &c. clearly means something distinct from the pippins. Fackson's Thirty Letters, 8vo. Vol. II, p. 42. Reed.
The following passage in Cogan's Haven of Health, 4to. bl. 1. 1595, will at once settle this important question: “ This is a confirmation of our use in England, for the serving of apples and other fruites last after meales. Howbeit we are wont to eate carawaies or biskets, or some other kind of comfits or seedles toge. ther with apples, thereby to breake winde ingendred by them: and surely it is a very good way for students.” Steevens.
barren, barren ;-beggars all, - good air.] Justice Shallow alludes to a witticism frequent among rusticks, who, when talking of a healthy country, pleasantly observe: “Yes, it is a good air, more run away than die.” H. White.