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ACT II.....SCENE I.
Paris. A Room in the King's Palace. Flourish. Enter King, with young Lords taking leave for the Florentine war; BERTRAM, PAROLLES, and Attendants.
King. Farewel, young lord, these warlike principles
It is our hope, sir,
King. No, no, it cannot be; and yet my heart
5 Farewel, &c.] In all the latter copies these lines stood thuss
Farewel, young lords; these warlike principles
The gift doth stretch itself as 'tis receio'd. The third line in that state was unintelligible. Sir T. Hanmer reads thus :
Farewel, young lord: these warlike principles
The gift doth stretch itself as 'tis receio'd,
And is enough for both. The first edition, from which the passage is restored, was sufficiently clear; yet it is plain, that the latter editors preferred a reading which they did not understand. Johnson.
6 and you, my lord, furewel:] The old copy, both in this and the following instance, reads-lords. Steevens.
It does not any where appear that more than two French lords (besides Bertram) went to serve in Italy; and therefore I think the King's speech should be corrected thus:
Farewel, young lord; these warlike principles
Do not throw from you; and you, my lord, farewel ; what follows, shows this correction to be necessary :
Share the advice betwixt you; if both gain all, &c. Tyrwhitt. Tyrwhitt's emendation is clearly right. Advice is the only thing that may be shared between two, and yet both gain all.
That doth my life besiege.? Farewel, young lords;
and yet my heart
That doth my life besiege.) i. e. as the common phrase runs, I am still heart-whole; my spirits, by not sinking under my distemper, do not acknowledge its influence. Steevens.
let higher Italy
of the last monarchy) see, &c.] The ancient geographers have divided Italy into the higher and the lower, the Apennine hills being a kind of natural line of partition; the side next the Adriatic was denominated the higher Italy, and the other side the lower: and the two seas followed the same terms of distinc. tion, the Adriatic being called the upper Sea, and the Tyrrhene or Tuscan the lower. Now the Sennones or Senois, with whom the Florentines are here supposed to be at war, inhabited the higher Italy, their chief town being Arminium, now called Rimni, upon the Adriatic. Hanmer.
Italy, at the time of this scene, was under three very different tenures.' The emperor, as successor of the Roman emperors, had one part; the pope, by a pretended donation from Constantine, another; and the third was composed of free states. Now by the last monarchy is meant the Roman, the last of the four general monarchies. Upon the fall of this monarchy, in the scramble, several cities set up for themselves, and became free states: now these might be said properly to inherit the fall of the monarchy. This being premised, let us now consider sense. The King says higher Italy; giving it the rank of preference to France; but he corrects himself, and says, I except those from that precedency, who only inherit the fall of the last monarchy; as all the little petty states; for instance, Florence, to whom these volunteers were going. As if he had said, I give the place of honour to the emperor and the pope, but not to the free states.
Warburton. Sir T. Hanmer reads:
Those bastards that inherit, &c. with this note:
“Reflecting upon the abject and degenerate condition of the cities and states which arose out of the ruins of the Roman em. pire, the last of the four great monarchies of the world.”
Dr. Warburton's observation is learned, but rather too subtle ; Sir T. Hanmer's alteration is merely arbitrary. The passage is confessedly obscure, and therefore I may offer another expla
The bravest questant sbrinks, find what you seek,
2 Lord. Health, at your bidding, serve your majesty!
King. Those girls of Italy, take heed of them;
Our hearts receive your warnings. King. Farewel.—Come hither to me.
[The King retires to a couch. 1 Lord. O my sweet lord, that you will stay behind us! Par. 'Tis not his fault; the spark 2 Lord.
O, 'tis brave wars!
nation. I am of opinion that the epithet higher is to be understood of situation rather than of dignity. The sense may then be this: Let upper Italv, where you are to exercise your valour, see that you come to gain honour, to the abatement, that is, to the disgrace and depression of those that have now lost their ancient military fame, and inherit but the fall of the last monarchy. To abate is used by Shakspeare in the original sense of abatre, to depress, to sink, to deject, to subdue. So, in Coriolanus :
till ignorance deliver you,
“ That won you without blows.'' And bated is used in a kindred sense in The Merchant of Venice:
“in a bondman's key,
“With bated breath, and whispring humbleness." The word has still the same meaning in the language of the law. Johnson.
In confirmation of Johnson's opinion, that higher relates to situation, not to dignity, we find, in the third scene of the fourth Act, that one of the Lords says: “ What will Count Rousillon do then? will he travel higher, or return again to France ?"
M. Mason. Those 'bated may here signify “those being taken away or excepted." Bate, thus contracted, is in colloquial language still used with this meaning. This parenthetical sentence implies no more than they excepted who possess modern Italy, the remains of the Roman empire. H. White. 9 That fame may cry you loud :) So, in Troilus and Cressida:
-fame with her loud'st O yes, “ Cries, This he.” Steevens.
beware of being captives, Before you serve.] The word serve is equivocal; the sense is, Be not captives before you serve in the war. Be not captives before you are soldiers. Fohnson.
Par. Most admirable: I have seen those wars.
Ber. I am commanded here, and kept a coil with; Too young, and the next year, and 'tis too early.
Par. An thy mind stand to it, boy, steal away bravely.
Ber. I shall stay here the forehorse to a smock,
1 Lord. There's honour in the theft.3
Commit it, count. 2 Lord. I am your accessary: and so farewel. Ber. I grow to you, and our parting is a tortured body.* 1 Lord. Farewel, captain. 2 Lord. Sweet monsieur Parolles!
Par. Noble heroes, my sword and yours are kin. Good sparks and lustrous, a word, good metals :-You shall find in the regiment of the Spinii, one captain Spu
and no sword worn, But one to dance with!] It should bé remembered that, in Shakspeare's time, it was usual for gentlemen to dance with swords on. Our author, who gave to all countries the manners of his own, has again alluded to this ancient custom in Antony and Cleopatra, Act III, sc. ix:
He, at Philippi kept
I'll steal away
“ There 's warrant in that theft,
grow to you, and our parting is a tortured body.] I read thus -Our parting is the parting of a tortured body. Our parting is as the disruption of limbs torn from each other. Repetition of a word is often the cause of mistakes: the eye glances on the wrong word, and the intermediate part of the sentence is omitted. Johnson, So, in K. Henry VIII, Act II, sc. iii:
it is a sufferance, panging “ As soul and body's severing.” Steevens. As they grow together, the tearing them asunder was tortur. ing a body. Johnson's amendment is unnecessary. M. Mason.
We two growing together, and having, as it were, but one body, (" like to a double cherry, seeming parted”) our parting is a tortured body; i. e. cannot be effected but by a disruption of limbs which are now common to both. Malone.
rio, with his cicatrice,s an emblem of war, here on his sinister cheek; it was this very sword entrenched it: say to him, I live; and observe his reports of me.
2 Lord. We shall, noble captain.
Par. Mars dote on you for his novices! [Exeunt Lords. What will you do? Ber. Stay; the king
[Seeing him rise. Par. Use a more spacious ceremony to the noble lords; you have restrained yourself within the list of too cold an adieu: be more expressive to them; for they wear themselves in the cap of the time, there do muster true gait, eat, speak, and move under the influence of the most received star;6 and though the devil
5—with his cicatrice,] The old copy reads—his cicatrice with.
Steevens. It is surprizing, none of the editors could see that a slight transposition was absolutely necessary here, when there is not common sense in the passage, as it stands without such transposition. Parolles only means, “ You shall find one captain Spurio in the camp, with a scar on his left cheek, a mark of war that my sword gave him.” Theobald.
they wear themselves in the cap of the time, there do muster true gait, &c.] The main obscurity of this passage arises from the mistake of a single letter. We should read, instead of do muster, to muster. To wear themselves in the cap of the time, signifies to be the foremost in the fashion : the figurative allusion is to the gallantry then in vogue, of wearing jewels, flowers, and their mistress's favours in their caps.-- There to mus. ter true gait, signifies to assemble together in the high road of the fashion. All the rest is intelligible and easy. Warburton.
I think this emendation cannot be said to give much light to the obscurity of the passage. Perhaps it might be read thus:They do muster with the true gait, that is, they have the true mili. tary step. Every man has observed something peculiar in the strut of a soldier. Fohnson.
Perhaps we should read-master true gait. To master any thing, is to learn it perfectly. So, in King Henry IV, P. I:
“ As if he master'd there a double spirit
“Of teaching and of learning Again, in King Henry V:
“Between the promise of his greener days,
“ And those he masters now." In this last instance, however, both the quartos, viz. 1600 and 1608, read musters Steevens.
The obscurity of the passage arises only from the fantastical language of a character like Parolles, whose affectation of wit urges his imagination from one allusion to another, without al