Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

a

Sweet, sweet, sweet poison for the age's tooth;
Which tho' I will not practise to deceive,
Yet, to avoid deceit, I mean to learn ;
For it shall strew the footsteps of my rising.
But who comes in such hafte, in riding robes?
What woman-post is this? hath she no husband,
That will take pains to blow a horn before her?
O me! it is my Mother; now, good lady,
What brings you here to Court so haftily?

Enter Lady Faulconbridge, and James Gurney,
Lady. Where is that save, thy brother? where is hes
That holds in chase mine honour up and down?

Phil. My brother Robert, old Sir Rabert's son,
Colbrand the giant, that same mighty man,
Is it Sir Robert's Son, that you seek so?

fo
Lady. Sir Robert's son? ay, thou unrev'rend boy,
Sir Robert's son: why scorn'st thou at Sir Roberts
He is Sir Robert's son; and so art thou.

Phil. James Gurney, wilt thou give us leave a while?
Gur. Good leave, good Philip.
Phil. Philip! spare me, James; (6)
(6)

Philip, fparrow, James.] Thus the old Copies; and Mr. Pope has attempted to glofs this Reading by telling us, that Philip is the common Name for a tame Sparrow. So that then Faulconbridge would say, Call me Philip? You may as well call me Sparrow. The Allufion is very mean and trifling: and every Body, I believe, will chufe to embrace Mr. Warburton's Emendation, which I have inferted into the Text. Spare me, and Forbear me, it may be observed, are our Author's accuftom'd Phrases ; either when any one wants another to leave him, or would be rid of a displeafing Subject. So, in the Tempeft, Alonfo, when his Companions teize him with unseafonable Discourfe, says;

I prythee, spare.
So, Imogen, in Cymbeline, when She wants to get rid of CLOTEN;

I pray you, spare me ; faith,
I all unfold equal Discourtesy

To your best Kindness So in Antbony and Cleopatra, when he dismisses the Meffenger, that brings an Account of his Wife's Death:

Forbear me ; There's a great Spirit gone ! And, in Measure for Measure, when the Duke would have Mariana leave him; I fall crave your Forbearance a little ; may be, I will call upon

There's

.

you anon,

There's toys abroad; anon I'll tell thee more.

[Ex. James. Madam, I was not old Sir Robert's fon Sir Robert might have eat his part in me Upon Good-Friday, and ne'er broke his Fast : Sir Robert could do well; marry, confess! Could he get me? Sir Robert could not do it; We know his handy-work; therefore, good mother, To whom am I beholden for these limbs? Sir Robert never holpe to make this leg.

Lady. Hast thou conspir’d with thy Brother too, That, for thine own gain, should'st defend mine honour? What means this scoin, thou moft untoward knave? Pbil. Knight, Knight, good mother-Bafilisco

like. (7)
What! I am dub'd; I have it on my shouider:
But, mother, I am not Sir Robert's son;
I have disclaim'd Sir Robert, and my land;
Legitimation, Name, and all is gone:

(7) Knight, Knight, good Mother, Bafilisco like.) Thus must this Passage

be pointed ; and, to come at the Humour of it, I must clear up an old Circumstance of Stage-History: · Faulconbridge's Words here carry.a conceal'd Piece of Satire on a stupid Drama of that Age, printed in 1999, and call'd Soliman and Perseda. In this Piece there is the Character of a bragging cowardly Knight, callid Bafilisco. His Pretenfion to Valour is so blown and seen thro', that Pifton, a Buffoon-servant in the Play, jumps upon his Back, and will not disengage him, till he makes Bafilifco swear upon his dudgeon Dagger to the Contents, and in the Terms, he dictates to him: as, for Initance.

Baf. O, I swear, I fwear.
Pift. By the Contents of this Blade,
Bal. By the Contents of this Blade,
Pift. I, the aforesaid Bafilisco,
Baf. 1, the aforesaid Bafilisco,

Knight, good Fellow, knight, knight, Pift. Knave, good Fellow, knave, knave, So that 'tis clear, our Poet is sneering at this Play ; and makes Philip, when his Mother calls him knave, throw off that Reproach by humourously laying claim to his new Dignity of Knighthood; as Bafilifco arrogantly inlitts on his Title of Knight in the Passage above quoted. This old Play is an execrable bad one; and, I suppose, was sufficiently exploded in the Representation : which might make this Circumstance lo well known, as to become the Butt for a Stage-Sarcasm.

[ocr errors]

Then,

Then, good my mother, let me know my father ;
Some proper man, I hopé; who was it, mother?

Lady. Haft thou deny'd thy self a Faulconbridge ?
Pbil

. As faithfully, as I deny the Devil.
Lady. King Richard Ceur-de-lion was thy father ;
By long, and vehement, Suit I was seduc'd
To make room for him in my husband's bed.
Heav'n lay not my transgression to my charge!
Thou art the issue of my dear offence,
Which was so strongly urg'd past my defence.

Pbil. Now, by this light, were I to get again,
Madam, I would not wish a better father.
Some fins do bear their privilege on earth,
And so doth yours; your fault was not your folly ;
Needs must you lay your heart at his dispose,
Subjected tribute to commanding love ;
Against whose fury, and unmatched force,
The awless lion could not wage the fight;
Nor keep his princely heart from Richard's hands.
He, that perforce robs lions of their hearts,
May easily win a woman's. Ay, my mother,
With all my heart I thank thee for my father.
Who lives and dares but say, thou didst not well
When I was got, I'll send his soul to hell.
Come, lady, I will shew thee to my kin,

And they shall say, when Richard me begot,
If thou hadīt said him nay, it had been fin;
Who says, it was, he lyes; I say, 'twas not.

[Exeunt.

Vol. III.

N

ACT

ACT II. SCENE, before the walls of Angiers

in France.

B

Enter Philip King of France, Lewis the Dauphin, the Archduke of Austria, Constance, and Arthur.

Le w I s.
EFORE Angiers well met, brave Austria.
Arthur! that great fore-runner of thy blood

Richard, that robb'd the lion of his heart,
And fought the holy wars in Palestine,
By this brave Duke came early to his Grave:
And for amends to his posterity,
At our importance hither is he come,
To spread his Colours, boy, in thy behalf;
And to rebuke the Usurpation
Of thy unnatural Uncle, English Jobn.
Embrace him, love him, give him welcome hither.

Arth. God shall forgive you Caur-de-lion's death
The rather, that you give his off-spring life;
Shadowing their Right under your wings of war.
I give you welcome with a pow'rless hand,
But with a heart full of unstained love:
Welcome before the gates of Angiers, Duke.

Lewis. A noble boy who would not do thee Right?

Auft. Upon thy cheek lay I this zealous kiss,
As seal to this indenture of my love;
That to my home I will no more return,
Till Angiers and the Right thou hast in France,
Together with that pale, that white-fac'd shore,
Whose foot spurns back the ocean's roaring tides,
And coops from other lands her islanders;
Ev'n till that England, hedg'd in with the Main,
1 hat water-walled bulwark, still secure
And confident from forcign purposes,

Ev'n 'till that outmost corner of the West,
Salute thee for her King. Till then, fair boy,
Will I not think of home, but follow arms.

Conft. O, take his Mother's thanks, a Widow's thanks,
Till your strong hand shall help to give him strength,
To make a more requital to your love.
Auft. The peace of heav'n is theirs, who lift their

swords In such a juft and charitable war. K. Philip. Well then, to Work; our engines shall be

bent
Against the brows of this resisting town;
Call for our chiefeft men of discipline,
To cull the plots of best advantages.
We'll lay before this town our royal bones,
Wade to the market-place in Frenchmens blood,
But we will make it subject to this boy.
Conft. Stay for an answer to your Embassie,

,
Left unadvis'd you stain your swords with blood.
My lord Chatilion may from England bring
That Right in peace, which here we urge in war;
And then we shall repent each drop of blood,
That hot rash hafte so indirectly thed.

Enter Chatilion.
K. Philip. A wonder, lady! lo, upon thy wish
Our messenger Chatilion is arriv'd;
What England says, say briefly, gentle lord,
We coldly pause for thee. Chatilion, speak.

Chat. Then turn your forces from this paultry siege,
And stir them up against a mightier task.
England, impatient of your just demands,
Hath put himself in arms; the adverse winds,
Whose leisure I have staid, have giv'n him time
To land his legions all as soon as I.
His Marches are expedient to this town,
His forces strong, his soldiers confident.
With him along is come the Mother-Queen;
An Até, stirring him to blood and strife.
With her, her Neice, the lady Blanch of Spain;

N 2

With

« PreviousContinue »