« PreviousContinue »
To ruminate on this so far, until
Ha! what, so rank ?4 Ah, ha! There's mischief in this man:- Canst thou say fur- :
ther? Surv. I can, my liege. K. Hen.
Being at Greenwich, After your highness had reprov'd the duke About sir William Blomer, K. Hen.
Sury. If, quoth he, I for this had been committed,
4 so rank?) Rank weeds, are weeds grown up to great Bieight and strength. What, says the King, was he advanced to this pitch? Johnson.
5 - Being my sworn servant, &c.] Sir William Blomer, (Ho. linshed calls him Bulmer) was reprimanded by the King in the star-chamber, for that, being his sworn servant, he had left the King's service for the duke of Buckingham's.
Edwards's. MSS. Steevens. 6 Have put his knife into him.] The accuracy of Holinshed, if from him Shakspeare took his account of the accusations and punishment, together with the qualities of the Duke of Buckingham, is proved in the most authentic manner by a very curious report of his case in East. Term, 13 Hen. VIII, in the year books published by authority, fol. 11 and 12, edit. 1597. After, in the most exact manner, setting forth the arrangement of the Lord High Steward, the Peers, the arraignment, and other forms and ceremonies, it says: “Et issint fuit arreine Edward Duc de Buck. ingham, le derrain jour de Terme le xij jour de May, le Due de Vorfolk donques estant Grand seneschal: la cause fuit, pur ceo
A giant traitor! Wol. Now, madam, may his highness live in freedom, And this man out of prison? . Kath.
God mend all! K. Hen. There's something more would out of thee;
There's his period,
que il avoit entend l’ mort de nostre Săr. le Roy. Car premier. ment un Moine del Abbey de Henton in le countie de Somerset dit a lui que il sera Roy et command' luy de obtenir le benevolence del communalte, et sur ceo il dona certaines robbes a cest entent. A que il dit que le moine ne onques dit ainsi a lui, et que il ne dona ceux dones a cest intent. Donques auterfoits il dit, si le Roy morust sans issue male, il voul' estre Roy: et auxi que il disoit, si le Roy avoit lui commis al prison, donques il vouľ lui occire ove son dagger. Mes touts ceux matters il denia in effect, mes fuit trove coulp: Et pur ceo il avoit jugement comme traitre, et fuit decolle le Vendredy devant le Feste del Pentecost que fuit le xiij jour de May avant dit. Dieu à sa ame grant mercy-car il fuit tres noble prince et prudent, et mirror de tout courtesie.”
Vaillant. 7- By day and night,] This, I believe, was a phrase anciently signifying-at all times, every way, completely. In The Merry Wives of Windsor, Falstaff, at the end of his letter to Mrs. Ford, styles himself:
" Thine own true knight,
“ By day or night,” &c. Again, (I must repeat a quotation I have elsewhere employed') in the third Book of Gower, De Confessione Amantis :
“ The sonne cleped was Machayre,
“ By daie bothe and eke by night.” The King's words, however, by some critics, have been considered as an adjuration. I do not pretend to have determined the exact force of them. Steevens.
A Room in the Palace. Enter the Lord Chamberlaine and Lord Sands. 9 Cham. Is it possible, the spells of France should
Cham. As far as I see, all the good our English
8_ Lord Chamberlain - Shakspeare has placed this scene in 1521. Charles earl of Worcester was then Lord Chamber. lain; but when the King in fact went in masquerade to Cardinal Wolsey's house, Lord Sands, who is here introduced as going thither with the Chamberlain, himself possessed that office.
Malone. Lord Chamberlain - Charles Somerset, created Earl of Worcester 5 Henry VIII. He was Lord Chamberlain both to Henry VII, and Henry VIII, and continued in the office until his death, 1526. Reed.
9 Lord Sands.] Sir William Sands, of the Vine, near Basingstoke, in Hants, was created a peer, 1524. He became Lord Chamberlain upon the death of the Earl of Worcester in 1526.
Reed. 1 Is it possible, the spells of France should juggle
Men into such strange mysteries?] Mysteries were allegorical shows, which the mummers of those times exhibited in odd fantastic habits. Mysteries are used, by an easy figure, for those that exhibited mysteries; and the sense is only, that the travelled Englishmen were metamorphosed, by foreign fashions, into such an uncouth appearance, that they looked like mummers in a mystery. Johnson.
That mysteries is the genuine reading, (Dr. Warburton would read-mockeries] and that it is used in a different sense from the one here given, will appear in the following instance from Dray. ton's Shepherd's Garland:
“ even so it fareth now with thee,
"And with these wisards of thy mysterie." The context of which shows, that by wisards are meant poets, and by mysterie their poetic skill, which was before called “mister ar. tes." Hence the mysteries in Shakspeare signify those fantastic manners and fashions of the French, which had operated as spells or enchantments. Henley.
For when they hold them, you would swear directly;
would take it,
Death! my lord,
2 A fit or two o' the face;) A fit of the face seems to be what we now term a grimace, an artificial cast of the countenance.
Fohnson. Fletcher has more plainly expressed the same thought in The Elder Brother:
" learnt new tongues
“To vary his face as seamen do their compass.” Steevens. . 3 That never saw them -] Old copy-see 'em. Corrected by Mr. Pope. Malone.
4 A springhalt reign'd among them.] The stringhalt, or springhalt, (as the old copy reads) is a disease incident to horses, which gives them a convulsive motion in their paces.
So, in Muleasses the Turk, 1610: “ - by reason of a general spring-halt and debility in their hams." Again, in Ben Jonson's Bartholomew Fair:
“ Poor soul, she has had a stringhalt.” Steevens. Mr. Pope and the subsequent editors, without any necessity, I think, for A springhalt, read-And springhalt. Malone.
* I am satisfied the text is erroneous; Shakspeare must have known, that the spavin and springhalt were distinct diseases, the spävin causing lameness, from a callous formed on the bone of the gamel joint, which ultimately produces ossification; this is called the bone spavin; the blood spavin is a different disease, which also induces lameness in the same part: the springhalt originates in a contracted sinew of one or both of the bind legs, which, when the horse moves, is discovered by the foot being jirked, or twitched up much above the height, which the animal, if perfectly sound, would naturally raise it. In place of the alteration made by Mr. Pope I would prefer to read, “ the spavin, or springhalt reign'd among them.” Am. Ed.
5_ cut too,] Old copy-cut to't. Corrected in the fourth folio. Malone.
Both the first and second folio read-cut too't, so that for part of this correction we are not indebted to the fourth folio.
Enter Sir Thomas LOVELL.
'Faith, my lord,
What is 't for?
They must either
Of fool, and feather,] This does not allude to the feathers anciently worn in the hats and caps of our countrymen, (a circumstance to which no ridicule could justly belong) but to an effe. minate fashion recorded in Greene's Farewell to Folly, 1617; from whence it appears that even young gentlemen carried fans of feathers in their hands: “ — we strive to be counted womanish, by keeping of beauty, by curling the hair, by wearing plumes of feathers in our hands, which in wars, our ancestors wore on their heads.” Again, in his Quip for an upstart Courtier, 1620: “ Then our young courtiers strove to exceed one another in vertue, not in bravery; they rode not with fannes to ward their faces from the wind," &c. Again, in Lingua, &c. 1607, Phantastes, who is a male character, is equipped with a fan. Steevens.
The text may receive illustration from a passage in Nashe's Life of lacke Wilton, 1594: “At that time (viz. in the court of King Henry VIII,] I was no common squire, no undertroden torch-bearer, I had my feather in my cap as big as a flag in the foretop, my French doublet gelte in the belly, as though (lyke a pig readie to be spitted) all my guts had been pluckt out, a paire of side paned hose that hung down like two scales filled with Holland cheeses, my long stock that sate close to my dock,-my rapier pendant like a round sticke, &c. my blacke cloake of black cloth, ouerspreading my backe lyke a thornbacke or an elephant's eare;-and in consummation of my curiositie, my handes without gloves, all a more French.” &c. Ritson.
In Rowley's Match at Midnight, Act I, sc. i, Sim says: “ Yes, yes, she that dwells in Blackfryers, next to the sign of The Fool laughing at a Feather,"
But Sir Thomas Lovell's is rather an allusion to the feathers which were formerly worn by fools in their caps. See a print on this subject from a painting of Jordaens, engraved by Voert; and again, in the ballad of News and no News:
“ And feathers wagging in a fool's cap.” Douce.