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Ch. Just. How doth the king?
He's walk'd the way of nature; And, to our purposes, he lives no more.
Ch. Just. I would, his majesty had callid me with him: The service that I truly did his life, Hath left me open to all injuries.
War. Indeed, I think, the young king loves you not.
Ch. Just. I know, he doth not; and do arm myself,
WESTMORELAND, and Others.
Ch. Just. Alas! I fear, all will be overturn'd.
War. We do remember; but our argument
heavy! Ch. Just. Peace be with us, lest we be heavier! P. Humph. O, good my lord, you have lost a friend,
indeed: And I dare swear, you borrow not that face Of seeming sorrow; it is, sure, your own.
P.John. Though no man be assur'd what grace to find, You stand in coldest expectation: I am the sorrier; 'would, 'twere otherwise.
Cla. Well, you must now speak sir John Falstaff fair; Which swims against your stream of quality.
Ch. Just. Sweet princes, what I did, I did in honour, Led by the impartial conduct of my soul;
impartial conduct - ] Thus the quartos. The folio reads imperial. Steevens.
And never shall you see, that I will beg
Impartial is confirmed by a subsequent speech addressed by the King to the Chief Justice:
That you use the same
“ As you have done 'gainst me.” Malone 3 4 ragged and forestallid remission.] Ragged has no sense here. We should read :
A rated and forestall’d remission. i. e. a remission that must be sought for, and bought with sup. plication. Warburton.
Different minds have different perplexities. I am more puzzled with forestall’d than with ragged; for ragged, in our author's licentious diction, may easily signify beggarly, mean, base, ignominious; but forestall’d I know not how to apply to remission in any sense primitive or figurative. I should be glad of another word, but cannot find it. Perhaps, by forestalla remission, he may mean a pardon begged by a voluntary confession of offence, and anticipation of the charge. Johnson.
The same expression occurs in two different passages in Massinger. In The Duke of Milan, Sforza says to the Emperor:
“ Nor come I as a slave
Falling before thy feet, kneeling and howling
“For a forestalld remission.” And, in The Bondman, Pisander says:
“To a forestali’d remission.” In all these passages a forestall d remission seems to mean, a remission that it is predetermined shall not be granted, or will be rendered nugatory.. Shakspeare uses, in more places than one, the word forestall in the sense of to prevent. Horatio says to Hamlet, “ If your mind dislike any thing, obey it. I will forestall their repair hither.” In this very play, the Prince says to the King:
" But for my tears, &c.
“ I had forestallid this dear and deep rebuke." In Hamlet, the King says:
“And what 's in prayer, but this twofold force,-
“Or pardon'd, being down?” M. Mason. I believe, forestallid only means asked before it is granted. If he will grant me pardon unasked, so; if not, I will not conde. scend to solicit it. In support of the interpretation of forestallid remission, i. e. a remission obtained by a previous supplication, the following passage in Gymbeline may be urged:
may "This night forestall him of the coming day!” Malone.
If truth and upright innocency fail me,
Enter King HENRY V.
4—not the Turkish court;] Not the court where the prince that mounts the throne puts his brothers to death. Johnson. 5 Not Amurath an Amurath succeeds,
But Harry Harry:] Amurath the Third (the sixth Emperor of the Turks) died on January the 18th, 1595-6. The people being generally disaffected to Mahomet, his eldest son, and in. clined to Amurath, one of his younger children, the Emperor's death was concealed for ten days by the Janizaries, till Maho. met came from Amasia to Constantinople. On his arrival he was saluted Emperor, by the great Bassas, and others his favourers; “which done, (says Knolles) he presently after caused all his brethren to be invited to a solemn feast in the court; where. unto they, yet ignorant of their father's death, came chearfully, as men fearing no harm: but, being come, were there all most miserably strangled.” It is highly probable that Shakspeare here alludes to this transaction; which was pointed out to me by Dr. Farmer.
This circumstance, therefore, may fix the date of this play subsequently to the beginning of the year 1596; and perhaps it was written while this fact was yet recent. Malone.
By number, into hours of happiness.
[To the Ch. Just. You are, I think, assur'd I love you not.
Ch. Just. I am assur’d, if I be measur'd rightly,
your father; The image of his power lay then in me: And, in the administration of his law, Whiles I was busy for the commonwealth, Your highness pleased to forget my place, The majesty and power of law and justice, The image of the king whom I presented, And struck me in my very seat of judgment;?
was this easy?] That is, was this not grievous ? Shakspeare
easy in this sense elsewhere. Fohnson. Thus, perhaps, in King Henry VI, Part II, Act III, sc. i:
these faults are easy, quickly answer’d.” Was this easy?-may mean, was this a slight offence? Thus, Lord Surrey:
“ And easy sighes, such as folkes draw in love.” Steevens. 7 And struck me in my very seat of judgment;] I do not recollect that
any of the editors of our author have thought this remarka. ble passage worthy of a note.- The Chief Justice, in this play, was Sir William Gascoigne, of whom the following memoir may be as acceptable as necessary:
While at the bar, Henry of Bolingbroke had been his client; and upon the decease of John of Gaunt, by the above Henry, his heir, then in banishment, he was appointed his attorney, to sue in the Court of Wards the livery of the estates descended to bim. Richard II revoked the letters patent for this purpose, and defeated the intent of them, and thereby furnished a ground for the invasion of his kingdom by the heir of Gaunt; who be. coming afterwards Henry IV, appointed Gascoigne Chief Justice of the King's Bench in the first year of his reign. In that station Gascoigne acquired the character of a learned, an upright, a wise, and an intrepid judge. The story so frequently alluded to of his committing the prince for an insult on his person, and the
Whereon, as an offender to your father,
court wherein he presided, is thus related by Sir Thomas Elyot, in his book entitled The Governour: “ The moste renouned prince king Henry the fyfte, late kynge of Englande, durynge the lyfe of his father, was noted to be fiers and of wanton courage: it hapned, that one of his seruauntes, whom he fauoured well
, was for felony by him committed, arrained at the kynges benche: whereof the prince being aduertised, and incensed by lyghte persones about him, in furious rage came hastily to the barre where his seruante stode as a prisoner, and commaunded him to be vngyued and set at libertie: whereat all men were abashed, reserved the chiefe Justice, who humbly exhorted the prince, to be contented, that his seruaunt mought be ordred, accordynge to the aunciente lawes of this realme: or if he wolde haue hym saued from the rigour of the lawes, that he shulde obteyne, if he moughte, of the kynge his father, his gratious pardon, whereby no lawe or justyce shulde be derogate. With whiche answere the prince nothynge appeased, but rather more inflamed, en. deuored hym selfe to take away his seruant. The iuge consider. ing the perillous example, and inconuenience that mought therby ensue, with a valyant spirite and courage, commanded the prince vpon his alegeance, to leave the prisoner, and depart his way. With which commandment the prince being set all in a fury, all chafed and in a terrible maner, came vp to the place of iudgement, men thynking that he wold haue slayne the iuge, or haue done to hym some damage: but the iuge sittynge styll without mouing, declaring the maiestie of the kynges place of iugement, and with an assured and bolde countenaunce, had to the prince, these wordes followyng.
“Syr, remembre yourselfe, I kepe here the place of the kyng your soueraine lorde and father, to whom ye owe double obedi. ence: wherfore eftsoones in his name, I charge you desyste of your wylfulnes and vnlawfull enterprise, & from hensforth giue good example to those, whych hereafter shall be your propre subjectes. And nowe, for your contempte and disobedience, go you to the prysone of the kynges bench, wherevnto I commytte you, and remayne ye there prysoner vntill the pleasure of the kynge your father be further knowen.”
“ With whiche wordes being abashed, and also wondrynge at the meruaylous gravitie of that worshypfulle justyce, the noble prince layinge his weapon aparte, doying reuerence, departed, and te to the kynges benche, as he was commanded. Wherat his servauntes disdaynynge, came and shewed to the kynge all the hole affaire. Wherat he awhyles studyenge, after as a man all rauyshed with gladnes, holdynge his eien and handes vp towarde heuen, abraided, saying with a loude voice, O mercifull God, howe moche am I, aboue all other men, bounde to your infinite goodnes, specially for that ye haue gyuen me a iuge, who feareth nat to minister iustyce, and also a sonne, who can suffre semblably, and obeye iustyce !""