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If old Sir Robert did beger us Both,
parts, And finds them perfect Richard : sirrah, speak, What doth move you to claim your brother's land ?
Phil. Because he hath a half-face, like my father, With that half-face would he have all my land ? (2) A half-fac'd groat, five hundred pound a year!
Rob. My gracious Liege, when that my Father liv'd, Your brother did imploy my father much
Phil. Well, Sir, by this you cannot get my land.
Rob. And once dispatch'd him in an Embassie
(2) With half that Face] But why with half that Face ? There is, no Question but the Poet wrote, as I have restord the Text, With that half-face Mr. Pope, perhaps, will be angry with me for discovering an Anachronism of our Poet's, in the next Line ; where he alludes to a Coin not struck till the Year 1504, in the Reign of K. Henry VII. viz. a Groat, which, as well as the half Groat, bare but half-faces impress d. Vid. Stow's Survey of London, p. 47. Holingshed, Camden's Remains, &c. The Poet sneers at the meagre sharp Visage of the Elder Brother
, by comparing him to a filver Groat, that bore the King's Face in Profile, so shew'd but half the Face. The Groats of all our Kings of England, and, indeed, all their other Coins of Silver, one or two only excepted, had a full Face crown'd; till Henry VII, at the Time above-mention'd, coin'd Groats and half Groats, as also some Shillings, with half Faces; that is, Faces in Profile, as all our Coin has pow. The first Groats of K. Henry VIII. were like these of his Fa. ther; tho' afterwards he return’d to the broad Faces again. These Groats, with the Impression in Profile, are undoubtedly here alluded to: tho', as I said, the Poet is knowingly guilty of an Anachronism in it : for, in the Time of King John there were no Groats at all: they being firft, as far as appears, coin'd in the Reign of K. Edward III.
Th'advantage of his absence took the King,
K. John. Sirrah, your brother is legitimate;
Rob. Shall then my father's will be of no force
Phil. Of no more force to dispossess me, Sir,
. Whether hadft rhou rather be a Faulconbridge,
Pbil. Madam, and if my brother had my shape,
My arms such Eel-skins ftuft; my Face so thin, (3)
Phil. Brother, take you my land, I'll take my chance;
Eli. Nay, I would have you go before me thither,
Phil. Philip, my Liege, so is my name begun;
my Face fo thin,
Left Men should say, Look, where three-farthings goes ! ]
washing out the Rases in Three-farthings to make them Pence.
K. John. From henceforth bear his Name, whose form
thou bear'ft: Kneel thou down Philip, but rise up more great ; Arise Sir Richard, and Plantagenet.
Pbil. Brother by th’mother's side, give me your huad;
Eli. The very spirit of Plantagenet !
Pbil. Madam, by chance, but not by truth; what tho'? Something about, a little from the right,
In at the window, or else o'er the hatch: Who dares not ftir by day, must walk by night,
And have is have, however men do catch; Near or far off, well won is still well-shot; And I am I, howe'er I was begot.
K. John. Go, Faulconbridge, now hast thou thy desire; A landless Knight makes thee a landed 'Squire : Come, Madam; and come, Richard; we must speed
; For France, for France; for it is more than need.
Phil. Brother, adieu; good fortune come to thee, For thou was got i'th' way of honesty. [Ex. all but Phil.
A foot of honour better than I was,
(4) My piked Man of Countries.] Thus Mr. Pope exhibits this Pasfage, and interprets the Word, formal, bearded. The old Copies give it ús, picked, by a slight Corruption in the Spelling ; but the Author certainly design'd, picqued; (from the French Verb, te piquer) i. e. touchy, tart, apprehenlive, upon his Guard.
(5) And so i'er Answer knows what Question would,
(Saving in Dialogue] In this fine Speech Faulconbridge would thew the Advantages and Prerogatives of Men of Worship. He particularly observes, that he has the Traveller at Command.(And here we must remember the Time our Author wrote in; when Travellers, by the daily Discovery of new Worlds, were in the greatett Etimation.). At the first Intimation of his Desire to hear strange Stories, the Traveller complies, and the Answer comes as easy as an A, b, c, book. Now, Sir, says the Knight, this is my Question: The over-ready Traveller will scarce give him Leave to make it, but, e'er Answer knows what Queftion would, What then? Why, according to the Stupidity of the hitherto receiv'd Reading, it grows towards Suppertime. And is not this worshipful Society? To spend all the Time be, twixt Dinner and Supper, before either of them knows what the other would be at. So absurdly is the Sense vitiated, by putting the three Lines in a Parenthefas; which, we may suppose, was frit occafion'd by their Blunder in the Word, Saving, instead of the true Word, Serving: Now my Emendation gives the Text this Turn; “ And e'er Answer “ knows what the Question would be at, my Traveller ferves in his “ Dialogue of Compliment, which is his standing Dish at all Tables, “ then he comes to talk of the Alpes and Apennines, &c. and by the s time this Discourse concludes, it draws towards Supper. here is Sense and Humour ; and the Phrase of serving in is a very humourous one, to fignify that this was his Worship’s fecond Course.