« PreviousContinue »
And you shall say indeed, it is the time,
Mowb. What thing, in honour, had my father lost,
what is done in these times according to the exigencies that overrule us. Johnson.
9 Either from the king, &c.] Whether the faults of government be imputed to the time or the king, it appears not that you have, for your part, been injured either by the king or the time.
Johnson. * To build a Griep on :) i. e. a grievance. Malone.
? Was, force perforce,] Old copy—“ Was forc'd." Cor-
“As, force perforce, the age will put it in.” Malone,
4 Their armed staves in charge, &c.] An armed staff is a lance.
Shakspeare, however, is not answerable for any confusion on
See Mr. Douce's note, vol. xvi. p. 429. BOSWELL.
Their eyes of fire sparkling through sights of steel,
6 — sights of steel,] i. e. the perforated part of their helmets, through which they could see to direct their aim. Visiere, Fr. Steevens.
7 The Earl of Hereford -1 This is a mistake of our author's. He was Duke of Hereford. See King Richard II. MALONE.
8 And bless'd, and grac'd indeed, more than the king.] The two oldest folios, (which first gave us this speech of Westmoreland,) read this line thus :
“And bless'd and grac'd and did more than the king." Dr. Thirlby reformed the text very near to the traces of the core rupted reading. THEOBALD.
It shall appear that your demands are just,
Mow. But he hath forc'd us to compel this offer;
West. Mowbray, you overween, to take it so;
Hast. Hath the prince John a full commission,
West. That is intended in the general's name':
9 Then reason wills,] The old copy has will. Corrected by Mr. Pope. Perhaps we ought rather to read -" Then reason well." The same mistake has, I think, happened in The Merry Wives of Windsor. Malone,
The sense is clear without alteration. Reason wills-is, reason determines, directs. STEEVENS.
That is intended in the general's name :) That is, this power is included in the name or office of a general. We wonder that you can ask a question so triling. Johnson.
Intended—is understood, i, e, meant without expressing, like entendu, Fr. subauditur, Lat. Steevens.
For this contains our general grievances :
2 – substantial form ;] That is, by a pardon of due form and legal validity. Johnson.
3 To us, and to our PURPOSES, CONSIGN'D;] The old copiesconfin'd. STEEVENS.
This schedule we see consists of three parts : 1. A redress of general grievances. 2. A pardon for those in arms. 3. Some demands of advantage for them. But this third part is very strangely expressed.
“And present execution of our wills
“ To us, and to our purposes, confin'd." The first line shows they had something to demand, and the second expresses the modesty of that demand. The demand, says the speaker, “is confined to us and to our purposes." A very modest kind of restriction truly! only as extensive as their appetites and passions. Without question Shakspeare wrote
“ To us and to our properties confin'd;”. i. e. we desire no more than security for our liberties and properties; and this was no unreasonable demand. WARBURTON.
This passage is so obscure that I know not what to make of it. Nothing better occurs to me than to read consign'd for confin'd. That is, let the execution of our demands be put into our hands, according to our declared purposes, JOHNSON.
Perhaps we should read (with Sir Thomas Hanmer] confirm'd.
“ For this contains our general grievances,
“ To us and to our purposes confin.d.” FARMER. The present reading appears to me to be right; and what they demand is, a speedy execution of their wills, so far as they relate to themselves, and to the grievances which they proposed to redress. M. Mason.
The quarto has--confin'd. In my copy of the first folio, the word appears to be consind. The types used in that edition were so worn, that f and s are scarcely distinguishable. But however it may have been printed, I am persuaded that the true reading is consign'd; that is, sealed, ratified, confirmed ; a Latin
We come within our awful banks again",
sense: “ auctoritate consignatæ literæ, Cicero pro Cluentio." It has this signification again in this play:
“ And (God consigning to my good intents)
“No prince nor peer,” &c.
“ And take with you free power to ratify,
" And we'll consign thereto."
Supposing these copies to have been made by the ear, and one to have transcribed while another read, the mistake might easily have happened, for consign'd and consin'd are, in sound, undistinguishable; and when the compositor found the latter word in the manuscript, he would naturally print confin'd, instead of a word that has no existence.
Dr. Johnson proposed the reading that I have adopted, but explains the word differently. The examples above quoted show, I think, that the explication of this word already given is the true one. Malone.
Though I have followed Mr. Malone's example by admitting Dr. Johnson's conjecture, the notes of various commentators are left before the reader, to whose judgment they are submitted.
Steevens. 4 We come within our awful banks again,] Awful banks are the proper limits of reverence. Johnson. So, in The Two Gentlemen of Verona :
“From the society of awful men." Steevens. It is also used in the same sense in Pericles :
“A better prince and benign lord
“ Prove awful both in deed and word.” M. Mason. Dr. Warburton reads lawful. We have awful in the last Act
“To pluck down justice from her awful bench." Here it certainly means inspiring awe. If awful banks be right, the words must mean due and orderly limits, Malone,