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the blood being all descended, &c.; the substantive being comprised in the adjective bloodless.
M. MASON. Line 637. His hands abroad display'd,] i. e. the fingers being widely distended. So adown, for down; aweary, for weary, &c. See Peacham’s Complete Gentleman, 1627:
• Herein was the emperor Domitian so cunning, that let a boy at a good distance off hold
up his hand and stretch his fingers abroad, he would shoot through the spaces, without touching the boy's hand, or any finger."
MALONE. Line 757.
how quaint an orator] Quaint for dertrous, artificial. So, in The Two Gentlemen of Verona: “ a ladder quaintly made of cords."
MALONE. Line 801. I'ould curses kill, as doth the mandrake's groan,] The fabulous accounts of the plant called a mandrake give it an inferior degree of animal life, and relate, that when it is torn from the ground it groans, and that this groan being certainly fatal to him that is offering such unwelcome violence, the practice of those who gather mandrakes is to tie one end of a string to the plant, and the other to a dog, upon whom the fatal groan discharges its malignity.
JOHNSON. Line 825. You bade me ban, and will you bid me leave?] This inconsistency is very common in real life. Those who are vexed to impatience, are angry to see others less disturbed than themselves, but when others begin to rave, they immediately see in them what they could not find in themselves, the deformity and folly of useless rage.
JOHNSON. Line 838. That thou might'st think upon these by the seal,
Through whom a thousand sighs, &c.] That by the impression of my kiss for ever remaining on thy hand thou mightest think on those lips through which a thousand sighs will be breathed for thee.
JOHNSON. at an hour's poor loss,] She means, I believe, at a loss which any hour spent in contrivance and deliberation. will enable her to supply. Or perhaps she may call the sickness of the cardinal the loss of an hour, as it may put some stop to her schemes.
JOHNSON. I rather incline to think that the queen intends to say, “Why
do I lament a circumstance, the impression of which will pass away in the short period of an hour; while I neglect to think on the loss of Suffolk, my affection for whom no time will efface ?"
MALONE. Line 894. Where, from thy sight,] In the preambles of almost all the statutes made during the first twenty years of queen Elizabeth's reign, the word where is employed instead of whereas. It is so used here.
MALONE: Line 908. I'll have an Iris-] Iris was the messenger of Juno.
ACT III. SCENE III. Line 918. If thou be'st death, I'll give thee England's treasure, &c.] The following passage in Hall's Chronicle, Henry VI. fol. 70. b. suggested the corresponding lines to the author of the old play: “During these doynges, Henry Beaufford, byshop of Winchester, and called the riche Cardynall, departed out of this worlde.-This man was-haut in stomach and hygb in countenance, ryche above measure of all men, and to fewe liberal; disdaynful to his kynne, and dreadful to his lovers. His covetous insaciable and hope of long lyfe made hym bothe to forget God, his prynce, and hymselfe, in his latter dayes; for doctor John Baker, his pryvie counsailer and his chapellayn, wrote, that lying on his death-bed, he said these words: “Why should I dye, having so muche riches? If the whole realme would save my lyfe, I am able either by pollicie to get it, or by ryches to bye it. Fye will not death be hyred, nor will money do nothynge? When my nephew of Bedford died, I thought my selfe balfe up the whele, but when I sawe myne other nephew of Gloucester disceased, then I thought my selfe able to be equal with kinges, and so thought to increase my treasure in hope to have worne a trypple croune. But I se nowe the worlde fayleth me, and so I am deceyved; praying you all to pray for me.""
MALONE. Line 952. Forbear to judge, &c.]
“ Peccantes culpare cave, nam labimur omnes,
[Exeunt.] This is one of the scenes which have been applauded by the criticks, and which will continue to be admired when prejudices shall cease, and bigotry give way to impartial examination. These are beauties that rise out of nature and of truth; the
superficial reader cannot miss them, the profound can image nothing beyond them.
ACT IV. SCENE I. The circumstance on which this scene is founded, is thus related by Hall in his Chronicle:-“But fortune would not that this flagitious person (the duke of Suffolk, who being impeached by the Commons was banished from England for five .years,) shoulde so escape; for when he shipped in Suffolk, entendynge to be transported into France, he was encountered with a shippe of warre apperteinyng to the duke of Excester, the constable of the Towre of London, called The Nicholas of the Towre. The capitaine of the same bark with small fight entered into the duke's shyppe, and perceyving his person present, brought him to Dover rode, and there on the one syde of a cocke-bote, caused his head to be stryken of, and left his body with the head upon the sandes of Dover; which corse was there founde by a chapelayne of his, and conveyed to Wyngfielde college in Suffolke, and there buried.”.
MALONE. Line 1. The gaudy, blabbing, and remorseful day-] The epithet blabbing applied to the day by a man about to commit murder, is exquisitely beautiful. Guilt is afraid of light, considers darkness as a natural shelter, and makes night the confidante of those actions which cannot be trusted to the tell-tale day. Johns. Line 3. the jades
That drag the tragick melancholy night;
Clip dead men's graves,] The wings of the jades that drag night appears an unnatural image, till it is remembered that the chariot of the night is supposed, by Shakspeare, to be drawn by dragons.
JOHNSON. Line 66. -a jaded groom.] Jaded groom may mean a groom whom all men treat with contempt; as worthless as the most paltry kind of horse.
MALONE. Line 74.
-abortite pride:] Pride that has had birth too soon, pride issuing before its time.
JOHNSON. Line 90. Povle? Sir Poole? lord?] The dissonance of this broken line makes it almost certain that we should read with a kind of ludicrous climax:
Poole? Sir Poole? lord Poole? He then plays upon the name Poole, kennel, puddle. JOHNSON. Line 122. whose hopeful colours
Advance our half-fac'd sun,] “ Edward III. bare for his device the rays of the sun dispersing themselves out of a cloud." Camden's Remuines.
MALONE. Line 134. Than Bargulus the strong Illyrian pirate.] Mr. Theobald says, “ This wight I have not been able to trace, or discover from what legend our author derived his acquaintance with him.” And yet he is to be met with in Tully's Offices; and the legend is the famous Theopompus's History. WARBURTON.
Line 169. Pompey the great:] The poet seems to have confounded the story of Pompey with some other. JOHNSON.
Pompey being killed by Achilles and Septimius at the moment that the Egyptian fishing boat in which they were reached the coast, and his head being thrown into the sea, (a circumstance which Shakspeare found in North's translation of Plutarch,) his mistake does not appear more extraordinary than some others which have been remarked in his works.
ACT IV. SCENE II.
Line 212. - a cade of herrings.] That is, a barrel of herrings. I suppose the word keg, which is now used, is cade corrupted.
JOHNSON. Line 213. our enemies shall fall before us,] He alludes to his name Cade, from cado, Lat. to fall. He has too much learning for his character.
JOHNSON. Line 225. not able to travel with her furred pack,] A wallet or knapsack of skin with the hair outward. JOHNSON
Line 238. for his coat is of proof.] A quibble between two senses of the word; one as being able to resist, the other as being well-tried, that is, long worn.
HANMER. Line 251. —there shall be no money;] To mend the world by banishing money is an old contrivance of those who did not consider that the quarrels and mischiefs which arise from money, as the sign or ticket of riches, must, if money were to cease,
arise immediately from riches themselves, and could never be at an end till every man was contented with his own share of the goods of life.
JOHNSON. Line 280. They use to write it on the top of letters;] i.e. Of letters missive, and such like publick acts. See Mabillon's Diplomata.
WARBURTON. Line 310. -I pass not;] I pay them no regard.
ACT IV. SCENE III. Line 400. If we mean to thrive and do good, &c.] I think it should be read thus: If we mean to thrive, do good; break open the gaols, &c.
ACT IV. SCENE IV. Line 411. to the rebel's supplication?] “And to the entent that the cause of this glorious capitaynes comyng thither might be shadowed from the king and his counsayll, he sent to him an humble supplication,-affirmyng his commyng not to be against him, but against divers of his counsayl,” &c. Hall, Henry VI. fol. 77.
MALONE. Line 421. Ruld, like a wandering planet ;] Predominated irresistibly over my passions, as the planets over the lives of those that are born under their influence.
JOHNSON. The old play led Shakspeare into this strange exhibition; a queen with the head of her murdered paramour on her bosom, in the presence of her husband!
ÀCT IV. SCENE VI. Line 508. set London-bridge on fire;] At that time London-bridge was made of wood. “ After that, (says Hall,) he entered London and cut the ropes of the draw-bridge.” The houses on London-bridge were in this rebellion burnt, and many of the inhabitants perished.