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Subjécted tribute to commanding love,
And they shall say, when Richard me begot,
ACT II. SCENE I.
France. Before the Walls of Angiers.
Enter, on one side, the Archduke of Austria, and Forces; on the other, PHILIP, King of France, and Forces; LEWIS, CONSTANCE, ARTHUR, and Attendants.
LEW. Before Angiers well met, brave Austria.— Arthur, that great fore-runner of thy blood,
7 Needs must you lay your heart at his dispose,Against whose fury and unmatched force
The awless lion could not wage the fight, &c.] Shakspeare here alludes to the old metrical romance of Richard Coeur-delion, wherein this once celebrated monarch is related to have acquired his distinguishing appellation, by having plucked out a lion's heart, to whose fury he was exposed by the Duke of Austria, for having slain his son with a blow of his fist. From this ancient romance the story has crept into some of our old chronicles: but the original passage may be seen at large in the introduction to the third volume of Reliques of Ancient English Poetry.
Richard, that robb'd the lion of his heart s.
8 Richard, that robb'd, &c.] So, Rastal, in his Chronicle: "It is sayd that a lyon was put to kynge Richard, beynge in prison to have devoured him, and when the lyon was gapynge he put his arm in his mouth, and pulled the lyon by the harte so harde that he slewe the lyon, and therefore some say he is called Rycharde Cure de Lyon; but some say he is called Cure de Lyon, because of his boldness and hardy stomake." GREY.
I have an old black-lettered History of Lord Faulconbridge, whence Shakspeare might pick up this circumstance. FARMER.
In Heywood's Downfall of Robert Earl of Huntington, 1601, there is a long description of this fabulous atchievement.
The same story is told by Knighton, inter Decem Scriptores, and by Fabian, who calls it a fable. It probably took its rise from Hugh de Neville, one of Richard's followers, having killed a lion, when they were in the Holy Land: a circumstance recorded by Matthew Paris. MALONE.
9 By this brave duke came early to his grave:] The old play led Shakspeare into this error of ascribing to the Duke of Austria the death of Richard, who lost his life at the siege of Chaluz long after he had been ransomed out of Austria's power. STEEVENS.
The producing Austria on the scene is also contrary to the truth of history, into which anachronism our author was led by the old play. Leopold, Duke of Austria, by whom Richard I. had been thrown in prison in 1193, died, in consequence of a fall from his horse, in 1195, some years before the commencement of the present play.
The original cause of the enmity between Richard the First and the Duke of Austria, was, according to Fabian, that Richard "tooke from a knighte of the Duke of Ostriche the said Duke's banner, and in despite of the said duke, trade it under foote, and did unto it all the spite he might." Harding says, in his Chronicle, that the cause of quarrel was Richard's taking down the Duke of Austria's arms and banner, which he had set up above those of the King of France and the King of Jerusalem. The affront was given when they lay before Acre in Palestine. This circumstance is alluded to in the old King John, where the Bastard, after killing Austria, says
"And as my father triumph'd in thy spoils, "And trod thine ensigns underneath his feet," &c. Other historians say, that the Duke suspected Richard to have
And, for amends to his posterity,
Of thy unnatural uncle, English John :
The rather, that you give his offspring life,
LEW. A noble boy! Who would not do thee right?
AUST. Upon thy cheek lay I this zealous kiss, As seal to this indenture of my love; That to my home I will no more return, Till Angiers, and the right thou hast in France, Together with that pale, that white-fac'd shore 2, Whose foot spurns back the ocean's roaring tides, And coops from other lands her islanders, Even till that England, hedg'd in with the main, That water-walled bulwark, still secure And confident from foreign purposes, Even till that utmost corner of the west Salute thee for her king: till then, fair boy,
been concerned in the assassination of his kinsman, the Marquis of Montferrat, who was stabbed in Tyre, soon after he had been elected King of Jerusalem; but this was a calumny, propagated by Richard's enemies, for political purposes. MALONE.
1 At our IMPORTANCE-] At our importunity. JOHNSON. So, in Twelfth-Night:
"The letter at Sir Toby's great importance." STEEVENS. 2 that pale, that white-fac'd shore,] England is supposed
to be called Albion from the white rocks facing France. JOHNSON.
Will I not think of home, but follow arms.
CONST. O, take his mother's thanks, a widow's thanks,
Till your strong hand shall help to give him strength,
To make a more requital to your love".
AUST. The peace of heaven is theirs, that lift their swords
In such a just and charitable war.
K. PHI. Well then, to work; our cannon shall
Against the brows of this resisting town.---
CONST. Stay for an answer to your embassy,
K. PHI. A wonder, lady!-lo, upon thy wish, Our messenger Chatillon is arriv'd.—
3 To make a MORE requital, &c.] I believe it has been already observed, that more signified, in our author's time, greater.
See Henry IV. Part I. Act IV. Sc. III. :
"The more and less came in with cap and knee." BOSWELL. 4 To cull the plots of best advantages:] i. e. to mark such stations as might most over-awe the town. HENLEY
5 A wonder, lady!] The wonder is only that Chatillon happened to arrive at the moment when Constance mentioned him; which the French king, according to a superstition which prevails more or less, in every mind agitated by great affairs, turns into a miraculous interposition, or omen of good. JOHNSON.
What England says, say briefly, gentle lord,
And stir them up against a mightier task.
6 expedient-] Immediate, expeditious. JOHNSON. So, in King Henry VI. Part II. :
"A breach that craves a quick, expedient stop."
STEEVENS. 7 An ATE, stirring him, &c.] Até was the Goddess of Revenge. The player-editors read-An Ace. STEEVENS. Corrected by Mr. Rowe. MALONE.
This image might have been borrowed from the celebrated libel, called Leicester's Commonwealth, originally published about the year 1584: "-She standeth like a fiend or fury, at the elbow of her Amadis, to stirre him forward when occasion shall serve." STEEVENS.
8 With them a bastard of the KING'S deceas'd.] This line, except the word with, is borrowed from the old play of King John, already mentioned. See p. 202, n.8. Our author should have written-king, and so, the modern editors read. But there is certainly no corruption, for we have the same phraseology elsewhere.
It may as justly be said that the same error has been elsewhere repeated by the same illiterate compositors. STEEVENS.
The phraseology which Mr. Steevens objects to is common at this day. Boswell.