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John lays you plots“; the times conspire with you:
For he, that steeps his safety in true blood”,
Shall find but bloody safety, and untrue.
This act, so evilly born, shall cool the hearts
Of all his people, and freeze up their zeal;
That none so small advantage shall step forth,
To check his reign, but they will cherish it :
No natural exhalation in the sky,
No scape of nature®, no distemper'd day,
No common wind, no customed event,
But they will pluck away his natural cause,
And call them meteors, prodigies, and signs,
Abortives, présages, and tongues of heaven,
Plainly denouncing vengeance upon John.
Lew. May be, he will not touch young

Arthur's
life,
But hold himself safe in his prisonment.
Pand. O, sir, when he shall hear of your ap-

proach,

says,

“ — what neede in that grene worlde the protector had,” &c. HENDERSON.

6 John lays you plots ;] That is, lays plots, which must be serviceable to you. Perhaps our author wrote--your plots. John is doing your business. MALONE.

The old reading is undoubtedly the true one. A similar phrase occurs in The First Part of King Henry VI. :

“ He writes me here, -that,” &c. Again, in the Second Part of the same play: “ He would have carried you a fore-hand shaft,” &c.

STEEVENS. 7- true blood,] The blood of him that has the just claim.

JOHNSON The expression seems to mean no more than innocent blood in general. Ritson.

No SCAPE of nature,] The old copy reads—No scopé, &c. STEEVENS.

It was corrected by Mr. Pope. The word abortives, in the latter part of this speech, referring apparently to these scapes of nature, confirms the emendation that has been made. MALONE.

The author very finely calls a monstrous birth, an escape of nature, as if it were produced while she was busy elsewhere, or intent upon some other thing. WARBURTON. VOL. XV.

X

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If that young Arthur be not gone already,
Even at that news he dies; and then the hearts
Of all his people shall revolt from him,
And kiss the lips of unacquainted change ;
And pick strong matter of revolt, and wrath,
Out of the bloody fingers' ends of John.
Methinks, I see this hurly all on foot ;
And, O, what better matter breeds for you,
Than I have nam'd'.-The bastard Faulconbridge
Is now in England, ransacking the church,
Offending charity: If but a dozen French
Were there in arms, they would be as a call ?
To train ten thousand English to their side;
Or, as a little snow, tumbled about,
Anon becomes a mountain. O noble Dauphin,
Go with me to the king: 'Tis wonderful,
What may be wrought out of their discontent :
Now that their souls are topfull of offence,
For England go; I will whet on the king.

Lew. Strong reasons make strange actions : :

Let us go;

If you say, ay, the king will not say, no. (Exeunt. 9 And, 0, what better matter breeds for you,

Than I have nam'd!] I believe we should read-lo! instead of O. M. Mason.

- they would be as a call —] The image is taken from the manner in which birds are sometimes caught ; one being placed for the purpose of drawing others to the net, by his note

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or call.

MALONE.

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2 Or, as a little snow,] Bacon, in his History of Henry VII. speaking of Simnel's march, observes, that “their snow-ball did not gather as it went." JOHNSON.

STRANGE actions :) Thus the old copy. The editor of the second folio, for strange, substituted strong ; and the two words so nearly resemble each other that they might certainly have been easily confounded. But, in the present instance, I see no reason for departing from the reading of the original copy, which is perfectly intelligible. MALONE.

The repetition, in the second folio, is perfectly in our author's manner, and is countenanced by the following passage in King Henry V.:

ACT IV. SCENE I.

Northampton". A Room in the Castle.

Enter HUBERT and Two Attendants. HUB. Heat me these irons hot; and, look thou

stand Within the arras : when I strike my foot Upon the bosom of the ground, rush forth: And bind the boy, which you shall find with me, Fast to the chair : be heedful: hence, and watch. 1 Attend. I hope, your warrant will bear out

the deed. Hub. Uncleanly scruples ! Fear not you : look to't.

[Exeunt Attendants. Young lad, come forth; I have to say with you.

Enter ARTHUR. Arth. Good morrow, Hubert. Нов. .

Good morrow, little prince. Arth. As little prince (having so great a title To be more prince,) as may be.—You are sad.

Hub. Indeed, I have been merrier.
ARTH.

Mercy on me!

“Think we King Harry strong,
And, princes, look, you strongly arm to meet him."

STEEVENS. 4 Northampton.] The fact is, as has been already stated, that Arthur was first confined at Falaise, and afterwards at Rouen, in Normandy, where he was put to death.–Our author has deviated, in this particular, from the history, and brought King John's nephew to England; but there is no circumstance, either in the original play, or in this of Shakspeare, to point out the particular castle in which he is supposed to be confined. The castle of Northampton has been mentioned, in some modern editions, as the place, merely because, in the first Act, King John seems to have been in that town. In the old copy there is no where any notice of place. Malone.

Methinks, no body should be sad but I:
Yet, I remember, when I was in France,
Young gentlemen would be as sad as night,
Only for wantonness. By my christendomo,

s Young gentlemen, &c.] - It should seem that this affectation had found its way into England, as it is ridiculed by Ben Jonson, in the character of Master Stephen, in Every Man in his Humour, 1601. Again, in Questions concernyng Conie-hood, and the Nature of the Conie, &c. 1595: “ That conie-hood which proceeds of melancholy, is, when in feastings appointed for merriment, this kind of conie-man sits like Mopsus or Corydon, blockish, never laughing, never speaking, but so bearishlie as if he would devour all the companie; which he doth to this end, that the guests might mutter how this his deep melancholy argueth great learning in him, and an intendment to most weighty affaires and heavenlie speculations.”

Again, in Beaumont and Fletcher's Queen of Corinth, Onos says :

“ Come let's be melancholy." Again, in Lyly's Midas, 1592: " Melancholy! is melancholy a word for a barber's mouth? Thou should's

say, heavy, dull, and doltish : melancholy is the crest of courtiers, and now every base companion, &c. says he is melancholy." Again, in The Life and Death of the Lord Cromwell, 1613:

“My nobility is wonderful melancholy-
“ Is it not most gentleman-like to be melancholy?

STEEVENS. Lyly, in his Midas, ridicules the affectation of melancholy : Now

every base companion, being in his muble fubles, says, he is melancholy.Thou should’st say thou art lumpish. If thou encroach on our courtly terms, weele trounce thee.' FARMER.

I doubt whether our author had any authority for attributing this species of affectation to the French. He generally ascribes the manners of England to all other countries. Malone.

By my CHRISTENDOM,] This word is used, both here and in All's Well That Ends Well, for baptism, or rather the baptismal

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name:

with a world
“Of pretty, fond adoptious christendoms,

“ That blinking Cupid gossips.” Nor is this use of the word peculiar to our author. Lyly, his predecessor, has employed the word in the same way: Concerning the body, as there is no gentlewoman so curious to have him in print, so there is no one so careless to have him a wretch,only his right shape to show him a man, his christendome to prove

So I were out of prison, and kept sheep,
I would be as merry as the day is long;
And so I would be here, but that I doubt
My uncle practises more harm to me:
He is afraid of me, and I of him:
Is it my fault that I was Geffrey's son ?
No, indeed, is't not; And I would to heaven,
I were your son, so you would love me, Hubert.

Hub. If I talk to him, with his innocent prate He will awake my mercy, which lies dead : Therefore I will be sudden, and dispatch. [Aside. Arth. Are you sick, Hubert ? you look pale to

day : In sooth, I would you were a little sick ; That I might sit all night, and watch with you: I warrant, I love you more than you do me. Hub. His words do take possession of my bo

som.Read here, young Arthur. [Showing a paper.]

How now, foolish rheum! [ Aside. Turning dispitequs torture out of door! I must be brief; lest resolution drop Out at mine eyes, in tender womanish tears. Can you not read it ? is it not fair writ?

ARTH. Too fairly, Hubert, for so foul effect : Must you with hot irons burn out both mine eyes ?

Hub. Young boy, I must.
ARTH.

And will you ?
HUB.

And I will. Arth. Have you the heart ? When your head

did but ake, I knit my handkerchief about your brows, (The best I had, a princess wrought it me,) And I did never ask it you again : And with my hand at midnight held your head his faith.” Euphues and his England, 1581. See also vol. x. p. 323, n. 7. Malone.

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