ePub 版

His brother, archbishop late of Canterbury*
Sir Thomas Erpingham, sir John Ramston,


[ocr errors]


All the persons enumerated in Holinshed's account of those who embarked with Bolingbroke, are here mentioned with great exactness, except "Thomas Arundell, sonne and heire to the late earle of Arundell, beheaded at the Tower-hill." See Holinshed. And yet this nobleman, who appears to have been thus omitted by the poet, is the person to whom alone that circumstance relates of having "broke from the duke of Exeter," and to whom alone, of all mentioned in the list, the archbishop was related, he being uncle to the young lord, though Shakspeare by mistake calls him his brother. See Holinshed, p. 496.

From these circumstances here taken notice of, which are applicable only to this lord in particular, and from the improbability that Shakspeare would omit so principal a personage in his historian's list, I think it can scarce be doubted but that a line is lost in which the name of this Thomas Arundel had originally a place.

Mr. Ritson, with some probability, supposes Shakspeare could not have neglected so fair an opportunity of availing himself of a rough ready-made verse which offers itself in Holinshed: [The son and heir of the late earl of Arundel,]"


For the insertion of the line included within crotchets, I am answerable; it not being found in the old copies.

The passages in Holinshed relative to this matter run thus: "Aboute the same time the Earl of Arundell's sonne, named Thomas, which was kept in the Duke of Exeter's house, escaped out of the realme, by meanes of one William Scot," &c. "Duke Henry,-chiefly through the earnest persuasion of Thomas Arundell, late Archbishoppe of Canterburie, (who, as before you have heard, had been removed from his sea, and banished the realme by King Richardes means,) got him downe to Britaine :-and when all his provision was made ready, he tooke the sea, together with the said Archbishop of Canterburie, and his nephew Thomas Arundelle, sonne and heyre to the late Earle of Arundelle, beheaded on Tower-hill. There were also with him Reginalde Lord Cobham, Sir Thomas Erpingham," &c. Holinshed, p. 1105, edit. 1577.

There cannot, therefore, I think, be the smallest doubt, that a line was omitted in the copy of 1597, by the negligence of the transcriber or compositor, in which not only Thomas Arundel, but his father, was mentioned; for his in a subsequent line (His brother) must refer to the old Earl of Arundel.

Rather than leave a lacuna, I have inserted such words as render the passage intelligible. In Act V. Sc. II. of the play before us,



Sir John Norbery, sir Robert Waterton, and Francis Quoint,

All these well furnish'd by the duke of Bretagne,
With eight tall ships, three thousand men of war,
Are making hither with all due expedience,
And shortly mean to touch our northern shore :
Perhaps, they had ere this; but that they stay
The first departing of the king for Ireland.
If then we shall shake off our slavish yoke,
Imp out our drooping country's broken wing,


a line of a rhyming couplet was passed over by the printer of the first folio:

"Ill may'st thou thrive, if thou grant any grace."

It has been recovered from the quarto. So also, in K. Henry VI. Part II. the first of the following lines was omitted, as is proved by the old play on which that piece is founded, and (as in the present instance,) by the line which followed the omitted line: [Suf. Jove sometimes went disguis'd, and why not [?] Cap. But Jove was never slain, as thou shalt be."



In Coriolanus, vol. xiv. p. 102, a line was in like manner omitted, and it has very properly been supplied.

The christian name of Sir Thomas Ramston is changed to John, and the two following persons are improperly described as knights in all the copies. These perhaps were likewise mistakes of the press, but are scarcely worth correcting. MALONE.

3- archbishop LATE of Canterbury,] Thomas Arundel, Archbishop of Canterbury, brother to the Earl of Arundel who was beheaded in this reign, had been banished by the parliament, and was afterwards deprived by the Pope of his see, at the request of the king; whence he is here called "late of Canterbury."


4 IMP Out-] As this expression frequently occurs in our author, it may not be amiss to explain the original meaning of it. When the wing-feathers of a hawk were dropped, or forced out by any accident, it was usual to supply as many as were deficient. This operation was called, to imp a hawk.

So, in The Devil's Charter, 1607:

"His plumes only imp the muse's wings." Again, in Albumazar, 1615:


when we desire

“Time's haste, he seems to lose a match with lobsters;
"And when we wish him stay, he imps his wings
"With feathers plum'd with thought."

Redeem from broking pawn the blemish'd crown,
Wipe off the dust that hides our scepter's gilt,
And make high majesty look like itself,
Away, with me, in post to Ravenspurg:
But if you faint, as fearing to do so,
Stay, and be secret, and myself will go.

Ross. To horse, to horse! urge doubts to them that fear.

WILLO. Hold out my horse, and I will first be there. [Exeunt.


The Same. A Room in the Palace.

Enter QUEEN, BUSHY, and Bagot.

BUSHY. Madam, your majesty is too much sad: You promis'd, when you parted with the king, To lay aside life-harming heaviness, And entertain a cheerful disposition.

QUEEN. To please the king, I did; to please myself,

I cannot do it; yet I know no cause

Turbervile has a whole chapter on The Way and Manner howe to ympe a Hawke's Feather, how-soever it be broken or broosed. STEEVENS. 5-gilt,] i. e. gilding, superficial display of gold. So, in Timon of Athens:

"When thou wast in thy gilt and thy perfume," &c. STEEVENS.

6 LIFE-harming heaviness,] Thus the quarto 1597. The quartos 1608, and 1615-halfe-harming; the folio-self-harming. STEEVENS.

This is a good specimen of the gradual progress of corruption. The revisor of the folio, perceiving that "half-harming," (the corrupt reading of the copy of 1608, from which the folio copy appears to have been printed,) afforded no sense, substituted " selfharming," a word that is not very distant from the other, without a thought of consulting the earliest printed copy. MALONE.

Why I should welcome such a guest as grief,
Save bidding farewell to so sweet a guest
As my sweet Richard: Yet, again, methinks,
Some unborn sorrow, ripe in fortune's womb,
Is coming towards me; and my inward soul
With nothing trembles: at some thing it grieves",
More than with parting from my lord the king.
BUSHY. Each substance of a grief hath twenty

Which show like grief itself, but are not so:
For sorrow's eye, glazed with blinding tears,
Divides one thing entire to many objects;
Like pérspectives, which, rightly gaz'd upon,
Show nothing but confusion; ey'd awry,

7 With NOTHING trembles at SOME THING it grieves,] The following line requires that this should be read just the contrary way: "With something trembles, yet at nothing grieves." WARBURTON.

All the old editions read: my inward soul


"With nothing trembles: at some thing it grieves." The reading, which Dr. Warburton corrects, is itself an innovation. His conjectures give indeed a better sense than that of any copy, but copies must not be needlessly forsaken. JOHNSON. I suppose it is the unborn sorrow which she calls nothing, because it is not yet brought into existence. STEEVENS.

Warburton does not appear to have understood this passage, nor Johnson either. Through the whole of this scene, till the arrival of Green, the Queen is describing to Bushy, a certain unaccountable despondency of mind, and a foreboding apprehension which she felt of some unforeseen calamity. She says, 66 that her inward soul trembles without any apparent cause, and grieves at something more than the King's departure, though she knows not what." He endeavours to persuade her that it is merely the consequence of her sorrow for the King's absence. She says it may be so, but her soul tells her otherwise. He then tells her it is only conceit; but she is not satisfied with that way of accounting for it, as she says that conceit is still derived from some forefather grief, but what she feels was begot by nothing; that is, had no preceding cause. Conceit is here used in the same sense that it is in Hamlet, when the King says that Ophelia's madness was occasioned by "conceit upon her father." M. MASON.

[ocr errors]

Distinguish form: so your sweet majesty,
Looking awry upon your lord's departure,

8 Like pérspectives, which, RIGHTLY gaz'd upon, Show nothing but confusion; EY'D AWRY, Distinguish form:] This is a fine similitude, and the thing meant is this. Amongst mathematical recreations, there is one in optics, in which a figure is drawn, wherein all the rules of perspective are inverted: so that, if held in the same position with those pictures which are drawn according to the rules of perspective, it can present nothing but confusion: and to be seen in form, and under a regular appearance, it must be looked upon from a contrary station; or, as Shakspeare says, y'd awry." WARBURTON.



Dr. Plot's History of Staffordshire, p. 391, explains this perspective, or odd kind of " pictures upon an indented board, which, if beheld directly, you only perceive a confused piece of work; but, if obliquely, you see the intended person's picture;' which, he was told, was made thus: "The board being indented, [or furrowed with a plough-plane,] the print or painting was cut into parallel pieces equal to the depth and number of the indentures on the board, and they were pasted on the flats that strike the eye holding it obliquely, so that the edges of the parallel pieces of the print or painting exactly joining on the edges of the indentures, the work was done." TOLLET.

The following short poem would almost persuade one that the words rightly and awry [perhaps originally written aright and wryly,] had exchanged places in the text of our author:


Lines prefixed to " Melancholike Humours, in Verses of Diverse
Natures, set down by Nich. Breton, Gent. 1600:
"In Authorem.
"That thou wouldst finde the habit of true passion,
"And see a minde attir'd in perfect straines;
"Not wearing moodes, as gallants doe a fashion

"In these pide times, only to shewe their braines;
"Looke here on Breton's worke, the master print,
"Where such perfections to the life doe rise :
"If they seeme wry, to such as looke asquint,

"The fault's not in the object, but their eyes.
"For, as one comming with a laterall viewe

"Unto a cunning piece-wrought perspective, "Wants facultie to make a censure true :

"So with this author's readers will it thrive:

"Which, being eyed directly, I divine,


His proofe their praise will meete, as in this line."

Ben Jonson. STEEVENS.

« 上一頁繼續 »