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Northampton.) Mr. Malone has observed, that Shakspeare deviated from historical fact in bringing Arthur to England; this young prince was first confined at Falaise, and afterwards at Rouen in Normandy, where he was put to death. Line 123.
The fire is dead with grief, 8c.] The sense is : the fire, being created not to hurt but to comfort, is dead with grief for finding itself used in acts of cruelty, which, being innocent, I have not deserved.
JOHN SON. Line 219.
good exercise ?] In the middle ages the whole education of princes and noble youths consisted in martial exercises, &c. These could not be easily had in a prison, where mental improvements might have been afforded as well as any where else; but this sort of educa. tion never entered into the thoughts of our active, warlike, but illiterate nobility.
PERCY. Line 389. It is the curse of kings, &c.] This plainly hints at Davidson's case, in the affair of Mary queen of Scots, and so must have been inserted long after the first representation,
WARBURTON. It is extremely probable that our author meant to pay his court to Elizabeth for this covert apology for her conduct to Mary. The queen of Scots was beheaded in 1587, some years, I believe, before he had produced any play on the stage.
MALONE. Line 413. Hadst thou but shook thy head, &c.] There are many touches of nature in this conference of John with Hubert. A man engaged in wickedness would keep the profit to himself, and transfer the guilt to his accomplice. These reproaches vented against Hubert are not the words of art or policy, but the eruptions of a mind swelling with a consciousness of crime, and desirous of discharging its misery on another.
This account of the timidity of guilt is drawn ab ipsis recessibus mentis, from the intimate knowledge of mankind, particularly that line in which he says, that to hare bid him tell ‘his tale in express words, would have struck him dumb; nothing is more certain than that bad men use all the arts of fallacy upon themselves, palliate their actions to their own minds by gentle terms, and hide themselves from their own detection in ambiguities and subterfuges. Johnson. Line 487.
reason now.] To reason, in Shakspeare, is not so often to wrgue, as to talk.
Johnson. Line 529 - u holy row;
Nerer to taste the pleasures of the world,] This is a copy of the vows made in the ages of superstition and chivalry.
Johnson. Line 533. Till I have set a glory to this hand,
By giving it the worship of revenge.] The worship is the dignity, the honour. We still say worshipful of magistrates.
JOHNSON. Line 543. Your sword is bright, sir ; put it up again.] i. e. lest it lose its brightness.
MALONE. Line 557. Do not prove me so i
Yet, I am none;] Do not make me a murderer by compelling me to kill you; I am hitherto not a murderer,
JOHNSON. Line 595. There is not yet,&c.] I remenuber once to bave met with an old book, printed in the time of Henry VIII. (which Shakspeare possibly might have seen) where we are told that the deformity of the condemned in the other world is ' exactly proportioned to the degrees of their guilt. The author of it observes how difficult it would be, on this account, to distinguish between Belzebub and Judas Iscariot.
Line 88. Auay then, with good courage ; yet, I know,
Our party may well meet a prouder foe.] Faulconbridge means, for all their boasting I know very well that our party is able to cope with one yet prouder and more confident of its strength than theirs.
STEEVENS. Line 124. clippeth thee about,] To clip is to embrace.
Line 134. Between compulsion and a brave respect !] This compulsion was the necessity of a reformation in the state ; which, according to Salisbury's opinion (who, in his speech preceding, calls it an enforced cause) could only be procured by foreign arms: and the brave respect was the love of his country. Yet the Oxford editor, for compulsion reads compassion.
WARBURTON. Line 154. un angel spake:) Sir T. Hanmer, and after him Dr. Warburton, read here, un ungel speeds. I think unnecessarily. The dauphin does not yet hear the legate indeed, nor pretend to hear him; but seeing him ad. vance, and concluding that he comes to animate and authorize him with the power of the church, he cries out, at the sight of this holy man, I am encouraged as by the voice of an angel.
JOHNSON. Line 197.
as I have bank'd their towns?] Bank'd their towns means, thrown up fortifications, or rather entrenchments, before their towns.
STEEVENS. Line 231. take the hatch ;) To take the hatch, is to leap the hatch. To tuke u hedge or a 'ditch is the hunter's phrase.
STEEVENS. Line 341. rated treachery,] It were easy to change rated to hated for an easier meaning, but ruted suits better with fine. The dauphin has rated your treachery, and set upon it a fine which your lives must pay.
Line 364. Riglit in thine eye.] This is the old reading. Right signifies immediate.
STEEVENS. 'Line 366, -- happy newness, &c.] Huppy innoration, that purposes the restoration of the ancient rightful govern. ment.
JOHNSON. Line 410.
thou, and eyeless night ;] Thus Pindar calls the moon, the eye of night.
WARBURTON Line 511. And all the shrouds,] Shakspeare here uses the word shrouds in its true sense. The shrouds are the great ropes, which come froi each side of the mast. In modern poetry the word frequeutly signifies the sails of a ship.
MALONE. Line 521. Were in the washes, all unwarily, &c] This untoward accident really happened to king John himself. As he passed from Lynn to Lincolnshire, he lost by an inundation all his treasure, carriages, baggage, and regalia.
END OF THE ANNOTATIONS ON KING JOHN.