Puslapio vaizdai

mentally supplied in the manner Malone recommends. It is natural for Macduff, amid the hurry and agitation of the battle, when his thoughts, full of the loss of his wife and children, and of his revenge on Macbeth, are crowding rapidly upon him, to leave the sentence incomplete. Such imperfect sentences, finished differently from the original intention of the speaker, are not uncommon in real life, and sometimes occur in Shakespeare.


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K. John. Now, say, Chatillon, what would France with us? •
Chat. Thus, after greeting, speaks the king of France,
In my behaviour, to the majesty,

The borrow'd majesty of England here.

Malone is right.

P. 5.-446.-6.

K. John. What follows, if we disallow of this?
Chat. The proud control of fierce and bloody war,
To enforce these rights so forcibly withheld.

Mason is right.

P. 6.-447-7.

K. John. Be thou as lightning in the eyes of France;

For ere thou canst report I will be there,

The thunder of my cannon shall be heard.

Dr. Johnson's censure of this simile appears to me hypercritical, for the reasons given by Mason, and the Author of the Remarks.

P. 10.-451.-13.

Rob. Upon his death-bed he by will bequeath'd
His lands to me; and took it, on his death,
That this, my mother's son, was none of his.



I do not think Mr. Steevens has explained this expression rightly. The words I take it, in the passage produced from Hamlet, are used in a different sense; they there mean I suppose, as an example of which sense of the verb to take that passage is quoted in Dr. Johnson's Dictionary. The meaning here is, "he asseverated when he was dying," at a time "where, as it is "well expressed by Lord Chief Justice Eyre, every hope of this world is gone, every mo"tive to falsehood is silenced, and the mind is "induced by the most powerful considerations έσ to speak the truth." (Vide Melun's dying declaration in the fifth act of this play.) "situation so solemn and so awful, that it is "considered by the law as creating an obliga"tion equal to that which is imposed by a positive oath administered by a court of jus"tice." In precisely the same sense the expression is used in the fifth act of the First Part of King Henry IV. where Falstaff says, "I'll "take it upon my death, I gave him this wound "in the thigh." In this last quoted passage surely, "I'll take it upon my death," does not mean, "I'll entertain it as my fixed opinion, "when I am dying. Millamant, in the Way of the World, Act iii. sc. 10, says, I'll take my death, Marwood, you are more censorious "than a decay'd beauty, or a discarded toast; and again in the next scene, "I'll take my

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death, I think you are handsomer, and within 66 a year or two as young." These expres

sions I suppose to be elliptical, and to mean, "I'll take my death on the truth of what I "assert."

P. 12.452.-14.

Eli. Whether hadst thou rather,-be a Faulconbridge,
And like thy brother, to enjoy thy land;

Or the reputed son of Cœur-de-lion,
Lord of thy presence, and no land beside?
Bast. Madam, an if my brother had my shape,
And I had his, Sir Robert his, like him;

And if my legs were two such riding-rods,
My arms such eel-skins stuff'd ; my face so thin,
That in mine ear I durst not stick a rose,

Lest men should say, Look, where three-farthings goes!
And, to his shape, were heir to all this land,

Would I might never stir from off this place,
I'd give it every foot to have this face;

I would not be sir Nob in any case.

I doubt whether Dr. Johnson understood the construction. I rather incline to believe that, Sir Robert his, is not here used for Sir Robert's, (like "he Ulysses his bow,) but that the meaning is, "if Sir Robert had his (my brother's) shape." To this I am aware it may be objected that the bastard ought rather to have said," if "he had Sir Robert's (shape);" I admit that it would have been more exact, but the expression here used is of the same amount, and suiting the metre, which the other did not, Shakespeare did not scruple using it; he has numberless expressions more harsh than his.

P. 13.-453.-16.

And to his shape, &c.

Mr. Steevens is clearly right.

P. 14.-454.-17.

K. John. Kneel thou down Philip, but arise more great;
Arise, Sir Richard, and Plantagenet.

I am in Mr. Steevens's case; I cannot concur in Mr. Malone's opinion.

P. 21.-459.-25.

Bast. Sir Robert could do well; Marry, (to confess!)
Could he get me? Sir Robert could not do it.

I incline to Mr. Mason's opinion. The verse is rendered more smooth, and the sense is, I think, improved by the rejection of the adverb to.

P. 30.-468.-38.

K. Phi. Lewis, determine what we shall do straight.
Lew. Women and fools break off

your conference.

I am by no means satisfied with what Mr. Malone says. I think the modern editors have regulated the passage rightly. In the first line, which should be given to Austria, we should read " King Philip determine," &c; and King Philip should begin his speech with "Women " and fools," I think the king, and not the dauphin, should make the claim of King John.

P. 30.-469.-39.

Eli. His mother shames him so, poor boy, he weeps. Const. Now shame upon you, whe'r she does, or no! I think Ritson is right.


P. 34.-472.-40.

I have but this to say,

That he's not only plagued for her sin,

But God hath made her sin and her the plague
On this removed issue, plagu'd for her,
And with her plague, her sin; his injury,
Her injury, the beadle to her sin;
All punish'd in the person of this child;
And all for her; a plague upon her!

This passage, notwithstanding the pains bestowed on it by the commentators, I do not yet understand, I believe the nut is hardly worth the cracking.

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