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K. John. From whom haft thou this great commit
fion, France, To draw my answer to thy articles ? K. Phil. From that supernal judge, that stirs good
thoughts In any breast of strong authority, 8 To look into the blots and stains of right. That judge hath made me guardian to this boy: Under whose warrant, I impeach thy wrong, And, by whose help, I mean to chastise it.
K. John. Alack, thou dost usurp authority. K. Philip. Excuse it; 'tis to beat usurping down. Eli. Who is't, that thou dost call usurper, France ? Conf. Let me make answer : thy ufurping fon. Eli. Out, insolent! thy bastard shall be king; That thou may'st be a queen, and check the world!
Conft. My bed was ever to thy son as true, As thine was to thy husband : and this boy, Liker in feature to his father Geffrey, Than thou and John, in manners ; being as like, As rain to water, or devil to his dam. My boy a baftard ! By my soul, I think, His father never was so true begot; It cannot be, an if thou wert his mother. Eli. There's a good mother, boy, that blots thy fa
ther. Cont. There's a good grandam, boy, that would blot
thee. Auft. Peace! Faulc. Hear the crier.
* To lock into the blots and stains of right.] Mr. Theobald reads, with the first folio, blots, which being to early authorize i, and so much better understood, needed not to have been changed by Dr. Warburton to belts, tho’ bolts might be used in that time for spots : fo Shakespeare calls Banquo pated witi blod, the blood-belter'd Banquo. The verb to blot is used figuratively or to disgrace a few lines lower. And perhaps, after ali, bolts was only a typographical miltake. JOHNSON.
Auft. What the devil art thou ?
Faulc. One that will play the devil, Sir, with you, An a' may catch your hide and You are the hare, of whom the proverb goes, Whose valour plucks dead lions by the beard : I'll ímoak your skin-coat, an I catch you right; Sirrah, look to't; i'faith, I will, i'faith.
Blanch. O, well did he become that lion's robe,
Fculc. It lies as lightly on the back of him %,
Aujt. What cracker is this fame, that deafs our ears
9 It lies as fightly on the back of him,
As great Alcides' fhoes upon an ass :] But why his shoes, in the name of propriety? For let Hercu es and his shoes have been really as big as they were ever supposed to be, yet they (I mean the faces) would not have been an overload for an ass. I am persuadel, I have retrieved the true reading; and let us obfirve the juitness of the comparijon now. Faulconbridge in his resentment would say this to Austria, « That lion's skin, which my
great father king Richard once wore, looks as uncouthly on
thy back, as that other noble hide, which was borne by Her“ cules, would look on the back of an afs.” A double allufion was intended; firfi, to the fable of the ass in the lion's. skin ; then Richard I. is finely set in competition with Alcides, as Auftria is fatirically coupled with the ass. THEOBALD.
Mr. Theobald had the art of making the most of his discoverics. JOHNSON,
I believe Theobald is right, yet the faces of Hercules are more than once introduced in the old comedies on much such another 'occafion. So in The Isle of Gulls, by ). Day, 1606. are as fit, as Hercules's shoe for the foot of a pigmy."
STEEVENS. King Lewis,-) Thus the folio. The modern editors read -Philip, which appears to be right. It is however cbservable, that the answer is given in the old copy to Lewis, as if the dauphin, who was afiirwards Lewis Vili, was meant to have been 2
K. Philip. Women and fools, break off your con
K. John. My life as soon.-1 do defy thee, France.
Eli. Come to thy grandam, child.
Arth. Good my mother, peace !
El. His mother shames him so, poor boy, he weeps.
Conft. Now shame upon you, whether she does, or no! His grandam's wrongs, and not his mother's shames, Draw those heaven-moving pearls from his poor eyes, Which heaven shall take in nature of a fee: Ay, with these crystal beads heaven shall be brib'd Todo him justice, and revenge on you.
Eli. Thou monitrous flanderer of heaven and earth!
Conft. Thou monstrous injurer of heaven and earth! Call me not Nanderer ; thou, and thine, usurp The domination, royalties, and rights Of this oppressed boy. This is thy eldest son's son, Infortunate in nothing but in thee; Thy fins are visited on this poor child ; The canon of the law is laid on him,
the speaker. The foeech itself, however, seems appropriated to the king, and nothing can be inferred from the folio with any çertainty, bạt that the editors of it were careless and ignorant.
Being but the second generation
K. John. Bedlam, have done.
Conft. I have but this to say,
will; A woman's will; a cankred grandam's will! K. Phil. Peace, lady; pause, or be more temperate :
2. I have but this to say,
But, &c. —] This passage appears to me very obscure. The chief difficulty arises from this, that Conftance having told Elinor of her fin-conceiving womb, pursues the thought, and uses fin through the next lines in an ambiguous sense, sometimes for crime, and sometimes for offspring.
He's not only plagued for her fin, &c. He is not only made miserable by vengeance for her fin or crime ; but her fin, her offspring, and she, are made the inftruments of that vengeance, on this descendant; who, though of the second generation, is plagued for her and with her; to whom she is not only the cause but the inftrument of evil. The next clause is more perplexed. All the editions read,
plagu'd for her,
All punish'd in the person of this child.
plagu'd for her
Her injury, the beadle to her pn. That is; instead of inflicting vengeance on this innocent and remote descendant, punish ber fon, her inninediate offspring : then the afiliation will fall where it is deserved; his injury will
3 It ill beseems this presence to cry aim
K. Jckr. i ngland, for itself: You nenAnziers, and my loving subjects K. ill. You loving men of Angiers, Arthur's sub
ects, Our trompet call'd you to this gentle parle.K 32. For our advantage; - therefore hear us
ficii 4. bilir, and the misery of her fin; her son will be a beadle,
Lolter crimes, which are now all punished in the person of this ; JOHNSON. Mr. Lovrick reads,
plagu d for her “At with her plagu’d; her fin, his injury. Steevens. 3 It ili koje nis this prejence cry
aim Totleje ll ri2 di repetitions.) Dr. Warburton has well obferved on one oi the firm rys, that to cry aim is to encourage.
I once the at it has borrowed from archery; and that aim! having been ie werd of command, as we now say prejent! to cry aim łodu been to incite notice, or raise attention. But I rather think, thus ine old word of applause was J'aime, love it, and that to app and was to cry J'aime, which the English, not easily pronouncing Je, funk into aime or aim. Our exclamations of applause are lill borrowed, as bravo and encore.
JOHNSON Dr. Johnson's first thought, I believe is best. So in Beaumont and Fletcher's Love's Cure, or The Martial Maid,
" Can I cry aim “ To this against myself !”. So in our author's Merry Wives, &c. Ford says, “ - and to these violent proceedings all my neighbours shall cry aim.”
STEEVENS. * For our advantage ; – therefore hear us firft.--) If we read for your advantage” it would be a more specious reason for interrupting Lewis. T.T.