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K. John. France, thou shalt rue this hour within
this hour. Faulc. Old time the clock-setter, that bald sexton
time, Is it, as he will ? well then, France shall rue. Blanch. The sun's o'ercast with blood : fair day,
Lewis. Lady, with me, with me thy fortune lies..
shalt turn To ashes, ere our blood shall quench that fire: . Look to thyself, thou art in jeopardy. K. Jok n. No more than he that threats. To arms ! let's hie !
Changes to a field of battle.
Faul. Now, by my life, this day grows wondrous
hot; & Some airy devil hovers in the sky, And pours down mischief. Austria's head lie there; 9 Thus hath king Richard's fon perform’d his vow,
& Some airy devil - We must read, Some fiery devil, if we will have the cause equal to the effect. WARBURTON.
There is no end of such alterations; every page of a vehement and negligent writer will affori opportunities for changes of terms, if mere propriety will justify them. Not that of this cbange the propriety is out of controversy. Dr. Warburton will have the devil fiery, because he makes the day hot; the author makes him airy, because he hovers in the sky, and the heat and mischief are natural consequences of his malignity
JOHNSON. Shakespeare here probably alludes to the distinctions and divisions of some of the demonologists, so much read and regarded in his time. They distributed the devils into different tribes and classes, each of which had its peculiar properties, attributes, &c.
These are described at length in Burton's Anatomie of Melancboly, part 1. fect. 2. p. 45. 1632.
“Of these sublunary devils--Psellus makes six kinds; fiery, " aeriall, terrestriall, watery, and subterranean devils, besides " those faieries, satyres, nymphes,” c.
“ Fiery spirits or divells are such as commonly worke by s blazing ftarres, fire-drakes, and counterfeit sunnes and “ moones, and fit on Tips mafts,” &c. &c.
“ Aeriall spirits or divells are such as keep quarter most part " in the aire, cause many tempefts, thunder and lightnings, “ teare oakes, fire steeples, houses, strike men and beasts, “ make it raine ftones,” &c. Percy
9 Thus hath king Richard's fon, &c.] This and the two following lines are taken from the old imperfect sketch by Mr. Pope. $T EEVENS,
And offer'd Austria’s blood for sacrifice
Enter king John, Arthur, and Hubert.
my mother Is affail'd in our tent, and ta’en, I fear.
Faulc. My lord, I rescu'd her; Her highness is in safety, fear you not : But on, my liege ; for very little pains Will bring this labour to an happy end. [Exeunt.
Alarms, excursions, retreat. Re-enter king John, Eli
nor, Arthur, Faulconbridge, Hubert, and lords. , K. John. So shall it be ;-your grace shall stay behind,
[To Elinor. So strongly guarded.--Cousin, look not fad :
[To Arthur. Thy grandam loves thee; and thy uncle will As dear be to thee as thy father was.
Artb. O, this will make my mother die with grief.
I the fat ribs of peace
Muft by the hungry now, be fed upon.] This word now seems a very idle term here, and conveys no satisfactory idea. An antithesis, and opposition of terms, so perpetual with our author, requires ;
Must by the hungry war be fed upon. War, demanding a large expence, is very poetically said to be hungry, and to prey on the wealth and fat of peace. WARBUR.
This emendation is better than the former, but yet not necessary, Sir 'T. HANMER reads, hungry marw, with less devia
Must by the hungry now, be fed upon.
Eli. Farewell, gentle cousin.
[Exit Faule. Eli. Come hither, little kinsman ;-hark, a word...
[Taking him to one side of the stage.
Hub. I am much bounden to your majesty.
tion from the common reading, but with not so much force or elegance as war. Johnson,
Either emendation is unnecessary. The hungry now is this bangry inftant. Shakespeare perhaps used the word now as a fub£antive, in Measure for Measure,
till this very now, When men were fond, I fmild and wonder'd how. STEEVENS.
2 Bell, book, and candle, &c.] In an account of the Romih curse given by Dr. Gray, it appears that three candles were extinguished, one by one, in different parts of the execration.
I had a thing to say,but, let it go : The sun is in the heaven; and the proud day Attended with the pleasures of the world, Is all too wanton, and too full of gawds, To give me audience: — if the midnight bell Did with his iron tongue and brazen mouth 3 Sound on unto the drowsy race of night; If this same were a church-yard where we stand, And thou possessed with a thousand wrongs; Or if that surly spirit melancholy Had bak'd thy blood and made it heavy, thick, (Which, else, runs tickling up and down the veins, Making that ideot, laughter, keep mens' eyes, And strain their cheeks to idle merriment; A passion hateful to my purposes) Or if that thou could'st see me without eyes, Hear me without thine ears, and make reply Without a tongue, using conceit alone, Without eyes, ears, and harmful sound of words; Then, in despight of broad-ey'd watchful day, I would into thy bosom pour my thoughts: But ah, I will not : - yet I love thee well; And, by my troth, I think, thou lov'st me well.
Hub. So well, that what you bid me undertake,
K. John. Do not I know thou would'st?
3 Sound on unto the drowsy race of night ;] We should read, Sound ONE- WARBURTON.
I should suppose found on (which is the reading of the folio) to be the true one. The meaning seems to be this ; if the midright bell, by repeated Atrokes, was to hasien away the race of beings who are busy at that hour, or quicken night itself in its progress, the morning-bell (that is, the bell that strikes one) could not, with strict propriety, be made the agent ; for the bell has ceased to be in the service of night, when it proclaims the arrival of day. Sound on has a peculiar propriety, because by the repetition of the strokes at twelve, it gives a much more forcible warning than when it only strikes one. STEEVENS.