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Here's a stay 16, That shakes the rotten carcass of old death Out of his rags ! Here's a large mouth, indeed, That spits forth death, and mountains, rocks, and
seas; Talks as familiarly of roaring lions As maids of thirteen do of puppy-dogs! What cannoneer begot this lusty blood ? He speaks plain cannon, fire, and smoke, and bounce: He gives the bastinado with his tongue; Our ears are cudgeld; not a word of his, But buffets better than a fist of France : Zounds! I was never so bethump'd with words, Since I first calld my brother's father, dad.
Eli. Son, list to this conjunction, make this match;
1 Cit. Why answer not the double majesties This friendly treaty of our threaten’d town?
16 A stay here seems to mean a supporter of a cause. Here's an extraordinary partisan or maintainer that shakes,' &c. Baret translates columen vel firmamentum reipublicæ by the stay, the chiefe mainteyner and succour of,' &c. It has been proposed to read, “Here's a say,' i. e. a speech; and it must be confessed that it would agree well with the tenor of the subsequent part of Faulconbridge's speech. VOL. IV.
K. Phi. Speak England first, that hath been for
ward first To speak unto this city: What say you? K. John. If that the Dauphin there, thy princely
son, Can in this book of beauty read 17, I love, Her dowry shall weigh equal with a queen: For Anjou, and fair Touraine, Maine, Poictiers, And all that we upon this side the sea (Except this city now by us besieg’d) Find liable to our crown and dignity, Shall gild her bridal bed; and make her rich In titles, honours, and promotions, As she in beauty, education, blood, Holds hand with any princess of the world. K. Phi. What say’st thou, boy? look in the lady's
[Whispers with BLANCH. 17 So in Pericles :
• Her face the book of praises,' &c. Again in Macbeth :
Your face, my thane, is as a book where men
May read strange matters.' 18 The table is the plain surface on which any thing is depicted or written. Tablette, Fr. Our ancestors called their memorandum books a pair of writing tables. Vide Baret's Alvearie, 1575, Letter T. No. 2. Thus Helena, in All's Well that Ends Well :
to sit and draw
Bast. Drawn in the flattering table of her eye!
Hang'd in the frowning wrinkle of her brow!And quarter'd in her heart?-he doth espy
Himself love's traitor: This is pity now, That hang’d, and drawn, and quarter'd, there should
be, In such a love, so vile a lout as he.
Blanch. My uncle's will, in this respect, is mine: If he see aught in you, that makes him like, That any thing he sees, which moves his liking, I can with ease translate it to my will; Or, if you will (to speak more properly), I will enforce it easily to my love. Further I will not flatter you, my lord, That all I see in you is worthy love. Than this,-that nothing do I see in you, (Though churlish thoughts themselves should be
your judge), That I can find should merit
hate. K. John. What say these young ones? What say
you, my niece?
Blanch. That she is bound in honour still to do What
in wisdom shall vouchsafe to say. K. John. Speak then, prince Dauphin; can you
love this lady?
19 This is the ancient name for the country now called the Vexin, in Latin Pagus Velocassinus. That part of it called the Norman Vexin was in dispute between Philip and John. This and the subsequent line (except the words do I give') are taken from the old play.
Philip of France, if thou be pleas'd withal,
K. Phi. It likes us well;-Young princes, close
your hands 20.
Aust. And your lips too; for, I am well assur’d, That I did so, when I was first assur'd21.
K. Phi. Now, citizens of Angiers, ope your gates, Let in that amity which you have made; For at Saint Mary's chapel, presently, The rites of marriage shall be solemniz'd.Is not the Lady Constance in this troop? I know, she is not; for this match, made up, Her presence would have interrupted much : Where is she and her son ? tell me, who knows. Lew. She is sad and passionate 22 at your high
ness' tent. K. Phi. And, by my faith, this league, that we
have made, Will give her sadness very
little cure.Brother of England, how may we content This widow lady? In her right we came; Which we, God knows, have turn’d another way, To our own vantage 3. K. John.
We will heal
up For we'll create young Arthur duke of Bretagne, And earl of Richmond; and this rich fair town We make him lord of.–Call the Lady Constance; Some speedy messenger bid her repair To our solemnity :-I trust we shall,
20 See Winter's Tale, Acti. Sc. 2, p. 8. 21 Allianced, contracted.
22 Passionate here means agitated, perturbed, a prey to mournful sensations, not moved or disposed to anger. Thus in the old play, entitled The true Tragedie of Richard Duke of York, 1600:
Tell me, good madam, Why is your grace so passionate of late.' 23 Advantage.
If not fill up the measure of her will,
retire from the Walls.
dity 26,Commodity, the bias of the world;
24 To part and depart were formerly synonymous. So in Cooper's Dictionary, v. ' communico, to communicate or departe a thing I have with another.'
25 To round or rown in the ear is to whisper; from the Saxon runian, susurrare. The word and its etymology is fully illustrated by Casaubon in his Treatise de Ling. Saxonica, and in a Letter by Sir H. Spelman, published in Wormius, Literatura Runica. Hafniæ, 1651, p. 4.
26 Commodity is interest, advantage. So Baret :- What fruite or commoditie had he by this his friendship?' Alvearie, letter C. 867. The construction of this passage, though harsh to modern ears, is— Commodity, he that wins of all, --he that cheats the poor maid of that only external thing she has to lose, namely the word maid, i. e. her chastity.'
Henderson has adduced passage from Cupid's Whirligig, 1607, which happily illustrates the word bias in this passage :
• 0, the world is like a byas bowle, and it runs