« ZurückWeiter »
Why force you this? Vol. Because that now it lies you on to speak To the people; not by your own instruction, Nor by the matter which your heart prompts you toe, But with such words that are but roted 9 in Your tongue, though but bastards, and syllables Of no allowance, to your bosom's truth 10. Now, this no more dishonours you at all, Than to take in 11 a town with gentle words, Which else would put you to your fortune, and The hazard of much blood.I would dissemble with my nature, where My fortunes, and my friends, at stake, requir’d, I should do so in honour: I am in this, Your wife, your son, these senators, the nobles; And you will rather show our general lowts 19 How you can frown, than spend a fawn upon them, For the inheritance of their loves, and safeguard Of what that want 13 might ruin.
7. Why urge you this ?' So in King Henry VIII.:
will now unite in your complaints, And force them with a constancy.' 8 The word to, which is wanting in the first folio, was supplied in the second. Malone contends for the old reading, and Steevens says that we should perhaps read:-
• Nor by the matter which your heart prompts in you.' Without some additional syllable the line, as it stands in the first folio, is defective.
9 The old copy reads roated. Mr. Boswell says, perhaps it should be rooted : we have no example of roted for got by rote, but it is much in Shakspeare's manner of forming expressions.
Of no allowance to your bosom's truth.' i. e. of no approbation. Allowance has no connection with the subsequent words, ' to your bosom's truth. The construction is
though but bastards to your bosom's truth, not the lawful issue of your heart.' The words and syllables of no allowance,' are put in opposition with bastards, and are as it were parenthetical.
11 See Act i. Sc. 2, note 3.
Noble lady!— Come, go with us; speak fair: you may salve so, Not 14 what is dangerous present, but the loss Of what is past. Vol.
I pr’ythee now, my son, Go to them, with this bonnet in thy hand; And thus far having stretch'd it (here be with
them), Thy knee bussing the stones (for in such business Action is eloquence, and the eyes of the ignorant More learned than the ears), waving thy head, Which often, thus, correcting thy stout heart 15, Now humble, as the ripest mulberry, That will not hold the handling : Or, say to them, Thou art their soldier, and being bred in broils,
14 Not seems here to signify not only. 15 It is probably from want of a more complete acquaintance with the rules of grammar wbich guided our ancestors, that the use they made of the pronouns appears to us anomalous. Which here, as Malone observes, is to be understood as if the poet had written · It often,' &c. Steevens pertinaciously insists upon attributing these seeming anomalies of ancient grammar to the incorrectness of ancient printers, whose presswork, he supposes, seldom received any correction; but those who are familiar with, the manuscripts of Shakspeare's age will at once acquit the learned and useful body of typographers. I had marked two or three similar instances of the use of which that occurred to me among the Conway MSS. but have unfortunately mislaid my memoranda. Malone has adduced some passages of similar construction from Shakspeare, in which whom is used where we now should use him, and who where we should place they. The meaning of the text seems to be · Go to the people (says Volumnia), and appear before them in a supplicating attitude-with thy bonnet in thy hand, thy knees on the ground (for in such cases action is eloquence, &c.), waving thy head thus, it by its frequent bendings subduing thy stout heart, which now should be as humble as the ripest mulberry: or if these silent gestures of supplication do not move them, add words, and say to them,' &c. Æschylus, in a fragment preserved by Athenæus, lib. ii. says of Hector, that he was softer than mulberries :
'Ανήρ δ' εκείνος ήν πεπαίτερος μόρων.
Hast not the soft way 16, which, thou dost confess,
This but done, Even as she speaks, why, their hearts were yours : For they have pardons, being ask'd, as free As words to little purpose. Vol.
Pr’ythee now, Go, and be ruld: although, I know, thou hadst
rather Follow thine enemy in a fiery gulf, Than flatter him in a bower 17. Here is Cominius.
I think, 'twill serve, if he
He must, and will: Pr’ythee, now, say, you will, and go about it. Cor. Must I go show them my unbarb’d 18 sconce?
Rude am I in speech,
More than pertains to feats of broils and battles.' 17 Bower was the ancient term for a chamber. Spenser, speaking of the Temple, Prothalamion, st. 8, says:
Where now the studious lawyers have their bowers.' 18 Unbarb'd is unarmed, unaccoutred, uncovered. Cotgrave says that a barbute was a ridinghood, or a montero or close hood, and
my base tongue, give to my noble heart A lie, that it must bear? Well, I will do't: Yet were there but this single plot 19 to lose, This mould of Marcius, they to dust should grind it, And throw it against the wind.—To the market
place: You have put me now to such a part, which 20 never I shall discharge to the life. Com.
Come, come, we'll prompt you. Vol. I prythee now, sweet son ; as thou hast said, My praises made thee first a soldier, so, To have my praise for this, perform a part Thou hast not done before. Cor.
Well, I must do't: Away, my disposition, and possess me Some harlot's spirit! My throat of war be turn’d, Which quiredo1 with my drum, into a pipe Small as an eunuch, or the virgin voice That babies lulls asleep! The smiles of knaves Tent 22 in my cheeks; and schoolboys' tears take up The glasses of my sight! A beggar's tongue
that it also signified the beaver of a helmet. It was probably used for any kind of covering that concealed the head and face. Thus in Chaucer, Troilus and Cressida, II. v. 110, Pandarus says to Cressida :
* Do way your barbe and show your face bare.' Where Speght explains barbe a mask or visard; Mr. Hawkins, a veil or covering ; and Mr. Tyrwhitt, a hood or mufler. It should be remembered that a barbed steed was an accoutred steed, or one covered with trappings.
19 Plot is piece, portion, applied to a piece of earth, and here elegantly transferred to the body, carcass.
20 Some of the modern editors substituted as for which here. Malone has shown that this was Shakspeare's usual phraseology. And Horne Tooke tells us why as and which were convertible words. See note on Julius Cæsar, Act i. Sc. 2.
21 i. e. ' which played in concert with my drum.' So in The Merchant of Venice :
Still quiring to the young-ey'd cherubims.' 22 To tent is to dwell, to take up residence.
Make motion through my lips; and my arm'd knees,
At thy choice then:
Pray, be content;
wife. I'll return consul;
Do your will. [Exit. Com. Away, the tribunes do attend you: arm your
Cor. The word is, mildly: Pray you, let us go;
Ay, but mildly. Cor. Well, mildly be it then; mildly. [Exeunt. 23 The meaning appears to be, 'Go, do thy worst; let me rather feel the utmost extremity that thy pride can bring upon us, than live thus in fear of thy dangerous obstinacy.'
24 i. e. own.