« ZurückWeiter »
Effex. My Liege, here is the strangest controversy, Come from the country to be judg'd by you, That e'er I heard : fhail I produce the men ?
K. John. Let them approach
Phil. Your faithful subject, I, a gentleman
K. John. What art thou ?
K. John. Is that the elder, and art thou the heir ? You came not of one mother then, it seems ?
Phil. Most certain of one mother, mighty King,
put you o'er to heav'n, and to my mother; of that I doubt, as all men's children may.
Eli. Outon thee, rude man! thou doft shame thy mother And wound her honour with this diffidence,
Phil. I, Madam? no, I have no reason for it;
K.Job. A good blunt fellow; why, being younger bord, Doth he lay claim to thine inheritance ?
Phil. I know not why, except to get the land ;
O old Sir Robert, father, on my knee
Eli. He hach a trick of Cæur-de-lion's face,
K. John. Mine eye hath well examined his parts,
Phil. Because he hath a half-face, like my father, With that half-face would he have all my land ? (2) A half-fac'd grüat, five hundred pound a year!
Rob. My gracious Liege, when that my father liv'de Your brother did employ my father much;
Phil. Well, Sir, by this you cannot get my land.
Rob. And once dispatch'd him in an embafly
Th’advantage of his absence took the King,
(2) With half that face.] But why with half that face? There is no question but the Poet wrote, as I have restor'd the text, Witb tbat balf-face-Mr. Pape, perhaps, will be angry with me for discovering an Anachronism of our Poet's, in the next line; where he alludes to a coin not truck till the year 1504, in the reign of King Henry VII. viz. a groat, which, as well as the half groat, bear but half-faces impress’d. Vide Stow's Survey of London, p. 47. Holingshed, Camden's Remains, &c. The Poet 'neers at the meagre sharp visage of the elder brother, by comparing him to a filver groat, that bore the King's face in profíle, lo stew'd but half the face. The groats of all our Kings of Enge: tand, and, indeed, all their other coins of filver, one or two only ex. cepted, bad a full face crown'd; till Henry VII, at the time abovemention'd, coin'd groats and half groats, as also some shillings, with half-faces; that is, faces in profile, as all our coin has now. The first groats of King Henry VIII. were like these of his father; tho'afterwarde he return'd to the broad faces again. These groats with the impresion in profile, are undoubtedly here alluded to: though, as I said, the Poet is knowingly guilty of an Anachronism in it: for, in the time of King Jubn there were no groats at all: they being fisht, as far as appears, coin'd in the reign of King Edward IIL
But truth is truth; large lengths of feas and shores
K. John. Sirrah, your brother is legitimate ;
Rob. Shall then my father's will be of no force To dispoffefs that child, which is not his?
Phil. Of no more force to dispossess me, Sir, Than was his will to get me, as I think.
Eli. Whether hadít thou rather be a Faulconbridge, And, like thy brother, to enjoy thy land : Or the reputed son of Cæur-de-lion, Lord of thy presence, and no land beside ?
Phil. Madam, and 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 ftaft; my face so thin, (3)
my face so thin,
That in mine ear I durft not stick a rose,
Eli. I like thee well; wilt thou forsake thy fortune,
Phil. Brother, take you my land, I'll take my chance; Your face hath got five hundred pound a year, Yet sell your face for five pence, and 'tis dear. Madam, I'll follow you unto the death.
Eli. Nay, I would have you go before me thither. Phil. Our country manners give our betters way. K. John. What is thy name?
Phil. Philip, my Liege, so is my name begun; Philip, good old Sir Robert's wife's eldest fon. K.John. From henceforth bear his name, whose form
thou bear'ft: Kneel thou down Philip, but rise up more great; Arise Sir Richard, and Plantagenet.,
In this very obscure passage our Poet is anticipating the date of ano. ther coin; humorously to rally a thin face, eclipsed, as it were, by a full-blown rose. We must observé, to explain this allufion, that Queen Elizabetb was the first, and indeed the only, Prince who coin'd in England three-half-pence, and three-farthing pieces. She at one and the fame time, coin'd shillings, fix-pences, groats, three-pences, twopences, three-half-pence, pence, three-farthings, and half-pence : And these pieces all had her head, and were alternately with the role behind, and without the role. The shilling, groat, two-pence, penny, and half-penny had it not: the other intermediate coins, viz. the fix-pence, three-pence, three-half-pence, and three-farthings had the rose. This accurate distinction I owe to the favour and communication of the worthy and ingenious Martin Folkes, Esq;. l'll venture to advance one observation, before I have done with this subject, that as each of the lesser of these pieces were hardly to be distinguish'd in fize from that immediately next to it in value ; it was the common practice to deface the role upon the leffer coin, to make it pass for that next above it in price. And this serves to give light to a passage of Beauwont'and Flescher in their Scornful Lady. He had a bastard, his own toward iffue, whipt, and then cropt, for washing out the rofes in ihree-fartbings to make them pence.
Pbil. Brother by th’mother's fide, give me your hand;
Eli. The very spirit of Plantagenet !
Phil. Madam, by chance, but not by truth; what tho'?
In at the window, or else o'er the hatch:
And have is have, however men do catch;
K. John. Go, Faulconbridge, now haft thou thy desire;
Phil. Brother, adieu ; good fortune come to thee,
(4) My piked man of countries.] Thus Mr. Pope exhibits this paffage, and interprets the word, formal, bearded. The old copies give it us, picked, by a light corruption in the spelling; but the Author certainly design'd, picqued; (from the Frercb verb, se piquer) i. e. touchy, tart, apprehensive, upon his guard.