Page images
[ocr errors]

Of what your reverence shall incite us to :
Therefore take heed how you impawn our person,
How you awake the sleeping sword of war;
We charge you in the name of God, take heed:
For never two such kingdoms did contend,
Without much fall of blood; whose guiltless drops
Are every one a woe, a sore complaint,
'Gainst him, whose wrongs give edge unto the swords
That make such waste in brief mortality.“
Under this conjuration, speak, my lord:
And we will hear, note, and believe in heart,
That what you speak is in your conscience wash'd
As pure as sin with baptism.
Cant. Then hear me, gracious sovereign, and you

That owe your lives, your faith, and services,
To this imperial throne;—There is no bar5


take heed how you impawn our person,] The whole drift of the king is to impress upon the archbishop a due sense of the caution with which he is to speak. He tells him that the crime of unjust war, if the war be unjust, shall rest upon him:

Therefore take heed how you impawn your person, So, I think, it should be read, Take heed how you pledge yourself, your honour, your happiness, in support of bad advice.

Dr. Warburton explains impawn by engage, and so escapes the difficulty. Johnson.

The allusion here is to the game of chess, and the disposition of the pawns with respect to the King, at the commencement of this mimetick contest. Henley.

To engage and to pawn were, in our author's time, synonymous. See Minshieu's Dictionary, in v. engage. But the word pawn had not, I believe, at that time, its present signification. To impawn seems here to have the same meaning as the French phrase se commettrc. Malone.

brief mortality. ] “Nulla brevem dominum sequetur." Horace. Steevens.

There is no bar &c.] This whole speech is copied (in a manner verbatim) from Hall's Chronicle, Henry V, year the second, folio iv, xx, xxx, xl, &c. In the first edition it is very imperfect, and the whole history and names of the princes are confounded; but this was afterwards set right, and corrected from the original, Hall's Chronicle. Pope.

This speech (together with the Latin passage in it) may as well be said to be taken from Holinshed as from Hall. Steevens.

See a subsequent note, in which it is proved that Holinshed, and not Hall, was our author's historian. The same facts, in.



To make against your highness' claim to France,
But this, which they produce from Pharamond,
In terram Salicam mulieres succedant,
No woman shall succeed in Salique land:
Which Salique land the French unjustly gloze,
To be the realm of France, and Pharamond
The founder of this law and female bar.
Yet their own authors faithfully affirm,
That the land Salique lies in Germany,
Between the floods of Sala and of Elbe:
Where Charles the great, having subdued the Saxons,
There left behind and settled certain French;
Who, holding in disdain the German women,
For some dishonest manners of their life,
Establish'd there this law,—to wit, no female
Should be inheritrix in Salique land;
Which Salique, as I said, 'twixt Elbe and Sala,
Is at this day in Germany call’d-Meisen.
Thus doth it well appear, the Salique law
Was not devised for the realm of France:
Nor did the French possess the Salique land
Until four hundred one and twenty years
After defunction of king Pharamond,
Idly suppos’d the founder of this law;
Who died within the year of our redemption
Four hundred twenty-six; and Charles the great
Subdued the Saxons, and did seat the French
Beyond the river Sala, in the year
Eight hundred five. Besides, their writers say,
King Pepin, which deposed Childerick,
Did, as heir general, being descended
Of Blithild, which was daughter to king Clothair,
Make claim and title to the crown of France.
Hugh Capet also,--that usurp'd the crown

deed, are told in both, Holinshed being a servile copyist of Hall; but Holinshed's book was that which Shakspeare read; and there. fore I always quote it in preference to the elder chronicle, contrary to the rule that ought in general to be observed. Malone.

gloze,] Expound, explain, and sometimes comment upon. So, in Troilus and Cressida:

you have said well;
And on the cause and question now in hand,
Have gloz'd but superficially.” Reed.



Of Charles the duke of Lorain, sole heir male
Of the true line and stock of Charles the greats-
To fine his title with some show of truth,
(Though, in pure truth, it was corrupt and naughty)
Convey'd himself as heir to the lady Lingare,
Daughter to Charlemain, who was the son
To Lewis the emperor, and Lewis the son
Of Charles the great.Also king Lewis the tenth,


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

7 To fine his title &c.] This is the reading of the quarto, 1608; that of the folio is-To find his title. I would read:

To line his title with some show of truth. To line may signify at once to decorate and to strengthen. So, in Macbeth:

did line the rebel “With hidden help and vantage; Dr. Warburton says, that to fine his title, is to refine or improve it. The reader is to judge.

I now believe that find is right; the jury finds for the plaintiff, or finds for the defendant; to find his title is, to determine in favour of his title with some show of truth. Johnson.

To fine his title, is to make it showy or specious by some appear. ance of justice. Steevens. So, in King Henry IV, Part I:

“To face the garment of rebellion,

“With some fine colour." The words in Holinshed's Chronicle are: - to make his title seem true, and appear good, though indeed it was stark naught." -In Hall, “ to make &c.-though indeed it was both evil and untrue.” Malone.

I believe that fine is the right reading, and that the metaphor is taken from the fining of liquors. In the next line the speaker says:

“ Though in pure truth it was corrupt and naught.” It is the jury that finds a verdict, not the plaintiff or defendant, and therefore a man cannot find his own title. M. Mason.

8 Convey'd himself - Derived his title. Our poet found this expression also in Holinshed. Malone.

the lady Lingare, Daughter to Charlemain, &c.] By Charles the Great is meant the Emperor Charlemagne, son of Pepin: Charlemain is Charlechauve, or Charles the Bald, wh as well as Charles le Gros, as. sumed the title of Magnus. See Goldasti Animadversiones in Einhardi præfationem. Edit. 1711, p. 157. But then Charlechauve had only one daughter, named Judith, married, or, as some say, only betrothed, to our King Ethelwulf, and carried off, after his death, by Baldwin the forester, afterward Earl of Flanders, whom it is very certain, Hugh Capet was neither heir to, nor any way de. scended from. This Judith, indeed, had a great-grand-daughter


Who was sole heir to the usurper Capet,
Could not keep quiet in his conscience,
Wearing the crown of France, till satisfied
That fair queen Isabel, his grandmother,
Was lineal of the lady Ermengare,
Daughter to Charles the foresaid duke of Lorain:
By the which marriage, the line of Charles the great
Was re-united to the crown of France.


called Luitgarde, married to a Count Wichman, of whom nothing further is known. It was likewise the name of Charlemagne's fifth wife; but no such female as Lingare is to be met with in any French historian. In fact, these fictitious personages and pedigrees seem to have been devised by the English heralds, to “fine a title with some show of truth," which, “in pure truth was corrupt and naught.” It was manifestly impossible that Henry, who had no hereditary title to his own dominions, could derive one, by the same colour to another person's. He merely proposes the invasion and conquest of France, in prosecution of the dying advice of his father:

to busy giddy minds
“ In foreign quarrels; that action, hence borne out,

Might waste the memory of former days:” that his subjects might have sufficient employment to mislead their attention from the nakedness of his title to the crown. The zeal and eloquence of the Archbishop are owing to similar motives. Ritson.

Also king Lewis the tenth,] The word ninth has been inserted by some of the modern editors. The old copies read tenth. Ninth is certainly wrong, and tenth certainly right. Isabel was the wife of Philip the second, father of Lewis the ninth, and grandfather of Lewis the tenth. Ritson.

Lewis the tenth,] This is a mistake, (as is observed in The Gentleman's Magazine, Vol. LIII, P. II, p. 588,) into which Shakspeare was led by Holinshed, (Vol. II, p. 546, edit. 1577,) whom he copied. St. Lewis, (for he is the person here described) the grandson of Queen Isabel, the wife of Philip II, King of France, was Lewis the Ninth. He was the son of Lewis VIII, by the Lady Blanch of Castile. In Hall's Chronicle, HENRY V, folio ijii, b. (which Holinshed has closely followed, except in this particular error, occasioned by either his own or his printer's inaccuracy,) Lewis is rightly called the Ninth. Here therefore we have a decisive proof that our author's guide in all his histo. rical plays was Holinshed, and not Hall. See n. 5, p. 210. I have however left the error uncorrected, on the same principle on which similar errors Julius Cæsar, into which Shakspeare was led by the old translation of Plutarch, have been suffered to remain undisturbed; and also, because it ascertains a fact of some importance. Malone.

So that, as clear as is the summer's sun,
King Pepin's title, and Hugh Capet's claim,
King Lewis his satisfaction, all appear
To hold in right and title of the female :
So do the kings of France unto this day;
Howbeit they would hold up this Salique law,
To bar your highness claiming from the female;
And rather choose to hide them in a net,
Than amply to imbare their crooked titles 3


2 King Lewis his satisfaction,] He had told us just above, that Lewis could not wear the crown with a safe conscience, “till satisfied," &c. Theobald.

- imbare their crooked titles --] Mr. Pope reads:

Than openly imbrace But where is the antithesis betwixt hide in the preceding line, and imbrace in this? The two old folios read:

Than amply to imbarre.
We certainly must read, as Mr. Warburton advised me:

Than amply to imbare lay open, display to view. I am surprized Mr. Pope did not start this conjecture, as Mr. Rowe had led the way to it in his edition; who reads:

Than amply to make bare their crooked titles. Theobald. Mr. Theobald might have found, in the 4to. of 1608, this reading :

Than amply to embrace their crooked causes : out of which line Mr. Pope formed his reading, erroneous in. deed, but not merely capricious. Johnson.

The quarto, 1600, reads-imbace.

I have met with no example of the word-imbare. To unbar is to open, and might have been the word set down by the poet, in opposition to-bar.

So, in the first scene of Timon, the poet says, “I'N unbolt to you.”

To embar, however, seems, from the following passage in the first Book of Stanyhurst's translation of Virgil, 1583, to signify to break or cut off abruptly:

“Heere Venus embarring his tale,” &c. Yet, as to bar, in Much Ado about Nothing, is to strengthen,

that is stronger made, “Which was before barr'd up with ribs of iron, -" so, amply to unbar, may mean to weaken by an open display of in. validity.

As imbare, however, is not unintelligible, and is defended by the following able criticks, I have left it in the text. Steevens.

I have no doubt but imbare is the right reading. Though the editor who has adopted it seems to argue against it, it makes the sense more clear than any of the other readings proposed.

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »