Εικόνες σελίδας
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

Q. Eliz. Brother of Gloster, you mistake the matter: The king, of his own royal disposition, And not provok'd by any suitor else; Aiming, belike, at your interior hatred, That in your outward action shows itself, Against my children, brothers, and myself, Makes him to send; that thereby he may gather The ground of your ill-will, and so remove it.

Glo. I cannot tell;-The world is grown so bad, That wrens may prey7 where eagles dare not perch: Since every Jack became a gentleman,


There's many a gentle person made a Jack.

Q. Eliz. Come, come, we know your meaning, brother Gloster;

You envy my advancement, and my friends;
God grant, we never may have need of you!

Glo. Meantime, God grants that we have need of you: Our brother is imprison'd by your means,

Myself disgrac'd, and the nobility

Held in contempt; while great promotions
Are daily given, to enoble those

That scarce, some two days since, were worth a noble.
Q. Eliz. By Him, that rais'd me to this careful height
From that contented hap which I enjoy'd,

I never did incense his majesty


of your ill-will, &c.] This line is restored from the first edition. Pope.

By the first edition Mr. Pope, as appears from his Table of Editions, means the quarto of 1598. But that and the subsequent quartos read-and to remove. The emendation was made by Mr. Steevens. The folio has only

"Makes him to send, that he may learn the ground." Here clearly a line was omitted: yet had there been no quarto copy, it would have been thought hardy to supply the omission : but of all the errors of the press omission is the most frequent; and it is a great mistake to suppose that these lacuna exist only in the imagination of editors and commentators. Malone.


may prey-] The quarto, 1598, and the folio read-make prey. The correction, which all the editors have adopted, is taken from the quarto, 1602. Malone.

8 Since every Jack became a gentleman,] This proverbial expression at once demonstrates the origin of the term Jack so often used by Shakspeare. It means one of the very lowest class of people, amongst whom this name is of the most common and familiar kind. Douce.

Against the duke of Clarence, but have been
An earnest advocate to plead for him.
My lord, you do me shameful injury,
Falsely to draw me in these vile suspects.

Glo. You may deny that you were not the cause
Of my lord Hastings' late imprisonment.
Riv. She may, my lord; for.

Glo. She may, lord Rivers?-why, who knows not so?
She may do more, sir, than denying that:
She may help you to many fair preferments;
And then deny her aiding hand therein,
And lay those honours on your high desert.

What may she not? She may,ay, marry, may she,Riv. What, marry, may she?

Glo. What, marry, may she? marry with a king, A bachelor, a handsome stripling too:

I wis, your grandam had a worser match.

Q. Eliz. My lord of Gloster, I have too long borne
Your blunt upbraidings, and your bitter scoffs:
By heaven, I will acquaint his majesty,

Of those gross taunts I often have endur'd.
I had rather be a country servant-maid,
Than a great queen, with this condition--
To be so baited, scorn'd, and stormed at:
Small joy have I in being England's queen.
Enter Queen MARGARET, behind.

Q. Mar. And lessen'd be that small, God, I beseech thee!

Thy honour, state, and seat, is due to me.

Glo. What! threat you me with telling of the king?
Tell him, and spare not; look, what I have said9
I will avouch in presence of the king:

I dare adventure to be sent to the Tower.1
'Tis time to speak, my pains2 are quite forgot.

9 Tell him, and spare not; look, what I have said-] This verse I have restored from the old quartos. Theobald.

Here we have another proof of a line being passed over by the transcriber, or the compositor at the press, when the first folio was printed, for the subsequent line is not sense without this.

Malone. 1 I dare adventure to be sent to the Tower.] Perhaps our author elliptically omitted the first-to in this line. So, in p. 42:

"To help thee curse" &c. i. e. to curse. See also p. 27, line 13, and p. 31, line 10.


Q. Mar. Out, devil! I remember them too well:
Thou kill'dst my husband Henry in the Tower,
And Edward, my poor son, at Tewksbury.

Glo. Ere you were queen, ay, or your husband king, I was a pack-horse in his great affairs;

A weeder-out of his proud adversaries,

A liberal rewarder of his friends;

To royalize his blood, I spilt mine own.

Q. Mar. Ay, and much better blood than his, or thine. Glo. In all which time, you, and your husband Grey, Were factious for the house of Lancaster ;And, Rivers, so were you:— -Was not your husband In Margaret's battle at saint Albans slain?

Let me put in your minds, if you forget,

What you have been ere now, and what you are;
Withal, what I have been, and what I am.

Q. Mar. A murd'rous villain, and so still thou art.
Glo. Poor Clarence did forsake his father Warwick,
Ay, and forswore himself,-Which Jesu pardon!
Q. Mar. Which God revenge!

Glo. To fight on Edward's party, for the crown:
And, for his meed, poor lord, he is mew'd up:
I would to God, my heart were flint, like Edward's,
Or Edward's soft and pitiful, like mine;

I am too childish-foolish for this world.


my pains

-] My labours; my toils. Johnson.

3 Out, devil!] Mr. Lambe observes, in his notes on the ancient › metrical history of The Battle of Floddon Field, that out is an interjection of abhorrence or contempt, most frequent in the mouths of the common people of the north. It occurs again in Act IV: ❝ out on ye, owls!" Steevens.


royalize —] i. e. to make royal. So, in Claudius Tiberius Nero, 1607:


"Who means to-morrow for to royalize

"The triumphs" &c. Steevens.

Was not your husband

In Margaret's battle &c.] It is said in Henry VI, that he died in quarrel of the house of York. Johnson.

The account here given is the true one. See this inconsistency accounted for in Vol. X, p. 356, and in the Dissertation at the end of the Third Part of King Henry VI, p. 466. Malone. Margaret's battle is-Margaret's army. Ritson.

So, in King Henry IV, P. I:

"What may the king's whole battle reach unto?" Steevens.

Q. Mar. Hie thee to hell for shame, and leave this


Thou cacodæmon! there thy kingdom is.

Riv. My lord of Gloster, in those busy days,
Which here you urge, to prove us enemies,
We follow'd then our lord, our lawful king;
So should we you, if you should be our king.
Glo. If I should be?—I had rather be a pedlar:
Far be it from my heart, the thought thereof!

Q. Eliz. As little joy, my lord, as you suppose
You should enjoy, were you this country's king;
As little joy you may suppose in me,

That I enjoy, being the queen thereof.

Q. Mar. A little joy enjoys the queen thereof; For I am she, and altogether joyless. I can no longer hold me patient.— [Advancing. Hear me, you wrangling pirates," that fall out In sharing that which you have pill'd from me: 8 Which of you trembles not, that looks on me? If not, that, I being queen, you bow like subjects; Yet that, by you depos'd, you quake like rebels?

6 — our lawful king;] So the quarto, 1598, and the subsequent quartos The folio has-sovereign king.

In this play the variations between the original copy in quarto, and the folio, are more numerous than, I believe, in any other of our author's pieces. The alterations, it is highly probable, were made, not by Shakspeare, but by the players, many of them being very injudicious. The text has been formed out of the two copies, the folio, and the early quarto; from which the preceding editors have in every scene selected such readings as appeared to them fit to be adopted. To enumerate every variation between the copies would encumber the page with little use. Malone.

7 Hear me, you wrangling pirates, &c.] This scene of Margaret's imprecations is fine and artful She prepares the audience, like another Cassandra, for the following tragic revolutions. Warburton.

Surely, the merits of this scene are insufficient to excuse its improbability. Margaret, bullying the court of England in the royal palace, is a circumstance as absurd as the courtship of Gloster in a publick street. Steevens.


which you have pill'd from me: e:] To pill is to pillage. So, in The Martyr'd Soldier, by Shirley, 1638:

"He has not pilled the rich, nor flay'd the poor." Steevens. To pill, is literally, to take off the outside, or rind. Thus they say in Devonshire, to pill an apple, rather than pare it; and Shirley uses the word precisely in this sense. Henley.

Ah, gentle villain, do not turn away!

Glo. Foul wrinkled witch, what mak'st thou in my


Q. Mar. But repetition of what thou hast marr'd; That will I make, before I let thee go.

Glo. Wert thou not banished, on pain of death?2

Q. Mar. I was; but I do find more pain in banishment,
Than death can yield me here by my abode.
A husband, and a son, thou ow'st to me,—
And thou, a kingdom;-all of you, allegiance:
This sorrow that I have, by right is yours;
And all the pleasures you usurp, are mine.

Glo. The curse my noble father laid on thee,—
When thou didst crown his warlike brows with paper,
And with thy scorns drew'st rivers from his eyes;
And then, to dry them, gav'st the duke a clout,
Steep'd in the faultless blood of pretty Rutland ;—
His curses, then from bitterness of soul

9 Ah, gentle villain,] We should read:

ungentle villain,


The meaning of gentle is not, as the commentator imagines, tender or courteous, but high-born. An opposition is meant between that and villain, which means at once a wicked and a low-born wretch. So before:

"Since ev'ry Jack is made a gentleman,

"There's many a gentle person made a Jack." Johnson. Gentle appears to me to be taken in its common acceptation, but to be used ironically. M. Mason.

[ocr errors]

what mak'st thou in my sight?] An obsolete expression for-what dost thou in my sight. So, in Othello:

"Ancient, what makes he here?"

Margaret in her answer takes the word in its ordinary acceptation. Malone.

So does Orlando, in As you Like it:

"Now, sir, what make you here?—

[ocr errors]

Nothing: I am not taught to make any thing." Steevens. 2 Wert thou not banished, on pain of death?] Margaret fled into France after the battle of Hexham in 1464, and Edward soon' afterwards issued a proclamation, prohibiting any of his subjects from aiding her to return, or harbouring her, should she attempt to revisit England She remained abroad till the 14th of April, 1471, when she landed at Weymouth. After the battle of Tewksbury, in May, 1471, she was confined in the Tower, where she continued a prisoner till 1475, when she was ransomed by her father Reignier, and removed to France, where she died in 1482. The present scene is in 1477-8. Malone.

[blocks in formation]


« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »