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Poor key-cold figure of a holy king!
Stabb'd by the self-same hand that made these wounds!
May fright the hopeful mother at the view;
If ever he have wife, let her be made
More miserable by the death of him,
Than I am made by my young lord, and thee!—
And, still as you are weary of the weight,
[The Bearers take up the Corpse, and advance.
key-cold-] A key, on account of the coldness of the metal of which it is composed, was anciently employed to stop any slight bleeding. The epithet is common to many old writers; among the rest, it is used by Decker in his Satiromastix, 1602: - It is best you hide your head, for fear your wise brains take
"The key-cold figure of a man Steevens.
Again, in our author's Rape of Lucrece :
"And then in key-cold Lucrece' bleeding stream
to his unhappiness!] i. e. disposition to mischief. So, in Much Ado about Nothing: "Dream'd of unhappiness, and wak'd herself with laughing." Steevens.
See Vol. VI, p. 390, n. 5.
Glo. Stay you, that bear the corse, and set it down. Anne. What black magician conjures up this fiend, To stop devoted charitable deeds?
Glo. Villains, set down the corse; or, by saint Paul, I'll make a corse of him that disobeys.7
1 Gent. My lord, stand back, and let the coffin pass. Glo. Unmanner'd dog! stand thou when I command: Advance thy halberd higher than my breast, Or, by saint Paul, I'll strike thee to my foot, And spurn upon thee, beggar, for thy boldness.
[The Bearers set down the Coffin. Anne. What, do you tremble? are you all afraid? Alas, I blame you not; for you are mortal, And mortal eyes cannot endure the devil.Avaunt, thou dreadful minister of hell! Thou had'st but power over his mortal body, His soul thou canst not have; therefore, be gone. Glo. Sweet saint, for charity, be not so curst.
Anne. Foul devil, for God's sake, hence, and trouble us not;
For thou hast made the happy earth thy hell,
7 I'll make a corse of him that disobeys.] So, in Hamlet: "I'll make a ghost of him that lets me." Johnson. pattern of thy butcheries;] Pattern is instance, or example. Johnson.
So, in The Legend of Lord Hastings, Mirrour for Magistrates, 1587:
"By this my pattern, all ye peers, beware." Malone. Holinshed says: "The dead corps on the Ascension even was conveied with billes and glaives pompouslie (if you will call that a funeral pompe) from the Tower to the church of saint Paule, and there laid on a beire or coffen bare-faced; the same in the presence of the beholders did bleed; where it rested the space of one whole daie. From thense he was carried to the Blackfriers, and bled there likewise;" &c. Steevens.
Open their congeal'd mouths and bleed afresh!] It is a tradition very generally received, that the murdered body bleeds on the
Blush, blush, thou lump of foul deformity;
Provokes this deluge most unnatural.
O God, which this blood mad'st, revenge his death!
Of these supposed evils, to give me leave,
Anne. Vouchsafe, diffus'd infection of a man,1
touch of the murderer. This was so much believed by Sir Kenelm Digby, that he has endeavoured to explain the reason.
Mr. Tollet observes, that this opinion seems to be derived from the ancient Swedes, or Northern nations from whom we descend; for they practised this method of trial in dubious cases, as appears from Pitt's Atlas, in Sweden, p. 20. Steevens.
* This tradition is of much earlier origin than Mr. Tollet supposes. I find it mentioned by Plutarch, in his relation of the exposure of the body of Agrippina, which he says bled afresh on the approach of Nero, which was considered as proof of his guilt.
1 Vouchsafe, diffus'd infection of a man,] I believe, diffused in this place signifies irregular, uncouth; such is its meaning in other passages of Shakspeare. Johnson.
Diffus'd infection of a man may mean, thou that art as dangerous as a pestilence, that infects the air by its diffusion. Diffus'd may, however, mean irregular. So, in The Merry Wives of Windsor rush at once
"With some diffused song."
Again, in Green's Farewell to Follie, 1617:
Glo. Fairer than tongue can name thee, let me have Some patient leisure to excuse myself.
Anne. Fouler than heart can think thee, thou canst make
No excuse current, but to hang thyself.
Glo. By such despair, I should accuse myself. Anne. And, by despairing, shalt thou stand excus'd; For doing worthy vengeance on thyself,
That didst unworthy slaughter upon others.
Glo. Say, that I slew them not?
Why then, they are not dead:2
But dead they are, and, devilish slave, by thee.
Why, then he is alive.
Thy murderous faulchion smoking in his blood;
Glo. I was provoked by her sland'rous tongue,
I grant ye.3
Anne. Dost grant me, hedge-hog? then, God grant
Thou may'st be damned for that wicked deed!
Glo. The fitter for the King of heaven that hath him.6
"I have seen an English gentleman so defused in his sutes; his doublet being for the weare of Castile, his hose for Venice," &c. Steevens.
2 Why then, they are not dead:] Thus the quarto. The folio reads: Then say, they are not slain.
·thy soul's throat —] The folio-thy foul throat. Steevens. 4 That laid their guilt-] The crime of my brothers. He has just charged the murder of Lady Anne's husband upon Edward. Johnson.
5 I grant ye.] Read, to perfect the measure: I grant ye, yea. Ritson.
One of the quartos, instead of-ye, reads-yea. Steevens.
Anne. He is in heaven, where thou shalt never come. Glo. Let him thank me, that holp to send him thither; For he was fitter for that place, than earth.
Anne. And thou unfit for any place, but hell.
Glo. Yes, one place else, if you will hear me name it. Anne. Some dungeon.7
Anne. Il rest betide the chamber where thou liest!
Anne. Thou wast the cause, and most accurs'd effect."
60, he was gentle, mild, and virtuous.
Glo. The fitter for the King of heaven &c.] So, in Pericles Prince of Tyre, 1609:
"I'll do 't: but yet she is a goodly creature.
"Dion. The fitter then the gods should have her."
7 Some dungeon.] As most of the measure throughout this scene is regular, I cannot help suspecting that our author originally
"Some dungeon, perhaps.
Your bed-chamber." Steevens. a slower method;] As quick was used for spritely, so slower was put for serious. In the next scene Lord Grey desires the Queen to
cheer his grace with quick and merry words."
9 Thou wast the cause, and most accurs'd effect.] Effect, for executioner. He asks, was not the causer as ill as the executioner? She answers, Thou wast both. But, for causer, using the word cause this led her to the word effect, for execution, or executioner. But the Oxford editor, troubling himself with nothing of this, will make a fine oratorical period of it:
Thou wast the cause, and most accurs'd the effect. Warburton. I cannot but be rather of Sir T. Hanmer's opinion than Dr. Warburton's, because effect is used immediately in its common sense, in answer to this line. Johnson.
I believe the obvious sense is the true one. So, in The Yorkshire Tragedy, 1608:
thou art the cause,
Effect, quality, property; thou, thou."