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• WAR. See, how the pangs of death do make him grin.
*SAL. Difturb him not, let him pafs peaceably. *K. HEN. Peace to his foul, if God's good pleafure be!
• Lord cardinal, if thou think'ft on heaven's bliss, Hold up thy hand,3 make fignal of thy hope.He dies, and makes no fign; O God, forgive him!
WAR. So bad a death argues a monftrous life.
• Close up his eyes, and draw the curtain close ; And let us all to meditation.
3 Hold up thy hand, ] Thus in the fpurious play of King John, 1591, Pandulph fees the king dying, and fays:
"Then, good my lord, if you forgive them all,
Lift up your hand, in token you forgive."
"Lift up thy hand, that we may witness here,
Now joy betide thy foul!" STEEVENS.
When a dying perfon is incapable of fpeech, it is usual (in the church of Rome) previous to the adminiftration of the facraments, to obtain fome fign that he is defirous of having them adminiftered. The paffage may have an allufion to this practice. C.
Forbear to judge, &c.]
"Peccantes culpare cave, nam labimur omnes,
❝t Aut fumus, aut fuimus, vel poffumus effe quod hic eft.“
5 Exeunt.] This is one of the scenes which have been applauded by the critics, and which will continue to be admired when prejudices fhall ceafe, and bigotry give way to impartial examination. These are beauties that rife out of nature and of truth; the fuperficial reader cannot mifs them, the profound can image nothing beyond them. JOHNSON.
ACT IV. SCENE I.
Kent. The Sea-fhore near Dover. .
Firing heard at fea.'
Then enter from a boat, a Captain, a Master, a Master's-Mate, Walter Whitmore, and Others; with them SUFFOLK, and other Gentlemen prifoners.
*CAP. The gaudy, blabbing, and remorseful day 8
Is crept into the bofom of the fea;
The circumftance on which this fcene is founded, is thus related by Hall in his Chronicle:-"But fortune wold not that this flagitious perfon [the Duke of Suffolk, who being impeached by the Commons was banished from England for five years ] fhoulde fo efcape; for when he shipped in Suffolk, entendynge to be transported into France, he was encountered with a shippe of warre apperteiuyng to the Duke of Excefter, the Constable of the Towre of London, called the Nicholas of the Towre. The capitaine of the fame bark with fmall fight entered into the duke's fhyppe, and perceyving his person present, brought him to Dover rode, and there on the one fyde of a cocke-bote, caused his head to be ftryken of, and left his body with the head upon the fandes of Dover; which corfe was there founde by a chapelayne of his, and conveyed to Wyngfielde college in Suffolke, and there buried." MALONE.
See the Pafton Letters, publifhed by Sir John Fenn, fecond edit, Vol. I. p. 38, Letter X. in which this event is more circumftantially related. STEEVENS.
7 Firing heard at fea. ] Perhaps Ben Jonfon was thinking of this play, when he put the following declaration into the mouth of Morofe in The Silent Woman. "Nay, I would fit out a play that were nothing but fights at fea, drum, trumpet, and target."
The gaudy, blabbing, and remorfeful day-] The epithet blab bing applied to the day by a man about to commit murder, is exquifitely beautiful. Guilt is afraid of light, confiders darknefsas a natural shelter, and makes night the confidante of those ac tions which cannot be trufted to the tell-tale day. JOHNSON.
* And now loud-howling wolves aroufe the jades That drag the tragick melancholy night; *Who with their drowfy, flow, and flagging wings * Clip dead men's graves, and from their misty
Breathe foul contagious darkness in the air.
* Therefore, bring forth the foldiers of our prize; For, whilft our pinnace anchors in the Downs, * Here fhall they make their ranfom on the fand, *Or with their blood ftain this difcolour'd fhore.Mafter, this prifoner freely give I thee;
Remorseful is pitiful. So, in The Two Gentleman of Verona: --a gentleman,
"Valiant, wife, remorseful, well accomplish'd."
The fame idea occurs in Macbeth:
"Scarf up the tender eye of pitiful day." STEEVENS.
This speech is an amplification of the following one in the firft part of The Whole Contention, &c. quarto, 1600:
Bring forward these prisoners that scorn'd to yield;
"Here mafter, this prifoner I give to you,
[he farteth. Had Shakspeare's play been taken down by the ear, or an imperfect copy otherwife obtained, his lines might have been mutilated, or imperfectly represented; but would a new circumftance (like that of finking Suffolk's fhip) not found in the original, have been added by the copyift?On the other hand, if Shakspeare new modelled the work of another, such a circumftance might well be omitted. MALONE.
That drag the tragick melancholy night;
Who with their drowsy, flow, and flagging wings
Clip dead men's graves,] The wings of the jades that drag night appears an unnatural image, till it is remembered that the chariot of the night is fuppofed, by Shakspeare, - to be drawn by dragons. JOHNSON.
See Vol. VII. p. 112, n. 9. MALONE.
See alfo Cymbeline, A& II. fc. ii. Vol. XIX. STEEVENS.
And thou that art his mate, make boot of this ;The other. [pointing to Suffolk,] Walter Whitmore, is thy fhare.
I. GENT. What is my ranfom, mafter? let me know.
MAST. A thoufand crowns, or elfe lay down your head.
MATE. And fo much fhall you give, or off
CAP. What, think you much to pay two thoufand crowns,
* And bear the name and port of gentlemen?Cut both the villains' throats;-for die you fhall; *The lives of those which we have loft in fight, * Cannot be counterpois'd with fuch a petty fum.
3 The lives of thofe &c.] The old copy (from which fome deviation, for the fake of obtaining fenfe, was neceffary) has→ The lives of thofe which we have loft in fight, "Be counter-poys'd with fuch a pettie fum." Mr. Malone reads
The lives of those which we have loft in fight!
But every reader will obferve that the laft of thefe lines is incumbered by a fuperfluous foot. I conceive, that the paffage originally ftood as follows:
"The lives of those we have loft in fight, cannot "Be counterpoiz'd with fuch a petty fum." STEEVENS. I fufpect that a line has been loft, preceding "The lives of thofe," &c. and that this fpeech belongs to Whitmore; for it is inconfiftent with what the captain says afterwards. The word cannot is not in the folio. The old play affords no affiftance. The word now added is neceffary to the fenfe, and is a lefs innovation on the text than what has been made in the modern editions-Nor can thofe lives, &c.
The emendation made in this paffage, (which was written by Shakspeare, there being no trace of it in the old play,) is fupported by another in Coriolanus, in which we have again the fame expreffion, and nearly the fame fentiments:
"The man I speak of cannot in the world
1. GENT. I'll give it, fir; and therefore spare
2. GENT. And fo will I, and write home for it
WHIT. I loft mine eye in laying the prize aboard, And therefore, to revenge it, shalt thou die;
And fo fhould thefe, if I might have my will.
How now? why flart'ft thou? what, doth death affright?
SUF. Thy name affrights me, 5 in whofe found is death.
A cunning man did calculate my birth,
The difference between the Captain's prefent and fucceeding fentiments may be thus accounted for. Here, he is only ftriving to intimidate his prifoners into a ready payment of their ransom. Afterwards his natural difpofition inclines him to mercy, till he is provoked by the upbraidings of Suffolk. STEEvens.
4 Look on my George, ] In the first edition it is my ring.
Here we have another proof of what has been already fo often obferved. A ring and a George could never have been confounded either by the eye or the ear. So, in the original play the ransom of each of Suffolk's companions is a hundred pounds, but here a thoufand crowns. MALONE.
5 Thy name affrights me,] But he had heard his name before, without being ftartled by it. In the old play, as foon as ever the captain has configned him to " Walter Whickmore," Suffolk immediately exclaims, Walter! Whickmore afks him, why he fears him, and Suffolk replies, It is thy name affrights me." Our author has here, as in fome other places, fallen into an impropriety, by fometimes following and fometimes deferting his original.