« ПредишнаНапред »
to destroy my enemies, but now you strengthen them in embraces.
JOHNSON. Set armed discord, &c. Shakspere makes this bitter curse effectual.
JOHNSON. 116. O Lymoges! 0 Austria!-] The propriety or impropriety of these titles, which every editor has suffered to pass unnoted, deserves a little considera. tion. Shakspere has, on this occasion, followed the old play, which at once furnished him with the character of Faulconbridge, and ascribed the death of Richard I. to the duke of Austria. In the person of Austria he has conjoined the two well-known enemies of Caur-de-lion. Leopold, duke of Austria, threw him into prison, in a former expedition; but the castle of Chalus, before which he fell, belonged to Vidomar, viscount of Lymoges; and the archer who pierced his shoulder with an arrow (of which wound he died) was Bertrand de Gourdon. The editors seem hitherto to have understood Lymoges as being an appendage to the title of Austria, and therefore inquired no further about it.
Holinshed says on this occasion : Phillip, bastard sonne to king Richard, to whom his father had given the castell and honor of Coinacke, killed the viscount of Limoges, in revenge of his father's death,” &c. Austria, in the spurious play, is called Lymoges the Austrich duhe.
With this note I was favoured by a gentleman to whom I have yet more considerable obligations in regard to Shakspere. His extensive knowledge of hisE
• The same yere,
tory and manners, has frequently supplied me with apt and necessary illustrations, at the same time that his judgment has corrected my errors; yet sich has been his constant solicitude to remain concealed, that I know not but I may give offence, while I indulge my own vanity in affixing to this note the name of my friend HENRY BLAKE, esq.
STEEVENS. --doff it for shame,] To doff is to do off, to put of. So, in Fuimus Troes, 1603: “ Sorrow must doff her sable weeds."
STEEVENS. 131. And hang a calf's-skin on those recreant limbs.] When fools were kept for diversion in great families, they were distinguished by a calf's-skin coat, which had the buttons down the back; and this they wore that they might be known for fools, and escape the resentment of those whom they provoked with their waggeries.
In a little penny book, entitled, The Birth, Life, and Death of John Franks, with the Pranks he played though a meer Fool, mention is made in several places of a calf's-skin. In chap. x. of this book, Jack is said to have made his appearance at his lord's table, having then a new calf-skin, red and white spotted. This tact will explain the sarcasm of Constance and Faul. conbridge, who mean to call Austria a fool.
Sir J. HAWKINS. I may add, that the custom is still preserved in Ireland; and the fool, in any of the legends which the nummers act at Christmas, always appears in a calf's
or cow's skin. In the prologue to Wily Beguiled, are
“ His calf's-skin jests from hence are clean exil'd.” Again, in the play: " I'll come wrapp'd in a calf's-skin, and cry bo,
bo.'' Again :-" I'll wrap me in a rousing calf's-skin suit, and come like some Hobgoblin.'
.66 I mean my Christmas calf-skin suit."
STEEVENS, It does not appear that Constance means to call Austria a fool, as Sir John Hawkins would have it; but she certainly means to call him coward, and to tell him that a calf's-skin would suit his recreant limbs better than a lion's. They still say of a dastardly person that he is a calf-hearted fellow; and a run-away school-boy is usually called a great calf. REMARKS.
133. Here Mr. Pope inserts the following speeches
" Delay not, Richard, kill the villain strait; " Disrobe him of the matchless monument, “ Thy father's triumph o'er the savages. “Now by his soul I swear, my father's soul, “ Twice will I not review the morning's rise, “ Till I have torn that trophy from thy back, ." And split thy heart, for wearing it so long. “ Methinks, that Richard's pride, &c.] What was the ground of this quarrel of the bastard to Austria, is no where specified in the present play: nor is there in this place, or the scene where it is first hinted at (namely the second of act ii.), the least mention of any reason for it. But the story is, that Austria, who killed king Richard Caur-de-lion, wore, as the spoil of that prince, a lion's hide which had belonged to him. This circumstance renders the anger of the Bastard very natural, and ought not to have been cmitted. In the first sketch of this play (which Shak. spere is said to have had a hand in, jointly with Wil. liam Rowley) we accordingly find this insisted upon, and I have ventured to place a few of those verses here.” -Here Dr. Johnson adds :
" To the insertion of these lines I have nothing to object. There are many other passages in the old play of great value. The omission of this incident, in the second draught, was natural. Shakspere, having familiarized the story to his own imagination, forgot that it was obscure to his audience; or, what is equally probable, the story was then so popular, that a hint was sufficient at that time to bring it to mind, and
those plays were written with very little care for the approbation of posterity."
Steevens. Aust. Methinks, &c.] I cannot by any means approve of the insertion of these lines from the other play. If they were necessary to explain the ground of the Bastard's quarrel to Austria, as Mr. Pope supposes, they should rather be inserted in the first scene of the second aćt, at the time of the first altercation between the Bastard and Austria. But indeed the ground of their quarrel seems to be as clearly expressed in the first scene as in these lines : so that they are unnecessary in either place; and therefore, I think, should be thrown out of the text, as well as the three other lines, which have been inserted with as little reason in act iii. sc. 2. Thus hath king Richard's, &c.
TYRWHITT. 149. What earthly name, to interrogatories,] This must have been, at the time when it was written, in our struggles with popery, a very captivating scene.
So many passages remain, in which Shakspere evidently takes his advantage of the facts then recent, and of the passions then in motion, that I cannot but suspect that time has obscured much of his art, and that many allusions yet remain undiscovered, which perhaps may be gradually retrieved by succeeding commentators.
JOHNSON, The speech stands thus in the old spurious play: « And what hast thou or the pope thy master to do, to demand of me how I employ mine own? Know, sir priest, as I honour the church and holy churchEiij