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K. John. Five moons?
Old men, and beldams,
- five moons were seen to-night: &c.] This incident is mentioned by few of our historians. I have met with it no where but in Matthew of Westminster and Polydore Virgil, with a small alteration. These kind of appearances were more common about that time than either before or since. GREY.
slippers, (which his nimble haste Had falsely thrust upon contrary feet,)] Dr. Johnson says, “I know not how the commentators understand this important passage, which, in Dr. Warburton's edition, is marked as eminently beautiful, and, on the whole, not without justice. But Shakspeare seems to have confounded the man's shoes with his gloves. He that is frighted or hurried may put his hand into the wrong glove, but either shoe will equally admit either foot. The author seems to be disturbed by the disorder which he describes.” But Dr. Johnson forgets that ancient slippers might possibly be very different from modern ones, and the commentators have produced many passages to prove the shoe, boot, &c. were right and left legged.
Told of a many thousand warlike French,
voke me? K. John. It is the curse of kings, to be attended By slaves, that take their humours for a warrant To break within the bloody house of life: And, on the winking of authority, To understand a law; to know the meaning Of dangerous majesty, when, perchance, it frowns More upon humour than advis'd respect.?
Hub. Here is your hand and seal for what I did. K. John. 0, when the last account 'twixt heaven
and earth Is to be made, then shall this hand and seal Witness against us to damnation! How oft the sight of means to do ill deeds, Makes deeds ill done! Hadest not thou been by, A fellow by the hand of nature mark’d, Quoted, and sign'd, to do a deed of shame, This murder had not come into my mind: But, taking note of thy abhorr'd aspect, Finding thee fit for bloody villainy, Apt, liable, to be employ’d in danger, I faintly broke with thee of Arthur's death; And thou, to be endeared to a king,
* It is the curse of kings, &c.] This plainly hints at Davison's case, in the attair of Mary Queen of Scots.
udvis'd respect.] i. e. deliberate consideration. Quoted,] i, e, observed, distinguished.
Made it no conscience to destroy a prince.
Hub. My lord,
made a pause,
When I spake darkly what I purposed;
off, And those thy fears might have wrought fears in
But thou didst understand me by my signs,
Out of my sight, and never see me more!
Hub. Arm you against your other enemies,
9 Hadst thou but shook thy head, &c.] There are many touches of nature in this conference of John with Hubert. A man engaged in wickedness would keep the profit to himself, and transfer the guilt to his accomplice. These reproaches, vented against Hubert, are not the words of art or policy, but the eruptions of a mind swelling with a consciousness of a crime, and desirous of discharging its misery on another.
This account of the timidity of guilt is drawn ab ipsis recessibus mentis, from the intimate knowledge of mankind, particularly that line in which he says, that to have bid him tell his tale in express words, would have struck him dumb; nothing is more certain thai that bad men use all the arts of fallacy upon themselves, palliate their actions to their own minds by gentle terms, and hide themselves from their own detection in ambiguities and subtertuges.
I'll make a peace between your soul and you.
The same. Before the Castle.
Enter ARTHUR, on the Walls. irth. The wall is higlı; and yet will I leap
down: Good ground, be pitiful, and hurt me not !
* The drcarlful motion of a murd'rous thought] Nothing can be falser than what Hubert here says in his own vindication; for we find, from a preceding scene, the motion of a murd'rous thought hend entered into him, and that very deeply; and it was with difficulty that the tears, the entreaties, and the innocence of Arthur bad diverted and suppressed it. WAR BURTON.
There's few, or none, do know me; if they did,
[Leaps down. O me! my uncle's spirit is in these stones :Heaven take my soul, and England keep my bones!
Enter PEMBROKE, SALISBURY, and Bigot. .
Pem. Who brought that letter from the cardinal?
Sal. The count Melun, a noble lord of France; Whose private with me,* of the Dauphin's love, Is much more general than these lines import.
Big. To-morrow morning let us meet him then.
Sal. Or, rather then set forward: for 'twill be Two long days' journey, lords, or e'er we meet.
Enter the Bastard.
lords! The king, by me, requests your presence straight.
Sal. The king hath dispossess'd himself of us; We will not line his thin bestained cloak With our pure honours, nor attend the foot That leaves the print of blood where-e'er it walks: Return, and tell him so; we know the worst.
* Whose private, &c.] i. e. whose private account of the Dau. phin's affection to our cause is much more ample than the letters.
distemper'd-] i, e, ruffled, out of humour,