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The imminent decay of wrested pomp?.
ACT V. SCENE I.
A Room in the Palace.
Enter King John, Pandulph with the Crown, and
Attendants. K. John. Thus have I yielded up into your hand The circle of my glory. PAND.
[Giving John the Crown. From this my hand, as holding of the pope, Your sovereign greatness and authority. K. John. Now keep your holy word : go meet
the French; And from his holiness use all your power To stop their marches, 'fore we are inflam'd 4.
2 'The imminent decay of wresTED POMP.] Wrested
is greatness obtained by violence. Johnson.
Rather, greatness wrested from its possessor. Malone.
3 – and CINCTURE —] The old copy reads-center, probably for ceinture, Fr. STEEVENS. The emendation was made by Mr. Pope. Malone.
use all your power To stop their marches,' 'FORE we are inflam'd.] This cannot be right, for the nation was already as much inflamed as it could be, and so the King himself declares. We should read for, instead of 'fore, and then the passage will run thus :
Our discontented counties: do revolt;
“Our discontented counties do revolt,” &c. M. MASON. s - counties -] Perhaps counties, in the present instance, do not mean the divisions of a kingdom, but lords, nobility, as in Romeo and Juliet, Much Ado About Nothing, &c. STEEVENS.
- a gentle conVERTITE,] A convertite is a convert. So, in Marlow's Jew of Malta, 1633 :
“ Gov. Why, Barabas, wilt thou be christened ?
Bar. No, governour; I'll be no convertite." STEEVENS. The same expression occurs in As You Like It, where Jaques, speaking of the young Duke, says :
“ There is much matter in these convertites.” In both these places the word convertite means a repenting sinner ; not, as Steevens says, a convert, by which, in the language of the present time, is meant a person who changes froin one religion to another; in which sense the word can neither apply to King John, or to Duke Frederick : In the sense I have given it, it will apply to both. M. Mason.
A convertite (a word often used by our old writers, where we should now use convert) signified either one converted to the faith, or one reclaimed from worldly pursuits, and devoted to penitence and religion.
Mr. M, Mason says, a convertite cannot mean a convert, because the latter word, “ in the language of the present time, means a person that changes from one religion to another.” But the question is, not what is the language of the present time, but what was the language of Shakspeare's age. Marlow uses the word convertite exactly in the sense now affixed to convert. John, who had in the former part of this play asserted, in very
My tongue shall hush again this storm of war,
[Exit. K. John. Is this Ascension-day? Did not the
Enter the Bastard.
out, But Dover castle : London hath receiv'd, Like a kind host, the Dauphin and his powers : Your nobles will not hear you, but are gone To offer service to your enemy; And wild amazement hurries up and down The little number of your doubtful friends. K. John. Would not my lords return to me
again, After they heard young Arthur was alive?
strong terms, the supremacy of the king of England in all ecclesiastical matters, and told Pandulph that he had no reverence for “ the Pope, or his usurpd authority," having now made his peace with the "
holy church,” and resigned his crown to the Pope's representative, is considered by the legate as one newly converted to the true faith, and very properly styled by him a convertite. The same term, in the second sense above-mentioned, is applied to the usurper, Duke Frederick, in As You Like It, on his having "put on a religious life, and thrown into neglect the pompous court :
out of these convertites “ There is much matter to be heard and learn'd." So, in The Rape of Lucrece:
“ He thence departs a heavy convertite." Malone,
Bast. They found him dead, and cast into the
streets ; An empty casket, where the jewel of life? By some damn'd hand was robb’d and ta'en away. K. John. That villain Hubert told me, he did
live. Bast. So, on my soul, he did, for aught he
knew. But wherefore do you droop? why look you sad? Be great in act, as you have been in thought; Let not the world see fear, and sad distrust, Govern the motion of a kingly eye: Be stirring as the time; be fire with fire ; Threaten the threat'ner, and outface the brow Of bragging horror: so shall inferior eyes, That borrow their behaviours from the great, Grow great by your example, and put on The dauntless spirit of resolution 8. Away, and glister like the god of war, When he intendeth to become the field o: Show boldness, and aspiring confidence. What shall they seek the lion in his den, And fright him there ? and make him tremble
there? O, let it not be said !--Forage, and run?
9 An EMPTY CASKET, where the JEWEL of life --] Dryden has transferred this image to a speech of Antony, in All for Love :
“ An empty circle, since the jewel's gone." Steevens. The same kind of imagery is employed in King Richard II. :
“ A jewel in a ten-times-barr'd-up chest
and put on
“Let's briefly put on manly readiness,
such a sight as this “ Becomes the field.” Steevens. 1- FORAGE, and run--] To forage is here used in its original sense, for to range abroad. Johnson.
To meet displeasure further from the doors;
O inglorious league !
time. Bast. Away then, with good courage; yet, I
know, Our party may well meet a prouder foes. [Ereunt,
Mocking the air with colours idly spread,] He has the same image in Macbeth :
Where the Norweyan banners flout the sky,
And fan our people cold.” Johnson. From these two passages Mr. Gray seems to have förmed the first stanza of his celebrated Ode:
“Ruin seize thee, ruthless king!
They inock the air with idle state.” MALONE, 3 Away then, with good courage; yet, I know,
Our party may well meet a prouder foe.] “ Let us then away with coi
ge; yet I so well know the faintness of our party, that I think it may easily happen that they shall encounter enemies who have more spirit than themselves." Johnson,