« PreviousContinue »
And heir from heir shall hold this quarrel up,
P. JOHN. You are too shallow, Hastings, much too shallow,
To sound the bottom of the after-times.
WEST. Pleaseth your grace, to answer them directly,
How far-forth you do like their articles?
P. JOHN. I like them all, and do allow 2 them
And swear here by the honour of my blood,
My lord, these griefs shall be with speed redress'd;
ARCH. I take your princely word for these re-
P. JOHN. I give it you, and will maintain my word:
And thereupon I drink unto your grace.
HAST. GO, captain, [To an Officer.] and deliver to the army
Act II. Sc. IV. :
i. e. approve. So, in King Lear,
if your sweet sway
66 Allow obedience." MALONE.
3 Discharge your powers-] It was Westmoreland who made this deceitful proposal, as appears from Holinshed: "The earl of Westmoreland using more policie than the rest, said, whereas our people have been long in armour, let them depart home to their woonted trades in the meane time let us drink togither in signe of agreement, that the people on both sides may see it, and know that it is true, that we be light at a point." STEEVENS.
This news of peace; let them have
pay, and part: I know, it will well please them; Hie thee, captain. [Exit Officer. ARCH. To you, my noble lord of Westmoreland. WEST. I pledge your grace: And, if you knew what pains
I have bestow'd to breed this present peace,
ARCH. I do not doubt you.
WEST. I am glad of it.Health to my lord, and gentle cousin, Mowbray. Mow B. You wish me health in very happy sea
For I am, on the sudden, something ill.
ARCH. Against ill chances, men are ever merry*; But heaviness foreruns the good event.
WEST. Therefore be merry, coz5; since sudden
Serves to say thus,-Some good thing comes to
ARCH. Believe me, I am passing light in spirit. Mow B. So much the worse, if your own rule be [Shouts within. P. JOHN. The word of peace is render'd; Hark, how they shout!
Mow B. This had been cheerful, after victory. ARCH. A peace is of the nature of a conquest: For then both parties nobly are subdued,
And neither party loser.
Go, my lord,
4 Against ill chances, men are ever merry ;] Thus the poet describes Romeo, as feeling an unaccustomed degree of cheerfulness just before he hears the news of the death of Juliet.
5 Therefore be merry, coz ;] That is-Therefore, notwithstanding this sudden impulse to heaviness, be merry, for such sudden dejections forbode good. JOHNSON.
And let our army be discharged too.
And, good my lord, so please you, let our trains
Go, good lord Hastings, And, ere they be dismiss'd, let them march by.
[Exit HASTINGS. P. JOHN. I trust, my lords, we shall lie to-night together.
Now, cousin, wherefore stands our army still; WEST. The leaders having charge from you to stand,
Will not go off until they hear you speak.
HAST. My lord, our army is dispers'd already : Like youthful steers unyok'd, they take their courses East, west, north, south; or, like a school broke up, Each hurries toward his home, and sporting-place. WEST. Good tidings, my lord Hastings; for the which
I do arrest thee, traitor, of high treason:And you, lord archbishop, and you, lord Mowbray,
let our trains, &c.] That is, our army on each part, that we may both see those that were to have opposed us. JOHNSON. We ought, perhaps, to read-" your trains." The Prince knew his own strength sufficiently, and only wanted to be acquainted with that of the enemy. The plural, trains, however, seems in favour of the old reading. MALONE.
The Prince was desirous to see their train, and therefore, under pretext of affording them a similar gratification, proposed that both trains should pass in review. STEEVENS.
Of capital treason I attach you both.
Mow B. Is this proceeding just and honourable? WEST. Is your assembly so?
ARCH. Will you thus break your faith?
P. JOHN. I pawn'd thee none : I promis'd you redress of these same grievances, Whereof you did complain; which, by mine ho
I will perform with a most christian care.
* Quartos omit and such acts as yours.
7 I promis'd you redress of THESE SAME grievances,] Surely the two redundant words-these same, should be omitted, for the sake of metre. They are undoubted interpolations.
8 FONDLY brought here, &c.] Fondly is foolishly. So, in Lord Surrey's translation of the second book of Virgil's Æneid: "What wight so fond such offer to refuse?" STEEVENS,
9 Exeunt.] It cannot but raise some indignation to find this horrid violation of faith passed over thus slightly by the poet, without any note of censure or detestation. JOHNSON.
Shakspeare, here, as in many other places, has merely followed the historians, who related this perfidious act without animadversion, and who seem to have adopted the ungenerous sentiment of Chorobus:
dolus an virtus, quis in hoste requirat?
But this is certainly no excuse; for it is the duty of a poet always to take the side of virtue. MALONE.
Another Part of the Forest.
Enter FALSTAff and
FAL. What's your name, sir? of what condition are you; and of what place, I pray?
COLE. I am a knight, sir; and my name isColevile of the dale1.
Colevile of the dale.] "At the king's coming to Durham, the Lord Hastings, sir John Colevile of the dale, &c. being convicted of the conspiracy, were there beheaded." Holinshed, p. 530. STEEvens.
But it is not clear that Hastings or Colevile was taken prisoner in this battle. See Rot. Parl. 7 and 8 Henry IV. p. 604.
The above quotation has not been appositely made by Mr. Steevens. It appears very soon aftterwards in this scene that Colevile and his confederates were sent by prince John to York to be beheaded.
It is to be observed that there are two accounts of the termination of the archbishop of York's conspiracy, both of which are given by Holinshed, who likewise states that on the archbishop and the earl marshal's submission to the king and to his son prince John, there present, "their troupes skaled and fledde their wayes, but being pursued, many were taken, many slain, &c. the archbishop and earl marshal were brought to Pomfret to the king, who from thence went to Yorke whyther the prisoners were also brought and there beheaded." It is this account that Shakspeare has followed, but with some variation; for the names of Hastings and Colevile are not mentioned among those who were so beheaded at York.
Mr. Ritson says it is not clear that Hastings and Colevile were taken prisoners in this battle; meaning, it is presumed, the skirmishes with "the scattered stray" whom prince John had ordered to be pursued, including Hastings and Colevile. It is however quite clear from the testimony of the parliament rolls, that they were taken prisoners in their flight from Topcliffe, on the borders of Galtre forest, where they had made head against the king's army, and were dispersed by prince John and the earl of Westmoreland. DOUCE.