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Char. Thou hast astonish'd me with thy high terms; Only this proof I'll of thy valour make,— In single combat thou shalt buckle with me; And, if thou vanquishest, thy words are true; Otherwise, I renounce all confidence.
Puc. I am prepar'd: here is my keen-edg'd sword, Deck'd with five flower-de-luces on each side;1 The which, at Touraine, in Saint Katharine's churchyard, Out of a deal of old iron I chose forth."
Char. Then come o'God's name, I fear no woman. Puc. And, while I live, I 'll ne'er fly from a man. [They fight. Char. Stay, stay thy hands; thou art an Amazon, And fightest with the sword of Deborah. Puc. Christ's mother helps me, clse I were too weak. Char. Whoe'er helps thee, 'tis thou that must help
Impatiently I burn with thy desire;3
My heart and hands thou hast at once subdu’d.
Let me thy servant, and not sovereign, be;
"That Clifford's manhood lies upon his tongue." Steevens. 1 Deck'd with five flower-de-luces &c.] Old copy-fine; but we should read, according to Holinshed,-five flower-de-luces. "in a secret place there among old iron, appointed she hir sword to be sought out and brought her, that with five floure-delices was graven on both sides," &c. Steevens.
The same mistake having happened in A Midsummer Night's Dream, and in other places, I have not hesitated to reform the text, according to Mr. Steevens's suggestion. In the MSS. of the age of Queen Elizabeth, u and ʼn are undistinguishable.
2 Out of a deal of old iron &c.] The old copy yet more redundantly-Out of a great deal &c. I have no doubt but the original line stood, elliptically, thus:
Out a deal of old iron I chose forth.
The phrase of hospitals is still an out door, not an out of door patient. Steevens.
3 Impatiently I burn with thy desire;] The amorous constitution of the Dauphin, has been mentioned in the preceding play:
"Doing is activity, and he will still be doing."
The Dauphin in the preceding play is John, the elder brother of the present speaker. He died in 1416, the year after the bat. tle of Agincourt. Ritson.
'Tis the French Dauphin sueth to thee thus.
Char. Mean time, look gracious on thy prostrate thrall.
Alen. Doubtless, he shrives this woman to her smock; Else ne'er could he so long protract his speech.
Reig. Shall we disturb him, since he keeps no mean? Alen. He may mean more than we poor men do know: These women are shrewd tempters with their tongues. Reig. My lord, where are you? what devise you on? Shall we give over Orleans, or no?
Puc. Why, no, I say, distrustful recreants! Fight till the last gasp; I will be your guard.
Char. What she says, I'll confirm; we 'll fight it out. Puc. Assign'd am I to be the English scourge.
This night the siege assuredly I'll raise:
Expect Saint Martin's summer, halcyon days,
Since I have entered into these wars.
Glory is like a circle in the water,
Which never ceaseth to enlarge itself,
Till, by broad spreading, it disperse to nought."
Which Cæsar and his fortune bare at once."
4 Expect Saint Martin's summer,] That is, expect prosperity af ter misfortune, like fair weather at Martlemas, after winter has begun. Johnson.
5 Glory is like a circle in the water,
Which never ceaseth to enlarge itself,
Till, by broad spreading, it disperse to nought.] So, in Nosce Teipsum, a poem by Sir John Davies, 1599:
"As when a stone is into water cast,
"One circle doth another circle make,
"Till the last circle reach the bank at last." Malone.
like that proud insulting ship,
Which Cæsar and his fortune bare at once.] This alludes to a passage in Plutarch's Life of Julius Cæsar, thus translated by Sir Thomas North: "Cæsar hearing that, straight discovered himselfe unto the maister of the pynnase, who at the first was amazed when he saw him; but Cæsar, &c. said unto him, Good fellow,
Char. Was Mahomet inspired with a dove?"
Nor yet Saint Philip's daughters, were like thee.
Alen. Leave off delays, and let us raise the siege. Reig. Woman, do what thou canst to save our honours; Drive them from Orleans, and be immortaliz'd.
Char. Presently we 'll try:-Come, let's away about it: No prophet will I trust, if she prove false. [Exeunt.
London. Hill before the Tower.
Enter, at the Gates, the Duke of GLOSTER, with his
Glo. I am come to survey the Tower this day; Since Henry's death, I fear, there is conveyance.' Where be these warders, that they wait not here? Open the gates; it is Gloster that calls. [Servants knock. 1 Ward. [within] Who is there that knocks so imperiously?
1 Serv. It is the noble duke of Gloster.
2 Ward. [within] Whoe'er he be, you may not be let
be of good cheere, &c. and fear not, for thou hast Cæsar and his fortune with thee." Steevens.
7 Was Mahomet inspired with a dove?] Mahomet had a dove, "which he used to feed with wheat out of his ear; which dove, when it was hungry, lighted on Mahomet's shoulder, and thrust its bill in to find its breakfast; Mahomet persuading the rude and simple Arabians, that it was the Holy Ghost that gave him advice." See Sir Walter Raleigh's History of the World, Book I, P. I, ch. vi. Life of Mahomet, by Dr. Prideaux. Grey.
8 Nor yet Saint Philip's daughters,] Meaning the four daughters of Philip mentioned in the Acts. Hanmer.
9 How may I reverently worship thee enough?] Perhaps this unmetrical line originally ran thus:
How may I reverence, worship thee enough? The climax rises properly, from reverence, to worship. Steevens. there is conveyance.] Conveyance means theft. Hanmer. Convey the wise it
So Pistol, in The Merry Wives of Windsor: " call: Steal! foh; a fico for the phrase." Steevens.
1 Serv. Villains, answer you so the lord protector?
We do no otherwise than we are will'd.
Glo. Who willed you? or whose will stands, but mine? There's none protector of the realm, but I.— Break up the gates,2 I'll be your warrantize: Shall I be flouted thus by dunghill grooms?
Servants rush at the Tower Gates. Enter, to the Gates, WOODVILLE, the Lieutenant.
Wood. [within] What noise is this? what traitors have we here?
Glo. Lieutenant, is it you, whose voice I hear?
The cardinal of Winchester forbids:
Glo. Faint-hearted Woodville, prizest him 'fore me?
Open the gates, or I'll shut thee out shortly.
1 Serv. Open the gates unto the lord protector; Or we 'll burst them open, if that you come not quickly. Enter WINCHESTER, attended by a Train of Servants in tawny Coats.3
Win. How now, ambitious Humphry? what means this?4
2 Break up the gates,] I suppose to break up the gate is to force up the portcullis, or by the application of petards to blow up the gates themselves. Steevens.
To break up in Shakspeare's age was the same as to break open. Thus, in our translation of the Bible: "They have broken up, and have passed through the gate." Micah, ii, 13. So again, in St. Matthew, xxiv, 43: "He would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up." Whalley.
Some one has proposed to read—
Break ope the gates,
but the old copy is right. So Hall, HENRY VI, folio 78, b: "The lusty Kentishmen hopyng on more friends, brake up the gaytes of the King's Bench and Marshalsea," &c. Malone.
Glo. Piel'd priest,5 dost thou command me to be shut
Win. I do, thou most usurping proditor, And not protector of the king or realm.
Glo. Stand back, thou manifest conspirator; Thou, that contriv❜dst to murder our dead lord; Thou, that giv'st whores indulgences to sin:"
tawny coats.] It appears from the following passage in a comedy called, A Maidenhead well lost, 1634, that a tawny coat was the dress of a summoner, i. e. an apparitor, an officer whose business it was to summon offenders to an ecclesiastical court: "Tho I was never a tawny-coat, I have play'd the summoner's part."
These are the proper attendants therefore on the Bishop of Winchester. So, in Stowe's Chronicle, p. 822: "— and by the way the bishop of London met him, attended on by a goodly company of gentlemen in tawny-coats," &c.
Tawny was likewise a colour worn for mourning, as well as black; and was therefore the suitable and sober habit of any person employed in an ecclesiastical court:
"A croune of bayes shall that man weare
"For blacke and tawnie will I weare,
"Whiche mournyng colours be."
The Complaint of a Lover wearyng blacke and tarnie; by E. O. [i. e. the Earl of Oxford.] Paradise of Dainty Devises, 1576.
4 How now, ambitious Humphry? what means this?] The first folio has it-umpheir. The traces of the letters, and the word being printed in Italicks, convince me that the Duke's christian name lurked under this corruption. Theobald.
5 Piel'd priest,] Alluding to his shaven crown. Pope.
In Weever's Funeral Monuments, p. 364, Robert Baldocke, bishop of London, is call'd a peel'd priest, pilide clerk, seemingly in allusion to his shaven crown alone. So, bald-head was a term of scorn and mockery. Tollet.
The old copy has-piel'd priest. Piel'd and pil'd were only the old spelling of peel'd. So, in our poet's Rape of Lucrece, 4to. 1594: "His leaves will wither, and is sap decay,
"So must my soul, her bark ting pil'd away." See also Florio's Italian Dictionary, 1598: "Pelare. To pill or pluck, as they do the feathers of fowle; to pull off the hair or skin.” Malone.
6 Thou, that giv'st whores indulgences to sin:] The public stews were formerly under the district of the bishop of Winchester.
There is now extant an old manuscript (formerly the officebook of the court-leet held under the jurisdiction of the bishop of Winchester in Southwark,) in which are mentioned the seve