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I'll canvas thee in thy broad cardinal's hat,"
Win. Nay, stand thou back, I will not budge a foot; This be Damascus, be thou cursed Cain,8
To slay thy brother Abel, if thou wilt.
Glo. I will not slay thee, but I'll drive thee back: Thy scarlet robes, as a child's bearing-cloth
I'll use, to carry thee out of this place.
Win. Do what thou dar'st; I beard thee to thy face. Glo. What? am I dar'd, and bearded to my face?— Draw, men, for all this privileged place;
Blue-coats to tawny-coats. Priest, beware your beard; [GLO. and his Men attack the Bishop.
I mean to tug it, and to cuff you soundly:
Here by the cheeks I'll drag thee up and down.
ral fees arising from the brothel-houses allowed to be kept in the bishop's manor, with the customs and regulations of them. One of the articles is:
"De his, qui custodiunt mulieres habentes nefandam infirmitatem."
7 I'll canvas thee in thy broad cardinal's hat,] This means, I be lieve I'll tumble thee into thy great hat, and shake thee, as bran and meal are shaken in a sieve.
So, Sir W. D'Avenant, in The Cruel Brother, 1630:
"I'll sift and winnow him in an old hat."
To canvas was anciently used for to sift. Steevens.
Probably from the materials of which the bottom of a sieve is made. Perhaps, however, in the passage before us Gloster means, that he will toss the cardinal in a sheet, even while he was invested with the peculiar badge of his ecclesiastical dignity.-Coarse sheets were formerly termed canvass sheets. See King Henry IV, P. II, Act II, sc. iv. Malone.
8 This be Damascus, be thou cursed Cain,] About four miles from Damascus is a high hill, reported to be the same on which Cain slew his brother Abel. Maundrel's Travels, p. 131. Pope.
9 Winchester goose,] A strumpet or the consequences of her love, was a Winchester goose. Johnson.
1 -a rope! a rope!] See The Comedy of Errors, Act IV, sc. iv. Malone.
Out, tawny coats!-out, scarlet hypocrite!2
Here a great Tumult. In the midst of it, Enter the Mayor of London,3 and Officers.
May. Fy, lords! that you, being supreme magistrates, Thus contumeliously should break the peace!
Glo. Peace, mayor; thou know'st little of my wrongs: Here's Beaufort, that regards nor God nor king, Hath here distrain'd the Tower to his use.
Win. Here's Gloster too, a foe to citizens; One that still motions war, and never peace, O'ercharging your free purses with large fines; That seeks to overthrow religion,
Because he is protector of the realm;
And would have armour here out of the Tower,
Come, officer; as loud as e'er thou canst.
Offi. All manner of men, assembled here in arms this day, against God's peace and the king's, we charge and command you, in his highness' name, to repair to your several dwelling-places; and not to wear, handle, or use, any sword, weapon, or dagger, henceforward, upon pain of death.
Glo. Cardinal, I'll be no breaker of the law: But we shall meet, and break our minds at large. Win. Gloster, we 'll meet; to thy dear cost, be sure: 5
out, scarlet hypocrite!] Thus, in King Henry VIII, the Earl of Surrey, with a similar allusion to Cardinal Wolsey's habit, calls him-" scarlet sin." Steevens.
the Mayor of London,] I learn from Mr. Pennant's LoNDON, that this Mayor was John Coventry, an opulent mercer, from whom is descended the present Earl of Coventry. Steevens.
Here's Gloster too, &c.] Thus the second folio. The first folio, with less spirit of reciprocation, and feebler metre,-Here is Gloster &c. Steevens.
5 Gloster, we'll meet; to thy dear cost, be sure:] Thus the second folio. The first omits the epithet-dear; as does Mr. Malone, who says that the word-sure "is here used as a dissyllable." Steevens.
Thy heart-blood I will have, for this day's work.
Glo. Mayor, farewel: thou dost but what thou may'st. Win. Abominable Gloster! guard thy head; For I intend to have it, ere long.
[Exeunt. May. See the coast clear'd, and then we will depart.Good God! that nobles should such stomachs' bear! I myself fight not once in forty year.8
France. Before Orleans.
Enter, on the Walls, the Master-Gunner and his Son. M. Gun. Sirrah, thou know'st how Orleans is besieg'd;
6 I'll call for clubs, if you will not away:] This was an outcry for assistance, on any riot or quarrel in the streets. It hath been explained before. Whalley.
That is, for peace-officers armed with clubs or staves. In affrays, it was customary in this author's time to call out clubs, clubs! See As you Like it, Vol. V, p. 128, n. 4. Malone.
7 stomachs Stomach is pride, a haughty spirit of resentment. So, in King Henry VIII:
he was a man
that nobles should such stomachs bear!
I myself fight not once in forty year.] Old copy—these nobles. Corrected by Mr. Rowe. Malone.
The Mayor of London was not brought in to be laughed at, as is plain by his manner of interfering in the quarrel, where he all along preserves a sufficient dignity. In the line preceding these, he directs his Officer, to whom without doubt these two lines should be given. They suit his character, and are very expressive of the pacific temper of the city guards. Warburton.
I see no reason for this change. The Mayor speaks first as a magistrate, and afterwards as a citizen. Johnson.
Notwithstanding Warburton's note in support of the dignity of the Mayor, Shakspeare certainly meant to represent him as a poor, well-meaning, simple man, for that is the character he invariably gives to his Mayors. The Mayor of London, in Richard III, is just of the same stamp. And so is the Mayor of York, in the Third Part of this play, where he refuses to admit Edward as King, but lets him into the city as Duke of York, on which Gloster says
"A wise stout captain! and persuaded soon.
"Hast. The good old man would fain that all were well." Such are all Shakspeare's Mayors. M. Mason.
And how the English have the suburbs won.
Son. Father, I know; and oft have shot at them, Howe'er, unfortunate, I miss'd my aim.
M. Gun. But now thou shalt not. Be thou rul'd by me:
And thence discover, how, with most advantage,
A piece of ordnance 'gainst it I have plac'd;
If thou spy'st any, run and bring me word;
Son. Father, I warrant you; take you no care;
I'll never trouble you, if I may spy them.
Enter, in an upper Chamber of a Tower, the Lords SALISBURY and TALBOT,2 Sir WILLIAM GLANSDALE, Sir THOMAS GARGRAVE, and Others.
Sal. Talbot, my life, my joy, again return'd! How wert thou handled, being prisoner?
9 The prince's espials-] Espials are spies. So, in Chaucer's Freres Tale:
"For subtilly he had his espiaille." Steevens.
The word is often used by Hall and Holinshed. Malone.
1 Wont, through a secret grate of iron bars &c.] That is, are ac customed to over peer the city. The word is used very frequently by Spenser, and several times by Milton. Tyrwhitt.
Talbot,] Though the three parts of King Henry VI are deservedly numbered among the feeblest performances of Shakspeare, this first of them appears to have been received with the greatest applause. So, in Pierce Penniless's Supplication to the Devil, by Nash, 1592: "How would it have joyed brave Talbot (the terror of the French,) to thinke that after he had lien two hundred years in his tombe, he should triumph againe on the stage, and have his bones new embalmed with the tears of ten thousand spectators at least (at several times,) who in the tragedian that represents his person, imagine they behold him fresh bleeding?"
Or by what means got'st thou to be releas'd?
Tal. The duke of Bedford had a prisoner,
Once, in contempt, they would have barter'd me:
3 -so pil'd esteem'd.] Thus the old copy. Some of the modern editors read, but without authority-so vile-esteem'd.-So pill'd, may mean-so pillag'd, so stripp'd of honours; but I suspect a corruption, which Mr. M. Mason would remedy, by reading either vile or ill-esteemed.
It is possible, however, that Shakspeare might have writtenPhilistin'd; i. e. treated as contumeliously as Samson was by the Philistines. Both Samson and Talbot had been prisoners, and alike insulted by their captors.
Our author has jocularly formed more than one verb from a proper name; as for instance, from Aufidius, in Coriolanus: “ ...am I would not have been so fidius'd for all the chests in Corioli." Again, in K. Henry V, Pistol says to his prisoner; "Master Fer? I'll fer him," &c. Again, in Hamlet, from Herod, we have the verb "out-herod."
Shakspeare, therefore, in the present instance, might have taken a similar liberty.-To fall into the hands of the Philistines has long been a cant phrase, expressive of danger incurred, whether from enemies, association with hard drinkers, gamesters, or a less welcome acquaintance with the harpies of the law.
Talbot's idea would be sufficiently expressed by the term-Philistin'd, which (as the play before us appears to have been copied by the ear) was more liable to corruption than a common verb.
I may add, that perhaps no word will be found nearer to the sound and traces of the letters, in pil-esteem'd, than Philistin'd. Philistine, in the age of Shakspeare, was always accented on the first syllable, and therefore is not injurious to the line in which I have hesitatingly proposed to insert it.
I cannot, however, help smiling at my own conjecture; and should it excite the same sensation in the reader who journeys through the barren desert of our accumulated notes on this play, like Addison's traveller, when he discovers a cheerful spring amid the wilds of sand, let him
- bless his stars, and think it luxury." Steevens.
I have no doubt that we should read-so pile-esteem'd: a Latinism, for which the author of this play had, I believe, no occasion to go to Lilly's Grammar: "Flocci, nauci, nihili, pili, &e. his verbis, æstimo, pendo, peculiariter adjiciuntur; ut,-Nec hu