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Rob. My gracious liege, when that my father liv'd, Your brother did employ my father much
Phil. Well, Sir, by this you cannot get my land. Your tale must be, how he employ'd my mother. Rob. And once difpatch'd him in an embaffy To Germany; there, with the emperor To treat of high affairs touching that time. The advantage of his abfence took the king, And in the mean time fojourn'd at my father's; Where, how he did prevail, I fhame to speak : But truth is truth; large lengths of feas and fhores Between my father and my mother lay, (As I have heard my father fpeak himself) When this fame lufty gentleman was got. Upon his death-bed he by will bequeath'd His lands to me; and took it on his death, That this, my mother's fon, was none of his; And, if he were, he came into the world Full fourteen weeks before the course of time. Then, good my liege, let me have what is mine, My father's land, as was my father's will.
K. John. Sirrah, your brother is legitimate; Your father's wife did after wedlock bear him: And, if the did play falfe, the fault was hers; Which fault lies on the hazard of all hufbands
profile, fo fhewed but half the face: the groats of all our kings of England, and indeed all their other coins of filver, one or two only excepted, had a full face crowned; t.ll Henry VII. at the time above-mentioned, coined groats and half-groats, as alfo fome fhillings, with half faces, i. e. faces in profile, as all our coin has now. The firft groats of king Henry VIII. were like thofe of his father; though afterwards he returned to the broad faces again. Thefe groats, with the impreffion in profile, are undoubtedly here alluded to: though, as I faid, the poet is knowingly guilty of an anachronism in it: for in the time of king John there were no groats at all; they being firft, as far as appears, coined in the reign of king Edward III. THEOBALD. The fame contemptuous allufion occurs in The Downfall of Robert Earl of Huntington, 1601.
You half-fac'd groat, you thick-cheek'd chitty-face."
That marry wives.
Phil. Of no more force to difpoffefs me, Sir,
Eli. Whether hadft thou rather be a Faulconbridge, And, like thy brother, to enjoy thy land; Or the reputed fon of Coeur-de-lion, 'Lord of thy presence, and no land befide? Phil. Madam, an if my brother had my fhape, 3 And I had his, Sir Robert's his, like him;
This concludes-] This is a decifive argument. As your father, if he liked him, could not have been forced to refign him, fo, not liking him, he is not at liberty to reject him. JOHNSON.
Lord of THY prefence, and no land befide?] Lord of thy prefence can fignify only, master of thyself; and it is a strange expreffion to fignify even that. However that he might be, without parting with his land. We fhould read, Lord of THE preJence, i. e. prince of the blood. WARBURTON.
Lord of thy prefence may fignify fomething more diftinct than mater of thyself: it means mafter of that dignity, and grandeur of appearance, that may fufficiently diftinguish thee from the vulgar without the help of fortune.
Lord of his prefence apparently fignifies, great in his own perfon, and is ufed in this fenfe by king John in one of the following fcenes. JOHNSON.
3 And I had his, Sir Robert his, like him ;] This is obfcure and ill expreffed. The meaning is: If I had his shape-Sir Robert's-as he bus.
Sir Robert his, for Sir Robert's, is agreeable to the practice of that time, when the 's added to the nominative was believed, I think erroneously, to be a contraction of his. So DONNE,
my legs were two fuch riding rods,
My arms fuch eel-fkins ftuft; 4 my face fo thin, 5 That in mine ear I durft not stick a rose,
Left men fhould fay, Look, where three-farthings
And, to his fhape, were heir to all this land;
That in mine ear I durft not flick a rose,
Who now lives to age,
Fit to be call'd Methufalem his page? JOHNSON.
Left men fhould fay, Look, where three-farthings goes!] In this very obfcure paffage our poet is anticipating the date of another coin; humoroufly to rally a thin face, eclipfed, as it were, by a full-blown rofe. We muft obferve, to explain this allufion, that queen Elizabeth was the first, and indeed the only prince, who coined in England three-half-pence, and three-farthing pieces. She at one and the fame time coined fhillings, fixpences, groats, three-pences, two-pences, three-half-pence, pence, three-farthings, and half-pence. And thefe pieces all had her head, and were alternately with the rose behind, and without the rofe. The fhilling, groat, two-pence, penny, and half-penny had it not: the other intermediate coins, viz. the fix-pence, three-pence, three-half-pence, and threefarthings had the rofe. THEOBALD.
So, in The Shoemaker's Holiday, &c. 1610.
"Firk. "Tis but three-half-pence I think; yes 'tis threepence, I smell the rofe." STEEVENS.
5 That in mine car I durft not flick a rofe,] The sticking rofes about them was then all the court-fashion, as appears from this paffage of the Confeffion Catholique du S. de Sancy, 1. 2. c. I. Je luy ay appris à mettre des ROSES par tous les coins, i. c. in every place about him, fays the fpeaker, of one to whom he had taught all the court-fafhions, WARBURTON.
These roses were, I believe, only rofes compofed of ribbands. In Marfton's What you will is the following paffage.
"Dupatzo the elder brother, the fool, he that bought the "half-penny ribband, wearing it in his ear," &c.
This ribband in
Again, in Every Man in his Humour,
my ear, or fo." I think I remember, among Vandyck's pictures in the duke of Queensbury's collection at Amefbury,
to have feen one with the locks nearest the ear ornamented with ribbands, which terminate in rofes, STEEVENS.
Would I might never ftir from off this place,
Eli. I like thee well: wilt thou forfake thy fortune,
Phil. Brother, take you my land, I'll take my chance:
Eli. Nay, I would have you go before me thither.
Phil. Philip, my liege; fo is my name begun;
K. John. From henceforth bear his name, whofe form thou bear'ft.
Kneel thou down Philip, but arife more great;
Phil. Brother by the mother's fide, give me your hand;
My father gave me honour, yours gave land.
Phil. Madam, by chance, but not by truth: what tho' ? Something about, a little from the right;
Madam, by chance, but not by truth: what the'?] I am your grandfon, madam, by chance, but not by honefly-what then? JOHNSON.
7 Something about, a little from the right, &c.] This fpeech, compofed of allufive and proverbial fentences, is obfcure. I am, fays the fpritely knight, your grandfon, a little irregularly, but every man cannot get what he wishes the legal way. He that dares not go about his defigns by day muft make his motions in the night; he, to whom the door is fhut, muft climb the window, or leap the batch. This, however, fhall not deprefs me; for the
In at the window, or else o'er the hatch,
Who dares not ftir by day, muft walk by night,
K. John. Go, Faulconbridge; now haft thou thy
A landless knight makes thee a landed 'fquire.
Phil. Brother, adieu; good fortune come to thee, For thou waft got i'the way of honesty.
[Exeunt all but Philip.
9 A foot of honour better than I was,
world never enquires how any man got what he is known to poffefs, but allows that to have is to have however it was caught, and that he who wins, fhot well, whatever was his skill, whether the arrow fell near the mark, or far off it. JOHNSON.
8 In at the window, &c.] Thefe expreffions mean, to be born out of wedlock. So in The Family of Love, 1608.
"Woe worth the time that ever I gave fuck to a child that << came in at the window."
So in Northward Hoe, by Decker and Webster, 1607. kindred that comes in o'er the hatch, and failing to "Westminster," &c. STEEVENS.
→ A foot of bonour] A step, un pas. JOHNSON.
-Sir Richard-] Thus the old copy. The modern editors arbitrarily read, Sir Robert. STEEVENS.
'Tis too refpective, &c.] i. e. refpectful. So in the old comedy called Michaelmas Term, 1607.
"Seem refpective, to make his pride fwell like a toad with "dew." So in The Merchant of Venice, a&t 5.
"You should have been respective," &c. STEEVENS.