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Sure, we thank you. My learned lord, we pray you to proceed; And justly and religiously unfold, Why the law Salique, that they have in France, Or should, or should not, bar us in our claim. And God forbid, my dear and faithful lord, That you should fashion, wrest, or bow your reading, Or nicely charge your understanding soul? With opening titles miscreate, whose right Suits not in native colours with the truth; For God doth know, how many, now in health, Shall drop their blood in approbation 9 Of what your reverence shall incite us to: Therefore take heed how you impawn our person,"
7 Or nicely charge your understanding foul -— ] Take heed left by nice and subtle sophistry you burthen your knowing soul, or knowingly burthen your soul, with the guilt of advancing a false title, or of maintaining, by specious fallacies, a claim which, if shown in its native and true colours, would appear to be false.
8 - miscreale,] Ill-begotten, illegitimate, spurious.
JOHNSON. 9 — in approbation-] i. e. in proving and supporting that title which shall be now set up. So, in Braithwaite's Survey of Histories, 1614: “ Compofing what he wrote, not by report of others, but by the approbation of his own eyes." Again, in The Winter's Tale :
“ That lack'd sight only; nought for approbation,
“ But only seeing.” MALONE. 2 - take heed how you impawn our person,] The whole drift of the king is to impress upon the archbishop a due sense of the caution with which he is to 1peak. He tells him that the crime of unjuft war, if the war be unjust, shall rest upon him:
Therefore take heed bow you impawn your person. So, I think, it should be read, Take beed how you pledge yourself, your honour, your happiness, in support of bad advice.
Dr. Warburton explains impawn by engage, and so escapes the difficulty. Johnson.
How you awake the sleeping sword of war;'
you peers, That owe your lives, your faith, and services, To this imperial throne ;-There is no bars
The allusion here is to the game of chess, and the disposition of the pawns with respect to the King, at the commencement of this mimetic conteft. HENLEY.
To engage and to pawn were in our author's time synonymous. See Minshew's DictiONARY in v. engage. But the word pawn had not, I believe, at that time, its present signification. To impawn seems here to have the same meaning as the French phrase je commettre. MALONE. 3 - brief mortality.] “ Nulla brevem dominum fequetur.” Horace.
STEEVENS. 4 Under this conjuration,] The quartos, 1600 and 1608, read:
After this conjuration Steevens. 5- There is no bar &c.] This whole speech is copied (in a manner verbatim) from Hall's Chronicle, Henry V. year the second, folio iv. XX. XXX. xl. &c. In the first edition it is very imperfect, and the whole history and names of the princes are confounded ; but this was afterwards set right, and corrected from the original, Hall's Chronicle. Pope.
This speech (together with the Latin passage in it) may as well be said to be taken from Holinshed as from Hall. STEEVENS.
To make against your highness' claim to France,
See a subsequent note, in which it is proved that Holinthed, and not Hall, was our author's historian. The same facts indeed are told in both, Holinshed being a servile copyist of Hall; but Holinshed's book was that which Shakspeare read; and therefore I always quote it in preference to the elder chronicle, contrary to the rule that ought in general to be observed. MALONE.
6 gloze,] Expound, explain, and sometimes comment upon. So, in Troilus and Cressida:
you have said well;
Four hundred twenty-fix; and Charles the great
8 To fine his title &c.] This is the reading of the quarto of 1608; that of the folio is—To find his title. I would read:
To line his title with some show of truth. To line may signify at once to decorate and to strengthen. So, in Macbeth:
did line the rebel " With hidden help and vantage;Dr. Warburton says, that to fine his title, is to refine or improve it. The reader is to judge.
I now believe that find is right; the jury finds for the plaintiff, or finds for the defendant; to find his title is, to determine in favour of his title with some show of truth. JOHNSON.
To fine his title, is to make it snowy or specious by fome appearance of justice. STEEVENS. So, in King Henry IV. Part I:
" To face the garment of rebellion,
" With some fine colour.” The words in Holinshed's Chronicle are, " - to make his title seem true, and appear good, though indeed it was stark naught."In Hall s to make &c.-though indeed it was both evil and untrue."
MALONE. I believe that fine is the right reading, and that the metaphor is taken from the fining of liquors. In the next line, the speaker says:
“ Though in pure truth it was corrupt and naught.” It is the jury that finds a verdict, not the plaintiff or defendant, and therefore a man cannot find his own title. M. Mason.
Convey'd himself, as heir to the lady Lingare,
9 Convey'd himself-] Derived his title. Our poet found this expression also in Holinshed. MALONE.
- the lady Lingare,
Daughter to Charlemain, &c.] By Charles the Great is meant the emperor Charlemagne, son of Pepin; Charlemain is Charlechauve, or Charles the Bald, who, as well as Charles le Gros, assumed the title of Magnus. See Goldafti Animadversiones in Einhardi præfationem. Edit. 1711, p. 157. But then Charlechauve had only one daughter, named Judith, married, or, as some say, only betrothed, to our King Ethelwulf, and carried off, after his death, by Baldwin the forester, afterward earl of Flanders, whom, it is very certain, Hugh Capet was neither heir to, nor any way descended from. This Judith, indeed, had a great-grand-daughter called Luitgarde, married to a count Wichman, of whom nothing further is known. It was likewise the name of Charleinagne's fifth wife ; but no such female as Lingare is to be met with in any French historian. In fact, these fictitious personages and pedigrees seem to have been devised by the English heralds, to “ fine a title with some show of truth,” which, " in pure truth was corrupt and naught." It was manifestly impossible that Henry, who had no hereditary title to his own dominions, could derive one, by the fame colour, to another person's. He merely proposes the invasion and conquest of France, in prosecution of the dying advice of his father:
" - to busy giddy minds
“ Might waste the memory of former days :" that his subjects might have sufficient employment to mislead their attention from the nakedness of his title to the crown. The zeal and eloquence of the archbishop are owing to similar motives.
Ritson. 3 Allo king Lewis the tenth,] The word ninth has been inserted by some of the modern editors. The old copies read tenth. Ninth is certainly wrong, and tenth certainly right. Isabel was the wife of Philip the second, father of Lewis the ninth, and grandfather of Lewis the tenth. Ritson.
- Lewis the tenth,] This is a mistake, (as is observed in the Gentleman's Magazine, Vol. LIII. P. II. p. 588,) into which Shakspeare was led by Holinshed, (Vol. II. p. 546, edit. 1577,) whom ne copied. St. Lewis, (for he is the perion here described,) the