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Prevented from a damned enterprize:
sentence. You have conspir'd against our royal person, Join’d with an enemy proclaim’d, and from his
coffers Receiv'd the golden earnest of our death; Wherein you would have sold your king to slaughter, His princes and his peers to servitude, His subjects to oppression and contempt, And his whole kingdom unto defolation." Touching our person, seek we no revenge ; But we our kingdom's safety must so tender, Whose ruin you three sought, that to her laws We do deliver you.
Get you therefore hence, Poor miserable wretches, to your death : The taste whereof, God, of his mercy, give you Patience to endure, and true repentance Of all your dear offences !-Bear them hence.
[Exeunt Conspirators, guarded.
3 My fanlı, &c.] One of the confpirators againt Queen Elizabeth, I think Parry, concludes his letter to her with these words: “a culpâ, but not a pæna, absolve me, most dear lady.” This letter was much read at that time, (1 585,) and our author doubtless copied it.
This whole scene was much enlarged and improved after the first edition; the particular insertions it would be tedious to mention, and tedious without much use. JOHNSON.
The words of Parry's letter are, “ Discharge me a culpâ, but not a pænâ, good ladie.” Reed.
proclaim'd,] Mr. Ritfon recommends the omiffion of this word, which deforms the measure. STEEVENS.
unto desolation.] The folio, 1623, where alone this paffage is found, has—inco defolation. Corrected by Mr. Steevens.
MALONE. Get you therefore hence,] So, in Holinshed : Get ye hence therefore, ye poor miserable wretches, to the receiving of your just reward: wherein God's majesty give you grace," &c.
Now, lords, for France; the enterprize whereof
London. Mrs. Quickly's House in Eastchcap. Enter Pistol, Mrs. QUICKLY, NYM, BARDOLPH,
and Boy. Quick. Priythee, honey-sweet husband, let me bring thee to Staines."
Pist. No; for my manly heart doth yern.--Bardolph, be blith;-Nym, rouse thy vaunting veins; Boy, bristle thy courage up; for Falstaff he is dead, And we must yern therefore.
BARD. 'Would, I were with him, wheresome'er he is, either in heaven, or in hell !
5- the signs of war advance :) So, in Phaer's translation of the first line of the eighth Book of the Æneid: Ut belli signum &c.
" When signe of war from Laurent towres” &c. STEVENS. 6 No king of England, if not king of France.] So, in the old play before that of Shakspeare: “ If not king of France, then of nothing must I be king."
STEEVENS. bring thee to Staines.] i. e. let me attend, or accompany thee. So, in Measure for Measure:
-give me leave, my lord, “ 'That we may bring you something on the way." REED.
Quick. Nay, sure, he's not in hell; he's in Arthur's bosom, if ever man went to Arthur's bofom. 'A made a finer end, and went away, an it had been any christom child;' 'a parted even just
8 finer end,] for final. Johnson.
Every man that dies, makes a final end; but Mrs. Quickly means to describe Falstaff's behaviour at his exit, as uncommonly placid. “ He made a fine end,” is at this day a vulgar expression, when any person dies with resolution and devotion. So Ophelia says of her father: “ They say, he made a good end.” M. Mason. Again, in Macbeth:
“ They say, he parted well, and paid his score;
• And so God be with him!” Our author has elsewhere used the comparative for the positive. See Macbeth, Vol. VII. p. 450, n. 9. Mrs. Quickly, however, needs no justification for not adhering to the rules of grammar.
What seems to militate against Dr. Johnson's interpretation is, that the word final, which he supposes to have been meant, is rather tou learned for the hostess. MALONE.
9. -an it had been any christom child;] The old quarto has it—crisomb’d child.
“ The chrysom was no more than the white cloth put on the new baptised child.” See Johnson's Canons of Ecclef. Law, 1720.
I have somewhere (but cannot recollect where) met with this further account of it; that the chryfom was allowed to be carried out of the church, to enwrap such children as were in too weak a condition to be borne thither; the chryfom being supposed to make every place holy. This custom would rather strengthen the allusion to the weak condițion of Falstaff. The child itself was sometimes called a chryfom, as appears
from the following passage in The Fancies Chaste and Noble, 1638:
the boy surely I ever faid was a very chrisome in the thing
Again, in The Wits, by Sir W'. D'Avenant, 1637:
and would it not join thy halfpenny - To send for milk for the poor chrysome.” Again, in Sir W. D'Avenant's fuft Italian, 1630 :
and they do awe “ The chrysome babe.” Again, and more appofitely, in his Albovine, 1629: « Sir, I would fain depart in quiet, like other young chryfomes." Again, in l'our Five Gallants, by Middleton: “ a fine old man father, it would kill his heart i'faith: he'd arvay like a chryfom."
between twelve and one, e'en at turning o’the tide: for after I saw him fumble with the sheets,' and play with flowers, and smile upon his fingers' ends, I
In the Liturgie, 2 E. VI. Form of private Baptism, is this direction : “ Then the minister shall put the white vesture, commonly called the chrisme, upon the child,” &c. The Glossary of Du Cange, vide Chrismale, explains this ceremony thus: “Quippe olim ut et hodie, baptizatorum, ftatim atque chrismate in fronte ungebantur, ne chrifma de flueret, capita panno candido obvolvebantur, qui octava demum die ab iis auferebatur.” During the time therefore of their wearing this vesture, the children were, I fuppose, called chrisomes. One is registered under this description in the register of Thatcham, Berks, 1605. (Hearne's Appendix to the History of Glastonbury, p. 275.) “ A younge crijeme being a man child, beinge found drowned," &c. TYRWHITT.
The chrisom is properly explained as the white garment put upon the child at its baptism. And this the child wore till the time the mother came to be churched, who was then to offer it to the minister. So that, truly speaking, a chrisom child was one that died after it had been baptized, and before its mother was churched. Erroneously, however, it was used for children that die before they are baptized; and by this denomination such children were entered in the bills of mortality down to the year 1726. But have I not seen, in some edition, christom child? If that reading were supported by any copy of authority, I should like it much. It agrees better with my dame's enuntiation, who was not very likely to pronounce a hard word with propriety, and who just before had called Abraham--Arthur. Whalley.
Mr. Whalley is right in his conjecture. The firit folio reads christom. Blount, in his GLOSSOGRAPHY, 1678, savs, that chrisoms in the bills of mortality are such children as die within the month of birth, because during that time they use to wear the chrisom-cloth.
Malone. turning oʻthe tide :) It has been a very old opinion, which Mead, de imperio jolis, quotes, as if he believed it, that nobody dies but in the time of ebb: half the deaths in London confute the notion; but we find that it was common among the women of the poet's time. JOHNSON.
3 fumble with the sheets,] This passage is burlesqued by Beaumont and Fletcher, in The Captain:
That's an ill sign.
knew there was but one way; 4 for his nose was as sharp as a pen, and 'a babbled of green fields.
And fumbles with the pots too. " 1. Then there's no way but one with him." In the spurious play of King Yohn, 1611, when Faulconbridge fees that prince at the point of death, he says:
“ O piercing sight! he fumbleth in the mouth,
“ His speech doth fail " And Pliny, in his chapter on The Signs of Death, makes mention of “ a fumbling and pleiting of the bed-cloths.” See P. Holland's Translation, Chap. li. So also, in The Ninth Booke of Notable Thinges, by Thomas Lupton, 4to. bl. 1: “ If the foreheade of the ficke waxe redde-and his nose wax sharpe-if he pull ftrawes, or the cloathes of his bedde—these are most certain tokens of death."
Steevens. There is this expression, and not, I believe, designed as a sneer on Shakspeare, in Beaumont and Fletcher's Spanish Curate, Ac IV. sc. v:
“ A glimmering before death, 'tis nothing else, fir;
“ Do you see how he fumbles with the sheets?” Whalley. The same indication of approaching death is enumerated by Celsus, Lommius, Hippocrates, and Galen. The testimony of the latter is sufficient to show that such a symptom is by no means imaginary: “ Manus ante faciem attollere, muscas quasi venari inani operâ, ioccos carpere de veftibus, vel pariete. Et in se ipfo hoc expertus fuit Galenus. Quum enim," "&c. Van Swieten Comm. Tom. II. fect 708. Collins.
4 I knew there was but one way;] I believe this phrase is proverbial. I meet with it again in If you know not me, you know Nobody, 1613:
“ I heard the doctors whisper it in secret,
" There is no way but one.” Again, in The Life and Death of Gamaliel Ratsey, 1605: “ But now the courtier is in huckster's handling, there is no way with him but one, for Ratsey seizes both on his money and books.”
STEEVENS. and’a babbled of green fields.] The old copy (i. e. the first folio,] reads—for his nose was as sharp as a pen, and a table of green fields. Steevens.
These words, and a table of green fields, are not to be found in the old editions of 1600 and 1608. This nonsense got into all the following editions by a pleasant mistake of the stage editors, who printed from the common piece-meal written parts in the play-house. A table was here directed to be brought in, (it being