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In deeds dishonourable? You have taken up?,
Good my lord of Lancaster,
court, Whereon this Hydra son of war is born: Whose dangerous eyes may well be charm'd asleep, With grant of our most just and right desires ; And true obedience of this madness cur’d, Stoop tamely to the foot of majesty.
Mowb. If not we ready are to try our fortunes To the last man. HAST.
And though we here fall down, We have supplies to second our attempt ; If they miscarry, theirs shall second them: And so success of mischief shall be born;
7 You have taken up,] To take up is to levy, to raise in arms.
Johnson. 8 - in COMMON SENSE,] I believe Shakspeare wrote common fence, i. e. drove by self-defence. WARBURTON. Common sense is the general sense of general danger.
Johnson. May not common sense here mean, according to the dictates of reason? M. Mason.
9 Whose dangerous eyes may well be charm'd asleep,] Alluding to the dragon charmed to rest by the spells of Medea..
STEVENS. * And so success of mischief–] Success for succession.
And heir from heir shall hold this quarrel up, Whiles England shall have generation. · P. John. You are too shallow, Hastings, much
too shallow, To sound the bottom of the after-times. . West. Pleaseth your grace, to answer them di
rectly, How far-forth you do like their articles ? P. John. I like them all, and do allow ? them
well : And swear here by the honour of my blood, My father's purposes have been mistook; And some about him have too lavishly Wrested his meaning, and authority.My lord, these griefs shall be with speed redress'd; Upon my soul, they shall. If this may please you, Discharge your powers unto their several counties, As we will ours: and here, between the armies, Let's drink together friendly, and embrace; That all their eyes may bear those tokens home, Of our restored love, and amity. Arch. I take your princely word for these re
dresses. P. John. I give it you, and will maintain my
word : And thereupon I drink unto your grace. Hast. Go, captain, [To an Officer.] and deliver
to the army
2 – and do ALLOW-] i. e. approve. So, in King Lear, Act II. Sc. IV.:
" if your sweet sway
“ Allow obedience.” Malone. 3 Discharge your powers-] It was Westmoreland who made this deceitful proposal, as appears from Holinshed : “ The earl of Westmoreland using more policie than the rest, said, whereas our people have been long in armour, let them depart home to their woonted trades : in the meane time, let us drink togither in signe of agreement, that the people on both sides may see it, and know that it is true, that we be light at a point.” STEEVENS.
This news of peace ; let them have pay, and part:
[Exit Officer. Arch. To you, my noble lord of Westmoreland. West. I pledge your grace: And, if you knew
Arch. I do not doubt you.
I am glad of it.Health to my lord, and gentle cousin, Mowbray. Mowb. You wish me health in very happy sea
son; For I am, on the sudden, something ill.
ARCH. Against ill chances, men are ever merry*; But heaviness foreruns the good event. West. Therefore be merry, coz; since sudden
sorrow Serves to say thus,-Some good thing comes to
morrow.. · Arch. Believe me, I am passing light in spirit. Mowb. So much the worse, if your own rule be true...
[Shouts within. P. John. The word of peace is render'd ; Hark,
how they shout! · Mowb. This had been cheerful, after victory.
Arch. A peace is of the nature of a conquest : For then both parties nobly are subdued, And neither party loser. P. John.
Go, my lord,
4 Against ill chances, men are ever merry;] Thus the poet describes Romeo, as feeling an unaccustomed degree of cheerfulness just before he hears the news of the death of Juliet.
STEEVENS. · 5 Therefore be merry, coz ;] That is--Therefore, notwithstanding this sudden impulse to heaviness, be merry, for such sudden dejections forbode good. Johnson.
And let our army be discharged too.
[Exit WESTMORELAND. And, good my lord, so please you, let our trains 6 March by us; that we may peruse the men We should have cop'd withal. ARCH.
Go, good lord Hastings, And, ere they be dismiss'd, let them march by.
[Exit HASTINGS. P. John. I trust, my lords, we shall lie to-night
Re-enter WESTMORELAND. Now, cousin, wherefore stands our army still ; WEST. The leaders having charge from you to
stand, Will not go off until they hear you speak.
P. John. They know their duties.
Re-enter Hastings. Hast. My lord, our army is dispers'd already: Like youthful steers unyok'd, they take their courses East, west, north, south; or, like a school broke up, Each hurries toward his home, and sporting-place. West. Good tidings, my lord Hastings; for the
which I do arrest thee, traitor, of high treason :And you, lord archbishop,—and you, lord Mow.
6 - let our trains, &c.] That is, our army on each part, that we may both see those that were to have opposed us. JOHNSON.
We ought, perhaps, to read—“ your trains.” The Prince knew his own strength sufficiently, and only wanted to be acquainted with that of the enemy. The plural, trains, however, seems in favour of the old reading. Malone
The Prince was desirous to see their train, and therefore, under pretext of affording them a similar gratification, proposed that both trains should pass in review. Steevens.
Of capital treason I attach you both.
Mowl. Is this proceeding just and honourable ?
I pawn'd thee none : I promis'd you redress of these same grievances?, Whereof you did complain ; which, by mine ho
nour, I will perform with a most christian care. But, for you, rebels,-look to taste the due Meet for rebellion, and such acts as yours *. Most shallowly did you these arms commence, Fondly brought here, and foolishly sent hence. Strike up our drums, pursue the scatter'd stray; Heaven, and not we, hath safely fought to-day. Some guard these traitors to the block of death; Treason's true bed, and yielder up of breath.
[Exeunt? * Quartos omit and such acts as yours. 9 I promis'd you redress of theSÉ SAME grievances,] Surely the two redundant words—these same, should be omitted, for the sake of metre. They are undoubted interpolations.
STEEVENS. 8 Fondly brought here, &c.] Fondly is foolishly. So, in Lord Surrey's translation of the second book of Virgil's Æneid : “What wight so fond such offer to refuse ?"
Steevens. 9 Exeunt.] It cannot but raise some indignation to find this horrid violation of faith passed over thus slightly by the poet, without any note of censure or detestation. Johnson.
Shakspeare, here, as in many other places, has merely followed the historians, who related this perfidious act without animadversion, and who seem to have adopted the ungenerous sentiment of Choroebus :
dolus an virtus, quis in hoste requirat? But this is certainly no excuse ; for it is the duty of a poet always to take the side of virtue. MALONE.