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He capers nimbly in a lady's chamber,
To the lascivious pleasing of a lute 5.
But I,—that am not shap'd for sportive tricks,
5 Is the warlike sound of drum and trump turned to the soft noise of lyre and lute? The neighing of barbed steeds, whose loudness filled the air with terror, and whose breaths dimmed the sun with smoke, converted to delicate tunes and amorous glances.'-Lyly's Alexander and Campaspe, 1584. There is a passage in the Legend of the Death of King Richard III. in the Mirror for Magistrates evidently imitated from Shakspeare.
6 Feature is proportion, or beauty, in general. Vide Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act ii. Sc. 4, p. 127. By dissembling is not meant hypocritical nature, that pretends one thing and does another; but nature, that puts together things of a dissimilar kind, as a brave soul and a deformed body.
7 Preparations for mischief.
As I am subtle, false, and treacherous,
This day should Clarence closely be mew'd up;
Of Edward's heirs the murderer shall be3.
Dive, thoughts, down to my soul! here Clarence
Enter CLARENCE, guarded, and BRAKENBURY. Brother, good day: What means this armed guard, That waits upon your grace?
And, for my name of George begins with G,
8 This is from Holinshed. Philip de Comines says that the English at that time were never unfurnished with some prophecy or other, by which they accounted for every event.
9 i. e. fancies, freaks of imagination. Thus in Hamlet, Act i. Sc. 4:
'The very place put toys of desperation,
Glo. Why, this it is, when men are rul'd by wo
"Tis not the king, that sends you to the Tower;
Was it not she, and that good man of worship,
That made him send Lord Hastings to the Tower;
We are not safe, Clarence, we are not safe.
Clar. By heaven, I think, there is no man secure, But the queen's kindred, and night-walking heralds That trudge betwixt the king and Mistress Shore. Heard you not, what an humble suppliant Lord Hastings was to her for his delivery? Glo. Humbly complaining to her deity Got my lord chamberlain his liberty. I'll tell you what,—I think, it is our way, If we will keep in favour with the king, To be her men, and wear her livery: The jealous o'er-worn widow, and herself 11, Since that our brother dubb'd them gentlewomen, Are mighty gossips in this monarchy.
Brak. I beseech your graces both to pardon me; His majesty hath straitly given in charge, That no man shall have private conference, what degree soever, with his brother.
Even so? an please your worship, Brakenbury,
frames his temper, moulds it to this extremity. This s often used in the same figurative sense by Spenser and cotemporaries of Shakspeare.
Now will I to that old Andronicus;
And temper him with all the art I have,
To pluck proud Lucius from the warlike Goths.'
11 The Queen and Shore.
You may partake of any thing we say:
A bonny eye, a passing pleasing tongue;
And that the queen's kindred are made gentlefolks: How say you, sir? can you deny all this?
Brak. With this, my lord, myself have naught to do.
Glo. Naught to do with mistress Shore? I tell thee, fellow,
He that doth naught with her, excepting one,
Glo. Her husband, knave:-Would'st thou be-
Brak. I beseech your grace to pardon me; and, withal,
Forbear your conference with the noble duke. Clar. We know thy charge, Brakenbury, and will obey 13
Glo. We are the queen's abjects 14, and must obey.
12 This odd expression was preceded by others equally singular, expressing what we now call' an advanced age.' Thus in Arthur Hall's translation of the first book of Homer's Iliad, 1581:
'In Grea's forme, the good handmaid, nowe wel ystept
And in Spenser's Faerie Queene, book v. can. 6:
'Well shot in years he seem'd.'
Warton has justly observed that, by an imperceptible progression from one kindred sense to another, words at length obtain a meaning entirely foreign to their etymology.'
13 This and the three preceding speeches were probably all designed for prose. It is at any rate impossible that this line could have been intended for metre.
14 i.e. the lowest of her subjects. This substantive is found in Psalm xxxv. 15:- Yea the very abjects came together against
Brother, farewell: I will unto the king;
Mean time, this deep disgrace in brotherhood,
Clar. I know it pleaseth neither of us well.
Glo. Well, your imprisonment shall not be long; I will deliver you, or else lie for you 15:
Mean time, have patience.
I must perforce; farewell. [Exeunt CLARENCE, BRAKENBURY, and Guard.
Glo. Go, tread the path that thou shalt ne'er re
Simple, plain Clarence!-I do love thee so,
Hast. Good time of day unto my gracious lord!
me unawares, making mouths at me, and ceased not.' Again, in Chapman's translation of Homer's Odyssey, 21st book:'Whither? rogue! abject! wilt thou bear from us That bow propos'd?'
Again in the same author's version of Homer's Hymn to Venus:That thou wilt never let me live to be
An abject, after so divine degree
Taken in fortune.'
15 He means,
'or else be imprisoned in your stead.' To lie signified anciently to reside, or remain in a place, as appears by many instances in these volumes.