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London. The Temple Garden.
Enter the Earls of SOMERSET, SUFFOLK, and WARWICK; RICHARD PLANTAGENET, VERNON, and another Lawyer.*
PLAN. Great lords, and gentlemen what means this filence?
Dare no man answer in a cafe of truth?
SUF. Within the Temple hall we were too loud; The garden here is more convenient.
PLAN. Then fay at once, If I maintain'd the truth;
Or, elfe, was wrangling Somerfet in the error? 3
SOм. Judge you, my lord of Warwick, then be
WAR. Between two hawks, which flies the higher pitch.
Between two dogs, which hath the deeper mouth,
and another Lawyer.] Read. -a lawyer. This lawyer was probably Roger Nevyle, who was afterward hanged. W. Wyrcefter, p. 478. RITSON.
3 Or, elfe, was wrangling Somerset in the error?] So all the editions. There is apparently a want of oppofition between the two queftions. I once read,
Or else was wrangling Somerset i'th' right? JOHNSON.
Sir T. Hanmer would read:
Betwen two blades, which bears the better tem
Between two horfes, which doth bear him best. 3
PLAN. Tat, tut, here is a mannerly forbearance:
SOM. And on my fide it is fo well apparell'd; So clear, fo fhining, and fo evident,
That it will glimmer through a blind man's eye. PLAN. Since you are tongue-ty'd, and fo loath to speak,
In dumb fignificants' proclaim your thoughts:
From off this briar pluck a white rofe with me. 5
bear him beft,] i. e. regulate his motions moft adroitly. So, in Romeo and Juliet:
"He bears him like a portly gentleman." STEEVENS,
In dumb fignificants-] I fufpect, we should read—fignificance.
I believe the old reading is the true one. So, in Love's Labour's Loft: "Bear this fignificant [i. e. a letter ] to the country maid, Jaquenetta." STEEVENS.
5 From off this briar pluck a white rofe with me.] This is given as the original of the two badges of the houfes of York and Lancafter, whether truly or not, is no great matter. But the proverbial expreffion of faying a thing under the rofe. I am perfuaded, came from thence. When the nation had ranged itfelf into two great factions, under the white and red rofe, and were perpetually plotting and counterplotting against one another, then, when a matter of faction was communicated by either party to his friend in the fame quarrel, it was natural for him to add, that he faid it
SOм. Let him that is no coward, nor no flat
But dare maintain the party of the truth,
Pluck a red rofe from off this thorn with me.
WAR. I love no colours;
Of base infinuating flattery,
and, without all co
I pluck this white rofe, with Plantagenet.
VER. Stay, lords, and gentlemen; and pack no
Till you conclude that he, upon whofe fide
under the rofe; meaning that, as it concerned the faction, it was religiously to be kept fecret. WARBURTON.
This is ingenious! What pity, that it is not learned too? The rofe (as the fables fay) was the fymbol of filence, and confecrated by Cupid to Harpocrates, to conceal the lewd pranks of his mother. So common a book as Lloyd's Dictionary might have inftru&ed Dr. Warburton in this. "Huic Harpocrati Cupido Veneris filius parentis fuæ rofam dedit in munus, ut fcilicet fi quid licentius dictum, vel a&um fit in convivio, fciant tacenda effe omnia. Atque idcirco veteres ad finem convivii fub rofa, Anglice under the rofe, tranfa&a effe omnia ante digreffum conteftabantur; cujus formæ vis eadem effet, atque ifta, Mic@ μváμova CYμTÓTUV. Probant hanc rem verfus qui reperiuntur in marmore:
"Eft rofa flos Veneris, cujus quo furta laterent,
6 I love no colours; ] Colours is here used ambiguously for tints
and deceits. JOHNSON.
So, in Love's Labour's Loft: (6
I do fear colourable colours."
SOM. Good master Vernon, it is well objected;? If I have feweft, I fubfcribe in filence.
PLAN. And I.
VER. Then, for the truth and plainnefs of the cafe, I pluck this pale and maiden bloffom here, Giving my verdict on the white rofe fide.
SOM. Prick not your finger as you pluck it off; Left, bleeding, you do paint the white rose red, And fall on my fide fo against your will.
VER. If I, my lord, for my opinion bleed,
Sом. Well, well, come on: Who elfe?
For pale they look with fear, as witneffing
'Tis not for fear; but anger,—that thy cheeks
7 well objected; Properly thrown in our way, justly propofed. JOHNSON.
So, in Chapman's Verfion of the 21ft Book of Homer's Odyssey "Excites Penelope t'objed the prize,
"(The bow and bright fteeles) to the woers' strength." STEEVENS.
but anger,——that thy cheeks &c.] i. e. it is not for fear that my cheeks look pale, but for anger; anger produced by this circumftance, namely, that thy cheeks bluth, &c. MALONE.
Blush for pure fhame, to counterfeit our rofes; And yet thy tongue will not confefs thy error. PLAN. Hath not thy rose a canker, Somerset? SOM. Hath not thy rofe a thorn, Plantagenet? PLAN. Ay, fharp and piercing, to maintain his truth;
Whiles thy confuming canker eats his falfehood. SOм. Well, I'll find friends to wear my bleeding roles,
That fhall maintain what I have faid is true,
PLAN. Now, by this maiden bloffom in my hand, I fcorn thee and thy fashion," peevish boy.
9 I fcorn thee and thy fashion,] So the old copies read, and rightly. Mr. Theobald altered it to faction, not confidering that by fashion is meant the badge of the red rofe, which Somerset faid he and his friends would be diftinguished by. But Mr. Theobald afks, If faction was not the true reading, why Should Suffolk immediately reply,
Turn not thy corns this way, Plantagenet.
Why? becaufe Plantagenet had called Somerfet, with whom Suffolk fided, peevish boy. WARBURton.
Mr. Theobald with great probability reads-fadlion. Plantagenet
afterward uses the fame word:
this pale and angry rofe
We fhould un
"Will I for ever, and my fadion, wear.' In King Henry V. we have pation for pation. doubtedly read-and thy faction. The old fpelling of this word was faccion, and hence fashion eafily crept into the text. So, in Hall's Chronicle, EDWARD IV. fol. xxii.
we ought to beleve to be fent from God, and of hym onely to bee provided a kynge, for to extinguifh both the faccions and partes [i. e. parties of Kyng Henry the VI. and of Kyng Edward the fourth." MALONE.
As fashion might have been meant to convey the meaning affigned to it by Dr. Warburton, I have left the text as I found it, allow ing at the fame time the merit of the emendation offered by Mr. Theobald, and countenance by Mr. Malone. STEEVENS.