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With that half-face would he have all my land :
Rob. My gracious liege, when that my father liv'd,
Bast. Well, sir, by this you cannot get my land :
Rob. And once despatch'd him in an embassy
K. John. Sirrah, your brother is legitimate;
a That half-face is a correction by Theobald, which appears just, the first folio giving "half that face.” For an explanation of half-suce, see Illustrations.
Rob. Shall then my father's will be of no force, To dispossess that child which is not his?
Bast. Of no more force to dispossess me, sir,
Eli. Whether hadst thou rather be a Faulconbridge,
Bast. Madam, an if my brother had my shape,
Eli. I like thee well: Wilt thou forsake thy fortune,
Eli. Nay, I would have you go before me thither.
à Presence may here mean “priority of place," préséance. As the son of Cæurde-lion, Faulconbridge would take rank without his land. Warburton judged it
master of thyself.” If this interpretation be correct, the passage may have suggested the lines in Sir Henry Wotton's song on a ' Happy Life,'
“ Lord of himself, though not of lands,
And, having nothing, yet hath all.” We are inclined to receive it in the sense of the man's whole carriage and appearance—“a goodly presence."
b Sir Robert his. This is the old form of the genitive, such as all who have looked into a legal instrument know, Faulconbridge says,
“ If I had his shapesir Robert's shape—as he has.”
c To his shape-in addition to his shape.
d We have given the text of the folio_“It would not be sir Nob,”-not“ / would not be." “ This face,” he says, “would not be sir Nob.” Nob is now, and was in Shakspere's time, a cant word for the head.
K. John. What is thy name?
Bast. Philip, my liege; so is my name begun; Philip, good old sir Robert's wife's eldest son. K. John. From henceforth bear his name whose form thou
Eli. The very spirit of Plantagenet !
Bast. Madam, by chance, but not by truth: What though? Something about, a little from the right,
In at the window, or else o'er the hatch; Who dares not stir by day must walk by night;
And have is have, however men do catch: Near or far off, well won is still well shot; And I am I, howe'er I was begot.
K. John. Go, Faulconbridge; now hast thou thy desire, A landless knight makes thee a landed squire. Come, madam, and come, Richard; we must speed For France, for France; for it is more than need.
Bast. Brother, adieu ; Good fortune come to thee! For thou wast got i' the way of honesty.
[Exeunt all but the Bastard. A foot of honour better than I was; But
many a many foot of land the worse. Well, now can I make any Joan a lady. Good den, sir Richard, God-a-mercy, fellow; And if his name be George, I 'll call him Peter: For new-made honour doth forget men's names; ’T is too respective, and too sociable,
In at the window, &c. These were proverbial expressions, which, by analogy with irregular modes of entering a house, had reference to cases such as that of Faulconbridge's, wbich he gently terms “a little from the right."
b Good den--good evening --- good e'en. (See Note to “Romeo and Juliet.")
a Conversion. This is the reading of the folio, but was altered, by Pope, to conversing. The Bastard, whose “new-made honour” is a conversion,-a change of condition,—would say that to remember men's names (opposed, by implication, to forget) is too respective (punctilious, discriminating) and too sociable for one of his newly attained rank.
b Picked man of countries. “6 The travelled fool," the pert, conceited, talking spark,” of the modern fable, is the old “picked man of countries.” “ To pick "? is the same as “ to trim.” Steevens says it is a metaphor derived from the action of birds in picking their feathers. “He is too picked, too spruce, too affected," occurs in ‘Love's Labour 's Lost,' Act V.
Absey-book, the common name for the first, or A, B, C, book. The Catechism was generally included in these books ; and thus the reference in the text to “question” and “answer.”
d Smack. The original has smoke,
But who comes in such haste, in riding robes ?
Enter Lady FaulCONBRIDGE and JAMES GURNEY.
Lady F. Where is that slave, thy brother? where is he? That holds in chase mine honour up and down?
Bast. My brother Robert? old sir Robert's son?
seek so? Lady F. Sir Robert’s son! Ay, thou unreverend boy, Sir Robert's son :
Why scorn'st thou at sir Robert ?
Bast. James Gurney, wilt thou give us leave a while ?
Lady F. Hast thou conspired with thy brother too, That for thine own gain shouldst defend mine honour? What means this scorn, thou most untoward knave ?
Bast. Knight, knight, good mother, Basilisco-like:b
Philip ?- sparrow! The sparrow was called Philip,-perhaps from his note, out of which Catullus, in his elegy on Lesbia's sparrow, formed a verb, pipilabat. When Gurney calls the bastard“ good Philip,” the new “Sir Richard” tosses off the name with contempt—“sparrow !" He then puts aside James, with “anon I 'll tell thee more."
b Basilisco-like. Basilisco is a character in a play of Shakspere's time, “Soliman and Perseda,' from which Tyrwhitt quotes a passage which may have suggested the words of the Bastard. The oaths of Basilisco became proverbial. Basilisco is mentioned by Nash, in 1596.