Page images

And chide the cripple tardy-gaited night,
Who, like a foul and ugly witch, doth limp
So tediously away. The poor condemned English',
Like sacrifices, by their watchful fires
Sit patiently, and inly ruminate
The morning's danger; and their gesture sad,
Investing lank-lean cheeks ', and war-worn coats,
Presenteth them? unto the gazing moon

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

7 The confident and over-lusty French,

- The poor condemned English,] Our classical readers will not be displeased with an opportunity of comparing Shakspeare's picture of the French and English camps with that of the Barbarian and Roman troops, as exhibited in a night-scene by the masterly pencil of Tacitus, Annal. I. Ixv. : “ Nox per diversa inquies : cùm Barbari festis epulis, læto cantu, aut truci sonore subjecta vallium ac resultantes saltus complerent; apud Romanos invalidi ignes, interruptæ voces, atque ipsi passim adjacerent vallo, oberrarent tentoriis, insomnes magis quàm pervigiles. Ducemque terruit dira quies." STEEVENS.

8 Investing lank-lean cheeks,] A gesture investing cheeks and coats is nonsense. We should read :

Invest in lank-lean cheeks " which is sense; i. e. their sad gesture was clothed, or set off, in lean cheeks and worn coats. The image is strong and picturesque. WARBURTON. I fancy Shakspeare might have written :

“In fasting lank-lean cheeks, " Heath. Change is unnecessary. The harshness of the metaphor is what offends, which means only, that their looks are invested in mournful gestures.

Such another harsh metaphor occurs in Much Ado about Nothing:

** For my part, I am so attir'd in wonder,

“I know not what to say." STEEVENS. Gesture only relates to their cheeks, after which word there should be a comma, as in the first folio. In the second Song of Sidney's Astrophel and Stella :

" Anger invests the face with a lovely grace.” Tollet. 9 Presenteth them —] The old copy reads-presented. But the present time runs throughout the whole of the description, except in this instance, where the change seems very improper. I believe we should read, with Hanmer, presenteth. STEEVENS.

The emendation, in my opirion, needs no justification. The


[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]


[ocr errors]

So many horrid ghosts. O, now, who will behold
The royal captain of this ruin'd band,
Walking from watch to watch, from tent to tent,
Let him cry-Praise and glory on his head!
For forth he goes, and visits all his host;
Bids them good-morrow, with a modest smile;
And calls them-brothers, friends, and countrymen.
Upon his royal face there is no note,
How dread an army hath enrounded him;
Nor doth he dedicate one jot of colour
Unto the weary and all-watched night :
But freshly looks, and over-bears attaint,
With cheerful semblance, and sweet majesty;
That every wretch, pining and pale before,
Beholding him, plucks comfort from his looks :
A largess universal, like the sun,
His liberal eye doth give to every one,
Thawing cold fear. Then, mean? and gentle all,

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

false concord is found in every page of the old editions. Here it cannot be corrected.

A passage in King Henry VI. Part III. in which the same false concord is found, may serve to support and justify the emendation here made:

“ The red rose and the white are in his face,
“ The fatal colours of our striving houses :
“ The one his purple blood right well resembleth;

“ The other his pale cheeks, methinks, presenteth."
Of the two last lines there is no trace in the old play on which
The Third Part of King Henry VI. is founded. MALONE.

[merged small][ocr errors]

His liberal eye doth give to every one,] “Non enim vox dla præceptoris, ut cæna, minus pluribus sufficit; sed ut sol, universis idem lucis calorisque largitur.” Quintil, de Instit. Orat. lib. i. c.ü. And Pope, Rape of the Lock, cant. ii. v. 14:

“ Bright as the sun, her eyes the gazers strike,
“And, like the sun, they shine on all alike.

Holt WHITE. .? -Then mean, &c.] Old copy-That mean. Malone.

As this stood, it was a most perplexed and nonsensical passage, and could not be intelligible, but as I have corrected it. The poet, addressing himself to every degree of his audience, tells

Behold, as may unworthiness define,
A little touch of Harry in the night:
And so our scene must to the battle fly;
Where, (O for pity!) we shall much disgrace-
With four or five most vile and ragged soils,

The name of Agincourt: Yet, sit and see;
Minding true things, ' by what their mockeries be.



The English Camp at Agincourt.


Vit ene

Com Don

Enter King Henry, BEDFORD, and Gloster.
K. Hen. Gloster, 'tis true, that we are in great

The greater therefore should our courage be,
Good morrow, brother Bedford.—God Almighty!
There is some soul of goodness in things evil,
Would men observingly distil it out;
For our bad neighbour makes us early stirrers,
Which is both healthful, and good husbandry:
Besides, they are our outward consciences,
And preachers to us all ; admonishing,
That we should 'dress us fairly for our end *.

[merged small][ocr errors]

them he'll show (as well as his unworthy pen and powers can describe it) a little touch or sketch of this hero in the night ; a faint resemblance of that cheerfulness and resolution which this brave prince expressed in himself, and inspired in his followers.

THEOBALD. 3 Minding true things,] To mind is the same as to call to remembrance. Johnson.

That we should ’DRESS us fairly for our end.] Dress us, I believe, means here, address us ; i. e. prepare ourselves. So before, in this play:

“ To-morrow for our march we are address'd." It should therefore be printed-'dress us. MALONE.

[ocr errors]

Thus may we gather honey from the weed,
And make a moral of the devil himself. *-*

Good morrow, old sir Thomas Erpingham:
A good soft pillow for that good white head
Were better than a churlish turf of France.
ERP. Not so, my liege; this lodging likes me

better, Since I may say~now lie I like a king. K. Hen. 'Tis good for men to love their present

Upon example; so the spirit is eased :
And, when the mind is quicken'd, out of doubt,
The organs, though defunct and dead before,
Break up their drowsy grave, and newly move
With casted slough and fresh legerity
Lend me thy cloak, sir Thomas.—Brothers both,
Commend me to the princes in our camp;
Do my good morrow to them; and, anon,
Desire them all to my pavilion.

I do not recollect that any of our author's plays affords an example of the word address thus abbreviated.

Dress, in its common acceptation, may be the true reading. So, in King Henry IV. Part I.:

“ They come like sacrifices in their trim.” Steevens. s- old sir Thomas Erpingham :] Sir Thomas Erpingham came over with Bolingbroke from Bretagne, and was one of the commissioners to receive King Richard's abdication,

EDWARDS's MS. Sir Thomas Erpingham was in Henry V.'s time warden of Dover castle. His arms are still visible on one side of the Roman pharos. STEEVENS.

o With casted SLOUGH, &c.] Slough is the skin which the serpent annually throws off, and by the change of which he is supposed to regain new vigour and fresh youth. Legerity is lightness, nimbleness, JOHNSON So, in Stanyhurst's translation of Virgil, book iv, 1582:

"His slough uncasing, himself now youthfully bleacheth." Legerity is a word vsed by Ben Jonson, in Every Man out of his Humour. ' STEEVENS.

Glo. We shall, my liege.

ERP. Shall I attend your grace ?
K. Hen.

No, my good knight;
Go with my brothers to my lords of England:
I and my bosom must debate a while,

ERP. The Lord in heaven bless thee, noble

[Exit ERPINGHAM. K. Hen. God-a-mercy, old heart! thou speakest


Enter Pistol,
Pist. Qui va ?
K. HEN. A friend.

Pist. Discuss unto me; Art thou officer ?
Or art thou base, common, and popular ?

K. Hen. I am a gentleman of a company.
Pist. Trailest thou the puissant pike 1 ?

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

Pist. As good a gentleman as the emperor.
K. Hen. Then you are a better than the king.

Pist. The king's a bawcock, and a heart of gold,
A lad of life, an imp of fame S;
Of parents good, of fist most valiant :
I kiss his dirty shoe, and from my heart-strings
I love the lovely bully. What's thy name?

K. Hen. Harry le Roy.
Pist. Le Roy! a Cornish name: art thou of

Cornish crew ?

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors]

Chapman's Revenge for Honour: k a wife

“Fit for the trayler of the puissant pike." FARMER. 8 – an imp of fame;] An imp is a shoot in its primitive sense, but means a son in Shakspeare. In Holinshed, p. 951, the last words of Lord Cromwell are preserved, who says: “- and after him that his sonne prince Edward, that goodlie impe, may long reigne over you." Steevens.

« PreviousContinue »