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Line 545. Or make my ill,] My ill, is my ill usage. MALONE.
ACT III. SCENE I.
The Parliament-House.] This parliament was held in 1426, at Leicester, though the author of this play has represented it to have been held in London. King Henry was now in the fifth year of his age. In the first parliament which was held at London shortly after his father's death, his mother queen Katharine brought the young king from Windsor to the metropolis, and sat on the throne of the parliament-house with the infant in her lap. MALONE.
-put up a Bill;] i. e. articles of accusation, for in this sense the word bill was sometimes used. So, in Nashe's Have with you to Saffron Walden, 1596: "That's the cause we have so manie bad workmen now adaies: put up a bill against them next parliament." MALONE.
Line 45. Thou bastard of my grandfather,] The bishop of Winchester was an illegitimate son of John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster, by Katharine Swynford, whom the duke afterwards married. MALONE.
Line 56. Roam thither then.] Roam to Rome. To roam is supposed to be derived from the cant of vagabonds, who often pretended a pilgrimage to Rome. JOHNSON. -unaccustom'd fight-] Unaccustom'd is unseemly, indecent. JOHNSON. Line 112. —an inkhorn mate,] A bookman. JOHNSON. 149. -hath a kindly gird.] i. e. feels an emotion of kind remorse. JOHNSON. Line 194. in reguerdon of that duty done,] Recompence, JOHNSON.
Line 220. So will this base and envious discord breed.] That is, so will the malignity of this discord propagate itself, and advance. JOHNSON.
ACT III. SCENE II.
Line 248. Here enter'd Pucelle, and her practisants:] Practice, in the language of that time, was treachery, and perhaps in the
softer sense stratagem. Practisants are therefore confederates in stratagems. JOHNSON. Line 255. Nɔ way to that,] That is, no way equal to that, no way so fit as that. JOHNSON.
Line 350. -save myself by flight;] I have no doubt that it was the exaggerated representation of sir John Fastolfe's cowardice which the author of this play has given, that induced Shakspeare to give the name of Falstaff to his knight. Sir John Fastolfe did indeed fly at the battle of Patay in the year 1429; and is reproached by Talbot in a subsequent scene, for his conduct on that occasion; but no historian has said that he fled before Rouen. The change of the name had been already made, for throughout the old copy of this play, this flying general is erroneously called Falstaffe. MALONE.
Dies, &c.] The duke of Bedford died at Rouen in September, 1435, but not in any action before that town. MALONE.
Line 440. As looks the mother on her lowly babe,] It is plain Shakspeare wrote-lovely babe, it answering to fertile France above, which this domestic image is brought to illustrate.
The alteration is easy and probable, but perhaps the poet by lowly babe meant the babe lying low in death. Lowly answers as well to town defaced and wasting ruin, as lovely to fertile.
Line 477. —these haughty words of hers
Have batter'd me like roaring cannon-shot,] How these lines came hither I know not; there was nothing in the speech of Joan haughty or violent, it was all soft entreaty and mild expostulation. JOHNSON. Dr. Johnson mistakes the meaning of haughty; it simply means high, exalted.
Line 485. Done like a Frenchman; turn, and turn again!] The inconstancy of the French was always the subject of satire. I have read a dissertation written to prove that the index of the wind upon our steeples was made in form of a cock, to ridicule the French for their frequent changes. JOHNSON.
ACT III. SCENE IV.
Line 516. I do remember how my father said,] The author of this play was not a very correct historian. Henry was but nine months old when his father died, and never saw him. MALone. Line 521. Or been reguerdon'd—] i. e. recompensed.
539. That, who so draws a sword, 'tis present death;] Shakspeare wrote:
-draws a sword i'th' presence 't's death;
i. e. in the court, or in the presence chamber. WARBURTON. This reading cannot be right, because, as Mr. Edwards observed, it cannot be pronounced. It is, however, a good comment, as it shews the author's meaning. JOHNSON.
ACT IV. SCENE I.
Line 76. I am prevented,] Prevented is here, anticipated; a Latinism. MALONE.
did repugn the truth,] To repugn is to resist. 196. And, if I wist, he did,] York says he is not pleased that the king should prefer the red rose, the badge of Somerset his enemy; Warwick desires him not to be offended at it, as he dares say the king meant no harm. To which York, yet unsatisfied, hastily adds, in a menacing tone,-If I thought he did ;but he instantly checks his threat with, let it rest. It is an example of a rhetorical figure, which our author has elsewhere used.
Line 209. 'Tis much,] In our author's time this phrase meant-Tis strange, or wonderful. MALONE.
Line 210. —when envy breeds unkind division;] Envy in old English writers frequently means enmity. Unkind is unnatural. MALONE.
ACT IV. SCENE II.
Line 222. Lean famine, quartering steel, and climbing fire;] The author of this play followed Hall's Chronicle: "The Goddesse of warre, called Bellona- hath these three hand maides ever of necessitie attendyng on her; Bloud, Fire, and Famine; whiche thre damosels be of that force and strength that every one of
them alone is able and sufficient to torment and afflict a proud prince; and they all joyned together are of puissance to destroy the most populous country and most richest region of the world." MALONE.
Line 240. To rive their dangerous artillery-] Rive their artillery seems to mean charge their artillery so much as to endanger their bursting.
-due thee withal;] To due is to endue, to deck, JOHNSON. Line 259. be then in blood:] Be in high spirits, be of true mettle. JOHNSON. Line 260. Not rascal-like,] A rascal deer is the term of chase for lean poor deer. JOHNSON. Line 262. with heads of steel,] Continuing the image of of deer, he supposes the lances to be their horns. JOHNSON.
ACT IV. SCENE III.
Line 283. And I am lowted-] To lowt may signifiy to depress, to lower, to dishonour; but I do not remember it so used. We may read—And I am flouted; I am mocked, and treated with contempt. JOHNSON.
I believe the meaning is: I am treated with contempt like a lowt, or low country fellow. MALONE. Line 314. And now they meet where both their lives are done.] i. e. expended, consumed. The word is yet used in this sense in the Western counties. MALONE.
Line 324. Thus, while the vulture of sedition-] Alluding to the tale of Prometheus.
ACT IV. SCENE IV.
Line 344. from bought and sold lord Talbot ;] i. e. from one utterly ruined by the treacherous practices of others. MALONE. in advantage ling'ring,] Protracting his resistance by the advantage of a strong post. JOHNSON.
Or, perhaps, endeavouring by every means that he can, with advantage to himself, to linger out the action, &c. MALONE.
-a feast of death,] To a field where death will JOHNSON.
Line 392. be feasted with slaughter.
Line 402. noble Talbot stood.] For what reason this scene is written in rhyme, I cannot guess. If Shakspeare had not in other plays mingled his rhymes and blank verses in the same manner, I should have suspected that this dialogue had been a part of some other poem which was never finished, and that being loath to throw his labour away, he inserted it here.
ACT IV. SCENE VI.
Line 496. On that advantage, bought with such a shame, (To save a paltry life, and slay bright fame,)] The sense is-Before young Talbot fly from his father, (in order to save his life while he destroys his character,) on, or for the sake of, the advantages you mention, namely, preserving our household's name, &c. may my coward horse drop down dead!
ACT IV. SCENE VII.
Line 514. Triumphant death, smear'd with captivity!] That is, death stained and dishonoured with captivity. JOHNSON, Line 521. Tend'ring my ruin,] Watching me with tenderness in my fall. JOHNSON. Line 530. Thou antick death,] The fool, or antick of the play, made sport by mocking the graver personages. JOHNSON.
Line 534. -winged through the lither sky,] Lither is flexible or yielding. In much the same sense Milton says: 66 -He with broad sails "Winnow'd the buxom air."
That is, the obsequious air.
-raging-wood,] Wood here means mad. 552. -in Frenchmen's blood!] The return of rhyme where young Talbot is again mentioned, and in no other place, strengthens the suspicion that these verses were originally part of