« PreviousContinue »
And none but women left to wail the dead.
Was there ever such nonsense! But he did not know that ma. rish is an old word for marsh or fen; and therefore very judiciously thus corrected by Mr. Pope. Warburton.
We should certainly read-marish. So, in The Spanish Tra. gedy: “Made mountains marsh, with spring-tides of my tears."
Ritson. I have been informed, that what we call at present a stew, in which fish are preserved alive, was anciently called a nourish. Nourice, however, Fr. a nurse, was anciently speit many different ways, among which nourish was one. So, in Syr Eglamour of Artois, bl. I no date:
“Of that chyide she was blyth,
“ After nor,shes she sent belive." A nourish therefore in this passage of our author may signify a nurse, as it apparently does in the Tragedies of John Bochas, by Lydgate, B. I, c. xii:
« Athenes whan it was in his floures
Arida nutris. Steevens.
“ Chaucer, the nourice of antiquity.” Malone. 2 Than Julius Cæsar, or bright - I can't guess the occasion of the hemistich and imperfect sense in this place; 'tis not im. possible it might have been filled up with-Francis Drake, though that were a terrible anachronism (as bad as Hector's quoting Aristotle in Troilus and Cressida); yet perhaps at the time that brave Englishman was in his glory, to an English-hearted audi. ence, and pronounced by some favourite actor, the thing might be popular, though not judicious; and, therefore, by some cri. tick in favour of the author, afterwards struck out. But this is a mere slight conjecture. Pope
To confute the slight conjecture of Pope, a whole page of re. hement opposition is annexed to this passage by Theobald. Sir Thomas Hanmer has stopped at Cæsar-perhaps more judicious. ly. It might, however, have been written-or bright Berenice.
Fohnson. Pope's conjecture is confirmed by this peculiar circumstance, that two blazing stars (the Julium sidus) are part of the arms of the Drake family. It is well known that families and arms were much more attended to in Shakspeare's time, than they are at this day, M. Mason..
Enter a Messenger. Mess. My honourable lords, health to you all! Sad tidings bring I to you out of France, Of loss, of slaughter, and discomfiture: Guienne, Champaigne, Rheims, Orleans, Paris, Guysors, Poictiers, are all quite lost. Bed. What say'st thou, man, before dead Henry's
corse? Speak softly; or the loss of those great towns Will make him burst his lead, and rise from death.
Glo. Is Paris lost? is Roüen yielded up? If Henry were recall’d to life again, These news would cause him once more yield the ghost.
Exe. How were they lost? what treachery was us’d?
Mess. No treachery; but want of men and money. Among the soldiers this is muttered, That here you maintain several factions; And, whilst a field should be despatch'd and fought, You are disputing of your generals. One would have ling’ring wars, with little cost; Another would fly swift, but wanteth wings; A third man thinks, without expense at all, By guileful fair words peace may be obtain'd. Awake, awake, English nobility! Let not sloth dim your honours, new-begot: Cropp'd are the flower-de-luces in your arms; Of England's coat one half is cut away.
Exe. Were our tears wanting to this funeral, These tidings would call forth her flowing tides.'
Bed. Me they concern; regent I am of France:
This blank undoubtedly arose from the transcriber's or compositor's not being able to make out the name. So, in a subsequent passage the word Nero.was omitted for the same reason. See the Dissertation at the end of the third part of King Henry VI.
Malone. 3 Guienne, Champaigne, Rheims, Orleans,] This verse might be completed by the insertion of Rouen among the places lost, as Gloster in his next speech infers that it had been mentioned with the rest. Steevens.
4 A third man thinks,] Thus the second folio. The first omits the word-man, and consequently leaves the verse imperfect.
Stecoens. - her flowing tides.] i. e. England's flowing tides. Malone:
Give me my steeled coat, I 'll fight for France. -
Enter another Messenger. 2 Mess. Lords, view these letters, full of bad mis
Exe. The Dauphin crowned king! all fly to him! 0, whither shall we fly from this reproach
Glo. We will not fly, but to our enemies' throats : Bedford, if thou be slack, I 'll fight it out.
Bed. Gloster, why doubt'st thou of my forwardness? An army have I muster'd in my thoughts, Wherewith already France is over-run.
Enter a third Messenger. 3 Mess. My gracious lords,--to add to your laments, Wherewith you now bedew king Henry's hearse,I must inform you of a dismal fight, Betwixt the stout lord Talbot and the French.
Win. What! wherein Talbot overcame? is 't so?
3 Mess. O, no; wherein lord Talbot was o'erthrown: The circumstance I 'll tell you more at large. The tenth of August last, this dreadful lord, Retiring from the siege of Orleans, Having full scarce six thousand in his troop,? By three and twenty thousand of the French Was round encompassed and set upon: No leisure had he to enrank his men; He wanted pikes to set before his archers; Instead whereof, sharp stakes, pluck'd out of hedges,
their intermissive miseries.] i. e. their miseries, which have had only a short intermission from Henry the Fifth's death to my coming amongst them. Warburton.
7 Having full scarce &c.] The modern editors read-scarce full, but, I think, unnecessarily. So, in The Tempest:
Prospero, master of a full poor cell.” Steevens.
They pitched in the ground confusedly,
above human thought, Enacted wonders ] So, in King Richard III:
“ The king enacts more wonders than a man.” Steevens.
he slew :) I suspect the author wrote fiew. Malone. 1 And rush'd into the bowels of the battle.] Again, in the fifth Act of this play:
“So, rushing in the bowels of the French." The same phrase had occurred in the first part of Jeronimo, 1605:
“ Meet, Don Andrea! yes, in the battle's bowels.” Steerens. 2 If sir Fohn Fastolfe &c.] Mr. Pope has taken notice, “ That Falstaff is here introduced again, who was dead in Henry V. The occasion whereof is, that this play was written before King Henry IV, or King Henry V.” But it is the historical Sir John Fastolfe (for so he is called by both our Chroniclers) that is here mention. ed; who was a lieutenant general, deputy regent to the duke of Bedford in Normandy, and a knight of the garter; and not the comick character afterwards introduced by our author, and which was a creature merely of his own brain. Nor when he named him Falstaff do I believe he had any intention of throwing a slur on the memory of this renowned old warrior. Theobald.
Mr. Theobald might have seen his notion contradicted in the very line he quotes from. Fastolfe, whether truly or not, is said by Hall and Holinshed to have been degraded for cowardice. Dr. Heylin, in his Saint George for England, tells us, that “he was afterwards, upon good reason by him alledged in his defence, restored to his honour.". -“ This Sir John Fastolfe,” continues he, “was without doubt, a valiant and wise captain, notwithstanding the stage hath made merry with him." Farmer.
3. He being in the vaward, (plac'd behind,] Some of the editors seem to have considered this as a contradiction in terms, and
With purpose to relieve and follow them,)
Bed. Is Talbot slain? then I will slay myself,
3 Mess. O no, he lives; but is took prisoner,
Bed. His ransome there is none but I shall pay:
3 Mess. So you had need; for Orleans is besieg'd;
Exe. Remember, lords, your oaths to Henry sworn;
Bed. I do remember it; and here take leave,
have proposed to read—the rearward,--but without necessity. Some part of the van must have been behind the foremost line of it. We often say the back front of a house. Steedens.
When an army is attacked in the rear, the van becomes the rear in its turn, and of course the reserve. M. Mason,