Page images
PDF
EPUB

do thee grace,

that should reward valour bear the sin

upon
their

own heads. I'll take it upon my death, I gave him this wound in the thigh : if the man were alive, and would deny it, 'zounds! I would make him eat a piece of my sword. .

P. John. This is the strangest tale that e'er I heard.

P. Hen. This is the strangest fellow, brother John.-
Come, bring your luggage nobly on your back:
For my part, if a lie may
I'll gild it with the happiest terms I have.

[A Retreat is sounded.
The trumpet sounds retreat; the day is our's.
Come, brother, let us to the highest of the field,
To see what friends are living, who are dead.

[Exeunt Prince HENRY and Prince JOHN. Fal. I'll follow, as they say, for reward. He that rewards me, God reward him! If I do grow great', I'll grow less; for I'll purge, and leave sack, and live cleanly, as a nobleman should do.

[Exit, dragging out the Body.

SCENE V.

Another Part of the Field.

The Trumpets sound. Enter King HENRY, Prince HENRY,

Prince JOHN, WESTMORELAND, and Others, with WORCESTER, and VERNON, prisoners.

K. Hen. Thus ever did rebellion find rebuke.
Ill-spirited Worcester, did we not send grace,
Pardon, and terms of love to all of

you
And wouldst thou turn our offers contrary?
Misuse the tenor of thy kinsman's trust ?
Three knights upon our party slain to-day,
A noble earl, and many a creature else,
Had been alive this hour,
If, like a Christian, thou hadst truly borne
Betwixt our armies true intelligence.

Wor. What I have done, my safety urg'd me to;
And I embrace this fortune patiently,

1 If I do grow great,] The folio alone inserts again after “ injury of the antithesis, and of the poet's meaning.

great," to the

we will

Which not to be avoided falls on me?.

K. Hen. Bear Worcester to the death, and Vernon too: Other offenders

pause upon. —

[Exeunt WORCESTER and VERNON, guarded. How goes

the field ?
P. Hen. The noble Scot, lord Douglas, when he saw
The fortune of the day quite turn’d from him,
The noble Percy slain, and all his men
Upon the foot of fear, fled with the rest ;
And falling from a hill he was so bruis’d,
That the pursuers took him. At my tent
The Douglas is, and I beseech your grace,
I may dispose of him.
K. Hen.

With all my heart.
P. Hen. Then, brother John of Lancaster, to you
This honourable bounty shall belong.
Go to the Douglas, and deliver him
Up to his pleasure, ransomless, and free:
His valour, shown upon our crests to-day,
Hath taught us how to cherish such high deeds °,
Even in the bosom of our adversaries.

P. John. I thank your grace for this high courtesy,
Which I shall give away immediately *.

us

ܙܙ

2 Which not to be avoided falls on me.] There can hardly be a doubt that this is the line Shakespeare wrote, and not, as it lamely stands in the old copies (lamely as regards both metre and meaning),

Since not to be avoided it falls on me." The emendation is from the corr. fo. 1632; and in the next line "the" is omitted in the folio, 1623, but found in the corr. fo. 1632, and in all the other early impressions: the line is evidently imperfect without “the." 3 Hath taught us how to cherish such high deeds,] Malone prints "shown

for “ taught us," though “ shown occurs in the line immediately preceding. His avowed reason was, that the 4to, 1598, has shown us ;" but this is a mistake (into which Steevens also fell, taking Malone's representation of the fact), for not only has the 4to, 1598, taught us,” but every subsequent copy, 4to. and folio : we have seen no old impression with "shown us.” 4 I thank your grace for this high courtesy,

Which I shall give away immediately.] This reply of Prince John of Lan. caster is found in the 4tos. of 1598, 1599, 1604, and 1608, but not in those of 1613, 1639, nor in the folio, 1623. The old corrector of the folio, 1632, inserted the two lines, as, perhaps, he had heard them delivered in his time, and they may possibly be as Shakespeare wrote them ; but we only subjoin them in a note, without venturing to displace what well answers the purpose, and has come down to us on the authority of the four earliest editions: the lines in the corr. fo. 1632 thus stand :

“ I thank your grace for this high courtesy,
Which I shall put in act without delay."

K. Hen. Then this remains,—that we divide our power.You, son John, and my cousin Westmoreland Towards York shall bend you, with your dearest speed, To meet Northumberland, and the prelate Scroop, Who, as we hear, are busily in arms: Myself, and you, son Harry, will towards Wales, To fight with Glendower and the earl of March. Rebellion in this land shall lose his sway', Meeting the check of such another day: And since this business so fair is done, Let us not leave till all our own be won.

[Exeunt.

Nothing can be more natural than that Prince John should make some acknowledgment to his brother, and whether it was that we have above quoted, or that placed in our text, we do not pretend to decide. Mr. Singer tells us that “this speech of Lancaster is omitted in the folio :" this is true, but he seems not to have known that it is wanting also in the 4to. from which the folio was printed.

5 Rebellion in this land shall lose his sway,] Nobody seems to have remarked upon a singular variation in the old copies in this line: it is “ lose his sway" in the earlier 4tos, and lose his way" in the 4to, 1613, and in the folios. The error is the opposite of that pointed out, and corrected, in the second part of this play, A. iv. sc. 1, where “Let’s away on ” has been corrupted to “Let us sway on," from mishearing. In the case before us, “lose his sway " has been corrupted to “ lose his way," no doubt from a similar cause. In neither instance can we hesitate as to the true language of Shakespeare. The same remark will apply to the line in “ Henry VIII.,” A. i. sc. 3, where Lord Sands ought to say of Wolsey,

“Men of his sway should be most liberal ;" but where it is misprinted, and has always been reprinted,

“Men of his way should be most liberal." The scribe, or the compositor, misheard “his sway,” and wrote, or printed, his way. Shakespeare, of course, meant men of Wolsey's power and influence.

SECOND PART

OF

KING HENRY IV.

“ The Second part of Henrie the fourth, continuing to his death, and coronation of Henrie the fift. With the humours of Sir John Falstaffe, and swaggering Pistoll. As it hath been sundrie times publikely acted by the right honourable, the Lord Chamberlaine his seruants. Written by William Shakespeare. London Printed by V. S. for Andrew Wise, and William Aspley. 1600.” 4to. 43 leaves.

Other copies of the same edition, in 4to, not containing Sign. E 5 and E 6, have only 41 leaves.

In the folio, 1623, “ The Second Part of Henry the Fourth, containing his Death: and the Coronation of King Henry the Fift,” occupies twenty-nine pages in the division of “Histories,” viz. from p. 74 to p. 102 inclusive, the last two not being numbered. Pages 89 and 90, by an error of the press, are numbered 91 and 92. In the reprint of the folio, 1632, this mistake is repeated. In the two later folios the pagination is continued from the beginning to the end of what may be called the authentic plays.

« PreviousContinue »