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He wanted pikes to set before his archers;
grew the general wreck and massacre :
Bed. Is Talbot slain ? then, I will slay myself,
? If sir John FastolFE] Mis-spelt Falstaffe in the old copies, but not of course intended for the humorous knight, who figures in “Henry IV.," Parts I. and II. and who died in “ Henry V." The text relates to the historical sir John Fastolfe, who, as Fuller complains (Worthies, 1662, p. 253), had been misrepresented on the stage, as “a Thrasonical puff,” when in fact he was “as valiant as any of his age.” However, Hall and Holinshed assert that he was degraded for cowardice, although subsequently, “ upon good reason alleged in his defence, restored to his honours."
8 He being in the VAWARD, plac'd behind] The “vaward” is the advanced body of the army (see Vol. ii. p. 447), and this passage has been hitherto thought a contradiction, inasmuch as the “vaward could not be behind." But the meaning of Shakespeare seems to be, that what was usually the “ vaward" of the army had in this instance purposely been “plac'd behind,” in order to “relieve and follow" the rest. This explanation seems to remove a difficulty felt and expressed by most of the commentators. The corr. fo. 1632 has“ rearward” for “vaward," but if that were right, "plac'd behind ” would be unnecessary: we therefore leave the text as in the old copies.
3 Mess. 0, no! he lives; but is took prisoner, And lord Scales with him, and lord Hungerford : Most of the rest slaughter'd, or took, likewise.
Bed. His ransom 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 my leave,
Glo. I'll to the Tower, with all the haste I can,
Exe. To Eltham will I, where the young king is,
Win. Each hath his place and function to attend :
- shall make all Europe quake.) “Make" and "quake" sound awkwardly, but that of itself is no sufficient reason for substituting cause, which we find in the margin of the corr. fo. 1632.
1- I intend to steal,] “I intend to send” is the word in the folios, but “steal,” as we are assured by the corr. fo. 1632, ought to be substituted: the fact was historically so, the rhyme most probable; and the old printer, who had just composed “intend," following it by send, may have fancied that it afforded the proper jingle at the conclusion of the scene. Mason was in favour of " steal," and was the first, in modern times, to propose it.
France. Before Orleans.
Flourish. Enter CHARLES, with his Forces ; ALENÇON,
REIGNIER, and others.
Alen. They want their porridge, and their fat bull-beeves :
Reig. Let's raise the siege. Why live we idly here?
Char. Sound, sound alarum ! we will rush on them.
to this day is not known.] So Nash (says Steevens) in the address to the reader before his “ Have with You to Saffron Walden," 1596 : “ You are as ignorant in the true movings of my muse, as the astronomers are in the true movings of Mars, which to this day they could never attain to.” Mr. Singer, perhaps not knowing the book itself, quotes it, second hand, by its second title.
3 THE WHILEs the famish'd English, like pale ghosts,] It is misprinted Otherwhiles in all editions, and amended (most irresistibly) in the corr. fo. 1632 as we have given it, improving the sense and correcting the measure.
the FORLORN French!] The epithet is changed to forborne in the corr. fo. 1632, and perhaps rightly, meaning ironically that the French had been spared by the English ; but we do not change the word, because the original is well adapted to the place. For a similar reason we do not amend “fly" to flee, in the next line but one, thinking that the author may purposely have intended to avoid so obvious a rhyme, existing perhaps in the unknown older play, upon which we suppose “ Henry VI., Part I.," to have been founded.
Alarums ; Excursions; afterwards a Retreat'.
Re-enter CHARLES, ALENÇON, REIGNIER, and others.
Char. Who ever saw the like? what men have I !-
Reig. Salisbury is a desperate homicide ;
Alen. Froissart, a countryman of our's, records,
Reig. I think, by some odd gimmals, or device',
Alen. Be it so.
Enter the Bastard of Orleans. Bast. Where's the prince Dauphin ? I have news for him. Char. Bastard of Orleans, thrice welcome to us.
5 Alarums; Excursions ; afterwards a Retreat.] The stage-direction in the folio is, “ Here Alarum : they are beaten back by the English with great loss."
6 – enforce them be more eager :) So the corr. fo. 1632: the early reading is “enforce them to be more eager," but no ellipsis can be commoner, and it corrects the versification.
? I think, by some odd GIMMAls, or device,] A "gimmal," or gimmor, as it is spelt in the folio, 1623, is a piece of machinery, which in the text is supposed to strike, like the figures in connexion with clocks, which of old struck the hours. The etymology has been disputed ; but probably it is from the Latin gemellus. This is the derivation given by Skinner, Elymol. Ling. Angl. We have had “ gimmal bits,” or double bits, for horses mentioned in “ Henry V.," A. iv. sc. 2.
Bast. Methinks, your looks are sad, your cheer appall'd :
[Retires. Enter LA PUCELLE, Bastard of Orleans, and others. Reig. Fair maid, is't thou wilt do these wondrous feats ?
Puc. Reignier, is't thou that thinkest to beguile me?
Reig. She takes upon her bravely at first dash.
Puc. Dauphin, I am by birth a shepherd's daughter,
& Heaven and our gracious Lady] The words “gracious Lady" are accidentally transposed in the folios : corrected in MS. in the folio, 1632. VOL. III.