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The poet has here defeated himself by passing too soon from one image to another. To bid the French rush upon the English as the torrents formed from melted snow stream from the Alps, was at once vehement and proper, but its force is destroyed by the grossness of the thought in the next line.
What Theobald says is true, but might have been told in fewer words: I have examined the passage in Hall. Yet Dr. Warburton rejected the emendation, and continued Pope's note without animadversion. But you must learn to know such slanders of the age, or else you may be marvellously mistook.
This was a character very troublesome to wise men in our authour's time. This is the last time that any sport can be made with the red face of Bardolph, which, to confess the truth, seems to have taken more hold on Shakespeare's imagination than on any Page That is, by his herald's coat. The person of a herald being inviolable was distinguished in those times of formality by a peculiar dress, which is likewise yet worn on particular occasions. In our turn. This phrase the authour learned among players, and has imparted it to kings. He intimates he knew otherwise, by that fine line in Midsummer Night's Dream , following darkness like a dream.
Besides, the image he employs shews he meant but half the globe; the horizon round, which has the shape of a vessel or goblet. There is a better proof that Shakespeare knew the order of night and day in Macbeth. Now o'er one half the world Nature seems dead. But there was no great need of any justification. Let me remark further, that ignorance cannot be certainly inferred from inaccuracy. Knowledge is not always present. Every subject's duty is the King's, but every subject's soul is his own. Therefore should every soldier in the wars do as every sick man in his bed, wash every moth out of his conscience; and dying so, death is to him advantage; or not dying, the time was blessedly lost, wherein such preparation was gained: and, in him that escapes, it were not sin to think, that making God so free an offer, he let him out-live that day to see his greatness, and to teach others how they should prepare.
This is a very just distinction, and the whole argument is well followed, and properly concluded. In the old play the thought is more opened.
Indeed, the French may lay twenty French crowns to one, they will beat us, for they bear them on their shoulders; but it is no English treason to cut French crowns, and to morrow the King himself will be a clipper. This conceit, rather too low for the King, has been already explained, as alluding to the venereal disease. There is something very striking and solemn in this soliloquy, into which the King breaks immediately as soon as he is left alone.
Something like this, on less occasions, every breast has felt. Reflection and seriousness rush upon the mind upon the separation of a gay company, and especially after forced and unwilling merriment. This emendation is not ill conceived, yet I believe it is erroneous. What are thy real qualities? What is thy intrinsick value? This I think is the sense. These lines are exquisitely pleasing. Thus the first folio. The change is admitted by Dr. Warburton, and rightly. Hanmer reads, th' opposed numbers Which stand before them. This reading he borrowed from the old quarto, which gives the passage thus, Take from them now the sense of reckoning, That the opposed multitudes that stand before them May not appall their courage.
But reason tells us, justice demands that they who share the profits of iniquity, shall share also in the punishment. Scripture again tells us, that when men have sinned, the Grace of Page I wish the commentator had explained his meaning a little better; for his comment is to me less intelligible than the text. The old reading is in my opinion easy and right. This is well conjectured, nor does the passage deserve that more should be done, yet I know not whether it might not stand thus.
Voyez les eaux et la terre. He uses terms of the field as if they were going out only to the chase for sport. Birds are dared when, by the falcon in the air, they are terrified from rising, so that they will be sometimes taken by the hand. The crows who are to have the disposal of what they shall leave, their hides and their flesh. It may be observed that we are apt to promise to ourselves a more lasting memory than the changing state of human things admits.
This prediction is not verified; the feast of Crispin passes by without any mention of Agincourt. Late events obliterate the former: the civil wars have left in this nation scarcely any tradition of more ancient history. This speech, like many others of the declamatory kind, is too long. Had it been contracted to about half the number of lines, it might have gained force, and lost none of the sentiments.
By wishing only thyself and me, thou hast wished five thousand men away. Shakespeare never thinks on such trifles as numbers. I suspect that it should be read, Killing in reliques of mortality. That the allusion is, as Mr. Perhaps from this putrid valour Dryden might borrow the posthumous empire of Don Sebastian, who was to reign wheresoever his atoms should be scattered.
We are soldiers but coarsely dressed; we have not on our holiday apparel. If the pronunciation of the French language be not changed since Shakespeare's time, which is not unlikely, it may be suspected some other man wrote the French scenes. Bardolph and Nim had ten times more valour than this roaring devil i'th' old play; every one may pare his nails with a wooden dagger.
In modern puppet-shows, which seem to be copied from the old farces, Punch sometimes fights the devil and always overcomes him. I suppose the Vice of the old farce, to whom Punch succeeds, used to fight the devil with a wooden dagger. Kill the poyes and the luggage! Besides, they have burn'd or carried away all that was in the King's tent; wherefore the King most worthily has caus'd ev'ry soldier to cut his prisoner's throat.
O 'tis a gallant King! Unhappily the King gives one reason for his order to kill the prisoners, and Gower another. The King killed his prisoners because he expected another battle, and he had not men sufficient to guard one army and fight another. He was full of jests and gypes, and knaveries, and mocks; I have forgot his name.
This is the last time that Falstaff can make sport.
The poet was loath to part with him, and has continued his memory as long as he could. The King is in a very bloody disposition. He has already cut the throats of his prisoners, and threatens now to cut them again. No haste of composition could produce such negligence; neither was this play, which is the second draught of the same design, written in haste. There must be some dislocation of the scenes. If we place these lines at the beginning of the twelfth [sixth] scene, the absurdity will be removed, and the action will proceed in a regular series. This transposition might easily happen in copies written for the players.
Yet it must not be concealed, that in the imperfect play of the order of the scenes is the same as here. Lords and ladies of great sort. Stand away, Captain Gower, I will give treason his payment into plows, I warrant you. Transferring all the honours of conquest, all trophies, tokens, and shews, from himself to God. The later editors, in hope of mending the measure of this line, have injured the sense. The folio reads as I have printed, but all the books, since revisal became fashionable, and editors have been more diligent to display themselves than to illustrate their authour, have given the line thus; As by a low , but loving likelihood.
Enter Fluellen and Gower. This scene ought, in my opinion, to conclude the fourth act, and be placed before the last chorus. There is no English camp in this act; the quarrel apparently happens before the return of the army to England, and not after so long an interval as the chorus has supplied. The comick scenes of the history of Henry the Fourth and Fifth are now at an end, and all the comick personages are now dismissed.
Falstaff and Mrs. Quickly are dead; Nym and Bardolph are hanged; Gadshill was lost immediately after the robbery; Poins and Peto have vanished since, one knows not how; and Pistol is now beaten into obscurity. I believe every reader regrets their departure. This emendation is physically right, but poetically the vine may be well enough said to die which ceases to bear fruit.
This image of prisoners is oddly introduced. I'faith, Kate, my wooing is fit for thy understanding; I am glad thou canst speak no better English, for if thou couldst, thou wouldst find me such a plain king, that thou wouldst think I had sold my farm to buy my crown. I know not why Shakespeare now gives the King nearly such a character as he made him formerly ridicule in Percy. It is a vain endeavour for the most skilful hand to cultivate barrenness, or to paint upon vacuity. I will tell thee in French, which, I am sure, will hang upon my tongue like a married wife about her husband's neck.
Pardon the frankness of my mirth, if I answer you for that. If you would conjure in her, you must make a circle; if conjure up love in her in Page We have here but a mean dialogue for princes; the merriment is very gross, and the sentiments are very worthless. This play has many scenes of high dignity, and many of easy merriment. The character of the King is well supported, except in his courtship, where he has neither the vivacity of Hal, nor the grandeur of Henry.
The humour of Pistol is very happily continued; his character has perhaps been the model of all the bullies that have yet appeared on the English stage. The lines given to the chorus have many admirers; but the truth is, that in them a little may be praised, and much must be forgiven; nor can it be easily discovered why the intelligence given by the chorus is more necessary in this play than in many others where it is omitted. The great defect of this play is the emptiness and narrowness of the last act, which a very little diligence might have easily avoided.
Perhaps the original leaf contained a stronger assertion about Warburton. For these and other references, see David R. It can be found in John Strype's Annals of the Reformation , ed. Pope's first note 73] a conjecture SJ may have had this from Upton, 2nd ed. See Yale VII. Publisher J. Tonson, H. Woodfall, J. Rivington, R. Baldwin, L. Hawes, Clark, and Collins, T. Longman, W.
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Johnston, T. Caslon, C. Corbet, T. O for a muse of fire that would ascend The brightest heaven of invention! A kingdom for a stage, princes to act, And monarchs to behold the swelling scene! And let us, cyphers to this great accompt, On your imaginary forces work. Active Page and passive words are by this authour frequently confounded. Into a thousand parts divide one man, And make imaginary puissance. Never came reformation in a flood With such a heady current, scow'ring faults; Nor ever Hydra-headed wilfulness So soon did lose his seat Alluding to the method by which Hercules cleansed the famous Page stables when he turned a river through them.
Hercules still is in our authour's head when he mentions the Hydra. Hear him but reason in divinity, And, all admiring, with an inward wish You would desire, the King were made a prelate. When he speaks, The air, a charter'd libertine, is still This line is exquisitely beautiful. So that the art, and practic part of life, Must be the mistress to this theorique. Which is a wonder how his Grace should glean it, Since his addiction was to courses vain; Page His companies unletter'd, rude and shallow; His hours fill'd up with riots, banquets, sports; And never noted in him any study, Any retirement, any sequestration From open haunts and popularity.
Unseen, yet crescive in his faculty. Encreasing in its proper power. With opening titles miscreate Ill-begotten; illegitimate; spurious. Therefore take heed, how you impawn our person The whole drift of the king is to impress upon the archbishop a due sense of the caution with which he is to speak. And rather chuse to hide them in a net, Than amply to imbare their crooked titles [Mr. O, let their bodies follow, my dear Liege, With blood and sword, and fire, to win your right.
Who hath been still a giddy neighbour to us That is, inconstant, changeable. Never went with his forces into France [Warburton: Ne'er Besides, Dr. Therefore heaven doth divide The state of man in diverse functions, Setting endeavour in continual motion, To which is fixed, as an aim or butt, Obedience. So may a thousand actions, once a-foot [Warburton: actions't once a foot, i. For that I have laid by my Majesty, And plodded like a man for working days To qualify myself for this undertaking, I have descended from my station, and studied the arts of life in a lower character.
And tell the pleasant Prince, this mock of his Hath turn'd his balls to gun-stones When ordnance was first used, they discharged balls not of iron but of stone. Now all the youth of England are on fire [In this place, in all the editions hitherto, is inserted the chorus which I have postponed. And by their hands this grace of kings must die, If hell and treason hold their promises, Ere he take ship for France; and in Southampton.
Linger your patience on, and well digest Th' abuse of distance, while we force a play. The sum is paid, the traitors are agreed, The King is set from London, and the scene Is now transported, gentles, to Southampton: There is the play-house now, there must you sit I suppose every one that reads these lines looks about for a meaning which he cannot find. I rather think the meaning is obscured Page by an accidental transposition, which I would reform thus: And by their hands this grace of kings must die, If hell and treason hold their promises.
The sum is paid, the traitors are agreed, The King is set from London, and the scene Is now transported, gentles, to Southampton Ere he take ship for France. And in Southampton Linger your patience on, and well digest Th' abuse of distance, while we force a play. There is the play-house now. This alteration restores sense, and probably the true sense. The lines might be otherwise ranged, but this order pleases me best. We'll not offend one stomach with our play. But, 'till the King come forth, and not till then, Unto Southampton do we shift our scene.
Well met, Corporal Nim. Tho' patience be a tir'd mare, yet she will plod. Pish for thee, Island dog; thou prick-ear'd cur of Island. For I can take, and Pistol's cock is up, And flashing fire will follow. Doing the execution and the act For which we have in head assembled them? With hearts create of duty and of zeal.
We consider, It was excess of wine that set him on, And on his more advice we pardon him. Oh, how hast thou with jealousy infected The sweetness of affiance! Shew men dutiful? Why so didst thou. Not working with the eye without the ear, And but in purged judgment trusting neither? Surely this is the character of a prudent man. Such, and so finely boulted didst thou seem. My fault, but not my body, pardon, Sovereign. A' parted even just between twelve and one, even at the turning o'th' tide.
That he once designed to have brought Falstaff on the scene again, we know from himself; but whether he could contrive no train of adventures suitable to his character, or could match him Page with no companions likely to quicken his humour, or could open no new vein of pleasantry, and was afraid to continue the same strain lest it should not find the same reception, he has here for ever discarded him, and made haste to dispatch him, perhaps for the same reason for which Addison killed Sir Roger, that no other hand might attempt to exhibit him.
My love, give me thy lips. Look to my chattels, and my moveables. Go, clear thy crystals. How modest in exception How diffident and decent in making objections. And he is bred out of that bloody strain, That haunted us in our familiar paths. Up in the air, crown'd with the golden sun [A nonsensical line of some player. He'll call you to so hot an answer for it, That caves and womby vaultages of France Shall hide your trespass [Mr. He'll make your Paris Louvre shake for it This palace was, I think, not built in those times.
Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more; Or close the wall up with the English dead. Hold hard the breath, and bend up every spirit To his full height. A metaphor from the bow. A set of lives, of which, when one is worn out, another may serve. I knew, by that piece of service, the men would carry coals. Do with his smircht complexion all fell feats, Enlinkt to waste and desolation?
While yet the cool and temp'rate wind of grace O'er-blows the filthy and contagious clouds This is a very harsh metaphor. De nayles, madame. Charles Delabreth, high constable of France; You, dukes of Orleans, Bourbon, and of Berry, Alanson, Brabant, Bar and Burgundy, Jaques Chatillion, Rambures, Vaudemont, Beaumont, Grandpree, Roussie, and Faulconbridge, Loys, Lestraile, Bouciqualt, and Charaloys Milton somewhere bids the English take notice how their names are misspelt by foreigners, and seems to think that we may lawfully treat foreign names in return with the same neglect.
Rush on his host, as doth the melted snow Upon the vallies; whose low vassal seat The Alps doth spit and void his rheum upon. Fortune is Bardolph's foe, and frowns on him, For he hath stol'n a pix, and hanged must a' be, Damned death! This is the last time that any sport can be made with the red face of Bardolph, which, to confess the truth, seems to have taken more hold on Shakespeare's imagination than on any Page other.
The conception is very cold to the solitary reader, though it may be somewhat invigorated by the exhibition on the stage. This poet is always more careful about the present than the future, about his audience than his readers. You know me by my habit. Now, speak we on our cue, With voice imperial. The meaning is, the dauphin's valour has never been let loose upon an enemy, yet, when he makes his first essay, we shall see how he will flutter.
I will cap that proverb Alluding to the practice of capping verses. Now entertain conjecture of a time, When creeping murmur, and the poring dark, Fills the wide vessel of the universe.