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(Whose soldier now, under whose blessed cross
We are impressed and engag’d to fight)
Forthwith a power of English shall we levys;
Whose arms were moulded in their mothers' womb
To chase these pagans, in those holy fields,
Over whose acres walk'd those blessed feet,
Which, fourteen hundred years ago, were nail'd
For our advantage, on the bitter cross.
But this our purpose is a twelve-month old,
And bootless 'tis to tell you—we will go ;
Therefore we meet not now 6 :-Then let me hear
Of you, my gentle cousin Westmoreland,
What yesternight our council did decree,
In forwarding this dear expedience?

Weft. My liege, this hafte was hot in question,
And many limits 8 of the charge set down
But yesternight : when, all athwart, there came
A poft from Wales, loaden with heavy news ;
Whose worst was,-that the noble Mortimer,

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and for Christians among others, to make war upon Mahometans, simțly as Mahometans, as men obliged by their own principles to make war upon Christians, and only lying in wait till opportunity thall promise them success. JOHNSON.

- shall we levy;] The firft quarto in 1598 has leavy, which was changed, in the second, to the word now in the text.

Though “to levy a power, as far as to the sepulcher of Chrift," be, as Mr. Steevens observes, a fingular expression, I have no doubt the text is right. Our author is not always sufficiently careful to make the end of his sentences agree in construction with the beginning. MALONE.

6 Therefore we meet not now :) i. e. not on that account do we now meet; -we are not now aflembled, to acquaint you with our intended expedition. MALONE.

7 expedience. ) for expedition. WARBURTON. See p. 25, n. 7. MALONE.

8 And many limits] Limits, as the author of the Revisal abferves, may mean, out-lines, rougb sketches or calculations. STEEVENS.

Limits may mean the regulated and appointed times for the condu& of the business in hand. So, in Measure for Measure: --" between the time of the contract and limit of the folemnity, her brother Frederick was wreck'd at sea." Again, in Macberb:

I'll make so bold to call,
“ For 'tis my limited lervice." Malone.


Leading the men of Herefordshire to fight
Against the irregular and wild Glendower,
Was by the rude hands of that Welshman taken,
And a thousand of his people butcher'd:
Upon whose dead corps there was such misuse,
Such beastly, shameless transformation,
By those Welshwomen done as may not be,
Without much shame, retold or spoken of.

K. Hen. It seems then, that the tidings of this broil
Brake off our business for the Holy land.

Weft. This, match'd with other, did, my gracious lord
For more uneven and unwelcome news
Came from the north, and thus it did import.
On Holy-rood day, the gallant Hotspur there,
Young Harry Percy, and brave Archibald,
That ever-valiant and approved Scot,
At Holmedon met,
Where they did spend a fad and bloody hour ;
As by discharge of their artillery,
And shape of likelihood, the news was told;
For he that brought them, in the very heat
And pride of their contention did take horse,
Uncertain of the issue any way.

K. Hen. Here is a dear and true-industrious friend,
Sir Walter Blunt, new lighted from his horse,
Stain'd with the variation of each foil 3
Betwixt that Holmedon and this seat of ours;

By ebase Welfbwomen donee) Thus Holinshed, p. 528 : «-fuch Thameful villanie executed upon the carcafles of the dead men by the Welfb-women; as the like (I doo believe) hath never or seldom been practised." STEEVENS.

tbe gallant Hotspur ibere, Young Harry Percy,] Holinshed's Hift. of Scotland, p. 249, says, “ This Harry Percy was surnamed, for his often pricking, Henry Hotspur, as one that seldom times rested, if there were anie service to be done abroad." TOLLET.

· Archibald,] Archibald Douglas, earl Douglas. STEEVENS. 3 Stain'd with the variation of eacb foil] No circumstance could have been better chosen to mark the expedition of Sir Walter. It is used by Falstaff in a fimilar manner: “ As it were to ride day and night, and not to deliberate, not to remember, not to have patience to thift me, but to ftand ftained with travel.HENLEY. VOL. V.




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And he hath brought us smooth and welcome news.
The earl of Douglas is di comfited;
Ten thousand bold Scots, two and twenty knights,
Balk'd in their own blood 4, did fir Walter see
On Holmedon's plains : Of prisoners, Hotspur took
Mordake earl of Fife, and eldest son
To beaten Douglass; and the earl of Athol,

4 Balk'd in obeir own blood,-) I should suppose, that the author might have written either barbid, or bakid, i. e. encruited over with blood dried upon them. A passage in Heywood's Iron Age, 1632, may countenance the latter of these conjectures :

“ Troilus-lieth embak'd

" In his cold blood"-. Again, in Hamlet :

horridly trick'd
“ With blood of fathers, mothers, daughters, sons,

Bak'd and impasted &c." Again, in Heywood's Iron Age:

bak'd in blood and dust." STEEVENS." Balk is a ridge; and particularly, a ridge of land: here is therefore a metaphor; and perhaps the poet means, in his bold and careless manner of expreffion : « Ten thousand blocdy carcaffes piled up together in a long heap."-"A ridge of dead bodies piled up in blood.” T. WARTON.

Balk'd in ebeir own blood, I believe, means, lay'd in beaps or billecks, in their own blood. Blithe's England's 19:provement, p. 118. observes: 6. The mole raiseth balks in meads and pastures." In Leland's Itisersry, vol. V. p. 16. and 118. vol. VII. p. 10. a balk fignifies a bank or bill. Mr. Pope, in the Iliad, has the same thought :

“ On heaps the Greeks, on heaps the Trojans bled,

“ And thick’ning round them rite the bills of dead.” TOLLET, 5 Mordake earl of Fife, and eldest son

To beaten Douglas;] Mordake earl of Fife, who was son to the duke of Albany, regent of Scotland, is here called the son of Earl Douglas, through a mistake into which the poet was led by the omission of a comma in the passage of Holinshed from whence he took this account of the Scottish prisoners. It stands thus in the historian : "mand of prifoners, Mordacke earl of Fife, son to the gouvernour Archembald earle Dowglas, &c.” The want of a comma after gouvernour, makes these words appear to be the description of one and the same person, and so the poet understood them; but by putting the stop in the proper place, it will then be manifest that in this list Mordake, who was fon to the governour of Scotland, was the first prisoner, and that Archibald earl of Douglas was the second, and so on. STELVENS.

The word earl is here used as a diflyllable. Mr. Pope, not perceiving this, reidsm" the earl,” in which he has been followed by all the subsequent editors. MALONE.


Of Murray, Angus, and Menteith
And is not this an honourable spoil ?
A gallant prize? ha, coufin, is it not?

West. In faith, it is ? a conquest for a prince
To boast of.
K. Hea, Yea, there thou mak'it me sad, and mak'ft

me fin,

that my lord Northumberland Should be the father of fo bleft a son: A son, who is the theme of honour's tongue ; Amongst a grove, the very ftraiteft plant ; Who is sweet fortune's minion, and her pride : Whilft I, by looking on the praise of him, See riot and dishonour ftain the brow Of my young Harry. O, that it could be prov'd, That some night-tripping fairy had exchang'd In cradle-clothes our children where they lay, And call'd mine-Percy, his-Plantagenet! Then would I have his Harry, and he mine. Bat let him from my thoughts :—What think you, coz, Of this young Percy's pride ? the prisoners 8, Which he in this adventure hath surpriz’d, To his own use he keeps ; and sends me word, 9 and Mezteitb.) This is a mistake of Holinshed in his English Hiftsry, for in that of Scotland, p. 259, 262, and 419, he speaks of the earl of Fife and Menteith as one and the same person." STEEVENS.

7 l: faith, ir is--} These words are in the first 4t0. 1598, by the inaccuracy of the transcriber, placed at the end of the preceding speech, but at a confiderable distance from the last word of it. Mr. Pope and the subsequent editors read—'Faith 'tis &c. MALONE. ! be prisoners,] Percy had an exclusive right to these prisoners, except the earl of Fife. By the law of arms, every man who had taken any captive, whose redemption did not exceed ten thousand crowns, has him clearly for himself, either to acquit or ransom, at his pleafure. It seems from Camden's Brit. that Pounouny-castle in Scotland was built out of the ransom of this very Henry Percy, when taken prisoner at the battle of Otterburne by an ancestor of the present earl of Eglington, TOLLET.

Percy could not refuse the earl of Fife to the king; for being a prince of the blood royal, (son to the duke of Albany, brother to king Robert III.) Henry might juftly claim him by his acknowledged military prerogative, STELVENS.

I shall

I 2

I shall have none but Mordake earl of Fife.

Weft. This is his uncle's teaching, this is Worcester,
Malevolent to you in all aspects;
Which makes him prune himself', and bristle up
The crest of youth against your dignity.

K. Hen. But I have sent for him to answer this;
And, for this cause, awhile we must neglect
Our holy purpose to Jerusalem.
Cousin, on Wednesday next our council we
Will hold at Windsor, so inform the lords :
But come yourself with speed to us again;
For more is to be said, and to be done,
Than out of angercan be uttered ?.
Weft. I will, my liege.

The fame. Another Room in the Palace.
Enter Henry, Prince of Wales, and FALSTAFF.
Fal. Now, Hal, what time of day is it, lad ?

P. Hen. Thou art fo fat-witted, with drinking of old sack, and unbuttoning thee after supper, and sleeping upon benches after noon, that thou hait forgotten to de

9 Malevolent to you in all aspects ;] An astrological allufion. Worcefter is represented as a malignant itar that influenced the conduct of Hotspur. HENLEY.

Wbich makes bim prune bimself,] The metaphor is taken from a cock, who in his pride prunes bimself; that is, picks off the loose feathers to smooth the rest. To prune and to plume, spoken of a bird, is the same. JOHNSON.

Dr. Johnson is certainly right in his choice of the reading. So in Green's Metamorphosis, 1613:

“ Pride makes the fowl to prune his feathers so. But I am not certain that the verb to prune is justly interpreted. In the Booke of Haukynge &c. (commonly called the Booke of Sr. Albans) is the following account of it : “ The hauke proizetbe when the fetcheth oyle with her beake over the taile, and anointeth her feet and her fethers. She plumetb when the pulleth fethers of anie foule and cafteth them from her." STEEVENS.

2 Tban out of anger can be uttered.] That is, “ More is to be said than anger will suffer me to say: more than can issue from a mind disturbed like mine." JOHNSON.


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