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France. A Room in the French King's Palace.

Enter the French King attended; the Dauphin,

the Duke of BURGUNDY, the Constable, and Others. Fr. King. Thus come the English with full

power upon us; And more than carefully it us concerns", To answer royally in our defences. Therefore the dukes of Berry, and of Bretagne, Of Brabant, and of Orleans, shall make forth, And you, prince Dauphin,—with all swift despatch, To line, and new repair, our towns of war, With men of courage, and with means defendant: For England his approaches makes as fierce, As waters to the sucking of a gulph. It fits us then to be as provident As fear may teach us, out of late examples Left by the fatal and neglected English Upon our fields. Dau.

My most redoubted father,
It is most meet we arm us 'gainst the foe:
For peace itself should not so dull a kingdom ?,
(Though war, nor no known quarrel, were in

But that defences, musters, preparations,
Should be maintain’d, assembled, and collected,
As were a war in expectation,

1 And more than CAREFULLY it us concerns,] " More than carefully” is with more than common care ;' a phrase of the same kind with “ better than well.”

Johnson. SO DULL a kingdom,] i. e. render it callous, insensible. So, in Hamlet :

“ But do not dull thy palm,” &c. Steevens.


Therefore, I say, 'tis meet we all go forth,
To view the sick and feeble parts of France:
And let us do it with no show of fear ;
No, with no more, than if we heard that England
Were busied with a Whitsun morris dance:
For, my good liege, she is so idly king'd“,
Her scepter so fantastically borne
By a vain, giddy, shallow, humorous youth,
That fear attends her not.

O peace, prince Dauphin!
You are too much mistaken in this king":
Question your grace the late ambassadors,-
With what great state he heard their embassy,
How well supplied with noble counsellors,
How modest in exception®, and, withal,
How terrible in constant resolution,-

shall find, his vanities forespent Were but the outside of the Roman Brutus, Covering discretion with a coat of folly?;


3 Were BusIED- ] The quarto, 1600, reads-were troubled,

STEĘvens. so idly King'o,] Shakspeare is not singular in his use of this verb-to king. I find it in Warner's Albion's England, b. viii. c. xlii.:

and king'd his sister's son." Steevens. ş You are too much mistaken in this king :) This part is much enlarged since the first writing. Pope.

6 How modest in exception,] How diffident and decent in making objections. Johnson. 7 And you shall find, his vanities fore-spent

Were but the outside of the Roman Brutus,

Covering discretion with a coat of follY;] Shakspeare not having given us, in the First or Second Part of Henry IV. or in any other place but this, the remotest hint of the circumstance here alluded to, the comparison must needs be a little obscure to those who do not know or reflect that some historians have told us, that Henry IV. had entertained a deep jealousy of his son's aspiring superior genius. Therefore, to prevent all umbrage, the prince withdrew from public affairs, and amused himself in consorting with a dissolute crew of robbers. It seems to me, that Shakspeare was ignorant of this circumstance when he wrote the

As gardeners do with ordure hide those roots
That shall first spring, and be most delicate.

Dau. Well, 'tis not so, my lord high constable,
But though we think it so, it is no matter:
In cases of defence, 'tis best to weigh
The enemy more mighty than he seems,
So the proportions of defence are fill’d;



two parts of Henry IV. for it might have been so managed as to have given new beauties to the character of Hal, and great improvements to the plot. And with regard to these matters, Shakspeare generally tells us all he knew, and as soon as he knew it.

WARBURTON. Dr. Warburton, as usual, appears to me to refine too much. I believe, Shakspeare meant no more than that Henry, in his external appearance, was like the elder Brutus, wild and giddy, while in fact his understanding was good.

Our author's meaning is sufficiently explained by the following lines in The Rape of Lucrece, 1594 :

Brutus, who pluck'd the knife from Lucrece' side,

Seeing such emulation in their woe,
Began to clothe his wit in state and pride,

Burying in Lucrece' wound his folly's show.
" He with the Romans was esteemed so,
As silly-jeering ideots are with kings,
For sportive words, and uttering foolish things.

“ But now he throws that shallow habit by,
“ Wherein deep policy did him disguise ;
“And arm'd his long-hid wits advisedly,

“ To check the tears in Collatinus' eyes." Thomas Otterbourne, and the translator of Titus Livius, indeed, say, that Henry the Fourth, in his latter days, was jealous of his son, and apprehended that he would attempt to depose him; to remove which suspicion, the prince is said (from the

relation of an earl of Ormond, who was an eye witness of the fact,) to have gone with a great party of his friends to his father, in the twelfth year of his reign, and to have presented him with a dagger, which he desired the king to plunge into his breast, if he still entertained any doubts of his loyalty : but, I believe, it is no where said, that he threw himself into the company of dissolute persons to avoid giving umbrage to his father, or betook himself to irregular courses with a political view of quieting his suspicions. MALONE.

The best comment on this passage will be found in P. Henry's soliloquy in the first part of Henry the IV. vol. xvi. p. 206.


Which, of a weak and niggardly projection,
Doth like a miser, spoil his coat, with scanting
A little cloth.

Fr. King. Think we king Harry strong;
And, princes, look, you strongly arm to meet him,
The kindred of him hath been flesh'd upon us;
And he is bred out of that bloody strain,
That haunted us in our familiar paths :
Witness our too much memorable shame,
When Cressy battle fatally was struck ?,

8 Which, of a weak and niggardly projection,] This passage, as it stands, is so perplexed, that I formerly suspected it to be corrupt. If which be referred to proportions of defence, (and I do not see to what else it can be referred,) the construction will be “which proportions of defence, of a weak and niggardly projection, spoils his coat, like a miser,” &c. If our author had written

6 While oft a weak and niggardly projection

Doth," &c. The reasoning would then be clear.- In cases of defence, it is best to imagine the enemy more powerful than he seems to be ; by this means, we make more full and ample preparations to defend ourselves : whereas, on the contrary, a poor and mean idea of the enemy's strength induces us to make but a scanty provision of forces against him; wherein we act as a miser does, who spoils his coat by scanting of cloth.

Projection, I believe, is here used for fore-cast or preconception. It may, however, mean preparation.

Perhaps, in Shakspeare's licentious diction, the meaning may be

" Which proportions of defence, when weakly and niggardly projected, resemble a miser who spoils his coat,"'&c. The false concord is no objection to such a construction ; for the same inaccuracy is found in almost every page of the old copy. MALONE. 9 — strain,] Lineage. So, in King Lear: Sir, you have shown to-day your valiant strain.”

STEEVENS. I That HAUNTED us - ] To haunt is a word of the utmost horror, which shows that they dreaded the English as goblins and spirits. Johnson.

When Cressy BATTLE fatally was STRUCK,] So, in Robert of Gloucester:

and that fole of Somersete
“ His come, and smyte a batayle.

And all our princes captiv'd, by the hand
Of that black name, Edward black prince of Wales;
Whiles that his mountain sire,-on mountain

Up in the air, crown'd with the golden sun“,-
Saw his heroical seed, and smil'd to see him
Mangle the work of nature, and deface

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Again, in the title to one of Sir David Lyndsay's poems: “How king Ninus began the first warres and strake the first battell.

STEEVENS. 3 Whiles that his MOUNTAIN sire,-on mountain standing,] Mr. Theobald would read-mounting ; i. e. high-minded, aspiring. Thus, in Love's Labour's Lost, Act IV.:

“ Whoe'er he was, he show'd a mounting mind.” The emendation may be right, and yet I believe the poet meant to give an idea of more than human proportion in the figure of the king:

Quantus Athos, aut quantus Eryx, &c. Virg.

“ Like Teneriffe or Atlas unremov'd.” Milton. Drayton, in the 18th Song of his Polyolbion, has a similar thought :

“ Then he above them all, himself that sought to raise,

“Upon some mountain top, like a pyramides.” Again, in Spenser's Fairy Queen, b. i. c. xi. :

• Where stretch'd he lay upon the sunny side
“Of a great hill, himself like a great hill."

agmen agens, magnique ipse agminis instar. Mr. Tollet thinks this passage may be explained by another in Act I. Sc. I. :

his most mighty father on a hill.Steevens. If the text is not corrupt, Mr. Steevens's explication is the true

See the extract from Holinshed, p. 272, n. 2. The repetition of the word mountain is much in our author's manner, and therefore I believe the old copy is right. MALONE.

4 Up in the air, crown'd with the golden sun.] Dr. Warburton calls this “the nonsensical line of some player.” The idea, however, might have been taken from Chaucer's Legende of good Women :

“ Her gilt heere was ycrownid with a son.See also Additions to the History of the English Stage, vol. iii. :

“ Item-I crown with a sone.” Shakspeare's meaning, (divested of its poetical finery,) I suppose, is, that the king stood upon an eminence, with the sun shinįng over his head. Steevens.


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