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Unto whose grace our passion is as subject,
Thus then, in few. Your highness, lately sending into France, Did claim some certain dukedoms, in the right Of your great predecessor, king Edward the third. In answer of which claim, the prince our master Says,—that you savour too much of your youth; And bids you be advis'd, there's nought in France, That can be with a nimble galliard won ;s You cannot revel into dukedoms there : He therefore sends you, meeter for your spirit, This tun of treasure; and, in lieu of this, Desires you, let the dukedoms, that you claim, Hear no more of you. This the Dauphin speaks.
- a nimble galliard won;] A galliard was an ancient dance, now obsolete. So, in All for Money, 1574: " Where shall we get a pipe, to play the devil a galliard?"
Sreevens. Galliards are thus described by Sir John Davis, in his poem called Orchestra:
" But for more diverse and more pleasing show,
" A swift and wand'ring dance she did invent,
" Five was the number of the music's feet,
“ Which still the dance did with five paces meet ;
« A spirit and a virtue masculine,
" Since she herself is fiery and divine :
" With lofty turns and capriols in the air,
K. Hen. What treasure, uncle?
Tennis-balls, my liege.
with us; ?
6 Tennis-balls, my liege.] In the old play of King Henry V. already mentioned, this present consists of a gilded tun of tennisballs and a carpet. Steevens.
. We are glad, the Dauphin is so pleasant with us;] 'Thus stands the answer of K. Henry in the same old play:
“ My lord, prince Dolphin is very pleasant with me.
" The proudest tennis-court in France shall rue it." The same circumstance also is thus expressed in Michael Drayton's Battle of Agincourt :
“ I'll send him balls and rackets if I live;
STEEVENS. : chaces-] Chace is a term at tennis. Johnson.
So, in Sidney's Arcadia, Book III: “ Then Fortune (as if fhe had made chases enow on the one side of that bloody Teniscourt) went on the other side of the line" &c.
'The hazard is a place in the tennis-court into which the ball is sometimes struck. STEEVENS.
We never valu'd this poor seat of England ;'
- this poor seat of England;] By the seat of England, the King, I believe, means, the throne. So, Othello boasts that he is descended “ from men of royal fiege.” Henry afterwards says, he will rouse him in his throne of France. The words below, “ I will keep my ftate,” likewise confirm this interpretation. See Vol. VIII. p. 471, n. 2 ; and Vol. VII. p. 474, n. 4. So, in King Richard II:
“ Yea, distaff-women manage rusty bills
“ Against thy fear.” Again, in King Richard III:
“ The supreme feat, the throne majestical, " Again, in King Henry VI. Part II :
“ The rightful heir to England's royal feat." MALONE. 2 And therefore, living hence,] This expression has strength and energy: he never valued England, and therefore lived hence, i. e. as it absent from it. But the Oxford editor •alters hence to here.
WARBURTON. Living hence means, I believe, withdrawing from the court, the place in which he is now speaking.
Perhaps Prospero, in The Tempift, has more clearly expressed the same idea, when he says:
“ The government I caft upon my brother,
“ And to my state grew stranger.” Steevens. In King Richard II. Ad V. sc. ii. King Henry IV. complains that he had not seen his son for three months, and desires that he may be enquired for among the taverns, where he daily frequents,
- With unrestrain’d and loose companions." See also King Henry IV. Part II. Act III. sc. ii :
“ Thy place in council thou haft rudely loft,
" Of all the court and princes of my blood." There can therefore be no doubt that Mr. Steevens's explanation is juft. Hence refers to the seat or throne of England mentioned in the preceding line, on which Henry is now fitting. An anonymous Remarker says, “ it is evident that the word bence implies here.” If hence means here, any one word, as Dr. Johnson has somewhere observed, may stand for another. It undoubtedly does not signify kere in the present passage; and if it did, would render what follows nonsense. MALONE.
That men are merriest when they are from home.
widows Shall this his mock mock out of their dear hus
bands; Mock mothers from their sons, mock castles down; And some are yet ungotten, and unborn, That shall have cause to curse the Dauphin's scorn. But this lies all within the will of God, To whom I do appeal; And in whose name, Tell you the Dauphin, I am coming on,
3 For that I have laid by-] To qualify myself for this undertaking, I have descended from my station, and studied the arts of life in a lower character. JOHNSON.
The quartos 1600 and 1608 read—for this. Steevens.
4 — his balls to gun-stones ;] When ordnance was first used, they discharged balls, not of iron, but of stone. Johnson.
So, Holinshed, p. 947 : “ About feaven of the clocke marched forward the light pieces of ordinance, with stone and powder."
In the BRUT of ENGLAND it is said, that when Henry the Fifth before Hare-flete received a taunting message from the Dauphine of France, and a ton of tennis-balls by way of contempt, “ he anone lette make tenes balles for the Dolfin (Henry's ship) in all the hafte that they myght, and they were great gonnestones for the Dolfin to playe with alle. But this game at tennis was too rough for the besieged, when Henry playede at the tenes with his hard gomefones," &c. STEEVENS.
To venge me as I may, and to put forth
[Exeunt Ambassadors. Exe. This was a merry message. K. Hen. We hope to make the sender blush at it.
[Descends from his throne. Therefore, my lords, omit no happy hour, That may give furtherance to our expedition: For we have now no thought in us, but France; Save those to God, that run before our business. Therefore, let our proportions for these wars Be soon collected; and all things thought upon, That may, with reasonable swiftness, add More feathers to our wings;s for, God before, We'll chide this Dauphin at his father's door. Therefore, let every man now task his thought, That this fair action may on foot be brought.
Ś w ith reasonable swiftness, add
set “ The very wings of reason to his heels." STEEVENS. 6- task his thought,] The same phrase has already occurred at the beginning of the present scene :
“ That talk our thoughts concerning us and France." See p. 276, n. 6. STEEVENS,