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Chor. Now all the youth of England are on fire, And silken dalliance in the wardrobe lies; Now thrive the armourers, and honour's thought Reigns solely in the breast of every man: They sell the pasture now, to buy the horse ; Following the mirror of all Christian kings, With winged heels, as English Mercuries. For now fits Expectation in the air ; And hides a sword, from hilts unto the point, With crowns imperial, crowns, and coronets,

s Now all the youth of England-] I think Mr. Pope mistaken in transposing this chorus, (to the end of the first scene of the second act,) and Mr. Theobald in concluding the [first] act with it. The chorus evidently introduces that which follows, not comments on that which precedes, and therefore rather begins than ends the act; and so I have printed it. JOHNSON. 6 For now fits Expectation in the air;

And hides a sword, from hilts unto the point,

With crowns imperial, &c.] The imagery is wonderfully fine, and the thought exquisite. Expectation fitting in the air designs the height of their ambition; and the sword hid from the hill to the point with crowns and coronets, that all sentiments of danger were lost in the thoughts of glory. WARBURTON.

The idea is taken from the ancient representations of trophies in tapestry or painting. Among these it is very common to see swords encircled with naval or mural crowns. Expectation is likewise personified by Milton. Paradise Lost, Book VI:

while Expectation stood " In horror

STEEVENS. In the Horse Armoury in the Tower of London, Edward III. is represented with two crowns on his sword, alluding to the two kingdoms, France and England, of both of which he was crowned heir. Perhaps the poet took the thought from a similar representation. TOLLET.

Promis'd to Harry, and his followers.
The French, advis'd by good intelligence
Of this most dreadful preparation,
Shake in their fear; and with pale policy
Seek to divert the English purposes.
O England!-model to thy inward greatness,
Like little body with a mighty heart,-
What might'st thou do, that honour would thee do,
Were all thy children kind and natural !
But see thy fault! France hath in thee found out
A nest of hollow bosoms, which he fills?
With treacherous crowns: and three corrupted

men,
One, Richard earl of Cambridge ; 8 and the second,
Henry lord Scroop' of Masham; and the third,
Sir Thomas Grey knight of Northumberland,-
Have, for the gilt of France, (O guilt, indeed!)

7

This image, it has been observed by Mr. Henley, is borrowed from a wooden cut in the first edition of Holinshed's Chronicle.

Malone. - which he-] i.e. the king of France. So, in King Fohu:

England, impatient of your just demands,

Hath put himself in arms.” Hanmer and fome other editors unneceffarily readhe. Again, in a subsequent scene of the play before us:

Though France himself, and such another neighbour, “ Stood in our way.

MALONE. : -- Richard earl of Cambridge;) was Richard de Coninsbury, younger son of Edmund of Langley, Duke of York. He was father of Richard Duke of York, father of Edward the Fourth.

WALPOLE. 9 Henry lord Scroop-) was a third husband of Joan Duchess of York, (the had four,) mother-in-law of Richard Earl of Cambridge.

MALONE. the gilt of France,] Gill, which in our author generally fignifies a display of gold (as in this play,

Our gavnefs and our gilt are all befmirchd") in the prefent inttance means gobelen money. So, in An Alarum for London, 1602:

“ To spend the victuals of our citizens,
“ Which we can scarcely compass now for gili." STEEVENS.

Confirm’d conspiracy with fearful France;
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 digeft*
The 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 playhouse now, there must you sit:

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3 — this grace of kings-] i. e. he who does the greatest honour to the title. By the same kind of phraseology the ufurper in Hamlet is called the Vice of kings, i. e. the opprobrium of them.

WARBURTON, Shakspeare might have found this phrase in Chapman's trandation of the first book of Homer, 1598:

with her the grace of kings, “ Wife Ithacus ascended Again, in the 24th Book (no date]: “ Idæus, guider of the mules, discern'd this grace of men.

STEEVENS. well digeft-] The folio, in which only these choruses are found, reads, and perhaps rightly, we'll digeit. STEEVENS.

This emendation was made by Mr. Pope; and the words while we, which are not in the old copy, were supplied by him.

MALONE. while we force a play.] The two first words were added (as it should seem) very properly.-To force a play, is to produce a play by compelling many circumstances into a narrow compass.

STEEVENS. 6 And by their hands this grace of kings muft die,

(If hell and treason hold their promises,)
Ere he take ship for France, and in Southampton.
Linger your patience on; and well diges
The 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 playhouse now,] I suppose every one that reads these lines looks about for a meaning which he cannot find. There is no connection of sense nor regularity of transition from one

5

And thence to France shall we convey you safe,
And bring you back, charming the narrow seas?
To give you gentle pass; for, if we may,
We'll not offend one stomach 8 with our play.
But, till the king come forth, and not till then,
Unto Southampton do we shift our scene. [Exit.

thought to the other. It may be suspected that some lines are loft, and in that case the sense is irretrievable. I rather think, the meaning is obscured 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 be take ship for France. And in Southampton
Linger your patience on, and well digest
The abuse of distance, while we force a play.

There is the playhouse now This alteration restores sense, and probably the true sense. The lines might be otherwise fanged, but this order pleases me beft.

JOHNSON. 7 charming the narrow feas -] Though Ben Jonson, as we are told, was indebted to the kindness of Shakspeare for the introduction of his first piece, Every Man in his Humour, on the ftage, and though our author performed a part in it, Jonson in the prologue to that play, as in many other places, endeavoured to ridicule and depreciate him :

He rather prays, you will be pleas'd to see One such to-day, as other plays should be ;

Where neither chorus wafts you o'er the seas,&c. When this prologue was written, is unknown. The envious author of it, however, did not publish it till 1616, the year of Shakspeare's death. Malone.

8 We'll not offend one stomach -] That is, you shall pass the sea without the qualms of sea-sickness. Johnson.

9 But, till the king come forth,] Here seems to be something omitted. Sir T. Hanmer reads:

But when the king comes forth,which, as the passage now ftands, is necessary. These lines, ob. fcure as they are, refute Mr. Pope's conjectures on the true place Vol. IX.

X

SCENE I.

The fame. Eastcheap.

Enter Nym and BARDOLPH.

Bard. Well met, corporal Nym.
Nrm. Good morrow, lieutenant Bardolph.”

of the chorus; for they show that something is to intervene before the scene changes to Southampton. JOHNSON. The Canons of Criticism read:

and but till then." And Mr. Heath approves the correction. Steevens.

Mr. Roderick would read-and but till then; that is, “ till the king appears next, you are to suppose the scene shifted to Southampton, and no longer; for as soon as he comes forth, it will foift to France." But this does not agree with the fact; for a scene in London intervenes.

In The Merchant of Venice, 1600, printed by J. Roberts, but is printed for not :

Repent but you that you shall lose your friend." and the two words in many other places are confounded. See p. 289, n. 5: I suspect But is printed for Not in the beginning of the line, and that not has taken the place of but afterwards. If we read :

Not till the king come forth, and but till then,the meaning will be: “ We will not shift our scene unto Southampton, till the King makes his appearance on the stage, and the scene will be at Southampton only for the short time while he does appear on the stage; for foon after his appearance, it will change to France." MALONE.

2- lieutenant Bardolph.] At this scene begins the connection of this play with the latter part of King Henry IV. The characters would be indistinct, and the incidents unintelligible, without the knowledge of what passed in the two foregoing plays.

JOHNSON. The author of Remarks on the last edition of Shakspeare (1778] wishes to know, where Bardolph acquired this commission, (as he is no more than Falstaff's corporal in King Henry IV.) and calls on Mr. Steevens for information on this subject. If Shakspeare were

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