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SCENE I. The English Camp at Agincourt. Enter King Henry, Bedford, and Gloster. K. Hen. Gloster, 'tis true, that we are in great
danger; The greater therefore should our courage be.Good morrow, brother Bedford.—God Almighty! There is some soul of goodness in things evil, Would men observingly distil it out; For our bad neighbour makes us early stirrers, Which is both healthful, and good husbandry: Besides, they are our outward confciences, And preachers to us all; admonishing, That we should dress us fairly for our end." Thus may we gather honey from the weed, And make a moral of the devil himself.
6 That we should dress us fairly for our end.] Dress us, I believe, means here, address us; i. e. prepare ourselves. So, before, in
« To-morrow for our march we are address'd." It should therefore be printed dress us. MALONE.
I do not recollect that any one of our author's plays affords an example of the word-address, thus abbreviated.
Dress, in its common acceptation, may be the true reading. So, in King Henry IV. Part I:
They come like facrifices in their trim.” STIEVBNS. 7-old fir Thomas Erpingham :) Sir Thomas Erpingham came over with Bolingbroke from Bretagne, and was one of the commissioners, to receive King Richard's abdication. EDWARDS'S MS.
Sir Thomas Erpingham was in Henry V.'s time warden of Dover castle. His arms are still visible on one side of the Roman pharos. STEEVENS,
A good soft pillow for that good white head
better, Since I may say—now lie I like a king. K. Hen. 'Tis good for men to love their presenı
pains, Upon example ; so the spirit is eased : And, when the mind is quicken'd, out of doubt, The organs, though defunct and dead before, Break up their drowsy grave, and newly move With casted Nough and fresh legerity. 8 Lend me thy cloak, fir Thomas.-Brothers both, Commend me to the princes in our camp; Do my good morrow to them; and, anon, Desire them all to my pavilion. Glo. We shall, my liege.
[Exeunt Gloster and BEDFORD. Erp. Shall I attend your grace? K. Hen.
No, my good knight; Go with my brothers to my lords of England: I and my bosom muft debate awhile, And then I would no other company. Erp. The Lord in heaven bless thee, noble Harry!
[Exit ERPINCHAM. K. Hen. God-a-mercy, old heart! thou speak’st
3 With casted llough &c.] Slough is the skin which the serpent annually throws off, and by the change of which he is supposed to regain new vigour and fresh youth. Legerity is lightness, nimbleneis. JOHNSON. So, in Stanyhurst's translation of Virgil, Book IV. 1582:
“ His slough uncaling, himself now youthfully blcacheth." Legerity is a word used by Ben Jonson in Every Mar out of his Humour, STEEVENS.
Pist. Qui va lá ?
Pist. Discuss unto me; Art thou officer?
K. Hen. I am a gentleman of a company.
Pist. The king's a bawcock, and a heart of gold,
K. Hen. Harry le Roy.
Cornish crew ?
pate, Upon saint Davy's day.
K. Hen. Do not you wear your dagger in your cap that day, lest he knock that about yours.
Pist. Art thou his friend?
9 an imp of fame;] An imp is a foot in its primitive sense, but means a fon in Shakspeare. In Holinshed, p. 951, the last words of Lord Cromwell are preserved, who says: - and after him that his sonne prince Edward, that goodlie impo, may long reigne over you." STEEVENS.
K. Hen. And his kinsman too.
[Exit. K. Hen. It sorts * well with
Enter Fluellen and Gower, severally. Gow. Captain Fluellen!
Flu. So! in the name of Cheshu Christ, speak lower. It is the greatest admiration in the univer
: It sorts-] i. e. it agrees. So, in Chapman's version of the 17th book of the Odyby: “ His faire long lance well forting with his hand.” Steevens.
speak lower.] The earliest of the quartos reads-speak lewer, which in that of 1608 is made lower. The alterations made in the several quartos, and in all the folios that succeeded the first, by the various printers or correctors through whose hands they passed, carry with them no authority whatsoever; yet here the correction happens, I think, to be right. The editors of the folio read - peak fewer. I have no doubt that in their MS. (for this play they evidently printed from a MS. which was not the case in some others,) the word by the carelessness of the transcriber was lewer, (as in that copy from which the quarto was printed,) and that, in order to obtain some fense, they changed this to fewer. Fluellen could not with any propriety call on Gower to speak fewer, he not having uttered a word except “Captain Fluellen.” Meeting Fluellen late at night, and not being certain who he was, he merely pronounced his name. Having addressed him in too high a key, the Welchman reprimands him; and Gower justifies himself by saying that the enemy spoke so loud, that the English could hear them all night. But what he says as he is going out, puts, I think, the emendation that I have adopted, beyond doubt, I will do as you desire; “ I will speak lower.
Shakspeare has here as usual followed Holinshed: “ Order was taken by commandement from the king, after the army was first set in battayle array, that no noise or clamour should be made in the bote." MALONE.
To speak luwer is the more familiar reading; but to speak few, is a provincial phrase still in use among the vulgar in some counties;
sal ’orld, when the true and auncient prerogatifes and laws of the wars is not kept: if you would take the pains but to examine the wars of Pompey the great, you shall find, I warrant you, that there is no tiddle taddle, nor pibble pabble, in Pompey's camp; I warrant you, you shall find the ceremonies of the wars, and the cares of it, and the forms of it, and the fobriety of it, and the modesty of it, to be otherwise.
Gow. Why, the enemy is loud; you heard him all night.
Flu. If the enemy is an ass and a fool, and a prating coxcomb, is it meet, think you, that we should also, look you, be an ass, and a fool, and a prating coxcomb; in your own conscience now?
Gow. I will speak lower.
that [Exeunt Gower and Fluellen. K. Hen. Though it appear a little out of fashion, There is much care and valour in this Welshman.
Enter Bates, Court, and WILLIAMS.
Court. Brother John Bates, is not that the morns ing which breaks yonder?
signifying, to speak in a calm, small voice; and consequently has the same meaning as low.-In Sussex I heard one female servant say to another" Speak fewer, or my mistress will hear you.”
STEEVENS. 4 I warrant you, &c.] Amongst the laws and ordinances militarie set down by Robert Earl of Leicester in the Low Countries, printed at Leyden, 1586, one is, that “ No man shall make anie outcrie or noise in any watch, ward, ambush, or anie other place where filence is requifite, and necessarie, upon paine of losse of life or limb at the general's discretion.” Reed.