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Another Part of the Field of Battle.
Constable, RAMBURES, and Others.
Dau. Mort de ma vie ! all is confounded, all!
[A mort alarum. Con.
Why, all our ranks are broke.
Orl. Is this the king we sent to for his ransom?
8 O perdurable shame!] Perdurable is lasting, long to continue. So, in Daniel's Civil Wars, &c.
Triumphant arcs of perdurable might.” Steevens. 9 Let us die instant : Once more back again;] This verse, which is quite left out in Mr. Pope's editions, itands imperfect in the first folio. By the addition of a syllable, I think, I have retrieved the poet's sense. It is thus in the old copy :
Let us die in once more back again. THEOBALD. Let us die in fight;] For the insertion of the word fight, which (as I observed in
Second Appendix, 8vo. 1783,), appears to have been omitted by the negligence of the transcriber or compositor, I am answerable. So Bourbon says afterwards:
“ I'll to the throng; Let life be short." Macbeth utters the same fentiment:
• At least we'll die with harness on our backs."
Let him go hence, and, with his cap in hand,
lives Unto these English, or else die with fame.
Mr. Theobald corrected the text by reading instant instead of in; but (as I have already remarked,) it is highly improbable that a printer should omit half a word; nor indeed does the word instant suit the context. Bourbon probably did not wish to die more than other men; but if we are conquered, (says he) if we are to die, let us bravely die in combat with our foes, and make their victory as dear to them as we can.
The editor of the second folio, who always cuts a knot instead of untying it, substituted fly for die, and absurdly reads—Let us fly in; leaving the metre, which was destroyed by the omission of a word, ftill imperfect, and at the fame time rendering the passage nonsense. The lines stand thus in the quarto, 1600:
“ Con. We are enough yet living in the field
“ Bour. A plague of order! once more to the field;
“ And he that will not follow," &c. MALONE. I have not adopted Mr. Malone's emendation, because when I read it, I cannot suppose myself to be reading the beginning of a verse.
Inftant may be an adjective used adverbially. In the course of this publication my compositors will not deny their occasional omission of several half words. Steevens. 2 Like a base pander,] The quartos read :
Like a base leno. STEEVENS.
ro gentler -] Who has no more gentility. MALONE.
-is contaminate.] The quarto has-contamuracke, which corrupted word, however, is sufficient to lead us to the true reading now inserted in the text: It is also supported by the metre and the usage of our author and his contemporaries. We have had in this play
“ hearts create" for hearts created: so, elsewhere, combinate, for combin’d; confummate, for confummated, &c. The folio reads--contaminated. MALONE.
s Unto these English, or else die with fame.] This line I have restored from the quartos, 1600 and 1608. The Constable of
Orl. We are enough, yet living in the field, To smother up the English in our throngs, If any order might be thought upon.
Bour. The devil take order now! I'll to the
Let life be short; else, shame will be too long.
Alarums. Enter King Henry and Forces; Exeter,
K. Hen. Well have we done, thrice-valiant
countrymen : But all's not done, yet keep the French the field. Exe. The duke of York commends him to your
majesty, K. Hen. Lives he, good uncle? thrice, within
this hour, I saw him down; thrice up again, and fighting; From helmet to the spur, all blood he was. Exe. In which array, (brave soldier,) doth he
lie, Larding the plain: 6 and by his bloody fide, (Yoke-fellow to his honour-owing wounds,)
France is throughout the play represented as a brave and generous enemy, and therefore we should not deprive him of a resolution which agrees so well with his character. * Steevens. Larding the plain:] So, in King Henry IV. Part I: “ And lards the lean earth as he walks along."
STEEVENS. Vol. IX.
The noble earl of Suffolk also lies.
Sraught-] i. e. reached. See Vol. X. p. 241, n. 8.
STEEVENS. 6 A testament of noble-ending love.) So the folio. The quarto reads:
An argument of never-ending love. MALONE. 7 But all my mother came into mine eyes,
And gave me up to tears.] Thus the quarto. The folio reads-And all &c. But has here the force of But that.
MALONE. This thought is apparently copied by Milton, Paradise Loft, Book IX:
STEEVENS. K. Hen.
I blame you not;
Dryden also, in All for Love, Act I. has the same expression:
Look, Emperor, this is no common dew.
this forty years ;
“ I cannot help her softness.” Reed.
The poet must have wrote—miftful: i. e. just ready to over-run with tears. The word he took from his observation of nature: for, just before the bursting out of tears, the eyes grow dim, as if in a mist. WARBURTON.
9 what new alarum is this fame?] The alarum on which Henry ordered the prisoners to be Nain, was founded by the affrighted runaways from his own camp, who brought intelligence that the French had got behind him, and had pillaged it. See a subsequent note. Not knowing the extent of his danger, he gave the order here mentioned, that every soldier should kill his prisoners.
After Henry speaks these words, “ what new alarum is this same?" Shakspeare probably intended that a messenger should enter, and secretly communicate this intelligence to him; though by some negligence no such marginal direction appears.
MALONE. ? Give the word through.] Here the quartos 1600 and 1608 ridiculously add:
Pift. Couper gorge. Steevens.