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Or by what means got’st thou to be releas'd ?
TAL. The duke of Bedford had a prisoner,
deservedly numbered among the feeblest performances of Shakspeare, this first of them appears to have been received with the greatest applause. So, in Pierce Penniless's Supplication to the Devil, by Nath, 1592: “ How would it have joyed brave Talbot (the terror of the French,) to thinke that after he had lien two hundred years in his tombe, he should triumph againe on the stage, and have his bones new embalmed with the teares of ten thousand spectators at least (at several times,) who in the tragedian that represents his person, imagine they behold him fresh bleeding ?” Steevens.
6- fo pild esteem'd.] Thus the old copy. Some of the modern editors read, but without authority-lo vile-efter m’d.-S. pillid, may mean-so pillag'd, so strippid of honours; but I suspect a corruption, which Mr. M. Mason would remedy, by reading either vile or ill-esteemed.
It is polible, however, that Shakspeare might have writtenPhilistin'd; i. e. treated as contumeliously as Sampson was by the Philistines.—Both Sampson and Talbot had been prisoners, and were alike insulted by their captors.
Our author has jocularly formed more than one verb from a proper name; as for instance, from Anfidius, in Coriolanus: “ I would not have been so fidius'd for all the chests in Corioli.” Again, in King Henry V. Pistol say's to his prisoner : “ Master Fer? I'll fer him,” &c. Again, in Hamlet, from Herod, we have the verb « out-herod.”
Shakspeare therefore, in the present instance, might have taken a similar liberty.-To fall into the hands of the Philistines has long been a cant phrase, expressive of danger incurred, whether from enemies, association with hard drinkers, gamesters, or a less welcome acquaintance with the harpies of the law.
Talbot's idea would be sufficiently expressed by the term-Phim lifin'd, which (as the play before us appears to have been copied by the ear) was more liable to corruption than a common verb.
In fine, redeem'd I was as I desir'd.
tain'd. TAL. With scoffs, and scorns, and contumelious
I may add, that perhaps no word will be found nearer to the sound and traces of the letters, in pil-esteem'd, than Philistin'd.
Philistine, in the age of Shakspeare, was always accented on the first syllable, and therefore is not injurious to the line in which I have hesitatingly proposed to insert it.
I cannot, however, help smiling at my own conjecture; and should it excite the same sensation in the reader who journeys through the barren desert of our accumulated notes on this play, like Addison's traveller, when he discovers a cheerful spring amid the wilds of sand, let him
" bless his stars, and think it luxury.” Steevens. I have no doubt that we should read fo pile-esteem'd: a Latinism, for which the author of this play had, I believe, no occafion to go to Lilly's grammar. “ Flocci, nauci, nihili, pili, &c. his verbis, æftimo, pendo, peculiariter adjiciuntur; ut,—Nec hujus facio, qui me pili æftimat.” Even if we suppose no change to be necessary, this surely was the meaning intended to be conveyed. In one of Shakspeare's plays we have the same phrase, in English,-vile-esteem'd.
MALONE. If the author of the play before us designed to avail himself of the Latin phrase-pili ajtimo, would he have only half translated it? for what correspondence has pile in English to a single hair? Was a single hair ever called--a pile, by any English writer?
STEEVENS. ?_ the terror of the French,
The scare-crow that affrights our children fo.] From Hall's Chronicle: “ This man [Talbot) was to the French people a very fcourge and a daily terror, insomuch that as his person was fearful, and terrible to his adversaries present, so his name and fame was
Then broke I from the officers that led me;
lords. GLAN. And I, here, at the bulwark of the
spiteful and dreadful to the common people absent; insomuch that women in France to feare their yong children, would crye, the Talbot commeth, the Talbot commeth.” The same thing is said of King Richard I. when he was in the Holy Land. See Camden's Remaines, 4to. 1614, p. 267. MALONE.
8 Here, through this grate, I can count every one,] Thus the second folio. The first, very harshly and unmetrically, reads :
Here, thorough this grate, I count each one. STEEVENS.
Tal. For aught I see, this city must be famish'd, Or with light skirmishes enfeebled. 8
Shot from the town. SALISBURY and Sir Tho.
ners! GAR. O Lord, have mercy on me, woful man! TAL. What chance is this, that suddenly hath
i enfeebled.] This word is here used as a quadrifyllable.
MALONE. 9 __ thy cheek's fide struck off!] Camden says in his Remaines, that the French scarce knew the use of great ordnance, till the siege of Mans in 1425, when a breach was made in the walls of that town by the English, under the conduct of this earl of Salifbury; and that he was the first English gentleman that was fiain by a cannon-ball. MALONE. 2 One eye thou haft &c.] A similar thought occurs in King Lear:
my lord, you have one eye left,
Bear hence his body, I will help to bury it.
[Thunder heard; afterwards an alarum. What stir is this? What tumult's in the heavens? Whence cometh this alarum, and the noise?
Enter a Messenger.
Mess. My lord, my lord, the French have ga
ther'd head: The Dauphin, with one Joan la Pucelle join'd, -A holy prophetess, new risen up,Is come with a great power to raise the siege.
[SALISBURY groans. TAL. Hear, hear, how dying Salisbury doth
} - and Nero-like,] The first folio reads: Plantagenet, I will; and like thee
Steevens. In the old copy, the word Nero is wanting, owing probably to the transcriber's not being able to make out the name. The editor of the second folio, with his usual freedom, altered the line thus:
and Nero-like will — Malone. I am content to read with the second folio (not conceiving the emendation in it to be an arbitrary one) and omit only the needless repetition of the verb will. Surely there is some absurdity in making Talbot address Plantagenet, and invoke Nero, in the same