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France. Before Bourdeaux.
Enter Talbot, with his Forces.
Trumpet sounds a parley. Enter, on the walls, the
General of the French Forces, and Others.
this proffer'd peace,
writers frequently means enmity. Unkind is unnatural. See Vol. V. p. 555, l. 12; and Vol. VI. p. 70, n. 3. Malone.
5 Lean famine, quartering steel, and climbing fire ;] The author of this play followed Hall's Chronicle: “ The Goddesse of warre, called Bellona-hath these three hand-maides ever of necessitie attendyng on her; Bloud, Fyre, and Famine ; whiche thre damosels be of that force and trength that every one of them alone is able and fufficient to torment and afflict a proud prince; and they all joyned together are of puissance to destroy the most populous countrey and most richest region of the world.” MALONE.
It may as probably be asserted that our author followed Holinhed, from whom I have already quoted a part of this passage in a note on the first Chorus to King Henry V. See Holinshed, p. 567.
If you forsake the offer of their love.
Gen. Thou ominous and fearful owl of death,
o the offer of their love.] Thus the old editions. Sir T. Hanmer altered it to our. Johnson.
“ Their love" may mean, the peaceable demeanour of my three attendants; their forbearing to injure you. But the expression is harsh. MALONE. There is much such another line in King Henry VIII: " If
you omit the offer of the time.” I believe, the reading of Sir T. Hanmer should be adopted.
Steevens. * To rive their dangerous artillery-] I do not understand the phrase-to rive artillery; perhaps it might be to drive; we say to drive a blow, and to drive at a man, when we mean to express furious assault. JOHNSON.
To rive seems to be used, with some deviation from its common meaning, in Antony and Cleopatra, A& IV. sc. ii: * The soul and body rive not more at parting."
STEVENS. Rive their artillery seems to mean charge their artillery so much as to endanger their bursting. So, in Troilus and Crellida, Ajax bids the trumpeter blow fo loud, as to crack his lungs and split his brazen pipe. TOLLET.
To rive their artillery means only to fire their artillery.- To rive is to burft ; and a cannon, when fired, has so much the appearance
Upon no christian soul but English Talbot.
[Drum afar off
[Exeunt General, &c. from the walls. Tal. He fables not, I hear the enemy ;
of bursting, that, in the language of poetry, it may be well said to burst. We say, a cloud bursts, when it thunders.
M. MASON. due thee withal;] To due is to endue, to deck, to grace.
JOHNSON. Johnson says in his Dictionary, that to due is to pay as due ; and quotes this passage as an example. Possibly that may be the true meaning of it. M. MASON.
It means, I think, to honour by giving thee thy due, thy merited elogium. Due was substituted for dew, the reading of the old copy, by Mr. Theobald. Dew was sometimes the old spelling of due, as Hew was of Hugh. MALONE.
The old copy reads-dew thee withal ; and perhaps rightly. The dea of praise is an expression I have met with in other poets. Shakspeare uses the same verb in Macbeth :
“ To dew the fou'reign flow'r, and drown the weeds." Again, in the second part of King Henry VI:
give me thy hand,
STEEVENS. 9 He fables not,] This expression Milton has borrowed in his Masque at Ludlow Castle:
“ She fables not, I feel that I do fear It occurs again in The Pinner of Wakefield, 1599:
-good father, fable not with him.” Steevens.
Out, some light horsemen, and peruse their wings.—
be then in blood :) Be in high spirits, be of true mettle.
JOHNSON. This was a phrase of the forest. See Love's Labour's Loft, Vol. V. p. 259, n. 8.
“ The deer was, as you know, in fanguis, blood." Again, in Bullokar's English Expositor, 1616: “Tenderlings. The soft tops of a deere's horns, when they are in blood."
MALONE. 3 Not rascal-like,] A rascal deer is the term of chase for lean poor deer. JOHNSON.
See Vol. IX. p. 78, n. 3. Steevens. -- with heads of feel,] Continuing the image of the deer, he supposes the lances to be their horns. Johnson.
dear deer of us,] The same quibble occurs in King Henry IV. Part I:
“ Death hath not truck so fat a deer to-day,
Though many dearer,” &c. Steevens.
Plains in Gascony.
Enter York, with Forces; to him a Messenger.
York. Are not the speedy scouts return'd again, That dogg'd the mighty army of the Dauphin? Mess. They are return’d, my lord; and give it
6 And I am lowted - To lowt may fignify to de press, to lower, to dishonour; but I do not remember it so used. We may read And I am flouted.--I am mocked, and treated with contempt.
JOHNSON To lout, in Chaucer, signifies to fub init. To submit is to ket down, So, Dryden :
“ Sometimes the hill submits itself a while
" In small descents,” &c. To lout and underlout, in Gawin Douglas's version of the Æneid, fignifies to be fubdued, vanquished. STEVENS.
A lowt is a country fellow, a clown. He means that Somerset treats him like a kind. Ritson.
I believe the meaning is; I am treated with contempt, like a lows, or low country fellow, MALONE.