Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub
[blocks in formation]

BARD. Who keeps the gate here, ho ?-Where is

the earl? PORT. What shall I say you are ? BARD.

Tell thou the earl, That the lord Bardolph doth attend him here. Port. His lordship is walk'd forth into the or

chard ; Please it your honour, knock but at the gate, And he himself will answer.

Enter NORTHUMBERLAND. BARD,

Here comes the earl. North. What news, lord Bardolph ? every mi

nute now Should be the father of some stratagem: The times are wild; contention, like a horse

8

- some STRATAGEM :] Some stratagem means here some great, important, or dreadful event. So, in The Third Part of King Henry VI, the father who had killed his son says:

“ O pity, God! this miserable age !
“ What stratagems, how fell, how butcherly!
“ This mortal quarrel daily doth beget!". M, Mason.

Full of high feeding, madly hath broke loose,
And bears down all before him.
BARD.

Noble earl, I bring you certain news from Shrewsbury.

North. Good, an heaven will!
BARD.

As good as heart can wish:-
The king is almost wounded to the death;
And, in the fortune of my lord your son,
Prince Harry slain outright; and both the Blunts
Kill'd by the hand of Douglas : young prince John,
And Westmoreland and Stafford, fed the field;
And Harry Monmouth's brawn, the hulk Sir John,
Is prisoner to your son: O, such a day,
So fought, so follow'd, and so fairly won,
Came not, till now, to dignify the times,
Since Cæsar's fortunes!
North.

How is this deriv'd ? Saw you the field ? came you from Shrewsbury ? BARD. I spake with one, my lord, that came from

thence;
A gentleman well bred, and of good name,
That freely render'd me these news for true.
North. Here comes my servant, Travers, whom

I sent
On Tuesday last to listen after news.

BARD. My lord, I over-rode him on the way;
And he is furnish'd with no certainties,
More than he haply may retail from me.

Enter TRAVERS. North. Now, Travers, what good tidings come

with you? Tra. My lord, sir John Umfrevile turn'd me

back With joyful tidings; and, being better hors d, Out-rode me. After him, came spurring hard,

9

[ocr errors]

2

A gentleman almost forspent with speed',
That stopp'd by me to breathe his bloodied horse:
He ask'd the way to Chester; and of him
I did demand, what news from Shrewsbury,
He told me that rebellion had bad luck,
And that young Harry Percy's spur was cold:
With that, he gave his able horse the head,
And, bending forward, struck his armed heels?
Against the panting sides of his poor jade ?
Up to the rowel-head'; and, starting so,
He seem'd in running to devour the way -,
Staying no longer question.

- FORSPENT with speed,] To forspend is to waste, to exhaust. So, in Sir A. Gorges' translation of Lucan, b. vii. :

crabbed sires forspent with age.” Steevens. - ARMED heels — ] Thus the quarto 1600. The folio, 1623, reads—"able heels ; the modern editors, without authority—agile heels." STEEVENS.

- poor jade -] Poor jade is used, not in contempt, but in compassion, Poor jade means the horse wearied with his journey.

Jade, however, seems anciently to have signified what we now call a hackney; a beast employed in drudgery, opposed to a horse kept for show, or to be rid by its master. So, in a comedy called A Knack to know a Knave, 1594 :

“Besides, I'll give you the keeping of a dozen jades,
" And now and then meat for

you
and
your

horse.This is said by a farmer to a courtier.

STEEVENS.
Shakspeare, however, (as Mr. Steevens has observed;) cer-
tainly does not use the word as a term of contempt; for King
Richard the Second gives this appellation to his favourite horse
Roan Barbary, on which Henry the Fourth rode at his corona-

That
jade hath eat bread from my royal hand."

MALONE. rowel-head ;] I think that I have observed in old prints the rowel of those times to have been only a single spike.

Johnson. Dr. Johnson had either forgotten the precise meaning of the word rowel, or has made choice of inaccurate language in applying it to the single spiked spur, which he had seen in old prints. The former signifies the moveable spiked wheel at the end of a spur, such as was actually used in the time of Henry the Fourth, and long before the other was laid aside. Shakspeare certainly meant the spur of his own time. Douce.

tion :

3

6

NORTH.

Ha! Again.
Said he, young Harry Percy's spur was cold ?
Of Hotspur, coldspurs ? that rebellion
Had met ill luck!
BARD.

My lord, I'll tell you what
If

my young lord your son have not the day, Upon mine honour, for a silken point I'll give my barony: never talk of it. North. Why should that gentleman, thạt rode

by Travers, Give then such instances of loss? BARD.

Who, he ? He was some hilding fellow?, that had stol'n The horse he rode on; and, upon my life, Spoke at a venture. Look, here comes more news.

[ocr errors]

• He seem'd in running to devour the way,] So, in the book of Job, chap. xxxix : “ He swalloweth the ground in fierceness and rage." The same expression occurs in Ben Jonson's Sejanus :

“ But with that speed and heat of appetite,
“ With which they greedily devour the way
“ To some great sports.

STEEVENS. So Ariel, to describe his alacrity in obeying Prospero's commands :

drink the air before me.” M. Mason. So, in one of the Roman poets (I forget which): cursu consumere campum.

BLACKSTONE. The line quoted by Sir William Blackstone is in Nemesian : latumque fuga consumere campum.

MALONE. s Of HOTSPUR, coldspur ?] Hotspur seems to have been a very common term for a man of vehemence and precipitation. Stanyhurst, who translated four books of Virgil, in 1584, renders the following line :

Nec victoris heri tetigit captiva cubile. “ To couch not mounting of mayster vanquisher hoatspur."

STEEVENS. 6 -- silken POINT -] A point is a string tagged, or lace.

JOHNSON. 7 - some hilding fellow,] For hilderling, i. e. base, degenerate. РОРЕ. . Hilderling, Degener; vox adhuc agro Devon, familiaris. Spel

Reed.

man,

Enter Morron.

North. Yea, this man's brow, like to a title

leaf,

Foretells the nature of a tragick volume:
So looks the strond, whereon* the imperious flood
Hath left a witness'd usurpation".
Say, Morton, didst thou come from Shrewsbury ?

Mor. I ran from Shrewsbury, my noble lord ;
Where hateful death put on his ugliest mask,
To fright our party.
North.

How doth my son and brother ?
Thou tremblest; and the whiteness in thy cheek
Is apter than thy tongue to tell thy errand.
Even such a man, so faint, so spiritless,
So dull, so dead in look, so woe-begone',
Drew Priam's curtain in the dead of night,

* Folio, when.

9

1

8 like to a title-leaf,] It may not be amiss to observe, that, in the time of our poet, the title-page to an elegy, as well as every intermediate leaf, was totally black. I have several in my possession, written by Chapman, the translator of Homer, and ornamented in this manner. STEEVENS. a witness'd usurpation.] i. e, an attestation of its ravage.

Steevens. so woe-begone,] This word was common enough amongst the old Scottish and English poets, as G. Douglas, Chaucer, Lord Buckhurst, Fairfax; and signifies, far gone in woe.

WARBURTON. So, in The Spanish Tragedy:

“ Awake, revenge, or we are wo-begone ! Again, in Arden of Feversham, 1592 :

“ So woe-begone, so inly charg'd with woe." Again, in A Looking Glass for London and England, 1598 :

“Fair Alvida, look not so woe-begone." Dr. Bentley is said to have thought this passage corrupt, and thereforę (with a greater degree of gravity than my readers will probably express) proposed the following emendation :

So dead, so dull in look, Ucalegon,

“ Drew Priam's curtain,” &c. The name of Ucalegon is found in the third book of the liad, and the second of the Æneid. STEEVENS.

« EdellinenJatka »