Sivut kuvina

A scaly gauntlet now, with joints of steel,

Must glove this hand: and hence, thou sickly quoif;
Thou art a guard too wanton for the head,
Which princes, flesh'd with conquest, aim to hit.
Now bind my brows with iron; And approach
The ragged'st hour? that time and spite dare bring,
To frown upon the enrag'd Northumberland!
Let heaven kiss earth! Now let not nature's hand
Keep the wild flood confin'd! let order die!
And let this world no longer be a stage,
To feed contention in a lingering act;
But let one spirit of the first-born Cain
Reign in all bosoms, that, each heart being set
On bloody courses, the rude scene may end,
And darkness be the burier of the dead!

Grief, in ancient language, signifies bodily pain, as well as sorrow. So, in A Treatise of sundrie Diseases, &c. by T. T. 1591: "-he being at that time griped sore, and having grief in his lower bellie." Dolor ventris is, by our old writers, frequently translated "grief of the guts." I perceive no need of alteration.

6 nice-] i. e. trifling. So, in Julius Cæsar:

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"That every nice offence should bear his comments."


7 The ragged'st hour-] Mr. Theobald and the subsequent editors read-The rugged'st. But change is unnecessary, the expression in the text being used more than once by our author, In As you Like it, Amiens says, his voice is ragged; and rag is employed as a term of reproach in The Merry Wives of Windsor, and in Timon of Athens. See also the Epistle prefixed to Spenser's Shepherd's Calender, 1579: ". -as thinking them fittest for the rustical rudeness of shepherds, either for that their rough sound would make his rimes more ragged, and rustical," &c. The modern editors of Spenser might here substitute the word rugged with just as much propriety as it has been substituted in the present passage, or in that in As you Like it. See Vol. V, p. 47, n. 7. Again, in The Rape of Lucrece:

"Thy secret pleasure turns to open shame,—
"Thy smoothing titles to a ragged name."

Again, in our poet's eighth Sonnet:

"Then let not Winter's ragged hand deface

"In thee thy summer."

Again, in the play before us:

"A ragged and fore-stall'd remission." Malone.

8 And darkness be the burier of the dead!] The conclusion of this

Tra. This strained passion doth you wrong, my lord. Bard. Sweet earl, divorce not wisdom from your ho


Mor. The lives of all your loving complices Lean on your health; the which, if you give o'er To stormy passion, must perforce decay.

You cast the event of war, my noble lord,

And summ'd the account of chance, before you said,—
Let us make head. It was your presurmise,
That, in the dole of blows your son might drop:
You knew, he walk'd o'er perils, on an edge,
More likely to fall in, than to get o'er:1

You were advis'd, his flesh was capable2

Of wounds, and scars; and that his forward spirit
Would lift him where most trade of danger rang'd;
Yet did you say,-Go forth; and none of this,
Though strongly apprehended, could restrain
The stiff-borne action: What hath then befallen,
Or what hath this bold enterprize brought forth,
More than that being which was like to be?

Bard. We all, that are engaged to this loss,3

noble speech is extremely striking. There is no need to suppose it exactly philosophical; darkness, in poetry, may be absence of eyes, as well as privation of light. Yet we may remark, that by an ancient opinion it has been held, that if the human race, for whom the world was made, were extirpated, the whole system of sublunary nature would cease. Fohnson.


in the dole of blows -] The dole of blows is the distribu tion of blows. Dole originally signified the portion of alms (consisting either of meat or money) that was given away at the door of a nobleman. See Vol. VII, p. 207, n. 9. Steevens.

1 You knew, he walk'd o'er perils, on an edge,

More likely to fall in, than to get o'er:] So, in King Henry IV,

Part I:

"As full of peril and adventurous spirit,
"As to o'erwalk a current roaring loud,
"On the unsteadfast footing of a spear."


2 You were advis'd, his flesh was capable —] i. e. you knew. So, in The Two Gentlemen of Verona:

"How shall I doat on her with more advice —.”

i. e. on further knowledge. Malone.

Thus also, Thomas Twyne, the continuator of Phaer's transla

tion of Virgil, 1584, for haud inscius, has advis'd:

He spake and strait the sword advisde into his throat receives."


Knew that we ventur'd on such dangerous seas,
That, if we wrought out life, 'twas ten to one:
And yet we ventur'd, for the gain propos'd
Chok'd the respect of likely peril fear'd;
And, since we are o'erset, venture again.
Come, we will all put forth; body, and goods.

Mor. 'Tis more than time: And, my most noble lord,
I hear for certain, and do speak the truth,-
The gentle archbishop of York is up,*
With well-appointed powers; he is a man,
Who with a double surety binds his followers.
My lord your son had only but the corps,
But shadows, and the shows of men, to fight:
For that same word, rebellion, did divide
The action of their bodies from their souls;
And they did fight with queasiness, constrain'd,
As men drink potions; that their weapons only
Seem'd on our side, but, for their spirits and souls,
This word, rebellion, it had froze them up,
As fish are in a pond: But now the bishop
Turns insurrection to religion:

Suppos'd sincere and holy in his thoughts,
He 's follow'd both with body and with mind;
And doth enlarge his rising with the blood

Of fair king Richard, scrap'd from Pomfret stones :
Derives from heaven his quarrel, and his cause;
Tells them, he doth bestride a bleeding land,”

Gasping for life under great Bolingbroke;

And more, and less, do flock to follow him.

North. I knew of this before; but, to speak truth, This present grief had wip'd it from my mind. Go in with me; and counsel every man

The aptest way for safety, and revenge:

3 We all, that are engaged to this loss,] We have a similar phraseology in the preceding play:

"Hath a more worthy interest to the state,
"Than thou the shadow of succession."


4 The gentle &c.] These one-and-twenty lines were added since the first edition


5 Tells them, he doth bestride a bleeding land,] That is, stands over his country to defend her as she lies bleeding on the ground. So Falstaff before says to the Prince, If thou see me down, Hal, and bestride me, so; it is an office of friendship. Johnson.

Get posts, and letters, and make friends with speed;
Never so few, and never yet more need.


London. A Street.


Enter Sir JOHN FALSTAFF, with his Page bearing his Sword and Buckler.

Fal. Sirrah, you giant, what says the doctor to my water?6

Page. He said, sir, the water itself was a good healthy water: but, for the party that owned it, he might have more diseases than he knew for.

Fal. Men of all sorts take a pride to gird at me:7 The brain of this foolish-compound clay, man, is not able to vent any thing that tends to laughter, more than I invent, or is invented on me: I am not only witty in myself, but the cause that wit is in other men. I do here walk before thee, like a sow, that hath overwhelmed all her litter but one. If the prince put thee into my service for any other reason than to set me off, why then I have no judgment. Thou whoreson mandrake, thou


what says the doctor to my water?] The method of investigating diseases by the inspection of urine only, was once so much the fashion, that Linacre, the founder of the College of Physicians, formed a statute to restrain apothecaries from carrying the water of their patients to a doctor, and afterwards giving medicines, in consequence of the opinions they received concerning it. This statute was, soon after, followed by another, which forbade the doctors themselves to pronounce on any disorder from such an uncertain diognostic.

It will scarcely be believed hereafter, that in the years 1775 and 1776, a German, who had been a servant in a public ridingschool, (from which he was discharged for insufficiency) revived this exploded practice of water-casting. After he had amply increased the bills of mortality, and been publicly hung up to the ridicule of those who had too much sense to consult him, as a monument of the folly of his patients, he retired with a princely fortune, and perhaps is now indulging a hearty laugh at the expense of English credulity. Steevens.


to gird at me:] i. e. to gibe. So, in Lyly's Mother Bombie, 1594: We maids are mad wenches; we gird them, and flout them," &c. Steevens.


mandrake,] Mandrake is a root supposed to have the shape of a man; it is now counterfeited with the root of briony.


art fitter to be worn in my cap, than to wait at my heels. I was never manned with an agate till now: but I will set you neither in gold nor silver, but in vile apparel, and send you back again to your master, for a jewel; the juvenal,1 the prince your master, whose chin is not yet fledged. I will sooner have a beard grow in the palm of my hand, than he shall get one on his cheek; and yet he will not stick to say, his face is a face-royal: God may finish it when he will, it is not a hair amiss yet: he may keep it still as a face-royal,2 for a barber shall never earn sixpence out of it; and yet he will be crowing, as if he had writ man ever since his father was a bachelor. He may keep his own grace, but he is almost out of mine, I can assure him.- What said master Dumbleton 3 about the satin for my short cloak, and slops?

9 I was never manned with an agate till now: :] That is, I never before had an agate for my man. Johnson.

The virtues of the agate were anciently supposed to protect the wearer from any misfortune. So, in Greene's Mamilia, 1593: the man that hath the stone agathes about him, is surely defenced against adversity." Steevens.

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I believe an agate is used merely to express any thing remarkably little, without any allusion to the figure cut upon it. So, in Much Ado about Nothing, Vol. IV, p. 234, n. 7:


"If low, an agate very vilely cut." Malone.

the juvenal,] This term, which has already occurred in The Midsummer Night's Dream, and Love's Labour's Lost, is used in many places by Chaucer, and always signifies a young man. Steevens.


he may keep it still as a face-royal,] That is, a face exempt from the touch of vulgar hands. So, a stag-royal is not to be hunted, a mine-royal is not to be dug. Johnson.

Old copies at a face-royal. Corrected by the editor of the second folio. Malone..

Perhaps this quibbling allusion is to the English real, rial, or royal. The poet seems to mean that a barber can no more earn sixpence by his face-royal, than by the face stamped on the coin oalled a royal; the one requiring as little shaving as the other.



If nothing be taken out of a royal, it will remain a royal as it This appears to me to be Falstaff's conceit. A royal was a piece of coin of the value of ten shillings. I cannot approve either of Johnson's explanation, or of that of Steevens.


M. Mason.

Dumbleton] The folio has-Dombledon; the quarto→ Dommelton. This name seems to have been a made one, and designed to afford some apparent meaning. The author might

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