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To be presented, by your victories, With Charles, Alençon, and that traitorous rout. (Flourish. Exeunt King Henry, Glo. Sou.
Win. Suf. and BASSET. War. My lord of York, I promise you, the king Prettily, methought, did play the orator.
York. And so he did; but yet I like it not, In that he wears the badge of Somerset.
War. Tush! that was but his fancy, blame him
I dare presume, sweet prince, he thought no harm.
YORK. And, if I wist, he did ?,- But let it rest;
7 And, if I wist, he did, -] In former editions :
And, if I roish, he did." By the pointing reformed, and a single letter expunged, I have restored the text to its purity:
And, if I wis, he did," Warwick had said, the King meant no harm in wearing Somerset's rose: York testily replies, “Nay, if I know any thing, he did think harm." THEOBALD.
This is followed by the succeeding editors, and is indeed plausible enough ; but perhaps this speech may become sufficiently intelligible without any change, only supposing it broken :
“And if I wish- he did or, perhaps :
“And if he did I wish -” Johnson. I read— I wist, the pret. of the old obsolete verb I wis, which is used by Shakspeare in The Merchant of Venice :
“ There be fools alive, I wis,
“ Silver'd o'er, and so was this." Steevens. York says, he is not pleased that the King should prefer the red rose, the badge of Somerset, his enemy; Warwick desires him not to be offended at it, as he dares say the King meant no harm. To which York, yet unsatisfied, hastily adds, in a menacing tone, - If I thought he did ;- but he instantly checks his threat with,
It is an example of a rhetorical figure, which our author has elsewhere used. Thus, in Coriolanus :
* An 'twere to give again-But 'tis no matter." Mr. Steevens is too familiar with Virgil, not to recollect his
Quos ego-sed motos præstat componere fluctus. The author of the Revisal understood this passage in the same manner. Ritson.
let it rest.
Other affairs must now be managed.
[Exeunt YORK, WARWICK, and VERNON. Exe. Well didst thou, Richard, to suppress thy
voice : For, had the passions of thy heart burst out, I fear, we should have seen decipher'd there More rancorous spite, more furious raging broils, Than yet can be imagin'd or suppos’d. But howsoe'er, no simple man that sees This jarring discord of nobility, This should'ring of each other in the court, This factious bandying of their favourites, But that it doth presage some ill events 'Tis much', when scepters are in children's hands; But more, when envy breeds unkind division ; There comes the ruin, there begin's confusion.
it doth presage some ill event,] That is, it doth presage to him that sees this discord, &c. that some ill event will happen,
Malone. 9 'Tis much,] In our author's time this phrase meant—'Tis strange, or wonderful. This meaning being included in the word much, the word strange is perhaps understood in the next line: “ But more strange," &c. The construction, however, may be, • But 'tis much more, when,' &c. Malone.
'Tis much, is a colloquial phrase ; and the meaning of it, in many instances, can be gathered only from the tenor of the speech in which it occurs. On the present occasion, I believe, it signifies-- 'Tis an alarming circumstance, a thing of great consequence, or of much weight. Steevens.
I learn from Mr. Wilbraham's Glossary, that much still bears, in Cheshire, the meaning ascribed to it by Mr. Malone : “Much, s. a wonder, an extraordinary thing." Yei, I think, in the present instance, Mr. Steevens is right. Boswell.
when envy breeds UNKIND division ;) Envy in old English writers frequently means enmity. Unkind is unnatural. See vol. vi. p. 411, n. 8. Malone.
France. Before Bourdeaux.
Enter TALBOT, with his Forces. Tal. Go to the gates of Bourdeaux, trumpeter, Summon their general unto the wall. Trumpet sounds a Parley. Enter, on the Walls,
the General of the French Forces, and Others. English John Talbot, captains, calls you forth, Servant in arms to Harry king of England ; And thus he would, -Open your city gates, Be humble to us; call my sovereign yours, And do him homage as obedient subjects, And I'll withdraw me and my bloody power : But, if you frown upon this proffer'd peace, You tempt the fury of my three attendants, Lean famine, quartering steel, and climbing fire ?; Who, in a moment, even with the earth Shall lay your stately and air-braving towers, If you forsake the offer of their love 3.
* 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, Fire, and Famine ; whiche thre damosels be of that force and strength that every one of them alone is able and sufficient 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 Holinshed, 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. Steevens.
If the author of this play in general followed Hall, it is most probable that he followed him here also. MALONE.
3 – the offer of Their love.] Thus the old editions. Sir T. Hanmer altered it to our. Johnson.
Gen. Thou ominous and fearful owl of death, Our nation's terror, and their bloody scourge! The period of thy tyranny approacheth. On us thou canst not enter, but by death : For, I protest, we are well fortified, And strong enough to issue out and fight : If thou retire, the Dauphin, well appointed, Stands with the snares of war to tangle thee: On either hand thee there are squadrons pitch'd, To wall thee from the liberty of flight; And no way canst thou turn thee for redress, But death doth front thee with apparent spoil, And pale destruction meets thee in the face. Ten thousand French have ta’en the sacrament, To rive their dangerous artillery * Upon no Christian soul but English Talbot. Lo! there thou stand'st, a breathing valiant man,
“ 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, Act IV. Sc. II. : “ The soul and body rive not more at parting.”
STEEVENS. Rive their artillery seems to mean, charge their artillery so much as to endanger their bursting. So, in Troilus and Cressida, Ajax bids the trumpeter blow so 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 burst; and a cannon, when fired, has so much the appearance of bursting, that, in the language of poetry, it may be well said to burst. We say, a cloud bursts, when it thunders.
Of an invincible unconquer'd spirit :
[Drum afar off.
[Exeunt General, &c. from the Walls. Tal. He fables not, I hear the enemy;-Out, some light horsemen, and peruse their
- 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 dew of praise is an expression I have met with in other poets. Shakspeare uses the same verb in Macbeth :
"To dew the sovereign flow'r, and drown the weeds." Again, in The Second Part of King Henry VI.:
give me thy hand, “ That I may dew it with my mournful tears." STEbvENS. • 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.