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What shall I say more than I have infer'd?
“That summons thee to heaven, or to hell.” Again, in King Henry VI, P. II: “If not in heaven, you 'll surely sup in hell.” Steevens. * A sort of vagabonds,) A sort, that is, a company a collection. See note on A Midsummer Night's Dream, Vol. II, p. 319, n. 2. Johnson. 3–ventures —J Old copies—adventures. Steevens.
* They would restrain the one, i. e. they would lay restrictions on the possession of your lands; impose conditions on the proprietors of them. Dr. Warburton for restrain substituted distrain, which has been adopted by all the subsequent editors. “To distrain,” says he, “is to seize upon,” but to distrain is not to seize generally, but to seize goods, cattle, &c. for non-payment of rent, or for the purpose of enforcing the process of courts. The restrictions likely to be imposed by a conquering enemy on lands, are imposts, contributions, &c. or absolute confiscation.—“And if he [Henry Earl of Richmond] should atchieve his false intent and purpose,” (says Richard in his circular letter sent to the Sheriffs of the several counties in England on this occasion: Paston Letters, II, 321,) “every man’s life, livelihood, and goods, shall be in his hands, liberty, and disposition.” Malone.
* Long kept in Bretagne at our mother’s cost 2] This is spoken by Richard, of Henry Earl of Richmond; but they were far from having any common mother, but England: and the Earl of Richmond was not subsisted abroad at the nation's public charge. During the greatest part of his residence abroad, he was watched and restrained almost like a captive; and subsisted by supplies conveyed from the Countess of Richmond, his mother. It seems probable, therefore, that we must read: Long kept in Bretagne at his mother’s cost. Theobald. Our mother's cost?] Mr. Theobald perceives to be wrong: he reads, therefore, and all the editors after him : Long kept in Bretagne at his another's cost. But give me leave to transcribe a few more lines from Holinshed, and you will find at once, that Shakspeare had been there before me: .*.*
A milk-sop,” one that never in his life
“You see further, how a companie of traitors, theeves, outlaws and runagates be aiders and partakers of this feate and enterprize.—And to begin with the erle of Richmond, captaine of this rebellion, he is a Welch milksop—brought up by my moother’s meanes and mine, like a captive in a close cage in the court of Francis Duke of Britaine.” P 756. Holinshed copies this verbatim from his brother chronicler, Hall, edit. 1548, fol. 54, but his printer has given us by accident the word moother instead of brother; as it is in the original, and ought to be in Shakspeare. Farmer. See a letter of King Richard III, persuading his subjects to resist Henry Tydder, &c. in Sir John Fenn's Collection of the Paston Letters, Vol. II, p. 318. Henley. Henry Earl of Richmond was long confined in the court of the Duke of Britaine, and supported there by Charles Duke of Burgundy, who was brother-in-law to King Richard. Hence Mr. Theobald justly observed that mother in the text was not conformable to the fact. But Shakspeare, as Dr. Farmer has observed, was led into this error by Holinshed, where he found the preceding passage in an oration which Hall, in imitation of the ancient historians, invented, and exhibited as having been spoken by the King to his soldiers before the battle of Bosworth. If, says a Remarker, [Mr. Ritson] it ought to be so in Shakspeare, why stop at this correction, and why not in King Henry V, print praecarissimus instead of preclarissimus? [See Vol IX, p. 376, n 6 J And indeed if brother is to be substituted for mother here, there can be no reason why all other similar errors should not be corrected in like manner. But the Remarker misunderstood Dr. Farmer’s words, which only mean—as it is in the original, and as Shakspeare ought to have written. Dr. Farmer did not say—“as it ought to be printed in Shakspeare.” In all the other places where Shakspeare has been led into errors by mistakes of the press, or by false translations, his text has been very properly exhibited as he wrote it; for it is not the business of an editor to new-write his author’s works. Thus, in Antony and Cleopatra, Act IV, sc. i. we have—“Let the old ruf. fian know, I have many other ways to die;” though we know the sense of the passage in Plutarch there copied is, that “he [the old ruffian] hath many other ways to die.” Again, in julius Česar, Antony is still permitted to say, that Caesar had left the Roman people his arbours and orchards “on this side Tyber,” though it ought to be—“on that side Tyber:” both which mistakes Shakspeare was led into by the ambiguity and inaccuracy of the old translation of Plutarch. In like manner in King Henry V, preclarissimus is exhibited as it was written by Shakspeare, instead of praecarissimus; and in the same play I have followed our author in printing in Vol. IX, p. 212, Lewis the tenth, though Lewis the ninth was the person
Let’s whip these stragglers o'er the seas again;
meant: an error into which he was led, as in the present instance, hy a mistake of the press.
For all such inaccuracies the poet, and not the editor, is responsible; and in the passage now under our consideration more particularly the text ought not to be disturbed, because it ascertains a point of some moment; namely that Holinshed, and not Hall, was the historian that Shakspeate followed. Of how much consequence this is, the reader may ascertain by turning to the Dissertation on the Plays of King Henry VI, where this circumstance, if I do not deceive myself, contributes not a little in addition to the other proofs there adduced, to settle a long-agitated question, and to show that those plays were re-written by Shakspeare, and not his original composition. Malone.
° 4 milk-sop, &c..] So, in The Mirrour for Magistrates, already quoted: “First with our foe-mens captaine to begin,
“A weake Welch milksop,-2”
Alluding perhaps to goat's milk, of which anciently the Welsh were fonder than they are at present. Steevens.
7 Amaze the welkin with your broken staves "J That is, fright the skies with the shivers of your lances. johnson. So, in Soliman and Perseda: “Now by the marble face of the welkin.” A similar idea is more tamely expressed in W. Smith's Pals. grave, 1613: “Spears flew in splinters half the way to heaven.” The same imagery is justified by the following passage in Froissart's Chronicle, Vol. II, cap. lxxviii: “Syr Raynolde du Roy breake his spere in iiii peces, and the shevers flewe a grete hyght in to the ayre.” Steevens,
Enter a Messenger.
What says lord Stanley will he bring his power?
villarum : Eaccursions. Enter No RFolk, and Forces ; to him CATES BY.
Cates. Rescue, my lord of Norfolk, rescue, rescue ! The king enacts more wonders than a man,
* Off instantly £5'c.] The word—instantty, was supplied by Sir Thomas Hanmer. Without it, this line has no pretensions to metre. Steevens.
9 — the enemy is pass'd the marsh; ) There was a large marsh in Bosworth plain between the two armies. Henry passed it, and male such a disposition of his forces that it served to protect his right wing By this movement he gained also another point, that his men should engage with the sun behind them, and in the faces of his enemies: a matter of great consequence when bows and arrows were in use. Malone.
1 A vance our standards, &c.] So again, in The Mirrour of Magistrates; and apparently borrowed from Shakspeare: “Advance then captaines, forward to the fight, “Draw forth your swords, each man address his sheeld; “Hence faint conceites, die thoughts of coward flight, “To heaven vour hearts, to fight your valours yeeld: “Behold our foes do brave us in the field. “Upon them, friends; the cause is yours and mine; “Saint George and conquest on our helmes doth shine.” Steevens. So Holinshed after Hall: “ — like valiant champions advance forth your standardes, and assay whether your enemies can decide and try the title of battaile by dint of sword; avaunce, I say again, forward, my captaines.—Now Saint George to borrow, let us set forward.” Malone.
Daring an opposite to every danger;”
-Alarum. Enter King R1c HARD. K. Rich. A horse! a horse!’ my kingdom for a horse : Cates. Withdraw, my lord, I’ll help you to a horse. K. Rich. Slave, I have set my life upon a cast,
2 Daring an opposite to every danger;] Perhaps the poet wrote: Daring and opposite to every danger. Tyrwhitt. Perhaps the following passage in Chapman's version of the 8th Book of Homer's Odyssey may countenance the old reading: “— a most dreadful fight “Daring against him.” Steevens. The old reading is perhaps right. An opposite is frequently used by Shakspeare and the contemporary writers, for adversary. So, in .# Night: “ — your opposite hath in him what youth, strength, skill, and wrath, can furnish man withal.” Again: “– and his opposite the youth, bears in his visage no presage of cruelty.” So, in Blurt Mr. Constable, a comedy, by Middleton, 1602: “— to strengthen us against all opposites. Again, more appositely, in Marston's Antonio and Mellida, 1602: “Myself, myself, will dare all opposites.” The sense then should seem to be, that King Richard enacts wonders, daring the adversary he meets with to every danger attending single combat. Malone To dare a single opposite to every danger, is no very wonderful exploit.—I should therefore adopt Tyrwhitt’s amendment, which infers that he flew to oppose every danger, wherever it was to be found, and read with him, “and opposite.” M. Mason. 3. A horse! a horse /] In The Battle of Alcazar, 1594, the Moor calls out in the same manner: “A horse, a horse, villain a horse! “That I may take the river straight, and fly! “— Here is a horse, my lord, “As swiftly pac'd as Pegasus.” This passage in Shakspeare appears to have been imitated by several of the old writers, if not stolen. So, Heywood, in the Second Part of his Iron Age, 1632: 4& a horse, a horse! “Ten kingdoms for a horse to enter Troy!” Steevens. Marston seems to have imitated this line in his Satires, 1599: “A man, a man, a kingdom for a man!” Malone. This line is introduced into Marston's What you will, Act 11, sc. i., 4to 1607: “Ha! he mounts Chirall on the wings of fame. “4 horse / a horse / my kingdome for a horse / “Looke thee, I speake play scraps,” &c. Reed. p