Page images
PDF
EPUB

I wonder much, being men of such great leading,
That you foresee not what impediments
Drag back our expedition : Certain horse
Of my cousin Vernon's are not yet come up:
Your uncle Worcester's horse came but to-day;
And now their pride and mettle is asleep,
Their courage with hard labour tame and dull,
That not a horse is half the half himself.3

Hor. So are the horses of the enemy
In general, journey-bated, and brought low;
The better part of ours are full of rest.

Wor. The number of the king exceedeth ours: For God's sake, cousin, stay till all come in.

[The trumpets found a parley.

Enter Sir Walter BLUNT.

Blunt. I come with gracious offers from the king, If

you vouchsafe me hearing, and respect.
Hor. Welcome, fir Walter Blunt; And 'would

to God,
You were of our determination !
Some of us love you well : and even those some
Envy your great deservings, and good name;
Because you are not of our quality, *
But stand against us like an enemy.

-fuch great leading, ] Such conduct, such experience in martial business. JOHNSON. The old copies,

such great leading as you are, By the advice of Mr. Ritson † have omitted the words as you are, which only serve to destroy the metre. Steevens.

-half himself.] Old copieshalf of himself. STEVENS.

of our quality,] Quality in our author's time was frequently used in the sense of fellowship or occupation. So, in The Tempeft: “ Talk Ariel and all his quality.i. e. all those who were employed with Ariel in similar services or occupations; his

3

Blunt. And God defend, but still I should stand so,
So long as, out of limit, and true rule,
You stand against anointed majesty!
But, to my charge.—The king hath sent to know
The nature of your griefs ;' and whereupon
You conjure from the breast of civil peace
Such bold hoftility, teaching his duteous land
Audacious cruelty: If that the king
Have any way your good deserts forgot,-
Which he confesseth to be manifold, -
He bids you name your griefs; and, with all speed,
You shall have your desires, with interest;
And pardon absolute for yourself, and these,
Herein misled by your suggestion.
Hor. The king is kind; and, well we know, the

king
Knows at what time to promise, when to pay.
My father, and my uncle, and myself,
Did give him that same royalty he wears:6

.

5

fellows. Again, in Hamlet: " -- give me a taste of your quality.MALONE

of your griefs ;] That is, grievances. So, in A Declaration of the Treasons of the late Earle of Efex, &c. 1601 : “ The Lord Keeper required the Earle of Essex, that if he would not declare his griefs openly, yet that then he would impart them privately.” Malone. • My father, and my uncle, and myself,

Did give him that same royalty he wears :) The Percies were in the highest favour with King Henry the Fourih for some time after his accession. Thomas Earl of Worcester was appointed Governour to the Prince of Wales, and was honoured with the custody. of Isabel, widow of King Richard the Second, when she was fent back to France after that king's depofition. Hotspur, who accompanied him on that occasion, in the presence of the Ambassadors of both nations, who met between Calais and Boulogne, protested “s

upon his soul” that she was a virgin, “ sound and entire even as she was delive to King Richard, and if any would say to the contrary, he was ready to prove it against him by combat.” Speed, p. 753. MALONE.

[ocr errors]

And,—when he was not fix and twenty strong,
Sick in the world's regard, wretched and low,
A

poor unminded outlaw sneaking home-
My father gave him welcome to the shore:
And,—when he heard him swear, and vow to God,
He came but to be duke of Lancaster,
To sue his livery,' and beg his peace ;
With tears of innocency, and terms of zeal,-
My father, in kind heart and pity mov’d,
Swore him assistance, and perform'd it too.
Now, when the lords and barons of the realm
Perceiv'd Northumberland did lean to him,
The more and less ? came in with cap and knee;

6 Tosue his livery,] This is a law phrase belonging to the feudal tenures; meaning, to sue out the delivery or poflellion of his lands from those persons who on the death of any of the tenants of the crown, seized their lands, till the heir sued out his livery.

STEEVENS. Before the 32d year of King Henry the Eighth, wardships were usually granted as court favours, to those who made fuit for, and had intereft enough to obtain them. Ritson. .

During the existence of the feudal tenures, on the death of any of the King's tenants, an inquest of office, called inquifitio poft mortem, was held, to inquire of what lands he died seized, who was his heir, of what age he was, &c. and in those cases where the heir was a minor, he became the ward of the crown; the land was seized by its officers, and continued in its possession, or that of the person to whom the crown granted it, till the heir came of age, and sued out his livery, or onfterlemaine, that is, the delivery of the land out of his guardian's hands. To regulate these inquiries, which were greatly abused, many persons being compelled to fue out livery from the crown, who were by no means tenants thereunto, the Court of Wards and Liveries was erected by Stat. 32 Hen. VIII. c. 46. See Blackstone's Comm. II. 61. III. 258.

MALONE. i Tbe more and lefs-] i. e. the greater and the lefs.

STEEVENS. Steevens has given the words, the more and less, the only explanation they can bear; but I have little doubt that we ought to read

They, more and less, came in &c. M. Mason.

8

Met him in boroughs, cities, villages;
Attended him on bridges, stood in lanes,
Laid gifts before him, proffer'd him their oaths,
Gave him their heirs; as pages follow'd him,
Even at the heels, in golden multitudes.
He presently,—as greatness knows itself,-
Steps me a little higher than his vow
Made to my father, while his blood was poor,
Upon the naked shore at Ravenspurg ;'
And now, forsooth, takes on him to reform
Some certain edicts, and some strait decrees,
That lie too heavy on the commonwealth:
Cries out upon abuses, seems to weep
Over his country's wrongs; and, by this face,
This seeming brow of justice, did he win
The hearts of all that he did angle for.
Proceeded further; cut me off the heads
Of all the favourites, that the absent king
In deputation left behind him here,
When he was personal in the Irish war,

Blunt. Tut, I came not to hear this.
Нот.

Then, to the point.
In short time after, he depos’d the king;
Soon after that, depriv'd him of his life;
And, in the neck of that,” task'd the whole state ::

[ocr errors]

& Gave him their heirs; as pages follow'd bim,] Perhaps we ought to point differently :

Gave him ibeir heirs as pages; follow'd him, &c. MALONE. 9 Upon the naked shore &c.] In this whole speech he alludes again to some passages in Richard the Second. Johnson.

* And, in the neck of thai,] So, in Painter's Palace of Plea/ure, 1566: “ Great mischicfes succedyng one in another's necke."

Henderson. tak’d the whole ftate:] I suppose it should be tax'd the whole state. JOHNSON,

Task'd is here used for taxed; it was once common to einploy these words indiscriminately, Memoirs of P. de Commines, by

3

el

11

To make that worse, suffer'd his kinsman March
(Who is, if every owner were well plac'd,
Indeed his king,) to be incag'd in Wales,
There without ransom

to lie forfeited :
Disgrac'd me in my happy victories;
Sought to entrap me by intelligence;
Rated my uncle from the council-board;
In rage dismiss'd my father from the court;
Broke oath on oath, committed wrong on wrong.:
And, in conclusion, drove us to seek out
This head of safety ; 4 and, withal, to pry
Into his title, the which we find
Too indirect for long continuance.

Blunt. Shall I return this answer to the king ?

Hor. Not so, fir Walter; we'll withdraw a while.
Go to the king; and let there be impawn'd
Some furety for a safe return again,
And in the morning early shall mine uncle
Bring him our purposes: and so farewell.
Blunt. I would, you would accept

of
love.
Hot. And, may be, so we shall.
BLUNT.

'Pray heaven, you do!

[Exeunt.

grace and

Danert, folio, 4th edit. 1674, p. 136: " Duke Philip, by the
space of many years levied neither subsidies nor tasks." Again,
in Stephen Goffon's School of Abuse, 1579: “ - like a greedy
surveiour being sent into Fraunce to govern the countrie, robbed
them and spoyled them of all their treasure with unreasonable taskes."

Again, in Holinshed, p: 422: “ There was a new and strange
subsidic or taske granted to be levied for the king's use." Steevens.

- incag'd in Wales,] The old copies have engag'd. Corrected by Mr. Theobald. Malone.

No change was necessary. Engag'd fignifies delivered as a boftage; and is again used in that sense. See p. 572, n. 9. Douce.

4 This head of safety;] This army, from which I hope for protection. JOHNSON.

3

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »