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Another Room in the Palace.
EnterKing Henry, NORTHUMBERLAND, Worcester,
HOTSPUR, Sir Walter BLUNT, and Others.
K. Hen. My blood hath been too cold and tem
perate, Unapt to stir at these indignities, And you have found me; for, accordingly, You tread upon my patience: but, be sure, I will from henceforth rather be myself, Mighty, and to be fear'd, than my condition ; 3 Which hath been smooth as oil, soft as young down, And therefore lost that title of respect, Which the proud soul ne’er pays, but to the proud.
3 I will from hence forth rather be myself,
Mighty, and to be fear'd, than my condition ;] i. e. I will from henceforth rather put on the character that becomes me, and exert the resentment of an injured king, than still continue in the inactivity and mildness of my natural disposition. And this sentiment he has well expressed, save that by his usual licence, he puts the word condition for difpofition. WARBURTON.
The commentator has well explained the sense, which was not very difficult, but is mistaken in supposing the use of condition licentious. Shakspeare uses it very frequently for temper of mind, and in this sense the vulgar ftill say a good or ill-conditioned man.
JOHNSON. So, in K. Henry V. A& V: “ Our tongue is rough, coz, and my condition is not smooth.” Ben Jonson uses it in the same sense, in The New Inn, Act I. sc. vi:
“ You cannot think me of that coarse condition,
« To envy you any thing.” Steevens. So also all the contemporary writers. See Vol. V. p. 412, n. 5; and Vol. VI. p. 29, n. 8. MALONE.
Wor. Our house, my sovereign liege, little des
North. My lord,
[Exit WORCESTER. You were about to speak. [To NORTHUMBERLAND. NORTH.
Yea, my good lord. Those prisoners in your highness' name demanded, Which Harry Percy here at Holmedon took, Were, as he says, not with such strength denied As is deliver'd to your majesty: Either envy, therefore, or misprision Is guilty of this fault, and not my son.
3- I see danger] Old copies—I do fee, &c. STEEVENS. 4 And majesty might never yet endure
The moody frontier of a servant brow.] Frontier was anciently used for forehead. So Stubbs, in his Anatomy of Abuses, 1595: “ Then on the edges of their bolster'd hair, which standeth crested round their frontiers, and hanging over their faces,” &c.
* STEEVENS, And majesty might never yet endure, &c.] So, in K. Henry VIII:
“ The hearts of princes kiss obedience,
“ They swell and grow as terrible as storms." Malone. 3 You have good leave-] i. e. our ready assent. So, in K. Joha:
“ Good leave, good Philip." See note 9, p. 24. STEEVENS.
Hor. My liege, I did deny no prisoners. But, I remember, when the fight was done, When I was dry with rage, and extreme toil, Breathless and faint, leaning upon my sword, Came there a certain lord, neat, and trimly dress'd, Fresh as a bridegroom; and his chin, new reap'd, Show'd like a stubble-land at harvest-home : 6 He was perfumed like a milliner; And 'twixt his finger and his thumb he held A pouncet-box,” which ever and anon He gave his nose, and took't away again; Who, therewith angry, when it next came there, Took it in snuff:8_and still he smil'd, and talk'd;
b a t harveft-home :] That is, a time of festivity.
JOHNSON. If we understand harvest-home in the general sense of a time of feftivity, we shall lose the most pointed circumstance of the comparison. A chin new shaven is compared to a stubble-land at har. veft-home, not on account of the festivity of that feason, as I apprehend, but because at that time, when the corn has been but just carried in, the stubble appears more even and upright, than at any other. Tyrwhitt.
7 A pouncet box,] A small box for mulk or other perfumes then in fashion : the lid of which, being cut with open work, gave it its name; from poinfoner, to prick, pierce, or engrave.
WARBURTON. Dr. Warburton's explanation is juft. At the christening of Queen Elizabeth, the Marchioness of Dorset gave, according to Holinshed, “ three gilt bowls pounced, with a cover.” So also, in Gawin Douglas's Translation of the ninth Æneid :
“ wroght richt curiously
“ With figuris grave, and punfit ymagery.” Steevens. 8 Took it in snuff:] Snuff is equivocally used for anger, and a powder taken up the nose.
So, in The Fleire, a comedy by E. Sharpham, 1610: “ Nay be not angry ; I do not touch thy nose, to the end it should take any thing in fuuff." Again, in Decker's Satiromastix, 1602 :
“ 'tis enough,
And, as the soldiers bore dead bodies by,
and here they are talking about tobacco. Again, in Hinde's Eliosto Libidinoso, 1606: “ The good wife glad that he took the matter so in snuff,” &c. STEVENS.
See Vol. V. p. 157, n. 6. Malone.
8 With many holiday and lady terms—] So, in A Looking Glass for London and England, 1598: “ These be but holiday terms, but if you heard her working day words— ," Again, in The Merry · Wives of Windsor : “ — he speaks holiday.” ŠTEEVENS.
9 I then, all smarting, with my wounds being cold,
To be so pester'd with a popinjay,] But in the beginning of the speech he represents himself at this time not as cold but hot, and inflamed with rage and labour:
" When I was dry with rage, and extreme toil,” &c. I am therefore persuaded that Shakspeare wrote and pointed it thus:
I then all smarting with my wounds; being gallid
To be so péster'd with a popinjay, &c. Warburton. Whatever Percy might say of his rage and toil, which is merely declamatory and apologetical, his wounds would at this time be certainly cold, and when they were cold would smart, and not before. If any alteration were necessary, I should transpose the lines:
I then all smarting with my wounds being cold,
The same transposition had been proposed by Mr. Edwards. In John Alday's Summarie of secret Wonders, &c. bl. l. no date, we are told that “ The Popingay can speake humaine speach, they come from the Indias" &c.
From the following passage in The Northern Lass, 1632, it should seem, however, that a popinjay and a parrot were distinct birds:
" Is this a parrot or a popinjay."
Out of my grief? and my impatience,
Again, in Nash's Lenten Stuff, &c. 1599: “ the parrot, the popinjay, Philip-fparrow, and the cuckow.” In the ancient poem called The Parliament of Birds, bl. 1. this bird is called “ the popynge jay of paradyse.” Steevens.
It appears from Minsheu that Dr. Johnson is right. See his Dict. 1617, in v. Parret. MALONE.
The old reading may be supported by the following passage in Barnes's History of Edward III. p.786 : “ The esquire fought still, until the wounds began with loss of blood to cool and smart."
Toller, Co, in Mortimeriados, by Michael Drayton, 4to. 1596: “ As when the blood is cold, we feel the wound "
MALONE. 2 - grief-] i. e. pain. In our ancient translations of phyfical treatises, dolor ventris is commonly called belly-grief. .
Steevens. 3 - Spermaceti, for an inward bruise ;] So, in Sir T. Overbury's Chara&ters, 1616: [An Ordinary Fencer,] “ His wounds are seldom skin-deepe; for an inward bruise lambstones and sweetebreads are his only spermaceti.” BowlE.
4- but for these vile guns, &c.] A similar thought occurs in Questions of profitable and pleasant Concernings, &c. 1594, p. 11: “I confefse those gunnes are diuellish things, and make many men runne away that other wayes would not turne their heads."