Page images

For I was train'd up in the English court :S
Where, being but young, I framed to the harp
Many an English ditty, lovely well,
And gave the tongue a helpful ornament;
A virtue that was never seen in you.

Hor. Marry, and I'm glad of 't with all my heart;
I had rather be a kitten, and cry-mew,
Than one of these same metre ballad-mongers:
I had rather hear a brazen canstick turn'd,

s For I was train'd up in the English court :) The real name of Open Glendower was Vaughan, and he was originally a barrister of the Middle Temple. STEEVENS.

Owen Glendower, whose real name was Owen ap-Gryffyth Vaughan, took the name of Glyndour or Glendowr from the lordTip of Glyndourdwy, of which he was owner. He was particularly adverse to the Mortimers, because Lady Percy's nephew, Edmund earl of Mortimer, was rightfully entitled to the principality of Wales, (as well as the crown of England,) being lineally descended from Gladys the daughter of Lhewelyn and fifter of David Prince of Wales, the latter of whom died in the year 1246. Owen Glendower himself claimed the principality of Wales.

He afterwards became esquire of the body to King Richard II. with whom he was in attendance at Flint castle, when Richard was taken prisoner by Henry of Bolingbroke, afterwards King Henry IV. Owen Glendower was crowned Prince of Wales in the year 1402, and for near twelve years was a very formidable enemy to the English. He died in great distress in 1415. MALONE.

6 — the tongue-] The English language. JOHNSON.

Glendower means, that he graced his own tongue with the art of singing. Ritson.

I think Dr. Johnson's explanation the true one. Malone. 7 a brazen canstick turn'd, ] The word candlestick, which deltroys the harmony of the line, is written canstick in the quartos, 1598, 1599, and 1608; and so it might have been pronounced. Heywood, and several of the old writers, constantly spell it in this manner. Kit with the canstick is one of the spirits mentioned by Reginald Scott, 1584. Again, in The Famous History of Thomas Stukely, 1605, bl. 1: “ If he have so much as a canstick, I am a traitor." The noise to which Hotspur alludes, is likewise mentioned in A New Trick to cheat the Devil, 1636:

Or a dry wheel grate on the axle-tree;
And that would set my teeth nothing on edge,
Nothing so much as mincing poetry;
'Tis like the forc'd gait of a shuffling nag.

Glend. Come, you shall have Trent turn'd.

Hor. I do not care: I'll give thrice so much land To any well-deserving friend; But, in the way of bargain, mark ye me, I'll cavil on the ninth part of a hair. Are the indentures drawn? shall we be gone? Glend. The moon shines fair, you may away by

night : I'll haste the writer, and, withal,

“ As if you were to lodge in Lothbury,

" Where they turn brazen candlesticks.And again, in Ben Jonson's masque of Witches Metamorphosed:

" From the candlesticks of Lothbury,

56 And the loud pure wives of Banbury." Steevens, & I'll haste the writer,] He means the writer of the articles.

POPE, I suppose, to complete the measure, we should read:

I'll in and haste the writer; for he goes out immediately. So, in The Taming of a Shrew:

“ But I will in, to be reveng'd for this villainy." Again:

“ My cake is dough: But I'll in, among the rest.”


We should undoubtedly read

I'll in, and haste the writer, and withalThe two supplemental words which were suggested by Mr. Steevens, complete both the sense and metre, and were certainly omitted in the first copy by the negligence of the transcriber or printer. Such omissions more frequently happen than almost any other errour of the press. The present restoration is fupported by various other passages. So, in Timon of Athens, Act I. sc. i:

66 i Lord. Shall we in?

2 Lord. I'll keep you company." Again, ibidem, Act V. sc. iii:

In, and prepare.” Again, more appositely, in K. Richard III:

" I'll in, to urge his hatred more to Clarence." MALONE.

Break with your wives of your departure hence:
I am afraid, my daughter will run mad,
So much the doteth on her Mortimer. [Exit.
Mort. Fie, cousin Percy! how you cross my fa-

Hot. I cannot choose: sometimes he angers me,
With telling me of the moldwarp and the ant,
Of the dreamer Merlin, and his prophecies;
And of a dragon, and a finless fish,
A clip-wing'd griffin, and a moulten raven,
A couching lion, and a ramping cat,
And such a deal of skimble-skamble stuff 8
As puts me from my faith. I tell you what,-

7 of the moldwarp and the art, ] This alludes to an old prophecy, which is said to have induced Owen Glendower to take arms against King Henry. See Hall's Chronicle, fol. 20. Pope.

So, in The Mirror for Magistrates, 1559, Owen Glendower is introduced speaking of himself:

“ And for to set us hereon more agog,
“ A prophet came (a vengeaunce take them all!)
" Affirming Henry to be Gogmagog,
Whom Merlyn doth a mouldwarp ever call,
“ Accursid of God, that must be brought in thrall,
“ By a wulf, a dragon, and a lyon strong,

“ Which should devide his kingdome them among.” The mould-warp is the mole, so called because it renders the surface of the earth unlevel by the hillocks which it raises.

Anglo-Saxon molde, and wrorpan. STEEVENS.

So Holinfhed, for he was Shakspeare's authority: “ This (the division of the realm between Mortimer, Glendower, and Percy,] was done (as some have fayde) through a foolish credite given to a vaine prophecie, as though king Henry was the molde warpe, cursed of God's owne mouth, and they three were the dragon, the lign, and the wolfe, which should divide this realm between them.”

MALONE. 8 skimble-skamble fluff-] This cant word, formed by reduplication from scamble, occurs likewise in Taylor the water. poet's Descripiion of a Wanton: • Here's a sweet deal of scimble-scamble fluff.


He held me, but last night, at least nine hours,
In reckoning up the several devils' names,
That were his lackeys : I cried, humph,—and well,

-go to,—
But mark'd him not a word. O, he's as tedious
As is a tired horse, a railing wife ;
Worse than a smoky house:- I had rather live
With cheese and garlick, in a windmill, far,
Than feed on cates, and have him talk to me,
In any summerhouse in Christendom.

Mort. In faith, he is a worthy gentleman; Exceedingly well read, and profited In strange concealments; * valiant as a lion, And wond'rous affable; and as bountiful As mines of India. Shall I tell you, cousin? He holds your temper in a high respect, And curbs himself even of his natural scope, When you do cross his humour; 'faith, he does : I warrant you, that man is not alive, Might so have tempted him as you have done, Without the taste of danger and reproof; But do not use it oft, let me entreat you.

9 He held me, but last night, at least nine hours,] I have inserted the conjunctionbut, which is wanting in the ancient copies. Without some such assistance the metre would be defective.

Steevens, 2 In reckoning up the several devils' names,] See Reginald Scott's Discovery of Witchcraft, 1584, Book XV. ch. ii. p. 377, where the reader may find his patience as severely exercised as that of Hotspur, and on the same occasion. Shakspeare must certainly have seen this book. Steevens.

3 — go to,] These two senseless monosyllables seem to have been added by some foolish player, purposely to destroy the measure.

Ritson. - profited In frange concealments;] Skilled in wonderful secrets.


K k

WOR. In faith, my lord, you are too wilful

blame;s And since your coming hither, have done enough To put him quite beside his patience. You must needs learn, lord, to amend this fault: Though sometimes it show greatness, courage,

blood, (And that's the dearest grace it renders you,) Yet oftentimes it doth present harsh rage, Defect of manners, want of government, Pride, haughtiness, opinion, and disdain: The least of which, haunting a nobleman, Loseth men's hearts; and leaves behind a stain Upon the beauty of all parts besides, Beguiling them of commendation. Hor. Well, I am school'd; Good manners be your

speed! Here come our wives, and let us take our leave.

Re-enter GLENDOWER, with the Ladies.


Mort. This is the deadly spite that angers me,My wife can speak no English, I no Welsh.

s t og wilful-blame;] This is a mode of speech with which I am not acquainted. Perhaps it might be read—too wilful-blunt, or too wilful-bent; or thus :

Indeed, my lord, you are to blame, too wilful. JOHNSON. I suspect that our author wrote

to wilful-blame: i. e. you are wilfully to blame; the offence you give is meditated, designed.

Shakspeare has several compounds in which the first adjective has the power of an adverb. Thus, (as Mr. Tyrwhite has observed,) in King Richard III. we meet with childish-foolih, senseless-obftinate, and mortal-Itaring. Steevens.

6 - opinion,] means here felf-opinion, or conceit, M. Masos,

« PreviousContinue »