« PreviousContinue »
Enter Sir Richard Vernon. Hot. My cousin Vernon! welcome, by my soul! Ver. Pray God, my news he worth a welcome, lord. The earl of Westmorland, seven thousand strong, Is marching hitherwards ; with him prince John.
Hot. No harm : what more?
Ver. And further, I have learn’d,
Hot. He shall be welcome too. Where is his fon,
4 Tbe nimble-footed mad-cap prince of Wales,] Shakespeare rarely best wș his epithets at random. Stowe says of the prince, “ he was palling swift in running; infomuch that he with two “ other of his lords, without hounds, bow, or other engine, “ would take a wild-duck, or doe, in a large park.
STEEVENS, $ All furnish’d, all in arms,
All plum'd like citridges, that with the wind
To bait with the wind appears to me an improper expression. To bait is, in the style of falconry, to beat the aving, from the French battre, that is, to flutter in preparation for fight,
Besides, what is the meaning of estridges, that baited with the wind like eagles? for the relative tisat, in the usual construction, must relate to eftridges. Sir Thomas Hanmer reads,
All plum'd like estridges, and with the wina
Laiting like eagles.
All furnib'd, all in arms,
Beited like eagles. This gives a Itrong image. They were not only plum'd like ettridges, but their plumes fiuftered like those of an eltridge
6 All plum'd like estridges, that with the wind
beating the wind with his wings. A more lively representation of young men ardent for enterprize, perhaps no writer has ever given. Johnson.
I believe eftridges never mount at all, but only run before the wind, opening their wings to receive its affiftance in urging them forward. They are generally hunted on horseback, and the art of the hunter is to turn them from the wind, by the help of which they are too fleet for the swiftest horse to keep up with them. I shouid have suspected a line to have been omitted, had not all the copies concurred in the same reading. Steevens.
I have little doubt that instead of with, fume verb ought to be substituted here. Perhaps it Mould be whisk. The word is used by a writer of Shakespeare's age. England's Helicon, lign. 2. “ This said, he wbik'd his particolour'd wings.”
T. T. 6 All plum'd like effridges, &c.] All dressed like the prince himself, the oftrich-feather being the cognizance of the prince of Wales, GRAY.
? Glittering in golden coats like images ;] This alludes to the manner of dressing up images in the Romish churches on holydays; where they are bedecked in gilt robes richly laced and embroidered. STEVENS.
8 I saw young Harry, with his beaver on,] We should read beaver up. It is an impropriety to say on: for the beaver is only the visiere of the helmet, which, let down, covers the face. When the soldier was not upon action he wore
up, so that his face might be seen, (hence Vernon says he farv young Harry.) But when upon action, it was let down to cover and secure the face. Hence in The Second Part of Henry IV. it is said, Their armed faves in charge, their beavers down.
WARBURTON. There is no need of all this note; for beaver may be a helmet; or the prince, trying his armour, might wear his beaver down. JOHNSON.
9 His cuisjes on his thighs,-) Cuises, French, armour for the thighs, Pope,
Rise from the ground like feather'd Mercury;
Ver. There is more news:
The reason why his cuisses are fo particularly mentioned, I conceive to be, that his horsemanship is here praised, and the cuisses are that part of armour which most hinders a horseman's activity. JOHNSON.
And switch the world) For bewitch, charm. Pope. 2 Harry to Harry Mall, het borse to horse,
Meet and ne'er part,-) This reading I have restored from the first edition. The edition in 1623, reads
Harry to Harry hall, not horse to borse,
Meet, and ne'er part. Which has been followed by all the critics except Sir Thomas Hanmer, who, judly remarking the impertinence of the negative, reads,
Harry to Harry Mall, and borse to borse,
Meet, ad ne'er part. But the unexampled expression of meeting to for meeting with, or fimply meeting, is yet left. The ancient reading is surely right.
Doug. That's the worst tidings that I hear of yet.
Hot. Forty let it be;
Doug. Talk not of dying; I am out of fear
Changes to a public road near Coventry.
Enter Felstaff and Bardolph.
Bard. Will you give me money, captain ?
Fal. And if it do, take it for thy labour ; and if it
[Exit. Fal. If I be not alham'd of my soldiers, I am a 4 fouc'd gurnet. I have mis-us'd the king's press
lieutenant Pete-] This passage proves that Peto did not go with the prince. Johnson.
four'd gurnet.) This is a dish mentioned in that very laughable poem callid The Counter-scuffle, 1658,
“ Stuck thick with cloves upon the back,
" Souc'd gurnet."
damnably. I have got, in exchange of an hundred and fifty soldiers, three hundred and odd pounds. I press me none but good housholders, yeomens fons : enquire me out contracted batchelors, such as had been ask'd twice on the bans; such a commodity of warm Naves, as had as lief hear the devil as a drum; such as fear the report of a caliver, 5 worse than a ftruck fowl, or a hurt wild-duck. I prest me none but such toasts and butter, with hearts in their bellies no bigger than pins' heads, and they have bought out their services. And now my whole charge consists of ancients, corporals, lieutenants, gentlemen of companies, naves as ragged as Lazarus in the painted cloth, where the glutton's dogs licked his fores : and such as indeed were never foldiers; but discarded unjust fervingmen, 6 younger sons to younger brothers, revolted tapsters, and oftlers trade-fallen; the cankers
Souc'd gurnet is an appellation of contempt very frequently employed in the old comedies. So in Decker's Honeft 'Wbore, *1635,
“ Punk! you foue'd gurnet!” STEEVENS.
worse l'an a flruck fowl, or a hurt wild duck.] The sepetition of the fame image disposed Sir Thomas Hanmer, and after him Dr. Warburton, to read, in opposition to all the copies, a ftruck deer, which is indeed a proper expression, but not likely to have been corrupted. Shakespeare, perhaps, wrote a ftruck forel, which, being negligently read by a man not killed in hunter's language, was ealily changed to struck fowl. Sorel is used in Love's Labour loft for a young deer; and the terms of the chase were, in our author's time, familiar to the ears of every gentleman. Johnson.
Both the quarto's and folio's read ftruck fool. This may mean a fool who had been hurt by the recoil of an over-loaded gun which he had inadvertently discharged. Fowl, however, feems to have been the word designed by the poet, who might have thought an opposition between fowl, i.e. domestic birds, and wild-fowl, fufficient on this occasion. STEEVENS.
younger fons to younger brothers, -] Raleigh, in his Discourse on W'ar, uses this very expression for men of desperate fortune and wild adventure. Which borrowed it from the other I know not, but I think the play was printed before the difcourse. JOHNSON.