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And furbish new the name of John of Gaunt,
Even in the lusty 'haviour of his son.
GAUNT. Heaven in thy good cause make thee prosperous!
Be swift like lightning in the execution; And let thy blows, doubly redoubled, Fall like amazing thunder on the casque Of thy adverse pernicious enemy: Rouse up thy youthful blood, be valiant and live. BOLING. Mine innocency, and Saint George to thrive! [He takes his seat. NOR. [Rising.] However heaven, or fortune, cast my lot,
There lives or dies, true to king Richard's throne,
Cast off his chains of bondage, and embrace
use, were composed of small pieces of steel quilted over one another, and yet so flexible as to accommodate the dress they form to every motion of the body. Of these many are still to be seen in the Tower of London. STEEVENS.
The object of Bolingbroke's request is, that the temper of his lance's point might as much exceed the mail of his adversary, as the iron of that mail was harder than wax. HENLEY.
I do not perceive how this meaning can be drawn from the words in the text. MALONE.
6 And FURBISH-] Thus the quartos 1608 and 1615. The folio reads-furnish. Either word will do, as to furnish in the time of Shakspeare signified to dress. So, twice in As You Like It: "furnished like a huntsman."-" -furnished like a beggar." STEEVENS.
The original quarto, 1597, reads furbish. MALONE.
7 Fall like AMAZING thunder on the casque-] To amaze, in ancient language, signifies to stun, to confound. Thus, in Arthur Hall's translation of the third Iliad, 4to. 1581:
"And striking him upon the helme, his foe amazed makes.” See also, King John, Act IV. Sc. III. STEEVENS.
8 Mine INNOCENCY,] Old copies-innocence. Corrected by Mr. Capell.
So, in King Richard III. :
"God and mine innocency defend my right."
This feast of battle with mine adversary.-
Go I to fight; Truth hath a quiet breast.
K. RICH. Farewell, my lord: securely I espy Virtue with valour couched in thine eye.-Order the trial, marshal, and begin.
[The King and the Lords return to their seats. MAR. Harry of Hereford, Lancaster, and Derby, Receive thy lance; and God defend the right! BOLING. [Rising.] Strong as a tower in hope, I
MAR. Go bear this lance [To an Officer.] to Thomas duke of Norfolk.
1 HER. Harry of Hereford, Lancaster, and Derby, Stands here for God, his sovereign, and himself, On pain to be be found false and recreant, To prove the duke of Norfolk, Thomas Mowbray, A traitor to his God, his king, and him, And dares him to set forward to the fight.
9 This FEAST of battle-] "War is death's feast," is a proverbial saying. See Ray's Collection. STEEVENS.
I apprehend there is no allusion to this image here; Norfolk means that he would so willingly engage in battle that he would consider it as a feast. Boswell.
As gentle and as jocund, as to JEST,] Not so neither. We should read to just; i. e. to tilt or tourney, which was a kind of sport too. WARBURTON.
The sense would perhaps have been better if the author had written what his commentator substitutes; but the rhyme, to which sense is too often enslaved, obliged Shakspeare to write jest, and obliges us to read it. JOHNSON.
The commentators forget that to jest sometimes signifies in old language to play a part in a mask. Thus, in Hieronymo: "He promised us in honour of our guest,
"To grace our banquet with some pompous jest." And accordingly a mask is performed. FARMER.
Dr. Farmer has well explained the force of this word. So, in The Third Part of King Henry VI.:
as if the tragedy
"Were play'd in jest by counterfeited actors." TOLLET.
2 HER. Here standeth Thomas Mowbray, duke of Norfolk,
On pain to be found false and recreant,
MAR. Sound, trumpets; and set forward, combatants. [A Charge sounded. Stay, the king hath thrown his warder down 2. K. RICH. Let them lay by their helmets and their spears,
And both return back to their chairs again Withdraw with us :-and let the trumpets sound, While we return these dukes what we decree.
[A long flourish. Draw near, [To the Combatants. And list, what with our council we have done. For that our kingdom's earth should not be soil'd With that dear blood which it hath fostered 3; And for our eyes do hate the dire aspect Of civil wounds plough'd up with neighbours'
hath thrown his WARDER down.] A warder appears to have been a kind of truncheon carried by the person who presided at these single combats. So, in Daniel's Civil Wars, &c. b. i.: "When lo, the king, suddenly chang'd his mind,
"Casts down his warder to arrest him there." STEEVENS. 3 With that dear blood WHICH IT HATH FOSTERED;] The quarto 1615, reads—
"With that dear blood which it hath been foster'd." Perhaps the author wrote
"With that dear blood with which it hath been foster'd." But the other quartos and the folio read as in the text. MALONE.
4 Of CRUEL Wounds, &c.] The quarto copy now before me, 1597, and the folio, read-" Of civil wounds." But Mr. Capell's quarto copy of the same date, (now in the library of Trinity College, Cambridge,) and printed by the same printer, hascruell instead of civill; which must have been an alteration
[And for we think the eagle-winged pride'
* Quarto 1597, harsh resounding arms.
made while the play was working off, and therefore I imagine was made in conformity to the manuscript. However, the very contrary may have been the case; and the printer, after having worked off Mr. Capell's copy, might have discovered his mistake, and printed civil in all the subsequent copies, on finding that to be the author's word. As I have never seen another copy but these two, I have no means of ascertaining this point. However, as the word cruel furnishes a new idea, I have adopted it : Wounds made by neighbour's swords," were necessarily civil wounds. The folio gives no additional strength to this reading; for that copy merely followed the quarto of 1608, where the reading is civil.
Swords is the reading of the folio. The original quarto hassword. MALONE.
5 And for we think the eagle-winged pride, &c.] These five verses are omitted in the other editions, and restored from the first of 1598. POPE.
Mr. Pope is not quite correct. The first quarto was in 1597; the five lines in question are in that copy, and in all the other quartos, 1598, 1608, and 1615. They were omitted in the folio, doubtless merely for the purpose of shortening the speech.
By the omission, the speech was rendered unintelligible for the words "Which so rous'd up," &c. are immediately connected with "gentle sleep," in the preceding line, and do not afford any meaning when connected with "civil wounds," above.
set YOU ON-] The old copy reads-on you. Corrected by Mr. Pope. MALONE.
I see no necessity for any alteration. Boswell. 7 To wake our peace,
Which so rous'd up
Might fright fair PEACE,] Thus the sentence stands in the common reading absurdly enough; which made the Oxford editor, instead of "fright fair peace," read, be affrighted; as if
And make us wade even in our kindred's blood;
these latter words could ever, possibly, have been blundered into the former by transcribers. But his business is to alter as his fancy leads him, not to reform errors, as the text and rules of criticism direct. In a word then, the true original of the blunder was this the editors, before Mr. Pope, had taken their editions from the folios, in which the text stood thus:
the dire aspect
Of civil wounds plough'd up with neighbour swords; "Which so rouz'd up
fright fair peace."
This is sense. But Mr. Pope, who carefully examined the first printed plays in quarto, (very much to the advantage of his edi tion,) coming to this place, found five lines, in the first edition of this play, printed in 1598, omitted in the first general collection of the poet's works; and, not enough attending to their agreement with the common text, put them into their place. Whereas, in truth, the five lines were omitted by Shakspeare himself, as not agreeing to the rest of the context; which, on revise, he thought fit to alter. On this account I have put them into hooks, not as spurious, but as rejected on the author's revise; and, indeed, with great judgment; for
To wake our peace which in our country's cradle "Draws the sweet infant breath of gentle sleep,"
as pretty as it is in the image, is absurd in the sense for peace awake is still peace, as well as when sleep. The difference is, that peace asleep gives one the notion of a happy people sunk in sloth and luxury, which is not the idea the speaker would raise, and from which state the sooner it was awaked the better.
To this note, written with such an appearance of taste and judgement, I am afraid every reader will not subscribe. It is true, that " peace awake is still peace, as well as when asleep; " but peace awakened by the tumults of these jarring nobles, and peace indulging in profound tranquillity, convey images sufficiently opposed to each other for the poet's purpose. "To wake peace," is to introduce discord. "Peace asleep," is peace exerting its natural influence, from which it would be frighted by the clamours of war. STEEVENS.