Sidor som bilder

And none but women left to wail the dead.
Henry the fifth! thy ghost I invocate;
Prosper this realm, keep it from civil broils!
Combat with adverse planets in the heavens!
A far more glorious star thy soul will make,
Than Julius Cæsar, or bright2.

Was there ever such nonsense! But he did not know that marish is an old word for marsh or fen; and therefore very judiciously thus corrected by Mr. Pope. Warburton.

We should certainly read-marish. So, in The Spanish Tragedy:

"Made mountains marsh, with spring-tides of my tears."


I have been informed, that what we call at present a stew, in which fish are preserved alive, was anciently called a nourish. Nourice, however, Fr. a nurse, was anciently spelt many different ways, among which nourish was one. So, in Syr Eglamour of Artois, bl. I no date:

"Of that chylde she was blyth,

"After nor shes she sent belive."

A nourish therefore in this passage of our author may signify a nurse, as it apparently does in the Tragedies of John Bochas, by Lydgate, B. 1, c. xii:

"Athenes whan it was in his floures

"Was called nourish of philosophers wise."

·Juba tellus generat, leonum

Arida nutrix.


Spenser, in his Ruins of Time, uses nourice as an English word: "Chaucer, the nourice of antiquity" Malone.

2 Than Julius Cæsar, or bright — I can't guess the occasion of the hemistich and imperfect sense in this place; 'tis not impossible it might have been filled up with-Francis Drake, though that were a terrible anachronism (as bad as Hector's quoting Aristotle in Troilus and Cressida); yet perhaps at the time that brave Englishman was in his glory, to an English-hearted audience, and pronounced by some favourite actor, the thing might be popular, though not judicious; and, therefore, by some critick in favour of the author, afterwards struck out. But this is a mere slight conjecture. Pope

To confute the slight conjecture of Pope, a whole page of ve hement opposition is annexed to this passage by Theobald. Sir Thomas Hanmer has stopped at Cæsar-perhaps more judiciously. It might, however, have been written-or bright Berenice. Johnson.

Pope's conjecture is confirmed by this peculiar circumstance, that two blazing stars (the Julium sidus) are part of the arms of the Drake family. It is well known that families and arms were much more attended to in Shakspeare's time, than they are at this day. M. Mason.

Enter a Messenger.

you all!

Mess. My honourable lords, health to Sad tidings bring I to you out of France, Of loss, of slaughter, and discomfiture: Guienne, Champaigne, Rheims, Orleans,3 Paris, Guysors, Poictiers, are all quite lost.

Bed. What say'st thou, man, before dead Henry's corse?

Speak softly; or the loss of those great towns
Will make him burst his lead, and rise from death.
Glo. Is Paris lost? is Roüen yielded up?

If Henry were recall'd to life again,

These news would cause him once more yield the ghost. Exe. How were they lost? what treachery was us'd? Mess. No treachery; but want of men and money. Among the soldiers this is muttered,

That here you maintain several factions;

And, whilst a field should be despatch'd and fought,
You are disputing of your generals.


One would have ling'ring wars, with little cost;
Another would fly swift, but wanteth wings;
A third man thinks, without expense at all,
By guileful fair words peace may be obtain❜d.
Awake, awake, English nobility!

Let not sloth dim your honours, new-begot:
Cropp'd are the flower-de-luces in your arms;
Of England's coat one half is cut away.

Exe. Were our tears wanting to this funeral,
These tidings would call forth her flowing tides."
Bed. Me they concern; regent I am of France :-

This blank undoubtedly arose from the transcriber's or compositor's not being able to make out the name. So, in a subsequent passage the word Nero. was omitted for the same reason. See the Dissertation at the end of the third part of King Henry VI.


3 Guienne, Champaigne, Rheims, Orleans,] This verse might be completed by the insertion of Rouen among the places lost, as Gloster in his next speech infers that it had been mentioned with the rest. Steevens.

4 A third man thinks,] Thus the second folio. The first omits the word-man, and consequently leaves the verse imperfect.


5 her flowing tides.] i. e. England's flowing tides. Malone.

Give me my steeled coat, I'll fight for France.--
Away with these disgraceful wailing robes!
Wounds I will lend the French, instead of eyes,
To weep their intermissive miseries."

Enter another Messenger.

2 Mess. Lords, view these letters, full of bad mischance,

France is revolted from the English quite;
Except some petty towns of no import:

The Dauphin Charles is crowned king in Rheims;
The bastard of Orleans with him is join'd;
Reignier, duke of Anjou, doth take his part;
The duke of Alençon flieth to his side.

Exe. The Dauphin crowned king! all fly to him!
O, whither shall we fly from this reproach?

Glo. We will not fly, but to our enemies' throats:Bedford, if thou be slack, I'll fight it out.

Bed. Gloster, why doubt'st thou of my forwardness? An army have I muster'd in my thoughts, Wherewith already France is over-run.

Enter a third Messenger.

3 Mess. My gracious lords,—to add to your laments, Wherewith you now bedew king Henry's hearse,— I must inform you of a dismal fight,

Betwixt the stout lord Talbot and the French.

Win. What! wherein Talbot overcame? is 't so?
3 Mess. O, no; wherein lord Talbot was o'erthrown:
The circumstance I'll tell you more at large.
The tenth of August last, this dreadful lord,
Retiring from the siege of Orleans,

Having full scarce six thousand in his troop,"
By three and twenty thousand of the French
Was round encompassed and set upon:
No leisure had he to enrank his men;

He wanted pikes to set before his archers;
Instead whereof, sharp stakes, pluck'd out of hedges,


their intermissive miseries.] i. e. their miseries, which have had only a short intermission from Henry the Fifth's death to my coming amongst them. Warburton.

7 Having full scarce &c.] The modern editors read—scarce full, but, I think, unnecessarily. So, in The Tempest:

· Prospero, master of a full poor cell," Steevens.

They pitched in the ground confusedly,
To keep the horsemen off from breaking in.
More than three hours the fight continued;
Where valiant Talbot, above human thought,
Enacted wonders with his sword and lance.
Hundreds he sent to hell, and none durst stand him;
Here, there, and every where, enrag'd he slew:9
The French exclaim'd, The devil was in arms;
All the whole army stood agaz'd on him:
His soldiers, spying his undaunted spirit,
A Talbot! a Talbot! cried out amain,
And rush'd into the bowels of the battle.'
Here had the conquest fully been seal'd up,
If sir John Fastolfe2 had not play'd the coward;
He being in the vaward, (plac'd behind,3



above human thought,

Enacted wonders -] So, in King Richard III:

"The king enacts more wonders than a man." Steevens. he slew:] I suspect the author wrote few. Malone. 1 And rush'd into the bowels of the battle.] Again, in the fifth Act of this play:

"So, rushing in the bowels of the French."

The same phrase had occurred in the first part of Jeronimo, 1605:

"Meet, Don Andrea! yes, in the battle's bowels." Steevens. 2 If sir John Fastolfe &c.] Mr. Pope has taken notice, "That Falstaff is here introduced again, who was dead in Henry V. The occasion whereof is, that this play was written before King Henry IV, or King Henry V." But it is the historical Sir John Fastolfe (for so he is called by both our Chroniclers) that is here mentioned; who was a lieutenant general, deputy regent to the duke of Bedford in Normandy, and a knight of the garter; and not the comick character afterwards introduced by our author, and which was a creature merely of his own brain. Nor when he named him Falstaff do I believe he had any intention of throwing a slur on the memory of this renowned old warrior. Theobald.

Mr. Theobald might have seen his notion contradicted in the very line he quotes from. Fastolfe, whether truly or not, is said by Hall and Holinshed to have been degraded for cowardice. Dr. Heylin, in his Saint George for England, tells us, that "he was afterwards, upon good reason by him alledged in his defence, restored to his honour."_ "This Sir John Fastolfe," continues he, "was without doubt, a valiant and wise captain, notwithstanding the stage hath made merry with him." Farmer.

3 He being in the vaward, (plac'd behind,] Some of the editors seem to have considered this as a contradiction in terms, and

With purpose to relieve and follow them,)
Cowardly fled, not having struck one stroke.
Hence grew the general wreck and massacre;
Enclosed were they with their enemies:

A base Walloon, to win the Dauphin's grace,
Thrust Talbot with a spear into the back;

Whom all France, with their chief assembled strength
Durst not presume to look once in the face.

Bed. Is Talbot slain? then I will slay myself,

For living idly here, in pomp and ease,
Whilst such a worthy leader, wanting aid,
Unto his dastard foe-men is betray'd.

3 Mess. O no, he lives; but is took prisoner, And lord Scales with him, and lord Hungerford: Most of the rest slaughter'd, or took, likewise.

Bed. His ransome there is none but I shall pay:
I'll hale the Dauphin headlong from his throne,
His crown shall be the ransome of my friend;
Four of their lords I 'll change for one of ours.-
Farewel, my masters; to my task will I;
Bonfires in France forthwith I am to make,
To keep our great Saint George's feast withal:
Ten thousand soldiers with me I will take,
Whose bloody deeds shall make all Europe quake.

3 Mess. So you had need; for Orleans is besieg'd; The English army is grown weak and faint:

The earl of Salisbury craveth supply,

And hardly keeps his men from mutiny,

Since they, so few, watch such a multitude.

Exe. Remember, lords, your oaths to Henry sworn;

Either to quell the Dauphin utterly,

Or bring him in obedience to your yoke.

Bed. I do remember it; and here take leave,

To go about my preparation.


Glo. I'll to the Tower with all the haste I can,

To view the artillery and munition;

And then I will proclaim young Henry king.


have proposed to read-the rearward,-but without necessity. Some part of the van must have been behind the foremost line of it. We often say the back front of a house. Steevens. When an army is attacked in the rear, the van becomes the rear in its turn, and of course the reserve. M. Mason,

« FöregåendeFortsätt »