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206 May work contrariously. That is, from opposite points, though with a common object full in view. In line 208 many' should probably be omitted.
212 Be well borne. “Well carried through.' 226 Ample empery. 'Full control.'
233 A waxen epitaph. Qq read “A paper epitaph.” The idea of this line with either reading is, that writing on wax or paper is a light and easy matter. Steevens quotes from Whetstone's Garden of Unthriftiness (1576) the following: “In waxe, say I, men easily grave their will,
In marble stone the worke with paine is wonne ;
When waxen seales by every browse are donne.” So King Henry declares that his exploits shall not be such as men would think of writing in perishable letters, such as might be formed of wax.
236 Not from the king. Though Shakspere does not make Charles VI. as incapable of business as he really was.
252. A nimble galliard. 'A peculiarly lively dance,' from the French 'gaillard” (jovial).
268 What use we made of them. What this use was the last scenes of this play show admirably. Henry had at least learned from his wild days how to know men, and could speak with fullest sympathy to a common archer, to a Welsh captain, and to his army on the eve of battle; nay, his trick upon Fluellen is a touch of the old madcap Harry.
269 This poor seat of England. This argument sounds strange in our ears. I never valued,' says the king, this throne and court of England; they were not my true home. Therefore I lived away from them, and made merry for awhile, as people do who are on a trip. Soon I shall be in France, and really at home; then you shall see my greatness, majesty, and glory as they really are.' We may notice here that the people of England really did fear that Henry would make France his 'home,' and England a mere dependency; for they sent a memorial to the Duke of Gloucester, Regent of the kingdom in Henry's absence, praying that their petitions might be for the future not sent to the king, but determined 'within this kingdom of England, during this parliament'-a request by which they hoped at any rate to keep the administration of England separate from that of France. It should be noted also that the rank held by England among the kingdoms of Europe in the middle ages was different from that which is familiar to us; for instance, Pope Julius II., in drawing up a table of precedence, arranged them in the following order (after himself): 1, the Emperor ; 2, the King of the Romans ; 3, the King of France ; 4, the King of Castile
; 5, the King of Aragon ; 6, the King of Portugal; 7, the King of England ; 8, the King of Scotland. So that to assume, as Henry does, the superiority of France would not be quite unreasonable.
274 My sail of greatness. 'My full career of greatness.'
282 Gunstones. Stone balls, such as were fired from a pévier or 'murdering-piece,' and which shattered in striking with something like the effect of a shell.
300 Omit no happy hour. 'Omit no opportunity.'
ACT II. PROLOGUE. 2 Silken dalliance. That is, the silken garments suitable to dalliance. So "to ruffle my hospitable favours,” in King Lear, means 'to pluck the beard of one who has shown you hospitable favours.'
9 From hilt unto the point. In the Horse Armoury in the Tower, Edward III. is represented with two crowns on his sword. Shakspere seems to have borrowed the notion from a woodcut to the first edition of Holinshed, where several crowns are thus placed.
17 Would thee do. Would have thee do.'
22 Richard Earl of Cambridge. Cousin of Henry V., descended from Edmund Duke of York and Earl of Cambridge, fifth son of Edward III. When Richard II. was murdered, in 1399, the first claim to the throne was that of Edmund Mortimer, Earl of March, who was descended from Lionel, Duke of Clarence, third son of Edward III., and therefore ought, of course, to have reigned before the descendants of John of Gaunt, the fourth son, on the failure of the Black Prince's line-William, the second son, having died childless. But as Lord March was only four years old in 1399, it was impossible then to put his claim forward, and he was not even thought of for the crown. To Henry V. he was generally loyal; but as he was childless, the Clarence title would descend after his death, through his sister Anne, who had married the Earl of Cambridge, to her son Richard, the Duke of York who was to play so great a part in the Wars of the Roses. (See i Henry VI., Act iii. Sc. 1.) Cambridge was therefore anxious, for the reversion's sake, to place March upon the throne. Their plan was to carry the Earl of March to the Welsh border, and there to proclaim him king, if King Richard was really dead ; at the same time Richard was to be personated by a certain Thomas Trumpington, who happened to be like him.
23 Henry, Lord Scroop. The preceding Lord Scrope, Earl of Wiltshire, had been seized at Bristol by Henry IV., and put to death as one of Richard's evil counsellors. His brother, the Archbishop of York, was therefore bitterly hostile to Henry
(1 Henry IV., i. 3, 270), and led the revolt of 1405 (on which Shakspere founds the second part of Henry IV.). When this failed, by the successful treachery of Henry's general, the Earl of Westmoreland, Scrope too was beheaded, clergyman though
The present Lord Scrope had married Joan, Duchess of York, the stepmother of the Earl of Cambridge; therefore he had family interests in common with this nobleman, besides his sleeping grudge against the house of Lancaster for the death of his father and uncle.
24 Sir Thomas Grey. Of Heton, in Northumberland ; probably therefore a partisan of the defeated Percies. In ii. 2, 30, he seems to allude to himself as formerly an enemy to Henry, but now reconciled.
25 The gilt of France. 'The money of France.' The word means in Shakspere 'a display of gold,' as below (iv.
3, 110)— “Our gayness and our gilt are all besmirched. By “fearful' is meant 'timorous.' 27 This grace of kings. 'He who most graces the royal title.'
31 Linger your patience. 'If it lingers.' The next words appear to have been misprinted: “and in Southampton hardly be right when the place is named again in line 35 (so that line 29 should be omitted), and line 31 has no metre. Probably the text may be thus restored
“ Linger your patience on, and we'll defeat
The abuse of distance. For so foul a play
The sum is paid, the traitors are agreed,” &c. The meaning of the
first line being, 'We will correct all errors which might arise from distance ;' as in King Lear, i. 3, 20, abused' means in error. In the second it seems plain that the true reading, 'for so foul a play,' was altered by the compositor to 'force a foul a play,' and that the corrector then tried to make sense by omitting 'foul a, which he supposed to be a blundering repetition of 'force a.' Madvig, the prince of verbal critics, gives, in his synopsis of such errors (Adv. vol. i. 31), a typical instance, where an attempt has been in like manner made to heal a blunderat the beginning of a sentence bya second blunder, introduced in the hope of making sense. The passage, correctly written, was Argumentum parum honestum ac non viri æqui alioqui" ("Not the kind of one to be used by a man at other times honourable"). First the MS. writer puts .et qui' for 'æqui,' and then tries to make all right by altering 'alioqui' to 'alio fuit,' with the disastrous result that the sentence becomes “Ac non viri et qui alio fuit,” which the writer fancied might mean “Not worthy of the man and what he was at other times." It is worth while to notice this error, and the mode by which Madvig corrects it, as it may serve for a type of blunders less noticed by critics of Shakspere's text.
40 One stomach. 'The taste of a single person,' but with an allusion to a 'stomach offence of another kind.
41. Till the king come forth. Probably Hanmer is right in reading when the king comes forth;' that is, the scene will be at Southampton the next time the king appears; before that, in London.
ACT II. SCENE I. 2 Lieutenant Bardolph. This worthy had come by promotion, since he was only Falstaff's corporal in Henry IV. His larcenous ways presently give him a different kind of promotion.
5 There shall be smiles. There is no need to suppose, as Warburton and others do, that this is corrupt; the words are evidently a proverb, such as Nym deals in (as his next speech shows).
18 That is my rest. “What I rest on;' as by 'rendezvous' Nym seems to mean “what I fall back upon' (as in i Henry IV., iv. 1, 57). On ‘humour,' see Merry Wives, ii. 1, 125.
24 Some say knives have edges. Nym is used in the play chiefly as a foil to Pistol. In a stupid kind of way he tries to be humorous, after Touchstone's fashion (“The heathen philosopher, when he would eat a grape, would open his lips when he put it into his mouth," and the like).
28 Ancient Pistol. Ensign' ('anziano').
31 Tike. 'A worthless dog.' Iceland dog,' a kind of shock brought from thence, and petted by ladies.
55 Pistol's cock is up. This implies that flint guns were in use when the play was written. See the note on Romeo and Juliet, iii. 3, 132.
57 Not Barbason. The name of a demon in the Merry Wives (ii. 2, 266). The meaning is, therefore, “You cannot conjure me by all this conjuror's language.'
65 Therefore exhale. • Breathe your last. This seems more probable than Malone's notion that 'exhale' means ‘hale out (or draw] your sword.' We are to imagine the two cowards gradually lugging out their weapons innocent of all bloody intent.
69 An oath of mickle might. 'Of course I must be placable, as you have sworn that I shall.': 77 Hound of Crete. Mids. Night's Dream, iv. I, 121–
“A cry more tuneable Was never holla'd to, or cheered with horn
In Crete, in Sparta, or in Thessaly. 92 Has killed his heart. By his harsh rebuke in 2 Hen. IV., v. 5, 47.
106 Sword is an oath. 'For it has a cross at the hilt; therefore swearing by it is swearing by the cross. A noble is 6s. 8d.
124 Quotidian tertian. Absurdly, as an ague cannot be both at once.
127 Run bad humours. The king's bad humour has filled Sir John's body with bad humours.
Act II. SCENE 2.
3 Westmoreland. Ralph Neville, Earl of Westmoreland, had managed, by the stratagem related in 2 Hen. IV. iv. 2, to arrest Scrope, Archbishop of York, and the other leaders alluded to above. Shakspere gives in this play more than one touch of timorousness to his character, such as might go with treachery. See the notes on i. 2, 165, and iv. 3, 17.
8 His bedfellow. The idea of this strange custom was evi. dently to have a faithful guard no farther off than at the other corner of one of the vast beds of the time. So, during the crusade of S. Louis, Queen Margaret kept a knight eighty years old or more on the watch at the foot of her bed, conjuring him to kill her if she must otherwise fall into the hands of the Saracens. He, on his part, was quite ready to meet her views, saying "that he would do it very willingly, and indeed had thought of it before she spoke.”.
9 Dulled and cloyed. So satisfied that he would ask for no more.'
16 The execution and the act. "Carrying out the enterprise for which we have assembled them in such force.'
33 The office of our hand. 'How to use my hand.'
43 On his more advice. "Now that he is better advised.' By 'too much security' is meant 'too much indifference to danger;' and ‘his sufferance' is the same as 'by your enduring him.'
55 How shall we stretch our eye. 'If we may not wink at small faults, how wide must we open our eye at great ones.' By 'distemper' is meant disorder from drinking,' as in Hamlet, iii. 312.
63 Ask for it to-day. For the written commission. Instead of this, the king puts into their hands the letters which he has intercepted, and which prove their treason. By 'late commissioners' is meant 'lately appointed commissioners.'
99 Wouldst thou have practised. You might have coined me into gold, if you would have practised,' &c.
108 Did not whoop at them. As we have in As You Like It, iii. 2, 179, “Wonderful, out of whooping.” The word seems to imitate the quick catching of the breath from sudden astonishment. The meaning of the whole passage is, that there is no wonder in treason and murder keeping company, but that Lord Scrope's act had in it something so 'dispropor