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I have seldom been so surprised, as when, in the edition of 1793, I saw Erinnys advanced into the text, in the place where I used to read entrance : I could hardly persuade myself that it was not “ the very error of my eyes." This appears to me as bold an emendation as I ever met with, and to be outdone by no achievement of Bentley or Warburton. Mr. Steevens, fully aware that this reading would not be generally acquiesced in, seems desirous of deterring opposition, by hurling defiance in the teeth of all who should dare to object to its reception. I confess myself obnoxious to all the censure which is denounced against those timid critics who cannot approve this " gallant effort” of Mr. M. Mason, though sanctioned by the deliberate approbation of Dr. Farmer. Why Shakspeare was less likely to be obscure in the fifth line of a play, than in any other, I do not perceive, and wish that Mr. Steevens had informed us. The passage, as it stands, is certainly difficult; but I incline to think it is rightly explained by Mr. Malone, with whom I agree that her lips refers to soil, and not to peace. I prefer dump to daub : damb is the reading of the folios of 1632 and 1664:—the p being reversed, (a common error in printing) damp becomes damb.
LORD CHEDWORTH.* 181.' “ Nor bruise her flowrets with the armed
* Upon the concluding part of this note of my Lord Ched. worth's I insert an observation of the printer's, with the blunt propriety of which I am sure his lordship himself would have been highly diverted.
“ Lord Chedworth has fallen into a curious mistake: the p 66 being reversed, dump becomes damd, and not damb. Stick “ to your last, my lord ! Prinler."
The hoofs of paces is an expression not very intelligible: the words, I am persuaded, have been dislocated, and I think that we should read :
“ Nor bruise her flowrets with the hostile pace
“(Whose soldier now, &c.)
levy." This I take to be a broken sentence, which, whether by design or accident, is very natural where a parenthesis intrudes.
“ As far as to the sepulchre of Christ I intend to lead you”-(the king was going to say)- but digressing suddenly to the idea of his being a holy soldier, impressed, &c. he neglects the sequel of what he commenced with, and talks of the necessary levies. A similar abruption we find in a speech of Hotspur's:
- For all those wounds, “ Those mouthed wounds, which gallantly he
bore, “When on the gentle Severn’s sedgy bank,” &c.
The obvious drift of his speech was :-Those wounds exhibit a clear proof of the fidelity with which he serv'd you. But going into the circumstances of the combat, in his ardour the argument is dropped.
184. “Whose arms were moulded in their mo
ther's wombs.” Who were, at their earliest creation, ordained the enemies of the infidels.
“ My liege, this haste was hot in question.”
“Questión,” a trisyllable. 185. “ Such beastly, shameless tranformation.” “ Transformatión" extended to five syllables.
" The tidings
“ Brake off.” This correct form of the imperfect past tense of " to break” was beginning to grow obsolete in our author's time. 188.“ Of Murray, Angus, and Monteith."
We might read, “The Earls of Murray, Angus, and Monteith.” Mr Capel proposed :
And with him the Earls “ Of Athol, Murray, Angus, and Monteith.”
" In faith,
“ It is a conquest,” &c. The words “it is” might well be omitted :
“ In faith a conquest,” &c. 190.“ I will, my liege.”
This hemistic is superfluous; a bow at Westmoreland's exit would be sufficient.
199. “Were it not here apparent that thou art t heir apparent.”
The value of this jingle depends on the words “here” and “heir” having the same sound. 201. “The drone of a Lincolnshire bagpipe."
That by this is meant, as Mr. Steevens conjectures, the dull croak of a frog is, I think, one of the pleasantest conceits that I have met with.
LORD CHEDWORTH. 207. “ If thou dar'st not stand for ten shillings.”
“ Stand” is “contend,” as in K. Henry V. Act 3, 205 :
“Stand for your own.” 210. “ For two of them, I know them to be as
true-bred cowards as ever turned back; and for the third, if he fight longer than he sees reason, I'll forswear
arms." This passage might give some support to the arguments that have been advanced to shew that Falstaff was no coward.
SCENE III. 214. North. “ My lord,”
“Good, my lord,” Would complete the line.
“Worcester, get thee gone,” &c. Unless “ Worcester,” contrary to custom, be pronounced with three syllables, Worcester, this line is defective; we might read: “ Hence, Worcěster, get thee gone, for I do see.” 215. “ My liege, I did deny no prisoners.”
“Prisoners” occurs again in this scene as a trisyllable: “Why yet he doth deny his prisónérs.”
But a little before : “ Those prisoners in your Highness' name de
manded.” 216.“ To be so pester'd with a popinjay
“Out of my grief,” &c. The transposition of these lines, proposed by Mr. Edwards and Dr. Johnson is certainly right. 218. “ Spermaceti.”
“Parmaceti” is the word in the quarto, 1613, and I suppose the author used the word corrupted as he found it. 219. “ Shall we buy treason ? and indent with
fears-" Shall we compromise with traitors ? and timorously enter into bonds of league with them? This I take to be the plain meaning. 221. “ For all those wounds,
“ Those mouthed wounds,” &c. This is a broken sentence—those wounds-are an evidence of his unfeigned loyalty, Hotspur was about to say, but, digressing to the circumstances of the combat, the impetuosity of his temper makes him neglect the sequel of his argument, See Note the third :
“As far as to the sepulchre of Christ,” &c. 221. “ He did confound the best part of an hour."
He kept time in consternation or astonishment. The expression is nobly poetic.