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417. "From camp to camp, through the foul womb of night, "The hum of either army stilly sounds" &c.
A picture much resembling this of the French and English encampments is exhibited by Tacitus when he is describing the condition of the Roman army in Germany under Cascina, and that of the Barbarians under Arminius: "Nox per diversa inquies, cum barbari festis epulis, Iceto cantu, aut truci sonore subjecta vallium ac resultantis saltus complerent: apud Romanos invalidi ignes interrupts voces, atque ipsi passim adjacerent vallo, oberrarent tentoriis, insomnes magis qudmpervigiles. Ann. Lib. I.
435." Let us our lives, our souls,
"Our debts, our careful wives, our children, and
"Our sins lay on the king ;—we must bear all."
This sentiment seems to have been borrowed by Milton:
"Golden in shew brings
"Dangers to him who wears the diadem,
"When on his shoulders each man's burthen lies."
Paradise Regained B. II.
437." With a body fill'd and vacant mind."
Lee seems to have had this passage in his thoughts when he wrote the following lines in Theodosius:
"We'll fly to some far distant lonely village, "Forget our former state, and breed with slaves, "Sweat in the eye of day, and when night comes, "With bodies coarsely Jill'd and vacant souls, "Sleep like the labour'd hinds, and never think."
445. » ■Each naked curtle-ax——~
"That our French gallants shall to-day
The same thought occurred before:
"And sheath'd their swords for lack of argument."
The destruction made by the sword, too, is also, in another place, called sport: Hotspur says,
".•. Q, let the hours be short,
"Till fields and blows and groans applaud our sport."
454. "Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host." The quarto, in which this speech is addressed to Warwick, reads,
"Rather proclaime it presently through our camp."
454." He, which hath no stomach to this
"He that hath," &c.
"He that hath no stomach to this fight,
"Let him depart, his passport shall be made."
(Quarto, drawne.) This liberal sentiment occurs in Warner's Albion's England:
"I graunt that part of vs are fled and linked to the foe,
"And glad I am our armie is of traitors cleared so;
"Yea, pardon hath he to depart that stayeth malcontent;
"I prize the mind aboue the man, like zeal hath like euent."
483." Know'st thou not
"That I have fin'd these bones of mine for ransome."
This expression of fining the bones for ransom, I do not understand; none of the commentators has attempted to explain it; probably because they all thought it too plain to need explanation: I cannot, however help adverting to a just remark of Mr. Wakefield's: "Nimis omnesproni sumus dissimulare, atque silentio pr&tervehi, qua sunt supra nostrum acumen posita."
Vide Wakefield's Note on Lucretius Lib. I.
The best explanation I can offer of fin'd is, committed, dedicated, pledged; taxed, perhaps, would not have been obscure.
496. "Toward Calais: grant him there; there seen."
Some word, such as Mr. Steevens has offered, is necessary for the metre; toward cannot be a dissyllable without throwing the accent upon the second syllable of the word following—Calais; neither can the adverb there, by any utterance that will be admitted, support the quantity of two syllables.
498. "As, by a lower but by loving likelihood.'"
This line, as it stands, is a foot too long; the second by should be ejected, and then, by contracting the sound of lower, we shall have the just measure:
"As bv a lower but loving likelihood."
At present we have an alexandrine instead of a quintameter:
"As by a lowdr, but—by loving likelihood." SCENE II.
508." Her husbandry doth lie on heaps,"Corrupting in its own fertility."
Milton has copied this in Comus:
"' Nature—would be—
"Surcharg'd with her own weight,
"And strangled with her waste fertility,".
FIRST PART OF
KING HENRY VI.
There was no quarto publication of this play, which first appeared in the folio of Hemings and Condell: that Dr. Johnson should assert, in his remarks on it, "the diction, the versification, and the figures are Shakspeare's," or that he and Mr. Steevens, or, indeed, any person but moderately acquainted with the compositions of our poet, could hesitate indignantly to reject it as a clumsy imposture, is, to me, surprising: if we except the simile of a circle in the water, in the 2d Scene, and the first speech of Mortimer in the Tower, (which yet I do not ascribe to Shakspeare,) there is not, I think, one scene, or hardly a line, which partakes at all of his manner. Dr. Johnson appears to have left this foundling at the door of our poet merely to get rid of an encumbrance, and because he could not tell who the true parent was, for he asks, "If we take these plays from Shakspeare, to whom shall they be given?" an argument, as Dr. Farmer remarks, at best, ad ignorantiam: but Mr. Malone has furnished the answer: to some of those who were muttering that "an upstart crow, beautified with our feathers, with his tiger's head wrapt in a player's hide, supposes he is as well able to bombast out a blank verse as the best of you; and being an absolute Johannes Fac to turn is, in his own conceit, the