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of a man able to do much, and eager to do more ; as the hasty motion of turbulent desire; as the dark expression of indetermined thoughts. The passage from Euripides is surely not allegorical, yet it is produced, and properly, as parallel. Act I. SCENE IV. (1. üi. 287-8.) WORCESTER. Tbe King will always think bim in our debt,
And think we deem ourselves unsatisfy'd. This is a natural description of the state of mind between those that have conferred, and those that have received, obligations too great to be satisfied.
That this would be the event of Northumberland's disloyalty was predicted by King Richard in the former play. Act II. SCENE ïi. (11. i. 95-6.)
We bave the receipt of Fern-seed, we walk invisible. Fern is one of those plants which have their seed on the back of the leaf so small as to escape the sight. Those who perceived that fern was propagated by semination and yet could never see the seed, were much at a loss for a solution of the difficulty; and as wonder always endeavours to augment itself, they ascribed to Fern-seed many strange properties ; some of which the rustick virgins have not yet forgotten or exploded. Act II. SCENE viii. (11. iv. 41-127.) Enter Francis the drawer.
This scene, helped by the distraction of the drawer, and grimaces of the prince, may entertain upon the stage, but afford not much delight to the reader. The authour has judiciously made it short. Act II. SCENE xi. (11. iv. 384-5.)
PRINCE HENRY. He that rides al bigh speed, and with a pistol kills a sparrow flying.
Shakespeare never has any care to preserve the manners of the time. Pistols were not known in the age of Henry. Pistols were, I believe, about our authour's time, eminently used by the Scots. Sir Henry Wotton somewhere makes mention of a Scotish pistol. Act II. SCENE xi. (11. iv. 399-400.)
FALSTAFF. You may buy land now as cheap as stinking mackerel.
In former times the prosperity of the nation was known by the value of land as now by the price of stocks. Before Henry the seventh made it safe to serve the king regnant, it was the practice at every revolution for the conqueror to confiscate the estates of those that opposed, and perhaps of those who did not assist him. Those, therefore, that foresaw a change of government, and thought their estates in danger, were desirous to sell them in haste for something that might be carried away. Act II. SCENE Xi. (11. iv. 446_7.)
FALSTAFF. Though the camomile, the more it is trodden on, the faster it grows.
This whole speech is supremely comick. The simile of camomile used to illustrate a contrary effect, brings to my remembrance an observation of a later writer of some merit, whom the desire of being witty has betrayed into a like thought. Meaning to enforce with great vehemence the mad temerity of young soldiers, he remarks, that though Bedlam be in the road to Hogsden, it is out of the way to promotion.
Act II. SCENE xi. (11. iv. 557.)
PRINCE HENRY. Go, bide thee bebind the arras. The bulk of Falstaf made him not the fittest to be concealed behind the hangings, but every poet sacrifices something to the scenery; if Falstat had not been hidden he could not have been found asleep, nor had his pockets searched. Act III. SCENE i. (m. i. 27-8.) HOTSPUR. Diseased Nature oftentimes breaks forib
In strange eruptions. The poet has here taken, from the perverseness and contrariousness of Hotspur's temper, an opportunity of raising his character, by a very rational and philosophical confutation of superstitious errour. Act III. SCENE i. (m. i. 97–8.) HOTSPUR. Metbinks, my moiety, norib from Burton bere,
In quantity equals not one of yours. Hotspur is here just such a divider as the Irishman who made ibree balves ; Therefore, for the honour of Shakespeare, I will suppose, with the Oxford Editor, that he wrote portion.-WARBURTON.
I will not suppose it.
To laugh at gybing boys, and stand the push
Of every beardless, vain comparative. Of every boy whose vanity incited him to try his wit against the King's.
When Lewis XIV. was asked, why, with so much wit, he never attempted raillery, he answered, that he who practised raillery ought to bear it in his turn, and that to stand the butt of raillery was not suitable to the dignity of a King. Scudery's Conversation. Act III. SCENE V. (. iii. 30.)
Falstaff. Thou art the Knight of the burning lamp. This is a natural picture. Every man who feels in himself the pain of deformity, however, like this merry knight, he may affect to make sport with it among those whom it is his interest to please, is ready to revenge any hint of contempt upon one whom he can use with freedom.
Act IV. SCENE Ü. (iv. i. 97-9.)
All furnisht, all in arms,
Baited like Eagles.
Worse than a struck-fowl, or a burt wild duck. The repetition of the same image disposed Sir Tho. Hanmer, and after him Dr. Warburton, to read, in opposition to all the copies, a struck Deer, which is indeed a proper expression, but not likely to have been corrupted. Shakespeare, perhaps, wrote a struck sorel, which, being negligently read by a man not skilled in hunter's language, was easily changed to struck fowl. Sorel is used in Love's labour lost for a young deer, and the terms of the chase were, in our authour's time, familiar to the ears of every gentleman. Act IV. Scene üii. (iv. ii. 30-1.)
Younger sons 10 younger brothers. Raleigh, in his discourse on war, uses this very expression for men of desperate fortune and wild adventure. Which borrowed it from the other I know not, but I think the play was printed before the discourse.
THE SECOND PART OF KING HENRY IV.
Enter RUMOUR. This speech of Rumour is not inelegant or unpoetical, but is wholly useless, since we are told nothing which the first scene does not clearly and naturally discover. The only end of such prologues is to inform the audience of some facts previous to the action, of which they can have no knowledge from the persons of the drama.
Act I. SCENE . (1. i. 159-60.)
The rude scene may end, And darkness be the burier of the dead. The conclusion of this noble speech is extremely striking. There is no need to suppose it exactly philosophical, darkness in poetry may be absence of eyes as well as privation of light. Yet we may remark, that by an ancient opinion it has been held, that if the human race, for whom the world was made, were extirpated, the whole system of sublunary nature would cease.
Act I. SCENE V. (1. ii. 166-8.)
I am the fellow with the great belly, and be my dog.
I do not understand this joke. Dogs lead the blind, but why does a dog lead the fat?
Act I. SCENE V. (1. üi. 208–10.)
CHIEF JUSTICE. Is not your voice broken Y your wind short ? yout
cbin double ? your wir single ? We call a man single-witted who attains but one species of knowledge. This sense I know not how to