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In peace, there 's nothing so becomes a man,
stones you have displaced: in short-Do one thing or the other. So, in Churchyard's Siege of Edenbrough Castle:
"we will possesse the place,
“ Or leaue our bones and bowels in the breatch." This speech of King Henry was added after the quartos 1600 and 1608. Steevens.
- when the blast of war blows in our ears, Then imitate the action of the tiger ;] Sir Thomas Hanmer has observed, that in storms and high winds the tiger roars and rages most furiously. Steevens.
summon up the blood, ] Old copy-commune, &c. Corrected by Mr. Rowe. Malone.
portage of the head,] Portage, open space, from port, a gate. Let the eye appear in the head as cannon through the bat. tlements, or embrasures, of a fortification. Johnson. So we now say—the port-holes of a ship. M. Mason.
- jutty - ] The force of the verb to jutty, when applied to a rock projecting into the sea, is not felt by those who are unaware that this word anciently signified a mole raised to withstand the encroachment of the tide. In an act, 1 Edw. VI, c. 14, provision is made for “the maintenaunce of piers, jutties, walles, and bankes, against the rages of the sea. H. White.
his confounded base,] His worn or wasted base. Fohnson. So, in The Tempest:
the shore, that o'er his wave-worn basis bow'd, “ As stooping to relieve him.” Steevens. One of the senses of to confound, in our author's time, was, to destroy. See Minshieu's Dictionary, in v. Malone. 9 Now set the teeth,] So, in Antony and Cleopatra :
now I'll set my teeth,
To his full height!-On, on, you noblest English,
[Exeunt. Alarum, and Chambers go off
bend up every spirit --] A metaphor from the bow.
Johnson: So, again, in Hamlet: “they fool me to the top of my bent.?" Again, in Macbeth:
“I am settled, and bend up
you noblest English,] Thus the second folio. The first has noblish. Mr. Malone reads-noble; and observes that this speech is not in the quartos. Steevens.
3 Whose blood is fet from fathers of war-proof!] Thus the folio, 1623, and rightly. So, Spenser's Fairy Queen, B. III:
“Whom strange adventure did from Britain fet." Again, in the Prologue to Ben Jonson's Silent Woman:
“ Though there be none far-fet, there will dear bought.” The sacred writings afford many instances to the same purpose. Mr. Pope first made the change, which I, among others, had ina advertently followed. Steevens.
argument.] Is matter, or subject. Johnson.
like greyhounds in the slips,] Slips are a contrivance of leather, to start two dogs at the same time. C.
6 Straining upon the start.] The old copy reads-Straying. Cot. rected by Mr. Rowe. Malone.
Forces pass over; then enter Nym, BARDOLPH,
PISTOL, and Boy. Bard. On, on, on, on, on! to the breach, to the breach!
Nym. 'Pray thee, corporal,? stay; the knocks are too hot; and, for mine own part, I have not a case of lives: 8 the humour of it is too hot, that is the very plain-song of it. Pist. The plain-song is most just; for humours do
abound; Knocks go and come; God's vassals drop and die;
And sword and shield,
In bloody field,
Doth win immortal fame.
If wishes would prevail with me, o
But thither would I hie.
corporal,] We should read-lieutenant. It is Bardolph to whom he speaks. Steevens.
Though Bardolph is only a corporal in King Henry IV, as our author has his play, from inadvertence or design, made him a lieutenant, I think, with Mr. Steevens, that we should read lieu
See a former note, p. 234. The truth is, I believe, that the variations in his title proceeded merely from Shakspeare's inattention. Malone.
8 — a case of lives:] A set of lives, of which, when one is worn out, another may serve. Johnson.
Perhaps only two; as a case of pistols; and, in Ben Jonson, a oase of masques. Whalley.
I believe Mr. Whalley's explanation is the true one. A case of pistols, which was the current phrase for a pair or brace of pistols, in our author's time, is at this day the term always used in Ireland, where much of the language of the age of Elizabeth is yet retained. Malone.
! If wishes &c.] This passage I have replaced from the first fo. lio, which is the only authentick copy of tiiis play. These lines, which perhaps are part of a song, Mr. Pope did not like, and therefore changed them in conformity to the imperfect play in quarto, and was followed by the succeeding editors. For prevail I should read avail. Johnson.
Boy. As duly, but not as truly, as bird doth sing on bough.
Enter FLUELLEN. 2 Flu. Got's plood !-Up to the preaches, 3 you rascals! will you not up to the preaches? [Driving them forward.
Pist. Be merciful, great duke, 4 to men of mould !54 Abate thy rage, abate thy manly rage! Abate thy rage, great duke! Good bawcock, bate thy rage! use lenity, sweet chuck!
* As duly, &c.] This speech I have restored from the folio.
Steevens. This should be printed as verse, being perhaps the remainder of Pistol's
Douce. - Fluellen.] This is only the Welsh pronunciation of Llueblyn. Thus also Flloyd instead of Lloyd. Steevens.
Up to the preaches, &c.] Thus the quarto, with only the difference of breaches instead of preaches. Modern editors have been very liberal of their Welsh dialect. The folio reads,-UP. to the breach, you dogges, avaunt, you cullions. Steevens.
4 Be merciful, great duke,] That is, great commander. So, in Harrington's Orlando Furioso, 1591:
* And as herself the dame of Carthage kill'd,
“When as the Trojan duke did her forsake, The Trojan duke is only a translation of dux Trojanus. So also in many of our old poems, Duke Theseus, Duke Hannibal, &c. See Vol. II, p. 244, n. 4. In Pistol's mouth the word has here peculiar propriety. Malone. to men of mould!] To men of earth, to poor mortal men.
Johnson. So, in the Countess of Pembroke's Yoychurch: “ At length man was made of mould, by crafty Prome
theus.” Steevens. | However the words Be merciful, great duke, may induce a be. lief that Dr. Johnson's explanation of men of mould is right, yet from the character of Pistol, and the sneering language which he addresses to Fluellen, I cannot help believing our author meant be merciful, great duke, to' men of consequence-we are not common men—The strain of his ridicule is such as might be used to an inferior, whose commands were despised: the following au. thorities will acquit me of being singular in this application of the word mould:
“ No mates for you,
“Unless you were of gentler, milder mould.” Shakspeare. " William Earl of Clarendon was a man of another mould and making, being the most universally beloved of any man of that
" &c. Clarendon. Am. Ed.
Nym. These be good humours!your honour wins bad humours. 6
[Exeunt Nym, P1ST. and BARD. followed by Flu. Boy. As young as I am, I have observed these three swashers.t. I am boy to them all three: but all they three, though they would serve me, could not be man to me; for, indeed, three such anticks do not amount to
For Bardolph, he is white-livered, and redfaced; by the means whereof, 'a faces it out, but fights not. For Pistol,-he hath a killing tongue, and a quiet sword; by the means whereof, 'a breaks words, and keeps whole weapons. For Nym-he hath heard, that men of few words are the best men ;8 and therefore he scorns to say his prayers, lest 'a should be thought a coward: but his few bad words are match'd with as few good deeds; for 'a never broke any man's head but his own; and that was against a post, when he was drunk. They will steal any thing, and call it,-purchase. Bardolph stole a lutecase; bore it twelve leagues, and sold it for three halfpence. Nym, and Bardolph, are sworn brothers in filching; and in Calais' they stole a fire-shovel: I knew, by that piece of service, the men would carry coals. They would have me as familiar with men's pockets, as their gloves or their handkerchiefs: which makes much against my manhood, if I should take from another's pocket, to
wins bad humours.] In a former scene Nym says, king hath run bad humours on the knight.” We should therefore perhaps read runs here also. But there is little certainty in any conjecture concerning the dialect of Nym or Pistol. Malone. + These three swashers.] These three braggers; noisy cowards.
Am. Ed. but all they three,] We should read, I think,-all the three. Malone. They three, is a vulgarism, to this day in constant use. Steevens.
best men;] That is, bravest; so in the next lines, good deeds are brave actions. Johnson.
- the men would carry coals.] It appears that, in Shak. speare's age, to carry coals, was, I know not why, to endure affronts. So, in Romeo and Juliet, one serving-man asks another whether he will carry coals. Johnson.
See note on Romeo and Juliet, Act I, sc. i.
Cant phrases are the ephemerons of literature. In the quartos, 1600 and 1608, the passage stands thus: “I knew by that they meant to carry coales.” Steevens.