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Lives so in hope, as in an early spring
This passage is allowed on all hands to be corrupt, but a slight alteration will, I apprehend, restore the true reading:
Yes, if this present quality of war
Induc'd the instant action. Henley.
in this present quality of war;] This and the following nineteen lines appeared first in the folio. That copy reads:
Yes, if this present &c. I believe the old reading is the true one, and that a line is lost; but have adopted Dr. Johnson's emendation, because it makes sense. The punctuation now introduced appears to me preferable to that of the old edition, in which there is a colon after the word action.
Bardolph, I think, means to say, “Indeed the present action (our cause being now on foot, war being actually levied,) lives," &c. otherwise the speaker is made to say, in general, that all causes once on foot afford no hopes that may securely be relied on; which is certainly not true. Malone.
When we mean to build,] Whoever compares the rest of this speech with St. Luke, xiv, 28, &c. will find the former to have been wrought out of the latter. Henley.
at least,] Perhaps we should read-at last. Steevens.“ 4 Consent upon a sure foundation ;] i. e. agree. So, in As you Like it, Act V, sc. i: “ For all your writers do consent that ipse is he.” Again, ibid. sc. ii: “ - consent with both, that we may enjoy each other.” Steevens.
Using the names of men, instead of men:
Hast. Grant, that our hopes (yet likely of fair birth)
Bard. What! is the king but five and twenty thousand ? Hast. To us, no more; nay, not so much, lord Bar
If he should do so, 6
Bard. Who, is it like, should lead his forces hither?
5 one power against the French,] During this rebellion of Northumberland and the Archbishop, a French army of twelve thousand men landed at Milford Haven, in Wales, for the aid of Owen Glendower. See Holinshed, p. 531. Steevens.
6 If he should do so,] This passage is read, in the first edition, thus: If he should do so, French and Welsh he leaves his back unarmed, they baying him at the heels, never fear that. These lines, which were evidently printed from an interlined copy not understood, are properly regulated in the next edition, and are here only mentioned to show what errors may be suspected to remain.
Fohnson. I believe the editor of the folio did not correct the quarto rightly; in which the only error probably was the omission of the word to:
To French and Welsh he leaves his back unarm'd,
Hast. The duke of Lancaster, and Westmoreland : 1
Let us on;
1 The duke of Lancaster, &c.] This is an anachronism. Prince John of Lancaster was not created a duke till the second year of the reign of his brother, King Henry V. Malone.
This mistake is pointed out by Mr. Steevens in another place. It is not, however, true, that “King Henry IV was himself the last person that ever bore the title of Duke of Lancaster,” as Prince Henry actually enjoyed it at this very time, and had done so from the first year of his father's reign, when it was conferred upon him in full parliament. Rot. Parl. 111, 428, 532. Shakspeare was misled by Stowe, who, speaking of Henry's first parliament,
then the King rose, and made his eldest son Prince of Wales, &c. his second sonne was there made Duke of Lancaster.". Annales, 1631, p. 323. He should therefore seem to have con. sulted this author between the times of finishing the last play, and beginning the present. Ritson.
2 Let us on ; &c.] This excellent speech of York was one of the passages added
by Shakspeare after his first edition. Pope. This speech first appeared in the folio. Malone.
30 thou fond many!] Many or meyny, from the French mesnie, a multitude. Douce.
in thine own desires,] The latter word is employed here as a trisyllable. Malone.
I do not perceive that a trisyllable is wanted on this occasion, as any dissyllable will complete the verse: for instance:
And being now trimm'd in thine own surtout.
And howl'st to find it. What trust is in these times?
Mowb. Shall we go draw our numbers, and set on?
ACT II.....SCENE I.
London. A Street.
Énier Hostess; Fang, and his Boy, with her; and SNARÉ
Host. Master Fang, have you entered the action?
Host. Where is your yeoman? Is it a lusty yeoman? will a' stand to 't?
Fang. Sirrah, where 's Snare?
Host. Yea, good master Snare; I have entered him and all.
Snare. It may chance cost some of us our lives, for he will stab.
Host. Alas the day! take heed of him; he stabbed me in mine own house, and that most beastly: in good faith, a' cares not what mischief he doth, if his weapon be out: he will foin like any devil; he will spare neither woman, man, nor child.
Fang. If I can close with him, I care not for his thrust. Host. No, nor I neither; I 'll be at your elbow.
5 Where is your yeoman?] A bailiff's follower was, in our author's time, called a serjeant's yeoman.
Fang. An I but fist him once; an a' come but within my vice;6
Host. I am undone by his going; I warrant you, he's an infinitive thing upon my score :-Good master Fang, hold him sure;-good master Snare, let him not 'scape. He comes continuantly to Pye-corner, (saving your manhoods) to buy a saddle; and he's indited to dinner to the lubbar's head> in Lumbert-street, to master Smooth's the silkman: I pray ye, since my exion is entered, and my case so openly known to the world, let him be brought in to his answer. A hundred mark is a long loan 8 for a poor lone womano to bear: and I have borne, and borne, and borne; and have been fubbed off, and fubbed off, and fubbed off, from this day to that day, that it is a shame to be thought on. There is no honesty in such dealing; unless a woman should be made an ass, and a beast, to bear every knave's wrong.
Enter Sir John FALSTAFF, Page, and BARDOLPH, Yonder he comes; and that arrant malmsey-nose? knave,
an a' come but within my vice;] Vice or grasp;'a metaphor taken from a smith's vice: there is another reading in the old edition, view, which I think not so good. Pope.
Vice is the reading of the folio, view of the quarto. Steevens. The fist is vulgarly called the vice in the West of England.
Henley. lubbar's head-] This is, I suppose, a colloquial corruption of the Libbard's head. Johnson.
8 A hundred mark is a long loan - ] Old copy-long one. Steevens.
A long one? a long what? It is almost needless to observe, how familiar it is with our poet to play the chimes upon words similar in sound, and differing in signification; and therefore I make no question but he wrote-A hundred mark is a long loan for a poor lone woman to bear : i. e. a hundred mark is a good round sum for a poor widow to venture on trust. Theobald.
a poor lone woman --] A lone woman is an unmarried woman. So, in the title-page to A Collection of Records, &c. 1642: “ That Queen Elizabeth being a lone woman, and having few friends, refusing to marry' &c. Again, in Maurice Kyffin's translation of Terence's Andria, 1588: “ Moreover this Glycerie is a lone woman;”. -“tum hæc sola est mulier.” In The First Part of King Henry IV, Mrs. Quickly had a husband alive. She is now a widow. Steevens.
· malmsey-nose - ] That is, red nose, from the effect of malmsey wine, Johnson.