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*Faith, and so we should;
Hot. A rendezvous, a home to fly unto,
Wor. But yet, I would your father had been here. The quality and hair of our attempt?
played, its circumference or boundary would be necessarily exposed to view. Sight being necessary to reading, to read is here used, in Shakspeare's licentious language, for to see.
The passage quoted by Mr. Steevens from King Henry VI. strongly confirms this interpretation. To it may be added this in Romeo and Juliet :
“ Is there no pity sitting in the clouds,
“ Which sees into the bottom of my grief ?" And this in Measure for Measure :
and it concerns me “ To look into the bottom of my place." One of the phrases in the text is found in Twelfth Night: “She is the list of my voyage." The other [the soul of hope] occurs frequently in our author's plays, as well as in those of his contemporaries. Thus, in A Midsummer Night's Dream, we find " the soul of counsel ;” and in Troilus and Cressida" the soul of love." So also, in Marlowe's Lust's Dominion :
Your desperate arm
MALONE. 4 Where now remains —] Where is, I think, used here for whereas. It is often used with that signification by our author and his contemporaries. Malone. So, in Pericles, Prince of Tyre, Act I, Sc. I. : “Where now you are both a father and a son."
STEEVENS. s We may boldly spend upon the hope of what Is to come in :] Read":
“We now may boldly spend, upon the hope
“ Of what is to come in." Ritson. o A comfort of retirement -) A support to which we may have recourse. JOHNSON.
7 The quality and hair of our attempt -) The hair seems to be the completion, the character. The metaphor appears harsh ould;
Brooks no division : It will be thought
to us, but, perhaps, was familiar in our author's time. We still say something is against the hair, as against the grain, that is, against the natural tendency. JOHNSON
In an old comedy called The Family of Love, I meet with an expression which very well supports Dr. Johnson's explanation :
“—They say i am of the right hair, and indeed they may stand to't." Again, in The Coscomb, by Beaumont and Fletcher :
since he will be “ An ass against the hair." STEEVENS. This word is used in the same sense in the old interlude of Tom Tyler and his Wife, 1598 :
“ But I bridled a colt of a contrarie haire." Malone. Perhaps hair is put for air, outward appearance. See a note on Macbeth, vol. xi. p. 204. Boswell.
8 — we of the OFFERING side ~] All the latter editions read -offending, but all the older copies which I have seen, from the first quarto to the edition of Rowe, read~"We of the off'ring side.” Of this reading the sense is obscure, and therefore the change has been made; but since neither offering nor offending are words likely to be mistaken, I cannot but suspect that offering is right, especially as it is read in the copy of 1599, which is more correctly printed than any single edition, that I have yet seen, of a play written by Shakspeare.
The offering side may signify that party, which, acting in opposition to the law, strengthens itself only by offers ; increases its numbers only by promises. The king can raise an army, and continue it by threats of punishment; but those, whom no man is under any obligation to obey, can gather forces only by offers of advantage : and it is truly remarked, that they, whose influence arises from offers, must keep danger out of sight.
The offering side may mean simply the assailant, in opposition to the defendant; and it is likewise true of him that offers war, or makes an invasion, that his cause ought to be kept clear from all objections. JOHNSON.
Johnson's last explanation of the word offering, appears to be right. His first is far-fetched and unnatural. M. Mason.
Must keep aloof from strict arbitrement;
You strain too far.
word Spoke of in Scotland, as this term of fear!
Enter Sir RICHARD VERNON.
lord. The earl of Westmoreland, seven thousand strong, Is marching hitherwards; with him, prince John.
Hor. No harm : What more ?
And further, I have learn'd, -
9 This absence of your father's Draws a curtain,
That shows the ignorant a kind of FEAR, &c.] To draw a curtain had anciently the same meaning as to undraw one has at present. So, (says Mr. Malone,) in a stage direction in King Henry VI. Part Ii. (quarto, 1600,) “ Then the curtaines being drawne, Duke Humphrey is discovered in his bed." Fear, in the present instance, signifies a terrifick object.
STEEVENS, -TERM of fear.] Folio-dream of fear. MALONE.
Hor. He shall be welcome too. Where is his
All furnish’d, all in arms,
2 The nimble-footed mad-cap prince of Wales,] Shakspeare rarely bestows his epithets at randon. Stowe says of the Prince : “ He was passing swift in running, insomuch that he with two other of his lords, without hounds, bow, or other engine, would take a wild buck, or doe, in a large park.” Steevens. 3 All furnish'd, all in arms,
All plum'd like estridges, that wing the wind;
Bated like eagles, &c.] The old copies—that with the wind.
“ All plum'd like estridges, and with the wind
“ Bating like eagles."
All furnish'd, all in arms,
“ Bated like eagles.”
Johnson. I believe estridges never mount at all, but only run before the wind, opening their wings to receive its assistance in urging them forward. They are generally hunted on horseback, and the art of the hunter is to turn them from the gale, by the help of which they are too fleet for the swiftest horse to keep up with them. I should have suspected a line to have been omitted, had not all the copies concurred in the same reading.
Glittering in golden coats, like images“;
In the 22d Song of Drayton's Polyolbion is the same thought:
“ Prince Edward all in gold, as he great Jove had been:
STEEVENS. I have little doubt that instead of with, some verb ought to be substituted here. Perhaps it should be whisk. The word is used by a writer of Shakspeare's age. England's Helicon, sign. Q: “ This said, he whisk d his particoloured wings.”
TYRWHITT. This is one of those passages, in which, in my apprehension, there can be no doubt that there is some corruption, either by the omission of an entire line, or by one word being printed instead of another. The first quarto, which is followed by all the other ancient copies, reads :
“ All plum'd like estridges, that with the wind,
“ Bated like eagles having lately bath’d." From the context, it appears to me evident that two distinct comparisons were here intended, that two objects were mentioned, to each of which the Prince's troops were compared; and that our author could never mean to compare estridges to eagles, a construction which the word with forces us to. In each of the subsequent lines a distinct image is given.-Besides, as Dr. John son has remarked, " What is the meaning of estridges that bated with the wind like eagles? for the relative that in the usual construction must relate to estridges."
Mr. Tyrwhitt concurs with me in thinking the old text corrupt. I have therefore adopted the slight alteration proposed by Dr. Johnson—that wing the wind; which gives an easy sense. --The spirit and ardour of the troops are marked by their being compared to eagles in the next line; but the estridges appear to be introduced here, as in the passage quoted above, from Drayton, by Mr. Steevens, solely on account of the soldiers' plumes ; and the manner in which those birds are said to move, sufficiently explains the meaning of the words>that wing the wind. If this emendation be not just, and with be the true reading, a line must have been lost, in which the particular movement of the estridge was described. The concurrence of the copies (mentioned by Mr. Steevens in a foregoing note,) militales but little in my mind against the probability of such an omission ; for, in general, I have observed, that whenever there is a corruption in one copy, it is continued in every subsequent one. Omission is one of the most frequent errors of the press, and we have undoubted proofs that some lines were omitted in the early editions of these plays.