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Dau. Montez a cheval :-My horse! valet ! lac
quay ! ha!
Orl. O brave spirit !
9 Via!-les eaux et la terre - ] Via is an old hortatory exclamation, as allons ! Johnson. Dr. Johnson is right. So, in King Edward III. 1596 :
“ Then Via! for the spacious bounds of France !” Again, in Parasitaster, or The Fawne, by John Marston, 1606:
“ Come Via! to this feastful entertainment!” Again, in Marston's What You Will, 1607 :
“ Tut, Via! let all run glib and square ! STEEVENS. This dialogue will be best explained by referring to the seventh scene of the preceding Act, in which the Dauphin, speaking in admiration of his horse, says : “When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk: he trots the air :- It is a beast for Perseus; he is pure air and fire, and the dull elements of earth and water never appear in him.” He now, seeing his horse at a distance, attempts to say the same thing in French: “ Les eaur et la terre,” the waters and the earth—have no share in my horse's composition, he was going to have said; but is prevented by the Duke of Orleans, who replies--Can you add nothing more? Is he not air and fire? Yes, says the Dauphin, and even heaven itself. He had, in the former scene, called his horse Worder of Nature. The words, however, may admit of a different interpretation. He may mean to boast that, when on horseback, he can bound over all the elements, and even soar to heaven itself. Malone.
It is not easy to determine the import of the Dauphin's words. I do not, however, think the foregoing explanation right, because it excludes variety, by presuming that what has been already said in one language, is repeated in another. Perhaps this insignificant sprig of royalty is only capering about, and uttering a "rhapsody of words " indicative of levity and high spirits, but guiltless of any precise meaning. Sreevens.
That their hot blood may spin in English eyes,
Enter a Messenger.
fair show shall suck away their souls?,
And dout them-] The first folio reads-doubt, which, perhaps, may have been used for to make to doubt, to terrify.
TYRWHITT. To doubt, or (as it ought to have been spelled) dout, is a word still used in Warwickshire, and signifies to do out, or extinguish. See a note on Hamlet, vol. vii. p. 229, n. 4. For this information I was indebted to my late friend, the Reverend H. Homer. Steevens.
In the folio, where alone this passage is found, the word is written doubt. To dout, for to do out, is a common phrase at this day in Devonshire and the other western counties; where they often say, dout the fire, that is, put out the fire. Many other words of the same structure are used by our author; as, to don, i. e. to to do on, to doff, i. e. to do off, &c. In Hamlet he has used the same phrase :
the dram of base “ Doth all the noble substance of worth dout,” &c. The word being provincial, the same mistake has happened in both places ; doubt being printed in Hamlet instead of dout.
Mr. Pope for doubt substituted daunt, which was adopted in the subsequent editions. For the emendation now made I imagined I should have been answerable; but on looking into Mr. Rowe's edition I find he has anticipated me, and has printed the word as it is now exhibited in the text. MALONE.
SUCK away their souls,] This strong expression did not escape the notice of Dryden and Pope; the former having (less chastely) employed it in his Don Sebastian, King of Portugal :
Sucking each others' souls while we expire :
. The may
Leaving them but the shales and husks of men.
3 About our SQUARES OF BATTLE,] So, in Antony and Cleopatra :
no practice had
“ He was some hilding fellow, that had stole
upon this MOUNTAIN'S BASIS BY-] See Henry's speech, Sc. VII. :
take a trumpet, herald; “Ride thou unto the horsemen on yon hill.” Malone. 6 The tucket-sonuance, &c.] He uses terms of the field as if they were going out only to the chace for sport. To dare the field is a phrase in falconry. Birds are dared when by the falcon in the air they are terrified from rising, so that they will be sometimes taken by the hand.
Such an easy capture the lords expected to make of the English. Johnson.
The tucket sonuance was, I believe, the name of an introductory flourish on the trumpet, as toccata in Italian is the prelude of a sonata on the harpsichord, and toccar la tromba is to blow the trumpet.
For our approach shall so much dare the field,
In The Spanish Tragedy, (no date,) “ a tucket afar off."
2 tuckets by several trumpets."
“ Or, if he chance to endure our tongues so much
“ As but to hear their sonance." Steevens. 7 You island carrions, &c.] This and the preceding description of the English is founded on the melancholy account given by our historians, of Henry's army, immediately before the battle of Agincourt :
“ The Englishmen were brought into great misery in this journey [from Harfleur to Agincourt); their victual was in manner spent, and now could they get none :-rest could they none take, for their enemies were ever at hand to give them alarmes : daily it rained, and nightly it freezed; of fewel there was great scarcity, but of fluxes great plenty; money they had enough, but wares to bestowe it upon, for their relief or comforte, had they little or none.” Holinshed. Malone.
6 Their RaggED CURTAINS poorly are let loose,] By their ragged curtains, are meant their colours. M. Mason.
The idea seems to have been taken from what every man must have observed, i. e, ragged curtains put in motion by the air, when the windows of mean houses are left open. Steevens. 9 Their horsemen sit like fixed candlesticks,
With torch-staves in their hand :] Grandpré alludes to the form of ancient candlesticks, which frequently represented human
Lob down their heads, dropping the hides and hips; The gum down-roping from their pale-dead eyes;
figures holding the 'sockets for the lights in their extended hands.
A similar image occurs in Vittoria Corombona, 1612: “ - he showed like a pewter candlestick, fashioned like a man in armour, holding a tilting staff in his hand little bigger than a candle.",
The following is an exact representation of one of these candlesticks, now in the possession of Francis Douce, Esq. The receptacles for the candies are wanting in the original. The sockets in which they were to be placed are in the outstretched hands of the figure.