« PreviousContinue »
That, being dead, like to the bullet's grazing,
Mark then abounding
“ Mark then aboundant
THEOBALD. Mr. Theobald was probably misled by the idle notion that our author's imagery must be round and corresponding on every side, and that this line was intended to be in unison with the next. This was so far from being an object of Shakspeare's attention, that he seems to delight in passing hastily from one idea to another. To support his emendation, Mr. Theobald misrepresented the reading of the quarto, which he said was aboundant. It is abundant; and proves, in my apprehension, decisively, that the reading of the folio is not formed by any accidental union of different words ; for though abounding may, according to Mr. Theobald's notion, he made two words, by what analysis can abundant be separated ?
We have had already, in this play—“ superfluous courage,” an expression of nearly the same import as--"abounding valour."
Mr. Theobald's emendation, however, has been adopted in all the modern editions.
That our author's word was abundant or abounding, not a bounding, may be proved by King Richard III. where we again meet with the same epithet applied to the same subject : • To breathe the abundant valour of the heart."
Malone. The preceding note (in my opinion at least) has not proved that, though Shakspeare talks of abundant valour in King Richard III. he might not have written a bounding valour in King Henry V. Must our author indulge himself in no varieties of phraseology, but always be tied down to the use of similar expressions ? Or does it follow that, because his imagery is sometimes incongruous, that it was always so ? Aboundant may be separated as regularly as abounding ; 'for boundant (like mountant in Timon of Athens, and questant in All's Well That Ends Well) might have been a word once in use. The reading stigmatized as a misrepresentation might also have been found in the quarto consulted by Mr. Theobald, though not in such copies of it as Mr. Malone and I have met with. In several quarto editions, of similar date, there are varieties which till very lately were unobserved. I have not therefore discarded Mr. Theobald's emendation. STEEVENS.
Killing in relapse of mortality.
s Killing in relapse of mortality. What it is to kill in relapse of mortality, I do not know. I suspect that it should be read :
* Killing in reliques of mortality." That is, continuing to kill when they are the reliques that death has left behind it.
That the allusion is, as Mr. Theobald thinks, exceedingly beautiful, I am afraid few readers will discover. The valour of a putrid body, that destroys by the stench, is one of the thoughts that do no great honour to the poet. Perhaps from this putrid valour Dryden might borrow the posthumous empire of Don Sebastian, who was to reign wheresoever his atoms should be scattered. Johnson.
By this phrase, however uncouth, Shakspeare seems to mean the same as in the preceding line. Mortality is death. So, in King Henry VI. Part I. :
I beg mortality
“ Rather than lifeRelapse may be used for rebound. Shakspeare has given mind of honour for honourable mind; and by the same rule might write relapse of mortality for fatal or mortal rebound; or by relapse of mortality, he may mean-after they had relapsed into inanimation.
This putrid valour is common to the descriptions of other poets, as well as Shakspeare and Dryden, and is predicated to be no less victorious by Lucan, lib. vii. v. 821 :
Quid fugis hanc cladem, quid olentes deseris agros ?
Eripiunt, camposque tenent victore fugato.
De quoi faire la guerre au reste des vivans.
We are but warriors for the working-day o;
Mont. I shall, king Harry. And so fare thee well:
Enter the Duke of York %.
warriors for the WORKING-DAY :) We are soldiers but coarsely dressed; we have not on our holiday apparel. Johnson. So, in Antony and Cleopatra : -Prythee, tell her but a worky-day fortune."
STEEVENS. 7 - our GILT.) i. e. golden show, superficial gilding. Obsolete. So, in Timon of Athens :
• When thou wast in thy gilt and thy perfume," &c. Again, in Twelfth-Night:
“ The double gilt of this opportunity you let time wash off.” Again, in Arden of Feversham, 1592:
And now the rain hath beaten off thy gilt.” Steevens.
- the Duke of York.] This personage is the same who appears in our author's King Richard II. by the title of Duke of Aumerle. His christian name was Edward. He was the eldest son
K. Hen. Take it, brave York.-Now, soldiers,
march away : And how thou pleasest, God, dispose the day!
The Field of Battle.
Alarums : Excursions. Enter French Soldier,
Pistol, and Boy Pist. Yield, cur.
Fr. Sol. Je pense, que vous estes le gentilhomme de bonne qualité.
Pist. Quality ? Callino, castore me! art thou a gentleman'? What is thy name ? discuss'. of Edmond of Langley, Duke of York, who is introduced in the same play, and who was the fifth son of King Edward III. Richard Earl of Cambridge, who appears in the second Act of this play, was younger brother to this Edward Duke of York.
MALONE. 9 Quality, call you me?-Construe me,] The old copy reads " Qualtitie calmie custure mem," Steevens. We should read this nonsense thus :
“Quality, cality-construe me, art thou a gentleman ? " i. e. tell me, let me understand whether thou be'st a gentleman.
WARBORTON. Mr. Edwards, in his MS. notes, proposes to read :
Quality, call you me? construe me,” &c. STEEVENS. The alteration proposed by Mr. Edwards has been too hastily adopted. Pistol, who does not understand French, imagines the prisoner to be speaking of his own quality. The line should therefore have been given thus : “Quality!--calmly; construe me, art thou a gentleman.”
Ritson. The words in the folio (where alone they are found)— Qualitee calmie custure me,' appeared such nonsense, that some emendation was here a matter of necessity, and accordingly that made by the joint efforts of Dr. Warburton and Mr. Edwards has been adopted in mine and the late editions. But since I have found reason to believe that the old copy is very nearly right, and that a much slighter emendation than that which has been made will suffice. In a book entitled, A Handfull of Plesant Delites, con
Fr. Sol. O seigneur Dieu !
Pist. O, signieur Dew should be a gentleman :taining sundrie new Sonets,-newly devised to the newest Tunes, &c. by Clement Robinson and Others, 16mo. 1584, is “ A Sonet of a Lover in the Praise of his Lady, to Calen o custure me, sung at every line's end.”
“ When as I view your comely grace, Calen," &c. Pistol, therefore, we see, is only repeating the burden of an old song, and the words should be undoubtedly printed
“Quality! Calen o custure me. Art thou a gentleman," &c. He elsewhere has quoted the old ballad beginning
“ Where is the life that late I led ?" With what propriety the present words are introduced, it is not necessary to inquire. · Pistol is not very scrupulous in his quotations.
It may also be observed, that construe me is not Shakspeare's phraseology, but-construe to me. So, in Twelfth-Night: “I will construe to them whence you come,” &c. Malone,
Construe me, though not the phraseology of our author's more chastised characters, might agree sufficiently with that of Pistol.
Mr. Malone's discovery is a very curious one, and when (as probably will be the case) some further ray of light is thrown on the unintelligible words—Calen, &c. I will be the first to vote them into the text. Steevens.
" Callino, castore me,” is an old Irish song which is preserved in Playford's Musical Companion, 673 :
loo loo lee.
Cal-li- no Calli - no Cas-to-re me.
E-va Ee E-va Ee loo
loo loo loo