Page images

And, by the bright track of his fiery car,
Gives token of a goodly day to-morrow
Sir William Brandon, you shall bear my standard.
Give me some ink and paper in my tent ;-
I'll draw the form and model of our battle,
Limiti each leader to his several charge,
And part in just proportion our small power.
My lord of Oxford, you, sir William Brandon,
And you, sir Walter Herbert, stay with me:
The earl of Pembroke keeps his regiment;2-
Good captain Blunt, bear my good night to him,
And by the second hour in the morning
Desire the earl to see me in


Yet one thing more, good captain, do for me;
Where is lord Stanley quarter'd, do you know?

Blunt. Unless I have mista'en his colours much,
(Which, well I am assur’d, I have not done,)
His regiment lies half a mile at least
South from the mighty power of the king.

Richm. If without peril it be possible,
Sweet Blunt, make some good means to speak with


9 Give me some ink and paper -] I have placed these lines as they stand in the first editions: the rest place them three speeches before, after the words Sir William Brandon, you shall bear my standard; interrupting what there follows; The Earl of Pembroke, &c. I think them more naturally introduced here, when he is retiring to his tent; and considering what he has to do that night.

Pope. I have followed the folio, which, of this play, is by far the most correct copy. I do not find myself much influenced by Mr. Pope's remark. Steevens.

In the quarto, this and the three following lines are introduced immediately before the words—“Come, gentlemen, let us consult,” &c. Malone. 1 Limit-]i. e. appoint. So, in Macbeth:

“ I 'll make so bold to call,
“ For 'tis my limited service.Steevens.

- keeps his regiment;] i.e. remains with it. Thus we say of a person confined by illness-he keeps his chamber, or his bed.

Steevens. make some good means -] i. e. adopt some convenient


So, in The Two Gentlemen of Verona:
« To make such means for her as thou hast done.”



And give him from me this most needful note.

Blunt. Upon my life, my lord, I'll undertake it; And so, God give you quiet rest to-night! Richm. Good night, good captain Blunt. Come, gen

tlemen, Let us consult upon to-morrow's business; In to my tent, the air is raws and cold.

[They withdraw into the Tent. Enter, to his Tent, King RICHARD, NORFOLK, RAT

K. Rich. What is 't o'clock?

It's supper time, my lord;
It's nine o'clock.5
K. Rich.

I will not sup to-night.-
Give me some ink and paper.-
What, is my beaver easier than it was?-
And all my armour laid into my tent?

Cates. It is, my liege; and all things are in readiness.

K. Rich. Good Norfolk, hie thee to thy charge;
Use careful watch, choose trusty sentinels.

Nor. I go, my lord.
K. Rich. Stir with the lark to-morrow, gentle Norfolk.
Nor. I warrant you, my lord.

[Exit. K. Rich. Ratcliff, Rat. My lord ?

K. Rich. Send out a pursuivant at arms
To Stanley's regiment; bid him bring his power
Before sun-rising, lest his son George fall
Into the blind cave of eternal night.-
Fill me a bowl of wine..Give me a watch:6.

[To Cates.


the air is raw -) So the quarto. Folio--the dew.

Malone. 5 It's nine o'clock.) So the folio. The quarto reads-It is six of the clock; full supper time. Malone.

I think, we ought to read-six instead of nine. A supper at so late an hour as nine o'clock, in the year 1485, would have been a prodigy. Steevens.

Give me a watch:] A watch has many significations, but I should believe that it means in this place not a sentinel, which would be regularly placed at the king's tent; nor an instrument to measure time, which was not used in that age; but a watch. VOL. XI.



Saddle white Surrey for the field to-morrow.?-
Look that my staves be sound, 8 and not too heavy.

Rat. My lord ?
K. Rich. Saw'st thou the melancholy lord Northum-

berland : 9

light, a candle to burn by him; the light that afterwards burnt blue, yet a few lines after, he says:

Bid my guard watch, which leaves it doubtful whether watch is not here a sentinel.

Johnson. A watch, i. e. guard, would certainly be placed about a royal tent, without any request of the king concerning it.

I believe, therefore, that particular kind of candle is here meant, which was anciently called a watch, because, being marked out into sections, each of which was a certain portion of time in burning, it supplied the place of the more modern instrument by which we measure the hours. I have seen these candles repre. sented with great nicety in some of the pictures of Albert Durer.

Barrett, in his Alvearie, 1580, mentionis watching lamps or candles. So, in Love in a Maze, 1632:

slept always with a watching candle." Again, in The Noble Soldier, 1634: “ Beauty was turu'd into a watching-candle that went out

stinking.” Again, in The Return from Parnassus, 1606:

“Sit now immurd within their private cells,

“ And drink a long lank watching candle's smoke." Again, in Albumazar, 1610:

“ Sit up all night like a watching candle.” Steevens. Lord Bacon mentions a species of light called an all-night, which is a wick set in the middle of a large cake of wax. Johnson.

The word give shows, I think, that a watch-light was intended. Cole has in his Dictionary, 1679, Watch-candle. Malone.

? Saddle white Surrey for the field to-morrow.] So, in Holinshed's Chronicle, (copied from Hall's, Sig II, iii, b ) " Then he (inuironed with his gard) with a frowning countenance and cruell visage, mounted on a great white courser, and followed with his footmen," &c p. 754. Steevens.

8 Look that my staves be sound,] Staves are the wood of the lances. Fohnson.

As it was usual to carry more lances than one into the field, the lightness of them was an object of consequence.

Hall in. firms us, that at the justs in honour of the marriage of Mary, the younger sister of King Henry VIII, with the king of France, that

it gentleman called Anthony Bownarme came into the feid all a med, and on his body brought in sight x speres, that is to wyt, ini speres set in every styroppe forward, and under every thigh ii speres upwardle, and under his left arme was one spere backward, and the 10th in his hand,” &c. Steerens.

Rat. Thomas the earl of Surrey, and himself, Much about cock-shut time, from troop to troop,


the melancholy lord Northumberland?) Richard calls him melancholy, because he did not join heartily in his cause. "Henry the fourth earle of Northumberland,” says Holinshed, “whether it was by the commandment of King Richarde putting diffidence in him, or he did it for the love and favour he bare unto the earle (of Richmond), stood still with a great company, and intermixed not in the battaile ; which was [after the battle] incontinently received into favour, and made of the counsayle.” Malone.

1 Much about cock-shut time,] Ben Jonson uses the same expression in one of his entertainments:

“ For you would not yesternight,

" Kiss him in the cock-shut light.' Again, in The Widow, by Ben Jonson, Fletcher, and Middleton, 1652:

“Come away then: a fine cockshut evening." Again, in Arlen of Feversham, 1592:

“In the twilight, cocéshut light." In The Treatyse of Fyshinge with the Angle, by dame Julyana Bernes, 1496, among the directions to make a fishing rod is the following: “Take thenne and frette him taste with a cockeshote corde.&c. but I cannot interpret the word. Steevens.

Cock-shut time,] i.e. twilight. In Mr. Whalley's note upon Ben Jonson, Vol. V, p. 204: “ A Cockshut is said to be a net to catch woodcocks; and as the time of taking them in this manner is in the twilight, either after sun-set or before its rising, cock-shut light may very properly express the evening or the morning twilight.” The particular form of such a net, and the manner of using it, is delineated and described in Dictionarium Rusticum, 2 Vols. 8vo. 3d edit. 1726, under the word cock-roads. It is the custom of the woodcock to lie close all day, and towards evening he takes wing, which act of flight might anciently be termed his shoot or shot. So, the ballast of a ship is said to shoot, when it runs'from one side to the other. This etymology gives us, perhaps, the original signification of the word, without any recourse for it to the name of a net, which might receive its denomination from the time of the day, or from the occasion on which it was used; for I believe there was a net which was called a cock-shot. Holinshed's Description of Britain, p. 110, calls a stone which naturally has a hole in it, “ an apt cocke-shot for the devil to run through ;" which, I apprehend, alludes to the resemblance of the hole in the stone to the meshes of a net. Tollet.

Mr. Tollet's opinion may be supported by the following passage in a little metrical performance, called, No Whipping nor Trippinge : but a kinde friendly Snippinge, 1601:

66 A silly honest creature may do well

To watch a cocke-shoote, or a limed bush.” Steevens. I must support my interpretation against Mr. Tollet. He in part

[ocr errors]

Went through the army, cheering up the soldiers.

K. Rich. I am satisfied. Give me a bowl of wine :
I have not that alacrity of spirit,2
Nor cheer of mind, that I was wont to have.-
So, set it down.3_Is ink and paper ready?

Rat. It is, my lord.
K. Rich.

Bid my guard watch ; leave me.
About the mid of night, come to my tent
And help to arm me.-Leave me, I say.
[K. Rich. retires into his Tent. Exeunt Rat,

and CATES.

and says

admits, and then proceeds to overthrow it. And I will support it by the very instance Mr. Steevens adduced in his favour. The ballast of a ship may be said to shoot; as we now say, to shoot coals, or corn out of a sack; but it was never yet said that a woodcock shoots, when he takes bis evening flight. Cocke-shoote, in the passage Mr. Steevens cites, is certainly a substantive, and the accusative case after the verb watch, which is confirmed by what follows, or a limed bush. And when the cockshut net is fixed a person always stands by to watch and manage it. A similar espression is in Hall's Satires :

To watch a sinking cock, upon the shore.-" Whalley. The passage from Hall is misquoted. He alludes to Fishing,

Or watch a sinking corke upon the shore.” Edit. 1602, Virgidemiarum, Lib. IV, p. 33. Steevens.

That cockshut time meant twilight, is ascertained by Minsheu's Dictionary, 1617. See the latter word. Malone.

Ogilby, in his Paraphrase of Æsop's Fables, 4to. 1651, p. 6, intro. duces this expression in a way which perhaps strengthens Mr. Tollet's opinion that cock-shoot was taken from the flight of the woodcock. He makes the pine boast:

when loud winds make cock-shoots thro' the wood, “ Rending down mighty okes, I firme have stood." Here, I apprehend, Ogilby means to describe hurricanes which, by blowing down the trees, made glades or partial openings in the woods. H. White.

2 I have not that alacrity of spirit, &c.] So, in Holinshed, p. 775:

- not using the alacritie of mirth and mind and countenance as hie was accustomed to doo before he came toward the battell.”

Steevens. 3 So, set it down.] The word So in the old copies stands at the beginning of the first line of this speech, caught perhaps by the compositor's eye glancing on the line below. Mr. Steevens made the emendation. In Richard's next speech the word Ratclif is prefixed to the second line, but the metre shows that it was placed there by the negligence of the compositor. Malone.

« PreviousContinue »