« PreviousContinue »
KING Henry the Fourth.
Companions of Falstaff.
ir Walter Blunt, } of the King's Party.
Lady Percy, Wife to Hot-fpur.
Sheriff, Vintner, Chamberlain, Drawersy ttvo Carriers,
Travellers, and Attendants.
Enter King Henry, Lord John of Lancaster, Earl
of Westmorland, and others.
To be commenc'd in stronds afar remote. No more the thirsty entrance of this Soil (2)
(1) The i Part of Henry IV.] The Transactions, contain'd in this historical Drama, are comprized within the Period.of about 10 Months: For the Action commences with the News brought of Hotspur having defeated the Scots under Archibald Earl Douglas at Holmedon, (or Halidown hill) which Battle was fought on Holyrood day; (the 14th of September, 1402:) and it closes with the Defeat and Death of Hotspur at Shrewsbury; which Engagement happen'd on Saturday the 21tt of July (the Eve of St. Mary Magdalen) in the Year 1403. (2) No more the thirfty Entrance of this Soil
Shall dawb her Lips with her own Children's blood:] Thus the Oldest Quarto and the Firit Folio. I have chose to read with some of the more recent Impressions, damp: and if I do not mistake the Sense of the Paffage, the Antithesis
, that seems design’d, requires this Reading. Entrance of this Soil, I apprehend, cannot well mean an Invasion of the Kingdom: nor could the King have a Reason to say, that England should never again be attempted by hoftile Arms. The Exprelion is very ob
Shall damp her lips with her own children's blood :
limits of the Charge set down scure; but I take This to be the Meaning: that the thirfly Earth, chapt and flaw'd with Drought, shall no more damp, or moisten her Lips, of Surface, with her own Children's blood. The dry Earth drinking in this manner, is a very natural Allusion, and frequent with our Author. So, in his Troubléfom Reign of King Jobn;
Is all the Blood, y-spilt on either Part,
Grorun to a Love-game, and a bridal Feaft? 3 Henry VI.
Thy Brother's blood the thirsty Earth hath drunk.
But yesternight: when, all athwart, there came
K. Henry. It seems then, that the tidings of this broil Brake off our business for the holy Land.
West. This, matcht with other, did, my gracious lord; For more uneven and unwelcome news Came from the North, and thus it did import. On holy-rood day, the gallant Hot-spur there, Young Harry Percy, and brave Archibald, That ever-valiant and approved Scot, At Holmeden spent a fad and bloody hour: As by discharge of their artillery, And shape of likelihood, the news was told; For he, that brought it, in the very heat And pride of their contention, did take horse, Uncertain of the issue any way.
K. Henry. Here is a dear and true-industrious friend, Sir Walter Blunt, new lighted from his horse, (3) Stain'd with the variation of each soil Betwixt that Holmedon, and this Seat of ours: And he hath brought us smooth and welcome news. (3) Sir Walter Blunt, new lighted from his Horse,
Stain'd with the Variation of each Soil,
Betwixt that Holmedon, &c.] This Circumstance of Blunt's Speed, and being bespatter'd with the different Dirt of each County, was look'd on, I apprehend, in a ludicrous Light by some Carpers ; at least, I find it parodied in an old Comedy, and apply'd to a person in a Scuffle tumbled into the Dirt.
- your Band and Doublet
Merry Milk-maids. Ac. 2. Sc. 2.
The Earl of Dowglas is discomfited,
Weft. In faith, a conquest for a Prince to boast of.
What think you,
Weft. This is his uncle's teaching, this is Worcester, Malevolent to you in all aspects; Which makes him prune himself, and bristlé up The Crest of youth against your Dignity.
K. Henry. But I have sent for him to answer this; And for this cause a while we must neglect Our holy purpose to Jerusalem. Cousin, on Wednesday next, our Council we Will hold at Windsor, so inform the lords : But come your self with speed to us again;