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May cease their hatred; and this dear conjunction
ness all, That here I kiss her as my sovereign queen. [Flourish.
Q. Isa. God, the best maker of all marriages,
[Exeunt. Enter CHORUS.
Thus far, with rough and all unable pen,
Our bending author hath pursu'd the story;
In little room confining mighty men,
Mangling by starts the full course of their glory, Small time, but, in that small, most greatly liv'd
This star of England: fortune made his sword;
And of it left his son imperial lord.
Of France and England, did this king succeed;
bleed : Which oft our stage hath shown; and, for their sake, In your fair minds let this acceptance take. [Exeunt.
KING HENRY V.
"Within this wooden 0-] i.e. A circumference of so small dimensions as the stage of a theatre?
-Casques-] The helmets. 3 imaginary forces-] Imaginary for imaginative, or your powers of fancy. Active and passive words are by this author frequently confounded.
JOHNSON. * And make imaginary puissance :) This shows that Shakspeare was fully sensible of the absurdity of showing battles on the theatre, which indeed is never done but tragedy becomes farce. Nothing can be represented to the eye, but by something like it, and within a wooden 0 nothing very like a battle can be exhibited.
JOHNSON 5 Consideration like an angel came] As paradise, when sin and Adam were driven out by the angel, became the habitation of celestial spirits, so the king's heart, since consideration has driven out his follies, is now the receptacle of wisdom and of virtue.
JOHNSON. 6 The air, &c.] This line, as Dr. Johnson well remarks, is exquisitely beautiful.
* The severals and unhidden passages.] Mr. Mason thinks this line corrupt, and that we should read, several, instead of severals.
& Shall we call in-] Here began the old play.
9-miscreate-] Spurious, illegitimate.
10 There is no bar, &c.] This whole speech is copied (in a manner verbatim) from Hall's Chronicle, Henry V. year the second, folio iv. xx. xxx. xl. &c. In the first edition it is very imperfect, and the whole history and names of the princes are confounded; but this was afterwards set right, and corrected from the original, Hall's Chronicle.
" To fine his title, &c.] Fine is here used as an opposition to corrupt in the next line. Holinshed says, ' to make his title seem true though it was stark naught.' 12 If that you will, &c.] Hall's Chronicle.
-kneading up the honey;] To knead the honey gives an easy sense, though not physically true. The bees do in fact knead the wax more than the honey, but that Shakspeare perhaps did not know.
JOHNSON. The old quartos read-lading up the honey.
14 Tennis-balls, my liege---] In the old play of King Henry V. already mentioned, this present consists of a gilded tun of tennis-balls and a carpet.
15 - Chaces-] Chace is a term at tennis.
-his balls to gun-stones;] When ordnance was first used, they discharged balls, not of iron, but of stone.
JOHNSON. - lieutenant Bardolph.] At this scene begins the connexion of this play with the latter part of King Henry IV. The characters would be indis
tinct, and the incidents unintelligible, without the knowledge of what passed in the two foregoing plays.
JOHNSON. 18 — there shall be smiles-] I suspect smiles to be a marginal direction crept into the text. It is natural for a man, when he threatens, to break off abruptly, and conclude, But that shall be as it may. But this fantastical fellow is made to smile disdainfully while he threatens; which circumstance was marked for the player's direction in the margin.
WARBURTON. I do not remember to have met with these marginal directions for expression of countenance in any of our ancient manuscript plays: neither do I see occasion for Dr. Warburton's emendation, as it is vain to seek the precise meaning of every whimsical phrase used by this humourous character. Nym, however, having expressed his indifference about the continuation'of Pistol's friendship, might have added, when time serves, there shall be smiles, i.e. he should be merry, even though he was to lose it; or, that his face would be ready with a smile as often as occasion should call one out into service, though Pistol, who had excited so many, was no longer near him.
19 I am not Barlason;] Barbason is the name of a dæmon mentioned in The Merry Wives of Windsor.
20 o, how hast thou, &c.] Shakspeare uses this aggravation of the guilt of treachery with great judgment. One of the worst consequences of breach of trust is the diminution of that confidence which makes