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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 Teni. Enter, to his Tent, King Richard, NORFOLK, Rat
CLIFF, and CATESBY.
It's supper time, my lord; It's nine o'clock.5
K. Rich. I will not sup to-night.-
Cates. It is, my liege; and all things are in readiness.
K. Rich. Good Norfolk, hie thee to thy charge;
Nor. I go, my lord.
[Exit. K. Rich. Ratcliff, Rat. My lord ?
K. Rich. Send out a pursuivant at arms
4— 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.
6 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
Saddle white Surrey for the field to-morrow.?-
Rat. My lord ?
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 represented with great nicety in some of the pictures of Albert Durer.
Barrett, in his Alvearie, 1580, mentions watching lamps or can. dles. So, in Love in a Maze, 1632:
o slept always with a watching candle." Again, in The Noble Soldier, 1634: “ Beauty was turn'd into a watching-candle that went out
stinking." Again, in The Return from Parnassus, 1606;
“ Sit now immur'd 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.
7 Saddle white Surrey for the field to-morrow.) So, in Holinshed's Chronicle, (copied from Hall's, Sig 11, ini, b.) “ Then he (inuironed with bis gard) with a frowning countenance and cruell visage, mounted on a great white courser, and follow ed with his footmen," &c p. 754. Steevens.
8 Look that my staves be sound,] Staves are the wood of the lan. ces. Fohnson.
As it was usual to carry more lances than one into the field, the lightness of them was an object of consequence. Hall införms us, that at the justs in honour of ibe marriage of Mary, the younger sister of King Henry VIII, with the king of France, that
ci genileman called Anthony Bownarme came into the feld all a med, and on his body brought in sight x speres, that is to wyt, iii speres set in every styroppe forward, and under every thigh ii speres upwardle, and under his left arnie was one spere backward, and the i0th in his hand,” &c. Steevene.
Rat. Thomas the earl of Surrey, and himself, Much about cock-shut time,' from troop to troop,
9- 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, 1 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 Arden of Feversham, 1592:
“In the twilight, cockshut 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 faste 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-rouds. It is the custom of the woodcock to lie close all day, and towards evening he takes wing, which act of Aight 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:
“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
Went through the army, cheering up the soldiers.
K. Rich. I am satisfied. Give me a bowl of wine :
Rat. It is, my lord.
Bid my guard watch; leave me.
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 his 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 wbat follows, or a limed bush. And when the cockshut net is fixed a person always stands by to watch and manage it. A similar expression is in Hall's Satires :
“ To watch a sinking cock, upon the shore.” Whalley. The passage from Hall is misquoted. He alludes to Fishing, and says
“Or watch a sinking corke upon the shore." Edit. 1602, Virgin demiarum, Lib. IV, p. 33. Sieevens.
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, introduces 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.
? I have not that alacrity of spirit, &c.] So, in Holinshed, p.775: " not using the alacritie of mirth and mind and countenance as he 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 Ratcliff is prefixed to the second line, but the metre shows that it was placed there by the negligence of the compositor. Malone.
RICHMOND's Tent opens, and discovers him and his
Richm. All comfort that the dark night can afford,
Stan. I, by attorney,5 bless thee from thy mother,
* All comfort that the dark night can afford,
“ The best and wholesomest spirits of the night
« Envellop you, —.” Steevens. 5 by attorney, ] By deputation. Fohnson.
6 mortal-staring war,] Thus the old copies. I suppose, by mortal-staring war is meant-war that looks big, or stares fatally on its victims. Steevens.
I suspect the poet wrote-mortal-scaring war. Malone.
I adhere to the old reading. So, in Antony and Cleopatra, Erion barbus says of Antony, who is issuing out to battle
“Now he 'll out-stare the lightning." Again, in The Tempest:
" why stand you
“In this strange stare?” Steevens. 71, as I may,
With best advantage will deceive the time, I will take the best opportunity to elude the dangers of this conjuncture. Johnson. 8 Lest, being seen, thy brother tender George
Be executed -] Só Holinshed after Hall: “ When the said lord Stanley would have departed into his country to visit his familie, and to recreate and refreshe his spirits, as he openly said, (but the truth was to the intent to be in a perfite readinesse to