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Curling their monstrous heads, and hanging them
Enter WARWICK and SURREY.
lords? War. 'Tis one o'clock, and past. K. Hen. Why then, good morrow to you alls, my
read o'er the letters that I sent you? War. We have, my liege. K. Hen. Then you perceive, the body of our
2 Some of the officious modern editors altered clouds to shrowds, meaning the rope ladders of a ship, thus marring the poet's noble image. Steevens judiciously opposed himself to this alteration, but was wrong in asserting that'sþrowds had anciently the same meaning as clouds. Shrowdes were covertures, hiding places of any kind, ærial or otherwise. This will be found the meaning of the word in all the passages cited by Steevens. That clouds was the poet's word there can be no doubt. Thus in Julius Cæsar :
I have seen
To be exalted with the threatening clouds.' 3 Hurly is a noise or tumult. As hurly-burly in the first scene of Macbeth. See note there.
4 Warburton's conjecture, that this is a corrupt reading for happy lowly clown, deserves attention.
5 This mode of phraseology, where only two persons are addressed, is not very correct; but Shakspeare has used it again in King Henry VI. Part 11. where York addresses his two friends Salisbury and Warwick.
How foul it is; what rank diseases grow,
War. It is but as a body, yet, distemperido,
of fate; And see the revolution of the times Make mountains level, and the continent (Weary of solid firmness) melt itself Into the sea ! and, other times, to see The beachy girdle of the ocean Too wide for Neptune's hips?; how chances mock, And changes fill the cup of alteration With divers liquors! O, if this were seen 8, The happiest youth,—viewing his progress through, What perils past, what crosses to ensue, Would shut the book, and sit him down and die. 'Tis not ten years gone, Since Richard, and Northumberland, great friends, Did feast together, and, in two years after, Were they at wars: It is but eight years since This Percy was the man nearest my soul;
6 Distempered means disordered, sick ; being only in that state which foreruns or produces diseases.
• When I have seen the hungry ocean gain
Shakspeare's sixty-fourth Sonnet. 8 This and the three following lines are from the quarto copy. Johnson having misunderstood the line:
“What perils past, what crosses to ensue;' it may be necessary to remark that the perils are spoken of prospectively, as seen by the youth in the book of fate. The construction is • What perils having been past, what crosses are to ensue.
Who like a brother toil'd in my affairs,
foot; Ye for my sake, even to the
of Richard, Gave him defiance. But which of you was by', (You, cousin Nevil 10, as I may remember,)
[T. WARWICK. When Richard,—with his eye brimfull of tears, Then check’d and rated by Northumberland,Did speak these words, now prov'd a prophecy? Northumberland, thou ladder, by the which My cousin Bolingbroke ascends my throne ;Though then, heaven knows, I had no such intent; But that necessity so bow'd the state, That I and greatness were compell’d to kiss : The time shall come, thus did he follow.it, The time will come, that foul sin, gathering head, Shall break into corruption:-so went on, Fortelling this same time’s condition, And the division of our amity.
War. There is a history in all men's lives, Figuring the nature of the time's deceas’d: The which observ'd, a man may prophesy, With a near aim, of the main chance of things As yet not come to life ; which in their seeds, And weak beginnings, lie intreasured. Such things become the hatch and brood of time; And, by the necessary form of this, King Richard might create a perfect guess,
9 The reference is to King Richard II. Act iv. Sc. 2: but neither Warwick nor the king were present at that conversation. Henry had then ascended the throne; either the king's or the poet's memory failed him.
10 The earldom of Warwick was at this time in the family of Beauchamp, and did not come into that of the Nevils till many years after: when Anne, the daughter of this earl, married Richard Nevil, son of the earl of Salisbury, who makes a conspicuous figure in the Third Part of King Henry VI. under the title of Earl of Warwick.
That great Northumberland, then false to him,
Unless on you.
K. Hen. Are these things then necessities?
It cannot be,
more, I have receiv'd
sickness. K. Hen.
I will take
counsel : And, were these inward wars once out of hand, We would, dear lords, unto the Holy Land.
SCENE II. Court before Justice Shallow's House
SHADOW, WART, FEEBLE, BULL-CALF, and
Shal. Come on, come on, come on; give me your hand, sir, give me your hand, sir: an early stirrer, by the rood'. And how doth my good cousin Silence?
11 Glendower did not die till after King Henry IV. Shakspeare was led into this error by Holinshed. Vide note on the First Part of King Henry IV. Act iïi. Sc. 1, p. 190.
| The rood is the cross or crucifix. Rode, Sax.
Sil. Good morrow, good cousin Shallow.
Shal. And how doth my cousin, your bedfellow? and your fairest daughter, and mine, my god-daughter Ellen?
Sil. Alas, a black ouzel, cousin Shallow.
Shal. By yea and nay, sir, I dare say, my cousin William is become a good scholar: He is at Oxford, still, is he not?
Sil. Indeed, sir; to my cost.
Shal. He must then to the inns of court shortly : I was once of Clement's-inn; where, I think, they will talk of mad Shallow yet.
Sil. You were called — lusty Shallow, then, cousin. Shal. By the mass,
any thing; and I would have done any thing, indeed, and roundly too. There was I, and little John Doit of Staffordshire, and black George Bare, and Francis Pickbone, and Will Squele a Cotswold man”,-you had not four such swinge-bucklers 3 in all the inns of court again : and, I may say to you, we knew where the bona-robas4 were; and had the best of them all
2 The Cotswold Hills in Gloucestershire were famous for rural sports of all kinds; by distinguishing Will Squele as a Cotswold man, Shallow meant to have it understood that he was well versed in manly exercises, and consequently of a daring spirit and athletic constitution. In the reign of King James I. Mr. Robert Dover, a public spirited attorney of Barton on the Heath, Warwickshire, established there annual sports, which he superintended in person. They were celebrated in a scarce poetical tract, entitled Annalia Dubrensia, 1636, 4to. The games included wrestling, leaping, pitching the bar, handling the pike, dancing, and hunting. Slender tells Page that he has heard say that his fallow greyhound was 'outrun upon Cotsall. See Merry Wives of Windsor, Sc. 1.
3 Swinge-bucklers and swash-bucklers were terms implying rakes and rioters in the time of Shakspeare. See a note on sword and buckler men in the First Part of King Henry IV. Act i. Sc. 3,
4 • Buona-roba, as we say, good stuff; a good wholesome plump cheeked wench. Florio.