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THE FIRST PART OF
KING HENRY IV.
J. and S. 1785.
J. and S. 1793.
K. Hen. So shaken as we are, so wan with care,
I have seldom been more surprised than when, in the edition of 1793, I saw Erinnys advanced into the text in the place where I used to read I could hardly persuade myself that it was not "the very error of my eyes." This appears to me as bold an emendation as I ever met with, and to be outdone by no achievement of Bentley or Warburton. Mr. Steevens, fully aware that this reading would not be generally acquiesced in, seems desirous of deterring opposition, by hurling defiance in the teeth of all who should dare to object to its reception. I confess myself obnoxious to all the censure which is denounced against those timid critics who cannot approve this gallant effort of Mr.
M. Mason, though sanctioned by the deliberate approbation of Dr. Farmer. Why Shakespeare was less likely to be obscure in the fifth line of a play than in any other I do not perceive. The passage as it stands is certainly difficult; but I incline to think it is rightly explained by Malone to mean, "No more shall this soil have "the lips of her thirsty entrance, or mouth, "daubed with the blood of her own children." The expression, thus understood, is, I admit, harsh and licentious. I agree with Malone that her lips refers to soil and not to peace. I incline to prefer damp to daub. Damb is the reading of the folios of 1632 and 1664; the p at the end of the word, being reversed, a common error in printing, damp becomes damb.
"If the reader will turn to the first scene of "the first Part of Henry IV. he will see in the "text of Shakespeare the natural feelings of "enthusiasm; and in the notes of Dr. Johnson, "the workings of a bigotted though vigorous "mind, greedy of every pretence to hate and "persecute those who dissent from his creed."
Gibbon's Hist. of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, c. 58. 4to. 1788. Vol. VI. p. 9.
I think Douce misunderstands this expression. I see no need of changing levy to lead, as Mr. Steevens proposes: the expression is elliptical.
Then let me hear
What yesternight our council did decree,
West. My liege, this haste was hot in question,
But yesternight: when, all athwart, there came
I do not think limits means regulated and appointed times.
Of prisoners, Hotspur took
Mordake the Earl of Fife, and eldest son
I know not how to pronounce Earl as a dissyllable, as Mr. Malone would have it.
Fal. Marry, then, sweet wag, when thou art king, let not
I have some doubt whether Theobald is not right.
- May not the meaning be, Lay by your money.
That by the drone of a Lincolnshire bag-pipe is meant the dull croak of a frog, is, I think, one of the pleasantest conceits that I have met with.
Fal. An old lord of the council rated me the other day
P. Hen. Thou did'st well; for wisdom cries out in the
Fal. O, thou hast damnable iteration; and art, indeed,
I believe iteration is rightly explained by Malone.
But, be sure,
I understand that condition here means temper or disposition; but the construction I do not understand.
P. 294.- .-391.
his chin, new reap'd,' Show'd like a stubble-land at harvest-home.
I cannot forbear expressing my astonishment at Dr. Johnson's note on at harvest-home. The ground of the comparison is rightly explained by Tyrwhitt had it not been for Dr. Johnson's note, I should have thought it difficult to miss it.
Dr. Johnson's emendation of peers is certainly inadmissible.
Hot. Revolted Mortimer!
He never did fall off, my sovereign liege,
This is rightly explained by Dr. Johnson.
Needs no more but one tongue for all those wounds, Those mouthed wounds, which valiantly he tookI wish I could believe with Dr. Johnson that this is a broken sentence, for the thought of putting tongues in the mouths of the wounds is certainly a very poor conceit; but such as it is, Shakespeare appears to have been fond of it; and the passages produced by Mr. M. Mason from Coriolanus and Julius Cæsar prove incontestibly that this is the true meaning of it.
Never did bare and rotten policy
Colour her working with such deadly wounds.
I concur with Mr. M. Mason, in preferring base to bare.
The editions of 1773 and of 1785 read Yes, I will speak of him. Why, in the editions of 1790 (Malone's) and 1793, (Steevens's) Zounds is substituted for Yes, the editors have not informed us.
And on my face he turn'd an eye of death,
I perfectly agree with Malone.
Hot. By heaven, methinks it were an easy leap,
Where fathom-line could never touch the ground,