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I incline to admit Mr. Tyrwhitt's emendation. Mr. Seymour, of the Theatre Royal, Norwich, thus explains this passage: "all those capable
or likely to assist you, and whom it is incum“ bent on you to conciliate and attach to your
cause. If this be the true explanation (which I am rather inclined to think) Mr. Tyrwhitt's emendation is inadmissible.
and had a purpose now
I think Dr. Johnson is right.
It may be true that anciently the lower orders of the people had no surnames, but this passage does not tend to prove it. Mr. Steevens's note might be well spared. “ The note upon William “ cook (says Heron) is in the true antiquarian “ style, and as such I leave it. Coke, I have no “ doubt, was a proper name as well as Canning. By William cook, Shallow certainly means, William the cook. Of this I should have thought no one could have doubted.
A ragged and fore-stall’d remission.
bottle-rogue ! Petruchio speaks of a censer in a barber's shop.
i Bead. Very well. Rascal, it is true, does sometimes mean lean deer, but I cannot think it does here. Mr. Steevens's note seems to me to merit Heron's animadversion.
'Tis all in every part. I agree with Mr. Steevens that “this speech “accords but little with the phraseology of “ Falstaff; and, on the contrary, agrees well. ( with that of Pistol."
KING HENRY THE FIFTH.
J. and S. 1785.
J. and S. 1793.
The brightest heaven of invention ! “Shakespeare (says Heron) knew nothing of “ the allusions pointed out by his commentators. “ What absurdity to imagine that Shakespeare, “whose learning they utterly deny, should be “ skill'd in all the systems of philosophy ! A muse of fire is a fiery, ardent vein of poetry.”
Letters of Literature, p. 175.
Can this cockpit hold
very casques, That did affright the air at Agincourt ? Mr. M. Mason is indisputably right. Dr. Johnson's criticism on this expression is injudicious in the extreme. It was certainly (as Mr. M. Mason observes) the poet's intention to represent the circle in which they acted in as contemptible a light as he could. He speaks in the same strain in the chorus to the fourth act.
“ And so our scene must to the battle fly;
P. 4. -447.-264.
The very casques
The word is spelt casks in some of the editions. I have doubted whether Shakespeare did not mean barrels of gunpowder, which I think may more properly be said to affright the air than the helmets. So understood, it reminds us of the following passage in Milton :
Immediate in a flame,
P. L. Book 6, 584.
It is no objection to this explanation to say that no gunpowder was used at the battle of Agincourt. Shakespeare frequently falls into such mistakes. Hotspur talks of gunpowder in the First Part of Henry the Fourth; and afterwards in this play he speaks of “devilish cannon.'
The perilous, narrow ocean parts asunder.
your thoughts that now must deck our kings,
Dr. Johnson's observation is not just. The passage is rightly explained by Steevens and Monk Mason.
The character of Henry V. reminds us of what Tacitus says of Titus : “ Lætam voluptatibus " adolescentiam egit, suo quam patris imperio " modestior." Hist. II. 2.
Ely. And so the prince obscur'd his contemplation
This reminds us of the following passage:
Non liquidi gregibus fontes, non gramina desunt;
Georg. II. 200
Impawn is, I believe, rightly explained by Warburton.