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Profper this realm, keep it from civil broils!
Enter a Meffenger.
MESS, My honourable lords, health to you all! Sad tidings bring I to you out of France, Of lofs, of flaughter, and difcomfiture: Guienne, Champaigne, Rheims, Orleans," Paris, Guyfors, Poitiers, are all quite loft.
Than Julius Cæfar, or bright- ·] I can't guess the occafion of the hemiftich and imperfect fenfe in this place; 'tis not impoffible it might have been filled up with-Francis Drake, though that were a terrible anachronifm (as bad as Hedor's quoting Ariftotle in Troilus and Creffida); yet perhaps at the time that brave Englishman was in his glory, to an English-hearted audience, and pronounced by fome favourite ador, the thing might be popular, though not judicious; and, therefore, by fome critic in favour of the author afterwards ftruck out. But this is a mere flight conje&ure. POPE.
To confute the flight conje&ure of Pope, a whole page of vehement oppofition is annexed to this paffage by Theobald. Sir Thomas Hanmer has ftopped at Cafar-perhaps more judiciously. It might, however, have been written, or bright Berenice.
Pope's conjecture is confirmed by this peculiar circumftance, that two blazing ftars (the Julium fidus) are part of the arms of the Drake family. It is well known that families and arms were much more attended to in Shakspeare's time, than they are at this day. M. MASON.
This blank undoubtedly arofe from the tranfcriber's or compófitor's not being able to make out the name. So, in a fubfequent paffage the word Nero was omitted for the fame reafon. See the Differtation at the end of the third part of King Henry VI.
9 Guienne, Champaigne, Rheims, Orleans,] This verfe might be completed by the infertion of Rouen among the places loft, as Glofter in his next speech infers that it had been mentioned with the reft. STEEVENS.
BED. What fay'ft thou, man, before dead Henry's
Speak foftly; or the lofs of thofe great towns
If Henry were recall'd to life again,
Thefe news would caufe him once more yield the ghoft.
EXE. How were they loft? what treachery was us'd?
MESS. No treachery; but want of men and money. Among the foldiers this is muttered,
That here you maintain several factions;
And, whilft a field fhould be defpatch'd and fought. You are difputing of your generals.
One would have ling'ring wars, with little coft;
EXE. Were our tears wanting to this funeral, These tidings would call forth her flowing tides. BED. Me they concern; regent I am of France:Give me my fteeled coat, I'll fight for France.Away with these disgraceful wailing-robes! Wounds I will lend the French, inftead of eyes, To weep their intermiffive miferies. 4
▲ third man thinks,] Thus the fecond folio, The firft omits the word-man, and confequently leaves the verfe imperfe&.
3 her flowing tides. ] i. e. England's flowing tides.
their intermiffive miferies. ] i. e. their miferies, which have
2. MESS. Lords, view thefe letters, full of bad
France is revolted from the English quite;
The Dauphin Charles is crowned king in Rheims;
EXE. The Dauphin crowned king! all fly to him!
Bedford, if thou be flack, I'll fight it out.
BED Glofter, why doubt'ft thou of my forward-
An army have I muster'd in my thoughts,
Enter a third Meffenger.
3. MESS. My gracious lords, to add to your la-
Wherewith you now bedew king Henry's hearse,-
Betwixt the flout lord Talbot and the French.
WIN. What! wherein Talbot overcame? is't fo? 3. MESS. O, no; wherein lord Talbot was o'erthrown:
The circumftance I'll tell you more at large.
The tenth of Auguft laft, this dreadful lord,
had only a short intermiffion from Henry the Fifth's death to my
Having full fcarce fix thousand in his troop.
To keep the horsemen off from breaking in.
Having full Scarce &c.] The modern editors read,fcarce full, but, I think, unneceffarily. So, in The Tempest:
Profpero, mafter of a full poor cell." STEEVENS. above human thought,
Ena&ted wonders-] So, in King Richard III:
6 he flew: 1 I fufped, the author wrote-,
7 And rush'd into the bowels of the battle.] Again, in the fifth at of this play:
"So, rushing in the bowels of the French."
The fame phrafe had occurred in the first part of Jeronimo, 1605:
"Meet, Don Andrea! yes, in the battle's bowels."
STEEVENS. If fir John Falftolfe &c.] Mr. Pope has taken notice, That Falftaff is here introduced again, who was dead in Henry V. The
He being in the vaward, (plac'd behind,"
occafion whereof is, that this play was written before King Henry IV. or King Henry V." But it is the hiftorical Sir John Faftolfe (for so he is called by both our Chroniclers) that is here mentioned; who was a lieutenant general, deputy regent to the duke of Bedford in Normandy, and a knight of the garter; and not the comick charader afterwards introduced by our author, and which was a crea ture merely of his own brain. Nor when he named him Falstaff do I believe he had any intention of throwing a flur on the memory of this renowned old warrior. THEOBALD.
Mr. Theobald might have feen his notion contradiced in the very line he quotes from. Faftolfe, whether truly or not, is faid by Halland Holinfhed to have been degraded for cowardice. Dr. Heylin, in his Saint George for England, tells us, that " he was afterwards, upon good reafon by him alledged in his defence, reftored to his honour," "This Sir John Falloff," continues he, "was without doubt, a valiant and wife captain, notwithflanding the ftage bath made merry with him." FARMER.
See Vol. XII. p. 184, n. 4; and Oldys's Life of Sir John Fastolfe in the General Dictionary.
In the 18th fong of Drayton's Polyolbion is the following character of this Sir John. Faftolph:
"Strong Faftolph with this man compare we justly may;
"In many a brave attempt the general foe annoy'd;
For an account of this Sir John Faftolfe, fee Anftis's Treatife on the Order of the Garter; Parkins's Supplement to Blomfield's Hiftory of Norfolk'; Tanner's Bibliotheca Britannica; or Capel's notes, Vol. II. p. 221; and Sir John Feun's Collection of the Pafton Letters.
9 He being in the vaward, plac'd behind,] Some of the editors feem to have confidered this as a contradiction in terms, and have Some propofed to read-the rearward, but without neceffity. part of the van muft have been behind the forem oft line of it. We often fay the back front of a house. STEEVENS.