Imatges de pÓgina

In your own losses, if he stay in France.

FR. KING. To-morrow shall you know our mind at full.
EXE. Despatch us with all speed, lest that our king
Come here himself to question our delay;

For he is footed in this land already.

FR. KING. You shall be soon despatch'd, with fair conditions:

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Thus with imagin'd wing our swift scene flies,

In motion of no less celerity

Than that of thought. Suppose that you have seen
The well-appointed king at Hampton a pier
Embark his royalty; and his brave fleet

With silken streamers the young Phoebus fanning.
Play with your fancies; and in them behold,
Upon the hempen tackle ship-boys climbing:
Hear the shrill whistle which doth order give
To sounds confus'd: behold the threaden sails,
Borne with the invisible and creeping wind,
Draw the huge bottoms through the furrow'd sea,
Breasting the lofty surge: O, do but think
You stand upon the rivage, and behold
A city on the inconstant billows dancing;
For so appears this fleet majestical,


Holding due course to Harfleur. Follow, follow!
Grapple your minds to sternage of this navy;
And leave your England, as dead midnight still,
Guarded with grandsires, babies, and old women,
Either past, or not arriv'd to, pith and puissance :
For who is he, whose chin is but enrich'd
With one appearing hair, that will not follow
These cull'd and choice-drawn cavaliers to France?
Work, work your thoughts, and therein see a siege :
Behold the ordnance on their carriages,

With fatal mouths gaping on girded Harfleur.

Suppose, the ambassador from the French comes back;

Tells Harry, that the king doth offer him

Katharine his daughter; and with her, to dowry,

Some petty and unprofitable dukedoms.

⚫ Hampton. The original text of the folio has Dover; clearly a mistake. (See Historical IIlustration.)

Rivage—the shore. This is the only instance in which our poet uses this very expressive word. Chaucer, Gower, Spenser, and Hall and Holinshed, have it frequently.


Sternage. Malone thinks Shakspere wrote steerage. The meaning of the words is the same, but sternage is the more antique form. Holinshed uses stern as a verb in the sense of steer; and Chapman in his 'Homer' has "the sternsman." The "sternage of this navy" is-the course of this navy. Thus in Pericles:'

"So with his steerage shall your thoughts grow on."

The offer likes not: and the nimble gunner
With linstocka now the devilish cannon touches,

[Alarum; and chambers (small cannon) go off.

And down goes all before them. Still be kind,
And eke out our performance with your mind.

⚫ Linstock is the match-the lint (linen) in a stock (stick).

b Devilish cannon. Shakspere found the epithet thus applied in Spenser:-
"As when that devilish iron engine, wrought

In deepest hell, and fram'd by furies' skill,
With windy nitre and quick sulphur fraught,
And ramm'd with bullet round, ordain'd to kill,

Conceiveth fire," &c. ('Fairy Queen.' Book i. canto vii. 13.)


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SCENE I.-The same. Before Harfleura.

Alarums. Enter KING HENRY, EXETER, BEDFORD, GLOSTER, and Soldiers, with scaling ladders.

K. HEN. Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;



Or close the wall up with our English dead!

In peace, there's nothing so becomes a man

As modest stillness and humility:

But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger;
Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,
Disguise fair nature with hard-favour'd rage:
Then lend the eye a terrible aspect;

Let it pry through the portages of the head,

Like the brass cannon; let the brow o'erwhelm it,

This scene, as well as the previous chorus, first appears in the folio edition of 1623.

Summon up. The folio reads commune up. The correction was made by Rowe.

Portage. The eyes are compared to cannon prying through port-holes.

As fearfully as doth a galled rock


O'erhang and jutty his confounded base,

Swill'd with the wild and wasteful ocean.

Now set the teeth, and stretch the nostril wide;
Hold hard the breath, and bend up every spirit
To his full height !-On, on, you nobless English",
Whose blood is fet from fathers of war-proof!
Fathers that, like so many Alexanders,
Have in these parts from morn till even fought,
And sheath'd their swords for lack of argument.
Dishonour not your mothers; now attest

That those whom you call'd fathers did beget you!

Be copy now to men of grosser blood,

And teach them how to war!-And you, good yeomen,
Whose limbs were made in England, show us here
The mettle of your pasture; let us swear

That you are worth your breeding: which I doubt not;
For there is none of you so mean and base
That hath not noble lustre in your eyes.
I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
Straining upon the start. The game 's afoot;
Follow your spirit: and, upon this charge,

Cry-God for Harry! England! and Saint George!

[Exeunt. Alarum, and chambers go off.

SCENE II.-The same.

Forces pass over; then enter NYM, BARDOLPH, PISTOL, and Boy 12.

BARD. On, on, on, on, on! to the breach, to the breach!

NYм. 'Pray thee, corporale, stay; the knocks are too hot; and, for mine own


Jutty. The jutting land is a common epithet. Jet and jetty are derived from the same root.

b Confounded. To destroy was one of the senses in which to confound was formerly used. Nobless English. The original of 1623 prints Noblish English. In the second folio Noblish becomes noblest, which Steevens follows. Malone adopts noble. The nobless English is the English nobility-the barons, "whose blood is fet from fathers of war-proof." Henry first addresses the nobless-then the yeomen. There is an analogous position of the adjective in this play. In Act V. Henry says,—

"And princes French, and peers, health to you all.” And the French king responds with "princes English."

Fet. Pope changed this into fetch'd, but Steevens properly restored it. The word is not only found in Chaucer and Spenser, but in our present translation of the Bible; although in many cases, some of which Dr. Grey has enumerated, it has been thrust out in modern editions to make way for fetch'd. Our Anglo-Saxon language has thus been deteriorated. Fette is the participle of the Anglo-Saxon verb fet-ian, to fetch.


Corporal. Malone says that the variations in Bardolph's title proceeded merely from Shakspere's inattention. Is it not rather that Nym, in his fright, forgets his own rank and Bardolph's also?

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