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To smother up his beauty from the world,
That when he please again to be himself,
Being wanted, he may more be wonder'd at,
By breaking through the foul and ugly mists
Of vapours that did seem to strangle him.
If all the year were playing holidays,
To sport would be as tedious as to work;
But when they feldom come, they wish’d-for come,
And nothing pleafeth but rare accidents.
So when this loofe behaviour I throw off,
And pay the debt I never promised;
By how much better than my word I am,
By so much shall I falfify mens' hopes;
And, like bright mettle on a sullen ground,
My reformation glitt'ring o'er my fault,
Shall shew more goodly and attract more eyes,
Than that which hath no foil to set it off.
I'll fo offend, to make offence a skill;
Redeeming time, when inen think least I will.
SCENE IV. Hotspur's Description of a finicai
But I remember when the fight was done,
When I was dry with rage and extreme toil,
Breathless and faint, leaning upon my sword;
Came there a certain lord, neat, trimly dress’d :
Fresh as a bridegroom, and his chin, new-reap'd,
Shew'd like a stubble-land at harvest home.
He was perfumed like a millener ;
And 'twixt his finger and his thumb, he held
(2) A pouncet-box, which ever and anon
(2) Pouncet-box] A small box for musk, or other perfumes then in fashion, the lid of which being cut with open work, gave it its name: from poinfoner, to prick, pierce, or engrave. Šo says Mr. Warburton, and then condemns the next lines as a
He gave his nose: (and took't away again ;
Who, therewith angry, when it next came there,
Took it in snuff). And still he smild and talk'd:
And as the soldiers bare dead bodies by,
He call’d thein untaught knaves, unmannerly,
To bring a slovenly unhandsome coarse
Betwixt the wind and his nobility.
With many holiday and lady terms
He question d ime; amongst the rest, demanded
My prisoners, in your majesty's behalf.
(3) I then, all snarting with my wounds, being cold,
Out of my grief, and my impatience
To be fo peiter'd with a popinjay,
Answer'd neglectingly, I know not what;
He should, or should not ; for he made me mad,
To see him shine so brisk, and smell fo sweet,
And talk so like a waiting gentlewoman,
Of guns and drums and wounds ; (God fave the mark !)
And telling me the fovereign't thing on earth
Stupid interlopation of the players: they are certainly not very casy to be defended, but we find many such conceits as there in Shakesptar.
(3) I then, &c.] When I first read this passage, I mark'd the lines, as I have printed them, and turning to the ingenious Mr. Edradi's Cinois of Criticism (p. 13.) I found he was of opinion, the lines thould be so transposed : by this means the ense of the patrage is quite clear, and we have no occasion for any alteration. ," Mr. Warburton in order to make a contradiction in the common reading, and so make way for his emendation, misrepresents Hotspur as at this time (when he gave this answer] not cold, but hot. It is true, that at the beginning of the speech he describes himself as
Dry with rage and extreme toil,
Breathless, and faint, GC. Then comes in this gay gentleman, and holds him in an idle discourse, the heads of which Hotspur gives us; and it is plain by the context, it must have lasted a considerable while. Noun the more he had heated himself in the action, the more when he came to ftand Itill any time would the cold air affect his wounds, Gs"
Was parmecety, for an inward bruise ;
And that it was great pity, so it was,
This villainous falt-petre should be digg’d
Out of the bowels of the harmless earth,
Which many a good tall fellow had destroy'd
So cowardly: and but for these vile guns,
He would himself have been a soldier.
I'll read you matter, deep and dangerous :
As full of peril and advent'rous fpirit,
As to o’erwalk a current, roaring loud,
On the unitedfift footing of a spear.
(4) By heav'ns! methinks, it were an easy leap,
To.pluck bright honour from the pale-fac'd inoon!
Or dive into the bottom of the deep,
Where fathom-line could never touch the ground,
And pluck up drowned honour by the locks !
So he, that doth redeem her thence, might wear
Without corrival all her dignities.
But out upon this half-fac'd fellowship!
(4) By heav'ns! &c.] I will not take upon me to defend this passage from the charge laid against it of bombast and fuftian, but will only observe, if we read it in that light, it is, perhaps, one of the finest rants to be found in any author. Mr. W'a tur 10:2 attempts to clear it from the charge, and observes, “tho' the expression be sublime and daring, yet the thought is the natural movement of an heroic mind. Euripides, at least, (as he adds) thought so, when he put the very same sentiment, in the same words, into the mouth of Etcocles.”
Εγω γαρ, &c. -
I will not cloak my foul ; methinks, with ease
I cou'd scale heaven, and reach the farthest star;
Or to the deepest intrails of the earth
Descending, pierce, so be I cou'd obtain
A kingdom at the price, and god-like rule.
Lady Percy's, pathetic Speech to her Husband.
(5) O, my good lord, why are you thus alone ?
For what offence have I this fortnight been
A banish'd woman from my Harry's bed?
Tell me, sweet lord, what is't that takes from thee
Thy stomach, pleasure, and thy golden sleep?
Why doft thou bend thy eyes upon the earth,
And start fo often, when thou fit'st alone?
Why haft thou lost the fresh blood in thy cheeks,
And giv'n my treasures, and my rights of thee,
To thick ey'd musing and curs'd melancholy?
In thy faint slumbers I by thee have watcht,
And heard thee murinur tales of iron wars :
Speak terins of manage to thy bounding steed:
Cry, courage! to the field ! 'and thou haft talk'd
Of fallies, and retires ; of trenches, tents,
Of palisadoes, fortins, parapets;
Of bafiliks, of cannon, culverin,
Of prisoner's ransom, and of foldiers flain,
And all the current of a heady fight.
Thy spirit within thee hath been so at war,
And thus hath fo beftirr'd thee in thy sleep,
That beads of sweat have stood upon thy brow,
Like bubbles in a late disturbed stream:
And in thy face strange motions have appear'd,
Such as we fee, when men restrain their breath
great fudden haste. O, what portents are thesc! Some heavy business hath my lord in hand, And I must know it, else he loves ine not.
(5) See Portia's speech to Brutus in Julius Cæfar, Act II. Scene III.
(6) I blame him not: at my nativity,
The front of heav'n was full of fiery shapes,
Of burning cressets ; know, that, at my birth,
The frame and the foundation of the earth
Shook like a coward.
Hot. So it would have done
At the fame season, if your inother's cat
Had kitten'd, though yourfelf had ne'er been born.
Difeafed nature oftentimes breaks forth
In strange eruptions; and the teeming earth
Is with a kind of cholic pinch'd and vext,
By the imprisoning of unruly wind
Within her woinb; which for enlargement striving,
Shakes the old beldame earth, and topples down
High tow'rs and moss-grown steeples.
On miferahle Rhymers.
(7) I had rather be a kitten, and cry, mew!
Than one of these fame meter-ballad-mongers :
I'd rather hear a brazen candlestick turn’d,
(6) I blanı, &c.] Glendower was mightily superstitious, he adds afterwards,
-Give me leave
To tell you once again, that at my birth
The front of heav'n was full of fiery shapes,
The goats ran from the mountains, and the herds
Were strangely clam'rous in the frighted fields:
These figns have mark'd me extraordinary,
And all the courses of my life do Thew,
I am not in the roll of common men. (7) I had, &c.] Horace, in his art of poetry, speaking of poetasters, says,
Ut mala, &c.
A mad dog's foam, th’infection of the plague,