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He told me that rebellion had bad luck,
Said he young Harry Percy's spur was cold?
Had met ill luck?
My lord, I'll tell you what;
North. Why should that gentleman that rode by Travers
He was some hilding fellow that had stolen
41. bad] ill Ff. 49. he... cold?] he, spurre, Cold-spurre, Q; Cold-Spurre) Ff 2-4. hielding Ff.
44. forward] forwards Ff 1, 2.
44. armed] able Ff. cold, Q. 50. Of Hotspur Coldspur ?] Of Hot(Of Hot-Spurre, Cold-Spurre?) F 1; (Õƒ Hot-Spurre, 55. that gentleman] the gentleman Ff. 57. hilding]
43. able] strong, vigorous. So in Edward the Third, III. iii; "able handes"; and Webster, Appius and Virginia, I. iv: "able arms.' Gould conjectured feeble.
44. armed] spurred, as in Henry V. IV. vii. 84. Ff read able-caught, no doubt, from the preceding line for which Pope substituted agile.
45. jade] Used here, as in 1 Henry IV. 11. i. 6, as a term of commiseration for a galled or tired horse.
47. running] riding rapidly, as in 1 Henry IV. II. iv. 343. For "devour the way," Steevens quotes," they greedily devour the way," in Jonson, Sejanus, v. x. The image is, no doubt, borrowed from Catullus, xxxv. "viam_vorabit." Cf. Job, xxxxix. 24: "He [the war-horse] swalloweth the ground with fierceness and rage."
48. question] conversation, as Merchant of Venice, IV. i. 347.
51. I'll... what] I'll tell
something (cf. Much Ado, v. iv. 101); used idiomatically in the sense "Let me tell you," as in Wily Beguiled (Haz. Dods., ix. 293): "he's a. man of his hands too, for, I'll tell you whattie him to the bull-ring, and," etc.
53. silken point] a tagged lace of silk for fastening parts of the dress. P. Stubbes (Anatomie of Abuses) says that the Venetian hosen "are tied " beneath the knee " finely with silke pointes."
56. instances] examples. Onions remarks that the sense of "illustrative example" passes almost into “sample, specimen here and in Hamlet, IV. v. 161.
57. hilding] worthless; used tributively of a horse, a hound, or a human being. Spenser, Faerie Queene, VI. v. 25: "that hylding hound," and Henry V. IV. ii. 29: "a hilding foe." Hilding, a wretch, "prob. from M.E. helden, to incline, bend down"
The horse he rode on, and, upon my life,
Spoke at a venture. Look, here comes more news.
North. Yea, this man's brow, like to a title-leaf,
So looks the strond whereon the imperious flood
Say, Morton, didst thou come from Shrewsbury? Mor. I ran from Shrewsbury, my noble lord;
Where hateful death put on his ugliest mask
How doth my son and brother?
59. Spoke] Speake F 1; Spake Ff 2-4. ture Ff. 62. whereon] when Ff.
(Skeat). Fletcher, Two Noble Kinsmen, III. v: "that scornfull peece, that scurvy hilding," and N. Breton, Fantastickes: "a lazy hylding."
59. at a venture] at random. Hakluyt, The English Voyages, i. 616 (1598-1600): "I... put them down at a venture."
60, 61. this... volume] An allusion to the descriptive titles of tragedies and elegies, and not, I think, as Steevens asserts, to the practice of "ornamenting" elegies with "totally black" titlepages. Steevens adds: "I have several in my possession, written by Chapman, ornamented in this manner. The "practice" cannot have been general. An imitation of the simile occurs in Middleton and Dekker, The Roaring Girl, I. i.:
"As many faces there, fill'd with blithe looks,
Shew like the promising titles of new books
62. strond] strand, as in 1 Henry IV. I. i. 4, and in Cæsar's Revenge, v. v: "the Stigian Strond." Dering MS.
62. imperious] Cf. "imperious surge"
59. a venture] a venter Q; aduen
in III. i. 20 post. "Imperious " may, however, here imperial; cf. Troilus and Cressida, IV. v. 171, and v. ii. 132, 133 post. Flood, the ocean (cf. Merchant of Venice, Iv. i. 72: "the main flood").
63. a witness'd usurpation] attestation of its ravage" (Steevens), evidences or traces of its encroachment. 66. hateful] malignant.
71. dead] deadly pale. See line 68 ante, and cf. Othello, II. iii. 179: "6 Iago, that look'st dead with grieving." For 'woe-begone," Bentley, to whom the word was evidently unfamiliar, proposed to read Ucalegon (see Virgil, Eneid, ii. 312). Woe-begone" is common enough in sixteenth century literature; it does not occur again in the accepted text of Shakespeare, but it is found in The True Tragedy of Richard Duke of York, viii. 55: woe begone as thee," where 3 Henry VI. II. v. 124 has: "more woeful than you are."
72. Drew] Drew aside, as in 1 Henry IV. IV. i. 73.
72. dead of night] dead period of the night, time of intensest darkness; cf. 2 Henry VI. 1. iv. 19, 20:
And would have told him half his Troy was burnt;
Why, he is dead.
See what a ready tongue suspicion hath!
He that but fears the thing he would not know
That what he fear'd is chanced. Yet speak, Morton;
And I will take it as a sweet disgrace,
And make thee rich for doing me such wrong.
Mor. You are too great to be by me gainsaid:
Your spirit is too true, your fears too certain. North. Yet, for all this, say not that Percy's dead. I see a strange confession in thine eye :
73. burnt] burn'd Ff. 82. brother,] brother Q. Ff. 83. dead.] dead? Q. "Deep night, dark night, the silent of the night,
74. Priam] Priams F 2. 79. my] mine Ff 1, 2. 83. son,-] son- Rowe (ed. 2); sonne: Q; Sonne. 87. chanced] chanc'd Ff. 88. an] thy Ff. Massinger, The Roman Actor, 1. iv: "You are too great to be gainsaid.' 92. spirit] sc. of divination.
The time of night when Troy was set on fire,"
and Richard II. IV. i. 10: "that dead time."
74. But Priam .] This allusion may have been suggested by Kyd, The Spanish Tragedy, III. xii. A (1602): "like old Priam of Troy, crying: the house is a fire, the house is a fire'."
74. found] felt. Cf. Measure for Measure, III. i. 78: "the poor beetle ... finds a pang as great As when a giant dies." So Icel. finna or finna til, to feel: "Langt frá finnr hann þef af bardaganum" (Job, xxxix. 28).
86. others'] Rowe (ed. 2) read other. 87. speak, Morton] Pope reads Morton, speak, and S. Walker conjectured speak, speak. 91. You
gainsaid] Echoed in
93-103. North. Yet, . . . friend.] Johnson proposed to give the first line of this speech to Bardolph, and the last four lines to Morton as "a proper preparation for the tale that he is unwilling to tell." The inconsistency that Johnson found between the first line of the speech and what follows disappears, if we assume a pause at the end of the first line. "Northumberland," says Rolfe, "is not willing to accept the intimation in the preceding speech. 'And yet,' he says, do not tell me that he is dead.' But his appealing words and look meet with no encouraging response in Morton's face, and he goes on, 'I see a strange confession,'" etc.
94. strange] shy, eluding question-a sense near to "reserved" (as in Twelfth Night, v. i. 222).
Thou shakest thy head, and hold'st it fear or sin
L. Bard. I cannot think, my lord, your son is dead.
Mor. I am sorry I should force you to believe
That which I would to God I had not seen;
But these mine eyes saw him in bloody state,
From whence with life he never more sprung up.
96. say so] om. Q. tolling] knolling Ff. Henry Ff 2-4.
103. Remember'd] Pope; Remembred Q, Ff.
98. doth sin. dead] Proverbial. See T. Heywood, The Fair Maid of the West, Part I. (Pearson, ii. 303): "You lye. 'Tis more than sinne thus to bely the dead," and Middleton, Michaelmas Term, IV. iv: "'tis the scurviest thing to belie the dead so."
100, 101. the first . office] Cf. Middleton, More Dissemblers Besides Women, v. ii. Losing, resulting in loss, as in Merchant of Venice, IV. i. 62.
102. sullen] mournful. So in Sonnets, lxxi. 2: "the surly sullen bell," and Milton, Il Penseroso, 76.
102, 103. bell . . . friend] An allusion to the "passing-bell," which solicited prayers for the soul passing into another world. "It calls us,"
103. 109. Harry] Henrie F 1;
wrote Bishop Hall in 1633, “
103. tolling] See Wilkins, Miseries of Enforced Marriage (Haz. Dods., iv. 540): "like tolls, That summon living tears for the dead souls," and Sir T. Browne, Religio Medici: "the toll of a passing-bell." For knolling (Ff)," cf. Macbeth, v. vii. 79.
108. quittance] requital, return of blows. Outbreathed, out of breath.
112. In few] in (a) few words, in short. Beaumont and Fletcher, A King and No King, IV. iii: "the cause which, in few, is my honour." Spirit, ardour.
115. best-temper'd] of the finest metal. A metaphor from the process by which steel is tempered, that is, brought to the proper hardness and elasticity. Metal (mettal Q) and mettle (Ff) are variant spellings of the same word, and both are used indifferently in the senses "metal," and "mettle," ardour, courage.
For from his metal was his party steel'd;
Turn'd on themselves, like dull and heavy lead:
Lend to this weight such lightness with their fear
Fly from the field. Then was that noble Worcester 125
116. metal] Mettle Ff 1-3. hyphen Ff.
126. Too] So Q. 127. well-labouring]
130. backs] back Ff 3, 4.
116. steel'd] made hard, resolute. Beaumont and Fletcher, The Maid's Tragedy, I. ii: "my honesty Shall steel my sword," and Fletcher, Valentinian, v. i: "Thou hast steel'd me." The metaphor is perhaps from the practice of adding a cutting edge of steel to a blade of inferior metal; cf. Titus Andronicus, Iv. iii. 47: "metal .. steel to the very back," i.e. of steel from edge to back, and not merely edged with steel.
117, 118. Which once lead] Hotspur's mettle had given an edge [as of steel] to the spirit of the troops; once this edge had been lost ["reduced to lower temper," "let down," Johnson] through Hotspur's death, their spirit [like a blade of soft metal] failed ["turned on" itself or bent] and could offer no resistance to the enemy. "Turn'd on themselves" has perhaps a secondary sense "turned backward," "turned to flight." For "abated" Warburton read rebated. Dull, blunt. "Heavy," in line 118, is a general epithet used to introduce a fresh train of imagery in the lines that follow.
121. heavy] A quibble on the senses "weighty" and "sorrowful.” 122. Lend... fear] See 1 Henry IV. v. v. 20, and note there.
123. fled] S. Walker conjectured and Dyce (ed. 2) read fly; Vaughan proposed flew. For that noble, in line 125, Hanmer read the noble.
126. Too soon ta'en] Ff Too is, perhaps, merely an emendation of a misprint in Q, So; the dramatist perhaps wrote Soon taken.
127. bloody] bleeding (cf. line 107 ante); or "slaughtering" (cf. Troilus and Cressida, v. vii. 4)._Daniel (Civil Wars, iv. 56) writes, "Douglas, faint with wounds... Was taken" (ed. 1609).
128. three. king] See 1 Henry IV. v. iii. and iv., and notes to v. iii. 21 and v. iv. 25.
129. 'Gan] began. "Gin" is an aphetic form of begin or O.E. ongan; it is generally used as a mere auxiliary (= modern "did"); cf. Love's Labour's Lost, IV. iii. 106.
129. vail his stomach] abate his courage. Taming of the Shrew, v. ii. 171: "Then vail your stomachs." Vail (aphetic form of "avale"; Fr. avaler), to let down, lower. Greene, "George a Greene, 1. i: "Vayle their plumes," and Middleton, Blurt, Master Constable, II. i. Stomach, courage, as in Dekker and Webster, Sir Thomas
119, 120. the thing... speed] A similar notion is perhaps implied in, 'your smallest arrows fly farthest,' in Dekker and Webster, Northward Hoe, 11. i. Enforcement, application of force, as in Richard III. II. vii. 231.