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Stumbling in fear, was took.

The sum of all

Is that the king hath won, and hath sent out
A speedy power to encounter you, my lord,
Under the conduct of young Lancaster
And Westmoreland. This is the news at full.
North. For this I shall have time enough to mourn.

In poison there is physic; and these news,
Having been well, that would have made me sick,
Being sick, have in some measure made me well :
And as the wretch, whose fever-weaken'd joints,
Like strengthless hinges, buckle under life,
Impatient of his fit, breaks like a fire

Out of his keeper's arms, even so my limbs,

Weaken'd with grief, being now enraged with grief,
Are thrice themselves. Hence, therefore, thou nice

A scaly gauntlet now with joints of steel

Must glove this hand: and hence thou sickly quoif!

137. these] this Ff. Q, Ff 1-3; -weakened F 4. Ff; Weakened Q.




139. have] hath Ff 3, 4. 140. weaken'd] -weakned 144. Weaken'd] Pope; Weak'ned (or Weakned)

Wyat, xi: "martial men, men of good stomachs."

131. Stumbling. . . took] See 1 Henry IV. v. v. 21, 22. Sum, sum and substance; cf. Henry V. III. vi. 175.

133. speedy power] expeditionary


135. news] A singular; cf. Jonson, The Magnetic Lady, Iv. i: "I have a news for you." In line 137 post "news" is a plural, as often; Ffaltered these news to this news, but left have in line 139 unchanged. At full, in full, as in Henry V. II. iv. 140.

137. In... physic] Vaughan cites the medical aphorism, "Ubi virus, ibi virtus," and refers to the principle of homœopathy. Conversely, we read in Mucedorus (Haz. Dods., vii): "Tis a drug given to the healthful, Which infects, not cures."

138. Having . . . have] Pope needlessly altered this to That would, had I been well, have. For the transposition of the participial clauses, see Abbott, Shakespearian Grammar, 425.

141. hinges] Cf. Timon of Athens, IV. iii. 212. Buckle, bend (under stress); cf. Jonson, Staple of News, 11. i: "and

teach this body To bend, and these my aged knees to buckle, In adoration . . of you." For life, Vaughan proposed him or use, and Herr limb. Life, the exercise of the activities that belong to living.

142. fit] paroxysm of disease, with its incidental weakness, etc.

142. like a fire] Cf. Comedy of Errors, v. i. 75, 76.

143. keeper] sick-nurse, as in Romeo and Juliet, v. iii. 89. 144. grief grief pain.. sorrow. For the first "grief," Malone conjectured age and, alternatively, pain. The latter suggestion was adopted by Rann. Enraged, violent.

145. Hence crutch !] Imitated by J. Tomkis in Albumazar, 1. ii:

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Pandolpho.... Hence, thou poor prop Of feebleness and age! walk with such sires, [Throws away his staff] As with cold palsies shake away their strength," etc. Nice, delicate, "not able to bear much" (Onions).

146. scaly] of scale-armour, armour consisting of small overlapping plates of metal.

147. sickly quoif] Cf. Middleton, The Blacke Booke (Bullen, viii. 33):

Thou art a guard too wanton for the head
Which princes, flesh'd with conquest, aim to hit.
Now bind my brows with iron; and approach
The ragged'st hour that time and spite dare bring
To frown upon the enraged Northumberland!
Let heaven kiss earth! now let not Nature's hand
Keep the wild flood confined! let order die!
And let this world no longer be a stage



To feed contention in a lingering act;
But let one spirit of the first-born Cain

Reign in all bosoms, that, each heart being set
On bloody courses, the rude scene may end,
And darkness be the burier of the dead!

155. this] the Ff.

"a cap of sickness about my brows." Sickly, of sickness, as in All's Well, 11. iii. 118: "my sickly bed." The quoif, or coif, was originally a close-fitting cap, worn out of doors by both sexes; in later use it signified a skull-cap or bandage, worn as a night-cap, or surgical cap for the head or other part. A. M. tr. Gabelhouer's Bk. Physicke, 2/1: "ether of a kercher or of Taffataye make a Quoife. . . . Thou shalt wear this Quoife three or four times in a weeke, both night and day." (N.E.D.)

148. wanton] luxurious; cf. 1 Henry IV. II. i. 213.

149. flesh'd... conquest] filled with ardour of battle by a foretaste of success. Cf. Kyd, Cornelia (Haz. Dods., v. 242): "with their swords (flesh'd with the former fight)," and Massinger, The Bondman, III. iii: "flesh'd with spoil, And proud of conquest." To "flesh" a hawk or a hound-the original use of the word-was "to reward it with a piece of the flesh of the game killed to excite its eagerness in the chase." Capell read flush'd.

151. ragged'st] roughest; cf. As You Like It, II. v. 15. Theobald read rugged'st.

151. time and spite] the malice of the time-a hendiadys.

153. Let ... earth] Cf. Hamlet, III. iv. 59, and see Genesis, i, 6-8. 154. the confined] the ocean within its confines (cf. Genesis, i, 6-10). Order, sc. of nature.

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156. feed] maintain. Vaughan needlessly conjectured see, and Herr breed. Lingering, drawn out.

160. darkness. . . dead !] "Darkness," Johnson observes, "in poetry, may be absence of eyes, as well as privation of light." The use of the term may, therefore, be "exactly philosophical" in reference to "an ancient opinion" that, "if the human race, for whom the world was made, were extirpated, the whole system of sublunary nature would cease." But we need not suppose that Northumberland had anything so recondite in mind, for he has said "let order die," i.e. let the world return to chaos, when "the earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep." Vaughan remarks that the metaphor in lines 155-160 is one drawn from "the stage on which tragedies were exhibited." Northumberland prays that the world may become a stage "for the exhibition, not of a prolonged contention, but of such a furious deathstruggle as will quickly culminate in a vast slaughter, and that the dead... may be buried out of sight by a darkness which will envelop every thing." "It is certain," he adds, "that during the performance the stage was artificially lighted, and the rest of the theatre also; and it is probable that these lights were extinguished immediately on the close of the performance." "Darkness" may, indeed, be merely an allusion to the black hangings with


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Tra. This strained passion doth you wrong, my lord.

L. Bard. Sweet earl, divorce not wisdom from your honour. Mor. The lives of all your loving complices

Lean on your health; the which, if you give o'er
To stormy passion, must perforce decay.
You cast the event of war, my noble lord,


And summ'd the account of chance, before you said
"Let us make head." It was your presurmise,
That, in the dole of blows, your son might drop:

You knew he walk'd o'er perils, on an edge,
More likely to fall in than to get o'er;


You were advised his flesh was capable

Of wounds and scars, and that his forward spirit

161. Tra. This... lord.] Capell; Umfr. This... lord. Q; om. Ff.


your] you Q. 166-179. You... be?] om. Q. 170, 171. edge, More] Steevens, 1793 (Capell's Errata); edge More Ff.

which the stage was hung for tragedies. See A Warning for Faire Women, i: "History. Look, The stage is hung with black, and I perceive The auditors prepar'd for Tragedy"; and Rape of Lucrece, 765.

161. This lord.] This line, which is omitted in Ff, is given to Vmfr. [Umfrevile] in Q. It was first assigned to Travers by Capell. Pope, followed by Hanmer, gave it and the next line to Lord Bardolph. Daniel proposed to give line 161 to "the actor who now has Bardolph's part in the scene," and the following line to Morton, "to whom it evidently belongs, as the beginning of his speech." This arrangement of the lines has been adopted by Boswell-Stone. See Introd. P. xviii.

161. strained] excessive, as in King Lear, 1. i. 172. Passion, sorrow. Or "strained passion" may = an outburst in a strain of exaggerated rhetoric; cf. Sonnets, lxxxii. 10: "What strained touches rhetoric can lend," and Midsummer-Night's Dream, v. i. 323: "her passion [i.e. passionate speech] ends the play."

163. complices] associates; so "accomplices " in 1 Henry VI. v. ii. 9. "Complices," in an unfavourable sense, occurs in Richard II. II. iii. 165, and Jonson, Catiline, IV. ii: "This fiend

with his complices." F. complice, "a complice, confederate" (Cotgrave).

164. Lean on] depend on, as in


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Troilus and Cressida, III. iii. 85. The fourth letter in Q Leaue is a turned " Give o'er, yield.

165. stormy passion] Cf. 2 Henry VI. III. i. 155: "his stormy hate," where Hart refers to Spenser, Faerie Queene, II. vi. 8: "stormy wind Of malice."

166. cast... event] calculated the eventualities.

168. make head] raise an armed force, as in 3 Henry VI. 11. i. 141. Presurmise, speculation in advance.

169. dole] dealing, distribution. Craig quotes Cotgrave: "Torche lorgne: words like our thwicke thwacke, expressing a free and liberall dole of blowes."

170. o'er perils] Cf. Beaumont and Fletcher, Maid's Tragedy, Iv. ii: “I'll take thy trembling body in my arms, And bear thee over dangers."


170, 171. on an edge o'er] A similar image occurs in 1 Henry IV. 1. iii. 191-193. Edge, sword or swordedge. Craig and Onions explain

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edge" as "a perilous path on a narrow ridge." Craig adds that "this name is still given in the North of England to a dangerously narrow path on a mountain ridge, as in the name Striden [striding] Edge'" (Scott, Helvellyn, 5).

172. advised] aware, as in Taming of the Shrew, 1. i. 190. Capable of, susceptible to; cf. King John, III. i. 12.

173. scars] cuts, as in Comedy of Errors, v. i. 193. Forward, eager,

Would lift him where most trade of danger ranged:
Yet did you say "Go forth;" and none of this,
Though strongly apprehended, could restrain
The stiff-borne action: what hath then befallen,
Or what hath this bold enterprise brought forth,
More than that being which was like to be?
L. Bard. We all that are engaged to this loss

Knew that we ventured on such dangerous seas
That if we wrought out life 'twas ten to one;
And yet we ventured, for the gain proposed
Choked the respect of likely peril fear'd;
And since we are o'erset, venture again.
Come, we will all put forth, body and goods.

Mor. 'Tis more than time: and, my most noble lord,

I hear for certain, and do speak the truth,
The gentle Archbishop of York is up
With well-appointed powers: he is a man
Who with a double surety binds his followers.
My lord your son had only but the corpse,
But shadows and the shows of men, to fight;

182. 'twas] was Ff.

178. brought] bring F 1. 183. ventured, . proposed] Capell; venturd... proposde, Q; ventur'd... propos'd, Ff.

forth,] forth; Ff; forth Q.

truth. Q. Corps Ff 3, 4.

188. do] dare Q. 189-209. The... him.] om. Q.


ardent; cf. Beaumont and Fletcher, Maid's Tragedy, v. iii: Mighty spirited, and forward To all great things."

174. trade] resort, as in Richard II. III. iii. 156. Trade is, in this sense, a variant of "tread" (Onions). 177. stiff-borne] obstinately contested. 180. engaged to] "bound or tied to" (Schmidt); involved in.

182. wrought out] won through with, brought through safely; cf. Massinger, A New Way to Pay Old Debts, 1. iii: "what can be wrought out of such a suit Is yet in supposition."

184. Choked the respect] stifled the consideration.

185. o'erset] “shipwrecked"; perh. also o'erstaked: "as we have been outplayed by the higher stakes of our adversary, we will venture again, and this time we will 'set' or stake all we





186. 188. truth,] truth: Ff; 192. corpse] Corpes Ff 1, 2;

have, body and goods." Cf. 1 Henry IV. Iv. i. 45-52.

188. do . . . truth] Lettsom's conjectural reading dare speak for truth is attractive.

191. surety] pledge. The Archbishop's followers had dedicated their souls as well as their bodies to the cause. Their temporal allegiance was confirmed by a spiritual sanction.

192. corpse] a plural, as in 1 Henry IV. I. i. 43. The word "corpse" is frequently used of the living body; cf. Greene, Mamillia (Grosart, ii. 127): "viewing in a glas the comelines of his corps"; Greene, Alphonsus, King of Arragon, Iv. iii. Dyce read corpse'.

193. shadows] likenesses, as in Two Gentlemen of Verona, IV. ii. 128. Shows, representations, pictures, as in Rape of Lucrece, 1507.

For that same word, rebellion, did divide
The action of their bodies from their souls;
And they did fight with queasiness, constrain'd,
As men drink potions, that their weapons only
Seem'd on our side; but, for their spirits and souls,
This word, rebellion, it had froze them up,
As fish are in a pond. But now the bishop
Turns insurrection to religion :

Supposed sincere and holy in his thoughts,

He's followed both with body and with mind;

And doth enlarge his rising with the blood



Of fair King Richard, scraped from Pomfret stones;
Derives from heaven his quarrel and his cause;
Tells them he doth bestride a bleeding land,
Gasping for life under great Bolingbroke;
And more and less do flock to follow him.
North. I knew of this before; but, to speak truth,
This present grief had wiped it from my mind.
Go in with me; and counsel every man
The aptest way for safety and revenge:

Get posts and letters, and make friends with speed:
Never so few, and never yet more need.

215. and] nor Ff.

198. spirits] faculties, powers of mind.

200. bishop] Collier (ed. 2) read archbishop, after Collier MS.

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204. enlarge] "widen the limits or scope of his insurrection" (Onions); "increase the numbers. . . of those rising in revolt under his leadership (Craig). A better paraphrase is, perhaps, J. Hunter's "enhance the merit of his insurrection." "Enlarge," an echo, probably, from this play, is used in the sense"enhance," "glorify," by T. Heywood in The Foure Prentices of London (Pearson, ii. 224): “I will





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