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SECOND PART OF
KING HENRY IV.
ACT I. SCENE I.
The Porter before the Gate; Enter Lord
BARD. Who keeps the gate here, ho?—Where is the earl?
say you are?
PORT. What shall I BARD. Tell thou the earl, That the lord Bardolph doth attend him here. PORT. His lordship is walk'd forth into the orchard;
Please it your honour, knock but at the gate,
Here comes the earl. NORTH. What news, lord Bardolph ? every mi
Should be the father of some stratagem: 8
Noble earl, I bring you certain news from Shrewsbury. NORTH. Good, an heaven will!
As good as heart can wish :The king is almost wounded to the death; And, in the fortune of my lord your son, Prince Harry slain outright; and both the Blunts Kill'd by the hand of Douglas: young prince John, And Westmoreland, and Stafford, fled the field; And Harry Monmouth's brawn, the hulk sir John, Is prisoner to your son: O, such a day, So fought, so follow'd, and so fairly won, Came not, till now, to dignify the times, Since Cæsar's fortunes!
How is this deriv'd?
A gentleman well bred, and of good name,
BARD. My lord, I over-rode him on the way;
some stratagem:] Some stratagem means here some great, important, or dreadful event. So, in The Third Part of King Henry VI. the father who had killed his son says: "O pity, God! this miserable age! "What stratagems, how fell, how butcherly!
"This mortal quarrel daily doth beget!" M. MASON.
And he is furnish'd with no certainties,
NORTH. Now, Travers, what good tidings come with you?
TRA. My lord, sir John Umfrevile turn'd me back
With joyful tidings; and, being better hors'd,
forspent with speed,] To forspend is to waste, to exhaust. So, in Sir A. Gorges' translation of Lucan, B. VII: crabbed sires forspent with age." STEEVENS. armed heels-] Thus the quarto, 1600. The folio, 1623, reads-able heels; the modern editors, without au thority-agile heels. STEEVEns.
poor jade-] Poor jade is used, not in contempt, but in compassion. Poor jade means the horse wearied with his journey.
Jade, however, seems anciently to have signified what we now call a hackney; a beast employed in drudgery, opposed to a horse kept for show, or to be rid by its master. So, in a comedy called A Knack to know a Knave, 1594:
"Besides, I'll give you the keeping of a dozen jades, "And now and then meat for you and your horse." This is said by a farmer to a courtier. STEEVENS.
Shakspeare, however, (as Mr. Steevens has observed,) cer
Up to the rowel-head; and, starting so,
Ha! Again. Said he, young Harry Percy's spur was cold? Of Hotspur, coldspur?5 that rebellion
Had met ill luck!
My lord, I'll tell you what ;your son have not the day,
tainly does not use the word as a term of contempt; for King Richard the Second gives this appellation to his favourite horse Roan Barbary, on which Henry the Fourth rode at his coronation:
"That jade hath eat bread from my royal hand."
rowel-head;] I think that I have observed in old prints the rowel of those times to have been only a single spike. JOHNSON.
He seem'd in running to devour the way,] So, in the Book of Job, chap. xxxix: "He swalloweth the ground with fierceness and rage."
The same expression occurs in Ben Jonson's Sejanus :
So Ariel, to describe his alacrity in obeying Prospero's commands:
"I drink the air before me.' "" M. MASON.
So, in one of the Roman poets (I forget which): cursu consumere campum. BLACKSTONE.
The line quoted by Sir William Blackstone is in NEMESIAN: latumque fuga consumere campum. MALONE.
Of Hotspur, coldspur?] Hotspur seems to have been a very common term for a man of vehemence and precipitation. Stanyhurst, who translated four books of Virgil, în 1584, renders the following line:
Nec victoris heri tetigit captiva cubile.
"To couch not mounting of mayster vanquisher hoatspur." STEEVENS.
Upon mine honour, for a silken point 6
NORTH. Why should the gentleman, that rode by
Give then such instances of loss?
Who, he? He was some hilding fellow," that had stol'n 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 titleleaf,8
Foretells the nature of a tragick volume:
Say, Morton, didst thou come from Shrewsbury?
How doth my son, and brother?
— silken point-] A point is a string tagged, or lace. JOHNSON. 7-some hilding fellow,] For hilderling, i. e. base, degenerate. POPE.
Hilderling, Degener; vox adhuc agro Devon. familiaris. Spelman. REED.
like to a title-leaf,] It may not be amiss to observe, that, in the time of our poet, the title-page to an elegy, as well as every intermediate leaf, was totally black. I have several in my possession, written by Chapman, the translator of Homer, and ornamented in this manner. STEEVENS.
a witness'd usurpation.] i. e. an attestation of its raSTEEVENS.