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Should be the father of fome ftratagem:
BARD. 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 fon, Prince Harry flain outright; and both the Blunts Kill'd by the hand of Douglas: young prince John, And Weftmoreland, and Stafford, fled the field; And Harry Monmouth's brawn, the hulk fir John, Is prifoner to your fon: O, fuch a day, So fought, fo follow'd, and fo fairly won, Came not, till now, to dignify the times, Since Cæfar's fortunes!
NORTH Saw the field? came you you
BARD. I fpake with one, my lord, that came from thence;
How is this deriv'd?
A gentleman well bred, and of good name,
NORTH. Here comes my fervant, Travers, whom I fent
On Tuesday laft to liften after news.
BARD. My lord, I over-rode him on the
Some ftratagem:] Some stratagem means here fome great, important, or dreadful event. So, in The Third Part of King Henry VI. the father who had killed his fon fays: "O pity, God! this miferable age! "What Stratagems, how fell, how butcherly!
"This mortal quarrel daily doth beget !" M. MASON.
And he is furnifh'd with no certainties,
NORTH. Now, Travers, what good tidings come with you?
TRA. My lord, fir John Umfrevile turn'd me. back
With joyful tidings; and, being better hors'd,
•forfpent with Speed,] To forfpend is to waste, to exhauft. So, in Sir A. Gorges' tranflation of Lucan, B. VII: crabbed fires forspent with age." STEEVENS.
armed heels-] Thus the quarto, 1600. The folio, 1623, reads-able heels; the modern editors, without authority-agile heels. STEEVENS.
poor jade] Poor jade is ufed, not in contempt, but in compaffion. Poor jade means the horse wearied with his journey.
Jade, however, feems anciently to have fignified what we now call a hackney; a beast employed in drudgery, opposed to a horfe kept for fhow, or to be rid by its mafter. So, in a comedy called A Knack to know a Knave, 1594:
"Belides, I'll give you the keeping of a dozen jades, "And now and then meat for you and your horfe." This is faid by a farmer to a courtier. STEEVENS. Shakspeare, however, (as Mr. Steevens has obferved,) cer
Up to the rowel-head;3 and, ftarting fo,
Ha!-Again. Said he, young Harry Percy's fpur was cold? Of Hotfpur, coldfpur?5 that rebellion
Had met ill luck!
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."
My lord, I'll tell you what ;your fon have not the day,
rowel-head;] I think that I have obferved in old prints the rowel of those times to have been only a single spike. JOHNSON.
4 He feem'd in running to devour the way,] So, in the Book of Job, chap. xxxix: «He swalloweth the ground in fierceness and rage."
The fame expreffion occurs in Ben Jonson's Sejanus :
So Ariel, to describe his alacrity in obeying Profpero's commands:
"I drink the air before me." M. MASON.
So, in one of the Roman poets (I forget which): curfu confumere campum. BLACKSTONE.
The line quoted by Sir William Blackstone is in NEMESIAN: latumque fuga confumere campum. MALONE.
s Of Hotspur, coldfpur?] Hotfpur feems to have been a very common term for a man of vehemence and precipitation. Stanyhurft, who translated four books of Virgil, in 1584, renders the following line:
Nec victoris heri tetigit captiva cubile.
"To couch not mounting of mayfter vanquisher hoatSpur." STEEVENS,
Upon mine honour, for a filken point
NORTH. Why fhould the gentleman, that rode by
Give then fuch inftances of lofs?
Who, he? He was fome 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 title leaf,8
Foretells the nature of a tragick volume:
Say, Morton, didft thou come from Shrewsbury?
How doth my fon, and brother?
6-filken point-] A point is a ftring tagged, or lace. JOHNSON. "Some hilding fellow,] For hilderling, i. e. base, degenerate. POPE.
Hilderling, Degener; vox adhuc argo Devon. familiaris. Spelman. REED.
like to a title-leaf,] It may not be amifs to obferve, that, in the time of our poet, the title-page to an elegy, as well as every intermediate leaf, was totally black. I have feveral in my poffeffion, written by Chapman, the tranflator of Homer, and ornamented in this manner. STEEVENS.
— a witness'd ufurpation.] i. e. an attestation of its ravage. STEEVENS.
Thou trembleft; and the whiteness in thy cheek
But Priam found the fire, ere he his tongue,
Your brother, thus; fo fought the noble Douglas;
MOR. Douglas is living, and your brother, yet: But, for my lord your fon,
Why, he is dead. See, what a ready tongue fufpicion hath! He, that but fears the thing he would not know,
This word was common enough amongst the old Scottish and English poets, as G. Douglas, Chaucer, Lord Buckhurft, Fairfax; and fignifies, far gone in WARBURTON.
So, in The Spanish Tragedy:
"Awake, revenge, or we are wo-begone!" Again, in Arden of Feverfham, 1592:
"So woe-begone, fo inly charg'd with woe."
Again, in A Looking Glafs for London and England, 1598: "Fair Alvida, look not fo woe-begone."
Dr. Bentley is faid to have thought this paffage corrupt, and therefore (with a greater degree of gravity than my readers will probably exprefs) propofed the following emendation :
So dead fo dull in look, Ucalegon,
Drew Priam's curtain &c.
The name of Ucalegon is found in the third Book of the Iliad, and the fecond of the Eneid. STEEVENS.