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some other work, and were copied here only to save the trouble of composing new.
Line 557. —of a giglot wench:] Giglot is a wanton or a strumpet. JOHNSON.
In the original copy, the transcriber or printer forgot to mark the commencement of the fifth Act; and has by mistake called this scene, Scene II. The editor of the second folio made a very absurd regulation by making the Act begin in the middle of the preceding scene, (where the Dauphin, &c. enter, and take notice of the dead bodies of Talbot and his son,) which was inadvertently followed in subsequent editions. MALONE.
Line 15. That such immanity-] i. e. barbarity, savageness. 23. my years are young;] His majesty, however, was twenty-four years old. MALONE.
Line 31. What! is my lord of Winchester install'd,
And call'd unto a cardinal's degree!] It should seem from the stage-direction prefixed to this scene, and from the conversation between the legate and Winchester, that the author meant it to be understood that the bishop had obtained his cardinal's hat only just before his present entry. The inaccuracy, therefore, was in making Glocester address him by that title in the beginning of the play. He in fact obtained it in the fifth year of Henry's reign. MALONE.
Line 66. That, neither in birth,] I would read-for birth. That is, thou shalt not rule me, though thy birth is legitimate, and thy authority supreme. JOHNSON.
ACT V. SCENE III.
Line 98. ye charming spells, and periapts;] Charms sowed up. Ezek. xiii. 18: "Woe to them that sow pillows to all armholes, to hunt souls.” POPE.
Periapts were worn about the neck as preservatives from disease or danger. Of these, the first chapter of St. John's Gospel was deemed the most efficacious. STEEVENS.
Line 102. monarch of the north,] The north was always supposed to be the particular habitation of bad spirits. Milton, therefore, assembles the rebel angels in the north. JOHNSON.
The boast of Lucifer in the xivth chapter of Isaiah is said to be, that he will sit upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north. STEEVENS.
Line 139. Fell, banning hag!] To ban is to execrate, to curse. 162. As plays the sun upon the glassy streams, &c.] This comparison, made between things which seem sufficiently unlike, is intended to express the softness and delicacy of lady Margaret's beauty, which delighted, but did not dazzle; which was bright, but gave no pain by its lustre. JOHNSON.
Line 167. disable not thyself;] Do not represent thyself so weak. To disable the judgment of another was, in that age, the same as to destroy its credit or authority. JOHNSON.
Line 253. face, or feign,] "To face (says Dr. Johnson) is to carry a false appearance; to play the hypocrite." Hence the name of one of the characters in Ben Jonson's Alchymist.
MALONE. Line 301. To send such peevish tokens-] Peevish, for childish. WARBURTON.
Line 307. Mad, natural graces-] So the old copy. The modern editors have been content to read-her natural graces. By the word mad, however, I believe the poet only meant wild or uncultivated. In the former of these significations he appears to have used it in Othello:
-he she lov'd prov'd mad." which Dr. Johnson has properly interpreted. We call a wild girl, to this day, a mad-cap.
Mad, in some of the ancient books of gardening, is used as an epithet to plants which grow rampant and wild.
ACT V. SCENE IV.
thy timeless cruel death?] i. e. untimely. 319. Decrepit miser!] Miser here has not an avaricious meaning, but that of miser, wretch, Latin.
-that thou wilt be so obstacle!] A vulgar corruption of obstinate, which I think has oddly lasted since our author's time till now.
JOHNSON, Line 392. Alençon! that notorious Machiavel!] Machiavel
being mentioned somewhat before his time, this line is by some of the editors given to the players, and ejected from the text.
JOHNSON. Line 409. darkness and the gloomy shade of death—] The expression is scriptural: "Whereby the day-spring from on high hath visited us, to give light to them that sit in darkness and the shadow of death." MALONE. Line 410. Drive you to break your necks, or hang yourselves?] Perhaps Shakspeare intended to remark, in this execration, the frequency of suicide among the English, which has been commonly imputed to the gloominess of their air. JOHNSON.
till mischief, and despair,
-remorse-] Pity, compassion.
-473. -upon comparison?] Do you stand to compare your present state, a state which you have neither right nor power to maintain, with the terms which we offer? JOHNSON.
accept the title thou usurp'st,
Of benefit-] Benefit is here a term of law. Be content to live as the beneficiary of our king. JOHNSON.
Line 507. So am I driven,] The simile is somewhat obscure; he seems to mean, that as a ship is driven against the tide by the wind, so he is driven by love against the current of his interest. JOHNSON, Line 531. Or one, that, at a triumph-] That is, at the sports at which a triumph is celebrated. JOHNSON.
Line 558. Than to be dealt in by attorneyship;] By the intervention of another man's choice; or the discretional agency of another. JOHNSON.
Line 600. If you do censure me &c.] To censure is here simply to judge. If in judging me you consider the past frailties of your own youth. JOHNSON,
END OF THE ANNOTATIONS ON THE FIRST PART of KING HENRY VI.
THE SECOND PART OF
KING HENRY VI.
It is apparent that this play begins where the former ends, and continues the series of transactions of which it presupposes the first part already known. This is a sufficient proof that the second and third parts were not written without dependance on the first, though they were printed as containing a complete period of history. JOHNSON. Line 29. The mutual conference—] I am the bolder to address you, having already familiarized you to my imagination.
Line 32. -mine alder-liefest sovereign,] Alder-livest is an old English word given to him to whom the speaker is supremely attached: lievest being the superlative of the comparative levar, rather, from lief. So, Hall in his Chronicle, Henry VI. folio 12:"Ryght hyghe and mighty prince, and my ryght noble, and, after one, levest lord." WARBURTON.
Line 113. This peroration with such circumstance?] This speech crouded with so many instances of aggravation. JOHNSON.
Line 119. whose large style
Agrees not with the leanness of his purse.] So Holinshed: "King Reigner hir father, for all his long stile, had too short a purse to send his daughter honourably to the king hir spowse." MALONE.
Line 131. And are the cities, &c.] The indignation of Warwick is natural, and I wish it had been better expressed; there is a kind of jingle intended in wounds and words. JOHNSON.
In the old play the jingle is more striking. "And must that then which we won with our swords, be given away with words?" MALONE. Line 165. And all the wealthy kingdoms of the west,] Certainly Shakspeare wrote-east. WARBURTON.
There are wealthy kingdoms in the west as well as in the east, and the western kingdoms were more likely to be in the thought of the speaker. JOHNSON.
Line 235. Stands on a tickle point,] Tickle for ticklish. -257. the prince's heart of Calydon.] According to the fable, Meleager's life was to continue only so long as a certain firebrand should last. His mother Althea having thrown it into the fire, he expired in great torments. MALONE.
Line 406. Sort how it will,] Let the issue be what it will. JOHNSON.
ACT I. SCENE III.
Line 409. in the quill.] In the quill probably may mean with much exactitude and formality.
Line 495. She bears a duke's revenues &c.] See King Henry VIII. Act I. sc. i. MALONE.
Line 502. Till Suffolk gave two dukedoms-] The duchies of Anjou and Maine, which Henry surrendered to Reignier, on his marriage with Margaret. See sc. i. MALONE.
Line 512. -this late complaint-] That is, the complaint of Peter the armourer's man against his master, for saying that York was the rightful king. JOHNSON.
ACT I. SCENE IV.
Line 677. and ban-dogs howl,] Ban-dog is a corruption of