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magic he cansed such foul weather of winds, “Believed the magic wonders which he sang," tempest, rain, snow, and hail, to be raised for but he was no vulgar enthusiast. He was the annoyance of the king's army, that the like “ trained up in the English Court," as he de had not been heard of." His tedious stories to scribes himself, and he was probably “exceed. Hotspur,
ingly well read," as Mortimer describes him, for “of the mold warp and the ant, he had been a barrister of the Middle Temple. of the dreamer Merlin and his prophecies;
When the parliament, who rudely dismissed his And of a dragon and a finless fish, A clip-winged griffin, and a moulten raven,
petition against Lord Grey of Ruthyn, refused A couching lion, and a ramping cat,"
to listen to "bare-footed blackguards," it can were old Welsh prophecies which the people in scarcely be wondered that he should raise the general, and very likely Glendower himself, de standard of rebellion. The Welsh from all voutly believed. According to Holinshed, it parts of England, even the students of Oxford, was upon the faith of one of these prophecies crowded home to fight under the banners of an in particular, that the tripartite indenture of independent Prince of Wales Had Glendower Mortimer, Hotspur, and Glendower, was exe- joined the Percies before the battle of Shrewscuted. “This was done (as some have said) bury, which he was most probably unable to do, through a foolish credit given to a vain pro- be might for a time have ruled the kingdom, phecy, as though King Henry was the mold instead of perishing in wretchedness and ob warp, cursed of God's own mouth, and they scurity, after years of unavailing contest. three were the dragon, the lion, and the wolf,
“ Lingering from sad Salopia's field, which should divide this realm between them.”
Reft of his aid the Percy fell." Glendower might probably have
ACT V. - SCENE I.—“ Busky hill."
scription from Pliny, he would, in all probability The bill which rises over the battle-field near
have mentioned the stock dove or the titling.
In Lear we have the “hedge-sparrow." But let Shrewsbury is called Haughmond hill. Mr. Blakeway says that Shakspere has described the us see furtherground as accurately as if he had surveyed it.
"did oppress our nest." “It still merits the appellation of a bosky hill.” The word oppress is singularly descriptive of ti
operations of the “ungentle gull.” The great SCENE I.
bulk of the cuckoo, in the small nest of the “ A8 that ungentle gull the cuckoo's bird
hedge-sparrow, first crushes the proper nestUseth the sparrow," &c.
lings; and the instinct of the intruder renders
it necessary that they should be got rid of. Shakspere was a naturalist in the very best
The common belief, derived from the extreme sense of the word. He watched the great phe
voracity of the cuckoo (to which we think Shak. nomena of nature, the economy of the animal
spere alludes when he calls it a gull-gulo), has creation, and the peculiarities of inanimate ex
led to an opinion, that it eats the young nestistence, and he set these down with almost
lings. Pliny says, expressly, that it devours undeviating exactness, in the language of the
them. How remarkable is it, then, that Shakhighest poetry. Before White, and Jenner, and
spere does not allude to this belief! He makes Montagu had described the remarkable proceed. ings of the cuckoo, Shakspere here described
Worcester simply accuse Henry, that he “ did
oppress our nest.” Had Shakspere's natural them, as we believe, from what he himself saw. ) But let us analyse this description :
| history not been more accurate than the popular
belief, he would have made Worcester reproach "being fed by us, you used us so
the king with actually destroying the proper As that ungentle gull the cuckoo's bird Useth the sparrow."
tenants of the nest. The Percies were then Pliny was the only scientific writer upon natural
ready to accuse him of the murder of Richard. history that was open to Shakspere. We are
We, of course, do not attempt to assert that no believers, as our readers may have collected,
Shakspere knew the precise mode in which the in the common opinion of Shakspere's want of
cuckoo gets rid of its co-habitants. This was learning; and we hold, therefore, that he might
first made known by Dr. Jenner. But, although have read Pliny in Latin, as we think he read
Shakspere might not have known this most other books. The first English translation of
curious fact, the words, "did oppress our nest," Pliny, that of Philemon Holland, was not pub
are not inconsistent with the knowledge. The lished till 1601; this play was printed in 1598.
very generality of the words is some proof that Now, the description of the cuckoo in Pliny is,
he did not receive the vulgar story of the cuckoo
eating his fellow-nestlings. in many respects, very different from the de
The term, “oppress scription before us in Shakspere. “They always,"
our nest," is also singularly borne out by the says the Roman naturalist, “lay in other birds'
observations of modern naturalists; for nests in nests, and most of all in the stock dove's.” In a
which a cuckoo has been hatched have been
found so crushed and flattened, that it has been subsequent part of the same passage, Pliny mentions the titling's nest, but not a word of the
almost impossible to determine the species to
which they belonged. sparrow's. It was reserved for very modern naturalists to find that the hedge-sparrow's nest
« Grew by our feeding to so great a bulk,
That even our love durst not come near your sight, was a favourite choice of the old cuckoo. Dr.
For fear of swallowing: but with nimble wing, Jenner, in 1787, says, “I examined the nest of We were enforcd, for safety sake, to fly a hedge-sparrow, which then contained a cuckoo
Out of your sight." and three hedge-sparrow's eggs." Colonel Mon. We have here an approach to the inaccuracy of tague also found a cuckoo, “when a few days the old naturalists. Pliny, having made the old, in a hedge-sparrow's nest, in a garden close cuckoo devour the other nestlings, says, that the to a cottage.” Had Shakspere not observed for mother at last shares the same fate, for “the himself, or at any rate, not noted the original young cuckoo being once fledged and ready to observations of others, and had taken his de- fly abroad, is so bold as to seize on the old tit
HISTORIES.- VOL. I.
ling, and to eat her up that batched her.” | feeding on caterpillars and other soft substances. Even Linnæus has the same story. But Shak. But that its insatiable appetite makes it apspere, in so beautifully carrying on the parallel parently violent, and, of course, an object of between the cuckoo and the king, does not im. terror to a small bird, we have the evidence of ply that the grown cuckoo swallowed the spar- that accurate observer, Mr. White of Selborne. row, but that the sparrow, timorous of “ so great He saw "a young cuckoo hatched in the nest of a balk," kept aloof from her nest, “durst not a titlark; it was become vastly too big for its come near for fear of swallowing. The extreme nest, appearing . avidity of the bird for food is here only indi To have stretched its wings beyond the little nest,' cated: and Shakspere might himself have seen and was very fierce and pugnacious, pursuing the large fledged "gull” eagerly thrusting for my finger, as I teased it, for many feet from the ward its open mouth, while the sparrow futtered nest, sparring and buffeting with its wings like about the nest, where even its “ love durst not a game cock. The dupe of a dam appeared at come near." This extraordinary voracity of the a distance, hovering about with meat in her young cuckoo has been ascertained beyond a mouth, and expressing the greatest solicitude." doubt; but that it should be carnivorous is per- | In the passage before us Shakspere, it appears fectly impossible: for its bill is only adapted for to us, speaks from his knowledge. But he has
HISTORICAL. “King Henry,” says Holinshed, “advertised | Shakspere clothes the exhortation with his own of the proceedings of the Percies, forthwith poetical spirit. gathered about him such power as he might “Now, Esperancé !--Percy !-and set on," make, and passed forward with such speed that is found in the Chroniclers :-" The adversaries he was in sight of his enemies lying in camp cried Esperance Percy." The danger of the king, near to Shrewsbury before they were in doubt and the circumstance of others being caparisoned of any such thing." The Percies, according to like him, are also mentioned by Holinshed. the Chronicler, sent to the king the celebrated The prowess of Prince Henry in this his first manifesto which is contained in Hardyng's great battle is thus described by Holinshed : Chronicle. The substance of the charges con “The Prince that day holp his father like a tained in this manifesto are repeated in Hot lusty young gentleman, for although he was spur's speech to Sir Walter Blunt in the fourth hurt in the face with an arrow, so that divers Act. The interview of Worcester with the king, noble men that were about him would bave conand its result, are thus described by Holinshed: veyed him forth of the field, yet he would in no “ It was reported for a truth that now when the wise, suffer them so to do, lest his departure king had condescended unto all that was reason- from his men might haply have stricken some able at his hands to be required, and seemed to fear into their hearts; and so, without regard humble himself more than was meet for his of his hurt, he continued with his men, and estate, the Earl of Worcester, upon his return never ceased, either to fight where the battle to his nephew, made relation clean contrary to was most hottest, or to encourage his men where that the king had said :"—
it seemed most need."
The personal triumph of Henry over Hotspur “O, no, my nephew must not know, Sir Richard, The liberal kind offer of the king."
is a dramatic creation, perfectly warranted by
the obscurity in which the Chroniclers leave the In the Chroniclers, Hotspur exhorts the troops; matter.
COSTUME. The fashions of the reign of Richard II. under- | been a faithful representation of the "great went little if any variation during that of Harry Crown," which was broken up by Henry V., Henry IV., as our engravings and descriptions and pawned in pieces, A.D. 1415, to raise monies of the monumental effigies and other portraits for the expenses of the French war. of the principal historical personages intro- Of Henry Prince of Wales, there are two re duced in the two parts of this play will show. presentations. One in a copy of Occleve's
To begin with the king; the effigy of Henry, Poems in the Royal Collection, Brit. Mus., in Canterbury Cathedral, is one of the most marked 17 D 6, in which the poet is depicted magnificent of the series of royal monuments. | presenting a copy of his Regimine Principis' The king is represented in his robes of state, to the prince, who is dressed in a pink robe, consisting of a long tunic, with pocket holes and wears a peculiarly-shaped coronet on his richly embroidered, as are also the borders of head. The other is a painting by Vertue, the sleeves. Over his shoulders is a cape which copied from some other illuminated MS. of Ocdescends in front low enough to cover the girdle. cleve's Poems, also representing that poet offer. The inner tunic has a rolling collar sitting close | ing a book to the prince. The prince is therein op into the neck. The mantle, with a broad habited in a long blue robe, with the extrava edging of embroidery, is connected not only by gantly long sweeping-sleeves of the period, cords and tassels, but by a splendidly-jewelled lined with ermine, and escalloped at the band, passing over the chest. The face has edges. His coronet is without the high pinbeard and moustaches, but no hair is visible on nacles which distinguish it in the former reprethe head, it being cropped all round excessively sentation. short,-a fashion which commenced towards the The decoration of the collar of 88. first appears close of this reign. The crown is very large during this reign; but of the derivation we and most tastefully ornamented, and may have I have still no precise information. The most plausible conjecture is that it was formed of the of Clarence or Prince Humphrey of Gloster at repetition of the initial letter of Henry IV.'s this period. The Earls of Westmoreland and word or device “Souveraine;” which appears also Northumberland have been already presented, to have been that of his father, John of Gaunt. in their civil dresses, to our readers with the A great gold collar, called of Ilkington, is men. play of Richard II.; but we give the former, in tioned, in Rymer's 'Fodera,' as having been a complete armour, from his effigy in Staindrop personal jewel of Henry V. while Prince of Church, Durham, as an illustration of the miliWales. It was richly adorned with rubies, tary costume of this reign. The bascinet is sapphires, and pearls, and pawned for £500 to ornamented with a splendid border and fillet of the Bishop of Worcester, in 1415. To the goldsmith's work and jewellery. The jupon, prince also belonged a sword, the sheath of emblazoned with the arms of Neville, confined which was garnished with ostrich feathers, in over the hips by an equally-magnificent military goldsmith's work, or embroidery. Such dresses girdle. With the difference of the armorial and decorations would, of course, be worn by bearings, such would be the appointments of Prince Henry only on state occasions. In his every knight in the field, from the sovereign revels at the Boar's Head, he would wear only downwards, the king's bascinet, or those of the the dress of a private gentleman; and for the knights armed in imitation of the king, being general dress of the time the best authorities surrounded by a crown instead of a jewelled are the illuminations in the MSS. marked band, or fillet. Digby, 283, in the Bodleian Lib. Oxford, and Sir William Gascoigne, Chief Justice of the No. 2332, in the Harleian Collect. Brit. Mus., Court of King's Bench, is represented in his which latter is a curious little calendar of the judicial costume on his monument in Harwood year 1411, every month being headed with the Church, Yorkshire. For the dress of Falstaff representation of a personage following some and his companions the MSS. before mentioned occupation or amusement, indicative of its pe- must be consulted. culiarities, and affording a most authentic speci- ! For the proper costume of the Ladies Northmen of the habit of the period. Of Prince umberland, Percy, and Mortimer, we should John of Lancaster we know no representation point to the effigy of the Countess of Westmoreuntil after he became Duke of Bedford. Norland, in Staindrop Church, Durham. are we aware of any portrait of Thomas Duke !