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The noble Percy flain, and all his men
With all my heart.
P. HEN. Then, brother John of Lancafter, to
This honourable bounty fhall belong :
His valour, fhown upon our crefts to-day,
Hath taught us how to cherish fuch high deeds, Even in the bofom of our adverfaries.
K. HEN. Then this remains,-that we divide our
You, fon John, and my cousin Weftmoreland, Towards York fhall bend you, with your deareft speed,
To meet Northumberland, and the prelate Scroop, Who, as we hear, are bufily in arms:
Hath taught us ---- ] This reading, which ferves to exclude an inelegant repetition, [and might have been derived from the quarto 1598, corrected by our author,] is refused by Mr. Malone. See the fubfequent note: and yet, are we authorized to reject the fitteft word, merely because it is not found in the earlie copy? In a note on p. 401, Mr. Malone accepts a reading from, a late quarto, which he acknowledges to be of no value. STEEVENS.
Hath shown us ----] Thus the quarto, 1598. In that of 1599. shown was arbitrarily changed to taught, which confequently is the reading of the folio. The repetition is much in our author's manner. MALONE.
Here Mr. Pope inferts the following Speech from the quartos: "Lan. I thank your grace for this high courtesy,
"Which I shall give away immediately."
But Dr. Johnson judiciously supposes it to have been rejeated by Shakspeare himself. STEEVENS.
Myfelf, and you, fon Harry,-will towards Wales, To fight with Glendower, and the earl of March. Rebellion in this land fhall lose his sway,
Meeting the check of fuch another day:
And fince this bufinefs fo fair is done,
Let us not leave till all our own be won. [Exeunt.
And fince this business fo fair is done,) Fair for fairly. Either that word is here used as a diffyllable, or business as a trisyllable.
Business is undoubtedly the word employed as a trisyllable.
The following Obfervations arrived too late to be inferted in their proper place, and are therefore referred to the conclufion of Mr. Malon's note, p. 189.
Neither evidence nor argument has in my opinion been yet produced, fufficient to controvert the received opinion, that the character of Falstaff was orriginally reprefented under the name of Oldcastle. The contraction of the original name Old, left standing in the first edition, as the prolocutor of one of Falstaff's Speeches, this addrefs of "Old lad of the castle," the Epilogue to King Henry V. plainly understood, the tradition mentioned by Mr. Rowe, and the united teftimony of contemporary or fucceeding writers, not to infift on the opinion of the most eminent criticks and commentators, feem irrefragable. It has been observed, that "if the verfes be examined in which the name of Falstaff occurs, it will be found that Oldcastle could not have ftood in those places;" and that "thofe only who are entirely unacquainted with our author's hiftory and works, can fuppofe him to have undergone the labour of new-writing each verfe." These verses, I believe, are in number seven; and why he, who wrote between thirty and forty plays with ease, cannot be reasonably supposed to have submitted to the drudgery of new-writing Jeven lines, to introduce an alteration commanded by his fovereign, is to me utterly incomprehenfible. But what need after all, of new-writing? There was but a fingle fyllable, in difference between the two names, to be fupplied; which might furely be effected, in fome place's at leaft
without an entirely new line. The verfés in queftion are, at prefent, as follows:
1, Away, good Ned. Falstaff sweats to death;'
3. Give me my fword and cloak; Falstaff good night;
6. "Well, you must now speak fir John Falstaff fair;"
And may be supposed to have stood originally thus:
1. Away, good Ned. Oldcastle fweats to death;
6. "You must now speak fir John Oldcastle fair;
Now, it is remarkable, that, of these feven lines, the first actually requires the name of Oldcastle to perfect the metre, which is at prefent a foot deficient, and confequently affords a proof that it was originally written to suit that name and no other; the fecond and fifth do not require the alteration of a fingle letter; the third but a flight tranfpofition; and the fourth, fixth, and Seventh, the addition at most of a fingle fyllable. So that all this mighty labour, which no one acquainted with our author's history and works can suppose him to have undergone, confifted in the subftitution of Falstaff for Oldcastle, the transposition of two words, and the addition of three fyllables! a prodigious and infurmountable fatigue to be fure! which might have taken no less space than two long minutes; and which, after all, he might probably and fafely commit to the players.
However the character of Sir John Oldcastle, in the original play, might be performed, he does not, from any paffage now in it, appear to have been either a pamper'd glutton, or a coward; and therefore it is a fair inference that all thofe extracts from early writers, in which Oldcastle is thus defcribed, refer to our author's character fo called, and not to the old play. If it be true that Queen Elizabeth, on feeing both or either of these plays of Henry IV. commanded Shakspeare to produce his fat knight in a different fituation, she might at the fame time, out of respect to the memory of Lord Cobham, have fignified a defire that he would change his name; which, being already acquainted with another cowardly knight of the fame chriftian name, one Sir John
Falfaffe, in the old play of Henry VI. (for both Hall and Holinfhed call him rightly Faflolfe) he was able to do without having the trouble to invent or hunt after a new one; not perceiving or regarding the confufion which the transfer would naturally make between the two characters. However this may have been, there is every reafon to believe that when these two plays came out of our author's hands, the name of Oldcastle fupplied the place of Falstaff. He continued Ned and Gadshill, and why should he abandon Oldcastle? a name and character to which the public was already familiarifed, and whom an audience would indifputably be much more glad to fee along with his old companions than a ftranger; if indeed our author himself did not at the time he was writing thefe dramas, take the Sir John Oldcastle of the original play to be a real historical perfonage, as neceffarily connected with his ftory as Hal or Hotspur. RITSON.
Mr. TOLLET's Opinion concerning the MORRIS DANCERS upon his Window.
THE celebration of May-day, which is reprefented upon my window of painted glafs, is a very ancient cuftom, that has been obferved by noble and royal perfonages, as well as by the vulgar. It is mentioned in Chaucer's Court of Love, that early on Mayday "furth goth al the court, both moft and left, to fetche the flouris fresh, and braunch, and blome." Hiftorians record, that in the beginning of his reign, Henry the Eighth with his courtiers "rofe on May-day very early to fetch May or green boughs; and they went with their bows and arrows shooting to the wood." Stowe's Survey of London informs us, that "every parish there, or two or three parishes joining together, had their Mayings; and did fetch in May-poles, with diverfe warlike shews, with good archers, Morrice Dancers, and other devices for pastime all the day long.” Shakspearefays it was "impoffible to make the people sleep on May morning; and that they rofe early to obferve the rite of May." The court of king James the Firft, and the populace, long preferved the obfervance of the day, as Spelman's Gloffary remarks under the word, Maiuma.
King Henry VIII. Act fc. iii. and Midfummer Night's Dream.
Act IV. fc. i.
Better judges may decide, that the inftitution of this feftivity originated from the Roman Floralia, or from the Celtic la Beltine, while I conceive it derived to us from our Gothic ancestors. Olaus Magnus de Gentibus feptentrionalibus, Lib. XV. c. viii. fays "that after their long winter from the beginning of October to the end of April, the northern nations have a cuftom to welcome the returning fplendor of the fun with dancing, and mutually to feaft each other, rejoicing that a better season for fishing and hunting was approached." In honour of May-day the Goths and fouthern Swedes had a mock battle between fummer and winter, which ceremony is retained in the Isle of Man, where the Danes and Norwegians had been for a long time mafters. It app ars from Holinshed's Chronicle, Vol. III. p. 314, or in the year 1306, that, before that time, in country towns the young folks chofe a fummer king and queen for fport to dance about Maypoles. There can be no doubt but their majefties had proper attendants, or fuch as would beft divert the fpectators; and we may prefume, that fome of the characters varied, as fashions and cuftoms altered. About half a century afterwards, a great addition feems to have been made to the diverfion by the introduction of the Morris or Moorish dance into it, which, as Mr. Peck, in his Memoirs of Milton, with great probability conjectures, was firft brought into England in the time of Edward III. when John of Gaunt returned from Spain, where he had been to affift Peter, King of Caftile, against Henry the Baftard. "This dance, fays Mr. Peck, was ufually performed abroad by an equal number of young men, who danced in their shirts with ribbands and little bells about their legs. But here in England they have always an odd perfon befides, being a boy dreffed in a girl's habit, whom they call Maid Marian, an old favourite character in the fport. "Thus, as he observes in the words of Shakspeare, + “ they made more matter for a May morning: having as a pancake for ShroveTuesday, a Morris for May-day.
We are authorized by the poets, Ben Jonfon and Drayton, to call fome of the representations on my window Morris Dancers, though I am uncertain whether it exhibits one Moorish perfonage; as none of them have black or tawny faces, nor do they brandish fwords or flaves in their hands, ++ nor are they in their shirts
It is evident from feveral authors, thad Maid Marian's part was frequently performed by a young woman, and often by one, as I think, of unsullied reputation. Our Marian's deportment is decent and graceful.
+ Twelfth Night, Act. III. fc. iv. All's well that ends well, Act. II. fc. ii. ++ In the Morifco the dancers held fwords in their hands with the points upward, fays Dr. Johnson's note in Antony and Cleopatra, Act. III. fc. ix. The Goths did the fame in their military dance, fays Olaus Magnus, Lib. XV. ch. xxiii. Haydocke's tranflation of Lomazzo on