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I do not see any necessity for departing from the old copy, which reads mousing; though it is not very easy precisely to ascertain its meaning, it is used in two other places by our author, apparently in the sense required here, in Macbeth : " A falcon tow'ring in her pride of place,
Pd." « Was by a mousing owl hawk'd at and kill'd. Again, in the Midsummer's Night's Dream :
“ Well mous’d, Lion !" Mousing, I suppose, in all these places, means mamocking; tearing to pieces, as a cat tears a mouse.
MALONE. 364. Cry, havock kings.] That is, command slaughter to proceed; so, in another place: “ He with Até by his side, Cries, havock ["!
JOHNSON. 365. You equal potents, -] Potents for potentates. So, in Ane verie excellent and delectabill Treatise intitulit PHILOTUS, &c. 1603: " Ane of the potentes of the town.”
In the old copy :
Kings of our fears ;] We should read, than ye. What power was this ? their fears. It is plain there. fore we should read, Kings are our fears,-. e. our fears are the kings which at present rule us.
WARBURTON. Dr. Warburton saw what was requisite to make this passage sense; and Dr. Johnson, rather too hastily,
I think, lias received his emendation into the text.
“ Kings are our fears,
As the same sense may be obtained by a much slighter alteration, I am more inclined to read,
King'd of our fearszimbo King'd is used as a participle passive by Shaksperé more than once, I believe. I remember one instance in Henry the Fifth, act ii. sc. 5. The Dauphin says of England,
-she is so idly king'd." It is scarce necessary to add, that of, here (as in numberless other places), has the signification of, by.
TYRWHITT. A greater power than we, may mean the Lord of hosts, who has not yet decided the superiority of either army; and till it be undoubted, the people of Angiers will not open their gates. Secure and confident as lions, they are not at all afraid, but are kings, i. e. masters and commanders of their fears, until their fears or doubts about the rightful king of England are removed.
TOLLÉT. I see no reason for substituting ye in the room of we, which is the reading of the old copy. Before I read Mr. Tollet's note, I thought, that by a greater power, the power of Heaven was intended.
It is manifest that the passage is corrupt, and that it must have been so worded, as that their fears should
be styled their kings or masters, and not they, kings or masters of their fears; because in the next line mention is made of these same fears being deposed. Mr. Tyrwhitt's emendation produces this meaning by a very slight alteration, and is therefore, I think, entitled to a place in the text.
The following passage in our author's Rape of Lucrece strongly, in my opinion, confirms his conjecture : “ So shall these slaves [the passions of lust, shame,
&c.] be kings, and thou their slave.”. Again, in King Lear :
-It seems she was a queen
“ Sought to be king o'er her.” The participle king'd is again used by our author in Richard II:
“ Then I am king'd again." This passage in the folio is given to Faulconbridge, and in a subsequent part of this scene, all the speeches of the citizens are given to Hubert; which I mention, because these and innumerable other instances, where the same error has been committed in that edition, justifies some licence in transferring speeches from one person to another. From too great a scrupulousness in this respect, a speech in Measure for Measure is yet suffered to stand in the name of the Clown, though it evidently belongs to Abhorson.
380. these scroyles of Angiers-] Escrouelles, Fr. i. e. scabby scrophulous fellows.
Ben Jonson uses the word in Every Man in his Hu
-hang them scroyles !” Steevens. 383. At your industrious scenes -] Your industrious scenes and acts of death, is the same as if the speaker had said—your laborious industry of war. So in Macbeth,
-and put we on « Industrious soldiership." STEEVENS. 386. Be friends a while, &c.] This advice is given by the bastard in the old copy of the play, though comprised in fewer and less spirited lines. Steevens.
390. Till their soul-fearing clamours ] i. e. soulEl a palling.
MALONE. 431. -the lady Blanch,] lady Blanch was daughter to Alphonso the Ninth, king of Castile, and was niece to king John by his sister Elianor.
STEEVENS. 436. If zealous love, &c.] Zealous seems here to they signify pious, or influenced by motives of religion.''
JOHNSON. 445. He is the half part of a blessed man,
Left to be finished by such a she ;) Dr. Thirlby prescribed that reading, which I have here restored to the text.
-at this match, Il'ith swifter spleen, &c.] Our author uses D
spleen for any violent hurry, or tumultuous speed. So, in the Midsummer Night's Dream, ire applies spleen to the lightning. I am loath to think that Shak spere meant to play with the double of match for nuptial, and the match of a gun.
JOHNSON 464. Here's a stay,
That shakes the rotten carcass of old death
Out of his rags!Shakspere seems to have taken the hint of this speech from the following in the Famous History of Tło. Stukely, 1606. bl. let.
Why kere's a gallant, here's a king indeed!
indeed." Perhaps the force of the word stay is not exactly known. I meet with it in Damon and Pythias, 1982: “ Not to prolong my lyfe thereby, for which I
reckon not this, “ But to set my things in a stay." Perhaps by a stay, in this instance, is meant a steady posture. Shakspere's meaning may therefore be :« Here's a steady, resoluté fellow, who shakes, &c." So, in Fenton's Tragical Discourses, bl. let. 4to. 1567,
-more apt to follow th' inclination of vaine and lascivious desyer than disposed to make a staye of herselfe in the trade of honest vertue.” A stay, how.