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ceding page, (fo. 281, b) he makes a quotation from one of Falstaff's speeches,—“there is nothing but roguery in villainous man,”— though without acknowledging the source from which it was taken. We may be tolerably sure, however, that “Henry IV.” Part ii., had then been produced by Shakespeare, but it is not distinguished by Meres, and he also makes no mention of “Henry V.," the events of whose reign, to his marriage with Catherine of France, were included in the old play of “The Famous Victories.”
With regard to the text of this play, it is unquestionably found in its purest state in the earliest 4to. of 1598, and to that we have mainly adhered, assigning reasons in our notes when we have varied from it. The editors of the folio, 1623, copied implicitly the 4to. impression nearest to their own day, that of 1613, adopting many of its defects, and, as far as we can judge, resorting to no MS. authority, nor to the previous quartos of 1598, 1599, 1604, and 1608. Several decided errors, made in the reprint of 1599, were repeated and multiplied in the subsequent quarto impressions, and from thence found their way into the folio. Near the end of Act i. we meet with a curious proof of what we have advanced : we there find a line, thus distinctly printed in the 4to, 1598 :
" I'le steale to Glendower and Lo: Mortimer :" that is, “I'll steal to Glendower and Lord Mortimer," Lo: being a common abbreviation of “ Lord ;" but the compositor of the 4to, 1599, strangely misunderstanding it, printed it as follows :
“Ile steale to Glendower and loe Mortimer;" as if Lo: of the 4to, 1598, were to be taken as the interjection, lo ! then usually printed loe, and so the blunder was followed in the subsequent quartos, including that of 1613, from whence it was transferred, literatim, to the folio, 1623. The error is repeated in the folio, 1632; but Norton, the printer of the 4to, 1639, who, as has been remarked, did not adopt the text of either of the folios, saw that there must be a blunder in the line, and although he did not know exactly how to set it right, he at least made sense of it, by giving it,
“I'll steal to Glendower and to Mortimer.” We only adduce this instance as one proof, out of many which might be brought forward, to establish the superiority of the text of the 4to. of 1598, to any of the subsequent re-impressions.
KING HENRY THE FOURTH.
Lords, Officers, Sheriff, Vintner, Chamberlain, Drawers, Carriers,
Travellers, and Attendants.
| The old copies have no list of persons : it was first prefixed by Rowe.
KING HENRY IV.
ACT I. SCENE I.
London. An Apartment in the Palace.
Enter King HENRY, WESTMORELAND, Sir WALTER
BLUNT, and Others.
1 No more the thirsty ENTRANCE of this soil] When Shakespeare wrote this line he had, no doubt, as Malone suggests, a personification of England in his mind : by “thirsty entrance” he meant thirsty mouth, and forgetting that he had given no more of the personification than the allusion to the mouth, he added the next line, “Shall daub her lips with her own children's blood.” This seems the natural explanation of a passage that excited much dispute among the commentators. Steevens first recommended entrants, and subsequently adopted into his text a conjecture by M. Mason, that it was a misprint for Erinnys, than which few things could be more unlikely. Coleridge thought Theobald's interpretation right, that "thirsty entrance” meant the dry penetrability of the soil ; and he added, “ the obscurity of this passage is of the Shakespearean sort." Lit. Rem. vol. ii. p. 179.
Which, like the meteors of a troubled heaven,
West. My liege, this haste was hot in question,
2 In forwarding this dear EXPEDIENCE.] i. e. expedition, Shakespeare constantly uses “ expedient” for expeditious; see Vol. iii. p. 46, note 6; and in “ Antony and Cleopatra,” we have “ expedience” in exactly the same sense as above. However, afterwards in this play, A. i. sc. 3, we have expedition used instead of " expedience."
3 And many Limits of the charge-) i. e, bounds of the expense.
A thousand of his people butchered“;
K. Hen. It seems, then, that the tidings of this broil
K. Hen. Here is a dear, a true-industrious friend,
* A thousand of his people butchered :) So every quarto edition : the folio, “ And a thousand," &c.
5 This, match'd with other, DID] So the two earliest quartos : the later editions print like for did.
5 For more uneven-] The folio, following the quarto of 1613, has Far instead of “ For," the reading of the quartos, 1598, 1599, 1604, and 1608.
? Balk'd in their own blood ;] Some of the commentators would read bak'd; but Tollet showed that “ balk’d,” which means laid up in a ridge or hillock, is correct, and all the old editions concur in so printing it.