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374. Had I as many sons as I have hairs,
I would not wish them to a fairer death:
And so his knell is knoll’d.] This incident is thus related from Henry of Huntingdon, by Camden, in his Remains, from which our author probably copied it.
When Siward, the martial earl of Northumberland, understood that his son, whom he had sent in service against the Scotchien, was slain, he demanded whether his wounds were in the fore part or hinder part of his body. When it was answered, in the fore part, he replied, “I am right glad; neither wish I any other death to me or mine."
thy kingdom's pearl,] Whether this is a metaphorical expression, or only a blunder of the press, I cannot determine. Mr. Rowe first made the alteration, which has been continued by succeeding editors, who read, peers. The following passage from Ben Jonson's Entertainment of the Queen and Prince at Althorpe, may countenance the old read. ing, which I have inserted in the text:
" Queen, prince, duke, and earls,
“ Countesses, ye courtly pearls,”' &c. Again, in Shirley's Gentlemen of Venice;
he is the very pearl “ Of courtesy."
STEEVENS, Thy kingdom's pearl is a phrase of the same import with thy kingdom's wealth, or rather ornament. So, C. Fitz-Jeffrey, cited in England's Parnassus, 1600, calls Homer,
“ Chief grace of Greece, best pearle of poetry." So, again, J. Sylvester, quoted in the same book:
Printed Complete from the TEXT of
SAM. JOHNSON and GEO. STEEVENS,
And revised from the last Editions,
When Learning's triumph o'er her barb'rous focs
DR. SAMUEL JOHNSON,
Printed for, and under the direction of, John Bell, British Library, STRANI), Bookseller to His Royal Highness the Prince of WALES.