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Which gently lay'd my knighthood on my shoulder,
I'll answer thee in any fair degree,

Or chivalrous design of knightly trial:

And, when I mount, alive may I not light,
If I be traitor, or unjustly fight!

K. Rich. What doth our cousin lay to Mowbray's charge?

It must be great, that can inherit us?

So much as of a thought of ill in him.

Boling. Look, what I speak my life shall prove it true;

That Mowbray hath receiv'd eight thousand nobles,
In name of lendings for your highness' soldiers;
The which he hath detain'd for lewd employments,
Like a false traitor, and injurious villain.
Besides I say, and will in battle prove,-
Or here, or elsewhere, to the furthest verge
That ever was survey'd by English eye,-
That all the treasons, for these eighteen years
Complotted and contrived in this land,


Fetch from false Mowbray their first head and spring.
Further I say,-and further will maintain
Upon his bad life, to make all this good,-

That he did plot the duke of Gloster's death;
Suggest his soon-believing adversaries; 1

7 that can inherit us &c.] To inherit is no more than to possess, though such a use of the word may be peculiar to Shakspeare. Again, in Romeo and Juliet, Act I, sc. ii:

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such delight

Among fresh female buds shall you this night "Inherit at my house." Steevens.

See Vol. II, p. 108, n. 4. Malone.

8 - for lewd employments,] Lewd here signifies wicked. It is so used in many of our old statutes.

It sometimes signifies-ile.

Thus, in King Richard 111:



"But you must trouble him with lewd complaints." Steevens. the duke of Gloster's death;] Thomas of Woodstock, the youngest son of Edward III; who was murdered at Calais, in 1397.


See Froissart's Chronicle, Vol. II, cap. CC.xxvi. Steevens.

1 Suggest his soon-believing adversaries;] i. e. prompt, set them on by injurious hints. Thus, in The Tempest:

"They'll take suggestion, as a cat laps milk." Steevens.

And, consequently, like a traitor coward,

Sluic'd out his innocent soul through streams of blood:
Which blood, like sacrificing Abel's, cries,
Even from the tongueless caverns of the earth,
To me, for justice, and rough chastisement;
And, by the glorious worth of my descent,
This arm shall do it, or this life be spent.

K. Kich. How high a pitch his resolution soars!
Thomas of Norfolk, what say'st thou to this?

Nor. O, let my sovereign turn away his face,
And bid his ears a little while be deaf,
Till I have told this slander of his blood,2
How God, and good men, hate so foul a liar.

K. Rich. Mowbray, impartial are our eyes, and ears:
Were he my brother, nay, my kingdom's heir,
(As he is but my father's brother's son)
Now by my sceptre's awe3 I make a vow,
Such neighbour nearness to our sacred blood
Should nothing privilege him, nor partialize
The unstooping firmness of my upright soul;
He is our subject, Mowbray, so art thou;
Free speech, and fearless, I to thee allow.

Nor. Then, Bolingbroke, as low as to thy heart,
Through the false passage of thy throat, thou liest!
Three parts of that receipt I had for Calais,
Disburs'd I duly to his highness' soldiers:
The other part reserv'd I by consent;

For that my sovereign liege was in my debt,
Upon remainder of a dear account,

Since last I went to France to fetch his queen:
Now swallow down that lie.For Gloster's death,-
I slew him not; but, to my own disgrace,
Neglected my sworn duty in that case.—
For you, my noble lord of Lancaster,
The honourable father to my foe,
Once did I lay an ambush for your life,
A trespass that doth vex my grieved soul:
But, ere I last receiv'd the sacrament,


this slander of his blood,] i. e. this reproach to his ancestry. Steevens.


my sceptre's awe-] The reverence due to my sceptre. Johnson.

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I did confess it; and exactly begg'd
Your grace's pardon, and, I hope, I had it.
This is my fault: As for the rest appeal'd,
It issues from the rancour of a villain,
A recreant and most degenerate traitor:
Which in myself I boldly will defend;
And interchangeably hurl down my gage
Upon this overweening traitor's foot,
To prove myself a loyal gentleman

Even in the best blood chamber'd in his bosom:
In haste whereof, most heartily I pray

Your highness to assign our trial day.

K. Rich. Wrath-kindled gentlemen, be rul'd by me;

Let's purge this choler without letting blood:
This we prescribe, though no physician;4

Deep malice makes too deep incision:
Forget, forgive; conclude, and be agreed;
Our doctors say, this is no time to bleed.-
Good uncle, let this end where it begun;

We'll calm the duke of Norfolk, you your son.
Gaunt. To be a make-peace shall become my age:-
Throw down, my son, the duke of Norfolk's gage.
K. Rich. And, Norfolk, throw down his.


When, Harry?" when? Obedience bids, I should not bid again.

▲ This we prescribe, though no physician; &c.] I must make one remark in general on the rhymes throughout this whole play; they are so much inferior to the rest of the writing, that they appear to me of a different hand. What confirms this, is, that the context does every where exactly (and frequently much better) connect, without the inserted rhymes, except in a very few places; and just there too, the rhyming verses are of a much better taste than all the others, which rather strengthens my conjecture. Pope.

"This observation of Mr. Pope's, (says Mr. Edwards) happens to be very unluckily placed here, because the context, without the inserted rhymes, will not connect at all. Read this passage as it would stand corrected by this rule, and we shall find, when the rhyming part of the dialogue is left out, King Richard begins with dissuading them from the duel, and in the very next sentence, appoints the time and place of their combat."

Mr. Edwards's censure is rather hasty; for in the note to which it refers, it is allowed that some rhymes must be retained to make out the connection. Steevens.

5 When, Harry?] This obsolete exclamation of impatience, is likewise found in Heywood's Silver Age, 1613:

K. Rich. Norfolk, throw down; we bid; there is no


Nor. Myself I throw, dread sovereign, at thy foot: My life thou shalt command, but not my shame: The one my duty owes; but my fair name, (Despite of death, that lives upon my grave,)7 To dark dishonour's use thou shalt not have. I am disgrac'd, impeach'd, and baffled here;& Pierc'd to the soul with slander's venom'd spear; The which no balm can cure, but his heart-blood Which breath'd this poison.

K. Rich.

Rage must be withstood:

Give me his gage:-Lions make leopards tame.

Nor. Yea, but not change their spots: take but my shame,

“Fly into Affrick; from the mountains there,

"Chuse me two venomous serpents: thou shalt know them: "By their fell poison and their fierce aspect.

"When, Iris?

"Iris. I am gone."

Again, in Look about you, 1600:


I'll cut off thy legs,

"If thou delay thy duty. When, proud John?" Steevens. no boot.] That is, no advantage, no use, in delay, or refusal. Johnson.



my fair name, &c.] That is, my name that lives on my grave, in despight of death. This easy passage most of the editors seem to have mistaken. Johnson.


and baffled here;] Baffled in this place means treated with the greatest ignominy imaginable. So, Holinshed, Vol. III, p. 827, and 1218, or annis 1513, and 1570, explains it: “Bafulling, says he, is a great disgrace among the Scots, and it is used when a man is openlie perjured, and then they make of him an image painted, reversed, with his heels upward, with his name, wondering, crieing, and blowing out of him with horns." Spenser's Fairy Queen, B. V, c. iii, st. 37; and B. VI, c. vii, st. 27, has the word in the same signification. Tollet.

The same expression occurs in Twelfth Night, sc. ult:

"Alas, poor fool! how have they baffled thee?" Again, in King Henry IV, P. I, Act I, sc. ii:


an I do not, call me villain, and baffle me." Again, in The London Prodigal, 1605: “— - chil be abaffelled up and down the town, for a messel," i. e. for a beggar, or rather a leper. Steevens.

9 but not change their spots:] The old copies have—his spots. Corrected by Mr. Pope. Malone.

And I resign my gage. My dear dear lord,
The purest treasure mortal times afford,
Is-spotless reputation; that away,

Men are but gilded loam, or painted clay.
A jewel in a ten-times-barr'd-up chest
Is-a bold spirit in a loyal breast.

Mine honour is my life; both grow in one;
Take honour from me, and my life is done:
Then, dear my liege, mine honour let me try;
In that I live, and for that will I die.

K. Rich. Cousin, throw down your gage; do you begin.
Boling. O, God defend my soul from such foul sin!
Shall I seem crest-fallen in my father's sight?
Or with pale beggar-fear1 impeach my height
Before this outdar'd dastard? Ere my tongue
Shall wound mine honour with such feeble wrong,
Or sound so base a parle, my teeth shall tear
The slavish motive of recanting fear;

And spit it bleeding, in his high disgrace,

Where shame doth harbour, even in Mowbray's face.
[Exit GAUNT.
K. Rich. We were not born to sue, but to command:
Which since we cannot do to make you friends,
Be ready, as your lives shall answer it,
At Coventry, upon Saint Lambert's day;
There shall your swords and lances arbitrate
The swelling difference of your settled hate;
Since we cannot atone you,3 we shall see
Justice design the victor's chivalry.-

1 with pale beggar-fear-] This is the reading of one of the oldest quartos, and the folio. The quartos 1608 and 1615, read-beggar-face; i. e. (as Dr. Warburton observes) with a face of supplication. Steevens.

2. The slavish motive] Motive, for instrument. Warburton. Rather that which fear puts in motion. Johnson.


atone you,] i. e. reconcile you. So, in Cymbeline: "I was glad I did atone my countrymen and you."


4 Justice design-] Thus the old copies. Mr. Pope reads"Justice decide," but without necessity. Designo, Lat. signifies to mark out, to point out: "Notat designatque oculis and cædem unumquemque nostrûm." Cicero in Catilinam. Steevens.

To design in our author's time signified to mark out. See Minshieu's Dict. in v: "To designe or shew by a token. Ital. Denotare.

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