« PreviousContinue »
"Culling the principal of all the deer.
* 2 Keep. I 'll stay above the hill, so both may shoot.
*1 Keep. That cannot be; the noise of thy cross-bow * Will scare the herd, and so my shoot is lost. * Here stand we both, and aim we at the best : * And, for the time shall not seem tedious, *I'll tell thee what befell me on a day, * In this self-place where now we mean to stand.
• 2 Keep. Here comes a man, let's stay till he be past.5 Enter King HENRY, disguised, with a prayer-book.
K. Hen. From Scotland am I stol'n, even of pure love, • To greet mine own land with my wishful sight.6 “No, Harry, Harry, 'tis no land of thine ;
Thy place is fill'd, thy sceptre wrung from'thee, * Thy balm wash'd off,? wherewith thou wast anointed : No bending knee will call thee Cæsar now, • No, humble suitors press to speak for right,
No, not a man comes for redress of thee; For how can I help them, and not myself? • 1 Keep. Ay, here's a deer whose skin 's a keeper's
- this laund - ] Laund means the same as lawn; a plain extended between woods. So, in the old play of Orlando Furioso, 1594:
" And tbat they trace the shady launds," &c. Steevens.
- the noise of thy cross-bow – ] The poet appears not to have forgot the secrets his former profession. So, in The Merry Devil of Edmonton, 1608: “ Did I not hear a bow go off, and the buck bray?"
Steevens, let's stay till he be past.] So the folio. The quartos read:
let's listen him a while.” Steevens. 6 To greet mine own land with my wishful sight.] So, the folio. The quartos perhaps better, thus:
“And thus disguis'd to greet my native land.” Steevens. 7 Thy balm wash'd off,] This is an image very frequent in the works of Shakspeare. So again, in this scene :
“ I was anointed king.' It is common in these plays to find the same images, whether jocular or serious, frequently recurring. Fohnson. So, in K’ing Richard II:
“Not all the water in the rough rude sea
“Can wash the balm from an anointed king.” It is observable that this line is one of those additions to the original play, which are found in the folio, and not in the quarto.
• This is the quondam king;8 let's seize upon him.
* K. Hen. Let me embrace these sour adversities;! * For wise men say, it is the wisest course.
* 2 Keep. Why linger we? let us lay hands upon him. * 1 Keer. Forbear a while; we 'll hear a little more.
K. Hen. My queen, and son, are gone to France for aid;
To wife for Edward : If this news be true,
For Warwick is a subtle orator,
By this account, then, Margaret may win him ; • For she 's a woman to be pity'd much: * Her sighs will make a battery in his breast; * Her tears will pierce into a marble heart; * The tiger will be mild, while she doth mourn ; 1 * And Nero will be tainted with remorse, * To hear, and see, her plaints, her brinish tears.
8 This is the quondam king; Egc.] Thus the folio. The quartos thus:
" Ay, marry, sir, here's a deer; his skin is a
“ This is the king, king Edward hath depos'd.” Steevens.
of were twain,
these sour adversities;] The old copy reads—the sowie adversaries. Steevens.
Corrected by Mr. Pope. Malone.
- She will sing the savageness out of a bear.” Steevens. 2 And Nero will — ] Perhaps we might better read-1 Nero
Ay, but she's come to beg; Warwick, to give: She, on his left side, craving aid for Henry; He, on his right, asking a wife for Edward. She weeps, and says-her Henry is depos'd; He smiles, and says his Edward is install’d; * That she, poor wretch, for grief can speak no more: * Whiles Warwick tells his title, smooths the wrong, * Inferreth arguments of mighty strength ;3 * And, in conclusion, wins the king from her, * With promise of his sister, and what else, * To strengthen and support king Edward's place. * O Margaret, thus 'twill be; and thou, poor soul, * Art then forsaken, as thou went'st forlorn. 2 Keep. Say, what art thou, that talk'st of kings and
queens? • K. Hen. More than I seem, and less than I was born to:5 • A man at least, for less I should not be ;6 And men may talk of kings, and why not I?
62 Keep. Ay, but thou talk'st as if thou wert a king. • K. Hen. Why, so I am, in mind;? and that 's enough.s
3 Inferreth arguments of mighty strength;] In the former Act was the same line:
" Inferring arguments of mighty force." Johnson. This repetition, like many others in these two plays, seems to have arisen from Shakspeare's first copying his original as it lay before him, and afterwards in subsequent passages (added to the old matter) introducing expressions which had struck him in preceding scenes. In the old play the line occurs but once.
Malone. 40 Margaret, &c.] The piety of Henry scarce interests us more for his misfortunes, than this his constant solicitude for the welfare of his deceitful Queen. Steevens.
less than I was born to:] Thus the folio. The quartos thus:--for less I should not be. Steevens.
- for less I should not be ;] Such is the reading of the folio. 'The quartos thus,--and more I cannot be. Steevens.
but thou talk'st as if thou wert a king. K. Hen. Why, so I am, in mind;] There seems to be an al. Jusion to a line in an old song, (quoted in Every Man out of his Humour):
“My mind to me a kingdom is.” Malone. See Dr. Percy's Reliques of Ancient English Poetry, 3d edit. Vol. I, p. 293. Steevens.
and that's enough.] So, the folio. The quartos thus:
though not in show.", Steevens.
2 Keep. But, if thou be a king, where is thy crown?
K. Hen. My crown is in my heart, not on my head ; * Not deck'd with diamonds, and Indian stones, * Nor to be seen : my crown is call’d, content; • A crown it is that seldom kings enjoy.
• 2 Keep. Well, if you be a king crown'd with content, Your crown content, and you, must be contented • To go along with us: for, as we think, • You are the king, king Edward hath depos'd; . And we his subjects, sworn in all allegiance,9 • Will apprehend you as his enemy.
* K. Hen. But did you never swear, and break an oath? * 2 Keep. No, never such an oath ; nor will not now. * K. Hen. Where did you dwell when I was king of
England ? * 2 Keep. Here in this country, where we now remain.
* K. Hen. I was anointed king at nine months old; * My father, and my grandfather, were kings; * And you were sworn true subjects unto me: * And, tell me then, have you not broke your oaths ?
* 1 Keep. No; For we were subjects, but while you were king.
* K. Hen. Why, am I dead? do I not breathe a man? * Ah, simple men, you know not what you swear. * Look, as I blow this feather from my face, * And as the air blows it to me again, * Obeying with my wind when I do blow, * And yielding to another when it blows, * Cominanded always by the greater gust; * Such is the lightness of you common men. * But do not break your oaths; for, of that sin * My mild entreaty shall not make you guilty. * Go where you will, the king shall be commanded; * And be you kings; command, and I 'll obey. * 1 Keep. We are true subjects to the king, king Ed
9 And we his subjects, &c.] So, the folio., The quarto thus:
“ And therefore we charge you in God's name and the king's,
“ To go along with us unto the officers.” Steevens. 1 Look, as I blow this feather from my face,
And as the air blows it to me again, &c.] So, in The Winter's Tale:
" I am a feather for each wind that blows." Malone.
* K. Hen. So would you be again to Henry, * If he were seated as king Edward is. 1 Keep. We charge you, in God's name, and in the
king's, To go with us unto the officers. • K. Hen. In God's name, lead ;3 your king's name be
obey’d: * And what God will, that let your king perform ; And what he will, I humbly yield unto. [Exeunt.
London. A Room in the Palace.
Enter King EDWARD, GLOSTER, CLARENCE, and
Lady Grey. “K. Edw. Brother of Gloster, at Saint Albans' field • This lady's husband, sir John Grey, 4 was slain, His lands then seiz'd on by the conqueror: ller suit is now, to repossess those lands; • Which we in justice cannot well deny, Because in quarrel of the house of York • The worthy gentleman did lose his life.5
- and in the king's,] The preposition-in, which is wanting in the old copy, I lave supplied for the sake of metre. Steevens.
3 In God's name, lead; &c.] So, the folio. Instead of this speech, the quartos have the following:
“God's name be fulfilld, your king's name be
Steevens. sir John Grey,] Vid. Hall, Third Year of Edward IV, folio 5. It was hitherto falsely printed Richard. Pope.
Sir John Grey was slain at the second battle of St. Albans, fighting on the side of King Henry. Malone. 5 His lands then seiz'd on by the conqueror :
Her suit is now to repossess those lands ;
The worthy gentleman did lose his life.] This is in every parti. cular a falsification of history. Sir John Grey, as has been already observed, fell in the second battle of St. Albans, which was fought on Shrove-Tuesday, Feb. 17, 1460-1, fighting on the side of king Henry; and so far is it from being true that his lands were seized by the conqueror, (Queen Margaret) that they were in fact seized by the very person who now speaks, after his great