Page images

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 appeald,
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 ruld by me; Let's purge this choler without letting blood: This we prescribe, though no physician ;* 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 ?5 when? Obedience bids, I should not bid again.

4 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 pas. sage 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, H.irry?! This obsolete exclamation of impatience, is likewise found in Heywood's Silver Age, 1613:

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

boot. 6 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


(Despite of death, that lives upon my grave,)?
To dark dishonour's use thou shalt not have.
I am disgrac'd, impeach'd, and baffled here;8
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





“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 refu. sal. Fohnson.

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. ii, 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:

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 bafle 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.

but not change their spots :] The old copies have-anis spots. Corrected by Mr. Pope. Malone.

Alas, poor


[ocr errors]

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 che
Isma bold spirit in a loyal breast.

ar f Mine honour is my life; both grow

in one; Take honour from me, and my life is done: heure Then, dear my liege, mine honour let me try; inerte

Mennta 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-fearl 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 arbitratę
The swelling difference of your settled hate;
Since we cannot atone you, 3 we shall see
Justice design the victor's chivalry.-

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. Fohnson.

atone you,] i.e. reconcile you. So, in Cymbeline:

“I was glad I did atone my countrymen and you.” 4 Fustice 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 Diet in v: “To designe or shew by a token. Ital. Denotare.






Marshal, commands our officers at arms
Be ready to direct these home-alarms.



The same.

A Room in the Duke of Lancaster's Palace.
Enter GAUNT, and Duchess of Gloster.6
Gaunt. Alas! the part I had? in Gloster's blood

Doth more solicit me, than your exclaims,
To stir against the butchers of his life.
But since correction lieth in those hands,
Which made the fault that we cannot correct,
Put we our quarrel to the will of heaven;
Who when he sees the hours ripe on earth,
Will rain hot vengeance on offenders' heads.

Duch. Finds brotherhood in thee no sharper spur?
Hath love in thy old blood no living fire?
Edward's seven sons, whereof thyself art one,
Were as seven phials of his sacred blood,
Or seven fair branches, springing from one root:
Some of those seven are dried by nature's course,
Some of those branches by the destinies cut:
But Thomas, my dear lord, my life, my Gloster
One phial full of Edward's sacred blood,
One flourishing branch of his most royal root,



Lat. Designare.” At the end of the article the reader is referred to the words “ to marke, note, demonstrate or shew.”—The word is still used with this signification in Scotland. Malone.

Marshal, command &c.] The old copies-Lord Marshal; but (as Mr. Ritson observes) the metre requires the omission I have made. It is also justified by his majesty's repeated ad. dress to the same officer, in scene iii. Steevens.

duchess of Gloster.] The Duchess of Gloster was Eleanor Bohun, widow of Duke Thomas, son of Edward III.

Walpole. 1- the part I had —] That is, my relation of consanguinity to Gloster. Hanmer.

Who when he sees -] The old copies erroneously read:

Who when they see
I have reformed the text by example of a subsequent passage,

p. 18:

heaven's substitute,
His deputy, anointed in his sight, &c. Steevens.


Is crack’d, and all the precious liquor spilt;
Is hack'd down, and his summer leaves all faded,
By envy's hand, and murder's bloody axe.
Ah, Gaunt! his blood was thine; that bed, that womb,
That mettle, that self-mould, that fashion’d thee,
Made him a man; and though thou liv’st, and breath’st,
Yet art thou slain in himi thou dost consenti
In some large measure to thy father's death,
In that thou seest thy wretched brother die,
Who was the model of thy father's life.
Call it not patience, Gaunt, it is despair:
In suffering thus thy brother to be slaughter'd,
Thou show'st the naked pathway to thy life,
Teaching stern murder how to butcher thee:
That which in mean men we entitle-patience,
Is pale cold cowardice in noble breasts.
What shall I say? to safeguard thine own life,
The best way is to 'venge my Gloster's death.

Gaunt. Heaven's is the quarrel; for heaven's substitute,
His deputy anointed in his sight,
Hath caus'd his death: the which if wrongfully,
Let heaven revenge; for I may never lift
An angry arm against his minister.

Duch. Where then, alas! may I complain myself??


9 One phial &c.] Though all the old copies concur in the present regulation of the following lines, I would rather read:

One phial full of Edward's sacred blood
Is crack’d, and all the precious liquor spill’d;
One flourishing branch of his most royal root

Is hack'd down, and his summer leaves all faded. Some of the old copies in this instance, as in many others, read vaded, a mode of spelling practised by several of our ancient writers. After all, I believe the transposition to be needless.

Steevens. thou dost consent &c.] i. e. assent. So, in St. Luke's Gospel, xxiii, 51: “The same had not consented to the counsel and deed of them.” Steevens.

may I complain myself?] To complain is commonly a verb neuter, but it is here used as a verb active. So, in a very scarce book entitled A courtlie Controversie of Cupid's Cautels, &c. Translated from the French, &c. by H. W. (Henry Wotton] to comforte me, or helpe to complainé my great sorrowe."... Again, p. 58: " wyth greate griefe he complained the calamitie of his country.”

Again, in The Queenes Majesties Entertainment in Suffolke and

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »