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And by the glorious worth of my descent,
K. Rich. How high a pitch bis resolution soars !
Nor. O, let my sovereign turn away his face,
K. Rich. Mowbray, impartial are our eyes and ears.
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, Disbursed I duly to his highness' soldiers: The other part reserved 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,
1 Reproach to his ancestry.
2 The duke of Norfolk was joined in commission with Edward, earl of Rutland (the Aumerle of this play), to go to France in the year 1395, to demand in marriage Isabel, eldest daughter of Charles VI., then between seven and eight years of age. Richard was married to his young consort in November, 1396, at Calais; his first wife, Anne, daughter of Charles IV., emperor of Germany, died at Shene, on Whit Sunday, 1394. His marriage with Isabella was merely political: it was accompanied with an agreement for a truce between France and England for thirty years.
I did confess it; and exactly begged
K. Rich. Wrath-kindled gentlemen, be ruled by me.
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.
Gaunt. When, Harry? when ? 3 Obedience bids, I should not bid again. K. Rich. Norfolk, throw down ; we bid; there is
no boot. 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) 5 To dark dishonor's use thou shalt not have.
2 Pope thought that some of the rhyming verses in this play were not from the hand of Shakspeare.
3 This abrupt elliptical exclamation of impatience is again used in the Taming of the Shrew :—“Why, when, I say! Nay, good, sweet Kate, be merry." It appears to be equivalent to when will such a thing be done ? "
4 « There is no boot,” or it booteth not, is as much as to say resistance would be profitless.
5 i. e. my name that lives on my grave in despite of death.
I am disgraced, impeached, and baffled' here;
Rage must be withstood;
grow in one; Take honor from me, and my life is done.
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-fear impeach my height Before this out-dared dastard ! Ere my tongue Shall wound mine honor 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 harbor, even in Mowbray's face.
[Exit Gaunt. K. Rich. We were not born to sue, but to com
mand; Which since we cannot do to make you friends, , Be ready, as your lives shall answer it,
1 Baffled, in this place, signifies “ abused, reviled, reproached in base terms ;" which was the ancient signification of the word, as well as to deceive or circumvent.
2 There is an allusion here to the crest of Norfolk, which was a golden leopard.
3 The old copies have “his spots.” The alteration was made by Pope. 1 i. e. make them friends, reconcile them.
At Coventry, upon Saint Lambert's day;
SCENE II. The same. A Room in the Duke of
Enter Gaunt, and Duchess of Gloster.3
Duch. Finds brotherhood in thee no sharper spur?
2 To design is to mark out, to show by a token. It is the sense of the Latin designo.
3 The duchess of Gloster was Eleanor Bohun, widow of duke Thomas, son of Edward III.
4 i. e. my relationship of consanguinity to Gloster.
By envy's hand, and murder's bloody axe.
womb, That mettle, that self-mould, that fashioned thee, Made him a man; and though thou liv'st, and
Duch. Where then, alas ! may I complain myself? 1
fence. Duch. Why, then, I will. Farewell, old Gaunt. Thou go'st to Coventry, there to behold Our cousin Hereford and fell Mowbray fight; O, sit my husband's wrongs on Hereford's spear, That it may enter butcher Mowbray's breast ! Or, if misfortune miss the first career, Be Mowbray's sins so heavy in his bosom, That they may break his foaming courser's back, And throw the rider headlong in the lists, A caitiff, recreant to my cousin Hereford !
i To complain is commonly a verb neuter; but it is here used as a verb active.” It is a literal translation of the old French phrase me complaindre, and is not peculiar to Shakspeare.