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* YORK. Richard hath best deserv'd of all my fons.
What, is your grace4 dead, my lord of Somerfet? NORF. Such hope have all the line of John of Gaunt!
RICH. Thus do I hope to fhake king Henry's head.
WAR. And fo do I.-Victorious prince of York, Before I fee thee feated in that throne
Which now the house of Lancaster ufurps,
And this the regal feat: poffefs it York:
For hither we have broken in by force.
NORF. We'll all affift you; he, that flies, fhall
been killed by him in the Tower, not more than fixteen and eight months.
For this anachronism the author or authors of the old plays on which our poet founded these two parts of King Henry the Sixth, are answerable. MALONE,
4 What, is your grace] The folio reads But is your grace, &c. It was evidently a mistake of the transcriber, the word in the old play being What, which füits fufficiently with York's exultation; whereas But affords no sense whatfoever. MALONE. Though the sense and verse is complete without either But or What, I suppose we ought to read :
What, 's your grace dead, my lord of Somerfet?
I do not, however, perceive the inefficiency of but. This conjunction is sometimes indeterminately used; and is also infultingly employed in Twelfth-Night: "But, are you not mad indeed, or do you but counterfeit ?" STEEVENS.
YORK. Thanks, gentle Norfolk,-Stay by me, my lords ;
And, foldiers, stay, and lodge by me this night.
- WAR. And, when the king comes, offer him nó
'Unless he feek to thrust you out by force.
[They retire. * YORK. The queen, this day, here holds her parliament,
*But little thinks we fhall be of her council:
WAR. The bloody parliament shall this be call'd,
"YORK. Then leave me not, my lords; be refo-
I mean to take poffeffion of my right.
WAR. Neither the king, nor he that loves him beft,
The proudeft he that holds up Lancaster,
Dares ftir a wing, if Warwick shake his bells.5
I'll plant Plantagenet, root him up who dares :Refolve thee, Richard; claim the English crown. [WARWICK leads YORK to the Throne, who feats hinfelf.
sif Warwick Shake his bells.] The allufion is to falconry. The hawks had fometimes little bells hung upon them, perhaps to dare the birds; that is, to fright them from rifing.
Flourish. Enter King HENRY, CLIFFORD, NORTHUMBERLAND, WESTMORELAND, EXETER, and Others, with red Rofes in their Hats.
K. HEN. My lords, look where the sturdy rebel fits,
Even in the chair of ftate! belike, he means, (Back'd by the power of Warwick, that falfe peer,) To afpire unto the crown, and reign as king.Earl of Northumberland, he flew thy father;— And thine, lord Clifford; and you both have vow'd revenge
On him, his fons, his favourites, and his friends. NORTH. If I be not, heavens, be reveng'd on me!
CLIF. The hope thereof makes Clifford mourn in fteel.
WEST. What, fhall we fuffer this? let's pluck him down :
My heart for anger burns, I cannot brook it.
K. HEN. Be patient, gentle earl of Weftmoreland.
CLIF. Patience is for poltroons, and fuch as he;" He durft not fit there had your father liv'd. My gracious lord, here in the parliament Let us affail the family of York.
NORTH. Well haft thou spoken, coufin; be it so. K. HEN. Ah, know you not, the city favours them,
And they have troops of foldiers at their beck?
and fuch as he :] Thus the fecond folio. The first folio and the quartos omit-and. STEEVENS.
EXE. But when the duke is flain, they'll quickly
K. HEN. Far be the thought of this from Henry's heart,
To make a fhambles of the parliament-house!
[They advance to the Duke.
Thou art deceiv'd, I am thine.
EXE. For fhame, come down; he made thee duke of York.
YORK. 'Twas my inheritance, as the earldom was. EXE. Thy father was a traitor to the crown. WAR. Exeter, thou art a traitor to the crown, In following this ufurping Henry.
? Exe. But, when &c.] This line is by the mistake of the compofitor given to Weftmoreland. The king's anfwer shows that it belongs to Exeter, to whom it is affigned in the old play.
MALONE. Thou art deceiv'd,] These words, which are not in the folio, were restored from the old play. The defect of the metre in the folio, makes it probable that they were accidentally omitted. The measure is, however, ftill faulty. MALONE.
? as the earldom was.] Thus the folio. The quarto 1600, and that without date, read-as the kingdom is. STEEVENS.
York means, I fuppofe, that the dukedom of York was his inheritance from his father, as the earldom of March was his inheritance from his mother, Anne Mortimer, the wife of the Earl of Cambridge; and by naming the earldom, he covertly afferts his right to the crown; for his title to the crown was not as Duke of York, but Earl of March.
In the original play the line ftands [as quoted by Mr. Steevens ;] and why Shakspeare altered it, it is not easy to say; for the new line only exhibits the fame meaning more obfcurely. MALONE.
CLIF. Whom should he follow, but his natural
WAR. True, Clifford ; and that's Richard,' duke of York.
'K. HEN. And fhall I ftand, and thou fit in my throne?
"YORK. It must and fhall be fo. Content thyfelf. WAR. Be duke of Lancaster, let him be king.
WEST. He is both king and duke of Lancaster; And that the lord of Weftmoreland fhall maintain. WAR. And Warwick fhall difprove it. You for
That we are thofe, which chas'd you from the field, And flew your fathers, and with colours fpread March'd through the city to the palace gates.
"NORTH. Yes, Warwick, I remember it to my
And, by his foul, thou and thy house shall rue it.
'WEST. Plantagenet, of thee, and these thy fons, Thy kinfmen, and thy friends, I'll have more lives, Than drops of blood were in my father's veins.
'CLIF. Urge it no more; left that, instead of words,
I fend thee, Warwick, fuch a messenger,
As fhall revenge his death, before I ftir.
'WAR. Poor Clifford ! how I fcorn his worthless threats!
YORK. Will you, we fhow our title to the crown? 'If not, our swords fhall plead it in the field.
and that's Richard,] The word and, which was accidentally omitted in the first folio, is found in the old play. MALONE.