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PERCY. The castle royally is mann'd, my lord,
Yes, my good lord,
Within the limits of yon lime and stone:
North. Oh ! belike it is the bishop of Carlisle.
Provided that, my banishment repeald,
If not, I'll use the advantage of my power,
copy destroys the metre by reading-Welcome, Harry – The
Go to the rude ribs, &c.] It is observable that our author in his addresses to persons, often begins with an hemistich. So, in Troilus and Cressida, Act II. Sc. III. :
“Agam. Princes, “What grief hath set the jaundice on your cheeks ?" This observation may be of use in other places, where in the old copies, by the mistake of the transcriber, the metre is destroyed by this regulation not being observed. It also confirms what I have often had occasion to mention,-that our poet in many instances blended short prosaick sentences with his metrical dialogues. MALONE.
The which, how far off from the mind of Boling
[NORTHUMBERLAND advances to the Castle
with a Trumpet. Let's march without the noise of threat'ning drum, That from the castle's totter'd battlements * Our fair appointments may be well perus'd. Methinks, king Richard and myself should meet With no less terror than the elements Of fire and water, when their thund'ring shock At meeting tears the cloudy cheeks of heaven. Be he the fire, I'll be the yielding water : The rage be his, while on the earth I rain My waters; on the earth, and not on him. March on, and mark king Richard how he looks. A parle sounded, and answered by another Trumpet within. Flourish. Enter on the walls King RICHARD, the Bishop of Carlisle, AUMERLE, SCROOP, and SALISBURY. York. See, see, king Richard doth himself ap
4 — Totter'd battlements] Totter'd, the reading of the two first quartos, is here probably used for tottering, according to a usage of our poet, which has been frequently pointed out. The other copies read tatter'd. BosweLL. 5 -- the Bishop of Carlisle,] Was Thomas Merkes.
WALPOLE. 6 See, see, king Richard doth himself appear,] The following six lines are absurdly given to Bolinbroke, who is made to condemn his own conduct and disculp the King's. It is plain these six and the four following all belong to York. WARBURTON.
It should be observed that the four last of these lines are in all the copies given to York. Steevens.
As doth the blushing discontented sun
Unless he do profane, steal, or usurp.
Have torn their souls, by turning them from us,
7 The purple testament of bleeding war;] I believe our author uses the word testament in its legal sense. Bolingbroke is come to open the testament of war, that he may peruse what is decreed
But ere the crown he looks for live in peace,
North. The king of heaven forbid, ourlord the king
there in his favour. Purple is an epithet referring to the future effusion of blood. STEEVENS.
Mr. Steevens is certainly right in his interpretation of this passage. See Julius Cæsar :
“Now, while your purpled hands do reek and smoke,
“ Fulfil your pleasure.” Malone.
Shall ill become the flower of England's face;] By “ the flower of England's face" is meant 'the choicest youths of England, who shall be slaughtered in this quarrel, or have bloody crowns.' “ The flower of England's face,” to design her choicest youth, is a fine and noble expression. Pericles, by a similar thought, said “that the destruction of the Athenian youth was a fatality like cutting off the spring from the year.” WARBURTON.
Dr. Warburton reads "light in peace," but" live in peace" is more suitable to Richard's intention, which is to tell him, that though he should get the crown by rebellion, it will be long before it will live in peace, be so settled as to be firm. “The flower of England's face,” is very happily explained. JOHNSON.
“The flower of England's face," I believe, means “England's flowery face, the flowery surface of England's soil. The same kind of expression is used in Sidney's Arcadia, p. 2: “ – opening the cherry of her lips," i. e. her cherry lips. Again, p. 240, edit. 1633 : “— the sweet and beautiful flower of her face." . Again, Drayton, in Mortimer's Epistle to Queen Isabell :
" And in the field advance our plumy crest,
Steevens. We have a similar image in the first speech of Henry IV. Part I. :
“ No more the thirsty entrance of this soil,
Boswell. 9 Her PASTURES' grass --] Old copies-pastors. Corrected by Mr. Theobald. MALONE.
Harry Bolingbroke, doth humbly kiss thy hand;
* And by the BURIED hand of WARLIKE Gaunt;] Dr. Warbur-
“And by the warlike hand of buried Gaunt;"
“ There is no malice in this burning coal,”
“ There is no malice burning in this coal." Again, in A Midsummer-Night's Dream :
“But earthlier happy," instead of "earthly happier." Again, in King Henry VI. Part II. :
" These hands are free from guiltless bloodshedding," instead of
« These guiltless hands are free from bloodshedding." Again, ibid. in Part III. :
“Until my misshap'd trunk that bears this head,” instead of
“Until my head that this misshap'd trunk bears." Again, in Antony and Cleopatra :
“ We cannot call her winds and waters, sighs and tears," instead of
“We cannot call her sighs and tears, winds and waters," and in the same play we have proof of harness, for harness of proof; as elsewhere, miserable most, for most miserable; desperately mortal, for mortally desperate ; action of precept, for precept of action;" &c. Ritson. i commend - i. e. commit. See Minsheu's Dict. in v.