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II

Thy overflow of good converts to bad?; .
And thy abundant goodness shall excuse
This deadly blot in thy digressing son 8.

York. So shall my virtue be his vice's bawd ;
And he shall spend mine honour with his shame,
As thriftless sons their scraping fathers' gold.
Mine honour lives when his dishonour dies,
Or my sham'd life in his dishonour lies:
Thou kill'st me in his life ; giving him breath,
The traitor lives, the true man's put to death,
Duch. [Within.] What ho, my liege! for God's

sake let me in. BOLING. What shrill-voic'd suppliant makes this

eager cry? Duch. A woman, and thine aunt, great king ;

'tis l. Speak with me, pity me, open the door ; A beggar begs, that never begg'd before. BOLING. Our scene is alter'd, --- from a serious

thing, And now chang'd to The Beggar and the King',

7 Thy overlow of good converts to bad,] Mr. Theobald would read :

converts the bad." STEEVENS.

Mr. Theobald did not understand it. “The overflow of good in thee is turned to bad in thy son; and that same abundant goodness in thee shall excuse his transgression." TYRWHITT.

8 — DIGRESSING song] Thus the old copies, and rightly. So, in Romeo and Juliet:

Digressing from the valour of a man." To digress is to deviate from what is right or regular. Some of the modern editors read:-transgressing. Steevens.

9 - The Beggar and the King.) The King and the Beggar seems to have been an interlude well known in the time of our author, who has alluded to it more than once. I cannot now find that any copy of it is left. Johnson.

“ The King and Beggar” was perhaps once an interlude ; it was certainly a song. The reader will find it in the first volume

My dangerous cousin, let your mother in;
I know, she's come to pray for your foul sin.

YORK. If thou do pardon, whosoever pray,
More sins, for this forgiveness, prosper may.
This fester'd joint cut off, the rest rests sound;
This, let alone, will all the rest confound.

Enter DUCHESS. Duch. O king, believe not this hard-hearted

man; Love, loving not itself, none other can. YORK. Thou frantick woman, what dost thou

make here ?? Shall thy old dugs once more a traitor rear ? Duch. Sweet York, be patient: Hear me, gentle liege.

Kneels. BOLING. Rise up, good aunt. Duch.

Not yet, I thee beseech : For ever will I kneel upon my knees, And never see day that the happy sees,

7612. from Riche Copheti

of Dr. Percy's collection. It is there entitled, King Cophetua and the Beggar Maid ; and is printed from Rich. Johnson's Crown Garland of Goulden Roses, 1612, 12mo. where it is entitled, simply, A Song of a Beggar and a King. This interlude, or ballad, is mentioned in Cynthia's Revenge, 1613 :

“ Provoke thy sharp Melpomene to sing

“The story of a Beggar and the King.Steevens. · Thou frantick woman, what dost thou make here ?] So, in The Merry Wives of Windsor:

“What make you here?” Again, in Othello:

“Ancient, what makes he here?” MALONE.
For ever will I WALK upon my knees ;] Thus the original
copy, 1597; and the following quartos. In the folio, kneel was
substituted for walk, in consequence of the reviser's not un-
derstanding the phrase. In our author's time it was common, in
speaking of a loquacious person, to say, “his tongue walks fast."
See also our poet's 128th Sonnet :

- They would change their state
“ And situation with those dancing chips
O'er whom thy fingers walk with gentle gait.”

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Till thou give joy; until thou bid me joy,
By pardoning Rutland, my transgressing boy.
Aum. Unto my mother's prayers, I bend my
knee.

Kneels.
YORK. Against them both, my true joints bended
be.

Kneels. Ill may'st thou thrive, if thou grant any grace ?! Duch. Pleads he in earnest ? look upon his

face;
His eyes do drop no tears, his prayers are in jest;
His words come from his mouth, ours from our

breast :
He prays but faintly, and would be denied;
We pray with heart, and soul, and all beside :
His weary joints would gladly rise, I know;
Our knees shall kneel till to the ground they grow:
His prayers are full of false hypocrisy;
Ours, of true zeal and deep integrity.
Our prayers do out-pray his ; then let them have
That mercy, which true prayers ought to have.

Boling. Good aunt, stand up.
Duch.

Nay, do not say-stand up;
But, pardon, first ; and afterwards, stand up.
An if I were thy nurse, thy tongue to teach,
Pardon-should be the first word of thy speech.

The present metaphor is surely not more violent; it gives indeed a spirit and force to the line which is destroyed by the other phrase ; to which it is a sufficient objection to ask, on what but her knees could the Duchess kneel?

By saying that she will for ever walk upon her knees, she means she will never rise more, and ever move from place to place on her knees, till the king has granted her request.

We have other instances beside the present, of words being changed in the folio, in consequence of their not being understoord. Thus, in Hamlet, for orisons, in Act IV. the reading of the quarto, we have in the folio, prayers ; the former word not being understood. MALONE.

3 II may'st thou thrive, if thou grant any grace!) This line is not in the folio. Nalone.

I never long'd to hear a word till now;
Saypardon, king; let pity teach thee how:
The word is short, but not so short as sweet;
No word like, pardon, for kings' mouths so meet,
YORK. Speak it in French, king; say, pardonnez

moy *. Duch. Dost thou teach pardon pardon to de

stroy ?
Ah, my sour husband, my hard-hearted lord,
That set'st the word itself against the word !
Speak, pardon, as 'tis current in our land;
The chopping French' we do not understand.
Thine eye begins to speak, set thy tongue there :
Or, in thy piteous heart plant thou thine ear;
That hearing how our plaints and prayers do pierce,
Pity may move thee pardon to rehearse.

Boling. Good aunt, stand up.
Duch.

I do not sue to stand, Pardon is all the suit I have in hand.

BOLING. I pardon him, as God shall pardon me.

Duca. O happy vantage of a kneeling knee!
Yet am I sick for fear: speak it again;
Twice saying pardon, doth not pardon twain,
But makes one pardon strong.
BOLING.

With all my heart
I pardon him.

4 - pardonnez moy.] That is, excuse me, a phrase used when any thing is civilly denied. The whole passage is such as I could well wish away, Johnson

5 The Chopping French -] Chopping, I suppose, here means jabbering, talking Rippantly a language unintelligible to Englishmen; or perhaps it may mean-the French, who clip and mutilate their words. I do not remember to have met the word, in this sense, in any other place. In the universities they talk of chopping logick; and our author in Romeo and Juliet has the same phrase :

" How now! how now ! chop logick?” MALONE...,

Duch. A god on earth thou art?.
BOLING. But for our trusty brother-in-law 8,-

and the abbot”,
With all the rest of that consorted crew,
Destruction straight shall dog them at the heels'.-
Good uncle, help to order several powers
To Oxford, or where'er these traitors are :
They shall not live within this world, I swear,
But I will have them if I once know where.
Uncle, farewell, and cousin too?, adieu :
Your mother well hath pray'd, and prove you true.
Duch. Come, my old son ;-I pray God make
thee new.

[Exeunt.

SCENE IV.

Enter Exton, and a Servant. Exton. Didst thou not mark the king, what

words he spake ?

o With all my heart

I pardon him.] The old copies read—“I pardon him with all my heart." The transposition was made by Mr. Pope.

MALONE. 9 A god on earth thou art.] So, in Cymbeline: “He sits 'mongst men, like a descended god."

Steevens. 8 But for our trusty brother-in-law.] The brother-in-law meant, was John Duke of Exeter and Earl of Huntingdon (own brother to King Richard II.) and who had married with the lady Elizabeth, sister of Henry Bolingbroke. TheoBALD. 9- the abbot,] i. e. the Abbot of Westminster.

THEOBALD. Destruction straight shall dog them at the heels.] Again, in King Richard III. : " Death and destruction dog thee at the heels."

STEEVENS. ? cousin too, adieu :] Too, which is not in the old copy, was added by Mr. Theobald, for the sake of the metre. MALONE.

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