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For all the Welshmen, hearing thou wert dead, Are gone to Bolingbroke, dispers’d, and fled.
Aum. Comfort, my liege: why looks your grace
K. Rich. But now the blood of twenty thou
All souls that will be safe, fly from my side;
are. K. Rich. I had forgot myself: Am I not
king? Awake, thou sluggardo majesty! thou sleep’st. Is not the king's name forty thousand names'? Arm, arm, my name ! a puny subject strikes At thy great glory.—Look not to the ground, Ye favourites of a king; Are we not high? High be our thoughts: I know, my uncle York Hath power enough to serve our turn. But who
7 Have I not reason to look pale and DEAD?] So, in King Henry IV. Part II. :
“ Even such a man-
“ Drew Priam's curtains in the dead of night."
Malone. 8 — coward —] Thus the quarto. The folio has-sluggard.
MALONE. 9 Is not the king's name forty thousand names ?] Thus, in King Richard III. :
“Besides, the king's name is a tower of strength.” See a speech of Antigonus, in Plutarch, of this kind, vol. i. p. 199, 4to. Gr. S. W.
liege, Than can my care-tun'd tongue deliver him. K. Rich. Mine ear is open', and my heart pre
par'd; The worst is worldly loss thou canst unfold. Say, is my kingdom lost? why, 'twas my care; And what loss is it, to be rid of care ? Strives Bolingbroke to be as great as we ? Greater he shall not be ; if he serve God, We'll serve him too, and be his fellow so: Revolt our subjects ? that we cannot mend; They break their faith to God, as well as us: Cry, woe, destruction, ruin, loss, decay ; The worst is-death, and death will have his day. SCROOP. Glad am I, that your highness is so
arm'd To bear the tidings of calamity. Like an unseasonable stormy day, Which makes the silver rivers drown their shores, As if the world were all dissolv'd to tears; So high above his limits swells the rage Of Bolingbroke, covering your fearful land With hard bright steel, and hearts harder than
steel. White-beards? have arm'd their thin and hairless
· Mine ear is open, &c.] It seems to be the design of the poet to raise Richard to esteem in his fall, and consequently to interest the reader in his favour. He gives him only passive forti
prosperity we saw him imperious and oppressive; but in his distress he is wise, patient, and pious. Johnson.
2 White-BEARDS - Thus the quartos. The first folio, with a ridiculous blunder,White bears. STEEVENS.
Mr. Steevens has omitted to mention that the same ridiculous blunder is continued in the second folio. Malone.
Against thy majesty; and boys*, with women's voices,
* So quarto 1597: all the other copies, and boys.
3 — and CLAP their female joints-] Mr. Pope more elegantly reads_" and clasp—;" which has been adopted by the subsequent editors. But the emendation does not seem absolutely necessary. Malone.
Clip would be still nearer than clasp. Ritson.
“ The very boys, like Cupids dress'd in arms,
STEEVENS. 4 Thy very beadSMEN learn to bend their bows-] Such is the reading of all the copies; yet I doubt whether beadsmen be right, for the bow seems to be mentioned here as the proper weapon of a beadsman. The King's beadsmen were his chaplains. Trevisa calls himself the beadsman of his patron. Beadsman might likewise be any man maintained by charity to pray for his benefactor. Hanmer reads—“the very beadsmen," but thy is better. Johnson.
The reading of the text is right enough : “As boys strive to speak big, and clasp their effeminate joints in stiff unwieldy arms," &c. “so his very beadsmen learn to bend their bows against him.” Their does not absolutely denote that the bow was their usual or proper weapon; but only taken up and appropriated by them on this occasion. Percy.
s Of double-fatal yew - ] Called so, because the leaves of the yew are poison, and the wood is employed for instruments of death. WARBURTON.
From some of the ancient statutes it appears that every Englishman, while archery was practised, was obliged to keep in his house either a bow of yew or some other wood. It should seem therefore that yews were not only planted in church-yards to defend the churches from the wind, but on account of their use in making bows ; while by the benefit of being secured in enclosed places, their poisonous quality was kept from doing mischief to cattle. STEEVENS.
K. Rich. Too well, too well, thou tell’st a tale so ill. Where is the earl of Wiltshire? where is Bagot ? What is become of Bushy? where is Green ?
That they have let the dangerous enemy
deed, my lord.
demption ! Dogs, easily won to fawn on any man! 6 Where is the earl of Wiltshire ? where is Bagot?
What is become of Bushy ? where is Green?] Here are four of them named; and, within a very few lines, the King hearing they had made their peace with Bolingbroke, calls them three Judasses. But how was their peace made? Why, with the loss of their heads. This being explained, Aumerle says :
“ Is Bushy, Green, and the earl of Wiltshire dead ?". So that Bagot ought to be left out of the question : and, indeed, he had made the best of his way for Chester, and from thence had escaped into Ireland.
The poet could not be guilty of so much forgetfulness and absurdity. The transcribers must have blundered. It seems probable to me that he wrote, as I have conjecturally altered the text :
“Where is the earl of Wiltshire ? where is he got?” i. e, into what corner of my dominions is he slunk and absconded.
TheoBALD. This emendation Dr. Warburton adopts. Hanmer leaves a blank after \Viltshire. I believe the author, rather than transcriber, made a mistake. “Where is he got," does not sound in my ear like an expression of Shakspeare. Johnson.
I agree with Johnson in thinking that this was a mistake of the author's, because we find a mistake of the same nature in the second Act, where Bolingbroke says, that Bristol Castle was held by Bushy and Bagot; yet it is certain that Bagot was not taken at Bristol, for we find him afterwards accusing Aumerle of treason; and in the parting scene between him, Green, and Bushy, he declares his intention of flying to the King in Ireland.
M. Mason. · Perhaps Shakspeare intended to mark more strongly the perturbation of the King by making him inquire at first for Bagot, whose loyalty, on further recollection, might show him the impropriety of his question. MALONE.
Snakes, in my heart-blood warm'd, that sting my
SCROOP. Sweet love, I see, changing his property,
7 grav'd-] The verb, to grave, is not peculiar to Shakspeare. So, in Gower, De Confessione Amantis, lib. iii. fol. 58:
“ Unto the hound, unto the raven,
" She was none otherwise graven." STEEVENS. 8 And that small MODEL of the barren-earth,] He uses model for mould. That earth, which closing upon the body, takes its form. This interpretation the next line seems to authorize.
JOHNSON. Perhaps, all that model, in the present instance, means, is the