Puslapio vaizdai

This is rightly explained by Mr. M. Mason in the edition of 1793. It appears to have been misunderstood (as he remarks) by Warburton and Johnson; it is not well explained by Steevens.

P. 184.-39.-249.

For nothing hath begot my something grief;
Or something hath the nothing that I grieve.

This line, notwithstanding the pains taken with the passage by Dr. Johnson, I do not yet understand.

P. 184.-40.-250.

'Tis in reversion that I do possess ;

But what it is, that is not yet known.

This is rightly explained by Mr. M. Mason.

P. 185.-41.-251.

Queen. So, Green, thou art the midwife to my woe,
And Bolingbroke my sorrow's dismal heir.

This passage, misapprehended by Dr. Johnson, is rightly explained by Mr. M. Mason.

P. 189.-44.-256.

North. And hope to joy, is little less in joy,
Than hope enjoy'd.

Joy is certainly a verb here.

P. 192.-46.-260.

Berk. I come,

to know, what pricks you on
To take advantage of the absent time,
And fright our native peace with self-born arms.

The absent time (which Warburton understood to mean unprepared) is rightly explained by Dr. Johnson.

P. 193.-47.-261.


Why have they dar'd to march
So many miles upon her peaceful bosom;
Frighting her pale-fac'd villages with war,
And ostentation of despised arms?

I think this is rightly understood by Dr. Johnson and Mr. M. Mason. Mr. Davies thinks despised here means detested, abhorred

P. 193.-47.-262.

Boling. My gracious uncle, let me know my fault;
On what condition stands it, and wherein ?


with Mr. Malone.


P. 200.-53.-270.

K. Rich. As a long parted mother with her child
Plays fondly with her tears, and smiles in meeting.

I do not think smiles is a substantive here; nor do I see any need to change meeting to weeping.

P. 201.-53.-271.

K. Rich. This earth shall have a feeling, and these stones
Prove armed soldiers, ere her native king

Shall falter under foul rebellion's arms.

I prefer rebellion's arms, the reading of the first quarto, to rebellious arms, the reading of the folio.

P. 211.-61.-284.

The heavens are o'er your head.
Boling. I know it, uncle; and oppose not
Myself against their will. But who comes here?

Why Mr. Steevens regards myself as an interpolation I do not perceive.


P. 213.64.-287.

K. Rich. Tell Bolingbroke, (for yond', methinks, he is,)
That every stride he makes upon my land,
Is dangerous treason: He is come to ope
The purple testament of bleeding war;

But ere the crown he looks for live in peace,
Ten thousand bloody crowns of mothers' sons,
Shall ill become the flower of England's face.

I incline to believe Malone was right in supposing that the sacred book (which is often bound in purple leather) is meant, but think the epithet purple was meant to include also a reference to the future effusion of blood. I can hardly persuade myself that testament is here used in its legal sense. It is possible that an allusion to the old practice of divination by opening a book (called the Sortes) may be intended: but of this I much doubt.

P. 214.-64.-287.

the flower of England's face. I think Steevens's is the right explanation of this expression.

P. 223.-71.-298.

Thou, old Adam's likeness,
Set to dress this garden, how dares
Thy harsh-rude tongue sound this unpleasing news?

I would read,

Set here to dress this garden, say, how dares.

P. 228.-75.-304.

Per. Aumerle, thou liest: his honour is as true,
In this appeal, as thou art all unjust:
And that thou art so, there I throw my gage,
To prove it on thee to the extremest point
Of mortal breathing; seize it, if thou darʼst.
Aum. And if I do not, may my hands rot off,
And never brandish more revengeful steel
Over the glittering helmet of my foe!

Lord. I take the earth to the like, forsworn Aumerle;

Whether we read take or task, the passage is equally unintelligible to me. I cannot suppose task thy heart to be the true reading.


And spur thee on with full as many lies

As may be holla'd in thy treacherous ear
From sun to sun.

I think from sun to sun is the true reading. I understand it as Malone does.

P. 240.-86.-320.

Queen. Ah, thou, the model where old Troy did stand;
Thou map of honour; thou King Richard's tomb,
And not King Richard; thou most beauteous inn,
Why should hard-favour'd grief be lodg'd in thee,
When triumph is become an ale-house guest.

Mr. M. Mason is right. Inn here means a house of entertainment of the superior kind, and is opposed to ale-house, which occurs in the next line but one.

P. 251.-95.-334.

Boling. O loyal father of a treacherous son!
Thou sheer, immaculate, and silver fountain,
From whence this stream through muddy passages,
Hath held his current, and defiled himself!
Thy over-flow of good converts to bad.

Converts to bad is right.

P. 260.-103.-345.

K. Rich. Rode he on Barbary? Tell me, gentle friend,
How went he under him?

Grooom. So proudly, as if he disdain'd the ground.
K. Rich. So proud that Bolingbroke was on his back!
That jade hath eat bread from my royal hand;
This hand hath made him proud with clapping him.
Would he not stumble? Would he not fall down,
(Since pride must have a fall,) and break the neck
Of that proud man, that did usurp his back?

This reminds us of Mezentius's address to his horse Phœbus:

aperit si nulla viam vis, Occumbes pariter; neque enim, fortissime, credo, Jussa aliena pati et dominos dignabere Teucros.

En. X.

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