Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

Snakes, in my heart-blood warm'd, that sting my heart!

Three Judasses, each one thrice worse than Judas! Would they make peace? terrible hell make war Upon their spotted souls for this offence ! *

SCROOP. Sweet love, I see, changing his property, Turns to the sourest and most deadly hate :Again uncurse their souls; their peace is made With heads and not with hands: those whom you

curse,

Have felt the worst of death's destroying wound, And lie full low, grav'd in the hollow ground'.

AUM. Is Bushy, Green, and the earl of Wiltshire, dead?

SCROOP. Yea, all of them at Bristol lost their heads. AUM. Where is the duke my father with his power? K. RICH. No matter where; of comfort no man

speak:

Let's talk of graves, of worms, and epitaphs;
Make dust our paper, and with rainy eyes
Write sorrow on the bosom of the earth.
Let's choose executors, and talk of wills:
And yet not so,-for what can we bequeath,
Save our deposed bodies to the ground?
Our lands, our lives, and all are Bolingbroke's,
And nothing can we call our own but death;
And that small model of the barren earth 3,

*So folio. Quartos:

terrible hell

"Make war upon their spotted souls for this."

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

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

Which serves as paste and cover to our bones 9.
For heaven's sake, let us sit upon the ground,
And tell sad stories of the death of kings:-
How some have been depos'd, some slain in war;
Some haunted by the ghosts they have depos'd';
Some poison'd by their wives, some sleeping kill'd;
All murder'd:-For within the hollow crown,
That rounds the mortal temples of a king,
Keeps death his court: and there the antick sits2,
Scoffing his state, and grinning at his
pomp ;
Allowing him a breath, a little scene,

[ocr errors]

sepulchral hillock of earth which ascertains the length and breadth of the body beneath it. In this sense it may be termed its model. STEEVENS.

Shakspeare generally uses model, not for an exemplar, but for a thing made after a pattern. The King therefore means to say, that the earth placed upon the body assumes its form. So, in a former scene of this play:

66

thou see'st thy wretched brother die, "Who was the model of thy father's life."

See vol. x. p. 440, n. 2. Model, however, may be used for mould. See Minsheu's Dict. in v. MALONE.

8

Perhaps, a small model means, a small portion. "Modle (says Cockeram,) is a part of one's self." BosWELL.

9 Which serves as paste, &c.] A metaphor, not of the most sublime kind, taken from a pie. JOHNSON.

the ghosts they have DEPOS'D;] Such is the reading of all the old copies. The modern editors, in the room of have depos'd, substituted dispossess'd. STEEVENS.

2

there the ANTICK sits,] Here is an allusion to the antick or fool of old farces, whose chief part is to deride and disturb the graver and more splendid personages. JOHNSON.

If there be any such allusion intended, it is to the old Vice, who, indeed, appears to have been such a character as Dr. Johnson describes. The Fool was rather introduced to be laughed at.

RITSON..

So, in The First Part of King Henry VI.:

"Thou antick death, which laugh'st us here to scorn! STEEVENS.

It is not impossible that Shakspeare borrowed this idea from one of the cuts of that most exquisite work, called Imagines Mortis, commonly ascribed to the pencil of Holbein, but without any authority. See the seventh print. Douce.

92

To monarchize, be fear'd, and kill with looks;
Infusing him with self and vain conceit,-
As if this flesh, which walls about our life,
Were brass impregnable; and, humour'd thus,
Comes at the last, and with a little pin
Bores through his castle wall, and-farewell king!
Cover your heads, and mock not flesh and blood
With solemn reverence; throw away respect,
Tradition, form, and ceremonious duty,
For you have but mistook me all this while :
I live with bread like you, feel want, taste grief,
Need friends-Subjécted thus,

[ocr errors]

How can you say to me-I am a king?

CAR. Mylord, wise men ne'er sit and wail their woes *,

But presently prevent the ways to wail.
To fear the foe, since fear oppresseth strength,
Gives, in your weakness, strength unto your foe,
And so your follies fight against yourself.
Fear, and be slain; no worse can come, to fight:
And fight and die, is death destroying death*;
Where fearing dying, pays death servile breath.

AUм. My father hath a power, enquire of him;
And learn to make a body of a limb.

K. RICH. Thou chid'st me well:-Proud Bolingbroke, I come

To change blows with thee for our day of doom.
This ague-fit of fear is over-blown ;

An easy task it is, to win our own.

Say, Scroop, where lies our uncle with his power?
Speak sweetly, man, although thy looks be sour.

*So quartos: folio, ne'er wail their present woes.

3 Tradition,] This word seems here used for traditional practices that is, established or customary homage. JOHNSON.

:

4- death destroying death;] That is, to die fighting, is to return the evil that we suffer, to destroy the destroyers. I once read "death defying death;" but destroying is as well.

JOHNSON.

[merged small][ocr errors]

SCROOP. Men judge by the complexion of the

sky

The state and inclination of the day: So may you by my dull and heavy eye,

My tongue hath but a heavier tale to say. I play the torturer, by small and small, To lengthen out the worst that must be spoken:Your uncle York hath join'd with Bolingbroke; And all your northern castles yielded up, And all your southern gentlemen in arms Upon his party. K. RICH.

Thou hast said enough.

Beshrew thee, cousin, which didst lead me forth [To AUMERLE.

Of that sweet way I was in to despair!
What say you now? What comfort have we now?
By heaven, I'll hate him everlastingly,
That bids me be of comfort any more.
Go, to Flint castle; there I'll pine away;
A king, woe's slave, shall kingly woe obey o.
That power I have, discharge; and let them go
To ear the land' that hath some hope to grow,
For I have none:-Let no man speak again
To alter this, for counsel is but vain.

5

AUM. My liege, one word.

$ I'll hate him everlastingly,

That bids me be of comfort-] This sentiment is drawn from nature. Nothing is more offensive to a mind convinced that its distress is without a remedy, and preparing to submit quietly to irresistible calamity, than these petty and conjectured comforts which unskilful officiousness thinks it virtue to administer.

JOHNSON.

6 A king, woe's slave, shall kingly woe obey.] So, in King John, vol. xv. p. 263 :

"For grief is proud, and makes its owner stoop." BOSWELL. 7 TO EAR the land - i. e. to plough it. So, in All's Well that Ends Well:

"He that ears my land, spares my team." STEEVENS,

K. RICH.
He does me double wrong,
That wounds me with the flatteries of his tongue.
Discharge my followers, let them hence ;-Away,
From Richard's night to Bolingbroke's fair day.

[Exeunt.

SCENE III.

Wales. A Plain before Flint Castle".

Enter, with Drum and Colours, BOLINGBROKE and
Forces; YORK, NorthumberLAND, and Others.
BOLING. So that by this intelligence we learn,
The Welshmen are dispers'd; and Salisbury
Is gone to meet the king, who lately landed,
With some few private friends, upon this coast.

NORTH. The news is very fair and good, my lord;
Richard, not far from thence, hath hid his head.

YORK. It would beseem the lord Northumberland,

To say-king Richard:-Alack the heavy day,
When such a sacred king should hide his head!
NORTH. Your grace mistakes me ; only to be
brief,

Left I his title out.
YORK.

The time hath been,

Would you have been so brief with him, he would
Have been so brief with you, to shorten you,

7

- FLINT Castle.] In our former edition I had called this scene the same with the preceding. That was at Barkloughly castle, on the coast where Richard landed; but Bolingbroke never marched further in Wales than to Flint. The interview between him and Richard was at the castle of Flint, where this scene should be said to lie, or rather in the camp of Bolingbroke before that castle.-" Go to Flint castle." See above.

STEEVENS.

8 Your grace mistakes ME ;] The word-me, which is wanting in the old copies, was supplied by Sir T. Hanmer. STEEVENS,

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]
« AnteriorContinuar »