« AnteriorContinuar »
Far taking so the head ', your whole head's length. Boling. Mistake not, uncle, further than you
should. YORK. Take not, good cousin, further than you
should, Lest you mistake: The heavens are o'er your head. Boling. I know it, uncle ; and oppose not my
self Against their will —But who comes here ? ?
Welcome, Harry; what, will not this castle yield® ?
9 For taking so the head,] To take the head is, to act without restraint ; to take undue liberties. We now say, we give the horse his head, when we relax the reins. Johnson.
and oppose not
• The heavens, &c.
STEEVENS, 2 I know it, uncle; and oppose not myself
Against their will. But who comes here?] Such is the regulation of the old copies. The second line is left unmetrical, according to a frequent practice of our author, when a person enters suddenly, and apparently for the purpose of imitating the abruptness of dialogue in real life. Mr. Steevens, in direct opposition to the old copies, regulates the lines thus :
“ I know it, uncle; and oppose not
Myself against their will.—But who comes here? When the deviation was pointed out, he had recourse to his usual suggestion of an interpolation, and, in the following note, defended his arrangement, in the face of the old copies, by proposing another regulation of the text, which yet he has not followed. MALONE.
I regard the word-myself, as an interpolation, and conceive Shakspeare to have written
and oppose not
Against their will."
a servant, thrillid with remorse,
Oppos’d against the act.” Steevens. 3 Well, Harry; what, will not this castle yield ?] The old
Percy. The castle royally is mann'd, my lord,
Yes, my good lord,
North. Oh ! belike it is the bishop of Carlisle.
copy destroys the metre by reading-Welcome, Harry - The emendation is Sir T. Hanmer's.
STEEVENS. 3 Noble lord,
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.
within. Flourish. Enter on the walls King
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
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 perusę 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 blod 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. 8 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;] By “ the Power 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.