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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 ? ?

Enter PERCY.

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.

The heavens

and oppose not
Myself against their will.] So, in Romeo and Juliet :

• The heavens, &c.
“ Move them no more by crossing their high will.”

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."
To oppose may be here a verb neuter. So, in King Lear :

a servant, thrillid with remorse,

Oppos’d against the act.” Steevens. 3 Well, Harry; what, will not this castle yield ?] The old

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Percy. The castle royally is mann'd, my lord,
Against thy entrance.

Boling. Royally!
Why, it contains no king ?
Percy.

Yes, my good lord,
It doth contain a king; king Richard lies
Within the limits of yon lime and stone:
And with him are the lord Aumerle, lord Salisbury,
Sir Stephen Scroop; besides a clergyman
Of holy reverence, who, I cannot learn.

North. Oh ! belike it is the bishop of Carlisle.
Boling. Noble lord,

[To North.
Go to the rude ribs of that ancient castle • ;
Through brazen trumpet send the breath of parle
Into his ruin'd ears, and thus deliver.
Harry Bolingbroke
On both his knees doth kiss king Richard's hand;
And sends allegiance, and true faith of heart,
To his most royal person : hither come
Even at his feet to lay my arms and power;
Provided that, my banishment repeald,
And lands restor'd again, be freely granted :
If not, I'll use the advantage of my power,
And lay the summer's dust with showers of blood,
Rain'd from the wounds of slaughter'd Englishmen:

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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.

4

The which, how far off from the mind of Boling

broke
It is, such crimson tempest should bedrench
The fresh green lap of fair king Richard's land,
My stooping duty tenderly shall show.
Go, signify as much while here we march
Upon the grassy carpet of this plain.--

[NORTHUMBERLAND advances to the Castle

with a Trumpet.
Let's march without the noise of threat'ning drum,
That from the castle's totter'd battlements
Our fair appointments may be well perus’d.
Methinks, king Richard and myself should meet
With no less terror than the elements
Of fire and water, when their thund'ring shock
At meeting tears the cloudy cheeks of heaven.
Be he the fire, I'll be the yielding water :
The rage be his, while on the earth I rain
My waters; on the earth, and not on him.
March on, and mark king Richard how he looks.
A parle sounded, and answered by another Trumpet

within. Flourish. Enter on the walls King
Richard, the Bishop of Carlisle ", AUMERLE,
SCROOP, and SALISBURY.
York. See, see, king Richard doth himself ap-

pear,

4

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.

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As doth the blushing discontented sun
From out the firy portal of the east;
When he perceives the envious clouds are bent
To dim his glory, and to stain the track
Of his bright passage to the occident.
Yet looks he like a king; behold, his eye,
As bright as is the eagle's, lightens forth
Controlling majesty ; Alack, alack, for woe,
That any harm should stain so fair a show!
K. Rich. We are amaz’d; and thus long have

we stood
To watch the fearful bending of thy knee,

(To NORTHUMBERLAND.
Because we thought ourself thy lawful king :
And if we be, how dare thy joints forget
To pay their awful duty to our presence ?
If we be not, show us the hand of God
That hath dismiss'd us from our stewardship;
For well we know, no hand of blood and bone
Can gripe the sacred handle of our scepter,
Unless he do profane, steal, or usurp.
And though you think, that all, as you have done,
Have torn their souls, by turning them from us,
And we are barren, and bereft of friends ;-
Yet know,—my master, God omnipotent,
Is must'ring in his clouds, on our behalf,
Armies of pestilence; and they shall strike
Your children yet unborn, and unbegot,
That lift your vassal hands against my head,
And threat the glory of my precious crown.
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?;

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,
Ten thousand bloody crowns of mothers' sons
Shall ill become the flower of England's face 8 ;
Change the complexion of her maid-pale peace
To scarlet indignation, and bedew
Her pastures' grass with faithful English blood.

North. The king of heaven forbid, ourlord the king
Should so with civil and uncivil arms
Be rush'd upon! Thy thrice-noble cousin,

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,
“And march upon fair England's flow'ry breast."

STEEVENS. We have a similar image in the first speech of Henry IV. Part I.:

“ No more the thirsty entrance of this soil,
“Shall daub her lips with her own children's blood."

BOSWELL. 9 Her PASTURES' grass —] Old copies--pastors. Corrected by Mr. Theobald. MALONE.

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