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Harry Bolingbroke, doth humbly kiss thy hand;
And by the BURIED hand of WARLIKE Gaunt;] Dr. Warburton would read
“ And by the warlike hand of buried Gaunt ;." and this, no doubt, was Shakspeare's meaning, though he has affectedly misplaced the epithets. Thus, in King John, we have:
“ There is no malice in this burning coal," instead of
“ There is no malice burning in this coal.” Again, in A Midsummer Night's Dream :
“But earthlier happy," instead of “earthly happier." Again, in King Henry VI. Part II. :
“ These hands are free from guiltless bloodshedding," instead of
“ These guiltless hands are free from bloodshedding." Again, ibid. in Part III. :
“ Until my misshap'd trunk that bears this head,” instead of
“Until my head that this misshap'd trunk bears." Again, in Antony and Cleopatra :
“We cannot call her winds and waters, sighs and tears," instead of
“We cannot call her sighs and tears, winds and waters.” and in the same play we have proof of harness, for harness of proof; as elsewhere, miserable most, for most miserable ; desperately mortal, for mortally desperate ; action of precept, for precept of action;" &c. Ritson.
commend -] i. e. commit. See Minsheu's Dict. in v.
This swears he, as he is a prince, is just;
words, Till time lend friends, and friends their helpful
swords. K. Ricu. O God! O God! that e'er this tongue
of mine, That laid the sentence of dread banishment On yon proud man, should take it off again With words of sooth®! O, that I were as great As is my grief, or lesser than my name ! Or that I could forget what I have been ! Or not remember what I must be now! Swell'st thou, proud heart ? I'll give thee scope to
beat, Since foes have scope to beat both thee and me. Aum. Northumberland comes back from Boling
broke. K. Rich. What must the king do now? Must he
submit The king shall do it. Must he be depos'd ?
3 With words of sooth!] Sooth is sweet as well as true. In this place sooth means sweetness or softness, a signification yet retained in the verb to sooth, Johnson.
The king shall be contented : Must he lose
4 My gay apparel, &c.] Dr. Grey observes, “that King Richard's expence in regard to dress, was very extraordinary." Holinshed has the same remark ; and adds, that he had “one cote which he caused to be made for him of gold and stone, valued at 30,000 marks." STEEVENS.
Stowe, in his Survey, says, “to the value of three thousand markes." So, also, in Vita Ricardi Secundi, published by T. Hearne, p. 156.
It is much to be wished that historians would never use Arabick numerals; they are the source of innumerable errors.
MALONE. 5 Or I'll be buried in the king's highway, Some
way of common TRADE,] So, in Lord Surrey's translation of the second book of Virgil's Æneid :
“ A postern with a blind wicket there was,
A common trade, to pass through Priam's house.”
Tectorum inter se Priami-
STEEVENS. 6 — on their sovereign's head :) Shakspeare is very apt to deviate from the pathetick to the ridiculous. Had the speech of Richard ended at this line, it had exhibited the natural language of submissive misery, conforming its intention to the present fortune, and calmly ending its purposes in death. Johnson,
Aumerle, thou weep'st; My tender-hearted cou
sin ! We'll make foul weather with despised tears ; Our sighs, and they, shall lodge the summer corn, And make a dearth in this revolting land. Or shall we play the wantons with our woes, And make some pretty match with shedding tears? As thus ;-To drop them still upon one place, Till they have fretted us a pair of graves Within the earth; and, therein laid, -There lies Two kinsmen, digg'd their graves with weeping
eyes? Would not this ill do well ?-Well, well, I see I talk but idly, and you mock at me.Most mighty prince, my lord Northumberland, What says king Bolingbroke ? will his majesty Give Richard leave to live till Richard die ? You make a leg, and Bolingbroke says—ay?. North. My lord, in the base court 8 he doth ata
tend To speak with you; may't please you to come
down? K. Rich. Down, down, I come; like glistering
[North, retires to Boling,
7 - Bolingbroke says—ay] Here is another instance of injury done to the poet's metre by changing his orthography. I, which was Shakspeare's word, rhymed very well with die ; but ay has quite a different sound. See a note on The Merry Wives of Windsor, vol. viii. p. .186, n.7. TYRWHITT.
In some counties ay is at this day pronounced with a sound very little differing from that of I. MALONE.
base court -] Bas cour, Fr. So, in Hinde's Eliosto Libidinoso, 1606: “- they were, for a public observation, brought into the base court of the palace.” Again, in Greene's Farewell to Follie, 1617 : began, at the entrance into the base court, to use these words." STEEVENS. VOL. XVI.
In the base court ? Base court, where kings grow
base, To come at traitors' calls, and do them grace. In the base court ? Come down ? Down, court!
down, king! For night-owls shriek, where mounting larks should sing.
[Ereunt, from above.
Sorrow and grief of heart
Enter King RICHARD, and his Attendants, below.
Boling. Stand all apart,
[Kneeling. K. Rich. Fair cousin, you debase your princely
though your knee be low.
K. Rich. Your own is yours, and I am yours, and
all. BOLING. So far be mine, my most redoubted