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Harry Bolingbroke, doth humbly kiss thy hand;
And by the honourable tomb he swears,
That stands upon your royal grandsire's bones;
And by the royalties of both your bloods,
Currents that spring from one most gracious head;
And by the buried hand of warlike Gaunt';
And by the worth and honour of himself,
Comprising all that may be sworn or said,-
His coming hither hath no further scope,
Than for his lineal royalties, and to beg
Enfranchisement immediate on his knees:
Which on thy royal party granted once,
His glittering arms he will commend 2 to rust,
His barbed steeds to stables, and his heart
To faithful service of your majesty.

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I 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 af-
fectedly 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.


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This swears he, as he is a prince, is just;
And, as I am a gentleman, I credit him.
K. RICH. Northumberland, say, thus the king


His noble cousin is right welcome hither;
And all the number of his fair demands
Shall be accomplish'd without contradiction:
With all the gracious utterance thou hast,
Speak to his gentle hearing kind commends.-
We do debase ourself, cousin, do we not,


To look so poorly, and to speak so fair?
Shall we call back Northumberland, and send
Defiance to the traitor, and so die?

AUM. No, good my lord; let's fight with gentle words,

Till time lend friends, and friends their helpful swords.

K. RICH. 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


Since foes have scope to beat both thee and me. AUM. Northumberland comes back from Bolingbroke.

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
The name of king? o' God's name, let it go:
I'll give my jewels, for a set of beads;
My gorgeous palace, for a hermitage ;
My gay apparel, for an alms-man's gown;
My figur'd goblets, for a dish of wood;
My scepter, for a palmer's walking-staff;
My subjects, for a pair of carved saints;
And my large kingdom for a little grave,
A little little grave, an obscure grave:-
Or I'll be buried in the king's highway,
Some way of common trade 5, where subjects' feet
May hourly trample on their sovereign's head":
For on my heart they tread, now whilst I live ;
And, buried once, why not upon my head ?


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."
Limen erat, cæcæque fores, et pervius usus,
Tectorum inter se Priami-



The phrase is still used by common people. When they speak of a road much frequented, they say, "it is a road of much traffick." Shakspeare uses the word in the same sense in King Henry VIII. : Stand in the gap and trade of more preferments."


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 cousin!

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 he doth attend


To speak with you; may't please you to come down?

K. RICH. Down, down, I come; like glistering Phaeton,

Wanting the manage of unruly jades.

[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 - began, at the entrance into the base court, STEEVENS.

to Follie, 1617: " to use these words."


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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. [Exeunt, from above. BOLING. What says his majesty?

NORTH. Sorrow and grief of heart Makes him speak fondly, like a frantick man : Yet he is come.

Enter King RICHARD, and his Attendants, below.

BOLING. Stand all apart,

And show fair duty to his majesty.

My gracious lord,—


K. RICH. Fair cousin, you debase your princely knee,

To make the base earth proud with kissing it:
Me rather had, my heart might feel your love,
Than my unpleas'd eye see your courtesy.
Up, cousin, up; your heart is up, I know,
Thus high at least, [Touching his own head.] al-
though your knee be low.

BOLING. My gracious lord, I come but for mine


K. RICH. Your own is yours, and I am yours, and all.

BOLING. So far be mine, my most redoubted lord,

As my true service shall deserve your love.

K. RICH. Well you deserve :-They well deserve to have,

That know the strong'st and surest way to get.Uncle, give me your hand: nay, dry your eyes; Tears show their love, but want their remedies.Cousin, I am too young to be your father,

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