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Though you are old enough to be my heir.
Boling. Yea, my good lord.
Then I must not say, no
Langley. The Duke of YORK's Garden.
Enter the QUEEN, and two Ladies. Queen. What sport shall we devise here in this
garden, To drive away the heavy thought of care ?
1 Lady. Madam, we'll play at bowls. QUEEN. 'Twill make me think, the world is full
of rubs, And that my fortune runs against the bias.
1 LADY. Madam, we will dance. Queen. My legs can keep no measure in de
light, When my poor heart no measure keeps in grief: Therefore, no dancing, girl ; some other sport.
1 LADY. Madam, we'll tell tales.
9 Then I must not say, no.] “ The duke with a high sharpe voyce bade bring forth the kings horses, and then two little nagges, not worth forty franks, were brought forth ; the king was set on the one, and the earle of Salisburie on the other: and thus the duke brought the king from Flint to Chester, where he was delivered to the duke of Glocesters sonne and to the earle of Arundels sonne, (that loved him but little, for he had put their fathers to death,) who led him straight to the castle.” Stowe, (p. 521, edit. 1605,) from a manuscript account written by a person who was present. MALONE.
Queen. Of sorrow, or of joy??
Queen. Of neither, girl :
1 LADY. Madam, I'll sing.
QUEEN. "Tis well, that thou hast cause; But thou should’st please me better, would'st thou
weep. 1 Lady. I could weep, madam, would it do you
Enter a Gardener, and Two Servants.
[Queen and Ladies retire.
1 Of sorrow, or of joy?] All the old copies concur in reading :
“ Of sorrow, or of grief? ” Mr. Pope made the necessary alteration. STEEVENS. 2 - complain.] See p. 20, n. 1. Steevens.
3 And I could weep,] The old copies read~" And I could sing.” Steevens.
Mr. Pope made the emendation. Malone.
4 Against a change: Woe is forerun with woe.] The poet, according to the common doctrine of prognostication, supposes dejection to forerun calamity, and a kingdom to be filled with rumours of sorrow when any great disaster is impending. The sense is, that publick evils are always presignified by publick pensiveness, and plaintive conversation. JOHNSON.
GARD. Go, bind thou up yon' dangling apricocks, Which, like unruly children, make their sire Stoop with oppression of their prodigal weight : Give some supportance to the bending twigs.Go thou, and like an executioner, Cut off the heads of too-fast-growing sprays, That look too lofty in our commonwealth: All must be even in our government.You thus employ'd, I will go root away The noisome weeds, that without profit suck The soil's fertility from wholesome flowers. 1 Serv. Why should we, in the compass of a
pale, Keep law, and form, and due proportion, Showing, as in a model, our firm estate 5 ? When our sea-walled garden, the whole land, Is full of weeds; her fairest flowers chok'd up, Her fruit-trees all unprun'd, her hedges ruin'd, Her knots disorder'd, and her wholesome herbs Swarming with caterpillars ? GARD,
Hold thy peace: He that hath suffer'd this disorder'd spring, Hath now himself met with the fall of leaf :
$ — OUR firm estate?] How could he say our, when he immediately subjoins, that it was infirm? We should read :
a firm state.” WARBURTON. The servant says our, meaning the state of the garden in which they are at work. The state of the metaphorical garden was indeed unfirm, and therefore his reasoning is very naturally induced. Why (says he,) should we be careful to preserve order in the narrow cincture of this our state when the great state of the kingdom is in disorder ? I have replaced the old reading which Dr. Warburton would have discontinued in favour of his own cons jecture. STEEVENS.
6 Her Knots disorder'd,] Knots are figures planted in box, the lines of which frequently intersect each other. So, Milton ;
Flowers, worthy Paradise, which not nice art
The weeds, that his broad-spreading leaves did
1 SERV. What, are they dead ?
They are; and Bolingbroke
We at time of year -] The word We is not in the old copies. The context shows that some word was omitted at the press; and the subsequent lines
• We lop away
render it highly probable that this was the word. MALONE.
All superAuous branches -] Thus the second folio. The first omits the word-all, and thereby hurts the metre; for superfluous is never accented on the third syllable. Steevens.
– 'Tis doubt, he will be :) We have already had an instance of this unconimon phraseology in the present play:
“ He is our cousin, cousin ; but 'tis doubt,
“ When time shall call him home,” &c. Doubt is the reading of the quarto, 1597. The folio readsdoubted. I have found reason to believe that some alteration even in that valuable copy was made arbitrarily by the editor.
To a dear friend of the good duke of York's,
of speaking?! Thou, old Adam's likeness, [Coming from her con
cealment.] set to dress this garden ?. How dares thy harsh-rude tongue sound this un
pleasing news: ? What Eve, what serpent hath suggested thee To make a second fall of cursed man? Why dost thou say, king Richard is depos'd ? Dar'st thou, thou little better thing than earth, Divine his downfal ? Say, where, when, and how, Cam'st thou by these ill tidings ? speak, thou
wretch, GARD. Pardon me, madam: little joy have I, To breathe this news; yet, what I say, is true. King Richard, he is in the mighty hold Of Bolingbroke; their fortunes both are weigh’d: In your lord's scale is nothing but himself, And some few vanities that make him light;
10, I am press’d to death, Through want of speaking !] The poet alludes to the ancient legal punishment, called peine forte et dure, which was inflicted on those persons, who, being arraigned, refused to plead, remaining obstinately silent. They were pressed to death by a heavy weight laid upon their stomach. Malone.
to dress this garden,] This was the technical language of Shakspeare's time. So, in Holy Writ: “ -- and put him into the garden of Eden, to dress it, and to keep it.” Gen. ii. 15.
MALONE, how dares Thy harsh-rude tongue, &c.] So, in Hamlet :
• What have I done, that thou dar'st wag thy tongue
“ In noise so rude against me?" I have quoted this passage only to justify the restoration of the word rude, which has been rejected in some modern editions.
A line in King John may add support to the restoration here made from the old