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Against thy majesty; and boys*, with women's voices,
Strive to speak big, and clap their female joints :
In stiff unwieldy arms against thy crown:
Thy very beadsmen learn to bend their bows 4
Of double-fatal yew* against thy state ;
Yea, distaff-women manage rusty bills
Against thy seat : both young and old rebel,
And all goes worse than I have power to tell.

* So quarto 1597: all the other copies, and boys.
+ Quartos 1608 and 1615, browes.
# Quartos 1608 and 1615, woe.


and clap their female joints-] Mr. Pope more elegantly reads—" and clasp—;" which has been adopted by the subsequent editors. But the emendation does not seem absolutely necessary. Malone.

Clip would be still nearer than clasp. Ritson.
Lee, in his Mithridates, has imitated this passage, Act IV.:

The very boys, like Cupids dress'd in arms,
Clap their young harness'd thighs, and trust to battle."

Steevens. 4 Thy very beadsmen learn to bend their bows-] Such is the reading of all the copies ; yet I doubt whether beadsmen be right, for the bow seems to be mentioned here as the proper weapon of a beadsman. The King's beadsmen were his chaplains. Trevisa calls himself the beadsman of his patron. Beadsman might likewise be any man maintained by charity to pray for his benefactor. Hanmer reads—"the very beadsmen," but thy is better. Johnson.

The reading of the text is right enough : “ As boys strive to speak big, and clasp their effeminate joints in stiff unwieldy arms," &c.


beadsmen learn to bend their bows against him." Their does not absolutely denote that the bow was their usual or proper weapon ; but only taken up and appropriated by them on this occasion. Percy.

s Of double-fatal yew -] Called so, because the leaves of the yew are poison, and the wood is employed for instruments of death. WARBURTON.

From some of the ancient statutes it appears that every Englishman, while archery was practised, was obliged to keep in his house either a bow of yew or some other wood. It should seem therefore that yews were not only planted in church-yards to defend the churches from the wind, but on account of their use in making bows ; while by the benefit of being secured in enclosed places, their poisonous quality was kept from doing mischief to cattle. Steevens.

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K.Rich. Too well, too well, thou tell'st a tale so ill. Where is the earl of Wiltshire ? where is Bagot ? What is become of Bushy? where is Green? That they have let the dangerous enemy Measure our confines with such peaceful steps ? If we prevail, their heads shall pay for it. I warrant they have made peace with Bolingbroke. Scroop. Peace have they made with him, in

deed, my lord. K. Rich. O villains, vipers, damn'd without re

demption ! Dogs, easily won to fawn on any man! 6 Where is the earl of Wiltshire? where is Bagot ?

What is become of Bushy? where is Green?] Here are four of them named; and, within a very few lines, the King hearing they had made their peace with Bolingbroke, 'calls them three Judasses. But how was their peace made? Why, with the loss of their heads. This being explained, Aumerle says:

“ Is Bushy, Green, and the earl of Wiltshire dead ?" So that Bagot ought to be left out of the question : and, indeed, he had made the best of his way for Chester, and from thence had escaped into Ireland.

The poet could not be guilty of so much forgetfulness and absurdity. The transcribers must have blundered. It seems probable to me that he wrote, as I have conjecturally altered the text :

“ Where is the earl of Wiltshire ? where is he got?' i. e. into what corner of my dominions is he slunk and absconded.

THEOBALD. This emendation Dr. Warburton adopts. Hanmer leaves a blank after Wiltshire. I believe the author, rather than transcriber, made a mistake. “ Where is he got,” does not sound in my ear like an expression of Shakspeare. Johnson.

I agree with Johnson in thinking that this was a mistake of the author's, because we find a mistake of the same nature in the second Act, where Bolingbroke says, that Bristol Castle was held by Bushy and Bagot; yet it is certain that Bagot was not taken at Bristol, for we find him afterwards accusing Aumerle of treason; and in the parting scene between him, Green, and Bushy, he declares his intention of flying to the King in Ireland.

M. Mason. Perhaps Shakspeare intended to mark more strongly the perturbation of the King by making him inquire at first for Bagot, whose loyalty, on further recollection, might show him the impropriety of his question. Malone.

Snakes, in my heart-blood warm’d, that sting my

heart ! Three Judasses, each one thrice worse than Judas ! Would they make peace ? terrible hell make war Upon their spotted souls for this offence ! *

Scroop. Sweet love, I see, changing his property, Turns to the sourest and most deadly hate :Again uncurse their souls; their peace is made With heads and not with hands: those whom you

curse, Have felt the worst of death's destroying wound, And lie full low, grav'd in the hollow ground'. Aum. Is Bushy, Green, and the earl of Wiltshire,

dead ?
SCROOP. Yea, all of them at Bristol lost their heads.
Aum. Whereis the duke my father with his power?
K. Rich. No matter where; of comfort no man

speak :
Let's talk of graves, of worms, and epitaphs ;
Make dust our paper, and with rainy eyes
Write sorrow on the bosom of the earth.
Let's choose executors, and talk of wills :
And yet not so,-for what can we bequeath,
Save our deposed bodies to the ground?
Our lands, our lives, and all are Bolingbroke's,
And nothing can we call our own but death;
And that small model of the barren earth,
* So folio. Quartos :

terrible hell
“ Make war upon their spotted souls for this."

gravid-] The verb, to grave, is not peculiar to Shakspeare. So, in Gower, De Confessione Amantis, lib. iii. fol. 58 :

“ Unto the hound, unto the raven,

“ She was none otherwise graven." STEEVENS. 8 And that small model of the barren-earth,] He uses model for mould. That earth, which closing upon the body, takes its form. This interpretation the next line seems to authorize.

Johnson. Perhaps, all that model, in the present instance, means, is the


Which serves as paste and cover to our bones.
For heaven's sake, let us sit upon the ground,
And tell sad stories of the death of kings :
How some have been depos’d, some slain in war;
Some haunted by the ghosts they have depos’d';
Some poison’d by their wives, some sleeping kill'd;
All murder'd :-For within the hollow crown,
That rounds the mortal temples of a king,
Keeps death his court: and there the antick sits”,
Scoffing his state, and grinning at his pomp;
Allowing him a breath, a little scene,

Modle (says

sepulchral hillock of earth which ascertains the length and breadth of the body beneath it. In this sense it may be termed its model. STEEVENS.

Shakspeare generally uses model, not for an exemplar, but for a thing made after a pattern. The King therefore means to say, that the earth placed upon the body assumes its form. So, in a former scene of this play:

thou see'st thy wretched brother die, “ Who was the model of thy father's life.” See vol. x. p. 440, n. 2. Model, however, may be used for mould. See Minsheu's Dict. in y, MALONE.

Perhaps, a small model means, a small portion. Cockeram,) is a part of one's self.” Boswell.

9 Which serves as paste, &c.] A metaphor, not of the most sublime kind, taken from a pie. Johnson.

' – the ghosts they have depos'D;] Such is the reading of all the old copies. The modern editors, in the room of have depos'd, substituted dispossess'd. STEEVENS.

there the Antick sits,] Here is an allusion to the antick or fool of old farces, whose chief part is to deride and disturb the graver and more splendid personages. JOHNSON.

If there be any such allusion intended, it is to the old Vice, who, indeed, appears to have been such a character as Dr. Johnson describes. "The Fool was rather introduced to be laughed at.

Ritson. So, in The First Part of King Henry VI. : Thou antick death, which laugh’st us here to scorn!"

Steevens. It is not impossible that Shakspeare borrowed this idea from one of the cuts of that most exquisite work, called Imagines Mortis, commonly ascribed to the pencil of Holbein, but without any authority. See the seventh print. Douce.

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To monarchize, be fear'd, and kill with looks;
Infusing him with self and vain conceit,
As if this flesh, which walls about our life,
Were brass impregnable; and, humour'd thus,
Comes at the last, and with a little pin
Bores through his castle wall, and-farewell king!
Cover your heads, and mock not flesh and blood
With solemn reverence; throw away respect,
Tradition", form, and ceremonious duty,
For you have but mistook me all this while:
I live with bread like you, feel want, taste grief,
Need friends :-Subjected thus,
How can you say to me-I am a king ?
Car. Mylord, wise men ne'er sit and wail their

woes *,
But presently prevent the ways to wail.
To fear the foe, since fear oppresseth strength,
Gives, in your weakness, strength unto your foe,
And so your follies fight against yourself.
Fear, and be slain; no worse can come, to fight:
And fight and die, is death destroying death *;
Where fearing dying, pays death servile breath.

Aum. My father hath a power, enquire of him ;
And learn to make a body of a limb.
K. Ricu. Thou chid'st me well:-Proud Boling-

broke, I come
To change blows with thee for our day of doom,
This ague-fit of fear is over-blown ;

task it is, to win our own. Say, Scroop, where lies our uncle with his power? Speak sweetly, man, although thy looks be sour,

* So quartos : folio, ne'er wail their present woes. 3 Tradition,] This word seems here used for traditional practices : that is, established or customary homage. Johnson.

4 - death destroying death ;] That is, to die fighting, is to return the evil that we suffer, to destroy the destroyers. I once read “ death defying death ; " but destroying is as well.


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