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Prove armed soldiers, ere her native king
made you king,
miss ; Whilst Bolingbroke, through our security, Grows strong and great, in substance, and in friends. K. Rich. Discomfortable cousin ! know'st thou
not, That when the searching eye of heaven is hid Behind the globe, and lights the lower world',
dumb things shall be mov'd to sympathize,
Steevens. rebellion's arms.] Thus the quarto 1597; all the subsequent copies have-rebellious arms.
Malone. 3 Fear not, my lord, &c.] Of this speech, the four last lines were restored from the first edition by Mr. Pope. They were, I suppose, omitted by the players only to shorten the scene, for they are worthy of the author and suitable to the personage.
Johnson. -else, if heaven would,
And we will not, heaven's offer we refuse ;] Thus the quarto 1597, except that the word if is wanting. The quarto 1608, and the late editions, read~" And we would not.” The word if was supplied by Mr. Pope. Both the metre and the sense show that it was accidentally omitted in the first copy. Malone.
- AND lights the lower world,] The old copies read-that lights. The emendation was made by Dr. Johnson. Sense might be obtained by a slight transposition, without changing the words of the original text:
“ That when the searching eye of heaven, that lights
“The lower world, is hid behind the globe ;—" By “the lower world,” as the passage is amended by Dr. Johnson, we must understand, a world lower than this of ours ; I suppose, our antipodes.
Then thieves and robbers range abroad unseen,
* So folio : quartos, off from.
That this is the sense of the passage, is obvious from the King's application of the simile :
“ So, when this thief, this traitor Bolingbroke,—
Henley. There is no necessity for any alteration, either by transposition or otherwise. That does not relate to the nearest antecedent, globe, but to the eye of heaven. Nothing is more common in Shakspeare, and the writers of his day, than this manner of disposing of the relative. Talbot.
s He fires the proud tops of the eastern pines,] It is not easy to point out an image more striking and beautiful than this, in any poet, whether ancient or modern. STEEVENS.
• The breath of worldly men, &c.] Here is the doctrine of indefeasible right expressed in the strongest terms; but our poet did not learn it in the reign of King James, to which it is now the practice of all writers, whose opinions are regulated by fa
For every man that Bolingbroke hath pressid,
Enter SALISBURY. Welcome, my lord; How far off lies your power ?
Sal. Nor near, nor further off, my gracious lord, Than this weak arm: Discomfort guides my tongue, And bids me speak of nothing but despair. One day too late, I fear, my noble lord, Hath clouded all thy happy days on earth : 0, call back yesterday, bid time return, And thou shalt have twelve thousand fighting men! To-day, to-day, unhappy day, too late, O'erthrows thy joys, friends, fortune, and thy state;
shion or interest, to impute the original of every tenet which th have been taught to think false or foolish. Johnson.
Far be it from me to palliate the conduct of the wretched James; but the truth is, that the inherent rights of the people had been ill understood, or rather were not acknowledged by his predecessors. The doctrine of the divine right of kings, and of the passive obedience of subjects, have never been carried further in any country than in this island, while the house of Tudor sate on the throne. Of this fact, the Homilies, composed during the reign of young Edward, and appointed in the Thirty-nine Articles to be read in churches, furnish striking and abundant proof. Take, as an instance, the following extract from the Homily against Disobedience and wilful Rebellion : “ As the name of the king is very often attributed and given unto God in holy scriptures, so doth God himself in the same scriptures sometime vouchsafe to communicate his name with earthly princes, terming them Gods.” Ist part. And in the 4th part, we are directed to “ call to remembrance the heavy wrath and dreadful indignation of Almighty God against subjects as do only but inwardly grudge, mutter, and murmur against their governors, though their inward treason, so privily hatched in their breasts, come not to an open declaration of their doings.” Holt White.
For all the Welshmen, hearing thou wert dead,
so pale ? K. Rich. But now the blood of twenty thou
sand men Did triumph in my face, and they are fled; And, till so much blood thither come again,
Have I not reason to look pale and dead ? ? All souls that will be safe, fly from my side ; For time hath set a blot upon my pride.
Aum. Comfort, my liege; remember who you
K. Rich. I had forgot myself: Am I not
king? Awake, thou sluggard® majesty! thou sleep'st. Is not the king's name forty thousand names'? Arm, arm, my name! a puny subject strikes At thy great glory.--Look not to the ground, Ye favourites of a king; Are we not high ? High be our thoughts: I know, my uncle York Hath power enough to serve our turn. But who
7 Have I not reason to look pale and dead?] So, in King Henry IV. Part II. :
“ Even such a man
“ Drew Priam's curtains in the dead of night.”
Malone. 8 - coward ] Thus the quarto. The folio has-sluggard.
MALONE. 9 Is not the king's name forty thousand names ?] Thus, in King Richard III. :
“ Besides, the king's name is a tower of strength." See a speech of Antigonus, in Plutarch, of this kind, vol. ii. p. 199, 4to. Gr. S. W.
Enter SCROOP. Scroop. More health and happiness betide my
liege, Than can my care-tun'd tongue deliver him. K. Rich. Mine ear is open', and my heart
prepar'd; The worst is worldly loss thou canst unfold. Say, is my kingdom lost? why, 'twas my care; And what loss is it, to be rid of care ? Strives Bolingbroke to be as great as we ? Greater he shall not be ; if he serve God, We'll serve him too, and be his fellow so: Revolt our subjects ? that we cannot mend; They break their faith to God, as well as us: Cry, woe, destruction, ruin, loss, decay ; The worst is-death, and death will have his day. SCROOP. Glad am I, that your highness is so
arm'd To bear the tidings of calamity. Like an unseasonable stormy day, Which makes the silver rivers drown their shores, As if the world were all dissolv'd to tears; So high above his limits swells the rage Of Bolingbroke, covering your fearful land With hard bright steel, and hearts harder than
steel. White-beards? have arm'd their thin and hairless
· Mine ear is open, &c.] It seems to be the design of the poet to raise Richard to esteem in his fall, and consequently to interest the reader in his favour. He gives him only passive fortitude, the virtue of a confessor, rather than of a king. In his prosperity we saw him imperious and oppressive; but in his distress he is wise, patient, and pious. Johnson.
2 White-BEARDS --] Thus the quartos. The first folio, with a ridiculous blunder,-White bears. STEVENS.
Mr. Steevens has omitted to mention that the same ridiculous blunder is continued in the second folio.