Imagens das páginas

Condemns you to the death:-See them deliver'd


To execution and the hand of death.

BUSHY. More welcome is the stroke of death to me,

Than Bolingbroke to England.-Lords, farewell.
GREEN. My comfort is,-that heaven will take
our souls,

And plague injustice with the pains of hell.
BOLING. My lord Northumberland, see them

[Exeunt NORTHUMBERLAND and Others, with

Uncle, you say the queen is at your house;
For heaven's sake, fairly let her be entreated:
Tell her I send to her my kind commends;
Take special care my greetings be deliver❜d.

YORK. A gentleman of mine I have dispatch'd
With letters of your love to her at large.

BOLING. Thanks, gentle uncle.-Come, lords, away;

To fight with Glendower and his complices;
Awhile to work, and, after, holiday.5


5 Thanks, gentle uncle.-Come, lords, away; TO FIGHT WITH GLENDOWER AND HIS COMPLICES; Awhile to work, and, after, holiday.] Though the intermediate line has taken possession of all the old copies, I have great suspicion of its being an interpolation: and have therefore ventured to throw it out. The first and third lines rhyme to each other; nor do I imagine this was casual, but intended by the poet. Were we to acknowledge the line genuine, it must argue the poet of forgetfulness and inattention to history. Bolingbroke is, as it were, but just arrived; he is now at Bristol, weak in his numbers; has had no meeting with a parliament; nor is so far assured of the succession, as to think of going to suppress insurrections before he is planted in the throne. Besides, we find the opposition of Glendower begins The First Part of King Henry IV. and Mortimer's defeat by that hardy Welchman is the tidings of the first scene of that play. Again, though Glendower, in the very first year of King Henry IV. beginning to be troublesome, put in for the supremacy of Wales, and imprisoned Mortimer; yet it was



The Coast of Wales. A Castle in view.

Flourish: Drums and Trumpets.
Enter King

K. RICH. Barkloughly castle call they' this at hand?

AUM. Yea, my lord: How brooks your grace the air,

After your late tossing on the breaking seas?
K. RICH. Needs must I like it well; I weep for

To stand upon my kingdom once again.
Dear earth, I do salute thee with my hand,
Though rebels wound thee with their horses'


As a long parted mother with her child

not till the succeeding year that the King employed any force against him. THEOBALD.

This emendation, which I think is just, has been followed by Sir T. Hanmer, but is neglected by Dr. Warburton. JOHNSON.

It is evident from the preceding scene, that there was a force in Wales, which Bolingbroke might think it necessary to suppress; and why might not Shakspeare call it Glendower's? When we next see Bolingbroke, he is in Wales, and mentions his having received intelligence that the Welchmen are dispersed. RITSON.

Mr. Heath observes, that Bolingbroke marched to Chester, probably with a view to attack the Welsh army headed by Lord Salisbury. He thinks, therefore, the line is genuine. See Sc. III. p. 104. Stowe expressly says, that "Owen Glendower served King Richard at Flint-Castle." MALONE.

6 Here may be properly inserted the last scene of the second


7 Call THEY,] So, the quarto 1597. The folio, following the quarto 1608, reads-call you. MALONE.

› After late tossing, &c.] The old copies redundantly read; 66 After your late tossing," &c. STEEVENS.

Plays fondly with her tears, and smiles in meeting * ;


So, weeping, smiling, greet I thee, my earth,
And do thee favour with my royal hands.
Feed not thy sovereign's foe, my gentle earth,
Nor with thy sweets comfort his rav'nous sense :
But let thy spiders, that suck up thy venom,
And heavy-gaited toads, lie in their way:
Doing annoyance to the treacherous feet,
Which with usurping steps do trample thee.
Yield stinging nettles to mine enemies :
And when they from thy bosom pluck a flower,
Guard it, I pray thee, with a lurking adder :
Whose double tongue may with a mortal touch
Throw death upon thy sovereign's enemies.-
Mock not my senseless conjuration, lords;
This earth shall have a feeling', and these stones


smiles in MEETING ;] It has been proposed to read-in weeping; and this change the repetition in the next line seems plainly to point out. STEEVENS.

"As a long parted mother with her child

"Plays fondly with her tears, and smiles in meeting;" Ως ειπων, αλόχοιο φιλης εν χερσιν εθηκε

Παιδ ̓ εον· ἡ δ ̓ αρα μιν κηωδεϊ δεξαιο κολπῶ ΔΑΚΡΥΟΕΝ ΓΕΛΑΣΑΣΑ, Hom. Il. Z. Perhaps smiles is here used as a substantive. As a mother plays fondly with her child from whom she has been a long time parted, crying, and at the same time smiling, at meeting him.

It has been proposed to read-smiles in weeping; and I once thought the emendation very plausible. But I am now persuaded the text is right. If we read weeping, the long parted mother and her child do not meet, and there is no particular cause assigned for either her smiles or her tears. MALONE.

From the actual smiles and tears of the long parted mother, &e. we may, I think, sufficiently infer that she had met with her child. STEEVENS.

9 GUARD IT, I pray thee,] Guard it, signifies here, as in many other places, border it. MALONE.

I think, that—to guard, in this place, rather means, to watch or protect. M. MASON.

iThis earth shall have a feeling,] Perhaps Milton had not forgot this passage, when he wrote, in his Comus

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

Prove armed soldiers, ere her native king
Shall falter under foul rebellion's arms 2.

BISHOP. Fear not, my lord3; that Power, that made you king,

Hath power to keep you king, in spite of all.
The means that heaven yields must be embrac'd,
And not neglected; else, if heaven would,
And we will not, heaven's offer we refuse1;
The proffer'd means of succour and redress.

AUM. He means, my lord, that we are too remiss;

Whilst Bolingbroke, through our security,
Grows strong and great, in substance, and in friends.
K. RICH. Discomfortable cousin! know'st thou


That when the searching eye of heaven is hid
Behind the globe, and lights the lower world3,


dumb things shall be mov'd to sympathize,
"And the brute earth shall lend her nerves, and shake."



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.


4 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:

[ocr errors]

"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,
In murders and in outrage, bloody here;
But when, from under this terrestrial ball,
He fires the proud tops of the eastern pines3,
And darts his light through every guilty hole,
Then murders, treasons, and detested sins,
The cloak of night being pluck'd from off their

[ocr errors]

Stand bare and naked, trembling at themselves?
So when this thief, this traitor, Bolingbroke,-
Who all this while hath revell'd in the night,
Whilst we were wand'ring with the antipodes,—
Shall see us rising in our throne the east,
His treasons will sit blushing in his face,
Not able to endure the sight of day,
But, self-affrighted, tremble at his sin.
Not all the water in the rough rude sea
Can wash the balm from * an anointed king:
The breath of worldly men cannot depose
The deputy elected by the Lord":

* So folio: quartos, off from.

But the lower world may signify our world. MALone. 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,-
"Who all this while hath revell'd in the night,
"Whilst we were wand'ring with the antipodes,-
"Shall see us rising in our throne the east," &c.


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.

5 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.

6 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

« AnteriorContinuar »