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And weigh thee down to ruin, shame, and death!
- The Ghost of Queen ANNE rises. Ghost. Richard, thy wife, that wretched Anne thy wife, That never slept a quiet hour with thee,” Now fills thy sleep with perturbations: To-morrow in the battle think on me, And fall thy edgeless sword; Despair, and die!— Thou, quiet soul, sleep thou a quiet sleep; [To Richx. Dream of success and happy victory; Thy adversary’s wife doth pray for thee.
The Ghost of BuckINGHAM rises. Ghost. The first was I, that help'd thee to the crown; [To K. Rich. The last was I, that felt thy tyranny: O, in the battle think on Buckingham,
—laid.] This is a poor feeble reading. I have restored from the elder quarto, published in 1597, which Mr. Pope does not pretend to have seen: “I.et us be lead within thy bosom, Richard.”
This corresponds with what is said in the line immediately fol.
lowing: “And weigh thee down to ruin, shame, and death !” Theobald.
* That never slept a quiet hour with thee,) Shakspeare was probably here thinking of Sir Thomas More's animated description of Richard, which Holinshed transcribed: “I have heard (says Sir Thomas) by creditable report of such as were secret with his chamberlaine, that after this abominable deed done [the murder of his nephews] he never had quiet in his mind. He never thought himself sure where he went abroad; his eves whirled about; his body privily fenced ; his hand ever upon his dagger; his countenance and manner like one always readie to strike againe. He tooke ill rest a-nights; lay long waking and musing, sore wearied with care and watch; rather slumbered than slept, troubled with fearful dreames; sodainely sometime start up, leapt our of bed, and ran about the chamber; so was his restless heart continually tost and tumbled with the tedious impression and stormy remembrances of his abominable deede.”
With such a companion well might Anne say, that she never slept one quiet hour. Malone.
And die in terror of thy guiltiness!
5 I died for hope, i. e. I died for wishing well to you. But Mr. Theobald, with great sagacity, conjectured holpe or aid; which gave the line this fine sense, I died for giving thee aid before I could give thee aid. Warburton. Sir Thomas Hanmer reads: I died forsook, and supports his conjecture, as follows: “This, as appears from history, was the case of the Duke of Buckingham: that being stopped with his army upon the banks of Severn by great deluges of rain, he was deserted by his soldiers, who, being in great distress, half famished for want of victuals, and destitute of pay, disbanded themselves and fied.” Sir Thomas Hanmer semendation is very plausible; but may not the meaning of the expression be, I died for only having hoped to give you that assistance, which I never had it in my power to af. ford you in reality? It may, however, be observed, that fore, or for, when joined to a verb, had anciently a negative signification. So, in Macbeth: go He shall live a man forbid.” As to bid was to pray, so to forbid had the meaning directly opposite, i. e. to curse. In Antony and Cleopatra, to forspeak is to speak against. In Hamlet, and The Miisummer Night's Dream, to fordo is the very reverse of to do. Hopen or holp is the old participle passive of help, and is used in Macbeth : &c. his great love, sharp as his spur, hath holp him “To his home before us.” Instead of for hope, we may therefore read forholpe, which would mean unaided, abandoned, deserted, unhelped, which was the real misfortune of the Duke of Buckingham. The word holp has occurred likewise in this play: “Let him thank me that hop to send him thither.” Again, in Coriolanus: “Have holp to make this rescue.” Steevens. Perhaps we should read: I died fore-done, 85’c. So, in Hamlet, Act V: “ Fore-do its own life.” Tyrwhitt. * I died for hope, This passage is involved in an obscurity, which the commentators, however ingenious, vainly endeavour to elucidate: on so intricate a point, I may be excused in hazarding an opinion. The word for, is frequently used by our author for of in the present instance—“I died for hope,” appears to be used in the same manner, as “I died for Love,”—“I died for Fear,” &c. The personification is frequently introduced with
But cheer thy heart, and be thou not dismay’d:
fine effect by Shakspeare. Should this suggestion be correct, the meaning is plain: “I died of Hope”—Hope (by luring me from the precautions which an enterprise, fraught with danger, required, rendered easy in appearance what was difficult in reality, —if not impossible) was my death, therefore, he truly says, I died for [of] Hope,”—Hope being the cause of his death. Am. Ed. 6 Give me another horse,] There is in this, as in many of our au. thor's speeches of passion, something very trifling, and something very striking. Richard's debate, whether he should quarrel with himself, is too long continued, but the subsequent exaggeration of his crimes is truly tragical. johnson. 7 The lights burn blue.] So, in Lyly's Galathea, 1592: “I thought there was some spirit in it because it burnt so blue; for my mother would often tell me when the candle burnt blue, there was some ill spirit in the house.” It was anciently supposed that fire was a preservative against evil spirits; “because,” says Nash, in Pierce Penniless's Supplication to the Devil, 1595, “when any spirit appeareth, the lights by little and little goe out as it were of their own accord, and the takers are by degrees extinguished.” The takers are the spirits who blast or take. So, in King Lear: “ — strike her young bones, “Ye taking airs, with lameness!” Steevens.
* — It is now dead midnight.] So reads the quarto, 1597. The next qual to corruptly reads—“It is not dead midnight;” for which the editor of the folio, to obtain some sense, substituted, “Is it not dead midnight?” Malone.
The reading of the quarto, 1597, could it be supposed to need support, might meet with it in the following observation of Hamlet :
“'Tis now the very witching time of night" Steevens.
9 — that is, I am I. Thus the quarto, 1598, and the folio.
The quario, 1597, reads—I and I. I am not sure that it is not right. Malone.
is there a murderer here 3 No;-Yes; I am :
I shall despair.—There is no creature loves mc ;
And, if I die, no soul will pity me:—
2 Methought, the souls &c.] These lines stand with so little propriety at the end of this speech, that I cannot but suspect them to be misplaced. Where then shall they be inserted: Perhaps after these words: “Fool, do not flatter.” johnson. I agree with Johnson in supposing that this and the two following lines have been misplaced, but I differ from him with respect to their just situation.—The place, in my opinion, in which they might be introduced with the most propriety, is just ten lines further on, after the words— “Ratcliff, I fear, I fear, “Methought,” &c. And then Ratcliff's reply— “Nay, good my lord, be not afraid of shadows.” would he natural; whereas as the text is now regulated, Ratcliff bids him not to be afraid of shadows, without knowing that he had been haunted by them; unless we suppose that the idea of shadows is included in what Richard calls a frightful dream. Cold fearful d l h M. Misan. old fearful drops stand on my trembling flesh. What do I ; & 5’c. y g fle Methought, the souls of all that I had murler’d—) Either the two and twenty intermédiate lines are not Shakspeare's, or are
Came to my tent; and every one did threat
Enter RATcl IFF.
Rat. My lord, R. Rich. Who's there? Rat. Ratcliff, my lord; 'tis I.” The early village cock Hath twice done salutation to the morn; Your friends are up, and buckle on their armour. K. Rich. O, Ratcliff," I have dream’d a fearful dream!— What thinkest thou? will our friends prove all true? Rat. No doubt, my lord. R. Rich. Ratcliff, I fear, I fear;-Rat. Nay, good my lord, be not afraid of shadows. K. Rich. By the apostle Paul, shadows to-night Have struck more terror to the soul of Richard, Than can the substance of ten thousand soldiers, Armed in proof, and led by shallow Richmond. It is not yet near day. Come, go with me; Under our tents I’ll play the eaves-dropper, To hear, if any mean to shrink from me. [Ereunt K. Ric H. and RAT.
so unworthy of him, that it were to be wished they could with propriety be degraded to the margin. I wonder that Dr. Johnson, who thought the subsequent lines misplaced, did not perceive that their connection with the preceding part of the speech, ending at—trembling flesh, was interrupted solely by this apparent interpolation, which is in the highest degree childish and unnatural. Ritson.
I rather suppose these lines (though genuine) to have been crossed out of the stage manuscript by Shakspeare himself, and afterwards restored by the original but tasteless editor of this play.
Burbage, the first performer of Richard, might, for obvious reasons, have requested their dismission; or the poet discovering how awkwardly they stood, might, “without a prompter,” have discarded them. Steevens.
3 — 'tis I.] Surely, these two syllables, serving only to derange the metre, should be omitted; or we ought to read: My lord, 'tis . The early village-cock—.” Steevens.
4 o, Ratcliff, &c.] This and the two following lines are omitted in the folio. Yet Ratcliff is there permitted to say—“be not afraid of shadows,” though Richard’s dream has not been men: tioned: an additional proof of what has been already suggested in p. 167, n. 8. Malone.