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Wales. Before Flint Castle.' Enter with drum and colours, BOLINGBROKE and
Forces; YORK, NORTHUMBERLAND, and Others.
Boling. So that by this intelligence we learn, The Welshmen are dispers’d; and Salisbury Is gone to meet the king, who lately landed, With some few private friends, upon this coast.
North. The news is very fair and good, my lord; Richard, not far from hence, hath hid his head.
York. It would beseem the lord Northumberland, To say-king Richard :-Alack the heavy day, When such a sacred king should hide his head!
North. Your grace mistakes me;' only to be brief, Left I his title out. York.
The time hath been, Would you have been so brief with him, he would Have been so brief with you, to shorten you, For taking so the head," your whole head's length. Boling. Mistake not, uncle, further than you
s Flint Caftle.] In our former edition I had called this scene the same with the preceding. That was at Barkloughly castle, on the coast where Richard landed; but Bolingbroke never marched further in Wales than to Flint. The interview between him and Richard was at the castle of Flint, where this scene should be faid to lie, or rather in the camp of Bolingbroke before that castle.“ Go to Flint castle." See above. STEEVENS.
6 Your grace mistakes me ;] The word me, which is wanting in the old copies, was fupplied by Sir T. Hanmer. STEEVENS.
7 For taking so the head,] To take the bead is, to act without restraint; to take undue liberties. We now say, we give the horse bis bead, when we relax the reins. JOHNSON.
York. Take not, good cousin, further than you
should, Lest you mis-take: The heavens are o'er your
head. Boling. I know it, uncle; and oppose not Myself against their will*But who comes here?
Well, Harry; what, will not this castle yield?'
Percr. The castle royally is mann'd, my lord,
Yes, my good lord,
North. Belike, it is the bishop of Carlisle.
6. I know it, uncle; and oppose not
Myself against their will.But who comes here.] These lines should be regulated thus:
I know it, uncle; and oppose not myself
Against their will. But who comes here?
I regard the word myself, as an interpolation, and conceive
and oppose not
Against their will.
-a fervant, thrillid with remorse,
Oppos'd against the act.” Steevens. 7 Well, Harry; what, will not this castle yield?] The old copy destroys the metre by reading--Welcome, Harry; The emendation is Sir T. Hanmer's. STEEVENS.
Boling. Noble lord,
& Noble lord,
Go to the rude ribs, &c.] It is observable that our author in his addresses to persons, often begins with an hemistich. So, in Troilus and Cressida, Act II. sc. ii:
“ Agam. Princes,
“ What grief hath set the jaundice on your cheeks?”. This observation may be of use in other places, where in the old copies, by the mistake of the transcriber, the metre is destroyed by this regulation not being observed. MALONE.
Of fire and water, when their thund'ring shock
A parle founded, and answered by another trumpet
within. Flourish. Enter on the walls King RiCHARD, the Bishop of Carlisle," AUMERLE, SCROOP, and SALISBURY.
York. See, see, king Richard doth himself ap
pear, As doth the blushing discontented fun From out the fiery portal of the east; When he perceives the envious clouds are bent To dim his glory, and to stain the track Of his bright passage to the occident. Yet looks he like a king; behold, his eye, As bright as is the eagle's, lightens forth Controlling majesty; Alack, alack, for woe, That any harm should stain so fair a show! K. Rich. We are amaz’d; and thus long have
we stood To watch the fearful bending of thy knee,
[T. NORTHUMBERLAND. Because we thought ourself thy lawful king: And if we be, how dare thy joints forget
the Bishop of Carlisle,) was Thomas Merkes. WAL POLE. 2 See, see, king Richard doth himself appear,] The following fix lines are absurdly given to Bolingbroke, who is made to condemn his own conduct and disculp the king's. It is plain these fix and the four following all belong to York. WAR BURTON.
It should be observed that the four last of these lines are in all the copies given to York. STEEVENS,
Το their awful duty to our presence ?
3 The purple teftament of bleeding war;) I once thought that Shakspeare might have had the facred book (which is frequently covered with purple leather) in his thoughts; but the following note renders such a fuppofition extremely doubtful. Malone.
I believe our author uses the word teftament in its legal sense. Bolingbroke is come to open the testament of war, that he may perufe what is decreed there in his favour. Purple is an epithet referring to the future effusion of blood. Steevens.
Mr. Steevens is certainly right in his interpretation of this passage. See Julius Casar:
Now, while your purpled hands do reek and smoke,
“ Fulfil your pleasure." MALONE. + But ere the crown he looks for live in peace,
Ten thousand bloody crowns of mothers' fons
Shall ill become the Aswer of England's face;] By the flower of England's face is meant the choicest youths of England, who shall