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Upon his Irish expedition ;
wide mouth Live scandaliz’d, and foully spoken of. Hot. But, soft, I pray you; Did king Richard
then Proclaim my brother Edmund Mortimer Heir to the crown? 7
? Heir to the crown?] Edmund Mortimer, earl of March, was the undoubted heir to the crown after the death of Richard, as appears from the following table; in which the three younger children of King Edward III. are not included, as being immaterial to the subject before us :
Sandford in his Genealogical History says, that the last mentioned Edmund, earl of March, (the Mortimer of this play,) was married to Anne Stafford, daughter of Edmund, earl of Stafford, Vol. VIII.
He did; myself did hear it. Hor. Nay, then I cannot blame his cousin king, That wish'd him on the barren mountains starv'd. But shall it be, that you,—that set the crown Upon the head of this forgetful man; And, for his sake, wear the detested blot Of murd'rous subornation,-shall it be, That you a world of curses undergo; Being the agents, or Luie second means, The cords, the ladder, or the hangman rather?-O, pardon me, that I descend so low, To show the line, and the predicament, Wherein you range under this subtle king.– Shall it, for shame, be spoken in these days, Or fill up chronicles in time to come, That men of your nobility and power, Did ’gage them both in an unjust behalf,As both of you, God pardon it! have done,To put
down Richard, that sweet lovely rose,
Thomas Walsingham afferts that he married a daughter of Owen Glendower; and the subsequent historians copied him; but this is a very doubtful point, for the Welsh writers make no mention of it. Sandford says that this earl of March was confined by the jealous Henry in the castle of Trim in Ireland, and that he died there, after an imprisonment of twenty years, on the 19th of January, 1424. But this is a mistake. There is no proof that he was confined a ftate-prisoner by King Henry the Fourth, and he was employed in many military services by his fon Henry the Fifth. He, died in his own castle at Trim in Ireland, at the time mentioned by Sandford, but not in a state of imprisonment. See note on King Henry VI. P. II. Ac II. sc. ii. Vol. x.
Since the original note was written, I have learned that Owen Glendower's daughter was married to his antagonist Lord Gray of Ruthven. Holinfried led Shakspeare into the error of supposing her the wife of Edmund Mortimer, earl of March. This nobleman, who is the Mortimer of the present play, was born in November, 1392, and consequently at the time when this play commences, was little more than ten years old. The Prince of Wales was not fifteen. MALONE.
And plant this thorn, this canker, Bolingbroke?
Peace, cousin, say no more: And now I will unclasp a secret book, And to your quick-conceiving discontents I'll read you matter deep and dangerous ; As full of peril, and advent’rous fpirit, As to o'er-walk a current, roaring loud, On the unsteadfast footing of a spear.” Hor. If he fall in, good night :-or fink or
swim : 3Send danger from the east unto the west, So honour cross it from the north to south,
8 — this canker, Bolingbroke?] The canker-rose is the dogrose, the flower of the Cynosbaton. So, in Much ado about Nothing : “ I had rather be a canker in a hedge, than a rose in his grace." STEEVENS.
9 -disdain'd-] For disdainful. Johnson. ? On the unsteadfast footing of a spear.] That is, of a spear laid across. WARBURTON.
fink or swim :) This is a very ancient proverbial expreffion. So, in The Knight's Tale of Chaucer, Mr. Tyrwhite's edit. V. 2399:
" Ne recceth never, whether I sink or flete.” Again, in The longer thou livest the more Fool thou art, 1570: - He careth not who doth fink or swimme.” Steevens,
And let them grapple ;-O! the blood more ftirs,
North. Imagination of some great exploit
Hor. By heaven, methinks, it were an easy leap,
the blood more flirs,
-pecora inter inertia votis
To pluck bright honour from the pale-fac'd moon;] Though I am
Euripides has put the very fame sentiment into the mouth of Eteocles: “I will not, madam, disguise my thoughts; I would scale heaven, I would descend to the very entrails of the earth, if fo be that by that price I could obtain a kingdom.
WARBURTON. This is probably a passage from some bombast play, and afterwards used as a common burlesque phrase for attempting impossibilities. At least, that it was the last, might be concluded from its use in Cartwright's poem On Mr. Stokes bis Book on the Art of Vaulting, edit. 1651, p. 212:
" Then go thy ways, brave Will, for one;
By Jove 'tis thou must leap, or none,
“ To pull bright honour from the moon."
A passage fomewhat resembling this, occurs in Archbishop Parker's
Or dive into the bottom of the deep,
amination for the Tyme, &c.—" But trueth is to hye fet, for you to pluck her out of heaven, to manifestlye knowen to be by your papers obscured, and surely stablished, to drowne her in the myrie lakes of your sophisticall writinges."
In The Knight of the burning Peflle, Beaumont and Fletcher have put the foregoing rant of Hotspur into the mouth of Ralph the apprentice, who, like Bottom, appears to have been fond of acting parts to tear a cat in. I suppose a ridicule on Shakspeare was defigned. Steevens.
s Where fathom-line could never touch the ground,] So, in The Tempeft: “ I'll seek him deeper than e'er plummet sounded.”
STEEVENS. 6 But out upon this half-fac'd fellowship!] A coat is said to be faced, when part of it, as the sleeves or bosom, is covered with something finer or more splendid than the main substance. The mantua-makers still use the word. Half-fac'd fellowship is then
partnership but half-adorned, partnership which yet wants half the show of dignities and honours.” Johnson.
So, in The Portraiture of Hypocrisie, &c. bl. 1. 1589: “ A gentleman should have a gowne for the night, two for the daie, &c. one all furred, another half-faced,"
Mr. M. Mason, however, observes, that the allusion may be to the half-faces on medals, where two persons are represented." The coins of Philip and Mary (fays he) rendered this image fufficiently familiar to Shakspeare." STEVENS.
I doubt whether the allusion was to dress. Half-fac'd seems to have meant paltry. The expression, which appears to have been a contemptuous one, I believe, had its rise from the meaner denominations of coin, on which, formerly, only a profile of the reigning prince was exhibited; whereas on the more valuable pieces a full face was represented. So, in King John:
“ With that half-face would he have all my land,