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And thus, expiring, do foretell of him:-
land, This nurse, this teeming womb of royal kings,
A r ash--) That is, hafly, violent. Johnson.
« Like aconitum, or rah gunpowder.” Malone. s Against infection,] I once suspected that for infection we might read invasion; but the copies all agree, and I suppose Shakspeare meant to say, that islanders are secured by their situation both from war and pestilence. Johnson.
In Allot's England's Parnassus, 1600, this passage is quoted “ Against inteftion,” &c. perhaps the word might be infestion, if such a word was in 'use.. FARMER.
o less happier lands ;] So read all the editions, except Sir T. Hanmer's, which has lefs happy. I believe, Shakspeare, from the habit of saying more happier, according to the custom of his time, inadvertently writ lefs happier. Johnson,
Fear'd by their breed, and famous by their birth,
? Feard by their breed, and famous by their birth,] The first edition in quarto, 1598, reads:
Feard by their breed, and famous for their birth. The quarto, in 1615:
Fear'd by their breed, and famous by their birth. The first folio, though printed from the second quarto, reads as the first. The particles in this author feem often to have been printed by chance. Perhaps the passage, which appears a little disordered, may be regulated thus:
As is the sepulcher - Johnson. The first folio could not have been printed from the second quarto, on account of many variations as well as omissions. The quarto 1608 has the same reading with that immediately preceding it. STEEVENS. Fear'd by their breed,] i. e. by means of their breed.
MALONE. 8 This land
Is now leas'd out (I die pronouncing it,)
Like 10 a tenement, or pelting farm :] “ In this 22d yeare of King Richard (says Fabian) the common fame ranne, that the kinge had letten to farm the realme unto Sir William Scrope, carle of Wiltshire, and then treasurer of England, to Syr John Bushey, Sir John Bagot, and Sir Henry Grene, knightes.” MALONE.
With inky blots,' and rotten parchment bonds ; ?
Enter King RICHARD, and Queen ;} AUMERLE,
Bushy, GREEN, Bagot, Ross,' and Wil-
York. The king is come: deal mildly with his
9 With inky blots,] I suspect that our author wrote-inky bolts. How can blots bind in any thing? and do not bolts correspond better with bonds? Inky bolts are written reftrictions. So, in The Honest Man's Fortune, by Beaumont and Fletcher, AC IV. sc. i:
“ - manacling itself
“ In gyves of parchment.” Steevens. 2 rotten parchment bonds;] Alluding to the great sums raised by loans and other exactions, in this reign, upon the English subjects. Grey.
Gaunt does not allude, as Grey supposes, to any loans or exactions extorted by Richard, but to the circumstances of his having actually farmed out his royal realm, as he himfelf styles it. In the last scene of the first act he says:
“ And, for our coffers are grown somewhat light,
« We are enforc'd to farm our royal realm." And it afterwards appears that the person who farmed the realm was the Earl of Wilithire, one of his own favourites. .
M. Mason. 3 Queen ;] Shakspeare, as Mr. Walpole suggests to me, has deviated from historical truth in the introduction of Richard's queen as a woman in the present piece; for Anne, his first wife, was dead before the play commences, and Isabella, his second wife, was a child at the time of his death. MaloNE.
4- Aumerle,] was Edward, eldest son of Edmund Duke of York, whom he succeeded in the title. He was killed at Agincourt. WALPOLE,
5 Rofs,] was William Lord Roos, (and so should be printed,) of Hamlake, afterwards Lord Treasurer to Henry IV.
For young hot colts, being rag'd, do rage the
more.7 Queen. How fares our noble uncle, Lancaster? K. Rich. What comfort, man? How is't with
aged Gaunt? Gaunt. O, how that name befits my compo' fition! Old Gaunt, indeed; and gaunt in being old: Within me grief hath kept a tedious fast; And who abstains from meat, that is not gaunt? For sleeping England long time have I watch'd; Watching breeds leanness, leanness is all gaunt : The pleasure, that some fathers feed upon, Is my strict fast, I mean-my children's looks; And, therein fasting, hast thou made me gaunt : Gaunt am I for the grave, gaunt as a grave, Whose hollow womb inherits nought but bones. K. Rich. Can fick men play so nicely with their
names? GAUNT. No, misery makes sport to mock itself: Since thou dost seek to kill my name in me, I mock my name, great king, to flatter thee. K. Rich. Should dying men flatter with those
that live? Gaunt. No, no; men living flatter those that
die. • K. Rich. Thou, now a dying, say'st-thou flat
ter'st me. Gaung. Oh! no; thou diest, though I the sicker
6- Willoughby.] was William Lord Willoughby of Eresby, who afterwards married Joan, widow of Edmund Duke of York.'
WALPOLE. ; For young hot colts, being rag'd, do rage the more.] Read
being rein'd, do rage the more.” Ritson.
K. Rich. I am in health, I breathe, and see thee :. ill. GAUNT. Now, He that made me, knows I see
8 III in myself to see, and in thee seeing ill.] I cannot help supposing that the idle words_10 Jee, which destroy the measure, ihould be omitted. Steevens.
9 Thy state of law is bondslave to the law;] State of law, i. e. legal fovereignty. But the Oxford editor alters it to state o'er law, i. e, absolute sovereignty. A doctrine, which, if ever our poet learnt at all, he learnt not in the reign when this play was written, Queen Elizabeth's, but in the reign after it, King James's. By bondslave to the law, the poet means his being inslaved to his favourite subjeéts. WARBURTON.
This sentiment, whatever it be, is obscurely expressed. I un