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God for his Richard hath in heavenly pay
Enter SALISBURY. Welcome, my lord; How far off lies your power? Sal. Nor near, nor further off, my gracious
lord, Than this weak arm: Discomfort guides my tongue, And bids me speak of nothing but despair. One day too late, I fear, my noble lord, Hath clouded all thy happy days on earth : O, call back yesterday, bid time return, And thou shalt have twelve thousand fighting men! To-day, to-day, unhappy day, too late, O’erthrows thy joys, friends, fortune, and thy ftate; For all the Welthmen, hearing thou wert dead, Are gone to Bolingbroke, dispers’d, and fled. Aum. Comfort, my liege: Why looks your grace
so pale? · K. Rich. But now, the blood of twenty thousand
men Did triumph in my face, and they are fed ; And, till so much blood thither come again,
Have I not reason to look pale and dead? + All souls that will be safe, Ay from my fide; For time hath set a blot upon my pride.
Have I not reason to look pale and dead?] So, in K. Henry IV. P. II:
“ Even such a man
" Drew Priam's curtains in the dead of night.”
Aum. Comfort, my liege; remember who you
are. K. Rich. I had forgot myself: Am I not king ? Awake, thou sluggard' majesty! thou sleep'st. Is not the king's name forty thousand names ? Arm, arm, my name! a puny subject strikes At thy great glory.—Look not to the ground, Ye favourites of a king ; Are we not high? High be our thoughts: I know, my uncle York Hath power enough to serve our turn. But who Comes here?
Enter Scroop. Scroop. More health and happiness betide my
liege, Than can my care-tun'd tongue deliver him! K. Rich. Mine ear is open, and my heart pre
s ----Sluggard—] So the folio. The quartos have coward.
MALONE. 6 Is not the king's name forty thousand names.] Thus, in King Richard III:
“ Besides, the king's name is a tower of strength.” See a speech of Antigonus, in Plutarch, of this kind, Vol. II. p. 199, 4to. Gr. S. W.
? Mine ear is open, &c.] It seems to be the design of the poet to raise Richard to esteem in his fall, and consequently to interest the reader in his favour. He gives him only pallive fortitude, the virtue of a confessor, rather than of a king. In his prosperity we saw him imperious and oppressive; but in his distreis he is wise, patient, and pious. JOHNSON.
We'll serve him too, and be his fellow fo:
scalps Against thy majesty ; boys, with women's voices, Strive to speak big, and clap their female joints In stiff unwieldy arms against thy crown: Thy very beadsmen learn to bend their bows 9 a
? White beards-] Thus the quartos. The first folio, with a ridiculous blunder,—White bears. Steevens.
8_ and clap their female joints-] Mr. Pope more elegantly reads and clasp ; which has been adopted by the subsequent editors. But the emendation does not seem absolutely necessary.
“ The very boys, like Cupids dress'd in arms,
STEVENS, Thy very beadsmen learn to bend their bows--] Such is the reading of all the copies ; yet I doubt whether beadfmen be right, for the bow seems to be mentioned here as the proper weapon of a beadsman. The king's beadsmen were his chaplains. Trevifa calls himself the beadsman of his patron. Beadsman might likewise be any man maintained by charity to pray for his benefactor. Hann mer reads the very beadsman, but thy is better. Johnson.
Of double-fatal yew * against thy state;
so ill. Where is the earl of Wiltshire? where is Bagot? What is become of Bushy? where is Green??
The reading of the text is right enough: “ As boys strive to speak big, and clasp their effeminate joints in ftiff unwieldy arms,” &c. “ so his very beadsmen learn to bend their bows against him.” Their does not absolutely denote that the bow was their usual or proper weapon; but only taken up and appropriated by them on this occafion. "Percy.'
2 Of double-fatal yew ] Called so, because the leaves of the yew are poison, and the wood is employed for instruments of death. WARBURTON.
From some of the ancient statutes it appears that every Englishman, while archery was practised, was obliged to keep in his house either a bow of yew or some other wood. It should seem therefore that yews were not only planted in church-yards to defend the churches from the wind, but on account of their use in making bows; while by the benefit of being secured in enclosed places, their poisonous quality was kept from doing mischief to catile.
STEEVENS. 3 Where is the earl of Wiltshire? where is Bagot?
What is become of Bufby? where is Green?] Here are four of them named ; and, within a very few lines, the king hearing they had made their peace with Bolingbroke, calls them three Judasles. But how was their peace made ? Why, with the loss of their heads. This being explained, Aumerle says:
“ Is Bushy, Green, and the earl of Wiltshire dead ?" So that Bagot ought to be left out of the question : and, indeed he had made the best of his way for Chester, and from thence had escaped into Ireland.
The poet could not be guilty of so much forgetfulness and absurdity. The transcribers must have blundered. It seems probable to me that he wrote, as I have conjecturally altered the text:
Where is the earl of Wiltshire? where is he got? i. e, into what corner of my dominions is he junk and absconded.
That they have let the dangerous enemy
my lord. K. Rich. O villains, vipers, damn'd without re
demption ! Dogs, easily won to fawn on any man! Snakes, in my heart-blood warm’d, that sting my
heart! Three Judasses, each one thrice worse than Judas ! Would they make peace? terrible hell make war Upon their spotted souls for this offence!
Scroop. Sweet love, I see, changing his property, Turns to the sourest and most deadly hate :Again uncurse their souls; their peace is made With heads, and not with hands: those whom you
curse, Have felt the worst of death's destroying wound, And lie full low, gravd in the hollow ground.
This emendation Dr. Warburton adopts. Hanmer leaves a blank after Wiltshire. I believe the author, rather than transcriber, made a mifake. Where is he got, does not found in my ear like an expression of Shakspeare. JOHNSON.
I agree with Johnson in thinking that this was a mistake of the author's, because we find a mistake of the fame nature in the second act, where Bolingbroke fays, that Bristol castle was held by Bushy and Bagot; yet it is certain that Bagot was not taken at Bristol, for we find him afterwards accusing Aumerle of treason; and in the parting scene between him, Green, and Bushy, he declares his intention of flying to the King in Ireland. M. MASON.
Perhaps Shakspeare intended to mark more strongly the pertur. bation of the king by making him inquire at first for Bagot, whose loyalty, on further recollection, might show him the impropriety of his question. MALONE.
grav’d ] The verb, to grave, is not peculiar to