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why should the queen immediately draw this inference-
Upon-] This is one of our poet's harsh expressions. As when a thing is drain'd, drops of water issue from it, he licentiously uses the word here in the sense of dropping, or distilling.
The folding Doors, &c] This stage-direction I have inserted as best suited to the exhibition. The stage-direction in the quarto is —“ Warwick draws the curtaines, [i. e. draws them open] and shows duke Humphrey in his bed." In the folio: "A bed with Gloster's body put forth." These are some of the many circumstances which prove, I think, decisively, that the theatres of our author's time were unfurnished with scenes. In those days, as I conceive, curtains were occasionally hung across the middle of the stage on an iron rod, which, being drawn open, formed a second apartment, when a change of scene was required. The direction of the folio, "to put forth a bed," was merely to the propertyman to thrust a bed forward behind those curtains, previous to their being drawn open. See the Account of the ancient Theatres, Vol. IX. MALONE.
Line 624. Oft have I seen a timely-parted ghost, &c.] All that is true of the body of a dead man is here said by Warwick of the soul. I would read:
Oft have I seen a timely-parted corse.
But of two common words how or why was one changed for the other? I believe the transcriber thought that the epithet timely-parted could not be used of the body, but that, as in Hamlet there is mention of peace-parted souls, so here timelyparted must have the same substantive. He removed one imaginary difficulty, and made many real. If the soul is parted from the body, the body is likewise parted from the soul.
I cannot but stop a moment to observe, that this horrible description is scarcely the work of any pen but Shakspeare's.
Being all descended to the labouring heart;] That is,
the blood being all descended, &c.; the substantive being comprised in the adjective bloodless. M. MASON.
Line 637. His hands abroad display'd,] i. e. the fingers being widely distended. So adown, for down; aweary, for weary, &c. See Peacham's Complete Gentleman, 1627: "Herein was the emperor Domitian so cunning, that let a boy at a good distance off hold up his hand and stretch his fingers abroad, he would shoot through the spaces, without touching the boy's hand, or any finger." MALONE.
Line 757. how quaint an orator-] Quaint for dextrous, artificial. So, in The Two Gentlemen of Verona: “ -a ladder quaintly made of cords." MALONE. ⚫ Line 801. Would curses kill, as doth the mandrake's groan,] The fabulous accounts of the plant called a mandrake give it an inferior degree of animal life, and relate, that when it is torn from the ground it groans, and that this groan being certainly fatal to him that is offering such unwelcome violence, the practice of those who gather mandrakes is to tie one end of a string to the plant, and the other to a dog, upon whom the fatal groan discharges its malignity. JOHNSON.
Line 825. You bade me ban, and will you bid me leave?] This inconsistency is very common in real life. Those who are vexed to impatience, are angry to see others less disturbed than themselves, but when others begin to rave, they immediately see in them what they could not find in themselves, the deformity and folly of useless rage. JOHNSON.
Line 838. That thou might'st think upon these by the seal, Through whom a thousand sighs, &c.] That by the impression of my kiss for ever remaining on thy hand thou mightest think on those lips through which a thousand sighs will be breathed for thee. JOHNSON.
Line 879. at an hour's poor loss,] She means, I believe, at a loss which any hour spent in contrivance and deliberation will enable her to supply. Or perhaps she may call the sickness of the cardinal the loss of an hour, as it may put some stop to her schemes. JOHNSON. I rather incline to think that the queen intends to say, "Why
do I lament a circumstance, the impression of which will pass away in the short period of an hour; while I neglect to think on the loss of Suffolk, my affection for whom no time will efface?" MALONE.
Line 894. Where, from thy sight,] In the preambles of almost all the statutes made during the first twenty years of queen Elizabeth's reign, the word where is employed instead of whereas. It is so used here. MALONE. Line 908. I'll have an Iris-] Iris was the messenger of Juno. JOHNSON.
ACT III. SCENE III.
Line 918. If thou be'st death, I'll give thee England's treasure, &c.] The following passage in Hall's Chronicle, Henry VI. fol. 70. b. suggested the corresponding lines to the author of the old play: "During these doynges, Henry Beaufford, byshop of Winchester, and called the riche Cardynall, departed out of this worlde. This man was-haut in stomach and hygh in countenance, ryche above measure of all men, and to fewe liberal; disdaynful to his kynne, and dreadful to his lovers. His covetous insaciable and hope of long lyfe made hym bothe to forget God, his prynce, and hymselfe, in his latter dayes; for doctor John Baker, his pryvie counsailer and his chapellayn, wrote, that lying on his death-bed, he said these words: Why should I dye, having so muche riches? If the whole realme would save my lyfe, I am able either by pollicie to get it, or by ryches to bye it. Fye will not death be hyred, nor will money do nothynge? When my nephew of Bedford died, I thought my selfe halfe up the whele, but when I sawe myne other nephew of Gloucester disceased, then I thought my selfe able to be equal with kinges, and so thought to increase my treasure in hope to have worne a trypple croune. But I se nowe the worlde fayleth me, and so I am deceyved; praying you all to pray for me.' MALONE.
Line 952. Forbear to judge, &c.]
"Peccantes culpare cave, nam labimur omnes,
"Aut sumus, aut fuimus, vel possumus esse quod hic est."
[Exeunt.] This is one of the scenes which have been applauded by the criticks, and which will continue to be admired when prejudices shall cease, and bigotry give way to impartial examination. These are beauties that rise out of nature and of truth; the superficial reader cannot miss them, the profound can image nothing beyond them. JOHNSON.
The circumstance on which this scene is founded, is thus related by Hall in his Chronicle:-" But fortune would not that this flagitious person (the duke of Suffolk, who being impeached by the Commons was banished from England for five years,) shoulde so escape; for when he shipped in Suffolk, entendynge to be transported into France, he was encountered with a shippe of warre apperteinyng to the duke of Excester, the constable of the Towre of London, called The Nicholas of the lowre. The capitaine of the same bark with small fight entered into the duke's shyppe, and perceyving his person present, brought him to Dover rode, and there on the one syde of a cocke-bote, caused his head to be stryken of, and left his body with the head upon the sandes of Dover; which corse was there founde by a chapelayne of his, and conveyed to Wyngfielde college in Suffolke, and there buried." MALONE. Line 1. The gaudy, blabbing, and remorseful day-] The epithet blabbing applied to the day by a man about to commit murder, is exquisitely beautiful. Guilt is afraid of light, considers darkness as a natural shelter, and makes night the confidante of those actions which cannot be trusted to the tell-tale day. JOHNS. Line 3. -the jades
That drag the tragick melancholy night;
Who with their drowsy, slow, and flagging wings
Clip dead men's graves,] The wings of the jades that drag night appears an unnatural image, till it is remembered that the chariot of the night is supposed, by Shakspeare, to be drawn by dragons. JOHNSON.
Line 66. —a jaded groom.] Jaded groom may mean a groom whom all men treat with contempt; as worthless as the most paltry kind of horse. MALONE.
-abortice pride:] Pride that has had birth too soon, pride issuing before its time. JOHNSON. Line 90. Poole? Sir Poole? lord?] The dissonance of this broken line makes it almost certain that we should read with a kind of ludicrous climax:
Poole? Sir Poole? lord Poole?
He then plays upon the name Poole, kennel, puddle. JOHNSON. Line 122. whose hopeful colours
Advance our half-fac'd sun,] "Edward III. bare for his device the rays of the sun dispersing themselves out of a cloud." Camden's Remaines. MALONE.
Line 134. Than Bargulus the strong Illyrian pirate.] Mr. Theobald says, "This wight I have not been able to trace, or discover from what legend our author derived his acquaintance with him." And yet he is to be met with in Tully's Offices; and the legend is the famous Theopompus's History. WARBURTON.
Line 169. Pompey the great:] The poet seems to have confounded the story of Pompey with some other. JOHNSON. Pompey being killed by Achilles and Septimius at the moment that the Egyptian fishing boat in which they were reached the coast, and his head being thrown into the sea, (a circumstance which Shakspeare found in North's translation of Plutarch,) his mistake does not appear more extraordinary than some others which have been remarked in his works. MALONE.
ACT IV. SCENE II.
Line 212. -a cade of herrings.] That is, a barrel of herrings. I suppose the word keg, which is now used, is cade corrupted. JOHNSON.
Line 213. our enemies shall fall before us,] He alludes to his name Cade, from cado, Lat. to fall. He has too much learning for his character. JOHNSON.
Line 225. —not able to travel with her furred pack,] A wallet or knapsack of skin with the hair outward. JOHNSON. Line 238. for his coat is of proof.] A quibble between two senses of the word; one as being able to resist, the other as being well-tried, that is, long worn. HANMER. Line 251. —there shall be no money;] To mend the world