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This swears he, as he is a prince, is just;
And, as I am a gentleman, I credit him.
K. Rich. Northumberland, say,—thus the king
His noble cousin is right welcome hither;
And all the number of his fair demands
Shall be accomplish'd without contradiction:
With all the gracious utterance thou hast,
Speak to his gentle hearing kind commends.-
We do debase ourself, cousin, do we not,
To look so poorly, and to speak so fair ?
Shall we call back Northumberland, and send
Defiance to the traitor, and so die?
Aum. No, good my lord; let's fight with gentle
Till time lend friends, and friends their helpful
K. Rich. O God! O God! that e'er this tongue
That laid the sentence of dread banishment
On yon proud man, should take it off again
With words of sooth! O, that I were as great
As is my grief, or lesser than my name !
Or that I could forget what I have been !
Or not remember what I must be now!
Swell'st thou, proud heart ? I'll give thee scope to
Since foes have scope to beat both thee and me.
Aum. Northumberland comes back from Boling-
K. Rich. What must the king do now? Must he
The king shall do it. Must he be depos'd ?
3 With words of sooth!] Sooth is sweet as well as true. In this place sooth means sweetness or softness, a signification yet retained in the verb to sooth. Johnson.
The king shall be contented : Must he lose
The name of king? o' God's name, let it go :
I'll give my jewels, for a set of beads;
My gorgeous palace, for a hermitage ;
My gay apparel*, for an alms-man's gown;
My figur'd goblets, for a dish of wood;
My scepter, for a palmer's walking-staff;
My subjects, for a pair of carved saints;
And my large kingdom for a little grave,
A little little grave, an obscure grave :-
Or I'll be buried in the king's highway,
Some way of common trade", where subjects' feet
May hourly trample on their sovereign's head:
For on my heart they tread, now whilst I live ;
And, buried once, why not upon my head ?-
4 My gay apparel, &c.} Dr. Grey observes, “that King Richard's expence in regard to dress, was very extraordinary." Holinshed has the same remark; and adds, that he had “one cote which he caused to be made for him of gold and stone, valued at 30,000 marks.” STEEVENS.
Stowe, in his Survey, says, “to the value of three thousand
markes." So, also, in Vita Ricardi Secundi, published by
T. Hearne, p. 156.
It is much to be wished that historians would never use Arabick
numerals; they are the source of innumerable errors. Macone.
s Or I'll be buried in the king's highway,
way of common TRADE,] So, in Lord Surrey's transla-
tion of the second book of Virgil's Æneid :
“ A postern with a blind wicket there was,
“ A common trade, to pass through Priam's house."
Limen erat, cæcæque fores, et pervius usus,
Tectorum inter se Priami-
The phrase is still used by common people. When they speak
of a road much frequented, they say, “it is a road of much traffick."
Shakspeare uses the word in the same sense in King Henry VIII.:
“ Stand in the gap and trade of more preferments."
6- on their sovereign's head :] Shakspeare is very apt to
deviate from the pathetick to the ridiculous. Had the speech of
Richard ended at this line, it had exhibited the natural language
of submissive misery, conforming its intention to the present for-
tune, and calmly ending its purposes in death. Johnson.
Aumerle, thou weep'st; My tender-hearted cou
We'll make foul weather with despised tears ;
Our sighs, and they, shall lodge the summer corn,
And make a dearth in this revolting land.
Or shall we play the wantons with our woes,
And make some pretty match with shedding tears?
As thus ;-To drop them still upon one place,
Till they have fretted us a pair of graves
Within the earth; and, therein laid, “There lies
Two kinsmen, digg'd their graves with weepin
Would not this ill do well ? Well, well, I see
I talk but idly, and you mock at me.-
Most mighty prince, my lord Northumberland,
What says king Bolingbroke? will his majesty
Give Richard leave to live till Richard die ?
You make a leg, and Bolingbroke says—ay.
North. My lord, in the base court ' he doth at-
To speak with you; may't please you to come
K. Rich. Down, down, I come; like glistering
Wanting the manage of unruly jades.
[North. retires to Boling.
7 Bolingbroke says-ay.] Here is another instance of injury done to the poet's metre by changing his orthography. I, which was Shakspeare's word, rhymed very well with die ; but ay has quite a different sound. See a note on The Merry Wives of Windsor, vol, viii. p. 186, n. 7. TYRWHITT.
In some counties ay is at this day pronounced with a sound very little differing from that of I. Malone.
base court -] Bas cour, Fr. So, in Hinde's Eliosto Libidinoso, 1606: “they were, for a public observation, brought into the base court of the palace.” Again, in Greene's Farewell to Follie, 1617: " hegan, at the entrance into the base court, to use these words." STEEVENS. VOL. XVI.
In the base court ? Base court, where kings grow
base, To come at traitors' calls, and do them grace. In the base court ? Come down ? Down, court!
down, king! For night-owls shriek, where mounting larks should sing.
(Exeunt, from above.
BOLING. What says his majesty ?
Sorrow and grief of heart
Makes him speak fondly, like a frantick man:
Yet he is come.
Enter King RichARD, and his Attendants, below.
Boling. Stand all apart,
And show fair duty to his majesty.-
My gracious lord, -
[Kneeling. K. Rich. Fair cousin, you debase your princely
To make the base earth proud with kissing it:
Me rather had, my heart might feel your love,
Than my unpleas'd eye see your courtesy.
Up, cousin, up; your heart is up, I know,
Thus high at least, [Touching his own head.] al-
though your knee be low.
BOLING. My gracious lord, I come but for mine
own. K. Rich. Your own is yours, and I am yours, and
all. BOLING. So far be mine, my most redoubted lord,
1 As my true service shall deserve your love. K. Rich. Well you deserve :—They well deserve
That know the strong'st and surest way to get.
Uncle, give me your hand: nay, dry your eyes ;
Tears show their love, but want their remedies.-
Cousin, I am too young to be your father,
Though you are old enough to be my heir.
What you will have, I'll give, and willing to;
For do we must, what force will have us do.--
Set on towards London :-Cousin, is it so ?
Boling. Yea, my good lord.
Then I must not say, no'.
Enter the Queen, and two Ladies.
Queen. What sport shall we devise here in this
To drive away the heavy thought of care ?
1 Lady. Madam, we'll play at bowls.
QUEEN. 'Twill make me think, the world is full
And that my fortune runs against the bias.
1 Lady. Madam, we will dance.
Queen. My legs can keep no measure in de-
When my poor heart no measure keeps in grief:
Therefore, no dancing, girl ; some other sport.
1 LADY. Madam, we'll tell tales.
9 Then I must not say, no.) “ The duke with a high sharpe voyce bade bring forth the kings horses, and then two little nagges, not worth forty franks, were brought forth ; the king was set on the one, and the earle of Salisburie on the other : and thus the duke brought the king from Flint to Chester, where he was delivered to the duke of Glocesters sonne and to the earle of Arundels sonne, (that loved him but little, for he had put their fathers to death,) who led him straight to the castle.” Stowe, (p. 521, edit. 1605,) from a manuscript account written by a person who was present. Malone,