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QUEEN. Of sorrow, or of joy'?
1 Lady. Of either, madam.

Queen. Of neither, girl :
For if of joy, being altogether wanting,
It doth remember me the more of sorrow;
Or if of grief, being altogether had,
It adds more sorrow to my want of joy:
For what I have, I need not to repeat;
And what I want, it boots not to complain?.

1 Lady. Madam, I'll sing.

QUEEN. 'Tis well, that thou hast cause ; But thou should'st please me better, would'st thou

1 Lady. I could weep, madam, would it do you

Queen. And I could weep', would weeping do

me good,
And never horrow any tear of thee.
But stay, here come the gardeners :
Let's step into the shadow of these trees.-

Enter a Gardener, and Two Servants.
My wretchedness unto a row of pins,
They'll talk of state ; for every one doth so
Against a change: Woe is forerun with woe.

[Queen and Ladies retire.

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Of sorrow, or of joy?] All the old copies concur in reading :

“Of sorrow, or of grief?Mr. Pope made the necessary alteration. Steevens.

- complain.] See p. 20, n. 1. Steevens. 3. And I could weep,] The old copies read~" And I could sing.” Steevens.

Mr. Pope made the emendation. Malone.

4 Against a change: Woe is forerun with woe.] The poet, according to the common doctrine of prognostication, supposes dejection to forerun calamity, and a kingdom to be filled with rumours of sorrow when any great disaster is impending. The sense is, that publick evils are always presignified by publick pensiveness, and plaintive conversation. Johnson.

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Gard. Go, bind thou up yon' dangling apricocks,
Which, like unruly children, make their

Stoop with oppression of their prodigal weight:
Give some supportance to the bending twigs.-
Go thou, and like an executioner,
Cut off the heads of too-fast-growing sprays,
That look too lofty in our commonwealth:
All must be even in our government.
You thus employ’d, I will go root away
The noisome weeds, that without profit suck
The soil's fertility from wholesome flowers.
1 Serv. Why should we, in the compass of a

Keep law, and form, and due proportion,
Showing, as in a model, our firm estates ?
When our sea-walled garden, the whole land,
Is full of weeds; her fairest flowers chok'd up,
Her fruit-trees all unprun’d, her hedges ruin'd,
Her knots disorder'd, and her wholesome herbs
Swarming with caterpillars ?

Hold thy peace :-
He that hath suffer'd this disorder'd spring,
Hath now himself met with the fall of leaf :

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SOUR firm estate?] How could he say our, when he immediately subjoins, that it was infirm? We should read :

- a firm state." WARBURTON. The servant says our, meaning the state of the garden in which they are at work. The state of the metaphorical garden was indeed unfirm, and therefore his reasoning is very naturally induced. Why (says he,) should we be careful to preserve order in the narrow cincture of this our state when the great state of the kingdom is in disorder ? I have replaced the old reading which Dr. Warburton would have discontinued in favour of his own conjecture. STEEVENS.

6 Her KNOTS disorder'd,) Knots are figures planted in box, the lines of which frequently intersect each other. So, Milton :

“ Flowers, worthy Paradise, which not nice art
“ In beds and curious knots, but nature boon
“ Pour'd forth.” Steevens.

The weeds, that his broad-spreading leaves did

That seem'd in eating him to hold him up,
Are pluck'd up, root and all, by Bolingbroke;
I mean, the earl of Wiltshire, Bushy, Green.

1 SERV, What, are they dead ?

They are ; and Bolingbroke
Hath seiz'd the wasteful king.-Oh! What pity is it,
That he had not so trimm'd and dress'd his land,
As we this garden! We at time of year?
Do wound the bark, the skin of our fruit-trees;
Lest, being over-proud with sap and blood,
With too much riches it confound itself:
Had he done so to great and growing men,
They might have liv'd to bear, and he to taste
Their fruits of duty. All superfluous branches 8
We lop away, that bearing boughs may live :
Had he done so, himself had borne the crown,
Which waste of idle hours hath quite thrown down.
1 Serv. What, think you then, the king shall be
depos'd ?

Ar Gard. Depress'd he is already; and depos'd, 'Tis doubt, he will be ° : Letters came last night




- We at time of year -] The word We is not in the old copies. The context shows that some word was omitted at the press; and the subsequent lines

superfluous branches

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“ We lop away




render it highly probable that this was the word. Malone.

- All superfluous branches --] Thus the second folio. The first omits the word all, and thereby hurts the metre; for superfluous is never accented on the third syllable. Steevens.

9 -- 'Tis Doubt, he will be :) We have already had an instance of this uncommon phraseology in the present play:

He is our cousin, cousin ; but 'tis doubt,

" When time shall call him home," &c. Doubt is the reading of the quarto, 1597. The folio readsdoubted. I have found reason to believe that some alteration even in that valuable copy was made arbitrarily by the editor.


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To a dear friend of the good duke of York's,
That tell black tidings.
Queen. O, I am press'd to death, through want

of speaking?!
Thou, old Adam's likeness, [Coming from her con-

cealment.] set to dress this garden?. How dares thy harsh-rude tongue sound this un

pleasing news3 ?
What Eve, what serpent hath suggested thee
To make a second fall of cursed man ?
Why dost thou say, king Richard is depos'd ?
Dar’st thou, thou little better thing than earth,
Divine his downfal ? Say, where, when, and how,
Cam'st thou by these ill tidings ? speak, thou

GARD. Pardon me, madam : little joy have I,
To breathe this news; yet, what I say, is true.
King Richard, he is in the mighty hold
Of Bolingbroke; their fortunes both are weigh'd :
In your lord's scale is nothing but himself,
And some few vanities that make him light;

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10, I am press'd to death, Through want of speaking!] The poet alludes to the ancient legal punishment, called peine forte et dure, which was inflicted on those persons, who, being arraigned, refused to plead, remaining obstinately silent. They were pressed to death by a heavy weight laid upon their stomach. Malone.

to dress this garden,] This was the technical language of Shakspeare's time. So, in Holy Writ: “- and put him into the garden of Eden, to dress it, and to keep it." Gen. ï. 15.

3 - how dares
Thy harsh-rude tongue, &c.] So, in Hamlet :

• What have I done, that thou dar'st wag thy tongue

“ In noise so rude against me ? " I have quoted this passage only to justify the restoration of the word rude, which has been rejected in some modern editions.

A line in King John may add support to the restoration here made from the old copy: “To whom he sung in rude harsh-sounding rhymes.”


But in the balance of great Bolingbroke,
Besides himself, are all the English peers,
And with that odds he weighs king Richard down.
Post you to London, and you'll find it so;
I speak no more than every one doth know.
Queen. Nimble mischance, that art so light of

Doth not thy embassage belong to me,
And am I last that knows it? O, thou think'st
To serve me last, that I may longest keep
Thy sorrow in my breast.-Come, ladies, go,
To meet at London London's king in woe.
What, was I born to this! that my sad look
Should grace the triumph of great Bolingbroke?
Gardener, for telling me this news of woe,
I would, the plants thou graft'st, may never grow.

[Ereunt Queen and Ladies. GARD. Poor queen! so that thy state might be

no worse,
I would, my skill were subject to thy curse.-
Here did she fall a tears; here, in this place,
I'll set a bank of rue, sour herb of grace:
Rue, even for ruth, here shortly shall be seen,

S In the remembrance of a weeping queen.

In [Ereunt.

II 4 I would, the plants, &c.] This execration of the Queen is somewhat ludicrous, and unsuitable to her condition: the gardener's reflection is better adapted to the state both of his mind

На and his fortune. Mr. Pope, who has been throughout this play very diligent to reject what he did not like, bas yet, I know not

pu why, spared the last lines of this Act. Johnson. “I would, the plants thou graftst, may never grow.” So, in

the The Rape of Lucrece : * This bastard graft shall never come to growth.”

MALONE. fall a tear,-) Thus the quarto, 1597. So, in Othello:

“ Each tear she falls would prove a crocodile.' The folio, following the quarto 1608, reads:

· Here did she drop a tear." MALONE. The quarto 1598 also reads drop. BOSWELL.



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