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Aum. Who sets me else? by heaven, I'll throw
at all: I have a thousand spirits in one breast", To answer twenty thousand such as you.
SURREY. My lord Fitzwater, I do remember well The very time Aumerle and you did talk. Firz. 'Tis very true : you
were in presence then; And you can witness with me, this is true. SURREY. As false, by heaven, as heaven itself is
true. Fitz. Surrey, thou liest. SURREY.
Dishonourable boy! That lie shall lie so heavy on my sword, That it shall render vengeance and revenge, Till thou the lie-giver, and that lie, do lie In earth as quiet as thy father's scull. In proof whereof, there is my honour's pawn; Engage it to the trial, if thou dar’st. Fitz. How fondly dost thou spur a forward
horse ! If I dare eat, or drink, or breathe, or live, I dare meet Surrey in a wilderness?,
s I have a thousand spirits in one breast,] So, in King Richard III.: “A thousand hearts are great within my
STEEVENS. O MY LORD, 'tis true : you were in presence then;] The quartos omit-My lord, and read~" 'Tis very true,” &c. The folio preserves both readings, and consequently overloads the metre. STEEVENS.
“ 'Tis very true." So the quarto 1597. Malone.
7 I dare meet Surrey in a wilderness,] I dare meet him where no help can be had by me against him. So, in Macbeth:
or be alive again,
“ Maintain thy treason with thy sword? with what
And spit upon him, whilst I say he lies,
CAR. That honourable day shall ne'er be seen.
in this new world,] In this world where I have just begun to be an actor Surrey has, a few lines above, called him boy. Johnson. here do I throw down this,] Holinshed says,
that this occasion “ he threw down a hood that he had borrowed.”
STEEVENS. He had before thrown down his own hood, when accused by Bagot. Malone.
gave His body to that pleasant country's earth,] This is not historically true. The duke of Norfolk's death did not take place till after Richard's murder. Malone.
Under whose colours he had fought so long.
BOLING. Why, bishop, is Norfolk dead ?
Enter York, attended.
In God's name, I'll ascend the regal throne.) The words actually spoken by Henry, on this occasion, were as follows :
Standing upright, that every one might see him, after he had crossed himself on the forehead and breast, and called on the name of Christ, he said :-" In the name of Fadher, Son, and Holy Ghost, I, Henry of Lancaster, challenge the rewme of Ynglande, and the Croun, with all the membres and the appurtenances, and als I, that am descendit by right line of the blode, coming from the gude king Henry Therde, and throge that right that God of his grace hath sent me, with help of kyn, and of my frendes to recover it, the which rewme was in poynt to be ondone, by defaute of governaunce and ondoying of the gude lawes." Hume, vol. ix. p. 50, 4to. who gives a very ingenious comment on this politick speech, which is copied from Knyghton, p. 2757. Malone.
? Yet best Beseeming me to speak the truth.] It might be read more grammatically:
" Yet best beseems it me to speak the truth."
Would God, that any in this noble presence
But I do not think it is printed otherwise than as Shakspeare wrote it. Johnson.
nobless -] i. e. nobleness ; a word now obsolete, but used both by Spenser and Ben Jonson. Steevens.
3 And shall the figure, &c.] Here is another proof that our author did not learn in K. James's court his elevated notions of the right of kings. I know not any flatterer of the Stuarts, who has expressed this doctrine in much stronger terms. It must be observed that the poet intends, from the beginning to the end, to exhibit this bishop as brave, pious, and venerable. Johnson.
Shakspeare has represented the character of the bishop as he found it in Holinshed, where this famous speech, (which contains, in the most express terms, the doctrine of passive obedience,) is preserved. The politicks of the historian were the politicks of the poet. Steevens.
The chief argument urged by the bishop in Holinshed, is, that it was unjust to proceed against the king'“ without calling him openly to his aunswer and defence.” He says, that
none of them were worthie or meete to give judgement to so noble a prince;" but does not expressly assert that he could not be lawfully deposed. Our author, however, undoubtedly had Holinshed before him.
Malone. It does not appear from any better authority than Holinshed that Bishop Merkes made this famous speech, or any speech at all upon this occasion, or even that he was present at the time. His sentiments, however, whether right or wrong, would have been regarded neither as novel nor unconstitutional. And it is observable that usurpers are as ready to avail themselves of the doctrine of divine right, as lawful sovereigns ; to dwell upon the sacredness of their persons and the sanctity of their character. Even that “ cutpurse of the empire," Claudius, in Hamlet, affects to believe that
such divinity doth hedge a king," &c. Ritson. VOL. XVI.
Anointed, crowned, planted many years,
* So quartos; folio, forbid. † So quartos; folio, rear.
The innovation was Mr. Pope's. Malone.
s-- his day of trial.] After this line, whatever follows, almost to the end of the Act, containing the whole process of dethroning, and debasing King Richard, was added after the first edition, of 1598, and before the second, of 1615. Part of the addition is proper, and part right have been forborn without much loss. The author, I suppose, intended to make a very moving scene.
hap is on at t
life of 1