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Against the duke of Hereford that appeals me;
[He takes his seat. Trumpet sounds. Enter BOLINGBROKE, in armour;
preceded by a Herald. K. Rich. Marshal, ask yonder knight in arms “, Both who he is, and why he cometh hither Thus plated in habiliments of war ; And formally according to our law Depose him in the justice of his cause. Mar. What is thy name ? and wherefore com'st
thou hither, Before King Richard, in his royal lists ? Against whom comest thou ? and what's thy quar
rel ? Speak like a true knight, so defend thee heaven ! Boling. Harry of Hereford, Lancaster, and
Mar. On pain of death no person be so bold,
4 - Marshal, ask yonder knight in arms,] Why not, as before :
“ Marshal, demand of yonder knight in arms.” The player, who varied the expression, was probably ignorant that he injured the metre. The insertion, however, of two little words would answer the same purpose :
“ Marshal, go ask of yonder knight in arms." Ritson.
Boling. Lord marshal, let me kiss my sove
reign's hand, And bow my knee before his majesty : For Mowbray, and myself, are like two men That vow a long and weary pilgrimage ; Then let us take a ceremonious leave, And loving farewell, of our several friends. Mar. The appellant in all duty greets your
highness, And craves to kiss your hand, and take his leave.
K. Rich. We will descend, and fold him in our
Cousin of Hereford, as thy cause is right,
Boling. O, let no noble eye profane a tear
leave of you; —
[To Gaunt. Whose youthful spirit, in me regenerate, Doth with a two-fold vigour lift me up To reach at victory above my head,Add proof unto mine armour with thy prayers; And with thy blessings steel my lance's point, That it may enter Mowbray's waxen coat",
* Quarto 1597, the dead. - WAXEN coat,] Waxon may mean soft, and consequently penetrable, or flexible. The brigandines or coats of mail, then in
And furbish o new the name of John of Gaunt,
[He takes his seat. Nor. [Rising.] However heaven, or fortune,
cast my lot, There lives or dies, true to king Richard's throne, A loyal, just, and upright gentleman : Never did captive with a freer heart Cast off his chains of bondage, and embrace His golden uncontroll’d enfranchisement, More than my dancing soul doth celebrate use, were composed of small pieces of steel quilted over one another, and yet so flexible as to accommodate the dress they form to every motion of the body. Of these many are still to be seen in the Tower of London. STEEVENS.
The object of Bolingbroke's request is, that the temper of his lance's point might as much exceed the mail of his adversary, as the iron of that mail was harder than wax. Henley.
I do not perceive how this meaning can be drawn from the words in the text. Malone.
6 And FurBISH ] Thus the quartos 1608 and 1615. The folio reads-furnish. Either word will do, as to furnish in the time of Shakspeare signified to dress. So, twice in As You Like It: “ furnished like a huntsman."~" -- furnished like a beggar."
STEEVENS, The original quarto, 1597, reads furbish. Malone.
7 Fall like AMAZING thunder on the casque ~] To amaze, in ancient language, signifies to stun, to confound. Thus, in Arthur Hall's translation of the third Iliad, 4to. 1581 :
“ And striking him upon the helme, his foe amazed makes." See also, King John, Act IV. Sc. III. Steevens.
8 Mine Innocency,] Old copies-innocence. Corrected by Mr. Capell. So, in King Richard III. :
"God and mine innocency defend my right."
This feast of battle with mine adversary.--
K. Rich. Farewell, my lord: securely I espy
[The King and the Lords return to their seats. Mar. Harry of Hereford, Lancaster, and Derby, Receive thy lance; and God defend the right! Boling. (Rising.] Strong as a tower in hope, I
cry-amen. Mar. Go bear this lance [To an Officer.] to
Thomas duke of Norfolk. 1 Her. Harry of Hereford, Lancaster, and Derby, Stands here for God, his sovereign, and himself, On pain to be be found false and recreant, To prove the duke of Norfolk, Thomas Mowbray, A traitor to his God, his king, and him, And dares him to set forward to the fight.
9 This Feast of battle -] “ War is death's feast,” is a proverbial saying. See Ray's Collection. Steevens.
I apprehend there is no allusion to this image here; Norfolk means that he would so willingly engage in battle that he would consider it as a feast. Boswell,
"As gentle and as jocund, as to jest,] Not so neither. We should read to just ; i. e. to tilt or tourney, which was a kind of sport too. WARBURTON.
The sense would perhaps have been better if the author had written what his commentator substitutes ; but the rhyme, to which sense is too often enslaved, obliged Shakspeare to write jest, and obliges us to read it. Johnson.
The commentators forget that to jest sometimes signifies in old language to play a part in a mask. Thus, in Hieronymo:
“ He promised us in honour of our guest,
To grace our banquet with some pompous jest.”
So, in The Third Part of King Henry VI. :
- as if the tragedy “ Were play'd in jest by counterfeited actors.” Tollet.
2 Her. Here standeth Thomas Mowbray, duke
of Norfolk, On pain to be found false and recreant, Both to defend himself, and to approve Henry of Hereford, Lancaster, and Derby, To God, his sovereign, and to him, disloyal ; Courageously, and with a free desire, Attending but the signal to begin. Mar. Sound, trumpets ; and set forward, combatants.
[A Charge sounded. Stay, the king hath thrown his warder down?
K. Rich. Let them lay by their helmets and
And both return back to their chairs again : Withdraw with us :--and let the trumpets sound, While we return these dukes what we decree.
A long flourish. Draw near,
[To the Combatants. And list, what with our council we have done. For that our kingdom's earth should not be soild With that dear blood which it hath fostered '; And for our eyes do hate the dire aspect Of civil wounds * plough'd up with neighbours'
hath thrown his warDER down.) A warder appears to have been a kind of truncheon carried by the person who presided at these single combats. So, in Daniel's Civil Wars, &c. b. i.:
“ When lo, the king, suddenly chang'd his mind,
“ Casts down his warder to arrest him there." Steevens. 3 With that dear blood which IT hath Fostered;] The quarto 1615, reads
With that dear blood which it hath been fosterd." Perhaps the author wrotem
" With that dear blood with which it hath been foster'd." But the other quartos and the folio read as in the text. Malone.
4 Of CRUEL wounds, &c.] The quarto copy now before me, 1597, and the folio, read~" Of civil wounds." But Mr. Capell's quarto copy of the same date, (now in the library of Trinity College, Cambridge,) and printed by the same printer, hascruell instead of civill ; which must have been an alteration