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Banish'd this frail sepulchre of our flesh,
As now our flesh is banish'd from this land :
Confess thy treasons, ere thou fly the realm ;
Since thou hast far to go, bear not along
The clogging burden of a guilty soul.

Nor. No, Bolingbroke; if ever I were traitor,
My name be blotted from the book of life,
And I from heaven banish'd, as from hence!
But what thou art, heaven, thou, and I do know;
And all too soon, I fear, the king shall rue.-
Farewell, my liege :-Now no way can I stray;
Save back to England, all the world's my way

(Erit. K. Rich. Uncle, even in the glasses of thine

I see thy grieved heart: thy sad aspect
Hath from the number of his banish'd years
Pluck'd four away ;-Six frozen winters spent,
Return [To Boling.] with welcome home from

Boling. How long a time lies in one little word!


this frail sepulchre of our flesh,] So, afterwards :

thou King Richard's tomb,

“ And not King Richard —.” And Milton, in Samson Agonistes :

Myself my sepulchre, a moving grave." Henley.
5 — all the world's my way.] Perhaps Milton had this in his
mind when he wrote these lines :

“The world was all before them, where to choose
“Their place of rest, and Providence their guide."

The Duke of Norfolk after his banishment went to Venice,
where, says Holinshed," for thought and melancholy he de-
ceased.” Malone.
I should point the passage thus :

Now no way can I stray, “ Save back to England :-all the world's my way." There's no way for me to go wrong, except back to England.

M. Mason. Most certainly, by such a punctuation, the poet's meaning would be lost. MALONE.




Four lagging winters and four wanton springs,
End in a word; Such is the breath of kings.

Gaunt. I thank my liege, that, in regard of me
He shortens four years of my son's exíle :
But little vantage shall I reap thereby;
For, ere the six years, that he hath to spend,
Can change their moons, and bring their times

My oil-dried lamp, and time-bewasted light,
Shall be extinct with age and endless night;
My inch of taper will be burnt and done,
And blindfold death not let me see my son.
K. Rich. Why, uncle, thou hast many years to

Gaunt. But not a minute, king, that thou canst

give: Shorten my days thou canst with sullen sorrow, And pluck nights from me, but not lend a mor

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Thou canst help time to furrow me with age,
But stop no wrinkle in his pilgrimage ;
Thy word is current with him for my death;
But, dead, thy kingdom cannot buy my breath.

K. Rich. Thy son is banish'd upon good advice",
Whereto thy tongue a party-verdict gave ® ;
Why at our justice seem'st thou then to lower ?

GAUNT. Things sweet to taste, prove in digestion


You urg'd me as a judge; but I had rather,
You would have bid me argue like a father :-

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6 And pluck nights from me, but not lend a morrow :] It is matter of very melancholy consideration, that all human advantages confer more power of doing evil than good. Johnson.

upon good advice,] Upon great consideration. Malone. So, in King Henry VI. Part II. :

“ But with advice and silent secrecy.” Steevens. - A PARTY-verdict gave ;] i. e. you had yourself a part or share in the verdict that I pronounced. Malone.

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O, had it been a stranger, not my child,
To smooth his fault I should have been more mild:
A partial slander sought I to avoid,
And in the sentence my own life destroy'd.
Alas, I look’d, when some of you should say,
I was too strict, to make mine own away;
But you gave leave to my unwilling tongue,
Against my will to do myself this wrong.

K. Rich. Cousin, farewell:-and, uncle, bid him

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Six years we banish him, and he shall go.

(Flourish. Exeunt King Richard and Train. Aum. Cousin, farewell : what presence must not

know, From where you do remain, let paper

show. Mar. My lord, no leave take I; for I will ride, As far as land will let me, by your side. Gaunt. O, to what purpose dost thou hoard thy

words, That thou return'st no greeting to thy friends ?

Boling. I have too few to take my leave of you,
When the tongue's office should be prodigal
To breathe the abundant * dolour of the heart.

Gaunt. Thy grief is but thy absence for a time.
Boling. Joy absent, grief is present for that

Gaunt. What is six winters? they are quickly


* Quarto 1597, aboundant. 9 O, had it been a stranger,] This couplet is wanting in the folio. STEEVENS.

"A partial slander -] That is, the reproach of partiality. This is a just picture of the struggle between principle and affection. Johnson.

This couplet, which is wanting in the folio edition, has been arbitrarily placed by some of the modern editors at the conclusion of Gaunt's speech. In the three oldest quartos it follows the fifth line of it. In the fourth quarto, which seems copied from the folio, the passage is omitted. STEEVENS.


Boling. To men in joy; but grief makes one

hour ten. Gaunt. Call it a travel that thou tak’st for plea



-ain. not

Boling. My heart will sigh when I miscall it so,
Which finds it an enforced pilgrimage.

Gaunt. The sullen passage of thy weary steps
Esteem a foil, wherein thou art to set
The precious jewel of thy home-return.
BOLING. Nay, rather, every tedious stride I

make ?
Will but remember me, what a deal * of world
I wander from the jewels that I love.
Must I not serve a long apprenticehood
To foreign passages; and in the end,
Having my freedom, boast of nothing else,
But that I was a journeyman to grief?

* Quartos, 1598, 1608, and 1615, what deal.

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2 Boling. Nay, rather, every tedious stride I make-) This, and the six verses which follow, I have ventured to supply from the old quarto. The allusion, it is true, to an apprenticeship, and becoming a journeyman, is not in the sublime taste; nor, as Horace has expressed it: “spirat tragicum satis :" however, as there is no doubt of the passage being genuine, the lines are not so despicable as to deserve being quite lost. Theobald.

3 — journeyman to grief?] I am afraid our author in this place designed a very poor quibble, as journey signifies both travel and a day's work. However, he is not to be censured for what he himself rejected. Johnson.

The quarto, in which these lines are found, is said in its titlepage to have been corrected by the author; and the play is indeed more accurately printed than most of the other single copies. There is now, however, no certain method of knowing by whom the rejection was made. Steevens.

Mr. Steevens has here made a great mistake. The lines in question are found in the first quarto of 1597, and continued in those of 1598, 1608, and 1615, all of which are now before me; but what these late copies read, what they insert, or what they omit, it is quite loss of time to examine. Not the smallest authority belongs to them; nor would they carry any with them, even if their titlepages announced that they were revised and corrected by the

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Gaunt. All places that the eye of heaven visits *,
Are to a wise man ports and happy havens :
Teach thy necessity to reason thus
There is no virtue like necessity.
Think not, the king did banish thee;

But t]
And n

Look, To lie Suppo The

The f

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B lanus


"B before 1579, Among

author. But the title-pages of not one of these copies contains any such assertion : though in some other of his plays, the booksellers were hardy enough to add those words.

Unquestionably, Shakspeare never revised a single quarto copy of any of his plays, whether in a first or second edition; nor is the edition of Romeo and Juliet, in 1599, an exception to this assertion. It was not revised by him, but printed from an enlarged and corrected copy. To suppose that he did, is to shut our eyes to his habits, character, and history. He suffered plays to be imputed to him (with his name affixed to them), of which he had not written a word. When Thorpe, a bookseller, in 1609, printed his beautiful poem, entitled The Lover's Complaint, together with his Sonnets, in the most incorrect manner, he never took the trouble to print a second edition, or even to point out the numerous errors of the press with which these pieces abound. Can it then be supposed that he would revise or correct the second or third editions of such of his plays as had been fraudulently obtained from the players, against his will, and against his interest? MALONE.

4 All places that the EYE OF HEAVEN visits, &c.] So, Nonnus : asdepos Oje na: i. e. the sun.

So, in Shakspeare's Venus and Adonis, 1593 :

“ And Titan, tired in the mid-day heat,

“With burning eye did hotly overlook them." Again, in his Lucrece, 1594 :

“ The eye of heaven is out." So also Spencer, Faery Queene, b. i. c. iii. st. 4:

Her angel face, “ As the great eye of heaven, shyned bright." MALONE. The fourteen verses that follow are found in the first edition.

Pope. The whole of this speech and the preceding one, are omitted in the folio ; but they are found in all the quartos. Boswell.

I am inclined to believe that what Mr. Theobald and Mr. Pope have restored were expunged in the revision by the author : If these lines are omitted, the sense is more coherent. Nothing is more frequent among dramatic writers, than to shorten their dialogues for the stage. Johnson.

did banish thee;] Read :
" Therefore, think not, the king did banish thee."


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