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And, for our coffers ? —with too great a court,
And liberal largess, -are grown somewhat light,
We are enforc'd to farm our royal realm 2;
The revenue whereof shall furnish us
For our affairs in hand : If that come short,
Our substitutes at home shall have blank charters;
Whereto, when they shall know what men are rich,
They shall subscribe them for large sums of gold,
And send them after to supply our wants;
For we will make for Ireland presently.

Enter Bushy.
Bushy, what news ?
Bushy. Old John of Gaunt is grievous sick,

Suddenly taken; and hath sent post-haste,
To entreat your majesty to visit him.

K. Rich. Where lies he ?
Bushy. At Ely-house.
K. Rich. Now put it, heaven, in his physician's

To help him to his grave immediately!
The lining of his coffers shall make coats
To deck our soldiers for these Irish wars.
Come, gentlemen, let's all go visit him :
Pray God, we may make haste, and come too late !


7 - for our coffers —] i. e. because. So, at the beginning of this scene :

And, for my heart disdained that my tongue,” &c. Again, in Othello:

Haply, for I am black ;" Steevens.

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Gaunt on a Couch; the Duke of Yorks, and

Others standing by him. GAUNT. Will the king come ? that I may breathe

my last

In wholesome counsel to his unstaied youth.
York. Vex not yourself, nor strive not with your

For all in vain comes counsel to his ear.

8 _ the Duke of York,] Edmond Duke of York was the fifth son of Edward the Third, and was born in 1441, at Langley, near St. Alban's, in Hertford, froin whence he had his surname. This prince, as Bishop Lowth has observed, (Life of William of Wykeham, 8vo. 1777, p. 205,) was of an indolent disposition, a lover of pleasure, and averse to business ; easily prevailed upon to lie still, and consult his own quiet, and never acting with spirit upon any occasion." That such was his disposition and character is ascertained by the following graphical description, given by Harding (a contemporary) in his Chronicle :

“ 'That Edmonde hight of Langley, of good chere
Glede and mery, and of his owne ay lived
“Withoutyn wronge, as chroniclers have breved.
“When al lordes went to counsels and parlement,
“ He wolde to huntes and also to hawkynge,
“ All gentilnes disporte that myrth appent
“ He used aie, and to the poor supportynge,
" Wherever he wase in any place bidynge,
“ Withoute supprise or any extorcion,
“Of the porayle or any oppression.




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The kynge than made the Duke of Yorke be name
“ Maister of the Mewhouse, and of hawkes feire,
“ Of his venerie and maister of his game.
" In whatt cuntraie that he dyde repeire,
“Whiche wase to hym withoute any dispeyre,
“ With more comforte and a gretter gladnes neire,
“ Than been a lorde of worldly great riches."
Harilyng's Chronicle, Ms. Harleian, No. 661, fol. 147.


Gaunt. O, but they say, the tongues of dying


Enforce attention like deep harmony:
Where words are scarce, they are seldom spent in

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vain ;

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For they breathe truth that breathe their words in

pain. He, that no more must say, is listen'd more, Than they whom youth and ease have taught to

More are men's ends mark'd, than their lives be-

The setting sun, and musick at the close,
As the last taste of sweets, is sweetest last;
Writ in remembrance more than things long past :
Though Richard my life's counsel would not hear,
My death's sad tale may yet undeaf his ear.
York. No; it is stopp'd with other flattering

As, praises of his state: then, there are found *
Lascivious metres !; to whose venom sound
The open ear of youth doth always listen :
Report of fashions in proud Italy”;
* Quarto 1597, As praises of whose taste the wise are found.

at the close,] This I suppose to be a musical term. So, in Lingua, 1607 :

“ I dare engage my ears, the close will jar." Steevens. 1 Lascivious METRES ;] 'The old copies have-meeters; but I believe we should read metres for verses. Thus the folio spells the word metre in The First Part of King Henry IV.:

one of these same meeter ballade mongers.” Venom sound agrees well with lascivious ditties, but not so commodiously with one who meets another; in which sense the word appears to have been generally received. STEVENS.

Report of fashions in proud Italy ;] Our author, who gives to all nations the customs of England, and to all ages the manners of his own, has charged the times of Richard with a folly not perhaps known then, but very frequent in Shakspeare's time, and much lamented by the wisest and best of our ancestors.


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Whose manners still our tardy apish nation
Limps after, in base imitation.
Where doth the world thrust forth a vanity,
(So it be new, there's no respect how vile,)
That is not quickly buzz'd into his ears?
Then all too late comes counsel to be heard,
Where will doth mutiny with wit's regard'.
Direct not him, whose way himself will choose * ;
'Tis breath thou lack'st, and that breath wilt thou lose.

GAUNT. Methinks, I am a prophet new inspir’d;
And thus, expiring, do foretell of him :
His rash” fierce blaze of riot cannot last;
For violent fires soon burn out themselves:
Small showers last long, but sudden storms are

He tires betimes, that spurs too fast betimes ;
With eager feeding, food doth choke the feeder:
Light vanity, insatiate cormorant,
Consuming means, soon preys upon itself.
This royal throne of kings, this scepter'd isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise ;
This fortress, built by nature for herself,
Against infestion, and the hand of war :

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3 Where will doth mutiny with wit's regard.] Where the will rebels against the notices of the understanding. Johnson.

-whose way himself will choose;} Do not attempt to guide
him, who, whatever thou shalt say, will take his own course.

5-rash--) That is, hasty, violent. Johnson,
So, in King Henry IV. Part I. :

“ Like aconitum, or rash gunpowder.” MALONE.
Against infection,] I once suspected that for infection we
might read invasion ; but the copies all agree, and I suppose
Shakspeare meant to say, that islanders are secured by their
situation both from war and pestilence. Johnson.

In Allot's England's Parnassus, 1600, this passage is quoted :

Against intestion," &c. Perhaps the word might be in festion,
if such a word was in use. Farmer.



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This happy breed of men, this little world
This precious stone set in the silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall,
Or as a moat defensive to a house,

For the substitution of the word infestion, which was suggested by Dr. Farmer, and differs from the original word but by a single letter, I am answerable.

Since the year 1665, this happy island has been entirely free from the plague; and if ever we should be again molested by that fatal malady, it will unquestionably arise from infection communicated from foreign parts. A poet therefore of the present day, in speaking of Great Britain, might naturally mention its being, by its insular situation, exempt from that contagion to which the natives of the continent are exposed; and also from the hostile incursions of its enemies. But in our poet's time there was in London every year an indigenous plague, if I may use the expression, from May till October ; and a considerable number of the inhabitants were annually destroyed by this malignant disease. Shakspeare, therefore, I conceive, would never mention the circumstance of our being secured, by our insular situation, from foreign infection, as a fortunate circunistance, knowing that such security availed nothing; since, notwithstanding our being possessed of a fortress built by nature for herself, our own native pestilence was annually extremely destructive. I think, therefore, that in both parts of this line, he had only one circumstance in his thoughts, our not being exposed to foreign hostile incursions; and the copulative and seems to countenance this supposition. I may add, that the preceding verse strongly supports this notion ; for a natural fortress, such as is here described, is opposed properly and immediately to the open hostile attacks of an enemy, and not to the lurking infection of the plague, which seems here entirely out of place.

Though I have not met with an example of the use of the word infestion, in the sense of infestation, similar abbreviations occur in other places in our author's plays: thus we have probal for probable in Othello, and captious for capacious in All's Well That Ends Well. In like manner, Bishop Hall, in his Cases of Conscience, 8vo. p. 202, edit. 1651, uses acception for acceptation : “ Against infestion, and the hand of warriors ; against the infesting or assailing force of an enemy." I shall only add, that Bacon employs the word infestation in the same Touching the infestation of pirates he hath been careful, and is." Speech in the Star-chamber, 1617. Works, iv, 278, Mallet's edition. MALONE.


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