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Q. Mar. When holy Harry died, and my sweet son. Duch. Dead life, blind sight, poor mortal-living ghost, Woe's scene, world's shame, grave's due by life usurp’d, Brief abstract and record of tedious days, Rest thy unrest on England's lawful earth,
[Sitting down. Unlawfully made drunk with innocent blood !
Q. Eliz. Ah, that thou would'st as soon afford a grave, As thou canst yield a melancholy seat; Then would I hide my bones, not rest them here! Ah, who hath any cause to mourn, but we?
[Sitting down by her. Q. Mar. If ancient sorrow be most reverent, Give mine the benefit of seniory, And let my griefs frown on the upper hand.5 If sorrow can admit society, [Sitting down with them. Tell o'er your woes again by viewing mine :I had an Edward, till a Richard kill'd him; I had a husband, 6 till a Richard kill'd him: Thou hadst an Edward, till a Richard kill'd him ; Thou hadst a Richard, till a Richard kill'd him.
Duch. I had a Richard too, and thou didst kill him;
seniory,] For seniority. Johnson. So, in Stowe's Chronicle, edit. 1615, p. 149:
- the son of Edmund, the son of Edward the seignior, the son of Alured," &c. Steevens.
5 And let my griefs frown on the upper hand.] So, in our author's Rape of Lucrece:
“ By this starts Collatine as from a dream,
“And bids Lucretius give his sorrows place.” Malone. . I had a husband,] The quarto basma Richard, which the edi. tor of the folio corrected by substituting—a husband. I believe Shakspeare wrote-I had a Henry. In a subsequent speech in this scene, p. 154, 1. 16:“ my brother” being printed in the quarto by mistake, instead of “thy brother,” the editor of the folio corrected the wrong word, and printed my husband. Malone.
That reigns? in galled eyes of weeping souls,
Duch. O, Harry's wife, triumph not in my woes;
Q. Mar. Bear with me; I am hungry for revenge, And now I cloy me with beholding it. Thy Edward he is dead, that kill'd my Edward; Thy other Edward dead, to quit my Edward; Young York he is but boot, 1 because both they Match not the high perfection of my loss. Thy Clarence he is dead, that stabb’d my Edward; And the beholders of this tragick play, The adulterate Hastings,2 Rivers, Vaughan, Grey,
7 That reigns &c.] This and the preceding line have been omitted by all the modern editors, Rowe excepted. Steevens.
These two lines are found only in the folio, and are there transposed. They were rightly arranged by Mr. Steevens. Malone.
- carnal —] This word, in the present instance, may signify carnivorous, though in Hamlet it is used for slaughterous :
“Of carnal, bloody, and unnatural acts.” Steevens. 9 And makes her pew-fellow - ] Pew-fellow seems to be companion. We have now a new phrase, nearly equivalent, by which we say of persons in the same difficulties, that they are in the same box. Fohnson.
Pew fellow is a word yet in nise. Sir F Hawkins.
I find this compound word in Northwarıl Hoe, a comedy, by Decker and Webster, 1607: “He would make him pue-fellow with a lord's steward at least.” Again, in IVestward-Hoe, by the same authors, 1606:
- being both my scholars, and your honest pue-fellows." I remember to have seen in ancient Flemish prints representing Schools, certain inclosures hobling different classes of boys, who, probably, from this circumstance, were styled pew-fellows.
In our places of worship perhaps pews in general are modern conveniences, compared with the age of the buildings that contain them Our hardy ancestors chiefly sat on open benches, such are still remaining in the Pit at Great Saint Mary's, Cambridge.
Steevens. 1 Young York he is but boot,] Boot is that which is thrown in to mend a purchase. Johnson. 2 The adulterate Hastings,] I believe Shakspeare wrote: The adulterer Hastings,
Untimely smother'd in their dusky graves.
may live to say, The dog is dead!
Q. Mar. I call'd thee then, vain flourish of my fortune ; I call's thee then, poor shadow, painted queen; The presentation of but what I was, The flattering index of a direful pageant, * One heav’d a high, to be hurl'd down below: A mother only mock'd with two fair babes; A dream of what thou wast; a garish flag, To be the aim of every dangerous shot;5 A sign of dignity, a breath, a bubble ;
Adulterate is right. We say metals are adulterate; and adulterate sometimes means the same as adulterer. In either sense, on this occasion, the epithet will suit. Hastings was adulterate, as Margaret has tried his friendship and found it faithless ; 'he was an adulterer, as he cohabited with Jane Shore during the life of her husband. So, the Ghost in Hamlet, speaking of the King, says:
-that incestuous, that adulterate beast.” Steevens. 3 Earth gapes, hell burns, fiends roar, saints pray,] This imperfect line is not injudiciously completed by some former editor:
Earth gapes, hell burns, fiends roar for him; saints pray,
To have &c. Steevens. 4 The flattering index of a direful pageant, ] Pageants are dumb shows, and the poet meant to allude to one of these, the index of which promised a happier conclusion. The pageants then displayed on publick occasions were generally preceded by a brief account of the order in which the characters were to walk. These indexes were distributed among the spectators, that they might understand the meaning of such allegorical stuff as was usually exhibited. The index of every book was anciently placed before the beginning of it. Steevens.
a garish flag, To be the aim of every dangerous shot ;] Alluding to the dan. gerous situation of those persons to whose care the standards of armies were entrusted. Steevens.
A queen in jest, only to fill the scene.
Q. Eliz. O thou well skill'd in curses, stay a while, And teach me how to curse mine enemies.
2. Mar. Forbearto sleep the night, and fast' the day; Compare dead happiness with living woe;
6 Where be the bending peers that flatter'd thee?] Mr. Rowe has transferred this question to Alicia in Jane Shore :
where is the king
“That bent the knee before thee?” Steevens. 7 Decline all this,] i. e. run through all this from first to last. So, in Troilus and Cressida: “I'll decline the whole question.” This phrase the poet borrowed from his grammar. Malone.
wheeld about] Thus the quartos. The folio-whirld about. Steevens.
9 Forbear to sleep - and fast -] Fast has no connection with the preceding word forbear; the meaning being,--Sleep not at night, and fast during the day. The quarto reads-to sleep the nights, and fast the days. Malone.
Think that thy babes were fairer1 than they were,
[Exit Q. MAR. Duch. Why should calamity be full of words?
Q. Eliz. Windy attorneys to their client woes, 3
Poor breathing orators of miseries!
were fairer --] So, the quarto. The folio reads-sweeter.
Malone. 2 Bettering thy loss makes the bad-causer worse;] We must either read this line thus:
Bettering thy loss, make the bad-causer worse, which I believe to be the true reading, or include it in a parenthesis. M. Mason.
Duch. Why should calamity be full of words ?
Q. Eliz. Windy attorneys to their client woes,] So, in our au. thor's Venus and Adonis :
“ So of concealed sorrow may be said:
“ The client breaks as desperate of his suit."
Malone Airy succeeders of intestate joys,] As I cannot understand the reading of the folio-intestine, I have adopted another from the quarto in 1597:
Airy succeeders of intestate joys: i. e. words, tun'd to complaints, succeed joys that are dead; and unbequeathed to them, to whom they should properly descend.
Theobald. The metaphor is extremely harsh. The joys already possessed being all consumed and passed away, are supposed to have died intestate, that is, to have made no will
, having nothing to bequeath; and more verbal complaints are their successors, but inherit nothing but misery. Malone.
though what they do impart Help nothing else, yet do thev ease the heart.] So, in Macbeth:
« Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak,
" Whispers the o'er-fraught heart, and bids it break." The quarto reads-Help not at all, Malone.