« PreviousContinue »
And weigh thee down to ruin, shame, and death!
Sleep, Richmond, sleep in peace, and wake in joy;
The Ghost of Queen ANNE rises.
To-morrow in the battle think on me,
The Ghost of BUCKINGHAM rises.
[To K. Rich.
- laid.] This is a poor feeble reading. I have restored from the
"Let us be lead within thy bosom, Richard."
« And weigh thee down to ruin, shame, and death!” Theobald.
With such a companion well might Anne say, that she never . clept one quict hour. ' Malone.
And die in terror of thy guiltiness!
5 I died for hope,] i. e. I died for wishing well to you. But Mr. Theobald, with great sagacity, conjectured holpe or aid; which gave the line this fine sense, I died for giving thee aid before I could give thee aid. Warburton. Sir Thomas Hanmer reads:
I died forsook, and supports his conjecture, as follows:
“ This, as appears from history, was the case of the Duke of Buckingham: that being stopped with his army upon the banks of Severn by great deluges of rain, he was deserted by his sol. diers, who, being in great distress, half famished for want of victuals, and destitute of pay, disbanded themselves and fled.”.
Sir Thomas Hanmer's emendation is very plausible; but may not the meaning of the expression be, I died for only having hoped to give you that assistance, which I never had it in my power to afford you in reality?
It may, however, be observed, that fore, or for, when joined to a verb, had anciently a negative signification. So, in Macbeth:
He shall live a man forbid.” As to bid was to pray, so to forbid had the meaning directly oppo. site, i. e. to curse. In Antony and Cleopatra, to forspeak is to speak against. In Hamlet, and The Midsummer Night's Dream, to fordo is the very reverse of to do. Holpen or holp is the old participle passive of help, and is used in Macbeth:
his great love, sharp as his spur, hath holp him “ To his home before us." Instead of for hope, we may therefore read forholpe, which would mean unaidel, abandoned, deserted, unhelped, which was the real misfortune of the Duke of Buckingham. The word holp has occurred likewise in this play:
“Let him thank me that holp to send him thither." Again, in Coriolanus:
"Have holp to make this rescue.” Steevens. Perhaps we should read:
I died fore-done, wc. So, in Hamlet, Act V:
“ Fore-do its own life.” Tyrwhitt. * I died for hope,] This passage is involved in an obscurity, which the commentators, however ingenious, vainly endeavour to elucidate: on so intricate a point, I may be excused in hazarding an opinion. The word for, is frequently used by our author for of. In the present instance—“ I died for hope," appears to be used in the same manner, as “I died for Love,”—“I died for Fear,” &c. The personification is frequently introduced with -bind up my
But cheer thy heart, and be thou not dismay’d:
[The Ghosts vanish. K. Rich. starts out of his dream. K. Rich. Give me another horse,6
wounds Have mercy,
-Soft; I did but dream.-
fine effect by Shakspeare. Should this suggestion be correct, the meaning is plain: “ I died of Hope"- Hope (by luring me from the precautions which an enterprise, fraught with danger, required, rendered easy in appearance what was ditficult in reality, --if not impossible) was my death, therefore, he truly says, I died for [of] Hope," —Hope being the cause of his death.
Am. Ed. 6 Give me another horse ] There is in this, as in many of our author's speeches of passion, something very trifling, and something very striking. Richard's debate, whether he should quarrel with himself, is too long continued, but the subsequent exaggeration of his crimes is truly tragical. Johnson.
7 The lights burn blue.) So, in Lyly's Galathea, 1592: “I thought there was some spirit in it because it burnt so blue; for my mother would often tell me when the candle burnt blue, there was some ill spirit in the house." It was anciently supposed that fire was a preservative against evil spirits ;“because," says Nash, in Pierce Penniless's Supplication to the Devil, 1595, “when any spirit ap. peareth, the lights by little and little goe out as it were of their own accord, and the takers are by degrees extinguished.” The takers are the spirits who blast or take. So, in King Lear:
-strike her young bones,
· It is now dead midnight.] So reads the quarto, 1597. The next quarto corruptly reads-“It is not dead midnight;" for which the editor of the folio, to obtain some sense, substituted, “ Is it not dead midnight?” Malone.
The reading of the quarto, 1597, could it be supposed to need support, might meet with it in the following observation of Hamlet :
is now the very witching time of night." Steevens.
that is, I am I.] Thus the quarto, 1598, and the folio. The quarto, 1597, leads--I and I. I am not sure that it is not right." Malone.
Is there a murderer here? No;- Yes; I am:
1 I love myself ] The old copies redundantly read-- Alack, I love, &c. Steevens.
2 Methought, the souls &c.] These lines stand with so little propriety at the end of this speech, that I cannot but suspect them to be misplaced. Where then shall they be inserted? Perhaps after these words:
“ Fool, do not Aatter." Fohnson. I agree with Johnson in supposing that this and the two following lines have been misplaced, but I differ from him with respect to their just situation.—The place, in my opinion, in which they might be introduced with the most propriety, is just ten lines further on, after the words
“ Ratcliff, I fear, I fear,
“ Methought,” &c. And then Ratcliff's reply
“ Nay, good my lord, be not afraid of shadows." would he natural; whereas as the text is now regulated, Ratcliff bids bim not to be afraid of shadows, without knowing that he had been haunted by them; uniess we suppose that the idea of shadows is included in what Richard calls a frightful trenin.
M. Misca. Cold fearful drops stand on my trembling flesh. What do I fear? &c.
Methought, the souls of all that I had murlerd-] Either the two and twenty intermediate lines are not Shakspeare's, or aro VOL. XI.
Came to my tent; and every one did threat
Rat. Ratcliff, my lord; ’tis I.3 The early village cock
K. Rich. O, Ratcliff,I have dream'd a fearful dream! What thinkest thou? will our friends prove all true?
Rat. No doubt, my lord.
Ratcliff, I fear, I fear, Rat. Nay, good my lord, be not afraid of shadows.
K. Rich. By the apostle Paul, shadows to-night
[Exeunt K. Rich. and Rat.
so unworthy of him, that it were to be wished they could with propriety be degraded to the margin. I wonder that Dr. Johnson, who thought the subsequent lines misplaced, did not perceive that their connection with the preceding part of the speech, ending at-trembling flesh, was interrupted solely by this apparent interpolation, which is in the highest degree childish and unnatural. Ritson.
I rather suppose these lines (though genuine) to have been crossed out of the stage manuscript by Shakspeare himself, and afterwards restored by the original but tasteless editor of this play.
Burbage, the first performer of Richard, might, for obvious reasons, have requested their dismission; or the poet discovering how awkwardly they stood, might, “ without a prompter,” have discarded them. Steevens.
e'tis 1.] Surely, these two syllables, serving only to derange the metre, should be omitted; or we ought to read:
My lord, 'tis 1. The early village-cock Steevens. 40, Ratcliff, &c.] This and the two following lines are omitted in the folio." Yet Ratcliff is there permitted to say—“ be not afraid of shadows,” though Richard's dream has not been mentioned:
: an additional proof of what has been already suggested in p. 167, n. 8. Malone.