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Q. Eliz. Brother of Gloster, you mistake the matter: The king, of his own royal disposition, And not provok'd by any suitor else; Aiming, belike, at your interior hatred, That in your outward action shows itself, Against my children, brothers, and myself, Makes him to send; that thereby he may gather The ground of your ill-will,6 and so remove it.
Glo. I cannot tell;— The world is grown so bad, That wrens may prey? where eagles dare not perch: Since every Jack became a gentleman, 8 There 's many a gentle person made a Jack. Q. Eliz. Come, come, we know your meaning, bro
ther Gloster; You envy my advancement, and my friends; God grant, we never may have need of you!
Glo. Meantime, God grants that we have need of you: Our brother is imprison'd by your means, Myself disgrac'd, and the nobility Held in contempt; while great promotions Are daily given, to enoble those That scarce, some two days since, were worth a noble.
Q. Eliz. By Him, that rais’d me to this careful height From that contented hap which I enjoy'd, I never did incense his majesty
6 — of your ill-will, &c.] This line is restored from the first edition. Pope.
By the first edition Mr. Pope, as appears from his Table of Edi. tions, means the quarto of 1598. But that and the subsequent quartos read and to remove. The emendation was made by Mr. Steevens. The folio has only
“ Makes him to send, that he may learn the ground' -.". Here clearly a line was omitted: yet had there been no quarto copy, it would have been thought hardy to supply the omission: but of all the errors of the press omission is the most frequent; and it is a great mistake to suppose that these lacunæ esist only in the imagination of editors and commentators. Malone.
7- may prey -] The quarto, 1598, and the folio read make prey. The correction, which all the editors have adopted, is taken from the quarto, 1602. Malone.
8 Since every Jack became a gentleman,] This proverbial expres. sion at once demonstrates the origin of the term Jack so often used by Shakspeare. It means one of the very lowest class of people, amongst whom this name is of the most common and fa. miliar kind. Douce.
Against the duke of Clarence, but have been
Glo. You may deny that you were not the cause
Riv. She may, my lord; for —
Glo. She may, lord Rivers?-why, who knows not so?
Riv. What, marry, may she?
Q. Eliz. My lord of Gloster, I have too long borne
Enter Queen MARGARET, behind.
Glo. What! threat you me with telling of the king? Tell him, and spare not; look, what I have said I will avouch in presence of the king: I dare adventure to be sent to the Tower. 1 'Tis time to speak, my pains2 are quite forgot.
9 Tell him, and spare not; look, what I have said -- ] This verse I have restored from the old quartos. Theobald.
Here we have another proof of a line being passed over by the transcriber, or the compositor at the press, when the first folio was printed, for the subsequent line is not sense without this.
Malone. 1 I dare adventure to be sent to the Tower.] Perhaps our author elliptically omitted the first to in this line. So, in p. 42:
“To help thee curse” &c. i. e. to curse. See also p. 27, line 13, and p. 31, line 10. Steevens.
Q. Mar. Out, devil!3 I remember them too well :
Glo. Ere you were queen, ay, or your husband king,
Q. Mar. Ay, and much better blood than his, or thine. Glo. In all which time, you, and your husband Grey, Were factious for the house of Lancaster; And, Rivers, so were you :-Was not your husband In Margaret's battles at saint Albans slain? Let me put in your minds, if you forget, What you have been ere now, and what you are ; Withal, what I have been, and what I am.
Q. Mar. A murd'rous villain, and so still thou art. Glo. Poor Clarence did forsake his father Warwick, Ay, and forswore himself,—Which Jesu pardon!
Q. Mar. Which God revenge!
2-my pains ] My labours; my toils. Fohnson.
3 Out, devil!] Mr. Lambe observes, in his notes on the ancient metrical history of The Battle of Floddon Field, that out is an interjection of abhorrence or contempt, most frequent in the mouths of the common people of the north. It occurs again in Act IV:
“- out on ye, owls!” Steevens. 4- royalize -] i.e. to make royal. So, in Claudius Tiberius Nero, 1607 :
“ Who means to-morrow for to royalize
“ The triumphs" &c. Steevens. 5- Was not your husband
In Margaret's battle sc.] It is said in Henry VI, that he died in quarrel of the house of York. Johnson.
The account here given is the true one. See this inconsistency accounted for in Vol. X, p. 356, and in the Dissertation at the end of the Third Part of King Henry VI, p. 466. Malone. Margaret's battle is-Margaret's army. Ritson. So, in King Henry IV, P. I:
“What may the king's whole battle reach unto?" Steevens.
Q. Mar. Hie thee to hell for shame, and leave this
Fiv. My lord of Gloster, in those busy days,
Q. Eliz. As little joy, my lord, as you suppose
Q. Mar. A little joy enjoys the queen thereof;
6 — our lawful king;] So the quarto, 1598, and the subsequent quartos. The folio has--sovereign king.
In this play the variations between the original copy in quarto, and the folio, are more numerous than, I believe, in any other of our author's pieces. The alterations, it is highly probable, were made, not by Shakspeare, but by the players, many of them being very injudicious. The text has been formed out of the two copies, the folio, and the early quarto; from which the preceding editors have in every scene selected such readings as appeared to them fit to be adopted. To enumerate every variation between the copies would encumber the page with little use. Malone.
7 Hear me, you wrangling pirates, &c.] This scene of Margaret's imprecations is fine and artful She prepares the audience, like another Cassandra, for the following tragic revolutions. Warburton.
Surely, the merits of this scene are insufficient to excuse its improbability. Margaret, bullying the court of England in the royal palace, is a circumstance as absurd as the courtship of Gloster in a publick street. Steerens.
8_ which you have pillid from me:) To pill is to pillage. So, in The Martyrd Soldier, by Shirley, 1638:
“ He has not pillid the rich, nor flay'd the poor.” Steevens. To pill, is literally, to take off the outside, or rind. Thus they say in Devonshire, to pill an apple, rather than pare it; and Shirley uses the word precisely in this sense. Henley.
Ah, gentle villain,' do not turn away!
Q. Mar. I was; but I do find more pain in banishment,
Glo. The curse my noble father laid on thee, When thou didst crown his warlike brows with paper, And with thy scorns drew'st rivers from his eyes; And then, to dry them, gav'st the duke a clout, Steep'd in the faultless blood of pretty Rutland ;His curses, then from bitterness of soul
9 Ah, gentle villain,] We should read:
ungentle villain, Warburton. The meaning of gentle is not, as the commentator imagines, tender or courteous, but high-born. An opposition is meant between that and villain, which means at once a wicked and a low-born wretch. So before:
“ Since ev'ry Jack is made a gentleman,
“ There 's many a gentle person made a Jack.” Johnson. Gentle appears to me to be taken in its common acceptation, but to be used ironically. M. Mason.
1_ what mak’st thou in my sight.?] An obsolete expression for-what dost thou in my sight. So, in Othello:
“Ancient, what makes he here?” Margaret in her answer takes the word in its orclinary accepta- . tion. Malone. So does Orlando, in As you like it :
“ Now, sir, what make you here!
“ Nothing: I am not taught to make any thing." Steevens. 2 Wert thou not banished, on pain of death?? Margaret fled into France after the battle of Hexham in 1464, and Edward soon afterwards issued a proclamation, prohibiting any of his subjects from aiding her to return, or harbouring her, should she attempt to revisit England She remained abroad vill the 141h of April, 1471, when she landed at Weymouth. After the battle of Tewks. bury, in May, 1471, she was confined in the Tower, where she continued a prisoner till 1475, when she was ransomed by her father Reignier, and removed to France, where she died in 1482. The present scene is in 1477-8. Malone.