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And by the glorious worth of my descent,
K. Rich. How high a pitch his resolution soars Thomas of Norfolk, what say'st thou to this?
Nor. O, let my sovereign turn away his face,
K. Rich. Mowbray, impartial are our eyes and ears.
Nor. Then, Boling broke, as low as to thy heart, Through the false passage of thy throat, thou liest ! Three parts of that receipt I had for Calais, Disbursed I duly to his highness' soldiers: The other part reserved I by consent; For that my sovereign liege was in my debt, Upon remainder of a dear account, Since last I went to France to fetch his queen. Now swallow down that lie.
-For Gloster's death, I slew him not, but, to my own disgrace, Neglected my sworn duty in that case.For you, my noble lord of Lancaster, The honorable father to my foe, Once did I lay in ambush for your lifeA trespass that doth vex my grieved soul ; But, ere I last received the sacrament,
1 Reproach to his ancestry.
2 The duke of Norfolk was joined in commission with Edward, earl of Rutland (the Aumerle of this play), to go to France in the year 1395, to demand in marriage Isabel, eldest daughter of Charles VI., then between seven and eight years of age. Richard was married to his young consort in November, 1396, at Calais; his first wife, Anne, daughter of Charles IV., emperor of Germany, died at Shene, on Whit Sunday, 1394. His marriage with Isabella was merely political : it was accompanied with an agreement for a truce between France and England for thirty years.
I did confess it; and exactly begged
K. Rich. Wrath-kindled gentlemen, be ruled by me.
Gaunt. To be a make-peace shall become my age. Throw down, my son, the duke of Norfolk's gage.
K. Rich. And, Norfolk, throw down his.
Gaunt. When, Harry? when? 3 Obedience bids, I should not bidagain. K. Rich. Norfolk, throw down ; we bid; there is
no boot. 4
2 Pope thought that some of the rhyming verses in this play were not from the hand of Shakspeare.
3 This abrupt elliptical exclamation of impatience is again used in the Taming of the Shrew :—“Why, when, I say! Nay, good, sweet Kate, be
I merry.” It appears to be equivalent to " when will such a thing be done?"
4 « There is no boot,” or it booteth not, is as much as to say resistance would be profitless.
5 i. e. my name that lives on my grave in despite of death.
I am disgraced, impeached, and baffled here;
Rage must be withstood;
you begin. Boling. O, God defend my soul from such foul sin ! Shall I seem crest-fallen in my father's sight? Or with pale beggar-fear impeach my height Before this out-dared dastard ! Ere my tongue Shall wound mine honor with such feeble wrong, Or sound so base a parle, my teeth shall tear The slavish motive of recanting fear; And spit it bleeding in his high disgrace, Where shame doth harbor, even in Mowbray's face.
[Exit Gaunt. K. Rich. We were not born to sue, but to com
mand; Which since we cannot do to make you friends, Be ready, as your lives shall answer it,
| Baffled, in this place, signifies “ abused, reviled, reproached in base terms ;" which was the ancient signification of the word, as well as to deceive or circumvent.
2 There is an allusion here to the crest of Norfolk, which was a golden leopard.
3 The old copies have “his spots.” The alteration was made by Pope.
At Coventry, upon Saint Lambert's day;
SCENE II. The same. A Room in the Duke of
Enter Gaunt, and Duchess of Gloster.
Duch. Finds brotherhood in thee no sharper spur?
1 i. e. make them friends, reconcile them.
2 To design is to mark out, to show by a token. It is the sense of the Latin designo.
3 The duchess of Gloster was Eleanor Bohun, widow of duke Thomas, son of Edward III.
4 i. e. my relationship of consanguinity to Gloster.
By envy's hand, and murder's bloody axe.
womb, That mettle, that self-mould, that fashioned thee, Made him a man; and though thou liv'st, and
breath'st, Yet art thou slain in him ; thou dost consent
1 In some large measure to thy father's death, In that thou seest thy wretched brother die, Who was the model of thy father's life. Call it not patience, Gaunt, it is despair ; In suffering thus thy brother to be slaughtered, Thou show'st the naked pathway to thy life, Teaching stern murder how to butcher thee. That which in mean men we entitle-patience, Is pale, cold cowardice in noble breasts. What shall I say? To safeguard thine own life, The best way is—to 'venge my Gloster's death. Gaunt. Heaven's is the quarrel ; for Heaven's sub
stitute, His deputy anointed in his sight, Hath caused his death ; the which, if wrongfully, Let Heaven revenge ; for I may never lift An angry arm against his minister. Duch. Where then, alas! may I complain myself? 1
1 To complain is commonly a verb neuter; but it is here used as a verb active. It is a literal translation of the old French phrase me complaindre, and is not peculiar to Shakspeare.