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desired, and when he should be most busilie marking the martiall pastime, he suddenlie should be slaine and destroied" (vol. iii. p. 10).
299. Line 56: What SEAL is that, that hangs without thy bosom?-See Romeo and Juliet, note 164. The circumstance of the seal was Shakespeare's invention. Holinshed says that as Rutland (Aumerle) sat at dinner he "had his counterpane of the indenture of the confederacie in his bosome," and that "The father espieing it, would needs see what it was: and though the sonne humblie denied to shew it, the father being more earnest to see it, by force tooke it out of his bosome" (vol. iii. p. 10).
300. Line 81: I will not PEACE. Compare ii. 3. 87: grace me no grace." The duchess makes a verb out of peace, in the same way as York, in the line quoted, makes a verb out of grace.
301. Line 90: Have we more sons?-York had one more son at least, Richard Earl of Cambridge, who figures among the dramatis personæ of Henry V.
302. Line 98: And INTERCHANGEABLY set down their hands.-Compare I. Henry IV. iii. 1. 80, 81:
And our indentures tripartite are drawn; Which being sealed INTERCHANGEABLY. Holinshed says: "Hervpon was an indenture sextipartite made, sealed with their seales, and signed with their hands, in the which each stood bound to other, to do their whole indeauour for the accomplishing of their purposed exploit "(vol. iii. p. 10). The have ta'en the sacrament of the line above means nothing more but that they had taken a solemn oath; Holinshed says, "on the holie euangelists."
303. Lines 102, 103:
Hadst thou groan'd for him
As I have done, thou WOULDEST be more pitiful. These lines are printed in the Qq. and Ff. thus:
Hadst thou groan'd for him as I have done,
Thou wouldst be more pitiful.
except that the Ff. read wouldest, which we have retained, arranging the line as usually arranged by modern editors, who nearly all retain wouldst, so making the line (103) a very clumsy verse. The reading of the Folio makes it at least a good Alexandrine.
ACT V. SCENE 3.
304. Line 1: Can no man tell me of MY UNTHRIFTY SON? This speech is interesting as being the first mention of Prince Henry, Shakespeare's favourite royal hero. As the unthrifty son was only twelve years old at this time, he could scarcely have begun his career of dissipation. But Shakespeare, wisely, had no fear of anachronisms.
305. Line 10: WHILE he, young WANTON and EFFEMINATE boy. While is Pope's emendation for which, the reading of all the old copies. Wanton is here a substantive. Compare King John, v. 1. 69, 70:
Shall a beardless boy,
A cocker'd silken wanton, brave our fields?
Effeminate seems a singularly inappropriate epithet for Prince Henry, the friend of Falstaff; whatever his faults or vices, they were certainly those of a man.
306. Line 34: If ON the first. - Malone explains this phrase: "If your fault stands only on intention." We have preferred to keep the reading of the old copies here, rather than adopt any one of the various proposed emendations; on is undoubtedly equivalent to of.
307. Line 36: Then give me leave that I may TURN THE KEY.-Holinshed (copying from Hall) says: "The earle of Rutland seeing in what danger he stood, tooke his horsse and rode another waie to Windsore in post, so that he got thither before his father, and when he was alighted at the castell gate, he caused the gates to be shut, saieing that he must needs deliver the keies to the king" (vol. iii. p. 10).
308. Line 61: sheer.-Compare Spenser's Fairy Queen, bk. iii. canto 2, st. 44:
Who having viewed in a fountain shere
We still call thin transparent muslin sheer muslin.
309. Line 80: And now chang'd to "The Beggar and the King."-Referring to the ballad of King Cophetua. See Love's Labour's Lost, note 24. In Johnson's Garland of Roses, 1612, the ballad is called simply A Song of a Beggar and a King; and in Cynthia's Revenge by J. S. it is alluded to as:
The story of a Beggar and the King
310. Lines 87-146.-I believe that the whole of the latter part of this scene is taken, almost entirely, from some old play, and contains scarcely a line written by Shakespeare; or, if his, it must be some of his very earliest work.
311. Line 93: For ever will I WALK upon my knees.— Ff. and Q. 5 read kneel, which is very weak; all the four earlier Quartos have walk. At the Santa Scala, outside the Basilica of the Lateran, may be seen the marks of the pilgrim's knees which have worn away the stone; and at Canterbury Cathedral, on a lesser scale, may be seen the same proof of how the pious of old literally walked upon their knees; so that the expression is quite intelligible. 312. Line 101: His eyes do drop no tears, his prayers are jest.-Qq. and Ff. have:
His eyes do drop no tears, his prayers are in jest. Following Capell, we have omitted in.
313. Lines 109, 110.-Both these lines end in have; but probably it was an oversight. The substitution of crave, in either case, as has been proposed by Pope and Walker, seems to weaken the sense.
314. Line 119: say, "pardon-ne moy”—i.e. excuse me, a polite way of saying "No." The whole speech is wretched stuff. That moi was pronounced moy, as it is written in all the old copies, is evident from this passage. Compare Henry V. iv. 4. 14:
Moy shall not serve; I will have forty moys.
315. Line 137: But for our trusty BROTHER-IN-LAW, and the ABBOT.-The brother-in-law was John Holland, Earl of Huntingdon, uterine brother of Richard II., created
Duke of Exeter in 1397. He had married Henry's sister, Elizabeth. He was degraded from his dukedom in Henry IV.'s first parliament at the same time that Aumerle was degraded to Earl of Rutland. (See above, note 296.) For the ABBOT, see above, note 19.
316. Line 144: Uncle, farewell:- and, cousin MINE, adieu.-All Qq. but Q. 5 and Ff. print the line:
Uncle farewell: and cousin adieu.
The Camb. Edd. suggest that the line may be amended thus:
Uncle, farewell; farewell, aunt; cousin, adieu.
They say: "it seems only consonant with good manners that the king should take leave of his aunt as well as of the others. There is a propriety too in his using a colder form of leave-taking to his guilty cousin than to his uncle and aunt" (p. 230). But "cousin mine," like "trusty brother-in-law" (above, line 137), may be said in an ironical tone. I had inserted mine in the margin of the text before I found that it was the reading of Collier's MS. Corrector
ACT V. SCENE 4.
317. Line 1.-The account of Richard's death, adopted by Shakespeare, rests on very doubtful authority. Holinshed copied it from Hall, and Hall from Fabyan. According to Rolfe, it was related by Caxton in his addition to Hygden's Polychronicon; according to Staunton, Holinshed's authority was Abraham Fleming. According to the account in Holinshed, the words of Henry were overheard when he was "sitting on a daie at his table."
ACT V. SCENE 5.
318. Lines 13, 14:
and do set the word itself Against the word.
The meaning of the phrase is "set one passage of the Bible against another." Ff. Q. 5 substitute faith for word, probably with a fear of James the First's edict against blasphemy before their eyes. The passages from the New Testament referred to in the following lines are from St. Matthew xix. 14; xi. 28; xix. 24.
319. Line 17: To thread the POSTERN of a NEEDLE'S eye. -Q. 1, Q. 2 read:
To thread the postern of a small needle's eye;
while Q. 2, Q. 4 read:
To thread the small postern of a small needle's eye. The discrepancy seems to show that the poet had written the word small and afterwards struck it out. Dyce reads "small neeld's eye;" there is no doubt needle was often written neeld, and pronounced as a monosyllable; but the reading adopted in the text is that of Ff. Q. 5, and certainly furnishes the most harmonious line. tern is the back-gate of a fortress, and generally therefore low and narrow. It has been said by some commentators that by the 'needle's eye,' in the above-quoted passage from the Gospel, is intended the narrow gate of an eastern town so called, which was only wide enough to admit foot passengers. This interpretation Shakespeare had probably heard of, and combined it with the
more common and obvious one which explains the phrase as hyperbolical and expressive of anything which is impossible" (Clarendon Press Edn. pp. 152, 153).
320. Lines 50-54:
For now hath time made me his numbering clock:
Is pointing still, in cleansing them from tears. His numbering clock, according to the Clarendon Press Edd. means: "the clock by which he counts hours and minutes, which he could not do with his hour glass" (p. 153). For jar tick, compare Winter's Tale, i. 2. 43, 44: I love thee not a jar o' the clock behind
What lady she her lord.
The outward watch, Steevens explains, was "the movable figure of a man habited like a watchman, with a pole and lantern in his hand. The figure had the word watch written on its forehead, and was placed above the dialplate" (Var. Ed. p. 164), and he quotes from Churchyard's Charitie, 1595:
The clocke will strike in haste, I heare the watch
The passage, which is a very difficult one to understand,
-Var. Ed. vol. xvi. pp. 164, 165.
321. Line 60: his JACK O' THE CLOCK.-Alluding to one of those little mechanical figures, in iron or bronze, which, in old clocks, struck the bell at every quarter of the hour. These figures were called Jacks o' the clock, or Jacks o' th' Clock-house. Probably the name Jack was suggested by the Jacks, or keys, of the virginals.
322. Lines 67, 68:
Groom. Hail, ROYAL prince!
Thanks, NOBLE peer;
325. Line 94: SPURR'D, GALL'D, and TIR'D by JAUNCING Bolingbroke.-Ff. Q. 5 read spur gall'd. The reading in the text is that (substantially) of Q. 1, Q. 2, Q. 3, Q. 4. It is very probable that, in this case, the Folios are right. Cotgrave explains: "Jancer vn cheval. To stirre a horse in the stable till he be swart with all; or (as our) to jaunt; (an old word)." Jaunting occurs in Rom. and Jul. ii.
To catch my death with jaunting up and down. There Q. 3, Q. 4 have jaunsing, and it is evidently the same word. In this passage all the Qq. and Ff. have jauncing. The word does not occur elsewhere in Shakespeare. It might appear that tir'd (tirde in Q. 1, tyr'd in F. 1) was the same word as that used in Love's Labour 's Lost iv. 2. 130 (see note 101 of that play); but tire, whether used in the sense of "to dress," or "to weary," is indifferently spelt tyre in F. 1; and " wearied," or "fatigued," makes here the better sense. Compare the following line in Beaumont and Fletcher's Mad Lover (v. 3):
Plague o' your spur-galled conscience! does it fire now?
326. Lines 99-104.-Holinshed's account of this incident is as follows: "This knight incontinentlie departed from the court, with eight strong persons in his companie, and came to Pomfret, commanding the esquier that was accustomed to sew and take the assaie before king Richard, to doo so no more, saieng; 'Let him eat now, for he shall not long eat.' King Richard sat downe to dinner, and was serued without courtesie or assaie, wherevpon much maruelling at the sudden change, he demanded of the esquier whie he did not his dutie; 'Sir (said he) I am otherwise commanded by Sir Piers of Exton, which is newlie come from K. Henrie.' When king Richard heard that word, he tooke the keruing knife in his hand, and strake the esquier on the head, saieng The diuel take Henrie of Lancaster and thee togither" (vol. iii. p. 14).
327. Line 106: WHAT MEANS death in this rude assault! -Staunton proposes: " Whut? mean'st death in this rude assault?" which certainly makes better sense. The pas sage is very obscure; it may mean, "What is the meaning of such an attempt upon my life in such a rude assault?" but I confess it is not easy to make any sense of it. Death is spelt with a capital both in Q. 1 and F. 1 in this line, and with a small d in the next line; otherwise one might suspect the word death had slipped up here from the line below. It may be that the poet's idea was that Richard had been expecting Death for some time, and was now surprised to see it come in so rude a shape.
328. Lines 2, 3:
ACT V. SCENE 6.
the rebels have consum'd with fire Our town of Cicester in Glostershire. From the account given by Holinshed it appears the rebel lords were in two different inns in Cirencester, and their army lay outside the town; that the Earl of Kent and the Earl of Salisbury, in one inn, were besieged by the "bailiffe of the town with fourscore archers;" the Earl of Huntingdon and Lord Spenser, being in another inn, set fire on diuerse houses in the towne, thinking that the assailants would leaue the assault and rescue their goods, which thing they nothing regarded" (vol. iii. p. 11). But the effect of this manœuvre was unfortunate for the rebels, since their army, seeing the fire, thought King Henry's army had arrived, and "fled without measure," leaving their chiefs to shift for themselves.
329. Line 8: The heads of Salisbury, Spencer, Blunt, and Kent.-So Ff. Q. 5. The four first Quartos read "of Oxford, Salisbury;" an evident slip of the pen on the writer's part. The town of Oxford is frequently mentioned in connection with the conspiracy, and Shakespeare may have written the name by mistake for one of the conspirators; but there is no need to perpetuate the
330. Line 14: The heads of Brocas, and Sir Bennet Seely.-Holinshed says: "Manie other that were priuie to this conspiracie, were taken, and put to death, some at Oxford, as sir Thomas Blunt, sir Benet Cilie knight, ' and Thomas Wintercell esquier; but sir Leonard Brokas, and sir John Shellie knights, John Maudelen, and William Ferbie chapleins, were drawne, hanged, and beheaded at London" (vol. iii. p. 13).
331. Line 25: Chose out some secret place, &c.- Holin shed says: "The Bishop of Carleill was impeached, and condemned of the same conspiracie; but the king of his mercifull clemencie, pardoned him of that offense, although he died shortly after, more through feare than force of sicknesse, as some haue written" (vol. iii. p. 13).
332. Line 30.-"After he (Richard) was thus dead, his bodie was imbalmed, and seered, and couered with lead, all saue the face, to the intent that all men might see him, and perceiue that he was departed this life: for as the corps was conueied from Pomfret to London, in all the townes and places where those that had the conueiance of it did staie with it all night, they caused dirige to be soong in the euening, and masse of requiem in the
NOTE. The addition of sub., adj., verb, adv. in brackets immediately after a word indicates that the word is
The compound words marked with an asterisk (*) are printed in F. 1 as two separate words.