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Buck. I fear, he will: Here Catesby comes again ;

Re-enter CATESBY. Now Catesby, what says his grace?

Cates. He wonders to what end you have assembled Such troops

of citizens to come to him, His

grace not being warn’d thereof before: He fears, my lord, you mean no good to him.

Buck. Sorry I am, my noble cousin should
Suspect me, that I mean no good to him:
By heaven, we come to him in perfect love;
And so once more return and tell his grace.

[Exit CATES.
When holy and devout religious men
Are at their beads, 'tis hard to draw them thence;
So sweet is zealous contemplation.
Enter GLOSTER, in a Gallery, above, between Two

Bishops.® CATESBY returns.
May. See, where his grace stands 'tween two clergy-

Buck. Two props of virtue for a christian prince,
To stay him from the fall of vanity:
And, see, a book of prayer in his hand;
True ornaments to know a holy man.'
Famous Plantagenet, most gracious prince,
Lend favourable ear to our requests;



God defend, his grace should say us nay!

y!] This pious and courtly Mavor was Edmund Shaw, brother to Doctor Shaw, whom Richard had employed to prove his title to the crown, from the pulpit at Saint Paul's Cross Malone.

between Two Bishops.] “ At the last he came out of his chamber, and yet not downe to theim, but in a galary over theim, with a bishop on every hande of hym, where thei beneth might see hym and speake to hym, as though he woulde not yet come nere theim til he wist what they meant,” &c. Hall's Chronicle.

Farmer So also, Holinshed after him. The words “ with a bishop on every hande of hym,” are an interpolation by Hall, or rather by Grafton, (See his Continuation of Harding's Chronicle, 1543, fol. 75,) not being found in Sir Thomas More’s History of King Richard III, folio, 1557, from whom the rest of the sentence is transcribed. Malone.

9- to know a holy man.) i. e. to know a holy man by. See note on Coriolanus, Act III, sc. ii, where several instances of a similar phraseology are given. Malone,

And pardon us the interruption
Of thy devotion, and right-christian zeal.

Glo. My lord, there needs no such apology;
I rather do beseech you pardon me,
Who, earnest in the service of my God,
Neglect the visitation of my friends.
But, leaving this, what is your grace's pleasure ?

Buck. Even that, I hope, which pleaseth God above, And all good men of this ungovern’d isle.

Glo. I do suspect, I have done some offence, That seems disgracious in the city's eye ; And that you come to reprehend my ignorance. Buck. You have, my lord; Would it might please your

grace, On our entreaties, to amend your fault!

Glo. Else wherefore breathe I in a Christian land?

Buck. Know, then, it is your fault, that you resign The supreme seat, the throne majestical, The scepter'd office of your ancestors, Your state of fortune, and your due of birth, The lineal glory of your royal house, To the corruption of a blemish'd stock: Whilst, in the mildness of your sleepy thoughts, (Which here we waken to our country's good) The noble isle doth want her proper limbs;? Her face defac'd with scars of infamy, Her royal stock graft with ignoble plants, And almost shoulder'd in the swallowing gulf Of dark forgetfulness 3 and deep oblivion.


her proper limbs;] Thus the quarto 1598. The folio has his limbs; an error which I should not mention, but that it jus. tifies corrections that I have made in other places, where, for want of more ancient copies than one, conjectural emendation became necessary. Malone. * 2 Her royal stock graft with ignoble plants,] Shakspeare seems to have recollected the text on which Dr. Shaw preached his remarkable Sermon at Saint Paul's Cross: “ Bastard slips shall never take deep root.” Malone. 3 And almost shoulder'd in the swallowing gulf

Of dark forgetfulness – ] What it is to be shoulder'd in a gulph, Hanmer is the only editor who seems not to have known; for the rest let it pass without observation. He reads:

Almost shou!ier'i into th? swallowing gulph. I believe we should read:

Which to recure, 4 we heartily solicit
Your gracious self to take on you the charge
And kingly government of this your land:
Not as protector, steward, substitute,
Or lowly factor for another's gain;
But as successively, from blood to blood,
Your right of birth, your empery, your own.
For this, consorted with the citizens,
Your very worshipful and loving friends,
And by their vehement instigation,
In this just suit come I to move your grace.

Glo. I cannot tell, if to depart in silence,
Or bitterly to speak in your reproof,
Best fitteth my degree, or your condition:
If, not to answer, 5-—you might haply think,
Tongue-tied ambition, not replying, yielded
To bear the golden yoke of sovereignty,
Which fondly you would here impose on me;
If to reprove you for this suit of yours,

And almost smoulder'd in the swallowing gulph. That is, almost smother'd, covered and lost. Fohnson.

I suppose the old reading to be the true one. So, in The Barons' Wars, by Drayton, canto i:

“Stoutly t affront and shoulder in debate.” In is used for into. So before in this play:

“But first I'll turn yon fellow in his grave." Again, ibid:

- Falsely to draw me in these vile suspects.” Shoulder'd has the same meaning as rudely thrust into.

So, in a curious ancient paper quoted by Mr. Lysons in his Environs of London, Vol. III, p. 80, n. 1:"-lyke tyraunts and lyke madde men helpynge to shulderynge other of the sayd bannermen ynto the dyche,” &c. Again, in Arthur Hall's translation of the second Iliad, 1581: He preaseth him, him he again, shouldring ech one his

feere.Steevens. 4 Which to recure,] To recure is to recover. This word is 'fre. quently used by Spenser; and both as a verb and a substantive in Lyly's Endymion, 1591. Steevens.

5 If, not to answer,] If I should take the former course, and depart in silence, &c. So below:If, to reprove,” &c. The editor of the second folio reads-For not to answer; and his capricious alteration of the text has been adopted by all the subsequent editors. This and the nine following lines are not in the quarto.


So season'd with your faithful love to me,
Then, on the other side, I check'd


Therefore, to speak, and to avoid the first;
And then, in speaking, not to incur the last
Definitively thus I answer you.
Your love deserves my thanks; but my desert
Unmeritable, shuns your high request.
First, if all obstacles were cut away,
And that my path were even to the crown,
As the ripe revenue and due of birth ;6
Yet so much is my poverty of spirit,
So mighty, and so many, my defects,
That I would rather hide me from my greatness,
Being a bark to brook no mighty sea,
Than in my greatness covet to be hid,
And in the vapour of my glory smother'd.
But, God be thank'd, there is no need of me;
(And much I need to help you,? if need were ;)
The royal tree hath left us royal fruit,
Which, mellow'd by the stealing hours of time,
Will well become the seat of majesty,
And make, no doubt, us happy by his reign.
On him I lay what you would lay on me,
The right and fortune of his happy stars,-
Which, God defend, that I should wring from him!

Buck. My lord, this argues conscience in your grace;
But the respects thereof are nice and trivial, 8
All circumstances well considered.

that Edward is your brother's son; So say we too, but not by Edward's wife:

6 As the ripe revenue and due of birth;? So the folio. The quarto 1598 thus:

“As my right, revenue, and due by birth.” A preceding line seems rather to favour the original reading:

“ Your right of birth, your empery, your own.” The first quarto, (1597] I find, reads:

“ As my ripe revenew, and due by birth.” Malone. 7 And much I need to help you,] And I want much of the ability requisite to give you belp, if help were needed. Johnson.

are nice and trivial,] Nice is generally used by Shakspeare in the sense of minute, trifling, of petty import. So, in Romeo and Juliet :

" The letter was not nice, but full of charge." Malone.


For first he was contract to lady Lucy,
Your mother lives a witness to his vow;
And afterwards by substitute betroth'd
To Bona, sister to the king of France.9
These both put by, a poor petitioner, 1
A care-craz'd mother to a many sons,
A beauty-waning and distressed widow,
Even in the afternoon of her best days,
Made prize and purchase of his wanton eye,
Seduc'd the pitch and height of all his thoughts
To base declension and loath'd bigamy:2
By her, in his unlawful bed,
This Edward, whom our manners call—the prince.
More bitterly could I expostulate,
Save that, for reverence to some alive, 3
I gave a sparing limit to my tongue.
Then, good my lord, take to your royal self
This proffer'd benefit of dignity:
If not to bless us and the land withal,
Yet to draw forth your noble ancestry


9 To Bona, sister to the king of France.] See King Henry VI, P. III, Act III, sc. iii. Bona was daughter to the Duke of Savoy, and sister to Charlotte, wife to Lewis XI, King of France.

Malone. 1- a poor petitioner,] See Vol. X, King Henry VI, P. III, Act III, p. 356. Malone.

- loath'd bigamy:] Bigamı, by a canon of the council of Lyons, A. D. 1274, (adopted in England by a statute in 4 Edw. 1.) was made unlawful and infamous. It differed from polygamy, or having two wives at once ; as it consisted in either marrying two virgins successively, or once marrying a widow. · Blackstone.

Loath'd bigamy:] So Sir T. More, copied by Hall and Holinshed : "

the only widowhead of Elizabeth Grey, though she were in all other things convenient for you, should yet suffice, as me seemeth, to restraine you from her marriage, sith it is an unfitting thing, and a verie blemish and high disparagement to the sacred majestie of a prince, (that ought as nigh to approach priesthood in cleanness, as he doth in dignity,) to be defouled with bigamie in his first marriage.” Malone. 3 More bitterly could I expostulate,

Save that, for reverence to some alive,] The Duke here hints at a topick which he had touched upon in his address to the citizens, the pretended bastardy of Edward and Clarence. By “some alive,” is meant the Duchess of York, the mother of Edward and Richard. Malone.

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