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RICHMOND's Tent opens, and discovers him and his
Richm. All comfort that the dark night can afford,
Stan. I, by attorney,5 bless thee from thy mother,
4 All comfort that the dark night can afford,
“ The best and wholesomest spirits of the night
by attorney, ] By deputation. Johnson.
1,] Thus the old copies. I suppose, by mortal-staring war is meant-war that looks big, or stares fatally on its victims. Steevens.
I suspect the poet wrote-mortal-scaring war. Malone.
I adhere to the old reading. So, in Antony and Cleopatra, Eriobarbus says of Antony, who is issuing out to battle
“ Now he 'll out-stare the lightning." Again, in The Tempest:
why stand you
may, With best advantage will deceive the time,] I will také the best opportunity to elude the dangers of this conjuncture. Johnson. 8 Lest, being seen, thy brother tender George
Be executed -) So Holinshed after Hall: “ When the said lord Stanley would have departed into his country to visit his familie, and to recreate and refreshe his spirits, as he openly said, (but the truth was to the intent to be in a perfite readinessé to
Farewel: The leisure and the fearful time
Richm. Good lords, conduct him to his regiment:
join the earle of Richmonde at his first arrival in Englande,) the king in no wise would suffer him to depart before he bad left as an hostage in the court, George Stanley, lord Strange, his first begotten son and heir.” –
“The lord Stanley lodged in the same town, [Stafford] and hearing that the earle of Richmond was marching thitherward, gave to him place, dislodging him and bis,-to avoid all suspicion, being afraide least if he should be seen openly to be a factor or ayder to the earle, his son-in-law, before the day of battayle, that king Richard, which yet not utterly put him in diffidence and mistrust, would put to some evil death his son and heir apparent.”
The young nobleman whom the poet calls George Stanley, was created Baron Strange, in right of his wife, by King Edward IV, in 1482. Malone.
The leisure and the fearful time Cuts off the ceremonious vows of love,] We have still a phrase equivalent to this, however harsh it may seem, I woulit do this, if leisure would permit, where leisure, as in this passage, stands for want of leisure. So again :
More than I have said,
“ Forbids to dwell upon”, -Johnson. That is, the small degree of leisure we have. M. Mason. i Lest leaden slumber -] So, in our author's Rape of Lucrece: “Now leaden slumber with life's strength doth fight.”
Malone. peise me down to-morrow,] Thus the old copies. The modern editions read-poize. To peize, i. e. to weigh down, from peser, French.
I meet with this word in the old play of The Raigne of King Ed. ward the Third, 1596:
“ And peize their deeds with heavy weight of lead.” Again, in All for Money, 1574:
“ Then if you counterpeaze me learning with money." Again, in Christopher Middleton's Legend of Humphrey Duke of Glocester, 1600:
“Nor was her schooles peis'd down with golden waights." See notes on The Merchant of Venice, Vol. IV, p 368. Steevens.
When I should mount with wings of victory:
[Exeunt Lords, &c. with Stan,
[Sleeps. The Ghosts of Prince EDWARD, Son to HENRY thé
Sixth, risps between the two Tents.
[T. K. Rich.
- bruising irons - ] The allusion is to the ancient mace.
Henley. 4 Ere I let fall the windows of mine eyes;] So, in Romeo and Jiliet:
thy eyes' windows fall " Like death Steevens. 5 The Ghost &c.] This circumstance is likewise found in Nichols's Legend of King Richard III, (inserted in The Mirrour for Magistrates, edit. 1610,) and was apparently imitated from Shak. speare:
“ As in my tent on slumbring bed I lie,
“ Horrid aspects appear'd unto mine eye:
“ By death had sent to their untimely grave,
“ That they on guilty wretch might vengeance have.”
Drayton, in the 22d Song of his Polyolbion, may likewise have. borrowed from our author:
“ Where to the guilty king, the black forerunning night,
Steevens. The account given by Polydore Virgil, which was copied by
Think, how thou stab’dst me in my prime of youth
The Ghost of King Henry the Sixth rises.
[To K. Rick. By thee was punched full of deadly holes:7 Think on the Tower, and me; Despair, and die; Harry the sixth bids thee despair and die!
Virtuous and holy, be thou conqueror! [TO RICHM.
The Ghost of CLARENCE rises.
[To K. Rich. Hall and Holinshed, is as follows: “The fame went, that he had the same night (the night before the battle of Bosworth) a dreadful and a terrible dream; for it seemed to him being aslepe, that he saw diverse ymages lyke terrible devilles, which pulled and haled him, not sufferynge him to take any quiet or reste. The which straunge vision not so sodaynly strake his heart with a sodayne feare, but it stuffed his head and troubled his mind with many busy and dreadful imaginations. And least that it might be suspected that he was abashed for fear of his enemies, and for that cause looked so piteously, he recited and declared to his familiar friends, of the morning, his wonderfull vysion, and fearfull dreame." I quote from Holinshed, because he was Shakspeare's authority.
Polydore Virgil, as I have already observed, began to write his history about twenty years after Richard's death Malone..
See p. 125, 11. 5. Steevens. 6 Let me sit heavy on thy soul to-morrow.!] So, in King Richard II:
“Bę Mowbray's sins so heavy in his bosom.” Steevens. 7 By thee was punched full of deadly holes:] The word punched, which sounds but meanly to our ears, is also employed by Chap. man in his version of the sixth Iliad:
with a goad he punch'd each furious dame.” Steevens. 8. Harry that prophecy'd thou shoul:l'st be king,] The prophecy, to which this allusion is made, was uttered in one of the parts of Henry the Sixth. Johnson.
See Vol. X, p. 393, 11. 3. Malone.
9 Doth comfort thee in thy sleep; Live, and flourish!!] Surely, we should read with Sir Thomas Hanmer:
Duth comfort thee in sleep; Live thou and flourish! Steevens:
I, that was washụd to death with fulsome wine,
[To K. Rich Rivers, that died at Pomfret! Despair, and die! Grey. Think upon Grey, and let thy soul despair!
[T. K. Rich. Vaugh. Think upon Vaughan; and, with guilty fear, Let fall thy lance! Despair, and die !- [To K. Rich. All. Awake! and think, our wrongs in Richard's bo
[To Richm. Will conquer him ;-awake, and win the day!
The Ghost of HASTINGS rises. Ghost. Bloody and guilty, guiltily awake;
[To K. Rich. And in a bloody battle end thy days! Think on lord Hastings; and despair, and die!
Quiet untroubled soul, awake, awake! [T. RICHM Arm, fight, and conquer, for fair England's sake!
The Ghosts of the young Princes rise. Ghosts. Dream on thy cousins smother'd in the Tower; Let us be lead within thy bosom, Richard, 3
- with fulsome wine,] Fulsome, was sometimes used, I think, in the sense of unctuous. The wine in which the body of Clarence was thrown, was Malmsey. Malone.
If Clarence had been choked by this wine, he might fairly enough have employed the epithet fulsome in its vulgar and accepted sense. --Shakspeare, however, seems to have forgot himself. The Duke (as appears from Act I, sc. ult.) was killed be. fore he was thrown into the Malmsey butt, and consequently could not be washed to death. Steevens.
2 And fall thy elgeless sword;] Fall, in the present instance, is a verb active, signifying to drop, or let fall. So, in Othello:
“ If that the earth could teem with woman's tears,
“Each drop she falls would prove a crocodile.” Steevens. 3 Let us be lead within thy bosom, Richard,] [The first folio &c: