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That, in his nonage, council under him, 1
| Cit. So stood the state, when Henry the sixth Was crown'd in Paris but at nine months old. 3 Cit. Stood the state so? no, no, good friends, God
1 Cit. Why, so hath this, both by his father and mother.
3 Cit. Better it were, they all came by his father; Or, by his father, there were none at all: For emulation now, who shall be nearest, Will touch us all too near, if God prevent not. O, full of danger is the duke of Gloster; And the queen's sons, and brothers, haught and proud: And were they to be rul'd, and not to rule, This sickly land might solace as before.
1 Cit. Come, come, we fear the worst; all will be well. 3 Cit. When clouds are seen, wise men put on their
cloaks: When great leaves fall, then winter is at hand; When the sun sets, who doth not look for night? Untimely storms make men expect a dearth: All may be well; but, if God sort it so, 'Tis more than we deserve, or I expect.
2 Cit. Truly, the hearts of men are full of fear: You cannot reason almost with a man? That looks not heavily, and full of dread.
3 Cit. Before the days of change, 3 still is it so:
1 That, in his nonage, council under him,] So the quarto. The folio reads—Which in his nonage. Which is frequently used by our author for who, and is still so used in our Liturgy. But nei. ther reading affords a very clear sense. Dr. Johnson thinks a line lost before this. I suspect that one was rather omitted after it.
Malone. 2 You cannot reason almost with a man -] To reason, is to converse. So, in King Fohn:
“ Our grief's, and not our manners, reason now.” See Vol. VII, p 390, n. 9. Steevens.
3 Before the days of change, &c.] This is from Holinshed's Chronicle, Vol. III, p. 731: “Before such great things, men's hearts
By a divine instinct, men's minds mistrust
2 Cit. Marry, we were sent for to the justices.
The same. A Room in the Palace.
Enter the Archbishop of York, the young Duke of York,
Queen ELIZABETH, and the Duchess of York. Arch. Last night, I heard, they lay at Stony-Stratford; And at Northampton they do rest to-night:*
of a secret instinct of nature misgive them; as the sea without wind swelleth of himself some time before a tempest." Toilet.
It is evident in this passage, that both Holinshed and Slak. speare allude to St. Luke. See ch. xxi, 25, &c. Herley.
It is manifest that Shakspeare here followed Holinshed, hav. ing adopted almost his words. Being very conversant with the sacred writings, he perhaps had the Evangelist in his thoughts when he wrote, above
“ Truly, the hearts of men are full of fear.” Malone. 4 Last night, I heard, they lay at Stony-Stratford;
And at Northampton they do rest to-night: Thus both the folios. The quartos, as well as the modern editors, read:
Last night, I heard, they lay at Northumpron;
At Stony Stratford they do rost 10-night. I have followed the folios; the historical fact being as thereripresented. Tbe Prince and his company did, in their way to London, actually lie at Stony-Stratford one night, and were the next morning taken back by the Duke of Gloucester to Northamptori, where they lay the following night. See Hall, Edward V, fol. 6. See also, Remarks &c. on the last edition of Shakspeare, [that of 1778,] p. 133. Reed.
Shakspeare, it is clear, either furgot this circumstance, or did not think it worth attending to.-
- According to the reading of the original copy in quarto, at the time the archbishop is speaking, the King had not reached Stony-Stratford, and consequently bis being taken back to Northampton on the morning afier he hail been at Stratford, could not be in the author's contemplatior. Shakspeare well knew that Stony-Stratford was nearer to London than Northampton; therefore in the first copy the young King is made to sleep on one night at Northampton, and the Archbishop very naturally supposes that on the next night, that is, on the night of ihe day on which he is speaking, the King would reach StonyVOL. XI.
To-morrow, or next day, they will be here.
Duch. I long with all my heart to see the prince ;
Stratford. It is highly improbable that the editor of the folio should have been apprized of the historical fact above stated; and much more likely that he made the alteration for the sake of improving the metro, regardless of any other circumstance. How little he attended to topography appears from a preceding scene, in which Gloster, though in London, talks of sending a messenger to that town, instead of Ludlow. See p. 71, n. 6.
By neither reading can the truth of history be preserved, and therefore we may be sure that Shakspeare did not mean in this instance to adhere to it. According to the present reading, the scene is on the day on which the King was journeying from Northampton to Stratford; and of course the Messenger's account of the peers being seiz'd, &c. which was on the next day after the King had lain at Stratford, is inaccurate. If the folio reading be adopted, the scene is indeed placed on the day on which the King was seized; but the Archbishop is supposed to be apprized of a fact which before the entry of the Messenger he manifestly does not know, and which Shakspeare did not intend he should appear to know; namely, the Duke of Gloster's coming to Stony-Stratford the morning after the King had lain there, taking him forcibly back to Northampton, and seizing the Lords Rivers, Grey, &c. The truth is, that the Queen herself, the person most materially interested in the welfare of her son, did not hear of the King's being carried back from Stony-Stratford to Northampton till about midnight of the day on which this vio. lence was offered him by his uncle. See Hall, Edward V, fol. 6. Historical truth being thus deviated from, we have a right to presume that Shakspeare in this instance did not mean to pay any attention to it, and that the reading furnished by the quarto was that which came from his pen: nor is it possible that he could have made the alteration which the folio exhibits, it being utterly inconsistent with the whole tenor and scope of the present scene. If the Archbishop had known that the young King was carried back to Northampton, he must also have known that the lords who accompanied him, were sent to prison; and instead of ea. gerly asking the Messenger in p. 76, “What news.?” might have informed him of the whole transaction.
The truth of history is neglected in another instance also. The Messenger savs, the Lords Rivers, Grey, &c. had been sent my Gloster to Pomfret, whither they were not sent till some time afterwards, they heing sent at first, according to Sir Thomas More, (whose relation Hall and Holinshed transcribed)“ into the North country, into diverse places to prison, and afterwards all to Pontefract.”
The reading of the text is that of the quarto 1597. Malone.
Shakspeare does not always attend to the propriety of his own alterations. As historical truth, therefore, which ever reading be chosen, must be violated, I am content with such an arrangement
I hope, he is much grown since last I saw him.
Q. Eliz. But I hear, no; they say, my son of York Hath almost overta’en him in his growth.
York. Ay, mother, but I would not have it so. Duch. Why, my young cousin ? it is good to grow,
York. Grandain, one night, as we did sit at supper, My uncle Rivers talk'd how I did grow More than my brother; Ay, quoth my uncle Gloster, Small herbs have grace, great weeds do grow apace: And sincc, methinks, I would not grow so fust, Because sweet flowers are siow, and weeds mike haste.
Duch. 'Good faith, 'good faith, the saying did noi hold In him that did object the same to thee: He was the wretched’st thing,5 when he was young, So long a growing, and so leisurely, That, if his rule were true, he should be gracious. Arch. And so, no doubt, he is, my gracious madam. Duch. I hope, he is; but yet let mothers doubt.
York. Now, by my troth, if I had been remember'd, I could have given my uncle's grace a fout, To touch his growth, nearer than he touch'd mine.
Duch. How, my young York? I pr’ythee, let me hear it.
York. Marry, they say, my uncle grew so fast,
Duch. I pr’ythee, pretty York, who told thee this?
as renders the versification smoothest. Where sense cannot claim a preference, a casting vote may be safely given in favour of sound.
Steevens - the wretched'st thing,] Wretched is here used in a sense yet retained in familiar language, for paltry', pitiful, being below expectation. Johnson. Rather, the weakest, most puny, least thriving. Ritson.
been remember'd,] To be remembered is, in Shakspeare, to bave one's memory quick, to have one's thoughts about one.
Fohnson. 7 A parlous boy:] Parlous is keen, shrewd. So, in Law Tricks, &c. 1608:
“ A parlous youth, sharp and satirical.” Steevens,
Arch. Good madam, be not angry with the child,
Enter a Messenger. 9
Here comes a messenger : What news?
Mess. Such news, my lord,
How doth the prince?
What is thy news? Aless. Lord Rivers, and lord Grey, are sent to Pomfret, With them sir Thomas Vaughan, prisoners.
Duch. Who hath committed them?
The mighty dukes Gloster and Buckingham.
Q. Eliz. For what offence ?1
ness. The sum of all I can, I have disclos'd; \Vhy, or for what, the nobles were committed, Is all unknown to me, my gracious lady.
Q. Eliz. Ah me, I see the ruin of my house! The tiger now hath seiz'd the gentle hind ;?
It is a corruption of perilous, dangerous ; the reading of the old quartos. The Queen evidently means to chide him. Ritson.
& Pitchers have ears.] Shakspeare has not quoted this proverbial saying correctly. It appears from A Dialogue both pleasaunt and .pitiefill, by William Bulleyn, 1564, that the old proverb is this:
Small pitchers have great ears." Malone.
" Pitchers have ears, and I have many servants." Ritson. • Enter a Messenger.] The quarto reads-Enter Dorset. Steevens.
1 For what offence.?] This question is given to the Archbishop in former copies, but the Messenger plainly speaks to the Queen or Duchess. Fohnson.
The question is given in the quarto to the Archbishop (or Cardinal, as he is there called,) where also we have in the following speech, my gracious lady. The editor of the folio altered lady to lord; but it is more probable that the compositor prefixed Car. (the designation there of the Archbishop) to the words, “ For what offence ?'' instead of Qu than that lady should have been printed in the subsequent speech instead of lord. Compositors always keep the names of the interculators in each scene ready. composed for use; and hence mistakes sometimes arise. Malone.
2 The tiger now hath seiz'd the gentle hind;] So, in our author's Rape of Lucrece: