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Boling. Royally! Why, it contains no king?
Percy. Yes, my good lord,
North. Belike it is the bishop of Carlisle.
[North. advances to the Castle, with a Trumpet.
My waters; on the earth, and not on him.
Flourish. Enter on the walls King RICHARD, the bio
York. See, see, king Richard dot's himself appear 4,
harm should stain so fair a show!
the bishop of Carlisle,] was Thomas Merkes. WALPOLE. 4 See, see, king Ricbard doth bimself appear,] This and the following five lines are given in the old copies to Bolingbroke. The present regulation was made by Ds. Warburton. MALONE.
And threat the glory of my precious crown.
To 5 The purple testament of bleeding war:] I once thought that Shak. speare might have had the sacred book (which is frequently covered with purple leather) in his thoughts ; but the following note renders such a supposition extremely doubtful. MALONE.
I believe our author uses the word teftament in its legal sense. Bolingbroke is come to open the testament of war, that he may peruse what is decreed there in his favour. Purple is an epithet referring to the future effufion of blood. STEEVENS. 6 But ere the crown be looks for live in peace,
Ten thousand bloody crowns of mothers' Sons
Sball ill become tbe flower of England's face;] By the flower of England's face is meant the choicest youths of England, who shall be Naughtered in this quarrel, or have bloody crowns. Tbe flower of Engo land's face, to design her choicest youth, is a fine and noble expression. Pericles, by a similar thought, said “that the destruction of the Athenian youth was a fatality like cutting off the spring from the year.”
WARBURTON. Dr. Warburton reads-light in peace, but live in peace is more suitable to Richard's intention, which is to tell him, that though he should get the crown by rebellion, it will be long before it will live in peace, be so settled as to be firm. The flower of England's face, is very happily explained. JOHNSON.
The flower of England's face, I believe, means England's flowery face, the flowery surface of England's foil. The same kind of expression is used in Sidney's Arcadia, p. 2:“-opening the cherry of her lips," i. e. her cherry lips. Again, p. 240. edit. 1633 : “ -the sweet and beautiful flower of ber face. STEEVENS. 7 Sball ill become i be flower of England's face ;
Change the complexion of her maid-pale peace &c.] Perhaps the words faie and peace have changed places. We might read~ (but I propose the change with no degree of confidence,)
But ere the crown he looks for live in peace,
To scarlet indignation, and bedew
North. The King of heaven forbid, our lord the king
K. Rich.Northumberland, fay,-thus the king returns; His noble cousin is right welcome hither; And all the number of his fair demands
Ere tbe crown be bopes to obtain be ferrled peaceably on bis bead, ten tbove sard crowns, besmeared with blood, small disfigure the flower of the peaceable nobility of England; and cause ber maid-pale countenance to glow wirb indignation, &c. The double opposition between crown and peace is much in our author's manner. In King Richard III. we have
“ That would with treason wound this fair land's peace." and in King Henry IV. P. I.
“ You conjure from the breast of civil peace
« Such bold hostility-." Peace has already been personified in a former scene :
« To wake our peace, which in our country's cradle
“ Draws the sweet infant breath of gentle Neep." But these lines, it must be owned, add as much support to the old read. ing, as to the emendation proposed. Malone.
8 Her pastures' grassa) Old Copies--pastors. Corrected by Mr. Theobald. MALONE.
- commend-] i.e. commit. See Minheu's Dict.in v. MALONE. VOL. V.
Shall be accomplish'd without contradiction :
Aum. No, my good lord ; let's fight with gentle words Till time lend friends, and friends their helpful swords. K. Rich. O God! o God! that e'er this tongue of
mine, That laid the sentence of dread banishment On yon proud man, should take it off again With words of footh !! O, that I were as great As is my grief, or lesser than my name! Or that I could forget what I have been ! Or not remember what I must be now! Swell’At thou, proud heart? I'll give thee scope to beat, Since foes have scope to beat both thee and me.
Aum. Northumberland comes back from Bolingbroke.
K. Rich. What must the king do now? Must he submit? The king shall do it. Must he be depos'd? The king shall be contented: Must he lose The name of king? o'God's name, let it go : I'll give my jewels for a set of beads; My gorgeous palace, for a hermitage; My gay apparel, 'for an alms-man's gown; My figur'd goblets, for a dish of wood; My scepter, for a palmer's walking staff; My subjects, for a pair of carved laints ; And my large kingdom for a little grave: A little little grave, an obscure grave:
9 With words of footb!-] Scorb is sweet as well as true. In this place foorb means Srveetness or softness, a signification yet retained in the verb to footb. JOHNSON.
My gay apparel, &c.] Dr. Grey observes, “ that king Richard's expence in regard to dress, was very extraordinary.” Holinñed has the same remark; and adds, that " he had one cote which he cauled to be made for him of gold and stone, valued at 39,000 marks." STEEV.
Stowe, in his Survey, says, “ to the value of brce thousand markes." So also in Vita Ricardi Secundi, published by T. Heerne, p. 156.MALONI.