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Or I'll be bury'd in the king's highway,
North. My lord, in the base courts he doch attend
? Some way of common trade,] Trade in the fense of either commerce or custom. JOHNSON.
The phrase is still used by common people. When they speak of a road much frequented, they say, “it is a road of much iraffic." Shakspeare uses the word in the same sense in K. Henry VIII :
i Stand in the gap and trade of more preferments.” STIEVENS. 3 — on their sovereign's bead :] Shakspeare is very apt to deviate from the pathetick to the ridiculous. Had the speech of Richard ended at this line, it had exhibited the natural language of submissive misery, conforming its intention to the present fortune, and calmly cading its purposes in death. JOHNSON.
4 - Bolingbroke faysay.] Here is another instance of injury done to the poet's
metre by changing his orthography. I, which was 'Shak. speare's word, rimed very well with to die; but ay has quite a differe ent sound. See a note on the Merry Wives of Windsor, Act V. Vol. I.
TYRWHITT. In some counties ay is at this day pronounced with a sound very little differing from that of 1. MALONE. 5 - baje courl] Bes cour. Fr. STEIVENS.
p. 299, n. 6.
K. Rich. Down, down, I come ; like glistering Phaeton,
[Exeunt, from above. Boling. What says his majesty ?
North. Sorrow and grief of heart
Enter King RichARD and his Attendants, below,
knee be low.
Boling. So far be mine, my most redoubted lord,
K. Rich. Well you deserve :- They well deserve to have,
Boling. Yea, my good lord.
Enter the Queen, and two ladies.
1. Lady. Madam, we'll play at bowls.
Queen. 'Twill make me think, the world is full of rubs, And that my fortune runs against the bias.
1. Lady. Madam, we'll dance.
Queen. My legs can keep no measure in delight,
1. Lady. Madam, we will tell tales.
1. Lady. Madam, I'll fing.
Queen. "Tis well, that thou hast cause; Bat thou should'st please me better, would'st thou weep. 1. Lady. I could weep, madam, would it do you good,
Queen. And I could weep?, would weeping do me good, And never borrow any tear of thee. But stay, here come the gardeners : Let's step into the shadow of these trees.
of sorrow, or of joy?') All the old copies concur in reading: Of ferrow, or of grief. Mr. Pope made the neceflary alteration.
STEEVENS. 7 And I could weep-] The old copies read: And I could fing.
STEEVENS Mr. Pope made the emendation MALONE.
Enter a Gardener, and two Servants.
[Queen and ladies retirea
1. Serv. Why should we, in the compass of a pale,
Gard. Hold thy peace :
8 Against a change: Woe is fore-run with woe.] The poet, according to the common doctrine of prognostication, supposes dejection to fore. run calamity, and a kingdom to be filled with rumours of sorrow when any great disaster is impending. The sense is, that publick evils are always prefignifyed by publick pensiveness, and plaintive conversation.
JOHNSON. 9 - our firm effate?] The servant says cur, meaning the state of the garden in which they were at work. Why (lays he) should we be Careful to preserve order in the narrow cincture of this our state, when the great fi are of ibe kingdom is in disorder? STEEVENS.
Serv. What, are they dead?
Gard. They are; and Bolingbroke
Serv. What, think you then, the king shall be depos’d?
Gard. Depress'd he is already; and depos'd,
Queen. O, I am press'd to death
[Coming from her concealment, Set to dress this garden, how dares *
1- We at time of year] The word We is not in the old copies. The context lhews that some word was omitted at the press; and the subsequent lines
We lop awayrender it highly probable that this was the word. MALONE.
2 Tis doubt, be will be:] We have already had an instance of this uncommon phraseology in the present play:
He is our cousin, couốn; but 'tis doubt,
When time thall call him home, &c. Doubt is the reading of the quarto, 1597. The folio reads, doubted. I have found reason to believe that some alterations even in that valuable copy were made arbitrarily by the editor. Maloxe.
- I am press’d to death
Tbrougb want of speaking.] The poet alludes to the ancient legal punishment called peine fort et dure, which was inflicted on those perlons, who, being arraigned, refused to plead, remaining obstinately filent. They were prefed to dearb by a heavy weight laid upon theis Stomach. MALONE.