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Too good to be so, and too bad to live;
NOR. Let not my cold words here accuse my zeal:
'Tis not the trial of a woman's war,
Call him-a slanderous coward, and a villain :
9-right-drawn-] Drawn in a right or just cause.
JOHNSON. That is, not habitable, uninhabitable. JOHNSON.
Ben Jonson uses the word in the same sense in his Catiline: And pour'd on some inhabitable place."
Again, in Taylor the water-poet's Short Relation of a Long Journey, &c. " there stands a strong castle, but the town is all spoil'd, and almost inhabitable by the late lamentable troubles."
Where ever Englishman durst set his foot.
Disclaiming here the kindred of the king 2;
NOR. I take it up; and, by that sword I swear,
K. RICH. What doth our cousin lay to Mowbray's charge?
It must be great, that can inherit us *
* Quarto 1608,-And when I mount alive, alive may I not light.
So also, Braithwaite, in his Survey of Histories, 1614: Others, in imitation of some valiant knights, have frequented desarts and inhabited provinces." MALONE.
the king;] So the first quarto. The second quarto reads a king, and was followed by all subsequent editors. MALONE.
3 What I have spoke, or thou canst worse devise.] So the quarto 1597. Quarto 1598, "What I have spoke, or thou canst devise." Quarto 1608, "What I have spoke, or what thou canst devise." Folio, "What I have spoken, or thou canst devise." BOSWELL.
that can INHERIT us, &c.] To inherit is no more than to possess, though such a use of the word may be peculiar to Shakspeare. Again, in Romeo and Juliet, Act I. Sc. II.:
Among fresh female buds shall you this night "Inherit at my house." STEEVENS. See vol. vi. p. 28, n. 8. MALONE.
BOLING. Look, what I speak my life shall prove it true ;
That Mowbray hath receiv'd eight thousand nobles,
K. RICH. How high a pitch his resolution soars!Thomas of Norfolk, what say'st thou to this?
NOR. O, let my sovereign turn away his face, And bid his ears a little while be deaf,
for LEWD employments,] Lewd here signifies wicked. It is so used in many of our old statutes. MALONE. It sometimes signifies-idle.
Thus, in King Richard III. :
"But you must trouble him with lewd complaints."
the duke of Gloster's death;] Thomas of Woodstock, the youngest son of Edward III.; who was murdered at Calais, in 1397. MALONE.
See Froissart's Chronicle, vol. ii. cap. CC. xxvi.
6 SUGGEST his soon-believing adversaries;] i. e. prompt, set them on by injurious hints. Thus, in The Tempest:
They'll take suggestion, as a cat laps milk." STEEVENS.
Till I have told this slander of his blood",
Were he my brother, nay, my kingdom's heir,
NOR. Then, Bolingbroke, as low as to thy heart,
For that my sovereign liege was in my debt,
To the king's ancestry, as Richard's answer shows. MALONE. my scepter's awe-] The reverence due to my scepter. JOHNSON.
9 Since last I went to France to fetch his queen :] The Duke of Norfolk was joined in commission with Edward Earl of Rutland (the Aumerle of this play) to go to France in the year 1395, in the king's name, to demand in marriage (Isabel, the queen of our present drama) the eldest daughter of Charles the Sixth, then between seven and eight years of age. The contract of marriage was confirmed by the French King in March, 1396; and on November, 1396, Richard was married to his young consort in the chapel of St. Nicholas, in Calais, by, Archbishop of Canterbury. His first wife, Anne, daughter to the Emperor of Germany, Charles the Fourth, whom he had married in 1382, died at Shene, on Whitsunday, 1394. His marriage with Isabella, as is manifest from her age, was merely political; and accordingly it was accompanied with an agreement for a truce between France and England, for thirty years. MALONE.
this slander of his blood,] i. e. this reproach to his anSTEEVENS.
Now swallow down that lie.For Gloster's
I slew him not; but to my own disgrace,
Even in the best blood chamber'd in his bosom :
K. RICH. Wrath-kindled gentlemen, be rul'd by
Let's purge this choler without letting blood:
This we prescribe, though no physician; &c.] I must make one remark in general on the rhymes throughout this whole play; they are so much inferior to the rest of the writing, that they appear to me of a different hand. What confirms this, is, that the context does every where exactly (and frequently much better) connect, without the inserted rhymes, except in a very few places; and just there too, the rhyming verses are of a much better taste than all the others, which rather strengthens my conjecture.
"This observation of Mr. Pope's (says Mr. Edwards) happens to be very unluckily placed here, because the context, without the inserted rhymes, will not connect at all. Read this passage as it would stand corrected by this rule, and we shall find, when the rhyming part of the dialogue is left out, King Richard