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The cause of his arrival here in arms :
Ask him his name; and orderly proceed
To swear him in the justice of his cause.
MAR. In God's name, and the king's, say who
thou art,

And why thou com'st, thus knightly clad in arms: Against what man thou com'st, and what thy quarrel :

Speak truly, on thy knighthood, and thy oath;
As so defend thee heaven, and thy valour 1!
NOR. My name is Thomas Mowbray, duke of

Who hither come engaged by my oath,
(Which, heaven defend, a knight should violate!)
Both to defend my loyalty and truth,
To God, my king, and my succeeding issue3,

As so defend thee heaven, and thy valour!] i. e. as you hope that heaven and valour may your defend you. Thus the original quarto, 1597, and the other ancient copies. Mr. Rowe and the subsequent editors read—And so, &c. MALONE.

2 Norfolk.] Mr. Edwards, in his MS. notes, observes, from Holinshed, that the Duke of Hereford, appellant, entered the lists first; and this, indeed, must have been the regular method of the combat; for the natural order of things requires, that the accuser or challenger should be at the place of appointment first. STEEVENS.

3MY succeeding issue,] His is the reading of the first folio; other editions read-my issue. Mowbray's issue was, by this accusation, in danger of an attainder, and therefore he might come, among other reasons, for their sake: but the reading of the folio is more just and grammatical. JOHNSON.

The three oldest quartos read my, which Mr. M. Mason prefers, because, says he, Mowbray subjoins

"To prove him, in defending of myself,

"A traitor to my God, my king, and me." STEEVENS.


and my succeeding issue." Thus the first quarto. The folio reads-his succeeding issue. The first quarto copy of this play, in 1597, being in general much more correct than the folio, and the quartos of 1608 and 1615, from the latter of which the folio appears to have been printed, I have preferred the elder reading. MALONE,

Against the duke of Hereford that appeals me;
And, by the grace of God and this mine arm,
To prove him, in defending of myself,
A traitor to my God, my king, and me:
And, as I truly fight, defend me heaven!
[He takes his seat.
Trumpet sounds. Enter BOLINGBROKE, in armour ;
preceded by a Herald.

K. RICH. Marshal, ask yonder knight in arms*, Both who he is, and why he cometh hither Thus plated in habiliments of war; And formally according to our law Depose him in the justice of his cause.

MAR. What is thy name? and wherefore com'st thou hither,

Before King Richard, in his royal lists ?
Against whom comest thou? and what's thy quar-

rel ?

Speak like a true knight, so defend thee heaven! BOLING. Harry of Hereford, Lancaster, and Derby,

Am I; who ready here do stand in arms,

To prove by heaven's grace, and my body's valour,
In lists, on Thomas Mowbray duke of Norfolk,
That he's a traitor, foul and dangerous,
To God of heaven, king Richard, and to me;
And, as I truly fight, defend me heaven!

MAR. On pain of death no person be so bold,
Or daring hardy, as to touch the lists;
Except the marshal, and such officers
Appointed to direct these fair designs.

4 - Marshal, ask yonder knight in arms,] Why not, as before : "Marshal, demand of yonder knight in arms."

The player, who varied the expression, was probably ignorant that he injured the metre. The insertion, however, of two little words would answer the same purpose:

"Marshal, go ask of yonder knight in arms."


BOLING. Lord marshal, let me kiss my sovereign's hand,

And bow my knee before his majesty:
For Mowbray, and myself, are like two men
That vow a long and weary pilgrimage ;
Then let us take a ceremonious leave,
And loving farewell, of our several friends.
MAR. The appellant in all duty greets your

And craves to kiss your hand, and take his leave. K. RICH. We will descend, and fold him in our


Cousin of Hereford, as thy cause is right,
So be thy fortune in this royal fight!
Farewell, my blood; which if to-day thou shed,
Lament we may, but not revenge thee dead *.
BOLING. O, let no noble eye profane a tear
For me, if I be gor'd with Mowbray's spear;
As confident as is the falcon's flight
Against a bird, do I with Mowbray fight.-
My loving lord, [To Lord MARSHAL.] I take my
leave of you;—

Of you, my noble cousin, lord Aumerle :-
Not sick, although I have to do with death;
But lusty, young, and cheerly drawing breath.-
Lo, as at English feasts, so I regreet
The daintiest last, to make the end most sweet:
O thou, the earthly author of my blood,—


Whose youthful spirit, in me regenerate,
Doth with a two-fold vigour lift me up
To reach at victory above my head,-
Add proof unto mine armour with thy prayers;
And with thy blessings steel my lance's point,
That it may enter Mowbray's waxen coat 5,

* Quarto 1597, the dead.

5 -WAXEN Coat,] penetrable, or flexible.

Waxen may mean soft, and consequently
The brigandines or coats of mail, then in


And furbish new the name of John of Gaunt,
Even in the lusty 'haviour of his son.

GAUNT. Heaven in thy good cause make thee prosperous!

Be swift like lightning in the execution; And let thy blows, doubly redoubled, Fall like amazing thunder on the casque Of thy adverse pernicious enemy: Rouse up thy youthful blood, be valiant and live. BOLING. Mine innocency, and Saint George to thrive! [He takes his seat. NOR. [Rising.] However heaven, or fortune, cast my lot,

There lives or dies, true to king Richard's throne,
A loyal, just, and upright gentleman:
Never did captive with a freer heart

Cast off his chains of bondage, and embrace
His golden uncontroll'd enfranchisement,
More than my dancing soul doth celebrate

use, were composed of small pieces of steel quilted over one another, and yet so flexible as to accommodate the dress they form to every motion of the body. Of these many are still to be seen in the Tower of London. STEEVENS.

The object of Bolingbroke's request is, that the temper of his lance's point might as much exceed the mail of his adversary, as the iron of that mail was harder than wax. HENLEY.

I do not perceive how this meaning can be drawn from the words in the text. MALONE.

6 And FURBISH-] Thus the quartos 1608 and 1615. The folio reads furnish. Either word will do, as to furnish in the time of Shakspeare signified to dress. So, twice in As You Like It: "furnished like a huntsman."-" -furnished like a beggar." STEEVENS.

The original quarto, 1597, reads furbish. MALONE.

7 Fall like AMAZING thunder on the casque-] To amaze, in ancient language, signifies to stun, to confound. Thus, in Arthur Hall's translation of the third Iliad, 4to. 1581:

"And striking him upon the helme, his foe amazed makes." See also, King John, Act IV. Sc. III. STEEVENS.

8 Mine INNOCENCY,] Old copies-innocence. Corrected by Mr. Capell.

So, in King Richard III. :

"God and mine innocency defend my right."


This feast of battle with mine adversary.—
Most mighty liege,-and my companion peers,-
Take from my mouth the wish of happy years:
As gentle and as jocund, as to jest ',
Go I to fight; Truth hath a quiet breast.

K. RICH. Farewell, my lord: securely I espy
Virtue with valour couched in thine eye.--
Order the trial, marshal, and begin.

[The King and the Lords return to their seats. MAR. Harry of Hereford, Lancaster, and Derby, Receive thy lance; and God defend the right! BOLING. [Rising.] Strong as a tower in hope, I


MAR. Go bear this lance [To an Officer.] to Thomas duke of Norfolk.

1 HER. Harry of Hereford, Lancaster, and Derby, Stands here for God, his sovereign, and himself, On pain to be be found false and recreant, To prove the duke of Norfolk, Thomas Mowbray, A traitor to his God, his king, and him, And dares him to set forward to the fight.

9 This FEAST of battle-] "War is death's feast," is a proverbial saying. See Ray's Collection. STEEVENS.

I apprehend there is no allusion to this image here; Norfolk means that he would so willingly engage in battle that he would consider it as a feast. BOSWELL.

1 As gentle and as jocund, as to JEST,] Not so neither. We should read to just; i. e. to tilt or tourney, which was a kind of sport too. WARBURTON.

The sense would perhaps have been better if the author had written what his commentator substitutes; but the rhyme, to which sense is too often enslaved, obliged Shakspeare to write jest, and obliges us to read it. JOHNSON.

The commentators forget that to jest sometimes signifies in old language to play a part in a mask. Thus, in Hieronymo: "He promised us in honour of our guest,

"To grace our banquet with some pompous jest." And accordingly a mask is performed. FARMER.

Dr. Farmer has well explained the force of this word. So, in The Third Part of King Henry VI.:


as if the tragedy

"Were play'd in jest by counterfeited actors." TOLLET.

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