Obrázky na stránke

Effect of that which passed at the Arraignment of Merick and others,) says: "That the afternoon before the rebellion, Merick had procured to be played before them, the play of deposing King Richard the Second." But in a more particular account of the proceeding against Merick, which is printed in the State Trials, vol. vii. p. 60, the matter is stated thus: "The story of Henry IV. being set forth in a play, and in that play there being set forth the killing of the king upon a stage; the Friday before, Sir Gilly Merick and some others of the earl's train having an humour to see a play, they must needs have the play of Henry IV. The players told them that was stale; they should get nothing by playing that; but no play else would serve and Sir Gilly Merick gives forty shillings to Phillips the player to play this, besides whatsoever he could get."

Augustine Philippes was one of the patentees of the Globe playhouse with Shakspeare, in 1603; but the play here described was certainly not Shakspeare's Henry IV. as that commences above a year after the death of Richard. TYRWHITT.

This play of Shakspeare was first entered at Stationers' Hall by Andrew Wise, Aug. 29, 1597. STEEVENS.

There were four quarto editions of this play published during the life of Shakspeare, 1597, 1598, 1608, and 1615. Most of the material alterations have been already pointed out in the notes.


Uncles to the King.

KING RICHARD the Second.
JOHN OF GAUNT, Duke of Lancaster;
HENRY, surnamed Bolingbroke, Duke of Here-
ford, Son to John of Gaunt; afterwards KING

DUKE OF AUMERLE', Son to the Duke of York. MOWBRAY, Duke of Norfolk.




BAGOT, Creatures to King Richard.






BISHOP OF CARLISLE. Abbot of Westminster.

LORD MARSHAL; and another Lord.

SIR PIERCE OF EXTON. SIR STEPHEN SCROOP. Captain of a Band of Welchmen.




Lady attending on the Queen.

Lords, Heralds, Officers, Soldiers, Two Gardeners, Keeper, Messenger, Groom, and other Attendants.

SCENE, dispersedly in England and Wales.

1 Duke of AUMERLE,] Aumerle, or Aumale, is the French for what we now call Albemarle, which is a town in Normandy. The old historians generally use the French title. STEEVENS.

2 EARL Berkley.] It ought to be Lord Berkley. There was no Earl Berkley till some ages after. STEEVENS.

3 Lord Ross.] Now spelt Roos, one of the Duke of Rutland's titles. STEEVENS.




London. A Room in the Palace.

Enter King RICHARD, attended; JOHN OF GAUNT, and other Nobles, with him.

K. RICH. Old John of Gaunt, time-honour'd Lancaster *,

4 OLD John of Gaunt, TIME-HONOUR'D Lancaster,] It may not be improper here to make an observation to which I shall have frequent occasion to refer. Our ancestors, in their estimate of old age, appear to have reckoned somewhat differently from us, and to have considered men as old whom we should now esteem middle aged. With them, every man that had passed fifty seems to have been accounted an old man. John of Gaunt, who is here introduced in that character with the additional of " time-honour'd Lancaster," was at this time only 58 years old. He was born at Ghent in 1340, and our present play commences in 1398; he died in 1399, aged 59.

King Henry is represented by Daniel, in his poem of Rosamond, as extremely old when he had a child by that lady. Henry was born at Mentz in 1133, and died on the 7th July, 1189, at the age of 56. Robert, Earl of Leicester, is called an old man by Spencer in a letter to Gabriel Harvey in 1582; at which time Leicester was not fifty years old: and the French Admiral Coligny is represented by his biographer, Lord Huntington, as a very old man, though at the time of his death he was but fifty-three.

These various instances fully ascertain what has been stated, and account for the appellation here given to John of Gaunt. I believe this is made in some measure to arise from its being customary to enter into life, in former times, at an earlier period than we do Those who were married at fifteen, had at fifty been masters of a house and family for thirty-five years. MALONE.


Hast thou, according to thy oath and band", Brought hither Henry Hereford thy bold son"; Here to make good the boisterous late appeal, Which then our leisure would not let us hear, Against the duke of Norfolk, Thomas Mowbray ? GAUNT. I have, my liege.

K. RICH. Tell me moreover, hast thou sounded him,

If he appeal the duke on ancient malice;
Or worthily as a good subject should,
On some known ground of treachery in him?
GAUNT. As near as I could sift him on that ar-

On some apparent danger seen in him,
Aim'd at your highness, no inveterate malice.
K. RICH. Then call them to our presence; face
to face,

And frowning brow to brow, ourselves will hear The accuser, and the accused, freely speak :[Exeunt some Attendants.

5thy oath and BAND,] When these publick challenges were accepted, each combatant found a pledge for his appearance at the time and place appointed. So, in Spenser's Fairy Queen, b. iv. c. iii. st. 3:

"The day was set, that all might understand,

"And pledges pawn'd the same to keep aright." The old copies read band instead of bond. The former is right. So, in The Comedy of Errors :


My master is arrested on a band."


Band and bond were formerly synonymous. See note on The Comedy of Errors, Act IV. Sc. II. MALONE.

6 Brought hither Henry Hereford thy bold son ;] It is clear, from the original quarto copy of this play, 1597, where we constantly find Bolingbroke's title written Herford, that the author used the word as a dissyllable.

Hardynge, in his Chronicle, always writes either Herford or Harford; and so also Rastal, in his Pastime of the People. This, therefore, we may be sure, was the pronunciation of Shakspeare's time, as well as of a preceding period. MALONE.

High-stomach'd are they both, and full of ire,
In rage deaf as the sea, hasty as fire.

[ocr errors]

Re-enter Attendants, with BOLINGBROKE and

BOLING. Many years of happy days befal My gracious sovereign, my most loving liege!

NOR. Each day still better other's happiness; Until the heavens, envying earth's good hap, Add an immortal title to your crown!

K. RICH. We thank you both: yet one but flat

ters us,


As well appeareth by the cause you come 9;
Namely, to appeal each other of high treason.-
Cousin of Hereford, what dost thou object
Against the duke of Norfolk, Thomas Mowbray ?
BOLING. First, (heaven be the record to my

In the devotion of a subject's love,
Tendering the precious safety of my prince,
And free from other misbegotten hate,
Come I appellant to this princely presence.
Now, Thomas Mowbray, do I turn to thee,
And mark my greeting well; for what I speak,
My body shall make good upon this earth,
Or my divine soul answer it in heaven.
Thou art a traitor, and a miscreant;

7-BOLINGBROKE-] Drayton asserts that Henry Plantagenet, the eldest son of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, was not distinguished by the name of Bolingbroke till after he had assumed the crown. Our ancient historians, in speaking_of_his contest with the Duke of Norfolk, denominate him Earl of Hereford. He was surnamed of Bolingbroke town, in Lincolnshire, from his having been born there about the year 1366.


8 -by the cause you come ;] i. e. you come on. The suppression of the preposition has been, on more than one occasion, shewn to have been frequent with Shakspeare. BOSWELL.

« PredošláPokračovať »