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The weeds, that his broad-spreading leaves did
1 SERV. What, are they dead ?
They are; and Bolingbroke
depos'd? GARD, Depress'd he is already; and depos’d, 'Tis doubt, he will be o : Letters came last night
“ We lop away
We at time of year -] The word We is not in the old copies. The context shows that some word was omitted at the press; and the subsequent lines“superfluous branches
-;" render it highly probable that this was the word. Malone,
All superfluous branches -] Thus the second folio. The first omits the word—all, and thereby hurts the metre; for superfluous is never accented on the third syllable. Steevens.
9 — 'Tis DOUBT, he will be :) We have already had an instance of this unconimon phraseology in the present play:
“ He is our cousin, cousin; but 'tis doubt,
“ When time shall call him home," &c. Doubt is the reading of the quarto, 1597. The folio readsdoubted. I have found reason to believe that some alteration even in that valuable copy was made arbitrarily by the editor.
To a dear friend of the good duke of York's,
of speaking?! Thou, old Adam's likeness, [Coming from her con
cealment.] set to dress this garden”. How dares thy harsh-rude tongue sound this un
pleasing news? What Eve, what serpent hath suggested thee To make a second fall of cursed man ? Why dost thou say, king Richard is depos'd ? Dar’st thou, thou little better thing than earth, Divine his downfal ? Say, where, when, and how, Cam’st thou by these ill tidings ? speak, thou
wretch. GARD. Pardon me, madam: little joy have I, To breathe this news; yet, what I say, is true. King Richard, he is in the mighty hold Of Bolingbroke; their fortunes both are weigh'd : In your lord's scale is nothing but himself, And some few vanities that make him light;
IO, I am press'd to death, Through want of speaking!] The poet alludes to the ancient legal punishment, called peine forte et dure, which was inflicted on those persons, who, being arraigned, refused to plead, remaining obstinately silent. They were pressed to death by a heavy weight laid upon their stomach. Malone.
to Dress this garden,] This was the technical language of Shakspeare's time. So, in Holy Writ : “ — and put him into the garden of Eden, to dress it, and to keep it.” Gen. ii. 15.
MALONE. how dares Thy harsh-rude tongue, &c.] So, in Hamlet :
« What have I done, that thou dar'st wag thy tongue
“ In noise so rude against me?” I have quoted this passage only to justify the restoration of the word rude, which has been rejected in some modern editions.
A line in King John may add support to the restoration here made from the old copy: “To whom he sung in rude harsh-sounding rhymes."
But in the balance of great Bolingbroke,
4. [E.reunt Queen and Ladies. GARD. Poor queen! so that thy state might be
[Exeunt. 4 I would, the plants, &c.] This execration of the Queen is somewhat ludicrous, and unsuitable to her condition: the gardener's reflection is better adapted to the state both of his mind and his fortune. Mr. Pope, who has been throughout this play very diligent to reject what he did not like, has yet, I know not why, spared the last lines of this Act. Johnson.
“ I would, the plants thou graft'st, may never grow." So, in The Rape of Lucrece : * This bastard graft shall never come to growth.”
MALONE. fall a tear,-) Thus the quarto, 1597. So, in Othello :
“ Each tear she falls would prove a crocodile." The folio, following the quarto 1608, reads:
“ Here did she drop a tear.” Malone, The quarto 1598 also reads drop. Boswell.
The Lords spiritual on the right side of the Throne;
the Lords temporal on the left; the Commons below. Enter BOLINGBROKE, AUMERLE, SURREY?, NORTHUMBERLAND, PERCY, FITZWATER another Lord, Bishop of Carlisle, Abbot of Westminster, and Attendants. Officers behind, with Bagot.
Boling. Call forth Bagot: Now, Bagot, freely speak thy mind; What thou dost know of noble Gloster's death; Who wrought it with the king, and who perform'd The bloody office of his timeless endo. Bagot. Then set before my face the lord Au
merle. Boling. Cousin, stand forth, and look
Bagot. My lord Aumerle, I know your daring
tongue Scorns to unsay what once it hath deliver'd. In that dead time when Gloster's death was plotted, I heard you say,- Is not my arm of length,
WESTMINSTER Hall.] The rebuilding of Westminster Hall, which Richard had begun in 1397, being finished in 1399, the first meeting of parliament in the new edifice was for the purpose of deposing him. Malone.
Surrey,] Thomas Holland earl of Kent. He was brother to John Holland duke of Exeter, and was created duke of Surrey in the 21st year of King Richard the Second, 1397. The dukes of Surrey and Exeter were half brothers to the King, being sons of his mother Joan, (daughter of Edmond, earle of Kent,) who after the death of her second husband, Lord Thomas Holland, married Edward the Black Prince. MALONE.
- Fitzwater,] The christian name of this nobleman was Walter. Walpole.
9 - his Timeless end.] Timeless, for untimely. WARBURTON.
That reacheth from the restful English court
Princes, and noble lords,
up. Aum. Excepting one, I would he were the best In all this presence, that hath mov'd me so.
Firz. If that thy valour stand on sympathies ', 9 — my fair STARS,] I rather think it should be stem, being of the royal blood. WARBURTON.
I think the present reading unexceptionable. The birth is supposed to be influenced by the stars ; therefore, our author, with his usual licence, takes stars for birth. Johnson.
We learn from Pliny's Natural History, that the vulgar error assigned the bright and fair stars to the rich and great :-"Sidera singulis attributa nobis, et clara divitibus, minora pauperibus,” &c. lib. i. cap. viii. ANONYMOUS.
· If that thy valour stand on sympathies] Here is a translated sense much harsher than that of stars explained in the foregoing note. Aumerle has challenged Bagot with some hesitation, as not being his equal, and therefore one whom, according to the rules of chivalry, he was not obliged to fight, as a nobler life was not to be staked in a duel against a baser. Fitzwater then throws down his gage, a pledge of battle; and tells him that if he