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EXE. But when the duke is flain, they'll quickly fly.7
K. HEN. Far be the thought of this from Henry's heart,
To make a fhambles of the parliament-house!
YORK. 'Twas my inheritance, as the earldom was.? EXE. Thy father was a traitor to the crown. WAR. Exeter, thou art a traitor to the crown, In following this ufurping Henry.
7 Exe. But, when &c.] This line is by the mistake of the compofitor given to Weftmoreland. The king's answer shows that it belongs to Exeter, to whom it is affigned in the old play.
• Thou art deceiv'd,] These words, which are not in the folio, were reftored from the old play. The defect of the metre in the folio, makes it probable that they were accidentally omitted. The measure is, however, ftill faulty. MALONE.
. as the earldom was.] Thus the folio. The quarto 1600, and that without date, read-as the kingdom is. STEEVENS.
York means, I fuppofe, that the dukedom of York was his inheritance from his father, as the earldom of March was his inheritance from his mother, Anne Mortimer, the wife of the Earl of Cambridge; and by naming the earldom, he covertly afferts his right to the crown; for his title to the crown was not as Duke of York, but Earl of March.
In the original play the line ftands [as quoted by Mr. Steevens ;] and why Shakspeare altered it, it is not eafy to fay; for the new line only exhibits the fame meaning more obfcurely. MALONE.
CLIF. Whom should he follow, but his natural king?
WAR. True, Clifford; and that's Richard,' duke of York.
"K. HEN. And fhall I ftand, and thou fit in my throne?
YORK. It muft and fhall be fo. Content thyself. WAR. Be duke of Lancaster, let him be king.
WEST. He is both king and duke of Lancaster; And that the lord of Weftmoreland fhall maintain. WAR. And Warwick fhall difprove it. You forget,
That we are thofe, which chas'd you from the field, And flew your fathers, and with colours fpread March'd through the city to the palace gates.
"NORTH. Yes, Warwick, I remember it to my grief;
And, by his foul, thou and thy house shall rue it.
WEST. Plantagenet, of thee, and these thy fons, Thy kinfmen, and thy friends, I'll have more lives, Than drops of blood were in my father's veins.
'CLIF. Urge it no more; left that, instead of words,
I fend thee, Warwick, fuch a meffenger,
'WAR. Poor Clifford ! how I fcorn his worthless threats!
YORK. Will you, we fhow our title to the crown? If not, our fwords fhall plead it in the field.
and that's Richard,] The word and, which was accidentally omitted in the firft folio, is found in the old play.
K. HEN. What title haft thou, traitor, to the crown?
Thy father was, as thou art, duke of York ;2
Who made the Dauphin and the French to ftoop, And feiz'd upon their towns and provinces.
WAR. Talk not of France, fith 4 thou haft loft it all.
K. HEN. The lord protector loft it, and not I; When I was crown'd, I was but nine months old. RICH. You are old enough now, and yet, methinks lofe :you Father tear the crown from the ufurper's head. EDW. Sweet father, do fo; fet it on your head. MONT. Good brother, [To YORK.] as thou lov'ft and honour'ft arms,
Let's fight it out, and not stand cavilling thus.
RICH. Sound drums and trumpets, and the king will fly.
YORK. Sons, peace!
Thy father was, as thou art, duke of York ;] This is a miftake, into which Shakspeare was led by the author of the old play. The father of Richard Duke of York was Earl of Cambridge, and was never Duke of York, being beheaded in the life-time of his elder brother Edward Duke of York, who fell in the battle of Agincourt. The folio, by an evident error of the prefs, reads -My father. The true reading was furnished by the old play. MALONE.
3 I am the fon of Henry the fifth,] The military reputation of Henry the Fifth is the fole fupport of his fon. The name of Henry the Fifth difperfed the followers of Cade. JOHNSON.
-fith-] i. e. fince. So, in Measure for Measure: "Sith 'twas my fault to give the people fcope."
K. HEN. Peace thou! and give king Henry leave to speak.
WAR. Plantagenet fhall fpeak first :-hear him, lords;
And be you filent and attentive too,
'K. HEN. Think'ft thou, that I will leave my kingly throne,5
Wherein my grandfire, and my father, fat?
Ay, and their colours-often borne in France; And now in England, to our heart's great forrow,Shall be my winding theet."-Why faint you, lords? 'My title's good, and better far than his.
WAR. But prove it, Henry, and thou shalt be king."
5 Thinkft thou, &c.] The old play here exhibits four lines that are not in the folio. They could not have proceeded from the imagination of the tranfcriber, and therefore they must be added to the many other circumstances that have been already urged, to fhow that thefe plays were not originally the production of Shakspeare:
"Ah Plantagenet, why feek'ft thou to depofe me?
Shall be my winding-fheet.] Perhaps Mr. Gray had this paffage in his mind, when he wrote:
"Weave the warp, and weave the woof,
7 But prove it, Henry, and thou shalt be king.] Thus the fecond folio. The first omits the neceffary word-But.
Henry is frequently used by Shakspeare and his contemporaries as a word of three fyllables. MALONE.
But not as in the present inftance, where fuch a trifyllable must prove offenfive to the ear. STEEVENS.
K. HEN. Henry the fourth by conquest got the
YORK. "Twas by rebellion against his king.
K. HEN. I know not what to fay; my title's weak.
Tell me, may not a king adopt an heir?
YORK. What then?
'K. HEN. An if he may, then am I lawful king: For Richard, in the view of many lords, Refign'd the crown to Henry the fourth; Whofe heir my father was, was, and I am his.
YORK. He rofe against him, being his fovereign, And made him to refign his crown perforce.
WAR. Suppofe, my lords, he did it unconstrain'd, Think you, 'twere prejudicial to his crown ?8
EXE. No; for he could not fo refign his crown, But that the next heir should fucceed and reign.
K. HEN. Art thou against us, duke of Exeter? EXE. His is the right, and therefore pardon me. *YORK. Why whisper you, my lords, and answer not?
EXE. My confcience tells me he is lawful king.
Think you, 'twere prejudicial to his crown?] The phrafe prejudicial to his crown, if it be right, muft mean, detrimental to the general rights of hereditary royalty; but I rather think that the transcriber's eye caught crown from the line below, and that we should read~prejudicial to his fon, to his next heir.
Dr. Percy obferves on Dr. Johnfon's note, that son could not have been the right word, as Richard the Second had no iffue; and our author would hardly have used it fimply for heir general. Prejudicial to the crown, is right, i. e. to the prerogative of the crown, STEEVENS.