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Alas! you three, on me, threefold distress'd,
Pour all your tears, I am your sorrow's nurse,
And I will pamper it with lamentations.

Dor. Comfort, dear mother; God is much displeas'd,
That you take with unthankfulness his doing:
In common worldly things, 'tis call'd-ungrateful,
With dull unwillingness to repay a debt,

Which with a bounteous hand was kindly lent;
Much more, to be thus opposite with heaven,7
For it requires the royal debt it lent you.

Riv. Madam, bethink you, like a careful mother,
Of the young prince your son: send straight for him,
Let him be crown'd; in him your comfort lives:
Drown desperate sorrow in dead Edward's grave,
And plant your joys in living Edward's throne.
RATCLIFF, and Others.

Glo. Sister, have comfort: all of us have cause
To wail the dimming of our shining star;
But none can cure their harms by wailing them.—
Madam, my mother, I do cry you mercy,

I did not see your grace:-Humbly on my knee

which a collation of the quartos with each other and with the first folio affords) would soon convince them that my supposition is not a mere offspring of imagination. In the plays, of which there is no authentick copy but the first folio, there is no means of proving such omissions to have happened; but the present and other proofs of their having actually happened in the other plays, lay surely a reasonable ground for conjecturing that similar errors have happened in those pieces, of which there is only a single ancient copy extant, and entitle such conjectures to indulgence.

See Vol. VII, p. 87, n. 4; Vol. VIII, p. 51, n. 2, and p. 296, n. 2; Vol. X, p. 220, n. 5; Coriolanus, Vol. XIII, Act II, sc. iii; and Antony and Cleopatra, Vol. XIII, Act IV, sc. x.

In this note, and throughout this play, where I have spoken of the quarto, without any specification of the year when printed, 1 meant the quarto 1598, the earliest which I had then seen. quarto 1597, I find, corresponds with the text.



6 Comfort, dear mother; &c.] This line and the following eleven

lines are found only in the folio. Malone.

7 to be thus opposite with heaven,] This was the phraseology of the time. Malone.

8 For it requires -]i. e. because. So, in Othello:


Haply, for I am black”.


I crave your blessing.

Duch. God bless thee; and put meekness in thy breast, Love, charity, obedience, and true duty!

Glo. Amen; and make me die a good old man!— That is the butt-end of a mother's blessing;

I marvel, that her grace did leave it out.


Buck. You cloudy princes, and heart-sorrowing peers,
That bear this mutual heavy load of moan,
Now cheer each other in each other's love:
Though we have spent our harvest of this king,
We are to reap the harvest of his son.

The broken rancour of your high-swol'n hearts,
But lately splinted, knit, and join'd together,
Must gently be preserv'd, cherish'd, and kept:9
Me seemeth good, that, with some little train,
Forthwith from Ludlow the young prince be fetch'd1
Hither to London, to be crown'd our king.

Riv. Why with some little train, my lord of Buckingham?

Buck. Marry, my lord, lest, by a multitude, The new-heal'd wound of malice should break out; Which would be so much the more dangerous, By how much the estate is green, and yet ungovern'd: Where every horse bears his commanding rein,

9 The broken rancour of your high-swoln hearts,

But lately splinted, knit, and join'd together,

Must gently be preserv'd, cherish'd, and kept :] As this passage stands, it is the rancour of their hearts that is to be preserv'd and cherished. But we must not attempt to amend this mistake, as it seems to proceed from the inadvertency of Shakspeare him. self. M. Mason.

Their broken rancour recently splinted and knit, the poet considers as a new league of amity and concord; and this it is that Buckingham exhorts them to preserve. Malone.

1 Forthwith from Ludlow the young prince be fetch'd-] Edward the young prince, in his father's life time, and at his demise, kept his houshold at Ludlow, as Prince of Wales; under the governance of Antony Woodville, Earl of Rivers, his uncle by the mother's side. The intention of his being sent thither was to see justice done in the Marches; and, by the authority of his presence to restrain the Welshmen, who were wild, dissolute, and ill-dis. posed, from their accustomed murders and outrages. Vid. Hall, Holinshed, &c. Theobald.

2 Why with &c.] This line and the following seventeen lines are found only in the folio. Malone.

And may direct his course as please himself,
As well the fear of harm, as harm apparent,
In my opinion, ought to be prevented.

Glo. I hope, the king made peace with all of us;
And the compact is firm, and true, in me.

Riv. And so in me ;3 and so, I think, in all :
Yet, since it is but green, it should be put
To no apparent likelihood of breach,

Which, haply, by much company might be urg'd:
Therefore I say, with noble Buckingham,

That it is meet so few should fetch the prince.
Hast. And so say I.

Glo. Then be it so; and go we to determine
Who they shall be that straight shall post to Ludlow.
Madam, and you my mother, will you go
To give your censures in this weighty business?

[Exeunt all but ВUCK. and GLO. Buck. My lord, whoever journeys to the prince, For God's sake, let not us two stay at home: For, by the way, I'll sort occasion,

As index to the story we late talk'd of,

To part the queen's proud kindred from the prince.
Glo. My other self, my counsel's consistory,

3 Riv. And so in me;] This speech (as a modern editor has observed) seems rather to belong to Hastings, who was of the Duke of Gloster's party. The next speech might be given to Stanley. Malone.

4 --- your censures] To censure formerly meant to deliver an opinion. So, in Heywood's Golden Age, 1611:

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yet if I censure freely,

"I needs must think that face and personage
"Was ne'er deriv'd from baseness."

Again, in Marius and Sylla, 1594:

"Cinna affirms the senate's censure just,

"And saith, let Marius lead the legions forth."

Again, in Orlando Furioso, 1594:

"Set each man forth his passions how he can,

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"And let her censure make the happiest man.' Steevens.

I'll sort occasion,

As index to the story-] i. e. preparatory-by way of prelude. So, in Hamlet:

"That storms so loud and thunders in the index.”

See the note on that passage. Malone.

Again, in Othello: "an index and obscure prologue to the history of lust and foul thoughts." Steevens.

My oracle, my prophet!-My dear cousin,
I, as a child, will go by thy direction.

Towards Ludlow then, for we 'll not stay behind.


The same. A Street.

Enter Two Citizens, meeting.


1 Cit. Good morrow, neighbour: Whither away so fast? 2 Cit. I promise you, I scarcely know myself; Hear you the news abroad?

1 Cit.

Yes; the king's dead."

2 Cit. Ill news, by'r lady; seldom comes the better: I fear, I fear, 'twill prove a giddy world.

Enter another Citizen.

3 Cit. Neighbours, God speed!

1 Cit.

Give you good morrow, sir.

3 Cit. Doth the news hold of good king Edward's


2 Cit. Ay, sir, it is too true; God help, the while! 3 Cit. Then, masters, look to see a troubious world. 1 Cit. No, no; by God's good grace, his son shall reign. 3 Cit. Woe to that land, that's govern'd by a child!9 2 Cit. In him there is a hope of government;

6 Toward's Ludlow then,] The folio here and a few lines higher, for Lullow reads-London. Few of our author's plays stand more in need of the assistance furnished by a collation with the quartos, than that before us. Malone.

7 Yes; the king's dead.] Thus the second folio. The first, without regard to measure

Yes, that the king is dead. Steevens.

8 - seldom comes the better:] A proverbial saying, taken notice of in The English Courtier and Country Gentleman, 4ro. bl. i. 1596, sign. B: "as the proverb sayth, seldome come the better. Val. That proverb indeed is auncient, and for the most part true," &c. Reed.

The modern editors read-a better. The passage quoted above proves that there is no corruption in the text; and shows how very dangerous it is to disturb our author's phraseology, merely because it is not familiar to our ears at present. Malone.

9 Woe to that land that's govern'd by a child!]

"Woe to thee, O land, when thy king is a child."

Ecclesiastes, ch. x. Steevens.

With That, in his nonage, council under him,1
And, in his full and ripen'd years, himself,
No doubt, shall then, and till then, govern well.

1 Cit. So stood the state, when Henry the sixth
Was crown'd in Paris but at nine months old.

3 Cit. Stood the state so? no, no, good friends, Gou wot;

For then this land was famously enrich'd

With politick grave counsel; then the king
Had virtuous uncles to protect his grace.

1 Cit. Why, so hath this, both by his father and mother.
3 Cit. Better it were, they all came by his father;

Or, by his father, there were none at all:

For emulation now, who shall be nearest,

Will touch us all too near, if God prevent not.

O, full of danger is the duke of Gloster;

And the queen's sons, and brothers, haught and proud:
And were they to be rul'd, and not to rule,

This sickly land might solace as before.

1 Cit. Come, come, we fear the worst ; all will be well. 3 Cit. When clouds are seen, wise men put on their


When great leaves fall, then winter is at hand;
When the sun sets, who doth not look for night?
Untimely storms make men expect a dearth:
All may be well; but, if God sort it so,
'Tis more than we deserve, or I expect.

2 Cit. Truly, the hearts of men are full of fear:
You cannot reason almost with a man1

That looks not heavily, and full of dread.

3 Cit. Before the days of change,3 still is it so:

1 That, in his nonage, council under him,] So the quarto. The folio reads-Which in his nonage.-Which is frequently used by our author for who, and is still so used in our Liturgy. But neither reading affords a very clear sense. Dr. Johnson thinks a line lost before this. I suspect that one was rather omitted after it. Malone.

2 You cannot reason almost with a man

verse. So, in King John:

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-] To reason, is to con

"Our griefs, and not our manners, reason now."

See Vol. VII, p 390, n. 9. Steevens.

3 Before the days of change, &c.] This is from Holinshed's Chronicle, Vol. III, p. 721: "Before such great things, men's hearts

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