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Com'st thou because the anointed king is hence ?
Boling. My gracious uncle, let me know my fault; On what condition stands it, and wherein ?
York. Even in condition of the worst degree,In gross rebellion, and detested treason: Thou art a banish'd man, and here art come, Before the expiration of thy time, In braving arms against thy op sovereign.
Boling. As I was banish'd, I was banish'd Here
But as I come, I come for Lancaster.
* So folio: the quartos omit the.
disposed arms: i. e. forces in battle array.
WARBURTON. This alteration is harsh. Sir T. Hanmer reads—despightful. Mr. Upton gives this passage as a proof that our author uses the passive participle in an active sense. The copies all agree. Perhaps the old duke means to treat him with contempt as well as with severity, and to insinuate that he despises his power, as being able to master it. In this sense all is right. Johnson. So, in this play: • We'll make foul weather with despised tears."
Steevens. The meaning of this probably is-'a boastful display of arms which we despise. M. Mason.
8 On what condition -] It should be, «in what condition,' i. e. in what degree of guilt. The particles in the old editions are of little credit. Johnson. York's reply supports Dr. Johnson's conjecture : “Even in condition," &c. Malone.
Look on my wrongs with an indifferent eye ® :
8 Look on my wrongs with an indifferent eye:] i. e. with an impartial eye. “Every juryman (says Sir Edward Coke,) ought to be impartial and indifferent." MALONE.
9 - Wherefore was I born?] To what purpose serves birth and lineal succession ? I am duke of Lancaster by the same right of birth as the king is king of England. Johnson.
To rouse his WRONGS, and chase them to the bay.) By “his wrongs," are meant ‘the persons who wrong him.' This erplanation is supported by a passage in Fletcher's Double Marriage, where Juliana says
“With all my youth and pleasure I'll embrace you,
M. Mason. to sue My LIVERY here,] A law phrase belonging to the feudal tenures. See notes on K. Henry IV. Part I. Act IV. Sc. III. Steevens.
Ross. It stands your grace upon, to do him right'. Willo. Base men by his endowments are made
great. YORK. My lords of England, let me tell you
North. The noble duke hath sworn, his coming is
York. Well, well, I see the issue of these arms; I cannot mend it, I must needs confess, Because my power is weak, and all ill left: But, if I could, by him that gave me life, I would attach you all, and make you stoop Unto the sovereign mercy of the king; But, since I cannot, be it known to you, I do remain as neuter. So, fare you well ;Unless you please to enter in the castle, And there repose you for this night.
Boling. An offer, uncle, that we will accept. But we must win your grace, to go with us
3 It stands your grace upon, to do him right.] i. e. it is your interest, it is matter of consequence to you.
So, in King Richard III. :
It stands me much upon, “To stop all hopes whose growth may danger me." Again, in Antony and Cleopatra :
It only stands “ Our lives upon, to use our strongest hands.” Steevens. 4 Be his own carver, and cut out his way,] So, in Othello, vol. ix.
To Bristol castle ; which, they say, is held
A Camp in Wales.
Enter SALISBURY', and a Captain. CAP. My lord of Salisbury, we have staid ten
days, And hardly kept our countrymen together,
may be, I will
go with YOU :—but yet I'll pause ;] I suspect the words—with you, which spoil the metre, to be another interpolation. STEEVENS.
s Things past redress, are now with me past care.] So, in Macbeth :
Things without remedy, “ Should be without regard." Steevens. 6 Scene IV.) Here is a scene so unartfully and irregularly thrust into an improper place, that I cannot but suspect it accidentally transposed; which, when the scenes were written on single pages, might easily happen in the wildness of Shakspeare's drama. This dialogue was, in the author's draught, probably the second scene in the ensuing act, and there I would advise the reader to insert it, though I have not ventured on so bold a change. My conjecture is not so presumptuous as may be thought. The play was not, in Shakspeare's time, broken into Acts; the editions published before his death, exhibit only a sequence of scenes from the beginning to the end, without any hint of a pause of action. In a drama so desultory and erratic, left in such a state, transpositions might easily be made. Johnson. 7 — Salisbury,] Was John Montacute, Earl of Salisbury.
And yet we hear no tidings from the king ;
man ; The king reposeth all his confidence in thee. CAP. 'Tis thought, the king is dead; we will not
stay. The bay-trees in our country are all wither'd", And meteors fright the fixed stars of heaven; The pale-fac'd moon looks bloody on the earth, And lean-look`d prophets whisper fearful change; Rich men look sad, and ruffians dance and leap, The one, in fear to lose what they enjoy, The other to enjoy by rage and war : These signs forerun the death or fall of kings.Farewell; our countrymen are gone and fled, As well assur’d, Richard their king is dead. [Exit.
SAL. Ah, Richard ! with the eyes of heavy mind, I see thy glory, like a shooting star,
8 The bay-trees, &c.] This enumeration of prodigies is in the highest degree poetical and striking. Johnson.
Some of these prodigies are found in Holinshed : “ In this yeare in a manner throughout all the realme of England, old baie irees wither'd,” &c.
This was esteemed a bad omen; for, as I learn from Thomas Lupton's Syxt Booke of Notable Thinges, 4to. bl. 1.: “Neyther falling sycknes, neyther devyll, wyll infest or hurt one in that place whereas a Bay tree is. The Romaynes calles it the plant of the good angell," &c. STEEVENS.
Amongst other things, it has of old been observed, that ihe bay is ominous of some funest accident, if that be so accounted which Suetonius (in Galba) affirms to have happened before the death of the monster Nero, when these trees generally withered to the very roots in a very mild winter: and much later; that in the year 1629, when at Padua, preceding a great pestilence, almost all the Bay trees about that famous university grew sick and perished: 'Certo quasi præsagio, (says my author,) Apollinem Musasque, subsequenti anno urbe illa bonarum literarum domicilio excessuras.' (Sylva, 4to. 1776, p. 396.) REED.