« AnteriorContinua »
Good uncle, let this end where it begun ;
K. Rich. Norfolk, throw down; we bid; there is no boot18.
Nor. Myself I throw, dread sovereign, at thy foot:
To dark dishonour's use thou shalt not have.
Rage must be withstood: Give me his gage:-Lions make leopards21 tame. Nor. Yea, but not change their22 spots: take but my shame,
And I resign my gage. My dear, dear lord,
Men are but gilded loam, or painted clay.
17 This abrupt elliptical exclamation of impatience is agaiu used in the Taming of a Shrew :-'Why when, I say! Nay, good sweet Kate, be merry. It appears to be equivalent to 'when will such a thing be done ?'
18 There is no boot, or it booteth not, is as much as to say 'there is no help,' resistance would be vain, or profitless.
19 i. e. my name that lives on my grave in despite of death 20 Baffled in this place signifies abused, reviled, reproached in base terms; which was the ancient signification of the word, as well as to deceive or circumvent. Vide Cotgrave in v. Baffouer. See also a note on King Henry IV. Part I. Act i. Sc. 2. 21 There is an allusion here to the crest of Norfolk, which was a golden leopard.
22 The old copies have 'his spots.' The alteration was made by Pope.
Mine honour is my life; both grow in one; Take honour from me, and my life is done: Then, dear my liege, mine honour let my try; In that I live, and for that will I die.
K. Rich. Cousin, throw down your gage; do you begin.
Boling. O, God defend my soul from such foul sin!
Shall I seem crest-fallen in my father's sight?
And spit it bleeding in his high disgrace,
Which since we cannot do to make you friends,
23 i. e. make them friends, 'to make agreement or atonement, to reconcile them to each other. Ad concordiam adducere. Lat. Mettre d'accord. Fr. Baret.
24 To design is to mark out, to show by a token It is the sense of the Latin designo. I may here take occasion to remark that Shakspeare's learning appears to me to have been underrated; it is almost always evident in his choice of expressive terms derived from the Latin, and used in their original sense The propriety of this expression here will be obvious, when we recollect that designator was 'a marshal, a master of the play or prize, who appointed every one his place, and adjudged the victory.'
A Room in the Duke of Lancaster's Palace.
Enter GAUNT, and Duchess of Gloster1.
Or seven fair branches springing from one root:
Ah, Gaunt! his blood was thine; that bed, that womb,
That mettle, that self-mould, that fashion'd thee,
1 The duchess of Gloster was Eleanor Bohun, widow of Duke Thomas, son of Edward III.
2 i e. my relationship of consanguinity to Gloster.
3 The old copy erroneously reads who when they see '
4 i. e. assent; consent is often used by the poet for accord, agreement.
Call it not patience, Gaunt, it is despair:
His deputy anointed in his sight,
Hath caus'd his death; the which if wrongfully,
Duch. Where then, alas! may I complain myself? Gaunt. To heaven, the widow's champion and defence.
Duch. Why then, I will. Farewell, old Gaunt. Thou go'st to Coventry, there to behold
Our cousin Hereford and fell Mowbray fight:
Not with the empty hollowness, but weight:
5 To complain is commonly a verb neuter; but it is here used as a verb active It is a literal translation of the old French phrase, me complaindre; and is not peculiar to Shakspeare.
For sorrow ends not when it seemeth done.
And what cheer there for welcome, but my groans?
Gosford Green, near Coventry. Lists set out, and a Throne. Heralds, &c. attending.
Enter the Lord Marshal, and ДUMERLE1.
Mar. My lord Aumerle, is Harry Hereford arm'd? Aum. Yea, at all points: and longs to enter in.
6 Her house in Essex.
In our ancient castles the naked stone walls were only covered with tapestry or arras, hung upon tenterhooks, from which it was easily taken down on every removal of the family. (See the Preface to The Northumberland Household Book, by Dr. Percy) The offices of our old English mansions were the rooms designed for keeping the various stores of provisions, bread, wine, ale, &c. and for culinary purposes. They were always situate within the house, on the ground-floor (for there were no subterraneous rooms till about the middle of the reign of Charles I ), and nearly adjoining each other. When dinner had been set on the board by the sewers, the proper officers attended in each of these offices. Sometimes, on occasions of great festivity, these offices were all thrown open, and unlimited licence given to all comers to eat and drink at their pleasure. The duchess therefore laments that, in consequence of the murder of her husband, all the hospitality of plenty is at an end; 'the walls are unfurnished, the lodging rooms empty, and the offices unpeopled.
All is soli
tude and silence; her groans are the only cheer that her guests can expect
The Duke of Norfolk was Earl Marshal of England; but being himself one of the combatants, the duke of Surrey (Thomas