« PreviousContinue »
Since thou hast far to go, bear not along
Mowb. No, Bolingbroke; if ever I were traitor,
K. Rich. Uncle, even in the glasses of thine eyes I see thy grieved heart : thy sad aspect Hath from the number of his banish'd years Pluck'd four away.--Six frozen winters spent, [To Bol. Return with welcome home from banishment.
Boling. How long a time lies in one little word! Four lagging winters, and four wanton springs, End in a word; such is the breath of kings.
Gaunt. I thank my liege, that, in regard of me, He shortens four years of my son's exile : But little vantage shall I reap thereby; For ere the six years, that he hath to spend, Can change their moons, and bring their times about, My oil-dry'd lamp, and time-bewalted light, Shall be extinct with age, and endless night : My inch of taper will be burnt and done; And blindfold death not let me see my son.
K. Rich. Why, uncle ? thou hast many years to live Gaunt. But not a minute, king, that thou canst give: Shorten my days thou canst with fullen forrow, And pluck nights from me, but not lend a morrow 5.
all the world's my way.] Perhaps Milton had this in his mind when he wrote these lines,
The world was all before them, where to chuse
JOHNSON, 's And pluck nights from me, but not lend a morrow.] It is matter of very melancholy consideration, that all human advantages confer more power of doing evil than good. Johnson.
Thou canst help time to furrow me with age,
K. Rich. Thy son is banish'd upon good advice,
four. You urg'd me as a judge; but I had rather, You would have bid me argue like a father.O, had it been a stranger, not my child, To smooth his fault I would have been more mild : Alas, I look’d, when some of
K. Rich. Cousin, farewell ; and, uncle, bid him fo: Six years we banish him, and he shall go. [Flourish.
[Exit. Aum. Cousin, farewell: what presence must not
: know, From where you do remain, let paper show,
Mar. My lord, no leave take I; for I will ride As far as land will let me by your side. Gaunt. Oh, to what purpose dost thou hoard thy
Boling. I have too few to take my leave of you,
Gaunt. Thy grief is but thy absence for a time.
A partial slander-) That is, the reproach of partiality, This is a just picture of the struggle between principle and af. fection. JOHNSON.
Gaunt. What is fix winters ? they are quickly gone. Boling. To men in joy; but grief makes one hour Gaunt. Call it a travel, that thou tak'it for pleasure. Boling. My heart will figh, when I miscall it so, Which finds it an enforced pilgrimage.
Gaunt. The fullen passage of thy weary steps
[7 Boling. Nay, rather, every tedious stride I make
Gaunt. 9 All places that the eye of heaven visits, Are to a wise man ports and happy havens.
? Boling. Nay, rather, every tedious firide I make] This, and the fix verses which follow, I have ventured to supply from the old quarto. The allusion, it is true, to an apprenticeship, and becoming a journeyman, is not in the sublime taste; nor, as Horace has expressed it, fpirat tragicum fatis : however, as there is no doubt of the passage being genuine, the lines are not so despicable as to deserve being quite loft. THEOBALD.
journeyman to grief?) I am afraid our author in this place designed a very poor quibble, as journey fignifies both travel and a day's work. However, he is not to be censured for what he himself rejected. JOHNSON.
The quarto, in which these lines are found, is said in its titlepage to have been corrected by the author ; and the play is in, deed more accurately printed than most of the other fingle copies. There is now however no method of knowing by whom the alteration was made. Sreevens.
All places that the eye of heaven visits, &c.] The fourteen verses that follow are found in the first edition. Pore,
I am inclined to believe, that what Mr. Theobald and Mr. Pope have restored were expunged in the revision by the author: if the lines inclosed in crotchets are omitted, the sense is more coherent. Nothing is more frequent among dramatic writers, than to shorten their dialogues for the stage. JOHNSON.
Teach thy necessity to reason thus :-
Boling. 'Oh, who can hold a fire in his hand,
way : Had I thy youth, and cause, I would not stay.
There is a passage resembling this in Tully's Fifth Bock of Tufculan Questions. Speaking of Epicurus, he says" Sed «'una se dicit recordatione acquiescere præteritarum volup" tatum: ut fi quis æftuans, cum vim caloris non facile pa“ tiatur recordari velit, fe aliquando in arpinati nostro gelidis “ fluminibus circumfusum fuiffe. Non enim video, quomodo " fedare pofsint mala præsentia præteritæ voluptates.” The Tusculan Queftions of Tally had been translated early enough for Shakespeare to have seen them. STEEVENS,
Boling. Then, England's ground, farewell; sweet
[Exeunt. SCENE IV.
Enter king Richard, and Bagot, &c. at one door, and
the lord Aumerle at the other.
K. Rich. We did observe. Cousin Aumerle, How far brought you high Hereford on his way?
Aum. I brought high Hereford, if you call him so, But to the next highway, and there I left him. K. Rich. And, say, what store of parting tears were
shed ? Aum. 'Faith, none by me: except the north-east
wind, (Which then blew bitterly against our faces) Awak'd the sleepy rheum; and so by chance Did
grace our hollow parting with a tear.
- yet a true-born Englishman.) Here the first act ought to end, that between the first and second acts there may be time for John of Gaunt to accompany his son, return, and fall fick. Then the firft scene of the second act begins with a natural conversation, interrupted by a message from John of Gaunt, by which the king is called to visit him, which vifit is paid in the following scene. As the play is now divided, more time passes between the two last scenes of the first act, than between the first act and the second. JOHNSON.