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Ten thousand bloody crowns of mothers' fons
But e'er the crown, he looks for, light in peace, i. e. defcend and settle upon Bolingbroke's head in peace. Again, I have a small quarrel to the third line quoted. Would the poet say, that bloody crowns should disfigure the flowers that spring on the ground, and bedew the grass with blood ? Surely the two images are too similar. I have suspected,
Shall ill become the fioor of England's face; i. e. fall make a dismal spectacle on the surface of the kingdom's earth. THEOBALD.
By the flower of England's face, is meant the chcicest youths of England, who shall be flaughtered in this quarrel, or have bloody crowns. The flower of England's face, to design her choiceft youth, is a fine and noble expreflion. Pericles, by a similar thought, said that the destruction of the Athenian youth was a fatality like cutting off the spring from the year. Yet the Oxford Editur, who did not apprehend the figure, alters the line thus,
Shall misbecome the flow'ry England's face. Which means I know not what. WARBURTON.
Dr. Warburton has inserted light in peace in the text of his own edition, but live in peace is more suitable to Richard's intention, which is to tell him, that though he hould get the crown by rebellion, it will be long before it will live in be so settled as to be firm. The flower of England's face, is very happily explained, and any alteration is therefore needless.
JOHNSON. The Acwer of England's face, I believe, means England's fowery face, the flowery surface of England's joil. The same kind of expression is used in Sidney's Arcadia, p. 2. “ opening “ the cherry of her lips," i. c. “ her cherry lips." So Drayton in Mortimer's Epifle to Queen Ijabell.
« And in the field advance our plumy creft,
And by the honourable tomb he swears,
words Till time lend friends, and friends their helpful swords. K. Rich. Oh God! oh God! that e'er this tongue of
mine, That laid the sentence of dread banishment On
yon proud man, shall take it off again * And by the bury'd hand of warlike Gaunt,] It should be read just the other way,
And by the warlike hand of bury'd Gaunt. WARB.
3 With words of footh! Oh, that I were as great
3 With words of footh !-) Sooth is sweet as well as true. In this place fouth means weetnes or softuels, a signification yet retained in the verb to footh. Johnson.
+ Or I'll be buried in the king's highway,
Some way of common trade,-) As fpecious as this reading ap-pears, Mr. Warburton, Mr. Bishop, and I, all concurred in lurpecting it, and in the amendment which now possesses the text;
Some way of common treadi.e. a high road. He subjoins immediately;
For on my heart they tread now, while I live ; and we know how much it is Shakespeare's way to diversify the image with the same word. THEOBALD.
Dr. Warburton has put tread in his own text, but trade will serve very well in the sense either of commerce or custom. Johns.
s in their fovereign's head;] Shakespeare is very apt to deviate from the pathetic to the ridiculous. Had the speech of
For on my heart they tread now, whilst I live;
North. My lord, in the base court he doth attend To speak with you; may't please you to come down. K. Rich. Down, down I come; like glittring Phae
ton, Wanting the manage of unruly jades.
[North. retires to Bol. In the base court? base court, where kings grow base, To come at traitors' calls, and do them grace. In the base court, come down ? Down court! down
king! For night-owls shriek, where mounting larks should sing.
[Exeunt from above. Boling. What says his majesty ? North. Sorrow, and grief of heart, Makes him speak fondly, like a frantiç man;
[Enter Richard below.
Yet he is come.
Richard ended at this line it had exhibited the natural language of submissive misery, conforming its intention to the present fortune, and calmly ending its purposes in death. JOHNSON.
Boling. Stand all apart,
up, I know, Thus high at least, although your knee be low.
[Touching his own head. Boling. My gracious lord, I come but for mine own. K. Rich. Your own is yours, and I am yours, and
Boling. Yea, my good lord.
SCE N E IV.
A garden, in the queen's court.
Enter queen and two ladies.
garden, To drive away the heavy thought of care ?
Lady. Madam, we'll play at bowls.