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Want mercy,

I will not send them.--I will after strait,
And tell him fo; för I will ease my heart,
9 Although it be with hazard of my head.
North. What, drunk with choler ? stay, and pause

a while:
Here comes your uncle.

Enter Worcester.
Ilot. Speak of Mortimer !
Yes, I will speak of him; and let my soul

if I do not join with him:
Yea, on his part, I'll empty all these veins,
And shed my dear blood drop by drop i’the dust,

But I will lift the down-trod Mortimer As high i'the air as this unthankful king, As this ingrate and cankred Bolingbroke. North. Brother, the king hath made your nephew mad.

(To Worcester Wor. Who strook this heat up after I was gone?

Hot. He will, forsooth, have all my prisoners :
And when I urg'd the ransom once again
Of my wife's brother, then his cheek look'd pale,
And on my face he turn'd ? an eye of death,
Trembling even at the name of Mortimer.

Wor. I cannot blame hím ; was he not proclaim’d, By Richard that is dead, the next of blood ?

North. He was ; I heard the proclamation : And then it was, when the unhappy king (Whose wrongs in us, God pardon !) did set forth

9. Although it be with hazard, &c.] So the first folio, and all the following editions. The quarto's read,

Although I make a hazard of my head. JOHNSON, But I will lift the downfallu Mortimer] The quarto of 1599 reads, dozen-trod Mortimer; which is better. WARB.

All the quarto’s that I have seen read dozon-trod, the three folio's read down-fall. JOHNSON.

an eye of death,) That is, an eye menacing death. Hotspur seems to describe the king as trembling with rage rather than fear. JOHNSON,



Upon his Irish expedition ;
From whence he, intercepted, did return
To be depos’d, and shortly murdered.
Wor. And for whose death, we in the world's wide

Live scandaliz’d, and foully spoken of.

Hot. But soft, I pray you.-Did king Richard then
Proclaim my brother Edmund Mortimer
Heir to the crown?

North. He did : myself did hear it.
Hot. Nay, then I cannot blame his cousin king,
That wilh'd him on the barren mountains stary'd.
But shall it be, that you, that set the crown
Upon the head of this forgetful man;
And for his fake wear the detested blot
Of murd'rous subornation?- shall it be,
That you a world of curses undergo ;
Being the agents or base second means,
The cords, the ladder, or the hangman rather ?-
(O pardon me, that I descend so low,
To thew the line and the predicament
Wherein you range under this subtle king)
Shall it, for shame, be spoken in these days,
Or fill up chronicles in time to come,
That men of your nobility and power,

gage them both in an unjuft behalf-
As both of you, God pardon it! have done,

down Richard, that sweet lovely rose,
And plant this thorn, 3 this canker, Bolingbroke ?
And shall it, in more shame, be further spoken,
That you are fool'd, discarded, and shook off
By him, for whom these shames ye underwent ?
No; yet time serves, wherein you may redeem
Your banish'd honours, and restore yourselves
Into the good thoughts of the world again.


this canker, Bolingbroke ??] The canker-rose is the dog-rose, the flower of the Cynosbaton. STEEVENS.


Revenge the jeering, and 4 disdain'd contempt
Of this proud king, who studies day and night
To answer all the debt he owes unto you,
Even with the bloody payment of your deaths :
Therefore, I say

Wor. Peace, cousin, say no more.
And now I will unclasp a secret book,
And to your quick-conceiving discontents
I'll read you matter deep and dangerous ;
As full of peril, and advent'rous spirit,
As to o'er-walk a current, roaring loud,
5 On the unsteadfast footing of a spear.

Hot. If he fall in, good night-or sink or swim-
Send danger from the east unto the west,
So honour cross it from the north to south,
And let them grapple.--0! the blood more stirs
To rouze a lion, than to start a hare.

North. Imagination of some great exploit Drives him beyond the bounds of patience. Hot. By heaven, methinks, it were an easy leap,

Το 4 - disdain'd-] For disdainful. JOHNSON. Is On the unsteadfast footing of a jpear.] That is of a spear laid across. WARBURTON.

By heaven, methinks, &c.] Gildon, a critic of the size of Dennis, &c. calls this speech, without any ceremony, “ a ri« diculous rant and absolute madness." Mr. Theobald talks in the same strain. The French critics had taught these people just enough to underftand where Shakeipeare had transgressed the rules of the Greek tragic writers; and, on those occasions, they are full of the poor frigid cant of fable, sentiment, di&ion, unities, &c. But it is another thing to get to Shakespeare's sense: to do this required a little of their own. For want of which, they could not see that the poet here uses an allegorical covering to express a noble and very natural thought.-Hotspur, all on fire, exclaims against huckfiering and bartering for honour, and dividing it into shares. O! says he, could I be sure that when I had purchased honour J should wear her dignities without a rival—what then? Why then,

By heav'n, methinks it were an easy leap

To pull bright honour from the pale-fat'd moon : 1:6though some great and thining character, in the most elevated



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To pluck bright honour from the pale-fac’d moon;
Or dive into the bottom of the deep,
Where fathom-line could never touch the ground,
And pluck up drowned honour by the locks;
So he, that doth redeem her thence, might wear
Without corrival all her dignities :
. But out upon this half-fac'd fellowship!


orb, was already in poletion of her, yet it would, methinks, be easy by greater acts, to eclipse his glory, and pluck all his honours from him ;

Or dive into the bottom of the deep,

And pluck up drowned bonour by the locks : i. e. or what is ftill more difficuit, though there were in the world no great examples to incite and fire my emulation, but that honour was quite sunk ard buried in oblivion, yet would I bring it back into vogue, and render it more illuftrious than

So that we see, though the exprelfion he sublime and daring, yet the thought is the natural movement of an heroic mind. Euripides at lcist thought so, when he put the very same sentiment, in the same words, into the mouth of Eteocles, “ I will not, madam, disguise my thoughts; I would scale " heaven, I would defcend to the very entrails of the earth, if “ fo be that by that price I could obtain a kingdom.” WARB.

Though I am very far from condenining this ipeech with Gildon and Theobald, as absolute madness, yet I cannot find in it that profundity of reflection and beauty of allegory which the learned commentator has endeavoured to display. This fally of Hotspur may be, I think, foberly and rationally vindicated as the violent eruption of a mind inflated with ambition and fired with resentment; as the boasted clamour of a man able to do much, and eager to do more; as the hally motion of turbulent desire; as the dark expression of indetermined thoughts. The passage from Euripides is surely not allegorical, yet it is produced, and properly, as parallel. JOHNSON.

? But out upon this half-fuc'd fellorusirip !] I think this finely expressed. The image is taken from one who turns from another, so as to stand before him with a side-face; which implied neither a full conforting, nor a separation. WARB.

I cannot think this word rightly explained. It alludes rather to dress. A coat is said to be faced when part of it, as the fleeves or bosom, is covered with something finer or more splendid than the main substance. The mantua-makers still use the word. Half-fac'd fellowship is then “ partnership but half" adorned, partnership which yet wants half the hew of dignities and honours." JOHNSON,


Wor. He apprehends 8 a world of figures here, But not the form of what he should attend. -Good cousin, give me audience for a while.

Hot. I cry you mercy,

Wor. Thole fame noble Scots
That are your prisoners -

Hot. I'll keep them all ;
By heaven, he shall not have a Scot of them ;
No, if a Scot would save his soul, he shall not:
I'll keep them, by this hand.

Wor. You start away,
And lend no ear unto my purposes.-
Those prisoners you shall keep.

Hot. Nay, I will; that's flat —
He said, he would not ransom Mortimer;
Forbad my tongue to speak of Mortimer
But I will find him when he lies aseep,
And in his ear I'll holla, Mortimer !
Nay, I'll have a starling shall be taught to speak
Nothing but Mortimer, and give it him,
To keep his anger still in motion.
Wor. Hear you, cousin; a word.

Hot. All studies here I folemnly defy,
Save how to gall and pinch this Bolingbroke:
9 And that same sword-and-buckler prince of Wales,
But that, I think, his father loves him not,
And would be glad he met with some mischance,
I'd have him poison'd with a pot of ale. .

Wor. Farewell, kinsman! I will talk to you,
When you are better temper'd to attend.


- a world of figures here,] Figure is here used equivocally. As it is applied to Hotspur's speech it is a rhetorical mode; as opposed to form, it means appearance or shape.

Johnson. 9 And that same sword-and-buckler prince of Wales,] A royster or turbulent fellow, that fought in taverns, or raised disorders in the streets, was called a Swash-buckler. In this sense swordand-buckler is used here. JOHNSON.

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