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Such poor, such base, 8 such lewd, such mean attempts,
P. Henry. So please your majesty, I would I could
-- such levd, fuch mean attempts, ] Shakespeare certainly wrote attaints, i. e. unlawful actions. WARBURTON.
Mean attempts are mean, unworthy undertakings. Lewd does not in this place barely fignify wanton, but licentious. So B. Jonson, in his Poetafter,
be fu'd “ 'Gainit such as wrong mens' fames with verses lewd." And again, in Volpone,
they are most lewd impoftors, “ Made all of terms and Mreds." Steevens. 9 Ye: such extenuation let me beg, &c.] The contruction is fomewhat obscure. Let me beg so much extenuation, that, upon conjutation of many folje charges, I may be pardoned some that
I thould read in reproof inttead of in reproof; but concerning Shakefpeare's particles there is no certainty.
The hope and expectation of thy time
loyal to poffeffion;-) True to him that had then poffeffion of the crown. JOHNSON.
? And then I ftole all courte/v from heaven,] This is an allfion to the story of Prometheus's theft, who stole fire from thence; and as with this he made a man, fo with that Bolingbroke made a king. As the gods were supposed jealous in appropriating reason to themselves, the getting fire from thence, which lighted it up in the mind, was called a theft ; and as power is their prerogative, the getting courtesy from thence, by which power is beit procured, is called a theft. The thought is exquifitely great and beautiful. WARBURTON.
rash, bavin wits,] Rafh is heady, thoughtless : bavin is brushwood, which, fired, burns fiercely, but is soon out. JOHNSON
Soon kindled, and soon burnt: 4 carded his state,
carded his state,] In former copies,
CARDED his state,] Richard is here represented as laying aside his royalty, and mixing himself with common jefters. This will lead us to the true reading, which I suppose is,
'SCARDED his fate,] i, e. discarded, threw off, WARBURTON.
carded his state,] 7 he metaphor seems to be taken from mingling coursé wool with fine, and carding them together, whereby the value of the latter is diminished. The king means that Richard mingled and carded together his royal ftate with carping fools, rash, bavin wits, &c. STEVENS.
5 And gave his counter.ance, against his name,] Made his prefance injurious to his reputation. Johnson.
6 of every beardless, vain comparative:] Of every boy whose vanity incited him to try his wit againft the king's.
When Lewis XIV. was asked, why, with so much wit, he never attempted raillery, he answered, that he who practised raillery ought to bear it in his turn, and that to stand the but of raillery was not suitable to the dignity of a king. Scudery's Cor nn, JOHNSON,
Slept in his face, and render'd such aspect
P. Henry I shall hereafter, my thrice gracious lord, Be more myself.
K. Henry. For all the world, As thou art at this hour, was Richard then, When I from France set foot at Ravenspurg; And even as I was then, is Percy now. Now by my fceptre, and my soul to boot, 7 He hath more worthy interest to the state, Than thou, the shadow of succession : For, of no right, nor colour like to right, He doth fill fields with harness in the realm ; Turns head against the lion's armed jaws ; And, being no more in debt to years than thou, Leads ancient lords and reverend bishops on To bloody battles, and to bruising arms. What never-dying honcur hath he got Against renowned Douglas; whose high deeds, Whose hot incursions, and great name in arms, Holds from all soldiers chief majority, And military title capital, Through all the kingdoms that acknowledge Christ! Thrice hath this Hotspur, Mars in swathing cloaths,
? He hath more worthy interest to the state,
Than thou, the fpadoru of Juccellion :] This is obscure. I believe the meaning is--Hotspur haih a right to the kingdom more worthy than thou, who haft only the fivudowy ri, bit of lineal succesion, while he has real and solid power. Johnson.
This infant warrior, in his enterprizes,
P. Henry. Do not think so; you shall not find it so:
dearest-] Deareft is most fatal, most mischievous,
JOHNSON. And Ruin my favours in a bloody mak,) We should read favour, i. e, countenance.
I am not certain that favours, in this place, means features, or that the plural number of favour in that sense is ever used. I believe favours means only fome decoration usually worn by knights in their helmets, as a present from a mistress, or a tro: phy from an enemy. So in this play,
Then lst my favours hide thy bloody face :