Page images
[ocr errors]

II. 183
Queen. 'Twill make me think, the world is full of

And that my fortune runs against the bias.

Lady. Madam, we'll dance.
Queen. My legs can keep no measure in delight,
When my poor heart no measure keeps in grief.
Therefore no dancing, girl; some other sport.
Lady. Madam, we will tell tales.
Queen. 6 Of forrow, or of joy ?
Lady. Of either, madam.

Queen. Of neither, girl:
For if of joy, being altogether wanting,
It doth remember ine the more of forrow;
Or if of grief, being altogether had,
It adds more forrow to my want of joy.
For what I have, I need not to repeat ;
And what I want, it boots not to complain.

Lady. Madam, I'll fing.

Queen. 'Tis well that thou haft cause;
But thou should'st please me better, would'st thou

Lady. I could weep, madam, would it do you gocd.
Q:seen. 7 And I could weep, would weeping do me

And never borrow any tear of thee.
But stay, here come the gardeners.
Let's step into the shadow of these trees.
My wretchedness unto a row of pins,

Enter a gardener, and two servants.
They'll talk of state ; for every one doth so,
Against a change : woe is fore-run with woe.

[Queen and ladies retire.
Of forrow, or of joy ?} All the old copies concur in read-
ing, Of forrow, or of grief. Mr. Pope made the necefiary al-
teration. STEEVENS.
? And I could weep,–] The old copies read, And I could frg.

STEEVENS. Against a change: woe is fare-run -with woe.) But what was there in the gardener's talking of fate, for matter of so much M4



Gard. Go, bind thou up yon dangling apricots,
Which, like unruly children, make their fire
Stoop with oppreffion of their prodigal weight:
Give some fupportance to the bending twigs.
Go thou, and, like an executioner,
Cut off the heads of too-fast-growing sprays,
That look too lofty in our commonwealth :
All must be even in our government.-
You thus imploy'd, I will go root away
The noisome weeds, that without profit suck
The foil's fertility from wholesome flowers.

Serv. Why should we, in the compass of a pale,
Keep law, and form, and due proportion,
Shewing, as in a model, 9 our firm ftate ;

woe? Besides this is intended for a sentence, but proves a very fimple one. I suppose Shakelpeare wrote,

woe is fore-run with MOCKS, which has some meaning in it; and signifies, that when great men are on the decline, their inferiors take advantage of their condition, and treat them without ceremony. And this we find to be the case in the following scene. But the editors were seeking for a rhime. Though had they not been so impatient they would have found it gingled to what followed, though it did not to what went before. WARBURTON.

There is no need of any emendation. The poet, according to the common doctrine of prognostication, supposes dejection to forerun calamity, and a kingdom to be filled with rumours of sorrow when any great disaster is impending. The sense is, that public evils are always prefignified by public pensiveness, and plaintive conversation. The conceit of rhyming mocks with apricocks, which I hope Shakespeare knew better how to spell, thews that the commentator was resolved not to let his conjecture fall for want of any support that he could give it. Johns.

our firm state?) How could he say ours when he immediately subjoins, that it was infirin? We should read,

A firm state. WARBURTON. The servant fays cur, meaning the fate of the garden they are at work in. The state of the metaphorical garden was inceed unfirm, and therefore his realoning is very naturally induced.' Why (says he) should we be calcful to preserve order in the narrow cina re of this our siate, when the great state of i be kingdom is in disorder ? I have replaced the old reading which Dr. Warburton would have discontinued in favour of his own conjecture, SI EEVENS,



When our sea-walled garden, the whole land,
Is full of weeds; her fairest flowers choak’d up,
Her fruit-trees all unprun’d, her hedges ruind,
Her knots disorder'd, and her wholesome herbs
Swarming with caterpillars ?

Gard. Hold thy peace.-
He, that hath suffer’d this disorder'd spring,
Hath now himself met with the fall of leaf :
The weeds, that his broad spreading leaves did shelter,
That seem’d, in eating him, to hold him up,
Are pull’d up, root and all, by Bolingbroke;
I mean, the earl of Wiltshire, Bulhy, Green.

Serv. What, are they dead? Gard. They are, and Bolingbroke Hath seiz'd the wasteful king:—What pity is it, That he had not so trimm'd and dress'd his land, As we this garden, who at times of ycar Do wound the bark, the skin, of our fruit-trees; Left, being over-proud with sap and blood, With too much riches it confound ittelf: Had he done fo to great and growing men, They might have liv’d to bear, and he to taste Their fruits of duty. All superfluous branches We lop away, that bearing boughs may live: Had he done fo, himself had borne the crown, Which waste and idle hours hath quite thrown down. Serv. What, think you then, the king will be de

pos’d? Gerd. Depress’d he is already; and depos’d, 'Tis doubted, he will be. Letters came last night To a dear friend of the good duke of York, That tell black tidings. Queen. Oh, I am press'd to death, through want of

speaking ! [Coming from her concealinent. Thou old Adam's likeness, fet to drefs this garden, How dares thy harsh tongue found this unpleasing

news ? What Eve, what ferpent hath suggested thee, To make a second fail of curied man?


Why dost thou say, king Richard is depos'd ?
Dar'st thou, thou little better thing than earth,
Divine his downfal ? Say, where, when, and how
Cam'ít thou by these ill tidings ? Speak, thou wretch.

Gerd. Pardon me, madam. Little joy have I
To breathe these news, yet what I say is true.
King Richard, he is in the mighty hold
Of Bolingbroke; their fortunes both are weigh’d:
In your lord's fcale is nothing but himself,
And some few vanities that make him light;
But in the balance of great Bolingbroke,
Besides himself, are all the English peers,
And with that odds he weighs king Richard down.
Post you to London, and you'll find it lo;
I speak no more than every one doth know.

Queen. Nimble mischance, that art so light of foot, Doth not thy emballage belong to me? And am I last, that know it? oh, thou think'st To serve me last, that I may longest keep Thy forrow in my breast.--Come, ladies, go; To meet, at London, London's king in woe.What, was I born to this! that my lad look Should grace the triumph of great Bolingbroke! Gardener, for telling me these news of woe, I would, the plants thou graft'ít may never grow.

[Exeunt queen and ladies. Gard. Poorqueen! so that thy ftate might be no worse, I would my skill were subject to thy curfe.Here did the drop a tear; here, in this place, I'll fet a bank of rue, four herb of grace : Rue, even for ruth, here shortly shall be seen, In the remembrance of a weeping queen.

[Excunt gard. and serv. * I would, the plants, &c.] This execration of the queen is somewhat ludicrous, and unsuitable to her condition; the gardener's reflection is better adapted to the state both of his mind and his fortune. Mr. Pope, who has been throughout this play very diligent to reject what he did not like, has yet, I know not why, spared the last lines of this act. Johnson.



London. The parliament-bouse.

Enter Boling broke, Aumerle, Northumberland, Percy,

Fitzwater, Surry, bishop of Carlisle, abbot of Weftminster, berald, officers, and Bagot.


NALL Bagot forth : now freely speak thy mind;

What thou dost know of noble Glofter's death; Who wrought it with the king, and who perform’d The bloody office of 2 his timeless end.

Bagot. Then set before my face the lord Aumerle. Boling. Cousin, stand forth, and look upon that man. Bagot. My lord Aumerle, I know your daring

tongue Scorns to unsay what it hath once deliver'd. In that dead time when Gloster's death was plotted, I heard you say, “ Is not my arm of length, “ That reacheth from the restful English court " As far as Calais, to my uncle's head ?” Amongst much other talk that very time, I heard you say, “ You rather had refuse “ The offer of an hundred thousand crowns, “ Than Bolingbroke return to England;

Adding withal how bleft this land would be, " In this your cousin's death."

Aum. Princes, and noble lords,
What answer shall I make to this base man ?
Shall I so much dishonour 3


fair stars,


-bis timeless end.] Timeless for untimely. WARB.

my fair stars,] I rather think it should be stem, being of the royal blood. WARBURTON.

I think the prefent reading unexceptionable. The birth is fupposed to be influenced by the stars, therefore our author, with his usual licence, takes fars for birth. JOHNSON.


« PreviousContinue »