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I cannot perceive any need to suppose“ stars," which influence birth, to be put for “ birth” itself: does not “ my fair stars," implying—the influence by which my birth and honours were produced, afford a sense sufficiently clear? 121. “ Thou wert.”
" Wert,” for “ wast," is a mistake that has been too often noted. 122.“ I take the earth to the like.”
The meaning, I suppose, is--I kneel to the ground, in acceptance of your challenge. 124.“Till thou the lie-giver, and that lie do lie;"
&c. This quibble about “ lie," as meaning both to tell a falshood, and to recline horizontally, occurs again in Hamlet, Act 5:
“ 'Tis a quick lie,” &c. 125. “ To all his land and signories; when he's
return'd.” “All” should be omitted :
“ To hřs lands,” &c. 126. “Why, bishop,” &c.
This is superfluous, and encumbers the verse. We might read at once :
" Is Norfolk dead po Carl. “Sure as I live, my lord.”
“Of good old Abraham!--Lords appellants.”
Either“ appellants” must here have an unusual accent, áppellants, or a word is wanting:
“ Of good old Abraham, my lords appellant” 127. “ And he himself not present? O, forbid
it, God!” This line, with the omission of O, which is useless, would be tolerably smooth : “ And he himself not present; forbid it, God.”
But himself might be omitted : “ And he not present, (), forbid it, God!”
The quarto has, instead of “forbid,” “forfend.” 128. “O, if you rear this house against this
house.” The quarto, 1615, reads, “O, if you raise this house against his house."
Perhaps the true reading is, “O, if you rear this house against his house."
The sense, indeed, of this house against this house, i. e. one house against another, a mere civil contention, is sufficiently clear, though not, as I conceive, strong enough for the speaker's purpose, who seems especially to deprecate hostility between the faction of Bolingbroke, who is present, and the adherents of the king, wliom they ought all to support. 130. “ Found truth in all, but one; I, in twelve
thousand, none." Alexandrines very rarely occur in these works; but it would be difficult to complete the sense in a narrower compass.
“To Henry Bolingbroke." .
The disorder in these lines might perhaps be repaired thus:
“ To Henry Bolingbroke.” K. R: " Give me the crown. “Here, cousin Bolingbroke, seize you the
crown; “My hand on this side, cousin, thine on
that.” 131. “ Ay, no ;-No, ay ;--for I must nothing
“ Therefore no no, for I resign to thee.” From this, and many other instances, it is clear, that "ay” and “I” were sounded alike; it also hence appears that a double negative sometimes, as now, formed an affirmative.-Bolingbroke asks Richard if he is contented to resign the crown, to which Richard, at last, answers: I will say “no” twice, i. e. I will resign. This scene is not in the first quarto. 139. " Must I ravel out
“My weav'd-up follies ?” To ravel out is to decompose or unknit a web. -In Macbeth, sleep is said to “knit-up the raveld sleeve of care. “My weav’d-up follies, gentlě Northumberland.” 133. “ My lord.”
This is among the instances where a fragment of a line seems defensible from the impetuosity of interruption. “No, not that name was given me at the fount, “ But 'tis usurp'd.”
Every thing is taken away from me; there is nothing that I now can call my own; my power,
my title, nay, the very name that was given to me at my baptism, I suppose, is now no longer mine.
“O, that I were a mockery king of snow, “To melt myself away in water-drops.” Something like this is Hamlet's wish:“O, that this too, too solid flesh would melt, “Thaw, and resolve itself into a dew.” 135. “ Name it, fair cousin.” My fair cousin would complete the verse.
“And shall I have ?” The quarto reads “ have it,” which helps the measure.
Bol. “ Yet ask.”
Ay, you shall."
“Why then give me leave,” &c. But still the metre will be imperfect: I would propose,
“Why pr’ythee give me leave to go then.” Bol.
ACT V. SCENE I. 137. “ Ill-erected.”
By ill-erected, I understand inauspiciously erected.
140. " Transform'd, and weakened? Hath
Boling broke “ Depos'd thine intellect? hath he been in
thy heart.” Perhaps these lines would be better thus : “ Transform’d and weakěn'd; hath Bolingbroke
depos’d “ Thine intellect? hath he been in thy heart?” 141. “ Foul sin gathering head
“Shall break into corruption.” More double meaning: political disaffection growing formidable and breaking out in rebellion, and the supuration and bursting of a sore; corruption, however, but ill agrees with the first meaning. 142.“ Then whither he goes, thither let me go."
Hotspur, in K. Henry IV. says,
SCENE II. 146. “ And barbarism itself have pitied him."
“ Barbarism” here seems to mean “cruelty.” 148. “ I fear, I fear
-What should you fear ?» We might read,
“I fear, I fear me
" Why, what should you fear ?" “ 'Tis nothing but some bond that he is enter'd
into “ For gay apparel, against the triumph."