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ACT II. SCENE II.
Line 174. my pretty cousins,] The Duchess is here addressing her grandchildren; but cousin was the term used in Shakspeare's time, by uncles to nephews and nieces, grandfathers to grandchildren, &c. MALONE.
Line 186. Incapable and shallow innocents,] Incapable is MALONE. -his images:] The children by whom he was JOHNSON.
Line 225. represented. Line 246. being govern'd by the watery moon,] That I may live hereafter under the influence of the moon, which governs the tides, and by the help of that influence, drown the world. The introduction of the moon is not very natural.
JOHNSON. Line 277. — to be thus opposite with heaven,] This was the phraseology of the time. MALONE. Line 307. Forthwith from Ludlow the young prince be fetch'd-] Edward the young prince, in his father's life-time, and at his demise, kept his houshold at Ludlow, as prince of Wales; under the governance of Antony Woodville, earl of Rivers, his uncle by the mother's side. The intention of his being sent thither was to see justice done in the Marches; and, by the authority of his presence, to restrain the Welshmen, who were wild, dissolute, and ill-disposed, from their accustomed murders and outrages. Vide Hall, Holinshed, &c. THEOBALD.
ACT II. SCENE III.
Line 395. You cannot reason almost with a man—] Reason, i. e. converse.
ACT II. SCENE IV.
Line 428. the wretched'st thing,] Wretched is here used in a sense yet retained in familiar language, for paltry, pitiful, being below expectation. JOHNSON.
Line 434. been remember'd,] To be remembered is, in Shakspeare, to have one's memory quick, to have one's thoughts about one.
Line 450. A parlous boy:] Parlous is keen, sprightly. -467. For what offence?] This question is given to the archbishop in former copies, but the messenger plainly speaks to the queen or dutchess. JOHNSON.
Line 474.awless-] Not producing awe, not reverenced. To jut upon is to encroach. JOHNSON.
ACT III. SCENE I.
Line 1. -to your chamber.] London was anciently called Camera regia. POPE. Line 56. Too ceremonious, and traditional:] Ceremonious for superstitious; traditional for adherent to old customs. WARB. Line 57. Weigh it but with the grossness of this age,] That is, compare the act of seizing him with the gross and licentious practices of these times, it will not be considered as a violation of sanctuary, for you may give such reasons as men are now used to admit. JOHNSON.
Line 90. As 'twere retail'd to all posterity,] Retailed may signify diffused, dispersed. JOHNSON.
Line 92. So wise, so young, they say, do ne'er live long.]
a proverbial line.
Line 96. Thus, like the formal vice, Iniquity,
I moralize two meanings in one word.] By vice, the author means not a quality, but a person. There was hardly an old play, till the period of the Reformation, which had not in it a devil, and a droll character, a jester (who was to play upon the devil); and this buffoon went by the name of a Vice. This buffoon was at first accoutred with a long jerkin, a cap with a pair of ass's ears, and a wooden dagger, with which (like another harlequin) he was to make sport in belabouring the devil. This was the constant entertainment in the times of popery, whilst spirits, and witchcraft, and exorcising held their own. When the Reformation took place, the stage shook off some grossities, and increased in refinements. The master-devil then was soon dismissed from the scene; and this buffoon was changed into a subordinate fiend, whose business was to range on earth, and seduce poor mortals into that personated vicious quality, which he oc
cassionally supported; as, iniquity in general, hypocrisy, usury, vanity, prodigality, gluttony, &c. Now, as the fiend (or vice) who personated Iniquity (or Hypocrisy, for instance) could never hope to play his game to the purpose but by hiding his cloven foot, and assuming a semblance quite different from his real character; he must certainly put on a formal demeanor, moralize and prevaricate in his words, and pretend a meaning directly opposite to his genuine and primitive intention. THEOBALD. Line 108. -lightly-] Commonly, in ordinary course. JOHNSON.
—114.—dread lord;] The original of this epithet applied to kings has been much disputed. In some of our old statutes, the king is called Rex metuendissimus. JOHNSON.
Line 117. Too late he died,] i. e. too lately, the loss is too fresh in our memory.
Line 141. I weigh it lightly, &c.] i. e. I should still esteem it but a trifling gift, were it heavier. WARBURTON.
Line 154. Because that I am little, like an ape,] The reproach seems to consist in this: at country shews it was common to set the monkey on the back of some other animal, as a bear. The duke, therefore, in calling himself ape, calls his uncle bear.
JOHNSON. Line 181. Was not incensed by his subtle mother,] Incensed means here incited or suggested. MALONE.
divided councils,] That is, a private consultation, separate from the known and publick council. So, in the next scene, Hastings says,
Bid him not fear the separated councils.
Line 267. wanting instance:] That is, wanting some example or act of malevolence, by which they may be justified: or which, perhaps, is nearer to the true meaning, wanting any immediate ground or reason. JOHNSON.
-the holy rood,] i e. the cross.
have with you.] A familiar phrase in parting, as much as, take something along with you, or I have something to say to you.
Line 344. They, for their truth,] That is, with respect to their honesty.
I rather imagine it meant, for attending him in private to hear MALONE. shriving work in hand.] Shriving work is con
-the limit-] For the limited time. MALONE. -413. Make haste, the hour of death is expiate.] Expiate MALONE. is used for expiated.
-hold it,] That is, continue it.
-exercise ;] Performance of divine service.
inward-] i. e. confidential.
449. Had you not come upon your cue,] This expression is borrowed from the theatre. The cue, queue, or tail of a speech, consists of the last words, which are the token for an entrance or To come on the cue, therefore, is to come at the proper JOHNSON.
-likelihood-] Semblance; appearance. JOHNS.
·487. I pray you all, tell me what they deserve, &c.] This story was originally told by sir Thomas More, who wrote about thirty years after the time. His history of King Richard III. was inserted in Hall's Chronicle, from whence it was copied by MALONE. Holinshed, who was Shakspeare's authority.
Three times to-day my foot-cloth horse did stumble, &c] So in the Legend of lord Hastings by M. D.
My palfrey, in the plainest paved street,
Thrice bowed his bones, thrice kneeled on the floor,
The housings of a horse, and sometimes a horse himself, were an
ciently called the foot-cloth.
Who builds &c.] So Horace,
ACT III. SCENE V.
Line 579. his conversation-] i. e. familiar intercourse. The phrase criminal conversation is yet in daily use. MALONE.
ACT III. SCENE VI.
Line 676. -seen in thought.] That is, seen in silence, without notice or detection. JOHNSON.
Baynard's Castle.] A castle in Thames-street, which had belonged to Richard duke of York, and at this time was the property of his grandson King Edward V. MALONE.
Line 724. intend some fear:] Perhaps, pretend; though intend will stand in the sense of giving attention. JOHNSON. Line 733. As I can say nay to thee-] Buckingham is to plead for the citizens; and if (says Richard) you speak for them as plausibly as I in my own person, or for my own purposes, shall seem to deny your suit, there is no doubt but we shall bring all to a happy issue. STEEVENS.
to engross-] To fatten; to pamper. JOHNS. -to know a holy man.] i. e. to know a holy man MALONE.
Which to recure,] i. e. to recover.
858. And much I need to help you,] And I want much of the ability requisite to give you help, if help were needed.
effeminate remorse,] i. e. pity.
-948. Farewell, good cousin;-farewell, gentle friends.] To this act should, perhaps, be added the next scene, so will the coronation pass between the acts; and there will not only be a proper interval of action, but the conclusion will be more forcible,
Line 35. I may not leave it so ;] That is, I may not so resign my office, which you offer to take on you at your peril.