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Enter GLOSTER, in a Gallery above, between Two Bishops. CATESBY returns.
MAY. See, where his grace ftands 'tween two clergyinen!
BUCK. Two props of virtue for a chriftian prince, To ftay him from the fall of vanity : And, fee, a book of prayer in his hand; True ornaments to know a holy man."Famous Plantagenet, moft gracious prince, Lend favourable ear to our requests; And pardon us the interruption
Of thy devotion, and right-christian zeal.
GLO. My lord, there needs no fuch apology;
Who, earneft in the fervice of my God,
But, leaving this, what is your grace's pleasure? BUCK. Even that, I hope, which pleaseth God above,
I between two Bishops.] "At the last he came out of his chamber, and yet not downe to theim, but in a galary over theim, with a bishop on every hande of hym, where thei beneth might fee hym and speake to hym, as though he woulde not yet come nere theim, til he wist what they meant," &c. Hall's Chronicle. FARMER.
So alfo Holinfhed after him. The words "with a bishop on every hande of hym," are an interpolation by Hall, or rather by Grafton, (See his Continuation of Harding's Chronicle, 1543, fol. 75,) not being found in Sir Thomas More's Hiftory of King Richard III. folio, 1557, from whom the rest of the sentence is transcribed. MALONE.
to know a holy man.] i. e. to know a holy man by. See Vol. XV. p. 196, n. 4, and a note on Coriolanus, A&t III. fc. ii. where several inftances of a fimilar phraseology are given. MALONE,
And all good men of this ungovern'd isle.
GLO. I do fufpect, I have done fome offence,
BUCK. You have, my lord; Would it might
On our entreaties to amend your fault!
GLO. Elfe wherefore breathe I in a Chriftian
BUCK. Know, then, it is
your fault, that
The fupreme feat, the throne majestical,
The feepter'd office of your ancestors,
Your fiate of fortune, and your due of birth,
To the corruption of a blemish'd stock:
her proper limbs ;] Thus the quarto 1598. The folio bas-his limbs; an error which I fhould not mention, but that it juftifies corrections that I have made in other places, where, for want of more ancient copies than one, conjectural emendation became neceffary. See Vol. VIII. p. 184, n. 4. MALONE.
4 Her royal stock graft with ignoble plants,] Shakspeare seems to have recollected the text on which Dr. Shaw preached his remarkable Sermon at Saint Paul's Crofs: 66 Baftard flips fhall never take deep root." MALONE.
5 And almoft fhoulder'd in the fwallowing gulph
Of dark forgetfulness-] What it is to be shoulder'd in a gulph, Hanmer is the only editor who seems not to have known; for the reft let it pass without observation. He reads:
Which to recure, we heartily folicit
Your gracious felf to take on you the charge
Almoft shoulder'd into th' fwallowing gulph.
I believe we should read:
And almoft fimoulder'd in the fwallowing gulph. That is, almoft mother'd, covered and loft. JOHNSON.
I suppose the old reading to be the true one. So, in The Barons' Wars, by Drayton, canto i:
Stoutly t' affront and Shoulder in debate."
Falfely to draw me in these vile suspects." Shoulder'd has the fame meaning as rudely thrust into.
So, in a curious ancient paper quoted by Mr. Lyfons in his Environs of London, Vol. III. p. 80, n. 1: “ -lyke tyraunts and lyke madde men helpynge to fhulderynge other of the fayd bannermen ynto the dyche," &c. Again, in Arthur Hall's tranflation of the fecond Iliad, 1581:
"He preafeth him, him he again, Shouldring ech one his feere." STEEVENS.
Shoulder'd is; I believe, the true reading ;-not, thrust in by the shoulders, but, immersed up to the fhoulders. So, in Othello "Steep'd me in poverty to the very lips."
"This paffage in Othello," fays Mr. M. Mafon, " is nothing to the purpose. Had Othello used the word lipp'd, to fignify immerfed up to the lips, that indeed would justify our fuppofing that Shoulder'd might mean immerfed up to the shoulders. But the critick mistook the purpose for which the paffage was adduced. It was quoted, not to fupport the word, "Shoulder'd," but to fhow that the fame idea had been elsewhere introduced by Shakspeare; that, as in Othello he had spoken of being plunged in poverty to the lips, fo here he might have intended to defcribe the royal ftock as immerged up to the Shoulders in oblivion.
The word Shoulder'd, in the following lines of Spenfer's Ruins of Rome, 1591, may certainly only have been used in its more ordinary fignification; but I am not sure that the author did not employ it as it is here used by Shakspeare:
"Like as ye fee the wrathful fea from farre,
"In a great mountaine heapt with hideous noise,
And kingly government of this your
In this juft fuit come I to move your grace.
Your love deferves my thanks; but my defert
However the word may have been employed in the foregoing paffage, its existence in our author's time is afcertained by it. MALONE.
6 Which to recure,] To recure is to recover. This word is frequently ufed by Spenfer; and both as a verb and a fubftantive in Lyly's Endymion, 1591. STEEVENS.
7 If, not to answer,] If I should take the former course, and depart in filence, &c. So below: "" If, to reprove," &c. The editor of the fecond folio reads-For not to anfwer; and his capricious alteration of the text has been adopted by all the subsequent editors. This and the nine following lines are not in the quarto. MALONE.
And that my path were even to the crown,
That I would rather hide me from my greatness,--
BUCK. My lord, this argues confcience in your
But the respects thereof are nice and trivial,1
You fay, that Edward is your brother's fon;
As the ripe revenue and due of birth;] So the folio. The quarto 1598 thus:
"As my right, revenue, and due by birth."
A preceding line feems rather to favour the original reading: "Your right of birth, your empery, your own."
The first quarto, [1597,] I find, reads:
"As my ripe revenew, and due by birth." MALONE. • And much I need to help you,] And I want much of the ability requifite to give you help, if help were needed.
are nice and trivial,] Nice is generally used by Shakspeare in the sense of minute, trifling, of petty import. So, in Romeo and Juliet:
"The letter was not nice, but full of charge."