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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;
I rather do befeech you pardon me,

Who, earneft in the fervice of my God,
Neglect the vifitation of my friends.

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,

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And all good men of this ungovern'd isle.

GLO. I do fufpect, I have done fome offence,
That feems difgracious in the city's eye;
And that you come to reprehend my ignorance.

BUCK. You have, my lord; Would it might
please your grace,

On our entreaties to amend your fault!

GLO. Elfe wherefore breathe I in a Chriftian


BUCK. Know, then, it is


your fault, that

you re

The fupreme feat, the throne majestical,

The feepter'd office of your ancestors,

Your fiate of fortune, and your due of birth,
The lineal glory of your royal house,

To the corruption of a blemish'd stock:
Whilft, in the mildness of your fleepy thoughts,
(Which here we waken to our country's good,)
The noble ifle doth want her proper limbs ;3
Her face defac'd with fears of infamy,
Her royal ftock graft with ignoble plants,4
And almoft fhoulder'd in the fwallowing gulf
Of dark forgetfulness 5 and deep oblivion.



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."
In is used for into. So before in this play:
"But first I'll turn yon fellow in his grave."
Again, ibid:

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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,
"Eftfoones of thousand billows fhoulder'd narre,
Against a rock to break with dreadful poyfe-."

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And kingly government of this your
Not as protector, fteward, fubftitute,
Or lowly factor for another's gain :
But as fucceffively, from blood to blood,
Your right of birth, your empery, your own.
For this, conforted with the citizens,
Your very worshipful and loving friends,
And by their vehement instigation,

In this juft fuit come I to move your grace.
GLO. I cannot tell, if to depart in filence,
Or bitterly to speak in your reproof,
Beft fitteth my degree, or your condition:
If, not to answer,7-you might haply think,
Tongue-tied ambition, not replying, yielded
To bear the golden yoke of fovereignty,
Which fondly you would here impofe on me;
If to reprove you for this fuit of yours,
So feafon'd with your faithful love to me,
Then, on the other fide, I check'd my friends.
Therefore, to speak, and to avoid the first ;
And then, in speaking, not to incur the last,—
Definitively thus I answer you.

Your love deferves my thanks; but my defert
Unmeritable, fhuns your high request.
Firft, if all obftacles were cut away,

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,
As the ripe revenue and due of birth ;8
Yet fo much is my poverty of fpirit,
So mighty, and fo many, my defects,

That I would rather hide me from my greatness,--
Being a bark to brook no mighty fea,-
Than in my greatness covet to be hid,
And in the vapour of my glory fmother'd.
But, God be thank'd, there is no need of me;
(And much I need to help you, if need were ;)
The royal tree hath left us royal fruit,
Which, mellow'd by the stealing hours of time,
Will well become the feat of majesty,
And make, no doubt, us happy by his reign.
On him I lay what you would lay on me,
The right and fortune of his happy stars,―
Which, God defend, that I should wring from him!

BUCK. My lord, this argues confcience in your


But the respects thereof are nice and trivial,1
All circumftances well confidered.

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."


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