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boar, as he is elsewhere termed from his ensigns armorial. There is no such heap of allusion as the commentator imagines. JOHNS.
Line 771. The slave of nature-] The expression is strong and noble, and alludes to the ancient custom of masters' branding their profligate slaves: by which it is insinuated that his mis shapen person was the mark that nature had set upon him to stigmatize his ill conditions. WARBURTON.
Line 774. Thou rag of honour! &c.] The word rag intimates that much of his honour is torn away. Patch is, in the same manner, a contemptuous appellation.
Line 788. bottled spider.] A spider is called bottled, because, like other insects, he has a middle slender and a belly protuberant. Richard's form and venom, make her liken him to a spider. JOHNSON.
Line 875. He is frank'd up to fatting for his pains.] A frank is an old English word for a hog-sty. 'Tis possible he uses this metaphor to Clarence, in allusion to the crest of the family of York, which was a boar. Whereto relate those famous old verses on Richard III.
The cat, the rat, and Lovel the dog,
He uses the same metaphor in the last scene of act iv. РОРЕ. -done scathe to us.] Scathe is harm, mischief.
Line 958: That woo'd the slimy bottom-] By seeming to
gaze upon it; or, as we now say, to ogle it.
within my panting bulk,] Bulk is often used
by Shakspeare and his contemporaries for body. Line 982. fleeting, perjur'd Clarence,] same as changing sides.
Fleeting is the
Line 1006. Princes have but their titles for their glories,
An outward honour for an inward toil;] The first line may be understood in this sense, The glories of princes are
nothing more than empty titles: but it would more impress the purpose of the speaker, and correspond better with the following lines, if it were read,
Princes have but their titles for their troubles. JOHNSON. Line 1008.for unfelt imaginations,
They often feel a world of restless cares:] They often suffer real miseries for imaginary and unreal gratifications.
Line 1083. Spoke like a tall fellow,] The meaning of tall, in
old English, is stout, daring, fearless, and strong.
the costard-] i.e. the head.
-we'll reason— -] We'll talk.
1124. What lawful quest] Quest is inquest or jury. —1167. —springing,- Plantagenet,] Blooming Plan
novice,] Youth; one yet new to the world.
tagenet; a prince in the spring of life.
what beggar pities not] I cannot but suspect that the lines, which Mr. Pope observed not to be in the old edition, are now misplaced, and should be inserted here, somewhat after this manner.
Clar. A begging prince what beggar pities not?
Vil. A begging prince!
Clar. Which of you, if you were a prince's son, &c.
Upon this provocation, the villain naturally strikes him. JOHNS. A begging prince what beggar pities not?] To this in the quarto, the murderer replies, Ay, thus, and thus! and stabs him. STEEV.
ACT II. SCENE I.
Line 118. The forfeit,] He means the remission of the forfeit. JOHNSON.
Line 122. Have I a tongue to doom my brother's death,] This lamentation is very tender and pathetick. The recollection of the good qualities of the dead is very natural, and no less naturally does the king endeavour to communicate the crime to others.
Line 128. was about to do.
-be advis'd?] i. e. deliberate; consider what I MALONE.
ACT II. SCENE II.
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 unintelligent.
Line 225. represented. JOHNSON. 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.
-his images:] The children by whom he was
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.
-the wretched'st thing,] Wretched is here used
in a sense yet retained in familiar language, for paltry, pitiful,
being below expectation.
JOHNSON. -been remember'd,] To be remembered is, in
Shakspeare, to have one's memory quick, to have one's thoughts
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.
ACT III. SCENE I.
Line 1. -to your chamber.] London was anciently called Camera regia.
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.
Line 90. As 'twere retail'd to all posterity,] Retailed may
a proverbial line.
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. lightly-] Commonly, in ordinary course.
dread lord;] The original of this epithet ap
plied 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.
Line 181. Was not incensed by his subtle mother,] Incensed means here incited or suggested.
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.
wanting instance:] That is, wanting some ex
ample or act of malevolence, by which they may be justified: or which, perhaps, is nearer to the true meaning, wanting any im mediate ground or reason.
-the holy rood,] i e. the cross.
-341. -have with you.] A familiar phrase in parting, as much as, take something along with you, or I have something to
say to you.