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mouth? Thou should'st say, heavy, dull, and dotish: melancholy is the crest of courtiers, and now every base companion says, he is melancholy." And in the Life and Death of the Lord Cromwell, 1613:
“My nobility is wonderful melancholy.
STEEVENS. “And here's a prophet.”—Act IV. Sc. 2. This man was a hermit in great repute with the common people. Notwithstanding the event is said to have fallen out as he prophesied, the poor fellow was inhumanly dragged at horses' tails through the streets of Warham, and together with his son, who appears to have been even more innocent than his father, hanged afterwards upon a gibbet.—DOUCE
“The wall is high, and yet I will leap down."—Act IV. Sc. 3. In what manner Arthur was deprived of life is uncertain; it seeins that John conducted the assassination with impenetrable secrecy: The French writers, however, say, that John coming in a boat, during the night time, to the castle of Rouen, where the young prince was confined, ordered him to be brought forth, and having stabbed him, while supplicating for mercy, the king fastened a stone to the dead body, and threw it into the Seine, in order to give some color, which he afterwards caused to be spread, that the prince, attempting to escape out of a window of the tower of the castle, fell into the river, and was drowned.-MALONE.
“At Worcester must his body be interr'd.”—Act V. Sc. 7. A stone coffin, containing the body of King John, was discovered in the cathedral church of Worcester, July 17, 1797.—STEEVENS.
KING RICHARD II.
“ Old John of Gaunt, lime-honour'd Lancaster."—Act I. Sc. 1. John of Gaunt, who is here supposed to be extremely old, was at this time only fifty-eight years of age. But it was usual with our old authors to attribute senility to persons whom we should only think in their middle age. King Henry is represented by Daniel as extremely old, when he had a child by the Lady Rosamond. This monarch, at his death, was only fifty-six. The earl of Leicester is called an old man, by Spenser, when he was not fifty; and the French admiral, Coligny, is represented by his biographer as a very old man, though at the time of his death he was but fitty-three. This might arise, in some measure, from its being usual to enter life much earlier than we do at present; those who were married at fifteen, had been, at fifty, masters of a house and family for thirty-five years.-MALONE.
“ The duke of Gloster's death."-Act I. Sc. 1. Thomas of Woodstock, the youngest son of Edward III., who was murdered at Calais, in 1397.—MALONE.
“ Since last I went to France to felch his queen.”—Act I. Sc. 1. Isabel, the daughter of Charles VI. was, at the time of her marriage with Richard II. not more than eight years old. Consequently, the part she is made to take in this play, is a palpable deviation from historical truth, as she was still a mere child at her husband's death.-MALONE.
“ Lions make leopards (ame.”—Act I. Sc. 1. The Norfolk crest was a golden leopard.—MALONE.
“ Duchess of Gloster.”—Act I. Sc. 2. The duchess of Gloster, was Eleanor Bohun, widow of Duke Thomas, son of Edward III.- WALPOLE.
“ Aumerle."-Act I. Sc. 3. Edward, duke of Aumerle, so created by his cousin-german, Richard II. in 1397. He was the eldest son of Edward of Langley, duke of York, fifth son of King Edward III. ; and was killed in 1415, at the battle of Agincourt. He officiated at the lists of Coventry, as high-constable of England.-Malone.
Mowbray's waxen coat.”—Act I. Sc. 3. The brigandines, or coats of mail, then in use, were composed of small pieces of steel quilted over one another, and yet so flexible as to accommodate the dress they form to every motion of the body; of these many are still to be seen in the Tower of London.--STEEVENS.
" Warder." — Act I. Sc. 3. A warder appears to have been a kind of truncheon, carried by the person who presided at these single combats.-STEEVENS.
“ The duke of York.”—Act II. Sc. 1.
Act II. Sc. 1.
“ Nor the prevention of poor Bolingbroke,
About his marriage.”—Act II. Sc. 1. When the duke of Hereford, after his banishment, went into France, he was honourably entertained at that court, and would have obtained in marriage the only child of the duke of Berry, uncle to the French king, had not Richard prevented the match.-STEEVENS.
His livery.”—Act II. Sc. 1. On the death of every person who held by knights' service, the escheator of the court in which he died, summoned a jury, who enquired what estate he died seized of, and of what age his next heir was. If he was under age, he became a ward of the king's; but if he was found to be of full age, he then had a right to sue out a writ of ouster-le-main, that is, his livery, that the king's hand might be taken off, and the land delivered to him.-MALONE.
“ As blanks, benevolences, and I wot not what."-Act II. Sc. 1. Stowe records, that Richard II. " compelled all the religious, gentle. men, and commons, to set their seales to blankes, to the end he might, if it pleased him, oppress them severally, or all at once: some of the commons paid a thousand marks, some a thousand pounds," &c.
Holt and WHITE.
Archbishop late of Canterbury.”—Act II. Sc. 1. Thomas Arundel, archbishop of Canterbury, brother to the earl of Arundel, who was beheaded during this reign, had been banished by the parliament, and was afterwards deprived by the pope of his see, at the request of the king; whence he is here called "late of Canterbury.”
STEEVENS. “ Like perspectives, which, rightly gaz'd upon,
Show nothing but confusion ; ey'd awry,
Distinguish form."— Act II. Sc. 2. Amongst mathematical recreations, there is one in optics, in which a figure is drawn, wherein all the rules of perspective are inverted, so that if held in the same position with those pictures which are drawn accord, ing to the rules of perspective, it can present nothing but confusion : and to be seen in form and under a regular appearance, it must be looked upon from a contrary station; or, as Shakspeare says, “eyed awry."
WARBURTON. “ The bay trees in our country all are wilher'd.”—Act II. Sc. 4. “ In this yeare, in a manner throughout all the realme of England, old baie-irees withered.”—HOLINSHED.
“ From my own windows torn my household coat."—Act III. Sc. 1. It was the practice, when coloured glass was in use, of which there are still some remains in old seats and churches, to anneal the arms of the family in the windows of the house.—JOHNSON.
" My gay apparel.”—Act III. Sc. 3. King Richard's expense in dress was very extraordinary: Holinshed says, He had one cote, which he caused to be made for him of gold and stone, valued at 30,000 marks."-STEEVENS.
“ Westminster-hall." --Act IV. Sc. 1. The rebuilding of Westminster-hall, which Richard had begun in 1397, being finished in 1399, the first meeting of parliament in the new edifice was for the purpose of deposing him.-MALONE.
“ In God's name, I'll ascend the regal throne.”—Act IV. Sc. 1. The words actually spoken by Henry, on this occasion, were as follows: standing upright, that every one might see him, after he had crossed himself on the forehead and breast, and called on the name of Christ, he said :—“In the name of Fadher, Son, and Holy Ghost, I, Henry of Lancaster, challenge the rewme of Ynglande, and the croun, with all the membres and the appurtenances, and als I, that am descendit by right line of the blode, coming from the goode King Henry Therde, and throge that right that God of his grace hath sent ine, with help of kyn, and of my frendes to recover it, the which rewme was in poynt to be undone, by defaut of governaunce, and ondoyng of the gude la wes.”—MALONE.
“ Did keep len thousand men.”—Act IV. Sc. 1. Richard II. was very magnificent in his household. The old chronicles
say, " That to his household came every day to meate ten thousand men."
“ To Julius Cæsar's ill-erected tower."- Act V. Sc. 1. The Tower of London is traditionally said to have been the work of Julius Cæsar. Steevens says, ill-erected means erected for bad purposes.
“ Thus play I, in one person, many people.”—Act V. Sc. 5. This alludes to the necessities of our early theatres. The title-pages of some of our Moralities show, that three or four characters were frequently represented by one person.-STEEVENS.
“ Here to die.”—Act V. Sc. 5. King Richard's body was publicly exposed in St. Paul's, and as no marks of violence appeared, he could not have been assassinated, as represented in the drama; though a similar account is given in Hall's Chronicle, and Sir Pierce Exton's Narrative was to the same effect. Stow's account seems the most probable, and is confirmed by many other authors. He
says, “He was emprisoned in Pomfract castle, where fifteen days and nightes they vexed him with continual hunger, thirst, and cold, and finally bereft him of his life with such a kind of death as never before that time was knowen in England.”
KING HENRY IV. (PART I.)
The gallant Hotspur there,
Young Harry Percy.”—Act I. Sc. 1. “ This Harry Percy was surnamed, for his often pricking, Henry Hote spur; as one that seldom times rested, if there were anie service to be done abroad."—HOLINSHED.
“ The prisoners."— Act I. Sc. 1. By the law of arms, every man who had taken any captive, whose ransom did not exceed ten thousand crowns, had him clearly for himsel., either to redeem or retain at his pleasure.—TOLLET.
“ A hare." —Act I. Sc. 2.
A hare may be considered as melancholy, because she is upon her form, always solitary; and according to the physic of the times, the flesh of the hare was supposed to generate melancholy. The Egyptians, in their hieroglyphics, expressed a melancholy man by a hare sitting in her form.-Johxson and STEEVENS.
“ The melancholy of Moor-ditch.”—Act I, Sc. 2. It appears from Stow's Survey, that a broad ditch called Deep-ditch, once parted the hospital from Moorfields; and what has a more melancholy aspect than stagnant water? It is mentioned in Taylor's Pennylesse Pilgrim, 1618. "My body being tired with travel, and my mind altered with moody, muddy, Mooreditch melancholy."-STEEVENS.
“Lincolnshire bagpipe.”—Act I. Sc. 2. “At a Christmas time, when great logs furnish the hall fire; when brawne is in season, and indeed all revelling is regarded, this gallant knight kept open house for all commers, where beetė, beere, and bread, was no niggard. Amongst all the pleasures provided, a noyse of minstrells and a Lincolnshire bugpipe was prepared; the minstrells for the great chamber, the bagpipe for the hall; the minstrells to serve up the knightes meate, and the bagpipe for the common dancing."
A NEST OF NINNIES, BY R. ARMIN, 1608. “Sir John Sack-and-Sugar."-Act I, Sc. 2. There has been much discussion as to what wine or liquor Falstaff has immortalized by the name of sack. The commentators, as usual, when they differ, have left the affair more obscure than they found it. Yet it seeins probable, that Sherry, Canary, and Mountain Malaga, were drank indifferently under that appellation. — The fat knight mixed sugar with his sack, but this will not be thought extraordinary, since we know that in our poet's time it was a common practice to put sugar in all wines. “Clownes and vulgar men (says Fynes Moryson) only use large drinking of beere or ale, but gentlemen garrawse only in wine, with which they mix sugar, which I never observed in any other place or kingdom to be used for that purpose.” It was customary for the waiters in taverns to have small parcels of white sugar about them, in order to supply those who took suck. So in The Guls' Horn Booke, 1609:— “ Enquire what gallants sup in the next roome, and if they be any of your acquaintance, do not you (ufter the city fashion) send them in a pottle of wine, and your name sweetened in two pitiful papers of sugar, with some filthy a pology crammed into the mouth of a drawer."-Falstaff complains that there was lime in his sack. This was a common mode of adulterating this almost national drink. Eliot, in his Orthoeapia, speaking of sack and rhenish, says:-“The vintners in London put in lime, and thence proceed infinite malidies, specially the gouttes.” It was usual, as a token of kindliness, in Shakspeare's day, for the guests in taverns, to send presents of sack, which was sometimes mulled, from one to the other. An anachronism is committed, by furnishing the hosts of Henry IV.'s reign with this wine, as the following extract from Taylor's Life of Parr will show:-"
-“The vintners sold no other sacks, muscadels, malmsies, bastards, alicants, nor any other wines, but white and claret, till the 331 year of Henry VIII., 1543, and then was old Parr 60 years of age. All those sweet wines were sold till that time at the apothecary's, for no other use but for medicines. "Two gallons of sack cost Falstaff 5s. 8d.; and