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Line 344. They, for their truth,] That is, with respect to their
I rather imagine it meant, for attending him in private to hear his confession.
Line 395. 413.
shriving work in hand.] Shriving work is con
-the limit-] For the limited time. MALONE. Make haste, the hour of death is expiate.] Expiate
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 Holinshed, who was Shakspeare's authority. MALONE.
Line 517. 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,
Thrice shunn'd (as Balaam's ass) the dreaded Tow'r.
The housings of a horse, and sometimes a horse himself, were an
ciently called the foot-cloth.
Line 533. Who builds &c.] So Horace,
Nescius auræ fallacis.
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.
-seen in thought.] That is, seen in silence,
without notice or detection.
ACT III. SCENE VII.
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.
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 STEEVENS.
Line 760. -787.
to engross―] To fatten; to pamper. JOHNS. -to know a holy man.] i. e. to know a holy man
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, JOHNSON.
ACT IV. SCENE I.
-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.
Line 74. Were red-hot steel, to sear me to the brain!] This was the ancient mode of punishing a regicide, or any other great criminal, viz. by placing a crown of iron, red-hot, upon his head. Line 100. But with his timorous dreams-] 'Tis recorded by Polydore Virgil, that Richard was frequently disturbed by terrible dreams: this is therefore no fiction. JOHNSON.
Line 122. Rude ragged nurse! old sullen play-fellow-] To call the Tower nurse and play-fellow is very harsh: perhaps part of this speech is addressed to the Tower, and part to the lieuJOHNSON.
ACT IV. SCENE` II.
-now do I play the touch,] To play the touch, is to represent the touchstone. No emendation is necessary. STEEV. Line 164. And unrespective boys;] Unrespective is inattentive, taking no notice, inconsiderate.
-close exploit-] Is secret act.
246. A king!-perhaps-] From hence to the words, Thou troublest me, I am not in the vein—have been left out ever since the first editions, but I like them well enough to replace them.
The allusions to the plays of Henry VI. are no weak proofs of the authenticity of these disputed pieces. JOHNSON.
Line 268. Because that, like a Jack, &c.] An image, like those at St. Dunstan's-church in Fleet-street, and at the markethouses at several towns in this kingdom, was usually called a Jack of the clock-house. See Cowley's Discourse on the Government of Oliver Cromwell. Richard resembles Buckingham to one of those automatons, and bids him not suspend the stroke on the clockbell, but strike, that the hour may be past, and himself be at liberty to pursue his meditations. Sir JOHN HAWKINS.
ACT IV. SCENE III.
Line 341. fearful commenting
Is leaden servitor] Timorous thought and
cautious disquisition are the dull attendants on delay. JOHNSON.
duction, first part.
ACT IV. SCENE IV.
-dire induction—] Induction is preface, intro
-say, that right for right-] This is one of those conceits which our author may be suspected of loving better than propriety. Right for right, is justice answering to the claims of justice. Line 390.
seniory,] For seniority.
-414. And makes her pew-fellow-] Pew-fellow seems to be companion. We have now a new phrase, nearly equivalent, by which we say of persons in the same difficulties, that they are in the same box. JOHNSON.
Line 422. Young York he is but boot,] Boot is that which is thrown in to mend a purchase.
Line 457. Decline all this,] i. e. run through all this from first to last. Line 493. Airy succeeders of intestate joys,] i. e. words, tuned to complaints, succeed joys that are dead; and unbequeathed to them, to whom they should properly descend. THEOBALD. -that ow'd that crown,] i. e. that owned or
Line 509. possessed it.
a touch of your condition,] A spice or particle
of your temper or disposition.
Line 544. Tetchy-] i. e. peevish.
That ever grac'd me-] To grace seems here to mean the same as to bliss, to make happy. So gracious is kind, and graces are favours.
Line 553. -Humphrey Hour,] This may probably be an allusion to some affair of gallantry of which the dutchess had been suspected. I cannot find the name in Holinshed. Surely the poet's fondness for a quibble has not induced him at once to personify and christen that hour of the day which summoned his mother to breakfast? STEEVENS.
Line 577. Shame serves thy life,] To serve is to accompany, servants being near the persons of their masters. JOHNSON.
Line 581. Stay, madam,] On this dialogue 'tis not necessary
to bestow much criticism: part of it is ridiculous, and the whole improbable. JOHNSON. Line 607. All unavoided &c.] i. e. unavoidable. MALONE. -641. The high imperial type-] Type is exhibition, shew, display. JOHNSON. Line 644. Canst thou demise-] To demise is to grant, from demittere, to devolve a right from one to another. STEEVENS. Line 683. -as sometime Margaret-] Here is another re
ference to the plays of Henry VI.
Line 700. Nay, then indeed, she cannot chuse but have thee,] The sense seems to require that we should read,
-but love thee,
-bloody spoil.] Spoil is waste, havock. JOHNS.
-717. Endur'd of her,] Of in the language of Shakspeare's
age was frequently used for by.
-bid like sorrow.] Bid is in the past tense from
Line 737. Advantaging their loan, with interest
Of ten-times-double gain of happiness.] The tears that you have lent to your afflictions shall be turned into gems; and requite you by way of interest, with happiness twenty times as great as your sorrows have been. THEOBALD.
Line 857. And be not peevish found—] Peevish, in our author's time, signified foolish. Line 883. Some light-foot friend post to the duke-] Richard's precipitation and confusion is in this scene very happily represented by inconsistent orders, and sudden variations of opinion.
JOHNSON. -more competitors-] That is, more opponents. JOHNSON.
ACT IV. SCENE V.
Line 1015. Sir Christopher, tell Richmond this from me:] The person, who is called sir Christopher here, and who has been stiled so in the Dramatis Persona of all the impressions, I find by the chronicles to have been Christopher Urswick, a bachelor in divinity; and chaplain to the countess of Richmond, who had intermarried with the lord Stanley. This priest, the history tells