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Good uncle, let this end where it begun;
Gaunt. To be a make-peace shall become my age:
When, Harry? when17 ? Obedience bids, I should not bid again. K. Rich. Norfolk, throw down; we bid; there
is no boot18. Nor. Myself I throw, dread sovereign, at thy foot: My life thou shalt command, but not my shame: The one my duty owes; but my fair name (Despite of death, that lives upon my grave) 19, To dark dishonour's use thou shalt not have. I am disgrac'd, impeach'd, and baffled 20 here; Pierc'd to the soul with slander's venom'd spear; The which no balm can cure, but his heart-blood Which breath'd this poison. K. Rich.
Rage must be withstood: Give me his gage:-Lions make leopards21 tame. Nor. Yea, but not change their22 spots: take but
17 This abrupt elliptical exclamation of impatience is agaiu used in the Taming of a Shrew:—Why when, I say! Nay, good sweet Kate, be merry.' It appears to be equivalent to 'when will such a thing be done ?'
18 "There is no boot,' or it booteth not, is as much as to say 'there is no help,' resistance would be vain, or profitle88.
19 i. e. my name that lives on my grave in despite of death
20 Baffled in this place signifies "abused, reviled, reproached in base terms ;' which was the ancient sigaification of the word, as well as to deceive or circumvent. Vide Cotgrave in v. Baffouer. See also a note on King Henry IV. Part 1. Act i. Sc. 2.
al There is an allusion here to the crest of Norfolk, which was a golden leopard.
22 The old copies have ‘his spots.' The alteration was made by Pope.
Mine honour is my life; both grow in one;
begin. Boling. 0, God defend my soul from such foul
sin! Shall I seem crest-fallen in my father's sight? Or with pale beggar-fear impeach my height Before this outdar'd dastard ! Ere my tongue Shall wound mine honour with such feeble wrong, Or sound so base a parle, my teeth shall tear The slavish motive of recanting fear; And spit it bleeding in his high disgrace, Where shame doth harbour, even in Mowbray's face.
[Erit GAUNT. K. Rich. We were not born to sue, but to com
mand: Which since we cannot do to make you friends, Be ready, as your lives shall answer it, At Coventry, upon Saint Lambert's day; There shall your swords and lances arbitrate The swelling difference of your settled hate; Since we cannot atone23 you, we shall see Justice design 24 the victor's chivalry.Lord Marshal, command our officers at arms Be ready to direct these home-alarms. [Ereunt.
23 i. e. make them friends, 'to make agreement or atonement, to reconcile them to each other. Ad concordiam adducere. Lat. Mettre d'accord. Fr.' Baret.
24 To design is to mark out, to show by a token It is the sense of the Latin designo. I may here take occasion to remark that Shakspeare's learning appears to me to have been underrated; it is almost always evident in his choice of expressive terms derived froin the Latin, and used in their original sense The propriety of this expression here will be obvious, when we recollect that designator was 'a marshal, a master of the play or prizc, who appointed every one his place, and adjudged the victory.'
SCENE II. The same.
A Room in the Duke of Lancaster's Palace.
Enter GAUNT, and Duchess of Gloster1. Gaunt. Alas! the partI had in Gloster's blood Doth more solicit me, than your exclaims, To stir against the butchers of his life. But since correction lieth in those hands, Which made the fault that we cannot correct, Put we our quarrel to the will of heaven; Who when he sees the hours ripe on earth, Will rain hot vengeance on offenders' heads.
Duch. Finds brotherhood in thee no sharper spur? Hath love in thy old blood no living fire? Edward's seven sons, whereof thyself art one, Were as seven phials of his sacred blood, Or seven fair branches springing from one root: Some of those seven are dried by nature's course, Some of those branches by the destinies cut: But Thomas, my dear lord, my life, my Gloster, One phial full of Edward's sacred blood, One flourishing branch of his most royal root,Is crack'd, and all the precious liquor spilt; Is hack'd down, and his summer leaves all faded, By envy's hand, and murder's bloody axe. Ah, Gaunt! his blood was thine; that bed, that
womb, That mettle, that self-mould, that fashion'd thee, Made him a man; and though thou liv’st, and breath'st, Yet art thou slain in him: thou dost consent4 In some large measure to thy father's death, In that thou seest thy wretched brother die, Who was the model of thy father's life.
1 The duchess of Gloster was Eleanor Bohun, widow of Duke Thomas, son of Edward III.
2 i e. my relationship of consanguinity to Gloster.
4 i. e. assent; consent is often used by the poet for accord, agreement.
Call it not patience, Gaunt, it is despair:
defence. Duch. Why then, I will. Farewell, old Gaunt. Thou go'st to Coventry, there to behold Our cousin Hereford and fell Mowbray fight: 0, sit my husband's wrongs on Hereford's spear, That it may enter butcher Mowbray's breast! Or, if misfortune miss the first career, Be Mowbray's sins so heavy in his bosom, That they may break his foaming courser's back, And throw the rider headlong in the lists, A caitiff recreant to my cousin Hereford ! Farewell, old Gaunt; thy sometime brother's wife, With her companion grief must end her life.
Gaunt. Sister, farewell: I must to Coventry: As much good stay with thee, as go with me! Duch. Yet one word more; — Grief boundeth
where it falls, Not with the empty hollowness, but weight: I take my leave before I have begun ;
5 To complain is commonly a verb neuter; but it is here used as a verb active It is a literal translation of the old French phrase, me complaindre; and is not peculiar to Shakspeare.
For sorrow ends not when it seemeth done.
Gosford Green, near Coventry. Lists set out, and
a Throne. Heralds, &c. attending. Enter the Lord Marshal, and AUMERLE. Mar. My lord Aumerle, is Harry Hereford arm’d? Aum. Yea, at all points: and longs to enter in.
6 Her house in Essex,
7 In our ancient castles the naked stone walls were only covered with tapestry or arras, hung upon tenter hooks, from which it was easily taken down on every removal of the family. (See the Preface to The Northumberland Household Book, by Dr. Percy ). The offices of our old English mansions were the rooms designed for keeping the various stores of provisions, bread, wine, ale, &c. and for culinary purposes. They were always situate within the house, on the ground floor (for there were subterraneous rooms till about the middle of the reign of Charles I ), and nearly adjoining each other. When dinner had been set on the board by the sewers, the proper officers attended in each of these offices. Sometimes, ou occasions of great festivity, these offices were all thrown open, and unlimited licence given to all comers to eat and drink at their pleasure. The duchess therefore laments that, in consequence of the murder of her husband, all the hospitality of plenty is at an end ; 'the walls are unfurnished, the lodging rooms empty, and the offices unpeopled. All is solitude and silence; her groans are the only cheer that her guests can expect
1 The Duke of Norfolk was Earl Marshal of England; but being binself one of the combatants, the duke of Surrey (Thomas