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Not Gaunt's rebukes, nor England's private wrongs,
In peace was never gentle lamb more mild,
K. RICH. Why, uncle, what's the matter?
Pardon me, if you please; if not, I pleas'd
2 Nor the prevention of poor Bolingbroke
About his marriage,] 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 daughter of the duke of Berry, uncle to the French king, had not Richard prevented the match. STEEVENS.
3 Accomplish'd with the number of thy hours;] i. e. when he was of thy age. MALONE.
Take Hereford's rights away, and take from time
His livery*, and deny his offer'd homage 3,
K. RICH. Think what you will: we seize into our hands
His plate, his goods, his money, and his lands. YORK. I'll not be by, the while: My liege, farewell:
What will ensue hereof, there's none can tell ;
Bid him repair to us to Ely-house,
To see this business: To-morrow next
4 to sue
His LIVERY,] On the death of every person who held by knight's service, the escheator of the court in which he died summoned a jury, who inquired 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.
5 deny his offer'd homage,] That is, refuse to admit the homage, by which he is to hold his lands.'
We will for Ireland; and 'tis time, I trow;
NORTH. Well, lords, the duke of Lancaster is dead.
Ere't be disburden'd with a liberal tongue.
NORTH. Nay, speak thy mind; and let him ne'er speak more,
That speaks thy words again, to do thee harm! WILLO. Tends that thou would'st speak, to the duke of Hereford ?
If it be so, out with it boldly, man ;
NORTH. Now, afore heaven, 'tis shame, such
In him a royal prince, and many more
And quite lost their hearts: the nobles hath he fin'd
For ancient quarrels, and quite lost their hearts.
But basely yielded upon compromise
That which his ancestors achiev'd with blows: More hath he spent in peace, than they in wars. Ross. The earl of Wiltshire hath the realm in farm.
WILLO. The king's grown bankrupt, like a broken
NORTH. Reproach, and dissolution, hangeth over him.
Ross. He hath not money for these Irish wars, His burdenous taxations notwithstanding, But by the robbing of the banish'd duke.
NORTH. His noble kinsman: most degenerate king!
But, lords, we hear this fearful tempest sing",
5 And lost their hearts:] The old copies erroneously and unmetrically read:
"And quite lost their hearts." The compositor's eye had caught the adverb-quite, from the following line. STEEVENS.
daily new exactions are devis'd;
As blanks, benevolences, and I wot not what :] Stow records, that Richard II. "compelled all the Religious, Gentlemen, and Commons, to set their seales to blankes, to the end he might, if it pleased him, oppresse them severally, or all at once: some of the Commons paid 1000 markes, some 1000 pounds," &c. Chronicle, p. 319, fol. 1639. HOLT WHITE. 7 - we HEAR this fearful TEMPEST SING,] So, in The Tempest:
another storm brewing; I hear it sing in the wind."
We see the wind sit sore upon our sails,
And unavoided is the danger1 now,
For suffering so the causes of our wreck. NORTH. Not so; even through the hollow eyes of death,
I spy life peering; but I dare not say
WILLO. Nay, let us share thy thoughts, as thou dost ours.
Ross. Be confident to speak, Northumberland : We three are but thyself; and, speaking so, Thy words are but as thoughts; therefore, be bold. NORTH. Then thus :-I have from Port le Blanc, a bay
In Britanny, receiv'd intelligence,
That Harry Hereford, Reignold lord Cobham, [The son of Richard Earl of Arundel,]
That late broke from the duke of Exeter 2,
8 And yet we STRIKE not,] To strike the sails, is, to contract them when there is too much wind. JOHNSON.
So, in King Henry VI. Part III. :
"Than bear so low a sail, to strike to thee."
- but SECURELY perish.] We perish by too great confidence in our security. The word is used in the same sense in The Merry Wives of Windsor : Though Page be a secure fool," &c.
Again, in Troilus and Cressida, Act IV. Sc. V.: ""Tis done like Hector, but securely done." See Dr. Farmer's note on this passage. STEEVENS. 1 And UNAVOIDED is the danger -] Unavoided is, I believe, here used for unavoidable. MALONE.
2 [The son of Richard Earl of Arundel,]
That late broke from the duke of Exeter,] I suspect that some of these lines are transposed, as well as that the poet has made a blunder in his enumeration of persons. No copy that I have seen, will authorize me to make an alteration, though according to Holinshed, whom Shakspeare followed in great measure, more than one is necessary. •