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Is not the king's name forty thousand names ?
liege, Than can my care-tun'd tongue deliver him. K. Rich. Mine ear is open, and my heart pre
par'd; The worst is worldly loss, thou canst unfold. Say, is my, kingdom lost? why, 'twas my care; And what loss is it, to be rid of care? Strives Bolingbroke to be as great as we? Greater he shall not be; if he serve God, We'll serve him too, and be his fellow so: Revolt our subjects ? that we cannot mend; They break their faith to God, as well as us: Cry, woe, destruction, ruin, loss, decay; The worst isądeath, and death will have his day.
Scroop. Glad am I, that your highness is so arm'd To bear the tidings of calamity. Like an unseasonable stormy day, Which makes the silver rivers drown their shores, As if the world were all dissolv'd to tears; So high above his limits swells the rage Of Bolingbroke, covering your fearful land
6 Mine ear is open,. &c.] It seems to be the design of the poet to raise Richard to esteem in his fall, and consequently to interest the reader in his favour. He gives him only passive fortitude, the virtue of a confessor, rather than of a king. In his prosperity we saw him imperious and oppressive; but in his distress he is wise, patient, and pious. Johnson. VOL. IV.
With hard bright steel, and hearts harder than steel.
worse than I have power to tell. K. Rich. Too well, too well, thou tell’st a tale so
ill. Where is the earl of Wiltshire? where is Bagot? What is become of Bushy? where is Green? That they have let the dangerous enemy Measure our confines with such peaceful steps? If we prevail, their heads shall pay for it. I warrant, they have made peace with Bolingbroke. Scroop. Peace have they made with him, indeed,
. K. Rich. O villains, vipers, damn’d without re
demption! Dogs, easily won to fawn on any man! Snakes, in my heart-blood warm’d, that sting my
heart! Three Judasses, each one thrice worse than Judas! Would they make peace? terrible hell make war Upon their spotted souls for this offence!
Scroop. Sweet love, I see, changing his property,
? Of double-fatal yew-] From some of the ancient statutes it appears that every Englishman, while archery was practised, was obliged to keep in his house either a bow of yew or some other wood. It should seem therefore that yews were not only planted in church-yards to defend the churches from the wind, but on account of their use in inaking bows; while by the benefit of being secured in enclosed places, their poisonous quality was kept from doing mischief to cattle. STEEVENS.
Turns to the sourest and most deadly hate:-
you curse, Have felt the worst of death's destroying wound, And lie full low, grav'd in the hollow ground. Aum. Is Bushy, Green, and the earl of Wilt
shire, dead? Scroop. Yea, all of them at Bristol lost their
heads. Aum. Where is the duke my father with his
power? K. Rich. No matter where; of comfort no man
Let's talk of graves, of worms, and epitaphs;
there the antick sits,] Here is an allusion to the antick or fool of old farces, whose chief part is to deride and disturb the graver and more splendid personages. · JOHNSON.
To monarchize, be fear'd, and kill with looks;
Aum. My father hath a power, enquire of him; And learn to make a body of a limb. K. Rich. Thou chid'st me well:-Proud Boling
broke, I come To change blows with thee for our day of doom. This ague-fit of fear is over-blown ; An easy task it is, to win our own.-Say, Scroop, where lies our uncle with his power ? Speak sweetly, man, although thy looks be sour.
Scroop. Men judge by the complexion of the sky
The state and inclination of the day: So may you by my dull and heavy eye,
My tongue hath but a heavier tale to say.
• Tradition,] This word seems here used for traditional proc tices: that is, established, or customary homage.
I play the torturer, by small and small,
up, And all your southern gentlemen in arms Upon his party.
K. Rich. Thou hast said enough. Beshrew thee, cousin, which didst lead me forth
Aum. My liege, one word.
He does me double wrong, That wounds me with the flatteries of his tongue. Discharge my followers, let them hence;-Away, From Richard's night, to Bolingbroke's fair day.
1 I'll hate him everlastingly,
That bids me be of comfort -] This sentiment is drawn from nature. Nothing is more offensive to a mind convinced that its distress is without a remedy, and preparing to submit quietly to irresistible calamity, than these petty and conjectured comforts which unskilful officiousness thinks it virtue to administer,
? To ear -] i. e. to plough it.