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A serpent that will sting thee to the heart.
Boling. O heinous, strong, and bold conspiracy !O loyal father of a treacherous son! Thou sheer, immaculate, and silver fountain, From whence this stream through muddy passages, Hath held his current, and defild himself! Thy overflow of good converts to bad; And thy abundant goodness shall excuse This deadly blot in thy digressing son.
York. So shall my virtue be his vice's bawd; And he shall spend mine honour with his shame, As thriftless sons their scraping fathers' gold. Mine honour lives when his dishonour dies, Or my sham'd life in his dishonour lies: Thou kill'st me in his life; giving him breath, The traitor lives, the true man's put to death. Duch. [Within.] What ho, my liege! for God's
sake let me in. Boling. What shrill-voic'd suppliant makes this
eager cry? Duch. A woman, and thine aunt, great king; ’tis I. Speak with me, pity me, open the door; A beggar begs, that never begg'd before, Boling. Our scene is alter’d,—from a serious
thing, And now chang’d to The Beggar and the King: My dangerous cousin, let your mother in; I know, she's come to pray for your foul sin.
York. If thou do pardon, whosoever pray, More sins, for this forgiveness, prosper may. This fester'd joint cut off, the rest rests sound; This, let alone, will all the rest confound,
• Thou sheer, immaculate, &c.] Sheer is pellucid, transparent.
digressing son.) deviating from what is right.
· The Beggar and the King.] The King and the Beggar seems to have been an interlude or song, well kuown in the time of our author, who has alluded to it more than once.
I bend my
Duch. O king, believe not this hard-hearted man;
Not yet, I thee beseech:
[Kneels. York. Against them both, my true joints bended be.
[Kneels. Ill may’st thou thrive, if thou grant any grace!
Duch. Pleads he in earnest? look upon his face; His eyes do drop no tears, his prayers are in jest ; His words come from his mouth, ours from our
prays but faintly, and would be denied; We
pray with heart, and soul, and all beside:
prayers are full of false hypocrisy;
Nay, do not say-stand up;
I never long’d to hear a word till now;
Boling. Good aunt, stand up.
I do not sue to stand, Pardon is all the suit I have in hand.
Boling. I pardon him, as God shall pardon me.
Duch. O happy vantage of a kneeling knee!
heart I pardon him.
Duch. A god on earth thou art.
- pardonnez moy.] That is, excuse me, a phrase used when any thing is civilly denied. The whole passage is such as I could well wish away. Johnson.
7 But for our trusty brother-in-law,] The brother-in-law, was John Duke of Exeter and Earl of Huntingdon (own brother to King Richard II.) and who had married with the lady Elizabeth, sister of Henry Bolingbroke.
To Oxford, or where'er these traitors are:
Enter Exton, and a Servant.
Serv. He did.
go; I am the king's friend, and will rid his foe.
Pomfret. The Dungeon of the Castle.
Enter King RICHARD. K. Rich. I have been studying how I may
This prison, where I live, unto the world:
- people this little world;] i. e. his own frame ;_" tho state of man;" which in our author's Julius Cæsar is said to be «« like to a little kingdom.”
the word itself Against the word :] By the word, probably, is meant, the holy word.