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Till I have told this slander of his blood",
How God, and good men, hate so foul a liar.
K. RICH. Mowbray, impartial are our eyes, and


Were he my brother, nay, my kingdom's heir,
(As he is but my father's brother's son,)
Now by my scepter's awe3 I make a vow,
Such neighbour nearness to our sacred blood
Should nothing privilege him, nor partialize
The unstooping firmness of my upright soul;
He is our subject, Mowbray, so art thou;
Free speech and fearless, I to thee allow.

NOR. Then, Bolingbroke, as low as to thy heart,
Through the false passage of thy throat, thou liest!
Three parts of that receipt I had for Calais,
Disburs'd I duly to his highness' soldiers:
The other part reserv'd I by consent;

For that my sovereign liege was in my debt,
Upon remainder of a dear account,
Since last I went to France to fetch his queen 9:

7 - this slander of his blood,] i. e. this reproach to his ancestry. STEEvens.

To the king's ancestry, as Richard's answer shows. MALONE. my scepter's awe-] The reverence due to my scepter. JOHNSON.


9 Since last I went to France to fetch his queen :] The Duke of Norfolk was joined in commission with Edward Earl of Rutland (the Aumerle of this play) to go to France in the year 1395, in the king's name, to demand in marriage (Isabel, the queen of our present drama) the eldest daughter of Charles the Sixth, then between seven and eight years of age. The contract of marriage was confirmed by the French King in March, 1396; and on November, 1396, Richard was married to his young consort in the chapel of St. Nicholas, in Calais, by — —, Archbishop of Canterbury. His first wife, Anne, daughter to the Emperor of Germany, Charles the Fourth, whom he had married in 1382, died at Shene, on Whitsunday, 1394. His marriage with Isabella, as is manifest from her age, was merely political; and accordingly it was accompanied with an agreement for a truce between France and England, for thirty years. MALONE.

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Now swallow down that lie.

I slew him not; but to my own disgrace,
Neglected my sworn duty in that case.-
For you, my noble lord of Lancaster,
The honourable father to my foe,
Once did I lay an ambush for your life,
A trespass that doth vex my grieved soul:
But, ere I last receiv'd the sacrament,
I did confess it; and exactly begg'd
Your grace's pardon, and, I hope, I had it.
This is my fault: As for the rest appeal'd,
It issues from the rancour of a villain,
A recreant and most degenerate traitor:
Which in myself I boldly will defend ;
And interchangeably hurl down my gage
Upon this overweening traitor's foot,
To prove myself a loyal gentleman

Even in the best blood chamber'd in his bosom :
In haste whereof, most heartily I pray
Your highness to assign our trial day.

K. RICH. Wrath-kindled gentlemen, be rul'd by

-For Gloster's


Let's purge this choler without letting blood:
This we prescribe, though no physician1;
Deep malice makes too deep incision:

This we prescribe, though no physician; &c.] I must make one remark in general on the rhymes throughout this whole play; they are so much inferior to the rest of the writing, that they appear to me of a different hand. What confirms this, is, that the context does every where exactly (and frequently much better) connect, without the inserted rhymes, except in a very few places; and just there too, the rhyming verses are of a much better taste than all the others, which rather strengthens my conjecture.


"This observation of Mr. Pope's (says Mr. Edwards) happens to be very unluckily placed here, because the context, without the inserted rhymes, will not connect at all. Read this passage as it would stand corrected by this rule, and we shall find, when the rhyming part of the dialogue is left out, King Richard


Forget, forgive; conclude, and be agreed;
Our doctors say this is no month to bleed 2.-
Good uncle, let this end where it begun ;
We'll calm the duke of Norfolk, you your son.
GAUNT. To be a make-peace shall become my


Throw down, my son, the duke of Norfolk's


K. RICH. And, Norfolk, throw down his. GAUNT When, Harry 3? when? Obedience bids, I should not bid again. K. RICH. Norfolk, throw down; we bid; there is no boot".

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,

begins with dissuading them from the duel; and in the very next sentence, appoints the time and place of their combat."

Mr. Edwards's censure is rather hasty; for in the note, to which it refers, it is allowed that some rhymes must be retained to make out the connection. STEEVENS

2 Our doctors say this is no MONTH to bleed.] Richard alludes to the almanacks of the time, where particular seasons were pointed out as the most proper time for being bled.

Thus the first quarto, 1597. The folio has-" no time.—” But the above mentioned allusion shows that the original is the true reading. MALONE.

3 When, Harry?] This obsolete exclamation of impatience is likewise found in Heywood's Silver Age, 1613:

"Fly into Affrick; from the mountains there,

"Chuse me two venomous serpents: thou shalt know them: "By their fell poison and their fierce aspect.


When, Iris?

"Iris. I am gone."

Again, in Look About You, 1600:


I'll cut off thy legs,


"If thou delay thy duty.

When, proud John ?"


-no boot.] That is, no advantage, no use, in delay, or re

fusal. JOHNSON.

(Despite of death, that lives upon my grave',)
To dark dishonour's use thou shalt not have.
I am disgrac'd, impeach'd, and baffled 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 leopards tame'. NOR. Yea, but not change his spots": take but my shame, And I resign my gage. My dear dear lord, The purest treasure mortal times afford, Is-spotless reputation; that away, Men are but gilded loam, or painted clay. A jewel in a ten-times-barr'd-up chest Is-a bold spirit in a loyal breast.

S - my fair name, &c.] grave, in despight of death.' editors seem to have mistaken.



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That is, my name that lives on my
This easy passage most of the

6 and BAFFLED here ;] Baffled in this place means 'treated with the greatest ignominy imaginable.' So, Holinshed, vol. iii. p. 827, and 1218, or annis 1513, and 1570, explains it: "Bafulling," says he, " is a great disgrace among the Scots, and it is used when a man is openlie perjured, and then they make of him an image painted, reversed, with his heels upward, with his name wondering, crieing, and blowing out of him with horns." Spenser's Fairy Queen, b. v. c. iii. st. 37, and b. vi. c. vii. st. 27, has the word in the same signification. TOLLET. The same expression occurs in Twelfth-Night, Sc. ult. : Alas, poor fool! how have they baffled thee?" Again, in King Henry IV. Part I. Act I. Sc. II. :


an I do not, call me villain, and baffle me." Again, in The London Prodigal, 1605: "chil be abaffelled up and down the town, for a messel;" i. e. for a beggar, or rather a leper. STEEVENS.


Lions make leopards tame.] There is a peculiar allusion here which has not been noticed. The Norfolk crest was a golden leopard. MALOne.

8 but not change HIS Spots:] The old copies have-his spots. Mr. Pope altered it to their spots; but the change from the singular to the plural number was not uncommon in our poet's time. See the Essay on Shakspeare's phraseology. MALONE.

Mine honour is my life; both grow in one;
Take honour from me, and my life is done :
Then, dear my liege, mine honour let me try;
In that I live, and for that will I die.

K. RICH. Cousin, throw down your gage; do you


BOLING. O, 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
[Exit GAUNT.

K. RICH. We were not born to sue, but to command:

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 atone you, we shall see
Justice design the victor's chivalry.-


9 with pale beggar-FEAR-]

This is the reading of one of the oldest quartos, [quarto 1597] and the folio. The quartos 1608 and 1615, read-beggar-face; i. e. (as Dr. Warburton observes,) with a face of supplication. STEEVENS.

1 The slavish MOTIV
IVE-] Motive, for instrument.


Rather that which fear puts in motion. JOHNSON. ATONE you.] i. e. reconcile you. So, in Cymbeline : "I was glad I did atone my countryman and you."



3 Justice DESIGN-] Thus the old copies. Mr. Pope reads"Justice decide," but without necessity. Designo, Lat, signifies



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