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Limps after, in base imitation.
Gaunt. Methinks I am a prophet new inspired;
1 Where the will rebels against the notices of the understanding. 2 i. e. by reason of their breed. The quarto of 1598 reads thus:-
“ Feared by their breed, and famous for their birth.”
Like to a tenement, or pelting farm :
Enter King RICHARD and Queen ;? AUMERLE, Bushy,
GREEN, Bagot, Ross, and Willoughby.4
Queen. How fares our noble uncle, Lancaster ?
1 “In this 22d yeare of King Richard, the common fame ranne that the king had letten io farme the realme unto Sir William Scrope, earle of Wiltshire, and then treasurer of England, to Syr John Bushey, Sir John Bagot, and Sir Henry Greene, Knightes.”—Fabian. Pelting is paltry, pitiful, petty.
2 Shakspeare has deviated from historical truth in the introduction of Richard's queen as a woman; for Anne, his first wife, was dead before the period at which the commencement of the play is laid; and Isabella, his second wife, was a child at the time of his death.
3 i. e. William lord Ross, of Hamlake, afterwards lord treasurer to Henry IV.
4 William lord Willoughby, of Eresby. 5 Ritson proposes to read :
" — being reined, do rage the more.”
K. Rich. Can sick men play so nicely with their
names ? Gaunt. No; misery makes sport to mock itself: Since thou dost seek to kill my name in me, I mock my name, great king, to flatter thee. K. Rich. Should dying men flatter with those that
live? Gaunt. No, no; men living, flatter those that die. K. Rich. Thou, now a dying, say’st—thou flatter'st
me. Gaunt. 0, no; thou diest, though I the sicker be. K. Rich. I am in health, 1 breathe, and see thee ill.
Gaunt. Now, He that made me, knows I see thee ill; Ill in myself to see, and in thee, seeing ill. Thy deathbed is no lesser than thy land, Wherein thou liest in reputation sick; And thou, too careless patient as thou art, Committ'st thy anointed body to the cure Of those physicians that first wounded thee: A thousand flatterers sit within thy crown, Whose compass is no bigger than thy head; And yet, incaged in so small a verge, The waste is no whit lesser than thy land; O, had thy grandsire, with a prophet's eye, Seen how his son's son should destroy his sons, From forth thy reach he would have laid thy shame, Deposing thee before thou wert possessed, Which art possessednow to depose thyself. Why, cousin, wert thou regent of the world, It were a shame to let this land by lease ; But, for thy world, enjoying but this land, Is it not more than shame, to shame it so ? Landlord of England art thou now, not king; Thy state of law is bondslave to the law ;? And thou
K. Rich. - a lunatic, lean-witted fool,
2 “ Thy legal state, that rank in the state and these large desmesnes, which the constitution allotted thee, are now bondslave to the law; being subject to the same legal restrictions as every ordinary, pelting farm that has been let on lease."
Presuming on an ague's privilege,
Gaunt. O, spare me not, my brother Edward's son,
[Exit, borne out by his Attendants. K. Rich. And let them die, that age and sullens have; For both hast thou, and both become the grave.
York. I do beseech your majesty, impute his words To wayward sickliness and age in him. He loves you, on my life, and holds you dear As Harry duke of Hereford, were he here. K. Rich. Right; you say true; as Hereford's love,
so his ; As theirs, so mine; and all be as it is.
Enter NORTHUMBERLAND. North. My liege, old Gaunt commends him to your
majesty. K. Rich. What says he ?
1 i. e. let them love to live, &c. VOL. III. 49
North. Nay, nothing; all is said :
York. Be York the next that must be bankrupt so! Though death be poor, it ends a mortal woe.
K. Rich. The ripest fruit first falls, and so doth he; His time is spent; our pilgrimage must be:1 So much for that.--Now for our Irish wars. We must supplant those rough, rug-headed kernes ; 2 Which live like venom, where no venom else, But only they, hath privilege to live.3 And, for these great affairs do ask some charge, Towards our assistance, we do seize to us The plate, coin, revenues, and movables, Whereof our uncle Gaunt did stand possessed.
York. How long shall I be patient ? Ah, how long Shall tender duty make me suffer wrong? Not Gloster's death, nor Hereford's banishment, Not Gaunt's rebukes, nor England's private wrongs, Nor the prevention of poor Bolingbroke About his marriage, nor my own disgrace, Have ever made me sour my patient cheek, Or bend one wrinkle on my sovereign's face.I am the last of noble Edward's sons, Of whom thy father, prince of Wales, was first; In war, was never lion raged more fierce, In peace, was never gentle lamb more mild, Than was that young and princely gentleman. His face thou hast, for even so looked he, Accomplished with the number of thy hours ;5 But, when he frowned, it was against the French, And not against his friends; his noble hand Did win what he did spend, and spent not that
i That is, “our pilgrimage is yet to come.”
4 When the duke of Hereford went into France, after his banishment, he was honorably 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.
5 i. e. when he was of thy age.