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Tendering the precious fafety of my prince,
And free from other mifbegotten hate,
Come I appellant to this princely prefence.-
Now, Thomas Mowbray, do I turn to thee,
And mark my greeting well; for what I speak,
My body fhall make good upon this earth,
Or divine foul anfwer it in heaven.
Thou art a traitor, and a mifcreant;
Too good to be fo, and too bad to live;
Since, the more fair and cryftal is the sky,
The uglier feem the clouds that in it fly.
Once more, the more to aggravate the note,
With a foul traitor's name ftuff I thy throat;
And wish, (fo please my fovereign,) ere I move,
What my tongue speaks, my right-drawn 5 fword
NOR. Let not my cold words here accuse my zeal :
"Tis not the trial of a woman's war,
The bitter clamour of two eager tongues,
Can arbitrate this caufe betwixt us twain:
The blood is hot, that must be cool'd for this,
Yet can I not of fuch tame patience boast,
As to be hufh'd, and nought at all to say:
First, the fair reverence of your highness curbs me
From giving reins and fpurs to my free fpeech;
Which elfe would poft, until it had return'd
These terms of treafon doubled down his throat.
Setting afide his high blood's royalty,
And let him be no kinfinan to my liege,
I do defy him, and I fpit at him;
Call him-a flanderous coward, and a villain:
Which to maintain, I would allow him odds;
And meet him, were I tied to run a-foot
S ·right-drawn -] Drawn in a right or just cause.
Even to the frozen ridges of the Alps,
Or any other ground inhabitable"
Where ever Englishman durft fet his foot.
Mean time, let this defend my loyalty,-
By all my hopes, moft falfely doth he lie.
BOLING. Pale trembling coward, there I throw my gage,
Disclaiming here the kindred of a king;
And lay afide my high blood's royalty,
Which fear, not reverence, makes thee to except :
If guilty dread hath left thee so much strength,
As to take up mine honour's pawn, then stoop;
By that, and all the rites of knighthood elfe,
Will I make good against thee, arm to arm,
What I have spoke, or thou canft worse devise.
NOR. I take it up; and, by that sword I swear, Which gently lay'd my knighthood on my shoulder, I'll answer thee in any fair degree,
Or chivalrous defign of knightly trial:
And, when I mount, alive may I not light,
If I be traitor, or unjustly fight!
K. RICH. What doth our coufin lay to Mowbray's charge?
It must be great, that can inherit us7
So much as of a thought of ill in him.
• — inhabitable,] That is, not habitable, uninhabitable.
Ben Jonson uses the word in the fame fenfe in his Catiline: "And pour'd on fome inhabitable place." Again, in Taylor the water-poet's Short Relation of a long Journey, &c." there ftands a strong caftle, but the town is all spoil'd, and almost inhabitable by the late lamentable troubles." STEEVENS.
So alfo, Braithwaite, in his Survey of Hiftories, 1614: "Others, in imitation of fome valiant knights, have frequented defarts and inhabited provinces." MALONE.
7 ----that can inherit us &c.] To inherit is no more than to
BOLING. Look, what I speak my life fhall prove
That Mowbray hath receiv'd eight thousand nobles,
In name of lendings for your highness' foldiers;
The which he hath detain'd for lewd employments,8
Like a falfe traitor, and injurious villain.
Befides I fay, and will in battle prove,-
Or here, or elsewhere, to the furthest verge
That ever was furvey'd by English eye,-
That all the treafons, for thefe eighteen years
Complotted and contrived in this land,
Fetch from falfe Mowbray their first head and spring.
Further I fay,-and further will maintain
Upon his bad life, to make all this good,-
That he did plot the duke of Glofter's death;
Suggeft his foon-believing adverfaries;'
And, confequently, like a traitor coward,
poffefs, though fuch a use of the word may be peculiar to Shakfpeare. Again, in Romeo and Juliet, A&t I. fc. ii:
Among fresh female buds fhall you this night "Inherit at my house." STEEVENS.
See Vol. IV. p. 136, n. 7. MALONE.
-for lewd employments,] Lewd here fignifies wicked. It is fo used in many of our old ftatutes. MALONE.
It fometimes fignifies-idle.
Thus, in King Richard III :
"But you must trouble him with lewd complaints."
the duke of Glofter's death;] Thomas of Woodstock. the youngest son of Edward III; who was murdered at Calais, in 1397. MALONE.
See Froiffart's Chronicle, Vol. II. cap. CC.xxvi. STEEVENS.
Suggeft his foon-believing adverfaries;] i. e. prompt, fet them on by injurious hints. Thus, in The Tempest:
They'll take fuggeftion, as a cat laps milk."
Sluic'd out his innocent foul through ftreams blood:
Which blood, like facrificing Abel's, cries,
Even from the tonguelefs caverns of the earth,
To me, for justice, and rough chastisement ;
And, by the glorious worth of my descent,
This arm fhall do it, or this life be spent.
K. RICH. How high a pitch his refolution foars! Thomas of Norfolk, what fay'ft thou to this?
NOR. O, let my fovereign turn away his face,
And bid his ears a little while be deaf,
Till I have told this flander of his blood,"
How God, and good men, hate fo 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 fon,)
Now by my fcepter's awe3 I make a vow,
Such neighbour nearnefs to our facred blood
Should nothing privilege him, nor partialize
The unftooping firmness of my upright foul;
He is our fubject, Mowbray, fo art thou;
Free speech, and fearless, I to thee allow.
NOR. Then, Bolingbroke, as low as to thy heart, Through the falfe paffage of thy throat, thou lieft! Three parts of that receipt I had for Calais, Difburs'd I duly to his highnefs' foldiers: The other part referv'd I by confent; For that my fovereign liege was in my debt, Upon remainder of a dear account,
2- this flander of his blood,] i. e. this reproach to his ancestry. STEEVENS.
my Scepter's awe -] The reverence due to my scepter.
Since last I went to France to fetch his queen :
Now swallow down that lie.-
I flew him not; but to my own difgrace,
Neglected my fworn duty in that cafe.-
For you, my noble lord of Lancaster,
The honourable father to my foe,
Once did I lay an ambush for
A trefpafs that doth vex my grieved foul:
But, ere I last receiv'd the facrament,
I did confefs it; and exactly begg'd
Your grace's pardon, and, I hope, I had it.
This is my fault: As for the reft appeal'd,
It iffues 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 beft blood chamber'd in his bofom:
In hafte whereof, moft heartily I pray
Your highness to affign our trial day.
K. RICH. Wrath-kindled gentlemen, be rul'd by
purge this choler without letting blood:
This we prescribe though no phyfician ;+
Deep malice makes too deep incifion:
This we prefcribe, though no physician; &c.] I must make one remark in general on the rhymes throughout this whole play; they are fo much inferior to the reft 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 inferted rhymes, except in a very few places; and juft there too, the rhyming veríes are of a much better taste than all the others, which rather ftrengthens my conjecture. POPE.
"This obfervation of Mr. Pope's, (fays Mr. Edwards,) hap