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From the most glorious regent of this land,"
The duke of York; to know, what pricks you on
To take advantage of the absent time,3

And fright our native peace with self-born arms.

Enter YORK, attended.

Boling. I shall not need transport my words by you; Here comes his grace in person. My noble uncle!

[Kneels. York. Show me thy humble heart, and not thy knee, Whose duty is deceivable and false.

Boling. My gracious uncle!

York. Tut, tut!

Grace me no grace, nor uncle me no uncle:4
I am no traitor's uncle; and that word-grace,
In an ungracious mouth, is but profane.
Why have those banish'd and forbidden legs
Dar'd once to touch a dust of England's ground?
But then more why;5.

Why have they dar'd to march

From the most glorious regent of this land,] Thus the first quarto, 1597. The word regent was accidentally omitted in the quarto, 1598, which was followed by all the subsequent copies.



-the absent time,] i. e. time of the king's absence. Johnson. 4 Grace me no grace, nor uncle me no uncle:] In Romeo and Juliet we have the same kind of phraseology:

"Thank me no thankings, nor proud me no prouds." Again, in Microcynicon, Six snarling Satires, &c. 16mo. 1599: "Hower me no howers; howers break no square." Malone. The reading of the folio is preferable:

Tut, tut! grace me no grace, nor uncle me. Ritson.

5 But then more why;] This seems to be wrong. We might read:

But more than this; why, &c. Tyrwhitt.

But then more why;] But, to add more questions. This is the reading of the first quarto, 1597, which in the second, and all the subsequent copies, was corrupted thus: But more than why. The expression of the text, though a singular one, was, I have no doubt, the author's. It is of a colour with those immediately preceding:

"Grace me no grace, nor uncle me no uncle."

A similar expression occurs in Twelfth Night:

"More than I love these eyes, more than my life,

"More, by all mores, than I shall e'er love wife." Malone.

So many miles upon her peaceful bosom;
Frighting her pale-fac'd villages with war,
And ostentation of despised arms?"

Com'st thou because the anointed king is hence?
Why, foolish boy, the king is left behind,
And in my loyal bosom lies his power.

Were I but now the lord of such hot youth,
As when brave Gaunt, thy father, and myself,
Rescued the Black Prince, that young Mars of men,
From forth the ranks of many thousand French;
O, then, how quickly should this arm of mine,
Now prisoner to the palsy, chástise thee,
And minister correction to thy fault!

Boling. My gracious uncle, let me know my fault; On what condition" stands it, and wherein?


York. Even in condition of the worst degree,


rebellion, and detested treason: Thou art a banish'd man, and here art come,

Before the expiration of thy time,

In braving arms against thy sovereign.

Boling. As I was banish'd, I was banish'd Hereford;

There seems to be an error in this passage, which I believe should run thus:

But more then: Why? why have they dar'd, &c. This repetition of the word why, is not unnatural for a person speaking with much warmth. M. Mason.

6 And ostentation of despised arms?] But sure the ostentation of despised arms would not fright any one.

We should read: disposed arms, i. e. forces in battle array. Warburton. This alteration is harsh. Sir T. Hanmer reads despightful. Mr. Upton gives this passage as a proof that our author uses the passive participle in an active sense. The copies all agree. Perhaps the old duke means to treat him with contempt as well as with severity, and to insinuate that he despises his power, as being able to master it. In this sense all is right. Johnson. So, in this play:

"We'll make foul weather with despised tears." Steevens. The meaning of this probably is—a boastful display of arms which we despise. M. Mason.

7 On what condition -] It should be, in what condition, i. e. in what degree of guilt. The particles in the old editions are of little credit. Johnson.

York's reply supports Dr. Johnson's conjecture:

"Even in condition," &c. Malone.

But as I come, I come for Lancaster.
And, noble uncle, I beseech your grace,
Look on my wrongs with an indifferent eye:*
You are my father, for, methinks, in you
I see old Gaunt alive; O, then, my father!
Will you permit that I shall stand condemn'd
A wand'ring vagabond; my rights and royalties
Pluck'd from my arms perforce, and given away
To upstart unthrifts? Wherefore was I born??
If that my cousin king be king of England,
It must be granted, I am duke of Lancaster.
You have a son, Aumerle, my noble kinsman;
Had you first died, and he been thus trod down,
He should have found his uncle Gaunt a father,
To rouse his wrongs, and chase them to the bay.
I am denied to sue my livery here,2

And yet my letters-patent give me leave:
My father's goods are all distrain'd, and sold;
And these, and all, are all amiss employ'd.
What would you have me do? I am a subject,
And challenge law: Attornies are denied me;
And therefore personally I lay my claim
To my inheritance of free descent.

North. The noble duke hath been too much abus'd.
Ross. It stands your grace upon, to do him right.3

8 Look on my wrongs with an indifferent eye:] i. e. with an impartial eye. "Every juryman (says Sir Edward Coke) ought to be impartial and indifferent." Malone.

9 Wherefore was 1 born?] To what purpose serves birth and lineal succession? I am duke of Lancaster by the same right of birth as the king is king of England. Johnson.

1 To rouse his wrongs, and chase them to the bay.] By his wrongs are meant the persons who wrong him. This explanation is supported by a passage in Fletcher's Double Marriage, where Juliana says

"With all my youth and pleasure I'll embrace you, "Make tyranny and death stand still, affrighted, "And, at our meeting souls, amaze our mischiefs." M. Mason. 2- to sue my livery here,] A law phrase belonging to the feudal tenures. See notes on K. Henry IV, P. I, Act IV, sc. iii. Steevens.

3 It stands your grace upon, to do him right.] i. e. it is your in

Willo. Base men by his endowments are made great. York. My lords of England, let me tell you this,— I have had feeling of my cousin's wrongs, And labour'd all I could to do him right: But in this kind to come, in braving arms, Be his own carver, and cut out his way, To find out right with wrong, it may not be; And you, that do abet him in this kind,

Cherish rebellion, and are rebels all.

North. The noble duke hath sworn, his coming is
But for his own: and, for the right of that,
We all have strongly sworn to give him aid;
And let him ne'er see joy, that breaks that oath.
York. Well, well, I see the issue of these arms;
I cannot mend it, I must needs confess,
Because my power is weak, and all ill left:
But, if I could, by him that gave me life,
I would attach you all, and make you stoop
Unto the sovereign mercy of the king;
But, since I cannot, be it known to you,
I do remain as neuter. So, fare you well;-
you please to enter in the castle,
And there repose you for this night.


Boling. An offer, uncle, that we will accept.
But we must win your grace, to go with us
To Bristol-castle; which, they say, is held
By Bushy, Bagot, and their complices,
The caterpillars of the commonwealth,

Which I have sworn to weed, and pluck away.

York. It may be, I will go with you:-but yet I'll .4 pause;"

For I am loath to break our country's laws.

terest, it is matter of consequence to you. So, in King Rich

ard III:

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"To stop all hopes whose growth may danger me.” Again, in Antony and Cleopatra:

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"Our lives upon, to use our strongest hands." Steevens. It may be, I will go with you:-but yet I'll pause;] I suspect, the words with you, which spoil the metre, to be another interpolation. Steevens.

Nor friends, nor foes, to me welcome you are:

Things past redress, are now with me past care.5


A Camp in Wales.

Enter SALISBURY," and a Captain.


Cap. My lord of Salisbury, we have staid ten days, And hardly kept our countrymen together,

And yet we hear no tidings from the king;
Therefore we will disperse ourselves: farewel.

Sal. Stay yet another day, thou trusty Welshman;
The king reposeth all his confidence

In thee.

Cap. 'Tis thought, the king is dead; we will not stay. The bay-trees in our country are all wither'd,"

5 Things past redress, are now with me past care.] So, in Macbeth:

66- Things without remedy,

"Should be without regard." Steevens.

Here is a scene so unartfully and irregularly thrust into an improper place, that I cannot but suspect it accidentally transposed; which, when the scenes were written on single pages, might easily happen in the wildness of Shakspeare's drama. This dialogue was, in our author's draught, probably the second scene in the ensuing Act, and there I would advise the reader to insert it, though I have not ventured on so bold a change. My conjecture is not so presumptuous as may be thought. The play was not, in Shakspeare's time, broken into Acts; the editions published before his death, exhibit only a sequence of scenes from the beginning to the end, without any hint of a pause of action. In a drama so desultory and erratic, left in such a state, transpositions might easily be made. Johnson.


Salisbury,] was John Montacute, Earl of Salisbury.


The bay-trees &c.] This enumeration of prodigies is in the highest degree poetical and striking. Johnson.

Some of these prodigies are found in Holinshed: "In this yeare in a manner throughout all the realme of England, old baie trees withered," &c.

This was esteemed a bad omen; for, as I learn from Thomas Lupton's Syxt Booke of Notable Thinges, 4to. bl. 1.: " Neyther fall

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