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The tragedy of King Richard the Third; online

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' And rebels' arms triumph in massacres/

63. stabb'd. The folios have 'kill'd/ and to .compensate for it read
'stab'd* in 1. 67.

64. to quit. See 1. 20.

65. boot; literally, addition; something thrown in to make up a bargain.
Compare Winter's Tale. iv. 4. 690 : * What an exchange had this been with-
out boot ! What a boot is here with this exchange 1' See v. 3. 301.

68. tragic. The folios read ' franticke.'

69. adulterate, adulterous. Compare Hamlet, i. 5. 42 :

* Ay, that incestuous, that adulterate beast/

71. intelligencer, agent or go-between, by means of whom communica-
tions are held. Compare 2 Henry IV; iv. 2. 20:

' The very opener and intelligencer
Between the grace, the sanctities qf heaven
And our dull workings/

sc. 4.] RICHARD III.

72. their factor. The plural of respect is used in speaking of the evil
principle as in the case of its opposite. Compare Othello, iv. 2. 48 :

' Had it pleased heaven
To try me with affliction; had they rain'd
All kinds of sores and shames on my bare head,' &c.
See note on Richard II, i. 2. 7 (Clarendon Press ed.).

75. This imperfect line was completed by Capell, who inserted 'for him*
after ' roar.' Pope reads ' pray for vengeance.'

77. Cancel his bond of life. Compare Macbeth, iii. 2. 49:
' Cancel and tear in pieces that great bond

Which keeps me pale.'

The employment of this legal metaphor has countenanced the theory that
Shakespeare had at one period of his life been engaged in an attorney's

79. The reference is to i. 3. 245.

84. the presentation , the mere semblance, without the reality.

85. The flattering index of a direful pageant. Steevens says, * Pageants
are dumb shows, and the poet meant to allude to one of these, the index of
which promised a happier conclusion. The pageants then displayed on pub-
lick occasions were generally preceded by a brief account of the order in
which the characters were to walk. These indexes were distributed among
the spectators, that they might understand the meaning of such allegorical
stuff as was usually exhibited. The index of every book was anciently placed
before the beginning of it.' Nares (Glossary) suggests that ' An index to a
pageant was, probably, a painted emblem carried before it.' The explanation
given by Steevens receives some support from Ford's Lover's Melancholy, iii. 3,
in which, before the performance of The Masque of Melancholy, Corax
hands Palador a paper which explains the dumb show :

* Pray, my lord,

Hold, and observe the plot : 'tis there express'd
In kind, what shall be now express'd in action.'

Shakespeare elsewhere uses 'index' in the sense of prologue or introduction.
Sec ii. 2. 149, and Hamlet, iii. 4. 52 :

' Ay me, what act,
That roars so loud, and thunders in the index?'

86. a-high, on high; which is Pope's reading. Delius prints 'o' high,'
just as we find in v. 3. 47 the folios have 'a clocke' for 'o'clock.' Mr.

Spedding would place lines 87, 88, 'Another bubble,' after line


88-90. A dream . . . shot. The folios arrange and read thus :
' A dreame of what thou wast, a garish Flagge
To be the ayme of euery dangerous Shot;
A signe of Dignity, a Breath, a Bubble.'

P 2

212 NOTES. [ACT iv.

89. garish, gaudy. Compare Romeo and Juliet, iii. 2. 25 :

'And pay no worship to the garish sun';
which is imitated by Milton, II Penseroso, 141 :

* Hide me from day's garish eye.'

93. Where are thy children f The folios read, ' Where be thy two

94. Who . . . cries, &c. The folios have, ' Who sues and kneeles, and
sayes, &c.'

97. Decline all this, go through it all, from beginning to end, repeat it as
a schoolboy would decline a Latin noun. Compare Troilus and Cressida,
ii. 3.55: ' I'll decline the whole question.'

100, 101. For queen . . . sues. These lines are transposed in the folios.

100. caitiff, wretch, through the Old French caitif, which appears in various
forms, is derived from the Latin capfivus, originally, captive, and hence ap-
plied to what was mean, base, wretched. Compare All's Well, iii. 2. 117 :
' I am the caitiff that do hold him to 't.'

102-104. In the quartos line 103 is omitted, and line 10 < placed before
line 102. In all three lines the folios read ' For she' instead of * For one.'

105. wheeVd. The folios read 'whirl'd.'

111. my burthen d yoke, the yoke which is a burden to me. *Burthen'd*
in the sense of 'burdensome' is formed from the substantive 'burthen' and
not from the verb. See note on ' venom'd,' i. 2. 20.

112. my weary neck. The folios have ' my wearied head.'

1 20. fairer. The folios read 'sweeter,' but 'fairer' contrasts better with
'fouler' in the next line.

122. Bettering thy loss, amplifying or exaggerating thy loss.

127. Windy attorneys, &c. Malone compares Venus and Adonis, 333-


* So of concealed sorrow may be said ;
Free vent of words love's fire doth assuage ;
But when the heart's attorney once is mute,
The client breaks, as desperate in his suit.'

An attorney is one who acts in the turn or place of another as his proxy or
tepresentative. Compare Holinshed (iii. 510) : ' lohn lord Latimer, although
he was vnder age, for himselfe and the duke of Norfolke, notwithstanding that
his possessions were in the king's hands, by his atturnie Thomas Graie
knight, claimed and had the office of almoner for that daie.'

Ib. their client woes. Hanmer's reading. The quartos have, ' your client
woes'; the folios, ' their clients woes.' The original MS. probably had *y r .'

128. Airy succeeders of intestate joys. The joys being dead and having
left no will, mere words succeed as next of kin to an empty inheritance.
The folios read 'intestine* for 'intestate,' which makes worse nonsense still.

1 29. Poor is here an adverb.

sc. 4-] RICHARD III. 213

131. Help not at all; that is, have no power to cure, but simply to relieve
the heart. ' Help' is found frequently in this sense. See The Tempest, ii. 2.
97 : 'If all the wine in my bottle will recover him, I will help his ague.'
The folios read ' Help nothing else,' that is, are of no other use ; a change
which appears to have been due to a misunderstanding of the word ' help.'

135. I hear his drum. The folios have 'The Trumpet sounds.'
Ib. exclaims. See i. 2. 52.

Ib. The stage direction is given as in the quartos. The folios have only,
'Enter King Richard, and his Traine.'

136. The folios read:

4 Who intercepts me in my Expedition ? '

141. Where should be graven. The folios read ' Where 't should be

142. owed, owned, possessed. Compare The Tempest, i. 2. 407 :

' This is no mortal business, nor no sound
That the earth owes.'

147. Where is kind Hastings, Rivers, &c. The queen is not likely to
have spoken so of Hastings, who was always opposed to her family. The
corrector of the folio therefore changes the text to

' Qu. Where is the gentle Rivers, Vaughan, Gray ?
Dut. Where is kinde Hastings ? '

As it appears to me highly improbable that Shakespeare wrote either the one
or the other I have left the reading of the earlier copies.

148. alarum. See i. i. 7.

151. entreat me fair, treat, use me well. Compare 3 Henry VI, i. I. 271 :

' I'll write unto them and entreat them fair.'

157. a touch of your condition, a dash, a spice of your temper or disposition.
Compare Twelfth Night, ii. I. 13: 'But I perceive in you so excellent a
touch of modesty.' For ' condition* see As You Like It, i. 2. 276:
' Yet such is now the duke's condition
That he misconstrues all that you have done.'
159. Duch. O let . . . hear. Omitted in the quartos.
163. in anguish, pain and agony. The folios read 'in torment, and in

165. by the holy rood! See iii. 2. 77.

1 68. Tetchy, fretful, irritable : said to be corrupted from 'touchy.' See
Romeo and Juliet, i. 3. 32 :

* To see it tetchy and fall out with the dug !'

170. Thy prime of manhood, thy early manhood, the springtime of thy

171. Thy age confirmed, the full vigour of thy manhood.

Ib. bloody, treacherous. The folios have ' slye, and bloody.'

1 75. Humphrey Hour. If this expression ever had any meaning it is now

214 NOTES. [ACT iv.

completely lost. Malone conjectured that it was ' used in ludicrous language,
for " hour," like " Tom Troth" for " truth/'' Steevens thought that Shake-
speare might 'by this strange phrase have designed to mark the hour at
which the good Duchess was as hungry as the followers of Duke Humphrey.'

* To dine with Duke Humphrey* was an expression for going without one's
dinner, because needy gallants were in the habit of spending the dinner hour
in walking up and down the aisles in St. Paul's, in one of which was the
monument of Sir John Beauchamp, popularly attributed to Humphrey
Duke of Gloucester who was buried at St. Alban's. But if this explanation
be correct, it is not clear how * Humphrey Hour* can mean the hour at
which the Duchess was summoned to breakfast. The spelling in the quartos

* Houre ' and in the folios ' Hower * does not throw much light upon the

177. disgracious. See iii. 7. 112.

Ib. sight. The folios read ' eye,' and in the next line ' and not offend you

179. Strike up, strike aloud. See King John, v. 2. 164: * Strike up the
drums.' So * blow up' signifies * blow aloud' in the expression ' Blow up the
trumpet in the new moon,' Psalm Ixxxi. 3. On this emphatic use of 'up*
see Professor Ward's note on Greene's Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay, iii. 22.

179-182. Duch. I prithee ... K. Rich. So. As in the folios. The
quartos have : * Du. O heare me speake for I shal neuer see thee more.'

183. Either is a monosyllable. Pope, not recognising this, reads 'thou'lt'
for * thou wilt.'

185. extreme with the accent on the first syllabje, as in iii. 5. 44.

1 86. never look upon. The folios have 'neuer more behold,' and 'gree-
uous* for 'heavy' in the next line.

189. complete has the accent on the first syllable, as in Hamlet, i. 4. 52 :
* That thou, dead corse, again in complete steel
Revisit'st thus the glimpses of the moon.'

198. Johnson remarks, ' On this dialogue 'tis not necessary to bestow much
criticism, part of it is ridiculous, and the whole improbable.' Monck Mason,
on the other hand, says, 'I see nothing ridiculous in any part of this dialogue,
and he defends it from the charge of improbability. My own sympathies,
I confess, are with Johnson's opinion.

199. moe. So the first quarto. The other quartos and the folios have
' more.' In the 1611 edition of the Authorised Version of Numbers xxii. 15,
we find 'And Balak sent yet againe Princes, moe, and more honourable
than they.' See notes on As You Like It, iii. 2. 243, and Julius Caesar, ii.
I. 72, Clarendon Press editions.

200. murder. The folios have ' slaughter.'

202. level, aim. See 2 Henry IV, iii. 2. 286: 'The foeman may with as
great aim level at the edge of a penknife.' And in the secondary sense

sc. 4.] RICHARD III. 315

of ' guess,' The Merchant of Venice, i. 2. 41 : ' According to my description,
level at my affection.*

211. of royal blood. The folios have ' a Royall Princesse/

213. only safest. These words are transposed in the folios. But the
present order is in accordance with the usage of the time. Compare Much
Ado, iii. I. 23 : * That only wounds by hearsay* ; that is, wounds by hearsay

217. unavoided, unavoidable, inevitable. Compare 'unvalued/ i. 4. 27.

221-234. K. Rich. You speak . . . bosom. Omitted in the quartos.

222. Cousins . . . cozened. * Cousin* and 'cozen* are in reality the same
word, but for convenience distinguished in spelling. Cotgrave has ' Cousiner.
To clayme kindred for aduantage, or particular ends ; as he, who to saue
charges in trauelling, goes from house to house, as cousin to the owner of
euerie one.' Hence to ' cousin ' or ' cozen ' came to signify to beguile or
deceive generally.

224. lanced. Spelt Manch'd ' in the folios, and no doubt so pronounced, as
it was as late as Dryden's time. See note on Lear, ii. 1.52 (Clarendon Press
ed.), and Antony and Cleopatra, v. i. 36, where the folios read,

' But we do launch
Diseases in our bodies.*
In Spenser, Faery Queen, vi. 2. 6, we find,

' And in his left he held a sharpe bore-speare,
With which he wont to launch the salvage hart
Of many a Lyon and of many a Beare.*

225. all indirectly, gave direction. Steevens points to a similar play upon
words in Hamlet, ii. i. 66 :

'By indirections find directions out.*
Delius quotes King John, iii. I. 275, 276 :

Though indirect,

Yet indirection thereby grows direct/

227. on thy stone-hard heart. Compare The Merchant of Venice, iv. I.
123, 124:

' Not on thy sole, but on thy soul, harsh Jew,

Thou makest thy knife keen/

229. still, constant. Compare Titus Andronicus, iii. 2. 45 :
' But I of these will wrest an alphabet, *

And by still practice learn to know thy meaning/
233. tackling ', cordage, rigging. See 3 Henry VI, v. 4. 1 8, where a
nautical figure like the present is elaborated with much greater detail :

' The friends of France our shrouds and tacklings/
Ib. reft, bereaved, deprived; the participle of 'reave* (A.S. redfian, to
rob). So in Comedy of Errors, i. i. 116:

'And would have reft the fishes of their prey/

2l6 NOTES. [ACT iv.

2 35' 2 36. wzy enterprise . . . wars. So the folios. The quartos have
' my dangerous attempt of hostile armes/

238. were by me wrong 1 d. The folios read ' by me were harm'd/

243. No, to . . . honour. In the folios,

'Vnto the dignity and height of Fortune/

244. type, badge, distinguishing mark. Compare Richard's speech to his
soldiers as reported in Hall's Chronicle (p. 414) : ' By whose wisedom &
polecie, I haue obteyned the crowne & type of this famous realm & noble
region.' Also Montaigne's Essayes (trans. Florio, 1603), P- 335 : 'I besought
fortune above all things, that she would make me a knight of the order of
Saint Michell, which in those dayes was very rare, and the highest tipe of
honour the French Nobilitie aymed at/ And North's Plutarch (1631),
Alexander, p. 694 : ' Are you ignorant, that the tipe of honour in all our
victory consisteth, in scorning to do that which we see them do, whom we
have vanquished and ouercome? ' See also 3 Henry VI, i. 4. 121 :

' My father bears the type of King of Naples/

247. demise, grant, transfer. As a law term it is usually applied to real
property, which is ' demised ' by will, just as personal property is ' bequeathed/
The word does not occur elsewhere in Shakespeare.
250. Lethe. Compare Twelfth Night, iv. I. 66:

* Let fancy still my sense in Lethe steep/

In the Greek mythology Lethe was one of the rivers of hell, the waters of
which produced forgetfulness. Hence it figures in Milton's description in
Paradise Lost, ii. 582-586 :

' Far off from these, a slow and silent stream,
Lethe, the river of oblivion, rolls
Her watery labyrinth, whereof who drinks
"^ Forthwith his former state and being forgets
^Forgets both joy and grief, pleasure and pain/

253. process. See iv. 3. 32.

254. date, period of duration. Compare Sonnet xviii. 4 :

' And summer's lease hath all too short a date/
And Midsummer Night's Dream, iii. 2. 373 :

* With league whose date till death shall never end/
259. from thy souPs love. A poor quibble, but not unworthy of the
dialogue. Elizabeth purposely makes Richard say the opposite of what he
intends, which the double meaning of ' from ' allows her to do, Compare
The Tempest, i. 2. 65, and Julius Caesar, i. 3. 35 :

4 But men may construe things after their fashion
Clean from the purpose of the things themselves/
263. England is here a trisyllable, but the corrector of the folio regarded
it as a disyllabic, and substituted ' do intend ' for * mean,' to avoid the re-
petition of the latter word.

EC. 4.] RICHARD III. 317

269. that are best acquainted. The folios have 'being best acquainted/

274. as sometime Margaret. See 3 Henry VI, i. 4. 79-83.

275-277. steep 1 d . . . body. For these words the first quarto reads, 'a
handkercher steept in Rutlands bloud.' The others have ' handkercheffe.'

278. And bid . . . therewith. The folios, with an unpleasant alliteration,

And bid her wipe her weeping eyes withall.'

280. a story of thy noble acts. The folios read *a Letter of thy Noble

283. Modest quick conveyance with, &c., didst speedily remove, get rid of,
&c. See note on i. 3. TVI.

284. Come, come, you mock me. The folios read 'You mocke me

288-342. K. Rich. Say . . . tender years? Omitted in the quartos.

289. she cannot choose but, she must of necessity. Compare The Tempest,
ii. 2. 24: * Yond same cloud cannot choose but fall by pailfuls.' And Merry
Wives, v. 3. 1 8 : ' That cannot choose but amaze him.'

292. shall deal unadvisedly, must deal, cannot help dealing, unadvisedly.
Compare As You Like It, v. i. 13 : 'We that have good wits have much to
answer for; we shall be flouting'; that is, we cannot help flouting, we must
have our joke. See Abbott, 315.

76. unadvisedly, rashly, without due consideration. Compare Psalm cvi.
33 : ' Because they provoked his spirit, so that he spake unadvisedly with
his lips.'

293. Which. The antecedent is the rash dealing implied in the previous

76. give. The folios read * gives,' a frequent misprint when the preceding
word ends in ' s.' See note on iv. I. 104, and compare The Tempest, iii. 3. 2 :
'My old bones aches'; and in the same play, v. I. 16: * His tears runs.'
Again, Coriolanus, iv. 7. 28 : * All places yeelds.' But these are not instances
of the plural in ' s.'

302. mettle. Compare Macbeth, i. 7. 73 :

' Bring forth men-children only,
For thy undaunted mettle should compose
Nothing but males.'

In the first folio it is spelt ' mettall,' and no distinction is consistently made
in spelling between the literal and metaphorical meanings of the word. See
note on Julius Caesar, i. I. 62 (Clarendon Press edition). Like the Lat.
metallum, from which it is derived, it primarily denotes that which is dug
out of a mine, and so, stuff or substance generally. Hence it is applied to
that which forms the basis of character, and so disposition, or temper.

304. of her, by her. Compare 11. 102, 103, 418.

76. bid, suffered, bore.

2l8 NOTES. [ACT iv.

322. orient, bright, shining; properly, eastern, as pearls were first brought
from the East. See note on Midsummer Night's Dream, iv. I. 59 (53
Clarendon Press ed.).

323. Advantaging their loan, &c. The folios read ' loue,' which Theobald
corrected to * loan,* and at the same time resolved the unmeaning compound
* often-times ' into its parts ' of ten times.' He adds, * My emendation gives
this apt and easy Sense. The tears, that you have lent to your Afflictions,
shall be turned into Gems; and requite you, by way of Interest, with
Happiness twenty times as great as your sorrows have been.' Compare
Hamlet, v. I. 270:

' O treble woe
Fall ten times treble on that cursed head!'

331. chastised. The accent is on the first syllable, as it is in all other
passages of Shakespeare, except Troilus and Cressida, v. 5. 4:
* Tell her I have chastised the amorous Trojan.'

335. retail. See iii. I. 77.

343. Infer. See iii. 5. 75.

353, 354. lengthens . . . likes. In the one case * heaven and nature ' are
regarded as one idea, as 'hell and Richard' are in the other. See iv. I. 40.
Pope reads ' lengthen . . . like.'

355. love. So the quartos. The folios read ' low,' but this gives no
opportunity for the play on words contained in ' loathes ' in the next line.

359. Then in plain terms tell her. The folios have, * Then plainly to her tell.'

361. Y~our reasons. So in the folios. The quartos have, ' Madame your

364, 365. These lines are transposed in the folios.

366. Now. by my George, my garter, and my crown. The George and
garter were both insignia of the order of the Garter, but the former was not
added till the reign of Henry the Seventh. See Bowtell's Heraldry, 3rd ed.
p. 341. 'The George, executed in coloured enamel, is a figure of St.
George on his charger, in the act of piercing the dragon with his lance.'
(Ibid. 342.)

369. holy. The folios read 'Lordly,' and 'Thy' for 'The' at the
beginning of this and the two following lines.

376. These two speeches in the folios are placed before 1. 374.

377. God . . . God's. The folios, to avoid the penalties of the Act
against profanity read ' Heaven . . . Heavens.'

379. thy brother is the reading of the two latest quartos. The others
have ' my brother,' and the folios ' my Husband.'

380. Had . . . slain. The folios read,

' Thou had'st not broken, nor my Brothers died.'

But Lord Rivers was the only brother of the queen's for whose death Richard
was responsible.

sc. 4.] RICHARD III. 219

382. brow. The folios have ' head.'

385. two. Capell reads ' too.'

Ib. playfellows. The folios read Bed-fellowes.'

387. The time. The quartos have * By the time.'

388. The quartos read ' wrongd in time.'

390. time past wrong 'd by thee. The quartos read ' time by the past

396. by time misused o'erpast. The folios read ' by times Ul-vs'd repast.
400. Heaven . . . hours ! Omitted in the quartos.
405. I tender* I regard, have regard for. See i. i. 44, ii. 4. 7 2
407, 408. Without . . . soul. The folios read these lines,

* Without her, followes to my selfe, and thee;
Her selfe, the Land, and &c.'

409. Death, desolation. The principal quartos read ' Sad desolation.'

413. attorney. See iv. 4. 126, v. 3. 83.

417. peevish-fond, childishly foolish. Malone conjectured that the words
as they stand in the quartos should be hyphened. The folios have ' peevish

424. in that nest of spicery. Like the phoenix of fable, which made itself
a nest of spices as a funeral pile upon which it was consumed, a new phcenix
rising from its ashes. Richard's father refers to the same popular belief in
3 Henry VI, i. 4. 35 :

* My ashes, as the phcenix, may bring forth
A bird that will revenge upon you all.'

425. recomforture, comfort. The word occurs nowhere else in Shake-
speare, and the prefix 're-' is probably rather intensive, as in 'recure'
iii. 7. 30, than used to denote repetition. Compare 3 Henry VI, v. 7. 19 :

'That thou mightst repossess the crown in peace/

Cotgrave has 'Reconfort: m. Great solace, or comfort, much consolation.'
And * Reconforter. To comfort, or solace much ; to ease, or cheere vp,

426. go win. See Abbott, 349, and compare Julius Caesar, i. 2. 25 :

* Will you go see the order of the course ? '

427. And be, &c. The affirmative particle is omitted, as in Hamlet,
iii. 2. 53:

* Ham. Will the king hear this piece of work ?
Pol. And the queen too?'

See Abbott, 97.

429. And . . . mind. Omitted in the quartos.

431. At the close of the narrative which suggested this scene, Hall has
the following profound remark : * Surely the inconstancie of this woman
were muche to be merueled at, yf all women had bene founde constante,

220 NOTES. [ACT iv.

but let men speake, yet wemen of the verie bond of nature will followe
their awne kynde.' (p. 406.)

432. How now ! what newsf Omitted in the quartos.

433' My gracious sovereign. The folios have ' Most mightie Soveraigne.'

434. puissant, powerful. See Julius Caesar, iii. I. 33 :

' Most high, most mighty, and most puissant Caesar/
438. they hull, they lie with no sails set, drifting with the tide. Compare
Twelfth Night, i. 5. 217 :

* Mar. Will you hoist sail, sir ? here lies your way.

Vio. No, good swabber ; I am to hull here a little longer.'
And Henry VIII, ii. 4. 199 :

' Thus hulling in

The wild sea of my conscience, I did steer
Toward this remedy.'
440. light-foot, swift-footed.

442, 443. Gate. Here, my lord . . . Salisbury. The folios have :
' Cat. Here, my good lord.
Rich. Catesby, fiye to the Duke.
Cat. I will, my Lord, with all conuenient haste.
Rich. Catesby come hither, poste to Salisbury.'
Rowe in the last line read ' Ratcliffe' for ' Catesby/

446. First . . . mind. The folios read ' First, mighty Liege, tell me your
Highnesse pleasure.'

450. presently. See. i. 2. 212. The folios read * suddenly/ that is*
speedily; as in iv. 2. 19.

451. Gate. I go. Omitted in the quartos.

452. What . . . do. The folios read 'What, may it please you, shall
I doe/ &c.

456, 457. My mind . . . with you f The folios have
' My minde is chang'd :

Enter Lord Stanley.
Stanley, what newes with you?'

458. None good, my lord. The punctuation is Theobald's, though he
reads ' liege' for lord/ The quartos have * None good my lord' ; the folios,
' None, good my Liege/

459. but it may well be told. The folios have 'but well may be re-

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