Графични страници
PDF файл

And die in terror of thy guiltiness!
Dream on, dream on, oi bloody deeds and death;
Fainting, despair ; despairing, yield thy breath!
I died for hope, 5* ere I could lend thee aid:


5 I died for hope,] i. e. I died for wishing well to you. But Mr. Theobald, with great sagacity, conjectured holpe or aids which gave the line this fine sense, I died for giving thee aid before I could give thee aid. Warburton. Sir Thomas Hanmer reads :

I died forsook, and supports his conjecture, as follows:

“This, as appears from history, was the case of the Duke of Buckingham: that being stopped with his army upon the banks of Severn by great deluges of rain, he was deserted by his soldiers, who, being in great distress, half famished for want of victuals, and destitute of pay, disbanded themselves and fled.”

Sir Thomas Hanmer's emendation is very plausible; but may not the meaning of the expression be, I died for only having hoped to give you that assistance, which I never had it in my power to af. fore you in reality?

It may, however, be observed, that fore, or for, when joined to a verb, had anciently a negative signification. So, in Macbeth :

He shall live a man forbid.” As to bid was to pray, so to forbid had the meaning directly opposite, i. e. to curse. In Antony and Cleopatra, to forspeak is to speak against. In Hamlet, and The Midsummer Night's Dreum, to fordo is the very reverse of to do. Hilpen or holp is the old participle passive of help, and is used in Micbeth:

his great love, sharp as his spur, hath holp him “ To his home before lis.” Instead of for hope, we may therefore read forholpe, which would mean unaidel, abandoned, deserted, unhelpe:l, which was the real misfortune of the Duke of Buckingham. The word holp has occurred likewise in this play:

“Let him thank me that holp to send him thither.” Again, in Coriolanus :

“ Have holp to make this rescue.” Steevens. Perhaps we should read:

I diel fore-done, &c. So, in Hamlet, Act V:

Fore-do its own life.” Tyrwhitt. * I died for hope,] This passage is involved in an obscurity, which the commentators, however ingenious, vainly endeavour to elucidate: on so intricate a point, I may be excused in hazarding an opinion. The word for, is frequently used by our author for of in the present instance-"1 died for hope," appears to be used in the same manner, as “ I died for Love,” "_" I died for Fear,” &c. The personification is frequently introduced with


-bind up my

But cheer thy heart, and be thou not dismay’d:
God, and good angels, fight on Richmond's side;
And Richard falls in height of all his pride.

[The Ghosts vanish. K. Rich.starts out of his dream. K. Rich. Give me another horse, –

Have mercy, Jesu!-Soft; I did but dream.-
O coward conscience, how dost thou afflict me!
The lights burn blue.?— It is now dead midnight.8
Cold fearful drops stand on my trembling flesh.
What do I fear? myself? there's none else by:
Richard loves Richard; that is, I am 1.9

fine effect by Shakspeare. Should this suggestion be correct, the meaning is plain : “I died of Hope”-Hope (by luring me from the precautions which an enterprise, fraught with danger, required, rendered easy in appearance what was difficult in reality, -if not impossible) was my death, therefore, he truly says,-1 died for (of ] Hope,"-Hope being the cause of his death.

Am. Ed. 6 Give me another horse,] There is in this, as in many of our author's speeches of passion, something very trifling, and something very striking. Richard's debate, whether he should quarrel with himself, is too long continued, but the subsequent exaggeration of his crimes is truly tragical. Fohnson.

7 The lights burn blue. ) So, in Lyly's Galathea, 1592: “I thought there was some spirit in it because it burnt so blue; for my mother would often tell me when the candle burnt blue, there was some ill spirit in the house.” It was anciently supposed that fire was a preservative against evil spirits ;“ because," says Nash, in Pierce Penniless's Supplication to the Devil, 1595, “when any spirit apo peareth, the lights by little and little goe out as it were of their own accord, and the takers are by degrees extinguished.” The takers are the spirits who blast or take. So, in K’ing Lear:

-strike her young bones,
Ye taking airs, with lameness!” Steevens.

- It is now deal midnight.) So reads the quarto, 1597. The next quanto corruptly reads-" It is not dead midnight;" for which ihe editor of the folio, to obtain some sense, substituted, Is it not dead midnight?” Malone.

The reading of the quarto, 1597, could it be supposed to need support, might meet with it in the following observation of Hamlet :

'Tis now the very witching time of nightSteevens.

that is, I am 1.] Thus the quarto, 1598, and the folio. The quartos, 1597, reads--I and I. I am not sure that it is not right. Mulone.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Is there a murderer here? No;-- Yes; I am:
Then fly-What, from myself? Great reason: Why?
Lest I revenge. What? Myself on myself?
I love myself. Wherefore? for any good,
That I myself have done unto myself?
O, no: alas, I rather hate myself,
For hateful deeds committed by myself.
I am a villain: Yet I lie, I am not.
Fool, of thyself speak well:-Fool, do not ilatter.
My conscience hath a thousand several tongues,

every tongue brings in a several tale,
And every tale condemns me for a villain.
Perjury, perjury, in the high'st degree,
Murder, stern murder, in the dir’st degree;
All several sins, all usd in each degree,
Throng to the bar, crying all,--Guilty! guilty !
I shall despair. There is no creature loves me;
And, if I die, no soul will pity me:-
Nay, wherefore should they? since that I myself
Find in myself no pity to myself.
Methought, the souls of all that I had murder'da

1 I love myself.] The old copies redundantly read-lack, I love, &c. Steevens. 2 Methought, the souls &c.] These lines stand with so little

pro. priety at the end of this speech, that I cannot but suspect them to be misplaced. Where then shall they be inserted? Perhaps after these words:

“ Fool, do not flatter.” Johnson. I agree with Johnson in supposing that this and the two follow. ing lines have been misplaced, but I differ from him with respect to their just situation. The place, in my opinion, in which they might be introduced with the most propriety, is just ten lines further on, after the words

“Ratcliff, I fear, I fear,

" Methought," UC. And then Ratcliff's reply

“ Nay, good my lord, be not afraid of shadows." would he natural; whereas as the text is now regulated, Rat. cliff bids him not to be afraid of shadows, without knowing that he had been haunted by them; unless we suppose that the idea of shadows is included in what Richard calls a frightful lream.

M. Mason Cold fearful drops stand on my trembling flesh. What do I fear? Ec.

Methought, the souls of all that I had murdler'd -] Either the two and twenty intermediate lines are not Shakspeare's, or pre VOL. XI.


Came to my tent; and every one did threat
To-morrow's vengeance on the head of Richard.

Rat. My lord,
K. Rich. Who's there?

Rat. Ratcliff, my lord; 'tis 1.3 The early village cock
Hath twice done salutation to the morn;
Your friends are up, and buckle on their armour.

K. Rich. O, Ratcliff,4 I have dream'd a fearful dream! What thinkest thou? will our friends prove all true?

Rat. No doubt, my lord.
K. Rich

Ratcliff, I fear, I fearRat. Nay, good my lord, be not afraid of shadows.

K. Rich. By the apostle Paul, shadows to-night
Have struck more terror to the soul of Richard,
Than can the substance of ten thousand soldiers,
Armed in proof, and led by shallow Richmond.
It is not yet near day. Come, go with me;
Under our tents I'll play the eaves-dropper,
To hear, if any mean to shrink from me.

[Exeunt K. Rich. and Rat.

so unworthy of him, that it were to be wished they could with propriety be degraded to the margin. I wonder that Dr. Johnson, who thought the subsequent lines misplaced, did not perceive that their connection with the preceding part of the speech, end. ing at-trembling flesh, was interrupted solely by this apparent interpolation, which is in the highest degree childish and unna. tural. Ritson.

I rather suppose these lines (though genuine) to have been crossed out of the stage manuscript by Shakspeare himself, and afterwards restored by the original but tasteless editor of this play.

Burbage, the first performer of Richard, might, for obvious reasons, have requested their dismission; or the poet discovering how awkwardly they stood, might, “ without a prompter," have discarded them. Steevens.

-'tis 1.] Surely, these two syllables, serving only to de. range the metre, should be omitted; or we ought to read:

My lord, 'tis 1. The early village-cock -.” Steevens. 40, Ratcliff, &c.] This and the two following lines are omitted in the folio." Yet Ratcliff is there permitted to say—“ be not afraid of shadows,” though Richard's dream has not been men. tioned: an additional proof of what has been already suggested in p. 167, n. 8. Malone.


RICHMOND wakes. Enter OXFORD and Others. Lords. Good morrow, Richmond.

Richm. 'Cry mercy, lords, and watchful gentlemen, That you have ta'en a tardy sluggard here.

Lords. How have you slept, my lord ?

Richm. The sweetest sleep, and fairest-boding dreams, That ever enter'd in a drowsy head, Have I since your departure had, my lords. Methought, their souls, whose bodies Richard murder'd, Came to my tent, and cried-On! victory! I promise you, my heart is very jocund In the remembrance of so fair a dream. How far into the morning is it, lords?

Lords. Upon the stroke of four. Richm. Why, then 'tis time to arm, and give direction.

[He advances to the Troops. More than I have said, loving countrymen, The leisure and enforcement of the time Forbids to dwell on : Yet remember this, God, and our good cause, fight upon our side; The prayers of holy saints, and wronged souls, Like high-rear’d bulwarks, stand before our faces; Richard except, those, whom we fight against, Had rather have us win, than him they follow. For what is he they follow? truly, gentlemen, A bloody tyrant, and a homicide; One rais’d in blood, and one in blood establish’d; One that made means to come by what he hath, And slaughter'd those that were the means to help him ; A base foul stone, made precious by the foil Of England's chair,6 where he is falsely set;


5 One that made means -) To make means was, in Shakspeare's time, often used in an unfavourable sense, and signified-to come at any thing by indirect practices. Steevens.

by the foil of England's chair,] It is plain that foil cannot here mean that of which the obscurity recommends the brightness of the diamond. It must mean the leaf ( feuille) or thin plate of metal in which the stone is set. Johnson.

Nothing has been, or is still more common, than to put a bright-coloured foil under a cloudy or low-prized stone. The same allusion is common to many writers. So, in a Song puh. lished in England's Helicon, 1614:

« ПредишнаНапред »