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TAL. I go, my lord; in heart defiring ftill, You may behold confufion of your foes.


[ Exit.

VER. Grant me the combat, gracious fovereign!
BAS. And me, my lord, grant me the combat too!
YORK. This is my fervant; Hear him, noble

SOM. And this is mine; Sweet Henry, favour him!
K. HEN. Be patient, lords and give them leave

to speak.

Say, gentlemen, What makes you thus exclaim? And wherefore crave you combat? or with whom? VER. With him, my lord; for he hath done me


BAS. And I with him; for he hath done me wrong.

K. HEN. What is that wrong whereof you both


Firft let me know, and then I'll answer you.

BAS. Croffing the fea from England into France, This fellow here, with envious carping tongue, Upbraided me about the rofe I wear; Saying the fanguine colour of the leaves Did reprefent my mafter's blufhing cheeks, When ftubbornly he did repugn the truth,' About a certain queftion in the law. Argu'd betwixt the duke of York and him; With other vile and ignominious terms:

7 did repugn the truth,] To repugn is to refift. word is ufed by Chaucer. STEVENS.

It is found in Bullokar's English Expofitor. 8vo. 1616.



In confutation of which rude reproach,
And in defence of my lord's worthiness,
I crave the benefit of law of arms.

VER. And that is my petition, noble lord:
For though he feem, with forged quaint conceit,
To fet a glofs upon his bold intent,

Yet know, my lord, I was provok'd by him; And he first took exceptions at this badge, Pronouncing that the palenefs of this flower Bewray'd the faintnefs of my master's heart.

YORK. Will not this malice, Somerset, be left?
SOM. Your private grudge, my lord of York, 'will


Though ne'er fo cunningly you fmother it.
K. HEN. Good Lord! what madnefs rules in brain-
fick men;

When, for fo flight and frivolous a caufe,
Such factious emulations fhall arife! -
Good coufins both, of York and Somerset,
Quiet yourselves, I pray, and be at peace.

YORK. Let this diffention first be try'd by fight, And then your highness fhall command a peace. SOM. The quarrel toucheth none but us alone; Betwixt ourfelves let us decide it then.

YORK. There is my pledge; accept it, Somerset. VER. Nay, let it reft where it began at first. BAS. Confirm it fo, mine honourable lord. GLO. Confirm it fo? Confounded be your ftrife! And perifh ye, with your audacious prate! Prefumptuous vaffals! are you not afham'd, With this immodeft clamorous cutrage To trouble and difturb the king and us? And you, my lords, methinks, you do not well, To bear with their perverfe objections;


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Much lefs, to take occafion from their mouths. To raise a mutiny betwixt yourselves;

Let me perfuade you take a better course.

EXE. It grieves his highness; - Good my lords, be friends.

K. HEN. Come hither, you that would be combatants :

Henceforth, I charge you, as you love our favour,
Quite to forget this quarrel, and the caufe. -
And you, my lords, remember where we are;
In France, amongst a fickle wavering nation:
If they perceive diffention in our looks,
And that within ourfelves we difagree,
How will their grudging ftomachs be 'provok'd
To wilful difobedience, and rebel?
Befide, What infamy will there arife,
When foreign princes fhall be certify'd,
That, for a toy, a thing of no regard,
King Henry's peers, and chief nobility,
Deftroy'd themfelves, and loft the realm of France?
O, think upon the conqueft of my father,
My tender years; and let us not forego

That for a trifle, that was bought with blood!
Let me be umpire in this doubtful ftrife.

I fee no reafon, if I wear this rofe,

[Putting on a red rofe. That any one fhould therefore be fufpicious I more incline to Somerfet, than York: Both are my kinsmen, and I love them both; As well they may upbraid me with my crown, Becaufe, forfooth, the king of Scots is crown'd. But your difcretions better can perfuade, Than I am able to inftru&t or teach: And therefore, as we hither come in peace, So let us fill continue peace and love. -

Coufin of York, we inftitute your grace

To be our regent in these parts of France:-
And good my lord of Somerset, unite

Your troops of horsemen with his bands of foot; -
And, like true fubjects, fons of your progenitors,
Go cheerfully together, and digeft
Your angry choler on your enemies.
Ourself, my lord protector, and the reft,
After fome refpite, will return to Calais;
From thence to England; where I hope ere long
To be prefented, by your victories,

With Charles, Alençon, and that traiterous rout.
[Flourish. Exeunt King HENRY, GLO. SOM.

WAR. My lord of York, I promise you, the king Prettily, methought, did play the orator.

YORK. And fo he did; but yet I like it not, In that he wears the badge of Somerfet.

WAR. Tufh! that was but his fancy, blame him not; I dare prefume, fweet prince, he thought no harm. YORK. And, if I wift, he did, But let it reft; Other affairs must now be managed.


And, if I wift, he did,

And, if I wish, he did

In former editions:

By the pointing reform'd, and a fingle letter expung'd, I have reftored the text to its purity:

And, if I wis, he did

Warwick had faid, the king meant no harm in wearing Somerset's rofe: York teftily replies, "Nay, if I know any thing, he did think harm. THEOBALD.

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This is followed by the fucceeding editors, and is indeed plau fible enough; but perhaps this fpeech may become fufficiently ins telligible without any change, only fuppofing it broken:

And if

I wish

he did


or, perhaps:

And if he did

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EXE. Well didft thou,Richard, to fupprefs thy voice:
For, had the paffions of thy heart burft out,
I fear, we should have feen decipher'd there
More rancorous fpite, more furious raging broils,
Than yet can be imagin'd or suppos'd.-

But howfoe'er, no fimple man that fees
This jarring difcord of nobility,

This fhould'ring of each other in the court,
This factious bandying of their favourites,
But that it doth prefage fome ill event. 9
'Tis much, when fcepters are in children's hands;
But more, when envy breeds unkind divifion;
There comes the ruin, there begins confufion. [Exit.

I read

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I wift, the pret. of the old obfolete verb I wis, which is used by Shakspeare in The Merchant of Venice:

"There be fools alive, I wis,


STEEVENS. Silver'd o'er, and fo was this." York fays, he is not pleafed that the king fhould prefer the red rofe, the badge of Somerset, his enemy; Warwick defires him not to be offended at it, as he dares fay the king meant no harm. which York, yet unfatisfied, haftily adds, in a menacing tone, If I thought he did; — but he inftantly checks his threat with, let it reft. It is an example of a rhetorical figure, which our author has elsewhere used. Thus, in Coriolanus:

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"An 'twere to give again-But 'tis no matter.
Mr. Steevens is too familiar with Virgil, not to recollect his
Quos ego-fed motos præftat componere fluctus.

The author of the Revifal understood this paffage in the fame




it doth prefage fome ill event. ] That is, it doth prefage to him that fees this difcord, &c. that fome ill event will happen. MALONE. 'Tis ftrange, ''Tis much, ] In our author's time, this phrase meant. or wonderful. See, As you like it, Vol. VIII. p. 304, n. 3. This meaning being included in the word much, the word frange is perhaps undertood in the next line: "But more ftrange," &r. The conftruction MALONE. however may be, But 'tis much more, when, &c.

'Tis much, is a colloquial phrafe, and the meaning of it, in many inftances, can be gathered only from the tenor of the speech in which it occurs. On the prefent occafion, I believe, it fignifies — 'Tis an alarming circumftance, a thing of great confequence, or of much weight.



when envy breeds unkind divifion;] Envy in old English

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