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That droops his faplefs branches to the ground:-
Yet are thefe feet-whofe ftrengthlefs ftay is numb,
Unable to fupport this lump of clay,-
Swift-winged with defire to get a grave,
As witting I no other comfort have.-
But tell me, keeper, will my nephew come?
I. KEEP. Richard Plantagenet, my lord, will

come:

We fent unto the Temple, to his chamber;
And answer was return'd, that he will come.
MOR. Enough; my foul fhall then be fatisfy'd.-
Poor gentleman! his wrong doth equal mine.
Since Henry Monmouth firft began to reign,
(Before whofe glory I was great in arms,)
This loathfome fequeftration have I had; 9
And even fince then hath Richard been obfcur'd,
Depriv'd of honour and inheritance:

But now, the arbitrator of defpairs,

Juft death, kind umpire of men's miferies,2 With fweet enlargement doth dismiss me hence; I would, his troubles likewife were expir'd, That fo he might recover what was loft.

Since Henry Monmouth firft began to reign,

This loathfome fequeftration have I had; ] Here again, the author certainly is mistaken. See p. 68, n. 3. MALONE.

2

the arbitrator of defpairs,

Juft death, kind umpire of men's miferies,] That is, he that terminates or concludes mifery. The expreffion is harfh and forced. JOHNSON.

The fame idea is expreffed with greater propriety in Romeo and Juliet:

'Twixt my extremes and me this bloody knife "Shall play the umpire, arbitrating that" &c. STEEVENS.

Enter RICHARD PLANTAGenet.

1. KEEP. My lord, your loving nephew now is

come.

MOR. Richard Plantagenet, my friend? Is he come?

PLAN. Ay, noble uncle, thus ignobly us'd, Your nephew, late-defpifed Richard, comes. MOR. Direct mine arms, I may embrace his neck, And in his bofom fpent my latter gafp:

O, tell me, when my lips do touch his cheeks,
That I may kindly give one fainting kiss. —
And now declare, fweet ftem from York's great
ftock,

Why didft thou fay-of late thou wert despis'd? PLAN. Firft, lean thine aged back against mine arm?

And, in that cafe, I'll tell thee my disease. 4
This day, in argument upon a cafe,

Some words there grew 'twixt Somerfet and me:

3

4

late-defpifed] i. e. lately despised. M. MASON.

I'll tell thee my disease. ] Disease seems to be here uneafinefs, or difcontent. JOHNSON.

It is fo used by other ancient writers, and by Shakspeare in Co riolanus. Thus likewife, in Spenfer's Faery Queen, Book III. c. v: But labour'd long in that deep ford with vain disease.” That to difeafe is to diflurb, may be known from the following paffages in Chapman's Verfion of the Iliad and Odyssey:

"But brother, bye thee to the ships, and Idomen difeafe." i. e. wake him. Book VI. edit. 1598. Again, Odyss. Book VI.

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with which he declin'd

"The eyes of any waker when he pleas'd,

And any fleeper, when he with'd, difeas'd."

Again, in the ancient metrical hiftory of The Battle of Floddon:
"He thought the Scots might him disease
"With conftituted captains meet."

STEEVENS.

Among which terms, he us'd his lavish tongue,
And did upbraid me with my father's death;
Which obloquy fet bars before my tongue,
Elfe with the like I had requited him:
Therefore, good uncle,-for my father's fake,
In honour of a true Plantagenet,

And for alliance' fake,-declare the caufe
My father, earl of Cambridge, loft his head.
MOR. That caufe, fair nephew, that imprifon'd

me,

And hath detain'd me, all my flow'ring youth,
Within a loathfome dungeon, there to pine,
Was curfed inftrument of his decease.

PLAN. Difcover more at large what caufe that

was;

For I am ignorant, and cannot guess.

MOR. I will; if that my fading breath permit, And death approach not ere my tale be done, Henry the fourth, grandfather to this king, Depos'd his nephew Richard; Edward's fon, The first-begotten, and the lawful heir Of Edward king, the third of that descent :

5

5 his nephew Richard; ] Thus the old copy. Modern editors read his coufin- but without neceffity. Nephew has fometimes the power of the Latin nepos, aud is used with great laxity among our ancient English writers. Thus in Othello, lago tells Brabantio-he fhall have his nephews (i. e., the children of bis own daughter) neigh to him." STEEVENS.

It would be furely better to read coufin, the meaning which nephew ought to have in this place. Mr. Steevens only proves that the word nephews is fometimes ufed for grand-children, which is very certain. Both uncle and nephew might, however, formerly fignify cousin. See the Menagiana, Vol. II. p. 193. In The Second Part of the troublesome raigne of K. John, Prince Henry calls his coufin the Bastard, "uncle." RITSON.

I believe the mistake here arofe from the author's ignorance; and that he conceived Richard to be Henry's nephew.

MALONE.

During whofe reign, the Percies of the north,
Finding his ufurpation moft uujust,

Endeavour'd my advancement to the throne: The reafon mov'd thefe warlike lords to this, Was-for that (young king Richard thus remov'd, Leaving no heir begotten of his body,)

6

I was the next by birth and parentage;
For by my mother I derived am

From Lionel duke of Clarence, the third fon
To king Edward the third, whereas he,
From John of Gaunt doth bring his pedigree,
Being but fourth of that heroick line.

But mark; as, in this haughty great attempt,
They laboured to plant the rightful heir,
I'loft my liberty, and they their lives.
Long after this, when Henry the fifth,-
Succeeding his father Bolingbroke,—did reign,
Thy father, earl of Cambrige,

then deriv'd
From famous Edmund Langley, duke of York,-
Marrying my fifter, that thy mother was
Again, in pity of my hard diftrefs,

9

Levied an army; weening to redeem,
And have inftall'd me in the diadem:

6

young king Richard Thus the fecond folio. The firft omits-king, which is neceffary to the metre. STEEVENS. the third fon] The article-the, which is neceffary to the metre, is omitted in the firft folio, but found in the fecond.

7

STEEVENS.

in this haughty great attempt,] Haughty is high.

JOHNSON.

So, in the fourth a&t.

"Valiant and virtuous, full of haughty courage."

STEEVENS.

9 Levied an army;] Here is again another falsification of hiftory. Cambridge levied no army, but was apprehended at Southampton, the night before Henry failed from that town for France, on the information of this very Edmund Mortimer, Earl of March.

MALONE.

But, as the reft, fo fell that noble earl,
And was beheaded. Thus the Mortimers,
In whom the title refted, were fupprefs'd.

PLAN. Of which, my lord, your honour is the laft.

2

MOR. True; and thou feeft, that I no iffue have; And that my fainting words do warrant death: Thou art my heir; the reft, I wish thee gather: But yet be wary in thy ftudious care. PLAN. Thy grave admonifhments prevail with

me:

But yet, methinks, my father's excution
Was nothing lefs than bloody tyranny.

MOR. With filence, nephew, be thou politick;
Strong-fixed is the houfe of Lancaster,
And, like a mountain, not to be remov'd.3
But now thy uncle is removing hence;

As princes do their courts, when they are cloy'd With long continuance in a fettled place.

PLAN. O, uncle, 'would fome part of my young

years

Might but redeem the paffage of your age!4

Thou art my heir; the reft, I wish thee gather:] The fenfe is,I acknowledge thee to be my heir, the confequences which may be collected from thence, I recommend it to thee to draw.

HEATH.

3 And, like a mountain, not to be remov'd,] Thus Milton, Par. Loft, Book IV:

"Like Teneriff or Atlas, unremov'd." STEEVENS.

40, uncle, 'would fome part of my young years

Might but redeem &c.] This thought has fome refemblance to that of the following lines, which are fuppofed to be addreffed by a married lady who died very young, to her husband.

fcription is, I think, in the church of Trent:

"Immatura perî; fed tu diuturnior annos

The in

"Vive meos, conjux optime, vive tuos." MALONE. This fuperftition is very ancient. Some traces of it may be found in the traditions of the Rabbins; it is enlarged upon in the Alcejtës

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