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Scene 2. Page 621.

K. RICH. Because that like a Jack, thou keep'st the stroke.

At Horsham church, in Sussex, there was a figure dressed in scarlet and gold, that struck the quarters. He was called Jack o' the clockhouse. The French term for this kind of automaton is jaquemar, the etymology of which is very fanciful and uncertain.


Scene 1. Page 660.

BUCK. Holy king Henry

This epithet is not applied without good reason. King Henry the Sixth, though never actually canonized, was regarded as a saint, and miracles were supposed to have been performed by him. In some of our church service-books before the Reformation, there are prayers which are said to have been of his composition, and one in particular

that is addressed to him is entitled, "A prayer

to holy king Henry."

Sc. 3. p. 665.

K. RICH. Besides, the king's name is a tower of strength. Borrowed from Proverbs, xviii. v. 10. "The name of the Lord is a strong tower.”


Sc. 3. p. 667.

It's supper time, my lord;

It's nine o'clock.

"A supper at so late an hour as nine o'clock in the year 1485," says Mr. Steevens, "would have been a prodigy." It certainly would, and even at the time when this play was written, the period to which the criticism more justly belongs. In either instance there was a reason for preferring the text of the quarto copy, and yet the unnecessary alteration is retained.

Sc. 3. p. 688.

K. RICH. This and Saint George to boot.

Dr. Johnson is undoubtedly right against both

his opponents, one of whom has adduced the phrase St. George to borrow, unintentionally in support of him. To borrow is no more a verb than to boot; it means as a pledge or security, borrow being the Saxon term for a pledge. The phrase is an invocation to the saint to act as a protector. Saint George to thrive is evidently a misconceived paraphrase of the old mode of expression, by improperly changing the substantive to a verb. Holinshed, in the speech of Richard before the battle, introduces "St. George to borrowe."

Sc. 3. p. 690.

K. RICH. Long kept in Bretagne at our mother's cost.

It has been already stated by Dr. Farmer that the mistake here of mother for brother must be placed to the account of the book which Shakspeare 'followed, viz. Holinshed's chronicle; but the doctor has omitted to notice that in the first edition of Holinshed the word is rightly printed brother. It is no otherwise worth while to mention this fact, than that it points out the particular edition of the above historian which Shakspeare used. Nothing can be more judicious nor decisive than Mr. Malone's argument for retaining

the historical errors of Shakspeare, and Mr. Ritson's desire of changing the text does not correspond with those principles of accuracy on which he laid so much stress.

Sc. 3. p. 691.

K. RICH. A milksop &c.

This is from Holinshed, "To begyn with the earle of Richmonde capitayne of this rebellion, he is a Welsh milksoppe," &c.




Scene 1. Page 21.

but this top-proud fellow

(Whom from the flow of gall I name not, but From sincere motions)

DR. JOHNSON explains sincere motions to be honest indignation; and, for name not, would substitute blame not. But is not the following the plain sense, without any alteration? "this top-proud fellow, whom I call so, not from an excess of bitterness, but from a genuine impulse of the mind."

Sc. 1. p. 26.

BUCK. I am the shadow of poor Buckingham,

Whose figure even this instant cloud puts on,
By dark'ning my clear sun.

It is no easy matter on some occasions to comprehend the precise meaning of Shakspeare's

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