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"To fright the souls of fearful adversaries, s He capers nimbly in a lady's chamber, To the lascivious pleasing of a lute. But I,-that am not shap'd for sportive tricks, Nor made to court an amorous looking-glass; I, that am rudely stamp'd, and want love's ma
jesty, To strut before a wanton ambling nymph; I, that am curtail'd of this fair proportion,
So, in Jarvis Markham's English Arcadia, 1607 :
armed in a black armour, curiously damask'd with interwinding wreaths of cypress and ewe, his barbe upon his horse, all of black abrosetta, cut in broken hoopes upon curled cypress.” Again, in the 2d Part of K. Edward IV. by Heywood, 1626:
" With barbed horse, and valiant arined foot." Barbed, however, may be no more than a corruption of barded. Equus bardatus, in the Latin of the middle ages, was a horse adorned with military trappings. I have met with the word
times in our ancient chronicles and romances. An instance or two may
fuffice. They mounted him surely upon a good and mighty courser, well barded, &c."
Hift. of Helyas Knight of the Swanne, bl. I. no date. Again, in Hall's Chronicle, King Henry VIII. p. 45:
"-appereilled in ryche armure, on a barded courser &c.” Again, in the Miracles of Mofes, by Drayton :
“ There floats the bard iteed with his rider drown'd,
" Whose foot in his caparison is cait." Again, in Warner's Albion's England, B. VIII. chap: 38 : 66 For whether that he trots, or turns, or bounds his
barded steed." Again, in Barrett's Alvearie, or Quadruple Dictionary, 1580:
" Bardes or trappers of horses. Phalere, Lat." Again, Holinshed speaking of the preparations for the battle of Agincourt : to the intent that if the barded horses ran fiercely upon them, &c” Again, p. 802, he says, that bards and trappers bad the fame meaning.
It is observed in the Turkish Spy, that the German cuirasiers, though armed and barbed, man and horse, were not able to stand against the French cavalry. STEEVENS.
's He capers) War capers. This is poetical, though a little harsh ; if it be York that capers, the antecedent is at such a distance, that it is almost forgotten. JOHNSON. ..B 3
• Cheated of feature by diffembling nature,
6 Cheated of feature by dissembling nature,] By dissembling is not meant bypocritical nature, that pretends one thing and does another : but nature that puts together things of a diflimilar kind, as a brave foul and a deformed body. WARBURTON. Dilenbling is here put very licentiouiiy for fraudful, deceitful.
Johụson. ? And descant on mine own deformity:] Defiant is a term in music, fignifying in general that kind of harmony wherein one part is broken and formed into a kind of paraphrase on the other. The propriety and elegance of the above figure, without such an idea of the nature of defcant, could not be discerned.
Sir J. HAWKINS. 8 And therefore, since I cannot prove a lover, ] Shakespeare very diligently inculcates, that the wickedness of Richard proceeded from his deformity, from the envy that rose at the comparison of his own person with others, and which incited him to diiturb the pleasures that he could not partake. Johnson. 9 And hate the idle pleafures-] Perhaps we might read : And bate the iille pleasures
JOHNSON. inductions dangerous,] Preparations for mischief. The induction is preparatory to the action of the play. Johnson.
Maríton has put this line, with little variation, into the mouth of Fame : Plots ha' you laid ? inductions dangerous ?”
And, if king · Edward be as true and just,
Enter Clarence guarded, and Brakenbury. Brother, good day: What means this armed guard, That waits upon your grace ?
Clar. His majesty,
Glo. Upon what cause ?
Glo. Alack, my lord, that fault is none of yours;
Clar. Yea, Richard, when I know ; for, I protest, As yet I do not : But, as I can learn, He hearkens after prophefies, and dreams; And from the cross-row plucks the letter G, And says—a wizard told him, that by G His iffue difinherited should be ; And, for my name of George begins with G', It follows in his thought, that I am he :
-Edward be as true and just,] i, e, as open-hearted and free from deceit. WARBURTON. The meaning is only this; if Edward keeps his word.
Johnson. 3 And, for my name of George begins with G, &c.] So, in Ni. cols's Tragical Life and Death of Richard III:
“ By that blind riddle of the letter G,
These, as I learn, and such like toys as these 4,
Clar. By heaven, I think, there is no man secure,
Glo. 5 Humbly complaining to her deity
The jealous o'er-worn widow, and herself,
Brak. I beseech your graces both to pardon me ; His majesty hath ftraitly given in charge, That no man shall have private conference, Of what degree foever, with his brother.
Glo. Even fo? an please your worship, Brakenbury, You may partake of any thing we say : We speak no treafon, man ;-We say, the king Is wise, and virtuous ; and his noble queen
4 -toys-] Fancies, freaks of imagination. Johnson.
s Humbly complaining &c.] I think these two lines might be better given to Clarence. JOHNSON.
• The jealous o'er-worn widow, and herself,] That is, the queen and Shore. JOHNSON.
Well struck in years ?'; fair, and not jealous :-
Brak. With this, my lord, myself have nought
Glo. Naught to do with mistress Shore ? I tell thee,
Brak. What one, my lord ?
7 Well struck in years ;] This odd expression in our language was preceded by one as uncouth though of a similar kind.
" Well shot in years he seem'd. &c.] Spenser's F. Queen, B. V. c. vi: The meaning of neither is
obvious; but as Mr. Warton has observed in his Essay on the Faery Queen, by an imperceptible progression from one kindred sense to another, words at length obtain a meaning entirely foreign to their original etymology. STEEVENS.
the queen's abject] That is, not the queen's Subjects, whom she might protect, but her abjects, whom she drives away. Johnson.
Were it to call king Edvard's widow-fifter,] This is a very covert and subtle manner of insinuating treason. The natural expression would have been, were it to call king Edward's wife, fifter. I will folicit for you, though it should be at the expence of so much degradation and conftraint, as to own the low-born wife of King Edward for a fifter. But by flipping, as it were