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* Will cost my crown, and, like an empty eagle,3

3 Whose haughty spirit, winged with desire,

Will cost my crown, and, like an empty eagle, &c.] Read coast, i. e. hover over it. WARBURTON.

Dr. Warburton's alteration aims at a distinction without a difference, both cost and coast being ultimately derivations of the same original. HENLEY.

The word which Dr. Warburton would introduce, has been supposed to violate the metaphor; nor indeed is to coast used as a term of falconry in any of the books professedly written on that subject. To coast is a sea-faring expression, and means to keep along shore. We may, however, maintain the integrity of the figure, by inserting the word cote, which is used in Hamlet, and in a sense convenient enough on this occasion:

"We coted them on the way."

To cote is to come up with, to overtake, to reach. So, in The Return from Parnassus, a comedy, 1606:


marry, we presently coted and outstript them." Yet, on further inquiry, I am become less certain, that to coast is merely a sea-faring expression. It is used in the following instance to denote speed:

"And all in haste she coasteth to the cry."

Shakspeare's Venus and Adonis. Again, in The Loyal Subject, by Beaumont and Fletcher:

"Take you those horse, and coast them."

Again, in The Maid of the Mill, by the same authors, two gentlemen are entering, and a lady asks:

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Mr. Tollet therefore observes, that Dr. Warburton's interpretation may be right, as Holinshed often uses the verb to coast, i. e. to hover, or range about any thing. So, in Chapman's version of the fifth Iliad :

"Atrides yet coasts through the troops, confirming men so stay'd."

See Holinshed, Vol. III. p. 352: "William Douglas still coasted the Englishmen, doing them what damage he might." So again, p. 387, and 404, and in other writers.


I have no doubt but coast is the true reading. To coast is to keep along side of it, and watch it. In King Henry VIII. the Chamberlain says of Wolsey:

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the king perceives him how he coasts "And hedges his own way."

*Tire on the flesh of me, and of my son ! *The loss of those three lords" torments my heart: * I'll write unto them, and entreat them fair;* Come, cousin, you shall be the messenger.

* Exɛ. And I, I hope, shall reconcile them all.


And in the last Act of The Loyal Subject, Archas says:


Lord Barris,

"Take you those horse, and coast them." M. MASON. Will cost my crown,] i. e. will cost me my crown; will induce on me the expence or loss of my crown. MALONE.

Had this been our author's meaning, he would have otherwise formed his verse, and written "cost me my crown." So, in King Lear:

"The dark and vicious place where thee he got,
"Cost him his eyes."

Tire on the flesh of me,] To tire is to fasten, to fix the talons, from the French tirer. JOHNSON. To tire is to peck.


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So, in Decker's Match me in London,

the vulture tires

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those three lords-] That is, of Northumberland, Westmoreland, and Clifford, who had left him in disgust.



you shall be the messenger.] Instead of the six last lines

of this speech, the first copy presents these:

"Come, cousin of Exeter, stay thou here,

"For Clifford and those northern lords be gone,
"I fear towards Wakefield, to disturb the duke."

See p. 16, n. 2, and the notes there referred to. MALONE.


A Room in Sandal Castle, near Wakefield, in Yorkshire.


RICH. Brother, though I be youngest, give me

EDW. No, I can better play the orator.
MONT. But I have reasons strong and forcible.

Enter YORK.

"YORK. Why, how now, sons and brother," at a strife?

What is your quarrel? how began it first?


sons and brother,] I believe we should read-cousin instead of brother, unless brother be used by Shakspeare as a term expressive of endearment, or because they embarked, like brothers, in one cause. Montague was only cousin to York, and in the quarto he is so called. Shakspeare uses the expression, brother of the war, in King Lear. STEEVENS.

It should be sons and brothers; my sons, and brothers to each other. JOHNSON.

Brother is right. In the two succeeding pages York calls Montague brother. This may be in respect to their being brothers of the war, as Mr. Steevens observes, or of the same council, as in King Henry VIII. who says to Cranmer: “ You are brother of us." Montague was brother to Warwick; Warwick's daughter was married to a son of York; therefore York and Montague were brothers. But as this alliance did not take place during the life of York, I embrace Mr. Steevens's interpretation rather than suppose that Shakspeare made a mistake about the time of the marriage. TOLLET.

The third folio reads as Dr. Johnson advises. But as York

EDW. No quarrel, but a slight contention.3 YORK. About what?

• RICH. About that which concerns your grace, and us;

The crown of England, father, which is yours. YORK. Mine, boy? not till king Henry be dead.

* RICH. Your right depends not on his life, or death.

* Edw. Now you are heir, therefore enjoy it


By giving the house of Lancaster leave to breathe, * It will outrun you, father, in the end.

• YORK. I took an oath, that he should quietly


· Edw. But, for a kingdom, any


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• I'd break a thousand oaths, to reign one year.

RICH. No; God forbid, your grace should be forsworn.9

again in this scene addresses Montague by the title of brother, and Montague uses the same to York, Dr. Johnson's conjecture cannot be right. Shakspeare certainly supposed them to be brothers-in-law. MALONE.

No quarrel, but a slight contention.] Thus the players, first, in their edition; who did not understand, I presume, the force of the epithet in the old quarto, which I have restored-sweet contention, i. e. the argument of their dispute was upon a grateful topick; the question of their father's immediate right to the crown. THEOBALD.

Sweet is, I think, the better reading of the two; and I should certainly have received it had it been found in the folio, which Mr. Malone supposes to be the copy of this play, as reformed by Shakspeare. STEEVENS.

9 Rich, No; God forbid, &c.] Instead of this and the three following speeches, the old play has these lines:

• YORK. I shall be, if I claim by open war.

• RICH. I'll prove the contrary, if you'll hear me speak.

• YORK. Thou canst not, son; it is impossible. RICH. An oath is of no moment,' being not took

Before a true and lawful magistrate, That hath authority over him that swears: Henry had none, but did usurp the place; Then, seeing 'twas he that made you to depose, Your oath, my lord, is vain and frivolous. Therefore, to arms. * And, father, do but think, * How sweet a thing it is to wear a crown; *Within whose circuit is Elysium,

* And all that poets feign of bliss and joy. * Why do we linger thus? I cannot rest,

"Rich. An if it please your grace to give me leave, "I'll shew your grace the way to save your oath, "And dispossess King Henry from the crown.

"York. I pr'ythee, Dick, let me hear thy devise." MALONE.

An oath is of no moment,] The obligation of an oath is here eluded by very despicable sophistry. A lawful magistrate alone has the power to exact an oath, but the oath derives no part of its force from the magistrate. The plea against the obligation of an oath obliging to maintain a usurper, taken from the unlawfulness of the oath itself in the foregoing play, was rational and just. JOHNSON.

This speech is formed on the following one in the old play: "Rich. Then thus, my lord. An oath is of no mo


"Being not sworn before a lawful magistrate;

"Henry is none, but doth usurp your right;

"And yet your grace stands bound to him by oath:

"Then, noble father,

"Resolve yourself, and once more claim the crown."


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