Page:Richard II (1921) Yale.djvu/120

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108
The Life and Death of
 

broke, on the other hand, were apparently in high favor, being made dukes of Norfolk and Hereford respectively, but the former seems, reasoning from past events, to have remarked to Bolingbroke that neither of them was quite safe from the king's memory. Bolingbroke thereupon violated this confidence and in full Parliament assembled at Shrewsbury (January 30, 1398) accused Norfolk of treason and offered to sustain his charges in single combat. Both were put under arrest, and the matter was reopened in Parliament meeting at Windsor (April 28–29, 1398), as related in this scene. Thus, by beginning here and assuming knowledge of preceding events, Shakespeare was able to concentrate attention upon the last two years of Richard's life, namely, from April 29, 1398, to March 12, 1400, the date on which a body officially declared to be his was exhibited in St. Paul's.


I. i. 3. Hereford. Probably pronounced Harford, in two syllables. It is spelled Herford in the Quartos and First Folio. In England, to this day, er, especially in proper names, is frequently pronounced like ar.

I. i. 4. boisterous late appeal. That is, at the Parliament at Shrewsbury (see preceding note).

I. i. 34. appellant. A knight formally accusing another and ready to prove his charge in a trial by combat.

I. i. 59. This line may be paraphrased, 'Supposing for the occasion that he is not cousin to the king.' One had to apologize before making accusations against a member of the royal family.

I. i. 131. to fetch his queen. Two years before, in 1396.

I. i. 153. choler. A play on the two meanings of the word, 'bilious disorder' and 'anger.'

I. i. 170. baffled. Literally, hung up by the heels,