Page:Richard II (1921) Yale.djvu/121

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.
King Richard the Second

a punishment for recreant knights; here used in exaggeration for 'treated with contumely.'

I. i. 174. lions make leopards tame. Lions are the emblem of royalty and moreover were quartered on the king's coat of arms; the Mowbray arms bear a leopard as crest. Mowbray's reply alludes to the verse, 'Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots?' Jeremiah 13. 23.

I. i. 192. sound . . . parle. To sound a particular call on drum or trumpet to signify to one's adversary the desire for conference under a truce. Here figurative, but frequently literal in this play.

I. i. 204. officers-at-arms. Heralds or pursuivants, officers of ambassadorial privileges charged with the ceremonial and diplomatic functions connected with chivalric combat, tournaments, and public ceremonies.

I. ii. 11. seven sons. See Genealogical Table, Appendix F. Besides the five there shown, Edward III had two sons named William, both of whom died in infancy.

I. ii. 14, 15. dried by nature's course . . . by the Destinies cut. Two were living, two died in infancy, Edward the Black Prince and Lionel died natural deaths in maturity, and only Thomas of Woodstock, Duke of Gloucester, died by violence. A baseless rumor of poisoning was attached to Lionel's sudden death in Italy.

I. ii. 53. recreant. A knight overthrown or disabled in a combat could be killed by his conqueror, or spared if he begged for mercy. In the latter case he would be called 'recreant.'

cousin. Used by Shakespeare indiscriminately for all the less immediate relationships such as cousin, nephew, and aunt. The Duchess was Bolingbroke's aunt and sister-in-law.

I. iii. 121. Withdraw. 'Come aside for private