Page:Richard II (1921) Yale.djvu/130

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118
The Life and Death of
 

through the realme for satisfieng of the people.' (Holinshed, op. cit., p. 62.)

Ll. 154–157 give the cue for the unhistorical scene of Richard's abdication in presence of Parliament. The deposition scene as a whole (ll. 154–318) was not published and perhaps was only surreptitiously performed during Queen Elizabeth's reign, first appearing in the Fourth Quarto, 1608, for she did not relish the portrayal of a monarch's deposition, and is reported to have said, 'Know ye not that we are Richard II?' L. 321 is evidence that the scene formed an integral part of Shakespeare's original version.

IV. i. 201. Ay, no; no, ay. Punning on 'ay' meaning 'yes,' 'I,' the pronoun, and 'nothing,' of which the 'o' was pronounced long. 'Since I (ay) must be no thing, "no ay" is no no (or, not "No").' The wordplay is as abject as the king himself.

IV. i. 239. with Pilate wash your hands. 'When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.' (St. Matthew 27. 24.)

IV. i. 256. not that name was given me at the font. One of Holinshed's sources states that Richard was called John of Bordeaux after his fall, and rumors were common that he was illegitimate. The name John came from the circumstance that as a very young infant, being in danger of death, he was hastily baptized as John, and later, for family reasons, rechristened Richard.

IV. i. 316, 317. convey. A play on the Elizabethan meanings of the word,—'to escort' and 'to steal.' Thieves were called conveyers.

IV. i. 319. On Wednesday next. It is significant for a study of Shakespeare's handling of history that