Page images


Mess. Prepare you, lords, for Edward is at hand,

Ready to fight; therefore be resolute.

Orf. I thought no less it is his policy, To haste thus fast, to find us unprovided.

Som. But he's deceiv'd, we are in readiness. Q. Mar. This cheers my heart, to see your forwardness.

Oxf. Here pitch our battle, hence we will not budge.

March. Enter at a distance, King EDWARD, CLARENCE, GLOSTER, and Forces.

K. Edw. Brave followers, yonder stauds the thorny wood,

Which, by the heavens' assistance, and your


Must by the roots be hewn up yet ere night.
I need not add more fuel to your fire,
For well I wot, ye blaze to burn them out:
Give signal to the fight, and to it, lords.

Q. Mar. Lords, knights, and gentlemen, what I should say,

My tears gainsay; † for every word I speak,
Ye see, I drink the water of mine eyes.
Therefore, no more but this :-Henry, your


Is prisoner to the foe; his state usurp'd,
His realm a slaughter house, his subjects slain,
His statutes cancell'd, and his treasure spent ;
And yonder is the wolf that makes this spoil.
You fight in justice then, in God's name,

Be valiant, and give signal to the fight.

[Exeunt both Armies.

[blocks in formation]

my [Exeunt OXFORD and SOMERSET, guarded. Q. Mar. So part we sadly in this troublous world,

To meet with joy in sweet Jerusalem.

[blocks in formation]

Glo. Clarence, excuse me to the king my brother;

I'll hence to London on a serious matter:
Ere ye come there, be sure to hear some news.
Clar. What? what?

Glo. The Tower, the Tower!


Q. Mar. O Ned, sweet Ned! speak to thy mother, boy!

Canst thou not speak?—0

derers !



They that stabb'd Cæsar shed no blood at all,
Did not offend, nor were not worthy blame,
If this foul deed were by, to equal it.
He was a man; this, in respect, a child ;
And men ne'er spend their fury on a child. [it ?
What's worse than murderer, that I may name
No, no, my heart will burst, an if I speak :—-
And I will speak, that so my heart may burst.
Butchers and villains, bloody cannibals!
How sweet a plant have you untimely cropp'd !
You have no children, butchers! if you had,
The thought of them would have stirr'd up re-

morse :

K. Edw. Is proclamation made, that, who But, if you ever chance to have a child,

finds Edward,

Shall have a high reward, and he is life?
Glo. It is; and, lo, where youthful Edward


Enter Soldiers with Prince EDWARD.

K. Edw. Bring forth the gallant, let us hear him speak:

What! can so young a thorn begin to prick?
Edward, what satisfaction canst thou inake,
For bearing arms, for stirring up my subjects,
And all the trouble thou hast turn'd me to ?
Prince. Speak like a subject, proud ambi-
tious York!

Suppose, that I am now my father's mouth; Resign thy chair, and, where I stand, kneel thou,

Whilst I propose the self-same words to thee, Which, traitor, thou wouldst have me answer to.

Q. Mar. Ah! that thy father had been so resolv'd!

Glo. That you might still have worn the petticoat,

[blocks in formation]

Look in his youth to have him so cut off,
As, deathsmen! you have rid this sweet young

K. Edw. Away with her; go, bear her hence

Q. Mar. Nay, never bear me hence, despatch me here; [death: Here sheath thy sword, I'll pardon thee my death: What! wilt thou not?-then, Clarence, do it thou.

Clar. By heaven, I will not do thee so much


Q. Mar. Good Clarence, do; sweet Clarence, do thou do it.

Clar. Didst thou not hear me swear I would not do it.

K. Mar. Ay, but thou usest to forswear thy'Twas sin before, but now 'tis charity. [self; What! wilt thou not? where is that devil's


The Prince calls Richard, for his crookedness, Earp 1.2.1 will compel you to be as silent as if you weřa deprived of speech by euchantment.

1 Dispute; contention.
She alludes to the desertion of Clarenco.

Hard favour'd Richard? Richard, where thou?

art Shall rue the hour that ever thou wast born.
The owl shriek'd at thy birth, an evil sign;
The night-crow cried, aboding luckless time;
Dogs howl'd, and hideous tempests shook down

Thou art not here: Murder is thy alms-deed;
Petitioners for blood thou ne'er put'st back.
K. Edw. Away, I say: I charge ye, bear her

Q. Mar. So come to you and your's, as to
this prince! [Exit, led out forcibly.
K. Edw. Where's Richard gone?
Clar. To London, all in post; and, as I guess,
To make a bloody supper in the Tower.

K. Edw. He's sudden, if a thing comes in
his head.

Now march we hence: discharge the common

With pay and thanks, and let's away to Londou,
And see our gentle queen how well she fares;
By this, I hope, she hath a son for me.

[Exeunt. SCENE VI.-London.-A Room in the Tower.


King HENRY is discovered sitting with
Book in his Hand, the Lieutenant attending.

Glo. Good day, my lord! What, at your book
so hard?

K. Hen. Ay, my good lord: My lord, I should
say rather-

'Tis sin to flatter, good was little better:
Good Gloster and good devil were alike,
And both preposterous; therefore, not good

Glo. Sirrah, leave us to ourselves: we must
[Exit Lieutenant.
K. Hen. So flies the reckless shepherd from
the wolf:

So first the harmless sheep doth yield his fleece,
And next his throat unto the butcher's knife.-
What scene of death hath Roscius now to act?
Glo. Suspicion always haunts the guilty

The thief doth fear each bush an officer.

K. Hen. The bird that hath been limed in a

With trembling wings misdoubteth f every bush :
And 1, the hapless male to one sweet bird,
Have now the fatal object in my eye,
Where my poor young was lim'd, was caught,
and kill'd.

Glo. Why, what a peevisht fool was that of

That taught his son the office of a fowl ?

And yet, for all his wings, the fool was

K. Hen. I, Dædalus; my poor boy, Icarus
Thy father, Minos, that denied our course;
The sun that sear'd the wings of my sweet boy,
Thy brother Edward; and thyself, the sea,
Whose envious gulf did swallow up his life.
Ah! kill me with thy weapon, not with words!
My breast can better brook thy dagger's point,
Than can my ears that tragic history.-
But wherefore dost thou come ? is't for my life?
Glo. Think'st thou, I am an executioner?
K. Hen. A persecutor, I am sure thou art ;
If murdering innocents be executing,
Why, then thou art an executioner.

Glo. Thy son I kill'd for his presumption.
K. Hen, Had'st thou been kill'd, when first
thou didst presume,
Thou hadst not liv'd to kill a son of mine,
And thus I prophesy,-that many a thousand,
Which now mistrust no parcel of my fear;
And many an old man's sigh, and many a wi-

And many an orphan's water-standing eye;
Men for their sons, wives for their husbands'

And orphans for their parents' timeless death;

[blocks in formation]

The raven rook'd her on the chimney's top,
And chattering pies in dismal discords sung.
Thy mother felt more than a mother's pain,
And yet brought forth less than a mother's

To wit, an indigest deformed lump,
Not like the fruit of such a goodly tree.
Teeth hadst thou in thy head, when thou wast

To signify, thon cam'st to bite the world:
And, if the rest be true which I have heard,
Thou cam'st-

Glo. I'll hear no more ;-Die, prophet, in thy
[Stabs him.
For this, amongst the rest, was I ordain'd.
K. Hen. Ay, and for much more slaughter
after this.

O God! forgive my sius, and pardon thee!

[Dies. Glo. What, will the aspiring blood of Lan


Sink in the ground? I thought it would have mounted.

See, how my sword weeps for the poor king's


O may such purple tears be always shed
From those that wish the downfal of our

If any spark of life be yet remaining,
Down, down to hell; and say I sent thee thi
[Stabs him again.
I, that have neither pity, love, nor fear.-
Indeed, 'tis true, that Heury told me of;
For I have often heard my mother say,
I came into the world with my legs forward :
Had I not reason, think ye, to make haste,
And seek their ruin that usurp'd our right ?
The midwife wonder'd; and the women cried
O Jesus bless us, he is born with teeth!
And so I was; which plainly signified
That I should snarl, and bite, and play the

Then since the heavens have shap'd my body


Let hell make crook'd my mind to answer it.
I have no brother, I am like no brother:
And this word-love, which greybeards cail

Be resident in men like one another,
And not in me: I am myself alone.--
Clarence beware; thou keep'st me from the

But I will sort + a pitchy day for thee:
For I will buz abroad such prophecies,
That Edward shall be fearful of his life;
And then, to purge his fear, I'll be thy death,
King Henry, and the prince his son, are gone:
Clarence, thy turn is next, and then the rest;
Counting myself but bad, till I be best.-
I'll throw thy body in another room,
And triumph Heury, in thy day of doom.


SCENE VII.-The same.-A Room in the

King EDWARD is discovered sitting on his
Throne; Queen ELIZABETH with the infant
and others, near him.

K. Edw. Once more we sit in England's royal

Re-purchas'd with the blood of enemies.
What valiant foe-men, like to autamm's corn.
Have we mow'd down, in tops of all their

Three dukes of Somerset, threefold renown'd ·

[blocks in formation]

For hardy and undoubted champions :
Two Cliffords, as the father and the son,
And two Northumberlands; two braver men
Ne'er spurr'd their coursers at the trumpet's

With them the two brave bears, Warwick and

That in their chains fetter'd the kingly lion,
And made the forest tremble when they roar'd.
Thus have we swept suspicion from our seat,
And made our footstool of security.-
Come hither, Bess, and let me kiss my boy:
Young Ned, for thee, thine uncles, and myself,
Have in our armours watch'd the winter's night;
Went all afoot in summer's scalding heat,
That thou might'st repossess the crown in peace;
And of our labours thou shalt reap the gain.
Glo. I'll blast his harvest, if your head were

For yet I am not look'd on in the world.
This shoulder was ordain'd so thick, to heave;
And heave it shall some weight or break my

Work thou the way,-and thou shalt execute.

[Aside. K. Edw. Clarence and Gloster, love my lovely queen,

And kiss your princely nephew, brothers both. Clar. The duty that I owe unto your majesty, scal upon the lips of this sweet babe.

[blocks in formation]

K. Edw. Now am I seated as my soul delights,

Having my country's peace, and brothers' loves.

Clar. What will your grace have done with
Margaret ?

Reignier, her father, to the king of France
Hath pawn'd the Sicils and Jerusalem,
And hither have they sent it for her ransom.
K. Edw. Away with her, and waft her hence
to France.

And now what rests, but that we spend the time

With stately triumphs, mirthful comic shows, Such as bent the pleasures of the court?Sound, drums and trumpets I-farewell, sour annoy !

For here, I hope, begins our lasting joy.

• Public shows.






IN this very popular tragedy, there is another specimen of historical jumble, and poetical license. The second scene commences with the funeral of Henry VI, whɔ is said to have been murdered in May, 1471, whilst the imprisonment of Clarence, which did not take place till 1478, is represented in the first. Thus the real length of time comprised in this drama, (dating from the former event) is fourteen years; as it concludes with the death of Richard, at Bosworth Field, în August, 1485. With respect to Richard's character, though grertly blackened by Lancasterian historians, he was certainly one of the most odious tyrants that ever obtained possession of a throne. Yet it appears from some accounts still preserved in the Exchequer, that King Henry lived twenty-two days after the time assigned for his pretended assassination; that his body lay in state at St. Paul's, and that it was afterwards interred at Chertsey, with much solemnity. Shakspeare has made the usurper deformed in figure, as well as in mind; though popular detestation had probably aggravated the traditionary story of his bodily defects. In this drama, the events appear admirably connected with, and conse quential to, each other: the characters and incidents are natural; the sentiment and language free from bombast. But Malone and Dr. Johnson consider it as popular beyond its merits; with " some parts trifling, others shocking, and some improbable:" whilst Stevens maintains, that above all others the tragedy of Richard must command approbation, as it is indefinitely variegated, and comprehends every species of cha racter---" the hero, the lover, the statesman, the buffoon, the hypocrite, and the hardened or repentant sinner." Its present success in representation, is, however, chiefly attributable to the admirable alterations of Colly Cibber, which evince a very extensive and settled knowledge of stage effect, and by which reformations the more valuable parts of the piece, could alone have attained their present effect and consequence. Shakspeare probably formed the play in 1591; though he is not supposed to have been indebted to any of the nume rous existing compositions on the same subject.




EDWARD, Prince of Wales, after-Sons to the SIR WILLIAM CATESBY.-SIR JAMES TYREL

wards King Edward V.

RICHARD, Duke of York.
GEORGE, Duke of Clarence,
RICHARD, Duke of Gloster, of

A young Son of Clarence.


Brothers to
the King.

HENRY, Earl of Richmond, afterwards King
Henry VII.

CARDINAL BOUCHIER, Archbishop of Canter-

THOMAS ROTHERAM, Archbishop of York.
JOHN MORTON, Bishop of Ely.




EARL RIVERS, Brother to King Edward's


SIR ROBERT BRAKENBURY, Lieutenant of the


[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]
[graphic][graphic][ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »