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Is priso'ner 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, lords,

Be valiant, and give signal to the fight. Without quitting the spot where we may imagine these discourses to have been held in the agony of hope and fear, let us carry forward our thoughts to the latter part of the same day. The persons you must now suppose before you, are king Edward, Clarence, Gloster, and others of that party, who advance with colours flying, and sound of trumpets ; and as prisoners, brought in guarded, are queen Margaret, Oxford, and Somerset : king Edward speaks. [K. Edward.] Here is the period of tumultuous broils.

-Away with Somerset and Oxford straight,
And let them die; I will not hear them speak.
Is proclamation made, that who finds Edward
Shall have a high reward ? I need not ask;
The youth they bring is none but Marga'ret's son.
His mother swoons : use means for her recovery.
Meanwhile, bring forth the gallant ; let us hear him.
Is he so young a thorn, and yet so dangerous ?
Edward, what satisfaction canst thou make
For bearing arms, for stirring up my subjects,

And all the trouble thou hast put me to ? [P. Edward.) Speak like a subject, proud, ambitious York!

Suppose that mine is now my father's mouth;
Resign thy chair, and, where I stand, kneel thou,
While I propose the self-same words to thee.
I know my duty; you are all undutiful.
Lascivious Edward,--and thou, perjur'd George,
And thou, misshapen Dick,- I tell you all
I am your better, traitors as you are :
And, Edward, thou usurp’st my father's right.

Margaret recovers and screams.

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[Margaret.] O traitors! murderers! O Ned, sweet Ned!

Špeak to thy mother, boy: canst thou not speak ?
Butchers and villains! bloody cannibals !
They that stabb’d Cæsar stabb'd a man: you three
Have stabb'd a child : oh! worse than murderers !
You have no children, butchers; if you had,
The thought of them had made you pitiful.

How sweet a plant you have untimely cropp'd ! [K. Edward.] Away with her; go bear her hence perforce.


[Margaret.] Nay, never bear me hence; despatch me Here sheath thy sword; I'll pardon thee


death : What, wilt thou not ? then, Clarence, do it thou. (Clarence.] By heaven, I will not do thee so much ease. [Margaret.] Good Clarence, do; I pray thee, Clarence, do. [Clarence.] Didst thou not hear me swear I would not do it ? [Margaret.] Ay, but thou usest to forswear thyself:

'Twas sin before, but now 'tis charity.
What! wilt thou not ? Where is that devil butcher,
Hard-favour'd Richard ? Richard, where art thou ?
Is he not here ? Murder is thy alms-deed :

Petitioners for blood thou ne'er putt'st back.. [K. Edward.] Away, I say: I charge you bear her hence.

[a pause.] So; now we breathe : Clarence, where 's Richard gone ? (Clarence.] To London all in post; and, as I guess,

To make a bloody supper in the Tower. [K. Edward.] He's sudden, if a thing comes in his head.

Now march we hence; discharge the common sort

pay and thanks, and let's away to London,
And see our gentle queen how well she fares :

By this I hope she hath a son for me. Our next scene is a room in the Tower, where king Henry is discovered, sitting with a book in his hand, the lieutenant

The poor

attending: Gloster has reached London with his best speed from Tewkesbury : but not sooner than the intelligence of the battle, and the circumstances of young Edward's death: he enters and speaks. [Gloster.] Good day, my lord: what, at your book so hard ? [Henry.] Ay, my good lord : my lord, I should say rather ;

'Twere sin to flatter : therefore not good lord. [Gloster.] Friend, leave us to ourselves; we must confer.

The lieutenant quits the room. [Henry.] So flies the reckless shepherd from the wolf!

What bloody scene hath Roscius now to act ? [Gloster.] Suspicion always haunts the guilty mind :

The thief doth fear each bush an officer. [Henry.] Where thieves without controlment rob and kill, The traveller doth fear each bush a thief:

bird that hath been already lim’d,
With trembling wing misdoubts of every bush;
And I, the hapless mate to one sweet bird,
Have now the fatal object in my eye,

By whom my young one bled, was caught, and kill'd [Gloster.] Why, what a peevish fool was that of Crete,

That taught his son the office of a fowl !
And yet, for all his wings, the fool was drown'd.
Thou should'st have taught thy boy his prayers alone,

And then, he had not broken his neck with climbing. [Henry.] Ah, kill me with thy weapon, not thy words:

My breast can better brook thy dagger's point,
Than can my ears that piercing history.
But wherefore dost thou come ?-is't for


life? [Gloster.] Think'st thou I am an executioner? [Henry.] If murdering innocents be executing,

Then thou 'rt the worst of executioners. [Gloster.] Thy son I kill'd for his presumption.




[Henry.] Hadst thou been kill'd when thou didst first pre

Thou hadst not liv'd to kill a son of mine: [sume,
But thou wast born to massacre mankind.
How many old men's sighs and widows' groans,
How many orphans' water-standing eyes,
Will rue the hour that ever thou wast born!
The owl shriek'd at thy birth, the night-crow cried,
Dogs howld, and hideous tempests shook down trees :
The raven rook'd her in the chimney top,
And chattering pies in dismal discord sung ;
Thy mother felt more than a mother's pain,
And yet brought forth less than a mother's hope :
Teeth hadst thou in thy head when thou wast born,
Which plainly said thou cam'st to bite mankind :
And, if the rest be true which I have heard,

Thou cam'st[Gloster.] I'll hear no more ;—die, prophet, in thy speech : For this among

the rest was Richard born. [Henry.] Oh, and for much more murder after this!

O God, forgive my sins, and pardon thee !
[Gloster.] What, will the aspiring blood of Lancaster

Sink in the ground ? I thought it would have mounted.
See, how my sword weeps for the poor king's death.
Oh, may such purple tears be always shed
By those that wish the downful of our house !
If any spark of life be yet remaining,
Down, down to hell; and say I sent thee thither,-
I that have neither pity, love, nor fear.
Indeed, 'tis true what Henry told me of ;
For I have often heard


When I came in the world, the women cried
“Good heaven bless us, he is born with teeth!"
And so I was ; which plainly signified
That I should snarl, and bite, and play the dog.
Then, since the heavens have shap'd my body so,
Let hell make crook'd my mind to answer it.
I have no brother ; I am like no brother;
And that word-love, which graybeards call divine,

Be resident in men like one another,
And not in me; I am myself alone.
Clarence, beware! thou keep'st me from the light:
King Henry, and the prince his son, are gone;
Clarence, thy turn is next; and then the rest :
I count

yself but bad, until the best.



HISTORICAL MEMORANDA. Eleven years elapsed between the battle of Tewkesbury and the death of Edward IV. The chief of the public acts during this time was an invasion of France, which ended in a treaty. Margaret of Anjou was ransomed, and spent the remainder of her days in privacy at the court of her relations abroad. Meanwhile, the English court was filled with animosities; and tradition has aseribed the chief of them to the machinations of Richard duke of Gloster. Clarence was killed in the Tower in 1478. Edward died in 1482. It was in the intermediate time, between the battle of Tewkesbury and the death of Edward, that the duke of Gloster married Anne, Warwick's second daughter, who had been betrothed to Prince Edward of Lancaster. The poet, in passages which will be omitted, gives a different impression of the fact.

We are to imagine a street in London : Richard duke of Gloster enters, and, while waiting for his brother Clarence, whom he expects to be brought this way, engages in soliloquy: [Gloster.] Now is the winter of our discontent

Made glorious summer by the sun of York;
And all the clouds that lower'd upon our house
In the deep bosom of the ocean buried :
Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths;
Our bruised arms hung up for monuments;
Our stern alarms are chang'd to merry meetings;

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