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Alarum and Retreat, Enter EDWARD, GEORGE, Rich
ARD, MONTAGUE, WARWICK, and Soldiers. • Edw. Now breathe we, lords;o good fortune bids
us pause, • And smooth the frowns of war1 with peaceful looks.* Some troops pursue the bloody-minded queen;. That led calm Henry, though he were a king, • As doth a sail, fill'd with a fretting gust, « Command an argosy to stem the waves. • But think you, lords, that Clifford fled with them?
War. No, 'tis impossible that he should escape: For, though before his face I speak the words, Your brother Richard mark’d him for the grave:2 And wheresoe'er he is he's surely dead.
[Clir. groans, and dies. Edw. Whose soul 3 is that which takes her heavy
8 I stabb'd your fathers' bosoirs, split my breast.] So, the folio. The quartos read:
“I stabb'd your fathers', now come split my breast.” Steevens. 9 Now breathe we, lords ;] Instead of this speech, the quartos have the following:
“ Thus far our fortunes keep an upward course,
Steevens. This battle, in which the house of York was victorious, was fought on a plain between Towton and Saxton, on the 29th of March, (Palm Sunday) 1461. The royal army consisted, according to Hall, of about forty thousand men; and the young Duke of York's forces were 48,760. In this combat, which lasted fourteen hours, and in the actions of the two following days, thirty-six thousand seven hundred and seventy-six persons are said to have been killed; the greater part of whom were undoubt. edly Lancastrians. Malone. 1 And smooth the frowns of war -] So, in King Kichard III: “ Grim-visag'd war hath smooth'd his wrinkled front."
Steevens. - mark'd him for the grave:] Young has transferred this expression to Alonzo in The Revenge :
- This only marks my body for the grave." A similar phrase occurs in Chapman's version of the fifth Iliad:
“Our bravest foe is mark'd for death; he cannot long sustain “ My violent shaft, -_" Steevens.
Rich. A deadly groan, like life and death's departing. 4
Edw. See who it is : and, now the battle 's ended, If friend, or foe, let him be gently us’d.
• Rich. Revoke that doom of mercy, for 'tis Clifford ; • Who not contented that he lopp'd the branch • In hewing Rutland when his leaves put forth,5 • But set his murdering knife unto the root « From whence that tender spray did sweetly spring, • I mean, our princely father, duke of York.
War. From off the gates of York fetch down the head, Your father's head, which Clifford placed there : • Instead whereof, let this supply the room; Measure for measure must be answered.
Edw. Bring forth that fatal screech-owl to our house, • That nothing sung but death to us and ours : 6
3 Edw. Whose soul &c.] I have distinguished this and the two following speeches according to the authority of the quarto. The folio gave all to Richard, except the last line and half. Steevens.
I have also followed the original regulation, because it seems absurd that Richard should first say to his brother, or to one of the soldiers, “ See who it is ;”—and then, himself declare that it is Clifford; and therefore I suppose the variation in the folio arose, not from Shakspeare, but from some negligence or inac. curacy of a compositor or transcriber. Malone.
like life and death's departing.) Sir Thomas Hanmer reads, like life in death departing; which Dr. Warburton has received.
Fohnson The quartos read, like life and death's departure. Steevens. like life and death's departing ] Departing for separation
Malone. There is no occasion for correction. " "Till death us depart” was the expression in the old Marriage Service. Farmer.
5 In hewing Rutland when his leaves put forth,] It is manifest from this and many other passages, that the author of the old play, where the corresponding line stands thus
“ Who killed our tender brother Rutland -_" imagined that Rutland was younger than George and Richard; whereas he was in fact older than them both, being the Duke of York's second son; in consequence of which he bore a title by courtesy: and a particular stipulation was made in the compact entered into between Henry and the Duke of York, that Rutland, as well as his elder brother Edward Earl of March, should swear to the due observance of the agreement. Shakspeare has, he see, fallen into the same error; as have Habington in his nervous and elegant History of Edward I, and several other historians.
Now death shall stop his dismal threatening sound,
[Attendants bring the Body forward.
Rich. O, 'would he did! and so, perhaps, he doth; ''Tis but his policy to counterfeit,
Because he would avoid such bitter taunts • Which in the time of death he gave our father. Geo. If so thou think'st, vex him with eager
words.? Rich. Clifford, ask mercy, and obtain no grace. Edw. Clifford, repent in bootless penitence. War. Clifford, devise excuses for thy faults. Geo. While we devise fell tortures for thy faults. • Rich. Thou didst love York, and I am son to York. Edw. Thou pitied’st Rutland, I will pity thee. Geo. Where's captain Margaret, to fence you now? War. They mock thee, Clifford! swear as thou wast
wont. • Rich. What, not an oath ? nay, then the world goes
hard, When Clifford cannot spare his friends an oath :I know by that, he 's dead; And, by my soul, • If this right hand would buy two hours' life, That I in all despite might rail at him, • This hand should chop it off ; and with the issuing blood Stifle the villain, whose unstaunched thirst York and young Rutland could not satisfy.
War. Ay, but he's dead:t Off with the traitor's head, And rear it in the place your father's stands.And now to London with triumphant march,
- screech-owl to our house, That nothing sung but death &c.] So, in King Richard III: “Out on you, owls! nothing but songs of death!” Steevens.
eager words. ] Sour words; words of asperity. Johnson. So, in Hamlet:
“ It is a nipping and an eager air.”. Steevens. + Ay, but he's dead:] This reply of Warwick, is a severe and sarcastic reproof of the daunt of Richard, and implies that Richard was perfectly satisfied, previous to making such a hard oath, that Clifford was dead. Am. Ed.
There to be crowned England's royal king.
Edw. Even as thou wilt, sweet Warwick, let it be :
And George, of Clarence ;-Warwick, as ourself,
War. Tut, that's a foolish observation ;
8 And then to Britany I'll cross the sea,] Thus the folio. The quartos thus:
“ And afterward I 'll cross the seas to France." Steevens.
too ominous.) Alluding, perhaps, to the deaths of Thomas of Woodstock, and Humphrey, Dukes of Gloster. Steevens.
The author of the original play, in which this line is found, probably had here a passage in Hall's Chronicle in his thoughts: " It seemeth to many men that the name and title of Gloucester hath bene unfortunate and unluckie to diverse, whiche for their honor have bene erected by creation of princes to that stile and dignitie; as Hugh Spencer, Thomas of Woodstocke, son to kynge Edwarde the thirde, and this duke Humphrey, (who was killed at Bury;] whiche three persons by miserable death finished their daies; and after them king Richard the iji, also duke of Gloucester, in civil warre was slaine and confounded; so that this name of Gloucester is taken for an unbappie and unfortunate stile, as the proverbe speaketh of Sejanes horse, whose ryder was ever unhorsed, and whose possessor was ever brought to mi. serie,” Malone.
ACT III.....SCENE I.
A Chase in the North of England. Enter Two Keepers, with Cross-bows in their Hands. "1 Keen. Under this thick-grown brake? we'll shroud
ourselves; * For through this laund3 anon the deer will come; * And in this covert will we make our stand,
two Keepers,] In the folio, instead of two keepers, we have, through negligence, the names of the persons who represented these characters; Sinklo, and Humphrey. See Vol. VI, p. 19, n. 7. Malone.
Dr. Grey observes from Hall and Holinshed, that the name of the person who took King Henry, was Cantlowe
See Mr. Tyrwhitt's note on the first scene in The Taming of a Shrew.
I learn also from one of the Paston Letters, Vol. I, p. 249, that Giles Senctlowe was among the persons then in Scotland with the Queen. Steevens.
One Giles Santlowe, Esquire, is among those attainted by King Edward's first parliament, and may possibly be here meant, but no person of that name seems to have been any way concerned in the capture of the late king; who, according to W. Wyrcester, was actually taken in Lancashire, by two knights named John Talbois and Richard Tunstall, July, 1464. Drummond of Haw. thornden observes, it was recorded “that a son of Sir Edward Talbots apprehended him as he sat at dinner in Waddingtown-hall; and like a common malefactor, with his legs under the horse's belly, guarded him toward London." It is a more certain fact, which I have from records in the Duchy Office, that King Ed. ward granted to Sir Fames Harrington a rent-charge of one hundred pounds out of his lordship of Rowland in Lancashire, in recompence of his great and laborious diligence about the capture and detention of the king's great traitor, rebel and enemy, lately called Henry the Sixth, made by the said James; and like. wise annuities to Richard Talbot, Thomas Talbot, Esquires,Talbot, and Livesey, for their services in the same capture. See also, Rymer's Federa, xi, 548. Henry had for some time been harboured by James Maychell of Crakenthorpe, Westmoreland. Ib. 575. It seems clear, however, that the present scene is to be placed near the Scottish border. The King himself says:
“ From Scotland am I stol'n, even of pure love:” And Hall (and Holinshed after him) tells us “He was no sooner entered into England] but he was knowen and taken of one Cantlow, and brought toward the king.” Ritson.
- brake --] A brake anciently signified a thicket. So, in A Midsummer Night's Dream: “This green plot shall be our stage this hawthorn brake our tiring-house.” Again : "Enter into that brake, and so every one according to his cue.” Steevens.