Imágenes de páginas

For Somerset, off with his guilty head.
Go, bear them hence; I will not hear them speak.
Oxf. For my part, I'll not trouble thee with words.
Som. Nor I, but stoop with patience to my for-
tune. [Exeunt Oxf. and Som. guarded.
*Q. Mar. So part we sadly in this troublous world,*
To meet with joy in sweet Jerusalem.
*K. Edw. Is proclamation made,-that, who'
finds Edward,

*Shall have a high reward, and he his life? * Glo. Itis: and, lo, where youthful Edward comes. Enter Soldiers with Prince Edward.

[ocr errors]

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

coat, And ne'er have stol'n the breech from Lancaster. Prince. Let Esop! fable in a winter's night; His currish riddles sort not with this place.

Glo. By heaven, brat, I'll plague you for that word. Q. Mar. Ay, thou wast born to be a plague to men. Glo. For God's sake, take away this captive scold. Prince. Nay, take away this scolding crookback rather.

'K. Edw. Peace, wilful boy, or I will charm2 your tongue.

Clar. Untutor'd lad, thou art too malapert. Prince. I know my duty, you are all undutiful: Lascivious Edward,--and thou perjur'd George,And thou misshapen Dick,-I tell ye all, I am your better, traitors as ye are ;*And thou usurp'st my father's right and mine.

K. Edw. Take that, the likeness of this railer
[Stabs him.
*Glo. Sprawl'st thou? take that, to end thy
[Glo. stabs him.
*Clar. And there's for twitting me with perjury.
[Clar. stabs him.
[Offers to kill her.

Q. Mar. O, kill me too!
Glo. Marry, and shall.

K. Edw. Hold, Richard, hold, for we have
done too much.

Glo. Why should she live, to fill the world with words?3

*What! can so young a thorn begin to prick?
Edward, what satisfaction canst thou make,
For bearing arms, for stirring up my subjects,
* And all the trouble thou hast turn'd me to?
Prince. Speak like a subject, proud ambitious 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 petti-'Twas sin before,4 but now 'tis charity.

K. Edw. What! doth she swoon? use means for her recovery.

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?-O traitors! murderers!They, that stabb'd Cæsar, shed no blood at all, Did not offend, nor were not worthy blame, * If this foul decd were by, to equal it. He was a man; this, in respect, a child;

(1) The prince calls Richard, for his crookedness, Æsop.

(2) i. e. I will compel you to be as silent as if you were deprived of speech by enchantment,



And men ne'er spend their fury on a child.
What's worse than murderer, that I may name it?
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-


But, if you ever chance to have a child, Look in his youth to have him so cut As, deathsmen! you have rid this sweet young prince!

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

Q. Mar. Nay, never bear me hence, despatch me here;

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

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

Q. Mar. Ay, but thou usest to forswear thyself;

What! wilt thou not? where is that devil's butcher, Hard-favour'd Richard? Richard, where art thou? 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 hence.

Q. Mar. So come to you, and yours, 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



Now march we hence: discharge the common sort With 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. [Exeunt. SCENE VI.-London. A room in the Tower, King Henry is discovered sitting with a book in his hand, the Lieutenant attending. Enter Gloster.

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 lord. * Glo. Sirrah, leave us to ourselves: we must confer. [Exit Lieutenant. *K. Hen. So flies the reckless5 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 mind; The thief doth fear each bush an officer.

'K. Hen. The bird, that hath been limed in a bush,

With trembling wings misdoubteth every bush, And I, the hapless male to one sweet bird, Have now the fatal object in my eye,

(3) Dispute, contention.

(4) She alludes to the desertion of Clarence. (5) Careless.

(6) To misdoubt is to suspect danger, to fear.

[blocks in formation]


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. Hadst 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 parcel2 of my fear; And many an old man's sigh, and many a widow's,

And many an orphan's water-standing eye,'Men for their sons, wives for their husbands' fate, And orphans for their parents' timeless death, '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 trees;

The raven rook'd3 her on the chimney's top,
And chattering pies in dismal discords
Thy mother felt more than a mother's pain,
And yet brought forth less than a mother's hope;
To wit,-an indigest deformed lump,
Not like the fruit of such a goodly tree.
Teeth hadst thou in thy head, when thou wast born,
To signify,-thou 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 af-

ter this.

O God! forgive my sins, and pardon thee! [Dies. Glo. 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! O, may such purple tears be always shed "From those that wish the downfal of our house!'If any spark of life be yet remaining, Down, down to hell; and say-I sent thee thither, [Stabs him again. I, that have neither pity, love, nor fear.Indeed, 'tis true, that Henry 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 signifiedThat I should snarl, and bite, and play the dog. Then, since the heavens have shap'd my body so,

(1) Childish.

(2) No part of what my fears presage.


Let hell make crook'd my mind to answer it.
I have no brother, I am like no brother:
And this word-love, which grey beards 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;
But I will sort a pitchy day for thee:
For I will buzz 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, Henry, in thy day of doom. [Exit.
SCENE VII.-The same. A room in the pal-
ace. King Edward is discovered sitting on his
throne; Queen Elizabeth with the infant prince,
Clarence, Gloster, Hastings, and others, near

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

Re-purchas'd with the blood of enemies.
What valiant foe-men, like to autumn's corn,
Have we mow'd down, in tops of all their pride?
Three dukes of Somerset, threefold renown'd
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 sound:
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,
the crown in
That thou might'st repossess
And of our labours thou shalt
the gain.
Glo. I'll blast his harvest, if your head were laid;
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

back: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, I seal upon the lips of this sweet babe.

K. Edw. Thanks, noble Clarence; worthy brother, thanks.

'Glo. And, that I love the tree from whence thou sprang'st,



Witness the loving kiss I give the fruit To say the truth, so Judas kiss'd his

master; And cried-all hail!-when as he meant


-all harm;

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,

[blocks in formation]


And hither have they sent it for her ransom.
K. Edw. Away with her, and waft her hence to

And now what rests, but that we spend the time
With stately triumphs, mirthful comic shows,
Such as befit the pleasures of the court?-
Sound, drums and trumpets!-farewell, sour annoy!
For here, I hope, begins our lasting joy. [Exeunt.

[blocks in formation]

matter itself will defeat the artist. Of every author's works one will be the best, and one will be the worst. The colours are not equally pleasing, nor the attitudes equally graceful, in all the pictures of Titian or Reynolds.

Dissimilitude of style and heterogeneousness of sentiment, may sufficiently show that a work does not really belong to the reputed author. But in these plays no such marks of spuriousness are found. The diction, the versification, and the figures, are Shakspeare's. These plays, considered without regard to characters and incidents, merely as narratives in verse, are more happily conceived, and more accurately finished, than those of King John, Richard II. or the tragic scenes of King Henry IV. and V. If we take these plays from Shakspeare, to whom shall they be given? What au thor of that age had the same easiness of expression and fluency of numbers?

The truth is, that they have not sufficient variety Of these three plays I think the second the best. of action, for the incidents are too often of the same kind; yet many of the characters are well disEdward, the Duke of Gloucester, and the Earl of criminated. King Henry, and his Queen, King Warwick, are very strongly and distinctly painted.





Sir William Catesby. Sir James Tyrrel.
Sir James Blount. Sir Walter Herbert.
Sons to the king. Sir Robert Brakenbury, lieutenant of the Tower.
Christopher Urswick, a priest. Another priest.
Lord Mayor of London. Sheriff of Wiltshire.

King Edward the Fourth.
Edward, prince of Wales, after-
wards King Edward V.
Richard, duke of York,
George, duke of Clarence,
Richard, duke of Gloster,
afterwards King Rich. III.
young Son of Clarence.
Henry, earl of Richmond, afterwards king
Henry VII.


Cardinal Bouchier, archbishop of Canterbury.
Thomas Rotheram, archbishop of York.
John Morton, bishop of Ely.

Duke of Buckingham.

Duke of Norfolk; Earl of Surrey, his son.
Earl Rivers, brother to king Edward's queen:
Marquis of Dorset, and Lord Grey, her sons.
Earl of Oxford. Lord Hastings. Lord Stanley.

Lord Lovel.

Sir Thomas Vaughan. Sir Richard Ratcliff.

Brothers to the


Now is the winter of our discontent

Made glorious summer by this 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 alarums chang'd to merry meetings,
Our dreadful marches to delightful measures.
Grim-visag'd War hath smooth'd his wrinkled front;
And now, instead of mounted barbed2 steeds,
To fright the souls of fearful adversaries,-
He capers nimbly in a lady's chamber,
the lascivious pleasing of a lute.

Elizabeth, queen of king Edward IV.
Margaret, widow of king Henry VI
Duchess of York, mother to king Edward IV.
Clarence, and Gloster.

But I,-that am not shap'd for sportive tricks,
Nor made to court an amorous looking-glass;
I, that am rudely stamp'd, and want love's majesty,
To strut before a wanton ambling nymph;
I, that am curtail'd of this fair proportion,
Cheated of feature by dissembling nature,
Deform'd, unfinish'd, sent before my time
Into this breathing world, scarce half made up,
And that so lamely and unfashionable,
That dogs bark at me, as I halt by them ;-
Why I, in this weak piping time of peace,
Have no delight to pass away the time;
Unless to spy my shadow in the sun,
And descant on mine own deformity;
And therefore, since I cannot prove a lover,
To entertain these fair well-spoken days,-
I am determined to prove a villain,

(1) Dances.

(2) Armed,

Lady Anne, widow of Edward, prince of Wales, son to king Henry VI.; afterwards married to the Duke of Gloster.

A young Daughter of Clarence.

Lords and other attendants; two Gentlemen, a
Pursuivant, Scrivener, Citizens, Murderers,
Messengers, Ghosts, Soldiers, &c.

Scene, England.


SCENE I-London. A street. Enter Gloster. By drunken prophecies, libels, and dreams,
To set my brother Clarence, and the king,
In deadly hate the one against the other:
And, if king Edward be as true and just,
As I am subtle, false, and treacherous,
This day should Clarence closely be mew'd up;
About a prophecy, which says-that G
Of Edward's heirs the murderer shall be.
Dive, thoughts, down to my soul! here Clarence


And hate the idle pleasures of these days.
Plots have I laid, inductions3 dangerous,

[blocks in formation]

Glo. Why, this it is, when men are rul'd by¦|


'Tis not the king that sends you to the Tower;
My lady Grey, his wife, Clarence, 'tis she,
That tempers him to this extremity.
Was it not she, and that good man of worship,
Antony Woodeville, her brother there,
That made him send lord Hastings to the Tower;
From whence this present day he is deliver'd?
We are not safe, Clarence, we are not safe.

You may partake of any thing we say:
We speak no treason, man;-We say the king
Is wise and virtuous; and his noble queen
Well struck in years; fair, and not jealous;
We say, that Shore's wife hath a pretty foot,
A cherry lip,

Clar. By heaven, I think, there is no man secure,
But the queen's kindred, and night-walking heralds
That trudge betwixt the king and mistress Shore.
Heard you not, what an humble suppliant
Lord Hastings was to her for his delivery?


Glo. Humbly complaining to her deity
Got lord chamberlain his liberty.
I'll tell you what,-I think, it is our way,
If we will keep in favour with the king,
To be her men, and wear her livery:
The jealous o'er-worn widow, and herself,1
Since that our brother dubb'd them gentlewomen,,
Are mighty gossips in this monarchy.

Brak. I beseech your graces both to pardon me;
His majesty hath straitly given in charge,
That no man shall have private conference,
Of what degree soever, with his brother.
Glo. Even so? an please your worship, Braken-

A bonny eye, a passing pleasing tongue;
And the queen's kindred are made gentlefolks:
How say you, sir? can you deny all this?
Brak. With this, my lord, myself have nought

to do.

Glo. Naught to do with mistress Shore? I tell thee, fellow,

He that doth naught with her, excepting one,
Were best to do it secretly, alone.

Brak. What one, my lord?

Glo. Her husband, knave:-Would'st thou betray me?

Brak. I beseech your grace to pardon me; and,
Forbear your conference with the noble duke.
Clar. We know thy charge, Brakenbury, and
will obey.

Glo. We are the queen's abjects,2 and must obey.
Brother, farewell : will unto the king;
And whatsoever you will employ me in,-
Were it, to call king Edward's widow-sister,-
I will perform it to enfranchise you.
Mean time, this deep disgrace in brotherhood,
Touches me deeper than you can imagine.

Clar. I know it pleaseth neither of us well.
Glo. Well, your imprisonment shall not be long;
I will deliver you, or else lie for you:
Mean time, have patience.
I must perforce; farewell.
[Exeunt Clarence, Brakenbury, and Guard.
Glo. Go, tread the path that thou shalt ne'er


Simple, plain Clarence!—I do love thee so,
That I will shortly send thy soul to heaven,
If heaven will take the present at our hands.
But who comes here? the new-deliver'd Hastings?

(1) The queen and Shore. (2) Lowest of subjects.

Enter Hastings.

Hast. Good time of day unto my gracious lord!
Glo. As much unto my good lord chamberlain !
Well are you welcome to this open air.
How hath your lordship brook'd imprisonment?
Hast. With patience, noble lord, as prisoners


But I shall live, my lord, to give them thanks,
That were the cause of my imprisonment.

Glo. No doubt, no doubt; and so shall Clarence

For they, that were your enemies, are his,
And have prevail'd as much on him, as you.

Hast. More pity that the eagle should be mew'd,
While kites and buzzards prey at liberty.

Glo. What news abroad?

Hast. No news so bad abroad, as this at home:-
The king is sickly, weak, and melancholy.
And his physicians fear him mightily.

Glo. Now, by saint Paul, this news is bad indeed.
he hath kept an evil diet long,
And over-much consum'd his royal person;
What, is he in his bed?
'Tis very grievous to be thought upon.


He is.
Glo. Go you before, and I will follow you.
He cannot live, I hope; and must not die,
[Exit Hastings.
Till George be pack'd with posthorse up to heaven.
I'll in to urge his hatred more to Clarence,
With lies well steel'd with weighty arguments;
And, if I fail not in my deep intent,
Clarence hath not another day to live:
Which done, God take king Edward to his mercy,
And leave the world for me to bustle in!
For then I'll marry Warwick's youngest daughter:
What though I kill'd her husband, and her father?
Is-to become her husband, and her father:
The readiest way to make the wench amends,
The which will I; not all so much for love,
As for another secret close intent,
By marrying her, which I must reach unto.
But yet I run before my horse to market:
Clarence still breathes: Edward still lives, and


When they are gone, then must I count my gains. [Exit.

SCENE II.-The same.

Another street. En

ter the corpse of King Henry the Sixth, borne in an open coffin, Gentlemen bearing halberds, to guard it; and Lady Anne aş mourner.

[blocks in formation]
« AnteriorContinuar »