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For Somerset, off with his guilty head.
*Shall have a high reward, and he his life? * Glo. Itis: and, lo, where youthful Edward comes. Enter Soldiers with Prince Edward.
*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
Q. Mar. O, kill me too!
K. Edw. Hold, Richard, hold, for we have
Glo. Why should she live, to fill the world with words?3
*What! can so young a thorn begin to prick?
Q. Mar. Ah, that thy father had been so resolv'd!
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.
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.
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,
Glo. I'll hear no more;-Die, prophet, in thy Stabs him.
For this, amongst the rest, was I ordain'd.
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,
(2) No part of what my fears presage.
Let hell make crook'd my mind to answer it.
That Edward shall be fearful of his life;
K. Edw. Once more we sit in England's royal throne,
Re-purchas'd with the blood of enemies.
That in their chains fetter'd the kingly lion,
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
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.
And now what rests, but that we spend the time
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.
LIFE AND DEATH OF
KING RICHARD III.
Sir William Catesby. Sir James Tyrrel.
King Edward the Fourth.
Cardinal Bouchier, archbishop of Canterbury.
Duke of Buckingham.
Duke of Norfolk; Earl of Surrey, his son.
Sir Thomas Vaughan. Sir Richard Ratcliff.
Brothers to the
Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this sun of York;
Elizabeth, queen of king Edward IV.
But I,-that am not shap'd for sportive tricks,
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
SCENE I-London. A street. Enter Gloster. By drunken prophecies, libels, and dreams,
And hate the idle pleasures of these days.
Glo. Why, this it is, when men are rul'd by¦|
'Tis not the king that sends you to the Tower;
You may partake of any thing we say:
Clar. By heaven, I think, there is no man secure,
Glo. Humbly complaining to her deity
Brak. I beseech your graces both to pardon me;
A bonny eye, a passing pleasing tongue;
Glo. Naught to do with mistress Shore? I tell thee, fellow,
He that doth naught with her, excepting one,
Brak. What one, my lord?
Glo. Her husband, knave:-Would'st thou betray me?
Brak. I beseech your grace to pardon me; and,
Glo. We are the queen's abjects,2 and must obey.
Clar. I know it pleaseth neither of us well.
Simple, plain Clarence!—I do love thee so,
(1) The queen and Shore. (2) Lowest of subjects.
Hast. Good time of day unto my gracious lord!
But I shall live, my lord, to give them thanks,
Glo. No doubt, no doubt; and so shall Clarence
For they, that were your enemies, are his,
Hast. More pity that the eagle should be mew'd,
Glo. What news abroad?
Hast. No news so bad abroad, as this at home:-
Glo. Now, by saint Paul, this news is bad indeed.
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.