« PreviousContinue »
Of with his head :-now, by Saint Paul I swear,
Exeunt Council, with Glo. and Buck.
i Lovel, and Catesby, look, that it be done ;] In former copies :
Lovel, and Ratcliff, look, that it be done. The scene is here in the Tower; and Lord Hastings was cut off on that very day, when Rivers, Grey, and Vaughan suffered at Pomfret. How then could Ratcliff be both in Yorkshire and the Tower? In the scene preceding this, we find him conducting those gentlemen to the block. In the old quarto, we find it, Exeunt: Manet Catesby with Hastings. And in the next scene, be. fore the Tower walls, we find Lovel and Catesby come back from the execution, bringing the head of Hastings. Theobald.
Mr. Theobald should have added, that, in the old quarto, no names are mentioned in Richard's speech. He only says—"some see it done.” Nor, in that edition, does Lovel appear in the next scene; but only Catesby, bringing the head of Hastings. The confusion seems to have arisen, when it was thought necessary that Catesby should be employed to fetch the Mayor, who, in the quarto, is made to come without having been sent for. As some other person was then wanted to bring the head of Hastings, the poet, or the players, appointed Lovel and Ratcliff to that office, without reflecting that the latter was engaged in another service on the same day at Pomfret. Tyrwhitt.
I have adopted the emendation, because in one scene at least it prevents the glaring impropriety mentioned by Mr. Theobald. But unfortunately, as Mr. Tyrwhitt has observed, this very impropriety is found in the next scene, where Ratcliff is introduced, and where it cannot be corrected without taking greater liberties than perhaps are justifiable. For there, in consequence of the in. judicious alteration made, I think, by the players, instead of "Here comes the Mayor,” the reading of the quarto, we find in the folio
“ Rich. But what, is Catesby gone?
“ Buck. He is, and see he brings the Mayor along." Catesby being thus employed, he cannot bring in the head of Hastings; nor can that office be assigned to Lovel only; because Gloster in the folio mentions two persons: “Be patient, they are friends; Ratcliff, and Lovel.”
Malone. 2 The rest, that love me, rise, and follow me.] So, in The Battle of Alcazar, 1594:
“And they that love my honour, follow me.” Malone.
But I disdain'd it, and did scorn to fly.
Cates. Despatch, my lord, the duke would be at dinner; Make a short shrift, he longs to see your head.
Hast. O momentary grace of mortal men,
s Three times to-day my foot-oloth horse did stumble, &c. So, in The Legend of Lord Hastings, by M. D. 1563. (Master Dólman.]
“My palfrey, in the playnest paved streete,
“ Thryse shonnd (as Balams asse) the dreaded tower." To stumble was anciently esteem'd a bad omen. So, in The Honest Lawyer : “And just at the threshold Master Bromley stumbled. Signs! signs !"
The housings of a horse, and sometimes a horse himself, were anciently denominated a foot-cloth. So, in Ben Jonson's play called The Case is Altered:
“I'll go on my foot-cloth, I 'll turn gentleman.” Again, in A fair Quarrel, by Middleton, 1617:
" thou shalt have a physician,
“ The best that gold can feich upon his foot-cloth." Again, in Ram. Alley, or Merry Tricks, 1610:
“— nor shall I need to try
“Be able to out-run a well-breath'd catchpole.” Steevens. Stanley did dream, the boar did rase his helm ;
Three times to-day my foot-cloth horse did stumble,] So Holin. shed, after Sir Thomas More: “A marvellous case it is to heare, either the warnings of that he should have voided, or the tokens, of that he could not voide, for the selfe night next before his death the L. Stanley sent a trustie secret messenger unto him at midnight, in all the haste, &c. See p 91, n. 7.1-Certain it is also, that in riding towards the Tower the same morning in which he Hastings) was beheaded, his horse twise or thrise stumbled with him, almost to the falling: which thing, albeit each man wot well daily happeneth to them to whome no such mischance is toward: vet hath it beene of an old rite and custome observed as a token oftentimes notablie foregoing some great misfortune."
Which we more hunt for than the grace of God! - Who builds his hope in air of your fair looks,
Lives like a drunken sailor on a mast;
Lov. Come, come, despatch ; 'tis bootless to exclaim.
Hast. O, bloody Richard !-miserable England! I prophecy the fearful'st time to thee, That ever wretched age hath look'd upon.Come, lead me to the block, 5 bear him my head; They smile at me, who shortly shall be dead.6 [Exeunt.
The same. The Tower-Walls. Enter GLOSTER and BUCKINGHAM, in rusty armour,?
marvellous ill-favoured. Glo. Come, cousin, canst thou quake, and change thy
colour? Murder thy breath in middle of a word, And then again begin, and stop again, As if thou wert distraught, and mad with terror? · Buck. Tut, I can counterfeit the deep tragedian; Speak, and look back, and pry on every side, Tremble and start at wagging of a straw
4 Who builds &c.] So, Horace:
“ Nescius auræ fallacis." Johnson. 5 Come, lead me to the block,1 William Lord Hastings was bebeaded on the 13th of June, 1483. His eldest son by Catharine Neville, daughter of Richard Neville Earl of Salisbury, and widow of William Lord Bonville, was restored to his honours and estate by King Henry VII, in the first year of his reign. The daughter of Lady Hastings by her first husband was married to the Marquis of Dorset, who appears in the present play. Malone.
6 They smile at me, who shortly shall be deait.] i. e. those who now smile at me, shall be shortly dead themselves. Malone,
7 in rusty armour, &c.] Thus Holinshed: " The protector immediately after dinner, intending to set some colour upon the matter, sent in all haste for many substantial men out of the ci. tie into the Tower; and at their coming, himselfe with the duke of Buckingham, stood harnessed in old ill-faring briganders, such as no man should weene that they would vouchsafe to have put upon their backes, except that some sudden necessitie had con streined them.” Steevens.
Intending deep suspicion : 8 ghastly looks
Enter the Lord Mayor and CATESBY.
or, Glo. Look to the draw-bridge there. Buck.
Hark, hark! a drum.” Glo. Catesby, o’erlook the walls. Buck. Lord mayor, the reason we have sent for you, Glo. Look back, defend thee, here are enemies.
Buck. God and our innocence defend and guard us! Enter Lovel and RATCLIFF, with Hastings's Head. Glo. Be patient, they are friends; Ratcliff, and Lovel.
Lov. Here is the head of that ignoble traitor, The dangerous and unsuspected Hastings.
Glo. So dear I lov'd the man, that I must weep. I took him for the plainest harmless't creature,2 That breath'd upon the earth a Christian ;3
8 Intending deep suspicion:]i. e. pretending. So, in Much Ado about Nothing: “ Intend a kind of zeal both to the Prince and Claudio."
Steevens. See Vol. VI, p. 106, n. 8. Malone.
4 Hark, hark! a drum.] I have repeated the interjection—hark, for the sake of metre. Steevens.
1 Enter Lovel and Ratcliff,7 The quarto has "Enter Catesby, with Hastings' head,” and Gloster, on his entry, says "0, 0, be quiet, it is Catesby.” For this absurd alteration, by which Ratcliff is represented at Pomfret and in London at the same time, I have no doubt that the player-editors are answerable.
Malone. 2 harmless't creature,] The old copies read harmless; but grammar requires harmless't, (i. e. barmlessest,) a common contraction, as I am assured, both in Leicestershire and Warwick. shire. So afterwards, p. 107, we have covert'st for covertest.
Steesens. the earth a Christian;] Here the quarto adds:
Look you, my lord mayor. This hemistich I have inserted in the following speech of Buck. ingham, to which I believe it originally belonged; as without it we meet with an imperfect verse:
Made him my book, wherein my soul recorded
Buck. Well, well, he was the covert'st shelter'd traitor
May. What! had he so?
Glo. What! think you we are Turks, or infidels?
May. Now, fair befal you! he desery'd his death;
Buck. Yet had we not determin’d he should die,
May. But, my good lord, your grace's word shall serve,
“Well, well, he was the covert'st shelter'd traitor
“ Would you imagine,” &c. I have since observed, that Mr. Capell has the same transposi. tion. Steevens.
4- his conversation - i.e. familiar intercourse. The phrase criminal conversation, is yet in daily use. Malone.