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Q. Eliz. Ah, cut my lace asunder!
That my pent heart may have some scope to beat,
Or else I swoon with this dead-killing news.

Anne. Despiteful tidings! O unpleasing news!
Dor. Be of good cheer:-Mother, how fares your

grace?
Q. Eliz. O Dorset, speak not to me, get thee gone,
Death and destruction dog thee at the heels;
Thy mother's name is ominous to children :
If thou wilt out-strip death, go cross the seas,
And live with Richmond, from the reach of hell.
Go, hie thee, hie thee from this slaughter-house,
Lest thou encrease the number of the dead;
And make me die the thrall to Margaret's curse,
Nor mother, wife, 1 nor England's counted queen.

Stan. Full of wise care is this your counsel, madam :-
Take all the swift advantage of the hours;
You shall have letters from me to my son
In your behalf, to meet you on the way:
Be not ta'en tardy by unwise delay.

Duch. O ill-dispersing wind of misery
O my accursed womb, the bed of death;
A cockatrice hast thou hatch'd to the world,
Whose unavoided eye is murderous!?

Stan. Come, madam, come; I in all haste was sent.

Anne. And I with all unwillingness will go.
O, would to God, that the inclusive verge
Of golden metal, that must round my brow,
Were red-hot steel, to sear me to the brain !3
Anointed let me be with deadly venom ;

i Nor mother, wife, &c.] See p. 39. Steevens. 2 A cockatrice Whose unavoided eye is murderous'] So, in Romeo and Juliet:

" the death-darting eye of cockatrice" The cockatrice is a serpent supposed to originate from a cock's egg. Steevens.

3 Were red-hot steel, to sear me to the brain!] She seems to al. lude to the ancient mode of punishing a regicide, or any other egregious criminal, viz. by placing a crown of iron, heated refl. hot, upon his head. See Respublica et Status Hungariæ, ex Offic. Elziv. 1634, p. 136. In the tragedy of Hoffman, 1631, this punishment is also introduced:

"Fix on thy master's head my burning crown."

And die, ere men can say—God save the queen!

. Eliz. Go, go, poor soul, I envy not thy glory; To feed my humour, wish thyself no harm.

Anne. No! why?-_When he, that is my husband now, Came to me, as I follow'd Henry's corse; When scarce the blood was well wash'd from his hands, Which issu'd from my other angel husband, And that dead saint which then I weeping follow'd; 0, when, I say, I look'd on Richard's face, This was my wish,—Be thou, quoth I, accursd, L'or making me, so young, so old a widow ! And, when thou wedst, let sorrow haunt thy bed; Ind be thy wife (if any be so mad) More miserable by the life of thee, Than thou hast made me by my dear lord's death! Lo, ere I can repeat this curse again, Even in so short a space, my woman's heart

Again:

" And wear his crown made hot with flaming fire.

“ Bring forth the burning crown there." Again, in Looke about you, a comedy, 1600:

“Ere on thy head I set a burning crowne,

“Of red hot yron, that shall seare thy braines.In some of the monkish accounts of a place of future torment, a burning crown is likewise appropriated to those who deprived any lawful monarch of his kingdom. Steevens. So Marlowe, in his King Edward II:

"L if proud Mortimer do wear this crown,

“ Heaven turn it to a blaze of quenchless fire." Malone. Marlowe's allusion is to the fatal crown which Creusa received, as a nuptial gift, from Medea;

«Χρυσές μεν αμφί κρατο κειμενος πγόκος,
“ OxvpGSTÒV rEv vãpece Troupéyou grupos.''

Euripidis Medea, v. 1195. Steevens. John, the son of Vaivode Stephen, having defeated the army of Hungarian peasants, called Croisadoes, in 1514, caused their general, “ called George, to be stript naked, upon whose head the executioner set a crown of hot burning iron." Goulart's Admirable and Memorable Histories, 1607. This is the fact to which Goldsmith alludes:

" Luke's iron crown, and Damien's bed of steel.” Though it was George, and not his brother Luke, who was so punished: but George's would not suit the poet's metre. The Earl of Atholl, who was executed on account of the murder of James I, King of Scots, was, previous to his death, “crowned with a hot <iton." See Holinshed. Ritson.

Grossly grew captive to his honey words,
And prov'd the subject of minę own soul's curse:
Which ever since hath held mine eyes from rest;
For never yet one hour in his bedo
Did I enjoy the golden dew of sleep,
But with his timorous dreams5 was still awak'd.
Besides, he hates me for my father Warwick;
And will, no doubt, shortly be rid of me.

Q. Eliz. Poor heart, adieu; I pity thy complaining.
Anne. No more than with my soul I mourn for yours,
Dor. Farewel, thou woful welcomer of glory!
Anne. Adieu, poor soul, that tak'st thy leave of it!
Duch. Go thou to Richmond, and good fortune guide
thee! -

To Dor. Go thou to Richard, and good angels tend thee!

[To ANNE. Go thou to sanctuary, and good thoughts possess thee!

[To Q. Eliz. I to my grave, where peace and rest lie with me! Eighty odd years6 of sorrow have I seen, And each hour's joy wreck'd with a week of teen.? Q. Eliz. Stay yet;8 look back, with me, unto the

Tower.

4 For never yet one hour in his bed ] Hour is here, as in many other places, used by Shakspeare as a dissyllable. Malone.

5 But with his timorous dreams -] 'Tis recorded by Polydore Virgil, that Richard was frequently disturbed by terrible dreams : this is therefore no fiction. Fohnson.

Perhaps the narratives of Polydore Virgil, like those of Hector Boethius, are of slight authority. Such at least, respecting the former of these writers, was the opinion of Owen, our epigrammatist :

“ Virgili duo sunt; alter Maro; tu, Polydore,

“ Alter; tu mendax, ille poeta fuit." Steevens. Eighty odd years &c.] Shakspeare has here, I believe, spoken at random. The present scene is in 1483 Richard, Duke of York, the husband of this lady, had he been then living, would have been but seventy-three years old, and we may reasonably suppose that bis Duchess was younger than he was. Nor did she go speedily to her grave. She lived till 1495. Malone.

7 And each bonr's joy wreck'd with a week of teen.] Teen is sorrow. So, in Romeo and Juliet:

“And yet to my teen be it spoken,” &c. Steevens. 8 Stay yet; &c.] This speech is not in the quarto. Malone.

me.

Pity, you ancient stones, those tender babes,
Whom envy hath immur'd within your walls !
Rough cradle for such little pretty ones!
Rude ragged nurse! old sullen play-fellow
For tender princes, use my babies well!
So foolish sorrow bids your stones farewel.: [Exeunt.

SCENE II.

A Room of State in the Palace. Flourish of Trumpets. RICHARD,as King upon his Throne;

BUCKINGHAM, CATESBY, a Page, and Others.
K. Rich. Stand all apart.-Cousin of Buckingham, -
Buck. My gracious sovereign.
K. Rich. Give me thy hand. Thus high, by thy ad-

rice,
And thy assistance, is king Richard seated :-
But shall we wear these glories for a day?
Or shall they last, and we rejoice in them?

Buck. Still live they, and for ever let them last!

K. Rich. Ah, Buckingham, now do I play the touch,2 To try if thou be current gold, indeedia

9 Rude ragged nurse! old sullen play-fellow - To call the Tower nurse and play-fellow is very harsh:, perhaps part of this speech is addressed to the Tower, and part to the Lieutenant. Johnson. The last line of this speech .

So foolish sorrow bids your stones farewel, proves that the whole of it is addressed to the Tower, and apo. logizes for the absurdity of that address, by attributing it to sorrow. M. Mason.

1 So foolish sorrow bids your stones farewel.] Hither the third Act should be extended, and here it very properly ends with a pause of action. Johnson.

The folio bas-sorrows. Corrected by Mr. Rowe. Malone.

2 — now do I play the touch,] To play the touch is to represent the touchstone. So, in the 16th Song of Drayton's Polyolbion :

“With alabaster, tuch, and porphyrv adorn'd).” Again, in the epistle of Mary the French Queen to Charles Brahdon, by Drarton:

- Before mine eye, like touch, thy shape did prove." Again, in Spen-er's Fairy Queen, B. I, c ji: “Though true as touch, though daughter of a king."

Steevents.

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Young Edward lives;- Think now what I would speak.

Buck. Say on, my loving lord.
K. Rich. Why, Buckingham, I say, I would be king
Buck. Why, so you are, my thrice-renowned liege.
K. Rich. Ha! am I king? 'Tis so: but Edward lives,
Buck. True, noble prince.
K. Rich.

O bitter consequence,
That Edward still should live,-true, noble prince !
Cousin, thou wast not wont to be so dull:
Shall I be plain? I wish the bastards dead;
And I would have it suddenly perform’d.
What say'st thou now? speak suddenly, be brief.

Buck. Your grace may do your pleasure.

K. Rich. Tut, tut, thou art all ice, thy kindness freezes: Say, have I thy consent, that they shall die? Buck. Give me some breath, some little pause, dear

lord, Before I positively speak in this : I will resolve your grace immediately. [Exit Buck. Cates. The king is angry; see, he gnaws his lip.3

[Aside. K. Rich. I will converse with iron-witted fools,

[Descends from his Throne. And unrespective boys;4 none are for me, That look into me with considerate eyes:High-reaching Buckingham grows circumspect.-Bov,

Page. My lord. · K. Rich. Know'st thou not any, whom corrupting gold Would tempt unto a close exploits of death?

3. see, he gnaws his lip. Several of our ancient historians observe, that this was an accustomed action of Richard, whether he was pensive or angry. Steevens.

4 And unrespective boys;] Unrespective is inattentive to consequences, inconsiderate. So, in Daniel's Cleopatra, 1599:

“When dissolute impiety possess'd

“ 'The unrespective minds of prince and people.” Steevens. Unrespective is, devoid of cautious and prudential consideration.

Malone. See note on the following passage in the Rape of Lucrece, edit. 1790, p. 102:

" Respect and reason wait on wrinkled age.” Stcevens. 5. close exploit --] Is secret act. Johnson.

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