Page images

Page, I know a discontented gentleman,
Whose humble means match not his hậughty mind:
Gold were as good as twenty orators,
And will, no doubt, tempt him to any thing.

K. Rich. What is his name?

His name, my lord, is–Tyrrel. K. Rich. I partly know the man; Go, call him hither, boy. .

[Exit Page
The deep-revolving witty Buckingham
No more shall be the neighbour to my counsels:
Hath he so long held out with me untir'd,
And stops he now for breath?_well, be it so.

How now, lord Stanley? what's the news?

Know, my loving lord,?
The marquis Dorset, as I hear, is filed
To Richmond, in the parts where he abides.

K. Rich. Come hither, Catesby: rumour it abroad,
That Anne' my wife is very grievous sick;
I will take order for her keeping close. 8
Inquire me out some mean-born gentleman,
Whom I will marry straight to Clarence' daughter:
The boy is foolish, and I fear not him.

0 — witty -] In this place signifies judicious or cunning. A wit was not at this time employed to signify a man of fancy, but was used for wisdom or judgment. So, in Daniel's Cleopatra, 1599 :

“ Although unwise to live, had wit to die.” Again, in one of Ben Jonson's Masques :

“ And at her feet do witty serpents move." Steevens. 7 Know, my loving lord,] Surely, we should adopt Sir Thomas Hanmer's regulation, and give the passage thus: How now, lord Stanley? what's the news?

My lord, &c. Are the omitted words—know and loving, of so much value, that measure must continue to be sacrificed for their preservation ?

Steevens. 8 I will take order for her keeping close.] i. e. I will take measures that shall oblige her to keep close. So, in Marlowe and Nashe's Dido, 1594, Jupiter says:

“I will take order for that presently." The same phrase occurs in Othello, Act V, sc. ï. Steevens. 9 The boy is foolish,] Shakspeare has here perhaps anticipated the folly of this youth. He was, at this time, I believe, about ten years old, and we are not told by any historian that he had then exhibited any symptoms of folly. Being confined by King Henry

Look, how thou dream'st!-I say again, give out,
That Anne my queen is sick, and like to die :
About it; for it stands me much upon,
To stop all hopes, whose growth may damage me.-

[Exit CATE$.
I must be married to my brother's daughter,
Or else my kingdom stands on brittle glass :-
Murder her brothers, and then marry her!
Uncertain way of gain! But I am in
So far in blood, that sin will pluck on sin.2
Tear-falling pity dwells not in this eye.-

Re-enter Page, with TYRREL. Is thy name—Tyrrel?3

VII, immediately after the battle of Bosworth, and his education being consequently entirely neglected, he is described by Poly. dore Virgil at the time of his death (in 1499) as an idiot; and his account (which was copied by Hall and Holinshed) was certainly a sufficient authority for Shakspeare's representation : “ Edouardus Varvici comes in carcere ab incunabulis extra hominum ferarumque conspectum nutritus, qui gallinam ab ansere non facile internosceret, cum nullo suo delicto supplicium quærere posset, alieno ad id tractus est.” Malone.

1- it stands me much upon,] i. e. it is of the utmost conse. quence to my designs. The same phrase occurs in The Comedy of


“ Consider how it stands upon my credit.” See also Antony and Cleopatra, Act II, sc. i. Steevens. 2 — But I am in

So far in blood, that sin will pluck on sin.] The same reflections occur in Macbeth:

" I am in blood
“ Step'd in so far, that should I wade no more,

“ Returning were as tedious,” &c.
“ Things bad begun make strong themselves by ill."

Steevens. 3 Is thy name-Tyrrel?] It seems, that alate editor (who boasts much of his fidelity in “ marking the places of action, both gene. ral and particular, and supplying scenical directions,”) throughout this scene, has left King Richard on his throne; whereas he might have learnt from the following passage in Sir John Harrington's Metamorphosis of Ajax, 1596, that the monarch appeared, during the present interview with Tyrrel, on an elevation of much less dignity." The best part (says Sir John) of our chronicles, in all men's opinions is that of Richard the third, written as I have heard by Moorton, but as most suppose, by that worthy and in

Tyr. James Tyrrel, and your most obedient subject,
K. Rich. Art thou, indeed ?

Prove me, my gracious lord. K. Rich. Dar'st thou resolve to kill a friend of mine? Tyr. Please you; but I had rather kill two enemies.

K. Rich. Why, then thou hast it; two deep enemies, Foes to my rest, and my sweet sleep's disturbers, Are they that I would have thee deal upon : 4 Tyrrel, I mean those bastards in the Tower.

Tyr. Let me have open means to come to them, And soon I 'll rid you from the fear of them. K. Rich. Thou sing'st sweet musick. Hark, come hi

ther, Tyrrel; Go, by this token :-Rise, and lend thine ear:

[Whispers. There is no more but so:-Say, it is done, And I will love thee, and prefer thee for it. Tyr. I will despatch it straight.

[Exit. Re-enter BUCKINGHAM. Buck. My lord, I have consider'd in my mind The late demand that you did sound me in. K. Rich. Well, let that rest. Dorset is fled to Rich

mond. Buck. I hear the news, my lord. K. Rich. Stanley, he is your wife's son:-Well, look

to it.

corrupt magistrate Sir Thomas More, sometime lord chancellor of England, where it is said, how the king was devising with Teril to have his nephews privily murdred; and it is added, he was then sitting on a draught; a fit carpet for such a counsel.” See likewise Holinshed, Vol. II, p. 735. Steevens.

For Richard's mode of proceeding on this occasion, there are, it appears, many ancient and dignified precedents. “Maximilian the emperor," says old Montaigne, “ with other customes of his had this one, most contrary to other princes, (who, to dispatch their weightiest affaires, make often their c-es- their regal throne or council-chamber,) which was,” &c. Florio’s Translation, 1603.

Malone. 4- deal upon:1 Şo, in Have with you to. Saffron Walden, &c. by Nashe, 1596:“At Wolfe's he's billeted, sweating and dealing upon it most intentively." See also my note on Antony and Cleopatra, Act III, sc. ix. Steevens.

deal upon :] i.e. act upon. We should now say deal with; but the other was tbe phraseology of our aythor's time. Malone. Buck. My lord, I claim the gift, my due by promise, For which your honour and your faith is pawn'd; The earldom of Hereford,s and the moveables, Which you have promised I shall possess.

K. Rich. Stanley, look to your wife, if she convey Letters 'to Richmond, you shall answer it.

Buck. What says your highness to my just request?,

K. Rich. I do remember me.Henry the sixth
· Did prophecy, that Richmond should be king,
When Richmond was a little peevish boy.
A king :-perhaps6

5 The earldom of Hereford, &c.] Thomas Duke of Gloster, the fifth son of Edward the Third, married one of the daughters and coheirs of Humphrey de Bohun Earl of Hereford. The Duke of Gloster's nephew, Henry Earl of Derby, (the eldest son of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, the fourth son of Edward the Third who was afterwards King Henry IV, married the other daughter of the Earl of Hereford. The moiety of the Hereford estate, which had been possessed by that King, was seized on by Edward IV, as legally devolved to the crown, on its being transferred from the house of Lancaster to that of York. Henry Staf. ford Duke of Buckingham was lineally descended from Thomas Duke of Gloster, his only daughter Anne having married Ed. mund Earl of Stafford, and Henry being the great grandson of Edmund and Anne. In this right he and his ancestors had possessed one half of the Hereford estate ; and he claimed and actually obtained from Richard III, after he usurped the throne, the restitution of the other half, which had been seized on by Ed. ward; and also the earldom of Hereford, and the office of Constable of England, which had long been annexed by inheritance to that earldom. See Dugdale's Baronage, Vol. I, p. 168, 169. Many of our historians, however, ascribe the breach between him and Richard to Richard's refusing to restore the moiety of the Hereford estate; and Shakspeare has followed them.

Thomas Duke of Gloster was created Earl of Hereford in 1386, by King Richard II, on which ground the Duke of Buckingham had some pretensions to claim a new grant of the title; but with respect to the moiety of tire estate, he had not a shadow of right to it; for supposing that it derolved to Edward IV, 'with the crown, it became, after the mirler of his sons, the joint property of his daughters. If it did not devolve to King Edward IV, it belonged to the right heirs of King Henry IV. Malone.

6 A king! perhaps -] From hence to the words, Thou troublest me, I am not in the vein-have been left out ever since the irst editions; but I like them well enovigh to replace them. Pope.

The allusions to the plays of Henry VI, are no weak proofs of the authenticity of these disputed pieces. Fohnsor..

Buck. My lord, -
K. Rich. How chance, the prophet could not at that

Have told me, I being by,7 that I should kill him?

Buck. My lord, your promise for the earldom,

K. Rich. Richmond! When last I was at Exeter,
The mavor in courtesy show'd me the castle,
Ard caii'd i Rouge-mont: 8 at which name, I started;
Because a bard of Ireland told me once,
I should not live long after I saw Richmond.

Buck. My lord, -
K. Rich.

Ay, what's o'clock?

I am thus boldTo put your grace in mind of what you promis'd me.

K. Rich. Weil, but what is 't o'clock?

Upon the stroke Of ten.

K. Rich. Well, let it strike.9

Why let it strike?
K. Rich. Because that, like a Jack, thou keep'st the


These allusions, I trust, have been sufficiently accounted for in the Dissertation annexed to the preceding play. Malone.

7 I being bv,] The Duke of Gloster was not by when Henry uttered the prophecy. See Vol X, p. 393. Our author seldom took the trouble to turn to the plays to which he referred. Malone.

8 - Rouge-mont :) Hooker, who wrote in Queen Elizabeth's time, in his description of Exeter mentions this as a “very old and antient castle, named Rugemont; that is to say, the Red Hill, taking that name of the red soil or earth whereupon it is situated." It was first built, he adds, as some think, by Julius Cæsar, or rather, and in truth, by the Romans after him. Reed.

9 Well, let it strike 1 This seems to have been a proverbial sentence. So, in Pierce's Supererogation, Sic. by Gabriel Harvey, 410. 1593: " Let the clock strike: I bave lost more howers, and lose no. thing if I find equity.” Malone.

1 Because that, like a Fack, &c.] An image, like those at St. Dunstan's church in Fleet Street, and at the market-houses at several towns in this kingdom, was usually called a Jack of the clock-house. See Cowley's Discourse on the government of Oliver Cromwell. [Vol. II, p. 650, edit. 1710.) Richard resembles Buckingham to one of those automatons, and bids him not suspend the stroke on the clock-bell, but strike, that the hour may be past, and himself be at liberty to pursue his meditation. Sir 7. Hawkinsa

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