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RICHMOND's Tent opens, and discovers him and his.

Officers, &c.

Stan. Fortune and victory sit on thy helm!

Richm. All comfort that the dark night can afford,
Be to thy person, noble father-in-law!
Tell me, how fares our loving mother?

Stan. I, by attorney,5 bless thee from thy mother,
Who prays continually for Richmond's good:
So much for that. The silent hours steal on,.
And flaky darkness breaks within the east.
In brief, for so the season bids us be,
Prepare thy battle early in the morning;
And put thy fortune to the arbitrement
Of bloody strokes, and mortal-staring war,6
I, as I may, (that which I would, I cannot,)
With best advantage will deceive the time,
And aid thee in this doubtful shock of arms:
But on thy side I may not be too forward,
Lest, being seen, thy brother tender George
Be executed in his father's sight.




4 All comfort that the dark night can afford,
Be to thy person,] So, in Measure for Measure:

“ The best and wholesomest spirits of the night
· Envellop you,

- by attorney, ] By deputation. Fohnson.

mortal-staring war,] Thus the old copies. I suppose, by mortal-staring war is meant-war that looks big, or stares fatally on its victims. Steevens.

I suspect the poet wrote-mortal-scaring war. Malone.

I adhere to the old reading. So, in Antony and Cleopatra, Enobarbus says of Antony, who is issuing out to battle

“Now he 'll out-stare the lightning.” Again, in The Tempest;

why stand you “In this strange stare?Steedens. 71, as I may,

With best advantage will deceive the time,] I will take the best opportunity to elude the dangers of this conjuncture. Johnson.

8 Lest, being seen, thy brother tender George

Be executed -) So Holinshed after Hall: “ When the said lord Stanley would have departed into his country to visit his fa. milie, and to recreate and refreshe his spirits, as he openly said, (but the truth was to the intent to be in a perfite readinesse 10

Farewel: The leisure and the fearful time
Cuts off the ceremonious vows of love, 9
And ample interchange of sweet discourse,
Which so long sunder'd friends should dwell upon;
God give us leisure for these rites of love!
Once more, adieu :-Be valiant, and speed well!

Richm. Good lords, conduct him to his regiment:
I'll strive, with troubled thoughts, to take a nap;
Lest leaden slumberi peise me down to-morrow,2

join the earle of Richmonde at his first arrival in Englande,) the king in no wise would suffer him to depart before he had left as an hostage in the court, George Stanley, lord Strange, his first begotten son and beir.".

* The lord Stanley lodged in the same town, (Stafford] and hearing that the earle of Richmond was marching thitherward, gave to him place, dislodging him and his,- to avoid all suspicion, being afraide least if he should be seen openly to be a factor or ayder to the earle, his son-in-law, before the day of battayle, that king Richard, which yet not utterly put him in diffidence and mistrust, would put to some evil death his son and heir apparent."

The young nobleman whom the poet calls George Stanley, was created Baron Strange, in right of his wife, by King Edward IV, in 1482. Malone.

The leisure and the fearful time Cuts off the ceremonious vows of love,] We have still a phrase equivalent to this, however harsh it may seem, I would do this, if leisure woulil permit, where leisure, as in this passage, stands for want of leisure. So again:

More than I have said, -
" The leisure and enforcement of the time

- Forbids to dwell upon.' -Johnson. That is, the small degree of leisure we have. M. Mason. i Lest leaden slumber-) So, in our author's Rape of Lucrece: “Now leaden slumber with life's strength doth fight.'

Malone. -peise me down to-morrow,] Thus the old copies. The modern editions read-poize. To peize, i. e. to weigh down, from peser, French.

I meet with this word in the old play of The Raigne of King Ed. ward the Third, 1596:

“ And peize their deeds with heavy weight of lead." Again, in All for Money, 1574:

“ Then if you counterpeaze me learning with money." Again, in Christopher Middleton's Legend of Humphrey Duke of Glocester, 1600:

“Nor was her schooles peis'd down with golden waights." See notes on The Merchant of Venice, Vol. IV, p. 368. Steevens.



When I should mount with wings of victory:
Once more, good night, kind lords and gentlemen.

[Exeunt Lords, &c. with Stan.
O Thou! whose captain I account myself,
Look on my forces with a gracious eye;
Put in their hands thy bruising irons3 of wrath,
That they may crush down with a heavy fall
The usurping helmets of our adversaries!
Make us thy ministers of chastisement,
That we may praise thee in thy victory!
To thee I do commend my watchful soul,
Ere I let fall the windows of mine eyes;%
Sleeping, and waking, 0, defend me still! [Sleep8.
The Ghosts of Prince EDWARD, Son to HENRY the

Sixth, rises between the two Tents.
Ghost. Let me sit heavy on thy soul to-morrow!6

[To K. Rich.


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- bruising irons -] The allusion is to the ancient mace.

Henley. 4 Ere I let fall the windows of mine eyes ;] So, in Romeo and Juliet :

thy eyes' windows fall " Like death Steevens. 5 The Ghost &c.] This circumstance is likewise found in Ni. chols's Legend of King Richard III, (inserted in The Mirrour for Magistrates, edit. 1610,) and was apparently imitated from Shak, speare:

As in my tent on slumbring bed I lie,

“ Horrid aspects appear'd unto mine eye:
“I thought that all those murder'd ghosts, whom I

“By death had sent to their untimely grave,
“ With baleful noise about my tent did crye,
“ And of the heavens, with sad complaint, did crave

That they on guilty wretch might vengeance have.”. His terror on waking is likewise very forcibly described.

Drayton, in the 22d Song of his Polyolbion, may likewise have borrowed from our author:

“ Where to the guilty king, the black forerunning night,

Appear the dreadful ghosts of Henry and his son, Of his own brother George and his two nephews, done “ Most cruelly to death; and of his wife, and friend “Lord Hastings, with pale hands prepar'd as they would

rend “ Him piece-meal; at which oft he roareth in his sleep."

Steevens. The account given by Polydore Virgil, which was copied by



Think, how thou stab’dst me in my prime of youth
At Tewksbury; Despair, therefore, and die !
Be cheerful, Richmond; for the wronged souls
Of butcher'd princes fight in thy behalf:
King Henry's issue, Richmond, comforts thee.

The Ghost of King HENRY the Sixth rises.
Ghost. When I was mortal, my anointed body

[To K. Rich.
By thee was punched full of deadly holes:)
Think on the Tower, and me; Despair, and die;
Harry the sixth bids thee despair and die! -

Virtuous and holy, be thou conqueror! [TO RICHM.
Harry, that prophecy'd thou should'st be king,
Doth comfort thee in'thy"sleep; Live, and flourish!9

The Ghost of CLARENCE rises.
Ghost. Let me sit heavy on thy soul to-morrow!

[70 K. Rich. Hall and Holinshed, is as follows: “ The fame went, that he had the same night (the night before the battle of Bosworth) a dreadful and a terrible dream; for it seemed to him being aslepe, that he saw diverse ymages lyke terrible devilles, which pulled and haled him, not sufferynge him to take any quiet or reste. The which straunge vision not so sodaynly strake his heart with a sodayne feare, but it stuffed his head and troubled his mind with many busy and dreadful imaginations. And least that it might be suspected that he was abashed for fear of his enemies, and for that cause looked so piteously, le recited and declared to his familiar friends, of the morning, his wonderfull vysion, and fearfull dreame." I quote from Holinshed, because he was Shakspeare's authority.

Polydore Virgil, as I have already observed, began to write his history about twenty years after Richard's death Malone.

See p. 125, 1. 5. Steevens. 6 Let me sit heavy on thy soul to-morrow.'] So, in King Richard II:

“Be Mowbray's sins so heavy in his bosom." Steevens. ? By thee was punched full of deadly holes: ] The word punched, which sounds but meanly to our ears, is also employed by Chapman in his version of the sixth Iliad:

with a goad he punch'd each furious dame.” Steevens. 8. Harry that prophecy'd thou shoul:l'st be king,] The prophecy, to which this allusion is made, was uttered in one of the parts of Henry the Sixth Fohnson.

See Vol. X, p. 393, n. 3. Malone.

9 Doth comfort thee in thy sleep; Live, and flourish!] Surely, we should read with Sir Thomas Hanmer:

Doth comfort thee in sleep; Live thot and flourish! Steerens

I, that was wash'd to death with fulsome wine, 1
Poor Clarence, by thy guile betray'd to death!
To-morrow in the battle think on me,
And fall thy edgeless sword;2 Despair, and die
Thou offspring of the house of Lancaster,

The wronged heirs of York do pray for thee;
Good angels guard thy battle! Live, and fourish!
The Ghosts of Rivers, Grey, and VAUGHAN, rise.
Riv. Let me sit heavy on thy soul to-morrow,

[T0 K. Rich.
Rivers, that died at Pomfret! Despair, and die!
Grey. Think upon Grey, and let thy soul despair!

[To K. Rich. Vaugh. Think upon Vaughan; and, with guilty fear, pointlefy Let fall thy

lance ! Despair, and die! [To K. Rich. All. Awake! and think, our wrongs in Richard's bo

[To Richm. Will conquer him ;-awake, and win the day!

The Ghost of HASTINGS rises.
Ghost. Bloody and guilty, guiltily awake;

[T. K. Rich
And in a bloody battle end thy days!
Think on lord Hastings; and despair, and die! -

Quiet untroubled soul, awake, awake! [To Richm.
Arm, fight, and conquer, for fair England's sake!

The Ghosts of the Two young Princes rise.
Ghosts. Dream on thy cousins smother'd in the Tower;
Let us be lead within thy bosom, Richard, 3



- with fulsome wine,] Fulsome, was sometimes used, I think, in the sense of unctuous. The wine in which the body of Clarence was thrown, was Malinsey. Malone.

If Clarence had been choked by this wine, he might fairly enough have employed the epithet fulsome in its vulgar and accepted sense.

e.-Shakspeare, however, seems to have forgot him. self. The Duke (as appears from Act I, sc. ult.) was killed before he was thrown into the Malmsey butt, and consequently could not be washed to death. Steevens.

2 And fall thy edgeless sword;] Fall, in the present instance, is a verb active, signifying to drop, or let fall. So, in Othello:

" If that the earth could teem with woman's tears,

“ Each drop she falls would prove a crocodile.” Steevens, 3 Let us be lead within thy bosom, Richard,] [The first folio &c.

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