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By a divine instinct, men's minds mistrust
2 Cit. Marry, we were sent for to the justices.
The same. A Room in the Palace. Enter the Archbishop of York, the young Duke of York,
Queen ELIZABETH, and the Duchess of York. Arch. Last night, I heard, they lay at Stony-Stratford; And at Northampton they do rest to-night:4
of a secret instinct of nature misgive them; as the sea without wind swelleth of himself some time before a tempest.” Tollet.
It is evident in this passage, that both Holinshed and Shakspeare allude to St. Luke. See ch. xxi, 25, &c. Henley.
It is manifest that Shakspeare here followed Holinshed, hav. ing adopted almost his words. Being very conversant with the sacred writings, he perhaps had the Evangelist in his thoughts when he wrote, above
" Truly, the hearts of men are full of fear.” Malone. 4 Last night, I heard, they lay at Stony-Stratford;
And at Northampton they do rest to-night:) Thus both the fo.. lios. The quartos, as well as the modern editors, read:
Last night, I heard, they lay at Northampton;
At Stony-Stratford they do rest to-night. I have followed the folios; the historical fact being as there re. presented. The Prince and his company did, in their way to London, actually lie at Stony-Stratford one night, and were the next morning taken back by the Duke of Gloucester to Northampton, where they lay the following night. See Hall, Edward V, fol. 6. See also, Remarks &c. on the last edition of Shakspeare, [that of 1778,] p. 133. Reed.
Sbakspeare, it is clear, either forgot this circumstance, or did not think it worth attending to.-- According to the reading of the original copy in quarto, at the time the archbishop is speaking, the King bad not reached Stony-Stratford, and consequently his being taken back to Northampton on the morning after he had been at Stratford, could not be in the author's contemplation, Shakspeare well knew that Stony-Stratford was nearer to London than Northampton; therefore in the first copy the young King is made to sleep on one night at Northampton, and the Archbishop very naturally supposes that on the pext night, that is, on the night of the day on which he is speaking, the King would reach StonVOL. XI.
To-morrow, or next day, they will be here.
Duch. I long with all my heart to see the prince;
Stratford. It is highly improbable that the editor of the folio should have been apprized of the historical fact above stated; and much more likely that he made the alteration for the sake of improving the metre, regardless of any other circumstance. How little he attended to topography appears from a preceding scene, in wbich Gloster, though in London, talks of sending a messen. ger to that town, instead of Ludlow. See p. 71, n. 6.
By neither reading can the truth of history be preserved, and therefore we may be sure that Shakspeare did not mean in this -instance to adhere to it. According to the present reading, the scene is on the day on which the King was journeying from Northampton to Stratford; and of course the Messenger's account of the peers being seiz'd, &c. which was on the next day after the King harl lain at Stratford, is inaccurate. If the folio reading be adopted, the scene is indeed placed on the day on which the King was seized; but the Archbishop is supposed to be apprized of a fact which before the entry of the Messenger he manifestly does not know, and which Shakspeare did not intend he should appear to know; namely, the Duke of Gloster's coming to Stony-Stratford the morning after the King had lain there, taking him forcibly back to Northampton, and seizing the Lords Rivers, Grey, &c. The truth is, that the Queen herself, the per. son most materially interested in the welfare of her son, did not bear of the King's being carried back from Stony-Stratford to Northampton till about midnight of the day on which this violence was offered him by his uncle. See Hall, Edward V, fol. 6. Historical truth being thus deviated from, we have a right to presume that Shakspeare in this instance did not mean to pay any attention to it, and hat the reading furnished by the quarto was that which came from his pen: nor is it possible that he could have made the alteration which the folio exhibits, it being utterly inconsistent with the whole tenor and scope of the present scene. If the Archbishop had known that the young King was carried back to Northampton, he must also have known that the lords who accompanied him, vere sent to prison; and instead of ea. gerly asking the Messenger in p. 76, “ What news.?" might have informed him of the whole transaction.
The truth of history is neglected in another instance also. The Messenger savs, the Lords Rivers, Grey, &c. had been sent my Gloster to Pomfret, whither they were not sent till some time af. terwards, they being sent at first, according to Sir Thomas More, (whose relation Hall and Holinshed transcribed) “ into the North country, into diverse places to prison, and afterwards all to Pontefract.”
The reading of the text is that of the quarto 1597. Malone.
Shakspeare does not always attend to the propriety of his own alterations. As historical truth, therefore, which ever reading be choşen, must be violated, I am content with such an arrangement
I hope, he is much grown since last I saw him.
Q. Eliz. But I hear, no; they say, my son of York
York. Ay, mother, but I would not have it so.
York. Grandam, one night, as we did sit at supper,
Duch. 'Good faith, 'good faith, the saying did not hold In him that did object the same to thee: He was the wretched'st thing,s when he was young, So long a growing, and so leisurely, That, if bis rule were true, he should be gracious.
Arch. And so, no doubt, he is, my gracious madam. Duch. I hope, he is; but yet let mothers doubt.
York. Now, by my troth, if I had been remember'd,6 I could have given my uncle's grace a flout, To touch his growth, nearer than he touch'd mine.
Duch. How, my young York? I pr’ythee, let me hear it.
York. Marry, they say, my uncle grew so fast,
Duch. I pr’ytlice, pretty York, who told thee this?
as renders the versification smoothest. Where sense cannot claim a preference, a casting vote may be safely given in favour of sound.
Steevens. the wretched'st thing,] Wretched is here used in a sense yet retained in familiar language, for paltry, pitiful, being below expectation. Johnson. Rather, the weakest, most puny, least thriving. Ritson.
been remember'd, ] To be remembered is, in Shakspeare, to have one's memory quick, to have one's thoughts about one..
Johnson. 7 A parlous boy:] Parlous is keen, shrewd. So, in Law Tricks, &c. 1608:
“ A parlous youth, sharp and satirical.” Steevens.
Arch. Good madam, be not angry with the child.
Enter a Messenger. 9
Here comes a messenger; TV hat news?
Mess. Such news, my lord,
How doth the prince?
What is thy news? Mess. Lord Rivers, and lord Grey, are sent to Pomfret, With them sir Thomas Vaughan, prisoners.
Duch. Who hath committed them?
The mighty dukes, Gloster and Buckingham.
Q. Eliz. For what offence?1
Q. Eliz. Ah me, I see the ruin of my house!
It is a corruption of perilous, dangerous; the reading of the old quartos. The Queen evidently means to chide him. Ritson.
8 Pitchers have ears.] Shakspeare has not quoted this proverbial saying correctly. It appears from A Dialogue both pleasaunt and pitiefill, by William Bulleyn, 1564, that the old proverb is this: * Small pitchers have great ears." Malone. This proverb has already occurred in The Taining of the Shrew:
“ Pitchers have ears, and I have many servants.” Ritson. 9 Enter a Messenger.] The quarto reads-Enter Dorset. Steevens.
1 For what offence?] This question is given to the Archbishop in former copies, but the Messenger plainly speaks to the Queen or Duchess. Johnson.
The question is given in the quarto to the Archbishop (or Car. dinal, as he is there called,) where also we have in the following speech, my gracious lady. The editor of the folio altered lady to lord; but it is more probable that the compositor prefixed Car. (the designation there of the Archbishop) to the words, “ For what offence?" instead of Qu. than that lady should have been printed in the subsequent speech instead of lord. Compositors always keep the names of the interculators in each scene readycomposed for use; and hence mistakes sometimes arise. Malone.
2 The tiger now hath seiz'd the gentle bind ;] So, in our author's Rape of Lucrece:
Insulting tyranny begins to jut
Duch. Accursed and unquiet wrangling days!
Q. Eliz. Come, come, my boy, we will to sanctuary.
Stay, I will go with you.
My gracious lady, go,
[7'o the Queen. And thither bear your treasure and your goods. For my part, I 'll resign unto your grace The seal I keep; And so betide to me, As well I tender you, and all of yours ! Come, I'll conduct you to the sanctuary:5 [Exeunt.
“ While she, the picture of pure piety,
3- awless - Not producing awe, not reverenced. To jut upon is to encroach. Johnson.
4 Or let me die, to look on death no more! ] Earth is the reading of all the copies, from the first edition put out by the players, downwards. But I have restored the reading of the old quarto in 1597, which is copied by all the other authentic quartos, by which the thonight is finely and properly improved :
Or let me die, to look on death no more. Theobald. 5 I'll resign unto your grace
The seal I keep; &c ] Afterwards, however, this obsequious. Archbishop Rotheram] to ingratiate himself with King Richard III, put his majesty's badge, ile H g, upon the gate of the Pub. ick Library, Cambridge. Steevens.