Page images

Were to incense the boar to follow us,
And make pursuit, where he did mean no chase.
Go, bid thy master rise and come to me;
And we will both together to the Tower,
Where, he shall see, the boar will use us kindly.
Mess. I'll go, my lord, and tell him what you say.

[Exit. Enter CATESBY. Cates. Many good morrows to my noble lord!

Hast. Good morrow, Catesby; you are early stirring : What news, what news, in this our tottering state?

Cates. It is a reeling world, indeed, my lord;
And, I believe, will never stand upright,
Till Richard wear the garland of the realm.

Hast. How! wear the garland ? dost thou mean the

[ocr errors]

Cates. Ay, my good lord.
Hast. I 'll have this crown of mine cut from my

Before I 'll see the crown so foul misplac'd.
But canst thou guess that he doth aim at it?

Cates. Ay, on my life; and hopes to find you forward
Upon his party, for the gain thereof:
And, thereupon, he sends you this good news,
That, this same very day, your enemies,
The kindred of the queen, must die at Pomfret.

Hast. Indeed, I am no mourner for that news,
Because they have been still my adversaries:
But, that I'll give my voice on Richard's side,
To bar my master's heirs in true descent,
God knows, I will not do it, to the death.

Cates. God keep your lordship in that gracious mind!

Hast. But I shall laugh at this a twelve-month hence, That they, who brought me in my master's hate, I live to look upon their tragedy. Well, Catesby, ere a fortnight make me older, I'll send some packing, that yet think not on 't.

Cates. 'Tis a vile thing to die, my gracious lord,
When men are unprepar’d, and look not for it.

Hast. O monstrous, monstrous! and so falls it out
With Rivers, Vaughan, Grey: and so 'twill do
With some men else, who think themselves as safe
As thou, and I ; who, as thou know'st, are dear

To princely Richard, and to Buckingham.

Cates. The princes both make high account of you, For they account his head upon the bridge. Aside.' Hast. I know, they do; and I have well deserv'd it.

Come on, come on, where is your boar-spear, man?
Fear you the boar, and go so unprovided ?
Stan. My lord, good morrow; and good morrow, 3

Catesby :
You may jest on, but, by the holy rood, 4
I do not like these several councils, 5 I.

Hast. My lord, I hold my life as dear as yours ; 6
And never, in my life, I do protest,
Was it more precious to me than 'tis now:
Think you, but that I know our state secure,
I would be so triumphant as I am ?
Stan. The lords at Pomfret, when they rode from

London, Were jocund, and suppos'd their states were sure, And they, indeed, had no cause to mistrust; But yet, you see, how soon the day o'er-cast. This sudden stab of rancour I misdoubt ;? Pray God, I say, I prove a needless coward ! What, shall we toward the Tower? the day is spent. Hast. Come, come, have with you.8Wot you what,

my lord ?

3— and good morrow,] And was supplied by Sir Thoms Hanmer, to assist the measure. Steevens.

4 -- the holy rood,] i. e. the cross. So, in the old mystery of Candlemas-Day, 1512:

“Whan hir swete sone shall on a rood deye.” Steevens. 5 I do not like these several councils,] See p. 90, n. 4. Malone.

6 My lord, I hold my life as dear as yours ;) Thus the first folio. The quartos-(profoundly ignorant of our author's elliptical mode of expressing himself, and in contempt of metre,)

- as dear as you do yours. Steevens. ?- I misdoubt;] i. e. suspect it of danger. So, in King Henry VI, P. III: "

the bird
“ With trembling wings misdoubteth every bush."

Steevens. 8- have with you.) A familiar phrase in parting, as much as, take something a long with you, or I have something to say to you.


To-day, the lords you talk of are beheaded.
Stan. They, for their truth,' might better wear their

heads, Than some, that have accus'd them, wear their hats. But come, my lord, let 's away.

Enter a Pursuivant. Hast. Go on before, I'll talk with this good fellow.

[Exeunt Stan. and Cates. How now, sirrah? how goes the world with thee?

Purs. The vetter, that your lordship plcase to ask.

Hast. I tell thee, man, 'tis better with me now, Than when thou met'st me last where now we meet: Then was I going prisoner to the Tower, By the suggestion of the queen's aliies; But now, I tell thee. (keep it to thyself) This day those enemies are put to death, And I in better state than ere I was.

Purs. God hold it, 1 to your honour's good content! Hast. Gramercy, fellow : There, drink that for me.

[Throwing him his Purse. Purs. I thank your honour.

[Exit Purs. Enter a Priest. Pr. Well met, my lord: I am glad to see your honour.

Hast. I thank thee, good sir John,2 with all my heart. I am in your debt for your last exercise ;3

This pbrase so frequently occurs in Shakspeare, that I wonder Johnson should, in his tenth volume, mistake its meaning. It signifies merely “I will go along with you ;" and is an expression in use at this day.

In The First Part of King Henry VI, when Suffolk is going out, Somerset says—"Have with you;” and then follows him. In Othello, lago says:

• Captain, will you go?”

“Oth. Have with you." In The Merry Wives of Windsor, Mrs. Ford says:

" Will you go, Mrs. Page !" To which she replies:

Have with you.M. Mason. 9 Thev, for their truth,] That is, with respect to their honesty.

Johnson. 1- hold it, ] That is, continue it. Fohnson.

2 — good sir John, Sir was formerly the usual address to the inferior clergy. See Vol. III, p. 9, n. 1. Malone.

3 -- exercise;] Performance of divine service. Johnson.

Come the next sabbath, and I will content you.

Buck. What, talking with a priest, lord chamberlain ?
Your friends at Pomfret, they co need the priest;
Your honour bath no shriving work in hanc.5

Hast. 'Good faith, and when I met this holy man,
The men you talk of came into my mind.
What go you toward the Tower?

Burk. I do, my lord; but long I cannot stay there: I shall return before your lordship thence.

Hast. Nay, like enough, for I stay dinner there.
Buck. And supper too, although thou know'st it not.

[Aside. Come, will you go?

Hast. I'll wait upon your lordship. [Exeunt.

I rather imagine it meant-for attending him in private to hear his confession. So, in sc vii:

“ To draw him from his holy exercise.Malone. Exercise, I believe, means only religious exhortation, or lecture. So, in Othello:

“Much castigation, exercise devout." Steevens. 4 Enter Buckingham.] From the Continuation of Harding's Chronicle, 1543, where the account given originally by Sir Tho. mas More is transcribed with some additions, it appears that the person who held this conversation with Hastings was Sir Thomas Howard, who is introduced in the last Act of this play as Earl of Surrey:

- The same morning ere he (Hastings) were up from his bed where Shore's wife lay with him all night there came to him sir Thomas Haward, Howard] sonne to the lord Haward, -as it were of courtesaie, to accoumpaignie him to the counsaill; but forasmiche as the lord Hastings was not ready, he taried a while for him, and hasted him away. This sir Thomas, while the lord Hastings stayed a while commonyng with a priest whom he met in the Tower strete, brake the lordes tale, saying to him merily, • What, my lorde, I pray you come on; wherefore talke you so long with the priest? You have no nede of a priest yet:' and laughed upon him, as though he would saye, you shall have neade of one sone " Fol. 59. Malone. 5 - shriving work in hand ] Shriving work is confession.

Johnson So, in Hamlet:

" the hearers put to sudden death,
“ Not shriving time allow'd.” Steevens.


Pomfret. Before the Castle. Enter RATCLIFF, with a Guard, conducting RIVERS,

GREY,6 and VAUGHAN, to Execution.
Rat. Come, bring forth the prisoners.?

Riv. Sir Richard Ratcliff, let me tell thee this,
To-day shalt thou behold a subject die,
For truth, for duty, and for loyalty.

Grey. God keep the prince from all the pack of you! A knot you are of damned blood-suckers.

Vaugh. You live, that shall cry woe for this hereafter.
Rat. Despatch; the limits of your lives is out.

Riv. O Pomfret, Pomfret! O thou bloody prison,
Fatal and ominous to noble peers!
Within the guilty closure of thy walls,
Richard the second here was hack'd to death:
And, for more slander to thy dismal seat,
We give thee up our guiltless blood to drink.

Grey. Now Margaret's curse is fallen upon our heads,
When she exclaim'd on Hastings, you, and I,
For standing by when Richard stabb'd her son.
Riv. Then curs'd she Hastings, then curs’d she Buck-

Then curs'd she Richard :-0, remember, God,
To hear her prayers for them, as now for us!
And for my sister, and her princely sons

6_ Grey,] Queen Elizabeth Grey is deservedly pitied for losing her two sons; but the royalty of their birth has so engrossed the attention of historians, that they never reckon into the number of her misfortunes the murder of this her second son, Sir Richard Grey. It is as remarkable how slightly the death of our Earl Rivers is always mentioned, though a man invested with such high offices of trust and dignity; and how much we dwell on the execution of the Lord Chamberlain Hastings, a man in every light his inferior. In truth, the generality draw their ideas of English story, from the tragick rather than the historick authors. Walpole.

7 Come, bring forth the prisoners.] This speech is wanting in the folio, and might (as it has neither use, nor pretensions to metre,) be as well omitted as retained. Steevens.

8—the limit -] For the limited time. See Vol. VIII, p. 149, n. 8. Malone.


« PreviousContinue »