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This tragedly was first printed in its present form, in the folio of 1623. It is an enlarged and improved version by Shakespeare, of " The True Tragedie of Richard, Duke of Yorke," &c. before adverted to, as that, we conceive, was an alteration and improvement by him of an earlier drama, the work of one or more of his contemporaries.

From the circumstance of Robert Greene's paraphrasing a line of “ The True Tragedy :”—

0, tiger's hart, wrapt in a woman's hide ;"

when reflecting on Shakespeare, in his “Groatsworth of Wit," 1592,* and of some resemblances between passages in his acknowledged dramas and passages in “ The True Tragedy,” it may be inferred that he had some share in the production of the piece or pieces, on which were based “ The First Part of the Contention,” and “ The True Tragedie of Richard, Duke of Yorke.” This deduction is strengthened by a passage in “Greene's Funeralls, By R. B. Gent." 4to. Lond. 1594, a small tract of twelve leaves preserved in the Bodleian Library :

Greene is the pleasing Obiect of an eie ;

Greene pleasde the eies of all that lookt upon him.
Greene is the ground of everie Painter's die ;
Greene gave the ground to all that wrote upon him.
Nay, more, the men that so Eclipst his fame,
Purloynde his Plumes, can they deny the same?”

• “Yes, trust them not : for there is an upstart crow beautified with our feathers, that with his Tygre's heart wrapt in a player's hyde, su pposes hee is as well able to

bombast out a blanke verse as the best of you; and, being an absolute Johannes Factotum, is, in his own conceyt, the onely Shake-scene in a countrey."

Persons Represented.

King HENRY THE Sixti.
EDWARD, Prince of Wales, his Son.
LEWIS XI., King of France.
Duke of EXETER,
Earl of OXFORD,

On King Henry's side.
EDWARD, Earl of March, afterwards King Edward IV.
GEORGE, afterwards Duke of Clarence,
RICHARD, afterwards Duke of Gloucester,
EDMUND, Earl of Rutland,
Duke of NORFOLK.
Earl of WARWICK.
Lord Hastings.

Uncles to the Duke of York.

his Sons.


Henry, Earl of Richmond, a Youth.
LORD RIVERS, Brother to Lady Grey.
Tutor to Rutland.
Mayor of York.
Lieutenant of the Tower.
A Nobleman.
Two Keepers.
A Huntsman.
A Son that killed his Father.
A Father that killed his Son.

LADY Grey, afterwards Queen to Edward IV.
Bona, Sister to the French Queen.

Soldiers, and other Attendants on King Henry and King Edward, Messengers,

Watchmen, &c.

SCENE,-During part of the Third Act, in France; during the rest of the Play,

in England.

[graphic][merged small][merged small]

Drums. Some Soldiers of YORK's party break | I cleft his beaver with a downright blow;

in. Then enter the DUKE of YORK, EDWARD, That this is true, father, behold his blood. RICHARD, NORFOLK, MONTAGUE, WARWICK,

[Showing his bloody sword. and others, with white roses in their hats. Mont. And, brother, here's the earl of Wilt

shire's blood, [To YORK, showing his. War. I wonder how the king escap'd our hands. Whom I encounter'd as the battles join'd. YORK. While we pursu'd the horsemen of the Rich. Speak thou for me, and tell them what I north,

did. He slily stole away, and left his men:

[Throwing down the DUKE of SOMERSET's head. Whereat the great lord of Northumberland,

YORK. Richard hath best deserv’d of all my Whose warlike ears could never brook retreat, Cheer'd up the drooping army; and himself, But, is your grace dead, my lord of Somerset? Lord Clifford, and lord Stafford, all abreast,

Norf. Such hope have all the line of John of Charg'd our main battle's front, and, breaking in,


[head. Were by the swords of common soldiers slain. Rich. Thus do I hope to shake king Henry's Edw. Lord Stafford's father, duke of Bucking- WAR. And so do I.–Victorious prince of York, ham,

Before I see thee seated in that throne Is either slain, or wounded dangerous :

Which now the house of Lancaster usurps, VOL. II.




I vow by heaven these eyes shall never close. West. What, shall we suffer this ? let's pluck This is the palace of the fearful king,

him down : And this the regal seat: possess it, York ; My heart for anger burns ; I cannot brook it. For this is thine, and not king Henry's heirs’ K. HEN. Be patient, gentle earl of WestmoreYORK. Assist me then, sweet Warwick, and I

land. will ;

Clif. Patience is for poltroons, such as he; For hither we have broken in by force.

He durst not sit there, had your father liv’d. NORF. We'll all assist you; he that flies shall My gracious lord, here in the parliament die.

[my lords; Let us assail the family of York. YORK. Thanks, gentle Norfolk :— stay by me, NORTH. Well hast thou spoken, cousin ; be it so. And, soldiers, stay, and lodge by me this night. K. HEn. Ah, know you not the city favours War. And, when the king comes, offer him no

them, violence,

And they have troops of soldiers at their beck ? Unless he seek to thrust you out perforce.

Exe. But when the duke is slain, they'll quickly [T'he Soldiers retire. YORK. The queen, this day, here holds her K. HEN. Far be the thought of this from parliament,

Henry's heart, But little thinks we shall be of her council : To make a shambles of the parliament-house! By words or blows here let us win our right. Cousin of Exeter, frowns, words, and threats Rich. Arm’d as we are, let's stay within this Shall be the war that Henry means to use.— house.

[They advance to the DUKE. War. The bloody parliament shall this be callid, Thou factious duke of York, descend my throne, Unless Plantagenet, duke of York, be king,

And kneel for grace


mercy at my feet; And bashful Henry depos'd, whose cowardice I am thy sovereign. Hath made us bywords to our enemies.


I am thine. YORK. Then leave me not, my lords ; be reso- Exe. For shame, come down : he made thee lute,

duke of York.

[was. I mean to take possession of my right.

YORK. ’T was my inheritance, as the earldom a WAR. Neither the king, nor he that loves him ExE. Thy father was a traitor to the crown. best.

War. Exeter, thou art a traitor to the crown, The proudest he that holds up Lancaster,

In following this usurping Henry. Dares stir a wing, if Warwick shake his bells. CLIF. Whom should he follow but his natural I'll plant Plantagenet, root him up who dares :


[of York, Resolve thee, Richard ; claim the English crown. WAR. True, Clifford; and that's Richard, duke

[WARWICK leads YORK to the throne, K. HEN. And shall I stand, and thou sit in my who seats himself.

throne ?

YORK. It must and shall be so: content thyself. Flourish. Enter King HENRY, CLIFFORD, NORTH

War. Be duke of Lancaster, let him be king. UMBERLAND, WESTMORELAND, EXETER, and

West. He is both king and duke of Lancaster;

And that the lord of Westmoreland shall maintain. others, with red roses in their hats.

War. And Warwick shall disprove it. You K. HEN. My lords, look where the sturdy rebel

forget sits,

That we are those which chas'd you from the field Even in the chair of state ! belike he means And slew your fathers, and with colours spread, (Back'd by the power of Warwick, that false peer,) March'd through the city to the palace-gates. To aspire unto the crown, and reign as king.–

NORTH. Yes,' Warwick, I remember it to my Earl of Northumberland, he slew thy father ;

grief; And thine, lord Clifford; and you both have vow'd And, by his soul, thou and thy house shall rue it. revenge

West. Plantagenet, of thee, and these thy sons, On him, his sons, his favourites, and his friends. Thy kiusmen, and thy friends, I'll have more lives North. If I be not, heavens be reveng'd on Than drops of blood were in my father's veins.

(steel. Clif. Urge it no more; lest that, instead of CLIF. The hope thereof makes Clifford mourn in

words, a Patience is for poltroons, - ) An old Italian proverb says the d As the earldom was.) For earldom, “The True Tragedy " has same :-" Pazienza è pasto di poltroni.".

kingdome. But when, &c.] In the folio 1623, this is assigned to West- © And that's Richard,-) And, omitted in the folio, 1623, is moreland: in "The True Tragedy,” 1595, it has, rightly, the restored from “ The True Tragedy." prefix, Exeter.

f Yes, Warwick,-) The earlier version reads, “ No, Warwick," c I am thine.) “The True Tragedy" reads :-“Thou art de- which is preferable. ceiv'd: I am thine," which Malone adopts.

me !

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