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Ah, kill me with thy weapon, not with words !
My breast can better brook thy dagger's point,
Than can my ears that tragic history.—
But wherefore dost thou come ? is't for my life?

Glo. Think'st thou I am an executioner ?
K. HEN. A persecutor, I am sure, thou art ;
If murdering innocents be executing,
Why, then thou art an executioner.

Glo. Thy son I kill'd for his presumption.
K. HEN. Hadst thou been kill'd when first

thou didst presume,

Thou hadst not liv'd to kill a son of mine.
And thus I prophesy,—that many a thousand,
Which now mistrust no parcel of my fear,
And many an old man's sigh, and many a widow's,
And many an orphan's water-standing eye,-
Men for their sons', wives for their husbands',
Anda orphans for their parents' timeless death, -

a And orphans, &c.) And is found only in the second folio, which amends the preceding line also, by reading, " - for their husbands' fate.

Shall rue the hour that ever thou wast born. And then, to purge his fear, I'll be thy death.
The owl shriek'd at thy birth, an evil sign; King Henry, and the prince his son, are gone :
The night-crow cried, abodingo luckless time; Clarence, thy turn is next; and then the rest ;
Dogs howld, and hideous tempest shook down Counting myself but bad, till I be best.-
trees;

I'll throw thy body in another room,
The raven rook'd her on the chimney's top, And triumph, Henry, in thy day of doom.
And chattering pies in dismal discords sung.

[Exit, bearing the body.
Thy mother felt more than a mother's pain,
And yet brought forth less than a mother's hope;
To wit, an indigest deformed lump,

SCENE VII.The same. A Room in the Palace. Not like the fruit of such a goodly tree.

Flourish. King EDWARD discovered sitting Teeth badst thou in thy head when thou wast born, on his throne ; QUEEN ELIZABETH with the To signify, thou cam'st to bite the world :

infant PRINCE carried by a Nurse, CLARENCE, And, if the rest be true which I have heard,

GLOUCESTER, HASTINGS, and others, near Thou cam'st

him. Glo. I'll hear no more ;—die, prophet, in thy speech!

Stabs him. K. Edw. Once more we sit in England's royal For this, amongst the rest, was I ordain'd.

throne, K. HEN. Ay, and for much more slaughter after Re-purchas’d with the blood of enemies. this.

What valiant foemen, like to autumn's corn, O, God forgive my sins, and pardon thee !(1) [Dies. Have we mow'd down in tops of all their pride !

Glo. What, will the aspiring blood of Lancaster Three dukes of Somerset, threefold renown'd * Sink in the ground ? I thought it would have For hardy and undoubted champions : mounted.

Two Cliffords, as the father and the son, See how my sword weeps for the poor king's And two Northumberlands; two braver men death!

Ne'er spurr'd their coursers at the trumpet's sound: O, may such purple tears be alway shed

With them, the two brave bears, Warwick and From those that wish the downfall of our house !

Montague, If any spark of life be yet remaining,

That in their chains fetter'd the kingly lion, Down, down to hell; and say I sent thee thither, And made the forest tremble when they roar’d.

[Stabs him again. Thus have we swept suspicion from our seat, I, that have neither pity, love, nor fear.

And made our footstool of security.Indeed, 't is true that Henry told me of ;

Come hither, Bess, and let me kiss my boy: For I have often heard

my
mother
say

Young Ned, for thee, thine uncles and myself
I came into the world with my legs forward : Have in our armours watch'd the winter's night;
Had I not reason, think ye, to make haste, Went all afoot in summer's scalding heat,
And seek their ruin that usurp'd our right?

That thou mightst repossess

the crown

in

peace ; The midwife wonderd and the women cried, And of our labours thou shalt

the gain. 0, Jesus bless us, he is born with teeth !

Glo. I'll blast his harvest, if your head were laid; And so I was; which plainly signified

For yet I am not look'd on in the world. That I should snarl, and bite, and play the dog. This shoulder was ordain'd so thick, to heave; Then, since the heavens have shap'd my body so, And heaveit shall some weight, or break my back:Let hell make crook'd my mind to answer it. Work thou the way,—and that shalt executed I have no brother, I am like no brother : And this word love, which greybeards call divine, K. Edw. Clarence and Gloster, love my lovely Be resident in men like one another,

queen ; And not in me; I am myself alone.

And kiss + your princely nephew, brothers both. Clarence, beware; thou keep'st me from the light; CLAR. The duty, that I owe unto your majesty, But I will sort a pitchy day for thee :

I seal upon the lips of this sweet babe. For I will buz abroad such prophecies,

K. Edw. Thanks, noble Clarence; worthy That Edward shall be fearful of his life ;

brother, thanks.

[Aside.

a Aboding-) Foreboding, portending.

The raven rook'd her-) To ruck, or to rook, means to squat down, or lodge, or roost.

To wit, an indigest deformed lump,-) The folio 1623 reads, "-an indigested and deformed lumpe." * The True Tragedy." "-an undigest created lumpe.” We adopt the slight change made by Malone, a change made also by Mr. Collier's annotator. d Work thou the way, -and that shalt execute.] Thou refers to VOL. II.

449

(*) Old text, Renowne.

(1) First folio, 'lis. the speaker's head ; that, to his arm or shoulder. Some copies of the folio 1623 read, " add that shalt." &c.

e In the folio 1623 this line, which there begins,-" Thanke Noble Clarence,” &c., has the prefix Cla. In "The True Tragedy" it is given to the Queen.

GG

To say

Glo. And, that I love the tree from whence | Reignier, her father, to the king of France thou sprang'st,

Hath pawn’d the Sicils and Jerusalem, Witness the loving kiss I give the fruit :

And hither have they sent it for her ransom. the truth, so Judas kiss'd his master; K. Edw. Away with her, and waft her hence to And cried-all hail / whenas he meant—all harm.

France.

[Aside. And now what rests, but that we spend the time K. Edw. Now am I seated as my soul delights, With stately triumphs, mirthful comic shows, Having my country's peace and brothers' loves. Such as befit the pleasure of the court ?CLAR. What will your grace have done with Sound drums and trumpets!—farewell sour annoy! Margaret?

For here, I hope, begins our lasting joy. (Exeunt. ILLUSTRATIVE COMMENTS.

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(2) SCENE I.-Stern Falconbridge.] “The person here meant was Thomas Nevil, bastard son to the lord Fauconbridge. “A man (says Hall) of no lesse corage then audacitie, who for bis evel condicions was such an apte person, that a more meter could not be chosen to set all the worlde in a broyle, and to put the estate of the realme on an yl hazard. He had been appointed by Warwick vice-admiral of the sea, and had in charge so to keep the passage between Dover and Calais, that none which either favoured King Henry or his friends should escape untaken or undrowned : such at least were his instructions, with respect to the friends and favourers of King Edward, after the rupture between him and Warwick. On Warwick's death, he fell into poverty, and robbed, both by sea and land, as well friends as enemies. He once brought his ships up the Thames, and with a considerable body of the men of Kent and Essex, made a spirited assault on the City, with a view to plunder and pillage, which was not repelled but after a sharp conflict, and the loss of many lives ; and, had it happened at a more critical period, might have been attended with fatal consequences to Edward. After roving on the sea some little time longer, he ventured to land at Southampton, where he was taken and beheaded."-Ritson.

ACT I.

(1) SCENE I.

I here entail The crown to thee, and to thine heirs for ever.] This compromise is an historical fact; and, from the following account, extracted from a MS. in the British Museum (Harl. C. 7), appears to have been the result of long and frequent debates in parliament. “On halmesse evyn, abowt thre after noyne, comyn into the Comowne Howus, the Lordys spiritual and temporal, excepte the Kyng, the Duk of York, and' hys sonys; And the Chawn. celer

reherset the debate had bytwyn owre soveren Lord the Kyng and the Duk of York upon the tytelys of Ing. lond, Fraunce, and the Lordschep of Erlond, wyche mater was debat, arguet, and disputet by the seyd lordes spiritual and temporal byfore owre soveren Lord and the Duk of York longe and diverse tymys. And at the last, by gret avyce and deliberacion, and by the assent of owre soveryn Lord and the Duk of York, and alle the lordes spiritual and temporal ther assemelyd by vertu of thys present parlement, assentyt, agreyt, and acordyt, that owre sovereyne Lord the Kyng schal pessabylly and quyetly rejoys and possesse the crowne of Inglond and of Fraunce, and the Lordchip of Irlond, with al hys preemynences, prerogatyves, and liberteys during hys lyf. And that after hys desese, the coroun, etc., schal remayne to Rychard Duk of York, as rythe inheryť to hym and to hys issue, prayng and desyring ther the comownes of Inglond, be vertu of thys present parlement assemylet, to comyne the seyd mater, and to gyff therto her assent. The whyche comyns, after the mater debatet, comynt, grawntyt, and assentyt to the forseyd premisses. And ferthermore was granted and assentyt, that the seyd Duk of York, the Eri of March, and of Rutlond, schul be sworne that they schuld not compas ne conspyrene the kynges deth ne hys hurt duryng hys lyf. Ferthermore the forseyd Duk schulde be bad, take and reportyt as eyr apparent prince and ryth inheryter to the crowne aboveseyd. Ferthermore for to be had and take tresoun to ymagine or compas the deth or the hurt of the seyd Duk, wythe othyr prerogatyves as long to the prince and eyr parawnt. And ferthermore the seyd Duk and hys sonys schul have of the Kyng yerly ten thousand marces, that is to sey, to hemself five thousand, to the Erl of Marche three thousand, the Erl of Rutlond two thousand marces. And alle these mateyrs agreyd, assentyt, and inactyt by the auctoritie of thys present parlement. And ferthermore, the statutes mad in the tyme of Kyng Herry the fowrth, wherby the croune was curtaylet to hys issu male, utterly anullyd and evertyth, wyth alle other statutes and grantys mad by the seyd Kynges days, Kyng Herry the V. and King Herry the vjte, in the infforsyng of the tytel of Kyng Herry the fourth in general.”

(3) SCENE III.-Thy father slew my father; therefore, die.] “ While this battaill was in fightyng, a prieste called sir Robert Aspall, chappelain and schole master to the yong, erle of Rutland 11. sonne to the above named duke of Yorke, scarce of the age of .xii. yeres, a faire gentleman, and a maydenlike person, perceivyng that flight was more savegard, then tariyng, bothe for him and his master, secretly conveyed therle out of the felde, by the lord Cliffordes bande, toward the towne, but or he coulde enter into a house, he was by the sayd lord Clifford espied, folowed, and taken, and by reson of his apparell, demaunded what he was. The yong gentelman dismaied, had not a word to speake, but kneled on his knees imploryog mercy, and desiryng grace, both with holding up his handes and making dolorous countinance, for his speache was gone for feare. Save him sayde his Chappelein, for he is a princes sonne, and peradventure may do you good hereafter. With that word, the lord Clifford marked him and sayde: by Gods blode, thy father slew myne, and so wil I do the and all thy kyn, and with that woord, stacke the erle to the hart with his dagger, and bad his Chappeleyn bere the erles mother and brother worde what he had done, and sayde. In this acte the lord Clyfford was accompted a tyraunt, and no gentelman, for the propertie of the Lyon, which is a furious and an unreasonable beaste, is to be cruell to them that withstande hym, and gentle to such as prostrate or humiliate them selfes before him."-HALL

АСТ II.

(1) SCENE I.

Nay, if thou be that princely eagle's bird,

Show thy descent by gazing 'gainst the sun.] The opinion that the eagle, of all birds, 'possessed the faculty of gazing undazzled at the blazing sun, is of very high antiquity. Pliny relates that it exposes its brood to this test as soon as hatched, to prove if they be genuine or not. Chaucer refers to the belief in the "Assemblie of Foules :"

“There mighten men the royal egal find,

That with his sharp look persith the sonne."
As does Spenser, in the “Hymn of Heavenly Beauty :"-

"Mount up aloft, through heavenly contemplation,
From this dark world, whose damps the soul do blind.
And like the native brood of eagles kind,
On that bright sun of glory fix thyne eyes,
Clear'd from gross mists of frail infirmitys."

(2) SCENE II.

And happy always was it for that son,

Whose father for his hoarding went to hell ?] An allusion to a trite proverb : “Happy is the child whose father went to the devil." “ It hath beene an olde proverbe, that happy is that sonne whose father goes to the devill: meaning by thys allegoricall kind of speech, that such fathers as seeke to inrich theyr sonnes by covetousnes, by briberie, purloyning, or by any other sinister meanes, suffer not onely affliction of mind, as greeved with insatietie of getting, but wyth danger of soule, as a just reward for such wretchednesse.”—GREENE'S Royal Exchange, 4to. Lond. 1590.

(3) SCENE II.

I would your highness would depart the field ;

The queen hath best success when you are absent.] “Happy was the Quene in her two battayls, but unfortunate was the King in al his enterprises, for wher his person was presente, ther victory fled ever from him to the other parte, and he commonly was subdued and vanqueshed.”-Hall.

Drayton, in “The Miseries of Queen Margaret,” calls attention to this general belief in the luckless fortunes of the King :

"Some think that Warwick had not lost the day,
But that the King into the field he brought;
For with the worse that side went still away
Which had King Henry with them when they fought.
Upon his birth so sad a curse there lay,
As that he never prospered in aught.

The queen won two, among the loss of many,
Her husband absent; present, never any."

(4) SCENE III.-A Field of Battle between Towton and Saxton, in Yorkshire.] The following is Hall's narrative of the memorable battle of Towton ; "a battle," Carte observes, which “decided the fate of the house of Lancaster, overturning in one day an usurpation strengthened by near sixty-two years' continuance, and established Edward on the throne of England.” “The same day, about .ix. of the

clocke, whiche was the .xxix. day of Marche, beyng Palmsundaye, bothe the hostes approched in a playn felde. between Towton and Saxton. When eche parte perveyved other, thei made a great shoute, and at the same instante time, their fell a small snyt or snow, which by violence of the wynd was driven into the faces of them, which were of kyng Henries parte, so that their sight was somewhat blemeshed and minished. The lord Fawnconbridge, which led the forward of kyng Edwardes battail (as before is rehersed) being a man of great polecie, and of much es. perience in marciall feates, caused every archer under his standard, to shot one flyght (which before he caused them to provide) and then made them to stand still. The Northrenmen, feling the shoot, but by reason of the snow, not wel vewyng the distaunce betwene them and their enemies, like hardy men shot their schiefe arrowes as fast as thei 'might, but al their shot was lost, and their labor vayn for they came not nere the Southermen by .xl. taylors yerdes. When their shot was almost spent, the lord Fawconbridge marched forwarde with his archers, which not onely shot their awne whole sheves, but also gathered the arrowes of their enemies, and let a great parte of them flye ayaynst their awne masters, and another part thei let stand on the ground, which sore noyed the legges of the owners, when the battayle joyned. The erle of Northumberland, and Andrew Trolope, which were chefetayns of Kyng Henries vangard, seynge their shot not to prevayle, hasted forward to joine with their enemies • you may besure the other part nothing retarded, but valeauntly foughte with their enemies. This battayl was sore foughten, for hope of life was set on side on every parte and takynge of prisoners was proclaymed as a great offence, by reason wherof every man determined, either to conquere or to dye in the felde. This deadly battayle and bloudy conflicte, continued I. houres in doubtfull victorie. The one parte some time flowyng, and some time ebbyng, but in conclusion, kyns Edward so coragiously comforted his men, refreshyng the wery, and helping the wounded, that the other part was discomfited and overcome, and lyke men amased, fledde toward Tadcaster bridge to save them selfes : but in the meane way there is a litle broke called Cocke not very broade, but of a great deapnes, in the whiche, what for hast of escapyng, and what for feare of folowers, a great number were drent and drowned, in so much that the cornmon people there affirme, that men alyve passed the syver upon dead carcasis, and that the great ryver of Wharfe, which is the great sewer of that broke, and of all the water comyng from Towton, was colored with bloude."

(5) SCENE VI.-For Gloster's dukedom is too ominous.] So Hall :—“It seemeth to many men that the name and title of Gloucester hath bene unfortunate and unluckie to diverse, whiche for their honor have bene erected by creation of princes to that stile and dignitie; as Hugh Spencer, Thomas of Woodstocke, son to Kynge Edward the thirde, and this duke Humphrey; whiche three persons by miser able death finished their daies; and after them King Richard the iji, also duke of Gloucester, in civil warre was slaine and confounded ; so that this name of Gloucester is taken for an unhappie and unfortunate stile, as the proverbe speaketh of Sejanes horse, whose ryder was ever unhorsed, and whose possessor was ever brought to miserie.”

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