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And die, ere men can say—God save the queen!
Q. Eliz. Go, go, poor soul, I envy not thy glory; To feed my humour, wish thyself no harm.
Anne. No! why?-When he, that is my husband now, Came to me, as I follow'd Henry's corse; When scarce the blood was well wash'd from his hands, Which issu'd from my other angel husband, And that dead saint which then I weeping follow'd; O, when, I say, I look'd on Richard's face, This was my wish, Be thou, quoth I, accurs'd, For making me, so young, so old a widow ! And, when thou wed'st, let sorrow haunt thy bed; And be thy wife (if any be so mad) More miserable by the life of thee, Than thou hast made me by my dear lord's death! Lo, ere I can repeat this curse again, Even in so short a space, my woman's heart
And wear his crown made hot with flaming fire:
“ Bring forth the burning crown there." Again, in Looke about you, a comedy, 1600:
“Ere on thy head I set a burning crowne,
“Of red hot yron, that shall seare thy braines.” In some of the monkish accounts of a place of future torment, a burning crown is likewise appropriated to those who deprived any lawfulmonarch of his kingdom. Steevens. So Marlowe, in his King Edward II:
"— if proud Mortimer do wear this crown,
“ Heaven turn it to a blaze of quenchless fire.” Malone. Marlowe's allusion is to the fatal crown which Creusa received, as a nuptial gift, from Medea;
«Χρυσές μεν αμφί κρατο κειμενος πγόκος,
Euripidis Medea, v. 1195. Steevens. John, the son of Vaivode Stephen, having defeated the army of Hungarian peasants, called Croisadoes, in 1514, caused their general, “ called George, to be stript naked, upon whose head the executioner set a crown of hot burning iron,” Goulart's Admirable and Memorable Histories, 1607. This is the fact to which Goldsmith alludes:
“ Luke's iron crown, and Damien's bed of steel.” Though it was George, and not his brother Luke, who was so punished: but George's would not suit the poet's metre. The Earl of Atholl, who was executed on account of the murder of James I, King of Scots, was, previous to his death, “crowned with a hot iron.” See Holinshed. Ritson.
Grossly grew captive to his honey words,
Q. Eliz. Poor heart, adieu; I pity thy complaining.
To Dor. Go thou to Richard, and good angels tend thee!
TTo ANNE Go thou to sanctuary, and good thoughts possess thee!
[To Q. ELIZ. I to my grave, where peace and rest lie with me! Eighty odd years of sorrow have I seen, And each hour's joy wreck'd with a week of teen.? Q. Eliz. Stay yet;8 look back, with me, unto the
4 For never get one hour in his bed -] Hour is here, as in many other places, used by Shakspeare as a dissyllable. Malone.
5 But with his timorous dreams -] 'Tis recorded by Polydore Virgil, that Richard was frequently disturbed by terrible dreams : this is therefore no fiction. Fohnson.
Perhaps the narratives of Polydore Virgil, like those of Hector Boethius, are of slight authority. Such at least, respecting the former of these writers, was the opinion of Owen, our epigrammatist:
« Virgilii duo sunt; alter Maro; tu, Polydore,
“ Alter; tu mendax, ille poeta fuit.” Steevens. o Eighty odd years &c.] Shakspeare has here, I believe, spoken at random. The present scene is in 1483. Richard, Duke of York, the husband of this lady, had he been then living, would have been but seventy-three years old, and we may reasonably suppose that his Duchess was younger than he was. Nor did she go speedily to her grave. She lived till 1495. Malone.
7 And each hour's joy wreck'd with a week of teen.] Teen is sorrow. So, in Romeo and Juliet:
“And yet to my teen be it spoken,” &c. Steevens. 8 Stay yet ; &c.] This speech is not in the quarto. Malone.
Pity, you ancient stones, those tender babes,
A Room of State in the Palace. Flourish of Trumpets. RICHARD, as King upon his Throne;
BUCKINGHAM, CATESBY, a Page, and Others.
Buck. Still live they, and for ever let them last!
K. Rich. Ah, Buckingham, now do I play the touch,2 To try if thou be current gold, indeed :
9 Rude ragged nurse! old sullen play-fellow -] To call the Tower nurse and play-fellow is very harsh: perhaps part of this speech is addressed to the Tower, and part to the Lieutenant. Johnson. The last line of this speech
So foolish sorrow bids your stones farewel, 'proves that the whole of it is addressed to the Tower, and apologizes for the absurdity of 'that address, by attributing it to sorrow. M. Mason.
1 So foolish sorrow bids your stones furewel.] Hither the third Act should be extended, and here it very properly ends with a pause of action. Fohnson.
The folio has-sorrows. Corrected by Mr. Rowe. Malone.
2 — now do I play the touch,] To play the touch is to represent the touchstone. So, in the 16th Song of Drayton's Polyolbion:
“ With alabaster, tuch, and porphyry adorn'd.” Again, in the epistle of Mary the French Queen to Charles Brana don, by Drayton:
" Before mine eve, like touch, thy shape did prove." Again, in Spenser's Fairy Queen, B. I, c. iii: “ Though true as touch, though daughter of a king."
Young Edward lives;- Think now what I would speak.
Buck. Say on, my loving lord.
O bitter consequence,
Buck. Your grace may do your pleasure.
K. Rich. Tut, tut, thou art all ice, thy kindness freezes: Say, have I thy consent, that they shall die? Buck. Give me some breath, some little pause, dear
lord, Before I positively speak in this : I will resolve your grace immediately. [Exit Buck. Cates. The king is angry; see, he gnaws his lip.3
Aside. K. Rich. I will converse with iron-witted fools,
[ Descends from his Throne. And unrespective boys;4 none are for me, That look into me with considerate eyes :High-reaching Buckingham grows circumspect.Boy,
Page. My lord.
K. Rich. Know'st thou not any, whom corrupting gold Would tempt unto a close exploits of death?
3- see, he gnaws his lip.] Several of our ancient historians observe, that this was an accustomed action of Richard, whether he was pensive or angry. Steevens.
4 And unrespective boys ;] Unrespective is inattentive to conse. quences, inconsiderate. So, in Daniel's Cleopatra, 1599:
“ When dissolute impiety possess'd
“ The unrespective minds of prince and people.” Steevens. Unrespective is, devoid of cautious and prudential consideration.
Malone. See note on the following passage in the Rape of Lucrece, edit. 1790, p. 102:
Respect and reason wait on wrinkled age.” Stcevens, 5 close exploit - ] Is secret act. Johnsori.
Page. I know a discontented gentleman,
K. Rich. What is his name?
His name, my lord, is—Tyrrel. K. Rich. I partly know the man; Go, call him hither, boy
Know, my loving lord,?
K. Rich. Come hither, Catesby: rumour it abroad,
6 witty] In this place signifies judicious or cunning. A wit was not at this time employed to signify a man of fancy, but was used for wisdom or judgment. So, in Daniel's Cleopatra, 1599 :
“ Although unwise to live, had wit to die." Again, in one of Ben Jonson's Masques :
" And at her feet do witty serpents move.” Steevens. 7 Know, my loving lord,] Surely, we should adopt Sir Thomas Hanmer's regulation, and give the passage thus: How now, lord Stanley? what's the news?
My lord, &c. Are the omitted words-know and loving, of so much value, that measure must continue to be sacrificed for their preservation ?
Steevens. 8 I will take order for her keeping close. i. e. I will take mea. sures that shall oblige her to keep close. So, in Marlowe and Nashe's Dido, 1594, Jupiter says:
“I will take order for that presently." The same phrase occurs in Othello, Aci V, sc. ii. Steevens.
9 The boy is foolish,] Shakspeare has here perhaps anticipated the folly of this youth. He was, at this time, I believe, about ten years old, and we are not told by any historian that he had then exhibited any symptoms of folly. Being confined by King Henry