Page images
PDF
EPUB

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 desery'd it.

Enter STANLEY.
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.8.Wot 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. 1- 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.

Fohnson.

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 CATE. How now, sirrah? how goes the world with thee?

Purs. The better, that your lordship please 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 allies; 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,' to your honour's good content! : ' Hust. 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 phrase 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, Iago says:

és 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. They, for their truth,] That is, with respect to their honesty."

Johnson. I hold it, ] That is, continue it. Fohnson.

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

3- exercise; 1 Performance of divine service. Johnson.

Come the next sabbath, and I will content you.

Enter BUCKINGHAM.
Buck. What, talking with a priest, lord chamberlain ?
Your friends at Pomfret, they do need the priest;
Your honour hath no shriving work in hand.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?

Buck. I do, my lord; but long I cannot stay there: I shåll 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 Tho. mas 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 forasmuche 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.

Fohnson So, in Hamlet:

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

SCENE III.

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 limit 8 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-

ingham,
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-

0_ 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.

VOL. XI.

Be satisfied, dear God, with our true bloods,
Which, as thou know'st, unjustly must be spilt! -

Rat. Make haste, the hour of death is expiate.9
Riv. Come, Grey, come, Vaughan, let us here em-

brace: Farewel, until we meet again in heaven. [Exeunt.

SCENE IV.

London. A Room in the Tower. BUCKINGHAM, STANLEY, HASTINGS, the Bishop of Ely, i

CATESBY, LOVEL, and Others, sitting at a Table : Officers of the Council attending. Hast. Now, noble peers, the cause why we are met Is to determine of the coronation:

9 Make haste, the hour of death is expiate.] Thus the folio. The quarto furnishes a line that has occurred already :

“ Despatch; the limit of your lives is out.” Expiate is used for expiated; so confiscate, contaminate, consummate, &c. &c. It seems to mean, fully completed, and ended. Shakspeare has again used the word in the same sense in his 22d Sonnet:

“Then look I death my days should expiate." So, in Locrine, 1595:

“ Lives Sabren yet, to expiate my wrath." The editor of the second folio, who altered whatever he did not understand, reads arbitrarily

“Despatch; the hour of death is now expir'd.and he has been followed by all the modern editors. Malone.

the hour of death is expiate.] As I cannot make sense of this, I should certainly read, with the second folio:

" the hour of death is now expired,meaning the hour appointed for his death. The passage quoted by Mr. Malone from Locrine, is nothing to the purpose, for there, to expiate means to atone for, or satisfy. M. Mason.

I do not well understand the reading which Mr. Malone pre. fers, though I have left it in the text. Perhaps we should read:

the hour of death is expirate; which accords with Shakspeare's phraseology, and needs no ex. planation. Thus, in Romeo and Juliet:

“- and expire the term

“Of a despised life " Steevens. 1_ Bishop of Ely,) Dr. John Morton; who was elected to that see in 1478. He was advanced to the see of Canterbury in 1486, and appointed Lord Chancellor in 1487. He died in the year 1500. This prelate, Sir Thomas More tells us, first devised

« PreviousContinue »