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he could have sene soudenly by miracle, the dyfference lowing is Fabian's narrative, by which it will be seen that betwene divers colours, yet coulde he not by the syght so the poet has historical authority for exhibiting the sodenly tell the names of all these colours, but if he had armourer as overcome by intoxication, though he appears knowen them before, no more than the names of al the to have deviated from it in making him “confess treason :" men that he should sodenly se."
-“In this yere an armurer named . . . . was appeched of
treason by a servaunte of his owne : for triall whereof a (3) SCENE III.-Enter, on' one side, Horner, &c.] The daie to them was given to fight in Smithfield. At which stage direction of “The Contention” is amusing :-"Enter daie of battaill the saied armurer was overcomen and at one doore the Armourer and his neighbours, drinking to slain, and that by the misguiding of himself: for upon him so much that he is drunken, and he enters with a drum the morowe when he should come to the fielde, his neighbefore him, and his staffe with a sand-bag fastened to it, and bours came to him, and gave unto him so moche wine and ai the other doore, his Man with a drum and sand-bagge, good ale, that he was therewithe distempered, that he and Prentises drinking to him.”
reeled as he went, and so vas slaine without gilt. But that
false servaunt lived not longe unpunished, for he was after (4) SCENE III.-Peter strikes down his master.] In our hanged for felony at Tiburne.” In the volume of “Illusillustration of the trial by battle between the Dukes of trations of the Manners and Expences of Antient Times Hereford and Norfolk (“Richard the Second,” Act I, Sc. 3), in England,” published by: Nichols, will be found the the combat represented in this play was especially referred Exchequer record of the items and charges for erecting to. In the former instance the duello takes place between the barriers and preparing the field for this duello, noblemen of the first rank, in the present betwixt two amounting to £10 18s. 9d. These works occupied about persons of the lowest degree, but in both the parties are a week; the barriers were brought in nine carts from each other's equals, and in both the combat springs from Westminster, and the ground was cleared of snow, and an accusation of treason, which, with the appeal of murder, strewed with rushes and 168 loads of sand and gravel. was always submitted to be a valid cause for permitting The account is closed with some items partly disallowed the Wager of Battle. The cases in question were thus far by the Barons of the Exchequer, showing that however parallel, and even in the ceremonial proper to each, though innocent the vanquished armourer really might have been, widely different in the scene of action, and the habits and his body was treated as that of a traitor :-"Paid to weapons of the combatants, there was a marked degree of Officeres for watching of ye ded man in Smythfelde, yo similarity. The event here introduced took place early in same daye and yo nyghte aftyr that the bataill was December, 1446, and was the second appeal of treason doon; and for hors hyre for the Officeres at the execution made in that year, for which the Trial by Battle was doying; and for the hangmans labour,-11s. 6d. Also appointed. The Prior of Kilmaine bad appeached the paid for ye cloth yat lay upon ye ded man in Smythfelde Earl of Ormond, and “for trial thereof," says Fabian, -8d. Also paid for 1 pole and nayllis and setting up of " the place of battaill was assigned in Smithfield, and the ye manny's hed on London bridge-8d." barriers for the same there readie pight. In which meane It is not so easy to ascertain the source whence Shaketyme a Doctour of Divinitie, named Master Gilbert
speare derived the costume of these combatants, as it was Worthington, Parsone of Saint Andrews in Holborne,
in the case of the important personages who fought in and other good menne, made soche labour to the kynges « Richard the Second.' No one of the Chronicles notices counsaill, that when the daie of battaill approched, the “staff with a sand-bag fastened to it," with which the quarell was taken into the kynges hande and there Horner and Peter were to settle their differences. The ended.” The same author also records the Appeal of weapons proper to civil persons under the rank of gentleTreason represented in the present drama; and he, in all men, and in a case of felony, were batons of an ell in probability, as Mr. Douce conjectured, was Shakespeare's length, tipped with horn at each end, but without any authority for the incident. In his Chronicle there is a
iron; and square targets covered with leather. The sand. blank space left for the name of the armourer, which is bags appear to have been attached to the batons only supplied by Holinshed. " The real names of these com- when the combat was assigned on a Writ of Right; which batants,” Mr. Douce observes, “were John Daveys and became, as Blackstone regards it, a species of cudgelWilliam Catour, as appears from the original precept to playing, the end of which was not the death of either the sheriffs, still remaining in the Exchequer, commanding party, but only a manifest superiority of skill. Any nice them to prepare the barriers in Smithfield for combat. distinction as to the peculiar weapons appointed by the The names of the sheriffs were Godfrey Boloyne and legal character of appeal was not to be expected in ShakeRobert Horne; and the latter, which occurs on the page speare, especially as such disputes commonly related to of Fabian's Chronicle that records the duel, might have questions of property, and not to criminal accusations. suggested the name of Horner to Shakespeare.” The fol
(1) SCENE I.-Caper upright like a wild Mórisco.] There can be little doubt that upon the first introduction of the Moorish dance, or as it soon became corrupted Morris dance, the performers endeavoured, by the wildness of their gestures, by colouring their faces, and by assuming a costume which resembled that of Africa, to imitate as nearly as they could the actions and appearance of the native dancers. One peculiarity which has been already noticed (see Illustrative Comments to “ All's Well that Ends Well," p. 55), and which lasted in this country as long as the Morris "dance itself, was that of the dancers hanging bells about their knees, and sometimes their arms also; hence the allusion in the text to the shaking his bells. From some passages in our old writers, it is evident also, that in imitation of the original dancers, they were once in the habit of bearing swords, which they shook and probably clashed with vehemence, as they became ex
cited by the motion, the noise they made, and by the
Enter certain Murderers, hastily.] The
(3) SCENE II.
It cannot be but he was murder'd here;
The least of all these signs were probable.] It is instructive and interesting also to observe the care with which this terrible picture was elaborated from what we believe to have been Shakespeare's first rough design of it in “ The Contention :"
Car. Why died he not in his bed ?
What would you have me to do then!
his haire, So now hees gone againe : Oh, oh, oh. Sal. See how the panges of death doth gripe his heart, King. Lord Cardinali, if thou diest assured of heavenly blisse, Hold up thy hand and make some signe to us.
(The Cardinall dies. Oh see he dies, and makes no signe at all.
Oh God forgive his soule.
But as his death, so was his life in all.
For God will iudge us all.
"War. Oft have I seene a timely parted ghost,
of ashie semblance, pale and bloodlesse,
An eminent medical authority makes the following observation upon the poet's description of Gloucester's death : -"My readers will smile, perhaps, to see me quoting Shakespeare among physicians and theologists; but not one of all their tribe, populous though it be, could describe so exquisitely the marks of apoplexy, conspiring with the struggles for life, and the agonies of suffocation, to deform the countenance of the dead : so curiously does our poet present to our conceptions all the signs from which it might be inferred that the good duke Humfrey had died a violent death."— BELL'S Principles of Surgery, 1815. ii. 557.
The account in Hall, which in all probability suggested the scene, is as follows:--"During these doynges, Henry Beaufford, byshop of Wynchester, and called the rycle Cardynall, departed out of this worlde, and was buried at Wynchester. This man was sonne to Ihon of Gaunte, duke of Lancaster, discended of an honorable lignage, but borne in Baste, more noble of bloud, then notable in learnyng, haut in stomacke, and hygh in countenaunce, ryche above measure of all men, and to fewe liberal, disdaynfull to his kynne, and dreadfull to his lovers, preferrynge money before friendshippe, many thinges begynning, and nothing perfourmyng. His covetous insaciable, and hope of long lyfe, made hym bothe to forget God, his prynce, and hym selfe, in his latter daies : for Doctor Thon Baker, his pryvie counsailer, and hys chappellayn, wrote, that he lyeng on his death bed, said these wordes:
Why should I dye, having so muche ryches, if the whole realme would save my lyfe, I am able either by pollicie to get it or by ryches to bye it. Fye, will not death be hyered, nor will money do nothyng! when my nephew of Bedford died, I thought myselfe halfe up the whele, but when I sawe myne other nephew of Gloucester disceased, then I thought myself able to be equale with kinges, and so thought to encrease my treasure in hoope to have worne a tryple Croune. But I se nowe the worlde faileth me, and so I am deceyved, praiyng you all to pray
It is, perhaps, hardly necessary to add that there is no historical foundation for charging Cardinal Beaufort with complicity in the murder of Gloucester. Long before that time he had retired from public affairs, applying himself sedulously to the duties of his diocese, and distinguishing himself by many acts of munificence and charity.
"Enter King and Salsbury, and then the Curtaines be drawne, and
the Cardinall is discovered in his bed, raving and staring as if he were madde.
Car, Oh death, if thou wilt let me live but one whole yeare,
Lord Cardinall, remember Christ must save thy soule.
of Suffolke, as men judge by God's punyshment for above all thinges he was noted to be the very organ, engine, and diviser of the destruccion of Humfrey the good duke of Gloucester, and so the bloudde of the innocente man was with his dolorous death, recompensed and punished.”
(1) SCENE I. --So will the queen, that living held him deur.] The circumstances attending the capture and murder of the Duke of Suffolk are thus briefly narrated by Hall :“But fortune wold not that this flagitious person shoulde so escape ; for when he shipped in Suffolke, entendynge to be transported into Fraunce, he was encontered with a shippe of warre appertainyng to the duke of Excester, the constable of the towre of London, called the Nicholas of the Towre. The capitayne of the same barke with small fighte entered into the duke's shyppe, and perceyving his person present, brought hym to Dover rode, and there on the one syde of a cocke bote, caused his head to be stryken of, and left his body with the heade upon the sandes of Dover, which corse was there founde by a chapelayne of his, and conveyed to Wingfelde College in Suffolke, and there buried. This ende had William de la Pole, first duke
(2) SCENE II.
Cade. What is thy name?
Dick. They use to write it on the top of letters.]
by the Camden Society in “Original Letters of Eminent tooke upon them in the night to keepe the brydge, and Literary Men," 1813 :
would not suffer the Kentishmen once to approche. The
rebelles which never soundly slept for feare of soddaine " EMANUELT.
chaunces, hearing that the bridge was thus kept, ran with Worshipfull Sir, my thoughts runnyng upon the well perform
greate haste to open that passage, where betwene both ance of this worke, and fearfull to comitt any thing disagreeing parties was a fierce and cruell fight. Matthew Gough from the truth, I have sent you a coppy of some part of that which perceiving the rebels to stand to their tackling more manyou have alredy sene, because you left in writing at the Printers fullie than he thought they would have doone, advised his that with a fast eye you had overune it, and your leasure better
companie not to advance anie further toward Southwarke, affording that busines in the contrey then here you had ; this therefore hath caused me to send you as much as my Printer can
till the daie appeared, that they might see where the espare, beseiching your Worshipe to read it more attentyvly, to
place of jeopardie rested, and so to provide for the same; place the Coynes, and what. adicssions you will before you
but this little availed. For the rebels with their multitude returne it; and I pray you to past a paper where you doc adde. drave backe the citizens from the stoulps at the bridgeand not to intirline the coppy, for somewhere we cannot read your foot to the draw bridge, and began to set fire in diverse Notes because the place geves your pene not rome to exprese houses. Great ruth it was to behold the miserable state, your mynd. I have sent such Coynes as are cutt, and will weekly supply the same; so much therefore as you shall perfect I praye
wherein some desiring to eschew the fire died upon their you send againe with as much speed as you can; but where you
enimies weapon ; womon with children in their armes lept do want the Coynes, kepe that coppy still with you, untill I send
for feare into the river, other in a deadlie care how to save them : for I shall not be sattisfied with your other directions or themselves, between fire, water, and sword, were in their Mr. Coles helpe. Good Sir, afford me herein your assistance as houses choked and smothered. Yet the captains not you have begune, and remember my suit to my L. privy-seall,
sparing, fought on the bridge all the night valiantlie: but wherein you shall binde me in all dutifull service and affection to
in conclusion the rebels gat the draw bridge, and drouned your Worship's command. So beseiking the Almighty to prosper our indevours I humbly take my leave, and leave your Worship to
many, and slew John Sutton, alderman, and Robert Heythe Lordes- protection. Your Worships to comand in all dutifuli sand, a hardie citizen, with manie other, beside Matthew service, Jox, SPEED."
Gough, a man of great wit, and much experience in feates
of chivalry, the which in continual warres had spent his It is somewhat surprising that modern editors of Shake- time in service of the king and his father. speare, to whose research we owe so much, should have “ This sore conflict endured in doubtfull wise on the been unable to furnish a single example of the use of this bridge, till nine of the clocke in the morning; for someprefix to letters. Warburton speaks of it as adopted only
time the Londoners were beaten backe to sainte Magnus in "letters missive and such like publick acts," and Mr.
corner; and suddenelie againe, the rebels were repulsed Collier echoes him. This is a curious mistake. In addi. to the stoulpes in Southwarke, so that both parts beeing tion to the instance cited above, we can refer to one MS. faint and wearie, agreed to leave off from fighting till the alone in the British Museum (Add. MSS. 19,400) which next day, uppon condition that neyther Londoners should contains no less than fourteen private epistles headed passe into Southwarke, nor Kentishmen into London. “ Emanewell,” or “Jesus Immanuel.” See folios 40, 47, Upon this abstinence, this rakehell capteine for making 100, 116, 137, 142, 145, 150, 155, 163, 165, 168, 185, him more friends, brake up the gailes of the kings Bench and 204.
and Marshalsie, and so were manie mates set at libertie verie meet for his matters in hand.”-HOLINSHED, sub
anno 1450. (3) SCENE II. – Hang him with his pen-and-inkhorn about his neck.) A horn, to contain pens and ink, or a pencase and an inkhorn attached together by a cord, used (5) SCENE IX.formerly to be carried about by professional people, such as schoolmasters, lawyers, notaries, &c., who are always The duke of York is newly come from Ireland : represented in ancient illuminations, pictures, and tombs, And with a puissant and a mighty power, with these useful appendages hanging from their girdles.
Of gallouglasses, and stout kerns, A good ideal representative of the Clerk of Chatham will Is marching hitherward in proud array.) be found in Waller's "Series of Monumental Brasses," from a monument, temp. Edward IV., in the church of St. Mary The only distinction between these formidable mercenaries, Tower, Ipswich. “As more intimately connected, however, whose wild appearance and ferocious habits are specially dewith the present drama, it is interesting to know that the picted by English writers of the time of Elizabeth, was that identical pen-and-ink case formerly belonging to king the kerns were light, and the gallowglasses heavy, armed Henry VI. still exists. It is made of leather, ornamented foot soldiers; the principal weapon of the former being with the arms of England, and the rose of the House of
a dart, which, an eye-witness of their prowess assures Lancaster, surmounted by the crown. Inside are three us, they wielded with such force as to pierce through cells, one to receive the inkstand, the other two to hold both the chain and plate armour of their antagonists.* pens, &c. This curious relic is engraved in Shaw's “Dresses The gallowglass, chosen for his size and strength, was and Decorations of the Middle Ages."
armed with a shirt of mail, a skull cap, and a gallow
glass axe. Savage and merciless in warfare, (4) SCENE VIII.-Up Fish-street! Down Saint Magnus'
the gallowglass, the kerne, corner /] The insurrection of Jack Cade, with all its conco
Yield or not yield, whomso they take they slay,"+ mitant circumstances, is told with great spirit by the old chroniclers, but at too great length to be transcribed they were a terror at home in times of peace. “The entire: we subjoin, therefore, Holinshed's account of the kerne,” says Barnaby Riche in his Description of Ireland, fight at London-bridge :
1610, p. 37, "are the very drosse and scum of the countrey, "The Maior and other the Magistrates of London, per- a generation of villaines not worthy to live; these be they ceyving themselves neyther to bee sure of goodes, nor of that live by robbing and spoiling the poore countreyman, life well warranted, determined to repulse and keepe out of that maketh him many times to buy bread to give unto their citie such a mischievous caitife and his wicked com- them, though he want for himselfe and his poore children. pany. And to be the better able so to do, they made the These are they, that are ready to run out with everio Iorde Scales and that renowned captaine Matthew Goughe rebell, and these are the verie hags of hell, fit for nothing privye both of their intent and enterprise, beseeching them
but the gallows.” of their helpe and furtherance therein. The Lord Scales promised them his aide with shooting off the artillerie in the tower, and Matthew Gough was by hym appointed to assiste the Maior and Londoners, in all that he might, and so he
* French Metrical History of the Deposition of Richard II.
Archeologia, xx. p. 33. and other captaines, appointed for defense of the citie, Mirrour for Magistrates.
(1) SCENE III.-
Sound drum and trumpets :—and to London all :
And more such days as these to us befal /] The first battle of St. Alban's, fought on Thursday, 22nd May, 1455, is thus described by Holinshed. “The king enformed hereof, assembled lykewise a great host, and meaning to meet with the Duke, rather in the north parts than about London, where it was thought he had too many friends, with great speede, and small lucke, being accompanied with the Dukes of Somerset and Buckingham, the Erles of Pembroke, Stafford, Northumberland, Devonshire, Dorset, and Wiltshire, the Lords Clifford, Sudley, Berneis, Roos, and others, beeing in all above two thousande men of warre, departed from Westminster the twentith, or, as some have, the one and twentith of May, and lay the first night at Wadford. Of whose doings the duke of Yorke by espials having still advertisement, with all his power, being not past three thousande men (as some write), coasted the countrey, and came to the toune of Saint Albons, the third day next ensuing. The king there had pight his standerte in a place called Gosclowe, otherwise Sandiford, in Saint Peeters streete: the Lord Clifforde kept the barriers of the toune, to stop that the Duke, being assembled in Keye field, should not enter the toune. *** The king, when first he heard of the Dukes approche, sent to him messengers, as the Duke of Buckingham and others, to understand what he meant by his comming, thus furnished after the manner of warre. The Duke of Buckingham, doing his message as hee had in commaundement, was answered by the Duke of Yorke and his complices, that they were all of them the king's faithfull liege subjects, and intended no harme to him at all : but the cause of our comming (saie they) is not in meaning anie hurt to his person. But let that wicked and naughtie man the duke of Somerset be delivered unto us, who hath lost Normandie, and taken no regard to the preservation of Gascoigne; and furthermore hath brought the realme into this miserable estate : that where it was the floure of nations, and the princesse of provinces, now is it haled into desolation and spoile, not so dreadfull by malice of forren enimie, that indeed utterlie (as yee knowe) seeketh our ruine, as by the intollerable outrages of him that so long ago and even still appeares to have sworne the confusion of our king and realme. If it therefore please the king to deliver that bad man into our hands, we are readie without trouble or breach of peace, to returne into our countrie. But if the king be not minded so to do, because he cannot misse him ; let him understand, that we will rather die in the field, than suffer such a mischeefe unredressed.
“The king, advertised of this aunswere, more wilfull than reasonable, chose rather to trie battell than deliver the duke of Somerset to his enimies. Whereof they ascer
tained made no longer staie, but straightway sounded the trumpet to battell, or rather as Hall hath, while King Henry sent forth his ambassadors to treate of peace at the one end of the toune, the Erle of Warwike, with his Marchmen, entred at the other end, and fiercely setting on the king's foreward, within a small tyme discomfited the same. The place where they first brake into the towne was about the middle of saint Peter's street. The fight for a time was ryghte sharp and cruell, for the Duke of Somerset, with the other lords, coming to the succours of their companions, that were put to the worse, did what they could to beate back the enimies, but the Duke of York sent ever fresh men to succour the wearie, and to supplie the places of them that were hurt, by which policie, the king's army was finally brought to confusion, and all the chiefetaines of the fielde slaine and beaten doune. For there dyed under the sign of the Castell, Edmund Duke of Somerset, who, as hath bin reported, was warned long before to avoid all castels : and beside hym laye Henry the second of that name Earle of Northumberland, Humfrey erle of Stafford, son to the Duke of Buckingham, John Lord Clifford, sir Barthram Antwisell knight, a Nor. man born (who forsaking his native countrie to continue in his loiall obedience to king Henrie, came over to dwell here in England when Normandie was lost), William Zouch, John Boutreux, Rafe Babthorp, with his sonne, William Corwin, William Cotton, Gilbert Faldinger, Reginald Griffon, John Dawes, Elice Wood, John Eith, Rafe Woodward, Gilbert Skarlock, and Rafe Willoughbie esquires, with many other, in all to the number of eight thousand, as Edward Hall saith in his chronicle : if there escaped not a fault in the impression, as 8000 for 800, sith hundreds in verie deed would better agree with the number of the kings whole power, which he brought with him to that battell, being not manie above two thousand, as by writers appeareth.
“Humfrey, duke of Buckingham, being wounded, and James Butler, Earle of Ormond and Wiltshire, and Thomas Thorpe lord cheefe baron of the escheker, seeing fortune thus to bee against them, left the king alone and with a number fledde away. Those that thus fled, made the best shift they could to get awaie through gardens and backesides, through shrubs, hedges, and woods, seek. ing places where to hide themselves, untill that dangerous tempest of the battell were overblowne. Diverse of the kings house also, that could better skill to plaie the courtiers than warriors, fled with the first; and those of the east parts of the realme were likewise noted of too much lacke of courage, for their speedie withdrawing theraselves, and leaving the king in danger of his adversaries
, who, perceyving hys men thus fledde from him, with drewe into a poor mans house to save himselfe from the shot of arrowes, that flew about his eares as thicke as snowe."