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VOL. xiv. B 

* THIRD PART OP KING HENRY VI.] The action of this 
play (which was at first printed under this title, The True Tra- 
gedy of Richard Duke of York, and the good King Henry the 
Sixth ; or, The Second Part of the Contention of York and Lan- 
caster,) opens just after the first battle at Saint Albans, [May 
23, 1455,] wherein the York faction carried the day ; and closes 
with the murder of King Henry VI. and the birth of prince Ed- 
ward, afterwards King Edward V. [November 4, 14-71.] So that 
this history takes in the space of full sixteen years. THEOBALD. 

I have never seen the quarto copy of the Second part of THE 
WHOLE CONTENTION, &c. printed by Valentine Simmes for 
Thomas Millington, 1600 ; but the copy printed by W. W. for 
Thomas Millington, 1600, is now before me ; and it is not pre- 
cisely the same with that described by Mr. Pope and Mr. Theo- 
bald, nor does the undated edition (printed in fact, in 1619,) 
correspond with their description. The title of the piece printed 
in 1600, by W. W. is as follows : The True Tragedie ofRicharde 
Duke of Yorke, and the Death of good King Henrie the Sixt : 
With the whole Contention between the Two Houses Lancaster and 
Yorke : as it was sundry Times acted by the Right Honourable 
the Earle of Pembrooke his Servants. Printed at London by 
W. W.for Thomas Millington, and are to be sold at his Shoppe 
under St. Peter's Church in CornewalL, 1600. On this piece 
Shakspeare, as I conceive, in 1591 formed the drama before us. 
See Vol. XIII. p. 2, and the Essay at the end of this play. 


The present historical drama was altered by Crowne, and 
brought on the stage in the year 1680, under the title of The 
Miseries of Civil War. Surely the works of Shakspeare could 
have been little read at that period ; for Crowne, in his Prologue, 
declares the play to be entirely his own composition : 
" For by his feeble skill 'tis built alone, 
" The divine Shakspeare did not lay one stone." 
whereas the very first scene is that of Jack Cade copied almost 
verbatim from The Second Part of King Henry VI. and several 
others from this third part, with as little variation. STEEVENS. 

B 2 


his Sons. 

of the Duke of York's 

King Henry the Sixth : 

Edward, Prince of Wales, his Son. 

Lewis XI. King of France. 

Duke of Somerset. Duke o/~Exeter. "] 

EarlofOxford. EarlofNorthum- I Lords on K. 

berland. Earl of Westmoreland. | Henry's side. 

Lord Clifford. ' J 

Richard Plantagenet, Duke oyfYork : 
Edward, Earl of March , afterwards King ' 

Edward IV. 

Edmund, Earl of Rutland, 
George, afterwards Duke of Clarence, 
Richard, afterwards Duke o/~Glocester, 
Duke of Norfolk, 
Marquis of Montague, 
Earl of Warwick, 
Earl of Pembroke, 
Lord Hastings, 
Lord Stafford, 
Sir John Mortimer^ \ Uncles to the Duke of 
Sir Hugh Mortimer, ) York. 
Henry, Earl of Richmond, a Youth. 
Lord Rivers, Brother to Lady Grey. 

Stanley. Sir John Montgomery. 

merville. Tutor to Rutland. Mayor o/'York. 

Lieutenant of the Tower. A Nobleman. Two 

Keepers. A Huntsman. A Son that has killed 

his Father. A Father that has killed his Son. 

Queen Margaret. 

Lady Grey, afterwards Queen to Edward IV t 

Bona, Sister to the French Queen. 

Soldiers, and other Attendants on King Henry and 
King Edward, Messengers, Watchmen, 8$c, 

SCENE, during part of the third Act, in France j 
during all the rest of the Play, in England. 

Sir William 
Sir John So- 




London. The Parliament-House. 

Drums. Some Soldiers of York's party break in. 
Then, Enter the Duke of YORK, EDWARD, RI- 
Others, with white Roses in their Hats. 

WAR. I wonder, how the king escap'd our hands. 

YORK. While we pursu'd the horsemen of the 


He slily stole away, and left his men : 
Whereat the great lord of Northumberland, 
Whose warlike ears could never brook retreat, 
c Cheer* d up the drooping army ; and himself, 
' Lord Clifford, and lord Stafford, all a-breast, 
' Charg'd our main battle's front, and, breaking in, 

1 Third Part of King Henry VI.~\ This play is only divided 
from the former for the convenience of exhibition ; for the series 
of action is continued without interruption, nor are any two 
scenes of any play more closely connected than the first scene of 
this play with the last of the former. JOHNSON. 


6 Were by the swords of common soldiers slain. 2 

EDW. Lord Stafford's father, duke of Bucking- 

' Is either slain, or wounded dangerous : 
I cleft his beaver with a downright blow ; 
e That this is true, father, behold his blood. 

[Showing his bloody Sword. 

MONT. And, brother, here's the earl of Wilt- 
shire's blood, [To YORK, showing his. 
Whom I encounter'd as the battles join'd. 

RICH. Speak thou for me, and tell them what I 

did. 3 

[Throwing down the Duke of SOMERSET'S 

* Were by the staords of common soldiers slain."] See the Se- 
pond Part of this Play, Vol. XIII. p. 386, n. 1. REED. 

This is an inadvertency in our author. The elder Clifford was 
slain by York, and his son lives to revenge his death. 


Dr. Percy in a note on the preceding play, has pointed out 
the inconsistency between this account, and the representation 
there, Clifford being killed on the stage by the Duke of York, 
the present speaker. Shakspeare was led into this inconsistency 
by the author of the original plays : if indeed there was but one 
author, for this circumstance might lead us to suspect that the 
first and second part of The Contention &c. were not written by 
the same hand. However, this is not decisive ; for the author, 
whoever he was, might have been inadvertent, as we find Shak- 
speare undoubtedly was. MALONE. 

3 Rich. Speak thou for me, and tell them 'what I. did."] Here, 
as Mr. Elderton of Salisbury has observed to me, is a gross ana- 
chronism. At the time of the first battle of Saint Albans, at 
which Richard is represented in the last scene of the preceding 
play to have fought, he was, according to that gentleman's cal- 
culation, not one year old, having (as he conceives,) been born 
at Fotheringay Castle, October 21, 14-54-. At the time to which 
the third scene of the first Act of this play is referred, he was, 
according to the same gentleman's computation, but six years 
old ; and in the fifth Act, in which Henry is represented as hav- 

sc. I. KING HENRY VI. 7 

* YORK. Richard hath best deserv'd of all my 

What, is your grace 4 dead, my lord of Somerset ? 

NORF. Such hope have all the line of John of 
Gaunt ! 

RICH. Thus do I hope to shake king Henry's 

WAR. And so do I. Victorious prince of York, 
Before I see thee seated in that throne 
Which now the house of Lancaster usurps, 
I vow by heaven, these eyes shall never close. 
This is the palace of the fearful king, 
* And this the regal seat : possess it, York ; 
For this is thine, and not king Henry's heirs'. 

YORK. Assist me then, sweet Warwick, and I 

' For hither we have broken in by force. 

NORF. We'll all assist you j he, that flies, shall 

ing been killed by him in the Tower, not more than sixteen and 
eight months. 

For this anachronism the author or authors of the old plays 
on which our poet founded these two parts of King Henry the 
Sixth, are answerable. MALONE. 

4 What, is your grace ] The folio reads But is your grace, 
&c. It was evidently a mistake of the transcriber, the word in 
the old play being What, which suits sufficiently with York's ex- 
ultation ; whereas But affords no sense whatsoever. MALONE. 

Though the sense and verse is complete without either But or 
What, I suppose we ought to read : 

What, 's your grace dead, my lord of Somerset ? 

I do not, however, perceive the inefficiency of but. This 
conjunction is sometimes indeterminately used ; and is also in- 
sultingly employed in Twelfth Night : " But , are you not mad 
indeed, or do you but counterfeit ?" STEEVENS. 


YORK. Thanks, gentle Norfolk. Stay by me, 
my lords ; 

* And, soldiers, stay, and lodge by me this night. 

WAR. And, when the king comes, offer him no 

* Unless he seek to thrust you out by force. 


* YORK. The queen, this day, here holds her 

* But little thinks we shall be of her council : 

* By words, or blows, here let us win our right. 

RICH. Arm'd as we are, let's stay within this 

WAR. The bloody parliament shall this be calPd, 
Unless Plantagenet, duke of York, be king; 
And bashful Henry depos'd, whose cowardice 
Hath made us by-words to our enemies. 

' YORK. Then leave me not, my lords ; be reso- 
I mean to take possession of my right. 

WAR. Neither the king, nor he that loves him 

* The proudest he that holds up Lancaster, 
Dares stir a wing, if Warwick shake his bells. 5 

' I'll plant Plantagenet, root him up who dares : 
Resolve thee, Richard ; claim the English crown. 
[WARWICK leads YORK to the Throne, 'who 
seats himself. 

4 if Warwick shake his bells.~\ The allusion is to falconry. 

The hawks had sometimes little bells hung upon them, perhaps 
to dare the birds ; that is, to fright them from rising. 


so. i. KING HENRY VI. 

Flourish. Enter King HENRY, CLIFFORD, NOR- 
Others, with red Roses in their Hats. 

K. HEN. My lords, look where the sturdy rebel 


Even in the chair of state ! belike, he means, 
(Back'dby the power of Warwick, that false peer,) 
To aspire unto the crown, and reign as king. 
Earl of Northumberland, he slew thy father ; 
And thine, lord Clifford ; and you both have vow'd 

On him, his sons, his favourites, and his friends. 

' NORTH. If I be not, heavens, be reveng'd on 

CLIP. The hope thereof makes Clifford mourn 
in steel. 

WEST. What, shall we suffer this ? let's pluck 

him down : 
c My heart for anger burns, I cannot brook it. 

K. HEN. Be patient, gentle earl of Westmore- 

CLIP. Patience is for poltroons, and such as he j 6 
He durst not sit there had your father liv'd. 
My gracious lord, here in the parliament 
Let us assail the family of York, 

NORTH. Well hast thou spoken, cousin ; be it so. 

K. HEN. Ah, know you not, the city favours 

And they have troops of soldiers at their beck ? 

6 and such as he :~\ Thus the second folio. The first 

folio and the quartos omit and. STEEVENS. 


EXE. But, when the duke is slain, they'll quickly 

fly. 7 

K. HEN. Far be the thought of this from Henry's 


To make a shambles of the parliament-house ! 
Cousin of Exeter, frowns, words, and threats, 
Shall be the war that Henry means to use. 

\They advance to the Duke. 
Thou factious duke of York, descend my throne, 
And kneel for grace and mercy at my feet ; 
I am thy sovereign. 

YORK. Thou art deceiv'd, 8 I am thine. 

EXE. For shame, come down ; he made thee duke 
of York. 

YORK. 'Twas myinheritance, as the earldom was. 9 
EXE. Thy father was a traitor to the crown. 

WAR. Exeter, thou art a traitor to the crown, 
In following this usurping Henry. 

7 Exe. But, token &c.] This line is by the mistake of the com- 
positor given to Westmoreland. The king's answer shows that 
it belongs to Exeter, to whom it is assigned in the old play. 


8 Thou art deceiv'd,"] These words, which are not in the folio, 
were restored from the old play. The defect of the metre in the 
folio, makes it probable that they were accidentally omitted. The 
measure is, however, still faulty. MALONE. 

9 as the earldom was.] Thus the folio. The quarto 1600, 

and that without date, read as the kingdom is. STEEVENS. 

York means, I suppose, that the dukedom of York was his in- 
heritance from his father, as the earldom of March was his in- 
heritance from his mother, Anne Mortimer, the wife of the Earl 
of Cambridge ; and by naming the earldom, he covertly asserts 
his right to the crown ; for his title to the crown was not as Duke 
of York, but Earl of March. 

In the original play the line stands [as quoted by Mr. Steevens ;] 
and why Shakspeare altered it, it is not easy to say ; for the new 
line only exhibits the same meaning more obscurely. MALONE. 

ac.i. KING HENRY VI. 11 

CLIP. Whom should he follow, but his natural 
king ? 

WAR. True, Clifford ; and that's Richard, 1 duke 
of York. 

' K. HEN. And shall I stand, and thou sit in my 
throne ? 

' YORK. It must and shall be so. Content thyself. 
WAR. Be duke of Lancaster, let him be king. 

WEST. He is both king and duke of Lancaster ; 
And that the lord of Westmoreland shall maintain. 

WAR. And Warwick shall disprove it. You for- 

That we are those, which chas'd you from the field, 
And slew your fathers, and with colours spread 
March'd through the city to the palace gates. 

6 NORTH. Yes, Warwick, I remember it to my 

And, by his soul, thou and thy house shall rue it. 

' WEST. Plantagenet, of thee, and these thy sons, 
Thy kinsmen, and thy friends, I'll have more lives, 
Than drops of blood were in my father's veins. 

' CLIP. Urge it no more ; lest that, instead of 


I send thee, Warwick, such a messenger, 
As shall revenge his death, before I stir. 

c WAR. Poor Clifford ! how I scorn his worthless 

threats ! 

YORK. Will you, we show our title to the crown ? 
' If not, our swords shall plead it in the field. 

1 and that's Richard,'] The word and, which was acci- 
dentally omitted in the first folio, is found in the old play. 



K. HEN. What title hast thou, traitor, to the 

crown ? 

Thy father was, as thou art, duke of York ; * 
Thy grandfather, Roger Mortimer, earl of March : 
I am the son of Henry the fifth, 3 
Who made the Dauphin and the French to stoop, 
And seiz'd upon their towns and provinces. 

WAR. Talk not of France, sith 4 thou hast lost it 

K. HEN. The lord protector lost it, and not I ; 
When I was crown'd, I was but nine months old. 

RICH. You are old enough now, and yet, me- 

thinks you lose : 
Father, tear the crown from the usurper's head. 

EDW. Sweet father, do so ; set it on your head. 

MONT. Good brother, [To YORK.] as thou lov'st 

and honour' st arms, 
Let's fight it out, and not stand cavilling thus. 

RICH. Sound drums and trumpets, and the king 
will fly. 

YORK. Sons, peace ! 

* Thy father vcas, as thou art, duke of York ;] This is a mis- 
take, into which Shakspeare was led by the author of the old play. 
The father of Richard Duke of York was Earl of Cambridge, 
and was never Duke of York, being beheaded in the life-time of 
his elder brother Edward Duke of York, who fell in the battle 
of Agincourt. The folio, by an evident error of the press, reads 
My father. The true reading was furnished by the old play. 


3 I am the son of Henry thejifth,"] The military reputation of 
Henry the Fifth is the sole support of his son. The name of 
Henry the Fifth dispersed the followers of Cade. JOHNSON. 

* sith ] i. e. since. So, in Measure for Measure : 

" Sith 'twas my fault to give the people scope." 


sc. i. KING HENRY VI. is 

K. HEN. Peace them ! and give king Henry 
leave to speak. 

WAR. Plantagenet shall speak first : hear him, 

lords ; 

And be you silent and attentive too, 
For he, that interrupts him, shall not live. 

4 K. HEN. Think'st thou, that I will leave my 

kingly throne, 5 

Wherein my grandsire, and my father, sat ? 
No : first shall war unpeople this my realm ; 
4 Ay, and their colours often borne in France ; 
And now in England, to our heart's great sorrow, 
Shall be my winding-sheet. 6 Why faint you, lords? 
* My title's good, and better far than his. 

WAR. But prove it, Henry, and thou shalt be 
king. 7 

s Think* st thou, &c.] The old play here exhibits four lines 
that are not in the folio. They could not have proceeded from 
the imagination of the transcriber, and therefore they must be 
added to the many other circumstances that have been already 
urged, to show that these plays were not originally the produc- 
tion of Shakspeare : 

" Ah Plantagenet, why seek'st thou to depose me ? 

" Are we not both Plantagenets by birth, 

" And from two brothers lineally discent ? 

" Suppose by right and equity thou be king, 

" Think'st thou," &c. M ALONE. 

6 Shall be my winding-sheet.] Perhaps Mr. Gray had this 
passage in his mind, when he wrote : 

" Weave the warp, and weave the woof, 

" The winding-sheet of Edward's race ." STEEVENS. 

7 But prove it, Henry, and thou shalt be king."] Thus the 
second folio. The first omits the necessary word But. 


Henry is frequently used by Shakspeare and his contempora- 
ries as a word of three syllables. MALONE. 

But not as in the present instance, where such a trisyllable must 
prove offensive to the ear. STEEVENS. 


K. HEN. Henry the fourth by conquest got the 

YORK. 'Twas by rebellion against his king. 

K. HEN. I know not what to say ; my title's 

Tell me, may not a king adopt an heir ? 

YORK. What then ? 

* K. HEN. An if he may, then am I lawful king : 
4 For Richard, in the view of many lords, 
Resigned the crown to Henry the fourth ; 
Whose heir my father was, and I am his. 

YORK. He rose against him, being his sovereign, 
And made him to resign his crown perforce. 

WAR. Suppose, my lords, he did it unconstrained, 
Think you, 'twere prejudicial to his crown ? 8 

EXE. No ; for he could not so resign his crown, 
But that the next heir should succeed and reign. 

K. HEN. Art thou against us, d'uke of Exeter ? 
EXE. His is the right, and therefore pardon me. 

* YORK. Why whisper you, my lords, and answer 


EXE. My conscience tells me he is lawful king. 

8 Think you, 'twere prejudicial to his crown?] The phrase 
prejudicial to his crown, if it be right, must mean, detrimental 
to the general rights of hereditary royalty ; but I rather think 
that the transcriber's eye caught crown from the line below, and 
that we should read prejudicial to his son, to his next heir. 


Dr. Percy observes on Dr. Johnson's note, that son could not 
have been the right word, as Richard the Second had no issue ; 
and our author would hardly have used it simply for heir general. 
Prejudicial to the crown, is right, i. e. to the prerogative of the 
crown. STEEVENS. 

s. /. KING HENRY VI. 15 

K. HEN. All will revolt from me, and turn to 
him. .> 

NORTH. Plantagenet, for all the claim thou lay'st, 
Think not, that Henry shall be so depos'd. 

' WAR. Depos'd he shall be, in despite of all. 

NORTH. Thou art deceived : 'tis not thy southern 


' Of Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk, nor of Kent, 
Which makes thee thus presumptuous and proud, 
Can set the duke up, in despite of me. 

CLIP. King Henry, be thy title right or wrong, 
Lord Clifford vows to fight in thy defence : 
May that ground gape, and swallow me alive, 9 
* Where I shall kneel to him that slew my father ! 

* K. HEN. O Clifford, how thy words revive my 

heart ! 

YORK. Henry of Lancaster, resign thy crown : 
What mutter you, or what conspire you, lords? 

WAR. Do right unto this princely duke of York ; 
Or I will fill the house with armed men, 
And, o'er the chair of state, where now he sits, 
Write up his title with usurping blood. 

\_He stamps, and the Soldiers show themselves. 

' K. HEN. My lord of Warwick, hear me but 
one word ; l 

9 May that ground gape, and swallow me alive,] So, ia 
Phaer's translation of the fourth JEneid : 

* But rather would I wish the ground to gape for me 
below." STEEVENS. 

1 hear but one word ,] Hear is in this line, as in some 

other places, used as a dissyllable. See Vol. XI. p. 4-11, n. 4-. 
The editor of the third folio, and all the subsequent editors, read 
hear me but one word. MALONE. 

The word hear, in this place, may certainly pass as a dis- 


e Let me, for this my life-time, reign as king. 

YORK. Confirm the crown to me, and to mine 

And thou shalt reign in quiet while thou hVst. 

K. HEN. I am content : Richard Plantagenet, 
Enjoy the kingdom after my decease. 2 

CLIP. What wrong is this unto the prince your 

WAR. What good is this to England, and him- 

WEST. Base, fearful, and despairing Henry ! 

* CLIP. How hast thou injur'd both thyself and 


WEST. I cannot stay to hear these articles. 
NORTH. Nor I. 

CLIP. Come, cousin, let us tell the queen these 

* WEST. Farewell, faint-hearted and degenerate 

* In whose cold blood no spark of honour bides. 

NORTH. Be thou a prey unto the house of York, 
c And die in bands for this unmanly deed ! 

9 CLIP. In dreadful war may'st thou be overcome ! 

syllable. Respecting that referred to by Mr. Malone, I am of a 
contrary opinion. STEEVENS. 

Since the third folio reads hear me but one word, which im- 
proves both the language and the metre, why should it not be 
followed? M. MASON. 

9 1 am content : #c.] Instead of this speech the old play has 
the following lines : 

" King. Convey the soldiers hence, and then I will. 
" War. Captaine, conduct them into Tuthilfields." 
See Vol. XIII. p. 210, n. 9 ; p. 220, n. 6; p. 234-, n. 1 ; p. 317, 
n. 3 ; p. 322, n. 3. MALONE. 

sc. i. KING HENRY VI. 17 

Or live in peace, abandoned, and despis'd ! 


* WAR. Turn this way, Henry, and regard them 

EXE. They seek revenge, 3 and therefore will not 


K.HEN. Ah, Exeter! 

WAR. Why should you sigh, my lord ? 

K. HEN. Not for myself, lord Warwick, but my 


Whom I unnaturally shall disinherit. 
But, be it as it may : I here entail 

* The crown to thee, and to thine heirs for ever ; 
Conditionally, that here thou take an oath 

To cease this civil war, and, whilst I live, 
To honour me as thy king and sovereign ; 

* And neither 4 by treason, nor hostility, 

* To seek to put me down, and reign thyself. 

* They seek revenge, ~] They go away, not because they doubt 
the justice of this determination, but because they have been 
conquered, and seek to be revenged. They are not influenced 
by principle, but passion. JOHNSON. 

4 And neither ] Neither, either, tvhether, brother, rather t 
and many similar words, were used by Shakspeare as monosylla- 
bles. So, in A Midsummer-Night's Dream ; 

" Either death or you I'll find immediately." 

The editor of the second folio, who appears to have been en- 
tirely ignorant of our author's metre and phraseology, not know- 
ing this, omitted the word And. MALONE. 

My ignorance must be content to accompany that of the editor 
of the second folio ; for how either, brother, neither, or rather, 
can be pronounced as monosyllables, I am yet to learn. 

The versification, however, in this and the preceding play is 
often so irregular, that I leave the passage before us as it stands 
in the first folio. STEEVENS. 



YORK. This oath I willingly take, and will per- 
form. [Coming from the Throne. 

WAR. Long live king Henry! Plantagenet, 
embrace him. 

' K. HEN. And long live thou, and these thy for- 
ward sons ! 
YORK. Now York and Lancaster are reconcil'd. 

EXE. Accurs'd be he, that seeks to make them 
foes! [Senet. The Lords come forward. 

' YORK. Farewell, my gracious lord j I'll to my 
castle. 5 

WAR. And I'll keep London, with my soldiers. 
NORF. And I to Norfolk, with my followers. 
MONT. And I unto the sea, from whence I came. 

[Exeunt YORK, and his Sons, WARWICK, 
NORFOLK, MONTAGUE, Soldiers, and 

* K. HEN. And I, with grief and sorrow, to the 

Enter Queen MARGARET and ilie Prince of Wales. 

EXE. Here comes the queen, whose looks be- 
wray 6 her anger : 
I'll steal away. 

K. HEN. Exeter, so will I. [Going. 

s m to my castle.'] Sandal Castle near Wakefield, in 
Yorkshire. MALONE. 

6 bewray ] i. e. betray, discover. So, in K. Lear : 

" Mark the high noises, and thyself bewray." 
Again, ibid : 

" He did beixray his practice." STEEVENS. 

3C. /, KING HENRY VI. 19 

' Q. MAR. Nay, go not from me, I will follow 

K. HEN. Be patient, gentle queen, and I will stay. 

* Q. MAR. Who can be patient in such extremes? 

* Ah, wretched man ! 'would I had died a maid, 

* And never seen thee, never borne thee son, 

* Seeing thou hast prov'd so unnatural a father ! 

* Hath he deserv'd to lose his birthright thus ? 

* Hadst thou but lov'd him half so well as I j 

* Or felt that pain which I did for him once ; 

* Or nourish'd him, as I did with my blood j 

* Thou wouldst have left thy dearest heart-blood 


* Rather than made 7 that savage duke thine heir, 

* And disinherited thine only son. 

* PRINCE. Father, you cannot disinherit me : 

* If you be king, why should not I succeed ? 

* K. HEN. Pardon me, Margaret ; pardon me^ 

sweet son ; 

* The earl of Warwick, and the duke, enforc'd me. 

* Q. MAR. Enforced thee ! art thou king, and 

wilt be forc'd ? 

I shame to hear thee speak. Ah, timorous wretch! 
Thou hast undone thyself, thy son, and me ; 
' And given unto the house of York such head, 

* As thou shalt reign but by their sufferance. 

* To entail him and his heirs unto the crown, 

* What is it, but to make thy sepulchre,, 8 

7 Rather than made ] Old copy Rather than have made. 
The compositor inadvertently repeated the word have, from 
the preceding line. STEEVENS. 

Rather is here used as a monosyllable. See p. 17, n. 4. 


* What is it, but to make thy sepulchre,] The Queen's re- 

C 2 


* And creep into it far before thy time ? 

* Warwick is chancellor, and the lord of Calais j 
Stern Faulconbridge commands the narrow seas j* 
The duke is made protector of the realm ; 

* And yet shalt thou be safe ? * such safety finds 

* The trembling lamb, environed with wolves. 
' Had I been there, which am a silly woman, 

* The soldiers should have toss'd me on their pikes, 

* Before I would have granted to that act. 

* But thou preferr'st thy life before thine honour : 

* And seeing thou dost, I here divorce myself, 

proach is founded on a position long received among politicians, 
that the loss of a king's power is soon followed by loss of life. 


9 Stern Faulconbridge commands the narrow seas;~\ So, in 
Marlowe's Edward II : 

" The haughty Dane commands the narroiu seas." 

This may be too slight a circumstance to prove Marlowe the 
author of The Whole Contention ; it is, however, in other re- 
spects, sufficiently probable that he had some hand in it. 

The person here meant was Thomas Nevil, bastard son to the 
lord Faulconbridge, " a man," says Hall, " of no lesse corage 
then audacitie, who for his euel condicions was such an apte per- 
son, 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 in- 
structions, 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. See Hall and Holinshed. RITSON. 


< Both from thy table, Henry, and thy bed, 

' Until that act of parliament be repeal'd, 

' Whereby my son is disinherited. 1 

The northern lords, that have forsworn thy colours, 

Will follow mine, if once they see them spread : 

' And spread they shall be ; to thy foul disgrace, 

' And utter ruin of the house of i ork. 

' Thus do I leave thee : Come, son, let's away ; 

* Our army's ready j come, we'll after them. 

K. HEN. Stay, gentle Margaret, and hear me 

Q. MAR. Thou hast spoke too much already; get 
thee gone. 

K. HEN. Gentle son Edward, thou wilt stay with 

Q. MAR. Ay, to be murder'd by his enemies. 

PRINCE. When I return with victory from the 

field, 2 
I'll see your grace : till then, I'll follow her. 

Q. MAR. Come, son, away j we may not linger 

\_~Exeunt Queen MARGARET, and the Prince. 

* K. HEN. Poor queen ! how love to me, and to 

her son, 
4 Hath made her break out into terms of rage ! 

* Reveng'd may she be on that hateful duke ; 

* Whose haughty spirit, winged with desire, 

1 Whereby my son is disinherited.'] The corresponding line in 
the old play is this. The variation is remarkable : 

" Wherein thou yieldest to the house of York." 


* from thejield,'] Folio to the field. The true read- 
ing is found in the old play. MALONE. 


* Will cost my crown, and, like an empty eagle, 3 

3 Whose haughty spirit, tvinged with desire, 

Will cost my crown, and, like an empty eagle, &c.] Read 
coast, i. e. hover over it. WARBURTON. 

Dr. "Warburton's alteration aims at a distinction without a 
difference, both cost and coast being ultimately derivations of 
the same original. HENLEY. 

The word which Dr. Warburton would introduce, has been 
supposed to violate the metaphor ; nor indeed is to coast used as 
a term of falconry in any of the books professedly written on that 
subject. To coast is a sea-faring expression, and means to keep 
along shore. We may, however, maintain the integrity of the 
figure, by inserting the word cote, which is used in Hamlet, and 
in a sense convenient enough on this occasion : 

" We coted them on the way." 

To cote is to come up with, to overtake, to reach. So, in 
The Return from Parnassus, a comedy, 1606 : 

" marry, we presently coted and outstript them.'* 

Yet, on further inquiry, I am become less certain, that to 
coast is merely a sea-faring expression. It is used in the follow- 
ing instance to denote speed : 

" And all in haste she coasteth to the cry." 

Shakspeare's Venus and Adonis. 
Again, in The Loyal Subject, by Beaumont and Fletcher : 

" Take you those horse, and coast them." 
Again, in The Maid of the Mill, by the same authors, two gen- 
tlemen are entering, and a lady asks : 

" who are those that coast us?" 

Mr. Toilet therefore observes, that Dr. Warburton's interpre- 
tation may be right, as Holinshed often uses the verb to coast, 
i. e. to hover, or range about any thing. So, in Chapman's ver- 
sion of the fifth Iliad : 

" Atrides yet coasts through the troops, confirming men 

so stay'd." 

See Holinshed, Vol. III. p. 352 : " William Douglas still coasted 
the Englishmen, doing them what damage he might." So again, 
. p. 387, and 404, and in other writers. STEEVENS. 

I have no doubt but coast is the true reading. To coast is to 
keep along side of it, and watch it. In King Henry VIII. the 
Chamberlain says of Wolsey : 

" the king perceives him how he coasts 

" And hedges his own way." 

ac. i. KING HENRY VI. 23 

* Tire on the flesh of me, and of my son ! 4 

* The loss of those three lords 5 torments my heart : 

* I'll write unto them, and entreat them fair ; 

* Come, cousin, you shall be the messenger. 6 

* EXE. And I, I hope, shall reconcile them all. 


And in the last Act of The Loyal Subject, Arenas says : 

" Lord Barris, 

" Take you those horse, and coast them." M. MASON. 

Will cost my croww,] i. e. will cost me my crown ; will induce 
on me the expence or loss of my crown. MALONE. 

Had this been our author's meaning, he would have otherwise 
formed his verse, and written " cost me my crown." So, ia 
King Lear : 

" The dark and vicious place where thee he got, 
" Cost him his eyes." STEEVENS. 

4 Tire on thejlesh ofme,~} To tire is to fasten, to fix the ta- 
lons, from the French tirer. JOHNSON. 

To tire is to peck. So, in Decker's Match me in London t 

" the vulture tires 

" Upon the eagle's heart." STEEVENS. 

5 those three lords j That is, of Northumberland, 

Westmoreland, and Clifford, who had left him in disgust. 


6 you shall be the messenger."] Instead of the six last lines 

of this speech, the first copy presents these: 

" Come, cousin of Exeter, stay thou here, 
" For Clifford and those northern lords be gone, 
" I fear towards Wakefield, to disturb the duke." 
See p. 16, n. 2, and the notes there referred to. MALONE. 



A Room in Sandal Castle, near Wakefield, in York- 


c RICH. Brother, though I he youngest, give me 

EDW. No, I can better play the orator. 
MONT. But I have reasons strong and forcible, 

Enter YORK. 

' YORK. Why, how now, sons and brother, 7 at a 

strife ? 
* What is your quarrel ? how began it first ? 

. 7 sons and brother,] I believe we should read cousin 

instead of brother, unless brother be used by Shakspeare as a term 
expressive of endearment, or because they embarked, like bro- 
thers, in one cause. Montague was only cousin to York, and in 
the quarto he is so called. Shakspeare uses the expression, bro- 
ther of the war, in King Lear. STEEVENS. 

It should be sons and brothers; my sons, and brothers to each 
other. JOHNSON. 

Brother is right. In the two succeeding pages York calls 
Montague brother. This may be in respect to their being bro- 
thers of the war, as Mr. Steevens observes, or of the same coun- 
cil, as in King Henry VIII. who says to Cranmer : " You are 
brother of us." Montague was brother to Warwick ; War- 
wick's daughter was married to a son of York : therefore York 
and Montague were brothers. But as this alliance did not take 
place during the life of York, I embrace Mr. Steevens's interpre- 
tation rather than suppose that Shakspeare made a mistake 
about the time of the marriage. TOLLET. 

The third folio reads as Dr. Johnson advises. But as York 

sc. ii. KING HENRY VI. 25 

' EDW. No quarrel, but a slight contention. 8 
YORK. About what ? 

' RICH. About that which concerns your grace, 
and us ; 

* The crown of England, father, which is yours. 

* YORK. Mine, boy? not till king Henry be 


* RICH. Your right depends not on his life, or 


* EDW. Now you are heir, therefore enjoy it 


* By giving the house of Lancaster leave to breathe, 

* It will outrun you, father, in the end. 

' YORK. I took an oath, that he should quietly 

* EDW. But, for a kingdom, any oath may be 

broken : 

* I'd break a thousand oaths, to reign one year. 

' RICH. No ; God forbid, your grace should be 
forsworn. 9 

again in this scene addresses Montague by the title of brother, 
and Montague uses the same to York, Dr. Johnson's conjecture 
cannot be right. Shakspeare certainly supposed them to be bro- 
thers-in-law. MALONE. 

8 No quarrel, but a slight contention."] Thus the players, first, 
in their edition ; who did not understand, I presume, the force 
of the epithet in the old quarto, which I have restored sweet 
contention, i. e. the argument of their dispute was upon a grate- 
ful topick ; the question of their father's immediate right to the 
crown. THEOBALD. 

Sweet is, I think, the better reading of the two ; and I should 
certainly have received it had it been found in the folio, which 
Mr. Malone supposes to be the copy of this play, as reformed by 
Shakspeare. STEEVENS. 

9 Rich. No; Godforbid, &c.] Instead of this and the three 
following speeches, the old play has these lines : 


' YORK. I shall be, if I claim by open war. 

4 RICH. I'll prove the contrary, if you'll hear me 

* YORK. Thou canst not, son ; it is impossible. 

4 RICH. An oath is of no moment, 1 being not 

' Before a true and lawful magistrate, 

* That hath authority over him that swears : 
' Henry had none, but did usurp the place ; 

* Then, seeing 'twas he that made you to depose, 

* Your oath, my lord, is vain and frivolous. 

* Therefore, to arms. * And, father, do but think, 

* How sweet a thing it is to wear a crown ; 

* Within whose circuit is Elysium, 

* And all that poets feign of bliss and joy. 

* Why do we linger thus ? I cannot rest, 

" Rich. An if it please your grace to give me leave, 
" I'll shew your grace the way to save your oath, 
" And dispossess King Henry from the crown. 

" York. I pr'ythee, Dick, let me hear thy devise." 


1 An oath is of no moment,"] The obligation of an oath is here 
eluded by very despicable sophistry. A lawful magistrate alone 
has the power to exact an oath, but the oath derives no part of its 
force from the magistrate. The plea against the obligation of an 
oath obliging to maintain a usurper, taken from the unlawful- 
ness of the oath itself in the foregoing play, was rational and 
just. JOHNSON. 

This speech is formed on the following one in the old play : 
" Rich. Then thus, my lord. An oath is of no mo- 

" Being not sworn before a lawful magistrate ; 
" Henry is none, but doth usurp your right ; 
" And yet your grace stands bound to him by oath: 
" Then, noble father, 
" Resolve yourself, and once more claim the crown." 


sc. ii. KING HENRY VI. 27 

* Until the white rose, that I wear, be died 

* Even in the lukewarm blood of Henry's heart. 

* YORK. Richard, enough ; I will be king, or 

' Brother, thou shalt to London presently, 2 

* And whet on Warwick to this enterprise. 

' Thou, Richard, shalt unto the duke of Norfolk, 

6 And tell him privily of our intent. 

4 You, Edward, shall unto my lord Cobham, 

With whom the Kentishmen will willingly rise : 

c In them I trust ; for they are soldiers, 

' Witty and courteous, liberal, full of spirit. 3 

4 Brother, thou shalt to London presently,'] Thus the original 

" Edward, thou shalt to Edmond Brooke, lord Cobham, 

" With whom the Kentishmen will willingly rise. 

" Thou, cousin Montague, shalt to Norfolk straight, 

" And bid the duke to muster up his soldiers, 

" And come to me to Wakefield presently. 

" And Richard, thou to London straight shall post, 

" And bid Richard Nevil Earl of Warwick 

" To leave the city, and with his men of war 

" To meet me at St. Albans ten days hence. 

" My self here in Sandall castle will provide 

" Both men and money, to further our attempts." 


3 Witty and courteous, liberal, full of spirit."} What a blessed 
harmonious line have the editors given us ! and what a promising 
epithet, in York's behalf, from the Kentishmen being so witty ! 
I cannot be so partial, however, to my own county, as to let 
this compliment pass. I make no doubt to read : 

for they are soldiers, 

Wealthy and courteous, liberal, full of spirit. 
Now these five characteristicks answer to Lord Say's de- 
scription of them in the preceding play : 

" Kent, in the commentaries Caesar writ, 
" Is term'd the civil'st place in all this isle ; 
" The people liberal, valiant, active, wealthy." 


This is a conjecture of very little import. JOHNSON. 


' While you are thus employed, what resteth more, 
' But that 1 seek occasion how to rise ; 
' And yet the king not privy to my drift, 
* Nor any of the house of Lancaster ? 

Enter a Messenger. 4 

* But, stay; What news ? Why com'st thou in such 
post ? 

' MESS. The queen, with all the northern earls 
and lords, 5 

I see no reason for adopting Theobald's emendation. Witty 
anciently signified, of sound judgment. The poet calls Buck- 
ingham, " the deep revolving, 'witty Buckingham." STEEVENS. 

4 Enter a Messenger."] Thus the quartos ; the folio reads, 
Enter Gabriel. STEEVENS. 

Gabriel was the actor who played this inconsiderable part. He 
is mentioned by Heywood, in his Apology for Actors, 1612. 
The correction has been made [by Mr. Theobald] from the old 
play. MALONE. 

* The queen, ivitk all &c.] I know not whether the author 
intended any moral instruction, but he that reads this has a stri- 
king admonition against that precipitancy by which men often 
use unlawful means to do that which a little delay would put ho- 
nestly in their power. Had York staid but a few moments, he had 
saved his cause from the stain of perjury. JOHNSON. 

It will be no more than justice to York, if we recollect that 
this scene, so far as respects the oath, and his resolution to 
break it, proceeds entirely from our author's imagination. 
Neither the Earl of March nor Richard was then at Sandal ; the 
latter being likewise a mere child, barely turned of eight years 
old. His appearance, therefore, and actions in this, and, at 
least, the two first Acts of the following play, are totally unsup- 
ported by. history and truth. 

It may be likewise observed that the Queen was not actually 
present at this battle, not returning out of Scotland till some little 
time after. This insurrection, which the Duke, not in breach 
of,but in strict conformity with, his oath to the King, and in dis- 

sc. ii. KING HENRY VI. 29 

' Intend here to besiege you in your castle : 
' She is hard by with twenty thousand men j 6 
' And therefore fortify your hold, my lord. 

charge of his duty as protector of the realm, had marched from 
London to suppress, was headed by the Duke of Somerset, the 
Earl of Northumberland, and the Lord Nevil, who in direct vio- 
lation of a mutual agreement, and before the day prefixed for the 
battle, fell suddenly upon the Duke's army, made him and 
Salisbury prisoners, and treated him in the manner here described. 
See Whethamstede. Salisbury was next day killed at Pontefract 
by a bastard son of the Duke of Exeter, and beheaded, with 
York, Rutland, and others, after death. W. Wyrcester. 


In October 1460, when it was established in parliament that 
the Duke of York should succeed to the throne after Henry's 
death, the Duke and his two sons, the Earl of March, and the 
Earl of Rutland, took an oath to do no act whatsoever that might 
" sound to the abridgement of the natural life of King Henry the 
Sixth, or diminishing of his reign or dignity royal." Having 
persuaded the King to send for the Queen and the Prince of 
Wales, (who were then in York,) and finding that she would 
not obey his requisition, he on the second of December set out 
for his castle in Yorkshire, with such military power as he had ; 
a messenger having been previously dispatched to the Earl of 
March, to desire him to follow his father with all the forces he 
could procure. The Duke arrived at Sandal Castle on the 24-th 
of December, and in a short time his army amounted to five 
thousand men. An anonymous Remarker, [the author of the 
preceding note,] however, very confidently asserts, that " this 
scene, so far as respects York's oath and his resolution to break it t 
proceeds entirely from the author's imagination." His oath is on 
record ; and what his resolution was when he marched from Lon- 
don at the head of a large body of men, and sent the message 
above stated to his son, it is not very difficult to conjecture. 


ivith twenty thousand men;~\ In the quarto this speech 

stands as follows : 

' My lord, the queene with thirty thousand men 
' Accompanied with the earles of Cumberland, 

* Northumberland, and Westmorland, 

' With others of the house of Lancaster, 

* Are marching towards Wakefield, 

* To besiedge you in your castle heere." STEEVENS. 


* YORK. Ay, with my sword. What ! think'st 

thou, that we fear them ? 

* Edward and Richard, you shall stay with me ; 
' My brother Montague shall post to London : 

* Let noble Warwick, Cobham, and the rest, 

* Whom we have left protectors of the king, 

* With powerful policy strengthen themselves, 

* And trust not simple Henry, nor his oaths. 

* MONT. Brother, I go j I'll win them, fear it 

not : 

* And thus most humbly I do take my leave. \_Ejnt. 

Enter Sir JOHN and Sir HUGH MORTIMER. 

YORK. Sir John, and Sir Hugh Mortimer, mine 

* You are come to Sandal in a happy hour ; 
The army of the queen mean to besiege us. 

SIR JOHN. She shall not need, we'll meet her in 

the field. 
6 YORK. What, with five thousand men ? 

RICH. Ay, with five hundred, father, for a need. 
A woman's general ; What should we fear ? 

\_A March afar off. 

* EDW. I hear their drums ; let's set our men in 

order ; 

* And issue forth, and bid them battle straight. 

* YORK. Five men to twenty! 7 though the odds 

be great, 

7 Five men to twenty! &c.] Thus, in the old play: 

" York. Indeed many brave battles have I won 
" In Normandy, whereas the enemy 
" Hath been ten to one, and why should I now 
" Doubt of the like success. I am resolv'd. 
" Come, let us go. 
" Edw. Let us march away. I hear their drums." 


ac. m. KING HENRY VI. si 

* I doubt not, uncle, of our victory. 

* Many a battle have I won in France, 

* When as the enemy hath been ten to one ; 

' Why should I. not now have the like success? 

[Alarum. Exeunt. 

Plains near Sandal Castle. 

Alarums: Excursions. Enter RUTLAND, and his 
Tutor. 8 

6 RUT. Ah, whither shall I fly to 'scape their 

hands ! 9 
Ah, tutor ! look, where bloody Clifford comes ! 

Enter CLIFFORD, and Soldiers. 

CLIP. Chaplain, away ! thy priesthood saves thy 


As for the brat of this accursed duke, 
Whose father 1 slew my father, he shall die. 

TUT. And I, my lord, will bear him company. 
CLIP. Soldiers, away with him. 

1 his Tutor, ,] A priest called Sir Robert Aspall, Hall, 

Henry VI. fol. 99. RITSON. 

9 Ah, whither &c.] This scene in the old play opens with 
these lines: 

" Tutor. Oh, fly my lord, let's leave the castle, 
" And fly to Wakefield straight." MALONE. 

1 Whose father ] i. e. the father of which brat, namely the 
Duke of York. MALONE. 


' TUT. Ah, Clifford ! murder not this innocent 

' Lest thou be hated both of God and man. 

[Exit, forced off by Soldiers. 

CLIP. How now ! is he dead already ? Or, is it 

That makes him close his eyes ? 2 I'll open them. 

' RUT. So looks the pent-up lion 3 o'er the wretch 

* That trembles under his devouring paws > 
And so he walks, insulting o'er his prey ; 

' And so he comes to rend his limbs asunder. 

* Ah, gentle Clifford, kill me with thy sword, 
And not with such a cruel threat'ning look. 
Sweet Clifford, hear me speak before I die ; 
I am too mean a subject for thy wrath, 

Be thou reveng'd on men, and let me live. 

* is he dead already ? Or, is it fear, 

That makes him close his eyes ?"] This circumstance is taken 
from Hall : ** Whilst this battail was in fighting, a prieste called 
Sir Robbert Aspall, chappelaine and schole-master to the yong 
erle of Rutlande, ii sonne to the above named duke of Yorke, 
scarce of the age of xii yeres, a faire gentleman, and a mayden- 
like person, perceyving that flight was more safe-gard than tarry- 
ing, bothe for hym and his master, secretly conveyd therle out of 
the felde, by the lord Cliffordes bande, toward the towne ; but or 
he could entre into a house, he was by the sayd Lord Clifford 
espied, folowed, and taken, and by reson of his apparell, de- 
maunded what he was. The yong gentleman dismayed, had not 
a word to speake, but kneled on his knees, imploring mercy, and 
desiring grace, both with holding up his handes, and making 
dolorous countenance >w /or his speache was gone for feare." 


* So looks the pent-up lion "] That is, The lion that hath been 
long confined without food, and is let out to devour a man con- 
demned. JOHNSON. 

4 devouring paws .] Surely the epithet devouring, which 
might well have characterised the whole animal, is oddly bestow- 
ed on his paws. STEEVENS. 

sc. in. KING HENRY VI. S3 

CLIP. In vain thou speak* st, poor boy ; my fa- 
ther's blood 

Hath stopp'd the passage where thy words should 

RUT. Then let my father's blood open it again; 
He is a man, and, Clifford, cope with him. 

CLIP. Had I thy brethren here, their lives, and 


Were not revenge sufficient for me ; 
No, if I digg'd up thy forefathers' graves, 
And hung their rotten coffins up in chains, 
It could not slake mine ire, nor ease my heart. 
The sight of any of the house of York 
Is as a fury to torment my soul ; 5 
' And till I root out their accursed line, 
6 And leave not one alive, I live in hell. 
Therefore [Lifting his Hand. 

RUT. O, let me pray before I take my death : 
To thee I pray ; Sweet Clifford, pity me ! 
CLIP. Such pity as my rapier's point affords. 

' RUT. I never did thee harm ; Why wilt thou 
slay me ? 

CLIP. Thy father hath. 

RUT. But 'twas ere I was born. 6 

* The sight of any of the house of York 

Is as a fury &c.] In Romeo and Juliet the same idea is ex- 
pressed in humbler language : " A dog of the house of Montague 
moves me." STEEVKNS. 

6 But 'twas ere I teas born.'] Rutland is under a mistake. 
The battle of St. Albans, in which old Clifford was slain, hap- 
pened in 1455 ; that of Wakefield in 1460. He appears to have 
been at this time about seventeen years old. RITSON. 

The author of the original play appears to have been as in- 
correct in his chronology as Shakspeare. Rutland was born, I 
believe, in 1448 ; according to Hall, in 1448 ; and Clifford's 



Thou hast one son, for his sake pity me ; 

Lest, in revenge thereof, sith 7 God is just, 

He be as miserably slain as I. 

Ah, let me live in prison all my days ; 

And when I give occasion of offence, 

Then let me die, for now thou hast no cause. 

CLIP. No cause ? 
Thy father slew my father ; therefore, die. 

[CLIFFORD stabs him. 

RUT. Diif octant, laudis summa sit ista tiwe/ B 


CtiF. Plantagenet ! I come, Plantagenet ! 
And this thy son's blood cleaving to my blade, 
Shall rust upon my weapon, till thy blood, 
Congeal'd with this, do make me wipe off both. 


father was killed at the battle of St. Albans, in 1455. Conse- 
quently Rutland was then at least seven years old ; more proba- 
bly twelve. The same observation has been made by an anony- 
mous writer. MALONE. 

7 sith ] i. e. since. So, in The Merry Wives of 

Windsor : 

" sith you yourself know how easy it is to be such an offender.'* 


8 Diifaciant, &c.~] This line is in Ovid's Epistle from Phillis 
to Demophoon. I find the same quotation in Have with you to 
Saffron Walden, or Gabriel Harvey's Hunt is up, &c. 1596. 


sc. iv. KING HENRY VI. 35 


The same. 
Alarum. Enter YORK. 

r YORK. The army of the queen hath got the 
field : 

* My uncles both are slain in rescuing me j 9 

* And all my followers to the eager foe 

e Turn back, and fly, like ships before the wind, 
' Or lambs pursu'd by hunger-starved wolves. 

* My sons God knows, what hath bechanced 


But this I know, they have demean'd themselves 
Like men born to renown, by life, or death. 
' Three times did Richard make a lane to me ; 
And thrice cried, Courage, father ! fight it out ! 

* And full as oft came Edward to my side, 
With purple faulchion, painted to the hilt 

' In blood of those 1 that had encounter' d him : 
e And when the hardiest warriors did retire, 

* Richard cried, Charge! and give no foot of 

ground ! 

c And cried, A crown, or else a glorious tomb I 
6 A sceptre, or an earthly sepulchre ! 
With this, we charg'd again : but, out, alas ! 

9 My uncles both are slain in rescuing me ;~] These were two 
bastard uncles by the mother's side, Sir John and Sir Hugh 
Mortimer. See Grafton's Chronicle, p. 649. PERCY. 

1 With purple Jaulchion, painted to the hilt 
In blood of those ] So, in King Henry V: 

" With pennons painted in the blood o/'Harfleur." 




6 We bodg'd again ; 2 as I have seen a swan 
e "With bootless labour swim against the tide, 
' And spend her strength with over-matching waves. 

\_A short Alarum within. 
' Ah, hark ! the fatal followers do pursue ; 
' And I am faint, and cannot fly their fury : 
* And, were I strong, I would not shun their fury : 
' The sands are numbered, that make up my life j 
c Here must I stay, and here my life must end. 

BERLAND, and Soldiers. 

' Come, bloody Clifford, rough Northumber* 


' I dare your quenchless fury to more rage j 
* I am your butt, and I abide your shot. 

NORTH. Yield to our mercy, proud Plantagenet. 

CLIP. Ay, to such mercy, as his ruthless arm, 
With downright payment, show'd unto my father. 

* We bodg'd again ;~] I find bodgery used by Nashe in his 
Apologie of Pierce Penniless, 1593, for botchery: " Do you 
know your own misbegotten bodgery ?" To bodge might there- 
fore mean, (as to botch does now) to do a thing imperfectly and 
aukwardly; and thence to Jail or miscarry in an attempt. Cole, 
in his Latin Dictionary, 1679, renders " To botch or bungle, 
opus corrumpere, disperdere." 

I suspect, however, with Dr. Johnson, that we should read 
We budg'd again. " To budge" Cole rer\ders,j)edem referre, to 
retreat: the precise sense required here. So, Coriolanus, speak- 
ing of his army who \iaAJted from their adversaries : 

** The mouse ne'er shunn'd the cat, as they did budge 
" From rascals worse than they." MALONE. 

I believe that we bodg'd only means, tue boggled, made bad 
or bungling tvork of our attempt to rally. A low unskilful tailor 
is often called a botcher. STEEVENS. 

sc. ir. KING HENRY VI. 37 

Now Phaeton hath tumbled from his car, 
And made an evening at the noontide prick. 3 

YORK. My ashes, as the phoenix, may bring forth 
' A bird that will revenge upon you all : 

* And, in that hope, I throw mine eyes to heaven, 
Scorning whatever you can afflict me with. 

' Why come you not ? what ! multitudes, and fear ? 

CLIP. So cowards fight, when they can fly no 

further ; 

c So doves do peck the falcon's piercing talons j 
So desperate thieves, all hopeless of their lives, 
Breathe out invectives 'gainst the officers. 

YORK. O, Clifford, but bethink thee once again, 
c And in thy thought o'er-run my former time : 

* And, if thou canst for blushing, view this face j 
And bite thy tongue, that slanders him with cow- 

' Whose frown hath made thee faint and fly ere 

CLIP. I will not bandy with thee word for word j 
But buckle with thee blows, twice two for one. 


Q, MAR. Hold, valiant Clifford ) for a thousand 


I would prolong awhile the traitor's life : 
Wrath makes him deaf: speak thou, Northumber- 

NORTH. Hold, Clifford ; do not honour him so 

To prick thy finger, though to wound his heart : 

3 noontide prick."] Or, noontide point on the dial. 


The same phrase occurs in Romeo and Juliet, Act II. sc. iv. 



What valour were it, when a cur doth grin, 
For one to thrust his hand between his teeth, 
When he might spurn him with his fpot away ? 
It is war's prize* to take all vantages ; 
And ten to one is no impeach of valour. 

\_They lay hands on YORK, who struggles. 

CLIP. Ay, ay, so strives the woodcock with the 

NORTH. So doth the coney struggle in the net. 

[YORK is taken prisoner. 

YORK. So triumph thieves upon their conquer'd 

booty ; 
So true men yield, 5 with robbers so o'er-match'd. 

NORTH. What would your grace have done unto 
him now ? 

Q. MAR. Brave warriors, Clifford, and Northum- 

Come make him stand upon this molehill here ; 
' That raught 6 at mountains with outstretched 

4 It is tvar's prize ] Read -praise. WARBURTON. 

I think the old reading right, which means, that all 'vantages 
are in war lawful prize ; that is, may be lawfully taken and used. 


To take all advantages, is rather to the discredit than to the 
praise of war, and therefore Warburton's amendment cannot be 
right ; nor can I approve of Johnson's explanation ; it appears 
to me that it is war's prize, means merely that is the estimation 
of people at war ; the settled opinion. M. MASON. 

" dolus, an virtus, quis in hoste requirat ?" Virg. 


* So true men yield,"] A true man has been already explained 
to be an honest man, as opposed to a thief. See Vol. VJ. p. 349, 
n. 8. MALONE. 

6 That raught ] i. e. That reached. The ancient preterite 
and participle passive of reach. So, in Antony and Cleopatra . 
** The hand of death has raught him," STEEVENS. 

ac. iv. KING HENRY VI. 39 

Yet parted but the shadow with his hand. 

* What! was it you, that would be England's king ? 
Was't you that revelFd in our parliament, 

And made a preachment of your high descent ? 
Where are your mess of sons to back you now ? 
The wanton Edward, and the lusty George ? 

* And where's that valiant crook-back prodigy, 
Dicky your boy, that, with his grumbling voice, 
Was wont to cheer his dad in mutinies ? 

Or, with the rest, where is your darling Rutland? 

Look, York ; I stain'd this napkin 7 with the blood 

That valiant Clifford, with his rapier's point, 

Made issue from the bosom of the boy : 

And, if thine eyes can water for his death, 

I give thee this to dry thy cheeks withal. 

6 Alas ! poor York ! but that I hate thee deadly, 

I should lament thy miserable state. 

I pr'ythee, grieve, to make me merry, York ; 

Stamp, rave, and fret, that I may sing and dance. 8 

What, hath thy fiery heart so parch' d thine entrails, 

That not a tear can fall for Rutland's death ? 

* Why art thou patient, man ? thou shouldst be 

mad j 

* And I, to make thee mad, do mock thee thus. 
Thou would' st be fee'd, I see, to make me sport ; 
York cannot speak, unless he wear a crown. 

A crown for York; and, lords, bow low to him. 

7 this napkin ] A napkin is a handkerchief. 


So, in As you like it : " To that youth he calls his Rosalind, 
he sends this bloody napkin," STEEVENS. 

8 Stamp, rave, and fret, &c.] I have placed this line as it 
stands in the old play. In the folio it is introduced, I believe, by 
the carelessness of the transcriber, some lines lower, after the 
words " do mock thee thus ;" where it appears to me out of its 
place. MALONE. 


Hold you his hands, whilst I do set it on. 

[Putting a paper Crown on his Head. 9 

9 Putting a paper Crown on his Head.'] Shakspeare has on this 
occasion deviated from history, if such of our English Chronicles 
as I have occasionally looked into, may be believed. According 
to these, the paper crown was not placed on the Duke of York's 
head till after it had been cut off. Rutland likewise was not killed 
by Clifford, till after his father's death. STEEVENS. 

The ingenious commentator is most certainly mistaken. Shak- 
speare, so far from having deviated from history, has followed it 
with the utmost precision. Whethamstede expressly tells us, the Lancastrians, in direct breach of a mutual agreement, 
and before the day appointed for the battle, fell suddenly upon 
the Duke's army, and took him and the Earl of Salisbury prison- 
ers ; treating both, but especially the Duke, in the most shame- 
ful manner : Nam, says he, statuentes eum super unum parvum 
Jbrmicarium colliculum, et quoddam sertum vile, ex palustri 
gramine confectum, imponentes, per modum coronce, super caput 
suum, non aliter quam Judcei coram domino incurvaverunt genua 
sua coram ipso, dicentes illusorie : Ave rex, sine regimine; ave 
rex, absque hereditate ; ave dux et princeps, absque omni po- 
pulo penitus et possessione. Ex hits una cum aliis variis, in 
eum probrose opprobrioseque dictis, coegerunt ipsum demum per 
capitis abscissionem clameum relinquere suce just'icice vendicacionis, 
p. 489. Not a single circumstance is omitted, or varied in the 
scene. It is not, however, imagined that Shakspeare had ever 
consulted Whethamstede : he found the same story no doubt in 
some old black letter .Chronicle, or he might possibly have it 
from a popular tradition. RITSON. 

According to Hall the paper crown was not placed on York's 
head till after he was dead ; but Holinshed after giving Hall's 
narration of this business almost verbatim, adds : " Some write, 
that the Duke was taken alive, and in derision caused to stand 
upon a mole-hill, on whose heade they put a garland instead of 
a crowne, which they had fashioned and made of segges or bul- 
rushes, and havjng so crowned him with that garlande, they 
kneeled downe afore him, as the Jewes did to Christe in scorne, 
saying to him, hayle king without rule, hayle king without 
heritage, hayle duke and prince without people or possessions. 
And at length having thus scorned hym with these and dyverse 
other the like despitefull woordes, they stroke off his heade, 
which (as yee have heard) they presented to the queen." 

Both the chroniclers say, that the Earl of Rutland was kjlled 

sc. iv. KING HENRY VI. 41 

Ay, marry, sir, now looks he like a king ! 

Ay, this is he that took king Henry's chair; 

And this is he was his adopted heir. 

But how is it that great Plantagenet 

Is crown'd so soon, and broke his solemn oath ? 

As I bethink me, you should not be king, 

Till our king Henry had shook hands with death. * 

And will you pale 2 your head in Henry's glory, 

And rob his temples of the diadem, 

Now in his life, against your holy oath ? 

O, 'tis a fault too too unpardonable ! 

Off with the crown ; and, with the crown, his head ; 

And, whilst we breathe, take time to do him dead. 3 

CLIP. That is my office, for my father's sake. 

Q. MAR. Nay, stay ; let's hear the orisons he 

YORK. She-wolf of France, but worse than wolves 

of France, 

6 Whose tongue more poisons than the adder's tooth ! 
How ill-beseeming is it in thy sex, 
To triumph like an Amazonian trull, 

by Clifford during the battle of Wakefield ; but it may be pre- 
sumed that his father had first fallen. The Earl's tutor probably 
attempted to save him as soon as the rout began. MALONE. 

1 Till our king Henry had shook hands tvith death.~\ On York's 
return from Ireland, at a meeting of parliament it was settled, 
that Henry should enjoy the throne during his life, and that York 
should succeed him. See Hall, Henry VI. fol. 98. MALONE. 

* And luill you pale ] i. e. impale, encircle with a crown. 


So, in Antony and Cleopatra : 

" Whate'er the ocean pales, or sky inclips." STEEVENS. 

to do him dead.~] To kill him. See Vol. VI. p. 170, 

n. 3. MALONE. 

See this play, p. 53, n. 9. STEEVENS. 


e Upon their woes,* whom fortune captivates ? 
But that thy face is, visor-like, unchanging, 
Made impudent with use of evil deeds, 
I would assay, proud queen, to make thee blush : 
To tell thee whence thou cam'st, of whom deriv'd, 
Were shame enough to shame thee, wert thou not 


Thy father bears the type 5 of king of Naples, 
Of both the Sicils, and Jerusalem ; 
Yet not so wealthy as an English yeoman. 
Hath that poor monarch taught thee to insult ? 
It needs not, nor it boots thee not, proud queen j 
Unless the adage must be verified, 
That beggars, mounted, run their horse to death. 
*Tis beauty, that doth oft make women proud ; 
But, God he knows, thy share thereof is small : 
J Tis virtue, that doth make them most admir'd; 
The contrary doth make thee wonder'd at : 
'Tis government, that makes them seem divine j* 
The want thereof makes thee abominable : 
Thou art as opposite to every good, 
As the Antipodes are unto us, 
Or as the south to the septentrion. 7 

4 Upon their l woes y ~] So, the folio. The quarto reads Upon 
his woes. STEEVENS. 

5 the type ] i. e. the distinguishing mark ; an obsolete 

use of the word. So again, in King Richard III : 

" The high imperial type of this earth's glory." 


6 ' Tis government, that makes them seem divine ;] Government , 
in the language of that time, signified evenness of temper, and 
decency of manners. JOHNSON. 

So, in King Henry IV. P. I. Falstaff says : 
" Let men say, we be men of good government." STEEVENS. 

7 . septentrion.'] i. e. the North. Septentrio, Lat. Milton 

uses the same word as an adjective : 

" cold septentrion blasts." STEEVENS. 

sc. iv. KING HENRY VI. 43 

O, tiger's heart, wrapped in a woman's hide ! B 
How could'st thou drain the life-blood of the child, 
To bid the father wipe his eyes withal, 
And yet be seen to bear a woman's face ? 
Women are soft, mild, pitiful, and flexible ; 
' Thou stern, obdurate, flinty, rough, remorseless. 
' Bid'st thou me rage ? why, now thou hast thy 

wish : 9 
* Would'st have me weep ? why, now thou hast thy 

will : 

' For raging wind blows up incessant showers, 1 
And, when the rage allays, the rain begins. 2 
These tears are my sweet Rutland's obsequies ; 

8 O, tiger's heart, wrapp'd in a "woman's hide /] We find al- 
most the same line in Acolastus his Afterwitte, 1600 : 

" O woolvish hearty wrapp'd in a "woman's hide !" 


9 thy wish : &c.] So the folio : The quarto reads 

thy "will in the first line, and thy wish in the second. 


1 For raging wind Hows up incessant showers,"] Thus the 
folio. The quartos read 

For raging winds blow up a storm of tears. STEEVENS. 

s Would'st have me weep ? ixhy, now thou hast thy "will : 
For raging wind blows up incessant showers, 
And, when the rage allays, the rain begins.] We meet with 
the same thought in our author's Rape ofLucrece : 
" This windy tempest, till it blows up rain, 
" Held back his sorrow's tide, to make it more ; 
" At last it rains, and busy winds give o'er. 
t* Then son and father weep with equal strife, 
" Who should weep most for daughter or for wife." 
Again, in Macbeth : 

" that tears shall drown the wind." 

Again, in Troilus and Cressida : 

" Where are my tears? rain, rain, to lay this wind?" 
Again, in King John : 

" This shower, blown up by tempest of the soul " 



6 And every drop cries vengeance for his death, 3 
* 'Gainstthee, fell Clifford, and thee, false French- 

.ZVosTiff.Beshrew me,buthis passions move me so, 
That hardly can I check my eyes from tears. 

YORK. That face of his the hungry cannibals 
Would not have touch'd, would not have stain'd 

with blood: 4 
But you are more inhuman, more inexorable, 

3 And every drop cries vengeance for his death,'] So the folio. 
The quarto thus : 

And every drop begs vengeance as it falls, 
On thee, &c. STEEVENS. 

4 usould not have stain' d with blood .] Thus the first folio. 


would not have stain* d the roses just luith blood :] So the 

second folio nonsensically reads the passage ; but the old quarto, 
&c. of better authority, have it thus : 

That face of his the hungry cannibals 
Would not have touch'd, would not have stain' d with blood. 
And this is sense. Could any one now have believed that an 
editor of common understanding should reject this, and fasten 
upon the nonsense of the later edition, only because it afforded 
matter of conjecture ? and yet Mr. Theobald will needs correct, 
roses just with blood, to roses juic'd with blood, that is, change 
one blundering editor's nonsense for another's. But if there ever 
was any meaning in the line, it was thus expressed : 

Would riot have stain'd the roses just in bud. 
And this the Oxford editor hath espoused. WARBURTON. 

As, without correction, the words the roses just, do not make 
good sense, there is very little reason to suspect their being in- 
terpolated, and therefore it is mostprobable they were preserved 
among the players by memory. The correction is this : 
That face of his the hungry cannibals 
Would not have touch'd : 

Would not have stain'd the roses just \' th' bloom. 
The words [the roses just~\ were, I suppose, left out by the first 
editors, in order to get rid of the superfluous hemistich. 


ac. iv. KING HENRY VI. 45 

O, ten times more, than tigers of Hyrcania. 5 
See, ruthless queen, a hapless father's tears : 
This cloth thou dipp'dst in blood of my sweet boy, 
And I with tears do wash the blood away. 
Keep thou the napkin, and go boast of this : 

\_He gives back the Handkerchief. 
And, if thou tell'st the heavy story right, 
Upon my soul, the hearers will shed tears ; 6 
Yea, even my foes will shed fast-falling tears, 
And say, Alas, it was a piteous deed ! 
There, take the crown, and, with the crown, my 

curse ; 7 

And, in thy need, such comfort come to thee, 
As now I reap at thy too cruel hand ! 
Hard-hearted Clifford, take me from the world ; 
My soul to heaven, my blood upon your heads ! 

NORTH. Had he been slaughter-man to all my 


' I should not for my life but weep with him, 
To see how inly sorrow gripes his soul. 8 

s of Hyrcania.] So the folio. The quartos read of 

Arcadia. STEEVENS. 

6 And, if thou tell'st the heavy story right, 

Upon my soul, the hearers will shed tears;'] So, in King 
Richard II : 

" Tell thou the lamentable tale of me, 

" And send the hearers weeping to their beds." 


7 There, take the crown, and, with the crown, my curse ;~\ 
Rowe has transferred this execration to his dying Hengist in 
The Royal Convert : 

" wear my crown ; 

" Take it, and be as curs'd with it as I was." 


8 / should not for my life but weep ivith him, 

To see how inly sorrow gripes his soul.~] So the folia. The 
quartos as follows : 

" I could not choose but weep with him, to see 

" How inward anger gripes his heart." STEEVENS. 


Q. MAR. What, weeping-ripe, my lord North- 
umberland ? 

Think but upon the wrong he did us all, 
And that will quickly dry thy melting tears. 

CLIP. Here's for my oath, here's for my father's 
death. [Stabbing Mm. 

Q. MAR. And here's to right our gentle-hearted 
king. 9 [Stabbing him. 

YORK. Open thy gate of mercy, gracious God ! 
' My soul flies through these wounds to seek out 
thee. [Dies. 

Q. MAR. Off with his head, and set it on York 

gates ; 
So York may overlook the town of York. 1 


9 And here's to right our gentle-hearted king.~\ So the folio. 
The quarto thus : 

" And there's to right our gentle harted kind." 

Of these variations there are many, but it is useless labour to 
enumerate them all. STEEVENS. 

1 So York may overlook &c.] This gallant nobleman fell by 
his own imprudence, in consequence of leading an army of only 
five thousand men to engage with twenty thousand, and not 
waiting for the arrival of his son the Earl of March, with a large 
body of Welshmen. He and Cicely his wife, with his son Ed- 
mond Earl of Rutland, were originally buried in the chancel of 
Foderingay church ; and (as Peacham informs us in his Complete 
Gentleman^ 4to. 1627,) "when the chancel in that fune of 
knocking churches and sacred monuments in the head, was also 
felled to the ground," they were removed into the churchyard ; 
and afterwards " lapped in lead they were buried in the church 
by the commandment of Queen Elizabeth ; and a mean monu- 
ment of plaister wrought with the trowel erected over them, very 
homely, and far unfitting so noble princes." 
*' I remember, (adds the same writer,) Master Creuse, a gen- 
tleman and my worthy friend, who dwelt in the college at the 
same time, told me, that their coffins being opened, their bodies 
appeared veryplainly to be discerned, and withal that the dutchess 



A Plain near Mortimer's Cross in Herefordshire. 

Drums. Enter EDWARD, and RICHARD, with 
their Forces, marching. 

* EDW. I wonder, how our princely father 'scap'd; 

* Or whether he be 'scap'd away, or no, 

* From Clifford's and Northumberland's pursuit 5 

* Had he been ta'en, we should have heard the 

Had he been slain, we should have heard the 

*Or, had he 'scap'd, methinks, we should have 


* The happy tidings of his good escape. 

' How fares my brother ? 2 why is he so sad ? 

RICH. I cannot joy, until I be resolv'd 
Where our right valiant father is become. 

Cicely had about her necke, hanging in a silke ribband, a pardon 
from Rome, which, penned in a very fine Roman hand, was as 
faire and fresh to be read, as it had been written yesterday." 
This pardon was probably a dispensation which the Duke pro- 
cured, from the oath of allegiance that he had sworn to Henry 
in St. Paul's church on the 10th of March, 14-52. MALONE. 

* HOIK fares my brother?"] This scene in the old quartos be- 
gins thus : 

" After this dangerous fight and hapless war, 
" How doth my noble brother Richard fare ?" 
Had the author taken the trouble to revise his play, he hardly 
would have begun the first Act and the second with almost the 
same exclamation, expressed in almost the same words. War- 
wick opens the scene with 

" I wonder, how the king escap'd our hands." 



( I saw him in the battle range about ; 
4 And watch'd him, how he singled Clifford forth. 
4 Methought, he bore him 3 in the thickest troop, 
As doth a lion in a herd of neat : 

* Or as a bear, encompassed round with dogs ; 

* Who having pinch'd a few, and made them cry, 

* The rest stand all aloof, and bark at him. 

* So far'd our father with his enemies ; 

4 So fled his enemies my warlike father ; 
4 Methinks, 'tis prize enough to be his son. 4 
See, how the morning opes her golden gates, 
And takes her farewell of the glorious sun ! 5 

* How well resembles it the prime of youth, 

* Trimm'd like a younker, prancing to his love ! 

EDW. Dazzle mine eyes, or do I see three suns? 6 
RICH. Three glorious suns, each one a perfect sun; 

3 Methought, he bore him ] i. e. he demeaned himself. So, 
in Measurefor Measure : 

" How I may formally in person bear me ." MALONE. 

4 Methinks, 'tis prize enough to be his son."] The old quarto 
reads pride, which is right, for ambition, i. e. We need not 
aim at any higher glory than this. WARBURTON. 

I believe prize is the right word. Richard's sense is, though 
we have missed the prize for which we fought, we have yet an 
honour left that may content us. JOHNSON. 

Prize , if it be the true reading, I believe, here means privi- 
lege. So, in the former Act : 

" It is war's prize to take all 'vantages." MALONE. 

4 And takes her farewell of the glorious sun /] Aurora takes 
for a time her farewell of the sun, when she dismisses him to his 
diurnal course. JOHNSON. 

6 do I see three suns ?] This circumstance is mentioned 

both by Hall and Holinshed : " at which tyme the son (as 

some write) appeared to the earle of March like three sunnes* 
and sodainely joyned altogither in one, uppon whiche sight hee 
tooke such courage, that he fiercely setting on his enemyes put 
them to flight ; and for this cause menne ymagined that he gave 
the sun in his full bryghtnesse for his badge or cognisance." 
These are the words of Holinshed. MALONE. 

so. /. KING HENRY VI. 49 

Not separated with the racking clouds,* 
But sever* d in a pale clear-shining sky. 
See, see! they join, embrace, and seem to kiss, 
As if they vow'd some league inviolable : 
Now are they but one lamp, one light, one sun. 
In this the heaven figures some event. 

* EDW. 'Tis wondrous strange, the like yet never 

heard of. 

I think, it cites us, brother, to the field ; 
That we, the sons of brave Plantagenet, 
' Each one already blazing by our meeds, 8 
Should, notwithstanding, join our lights together, 
' And over-shine the earth, as this the world. 
c Whatever it bodes, henceforward will I bear 
Upon my target three fair shining suns. 

* RICH. Nay, bear three daughters; by your 

leave I speak it, 
* You love the breeder better than the male. 

7 the racking clouds,'} i.e. the clouds in rapid tumultuary 

motion. So, in The Raigne of King Edward III. 1596: 
" .. like inconstant clouds 

" That, rack'd upon the carriage of the winds, 
" Encrease" &c. STEEVENS. 

Again, in our author's 32d Sonnet : 

" Anon permit the basest clouds to ride 

" With ugly rack on his celestial face." MALONE. 

8 blazing by our meeds,] Illustrious and shining by the 

armorial ensigns granted us as meeds of our great exploits. 
Meed likewise is merit. It might be plausibly read: 
blazing by our deeds. JOHNSON. 

Johnson's first explanation of this passage is not right. Meed 
here means merit. 

So, in the fourth Act, the King says : 

" My meed hath got me fame." 
And in Timon of Athens the word is used in the same sense : 

No meed but he repays 

"Sevenfold above itself." M. MASON. 


Enter a Messenger. 

' But what art thou, whose heavy looks foretel 
' Some dreadful story hanging on thy tongue ? 

MESS. Ah, one that was a woful looker on, 
When as the noble duke of York was slain, 
* Your princely father, and my loving lord. 

* EDW. O, speak no more ! 9 for I have heard too 

much. l y ( j 

* RICH. Say how he died, for I will hear it all. 

* MESS. Environed he was with many foes ; 2 

.1 'I;;;'} os'ui 1 *''^'\^i 
9 0, speak no more .'] The generous tenderness of Edward, 

and savage fortitude of Richard, are well distinguished by their 
different reception of their father's death. JOHNSON. 

-for I have heard too much."] So the folio. The quartos 


" for I can hear no more. 

" Rich. Tell on thy tale," &c. STEEVENS. 

* Environed he was with many foes ;~\ Thus,. in the old play : 
" O, one that was a woeml looker on, 
" When as the noble duke of York was slain. 
" When as the noble duke was put to flight, . 
** And then persude by Clifford and the queene, 
" And many soldiers moe, who all at once 
" Let drive at him, and forst the duke to yield ; 

" And then they set him on a moul-hill there?,: 

" And crown'd the gracious duke in high despight ; 

" Who then with tears began to wail his fall. 

" The ruthlesse queene perceiving he did weepe, 

" Gave him a handkerchief to wipe his eyes, 

" Dipt inthebloud of sweete young Rutland, by 

" Rough Clifford slaine; who weeping tookeit up 1 : 

" Then through his brest they thrust their bloudie swords, 

" Who like a lambe fell at the butcher's feate. 

" Then on the gates of Yorke they set his head 

" And there it doth remaine the piteous spectacle 

" That ere mine eyes beheld." MALONE. 

sc. i. KING HENRY VI. 51 

* And stood against them as the hope of Troy 3 

* Against theGreeks,thatwould have enter'dTroy. 

* But Hercules himself must yield to odds ; 

* And many strokes, though with a little axe, 

* Hew down and fell the hardest-timber* d oak. 
' By many hands your father was subdu'd ; 

' But only slaughtered by the ireful arm 
' Of unrelenting Clifford, and the queen : 

* Who crown' d the gracious duke in high despite; 
' Laugh'd in his face ; and, when with grief he 


c The ruthless queen gave him, to dry his cheeks, 
e A napkin steeped in the harmless blood 
' Of sweet young Rutland, by rough Clifford slain: 

* And, after many scorns, many foul taunts, 

4 They took his head, and on the gates of York 
' They set the same ; and there it doth remain, 
' The saddest spectacle that e'er I view'd. 

Epw. Sweet duke of York, our prop to lean 

' Now thou art gone, we have no staff, no stay! 

* O Clifford, boist'rous Clifford, thou hast slain 

* The flower of Europe for his chivalry ; 

* And treacherously hast thou vanquished him, 

* For, hand to hand, he would have vanquished 

thee ! 

Now my soul's palace is become a prison : 
Ah, would she break from hence ! that this my 


' Might in the ground be closed up in rest : 
c For never henceforth shall I joy again, V,' 
' Never, O never, shall I see more joy. 

6 RICH. I cannot weep ; for all my body's moisture 

3 the hope of Troy ] Hector. MALONE. 

E 2 


Scarce serves to quench my furnace-burning heart: 

* Nor can my tongue unload my heart's great bur- 


* For self-same wind, that I should speak withal, 

* Is kindling coals, that fire all my breast, 

* And burn me up with flames, 4 that tears would 


* To weep, is to make less the depth of grief : 5 

* Tears, then, for babes ; blows, and revenge, for 

' Richard, I bear thy name, I'll venge thy death, 

* Or die renowned by attempting it. 

EDW. His name that valiant duke hath left with 

* His dukedom and his chair with me is left. 6 

RICH. Nay, if thou be that princely eagle's bird, 
Show thy descent by gazing 'gainst the sun : 7 

4 And burn me up toithjlames, &c. J So, in King John : 

" France, I am burn'd up with consuming wrath," &c. 


5 To taeepy &c.~\ Here, in the original play, instead of these 
two lines, we have 

" I cannot joy, till this white rose be dy'd 

" Even in the heart-bloud of the house of Lancaster.*' 


His dukedom and his chair with me is left.~\ So the folio. 
The quarto thus: 

" His chair, and dukedom, that remains for me." 


7 Shout thy descent by gazing y gainst the sun:'] So, in Spenser's 
Hymn of Heavenly Beauty: 

** like the native brood of eagle's kind, 

... Q n t na t bright sun of glory fix thine eyes." 
Again, in Solyman and Perseda : 

" As air-bred eagles, if they once perceive 
" That any of their brood but close their sight, 
" When they should gaze against the glorious sun ; 
" They straitway seize upon him with their talons, 

ac. /. KING HENRY VI. 53 

For chair and dukedom, throne and kingdom say; 
Either that is thine, or else thou wert not his. 

March. Enter WARWICK and MONTAGUE, with 
Forces. 9 

WAR. How now, fair lords ? What fare ? what 

news abroad ? 

* RICH. Great lord of Warwick, if we should re- 

Our baleful news, and, at each word's deliverance, 
Stab poniards in our flesh till all were told, 
The words would add more anguish than the wounds. 
O valiant lord, the duke of York is slain. 

EDW. O Warwick! Warwick! that Plantagenet, 
Which held thee dearly, as his soul's redemption, 
Is by the stern lord Clifford done to death. 9 

" That on the earth it may untimely die, 

" For looking but askew at heaven's bright eye." 


Enter Warwick &c.] This meeting was at Chipping- Norton. 
W. Wyrcester, p. 488. RITSON. 

9 Is by the stern lord Clifford done to death.] Done to death 
for kitted, was a common expression long before Shakspeare's 
time. Thus Chaucer : 

" And seide, that if ye done us both to dien." GRAY. 

Spenser mentions a plague " which many did to dye." 


Faire mourir, a French phrase. So, in The Battle of Alcazar, 

" We understand that he was done to death.'* 
Again, ibid: 

" done to death with many a mortal wound." 

Again, in Orlando Furioso, 1599 : 

" I am the man that did the slave to death." 



WAR. Ten days ago I drown' d these news in 

tears : 

And now, to add more measure to your woes, 
I come to tell you things since then befall'n. 
After the bloody fray at Wakeh'eld fought, 
Where your brave father breath'd his latest gasp, 
Tidings, as swiftly as the posts could run, 
Were brought me of your loss, and his depart. 
I then in London, keeper of the king, 
Muster' d my soldiers, gathered flocks of friends, 
And very well appointed, as I thought, l 
March'd towards Saint Alban's to intercept the 


Bearing the king in my behalf along : 
For by my scouts I was advertised, 
That she was coming with a full intent 
To dash our late decree in parliament, 
' Touching king Henry's oath, and your succession. 
Short tale to make, we at Saint Alban's met, 
Our battles join'd, and both sides fiercely fought: 
But, whether 'twas the coldness of the king, 
Who look'd full gently on his warlike queen, 
That robb'd my soldiers of their hated spleen ; 
Or whether 'twas report of her success ; 
Or more than common fear of Clifford's rigour, 
' Who thunders to his captives 2 blood and death, 
I cannot judge : but, to conclude with truth, 
Their weapons like to lightning came and went ; 
Our soldiers' like the night-owl's lazy flight, 3 

1 And very well &c.] This necessary line I have restored from 
the old quartos. STEEVENS. 

* to his captives ] So the folio. The old play reads 

captaines. MALONE. 

3 like the night-otvl's lazy flight,] This image is not very 

congruous to the subject, nor was it necessary to the comparison, 
which is happily enough completed by the thrasher. JOHNSON. 

sc. i. KING HENRY VI. 56 

' Or like a lazy thrasher with a flail, 4 
Fell gently down, as if they struck their friends. 
I cheer'd them up with justice of our cause, 
With promise of high pay, and great rewards : 
But all in vain ; they had no heart to fight, 
And we, in them, no hope to win the day, 
So that we fled; the king, unto the queen ; 
Lord George your brother, Norfolk, and myself, 
In haste, post-haste, are come to join with you ; 
For in the marches here, we heard, you were, 
Making another head to fight again. 
' EDW. S Where is the duke of Norfolk, gentle 
Warwick ? 

Dr. Johnson objects to this comparison as incongruous to the 
subject ; but I think, unjustly. Warwick compares the languid 
blows of his soldiers, to the lazy strokes which the wings of the 
owl give to the air in its flight, which is remarkably slow. 


4 Or like a lazy thrasher 3 The old play more elegantly 
reads Or like an idle thrasher, &c. MALONE. 

* Ediv. &c.] The exact ages of the Duke of York's children, 
introduced in the present play, will best prove how far our au- 
thor has, either intentionally or otherwise, deviated, in this par- 
ticular, from historical truth. 

Edward, Earl of March, afterwards Duke of York, and King 
of England, his second son, was born at Rouen, on Monday the 
27th or 28th of April, 144-2; Edmund, Earl of Rutland, his 
third son, at the same place, on Monday the 17th of May, 1443 ; 
George of York, afterwards Duke of Clarence, his sixth son, in 
Dublin, on Tuesday the 21st of October, 1449 ; and Richard 
of York, afterwards Duke of Gloster, and King of England, his 
eighth son, at Fotheringay, on Monday the 2d of October, 1452; 
Henry, thejlrst son, born in 1441, William, the fourth, in 1447, 
John, the Jifth, in 1448, and Thomas, the seventh, in 1451, 
died young. He had likewise four daughters. The battle of 
Wakefield was fought the 29th of December, 1460, when 
Edward, of course, was in his nineteenth year, Rutland in his 
eighteenth, George in his twelfth, and Richard in his ninth. 



And when came George from Burgundy to Eng- 
land ? 

' WAR. Some six miles off the duke is with the 

soldiers : 

And for your brother, he was lately sent 
From your kind aunt, duchess of Burgundy, 
6 With aid of soldiers to this needful war. 6 

RICH. 'Twas odds, belike, when valiant Warwick 


Oft have I heard his praises in pursuit, 
But ne'er, till now, his scandal of retire. 

WAR. Nor now my scandal, Richard, dost thou 

hear : 

For thou shalt know, this strong right hand of mine 
Can pluck the diadem from faint Henry's head, 
And wring the awful scepter from his fist ; 
Were he as famous and as bold in war, 
As he is fam'd for mildness, peace, and prayer. 

RICH. I know it well, lord Warwick : blame me 


J Tis love, I bear thy glories, makes me speak. 
But, in this troublous time, what's to be done ? 
Shall we go throw away our coats of steel, 

' Edw. when came George from Burgundy to England? 

War. he was lately sent 

From your kind aunt, duchess of Burgundy, 
With aid of soldiers to this needful war.] This circumstance 
is not warranted by history. Clarence and Gloster (as they were 
afterwards created) were sent into Flanders immediately after the 
battle of Wakefield, and did not return until their brother Edward 
got possession of the crown. Besides, Clarence was not now 
more than twelve years old. 

Isabel, Duchess of Burgundy, whom Shakspeare calls the 
Duke's aunt, was daughter of John I. King of Portugal, by 
Philippa of Lancaster, eldest daughter of John of Gaunt. They 
were, therefore, no more than third cousins. RITSON. 

sc. I. KING HENRY VI. 57 

And wrap our bodies in black mourning gowns, 
Numb'ring our Ave-Maries with our beads? 
Or shall we on the helmets of our foes 
Tell our devotion with revengeful arms ? 
If for the last, say Ay, and to it, lords. 

WAR. Why, therefore Warwick came to seek 

you out ; 

And therefore comes my brother Montague. 
Attend me, lords. The proud insulting queen, 
With Clifford, and the haught Northumberland, 7 
And of their feather, many more proud birds, 
Have wrought the easy-melting king like wax. 8 
He swore consent to your succession, 
His oath enrolled in the parliament ; 
And now to London all the crew are gone, 
To frustrate both his oath, and what beside 
May make against the house of Lancaster. 
* Their power, I think, is thirty thousand strong: 9 

7 haught Northumberland,'] So, Grafton in his Chronicle 

says, p. 417: " the lord Henry Percy, whom the Scottes 

for his haut and valiant courage called sir Henry Hotspurre." 


The word is common to many writers. So, in Marlowe's 
King Edward II. 1598 : 

" This haught resolve becomes your majesty." 
Again, in Kyd's Cornelia, 1594 : 

" Pompey,that second Mars, whose haught renown," &c. 
Again, in Lyly's Woman in the Moon, 1597: 

" Thy mind as haught as Jupiter's high thoughts." 


8 the easy-melting Icing like wax.] So again, in this play, 
of the Lady Grey : 

" As red as fire ; nay, then her ixax must melt." 


9 is thirty thousand strong :] Thus the folio. The old 

play reads 

" Their power, I guess tliemjlftie thousand strong." 
A little lower the same piece has eight and forty thousand. 



Now, if the help of Norfolk, and myself, 
With, all the friends that thou, brave earl of March, 
Amongst the loving Welshmen canst procure, 
' Will but amount to five and twenty thousand, 
Why, Via ! to London will we march amain ; 
And once again bestride our foaming steeds, 
' And once again cry Charge upon our foes ! 
But never once again turn back, and fly. 

RICH. Ay, now, methinks, I hear great Warwick 

speak : 
Ne'er may he live to see a sunshine day, 

* That cries Retire, if Warwick bid him stay. 

EDW. Lord Warwick, on thy shoulder will I 


' And when thou fall'st, (as God forbid the hour !) 
Must Edward fall, which peril heaven forefend ! 

WAR. No longer earl of March, but duke of 

* The next degree is, England's royal throne : 
For king of England shalt thou be proclaim'd 
In every borough as we pass along ; 

And he that throws not up his cap for joy, 
' Shall for the fault make forfeit of his head. 
King Edward, valiant Richard, Montague, 
Stay we no longer dreaming of renown, 
' But sound the trumpets, and about our task. 

* RICH. Then, Clifford, were thy heart as hard 

as steel, 

* (As thou hast shown it flinty by thy deeds,) 

* I come to pierce it, or to give thee mine. 

* EDW. Then strike up, drums ; God, and Saint 

George, for us ! 

sc. zr. KING HENRY VI. 59 

Enter a Messenger. 

WAR. How now ? what news ? 

MESS. The duke of Norfolk sends you word by 


The queen is coming with a puissant host ; 
And craves your company for speedy counsel. 

' WAR. Why then it sorts, 1 brave warriors: Let's 
away. \_Exeunt. 


Before York. 

Enter King HENRY, Queen MARGARET, the Prince 
with Forces. 

Q. MAR. Welcome, my lord, to this brave town 

of York. 

Yonder's the head of that arch-enemy, 
That sought to be encompass'd with your crown : 
' Doth not the object cheer your heart, my lord ? 

' K. HEN. Ay, as the rocks cheer them that fear 

their wreck; 

To see this sight, it irks my very soul. 
Withhold revenge, dear God ! 'tis not my fault, 
Not wittingly have I infring'd my vow. 

1 Why then it sorts,'] Why then things are as they should be. 


So, in Greene's Card of Fancy, 1608 : " thy love shall 
tort to such happy success as thou thyself dost seek for." 



CLIP. My gracious liege, this too much lenity 
And harmful pity, must be laid aside. 
To whom do lions cast their gentle looks ? 
Not to the beast that would usurp their den. 
Whose hand is that, the forest bear doth lick ? 
Not his, that spoils her young before her face. 
Who 'scapes the lurking serpent's mortal sting ? 
Not he, that sets his foot upon her back. 
The smallest worm will turn, being trodden on j 
* And doves will peck, in safeguard 2 of their brood. 
Ambitious York did level at thy crown, 
Thou smiling, while he knit his angry brows : 
He, but a duke, would have his son a king, 
And raise his issue, like a loving sire ; 
Thou, being a king, bless'd with a goodly son, 
Didst yield consent to disinherit him, 
c Which argued thee a most unloving father. 3 
Unreasonable creatures feed their young : 
And though man's face be fearful to their eyes, 
Yet, in protection of their tender ones, 
Who hath not seen them (even with those wings 
' Which sometime they have us'd with fearful 


Make war with him that climb 5 d unto their nest, 
Offering their own lives in their young's defence? 
For shame, my liege, make them your precedent! 
Were it not pity that this goodly boy 
Should lose his birthright by his father's fault ; 
And long hereafter say unto his child, 
What my great-grandfather andgrandsire got, 
My careless father fondly 1 " gave away ? 

* in safeguard ] Thus the folio. The quartos read in 

rescue. STEEVENS. 

3 unloving father, ,] The quartos read unnatural father. 


4 fondly ] i. e. foolishly. So, in King Richard II: 

sc. ii. KING HENRY VI. 61 

Ah, what a shame were this ! Look on the boy j 
And let his manly face, which promiseth 
Successful fortune, steel thy melting heart, 
To hold thine own, and leave thine own with him. 

K. HEN. Full well hath Clifford play'd the ora- 

Inferring arguments of mighty force. 
' But, Clifford, tell me, didst thou never hear, 
That things ill got had ever bad success ? 5 
And happy always was it for that son, 
Whose father 6 for his hoarding went to hell ? 
I'll leave my son my virtuous deeds behind ; 
And 'would, my father had left me no more ! 
For all the rest is held at such a rate, 
* As brings a thousand-fold more care to keep, 
4 Than in possession any jot of pleasure. 7 
Ah, cousin York! ' would thy best friends did know, 
' How it doth grieve me that thy head is here ! 

' Q. MAR. My lord, cheer up your spirits ; our 

foes are nigh, 

' And this soft courage makes your followers faint. 
e You promised knighthood to our forward son ; 

sorrow and grief of heart 

" Makes him sipeakjondly ." STEEVENS. 
didst thou never hear, 

That things ill got had ever bad success ? &c.] The proverb 
quoted by his majesty on this occasion, seems to militate directly 
against his own argument, and shows that things ill got might 
have good success. M. MASON. 

Whose father &c.] Alluding to a common proverb : 
" Happy the child whose father went to the devil." 


7 Than in possession any jot of pleasure. ~\ Thus the folio. The 
quarto thus : 

" Than may the present profit countervaile." 



6 Unsheath your sword, and dub him presently. 
Edward, kneel down. 

K. HEN. Edward Plantagenet, arise a knight ; 
And learn this lesson, Draw thy sword in right. 

PRINCE. My gracious father, by your kingly 

leave, ' 

I'll draw it as apparent to the crown, 
And in that quarrel use it to the death. 

CLIP. Why, that is spoken like a toward prince. 

Enter a Messenger. 

MESS. Royal commanders, be in readiness : 
* For, with a band of thirty thousand 8 men, 
Comes Warwick, backing of the duke of York; 
And, in the towns as they do march along, 
Proclaims him king, and many fly to him : 
' Darraign 9 your battle, for they are at hand. 

CLIP. I would, your highness would depart the 

The queen 1 hath best success when you are absent. 

8 thirty thousand ] The quarto reads J?^y thousand. 


9 Darraign ] That is, Range your host, put your host in 
order. JOHNSON. 

Chaucer, Skelton, and Spenser, use this word. 

Thus also, in Guy Earl of Warwick, a Tragical History^ 

" Darraign our battles, and begin the fight.'* 
The quartos read Prepare your battles, &c. STEEVENS. 

1 / would, your highness would depart thejicld ; 

The queen &c.] This superstitious belief, relative to the for- 
tunes of our unhappy prince, is yet more circumstantially intro- 
duced by Dray ton in The Miseries of Queen Margaret: 

se. n. KING HENRY VI. 63 

Q. MAR. Ay, good my lord, and leave us to our 

K. HEN. Why, that's my fortune too: therefore 
Til stay. 

NORTH. Be it with resolution then to fight. 

PRINCE. My royal father, cheer these noble 

i j 

And hearten those that fight in your defence : 
Unsheath your sword, good father j cry, Saint 


' EDW. Now, perjur'd Henry ! wilt thou kneel 
for grace, 

* And set thy diadem upon my head ; 

* Or bide the mortal fortune of the field ? 

Q. MAR. Go, rate thy minions, proud insulting 

' Becomes it thee to be thus bold in terms, 

* Before thy sovereign, and thy lawful 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 wan two, among the loss of many, 
ft Her husband absent ; present, never any.*' 


So, Hall : " Happy was the queene in her two battayls, but 
unfortunate was the king in al his enterprises; for where his 
person was present, the victorie fledde ever from him to the other 
parte." Henry VI. fol. C. MALONE. 


EDW. I am his king, and he should bow his 

knee ; 

I was adopted heir by his consent : 
Since when, his oath is broke; 2 for, as I hear, 
You that are king, though he do wear the crown, 
Have caus'd him, by new act of parliament, 
' To blot out me, and put his own son in. 

' CLIP. And reason too ; 
Who should succeed the father, but the son ? 

' RICH. Are you there, butcher ? O, I cannot 
speak ! 

' CLIP. Ay, crook-back ; here I stand, to answer 

* Or any he the proudest of thy sort. 

RICH. 'Twas you that kilPd young Rutland, was 
it not ? 

9 1 am his king, and he should bow his knee ; 
I was adopted heir by his consent : 

Since when, his oath is broke;] Edward's argument is 
founded on the following article in the compact entered into by 
Henry and the Duke of York, which the author found in Hall's 
Chronicle, but which I believe made no part of that agreement : 
" Provided alwaye, that if the king did closely or apertly studye 
or go about to breake or alter this agreement, or to compass or 
imagine the death or destruction of the sayde duke or his bloud, 
then he to forfet the crowne, and the duke of Yorke to take it." 
If this had been one of the articles of the compact, the Duke 
having been killed at Wakefield, his eldest son would have now 
a title to the crown. MALONE. 

Since when, &c.] The quartos give the remainder of this 
speech to Clarence, and read : 

To blot our brother out, &c. STEEVENS. 

Here is another variation of the same kind with those which 
have been noticed in the preceding play, which could not have 
arisen from a transcriber or printer. Though Shakspeare gave 
the whole of this speech to Edward by substituting me for brother, 
the same division which is found in the quarto, is inadvertently 
retained in the folio. MALONE. KING HENRY VI. 65 

CLIP. Ay, and old York, and yet not satisfied. 

RICH. For God's sake, lords, give signal to the 

WAR. What say'st thou, Henry, wilt thou yield 
the crown ? 

' Q. MAR. Why, how now, long-tongu'd War- 
wick ? dare you speak ? 
When you and I met at Saint Alban's last, 
Your legs did better service than your hands. 3 

WAR. Then 'twas my turn to fly, and now 'tis 

CLIP. You said so much before, and yet you 

WAR. 'Twas not your valour, Clifford, drove me 

' NORTH. No, nor your manhood, that durst 
make you stay. 

RICH. Northumberland, I hold thee rever- 

Break off the parle ; for scarce I can refrain 
The execution of my big-swoln heart 
Upon that Clifford, that cruel child-killer. 

CLIP. I slew thy father: Call' st thou him a child? 

RICH. Ay, like a dastard, and a treacherous 


As thou didst kill our tender brother Rutland ; 
But, ere sun-set, I'll make thee curse the deed. 

K. HEN. Have done with words, my lords, and 
hear me speak. 

3 Your legs did better service than your hands."] An allusion 
to the proverb: " One pair of heels is worth two pair of 
hands." STEEVENS. 



Q. MAR. Defy them then, or else hold close thy 

K. HEN. I pr'ythee, give no limits to my tongue ; 
I am a king, and privileged to speak. 

CLIP. My liege, the wound, that bred this meet- 
ing here, 
Cannot be cur'd by words ; therefore be still. 

RICH. Then, executioner, unsheath thy sword : 
By him that made us all, I am resolv'd, 4 
* That Clifford's manhood lies upon his tongue. 

' EDW. Say, Henry, shall I have my right, or no? 
A thousand men have broke their fasts to-day, 
That ne'er shall dine, unless thou yield the crown. 

WAR. If thou deny, their blood upon thy head j 
For York in justice puts his armour on. 

6 PRINCE. If that be right, which Warwick says 

is right, 
There is no wrong, but every thing is right. 

RICH. Whoever got thee, 5 there thy mother 

stands ; 
For, well I wot, thou hast thy mother's tongue. 

Q. MAR. But thou art neither like thy sire, nor 

But like a foul misshapen stigmatick, 6 

4 I am resolv'd,'] It is my firm persuasion ; I am no long- 
er in doubt. JOHNSON. 

4 Rich. Whoever got thee, &c.] In the folio this speech is 
erroneously assigned to Warwick. The answer shows that it be- 
longs to Richard, to whom it is attributed in the old play. 


6 misshapen stigmatick,] " A stigmatic" says J. Bullo- 

kar in his English Expositor, 1616, " is a notorious lewd fellow, 
which hath been burnt with a hot iron, or beareth other marks 
about him as a token of his punishment." 

sc. ii. KING HENRY VI. 67 

Mark'd by the destinies to be avoided, 

* As venom toads, or lizards* dreadful stings. 7 

RICH. Iron of Naples, hid with English gilt, 8 
Whose father bears the title of a king, 
(As if a channel should be call'd the sea, 9 ) 

The word is likewise used in Drayton's Epistle from Q. Mar- 
garet to W. dc la Poole : 

" That foul, ill favour'd, crook-back'd stigmatick." 
Again, in Drayton's Epistle from King John to Matilda : 
" These for the crook'd, the halt, the stigmatick." 


7 lizards' dreadful stings."] Thus the folio. The quartos 

have this variation : 

" or lizards' fainting looks." 

This is the second time that Shakspeare has armed the lizard 
(which in reality has no such defence) with a sting; but great 
powers seem to have been imputed to its looks. So, in Noah's 
Flood, by Drayton : 

*' The lizard shuts up his sharp-sighted eyes, 
** Amongst the serpents, and there sadly lies." 


Shakspeare is here answerable for the introduction of the 
lizard's sting ; but in a preceding passage, Vol. XIII. p. 298, the 
author of the old play has fallen into the same mistake. 


* gMt"] Gilt is a superficial covering of gold. 

So, in King Henry V : 

" Our gayness and our gilt are all besmirch'd." 


9 (As if a channel should be call'd the sea,)~\ A channel, in 
our author's time, signified what we now call a kennel. So, in 
Stowe's Chronicle, quarto, 1605, p. 1148: " such a storme 
of raine happened at London, as the like of long time could not 
be remembered ; where-through, the channels of the citie sud- 
denly rising," &c. Again, in King Henry IV. P. II : " quoit 
him into the channel." MALONE. 

Kennel is still pronounced channel in the North. So, in Mar- 
lowe's Edward II : 

" Throw off his golden mitre, rend his stole, 
" And in the channel christen him anew." 

F 2 


6 Sham'st thou not, knowing whence thou art ex- 

* To let thy tongue detect 1 thy base-born heart ? 

EDW. A wisp of straw* were worth a thousand 

Again : 

" Here's channel water, as our charge is given." 
Again : 

" To which the channels of the castle run." RITSON, 

1 To let thy tongue detect ] To show thy meanness of birth 
by the indecency of language with which thou railest at my de- 
formity. JOHNSON. 

To let thy tongue detect thy base-born heart ?~] So the folio. 
The quartos : 

" To parly thus with England's lawful heirs." 


* A wisp of straw ] I suppose, for an instrument of correc- 
tion that might disgrace, but not hurt her. JOHNSON. 

I believe that a wisp signified some instrument of correction 
used in the time of Snakspeare. The following instance seems 
to favour the supposition. See A Woman never Vexed, a comedy 
by Rowley, 1632: 

" Nay, worse ; I'll stain thy ruff; nay, worse than that, 
" I'll do thus : [Holds up a wisp. 

" dost laisp me thou tatterdemallion ?" 

Again, in Marston's Dutch Courtezan, 1604- : 

" Thou little more than a dwarf, and something less than a. 
woman ! 

" Cris. A wispe ! a wispe! a wispe!" 

Barrett, in his Alvearie, or Quadruple Dictionary, 1580, inter- 
prets the word wispe by peniculus or crTrovyof , which signify any 
thing to wipe or cleanse with ; a cook's linen apron, &c. Pew- 
ter is still scoured by a wispe of straw, or hay. Perhaps Edward 
means one of these wisps, as the denotement of a menial servant. 
Barrett adds, that, like a wase, it signifies " a wreath to be laied 
under the vessel that is borne upon the head, as women use." If 
this be its true sense, the Prince may think that such a wisp 
would better become the head of Margaret, than a crown. 

It appears, however, from the following passage in Thomas 
Drant's translation of the seventh satire of Horace, 1567, that si 
wisps was the punishment of a scold : 

sc. n. KING HENRY VI. 69 

To make this shameless callet know herself. 3 

* Helen of Greece was fairer far than thou, 

* Although thy husband may be Menelaus ; 4 

* And ne'er was Agamemnon's brother wrong'd 

*' So perfyte and exacte a scouldc that women mighte 

geve place 
* Whose tailing tongues had won a wispe," &c. 


See also, Nashe's Apology of Pierce Pennilesse, 1593 : " Why, 
thou errant butter-whore, thou cotquean and scrattop of scolds, 
wilt thou never leave afflicting a dead carcasse ? continually read 
the rhetorick lecture of Ramme- Alley ? a wispe, a wispe, you 
kitchen-stuffe wrangler." Again, in A Dialogue between John 
and Jone, striving who shall wear the Breeches, PLEASURES or 
POETRY, bl. 1. no date : 

" Good gentle Jone, with-holde thy hands, 

" This once let me entreat thee, 
" And make me promise, never more 
" That thou shalt mind to beat me ; 
" For feare thou tveare the wispe, good wife, 

" And make our neighbours ride ." MALONE. 

3 To make this shameless callet know herself.'} Shakspeare 
uses the word callet likewise in The Winter's Tale, Act II. sc. 

" A callat 

" Of boundless tongue ; who late hath beat her husband, 

** And now baits me." 

Callet, a lewd woman, a drab, perhaps so called from the 
French calote, which was a sort of head-dress worn by country 
girls. See Glossary to Urry's Chaucer. So, in Chaucer's Re- 
medy of Love, v. 307 : 

" A cold old knave cuckolde himself wenyng, 

" And of calot of lewd demenyng." 
So, Skelton, in his Elinour Rumming, Works, p. 133 : 

" Then Elinour said, ye callettes, 

" I shall break your palettes." 
Again, in Ben Jonson's Volpone : 

" Why the callet you told me of here, 

" I have tane disguis'd." GREY. 

4 Menelaus ;~] i. e. a cuckold. So, in Troilus and Cressicla, 
Thersites, speaking of Menelaus, calls him " the goodly trans- 
formation of Jupiter there, the primitive statue and oblique me- 
morial of cuckolds." STEEVENS. 


* By that false woman, as this king by thee. 
' His father revell'd in the heart of France, 
And tam'd the king, and made the Dauphin stoop ; 
And, had he match' d according to his state, 

He might have kept that glory to this day : 
But, when he took a beggar to his bed, 
And grac'd thy poor sire with his bridal day ; 
6 Even then that sunshine brew'd a shower for him, 
c That wash'd his father's fortunes forth of France, 
And heap'd sedition on his crown at home. 
' For what hath broach'd thistumult, 5 but thypride ? 
Hadst thou been meek, our title still had slept ; 
And we, in pity of the gentle king, 
Had slipp'd our claim until another age. 

' GEO. But, when we saw our sunshine made thy 

* And that thy summer bred us no increase, 6 
We set the axe to thy usurping root : 

And though the edge hath something hit ourselves, 

* Yet, know thou, since we have begun to strike, 
6 We'll never leave, till we have hewn thee down, 
Or bath'd thy growing with our heated bloods. 

EDW. And, in this resolution, I defy thee ; 
Not willing any longer conference, 

* hath broach'd this tumult,"] The quarto reads, " hath 
mov'd this," Sfc. STEEVENS. 

toe saw our sunshine made thy springy 

And that thy summer bred us no increase,'] When we saw 
that by favouring thee we made thee 'grow in fortune, but that 
we received no advantage from thy fortune flourishing by our 
favour, we then resolved to destroy thee, and determined to try 
some other means, though our first efforts have failed. 

The quartos read : 

" But when we saw our summer brought thee gain,. 
*' And that the harvest brought us no increase." 


sc. in. KING HENRY VI. 71 

Since thou deny'st the gentle king to speak. 
Sound trumpets ! let our bloody colours wave ! 
And either victory, or else a grave. 

Q. MAR. Stay, Edward. 

EDW. No, wrangling woman ; we'll no longer 


These words will cost ten thousand lives to-day. 



A Field of Battle 1 between Towton and Saxton in 

Alarums : Excursions. Enter WARWICK. 

6 WAR. Forspent with toil, 8 as runners with a race, 
I lay me down a little while to breathe : 

7 A Field of Battle &c. ] We should read near Towton. 
Shakspeare has here, perhaps intentionally, thrown three different 
actions into one. The Lord Fitzwater, being stationed by King 
Edward, to defend the pass of Ferrybridge, was assaulted by 
the Lord Clifford, and immediately slain, " and with hym" says 
Hall " the bastard of Salisbury, brother to the earl of War- 
wycke, a valeaunt yong gentleman, and of great audacitie. 
When the earl of Warwicke," adds he, " was informed of this 
feate, he lyke a man desperated, mounted on his hackeney, and 
came blowing to kyng Edwarde, saiyng : Syr, I praye God have 
mercy of their soules, which in the beginning of your enterprise 
hath lost their lyfes, and because I se no succors of the world,! 
remit the vengeance and punishment to God our creator and Re- 
deemer ; and with that lighted doune, and slewe his horse with 
his swourde, saying : let them flye that wyl, for surely I wil 
tarye with him that wil tarye with me, and kissed the crosse of 
his swourde." Clifford, in his retreat, was beset with a party 
of Yorkists, when, " eyther," says the historian, " for heat or 
payne, putting off his gorget, sodainly with an arrowe ( as some 
say) without an hedde [he] was striken into the throte, and in- 


For strokes receiv'd, and many blows repaid, 
Have robb'dmystrong-knit sinews of theirstrength, 
' And, spite of spite, 9 needs must I rest awhile. 

Enter EDWARD, running. 

EDW. Smile, gentle heaven I 1 or strike, ungentle 

death ! 

' For this world frowns, and Edward's sun is 

WAR. How now, my lord ? what hap ? what 
hope of good ? 

continent rendered his spirite, and the erle of Westmerlandes 
brother, and almost all his company were thare slayn, at a place 
called Dinting-dale, not farr fro Towton." In the afternoon of 
the next day (Palm Sunday eve 1461) on a plain field between 
Towton and Saxton, joined the main battles which continued 
engaged that night, and the greater part of the following day : 
upwards of 30,000 men, all English (including many of the 
nobility and the flower of the gentry, especially of the northern 
parts) being slain on both sides. This battle, says Carte, " de- 
cided the fate of the house of Lancaster, overturning in one day 
an usurpation strengthened by sixty-two years continuance, and 
established Edward on the throne of England." RITSON. 

An authentick copy of King Edward's account of this battle, 
together with a list of the noblemen and knights who were slain 
in it, may be seen in Sir John Fenn's Collection of the Paston 
Letters, Vol. I. p. 216, &c. HENLEY. 

8 Forspent 'with toil,'] Thus the folio. The quartos read 
" Sore spent," fyc. STEEVENS. 

9 Andy spite of spite,] So, in Kins John: 

" And, spite of spite, alone holds up the day." 


1 Smile, gentle heaven ! &c.] Thus the folio. Instead of 
these lines, the quartos give the following : 

" Smile, gentle heavens, or strike, ungentle death, 
" That we may die unless we gain the day ! 
" What fatal star malignant frowns from heaven 
" Upon the harmless line of York's true house !" 


ac. m. KING HENRY VI. 73 

Enter GEORGE. 

* GEO. Our hap is loss, our hope but sad despair ; 2 
' Our ranks are broke, and ruin follows us : 
' What counsel give you, whither shall we fly ? 

' EDW. Bootless is flight, they follow us with 

wings ; 
' And weak we are, and cannot shun pursuit. 


4 RICH. Ah, Warwick, why hast thou withdrawn 

* Thy brother's blood the thirsty earth hath drunk, 3 

* Our hap is loss, &c.] Thus the folio. The quartos thus : 
" Come, brother, come, let's to the field again, 
" For yet there's hope enough to win the day ; 
" Then let us back to cheer our fainting troops, 
" Lest they retire now we have left the field. 

" War. How now, my lords ? what hap ? what hope 
of good?" STEEVENS. 

Our hap is loss, our hope but sad despair ;] Milton seems to 
have copied this line : 

" Thus repuls'd, ourjinal hope 

" Is flat despair." MALONE. 

3 Thy brother's blood the thirsty earth hath drunk,"] This pas- 
sage, from the variation of the copies, gave me no little per- 
plexity. The old quarto applies this description to the death of 
Salisbury, Warwick's father. But this was a notorious deviation 
from the truth of history. For the Earl of Salisbury in the battle 
at Wakefield, wherein Richard Duke of York lost his life, was 
taken prisoner, beheaded at Pomfret, and his head, together with 
the Duke of York's, fixed over York gates. Then the only bro- 
ther of Warwick, introduced in this play, is the Marquess 
of Montacute (or Montague, as he is called by our author): 
but he does not die till ten years after, in the battle at 
Barnet ; where Warwick likewise was killed. The truth is, the 


6 Broach'd with the steely point of Clifford's lance: 
6 And, in the very pangs of death, he cried, 

brother here mentioned is no person in the drama, and his death 
is only an accidental piece of history. Consulting the Chronicles, 
upon this action at Ferrybridge, I find him to have been a natu- 
ral son of Salisbury, (in that respect a brother to Warwick,) 
and esteemed a valiant young gentleman. THEOBALD. 

Thy brother's blood &c.] Instead of this speech, which is 
printed, like almost all the rest of the play, from the folio, the 
quartos give the following : 

" Thy noblefather in the thickest throngs 

" Cried still for Warwick, his thrice valiant son ; 

" Until with thousand swords he was beset, 

" And many wounds made in his aged breast. 

" And, as he tottering sat upon his steed, 

" He waft his hand to me, and cried aloud, 

" Richard, commend me to my valiant son : 

" And still he cried, Warwick, revenge my death ! 

" And with these words he tumbled off his horse ; 

" And so the noble Salisbury gave up the ghost." 


It is here only necessary to refer to former notes on similar 
variations ; See Vol. XIII. p. 210, n. 9 ; p. 220, n. 6 ; p. 234, 
n. 1 ; p. 317, n. 3 ; p. 322, n. 3. 

Thy brother's blood the thirsty earth hath drunk,~\ In this line, 
of which there is no trace in the original play, Shakspeare had 
probably the sacred writings in his thoughts : " And now art 
thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to re- 
ceive thy brother's blood.*' Genesis, iv. 11. 

The old play (as Theobald has observed) applies this descrip- 
tion to the death of Salisbury, contrary to the truth of history, 
for that nobleman was taken prisoner at the battle of Wakefield, 
apd afterwards beheaded at Pomfret. But both Hall and Ho- 
linshed, in nearly the same words, relate the circumstance on 
which this speech, as exhibited in \hefolio, is founded ; and from 
the latter our author undoubtedly took it. " The Lord Fitz- 
walter [who had been stationed to keep the pass of Ferrybridge] 
hearing the noise, [made by Lord Clifford and a body of light- 
horsemen, who attacked by surprize the party stationed at the 
bridge,] sodainly rose out of his bedde, and unarmed, with a 
pollax in his hande, thinking that it had bin a fraye amongst his 
men, came down to appease the same, but ere he knew what the 

sc. in. KING HENRY VI. 75 

' Like to a dismal clangor heard from far, 

* Warwick, revenge ! brother, revenge my death I 
' So underneath the belly of their steeds, 

' That stain' d their fetlocks in his smoking blood, 
' The noble gentleman gave up the ghost. 

' WAR. Then let the earth be drunken with our 

blood : 
I'll kill my horse, because I will not fly. 4 

* Why stand we like soft-hearted women here, 

* Wailing our losses, whiles the foe doth rage j 

* And look upon, 5 as if the tragedy 

* Were play'd in jest by counterfeiting actors ? 
6 Here on my knee I vow to God above, 

' I'll never pause again, never stand still, 

* Till either death hath clos'd these eyes of mine, 
' Or fortune given me measure of revenge. 

EDW. O Warwick, I do bend my knee with 
thine ; 

matter merit, he was slaine, and with him the bastard of Salis- 
bury, brother to the erle of Warwick, a valiant young gentleman, 
and of great audacitie." Holinshed, p. 664. In this action at 
Ferrybridge, which happened on the 28th of March, 1461, the 
day before the great battle of Towton, Lord Clifford was killed. 
The author of this play has blended the two actions together. 


4 I'll kill my horse, &c.] So, in The Miseries of Queen Mar- 
garet, by Drayton : 

" Resolv'd to win, or bid the world adieu : 
" Which spoke, the earl his sprightly courser slew.'* 
Again, in Daniel's Civil Wars, B. VIII. st. xiii. 
From Hall, Henry VI. p. 102. See p. 71, n. 7. 


* And look upon,] And are mere spectators. So, in The 
Winter's Tale, where I idly suspected some corruption in the 
text : 

" And look on alike." MALONE. 


' And, in this vow, do chain my soul to thine. 6 

* And, ere my knee rise from the earth's cold face, 

* I throw my hands, mine eyes, my heart to thee, 
Thou setter up and plucker down of kings ! 

* Beseeching thee, 7 if with thy will it stands, 
6 That to my foes this body must be prey, 

c Yet that thy brazen gates of heaven may ope, 

* And give sweet passage to my sinful soul ! 

* Now, lords, take leave until we meet again, 
Where-e'er it be, in heaven, or on earth. 

* RICH. Brother, give me thy hand ; and, 
gentle Warwick, 

* Let me embrace thee in my weary arms : 
' I, that did never weep, now melt with woe, 

c That winter should cut off our spring-time so. 

6 And, in this uow, do chain my soul to thine."] Thus the fo- 
lio. The quarto as follows : 

" And in that vow now join my soul to thee." 


7 Beseeching thee,] That is, beseeching the divine power, 
Shakspeare in new-forming this speech may seem, at the first view 
of it, to have made it obscure, by placing this line immediately 
after" Thou setter up," &c. 

What I have now observed is founded on a supposition that the 
words " Thou setter up," &c. are applied to Warwick, as they 
appear to be in the old play. However, our author certainly in- 
tended to deviate from it, and to apply this description to the 
Deity ; and this is another strong confirmation of the observation 
already made relative to the variations between these pieces and 
the elder dramas on which they were formed. In the old play 
the speech runs thus : 

" Lord Warwick, I do bend my knees with thine, 
" And in that vow now join my soul to thee, 
" Thou setter-up and puller-down of kings : 
" Vouchsafe a gentle victory to us, 
" Or let us die before we lose the day !" 
The last two lines are certainly here addressed to the Deity ; 
but the preceding line, notwithstanding the anachronism, seems 
to be addressed to Warwick. MALONE. 

ac. m. KING HENRY VI. 77 

* WAR. Away, away ! Once more, sweet lords, 

' GEO. Yet let us all together to our troops, 
' And give them leave to fly that will not stay ; 
And call them pillars, that will stand to us ; 

* And, if we thrive, promise them such rewards 
' As victors wear at the Olympian games : 

* This may plant courage in their quailing 8 breasts; 

* For yet is hope of life, and victory. 

* Fore-slow no longer, 9 make we hence amain. 1 


quailing ] i. e. sinking into dejection. So, in Cym- 

beline : 

my false spirits 

" Quail to remember : " STEEVENS. 

9 Fore-slow no longer,'] To fore-slota is to be dilatory, to loiter. 
So, in The Battle of Alcazar, 1594: 

" Why, king Sebastian, wilt thou nowforesloto ?" 
Again, in Marlowe's Edward II. 1598 : 

" Foresloia no time ; sweet Lancaster, let's march." 
Again, in Promos and Cassandra, 1578 : 

" Good knight, for time do not my suitf&reslotv." 


1 make toe hence amain."] Instead of this and the two 

preceding speeches, we have in the old play the following : 

" Geo. Then let us haste tochearethe souldiers' hearts, 
" And call them pillers that will stand to us, 
" And highly promise to remunerate 
" Their trustie service in these dangerous warres. 

" Rich. Come, come away, and stand not to debate, 
" For yet is hope of fortune good enough. 
" Brothers, give me your handes, and let us part, 
" And take our leaves untill we mecte againe ; 
*' Where ere it be, in heaven or in earth. 
" Now I that never wept, now melt in woe, 
" To see these dire mishaps continue so. 
" Warwick, farewell." 

" War. Away, away; once more, sweet lords, fare- 
well." MALONE. 



The same. Another Part of the Field. 
Excursions. Enter RICHARD and CLIFFORD. 

' RICH. Now, Clifford, I have singled thee alone : 2 
' Suppose, this arm is for the duke of York, 
* And this for Rutland ; both bound to revenge, 
' Wert thou environ' d with a brazen wall. 3 

CLIP. Now, Richard, I am with thee here alone : 
This is the hand, that stabb'd thy father York ; 
And this the hand that slew thy brother Rutland; 
And here's the heart, that triumphs in their death, 
And cheers these hands, that slew thy sire and 


To execute the like upon thyself j 
And so, have at thee. 

\_They Jight. WARWICK enters; CLIFFORD 

s Novo, Clifford, I have singled thee alone: &c.] Thus the 
folio. The quartos thus : 

" Now, Clifford, for York and young Rutland's death, 
" This thirsty sword, that longs to drink thy blood, 
" Shall lop thy limbs, and slice thy cursed heart, 
" For to revenge the murders thou hast made." 


3 Wert thou environed tvith a brazen 'wall.] So, in the second 
Thebaid of Statius, v. 453 : 

" non si te ferreus agger 

** Ambiat, " STEEVENS. 

sc. r. KING HENRY VI. 79 

4 RICH. Nay, Warwick, 4 single out some other 

chase ; 
* For I myself will hunt this wolf \o death. 



Another Part of the Field. 

Alarum. Enter King HENRY. 

* K. HEN. This battle fares like to the morning's 

war, 5 
When dying clouds contend with growing light ; 

4 Nay, Warwick, &c.] We have had two very similar lines 
in the preceding play, p. 384 : 

" Hold, Warwick, seek thee out some other chace ; 

" For I myself must hunt this deer to death." 
See p. 102, n. 2. MALONE. 

* This battle Jares like to the morning's war, &c.] Instead of 
this interesting speech, the quartos exhibit only the following : 
" O gracious God of heaven, look down on us, 
" And set some ends to these incessant griefs ! 
" How like a mastless ship upon the seas, 
" This woeful battle doth continue still, 
* ( Now leaning this way, now to that side driven, 
" And none doth know to whom the day will fall. 
" Oh, would my death might stay these civil* jars ! 
" Would I had never reign'd, nor ne'er been king ! 
" Margaret and Clifford chide me from the field, 
" Swearing they had best success when I was thence. 
** Would God that I were dead, so all were well ; 
" Or, would my crown suffice, I were content 
" To yield it them, and live a private life !" 
The leading thought in both these soliloquies is borrowed 
from Holinshed, p. 665 : " This deadly conflict continued ten 
hours in doubtful state of victorie, uncertainlie heaving and 
setting on both sides," &c. 

* The quarto, 1600, printed by W. W. reads cruel jars. 


* What time the shepherd, blowing of his nails, 6 

* Can neither call it perfect day, nor night. 
' Now sways it this way, like a mighty sea, 

' Forc'd by the tide to combat with the wind ; 
' Now sways it that way, like the self-same sea 
' Forc'd to retire by fury of the wind : 
' Sometime, the flood prevails; and then, the wind; 
' Now, one the better ; then, another best ; 
' Both tugging to be victors, breast to breast, 7 
' Yet neither conqueror, nor conquered : 
' So is the equal poise of this fell war. 

* Here on this molehill will I sit me down. 

* To whom God will, there be the victory ! 
' For Margaret my queen, and Clifford too, 

' Have chid me from the battle ; swearing both, 
4 They prosper best of all when I am thence. 

* 'Would I were dead ! if God's good will were so : 
c For what is in this world, but grief and woe ? 

* O God ! methinks, it were a happy life, 8 

Virgil, however, JEn. Lib. X, v. 354, has a similar comparison : 
" . .. Expellere tendunt 

" Nunc hi, nunc illi : certatur limine in ipso 
" Ausoniae. Magno discordes aethere venti 
" Praelia ceu tollunt, animis et viribus aequis : 
" Non ipsi inter se, non nubila, non mare cedunt ; 
" Anceps pugna diu : stant obnixi omnia contra," &c. 

This simile, however, originates with Homer ; Iliad, XIV. 


6 the shepherd, blowing of his nails,] So, in Love's La- 
bour* 's Lost: 

" When icicles hang by the wall, 

" And Dick the shepherd blows his nail, ." MALONE. 
7 Both tugging to be victors, breast to breast,"] Hence, per- 
haps, the vulgarism that gives such acknowledged force to the 
following line in Lee's Rival Queens : 

" When Greeks join'd Greeks, then was the tug of war/' 


9 methinks, it were a happy life,~\ This speech is mourn- 
ful and soft, exquisitely suited to the character of the King, and 

sc. 7. KING HENRY VI. 81 

: To be no better than a homely swain ; 

* To sit upon a hill, as I do now, 

* To carve out dials quaintly, point by point, 

* Thereby to see the minutes now they run : 

* How many make the hour full complete, 9 

* How many hours bring about the day, 

* How many days will finish up the year, 

* How many years a mortal man may live. 

* .When this is known, then to divide the times : 

* So many hours must I tend my flock j 

* So many hours must I take my rest ; 

* So many hours must I contemplate ; 

* So many hours must I sport myself j 

* So many days my ewes have been with young j 

* So many weeks ere the poor fools will yean \ l 

* So many years 2 ere I shall sheer the fleece : 

makes a pleasing interchange, by affording, amidst the tumult 
and horror of the battle, an unexpected glimpse of rural inno- 
cence and pastoral tranquillity. JOHNSON. 

This speech strongly confirms the remark made by Sir Joshua 
Reynolds on a passage in Macbeth, Vol. X. p. 72, n. 3. 


9 Thereby to see the minutes how they run : 

How many make the hour full complete,] So, in our author's 
Rape of Lucrece : 

" Stuff up his lust, as minutes Jill up hours." MALONE. 

1 ere the poor fools will yean ;] Poor fool, it has already 

been observed, is an expression of tenderness, often used by our 
author. MALONE. 

So, in King Lear, scene the last : 

" And my poor fool is hang'd." 
See notes on this passage, Vol. XVII. STEEVENS. 

* So many years ere I shall sheer thejleece .] i. e. the years 
which must elapse between the time of the yeaning of the ewes, 
and the lambs arriving to such a state as to admit of being shorn. 
Mr. Rowe changed years to months ; which was followed by the 
subsequent editors ; and in the next line inserted the word weeks; 
not observing that hours is used there, and throughout this speech, 


* So minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and 


* Pass'd over to the end they were created, 

* Would bring white hairs unto a quiet grave. 

* Ah, what a life were this! how sweet! how lovely! 

* Gives not the hawthorn bush a sweeter shade 

* To shepherds, looking on their silly sheep, 

* Than doth a -rich embroider'd canopy 

* To kings, that fear their subjects' treachery ? 

* O, yes it doth ; a thousand fold it doth. 

* And to conclude, the shepherd's homely curds, 

* His cold thin drink out of his leather bottle, 

* His wonted sleep under a fresh tree's shade, 

* All which secure and sweetly he enjoys, 

* Is far beyond a prince's delicates, 

* His viands sparkling in a golden cup, 

* His body couched in a curious bed, 

* When care, mistrust, and treason wait on him. 

Alarum. Enter, a Son that has killed his Father,* 
dragging in the dead Body. 

SON. Ill blows the wind, that profits no-body. 

* This man, whom hand to hand I slew in fight, 

* May be possessed with some store of crowns : 

* And I, that haply take them from him now, 

* May yet ere night yield both my life and them 

as a dissyllable. Years is in that line likewise used as a word 
of two syllables. MALONE. 

This dissyllabical pronunciation will by no means suit the con- 
clusion of a verse, however it may be admitted in other parts of 
it. I have retained Mr. Howe's very necessary insertion. 


. ' Enter a Son &c.] These two horrible incidents are selected 
to show the innumerable calamities of civil war. JOHNSON. 

: . In the battle of Constantine and Maxentius, by Raphael, the 
second of these incidents is introduced on a similar occasion. 


ta r. KINO HENRY VI. 83 

* To some man else, as this dead man doth me. 

* Who's this ? O God ! it is my father's face, 
' Whom in this conflict I unwares have kill'd. 

* O heavy times, begetting such events ! 

' From London by the king was I press* d forth ; 
' My father, being the earl of Warwick's man, 

* Came on the part of York, press'd by his master; 
' And I, who at his hands receiv'd my life, 

' Have by my hands of life bereaved him. 
c Pardon me, God, I knew not what I did ! 
And pardon, father, for I knew not thee ! 

* My tears shall wipe away these bloody marks ; 

* And no more words, till they have flow'd their fill. 

* K. HEN. O piteous spectacle ! 4 O bloody times ! 
Whilst lions war, and battle for their dens,: 
' Poor harmless lambs abide their enmity. 

* Weep, wretched man, I'll aid thee tear fo'r tear ; 

* And let our hearts, and eyes, like civil war, 

* Be blind with tears, and break o'ercharg'd with 

grief. 5 

. 4 O piteous spectacle ! &c.] In the old play the King does 
not speak, till both the Son and the Father have appeared, and 
spoken, and then the following words are attributed to him, out 
of which Shakspeare has formed two distinct speeches : 

" Woe above woe ! grief more than common grief! 

" Whilst lions waff, and battle for their dens, 

*' Poor lambs do feel the rigour of their wraths. 

" The red rose and the white are on his face, 

" The fatal colours, of our striving houses. 

*' Wither one rose, and let the other perish, 

" For, if you strive, ten thousand lives must perish." 


* And let our hearts, and eyes, like civil war, 

Be blind with tears, and break o'erchartr'd with grief.'] The 
meaning is here inaccurately expressed. The King intends to 
say that the state of their hearts and eyes shall be like that of the 
kingdom in a civil war, all shall be destroyed by power formed 
within themselves. JOHNSON. 

G 2 


Enter a Father, 'who has killed his Son, with the 
Body in his Arms. 

e PATH. Thou that so stoutly hast resisted me, 
' Give me thy gold, if thou hast any gold ; 
4 For I have bought it with an hundred blows. 
4 But let me see : is this our foeman's face ? 
4 Ah, no, no, no, it is mine only son ! 

* Ah, boy, if any life be left in thee, 

* Throw up thine eye ; see, see, what showers arise, 

* Blown with the windy tempest of my heart, 6 

* Upon thy wounds, that kill mine eye and heart! 
4 O, pity, God, this miserable age ! 

4 What stratagems, 7 how fell, how butcherly, 

what showers arise, 

Blown with the windy tempest of my heart,"] This image 
had occurred in the preceding Act : 

For raging wind blows up incessant showers. STEEVENS. 

7 What stratagems,] Stratagem seems to stand here only for 
an event of war, or may intend snares and surprizes. JOHNSON. 

Stratagem is used by Shakspeare not merely to express the 
events and surprizes of war. 'The word means in this place some 
dreadful event, as it does also in The Second Part ofK. Henry 
IV. where Northumberland says: 

" Every minute now 

" Should be the father of some stratagem. 11 

Stratagemma, in Italian, bears the same acceptation which 
Shakspeare gives to the English word Stratagem, in these two 
passages. Bernini in his History of Heresies, says : " Ma Dio 
puni la Francia, & la Spagna, co'l flagello dei Vandali, per 
1'Eresia abbracciata, & piu gravamente puni lloma, prevaricata 
di nuovo, al culto de gl' idoli, con il sacco che gli diedero. 
Orosio, che descrisse quelle stratagemme, paragoni Roma a 
Sodoma, chiamando i Romani peccatori.'* 

It is evident, that in this passage stratagemme means disastrous 
events, as stratagem does in this place. M. MASON. 

" Stratageme. A policie or subtle device in warre, whereby 
the enemie is often vanquished." Bullokar's English Expositor^ 

sc. r. KING HENRY VI. 85 

4 Erroneous, mutinous, and unnatural, 
' This deadly quarrel daily doth beget ! 
' O boy, thy father gave thee life too soon, 8 
* And hath bereft thee of thy life too late I 9 

octavo, 1616. Florio, in his Italian Diet. 1598, defines Strata- 
gema, " a policie, a wile, or wittie shift in warre." This was 
undoubtedly its ordinary sense in our author's time, though then 
and afterwards it was occasionally used for any subtle device or 
policy. Here it has unquestionably its ordinary signification. 


Mr. Malone asserts that stratagem in this place means a subtle 
device in war ; but I still adhere to my former opinion, that it 
means a disastrous event, or an atrocious action. Can we sup-> 
pose that a father in the paroxysm of despair, on finding that he 
had killed with his own hand, his only son, should call that horrid 
deed a subtle device in war ? When Lorenzo says, in The Mer- 
chant of Venice, that 

" The man who hath no musick in himself &c. 
" Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils," 
Could he mean to rank the subtle devices of war in the same class 
with the worst of crimes ? 

We find the word stratagem in The True Chronicle History of 
King Lear, p. 417, where Regan says to the Messenger 
" Hast thou the heart to act a stratagem, 
" And give a stab or two, if need require ? 

" Messenger. I have a heart compact of adamant 
" Which never knew what melting pity meant. 
" I weigh no more the murd'ring of a man, 
" Than I respect the cracking of a flea, 
" When I do catch her biting on my skin. 
" If you will have your husband or your father, 
" Or both of them, sent to another world, 
" Do but command me do it, it shall be done." 
It is evident that Regan's stratagem, or subtle device, was 
assassination. M. MASON. 

8 O boy, thy father gave thee life too soon,~\ Because had he 
been born later, he would not now have been of years to engage 
in this quarrel. WARBURTON. 

9 And hath bereft thee of thy life too late /] i. e. He should 
have done it by not bringing thee into being, to make both father 
and son thus miserable. This is the sense, such as it is, of the 
two lines ; however, an indifferent sense was bettex than none, 


K. HEN. Woe above woe ! grief more than com- 
mon grief! 
' O, that my death would stay these ruthful deeds! 

* O pity, pity, gentle heaven, pity ! 
The red rose and the white are on his face, 
The fatal colours of our striving houses : 

* The one, his purple blood right well resemblea > 

* The other, his pale cheeks, methinks, present : 

as it is brought to by the Oxford editor, by reading the lines thus: 
O boy ! thy father gave thee life too late. 
And hath bereft thee of thy life too soon. WARBURTON. 

I rather think the meaning of the line, And hath bereft thee 
of thy life too soon, to be this : Thy father exposed thee to danger 
by giving thee life too soon, and hath bereft thee of life by living 
himself too long. JOHNSON. 

The Oxford editor might have justified the change he made, 
from the authority of the quarto, according to which I would 
read ; explaining the first line thus : Thy father begot thee at too 
late a period of his life, and therefore thou inert not old and strong 
enough to cope with him. The next line can want no explana- 
tion. Mr. Toilet thinks, that by too late is meant too lately, as 
in King Richard III. Act III : 

" Too late he died that might have kept that title." 


Too late, without doubt, means too recently. The memory 
of thy virtues and thy hapless end is too recent, to be thought of 
without the deepest anguish. The same quaint expression is 
found in our author's Rape ofLucrece : 

" O, quoth Lucretius, I did give that life, 
" Which she too early and too late hath spill'd.'* 
Here late clearly means lately. Again, in this Third Part of 
King Henry VI: 

" Where fame, late entering at his heedful ears.'* 
In the old play this and the preceding line stand thus : 
" Poor boy, thy father gave thee life too late, 
" And hath bereft thee of thy life too soon." MALONE. 

The present reading appears to be far the more eligible. Had 
the son been younger, he would have .been precluded from the 
levy that brought him into the field ; and had the father recog- 
nized him before the mortal blow, it would not have been too 
late to have saved him from death. HENLEY. 

sc. v. KING HENRY VI. 87 

Wither one rose, and let the other flourish ! 

' If you contend, a thousand lives must wither. l 

SON. How will my mother, for a father's death, 
Take on with me, 2 and ne'er be satisfied? 

PATH. How will my wife, for slaughter of my son, 
c Shed seas of tears, and ne'er be satisfied ? 

* K. HEN. How will the country, 3 for these wo- 

ful chances, 
e Misthink the king, and not be satisfied ? 

* SON. Was ever son, so ru'd a father's death ? 
c PATH. Was ever father, so bemoan'd a son ? 4 

1 If you contend, a thousand lives must wither.] Thus the 
folio. The quartos thus: 

" For if you strive, a thousand lives must perish" 


I think the word wither is more likely to have been inadver- 
tently repeated by the transcriber, than substituted by Shak- 
speare for the former word. MALONE. 

1 Take on tvitk me,~\ Be enraged at me. So, in a pamphlet 
by T. Nashe, 1592: " Some will take on, like a madman," &c. 
See Vol. VII. p. 344, n. 6. MALONE. 

To take on is a phrase still in use among the vulgar, and sig- 
nifies to persist in clamorous lamentation. STEEVENS. 

s How "will the country, &c.] So the folio. The quartos thus: 
" How will the country now misdeem their king ! 
" Oh, would my death their minds could satisfy !" 
To mis-think is to think ill, unfavourably. So, in The North- 
ern Lass, 1633 : 

" and heaven pardon me what I mis-thought every hour 

of the night !" STEEVENS. 

This word, which Shakspeare substituted for misdeem, he has 
again used in Antony and Cleopatra : 

" Be it known, that we the greatest are mis-thought, 
" For things that others do." MALONE. 

- 4 Was ever son, so ru'd a father's death ? 

Was mr father, so bemoan' d his son f] The variation is. here 


' K. HEN.W&S ever king, so griev'd for subjects' 

woe ? 
' Much is your sorrow; mine, ten times so much. 

* SON. I'll bear thee hence, 5 where I may weep 

my fill. [Exit, with the Body. 

* FATH. These arms of mine shall be thy wind- 

ing-sheet ; 

* My heart, sweet boy, shall be thy sepulchre ; 

* For from my heart thine image ne'er shall go, 

* My sighing breast shall be thy funeral bell ; 

* And so obsequious will thy father be, 6 

* Sad for the loss of thee, 7 having no more, 

* As Priam was for all 8 his valiant sons. 

I'll bear thee hence ; and let them fight that will, 
For I have murder 1 d where I should not kill. 

[Exit, with the Body, 

worth remarking, for in the old play the corresponding lines 

" Was ever son so rude, his father's blood to spill ! 

" Was ever father so unnatural, his son to kill ?" 


* Pll bear thee hence, &c.] Thus the folio. The old play 

" I'll bear thee hence from this accursed place, 

" For woe is to me, to see my father's face." MALONE, 

' And so obsequious 'will thy father be,~] Obsequious is here 
careful of obsequies, or of funeral rites. JOHNSON. 

In the same sense it is used in Hamlet : 

** to do obsequious sorrow." STEEVENS. 

* Sadjbr the loss oftkee,'] The old copy reads men for the 
loss &c. Mr. Rowe made the alteration ; but I think we might 

" so obsequious will thy father be, 

<* Man, for the loss of thee" &c. STEEVENS. 

8 As Priam inasfor all ] I having but one son, will grieve 
as much for that one, as Priam, who had many, could grieve for 
many. JOHNSON. 

sc. r. KING HENRY VI. 89 

* K. HEN. Sad-hearted men, much overgone with 


* Here sits a king more woful than you are. 

Alarums : Excursions. Enter Queen MARGARET, 
Prince of Wales, and EXETER. 

' PRINCE. Fly, father, fly ! for all your friends 
are fled, 

* And Warwick rages like a chafed bull : 

* Away! for death doth hold us in pursuit. 

* Q. MAR. Mount you, my lord, towards Ber- 

wick post amain : 

* Edward and Richard, like a brace of greyhounds 

* Having the fearful flying hare in sight, 

* With fiery eyes, sparkling for very wrath, 

* And bloody steel grasp* d in their ireful hands, 

* Are at our backs ; and therefore hence amain. 

e EXE. Away ! for vengeance comes along with 

* Nay, stay not to expostulate, make speed ; 
Or else come after, I'll away before. 

* K. HEN. Nay, take me with thee, good sweet 

Exeter ; 

* Not that I fear to stay, but love to go 

* Whither the queen intends. Forward ; away ! 




The same. 
A loud Alarum. Enter CLIFFORD, wounded.' 

6 CLIP. Here burns my candle out, ay, here it 

dies, 1 

Which, while it lasted, gave king Henry light. 
O, Lancaster ! I fear thy overthrow, 
More than my body's parting with my soul. 
My love, and fear, glew'd many friends to thee; 
' And, now I fall, thy tough commixtures melt. 2 
Impairing Henry, strengthening mis-proud York, 
The common people swarm like summer flies : 3 

6 Enter Clifford, Mounded."] The quarto adds, with an arrow 
in his neck. In ridicule of this, Beaumont and Fletcher have 
introduced Ralph, the grocer's prentice, in The Knight of the 
Burning Pestle, with a forked arrow through his head. It ap- 
pears, however, from rfolinshed, p. 664, that this circumstance 
has some relation to the truth : " The lord Clifford, either for 
heat or paine, putting off his gorget suddenlie, with an arrow 
(as some saie) without a head, was striken into the throte, and 
immediately rendered his spirit." STEEVENS. 

1 Here burns my candle out, ay, here it dies,"} So, in the first 
part of this play : 

" Here dies the dusky torch of Mortimer?' STEEVENS. 

* thy tough commixtures melt.] Perhaps better, the tough 

commixture. JOHNSON. 

The quartos read " t hat tough commixture melts." 


s The common people swarm like summer Jlies :~\ This line, 
which is not in the folio, was recovered from the old play by Mr. 
Theobald. The context shows, that like a line in The Second 
Part of King Henry VI. it was omitted by the negligence of the 
transcriber or compositor. MALONE. 

sc. r/. KING HENRY VI. 91 

And whither fly the gnats, but to the sun ? 4 
And who shines now but Henry's enemies ? 
O Pho2bus ! hadst thou never given consent 5 
That Phaeton should check thy fiery steeds, 
Thy burning car never had scorch'd the earth : 
And, Henry, hadst thou sway'd as kings should do, 
Or as thy father, and his father, did, 
Giving no ground unto the house of York, 

* They never then had sprung like summer flies ; 
' I, and ten thousand in this luckless realm, 
Had left no mourning widows for our death, 
And thou this day hadst kept thy chair in peace. 
For what doth cherish weeds but gentle air ? 

' And what makes robbers bold, but too much le- 
nity ? 

Bootless are plaints, and cureless are my wounds ; 
4 No way to fly, nor strength to hold out flight; 6 
The foe is merciless, and will not pity ; 
For, at their hands, I have deseiVd no pity. 

* The air hath got into my deadly wounds, 

And much effuse of blood doth make me faint: 

4 The common people swarm like summer flies: 

And "whither fly the gnats, but to the sun ?] Hence, perhaps, 
originated the following passage in The Bard of Gray : 

" The swarm that in thy noontide beam were born ? 
" Gone to salute the rising morn." STEEVENS. 

5 Phoebus ! hadst thou never given consent ~] The Duke 
of York had been entrusted by Henry with the reins of govern- 
ment both in Ireland and France; and hence perhaps was taught 
to aspire to the throne. MALONE. 

6 No ivay to fly, nor strength to hold out flight .] This line is 
clear and proper as it is now read ; yet perhaps an opposition of 
images was meant, and Clifford said : 

No ixiay to fly, nor strength to hold out fight. JOHNSON. 

The sense of the original reading is No way to fly, nor with 
strength sufficient left to sustain myself in flight, if there were. 



Come, York, and Richard, Warwick, and the rest j 
' I stabb'd your fathers' bosoms, split my breast. 17 

[He faints. 

Alarum and Retreat. Enter EDWARD, GEORGE, 

6 EDW. Now breathe we, lords ; 8 good fortune 

bids us pause, 

' And smooth the frowns of war 9 with peaceful 

* Some troops pursue the bloody-minded queen; 

* That led calm Henry, though he were a king, 

* As doth a sail, fill'd with a fretting gust, 

7 / stabb'd your fathers* bosoms, split my breast.^ So the folio. 
The quartos read : 

" I stabb'd your father's, noiu come split my breast." 


8 Now breathe we, lords ;] Instead of this speech the quartos 
have the following : 

" Thus far our fortunes keep an upward course, 
" And we are grac'd with wreaths of victory. 
" Some troops pursue the bloody-minded queen, 

" That now towards Berwick doth post amain : 

*' J5ut think you that Clifford is fled away with them ?" 


This battle, in which the house of York was victorious, was 
fought on a plain between Towton and Saxton, on the 29th of 
March, (Palm Sunday) 1461. The royal army consisted, ac- 
cording to Hall, of about forty thousand men ; and the young 
Duke of York's forces were 48,760. In this combat, which 
lasted fourteen hours, and in the actions of the two following 
days, thirty-six thousand seven hundred and seventy-six persons 
are said to have been killed ; the greater part of whom were un- 
doubtedly Lancastrians. MA LONE. 

9 And smooth the frowns of war ] So, in K. Richard III: 

" Grim-visag'd war hath smoothed his wrinkled front." 



* Command an argosy to stem the waves. 

' But think you, lords, that Clifford fled with them? 

WAR. No, 'tis impossible he should escape : 
For, though before his face I speak the words, 
Your brother Richard mark'd him for the grave : l 

* And, wheresoe'er he is, he's surely dead. 

[CLIFFORD groans, and dies. 

EDW. Whose soul 2 is that which takes her heavy 
leave ? 

RICH. A deadly groan, like life and death's de- 
parting. 3 

EDW. See who it is : and, now the battle's ended, 
If friend, or foe, let him be gently us'd. 

1 marled Mm for the grave: ] Young has transferred this 

expression to Alonzo in The Revenge: 

" This only marks my body for the grave." 
. A similar phrase occurs in Chapman's version of the fifth Iliad: 
" Our bravest foe is mark'd for death; he cannot long 

" My violent shaft, " STEEVENS. 

1 Edw. Whose soul &c.] I have distinguished this and the two 
following speeches according to the authority of the quarto. The 
folio gave all to Richard, except the last line and half. 


I have also followed the original regulation, because it seems 
absurd that Richard should first say to his brother, or to one of 
the soldiers, " See who it is;" and then, himself declare that 
it is Clifford; and therefore I suppose the variation in the folio 
arose, not from Shakspeare, but from some negligence or inac- 
curacy of a compositor or transcriber. MALONE. 

3 like life and death's departing.] Sir Thomas Hanmer 

reads, like life in death departing ; which Dr. Warburton has 
received. JOHNSON. 

The quartos read, like life and death's departure. STEEVENS. 

like life and death's departing.] Departing for separation. 


There is no occasion for correction. " 'Till death us depart" 
was the expression in the old Marriage Service. FARMER. 


* RICH. Revoke that doom of mercy, for 'tis 

* Who not contented that he lopp'd the branch 
' In hewing Rutland when his leaves put forth, 4 

* But set his murdering knife unto the root 

' From whence that tender spray did sweetly spring, 

* I mean, our princely father, duke of York. 

WAR. From off the gates of York fetch down 

the head, 

Your father's head, which Clifford placed there : 
' Instead whereof, let this supply the room ; 
Measure for measure must be answered. 

EDW. Bring forth that fatal screech-owl to our 


4 That nothing sung but death to us and ours : 5 
4 Now death shall stop his dismal threatening sound, 

* And his ill-boding tongue no more shall speak. 

[Attendants bring the Body forward. 

WAR. I think his understanding is bereft : 

4 In hevoing Rutland ivhen his leaves putforth,"] It is manifest 
from this and many other passages, that the author of the old 
play, where the corresponding line stands thus : 

" Who killed our tender brother Rutland ." 
imagined that Rutland was younger than George and Richard ; 
whereas he was in fact older than them both, being the Duke of 
York's second son ; in consequence of which he bore a title by 
courtesy : and a particular stipulation was made in the compact 
entered into between Henry and the Duke of York, that Rut- 
land, as well as his elder brother Edward Earl of March, should 
swear to the due observance of the agreement. Shakspeare has, 
we see, fallen into the same error; as have Habington in his ner- 
vous and elegant History of Edward IV. and several other his- 
torians. M ALONE. 

* screech-owl to our house, 

That nothing sung but death 8fC.~] So, in K. Richard III: 
" Out on you, otvlsi nothing but songs of death ?" 



Speak, Clifford, dost thou know who speaks to 

thee ? 

Dark cloudy death o'ershades his beams of life, 
And he nor sees, nor hears us what we say. 

RICH. O, 'would he did ! and so, perhaps, he 

* 'Tis but his policy to counterfeit, 

' Because he would avoid such bitter taunts 

* Which in the time of death he gave our father. 

GEO. If so thou think'st, vex him with eager 
words. 6 

RICH. Clifford, ask mercy, and obtain no grace. 
EDW. Clifford, repent in bootless penitence. 
WAR. Clifford, devise excuses for thy faults. 
GEO. While we devise fell tortures for thy faults. 

6 RICH. Thou didst love York, and I am son to 

EDW. Thou pitied J st Rutland, I will pity thee. 

GEO. Where's captain Margaret, to fence you 

WAR. They mock thee, Clifford ! swear as thou 
wast wont. 

* RICH. What, not an oath ? nay, then the world 

goes hard, 

' When Clifford cannot spare his friends an oath : 
I know by that, he's dead ; And, by my soul, 
' If this right hand would buy two hours' life, 
That I in all despite might rail at him, 

8 eager ivords."] Sour words ; words of asperity. 

So, in Hamlet: 

" It is a nipping and an eager air." STEEVENS. 


' This hand should chop it off j and with the issu- 
ing blood 

Stifle the villain, whose unstaunched thirst 
York and young Rutland could not satisfy. 

WAR. Ay, but he's dead : Off with the traitor's 


And rear it in the place your father's stands. 
And now to London with triumphant march, 
There to be crowned England's royal king. 
c From whence shall Warwick cut the sea to France, 
And ask the lady Bona for thy queen : 
So shalt thou sinew both these lands together ; 
' And, having France thy friend, thou shalt not 


The scatter'd foe, that hopes to rise again ; 
For though they cannot greatly sting to hurt, 
Yet look to have them buz, to offend thine ears. 
First, will I see the coronation ; 
' And then to Britany I'll cross the sea, 7 
To effect this marriage, so it please my lord. 

EDW. Even as thou wilt, sweet Warwick, let it 

* For on thy shoulder do I build my seat ; 

* And never will I undertake the thing, 

* Wherein thy counsel and consent is wanting. 

* Richard, I will create thee duke of Gloster ; 

* And George, of Clarence ; Warwick, as ourself, 
' Shall do, and undo, as him pleaseth best. 

RICH. Let me be duke of Clarence ; George, of 
Gloster j 

7 And then to Britany I'll cross the sea,"] Thus the folio. The 
quartos thus : 

" And afterward I'll cross the seas to France." 


Acrm. KING HENRY VI. 9? 

For Gloster's dukedom is too ominous. 8 

WAR. Tut, that's a foolish observation ; 
Richard, be duke of Gloster : Now to London, 
To see these honours in possession. \_Exeunt. 


A Chace in the North of England. 

Enter Two Keepers, 9 with Cross-bows in their 

* 1 KEEP. Under this thick-grown brake 1 we'll 
shroud ourselves j 

8 #00 ominous."] Alluding, perhaps, to the deaths of Tho- 
mas of Woodstock, and Humphrey, Dukes of Gloster. 


The author of the original play, in which this line is found^ 
probably had here a passage in Hall's Chronicle in his thoughts : 
" 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 
Edwarde the thirde, and this duke Humphrey, [who was killed 
at Bury ;] whiche three persons by miserable death finished their 
daies ; and after them king Richard the iii. also duke of Glou- 
cester, 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 possessorwas ever.brought to miserie." 


9 two Keepers,"] In the folio, instead of ttvo keepers, we 

have, through negligence, the names of the persons who repre- 
sented these characters ; Sinklo and Humphrey. See Vol. IX. 
p. 23, n. 7. .MALONE. , 



6 For through this launch anon the deer Will come ; 

Dr. Grey observes from Hall and Holinshed, that the name of 
the person who took King Henry, was Cantlowe. See Mr, Tyr* 
whitt's note on the first scene in The Taming of a Shrew. 

I learn also from one of the Paston Letters, Vol. I. p. 249, 
that Giles Senctlowe was among the persons then in Scotland 
with the Queen. STEEVENS. 

One Giles Santlowe, Esquire, is among those attainted by King 
Edward's first parliament, and may possibly be here meant, but 
no person of that name seems to have been any way concerned 
in the capture of the late king ; who, according to W. Wyrcester, 
was actually taken in Lancashire, by two knights named John 
Talbois and Richard Tunstall, July, 1464. Drummond of 
Hawthornden observes, it was recorded " that a son of Sir Ed- 
"ward Talbots apprehended him as he sat at dinner in Wadding' 
toun-hall ; and like a common malefactor, with his legs under 
the horse's belly, guarded him toward London." It is a more 
certain fact, which I have from records in the Duchy Office, that 
King Edward granted to Sir James Harrington a rent-charge of 
one hundred pounds out ofhis lordship of Rowland in Lancashire, 
in recompence ofhis great and laborious diligence about the cap- 
ture and detention of the king's great traitor, rebel and enemy, 
lately called Henry the Sixth, made by the said James ; and like- 
wise annuities to Richard Talbdt, Thomas Talbol, Esquires, 
Talbot, and Lively, for their services in the same capture. 
See also, Rymer's Fcedera, xi. 548. Henry had for some time 
been harboured by James Maychell ofCrakehtherpe,Westonore* 
land, Id. 575. It seems clear> however, that the present scene 
is io be placed near the Scottish border. The King himself says : 
*' From Scotland am I stol'n, even of pure love ;" 

And Hall (and Holinshed after him) tells us " He was no 
sooner entered into England,] but he was khOwen and taken 
of one Conflow, and brought toward the king." RITSON. 

1 - brake '] A brake anciently signified a 'thicket. So, 
in A Midsummer- Night's Dream : " This green plot shall be our 
stage, this hawthorn brake our tiring house.** Again : " Enter 
into that brake, and so every one according to his cue." See 
the latter part of a note on Measure for Measure, Vol. VL p. 2$2. 


* - this laund ] , Ldund means the same as lawn ; plain 
extended between woods. 

So, in the old play of Orlando Furioso, 1594 : 

* And '.hat they trace the shady lawnds," &c. 

w. /. KING HENRY VI. 99 

* And in this covert will we make our stand, 
' Culling the principal of all the deer. 

* 2 KEEP. 1*11 stay above the hill, so both may 


* 1 KEEP. That cannot be; the noise of thy 

cross-bow 3 

* Will scare the herd, and so my shoot is lost. 

* Here stand we both, and aim we at the best : 

* And, for the time shall not seem tedious, 

* I'll tell thee what befell me on a day, 

* In this self-place where now we mean to stand. 

' 2 KEEP. Here comes a man, let's stay till he 
be past. 4 

Enter King HENRY, disguised, with a Prayer-book. 

K. HEN. From Scotland am I stol'n, even of 

pure love, 

' To greet mine own land with my wishful sight. 5 
' No, Harry, Harry, 'tis no land of thine ; 

* Thy place is rill'd, thy scepter wrung from thee, 

Again : 

" Tread she these lawnds, kind Flora boasts her pride." 


3 the noise of thy cross-boiv ] The poet appears not to 

have forgot the secrets of his former profession. 
So, in The Merry Devil of Edmonton, 1608 : 

" Did I not hear a bow go off, and the buck bray ?" 


4 let's stay till he be past.'] So the folio. The quartos 


" let's listen him a while." STEEVENS. 

4 To greet mine oivn land with my tvishjul sight.~\ So the folio. 
The quartos perhaps better, thus : 

" And thus disguis'd to greet my native land." 



* Thy balm wash'd off, 6 wherewith thou wast 

anointed : 
No bending knee will call thee Caesar now, 

* No humble suitors press to speak for right, 

* No, not a man comes for redress of thee ; 
For how can I help them, and not myself? 

* 1 KEEP. Ay, here's a deer whose skin's a 

keeper's fee : 
' This is the quondam king ; 7 let's seize upon him. 

6 Thy balm tuash'd off","] This is an image very frequent in the 
works of Shakspeare. So again, in this scene : 

" I was anointed king." 

It is common in these plays to find the same images, whether 
jocular or serious, frequently recurring. JOHNSON. 

So, in King Richard II : 

" Not all the water in the rough rude sea 
" Can wash the balm from an anointed king." 
It is observable that this line is one of those additions to the 
original play, which are found in the folio, and not in the quarto. 


7 This is the quondam king ; &c.] Thus the folio. The quartos 
thus : 

" Ay, marry, sir, here's a deer ; his skin is a 

'* Keeper's fee. Sirrah stand close ; for as I think, 

" This is the king, king Edward hath depos'd." 


Quondam had not in Shakspeare's time uniformly acquired a 
ludicrous sense. " Make them quondams (says Latimer in one 
of his Sermons,) out with them, cast them out of their office." 
And in another place : " He will have every man a quondam, as 
he is. As for my quondamship I thank God that he gaue me the 
grace to come by it, by so honest a meanes as I did ; I thanke 
him for myne owne quondamship, and as for them I will not 
haue them made quondams, if they discharge their office. I 
would haue them doe their duety. I would haue no more 
quondams, as God help me." Fol. 53. 

Again, in Warner's Albiori 's England, B. V. ch. 28, 1602 : 
" Not knights alone, but prelates too, and queens where- 

of were twain, 
" The quondam & in esse queenes ." HOLT WHITE. 

sc. i. KING HENRY VI. 101 

* K. HEN. Let me embrace these sour ad- 

versities; 8 

* For wise men say, it is the wisest course. 

* 2 KEEP. Why linger we ? let us lay hands upon 


* 1 KEEP. Forbear a while ; we'll hear a little 


K. HEN. My queen, and son, are gone to France 

for aid ; 

And, as I hear, the great commanding Warwick 
' Is thither gone, to crave the French king's sister 

To wife for Edward : If this news be true, 

Poor queen, and son, your labour is but lost ; 

For Warwick is a subtle orator, 

And Lewis a prince soon won with moving words. 

By this account, then, Margaret may win him ; 
' For she's a woman to be pitied much : 

* Her sighs will make a battery in his breast ; 

* Her tears will pierce into a marble heart ; 

* The tiger will be mild, while she doth mourn ; 9 

* And Nero will 1 be tainted with remorse, 

* To hear, and see, her plaints, her brinish tears. 

* Ay, but she's come to beg ; Warwick, to give : 
She, on his left side, craving aid for Henry ; 
He, on his right, asking a wife for Edward. 
She weeps, and says her Henry is depos'd ; 
He smiles, and says his Edward is install'd j 

8 these sour adversities ;~\ The old copy reads the 

soivre adversaries. STEEVENS. 

Corrected by Mr. Pope. MALONE. 

9 The tiger will be mild, while she doth mourn ;"] So, in 
Othello : 
" She will sing the savageness out of a bear." STEEVENS. 

1 And Nero tvill ] Perhaps we might better read A Nero 
txill . STEEVENS. 

102 THIRD PART OF Afff m. 

* That she, poor wretch, for grief can speak no 

more : 

* Whiles Warwick tells his title, smooths the 


* Inferreth arguments of mighty strength ; 2 

* And, in conclusion, wins the king from her, 

* With promise of his sister, and what else, 

* To strengthen and support king Edward's place. 

* O Margaret, 3 thus 'twill be; and thou, poor soul, 

* Art then forsaken, as thou went'st forlorn, 

2 KEEP. Say, what art thou, that talk'st of kings 

and queens ? 
' K. HEN. More than I seem, and less than I 

was born to : 4 

' A man at least, for less I should not be ; 5 
And men may talk of kings, and why not I ? 
' 2 KEEP. Ay, but thou talk'st as if thou wert a 

6 K. HEN. Why, so I am, in mind ; 6 and that's 

enough. 7 

2 Inferreth arguments of mighty strength ;~\ In the former Act 
was the same line : 

** Inferring arguments of mighty force." JOHNSON. 
This repetition, like many others in these two plays, seems to 
have arisen from Shakspeare's first copying his original as it lay 
before him, and afterwards in subsequent passages (added to the 
old matter) introducing expressions which had struck him in 
preceding scenes. In the old play the line occurs but once. 


3 O Margaret, &c.] The piety of Henry scarce interests us 
more for his misfortunes, than this his constant solicitude for the 
welfare of his deceitful Queen. STEEVENS. 

4 less than I was born to:~) Thus the folio. The quartos 

thus : for less I should not be. STEEVENS. 

* ~if or l ess ^ should 'not be ;] Such is the reading of the 

folio. The quartos thus- and more I cannot be. STEEVENS. 

6 but thou talk'st as if thou wert a king. 

K, Hen. Why, so I am, iv mind ;] There seems to be an al- 

sc. I. KING HENRY VI. 103 

2 KEEP. But, if thou be a king, where is thy 
crown ? 

K. HEN. My crown is in my heart, not on my 
head ; 

* Not deck'd with diamonds, and Indian stones, 

* Nor to be seen : ' my crown is call'd, content ; 
' A crown it is, that seldom kings enjoy, 

' 2 KEEP. Well, if you be a king crown'd with 


Your crown content, and you, must be contented 
' To go along with us : for, as we think, 
6 You are the king, king Edward hath depos'd ; 
' And we his subjects, sworn in all allegiance, 8 
' Will apprehend you as his enemy. 

* K. HEN. But did you never swear, and break 

an oath ? 

* 2 KEEP. No, never such an oath, nor will not 


* K. HEN. Where did you dwell, when I was 

king of England ? 

* 2 KEEP. Here in this country, where we now 


* K. HEN. I was anointed king at nine months 


lusion to a line in an old song, (quoted in Every Man out of his 
Humour} : 

" My mind to me a kingdom is." MALONE. 

See Dr. Percy's Reliques of Ancient English Poetry, 3d edit. 
Vol. I. p. 293. STEEVENS. 

7 and that 1 s enough.] So the folio. The quartos thus : 

" though not in show." STEEVENS. 

* And iue his subjects, &c.] So the folio. The quartos thus : 

" And therefore we charge you in God's name, and the 

" To go along with us unto the officers." STEEVENS. 


* My father and my grandfather, were kings ; 

* And you were sworn true subjects unto me : 

* And, tell me then, have you not broke your 

oaths ? 

* 1 KEEP. No ; 

For we were subjects, but while you were king. 

* K. HEN. Why, am I dead ? do I not breathe 

a man ? 

* Ah, simple men, you know not what you swear. 

* Look, as I blow this feather from my face, 

* And as the air blows it to me again, 9 

* Obeying with my wind when I do blow, 

* And yielding to another when it blows, 

* Commanded always by the greater gust ; 

* Such is the lightness of you common men. 

* But do not break your oaths ; for, of that sin 

* My mild entreaty shall not make you guilty. 

* Go where you will, the king shall be com- 

j j 
manded ; 

* And be you kings ; command, and I'll obey. 

* 1 KEEP. We are true subjects to. the king, 

king Edward. 

* K. HEN. So would you be again to Henry, 

* If he were seated as king Edward is. 

1 KEEP. We charge you, in God's name, and 

in the king's, 1 
To go with us unto the officers. 

9 Look, as Iblotv this feather from my face, 

And as the air blows it to me again, &C.J So, in The Winter's 
Tale : 

" I am a feather for each wind that blows." 

1 - and in the king's,'} The preposition in, which is 
wanting in the old copy, I have supplied for the sake of metre. 


sc. n. KING HENRY VI; 105 

* K, HEN. In God's name, lead ; 2 your .king's 
name be obey'd: 

* And what God will, then let your king perform ; 

* And what he will, I humbly yield unto. 



London. A Room in the Palace. 

Lady GREY. 

* K. EDW. Brother of Gloster, at Saint Albans* 


* This lady's husband, sir John Grey, 3 was slain, 
His lands then seiz'd on by the conqueror : 
Her suit is now, to repossess those lands j 
' Which we in justice cannot well deny, 
Because in quarrel of the house of York 
' The worthy gentleman did lose his life. 4 

9 In God's name, lead; &c.] So the folio. Instead of thi* 
peech, the quartos have the following : 

" God's name be fulfill'd, your king's name be 

" Obey'd ; and be you kings ; command, and I'll obey." 


3 sir John Grey,"] Vid. Hall, Third Year of Edward 

IV. folio 5. It was hitherto falsely printed Richard. POPE. 

Sir John Grey was slain at the second battle of St. Albans, 
fighting on the side of King Henry. MALONE. 

4 His lands then seiz'd on by the conqueror : 

Her suit is now, to repossess those lands; 

Which toe injustice cannot well deny, 

Because in quarrel of the house of York 

The worthy gentleman did lose his life.~\ This is in every par- 
ticular a falsification of history. Sir John Grey, as has been 
already observed, fell in the second battle of St. Albans, which 


GLO. Yourhighness shall do well, to grant her suit; 
* It were dishonour, to deny it her. 

K. Enw. Itwere no less; butyet 1*11 make a pause. 

6 (jO, Yea ! is it so ? 5 
I see, the lady hath a thing to grant, 
Before the king will grant her humble suit. 

CLAR. He knows the game ; How true he keeps 
the wind ? \_Aside. 

GLO. Silence 1 [Aside. 

6 K. EDW. Widow, we will consider 6 of your suit; 

was fought on Shrove-Tuesday, Feb. 17, 1460-1, fighting on the 
side of king Henry ; and so far is it from being true that his 
lands were seized by the conqueror, (Queen Margaret,) that 
they were in fact seized by the very person who now speaks, af- 
ter his great victory at Towton, on the 29th of March, 1461. 
The present scene is laid in 1464. 

Shakspeare in new moulding this play followed implicitly his 
author, (for these five lines, with only a slight variation in the 
third, and fifth, are found in the old play, ) without giving him- 
self the trouble to examine the history ; but a few years after- 
wards, when he had occasion to write his Richard III. and was 
not warped by a preceding misrepresentation of another writer, 
he stated from the chronicles this matter truly as it was ; and 
this is one of the numerous circumstances that prove incontesta- 
bly, in my apprehension, that he was not the original author of 
this and the preceding play. 

; In King Richard III. Act I. sc. iii. Richard addressing himself 
to Queen Elizabeth, (the lady Grey of the present scene,) says : 
" In all which time you, and your husband Grey t 
" Were factious^/br the house of Lancaster ; 
" (And Rivers so were you :) was not your husband 
" In Margaret's battle at Saint Albans slain ?" 
He calls it Margaret's battle, because she was there victorious. 


* Glo. Yea! is it so* &c.~] So the folio. The quartos read 
with the following variations : 

" Glo. I, is the wind in that door ? 

" Clarence. I see the lady'* 8fc. STEEVENS. 

* Widotv, tve ivill consider-*-"] This is a very lively and spritely 
dialogue ; the reciprocation is quicker than is common in Shak- 
speare. JOHNSON. 

sc. n. KING HENRY VI. 107 

' And come some other time, to know our mind. 

' L. GREY. Right gracious lord, I cannot brook 

delay : 

' May it please your highness to resolve me now ; 
' And what your pleasure is, shall satisfy me. 

* GLO. [Aside.'] Ay, widow ? then I'll warrant 

you all your lands, 

c An if what pleases him, shall pleasure you. 
c Fight closer, or, good faith, you'll catch a blow. 

* CLAR. I fear her not, unless she chance to fall. 


* GLO. God forbid that ! for he'll take vantages. 


c K. EDW. How many children hast thou, 
widow ? tell me. 

CLAR. I think, he means to beg a child of her. 


GLO. Nay, whip me then ; he'll rather give her 
two. [Aside. 

L. GREY. Three, my most gracious lord. 

GLO. You shall have four, if you'll be rul'd by 
him. [Aside. 

' K. EDW. 'Twere pity, they should lose their 
father's land. 

L. GREY. Be pitiful, dread lord, andgrantit then. 

K. EDW. Lords, give us leave ; I'll try this wi- 
dow's wit. 

GLO. Ay good leave have you j 7 for you will have 

7 good leave have you ; ] So, in King John : 

" Good leave ; good Philip." 
Good leave, are words implying readiness of assent. 



e Till youth take leave, and leave you to the crutch. 
[GLOSTER mid CLARENCE retire to the other 

* K. EDW. Now tell me, madam, do you love 

your children ? 

* L. GREY. Ay, full as dearly as I love myself. 

* K. EDW. And would you not do much, to do 

them good ? 

* L. GREY. To do them good, I would sustain 

some harm. 

* K. EDW. Then get your husband's lands, to do 

them good. 

* L. GREY. Therefore I came unto your majesty. 
K. EDW. I'll tell you howtheselands are tobegot. 

* L. GREY. So shall you bind me to your high- 

ness' service. 

* K. EDW. What service wilt thou do me, if I 

give them ? 

* L. GREY. What you command, that rests in me 

to do. 

* K. EDW. But you will take exceptions to my 


* L. GREY. No, gracious lord, except I cannot 

do it. 

* K. EDW. Ay, but thou canst do what I mean 

to ask. 

* L. GREY. Why, then I will do what your grace 


* GLO. He plies her hard ; and much rain wears 

the marble. 8 [Aside. 

* much rain \uears the marble.'] So, in Watson's 47th 

Sonnet : 

sc. ii. KING HENRY VI. 109 

* CLAR. As red as fire ! nay, then her wax must 

melt. \_Aside. 

L. GREY. Why stops my lord ? shall F not hear 
my task ? 

K. EDW. An easy task ; 'tis but to love a king. 

L. GREY. That's soon perform' d, because I am 
a subject. 

K. EDW. Why then, thy husband's lands I freely 
give thee. 

L. GREY. I take my leave with many thousand 

GLO. The match is made ; she seals it with a 

' K. EDW. But stay thee, 'tis the fruits of love I 

* L. GREY. The fruits of love I mean, my loving 


* K. EDW. Ay, but, I fear me, in another sense. 
What love, think'st thou, I sue so much to get ? 

c L. GREY. My love till death, 9 my humble 

thanks, my prayers ; 
' That love, which virtue begs, and virtue grants. 

K. EDW. No, by my troth, I did not mean such 

* L. GREY. Why, then you mean not as I thought 

you did. 

'* In time the marble iveares with weakest showres." 
See note on Dodsley's Collection of Old Plays, edit. 1780. 
Vol. XII. p. 387. STEEVENS. 

9 My love till death, &c.] The variation is here worth noting. 
In the old play we here find 

" My humble service, such as subjects owe, 
" And the laws command.'* MALONE. 


'* K. EDW. But now you partly may perceive my 

* L. GREY. My mind will never grant what I 

* Your highness aims at, if I aim aright. 

K. EDW. To tell thee plain, I aim to lie with thee. 

* L. GREY. To tell you plain, I had rather lie in 


K. EDW. Why, then thou shalt not have thy 
husband's lands. 

L. GREY. Why, then mine honesty shall be my 

dower j 
For by that loss I will not purchase them. 

' K. EDW. Therein thou wrong' st thy children 

L. GREY. Herein your highness wrongs both 

them and me. 

But, mighty lord, this merry inclination 
' Accords not with the sadness 1 of my suit ; 
Please you dismiss me, either with ay, or no. 

K. EDW. Ay; if thou wilt say ay, to my request : 
No ; if thou dost say no, to my demand. 

L. GREY. Then, no, my lord. My suit is at an 

* GLO. The widow likes him not, she knits her 

brows. \_Aside. 

CLAR. He is the bluntest wooer in Christendom. 


the sadness] i. e. the seriousness. So, in Romeo and 

Juliet : 

" Tell me in sadness who is she you love." 


s*\//. KING HENRY VI. ill 

' Kb EDW. \_Aside.~] Her looks do argue her re- 
plete with modesty ; 2 

* Her words do show her wit incomparable j 

* All her perfections challenge sovereignty : 
One way, or other, she is for a king ; 

And she shall be my love, or else my queen. 
Say, that king Edward take thee for his queen ? 

L. GREY. *Tis better said than done, my gracious 

lord : 

I am a subject fit to jest withal, 
But far unfit to be a sovereign. 

K. EDW. Sweet widow, by my state I swear to 


I speak no more than what my soul intends ; 
And that is, to enjoy thee for my love* 

L. GREY. And that is more than I will yield 

unto : 

6 I know, I am too mean to be your queen ; 
And yet too good to be your eoncubing. 3 

* Her looks do argue her replete with modesty ;] Si> the folio. 
The quartos read : 

" Her looks are all replete with majesty" STEEVENS. 

3 And yet too good to be your concubine. 1 ] So, in Warner's 
Man's England, 1602, B. VII. chap, xxxiv: 

" His plea was love, my suit was land : I pile him, he 

plies me ; 
" Too t>ace to be his queen, too good his concubine to 


Shakspeafe, however, adopted the words from Stowe's 
Chronicle. STEEVENS. 

These wwds, which are found in the old play, (except that 
we there have bad, instead of mean,) Were taken by the author 
of that piece from Hall's Chronicle : rt whiche demaund she 
so wysiely and with so covert speeche aunswered and repugned, 
affyrmyng that as she was for his honour far unable to be his 
spouse and bedfellowe, so for her awne poor honestie she was to 
good to be either his cottcubine, or sovefeigne lady ; that where 
he was a littel before heated with the dart of Cupido, he was 
nowe," &c. MALONE. 


K. EDW. You cavil, widow j I did mean, my 

L. GREY. 'Twill grieve your grace, my sons 
should call you father. 

K. EDW. No more, than when thy daughters 

call thee mother. 

Thou art a widow, 4 and thou hast some children ; 
And, by God's mother, I, being but a bachelor, 
Have other some : why, 'tis a happy thing 
To be the father unto many sons. 
4 Answer no more, for thou shalt be my queen. 

GLO. The ghostly father now hath done his shrift. 


CLAR. When he was made a shriver, 'twas for 
shift. [Aside. 

K. EDW. Brothers, you muse what chat we two 
have had. 

* GLO. The widow likes it not, for she looks sad. 5 

K. EDW. You'd think it strange if I should marry 

CLAR. To whom, my lord ? 
K. EDW. Why, Clarence, to myself. 

GLO. That would be ten days' wonder, at the 

CLAR. That's a day longer than a wonder lasts. 6 

4 Thou art a twWow, &c.] This is part of the King's reply to 
his mother in Stowe's Chronicle : " That she is a widow, and 
hath already children ; by God's blessed lady I am a batchelor, 
and have some too, and so each of us hath a proofe that neither 
of us is like to be barrain ;" &c. STEEVENS. 

she looks sad.] Old copy very sad. For the sake of 

metre I have omitted this useless adverb. STEEVENS. 

6 That's a day longer &c.] A nine days wonder was prorer- 

sc:n;* KING HENRY VI. its 

* GLO. By so much is the wonder in extremes. 

K. EDW. Well, jest on, brothers : I can tell you 

Her suit is granted for her husband's lands. 

Enter a Nobleman. 

* NOB. My gracious lord, Henry your foe is taken, 
f And brought your prisoner to your palace gate. 

K. EDW. See, that he be convey' d unto the 

Tower : 

' And go we, brothers, to the man that took him, 
' To question of his apprehension. 
' Widow, go you along j Lords, use her honour- 

\_Exeunt King EDWARD, Lady GREY, CLA- 
RENCE, and Lord. 

GLO. Ay, Edward will use women honourably. 
'Would he were wasted, marrow, bones, and all, 
' That from his loins no hopeful branch may spring, 
' To cross me from the golden time I look for i 
c And yet, between my soul's desire, and me, 

* (The lustful Edward's. title buried,) . 

c Is Clarence, Henry, and his son young Edward, 
' And all the unlook'd-for issue of their bodies, 
' To take their rooms, ere I can place myself: 
A cold premeditation for my purpose ! 
*. Why, then I do but dream on sovereignty ; 

* Like one that stands upon a promontory, 

* And spies a far-off shore where he would tread, 

bial. Thus, in a Sermon at Paul's Crosse, Nov. 25, 1621, by 
Henry King, p. 53 : " For mendacia diu non fallunt, and having^ 
arrived at nine days, the age of a wonder Belied in laughter." 




* Wishing his foot were equal with his eye ; 

* And chides the sea that sunders him from thence, 

* Saying he'll lade it dry to have his way : 

* So do I wish the crown, being so far off ; 

* And so I chide the means that keep me from it ; 

* And so I say I'll cut the causes off, 

* Flattering me with impossibilities. 

* My eye's too quick, my heart o'erweens too much, 

* Unless my hand and strength could equal them. 

* Well, say there is no kingdom then for Richard ; 

* What other pleasure can the world afford ? 
' I'll make my heaven 7 in a lady's lap, 

' And deck my body in gay ornaments, 

And witch sweet ladies with my words and looks. 

' O miserable thought ! and more unlikely, 

c Than to accomplish twenty golden crowns ! 

Why, love forswore me in my mother's womb : 8 

' And, for I should not deal in her soft laws 

* She did corrupt frail nature with some bribe 

' To shrink mine arm up like a wither'd shrub ; 9 

* To make an envious mountain on my back, 
Where sits deformity to mock my body ; 

' To shape my legs of an unequal size ; 

* To disproportion me in every part, 

* Like to a chaos, or an unlick'd bear- whelp, 1 

7 I'll make my heaven &c.] Thus the folio. The quartos alter 
and transpose the two lines, as follows : 

I will go clad my body laith gay ornaments, 
And lull myself within a lady's lap. STEEVENS. 

* love forswore me in my mother's tuomb :"] This line is 

found also in a play entitled Wily Beguiled. The earliest edition 
that I have seen of that piece, was printed in 1606 ; but it had 
been exhibited on the stage soon after the year 1590. MALONE. 

9 like a 'wither'd shrub ,] So the folio. The quartos 

Eke a wither'd shrimp. STEEVENS. 

1 unlick'd bear-whelp,'] It was an opinion which, in spite 

of its absurdity, prevailed long, that the bear brings forth only 

sc. ii. KING HENRY VI. 115 

* That carries no impression like the dam. 
And am I then a man to be belov'd ? 

' O, monstrous fault, to harbour such a thought ! 

* Then, since this earth affords no joy to me, 

* But to command, to check, to o'erbear such 

* As are of better person than myself, 8 

* I'll make my heaven to dream upon the crown ; 

* And, whiles I live, to account this world but hell, 

* Until my misshap'd trunk that bears this head, 

* Be round impaled with a glorious crown. 3 

* And yet I know not how to get the crown, 

* For many lives stand between me and home : 

* And I, like one lost in a thorny wood, 

* That rents the thorns, and is rent with the thorns ; 

shapeless lumps of animated flesh, which she licks into the fdrm 
of bears. It is now well known that the whelps of the bear are 
produced in the same state with those of other creatures. 


* to o'erbear such 

As are of better person than myself, ] Richard speaks hefe 
the language of nature. Whoever is stigmatized with deformity 
has a constant source of envy in his mind, and would counter- 
balance by some other superiority those advantages which he 
feels himself to want. Bacon remarks that the deformed are 
commonly daring ; and it is almost proverbially observed that 
they are ill-natured. The truth is, that the deformed, like all 
other men, are displeased with inferiority, and endeavour to gain 
ground by good or bad means, as they are virtuous of corrupt. 


123 45 678 

* Until my misshap'd trunk that bears this head, 

Be round impaled &c.] A transposition seems tobe necessary: 

12857 3 46 

" Until my head, that this misshap'd trunk bears.'* 
Otherwise the trunk that bears the head is to be encircled with 
the crown, and not the head itself. STEEVENS. 

Sir T. Hanmer reads as Mr. Steevens recommends. I believe 
our author is answerable for this inaccuracy. MALONE. 

I 2 

116 THIRD PART Otf ACT in. 

* Seeking a way, and straying from the way ; 

* Not knowing how to find the open air, 

* But toiling desperately to find it out, 

* Torment myself to catch the English crown : 

* And from that torment I will free myself, 

* Or hew my way out with a bloody axe. 
Why, I can smile, and murder while I smile ; 

.'. And cry, content, to that which grieves my heart j 

* And wet my cheeks with artificial tears, 

* And frame my face to all occasions. 

* I'll drown more sailors than the mermaid shall ; 

* I'll slay more gazers than the basilisk ; 

* I'll play the orator as well as Nestor, 

* Deceive more slily than Ulysses could, 

* And, like a Sinon, take another Troy : 
I .can add colours to the cameleon ; 
'Change shapes, with Proteus, for advantages, 
' And set the murd'rous Machiavel to school. 4 

impaled ] i. e. encircled. So, in Heywood's Rape of 

Lucrece, 1630: 

" Tear off the crown that yet empales his temples." 


4 And set the murd'rous Machiavel to school."] As this is an 
anachronism, and the old quarto reads : 

" And set t he aspirins Catiline to school ." 
I don't know why it should not be preferred. WARBURTON. 

This is not the first proof I have met with, that Shakspeare, in 
his attempts to familiarize ideas, has diminished their propriety. 


Catiline first occurred to the author of the old play, who was 
probably a scholar; and Machiavel, who is mentioned in various 
books of our author's age, as the great exemplar of profound 
politicians, naturally was substituted by Shakspeare in his room. 
See this play, P. I. Act V. sc. iv : 

" Alengon! that notorious Machiavel!" 

In King Edward II. Marlowe, who was probably the author 
p$:T.he True Tragedie of Richards Duke ofYorke, in like man- 
ner introduces Catiline : 


Can I do this, and cannot get a crown ? 

* Tut ! were it further off, I'll pluck it down. 



France. A Room in the Palace. 

Flourish. Enter LEWIS the French King, and 
Lady BONA, attended ; the King takes his State. 
Then enter Queen MARGARET, Prince EDWARD 
her Son, and the Earl of OXFORD. 

' K. LEW. Fair queen of England, 5 worthy Mar- 
garet, [Rising. 
' Sit down with us ; it ill befits thy state, 

* And birth, that thou should'st stand, while Lewis 

doth sit. 

* Q. MAR. No, mighty king of France; 6 now 


" Spencer, the father of that wanton Spencer, 

" That like the lawless Catiline of Rome, 

" Revell'd in England's wealth and treasury." MALOU E. 

* Fair queen of England, &c.] Thus the folio. The quartos 
give the following : 

" Welcome, queen Margaret, to the court of France. 
" It fits not Lewis to sit whilst thou dost stand, 
" Sit by my side ; and here I vow to thee, 
" Thou shalt have aid to re-possess thy right, 
" And beat proud Edward from his usurped seat, 
" And place king Henry in his former rule." 


See the notes referred to in p. 74, n. 3. MALONE. 

5 No, mighty king of. France ; &c.] Instead of this speech 
the quartos only supply the following : 

" Queen. I humbly thank your royal majesty, 
" And pray the God of heaven to bless thy state, 
f ' Great king of France, that thus regard's! our wrongs." 



* Must strike her sail, and learn a while to serve, 

* Where kings command. I was, I must confess, 

* Great Albion's queen in former golden days : 

* But now mischance hath trod my title down, 

* And with dishonour laid me on the ground ; 

* Where I must take like seat unto my fortune, 

* And to my humble seat conform myself. 

* K. LEW. Why, say, fair queen, whence springs 

this deep despair ? 

* Q. MAR. From such a cause as fills mine eyes 

with tears, 

* And stops my tongue, while heart is drown'd in 


* K. LEW. Whate'er it be, be thou still like thy- 


* And sit thee by our side : yield not thy neck 

\_Seats her by him. 

* To fortune's yoke, but let thy dauntless mind 

* Still ride in triumph over all mischance. 
*Be plain, queen Margaret, and tell thy grief; 

* It shall be eas'd, if France can yield relief. 

* Q. MAR. Those gracious words revive my 

drooping thoughts, 

* And give my tongue-tied sorrows leave to speak. 

* Now, therefore, be it known to noble Lewis, 

* That Henry, sole possessor of my love, 

* Is, of a king, become a banish' d man, 

* And forc'd to live in Scotland a forlorn ; 

* While proud ambitious Edward, duke of York, 

* Usurps the regal title, and the seat 

* Of England's true-anointed lawful king. 

* This is the cause, that I, poor Margaret, 

* With this my son, prince Edward, Henry's heir, 

* Am come to crave thy just and lawful aid j 

* And, if thou fail us, all our hope is done : 

ac. m. KING HENRY VI. 119 

* Scotland hath will to help, but cannot help ; 

* Our people and our peers are both misled, 

* Our treasure seiz'd, our soldiers put to flight, 

* And, as thou see'st, ourselves in heavy plight. 

* K. LEW. Renowned queen, with patience calm 

the storm, 

* While we bethink a means to break it off. 

* Q. MAR. The more we stay, the stronger grows 

our foe. 

* K.LEW. The more I stay, the more 1*11 succour 


*Q. MAR. O, but impatience waiteth on true 
sorrow : 

* And see, where comes the breeder of my sorrow. 

Enter WARWICK, 7 attended. 

* K. LEW. What's he, approacheth boldly to our 

presence ? 

7 Enter Warwick^ This nobleman's embassy and commis- 
sion, the insult he receives by the King's hasty marriage, and 
his consequent resolution to avenge it, with the capture, impri- 
sonment, and escape of the King, Shakspeare, it is true, found 
in Hall and Holinshed ; but later, as well as earlier writers, of 
better authority, incline us to discredit the whole ; and to refer 
the rupture between the King and his political creator, to causes 
which have not reached posterity, or to that jealousy and ingra- 
titude so natural, perhaps, to those who are under great obliga- 
tions too great to be discharged. Beneficia, (says Tacitus,) eo 
usque Iceta sunt, dum videntur exsolvi posse : ubi multum anteve- 
nre, pro gratia odium redditur. 

There needs no other proof how little our common histories 
are to be depended upon than this fabulous story of Warwick 
and the Lady Bona. The King was privately married to Lady 
Elizabeth Widville, in 14-63, and in February 14-65, Warwick 
actually stood sponsor to the Princess Elizabeth their first child. 
What secretly displeased him was: 1. the King's marrying one 
ef the Queen's sisters to the Duke of Buckingham ; 2. his con- 


Q. MAR. Our earl of Warwick, Edward's greatest 

K.LEW. Welcome, brave Warwick! What brings 

thee to France ? 

\_Descendingfrom his state. Queen MARGARET 

* Q. MAR. Ay, now begins a second storm to rise ; 
* For this is he, that moves both wind and tide. 

4 WAR. From worthy Edward, king of Albion, 
My lord and sovereign, and thy vowed friend, * 
I come, in kindness, and unfeigned love, 
First, to do greetings to thy royal person ; 
And, then, to crave a league of amity ; 
And, lastly, to confirm that amity 
With nuptial knot, if thou vouchsafe to grant 
That virtuous lady Bona, thy fair sister, 
To England's king in lawful marriage. 

4 Q. MAR. If that go forward, Henry's hope is 
done. 8 

ferring the office of Lord Treasurer (which he had taken from 
the LordMontjoy,) upon Lord Rivers, the Queen's brother; 
3. his making a match between the son and heir of the Lord 
Herbert and another of the Queen's sisters ; and between that 
nobleman's daughter and the young Lord Lisle ; and creating 
young Herbert Knight and Lord of Dunstar ; 4, his making a 
match between Sir Thomas Grey, the Queen's son, and Lady 
Ann daughter and heiress of the Duke of Exeter, the King's 
niece, who had been talked of as a wife for the Earl of Nor- 
thumberland, Warwick's brother. See Wilhelmi Wyrcester. 
Annales, which are unfortunately defective from the beginning 
of November 1468, at which time no open rupture had taken 
place between the King and Warwick, who, for any thing that 
appears to the contrary, were, at least, upon speaking terms. 


9 Henry's hope is done.'] So the folio. The quartos read: 

all our hope is done. STEEVENS. 

We have had nearly the same line in Margaret's former speech 
p< 119. The line having madeaa impression on Shakspeare, he 

at?.///.. KING HENRY VI. 121 

WAR. And, gracious madam, [To BONA.] in our 
king's behalf, 

* I am commanded, with your leave and favour, 
Humbly to kiss your hand, and with my tongue 
To tell the passion of my sovereign's heart ; 
Where fame, late entering at his heedful ears, 
Hath plac'd thy beauty's image, and thy virtue. ' 

Q. MAR. King Lewis, and lady Bona, hear 
me speak, 

* Before you answer Warwick. His demand 1 

* Springs not from Edward's well-meant honest 


* But from deceit, bred by necessity ; 

* For how can tyrants safely govern home, 

* Unless abroad they purchase great alliance ? 

* To prove him tyrant, this reason may suffice, 

* That Henry liveth still : but were he dead, 

* Yet here prince Edward stands, king Henry's son. 

* Look therefore, Lewis, that by this league and 


* Thou draw not on thy danger and dishonour : 

* For though usurpers sway the rule a while, 

* Yet heavens are just, andtime suppresseth wrongs. 

WAR. Injurious Margaret ! 

PRINCE. And why not queen ? 

introduced it in that speech, which appears (except in this in- 
stance) to have been entirely his own production; andafterwards 
inadvertently suffered it with a slight variation to remain here, 
where only it is found in the old play. MALONE. 

9 Hath plac'd thy beauty's image, and thy virtue. ~] So the folio. 
The quarto thus : 

" Hath plac'd thy glorious image, and thy vertues." 


1 : His demand &c.] Instead of the remainder of this 
speech the old play has the following lines : 

" hear me speak, 

' ' Before you answer Warwick, or his words, 

" For he it is hath done us all these 'wrongs." MALONE. : 


WAR. Because thy father Henry did usurp ; 
And thou no more art prince, than she is queen. 

OXF. Then Warwick disannuls great John of 


Which did subdue the greatest part of Spain ; 
And, after John of Gaunt, Henry the fourth, 

* Whose wisdom was a mirror to the wisest ; * 
And, after that wise prince, Henry the fifth, 
Who by his prowess conquered all France : 
From these our Henry lineally descends. 

WAR. Oxford, how haps it, in this smooth dis- 

You told not, how Henry the sixth hath lost 
All that which Henry the fifth had gotten ? 
Methinks, these peers of France should smile at 


But for the rest, You tell a pedigree 
Of threescore and two years ; a silly time 
To make prescription for a kingdom's worth. 

' OXF. Why, Warwick, canst thou speak against 
thy liege, 

* Whom thou obeyed' st thirty and six years, 3 
And not bewray thy treason with a blush ? 

WAR. Can Oxford, that did ever fence the right, 
Now buckler falsehood with a pedigree ? 
For shame, leave Henry, and call Edward king. 

* OXF. Call him my king, by whose injurious 

* to the 'wisest;'] So the folio. The quartos to the 

world. STEEVENS. 

3 thirty and six years,'] So the folio. The quartos thirty 

and eight years. STEEVENS. 

The number in the old play is right. The alteration, how- 
ever, is of little consequence. M ALONE. 

sc. ui. KING HENRY VI. 123 

' My elder brother, the lord Aubrey Vere, 

Was done to death ? and more than so, my father, 

Even in the downfall of his mellow* d years, 

* When nature brought him to the door of death?* 
No, Warwick, no ; while life upholds this arm, 
This arm upholds the house of Lancaster. 

WAR. And I the house of York. 

K. LEW. Queen Margaret, prince Edward, and 

* Vouchsafe, at our request, to stand aside, 

' While I use further conference with Warwick. 

* Q. MAR. Heaven grant, that Warwick's words 

bewitch him not ! 
[Retiring with the Prince and OXFORD. 

* K. LEW. Now Warwick, tell me, even upon 

thy conscience, 
4 Is Edward your true king ? for I were loath, 

* To link with him that were not lawful chosen. 5 

4 When nature brought him to the door of death ? ] Thus the 
folio. The quartos : 

" When age did call him to the door of death." 


This passage unavoidably brings before the mind that admira- 
ble image of old age in Sackville's Induction : 

" His withered fist still knocking at deathe's dore," &c. 


* that ivere not laivful chosen.~\ Thus the folio. The 

quarto as follows : 

" that is not lawful heir." STEEVENS. 

Here we have another instance of an impropriety into which 
Shakspeare has fallen by sometimes following and sometimes de- 
serting his original. After Lewis has asked in the old play whe- 
ther Henry was lawful heir to the crown of England, and has 
been answered in the affirmative ; he next enquires whether he 
is gracious, that is, a favourite with the people. Shakspeare has 
preserved this latter question, though he made a variation in the 
former ; not adverting that after a man has been chosen by the 
voices of the people to be their king, it is quite superfluous to ask 


WAR. Thereon I pawn my credit and mine 

K. LEW. But is he gracious in the people's eye? 
WAR. The more, that Henry was unfortunate. 6 

K. LEW. Then further, all dissembling set aside, 
c Tell me for truth the measure of his love 
6 Unto our sister Bona. ; 

WAR. Such it seems, 

As may beseem a monarch like himself. 
Myself have often heard him say, and swear, 
That this his love was an eternal plant ; 7 
Whereof the root was fix'd in virtue's ground, 
The leaves and fruit maintained with beauty's sun; 

whether he is popular or no. Edward was in fact chosen king, 
both by the parliament and by a large body of the people assem- 
bled in St. John's fields. See Fabian, who wrote about fifty 
years after the time, p. 472, and Stowe, p. 688, edit. 1605. 


I do not perceive the impropriety of the King's question, or 
the cogency of the remark founded on it. Is it impossible that a 
king, elected by his people, should soon afterwards become un- 
popular ? STEEVENS. 

6 that Henry 'was unfortunate."] He means, that Henry 

was unsuccessful in war, having lost his dominions in France, &c. 


7 That this his love was an eternal plant ;] The old quarto 
reads rightly eternals alluding to the plants of Paradise. 


In the language of Shakspeare's time, by an eternal plant was 
meant what we now call a perennial one. STEEVENS. 

The folio reads an external plant ; but as that word seems to 
afford no meaning, and as Shakspeare has adopted every other 
part of this speech as he found it in the old play, without alte* 
ration, I suppose external was a mistake of the transcriber or 
printer, and have therefore followed the reading of the quarto. 


Exempt from envy, but not from disdain, 8 
Unless the lady Bona quit his pain. 

K. LEW. Now, sister, let us hear your firm re- 


BONA. Your grant, or your denial, shall be 

mine : 

Yet I confess, [To WAR.] that often ere this day, 
When I have heard your king's desert recounted, 
Mine ear hath tempted judgment to desire. 

* K. LEW. Then, Warwick, thus, Our sister 

shall be Edward's ; 

* And now forthwith shall articles be drawn 

* Touching the jointure that your king must make, 

* Which with her dowry shall be counterpoised : 
Draw near, queen Margaret ; and be a witness, 
That Bona shall be wife to the English king. 

PRINCE. To Edward, but not to the English king. 

* Q. MAR. Deceitful Warwick ! it was thy de- 


* By this alliance to make void my suit ; 

* Before thy coming, Lewis was Henry's friend. 

* K. LEW. And still is friend to him and Mar- 

garet : 

* But if your title to the crown be weak, 

8 Exempt from envy, but not from disdain,'] Envy is always 
supposed to have some fascinating or blasting power ; and to be 
out of the reach of envy is therefore a privilege belonging only 
to great excellence. I know not well why envy is mentioned 
here, or whose envy can be meant ; but the meaning is, that his 
love is superior to envy, and can feel no blast from the lady's 
disdain. Or that, if Bona refuse to quit or requite his pain, his 
love may turn to disdain, though the consciousness of his own 
merit will exempt him from the pangs of envy. JOHNSON. 

I believe envy is in this place, as in many others, put for 
malice or hatred. His situation places him above these, though 
it cannot secure him from female disdain. STEEVENS. 


* As may appear by Edward's good success,- 

* Then 'tis but reason, that I be releas'd 

* From giving aid, which late I promised. 

* Yet shall you have all kindness at my hand, 

* That your estate requires, and mine can yield. 

WAR. Henry now lives in Scotland, at his ease ; 
Where having nothing, nothing he can lose. 
And as for you yourself, our quondam queen, 
You have a father able 9 to maintain you ; 
And better 'twere, you troubled him than France. 

* Q. MAR. Peace, impudent and shameless War- 
wick, peace ; l 

* Proud setter-up and puller-down of kings ! 2 

* I will not hence, till with my talk and tears, 

* Both full of truth, I make king Lewis behold 

' Thy sly conveyance, 3 and thy lord's false love ; 

* For both of you are birds of self-same feather. 

\_A Horn sounded within. 

K. LEW. Warwick, this is some post to us, or 

9 You have a father able ^ This seems ironical. The poverty 
of Margaret's lather is a very frequent topick of reproach. 


1 Peace, impudent and shameless Wartvick, peace ;3 the word 
peace, at the end of this line, is wanting in the first folio, but is 
supplied by the second. STEEVENS. 

8 Proud setter-up and puller -down of kings /] The Queen here 
applies to Warwick, the very words that Edward, p. 76, ad- 
dresses to the Deity. M. MASON. 

See p. 76, n. 7. The repetition has been already accounted 
for, in p. 102, n. 2, &c. M ALONE. 

3 Thy sly conveyance, ~] Conveyance is juggling, and thence is 
taken for artifice and fraud. JOHNSON. 

So, in King Richard II : 

" conveyers are you all, 

** That rise thus nimbly by a true king's fall." 


Enter a Messenger. 

MESS. My lord ambassador, these letters are for 


Sent from your brother, marquis Montague. 
These from our king unto your majesty. 
And, madam, these for you ; from whom, I know 

[To MARGARET. They all read their Letters. 

OXF. I like it well, that our fair queen and mis- 
Smiles at her news, while Warwick frowns at his. 

PRINCE. Nay, mark, how Lewis stamps as he 

were nettled ; 
* I hope, all's for the best. 

' K. LEW. Warwick, what are thy news ? and 
yours, fair queen ? 

* Q. MAR. Mine, such as fill my heart with un- 

hop'd joys. 

WAR. Mine, full of sorrow and heart's discontent. 

K. LEW. What ! has your king married the lady 

Grey ? 

' And now, to sooth your forgery and his,* 
' Sends me a paper to persuade me patience ? 
' Is this the alliance that he seeks with France ? 
' Dare he presume to scorn us in this manner ? 

* Q. MAR. I told your majesty as much before: 
This proveth Edward' s love, and Warwick's honesty. 

WAR. King Lewis, I here protest, in sight of 

4 . to sooth your forgery and his,"] To soften it, to make 
it more endurable : or perhaps, to sooth us, and to prevent our 
being exasperated by your forgery and his. MALONE. 


And by the hope I have of heavenly bliss, 
That I am clear from this misdeed of Edward's; 
No more my king, for he dishonours me ; 
But most himself, if he could see his shame. 
Did I forget, that by the house of York 
My father came untimely to his death ? 3 
Did I let pass the abuse done to my niece ? 6 
Did I impale him with the regal crown ? 
Did I put Henry from his native right ; 7 
4 And am I guerdon' d 8 at the last with shame ? 

* Shame on himself! for my desert is honour. 

* And, to repair my honour lost for him, 

5 Did I forget, that by the house of York 

My father came untimely to his death?"] Warwick's father 
came untimely to his death, being taken at the battle of Wake- 
field, and beheaded at Pomfret. But the author of the old play 
imagined he fell at the action at Ferry-bridge, and has in a former 
scene, to which this line refers, (See p. 74, n. 3,) described his 
death as happening at that place. Shakspeare very properly re- 
jected that description of the death of the Earl of Salisbury; of 
whose death no mention is made in this play, as it now stands ; 
yet he has inadvertently retained this line which alludes to a pre- 
ceding description that he had struck out ; and this is another 
proof of his falling into inconsistencies, by sometimes following, 
and sometimes deserting, his original. M ALONE. 

6 Did I let pass the abuse done to my niece?'] Thus Holinshed, 
p. 668 : <j( King Edward did attempt a thing once in the carles 
house, which was much against the carles honestie (whether he 
would have defloured his daughter or his niece,the certaintie was 
not for both their honours revealed,) for surely such a thing was 
attempted by king Edward." STEEVENS. 

7 Did I put Henry from his native right; &c.] Thus the folio. 
The quartos read: 

" And thrust king Henry from his native home? 
" And (most ungrateful) doth he use me thus ?" 


guerdon'd ] i. e. rewarded. So, in P. II. of this 


*:-. 4 f See you well guerdon'd for these good deserts." 


ac. m. KING HENRY VI. 129 

* I here renounce him, and return to Henry : 

* My noble queen, let former grudges pass, 
And henceforth I am thy true servitor j 

I will revenge his wrong to lady Bona, 
And replant Henry in his former state. 

' Q. MAR. Warwick, these words have turn'd 

my hate to love ; 
' And I forgive and quite forget old faults, 

* And joy that thou becom'st king Henry's friend. 

WAR. So much his friend, ay, his unfeigned 


That, if king Lewis vouchsafe to furnish us 
With some few bands of chosen soldiers, 
I'll undertake to land them on our coast, 
And force the tyrant from his seat by war. 
'Tis not his new-made bride shall succour him : 

* And as for Clarence, as my letters tell me, 

* He's very likely now to fall from him ; 

* For matching more for wanton lust than honour, 

* Or then for strength and safety of our country. 

* BONA. Dear brother, how shall Bona be re- 


* But by thy help to this distressed queen ? 

* Q. MAR. Renowned prince, how shall poor 

Henry live, 

* Unless thou rescue him from foul despair ? 

* BONA. My quarrel, and this English queen's, 

are one. 

* WAR. And mine, fair lady Bona, joins with 


* K. LEW. And mine, with hers, and thine, and 


Therefore, at last, I firmly am resolv'd, 
You shall have aid. 

VOL. xiv. K 


* Q. MAR. Let me give humble thanks for all 
at once. 

K. LEW. Then England's messenger, return in 


And tell false Edward, thy supposed king, - 
That Lewis of France is sending over maskers, 
To revel it with him and his new bride : 
* Thou seest what's past, go fear thy king 9 withal. 

BONA. Tell him, In hope he'll prove a widower 

I'll wear the willow garland for his sake. 

Q. MAR. Tell him, My mourning weeds are laid 

And I am ready to put armour on. 1 

WAR. Tell him from me, That he hath done me 


And therefore I'll uncrown him, ere't be long. 
There's thy reward ; 2 be gone. [Exit Mess. 

K. LEW. But, Warwick, thou, 

And Oxford, with five thousand men, 
Shall cross the seas, and bid false Edward battle : 5 

9 go fear thy king ] That is, fright thy king. JOHNSON. 

So, in King Henry IV. P. II : 

" The peopled/ear me" &c. STEEVENS. 

1 to put armour on.] It was once no unusual thing for 

queens themselves to appear in armour at the head of their 
forces. The suit which Elizabeth wore, when she rode through 
the lines at Tilbury to encourage the troops, on the approach of 
the armada, may be still seen in the Tower. STEEVENS. 

8 thy reward;"} Here we are to suppose that, according 

to ancient custom, Warwick makes a present to the Herald or 
Messenger, whom the original copies call a Post. See Vol. 
XII. p. 405, n. 8. STEEVENS. 

3 and bid false Edward battle :~\ This phrase is common 

to many of our ancient writers. So, in The Misfortunes of 
Arthur^ a dramatick performance, 1587 : 

sc.m. KING HENRY VI. isi 

* And, as occasion serves, this noble queen 

* And prince shall follow with a fresh supply. 

* Yet, ere thou go, but answer me one doubt ; 
' What pledge have we of thy firm loyalty ? 

WAR. This shall assure my constant loyalty : 
That if our queen and this young prince agree, 
I'll join mine eldest daughter, and my joy, 
To him forthwith* in holy wedlock bands. 

" my flesh abhors 

" To bid the battle to my proper blood." STEEVENS. 

4 Til join mine eldest daughter, and my joy, 

To him forthwith ] Surely this is a mistake of the copy- 
ists. Hall, in the ninth year of King Edward IV. says : " Ed- 
ward prince of Wales wedded Anne second daughter to the earl 
of Warwick." And the Duke of Clarence was in love with the 
elder, the Lady Isabel ; and in reality was married to her five 
years before Prince Edward took the Lady Anne to wife. And, 
in King Richard the Third, Gloster, who married this Lady Anne 
when a widow, says : 

" For then I'll marry Warwick's youngest daughter. 
" What though I kill'd her husband and her father ?" 
i. e. Prince Edward, and King Henry VI. her father-in-law. 
See likewise Holinshed, in his Chronicle, p. 671 and 674. 


This is a departure from the truth of history, for Edward 
Prince of Wales (as Mr. Theobald has observed,) was married 
to Anne, second daughter of the Earl of Warwick. 

But notwithstanding this, his reading [youngest daughter] has, 
I think, been improperly adopted by the subsequent editors ; for 
though in fact the Duke of Clarence married Isabella, the eldest 
daughter of Warwick, in 1468, and Edward Prince of Wales 
married Anne, his second daughter, in 1470; neither of his 
daughters was married at the time when Warwick was in France 
negociating a marriage between Lady Bona and his King : so 
that there is no inconsistency in the present proposal. Supposing, 
however, that the original author of this play made a mistake, 
and imagined that the youngest daughter of Warwick was mar- 

K 2 


e Q. MAR. Yes, I agree, 5 and thank you for your 

motion : 
c Son Edward, she is fair and virtuous, 

* Therefore delay not, give thy hand to Warwick j 
6 And, with thy .hand, thy faith irrevocable, 

' That only Warwick's daughter shall be thine. 

* PRINCE. Yes, I accept her, for she well deserves 

* And here, to pledge my vow, I give my hand. 

\_He gives his hand to WARWICK. 

"* K. LEW. Why stay we now ? These soldiers 

shall be levied, 
c And thou, lord Bourbon, 6 our high admiral, 

r. if . "* <"i r i> ' 

ried to Clarence, I apprehend he, and not his editor, ought to 
answer for it. 

This is one of the numerous circumstances which prove that 
Shakspeare was not the original author of this play; for though 
here, as in a former passage, (p. 112, n. 4.) he has followed the 
old drama, when he afterwards wrote his King Richard III. and 
found it necessary to consult the ancient historians, he repre- 
sented Lady Anne, as she in fact was, the widow of Edward, 
Prince of Wales, and the youngest daughter of the Earl of War- 
wick. MALONE. 

Is it improbable then that Shakspeare should have become 
more accurate as he grew older ? Might he not, previous to the 
composition of a later play, have furnished himself with that 
knowledge of history which was wanting in his dramatick per- 
formance of an earlier date ? STEEVENS. 

* Yes, I agree, &c.] Instead of this speech, the quarto has 
only the following : 

" With all my heart ; I like this match full well. 
" Love her, son Edward ; she is fair and young ; 
" And give thy hand to Warwick, for his love." 


15 And thou, lord Bourbon, &c.] Instead of this and the three 
following lines, we have these in the old play : 

" And you, lord Bourbon, our high admiral, 
" Shall waft them safely to the English coasts ; 

so. m. KING HENRY VI. 133 

* Shall waft them over with our royal fleet. 
' I long, till Edward fall by war's mischance, 
' For mocking marriage with a dame of France. 

[Exeunt all but WARWICK. 

WAR. I came from Edward as embassador, 
But I return his sworn and mortal foe : 
Matter of marriage was the charge he gave me, 
But dreadful war shall answer his demand. 
Had he none else to make a stale, 7 but me ? 
Then none but I shall turn his jest to sorrow. 
I was the chief that rais'd him to the crown, 
And I'll be chief to bring him down again : 
Not that I pity Henry's misery, 
But seek revenge on Edward's mockery. \_Exit. 

" And chase proud Edwards/row his slumbering trance, 
" For mocking marriage with the name of France." 


7 to make a stale, 3 i. e. stalking-horse, pretence. So, in 

The Comedy of Errors: 

" poor I am but his stale." 

See Act II." sc. i. STEEVENS, 


London. A Room in the Palace. 

TAGUE, and Others. 

' GLO. Now tell me, brother Clarence, 8 what 

think you 
4 Of this new marriage with the lady Grey ? 

* Hath not our brother made a worthy choice ? 

* CLAR. Alas, you know, 'tis far from hence to 

France ; 

* How could he stay till Warwick made return ? 

* SOM. My lords, forbear this talk ; here comes 

the king. 

8 Nona tell me, brother Clarence,"] In the old play the King 
enters here along with his brothers, not after them, and opens 
the scene thus : 

" Edtu. Brothers of Clarence and of Glocester, 
What think you of our marriage with the lady Grey ? 

" Glo. My lord, we think as Warwick and Lewis, 
" That are so slack in judgment that they'll take 
" No offence at this sudden marriage. 

" Edw. Suppose they do, they are but Lewis and 

Warwick ; 

" And I am your king and Warwick's ; and will be 
" Obey'd. 

" Glo. And shall, because you are our king; 
" But yet such sudden marriages seldom proveth well. 
. Yea, brother Richard, are you against us too?" 


sc. f. KING HENRY VI. 135 

Flourish. Enter King EDWARD, attended; Lady 
INGS, and Others. 9 

* GLO. And his well-chosen bride. 

* CLAR. I mind to tell him plainly what I think. 

' K. EDW. Now, brother of Clarence, how like 

you our choice, 
4 That you stand pensive, as half malcontent ? 

c CLAR. As well as Lewis of France, or the earl 
of Warwick ; 

* Which are so weak of courage, and in judgment, 

* That they'll take no offence at our abuse. 

* K. EDW. Suppose, they take offence without a 


* They are but Lewis and Warwick ; I am Edward, 

* Your king and Warwick's, and must have my will. 

6 GLO. And you shall have your will, because our 

* Yet hasty marriage seldom proveth well. 

K. EDW. Yea, brother Richard, are you offended 
too P 1 

e GLO. Not I : 

e No ; God forbid, that I should wish them sever'd 
' Whom God hath join'd together : ay, and 'twere 

To sunder them that yoke so well together. 

9 The stage direction in the folio, [ Four stand on one side, and 
Jour on the other. ] is sufficient proof that the play, as exhibited 
there, was printed from a stage copy. I suppose these eight im- 
portant personages were attendants. STEEVENS. 

1 are you offended too ?] So the folio. The quartos : 
*' are you against us too ?" STEEVENS. 


' K. EDW. Setting your scorns, and your mislike, 


c Tell me some reason, why the lady Grey 
c Should not become my wife, and England's 

queen : 

' And you too, Somerset, 2 and Montague, 
' Speak freely what you think. 

' CLAR. Then this is my opinion, 3 that king 

6 Becomes your enemy, for mocking him 

* About the marriage of the lady Bona. 

c GLO. And Warwick, doing what you gave in 

* Is now dishonoured by this new marriage. 

' K. EDW. What, if both Lewis and Warwick 

be appeas'd, 
c By such invention as I can devise ? 

MONT. Yet to have join'd with France in such 

Would more have strengthen' d this our common- 

' Gainst foreign storms, than any home-bred mar- 

HAST. Why, knows not Montague, that of it- 

* And you too, Somerset, &c.] In the old play Somerset does 
not appear in this scene. MALONE. 

3 Clar. Then this is my opinion, &c.] Instead of this and the 
following speechy the quartos read thus : 

" Clar. My lord, then this is my opinion ; 
" That Warwick, being dishonour'd in his embassage, 
" Doth seek revenge, to quit his injuries. 

" Glo. And Lewis, in regard of his sister's wrongs, 
*' Doth join with Warwick to supplant your state." 


sc. i. KING HENRY VI. 137 

* England is safe, if true within itself? 4 

* MONT. Yes ; but the safer, when 'tis back'd 

with France. 5 

* HAST. 'Tis better using France, than trusting 

France : 

* Let us be back'd with God, and with the seas,* 

* Which he hath given for fence impregnable, 

* And with their helps only defend ourselves ; 

* In them, and in ourselves, our safety lies. 

CLAR. For this one speech, lord Hastings well 

* To have the heir of the lord Hungerford. 

' K. EDW. Ay, what of that ? it was my will, and 
grant ; 

4 Why, knows not Montague, that of itself 

England is safe, if true within itself '?] In the old play these 
lines stand thus : 

" Let England be true within itself, 
" We need not France nor any alliance with them." 
It is observable that the first of these lines occurs in the old 
play of King John, 1591, from which our author borrowed it, 
and inserted it with a slight change in his own play with the same 
title. MALONE. 

The original of this sentiment is probably to be found in DR. 
ANDREW BORDE'S Fyrst Boke of the Introduction of Knowledge, 
bl. 1. printed for Copland, Sign. A 4. 

See Vol. X. p. 535. Neither the lapse of two centuries, nor 
any circumstance which has occurred during that eventful period, 
has in any degree shook the credit of this observation, or impaired 
the confidence of the publick in the truth of it. " England is and 
will be still safe, if true within itself." REED. 

* Yes ; but the safer, &c.] Thus the second folio. Yes, in the 
first, is omitted. STEEVENS. 

6 with the seas,'] This has been the advice of every man 

who in any age understood and favoured the interest of England. 



* And, for this once, my will shall stand for law. 

' GLO. And yet, methinks, 7 your grace hath not 
done well, 

* To give the heir and daughter of lord Scales 
1 Unto the brother of your loving bride ; 

e She better would have fitted me, or Clarence : 

* But in your bride you bury brotherhood. 

' CLAR. Or else you would not have bestow' d the 
heir 8 

* Of the lord Bonville on your new wife's son, 

* And leave your brothers to go speed elsewhere. 

K. EDW. Alas, poor Clarence ! is it for a wife, 
c That thou art malcontent ? I will provide thee. 

* CLAR. In choosing for yourself, you show'dyour 

judgment ; 
c Which being shallow, you shall give me leave 

* To play the broker in mine own behalf; 

e And, to that end, I shortly mind to leave you. 

* K. EDW. Leave me, or tarry, Edward will be 


* And not be tied unto his brother's will. 

* Q. ELIZ. My lords, before it pleas'd his ma- 


7 And yet, methinlcs, &c.] The quartos vary from the folio, 
as follows : 

" Cla. Ay, and for such a thing too, the lord Scale* 
" Did well deserve at your hands, to have the 
" Daughter of the lord Bonfield, and left your 
*' Brothers to go seek elsewhere; but in your madness 
" You bury brotherhood." STEEVENS. 

* i you would not have bestou'd the heir ] It must be 
remembered, that till the Restoration, the heiresses of great 
estates were in the wardship of the King, who in their minority 
gave them up to plunder, and afterwards matched them to his 
favourites. I know not when liberty gained more than by the 
abolition of the court of wards. JOHNSON. 

sc. /. KING HENRY VI. J39 

* To raise my state to title of a queen, 

* Do me but right, and you must all confess 

* That I was not ignoble of descent, 9 

* And meaner than myself have had like fortune. 

* But as this title honours me and mine, 

* So your dislikes, to whom I would be pleasing, 

* Do cloud my joys with danger and with sorrow. 

6 K. EDW. My love, forbear to fawn upon their 
frowns : l 

* What danger, or what sorrow can befall thee, 

* So long as Edward is thy constant friend, 

c And their true sovereign, whom they must obey? 
' Nay, whom they shall obey, and love thee too, 
6 Unless they seek for hatred at my hands : 
e Which if they do, yet will I keep thee safe, 
c And they shall feel the vengeance of my wrath. 

* GLO. I hear, yet say not much, but think the 
more. [Aside. 

Enter a Messenger. 

* K. EDW. Now, messenger, what letters, or what 

From France ? 

9 1 was not ignoble of descent,"] Her father was Sir 

Richard Widville, Knight, afterwards Earl of Rivers ; her mo- 
ther, Jaqueline, Duchess Dowager of Bedford, who was daugh- 
ter to Peter of Luxemburgh, Earl of Saint Paul, and widow of 
John Duke of Bedford, brother to King Henry V. MA&ONE. 

1 My love, forbear &c.] Instead of this and the following 
upeech, the old play has only these lines : 

" Ed'w, Forbear, my love, to fawne upon their frowns, 
" For thee they must obey, nay, shall obey, 
" And if they look for favour at my hands. 

" Mont. My lord, here is the messenger return'd from 
Fraunce." MAI.ONE. 


* MESS. My sovereign liege, no letters ; and few 


' But such as I, without your special pardon, 
Dare not relate. 

' K. EDW. Go to, we pardon thee : therefore, in 

' Tell me their words as near as thou canst guess 

c What answer makes king Lewis unto our letters ? 

MESS. At my depart, these were his very words ; 
Go tell false Edward, thy supposed king, 
That Lewis of France is sending over maskers, 
To revel it with him and his new bride. 

K. EDW. Is Lewis so brave ? belike, he thinks 

me Henry. 
6 But what said lady Bona to my marriage ? 2 

MESS. These were her words, utter' d with mild 

disdain ; 

Tell him, in hope he'll prove a widower shortly, 
I'll wear the willow garland for his sake. 

K. EDW. I blame not her, she could say little 


c She had the wrong. But what said Henry's queen? 
6 For I have heard, that she was there in place. 3 

MESS. Tell him, quoth she, my mourning weeds 

are done, 1 " 
And I am ready to put armour on. 

* to my marriage f] The quartos read 
to these wrongs." STEEVENS. 

3 she tuas there in place.] This expression, signifying, she 

was there present, occurs frequently in old English writers. 


En place, a Gallicism. STEEVENS. 

4 are done,] i. e. are consumed, thrown off. The word 

ac. i. KING HENRY VI. 141 

' K. EDW. Belike, she minds to play the Amazon. 
But what said Warwick to these injuries ? 

' MESS. He, more incens'd against your majesty 
' Than all the rest, discharg'd me with these words j 
Tell him from me, that he hath done me wrong, 
And therefore I'll uncrown him, ere't be long. 

K. EDW. Ha ! durst the traitor breathe out so 

proud words ? 

' Well, I will arm me, being thus forewarn* d : 
' They shall have wars, and pay for their presump- 
6 But say, is Warwick friends with Margaret ? 

MESS. Ay, gracious sovereign ; they are so link'd 

in friendship, 

4 That young prince Edward marries Warwick's 

CLAR. Belike, the elder ; Clarence will have the 
younger. 5 

* Now, brother king, farewell, and sit you fast, 

* For I will hence to Warwick's other daughter ; 

* That, though I want a kingdom, yet in marriage 

is often used in this sense by the writers of our author's age. 

So, in his Rape of Lucrece : 

" And if possess'd, as soon decay'd and done 

" As is the morning's silver-melting dew." MALOKE. 

3 Belike, the elder; Clarence tvill have the younger.] I have 
ventured to make elder and younger change places in this line 
against the authority of all the printed copies. The reason of it 
will be obvious. THEOBALD. 

Clarence having in fact married Isabella, the elder daughter 
of Warwick, Mr. Theobald made elder and younger change 
places in this line ; in which he has been followed, I think, im- 
properly, by the subsequent editors : The author of the old play, 
where this line is found, might from ignorance or intentionally 
have deviated from history, in his account of the person whom 
Clarence married. See a former note, p. 131, n. 4. MALONE. 


* I may not prove inferior to yourself. 
You, tnat love me and Warwick, follow me. 6 

[Exit CLARENCE, and SOMERSET follows. 
* GLO. Not 1 : 7 

* My thoughts aim at a further matter ; I 

* Stay not for love of Edward, but the crown. 


K. EDW. Clarence and Somerset both gone to 
"Warwick ! 

* Yet am I arm'd against the worst can happen ; 

* And haste is needful in this desperate case. 

6 you, that love me and Warwick, follow me."] That Clarence 
should make this speech in the King's hearing is very improba- 
ble, yet I do not see how it can be palliated. The King never 
goes out, nor can Clarence be talking to a company apart, for he 
answers immediately to that which the Post says to the King. 


When the Earl of Essex attempted to raise a rebellion in the 
city, with a design, as was supposed, to storm the Queen's 
palace, he ran about the streets with his sword drawn, crying 
out, " They that love me, follow me." STEEVENS. 

Clarence certainly speaks in the hearing of the King, who im- 
mediately after his brother has retired, exclaims, that he is gone 
to join with Warwick. 

This line is in the old quarto play. One nearly resembling it 
is likewise found in The Battle of Alcazar, 1594 : 
" Myself will lead the way, 

" And make a passage with my conquering sword, 
" Knee-deep in blood of these accursed Moors 
" And they that love my honour, follow me." 
So also, in our author's King Richard III: 

" The rest that love me, rise, and follow me." 


7 Glo. Nat I:~] After Clarence goes out, we have ia the old 
play the following dialogue ; part of which Shakspeare rejected, 
and transposed the rest : 

" Edw. Clarence and Somerset fled to Warwick ! 
" What say you, brother Richard, will you stand t< 
us?" &c. MALONE. 

,JSee note 9, in the following page. STEEVENS. 

sc. r. KING HENRY VI. 143 

* Pembroke, and Stafford, 8 you in our behalf 
' Go levy men, and make prepare for war ; 

4 They are already, or quickly will be landed : 
' Myself in person will straight follow you. 

' But, ere I go, Hastings, and Montague, 
e Resolve my doubt. You twain, of all the rest, 
' Are near to Warwick, by blood, and by alliance: 

* Tell me, if you love Warwick more than me ? 
c If it be so, then both depart to him ; 

c I rather wish you foes, than hollow friends ; 
' But if you mind to hold your true obedience, 
e Give me assurance with some friendly vow, 

* That I may never have you in suspect. 

MONT. So Godhelp Montague, as he proves true! 

HAST. And Hastings, as he favours Edward's 
cause ! 

* K. EDW. Now, brother Richard, will you stand 
by us ? 

GLO. Ay, in despite of all that shall withstand 
you. 9 

* Pembroke, and Stafford, &c.] The quartos give the passage 

" Pembroke, go raise an army presently ; 

" Pitch up my tent ; for in the field this night 

" I mean to rest ; and, on the morrow morn, 

" I'll march to meet proud Warwick, ere he land 

" Those straggling troops which he hath got in France. 

" But ere I go, Montague and Hastings, you 

" Of all the rest are nearest allied in blood 

" To Warwick ; therefore tell me if you favour 

" Him more than me, or not ; speak truly, for 

" I had rather have you open enemies 

" Than hollow friends." STEEVENS. 

9 Ay, in despite of all that shall withstand you.~\ The quartos 
continue the speech thus : 


' K. EDW. Why so ; then am I sure of victory. 
e Now therefore let us hence ; and lose no hour, 
e Till we meet Warwick with his foreign power. 



A Plain in Warwickshire. 

Enter WARWICK and OXFORD, with French and 
other Forces. 

WAR. Trust me, my lord, all hitherto goes well ; 
The common people by numbers swarm to us. 


But, see, where Somerset and Clarence come ; 
Speak suddenly, my lords, are we all friends ? 
CLAR. Fear not that, my lord. 

WAR. Then, gentle Clarence, welcome unto 

Warwick ; 

And welcome, Somerset : I hold it cowardice, 
To rest mistrustful where a noble heart 
Hath pawn'd an open hand in sign of love ; 
Else might I think, thatClarence, Edward's brother, 
Were but a feigned friend to our proceedings : 
But welcome, Clarence; 1 my daughter shall be thine. 

" Ay, my lord, in despight of all that shall withstand you; 
" For why hath nature made me halt downright 
" But that I should be valiant, and stand to it ? 
" For if I would, I cannot run away.'* STEEVENS. 

1 But wekome, Clarence;'] Old copy, redundantly, sweet 
Clarence. STEEVENS. 

sc. ii. KING HENRY VI. 145 

And now what rests, but, in night's coverture, 

Thy brother being carelessly encamp'd, 

His soldiers lurking in the towns about, 2 

And but attended by a simple guard, 

We may surprize and take him at our pleasure ? 

Our scouts have found the adventure very easy: 3 

* That as Ulysses, 4 and stout Diomede, 

* With sleight and manhood stole to Rhesus' tents, 
*And brought from thence the Thracian fatal 

steeds; 5 

* So we, well cover'd with the night's black mantle, 

* At unawares may beat down Edward's guard, 

* And seize himself ; I say not slaughter him, 

* For I intend but only to surprize him. 
' You, that will follow me to this attempt, 

* Applaud the name of Henry, with your leader. 

{They all cry, Henry ! 

* His soldiers lurking in the towns about y ~\ Old copies tffwn. 


Dr. Thirlby advised the reading towns here ; the guard in the 
scene immediately following says : 

" but why commands the king, 

" That his chief followers lodge in towns about him ?'* 


8 very easy .-] ere the quartos conclude this speech, 

adding only the following lines : 

" Then cry king Henry with resolved minds, 

" And break we presently into his tent." STEEVENS. 

4 That as Ulysses, &c.] See the tenth book of the Iliad. 
These circumstances, however, were accessible, without refer- 
ence to Homer in the original. STEEVENS. 

* ; the Thracian fatal steeds ;] We are told by some of 
the writers on the Trojan story, that the capture of these horses 
was one of the necessary preliminaries to the fate of Troy. 




Why, then, let's on our way in silent sort : 
For Warwick and his friends, God and Saint 
George ! 6 [Exeunt. 


Edward's Camp, near Warwick. 

Enter certain Watchmen, to guard the King's Tent. 

* I WATCH. Come on, my masters, each man 

take his stand ; 

* The king, by this, is set him down to sleep. 

* 2 WATCH. What, will he not to-bed ? 

* 1 WATCH. Why, no : for he hath made a so- 

lemn vow 

* Never to lie and take his natural rest, 

* Till Warwick, or himself, be quite suppress'd. 

*2 WATCH. To-morrow then, belike, shall be 
the day, 

* If Warwick be so near as men report. 

* 3 WATCH. But say, I pray, what nobleman is 


* That with the king here resteth in his tent ? 

* 1 WATCH. 'Tis the lord Hastings, the king's 

chiefest friend. 

-* and Saint George !~] After the two concluding lines of 
this scene, which in the old play are given not to Warwick but 
to Clarence, we there find the following speeches, which Shak- 
speare has introduced in a subsequent place : 

" War. This is his tent; and see where his guard doth 


" Courage, my soldiers ; now or never. 
" But follow me now, ^nd Edward shall be ours. 
" All. A Warwick, a Warwick !" MALONE. 

sc. m. KING HENRY VI. 147 

* 3 WATCH. O, is it so ? But why commands the 


* That his chief followers lodge in towns about 


* While he himself keepeth in the cold field ? 

* 2 WATCH. 'Tis the more honour, because more 


* 3 WATCH. Ay ; but give me worship and 


* I like it better than a dangerous honour. 7 

* If Warwick knew in what estate he stands, 

* 'Tis to be doubted, he would waken him. 

* 1 WATCH. Unless our halberds did shut up his 


* 2 WATCH. Ay ; wherefore else guard we his 

royal tent, 

* But to defend his person from night-foes ? 

and Forces. 

6 WAR. This is his tent ; and see, where stand his 


c Courage, my masters : honour now, or never ! 
' But follow me, and Edward shall be ours. 

l WATCH. Who goes there ? 

* 2 WATCH. Stay, or thou diest. 

[WARWICK, and the rest, cry all Warwick ! 
Warwick ! and set upon the Guard ; who 
fly, crying Arm ! Arm ! WARWICK, and 
the rs t, following them. 

7 I like it better than a dangerous honour."] This honest 
Watchman's opinion coincides with that of Falstaff. See 
Vol. XI. p. 406. STEEVENS. 

L 2 


The Drum beating, and Trumpets sounding, Re- 
enter WARWICK, and the rest, bringing the King 
out in a Gown, sitting in a Chair : GLOSTER 


SOM. What are they that fly there ? 

* WAR. Richard, and Hastings : let them go, 

here's the duke. 
K. EDW. The duke ! why, Warwick, when we 

parted last, 8 
Thou call'dst me king. 

WAR. Ay, but the case is alter'd : 

6 When you disgraced me in my embassade, 

* Then I degraded you from being king, 
And come now to create you duke of York. 9 
Alas ! how should you govern any kingdom, 
That know not how to use ambassadors ; 
Nor how to be contented with one wife ; 
Nor how to use your brothers brotherly ; 

* Nor how to study for the people's welfare ; 
Nor how to shrowd yourself from enemies ? 

* K. EDW. Yea, brother 1 of Clarence, artthou 

here too ? 

* token tve parted last,3 The word last , which is found 

in the old play, was inadvertently omitted in the folio. 


9 And come now to create you duke of York.] Might we not 
read, with a slight alteration ? 

And come to new-create you duke of York. JOHNSON. 
1 Yea, brother &c.] In the old play this speech consists of 
only these two lines : 

'* Well, Warwick, let fortune do her worst, 
" Edward in mind will bear himself a king.'* 
Henry has made the same declaration in a former scene. 


sc. ///. KING HENRY VI. 149 

* Nay, then I see, that Edward needs must down. 
' Yet, Warwick, in despite of all mischance, 

* Of thee thyself, and all thy complices, 

' Edward will always bear himself as king : 

* Though fortune's malice overthrow my state, 

* My mind exceeds the compass of her wheel. 

WAR. Then, for his mind, be Edward England's 
king : 2 [ Takes off his Crown. 

But Henry now shall wear the English crown, 

* And be true king indeed ; thou but the shadow. 

* My lord of Somerset, at mv request, 

* See that forthwith duke Edward be convey' d 

* Unto my brother, archbishop of York. 

* When I have fought with Pembroke and his fel- 


* I'll follow you, and tell what answer 

6 Lewis, and the lady Bona, send to him : 
Now, for a while, farewell, good duke of York. 

* K. EDW. What fates impose, that men must 

needs abide ; 

* It boots not to resist both wind and tide. 

[Exit King EDWARD, led out; SOMERSET with 

* OXF. What now remains, 3 my lords, for us to 


* But march to London with our soldiers ? 

* Then, for his mind, be Edward England's king .] That is, 
in his mind ; as far as his own mind goes. M. MASON. 

3 What noiv remains, &c.] Instead of this and the following 
speech, the quartos have : 

" Clar. What follows now ? all hitherto goes well. 
" But we must dispatch some letters into France, 


WAR. Ay, that's the first thing that we have to 


* To free king Henry from imprisonment, 
And see him seated in the regal throne. \_Exeunt. 


London. A Room in the Palace. 
Enter Queen ELIZABETH and RIVERS.* 

. Madam, what makes you in this sudden 
change ? 

" To tell the queen of our happy fortune ; 

" And bid her come with speed to join with us. 

" War. Ay, that's the first thing that we have to do, 
" And free king Henry from imprisonment, 
" And see him seated on the regal throne. 
" Come, let's away ; and having past these cares, 
" I'll post to York, and see how Edward fares." 


4 Enter Rivers."] Throughout this scene the quartos vary 

in almost every speech from the folio. The variations, however, 
are hardly such as to deserve notice. STEEVENS. 

They are, however, so marked, as to prove decisively, I think, 
that either Shakspeare wrote two distinct pieces on this subject 
at different periods, or that the play as exhibited in the folio was 
his, and that in quarto the production of a preceding writer. 
Let the second speech of Rivers be read with this view: 

" Whatlosse? ofsomepitchtbattaile against Warwicke? 
" Tush, feare not, fair queene, but cast these cares aside. 
" King Edward's noble mind his honour doth display, 
" And Warwick may lose, though then he got the day." 
See also the speech of Clarence quoted in the last note. 


Would not this prove rather too much, as a similar inference 
might be drawn from the two copies of Romeo and Juliet, in 
1597 and 1599 ? STEEVENS. 

sc. iv. KING HENRY VI. 151 

* Q. ELIZ. Why, brother Rivers, are you yet to 

' What late misfortune is befalTn king Edward ? 

Riv. What, loss of some pitch' d battle against 
Warwick ? 

4 Q. ELIZ. No, but the loss of his own royal per- 

' Riv. Then is my sovereign slain ? 

c Q. ELIZ. Ay, almost slain, for he is taken pri- 
soner ; 

c Either betray' d by falsehood of his guard, 
' Or by his foe surpriz'd at unawares : 
c And, as I further have to understand, 
' Is new committed to the bishop of York, 
' Fell Warwick's brother, and by that our foe. 

* Riv. These news, I must confess, are full of 


: Yet, gracious madam, bear it as you may ; 
6 Warwick may lose, that now hath won the day. 

* Q. ELIZ. Till then, fair hope must hinder life's 


* And I the rather wean me from despair, 

* For love of Edward's offspring in my womb : 

* This is it that makes me bridle passion, 

* And bear with mildness my misfortune's cross ; 

* Ay, ay, for this I draw in many a tear, 

* And stop the rising of blood-sucking sighs, 

* Lest with my sighs or tears I blast or drown 

c King Edward's fruit, true heir to the English 

* Riv. But, madam, where is Warwick then be- 

come ? 

c Q. ELIZ. I am informed, that he comes towards 


* To set the crown once more on Henry's head : 

* Guess thou the rest ; king Edward's friends must 


' But, to prevent the tyrant's violence, 
( (For trust not him that hath once broken faith,) 
' I'll hence forthwith unto the sanctuary, 
' To save at least the heir of Edward's right ; 
6 There shall I rest secure from force, and fraud. 

* Come therefore, let us fly, while we may fly j 

* If Warwick take us, we are sure to die. 



A Park near Middleham 6 Castle in Yorkshire. 

'*o I 

and Others. 

' GLO. Now, my lord Hastings, 7 and sir William 

* Leave off to wonder why I drew you hither, 

* Scene V.~] In new forming these pieces Shakspeare trans- 
posed not only many lines and speeches, but some of the scenes. 
This scene in the original play precedes that which he has made 
the fourth scene of this Act. MALONE. 

6 A Park near Middleham ] Shakspeare follows his autho- 
rity Holinshed, in the representation here given of King Ed- 
ward's capture and imprisonment. But honest Raphael misled 
him, as he himself was misled by his predecessor Hall. The 
whole is untrue : Edward was never in the hands of Warwick. 


7 Now, my lord Hastings, &c.] I shall insert the speech cor- 
responding to this in the old play, as the comparison will show 
the reader in what manner Shakspeare proceeded, where he 

sc. v. KING HENRY VI. 153 

* Into this chiefest thicket of the park. 

6 Thus stands the case : You know, our king, my 


' Is prisoner to the bishop here, at whose hands 
' He hath good usage and great liberty ; 

* And often, but attended with weak guard, 
' Comes hunting this way to disport himself. 

* I have advertised him by secret means, 

c That if about this hour, he make this way, 

' Under the colour of his usual game, 

' He shall here find his friends, with horse and 

' To set him free from his captivity. 

Enter King EDWARD, and a Huntsman. 

* HUNT. This way, my lord; for this way lies the 

' K. EDW. Nay, this way, man j see, where the 

huntsmen stand. 
' Now, brother of Gloster, lord Hastings, and the 

* Stand you thus close, to steal the bishop's deer ? 

merely retouched and expanded what he found in the elder 
drama, without the addition of any new matter : 

" Glo. Lord Hastings and Sir William Stanley, 
" Know that the cause I sent for you is this. 
*' I look my brother with a slender train 
" Should come a hunting in this forest here. 
*' The bishop of York befriends him much, 
" And lets him use his pleasure in the chase. 
** Now I have privily sent him word 
" How I am come with you to rescue him ; 
" And see where the huntsman and he doth come." 



' GLO. Brother, the time and case requireth haste; 
4 Your horse stands ready at the park corner. 

' K. EDW. But whither shall we then ? 

c HAST. To Lynn, my lord ; and ship 8 from 
thence to Flanders. 

e GLO. Well guess' d, believe me ; for that was 
my meaning. 

* K. EDW. Stanley, I will requite thy forward- 


* GLO. But wherefore stay we ? 'tis no time to 


* K. EDW. Huntsman, what say'st thou? wilt thou 

go along ? 

* HUNT. Better do so, than tarry and be hang'd. 

* GLO. Come then, away ; let's have no more 


c K. EDW. Bishop, farewell : shield thee from 

Warwick's frown ; 
And pray that I may repossess the crown. 


* and ship ] The first folio has shipt. The correction 
was made by the editor of the second folio. MALONE. 

sc. vi. KING HENRY VI. 155 


A Room in the Tower. 

Lieutenant of the Tower, and Attendants. 

* K. HEN. Master lieutenant, now that God and 


* Have shaken Edward from the regal seat ; 

* And turn'd my captive state to liberty, 

* My fear to hope, my sorrows unto joys ; 

* At our enlargement what are thy due fees ? 

* LIEU. Subjects may challenge nothing of their 

sovereigns ; 

* But, if an humble prayer may prevail, 

* I then crave pardon of your majesty. 

* K. HEN. For what, lieutenant? for well using 


* Nay, be thou sure, I'll well requite thy kindness, 

* For that it made my imprisonment a pleasure : 

* Ay, such a pleasure as incaged birds 

* Conceive, when, after many moody thoughts, 

* At last, by notes of household harmony, 

* They quite forget their loss of liberty. 

* But, Warwick, after God, thou set'st me free, 

* And chiefly therefore I thank God, and thee ; 

* He was the author, thou the instrument. 

* Therefore, that I may conquer fortune's spite, 

* By living low, where fortune cannot hurt me ; 

* And that the people of this blessed land 


* May not be punish'd with my thwarting stars; 

* Warwick, although my head still wear the crown, 
' I here resign my government to thee, 

6 For thou art fortunate in all thy deeds. 

* WAR. Your grace hath still been fam'd for vir- 

tuous ; 

* And now may seem as wise as virtuous, 

* By spying, and avoiding, fortune's malice, 

* For few men rightly temper with the stars : 9 

* Yet in this one thing let me blame your grace, 

* For choosing me, when Clarence is in place. 1 

* CLAR. No, Warwick, thou art worthy of the 


* To whom the heavens, in thy nativity, 

* Adjudg'd an olive branch, and laurel crown, 

* As likely to be blest in peace, and war ; 

* And therefore I yield thee my free consent. 

* WAR. And I choose Clarence only for protector. 

* K. HEN. Warwick, and Clarence, give me both 

your hands ; 

* Now join your hands, and, with your hands, your 


* That no dissention hinder government : 

* I make you both protectors of this land ; 
e While I myself will lead a private life, 

* And in devotion spend my latter days, 
To sin's rebuke, and my Creator's praise. 

9 fetv men rightly temper vaitk the stars:"] I suppose the 
meaning is, that few men conform their temper to their destiny ; 
which King Henry did, when finding himself unfortunate he 
gave the management of publick affairs to more prosperous hands. 


1 -i in place."] i. e. here present. See p. 140, n. 3. 


1C. vi. KING HENRY VI. 157 

WAR. What answers Clarence to his sovereign's 

* CLAR. That he consents, if Warwick yield con- 


* For on thy fortune I repose myself. 

* WAR. Why then, though loath, yet must I be 

content : 

* We'll yoke together, like a double shadow 

* To Henry's body, and supply his place ; 

* I mean, in bearing weight of government, 

* While he enjoys the honour, and his ease. 

* And, Clarence, now then it is more than needful, 

* Forthwith that Edward be pronounc'd a traitor, 

* And all his lands and goods be confiscate. 2 

CLAR. What else ? and that succession be deter- 

* WAR. Ay, therein Clarence shall not want his 


* K. HEN. But, with the first of all your chief 


* Let me entreat, (for I command no more,) 

* That Margaret your queen, and my son Edward, 

* Be sent for, to return from France with speed : 

* For, till I see them here, by doubtful fear 

* My joy of liberty is half eclips'd. 

1 And all his lands and goods be confiscate."] For the insertion 
of the word be, which the defect of the metre proves to have 
been accidentally omitted in the old copy, I am answerable. 


Mr. Malone's emendation is countenanced by the following 
passage in The Comedy of Errors: 

" Lest that thy goods too soon be confiscate" 

The second folio, however, reads confiscated; and perhaps 
this reading is preferable, because it excludes the disagreeable 
repetition of the auxiliary verb be. STEEVENS. 


CLAR. It shall be done, my sovereign, with all 

* K. HEN. My lord of Somerset, what youth is 

' Of whom you seem to have so tender care ? 

' SOM. My liege, it is young Henry, earl of Rich- 

* K. HEN. Come hither, England's hope : If se- 

cret powers 

\JLays his Hand on his Head. 
* Suggest but truth to my divining thoughts, 
' This pretty lad 3 will prove our country's bliss. 

3 This pretty lad ] He was afterwards Henry VII. a man 
who put an end to the civil war of the two houses, but no other- 
wise remarkable for virtue. Shakspeare knew his trade. Henry 
VII. was grandfather to Queen Elizabeth, and 'the King from 
whom James inherited. JOHNSON. 

Shakspeare only copied this particular, together with many 
others, from Holinshed : " whom when the king had a good 
while beheld, he said to such princes as were with him : Lo, 
surelie this is he, to whom both we and our adversaries, leaving 
the possession of all things, shall hereafter give roome and 
place." P. 678. 

This pretty lad 'mil prove our country* s bliss.~\ Thus the folio. 
The quartos thus : 

" Thou, pretty boy, shalt prove this country's bliss.'* 


Holinshed transcribed this passage almost verbatim from Hall, 
whom the author of the old play, as I conceive, copied. This 
speech originally stood thus : 

" Come hither, pretty lad. If heavenly powers 

" Do aim aright, to my divining soul, 

" Thou, pretty boy, shalt prove this country's bliss; 

" Thy head is made to wear a princely crown ; 

" Thy looks are all replete with majesty : 

" Make much of him, my lords," &c. 

Henry Earl of Richmond was the son of Edmond Earl of 
Richmond, and Margaret, daughter to John the first Duke of 
Somerset. Edmond Earl of Richmond was half-brother to King 
Henry the Sixth, being the son of that King's mother Queen^ 

sc. vi. KING HENRY VI. 

' His looks are full of peaceful majesty ; 

* His head by nature fram'd to wear a crown, 
' His hand to wield a scepter ; and himself 

' Likely, in time, to bless a regal throne. 
Make much of him, my lords ; for this is he, 
Must help you more than you are hurt by me. 

Enter a Messenger. 

* WAR. What news, my friend ? 

* MESS. That Edward is escaped from your bro- 


* And fled, as he hears since, to Burgundy. 

* WAR. Unsavoury news : But how made he 

escape ? 

* MESS. He was convey'd by Richard duke of 


* And the lord Hastings, who attended him 4 

* In secret ambush on the forest side, 

* And from the bishop's huntsmen rescued him; 

* For hunting was his daily exercise. 

* WAR. My brother was too careless of his 


Catharine, by her second husband Owen Teuther or Tudor, who 
was taken prisoner at the battle of Mortimer's Cross, and soon 
afterwards beheaded at Hereford. 

Henry the Seventh, to show his gratitude to Henry the Sixth 
for this early presage in his favour, solicited Pope Julius to 
canonize him as a saint ; but either Henry would not pay the 
money demanded, or, as Bacon supposes, the Pope refused, lest 
" as Henry was reputed in the world abroad but for a simple man, 
the estimation of that kind of honour might be diminished, if 
there were not a distance kept between innocents and saints.'* 


4 attended him ] i. e. waited for him. So, in Co- 


" I am attended at the cypress grove." STEEVENS. 



But let us hence, my sovereign, to provide 
A salve for any sore that may betide. 

[Exeunt King HENRY, WAR. CLAR. Lieut. 
and Attendants. 

* SOM. My lord, I like not of this flight of Ed- 

ward's : 

* For, doubtless, Burgundy will yield him help ; 

* And we shall have more wars, before't be long. 

* As Henry's late presaging prophecy 

* Did glad my heart, with hope of this young Rich- 


* So doth my heart misgive me, in these conflicts 

* What may befall him, to his harm, and ours : 

* Therefore, lord Oxford, to prevent the worst, 

* Forthwith we'll send him hence to Britany, 

* Till storms be past of civil enmity. 

* OXF. Ay ; for, if Edward repossess the crown, 

* 'Tis like, that Richmond with the rest shall down. 

* SOM. It shall be so ; he shall to Britany. 

* Come therefore, let's about it speedily. 



Before York. 


' K. EDW. Now,brother Richard, 6 lord 7 Hastings, 
and the rest ; 

* Scene VII.~\ This scene in the old play precedes that which 
Shakspeare has made the sixth of the present Act. MALONE. 

6 Now, brother Richard, &c.] Instead of this and the three 
following speeches, the quartos read only : 

ac. rn. KING HENRY VI. 161 

* Yet thus far fortune maketh us amends, 

' And says that once more I shall interchange 

' My waned state for Henry's regal crown. 

4 Well have we pass'd, and now repass'd the seas, 

' And brought desired help from Burgundy : 

' What then remains, we being thus arriv'd 

' From Ravenspurg havenbefore the gates of York,* 

* But that we enter, as into our dukedom? 

" Enter Edward and Richard, tvith a troop of Hollanders. 

" Edw. Thus far from Belgia have we past the seas, 
" And march'd from Raunspur-haven unto York: 
" But soft! the gates are shut; I like not this. 

" Rich. Sound up the drum, and call them to thewalls." 


7 lord ] Mr. M. Mason recommends the omission of 

this word. REED. 

lord Hastings, and the rest;~] "Leave out the word lord" 

says one of our author's commentators. If we do not closely 
attend to his phraseology and metre, and should think ourselves 
at liberty to substitute modern phraseology and modern metre, 
almost every line in his plays might be altered. Brother, like 
many similar words, (rather, -whither, either, &c.) is here used 
by Shakspeare, as a monosyllable, and the metre was to his ear 
perfect. MALONE. 

That there is a marked discrimination between ancient and 
modern phraseology, no man will deny; but, surely, ancient 
and modern five-foot verses can have no corresponding difference. 
Where, in general, shall we find more perfect and harmonious 
metre than that of Shakspeare ? His irregular lines are therefore 
justly suspected of having suffered from omission or interpolation. 
As to the latter part of Mr. Malone's note, in which brother 
is said to be used as a monosyllable, valeat quantum valere 
potest. STEEVENS. 

Malone says that brother is to be pronounced as one syllable ; 
but that alone will not be sufficient to complete the metre. We 
must also lay the accent on the last syllable of the word Richarc?, 
and the line must run thus : 

" Now bro'r ftichard, Lord Hastings and the rest.'* 
which would not be very harmonious. M. MASON. 

8 From Ravenspurgh haven before the gates of York,'] We 
may infer from the old quarto (See note 6, in the preceding page,) 


6 GLO. The gates made fast ! Brother, I like not 

* For many men, that stumble at the threshold, 

* Are well foretold that danger lurks within. 

* K. EDW. Tush, man ! abodements must not' 

now affright us : 

* By fair or foul means we must enter in, 

* For hither will our friends repair to us. 

* HAST. My liege, I'll knock once more, to 

summon them. 

Enter ', on the Walls, the Mayor o/*York, and his 

6 MAY. My lords, we were forewarned of your 

' And shut the gates for safety of ourselves ; 

* For now we owe allegiance unto Henry. 

* K. EDW. But, master mayor, if Henry be your 

' Yet Edward, at the least, is duke of York. 

c MAY. True, my good lord ; I know you for no 

* K. EDW. Why, and I challenge nothing but mjr 

dukedom ; 

* As being well content with that alone. 

* GLO. But, when the fox hath once got in his 


* He'll soon find means to make the body follow. 


that Ravenspurgh was occasionally pronounced as a dissyllable 
Raunspurgh. This line will therefore become strictly metrical, 
if we read (adopting an elision common to Shakspeare:) 

" From Ravenspurgh haven 'fore the gates of York." 


sc. ni. KING HENRY VI. 

c HAST. Why, master mayor, why stand you in a 

doubt ? 
Open the gates, we are king Henry's friends. 

' MAY. Ay, say you so ? the gates shall then be 
open'd. [Exeuntfrom above. 

* GLO. A wise stout captain, and persuaded soonl^ 

* HAST. The good old man would fain that all 

were well, 1 

* So 'twere not 'long of him : but, being enter' d, 

* I doubt not, I, but we shall soon persuade 

* Both him, and all his brothers, unto reason. 

Re-enter the Mayor and Two Aldermen, below. 

* K. EDW. So, master mayor : these gates must 

not be shut, 

* But in the night, or in the time of war. 

* What ! fear not, man, but yield me up the keys ; 

[Takes his Keys. 

c For Edward will defend the town, and thee, 
' And all those friends that deign to follow me. 

Drum. Enter MONTGOMERY, and Forces, march- 


GLO. Brother, this is sir John Montgomery, 
Our trusty friend, unless I be deceiv'd. 

* K. EDW. Welcome, sir John ! But why come 

you in arms ? 

9 ' persuaded soon !] Old copy soon persuaded. This 
transposition, which requires no apology, was made by Sir T. 
Hanmer. STEEVENS. 

The good old man ixiould fain that all were . well,^ Tha. 
Mayor is willing we should enter, so he may not be blamed. 

M 2 


MONT. To help king Edward in his time of 

As every loyal subject ought to do. 

' K. EDW. Thanks, good Montgomery: But we 

now forget 

' Our title to the crown ; and only claim 
' Our dukedom, till God please to send the rest. 

' MONT. Then fare you well, for I will hence 

again ; 

I came to serve a king, and not a duke. 
' Drummer, strike up, and let us march away. 

[A March begun. 

' K. EDW. Nay, stay, sir John, awhile j and we'll 

' By what safe means the crown may be recovered. 

' MONT. What talk you of debating ? in few 

* If you'll not here proclaim yourself our king, 

* I'll leave you to your fortune ; and be gone, 
To keep them back that come to succour you : 
Why should we fight, if you pretend no title ? 

* GLO. Why, brother, wherefore stand you on nice 

points ? 

* K. EDW. When we grow stronger, then we'll 

make our claim : 

* Till then, 'tis wisdom to conceal our meaning. 

* HAST. Away with scrupulous wit ! now arms 

must rule. 

* GLO. And fearless minds climb soonest unto 


* Brother, we will proclaim you out of hand ; 

* The bruit 2 thereof will bring you many friends. 

* The bruit ] i. e. noise, report. So, in Preston's Cam- 
Uses : 

sc. rn. KING HENRY VI. 165 

* K. EDW. Then be it as you will ; for 'tis my 


* And Henry but usurps the diadem. 

MONT. Ay, now my sovereign speaketh like him- 
And now will I be Edward's champion. 

HAST. Sound, trumpet ; Edward shall be here 
proclaimed : 

* Come, fellow-soldier, make thou proclamation. 

[Gives him a Paper. Flourish. 

SOLD. [Reads.] Edward the fourth, by the grace 
of God, king of England and France, and lord of 
Ireland, &c. 

MONT. And whosoe'er gainsays king Edward's 

By this I challenge him to single fight. 

[Throws down his Gauntlet. 

ALL. Long live Edward the fourth ! 

* K. EDW. Thanks, brave Montgomery j and 

thanks unto you all, 3 

" whose manly acts do fly 

" By bruit of fame." 

See Vol. X. p. 287, n. 1. STEEVENS. 

This French word bruit was very early made a denizen of our 
language. Tims in the Bible : " Behold the noise of the bruit 
is come.'* Jeremiah, x. 22. WHALLEY. 

The word bruit is found in Bullokar's English Expositor, 8vo. 
1616, and is defined " A reporte spread abroad." MALONE. 

* Thanks, brave Montgomery; and thanks uno you alL~\ 
Surely we ought to read : 

" Thanks, brave Montgomery; and thanks to all." 
Instead of this speech, the quartos have only the following : 
" Edw. We thank you all: lord mayor, lead on the 


" For this night we will harbour here in York; 
" And then as early as the morning sun 


If fortune gerve me, Til requite this kindness. 
Now, for this night, let's harbour here in York : 
And, when the morning sun shall raise his car 
Above the border of this horizon, 
We'll forward towards Warwick, and his mates ; 

* For, well I wot, that Henry is no soldier. 

* Ah, froward Clarence ! how evil it beseems thee, 

* To flatter Henry, and forsake thy brother ! 

* Yet, as we may, we'll meet both thee and War- 


* Come on, brave soldiers; doubt not of the day; 

* And, that once gotten, doubt not of large pay. 


London. A Room in the Palace. 


WAR. What counsel, lords ? Edward from Bel- 

ermans, and blunt Hollanders, 

'* Lifts up his beams above this horizon, 

" We'll march to London to meet with Warwick, 

" And pull false Henry from the regal throne." 


4 Scene VIII.'] This scene is, perhaps, the worst contrived of 
^ny in these plays. Warwick has but just gone off the stage 
when Edward says : 

** And towards Coventry bend we our course, 
" Where peremptory Warwick now remains." 


This scene in the original play follows immediately after 
Henry's observation on young Richmond, which is in the sixth 
scene of the present play. MALONE. 

sc. vm. KING HENRY VI. 167 

Hath pass'd in safety through the narrow seas, 
And with his troops doth march amain to London ; 
' And many giddy people flock to him. 

* OXF. Let's levy men, and beat him back again.* 

CLAR. A little fire is quickly trodden out ; 
Which, being suffer'd, rivers cannot quench. 

WAR. In Warwickshire I have true-hearted 


Not mutinous in peace, yet bold in war ; 
Those will I muster up : and thou, son Clarence, 
' Shalt stir, in Suffolk, 6 Norfolk, and in Kent, 

s Let's levy men, and beat him back again.~\ This line ex- 
presses a spirit of war so unsuitable to the character of Henry, 
that I would give the first cold speech to the King, and the brisk 
answer to Warwick. This line is not in the old quarto ; and 
when Henry said nothing, the first speech might be as properly 
given to Warwick as to any other.. JOHNSON. 

Every judicious reader must concur in Dr. Johnson's opinion, 
as far as it relates to the second of these two speeches. 


This line is given in the folio to the King, to whom it is so un- 
suitable, that I have no doubt it was merely a printer's error. 
I have not, however, assigned it to Warwick, and the preceding 
speech to Henry, as Dr. Johnson proposes, because it appears to 
me safer to take the old play as a guide ; in which, as in Shak- 
speare's piece, the first speech is attributed to Warwick. The 
second speech is given to Oxford, and stands thus : 

" Oxf. 'Tis best to look to this betimes ; 
" For if this fire do kindle any further 
" It will be hard for us to quench it out." 

Shakspeare, in new-modelling this scene, probably divided 
this speech between Oxford and Clarence, substituting the line 
before us in the room of the words " 'Tis best to look to this 
betimes." I have therefore given this line to Oxford. It might 
with equal, or perhaps with more propriety, be assigned to War- 
wick's brother, Montague. MALONB. 

6 Shalt stir, in Suffolk, &c.] The old copy stir up. But the 
omission of the adverb, which hurts the metre, is justified by the 
following passages in King John, &c. 



* The knights and gentlemen to come with thee: 
' Thou, brother Montague, in Buckingham, 

6 Northampton, and in Leicestershire, shalt find 

* Menwellinclin'dtohearwhatthoucommand'st: 
And thou, brave Oxford, wondrous well belov'd, 
In Oxfordshire shalt muster up thy friends. 
My sovereign, with the loving citizens, 

* Like to his island, girt in with the ocean, 

* Or modest Dian, circled with her nymphs, 
Shall rest in London, till we come to him. 
Fair lords, take leave, and stand not to reply. 
Farewell, my sovereign. 

K. HEN. Farewell, my Hector, and my Troy's 
true hope. 7 

* CLAR. In sign of truth, I kiss your highness' 


* K. HEN. Well-minded Clarence, be thou for- 

tunate ! 

" I'll stir them to it : Come, away, away!" 
Again, ibid: 

" An Ate stirring him to war and strife." 
Again, in King Lear: 

" If it be you that stir these daughters' hearts 

" Against their father, " STEEVENS. 

7 my Hector, and my Troy's true hope.~\ This line having 

probably made an impression on our author, when he read over 
the old play, he has- applied the very same expression to the Duke 
of York, where his overthrow at Wakefield is described, and 
yet suffered the line to stand here as he found it: 
" Environed he was with many foes, 
*' And stood against them, as the hope of Troy 
" Against the Greeks." 

The two latter lines, as the reader may find in p. 50, were 
new, no trace of them being there found in the old play. Many 
similar repetitions may be observed in this Third Part of King 
Henry VI. from the same cause. MALONE. 

ac. vm. KING HENRY VI. 169 

* MONT. Comfort, my lord ; and so I take my 


* OXF. And thus [Kissing HENRY'S hand.'] I seal 

my truth, and bid adieu. 

* K. HEN. Sweet Oxford, and my loving Mon- 


* And all at once, once more a happy farewell. 

WAR. Farewell, sweet lords j let's meet at Co- 
[Ebeunt WAR. CLAR. OXF. and MONT. 

* K. HEN. Here at the palace will I rest a while. 

* Cousin of Exeter, what thinks your lordship ? 

* Methinks, the power, that Edward hath in field, 

* Should not be able to encounter mine. 

* EXE. The doubt is, that he will seduce the rest. 

* K. HEN. That's not my fear, my meed hath 

got me fame. 8 

* I have not stopp'd mine ears to their demands, 

* Nor posted off their suits with slow delays ; 

* My pity hath been balm to heal their wounds, 

* My mildness hath allay' d their swelling griefs, 

* My mercy dry'd their water-flowing tears : 

* my meed hat h got me fame."] Meed signifies reward. 

We should read my deed; i. e. my manners, conduct in the 
administration. WARBURTON. 

This word signifies merit, both as a verb and a substantive : 
that it is used as a verb, is clear from the following foolish cou- 
plet which I remember to have read : 
" Deem if I meed, 
" Dear madam, read." 

A Specimen of Verses that read the same way backward 
andjbrward. SIR J. HAWKINS. 

Meed here means merit, as it did in a former passage, [p. 4-9, 
n. 6.] when Edward says of himself and his brothers : 

" Each one already blazing by our meeds." M. MASON. 

170 tl THIRD PART OF ACT ir. 

* I have not been desirous of their wealth, 

* Nor much oppressed them with great subsidies, 

* Nor forward of revenge, though they much err'dj 

* Then why should they love Edward more than 


* No, Exeter, these graces challenge grace : 

* And, when the lion fawns upon the lamb, 

* The lamb will never cease to follow him. 

[Shout within. A Lancaster ! 9 A Lancaster ! 

EXE. Hark, hark, my lord! what shouts are 
these ? 

Enter King EDWARD, GLOSTER, and Soldiers. 

' K. EDW. Seize on the shame-fac'd Henry, bear 

him hence, 
'And once again proclaim us king of England. 

* You are the fount, that makes small brooks to 


* Now stops thy spring ; my sea shall suck them 


* And swell so much the higher by their ebb. 

* Hence with him to the Tower ; let him not speak. 

[Exeunt some with King HENRY. 
' And, lords, to wards Coventry bend we our course, 

* Where peremptory Warwick now remains :* 

9 Shout within. A Lancaster !] Surely the shouts that ilshered 
King Edward should be, A York ! A York ! I suppose the au- 
thor did not write the marginal directions, and the players con- 
founded the characters. JOHNSON. 

We may suppose the shouts to have come from some of 
Henry's guard, on the appearance of Edward. MALONE. 

1 And, lords, towards Coventry bend we our course, 

Where peremptory Warwick now remains,''] Warwick, as 
Mr. M. Mason has observed, [p. 166, n. 4-.] has but just left the 
stage, declaring his intention to go to Coventry. How then 

sc. rm. KING HENRY VI. 171 

' The sun shines hot, 2 and, if we use delay, 

* Cold biting winter mars our hop'd-for hay. 

* GLO. Away betimes, before his forces join, 

* And take the great-grown traitor unawares : 

* Brave warriors, march amain towards Coventry. 


could Edward know of that intention ? Our author was led into 
this impropriety by the old play, where also Edward says : 
" And now towards Coventry let's bend our course, 
" To meet with Warwick and his confederates." 
Some of our old writers seem to have thought, that all the 
persons of the drama must know whatever was known to the wri- 
ters themselves, or to the audience. MALONE. 

* The sun shines hot, &c.] These lines are formed on two 
others which are found in the old play in a subsequent scene in 
the next Act, being spoken by Edward, after the battle of Bar- 
net, and just before he sets out for Tewksbury. 
" ' Come, let us go ; 

" For if we slack this fair bright summers day, 
" Sharp winters showers will mar our hope, for haie." 
I suspect, Aaz'e was inadvertently written in the manuscript in- 
stead of aye, and that Shakspeare was thus led to introduce an 
idea different from that intended to be conveyed by the original 
author. MALONE. 

The old reading is undoubtedly the true one ; the allusion 
being to a well-known proverb " Make hay while the sun 
shines." See Ray's Collection, edit. 1768, p. 117. STEEVENS. 



Enter, upon the Walls, WARWICK, the Mayor of 
Coventry, Two Messengers, and Others. 

WAR. Where is the post, that came from valiant 

How far hence is thy lord, mine honest fellow ? 

c 1 MESS. By this at Dunsmore, 3 marching hi- 

WAR. How far off is our brother Montague ? 
Where is the post that came from Montague ? 

* 2 MESS. By this at Daintry, 4 with a puissant 



1 WAR. Say, Somerville, what says my loving son? 
' And, by the guess, how nigh is Clarence now ? 

' SOM. At Southam I did leave him with his 


* And do expect him here some two hours hence. 

\_Drwn heard. 

6 WAR. Then Clarence is at hand, I hear his drum. 

* SOM. It is not his, my lord ; here Southam lies ; 

* at Dunsmore,] The quartos read at Daintry: i.e. 

Daventry. STEEVENS. 

* at Daintry,'] The quartos read at Dunsmore. 


sc. I. KING HENRY VI. 173 

* The drum your honour hears, marcheth from 


* WAR. Who should that be ? belike, unlook'd- 

for friends. 

* SOM. They are at hand, and you shall quickly 


Drums. Enter King EDWARD, GLOSTER, and 
Forces, marching. 

* K. EDW. Go, trumpet, to the walls, and sound 

a parle. 

* GLO. See, how the surly Warwick mans the wall. 

WAR. O, unbid spite! is sportful Edward come ? 
Where slept our scouts, 5 or how are they seduc'd, 
That we could hear no news of his repair ? 

* K. EDW. Now, Warwick, wilt thou ope the 

city gates, 
' Speak gentle words, and humbly bendthy knee? 

* Call Edward king, and at his hands beg mercy, 

* And he shall pardon thee these outrages. 

' WAR. Nay, rather, wilt thou draw thy forces 


Confess who set thee up and pluck'd thee down? 
Call Warwick patron, and be penitent, 
And thou shalt still remain the duke of York. 

GLO. I thought, at least, he would have said 

the king ; 
Or did he make the jest against his will ? 

* WAR. Is not a dukedom, sir, a goodly gift ? 

* GLO. Ay, by my faith, for a poor earl to give; 

* Where slept our scouts f] So, in King John : 
" O, where hath our intelligence been drunk ? 
" Where hath it slept?" STEKVENS. 


* I'll do thee service 6 for so good a gift. 

* WAR. 'Twas I, that gave the kingdom to thy 


K. EDW. Why, then 'tis mine, if but by War- 
wick's gift. 

6 WAR. Thou art no Atlas for so great a weight : 
And, weakling, Warwick takes his gift again ; 
And Henry is my king, Warwick his subject. 

* K. EDW. But Warwick's king is Edward's pri- 

soner : 

* And, gallant Warwick, do but answer this, 
What is the body, when the head is off? 

' GLO. Alas, that Warwick had no more fore- 

But, whiles he thought to steal the single ten, 
' The king was slily finger' d from the deck ! 7 

6 Pll do thee service ] i. e. enroll myself among thy depen- 
dants. Cowell informs us, that servitium is '* that service which 
the tenant, by reason of his fee, oweth unto his lord." 


7 The king "was slily finger* d from Bedeck!] The quartos 
read -finely finger'd. 

Finely is subtly. So, in Holinshed's reign of King Henry VI. 
p. 640: " In his way he tooke by fine force, a tower," &c. 
Again, p. 649, " and byjine force either to win their pur- 
pose, or end their lives in the same." 

A pack of cards was anciently termed a deck of cards, or a pair 
of cards. It is still, as I am informed, so called in Ireland. Thus, 
in King Edward I. 1599 : " as it were, turned us, with duces 
and trays, out of the deck" 

Again, in The Two Maids of Moreclacke, 1609: 

*' I'll deal the cards and cut you from the deck." 
Again, in Selimus, Emperor of the Turks, 1594 : 

" Well, if I chance but once to get the deck, 

" To deal about and shuffle as I would." STEEVENS. 

An instance of a pack of cards being called a deck, occurs in 
the sessions paper, for January, 1788. So that the term appears 
to be still in use. RITSON. 

sc. i. KING HENRY VI. 

You left poor Henry at the bishop's palace, 8 
And, ten to one, you'll meet him in the Tower. 

K.EDW. 'Tisevensoj yet you are Warwick still. 9 

* GLO. Come, Warwick, take the time, 1 kneel 

down, kneel down : 

* Nay, when ? 3 strike now, or else the iron coolg. 

* WAR. I had rather chop this hand off at a 


* And with the other fling it at thy face, 

* Than bear so low a sail, to strike to thee. 

* K. EDW. Sail how thou canst, have wind and 

tide thy friend ; 

* This hand, fast wound about thy coal-black hair, 

* Shall, whiles the head is warm, and new cut off, 

* Write in the dust this sentence with thy blood, 

* Wind-changing Warwick now can change no more. 

Enter OXFORD, with Drum and Colours. 

* WAR. O cheerful colours ! see, where Oxford 
comes ! 

OXF. Oxford, Oxford, for Lancaster ! 

[OXFORD and his Forces enter the City. 

* the bishop* s palace,"] The palace of the bishop of Lon- 
don. MALONE. 

9 yet you are Warwick still.~] Thus the folio. The old 
play reads and yet you are ould Warwick still. MALONE. 

1 take the tlme^\ So, in Macbeth : 

" but we'll take to-morrow." 

An expression which Mr. Malone would change for" talk 
to-morrow." See Vol. X. p. 145, n. 6. STEEVENS. 

* Nay, when ?] This exclamation, expressive of impatience, 
has already occurred in King Richard II. See Vol. XI. p. 12, 
n. 5. STKBVBNS. 


c GLO. The gates are open, let us enter too. 3 

' K. EDW. So other foes may set upon our backs. 

* Stand we in good array ; for they, no doubt, 

* Will issue out again, and bid us battle : 

c If not, the city, being but of small defence, 
' We'll quickly rouse the traitors in the same. 

WAR. O, welcome, Oxford! for we want thy help. 

Enter MONTAGUE, with Drum and Colours. 

MONT. Montague, Montague, for Lancaster ! 
\_He and his Forces enter the City. 

6 GLO. Thou and thy brother both shall buy this 

* Even with the dearest blood your bodies bear. 

* K. EDW. The harder match'd, the greater 
victory ; 

* My mind presageth happy gain, and conquest. 

Enter SOMERSET, with Drum and Colours. 

SOM. Somerset, Somerset, for Lancaster ! 

\JIe and his Forces enter the City. 

GLO. Two of thy name, both dukes of Somerset, 
Have sold their lives unto the house of York ; 4 
And thou shalt be the third, if this sword hold. 

3 The gates are open, let us enter too.~\ Thus the folio. The 
quartos read : 

" The gates are open, see, they enter in ; 
" Let's follow them, and bid them battle in the streets. 
" Ediv. No : so some other might set upon our backs, 
" We'll stay till all be enter'd, and then follow them." 


4 Two of thy name, both dukes of Somerset, 

Have sold their lives unto the house of York;'] The firgt of 

sc. /. KING HENRY VL 177 

Enter CLARENCE, with Drum and Colours. 

WAR. And lo, where George of Clarence sweeps 

Of force enough to bid his brother battle j 5 

* With whom an upright zeal to right prevails, 

* More than the nature of a brother's love : 

* Come, Clarence, come ; thou wilt, if Warwick 


CLAR. Father of Warwick, know you what this 
means ? 
[Taking the red Rose out of his Cap. 6 

these noblemen was Edmund, slain at the battle of Saint Alban's, 
1455. See Vol. XIII. p. 389. The second was Henry his son, be- 
headed after the battle of Hexham, 1463. The present duke 
Edmund, brother to Henry, was taken prisoner at Tewksbury, 
147.1, and there beheaded, (infra, sc. v.) his brother John losing 
his life in the same fight. RITSON. 

s to bid his brother battle ;] Here the quartos conclude 

this speech, and add the following : 

** Clar. Clarence, Clarence, for Lancaster ! 
" Edw. Et tu brute ! wilt thou stab Caesar too ? 
" A parly, sirra, to George of Clarence." 
To bid battle is a phrase that often occurs in ancient writers. 
Thus, in the Batrachomuomachia of Homer, as translated by 
Chapman : 

" O frogs ! the mice send threats to you of arms, 
" And bid me bid you battle" STEEVENS. 

This line of the old play, Et tu Brute ! &c. is found also in 
Acolastus his Afterwitte, a poem by S. Nicholson, 1600 ; and 
the Latin words, though not retained here, were afterwards 
transplanted by Shakspeare into his Julius Casar, Act III. 


6 Taking the red Rose out of his Cap.~\ This note of direc- 
tion I restored from the old quarto. And without it , it is im- 
possible that any reader can guess at the meaning of this line of 
Clarence : 

Look, here, I throw my infamy at thee. THEOBALD. 



* Look here, I throw my infamy at thee : 
I will not ruinate my father's house, 

Who gave his blood to lime the stones 7 together, 

* And set up Lancaster. Why, trow'st thou, War- 

6 That Clarence is so harsh, so blunt, unnatural, 8 

* To bend the fatal instruments of war 

* Against his brother, and his lawful king ? 9 

* Perhaps, thou wilt object my holy oath : 

* To keep that oath, were more impiety 

* Than Jephtha's, 1 when he sacrific'd his daughter. 

* I am so sorry for my trespass made, 

* That, to deserve well at my brother's hands, 

* I here proclaim myself thy mortal foe ; 

* With resolution, wheresoe'er I meet thee, 

* (As I will meet thee, if thou stir abroad,) 

* To plague thee for thy foul misleading me* 
And so, proud-hearted Warwick, I defy thee, 
And to my brother turn my blushing cheeks. 

* Pardon me, Edward, I will make amends j 

7 to lime the stones ] That is, to cement the stones. 

Lime makes mortar. JOHNSON. 

8 That Clarence is so harsh, so blunt, unnatural,'] This line 
(too long by a foot) was, in my opinion, interpolated by the 
players, who appear the sworn enemies of an ellipsis. Omit the 
words That and is, and no want of them will be felt by such 
readers as are well acquainted with ancient language, Why, 
conceivest thou, Warwick, Clarence so harsh, &c. ? 


so blunt,"] Stupid, insensible of paternal fondness. 


' To bend the fatal instruments of war 

Against his brother, and his latyful king?"] Thus the folio. 
The old play thus : 

" To lift his sword against his brother's life." 


1 Jephtha's, &c.} See the book of Judges, xi. 30. 


sc. i. KING HENRY VI. 

* And, Richard, do not frown upon my faults, 
c For "I will henceforth be no more unconstant. 

' K. EDW. Now welcome more, and ten times 

more belov'd, 
Than if thou never hadst deserv'd our hate. 

6 GLO. Welcome, good Clarence j this is brother- 

WAR. O passing traitor, 2 perjur'd, and unjust 1 

K. EDW. What, Warwick, wilt thou leave the 

town, and fight ? 
Or shall we beat the stones about thine ears ? 

* WAR. Alas, I am not coop'd here for defence : 
I will away towards Barnet presently, 
And bid thee battle, Edward, if thou dar'st. 

K. EDW. Yes, Warwick, Edward dares, and leads 

the way : 
Lords, to the field j Saint George, and victory. 

[March. Exeunt. 

* passing traitor,"] Eminent, egregious ; traitorous be- 
yond the common track of treason. JOHNSON. 

So, in Othello : 

" 'twas strange, 'twas passing strange." 



A Field ofBattk near Barnet. 

Alarums, and Excursions. Enter King] EDWARD, 
bringing in WARWICK wounded. 

* K. EDW. So, lie thou there : die thou, and die 
our fear ; 

* For Warwick was a bug, that fear'd us all. 3 

* Now, Montague, sit fast j I seek for thee, 

* That Warwick's bones may keep thine company. 


WAR. Ah, who is nigh ? come to me, friend, or 


And tell me, who is victor, York, or Warwick ? 
Why ask I that ? my mangled body shows, 

* My blood, my want of strength, my sick heart 


That I must yield my body to the earth, 
And, by my fall, the conquest to my foe. 
Thus yields the cedar to the axe's edge, 

- a bug, that fear'd its all."} Bug is a bugbear, a terri- 
fick being. JOHNSON. 

So, in Cymbeline : 

" are become 

" The mortal bugs of the field." 

Again, in Stephen Gosson's Schoole of Abuse, 1579 : " These 
bugs are fitter to fear babes than to move men." STEEVENS. 

to fear in old language frequently signifies, to terrify. 


So, in The Merchant of Venice : 

" I tell thee, lady, this aspect of mine 
" H&ihfear'd the valiant." STEEVENS. 

sc. n. KING HENRY VI. 181 

Whose arms 4 gave shelter to the princely eagle, 
Under whose shade the ramping lion slept ; 5 
Whose top-branch overpeer'd Jove's spreading tree, 

* And kept low shrubs from winter's powerful wind. 

* These eyes, that now are dimm'd with death's 

black veil, 

* Have been as piercing as the mid-day sun, 

* To search the secret treasons of the world : 
The wrinkles in my brows, now fill'd with blood, 
Were liken'd oft to kingly sepulchres ; 

For who liv'd king, but I could dig his grave ? 
And who durst smile, when Warwick bent his brow ? 
Lo, now my glory smear 'd in dust and blood I 
My parks, 6 my walks, my manors that I had, 
Even now forsake me ; and, of all my lands, 
Is nothing left me, but my body's length ! 7 

4 Thus yields the cedar to the axe's edge, 
Whose arms &c.] It were better to read 
Thus to the axe's edge the cedar yields, 
Whose arms &c. 

Otherwise, Whose arms will refer to the axe instead of the 
cedar. STEEVENS. 

* Thus yields the cedar to the axe's edge. 
Whose arms gave shelter to the princely eagle, 
Under whose shade the ramping lion slept ; &c.~] It has been 
observed to me, that the 3 1st chapter of the prophet Ezekiel sug- 
gested these images to Shakspeare. " All the fowls of heaven 
made their nests in his boughs, and under his branches did all 
the beasts of the field bring forth their young.'* STEEVENS. 

6 My parks, &c.] 

Cedes coemptis saltibus, et domo, 
Villdque. Hor. 

This mention of his parks and manors diminishes the pathetick 
effect of the foregoing lines. JOHNSON. 

7 and, of all my lands, 

Is nothing left me, but my body's length /] 

" Mors sola fatetur 

" Quantula sint hominum corpuscula." Juv. 
Camden mentions in his Remains, that Constantino, in order 


Why, what is pomp, 8 rule, reign, but earth and 

dust ? 
And, live we how we can, yet die we must. 


* SOM. Ah, Warwick, Warwick ! 9 wert thou as 

we are, 
* We might recover all our loss again ! 

to dissuade a person from covetousness, drew out with his lance 
the length and breadth of a man's grave, adding, " this is all 
thou shalt have when thou art dead, if thou canst happily get so 
much." MALONE. 

8 iuhat is pomp, &c:] This and the following line make 

no part of this speech in the old play; but were transposed by 
Shakspeare from a subsequent speech, addressed by Warwick to 
Somerset. MALONE. 

9 Ak, Warwick, Warwick! &c.] These two speeches stand 
thus in the quartos : 

" Oxf. Ah, Warwick, Warwick ! chear up thyself, 

and live ; 

'* For yet there's hope enough to win the day. 
" Our warlike queen with troops is come from France, 
" And at Southampton landed hath her train ; 
" And, might'st thou live, then would we never fly. 

" War. Why, then I would not fly, nor have I now ; 
" But Hercules himself must yield to odds : 
" For many wounds receiv'd, and many more repaid, 
" Hath robb'd my strong-knit sinews of their strength, 
" And spite of spites needs must I yield to death." 


One of these lines, " But Hercules," &c. Shakspeare has 
transposed and inserted in the Messenger's account of the death 
of the Duke of York. See p. 51. Not being aware of this, 
I inadvertently marked that line as our author's, which I ought 
not to have done. The three following lines have already been 
spoken by Warwick in a former scene (see p. 72,) and there- 
fore were here properly rejected by Shakspeare. MALONE. 

ac f ii. KING HENRY VI. IBS 

' The queen from France hath brought a puissant 
power ; 

* Even now we heard the news: Ah, could'st thou 


* WAR. Why, then I would not fly. Ah, Mon- 

* If thou be there, sweet brother, take my hand, 

* And with thy lips keep in my soul a while ! 

* Thou lov'st me not ; for, brother, if thou didst, 

* Thy tears would wash this cold congealed blood, 

* That glews my lips, and will not let me speak. 

* Come quickly, Montague, or I am dead. 

' SOM. Ah, Warwick, Montague hath breath'd 

his last ; 
' And to the latest gasp, cried out for Warwick, 

* And said Commend me to my valiant brother. 
c And more he would have said; and more bespoke, 
6 Which sounded like a cannon in a vault, 1 

1 Which sounded like a cannon in a vault,"] The old quarto 
reads clamour, which is undoubtedly right, i. e. a clamour of 
tongues, which, as he says, could not be distinguished. This 
was a pertinent similitude : the other absurd, and neither agrees 
with what is predicated of it, nor with what it is intended to il- 
lustrate. WARBURTON. 

Which sounded like a cannon in a vault, 

That might not be distinguished;^ That is, like the noise of a 
cannon in a vault, 'which, &c. Shakspeare's alteration here is 
perhaps not so judicious as many others that he has made. In 
the old-play, instead of cannon, we have clamour, and the speech 
stands thus : 

" Thy brother Montague hath breath'd his last, 
" And at the pangs of death I heard him cry, 
" And say, commend me to my valiant brother ; 
" And more he would have said, and more he said, 
" Which sounded like a clamour in a vault, 
" That could not be distinguish'd for the sound ; 
" And so the valiant Montague gave up the ghost." 


The indistinct gabble of undertakers, while they adjust a cof- 


* That might not be distinguished ; but, at last, 
6 I well might hear delivered with a groan, 
c O, farewell, Warwick ! 

WAR. Sweet rest to his soul I- 

Fly, lords, and save yourselves ; for Warwick bids 
You all farewell, to meet again in heaven. 2 [Dies. 

OXF. Away, away, 3 to meet the queen's great 
power ! 
[Exeunt, bearing (^WARWICK'S Body. 

fin in a family vault, will abundantly illustrate the preceding 
simile. Such a peculiar hubbub of inarticulate sounds, might 
have attracted our author's notice : it has too often forced it- 
self on mine. STEEVENS. 

* to meet again in heaven."] I have supplied the word 

ttgain, for the sake of metre, by the advice of Mr. Ritson, and 
with countenance from the following line in King Richard III : 
" Farewell, until we meet again in heaven." 


3 Away, aiuay, &c,] Instead of this line, the quartos have 
the following : 

" Come, noble Somerset, let's take our horse, 

" And cause retreat be sounded through the camp ; 

" That all our friends remaining yet alive 

" May be forewarn'd, and save themselves by flight. 

" That done, with them we'll post unto the queen, 

'* And once more try our fortune in the field." 


It is unnecessary to repeat here an observation that has al- 
ready been more than once made. I shall therefore only refer 
to former notes. See p. 16, n. 2. MALONE. 

sc. ///. KING HENRY VI. 185 


Another Part of the Field. 

Flourish. Enter King EDWARD in triumph ; with 
CLARENCE, GLOSTER, and the rest. 

' K. EDW. Thus far our fortune keeps an up- 
ward course, 

* And we are grac'd with wreaths of victory. 4 

* But, in the midst of this bright-shining day, 

* I spy a black, suspicious, threat'ning cloud, 

* That will encounter with our glorious sun, 
4 Ere he attain his easeful western bed : 

* I mean, my lords, those powers, 5 that the queen 

4 Thus Jar our fortune keeps an upward course, 

And we are grac'd with wreaths of victory.] Thus the folio. 
The quartos thus : 

" Thus still our fortune gives us victory, 

" And girts our temples with triumphant joys. 

" The big-bon'd traitor Warwick hath breath'd his last, 

** And heaven this day hath smil'd upon us all." 


It is observable, that the expression which Shakspeare had 
substituted for " temples engirt with triumphant joys," occurs 
again in King Richard III : 

" Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths, ." 
Again, in his Rape ofLucrece ; 

" Made glorious by his manly chivalry, 

" With bruised arms, and wreaths of victory." 


* I mean, my lords, those powers, &c.] Thus the folio. 
The old play thus : 

" I meane those powers which the queen hath got in 

" Are landed, and meane once more to menace us." 



* Hath rais'd in Gallia, have arriv'd our coast, 6 

And, as we hear, march on to fight with us. 

* CLAR. A little gale will soon disperse that cloud, 

* And blow it to the source from whence it came : 

* Thy very beams will dry those vapours up ; 

* For every cloud engenders not a storm. 

* GLO. The queen is valu'd thirty thousand 


* And Somerset, with Oxford, fled to her ; 

* If she have time to breathe, be well assur'd. 
Her faction will be full as strong as ours. 

K. EDW. We are advertis'd by our loving friends, 
That they do hold their course toward Tewksbury ; 
' We having now the best at Barnet field, 
e Will thither straight, For willingness rids way ; 
e And, as we march, our strength will be augmented 
In every county as we go along. 
Strike up the drum j cry Courage ! and away. 7 


' have arrived our coast,"] So, in Coriolanus : 

** and now arriving 

" A place of potency, ." 
Again, in Julius Ccesar : 

" But ere we could arrive the point propos'd, ." 
Milton uses the same structure, Paradise Lost t B. II : 

" ere he arrive 

" The happy isle." STEEVENS. 

7 Strike up the drum ; cry Courage ! and anay."] Thus the 
folio. The quartos have the following couplet : 
" Come, let's go ; 

" For if we slack this faire bright summer's day, 
" Sharp winter's showers will mar our hope for haie." 
Something like this has occurred in p. 171. STEEVENS. 

sc. iv. KING HENRY VI. 187 


Plains near Tewksbury. 

March. Enter Queen MARGARET, Prince ED- 
WARD, SOMERSET, OXFORD, and Soldiers. 

* Q. MAR. Great lords, 8 wise men ne'er sit and 
wail their loss, 

* But cheerly seek how to redress their harms. 

* What though the mast be now blown over-board, 

* The cable broke, the holding anchor lost, 

' And half our sailors swallow* d in the flood ? 

* Yet lives our pilot still : Is't meet, that he 

' Should leave the helm, and, like a fearful lad, 

* With tearful eyes add water to the sea, 

8 Great lords, &c.] This speech in the old play stands thus : 

" Queen. Welcome to England, my loving friends of 


" And welcome, Somerset and Oxford too. 
" Once more have we spread our sails abroad ; 
" And though our tackling be almost consumde, 
" And Warwick as our maine-mast overthrowne, 
Yet, warlike lordes, raise you that sturdie post 
That bears the sailes to bring us unto rest. 
And Ned and I, as willing pilots should, 
For once, with careful mindes, guide on the Sterne, 
To beare us through that dangerous gulfe, 
" That heretofore hath swallowed up our friends." 
There is perhaps no speech that proves more decisively than the 
above, that The First Part of the Contention of the Two Houses 
of Yor/ce and Lancaster, &c. and The true Tragedie of the 
Duke of Yorke, &c. printed in 1600, were the production of 
some writer who preceded Shakspeare; and that what are now 
called The Second and Third Parts of King Henry VI. were 
only a revisal and amplification of those pieces. 

Here we have a thought which in the original play is expressed 
in eleven lines, expanded by our author into thirty-seven lines. 



* And give more strength to that which hath too 

much ; 9 

* Whiles, in his moan, the ship splits on the rock, 

* Which industry and courage might have sav'd ? 

* Ah, what a shame ! ah, what a fault were this ! 
' Say, Warwick was our anchor ; What of that ? 

* And Montague our top-mast ; What of him ? 

* Our slaugbter'd friends the tackles; Whatof these? 

* Why, is not Oxford here another anchor? 
c And Somerset another goodly mast ? 

c The friends of France our shrouds and tacklings? 
< And, though unskilful, why not Ned and I 

* For once allow'd the skilful pilot's charge ? 

* We will not from the helm, to sit and weep ; 

* But keep our course, though the rough wind 

say no, 

* From shelves and rocks that threaten us with 


* As good to chide the waves, as speak them fair. 

* And what is Edward, but a ruthless sea ? 

9 With tearful eyes add 'water to the sea, 

And give more strength to that luhich hath too much ;] See 
note on As you like it y Vol. VIII. p. 44, n. 1. REED. 

So, in our author's Lover's Complaint : 

" Upon whose weeping margent she was set, 
" Like usury, applying ivet to wet." 
Again, in As you like it : 

" Thou mak'st a testament 

" As worl dings do, giving the sum of more 
" To that luhich hath too much" 
Again, in Romeo and Juliet: 

" With tears augmenting the fresh morning dew." 
So also, Spenser, in his Shepherd's Calendar, 1579: 

" Thou, plenteous spring, hast lull'd me oft asleep, 
" Whose streames my trickling tears did oft augment." 
Of this thought, which we see Shakspeare has so often ex- 
pressed, there is no trace in the old play. See note 8. 


sc. IT.. KING HENRY VI. 189 

* What Clarence, but a quicksand of deceit ? 

* And Richard, but a ragged fatal rock ? 

* All these the enemies to our poor bark. 

* Say, you can swim ; alas, 'tis but a while : 

* Tread on the sand; why, there you quickly sink : 

* Bestride the rock ; the tide will wash you off, 

* Or else you famish, that's a threefold death. 

* This speak I, lords, to let you understand, 

* In case some one of you would fly from us, 

* That there's no hop'd-for mercy with thebrothers, 

* More than with ruthless waves, with sands, and 


* Why, courage, then ! what cannot be avoided, 

* 'Twere childish weakness to lament, or fear. 

* PRINCE. Methinks, a woman 1 of this valiant 

* Should, if a coward heard her speak these words, 

* Infuse his breast with magnanimity, 

* And make him, naked, foil a man at arms. 
6 I speak not this, as doubting any here : 

* For, did I but suspect a fearful man, 

' He should have leave to go away betimes ; 

1 Methinks, a ivoman &c.] In this speech there is much and 
important variation in the quarto : 

" Prince. And if there be (as God forbid there should) 
* 'Mongst us a timorous or fearful man, 
" Let him depart before the battles join ; 
" Lest he in time of need entice another, 
" And so withdraw the soldiers' hearts from us. 
" I will not stand aloof, and bid you fight, 
" But with my sword press in the thickest throngs, 
" And single Edward from his strongest guard, 
*' And hand to hand enforce him for to yield, 
" Or leave my body, as witness of my thoughts." 


Our author has availed himself of these lines in former scenes 
of these plays. MALONE. 



* Lest, in our need, he might infect another, 

* And make him of like spirit to himself. 
4 If any such be here, as God forbid ! 

' Let him depart, before we need his help. 

* OXF. Women and children of so high a cou- 


And warriors faint! why, 'twere perpetual shame. 
6 O, brave young prince ! thy famous grandfather 
Doth live again in thee ; Long may'st thou live, 
To bear his image, and renew his glories ! 

c SOM. And he, that will not fight for such a hope, 

* Go home to bed, and, like the owl by day, 
e If he arise, be mock'd and wonder'd at. 2 

* Q. MAR. Thanks, gentle Somerset ; sweet 

Oxford, thanks. 

* PRINCE. And take his thanks, that yet hath 

nothing else. 

Enter a Messenger. 

' MESS. Prepare you,lords, 3 for Edward is at hand, 
' Ready to fight ; therefore be resolute. 

c OXF. I thought no less : it is his policy, 

* To haste thus fast, to find us unprovided. 

But he's deceived, we are in readiness. 

* If he arise, be mock'd and wondered at.] So the folio. The 
old play thus ; 

" Be hiss'd and wonder'd at, if he arise." MALONE. 

' Prepare you, lords, &c.] In the old play these speeches 
Stand thus : 

" Mes. My lordes, duke Edward with a mightie power 
" Is marching hitherward to fight with you. 

" Oxf. I thought it was his policy to take us unprovided, 
'* But here will we stand, and fight it to the death." 


sc. 17. KING HENRY VI. 191 

Q. MAR. This cheers my heart, to see your for- 

OXF. Here pitch our battle, hence we will not 

March. Enter^ at a distance, King EDWARD, 

* K* EDW. Brave followers, 4 yonder stands the 

thorny wood, 

' Which, by the heavens' assistance, and your 

* Must by the roots be hewn up yet ere night. 

* I need not add more fuel to your fire, 

* For, well I wot, ye blaze to burn them out : 

* Give signal to the fight, and to it, lords. 

Q. MAR. Lords, knights, and gentlemen, what 
I should say, 

* My tears gainsay ; 5 for every word I speak, 

* Ye see, I drink the water of mine eyes. 6 

4 K. Edw. Brave followers, &c.] This scene is ill-contrived, 
in which the King and Queen appear at once on the stage at the 
head of opposite armies. It had been easy to make one retire 
before the other entered. JOHNSON. 

4 My tears gainsay ;] To gainsay is to unsay, to deny, to con* 
tradict. So, in A Knack to know a Knave, 1594: 

" seeing my father grants, 

" I will not gainsay" STEEVENS. 

8 Ye see, I drink the water of mine eyes.] This phrase is scrip- 
tural : " Thou feedest them with the bread of tears, and givest 
them tears to drink." Psalm Ixxxv. 5. STEEVENS. 

So, in our author's Venus and Adonis : 

" Dost thou drink tears, that thou provok*st such weep- 

These passages were probably recollected by Rowe, when he 
wrote in his Jane Shore : 

" Feed on my sighs, and drink my foiling tears." 
So also, Pope, in the Epistle from Eloisa to Abelard . 
" And drink the falling tears each other sheds." 


c Therefore, no more but this : Henry, your sove- 
reign, 7 

* Is prisoner to the foe ; his state usurp'd, 

* His realm a slaughter house, his subjects slain, 
' His statutes cancell'd, and his treasure spent ; 
' And yonder is the wolf, that makes this spoil. 

* You fight in justice : then, in God's name, lords, 

* Be valiant, and give signal to the fight. 

[Exeunt both Armies. 


Another Part of the same. 

Alarums : Excursions : and afterwards a Retreat. 
TER, and Forces ; with Queen MARGARET, Ox- 
FORD, and SOMERSET, Prisoners. 

6 K. EDW. Now, here a period of tumultuous 

Away with Oxford to Hammes* castle 8 straight : 

The folio has eye : but I imagine it was rather an error in 
the transcriber than an alteration by Shakspeare. The old play 
reads eyes. MALONE. 

7 Henry, your sovereign, &c.] Instead of this and the 

following lines, the original play has these : 

" Henry your king is prisoner in the Tower ; 
" His land and all our friends are quite distrest, 
" And yonder stands the wolfe that makes all this, 
" Then in God's name, lords, together crie saint George." 


* to Hammes* castle ] A castle in Picardy, where Ox- 
ford was confined for many years. MALONE. 

to. v. KING HENRY VI. 193 

For Somerset, 9 off with his guilty head. 

' Go, bear them hence ; I will not hear them speak. 

OXF. For my part, I'll not trouble thee with 

' SOM. Nor I, but stoop with patience to my 

\_~Exeunt OXFORD and SOMERSET, guarded. 

* Q. MAR. So part we sadly in this troublous 


* To meet with joy in sweet Jerusalem. 

* K. EDW. Is proclamation made, that, who 

finds Edward, 

* Shall have a high reward, and he his life ? 

* GLO. It is : and, lo, where youthful Edward 


Enter Soldiers, with Prince EDWARD. 

* K. EDW. Bring forth the gallant, let us hear 

him speak : 

* What ! can so young a thorn begin to prick ? * 
4 Edward, what satisfaction canst thou make, 

' For bearing arms, for stirring up my subjects, 

* And all the trouble thou hast turn'd me to ? 3 

9 For Somerset,"] Edmond Beaufort, Duke of Somerset, the 
second son of Edmond Duke of Somerset who was killed at the 
battle of Saint Albans. MALONE. 

1 What ! can so young a thorn begin to prick ?] This is a 
proverbial observation, which I find versified in " A Preaty In- 
terlude, called Nice Wanton'" 

" Early sharpe that wyll be thorne, 

" Soone yll that wyll be naught," &c. STEEVENS. 

* And all the trouble thou hast turn'd me to ?] This line was 
one of Shakspeare's additions to the original play. We have al- 
most the same words in The Tempest : 



PRINCE. Speak like a subject, proud ambitious 


Suppose, that I am now my father's mouth ; 
Resign thy chair, and, where I stand, kneel thou, 
Whilst 1 propose the self-same words to thee, 
Which, traitor, thou wouldst have me answer to. 

Q. MAR. Ah, that thy father had been so re- 
solv'd ! 

' GLO. That you might still have worn the pet- 
And ne'er have stol'n the breech from Lancaster. 

PRINCE. Let ^Esop 3 fable in a winter's night ; 
His currish riddles sort not with this place. 

GLO. By heaven, brat, I'll plague you for that 

Q. MAR. Ay, thou wast born to be a plague to 

GLO. For God's sake, take away this captive 

PRINCE. Nay, take away this scolding crook- 
back rather. 

' K. EDW. Peace, wilful boy, or I will charm 
your tongue. 4 

O, my heart bleeds, 

** To think of the teen [i. e. trouble] that I have turn'd 

you to." 

In the old play Prince Edward is not brought forth as here, 
but enters with his mother ; and after Oxford and Somerset are 
carried off, he is thus addressed by the King : 

" Now, Edward, what satisfaction canst thou make, 

" For stirring up my subjects to rebellion ?" MA LONE. 

3 Let JEsop &c.] The Prince calls Richard, for his crooked- 
ness, ^Esop; and the poet, following nature, makes Richard 
highly incensed at the reproach. JOHNSON. 

4 charm your tongue."] The quarto reads tame your 


sc. v. KING HENRY VI. 195 

CLAR. Untutor'd lad, thou art too malapert. 

PRINCE. I know my duty, you are all undutiful : 
Lascivious Edward, and thou perjur'd George, 
And thou misshapen Dick, I tell ye all, 
I am your better, traitors as ye are ; 
* And thou usurp'st my father's right and mine. 

K. EDW. Take that, the likeness of this railer 
here. 5 \_Stabs him. 

The former is best. So, in Sir A. Gorges' translation of Lu- 
can, 1614 : 

" In hope that thy victorious arme 

" Their dunghill crowing so will charme" STEEVENS. 

This is the right reading. So, in Cynthia's Revels, Mercury 
says to Cupid : 

" How now, my dancing braggart ! charm your tongue" 
And, in The Taming of the Shrew, Lucentio says : 

" But I will charm him first to keep his tongue." 


The expression which our author substituted, is one that he 
has often used. See Vol. XIII. p. 314-, n. 1. The meaning is, 
I will compel you to be as silent, as you would be, if you were 
charm'd, if you were deprived of speech by the power of in- 
chantment. MALONE. 

4 the likeness of this railer here. &c.] Thou that resem- 

blest thy railing mother. JOHNSON. 

That is, thou who art the likeness, &c. Mr. Rowe and the 
other modern editors read thou likeness, and so we should now 
write ; but the other was the phraseology of Shakspeare's time. 
So, in Julius C<zsar : 

" The last of all the Romans, fare thee well." 

In that passage, as in the present, Mr. Rowe substituted thou 
for the, though Shakspeare has employed the very words he 
found in North's translation of Plutarch. MALONE. 

The old copies describe Edward as striking the first blow, and 
Gloster the next ; and, I believe, rightly, for history informs us 
that Edward smote the Prince with his gauntlet, on which the 
rest despatch'd him. The words sprawl* st thou ? seem evidently 
to belong to Richard ; and I have therefore continued them to 
him on the authority of ancient editions, in preference to the 
allotment of modern innovation. See edit. 1765, Vol. V. p. 217. 


O 2 


* GLO. Sprawl' st thou ? take that, to end thy 

agony. [GLO. stabs him. 

* CLAR. And there's for twitting me with per- 

jury. [CLAR. stabs him. 

Q. MAR. O, kill me too ! 

GLO. Marry, and shall. [Offers to kill her. 

' K.Enw. Hold, Richard, hold, for we have done 
too much. 

GLO. Why should she live, to fill the world with 
words? 6 

' K. EDW. What ! doth she swoon ? use means 
for her recovery. 

GLO. Clarence, excuse me to the king my brother; 
' I'll hence to London on a serious matter : 

* Ere ye come there, be sure to hear some news. 

CLAR. What ? what ? 

' GLO. The Tower, the Tower ! 7 [Exit. 

' Q. MAR. O, Ned, sweet Ned ! speak to thy 

mother, boy ! 

' Canst thou not speak ! O traitors ! murderers ! 
They, that stabb'd Caesar, shed no blood at all, 
Did not offend, nor were not worthy blame, 

* If this foul deed were by, to equal it. 

* He was a man ; this, in respect, a child ; 
And men ne'er spend their fury on a child. 

' What's worse than murderer, that I may name it ? 

6 with words ? ] i.e. dispute, contention. So, in a for- 
mer of these plays : 

" Some words there grew 'twixt Somerset and me." 


7 The Tower, the Tower /] The quarto adds Ptt root them, 
out ', but, perhaps, injudiciously : and yet, without these words 
the metre is imperfect. STEKVENS. 

K. r. KING HENRY VI. 197 

* No, no ; my heart will burst, an if I speak : 

* And I will speak, that so my heart may burst. 

* Butchers and villains, bloody cannibals ! 

* How sweet a plant have you untimely cropp'd ! 
' You have no children, butchers ! 8 if you had, 

' The thought of them would have stirr'd up re- 
morse : 

' But, if you ever chance to have a child, 
Look in his youth to have him so cut off, 

* As, deathsmen ! you have rid this sweet young 

prince i? 

You have no children, butchers /] The same sentiment is re- 
peated by Macduff, in the tragedy of Macbeth ; and this pas- 
age may serve as a comment on that. BLACKSTONE. 

The original play reads : 

" You have no children, devils ; if you had, 
" The thought of them would then have stopt your rage. 1 * 
This thought occurring also (as Sir William Blackstone has 
observed,) in Macbeth, [See Vol. X. p. 249, n. 7.] may per- 
haps be urged as a proof of Shakspeare's being the author of the 
first draught, as well as of the alterations and additions to it. 
But how many thoughts and even expressions has he borrowed 
from preceding writers ? Having ( as I suppose ) greatly enlarged, 
and almost new-written, this and thepreceding play, the thoughts 
they contain, whether found in the first copy, or his amplifica- 
tion of it, Vere as likely to recur in a future piece, as any of 
those which he has employed in one originally written by him- 
self. In his original plays he frequently borrowed from himself. 


9 you have rid this stveet young prince /] The condition 

of this warlike Queen would move compassion, could it be for- 
gotten that she gave York, to wipe his eyes in his captivity, a 
handkerchief stained with his young child's blood. JOHNSON. 

But surely it does move our compassion, though that be not 
forgotten. When we see any of our fellow-creatures involved 
in deep distress, from a just and tender cause, we attend only to 
their present sufferings, and not to their former crimes. 



K. EDW. Away with her ; go, bear her hence 

Q. MAR. Nay, never bear me hence, despatch 

me here ; 

Here sheath thy sword, I'll pardon thee my death : 
What ! wilt thou not ? then, Clarence, do it thou. 

CLAR. By heaven, I will not do thee so much 

Q. MAR. Good Clarence, do ; sweet Clarence, 
do thou do it. 1 

CLAR. Didst thou not hear me swear, I would 
not do it ? 

Q. MAR. Ay, but thou usest to forswear thyself; 
'Twas sin before, 2 but now 'tis charity. 
* What ! Wilt thou not ? where is that devil's 


Hard-favour' d Richard ? 3 Richard, where art thou? 
Thou art not here : Murder is thy alms-deed ; 
Petitioners for blood thou ne'er put'st back. 

1 do thou do it.~] The old play reads kill me too. 


* 9 Tuias sin before ,] She alludes to the desertion of Clarence. 


3 where is that devil's butcher, 

Hard favour' d Richard ?] Thus all the editions. But devil's 
butcher, in other terms, I think, is kill-devil : rare news for the 
free-thinkers, if there were any grounds for depending on it. 
But the poet certainly wrote devil-butcher; and the first part of 
the compound is to be taken adjectively, meaning execrable, in- 
fernal, devilish. THEOBALD. 

Devil's butcher, is a butcher set on by the devil. Either 
reading may serve without so long a note. JOHNSON. 

The folio adds, at the end of this line, the word Richard. 
But both the metre and the old play show that it was an acci- 
dental repetition by the transcriber, or compositor. MAI/ONE. 

W. vi. KING HENRY VI. 199 

' K. EDW. Away, I say j I charge ye, bear her 

Q. MAR. So come to you, and yours, as to this 
prince ! [Exit, led out forcibly. 

K. EDW. Where's Richard gone ? 

' CLAR. To London, all in post ; and, as I guess, 
To make a bloody supper in the Tower. 

K. EDW. He's sudden, if a thing comes in his 

* Now march we hence j discharge the common 

' With pay and thanks, and let's away to London, 

* And see our gentle queen how well she fares ; 

* By this, I hope, she hath a son for me. 



London. A Room in the Tower. 

King HENRY is discovered sitting with a Book in 
his Handy the Lieutenant attending. Enter 

GLO. Good day, my lord! What, at your book so 

K. HEN. Ay, my good lord : My lord, I should 

say rather ; 

'Tis sin to flatter, good was little better : 
Good Gloster, and good devil, were alike, 
* And both preposterous ; therefore, not good lord. 

* GLO. Sirrah, leave us to ourselves: we must 
confer. \_Exit Lieutenant. 


* K. HEN. So flies the reckless shepherd from 
the wolf: 

* So first the harmless sheep doth yield his fleece, 

* And next his throat unto the butcher's knife. 
What scene of death hath Roscius now to act ? 4 

4 What scene of death hath Roscius now to act ?~\ Roscius was 
certainly put for Richard by some simple conceited player who 
had heard of Roscius and of Rome ; but did not know that he 
was an actor in comedy, not in tragedy. WARBURTON. 

Shakspeare had occasion to compare Richard to some player 
about to represent a scene of murder, and took the first or only 
name of antiquity that occurred to him, without being very 
scrupulous about its propriety. 

I know not, however, that it is proved, on classical authority, 
that Roscius, though generally a comedian, was no occasional 
actor in tragedy. Nash, in Pierce Penniless's Supplication to 
the Devil, 1592, says : " Not Roscius nor JEsope, those ad- 
mired tragedians, that have lived ever since before Christ was 
born, could ever performe more in action than famous Ned 

Again, in Acolastus his Aftertvitte, 1600 : 

" Through thee each murthering Roscius is appointed 
" To act strange scenes of death on God's anointed." 
Again, in Certaine Satyr es, 1598 : 

" Was penn'd by Roscio the tragedian." STEEVENS. 

What scene of death hath Roscius wore to act ?~] So, in Acolas- 
tus his Afterwitte, a poem, 1600 : 

*' What bloody scene hath cruelty to act ?" 

Dr. Warburton reads Richard instead of Roscius, because 
Roscius was a comedian. That he is right in this assertion, is 
proved beyond a doubt by a passage in Quintilian, cited by W. R. 
[probably Sir Walter Rawlinson] in The Gentleman's Maga- 
zine, Vol. LIV. P. II. p. 886 : " Roscius citatior, ./Esopus gra- 
vior fuit, quod ille comcedias, hie tragcedias egit." QUINTIL. Lib. 
XL c. iii. But it is not in Quintilian or in any other ancient 
writer we are to look in order to ascertain the text of Shakspeare. 
Roscius was called a tragedian by our author's contemporaries, 
as appears from the quotations in the preceding note ; and this 
was sufficient authority to him, or rather to the author of the 
original play, for there this line is found. MALONE. 

sc. vi. KING HENRY VI. 201 

GLO. Suspicion always haunts the guilty mind j 
The thief doth fear each bush an officer. 

* K. HEN. The bird, that hath been limed in a 


c With trembling wings misdoubteth every bush : 5 
And I, the hapless male 6 to one sweet bird, 
Have now the fatal object in my eye, 
Where my poor young was lim'd, was caught, and 

* GLO. Why, what a peevish fool 7 was that of 


' That taught his son the office of a fowl ? 
' And yet, for all his wings, the fool was drown* d. 8 

* misdoubteth every bush:'] To misdoubt is to suspect 

danger, to fear. So, in Humour out of Breath, a comedy by 
John Day, 1608 : 

" Hip. Doubt and misdoubt! what difference is there here? 
" Oct. Yes, much: when men misdoubt, 'tis said they fear." 


6 hapless male ] The word male is here used in a very 

uncommon sense, not for the male of the female, but for the 
male parent: the sweet bird is evidently his son Prince Edward. 


7 peevishybo/ ] As peevishness is the quality of chil- 
dren, peevish seems to signify childish, and by consequence silly. 
Peevish is explained by childish, in a former note of Dr. War- 
burton. JOHNSON. 

Shakspeare employs the word peevish in the same sense in 
Cymbeline, where the reader will find many instances of this use 
of it. STEEVENS. 

This epithet which Shakspeare has so frequently employed, was 
one of his additions to the original play. 

The ordinary signification of peevish in our poet's time was 
foolish. See Minsheu's Diet. 1617, in v. MALONE. 

8 the office of a fowl ? 

And yet, for all his tvings, the fool ivas drown'd.'] The old 
play reads : 

" the office of a bird? 

" And yet for all that the poor foul was drown'd." 



* K. HEN. I, Daedalus ; my poor boy, Icarus ; 
Thy father, Minos, that denied our course ; 

* The sun, that sear'd the wings of my sweet boy, 
4 Thy brother Edward ; and thyself, the sea, 

4 Whose envious gulf did swallow up his life. 

* Ah, kill me with thy weapon, not with words! 

* My breast can better brook thy dagger's point, 
Than can my ears that tragick history. 

* But wherefore dost thou come ? is't for my life ? 

4 GLO. Think'st thou, I am an executioner ? 

K. HEN. A persecutor, I am sure, thou art ; 
4 If murdering innocents be executing, 
4 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 hVd to kill a son of mine. 
4 And thus I prophecy, that many a thousand, 
4 Which now mistrust no parcel of my fear ; 9 

* And many an old man's sigh, and many a widow's, 
4 And many an orphan's water-standing eye, 

4 Men for their sons, wives for their husbands' fate, 1 
4 And orphans for their parents' timeless death, 2 
4 Shall rue the hour that ever thou wast born. 
The owl shriek' d at thy birth, an evil sign ; 
4 The night-crow cried, aboding luckless time ; 

9 Which notv mistrust no parcel ofmyfoari\ Who suspect no 
part of what my fears presage. JOHNSON. 

* Men for their sons, wives for their husbands' fate,] The 
vror&-fate was supplied by the editor of the second folio. 


* And orphans &c.] The word and, which is necessary to 
the metre, and is wanting in the first folio, was supplied by the 
second. STEEVENS. 

sc. vi. KING HENRY VI. 203 

Dogs howPd, and hideous tempests shook down 

trees ; 

The raven rook'd her 3 on the chimney's top, 
And chattering pies in dismal discords sung. 
Thy mother felt more than a mother's pain, 
And yet brought forth less than a mother's hope j 
' To wit, an indigest 4 deformed lump, 
Not like the fruit of such a goodly tree. 
Teeth hadst thou in thy head, when thou wast 


* The raven rook'd her ] To rook, or rather to ruck, is a 
north-country word, signifying to squat down, or lodge on any 

So, in Chaucer's Knight's Tale, Mr. Tyrwhitt's edit. v. 1310: 
" What is mankind more unto you yhold, 
" Than is the shepe, that rouketh in the fold?" 
Again, in the Nonnes Preestes Tale, ibid. v. 15,232 : 

" O false morderour, rucking in thy den." 
Again, in the Preface to Stanyhurst's translation of Virgil, 

" I cannot devine upon such bookes that happlye rouke in 
studentes mewes," &c. 

Again, in the translation of the IVth Book : 

" Also on the turrets the skrich howle, &c. 

" doth ruck," &c. 

Again, in Warner's Albion's England, 1602, B. VII. ch. xxxvii: 
" Have lazy wings, be ever lean, in sullen corners ruck** 
Again, in Golding's translation of the 6th Book of Ovid's 
Metamorphosis : 

" The furies made the bridegrome's bed, and on the house 

did rucke 

" A cursed owle the messenger of ill successe and lucke." 
Again, in the 15th Book : 

" He rucketh downe upon the same, and in the spices 
dies." STEEVENS. 

4 an indigest ] The folio has indigested. But the 

metre and the old play show that it was a misprint. Shakspeare 
uses the word indigest in King John. MALONE. 

" rudis indigestaque moles'* Ovid. Met. I. 7. 



To signify, thou cam'st to bite the world : 
And, if the rest be true which I have heard, 

* Thou cam'st 5 

GLO. I'll hear no more ; Die, prophet, in thy 
speech ; [Stabs him. 

For this, amongst the rest, was I ordain' d. 

K. HEN. Ay, and for much more slaughter after 

O God! forgive my sins, and pardon thee ! [Dies. 

GLO. What, will the aspiring blood of Lancaster 
Sink in the ground ? I thought it would have 


See, how my sword weeps for the poor king's death ! 
e O, may such purple tears be always shed 

* From those that wish the downfal of our house! 
' If any spark of life be yet remaining, 6 

5 Andy if the rest be true which I have heard, 

Thou cam'st ~] Had our editors had but a grain of sagacity, 
or true diligence, there could have been no room for this absurd 
break, since they might have ventured to fill it up with certainty 
too. The old quarto would have led them part of the way : 

Thou cam'st into the world 

And that the verse is to be completed in the manner I have 
given it, is incontestible ; for unless we suppose King Henry 
actually reproaches him with this his preposterous birth, how can 
Richard in his very next soliloquy say : 

" Indeed, 'tis true, that Henry told me of; 
'* For I have often heard my mother say, 
" I came into the world with my legs forward.'* 
I can easily see, that this blank was caused by the nicety of the 
players, to suppress an indecent idea. But, with submission, 
this was making but half a cure, unless they had expunged the 
repetition of it out of Richard's speech too. THEOBALD. 

Thou cam'st ] Thus the folio. The old play as follows: 

" Thou cam'st into the "world 

" Glo. Die prophet in thy speech; I'll hear no more." 


' If any spark of life be yet remaining,] So, in the 6th Book 

x. vi. KING HENRY VI. 205 

Down, down to hell; and say I sent thee thither, 

[Stabs him again. 

I, that have neither pity, love, nor fear. 
Indeed, 'tis true, that Henry told me of ; 7 
For I have often heard my mother say, 
I came into the world with my legs forward: 
Had I not reason, think ye, to make haste, 
' And seek their ruin that usurp'd our right? 
The midwife wonder'd ; and the women cried, 
O, Jesus bless us, he is born with teeth! 
' And so I was ; which plainly signified 
That I should snarl, and bite, and play the dog. 
' Then, since the heavens have shap'd my body so. 
Let hell 8 make crook* d my mind to answer it. 

of Ovid's Metamorphosis, translated by Arthur Golding, 

" If any sparke of nature do within thy hart remaine." 


7 that Henry told me of;~\ Namely, that my birth was 

attended with singular circumstances Theobald, grounding 
himself on this and the two following lines, reads in a former 

" Thou cam'st into the luorld with fhy legs forward." 
for " how," (says he,) can Richard say, " Indeed 'tis true that 
Henry told me of," &c. " unless we suppose King Henry re- 
proached him with his preposterous birth?" But surely Henry 
has done so in the last ten lines of his speech, though he is at 
length prevented by the fatal stab from mentioning ^further proof 
of Richard's being born for the destruction of mankind. Theo- 
bald's addition therefore to that line, has, I think, been adopted 
too hastily by the subsequent editors, and the interruption in the 
midst of Henry's speech appears to me not only preferable, as 
warranted by the old copies, and by Gloster's subsequent words,, 
[Die, prophet, in thy speech;] but more agreeable to nature. 


* Let hell &c.] This line Dryden seems to have thought on 
in his Oedipus . 

" It was thy crooked mind hunch'd out thy back, 
" And wander'd in thy limbs." STEEVENS. 


I have no brother, I am like no brother : 
' And this word love, which greybeards call di- 

Be resident in men like one another, 
And not in me ; I am myself alone. 
Clarence, beware; thou keep'st me from the light j 
But I will sort a pitchy day for thee : 9 
For I will buz abroad such prophecies, 

* That Edward shall be fearful of his life j 1 
And then, to purge his fear, I'll be thy death. 

* King Henry, and the prince his son, are gone : 

* Clarence, thy turn is next, and then the rest ; 
Counting myself but bad, till I be best. 

* I'll throw thy body in another room, 

And triumph, Henry, in thy day of doom. [Exit. 

After this line, we find in the old play the following: 
" I had no father, I am like no father.'* 

It might have been omitted in the folio merely by accident, 
(as some lines in The Second Part of King Henry VI. certainly 
were,) but its restoration is not necessary, for the sense is com- 
plete without it. MALONE. 

6 But I will sort a pitchy day for ihee:~\ But I will choose out 
an hour whose gloom shall be as fatal to you. To sort is to select . 
So, in The Spanish Tragedy, 1605: 

" for they had sorted leisure." 

Again, in The Lover's Melancholy, 1629: 

" We shall sort time to take more notice of him.'* 


1 For I will buz abroad such prophecies, 

That Edward shall be fearful of his life;'] The quartos add 
a line between these: 

" such prophecies, 

" Under pretence of outward seeming ill, 
" That," &c. STEEVENS. 

This line is not in the quarto printed by W. W. 1600; but it 
is in the undated quarto, which in fact was printed in 1619, 
from that printed in 1600 by V. S. MALONE. 

sc. vu. KING HENRY VI. 207 


The same. A Room in the Palace. 

King EDWARD is discovered sitting on his Throne; 
Queen ELIZABETH with the infant Prince, CLA- 
RENCE, GLOSTER, HASTINGS, and Others, near 

K. EDW. Once more we sit in England's royal 


Re-purchas'd with the blood of enemies. 
What valiant foe-men, like to autumn's corn, 
Have we mow'd down, 2 in tops of all their pride ? 
Three dukes of Somerset, threefold renown* d 
For hardy and undoubted champions : 
Two Cliffords, as the father and the son, 
And two Northumberlands ; two braver men 
Ne'er spurr'd their coursers at the trumpet's sound : 
* With them, the two brave bears, Warwick and 


That in their chains fetter'd the kingly lion, 
And made the forest tremble when they roar'd. 
Thus have we swept suspicion from our seat, 
And made our footstool of security. 
Come hither, Bess, and let me kiss my boy : 
Young Ned, for thee, thine uncles, and myself, 
Have in our armours watch'd the winter's night ; 

* like to autumn's corn, 

Have iue mow'd down,] A kindred image occurs in King 
Henry V. p. 378 : 

" mowing like grass 

" Your fresh-fair virgins, and your flow'ring infants." 



4 Went all a foot in summer's scalding heat, 
That thou might'st repossess the crown in peace j 
And of our labours thou shalt reap the gain. 

GLO. I'll blast his harvest, if your head were laid;. 
For yet I am not look'd on in the world. 
This shoulder was ordain'd so thick, to heave ; 
And heave it shall some weight, or break my back: 
Work thou the way, and thou shalt execute. 3 

K. EDW. Clarence, and Gloster, love my lovely 

queen ; 
And kiss your princely nephew, brothers both. 

CLAR. The duty, that I owe unto your majesty, 
I seal upon the lips of this sweet babe. 

K. EDW. Thanks, noble Clarence j worthy bro- 
ther, thanks.* 

* Work thou the way, and thou shalt execute.'] I believe we 
should read : 

and this shall execute. 

Richard laying his hand on his forehead says: 

Work thou the tvay 

then bringing down his hand, and beholding it : 

and this shall execute. 

Though that may stand, the arm being included in the shoulder. 

The quartos read: 

" Work thou the way, and thou shalt execute." 
I suppose he speaks this line, first touching his head, and then 
looking on his hand. STEEVENS. 

This is the reading of the old play. The folio reads and that 
shalt execute. But as the word shalt is preserved, the other 
must have been an error of the transcriber or compositor. 


4 Thanks, noble Clarence; worthy brother, thanks.'] The 
quarto appropriates this line to the Queen. The first and second 
folio, by mistake, have given it to Clarence. 

In my copy of the second folio, which had belonged to 

sc. vn. KING HENRY VL 209 

' GLO. And, that I love the tree from whence 

thou sprang'st, 

* Witness the loving kiss I give the fruit : 
To say the truth, so Judas kiss'd his"| 

master; Aside 

' And cried all hail ! when as he meant f 

all harm. 

+ * 

K. EDW. Now am I seated as my soul delights, 
Having my country's peace, and brothers' loves. 

CLAR. What will your grace have done with 

Margaret ? 

Reignier, her father, to the king of France 
Hath pawn'd the Sicils and Jerusalem, 
And hither have they sent it for her ransome. 

K. EDW. Away with her, and waft her hence to 


And now what rests, but that we spend the time 
With stately triumphs, 5 mirthful comick shows, 
Such as befit the pleasures of the court ? - 
Sound, drums and [trumpets ! farewell, sour an- 
For here, I hope, begins our lasting joy. \_Ezeunt. 

King Charles the First, his Majesty has erased Cla, and written 
King, in its stead. Shakspeare, therefore, in the catalogue of his 
restorers, may boast of a Royal name. STEEVENS. 

4 With stately triumphs,] Triumphs are publick shows. This 
word has occurred too frequently to need exemplification in the 
present instance. STEEVENS. 



THE following SUMMARY ACCOUNT* of the times and 
places of the several battles fought between the two houses of 
York and Lancaster, and of the numbers killed on both sides, 
is given by Trussel, at the end of his History of England, a book 
of little value, but in matters of this kind tolerably correct. I 
have compared his account with our earliest historians, and in 
some places corrected it by them. 

1. THE BATTLE OF SAINT ALBANS, fought on the 23d of 
May 1455, between Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York, and 
King Henry VI. In this battle the Duke of York was victorious, 
and Henry was taken prisoner. 

KILLED, on the royal side 5041, (among whom were Ed- 
mond Duke of Somerset, Henry Earl of Northumberland, 
Humphrey Earl of Stafford, and Thomas Lord Clifford ;) on the 
side of the Duke of York, 600. TOTAL 5641. 

2. THE BATTLE OF BLOARHEATH in Shropshire, fought on 
the 30th of September 1459, between James Lord Audley on 
the part of King Henry, and Richard Nevil Earl of Salisbury on 
the part of the Duke of York ; in which battle Lord Audley was 
slain, and his army defeated. 

KILLED 2411. 

3. THE BATTLE OF NORTHAMPTON, 20th of July, 1460, 
between Edward Plantagenet, Earl of March, eldest son of the 
Duke of York, and Richard Nevil Earl of Warwick, on the 
one side, and King Henry on the other ; in which the Yorkists 
were victorious. 

KILLED 1035, among whom were John Talbot Earl of 
Shrewsbury, Humphrey Duke of Buckingham, and Sir William 

4. THE BATTLE OF WAKEFIELD, December 30, 1460, be- 
tween Richard Duke of York and Queen Margaret ; in which 
the Duke of York was defeated. 

KILLED 2801, among whom were the Duke of York, Ed- 
mond Earl of Rutland his second son, Sir John and Sir Hugh 
Mortimer, his base uncles, and the Earl of Shrewsbury. Richard 
Nevil Earl of Salisbury was in this battle taken prisoner, and 
afterwards beheaded at Pomfret. 

5. THE BATTLE OF MORTIMER'S CROSS, in Herefordshire, 

* Mr. Ritson, among his RemarTts, 1783, p. 130, has also enumerated 
the following battles, &c. but as Mr. Malone's subsequent account of the same 
occurrences is the more ample of the two, I have adopted it. STEEVENS. 


on Candlemas-day, 1460-1, between Edward Duke of York, 
on the one side, and Jasper Earl of Pembroke, and James But- 
ler Earl of Wiltshire, on the other ; in which the Duke of York 
was victorious. 

KILLED 3800, among whom was Sir Owen Tuther or 
Tudors, who married Queen Katharine, the widow of King 
Henry V. 

1460-1, between Queen Margaret on the one side, and the Duke 
of Norfolk and the Earl of Warwick on the other ; in which 
the Queen obtained the victory. 

KILLED 2303 ; among whom was Sir John Grey, a Lancas- 
trian, whose widow, Lady Grey, afterwards married King Ed- 
ward the Fourth. 

7. THE ACTION AT FERRYBRIDGE, in Yorkshire, March 
28, 1461, between Lord Clifford on the part of King Henry, 
and the Lord Fitzwalter on the part of the Duke of York. 

KILLED 230, among whom were Lord Fitzwalter, John 
Lord Clifford, and the bastard son of the Earl of Salisbury. 

8. THE BATTLE OF TOWTON, four miles from York, Palm- 
Sunday, March 29, 1461, between Edward Duke of York and 
King Henry ; in which King Henry was defeated. 

KILLED 37,046, among whom were Henry Percy Earl of 
Northumberland, the Earl of Shrewsbury, and the Lords Nevil, 
Beaumond, Willoughby, Wells, Roos, Gray, Dacres, and Fitz- 
hugh. The Earl of Devonshire was taken prisoner, and soon 
afterwards beheaded at York. 

9. THE BATTLE OF HEDGELEY MOOR, in Northumberland, 
April 29, 1463, between John Nevil Viscount Montague, on 
the part of King Edward IV. and the Lords Hungerford and 
Roos on the part of King Henry VI: in which the Yorkists were 

KILLED 108, among whom was Sir Ralph Percy. 

10. THE BATTLE OF HEXHAM, May 15, 1463, between 
Viscount Montague and King Henry, in which that King was 

KILLED 2024. Henry Beaufort, Duke of Somerset, and 
the Lord Roos and Hungerford, fighting on the side of King 
Henry, were taken prisoners, and soon afterwards beheaded. 

11. THE BATTLE OF HEDGECOTE, four miles from Banbury, 
July 25, 1469, between William Herbert Earl of Pembroke, on 
the part of King Edward, and the Lords Fitzhugh and Latimer, 

P 2 


and Sir John Conyers, on the part of King Henry ; in which 
the Lancastrians were defeated. 

KILLED 5009. The Earl of Pembroke and his brother, 
Richard Widville Earl of Rivers, father to King Edward's Queen, 
Sir John Widville, John Tiptoft Earl of Worcester, the Lords 
Willoughby, Stafford, and Wells, were taken prisoners, and soon 
afterwards beheaded. 

13. THE BATTLE OF STAMFORD, in Lincolnshire^ October 1, 
1469, between Sir Robert Wells and King Edward; in which 
the former was defeated and taken prisoner. The vanquished 
who fled, in order to lighten themselves, threw away their coats, 
whence the place of combat was called Losecoatfield. 

KILLED 10,000. 

14. THE BATTLE OF BARNET, on Easter-Sunday, April 14, 
1471, between King Edward on one side, and the Earl of War- 
wick, the Marquis of Montague, and the Earl of Oxford, on the 
part of King Henry VI. in which the Lancastrians were defeated. 

KILLED 10,300; among whom were the Earl of Warwick, 
the Marquis of Montague, the Lord Cromwell, and the son and 
heir of Lord Say. 

In a letter which was written at London four days after 
the battle of Barnet, the total number killed on both sides is 
said to have been " more than a thousand" Paston Letters, 
Vol. II. p. 65. Fabian, the nearest contemporary historian, says 

The custom among our old writers of using Arabick numerals, 
has been the cause of innumerable errors, the carelessness of a 
transcriber or printer by the addition of a cipher converting hun- 
dreds into thousands. From the inaccuracy in the present in- 
stance we have ground to suspect that the numbers said to have 
fallen in the other battles between the houses of York and Lan- 
caster, have been exaggerated. Sir John Paston, who was him- 
self at the battle of Barnet, was probably correct. 

15. THE BATTLE OF TEWKSBURY, May 3, 1471, between 
King Edward and Queen Margaret, in which the Queen was 
defeated, and she and her son Prince Edward were taken prisoners. 

On the next day the Prince was killed by King Edward and 
his brothers, and Edmond Duke of Somerset beheaded. 

KILLED 3,032. Shortly afterwards, in an action between 
the bastard son of Lord Falconbridge and some Londoners, 1092 
persons were killed. 

16. THE BATTLE OF BoswoRTH,in Leicestershire, August 22, 
1485, between King Richard III. and Henry Earl of Richmond, 


afterwards King Henry VII. in which King Richard was defeated 
and slain. 

KILLED, on the part of Richard, 4-,013, among whom were 
John Duke of Norfolk, and Walter Lord Ferrers ; on the part 
of Richmond, 181. 

THE TOTAL NUMBER of persons who fell in this contest, was 

The three parts of King Henry VI. are suspected, by Mr. 
Theobald, of being supposititious, and are declared, by Dr. War- 
burton, to be certainly not Shakspeare's. Mr. Theobald's suspi- 
cion arises from some obsolete words ; but the phraseology is like 
the rest of our author's style, and single words, of which how- 
ever I do not observe more than two, can conclude little. 
- Dr. Warburton gives no reason, but I suppose him to judge 
upon deeper principles and more comprehensive views, and to 
draw his opinion from the general effect and spirit of the compo- 
sition, which he thinks inferior to the other historical plays. 

From mere inferiority nothing can be inferred; in the produc- 
tions of wit there will be inequality. Sometimes judgment will 
err, and sometimes the matter itself will defeat the artist. Of 
every author's works one will be the best, and one will be the 
worst. The colours are not equally pleasing, nor the attitude* 
equally graceful, in all the pictures of Titian or Reynolds. 

Dissimilitude of style and heterogeneousness of sentiment, may 
sufficiently show that a work does not really belong to the reputed 
author. But in these plays no such marks of spuriousness are 
found. The diction, the versification, and the figures, are Shak- 
speare's. These plays, considered, without regard to characters 
and incidents, merely as narratives in verse, are more happily 
conceived, and more accurately finished than those of K. John, 
Richard II. or the tragick scenes of King Henry IV. and V. If 
we take these plays from Shakspeare, to whom shall they be 
given ? What author of that age had the same easiness of ex- 
pression and fluency of numbers ? 

Having considered the evidence given by the plays themselves, 
and found it in their favour, let us now enquire what corrobora- 
tion can be gained from other testimony. They are ascribed to 
Shakspeare by the first editors, whose attestation may be received 
in questions of fact, however unskilfully they superintended 
their edition. They seem to be declared genuine by the voice 
of Shakspeare himself, who refers to the second play in his epi- 
logue to King Henry V. and apparently connects the first Act of 
King Richard III. with the last of The Third Part of King 
Henry VI. If it be objected that the plays were populaif and 


that therefore he alluded to them as well known ; it may be an- 
swered, with equal probability, that the natural passions of a 
poet would have disposed him to separate his own works from 
those of an inferior hand. And, indeed, if an author's own 
testimony is to be overthrown by speculative criticism, no man 
can be any longer secure of literary reputation. 

Of these three plays I think the second the best. The truth 
is, that they have not sufficient variety of action, for the inci- 
dents are too often of the same kind ; yet many of the cha- 
racters are well discriminated. King Henry, and his Queen, 
King Edward, the Duke of Gloucester, and the Earl of Warwick, 
are very strongly and distinctly painted. 

The old copies of the two latter parts of King Henry VI. and 
of King Henry V. are so apparently imperfect and mutilated, 
that there is no reason for supposing them the first draughts of 
Shakspeare. I am inclined to believe them copies taken by some 
auditor who wrote down, during the representation, what the 
time would permit, then perhaps filled up some of his omissions 
at a second or third hearing, and, when he had by this method 
formed something like a play, sent it to the printer. 


So, Heywood, in the Preface to his Rape ofLucrece, (fourth 
impression,) 1630: 

" for though some have used a double sale of their labours, 
first to the stage and after to the press, for my own part I here 
proclaim myself ever faithful to the first, and never guilty of the 
last: yet since some of my plays have (unknown to me, and 
without any of my direction,) accidentally come into the 
printer's hands, and therefore so corrupt and mangled (copied 
only by the ear,) that I have been as unable to know them as 
ashamed to challenge them, this therefore I was thewillinger,"&c. 


There is another circumstance which may serve to strengthen 
Dr. Johnson's supposition, viz. that most of the fragments of 
Latin verses, omitted in the quartos, are to be found in the 
folio j and when any of them are inserted in the former, they 
are shamefully corrupted and misspelt. The auditor, who under- 
stood English, might be unskilled in any other language. 


I formerly coincided with Dr. Johnson on this subject, at a 
time when I had examined the two old plays published in quarto 
under the title of The Whole Contention of the Two famous 
Houses of York and Lancaster, in two parts, with less attention 
than I have lately done. That dramas were sometimes imper- 


feetly taken down in the theatre, and afterwards published iii a 
mutilated state, is proved decisively by the prologue to a play 
entitled, If you knotu not Me you know Nobody, by Thomas 
Heywood, 1623: 

" . 'Twas ill nurst, 

" And yet receiv'd as Well perform*d at first ; 
** Grac'd and frequented ; for the cradle age 
" Did throng the seats, the boxes, and the stage, 
" So much, that some by stenography drew 
" The plot, put it in print, scarce one word true : 
** And in that lameness it has limp'd so long, 
** The author now, to vindicate that wrong, 
" Hath took the pains upright upon its feet 
" To teach it walk ; so please you, sit and see it." 

But the old plays in quarto, which have been hitherto supposed 
to be imperfect representations of the second and third parts of 
King Henry VI. are by no means mutilated and imperfect. The 
scenes are as well connected, and the versification as correct, as 
that of most of the other dramas of that time. The fact there- 
fore, which Heywood's Prologue ascertains, throws no light uponr 
the present contested question. Such observations as I have made 
upon it, I shall subjoin in a distinct Essay on the subject. 


I have already given some reasons, why I cannot believe, that 
these plays were originally written by Shakspeare. The question, 
who did write them ? is, at best, but an argument ad ig'noran- 
tiam. We must remember, that very many old plays are ano- 
nymous; and that play-txriting was scarcely yet thought repu- 
table : nay, some authors express for it great horrors of repent- 
ance. I will attempt, however, at some future time, to answer 
this question : the disquisition of it would be toa long for this 

One may at least argue, that the plays were not written by, 
Shakspeare, from Shakspeare himself. The Chorus at the end 
of King Henry V. addresses the audience 

" For their sake, 

" In your fair minds let this acceptance take." 

But it could be neither agreeable to the poet's judgment or hi3 
modesty, to recommend his new play from the merit and succes^ 

of King Henry VI. His claim to indulgence is, that, though 

bending and unequal to the task, he has ventured to pursue the 
story : and this sufficiently accounts for the connection o 
whole, and the allusions of particular passages. 


It is seldom that Dr. Farmer's arguments fail to enforce con- 1 
viction ; but here, perhaps, they may want somewhat of their 
usual weight. I think that Shakspeare's bare mention of these 
pieces is a sufficient proof they were his. That they were so, 
could be his only motive for inferring benefit to himself from the 
spectator's recollection of their past success. For the sake of 
three historical dramas of mine which have already afforded you 
entertainment, let me (says he) intreat your indulgence to a 
fourth. Surely this was a stronger plea in his behalf, than any 
arising from the kind *e*eeption which another might have already 
met with in the same way !of writing. Shakspeare's claim to 
favour is founded on his having previously given pleasure in the 
course of three of those histories ; because he is a bending, sup- 
plicatory author, and not a literary bully, like Ben Jonson ; and 
because he has ventured to exhibit a series of annals in a suite of 
plays, an attempt which till then had not received the sanction 
of the stage. 

I hope Dr. Farmer did not wish to exclude the three dramas 
before us, together with The Taming of the Shrew, from the 
number of those produced by our author, on account of the 
Latin quotations to be found in them. His proofs of Shak- 
speare's want of learning are too strong to stand in need of such 
a support. STEEVENS. 

Though the objections which have been raised to the genuine- 
ness of the three plays of Henry the Sixth have been fully con- 
sidered and answered by Dr. Johnson, it may not be amiss to add 
here, from a contemporary writer, a passage, which not only 
points at Shakspeare as the author of them, but also shows, that, 
however meanly we may now think of them in comparison with 
his latter productions, they had, at the time of their appearance, 
a sufficient degree of excellence to alarm the jealousy of the older 
play-wrights. The passage, to which I refer, is in a pamphlet, 
entitled, Greene's Groatsworth of Witte, supposed to have been 
written by that voluminous author, Robert Greene, M. A. and 
said, in the title-page, to be published at his dying request; pro- 
bably about 1592. The conclusion of this piece is an address to 
his brother poets, to dissuade them from writing any more for the 
stage, on account of the ill treatment which they were used to 
receive from the players. It begins thus : To those gentlemen, 
his quondam acquaintance, that spend their wits in making 
playes, R. G. wisheth a better exercise, &c. After having ad- 
dressed himself particularly to Christopher Marlowe and Thomas 
Lodge, (as I guess from circumstances, for their names are not 
mentioned;) he goes on to a third, (perhaps George Peek;} and 


having warned him against depending on so mean a stay as the 
players, he adds : Yes, trust them not ; for there is an upstart 
crow beautified with our feathers, that with his tygres head 
wrapt in a players hyde, supposes hee is as well able to bombaste 
out a blanke verse as the best of you; and being an absolute Jo- 
hannes fac totum is, in his own conceit, the onely Shake-scene 
in a countrey. There can be no doubt, I think, that Shake-scene 
alludes to Shakspeare; or that his tygres head wrapt in aplayert 
hyde, is a parodie upon the following line of York's speech to 
Margaret, Third Part of King Henry VI. Act I. sc. iv: 

" Oh tygres heart, wrapt in a woman's hide." 








THE subject stated. The inferior parts in these three plays 
being of a different complexion from the inferior parts of Shak- 
speare's undoubted performances, a proof that they were not 
written originally and entirely by him, p. 223. Mr. Malone's 
hypothesis. The First Part ofK. Henry VI. not written by him. 
The Second and Third Part of King Henry VI. formed by Shak- 
speare on two elder plays, the one entitled The First Part of the 
Contention of the Two famous Houses ofYorke and Lancaster, 
luith the Death of the good Duke Humphrey, &c. the other, The 
true Tragedie of Ricnarde Duke of Yorke, and the Death of 
good King Henry the Sixt. p. 224. 


The diction, versification, and allusions, of this piece all dif- 
ferent from the diction, versification, and allusions of Shakspeare, 
and corresponding with those of the dramatists thatprecededhim, 
p. 224231. Date of this play some years before 1592; p. 231. 
Other internal evidence (beside the diction, &c.) that this piece 
was not written by Shakspeare ; nor by the author of The First 
Part of the Contention of the Two Houses, &c. nor by the au- 
thor of The true Tragedie of Richarde Duke ofYorke, p. 231 
234. Presumptive proof that this play was not written by 
Shakspeare, from its not containing any similarities of thought 
to his undisputed plays, nor of expression, (except in a single in- 
stance,) and from its general paucity of rhymes, p. 234, 235. 


I. EXTERNAL EVIDENCE. 1. The entry of The First Part of 
the Contention of the Two Houses &c. at Stationers' Hall in 1594, 
anonymous. 2. That piece, and The true Tragedie of Richard 
Duke of Yorke, printed in 1600, anonymously. Shakspeare's 
name afterwards fraudulently affixed to these pieces, and why. 
The same artifice practised with respect to other plays on which 
he had constructed dramas, p. 235, 236. 3. These two old plays 
performed by Lord Pembroke's Servants, by whom Titus Andro- 
nicus, and The old Taming of a Shrew were performed, and by 
whom not one of Shakspeare's undisputed plays were represented, 
p. 236. 4. Reasons assigned for supposing Robert Greene, or 
George Peele, or both, the author or authors of the old plays, 
p. 237, 238. 5. These pieces new-modelled and re-written by 
Shakspeare, with great additions, which in the present edition 
are distinguished by a peculiar mark, p. 238, 239. The mode 
taken by Shakspeare, p. 239 242. 6. The fraud of Pavier the, 


bookseller, who in the year 1619, after the death of Shakspeare, 
affixed his name to these two old plays, accounted for, p. 243. 
7. These two old pieces being printed and reprinted, and The 
First Part of King Henry VI. not being printed, in Shakspeare's 
life time, a presumptive proof that he new-modelled the former, 
and had little or no concern with the latter, p. 244. 

the two old plays in quarto, and the corresponding pieces in the 
folio edition of our author's dramatick works, of so peculiar a 
nature, as to mark two distinct hands. Several passages and cir- 
cumstances found in the old plays, of which there is no trace in 
Shakspeare's new modification of them ; others materially 
varying. These insertions and variations could not have arisen 
from unskilful copyists or short-hand writers, who sometimes 
curtail and mutilate, but do not invent and amplify, p. 244 
249. 2. The RESEMBLANCES between certain passages in Shak- 
speare's Second and Third Part of King Henry VI. and his un- 
disputed works, a proof that he wrote a large portion of those 
plays; and 3. The DISCORDANCIES between them and his un- 
disputed plays, a proof that he did not write the whole ; these 
resemblances being found only in the folio, that is, in the plays 
as new-modelled by Shakspeare ; and these discordancies being 
found in the old quarto plays, from whence it must be presumed 
that they were adopted through carelessness or haste, p. 24-9 
251. 4. The peculiar INACCURACIES of Shakspeare ; and 5. his 
peculiar PHRASEOLOGY, which are found in The Second and 
Third Part of King Henry VI. as exhibited in folio, and not in 
the old quarto plays printed in 1600, prove that there were two 
distinct hands in these pieces; p. 252, 254. So also do, 6. The 
TRANSPOSITIONS, p. 254; and 7. the REPETITIONS, p. 255; 
and 8. the INCONSISTENCIES arising from sometimes following, 
and sometimes departing from, an original model, p. 255, 256. 
9. Hall, the historian, on whose Chronicle the old plays in quarto 
were constructed ; but Holinshed and not Hall, Shakspeare's 
historian, p. 256, 257. 

The old plays on which Shakspeare formed his Second and 
Third Parts of King Henry VI. probably written by the author 
of King John, printed in 1591, whoever he was ; p. 258. An 
attempt made to account for The First Part of King Henry VI. 
being printed in the first folio edition of our poet's dramatick 
works, p. 258, 259. Objections of Dr. Johnson and others, 
enumerated. Recapitulation, p. 259, 260. A considerable part 
of the English history dramatized before the time of Shakspeare ; 
and many of his historical and other plays formed on those of* 
preceding writers, p. 260 262. Conclusion, p. 262. 








That those Plays were NOT written ORIGINALLY by 

SEVERAL passages in The Second and Third Part of King 
Henry VI. appearing evidently to be of the hand of Shakspeare, 
I was long of opinion that the three historical dramas which are 
the subject of the present disquisition, were properly ascribed to 
him ; not then doubting that the whole of these plays was the 
production of the same person. But a more minute investigation 
of the subject, into which I have been led by the revision of all 
our author's works, has convinced me, that, though the premises 
were true, my conclusion was too hastily drawn ; for though the 
hand of Shakspeare is unquestionably found in the two latter of 
these plays, it does not therefore necessarily follow, that they 
were originally and entirely composed by him. My thoughts 
upon this point have already been intimated in the foregoing 
notes ; but it is now necessary for me to state my opinion more 
particularly, and to lay before the reader the grounds on which, 
after a very careful enquiry, it has been formed. 

What at present I have chiefly in view is, to account for the 
visible inequality in these pieces ; many traits of Shakspeare being 
clearly discernible in them, while the inferior parts are not merely 
unequal to the rest, (from which no certain conclusion can be 
drawn, ) but of quite a different complexion from the inferior 
parts of our author's undoubted performances. 


My hypothesis then is, that The First Part of King Henry VI. 
as it now appears, ( of which no quarto copy is extant, ) was the 
entire or nearly the entire production of some ancient dramatist; 
that The Whole Contention of the Two Houses of York and Lan- 
caster, &c. written probably before the year 1590, and printed 
in quarto, in 1600, was also the composition of some writer who 
preceded Shakspeare ; and that from this piece, which is in two 
parts, (the former of which is entitled, The First Part of the 
Contention of the TIKO famous Houses ofYorke and Lancaster , 
faith the Death of the good Duke Humphrey, &c. and the latter, 
The true Tragedie ofRicharde Duke of Yorke, and the Death 
of good King Henrie the Sixt, ) our poet formed the two plays, 
entitled, The Second and Third Parts of King Henry VI. as 
they appear in the first folio edition of his works. 

Mr. Upton has asked, " How does the painter distinguish 
copies from originals but by manner and style ? And have not 
authors their peculiar style and manner, from which a true critick 
can form as unerring a judgment as a painter ?" Dr. Johnson, 
though he has shown, with his usual acuteness, that " this illu- 
stration of the critick's science will not prove what is desired," 
acknowledges in a preceding note, that " dissimilitude of style 
and heterogeneousness of sentiment may sufficiently show that a 
work does not really belong to the reputed author. But in these 
plays (he adds) no such marks of spuriousness are found. The 
diction, versification, and the figures, are Shakspeare's." By 
these criterions then let us examine TheYirstPartofK. Henry VI. 
(for I choose to consider that piece separately;) and if the dic- 
tion, the figures, or rather the allusions, and the versification of 
that play, (for these are our surest guides) shall appear to be 
different from the other two parts, as they are exhibited in the f olio t 
and from our author's other plays, we may fairly conclude that 
he was not the writer of it. 

I. With respect to the diction and the allusions, which I shall 
consider under the same head, it is very observable that in The 
First Part of King Henry VI. there are more allusions to mytho- 
logy, to classical authors, and to ancient and modern history, 
than, I believe, can be found in any one piece of our author's, 
written on an English story ; and that these allusions are intro- 
duced very much in the same manner as they are introduced in 
the plays of Greene, Peele, Lodge, and other dramatists who 
preceded Shakspeare ; that is, they do not naturally arise out of 
the subject, but seem to be inserted merely to shew the writer's 
learning.* Of these the following are the most remarkable : 

* - i-^ to shew the writer's learning.'} This appearance of pedantry, if not 
assumed in imitation of Greene &c. (See Vol. XIII. p. 3,) would only induce 


_-li Mars his true moving, even as in the heavens, 
So in the earth, to this day is not known. 

2. A far more glorious star thy soul will make 
Than Julius Caesar, or bright 

This blank, Dr. Johnson with the highest probability conjec- 
tures, should be filled up with " Berenice ;" a word that the 
transcriber or compositor probably could not make out. In the 
same manner he left a blank in a subsequent passage for the 
name of" Nero," as is indubitably proved by the following line, 
which ascertains the omitted word. See No. 6. 

3. Was Mahomet inspired with a dove? 

4. Helen, the mother of great Constantino, 

Nor yet Saint Philip's daughters, were like thee. 

5. Froisard, a countryman of ours, records, &c. 
6. and, like thee, [Nero,] 

Play on the lute, beholding the towns burning. 
[In the original copy there is a blank where the word Nero is 
now placed.] 

7. The spirit of deep prophecy she hath, 
Exceeding the nine Sybils of old Rome. 

8. A witch, by fear, not force, like Hannibal, 
Drives back our troops . 

9. Divinest creature, Astraea's daughter . 
10. Adonis' gardens, 

That one day bloom'd, and fruitful were the next. 
11. A statelier pyramis to her I'll rear, 

Than Rhodope's, or Memphis', ever was. 
12. an urn more precious 

Than the rich-jewel'd coffer of Darius. 
13. 1 shall as famous be by this exploit, 

As Scythian Thomyris, by Cyrus' death. 
14. 1 thought I should have seen some Hercules, 

A second Hector, for his grim aspect. 

15. Nestor-like aged, in an age of care. 

16. Then follow thou thy desperate sire of Crete, 
Thou Icarus. 

17. Where is the great Alcides of the field ? 

18. Now am I like that proud insulting ship, 
That Caesar and his fortune bare at once. 

Tne to think that the piece now under consideration might be the work of a ju- 
venile writer ; and why not one of Shakspeare's earliest dramatick effusions ? 
The first themes composed by schoolboys are always stuffed with a tritical pa- 
rade of literature, such as is found in antiquated plays, some of which, our 
author, while yet immature, might have taken for his model. STEEVBNS. 



19. Is Talbot slain; the Frenchman '6 only scourge, 
Your kingdom's terror, and black Nemesis ? 

20. Thou may'st not wander in that labyrinth ; 
There Minotaurs, and ugly treasons lurk. 

21. See, how the ugly witch doth bend her brows, 
As if, with Circe, she would change my shape. 

22. . thus he goes, 

As did the youthful Paris once to Greece; 
With hope to find the like event in love. 
Of particular expressions there are many in this play that seem 
to me more likely to have been used by the authors already named, 
than by Shakspeare ; but I confess, with Dr. Johnson, that single 
words can conclude little. However, I will just mention that 
the words proditor and immanity, which occur in this piece, are 
not, I believe, found in any of Shakspeare's undisputed perform- 
ances : not to insist on a direct Latinism, pile-esteemed, which 
I am confident was the word intended by the author, though, 
being a word of his own formation, the compositor has printed 
-pzY'flf-esteem'd, instead of it.* 

The versification of this play appears to me clearly of a dif- 
ferent colour from that of all our author's genuine dramas, while 
at the same time it resembles that of many of the plays produced 
before the time of Shakspeare. 

In all the tragedies written before his time, or just when he 
commenced author, a certain stately march of versification is 
very observable. The sense concludes or pauses almost uniformly 
at the end of every line ; and the verse has scarcely ever a re- 
dundant syllable. As the reader may not have any of these 
pieces at hand, (by the possession of which, however, his library 
would not be much enriched,) I shall add a few instances, the 
first that occur : 

" Most loyal lords, and faithful followers, 

" That have with me, unworthy general, 

" Passed the greedy gulph of Ocean, 

" Leaving the confines of fair Italy, 

" Behold, your Brutus draweth nigh his end. 

" And I must leave you, though against my will. 

*' My sinews shrink, my numbed senses fail, 

" A chilling cold possesseth all my bones ; 

** Black ugly death, with visage pale and wan, 

" Presents himself before my dazzled eyes, 

*' And with his dart prepared is to strike." 

Locrine t 1595. 

* See King Henry VI. P. I. Vol. XIII. p. 39, n. 4. 


" My lord of Gloucester, and lord Mortimer, 

" To do you honour in your sovereign's eyes, 

" That, as we hear, is newly come aland, 

" From Palestine, with all his men of war, 

" ( The poor remainder of the royal fleet, 

" Preserv'd by miracle in Sicil road, ) 

' Go mount your coursers, meet him on the way ; 

" Pray him to spur his steed, minutes and hours, 

" Untill his mother see her princely son, 

" Shining in glory of his safe return.*' 

Edward I. by George Peele, 1593. 

" Then go thy ways, and clime up to the clouds, 

' And tell Apollo that Orlando sits 

" Making of verses for Angelica. 

* And if he do deny to send me down 

" The shirt which Deianira sent to Hercules, 

" To make me brave upon my wedding day, 

" Tell him I'll pass the Alps, and up to Meroe, 

** (I know he knows that watry lakish hill) 

" And pull the harp out of the minstrels hands, 

" And pawne it unto lovely Proserpine, 

" That she may fetch the faire Angelica." 

Orlando Furioso, by Robert Greene, printed in 
1599 ; written before 1592. 

" The work that Ninus rear'd at Babylon, 
" The brazen walls fram'd by Semiramis, 
" Carv'd out like to the portal of the sunne, 
" Shall not be such as rings the English strand 
" From Dover to the market-place of Rye." 

* * * 

" To plain our questions, as Apollo did." 

* * * 

" Facile and debonaire in all his deeds, 
" Proportion'd as was Paris, when in gray, 
'* He courted Oenon in the vale by Troy." 

* # * 

" Who dar'd for Edward's sake cut through the seas, 
" And venture as Agenor's damsel through the deepe." 

* * * 

'* England's rich monarch, brave Plantagenet, 
" The Pyren mountains swelling above the clouds, 
"That ward this wealthy Castile in with walls, 
" Could not detain the beauteous Eleanor ; 
" But hearing of the fame of Edward's youth, 



" She dar'd to brave Neptunus' haughty pride, 
" And brave the brunt of froward Eolus." 

# * # 

" Daphne, the damsel that caught Phoebus fast, 
*' And lock'd him in the brightness of her looks, 
" Was not so beauteous in Apollo's eyes, 
" As is fair Margaret, to the Lincoln earl.'* 

# * * 

*' We must lay plots for stately tragedies, 
" Strange comick shews, such as proud Roscius 
; ; '* Vaunted before the Roman emperours." 

# * # 

" Lacy, thou can'st not shrowd thy traiterous thoughts, 
" Nor cover, as did Cassius, all his wiles ; 
" For Edward hath an eye that looks as far 

" As Lynceus from the shores of Greecia." 

# * # 

" Pardon, my lord : If Jove's great royalty 
'* Sent me such presents as to Danae ; 
" If Phoebus tied to Latona's webs, 
" Came courting from the beauty of his lodge; 
" The dulcet tunes of frolick Mercurie, 
. . " Nor all the wealth heaven's treasury affords 

'* Should make me leave lord Lacy or his love.''* 

# * # 

" What will thou do ? 
" Shew thee the tree leav*d with refined gold, 
'* Whereon the fearful dragon held his seate, 
" That watch'd the garden call'd Hesperides, 
"Subdued and wonne by conquering Hercules." 



" That overshines our damsels, as the moone 
11 Darkens the brightest sparkles of the night.'* 

* * * 

" Should Paris enter in the courts of Greece, 

" And not lie fetter'd in fair Helen's looks ? 

" Or Phoebus scape those piercing amorists, 

" That Daphne glanced at his deitie ? 

" Can Edward then sit by a flame and freeze, 

'* Whose heats put Hellen and fair Daphne down ?* 

; The Honourable Historic of Friar Bacon, &c. by Ra- 
<-. bert Greene ; written before 1592, printed in 1598. 

" King. Thus far, ye English Peers, have we display *d 
" Our waving ensigns with a happy war ; 


' Thus nearly hath our furious rage revengM 

*< My daughter's death upon the traiterous Scot ; 

" And now before Dunbar our camp is pitch'd, 

" Which if it yield not to our compromise, 

" The place shall furrow where the palace stood, 

' And fury shall envy so high a power, 

" That mercy shall be banish'd from our sword. 

" Doug. What seeks the English king ? 

" King. Scot, ope those gates, and let me enter in. 
" Submit thyself and thine unto my grace, 
" Or I will put each mother's son to death, 
" And lay this city level with the ground." 

James IV. by Robert Greene, printed in 1598; 
written before 1592. 

" Valeria, attend ; I have a lovely bride 
" As bright as is the heaven chrystaline"; 
" As faire as is the milke- white way of Jove, 
" As chaste as Phoebe in her summer sports, 
" As soft and tender as the azure downe 
" That circles Citherea's silver doves ; 
" Her do I meane to make my lovely bride, 
" And in her bed to breathe the sweet content 
" That I, thou know'st, long time have aimed at." 

The Taming of a Shrew, written before 1594-. 

" Pol. Faire Emilia, summers bright sun queene, 
" Brighter of hew than is the burning clime 
" Where Phoebus in his bright equator sits, 
" Creating gold and pretious minerals, 
" What would Emilia doe, if I were fond 
" To leave faire Athens, and to range the world ? 

" Emil. Should thou assay to scale the seate of Jove, 
" Mounting the subtle airie regions, 
" Or be snatcht up, as erst was Ganimede, 
*' Love should give wings unto my swift desires, 
" And prune my thoughts, that I would follow thce, 
" Or fall and perish as did Icarus." Ibid. 

" Barons of England, and my noble lords, 

" Though God and fortune hath bereft from us 

" Victorious Richard, scourge of infidels, 

** And clad this land in stole of dismal hue, 

" Yet give me leave to joy, and joy you all, 

" That from this wombe hath sprung a second hope, 

" A king that may in rule and virtue both 

" Succeed his brother in his emperie." 

The troublesome RaigneofKing John t 1591. 


as sometimes Phaeton, 

" Mistrusting silly Merops for his sire " Ibid. 

" As cursed Nero with his mother did, 

" So I with you, if you resolve me not.'* Ibid. 

* * # 

" Peace, Arthur, peace ! thy mother makes thee wings, 
" To soar with peril after Icarus." Ibid. 

" How doth Alecto whisper in my ears, 

" Delay not, Philip, kill the villaine straight." Ibid. 

* * * 

" Philippus atavis edite regibus, 

" What saist thou, Philip, sprung of ancient kings, 

'* Quo me rapit tempestas?" Ibid. 

* * * 

" Morpheus, leave here thy silent ebon cave, 

" Besiege his thoughts with dismal phantasies ; 

" And ghastly objects of pale threatning Mors, 

" Affright him every minute with stern looks." Ibid. 

* * * 

" Here is the ransome that allaies his rage, 

' The first freehold that Richard left his sonne, 

" With which I shall surprize his living spies, 

" As Hector's statue did the fainting Greeks." Ibid. 

* * * 

" This cursed country, where the traitors breathe, 

" Whose perjurie (as proud Briareus) 

" Beleaguers all the sky with misbelief." Ibid. 

* * * 

" Must Constance speak ? let tears prevent her talk. 

" Must I discourse ? let Dido sigh, and say, 

" She weeps again to hear the wrack of Troy." Ibid. 

* # * 

" John, 'tis thy sins that make it miserable, 

" Quicguiddelirant reges,plectuntur Achivi." Ibid. 

* * * 

" King. Robert of Artoys, banish'd though thou be, 
*' From France, thy native country, yet with us 
" Thou shalt retain as great a signorie, 
" For we create thee earle of Richmond here : 
" And now go forwards with our pedigree ; 
" Who next succeeded Philip of Bew ? 

" Art. Three sonnes of his, which, all successfully, 
" Did sit upon their father's regal throne ; 
" Yet died, and left no issue of their loynes. 

" King. But was my mother sister unto these ? 


" Art. She was, my lord ; and only Isabel 
" Was all the daughters that this Philip had." 

The Raigne of King Edward III. 1596. 

The tragedies of Marius and Sylla, by T. Lodge 1594, A 
Looking Glass Jbr London and England, by T. Lodge and R. 
Greene, 1598, Solyman and Perseda, written'before 1592, Seli- 
mus f Emperour of the Turks, 1594, The Spanish Tragedy, 1592, 
and Titus Andronicus, will all furnish examples of a similar ver- 
ification ; a versification so exactly corresponding with that of 
The First Part of King Henry VI. and The Whole Contention of 
the TIKO Houses of Yorke and Lancaster, &c. as it originally ap- 
peared, that I have no doubt these plays were the production of 
some one or other of the authors of the pieces above quoted or 

A passage in a pamphlet written by Thomas Nashe, an inti- 
mate friend, of Greene, Peele, &c. shows that The First Part of 
King Henry VI. had been on the stage before 1592 ; and his 
favourable mention of this piece inclines me to believe that it 
was written by a friend of his. " How would it have joyed brave 
Talbot, (says Nashe in Pierce Pennilesse his Supplication to the 
Devil, 1592,) the terror of the French, to thinke that after he 
had lyen two hundred yeare in his tombe, he should triumph 
again on the stage ; and have his bones new embalmed with the 
tearesof ten thousand spectators at least, (at several times ) who 
in the tragedian that represents his person behold him fresh 

This passage was several years ago pointed out by my friend 
Dr. Farmer, as a proof of the hypothesis which I am now endea- 
vouring to establish. That it related to the old play of King 
Henry F/.or, as it is now called, The First Part ofK. Henry VI. 
cannot, I think, be doubted. Talbot appears in the First part, 
and not in the second or third part ; and is expressly spoken of in 
the play, (as well as in Hall's Chronicle,) as " the terror of the 
French." Holinshed, who was Shakspeare's guide, omits the 
passage in Hall, in which Talbot is thus described ; and this is 
an additional proof that this play was not our author's. But of 
this more hereafter. 

The First Part of King Henry VI. (as it is now called) fur- 
nishes us with other internal proofs also of its not being the work 
of Shakspeare. 

1. The author of that play, whoever he was, does not seem 
to have known precisely how old Henry the Sixth was at the time 
of his father's death. He opens his play indeed with the funeral 
of Henry the Fifth, but no where mentions expressly the young 
king's age. It is clear, however, from one passage, that he sup- 

posed him to have passed the state of infancy before he lost his 
father, and even to have remembered some of his sayings. In 
the fourth Act, sc. iv. speaking of the famous Talbot, he says : 
" When I uas young (as yet I am not old,) 
" / do remember hoiv my father said, 
" A stouter champion never handled sword." 
But Shakspeare, as appears from two passages, one in the second, 
and the other in the Third part of King Henry VI. knew that 
that king could not possibly remember any thing his father had 
said ; and therefore Shakspeare could not have been the author 
of faejirst part. 

" No sooner was I crept out of my cradle, 
" But I was made a king at nine months old" 

Kins Henry VI. P. II. Act IV. sc. ix. 
" When I was crown'a, I was but nine months old." 

King Henry VI. P. III. Act I. sc. i. 

The first of these passages is found in the folio copy of The 
Second Part of King Henry VI. and not in The First Part of 
the Contention, &c. printed in quarto ; and according to my hy- 
pothesis, was one of Shakspeare's additions to the old play. This 
therefore does not prove that the original author, whoever he 
was, was not likewise the author of The First Part of King 
Henry VI ; but, what is more material to our present question, 
it proves that Shakspeare could not be the author of that play. 
The second of these passages is found in The true Tragedie of 
Richard Duke of Yorke, &c. and is a decisive proof that The 
First Part of King Henry VI. was written neither by the author 
of that tragedy, nor by Shakspeare. 

2. A second internal proof that Shakspeare was not the author 
of thefast part of these three plays, is furnished by that scene, 
(Act II. sc. v. Vol. XIII. p. 81,) in which it is said, that the 
Earl of Cambridge raised an army against his sovereign. But 
Shakspeare in his play of King Henry V. has represented the 
matter truly as it was ; the Earl being m the second Act of that 
historical piece condemned at Southampton for conspiring to 
assassinate Henry. 

3. I may likewise add, that the author of The First Part of 
King Henry VI. knew the true pronunciation of the word 
Hecate, and has used it as it is used by the Roman writers : 

" I speak not to that railing Heca-te." 

But Shakspeare in his Macbeth always uses Hecate as a dissylla- 
ble ; and therefore could not have been the author of the other 

* It may. perhaps appear a minute remark, but I cannot help observing that 
the second speech in this play ascertains the writer to have been very conversant 
with Ilall'i Chronicle : 


- Having now, as I conceive, vindicated Shakspeare from being 
the writer of The First Part of King Henry VI. it may seem un- 
necessary to enquire who was the author; or whether it was the 
production of the same person or persons who wrote the two 
pieces, entitled, The First Part of the Contention of the Tuo 
Houses, &c. and The true Tragedie of Richard Duke of Yorke, 
&c. However, I shall add a word or two on that point. 

We have already seen that the author of the play last named 
could not have written The First Part of King Henry VI. The 
following circumstances prove that it could not have been written 
by the author of The First Part of the Contention, &c. supposing 
for a moment that piece, and The true Tragedie of the Duke of 
Yorke, &c. to have been the work of different hands. 

1. The writer of The First Part of the Contention, &c. makes 
Salisbury say to Richard Duke of York, that the person from 
whom the Duke derived his title, (he means his maternal uncle 
Edmund Mortimer, though he ignorantly gives him a different 
appellation,) was "done to death by that monstrous rebel Owen 
CJlendower ;" and Shakspeare in this has followed him : 

" Sal. This Edmund, in the reign of Bolingbroke, 
" As t have read, laid claim unto the crown ; 
" And, but for Owen Glendower, had been king, 
" Who kept him in captivity, till he died." 

On this false assertion the Duke of York makes no remark. But 
the author of The First Part of King Henry VI. has represented 

" What should I say ?t his deeds exceed all speech." 

This phrase is introduced on almost every occasion by that writer, when he 
means to be eloquent. Holinshed, and not Hall, was Shakspeare's historian 
(as has been already observed) ; this therefore is an additional proof that this 
play was not our author's. 

- Shakspeare in his Macbeth always uses Hecate as a dissyllable ; and 

therefore could not have been the author of the other piece.] By similar reason- 
ing we might infer that Shakspeare was not author of The Tempest ; for in thii 
play Stephana is properly accented, but erroneously [Stephana] in The Mer- 
chant of Venice ; and that because Prosper occurs in one scene, and Prosper* 
in another, that both scenes were not of Shakspeare's composition. The same 
might be. said of Antony and Cleopatra, in which both Enobarbe and Enobarbu* 
are found. This argument also might lead us to imagine that part of the Iliad 
which passes under the name of Mr. Pope, was not in reality translated by him ; 
because in one book we have Idomeneus, Meriones, and Cebriones, and in 
another Idbmen, Merion, and Cebrion. Most certainly, both Shakspeare and 
Pope occasionally accommodated their proper names to the structure of their 
yerses. The abbreviation Hecaf is therefore no proof of our author's igno- 
rance that Hecate' was usually a trisyllable. STEEVENS. 

t What should I say?] In page 611 of Mr. Malone's edition of King 
ftichard HI. Vol. VI. this very phrase occurs : 

" What shall I say more than I have inferr'd ?" STEEVENJ. 


this Edmund Mortimer, not as put to death, or kept in captivity 
to the time of his death, by Owen Glendower, (who himself 
died in the second year of King Henry F.) but as a state prisoner, 
who died in the Tower in the reign of King Henry VI, in the 
presence of this very Duke of York, who was then only Richard 

2. A correct statement of the issue of King Edward the Third, 
and of the title of Edmund Mortimer to the crown, is given in 
The First Part of King Henry VI. But in The First Part of 
the Contention, &c. we find a very incorrect and false statement 
of Edward's issue, and of the title of Mortimer, whose father, 
Roger Mortimer, the author of that piece ignorantly calls the 
Jifth son of that monarch. Those two plays therefore could not 
have been the work of one hand. 

On all these grounds it appears to me clear, that neither Shak- 
speare, nor the author of The First Part of the Contention, &c. 
or The true Tragedie of Richard Duke of Yorke, &c. could have 
been the author of The First Part of King Henry VI. 

It is observable that in The Second and Third Part of King 
Henry VI. many thoughts and many modes of expression are 
found, which likewise occur in Shakspeare's other dramas : but 
in the First Part I recollect but one marked expression, that is 
also found in one of his undisputed performances : 

" As I am sick with working of my thoughts." 
So, in King Henry V: 

" Work, luork your thoughts, and therein see a siege." 

But surely this is too slight a circumstance to overturn all the 
other arguments that have now been urged to prove this play 
not the production of our author. The co-incidence might 
be accidental, for it is a co-incidence not of thought but of 
language ; or the expression might have remained in his mind 
in consequence of his having often seen this play ; (we know that 
he has borrowed many other expressions from preceding writers;) 
or lastly, this might have been one of the very few lines that 
he wrote on revising this piece ; which, however few they were, 
might, with other reasons, have induced the first publishers of 
his works in folio to print it with the second and third part, and 
to ascribe it to Shakspeare. 

Before I quit this part of the subject, it may be proper to men- 
tion one other circumstance that renders it very improbable that 
Shakspeare should have been the author of The First Part ofK. 
Henry VI. In this play, though one scene is entirely in rhyme, 
there are very few rhymes dispersed through the piece, and no 

*See The First Part of King Henry VI. Vol. XIII. p. 73, and The Second 
Part, p. 239. 


Alternate rhymes ; both of which abound in our author's undis- 
puted early plays. This observation indeed may likewise be ex- 
tended to the second and third part of these historical dramas ; 
and perhaps it may be urged, that if this argument has any 
weight, it will prove that he had no hand in the composition of 
those plays. But there being no alternate rhymes in those two 
plays may be accounted for, by recollecting that in 1591, Shak- 
speare had not written his Venus and Adonis, or his Rape of 
Lucrece ; the measures of which perhaps insensibly led him to 
employ a similar kind of metre occasionally in the dramas that 
he wrote shortly after he had composed those poems. The 
paucity of regular rhymes must be accounted for differently. 
My solution is, that working up the materials which were fur- 
nished by a preceding writer, he naturally followed his mode : 
and in the original plays from which these two were formed very 
few rhymes are found. Nearly the same argument will apply to 
the first part ; for its date also, were that piece Shakspeare's, 
would account for the want of alternate rhymes. The paucity 
of regular rhymes indeed cannot be accounted for by saying that 
here too our author was following the track of another poet ; but 
the solution is unnecessary ; for from the beginning to the end 
of that play, except perhaps in some scenes of the fourth Act, 
there is not a single print of the footsteps of Shakspeare. 

I have already observed, that it is highly improbable that The 
First Part of the Contention of the Two Houses of York and 
Lancaster, &c. and The true Tragedie of Richarde Duke of 
Yorke, &c. printed in 1600, were written by the author of The 
First Part of King Henry VI. By whom these two plays were 
written, it is not here necessary to inquire ; it is sufficient, if 
probable reasons can be produced for supposing this two-part 
piece not to have been the composition of Shakspeare, but the 
work of some preceding writer, on which he formed those two 
plays which appear in the first folio edition of his works, com- 
prehending a period of twenty-six years, from the time of 
Henry's marriage to that of his death. 

II. I now therefore proceed to state my opinion concern- 
ing The Second and Third Part of King Henry VI. 

A book entituled, The First Part of the Contention of the 
Two famous Houses of Yorke and Lancaster, 'with the Death of 
the good Duke Humphrie, and the Banishment and Deathe of 
the Duke of Yorke, and the tragical Ende of the proud Cardinal 
of Winchester, with the notable Rebellion of Jack Cade, and 
the Duke of Yorke's Jirst Claime unto the Crown, was entered 
at Stationers* Hall, by Thomas Millington, March 12, 1593-4. 
This play, however, (on which The Second Part of King 
Henry VI. is formed) was not then printed; nor was The true 


Tragedic of Richard Duke ' of Yorke, and the Death of good 
King Henry the Sixt, &c. (on which Shakspeare's Third Part of 
'King Henry VI. is founded) entered at Stationers* Hall at 
the same time ; but they were both printed for T. Millington in 

The first thing that strikes us in this entry is, that the name of 
Shakspeare is not mentioned; nor, when the two plays were 
published in 1600, did the printer ascribe them to our author in 
the title-page, (though his reputation was then at the highest,) 
as surely he would have done, had they been his compositions. 

In a subsequent edition indeed of the same pieces, printed by 
one Pavier, without date, but in reality in 1619, after our great 

Eoet's death, the name of Shakspeare appears ; but this was a 
ookseller's trick, founded upon our author's celebrity ; on his 
having new-modelled these plays ; and on the proprietors of the 
Globe and Blackfriars' theatre not havingpublished Shakspeare's 
Second and Third Parts of King Henry VI. The very same 
deception was practised with respect to King John. The old 
play (written perhaps by the same person who was the author 
t)f The Contention of the Two famous Houses &c.) was printed 
in 1591, like that piece, anonymously. In 1611, (Shakspeare's 
King John, founded on the same story, having been probably 
often acted and admired,) the old piece in two parts was re- 
printed ; and, in order to deceive the purchaser, was said in the 
title-page to be written by W. Sh. A subsequent printer in 
1622 grew more bold, and affixed Shakspeare's name to it at 
full length. 

It is observable that Millington, the bookseller, by whom The 
Jirst Part of the Contention of the Two famous Houses, &c. was 
entered at Stationers' Hall, in 1593-4, and for whom that piece 
and The Tragedie of the Duke of York, &c. were printed in 
1600, was not the proprietor of L any one of Shakspeare's undis- 
puted plays, except King Henry V. of which he published a 
spurious copy, that, I think, must have been imperfectly taken 
down in short hand in the play-house. 

The next observable circumstance, with respect to these two 
quarto plays, is, that they are said, in their title-pages, to have 
been " sundry times acted by the earle of Pembrooke his ser- 
vantes." Titus Andronicus and The old Taming of a Shrew, 
were acted by the same company of comedians ; but not one of 
our author's plays is said, in its title-page, to have been acted 
by any but the Lord Chamberlain's, or the Queen's, or King's 

*They were probably printed in 1600, because Shakspeare's alterations of them 
were then popular, as King Leir and his Three Daughters was printed in 1605, be- 
eause our author's play was probably at that time first produced. 


servants.* This circumstance alone, in my opinion, might al- 
most decide the question. 

This much appears on the first superficial view of these pieces ; 
but the passage quoted by Mr. Tyrwhitt from an old pamphlet, 
entitled Greene's Groatsiuorth of Witte, &c. affords a still more 
decisive support to the hypothesis that I am endeavouring to 
maintain ; which, indeed, that pamphlet first suggested to me. 
As this passage is the chief hinge of my argument, though it 
has already been printed in a preceding page, it is necessary to 
lay it again before the reader. " Yes," says the writer, Robert 
Greene, ( addressing himself, as Mr. Tyrwhitt conjectures with 
great probability, to his poetical friend, George Peele,) " trust 
them [the players] not; for there is an upstart crowe BEAUTI- 
FIED WITH OUR FEATHERS, that with his tygres heart wrapt in 
a player's hide supposes hee is as well able to bombaste out 
blank verse as the best of you ; and being an absolute Johannes 
fac totum, is, in his own conceit, the only Shake-scene in a 
country." " O tyger's heart, wrapt in a woman's hide !" is a 
line of the old quarto play, entitled Thefrst Part of the Con- 
tention of the Two Houses, &c. 

That Shakspeare was here alluded to, cannot, I think, be 
doubted. But what does the writer mean by calling him " a 
trow beautified with our feathers?" My solution is, that 
GREENE and PEELE were the joint authors of the two quarto 
plays, entitled The first Part of the Contention of the Two 
famous Houses of Yorke and Lancaster, &c. and The true Tra- 
gedie pfRicharde Duke of Yorke, &c. or that Greene was the 
author of one, and Peele of the other. Greene's pamphlet, 
from whence the foregoing passage is extracted, was written re- 
cently before his death, which happened in September, 1592. 
How long he and Peele had been dramatick writers, is not pre- 
cisely ascertained. Peele took the degree of Master of Arts at 
Oxford, in 1579 : Greene took the same degree in Cambridge, 
in 1583. Each of them has left four or five plays, and they 
wrote several others, which have not been published. The 
earliest of Peele's printed pieces, The Arraignment of Paris, 
appeared in 1584 ; and one of Greene's pamphlets was printed 
in 1583. Between that year and 1591 it is highly probable that 
the two plays in question were written. I suspect they were 
produced in 1588 or 1589. We have undoubted proofs that 
Shakspeare was not above working on the materials of other 
men. His Taming of the Shrew, his King John, and other 

* The first edition of Romeo and Juliet, 1597, is said in its title-page to have 
fceen acted " By the right honourable the L. of Hunsdon his servants." 



plays, render any arguments on that point unnecessary. Having 
therefore, probably not long before the year 1592, when 
Greene wrote his Dying Exhortation to a Friend, new-modelled 
and amplified these two pieces, and produced on the stage what, 
in the folio edition of his works, are called The Second and 
Third Parts of King Henry VI. and having acquired consider- 
able reputation by them, Greene could not conceal the mortifi- 
cation that he felt at his own fame and that of his associate, 
both of them old and admired play-wrights, being eclipsed by 
a new upstart writer, (for so he calls our great poet,) who had 
then first, perhaps, attracted the notice of the publick by ex- 
hibiting two plays, formed upon old dramas written by them, 
considerably enlarged and improved. He therefore, in direct 
terms, charges him with having acted like the crow in the fable, 
beautified himself ivith their feathers ; in other words, with 
having acquired fame furtivis coloribus, by new-modelling a 
work originally produced by them : and wishing to depreciate 
our author, he very naturally quotes a line from one of the 
pieces which Shakspeare had thus re-written ; a proceeding 
which the authors of the original plays considered as an invasion 
both of their literary property and character. This line, with 
many others, Shakspeare adopted without any alteration. The 
very term that Greene uses " to bombast out a blank verse," 
exactly corresponds with what has been now suggested. This 
new poet, says he, knows as well as any man how to amplify 
and swell out a blank verse. Bumbast was a soft stuff of a loose 
texture, by which garments were rendered more swelling and 

Several years after the death of Boiardo, Francesco Berni un- 
dertook to new-versify Boiardo's poem, entitled ORLANDO IN- 
NAMORATO. " Berni (as Baretti observes) was not satisfied 
with merely making the versification of that poem better ; he 
interspersed it with many stanzas of his own, and changed 
almost all the beginnings of the cantos, introducing each of 
them with some moral reflection arising from the canto fore- 
going." What Berni did to Boiardo's poem after the death of 
its author, and more, I suppose Shakspeare to have done to 
The First Part of the Contention of the Two Houses of Yorke 
and Lancaster, &c. and The true Tragedie of Richarde Duke 
of Yorke, &c. in the life time of Greene and Peele, their lite- 
rary parents ; and this Rifacimento (as the Italians call it) of 
these two plays I suppose to have been executed by Shakspeare, 
and exhibited at the Globe or Blackfriars theatre, in the year 

I have said Shakspeare did what Berni did, and more. He 
did not content himself with writing new beginnings to the acts ; 


he new-versified, he new-modelled, he transposed many of the 
parts, and greatly amplified and improved the whole. Several 
lines, however, and even whole speeches which he thought suf- 
ficiently polished, he accepted, and introduced into his own 
work, without any, or with very slight, alterations. 

In the present edition, all those lines which he adopted with- 
out any alteration, are printed in the usual manner; those 
speeches which he altered or expanded, are distinguished by in- 
verted commas ; and to all the lines entirely composed by him- 
self, asterisks are prefixed. The total number of lines in our 
author's Second and Third Part of King Henry VI. is Six 
THOUSAND AND FORTY-THREE: of these, as I conceive, 1771 
lines were written by some author who preceded Shakspeare ; 
2373 were formed by him on the foundation laid by his prede- 
cessors ; and 1 899 lines were entirely his own composition. 

That the reader may have the whole of the subject before 
him, I shall here transcribe the fourth scene of the fourth Act 
of The Third Part of King Henry VI. ^ which happens to be a 
short one, ) together with the corresponding scene in the original 
play ; and also a speech of Queen Margaret, in the fifth Act, 
with the original speech on which it is formed. The first spe- 
cimen will serve to show the method taken by Shakspeare, where 
he only new-polished the language of the old play, rejecting 
some part of the dialogue, and making some slight additions to 
the part which he retained ; the second is a striking proof of his 
facility and vigour of composition, which has happily expanded 
a thought comprized originally in a very short speech, into thirty- 
seven lines, none of which appear feeble or superfluous. 

Sfc. Sign. F. 4. edit. 1600. 

Enter the Qiieene, and the Lord Rivers. 

Riv. Tell me, good madam, 
Why is your grace so passionate of late. 

Queene. Why, brother Rivers, heare you not the news 
Of that success king Edward had of late ? 

Riv. What ? losse of some pitcht battaile against Warwick ? 
Tush ; fear not, fair queen, but cast these cares aside. 
King Edwards noble minde his honours doth display; 
And Warwicke may lose, though then he got the day. 

Queene. If that were all, my griefes were at an end ; 
But greater troubles will, I feare, befall. 

Riv. What ? is he taken prisoner by the foe, 
To the danger of his royal person then ? 


Queene. I, there's my griefe ; king Edward is surprisde. 
And led away as prisoner unto Yorke. 

Riv. The newes is passing strange, I must confesse ; 
Yet comfort yourselfe, for Edward hath more friends 
Than Lancaster at this time must perceive, 
That some will set him in his throne againe. 

Queene. God grant they may ! but gentle brother, come, 
And let me leane upon thine arm a while, 
Until I come unto the sanctuarie ; 
There to preserve the fruit within my womb, 
King Edwards seed, true heir to Englands crowne. \_Exeunt. 


Enter the QUEEN and RIVERS. 

Riv. Madam, what makes you in this sudden change ? 

Queen. Why, brother Rivers, are you yet to learn, 
What late misfortune is befall'n king Edward ? 

Riv. What, loss of some pitch'd battle against Warwick ? 

Queen. No, but the loss of his own royal person. 

Riv. Then is my sovereign slain ? 

Queen. Ay, almost slain, for he is taken prisoner ; 
Either betray 'd by falshood of his guard, 
Or by his foe surpriz'd at unawares : 
And, as I further have to understand, 
Is new committed to the bishop of York, 
Fell Warwick's brother, and by that our foe. 

Riv. These news, I must confess, are full of grief: 
Yet, gracious madam, bear it as you may ; 
Warwick may lose, that now hath won the day. 

Queen. Till then, fair hope must hinder life's decay* 
And I the rather wean me from despair, 
For love of Edward's offspring in my womb : 
This is it that makes me bridle passion, 
And bear with mildness my misfortune's cross ; 
Ay, ay, for this I draw in many a tear, 
And stop the rising of blood-sucking sighs, 
Lest with my sighs or tears I blast or drown 
King Edward's fruit, true heir to the English crown. 

Riv. But, madam, where is Warwick then become ? 

Queen. I am informed, that he comes towards London 
To set the crown once more on Henry's head : 
Guess thou the rest ; king Edward's friends must down. 
But, to prevent the tyrant's violence, 
(For trust not him that once hath broken faith,) 


I'll hence forthwith unto the sanctuary, 

To save at least the heir of Edward's right ; 

There shall I rest secure from force, and fraud, 

Come therefore, let Us fly, while we may fly ; 

If Warwick take us, we are sure to die. [Exeunt. 

8fC. Sign. G. 4. edit. 1600. 

Enter the Queene, Prince Edward, Oxford, Somerset, with 
drumme and souldiers. 

Queen. Welcome to England, my loving friends of France ; 
And welcome Somerset and Oxford too. 
Once more have we spread our sailes abroad ; 
And though our tackling be almost consumde, 
And Warwicke as our main-mast overthrowne, 
Yet, warlike lordes, raise you that sturdie post, 
That bears the sailes to bring us unto rest ; 
And Ned and I, as willing pilots should, 
For once with careful mindes guide on the sterne, 
To bear us thorough that dangerous gulfe, 
That heretofore hath swallowed up our friendes. 


March. Enter Queen MARGARET, Prince EDWARD, 
SOMERSET, OXFORD, and Soldiers. 

Q. Mar. Great lords, wise men ne'er sit and wail their loss, 
But cheerly seek how to redress their harms. 
What though the mast be now blown over-board, 
The cable broke, the holding anchor lost, 
And half our sailors swallow'd in the flood ? 
Yet lives our pilot still : Is't meet, that he 
Should leave the helm, and, like a fearful lad, 
With tearful eyes add water to the sea, 1 ' "^ 
And give more strength to that which hath too much ; 
Whiles, in his moan, the ship splits on the rock, 
Which industry and courage might have sav'd ? 
Ah, what a shame ! ah, what a fault were this ! 
Say, Warwick was our anchor ; What of that ? 
And Montague our top-mast ; What of him ? 
Our slaughter 'd friends the tackles ; What of these ? 
Why, is not Oxford here another anchor ? 



And Somerset another goodly mast ? 

The friends of France our shrouds and tacklings ? 

And, though unskilful, why not Ned and I 

For once allow' d the skilful pilot's charge ? 

We will not from the helm, to sit and weep ; 

But keep our course, though the rough wind say no, 

From shelves and rocks that threaten us with wreck. 

As good to chide the waves, as speak them fair. 

And what is Edward, but a ruthless sea ? 

What Clarence, but a quick-sand of deceit ? 

And Richard, but a ragged fatal rock ? 

All these the enemies to our poor bark. 

Say, you can swim ; alas, 'tis but a while : 

Tread on the sand ; why, there you quickly sink : 

Bestride the rock ; the tide will wash you off, 

Or else you famish, that's a threefold death. 

This speak I; lords, to let you understand, 

In case some one of you would fly from us, 

That there's no hop'd for mercy with the brothers, 

More than with ruthless waves, with sands, and rocks. 

Why, courage, then ! what cannot be avoided, 

'Twere childish weakness to lament, or fear.* 

If the reader wishes to compare The First Part of the Con- 
tention of the Two Houses, &c. with The Second Part of King 
Henry VI. which was formed upon it, he will find various pas- 
sages quoted from the elder drama in the notes on that play. 
The two celebrated scenes, in which the dead body of the 
Duke of Gloster is described, and the death of Cardinal Beau- 
fort is represented, may be worth examining with this view; 
and will sufficiently ascertain how our author proceeded in new- 
modelling that play ; with what expression, animation, and 
splendour of colouring, he filled up the outline that had been 
sketched by a preceding writer. -j- 

Shakspeare having thus given celebrity to these two old dramas, 
by altering and writing several parts of them over again, the 
bookseller, Millington, in 1593-4, to avail himself of the popu- 
larity of the new and admired poet, got, perhaps from Peele, 
who was then living, or from the author, whoever he was, or 
from some of the comedians belonging to the Earl of Pembroke, 

* Compare also the account of the death of the Duke of York (p. 50) and 
King Henry's soliloquy (p. 79) with the old play as quoted in the notes. 
Sometimes our author new-versified the old, without the addition of any new, 
matter. 'See p. 152, n. 7. 

t See Vol. XIII. p. 289, n. 6 ; and p. 3O4, n. 8. Compare also Clifford'? 
speech to the rebels in p. 354, Buckingham's address to King Henry iu p. 2S4, 
and Idea's speech in p. 363, with the old play, as quoted in the notes. 


the original play on which The Second Part of King Henry VI. 
was founded; and entered it on the Stationers' books, certainly 
with an intention to publish it. Why it did not then appeal-, 
cannot be now ascertained. But both that, and the other piece 
on which The Third Part of King Henry VI. was formed, was 
printed by the same bookseller in 1600, either with a view to 
lead the common reader to suppose that he should purchase two 
plays as altered and new-modelled by Shakspeare, or, without** 
any such fraudulent intention, to derive a profit from the exhi- 
bition of a work that so great a writer had thought proper to 
retouch, and form into those dramas which for several years be- 
fore 1600 had without doubt been performed with considerable 
applause. In the same manner The old Taming of a Shrew, on 
which our author formed a play, had been entered at Stationers' 
Hall in 1594, and was printed in 1607,* without doubt with a 
view to pass it on the publick as the production of Shakspeare. 

When William Pavier republished The Contention of the Tivo 
Houses, &c. in 1619,f he omitted the words in the original title- 
page, " as it was acted by the earl ofPembrooke his servantes ;" 
just as, on the republication of King John in two parts, in 
1611, the words, " as it was acted in the honourable city of 
London," were omitted ; because the omitted words in both 
cases marked the respective pieces not to be the production of 
Shakspeare.:}: And as in King John the letters W. Sh. were 
added in 1611 to deceive the purchaser, so in the republication of 
The Whole Contention &c. Pavier, having dismissed the words 
above mentioned, inserted these: " Newly CORRECTED and 
ENLARGED by William Shakspeare ;" knowing that these pieces 
had been made the ground work of two other plays ; that they 
had in fact been corrected and enlarged, (though not in that copy 
which Pavier printed, which is a mere republication from the 
edition of 1600,) and exhibited under the titles of The Second 
and Third Part of King Henry VI. ; and hoping that this new 
edition of the original plays would pass for those altered and 
augmented by Shakspeare, which were then unpublished. 

If Shakspeare had originally written these three plays of King 
Henry VI. would they not probably have been found by the book- 

* Also, as it has lately been discovered, by Cuthbert Burbie, in 1596. REED. 

t Pavier's edition has no date, but it is ascertained to have been printed in 
1619, by the signatures ; the last of which is Q. The play of Pericles was 
printed in 1619, for the same bookseller, and Its first signature is R. The un- 
dated copy, therefore, of The Whole Contention &c. and Pericles, must have 
been printed at the same time. 

| See Art Attempt to ascertain the Order of Shakspeare's Plays, Vol. II. article, 
King John. 

R 2 


seller in the same MS ? Would not the three parts have been pro> 
cured, whether surreptitiously or otherwise, all together? Would 
they not in that MS. have borne the titles of The First and Second 
and Third Part of King Henry VI.? And would not the book- 
seller have entered them on the Stationers' books, and published 
such of them as he did publish, under those titles, and toith the 
name of Shakspeare? On the other hand, if that which is now 
distinguished by the name of The First Part of King Henri/ VI. 
but which I suppose in those times was only called " The Histo- 
rical Play of King Henry VI" if this was the production of 
some old dramatist, if it had appeared on the stage some years 
before 1591, (as from Nashe's mention of it seems to be implied,) 
perhaps in 1587 or 1588, if its popularity was in 1594 in its 
wane, and the attention of the publick was entirely taken up by 
Shakspeare's alteration of two other plays which had likewise 
appeared before 1591, would not the superior popularity of these 
two pieces, altered by such a poet, attract the notice of the book- 
sellers ? and finding themselves unable to procure them from the 
theatre, would they not gladly seize on the originals on which 
this new and admired writer had worked, and publish them as 
soon as they could, neglecting entirely the preceding old play, 
or First Part of King Henry VI. (as it is now called,) which 
Shakspeare had not embellished with his pen ? Such, as we have 
seen, was actually the process ; for Thomas Millington, ne- 
glecting entirely The First Part of King Henry VI. entered the 
ORIGINAL of The Second Part of King Henry VI. at Stationers' 
Hall in 1593-4, and published the ORIGINALS of both that and 
The Third Part in 1600. When Heminge and Condell printed 
these three pieces in folio, they were necessarily obliged to name 
the old play of King Henry VI. the first part, to distinguish it 
from the two following historical dramas, founded on a later 
period of the same king's reign. 

Having examined such external evidence as time has left us 
concerning these two plays, now denominated The Second and 
Third Parts of King Henry VI. let us see whether we cannot by 
internal marks ascertain how far Shakspeare was concerned in 
their composition. 

It has long been a received opinion that the two quarto plays, 
one of which was published under the title of The First Part of 
the Contention of the Two Houses of Yorke and Lancaster, &c. 
and the other under the title of The true Tragedie of Richarde 
Duke of Yorke, &c. were spurious and imperfect copies of Shak- 
speare's Second and Third Part of King Henry VI.; and many 
passages have been quoted in the notes to the late editions of 
Shakspeare, as containing merely the various readings of the 
quartos and the folio ; the passages being supposed to be in sub- 


stance the same, only variously exhibited in different copies. 
The variations have been accounted for, by supposing that the 
imperfect and spurious copies (as they were called) were taken 
down either by an unskilful short-hand writer, or by some au- 
ditor who picked up " during the representation what the time 
would permit, then filled up some of his omissions at a second or 
third hearing, and when he had by this method formed some- 
thing like a play, sent it to the printer." To this opinion, I with 
others for a long time subscribed : two of Heywood's pieces fur- 
nishing indubitable proofs that plays in the time of our author 
were sometimes imperfectly copied during the representation, by 
the ear, or by short-hand writers.* But a minute examination 
of the two pieces in question, and a careful comparison of them 
with Shakspeare's Second and Third Part of King Henry VI. 
have convinced me that this could not have been the case with 
respect to them. No fraudulent copyist or short-hand writer 
would invent circumstances totally different from those which 
appear in Shakspeare's new-modelled draughts as exhibited in the 
first folio; or insert 'whole speeches? of which scarcely a trace is 
found in that edition. In the course of the foregoing notes many 
of these have been particularly pointed out. I shall now bring 
into one point of view all those internal circumstances which 
prove in my apprehension decisively, that the quarto plays were 
not spurious and imperfect copies of Shakspeare's pieces, but 
elder dramas on which he formed his Second and Third Part of 
King Henry VI. 

1. In some places a speech in one of these quartos consists of 
ten or twelve lines. In Shakspeare's folio the same speech con- 
sists of perhaps only half the number.f A copyist by the ear, 
or an unskilful short-hand writer, might mutilate and exhibit a 
poet's thoughts or expressions imperfectly ; but would he dilate 
and amplify them, or introduce totally new matter ? Assuredly 
he would not. 

2. Some circumstances are mentioned in the old quarto plays, 
of which there is not the least trace in the folio ; and many 
minute variations are found between them and the folio, that 
prove the pieces in quarto to have been original and distinct com- 

In the last Act of The First Part of the Contention, &c. the 
Duke of Buckingham after the battle of Saint Albans, is brought 
in wounded, and carried to his tent ; but in Shakspeare's play he 
is not introduced on the stage after that battle. 

* See p. 214. 

t See Vol. XIII. p. 202, n. 7 ; p. 236, n. 4 ; p. 373, n. 3 ; also p. 149. 
u. 3 ; p. 176, n. 3, of the present volume. 


In one of the original scenes between Jack Cade and his fol- 
lowers, which Shakspeare has made the seventh scene of the 
fourth Act of his Second Part of King Henry VI. Dick Butcher 
drags a Serjeant, that is, a catch-pole, on the stage, and a dia- 
logue consisting of seventeen lines passes between Cade, &c. at 
the conclusion of which it is determined that the serjeant shall be 
" brain'd with his own mace." Of this not one word appears in 
our author's play.* In the same piece Jack Cade, hearing that 
a knight, called Sir Humphrey Stafford, was coming at the head 
of an army against him, to put himself on a par with him makes 
himself a knight ; and finding that Stafford's brother was also a 
knight, he dubs Dick Butcher also. But in Shakspeare's play 
the latter circumstance is omitted. 

In the old play Somerset goes out immediately after he is ap- 
pointed regent of France. In Shakspeare's Second Part of King 
Henry VI. he continues on the stage with Henry to the end of 
the scene, (Act I. sc. iii.) and the King addresses him as they go 

In the old play, the Duchess of Gloster enters with Hume, 
Bolingbroke, and Margery Jourdain, and after some conversation 
with them, tells them that while they perform their rites, she 
will go to the top of an adjoining tower, and there write down 
such answers as the spirits, that they are to raise, shall give to her 
questions. But in Shakspeare's play, Hume, Southixull, (who 
is not introduced in the elder drama) and Bolingbroke, &c. enter 
without the Duchess ; and after some conversation the Duchess 
appears above, (that is, on the tower,) and encourages them to 

In Shakspeare's play, when the Duke of York enters, and 
finds the Duchess of Gloster, &c. and her co-adjutors performing 
their magick rites, (Vol. XIII. p. 221,) the Duke seizes the paper 
in which the answers of the spirit to certain questions are written 
down, and reads them aloud. In the old play the answers are not 
here recited by York; but in a subsequent scene Buckingham reads 
them to the King ; (see p. 221, n. 7 ; and p. 234, n. 1,) and this 
is one of the many transpositions that Shakspeare made in new- 
modelling these pieces, of which I shall speak more fully hereafter. 

In the old play, when the King pronounces sentence on the 
Duchess of Gloster, he particularly mentions the mode of her 
penance; and the sentence is pronounced in prose: " Stand 
forth dame Eleanor Cobham, Duchess of Gloster, and hear the 
sentence pronounced against thee for these treasons that thou hast 

* See Vol. XIII. p. 352, n. 4 ; and The First Part of the Contention &c. 
1600, sign. G 3. 

* See Vol. XIII. p. 216, n. 8. 


committed against us, our state and peers. First, for thy haynous 
crimes thou shalt two daies in London do penance barefoot in the 
streets, with a white sheete about thy bodie, and a wax taper burn- 
ing in thy hand : that done, thou shalt be banished for ever into 
the Isle of Man, there to end thy wretched daies ; and this is 
our sentence irrevocable. Away with her." But in Shak- 
speare's play, (p. 243,) the King pronounces sentence in verse 
against the Duchess and her confederates at the same time ; and 
only says in general, that ** after three days open penance, she 
shall be banished to the Isle of Man." 

In Shakspeare's play, (p. 274,) when the Duke of York under- 
takes to subdue the Irish rebels, if he be furnished with a suffi- 
cient army, Suffolk says, that he " will see that charge per- 
formed." But in the old play the Queen enjoins the Duke of 
Buckingham to attend to this business, and he accepts the office. 

In our author's play Jack Cade is described as a clothier, in 
the old play he is " the dyer of Ashford." In the same piece, 
when the King and Somerset appear at Kenelworth, a dialogue 
passes between them and the Queen, of which not one word is 
preserved in the corresponding scene in The Second Part of King 
Henry VI. (p. 357.) In the old play, Buckingham states to the 
King the grounds on which York had taken up arms ; but hi 
Shakspeare's piece, (p. 373,) York himself assigns his reasons 
for his conduct. 

In the old play near the conclusion, young Clifford when he is 
preparing to carry off the dead body of his father, is assaulted by 
Richard, and after putting him to flight, he makes a speech con- 
sisting of four lines. But in Shakspeare's play, (p. 389,) there 
is no combat between them, nor is Richard introduced in that 
scene. The four lines therefore above mentioned are necessarily 

In the old play the Queen drops her glove, and finding the 
Duchess of Gloster makes no attempt to take it up, she gives 
her a box on the ear : 

" Give me my glove ; why, minion, can you not see ?" 
But in Shakspeare's play, (p. 210,) the Queen drops not a glove, 
but a.jan : 

" Give me my Jan : What, minion, can you not ?" 

In Shakspeare's Second Part of King Henry VI. (p. 311,) 
Suffolk discovers himself to the Captain who had seized him, by 
showing his George. In the old play he announces his quality by 
a ring, a seal-ring we may suppose, exhibiting his arms. In the 
same scene of Shakspeare's play, he observes that the Captain 
threatens more 

" Than Bargulus, the strong Illyrian pyrate." 
But in the elder drama Suffolk says, he 


" Threatens more plagues than mighty Abradas, 
" The great Macedonian pirate." 

In the same scene of the original play the Captain threatens 
to sink Suffolk's ship ; but no such menace is found in Shak- 
speare's play. 

In The true Tragedie of Richarde Duke of Yorke, &c. Richard 
(afterwards Duke of .Gloster,) informs Warwick that his father 
the Earl of Salisbury was killed in an action which he describes, 
and which in fac took place at Ferrybridge in Yorkshire. But 
Shakspeare in his Third Part of King Henry VI. (p. 73,) 
formed upon the piece above mentioned, has rightly deviated, 
from it, and for father substituted brother, it being the natural 
brother of Warwick, (the bastard son of Salisbury,) that fell at 
Ferrybridge. The Earl of Salisbury, Warwick's father, was 
beheaded at Pomfret. 

In the same old play a son is introduced who has killed his 
father, and afterwards a father who has killed his son. King 
Henry, who is on the stage, says not a word till they have both 
appeared, and spoken ; he then pronounces a speech of seven 
lines. But in Shakspeare's play (p. 85,) this speech is enlarged, 
and two speeches formed on it ; the first of which the King 
speaks after the son has appeared, and the other after the entry 
of the father. 

In our author's play, (p. 134,) after Edward's marriage with 
Lady Grey, his brothers enter, and converse on that event. The 
King, Queen, &c. then join them, and Edward asks Clarence 
how he approves his choice. In the elder play there is no pre- 
vious dialogue between Gloster and Clarence ; but the scene 
opens with the entry of the King, &c. who desires the opinion 
of his brothers on.-his recent marriage. 

In our author's play (p. 116,) the following line is found: 
" And set the murderous Machiavel to school." 

This line in The true Tragedie of Richarde Duke of Yorke, &c. 
Stood thus : 

" And set the aspiring Catiline' to school." 

Catiline was the person that would naturally occur to Peele or 
Greene, as the most splendid classical example of inordinate am- 
bition ; but Shakspeare, who was more conversant with English 
books, substituted Machiavel, whose name was in such frequent 
use in his time that it became a specifickterm for a consummate 
politician ;* and accordingly he makes his host in The Merry 
Wives of Windsor, when he means to boast of his own shrewd- 
ness, exclaim, " Am I subtle ? am I a Machiavel?" 

Many other variations beside those already mentioned might 

See Vol. XIII. p. 169, n. 7. 


be pointed out ; but that I may not weary the reader, I will only 
refer in a note to the most striking diversities that are found be- 
tween Shakspeare's Second and Third Part of King Henry VI. 
and the elder dramas printed in quarto.* 

The supposition of imperfect or spurious copies cannot account 
for such numerous variations in the circumstances of these pieces ; 
(not to insist at present,on the language in which they are clothed;) 
so that we are compelled (as I have already observed) to maintain, 
either that Shakspeare wrote two plays on the story which forms 
his Second Part of King Henry VI. a hasty sketch, and an en- 
tirely distinct and more finished performance ; or else we must 
acknowledge that he formed that piece on a foundation laid by 
another writer, that is, upon the quarto copy of The First Part 
of the Contention of the Two Houses of Yorke and Lancaster, 
&c. and the same argument precisely applies to The Third Part 
of King Henry VI. which is founded on The true Tragedie of 
Richarde Duke of Yorke, &c. printed in quarto, 1600. 

Let us now advert to the Resemblances that are found in these 
pieces as exhibited in the folio, to passages in our author's undis- 
puted plays ; and also to the Inconsistencies that may be traced 
between them ; and, if I do not deceive myself, both the one 
and the other will add considerable support to the foregoing ob- 

In our author's genuine plays, he frequently borrows from 
himself, the same thoughts being found in nearly the same ex- 
pressions in different pieces. In The Second and Third Part of 
King Henry VI. as in other dramas, these coincidencies with 
his other works may be found ;f and this was one of the circum- 
stances that once weighed much in my mind, and convinced me 
x)f their authenticity. But a collation of these plays with the 
old pieces on which they >are founded, has shewn me the fallacy 
by which I was deceived : for the passages of these two parts of 
Kins Henry VI. which correspond with others in our author's 
undisputed plays, exist only in the folio copy, and not in the 
quarto ; in other words, in those parts of these new-modelled 

* See The Second Part of King Henry VI. p. 202, n. 7; p. 214, n. 6; 
p. 217, n. 1 ; p. 220, n. 6 ; p. 242, n. 3 ; p. 26.5, n. 1 ; p. 272, n. 5; p. 277, 
u. 5 ; p. 309, n. 8; p. 311, n. 2 ; p. 317, n. 3; p. 352, n. 5 ; p. 358, n. 4; 

p. rf73, n. 2 and 3 ; p. 394, n. 1. Third Part of King Henry VI. p. 10, 

n. 9 ; p. 13, n. 5 ; p. 16, n. 2 ; p. 23, n. 6 ; p. 25, n. 9 ; p. 27, n. 2 ; p. 64, 
fl. 2; p. 73, n. 3 ; p. 77, n. 1 ; p. 83, n. 4 ; p. 117, n. 5 ; p. 123, n. 5; 
p. 134, n. 8 ; p. 142, n. 7 ; p. 143, n. 8 and 9 ; p. 146, n. 6 ; p. 149, n. 3 ; 
p. 165, n. 3 ; p. 184, n. 3. 

t See The Second Part of King Henry VI. p. 187, n. 6; p. 207, n. 3; 

p. 299, n. 5 ; p. 306, n. 2 ; p. 320, n. 6 ; p. 353, n. 5 ; p, 395, n. 4. 

Third Part, p. 80, n. 6; p. 100, n. 6; p. 18, n. 9 ; p. 193, n. 2. 


pieces, which were of Shakspeare's writing, and not in the ori- 
ginals by another hand, on which he worked. This, I believe, 
"will be found invariably the case, except in three instances. 

The first is, " You have no children, butchers ;" which is, it 
must be acknowledged, in The true Tragedie of Richarde Duke 
of Yorke, &c. 1600; (as well as in The Third Part of King 
Henry VI.) and is also introduced with a slight variation in 

Another instance is found in King John. That king, when 
charged with the death of his nephew, asks 

" Think you, I bear the shears of destiny ? 
** Have I commandment on the pulse of life ?" 
which bears a striking resemblance to the words of Cardinal 
Beaufort in The First Part of the Contention of the Two Houses, 
&.c. which Shakspeare has introduced in his Second Part of 
King Henry VI: 

" Died he not in his bed ? 

" Can I make men live whe'r they will or no ?" 
The third instance is found in The true Tragedie of Richarde 
Duke of Yorke, &c. In that piece are the following lines, which 
Shakspeare adopted with a very slight variation, and inserted in 
his Third Part of King Henry VI : 

" doves will peck in rescue of their brood. 

" Unreasonable creatures feed their young ; 
" And though man's face be fearful to their eyes, 
" Yet, in protection of their tender ones, 
" Who hath not seen them even with those same wings 
" Which they have sometimes used in fearful flight, 
" Make war with him that climb'd unto their nest, 
" Offering their own lives in their young's defence ?" 
So, in our author's Macbeth : ... . 

" the poor wren 

" The most diminutive of birds, will fight, 
" Her young ones in the nest, against the owl." 
But whoever recollects the various thoughts that Shakspeare 
has borrowed from preceding writers, will not be surprized that 
in a similar situation, in Macbeth, and King John, he should 
have used the expressions of an old dramatist, with whose writ- 
ings he had been particularly conversant; expressions too, which 
he had before embodied in former plays : nor can, I think, these 
three instances much diminish the force of the foregoing obser- 
vation. That it may have its full weight, I have in the present 
edition distinguished by asterisks all the lines in The Second and 
Third Part of King Henry VI. of which there is no trace in the 

* See p. 197 of thb volume, and Vol. X. 249, n. 7. 


the old quarto plays, and which therefore I suppose to have been 
written by Shakspeare. Though this has not been effected with- 
out much trouble, yet, if it shall tend to settle this long-agitated 
question, I shall not consider my labour as wholly thrown away. 
Perhaps a similar coincidency in The First Part of King 
Henry VI. may be urged in opposition to my hypothesis relative 
to that play. " Lean famine, quartering steel, and climbing 
fire," are in that piece called the attendants on the brave Lord 
Talbot ; as, in Shakspeare's King Henry V. " famine, sword, 
and fire, are leash'd in like hounds, crouching under the mar- 
tial Henry for employment." If this image had proceeded from 
our author's imagination, this coincidency might perhaps coun- 
tenance the supposition that he had some hand at least in that 
scene of The First Part of King Henry VI. where these attend- 
ants on war are personified. But that is not the case ; for the 
fact is, that Shakspeare was furnished with this imagery by a 
passage in Holinshed, as the author of the old play of King 
Henry VI. was by Hall's Chronicle : " The Goddesse of warre, 
called Bellonas hath these three hand-maides ever of necessitie 
attendyng on her, bloud,fyre, andjamine.*" 

In our present inquiry, it is undoubtedly a very striking cir- 
cumstance that almost all the passages in The Second and Third 
Part of King Henry VI. which resemble others in Shakspeare's 
undisputed plays, are not found in the original pieces in quarto, 
but in his Rifacimento published in folio. As these Resemblances 
to his other plays, and a peculiar Shakspearian phraseology, as- 
certain a considerable portion of these disputed dramas to be the 
production of Shakspeare, so on the other hand certain passages 
which are discordant (in matters of fact) from his other plays, 
are proved by this discordancy, not to have been composed by 
him ; and these discordant passages, being found in the original 
quarto plays, prove that those pieces were composed by another 

Thus, in The Third Part of King Henry VI. (p. 105,) Sir 
John Grey is said to have lost " his life in quarrel of the house 
of York ;" and King Edward stating the claim of his widow, 
whom he afterwards married, mentions, that his lands after the 
battle of Saint Albans, (February 17, 1460-1,) " were seized 
on by the conqueror." Whereas, in fact, they were seized on 
by Edward himself after the battle of Towton, (in which he 
was conqueror, ) March 29, 14-61. The conqueror at the second 
battle of Saint Albans, the battle here meant, was Queen Mar- 
garet. This statement was taken from the old quarto play ; and, 
from carelessness was adopted by Shakspeare without any mate- 
rial alteration. But at a subsequent period when he wrote his 

* Hall's Chron. Henry VI. fol. xxix. 


King Richard III. he was under a necessity of carefully exa- 
mining the English chronicles; and in that play, Act I. sc. Hi. he 
has represented this matter truly as it was : 

" In all which time, you, and your husband Grey, 
" Were factious for the house of Lancaster ; 
** (And, Rivers, so were you;) Was not your husband 
" In Margaret's battle at Saint Albans slain ?" 
It is called " Margaret's battle," because she was there victo- 

An equally decisive circumstance is furnished by the same 
play. In The Third Part of King Henry VI. (p. 131,) War- 
wick proposes to marry his eldest daughter (Isabella} to Edward 
Prince of Wales, and the proposal is accepted by Edward ; and 
in a subsequent scene Clarence says, he will marry the younger 
daughter ( Anne}. In these particulars Shakspeare has implicitly 
followed the elder drama. But the fact is, that the Prince of 
Wales married Anne the younger daughter of the Earl of War- 
wick, and the Duke of Clarence married the elder, Isabella. 
Though the author of The true Tragedie of the Duke of Yorke, 
&c. was here inaccurate, and though Shakspeare too negligently 
followed his steps, when he wrote his King Richard III. he had 
gained better information; for there Lady ANNE is rightly re- 
presented as the widow of the Prince of Wales, and the 
youngest daughter of the Earl of Warwick : 

" Which done, God take king Edward to his mercy, 
" And leave the world to me to bustle in. 
" For then I'll marry Warwick's youngest daughter ; 
" What though 1 kill'd her husband, and her father," &c. 
i. e. Edward Prince of Wales, and King Henry VI. 

King Richard III. Act I. sc. i. 

I have said that certain passages in The Second and Third 
Part of King Henry VI. are ascertained to be Shakspeare's by a 
peculiar phraseology. This peculiar phraseology, without a single 
exception, distinguishes such parts of these plays as are found in 
the folio, and not in the elder quarto dramas, of which the phra- 
seology, as well as the versification, is of a different colour. 
This observation applies not only to the new original matter pro- 
duced by Shakspeare, but to his alteration of the old. Our au- 
thor in his undoubted compositions has fallen into an inaccuracy, 
of which I do not recollect a similar instance in the works of any 
other dramatist. When he has occasion to quote the same paper 
twice, (not from memory, but verbatim,} from negligence he 
does not always attend to the words of the paper which he has 
occasion to quote, but makes one of the persons of the drama 
recite them with variations, though he holds the very paper 


quoted before his eyes. Thus, in AIVs well that ends well, 
Act V. sc. iii. Helena says : 

" here's your letter ; This it says '. 

" When from myjinger you can get this ring, 

" And are by me with child," 

Yet, as I have observed in Vol. V. p. 327, n. 6. Helena in 
Act III. sc. ii. reads this very letter aloud, and there the words are 
different, and in plain prose : " When thou canst get the ring 
from my finger, which never shall come off, and show me a 
child begotten of thy body," c. In like manner, in the first 
scene of The Second Part of King Henry VI. Suffolk presents 
to the Duke of Gloster, protector of the realm, the articles of 
peace concluded between France and England. The protector 
begins to read the articles, but when he has proceeded no further 
than these words, " Item, that the dutchy of Anjou and the 
county of Maine shall be released and delivered to the king her 
father," he is suddenly taken ill, and rendered incapable of pro- 
ceeding : on which the Bishop of Winchester is called upon to 
read the remainder of the paper. He accordingly reads the 
whole of the article, of which the Duke of Gloster had only read 
a part : " Item, It is further agreed between them, that the 
dutchies of Anjou and Maine shall be released and delivered over 
to the king her father, and she sent," &c. Now though Maine 
in our old chronicles is sometimes called a county, and sometimes 
a dutchy, yet words cannot thus change their form under the 
eyes of two readers : nor do they in the original play, entitled, 
The First Part of the Contention of the Two Houses, &c. for 
there the article as recited by the protector corresponds with that 
recited by the Bishop, without the most minute variation. " Item, 
It is further agreed between them, that the dutchies of Anjou 
and of Maine shall be released and delivered over to the king her 
father, and she sent," &c. Thus in the old play says the Duke, 
and so says the Cardinal after him. This one circumstance, in 
my apprehenshion, is of such weight, that though it stood alone, 
it might decide the present question. Our author has fallen into 
a similar inaccuracy in the fourth scene of the same Act, where 
the Duke of York recites from a paper the questions that had been 
put to the Spirit, relative to the Duke of Suffolk, Somerset, &c.* 
Many minute marks of Shakspeare's hand may be traced in 
such parts of the old plays as he has new-modelled. I at present 
recollect one that must strike every reader who is conversant with 
his writings. He very frequently uses adjectives adverbially; 
and this kind of phraseology, if not peculiar to him, is found 
more frequently in his writings than those of any of his content- 

* See Vol. XIII. p. 2*2$, B. 8. 


poraries. Thus " I am myself indifferent honest ;" " as 
dishonourable ragged as an old faced ancient ;" " equal raven- 
ous ;" "leaves them invisible;" &c.* In The true Tra- 
gedie of the Duke of Yorke, &c. the King, having determined 
to marry Lady Grey, injoins his brothers to use her honourably. 
But in Shakspeare's play the words are, "use her honourable** 
So, in Julius Caesar : 

" Young man, thou could'st not die more honourable** 
In like manner, in The Third Part of King Henry VI. we 
find this line : 

" Is either slain, or wounded dangerous** 
but in the old play the words are " wounded dangerously** 

In the same play the word handkerchief is used; but in the 
corresponding scene in The Third Part of King Henry VI. 
(p. 51,) Shakspeare has substituted the northern term napkin, 
which occurs so often in his works, in its room.f 

The next circumstance to which I wish to call the attention of 
those who do not think the present investigation wholly incurious, 
is, the Transpositions that are found in these plays. In the pre- 
ceding notes I have frequently observed that not only several lines, 
but sometimes whole scenes,^ were transposed by Shakspeare. 

In p. 50, 51, a Messenger, giving an account of the death 
of the Duke of York, says : 

" Environed he was with many foes ; 

" And stood against them, as the hope of Troy 

" Against the Greeks, that would have enter'd Troy. 

" But Hercules himself must yield to odds ;" 
When this passage was printed, not finding any trace of the last 
three lines in the corresponding part of the old play, I marked 
them inadvertently as Shakspeare's original composition ; but I 
afterwards found that he had borrowed them from a subsequent 
scene on a quite different subject, in which Henry, taking leave 
of Warwick, says to him 

" Farewell my Hector, and my Troy*s true hope!** 
and the last line, " But Hercules,'* &c. is spoken by Warwick 
near the conclusion of the piece, after he is mortally wounded 
in the battle of Barnet. 

So, in The true Tragedie of Richard Duke of Yorke, &c. after 
the Duke has slain Clifford, he says 

" Now, Lancaster, sit sure: thy sinews shrink." 
Shakspeare has not made use of that line in that place, but 

* See Vol. VIII. p. 551, n. 5 ; and p. 176, n. 6 ; Vol. VI. p. 318, n. 9. 
In Othello both the words napkin, and handh 

See p. 152, n. 5 ; p. 160, n. 5 ; p. 166, n. 4. 

t In Othello both the words napkin, and handkerchief, may be found. 



availed himself of it afterwards, where Edward brings forth 
Warwick wounded ; King Henry VI. P. III. Act V. sc. ii : 
" Now, Montague, sit fast : I seek for thee," &c. 

Many other transpositions may be traced in these plays, to 
which I shall only refer in a note.* 

Such transpositions as I have noticed, could never have arisen 
from any carelessness or inaccuracy of transcribers or copyists ; 
and therefore are to be added to the many other circumstances 
which prove that The Second and Third Parts of K. Henry VI. 
as exhibited in the folio, were formed from the materials of a 
preceding writer. 

It is also observable, that many lines arerepeatedin Shakspeare's 
Second and Third Part of King Henry F/.f but no such repe- 
titions are found in the old quarto plays. The repetition un- 
doubtedly arose from Shakspeare's not always following his ori- 
ginal strictly, but introducing expressions which had struck him 
in other parts of the old plays ; and afterwards, forgetting that he 
had before used such expressions, he suffered them to remain in 
their original places also. 

Another proof that Shakspeare was not the author of The 
Contention of the Two Houses, &c. is furnished by the inconsist- 
encies into which he has fallen, by sometimes adhering to, and 
sometimes deviating from, his original : an inaccuracy which may 
be sometimes observed in his undisputed plays. 

One of the most remarkable instances of this kind of incon- 
sistency is found in The Second Part of King Henry VI. p. 336, 
where he makes Henry say : 

" I'll send some holy bishop to intreat," &c. 
a circumstance which he took from Holinshed's Chronicle; 
whereas in the old play no mention is made of a bishop on this 
occasion. The King there says, he will himself come and parley 
with the rebels, and in the mean time he orders Clifford and 
Buckingham to gather an army. In a subsequent scene, how- 
ever, Shakspeare forgot the new matter which he had introduced 
in the former ; and Clifford and Buckingham only parley with 
Cade, &c. conformably to the old play. J 

In Romeo and Juliet he has fallen into a similar inaccuracy. 
In the poem on which that tragedy is founded, Romeo, in his 
interview with the Friar, after sentence of banishment has been 

* See Vol. XIII. p. 299, n. 4 ; p. 327, n. 8 ; p. 379, n. 3 ; and p. 146, a. 
6 ; p. 182, n. 8 and 9 ; p. 189, n. 1, of the present volume. 

t See also p. 79, n. 4; p. 102, n. 2 ; p. 120, n. 8; p. 126, n. 2. 

f See Vol. XIII. p. 219, n. 4 ; and p. 123, n. 5 ; p. 126, n. 2, of the pre- 
sent volume. 


pronounced against him, is described as passionately lamenting 
his fate in the following terms : 

" First nature did he blame, the author of his life, 

" In which his joys had been so scant, and sorrows aye 
so rife ; 

" The time and place of birth he fiercely did reprove ; 

" He cryed out with open mouth against the stars above. 

" On fortune eke he rail'd," &c. 

The Friar afterwards reproves him for want of patience. In 
forming the corresponding scene Shakspeare has omitted Romeo's 
invective against his fate, but inadvertently copied the Friar's re- 
monstrance as it lay before him . 

" Why rail'st thou on thy birth, the heaven, and earth ?" 
If the following should be considered as a trifling circumstance, 
let it be remembered, that circumstances which, separately con- 
sidered, may appear unimportant, sometimes acquire strength, 
when united to other proofs of more efficacy : in my opinion, 
.however, what I shall now mention is a circumstance of con- 
siderable weight. It is observable that the priest concerned with 
Eleanor Cobham, Duchess of Glocester, in certain pretended 
operations of magick, for which she was tried, is called by Hall, 
John Hum. So is he named in The First Part of the Contention 
of the TIKO Houses qfYorke,.&c. the original, as I suppose, of 
The Second Part of King Henry VI. Our author probably 
thinking the name harsh or ridiculous, softened it to Hume ; and 
by that name this priest is called in his play printed in folio. But 
in Holinshed he is named Hun ; and so undoubtedly, or perhaps 
for softness, Hune, he would have been called in the original 
quarto play just mentioned, if Shakspeare had been the author 
of it ; for Holinshed and not Hall was his guide, as I have shown 
incontestably in a note on King Henry V. Vol. XII. p. 292. But 
Hall was undoubtedly the historian who had been consulted by 
the original writer of The Contention of the Two Houses of Yorke 
and Lancaster ; as appears from his having taken a line from 
thence, ." That Alexander Iden, an esquire of Kent , *" and from 
the scene in which Cardinal Beaufort is exhibited on his death- 
bed. One part of the particular description of the Cardinal's 
death and dying words, in the old quarto play, is founded on a 
passage in Hall, which Holinshed, though in general a servile 
copyist of the former chronicler, has omitted. The passage is 
this : " Dr. John Baker, his pryvie counsailerandhys chapellayn, 
wrote, that lying on his death-bed he [Cardinal Beaufort] said 
these words : Why should I dye, havyng so much ryches ? If 

-* See Hall, Henry V. fol. Ixxix. Holinshed says, " a gentleman of Kent, 
warned Alexander Idcn, awaited so his time," &c. 


the whole redlme would save my lyfe, I am able either by pelli- 
cle to get it, or by riches to bye it. Fye ! will not death be hy- 
ered, nor will money do nothynge ?" From this the writer of the 
old play formed these lines : 

" O death, if thou wilt let me live 
" But one whole year, I'll give thee as much gold 
" As will purchase such another island." 
which Shakspeare new-modelled thus : 

" If thou be'st death, I'll give thee England's treasure, 
" Enough to purchase such another island, 
" So thou wilt let me live, and feel no pain;" 
If Shakspeare had been the author of The First Part of the 
Contention, &c. finding in his Holinshed the name Hun, he 
would either have preserved it, or softened it to Hune. Working 
on the old play, where he found the name of Hum, which 
sounded ridiculous to his ear, he changed it to Hume. But who- 
ever the original writer of the old play was, having used the 
name of Hum, he must have formed his play on Hall's Chro- 
nicle, where alone that name is found. Shakspeare therefore 
having made Holinshed, and not Hall, his guide, could not have 
been the writer of it. 

It may be remarked, that by the alteration of this priest's 
name, he has destroyed a rhyme intended by the author of the 
original play, where Sir John begins a soliloquy with this jin- 
gling line ; 

" Now, Sir John Hum, no word but mum : 

" Seal up your lips, for you must silent be." 
which Shakspeare has altered thus : 

" But how now, Sir John Hume ? 

" Seal up your lips, and give no words but mum." 
Lines rhyming in the middle and end, similar to that above 
quoted, are often found in our old English plays, (previous to 
the time of Shakspeare,) and are generally put into the mouths 
of priests and friars. 

It has already been observed, that in the original play on which 
The Second Part of King Henry VI. is founded, " Abradas, 
the Macedonian pirate," is mentioned. This hero does not ap- 
pear in Shakspeare's new-modelled play, " Bargulus, the strong 
Illyrian pirate," being introduced in his room. Abradas is spo- 
ken of (as Mr. Steevens has remarked) by Robert Greene, the 
very person whom I suppose to have been one of the joint au- 
thors of the original plays, in a pamphlet, entitled, Penelope's 
Web, 1589 : " Abradas, the great Macedonean pirate, thought 
every one had a letter of mart that bare sayles in the ocean." 
Of this pirate or his achievements, however celebrated he may 



have been, I have not found the slightest trace in any book what- 
soever, except that above quoted: a singular circumstance, 
which appears to me strongly to confirm my hypothesis on the 
present subject ; and to support my interpretation of Greene's 
words in his Groatsivorth of Witte, in a former part of the pre- 
sent disquisition. 

However this may be, there are certainly very good grounds 
for believing that The First Part of the Contention of the Two 
Homes of York and Lancaster, &c. and The true Tragedie of 
Richard Duke of Yorke, were written by the author or authors 
of the old King John, printed in 1591. 

In The true Tragedie &c. we find the following lines : 
" Let England be true within itself, 
" We need not France, nor any alliance with her." 
The first of these lines is found, with a very minute variation, 
in the old King John, where it runs thus : 

" Let England live but true within itself, ." 
Nor is this the only coincidence. In the deservedly admired 
scene in which Cardinal Beaufort's death is represented, in the 
original play, (as well as in Shakspeare's Second Part of King 
Henry VI.} he is called upon to hold up his hand, as a proof of 
his confidence in God : 
" Lord Cardinal, 

" If thou diest assured of heavenly blisse, 
" Hold up thy hand, and make some sign to us. 

[ The Cardinal dies. 

" O see, he dies, and makes no sign at all : 
" O God, forgive his soule !" 

I quote from the original play It is remarkable that a simi- 
lar proof is demanded in the old play of King John also, whe 
that king is expiring : 

Then, good my lord, if you forgive them all, 
Lift up your hand, in token you forgive.'* 
Again : 

in token of thy faith, 

And signe thou diest the servant of the Lord, 
Lift up thy hand, that we may witnesse here 
" Thou diest the servant of our Saviour Christ. 
" Now joy betide thy soul !" 

This circumstance appears to me to add considerable support 
to my conjecture. 

One point only remains. It may be asked, if The First Part 
of King Henry VI. was not written by Shakspeare, why did 
Heminge and Condell print it with the rest of his works ? The 
only way that I can account for their having done so, is by sup- 
posing, either that their memory at the end of thirty years was 
not accurate concerning our author's pieces, as appears indeed. 


evidently from their omitting Troilus and Cressida, which was 
not recollected by them, till the whole of the first folio, and 
even the table of contents, (which is always the last work of the 
press, ) had been printed ; or, that they imagined the insertion 
of this historical drama was necessary to understanding the two 
pieces that follow it ; or lastly, that Shakspeare, for the advan- 
tage of his own theatre, having written a few lines in The First 
Part of King Henry VI. after his own Second and Third Part 
had been played, they conceived this a sufficient warrant for at- 
tributing it, along with the others, to him, in the general col- 
lection of his works. If Shakspeare was the author of any part 
of this play, perhaps the second and the following scenes of the 
fourth Act were his ; which are for the most part written in 
rhyme, and appear to me somewhat of a different complexion 
from the rest of the play. Nor is this the only instance of their 
proceeding on this ground ; for is it possible to conceive that 
they could have any other reason for giving Titus Andronicus a 
place in their edition of Shakspeare's works, than his having 
written twenty or thirty lines in that piece, or having retouched 
a few verses of it ; if indeed he did so much ? 

Shakspeare's referring in the Epilogue to King Henry V. which 
was produced in 1599, to these three parts of King Henry VI. 
of which the first, by whom soever it was written, appears from, 
the testimony of a contemporary to have been exhibited with 
great applause ;* and the two latter having been, as I conceive, 
eight years before new-modelled and almost re-written by our 
author, we may be confident were performed with the most 
brilliant success ; his supplicating the favour of the audience to 
his new play of King Henry V. "Jbr the sake" of these old and 
popular dramas, which were so closely connected with it, and 
m the composition of which, as they had for many years been 
exhibited, he had so considerable a share ; the connection be- 
tween the last scene of King Henry VI. and the first scene of 
King Richard III. the Shakspearian diction, versification, and 
figures, by which The Second and Third Part of K. Henry 
VI. are distinguished ; " the easiness of expression and the flu- 
ency of numbers," which, it is acknowledged, are found here, 
and were possessed by no other author of that age ; all these cir- 
cumstances are accounted for by the theory now stated, and all 
objections f that have been founded upon them, in my appre- 
hension, vanish away. 

On the other hand, the entry on the Stationers' books of the 

* See p. 231 of this Dissertation. 

t See these several objections stated by Dr. Johnson in the notes t the end 
of The Third Part of King Henry VI. 



Old play, entitled The First Part of the Contention of the Two 
Houses of Yorke and Lancaster, &c. without the name of the 
authdr ; that piece, and The true Tragedie ofRicharde Duke 
of Yorke, &c. being printed in 1600, anonymously; their being 
founded on the Chronicle of Hall, who was not Shakspeare's 
historian, and represented by the servants of Lord Pembroke, by 
whom none of his uncontested dramas were represented ; the 
colour, diction, and versification of these old plays, the various 
circumstances, lines and speeches, that are found in them, and 
not in our author's new-modification of them, as published in 
folio by his original editors ; the resemblances that have been no- 
ticed between his other works and such parts of these dramas as 
are only exhibited in their folio edition ; the discordances ( in 
matters of fact) between certain parts of the old plays printed in 
quarto, arid Shakspeare's undoubted performances ; the transpo- 
sitions that he has made in these pieces ; the repetitions ; and the 
peculiar Shakspearian inaccuracies, and phraseology, which may 
be traced in the folio, and not in the old quarto plays j these and 
other circumstances, which have been stated in the foregoing 
pages, form, when united, such a body of argument and proofs, 
in support of my hypothesis, as appears to me, (though I will 
not venture to assert that " the probation bears no hinge or loop 
to hang a doubt on,") to lead directly to the door of truth. 

It is observable that several portions of the English History 
had been dramatized before the time of Shakspeare. Thus, we 
have King John in two parts, by an anonymous writer ; Edward I. 
by George Peele ; Edward II. by Christopher Marlowe ; Ed- 
ward 111. anonymous; Henry IV. containing the deposition of 
Richard II. and the accession of Henry to the crown, anony- 
mous ;* Henry V. and Richard II I. both by anonymous authors.f 
Is it not then highly probable, that the whole of the story of 
Henry VI. had also been brought upon the scene ? and that the 
first of the plays now in question, formerly ( as I believe ) called 
The Historical Play of King Henry VI. and now named The 
First Part of King Henry VI. as well as The First Part of the 
Contention of the Two Houses of Yorke and Lancaster, &c. and 
The true Tragedie of Richard Duke of Yorke, &c. (which 
three pieces comprehend the entire reign of that King from his 
birth to his death,) were the composition of some of the authors, 
who had produced the historical dramas above enumerated ? 

In consequence of an hasty and inconsiderate opinion formed 
by Mr. Pope, without any minute examination of the subject, 

* See the Prolegomena to King Richard II. Vol. XI. 
t Entered on the Sutiousrs' books in 1594. 


King John in two parts, printed in 1591, and The old Taming 
of the Shrew, which was entered at Stationers' Hall in 1594, 
and printed in 1607, passed for half a century for the compo- 
sition of Shakspeare. Further inquiries have shown that they 
were the productions of earlier writers ; and perhaps a more pro- 
found investigation of this subject than I have been able to make, 
may hereafter prove decisively, that thejirst of the three Henries 
printed in folio, and both the parts of The Whole Contention of 
the Two famous Houses of Yorke and Lancaster, as exhibited in 
quarto, and printed in 1600, ought to be classed in the same pre- 
dicament with the two old plays above mentioned. For my own 
part, if it should ever be thought proper to reprint the old dramas 
on which Shakspeare founded some of his plays, which were 
published in two volumes a few years ago, I have no doubt tha,t 
The First Part of the Contention of the Two Houses of Yorke 
and Lancaster, &c. and The true Tragedie of the Duke ofYorke t 
&c. should be added to the number. 

Gildon somewhere says, that "in a conversation between Shak- 
speare and Ben Jonson, Ben asked him the reason why he wrote 
his historical plays." Our author (we are told) replied, that 
** finding the nation generally very ignorant of history, he wrote 
them in order to instruct the people in that particular." This 
anecdote, like many other traditional stories, stands on a very 
weak foundation ; or to speak more justly, it is certainly a fiction. 
The malignant Ben does indeed, in his Devil's an Ass, 1616, 
sneer at our author's historical pieces, which for twenty years 
preceding had been in high reputation, and probably were then the 
only historical dramas that had possession of the theatre; but from 
the list above given, it is clear that Shakspeare was not thejirst 
who dramatized our old chronicles ; and that the principal events 
of the English History were familiar to the ears of his audience, 
before he commenced a writer forthestage :* though undoubtedly 

* This point is established not only by the list referred to, but by a passage 
in a pamphlet already quoted, entitled Pierce Pennilesse his Supplication to the 
Devil, written by Thomas Nashe, quarto, 1592 : " Whereas the afternoone 
being the eldest time of the day, wherein men that are their own masters (as 
gentlemen of the Court, the Innes of court, and the number of captaines 
and soldiers about London) do wholly bestow themselves upon pleasure, and 
that pleasure they divide (how virtuously it skilles not,) into gaming, following 
of harlots, drinking, or seeing a play; is it not then better, since of foure 
extreames all the world cannot keepe them but they will choose one, that 
they should betake them to the last, which is Playes ? Nay, what if I prove 
playes to be no extreame, but a rare exercise of vertue ? First, for the subject 
of them; for the most part it is borrowed out of our ENGLISH CHRONICLFS ? 
wherein our fore-fathers' valiant actes, that have been long buried in rustic 
brasse, nd worme eaten bookes, are revived, and they themselves raised from 
the grave of oblivion, and brought to plead their aged honours in open presence ; 


at. this day, whatever knowledge of our annals is dispersed 
among the people, is derived from the frequent exhibition of our 
author's historical plays. 

He certainly did not consider writing on fables that had al- 
ready been formed into dramas, as any derogation from his fame; 
if indeed fame was ever an object of his thoughts. We know 
that plays on the subjects of Measure for Measure, The Taming 
of the Shrew, The Merchant of Venice, King John, King 
Richard II. King Henry IV. King Henry V. King Richard III. 
King Lear, Antony and Cleopatra, and, I strongly suspect, on 
those of Hamlet, Timon oj" Athens, and Julius Ctesar,* existed 
before he commenced a dramatick author ; and perhaps in pro- 
cess of time it may be found, that many of the fables of his other 
plays also had been unskilfully treated, and produced upon the 
stage, by preceding writers. 

Such are the only lights that I am able to throw on this very 
dark subject. The arguments which I have stated have entirely 
satisfied my own mind ; whether they are entitled to bring con- 
viction to the minds of others, I shall not presume to determine. 
I produce them, however, with the more confidence, as they 
have the approbation of one who has given such decisive proofs 
of his taste and knowledge, by ascertaining the extent of Shak- 
speare's learning, that I have no doubt his thoughts on the pre- 
sent question also, will have that weight with the publick to 

than which, what can be a sharper reproofe to these degenerate days of 
ours ?" 

' After an elogium on the brave Lord Talbot, and on the actor who had per- 
sonated him in a popular play of that time, " before ten thousand spectators 
at the least ;" (which has already been printed in a former page,) and after 
observing "what a glorious thing it is to have King Henry the Fifth represented 
on the stage, leading the French king prisoner, and forcing both him and the 
Dolphin to swear fealty," the writer adds these words : 

" In playes, all cousenages, all cunning drifts, over-guilded with outward 
holinesse, all stratagems of warre, all the canker-wormes that breed in the 
rust of peace, are most lively anatomised. They show the ill successe of trea- 
son, the fall of hasty climbers, the wretched end of usurpers, the miserie of 
civil dissention, and how just God is evermore in punishing murder. And 
to prove every one of these allegations, could I propound the circumstances of 
this play and that, if I meant to handle this theame otherwise than 

It is highly probable that the words, " the miserie of civil dissention," al- 
lude to the very plays which are the subjects of the present disquisition, The 
First Part of the Contention of the Two Houses &c. and The True Tragedy of 
Richarde Duke of Yorke ; as, by " the wretched end of Usurpers," and the 
justice of God in " punishing murder" old plays on the subject of King 
Richard III. and that of Hamlet, prior to those of Shakspeare, were, I believe, 
alluded to. 

* See An Attempt to ascertain the Order of Shakspeare's Plays, Vol. II. 


which they are undoubtedly entitled. It is almost unnecessary 
to add, that I mean my friend Dr. Farmer ; who many years ago 
delivered it as his opinion, that these plays were not written ori- 
ginally by Shakspeare.* MA LONE. 

* Mr. Theobald's and Dr. Warburton's idea on which the foregoing Disser- 
tation is founded, had received countenance, from the opinion of Dr. Farmer. 
Mr. Malone, with much labour and ingenuity, has given support to the senti- 
ments of these gentlemen ; but, in my judgment, if he proves any thing, it 
is a position hazarded by me long ago ; viz. that our author had as much 
hand in the present dramas, as in several others that pass under his name ; for, 
as I observed in Mr. Malone's Attempt to ascertain &c. (article, Macbeth)" a 
time may arrive, in which it will become evident, from books and manuscripts 
yet undiscovered and unexamined, that Shakspeare did not attempt a single 
play on any subject, till the effect of the same story, or at least the ruling in- 
cidents in it, had been tried on the stage, and familiarized to his audience ;" 
a conjecture which in some instances has been already confirmed. 

Of the first part of these three Histories, however, it is asserted, that in co- 
lour of style, &c. it bears no resemblance to the other works of our author. 
As I think, among the notes on that piece, I have advanced some proofs to the 
contrary, in this place I shall be content to add, that it as strongly resemble* 
the latter dramas of Shakspeare, as the Dream of Raphael resembles his Traiis- 
Jtguration. Between the first and last performances of great masters, there ii 
often but a small, if any, degree of resemblance. Sir Joshua Reynolds studied 
under Hudson, and at first imitated his manner ; but is a trace of the almost for- 
gotten master discoverable in the mature and applauded works of the pupil ? 



gedy, though it is called the Life and Death of this Prince, com- 
prizes, at most, but the last eight years of his time; for it opens 
with George Duke of Clarence being clapped up in the Tower, 
which happened in the beginning of the year 1477 ; and closes 
with the death of Richard at Bosworth field, which battle was 
fought on the 22d of August, in the year 14-85. THEOBALD. 

It appears that several dramas on the present subject had been 
written before Shakspeare attempted it. See the notes at the 
conclusion of this play, which was first entered at Stationers* 
Hall by Andrew Wise, Oct. 20, 1597, .under the title of The 
Tragedie of King Richard the Third, with the Death of the Duke 
of Clarence. Before this, viz. Aug. 15th, 1586, was entered, A 
tragical Report of Kins Richard the Third, a Ballad. It may 
be necessary to remark that the words, song, ballad, enterlude 
anAplay, were often synonymously used. STEEVENS. 

This play was written, I imagine, in the same year in which 
it was iirst printed, 1597. The Legend of King Richard III. 
by Francis Seagars, was printed in the first edition of TheMirrour 
for Magistrates, 1559, and in that of 1575, and 1587, but Shak- 
speare does not appear to be indebted to it. In a subsequent 
edition of that book printed in 1610, the old legend was omitted, 
and a new one inserted, by Richard Niccols, who has very freely 
copied the play before us. In 1597, when this tragedy was pub- 
lished, Niccols, as Mr. Warton has observed, was but thirteen 
years old. Hist, of Poetry, Vol. III. p. 267. 

The real length of time in this piece is fourteen years ; (not 
eight years, as Mr. Theobald supposed :) for the second scene 
commences with the funeral of King Henry VI. who, accord- 
ing to the received account, was murdered on the 21st of 
May, 1471. The imprisonment of Clarence, which is repre- 
sented previously in the first scene, did not in fact take place 
till 14-77-8. 

It has been since observed to me by Mr. Elderton, (who is of 
opinion that Richard was charged with ,this murder by the Lan- 
castrian historians without any foundation,) that " it appears on 
the face of the publick accounts allowed in the exchequer for the 
maintenance of King Henry and his numerous attendants in the 
Tower, that he lived to the 12th of June, which was twenty-two 
days after the time assigned for his pretended assassination; was 
exposed to the publick view in St. Paul's for some days, and in- 
terred at Chertsey with much solemnity, and at no inconsider- 
able expence." MALONE. 


King Edward the Fourth. 
Edward, Prince o/Wales, after- ^ 

wards K. Edward V. >Sons to the King. 

Richard, Duke o/*York, J 

George, Duke o/tlarence, "I 
Richard, Duke ofGloster, of- >BrotfierstotheKing. 

terwardsKing Richard III. } 
A young Son o/Clarenee. 

Henry, l&zr/q/'Richmond, afterwards K. Henry VII. 
Cardinal Bourchier, Archbishop of Canterbury. 
Thomas Rotheram, Archbishop o/'York. John Morr 

ton, Bishop of Ely, 
Duke ^Buckingham. 
Duke o/'Norfolk : Earl of Surrey, his Son. 
Earl Rivers, brother to King Edward's Queen: 
Marquis of Dorset, and Lord Grey, her Sons.^ 
Earl of Oxford. Lord Hastings. Lord Stanley. 

Lord Lovel. 

Sir Thomas Vaughan. Sir Richard Ratcliff. 
Sir William Catesby. Sir James Tyrrel. 
Sir James Blount. Sir Walter Herbert. 
Sir Robert Brakenbury, Lieutenant of the Tower. 
Christopher Urswick, a Priest. Another Priest. 
Lord Mayor of London. Sheriff of Wiltshire. 

Elizabeth, Queen of King Edward IV. 
Margaret, Widow of King Henry VI. 
Ditchess of York, Mother to King Edward IV. Cla- 
rence, and Gloster. 
Lady Anne, Widow of Edward Prince of Wales, 

Son to King Henry VI. j afterwards married to 

the Duke ofGloster. 
A young Daughter of Clarence. 

Lords, and other Attendants; two Gentlemen, a 
Pursuivant, Scrivener, Citizens, Murderers, Mes- 
sengers, Ghosts, Soldiers, fyc. 

SCENE, England. 





London. A Street. 

GLO. Now is the winter of our discontent 1 
Made glorious summer by this sun of York -,* 

1 the winter of our discontent-^ Thus, in Sidney's 

Astrophel and Stella : 

" Gone in the winter of my miserie." STEEVENS. 

* this sun of York;~\ Alluding to the cognizance of 

Edward IV. which was a sun, in memory of the three suns, which 
are said to have appeared at the battle which he gained over the 
Lancastrians at Mortimer's Cross. 

So, in Drayton's Miseries of Queen Margaret ; 
" Three suns were seen that instant to appear, 
" Which soon again shut themselves up in one ; 
" Ready to buckle as the armies were, 
" Which this brave duke took to himself alone :" &c. 
Again, in the 22d Song of the Polyolbion : 

" And thankful to high heaven, which of his cause had 


" Three suns for his device still in his ensign bare." 
Such phenomena, if we may believe tradition, were formerly 
not uncommon. In the Wrighte's Play in the Chester Collection, 
MS. Harl. 1013, the same circumstance is introduced as attending 
on a more solemn event : 


And all the clouds, that lowr'd upon our house, 
In the deep bosom of the ocean buried. 
Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths ; 
Our bruised arms 3 hung up for monuments ; 
Our stern alarums chang'd to merry meetings, 
Our dreadful marches to delightful measures. 
Grim-visag'd warhath smooth'dhis wrinkled front ; 
And now, instead of mounting barbed steeds, 4 

" That day was seene veramente 
" Three sonnes in the firmament, 
" And wonderly together went 
" And torned into one." STEEVENS. 

See p. 48, n. 6. MALONE. 

3 Nona are OUT brows bound with victorious wreaths ; 
Our bruised arms Sfc."] So, in The Rape ofLucrece: 
" Made glorious by his manly chivalry, 
," With bruised arms and wreaths of victory" MALONE. 

* Our stern alarums chang'd to merry meetings, 
Our dreadful marches to delightful measures. 
Grim-visag'd war hath smooth* a his wrinkled front ; 
And now, instead of mounting barbed steeds, <^rc.] So, in 
The tragical Life and Death of King Richard the Third, which 
is one of the metrical monologues in a collection entitled, The 
Mirrour of Magistrates. The first edition of it appeared in 1559, 
but the lines quoted on the present as well as future occasions 
throughout this play, are not found in any copy before that of 
1610, so that the author was more probably indebted to Shak- 
speare, than Shakspeare to him : 

" - the battles fought in field before 
" Were turn'd to meetings of sweet amitie ; 

" The war-god's thund'ring cannons' dreadful rore, 
" And rattling drum-sounds' warlike harmonic, 
" To sweet-tun'd noise of pleasing minstrelsie. 

" God Mars laid by his launce, and tooke his lute, 
" And turn'd his rugged frownes to smiling lookes ; 

" Instead of crimson fields, warre's fatal fruit, 
" He bath'd his limbes in Cypris warbling brookes, 
" And set his thoughts upon her wanton lookes." 

Shakspeare seems tohave had thefollowingpassagefrom Lyly's 

ac. r. KING RICHARD III. 271 

To fright the souls of fearful adversaries, 

He capers 5 nimbly in a lady's chamber, 

Alexander and Campaspe, 1584, before him, when he wrote 
these lines: " Is the warlike sound of drum and trump turn'd to 
the soft noise of lyre and lute ? The neighing of barbed steeds, 
whose loudness filled the air with terror, and whose breaths 
dimned the sun with smoak, converted to delicate tunes and 
amorous glances ?" &c. REED. 

delightful measures.] A measure was, strictly speaking, 

a court dance of a stately turn, though the word is sometimes 
employed to express dances in general. 

So, in Romeo and Juliet: 

" We'll measure them a measure, and be gone." 

See Vol. VII. p. 154, n. 9. STEEVENS. 

barbed steeds,"] i. e. steeds caparisoned in a warlike man- 
ner. I. Haywarde, in his Life and Raigne of King Henry IV. 
1599, says, " The duke of Hereford, came to the barriers, 
mounted upon a white courser, barbed ivith bleia and green 
velvet" &c. 

Again, in Jarvis Markham's English Arcadia, 1607 : " armed 
in a black armour, curiously damask'd with interwinding wreaths 
of cypress and we, his barbe upon his horse, all of black 
abrosetta, cut in broken hoopes upon curled cypress." 

Again, in The Second Part of King Edward IV. by Heywood, 

" With barbed horse, and valiant armed foot." 

Barbed, however, may be no more than a corruption ofbarded. 
Equus bardatus, in the Latin of the middle ages, was a horse 
adorned with military trappings. I have met with the word 
barded many times in our ancient chronicles and romances. An 
instance or two may suffice. " They mounted him surely upon 
a good and mighty courser, well barded," &c. 

Hist. ofHelyas Knight of the Swanne, bl. 1. no date. 

Again, in Barrett's Alvearie, or Quadruple Dictionary, 1580: 
" Bardes or trappers of horses." Phalerce, Lat. 

Again, Holinshed speaking of the preparations for the battle 
of Agincourt : " to the intent that if the barded horses ran 
fiercely upon them," &c. Again, from p. 802, we learn, that 
bards and trappers had the same meaning. STEEVENS. 

See " A Barbed horse," and " Bardes," in Minsheu's DICT. 
1617, the latter of which he defines " horse-trappings." 


* He capers ] War capers. This is poetical, though a little 


To the lascivious pleasing of a lute. 
But I, that am not shap'd for sportive tricks* 
Nor made tc^court an amorous looking-glass ; 
I, that am rudely stamp'd, and want love's majeity, 
To strut before a wanton ambling nymph ; 
I, that am curtailed of this fair proportion, 
Cheated of feature by dissembling nature, 6 
Deform'd, unfinished, sent before my time 
Into this breathing world, scarce half made up, 
And that so lamely and unfashionable, 
That dogs bark at me, as I halt by them ; 

harsh ; if it be York that capers, the antecedent is at such a dis- 
tance, that it is almost forgotten. JOHNSON. 

6 Cheated of feature by dissembling nature ',] By dissembling 
is not meant hypocritical nature, that pretends one thing and 
does another : but nature that puts together things of a dissimilar 
kind, as a brave soul and a deformed body. WAKBURTON. 

Dissembling is here put very licentiously forfraudful, deceitful. 


Dr. Johnson hath certainly mistaken, and Dr. Warburton 
rightly explained the word dissembling; as is evident from the 
following extract : " Whyle thinges stoode in this case, and that 
the manner of addyng was sometime too short and sometime too 
long, els dissembled and let slip together." Arthur Golding's 
translation ofJuliics Solinus, 1587. HENLEY. 

I once thought that Dr. Johnson's interpretation was the true 
one. Dissimilation necessarily in eludes fraud, and this might 
have been sufficient to induce Shakspeare to use the two words 
as synonymous, though fraud certainly may exist without dis- 
simulation. But the following lines in the old King John, 1591, 
which our author must have carefully read, were perhaps in his 
thoughts, and seem rather in favour of Dr. Warburton's inter- 
pretation : 

" Can nature so dissemble in her frame, 
" To make the one so like as like may be, 
" And in the other print no character 
" To challenge any mark of true descent?" 
Feature is used here, as in other pieces of the same age, for 
beauty in general. See note on Antony and Cleopatra, Act II. 
sc. v. MALONE. 

sc> i. KING RICHARD III. 273 

Why I, in this weak piping time of peace, 

Have no delight to pass away the time ; 

Unless to spy my shadow in the sun, 

And descant on mine own deformity ; 7 

And therefore, since I cannot prove a lover^ 8 

To entertain these fair well-spoken days, 9 

I am determined to prove a villain, 

And hate the idle pleasures 1 of these days* 

Plots have I laid, inductions dangerous, 2 

7 And descant on mine own deformity;'] Descant is a term in 
musick, signifying in general that kind of harmony wherein one 
part is broken and formed into a kind of paraphrase on the other. 
The propriety and elegance of the above figure, without such an 
idea of the nature of descant, could not be discerned. 


That this is the original meaning of the term, is certain. But 
I believe the word is here used in its secondary and colloquial 
sense, without any reference to musick* MALONE. 

8 And therefore, since I cannot prove a lover,"] Shakspeare 
very diligently inculcates, that the wickedness of Richard pro- 
ceeded from his deformity, from the envy that rose at the com- 
parison of his own person with others, and which incited him to 
disturb the pleasures that he could not partake. JOHNSON. 

9 To entertain these fair well-spoken days,] I am strongly in- 
clined to think that the poet wrote these fair well-spoken dames t 
and that the word days was caught by the compositor's eye 
glancing on a subsequent line. So, in the quarto copy of this 
play, printed in 1612, Signat. I: 

" I, my lord, but I had rather kill two deep enemies. 

" King. Why, there thou hast it ; two deep enemies." 
In the original copy, printed in 1597, the first line is right: 
" kill two enemies." MALONE.. 

1 And hate the idle pleasures ] Perhaps we might read : 
And bate the idle pleasures . JOHNSON. 

* inductions dangerous,^] Preparations for mischief. The 

induction is preparatory to the action of the play. JOHNSON. 

Marston has put this line, with little variation, into the mouth 
of Fame : 

** Plots ha' you laid ? inductions dangerous ?" 




By drunken prophecies, libels, and dreams, 
To set my brother Clarence, and the king, 
In deadly hate the one against the other : 
And, if king Edward be as true and just, 3 
As I am subtle, false, and treacherous, 
This day should Clarence closely be mew'd up j 
About a prophecy, which says that G 
Of Edward's heirs the murderer shall be. 
Dive, thoughts, down to my soul ! here Clarence 

Enter CLARENCE, guarded, and BRAKENBURY, 

Brother, good day : What means this armed guard, 
That waits upon your grace ? 

CLAR. His majesty, 

Tendering my person's safety, hath appointed 
This conduct to convey me to the Tower. 

GLO. Upon what cause ? 

CLAR. Because my name is George. 

GLO. Alack, my lord, that fault is none of yours; 

He should, for that, commit your godfathers : 

O, belike, his majesty hath some intent, 

That you shall be new christen'd in the Tower. 

But what's the matter, Clarence ? may I know ? 

CLAR. Yea, Richard, when I know ; for, I pro- 


As yet I do not : But, as I can learn, 
He hearkens after prophecies, and dreams ;* 

3 Edward be as true and just,] The meaning is, if EcU 

ward keeps his word. JOHNSON. 

May not this mean If Edward hold his natural disposition 
and be true to that ? M. MASON. 

* He hearkens after prophecies, and dreams;] From Holin- 

sc. i. KING RICHARD III. 275 

And from the cross-row plucks the letter G, 
And says a wizard told him, that by G 
His issue disinherited should be j 
And, for my name of George begins with G, 5 
It follows in his thought, that I am he : 
These, as I learn, and such like toys 6 as these, 
Have mov'd his highness to commit me now. 

GLO. Why, this it is, when men are rul'd by 

women : 

J Tis not the king, that sends you to the Tower ; 
My lady Grey, his wife, Clarence, 'tis she, 
That tempers him to this extremity. 7 

shed : " Some have reported that the cause of this nobleman's 
death rose of a foolish prophecie, which was, that after king 
Edward should raign one whose first letter of his name should be 
a G ; wherewith the king and the queene were sore troubled, 
and began to conceive a grievous grudge against this duke, and 
could not be in quiet till they had brought him to his end." 
Philip de Comines, a contemporary historian, says that the Eng- 
lish at that time were never unfurnished with some prophecy 
or other, by which they accounted for every event. MALONE. 

* And, for my name of George begins with G, &c.] So, in 
Niccols's Tragical Life and Death of Richard III : 
" By that blind riddle of the letter G, 
" George lost his life ; it took effect in me." 


c toys ] Fancies, freaks of imagination. JOHNSON. 

So, in Hamlet, Act I. sc. iv : 

" The very place puts toys of desperation, 
" Without more motive, into every brain." REED. 
7 That tempers him to this extremity.'] I have collated the 
original quarto published in 1597, verbatim with that of 1598. 
In the first copy this line stands thus : 

That tempers him to this extremity. 

and so undoubtedly we should read. To temper is to mould, to 
fashion. So, in Titus Andronicus: 

" Now will I to that old Andronicus ; 
" And temper him, with all the art I have, 
" To pluck proud Lucius from the warlike Goths." 

T 2 


Was it not she, and that good man of worship, 
Antony Woodeville, her brother there, 8 
That made him send lord Hastings to the Tower j 
From whence this present day he is deliver* d ? 
We are not safe, Clarence, we are not safe. 

CLAR. By heaven, I think, there is no man se- 

But the queen's kindred, and night-walking heralds 
That trudge betwixt the king and mistress Shore. 
Heard you not, what an humble suppliant 
Lord Hastings was to her for his delivery ? 

GLO. Humbly complaining 9 to her deity 
Got my lord chamberlain his liberty. 
I'll tell you what, I think, it is our way, 
If we will keep in favour with the king, 
To be her men, and wear her livery : 
The jealous o'er-worn widow, and herself, 1 
Since that our brother dubb'd them gentlewomen, 
Are mighty gossips in this monarchy. 

BRAK. I beseech your graces both to pardon me; 
His majesty hath straitly given in charge, 

In the quarto, 1598, tempts was corruptly printed instead of 
tempers. The metre being then defective, the editor of the 
folio supplied the defect by reading 

That tempts him to this harsh extremity. MALONE. 

8 her brother there,] There is in this place, according to 

our author's usual practice, a dissyllable. MALONE. 

Having no faith (as I have too often been obliged to say) in 
this dissyllabical pronunciation of the adverb there, it is ne- 
cessary I should add that Woodeville is really a trisyllable, and is 
still so pronounced by a gentleman of that name. STEEVENS. 

9 Humbly complaining &c.] I think these two lines might be 
better given to Clarence. JOHNSON. 

1 The jealous o'er-worn widow t and her self, ~\ That is, 
Queen and Shore. JOHNSON. 

sc. /. KING RICHARD III. 277 

That no man shall have private conference, 
Of what degree so ever, with his brother. 

GLO. Even so ? an please your worship, Braken- 


You may partake of any thing we say : 
We speak no treason, man ; We say, the king 
Is wise, and virtuous ; and his noble queen 
Well struck in years ; 2 fair, and not jealous : 
We say, that Shore's wife hath a pretty foot, 

At V 

cherry lip, 

A bonny eye, a passing pleasing tongue ; 

And the queen's kindred 3 are made gentlefolks : 

How say you, sir ? can you deny all this ? 

BRAK. With this, my lord, myself have nought 
to do. 

GLO. Naught to do with mistress Shore ? I tell 

thee, fellow, 

He that doth naught with her, excepting one, 
Were best to do it secretly, alone. 4 

* Well struck inyears;~\ This odd expression in our language 
was preceded by others as uncouth though of a similar kind. 
Thus, in Arthur Hall's translation of the first Book of Homer's 
Iliad, 1581 : 

" In Grea's forme, the good handmaid, nowe wel ystept 

in yeares." 
Again : 

" Well shot in years he seem'd," &c. 

Spenser's Fairy Queen, B. V. c. vi. 

The meaning of neither is very obvious ; but as Mr. Warton has 
observed in his Essay on The Fairy Queen, by an imperceptible 
progression from one kindred sense to another, words at length 
obtain a meaning entirely foreign to their original etymology. 


s And the queen* s kindred ] The old copies harshly and un- 
necessarily read 

And that the queen's &c. STEEVENS. 

* alone.~\ Surely the adjective alone, is an interpolation, 


BRAK. What one, my lord ? 

GLO. Her husband, knave : Would* st thou be- 
tray me ? 

BRAK. I beseech your grace to pardon me ; and, 

Forbear your conference with the noble duke. 

CLAR. We know thy charge, Brakenbury, and 
will obey. 

GLO. We are the queen's abjects, 5 and must obey. 

as what the Duke is talking of, is seldom undertaken before 
witnesses. Besides, this word deranges the metre, which, with- 
out it, would be regular : for instance : 
Were best to do it secretly. 

What one, 
My lord? 

Her husband, knave: Would* st thou betray me? 


* the queen's abjects,] That is, not the queen's subjects, 

whom she might protect, but her abjects, whom she drives away. 


So, in The Case is altered. Hoia? Ask Dalio and Milo, 

" This ougly object, or rather abject of nature." 


I cannot approve of Johnson's explanation. Gloster forms a 
substantive from the adjective abject, and uses it to express a 
lower degree of submission than is implied by the word subject, 
which otherwise he would naturally have made use of. The 
Queen's abjects, means the most servile of her subjects, who must 
of course obey all her commands ; which would not be the case 
of those whom she had driven away from her. 

In a preceding page Gloster had said of Shore's wife 
** " I think, it is our way, 
" If we will keep in favour with the king, 
" To be her men, and wear her livery." 
The idea u the same in both places, though the expression 
differs. In Jonson's Every Man out of his Humour, Puntarvolo 
says to Swift : 

" I'll make thee stoop, thou abject!" M. MASON. 
This substantive was not of Shakspeare's formation. We meet 
with it in Psalm xxxv. 15 : " yea the very abjects came toge- 
ther against me unawares, making mouths at me, and ceased not." 

sc. i. KING RICHARD III. 279 

Brother, farewell : I will unto the king ; 
And whatsoever you will employ me in, 
Were it, to call king Edward's widow sister, 6 - 
I will perform it to enfranchise you. 
Mean time, this deep disgrace in brotherhood, 
Touches me deeper than you can imagine. 

CLAR. I know it pleaseth neither of us well. 

GLO. Well, your imprisonment shall not be long j 
I will deliver you, or else lie for you : 7 
Mean time, have patience. 

CLAR. I must perforce ; 8 farewell. 


Again, in Chapman's translation of the 21st Book of Homer's 
Odyssey : 

" Whither ? rogue ! abject ! wilt thou bear from us 
" That bow propos'd?" 

Again, in the same author's version of Homer's Hymn to 
Venus : 

" That thou wilt never let me live to be 
" An abject, after so divine degree 
" Taken in fortune ; " STEEVENS. 

" Were it, to call king Edward's "widow sister,'] This is a very 
covert and subtle manner of insinuating treason. The natural 
expression would have been, were it to call king Edward's wife, 
sister. I will solicit for you, though it should be at the expence 
of so much degradation and constraint, as to own the low-born 
wife of King Edward for a sister. But by slipping, as it were 
casually, widow, into the place of wife, he tempts Clarence 
with an oblique proposal to kill the King. JOHNSON. 

King Edward's widow is, I believe, only an expression of 
contempt, meaning the widow Grey, whom Edward had chosen 
for his queen. Gloster has already called her, the jealous o'er- 
tvorn widow. STEEVENS. 

7 - \\zfor you :~\ He means to be imprisoned in your stead. 
To lie was anciently to reside, as appears by many instances in 
these volumes. REED. 

8 / must per force ;] Alluding to the proverb, " Patience per- 
force, is a medicine for a mad dog." STEEVENS. 


GLO. Go, tread the path that thou shalt ne'er 


Simple, plain Clarence ! I do love thee so, 
That I will shortly send thy soul to heaven, 
If heaven will take the present at our hands. 
But who comes here ? the new^-deliver'd Hastings? 


HAST. Good time of day unto my gracious lord! 

GLO. As much unto my good lord chamberlain | 
Well are you welcome to this open air. 
How hath your lordship brook' d imprisonment ? 

HAST. With patience, noble lord, as prisoners 


But I shall live, my lord, to give them thanks, 
That were the cause of my imprisonment. 

GLO. No doubt, no doubt ; and so shall Clarence 

too ; 

For they, that were your enemies, are his, 
And have prevailed as much on him, as you. 

HAST. More pity, that the eagle should be 

mew'd, 8 
While kites and buzzards prey at liberty. 

GLO. What news abroad ? 

HAST. No news so bad abroad, as this at home ;-^ 
The king is sickly, weak, and melancholy, 
And his physicians fear him mightily. 

* should be mew'd,] A mew was the place of confinement 

where a hawk was kept till he had moulted. So, in Albumazar: 
" Stand forth, transform'd Antonio, fully mevo'd 
" From brown soar feathers of dull yeomanry, 
" To the glorious bloom of gentry." STEEVENS. 

sc. i. KING RICHARD III. 281 

GLO. Now, by Saint Paul, 9 this news is bad in- 

O, he hath kept an evil diet 1 long, 
And over-much consumed his royal person ; 
'Tis very grievous to be thought upon. 
What, is he in his bed ? 

HAST. He is. 2 

GLO. Go you before, and I will follow you. 


He cannot live, I hope ; and must not die, 
Till George be pack'd with posthorse up to heaven. 
I'll in, to urge his hatred more to Clarence, 
With lies well steel'd with weighty arguments ; 
And, if I fail not in my deep intent, 
Clarence hath not another day to live : 
Which done, God take king Edward to his mercy, 
And leave the world for me to bustle in ! 
For then I'll marry Warwick's youngest daughter: 3 
What though I kill'd her husband, and her father? 
The readiest way to make the wench amends, 
Is to become her husband, and her father : 
The which will I ; not all so much for love, 
As for another secret close intent, 
By marrying her, which I must reach unto. 
But yet I run before my horse to market : 
When they are gone, then must I count my gains. 


9 Noiv, by Saint Paul,'] The folio reads : 
Noiv, by Saint John, . STEEVENS. 

1 an evil diet ] i. e. a bad regimen. STEEVENS. 

* He is.~\ Sir Thomas Hanmer very properly completes this 
broken verse, by reading 

He is, my lord. STEEVENS. 

3 Warwick's youngest daughter :~] See p. 131, n. 4. 



The same. Another Street. 

Enter the Corpse of King HENRY the Sixth, borne 
in an open Coffin, Gentlemen bearing Halberds, to 
guard it ; and Lady ANNE as mourner. 

ANNE. Set down, set down your honourable 


If honour may be shrouded in a hearse, 
Whilst I a while obsequiously lament 4 
The untimely fall of virtuous Lancaster. 
Poor key-cold 5 figure of a holy king! 
Pale ashes of the house of Lancaster ! 
Thou bloodless remnant of that royal blood ! 
Be it lawful that I invocate thy ghost, 
To hear the lamentations of poor Anne, 
Wife to thy Edward, to thy slaughter' d son, 
Stabb'd by the self-same hand that made these 
wounds ! 

* obsequiously lament ] Obsequious, in this instance, 

means funereal. So, in Hamlet, Act I. sc. ii : 

" To do obsequious sorrow." STEEVENS. 

* key-cold ] A key, on account of the coldness of the 

metal of which it is composed, was anciently employed to stop 
any slight bleeding. The epithet is common to many old 
writers; among the rest, it is used by Decker in his Satiromastix, 

" It is best you hide your head, for fear your wise brains 
take key-cold." 

Again, in The Country Girl, by T. B. 1647 : 

" The key-cold figure of a man." STEEVENS. 

Again, in our author's Rape iff JLucrece : 

" And then in key-cold Lucrece* bleeding stream 
" He falls " MALONE. 

sc. ii. KING RICHARD III. 283 

Lo, in these windows, that let forth thy life, 
I pour the helpless balm of my poor eyes : 
O, cursed be the hand that made these holes ! 
Cursed the heart, that had the heart to do it ! 
Cursed the blood, that let this blood from hence ! 
More direful hap betide that hated wretch, 
That makes us wretched by the death of thee, 
Than I can wish to adders, spiders, toads, 
Or any creeping venom'd thing that lives ! 
If ever he have child, abortive be it, 
Prodigious, and untimely brought to light, 
Whose ugly and unnatural aspect 
May fright the hopeful mother at the view ; 
And that be heir to his unhappiness ! 6 
If ever he have wife, let her be made 
More miserable by the death of him, 
Than I am made by my young lord, and thee ! 
Come, now, toward Chertsey with your holy load, 
Taken from Paul's to be interred there ; 
And, still as you are weary of the weight, 
Rest you, whiles I lament king Henry's corse. 
[The Bearers take up the Corpse, and advance. 


GLO. Stay you, that bear the corse, and set it 

ANNE. What black magician conjures up this 

To stop devoted charitable deeds ? 

6 to his unhappiness !] i. e. disposition to mischief. So, 

in Much Ado about Nothing: " Dreamed of unhappiness, and 
waked herself with laughing." STEEVENS. 

See Vol. VI. p. 55, n. 2 ; and Comedy of Errors, Act IV. 
sc. iv. MALONE. 


GLO. Villains, set down the corse ; or, by Saint 

I'll make a corse of him that disobeys. 7 

1 GENT. My lord, stand back, and let the coffin 

GLO. Unmanner'd dog ! stand thou when I com- 

Advance thy halberd higher than my breast, 
Or, by Saint Paul, I'll strike thee to my foot, 
And spurn upon thee, beggar, for thy boldness. 
[The Bearers set dawn the Coffin. 

ANNE. What, do you tremble ? are you all afraid ? 
Alas, I blame you not ; for you are mortal, 
And mortal eyes cannot endure the devil. 
Avaunt, thou dreadful minister of hell ! 
Thou had'st but power over his mortal body, 
His soul thou canst not have ; therefore, be gone. 

GLO. Sweet saint, for charity, be not so curst. 

ANNE. Foul devil, for God's sake, hence, and 

trouble us not ; 

For thou hast made the happy earth thy hell, 
FilPd it with cursing cries, and deep exclaims. 
If thou delight to view thy heinous deeds, 
Behold this pattern of thy butcheries ; 8 

7 ril make a corse of him that disobeys."] So, in Hamlet : 
" I'll make a ghost of him that lets me." JOHNSON. 

' pattern of thy butcheries :] Pattern is instance, or ex- 
ample. JOHNSON. 

So, in The Legend of Lord Hastings, Mirrour for Magistrates, 

" By this my pattern, all ye peers, beware." MALONE. 

Holinshed says : " The dead corps on the Ascension even was 
conveied with billes and glaives pompouslie (if you will call that 
a funeral pompe) from the Tower to the church of saint Paule, 
and there laid on a beire or coffen bare-faced ; the same in the 

sc. n. KING RICHARD III. 285 

O, gentlemen, see, see ! dead Henry's wounds 
Open their congeal'd mouths, and bleed afresh ! 9 
Blush, blush, thou lump of foul deformity ; 
For 'tis thy presence that exhales this blood 
From cold and empty veins, where no blood dwells; 
Thy deed, inhuman and unnatural, 

Provokes this deluge most unnatural. 

O God, which this blood mad'st, revenge his death! 
O earth, which this blood drink'st, revenge his 
death ! 

presence of the beholders did bleed ; where it rested the space 
of one whole daie. From thense he was carried to the Black- 
friers, and bled there likewise ;" &c. STEEVENS. 

9 see ! dead Henry's ivounds 

Open their congeal'd mouths, and bleed afresh /] It is a tra- 
dition very generally received, that the murdered body bleeds 
on the touch of the murderer. This was so much believed by 
Sir Kenelm Digby, that he has endeavoured to explain the 
reason. JOHNSON. 

So, in Arden ofFeverskam, 1592: 

** The more I sound his name, the more he bleeds ; 
" This blood condemns me, and in gushing forth 
" Speaks as it falls, and asks me why I did it.'* 
Again, in The Widow's Tears, by Chapman, 1612: 
** The captain will assay an old conclusion often approved i 
that at the murderer's sight the blood revives again and boils 
afresh; and every wound has a condemning voice to cry out. 
guilty against the murderer." 

Again, in the 46th Idea of Drayton : 

" If the vile actors of the heinous deed, 
" Near the dead body happily be brought, 
" Oft 't hath been prov'd the breathless corps will bleed.'* 
See also the 7th article in the tenth Booke of Thomas Lupton's 
Notable Thinges, 4to. bl. 1. no date, p. 255, &c. 

Mr. Toilet observes, that this opinion seems to be derived from 
the ancient Swedes, or Northern nations from whom we descend; 
for they practised this method of trial in dubious cases, as ap- 
pears from Pitt's Atlas, in Sweden, p. 20. STEEVENS, 

See also Demonologie, 4to. 1608, p. 79 ; and Goulart's Admi- 
rable and Memorable Histories, translated by Grimeston, 4to. 
1607, p. 422. REED. 


Either, heaven, with lightning strike the murderer 


Or, earth, gape open wide, and eat him quick ; 
As thou dost swallow up this good king's blood, 
Which his hell-govern'd arm hath butchered ! 

GLO. Lady, you know no rules of charity, 
Which renders good for bad, blessings for curses. 
ANNE. Villain, thou know'st no law of God nor 


No beast so fierce, but knows some touch of pity. 
GLO. But I know none, and therefore am no 

ANNE. O wonderful, when devils tell the truth ! 
GLO. More wonderful, when angels are so an- 
Vouchsafe, divine perfection of a woman, 

Of these supposed evils, to give me leave, 
By circumstance, but to acquit myself. 

ANNE. Vouchsafe, diffus'd infection of a man, 1 
For these known evils, but to give me leave, 
By circumstance, to curse thy cursed self. 

GLO. Fairer than tongue can name thee, let me 

Some patient leisure to excuse myself. 

1 Vouchsafe, diffus'd infection of a man,"] I believe, diffus'd 
in this place signifies irregular, uncouth ; such is its meaning in 
other passages of Shakspeare. JOHNSON. 

Diffused infection of a man may mean, thou that art as dan- 
gerous as a pestilence, that infects the air by its diffusion. Dif- 
jfas'd may, however, mean irregular. So, in The Merry Wives 
of Windsor: 

" rush at once 

" With some diffused song." 
Again, in Greene's Farewell to Follie, 1617 : 

" I have seen an English gentleman so defused in his sutes ; 
his doublet being for the weare of Castile, his hose for Venice," 

*c. ii. KING RICHARD III. 287 

ANNE. Fouler than heart can think thee, thou 

canst make 
No excuse current, but to hang thyself. 

GLO. By such despair, I should accuse myself. 

ANNS. And, by despairing, shalt thou stand 

excus'd ; 

For doing worthy- vengeance on thyself, 
That didst unworthy slaughter upon others. 

GLO. Say, that I slew them not ? 

ANNE. Why then, they are not dead :* 

But dead they are, and, devilish slave, by thee. 

GLO. I did not kill your husband 

ANNE. Why, then he is alive. 

GLO. Nay, he is dead j and slain by Edward's 

ANNE. In thy soul's throat 3 thou liest ; queen 

Margaret saw 

Thy murderous faulchion smoking in his blood ; 
The which thou once didst bend against her breast, 
But that thy brothers beat aside the point. 

GLO. I was provoked by her sland'rous tongue, 
That laid their guilt 4 upon my guiltless shoulders. 

ANNE. Thou wast provoked by thy bloody mind, 
That never dreamt on aught but butcheries : 
Didst thou not kill this king ? 

* Why then, they are not dead:"] Thus the quarto. The folia 
reads : Then say, they are not slain. MALONE. 

thy soul's throat ] The folio ihyfoul throat. 


4 That laid their guilt ] The crime of my brothers. He 
has just charged the murder of Lady Anne's husband upon Ed- 
ward. JOHNSON. 


GLO. I grant ye. 5 

ANNE. Dost grant me, hedge-hog ? then, God 

grant me too, 

Thou may'st be damned for that wicked deed ! 
O, he was gentle, mild, and virtuous. 

GLO. The fitter for the King of heaven that hath 
him. 6 

ANNE. He is in heaven, where thou shalt never 

GLO. Let him thank me, that holp to send him 

thither ; 
For he was fitter for that place, than earth. 

ANNE. And thou unfit for any place but hell. 

GLO. Yes, one place else, if you will hear me 
name it. 

ANNE. Some dungeon. 7 

GLO. Your bed-chamber. 

ANNE. Ill rest betide the chamber where thou 


GLO. So will it, madam, till I lie with you. 
ANNE. I hope so. 

* I grant ye.] Read, to perfect the measure: 
I grant ye, yea.. RITSON. 

One of the quartos, instead of ye, reads yea. STEEVENS. 

6 O, he loas gentle, mild, and virtuous. 

Glo. The Jitter for the King of heaven &c.] So, in Pericles 
Prince of Tyre, 1609 : 

" I'll do't : but yet she is a goodly creature. 

" Dion. The fitter then the gods should have her." 


7 Some dungeon.] As most of the measure throughout this 
scene is regular, I cannot help suspecting that our author origin- 
ally wrote : 

Some dungeon, perhaps. 

Your bed-chamber. STEEVENS* 

sc.n. KING RICHARD III. 289 

GLO. I know so. But, gentle lady Anne, 
To leave this keen encounter of our wits, 
And fall somewhat into a slower method ; 8 
Is not the causer of the timeless deaths 
Of these Plantagenets, Henry, and Edward, 
As blameful as the executioner ? 

ANNE. Thou wast the cause, and most accurs'd 
effect. 9 

GLO. Your beauty was the cause of that effect ; 
Your beauty, which did haunt me in my sleep, 
To undertake the death of all the world, 
So I might live one hour in your sweet bosom. 

8 a slower method;"] As quick was used for spritely, so 

slower was put for serious. In the next scene Lord Grey desires 
the Queen to 

" cheer his grace with quick and merry words." 


9 Thou wast the cause, and most occurs* d effect. ~\ Effect, for 
executioner. He asks, was not the causer as ill as the execu- 
tioner ? She answers, Thou wast both. But, for causer, using 
the word cause, this led her to the word effect, for execution, or 
executioner. But the Oxford editor, troubling himself with 
nothing of this, will make a fine oratorical period of it: 
Thou wast the cause, and most accurs'd the effect. 


I cannot but be rather of Sir T. Hanmer's opinion than Dr. 
Warburton's, because effect is used immediately in its common 
sense, in answer to this line. JOHNSON. 

I believe the obvious sense is the true one. So, in The York- 
shire Tragedy, 1608 : 

" thou art the cause, 

" Effect, quality, property ; thou, thou." 
Again, in King Henry IV. P. II : "I have read the cause of 
his effects in Galen." 

Again, in Sidney's Arcadia, Book II : 

" Both cause, effect, beginning, and the end, 
" Are all in me." STEEVENS. 

Our author, I think, in another place uses effect, for efficient 
cause. MALONE. 



ANNE. If I thought that, I tell thee, homicide, 
These nails shouldrend that beauty from my cheeks. 

GLO. These eyes could not endure that beauty's 


You should not blemish it, if I stood by : 
As all the world is cheered by the sun, 
So I by that ; it is my day, my life. 

ANNE. Black night o'ershade thy day, and death 
thy life ! 

GLO. Curse not thyself, fair creature ; thou art 

ANNE. I would I were, to be reveng'd on thee. 

GLO. It is a quarrel most unnatural, 
To be reveng'd on him that loveth thee. 

ANNE. It is a quarrel just and reasonable, 
To be reveng'd on him that kill'd my husband. 

GLO. He that bereft thee, lady, of thy husband, 
Did it to help thee to a better husband. 

ANNE. His better doth not breathe upon th% 

GLO. He lives, that loves you better than he 


ANNE. Name him. 
GLO. Plantagenet* 

ANNE. Why, that was he. 

GLO. The self-same nanie^ but. one of better 

ANNE. Where is he ? 

GLO. Here : [$fe spits at him."] Why- 

dost thou spit at me ? 

ANNE. 'Would it were mortal poison, for thy 

sc.rr. KING RICHARD III. 29i 

GLO. Never came poison from so sweet a place. 

ANNE. Never hung poison on a fouler toad. 
Out of my sight ! thou dost infect mine eyes. 

GrL0.:Thine eyes, sweet lady, have infected mine. 

ANNE. 'Would they were basilisks, to strike thee 
dead I 1 

GLO. I would they were, that I might die at once ; 
For now they kill me with a living death. 2 

1 'Would they tvere basilisks, to strike thee dead!"] " Among 
the serpents the Basiliske doth infecte and kill people with his 
looke." Summary of Secret Wonders, & 1. by John Alday, 
no date. STEEVENS. 

So, in The Winter's Tale : 

" Make me not sighted like the basilisk; 

" I have look'd on thousands, who have sped the better 

" By my regard, but kill'd none so." 
See also, King Henry VI. P. II. Vol. XIII. p. 281, n. 1. 


In Cornucopia, &c. 1596, Sign. B. 4: " The eye of the Basi- 
liske is so odious to man, that it sleeth man before he come nere 
him, even by looking upon him." REED. 

8 they kill me with a living death.] In imitation of this 

passage, and, I suppose, of a thousand more, Pope writes : 
. a living death I bear, 

" Says Dapperwit, and sunk beside his chair." 


The same conceit occurs in The trimming of Thomas Nash, 
1597 : '* How happy the rat, caught in a trap, and there dies a 
living death ?" 

Again, in Phineas Fletcher's Locusts, or Apollyonists, 4to. 
1627 : 

" It lives, yet's death : it pleases full of paine ; 
" Monster ! ah who, who can thy beeing faigne ? 
" Thou shapelesse shape, live death, paine pleasing, 
servile raigne." STEEVENS. 

So, in Watson's Sonnets, printed about 1580 : 
" Love is a sowre delight, a sugred griefe, 
*' A living death, an ever-dying life." 

We have again the same expression in Venus and Adonis: 

U 2 


Those eyes of thine from mine have drawn salt 


Sham'd their aspects with store of childish drops : 
These eyes, which never shed remorseful tear, 3 
Not, when my father 4 York and Edward wept, 
To hear the piteous moan that Rutland made, 
When black-fac'd Clifford shook his sword at him: 
Nor when thy warlike father, like a child, 
Told the sad story of my father's death ; 
And twenty times made pause, to sob, and weep, 
That all the standers-by had wet their cheeks, 
Like trees bedash'd with rain : in that sad time, 
My manly eyes did scorn an humble tear ; 5 
And what these sorrows could not thence exhale, 
Thybeautyhath,andmadethemblindwith weeping. 
I never su'd to friend, nor enemy ; 
My tongue could never learn sweet soothing word; 6 

" For I have heard it [love] is a life in death, 

" That laughs and weeps, and all but with a breath." 


3 These eyes, tvhich never &c.] The twelve following beautiful 
lines added after the first editions. POPE. 

They were added with many more. JOHNSON. 

4 Not, tvhen my father ] The old copies read No, when, 
&c. The correction was made by Mr. Pope. I am not sure 
that it is necessary. 

This doubt derives strength from a subsequent passage : 

" Duch. I hope he is much grown since last I saw him. 
" Q. Eliz. But I hear, no." MALONE. 

4 My manly eyes did scorn &c.] Here is an apparent refer- 
ence to King Henry VL P. III. Act II. sc. i. See p. 52, n. 5. 


sweet soothing \uord ;] Thus the quarto, 1598. The 

folio has sweet smoothing word. MALONE. 

Smooth is, probably, the true reading. So again, p. 301, 
line ult : 

" Smile in men's faces, smooth, deceive, and cog." 
See also, Pericles, Act I. sc. ii. STEEVENS. 

sc. ii. KING RICHARD III. 293 

But now thy beauty is proposed my fee, 
My proud heart sues, and prompts my tongue to 
speak. \_She looks scornfully at him. 
Teach not thy lip such scorn ; for it was made 
For kissing, lady, not for such contempt. 
If thy revengeful heart cannot forgive, 
Lo ! here I lend thee this sharp-pointed sword ; 
Which if thou please to hide in this true breast, 
And let the soul forth that adoreth thee, 
I lay it naked to the deadly stroke, 
And humbly beg the death upon my knee. 

\_He lays his Breast open ; she offers at it with 

his Sword. 

Nay, do not pause ; for I did kill king Henry ; 
But 'twas thy beauty 7 that provoked me. 
Nay, now despatch ; 'twas I that stabb'd young Ed- 
ward ; 

[She again offers at his Breast. 
But 'twas thy heavenly face that set me on. 

[She lets falls the Sword. 
Take up the sword again, or take up me. 

ANNE. Arise, dissembler: though I wish thy 

I will not be thy executioner. 

GLO. Then bid me kill myself, and I will do it. 
ANNE. I have already. 

GLO. That was in thy rage : 

Speak it again, and, even with the word, 
This hand, which, for thy love, did kill thy love, 
Shall, for thy love, kill a far truer love ; 
To both their deaths shalt thou be accessary. 

7 But 'twas thy beauty ] Shakspeare countenances the ob- 
servation, that no woman can ever be offended with the mention 
of.her beauty. JOHNSON. 


ANNE. I would, I knew thy heart. 

GLO. 'Tis figur'd in 

My tongue. 

ANNE. I fear me, both are false. 

GLO. Then man 

Was never true. 8 

ANNE. Well, well, put up your sword. 

GLO. Say then, my peace is made. 

ANNE. That shall you know 


GLO. But shall I live in hope ? 
ANNE. All men, 

I hope, live so. 

GLO. Vouchsafe to wear this ring. 

ANNE. To take, is not to give. 

\_She puts on the Ring. 

GLO. Look, howthis ring encompasseth thy finger, 
Even so thy breast encloseth my poor heart ; 
Wear both of them, for both of them are thine. 
And if thy poor devoted servant may 
But beg one favour at thy gracious hand, 
Thou dost confirm his happiness for ever. 

ANNE. What is it ? 

GLO. That it may please you leave these sad de- 
To him that hath more cause 9 to be a mourner, 

8 Then man 
Was never true."] Old copy 

Then never man was true. 

For the sake of measure, I have hazarded this slight transposi- 
tion. STEEVENS. 

9 more cause ] The folio most cause. STEEVENS. 

sc. ii. KING RICHARD III. 295 

And presently repair to Crosby-place : l 
Where after I have solemnly interred, 
At Chertsey monastery this noble king, 
And wet his grave with my repentant tears, 
I will with all expedient duty 2 see you : 
For divers unknown reasons, I beseech you, 
Grant me this boon. 

ANNE. With all my heart; and much it joys me 


TLO see you are become so penitent. 
Tressel, and Berkley, go along with me. 

GLO. Bid me farewell. 

ANNE. 'Tis more than you deserve : 

But, since you teach me how to flatter you, 
Imagine I have said farewell already. 3 

\_Exeunt Lady ANNE, TRESSEL, and BERKLEY. 

1 Crosby-place .] A house near Bishopsgate Street, be- 
longing to the Duke of Gloster. JOHNSON. 

Crosby- place is now Crosby-square in Bishopsgate Street; 
part of the house is yet remaining, and is a meeting place for a 
presbyterian congregation. SIR J. HAWKINS. 

This magnificent house was built in the year 1466, by Sir 
John Crosby, grocenand woolman. He died in 1475. The an- 
cient hall of this fabrick is still remaining, though divided by an 
additional floor, and incumbered by modern galleries, having 
been converted into a place of worship for Antinomians, &c. 
The upper part of it is now the warehouse of an eminent Packer. 

Sir J. Crosby's tomb is in the neighbouring church of St. 
Helen the Great. STEEVENS. 

* tvitk all expedient duty ~] See Vol. XI. p. 41, n. 6. 


3 Imagine I have saidfaretvell already.~\ Gibber, who altered 
King Richard III. for the stage, was so thoroughly convinced of 
the ridiculousness and improbability of this scene, that he 
thought himself obliged to make Tressel say : 

When future chronicles shall speak of this, 
They luill be thought romance, not history. 
Thus also, in Twelfth-Night, where Fabian observing the 


GLO. Take up the corse, sirs. 

GENT. Towards Chertsey, noble lord ? 

GLO. No, to White-Friars ; there attend my 


{Exeunt the rest, with the Corse. 
Was ever woman in this humour woo'd ? 
Was ever woman in this humour won ? 
I'll have her, but I will not keep her long. 
What ! I, that kill'd her husband, and his father, 
To take her in her heart's extremest hate ; 
With curses in her mouth, tears in her eyes, 
The bleeding witness of her hatred by ; 
With God, her conscience, and these bars against 


And I no friends to back my suit withal, 
But the plain devil, and dissembling looks, 
And yet to win her, all the world to nothing ! 

conduct of Malvolio, says : " If this were played upon a stage 
now, I could condemn it as an improbable fiction." 

From an account of our late unsuccessful embassy to the Em- 
peror of China, we learn, indeed, that a scene of equal absur- 
dity was represented in a theatre at Tien-sing : " One of the 
dramas, particularly, attracted the attention of those who recol- 
lected scenes, somewhat similar, upon the English stage. The 
piece represented an Emperor of China and his Empress living 
in supreme felicity, when, on a sudden, his subjects revolt, a ci- 
vil war ensues, battles are fought, and at last the arch-rebel, who 
was a general of cavalry, overcomes his sovereign, kills him 
with his own hand, and routs the imperial army. The captive 
Empress then appears upon the stage in all the agonies of de- 
spair, naturally resulting from the loss of her husband and of her 
dignity, as well as the apprehension for that of her honour. Whilst 
she is tearing her hair, and rending the skies with her complaints, 
the conqueror enters, approaches her with respect, addresses her 
in a gentle tone, soothes her sorrows with his compassion, talks 
of love and adoration, and like Richard the Third, with Lady 
Anne in Shakspeare, prevails in less than half an hour, on the 
Chinese Princess to dry up her tears, to forget her deceased 
consort, and yield to a consoling wooer." STEEVENS. 

sc. n. KING RICHARD III. 297 


Hath she forgot already that brave prince, 

Edward, her lord, whom I, some three months since, 

Stabb'd in my angry mood at Tewksbury ? 4 

A sweeter and a lovelier gentleman, 

Fram'd in the prodigality of nature, 5 

Young, valiant, wise, and, no doubt, right royal, 6 

The spacious world cannot again afford : 

And will she yet abase her eyes on me, 

That cropp'd the golden prime of this sweet prince, 

And made her widow to a woful bed ? 

* tuhom I, some three months since, 

Stabb'd in my angry mood at Tewksbury ?"] Here we have 
the exact time of this scene ascertained, namely August 1471. 
King Edward, however, is in the second Act introduced dying. 
That King died in April 1483; so there is an interval between 
this and the next Act of almost twelve years. Clarence, who is 
represented in the preceding scene as committed to the Tower 
before the burial of King Henry VI. was in fact not confined 
nor put to death till seven years afterwards, March, 1477-8. 


* Fram'd in the prodigality of nature,"] i. e. when nature was 
in a prodigal or lavish mood. WARBURTON. 

6 and, no doubt, right royal,~\ Of the degree of royalty 

belonging to Henry the Sixth there could be no doubt, nor could 
Richard have mentioned it with any such hesitation ; he could 
not indeed very properly allow him royalty. I believe we should 
read : 

and, no doubt, right loyal. 

That is, true to her bed. He enumerates the reasons for 
which she should love him. He was young, 'wise, and valiant ; 
these were apparent and indisputable excellencies. He then 
mentions another not less likely to endear him to his wife, but 
which he had less opportunity of knowing with certainty, and y 
no doubt, right loyal. JOHNSON. 

Richard is not speaking of King Henry, but of Edward his 
son, whom he means to represent asjull of all the noble pro- 
perties of a king. No doubt, right royal, may, however, be 
ironically spoken, alluding to the incontinence of Margaret, his 
mother. STEEVENS. 


On me, whose all not equals Edward's moiety? 

On me, that halt, and am misshapen thus ? 

My dukedom to a beggarly denier, 7 

I do mistake my person all this while : 

Upon my life, she finds, although I cannot, 

Myself to be a marvellous proper man. 8 

I'll be at charges for a looking-glass ; 

And entertain a score or two of tailors, 

To study fashions to adorn my body : 

Since I am crept in favour with myself, 

I will maintain it with some little cost. 

But, first, I'll turn yon* fellow in his grave j 9 

And then return lamenting to my love. 

Shine out, fair sun, till I have bought a glass, 

That I may see my shadow as I pass. \_Exit. 

7 a beggarly denier,] A denier is the twelfth part of* a 

French sous, and appears to have been the usual request of a 
beggar. So, in The Cunning Northerne Beggar, bl. 1. an aiv 
cient ballad : 

" For still will I cry, good your worship, good sir, 
" Bestow one poor denier, Sir." STEEVENS. 

* a marvellous proper man,"] Marvellous is here used 

adverbially. Proper in old language was handsome. See Vol. 
VII. p. 248, n. 1. MALONE. 

9 Pll turn yon' Jello'vo in his grave ; ] In is here used for 
into. Thus, in Chapman's version of the 24th Iliad: 

" Mercuric shall guide 

" His passage, till the prince be neare. And (he gone) 

let him ride 
" Resolv'd, ev'n in Achilles tent." STEEVENS. 

sc. m. KING RICHARD III. 299 


The same. A Room in the Palace. 

Enter Queen ELIZABETH, Lord RIVERS, and Lord 


Riv. Have patience, madam ; there's no doubt, 

his majesty 
Will soon recover his accustom'd health. 

GREY. In that you brook it ill, it makes him 

worse : 

Therefore, for God's sake, entertain good comfort, 
And cheer his grace with quick and merry words. 

Q. ELIZ. If he were dead, what would betide of 
me ? 

GREY. No other harm, but loss of such a lord. 

Q. ELIZ. The loss of such a lord includes all 

GREY. The heavens have bless'd you with a 

goodly son, 
To be your comforter, when he is gone. 

Q. ELIZ. Ah, he is young ; and his minority 
Is put unto the trust of Richard Gloster, 
A man that loves not me, nor none of you. 

Riv. Is it concluded, he shall be protector ? 

Q. ELIZ. It is determined, not concluded yet ;* 
But so it must be, if the king miscarry. 

1 It is determin'd, not concluded yet .] Determined signifies 
the final conclusion of the will : concluded, what cannot be alter- 
ed by reason of some act, consequent on the final judgment. 




GREY. Here come the lords of Buckingham and 
Stanley. 2 

BUCK. Good time of day unto your royal grace ! 

STAN. God make your majesty joyful as you have 

Q. ELIZ. The countess Richmond, 3 good my 

lord of Stanley, 

To your good prayer will scarcely say amen. 
Yet, Stanley, notwithstanding she's your wife, 
And loves not me, be you, good lord, assur'd, 
I hate not you for her proud arrogance. 

STAN. I do beseech you, either not believe 
The envious slanders of her false accusers j 
Or, if she be accus'd on true report, 
Bear with her weakness, which, I think, proceeds 
From wayward sickness, and no grounded malice. 

* Here come the lords of Buckingham and Stanley.'] [Old 
copies Derby.~\ This is a blunder of inadvertence, which has 
run through the whole chain of impressions. It could not well 
be original in Shakspeare, who was most minutely intimate with 
his history, and the intermarriages of the nobility. The person 
here called Derby, was Thomas Lord Stanley, Lord Steward of 
King Edward the Fourth's houshold. But this Thomas Lord 
Stanley was not created Earl of Derby till after the accession of 
Henry the Seventh ; and accordingly, afterwards, in the fourth 
and fifth Acts of this play, before the battle of Bosworth-field, 
he is every where called Lord Stanley. This sufficiently justifies 
the change I have made in his title. THEOBALD. 

3 The countess Richmond,"} Margaret, daughter to John Beau- 
fort, first Duke of Somerset. After the death of her first hus- 
band, Edmund Tudor, Earl of Richmond, half-brother to King 
Henry VI. by whom she had only one son, afterwards King 
Henry VII. she married first Sir Henry Stafford, uncle to Hum- 
phrey Duke of Buckingham. MALONE. 

sc. in. KING RICHARD III. 301 

Q. ELIZ. Saw you the king to-day, my lord of 
Stanley ? 

STAN. But now, the duke of Buckingham, and I, 
Are come from visiting his majesty. 

Q. ELIZ. What likelihood of his amendment, 
lords ? 

BUCK. Madam, good hope ; his grace speaks 

Q. ELIZ. God grant him health ! Did you con- 
fer with him ? 

BUCK. Ay, madam : he desires to make atone- 


Between the duke of Gloster and your brothers, 
And between them and my lord chamberlain ; 
And sent to warn them 4 to his royal presence. 

Q. ELIZ. 'Would all were well ! But that will 

never be ; 
I fear, our happiness is at the height. 


GLO. They do me wrong, and I will not endure 


Who are they, that complain unto the king, 
That I, forsooth, am stern, and love them not ? 
By holy Paul, they love his grace but lightly, 
That fill his ears with such dissentious rumours. 
Because I cannot flatter, and speak fair, 
Smile in men's faces, smooth, deceive, and cog, 

4 to warn them ] i. e. to summon. So, ia Julius 

Ccesar : 

" They mean to "warn us at Phllippi here." STEEYENS. 


Duck with French nods and apish courtesy, 5 
I must be held a rancorous enemy. 
Cannot a plain man live, and think no harm, 
But thus his simple truth must be abus'd 
By silken, sly, insinuating Jacks ? 6 

GREY. To whom in all this presence speaks your 
grace ? 

GLO. To thee, that hast nor honesty, nor grace. 
When have I injur'd thee? when done thee 

wrong ? 

Or thee ? or thee ? or any of your faction ? 
A plague upon you all ! His royal grace, 
Whom God preserve better than you would wish! 
Cannot be quiet scarce a breathing-while, 
But you must trouble him with lewd complaints/ 

Q. ELIZ. Brother of Gloster, you mistake the 

matter : 
The king, of his own royal disposition, 

speak J "air ; 

Smile in men's faces, smooth, deceive, and cog. 
Duck with French nods and apish courtesy,"} An importation 
of artificial manners seems to have afforded our ancient poets a 
never failing topick of invective. So, in A tragical Discourse of 
the Haplesse Man's Life, by Churchyard, 1593 : 

** We make a legge, and kisse the hand withall, 

" ( A French deuice, nay sure a Spanish tricke) 

" And speake in print, and say loe at your call 

" I will remaine your owne both dead and quicke. 

** A courtier so can give a lobbe a licke, 

** And dress a dolt in motley for a while, 

" And so in sleeue at silly woodcocke smile." 


6 insinuating Jacks ?} See Vol. VL pi 18, n. 8. 


7 wit h lewd, complaints."] Lewd, in the present instance, 

signifies rude, ignorant; from the Anglo-Saxon Laewede, a 
Laick. Chaucer often uses the word lewd, both for a laick and 
an ignorant person. See Ruddiman's Glossary to Gawin Doug- 
las's translation of the jEneid. STEEVENS. 

sc. in. KING RICHARD III. sos 

And not provok'd by any suitor else ; 
Aiming, belike, at your interior hatred, 
That in your outward action shows itself, 
Against my children, brothers, and myself, 
Makes him to send ; that thereby he may gather 
The ground of your ill-will, 8 and so remove it. 

GLO. I cannot tell ; The world is grown so bad, 
That wrens may prey 9 where eagles dare not perch: 
Since every Jack became a gentleman, 1 
There's many a gentle person made a Jack. 

Q. ELIZ. Come, come, we know your meaning, 

brother Gloster ; 

You envy my advancement, and my friends ; 
God grant, we never may have need of you ! 

GLO. Meantime, God grants that we have need 

of you : 

Our brother is imprison'd by your means, 
Myself disgrac'd, and the nobility 

* of your ill-mill, &c.] This line is restored from the 
first edition. POPE. 

By the first edition Mr. Pope, as appears from his Table of 
EditionSy means the quarto of 1598. But that and the subse- 
quent quartos read and to remove. The emendation was made 
by Mr. Steevens. The folio has only 

" Makes him to send, that he may learn the ground ." 

Here clearly a line was omitted : yet had there been no quarto 
copy, it would have been thought hardy to supply the omission: 
but of all the errors of the press omission is the most frequent; 
and it is a great mistake to suppose that these lacunae exist only in 
the imagination of editors and commentators. MALONE. 

9 may prey ] The quarto 1 598, and the folio read 

make prey. The correction, which all the modern editors have 
adopted, is taken from the quarto, 1602. MALONE. 

1 Since every Jack became a gentleman,"] This proverbial ex- 
pression at once demonstrates the origin of the term Jack so often 
used by Shakspeare. It means one of the very lowest class of 
people, among whom this name is of the most common and 
familiar kind. DOUCE. 


Held in contempt ; while great promotions 
Are daily given, to enoble those 
That scarce, some two days since, were worth a 

Q. ELIZ. By Him, that rais'd me to this careful 


From that contented hap which I enjoy 'd, 
I never did incense his majesty 
Against the duke of Clarence, but have been 
An earnest advocate to plead for him. 
My lord, you do me shameful injury, 
Falsely to draw me in these vile suspects. 

GLO. You may deny that you were not the cause 
Of my lord Hastings' late imprisonment. 

Riv. She may, my lord ; for 

GLO. She may, lord Rivers ? why, who knows 

not so ? 

She may do more, sir, than denying that : 
She may help you to many fair preferments j 
And then deny her aiding hand therein, 
And lay those honours on your high desert. 
What may she not? She may, ay, marry, may 


Riv. What, marry, may she ? 

GLO. What, marry, may she ? marry with a king, 
A bachelor, a handsome stripling too : 
I wis, your grandam had a worser match. 

Q. ELIZ. My lord of Gloster, I have too long 


Your blunt upbraidings, and your bitter scoffs : 
By heaven, I will acquaint his majesty, 
Of those gross taunts I often have endur'd. 
I had rather be a country servant-maid, 
Than a great queen, with this condition 

sc. in. KING RICHARD III. 305 

To be so baited, scorn'd, and stormed at : 
Small joy have I in being England's queen, 

Enter Queen MARGARET, behind. 

Q. MAR. And lessen'd be that small, God, I 

beseech thee ! 
Thy honour, state, and seat, is due to me. 

GLO. What ? threat you me with telling of the 


Tell him, and spare not : look, what I have said 2 
I will avouch, in presence of the king : 
I dare adventure to be sent to the Tower. 3 
'Tis time to speak, my pains 4 are quite forgot. 

Q. MAR. Out, devil! 5 1 remember them too well: 
Thou knTdst my husband Henry in the Tower, 
And Edward, my poor son, at Tewksbury. 

GLO. Ere you were queen, ay, or your husband 

* Tell him, and spare not : look, tohat I have said ^ This 
verse I have restored from the old quartos. THEOBALD. 

Here we have another proof of a line being passed over by 
the transcriber, or the compositor at the press, when the first 
folio was printed, for the subsequent line is not sense without 
this. MALONE. 

3 I dare adventure to le sent to the Toiver.~\ Perhaps our au- 
thor elliptically omitted the first to in this line. So, in p. 315 : 

** To help thee curse" &c. i. e. to curse. 
See also, p. 294, and p. 301. STEEVENS. 

4 my pains ] My labours ; my toils. JOHNSON. 

5 Out, devil /] Mr. Lambe observes, in his notes on the an- 
cient metrical history of The Battle ofFloddcn Field, that out 
is an interjection of abhorrence or contempt, most frequent in 
the mouths of the common people of the north. It occurs again 
in Act IV : 

" out on ye, owls !" STEEVENS. 



I was a pack-horse in his great affairs ; 
A weeder-out of his proud adversaries, 
A liberal rewarder of his friends ; 
To royalize 6 his blood, I spilt mine own. 

Q. MAR. Ay, and much better blood than his, 
or thine. 

GLO. In all which time, you, and your husband 


Were factious for the house of Lancaster ; 
And, Rivers, so were you : Was not your husband 
In Margaret's battle 7 at Saint Albans slain ? 
Let me put in your minds, if you forget, 
What you have been ere now, and what you are j 
Withal, what I have been, and what I am. 

Q. MAR. A murd'rous villain, and so still thou 

GLO. Poor Clarence did forsake his father War- 
Ay, and forswore himself, Which Jesu pardon! 

Q. MAS. Which God revenge ! 

GLO. To fight on Edward's party, for the crown ; 

6 royalize ] i. e. to make royal. So, in Claudius 

Tiberius Nero, 1607 :' 

" Who means to-morrow for to royalize 
" The triumphs" &c. STEEVENS. 

7 Was not your husband 

In Margaret's battle fyc.~\ It is said in Henry VI. that he 
died in quarrel of the house of York. JOHNSON. 

The account here given is the true one. See this inconsist- 
ency accounted for in p. 105, and in the Dissertation at the end 
of The Third Part of King Henry VI. p. 251. MALONE. 

Margaret's battle is-^-Margaret's army. RITSON. 

So, in King Henry VI. P. I : 

" What may the king's whole battle reach unto ?" 


sc. m. KING RICHARD III. 307 

And, for his meed, poor lord, he is mew'd up: 
I would to God, my heart were flint like Edward's, 
Or Edward's soft and pitiful, like mine j 
I am too childish-foolish for this world. 

Q. MAR. Hie thee to hell for shame, and leave 

this world, 
Thou cacodaemon ! there thy kingdom is. 

Riv. My lord of Gloster, in those busy days, 
Which here you urge, to prove us enemies, 
We followed then our lord, our lawful king ; 8 
So should we you, if you should be our king. 

GLO. If I should be ? I had rather be a pedlar: 
Far be it from my heart, the thought thereof! 

Q. ELIZ. As little joy, my lord, as you suppose 
You should enjoy, were you this country's king ; 
As little joy you may suppose in me, 
That I enjoy, being the queen thereof. 

Q. MAR. A little joy enjoys the queen thereof j 
For I am she, and altogether joyless. 
I can no longer hold me patient. \_Advancing. 
Hear me, you wrangling pirates, 9 that fall out 

8 our lawful king ;~\ So the quarto 1598, and the sub- 
sequent quartos. The folio has sovereign king. 

In this play the variations between the original copy in quarto, 
and the folio, are more numerous than, I believe, in any other 
of our author's pieces. The alterations, it is highly probable, 
were made, not by Shakspeare, but by the players, many of 
them being very injudicious. The text has been formed out of 
the two copies, the folio, and the early quarto ; from which the 
preceding editors have in every scene selected such readings as 
appeared to them fit to be adopted. To enumerate every va- 
riation between the copies would encumber the page with little 
use. MALONE. 

9 Hear me, you -wrangling pirates, &c.] This scene of Mar- 
garet's imprecations is fine and artful. She prepares the audi- 
ence, like another Cassandra, for the following tragic revolutions, 



In sharing that which you have pill' d from me: 1 " 
Which of you trembles not, that looks on me ? 
If not, that, I being queen, you bow like subjects; 
Yet that, by you depos'd, you quake like rebels? 
Ah, gentle villain, 2 do not turn away ! 

GLO. Foul wrinkled witch, what mak'st thou in 
my sight? 3 

Q. MAR. But repetition of what thou hast marr'd; 
That will I make, before I let thee go. 

Surely, the merits of this scene are insufficient to excuse its 
improbability. Margaret bullying the court of England in the 
royal palace, is a circumstance as absurd as the courtship of 
Gloster in a publick street. STEEVENS. 

1 which you have pill'dyrow me :~\ To pill is to pillage. 

So, in The Martyr' d Soldier, by Shirley, 1638: 

" He has not pill'd the rich, nor flay'd the poor." 


To pill, is literally, to take off the outside or rind. Thus they 
say in Devonshire, to pill an apple, rather than pare it; and 
Shirley uses the word precisely in this sense. HENLEY. 

8 Ah, gentle villain,'] We should read : 

ungentle villain. WARBURTON, 

The meaning of gentle is not, as the commentator imagines, 
tender or court eous, but high~born. An opposition is meant be- 
tween that and villain, which means at once a "wicked and a low- 
born turetch. So before : 

" Since ev'ry Jack is made a gentleman, 

" There's many a gentle person made a Jack.'* 


Gentle appears to me to be taken in its common acceptation, 
but to be used ironically. M. MASON. 

3 tahat mak'st thou in my sight?] An obsolete expression 

for what dost thou in my sight. So, in Othello : 
" Ancient, what makes he here ?" 

Margaret in her answer takes the word in its ordinary accep- 
tation. MALONE. 

So does Orlando, in As you like it : 

" Now, sir, what make you here ? 

" Nothing : I am not taught to make any thing." 



GLO. Wert thou not banished, on pain of death ?* 

Q. MAR. I was ; but I do find more pain in ba- 

Than death can yield me here by my abode. 
A husband, and a son, thou ow'st to me, 
And thou, a kingdom ; all of you, allegiance : 
This sorrow that I have, by right is yours ; 
And all the pleasures you usurp, are mine. 

GLO. The curse my noble father laid on thee, 
When thou didst crown his warlike brows with 


And with thy scorns drew'st rivers from his eyes j 
And then, to dry them, gav'st the duke a clout, 
Steep'd in the faultless blood of pretty Rutland ; 
His curses, then from bitterness of soul 
Denounced against thee, are all fallen upon thee; 
And God, not we, hath plagu'd thy bloody deed. * 

Q. ELIZ. So just is God, to right the innocent. 6 

HAST. O, 'twas the foulest deed to slay that babe> 
And the most merciless, that e'er was heard of. 

4 Wert thou not banished, on pain of death ?] Margaret fled 
into France after the battle of Hexham in 1464, and Edward 
soon afterwards issued a proclamation, prohibiting any of his 
subjects from aiding her to return, or harbouring her, should she 
attempt to revisit England. She remained abroad till the 14th 
of April 1471, when she landed at Weymouth. After the battle 
of Tewksbury, in May 1471, she was confined in the Tower, 
where she continued a prisoner till 1475, when she was ran- 
somed by her father Reignier, and removed to France, where 
she died in 1482. The present scene is in 1477-8. MALONE. 

5 hath plagu'd thy bloody deed.~\ So, in King John : 

" That he's not only plagued for her sin." 

To plague, in ancient language, is to punish. Hence the 
scriptural term " the plagues of Egypt." STEEVENS. 

So just is God, to right the innocent.^ So, in Thomas Lord 
Cromwell, 1602: 

" How just is God, to right the innocent !" RITSON. 


Riv. Tyrants themselves wept when it was re- 

DORS. No man but prophecied revenge for it. 

BUCK. Northumberland, then present, wept to 
see it. 7 

Q. MAR. What ! were you snarling all, before I 


Ready to catch each other by the throat, 
And turn you all your hatred now on me ? 
Did York's dread curse prevail so much with hea- 

That Henry's death, my lovely Edward's death, 
Their kingdom's loss, my woful banishment, 
Could all but answer for that peevish brat ? 8 
Can curses pierce the clouds, and enter heaven? 
Why, then give way, dull clouds, to my quick 

curses ! 

Though not by war, by surfeit die your king, 9 
As ours by murder, to make him a king ! 
Edward, thy son, that now is prince of Wales, 
For Edward, my son, that was prince of Wales, 
Die in his youth, by like untimely violence ! 
Thyself a queen, for me that was a queen, 
Outlive thy glory, like my wretched self! 

7 Northumberland, then present, ivept to see it."] Alluding to 
a scene in King Henry VI. P. Ill : 

" What, weeping ripe, my lord Northumberland ?" 


8 Could all but ansiuer for that peevish brat?"] This is the 
reading of all the editions, yet I have no doubt but we ought to 

Could all not anstver for that peevish brat ? 
The sense seems to require this amendment ; and there are no 
words so frequently mistaken for each other as not and but. 


9 by surfeit die your king,] Alluding to his luxurious 

life. JOHNSON. 

ac. in. KING RICHARD III. 311 

Long may'st thou live, to wail thy children's lossj 
And see another as I see thee now, 
Deck'd in thy rights, as thou art stall* d in mine ! 
Long die thy happy days before thy death ; 
And, after many lengthen'd hours of grief, 
Die neither mother, wife, nor England's queen!- 
Rivers, and Dorset, you were standers by, 
And so wast thou, lord Hastings, when my son 
Was stabb'd with bloody daggers j God, I pray 


That none of you may live your natural age, 
But by some unlook'd accident cut off! 

GLO. Have done thy charm, thou hateful withered 

Q. MAR. And leave out thee? stay, dog, for 

thou shalt hear me. 

If heaven have any grievous plague in store, 
Exceeding those that I can wish upon thee, 
O, let them keep it, till thy sins be ripe, 
And then hurl down their indignation 
On thee, the troubler of the poor world's peace ! 
The worm of conscience still be-gnaw thy soul ! 
Thy friends suspect for traitors while thou liv'st, 
And take deep traitors for thy dearest friends ! 
No sleep close up that deadly eye of thine, 
Unless it be while some tormenting dream 
Affrights thee with a hell of ugly devils ! 
Thou elvish-mark'd, 1 abortive, rooting hog! 2 

1 elvish-mark' ! d,] The common people in Scotland (as I 

learn from Kelly's Proverbs, ) have still an aversion to those who 
have any natural defect or redundancy, as thinking them mark'd 
out for mischief. STEEVENS. 

* rooting hog!'] The expression is fine, alluding (in 

memory of her young son) to the ravage which hogs make, with 
the finest flowers, in gardens ; and intimating that Elizabeth 
was to expect no other treatment for her sons. WARBUBTON. 


Thou that wast seal'd in thy nativity 

She calls him hog, as an appellation more contemptuous than 
boar, as he is elsewhere termed from his ensigns armorial. 


In The Mirror for Magistrates is the following Complaint of 
Collingbourne^ who was cruelly executed for making a rime : 
" For where I meant the king by name of hog, 
" I only alluded to his badge the bore : 
" To Level's name 1 added more, our dog ; 
" Because most dogs have borne that name of yore. 
" These metaphors I us'd with other more, 
" As cat and rat, the half-names of the rest, 
" To hide the sense that they so wrongly wrest." 
That Lovel was once the common name of a dog may be like- 
wise known from a passage in The Historic of Jacob and Esau, 
an interlude, 1568 : 

" Then come on at once, take my quiver and my bowe ; 
" Fette lovell my kounde, and my home to blowe." 
The rhyme for which Collingbourne suffered, was : 
" A cat, a rat, and Lovel the dog, 
" Rule all England under a hog." STEEVENS. 

The rhyme of Collingbourne is thus preserved in Heywood's 
History of Edward IV. P. II : 

" The cat, the rat, and Lovell our dog, 
" Doe rule all England under a hog. 
" The crooke backt boore the way hath found 
" To root our roses from our ground. 
" Both flower and bud will he confound, 
*' Till king of beasts the swine be crownM : 
" And then the dog, the cat, and rat, 
" Shall in his trough feed and be fat." 

The propriety of Dr. Warburton's note, notwithstanding what 
Dr. Johnson hath subjoined, is fully confirmed by this satire. 


The persons levelled at by this rhyme were the King, Catesby, 
Ratcliff, and Lovel, as appears in The Complaint of Colling- 
bourn : 

" Catesbye was one whom I called a cat, 

" A craftie lawyer catching all he could ; 

" The second Ratcliffe, whom I named a rat, 

" A cruel beast to gnaw on whom he should : 

." Lord Lovel barkt and byt whom Richard would, 

sc. m. KING RICHARD III. 313 

The slave of nature, 3 and the son of hell ! 
Thou slander of thy mother's heavy womb ! 
Thou loathed issue of thy father's loins ! 
Thou rag of honour ! 4 thou detested 

GLO. Margaret, 

Q. MAR. . Richard! 

GLO. Ha ? 

Q. MAR. I call thee not. 

" Whom I therefore did rightly terme our dog, 
" Wherewith to ryme I cald the king a hog." 


* The slave of nature,"] The expression is strong and noble, 
and alludes to the ancient custom of masters branding their pro- 
fligate slaves ; by which it is insinuated that his misshapen person 
was the mark that nature had set upon him to stigmatize his ill 
conditions. Shakspeare expresses the same thought in The 
Comedy of Errors: 

" He is deformed, crooked, &c. 

" Stigmatized in making, ." 

But as the speaker rises in her resentment, she expresses this 
contemptuous thought much more openly, and condemns him to 
a still worse state of slavery : 

" Sin, death, and hell, have set their marks on him." 
Only, in the first line, her mention of his moral conditions 
insinuates her reflections on his deformity : and, in the last, her 
mention of his deformity insinuates her reflections on his moral 
condition : And thus he has taught her to scold in all the ele- 
gance of figure. WARBURTON. 

Part of Dr. Warburton's note is confirm'd by a line in our 
author's Rape of Lucrece, from which it appears he was 
acquainted with the practice of marking slaves : 

" Worse than a slavish wipe, or birth-hour's blot." 


* Thou rag of honour! &c.] This word of contempt is used 
again in Timon . 

" If thou wilt curse, thy father, that poor rag, 
" Must be the subject." 
Again, in this play : 

" These over-weening rags of France." . STEEVENS* 

314 KING K1CHAKD ill. ACT I. 

GLO. I cry thee mercy then ; for I did think, 
That thou had'st call'd me all these bitter names. 

Q. MAR. Why, so I did ; but look'd for no reply. 
O, let me make the period to my curse. 

GLO. 'Tis done by me ; and ends in Margaret. 

Q. ELIZ. Thus have you breath'd your curse 
against yourself. 

Q. MAR. Poor painted queen, vain flourish of 

my fortune ! 5 
Why strew' st thou sugar on that bottled spider, 6 

* flourish of my fortune !~\ This expression is likewise 

used by Massinger in The Great Duke of Florence: 

" 1 allow these 

" Asjlourishings of fortune." STEEVENS. 

6 bottled spider,"] A spider is called bottled, because, 

like other insects, he has a middle slender, and a belly pro- 
tuberant. Richard's form and venom, made her liken him to a 
spider. JOHNSON. 

A critick, who styles himself " Robert Heron, Esquire," 
(though his title to Esquireship is but ill supported by his lan- 
guage, " puppy, booby, wise-acre," &c. being the usual distinc- 
tions he bestows on authors who are not his favourites,) very 
gravely assures us that " a bottled spider is evidently a spider kept 
in a bottle long fasting, and of consequence the more spiteful and 
venomous." May one ask if the infuriation of our Esquire ori- 
ginates from a similar cause ? Hath he newly escaped, like 
Asmodeo, from the phial of some Highland sorcerer, under 
whose discipline he had experienced the provocations of lenten 
imprisonment? Mrs. Raffald disserts on bottled gooseberries, and 
George Falkener warns us against bottled children ; but it was 
reserved for our Esquire (every one knows who our Esquire is) 
to discover that spiders, like ale, grow brisker from being bottled, 
and derive additional venom from being starved. It would be the 
interest of every writer to wish for an opponent like the Esquire 
Heron, did not the general credit of letters oppose the production 
of such another critick. So far I am from wishing the lucubra- 
tions of our Esquire to be forgotten, that I counsel thee, gentle 
reader, (and especially, provided thou art a hypochondriac,) to 
peruse, and (if thou canst) to re-peruse them, and finally to 



Whose deadly web ensnareth thee about ? 
Fool, fool ! tnou whet'st a knife to kill thyself. 
The day will come, that thou shalt wish for me 
To help thee curse this pois'nous bunch-back'd 

HAST. False-boding woman, end thy frantick 

curse ; 
Lest, to thy harm, thou move our patience. 

Q. MAR. Foul shame upon you ! you have all 
mov'd mine. 

Riv. Were you well serv'd, you would be taught 
your duty. 

Q. MAR. To serve me well, you all should do me 


Teach me to be your queen, and you my subjects: 
O, serve me well, and teach yourselves that duty. 

DOR. Dispute not with her, she is lunatick. 

Q. MAR. Peace, master marquis, you are mala- 

Your fire-new stamp of honour is scarce current : T 
O, that your young nobility could judge, 
What 'twere to lose it, and be miserable ! 

thank me as thy purveyor of a laugh. Every man should court 
a fresh onset from an adversary, who, in the act of ridiculing 
others, exposes himself to yet more obvious ridicule. 


A bottled spider is a large, bloated, glossy spider ; supposed to 
contain venom proportionate to its size. The expression occurs 
again in Act IV : 

" That bottled spider, that foul hunch-back'd toad." 


' Yourjire-neiv stamp of honour is scarce current.-'] Thomas 
Grey was created Marquis of Dorset, A. D. 14-76. PERCY. 

The present scene, as has been already observed, is in 1477-8. 



They that stand high, have many blasts to shake 

them ; 
And, if they fall, they dash themselves to pieces. 

GLO. Good counsel, marry ; learn it, learn it, 

DOR. It touches you, my lord, as much as me. 

GLO. Ay, and much more : But I was born so 


Our aiery buildeth in the cedar's top, 
And dallies with the wind, and scorns the sun. 

Q. MAR. And turns the sun to shade ; alas ! 

alas ! 

Witness my son, now in the shade of death ; 8 
Whose bright out-shining beams thy cloudy wrath 
Hath in eternal darkness folded up. 
Your aiery buildeth in our aiery's nest : 9 
O God, that see'st it, do not suffer it ; 
As it was won with blood, lost be it so ! 

BUCK. Peace, peace, for shame, if not for charity. 
Q. MAR. Urge neither charity nor shame to me ; 

* Witness my son, &c."] Her distress cannot prevent her quib- 
bling. It may be here remarked, that the introduction of Mar- 
garet in this place, is against all historical evidence. She was 
ransomed and sent to France soon after Tewksbury fight, and 
there passed the remainder of her wretched life. RITSON. 

Witness my son,] Thus the quarto of 1598, and the folio. 
The modern editors, after the quarto of 1612, read sun. 


g Your aiery buildeth in our aiery 's nest .] An aiery is a hawk's 
or an eagle's nest. So, in Greene's Card of Fancy, 1608 : 

" It is a subtle bird that breeds among the aiery of hawks." 
Again, in Heywood's Rape of Lucrece, 1630: 

" His high-built aiery shall be drown'd in blood." 
Again, in Massinger's Maid of Honour: 

" One aiery, with proportion, ne'er discloses 

' The eagle and the wren." STEEVENS. 


Uncharitably with me have you dealt, 
And shamefully by you my hopes are butcher'd. 
My chanty is outrage, life my shame, 
And in my shame still live my sorrow's rage ! 

BUCK. Have done, have done. 

Q. MAR. O princely Buckingham, I kiss thy 


In sign of league and amity with thee : 
Now fair befal thee, and thy noble house ! 
Thy garments are not spotted with our blood, 
Nor thou within the compass of my curse. 

BUCK. Nor no one here ; for curses never pass 
The lips of those that breathe them in the air. 

Q. MAR. I'll not believe but they ascend the sky, 
And there awake God's gentle-sleeping peace. 
O Buckingham, beware of yonder dog ; 
Look, when he fawns, he bites ; and, when he 


His venom tooth will rankle to the death : 
Have not to do with him, beware of him ; 
Sin, death, and hell, 1 have set their marks on him ; 
And all their ministers attend on him. 

GLO. What doth she say, my lord of Bucking- 
ham ? 

BUCK. Nothing that I respect, my gracious lord. 

Q. MAR. What, dost thou scorn me for my gen- 
tle counsel ? 

1 Sin, death, and hell,'} Possibly Milton took from hence the 
hint of bis famous allegory. BLACKSTONE. 

, Milton might as probably catch the hint from the following 
passage in Latimer's Sermons, 1584-, fol. 79 : " Here came in 
death and hell, sinne "was their mother. Therefore they must 
have such animage as their mother sinne would geue them." 



And sooth the devil that I warn thee from ? 

O, but remember this another day, 

When he shall split thy very heart with sorrow j 

And say, poor Margaret was a prophetess. 

Live each of you the subjects to his hate, 

And he to yours, and all of you to God's ! 2 [ Exit. 

HAST. My hair doth stand on end to hear her 

Rir. And so doth mine ; I muse, why she's at 
liberty. 3 

GLO. I cannot blame her, by God's holy mother; 
She hath had too much wrong, and I repent 
My part thereof, that I have done to her. 

Q. ELIZ. I never did her any, to my knowledge. 

GLO. Yet you have all the vantage of her. wrong. 
I was too hot to do some body good, 
That is too cold in thinking of it now. 
Marry, as for Clarence, he is well repaid ; 
He is frank* d up to fatting for his pains ;* 
God pardon them that are the cause thereof! 

* Live each of you the subjects to his hate, 

And he to yours, and all of you to God's /] It is evident 
from the conduct of Shakspeare, that the house of Tudor re- 
tained all their Lancastrian prejudices, even in the reign of 
Queen Elizabeth. In his play of Richard the Third, he seems 
to deduce the woes of the house of York from the curses which 
Queen Margaret had vented against them; and he could not give 
that weight to her curses, without supposing a right in her to 
utter them. WALPOLE. 

3 / muse, why she's at liberty.'] Thus the folio. The 

quarto reads : 

" 1 iuonder she's at liberty." STEEVENS. 

* He is frank' d up to fatting for his pains;] A frank is an old 
English word for a hog-sty. 'Tis possible he uses this metaphor 
to Clarence, in allusion to the crest of the family of York, which 
was a boar. Whereto relate those famous old verses on 
Richard III : 

sc. m. KING RICHARD III. 319 

Riv. A virtuous and a christian-like conclusion, 
To pray for them that have done scath to us. 5 

GLO. So do I ever, being well advis'd ; 
For had I curs'd now, I had curs'd myself. [Aside. 


GATES. Madam, his majesty doth call for you, 
And for your grace, and you, my noble lords. 

Q. ELIZ. Catesby, I come : Lords, will you go 
with me? 

Riv. Madam, we will attend upon your grace. 

[Exeunt all but GLOSTER. 

" The cat, the rat, and Lovel the dog, 
" Rule all England under a hog." 
He uses the same metaphor in the last scene of Act IV. POPE. 

A. frank was not a common hog-stye, but the pen in which 
those hogs were confined of whom brawn was to be made. 


From the manner in which the word is used in King Henry IV. 
SL frank should seem to mean a pen in which any hog is fatted. 
" Does the old boar feed in the old frank?" So also, as Mr. 
Bowie observes to me, in Holinshed's Description ofBritaine, 
B. III. p. 1096 : " The husbandmen and farmers never fraunke 
them above three or four months, in which time he is dyeted 
with otes and peason, and lodged on the bare planches of an 
uneasie coate." 

" He feeds like a boar in a frank," as the same gentleman 
observes, is one of Ray's proverbial sentences. MALONE. 

Mr. Bowie's chief instance will sufficiently countenance my 
assertion : for what hogs, except those designed for bravon, are 
ever purposely lodged " on the bare planches of an uneasy cote?" 


* done scath to us.~] Scath is harm, mischief. So, in 

Soliman and Perseda; 

" Whom now that paltry island keeps from scath" 
Again : 

" Millions of men opprest with ruin and scath" 



GLO. I do the wrong, and first begin to brawl. 
The secret mischiefs that I set abroach, 
I lay unto the grievous charge of others. 
Clarence, whom I, indeed, havelaidin darkness, 
I do beweep to many simple gulls ; 
Namely, to Stanley, Hastings, Buckingham ; 
And tell them 'tis the queen and her allies, 
That stir the king against the duke my brother. 
Now they believe it ; and withal whet me 
To be reveng'd on Rivers, Vaughan, Grey : 
But then I sigh, and, with a piece of scripture, 
Tell them that God bids us do good for evil : 
And thus I clothe my naked villainy 
With old odd ends, stol'n forth of holy writ ; 
And seem a saint, when most I play the devil. 

Enter Two Murderers. 

But soft, here come my executioners. 
How now, my hardy, stout resolved mates ? 
Are you now going to despatch this thing ? 6 
1 MURD. We are, my lord ; and come to have 

the warrant, 
That we may be admitted where he is. 

GLO. Well thought upon, I have it here about 
me : {Gives tfie Warrant. 

When you have done, repair to Crosby-place. 
But, sirs, be sudden in the execution, 

6 to despatch this thing?] Seagars in his Legend of 

Richard the Third, speaking of the murder of Gloster's nephews, 
makes him say : 

. " What though he refused, yet be sure you may, 

" That other were as ready to take in hand that thing." 
The coincidence was, I believe, merely accidental. 


sc. iv. KING RICHARD III. 321 

Withal obdurate, do not hear him plead ; 
For Clarence is well spoken, and, perhaps, 
May move your hearts to pity, if you mark him. 

1 MURD. Tut, tut, my lord, we will not stand 

to prate, 

Talkers are no good doers ; be assur'd, 
We go to use our hands, and not our tongues. 

GLO. Your eyes drop mill-stones, when fools' eyes 

drop tears : 7 

I like you, lads ; about your business straight ; 
Go, go, despatch. 

l MURD. We will, my noble lord. 



The same. A Room in the Tower. 

BRAK. Why looks your grace so heavily to-(Jay ? 

CLAR. O, I have pass'd a miserable night, 
So full of fearful dreams, of ugly sights, 8 
That, as I am a Christian faithful man, 9 
I would not spend another such a night, 

7 "Your eyes drop mitt-stones, when fools 9 eyes drop tears :"] This, 
I believe, is a proverbial expression. It is used again in the tra- 
gedy of C&sar and Pompey, 1607 : 

" Men's eyes must mill-stones drop, when fools shed tears." 


So full of fearful dreams, of ugly sights,'} Thus the folio. 
The quarto, 1598: 

" So full of ugly sights, of ghastly dreams." MALONE. 

9 faithful man,'] Not an infidel. JOHNSON. 



Though 'twere to buy a world of happy days ; 
So full of dismal terror was the time. 

BRAK. What was your dream, my lord ? I pray 
you, tell me. 

CLAR. Methought, that I had broken from the 


And was embark* d to cross to Burgundy j 1 
And, in my company, my brother Gloster : 
Who from my cabin tempted me to walk 
Upon the hatches ; thence we look'd toward Eng- 

And cited up a thousand heavy times, 
During the wars of York and Lancaster 
That had befalPn us. As we pac'd along 
Upon the giddy footing of the hatches, 
Methought, that Gloster stumbled ; and, in falling, 
Struck me, that thought to stay him, over-board, 
Into the tumbling billows of the main. 
O Lord ! methought, what pain it was to drown ! 
What dreadful noise of water in mine ears I 2 

1 to Burgundy ; ] Clarence was desirous to assist his sister 

Margaret against the French King, who invaded her jointure- 
lands after the death of her husband; Charles Duke of Burgundy, 
who was killed at the siege of Nancy, in January 1476-7. 
Isabel the wife of Clarence being then dead, (taken off by poison, 
administered by the Duke of Gioster, as it has been conjectured,) 
he wished to have married Mary the daughter and heir of the 
Duke of Burgundy; but the match was opposed by Edward, 
who hoped to have obtained her for his brother-in-law, Lord 
Rivers ; and this circumstance has been suggested as the principal 
cause of the breach between Edward and Clarence. Mary of 
Burgundy however chose a husband for herself, having married 
in August^ 1477, Maximilian, son of the Emperor Frederick. 


* What dreadful noise of water in mine ears!} See Mr. 
Warton's note on Milton's Lycidas, r. 157. Milton's Poems, 
second edit. 1791. STEEVEHS. 

ac. iv. KING RICHARD III. 323 

What sights of ugly death 3 within mine eyes! 

Methought, I saw a thousand fearful wrecks j 

A thousand men, that fishes gnaw'd upon ; 

Wedges of gold, great anchors, heaps of pearl, 

Inestimable stones, unvalued jewels, 4 

All scattered in the bottom of the sea, 

Some lay in dead men's skulls ; and, in those holes 

Where eyes did once inhabit, there were crept 

(As 'twere in scorn of eyes,) reflecting gems, 

That woo'd the slimy bottom 5 of the deep, 

And mock'd the dead bones that lay scatter J d by. 

BRAK. Had you such leisure in the time of death, 
To gaze upon these secrets of the deep? 

CLAR. Methought, I had ; and often did I strive 
To yield the ghost : but still the envious flood 
Kept in my soul, 6 and would not let it forth 
To seek the empty, vast, and wand'ring air ; 7 

3 What sights of ugly death ] Thus the folio. The quarto 
has What ugly sights of death. MALONE. 

4 Inestimable stones, unvalued jewels, ~\ Unvalued is here used 
for invaluable. So, in Lovelace's Posthumous Poems , 1659 : 

" the unvaletx'd robe she wore, 

" Made infinite lay lovers to adore." MALONE. 

Again, in Chapman's version of the first Iliad : 

" . to buy, 

" For Tpresents*of unvalued price, his daughter's'libertie." 
Again, in the 15th Iliad: 

" Still shaking Jove's unvalewed shield, " STEEVENS. 

* That woo'd the slimy bottom ] By seeming to gaze upon 
it ; or, as we now say, to ogle it. JOHNSON. 

6 Kept in my soul,~\ Thus the quarto. The folio Stopt in. 


7 To seek the empty, vast, and ivand'ring air;~\ Perhaps we 
should point thus : 

To seek the empty vast, and tuand'ring air. 
that is, to seek the immense vacuity. Vast is used by our author 
as a substantive in other places. See Vol. IX. p. 214, n. 3. 

Y 2 


But smother' d it within my panting bulk, 8 
Which almost burst to belch it in the sea. 

BRAK. Awak'd you not with this sore agony ? 

CLAR. O, no, my dream was lengthen'd after 


Q, then began the tempest to my soul I 
I pass'd, methought, the melancholy flood, 
With that grim ferryman 9 which poets write of, 
Unto the kingdom of perpetual night. 
The first that there did greet my stranger soul, 
Was my great father-in-law, renowned Warwick ; 
Who cry'd aloud, What scourge for perjury 
Can this dark monarchy afford false Clarence ? 
And so he vanish' d : Then came wand'ring by 
A shadow like an angel, with bright hair 
Dabbled in blood j 1 and he shriek'd out aloud, 

Seek is the reading of the quarto, 1598 ; the folio h&sjind. 


empty, vast, and wand' ring air ;] Vast, is waste, deso- 
late vastum per inane. STEEVENS. 

8 within my panting bulk,] Bulk is often used by Shak- 

speare and his contemporaries for body. So again, in Hamlet .- 

" it did seem to shatter all his bulk, 

" And end his being." MALONE. 

Bouke is used for the trunk of the body, by Chaucer in the 
Knighte's Tale, 2748 : 

" The clotered blood, for any leche-craft, 
" Corrumpeth, and is in his bouke ylaft." 

Bouk (i. e. bulk) is from the Saxon BUCE, venter. STEEVENS. 

* grimferryman ] The folio reads sour ferryman. 


1 with bright hair 

Dabbled in blood;'] Lee has transplanted this image into his 
Mithridates, Act IV. sc. i : 

" I slept ; but oh, a dream so full of terror, 

" The pale, the trembling midnight ravisher 

" JNe'er saw, when cold Lucretia's mourning shadow 


Clarence is come, false, Jleeting, perjured Cla- 

That stabb'd me in iliejield by Tewksbury; 
Seize on him,Juries, take him to your torments ! 
With that, methought, a legion of foul fiends 
Environed me, 3 and howled in mine ears 
Such hideous cries, that, with the very noise, 
I trembling wak'd, and, for a season after, 
Could not believe but that I was in hell ; 
Such terrible impression made my dream. 

BRAK. No marvel, lord, though it affrighted 

I am afraid, methinks, to hear you tell it. 

Ck4JZ.O,Brakenbury,Ihave done these things, 
That now give evidence against my soul, 
For Edward's sake; and, see, how he requites 

" His curtains drew, and lash'd him in his eyes 
" With her bright tresses, dabbled in her blood. 1 * 


8 - fleeting, perjured Clarence,"] Fleeting is the same as 
.changing sides. JOHNSON. 

So, in Antony and Cleopatra : 

" now \hejleeting moon 

" No planet is of mine." 

Clarence broke his oath with the Earl of Warwick, and joined 
the army of his brother King Edward IV. See p. 178. 


3 a legion qffouljiends 

Environed me, &c.] Milton seems to have thought on this 
passage where he is describing the midnight sufferings of Our 
Saviour, in the 4th Book of Paradise Regained : 

" nor yet stay'd the terror there, 

" Infernal ghosts, and hellish furies, round 
" Environ'd thee, some howl'd, some yell'd, some 
shriek'd ." STEEVENS. 


God ! if my deep prayers cannot appease thee, 4 
But thou wilt be aveng'd on my misdeeds, 

Yet execute thy wrath on me alone : 

O, spare my guiltless wife, 5 and my poor children! 

1 pray thee, gentle keeper, stay by me ; 6 
My soul is heavy, and I fain would sleep. 

BRAK. I will, my lord; God give your grace 

good rest ! 

[CLARENCE reposes himself on a Chair. 
Sorrow breaks seasons, 7 and reposing hours, 
Makes the night morning, and the nopn-tide night. 
Princes have but their titles for their glories, 
An outward honour for an inward toil ;' 

4 God. 1 if my deep prayers &c.~] The four following lines 
have been added since the" first edition. POPE. 

They are found in the folio, but not in the quarto. MAL.ONE. 

5 my guiltless wife,'] The wife of Clarence died before 

he was apprehended andconfined in the Tower. See p. 322, n. 1. 


B I pray thee, gentle keeper, &c.] So the quarto, 1598. The 
folio reads : 

: " Keeper, I pr'ythee, sit by me a while." MALONE. 

7 Sorrow breaks seasons, &c.~] In the common editions, the 
Keeper is made to hold the dialogue with Clarence till this line. 
And here Brakenbury enters, pronouncing these words ; which 
seem to me a reflection naturally resulting from the foregoing 
conversation, and therefore continued to be spoken by the same 
person, as it is accordingly in the first edition. POPE. 

The Keeper introduced in the quarto 1598, was, in fact, 
Brakenbury, who was Lieutenant of the Tower. There can be 
no doubt therefore that the text, which is regulated according to 
the quarto, is right. MALONE. 

8 Princes have but their titles for their glories, 

An outward honour for an inward toil ;] The first line may 
be understood in this sense, The glories of princes are nothing 
more than empty titles : but it would more impress the purpose 
of the speaker, and correspond better with the following lines, 
if it were read : 

Princes have but their titles for their, troubles. JOHNSON, 

sc. iv. KING RICHARD III. 327 

And, for unfelt imaginations, 
They often feel a world of restless cares :' 
So that, between their titles, and low name, 
There's nothing differs but the outward fame. 

Enter the Two Murderers. 

1 MURD. Ho ! who's here ? 

BRAK. What would* st thou, fellow? and how 
cam'st thou hither ? 

1 MURD. I would speak with Clarence, and I 
came hither on my legs. 

BRAK. What, so brief? 

2 MURD. O, sir, 'tis better to be brief than 

tedious : 
Let him see our commission ; talk no more. 1 

\_A Paper is delivered to BRAKENBURY, who 
reads it. 

BRAK. I am, in this, commanded to deliver 
The noble duke of Clarence to your hands : 
I will not reason what is meant hereby, 
Because I will be guiltless of the meaning. 
Here are the keys j 2 there sits the duke asleep : 

9 for unfelt imaginations, 

They often feel a 'world of restless cares : ~\ They often suffelr 
real miseries for imaginary and unreal gratifications. JOHNSON". 

1 Let him see our commission ; &c.] Thus the second folio. 
Other copies, with measure equally defective 

<* Show him our commission, talk no more." 


' Here are the keys; &c.] So the quarto, 1598. The folio 
reads : 

" There lies the duke asleep, and there the keys. 


1*11 to the king ; and signify to him, 

That thus I have resigned to you my charge. 

1 MURD. You may, sir j 'tis a point of wisdom : 
Fare you well. {Exit BRAKENBURY; 

2 MURD. What, shall we stab him as he sleeps ? 

1 MURD. No ; he'll say, 'twas done cowardly, 
when he wakes. 

2 MURD. When he wakes ! why, fool, he shall 
never wake until the great judgment day. 

1 MURD. Why, then he'll say, we stabb'd him 

2 MURD. The urging of that word, judgment, 
hath bred a kind of remorse in me. 

1 MURD. What ? art thou afraid ? 

2 MURD. Not to kill him, having a warrant for 
it ; but to be damn'd for killing him, from the 
which no warrant can defend me. 

1 MURD. I thought, thou had'st been resolute. 

2 MURD. So I am, to let him live. 

1 MURD. I'll back to the duke of Gloster, and 
tell him so. 

2 MURD. Nay, I pr'ythee, stay a little : I hope, 
this holy humour of mine 3 will change ; it was wont 
to hold me but while one would tell twenty. 

3 this holy humour of mine ] Thus the early quarto. 

The folio has this passionate humour of mine, for which the 
modern editors have substituted compassionate, unnecessarily. 
Passionate, though not so good an epithet as that which is fur- 
nished by the quarto, is sufficiently intelligible. See Vol. X. 
p. 4-06, n. 4. 

The second murderer's next speech proves that holy was the 
author's word. The player editors probably changed it, as they 
did many others, on account of the Statute, 3 Jac. I. c. 21. A 

sc. iv. KING RICHARD III. 329 

1 MURD. How dost thou feel thyself now ? 

2 MURD. 'Faith, some certain dregs of conscience 
are yet within me. 

1 MURD. Rememberourreward,whenthedeed's 

2 MURD. Come, he dies j I had forgot the re- 

1 MURD. Where's thy conscience now ? 

2 MURD. In the duke of Gloster's purse. 

1 MURD. So, when he opens his purse to give us 
our reward, thy conscience flies out. 

2 MURD. 'Tis no matter ; let it go j there's few, 
or none, will entertain it. 

1 MURD. What, if it come to thee again ? 

2 MURD. I'll not meddle with it, it is a danger- 
pus thing, it makes a man a coward ; a man can- 
not steal, but it accuseth him ; a man cannot swear, 
but it checks him ; a man cannot lie with his neigh- 
bour's wife, but it detects him : 'Tis a blushing 
shame-faced spirit, that mutinies in a man's bosom; 
it fills one full of obstacles : it made me once restore 
a purse of gold, that by chance I found ; it beggars 
any man that keeps it : it is turned out of all towns 
and cities for a dangerous thing ; and every man, 
that means to live well, endeavours to trust to him- 
self, and live without it. 

1 MURD. 'Zounds, it is even now at my elbow, 
persuading me not to kill the duke. 

2 MURD. Take the devil in thy mind, and believe 

little lower, they, from the same apprehension, omitted the word 
'faith. MALONE. 


him not: he would insinuate with thee, but to make 
thee sigh. 4 

1 MURD. I am strong-fram'd, 5 he cannot pre- 
vail with me. 

2 MURD. Spoke like a tall fellow, 6 that respects 
his reputation. Come, shall we fall to work ? 

1 MURD. Take him over the costard 7 with the 
hilts of thy sword, and then throw him into the 
malmsey-butt, in the next room. 

2 MURD. O excellent device ! and make a sop of 

4 Take the devil in thy mind, and believe him not : he would in- 
sinuate uitfi thee, &c.] > One villain says, Conscience is at his 
elbows, persuading him not to kill the duke. The other says, 
take the devil into thy nearer acquaintance, into thy mind, who 
will be a match for thy conscience, and believe it not, 8fc. It 
is plain then, that him in both places in the text should be it t 
namely, conscience. WARBURTON. 

Shakspeare so frequently uses both these pronouns indiscri- 
minately, that no correction is necessary. STEEVENS. 

In The Merchant of Venice we have a long dialogue between 
Launcelot, his Conscience, and the Devil. But though con- 
science were not here personified, Shakspeare would have used 
him instead of it. He does so in almost every page of these 
plays. MALONE. 

6 1 am strong-framed,'] Thus the folio. The quarto reads 
I am strong in fraud. MALONE. 

6 Spoke like a tallfellotv,'] The meaning of tall, in old Eng- 
lish, is stout, daring, fearless, and strong. JOHNSON. 

So, in The Merry Wives of Windsor: 

" good soldiers, and tall fellows.'* STEEVENS. 

7 the costard -] i. e. the head ; a name adopted from 

an apple shaped like a man's head. So, in Arden ofFeversham, 

" One and two rounds at his costard." 
Hence likewise the term coster-monger. See VoJ. VII. 
p. 56, n. 3. STEEVEWS. 

ac. iv. KING RICHARD III. 331 

1 MURD. Soft ! he wakes. 

2 MURD. Strike. 

1 MURD. No, we'll reason 8 with him. 

CLAR. Where art thou, keeper ? give me a cup 
of wine. 

1 MURD. You shall have wine enough, my lord, 


CLAR. In God's name, what art thou ? 
1 MURD. A man, as you are. 
CLAR. But not, as I am, royal. 
1 MURD. Nor you, as we are, loyal. 

CLAR. Thy voice is thunder, but thy looks are 

1 MURD. My voice is now the king's, my looks 
mine own. 

CLAR. How darkly, and how deadly dost thou 

speak ! 

Your eyes do menace me : Why look you pale ? 
Who sent you hither ? Wherefore do you come ? 

BOTH MURD. To, to, to, 

CLAR. To murder me? 
BOTH MURD. Ay, ay. 

CLAR. You scarcely have the hearts to tell me so, 
And therefore cannot have the hearts to do it. 
Wherein, my friends, have I offended you? 

] MURD. Offended us you have not, but the 

CLAR. I shall be reconcil'd to him again. 

' tve'tt reason ] We'll talk. JOHNSON. 

So, in The Merchant of Venice: 

" I reasoned with a Frenchman yesterday." STEEVENS. 


2 MURD. Never, my lord ; therefore prepare to 

CLAR. Are you call'd forth from out a world of 

men, 9 

To slay the innocent ? What is my offence ? 
Where is the evidence that doth accuse me ? 
What lawful quest 1 have given their verdict up 
Unto the frowning judge ? or who pronounced 
The bitter sentence of poor Clarence* death ? 
Before I be convict by course of law, 2 
To threaten me with death is most unlawful. 

9 Are you call'd forth from out a world of men,] I think it 
may be better read : 

Are ye cull'd forth . JOHNSON. 

The folio reads : 

" Are you draton forth among a world of men." 

I adhere to the reading now in the text. So, in Nobody and 
Somebody, 1598: 

" Art thou called forth amongst a thousand men 

" To minister this soveraigne antidote ?" STEEVENS. 

The reading of the text is that of the quarto, 1598. 


1 What lauful quest ] Quest is inquest or jury. 


So, in Hamlet: 

" crowner's quest law." STEEVENS. 

* Before I be convict &c.] Shakspeare has followed the 
current tale of his own time, in supposing that Clarence was 
imprisoned by Edward, and put to death by order of his brother 
Richard, without trial or condemnation. But the truth is, that 
he was tried and found guilty by his Peers, and a bill of at- 
tainder was afterwards passed against him. According to Sir 
Thomas More, his death was commanded by Edtnard; but he 
does not assert that the Duke of Gloster was the instrument. 
Polydore Virgil says, though he talked with several persons who 
lived at the time, he never could get any certain account of the 
motives that induced Edward to put his brother to death. See 
p. 322, n. 1. MALONE. 


I charge you, as you hope for any goodness, 3 
By Christ's dear blood sned for our grievous sins, 
That you depart, and lay no hands on me ; 
The deed you undertake is damnable. 

1 MURD. What we will do, we do upon com- 


2 MURD. And he, that hath commanded, is our 


CLAR. Erroneous vassal ! the great King of kings 
Hath in the table of his law commanded, 
That thou shalt do no murder ; Wilt thou then 
Spurn at his edict, and fulfil a man's ? 
Take heed ; for he holds vengeance in his hand, 
To hurl upon their heads that break his law. 

2 MURD. And that same vengeance doth he hurl 

on thee, 

For false forswearing, and for murder too : 
Thou didst receive the sacrament, to fight 
In quarrel of the house of Lancaster. 

1 MURD. And, like a traitor to the name of God, 
Didst break that vow ; and, with thy treacherous 

Unrip'dst the bowels of thy sovereign's son. 

2 MURD. Whom thou wast sworn to cherish and 


1 MURD. How canst thou urge God's dreadful 
law to us, 

3 as you hope for any goodness,] The quarto reads : 

*' As you hope to have redemption." 

I have adopted the former words, for the sake of introducing 
variety; the idea of redemption being comprized in the very next; 
line. STEEVENS. 

This arbitrary alteration was made, and the subsequent line 
was omitted, by the editors of the folio, to avoid the penalty of 
the Stat. 3. Jac. c. 21. MALONE. 


When thou hast broke it in such dear 4 degree ? 

CLAR. Alas ! for whose sake did I that ill deed ? 
For Edward, for my brother, for his sake : 
He sends you not to murder me for this ; 
For in that sin he is as deep as I. 
If God will be avenged for the deed, 
O, know you, that he doth it publickly ; 5 . 
Take not the quarrel from his powerful arm ; 
He needs no indirect nor lawless course, 
To cut off those that have offended him. 

1 MURD. Who made thee then a bloody minister, 
When gallant-springing, brave Plantagenet, 6 
That princely novice, 7 was struck dead by thee ? 

CLAR. My brother's love, the devil, and my rage. 
I MURD. Thy brother's love, our duty, and thy 

Provoke us hither now to slaughter thee. 

4 dear ] This is a word of mere enforcement, and 

very frequently occurs, with different shades of meaning, in our 
author. So, in Timon of Athens: 

" And strain what other means is left unto us, 

" In our dear peril." STEEVENS. 

* O, knotv you, that 8fc.~] The old copies O, know you 
yet, but we should read that instead of yet. In the MS. copy 
that would naturally have been written y l . Hence the mistake, 
which I have corrected, by the advice of Dr. Farmer. 


6 springing, Plantagenet, ] Blooming Plantagenet; a 

prince in the spring of life. JOHNSON. 

So, in Spenser's Shepherd's Calender, 1579 : 

" That wouldest me my springing youth to spill." 


When gallant, springing,] This should be printed as one word, 
I think'; gallant-springing. Shakspeare is fond of these com- 
pound epithets, in which the first adjective is to be considered 
as an adverb. So, in this play, he uses childish^foolish, senseless- 
obstinate, and mortal-staring. TYRWHITT. 

7 novice,"] Youth ; one yet new to the world. JOHNSON. 

ac. iv. KING RICHARD III. 335 

CLAR. If you do love my brother, hate not me ; 
I am his brother, and I love him well. 
If you are hir'd for meed, 8 go back again, 
And I will send you to my brother Gloster ; 
Who shall reward you better for my life, 
Than Edward will for tidings of my death. 

2 MURD. You are deceiv'd,your brother Gloster 
hates you. 9 

CLAR. O, no ; he loves me, and he holds me 


Go you to him from me. 
BOTH MURD. Ay, so we will. 

CLAR. Tell him, when that our princely father 


Bless* d his three sons with his victorious arm, 
And charg'd us from his soul to love each other, 
He little thought of this divided friendship : 
Bid Gloster think on this, and he will weep. 

* If you are hir'dfor meed,] Thus the quarto 1597 and the 
folio. The quarto 1598, reads If you be hired for need; which 
is likewise sense : If it be necessity which induces you to commit 
this murder. MALONE. 

9 your brother Gloster hates you.~\ Mr. Walpole, somQ 

years ago, suggested from the Chronicle of Croyland, that the 
true cause of Gloster's hatred to Clarence was, that Clarence 
was unwilling to share with his brother that moiety of the estate 
of the great Earl of Warwick, to which Gloster became entitled 
on his marriage with the younger sister of the Duchess of Cla- 
rence, Lady Anne Neville, who had been betrothed to Edward 
Prince of Wales. This account of the matter is fully confirmed 
by a letter, dated Feb. 14, 147 1-2, which has been lately pub- 
lished. Paston Letters, Vol. II. p. 91 : " Yesterday the king, 
the queen, my lords of Clarence and Gloucester, went to Shene 
to pardon ; men say, not all in charity. The king entreateth 
my lord of Clarence for my lord of Gloucester ; and, as it is said, 
he answereth, that he may well have my lady his sister-in-law, 
but they shall part no livelihood, as he saith ; so, what will fall, 
can I not say." MALONE. 

336 KING RICHARD lit ACT i. 

1 MURD. Ay, mill-stones ; l as he lesson'd us to 

CLAR. O, do not slander him, for he is kind. 

1 MURD. Right, as snow in harvest. Come, you 

deceive yourself; 
'Tis he that sends us to destroy you here. 

CLAR. It cannot be ; for he bewept my fortune, 
And hugg'd me in his arms, and swore, with sobs, 
That he would labour my delivery. 

1 MURD. Why, so he doth, when he delivers you 
From this earth's thraldom to the joys of heaven. 

2 MURD. Make peace with God, for you must 

die, my lord. 

CLAR. Hast thou that holy feeling in thy soul, 
To counsel me to make my peace with God, 
And art thou yet to thy own soul so blind, 
That thou wilt war with God, by murdering me ? 
Ah, sirs, consider, he, that set you on 
To do this deed, will hate you for the deed. 

2 MURD. What shall we do ? 

CLAR. Relent, and save your souls. 2 

1 MURD. Relent ! 'tis cowardly, and womanish. 

CLAR. Not to relent, is beastly, savage, devilish. 
Which of you, if you were a prince's son, 
Being pent from liberty, as I am now, 

1 he ivill weep. 

1 Murd. Ay, mill-stones ;] So,inMassinger's City Madam: 

" He, good gentleman, 

" Will weep when he hears how we are used. 
" Yes, mill-stones.' 1 STEEVENS. 
and save your souls. &c.] The six following lines are not 

in the old edition, [i. e. the quarto.] POPE. 

They are not necessary, but so forced in, that something seems 
omitted to which these lines are the answer. JOHNSON. 


If two such murderers as yourselves came to you, 

.Would not entreat for lire ? 

My friend, I spy some pity in thy looks ; 

,O, if thine eye be not a flatterer, 

Come thou on my side, and entreat for me, 

As you would beg, were you in my distress. 

A begging prince what beggar pities not ? 3 

2 MURD. Look behind you, my lord. 

s what beggar pities not?] I cannot but suspect that the 

lines, which Mr. rope observed not to be in the old edition, are 
now misplaced, and should be inserted here, somewhat after this 
manner : 

Clar. A begging prince what beggar pities not ? 
Vil. A begging prince ! 

Clar. Which of you, if you were a prince's son, &c. 
Upon this provocation, the villain naturally strikes him. 


Mr. Pope's note is not accurately stated. I believe this pas- 
sage should be regulated thus : 

Clar. Relent and save your souls. 

1 Vil. Relent ! 'tis cowardly and womanish. 

Clar. Not to relent is beastly, savage, devilish. 
Which of you if you were a prince's son, 

Being pent 

If two such 

Would not entreat for life ? 

My friend, I spy 

r -f *i 

U, it thine eye 

Come thou on my side, and entreat for me, 
As you would beg, were you in my distress. 
A begging prince what beggar pities not. TYRWHITT. 

I think with Mr. Tyrwhitt that these lines have been inserted 
in a wrong place. MALONE. 

I have regulated the text according to Mr. Tyrwhitt's in- 
struction. STEEVENS. 

A begging prince what beggar pities not?"] To this, in the 

quarto, the Murderer replies : 

** I, thus and thus : if this will not serve 

" I'll chop thee in the malmesey but in the next roome." 

and then stabs him. STEEVENS. 



1 MURD. Take that, and that ; if all this will 

not do, [Stabs him. 

I'll drown you in the malmsey-butt within. 

[Exit, with the Body. 

2 MURD. A bltiody deed, and desperately de- 

spatch'd ! 

How fain, like Pilate, would I wash my hands 
Of this most grievous guilty murder done ! 

He-enter fast Murderer. 

1 MURD. How now ? what mean'st thoii, that 

thou help'st me not ? 

By heaven, the duke shall know how slack you 
have been. 

2 MURD. I would he knew, that I had sav'd 

his brother ! 

Take thou the fee, and tell him what I say ; 
For I repent me that the duke is slain. [Exit. 

1 MURD. So do not I; go, coward, as thou art. 
Well, I'll go hide the body in some hole, 
Till that the duke give order for his burial : 
And when I have my meed, I will away ; 
For this will out, and then I must not stay. [Exit. 


prf j od oi ij.>v 'to >oriii 

The same. A Room in the Palace. 
' " ' ~ 

" i 

King EDWARD, (led in sick,} Queen ELIZA- 
RAM, GREY, and Others, 

K. EDW. Why, so : now have I done a 

day's work ; 
You peers, continue this united league : 
I every day expect an embassage 
From my Redeemer to redeem me hence ; 
And more in peace 4 my soul shall part to heaven, 
Since I have made my friends at peace on earth. 
Rivers, and Hastings, take each other's hand ; 
Dissemble not your hatred, 5 swear your love. 

Riv. By heaven, my soul is purg'd from grudgr 

ing hate ; 
And with my hand I seal my true heart's love. 

HAST. So thrive I, as I truly swear the like ! 

K. EDW. Take heed, you dally not before your 

JLest he, that is the supreme King of kings, 

4 And more in peace ~l The folior-wwre tt> peace. The 
quartos-Arid now in peaee . STEEVENS. 

5 Dissemble not your Jiatred y ~\ i. e. do not gloss it over. 


I suppose he means, Divest yourselves of that concealed ha- 
tred which you have heretofore secretly borne to each other. 
Do not merely, says Edward, conceal and cover over your se- 
cret ill wUl to each other by a show of love, but -eradicate .hatred 
altogether from your bosoms. MALONE. 

Z 2 


Confound your hidden falsehood, and award 
Either of you to be the other's end. 

HAST. So prosper I, as I swear perfect love ! 
Riv. And I, as I love Hastings with my heart ! 

K. EDW. Madam, yourself are not exempt in 


Nor your son Dorset, Buckingham, nor you ; 
You have been factious one against the other. 
Wife, love lord Hastings, let him kiss your hand ; 
And what you do, do it unfeignedly. 

Q. ELIZ. There, Hastings j I will never more 

Our former hatred, So thrive I, and mine ! 

K. EDW. Dorset, embrace him, Hastings, love 
lord marquis. 

DOR. This interchange of love, I here protest, 
Upon my part shall be inviolable. 

HAST. And so swear I. [Embraces DORSET. 

K. EDW. Now, princely Buckingham, seal thou 

this league 

With thy embracements to my wife's allies, 
And make me happy in your unity. 

BUCK. Whenever Buckingham doth turn his hate 
Upon your grace, [To the Queen.] but with all du- 
teous love 

Doth cherish you, and yours, God punish me 
With hate in those where I expect most love ! 
When I have most need to employ a friend, 
And most assured that he is a friend, 
Deep, hollow, treacherous, and full of guile, 
Be he unto me ! this do I beg of heaven, 
When I am cold in love, to you, or yours. 

[Embracing RIVERS, ^r. 

sc. i. KING RICHARD III. 341 

K. EDW. A pleasing cordial, princely Bucking- 
ham, /'.. 

Is this thy vow unto my sickly heart. 
There wanteth now our brother Gloster here, 
To make the blessed period of this peace. 

BUCK. And, in good time, here comes the noble 
duke. 6 


GLO. Good-morrow to my sovereign king, and 

queen ; 
And, princely peers, a happy time of day ! 

K. EDW. Happy, indeed, as we have spent the 

day I- 
Brother, we have done deeds of charity ; 
Made peace of enmity, fair love of hate, 
Between these swelling wrong-incensed peers. 

GLO. Ablessed labour, my most sovereign liege. 
Among this princely heap, if any here, 
By false intelligence, or wrong surmise, 
Hold me a foe ; 

If I unwittingly, or in my rage, 7 
Have aught committed that is hardly borne 

here comes the noble duke,'] So the quarto. The folio 

reads : 

" And in good time 

" Here comes Sir Richard Ratcliffe and the duke." 


7 If I unwittingly, or in my rage,"] So the quarto. Folio 
unwillingly. This line and the preceding hemistick are printed 
in the old copies, as one line ; a mistake that has very frequently 
happened in the early editions of these plays. Mr. Pope, by 
whose licentious alterations our author's text wsts much cor- 
rupted, omitted the words or in my rage ; in which he has 
been followed by all the subsequent editors. MALONE. 


By any in this presence, I desire 

To reconcile me to his friendly peace : 

'Tis death to me, to be at enmity ; 

I hate it, and desire all good men's love.-^- 

First, madam, I entreat true peace of you, 

Which I will purchase with my duteous service ; 

Of you, my noble cousin Buckingham, 

If ever any grudge were lodg'd between us ; 

Of you, lord Rivers, and lord Grey, of you, 

That all without desert have frown' d on me; 8 

Pukes, earls, lords, gentlemen ; indeed, of all. 

I do not know 9 that Englishman alive, 

With whom my soul is any jot at odds, 

More than the infant that is born to-night } 

I thank my God for my humility. 

* frofjon'd onme ;~] I have followed the original copy 

in quarto. The folio adds 

" Of you, lord Woodville, and lord Scales, of you; " 

The eldest son of Earl Rivers was Lord Scales ; but there was 
no such person as Lord Woodville. M ALONE. 

9 / do not know &c.] Milton in his EIKONOKAASTE2, has 
this observation : " The poets, and some English, have been in 
this point so mindful of decorum, as to put never more pious 
words in the mouth of any person, than of a tyrant. I shall 
not instance an abstruse author, wherein the king might be less 
conversant, but one whom we well know was the closet compa- 
nion of these his solitudes, William Shakspeare ; who introduced 
the person of Richard the Third, speaking in as high a strain of 
piety and mortification as is uttered in any passage in this book, 
and sometimes to the same sense and purpose with some words 
in this place ; / intended, saith he, not only to oblige my friends, 
but my enemies; The like saith Richard, Act II. sc. i: 
" I do not know that Englishman alive, 
" With whom my soul is any jot at odds, 
" More than the infant that is born to-night ; 
" I thank my God for my humility." 

" Other stuff of this sort may be read throughout the tragedy, 
wherein the poet used not much licence in departing from the 
truth of history, which delivers him a deep dissembler, not of 
his affections only, but of religion." STEEVENS. 


Q. ELIZ. A holy-day shall this be kept here- 
after : 

I would to God, all strifes were well compounded. 
My sovereign lord, I do beseech your highness 
To take our brother Clarence to your grace. 

GLO. Why, madam, have I offer' d love for this, 
To be so flouted in this royal presence ? 
Who knows not, that the gentle duke is dead ? 

[They all start. 
You do him injury, to scorn his corse. 

K. EDW. Who knows not, he is dead! who knows 
he is ? 

Q. ELIZ. All-seeing heaven, what a world is this! 
BUCK. Look I so pale, lord Dorset, as the rest ? 

DOR. Ay, my good lord ; and no man in the 

But his red colour hath forsook his cheeks. 

K. EDW. Is Clarence dead ? the order was re- 

GLO. But he, poor man, by your first order 4ied 9 
And that a winged Mercury did bear ; 
Some tardy cripple bore the countermand, * 
That came too lag to see him buried : 
God grant, that some, less noble, and less loyal, 
Nearer in bloody thoughts, and not in blood, 3 

tardy cripple &c.] This is an allusion to a proverbial 
expression wliich Drayton has versified in the second cantp of 
The Barons' Wars : 

" 111 news hath wings, and with the wind doth go ; 
" Comfort's a cripple,, and comes ever slow." 


* Nearer in .bloody thoughts, and not in blood^ ,J 
we have the same play on words : 

" the near in blood, 

" The nearer bloody." STEEVENS. 


Deserve not worse than wretched Clarence did, 
And yet go current from suspicion ! 


STAN. A boon, my sovereign, for my service 

done ! 
K. EDW. I pr'ythee, peace ; my soul is full of 


STAN. I will not rise, unless your highness hear 

K. EDW. Then say at once, what is it thou re- 

STAN, The forfeit, 3 sovereign, of my servant's 


Who slew to-day a riotous gentleman, 
Lately attendant on the duke of Norfolk. 

K. EDW. Have I a tongue to doom my brother's 

death, 4 

And shall that tongue give pardon to a slave ? 
My brother kilPd no man, his fault was thought, 
And yet his punishment was bitter death. 
Who sued to me for him ? 5 who, in my wrath, 

3 The forfeit, ~\ He means the remission of the forfeit. 


4 Have I a tongue to doom my brother's death,'] This lamen- 
tation is very tender and pathetick. The recollection of the 
good qualities of the dead is very natural, and no less naturally 
does the King endeavour to communicate the crime to others. 


5 Who sued to me for him ? &c.] This pathetick speech is 
founded on this slight hint in Sir Thomas More's History of Ed- 
ward V. inserted by Holinshed in his Chronicle : ** Sure it is, 
that although king Edward were consenting to his death, yet he 
much did both lament his infortunate chance, and repent his 
sudden execution. Insomuch that when any person sued to him 

st\ t. KING RICHARD III. 345 

Kneel'd at my feet, and bade me be advis'd ? 6 
Who spoke 01 brotherhood ? who spoke of love ? 
Who told me, how the poor soul did forsake 
The mighty Warwick, and did fight for me ? 
Who told me, in the field at Tewksbury, 
When Oxford had me down, he rescu'd me, 
And said, Dear brother, live, and be a king? 
Who told me, when we both lay in the field, 
Frozen almost to death, how he did lap me 
Even in his garments ; and did give himself, 
All thin and naked, to the numb-cold night ? 
All this from my remembrance brutish wrath 
Sinfully pluck'd, and not a man of you 
Had so much grace to put it in my mind. 
But, when your carters, or your waiting-vassals, 
Have done a drunken slaughter, and defac'd 
The precious image of our dear Redeemer, 
You straight are on your knees for pardon, pardon; 
And I, unjustly too, must grant it you : 
But for my brother, not a man would speak, 
Nor I (ungracious) speak unto myself 
For him, poor soul. The proudest of you all 
Have been beholden to him in his life ; 
Yet none of you would once plead for his life. 
O God! I fear, thy justice will take hold 
On me, and you, and mine, and yours, for this. 

for the pardon of malefactors condemned to death, he would 
accustomablie say, and openly speake, O infortunate brother, for 
whose life not one would make suite ! openly and apparently 
meaning by suche words that by the means of some of the 
nobilitie he was deceived, and brought to his confusion." 


6 ' be advis'd?] i.e. deliberate; consider what I was 
about to do. So, in The Letters of the Paston Family, Vol. II. 
p. 279 : " Written in haste with short advisement" &c. See 
also, The Ttvo Gentlemen of Verona, Vol. IV. p. 227, n. 5. 



Come, Hastings, help me to my closet.' O, 
Poor Clarence ! 

[Exeunt King, Queen, HASTINGS, RIVERS, 

GLO. This is the fruit of rashness ! Mark'd you 


How that the guilty kindred of the queen 
Look'd pale, when they did hear of Clarence* 

death ? 

O ! they did urge it still unto the king : 
God will revenge it. Come, lords ; will you go, 
To comfort Edward with our company ? 

BUCK. We wait upon your grace. \_Exeunt. 

The same. 

Enter the Duchess o/Tork, 8 with a Son and Daugh- 
ter of Clarence. 

Sow. Goodgrandam, tell us, is our father 4ead? 
DUCH. No, boy. 

DAUGH. Why do you weep so oft ? and beat your 

breast ; 
And cry O Clarence, my unhappy son ! 

r Come, Hastings, help me to my closet."] Hastings was Lord 
Chamberlain to King Edward IV. MALONE. 

8 Enter the Duchess of York,"] Cecily, daughter of Ralph 
Neville first Earl of Westmoreland, and widow of Richard Duke 
of York, who was killed at the battle of Wakefield in 1460. 
She survived her husband thirty-five years, living till the year 

ac. ii. KING RICHARD III. 347 

SON. Why do you look on us, and shake your 


And call us orphans, wretches, cast-aways, 
If that our noble father be alive ? 

Ducff. My pretty cousins, 9 you mistake me both; 
I do lament the sickness of the king, 
As loath to lose him, not your father's death ; 
It were lost sorrow, to wail one that's lost. 

SON. Then, grandam, you conclude that he is 


The king my uncle is to blame for this : 
God will revenge it ; whom I will imp6rtune 
With earnest prayers all to that effect. 

DAUGH. And so will I. 

DUCH. Peace, children, peace! the king doth 

love you well : 

Incapable and shallow innocents, 1 
You cannot guess who caus'd your father's death. 

SON. Grandam, we can: for my good uncle Glos- 


Told me, the king, provok'd to't by the queen, 
Devis'd impeachments to imprison him : 
And when my uncle told me so, he wept, 
And pitied me, and kindly kiss'd my cheek ; 

9 My pretty cousins,'} The Duchess is here addressing her 
grand-children, but cousin was the term used in Shakspeare*s 
time, by uncles to nephews and nieces, grandfathers to grand- 
children, &c. It seems to have been 'used instead of our kins- 
man, and kinswoman, and to have supplied .the place of both. 


See note on Othello, Act I. sc. i. STEEVENS. 

1 Incapable and shallow innocents,'] Incapable is unintelligent. 


So, in Hamlet: 

" As one incapable of her own distress." STEEVENS. 


Bade me rely on him, as on my father, 
And he would love me dearly as his child. 

DUCH. Ah, that deceit should steal such gentle 


And with a virtuous visor hide deep vice ! 
He is my son, ay, and therein my shame, 
Yet from my dugs he drew not this deceit. 

SON. Think you, my uncle did dissemble, 2 gran- 

DUCH. Ay, boy. 

SON. I cannot think it. Hark! what noise is 

Enter Queen ELIZABETH, distractedly; RIVERS, 
and DORSET, following her. 

Q. ELIZ. Ah ! who shall hinder me to wail and 

weep ? 

To chide my fortune, and torment myself? 
I'll join with black despair against my soul, 
And to myself become an enemy. 

DUCH. What means this scene of rude impa- 
tience ? 

Q. ELIZ. To make an act of tragick violence : 
Edward, my lord, thy son, our king, is dead. 
Why grow the branches, when the root is gone? 
Why wither not the leaves, that want their sap ? 
If you will live, lament ; if die, be brief; 
That our swift-winged souls may catch the king's $ 

* my uncle did dissemble,] Shakspeare uses dissemble in 

the sense of acting fraudulently, feigning what we do not feel or 
think ; though strictly it means to conceal our real thoughts or 
affections. So also Milton in the passage quoted in p. 34<2, n. 9. 


ae. //. KING RICHARD III. 349 

Or, like obedient subjects, follow him 
To his new kingdom of perpetual rest. 3 

DUCH. Ah, so much interest have I in thy sor- 

As I had title in thy noble husband ! 
I have bewept a worthy husband's death, 
And liv'd by looking on his images : 4 
But now, two mirrors of his princely semblance 
Are crack* d in pieces by malignant death ; 5 
And I for comfort have but one false glass, 
That grieves me when I see my shame in him. 
Thou art a widow ; yet thou art a mother, 
And hast the comfort of thy children left thee : 
But death hath snatch* d my husband from my 


And pluck'd two crutches from my feeble hands, 
Clarence, and Edward. O, what cause have I, 
(Thine being but a moiety of my grief,) 
To over-go thy plaints, and drown thy cries ? 

SON. Ah, aunt! you wept not for our father's 
death j 

3 c/perpetual rest."] So the quarto. The folio reads 

of ne'er changing night. MALONE. 

4 his images : ] The children by whom he was represented. 


So, in The Rape qfLucrece, Lucretius says to his daughter : 
" O, from thy cheeks my image thou hast torn." 


* But now, tiKO mirrors of his princely semblance 

Are crack'd in pieces by malignant death ;] So, in our au- 
thor's Rape ofLucrece: 

" Poor broken glass, I often did behold 
" In thy sweet semblance my old age new born ; 
" But now, that fair fresh mirror, dim and old, 
" Shows me a bare-bon'd death by time out-worn." 
Again, in his 3d Sonnet : 

" Thou art thy mother's glass," &c. MALONE. 


How can we aid you with our kindred tears ? 

jDjz/Off.Ourfatherless distress was left unmoan'd, 
Your widow-dolour likewise be unwept ! 

Q. ELIZ. Give me no help in lamentation, 
I am not barren to bring forth laments : 
All springs reduce their currents to mine eyes, 
That I, being governed by the watry moon, 9 
May send forth plenteous tears to drown the world! 
Ah, for my husband, for my dear lord Edward ! 

CHIL. Ah, for our father, for our dear lord Cla- 
rence ! 

. DUCH. Alas, for both, both mine, Edward and 

Clarence ! 

Q. ELIZ. What stay had I, but Edward? and he's 

CHIL. What stay had we, but Clarence ? and 
he's gone. 

DUCH. What stays had I, but they? and they 
are gone. 

Q. ELIZ. Was never widow, had so dear a loss. 
CHIL. Were never orphans, had so dear a loss. 

DUCH. Was never mother had so dear a loss. 
Alas ! I am the mother of these griefs ; 
Their woes are parcelled, mine are general. 
She for an Edward weeps, and so do I j 
I for a Clarence weep, so doth not she : 

* being governed by the txatry moon t ~\ That I may 

hereafter under the influence of the moon, which governs the 
tides, and by the help of that influence drown the world. The * 
introduction of the moon is not very natural. JOHNSON. 

The same thought has already occurred in K. Henry I V.P.I: 

" being governed, as the sea is, by the moon." 


sc. ii. KING RICHARD III. 351 

These babes for Clarence weep, and so do 1 : 7 
I for an Edward weep, so do not they : 8 

7 and so do /.] So the quarto. The variation of the 

folio is remarkable. It reads so do not they. MALONE. 

8 I for an Edward vaeep y so do not they :] The text is here 
made out partly from the folio and partly from the quarto. In 
the quarto this and the preceding line stand thus : 

" These babes for Clarence weep, and so do I ; 

" I for an Edward weep, and so do they.'* 
The end of the second line is evidently corrupted. In the 
MS. from which the folio was printed, or in a corrected quarto 
copy, the two lines undoubtedly were right : 

" These babes for Clarence weep, [and so do If 

" I for an Edward weep,"] so do NOT they.'* 
But the compositor's eye passing over two half lines, the pas- 
lage was printed thus in the folio, in one line : 

" These babes for Clarence weep, so do not they." 
I have stated this matter thus particularly, because it confirms 
an observation that I have more than once had occasion to make 
in revising these plays ; that there is reason to suspect that many 
of the difficulties in our author's works have arisen from the 
omission of either single words, single lines, or the latter half of 
one line with the half of the next : a solution which readers are 
Very slow to admit) and generally consider as chimerical. One 
week's acquaintance with the business of the press (without those 
proofs which a collation of the quartos with each other and with 
the first folio affords, ) would soon convince them that my sup- 
position is not a mere offspring of imagination. In the plays, 
of which there is no authentick copy but the first folio, there is 
no means of proving such omissions to have happened ; but the 
present and other proofs of their having actually happened in the 
other plays, lay surely a reasonable ground for conjecturing that 
similar errors have happened ,in those pieces, of which there is 
only a single ancient copy extant, and entitle such conjectures to 

See Vol. VI. p. 188, n. 3 ; Vol. X. p. 102, n. 9 ; Vol. XL p. 
59, n. 2, and p. 376, n. 3 ; Vol. XIII. p. 313, n. 7 ; Coriolanus, 
Vol. XVI. Act II. sc. iii. and Antony and Cleopatra, Act IV. 
sc. x. 

In this note, and throughout this play, where I have spoken 
of the quarto, without any specification of the year when printed, 
I meant the quarto 1598, the earliest which I had then seen. 
The quarto 1597, 1 find, corresponds with the text. MALONE. 


Alas ! you three, on me, threefold distress' d, 
Pour all your tears, I am your sorrow's nurse, 
And I will pamper it with lamentations. 

DOR. Comfort, dear mother ; God is much dis- 

pleas'd, 9 

That you take with unthankfulness his doing ; 
In common worldly things, 'tis call'd ungrateful, 
With dull unwillingness to repay a debt, 
Which with a bounteous hand was kindly lent ; 
Much more to be thus opposite with heaven, 1 
For it requires 2 the royal debt it lent you. 

Riv. Madam, bethink you, like a careful mo- 
Of the young prince your son : send straight for 


Let him be crown'd ; in him your comfort lives : 
Drown desperate sorrow in dead Edward's grave, 
And plant your joys in living Edward's throne. 

INGS, RATCLIFF, and Others. 

GLO. Sister, have comfort : all of us have catise 
To wail the dimming of our shining star ; 
But none can cure their harms by w r ailing them. 
Madam, my mother, I do cry you mercy, 
I did not see your grace : Humbly on my knee 
I crave your blessing. 

9 Comfort, dear mother; &c.~\ This line and the following 
eleven lines are found only in the folio. MALONE. 

1 to be thus opposite with heaven,"] This was the phrase- 
ology of the time. See Vol. V. p. 331, n. 7. MALONE. 

8 For it requires "] i. e. because. So, in Othello .* 
" Haply ,for 1 am black ." STEEVENS. 

sc. it. KING RICHARD III. 353 

DUCH. God bless thee ; and put meekness in thy 

Love, charity, obedience, and true duty ! 

GLQ. Amen ; and make me die a good old man !^ 
That is the butt-end of a mother's blessing ; 

I marvel, that her grace did leave it out. 

BUCK. You cloudy princes, and heart sorrowing 


That bear this mutual heavy load of moafl, 
Now cheer each other in each other's love : 
Though we have spent our harvest of this king, 
We are to reap the harvest of his son. 
The broken rancour of your high-swoln hearts, 
But lately splinted, knit, and join'd together, 
Must gently be preserv'd, cherish'd, and kept : 3 
Me seemeth good, that, with some little train, 
Forthwith from Ludlow the young prince be 

fetch'd 4 
Hither to London, to be crown*d our king. 

3 The broken rancour of your high-swoln hearts^ 
But lately splinted, knit, and joined together, 

Must gently be preserv'd, cherish'd, and kept .-] As this 
passage stands, it is the rancour of their hearts that is to be pre- 
serv'd and cherished. But we must not attempt to amend this 
mistake, as it seems to proceed from the inadvertency of Shak- 
speare himself. M. MASON. 

Their broken rancour recently splinted and knit, the poet con- 
siders as a new league of amity and concord ; and this it is that 
Buckingham exhorts them to preserve. MALONE. 

4 Forthwith from Ludlota the young prince be fetch'd ] Ed- 
ward the young prince, in his father's life time, and at his de- 
mise, kept his houshold at Ludlow, as Prince of Wales ; under 
the governance of Antony Woodville, Earl of Rivers, his uncle 
by the mother's side. The intention of his being sent thither 
was to see justice done in the Marches ; and, by the authority of 

VOL. XIV. 2 A 


Rir. Why with 5 some little train, my lord of 
Buckingham ? 

BUCK. Marry, my lord, lest, by a multitude, 
The new-heal'd wound of malice should break out; 
Which would be so much the more dangerous, 
By how much the estate is green, and yet ungo- 

vern'd : 

Where every horse bears his commanding rein, 
And may direct his course as please himself, 
As well the fear of harm, as harm apparent, 
In my opinion, ought to be prevented. 

GLO. I hope, the king made peace with all of 

And the compact is firm, and true, in me. 

Rir. And so in me ; 6 and so, I think, in all : 
Yet, since it is but green, it should be put 
To no apparent likelihood of breach, 
Which, haply, by much company might be urg'd : 
Therefore I say, with noble Buckingham, 
That it is meet so few should fetch the prince. 

HAST. And so say I, 

GLO. Then be it so ; and go we to determine 
Who they shall be that straight shall post toLudlow. 
Madam, and you my mother, will you go 

his presence, to restrain the Welshmen, who were wild, disso- 
lute, and ill-disposed, from their accustomed murders and out- 
rages. Vid. Hall, Holinshed, &c. THEOBALD. 

* Why ivith &c.] This line and the following seventeen lines 
are found only in the folio. MALONE. 

c Riv. And so in me;~] This speech (as a modern editor has 
observed,) seems rather to belong to Hastings, who was of the 
Duke of Gloster's party. The next speech might be given to 
Stanley. MALONE. 

ac. u. KING RICHARD III,. S55 

To give your censures 7 in this weighty business ? 
[Exeunt all but BUCKINGHAM and GLOSTER. 

BUCK. My lord, whoever journeys to the prince, 
For God's sake, let not us two stay at home : 
For, by the way, I'll sort occasion, 
As index to the story 8 we late talk'd of, 
To part the queen's proud kindred from the prince. 

GLO. My other self, my counsel's consistory, 
My oracle, my prophet ! My dear cousin, 
I, as a child, will go by thy direction. 
Towards Ludlow then, 9 for we'll not stay behind. 


7 your censures "] To censure formerly meant to deliver 

an opinion. So, in Heywood's Golden Age, 1611 : 

" yet if I censure freely, 

" I needs must think that face and personage 

" Was ne'er deriv'd from baseness." 
Again, in Marius and Sylla, 1594: 

" China affirms the senate's censure just, 

" And saith, let Marius lead the legions forth." 
Again, in Orlando Furioso, 1594: 

" Set each man forth his passions how he can, 

" And let her censure make the happiest man.'* 


8 Pll sort occasion, 

As index to the story ] i. e. preparatory by way of pre- 
lude. So, in Hamlet : 

" That storms so loud and thunders in the index." 
See the note on that passage. MALONE. 

Again, in Othello : " an index and obscure prologue to 
the history of lust and foul thoughts." STEEVENS. 

9 Towards Ludlow then,~\ The folio here and a few lines 
higher, for Ludlow reads London. Few of our author's plays 
stand more in need of the assistance furnished by a collation with 
the quartos, than that before us. MALONE. 

2 A 21 



The same. A Street. 
Enter Two Citizens, meeting. 

1 CIT. Good morrow, neighbour: Whither 

away so fast ? 

2 CIT. I promise you, I scarcely know myself: 
Hear you the news abroad ? 

1 CIT. Yes ; the king's dead. 1 

2 CIT. Ill news, by*r lady ; seldom comes the 

better: 2 
I fear, I fear, 'twill prove a giddy world. 

Enter another Citizen. 

& CIT. Neighbours, God speed ! 

1 CIT. Give you good morrow, sir- 

3 CIT. Doth the news hold of good king Ed- 

ward's death ? 

1 Yes; the king's dead."] Thus the second folio. The first, 
without regard to measure 

Yes, that the king is dead. STEEVENS. 

9 seldom comes the better :"] A proverbial saying, taken 

notice of in The English Courtier and Country Gentleman, 4to. 

bl. 1. 1586, sign. B : " as the proverb sayth, seldome come 

the better. Vol. That proverb indeed is auncient, and for the 
most part true,'* &c. REED. 

The modern editors read a better. The passage quoted above 
proves that there is no corruption in the text ; and shows how 
very dangerous it is to disturb our author's phraseology, merely 
because it is not familiar to our ears at present. MALONE. 


2 CIT. Ay, sir, it is too true j God help, the 

while ! 

3 CIT. Then, masters, look to see a troublous 


1 CIT. No, no ; by God's good grace, his son 

shall reign. 

3 CIT. Woe to that land, that's govern* d by a 
child! 3 

2 CIT. In him there is a hope of government ; 
That, in his nonage, council under him, 4 
And, in his full and ripen* d years, himself, 

No doubt, shall then, and till then, govern well. 

1 CIT. So stood the state, when Henry the sixth 
Was crown'd in Paris but at nine months old. 

3 CIT. Stood the state so ? no, no, good friends, 

God wot ; 

For then this land was famously enrich* d 
With politick grave counsel ; then the king 
Had virtuous uncles to protect his grace. 

1 CIT. Why, so hath this, both by his father and 

3 CIT. Better it were, they all came by his fa- 

Or, by his father, there were none at all : 
For emulation now, who shall be nearest, 

3 Woe to that land, that's govern' d by a child!"} 

" Woe to thee, O land, when thy king is a child." 

Ecclesiastesy ch. x. STEEVENS. 

4 That, in his nonage, council under him,'] So the quarto. 
The folio reads Which in his nonage. Which is frequently 
used by our author for who, and is still so used in our Liturgy. 
But neither reading affords a very clear sense. Dr. Johnson 
thinks a line lost before this. I suspect that one was rather 
omitted after it. MALONE. 


Will touch us all too near, if God prevent not. 

O, full of danger is the duke of Gloster ; 

And the queen's sons, and brothers, haught and 

proud : 

And were they to be rul'd, and not to rule, 
This sickly land might solace as before. 

1 CIT. Come, come, we fear the worst ; all will 

be well. 

3 CIT. When clouds are seen, wise men put on 

their cloaks ; 

When great leaves fall, then winter is at hand ; 
When the sun sets, who doth not look for night ? 
Untimely storms make men expect a dearth : 
All may be well ; but, if God sort it so, 
J Tis more than we deserve, or I expect. 

2 CIT. Truly, the hearts of men are full of fear : 
You cannot reason almost with a man 5 

That looks not heavily, and full of dread. 

3 CIT. Before the days of change, 6 still is it so : 
By a divine instinct, men's minds mistrust 

a You cannot reason almost tvith a man "] To reason, is to 
converse. So, in King John : 

" Our griefs, and not our manners, reason now." 
See Vol. X. p. 488, n. 9. STEEVENS. 

6 Before the days of change, &c.] This is from Holinshed's 
Chronicle, Vol. III. p. 721 : '* Before such great things, men's 
hearts of a secret instinct of nature misgive them ; as the sea 
without wind swelleth of himself some time before a tempest." 


It is evident in this passage, that both Holinshed and Shak- 
apeare allude to St. Luke. See ch. xxi. 25, &c. HENLEY. 

It is manifest that Shakspeare here followed Holinshed, having 
adopted almost his words. Being very conversant with the 
sacred writings, he perhaps had the Evangelist in his thoughts 
when he wrote, above 

" Truly, the hearts of men are full of fear." MALONE. 

sc. iv. KING RICHARD III. S59 

Ensuing danger ; as, by proof, we see 
The water swell before a boist'rous storm. 
But leave it all to God. Whither away ? 

2 CIT. Marry, we were sent for to the justices. 

3 CIT. And so was I j I'll bear you company. 



The same. A Room in the Palace. 

Enter the Archbishop o/*York, the young Duke of 
York, Queen ELIZABETH, and the Duchess of 

ARCH. Last night, I heard, they lay at Stony- 
Stratford ; 

And at Northampton they do rest to-night : 7 
To-morrow, or next day, they will be here, 

T Last night, I heard, they lay at Stony- Strat for d ; 

And at Northampton they do rest to-night .] Thus both the 
folios. The quartos, as well as the modern editors, read : 
Last night, I heard, they lay at Northampton ; 
At Stony -Stratford they do rest to-night. 
I have followed the folios ; the historical fact being as there 
represented. The Prince and his company did, in their way to 
London, actually lie at Stony-Stratford one night, and were the 
next morning taken back by the Duke of Gloucester to Nor- 
thampton, where they lay the following night. See Hall, Ed- 
ward V. fol. 6. See also, Remarks &c. on the last edition of 
Shakspeare, [that of 1778,] p. 133. REED. 

Shakspeare, it is clear, either forgot this circumstance, or did 
not think it worth attending to. According to the reading of the 
original copy in quarto, at the time the Archbishop is speaking, 
the King had not reached Stony- Stratford, and consequently his 
being taken back to Northampton on the morning after he had 
been at Stratford, could not be in the author's contemplation. 


DUCH. I long with all my heart to see the prince ; 
I hope, he is much grown since last I saw him. 

Shakspeare well knew 1 that Stony-Stratford was nearer to London 
than Northampton ; therefore in the first copy the young King is 
made to sleep on one night at Northampton, and the Archbishop 
very naturally supposes that on the next night, that is, on the 
night of the day on which he is speaking, the King would reach 
Stony-Stratford. It is highly improbable that the editor of the 
folio should have been apprized of the historical fact above 
stated ; and much more likely that he made the alteration for the 
sake of improving the metre, regardless of any other circum- 
stance. How little he attended to topography appears from a 
preceding scene, in which Gloster, though in London, talks of 
sending a messenger to that town, instead of Ludlow. See 
p. 355, n. 9. 

By neither reading can the truth of history be preserved, and 
therefore we may be sure that Shakspeare did not mean in this 
instance to adhere to it. According to the present reading, the 
scene is on the day on which the King was journeying from 
Northampton to Stratford ; and of course the Messenger's ac- 
count of the peers being seiz'd, &c. which was on the next day 
after the King had lain at Stratford, is inaccurate. If the folio 
reading be adopted, the scene is indeed placed on the day on 
which the King was seized ; but the Archbishop is supposed to 
be apprized of a fact which before the entry of the Messenger he 
manifestly does not know, and which Shakspeare did not intend 
he should appear to know ; namely, the Duke of Gloster's 
coming to Stony- Stratford the morning after the King had lain 
there, taking him forcibly back to Northampton, and seizing the 
Lords Rivers, Grey, &c. The truth is, that the Queen herself, 
the person most materially interested in the welfare of her son, 
did riot hear of the King's being carried back from Stony-Strat- 
ford to Northampton till about midnight of the day on which 
this violence was offered him by his uncle. See Hall, Edward 
V. fol. 6. Historical truth being thus deviated from, we have a 
right to presume that Shakspeare in this instance did not mean 
to pay any attention to it, and that the reading furnished by the 
quarto was that which came from his pen : nor is it possible that 
he could have made the alteration which the folio exhibits, itbeing 
utterly inconsistent with the whole tenour and scope of the pre- 
sent scene. If the Archbishop had known that the young King 
was carried back to Northampton, he must also have known that 
the lords who accompanied him, were sent to prison ; and instead 

sc. iv. KING RICHARD III. 361 

Q. ELIZ. But I hear, no ; they say, my son of 

Hath almost overtaken him in his growth. 

YORK. Ay, mother, but I would not have it so. 

DUCH. Why, my young cousin ; it is good to 

YORK. Grandam, one night, as we did sit at sup- 

My uncle Rivers talk'd how I did grow 
More than my brother ; Ay, quoth my uncle Glos- 


Small herbs have grace, great weeds do grow apace : 
And since, methinks, I would not grow so fast, 
^Because sweet flowers are slow, and weeds make 

DUCH. 'Good faith, J goo4 faith, the saying did 

not hold 

In him that did object the same to thee : 
He was the wretched'st thing, 8 when he was young, 

of eagerly asking the Messenger in p. 363, " What news?" 
might have informed him of the whole transaction. 

The truth of history is neglected in another instance also. The 
Messenger says, the Lords Rivers, Grey, &c. had been sent by 
Gloster to Pomfret, whither they were not sent till some time 
afterwards, they being sent at first, according to Sir Thomas 
More, (whose relation Hall and Holinshed transcribed,) " into 
the North country, into diverse places to prison, and afterwards 
all to Pontefract." 

The reading of the text is that of the quarto 1597. MALONE. 

Shakspeare does not always attend to the propriety of his own 
alterations. As historical truth, therefore, which ever reading 
be chosen, must be violated, I am content with such an arrange- 
ment as renders the versification smoothest. Where sense cannot 
claim a preference, a casting vote may be safely given in favour 
of sound. STEEVENS. 

8 the wretched'st thing,"] Wretched is here used in a 


So long a growing, and so leisurely, 

That, if his rule were true, he should be gracious. 

ARCH. And so, no doubt, he is, my gracious ma- 

DUCH. 1 hope, he is; but yet let mothers doubt. 

YORK. Now, by my troth, if I had been remem- 

ber'd, 9 

I could have given my uncle's grace a flout, 
To touch his growth, nearer than he touch'd mine. 

DUCH. How, my young York ? I pr'ythee, let me 
hear it. 

YORK. Marry, they say, my uncle grew so fast, 
That he could gnaw a crust at two hours old ; 
'Twas full two years ere I could get a tooth. 
Grandam, this would have been a biting jest. 

DUCH. I pr'ythee, pretty York, who told thefc 
this ? 

YORK. Grandam, his nurse. 

DUCH. His nurse ! why, she was dead ere thou 
wast born. 

YORK. If 'twere not she, I cannot tell who told 

Q. ELIZ. A parlous boy i l Go to, you are too 

senSe yet retained in familiar language, for paltry, pitiful, being 
below expectation. JOHNSON. 

Rather, the weakest, most puny, least thriving. RITSON. 

9 been remember'd,'] To be remembered is, in Shakspeare, 

to have one's memory quick, to have one's thoughts about one. 


1 A parlous boy:"] Parlous is keen, shrewd. So, in Law 
Tricks, &c. 1608 : 

" A. parlous youth, sharp and satirical." STEEVENS. 

. iv. KING RICHARD III. 363 

ARCH. Good madam, be not angry with the child. 
Q. ELIZ. Pitchers have ears. 2 

Enter a Messenger. 3 

ARCH. Here comes a messenger : 

What news ? 

MESS. Such news, my lord, 

As grieves me to unfold. 

Q. ELIZ. How doth the prince? 

MESS. Well, madam, and in health. 

DUCH. What is thy news ? 

MESS. Lord Rivers, and lord Grey, are sent to 

With them sir Thomas Vaughan, prisoners. 

DUCH. Who hath committed them ? 

MESS. The mighty dukes, 

Gloster and Buckingham. 

Q. ELIZ. For what offence ?* 

It is a corruption of perilous* dangerous ; the reading of the 
old quartos. The Queen evidently means to chide him. 


* Pitchers have ears.~] Shakspeare has not quoted this prover- 
bial saying correctly. It appears from A Dialogue both pleasaunt 
and pietifull, by William Bulleyn, 1564, that the old proverb is 
this : " Small pitchers have great ears." MALONE. 

This proverb has already occurred in The Taming of the 
Shrew : 

" Pitchers have ears, and I have many servants." 


3 Enter a Messenger.] The quarto reads Enter Dorset. 


4 For tvfiat offence?'] This question is given to the Archbishop 
in former copies, but the Messenger plainly speaks to the Queen 
or Duchess. JOHNSON. 

The question is given in the quarto to the Archbishop (or Car- 


MESS. The sum of all I can, I have disclos'd ; 
Why, or for what, the nobles were committed, 
Is all unknown to me, my gracious lady. 

Q. ELIZ. Ah me, I see the ruin of my house ! 
The tiger now hath seiz'd the gentle hind ; 5 
Insulting tyranny begins to jut 
Upon the innocent and awless 6 throne : 
Welcome, destruction, blood, and massacre 1 
I see, as in a map, the end of all. 

DUCH. Accursed and unquiet wrangling days ! 
How many of you have mine eyes beheld ? 
My husband lost his life to get the crown ; 
And often up and down my sons were tost, 
For me to joy, and weep, their gain, and loss : 
And being seated, and domestick broils 
Clean over-blown, themselves, the conquerors, 
Make war upon themselves ; brother to brother, 
Blood to blood, self 'gainst self: O, preposterous 
And frantick courage, end thy damned spleen j 
Or let me die, to look on death no more ! 7 

dinal, as he is there called,) where also we have in the following 
speech, my gracious lady. The editor of the folio altered lady 
to lord; but it is more probable that the compositor prefixed Car. 
(the designation there of the Archbishop,) to the words, " For 
what offence ?" instead of Qu. than that lady should have been 
printed in the subsequent speech instead of lord. Compositors 
always keep the names of the interlocutors in each scene ready- 
composed for use ; and hence mistakes sometimes arise. 


* The tiger now hath seiz'd the gentle hind ;] So, in our au- 
thor's Rape ofLucrecet 

" While she, the picture of pure piety, 

" Like a white hind under the grype's sharp claws ." 


6 auvless ] Not producing awe, not reverenced. To 

jut upon is to encroach. JOHNSON. 

7 Or let me die, to look on death no more /] Earth is the read- 
ing of all the copies, from the first edition put out by the play- 

sc. iv. KING RICHARD III. 365 

Q. ELIZ. Come, come, my boy, we will to sanc- 
Madam, farewell. 

DUCH. Stay, I will go with you. 

Q. ELIZ. You have no cause. 

ARCH. My gracious lady, go, 

[To the Queen. 

And thither bear your treasure and your goods. 
For my part, I'll resign unto your grace 
The seal I keep ; And so betide to me, 
As well I tender you, and all of yours ! 
Come, I'll conduct you to the sanctuary. 8 


ers, downwards. But I have restored the reading of the old 
quarto in 1597, which is copied by all the other authentic quartos, 
by which the thought is finely and properly improved : 

Or let me die, to look on death no more, THEOBALD. 

8 I'll resign unto your grace 

The seal I keep ; &c.] Afterwards, however, this obsequious 
Archbishop \_Rotheram~] to ingratiate himself with King Richard 
III. put his majesty's badge, the Hog, upon the gate of the Pub- 
lick Library, Cambridge. STEKVENS. 



The same. A Street. 

The Trumpets sound. Enter the Prince of Wales, 
and Others. 

BUCK. Welcome, sweet prince, to London, to 
your chamber. 1 

GLO. Welcome, dear cousin, my thoughts' sove- 
reign : 
The weary way hath made you melancholy. 

PRINCE. No, uncle ; but our crosses on the way 
Have made it tedious, wearisome, and heavy : 
I want more uncles here to welcome me. 

GLO. Sweet prince, the untainted virtue of your 


Hath not yet div'd into the world's deceit : 
No more can you distinguish of a man, 
Than of his outward show ; which, God he knows, 

9 Cardinal Bourchier, ~\ Thomas Bourchier was made a Car- 
dinal, and elected Archbishop of Canterbury, in 1464. He died 
in 14-86. MALONE. 

1 to your chamber.] London was anciently called Camera 

regis. POPE. 

So, in Heywood's If you know not me you know Nobody, 1633, 
Part II : 

" This city, our great chamber." STEEVENS. 

This title it began to have immediately after the Norman con- 
quest. See Coke's 4 Inst. 243, where it is styled Camera Regis; 
Camden's Britannia, 374; Ben Jonson's Account of King 
James's Entertainment in passing to his Coronation, &c. REED. 


Seldom, or never, jumpeth with the heart. 9 
Those uncles, which you want, were dangerous j 
Your grace attended to the sugar* d words, 
But look'd not on the poison of their hearts : 
God keep you from them, and from such false 
friends ! 

PRINCE. God keep me from false friends ! but 
they were none. 

GLO. My lord, the mayor of London comes to 
greet you. 

Enter the Lord Mayor, and his Train. 

MAT. God bless your grace with health and 
happy days ! 

PRINCE. I thank you, good my lord; and thank 
you all. [ Exeunt Mayor, fyc. 

I thought my mother, and my brother York, 
Would long ere this have met us on the way : 
Fye, what a slug is Hastings ! that he comes not 
To tell us, whether they will come, or no. 


BUCK. And in good time, 3 here comes the sweat- 
ing lord. 

PRINCE. Welcome, my lord: What, will our 
mother come ? 

HAST. On what occasion, God he knows, not I, 

* jumpeth toith the heart."] So, in Soliman and Perseda t 

" Wert thou my friend, thy mind would jump with 
mine." STEEVENS. 

* ' *n good time t ~\ De bonne heure. Fr. STEEVENS. 


The queen your mother, and your brother York, 
Have taken sanctuary : The tender prince 
Would fain have come with me to meet your grace, 
But by his mother was perforce withheld. 

BUCK. Fye ! what an indirect and peevish course 
Is this of hers ? Lord cardinal, will your grace 
Persuade the queen to send the duke of York 
Unto his princely brother presently ? 
If she deny, lord Hastings, go with him, 
And from her jealous arms pluck him perforce. 

CARD. My lord of Buckingham, if my weak 


Can from his mother win the duke of York, 
Anon expect him here : 4 But if she be obdurate 
To mild entreaties, God in heaven forbid 
We should infringe the holy privilege 
Of blessed sanctuary ! not for all this land, 
Would I be guilty of so deep a sin. 

BUCK. You are too senseless-obstinate, my lord, 
Too ceremonious, and traditional : 5 
Weigh it but with the grossness of this age, 6 

4 Anon expect him here : &c.] The word anon, may safely be 
omitted. It only serves to vitiate the measure. STEEVENS. 

3 Too ceremonious, and traditional :] Ceremonious for super- 
stitious ; traditional for adherent to old customs. WARBURTON. 

fl Weigh it but tuith the grossness of this age,'] But the more 
gross, that is, the more superstitious the age was, the stronger 
would be the imputation of violated sanctuary. The question, 
we see by what follows, is whether sanctuary could be claimed 
by an infant. The speaker resolves it in the negative, because 
it could be claimed by those only whose actions necessitated 
them to fly thither ; or by those who had an understanding to de- 
mand it ; neither of which could be an infant's case : It is plain 
then, the first line, which introduces this reasoning, should be 
read thus : 

Weigh it but ivith the greenness of his age, 
i. e. the young Duke of York's, whom his mother had fled with 


You break not sanctuary in seizing him. 

The benefit thereof is always granted 

To those whose dealings have deserv'd the place, 

And those who have the wit to claim the place : 

This prince hath neither claim'd it, nor deserv'd it ; 

And therefore, in mine opinion, cannot have it : 

Then, taking him from thence, that is not there, 

You break no privilege nor charter there. 

Oft have I heard of sanctuary men ; 

But sanctuary children, ne'er till now. 7 

CARD. My lord, you shall o'er-rule my mind for 

Come on, lord Hastings, will you go with me ? 

HAST. I go, my lord. 

to sanctuary. The corrupted reading of the old quarto is some- 
thing nearer the true : 

the greatness of his age. WARBURTON. 

This emendation is received by Hanmer, and is very plausible; 
yet the common reading may stand: 

Weigh it but with the grossness of this age, 

You break not sanctuary, 

That is, compare the act of seizing him with the gross and 
licentious practices of these times, it will not be considered as a 
violation of sanctuary, for you may give such reasons as men 
are now used to admit. JOHNSON. 

The truth is, the quarto 1598, and the two subsequent quartos, 
as well as the folio, all read grossness. Greatness is the corrupt 
reading of a late quarto of no authority, printed in 1622. 


7 Oft have I heard of sanctuary men; &c.] These arguments 
against the privilege of sanctuary are taken from Sir Thomas 
More's Life of King Edward the Fifth, published by Stowe : 

" And verily, I have heard of sanctuary men, but I never 

heard earst of sanctuary children," &c. STEEVENS. 

More's Life of King Edward V. was published also by Hall 
and Holinshed, and in the Chronicle of Holihshed Shakspeare 
found this argument. MALONE. 

VOL. XIV. 2 B 


PRINCE. Good lords, make all the speedy haste 
you may. 

{Exeunt Cardinal and HASTINGS. 
Say, uncle Gloster, if our brother come, 
Where shall we sojourn till our coronation ? 

GLO. Where it seems best unto your royal self. 
If I may counsel you, some day, or two, 
Your highness shall repose you at the Tower : 
Then where you please, and shall be thought most 

For your best health and recreation. 

PRINCE. I do not like the Tower, of anyplace: 
Did Julius Caesar build that place, my lord ? 

GLO. He did, my gracious lord, begin that place; 
Which, since, succeeding ages have re-edified. 7 

PRINCE. Is it upon record ? or else reported 
Successively from age to age he built it ? 

BUCK. Upon record, my gracious lord. 

PRINCE. But say, my lord, it were not register'd j 
Methinks, the truth should live from age to age, 
As 'twere retailed to all posterity, 8 
Even to the general all-ending day. 

7 He did, &c.] I suppose, this and the following line, (the 
useless epithet gracious, omitted,) should be read thus : 

He did, my lord, begin that place; which, since. 
Succeeding ages have re-edify'd. STEEVENS. 

8 As 'twere retail'd to all posterity,"] And so it is; and, by 
that means, like most other retailed things, became adulterated. 
We should read : 

intail'd to all posterity ; 

which is finely and sensibly expressed, as if truth was the natural 
inheritance of our children ; which it is impiety to deprive them 

Retailed may signify diffused, dispersed. JOHNSON. 
Retailed means handed down from one to another. Goods 
retailed, are those which pass from one purchaser to another. 

sc. r. KING RICHARD III. 871 

GLO. So wise so young, they say, do ne'er live 
long. 9 [Aside, 

PRINCE. What say you, uncle ? 

GLO. I say, without characters, fame lives long. 
Thus, like the formal vice, Iniquity, ) As'de 
I moralize two meanings in one word. 1 f 

Richard uses the word retailed in the same sense in the fourth 
Act, where speaking to the Queen of her daughter, he says 
" To whom I will retail my conquests won." 


Minsheu in his Dictionary, 1617, besides the verb retail in 
the mercantile sense, has the verb " to retaile or retell, G. re- 
nombrer, a Lat. renumerare;" and in that sense, I conceive, it 
is employed here. MALONE. 

9 So wise so young, they say, do ne'er live long.~] 

Is cadit ante senem, qui sapit ante diem. 
a proverbial line. STEEVENS. 

Bright, in his . Treat ise on Melancholy, 1586, p. 52, says . 
" I have knowne children languishing of the splene, obstructed 
and altered in temper, talke with gravitie and wisdome, surpass- 
ing those tender yeares, and their judgement carrying a marvel- 
lous imitation of the wisdome of the ancient, having after a sorte 
attained that by disease, which other have by course of yeares ; 
whereon I take it, the proverbe ariseth, that they le of short life 
who are of wit so pregnant." REED. 

1 Thus, like the formal vice, Iniquity, 

/ moralize two meanings in one iuord.~] By vice, the author 
means not a quality, but a person. There was hardly an old play t 
till the period of the Reformation, which had not in it a devil, 
and a droll character, a jester ; (who was to play upon the devil;) 
and this buffoon went by the name of a Vice. This buffoon was 
at first accoutred with a long jerkin, a cap with a. pair of ass's 
ears, and a wooden dagger, with which (like another Harlequin) 
he was to make sport in belabouring the devil* This was the 
constant entertainment in the times of popery, whilst spirits, and 
witchcraft, and exorcising held their own. When the Reforma- 
tion took place, the stage shook offsome grossities, and encreased 
in refinements. The master-devil then was soon dismissed from 
the scene; and this buffoon was changed into a subordinate fiend, 
whose business was to range on earth, and seduce poor mortals 
into that personated vicious quality, which he occasionally sup- 

2B 2 


PRINCE. That Julius Caesar was a famous man ; 
With what his valour did enrich his wit, 

ported ; as, iniquity in general, hypocrisy , usury, vanity ', prodi- 
gality, gluttony, &c. Now, as the fiend, ( or vice, ) who per- 
sonated Iniquity, (or Hypocrisy, for instance) could never hope 
to play his game to the purpose but by hiding his cloven foot, 
and assuming a semblance quite different from his real charac- 
ter; he must certainly put on & formal demeanour, moralize and 
prevaricate in his words, and pretend a meaning directly oppo- 
site to his genuine and primitive intention* If this does not 
explain the passage in question, 'tis all that I can at present 
suggest upon it. THEOBALD. 

That the buffoon, or jester of the old English farces, was 
called the vice, is certain : and that, in their moral representa- 
tions, it was common to bring in the deadly sins, is as true. Of 
these we have yet several remains. But that the vice used to 
assume the personages of those sins, is a fancy of Mr. Theobald's, 
who knew nothing of the matter. The truth is, the vice was 
always a fool or jester : and, (as the woman, in The Merchant 
of Venice, calls the Clown, alluding to the character,) a merry 
devil. Whereas these mortal sins were so many sad serious ones. 
But what misled our editor was the name, Iniquity, given to this 
vice: But it was only on account of his unhappy tricks and 
rogueries. That it was given to him, and for the reason I men- 
tion, appears from the following passage of Jonson's Staple of 
Neuis, second intermeane : 

" M. How like you the vice i' the play ? 

" T. Here is never a fiend to carry him away. Besides he 
has never a wooden dagger. 

" M. That was the old way, gossip, when Iniquity came in, 
like Hocas Pocas, in a jugler's jerkin, with false skirts, like the 
knave of clubs." 

And, in The DeviPs an Ass, we see this old vice, Iniquity, 
described more at large. 

From all this, it may be gathered, that the text, where 
Richard compares himself to the formal vice, Iniquity, must be 
corrupt : and the interpolation of some foolish player. The vice 
or iniquity being not a formal but a merry, buffoon character. 
Besides, Shakspeare could never make an exact speaker refer to 
this character, because the subject he is upon is tradition and 
antiquity, which have no relation to it ; and because it appears 
from the turn of the passage, that he is apologizing for his equi- 
vocation by a reputable practice. To keep the reader no longer 

sc. i. KING RICHARD III. 373 

His wit set down to make his valour live : 

in suspence, my conjecture is, that Shakspeare wrote and pointed 
the lines in this manner : 

Thus like the formal-wise Antiquity, 

/ moralize : Two meanings in one word. 

Alluding to the mythologick learning of the ancients, of whom 
they are all here speaking. So that Richard's ironical apology 
is to this effect, You men of morals who so much extol your alj- 
wise antiquity, in what am I inferior to it ? which was but an 
equivocator as I am. And it is remarkable, that the Greeks 
themselves called their remote antiquity, A^o'^uSo;, or the equi- 
vocator. So far as to the general sense ; as to that which arises 
particularly out of the corrected expression, I shall only observe, 
that formal-wise is a compound epithet, an extreme fine one, and 
admirably fitted to the character of the speaker, who thought all 
"wisdom but formality. It must therefore be read for the future 
with a hyphen. My other observation is with regard to the 
pointing; the common reading 

I moralize two meanings 

is nonsense: but reformed in this manner, very sensible : 

Thus like the formal-wise Antiquity 

I moralize: Two meanings in one word. 

i. e. I moralize as the ancients did. And how was that ? the 
having two meanings to one word. A ridicule on the morality of 
the ancients, which he insinuates was no better than equivo- 
cating. WARBURTON, 

This alteration Mr. Upton very justly censures. Dr. Warbur- 
ton has, in my opinion, done nothing but correct the punctua- 
tion, if indeed any alteration be really necessary. See the dis- 
sertation on the old vice at the end of this play. 

To this long collection of notes may be added a question, to 
what equivocation Richard refers ? The position immediately 
preceding, that fame lives long without characters, that is, with- 
out the help of letters, seems to have no ambiguity. He must 
allude to the former line : 

So young so "wise, they say, do ne'er live long, 
in which he conceals under a proverb, his design of hastening 
the Prince's death. JOHNSON. 

The Prince having caught some part of the former line, asks 
Richard what he says, who, in order to deceive him, preserves 
in his reply, the latter words of the line, but substitutes other 
words at the beginning of it, of a different import from those he 
had uttered. This is the equivocation that Gloster really made 


Death makes no conquest of this conqueror ; 2 
For now he lives in fame, though not in life. 

use of, though it does not correspond with his own description 
of it: 

I moralize two meanings in one word. 

Word is not here taken in its literal sense, but means a saying, 
a short sentence, as motto does in Italian, and bon-mot in French. 
So, in Jonson's Every Man out of his Humour, Puntarvolo 

*' Let the word be, Not without mustard^ thy crest is 
rare." M. MASON. 

From the following stage direction, in an old dramatick piece, 
entituled, Histriomastix, or The Player Whipt, 1610, it ap- 
pears, that the Vice and Iniquity were sometimes distinct per- 
sonages : 

" Enter a roaring devil, with the Vice on his back, Iniquity 
in one hand, and Juventus in the other." 

The devil likewise makes the distinction in his first speech : 
" Ho, ho, ho ! these babes mine are all, 
** The Vice, Iniquitie, and Child Prodigal." 

The following part of this note was obligingly communicated 
by the Rev. Mr. Bowie, of Idmestone near Salisbury. I know 
no writer who gives so complete an account of this obsolete cha- 
racter, as Archbishop Harsnet, in his Declaration of Popish Im- 
postures^ p. 1 14-, Lond. 1608: " It was a pretty part (he tells us) 
in the old church-playes, when the nimble Vice would skip up 
nimbly like a jackanapes into the devil's necke, and ride the 
devil a course, and belabour him with his wooden dagger, till he 
made him roare, whereat the people would laugh to see the devil 
so wee-haunted." STEEVENS. 

Dr. Warburton has endeavoured to support his capricious and 
violent alteration of the text by a very long note, which in my 
apprehension carries neither conviction, nor information with it. 

The Vice, Iniquity, cannot with propriety, be said to moralize 
in general ; but in the old Moralities he, like Richard, did often 
*' moralize ttvo meanings in one word." 

Our author has again used moralize as a verb active in his 
Rape ofLucrece : 

" Nor could she moralize his wanton sight, 
" More than his eyes were open to the light." 

In which passage it means, " to interpret or investigate the 
latent meaning of his wanton looks," as in the present passage, 
it signifies either to extract the double and latent meaning of one 
word or sentence, or to couch two meanings under one word or 
sentence. So moral is used by our author in Muck Ado about 

7. /. KING RICHARD III. 375 

I'll tell you what, my cousin Buckingham. 
BUCK. What, my gracious lord ? 

PRINCE. An if I live until I be a man, 
I'll win our ancient right in France again, 
Or die a soldier, as I liv'd a king. 

GLO. Short summers lightly 3 have a forward 
spring. \_Aslde. 

Nothing, for a secret meaning: " There is some moral in this 
Benedictus." See Vol. VI. p. 112, n. 1 ; and Vol. XII. p. 522, 
n. 9. The word which Richard uses in a double sense is live, 
which in his former speech he had used literally, and in the 
present is used metaphorically. Mr. Mason conceives, because 
what we now call a motto, was formerly denominated the mot 
or word, that word may here signify a whole sentence. But the 
argument is defective. Though in tournaments the motto on a 
knight's shield was formerly called The word, it never at any 
period was called " One word." 

The Vice of the old moralities was a buffoon character, [See 
Cotgrave's Diet. " Badin, A foole or Vice in a play. Mime, A 
vice, foole, jester, &c. in a play."] whose chief employment was 
to make the audience laugh, and one of the modes by which he 
effected his purpose was by double meanings, or playing upon 
words. In these moral repi'esentations, Fraud, INIQUITY, Co- 
vetousness, Luxury, Gluttony, Vanity, &c. were frequently in- 
troduced. Mr. Upton in a dissertation which, on account of its 
length, is annexed at the end of the play, has shown, from Ben 
Jonson's Staple of News, and The Devil's an Ass, that Iniquity 
was sometimes the Vice of the Moralities. Mr. Steevens's note 
in the foregoing page, shows, that he was not always so. 

The formal Vice perhaps means, the shrewd, the sensible Vice. 
In The Comedy of Errors, " a formal man" seems to meanj 
one in his senses ; a rational man. Again, in Twelfth- Night, 
Vol. V. p. 330, n. 2 : " this is evident to anyformal capacity." 


* o/'this conqueror ;] For this reading we are indebted 

to Mr. Theobald, who derived it from the original edition in 
1597. All the subsequent ancient copies read corruptly -of his 
conqueror. MALONE. 

3 lightly ] Commonly, in ordinary course. JOHNSON. 

So, in the old Proverb : " There's lightning lightly before 
thunder." See Ray's Proverbs, p. 130, edit. 3d. 


Enter YORK, HASTINGS, and the Cardinal. 

BUCK. Now, in good time, here comes the duke 
of York. 

PRINCE. Richard of York ! how fares our loving 
brother ? 

YORK. Well, my dread lord ; 4 so must I call you 

PRINCE. Ay, brother ; to our grief, as it is yours : 
Too late he died, 5 that might have kept that title, 
Which by his death hath lost much majesty. 

GLO. How fares our cousin, noble lord of York? 
YORK. I thank you, gentle uncle. O, my lord, 

Again, in Penny-ivise and Pound-foolish , &c. " Misfortunes 
seldome walke alone ; and so when blessings doe knocke at a 
man's dore, they lightly are not without followers and fellowes." 

Again, Holinshed, p. 725, concerning one of King Edward's 

concubines : " one whom no one could get out of the church 

lightly to any place, but it were to his bed." 

Again, in Ben Jonson's Cynthia 1 s Revels : 

" He is not lightly within to his mercer." STEEVENS. 

Short summers lightly have afortxard spring.~\ That is, short 
summers are usually preceded by a forward spring ; or in other 
words, and more appositely to Gloster's latent meaning, a pre- 
mature spring is usually followed by a short summer. MALONE. 

* dread lords'] The original of this epithet applied to 
kings has been much disputed. In some of our old statutes the 
king is called Rex metuendissimus. JOHNSON. 

s Too late he died;~] i.e. too lately, the loss is too fresh in our 
memory. WARBURTON. 

So, in our author's Rape ofLucreces 

" 1 did give that life, 

" Which she too early, and too late hath spill'd." 
Again, in King Henry V: 

" The mercy that was quick in us but late" &c. 


so. /. KING RICHARD III. 377 

You said, that idle weeds are fast in growth : 
The prince my brother hath outgrown me far. 

GLO. He hath, my lord. 

YORK. And therefore is he idle ? 

GLO. O, my fair cousin, I must not say so. 
YORK. Then is he more beholden to you, than I. 

GLO. He may command me, as my sovereign ; 
But you have power in me, as in a kinsman. 

YORK. I pray you, uncle, then, give me this 
dagger. 6 

GLO. My dagger, little cousin ? with all my heart. 
PRINCE. A beggar, brother ? 

YORK. Of my kind uncle, that I know will give ; 
And, being but a toy, which is no grief to give. 7 

GLO. A greater gift than that I'll give my cousin. 

8 / pray you, uncle, then, give me this dagger."] Then was 
added by Sir Thomas Hanmer for the sake of metre. 


7 And, being but a toy, which is no grief to give."] The read- 
ing of the quartos is gift. The first folio reads : 

And, being but a toy, which is no grief to give. 

This reading, made a little more metrical, has been followed, 
I think, erroneously, by all the editors. JOHNSON. 

The quarto 1612 reads : 

no grief STEEVENS. 

which is no grief to give."] Which to give, or the gift of 

which, induces no regret. Thus the authentick copies, the 
quarto, 1598, and the first folio. A quarto of no authority 
changed grief to gift, and the editor of the second folio capri- 
ciously altered the line thus : 

" And being a toy, it is no grief to give." MALONE. 

In conformity to our old elliptical mode of speaking and writ- 
ing, the words- which is, might be omitted. They hurt the 
measure, without advancement of the sense. Perhaps, however, 
the correction in the second folio (which was received by Sir 
Thomas Hanmer) is preferable. STEEVENS. 


YORK. A greater gift ! O, that's the sword to it ? 
GLO. Ay, gentle cousin, were it light enough. 

YORK. O then, I see, you'll part but with light 

gifts ; 
In weightier things you'll say a beggar, nay. 

GLO. It is too weighty for your grace to wear. 
YORK. I weigh it lightly, 8 were it heavier. 

GLO. What, would you have my weapon, little 
lord ? 

YORK. I would, that I might thank you as you 
call me. 

GLO. How? 
YORK. Little. 

PRINCE. My lord of York will still be cross in 

talk ;- 
Uncle, your grace knows how to bear with him. 

YORK. You mean, to bear me, not to bear with 


Uncle, my brother mocks both you and me ; 
Because that I am little, like an ape, 9 

8 / weigh it lightly, c.] i. e. I should still esteem it but a 
trifling gift, were it heavier. But the Oxford editor reads : 

I'd tveigh it " 

i. e. I could manage it, though it were heavier. WARBURTON. 

Dr. Warburton is right. So, in Love's Labour's Lost, Act V. 
sc. ii : 

" You "weigh me not, O that's you care not for me." 


9 Because that I am little, like an ape,] The reproach seems 
to consist in this : at country shows it was common to set the 
monkey on the back of some other animal, as a bear. The 
Duke therefore in calling himself ape, calls his uncle bear. 


To this custom there seems to be an allusion in Ben Jonson's 
Masque of Gypsies : 

sc. i. KING RICHARD III. 379 

He thinks that you should bear me on your shoul- 

BUCK. With what a sharp-provided wit he rea- 

To mitigate the scorn he gives his uncle, 
He prettily and aptly taunts himself: 
So cunning, and so young, is wonderful. 

GLO. My gracious lord, 1 will't please you pass 

along ? 

Myself, and my good cousin Buckingham, 
Will to your mother ; to entreat of her, 
To meet you at the Tower, and welcome you. 

YORK. What, will you go unto the Tower, my 
lord ? 

PRINCE. My lord protector needs will have it so. 

" A gypsy jn his shape, 
" More calls the beholder, 
" Than the fellow luith the ape, 
" Or the ape on his shoulder." 

Again, in The First Part of the Eighth liberal Science., enti- 
tuled Ars Adulandi Sfc. devised and compiled by Ulpian Fulwely 
1576 : " thou hast an excellent back to carry my lord's ape" 
See likewise Hogarth's Humours of an Election, plate IV. 
York also alludes to the protuberance on Gloster's back, which 
was commodious for carrying burdens, as it supplied the place 
of a porter's knot. STEEVENS. 

I do not believe that the reproach is what Johnson supposes, or 
that York meant to call his uncle a bear. He merely alludes to 
Richard's deformity, his high shoulder, or hump-back, as it is 
called. That was the scorn he meant to give his uncle. In the 
third Act of the Third Part of King Henry VI. the same thought 
occurs to Richard himself, where describing his own figure, he 
says : 

" To make an envious mountain on my back, 

" Where sits deformity, to mock my body." M. MASON. 

1 My gracious lord,~] For the insertion of the word gracious, 
I am answerable. Glosterhas already used the same address. The 
defect of the metre shows that a word was omitted at the press. 



YORK. I shall not sleep in quiet at the Tower. 
GLO. Why, sir, what should you fear ? 2 

YORK. Marry, my uncle Clarence* angry ghost ; 
My grandam told me, he was murder' d there. 

PRINCE. I fear no uncles dead. 
GLO. Nor none that live, I hope. 

PRINCE. An if they live, I hope, I need not fear. 
But come, my lord, and, with a heavy heart, 
Thinking on them, go I unto the Tower. 

\_Exeunt Prince, YORK, HASTINGS, Cardinal, 
and Attendants. 

BUCK. Think you, my lord, this little prating 


Was not incensed by his subtle mother, 3 
To taunt and scorn you thus opprobriously ? 

GLO. No doubt, no doubt : O, 'tis a parlous boy ; 
Bold, quick, ingenious, forward, capable ; 4 
He's all the mother's, from the top to toe. 

BUCK. Well, let them rest. 

4 Why, sir, #c.] The word sir, was added by Sir Thomas 
Hanmer. Without it this half line is harsh, and quite unmetrical. 


3 Was not incensed by his subtle mother,'] Incensed means 
here, incited or suggested. So, in King Henry VIII. Gardiner 
says of Cranmer : 

" . i I have 

" Incens'd the lords, of the council, that he is 

"' A most arch heretick." 

And in Much Ado about Nothing, Borachio says to Pedro : 
" how Don John your brother incensed me to slander the lady 
Hero." M. MASON. 

4 capable;"] here, as in many other places in these plays, 

means intelligent, quick of apprehension. See p. 347, n. 1 . 


So again, in Troilus and Cressida : " Let me carry another to 
his horse, for that's the more capable creature." RITSON. 

sc. i. KING RICHARD III. 381 

Come hither, gentle Catesby ; 5 thou art sworn 
As deeply to effect what we intend, 
As closely to conceal what we impart : 
Thou know'st our reasons urg'd upon the way ; 
What think'st thou ? is it not an easy matter 
To make William lord Hastings of our mind, 
For the instalment of this noble duke 
In the seat royal of this famous isle ? 

CATE. He for his father's sake so loves the 

That he will not be won to aught against him. 

BUCK. What think'st thou then of Stanley ? will 

not he ? 
CATE. He will do all in all as Hastings doth. 

BUCK. Well then, no more but this : Go, gentle 


And, as it were far off, sound thou lord Hastings, 
How he doth stand affected to our purpose ; 
And summon him to-morrow to the Tower, 
To sit about the coronation. 
If thou dost find him tractable to us, 
Encourage him, and tell him all our reasons : 
If he be leaden, icy, cold, unwilling, 
Be thou so too ; and so break off the talk, 
And give us notice of his inclination : 
For we to-morrow hold divided councils, 6 
Wherein thyself shalt highly be employ' d. 

4 gentle Catesby ;] I have supplied the epithet gentle, 

for the same reasons urged by Mr. Malone in the foregoing page, 
n. 1, in defence of a similar insertion. STEEVENS. 

5 divided councils,'] That is, a. private consultation, sepa- 
rate from the known and publick council. So, in the next 
scene, Hastings says : 

" Bid him not fear the separated councils." JOHNSON. 

This circumstance is conformable to history. Hall, p. 13, says, 


GLO. Commend me to lord William : tell him, 


His ancient knot of dangerous adversaries 
To-morrow are let blood at Pomfret-castle ; 
And bid my friend, for joy of this good news, 
Give mistress Shore one gentle kiss the more. 

BUCK. Good Catesby, go, effect this business 

CATE. My good lords both, with all the heed I 

GLO. Shall we hear from you, Catesby, ere we 
sleep ? 

CATE. You shall, my lord. 

GLO. At Crosby-place, there shall you find us 
both. [Exit CATESBY. 

BUCK. Now, my lord, what shall we do, if we 

" When the protectour had both the chyldren in his possession, 
yea, and that they were in a sure place, he then began to threst 
to se the ende of his enterprise. And, to avoyde all suspicion, 
he caused all the lords which he knewe to bee faithfull to the 
kynge, to assemble at Baynardes Castle, to comen of the ordre 
of the coronacion, whyle he and other of his complices, and of 
his affinitee, at Crosbies-place, contrived the contrary, and to 
make the protectour kyng : to which counsail there were adhibite 
very fewe, and they very secrete." REED. 

Mr. Reed has shown from Hall's Chronicle that this circum- 
stance is founded on historical fact. But Holinshed, Hall's co- 
pyist, was our author's authority : " But the protectoure and the 
duke after they had sent to the. lord Cardinal, the lord Stanley 
and the lord Hastings then lord Chamberlaine, with many other 
noblemen, to commune arid devise about the coronation in one 
place, as fast were they In another place, contriving the con- 
trarie, and to make the protectour king." " the lord Stanley, 
that was after earle of Darby, wisely mistrusted it, and said unto 
the lorde Hastings, that he much mislyked these two -several 
counsels." MALONB. 

sc. ii. KING RICHARD III. 385 

Lord Hastings will not yield to our complots ? 

GLO. Chop off his head, man ; somewhat we 

will do : 7 

And, look, when I am king, claim thou of me 
The earldom of Hereford, and all the moveables 
Whereof the king my brother was possessed. 

BUCK. I'll claim that promise at your grace's 

GLO. And look to have it yielded with all kind- 

Come, let us sup betimes ; that afterwards 
We may digest our complots in some form. 



Before Lord Hastings' House. 
Enter a Messenger. 

MESS. My lord, my lord, [Knocking, 

HAST. [Within.'] Who knocks? 

MESS. One from lord Stanley. 

HAST. [Withm.~] What is't o'clock ? 

MESS. Upon the stroke of four. 

7 - ixill do :] The folio reads will determine. STEEVENS. 

* Scene //.] Every material circumstance in the following 
scene is taken from Holinshed's Chronicle, except that it is a 
knight with whom Hastings converses, instead of Buckingham. 




HAST. Cannot thy master sleep the tedious nights? 
MESS. So it should seem by that I have to say. 
First, he commends him to your noble lordship. 
HAST. And then, 

MESS. And then he sends you word, he dreamt 
To-night the boar had rased off his helm : 9 
Besides, he says, there are two councils held ; 
And that may be determined at the one, 
Which may make you and him to rue at the other. 
Therefore he sends to know your lordship's plea- 

If presently, you will take horse with him, 
And with all speed post with him toward the north, 
To shun the danger that his soul divines. 

9 the boar had rased off his helm :] This term rased or 

rashed, is always given to describe the violence inflicted by a 

So, in King Lear, 4to. edit : 

" In his anointed flesh rash bearish fangs." 
Again, in Warner's Albion's England, 1602, B. VII. ch. xxxvi : 

" ha, cur, avaunt, the bore so rase thy hide !" 

By the boar, throughout this scene, is meant Gloster, who was 
called the boar, or the hog, from his having a boar for his cog- 
nizance, and one of the supporters of his coat of arms. 


So Holinshed, after Hall and Sir Thomas More : " The selfe 
night next before his death the lorde Stanley sent a trustie secret 
messenger unto him at midnight in all haste, requiring him to 
rise and ride away with him, for he was disposed utterlie no 
longer to byde, he had so fearful a dreame, in which him thought 
that a boare with his tuskes so rased them both by the heades 
that the bloud ran about both their shoulders. And forasmuch 
as the Protector gave the boare for his cognizance, this dreame 
made so fearful an impression in his heart, that he was thoroughly 
determined no longer to tarie, but had his horse readie, if the 
lord Hastings would go with him," &c. MALONE. 

sc. 11. KING RICHARD III. 885 

HAST. Go, fellow, go, return unto thy lord ; 
Bid him not fear the separated councils : 
His honour, 1 and myself, are at the one ; 
And, at the other, is my good friend Catesby ; 2 
Where nothing can proceed, that toucheth us, 
Whereof I shall not have intelligence. 
Tell him, his fears are shallow, wanting instance: 3 
And for his dreams I wonder, he's so fond 4 
To trust the mockery of unquiet slumbers : 
To fly the boar, before the boar pursues, 
Were to incense the boar to follow us, 
And make pursuit, where he did mean no chase. 
Go, bid thy master rise and come to me ; 

1 His honour,] This was the usual address to noblemen in 
Shakspeare's time. MALONE. 

See note on Timon of Athens, Act I. sc. i. where the same ad- 
dress occurs: " All happiness to your honour!" STEBVENS. 

* And, at the other, is my good friend Catesby ; &c.] So, in 
the Legend of Lord Hastings, Mirrourfor Magistrates, 1575: 
" I fear'd the end; my Catesby being there 
" Discharg'd all doubts; him hold I most entyre." 


3 wanting instance .] That is, 'wanting some example or 

act of malevolence, by which they may be justified : or which, 
perhaps, is nearer to the true meaning, wanting any immediate 
ground or reason. JOHNSON. 

This is the reading of the quarto, except that it has instancie. 

The folio reads without instance. STEEVENS. 

Instance seems to mean, symptom or prognostic^. We find 
the word used in a similar sense, in The Comedy of Errors, where 
Egeon, describing his shipwreck, says : 

" A league from Epidamnum had we sail'd, 

" Before the always wind-obeying deep 

" Gave any tragick instance of our harm." M. MASON. 

so fond ] i. e. so weak, silly. Thus, in King Lear: 

" I am a very foolish,^owrf old man." STEEVENS. 
VOL. XIV. 2 C 


And we will both together to the Tower, 
Where, he shall see, the boar will use us kindly. 
MESS. I'll go, my lord, and tell him what you 
say. [Exit. 


GATE. Many good morrows to my noble lord ! 

HAST. Good morrow, Catesby j you are early 

stirring : 
What news, what news, in this our tottering state ? 

GATE. It is a reeling world, indeed, my lord 5 
And, I believe, will never stand upright, 
Till Richard wear the garland of the realm. 

HAST. How ! wear the garland ? dost thou mean 
the crown ? 

GATE. Ay, my good lord, 

HAST. I'll have this crown of mine cut from my 


Before I'll see the crown so foul misplac'd. 
But canst thou guess that he doth aim at it ? 

GATE, Ay, on my life j and hopes to find you 


Upon his party, for the gain thereof: 
And, thereupon, he sends you this good news, 
That, this same very day, your enemies, 
The kindred of the queen, must die at Pomfret* 

HAST. Indeed, I am no mourner for that news, 
Because they have been still my adversaries : 
But, that I'fl give my voice on Richard's side, 
To bar my master's heirs in true descent, 
God knows, I will not do it, to the death. 

. GATE. God keep your lordship in that gracious 


'HAST. But I shall laugh at this a twelve-month 


That they, who brought me in my master's hate, 
I live to look upon their tragedy. 
Well, Catesby, ere a fortnight make me older, 
I'll send some packing, that yet think not on't. 

. GATE. 'Tis a vile thing to die, my gracious lord, 
When men are unprepared, and look not for it. 

HAST. O monstrous, monstrous ! and so falls it 


With Rivers, Vaughan, Grey : and so 'twill do 
With some men else, who think themselves as safe 
As thou, and 1 ; who, as thou know'st, are dear 
To princely Richard, and to Buckingham. 

CATE. The princes both make high account of 

For they account his head upon the bridge. \_Aside. 

HAST. I know, they do j and I have well de* 
serv'd it, 


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 mor- 
row, 5 Catesby :- 
You may jest on, but, by the holy rood, 6 

* : and good morrow,'] And was supplied by Sir Thomas 
Hanmer, to assist the measure. STEEVENS. 

6 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." 
Again, in Spenser's Fairy Queen, B. VI. c. v: 

2c 2 


I do not like these several councils, 7 I. 

HAST. My lord, I hold my life as dear as yours j 8 
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 supposed 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 ; 9 
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. l Wot you 
what, my lord ? 

" And nigh thereto a little chapell stoode 

" Which being all with yvy overspred, 

" Deck'd all the roofe, and shadowing the roode, 

" Seem'd like a grove fair branched overhed." 


7 / do not like these several councils,"] See p. 381, n. 1. 


8 My lord, I hold my life as dear as yours;~\ Thus the first 
folio. The quartos (profoundly ignorant of our author's ellip- 
tical mode of expressing himself, and in contempt of metre,) 

as dear as you do yours. STEEVENS. 

9 / misdoubt ;] i. e. suspect it of danger. So, in King 

Henry VI. P. Ill: 

" . the bird 

" With trembling wings misdoubteth every bush." 


' have tw.thyou.'] A familiar phrase in parting, as much 

as, take something along with you, or / have something to say to 
you. JOHNSON. 

This phrase so frequently occurs in Shakspeare, that I wonder 
Johnson should, in his fourteenth volume, mistake its meaning. 

sc.ii. KING RICHARD III. 389 

To-day, the lords you talk of are beheaded. 

STAN. They, for their truth, 2 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 fel- 
low. [Exeunt STAN, and CATESBY. 
How now, sirrah ? how goes the world with thee ? 

PURS. The better, that your lordship please to 

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. 

It signifies merely " I will go along with you ;" and is an ex- 
pression 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, lago says : 

" 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 ivith you." 
And in the same scene, the Host afterwards says 

" Here, boys, shall we wag?" 
To which the Page replies " Have iioith you." M. MASON. 

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



PURS. God hold it, 3 to your honour's good con- 
tent 1 

HAST. Gramercy, fellow : There, drink that for 
me. [ Throwing him his Purse. 

Puns. I thank your honour. \JLxit Pursuivant. 

Enter a Priest. 

PR. Well met, my lord ; I am glad to see your 

HAST. I thank thee, good sir John,* with all my 


I am in your debt for your last exercise ; 5 
Come the next Sabbath, and I will content you. 


BUCK. What, talking with a priest, lord cham- 
berlain ? 

3 hold it,] That is, continue it. JOHNSON. 

4 good sir John,"] Sir was formerly the usual address to 
the inferior clergy. See Vol. V. p. 7, n. 1. MALONE. 

4 ' exercise i\ Performance of divine service. JOHNSON. 

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. 

6 Enter Buckingham.] From the Continuation of Harding'e 
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 

sc. n. KING RICHARD 11L 

Your friends at Pomfret, they do need the priest; 
Your honour hath no shriving work in hand. 7 

HAST. 'Good faith, and when I met thisholy 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 shall 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. 


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 nede 
of one sone." Fol. 59. MALONE. 

7 shriving work in hand.'] Shriving work is confession. 


So, in Hamlet: 

" the bearers put to sudden death, 

" Not shriving time allow'd." STEEVENS. 



Pomfret. Before the Castle. 

Enter RATCLIFF, with a Guard, conducting RIVERS, 
GREY, and VAUGHAN, to Execution. 

RAT. Come, bring forth the prisoners. 9 

Rir. Sir Richard RatclifT, 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 

RAT. Despatch ; the limit 1 of your lives is out. 

Riv. O Pomfret, Pomfret ! O thou bloody pri- 
Fatal and ominous to noble peers ! 

8 Grey,~] Queen Elizabeth Grey is deservedly pitied for 

losing her two sons; but the royalty of their birth has so en- 
grossed 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. 

9 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. 

1 the limit ] For the limited time. See Vol. XI. p. 184-, 

n. 9. MALONE. 

ac.iv. KING RICHARD III. 393 

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 


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 


Then curs'd she Richard : O, remember, God, 
To hear her prayers for them, as now for us ! 
And for my sister, and her princely sons, 
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. 2 

* 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, con- 
summate, &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 expired" 
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. 

J do not well understand the reading which Mr. Malone pre- 


Riv. Come, Grey, come, Vaughan, let us here 

embrace : 
Farewell, until we meet again in heaven. \_Exeunt. 

London. A Room in the Tower. 

Ely, 3 CATESBY, LOVEL, and Others, sitting at 
a Table : Officers of the Council attending. 

HAST. Now, noble peers, the cause why we are 


Is to determine of the coronation : 
In God's name, speak, when is the royal day ? 

BUCK. Are all things ready for that royal time? 
STAN. They are ; and wants but nomination. 4 

fers, though I have left it in the text. Perhaps we should 

" the hour of death is expirate." 

trhich accords with Shakspeare's phraseology, and needs no ex- 
planation. Thus, in Romeo and Juliet : 

" and expire the term 

" Of a despised life ." STEEVENS. 

3 Bishop of Ely, ~} Dr. John Morton ; who was elected to 

that see in 1478. He was advanced to the see of Canterbury in 
I486, and appointed Lord Chancellor in 1487. He died in the 
year 1500. This prelate, Sir Thomas More tells us, first devised 
the scheme of putting an end to the long contest between the 
houses of York and Lancaster, by a marriage between Henry 
Earl of Richmond, and Elizabeth, the eldest daughter of Ed- 
ward IV. and was a principal agent in procuring Henry when 
abroad to enter into a covenant for that purpose. MALONE. 

4 and taunts but nomination."] i. e. the only thing want- 
ing, is appointment of a particular day for the ceremony. 


sc. ir. KING RICHARD III. 395 

ELY. To-morrow then I judge a happy day. 

BUCK. Who knows the lord protector's mind 

herein ? 
Who is most inward 5 with the noble duke ? 

ELY. Your grace, we think, should soonest know 

his mind. 


BUCK. We know each other's faces: for our 


He knows no more of mine, than I of yours ; 
Nor I, of his, my lord, than you of mine : 
Lord Hastings, you and he are near in love. 

HAST. I thank his grace, I know he loves me 

well ; 

But, for his purpose in the coronation, 
I have not sounded him, nor he deliver' d 
His gracious pleasure any way therein : 
But you, my noble lord, may name the time ; 
And in the duke's behalf I'll give my voice, 
Which, I presume, he'll take in gentle part. 


ELY. In happy time, here comes the duke him- 

GLO. My noble lords and cousins, all, good mor- 

I have been long a sleeper ; but, I trust, 
My absence doth neglect no great design, 
Which by my presence might have been concluded. 

5 inward ] i. e. intimate, confidential. So, in Mea- 

surefor Measure : 

" Sir, I was an inward of his" STEEVENS. 


BUCK. Had you not come upon your cue, 6 my 


William lord Hastings had pronounced your part, 
I mean, your voice, for crowning of the king. 

GLO. Than my lord Hastings, no man might be 

bolder ; 

His lordship knows me well, and loves me well. 
My lord of Ely, when I was last in Holborn, 
I saw good strawberries 7 in your garden there ; 
I do beseech you, send for some of them. 
ELY. Marry, and will, my lord, with all my heart. 

[Exit ELY.. 

6 Had you not come upon your cue,] This expression is bor- 
rowed from the theatre. The cue, queue, or tail of a speech, 
consists of the last words, which are the token for an entrance 
or answer. To come on the cue, therefore, is to come at the pro- 
per time. JOHNSON. 

So, in A Midsummer-Night's Dream, Quince says to Flute 
" You speak all your part at once, cues and all." STEEVENS. 

7 / saw good strawberries ] The reason why the Bishop was 
despatched on this errand, is not clearer in Holinshed,from whom 
Shakspeare adopted the circumstances, than in this scene, where 
it is introduced. Nothing seems to have happened which might 
not have been transacted with equal security in the presence of 
the reverend cultivator of these strawberries, whose complai- 
sance is likewise recorded by the author of the Latin play on the 
same subject, in the British Museum : 

Eliensis antistes vents ? senem quies, 

Juvenem labor decet : Jerunt hortum tuum 

Decora fraga plurimum producers. 

Nil tibi claudetur hortus quod meus 

Producit ; esset lautius vellem mihi, 

Quo sim tibi gratus. 

This circumstance of asking for the strawberries, however, 
may have been mentioned by the historians merely to show the 
unusual affability and good humour which the dissembling Glos- 
ter affected at the very time when he had determined on the 
death of Hastings. STEEVENS. 

sc. iv. KING RICHARD III. 397 

GLO. Cousin of Buckingham, a word with you. 

[Takes him aside. 

Catesby hath sounded Hastings in our business j 
And finds the testy gentleman so hot, 
That he will lose his head, ere give consent, 
His master's child, as worshipfully he terms it, 
Shall lose the royalty of England's throne. 

BUCK. Withdraw yourself awhile, I'll go with 

STAN. We have not yet set down this day of 


To-morrow, in my judgment, is too sudden ; 
For I myself am not so well provided, 
As else I would be, were the day prolong'd. 

Re-enter Bishop o/'Ely. 

ELY. Where is my lord protector ? I have sent 
For these strawberries. 

HAST. His grace looks cheerfully and smooth this 

morning ; 

There's some conceit or other likes him well, 8 
When he doth bid good morrow with such spirit. 
I think, there's ne'er a man in Christendom, 
Can lesser hide his love, or hate, than he ; 
For by his face straight shall you know his heart. 

* There's some conceit or other likes him well,'] Conceit is 
thought. So, in Pericles, Prince of Tyre, 1609 : 

" Here is a thing too young for such a place, 
" Who, if it had conceit, would die." MALONE. 

Conceit, as used by Hastings, I believe signifies pleasant idea 
or fancy. So Falstaff, speaking of Poins, " He a good wit ? 
there is no more conceit in him, than is in a mallet." 



STAN. What of his heart perceive you in his face, 
By any likelihood 9 he show'd to-day ? 

HAST. Marry, that with no man here he is of- 
fended ; 
For, were he, he had shown it in his looks. 


GLO. I pray you all, tell me what they deserve, 1 
That do conspire my death with devilish plots 

9 likelihood ] Semblance; appearance. JOHNSON, 

So, in another of our author's plays : 

" poor likelihoods^ and modern seemings." 


Thus the quarto. The folio reads livelihood. M ALONE. 

1 I pray you all, tell me what they deserve, &c.] This story 
was originally told by Sir Thomas More, who wrote about thirty 
years after the time. His History of King Richard III. was in- 
serted in Hair's Chronicle, from whence it was copied by Holin- 
shed, who was Shakspeare's authority : 

" Between ten and eleven he returned into the chamber among 
them with a wonderful soure, angrie, countenance, knitting the 
browes, frowning and fretting, and gnawing on his lippes, and 
so sette him downe in his place. Then when he had sitten still 
awhile, thus he began : What were they worthie to have that 
corapasse and imagine the destruction of me, being so neere of 
bloud unto the king, and protectour of his royal person and his 
realme ? Then the lord Chamberlaine, as he that for the love 
betweene them thought he might be boldest with him, answered 
and sayd, that they were worthy to be punished for humous 
traytors, whatsoever they were ; and all the other affirmed the 
same. That is, quoth he, yonder sorceresse, my brother's wife, 
and other with' Tier, meaning the queene: ye shall all see in 
what wise that sorceresse, and that other witch of her counsell, 
Shore's wifej with their affinitie, have by their sorcerie and 
witchcraft wasted my body. And therewith he plucked up his 
doublet slieve to his elbow upon the left arme, where he shewed 
a werish withered arme and small, as it was never other. No 
man but was there present, but well knewe his arme was ever 
such since his birth. Naythelesse the lord Chamberlaine (which 

ac, ir. KING RICHARD III. 399 

Of damned witchcraft ; and that have prevailed 
Upon my body with their hellish charms ? 

HAST. The tender love I bear your grace, my 


Makes me most forward in this noble presence 
To doom the offenders : Whosoe'er they be, 
I say, my lord, they have deserved death. 

GLO. Then be your eyes the witness of their evil, 
Look how I am bewitch' d ; behold mine arm 
Is, like a blasted sapling, wither' d up : 
And this is Edward's wife, that monstrous witch, 
Consorted with that harlot, strumpet Shore, 

from the death of king Edward kept Shore's wife, on whom h 
somewhat doted in the king's life, saving, as it is saide, he that 
while forbare her of reverence toward the king, or else of a cer- 
tain kind of fidelity to his friend) aunswered and said, Certainly ? 
my lord, if they have so heinously done, they be worthy heinous 
punishment. What, quoth the protectour, thou servest me I 
wene with ifs and with ands: I tell thee they have so done ; and 
that I will make good on thy bodie, traitour ; and therewith, as 
in great anger, he clapped his fist upon the boord a great rap. 
At which token given, one cried, traison, without the chamber. 
Therewith a dore clapped, and in came there rushing men in 
harnesse, as many as the chamber might holde. And anone the 

protectour sayd to the lord Hastings, I arrest thee traitor Then 

were they all quickely bestowed in diverse chambers, except the 
lord Chamberlaine, whom the protectour bade speeds him and 
shrive him apace, for by S. Paul, quoth he, I uiill not to din* 
ner till I see thy head off. So was he brought forth into the 
greene beside the chappell within the Tower, and his head laid 
downe upon a long log of timber, and there stricken off; and 
afterward his body with the head enterred at Windsor, beside 
the body of king Edward." 

M. D. i. e. Maister John Dolman, the author of the Legend 
of Lord Hastings, in The Mirrourfor Magistrates, 1575, has 
thrown the same circumstances into verse. 

Morton, Bishop of Ely, was present at this council, and from 
him Sir Thomas More, who was born in 1480, is supposed to 
have had his information. Polydore Virgil, who began his his- 
tory in 1505, tells the story differently. M ALONE. 


That by their witchcraft thus have marked me. 

HAST. If they have done this deed, my noble 

GLO. If! 2 thou protector of this damned strum- 

Talk'st thou to me of ifs ? Thou art a traitor : 
Off with his head : now, by Saint Paul I swear, 
I will not dine until I see the same. 
Lovel, and Catesby, look, that it be done ; 3 

* If! &c.~] For this circumstance see I. lo Hashed, Hall, and 
The Mirrourfor Magistrates. FARMER. 

3 Lovel, and Catesby, look, that it be done /] In former co- 

Lovel, and Ratcliff, look, that it be done. 

The scene is here in the Tower ; and Lord Hastings was cut 
off on that very day, when Rivers, Grey, and Vaughan suffered 
at Pomfret. How then could Ratcliff be both in Yorkshire and 
the Tower ? In the scene preceding this, we find him conduct- 
ing those gentlemen to the block. In the old quarto, we find it, 
Exeunt : Manet Catesby ivith Hastings. And in the next scene, 
before the Tower walls, we find Lovel and Catesby come back 
from the execution, bringing the head of Hastings. 


Mr. Theobald should have added, that, in the old quarto, no 
names are mentioned in Richard's speech. He only says 
" some see it done." Nor, in that edition, does Lovel appear 
in the next scene ; but only Catesby, bringing the head of Hast- 
ings. The confusion seems to have arisen, when it was thought 
necessary that Catesby should be employed to fetch the Mayor, 
who, in the quarto, is made to come without having been sent 
for. As some other person was then wanted to bring the head 
of Hastings, the poet, or the players, appointed Lovel and Rat- 
cliffto that office, without reflecting that the latter was engaged 
in another service on the same day at Pomfret. TYRWHITT. 

I have adopted the emendation, because in one scene at least it 

grevents the glaring impropriety mentioned by Mr. Theobald, 
ut unfortunately, as Mr. Tyrwhitt has observed, this very im- 
propriety is found in the next scene, where Ratcliff is intro- 
duced, and where it cannot be corrected without taking greater 
liberties than perhaps are justifiable. For there, in consequence 

sc. iv. KING RICHARD III. 4O1 

The rest, that love me, rise, and follow me.* 

[Exeunt Council^ with GLOSTER and BUCK- 

HAST. Woe, woe, for England ! not a whit for 


For I, too fond, might have prevented this : 
Stanley did dream, the boar did rase his helm ; 
But I disdain* d it, and did scorn to fly. 
Three times to-day my foot-cloth horse did stumble, 5 

of the injudicious alteration made, I think, by the players, in- 
stead of " Here comes the Mayor," the reading of the quarto, 
we find in the folio 

" Rich. But what, is Catesby gone ? 

" He is, and see he brings the Mayor along.'* 
Catesby being thus employed, he cannot bring in the head of 
Hastings ; nor can that office be assigned to Lovel only ; because 
Gloster in the folio mentions two persons : 

" Be patient, they are friends ; Ratcliff, and Lovel." 


4 The rest, that love me, rise, and follow me.~] So, in The 
Battle of Alcazar, 1594 : 

*' And they that love my honour, follow me.'* 


4 Three times to-day my foot-cloth horse did stumble, Sfc.~] 
So, in The Legend of Lord Hastings, by M. D. 1563. [Master 

" My palfrey, in the playnest paved streete, 
" Thryse bow'd his boanes, thryse kneled on the flower, 
" Thryse shonnd (as Balams asse) the dreaded tower." 
To stumble was anciently esteem'd a bad omen. So, in The 
Honest Lawyer : " And just at the threshold Master Bromley 
stumbled. Signs ! signs !" 

The housings of a horse, and sometimes a horse himself, were 
anciently denominated a foot-cloth. So, in Ben Jonson's play 
called The Case is Altered.' 

" I'll go on my foot-cloth, I'll turn gentleman." 
Again, in A fair Quarrel, by Middleton, 1617 : 

" thou shalt have a physician, 

" The best that gold can fetch upon his foot-cloth.** 
Again, in Ram Alley, or Merry Tricks, 1610 : 
VOL. XIV. 2 D 


And startled, when he look'd upon the Tower, 
As loath to bear me to the slaughter-house. 
O, now I want the priest that spake to me : 
I now repent I told the pursuivant, 
As too triumphing, how mine enemies, 
To-day at Pomfret bloodily were butcher'd, 
And I myself secure in grace and favour. 
O, Margaret, Margaret, now thy heavy curse 
Is lighted on poor Hastings' wretched head. 

CATE. Despatch, my lord, the duke would be at 

dinner ; 
Make a short shrift, he longs to see your head, 

HAST. O momentary grace of mortal men, 
Which we more hunt for than the grace of God ! 
Who builds his hope in air of your fair looks, 6 
Lives like a drunken sailor on a mast ; 
Ready, with every nod, to tumble down 
Into the fatal bowels of the deep. 

" nor shall I need to try 

" Whether my well-greas'd tumbling foot-cloth nag 
" Be able to out-run a well-breath'd catchpole." 


Stanley, did dream, the boar did rase his helm ; 
Three times to-day my foot-cloth horse did stumble, ~\ So Ho- 
linshed, after Sir Thomas More : " A marvellous case it is 
to heare, either the warnings of that he should have voided, or 
the tokens of that he could not voide, for the selfe night next 
before his death the L. Stanley sent a trustie secret messenger 
unto him at midnight, in all the haste, &c. [See p. 384, n. 9.J 
Certain it is also, that in riding towards the Tower the same 
Jnorning in which he [Hastings] was beheaded, his horse twise 
or thrise stumbled with him, almost to the falling : which thing, 
albeit each man wot well daily happerxeth to them to whome no 
such mischance is' toward : yet hath it beene of an old rite and 
custome observed as a token oftentimes notablie foregoing some 
great misfortune.'* MALONE. 

* Who builds &c.] So, Horace : 



Lov. Come, come, despatch ; 'tis bootless to ex- 

HAST. O, bloody Richard ! miserable England ! 
I prophecy the fearful' st time to thee, 
That ever wretched age hath look'd upon. 
Come, lead me to the block, 7 bear him my head ; 
They smile at me, who shortly shall be dead. 8 



The same. The Tower Walls. 

Enter GLOSTER and BUCKINGHAM, in rusty ar- 
mour, 9 marvellous ill-favoured. 

GLO. Come, cousin, canst thou quake, and 

change thy colour ? 
Murder thy breath in middle of a word, 

7 Come, lead me to the block,"] William Lord Hastings was 
beheaded on the 13th of June, 1483. His eldest son by 
Catharine Neville, daughter of Richard Neville Earl of Salisbury, 
and widow of William Lord Bonville, was restored to his honours 
and estate by King Henry VII. in the first year of his reign. 
The daughter of Lady Hastings by her first husband was married 
to the Marquis of Dorset, who appears in the present play. 


8 They smile at me, taho shortly shall be dead.~] i. e. those who 
now smile at me, shall be shortly dead themselves. MALONE. 

9 in rusty armour, &c.] Thus Holinshed : " The pro- 
tector immediately after dinner, intending to set some colour upon 
the matter, sent in all haste for many substantial men out of the 
citie into the Tower ; and at their coming, himselfe with the 
duke of Buckingham, stood harnessed in old ill-faring briganders, 
such as no man should weene that they would vouchsafe to have 
put upon their backes, except that some sudden necessitie had 
constrained them." STEEVENS. 

2 D 2 


And then again begin, and stop again, 

As if thou wert distraught, and mad with terror ? 

BUCK. Tut, I can counterfeit the deep tragedian ; 
Speak, and look back, and pry on every side, 
Tremble and start at wagging of a straw, 
Intending deep suspicion r 1 ghastly looks 
Are at my service, like enforced smiles ; 
And both are ready in their offices, 
At any time, to grace my stratagems. 
But what, is Catesby gone ? 

GLO. He is; and, see, he brings the mayor along. 

Enter the Lord Mayor and CATESBY. 

BUCK. Let me alone to entertain him. Lord 

GLO. Look to the draw-bridge there. 

BUCK. Hark, hark ! a drum. 2 

GLO. Catesby, o'erlook the walls. 

BUCK. Lord mayor, the reason we have sent for 

GLO. Look back, defend thee, here are enemies. 

BUCK. God and our innocence defend and guard 

1 Intending deep suspicion ;"] i. e. pretending. So, in Muck 
Ado about Nothing : 

" Intend a kind of zeal both to the Prince and Claudio." 

See Vol. IX. p. 136, n. 6. M ALONE. 

* Hark, hark ! a drum."] I have repeated the interjection 
nark, for the sake of metre. STEEVENS. 

sc. r. KING RICHARD III. 405 

Enter LOVEL and RATCLiFF, 3 with HASTINGS'S 


GLO. Be patient, they are friends j Ratcliff, and 

Lov. Here is the head of that ignoble traitor, 
The dangerous and unsuspected Hastings. 

GLO. So dear I lov'd the man, that I must weep. 
I took him for the plainest harmless't creature, 4 
That breath'd upon the earth a Christian ; 5 
Made him my book, wherein my soul recorded 
The history of all her secret thoughts : 
So smooth he daub'd his vice with show of virtue, 
That, his apparent open guilt omitted, 
I mean, his conversation 6 with Shore's wife, 

3 Enter Lovel and Ratcliff,] The quarto has " Enter Catesby, 
with Hastings' head," and Gloster, on his entry, says" O, O, 
be quiet, it is Catesby." For this absurd alteration, by which 
Ratcliff is represented at Pomfret and in London at the same 
time, I have no doubt that the player-editors are answerable. 


4 harmless' 't creature,] The old copies read harmless ; 

but grammar requires harmless't, (i. e. harmlessest, ) a common 
contraction, as I am assured, both in Leicestershire and Warwick- 
shire. So afterwards, p. 406, we have covert'^ for covertest. 


the earth a Christian ;] Here the quarto adds ; 

Look you, my lord mayor. 
This hemistich I have inserted in the following speech of 
Buckingham, to which I believe it originally belonged ; as with- 
out it we meet with an imperfect verse : 

" Well, well he was the covert'st shelter'd traitor 
" That ever liv'd. 
" Would you imagine," &c. 

I have since observed, that Mr. Capell has the same trans- 
position. STEEVENS. 

6 his conversation ] i. e. familiar intercourse. The 

phrase crimi n al conversation^ is yet in daily use. MALONE. 


He liv'd from all attainder of suspect. 

BUCK. Well, well, he was the covert' st sheltered 


That ever liv'd. Look you, my lord mayor, 
Would you imagine, or almost believe, 
(Were't not, that by great preservation 
We live to tell it you,) the subtle traitor 
This day had plotted, in the council-house, 
To murder me, and my good lord of Gloster ? 

MAY. What ! had he so ? 

GLO. What! think you we are Turks, or infidels? 
Or that we would, against the form of law, 
Proceed thus rashly in the villain's death ; 
But that the extreme peril of the case, 
The peace of England, and our persons' safety, 
Enforc'd us to this execution? 

MAY. Now, fair befal you! he deserved his death ; 
And your good graces both have well proceeded, 
To warn false traitors from the like attempts. 
I never look'd for better at his hands, 
After he once fell in with mistress Shore. 

BUCK. Yet had we not determin'd he should die, 
Until your lordship came to see his end ; 
Which now the loving haste of these our friends, 
Somewhat against our meaning, hath prevented : 
Because, my lord, we would have had you heard 
The traitor speak, and timorously confess 
The manner and the purpose of his treasons ; 
That you might well have signified the same 
Unto the citizens, who, haply, may 
Misconstrue us in him, and wail his death. 

MAY. But, my good lord, your grace's word 

shall serve, 
As well as I had seen, and heard him speak : 

sc. r. KING RICHARD III. 407 

And do not doubt, right noble princes both, 
But I'll acquaint our duteous citizens 
With all your just proceedings in this case. 

GLO. And to that end we wish'd your lordship 

To avoid the censures of the carping world. 

BUCK. But since you came too late of our intent, 7 
Yet witness what you hear we did intend : 
And so, my good lord mayor, we bid farewell. 

\_Exit Lord Mayor. 

GLO. Go, after, after, cousin Buckingham. 
The mayor towards Guildhall hies him in all post: 
There, at your meetest vantage of the time, 
Infer the bastardy of Edward's children : 
Tell them, how Edward put to death a citizen, 8 
Only for saying he would make his son 
Heir to the crown ; meaning, indeed, his house, 
Which, by the sign thereof, was termed so. 
Moreover, urge his hateful luxury, 
And bestial appetite in change of lust ; 
Which stretch' d unto their servants, daughters, 


Even where his raging eye, or savage heart, 
Without controul, listed 9 to make his prey. 

7 But since you came too late of our intent,"] Perhaps we 
should read " too \atejbr our intent" M. MASON. 

The old reading I suppose to be the true one. We still say 
" to come short of ,1 thing," and why not " come late of an in- 
tent ?" STEEVENS. 

8 put to death a citizen,'] This person was one Walker, a 

substantial citizen and grocer at the Croivn in Cheapside. 


9 his raging eye, listed ] The former is the reading 

of the folio, the latter of the quarto. The quarto has lustful 
eye, and the folio lusted instead of listed. Modern editors 
without authority ranging eye. STEEVENS. 


Nay, for a need, thus far come near my person : 
Tell them, 1 when that my mother went with child 
Of that insatiate Edward, noble York, 
My princely father, then had wars in France ; 
And, by just computation of the time, 
Found, that the issue was not his begot ; 
Which well appeared in his lineaments, 
Being nothing like the noble duke my father : 
Yet touch this sparingly, as 'twere far off ; 
Because, my lord, you know, my mother lives. 

BUCK. Doubt not, my lord ; I'll play the orator, 
As if the golden fee, for which I plead, 
Were for myself: and so, my lord, adieu. 

GLO. If you thrive well, bring them to Baynard's 

castle ; 2 

Where you shall find me well accompanied, 
With reverend fathers, and well-learned bishops, 

BUCK. I go ; and, towards three or four o'clock, 
Look for the news that the Guild-hall affords. 


GLO. Go, Lovel, with all speed to doctor Shaw, 3 

1 Tell them, &c.~] Whatever reason W. Wyrcester might have 

for being so very particular, he expressly tells us that Edward was 

conceived in the chamber next to the chapel of the palace of Hat- 

Jield. York was regent of France at that time, and had come 

over, it would seem, to visit his lady. RJTSON, 

s to Baynard's castle ;3 It was originally built by 

Baynard, a nobleman who (according to Stowe's account) came, 
in with the conqueror. 

This edifice which stood in Thames Street, has long been 
pulled down, though parts of its strong foundations are still 
visible at low water. The site of it is now a timber-yard. 


3 to doctor Shaw, ] This and the two following lines 

are not in the quarto. Shaw and Penker were two popular 
preachers. Instead of a pamphlet being published by the Secre- 
tary of the Treasury, to furnish the advocates for the administra- 

sc. v. KING RICHARD III. 409 

Go thou [To CAT.] to friar Penker;* bid them 

" both 
Meet me, within this hour, at Baynard's castle. 

[Exeunt LOVEL and CATESBY. 
Now will I in, to take some privy order 
To draw the brats of Clarence 5 out of sight j 

tion of the day, with plausible topicks of argument on great poli- 
tical measures, (the established mode of the present time) for- 
merly it was customary to publish the court creed from the pulpit 
at Saint Paul's Cross. As Richard now employed Doctor Shaw 
to support his claim to the crown, so, about fifteen years before v 
the great Earl of Warwick employed his chaplain Doctor God- 
dard to convince the people that Henry VI. ought to be restored, 
and that Edward IV. was an usurper. MALONE. 

4 This Pinker or Penker was provincial of the Augustine friars. 
See Speed. STEEVENS. 

4 the brats of Clarence ] Edward Earl of Warwick, 

who the day after the battle of Bosworth, was sent by Richmond 
from Sherif-hutton Castle (where Gloster had confined him,) to 
the Tower, without even the shadow of an allegation against him, 
and executed with equal injustice on Tower-hill on the 21st of 
November, 1499 ; and Margaret, afterwards married to Sir 
Richard de la Pole, the last Princess of the house of Lancaster ; 
who was created by King Henry VIII. Countess of Salisbury, 
and in the 31st year of his reign, (1540) at the age of seventy, 
was put to death by the sanguinary king then on the throne, as 
her unfortunate and innocent brother had before fallen a victim 
to the jealous policy of that crafty tyrant Henry VII. 

The immediate cause of his being put to death was, that Fer- 
dinand King of Spain was unwilling to consent to the marriage 
of his daughter Katharine to Arthur Prince of Wales, while the 
Earl of Warwick lived, there being during his life-time (as Fer- 
dinand conceived) no assurance of the Prince's succession to the 

The murder of the Earl of Warwick (for it deserves no other 
*ame ) made such an impression on Katharine, that when she was 
first informed of Henry the Eighth's intention to repudiate her, 
she exclaimed, " I have not offended, but it is a just judgment 
of GOD, for my former marriage was made in blood." 



And to give notice, that no manner of person 6 
Have, any time, recourse unto the princes. \JExit. 


A Street. 
Enter a Scrivener. 

SCRIV. Here is the indictment of the good lord 

Hastings ; 

Which in a set hand fairly is engross'd, 
That it may be to-day read o'er in Paul's. 7 
And mark how well the sequel hangs together : 
Eleven hours I have spent to write it over, 
For yesternight by Catesby was it sent me ; 
The precedent 8 was full as long a doing : 

6 no manner of person ] The folio reads no manner 

person, which is nonsense. I suppose the true reading is no 
man, or person ; as in the latter term females are included. 


7 read o'er in Paul's."] The substance of this speech is 

from Hall's Chronicle, p. 16 : " Nowe was thys proclamation 
made within twoo houres after he was beheaded, and it was so 
curiously endy ted, and so fayre writen in parchement, in a fayre 
sette hande, and therewith of itselfe so long a processe, that 
every chyld might perceyve that it was prepared and studyed be- 
fore, (and as some men thought, by Catesby,) for all thetyme 
betwene his death and the proclamacion coulde scant have suf- 
fyced unto the bare writyng alone, albeit that it had bene in 
paper scribeled furthe in haste at adventure. And a marchaunte 
that stoode by sayed that it was wrytten by inspiracyon and 

Mr. Malone adds " So Holinshed, after Sir Thomas More;" 
and then repeats the same quotation. STEEVENS. 

8 The precedent ] The original draft from which the engross- 
ment was made. MALONE. 

ac. vii. KING RICHARD III. 41 1 

And yet within these five hours Hastings liv'd, 
Untainted, unexamin'd, free, at liberty. 
Here's a good world the while ! Who is so gross, 
That cannot see this palpable device ? 
Yet who so bold, but says he sees it not ? 
Bad is the world ; and all will come to nought, 
When such bad dealing must be seen in thought. 9 



The same. Court o/*Baynard's Castle. 1 

, Enter GLOSTER and BUCKINGHAM, meeting. 

GLO. How now, how now ? what say the citizens? 

BUCK. Now by the holy mother of our Lord, 
The citizens are mum, say not a word. 

GLO. Touch'd you the bastardy of Edward's chil- 
dren ? 

BUCK. I did; with his contract with Lady Lucy, 2 

seen in thought.'] That is, seen in silence, without no- 

tice or detection. JOHNSON. 

1 BaynarcPs Castle.'] A castle in Thames Street, which had 
belonged to Richard Duke of York, and at this time was the pro- 
perty of his grandson King Edward V. MALONE. 

8 tvith his contract with Lady Lucy,~] The King had 

been familiarwith this lady before his marriage, to obstruct which 
his mother alledgeda pre-contract between them : " Whereupon, 
says the historian, dame Elizabeth Lucye was sente for, and al- 
beit she was by the kyng hys mother, and many other, put in 
good comfort to affirme that she was assured to the kynge, yet 
when she was solempnly sworne to save y e truth, she confessed 
she was never ensured. Howbeit, she sayd his grace spake suche 
loving wordes to her, that she verily hoped that he would have 


And his contract by deputy in France : 
The insatiate greediness of his desires, 
And his enforcement of the city wives ; 
His tyranny for trifles ; his own bastardy, 
As being got, your father then in France ; 3 

marled her ; and that yf such kinde woordes had not bene, she 
woulde never have showed such kindnesse to him to lette hym so 
kyndely gette her wyth chylde." Hall, Edward V. fo. 19. 


This objection to King Edward's marriage with Lady Grey, is 
said by Sir Thomas More to have been made by the Duchess 
Dowager of York, Edward's mother, who was averse to the 
match, before he espoused that Jady. But Elizabeth Lucy, the 
daughter of one Wyat, and the wife of one Lucy, being sworn 
to speak the truth, declared that the King had not been affianced 
to her, though she owned she had been his concubine. Philip 
deComines, a contemporary historian, says that Edward, previous 
to his marriage with Lady Grey, was married to an English lady 
by the Bishop of Bath, who revealed the secret ; and according 
to the Chronicle of Croyland this Lady was Lady Eleanor Butler, 
widow of Lord Butler of Sudley, and daughter to the great 
Earl of Shrewsbury. On this ground the children of Edward 
were declared illegitimate by the only parliament assembled by 
King Richard III. ; but no mention was made of Elizabeth Lucy. 

Shakspeare followed Holinshed, who copied Hall, as Hall tran- 
scribed the account given by Sir Thomas More. MALONE. 

3 . his o'wn bastardy, 

As being got, your father then in France ;] This tale is sup- 
posed to have been first propagated by the Duke of Clarence, 
soon after he, in conjunction with his father-in-law the Earl of 
Warwick, restored King Henry VI. to the throne ; at which 
time he obtained a settlement of the crown on himself and his 
issue, after the death of Henry and his heirs male. Sir Thomas 
More says, that the Duke of Glocester soon after Edward's death 
revived this tale ; but Mr. Walpole very justly observes, that it 
is highly improbable that Richard should have urged such a topick 
to the people ; that he should " start doubts concerning his own 
legitimacy, which was too much connected with that of his bro- 
thers to be tossed and bandied about before the multitude." The 
game ingenious writer has also shown, that Richard " lived in 
perfect harmony with his mother, and lodged with her in her 
palace at this very time." Historick Doubts, quarto, 1768. 


W. vn. KING K1CHARD 111. 413 

And his resemblance, being not like the duke. 

Withal, I did infer your lineaments, 

Being the right idea of your father, 

Both in your form and nobleness of mind : 

Laid open all your victories in Scotland, 

Your discipline in war, wisdom in peace, 

Your bounty, virtue, fair humility ; 

Indeed, left nothing, fitting for your purpose, 

Untouch'd, or slightly handled, in discourse. 

And, when my oratory grew to an end, 

I bade them, that did love their country's good, 

Cry God save Richard, England's royal king ! 

GLO. And did they so ? 

BUCK. No, so God help me, they spake not a 

word ; 

But, like dumb statuas, or breathless stones, 4 
Star'd on each other, and look'd deadly pale. 
Which when I saw, I reprehended them ; 
And ask'dthemayor, what meant this wilful silence : 
His answer was, the people were not us'd 
To be spoke to, but by the recorder. 
Then he was urg'd to tell my tale again ; 
Thus saith the duke, thus hath the duke inferred / 
But nothing spoke in warrant from himself. 
When he had done, some followers of mine own, 
At lower end o'the hall, hurl'd up their caps, 
And some ten voices cried, God save king Richard! 
And thus I took the vantage of those few, 
Thanks, gentle citizens, and friends, quoth I j 

4 But, like dumb statuas, or breathless stones,"] See Mr. Reed's 
very decisive account of the word statua, in.anote on The Two 
Gentlemen of Verona, Vol. IV. p. 290, n. 6. 

The eldest quartos, 1597 and 1598, together with the first 
folio, read breathing. The modern editors, with Mr. Rowe, 
unbreathing. Breathless is the reading of the quarto 1612. 



This general applause, and cheerful shout, 
Argues your wisdom, and your love to Richard : 
And even here brake off, and came away. 

GLO. What tongueless blocks were they ; Would 

they not speak ? 
Will not the mayor then, and his brethren, come ? 

BUCK. The mayor is here at hand ; intend some 

fear ; 5 

Be not you spoke with, but by mighty suit : 
And look ypu get a prayer-book in your hand, 
And stand between two churchmen, good my lord j 
For on that ground 1*11 make a holy descant : 
And be not easily won to our requests ; 
Play the maid's part, still answer nay, and take it. 

GLO. I go ; And if you plead as well for them, 
As I can say nay to thee 6 for myself, 
No doubt we'll bring it to a happy issue. 

BUCK. Go, go, up to the leads ; the lord mayor 
knocks. [Exit GLOSTER. 

intend some fear ;~\ Perhaps, pretend; though intend 

will stand in the sense of giving attention. JOHNSON. 

One of the ancient senses of to intend was certainly to pre- 
tend. So, in sc. v. of this Act : 

" Tremble and start at wagging of a straw, 
" Intending deep suspicion." STEEVENS. 

6 As I can say nay to thee ] I think it must be read : 
ify ou pleud as "well for them 

As I-must say, nay to them^r myself. JOHNSON. 

Perhaps the change is not necessary. Buckingham is to plead 
for the citizens; and if '(says Richard) you speak for them as 
plausibly as I in my own person, or far my otvw purposes, shall 
seem to deny your suit, there is no doubt but we shall bring all to 
a happy issue. STEKVENS. 

x. vii. KING RICHARD III. 415 

Enter the Lord Mayor, Aldermen, and Citizens. 

Welcome, my lord : I dance attendance here ; 
I think, the duke will not be spoke withal. 

Enter, from the Castle, CATESBY. 

Now, Catesby ! what says your lord to my request ? 

GATE. He doth entreat your grace, my noble 


To visit him to-morrow, or next day : 
He is within, with two right reverend fathers, 
Divinely bent to meditation ; 
And in no worldly suit would he be mov'd, 
To draw him from his holy exercise. 

BUCK. Return, good Catesby, to the gracious 

duke ; 

Tell him, myself, the mayor and aldermen,. 
In deep designs, in matter of great moment, 
No less importing than our general good, 
Are come to have some conference with his grace. 

GATE. I'll signify so much unto him straight. 


BUCK. Ah, ha, my lord, this prince is not an 

Edward ! 

He is not lolling on a lewd day-bed, 7 
But on his knees at meditation j 
Not dallying with a brace of courtezans, 
But meditating with two deep divines j 
Not sleeping, to engross 8 his idle body, 
But praying, to enrich his watchful soul : 

7 day-bed,] i. e. a couch, or sofa. See Vol. V. p. 323, 

n. 9. STEEVENS. 

* to engross ] To fatten ; to pamper. JOHNSON. 


Happy were England, would this virtuous prince 
Take on himself the sovereignty thereof: 
But, sure, I fear, we shall ne'er win him to it. 

MAY. Marry, God defend, his grace should say 
us nay ! 9 

BUCK. I fear, he will : Here Catesby comes 
again j 

Re-enter CATESBY. 

Now, Catesby, what says his grace ? 

GATE. He wonders to what end you have assem- 

Such troops of citizens to come to him, 
His grace not being warn'd thereof before, 
He fears, my lord, you mean no good to him. 

BUCK. Sorry I am, my noble cousin should 
Suspect me, that I mean no good to him : 
By heaven, we come to him in perfect love ; 
And so once more return and tell his grace. 


When holy and devout religious men 
Are at their beads, 'tis hard to draw them thence j 
So sweet is zealous contemplation. 

9 God defend, his grace should say us nay !"] This pious 
and courtly Mayor was Edmund Shaw, brother to Doctor Shaw, 
whom Richard had employed to prove his title to the crown, 
from the pulpit at Saint Paul's Cross. MALONE. 

sc. vii. KING RICHARD III. 417 

Enter GLOSTER, in a Gallery above, between Two 
Bishops. 1 CATESBY returns. 

MAY. See, where his grace stands 'tween two 
clergymen ! 

BUCK. Two props of virtue for a Christian prince, 
To stay him from the fall of vanity : 
And, see, a book of prayer in his hand ; 
True ornaments to know a holy man. 2 
Famous Plantagenet, most gracious prince, 
Lend favourable ear to our requests ; 
And pardon us the interruption 
Of thy devotion, and right-christian zeal. 

GLO. My lord, there needs no such apology ; 
I rather do beseech you pardon me, 
Who, earnest in the service of my God, 
Neglect the visitation of my friends. 
But, leaving this, what is your grace's pleasure ? 

BUCK. Even that, I hope, which pleaseth God 

1 between Two Bishops.'] " At the last he came out of 

his chamber, and yet not downe to theim, but in a galary over 
theim, with a bishop on every hande of hym, where thei beneth 
might see hym and speake to hym, as though he woulde not yet 
come nere theim, til he wist what they meant," &c. Hall's 
Chronicle. FARMER. 

So also Holinshed after him. The words " with a bishop on 
every hande ofhym" are an interpolation by Hall, or rather by 
Grafton, (See his Continuation of Harding' s Chronicle, 1543, 
fol. 75,) not being found in Sir Thomas More's History of King 
Richard III. folio, 1557, from whom the rest of the sentence is 
transcribed. MALONE. 

4 to know a holy man.'] i. e. to know a holy man by. 

See Vol. XV. p. 196, n. 4, and a note on Coriolanus, Act IH. 
sc. ii. where several instances of a similar phraseology are given. 

VOL. XIV. 2 E 


And all good men of this ungovern'd isle. 

GLO. I do suspect, I have done some offence, 
That seems disgracious in the city's eye ; 
And that you come to reprehend my ignorance. 

BUCK. You have, my lord; Would it might 

please your grace, 
On our entreaties to amend your fault ! 

GLO. Else wherefore breathe I in a Christian 

BUCK. Know, then, it is your fault, that you re- 

The supreme seat, the throne majestical, 
The scepter' d office of your ancestors, 
Your state of fortune, and your due of birth, 
The lineal glory of your royal house, 
To the corruption of a blemish' d stock : 
Whilst, in the mildness of your sleepy thoughts, 
(Which here we waken to our country's good,) 
The noble isle doth want her proper limbs ; 3 
Her face defac'd with scars of infamv, 
Her royal stock graft with ignoble plants, 4 
And almost shoulder'd in the swallowing gulf 
Of dark forgetfulness 5 and deep oblivion. 

3 her proper limls ;~\ Thus the quarto 1598. The folio 

has his limbs ; an error which I should not mention, but that 
it justifies corrections that I have made in other places, where, 
for want of more ancient copies than one, conjectural emenda- 
tion became necessary. See Vol. VIII. p. 184, n. 4. MALONE. 

4 Her royal stock graft with ignoble plants,"] Shakspeare seems 
to have recollected the text on which Dr. Shaw preached his 
remarkable Sermon at Saint Paul's Cross : " Bastard slips shall 
never take deep root." MALONE. 

5 And almost shoulder'd in the swallowing gulph 

Of dark forgetfulness ] What it is to be shoulder'd in a 
gulph, Hanmer is the only editor who seems not to have known ; 
for the rest let it pass without observation. He reads : 

sc. vn. KING RICHARD III. 419 

Which to recure, 6 we heartily solicit 

Your gracious self to take on you the charge 

Almost shouldered into th' swallowing gulph. 
I believe we should read : 

And almost smoulder'd in the siuallotuing gulph. 
That is, almost smother' d, covered and lost. JOHNSON. 

I suppose the old reading to be the true one. So, in Thf 
Barons' Wars, by Drayton, canto i : 

" Stoutly t' affront and shoulder in debate." 
In is used for into. So before in this play : 

" But first I'll turn yon fellow in his grave." 
Again, ibid : 

" Falsely to draw me in these vile suspects." 
Shouldered has the same meaning as rudely thrust into. 
So, in a curious ancient paper quoted by Mr. Lysons in hi* 
Environs of London, Vol. III. p. 80, n. 1 : " lyke tyraunts 
and lyke madde men helpynge to shulderynge other of the sayd 
bannermen ynto the dyche," &c. Again, in Arthur Hall's 
translation of the second Iliad, 1581: 

" He preaseth him, him he again, shouldring ech one 
his feere." STEEVENS. 

Shouldered is, I believe, the true reading ; not, thrust in by 
the shoulders, but, immersed up to the shoulders. So, in Othello : 

" Steeped me in poverty to the very lips." 
" This passage in Othello," says Mr. M. Mason, " is nothing 
to the purpose. Had Othello used the word lipp'd, to signify 
immersed up to the lips, that indeed would justify our supposing 
that shouldered might mean immersed up to the shoulders." But 
the critick mistook the purpose for which the passage was ad- 
duced. It was quoted, not to support the word, " shouldered" 
but to show that the same idea had been elsewhere introduced 
by Shakspeare ; that, as in Othello he had spoken of being 
plunged in poverty to the lips, so here he might have intended 
to describe the royal stock as immerged up to the shoulders in 

The word shouldered, in the following lines of Spenser's Ruins 
of Rome, 1591, may certainly only have been used in its more 
ordinary signification ; but I am not sure that the author did 
not employ it as it is here used by Shakspeare : 

*' Like as ye see the wrathful sea from farre, 
" In a great mountaine heapt with hideous noise, 
" Eftsoones of thousand billows shouldered narre, 
" Against a rock to break with dreadful poyse. " 

2 E 2 


And kingly government of this your land : 

Not as protector, steward, substitute, 

Or lowly factor for another's gain : 

But as successively, from blood to blood, 

Your right of birth, your empery, your own. 

For this, consorted with the citizens, 

Your very worshipful and loving friends, 

And by their vehement instigation, 

In this just suit come I to move your grace. 

GLO. I cannot tell, if to depart in silence, 
Or bitterly to speak in your reproof, 
Best fitteth my degree, or your condition : 
If, not to answer, 7 you might haply think, 
Tongue-tied ambition, not replying, yielded 
To bear the golden yoke of sovereignty, 
Which fondly you would here impose on me ; 
If to reprove you for this suit of yours, 
So season'd with your faithful love to me, 
Then, on the other side, I check'd my friends. 
Therefore, to speak, and to avoid the first ; 
And then, in speaking, not to incur the last, 
Definitively thus I answer you. 
Your love deserves my thanks ; but my desert 
Unmeritable, shuns your high request. 
First, if all obstacles were cut away, 

However the word may have been employed in the foregoing 
passage, its existence in our author's time is ascertained by it. 


6 Which to recure,] To recur e is to recover. This word is 
frequently used by Spenser ; and both as a verb and a substan- 
tive in Lyly's Endymion, 1591. STEEVENS. 

7 If, not to .answer,'] If I should take the former course, and 
depart in silence, &c. So below : " If, to reprove," &c. The 
editor of the second folio reads For not to answer; and his 
capricious alteration of the text has been adopted by all the sub- 
sequent editors. This and the nine following lines are not in 
the quarto. MALONE. 

sc. vn. KING RICHARD III. 421 

And that my path were even to the crown, 

As the ripe revenue and due of birth j 8 

Yet so much is my poverty of spirit, 

So mighty, and so many, my defects, 

That 1 would rather hide me from my greatness, 

Being a bark to brook no mighty sea, - 

Than in my greatness covet to be hid, 

And in the vapour of my glory smothered. 

But, God be thank'd, there is no need of me ; 

(And much I need to help you, 9 if need were;) 

The royal tree hath left us royal fruit, 

Which, mellow* d by the stealing hours of time, 

Will well become the seat of majesty, 

And make, no doubt, us happy by his reign. 

On him I lay what you would lay on me, 

The right and fortune of his happy stars, 

Which, God defend, that I should wring from him! 

BUCK. My lord, this argues conscience in your 

grace ; 

But the respects thereof are nice and trivial, 1 
All circumstances well considered. 
You say, that Edward is your brother's son ; 

8 As the ripe revenue and due of birth;"] So the folio. The 
quarto 1598 thus: 

" As my right, revenue, and due by birth." 
A preceding line seems rather to favour the original reading : 

" Your right of birth, your empery, your own." 
The first quarto, [1597,] I find, reads : 

" As my ripe revenew, and due by birth." MALONE. 

9 And much I need to help you,~] And I want much of the 
ability requisite to give you help, if help were needed. 


1 are nice and trivial,"] Nice is generally used by Shak- 

speare in the sense of minute, trifling, of petty import. So, in 
Romeo and Juliet : 

" The letter was not nice, but full of charge." 



So say we too, but not by Edward's wife : 

For first he was contract to lady Lucy, 

Your mother lives a witness to his vow ; 

And afterwards by substitute betroth* d 

To Bona, sister to the king of France. 2 

These both put by, a poor petitioner, 3 

A care-craz'd mother to a many sons, 

A beauty-waning and distressed widow, 

Even in the afternoon of her best days, 

Made prize and purchase of his wanton eye, 

Seduc'd the pitch and height of all his thoughts 

To base declension and loath'd bigamy: 4 

By her, in his unlawful bed, he got 

This Edward, whom our manners call the prince. 

More bitterly could I expostulate, 

Save that, for reverence to some alive, 5 

* To Bona, sister to the king of France.'] See K. Henry VI. 
P. III. Act III. sc. iii. Bona was daughter to the Duke of Savoy, 
and sister to Charlotte, wife to Lewis XI. King of France. 


3 a poor petitioner, ~] See King Henry VI. P. III. Act III. 

p. 105. MALONE. 

4 loath' d bigamy:] Bigamy, by a canon of the council 

of Lyons, A. D. 1274, (adopted in England by a statute in 
4 1 Edw. I. ) was made unlawful and infamous. It differed from 
polygamy, or having two wives at once ; as it consisted in either 
marrying two virgins successively, or once marrying a widow. 


loath'd bigamy :] So Sir T. More, copied by Hall and 

Holinshed : " the only ividoiuhead of Elizabeth Grey, though 
she were in all other things convenient for you, should yet suf- 
fice, as me seemeth, to restraine you from her marriage, sith it 
is an unfitting thing, and a verie blemish and high disparagement 
to the sacred majestic of a prince, (that ought as nigh to ap- 
proach priesthood in cleanness, as he doth in dignity,) to be 
defouled with bigamie in his first marriage." MALONE. 

3 More bitterly could I expostulate, 

Save that, for reverence to some alive,'] The Duke here hints 
at a topick which he had touched upon in his address to the citi- 

sc. vn. KING RICHARD III. 425 

I give a sparing limit to my tongue. 
Then, good my lord, take to your royal self 
This proffer'd benefit of dignity: 
If not to bless us and the land withal, 
Yet to draw forth your noble ancestry 
From the corruption of abusing time, 
Unto a lineal true-derived course. 

MAY. Do, good my lord j your citizens entreat 

BUCK. Refuse not, mighty lord, this proffer'd 

GATE. O, make them joyful, grant their lawful 

GLO. Alas, why would you heap those cares on 

me ? 

I am unfit for state and majesty: 
I do beseech you, take it not amiss ; 
I cannot, nor I will not, yield to you. 

BUCK. If you refuse it, as in love and zeal, 
Loath to depose the child, your brother's son ; 
As well we know your tenderness of heart, 
And gentle, kind, effeminate remorse, 6 
Which we have noted in you to your kindred, 
And equally, indeed, to all estates, 
Yet know, whe'r you accept our suit or no, 
Your brother's son shall never reign our king j 

zens, the pretended bastardy of Edward and Clarence. By 
" some alive," is meant the Duchess of York, the mother of 
Edward and Richard. MALONE. 

6 effeminate remorse,] i. e. pity. See our author, passim^ 

Thus also, in The Miseries of enforced Marriage, 1607 : 
" Be all his days, like winter, comfortless ; 
" Restless his nights, his wants remorseless." 
i. e. unpitied. STEEVENS. 


But we will plant some other in your throne, 
To the disgrace and downfal of your house. 
And, in this resolution, here we leave you ; 
Come, citizens, we will entreat no more. 

\_Exeunt BUCKINGHAM and Citizens. 

GATE. Call them again, sweet prince, accept 

their suit ; 
If you deny them, all the land will rue it. 

GLO. Will you enforce me to a world of cares ? 
Well, call them again ; I am not made of stone, 7 
But penetrable to your kind entreaties, 

\_Exit CATESBY. 
Albeit against my conscience and my soul. 

Re-enter BUCKINGHAM, and the Rest. 

Cousin of Buckingham, and sage, grave men, 
Since you will buckle fortune on my back, 
To bear her burden, whe'r I will, or no, 
I must have patience to endure the load : 
But if black scandal, or foul-fac'd reproach, 
Attend the sequel of your imposition, 
Your mere enforcement shall acquittance me 
From all the impure blots and stains thereof; 
For God he knows, and you may partly see, 
How far I am from the desire of this. 

MAY. God bless your grace ! we see it, and will 

say it. 

GLO. In saying so, you shall but say the truth, 
BUCK. Then I salute you with this royal title, 
Long live king Richard, England's worthy king ! 

ALL. Amen. 

7 / am not made of stone,] The quarto and folio have 

stones. Mr. Pope made the emendation. M ALONE. 


BUCK. To-morrow may it please you to be 
crown'd ? 

GLO. Even when you please, since you will have 
it so. 

BUCK. To-morrow then we will attend your 

grace ; 
And so, most joyfully, we take our leave. 

GLO. Come, let us to our holy work again : 

[To the Bishops. 

Farewell, good cousin ; farewell, gentle friends. 8 




Before tlie Tower. 

Enter, on one side, Queen ELIZABETH, Duchess of 
YORK, and Marquis of DORSET ; on the other, 
ANNE, Duchess of Gloster, 9 leading Lady MAR- 
GARET PLANTAGENET, Clarence's young Daugh- 

DUCH. Who meets us here? my niece Planta- 

Led in the hand of her kind aunt of Gloster P 1 

* Farewell, good cousin ; farewell, gentle friends. ,] To this 
Act should, perhaps, be added the next scene, so will the coro- 
nation pass between the Acts; and there will not only be a 
proper interval of action, but the conclusion will be more 
forcible. JOHNSON. 

9 Anne, Dtichess of Gloster,] We have not seen this lady 

since the second scene of the first Act, in which she promised to 
meet Richard at Crosby-place. She was married about the year 
1472. MALONE. 


Now, for my life, she's wand'ring to the Tower, 
On pure heart's love, to greet the tender prince. 
Daughter, well met. 

ANNE. God give your graces both 

A happy and a joyful time of day ! 

Q. ELIZ. As much to you, good sister ! Whither 

ANNE. No further than the Tower ; and, as I 


Upon the like devotion as yourselves, 
To gratulate the gentle princes there. 

Q. ELIZ. Kind sister, thanks ; we'll enter all 
V together : 


And, in good time, here the lieutenant comes. 
Master lieutenant, pray you, by your leave, 
How doth the prince, and my young son of York? 

BRAK. Right well, dear madam : By your pa- 

I may not suffer you to visit them ; 
The king hath strictly charg'd the contrary. 

1 Who meets us here ? my niece Plantagenet 

Led in the hand of her kind aunt of Glosterf] Here is a ma- 
nifest intimation, that the Duchess 01 Gloster leads in somebody 
in her hand ; but there is no direction marked in any of the 
copies, from which we can learn who it is. I have ventured to 
guess it must be Clarence's young daughter. The old Duchess 
of York calls her niece, i. e. grand-daughter ; as grand-children 
are frequently called nephews. THEOBALD. 

So, in Othello, nephews for grand-children: " you'll have 
your daughter covered with a Barbary horse, you'll have your 
nephews neigh to you." MALONE. 

See note on Othello, Act I. sc. i. STEEVENS. 

sc. i. KING RICHARD III. 427 

Q. ELIZ. The king! who's that? 

BRAK. I mean, the lord protector. 

Q. ELIZ. The Lord protect him from that kingly 

title ! 

Hath he set bounds between their love, and me ? 
I am their mother, who shall bar me from them ? 

DUCH. I am their father's mother, I will see 

ANNE. Their aunt I am in law, in love their 

mother : 

Then bring me to their sights ; I'll bear thy blame, 
And take thy office from thee, on my peril. 

BRAK. No, madam, no, I may not leave it so; 2 
I am bound by oath, and therefore pardon me. 



STAN. Let me but meet you, ladies, one hour 


And I'll salute your grace of York as mother, 
And reverend looker-on of two fair queens. 
Come, madam, you must straight to Westminster. 

[To the Duchess o/Gloster. 
There to be crowned Richard's royal queen, 

Q. ELIZ. Ah, cut my lace asunder 1 
That my pent heart may have some scope to beat, 
Or else I swoon with this dead-killing news. 

ANNE. Despiteful tidings ! O unpleasing news ! 

4 / may not leave it so; ] That is, / may not so resign 

my office, which you offer to take on you at your peril. 



DOR. Be of good cheer : Mother, how fares 
your grace ? 

Q. ELIZ. O Dorset, speak not to me, get thee 


Death and destruction dog thee at the heels ; 
Thy mother's name is ominous to children : 
If thou wilt outstrip death, go cross the seas, 
And live with Richmond, from the reach of hell. 
Go, hie thee, hie thee, from this slaughter-house, 
Lest thou increase the number of the dead ; 
And make me die the thrall of Margaret's curse, 
Nor mother, wife, 3 nor England's counted queen. 

STAN. Full of wise care is this your counsel, ma- 
dam : 

Take all the swift advantage of the hours ; 
You shall have letters from me to my son 
In your behalf, to meet you on the way : 
Be not ta'en tardy by unwise delay. 

DUCH. O ill-dispersing wind of misery! 
O my accursed womb, the bed of death ; 
A cockatrice hast thou hatch'd to the world, 
Whose unavoided eye is murderous! 4 

STAN. Come, madam, come ; I in all haste was 

ANNE. And I with all unwillingness will go. 
O, would to God, that the inclusive verge 
Of golden metal, that must round my brow, 

3 Nor mother , tvife, &c.] See p. 311. STEEVENS. 

* A cockatrice 

Whose unavoided eye -is murderous!'] So, in Romeo and 
Juliet : 

" the death-darting eye of cockatrice." 

The cockatrice is a serpent supposed to originate from a cock's 

ac. i. KING RICHARD III. 429 

Were red-hot steel, to sear me to the brain ! 5 

* Were red-hot steel, to sear me to the brain /] She seems to 
allude to the ancient mode of punishing a regicide, or any other 
egregious criminal, viz. by placing a crown of iron, heated red- 
hot, upon his head. See Respublica Sf Status Hungarice, ex 
Offic. Elziv. 1634, p. 136. In the tragedy of Hoffman, 1631, 
this punishment is also introduced : 

" Fix on thy master's head my burning crown." 

" And wear his crown made hot tuithjlamingjire. 

" Bring forth the burning crown there." 
Again : 

" was adjudg'd 

" To have his head sear'd with a burning crown." 
Thus also, in A. Wyntown's Cronykil, B. VIII. ch. xliiii. 
v. 40: 

" Til this Jak Bonhowme he mad a crown 

" Of a brandreth all red hate 

" And set it swa on his hevyd, 

" That it fra hym the lyf thare revyd." 
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 lawful monarch 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.'* 


Marlowe's allusion is to the fatal crown which Creusa received, 
as a nuptial gift, from Medea : 

" XpucrouV fx,gy a,y.q>} Kg a,r\ xsi{j,svo$ ifXwof , 
" a^aatrrox 1u v&pa, itaptpayou irvgos" 

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 


Anointed let me be with deadly venom ; 

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 hus- 
band now, 

Came to me, as I followed Henry's corse ; 
When scarce the blood was well wash'd from his 


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, occurs* 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 ofthee, 
Than thou hast made me by my dear lord's death I 
Lo, ere I can repeat this curse again, 
Even in so short a space, my woman's heart 
Grossly grew captive to his honey words, 
And prov'd the subject of mine own soul's curse : 
Which ever since hath held mine eyes from rest; 
For never yet one hour in his bed 6 
Did I enjoy the golden dew of sleep, 
But with his timorous dreams 7 was still awak'd. 

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. 

6 For never yet one hour in his bed ] Hour is here, as in 
many other places, used by Shakspeare as a dissyllable. 


7 But with his timorous dreams ] 'Tis recorded by Polydore 

sc. i. KING RICHARD III. 431 

Besides, he hates me for my father Warwick j 
And will, no doubt, shortly be rid of me. 

Q. ELIZ. Poor heart, adieu ; I pity thy com- 

ANNE. No more than with my soul I mourn for 

DOR. Farewell, thou woful welcomer of glory! 

ANNE. Adieu, poor soul, that tak'st thy leave 
of it! 

DUCH. Go thou to Richmond, and good fortune 

guide thee! [To DORSET. 

Go thou to Richard, and good angels tend thee ! 

[To ANNE. 

Go thou to sanctuary, and good thoughts possess 
thee ! [To Q. ELIZABETH. 

I to my grave, where peace and rest lie with me ! 
Eighty odd years 8 of sorrow have I seen, 
And each hour's joy wreck'd with a week of teen. 9 

Virgil, that Richard was frequently disturbed by terrible dreams : 
this is therefore no fiction. JOHNSON. 

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 epigram- 

" Virgilii duo sunt ; alter Maro ; tu, Polydore, 
" Alter ; tu mendax y ille poeta fuit." STEEVENS. 

8 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 liv- 
ing, 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. 


9 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. 


Q. ELIZ. Stay yet ; l look back, with me, unto 

the Tower. 

Pity, you ancient stones, those tender babes, 
Whom envy hath immur'd within your walls ! 
Rough cradle for such little pretty ones ! 
Rude ragged nurse ! old sullen play-fellow 2 
For tender princes, use my babies well ! 
So foolish sorrow bids your stones farewell. 3 


Again, in The Return from Parnassus, 1606 : 

" Flies have their spleen, each silly ant his teens." 

So, in The Rape qfLucrece : 

" Who buys a minute's mirth, to taail a week ?" 
-" Short pleasure, long lament," is one of Ray's proverbial 
sentences. MALONE. 

1 Stay yet; &c.] This speech is not in the quarto. MALONE. 

* Rude ragged nurse ! old sullen play-fellow ] To call the 
Tower nurse and play-fellow is very harsh : perhaps part of this 
speeqh is addressed to the Tower, and part to the Lieutenant. 



The last line of this speech 

So foolish sorrow bids your stones farewell, 

E roves that the whole of it is addressed to the Tower, and apo- 
)gizes for the absurdity of that address, by attributing it to 
sorrow. M. MASON. 

3 So foolish sorrow bids your stones farewell.'] Hither the third 
Act should be extended, and here it very properly ends with a 
pause of action. JOHNSON. 

The folio has sorrows. Corrected by Mr. Rowe. MALONE. 

sc. ii. KING RICHARD III. 433 


A Room of State in the Palace. 

Flourish of Trumpets. RICHARD, as King upon 
his Throne; BUCKINGHAM, CATESBY, a Page, 
and Others. 

K. RICH. Stand all apart. Cousin of Bucking- 

BUCK. My gracious sovereign. 

K. RICH. Give me thy hand. Thus high, by thy 


And thy assistance, is king Richard seated : 
But shall we wear these glories for a day ? 
Or shall they last, and we rejoice in them ? 

BUCK. Still live they, and for ever let them last ! 

K. RICH. Ah, Buckingham, now do I play the 

touch, 4 

To try if thou be current gold, indeed : 
Young Edward lives ; Think now what I would 


BUCK. Say on, my loving lord. 


4 notv do I play the touch,] To play the touch is to re- 
present the touchstone. 

So, in the 16th Song of Dray ton's Polyolbion: 

" With alabaster, tuch, and porphyry adorn'd." 
Again, in the epistle of Mary the French Queen to Charles 
Brandon, by Dray ton : 

" Before niine eye, 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." 


VOL. XIV. 2 F 


K. RICH. Why, Buckingham, I say, I would be 

BUCK. Why,soyou are,my thrice-renownedliege. 

K.RiCH. Ha! am I king? 'Tisso: but Edward 

BUCK. True, noble prince. 

K. RICH. O bitter consequence, 

That Edward still should live, true,nobleprince! 
Cousin, thou wast not wont to be so dull : 
Shall I be plain ? I wish the bastards dead ; 
And I would have it suddenly performed. 
What say'st thou now ? speak suddenly, be brief. 

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. 


GATE. The king is angry ; see, he gnaws his lip. 5 


K. RICH. I will converse with iron-witted fools, 
[Descends from his Throne. 
And unrespective boys ; 6 none are for me, 

5 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. 

6 And unrespective boys;~\ Unrespective is inattentive to con- 
sequences, inconsiderate. 

So, in Daniel's Cleopatra, 1599: 

" When dissolute impiety possess'd 

" The nnrespeetive naiads of prince and people." 



That look into me with considerate eyes ; 
High-reaching Buckingham grows circumspect. 

PAGE. My lord. 

K. RrcH. Know'st thou not any, whom corrupt- 
ing gold 
Would tempt unto a close exploit 7 of death ? 

PAGE. I know a discontented gentleman, 
Whose humble means match not his haughty mind: 
Gold were as good as twenty orators, 
And will, no doubt, tempt him to any thing. 

K. RICH. What is his name ? 

PAGE. His name, my lord, is Tyrrel. 

K. RICH. I partly know the man ; Go, call him 
hither, boy. \JExit Page. 

The deep-revolving witty 8 Buckingham 
No more shall be the neighbour to my counsels : 
Hath he so long held out with me untir'd, 
And stops he now for breath ? well, be it so. 

Unrespective is, devoid of cautious and prudential considera- 
tion. MALONE. 

See note on the following passage in the Rape ofLucrece, edit. 
1790, p. 102: 

** Respect and reason wait on wrinkled age." STEE YENS. 

7 close exploit ] Is secret act. JOHNSON. 

8 witty ] In this place signifies judicious or cunning. 

A mt was not at this time employed to signify a man of fancy, 
but was used for ivisdom or judgment. So, in Daniel's CleO' 
patra, 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.'* STKEVBNS. 

2 F 2 



How now, lord Stanley ? what's the news ? 

STAN. Know, my loving lord,' 

The marquis Dorset, as I hear, is fled 
To Richmond, in the parts where he abides. 

K. RICH. Come hither, Catesby : rumour it abroad, 
That Anne, my wife, is very grievous sick ; 
I will take order for her keeping close. 1 
Inquire me out some mean-born gentleman, 
Whom Iwill marry straight toClarence* daughter : 
The boy is foolish, 2 and I fear not him. 
Look, how thou dream'st! I say again, give out, 

9 Know, my loving lord,'} Surely we should adopt Sir Thomas 
Hanmer's regulation, and give the passage thus : 
How noiv, lord Stanley ? what's the nevus ? 

My lord, &c. 

Are the omitted words know and loving, of so much value, 
that measure must continue to be sacrificed for their preservation? 


1 / will take order for her keeping close.] i. e. I will take 
measures that shall oblige her to keep close. So, in Marlowe's 
and Nashe's Dido, 1594, Jupiter says : 

" I will take order for that presently." 

The same phrase occurs in Othello, Act V. sc. ii. STEEVENS. 

* The boy is foolish,'] Shakspeare has here perhaps anticipated 
the folty of his youth. He was, at this time, I believe, about 
ten years old, arid we are not told by any historian that he had 
then exhibited any symptoms of folly. Being confined by King 
Henry VII. immediately after the battle of Bosworth, and his 
education being consequently entirely neglected, he is described 
by Polydore Virgil at the time of his death (in 1499) as an idiot; 
and his account (which was copied by Hall and Holinshed,) was 
certainly a sufficient authority for Shakspeare's representation : 
" Edouardus Varvici comes in carcere ab incunabulis extra homi- 
num ferarumque conspectum nutritus, qui gallinam ab ansere non 
facile internosceret, cum nullo suo delicto suppliciura quaererc 
posset, alieno ad id tractus est." MALONE. 


That Anne my queen is sick, and like to die : 
About it ; for it stands me much upon, 3 
To stop all hopes, whose growth may damage me. 


I must be married to my brother's daughter, 
Or else my kingdom stands on brittle glass : 
Murder her brothers, and then marry her ! 
Uncertain way of gain ! But I am in 
So far in blood, that sin will pluck on sin. 4 
Tear-falling pity dwells not in this eye. 

Re-enter Page, with TYRREL. 

Is thy name Tyrrel ? 5 

TYR. James Tyrrel, and your most obedient sub- 

3 it stands me much upon,~\ i. e. it is of the utmost con- 
sequence to my designs. The same phrase occurs in The Comedy 
of Errors : 

* l Consider how it stands upon my credit." 
See also Antony and Cleopatra, Act II. sc. i. STEEVENS. 

4 But I am in 

So far in blood, that sin ivill pluck on sin."] The same re- 
flections occur in Macbeth : 

" 1 am in blood 

" Step'd in so far, that should I wade no more, 
" Returning were as tedious," &c. 
Again : 

" Things bad begun make strong themselves by ill." 


* Is thy name Tyrrel?~] It seems, that a late editor (who 
boasts much of his fidelity in " marking the places of action, 
both general and particular, and supplying scenical directions,") 
throughout this scene, has left King Richard on his throne; 
whereas he might have learnt from the following passage in Sir 
John Harrington's Metamorphosis of Ajax, 1596, that the mo- 
narch appeared, during the present interview with Tyrrel, on an 
elevation of much less dignity. " The best part (says Sir John) 
of our chronicles, in all men's opinions, is that of Richard the 


K. RICH. Art thou, indeed ? 

TYR. Prove me, my gracious lord, 

K, RICH. Dar'st thou resolve to kill a friend of 
mine ? 

TYR. Please you ; but I had rather kill two ene- 

K. RICH. Why, then thou hast it ; two deep ene- 

Foes to my rest, and my sweet sleep's disturbers, 
Are they that I would have thee deal upon : 6 
Tyrrel, I mean those bastards in the Tower. 

TYR. Let me have open means to come to them, 
And soon I'll rid you from the fear of them. 

K.RiCH. Thou sing'st sweet musick. Hark, come 
hither, Tyrrel j 

third, written as I have heard by Moorton, but as most suppose, 
by that worthy and incorrupt magistrate Sir Thomas More, some- 
time lord chancellor of England, where it is said, how the king 
was devising with Teril to have his nephews privily murdred ; 
and it is added, he tx>as then sitting on a draught ; a fit carpet 
for such a counsel/* See likewise Holinshed, Vol. II. p. 735. 


For Richard's mode of proceeding on this occasion, there are, 
it appears, many ancient and dignified precedents: " Maximilian 
the emperor," says old Montaigne, " with other customes of his 
had this one, most contrary to other princes, (who, to dispatch 
their weightiest affaires, make often their c e s 1 their regal 
throne or council-chamber, ) which was," &c. Florio's translation, 
1603. MALONE. 

deal upon ;~\ So, in Have ivith you to Saffron Walden, 

<&c. by Nashe, 1596: " At Wolfe's he's billeted, sweating and 
dealing upon it most intentively." See also my note on Antony 
and Cleopatra, Act III. sc. ix. STEEVENS, 

deal upon .] i. e. act upon. We should norr say deal 

szr. //. KING RICHARD III. 439 

Go, by this token : Rise, and lend thine ear : 

[ Whispers. 

There is no more but so : Say, it is done, 
And I will love thee, and prefer thee for it. 

TYR. I will despatch it straight, [Exit. 


BUCK. My lord, I have considered in my mind 
The late demand that you did sound me in. 

K. RICH. Well, let that rest. Dorset is fled to 

BUCK. I hear the news, my lord. 

K. RICH. Stanley, he is your wife's son : Well, 
look to it. 

BUCK. My lord, I claim the gift, my due by pror 


For which your honour and your faith is pawn'd; 
The earldom of Hereford, 7 and the moveables, 

7 The earldom of Hereford, &c.] Thomas Duke of Gloster, 
the fifth son of Edward the Third, married one of the daughters 
and coheirs of Humphrey de Bohun Earl of Hereford. The 
Duke of Gloster's nephew, Henry Earl of Derby, (the eldest 
son of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, the fourth son of Ed- 
ward the Third,) who was afterwards King Henry IV. married 
the other daughter of the Earl of Hereford. The moiety of the 
Hereford estate, which had been possessed by that King, was 
seized on by Edward IV. as legally devolved to the crown, on 
its being transferred from the house of Lancaster to that of York. 
Henry Stafford Duke of Buckingham was lineally descended 
from Thomas Duke of Gloster, his only daughter Anne having 
married Edmund Earl of Stafford, and Henry being the jgreat 
grandson of Edmund and Anne. In this right he and his an- 
cestors had possessed one half of the Hereford estate ; and he 
claimed and actually obtained from Richard III. after he usurped 
the throne, the restitution of the other half, which had been 
seized on by Edward; and also the earldom of Hereford, and the 


Which you have promised I shall possess. 

K. RICH. Stanley, look to your wife j if she con- 
Letters to Richmond, you shall answer it. 

BUCK. What says your highness to my just re- 
quest ? 

K. RICH. I do remember me, Henry the sixth 
Did prophecy, that Richmond should be king, 
When Richmond was a little peevish boy. 
A king! perhaps 8 

BUCK. My lord, 

K. RICH. How chance, the prophet could not at 

that time, 
Have told me, I being by, 9 that I should kill him? 

office of Constable of England, which had long been annexed by 
inheritance to that earldom. See Dugdale's Baronage, Vol. I. 
p. 168 169. Many of our historians, however, ascribe the 
breach between him and Richard to Richard's refusing to restore 
the moiety of the Hereford estate ; and Shakspeare has followed 

Thomas Duke of Gloster was created Earl of Hereford in 1386, 
by King Richard II. on which ground the Duke of Buckingham 
had some pretensions to claim a new grant of the title ; but with 
respect to the moiety of the estate, he had not a shadow of right 
to it j for supposing that it devolved to Edward IV. with the 
crown, it became, after the murder of his sons, the joint pro- 
perty of his daughters. If it did not devolve to King Edward IV. 
it belonged to the right heirs of King Henry IV. MALONE. 

8 A king! ^perhaps ] From hence to the words, Thou 
troublest me, I am not in the vein have been left out ever since 
the first editions ; but I like them well enough to replace them. 


The allusions to the plays of Henry VI. are no weak proofs of 
the authenticity of these disputed pieces. JOHNSON. 

These allusions, I trust, have been sufficiently accounted for in 
the Dissertation annexed to the preceding play. MALONE. 

9 / being by,~\ The Duke of Gloster was not by when 

sc. ii. KING RICHARD III. 441 

BUCK. My lord, your promise for the earldom, 

K. RICH. Richmond! When last I was at Exeter, 
The mayor in courtesy show'd me the castle, 
And call'd it Rouge-mont : l at which name, I 

started ; 

Because a bard of Ireland told me once, 
I should not live long after I saw Richmond. 

BUCK. My lord, 

K. RICH. Ay, what's o'clock ? 

BUCK. I am thus bold 

To put your grace in mind of what you promis'd 

K. RICH. Well, but what is't o'clock ? 

BUCK. Upon the stroke 


K. RICH. Well, let it strike. 2 

BUCK. Why, let it strike ? 

K.RiCH. Because that, like a Jack, 3 thou keep'st 
the stroke 

Henry uttered the prophecy. See p. 158. Our author seldom 
took the trouble to turn to the plays to which he referred. 


1 Rouge-mont:'] Hooker, who wrote in Queen Eliza- 
beth's time, in his description of Exeter mentions this as a 
" very old and antient castle, named Rugemont ; that is to say, 
the Red Hill, taking that name of the red soil or earth where- 
upon it is situated." It was first built, he adds, as some think, 
by Julius Caesar, but rather, and in truth, by the Romans after 
him. REED. 

8 Well, let it strike.'] This seems to have been a proverbial 
sentence. So, in Pierce's Supererogation, &c. by Gabriel Har- 
vey, 4to. 1593 : " Let the clock strike: I have lost more howers, 
and lose nothing if I find equity." MALONE. 

3 Because that, like a Jack, &c.] An image, like those at St. 
Dunstan's church in Fleet Street, and at the market-houses at 
several towns in this kingdom, was usually called a Jack of the 


Betwixt thy begging and my meditation. 
I am not in the giving vein to-day. 

clock-house. See Cowley's Discourse on the Government of Oliver 
Cromwell. [Vol. II. p. 650, edit. 1710.] Richard resembles 
Buckingham to one of those automatons, and bids him not sus- 
pend the stroke on the clock-bell, but strike, that the hour may 
be past, and himself be at liberty to pursue his meditations. 


So, in The Fleire, a comedy, 1610 : " their tongues are, like 
Jack 6* the clock, still in labour." 

Again, in The Coxcomb, by Beaumont and Fletcher : 

" Is this your Jack o' the clock-house ? 

" Will you strike, sir ?" 

Again, in a pamphlet by Deckar, called the Guls Hornbook, 
1609 : " but howsoever, if Powles Jacks be once up with their 
elbowes, and quarrelling to strike eleven, as soon as ever the 
clock has parted them, and ended the fray with his hammer, let 
not the duke's gallery conteyne you any longer." 

Perhaps these figures are called Jacks, because the engines of 
that name which turn the spit were anciently ornamented with, 
such a puppet. In The Gentleman Usher, a comedy, by Chap- 
man, 1606, they are alluding to a roasting Jack, and a man says: 

" as in that quaint engine you have seen 

" A little man in shreds stand at the winder, 
" And seem to put all things in act about him, 
" Lifting and pulling with a mighty stir, 
" Yet adds no force to it, nor nothing does." 
In Lantern and Candle-light, or The Bellman's Second Night- 
ivalk, &c. by Deckar, is a passage " of a new and cunning 
drawing of money from gentlemen," which may tend to a some- 
what different explanation of the word strike: " There is ano- 
ther fraternitie of wandring pilgrims, who merrily call themselves 
Jackes of the clock-house. The jacke of a clock-house goes upon 
screws, and his office is to do nothing but strike: so does this 
noise (for they walke up and down like fidters) travaile with 
motions, and whatever their motions get them, is called striking." 


A Jack with such a figure as Chapman hath described, was for 
many years exhibited, as a sign, at the door of a White-Smith'* 
shop in the narrowest part of the Strand. HENLEY. 

These automatons were called Jacks of the clock-house, be- 
cause Jack in our author's time was a common appellation for a 
mean, contemptible fellow, employed by others in servile offices. 
See Vol. VI. p. 18, n. 8. M ALONE. 

ac. ni. KING RICHARD III. 443 

BUCK. Why, then resolve me whe'r you will, or 

K. RICH. Thou troublest me ; I am not in the 

\_JLxeunt King RICHARD and Train. 

BUCK. And is it thus ? repays he my deep service 
With such contempt ? made I him king for this ? 
O, let me think on Hastings ; and be gone 
To Brecknock, 4 while my fearful head is on. 



The same. 
Enter TTRREL. 

TYR. The tyrannous and bloody act is done ; 
The most arch deed of piteous massacre, 
That ever yet this land was guilty of. 
Dighton, and Forrest, whom I did suborn 
To do this piece of ruthless butchery, 
Albeit they were flesh'd villains, bloody dogs, 
Melting with tenderness and mfld compassion, 
Wept like two children, in their death's sad story. 
O thus, quoth Dighton, lay the gentle babes, 
Xhus, thus, quoth Forrest, girdfing one another 
Within their alabaster innocent arms: 
Their lips were Jour red rvses on a stalk, 
Which, in their summer beauty, kiss'd each other. 

4 To Brecknock,'] To the Castle of Brecknock in Wades, where 
the Duke of Buckingham's estate lay. MAJUMTE. 


A book of prayers on their pillow lay; 5 
Which once, quoth Forrest, almost chang'dmy mind; 
But, O, the devil- there the villain stopp'd ; 
When Dighton thus told on, we smothered 
The most replenished sweet work of nature, 
That, from the prime creation, e'er she framed. 
Hence both are gone with conscience and remorse, 
They could not speak ; and so I left them both, 
To bear this tidings to the bloody king. 

Enter King RICHARD. 

And here he comes : All health, my sovereign 

K. RICH. Kind Tyrrel ! am I happy in thy news ? 

TYR. If to have done the thing you gave in charge 
Beget your happiness, be happy then, 
For it is done. 

K. RICH. But didst thou see them dead ? 

TYR. I did, my lord. 

K. RICH. And buried, gentle Tyrrel ? 

* thus, quoth Dighton, lay the gentle babes, 

Thus, thus, quoth Forrest, girdling one another 
Within their alabaster innocent arms : 
A book of prayers on their pilloiu lay ;] These circumstances 
were probably adopted from the old song of The most cruel Murther 
of Edward V. &c. in The Golden Garland of Princely Delight. 
The thirteenth edition of this collection was published in 1690: 
" When these sweet children thus were laid in bed, 
" And to the Lord their hearty prayers had said, 
" Sweet slumbring sleep then closing up their eyes, 
" Each folded in the other's arms then lies." 
It must be owned, however, that there is nothing to assist us 
in ascertaining the exact date of this and many other of our an- 
cient ballads. STEEVENS. 

sc. in. KING RICHARD III. 445 

TYR. The chaplain of the Tower hath buried 

them ; 
But where, to say the truth, I do not know. 

K. RICH. Come to me, Tyrrel, soon, at after 


When thou shalt tell the process of their death. 
Mean time, but think how I may do thee good, 
And be inheritor of thy desire. 
Farewell, till then. 

TYR, I humbly take my leave. [Exit. 

K. RICH. The son of Clarence have I pen'd 

up close ; 6 ( 

His daughter meanly have I match'd in marriage j 7 
The sons of Edward sleep in Abraham's bosom, 
And Anne my wife hath bid the world good night. 
Now, for I know the Bretagne Richmond 8 aims 

The son of Clarence have I pen'd up close ;] In Sheriff 
Hutton Castle, Yorkshire ; where he remained till the coming 
of Henry VII. who immediately after the battle of Bosworth sent 
him to the Tower, and some few years after, most treacherously 
and barbarously put him to death ; being, from a total want of 
education and commerce with mankind, so ignorant, that he 
could not, according to Hall, discern a goose from a capon. 
With this unfortunate young nobleman ended the male line of 
the illustrious house of Plantagenet. RITSON. 

7 His daughter meanly have I match'd in marriage;"] To Sir 
Richard Pole, Knt. This lady, at seventy years of age, with- 
out any legal process, and for no crime but her relation to the 
crown, was beheaded in the Tower by that sanguinary tyrant 
Henry VIII. Her son, Lord Montague, had been put to death 
a few years before, in the same manner, and for the same crime ; 
and the famous Cardinal Pole, another of her children, only 
escaped the fate of his mother and brother, by keeping out of 
the butcher's reach. RITSON. 

s the Bretagne Richmond ] He thus denominates Rich- 
mond, because after the battle of Tewksbury he had taken re- 
fuge in the court of Francis II. Duke of Bretagne, where by the 
procurement of King Edward IV. he was kept a long time in a 
kind of honourable custody. See note on sc. iv. MALOXE. 


At young Elizabeth, my brother's daughter, 
And, by that knot, looks proudly on the crown, 
To her go I, a jolly thriving wooer. 

CATS. My lord,- 

K. RICH. Good news or bad, that thou com'st 
in so bluntly ? 

CATS. Bad news, my lord : Morton is fled to 
Richmond ; 

And Buckingham, back'd with the hardy Welsh- 

Is in the field, and still his power encreaseth. 

K. RICH. Ely with Richmond troubles me more 


Than Buckingham and his rash-levied strength. 
Come, I have learn'd, that fearful commenting 
Is leaden servitor 9 to dull delay ; 
Delay leads impotent and snail-pac'd beggary : 
Then fiery expedition 1 be my wing, 
Jove's Mercury, and herald for a king ! 
Go, muster men : My counsel is my shield ; 
We must be brief, when traitors brave the field. 


9 -fearful commenting^ 

Is leaden servitor ] Timorous thought and cautious dis- 
quisition are the dull attendants on delay. JOHNSON. 

1 -fary expedition ] So, in Hamlet t 

" must send thee hence 

" Withjiery quickness." STBEVENS. 

sc. ir. KING RICHARD III. 447 


The same. Before the Palace. 
Enter Queen MARGARET. 

Q. MAR. So, now prosperity begins to mellow, 2 
And drop into the rotten mouth of death. 
Here in these confines slily have I lurk'd, 
To watch the waning of mine enemies. 
A dire induction 3 am I witness to, 
And will to France ; hoping, the consequence 
Will prove as bitter, black, and tragical. 
Withdraw thee, wretched Margaret ! who come* 
here ? 

Enter Queen ELIZABETH and the Duchess O/'YORK. 

Q. ELIZ. Ah, my poor princes ! ah, my tender 

babes ! 

My unblown flowers, new-appearing sweets ! 
If yet your gentle souls fly in the air, 
And be not fix'd in doom perpetual, 
Hover about me with your airy wings, 
And hear your mother's lamentation ! 

2 begins to mellow, &c.] The same thought occurs in 

Marston's Antonio and Mellida, 1602 : 

** now is his fate grown melloio, 

" Instant to fall into the rotten jaws 
" Of chap-fall'n death." STEEVENS. 

3 dire induction ] Induction is preface, introduction, 

first part. It is so used by Sackville in our author's time. 



Q. MAR. Hover about her ; say, that right for 

right 4 
Hath dimm'd your infant morn to aged night. 

DUCH. So many miseries have craz'd my voice, 
That my woe-wearied tongue is still and mute, 
Edward Plantagenet, why art thou dead ? 

Q. MAR. Plantagenet doth quit Plantagenet, 
Edward for Edward pays a dying debt. 

Q. ELIZ. Wilt thou, O God, fly from such gen- 
tle lambs, 

And throw them in the entrails of the wolf? 
When didst thou sleep, 5 when such a deed was done ? 

4 say, that right for right ] This is one of those con- 
ceits which our author may be suspected of loving better than 
propriety. Right for right injustice answering to the claims of 
justice. So, in this play : 

" That forehead 

" Where should be branded, if that right were right ." 


In the third scene of the first Act, Margaret was reproached 
with the murder of young Rutland, and the death of her husband 
and son were imputed to the divine vengeance roused by that 
wicked act : " So just is God to right the innocent." Marga- 
ret now perhaps means to say, The right of me, an injured 
mother, whose son was slain at Tewksbury, has now operated 
as powerfully as that right which the death of Rutland gave you 
to divine justice, and has destroyed your children in their turn. 


5 When didst thou sleep, &c.] That is, When, before the pre- 
sent occasion, didst thou ever sleep during the commission of 
such an action ? Thus the only authentick copies now extant ; 
the quarto, 1598, and the first folio. The editor of the second 
folio changed When to Why, which has been adopted by all the 
subsequent editors ; though Margaret's answer evidently refers 
to the word found in the original copy. MALONE. 

I have admitted this reading, though I am not quite certain of 
its authenticity. The reply of Margaret might have been de- 
signed as an interrogatory echo to the last words of the Queen. 


sc. ir+ KING RICHARD III, 449 

Q. MAR. When holy Harry died, and my sweet 

DUCH. Dead life, blind sight, poor mortal-living 

Woe's scene, world's shame, grave's due by life 

usurp' d, 

Brief abstract and record of tedious days, 
Rest thy unrest on England's lawful earth, 

[Sitting down. 
Unlawfully made drunk with innocent blood ! 

Q. ELIZ. Ah, that thou would'st as soon afford a 


As thou canst yield a melancholy seat ; 
Then would I hide my bones, not rest them here! 
Ah, who hath any cause to mourn, but we ? 

[Sitting down by her. 

Q. MAR. If ancient sorrow be most reverent, 
Give mine the benefit of seniory, 6 
And let my griefs frown on the upper hand. 7 

This appears to be the true reading, as Margaret's next speech 
is an answer to that question that was not addressed to her. 


' seniory t ] For seniority. JOHNSON. 

So in Stowe's Chronicle, edit. 1615, p. 149: 
" the son of Edmund, the son of Edward the seignior, the 
son of Alured," &c. STEEVENS. 

The word in the quarto is signorie, in the folio signeury, and 
it has been printed signiory in the late editions : but as in general 
modern spelling has been adopted, I know not why the ancient 
mode should be adhered to in this particular instance. In The 
Comedy of Errors, Act I. sc. the last, senior has been properly 
printed by all the modern editors, though the words in the old 
copy are " We'll draw cuts for the signior." The substantive 
in the text is evidently formed by our author from hence. 


7 And let my griefs frown on the upper hand."] So, in our au- 
thor's Rape of Lucrece .- 

VOL. XIV. 2 G 


If sorrow can admit society, 

[Sitting doim with them. 

Tell o'er your woes again by viewing mine : 
I had an Edward, till a Richard kill'd him ; 
I had a husband, 8 till a Richard kilPd him : 
Thou hadst an Edward, till a Richard kill'd him ; 
Thou hadst a Richard, till a Richard kilFd him. 

DUCH. I had a Richard too, and thou didst kill 

him ; 
I had a Rutland too, thou holp'st to kill him. 

Q. MAR. Thou hadst a Clarence too, and Richard 

kffl'd him. 

From forth the kennel of thy womb hath crept 
A hell-hound, that doth hunt us all to death : 
That dog, that had his teeth before his eyes, 
To worry lambs, and lap their gentle blood ; 
That foul defacer of God's handy-work ; 
That excellent grand tyrant of the earth, 
That reigns 9 in galled eyes of weeping souls, 
Thy womb let loose, to chase us to our graves. 
O upright, just, and true-disposing God, 

' By this starts Collatine as from a dream, 
" And bids Lucretius give his sorrows place." 


* I had a husband,"] The quarto has a. Richard, which the 
editor of the folio corrected by substituting a husband. I be- 
lieve Shakspeare wrote / had a Henry. In a subsequent speech 
in this scene, p. 472, 1. 2 : " my brother" being printed in the 
quarto by mistake, instead of " thy brother, 5 * the editor of the 
folio corrected the wrong word, and printed my husband. 


9 That reigns &c.~] This and the preceding line have been 
omitted by afl the modern editors, Rowe excepted. STEEVENS. 

These two lines are found only in the folio, and are there 
transposed. They were rightly arranged by Mr. Steevens. 


to. iv. KING RICHARD III. 451 

How do I thank thee, that this carnal ' cur 

Preys on the issue of his mother's body, 

And makes her pew-fellow 2 with others' moan ! 

DUCH. O, Harry's wife, triumph not in my 

God witness with me, I have wept for thine. 

Q. MAR. Bear with me ; I am hungry for re- 

And now I cloy me with beholding it. 
Thy Edward he is dead, that kill'd my Edward ; 
Thy other Edward dead, to quit my Edward ; 
Young York he is but boot, 3 because both they 
Match not the high perfection of my loss. 

1 carnal ] This word, in the present instance, may 

signify carnivorous, though in Hamlet it is used for slaughterous : 
" Of carnal, bloody, and unnatural acts." STEEVENS. 

8 And makes her pew-fellow ] Pew-felloe seems to be com- 
panion. We have now a new phrase, nearly equivalent, by 
which we say of persons in the same difficulties, that they are in 
the same box. JOHNSON. 

Pew-fellow is a word yet in use. SIR J. HAWKINS. 

I find this compound word in Northward Hoe, a comedy, by 
Decker and Webster, 1607 : " He would make him puefettoio 
with a lord's steward at least.'* 

Again, in Westward-Hoe, by the same authors, 1606 : 

" being both my scholars, and your honest puff" 


I remember to have seen in ancient Flemish prints represent- 
ing Schools, certain inclosures holding different classes of boys, 
who, probably, from this circumstance, were styled pew-fellows. 

In our places of worship perhaps pews in general are modern 
conveniences, compared with the age of the buildings that con- 
tain them. Our hardy ancestors chiefly sat on open benches, 
such are still remaining in the Pit at Great Saint Mary's, Cam- 
bridge. STEEVENS. 

3 Young York he is but boot,] Boot is that which is thrown in 
to mend a purchase. JOHNSON. 

2 G 2 


Thy Clarence he is dead, that stabb'd my Edward; 

And the beholders of this tragick play, 

The adulterate Hastings, 4 Rivers, Vaughan, Grey, 

Untimely smothered in their dusky graves. 

Richard yet lives, hell's black intelligencer ; 

Only reserved their factor, to buy souls, 

And send them thither : But at hand, at hand, 

Ensues his piteous and unpitied end : 

Earth gapes, hell burns, fiends roar, saints pray, 5 

To have him suddenly convey* d from hence : 

Cancel his bond of life, dear God, I pray, 

That I may live to say, The dog is dead ! 

Q. ELIZ. O, thou didst prophecy, the time would 


That I should wish for thee to help me curse 
That bottled spider, that foul bunch-back'd toad. 

Q. MAR. I call'd thee then, vain flourish of my 

fortune ; 

I call'd thee then, poor shadow, painted queen ; 
The presentation of but what I was, 

4 The adulterate Hastings,"] I believe Shakspeare wrote : 
The adulterer Hastings, . WARBURTON. 

Adulterate is right. We say metals are adulterate; and adul- 
terate sometimes means the same as adulterer. In either sense, 
on this occasion, the epithet will suit. Hastings was adulterate, 
as Margaret has tried his friendship and found it faithless ; he 
was an adulterer, as he cohabited with Jane Shore during the 
life of her husband. So, the Ghost in Hamlet, speaking of the 
King, says : 

" " that incestuous, that adulterate beast." 


3 Earth gapes t hell burns, Jiends roar, saints pray,"] This 
imperfect line is not injudiciously completed by some former 
editor : 

Earth gapes, hell burns,Jiends roar for him ; saints pray, 
To have &c. STEEVENS. 

sc. iv. KING RICHARD III. 453 

The flattering index of a direful pageant, 6 
One heav'd a high, to be hurl'd down below : 
A mother only mock'd with two fair babes ; 
A dream of what thou wast ; a garish flag, 
To be the aim of every dangerous shot ; 7 
A sign of dignity, a breath, a bubble ; 
A queen in jest, only to fill the scene. 
Where is thy husband now? where be thy brothers ? 
Where be thy two sons ? wherein dost thou joy ? 
Who sues, and kneels, and says God save the 

queen ? 

Where be the bending peers that flatter J d thee ? 8 
Where be the thronging troops that followed thee? 
Decline all this, 9 and see what now thou art. 
For happy wife, a most distressed widow , 
For joyful mother, one that wails the name ; 
For one being sued to, one that humbly sues ; 

The Jlattcring index of a direful pageant,] Pageants are 
dumb shows, and the poet meant to allude to one of these, the 
index of which promised a happier conclusion. The pageants 
then displayed on publick occasions were generally preceded by a 
brief account of the order in which the characters were to walk. 
These indexes were distributed among the spectators, that they 
might understand the meaning of such allegorical stuff as was 
usually exhibited. The index of every book was anciently placed 
before the beginning of it. STEEVENS. 

7 a garish flag, 

To be the aim of every dangerous shot;"] Alluding to the 
dangerous situation of those persons to whose care the standards 
of armies were entrusted. STEEVENS. 

8 Where be the bending peers that flatter* d thee f] Mr. Rowe 
has transferred this question to Alicia in Jane Shore: 

" where is the king 

" And all the smiling cringing train of courtiers, 
" That bent the knee before thee?" STEEVENS. 

9 Decline all this,"] i. e. run through all this from first to last. 
So, in Troilus and Cressida: " I'll decline the whole question." 
This phrase the poet borrowed from his grammar. MALONE. 


For queen, a very caitiff crown' d with care : 
For one that scorn'd at me, now scorn' d of me ; 
For one being fear'd of all, now fearing one ; 
For one commanding all, obey'd of none. 
Thus hath the course of justice wheel'd about, 1 
And left thee but a very prey to time ; 
Having no more but thought of what thou wert, 
To torture thee the more, being what thou art. 
Thou didst usurp my place, And dost thou not 
Usurp the just proportion of my sorrow ? 
Now thy proud neck bears half my burden'd yoke ; 
From which even here I slip my wearied head, 
And leave the burden of it all on thee. 
Farewell, York's wife, and queen of sad mis- 
These English woes shall make me smile in France. 

Q.ELiz.O thou well skill'd in curses, stay awhile, 
And teach me how to curse mine enemies. 

Q. MAR. Forbear to sleep the night, and fast 2 

the day ; 

Compare dead happiness with living woe ; 
Think that thy babes were fairer 3 than they were, 
And he, that slew them, fouler than he is : 
Bettering thy loss makes the bad-causer worse j* 
Revolving this will teach thee how to curse. 

1 -, -wheel' d about,"] Thus the quartos. The folio tvhirl'd 
about. STEEVENS. 

* Forbear to sleep and fast ] Fast has no connection with 
the preceding wordjbrbear ; the meaning being, Sleep not at 
night, and fast during the day. The quarto reads to sleep the 
nightSy and fast the days. MALONE. 

3 laere fairer } So the quarto. The folio reads 

sweeter. MALONE. 

4 Bettering thy loss makes the bad-causer worse;] We must 
either read this line thus : 

sc. iv. KING RICHARD III. 455 

Q. ELIZ. My words are dull, O, quicken them 
with thine ! 

Q. MAR. Thy woes will make them sharp, and 
pierce like mine. 

\J&xit Q. MARGARET. 

DUCH. Why should calamity be full of words ? 

Q. ELIZ. Windy attorneys to their client woes, 5 
Airy succeeders of intestate joys, 6 
Poor breathing orators of miseries ! 
Let them have scope : though what they do impart 
Help nothing else, yet do they ease the heart. 7 

Bettering thy loss, make the bad-causer worse; 
which I believe to be the true reading, or include it in a paren- 
thesis. M. MASON. 

' Duch. Why should calamity be full of words? 

Q. Eliz. Windy attorneys to their client woes,] So, in our 
author's Venus and Adonis : 

" So of concealed sorrow may be said : 
" Free vent of words love's fire doth assuage ; 
" But when the heart's attorney once is mute, 
" The client breaks as desperate of his suit." 
The quarto reads your client woes. The folio their clients 
woes. MALONE. 

6 Airy succeeders of intestate joys,~\ As I cannot understand 
the reading of the folio intestine, I have adopted another from 
the quarto in 1597 : 

Airy succeeders of intestate joys : 

i. e. words, tun'd to complaints, succeed joys that are dead ; and 
unbequeathed to them, to whom they should properly descend. 


The metaphor is extremely harsh. The joys already possessed 
being all consumed and passed away, are supposed to have died 
intestate, that is, to have made no will, having nothing to be- 
queath ; and more verbal complaints are their successors, but 
inherit nothing but misery. MALONE. 

7 though what they do impart 

Help nothing else, yet do they ease the heart.'} So, in Mao 
kth ,- 


DUCH. If so, then be not tongue-ty'd: go with me, 
And in the breath of bitter words let's smother 
My damned son, that thy two sweet sons sniother'd, 

[Drum, within, 
I hear his drum* be copious in exclaims. 

JZnter King RICHARD, and his Train, marching. 

K. RICH. Who intercepts me in my expedition ? 

DUCH. O, she, that might have intercepted thee, 
By strangling thee in her accursed womb, 
From all the slaughters, wretch, that thou hast done, 

Q.ELiz. Hid'st thou that forehead with a golden 


Where should be branded, if that right were right, 
The slaughter of the prince that ow'd that crown, 8 
And the dire death of my poor sons, and brothers? 
Tell me, thou villain-slave, where are my children? 

DUCH. Thou toad, thou toad, where is thy bro- 

ther Clarence ? 
And little Ned Plantagenet, his son ? 

Q. ELIZ. Where is the gentle Rivers, Vaughan, 
Grey ? 

DUCH. Where is kind Hastings ? 

K. RICH. A flourish, trumpets ! strike alarum, 
drums ! 

" Give sorrow words ; the grief that does not speak, 
" Whispers the o'er-fraught heart, and bids it break." 
The quarto reads Help not at all, . MALONE. 

8 that ow'd that crown,"] i. e. that possessed it. So, in 

King John : 

" Which o*ve the crown that thou o'ermasterest.** 


gc. iv. KING RICHARD III. 457 

Let not the heavens hear these tell-tale women 
Rail on the Lord's anointed : Strike, I say. 

[Flourish. Alarums. 
Either be patient, and entreat me fair, 
Or with the clamorous report of war 
Thus will I drown your exclamations. 

DUCH. Art thou my son ? 

K. RICH. Ay ; I thank God, my father, and your- 

DUCH. Then patiently hear my impatience. 

K. RICH. Madam, I have a touch of your con- 
dition, 9 

That cannot brook the accent of reproof. 
DUCH. O, let me speak. 

K. RICH. Do, then ; but I'll not hear. 

DUCH. I will be mild and gentle in my words. 

K. RICH. And brief, good mother ; for I am in 

DUCH. Art thou so hasty ? I have staid for thee, 
God knows, in torment and in agony. 

K. RICH. And came I not at last to comfort you? 

DUCH. No, by the holy rood, thou know'st it 


Thou cam'st on earth to make the earth my hell. 
A grievous burden was thy birth to me j 

9 a touch of your condition,] A spice or particle of your 

temper or disposition. JOHNSON. 

So, in Chapman's translation of the 24th Iliad : 

" his cold blood embrac'd a fiery touch 

" Of anger," &c. 
Again, in the thirteenth Iliad : 

" if any touch appear 

" Of glory in thee : " STEEVENS. 


Tetchy 1 and wayward was thy infancy; 

Thy school-days, frightful, desperate, wild, and 

furious ; 

Thy prime of manhood, daring, bold, and ventu- 

Thy age confirm' d, proud, subtle, sly, and bloody, 
More mild, but yet more harmful, kind in hatred : 
What comfortable hour canst thou name, 
That ever grac'd me 2 in thy company ? 

K. RICH. 'Faith, none, but Humphrey Hour, 3 
that call'd your grace 

1 Tetchy ] Is touchy, peevish, fretful, ill-temper'd. 

So, in Romeo and Juliet : 

" To see it tetchy, and fall out with the dug ." 


* That ever grac'd me ] To grace seems here to mean the 
same as to bless, to make happy. So, gracious is kind, and graces 
are favours. JOHNSON. 

We find the same expression in Macbeth ; 
" Please it your highness 
" To grace us with your royal company.'* STEEVENS. 

3 Humphrey Hour,'] This may probably be an allusion 

to some affair of gallantry of which the Duchess had been sus- 
pected. I cannot find the name in Holinshed. Surely the poet's 
fondness for a quibble has not induced him at once to personify 
and christen that hour of the day which summon'd his mother 
to breakfast. 

So, in The Wit of a Woman, 1604< : " Gentlemen, time makes 
us brief: our old mistress, Houre, is at hand." 

Shakspeare might indeed by this strange phrase ( Humphrey 
Hour) have designed to mark the hour at which the good 
Duchess was as hungry as the followers of Duke Humphrey. 

The common cant phrase of dining tvith Duke Humphrey, I 
have never yet heard satisfactorily explained. It appears, how- 
ever, from a satirical pamphlet called The Guts Horn-booke, 1609, 
written by T. Deckar, that in the ancient church of St. Paul, 
one of the aisles was called Duke Humphrey's Walk; in which 
those who had no means of procuring a dinner, affected to loiter. 
Deckar concludes his fourth chapter thus : " By this, I imagine 
you have walked your bellyful, and thereupon being weary, or 


To breakfast once, forth of my company. 
If I be so disgracious in your sight, 

(which is rather, I beleeve,) being most gentleman-like hungry, 
it is fit that as I brought you unto the duke, so (because he fol- 
lowes the fashion of great men in keeping no house, and that 
therefore you must go seeke your dinner, ) suffer me to take you 
by the hand and leade you into an ordinary." The title of 
this chapter is, " How a gallant should behave himself in Ponies 

Hall, in the 7th Satire, B. III. seems to confirm this inter- 
pretation : 

" 'Tis Ruffio: Trow'st thou where he din'd to-day? 
" In sooth I saw him sit with duke Hwnfray : 
" Manie good welcoms, and much gratis cheere, 
" Keeps he for everie stragling cavaliere ; 
" An open house haunted with greate resort, 
" Long service mixt with musicall disport," &c. 

Hall's Satires, edit. 1602, p. 60. 

See likewise Foure Letters and certain Sonnets, by Gabriel 
Harvey, 1592: 

" to seeke his dinner in Poules with duke Humphrey: to 
licke dishes, to be a beggar." 

Again, in The Return of the Knight of the Post, & Nash, 
1606 : " in the end comming into Poules, to behold the old 
duke and his guests," &c. 

Again, in A wonderful, strange and miraculous Prognostica- 
tion, for this Year, &c. 1591, by Nash : " sundry fellowes in 
their silkes shall be appointed to keepe duke Humfrye company 
in Poules, because they know not where to get their dinners 

If it be objected that duke Humphrey was buried at St. Albans, 
let it likewise be remembered that cenotaphs were not uncom- 

It appears from Stowe's Survey, 1598, that Sir John Beto- 
campe, son to Guy, and brother to Thomas, Earls of Warwick, 
who died in 1358, had " a faire monument" on the south side of 
the body of St. Paul's Church. " He," says Stowe, " is by ig- 
norant people misnamed to be Humphrey Duke ofGloster, who 
lyeth honourably buried at Saint Albans, twentie miles from 
London: And therefore such as merily professe themselues to 
serue Duke Humphrey in Powles, are to bee punished here, and 
sent to Saint Albons, there to be punished againe, for theyr ab- 
sence from theyr maister, as they call him." RITSON. 

Humphrey Hour,~\ I believe nothing more than a quibble was 


Let me march on, and not offend you, madam. 
Strike up the drum. 

DUCH. I pr'ythee, hear me speak. 

K. RICH. You speak too bitterly. 

DUCH. Hear me a word ; 

For I shall never speak to thee again. 

K.RiCH. So. 

DUCH. Either thou wilt die, by God's just ordi- 

Ere from this war thou turn a conqueror ; 
Or I with grief and extreme age shall perish, 
And never look upon thy face again. 
Therefore, take with thee my most heavy curse ; 
Which, in the day of battle, tire thee more, 
Than all the complete armour that thou wear'st ! 
My prayers on the adverse party fight ; 
And there the little souls or Edward's children 
Whisper the spirits of thine enemies, 
And promise them success and victory. 
Bloody thou art, bloody will be thy end ; 
Shame serves thy life, 4 and doth thy death attend. 


Q. ELIZ. Though far more cause, yet much less 

spirit to curse 
Abides in me ; I say amen to her. [Going. 

K. RICH. Stay, madam, 5 I must speak a word 
with you. 

meant. In our poet's twentieth Sonnet we find a similar con- 
ceit; a quibble between hues (colours) and Hughes, (formerly 
spelt Helves) the person addressed. MALONE. 

4 Shame serves thy life,"] To serve is to accompany, servants 
being near the persons of their masters. JOHNSON. 

* Stay, madam,"] On this dialogue 'tis not necessary to bestow 
much criticism, part of it is ridiculous, and the whole improba- 
ble. JOHNSON. 

sc. iv. KING RICHARD III. 461 

Q. ELIZ. I have no more sons of the royal blood, 
For thee to murder: for my daughters, Richard, 
They shall be praying nuns, not weeping queens; 
And therefore level not to hit their lives. 

K. RICH. You have a daughter call'd Elizabeth, 
Virtuous and fair, royal and gracious. 

Q. ELIZ. And must she die for this ? O, let her 


And I'll corrupt her manners, stain her beauty j 
Slander myself, as false to Edward's bed ; 
Throw over her the veil of infamy : 
So she may live unscarr'd of bleeding slaughter, 
I will confess she was not Edward's daughter. 

K. RICH. Wrong not her birth, she is of royal 
blood. 6 

Q. ELIZ. To save her life, I'll say she is not so. 
K. RICH. Her life is safest only in her birth,, 

Q. ELIZ. And only in that safety died her bro- 

K. RICH. Lo, at their births 7 good stars were 

Q. ELIZ. No, to their lives bad friends were 

I cannot agree with Dr. Johnson's opinion. I see nothing ri- 
diculous in any part of this dialogue ; and with respect to pro- 
bability, it was not unnatural that Richard, who by his art and 
wheedling tongue, had prevailed on Lady Anne to marry him in 
her heart's extremest grief, should hope to persuade an ambi- 
tious, and, as he thought her, a wicked woman, to consent to his 
marriage with her daughter, which would make her a queen, 
and aggrandize her family. M. MASON. 

6 she is of royal blood."] The folio reads she is a royal 

princess. STEEVENS. 

7 Lo, at their births ] Perhaps we should read No, at 
their births TYRWHITT. 


K. RICH. All unavoided 8 is the doom of destiny. 

Q. ELIZ. True, when avoided grace makes des- 
tiny : 

My babes were destin'd to a fairer death, 
If grace had bless'd thee with a fairer life. 

K. RICH. You speak, as if that I had slain my 

Q. ELIZ. Cousins, indeed ; and by their uncle 


Of comfort, kingdom, kindred, freedom, life. 
Whose hands soever lanc'd their tender hearts, 
Thy head, all indirectly, gave direction : 9 
No doubt the murderous knife was dull and blunt, 
Till it was whetted on thy stone-hard heart, 1 
To revel in the entrails of my lambs. 
But that still use 2 of grief makes wild grief tame, 
My tongue should to thy ears not name my boys, 
Till that my nails were anchor* d in thine eyes j 
And I, in such a desperate bay of death, 

8 All unavoided 8fc.~] i. e. unavoidable. So, before : 

" Whose unavoided eye is dangerous." MALONE. 

9 Thy head, all indirectly, gave direction :] This is a jingle 
hi which Shakspeare perhaps found more delight than his read- 
ers. So, in Hamlet: 

" By indirections find directions out." 
The same opposition of words occurs also in King John. 


. 1 Till it teas uhetted on thy stone-hard heart,~\ This conceit 
seems also to have been a great favourite of our author. We 
meet with it more than once. So, in King Henry IV. P. II : 
" Thou hid'st a thousand daggers m thy thoughts, 
" Which thou hast whetted on thy stony heart, 
" To stab," &c. 
.Again, in The Merchant of Venice : 

" Not on thy sole, but on thy soul, harsh Jew, 
" Thou mak'st thy knife keen ." STEEVENS. 

* still use ] i. e. constant use. So, in K. Richard II: 

" A generation of still breeding thoughts." STEEVENS. 

v. /r. KING RICHARD III. 463 

Like a poor bark, of sails and tackling reft, 
Rush all to pieces on thy rocky bosom. 

K. RICH. Madam, so thrive I in my enterprize. 
And dangerous success of bloody wars, 
As I intend more good to you and yours, 
Than ever you or yours by me were harm'd ! 

Q. ELIZ. What good is cover'd with the face of 

To be discovered, that can do me good ? 

K. RICH. The advancement of your children, 
gentle lady. 

Q. ELIZ. Up to some scaffold, there to lose their 

heads ? 

K. RICH. No, to the dignity and height of for- 
The high imperial type 3 of this earth's glory. 

Q. ELIZ. Flatter my sorrows with report of it ; 
Tell me, what state, what dignity, what honour, 
Canst thou demise 4 to any child of mine ? 

* The high imperial type ] Type is exhibition, show, dis- 
play. JOHNSON. 

I think it means emblem, one of its usual significations. By 
the imperial type of glory, Richard means a crotvn. M. MASON, 

The canopy placed over a pulpit is still called by architects a 
type. It is, I apprehend, in a similar sense that the word is here 
used. HENLEY. 

Bullokar, in his Expositor, 1616, defines Type " A figure, 

form, or likeness of any thing." Cawdrey, in his Alphabetical 

Table, &c. 1604-, calls it " figure, example, or shadowe of any, 

thing." The word is used in King Henry VI. P. III. as here : \ 

' Thy father bears the type of king of Naples." 


4 Canst thou demise ] To demise is to grant, from demittere, 
to devolve a right from one to another. STEEVENS. 

The constant language of leases is, " demised, granted, 
and to farm let." But I believe the word is used by no poet but 


K.RiCH. Even all I have; ay, and myself and all, 
Will I withal endow a child of thine ; 
So in the Lethe of thy angry soul 
Thou drown the sad remembrance of those wrongs, 5 
Which, thou supposest, I have done to thee. 

Q. ELIZ. Be brief, lest that the process of thy 

Last longer telling than thy kindness* date. 

K. RICH. Then know, that from my soul, I love 
thy daughter. 

Q. ELIZ. My daughter's mother thinks it with 
her soul. 

K. RICH. What do you think ? 

Q. ELIZ. That thou dost love my daughter, from 
thy soul : 

So, from thy soul's love, didst thou love her bro- 
thers ; 

And, from my heart's love, I do thank thee for it* 

K. RICH. Be not so hasty to confound my mean- 

I mean, that with my soul I love thy daughter, 
And do intend to make her queen of England. 

Q. ELIZ. Well then, who dost thou mean shall 
be her king ? 

K. RICH. Even he, that makes her queen: Who 
else should be ? 

Shakspeare. For demise, the reading of the quarto, and first 
folio, the editor of the second folio arbitrarily substituted devise. 


5 So in the Lethe of thy angry soul 

Thou drawn the sad remembrance of those tvrongs,^ So, in 
King Henry IV. P. II: 

" May this be wash'd in Lethe and for gotten?" 


sc. iv. KING RICHARD III. 465 

Q. ELIZ. What, thou ? 

K. RICH. Even soc What think you 

of it, madam ? 6 

Q. ELIZ. How canst thou woo her ? 
K. RICH. That I would learn of you, 

As one being best acquainted with her humour. 

Q. ELIZ. And wilt thou learn of me ? 

K. RICH. Madam, with all my heart. 7 

Q. ELIZ. Send to her, by the man that slew her 


A pair of bleeding hearts , thereon engrave, 
Edward, and York ; then, haply, will she weep : 
Therefore present to her, as sometime Margaret 8 
Did to thy father, steep'd in Rutland's blood, 
A handkerchief; which, say to her, did drain 
The purple sap from her sweet brother's body, 
And bid her wipe her weeping eyes withal. 
If this inducement move her not to love, 
Send her a letter of thy noble deeds ; 
Tell her, thou mad'st away her uncle Clarence, 
Her uncle Rivers ; ay, and, for her sake, 
Mad'st quick conveyance with her good aunt Anne. 

K. RICH. You mock me, madam j this is not the 

To win your daughter. 

Even so: What think you of it, madam?'] Thus the folio, ex- 
cept that it reads hom instead of what. The quarto, without 
attention to the broken verse preceding : 

I, even I : what think you of it, madam ? 

" I am not (says Mr. Malone,) sure whether it should not be 
printed, Ay, even I." STEEVENS. 

7 Madam, tvith all my heart.~] I suppose the word Madam, 
may be safely omitted, as it violates the measure. STEEVENS. 

8 as sometime Margaret ; ] Here is another reference 

to the plays of Henry VI. JOHNSON. 

VOL. XIV. 2 H 


Q. ELIZ. There is no other way ; 

Unless thou could'st put on some other shape, 
And not be Richard that hath done all this. 

K. RICH. Say, that I did* all this for love of her ? 

Q. ELIZ. Nay, then indeed, she cannot choose 

but have thee, 1 
Having bought love with such a bloody spoil. 2 

K. RICH. Look, what is done cannot be now 

amended : 

Men shall deal unadvisedly sometimes, 
Which after-hours give leisure to repent. 
If I did take the kingdom from your sons, 
To make amends, I'll give it to your daughter. 
If I have kill'd the issue of your womb, 
To quicken your increase, I will beget 
Mine issue of your blood upon your daughter. 
A grandam's name is little less in love, 
Than is the doting title of a mother ; . 
They are as children, but one step below, 

9 Say, that I did &c.] This and the following fifty-four 
lines, ending with the words tender years, in p. 469, are found 
only in the folio. MALONE. 

1 Nay, then indeed, she cannot choose but have thee,~] [Old 
copy Jiate.~] The sense seems to require that we should read : 

but love thee, 

ironically. TYRWHITT. 

As this is evidently spoken ironically, I agree with Tyrwhitt, 
that the present reading is corrupt, but should rather amend it 
by reading " have you," than " love you ;" as the word have is 
more likely to have been mistaken for hate, the traces of the 
letters being nearly the same. M. MASON. 

As this conjecture is, in my opinion, at once fortunate and 
judicious, I have placed it in the text. A somewhat correspond- 
ing error had happened in Coriolanus, last speech of scene iv. 
Act IV. where have was apparently given instead of hate. 


* bloody spoil.'] Spoil is waste, havock. JOHNSON. 

sc. iv. KING RICHARD III. 467 

Even of your mettle, of your very blood ; 3 
Of all one pain, save for a night of groans 
Endur'd or her, 4 for whom you bid like sorrow. 5 
Your children were vexation to your youth, 
But mine shall be a comfort to your age. 
The loss, you have, is but a son being king, 
And, by that loss, your daughter is made queen. 
I cannot make you what amends I would, 
Therefore accept such kindness as I can. 
Dorset, your son, that, with a fearful soul, 
Leads discontented steps in foreign soil, 
This fair alliance quickly shall call home 
To high promotions and great dignity : 
The king, that calls your beauteous daughter, 


Familiarly shall call thy Dorset brother ; 
Again shall you be mother to a king, 
And all the ruins of distressful times 

3 Even of your mettle, of your very blood ;] The folio has 
mettal. The two words are frequently confounded in the old 
copies. That mettle was the word intended here, appears from 
various other passages. So, in Macbeth : 

" Thy undaunted mettle should compose 

" Nothing but males." 
Again, in King Richard II: 

" that bed, that womb, 

" That mettle, that self-mould that fashion'd thee, 

" Made him a man.'* 
Again, in Timon of Athens: 

" Common mother, thou, 

" Whose womb unmeasurable, and infinite breast, 

" Teems and feeds all, whose self-same mettle 

" Whereof thy proud child, arrogant man, is puff'd, 

" Engenders the black toad," &c. MALONE. 

4 Endur'd of her,] Of in the language of Shakspeare's age 
was frequently used for by. MALONE. 

5 bid like sorrow.] Bid is in the past tense from bide. 


2 H 2 


Repair' d with double riches of content. 
What ! we have many goodly days to see : 
The liquid drops of tears that you have shed, 
Shall come again, transformed to orient pearl ; 
Advantaging their loan, with interest 
Of ten-times-double gain of happiness. 6 
Go then, my mother, to thy daughter go ; 
Make bold her bashful years with your experience ; 
Prepare her ears to hear a wooer's tale ; 
Put in her tender heart the aspiring flame 
Of golden sovereignty ; acquaint the princess 
With the sweet silent hours of marriage joys : 
And when this arm of mine hath chastised 
The petty rebel, dull-brain'd Buckingham, 
Bound with triumphant garlands will I come, 
And lead thy daughter to a conqueror's bed ; 
To whom I will retail my conquest won, 7 
And she shall be sole victress, Caesar's Caesar. 

Q. ELIZ. What were I best to say ? her father's 

Would be her lord ? Or shall I say, her uncle I 

6 Advantaging their loan, tvith interest 
Often-times-double gain of happiness.] [The folio love.~\ 

My easy emendation will convince every reader that love and 
lone are made out of one another only by a letter turned upside 
down. The tears that you have lent to your afflictions, shall be 
turned into gems; and requite you by ivay of interest, &c. 


How often the letters u and n are confounded in these copies, 
has been shown in various places. See Vol. V. p. 191, n. 3 ; 
and note on Timon of Athens, Act IV. sc. iii. Vol. XIX. 


7 To 'whom I 'will retail my conquest won,'] To retail (as Mr. 
M. Mason has observed in a note on Act III. sc. i.p. 370, n. 8,) 
is to hand down from one to another. Richard, in the present 
instance, means to say he will transmit the benefit of his victo- 
ries to Elizabeth. STEEVENS. 


Or, he that slew her brothers, and her uncles ? 
Under what title shall I woo for thee, 
That God, the law, my honour, and her love, 
Can make seem pleasing to her tender years ? 

K. RICH. Infer fair England's peace by this alli- 

Q. ELIZ. Which she shall purchase with still 
lasting war. 

K. RICH. Tell her, the king, that may command, 

Q. ELIZ. That at her hands, which the king's 
King forbids. 8 

K. RICH. Say, she shall be a high and mighty 

Q. ELIZ. To wail the title, as her mother doth. 
K. RICH. Say, I will love her everlastingly. 
Q. ELIZ. But how long shall that title, ever, last?' 
K. RICH. Sweetly in force unto her fair life's end. 

Q. ELIZ. But how long fairly shall her sweet life 

K. RICH. As long as heaven, and nature, length- 
ens it. 

Q. ELIZ. As long as hell, and Richard, likes of it, 

K.RiCH. Say, I, her sovereign, am her subjectlow. 1 

which the king's King forbids."] Alluding to the pro- 

hibition in the Levitical law. See Levitictis, xviii. 14. GREY. 

9 But hoiv long shall that title, ever, last P] Young has bor- 
rowed this thought in his Universal Passion : 

" But say, my all, my mistress, and my friend, 
" What day next week th* eternity shall end ?" 


' am her subject low.] Thus the folio. The quarto reads: 

her subject love. STEEVENS. 


Q. ELIZ. But she,yoursubject, loaths such sov'- 

K. RICH. Be eloquent in my behalf to her. 

Q. ELIZ. An honest tale speeds best, being plain- 
ly told. 

/ * 

K. RICH. Then, in plain terms tell her my loving 
tale. 2 

Q. ELIZ. Plain, and not honest, is tooharsh a style. 

K. RICH. Your reasons are too shallow and too 

Q. ELIZ. O, no, my reasons are too deep and 

dead ; 
Too deep and dead, poor infants, in their graves. 

K RICH. Harp not 3 on that string, madam ; that 
is past. 

* J7e, m. plain tevms tell her my loving tale.~] So the quarto. 
The folio reads : 

" Then plainly to her tell ray loving tale." MALONE. 

* Hatrp not Scc.J In the regulation of these short speeches I 
have followed the quarto 1597. STEEVENS-. 

K. Rich. Harp not on that string, madam ; that is past. 
Q. EKz. Harp on it still shall I, &c.] In the quarto, 1598, 
the first of these two lines is wanting. The passage stands thus: 

" Qw. O,, no, ray reasons, &c. 
" Too deep and dead, poor infants, in their graves. 

" King. Harp on it still shall I, till heart-strings break. 
" Now by my george," &c. 

The printer of the next quarto saw that the line " Harp on 
it still shall I," &c. could not belong to Richard, and therefore 
annexed it to the Queen's former speech, but did not insert the 
omitted line. 

The editor of the folio supplied the line that was wanting, but 
absurdly misplaced it, and exhibited the passage thus: 

** Qu. O, no,, my reasons are too deep and dead ; 
*' Too deep and dead, poor infants, in their graves. 
" Harp it still shall I, till heart-strings break. 

" King. Harp not on that string, madam, that is past. 
" Now by my george," &c. 
The text is formed from the quarto, and the folio. MALONE. 

ac. /r. KING RICHARD III. 471 

Q. ELIZ. Harp on it still shall I, till heart-strings 

K. RICH. Now, by my George, my garter, and 
my crown, 

Q. ELIZ. Profan'd, dishonoured, and the third 

K. RICH. I swear. 

Q. ELIZ. By nothing ; for this is no oath. 

Thy George, profan'd, hath lost his holy honour ; 
Thy garter, 4 blemish'd, pawn'd his knightly virtue; 
Thy crown, usurp'd, disgraced his kingly glory : 
If something thou would* st swear to be believ'd, 
Swear then by something that thou hast not wrong'd. 

K. RICH. Now by the world, 

Q. ELIZ. 'Tis full of thy foul wrongs. 

K. RICH. My father's death, 

Q. ELIZ. Thy life hath that dishonour'd. 

K. RICH. Then, by myself, 

Q. ELIZ. Thyself is self-mis-us'd. 

K. RICH. Why then, by God, 

Q. ELIZ. God's wrong is most of all. 

If thou had'st fear'd to break an oath by him, 5 
The unity, the king thy brother made, 

4 Thy George, prqfan'd, hath lost his holy honour; 

Thy garter, &c.] The quarto reads The George, &c. The 
folio Thy George ; &c. and, afterwards, lordly instead of 
lioty. STEEVENS. 

5 God's "wrong is most of all. 

If thou had'st fear'd to break an oath by him, Sfc.~] I have 
followed the quarto, except that it reads in the preceding speech, 
Why then, by God . The editors of the folio, from the ap- 
prehension of the penalty of the Statute, 3 Jac. I. c. 21. printed 
" Why then by heaven," and the whole they absurdly exhibited 


Had not been broken, nor my brother slain. 6 
If thou had'st fear'd to break an oath by him, 
The imperial metal, circling now thy head, 
Had grac'd the tender temples of my child ; 
And both the princes had been breathing here, 
Which now, two tender bed-fellows for dust, 7 
Thy broken faith hath made a prey for worms. 8 
What canst thou swear by now ? 

K. RICH. By the time to come. 9 

Q. ELIZ. That thou hast wronged in the time 

o'er-past j 

For I myself have many tears to wash 
Hereafter time, for time past, wrong'd by thee. 
The children live, whose parents thou hast 

slaughter* d, 

" Rich. Why then, by heaven. 
" Qu. Heaven's wrong is most of all. 
" If thou didst fear to break an oath ivith him, 
" The unity," &c. 

" If thou hadst fear'd to break an oath by him, 
" The imperial metal," &c. 

By their alteration in the first line of the Queen's speech, they 
made all that follows ungrammatical. The change in the prece- 
ding speech, not having that consequence, I have adopted it. 


6 the king thy brother made, 

Had not been 'broken, nor my brother slain.] The quarto, 
by an error of the press, has my brother, which the editor of 
the folio corrected thus : 

The unity the king, my husband, made, 
Thou hadst not broken, nor my brothers died. MALONE. 
7 Which noiK, two tender bed-fellows &c.] Mr. Roderick 
observes, thatthewordtt>ois without any force, and would read: 
Which noiK too tender &c. STE EVENS. 

Thus the folio. The quarto two tender play-fellows. 


8 a prey for ivorms.~\ So the quarto. Folio the prey. 


9 By the time to come.~\ So the quarto. By is not in the 
folio. MALONE. 


Ungovern'd youth, to wail it in their age : l 

The parents live, whose children thou hast butch- 


Old barren plants, to wail it with their age. 
Swear not by time to come ; for that thou hast 
Misus'd ere used, by times ill-US* d o'er-past. 

K. RICH. As I intend to prosper, and repent ! 
So thrive I in my dangerous attempt 2 
Of hostile arms ! myself myself confound ! 
Heaven, and fortune, bar me happy hours! 3 - 
Day, yield me not thy light ; nor, night, thy rest ! 
Be opposite all planets of good luck 
To my proceeding, if, with pure heart's love, 
Immaculate devotion, holy thoughts, 
I tender not thy beauteous princely daughter ! 
In her consists my happiness, and thine ; 
Without her, follows to myself, and thee, 
Herself, the land, and many a Christian soul, 
Death, desolation, ruin, and decay : 
It cannot be avoided, but by this ; 
It will not be avoided, but by this. 
Therefore, dear mother, (I must call you so,) 
Be the attorney of my love to her. 
Plead what I will be, not what I have been ; 
Not my deserts, but what I will deserve : 
Urge the necessity and state of times, 
And be not peevish 4 found in great designs. 

1 to wail it in their age :~\ So the quarto, 1598. The 

quarto, 1602, &c. and the folio, read with their age. 


* in my dangerous attempt ] So the quarto. Folio 

dangerous affairs. MALONE. 

3 Heaven, and fortune, bar me happy hours /] This line is 
found only in the folio. MALONE. 

4 And be not peevishfound ] Thus the folio Peevish in our 


Q. ELIZ. Shall I be tempted of the devil thus ? 
K. RICH. Ay, if the devil tempt thee to do good. 
Q. ELIZ. Shall I forget myself, to be myself? 

K. RICH. Ay, if your self's remembrance wrong 

Q. ELIZ. But thou didst kill my children. 

K. RICH. But in your daughter's womb I bury 

them : 

Where, in that nest of spicery, they shall breed 5 
Selves of themselves, to your recomforture, 

Q. ELIZ. Shall I go win my daughter to thy will? 
K. RICH. And be a happy mother by the deed. 

Q. ELIZ. I go. Write to me very shortly, 6 
And you shall understand from me her mind. 

K. RICH. Bear her my true love's kiss, and so 

[Kissing her. Exit Q. ELIZABETH. 

author's time signified foolish. So, in the second scene of this 

" When Richmond was a little peevish boy, ." 
See also Minsheu's DICT. in v. The quarto reads peevish 
y and I am not sure that it is not right. A compound epi- 
thet might have been intended, peevish-fond. So childish-foolish <, 
senseless-obstinate, foolish-ivitty, &c. MALONE. 

I believe the present reading is the true one. So, in King 
Henry VIII: 

" have great care 

" I be not found a talker." STEEVEKS. 

4 in that nest of spicery, they shall breed'] Alluding 

to the phoenix. STEEVENS. 

So the quarto. The folio reads they will breed. 


8 shortly,] This adverb, in the present instance, is em- 
ployed as a trisyllable. See Mr. Tyrwhitt's note, Vol. IV. p. 202. 


sc. iv. KING RICHARD III. 475 

Relenting fool, and shallow, changing woman ! T 
How now ? what news ? 

Enter RATCLIFF ; CATESBY following. 

RAT. Mostmighty sovereign, on the western coast 
Rideth a puissant navy ; to the shore 
Throng many doubtful hollow-hearted friends, 
Unarm'd, and unresolv'd to beat them back : 
"Tis thought, that Richmond is their admiral - f 
And there they hull, expecting but the aid 
Of Buckingham, to welcome them ashore. 

K. RICH. Some light-foot friend post to the 

duke 8 of Norfolk : 
Ratcliff, thyself, or Catesby ; where is he ? 

CATE. Here, my good lord. 

K. RICH. Catesby, fly to the duke. 

CATE. I will, my lord, with all convenient haste. 

K. RICH. Ratcliff, come hither : 9 Post to Salis- 

When thou com'st thither, Dull unmindful vil- 
lain, \_To CATESBY. 

Why stay'st thou here, and go'st not to the duke ? 

7 Relenting foot, and shallow, changing woman f] Such 
was the real character of this Queen dowager,, who woaild have 
married her daughter to King Richard, and. did all in her power 
to alienate the Marquis of Dorset, her son, from the Earl of 
Richmond. STEEVENS. 

8 Swne ligkt-js>ot friend post to the duke J Richard's pre- 
cipitation and confusion is in this scene very happily represented 
by inconsistent orders, and sudden variations of opinion. 


9 Ratcliff', come hither :~] The folio has Catesby, come hither. 
The words are not in the quarto. It is obvious that they are 
addressed to RatcKff. The correction was made by Mr. Rove. 



CATE. First, mighty liege, tell me your highness* 

What frpm your grace I shall deliver to him. 

K. RICH. O, true, good Catesby ; Bid him levy 


The greatest strength and power he can make, 
And meet me suddenly at Salisbury. 

CATE. I go. \_Exit. 

RAT. What, may it please you, shall I do at Sa- 
lisbury ? 

K. RICH. Why, what would* st thou do there, be- 
fore I go ? 

RAT. Your highness told me, I should post be- 


K. RICH. My mind is chang'd. Stanley, what 
news with you ? 

STAN. None good, my liege, to please you with 

the hearing ; 
Nor none so bad, but well may be reported. 

K. RICH. Heyday, a riddle ! neither good nor 


What need'st thou run so many miles about, 
When thou may'st tell thy tale the nearest way ? 
Once more, what news ? 

STAN. Richmond is on the seas. 

K. RICH. There let him sink, and be the seas on 

White-liver 'd runagate, 1 what doth he there ? 

1 White-liver'd runagate,] This epithet, descriptive of coward- 
ice, is not peculiar to Shakspeare. Stephen Gosson in his 
School of Abuse, 1579, speaking of the Helots, says: 

" Leave those precepts to the "white-livered Hylotes." 


sc. iv. KING RICHARD III. 477 

STAN. I know not, mighty sovereign, but by 

K. RICH. Well, as you guess ? 

STAN. Stirr'd up by Dorset, Buckingham, and 

He makes for England, here to claim the crown. 

K. RICH. Is the chair empty ? is the sword un- 

sway'd ? 

Is the king dead ? the empire unpossessed ? 
What heir of York 2 is there alive, but we ? 
And who is England's king, but great York's heir ? 
Then, tell me, what makes he upon the seas ? 

STAN. Unless for that, my liege, I cannot guess. 

K. RICH. Unless for that he comes to be your 


You cannot guess wherefore the Welshman comes. 
Thou wilt revolt, and fly to him, I fear. 

STAN. No, mighty liege ; 3 therefore mistrust me 

3 What heir of York ] i. e. What son of Richard Duke of 
York ? RITSON. 

- Richard asks this question in the plenitude of power, and no 
one dares to answer him. But they whom he addresses,had they 
notbeen intimidated, might have told him, that there was a male 
heir of the house of York alive, who had a better claim to the 
throne than he ; Edward Earl of Warwick, the only son of the 
Usurper's elder brother, George Duke of Clarence ; and Eliza- 
beth, the eldest daughter of Edward IV. and all her sisters, had 
a better title than either of them. MALONE. 

The issue of King Edward had been pronounced illegitimate, 
the Duke of Clarence attainted of high treason, and the usurper 
declared " the undoubted heir of Richard duke of York," by 
act of parliament : so that, as far as such a proceeding can alter 
the constitution, and legalize usurpation and murder, he is per- 
fectly correct and unanswerable. RITSON. 

3 No, mighty liege ;] So the quarto. Folio No, my good 
lord. MALONE. 


K. RICH. Where is thy power then, to beat him 

back ? 

Where be thy tenants, and thy followers ? 
Are they not now upon the western shore, 
Safe-conducting the rebels from their ships ? 

STAN. No, my good lord, my friends are in the 

K. RICH. Cold friends to me : What do they in 

the north, 
When they should serve their sovereign in the west? 

STAN. They have not been commanded, mighty 


Pleaseth your majesty to give me leave, 
I'll muster up my friends ; and meet your grace, 
Where, and what time, your majesty shall please. 

K. RICH. Ay, ay, thou wouldst be gone to join 

with Richmond : 
I will not trust you, sir. 4 

STAN. Most mighty sovereign, 

You have no cause to hold my friendship doubtful j 
I never was, nor never will be false. 

K. RICH. Well, go, muster men. But, hear you 

leave behind 

. Your son, George Stanley ; look your heart be firm, 
Or else his head's assurance is but frail. 

STAN. So deal with him, as I prove true to you. 


Enter a Messenger. 

MESS. My gracious sovereign, now in Devonshire, 
As I by friends am well advertised, 

4 / mil not trust you, sir.'] So the quarto. Folio But I'll 
not trust thee. MALONE. 


Sir Edward Courtney, and the haughty prelate, 

Bishop of Exeter, his elder brother, 

With many more confederates, are in arms. 

Enter another Messenger. 

2 MESS. In Kent, my liege, the Guildfords are 

in arms ; 

And every hour more competitors 5 
Flock to the rebels, and their power grows strong. 

Enter another Messenger. 

3 MESS. My lord, the army of great Bucking. 


K. RICH. Out on ye, owls ! nothing but songs of 

death ? " [He strikes him. 

There, take thou that, till thou bring better news. 

3 MESS. The news I have 6 to tell your majesty, 
Is, that, by sudden floods and fall of waters, 
Buckingham's army is dispers'd and scattered ; 
And he himself wander' d away alone, 
No man knows whither. 

K. RICH. O, I cry you mercy : 

There is my purse, to cure that blow of thine. 

5 more competitors ~] That is, more opponents. 


Competitors do not here mean opponents, but associates. See 
a note on this subject in The Two Gentlemen of Verona, where 
Sir Proteus, speaking of Valentine, says : 

" Myself in council his competitor." 
That is, his associate. M. MASON. 

See Vol. IV. p. 233, n. 6. STEEVENS. 

6 The news I have &c.] So the folio. The quarto reads : 

" Your grace mistakes ; the news I bring is good ; 
" My news is," &c. MALONE. 


Hath any well-advised friend proclaimed 
Reward to him that brings the traitor in ? 

3 MESS. Such proclamation hath been made, my 


Enter another Messenger. 

4 MESS. Sir Thomas Lovel, and lord marquis 


'Tis said, my liege, in Yorkshire are in arms. 
But this good comfort bring I to your highness, 
The Bretagne navy is dispersed by tempest : 
Richmond, in Dorsetshire, sent out a boat 
Unto the shore, to ask those on the banks, 
If they were his assistants, yea, or no ; 
Who answer* d him, they came from Buckingham 
Upon his party : he, mistrusting them, 
Hois'd sail, and made his course again for Bretagne. 7 

7 and made his course again for Bretagne.^ Henry 

Tudor Earl of Richmond, the eldest son of Edmund of Hadham 
Earl of Richmond, (who was half-brother to King Henry VI.) 
by Margaret, the only daughter of John the first Duke of So- 
merset, who was grandson to John of Gaunt Duke of Lancaster, 
was carried by his uncle Jasper Earl of Pembroke immediately 
after the battle of Tewksbury into Britany, where he was kept 
in a kind of honourable custody by the Duke of Bretagne, and 
where he remained till the year 1484, when he made his escape 
and fled for protection to the French court. Being considered at 
that time as nearest in blood to King Henry VI. all the Lancastrian 
party looked up to him even in the life-time of King Edward IV. 
who was extremely jealous of him ; and after Richard usurped 
the throne, they with more confidence supported Richmond's 
claim. The claim of Henry Duke of Buckingham was in some 
respects inferior to that of Richmond ; for he was descended by 
his mother from Edmund the second Duke of Somerset, the 
younger brother of Duke John ; by his father from Thomas Duke 
of Gloster, the younger brother of John of Gaunt : but what- 
ever priority the Earl of Richmond might claim by his mother, 
he could not plead any title through his father, who in fact had 

sc. iv. KING RICHARD JIL . 481 

K. RICH. March on, march on, since we are up 

in arms ; 

If not to fight with foreign enemies, 
Yet to beat down these rebels here at home. 


CATE. My liege, the duke of Buckingham is 


That is the best news ; That the earl of Richmond 
Is with a mighty power landed at Milford, 8 
Is colder news, but yet they must be told. 9 

K. RICH. Away towards Salisbury ; while we rea- 
son here, 1 
A royal battle might be won and lost : 2 

no Lancastrian blood whatsoever ; nor was his maternal title of 
the purest kind, for John the first Earl of Somerset was an ille- 
gitimate son of John of Gaunt. MALONE. 

landed at Milford,~\ The Earl of Richmond embarked 

L.>>i. Clf\f\f\ _ A. TT H * XT J A ... .4. t f.4- 

with about 2000 men at Harfleur in Normandy, August 1st, 
1485, and landed at Milford Haven on the 7th. He directed his 
course to Wales, hoping the Welsh would receive him cordially, 
as their countryman, he having been born at Pembroke, and his 
grand-father being Owen Tudor, who married Katharine of 
France, the widow of King Henry V. MALONE. 

9 they must be told.~\ This was the language of Shak- 

speare's time, when the word news was often considered as plural. 
See note on Antony and Cleopatra, Act I. sc. i. Vol. XVII. 
All the modern editors, however, read it must be told. 


1 "while tue reason here,~\ i.e. while we talk here. See 

Vol. VII. p. 294, n. 8. MALONE. 

* A royal battle might be won and lost:] So, in Macbeth: 

" When the battle's lost and u>ow." 

This antithetical phrase is found in several of our ancient 
writers. STEEVENS. 

VOL. XIV. 2 I 


Some one take order, Buckingham be brought 
To Salisbury ; the rest march on with me. 



A Room in Lord Stanley's House. 

STAN. Sir Christopher, tell Richmond this from 

me : 3 
That, in the sty of this most bloody boar, 

3 Sir Christopher, tell Richmond this from me :~\ The person, 
who is called Sir Christopher here, and who has been styled so 
in the Dramatis Persona; of all the impressions, I find by the 
Chronicles to have been Christopher Urswick, a bachelor in divi- 
nity ; and chaplain to the Countess of Richmond, who had in- 
termarried wth the Lord Stanley. This priest, the history tells 
us, frequently went backwards and forwards, unsuspected, on 
messages betwixt the Countess of Richmond, and her husband, 
and the young Earl of Richmond, whilst he was preparing to 
make his descent on England. THEOBALD. 

This Christopher Urswick was afterwards Almoner to King 
Henry VII. and retired to Hackney, where he died in 1521. On 
his tomb, still to be seen in that church, it is said " Ad exteros 
reges undecies pro patria Legatus ; Deconatum Eboracensem, 
Archidia conatum Richmundie, Decanatum Windesoriae, habitos 
yivens reliquit. Episcopatum Norwicensem oblatum recusavit." 
Weaver, who has printed this inscription, concludes his eulogium 
thus : " here let him rest as an example for all our great prelates 
to admire, and for few or none to imitate." REED. 

This circumstance is also recorded by Burton in his Anatomy 
of Melancholy, 4th edit. p. 187 : " But most part they are very 
shamefast ; and that makes them with Pet. Blesensis, Christopher 
Urswick, and many such, to refuse honours, offices, and pre- 

: Dr. Johnson has observed, that Sir was anciently a title assumed 
by graduates. This the late Mr. Guthrie disputes ; and says, it 

7. r. KING RICHARD III. 483 

My son George Stanley is frank' d up in hold j 
If I revolt, off goes young George's head; 
The fear of that withholds my present aid.* 
But, tell me, where is princely Richmond now ? 

CHRIS. At Pembroke, or at Ha'rford-west, in 

STAN. What men of name resort to him ? 

CHRIS. Sir Walter Herbert, a renowned soldier ; 
Sir Gilbert Talbot, sir William Stanley ; 
Oxford, redoubted Pembroke, sir James Blunt, 
And Rice ap Thomas, with a valiant crew; 5 

was a title sold by the pope's legates, &c. that his holiness might 
be on the same footing with the king. STEEVENS. 

In The Scornful Lady of Beaumont and Fletcher, Welford 
says to Sir Roger, the curate, " I acknowledge you to be your 
art's master." " I am but a bachelor of art, sir," replies Sir 
Roger. Mr. Guthrie would have done well to have informed us, 
how Sir Roger could possibly have bought his title of the pope's 
nuncio ; when, as Abigail tells us, he had only " twenty nobles 
de claro, besides his pigges in posse" FARMER. 

See Vol. V. p. 7, n. 1. STEEVENS. 

The title of Sir is still appropriated to Bachelors of Arts in the 
University of Dublin ; and the word Bachelor evidently derived 
from the French has Chevalier, that is, a lower kind of Knight. 
This accounts for the title of Sir being given to Bachelors. 


4 my present aid. ] Thus the quarto. After these words 

three lines are added in the folio, in substance the same as the 
first three lines of Stanley's concluding speech. Instead of the 
concluding speech of the quarto, which is here followed, the 
folio reads thus : 

" Well, hie to thy lord ; I kiss his hand ; 

** My letter will resolve him of my mind, 

" Farewell." MALONE. 

* valiant crew;"] This expression (which sounds but 

meanly in modern ears) has been transplanted by Dryden into 
his Alexander's Feast : 

" Give the vengeance due 
" To the valiant crew." STEEVENS. 

2 I 2 


And many other of great fame and worth : 
And towards London do they bend their course, 
If by the way they be not fought withal. 

STAN. Well, hie thee to thy lord ; commend me 

to him ; 

Tell him, the queen hath heartily consented 
He shall espouse Elizabeth her daughter. 
These letters will resolve him of my mind. 
Farewell. [Gives Papers to Sir CHRISTOPHER. 



Salisbury. An open Place. 

Enter the Sheriff, and Guard, with BUCKINGHAM, 
led to Execution. 

BUCK. Will not king Richard let me speak with 
him? 6 

SHER. No, my good lord j therefore be patient. 

BUCK. Hastings, and Edward's children, Rivers, 

6 Will not Icing Richard let me speak with him ?"] The reason 
why the Duke of Buckingham solicited an interview with the 
King, is explained in King Henry VIII. Act I : 

" 1 would have play'd 

" The part my father meant to act upon 

" The usurper Richard ; who, being at Salisbury, 

" Made suit to come in his presence; which, if granted, 

" As he made semblance of his duty, would 

" Have put his knife into him." STEEVENS. 

See also Hall's Chronicle., Richard III. fo. 16. REEI>. 

so. 2. KING RICHARD III. 485 

Holy king Henry, and thy fair son Edward, 

Vaughan, and all that have miscarried 

By underhand corrupted foul injustice ; 

If that your moody discontented souls 

Do through the clouds behold this present hour, 

Even for revenge mock my destruction ! 

This is All-Souls' day, fellows, is it not ? 

SHER. It is, my lord. 

BUCK. Why, then All-Souls' day is my body's 


This is the day, which, in king Edward's time, 
I wish'd might fall on me, when I was found 
False to his children, or his wife's allies : 
This is the day, wherein J wish'd to fall 
By the false faith of him whom most I trusted ; 
This, this All-Souls' day to my fearful soul, 
Is the determin'd respite of my wrongs. 7 
That high All-seer which I dallied with, 
Hath turned my feigned prayer on my head, 
And given in earnest what I begg'd in jest. 
Thus doth he force the swords of wicked men 
To turn their own points on their masters' bosoms : 
Thus Margaret's curse falls heavy on my neck, 
When he, quoth she, shall split thy heart with sor- 

Remember Margaret was a prophetess. 
Come, sirs, convey me to the block of shame ; 
Wrong hath but wrong, and blame the due of 
blame. 8 

[Exeunt BUCKINGHAM, 8$c. 

7 Is the determin'd respite of my 'wrongs.'} Hanmer has rightly 
explained it, the time to which the punishment of his wrongs 
was respited. 

Wrongs in this line means wrongs done, or injurious practices. 


9 blame the due of blame.'] This scene should, in my 



Plain near Tamworth. 

Enter, with Drum and Colours, RICHMOND, Ox- 
and Others, with Forces, marching. 

RICHM. Fellows in arms, and my most loving 


Bruis'd underneath the yoke of tyranny, 
Thus far into the bowels of the land 
Have we march'd on without impediment ; 
And here receive we from our father Stanley 
Lines of fair comfort and encouragement. 
The wretched, bloody, and usurping boar, 
That spoil' d your summer fields, and fruitful vines, 

opinion, be added to the foregoing Act, so the fourth Act will 
have a more full and striking conclusion, and the fifth Act will 
comprise the business of the important day, which put an end to 
the competition of York and Lancaster. Some of the quarto 
editions are not divided into Acts, and it is probable, that this 
and many other plays were left by the author in one unbroken 
continuity, and afterwards distributed by chance, or what seems 
to have been a guide very little better, by the judgment or caprice 
of the first editors. JOHNSON. 

9 Oxford,"} John de Vere, Earl of Oxford, a zealous Lan- 
castrian, who after along confinement in Hames Castle in Picardy, 
escaped from thence in 14-84-, and joined the Earl of Richmond 
at Paris. He commanded the Archers at the battle of Bosworth. 


1 Sir James Blunt,"] He had been captain of the Castle 

of Hames, and assisted the Earl of Oxford in his escape. 


sc. n. KING RICHARD III. 487 

Swills your warm blood 2 like wash, and makes his 


In your embowelFd bosoms, 3 this foul swine 
Lies now 4 even in the center of this isle, 
Near to the town of Leicester, as we learn : 
From Tamworth thither, is but one day's march. 
In God's name, cheerly on, courageous friends, 
To reap the harvest of perpetual peace 
By this one bloody trial of sharp war. 

* That spoil'd your surtiiner fields, and fruitful vines, 

Swills your ivarm blood &c.] This sudden change from the 
past time to the present, and vice versa, is common to Shakspeare. 
So, in the argument prefixed to his Rape of Lucrece : " The 
same night he treacherously stealeth into her chamber, violently 
ravished her," &c. MALONE. 

3 embowell'd bosoms,'] Exenterated; ripped up : alluding, 

perhaps, to the Promethean vulture ; or, more probably, to the 
sentence pronounced in the English courts against traitors, by 
which they are condemned to be hanged, drawn, that is, em- 
bowelled, and quartered. JOHNSON. 

Drawn, in the sentence pronounced upon traitors only, signi- 
fies to be drawn by the heels or on a hurdle from the prison to 
the place of execution. So, Dr. Johnson has properly expounded 
it in Measure for Measure, Act II. So, Holinshed, in the year 
1569, and Stowe's Chronicle, edit. 1614, p. 162, 171, 418, 
763, 766. Sometimes our historians use a colloquial inaccuracy 
of expression in writing, hanged, drawn, and quartered ; but 
they often express it drawn, hanged, and quartered ; and 
sometimes they add bowelled, or his bowels taken out, which 
would be tautology, if the same thing was implied in the word 
drawn. TOLLET. 

Drawn in the sense of embowelled, is never used but in speak- 
ing of a fowl. It is true, embowelling is also part of the sen- 
tence in high treason, but in order of time it comes after draw- 
ing and hanging. BLACKSTONE. 

4 Lies now ] ue. sojourns. See Vol. XII. p. 144, n. 5. 
For lies, the reading of the quarto, the editors of the folio, pro- 
bably not understanding the term, substituted Is. See p. 490, 
n. 1. MALONE. 


OXF. Every man's conscience is a thousand 

swords, 5 
To fight against that bloody homicide. 

HERB. I doubt not, but his friends will turn to 

BLUNT. He hath no friends, but who are friends 

for fear ; 
Which, in his dearest need, will fly from him. 

RICHM. All for our vantage. Then, in God's 

name, march : 

True hope is swift, and flies with swallow's wings, 6 
Kings it makes gods, and meaner creatures kings. 



Bosworth Field, 

Enter King RICHARD, and Forces ; the Duke of 
NORFOLK, Earl of SURREY, and Others. 

K. RICH. Here pitch our tents, even here in Bos- 
worth field. 
My lord of Surrey, why look you so sad ? 

SUB. My heart is ten times lighter than my looks. 

K. RICH. My lord of Norfolk,- 

NOR. Here, most gracious liege. 

5 conscience is a thousand swords,"] Alluding to the old 
adage, " Conscientia mille testes." BLACKSTONE. 

Thus the quarto. The folio reads a thousand men. 


8 andjlies tvith swallow's wings,] Drayton calls joy : 
" the sivallow-'winged joy." STEEVENS. 


K. RICH. Norfolk, we must have knocks ; Ha ! 
must we not ? 

NOR. We must both give and take, my loving 

K. RICH. Up with my tent : Here will I lie to- 
night; 7 

[Soldiers begin to set up the King's Tent. 
But where, to-morrow ? Well, all's one for that. 
Who hath descried the number of the traitors ? 

NOR. Six or seven thousand is their utmost 

K. RICH. Why, our battalia trebles that ac- 
count : 8 

Besides, the king's name is a tower of strength, 
Which they upon the adverse faction want. 
Up with the tent. Come, noble gentlemen, 
Let us survey the vantage of the ground ; 
Call for some men of sound direction : 9 
Let's want no discipline, make no delay ; 
For, lords, to-morrow is a busy day. \JExeunt. 

7 Up tvith my tent : Here toill I lie to-night ;] Richard is re- 
ported not to have slept in his tent on the night before the bat-? 
tie, but in the town of Leicester. STEEVENS. 

8 our battalia trebles that account:"] Richmond's forces 

are said to have been only five thousand ; and Richard's army 
consisted of about twelve thousand men. But Lord Stanley lay 
at a small distance with three thousand men, and Richard may 
be supposed to have reckoned on them as his friends, though 
the event proved otherwise. MALONE. 

9 sound direction:'] True judgment ; tried military skill. 



Enter, on the other side of the Field, RICHMOND, 
Lords. * Some of Hie Soldiers pitch RICHMOND'S 

RICHM. The weary sun hath made a golden set, 
And, by the bright track of his fiery car, 
Gives token of a goodly day to-morrow. 
Sir William Brandon, you shall bear my standard. 
Give me some ink and paper 2 in my tent ; 
I'll draw the form and model of our battle, 
Limit 3 each leader to his several charge, 

1 Oxford, and other Lords."] The direction in the folio is 

" Enter Richmond and Sir William Brandon, Oxford and 
Dorset" In the quarto only, " Enter Richmond, with the 
lordes." This is one of numerous proofs that many of the alter- 
ations in the folio edition of this play were made by the players, 
and not by Shakspeare ; for Shakspeare had been informed by 
Holinshed that Dorset was not at the battle of Bosworth ; Rich- 
mond before his leaving Paris having borrowed a sum of money 
from the French King, Charles the Eighth, and having left the 
Marquis of Dorset and Sir John Bouchier as hostages for the 
payment. MALONE. 

* Give me some ink and paper ~\ I have placed these lines 
as they stand in the first editions: the rest place them three 
speeches before, after the words Sir William Brandon, you shall 
bear my standard ; interrupting what there follows ; The Earl of 
Pembroke, &c. I think them more naturally introduced here, 
when he is retiring to his tent ; and considering what he has to 
do that night. POPE. 

I have followed the folio, which, of this play, is by far the 
most correct copy. I do not find myself much influenced by 
Mr. Pope's remark. STEEVENS. 

In the quarto, this and the three following lines are intro- 
duced immediately before the words " Come, gentlemen, let 
us consult," &c. MALONE. 

3 Limit ] i. e. appoint. So, in Macbeth : 
" I'll make so bold to call, 
" For 'tis my limited service." STEEVENS. 

sc. in. KING RICHARD III. 491 

And part in just proportion our small power. 
My lord of Oxford,-you, sir William Brandon, 
And you, sir Walter Herbert, stay with me : 
The earl of Pembroke keeps his regiment ; * 
Good captain Blunt, bear my good night to him, 
And by the second hour in the morning 
Desire the earl to see me in my tent : 
Yet one thing more, good captain, do for me ; 
Where is lord Stanley quarter'd, do you know ? 

BLUNT. Unless I have mista'en his colours much, 
(Which, well I am assur'd, I have not done,) 
His regiment lies half a mile at least 
South from the mighty power of the king. 

RICHM. If without peril it be possible, 
Sweet Blunt, make some good means 5 to speak 

with him, 
And give him from me this most needful note. 

BLUNT. Upon my life, my lord, I'll undertake it; 
And so, God give you quiet rest to-night ! 

RICHM. Good night, good captain Blunt. Come, 


Let us consult upon to-morrow's business ; 
In to my tent, the air is raw 6 and cold. 

\_They withdraw into the Tent. 

4 keeps his regiment ;~\ i. e. remains with it. Thus we 

say of a person confined by illness he keeps his chamber, or 
his bed. STEEVENS. 

5 make some good means ] i. e. adopt some conve- 
nient measure. So, in The Two Gentlemen of Verona : 

" To make such means for her as thou hast done.'* 


c the air is raix> ] So the quarto. Folio the dew. 



Enter, to his Tent, King RICHARD, NORFOLK, 

K. RICH. What is't o'clock ? 

GATE. It's supper time, my lord ; 

It's nine o'clock. 7 

K. RICH. I will not sup to-night. 

Give me some ink and paper. 
What, is my beaver easier than it was ? 
And all my armour laid into my tent ? 

GATE. It is, my liege j and all things are in rea- 

K. RICH. Good Norfolk, hie thee to thy charge; 
Use careful watch, choose trusty sentinels. 

NOR. I go, my lord. 

K. RICH. Stir with the lark to-morrow, gentle 

NOR. I warrant you, my lord. [Exit. 

K. RICH. Ratcliff, 

R AT. My lord ? 

K. RICH. Send out a pursuivant at arms 

To Stanley's regiment ; bid him bring his power 
Before sun-rising, lest his son George fall 
Into the blind cave of eternal night. 
Fill me a bowl of wine. Give me a watch : 8 


7 It's nine o'clock.'] So the folio. The quarto reads It is six 
of the clock ; full supper time. MALONE. 

I think, we ought to read six instead of nine. A supper at 
so late an hour as nine o'clock, in the year 1485, would have 
been a prodigy. STEEVENS. 

8 Give me a watch :] A tvatch has many significations, 

but I should believe that it means in this place not a sentinel, 

ac. m. KING RICHARD III. 493 

Saddle white Surrey for the field to-morrow. 9 
Look that my staves be sound, 1 and not too heavy. 

which would be regularly placed at the king's tent ; nor an in- 
strument to measure time, which was not used in that age ; but 
a watch-light, a candle to burn by him ; the light that after- 
wards burnt blue ; yet a few lines after, he says : 

Bid my guard 'watch, 
which leaves it doubtful whether watch is not here a sentinel. 


A watch, i. e. guard, would certainly be placed about a royal 
tent, without any request of the King concerning it. 

I believe, therefore, that particular kind of candle is here 
meant, which was anciently called a watch, because, being 
marked out into sections, each of which was a certain portion 
of time in burning, it supplied the place of the more modern 
instrument by which we measure the hours. I have seen these 
candles represented with great nicety in some of the pictures of 
Albert Durer. 

Barrett, in his Alvearie, 1580, mentions watching lamps or 
candles. So, in Love in a Maze, 1632 : 

" slept always with a watching candle." 

Again, in The Noble Soldier, 1634 : 

" Beauty was turn'd into a watching-candle that went 

out stinking." 
Again, in The Return from Parnassus, 1606: 

" Sit now immur'd within their private cells, 
" And drink a long lank watching candle's smoke." 
Again, in Albumazar, 1610: 

" Sit up all night like a watching candle." STEEVENS. 
Lord Bacon mentions a species of light called an all-night, 
which is a wick set in the middle of a large cake of wax. 


The word give shows, I think, that a watch-light was in- 
tended. Cole has in his Dictionary, 1679, Watch-candle. 


9 Saddle white Surrey for the Jield to-morrow.~\ So, in Ho- 
linshed's Chronicle, (copied from Hall's, Sig. Il.iiii. b.) " Then 
he (inuironed with his gard) with a frowning countenance and 
cruell visage, mounted on a great white courser, and followed 
with his footmen," &c. p. 754. STEEVENS. 

1 Look that my staves be sound,'} Staves are the wood of the 
lances. JOHNSON. 


RAT. My lord ? 

K. RICH. Saw'st thou the melancholy lord Nor- 
thumberland? 2 

RAT. Thomas the earl of Surrey, and himself, 
Much about cock-shut time, 3 from troop to troop, 

As it was usual to carry more lances than one into the field, 
the lightness of them was an object of consequence. Hall in- 
forms us, that at the justs in honour of the marriage of Mary, 
the younger sister of King Henry VIII. with the King of France, 
that " a gentleman called Anthony Bownarme came into the feld 
all armed, and on his body brought in sight x speres, that is to 
wyt, iii speres set in every styroppe forward, and under every 
thigh ii speres upwarde, and under his left arme was one spere 
backward, and the 10th in his hand," &c. STEEVENS. 

* the melancholy lord Northumberland?] Richard calls 

him melancholy, because he did not join heartily in his cause. 
" Henry the tourth earle of Northumberland," says Holinshed, 
" whether it was by the commandement of King Richarde put- 
ting diffidence in him, or he did it for the love and favour he 
bare unto the earle [of Richmond], stood still with a great com- 
pany, and intermixed not in the battaile ; which was [after the 
battle] incontinently received into favour, and made of the 
counsayle." MALONE. 

3 Much about cock-shut time,"] Ben Jonson uses the same ex- 
pression in one of his entertainments : 

" For you would not yesternight, 
'* Kiss him in the cock-shut light." 

Again, in The Widow, by Ben Jonson, Fletcher, and Mid- 
dleton, 1652: 

" Come away then : a fine cockshut evening." 
Again, in Arden of Fever sham, 1592: 

" In the twilight, cock-shut light." 

In The Treaty se qfFishynge with the Angle, by dame Julyan^ 
Bernes, 1496, among the directions to make a fishing rod is the 
following : " Take thenne and frette him faste with a cockeshote 
corde," &c. but I cannot interpret the word. STEEVENS. 

Cock-shut time,~] i. e. twilight. In Mr. Whalley's note upon* 
Ben Jonson, Vol. V. p. 204 : " A Cockshut is said to be a net 
to catch woodcocks ; and as the time of taking them in this 
manner is in the twilight, either after sun-set or before its rising, 
cock-shut light may very properly express the evening or the 
morning twilight." The particular form of such a net, and the 

sc. in. KING RICHARD III. 495 

Went through the army, cheering up the soldiers. 
K. RICH. I am satisfied. Give me a bowl of wine: 

manner of using it, is delineated and described in Dictionarium 
Rusticum, 2 Vols. 8vo. 3d edit. 1726, under the word cock-roads. 
It is the custom of the woodcock to lie close all day, and to- 
wards evening he takes wing, which act of flight might anciently 
be termed his shoot or shot. So, the ballast of a ship is said to 
shoot, when it runs from one side to the other. This etymology 
gives us, perhaps, the original signification of the word, without 
any recourse for it to the name of a net, which might receive its 
denomination from the time of the day, or from the occasion on 
which it was used; for I believe there was a net which was called 
a cock-shot. Holinshed's Description of Britain, p. 110, calls 
a stone which naturally has a hole in it, " an apt cocke-shot for 
the devil to run through ;" which, I apprehend, alludes to the 
resemblance of the hole in the stone to the meshes of a net. 


Mr. Toilet's opinion may be supported by the following pas- 
sage in a little metrical performance, called, No Whipping nor 
Trippinge : but a kinde friendly Snippinge, 1601 : 
" A silly honest creature may do well 
" To watch a cocke-shoote, or a limed bush." 


I must support my interpretation against Mr. Toilet. He in 
part admits, and then proceeds to overthrow it. And I will 
support it by the very instance Mr. Steevens adduced in his fa- 
vour. The ballast of a ship may be said to shoot ; as we now 
say, to shoot coals, or corn out of a sack ; but it was never yet 
said that a woodcock shoots, when he takes his evening flight. 
Cocke-shoote, in the passage Mr. Steevens cites, is certainly a 
substantive, and the accusative case after the verb watch, which 
is confirmed by what follows, or a limed bush. And when the 
cock-shut net is fixed, a person always stands by to watch and 
manage it. A similar expression is in Hall's Satires : 
" To "watch a sinking cock, upon the shore. -" 


The passage from Hall is misquoted. He alludes to Fishing, 
and says 

" Or watch a sinking corke upon tiie shore.'* Edit. 1602, 
Virgidemiarum, Lib. IV. p. 33. STEEVENS. 

That cockshut time meant twilight, is ascertained by Minsheu's 
Dictionary, 1617. See the latter word. MALONE. 

Ogilby, in his Paraphrase ofJEsop's Fables, 4to. 1651, p. 6, 


I have not that alacrity of spirit, 4 

Nor cheer of mind, that I was wont to have. 

So, set it down. 5 Is ink and paper ready ? 

HAT. It is, my lord. 

K. RICH. Bid my guard watch ; leave me 1 . 

About the mid of night, come to my tent 
And help to arm me. Leave me, I say. 

[_King RICHARD retires into his Tent. Exeunt 

RICHMOND'S Tent opens, and discovers him and his 
Officers, $c_ 


STAN. Fortune and victory sit on thy helm ! 

RICHM. All comfort that the dark night can 

introduces this expression in a way which perhaps strengthens 
Mr. Toilet's opinion that cock-shoot was taken from the flight of 
the woodcock. He makes the pine boast : 

" when loud winds make cock-shoots thro* the wood, 

" Rending down mighty okes, I firme have stood." 
Here, I apprehend, Ogilby means to describe hurricanes 
which, by blowing down the trees, made glades or partial open- 
ings in the woods. HOLT WHITE. 

4 I have not that alacrity of sprit, &c.] So, in Holinshed, 
p. 775 : " not using the alacntie of mirth and mind and coun- 
tenance as he was accustomed to doo before he came toward the 
battell." STEEVENS. 

* So, set it down.'] The word So in the old copies stands at 
the beginning of the first line of this speech, caught perhaps by 
the compositor's eye glancing on the line below. Mr. Steevens 
made the emendation. In Richard's next speech the word Rat- 
cliff' is prefixed to the second line, but the metre shows that it 
was placed there by the negligence of the compositor. MALONE. 

ac.nt. KING RICHARD III. 497 

Be to thy person, 6 noble father-in-law ! 
Tell me, how fares our loving mother ? 

STAN. I, by attorney, 7 bless thee from thy mo- 

Who prays continually for Richmond's good : 
So much for that. The silent hours steal on, 
And flaky darkness breaks within the east. 
In brief, for so the season bids us be, 
Prepare thy battle early in the morning ; 
And put thy fortune to the arbitrement 
Of bloody strokes, and mortal-staring war, 8 
I, as I may, (that which I would, I cannot,) 
With best advantage will deceive the time, 9 
And aid thee in this doubtful shock of arms : 
But on thy side I may not be too forward, 
Lest, being seen, thy brother tender George 
Be executed 1 in his father's sight. 

6 All comfort that the dark night can afford, 

Be to thy person,"] So, in Measure for Measure : 
" The best and wholesomest spirits of the night 
" Envellop you, ." STEEVENS. 

7 by attorney,'] By deputation. JOHNSON. 

8 mortal-staring 'war,'} Thus the old copies. I suppose, 

by mortal-staring war is meant war that looks big, or stares 

fatally on its victims. STEEVENS. 

I suspect the poet wrote mortal-scaring war. MALONE. 

I adhere to the old reading. So, in Antony and Cleopatra, 
Enobarbus says of Antony, who is issuing out to battle 

" Now he'll out-stare the lightning." 
Again, in The Tempest : 

" why stand you 

" In this strange stare ?" STEEVENS. 

5 I, as I may, 

With best advantage will deceive the time,"] I will take the 
best opportunity to elude the dangers of this conjuncture. 


1 Lest, being seen, thy brother tender George 

Be executed ] So Holinshed after Hall : " When the said 
VOL. XIV. 2 K 


Farewell : The leisure and the fearful time 
Cuts off the ceremonious vows of love, 2 
And ample interchange of sweet discourse, 
Which so long sunder* d friends should dwell upon ; 
God give us leisure for these rites of love ! 
Once more, adieu : Be valiant, and speed well ! 

RICHM. Good lords, conduct him to his regi- 

I'll strive, with troubled thoughts, to take a nap ; 
Lest leaden slumber 3 peise me down to-morrow,* 

lord Stanley would have departed into his country to risit his 
familie, and to recreate and refreshe his spirits, as he openly said, 
(but the truth was to the intent to be in a perfite readinesse to 
join the earle of Richmonde at his first arrival in Englande, ) the 
king in no wise would suffer him to depart before he had left as 
an hostage in the court, George Stanley, lord Strange, his first 
begotten son and heir." 

" The lord Stanley lodged in the same town, [Stafford] and 
hearing that the earle of Richmond was marching thitherward, 
gave to him place, dislodging him and his, to avoid all suspicion, 
being afraide least if he should be seen openly to be a factor or 
ayder to the earle, his son-in-law, before the day of battayle, 
that king Richard, which yet not utterly put him in diffidence 
and mistrust, would put to some evil death his son and heir ap- 

The young nobleman whom the poet calls George Stanley, 
was created Baron Strange, in right of his wife, by King Ed- 
ward IV. in 1482. MALONE. 

* The leisure and the fearful time 

Gifts qffihe ceremonious votvs oflove,~] We have still a phraser 
equivalent to this, however harsh it may seem, I would do this, 
if leisure loould permit, where leisure, as in this passage, stands 
for ivant of leisure. So again: 

'* More than I have said, 

" The leisure and enforcement of the time 

" Forbids to dwell upon." JOHNSON. 

That is, the small degree of leisure we have. M. MASON. 
3 Lest leaden slumber ] So, in our author's Rape of Lu- 
crece : 

" Now leaden slumber with life's strength doth fight." 


sc. in. KING RICHARD III. 499 

When I should mount with wings of victory : 
Once more, good night, kind lords and gentlemen. 
\JKxeunt Lords, $c. with STANLEY. 

O Thou ! whose captain I account myself, 
Look on my forces with a gracious eye ; 
Put in their hands thy bruising irons 5 of wrath^ 
That they may crush down with a heavy fall 
The usurping helmets of our adversaries ! 
Make us thy ministers of chastisement, 
That we may praise thee in thy victory ! 
To thee I do commend my watchful soul, 
Ere I let fall the windows of mine eyes ; 6 
Sleeping, and waking, O, defend me still ! [Sleeps* 

4 peise me down to-morrow,'] Thus the old copies. The 

modern editions read -poize. To peize, i. e. to weigh down, 
from peser, French. 

I meet with this word in the old play of The Raigne of King 
Edward the Third, 1596: 

" And peize their deeds with heavy weight of lead." 
Again, in All for Money, 1574-: 

" Then if you counterpeaze me learning with money.*' 
Again, in Christopher Middleton's Legend of Humphrey Duke 
ofGloster, 1600: 

" Nor was her schoolespeis'd down with golden waights." 
See notes on The Merchant of Venice, Vol. VII. p. 310. 


3 bruising irons ] The allusion is to the ancient mace. 


c Ere I let fall the windows of mine eyes ; ] So, in Romeo and 
Juliet : 

" thy eyes 1 windows Jail 

" Like death ." STEEVENS. 

2 K 2 


The Ghost 7 of Prince EDWARD, Son to HENRY the 
Sixth, rises between the two Tents. 

GHOST. Let me sit heavy on thy soul to-morrow ! 8 

[To King RICHARD. 

7 The Ghost &c.] This circumstance is likewise found in Ni- 
chols's Legend of King Richard III. (inserted in The Mirrour 
for Magistrates, edit. 1610.) and was apparently imitated from 
Shakspeare : 

" As in my tent on slumbring bed I lie, 
" Horrid aspects appear'd unto mine eye : 
" I thought that all those murder'd ghosts, whom I 

'* By death had sent to their untimely grave, 
" With baleful noise about my tent did crye, 
" And of the heavens, with sad complaint, did crave 
" That they on guilty wretch might vengeance have." 
His terror on waking is likewise very forcibly described. 
Drayton, in the 22d Song of his Polyolbion, may likewise 
have borrowed from our author : 

" Where to the guilty king, the black forerunning night, 
" Appear the dreadful ghosts of Henry and his son, . 
" Of his own brother George, and his two nephews, done 
" Most cruelly to death ; and of his wife, and friend 
" Lord Hastings, with pale hands prepar'd as they would 


" Him piece-meal ; at which oft he roareth in his sleep." 


The account given by Polydore Virgil, which was copied by 
Hall and Holinshed, is as follows : " The fame went, that he 
had the same night [the night before the battle of Bosworth] a 
dreadful and a terrible dream ; for it seemed to him being aslepe, 
that he saw diverse ymages lylce terrible devilles, which pulled 
and haled him, not sufferynge him to take any quiet or reste.' 
The which straunge vision not so sodaynly strake his heart with a 
sodayne feare, but it stuffed his head and troubled his mind with 
many busy and dreadful imaginations. And least that it might 
be suspected that- he was abashed for fear of his enemies, and 
for that cause looked so piteously, he recited and declared to his 
familiar friends, of the morning, his vaonderfull vysion, and 
fearfull dreame." I quote from Holinshed, because he was 
Shakspeare's authority. 

sc. in. KING RICHARD III. 501 

Think, how thou stab'dst me in my prime of youth 
At Tewksbury ; Despair therefore, and die ! 

Be cheerful, Richmond ; for the wronged souls 
Of butcher'd princes fight in thy behalf: 
King Henry's issue, Richmond, comforts thee. 

The Ghost of King HENRY the Sixth rises. 

GHOST. When I was mortal, my anointed body 

[To King RICHARD. 

By thee was punched full of deadly holes : 9 
Think on the Tower, and me ; Despair, and die ; 
Harry the sixth bids thee despair and die. 
Virtuous and holy, be thou conqueror ! 


Harry, that prophecy'd thou should' st be king, 1 
Doth comfort thee in thy sleep ; Live, and flourish! 2 

Polydore Virgil, as I have already observed, began to write 
his history about twenty years after Richard's death. MALONE. 

See p. 430, n. 7. STEEVENS. 

8 Let me sit heavy on thy soul to-morrotv f] So, in King 
Richard II : 

" Be Mowbray's sins so heavy in his bosom." 


9 By thee "was punched full of deadly holes :] The word, 
punched, which sounds but meanly to our ears, is also employed 
by Chapman in his version of the sixth Iliad : 

" with a goad he punch'd each furious dame." 


1 Harry, that prophecy'd thou should'st be king,"] The pro- 
phecy, to which this allusion is made, was uttered in one of the 
parts of Henry the Sixth. JOHNSON. 

See Vol. XIV. p. 158, n. 3. MALONE. 

- Doth comfort thee in thy sleep ; Live, and flourish /] Surely, 
we should read, with Sir Thomas Hanmer : 

Doth comfort thee in sleep ; Live thou and flourish ! 



The Ghost of CLARENCE rises. 

GHOST. Let me sit heavy on thy soul to-morrow! 

[To King RICHARD. 

I, that was wash'd to death with fulsome wine, 3 
Poor Clarence, by thy guile betray'd to death ! 
To-morrow in the battle think on me, 
And fall thy edgeless sword ; 4 Despair, and die ! 

Thou offspring of the house of Lancaster, 


The wronged heirs of York do pray for thee ; 
Good angels guard thy battle ! Live, and flourish! 

The Ghosts of RIVERS, GREY, and VAUGHAN, 

Rir. Let me sit heavy on thy soul to-morrow, 

[To King RICHARD. 
Rivers, that died at Pomfret ! Despair, and die ! 

GREY. Think upon Grey and let thy soul despair! 

[To King RICHARD. 

3 lunik fulsome tuine,'] Fulsome, was sometimes used, I 

think, in the sense of unctuous. The wine in which the body of 
Clarence was thrown, was Malmsey. MALONE. 

If Clarence had been choked by this wine, he might fairly 
enough have employed the epithet fulsome in its vulgar and ac- 
cepted sense. Shakspeare, however, seems to have forgot him- 
self. The Duke (as appears from Act I. sc. ult.) was killed be- 
fore he was thrown into the Malmsey butt, and consequently 
could not be washed to death. STEEVENS. 

4 And fall thy edgeless stvord ,] Fall, in the present instance, 
is a verb active, signifying to drop, or let fall. So, in Othello : 

" If that the earth could teem with woman's tears, 
" Each drop she Jails would prove a crocodile." 



VAUGH. Think upon Vaughan ; and, with guilty 

Let fall thy lance ! Despair, and die ! 

[To King RICHARD. 

ALL. Awake ! and think, our wrongs in Richard's 
bosom [To RICHMOND. 

Will conquer him ; awake, and win the day ! 

TJie Ghost of HASTINGS rises. 

GHOST. Bloody and guilty, guiltily awake ; 

[To King RICHARD. 
And in a bloody battle end thy days ! 
Think on lord Hastings ; and despair, and die ! 
Quiet untroubled soul, awake, awake ! 

Arm, fight, and conquer, for fair England's sake ! 

The Ghosts of the Two young Princes rise. 

GHOSTS. Dream on thy cousins smother'd in the 

Tower ; 

Let us be lead within thy bosom, Richard, 5 
And weigh thee down to ruin, shame, and death \ 
Thy nephews' souls bid thee despair, and die. 

Sleep, Richmond, sleep in peace, and wake in 

Good angels guard thee from the boar's annoy ! 

* Let us be lead within thy bosom, Richard,"] [The first folio 
<Src. laid.~\ This is a poor feeble reading. I have restored from 
the elder quarto, published in 1597, which Mr. Pope does not 
pretend to have seen : 

" Let us be lead within thy bosom, Richard." 
This corresponds with what is said in the line immediately 
following : 

" And weigh thee down to ruin, shame, and death." 



Live, and beget a happy race of kings ! 
Edward's unhappy sons do bid thee flourish. 

The Ghost of Queen ANNE rises. 

GHOST. Richard, thy wife, that wretched Anne 

thy wife, 

That never slept a quiet hour with thee, 6 
Now fills thy sleep with perturbations : 
To-morrow in the battle think on me, 
And fall thy edgeless sword ; Despair, and die ! - 

Thou, quiet soul, sleep thou a quiet sleep.; 


Dream of success and happy victory j 
Thy adversary's wife doth pray for thee. 

The Ghost of BUCKINGHAM rises, 

GHOST. The first was I, that help'd thee to the 
crown ; [To King RICHARD. 

6 That never slept a quiet hour with thee,~] Shakspeare was 
probably here thinking of Sir Thomas More's animated descrip- 
tion of Richard, which Holinshed transcribed : " I have heard 
(says Sir Thomas) by credible report of such as were secret with 
his chamberlaine, that after this abominable deed done [the mur- 
der of his nephews] he never had quiet in his mind. He never 
thought himself sure where he went abroad ; his eyes whirled 
about ; his body privily fenced ; his hand ever upon his dagger ; 
his countenance and manner like one always readie to strike 
againe. He tooke ill rest a-nights ; lay long waking and musing, 
sore wearied with care and watch ; rather slumbered than slept, 
troubled 'with Jearfull dreames ; ' sodainely sometime start up, 
leapt out of bed, and ran about the chamber ; so was his restless 
heart continually tost and tumbled with the tedious impression 
and stormy remembrances of his abominable deede." 

With such a companion well might Anne say, that she never 
slept one quiet hour. MALONE. 

sc. m. KING RICHARD III. 505 

The last was I that felt thy tyranny : 
O, in the battle think on Buckingham, 
And die in terror of thy guiltiness ! 
Dream on, dream on, of bloody deeds and death ; 
Fainting, despair ; despairing, yield thy breath ! 
I died for hope, 7 ere I could lend thee aid : 


But cheer thy heart, and be thou not dismay'd : 
God, and good angels fight on Richmond's side ; 
And Richard falls in height of all his pride. 

\_The Ghosts vanish. King RICHARD starts 
out of his dream. 

7 I died for hope,] i. e. I died for wishing well to you. But 
Mr. Theobald, with great sagacity, conjectured holpe or aid; 
which gave the line this fine sense, I died for giving thee aid be- 
fore I could give thee aid. WARBURTON, 

Sir Thomas Hanmer reads : 

/ died forsook, - 
and supports his conjecture, as follows : 

" This, as appears from history, was the case of the Duke of 
Buckingham : that being stopped with his army upon the banks 
of Severn by great deluges of rain, he was deserted by his sol- 
diers, who, being in great distress, half famished for want of 
victuals, and destitute of pay, disbanded themselves and fled." 

Sir Thomas Hanmer's emendation is very plausible ; but may 
not the meaning of the expression be, / died for only having 
hoped to give you that assistance, which I never had it in my 
power to afford you in reality ? 

It may, however, be observed, that fore, or for, when joined 

to a verb, had anciently a negative signification. So, in Macbeth : 

" - He shall live a 

As to bid was to pray, so toyorbid had the meaning directly 
opposite, i. e. to curse. In Antony and Cleopatra, to^orspeak is 
to speak against. In Hamlet, and The Midsummer-Night's 
Dream, to fordo is the very reverse of to do. Holpen or holp is 
the old participle passive of help, and is used in Macbeth : 

" - his great love, sharp as his spur, hath holp him 
" To his home before us." 

Instead of for hope, we may therefore readforholpe, which 
would mean unaided, abandoned, deserted, unhelped, which was 


K. RICH. Give me another horse, 8 bind up my 


Have mercy, Jesu ! Soft j I did but dream. 
O coward conscience, how dost thou afflict me ! 
The lights burn blue. 9 It is now dead midnight. 1 
Cold fearful drops stand on my trembling flesh. 

the real misfortune of the Duke of Buckingham. The word holp 
has occurred likewise in this play : 

" Let him thank me that holp to send him thither.'* 
Again, in Coriolanus: 

" Have holp to make this rescue." STEEVENS. 

Perhaps we should read : 
/ died fore-done, # c. 
So, in Hamlet, Act V: 

" Fore-do its own life." TYRWHITT. 

8 Give me another horse, ~] There is in this, as in many of our 
author's speeches of passion, something very trifling, and some- 
thing very striking. Richard's debate, whether he should quarrel 
with himself, is too long continued, but the subsequent exagge- 
ration of his crimes is truly tragical. JOHNSON. 

9 The lights burn blue.'] So, in Lyly's Galathea, 1592: " I 
thought there was some spirit in it because it burnt so blue; for 
my mother would often tell me when the candle burnt blue, there 
was some ill spirit in the house." It was anciently supposed 
that fire was a preservative against evil spirits ; " because," says 
Nash, in Pierce Penniless* 's Supplication to the Devil, 1595, 
" when any spirit appeareth, the lights by little and little goe 
out as it were of their own accord, and the takers are by degrees 
extinguished." The takers are the spirits who blast or take. So, 
in King Lear : 

" strike her young bones 

* Ye taking airs, with lameness !" STEEVENS. 

1 It is now dead midnight."] So reads the quarto, 1597. 

The next quarto corruptly reads " It is not dead midnight ;" 
for which the editor of the folio, to obtain some sense, substi- 
tuted, " Is it not dead midnight ?" MALONE. 

The reading of the quarto, 1597, could it be supposed to need 
support, might meet with it in the following observation of 
Hamlet : 

" ' Tis noto the very witching time of night." 


sc. m. KING RICHARD III. 507 

What do I fear ? myself? there's none else by : 
Richard loves Richard; that is, I am I. 2 
Is there a murderer here ? No ; Yes ; I am : 
Then fly, What, from myself? Great reason : 


Lest I revenge. What ? Myself on myself? 
I love myself. 3 Wherefore? for any good, 
That I myself have done unto myself? 
O, no : alas, I rather hate myself, 
For hateful deeds committed by myself. 
I am a villain : Yet I lie, I am not. 
Fool, of thyself speak well: Fool, do not flatter. 
My conscience hath a thousand several tongues, 
And every tongue brings in a several tale, 
And every tale condemns me for a villain. 
Perjury, perjury, in the high'st degree ; 
Murder, stern murder, in the dir'st degree ; 
All several sins, all us'd in each degree, 
Throng to the bar, crying all, Guilty ! guilty ! 
I shall despair. There is no creature loves me ; 
And, if I die, no soul will pity me : 
Nay, wherefore should they ? since that I myself 
Find in myself no pity to myself. 
Methought, the souls of all that I had murder'd 4 

that is, I am /.] Thus the quarto, 1598, and the folio. 

The quarto, 1597, reads 7 and /. I am not sure that it is not 
right. MALONE. 

3 / love myself.'] The old copies redundantly read Alack, I 
love, &c. STEEVENS. 

4 Methought, the souls &c.] These lines stand with so little 
propriety at the end of this speech, that I cannot but suspect 
them to be misplaced. Where then shall they be inserted ? Per- 
haps after these words : 

" Fool, do not flatter.'* JOHNSON. 

I agree with Johnson in supposing that this and the two fol- 
lowing lines have been misplaced, but I differ from him with 
respect to their just situation. The place, in my opinion, 'in 


Came to my tent : and every one did threat 
To-morrow's vengeance on the head of Richard. 


RAT. My lord, 

K. RICH. Who's there ? 

RAT. Ratcliff, my lord ; 'tis I, 5 The early village 

which they might be introduced with the most propriety, is just 
ten lines further on, after the words 
" Ratcliff, I fear, I fear, 
Methought," Sfc. 
And then RatclifPs reply 

" Nay, good my lord, be not afraid of shadows." 
would be natural ; whereas as the text is now regulated, Rat- 
cliff bids him not to be afraid of shadows, without knowing that 
he had been haunted by them ; unless we suppose that the idea 
ofshadows is included in what Richard calls a. frightful dream. 


Cold fearful drops stand on my trembling fash, 

What do I fear? 8fc. 

Methought, the souls of all that I had murder'd ] Either 
the two and twenty intermediate lines are not Shakspeare's, or 
are so unworthy of him, that it were to be wished they could 
with propriety be degraded to the margin. I wonder that Dr. 
Johnson, who thought the subsequent lines misplaced, did not 
perceive that their connection with the preceding part of the 
speech, ending at trembling flesh, was interrupted solely by this 
apparent interpolation, which is in the highest degree childish 
and unnatural. RITSON. 

I rather suppose these lines (though genuine) to have been 
crossed out of the stage manuscript by Shakspeare himself, and 
afterwards restored by the original but tasteless editor of his play. 

Burbage, the first performer of Richard, might, for obvious 
reasons, have requested their dismission ; or the poet discovering 
how aukwardly they stood, might, " without a prompter," have 
discarded them. STEEVENS, 

4 'tis /.] Surely, these two syllables, serving only to de- 
range the metre, should be omitted; or we ought to read: 

" My lord, 'tis I. The early milage-cock ." STEEVENS. 

?. ///. KING RICHARD III. 509 

Hath twice done salutation to the morn ; 

Your friends are up, and buckle on their armour. 

K. RICH. O Ratcliff, 6 I have dream'd a fearful 

dream ! 
What thinkest thou ? will our friends prove all true? 

RAT. No doubt, my lord. 

K. RICH. Ratcliff, I fear, I fear, 

RAT. Nay, good my lord, be not afraid of sha- 

K. RICH. By the apostle Paul, shadows to-night 
Have struck more terror to the soul of Richard, 
Than can the substance of ten thousand soldiers, 
Armed in proof, and led by shallow Richmond. 
It is not yet near day. Come, go with me ; 
Under our tents I'll play the eaves-dropper, 
To hear, if any mean to shrink from me. 

\Exeunt King RICHARD and RATCLIFF. 

RICHMOND wakes. Enter OXFORD and Others. 

LORDS. Good morrow, Richmond. 

RICHM. 'Cry mercy, lords, and watchful gentle- 
That you have ta'en a tardy sluggard here. 

LORDS. How have you slept, my lord ? 

RICHM. The sweetest sleep", and fairest-boding 

That ever enter' d in a drowsy head, 

6 0, Ratcliff', &c.] This and the two following lines are 
omitted in the folio. Yet Ratcliff is there permitted to say 
" be not afraid of shadows," though Richard's dream lias not 
been mentioned: an additional proof of what has been already 
suggested in p. 490, n. 1. MALONE. 


Have I since your departure had, my lords. 
Methought, their souls, whose bodies Richard 


Came to my tent, and cried On ! victory ! 
I promise you, my heart is very jocund 
In the remembrance of so fair a dream. 
How far into the morning is it, lords ? 

LORDS. Upon the stroke of four. 

RICHM. Why, then 'tis time to arm, and give 

[ He advances to the Troops. 
More than I have said, loving countrymen, 
The leisure and enforcement of the time 
Forbids to dwell on : Yet remember this, 
God, and our good cause, fight upon our side ; 
The prayers of holy saints, and wronged souls, 
Like high-rear' d bulwarks, stand before our faces; 
Richard except, those, whom we fight against, 
Had rather have us win, than him they follow. 
For what is he they follow ? truly, gentlemen, 
A bloody tyrant, and a homicide ; 
One rais'd in blood, and one in blood established ; 
One that made means 7 to come by what he hath, 
And slaughter'd those that were the means to help 

him ; 

A base foul stone, made precious by the foil 
Of England's chair, 8 where he is falsely set j 

7 One that made means ] To make means was, in Shak- 
speare's time, often used in an unfavourable sense, and signified 
-to come at any thing by indirect practices* STEEVENS. 

8 by the foil 

Of England's chair,'] It is plain that foil cannot here mean 
that of which the obscurity recommends the brightness of the 
diamond. It must mean the leaf (feuille) or thin plate of metal 
in which the stone is set. JOHNSON. 

Nothing has been, or is still more common, than to put a 

sc.m. KING RICHARD III. 511 

One that hath ever been God's enemy : 
Then, if you fight against God's enemy, 
God will, in justice, ward you as his soldiers ; 
If you do sweat to put a tyrant down, 
You sleep in peace, the tyrant being slain ; 
If you do fight against your country's foes, 
Your country's fat shall pay your pains the hire ; 
If you do fight in safeguard of your wives, 
Your wives shall welcome home the conquerors j 
If you do free your children from the sword, 
Your children's children quit 9 it in your age. 
Then, in the name of God, and all these rights, 
Advance your standards, draw your willing swords: 
For me, the ransom of my bold attempt 1 
Shall be this cold corpse on the earth's cold face $ 
But if I thrive, the gain of my attempt 
The least of you shall share his part thereof. 
Sound, drums and trumpets, boldly and cheerfully; 
God, and Saint George ! 2 Richmond, and victory ! 


bright-coloured foil under a cloudy or low-prized stone. The 
same allusion is common to many writers. So, in a Song pub- 
lished in England's Helicon, 1614 : 

" False stones byfoiles have many one abus'd." 


England's chair means England's throne. Set is used equivo- 
cally. MALONE. 

9 quit 3 i. e. requite. So, in Antony and Cleopatra: 

" To let a fellow who will take rewards, 
" And say, God quit you ! " STEEVENS. 
the ransom of my bold attempt J Thejine paid by 

me in atonement for my rashness shall be my dead corse. 


* Got/, and Saint George /] Saint George was the common 
cry of the English soldiers when they charged the enemy. The 
author of the old Arte of Warre, printed in the latter end of 
Queen Elizabeth's reign, formally enjoins the use of this cry 
among his military laws, p. 84- : 

" Item, that all souldiers entring into battaile, assault, skirmish, 
or other faction of armes, shall have for their common cry and 


Re-enter King RICHARD, RATCLIFF, Attendants, 
and Forces. 

K. RICH. What said Northumberland, as touch- 
ing Richmond ? 

RAT. That he was never trained up in arms. 

K. RICH. He said the truth : And what said Sur- 
rey then ? 

RAT. He simTd and said, the better for our pur- 

K. RICH. He was i'the right ; and so, indeed, it 
is. [Clock strikes. 

Tell the clock there. Give me a calendar. 
Who saw the sun to-day ? 

RAT. Not I, my lord. 

word, Saint George, forward, or upon them, saint George, where- 
by the souldiour is much comforted, and the enemy dismaied by 
calling to minde the ancient valour of England, which with that 
name has so often been victorious ; and therefore he, who upon 
any sinister zeale, shall maliciously omit so fortunate a name, 
shall be severely punished for his obstinate erroneous heart, and 
perverse mind." 

Hence too the humour of the following lines in Marston's 
nervous but neglected satires, entitled The Scourge of Villanie, 
printed in 1599, Lib. III. Sat. viii: 

" A pox upon't that Bacchis* name should be 
" The watch-word given to the souldierie. 
" Goe troupe to field, mount thy obscured fame, 
" Cry out Saint George, invoke thy mistresse' name ; 
" Thy Mistresse and Saint George," &c. 
In Beaumont and Fletcher's Knight of the Burning Pestle, that 
admirable and early ridicule of romance-writing, where the 
champion Ralph is going to attack the Barber, or the huge giant 
Barboroso, the burlesque is heightened, when, with much so- 
lemnity, and as if a real heroick encounter had been going for- 
ward, he cries out, " Saint George! set on before, march squire 
and page." Act III. sc. i. And afterwards, when the engage- 
ment begins, Ralph says, " St. George for me;" and Barbaroso, 
" Garagantua for me." T, WARTON. 

sc. m. KING RICHARD III. 518 

K. RICH. Then he disdains to shine ; for, by the 


He should have brav'd the east 3 an hour ago : 
A black day will it be to somebody. 

RAT. My lord ? 

K. RICH. The sun will not be seen to-day ; 
The sky doth frown and lour upon our army. 
I would, these dewy tears were from the ground. 
Not shine to-day ! Why, what is that to me, 
More than to Richmond ? for the self-same heaven, 
That frowns on me, looks sadly upon him. 


NOR. Arm, arm, my lord ; the foe vaunts in the 

K. RICH. Come, bustle, bustle ; Caparison my 

horse ; 

Call up lord Stanley, bid him bring his power : 
I will lead forth my soldiers to the plain, 
And thus my battle shall be ordered. 
My foreward shall be drawn out all in length, 4 

3 brav'd the east ] i. e. made it splendid. So, Petru- 

chio in The Taming of the Shreiv, says to the Tailor : " thou 
hast braved many men [i. e. invested them with finery] brave not 
me." The common signification of the verb to brave, will, in 
my apprehension, hardly suit the passage before us ; for with 
what propriety can the sun be said to challenge or set the East at 
defiance? STEEVENS. 

4 Myforeiuard shall be drawn out all in length,"] So Holin- 
shed : " King Richard havyng all things in a readiness went 
forth with the army out of his tentes, and began to set his men 
in array: first the forward set forth a marvellous length, both of 
horsemen and also ofjootemen, and to the formost part of aU 
VOL. XIV. 2 L 


Consisting equally of horse and foot ; 
Our archers shall be placed in the midst : 
John duke of Norfolk, Thomas earl of Surrey, 
Shall have the leading of this foot and horse. 
They thus directed, we ourself will follow 5 
In the main battle ; whose puissance on either side 
Shall be well winged with our chiefest horse. 
This, and Saint George to boot ! 6 What think'st 
thou, Norfolk ? 

NOR. A good direction, warlike sovereign. 
This found I on my tent this morning. 7 

[Giving a Scrawl. 

K. RICH. Jocky of Norfolk, be not too bold* 


For Dickon thy master* is bought and 

the bowmen as a strong fortresse for them that came after ; and 
over this John duke of Norfolk was head captain. After him 
followed the king with a mighty sort of men." MALONE. 

5 lae ourself will follotx ~\ The word ourself , was 

judiciously supplied by Sir Thomas Hanmer, to complete the 
verse. STEEVENS. 

6 This, and Saint George to boot .'] That is, this is the order 
of our battle, which promises success ; and over and above this, 
is the protection of our patron saint. JOHNSON. 

To boot is (as I conceive) to help, and not over and above. 


Mr. Hawkins is certainly right. So, in King Richard II : 
" Mine innocence, and Saint George to thrive" 

The old English phrase was, Saint George to borrow. So, in 
A Dialogue, &c. by Dr. William Bulleyne, 1564- : " Maister 
and maistres, come into this vallie, untill this storme be past : 
Saincte George to borrotue, mercifull God, who did ever see tha 
like ?" Signat. K. 7. b. MALONE. 

7 This found I on my tent this morning."} Sir Thomas Hanmer 
supplies the deficiency in the metre of this line, by reading : 

This paper^/bwwG? / &c. STEEVENS. 

be not too bold,"} The quarto, 1598, and the folio, read 

sc. m. KING RICHARD III. 515 

A thing devised by the enemy. 

Go, gentlemen, every man unto his charge : 

Let not our babbling dreams 1 affright our souls j 

Conscience is but a word 2 that cowards use, 

Devis'd at first to keep the strong in awe ; 

Our strong arms be our conscience, swords our law. 

so bold. But it was certainly an error of the press : for in both 
Hall and Holinshed, the words are given as in the text. 


9 Dickon thy master &c.] Dickon is the ancient vulgar 

familiarization of Richard. In Gammer Gurton's Needle, 1575, 
Diccon is the name of the Bedlam. In the words bought and 
sold, I believe, there is somewhat proverbial. So, in The Comedy 
of Errors : " It would make a man as mad as a buck, to be so 
bought and sold." Again, in King John : 

" Fly, noble English, you are bought and sold." 

Again, in Troilus and Cressida, with an addition that throws 
more light on the phrase : " Thou art bought and sold among 
those of any wit, like a Barbarian slave." STEEVENS. 

Again, in Mortimeriados, a poem, by Michael Drayton, no 

" Is this the kindnes that thou offerest me ? 

" And in thy country am I bought and sold?" 
Again, in Skelton's Colin Clout, 1568 : 

" How prelacy is sold and bought, 

" And come up of nought." 

Again, in Bacon's History of King Henry VII ; " all the 
news ran upon the duke of Yorke, that he had been entertained 
in Ireland, bought and sold in France," &c. The expression 
seems to have signified that some foul play has been used. The 
foul play alluded to here, was Stanley's desertion. MALONE. 

1 Let not our babbling dreams &c.] I suspect these six lines 
to be an interpolation ; but if Shakspeare was really guilty of 
them in his first draught, he probably intended to leave them out 
when he substituted the much more proper harangue that follows. 


1 Conscience is but a word ] So the quarto, 1598. But 
being accidentally omitted in a later quarto, the editor of the 
folio supplied the omission by reading For conscience is a word, 
&c. MALONE. 



March on, join bravely, let us to't pell-mell ; 
If not to heaven, then hand in hand to hell. 3 - 

What shall I say more than I have infer J d ? 
Remember whom you are to cope withal ; 
A sort of vagabonds, 4 rascals, and run-aways, 
A scum of Bretagnes, and base lackey peasants, 
Whom their o'er-cloyed country vomits forth 
To desperate ventures 5 and assur'd destruction. 
You sleeping safe, they bring you to unrest ; 
You having lands, and bless'd with beauteous wives, 
They would restrain the one, 6 distain the other. 
And who doth lead them, but a paltry fellow, 
Long kept in Bretagne at our mother's cost ? 7 

s If not to heaven, then hand in hand to hell.] So, in Macbeth : 

" That summons thee to heaven, or to hell." 
Again, in King Henry VI. P. II : 

" If not in heaven, you'll surely sup in hell." 


* A sort of vagabonds,"] A sort, that is, a company, a collec- 
tion. See note on A Midsummer-Night's Dream, vol. IV. p. 
408, n. 2. JOHNSON. 

5 ventures ] Old copies adventures. STEEVENS. 

6 They would restrain the one,] i. e. they would lay restrictions 
on the possession of your lands ; impose conditions on the pro- 
prietors of them. Dr. Warburton for restrain substituted dis- 
train, which has been adopted by all the subsequent editors. 
" To distrain," says he, " is to seize upon ;" but to distrain is 
not to seize generally, but to seize goods, cattle, &c. for non- 
payment of rent, or for the purpose of enforcing the process of 
courts. The restrictions likely to be imposed by a conquering 
enemy on lands, are imposts, contributions, &c. or absolute con- 
fiscation. " And if he [Henry Earl of Richmond] should at- 
chieve his false intent and purpose," (says Richard in his cir- 
cular letter sent to the Sheriffs of the several counties in En- 
gland on this occasion ; Paston Letters, II. 321,) " every man's 
life, livelihood, and goods, shall be in his hands, liberty, and dis- 
position." MALONE. 

I Long kept in Bretagne at our mother's cost f] This is spo- 
ken by Richard, of Henry Earl of Richmond ; but they were 

sc. in. KING RICHARD III. 517 

A milk-sop, 8 one that never in his life 
Felt so much cold as over shoes in snow ? 

far from having any common mother, but England: and the 
Earl of Richmond was not subsisted abroad at the nation's pub- 
lie charge. During the greatest part of his residence abroad, 
he was watched and restrained almost like a captive ', and subsist- 
ed by supplies conveyed from the Countess of Richmond, his 
mother. It seems probable, therefore, that we must read : 

Long kept in Bretagneat his mother 1 s cost. THEOBALD. 

Our mother's cost f] Mr. Theobald perceives to be wrong : he 
reads, therefore, and all the editors after him : 

Long kept in Bretagne at his mother's cost. 

But give me leave to transcribe a few more lines from Holin- 
shed, and you will find at once, that Shakspeare had been there 
before me : 

" You see further, how a company of traitors, theeves, out 
laws and runagates be aiders and partakers of this feate and en- 
terprize.T And to begin with the erle of Richmond, captaine of 
this rebellion, he is a Welch milksop brought up by my 
moother's meanes and mine, like a captive in a close cage in the 
court of Francis Duke of Britaine." P. 756. 

Holinshed copies this verbatim from his brother chronicler, 
Hall, edit. 154-8, fol. 54, but his printer has given us by accident 
the word moot her instead of brother; as it is in the original, and 
ought to be in Shakspeare. FARMER. 

See a Letter of King Richard III. persuading his subjects to 
resist Henry Tydder, &c. in Sir John Fenn's Collection of the 
Paston Letters, Vol. II. p. 318. HENLEY. 

Henry Earl of Richmond was long confined in the court of the 
Duke of Britaine, and supported there by Charles Duke of Bur- 
gundy, who was brother-in-law to King Richard. Hence Mr. 
Theobald justly observed that mother in the text was not con- 
formable to the fact. But Shakspeare, as Dr. Farmer has ob- 
served, was led into this error by Holinshed, where he found the 
preceding passage in an oration which Hall, in imitation of the 
ancient historians, invented, and exhibited as having been spo- 
ken by the King to his soldiers before the battle of Bosworth. 

If, says a Remarker, [Mr. Ritson,] it ought to be so in Shak- 
speare, why stop at this correction, and why not in K. Henry V. 
print prcecarissimus instead of prceclarissimus ? [See Vol. XII. 
p. 524-, n. 4-.] And indeed if brother is to be substituted for 
tnother here, there can be no reason why all other similar errors 
should not be corrected in like manner. But the Remarker imV 


Let's whip these stragglers o'er the seas again ; 
Lash hence these over- weening rags of France, 
These famish'd beggars, weary of their lives j 

Understood Dr. Farmer's words, which only mean as it is in the 
original, and as Shakspeare ought to have written. Dr. Farmer 
did not say " as it ought to be printed in Shakspeare." 

In all the other places where Shakspeare had been led into er- 
rors by mistakes of the press, or by false translations, his text 
has been very properly exhibited as he wrote it ; for it is not the 
business of an editor to new-write his author's works. Thus, in 
Antony and Cleopatra, Act IV. sc. i. we have " Let the old 
ruffian know, /have many other ways to die ;" though we know 
the sense of the passage in Plutarch there copied is, that " he 
[the old ruffian] hath many other ways to die." Again, in 
Julius Ccesar, Antony is still permitted to say, that Csesar had 
left the Roman people his arbours and orchards " on this side 
Tyber," though it ought to be " on that side Tyber :" both 
which mistakes Shakspeare was led into by the ambiguity and in- 
accuracy of the old translation of Plutarch. 

In like manner in King Henry V. praclarissimus is exhibited 
as it was written by Shakspeare, instead of prcecarissimus ; and 
in the same play I have followed our author in printing in Vol. 
XII. p. 292, Lewis the tenth, though Lewis the ninth was the 
person meant : an error into which he was led, as in the present 
instance, by a mistake of the press. 

For all such inaccuracies the poet, and not his editor, is re- 
sponsible : and in the passage now under our consideration more 
particularly the text ought not to be disturbed, because it ascer- 
tains a point of some moment ; namely that Holinshed, and not 
Hall, was the historian that Shakspeare followed. Of how much 
consequence this is, the reader may ascertain by turning to the 
Dissertation on the Plays of King Henry VI. where this circum- 
stance, if I do not deceive myself, contributes not a little in ad- 
dition to the other proofs there adduced, to settle a long-agitated 
question, and to show that those plays were re-ivritten by Shak- 
*peare, and not his original composition. MALONE. 

8 A milk-sop, &c.] So, in The Mirrourjbr Magistrates, al- 
ready quoted: 

** First with our foe-mens captaine to begin, 
" A weake Welch milksop, ." 

Alluding perhaps to goat's milk, of which anciently the Welsh 
were fonder than they are at present. STEEVENS. 

so. m. KING RICHARD III. 519 

Who, but for dreaming on this fond exploit, 
For want of means, poor rats, had hang'd them- 
selves : 

If we be conquer'd, let men conquer us, 
And not these bastard Bretagnes; whom ourfatherd 
Have intheirownlandbeaten, bobb'd, andthump'd, 
And, on record, left them the heirs of shame. 
Shall these enjoy our lands ? lie with our wives ? 
Ravish our daughters ? Hark, I hear their drum. 

\I)rum afar off. 

Fight, gentlemen of England ! fight, bold yeomen ! 
Draw, archers, draw your arrows to the head 1 
Spur your proud horses hard, and ride in blood ; 
Amaze the welkin with your broken staves I 9 

Enter a Messenger. 

What says lord Stanley ? will he bring his power ? 
MESS. My lord, he doth deny to come. 

K. RICH. Off instantly with his son George's 
head. 1 

9 Amaze the welkin with your broken staves !~] That is, fright 
the skies luith the shivers of your lances. JOHNSON. 

So, in Soliman and Perseda : 

" Now by the marble face of the welkin." 

A similar idea is more tamely expressed in W. Smith's 
Palsgrave, 1613 : 

" Spears flew in splinters half the way to heaven." 

The same imagery is justified by the following passage in 
Froissart's Chronicle, Vol. II. cap. Ixxviii : " Syr Raynolde du 
Roy brake his spere in iiii peces, and the shevers flewe a grete 
hyght in to the ayre." STEEVENS. 

1 Off instantly fyc.~] The word instantly, was supplied by 
Sir Thomas Hanmer. Without it, this line has no pretension! 
to metre. STEEVENS. 


NOR. My lord, the enemy is pass'd the marsh j 2 
After the battle let George Stanley die. 

K. RICH. A thousand hearts are great within my 

bosom: > 

Advance our standards, 3 set upon our foes ; 
Our ancient word of courage, fair Saint George, 
Inspire us with the spleen of fiery dragons ! 
Upon them ! Victory sits on our helms. [Exeunt. 

8 the enemy is pass'd the marsh ;] There was a large 

marsh in Bosworth plain between the two armies. Henry passed 
it, and made such a disposition of his forces that it served to pro- 
tect his right wing. By this movement he gained also another 
point, that his men should engage with the sun behind them, 
and in the faces of his enemies : a matter of great consequence 
when bows and arrows were in use. MALONE. 

3 Advance our standards, &c.~] So again, in The Mirrour of 
Magistrates ; and apparently borrowed from Shakspeare : 

" Advance then captaines, forward to the fight, 
** Draw forth your swords, each man address his sheeld ; 
" Hence faint conceites, die thoughts of coward flight, 
" To heaven your hearts, to fight your valours yeeld : 
" Behold our foes do brave us in the field. 

" Upon them, friends ; the cause is yours and mine ; 
" Saint George and conquest on our helmes doth shine." 


So Holinshed after Hall : " like valiant champions advance 
forth your standardes, and assay whether your enemies can de- 
cide and try the title of battaile by dint of sword ; avaunce, J 
say again, forward, my captaines Now Saint George to borrow, 
let us set forward." MALONE. 

sc. iv. KING RICHARD III. 521 


Another Part of the Field. 

Alarum : Excursions. Enter NORFOLK, and 
Forces ; to him CATESBY. 

CATE. Rescue, my lord of Norfolk, rescue, rescue! 
The king enacts more wonders than a man, 
Daring an opposite to every danger ;* 
His horse is slain, and all on foot he fights, 
Seeking for Richmond in the throat of death : 
Rescue, fair lord, or else the day is lost ! 

4 Daring an opposite to every danger ;] Perhaps the poet 
wrote : 

Daring and opposite to every danger. TYRWHITT. 

Perhaps the following passage in Chapman's version of the 
eighth Book of Homer's Odyssey may countenance the old 
reading : 

" a most dreadful fight 

" Daring against him." STEEVENS. 

The old reading is perhaps right. An opposite is frequently 
used by Shakspeare and the contemporary writers, for adversary. 
So, in Twelfth-Night : " your opposite hath in him what 
youth, strength, skill, and wrath, can furnish man withal." 
Again : " and his opposite the youth, bears in his visage no 
presage of cruelty." So, in Blurt Mr. Constable, a comedy, by 
Middleton, 1602: " to strengthen us against all opposites." 
Again, more appositely, in Marston's Antonio and Mellida t 

" Myself, myself, will dare all opposites.'* 

The sense then should seem to be, that King Richard enacts 
wonders, daring the adversary he meets with to every danger at- 
tending single combat. MALONE. 

To dare a single opposite to every danger, is no very wonder- 
ful exploit. I should therefore adopt Tyrwhitt's amendment, 
which infers that he flew to oppose every danger, wherever it 
was to be found, and read with him, " and opposite." 



Alarum. Enter King RICHARD. 

K. RICH. A horse ! a horse ! 5 my kingdom for a 
horse ! 

GATE. Withdraw, my lord, I'll help you to a 

K. RICH. Slave, I have set my life upon a cast, 
And I will stand the hazard of the die : 
I think, there be six Richmonds in the field ; 
Five have I slain to-day, instead of him : 6 

* A horse! ahorse!"] In The Battle of Alcazar, 1594, the 
Moor calls out in the same manner : 

" A horse, a horse, villain a horse! 

** That I may take the river straight, and fly ! 

" Here is a horse, my lord, 

" As swiftly pac'd as Pegasus." 

This passage in Shakspeare appears to have been imitated by 
several of the old writers, if not stolen. So, Heywood, in the 
Second Part of his Iron Age, 1632 : 

" a horse, a horse ! 

" Ten kingdoms for a horse to enter Troy." STEEVENS. 

Marston seems to have imitated this line in his Satires, 1599 : 
" A man, a man, a kingdom for a man !" MALONE. 

This line is introduced into Marston's What you will, Act II. 
*c. i. 4to. 1607: 

" Ha ! he mounts Chirall on the wings of fame. 
" A horse ! a horse ! my kingdomefor a horse ! 
" Looke thee, I speake play scraps," &c. REED. 

6 Five have I slain to-day, instead of him .] Shakspeare had 
employed this incident with historical propriety in The First 
Part of King Henry IF. STEEVENS. 

Shakspeare had good ground for this poetical exaggeration ; 
Richard, according to Polydore Virgil, was determined, if possi- 
ble, to engage with Richmond insingle combat. [See p.521, 1.5.] 
For this purpose he rode furiously to that quarter of the field 
where the Earl was ; attacked his standard-bearer, Sir William 
Brandon, and killed him ; then assaulted Sir John Cheny, whom 
he overthrew : having thus at length cleared his way to his an- 

ac. iv. KING RICHARD III. 523 

A horse ! a horse ! my kingdom for a horse ! 7 


Alarums. Enter King RICHARD and RICHMOND; 
and exeunt, Jighting. Retreat, and flourish. 
Then enter RICHMOND, STANLEY, bearing the 
Crown, with divers other Lords, and Forces. 

RICHM. God, and your arms, be prais'd, victo- 
rious friends ; 
The day is ours, the bloody dog is dead. 

STAN. Courageous Richmond, well hast thou ac- 
quit thee ! 

Lo, here, this long-usurped royalty, 
From the dead temples of this bloody wretch 8 
Have I pluck'd off, to grace thy brows withal ; 
Wear it, enjoy it, and make much of it. 

tagonist, he engaged in single combat with him, and probably 
would have been victorious, but that at that instant Sir William 
Stanley with three thousand men joined Richmond's army, and 
the royal forces fled with great precipitation. Richard was soon 
afterwards overpowered by numbers, and fell, fighting bravely 
to the last moment. MALONE. 

7 A horse ! a horse !~] Some inquiry hath been made for the 
first performers of the capital characters of Shakspeare. 

We learn, that Burbage, the alter Roscius of Camden, was 
the original Richard, from a passage in the poems of Bishop 
Corbet ; who introduced his host at Bpsworth describing the 
battle : 

" But when he would have said king Richard died, 
" And call'd a horse, a horse, he Burbage cried.'* 


* offals bloody wretch ] It is not necessary to suppose 

that Richmond points to the dead body of Richard, when he 
speaks of him. According to an ancient idiom in our language, 
the demonstrative pronoun is often used instead of the prepositive 
article. So, in King Henry IV. P.I: 

" but for these vile guns 

" He would himself have been a soldier." STEEVENS. 


RICHM. Great God of heaven, say, amen, to 

'But, tell me first, 9 is young George Stanley living ? 

STAN. He is, my lord, and safe in Leicester town; 
Whither, if it please you, we may now withdraw us. 

RICHM. What men of name are slain on either 

STAN. John duke of Norfolk, Walter lord Fer- 
Sir Robert Brakenbury, and sir William Brandon. 

RICHM. Inter their bodies as becomes their 


Proclaim a pardon to the soldiers fled, 
That in submission will return to us ; 
And then, as we have ta'en the sacrament, 1 
We will unite the white rose with the red : 
Smile heaven upon this fair conjunction, 
That long hath frown'd upon their enmity ! 
What traitor hears me, and says not, amen ? 
England hath long been mad, and scarr'd herself; 
The brother blindly shed the brother's blood, 
The father rashly slaughter' d his own son, 
The son, compell'd, been butcher to the sire ; 
All this divided York and Lancaster, 
Divided, in their dire division. 2 -*- 

9 But, tell me first, #c.] The word -first, was introduced by 
Sir Thomas Hanmer, to complete the verse. STEEVENS. 

1 as ixe have ta'en the sacrament,'] So, in Holinshed, 

p. 745 : " The earle himselfe first tooke a corporall oth on his 
honor, promising that incontinent after he shuld be possessed of 
the crowne and dignitie of the realme of England, he would be 
conjoined in matrimonie with the ladie Elizabeth, daughter to 
king Edward the fourth." STEEVENS. 

* All this divided York and Lancaster, 

Divided, in their dire division.] I think the passage will be 
somewhat improved by a slight alteration : 

sc. iv. KING RICHARD III. 525 

O, now, let Richmond and Elizabeth, 
The true succeeders of each royal house, 
By God's fair ordinance conjoin together ! 
And let their heirs, (God, if thy will be so,) 
Enrich the time to come with smooth-fac'd peace, 
With smiling plenty, and fair prosperous days ! 
Abate the edge 3 of traitors, gracious Lord, 
That would reduce 4 these bloody days again, 
And make poor England weep in streams of blood. 1 
Let them not live to taste this land's increase, 
That would with treason wound this fair land's 

peace ! 

Now civil wounds are stopp'd, peace lives again ; 
That she may long live here, God say Amen ! 

[Exeunt. 5 

All that divided York and Lancaster, 
Divided in their dire division, 
O now let Richmond and Elizabeth, 
The true succeeders of each royal house, 
By God's Jair ordinance conjoin together ! 
Let them unite all that York and Lancaster divided. 


3 Abate the edge ] To abate, is to lower, depress, subdue. 
So, in Coriolanus : 

" deliver you, as most 

" Abated captives, ." STEEVENS. 

reduce ] i. e. bring back ; an obsolete sense of the 

word. So, in The goodly History of the moste noble and beau- 
tiful Ladye Lucres of Scene in Tuskan, and of her louer 
Eurialus &c. 1560: " The mornynge forsakyng the golden bed 
of Titan, reduced the desyred day ." STEEVENS. 

4 This is one of the most celebrated of our author's perform- 
ances ; yet I know not whether it has not happened to him as to 
others, to be praised most, when praise is not most deserved. 
That this play has scenes noble in themselves, and very well con- 
trived to strike in the exhibition, cannot be denied. But some 
parts are trifling, others shocking, and some improbable. 


I agree entirely with Dr. Johnson in thinking that this play 


from its first exhibition to the present hour has been estimated 
greatly beyond its merit. From the many allusions to it in 
books of that age, and the great number of editions it passed 
through, I suspect it was more often represented and more ad- 
mired than any of our author's tragedies. Its popularity per- 
haps in some measure arose from the detestation in which Ri- 
chard's character was justly held, which must have operated 
more strongly on those whose grand-fathers might have lived 
near his time ; and from its being patronized by the Queen on 
the throne, who probably was not a little pleased at seeing King 
Henry VII. placed in the only favourable light in which he 
could have been exhibited on the scene. MALONE. 

I most cordially join with Dr. Johnson and Mr. Malone in 
their opinions ; and yet perhaps they have overlooked one cause 
of the success of this tragedy. The part of Richard is, perhaps, 
beyond all others variegated, and consequently favourable to a 
judicious performer. It comprehends, indeed, a trait of almost 
every species of character on the stage. The hero, the lover, 
the statesman, the buffoon, the hypocrite, the hardened and re- 
penting sinner, &c. are to be found within its compass. No 
wonder, therefore, that the discriminating powers of a Burbage, 
a Garrick, and a Henderson, should at different periods have 
given it a popularity beyond other dramas of the same author. 

Yet the favour with which this tragedy is now received, must 
also in some measure be imputed to Mr. Gibber's reformation of 
it, which, generally considered, is judicious : for what modern 
audience would patiently listen to the narrative of Clarence's 
dream, his subsequent expostulation with the Murderers, the 
prattle of his children, the soliloquy of the Scrivener, the tedious 
dialogue of the Citizens, the ravings of Margaret, the gross 
terms thrown out by the Duchess of York on Richard, the re- 
peated progress to execution, the superfluous train of spectres, 
and other undramatick incumbrances, which must have prevented 
the more valuable parts of the play from rising into their present 
effect and consequence ? The expulsion of languor, therefore, 
must atone for such remaining want of probability as is insepa- 
rable from an historical drama into which the events of fourteen 
years are irregularly compressed. STEEVENS. 

The Life and Death of King Richard the Third."] The oldest 
known edition of this tragedy is printed for Andrew Wise, 1597 : 
but Harrington, in his Apologie for Poetrie, written in 1590, 
and prefixed to the translation ofAriosto, says, that a tragedy of 
Richard the Third had been acted at Cambridge. His words 
are, " For tragedies, to omit other famous tragedies, that which 
was played at St. John's in Cambridge, of Richard the Third t 


Would move, I think, Phalaris the tyrant, and terrifie all 
tyrannous minded men," &c. He most probably means Shak- 
epeare's ; and if so, we may argue, that there is some more an- 
cient edition of this play than what I have mentioned ; at least 
this shows how early Shakspeare's play appeared ; or if some 
other Richard the Third is here alluded to by Harrington, that 
a play on this subject preceded our author's. T. WARTON. 

It appears from the following passage in the preface to Nashe's 
Have "with you to Saffron Walden, or Gabriel Harvey's Hunt 
is up, 1596, that a Latin tragedy of King Richard III. had 
been acted at Trinity College, Cambridge : " or his fellow 
codshead, that in the Latine tragedie of King Richard, cried Ad 
urbs, ad urbs, ad urbs, when his whole part was no more than 
Urbs, urbs, ad arma, ad arma." STEEVENS. 

The play on this subject mentioned by Sir John Harrington 
in his Apologie for Poetrie, 1591, and sometimes mistaken for 
Shakspeare's, was a Latin one, written by Dr. Legge ; and acted 
at St. John's in our university, some years before 1588, the 
date of the copy in the Museum. This appears from a better 
MS. in our library at Emmanuel, with the names of the original 

A childish imitation of Dr. Legge's play was written by one 
Lacy, 1583; which had not been worth mentioning, were they 
not confounded by Mr. Capell. FARMER. 

The Latin play of King Richard HI. (MSS. Harl. n. 6926,) 
has the author's name, -Henry Lacey, and is dated 1586. 


Heywood, in his Actor's Vindication, mentions the play of 
King Richard III. " acted in St. John's Cambridge,so essentially, 
that had the tyrant Phalaris beheld his bloody proceedings, it 
had mollified his heart, and made him relent at sight of his in- 
human massacres." And in the books of the Stationers' Com- 
pany June 19, 1594, Thomas Creede made the following 
entry : " An enterlude, intitled the tragedie of Richard the 
Third, wherein is shown the deathe of Edward the Fourthe, 
with the smotheringe of the two princes in the Tower, with the 
lamentable ende of Shore's wife, and the contention of the two 
houses of Lancaster and Yorke," This could not have been the 
work of Shakspeare, unless he afterwards dismissed the death of 
Jane Shore, as an unnecessary incident, when he revised the 
play. Perhaps, however, it might be some translation of Lacey's 
play, at the end of the first Act of which is, " The showe of the 
procession. 1. Tipstaffe. 2. Shore's toife in her petticote, having 
a taper burning in her hande. 3. The Verger. 4. Queristers. 
5. Singing-men. 6. Prebendary. 7. Bishoppe of London. 8. Citi- 


zens." There is likewise a Latin song sung on this occasion, in 
MS. F'arl. 2412. STEEVENS. 

The English King Richard III. which was entered on the 
Stationers' books in 1594, and which, it may be presumed, had 
been exhibited some years before, was probably written by the 
author of The Contention of the Ttao Houses of Yorke and Lan- 
caster. MALONE. 

I shall here subjoin two Dissertations, one by Dr. Warburton, 
and one by Mr. Upton, upon the Vice. 


Thus like the formal vice, Iniquity, #c.] As this corrupt 
reading in the common books hath occasioned our saying some- 
thing of the barbarities of theatrical representations amongst us 
before the time of Shakspeare, it may not be improper, for a 
better apprehension of this whole, to give the reader some general 
account of the rise and progress of the modern stage. 

The first form in which the drama appeared in the west of Eu- 
rope, after the destruction of learned Greece and Rome, and 
that a calm of dulness had finished upon letters what the rage of 
barbarism had begun, was that of the Mysteries. These were 
the fashionable and favourite diversions of all ranks of people both 
in France, Spain, and England. In which last place, as we learn 
by Stow, they were in use about the time of Richard the second 
and Henry the fourth. As to Italy, by what I can find, the first 
rudiments of their stage, with regard to the matter, were pro- 
phane subjects, and, with regard to the form, a corruption of 
the ancient mimes and attettanes : by which means they got 
sooner into the right road than their neighbours ; having had re- 
gular plays amongst them wrote as early as the fifteenth century. 

As to these mysteries, they were, as their name speaks them, 
a representation of some scripture-story, to the life : as may be 
seen from the following passage in an old French history, intitled, 
La Chronique de Metz composee par le cure de St. Euchaire ; 
which will give the reader no bad idea of the surprising absurdity 
of these strange representations : " L'an 1437 le 3 Juillet (says 
the honest Chronicler,} fut fait le Jeu de la Passion de N. S. en la 
plaine de Veximiel. Et fut Dieu un sire appelll Seigneur Nicolle 
Dom Neufchastel, lequel etoit Cure" de St. Victour de Metz, 
lequel fut presque mort en la Croix, s'il ne fut et6 secourus ; & 
convient qu'un autre Pretre fut mis en la Croix pour parfaire le 
Personnage du Crucifiment pour ce jour ; & le lendemain le dit 
Cure de St. Victour parfit la Resurrection, et fit trqs hautement 


son personage ; & dura le (lit Jeu Et autre Pretre qui s* ap- 

pelloit Mre. Jean de Nicey, qui estoit Chapelain de Metrange, 
tut Judas : lequel fut presque mort en pendent, car le cuer li 
faillit, et fut bien hativement dependu & porte en Voye. Et 
etoit la bouche d'Enfer tresbien faite ; car elle ouvroit & clooit, 
quand les Diables y vouloient entrer & isser ; & avoit deux gross 
Culs d'Acier," &c. Alluding to this kind of representations 
Archbishop Harsnet, in his Declaration of Popish Impostures, 
p: 71, says : " The little children were never so afraid of Hell- 
mouth in the old plays, painted with great gang teeth, staring 
eyes, and foul bottle nose." Carew, in his Survey of Cornwall, 
gives a fuller description of them in these words, " The Guary 
Miracle, in English a Miracle Play, is a kind of interlude com- 
piled in Cornish out of some scripture history. For representing 
it, they raise an earthen amphitheatre in some open field, having 
the diameter of an inclosed playne, some 40 or 50 foot. The 
country people flock from all sides many miles off, to hear and 
see it. For they have therein devils and devices, to delight as 
well the eye as the ear. The players conne not their parts with- 
out book, but are prompted by one called the ordinary, who 
followeth at their back with the book in his hand," &c. &c. 
There was always a droll or buffoon in these mysteries, to make 
the people mirth with his sufferings or absurdities: and they 
could think of no better a personage to sustain this part than the 
devil himself. Even in the mystery of the Passion mentioned 
above, it was contrived to make him ridiculous. Which circum- 
stance is hinted at by Shakspeare (who had frequent allusions to 
these things) in The Taming of the Shrew, where one of the 
players asks for a little vinegar, (as & property} to make the devil 
roar.* For after the sponge with the gall and vinegar had been 
employed in the representation, they used to clap it to the nose 
of the devil ; which making him roar, as if it had been holy- 
water, afforded infinite diversion to the people. So that vinegar 
in the old farces, was always afterwards in use to torment their 
devil. We have divers old English proverbs, in which the devil 
is represented as acting or suffering ridiculously and absurdly, 
which all arose from the part he bore in these mysteries, as in 
that, for instance, of Great Cry and little Wool, as the Devil 
said when he sheered his Hogs. For the sheep-shearing of Nabal 
being represented in the mystery of David and Abigail, and the 
devil always attending Nabal, was made to imitate it by shearing 
a hog. This kind of absurdity, as it is the properest to create 
laughter, was the subject of the ridiculous in the ancient mimes, 

* This is not in Shakspeare's play, but in the old play entitled ITie Taming 
ef a Shrew. MALONE. 

VOL. XIV. 2 M 


as we learn from these words of Saint Austin: Ne Jaciamus ut 
mimi sclent, Sf optemus a libero aquam, a lymphis vinum.* 

These mysteries, we see, were given in France at first, as well 
as in England, sub dio, and only in the provinces. Afterwards 
we find them got into Paris, and a company established in the 
Hotel de Bourgogne to represent them. But good letters and 
religion beginning to make their way in the latter end of the 
reign of Francis the first, the stupidity and prophaneness of the 
mysteries made the courtiers and clergy join their interest for 
their suppression. Accordingly, .in the year 1541, the procu- 
reur-general, in the name of the king, presented a request against 
the company to the parliament. The three principal branches 
of his charge against them were, that the representation of the 
Old Testament stories inclined the people to Judaism ; that the 
New Testament stories encouraged libertinism and infidelity ; 
and that both of them lessened the charities to the poor. It 
seems that this prosecution succeeded; for, in 1548, the parlia- 
ment of Paris confirmed the company in the possession of the 
Hotel de Bourgogne, but interdicted the representation of the 
mysteries. But in Spain, we find by Cervantes, that they con- 
tinued much longer ; and held their own, even after good co- 
medy came in amongst them : as appears from the excellent 
critique of the canon, in the fourth book, where he shows how 
the old extravagant romances might be made the foundation of 
a regular epic (which, he says, tambien puede escriverse en prosa 
como en verso ;f) as the mystery-plays might be improved into 
artful comedy. His words are, Pues que si venimos a las comedias 
divinas, que de milagros jalsos Jingen en ellas, que de cosas apo- 
crifas, y mal entendidas, attribueyendo a un santo los milagros de 
otro;\ which made them so fond of miracles that they intro- 
duced them into las comedias humanas, as he calls them. To 

Upon this prohibition, the French poets turned themselves from 
religious to moral farces. And in this we soon followed them : 
the publick taste not suffering any great alteration at first, though 
the Italians at this time afforded many just compositions for bet- 
ter models. These farces they called moralities. Pierre Grin- 
gore, one of their old poets, printed one of these moralities, inti- 
tled La Moralite de I' Homme Obstine. The persons of the drama 
are I' Homme Obstine Pugnition Divine Simonie Hypocrisie 
and Demerites-Communes. The Homme Obstine is the atheist, 
and comes in blaspheming, and determined to persist in his im- 
pieties. Then Pugnition Divine appears, sitting on a throne in 
the air, and menacing the atheist with punishment. After this 
Scene, Simonie, Hypocrisie, and Demerites-Communes appear 

* Civ. D. L. IV. t B. IV. c. 20. J Ibid. 21. 


and play their parts. In conclusion, Pugnition Divine returns, 
preaches to them, upbraids them with their crimes, and, in short, 
draws them all to repentance, all but the Homme Olstine, who 
persists in his impiety, and is destroyed for an example. To this 
sad serious subject they added, though in a separate representa- 
tion, a merry kind of farce called Sottie, in which there was un 
Paysan [the Clown] under the name of Sot-Commun [or Fool], 
But we, who borrowed all these delicacies from the French, 
blended the Moralite and Sottie together : So that the Paysan 
or Sot-Commun, the Clown or Fool, got a place in our serious 
moralities : Whose business we may understand in the frequent 
allusions our Shakspeare makes to them : as in that fine speech 
in the beginning of the third Act of Measure for Measure, 
where we have this obscure passage : 

" merely thou art Death's Fool, 

" For him thou labour'st by thy flight to shun, 
" And yet runn'st tow'rd him still." 

For, in these moralities, the Fool of the piece, in order to 
show the inevitable approaches of Death, ( another of the Dra- 
matis Personte,) is made to employ all his stratagems to avoid 
him ; which, as the matter is ordered, bring the Fool, at every 
turn, into the very jaws of his enemy : So that a representation 
of these scenes would afford a great deal of good mirth and 
morals mixed together. The very same thing is again alluded 
to in these lines of Love's Labour's Lost : 

" So Portent-like I would o'er-rule his state, 
" That he should be my Fool, and I his Fate." 

Act IV. sc. ii. 

But the French, as we say, keeping these two sorts of farces 
distinct, they became, in time, the parents of tragedy and 
comedy; while we, by jumbling them together, begot in an evil 
hour, that mongrel species, unknown to nature and antiquity, 
called tragi-comedy. WARBURTON. 

TO this, when Mr. Upton's Dissertation is subjoined, there 
will, perhaps, be no need of any other account of the Vice. 

Like the old Vice.] The allusion here* is to the Vice, a droll 
character in our old plays, accoutred with a long coat, a cap 
with a pair of ass's ears, and a dagger of lath. Shakspeare al- 
ludes to his buffoon appearance in Twelfth-Night, Act IV : 

" In a trice, like to the old Vice ; 

" Who with dagger of lath, in his rage and his wrath, 
" Cries, ah, ha ! to the Devil." 
In The Second Part of King Henry IV. Act III. Falstaff com- 

* i. e. p. 3, of Mr. Upton's book, where the words like the old Vice- 
occur, MA LONE. 

2 M 2 


pares Shallow to a Vice's dagger of lath. In Hamlet, Act III. 
Hamlet calls his uncle : 

" A vice of kings." 

i. e. a ridiculous representation of majesty. These passages the 
editors have very rightly expounded. I will now mention some 
others, which seem to have escaped their notice, the allusions 
being not quite so obvious. 

The iniquity was often the Vice in our moralities ; and is in- 
troduced in Ben Jonson's play called The Devil's an Ass : and 
likewise mentioned in his Epigr. cxv : 

" Being no vitious person, but the Vice 
" About the town, 
" Acts old Iniquity, and in the fit 
" Of miming, gets th' opinion of a wit." 
But a passage cited from his play will make the following ob- 
servations more plain. Act I. Pug asks the devil " to lend him 
a Vice:" 

" Satan. What Vice? 
ft What kind would thou have it of? 

" Pug. Why, any Fraud, 
" Or Covetousness, or lady Vanity, 
" Or old Iniquity: I'll call him hither." 
Thus the passage should be ordered : 
" Pug. Why any : Fraud, 
t( Or Covetousness, or lady Vanity, 
" Or old Iniquity. 

" Pug. I'll call him hither." 

" Enter Iniquity the Vice. 
" Ini. What is he calls upon me, and would seem to 

lack a Vice ? 

<< Ere his words be half spoken, I am with him in a trice." 
And in his Staple of News, Act II : 

" Mirth. How like you the Vice i' th' play ? 
" Expectation. Which is he ? 

" Mirth. Three or four ; old Covetousness, the sordid Penny? 
Boy, the Money-Bawd, who is a flesh-bawd too, they say. 

" Tattle. But here is never a Fiend to carry him away. Be- 
sides, he has never a wooden dagger ! I'd not give a rush for a 
Fzce,that has not a wooden dagger to snap at everybody he meets. 
" Mirth. That was the old way, gossip, when Iniquity came 
in, like hokos pokos, in a jugler's jerkin," &c. 

He alludes to the Vice in The Alchymist, Act I. sc. iii : 
" Sub. And, on your stall, a puppet, with a Vice.*" 

* - a puppet, with a Vice.] Mr. Upton has misinterpreted this passage. 

A vice in the present instance means a device, clock-work. Coryat, p. 254, 
speaks of a picture whose eyes were moved by a vice. FARMER. 


Some places of Shakspeare will from hence appear more easy, 
as in The First Part of King Henry IV. Act II. where Hal hu- 
morously characterizing Falstaff, calls him, That reverend Vice, 
that grey Iniquity, that father Ruffian, that Vanity in years, in 
allusion to this buffoon character. In King Richard III. Act III : 
" Thus like the formal Vice, Iniquity, 
*' I moralize two meanings in one word.'* 
Iniquity is the formal Vice. Some correct the passage : 
" Thus like formal-wise antiquity, 
" I moralize: Two meanings in one word." 
Which correction is out of all rule of criticism. In Hamlet, 
Act I. there is an allusion, still more distant, to the Vice ; which 
will not be obvious at first, and therefore is to be introduced 
with a short explanation. This buffoon character was used to 
make fun with .the Devil ; and he had several trite expressions, 
as, I'll be lunik you in a trice: Ah, ha, boy, are you there? &c. 
And this was great entertainment to the audience, to see their 
old enemy so belaboured in effigy. In King Henry V. Act IV. 
a boy characterizing Pistol, says, Bardolph and Nym had ten 
times more valour, than this roaring Devil i* the old play : every 
one may pare his nails with a wooden dagger. Now, Hamlet, 
having been instructed by his father's ghost, is resolved to break 
the subject of the discourse to none but Horatio ; and to all 
others his intention is to appear as a sort of madman ; when 
therefore the oath of secrecy is given to the centinels, and the 
Ghost unseen calls out, swear; Hamlet speaks to it as the Vice 
does to the Devil. Ah, ha, boy, say'st thou so ? Art thou there, 
Truepenny ? Hamlet had a mind that the centinels should ima- 
gine this was a shape that the devil had put on ; and in Act III. 
he is somewhat of this opinion himself: 
" The spirit that I have seen 
" May be the devil." 

The manner of speech therefore to the Devil was what all the 
audience were well acquainted with : and it takes off, in some 
measure, from the horror of the scene. Perhaps too the poet 
was willing to inculcate, that good humour is the best weapon 
to deal with the Devil. Truepenny, either by way of irony, or 
literally from the Greek, Touiravov, veterator. Which word the 
Scholiast on Aristophanes' Clouds, ver. 447, explains, rpvfj,r it 
c TfeptTSTptppsvos kv TOI$ Tfoxy&oiffiv Iv r/u,7$ TPTITA.NON xa- 
AoiJaev. Several have tried to find a derivation of the Vice: if 
I should not hit on the right, I should only err with others. 
The Vice is either a quality personalized, as BIH and KAP'I OS 
in Hesiod and ^Eschylus ; Sin and Death in Milton ; and indeed 
Vice itself is a person, B. XI. 517: 

" And took his image whom they serv'd, a brutish Vice." 


his image, i. e. a brutish Vice's image: the Vice, Gluttony; not 
without some allusion to the Vice of the plays : but rather, I 
think, 'tis an abbreviation of vice-devil, as vice-roy, vice-doges, 
&c. and therefore properly called the Vice. He makes very free 
with his master, like most other vice-roys, or prime ministers. 
So that he is the Devil's Vice, and prime minister ; and 'tis this 
that makes him so saucy. UPTON. 

Mr. Upton's learning only supplies him with absurdities. His 
derivation of vice is too ridiculous to be answered. 

I have nothing to add to the observations of these learned 
criticks, but that some traces of this antiquated exhibition are 
still retained in the rustick puppet-plays, in which I have seen 
the Devil very lustily belaboured by Punch, whom I hold to be 
the legitimate successor of the old Vice. JOHNSON. 


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