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By drunken prophefies, libels, and dreams,
This day should Clarence clofely be mew'd up;
Of Edward's heirs the murderer fhall be.
Dive, thoughts, down to my foul! here Clarence
Enter Clarence guarded, and Brakenbury.
Brother, good day: What means this armed guard, That waits upon your grace?
Clar. His majefty,
Tendering my perfon's fafety, hath appointed
Cla. Because my name is-George.
Glo. Alack, my lord, that fault is none of yours; He fhould, for that, commit your godfathers: O, belike, his majesty hath some intent, That you should be new chriften'd in the Tower. But what's the matter, Clarence? may I know?
Clar. Yea, Richard, when I know; for, I proteft, As yet I do not: But, as I can learn, He hearkens after prophefies, and dreams; And from the cross-row plucks the letter G, And fays-a wizard told him, that by G His iffue difinherited fhould be;
And, for my name of George begins with G+,
3-Edward be as true and juft,] i. e, if Edward keeps his word. JOHNSON.
4 And, for my name of George begins with G, &c.] So, in Nisols's Tragical Life and Death of Richard III:
"By that blind riddle of the letter G,
George loft his life; it took effect in me." STEEVENS,
Thefe, as I learn, and fuch like toys as these 5,
'Tis not the king, that fends you to the Tower;
Clar. By heaven, I think, there is no man fecure, But the queen's kindred, and night-walking heralds That trudge betwixt the king and miftrefs Shore, Heard you not, what an humble fuppliant Lord Haftings was to her for his delivery?
Glo. Humbly complaining 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, Since that our brother dubb'd them gentlewomen, Are mighty goffips in this monarchy.
Brak. I befeech your graces both to pardon me; His majefty hath ftraitly given in charge, That no man fhall have private conference, Of what degree foever, with his brother.
Glo. Even fo? an please your worship, Brakenbury, You may partake of any thing we say:
5toys] Fancies, freaks of imagination. JoHNSON. So Hamlet, A. 1. S. 4.
"The very place puts toys of defperation
• Humbly complaining &c.] I think these two lines might be better given to Clarence. JOHNSON.
7 The jealous o'er-worn widow, and herself,] That is, the queen and Shore. JOHNSON.
We speak no treason, man ;-We say, the king
Brak. With this, my lord, myfelf have nought
Glo. Naught to do with mistress Shore? I tell thee, fellow,
He that doth naught with her, excepting one,
Brak. What one, my lord?
Glo. Her husband, knave:-Would'st thou betray me?
Brak. I beseech your grace to pardon me; and, withal,
Forbear your conference with the noble duke.
Glo. We are the queen's abjects, and must obey.
8 Well ftruck in years;] This odd expreffion in our language was preceded by one as uncouth though of a fimilar kind.
"Well fhot in years he feem'd &c.] Spenfer's F. Queen, B. V. c, vi: The meaning of neither is very obvious; but as Mr. Warton has observed in his Effay on the Faery Queen, by an imperceptible progreffion from one kindred fenfe to another, words at length obtain a meaning entirely foreign to their original etymology. STEEVENS.
?the queen's abjects] That is, not the queen's fubjects, whom he might protect, but her abjects, whom she drives away. JOHNSON.
So in Cafe is altered. How? Ask Dalio and Millo, 1604.
Were it, to call king Edward's widow-fifter ',-
Cla. I know, it pleaseth neither of us well.
Clar. I must perforce; farewel.
[Exeunt Clarence and Brakenbury. Glo. Go, tread the path that thou fhalt ne'er return, Simple, plain Clarence!-I do love thee fo, That I will shortly fend thy foul to heaven, If heaven will take the present at our hands. But who comes here? the new-deliver❜d Hastings?
Haft. 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?
Haft. With patience, noble lord, as prifoners muft; But I fhall live, my lord, to give them thanks, That were the caufe of my imprisonment.
Glo. No doubt, no doubt; and fo fhall Clarence
Were it to call king Edward's widow-fifter,] This is a very covert and fubtle manner of infinuating treafon. The natural expreffion would have been, were it to call king Edward's wife, fifter. I will folicit for you, though it should be at the expence of fo much degradation and conftraint, as to own the low-born wife of King Edward for a fifter. But by flipping, as it were cafually, widow, into the place of wife, he tempts Clarence with an oblique propofal to kill the king. JOHNSON.
King Edward's widow is, I believe, only an expreffion of contempt, meaning the widow Grey, whom Edward had chofen for his queen. Glofter has already called her, the jealous o'erworn widow. STEEVENS.
2 I must perforce.] Alluding to the proverb, "Patience perforce is a medicine for a mad dog." STEEVENS,
For they, that were your enemies, are his,
Haft. More pity, that the eagle should be mew'd3, While kites and buzzards prey at liberty. .
Glo. What news abroad?
Haft. No news so bad abroad, as this at home ;The king is fickly, weak, and melancholy, And his phyficians fear him mightily.
Glo. Now, by faint Paul 4, that news is bad indeed, O, he hath kept an evil diet long, And over-much confum'd his royal perfon; 'Tis very grievous to be thought upon. What, is he in his bed?
Haft. He is.
Glo. Go you before, and I will follow
He cannot live, I hope; and must not die,
-fhould 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 mew'd "From brown foar feathers of dull yeomanry, "To the glorious bloom of gentry.' STEEVENS. Now, by faint Paul, -] The folio reads:
Now, by faint John,