Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

his last;

Enter OITOAD and BOXERET.

• What though the mast be now blown overboard, * Som. Ah, Warwick, Warwick! wert thou as

• The cable broke, the holding anchor lost, we are,

• And half our sailors swallow d in the flood ? * We might recover all our loss again!

• Yet lives our pilot still : Is't meet, that he • The queen from France hath brought a puissant

• Should leave the helm, and, like a fearful lad,

* With tearful eyes add water to the sea, power: • Even now we heard the news: Ah, could'st thou And give more strength to that which hath too fly!

much ;* • War. Why, then I would not fly.—Ah, Mon. * Which industry and courage might have sar'd ?

* Whiles, in his moan, the ship splits on the rock, tague, * If thou be there, sweet brother, take my hand,

* Ah, what a shame! ah, what a fault were this! * And with thy lips keep in my soul a while !

Say, Warwick was our anchor; What of that ? * Thou lov'st me not; for, brother, if thou didst,

' And Montague our top-mast; What of him? * Thy tears would wash this cold congealed blood,

• Our slaughter'd friends the tackles; What of * That glues my lips, and will not let me speak.

these? * Come quickly, Montague, or I am dead.

• Why, is not Oxford here another anchor ? • Som. Ah, Warwick, Montague hath breath'd

• And Somerset another goodly mast ?

· The friends of France our shrouds and tacklings? And, to the latest gasp, cried out for Warwick,

And, though unskilful, why not Ned and I . And said-Commend me to my valiant brother.

• For once allow'd the skilful pilot's charge ? • And more he would have said; and more he: Wo will not from the helin, to sit and weep; spoke,

* But keep our course, though the rough wind say • Which sounded like a cannon in a vault,'

-no, • That might not be distinguish'd ; but, at last,

* From shelves and rocks that threaten us with • I well might bear deliver'd with a groan,

wreck * 0, farewell, Warwick!

* As good to chide the waves, as speak them fair. War.

Sweet rest to his soul!- * And what is Edward, but a ruthless sea ? Fly, lords, and save yourselves: for Warwick bids * What Clarence, but a quicksand of deceit? You all farewell, to meet again in heaven. (Dies.

* And Richard, but a ragged fatal rock? Orf. Away, away, to meet the queen's heat * Say, you can swim; alas, 'tis but a while:

* All these the enemies to our poor bark. power! (Eseunt, bearing of 'War. Body.

* Tread on the sand ; why, there you quickly sink : SCENE I. Another Part of the Field. Flourish. * Bestride the rock; the ride will wash you off,

Enter King EDWARD in triumph; with CLAR- * Or else you famish, that's a threefold death. ENCE, Gloster, and the rest,

* This speak I, lords, to let you understand, K. Edw. Thus far our fortune keeps an upward * In case some one of you would fly from us, course,

* That there's no hop'd-for merey with the brothers, • And we are grac'd with wreaths of victory. * More than with ruthless waves, with sands, and • But, in the midst of this bright-shining day,

rocks. • I spy a black, suspicious, threat'ning cloud, * Why, courage, then! what cannot be avoided, • That will encounter with our glorious sun, *'Twere childish weakness to lament, or fear. 'Ere he attain his easeful western bed :

* Prince. Methinks, a woman of this valiant spirit, I mean, my lords,-those powers, that the queen * Should, if a coward 'heard her speak these words, • Hath rais'd in Gallia, have arriv'da our coast, * Infuse his breast with magnanimity, • And, as we hear, march on to fight with us. * And make him, naked, foil a man at arms.

* Clar. A little gale will soon disperse that cloud," I speak not this, as doubting any here:
* And blow it to the source from whence it came : For, did : Sut suspect fearful man,
* Thy very beams will dry those vapours up ;

" He should have leave to go away betimes ; * For every cloud engenders not a storm.

Lest, in our need, he might infect another, * Glo. The queen is valu'd thirty thousand strong, ' And make him of like spirit to himself. And Somerset, with Oxford, fled to her ;

If any such be here, as God forbid ! • If she have time to breathe, be well assur’d, "Let him depart, before we need his help. Her faction will be full as strong as ours.

Orf, Women and children of so high a courage! K. Edw. We are advertis'd by our loving friends, And warriors faint! why, 'twere perpetual shamc.That they do hold their course towards Tewksbury; : 0, brave young prince! thy famous grandfather • We having now the best at Barnet field, Doth live again in thee; Long may'st thou live, • Will thither straight, for willingness rids way; To bear his image, and renew his glories!

And, as we march, our strength will be augmented • Som. And he, that will not fight for such a hope, In every county as we go along.

" Go home to bed, and like the owl by day, Strike up the drum; cry--Courage! and away. * If he arise, be mock'd and wonder'd at.

(Eseunt. *Q. Mar. Thanks, gentle Somerset :-sweot

Oxford, thanks. SCENE IV. Plains near Tewksbury. March.

* Prince. And take his thanks, that yet hath Enter QUEEN MARGARET, PRINCE EDWARD,

nothing else, 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.

(says Steevens,) while they adjust a coffin in a family vault, will abundantly illustrate the preceding simile.

Such a peculiar hubbub of inarticulate sounds might order to dissuade a person from covetousness, drew out have attracted our author's notice; it has too often with his lance the length and breadth of a man's grave, forced jisell on mine.' adding, “This is all thou shalt have wben thou art 2 Arrid'd is here used in an active form. dead, if thou canst happily get so much.'

3 This speech in the original play is expressed in ele. Johnson observes that Warwick's mention of his ven lines. 'Malone thanks, its extraordinary expansion parks and manors diminishes the pathetic of these lines. into thirty-seven lines a decisive proof that the old play It is true that it is something in the strain of the whin. was the production of some writer who preceded Shak. ing ghosts of the Mirror for Magietrates; but it was the speare. popular style of the time: Cavendish, in his Metrical 4 Thus Jaques moralizing upon the weeping stag in Legends, introduces Wolsey's shade lamenuing to leave As You Like It, Act 1. Se. 2 ;his palaces and gardens.

-Thou mak'st a testament i The old play has this line :

As worldlings do, giving the sum of Which sounded like a clamour in a vault.

To that which has too much." I cannot but think that cannon is an error of the press A similar thought is found in Shakpeare's Lover's Com in the first folio. “The indistina gabble of undertakers plaint

[ocr errors]

men.

should say,

Enter a Messenger.

Q. Mar. Ah, that thy father had been w resolv'd! Mess. Prepare you, lords, for Edward is at

Glo. That you might still have worn the pettiband,

coat, Ready to fight; therefore be resolute.

And ne'er have stol'n the breech from Lancaster. Ort. I thought no less : it is his policy,

Prince. Let Æsop' fable in a winter's night; To haste thus fast, to find us unprovided.

His currish riddles sort not with this place. Som. But he's deceiv'd, we are in readiness. Glo. By heaven, brat, I'll plague you for that Q. Mar. This cheers my heart, to sce your for

word. wardness.

Q. Mar. Ay, thou wast born to be a plague to Oxf. Here pitch our battle, hence we will not budge.

Glo. For God's sake, take away this captive

scold. March. Enter, at a distance, KING EDWARD,

Prince. Nay, take away this scolding crook-back CLARENCE, Gloster, and Forces.

rather. K. Edw. Brave followers,' yonder stands the 'K. Edw. Peace, wilful boy, or I will charms thorny wood,

your tongue. • Which, by the heavens' assistance, and your Clar. Untutor’dlad, thou art too malapert. strength,

Prince. I know my duty, you are all undutiful : • Must by the roots be hewn up yet ere night. Lascivious Edward, --and thou perjur'd George, * I need not add more fuel to your fire,

And thou misshapen Dick, I tell ye all, * For, well I wol, ye blaze to burn them out: I am your better, traitors as ye are:* Give signal to the fight, and to it, lords.

* And thou usurp'st my father's right and mine. Q. Mar, Lords, knights, and gentlemen, what I K. Edw. Take that, the likeness of this railer

here."

(Stabs him. • My tears gainsay;" for every word I speak, * Glo. Sprawl'st thou ? take that, to end thy Ye see, I drink the water of mine eyes.

agony.

[Glo, stabs him. Therefore, no more but this :-Henry, your sove * Cla. And there's for twitting me with perjury. reigo,

[CLA. stabs him. ' Is prisoner to the foe ; his state usurp'd,

Q. Mar. O, kill me too! His realm a slaughterhouse, his subjects slain, Glo. Marry, and shall. [Offers to kill her. "His statutes cancell'd, and his treasure spent ; K. Edw. Hold, Richard, hold, for we have done • And yonder is the wolf, that makes this spoil.

too much. • You light in justice : then, in God's name, lords, Glo. Why should she live, to fill the world with . Be valiant, and give signal to the fight.

words ?10 (Exeunt both Armies. K. Edw. What! doth she swoon ? use means for SCENE V. Another part of the same.

Alarums:

her recovery. Ercursions : and afterwards a Retreat. Then

Glo. Clarence, excuse me to the king my brother : enter King EDWARD, CLARENCE, GLOSTER,

• I'll hence to London on a serious matter: and Forces; with QUEEN MARGARET, OXFORD,

• Ere ye come there, be sure to hear some news,

Clar. What? what? and SOMERSET, Prisoners.

Glo. The Tower, the Tower!

(Exit. · K. Edw. Now, here a period of tumultuous

Q. Mar. 0, Ned, sweet Ned! speak to thy broils. Away with Oxford to Hammes castle“ straight :

mother, boy! For Somerset, off with his guilty head.

'Canst thou not speak 1-0 traitors ! murderers ! * Go, bear them hence ; I will not hear them speak. Did not offend, nor were not worthy blame,

They, that stabb'd Cæsar, shed no blood at all, Oxf. For my part, I'll not trouble thee with * If this foul deed were by, to equal it,

words. • Som. Nor I, but stoop with patience to my for And men ne'er spend their fury on a child.

• He was a man; this, in respect, a child ; [Ereuni Oxf. anl Som. guarded. What's worse than murderer, that I may name it? * Q. Mar. So part we sadly in this troublous * No, no; my heart will burst, an if I speak ;world,

* And I will speak, that so my heart may burst.* To meet with joy in sweet Jerusalem. * K. Edw. Is proclamation made,-that who * How sweet a plant have you untimely cropp'd!

* Butchers and villains, bloody cannibals! finds Edward,

• You have no children, butchers ! if you had," * Shall have a high reward, and he his life? * Gl. It is: and lo, where youthful Edward But if you ever charice to have a child

· The thought of them would have stirr'd up remorse,

Look in his youth to have him so cut off, Enter Soldiers, with PRINCE EDWARD. As, deathsmen! you have rid'' this sweet young * K. Edw. Bring forth the gallant, let us hear prince! him speak :

K. Edw. Away with her; go, bear her hence * What! can so young a thorn begin to prick ?

perforce. • Edward, what satisfaction canst thou make, Q. Mar. Nay, never bear me hence, despatch me For bearing arms, for stirring up my subjects, * And all the trouble thou hast turn'd me to ?6 Here sheath thy sword, I'll pardon thee my death: Prince. Speak like a subject, proud ambitious What! wilt thou not?--then, Clarence, do it thou. York !

Clar. By heaven, I will not do thee so much ease. Suppose, that I am now my father's mouth;

Q. Mar. Good Clarence, do; sweet Clarence, do Resign thy chair, and, where I stand, kneel thou,

thou do it. Whilst I propose the self-same words to thee, Clar. Didst thou not hear me swear, I would not Which, traitor, thou wouldst have me answer to.

do it?

ness; and the poet following nature makes Richard i This scene is ill contrived, in which the king and highly incensed at the reproach. queen appear at once on the stage at the head of oppo. 8 See King Henry VI. Part II. Act iv, Sc. 1. sing armies. It had been easy to make one retire before 9 That is, thou who art the likeness,' &c, The old the other entered,Johnson.

copies describe Edward as striking the first blow, and 2 Koow.

3 Unsay, deny. Gloster the next ; and this is according to history, which 4 A castle in Picardy, where Oxford was confined for informs us that Edward smote the prince with his many years.

gauntlet, on which the rest dispatched him. 5 See note 4, on p. 83.

10 i. e. dispute, contention. 6 We have nearly the same words in the Tempest : 11 The same sentiment is repeated by Macduff in the O, my heart bleeds,

tragedy of Macbeth ; and this passage may serve as a * To think of the ieen that I have turn'd you to. comment on that. 7 The prince calls Richard Æsop for his crooked. 12 To rid is to cut off, to destroy

tune.

comes.

here;

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

hence.

this.

Q. Mar. Ay, but thou usest to forswear thyself; Men for their sons, wives for their husbands' fate, 'Twas sin before,' but now'tis charity.

And orphans for their parents' timeless death, What! wilt thou not? where is that devil's butcher, Shall rue the hour that ever thou wast born. Hard-favour'd Richard ? Richard, where art thou? | The owl shriek'd at thy birth, an evil sign; Thou art not here: Murder is thy alms-deed; " The night-crow cried, aboding luckless time; Petitioners for blood thou ne'er put'st back. Dogs howl'd, and hideous tempests shook down K. Edw. Away, I say; I charge ye, bear her trees;

The raven rook'de her on the chimney's top, Q. Mar, So come to you, and yours, as to this And chattering pies in dismal discords sung. prince!

(Exit, led out forcibly. Thy mother selt more than a mother's pain, K. Edw. Where's Richard gone?

And yet brought forth less than a mother's hope ; * Clar. T. London, all in post; and, as I guess, " To wit,-an indigest deformed lump,' To make a bloody supper in ihe Tower.

Not like the fruit of such a goodly tree. K. Edw. He's sudden, if a thing comes in bis Teeth hadst thou in thy head, when thou wast born, head.

To signify,-thou cam'st to bite the world : • Now march we hence : discharge the common sort And, if the rest be true which I have heard, • With pay and thanks, and let's away to London, · Thou cam'st

And see our gentle queen how weil she fares ; Glo. I'll hear no more ;-Die, prophet, in thy * By this, I hope, she hath a son for me. (Exeunt.

speech;

(Stabs him SCENE VI. London. A Room in the Tower. For this, amongst the rest, was I ordain'd.

King HENRY is discovered sitting with a Book K. Hen. Ay, and for much more slaughter after in his Hand, the Lieutenant attending. Enter GLOSTER.

O God! forgive my sins, and pardon thee! (Dies. Glo. Good day, my lord: What, at your book Sink in the ground? I thought it would have mounted:

Glo. Whai, will the aspiring blood of Lancaster so hard? K. Hen. Ay, my good lord: My lord, I should See, how my sword weeps for the poor king's death! say rather;

• 0, may such purple tears be always shed 'T'is sin to Hatter, good was little better :

• From those that wish the downfal of our house ! Good Gloster, and good devil, were alike,

' If any spark of life be yet remaining, * And both preposterous ; therefore, not good lord. Down, down to bell; and say I sent thee thither. * Glo. Sirrah, leave us to ourselves; we must 1, that have neither pity, love, nor fear.

(Stabs him again. confer. * K. Hen. So flies the reckless shepherd from Indeed, 'tís true, that Henry told me of ; the wolf :

For I have often heard my mother say, * So first the harmless sheep doth yield his fleece, I came into the world with my legs forward : * And next his throat unto the butcher's knife.

Had I not reason, think ye, to make haste, What scene of death hath Roscius now to act ?

• And seek their ruin that usurp'd our right ?. Glo. Suspicion always haunts the guilty inind;

The midwife wonder'd ; and the women cried, The thief dóth fear each bush an officer.

0, Jesus bless us, he is born with teeth. " K. Hen. The bird, that hath been limed in a That I should snarl, and bite, and play the dog.

• And so I was ; which plainly signifiedbush, With trembling wings misdoubteth every bush:

· Then, since the heavens have shap'd my body so, And I, the hapless maled to one sweet bird

Let hell make crook'd my mind to answer it. Have now the fatal object in my eye,

I have no brother, I am like no brother:

And this word-love, which greybeards call divine, Where my poor young was lim’d, was caught, and kill'd.

Be resident in men like one another, Glo. Why, what a peevisho fool was that of And not in me; I am myself alone.Crete,

Clarence, beware; thou keep'st me from the light * That taught his son the office of a fowl ?

But I will sort a pitchy day for thee: . And yet, for all his wing the fool was drown'd.

For I will buz abroad such prophecies, K. Hen. !, Dadalus; my poor boy, Icarus ;

" That Edward shall be fearful of his life ; Thy father, Minos, that denied our course;

And then, to purge his fear, I'll be thy death. · The sun, that seard the wings of my sweet boy, Clarence, ihy turn is next, and then the rest;

King Henry, and the prince his son, are gone : T'hy brother Edward ; and thyself, ihe sea, Whose envious gulf did swallow up his life.

Counting myself but bad, till I be best.* Ah, kill me with thy weapon, not with words !

• I'll throw thy body in another room, My breast can better brook thy dagger's point,

And triumph, Henry, in thy day of doom. (Erit. Than can my ears that tragic history.

SCENE VII. The same. A Room in the Palace, * But wherefore dost thou come? is't for my life? King Edward is discovered sitting on his Tlcone;

. Glo. Think'st thou, I am an executioner ? QUEEN ELIZABETH with the infant Prince, CLAK. Hen. A perseculor, I am sure, thou art; RENCE, GLOSTER, Hastings, and others, near If murdering innocents be exccuting,

him. * Why, then thou art an executioner. Glo Thy son I kill'd for his presumption.

K. Edw. Once more we sit in England's royal K. Hen. Had'st thou be

throne, kill’d, when first thou Repurchas'd with the blood of enemies. didst presume, Thou hadst not liv'd to kill a son of mine.

What valiant foemen, like to autumn's corn,

Have we mow'd down, 10 in tops of all their pride 3 And thus I prophecy,--that many a thousand, s Which now mistrust no parcels of my fear;

Three dukes of Somerset, threefold renown'd And many an old man's sigh, and many a widow's, Two Cliffords, as the father and the son,

For hardy and undoubted champions : • And many an orphan's water-standing cye,

And two Northumberlands; two braver men | She alludes to the desertion of Clarence.

Ne'er spurr'd their coursers at the trumpet's sound: 2 To misdoubt is to suspect danger, to fear. 3 The word male is here used in an uncommon sense,

7'-rudis indigestaque moles." for the male parent: the sweet bird is evidently his son

Ovid. Met. I. 7. Prince Edward.

8 Dryden seems to have had this line in his mind 4 Peevish, in the language of our ancestors, was when writing his Edipus :used to signify mod or foolish. See note on Comedy of

" It was ihy crooked mind hunch'd out thy back, Errors, Activ. Sc. I.

And wander'd in thy limbs.? 5 Who suspect no part of what my fears presage. 9 Select, choose out.

6 To rook, or ruck, is 10 cower down like a bird at 10 A kindred image occurs in King Henry V.:roost or on its nest. The word is of very ancient use in

mowing like grass our language.

Your fresh-fair virgins, and your flow'ring infants."

6

[ocr errors]

• With them, the two brave bears, Warwick and | THE three parts of King Henry VI. are suspected, by Montague,

Mr. Theobald, of being supposititinus, and are declared That in their chains fetter'd the kingi, lion,

by Dr. Warburton, to be certainly not Shakspeare's. And made the forest tremble when they roar'd.

Mr. Theobald's suspicion arises from some obsolete Thus have 're swept suspicion from our seat, Words ; but the phraseology is like the rest of the au:

thor's style ; and single words, of which, however, I do And made our footstool of security.-

not observe more than two, can conclude liule. Come hither, Bess, and let me kiss my boy : Dr. Warburton gives no reason ; but I suppose him to Young Ned, for thee, thine uncles, and myself, judge upon deeper principles and more comprehensive Have in our armours watch'd the winter's night; views, and to draw his opinion from the general effect • Went all a foot in summer's scalding heat,

and spirit of the composition, which he thinks inferior That thou might'st repossess the crown in peace;

to the other historical plays. ana of our labours thou shalt reap the gain.

From mere inferiority nothing can be inferred: in the

productions of wit there will be inequality. Sometimes Glo. I'll blast his harvest, if your head were laid ; judgment will err, and sometimes the matter itself will For yet I am not look'd or in the world.

defeat the artist. for every author's works, one will be This shoulder was ordain'd so thick, to heave; the best, and one will be the worst. The colours are And heave it shall some weight, or break my back :-- not equally pleasing, nor the attitudes equally graceful, Work thou the way,--and thou shalt execute.!

in all the pictures of Titian or Reynolds.

Dissimilitude of style and heterogeneousness of sen.

(Aside. K. Edw. Clarence, and Gloster, love my lovely belong to the reputed author. But in these plays no such

timent, may sufficiently show that a work does not really queen;

marks of spuriousness are found. The diction, the ver. And kiss your princely nephew, brothers both. sification, and the figures, are Shakspeare's. These

Clar. The duty, that I owe unto your majesty, plays, considered, without regard to characters and in. I seal upon the lips of this sweet babe.

cidents, merely as narratives in verse, are more happily K. Edw. Thanks, noble Clarence ; worthy bro- King John, King Richard II. or the tragic scenes of King

conceived, and more accurately finished than those of ther, thanks. · Glo. And that I love the tree from whence thou speare, to whom shall they be given?

Henry IV. and V. If we take these plays from Shak.

What author of sprang'st,

that age had the same easiness of expression and Nu. Witness the loving kiss I give the fruit :

ency of numbers ? To say the truth,so Judas kiss'd his master;

or these three plays I think the second is the best. . And cried-all bail! when as he meant-Aside. The truth is, that ihey have not sufficient variety of acall harm.

lion, for the incidents are too often of the same kind; K. Edw. Now am I seated as my soul delights,

yet many of the characters are well discriminated. King

Henry, and his Queen, King Edward, the Duke of Glos. Having my country's peace, and brothers' loves.

ter, and the Earl of Warwick, are very strongly and Clar. What will your grace have done with Mar- distinctly painted. garet?

The old copies of the two latter parts of King Henry Reignier, her father, to the king of France VI. and of King Henry V. are so apparently mutilated Hath pawn'd the Sicils and Jerusalem,

and imperfect, that there is no reason for supposing them And hither have they sent it for her ransom.

the first draughts of Shakspeare. I am inclined to be. K. Edw. Away with her, and waft her hence to down during the representation what the time would

lieve them copies taken by some auditor, who wroto France.

permit; then, perhaps, filled up some of his omissions And now what rests, but that we spend the time at a second or third hearing, and, when he had by this With stately triumphs, mirthful comic shows, method formed something like a play, sent it to the Such as befit the pleasures of the court ?

printer.-JOHNSON. Sound, drums and trumpets farewell, sour annny! For here, I hope, begins our lasting joy. (Ereunt.

This note by Dr. Johnson has been preserved not. | Gloucester may be supposed to touch his head and withstanding the full answer to his argument which is look significantly at his hand.

given in the abstract of Malone's dissertation prefixed 2 The old quarto play appropriates this line to the to these plays, which discriminates between what is and queen. The first and second folio, by mistake, have what is not from the hand of our great poet. No frau. given it to Clarence. In Steevens's copy of the second dulent copyist (says Malone) or short-hand writer would folio, which had belonged to King Charles the First, his have invented circumstances totally different from those majesty had erased Cla. and written King in its stead. which appear in Shakspeare's new modelled draughts, Shakspeare, therefore, in the catalogue of his restorers, as exhibited in the folio, or insert whole speeches ol may boast a royal name.

which scarcely a trace is to be found in that edition.'

THE LIFE AND DEATH OF

KING RICHARD THE THIRD.

PRELIMINARY REMARKS. The Tragedy, though called in the original edition | Say they are saints, althogh that saints they shew r.ob comprises only fourteen years. The second scene cum. They burn in love thy children shakspeare let them, mences with the funeral of King Henry VI, who is said Go wo thy muse more nymphish brood beget them. to have been murdered on the 21st of May, 1471. The

27th Epig. 4th Weeke. imprisonment of Clarence, which is represented prevj. The character of Richard had been in part developed ously in the first scene, did not, in fact, take place till in the last parts of King Henry VI. where, Schlegel'ob1477-8.

serves, his first speeches lead us already to forin the Several dramas on the present story had been written most unfavourable prognostications respecting him : he before Shakspeare attempted it. There was a Latin lowers obliquely like a thunder-cloud on the horizon, play on the subject, by Dr. Legge, which had been acted which gradually approaches nearer and nearer, and first at St. John's College, Oxford, some time before the year pours out the elements of devastation with which it is 1589. And a childish imitation of it, by one Henry La charged when it hangs over the heads of mortals.' "The cey, exists in MS. in the British Museum; (MSS. Harl. other characters of the drama are of too secondary a na. No. 6926 ;) it is dated 1586. In the books of the Sta- cure to excite a powerful sympathy; but in the back tioners' Company are the following entries :- Aug. 15, ground the widowed Queen Margaret appears as the 1596, A Tragical Report of King Richard the Third fury of the past, who calls forth the curse on the future : a ballad.' June 19, 1594, Thomas Creede made the fol. every calamity which her enemies draw down on each lowing entry : 'An enterlude, intitled the Tragedie of other, is a cordial to her revengeful heart. Other fe. Richard the Third, wherein is shown the Deathe of male voices join, from time to time, in the lamentations Edward the Fourthe, with the Smotheringe of the Two and imprecations. But Richard is the soul, or rather Princes in the Tower, with the lamentable Ende of the dernon, of the whole tragedy, and fulfils the promise Shore's Wife, and the Contention of the Two Houses of which he formerly made to Lancaster and Yorke.' A single copy of this ancient

set the murderous Machiavel to school.' Interlude, which Mr. Boswell thinks was written by the Besides the uniform aversion with which he inspires author of Locrine, unfortunately wanting the title.page, us, he occupies us in the greatest variety of ways, by and a few lines at the beginning, was in the collection his profound skill in dissimulation, his wit, his prudence, of Mr. Rhodes, of Lyon's Inn, who liberally allowed his presence of mind, his quick activity, and his valour. Mr. Boswell to print it in the last Variorum edition of He fights at last against Richmond like a desperado, Shakspeare. It appears evidently to have been read and dies the honourable death of the hero on the field of and used by Shakspeare. In this, as in other instances, battle.'—But Shakspeare has satisfied our moral feel. the bookseller was probably induced to publish the old ings :

-He shows us Richard in his last moments al. play, in consequence of the success of the new one in ready branded with the stamp of reprobation. We see performance, and before it had yet got into print. Richard and Richmond on the night before battle sleep

Shakspeare's play was first entered at Stationers' ing in their tents; the spirits of those murdered by the Hall, Oci. 20, 1597, by Andrew Wise; and was then tyrant, ascend in succession and pour out their curses published with the following litle : The Tragedy of against him, and their blessings on his adversary. King Richard the Third : Containing his treacherous These apparitions are, properly, merely the dreams of Plots against his Brother Clarence; and the pitiful Mur. the two generals made visible. It is no doubt contrary ther of his innocent Nephewes; his tyrannical Ugurpa: to sensible probability, that their tents should only be tion: with the whole course of his detested Life, and separated by so small a space; but Shakspeare could most deserved Death. As it hath been lately acted by reckon on poetical spectators, who were ready to take the Right Honourable the Lord Chamberlaine his ser. the breadth of the stage for the distance between the two vants. Printed by Valentine Sims, for William Wise, camps, if, by such a favour, they were to be recom. 1597. It was again reprinted, in 410, in 1598, 1602, 1612 pensed by beauties of so sublime a nature as this series or 1613, 1622, and twice in 16-29.

of spectres, and the soliloquy of Richard on his awak. This play was probably written in the year 1593 or ing.' 1594. One of Shakspeare's Richards, and most pro Steevens, in part of a note, which I have thought it bably this, is alluded to in the Epigrams of John Wee. best to omii, observed that the favour with which the ver, f published in 1599; but which must have been tragedy has been received on the stage in modern times written in 1595.

'must in some measure be imputed to Cibber's reforma. AD GULIELMUM SHAKESPEARE.

tion of it.' The original play was certainly too long for

representation, and there were parts which might, with Honie-cong'd Shakespeare, when I saw thine issue, advantage, have been omitted in representation, as I swore Apollo got them, and none other :

dramatic encumbrances ;' but such a clumsy piece of Their rosie-tainted features clothed in tissue,

patchwork as the performance of Cibber, was surely Some heaven-born goddesse said to be their mother. any thing but judicious ;' and it is only surprising, that Rose cheeckt Adonis with his amber tresses,

the taste which has led to other reformations in the perFaire fire-hot Venus charming him to love her, formance of our great dramatic poet's works, has not Chaste Lucretia, virgine-like her dresses,

given to the stage a judicious abridgment of this tragedy Proud lust-stung Tarquine, seeking still to prove her, in his own words, unencumbered with the superfluous Romeo, Richard, more whose names I know not, transpositions and gratuitous additions which have been Their sugred tongues and power auractive beauty, so long inflicted upon us.

A complete copy of Creed's edition of this curious ley. The title is as follows :—Epigrammes in the old Interlude, (which upon comparison proved to be a dif. esi Cut and newest Fashion. A wise seven Houres ferent impression from that in Mr. Rhodes's collection,)|(in so many Weekes) Studie. No longer (like the was sold by auction by Mr. Evans very lately. The Fashion) not unlike to continue. The first seven, John tle way as follows:- The true Tragedie of Richard Weever. Sit voluisse sit valuisse. At London: print. the Third, wherein is showne the death of Edward the ed by V. S. for Thomas Bushele; and are to be sold at Fourth, with the smothering of the iwo yoong Princes his shop, at the great north doore of Paules. 1599. 120. In the Tower: With a lamentable end of Shore's wise, There is a portrait of the author, engraved by Cecill, an example for all wicked women; and lastly, the con prefixed. According to the date upon this print, Wee. junction of the two noble Houses Lancaster and Yorke, ver was then twenty-three years old ; but he tells us, in as it was playd by the Queenes Maiesties players. Lon some introductory stanzas, that when he wrote the Epi. don, printed by Thomas Creede ; and are to be sold by grams, which compose the volume, he was not twenty William Barley at his shop in Newgate Market, neare years old ; that he was one Christ Church' door, 1394 ; 410.' li is a circumstance * That iwenty iwelvemonths yet did never know.' sufficiently remarkable that but a single copy of each of Consequently, these Epigrams must have been written the two editions of this piece should be known to exist. in 1595.

This very curious little volume, which is supposed Schlegel's Leclures on Dramatic Literature, vol. ii. to be unique, is in the possession of Mr Comb, of Hen. p. 246.

« ZurückWeiter »