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KING EDWARD THE FOURTH.
EDWARD, Prince of Wales, afterwards
King Edward V.
RICHARD, Duke of York,
GEORGE, Duke of Clarence,
Sons to the King.
RICHARD, Duke of Gloster, afterwards Brothers to the King
King Richard III.
A young Son of Clarence.
HENRY, Earl of Richmond, afterwards King Henry VII.
CARDINAL BOUCHIER, Archbishop of Canterbury.
THOMAS ROTHERAM, Archbishop of York.
JOHN MORTON, Bishop of Ely.
Duke of Buckingham.
Duke of 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.
ELIZABETH, Queen of King Edward IV.
Duchess of York, Mother to King Edward IV., Clarence, and
LADY ANNE, Widow of Edward, Prince of Wales, Son to King Henry VI.; afterwards married to the Duke of Gloster.
A young Daughter of Clarence.
Lords, and other Attendants, two Gentlemen, a Pursuivant, Scrivener, Citizens, Murderers, Messengers, Ghosts, Soldiers, &c.
KING RICHARD THE THIRD.
SCENE I. London. A Street.
Gloster. Now is the winter of our discontent
Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths;
Grim-visaged war hath smoothed his wrinkled front;
To the lascivious pleasing of a lute.
But I,—that am not shaped for sportive tricks,
I, that am rudely stamped, and want love's majesty,
I, that am curtailed of this fair proportion,
1 The cognizance of Edward IV. 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.
3 i. e. steeds caparisoned or clothed in the trappings of war. The word is properly barded, from equus bardatus, Latin of the middle ages.
4 Feature is proportion, or beauty, in general. By dissembling is not meant hypocritical nature, but nature that puts together things of a dissimilar kind, as a brave soul and a deformed body.
Deformed, unfinished, sent before my time
Into this breathing world, scarce half made up,
That dogs bark at me, as I halt by them ;-
And hate the idle pleasures of these days.
Of Edward's heirs the murderer shall be.1
Dive, thoughts, down to my soul! here Clarence comes
Enter CLARENCE, guarded, and Brakenbury. Brother, good day. What means this armed guard, That waits upon your grace?
Tendering my person's safety, hath appointed
Glo. Upon what cause?
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 christened in the Tower. But what's the matter, Clarence? may I know? Clar. Yea, Richard, when I know; for, I protest,
1 This is from Holinshed.
As yet I do not. But, as I can learn,
And, for my name of George begins with G,
These, as I learn, and such like toys as these,
Glo. Why, this it is, when men are ruled by
'Tis not the king that sends you to the Tower;
Was it not she, and that good man of worship,
That made him send lord Hastings to the Tower;
Clar. By Heaven, I think there is no man secure,
The jealous, o'er-worn widow, and herself,1
Are mighty gossips in this monarchy.
Brak. I beseech your graces both to pardon me;
His majesty hath straitly given in charge,
That no man shall have private conference,
Of what degree soever with his brother.
Glo. Even so? An please your worship, Brakenbury You may partake of any thing we say.
We speak no treason, man.-We say, the king
A bonny eye, a passing pleasing tongue;
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,
Brak. What one, my lord?
Glo. Her husband, knave.-Wouldst thou betray me? Brak. I beseech your grace to pardon me; and withal, Forbear your conference with the noble duke.
Clar. We know thy charge, Brakenbury, and will obey.
Glo. We are the queen's abjects,' and must obey. Brother, farewell. I will unto the king;
And whatsoever you will employ me in,
Were it to call king Edward's widow-sister,-
Mean time, this deep disgrace in brotherhood,
Clar. I know it pleaseth neither of us well.
Mean time, have patience.
I must perforce; farewell. [Exeunt CLARENCE, BRAKENBURY, and
Glo. Go, tread the path that thou shalt ne'er return, Simple, plain Clarence!—I do love thee so,
That I will shortly send thy soul to heaven,
1 i. e. the lowest of her subjects. This substantive is found in Psalmı XXXV. 15.
2 He means," or else be imprisoned in your stead." To lie signified anciently to reside, or remain in a place.