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Steevens in part of a note, which I have thought it best to omit, observed that the favour with which the tragedy has been received on the stage in modern times ` must in some measure be imputed to Cibber's reformation of it. The original play was certainly too long for representation, and there were parts which might with advantage have been omitted in representation as' dramatic encumbrances ;' but such a piece of clumsy patchwork as the performance of Cibber was surely any thing but * judicious ;' and it is only surprising that the taste which has led to other reformations in the performance of our great dramatic poet's works, has not given to the stage a judicious abridgment of this tragedy in his own words, unencumbered with the superfluous transpositions and gratuitous additions which have been so long inflicted upon us.
KING EDWARD THE FOURTH.
Sons 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. 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. DUCHESS of YORK, Mother to King Edward IV. Clarence,
and Gloster. LADY ANNE, Widow of Edward, Prince of Wales, Son to
King Henry VI.; afterwards married to the Duke of Glos
ter. A young Daughter of Clarence. Lords, and other Attendants, two Gentlemen, a Pursuivant,
Scrivener, Citizens, Murderers, Messengers, Ghosts, Soldiers, &c.
LIFE AND DEATH OF
KING RICHARD III.
SCENE I. London. A Street.
upon our house,
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. Vide the Third Part of King Henry VI. Act ii. Sc. 1.
• Made glorious by his manly chivalry,
Rape of Lucrece. 3 Dances. 4 i.e. steeds caparisoned or clothed in the trappings of war. The word is properly barded, from equus bardatus, Latin of the
He capers nimbly in a lady's chamber,
5. Is the warlike sound of drum and trump turned to the soft noise of lyre and lute? The neighing of barbed steeds, whose loudness filled the air with terror, and whose breaths dimmed the sun with smoke, converted to delicate tunes and amorous glances.'—Lyly's Alexander and Campaspe, 1584. There is a passage in the Legend of the Death of King Richard III. in the Mirror for Magistrates evidently imitated from Shakspeare.
6 Feature is proportion, or beauty, in general. Vide Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act ii. Sc. 4, p. 127. 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.
7 Preparations for mischief.
As I am subtle, false, and treacherous,
Enter CLARENCE, guarded, and BRAKENBURY.
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 : 0, 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 protest, As I do not: But, as I can learn, He hearkens after prophecies, and dreams; And from the cross-row plucks the letter G, And says—a wizard told him, that by G His issue disinherited should be ; And, for my name of George begins with G, It follows in his thought, that I am he: These, as I learn, and such like toys 9 as these, Have mov'd his highness to commit me now.
8 This is from Holinshed. Philip de Comines says that the English at that time were never unfurnished with some prophecy or other, by which they accounted for every event.
9 i.e. fancies, freaks of imagination. Thus in Hamlet, Act i. Sc. 4:
• The very place put toys of desperation,