Imagens das páginas

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.

EDWARD, Prince of Wales, afterwards
King Edward V.

Sons to the King.
RICHARD, Duke of York,
GEORGE, Duke of Clarence,
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. 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.





SCENE I. London. A Street.


Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this sun- of York;
And all the clouds, that lour'd

upon our house,
In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.
Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths;
Our bruised arms hung up for monuments”;
Our stern alarums chang'd to merry meetings,
Our dreadful marches to delightful measures :.
Grim-visag'd war hath smooth’d his wrinkled front;
And now,- instead of mounting barbed* steeds,
To fright the souls of fearful adversaries,-


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,
With bruised arms and wreaths of victory.'

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

middle ages.

He capers nimbly in a lady's chamber,
To the lascivious pleasing of a lute.
But I,—that am not shap'd for sportive tricks,
Nor made to court an amorous looking-glass;
I, that am rudely stamp'd, and want love's majesty,
To strut before a wanton ambling nymph;
I, that am curtailid of this fair proportion,
Cheated of feature by dissembling nature
Deform’d, unfinish’d, 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;-
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 ;
And therefore,-since I cannot prove a lover,
To entertain these fair well spoken days,-
I am determined to prove a villain,
And hate the idle pleasures of these days.
Plots have I 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,

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,
This day should Clarence closely be mew'd up;
About a prophecy, which says-that G
Of Edward's heirs the murderer shall be 8.
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 ?

His majesty,
Tendering my person's safety, hath appointed
This conduct to convey me to the Tower.

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,
Without more motive, into every brain.'


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