Imagens das páginas


SCENE I. London. À Street.


Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this sunl 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 monuments2;
Our stern alarums chang'd to merry meetings,
Our dreadful marches to delightful measures3.
Grim-visag'd war hath smooth'd his wrinkled front;
And now,-- instead of mounting barbed4 steeds,
To fright the souls of fearful adversaries,-
He capers nimbly in a lady's chamber,
To the lascivious pleasing of a lutes.

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I The cognizance of Edward IV. was a sun, in memory of the three sons 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.
• i. e. steeds caparisoned or clothed in the trappings of war.
The word is properly barded, from equus bardatus, Latin of the
iniddle ages.

5'18 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



But 1,- 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;
1, that am curtail'd 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,
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 be8.
Dive, thoughts, down to my soul! here Clarence


eun with smoke, converted to delicate tones 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. 118. By dissembling is not meant hypocritical nature, that pretends one thing and does another; but nature, that pats together things of a dissimilar kind, as a brave soul and a deformed body.

? Preparations for mischief. 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.

Enter CLARENCE, guarded, and BRAKENBURY. Brother, good day: What means this armed guard, That waits upon your grace ? Clar.

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 yet 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 toys9 as these, Have mov'd his highness to commit me now.

Glo. Why, this it is, when men are ruld by women: 'Tis not the king, that sends you to the Tower; My Lady Grey, his wife, Clarence, 'tis she, That tempers10 him to this extremity. Was it not she, and that good man of worship, Antony Woodeville, her brother there, That made him send Lord Hastings to the Tower; From whence this present day he is deliver'd ? We are not safe, Clarence, we are not safe.

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.' 10 i. e. frames his temper, moulds it to this extremity. This word is often used in the same figurative sense by Spenser and other cotempo ies of hakspeare

Now will I to that old Andronicus ;
And temper him with all the art I have,
To pluck proud Lucius from the warlike Goths.'

Titus Andronicus.

Clar. By heaven, I think, there is no man secure, But the queen's kindred, and night-walking heralds That trudge betwixt the king and Mistress Shore. Heard you not, what an humble suppliant Lord Hastings was to her for his delivery?

Glo. Humbly complaining to her deity Got my lord chamberlain his liberty. l'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 herselfii, Since that our brother dubb’d them gentlewomen, 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, Braken

bury, You may partake of any thing we say: We speak no treason, man ;- We say, the king Is wise and virtuous; and his noble queen Well struck in years12; fair, and not jealous: We say, that Shore's wife hath a pretty foot, A cherry lip, A bonny eye, a passing pleasing tongue; And that the queen's kindred are made gentlefolks: How ,say you, sir ? can you deny all this? Brak. With this, my lord, myself have naught Glo. Naught to do with mistress Shore? I tell

to do.

11 The Queen and Shore.

12 This odd expression was preceded by others equally singular, expressing what we now call an advanced age. Thus in Arthur Hall's translation of the first book of Horner's Iliad, 1581:

• In Grea's forme, the good handmaid, nowe wel ystept

in yeares.' And in Spenser's Faerie Quecne, book v. can. 6:

"Well shot in years he seemid.' Warton bas justly observed thai, .by an imperceptible progression from one kindred sense to another, words at length obtain a ineaning entirely foreigu to their etymology.'

thee, fellow,
He that doth naught with her, excepting one,
Were best to do it secretly, alone.

Brak. What one, my lord?
Glo. Her husband, knave:-Would'st thou be-

tray 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 obey13. Glo. We are the queen's abjects14, and must

Brother, farewell: I will unto the king;
And whatsoever you will employ me in,-
Were it, to call King Edward's widow-sister,-
I will perform it to enfranchise you.
Mean time, this deep disgrace in brotherhood,
Touches me deeper than you can imagine.

Clar. I know it pleaseth neither of us well.

Glo. Well, your imprisonment shall not be long: I will deliver you, or else lie for you15 : Mean time, have patience. Clar.

I must perforce; farewell. [Exeunt CLARENCE, BRAKENBURT, and


13 This and the three preceding speeches were probably all designed por frose. It is at any rate impossible that this line could have been intended for metre.

14 i. e. the lowest of her subjects. This substantive is found in Psalm xxxv. 15:

-Yea the very abjects came together against me unawares, making mouths at me, and ceased not.' Again, in Chapman's translation of Homer's Odyssey, 21st book :

Wbither & rogue ! abject! wilt thou bear from us

That bow propos'd ?'
Again in the same author's version of Homer's Hymn to Venus :-

«That thou wilt never let me live to be
An abject, after so divine degree

Taken in fortone.' 15 He means, or else be imprisoned in your stead. To lie signified anciently to reside, or remain in a place, as appears by many instances in these volumes.

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