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XING Edward IV.
Edward Prince of Wales, afterwards Edward V. 2
}Sons to Edward IV.
Richard, Duke of York.
George, Duke of Clarence, brother to Edward IV.
Richard, Duke of Glocefter, brother to Edward IV. afterwards King
Cardinal, Archbishop of York,
Duke of Buckingham.
Duke of Norfolk.
Earl of Surrey.
Marquifs of Dorset; Son to Queen Elizabeth,
Earl Rivers, brother to the Queen.
Lord Gray, Son to Queen Elizabeth.
Earl of Richmond, afterwards King Henry VII.
Bishop of Ely.
Sir Thomas Vaughan.
Sir Richard Ratcliff,
Friends to the Duke of Glocefter.
Sir James Tyrrel, a Villain.
Thomas, Lord Stanley, Lord Steward of King Edward IV's Household,
afterwards Earl of Derby.
Earl of Oxford,
Friends to the Earl of Richmond.
Sir William Brandon,
Brakenbury, Lieutenant of the Tower,
Two Children of the Duke of Clarence.
Sir Christopher Urswick, a Priest,
Elizabeth, Queen of Edward IV.
Queen Margaret, Widow of Henry VI.
Anne, Widow of Edward Prince of Wales, Son to Henry VI. after:
wards married to the Duke of Glocester.
Dutchess of York, Morber to Edward IV. Clarence, and Richard III,
Sberiff, Pursuivant, Citizens, Ghosts of those murder'd by Richard III.
with Soldiers and ot ber Attendants.
The Life and DEATH of (1)
Enter Richard Duke of Glocester, folus.
TOW is the winter of our discontent NM
Made glorious summer by this fun of York : And all the clouds, that lowr'd upon our house, In the deep bosom of the ocean bury'd.
Now .(1) The Life and Death of King Richard III.] This tragedy, tho' it is call'd the Life and Death of this Prince, comprises, at moit, but the last 8 Years of his time: For it opens with George Duke of Clarence being clap'd up in the Tower, which happen'd in the beginning of the Year 1477 ; and closes with the death of Richard at Bosworth-field, which battle was fought on the 22d of August in the Year 1483. This short, historical interval, however, is so crouded with incidents, (if plotted and premeditated murders may bear that title) that it is from the beginning to the end an Oglio of bloody diflimulation and ambitious cruelty. It has been very well observ'd by the late Mr. Gildon, that Richard, as he is drawn, is not a fit character for the stage ; being shocking in all he does : That tho* the ancients had introduc'd an Aireus, Thyestes, &c. yet the cruelties committed by them have been the sudden effect of anger and revenge :: But Richard is a calm villain ; and does his murders deliberately, wading thro' a sea of his nearest relations blood to the Crown.---Tho' many worthy and wholesome laws were enacted under the protectorship and government of this usurper, 'tis obvious, that the Vol. V
Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths,
Our bruised arms hung up for monuments ;
Qur 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,
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 am'rous looking-glass, -
I, that am rudely ftampt, 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 diffembling nature,
Deform’d, unfinish'd, sent before
Into this breathing world, scarce half made up ;.
And that so lamely and unfashionably,
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, fince 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 prophesies, 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 juft,
As I am subtle, false and treacherous,
This day should Clarence closely be mew'd up;
hiftorians and poets, in loading his character, have at the fame time
leen paying their compliments to that line, which gave them an
ELIZABETH. The miseries and iniquities of Civil War were richly
compensated in such a blessing.
Jam nibil, o Superi, querimur: Scelera ipfa, Nefasque,
Hac Mercede placent.com
About a prophecy, which says, that G (2)
Of Edward's heirs the murderer shall be.
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 ?
Clar. His Majesty,
Tend’ring my person's safety, hath appointed
This conduct to convey me to the Tower.
Glo. Upon what cause?
Clar. Because my name is George.
Glo. Alack, my Lord, that fault is none of yours :
He should for that commit your godfathers.
Belike, his Majesty hath some intent,
you should be new christened in the Tower. But what's the matter, Clarence, may I know?
Clar. Yea, Richard, when I know ; for, I proteft, As yet I do not ; but as I can learn, He hearkens after prophesies and dreams, And from the cross-row plucks the letter G; And says, a wizard told him, that by G His issue difinherited 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 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 Gray his wife, Clarence, 'tis she, That tempts him to this harsh extremity.
(2) About a prophecy, which says, that G OF Edward's beirs the murderer shall be.] These two lines are in all Se old books whatsoever, as well as in all the modern ones that I lave seen, except the two impreslions by Mr. Pope. By what uthority he has thought fit to leave them out I don't know : If e did it, because Clarence in the next scene says something much to he same effect, I think, that is no reason for expunging them, 1r. Pope has, in other cases, where he thought any thing superuous, thrown it out of the text, but then he has degraded it to the Ottom of the page. I 2
Was it not me, and that good man of worship,
Anthony Woodvil her brother there,
That made him fend Lord Hastings to the Tower?
From whence this day he is delivered.
We are not safe ; Clarence, we are not safe.
Clar. By heav'n, I think, there is no man secure
But the Queen's kindred, and night-walking heralds,
That trudge between the King and mistress Shore.
Heard you not, what an humble suppliant
Lord Hafiing's was to her for his delivery?
Glo. Humbly complaining to her deity,
Got my Lord Chamberlain his liberty.
I'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’erworn widow, and her herself,
Since that our brother dubb’d them gentlewomen,
Are mighty gossips in this monarchy.
Brak. I beg your Graces both to pardon me;
His Majesty hath ftraitly giv'n in charge,
That no man shall have private conference,
Of what degree soever, with your brother,
Glo. Ev'n fo, an't please your worship, Brakenbury !
You may partake of any thing we say :
We speak no treason, man--we say, the King
Is wife and virtuous .; and his noble Queen
Well strook in years ; fair and not jealous-
We say, that Shore's wife hath a pretty foot,
A cherry lip, a passing pleasing tongue :
That the Queen's kindred are made gentle-folk :
How fay you, Sir! can you deny all this?
Brak. With this, my Lord, myself have nought to do.
Glo. What, fellow ? nought to do with mistress Shore ?
I tell you, Sir, he that doth naught with her,
Excepting one, were best to do it secretly.
Brak. What one, my Lord ?
Glo. Her husband, knave--would'st thou betray me?
Brak. I do beseech your Grace to pardon me,
And to forbear your conf'rence with the Duke.
Clar. We know thy charge, Drakenbury, and will obey.