« PreviousContinue »
Enter RATc LIFF, with a Guard, conducting Riv ERs, GREY,” and VAUGH AN, to Execution.
Rat. Come, bring forth the prisoners.” Riv. Sir Richard Ratcliff, let me tell thee this,To-day shalt thou behold a subject die, For truth, for duty, and for loyalty. Grey. God keep the prince from all the pack of you! A knot you are of damned blood-suckers. Waugh. You live, that shall cry woe for this hereafter. Rat. Despatch; the limit” of your lives is out. Riv. O Pomfret, Pomfret! O thou bloody prison, Fatal and ominous to noble peers : Within the guilty closure of thy walls, Richard the second here was hack'd to death: And, for more slander to thy dismal seat, We give thee up our guiltless blood to drink. Grey. Now Margaret’s curse is fallen upon our heads, When she exclaim'd on Hastings, you, and I, For standing by when Richard stabb'd her son. Riv. Then curs’d she Hastings, then curs’d she Buckingham, Then curs’d she Richard:—O, remember, God, To hear her prayers for them, as pow for us! And for my sister, and her princely sons,—
6 — Grey, Queen Elizabeth Grey is deservedly pitied for losing her two sons; but the royalty of their birth has so engrossed the attention of historians, that they never reckon into the number of her misfortunes the murder of this her second son, Sir Richard Grey. It is as remarkable how slightly the death of our Earl Rivers is always mentioned, though a man invested with such high offices of trust and dignity; and how much we dwell on the execution of the Lord Chamberlain Hastings, a man in every light his inferior. In truth, the generality draw their ideas of English story, from the tragick rather than the historick authors. Walpole.
* Come, bring forth the prisoners.] This speech is wanting in the folio, and might (as it has neither use, nor pretensions to metre,) be as well omitted as retained. Steevens.
8 — the limit—l For the limited time. See Vol. VIII, p. 149, A. 8. Malone.
WOL. XI. K
Be satisfied, dear God, with our true bloods,
Farewel, until we meet again in heaven. [Ereunt.
BuckINGHAM, STANLEY, HAst INGs, the Bishof, of Ely," CATEsby, LovEL, and Others, sitting at a Table: Officers of the Council attending.
Hast. Now, noble peers, the cause why we are met ls—to determine of the coronation:
9 Małe haste, the hour of death is expiate.] Thus the folio. The quarto furnishes a line that has occurred already : “Despatch; the limit of your lives is out.” Expiate is used for expiated; so confiscate, contaminate, consummate, &c. &c. It seems to mean, fully completed, and ended. Shakspeare has again used the word in the same sense in his 22d Sonnet: “Then look I death my days should expiate.” So, in Locrine, 1595: “Lives Sabren yet, to expiate my wrath.” The editor of the second folio, who altered whatever he did not understand, reads arbitrarily— “Despatch; the hour of death is now expir’d.” and he has been followed by all the modern editors. Malone. the hour of death is expiate.] As I cannot make sense of this, I should certainly read, with the second folio: “— the hour of death is now expired,” meaning the hour appointed for his death. The passage quoted by Mr. Malone from Locrine, is nothing to the purpose, for there, to expiate means to atone for, or satisfy. M. Mason. 1 do not well understand the reading which Mr. Malone prefers, though I have left it in the text Perhaps we should read: — the hour of death is expirate; which accords with Shakspeare’s phraseology, and needs no explanation. Thus, in Romeo and juliet: “ — and expire the term “Of a despised life —” Steevens.
1 — Bishop of Ely, Dr. John Morton; who was elected to that see in 1478. He was advanced to the see of Canterbury in 1486, and appointed Lord Chancellor in 1487. He died in the year 1500. This prelate, Sir Thomas More tells us, first devised
In God’s name, speak, when is the royal day?
the scheme of putting an end to the long contest between the houses of York and Lancaster, by a marriage between Henry Earl of Richmond, and Elizabeth, the eldest daughter of Edward IV, and was a principal agent in procuring Henry when abroad to enter into a covenant for that purpose. Malone. 2 and wants but nomination.] i. e. the only thing wanting, is the appointment of a particular day for the ceremony. Steevens. 3 inward — i. e. intimate, confidential. So, in Measure for Measure: - “Sir, I was an inward of his.” Steevens. * Again, in Much Ado about Nothing: “And though you know, my inwardness and love.” Am. Ed. 4 Had you not eone upon your cue,) This expression is borrowed from the theatre. The cue, queue, or tail of a speech, consists of the last words, which are the token for an entrance or answer. To come on the cue, therefore, is to come at the proper time.
s ------- johnson
Hast. His grace looks cheerfully and smooth this morn1ng ;
There’s onceit or other likes him well,”
Stan. What of his heart perceive you in his face,
Hast. Marry, that with no man here he is offended; For, were he, he had shown it in his looks.
Re-enter Glost ER and BuckING HAM. Glo. I pray you all, tell me what they deserve,”
6 There's some conceit or other likes him well,] Conceit is thought. So, in Pericles, Prince of Tyre, 1609: “Here is a thing too young for such a place, “Who, if it had conceit, would die.” Malone. Conceit, as used by Hastings, I believe signifies—pleasant idea or fancy. So Falstaff, speaking of Poins,—“ He a good wit?— there is no more conceit in him, than is in a mallet.” Steevens.
7 — likelihood–J Semblance; appearance. johnson.
So, in another of our author's plays: “ — poor likelihoods, and modern seemings.” Steevens.
Thus the quarto. The folio reads—livelihood. Malone.
8 I pray you all, tell me that they deserve, &c.] This story was originally told by Sir Thomas More, who wrote about thirty years after the time. His History of King Richard III, was inserted in Hall's Chronicle, from whence it was copied by Holinshed, who was Shakspeare’s authority:
“Between ten and eleven he returned into the chamber among them with a wonderful soure, angrie, countenance, knitting the browes, frowning and fretting, and gnawing on his lippes, and so sette him downe in his place.—Then when he had sitten still awhile, thus he began: What were they worthie to have that compasse and imagine the destruction of me, being so neere of bloud unto the king, and protectour of his royal person and his realme?—Then the lord Chamberlaine, as he that for the love betweene them thought he might be boldest with him, answered and savd, that they were worthie to be punished for hainous traytors, whatsoever they were; and all the other affirmed the same. That is, quoth he, yonder sorceresse, my brother’s wife, and other with her, meaning the queene:—ye shall all see in what wise that sorceresse, and that other witch of her counsell, Shore's wife, with their affinitie, have by their sorcerie and witchcraft wasted mv body. And there with he plucked up his doublet slieve to his elbow upon the left arme, where he shewed a werish. withered arme and small, as it was never other.—No man but