Page images
PDF

And to give notice, that no manner of person*
Have, any time, recourse unto the princes. [Ereunt.

SCENE VI.
.4 Street.
Enter a Scrivener.

Scriv. Here is the indictment of the good lord Hastings; Which in a set hand fairly is engross'd, That it may be to-day read o'er in Paul’s.”

and executed with equal injustice on Tower-hill on the 21st of November, 1499; and Margaret, afterwards married to Sir Richard de la Pole, the last Princess of the house of Lancaster; who was created by King Henry VIII, Countess of Salisbury, and in the 31st year of his reign, (1540) at the age of seventy, was put to death by the sanguinary king then on the throne, as her unfortunate and innocent brother had before fallen a victim to the jealous policy of that crafty tyrant Henry VII. The immediate cause of his being put to death was, that Ferdinand King of Spain was unwilling to consent to the marriage of his daughter Katharine to Arthur Prince of Wales, while the Earl of Warwick lived, there being during his life-time (as Ferdinand conceived) no assurance of the Prince's succession to the crown. The murder of the Earl of Warwick (for it deserves no other name) made such an impression on Katharine, that when she was first informed of Henry the Eighth's intention to repudiate her, she exclaimed, “I have not offended, but it is a just judgment of God, for my former marriage was made in blood.” Malone. *— no manner of person — The folio reads—no manner person, which is nonsense. I suppose the true reading is—no man, or person; as in the latter term females are included. Steevens.

5 — read o'er in Paul's...] The substance of this speech is from Hall's Chronicle, p. 16: “Nowe was thys proclamation made within twoo houres after he was beheaded, and it was so curiously endyted, and so fayre writen in parchement, in a fayre sette hande, and therewith of itselfe so long a processe, that every chyld might perceyve that it was prepared and studyed before, (and as some men thought, by Catesby,) for all the tyme betwene his death and the proclamation—coulde scant have suffyced unto the bare writyng alone, albeit that it had bene in paper and scribeled furthe in haste at adventure —And a marchaunte that stoode by—sayed that it was wrytten by inspiracyon and prophesye.”

Mr. Malone adds—“So Holinshed, after Sir Thomas More;” and then repeats the same quotation. Steevens.

And mark how well the sequel hangs together:—
Eleven hours I have spent to write it over,
For yesternight by Catesby was it sent me;
The precedent" was full as long a doing:
And yet within these five hours Hastings liv’d,
Untainted, unexamin'd, free, at liberty.
Here’s a good world the while !—Who is so gross,
That cannot see this palpable device? *
Yet who so bold, but says—he sees it not?
JBad is the world; and all will come to nought,

When such bad dealing must be seen in thought." [E.cit.

SCENE VII.
The same. Court of Baynard's Castle.”
Enter GLost ER, and BuckINGHAM, meeting.

Glo. How now, how now what say the citizens? Buck. Now by the holy mother of our Lord, The citizens are mum, say not a word. Glo. Touch'd you the bastardy of Edward’s children? Buck. I did; with his contráct with lady Lucy,”

6 The precedent—J The original draft from which the engrossment was made. Malone.

7 seen in thought.] That is, seen in silence, without notice or detection. johnson.

8 Baynard’s Castle.] A castle in Thames Street, which had belonged to Richard Duke of York, and at this time was the property of his grandson King Edward V. Malone.

9 —with his contráct with lady Lucy,) The king had been familiar with this lady before his marriage, to obstruct which his mother alledged a pre-contract between them: “Whereupon, says the historian, dame Elizabeth, Lucye was sente for, and albeit she was by the kyng hys mother, and many other, put in good comfort to affirme that she was assured to the kynge, yet when she was solempnly sworne to saye ye truth, she confessed she was never ensured. Howbeit, she sayd his grace spake suche loving wordes to her, that she verily hoped that he would have maried her; and that yf such kinde woordes had not bene, she woulde never have showed such kindnesse to him to lette hym so kyndely gette her with chylde.” Hall, Edward V, fol. 19. Ritson. This objection to King Edward’s marriage with Lady Grey, is said by Sir Thomas More to have been made by the Duchess

And his contract by deputy in France:
The insatiate greediness of his desires,
And his enforcement of the city wives;
His tyranny for trifles; his own bastardy,
As being got, your father then in France;
And his resemblance, being not like the duke.
Withal, I did infer your lineaments,
Being the right idea of your father,
Both in your form and nobleness of mind:
Flaid open all your victories in Scotland, -
Your discipline in war, wisdom in peace,
Your bounty, virtue, fair humility;
Indeed, left nothing, fitting for your purpose,
Untouch'd, or slightly handled, in discourse.
And, when my oratory grew to an end,

Dowager of York, Edward’s mother, who was averse to the match, before he espoused that lady. But Elizabeth Lucy, the daughter of one Wyat, and the wife of one Lucy, being sworn to speak the truth, declared that the King had not been affianced to her, though she owned she had been his concubine. Philip de Comines, a contemporary historian, says that Edward, previous to his marriage with Lady Grey, was married to an English lady by the Bishop of Bath, who revealed the secret; and according to the Chronicle of Croyland this Lady was Lady Eleanor Butler, widow of Lord Butler of Sudley, and daughter to the great Earl of Shrewsbury. On this ground the children of Edward were declared illegitimate by the only parliament assembled by King Richard III; but no mention was made of Elizabeth Lucy. Shakspeare followed Holinshed, who copied Hall, as Hall transcribed the account given by Sir Thomas More. Malone.

1 his own bastardy,

As being got, your father then in France; ) This tale is supposed to have been first propagated by the Duke of Clarence, soon after he, in conjunction with his father-in-law the Earl of Warwick, restored King Henry VI to the throne; at which time he obtained a settlement of the crown on himself and his issue, after the death of Henry and his heirs male. Sir Thomas More says, that the Duke of Glocester soon after Edward’s death revived this tale; but Mr. Walpole very justly observes, that it is highly improbable that Richard should have urged such a topick to the people; that he should “start doubts concerning his own legitimacy, which was too much connected with that of his brothers to be tossed and bandied about before the multitude.” The same ingenious writer has also shown, that Richard “lived in perfect harmony with his mother, and lodged with her in her

palace at this very time.” Historick Doubts, quarto, 1768. Malone,

I bade them, that did love their country’s good,
Cry—God save Richard, England’s royal king '
Glo. And did they so? -
Buck. No, so God help me, they spake not a word;
But, like dumb statuas, or breathless stones,”
Star'd on each other, and look’d deadly pale.
Which when I saw, I reprehended them;
And ask’d the mayor, what meant this wilful silence:
His answer was, the people were not us'd
To be spoke to, but by the recorder.
Then he was urg’d to tell my tale again;–
Thus saith the duke, thus hath the duke inferr’d;
But nothing spoke in warrant from himself.
When he had done, some followers of mine own,
At lower end o' the hall, hurl’d up their caps,
And some ten voices cried, God save king Richard'
And thus I took the vantage of those few,
Thanks, gentle citizens, and friends, quoth I;
This general affilause, and cheerful shout,
-Argues your wisdom, and your love to Richard:
And even here brake off, and came away.
Glo. What tongueless blocks were they ; Would they
not speak?
Will not the mayor then, and his brethren, come 2
Buck. The mayor is here at hand; intend some fear:*
Be not you spoke with, but by mighty suit:
And look you get a prayer-book in your hand,
And stand between two churchmen, good my lord;
For on that ground I’ll make a holy descant:
And be not easily won to our requests;
Play the maid’s part, still answer nay, and take it.

2. But, like dumb statuas, or breathless stones, See Mr. Reed's very decisive account of the word—statua, in a note on The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Vol. II, p. 226, n. 5. The eldest quartos, 1597 and 1598, together with the first folio, read—breathing. The modern editors, with Mr. Rowe, unbreath. ing Breathless is the reading of the quarto 1612. Steevens. *— intend some fear :) Perhaps, pretend; though intend will stand in the sense of giving attention. johnson. One of the ancient senses of to intend was certainly to pretend So, in sc. v., of this Act: “Trembie and start at wagging of a straw, “Intending deep suspicion.” Steevens.

Glo. l. go; And if you plead as well for them,
As I can say nay to thee” for myself,
No doubt we’ll bring it to a happy issue.

Buck. Go, go, up to the leads; the lord mayor knocks.

[Exit Glo.
Enter the Lord Mayor, Aldermen, and Citizens.

Welcome, my lord: I dance attendance here;
I think, the duke will not be spoke withal.—

Enter, from the Castle, CATEsby. Now, Catesby what says your lord to my request? Cates. He doth entreat your grace, my noble lord, To visit him to-morrow, or next day: He is within, with two right reverend fathers, Divinely bent to meditation; And in no worldly suit would he be mov’d, To draw him from his holy exercise. Buck. Return, good Catesby, to the gracious duke; Tell him, myself, the mayor and aldermen, In deep designs, in matter of great moment, No less importing than our general good, Are come to have some conference with his grace. Cates. I’ll signify so much unto him straight. [Exit. Buck. Ah, ha, my lord, this prince is not an Edward : He is not lolling on a lewd day-bed,” But on his knees at meditation; Not dallying with a brace of courtezans, But meditating with two deep divines; Not sleeping, to engross" his idle body, But praying, to enrich his watchful soul: Happy were England, would this virtuous prince Take on himself the sovereignty thereof; But, sure, I fear, we shall ne'er win him to it. May. Marry, God defend his grace should say us nay to

*As I can say nay to thee I think it must be read: if you plead as well for them As I must say, nay to them for myself johnson. Perhaps the change is not necessary. Buckingham is to plead for the citizens; and if (savs Richard) you speak for them as plausibly as I in my own person, or for my own purposes, shall seem to deny your suit, there is no doubt but we shall bring all to a happy issue. Steevens. 5 day-bed," i. e. a couch, or sofa Steevens.

* – to engross —] To fatten; to pamper. johnson.

« PreviousContinue »