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A Plain near Mortimer's Cross in Herefordshire.

Drums. Enter EDWARD, and RICHARD, with their Forces, marching.

* EDW. I wonder, how our princely father 'scap'd; * Or whether he be 'scap'd away, or no, * From Clifford's and Northumberland's pursuit ; * Had he been ta'en, we should have heard the


Had he been slain, we should have heard the


*Or, had he 'scap'd, methinks, we should have


* The happy tidings of his good escape.
How fares my brother?? why is he so sad?
RICH. I cannot joy, until I be resolv'd
Where our right valiant father is become.

Cicely had about her necke, hanging in a silke ribband, a pardon from Rome, which, penned in a very fine Roman hand, was as faire and fresh to be read, as it had been written yesterday." This pardon was probably a dispensation which the Duke procured, from the oath of allegiance that he had sworn to Henry in St. Paul's church on the 10th of March, 1452. MALONE. How fares my brother?] This scene in the old quartos begins thus:

"After this dangerous fight and hapless war,

"How doth my noble brother Richard fare?"

Had the author taken the trouble to revise his play, he hardly would have begun the first Act and the second with almost the same exclamation, expressed in almost the same words. War wick opens the scene with

"I wonder, how the king escap'd our hands."



'I saw him in the battle range

' And watch'd him, how he singled Clifford forth. 'Methought, he bore him3 in the thickest troop, As doth a lion in a herd of neat:

*Or as a bear, encompass'd round with dogs; *Who having pinch'd a few, and made them cry, *The rest stand all aloof, and bark at him. *So far'd our father with his enemies; So fled his enemies my warlike father; ‹ Methinks, 'tis prize enough to be his son." See, how the morning opes her golden gates, And takes her farewell of the glorious sun!5 * How well resembles it the prime of youth, * Trimm'd like a younker, prancing to his love!

EDW. Dazzle mine eyes, or do I see three suns?" RICH. Three glorious suns, each one a perfect sun;

3 Methought, he bore him-] i. e. he demeaned himself. So, in Measure for Measure: "How I may formally in person bear me- " MALONE. Methinks, 'tis prize enough to be his son.] The old quarto reads-pride, which is right, for ambition, i. e. We need not aim at any higher glory than this.

I believe prize is the right word.


Richard's sense is, though we have missed the prize for which we fought, we have yet an honour left that may content us. JOHNSON.

Prize, if it be the true reading, I believe, here means privilege. So, in the former Act:


"It is war's prize to take all 'vantages." And takes her farewell of the glorious sun!] Aurora takes for a time her farewell of the sun, when she dismisses him to his diurnal course. JOHNSON.


do I see three suns?] This circumstance is mentioned both by Hall and Holinshed:" at which tyme the son (as some write) appeared to the earle of March like three sunnes, and sodainely joyned altogither in one, uppon whiche sight hee tooke such courage, that he fiercely setting on his enemyes put them to flight; and for this cause menne ymagined that he gave the sun in his full bryghtnesse for his badge or cognisance." These are the words of Holinshed. MALONE.

Not separated with the racking clouds,"
But sever'd in a pale clear-shining sky.
See, see! they join, embrace, and seem to kiss,
As if they vow'd some league inviolable:
Now are they but one lamp, one light, one sun.
In this the heaven figures some event,

* Edw. 'Tis wondrous strange, the like yet never heard of.

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I think, it cites us, brother, to the field
That we, the sons of brave Plantagenet,
Each one already blazing by our meeds,
Should, notwithstanding, join our lights together,
And over-shine the earth, as this the world.
'Whate'er it bodes, henceforward will I bear
Upon my target three fair shining suns.

* RICH. Nay, bear three daughters;-by your leave I speak it,

* You love the breeder better than the male.

7-the racking clouds,] i.e. the clouds in rapid tumultuary motion. So, in The Raigne of King Edward III. 1596: like inconstant clouds

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"That, rack'd upon the carriage of the winds,
"Encrease" &c. STEEVENS.

Again, in our author's 32d Sonnet:

"Anon permit the basest clouds to ride
"With ugly rack on his celestial face."


blazing by our meeds,] Illustrious and shining by the armorial ensigns granted us as meeds of our great exploits. Meed likewise is merit. It might be plausibly read:

-blazing by our deeds. JOHNSON.

Johnson's first explanation of this passage is not right. Meed here means merit.

So, in the fourth Act, the King says:

"My meed hath got me fame."

And in Timon of Athens the word is used in the same sense: 66 No meed but he repays

"Sevenfold above itself." M. MASON.

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Enter a Messenger.

'But what art thou, whose heavy looks foretel • Some dreadful story hanging on thy tongue? MESS. Ah, one that was a woful looker on, When as the noble duke of York was slain, * Your princely father, and my loving lord. 'EDW. O, speak no more!" for I have heard too much.1

RICH. Say how he died, for I will hear it all. 'MESS. Environed he was with many foes;2

9 O, speak no more!] The generous tenderness of Edward, and savage fortitude of Richard, are well distinguished by their different reception of their father's death. JOHNSON.




for I have heard too much.] So the folio. The quartos

for I can hear no more.

"Rich. Tell on thy tale," &c. STEEVENS.

Environed he was with many foes;] Thus, in the old play :
"O, one that was a woeful looker on,

"When as the noble duke of York was slain.
"When as the noble duke was put to flight,
"And then persude by Clifford and the queene,
"And many soldiers moe, who all at once
"Let drive at him, and forst the duke to yield;
"And then they set him on a moul-hill there,
"And crown'd the gracious duke in high despight;
"Who then with tears began to wail his fall.
"The ruthlesse queene perceiving he did weepe,
"Gave him a handkerchief to wipe his


"Dipt in the bloud of sweete young Rutland, by

"Rough Clifford slaine; who weeping tooke it up:

"Then through his brest they thrust their bloudie swords,

"Who like a lambe fell at the butcher's feate.

"Then on the gates of Yorke they set his head,
"And there it doth remaine the piteous spectacle
"That ere mine eyes beheld." MALONE.


* And stood against them as the hope of Troy3 Against the Greeks, that would have enter'd Troy. * But Hercules himself must yield to odds;

* And many strokes, though with a little axe,
*Hew down and fell the hardest-timber'd oak.

• By many hands your father was subdu'd;
'But only slaughter'd by the ireful arm
'Of unrelenting Clifford, and the

queen "Who crown'd the gracious duke in high despite; 'Laugh'd in his face; and, when with grief he wept,

The ruthless queen gave him, to dry his cheeks, "A napkin steeped in the harmless blood

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Of sweet young Rutland, by rough Clifford slain: And, after many scorns, many foul taunts,

'They took his head, and on the gates of York They set the same; and there it doth remain, The saddest spectacle that e'er I view'd.

EDW. Sweet duke of York, our prop to lean


'Now thou art gone, we have no staff, no stay!* O Clifford, boist'rous Clifford, thou hast slain * The flower of Europe for his chivalry;

* And treacherously hast thou vanquish'd him,
* For, hand to hand, he would have vanquish'd

Now my soul's palace is become a prison:
Ah, would she break from hence! that this


Might in the ground be closed up in rest:
For never henceforth shall I joy again,

'Never, O never, shall I see more joy.



"RICH. I cannot weep; for all my body's moisture

the hope of Troy-] Hector. MALONE.

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