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JAMES IV. King of Scotland.
Lady KATHERINE Gordon.
Sheriff, Constables, Officers, Guards, Serving-men,
Masquers, and Soldiers.
Scene,-Partly in England, partly in Scotland.
Westminster. The Royal Presence-Chamber.
Enter King Henry, supported to the Throne by the
Bishop of Durham and Sir William STANLEY. Earl of Oxford, Earl of SURREY, and Lord DAWBENEY.- A Guard.
K. Hen. Still to be haunted, still to be pursued,
Ford has closely followed Lord Bacon; here we have almost his very words. “ At this time, the king began to be haunted with spirits, by the magic and curious arts of the Lady Margaret, who raised up the ghost of Richard Duke of York, second son to King Edward the Fourth, to walk, and vex him,” &c.
At last both thoroughly cured, and set in safety; And yet, for all this glorious work of peace, Ourself is scarce secure.
Dur. The rage of malice Conjures fresh spirits with the spells of York. For ninety years ten English kings and princes, Threescore great dukes and earls, a thousand lords And valiant knights, two hundred fifty thousand Of English subjects have, in civil wars, Been sacrificed to an uncivil thirst Of discord and ambition : this hot vengeance Of the just Powers above, to utter ruin And desolation, had reign’d on, but that Mercy did gently sheath the sword of justice, In lending to this blood-shrunk commonwealth A new soul, new birth, in
person. Daw. Edward the Fourth, after a doubtful for
tune, Yielded to nature, leaving to his sons, Edward and Richard, the inheritance Of a most bloody purchase; these young princes, Richard the tyrant, their unnatural uncle, Forced to a violent grave; so just is Heaven! Him hath your majesty, by your own arm Divinely strengthen’d, pull’d from his Boar's sty, And struck the black usurper to a carcase. Nor doth the house of York decay in honours, Though Lancaster doth repossess his right;
pulld from his Boar's sty.) This contemptuous allusion to the armorial bearings of Richard III. is very common in our old writers. Shakspeare has it frequently in his tragedy of this Usurper.