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K. Rich. If thou love me, 'tis time thou wert away. Groom. What my tongue dares not, that my heart
[Exit. Keep. My lord, will’t please you to fall to? K. Rich. Taste of it first, as thou art wont to do.
Keep. My lord, I dare not: sir Pierce of Exton, who lately came from the king, commands the contrary. K. Rich. The devil take Henry of Lancaster, and
thee! Patience is stale, and I am weary of it.
[Strikes the Keeper. Keep. Help, help, help!
Enter Sir PIERCE of Exton, and Servants, armed.
assault? Villain, thine own hand yields thy death’s instrument.
[Snatching a weapon, and killing one. Go thou, and fill another room in hell.
[He kills another : Exton strikes him down'. That hand shall burn in never-quenching fire, That staggers thus my person.—Exton, thy fierce hand Hath with the king's blood stain’d the king's own
land. Mount, mount, my soul! thy seat is up on high, Whilst my gross flesh sinks downward, here to die?.
9 [Strikes the Keeper.] This stage-direction is not in the old copies. Something of the kind seems necessary.
1 [He kills another : Exton strikes him down.] Neither this nor the preceding stage-direction is in the old copies ; but that Richard kills two of “the murderers” (as they are called in the oldest editions) is quite evident from the last line of this scene,
? Whilst my gross flesh sinks downward, here to die.] Mr. Amyot, who has taken so much and such successful pains in investigating the curious point of Richard's death, has favoured me with the following note :
“ In dramatizing the account of Richard's death, which he found in Holinshed, Shakespeare, as the late Lord Dover observed, has perhaps done more than all other writers to render it the popular version of the story. Malone supposed it to have first appeared in ‘ Fabyan’s Chronicle;' but it was of earlier origin, being found in Caxton's additions to Hygden’s ‘ Polychronicon,' and in a MS. of still earlier date in the Royal Library at Paris. Two other stories, however, had precedence of it, one of them relating that the king had died of grief and voluntary famine, and the other that the starvation had been compulsory. On these conflicting narratives (all three of which Shakespeare had seen in Holinshed) a controversy will be found in vol. xx. of the 'Archæologia.' The twenty-third vol. of that work contains an attempt to refute the improbable relation of Richard's escape from his prison at Pontefract into Scotland, as narrated by Bower and Winton, and supported, as Mr. Tytler maintains, by other Scottish authorities. This romantic tale was countenanced by Sir Walter Scott, who adopted it in his History of Scotland, but afterwards, in a letter to the writer of this note, he stated that he had not meant to express a conviction of his belief in it, though he had thought it worth grave observation, which it had not hitherto received. Of these four stories, whichever may have been the true one, Shakespeare may be held justified in adapting to stage-representation that which seemed best suited to the taste, and was probably most acceptable to the belief of his audience."
Exton. As full of valour, as of royal blood :
Windsor. An Apartment in the Castle. Flourish. Enter BOLINGBROKE, and York, with Lords
and Attendants. Boling. Kind uncle York, the latest news we hear Is, that the rebels have consum'd with fire Our town of Ciceter in Glostershire ; But whether they be ta’en, or slain, we hear not.
Welcome, my lord. What is the news?
North. First, to thy sacred state wish I all happiness:
The next news is,—I have to London sent
[Presenting a paper. Boling. We thank thee, gentle Percy, for thy pains, And to thy worth will add right worthy gains.
Fitz. My lord, I have from Oxford sent to London The heads of Brocas, and Sir Bennet Seely, Two of the dangerous consorted traitors, That sought at Oxford thy dire overthrow.
Boling. Thy pains, Fitzwater, shall not be forgot ; Right noble is thy merit, well I wot.
Enter PERCY, with the Bishop of Carlisle.
Boling. Carlisle, this is your doom :-
Enter Exton, with Attendants bearing a Coffin.
of SALISBURY, SPENCER, Blunt, and Kent :) So the folio. The quarto reads, “ -- of Oxford, Salisbury, Blunt, and Kent." The reading of the folio (says Malone) is historically right.
Richard of Bourdeaux, by me hither brought.
Boling. Exton, I thank thee not; for thou hast
A deed of slander with thy fatal hand
4 A deed of SLANDER with thy fatal hand] This is the original, and, no doubt, authentic reading of the quarto, 1597. That of 1598 printed slaughter for “slander,” and it was followed by all the other quartos and folios. Modern editors do not appear to have noticed variation
- grace my mournings here,] The quarto, 1597, has “mournings” in the plural : the folio prints it in the singular. The same remark will apply to "the shades of night," eight lines above.