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LIFE AND DEATH
KING RICHARD ZZZ.
LITERARY AND HISTORICAL NOTICE.
IN this very popular tragedy, there i> another specimen of historical jumble, and poetical license. The $ettn4 scene commences with the funeral of Henry VI. wh.-» it said to have been murdered In May, 1471, whilst tha imprisonment of Clarence, which did not take place ti'l 1478, ii represented in tkejirtt. Thus the real length of lime comprised la this drams, (dating from the former event) is fourteen years; aa it concludes with the death of Richard, at Bosworth Field, in August, 1*85. With respect to Richard's character, though grerll/ blackened by Lancastcriaa historians, ha was certainly one of the most odious tyrants that e»er obtained possession of a throne. Yet It appears from some acreuuts still preserved In the Exchequer, th it King Henry lived twenty-two days after the time assigned for his pretended assassination ; that his body lay in state at St. Faul't, and that it was afterwards interred at Cbertscy, with much solemnity. Shskspeare has made the usurper deformed in figure, as well as in mini; though popular detestation had probably aggravated ta* trm~ ditionary story of his bodily defects. In this drams, the cveuts appear admirably connected with, and consequential to, each other i the characters and iticidenta are natural t the sentiment and language free from bombast. Hut Mai one and Dr. Johnson consider it as popular beyond its merits; with "some parts trifling, others shocking, and soma improbable iM whilst Stevens msintaius, that above all others the tragedy of Richard must command approbation, as it is indefinitely variegated, and comprehends evrry aperies of character—** the hero, the lover, the statesman, the buffoon, the hypocrite, and the hardened or repentant sinner." Its present success in representation, is, bo«ever, chiefly attributable to the admirable alterations of Colly Ctbbcr, which evince a very extensive and settled knowledge of stage effect, and by which r. forumtions the mare valuable parts of the piece, rnuld alone have attained their present effect and consequence. Shakepeare probably formed the play in 15911 though he is not supposed to have been indebted to any of the noma* rous existing compositions on the same subject.
, Brothers to
Kino Edward Trk Fourth.
Edward, Prince of Wales, after-} ~. „ .„ tttM wards King Edward V. * 1*%!'° tht
Richard, Duke of York. ) A,w**
Gxokgk, Duke of Clarence, 1
Richard, Duke of Gtoster, of- J teruards Ring Richard III. )
A young Sow of Clarence.
Henry, Earl of Richmond, afterwards King
Cardinal Bouchirr, Archbishop of Canter-
Thomas Rotheram, Archbishop of York.
Duke Of Norfolk: Earl Of Surrey;, his
Earl Rivers, Brother to King Edward's
MAFtyi is Of Dorsxt, and Lord Gret, her
Earl Of Oxford.—Lord Hastings.-Loud
Sir Thomas Vaucham.—Sir Richard Rat
Sir William Catksbt.—Sir James Tyrel.
Christopher Urswick, a Priest.—Another
Lord Mayor Of London.—Sheriff Of
Elixareth, Queen of King Edward IV.
Margaret, Queen of King Henry VI.
Duchess Of York, Mother to King Edward IV., Clarence, and Gloster.
Lady Anne, Widow of Edward, Prince of Wales, Son to King Henry VI.; afterwards married to the Duke of Gloster.
A young Daughter of Clarence.
Lords and other Attendants; two Gentlemen,
a Pursuivant, Scrivener, Citizens, Murderers, Messengers, Ghosts, Soldiers, $c.
SCEXE I.—London.—A Street.
And all the clouds, that lowr'd upon our
In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.
Our bruised arms hung up for mo.iumeuts;
Tyr. The tyrannous and bloody act is done; Clar. How darkly, and how deadly dost thou speak!
The most arch deed of piteous massacre, Your eyes do menace me: why look you pale?
That ever yet this land was guilty of. Who sent you hitherf wherefore do you come?
Act I. Scene IV.
Son. Why do you look on us, and shake your head, Htut. Come, bear metothebkwk, bear him myhead;
And call us orphans, wretches, cast-aways, They smile at me, who shortly shall be dead.
Act II. Scene II.
Our dreadful inarches to delightful measurei. *
And now,—instead of mounting barbed t steeds,
To strut before a wanton ambling nymph;
Enter Clarence, guarded, and Brakem
good day; What meaus tbis armed
He should, for that, commit your godfathers :—
As yet I do not: but, as I can learn,
Ti* not the king, that sends you to the Tower;
Anthony Woodevllle, her brother there,
From whence this present day he is deliver'd 1
But the queen's kindred, and night walking
trudge betwixt tbe king and
Heard you not, what an bumble suppliant
Are mighty gossips in this monarchy.
His majesty bath straltly given in charge,
You may partake of any thing we say:
A bonny eye, a passing pleasing tongue;
Gio. Naught to do with mistress Shore t I tell
Brak. 1 beseech your grace to pardon me , and, withal, Forbear your conference with the noble duke. Clar. We know thy charge, Brakeubury, and will obey.
Gto. We are tbe queen's abject*, t and must
Brother, farewell: I will unto the king;
I will deliver yon, or else lie for you:
[Exeunt Clarence. Brakenbcrt, and
Gio. Go, tread the path that tbou shall ne'er
Simple, plain Clarence!—I do love thee so,
Enter Hastings. Hast. Good time of day unto my gracious lord I
Gto. As much onto my good lord chamber-
Well are you welcome to this open air.
But I shall live, my lord, to give them thank*,
For they, that were your enemies, are bis,
• Tlie Qufen •ml Sbor*.
Hast. More pity that Ibc eagle should be mew'd •
While kites and buzzards prey at liberty.
The king is sickly, weak, and melaucholy,
Oh! he bath kept an evil diet long,
Glo. Go you before, aud I will follow yon.
He cannot live, I hope; and must not die,
I'll in, to urge liis hatred more to Clarence,
And leave the world for me to bustle in t
What I though 1 kill'd her husband aud ber father,
The readiest way to make the wench amends,
When they are gone, (ben must I count my gains. [Exit.
[The bearers take up the corpse, and ad
Enter Cluster. Glo. Stay you that bear the corse, aud set it down.
Anne. What black magician conjures up this lieud.
To stop devoted charitable deeds T
Glo. Villains, set down the corse; or, by Saint Haul, I'll make a corse of him that disobeys. 1 Gent. My lord, stand back, and let the coffin pass.
CI,-. Uumauuer'd dog 1 stand thou when I command: Advance thy halbert higher than my breast. Or, by Saiut Paul, I'll strike thee to my foot, Aud spurn upon thee, beggar, lor tby bold* km
[The bearers set down the eo#in. Anne. What, do you tremble 1 are you all afraid t
Alas, I blame you not : for you are mortal.
SCENE ff.—The same*— Another Street.
Enter the corpse of King Henry the Sixth, borne in an open cojfin, Gentlemen bearing halberts to guard it j and Lady Anns as mourner.
Anne* Set down, set down your honourable load,
If honour may be shrouded In a hearse,
Lo, lu these windows that let forth thy life,
More direful hap betide that hated wretch.
Come, now, toward Chertsey with your load.
Glo. Sweet saint, for charity be not so curst. Anne* Foul devil, for God's sake, hence, aud trouble us not; For tbou bast made the happy earth thy hell, Fill'd it with cursing cries, aud deep eaclaims.
If tboa delight to view thy heinnns deeds.
afreih I •—
Tby deed, inhuman and unnatural,
O earth, which this blood drink'st, revenge bis
Either, heaven, with lightning strike the mtir derer dead,
Or, earth, gape open wide, and eat him quick; As Hi <>ii do*t swallow up this good king'* blood,
Which his helt-govern'd ann hath butchered!
Glo. Lady, you know no rules of charily, Which renders good for had, blessings curses.
Anne. Villain, thou know'st no law of God
No beast 50 fierce, but knows some touch of pity. Glo. But 1 know uone, aud tberefore am uo beast.
Anne* O wonderful, when devils tell the truth 1
Glo. More wonderful, when angels are -o
Vouchsafe, divine perfection of a woman,
Ann,. Vouchsafe, difiWd infection of a man,
Glo. Fairer than tougue can name thee, let me have
Some patient leisure to excuse myself.
* It it a tradition (derived probably fr*>"i th# —It** Swed*<) tkat the murdered bitdy bhrM* M th« ItMCB *J
the murder* r.