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Dukes, earls, lords, gentlemen; indeed, of all.
Q. ELIZ. A holy-day shall this be kept hereafter:
I would to God, all strifes were well compounded.—
GLO. Why, madam, have I offer'd love for this,
he is ?
Q. ELIZ. All-seeing heaven, what a world is this! BUCK. Look I so pale, lord Dorset, as the rest?
The eldest son of Earl Rivers was Lord Scales; but there was no such person as Lord Woodville. MALONE.
9 I do not know, &c.] Milton in his EIKONOKAAZTEZ, has this observation: "The poets, and some English, have been in this point so mindful of decorum, as to put never more pious words in the mouth of any person, than of a tyrant. I shall not instance an abstruse author, wherein the king might be less conversant, but one whom we well know was the closet companion of these his solitudes, William Shakspeare; who introduced the person of Richard the Third, speaking in as high a strain of piety and mortification as is uttered in any passage in this book, and sometimes to the same sense and purpose with some words in this place I intended, (saith he), not only to oblige my friends, but my enemies.' The like saith Richard, Act II. Sc. I.: "I do not know that Englishman alive,
"With whom my soul is any jot at odds,
"More than the infant that is born to-night;
"Other stuff of this sort may be read throughout the tragedy, wherein the poet used not much licence in departing from the truth of history, which delivers him a deep dissembler, not of his affections only, but of religion." STEEVENS.
DOR. Ay, my good lord; and no man in the pre
But his red colour hath forsook his cheeks.
K. EDW. Is Clarence dead? the order was revers'd.
GLO. But he, poor man, by your first order died, And that a winged Mercury did bear;
Some tardy cripple bore the countermand',
God grant, that some, less noble, and * less loyal,
STAN. A boon, my sovereign, for my service done! K. Edw. I pr'ythee, peace; my soul is full of
STAN. I will not rise, unless your highness hear
K. EDW. Then say at once, what is it thou request'st.
STAN. The forfeit, sovereign, of my servant's life;
* So quarto 1597; first folio, and.
† So folio; quarto 1597, demand'st.
Some tardy cripple, &c.] This is an allusion to a proverbial expression which Drayton has versified in the second canto of The Barons' Wars:
"Ill news hath wings, and with the wind doth go;
"Comfort's a cripple, and comes ever slow." STEEvens. These lines are quoted from the edition in 1619. If the reader should look for them in any preceding edition, he will be disappointed. Drayton's poems vary very considerably as they first and subsequently appeared. MALONE.
2 Nearer in bloody thoughts, and not in blood,] In Macbeth we have the same play on words :
3 The forfeit,] He means the remission of the forfeit.
Who slew to-day a riotous gentleman,
Lately attendant on the duke of Norfolk.
K. EDW. Have I a tongue to doom my brother's death *,
And shall that tongue give pardon to a slave?
Who sued to me for him? who, in my wrath,
4 Have I a tongue to doom my brother's death,] This lamentation is very tender and pathetick. The recollection of the good qualities of the dead is very natural, and no less naturally does the King endeavour to communicate the crime to others.
s Who sued to me for him? &c.] This pathetick speech is founded on this slight hint in Sir Thomas More's History of Edward V. inserted by Holinshed in his Chronicle : Sure it is, that although king Edward were consenting to his death, yet he much did both lament his infortunate chance, and repent his sudden execution. Insomuch that when any person sued to him for the pardon of malefactors condemned to death, he would accustomablie say, and openlie speake, O infortunate brother, for whose life not one would make suite! openly and apparently meaning by suche words that by the means of some of the nobilitie he was deceived, and brought to his confusion." MALONE.
6 be ADVIS'D?] i. e. deliberate; consider what I was about to do. So, in The Paston Letters, vol. ii. p. 279: "Written in haste with short advisement," &c. See also, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, vol. iv. p. 56, n. 7. MALONE.
Had so much grace to put it in my
But, when your carters, or your waiting-vassals,
Yet none of you would once plead for his life.-
On me, and you, and mine, and yours, for this.-
[Exeunt King, Queen, HASTINGS, RIVERS, DORSET, and GREY.
GLO. This is the fruit of rashness!-Mark'd you not, How that the guilty kindred of the queen
Look'd pale, when they did hear of Clarence' death?
God will revenge it. Come, lords; will you go,
BUCK. We wait upon your grace.
Enter the Duchess of YORK, with a Son and Daughter of CLARENCE.
SON. Good grandam, tell us, is our father dead? DUCH. No, boy.
7 Come, HASTINGS, help me to my closet.] Hastings was Lord Chamberlain to King Edward IV. MALONE.
8 Enter the Duchess of York,] Cecily, daughter of Ralph
DAUGH. Why do you weep so oft? and beat your breast;
And cry-O Clarence, my unhappy son!
SON. Why do you look on us, and shake your head,
And call us-orphans, wretches, cast-aways,
DUCH. My pretty cousins, you mistake me both; I do lament the sickness of the king,
As loath to lose him, not your father's death;
SON. Then, grandam, you conclude that he is dead.
The king my uncle is to blame for this:
DAUGH. And so will I.
DUCH. Peace, children, peace! the king doth love you well:
Incapable and shallow innocents',
You cannot guess who caus'd your father's death. SON. Grandam, we can: for my good uncle Gloster
* Quarto 1597, lost labour to weep for one.
Neville first Earl of Westmoreland, and widow of Richard Duke of York, who was killed at the battle of Wakefield in 1460. She survived her husband thirty-five years, living till the year 1495. MALONE.
9 My pretty cousins,] The Duchess is here addressing her grand-children, but cousin was the term used in Shakspeare's time, by uncles to nephews and nieces, grandfathers to grandchildren, &c. It seems to have been used instead of our kinsman and kinswoman, and to have supplied the place of both.
MALONE. INCAPABLE and shallow innocents,] Incapable, is unintelli
"His form and cause combined preaching to stones
So, in Hamlet:
"As one incapable of her own distress." STEEVENS.