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Fired with revenge by these aggressions, and encouraged by letters from the leading men of England-nobility, prelates, magistrates, and rulers, as Holinshed describes them-promising him all their aid, power, and assistance, in "expulsing" King Richard-Bolingbroke took the step which involved this land in blood for nearly a century. He quitted Paris, and sailed from Port Blanc, in Lower Brittany, with very few men-at-arms, according to some accounts with three thousand, according to others. This event took place about a fortnight after Richard had sailed for Ireland. His last remaining uncle, the Duke of York, had been left in the government of the kingdom. He was, however, unfitted for a post of so much difficulty and danger; and Shakspere has well described his perplexities, upon hearing of the landing of Bolingbroke:

"if I know

How, or which way to order these affairs,
Thus disorderly thrust into my hands,
Never believe me."

He had been little accustomed to affairs of state. Hardyng, in his Chronicle,' thus describes him at an early period of his life :

Edmonde hyght of Langley of good chere,

Glad and mery and of his own ay lyved Without wrong as chronicles have breved. When all the lordes to councell and parlyament Went, he wolde to hunt, and also to hawekyng. All gentyll disporte as to a lorde appent, He used aye, and to the pore supportyng." Froissart describes him as living at his own castle with his people, interfering not with what was passing in the country, but taking all things as they happened. According to Holinshed, the army that he raised to oppose Bolingbroke, "boldly protested that they would not fight against the Duke of Lancaster, whom they knew to be evil dealt with." It seems to be agreed, on all hands, that Froissart, who makes Bolingbroke land at Plymouth, and march direct to London, was incorrectly informed. Holinshed, upon the authority of "our English writers," says, "the Duke of Lancaster, after that he had coasted alongst the shore a certain time, and had got some intelligence how the people's minds were affected towards him, landed, about the beginning of July, in Yorkshire, at a place sometimes called Ravenspur, betwixt Hull and Bridlington, and with him not past threescore persons, as some write: but he was so joyfully received of the lords, knights, and gentlemen of those parts, that he found

means (by their help) forthwith to assemble a great number of people, that were willing to take his part." The subsequent events, previous to the return of Richard, are most correctly delineated by our poet. Bolingbroke was joined by Northumberland and Harry Percy, by Ross and Willoughby. "He sware unto those lords that he would demand no more but the lands that were to him descended by inheritance from his father, and in right of his wife." From Doncaster, with a mighty army, Bolingbroke marched through the counties of Derby or Nottingham, Leicester, Warwick, and Worcester;— "through the countries coming by Evesham unto Berkley." The Duke of York had marched towards Wales to meet the king, upon his expected arrival from Ireland. Holinshed says, he "was received into the Castle of Berkley, and there remained till the coming thither of the Duke of Lancaster, whom when he perceived that he was not able to resist, on the Sunday after the feast of St. James, which, as that year came about fell upon a Friday, he came forth into the church that stood without the castle, and there communed with the Duke of Lancaster. . . . . On the morrow after, the foresaid dukes with their power went towards Bristow, where (at their coming) they shewed themselves before the town and castle, being

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We have hitherto traced the course of events in Shakspere's History of Richard II. by the aid of the Chronicles.' Froissart was a contemporary of Richard; and in the days of the king's prosperity had presented him with a book "fair enlumined and written," of which, when the king demanded whereof it treated, the maker of histories "shewed him how it treated matters of love, whereof the king was glad, and looked in it, and read it in many places, for he could speak and read French very well" Holinshed was, in another sense, a "maker of histories." He compiled, and that admirably well, from those who had written before him; and he was properly Shakspere's great authority for the incidents which he dramatized. But we have now to turn to one of the most remarkable documents that affords materials for the history of any period-the narrative of an eye-witness of what took place from the period when Richard, being in Ireland, received the news of Bolingbroke's landing, to the time when the king was utterly prostrate at the feet of the man whom he had banished and plundered. All the historians have been greatly indebted to this narrative. It is entitled 'Histoire du Roy d'Angleterre Richard, traictant particulierement la Rebellion de ses subiectz et prinse de sa personne. Composee par un gentlehom'e Francois de marque, qui fut a la suite du dict Roy, avecq permission du Roy de France, 1399.' The most beautiful, and, apparently, the earliest copy of this manuscript is in the British Museum. It contains sixteen illuminations, in which the identity of the portraits and of the costume is preserved throughout. It appears to have been the property of Charles of Anjou, Count of Maine, and formed part of the Harleian collection. Another manuscript of the same history, which is in the library at Lambeth, was that consulted | and quoted by the early historians, and it is called, by Holinshed, "A French Pamphlet that belongeth to Master John Dee:" the name of John Dee, with the date 1575, appears in the last leaf. The author of the 'Metrical History' informs us, in his title, that he was Un gentilhom'e Francois de marque;" and, when brought before Bolingbroke, the writer says of himself and his companion, "The herald told him, in the English language, that



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The author of the 'Metrical History,' with his companion, "in the year one thousand and four hundred save one, quitted Paris, full of joy;" and, travelling late and early, reached London. He found that Richard had set out, anxious to journey day and night. He followed him to Milford Haven, where " he waited ten days for the north-wind, and passed his time pleasantly amidst trumpets and the sounds of minstrelsy." The king had proceeded to Waterford, whither the French knight at length followed him. Six days afterwards the king took the field, with the English, for Kilkenny, whence, after a fortnight's delay, he marched directly towards Mac-more (the Irish chieftain) into the depths of the deserts, who, with his wild men - - Shakspere's rough, rug-headed kerns "-defied England and its power. The usual accompaniment of war was not wanting on this occasion: -" Orders were given by the king that every thing should be set fire to." Neither were the pageantries of chivalry,-the gilding of the horrors,-absent from this expedition. Henry of Monmouth, the son of Bolingbroke, being then eleven years old, was with the king; and Richard knighted him, making, at the same time, eight or ten other knights. The English army appears to have suffered greatly from the want of provisions. A negociation took place with Mac-more, which ended in nothing. The king's face grew pale with anger, and he sware, in great wrath, by St. Edward, that no, never, would he depart from Ireland till, alive or dead, he had Macmore in his power. The want of provisions dislodged the army and drove them to Dublin, where, for six weeks, they lived " easy of body as fish in Seine." No news came from England. The winds were contrary. At last, "a barge arrived, which was the occasion of much sorrow." Those who came in her related to the king how Scrope was beheaded by Bolingbroke-how the people had been stirred to insurrection-how

the invader had taken towns and castles for his own. "It seemed to me," says the French knight, "that the king's face at this turned pale with anger, while he said, 'Come hither, friends. Good Lord, this man designs to deprive me of my country.'" Richard consulted his council on a Saturday, and they agreed to put to sea on the next Monday. The king, however, according to this writer, was deceived and betrayed by Aumerle, who persuaded him to remain himself, and send Salisbury to raise the Welch against Bolingbroke. The French knight and his companion departed with Salisbury, and landed at Conway. Salisbury raised, it seems, forty thousand men within four days. The earl kept them in the field a fortnight; but they then deserted him, as Shakspere has represented, because they heard "no tidings from the king." He "tarried eighteen days," says the French knight, "after our departure from Ireland. It was very great folly."


The Metrical History' now proceeds to the events which followed the landing of Richard upon the Welch coast. 'He did not stop there," says the history, "considering the distress, complaints, and lamentations of the poor people, and the mortal alarm of all. Then he resolved that, without saying a word, he would set out at midnight from his host, attended by a few persons, for he would on no account be discovered. In that place he clad himself in another garb, like a poor priest of the Minors (Franciscans), for the fear that he had of being known of his foes. Thus the king set out that very night, with only thirteen others, and arrived, by break of day, at Conway." He here met Salisbury. "At the meeting of the king and the earl, instead of joy, there was very great sorrow. Tears, lamenta tions, sighs, groans, and mourning, quickly broke forth. Truly it was a piteous sight to behold their looks and countenances, and woeful meeting. The earl's face was pale with watching. He related to the king his hard fate." Aumerle, the constable, according to this writer, basely went off with the king's men-his last hope. "The king continued all sorrowful at Conway, where he had no more with them than two or three of his intimate friends, sad and distressed. . . . . Reckoning nobles and other persons, we were but sixteen in all." From Conway they went to Beaumaris, and thence to Carnarvon. "In his castles, to which he retired, there was no furniture, nor had he any

thing to lie down upon but straw. Really, he lay in this manner for four or six nights; for, in truth, not a farthing's worth of victuals or anything else was to be found in them." In consequence of this poverty the king returned to Conway. The Metrical History' then details, at considerable length, and with great spirit and circumstantiality, the remarkable incident of Northumberland entrapping Richard to leave Conway, so that he might convey him as his prisoner to Flint Castle. "This is one of the instances," says Mr. Courtenay (Shakspere's Historical Plays considered Historically"), "in which a more minute knowledge of history might have furnished Shakspere with some good scenes and further discriminations of character." One would suppose, from this remark, that the account of the meeting between Northumberland and the king at Conway, and the king's agreement, upon Northumberland's assurances of safety, to go with him to Flint, was unrecorded by the chronicler whom Shakspere is known to have consulted. Holinshed relates this affair with great distinctness; and he moreover gives an account of the ambush described by the French knight. We must, therefore, conclude that Shakspere knew his own business as a dramatist in the omission of the scene. The passage is also given very fully in Stow; and is versified by Daniel in his Civil Warres.'

"In the castle of Flint," says the 'Metrical History,' "King Richard awaited the coming of the Duke of Lancaster, who set out from the city of Chester on Tuesday, the 22nd of August, with the whole of his force." King Richard, "having heard mass, went up upon the walls of the castle, which are large and wide in the inside, beholding the Duke of Lancaster as he came along the sea-shore with all his host." Messengers came from Henry to Richard, and an interview took place between them. Shakspere has made Northumberland the negotiator on this occasion, as he really was at Conway. "The king went up again upon the walls, and saw that the army was two bow-shots from the castle; then he, together with those that were with him, began anew great lamentation." At length Lancaster entered the castle. "Then they made the king, who had dined in the donjon, come down to meet Duke Henry, who, as soon as he perceived him at a distance, bowed very low to the ground; and, as they approached each other, he bowed a second time, with his cap in his hand; and then the king took off his bonnet, and spake

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