Imatges de pÓgina
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KING Edward IV.

Edward, Prince of Wales, afterwards Edward V.

Richard, Duke of York,

Sons to Edward IV.

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George, Duke of Clarence, Brother to Edward IV. Richard, Duke of Gloucester, Brother to Edward IV. afterwards King Richard III.

Cardinal, Archbishop of York.

Duke of Buckingham.

Duke of Norfolk. Earl of Surrey.

Marquis of Dorfet, Son to Queen Elizabeth.

Earl Rivers, broker to the Queen.

Lord Gray, Son to Queen Elizabeth.

Earl of Richmond, afterwards King Henry VII.
Bishop of Ely.

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Sir Will. Brandon.

Brakenbury Lieutenant of the Tower.
Two Children of the Duke of Clarence.
Sir Christopher Urfwick, a Prieft.
Lord Mayor.

Elizabeth, Queen of Edward IV.

Queen Margaret, Widow of Henry VI.

Anne, Widow of Edward Prince of Wales, Son to Hen

ry VI. afterwards married to the Duke of Gloucefter. Dutchess of York, Mother to Edward IV. Clarence, and Richard III.

Sheriff, Purfuivant, Citizens, Ghosts of those murdered

by Richard III. with Soldiers and other Attendants.

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GLOUCESTER.

OW is the winter of our difcontent,

Made glorious fummer by this fun of York; And all the clouds, that lowr'd upon our house,

In the deep bofom of the ocean buried.

Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths; Our bruised arms hung up for monuments;

The Life and Death of King Richard III.] This tragedy, though it is called the Life and Death of this prince, comprizes, at moft, but the last eight years of his time; for it opens with George duke of Clarence being clapped up in the Tower, which happened in the beginning of the year 1477; and clofes with the death of Richard at Bofworth-field, which battle was fought on the 22d of Auguft, in the year 1485. THEOBALD.

-this fun of York;] Alluding to the cognizance of Edward IV. which was a fun, in memory of the three funs, which are faid to have appeared at the battle which he gained over the Lancaftrians at Mortimer's Crofs. STEEVENS.

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Our ftern alarums chang'd to merry meetings,'
Our dreadful marches to delightful measures.
Grim-vifag'd war hath fmooth'd his wrinkled front;
And now, instead of mounting barbed steeds,+
To fright the fouls of fearful adversaries,
'He capers nimbly in a lady's chamber,
To the lafcivious pleafing of a lute.

But I, that am not fhap'd for fportive tricks,
Not made to court an amorous looking-glass,
1, that am rudely ftamp'd and want love's majefty,
To ftrut before a wanton ambling nymph; ·
I, that am curtail'd of this fair proportion,
Cheated of feature by diffembling nature,

De-

3-merry meetings.] It is not improbable that Shakespeare was indebted on this occafion to the following lines in The tragical Life and Death of King Richard the Third, which is one of the metrical monologues in a collection entitled, The Mirror of Magiftrates, the preface to which is dated 1586.

-the battles fought in fields before

Were turn'd to meetings of fweet amitie;

The war-god's thundring cannons dreadful rere,
And rattling drum-founds warlike harmonie,
To folet-tun'd noise of pleafing minstrelfie.

God Mars laid by his launce, and tooke his lates
Aud turn'd his rugged frownes to smiling lookes;
Inftead of crimson fields, war's fatal fruit,
He bath'd his limbes in Cypris warbling books,
And fet his thoughts upon her wanton lookes.

STEEVENS.

-barbed feeds] are fteeds adorned with military trappings. I. Haywarde, in his Life and Raigne of Henry IV. 1599, fays, The duke of Hereford came to the barriers, mounted upon a white courfer, barbed with blew and green velvet, &c.

It is obferved in the Turkish Spy, that the German cairaffers, though armed and barbed, man and horfe, were not able to stand against the French cavalry. Barbed fleed, in Haywarde's hiftory, means only steeds covered with trappings on thofe parts which were cafed with armour in more dangerous fervice. STEEVENS.

5 He capers] War capers. This is poetical, though a little harth; if it be York that capers, the antecedent is at fach a diftance, that it is almoft forgotten. JOHNSON.

• Cheated of feature by diffembling nature,] By dissembling is not

meant

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