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KING Edward IV.

Edward, Prince of Wales, after

wards Edward V.

Richard, Duke of York.

Sons to Edward IV.

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, Brother to the Queen.

Lord Gray, Son to Queen Elizabeth.

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

Lord Haftings.

Sir Thomas Vaughan.

Sir Richard Radcliff.
Lord Lovel.


Sir James Tyrrel.

Thomas, Lord Stanley.

Earl of Oxford.


Sir William Brandon.

Brakenbury, Lieut. of the Tower.

Two Children of the Duke of Clarence.
Sir Chriftopher 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 Henry VI. afterwards married to the Duke of Gloucefter.

Dutchess of York, Mother to Edward IV. Clarence and Richard III.

Sheriff, Purfuivant, Citizens, Ghofts of thofe murder'd by Richard III. with Soldiers, and other Attendants.


(1) LIFE and DEATH of




Enter Richard Duke of Gloucefter, folus.


Wis the Winter of our Difcontent
Made glorious Summer by this Sun of York,
And all the clouds, that low'r'd

upon our

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In the deep bofom of the Ocean bury'd.
Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths,
Our bruised arms hung up for monuments,
Our stern Alarums chang'd to merry meetings,
Our dreadful marches to delightful measures.
Grim-vifag'd War hath fmooth'd his wrinkled front;
And now, inftead of mounting barbed steeds
To fright the fouls of fearful adversaries,
He capers nimbly in a lady's chamber, (2)
To the lafcivious pleafing of a lute.
But I, that am not fhap'd for fportive tricks,
Nor made to court an am'rous looking-glass,-
I, that am rudely ftampt, 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, (3)
Deform'd, unfinish'd, fent before my time
Into this breathing world, fcarce half made up;
And that fo lamely and unfashionably,
That dogs bark at me as I halt by them:
Why I, in this weak piping time of peace
Have no o delight to pafs away the time;
Unless to spy my fhadow in the Sun,
And defcant on mine own deformity.
And therefore, fince I cannot prove a lover, (4)
To entertain thefe fair well-fpoken days,

play appear'd or if fome other Richard the Third is here alluded to by Harrington, that a play on this fubjet preceded Our Author's. Mr. WHARTON.

(2) He capers] War capers. This is poetical, though a little harth; if it be York that capers, the antecedent is at fuch a diftance that it is almoft forgotten.

(3) Cheated of feature by diffembling nature,] By diffembling is not meant bypocritical nature, that pretends one thing, and does another: But nature that puts together, things of a diffimilar kind, as a brave foul, and a deformed body. WARBURTON. Diffembling is here put very licentiously for fraudful, deceit ful.

(4) And therefore fince I cannot prove a lover] Shakespeare very diligently inculcates that the wickedness of Richard proceeded from his deformity, from the envy that rofe at the comparison of his own perfon with others, and which incited him to difturb the pleasures that he could not partake.

I am determined to prove a villain,

And hate the idle pleafures of these days..
Plots have I laid, † inductions dangerous,
To fet my brother Clarence and the King
In deadly hate, the one against the other:
By drunken prophefies, libels, and dreams,
And, if King Edward be as true and juft, (5)
As I am fubtle, falfe, and treacherous,

This day thould Clarence clofely be mew'd up;
About a Prophefy, which fays, that G

Of Edward's Heirs the Murtherer fhall be.
-Dive, thoughts, down to my foul! here Clarence


Enter Clarence guarded, and Brakenbury:

Brother, good day, what means this armed Guard,
That waits upon your Grace?

Cla. His Majesty,

Tend'ring my perfon's fafety, hath appointed
This conduct to convey me to the Tower.
Glo. Upon what caufe?

Clar. Because my name is George.

Glou. Alack, my Lord, that fault is none of yours: He fhould for That commit your godfathers.

Belike, his Majefty hath fome intent,

That you fhould be new chriftened in the Tower.

But what's the matter, Clarence, may I know?
Clar. Yea, Richard, when I know, for, I proteft,
yet I do not; but as I can learn,


He hearkens after Prophefies and Dreams,
And from the crofs-row plucks the letter G;
And fays, a wizard told him, that by G
His iffue difinherited fhould be.

And, for my name of George begins with G,


And hate the idle pleafures] Perhaps we might read, And bate the idle pleafures.

Inductions dangerous,] Preparations for mifchief.. The In

duction is preparatory to the action of the play.


-Edward be as true and juft,] i. e. as open hearted and free from deceit. The meaning is only this; if Edward keeps his word.

It follows in his thought, that I am he.

Thefe, as I learn, and fuch like * toys as thefe,
Have mov'd his Highnefs to commit me now.

Glo. Why, this it is, when men are rul'd by wo


'Tis not the King that fends you to the Tower,
My lady Gray, his wife, Clarence, 'tis fhe,
That tempts him to this harsh extremity.
Was it not the, and that good man of worship,
Anthony Woodvil her brother there,

That made him fend lord Haftings to the Tower?
From whence this day he is delivered.

We are not fafe, Clarence, we are not safe.

Clar. By heav'n, I think, there is no man fecure
But the Queen's kindred, and knight-walking heralds,
That trudge between the King, and mistress Shore.
Heard you not, what an humble fuppliant
Lord Haflings was to her for his delivery?
Glo. Humbly complaining to her Deity, (6)
Got my lord Chamberlain his liberty.
I'll tell you what ;-I think, it is our way,
If we will keep in favour with the King,
To be her men, and wear her livery:

The jealous, o'erworn widow, and herself,
Since that our Brother dubb'd them gentlewomen,
Are mighty goffips in this Monarchy.

Brak. I beg your Graces both to pardon me :
His Majefty has ftraitly giv'n in charge,

That no man fhall have private conference,

Of what degree foever, with your brother.

Glo. Ev'n fo, an't please your worship. Brackenbury,

You may partake of any thing we say,

We fpeak no treason, man- we fay, the King
Is wife and virtuous; and his noble Queen
Well ftrook in years; fair, and not jealous-
We fay, that Shore's wife hath a pretty foot,
A cherry lip, a paffing pleafing tongue;

Toys.] Fancies, freaks of imagination.

(6) Humbly complaining, &c.] I think these two lines might be better given to Clarence.

↑ The jealous, o'er-worn widow,] That is the Queen and Shore.


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