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Enter QUEEN MARGARET and the Prince of Wales. Exe. Here comes the queen, whose looks bewray 14 her
I'll steal away
Exeter, so will I. [Going. • Q. Mar. Nay, go not from me, I will follow thee. K. Hen. Be patient, gentle queen, and I will stay.
Q. Mar. Who can be patient in such extremes ? Ah, wretched man! 'would, I had died a maid, * And never seen thee, never borne thee son,
Seeing thou hast prov'd so unnatural a father! * Hath he deserv'd to lose his birthright thus ? * Hadst thou but lov'd him half so well as I; * Or felt that pain which I did for him once; * Or nourish'd bim, as I did with my blood; * Thou would'st have left thy dearest heart-blood
there, * Rather than have made that savage duke thine heir, * And disinherited thine only son.
* Prince. Father, you cannot disinherit me: If
you be king, why should not I succeed ? * K. Hen. Pardon me, Margaret;—pardon me,
sweet son; The earl of Warwick, and the duke, enforc'd me. Q. Mar. Enforc'd thee! art thou king, and wilt
be forc'd ? I shame to hear thee speak. Ah, timorous wretch! Thou hast undone thyself, thy son, and me, • And given unto the house of York such head, * As thou shalt reign but by their sufferance. To entail him and his heirs unto the crown,
14 Betray, discover. So in King Lear:
he did bewray his practice.'
* What is it, but to make thy sepulchre 15, * And creep into it far before thy time? * Warwick is chancellor, and the lord of Calais; Stern Faulconbridge 16 commands the narrow seas; The duke is made protector of the realm; . And yet shalt thou be safe? * such safety finds * The trembling lamb, environed with wolves. · Had I been there, which am a silly woman, • The soldiers should have toss'd me on their pikes,
Before I would have granted to that act. * But thou preferr'st thy life before thine honour : "And seeing thou dost, I here divorce myself, . Both from thy table, Henry, and thy bed,
Until that act of parliament be repeald,
Whereby my son is disinherited. The northern lords, that have forsworn thy colours, Will follow mine, if once they see them spread:
15 The queen’s reproach is founded on a position long received among politicians, that the loss of kingly power is soon followed by loss of life.
16 The person here meant was Thomas Nevil, bastard son to the Lord Faulconbridge,' a man (says Hall) of no lesse corage than audacitie, who for his cruel condicions was such an apte person, that a more meter could not be chosen to set all the world in a broyle, and to put the estate of the realme on an ill hazard.' He had been appointed by Warwick vice admiral of the sea, and had in charge so to keep the passage between Dover and Calais, that none which either favoured King Henry or his friends should escape untaken or undrowned : such at least were his instructions with respect to the friends and favourers of King Edward after the rupture between him and Warwick. On Warwick's death he fell into poverty, and robbed, both by sea and land, as well friends as enemies. He once brought his ships up the Thames, and with a considerable body of the men of Kent and Essex, made a spirited assault on the city, with a view to plunder and pillage, which was not repelled but after a sharp conflict, and the loss of many lives; and, had it happened at a more critical period, might have been attended with fatal consequences to Edward. After roving on the sea some little time longer, he ventured to land at Southampton, where he was taken and beheaded. See Hall and Holinshed. Ritson.
• And spread they shall be; to thy foul disgrace, * And utter ruin of the house of York. • Thus do I leave thee:-Come, son, let's away; Our army's ready; Come, we'll after them. K. Hen. Stay, gentle Margaret, and hear me speak. Q. Mar. Thou hast spoke too much already; get
K.Hen. Gentle son Edward, thou wilt stay with me?
Prince. When I return with victory from the field,
[Exeunt QUEEN MARGARET, and the Prince. • K. Hen. Poor queen! how love to me, and to
• Hath made her break out into terms of rage!
Reveng'd may she be on that hateful duke; * Whose haughty spirit, winged with desire, * Will coast 17 my crown, and, like an empty eagle,
17 To coast is apparently to pursue, to hover about any thing. Thus in the Loyal Subject of Beaumont and Fletcher :
those horse and coast them.' And in The Maid of the Mill, by the same authors, two gentlemen entering, a lady asks :- Who are those that coast us ? So in Chapman's Version of the fifth Iliad :* Atrides yet coasts through the troops confirming men so stay’d.' And Holinshed, vol. iii. p. 352:- William Douglas still coasted the Englishmen, doing them what damage he might.' See also p. 404, and other passages. Shakspeare uses it again in King Henry VIII. speaking of Wolsey's tortuous policy in the matter of the divorce, it is said :
the king perceives him how he coasts And hedges his own way.' And in bis Venus and Adonis :
all in haste she coasteth to the cry.' The old form of the word appears to have been costoye, or costoie, from the French costoyer, to pursue a course alongside an object, to watch it.
on the flesh of me, and of my son ! * The loss of those three lords
heart: * I'll write unto them, and entreat them fair;* Come, cousin, you shall be the messenger. Exe. And I, I hope, shall reconcile them all.
SCENE II. A Room in Sandal Castle, near Wakefield, in
Yorkshire. Enter EDWARD, RICHARD, and MONTAGUE. • Rich. Brother, though I be youngest, give me
leave. Edw. No, I can better play the orator. Mont. But I have reasons strong and forcible.
Enter YORK. • York. Why, how now, sons and brother?; at a
• Edw. No quarrel, but a slight contention.
• The crown of England, father, which is yours.
18 To tire is to tear; to feed like a bird of prey, from the Anglo Saxon Tipan, Tyrian, &c. Thus in the poet's Venus and Adonis :
• Even as an empty eagle, sharp by fast,
Tires with her beak on feathers, flesh, and bone.' 19 i. e. of Northumberland, Westmoreland, and Clifford, who had left him in disgust.
Shakspeare seems to have thought York and Montague brothers in law. But Montague was brother to Warwick; Warwick's daughter was married to a son of York, but not during the life of York. Steevens thought that as Shakspeare uses the 'expression brothers of the war in King Lear, something of the kind might be meant here.
• York. Mine, boy? not till King Henry be dead. * Rich. Your right depends not on his life, or death. * Edw. Now you are heir, therefore enjoy it now: By giving the house of Lancaster leave to breathe. * It will outrun you, father, in the end. * York. I took an oath that he should quietly
reign. • Edw. But, for a kingdom, any oath may be
broken? : · I'd break a thousand oaths, to reign one year. Rich. No; God forbid, your grace should be
forsworn. « York. I shall be, if I claim by open war. • Rich. I'll prove the contrary, if you'll hear me
speak. • York. Thou canst not, son; it is impossible.
• Rich. An oath is of no moment, being not took • Before a true and lawful magistrate, • That hath authority over him that swears :
Henry had none, but did usurp the place; • Then, seeing 'twas be that made you to depose, • Your oath, my lord, is vain and frivolous.
Therefore, to arms. * And, father, do but think, * How sweet a thing it is to wear a crown; * Within whose circuit is Elysium, * And all that poets feign of bliss and joy. ** Why do we linger thus ? I cannot rest, * Until the white rose, that I wear, be dyed * Even in the lukewarm blood of Henry's heart.
• York. Richard, enough; I will be king, or die.Brother, thou shalt to London presently,
2 The obligation of an oath is here eluded by a very despicable sophistry. A lawful magistrate alone has the power to exact an oath, but the oath derives no part of its force from the magis- trate. The plea against the obligation of an oath obliging to maintain a usurper, taken from the unlawfulness of the bath itself, in the foregoing play, was rational and just. JOHNSON.