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Sham'st thou not, knowing whence thou art ex
traught, • To let thy tongue detect thy base-born heart 10? Edw. A wisp of straw were worth a thousand
crowns, To make this shameless callet know herself— * Helen of Greece was fairer far than thou,
Although thy husband may be Menelaus 12; * And ne'er was Agamemnon's brother wrong'd
By that false woman, as this king by thee. • His father revell’d in the heart of France, And tam’d the king, and made the Dauphin stoop; And, had he match'd according to his state, He might have kept that glory to this day: But, when he took a beggar to his bed, And grac'd thy poor sire with his bridal day:
Even then that sunshine brew'd a shower for him, · That wash'd his father's fortunes forth of France, And heap'd sedition on his crown at home. • For what hath broach'd this tumult, but thy pride? Hadst thou been meek, our title still had slept; And we, in pity of the gentle king, Had slipp'd our claim until another age. • Geo. But, when we saw our sunshine made thy
spring, * And that thy summer bred us no increase, We set the axe to thy usurping root: And though the edge hath something hit ourselves, - Yet, know thou, since we have begun to strike,
10 To show thy meanness of birth by thy indecent railing.
11 A wisp of straw was often applied as a mark of opprobrium to an immodest woman, a scold, or similar offenders; even showing it to a woman was, therefore, considered as a grievous affront. A callet was a lewd wanton; but a term often given to a scold.
12 i. e. a cuckold. In Troilus and Cressida, Thersites, speaking of Menelaus, calls him “ The goodly transformation of Jupiter there,—the primitive statue and oblique memorial of cuckolds.'
“We'll never leave, till we have hewn thee down, Or bath'd thy growing with our heated bloods.
Edw. And, in this resolution, I defy thee; Not willing any longer conference, Since thou deny'st the gentle king to speak.-Sound trumpets !-let our bloody colours wave! And either victory, or else a grave.
Q. Mar. Stay, Edward.
Edw. No, wrangling woman; we'll no longer stay: These words will cost ten thousand lives to-day.
A Field of Battle between Towton and Saxton, in
Alarums: Excursions. Enter WARWICK. • War. Forspent with toil, as runners with a race, I lay me down a little while to breathe: For strokes receiv'd, and many blows repaid, Have robb’d my strong-knit sinews of their strength, And, spite of spite, needs must I rest awhile.
Enter EDWARD, running. Edw. Smile, gentle heaven! or strike, ungentle
death! • For this world frowns, and Edward's sun is clouded. War. How now, my lord ? what hap? what hope
of good ?
| Shakspeare has here, perhaps, intentionally thrown three different actions into one. The principal action took place on the eve of Palm Sunday, 1461. * This battle (says Carte) decided the fate of the house of Lancaster, overturning in one day an usurpation strengthened by sixty-two years continuance, and established Edward on the throne of England,'
Enter GEORGE. * Geo. Our hap is loss, our hope but sad despairo; Our ranks are broke, and ruin follows us : What counsel give you, whither shall we fly?
• Edw. Bootless is flight, they follow us with wings; · And weak we are, and cannot shun pursuit.
Enter RICHARD. · Rich. Ah, Warwick, why hast thou withdrawn
thyself? • Thy brother's blood the thirsty earth hath drunks, · Broach'd with the steely point of Clifford's lance: • And, in the very pangs of death, he cried,· Like to a dismal clangor heard from far,• Warwick, revenge! brother, revenge my death!
So underneath the belly of their steeds, • That stain’d their fetlocks in his smoking blood, • The noble gentleman gave up the ghost. War. Then let the earth be drunken with our
Why stand we like soft-hearted women here,
Thus repulsed, our final hope
Milton. 3 The brother here mentioned is no person in the drama, but a natural son of Salisbury. Holinshed, relating the death of Lord Clifford in this action at Ferrybridge, on the 28th of March, 1461, says, “He was slaine, and with him the bastard of Salisbury, brother to the earl of Warwick, a valiant young gentleman, and of great audacitie.'
4 Look upon for look on, i. e. are mere spectators. Vide Winter's Tale, Act v. Sc. 2:
• What?---Look upon, my brother:'--&c. See a note on Act iv. Sc. 3, of the same play, p. 91.
• Here on my knee I vow to God above, • I'll never pause again, never stand still, « Till either death hath clos’d these eyes of mine, • Or fortune given me measure of revenge.
Edw. O Warwick, I do bend my knee with thine; And, in this vow, do chain my soul to thine.And, ere my
knee rise from the earth's cold face, * I throw my hands, mine eyes, my heart to thee, Thou setter up and plucker down of kings ! • Beseeching thee,-if with thy will it stands, • That to my foes this body must be prey,• Yet that thy brazen gates of heaven may ope, • And give sweet passage to my sinful soul !
Now, lords, take leave until we meet again, Where'er it be, in heaven, or on earth. • Rich. Brother, give me thy hand; and, gentle
Warwick, • Let me embrace thee in my weary arms :• I, that did never weep, now melt with woe, • That winter should cut off our spring-time so. War. Away, away! Once more sweet lords,
farewell. • Geo. Yet let us all together to our troops, • And give them leave to fly that will not stay; And call them pillars, that will stand to us; * And, if they thrive, promise them such rewards • As victors wear at the Olympian games : * This may plant courage in their quailing breasts; * For yet is hope of life, and victory.Fore-slow 6 no longer, make we hence amain.
5 Quailing is sinking into dejection.
Marloue's Edward III.
Another Part of the Field. Excursions. Enter Richard and CLIFFORD. · Rich. Now, Clifford, I have singled thee alone: Suppose, this arm is for the duke of York, • And this for Rutland; both bound to revenge, • Wert thou environ’d with a brazen wall7.
Clif. Now, Richard, I am with thee here alone: This is the hand, that stabb’d thy father York; And this the hand that slew thy brother Rutland; And here's the heart that triumphs in their death, And cheers these hands, that slew thy sire and
brother, To execute the like upon thyself ; And so, have at thee. [They fight. WARWICK enters; ClIFFORD
flies. Rich. Nay, Warwick, single out some other
chase; • For I myself will hunt this wolf to death 8.
SCENE V. Another Part of the Field.
Alarum. Enter KING HENRY. * K. Hen. This battle fares like to the morning's
war', * When dying clouds contend with growing light;
non si te ferreus agger Ambiat.'
Statius, Theb. ii. v. 453. 8 Two very similar lines in the preceding play are spoken of Richard's father by Clifford's father:
* Hold, Warwick, seek thee out some other chase;
For I myself must hunt this deer to death.' | The leading thought in both these soliloquies is borrowed from Holinshed, p. 665. * This deadly conflict continued ten