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K. Edw. Well, jest on, brothers : I can tell you
Enter a Nobleman.
-Lords, use her honourable. [Exeunt KING EDWARD, LADY GREY,
CLARENCE, and Lord. Glo. Ay, Edward will use women honourably. 'Would, he were wasted, marrow, bones, and all,
That from his loins no hopeful branch may spring, To cross me from the golden time I look for! • And yet, between my soul's desire and me : * (The lustful Edward's title buried) • Is Clarence, Henry, and his son young Edward, • And all the unlook’d-for issue of their bodies, • To take their rooms, ere I can place myself: A cold premeditation for my purpose!
Why, then I do but dream on sovereignty; * Like one that stands upon a promontory, * And spies a far-off shore where he would tread, * Wishing his foot were equal with his eye; * And chides the sea that sunders him from thence, * Saying--he'll lade it dry to have his way:
So do I wish the crown, being so far off; * And so I chide the means that keep me from it;
I say—I'll cut the causes off, * Flattering me with impossibilities.
My eye's too quick, my heart o'erweens too much, * Unless my hand and strength could equal them.
* And so
say there is no kingdom then for Richard; * What other pleasure can the world afford? • I'll make my heaven in a lady's lap, • And deck my body in gay ornaments, And witch sweet ladies with my words and looks. • O miserable thought! and more unlikely, • Than to accomplish twenty golden crowns ! Why, love forswore me in my mother's womb: • And, for I should not deal in her soft laws • She did corrupt frail nature with some bribe • To shrink mine arm up like a wither'd shrub; • To make an envious mountain on my back, Where sits deformity to mock my body; • To shape my legs of an unequal size; * To disproportion me in every part, * Like to a chaos, or an unlick'd bear-whelp 5, * That carries no impression like the dam. And am I then a man to be belov'd ? • 0, monstrous fault, to harbour such a thought! * Then, since this earth affords no joy to me, * But to comma
mand, to check, to o’erbear such
the crown; * And, whiles I live, to account this world but hell, * Until my misshap'd trunk that bears this head,
5 It was an opinion which, in spite of its absurdity, prevailed long, that the bear brings forth only shapeless lumps of flesh, which she licks into the form of bears. It is now well known that the whelps of bears are produced in the same state with those of other animals.-Johnson.
6 Richard speaks here the language of nature. Whoever is stigmatized with deformity has a constant source of envy in his mind, and would counterbalance by some other superiority those advantages which he feels himself to want. Bacon remarks that the deformed are commonly daring; and it is almost proverbially observed that they are ill natured. The truth is that the deformed, like all other men, are displeased with inferiority, and endeavour to gain ground by good or bad means, as they are virtuous or eorrupt.-Johnson,
* Be round impaled? with a glorious crown.
I know not how to get the crown,
lives stand between me and home: * And I, - like one lost in a thorny wood, * That rents the thorns, and is rent with the thorns ; * Seeking a way, and straying from the way; * Not knowing how to find the open air, * But toiling desperately to find it out,* Torment myself to catch the English crown: * And from that torment I will free myself, * Or hew my way out with a bloody axe. Why, I can smile, and murder while I smile; And
cry, content, to that which grieves my * And wet my cheeks with artificial tears, * And frame my face to all occasions. * I'll drown more sailors than the mermaid shall; * I'll slay more gazers than the basilisk; * I'll play the orator as well as Nestor, * Deceive more slily than Ulysses could, * And, like a Sinon, take another Troy; I can add colours to the cameleon ;
Change shapes, with Proteus, for advantages, • And set the murd'rous Machiavel to school. Can I do this, and cannot get a crown? • Tut! were it further off, I'll pluck it down. [Exit.
? i.e. encircled. Steevens would read with Hanmer :
• Until my head that this misshap'd trunk bears.' Otherwise, he observes, the trunk that bears the head is to be encircled with the crown, and not the head itself. 8 The old play reads with more propriety :
' And set the aspiring Cataline to school.' By which the anachronism is also avoided. Machiavel is mentioned in various books of the poet's age as the great exemplar of profound politicians. An amusing instance of the odium attached to his name is to be found in Gill's Logonomia Anglica, 1621 :-'Et ne semper Sidneios loquamur, audi epilogum fabulæ
Flourish. Enter LEWIS, the French King, and
LADY BONA, attended; the King takes his State. Then enter QUEEN MARGARET, PRINCE EDWARD her Son, and the EARL of OXFOR:D. • K. Lew. Fair queen of England, worthy Mar-. garet,
[Rising. • Sit down with us; it ill befits thy state, • And birth, that thou should'st stand, while Lewis
doth sit. * Q. Mar. No, mighty king of France; now Mar
garet * Must strike her sail, and learn awhile to serve, * Where kings command. I was, I must confess, * Great Albion's queen in former golden days: * But now mischance hath trod my title down, * And with dishonour laid me on the ground; * Where I must take like seat unto my fortune,
humble seat conform myself. *K. Lew. Why, say, fair queen, whence springs
this deep despair? Q. Mar. From such a cause as fills mine eyes
with tears, * And stops my tongue, while heart is drown'd in
* And to my
quam docuit Boreali dialecto poeta, titulumque fuít reus Machiavellus:
• Machil iz hanged
* K. Lew. Whate'er it be, be thou still like thyself, * And sit thee by our side: yield not thy neck
[Seats her by him. * To fortune's yoke, but let thy dauntless mind * Still ride in triumph over all mischance. ** Be plain, Queen Margaret, and tell thy grief; * It shall be eas’d, if France can yield relief. * Q. Mar. Those gracious words revive my droop
ing thoughts, * And give my tongue-tied sorrows leave to speak. * Now, therefore, be it known to noble Lewis,* That Henry, sole possessor of my love,
Is, of a king, become a banish'd man, * And forc'd to live in Scotland a forlorn; * While proud ambitious Edward, duke of York,
Usurps the regal title, and the seat * Of England's true anointed lawful king. * This is the cause, that I, poor Margaret,* With this my son, Prince Edward, Henry's heir,* Am come to crave thy just and lawful aid ;
And, if thou fail us, all our hope is done : • Scotland hath will to help, but cannot help; * Our people and our peers are both misled, * Our treasure seiz'd, our soldiers put to flight, * And, as thou seest, ourselves in heavy plight. * K. Lew. Renowned queen, with patience calm
the storm, * While we bethink a means to break it off.
* Q. Mar. The more we stay, the stronger grows
* K. Lew. The more I stay, the more I'll succour
thee. * Q. Mar. O, but impatience waiteth on true sorrow: * And see, where comes the breeder of my sorrow.