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I will not live to be accounted Warwick.
Plan. Good master Vernon, I am bound to you, That you on my behalf would pluck a flower.
Ver. In your behalf still will I wear the same.
Plan. Thanks, gentle sir.
The same. A Room in the Tower. Enter MORTIMER', brought in a Chair by two
Keepers. Mor. Kind keepers of my weak decaying age, Let dying Mortimer here rest himself.—
1 This is at variance with the strict truth of history. Edmund Mortimer, who was trusted and employed by Henry V. throughout his reign, died of the plague in his own castle at Trim, in Ireland, in 1424-5; being then only thirty-two years old. Sandford says that he was confined there by the jealousy of Henry; but this is a mistake. His uncle, Sir John Mortimer, was indeed a prisoner in the Tower, and was executed not long before the earl of March's death, being charged with an attempt to make his escape in order to stir up an insurrection in Wales. The writer has been led into error by the popular historians of his time. Hall relates that, in the third year of Henry VI. (1425), came to London Peter duke of Quimber [Coimbra), whiche of the duke of Exeter, &c. was highly feasted. Duringe whych season Edmond Mortimer, the last earl of Marche of that name ( whiche long time had bene restrayned from his liberty, and finally
Even like a man new haled from the rack,
with desire to get a grave, As witting I no other comfort have.--But tell me, keeper, will my nephew come?
1 Keep. Richard Plantagenet, my lord, will come: We sent unto the Temple, to his chamber; And answer was return'd that he will come.
Mor. Enough; my soul shall then be satisfied. Poor gentleman! his wrong doth equal mine. Since Henry Monmouth first began to reign (Before whose glory I was great in arms), waxed lame) deceased without issue, whose inheritance descended to the Lord Richard Plantagenet,' &c. And in a previous passage he has observed, “The erle of Marche was ever kepte in the courte under such a keeper that he could neither do nor attempt any thyng agaynste the kyng wythout his knowledge, and died without issue. The same error occurs in the Legend of Richard Plantagenet, Duke of Yorke, in the Mirror for Magistrates, 1575:
• His cursed son ensued his cruel path,
&c. &c. 2 The heralds that, fore-running death, proclaim its approach.
3 Exigent is here used for end; as in Doctor Dodypoll, a comedy, 1600 :
• Hath driven her to some desperate exigent.' 4 Pith is used figuratively for strength. "Nervosus, sinewy, strongly made in body, pithy.'--COOPER. The word is still used in Scotland in this sense.
This loathsome sequestration have I had;
Enter RICHARD PLANTAGENET. 1 Keep. My lord, your loving nephew now is come. Mor. Richard Plantagenet, my friend? Is he come?
Plan. Ay, noble uncle, thus ignobly us'd, Your nephew, late-despised © Richard, comes.
Mor. Direct mine arms, I may embrace his neck, And in his bosom spend my latter
gasp: 0, tell me, when my lips do touch his cheeks, That I may kindly give one fainting kiss.And now declare, sweet stem from York's great
stock, Why didst thou say—of late thou wert despis’d?
Plan. First, lean thine aged back against mine arm; And, in that ease, I'll tell thee
disease?. This day, in argument upon a case,
5 That is, he who terminates or concludes misery. The expression is harsh and forced here; but occurs with greater propriety in Romeo and Juliet:
'Twixt my extremes and me this bloody knife
Shall play the umpire, arbitrating that,' &c. 6 Lately despised.
7 Disease for uneasiness, trouble, or grief. It is used in this sense by other ancient writers. Thus Spenser's Faerie Queene, vi. v. 40:
• That night they pass’d in great disease,
To guide men's labours, brought them also ease.'
• As she is now, she will disease our better mirth.'
Some words, there grew.’twixt Somerset and me:
Mor. That cause, fair nephew, that imprison'd me,
Plan. Discover more at large what cause that was; For I am ignorant, and cannot guess.
Mor. I will; if that my fading breath permit,
advancement to the throne: The reason moy'd these warlike lords to this, Was—for that (young King Richard thus remov’d, Leaving no heir begotten of his body)
8 Nephew has sometimes the power of the Latin nepos, signifying grandchild, and is used with great laxity among our ancient English writers. It is here used instead of cousin. Ritson has remarked that both uncle and nephew might formerly signify cousin; for in. The Troublesome Raigne of King John, Part II. Prince Henry calls his cousin, the bastard, uncle. In French, as in Latin, neveu signified grandchild, and by a prefix several other degrees of consanguinity. See The Menagiana, vol. ii. p. 191, &c. ed. Amst. 1713. Malone thinks that the mistake here arose from the author's ignorance in conceiving Richard to be Henry's nephew.
I was the next by birth and parentage;
Plan. Of which, my lord, your honour is the last.
Mor. True; and thou seest, that I no issue have; And that my fainting words do warrant death : Thou art my heir; the rest, I wish thee gather 11: But yet be
wary in thy studious care. Plan. Thy grave admonishments prevail with me: But yet, methinks, my father's execution Was nothing less than bloody tyranny.
Mor. With silence, nephew, be thou politick; 9 Haughty is high, lofty. So in the fourth act:
Valiant and virtuous, full of haughty courage.' 10 i. e. thinking. This is another falsification of history. Cambridge levied no army; but was apprehended at Southampton, the night before Henry sailed from that town for France, on the information of this very earl of March.
11 i. e. I acknowledge thee to be my heir; the consequences which may be collected from thence I recommend it thee to draw.