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THE TRAGEDY OF
KING RICHARD THE THIRD

ACT I

SCENE I.London.

A street.

Enter RICHARD, Duke of Gloucester, solus.
Glou. Now is the winter of our discontent

Made glorious summer by this sun of York;
And all the clouds that lour'd upon our house
In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.
Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths ; 5

Our bruised arms hung up for monuments;
London. A street.] Capell; omitted Qq, Ff. I. our] Qq 1, 2, Ff; omitted
Qq 3-8. 2. sun] Rowe; sonne Qq; son Ff.

2. this sun of York] Compare 3 “The mother's curse is heavy; where Henry VI. v. iii. 4, 5. Edward IV. that fights, assumed a sun for his badge, in conse- Sons set in storm, and daughters quence of the vision which appeared to lose their lights." him 2nd February, 1461, the day before In Shakespeare's account of the vision the battle of Mortimer's Cross. See mentioned above, Edward divines the 3 Henry VI. 11. i. 25-40; Holinshed, three ominous suns joined in one as an Chronicles, 2nd ed. 1587, iii. 660. The emblem of the three “sons of brave legend is referred to by Drayton, Plantagenet." Miseries of Queen Margaret, st. 134, 6. monuments] Compare Massinger, and Poly-Olbion, 1622, xxii. 762-84. Great Duke of Florence, 1635, ii. 1: Aldis Wright quotes from Stow the

“his arms incident at Barnet, where Warwick's And his victorious sword and shield forces, in the mist, took the “starre hung up with streames" on the coats of Lord For monuments.Oxford's men, their friends, for the sun A. M. (ap. Hakluyt, Principal Naviworn by the supporters of Edward. gations, 1599, ii. 135): “They kept The readings of Oq and Ff bring out a there the sword wherewith John Fox common play on the words “sun” and had killed the Keeper ... and hanged “son” : compare below, 1. iii. 266, 267, it up for a monument." The phrase is and Tourneur, Revenger's Tragedy, sometimes taken as referring to the 1607:

armour hung up over tombs, like those

Our stern alarums chang'd to merry meetings;
Our dreadful marches, to delightful measures.
Grim-visag'd War hath smooth'd his wrinkled front;
And now, instead of mounting barbed steeds,
To fright the souls of fearful adversaries,
He capers nimbly in a lady's chamber,

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7. alarums] alarmes Q 1.

8. measures] Qq 1-3, Ff; pleasures Qq 4-8.

of the Black Prince or Henry V. Such iv. 3 we find “ But let us draw in, to armour, however, was usually made for see how well it becomes them to tread the funeral ceremonies, and could not the measures in a dance, that were come under the category of “ bruised wont to set the order for a march.” arms"; nor were the members of the Shakespeare's alliteration of " dreadful house of York at present in need of marches” and “ delightful measures" funeral armour. The allusion, if any is is a trick learned in the school of needed, is simply to the custom of Lyly. ornamenting a hall with the disused 9. Grim-visag'd War] Mr. Craig calls armour of the family, like the armour my attention to the recurrence of the “Hugh's at Agincourt and ... old same phrase in Drayton, Poly-Olbion, Sir Ralph's at Ascalon" in Tennyson's 1613, viii. 181: “Yet with grim-visag'd Princess, 1847, prol. lines 25, 26, or war when he her shores did greet," and Mr. Chainmail's “ rusty pikes, shields, to the reminiscence in Gray, Ode on a helmets, swords, and tattered bannersDistant Prospect of Eton College, 1797, in Peacock's Crotchet Castle, 1831, st. vii.: “Grim-visaged comfortless chap. 5.

despair.” 8. measures] slow and solemn dances. 10. barbed] armed for war. So Lyly, Sir John Davies, Orchestra, 1596, st. Alexander and Campaspe, ii. 2: “Is the 65, says of Love, who had taught the war-like sound of drum and trump multitude lighter dances :

turned to the soft noise of lyre and lute? “But after these, as men more civil the neighing of barbed steeds . . . congrew,

verted to delicate tunes and amorous He did more grave and solemn glances ?” The word is a corruption Measures frame;

of the proper term “barded "; barde is With such fair order and proportion a general term for horse-armour in true,

French. Cotgrave, Dictionarie, 1611, And correspondence every way the gives “ Bardé : barbed or trapped, as a same,

great horse. Bardes : f. Barbes, or That no fault-finding eye did ever trappings for horses of service, or of blame”;

shew." "Barbed steeds" occurs again and st. 66:

in Richard II. 11. iïi. 117. “Unbarbed," “Yet all the feet whereon these in Coriolanus, ii. ii. 99, is usually taken measures go

to mean “unarmoured.” The substanAre only Spondees, solemn, tive "barb” is used for horse-armour grave, and slow."

by Spenser, Faerie Queene, 1590, 11. ii. Decker, Bel-Man of London, 1608, II: “goodly gorgeous barbes.For has “I neither wonder at the stately “barded " see Berners' Froissart, 1523, measures of the clouds, the nimble i. 41: “It was a great beauty to behold galliards of the water, nor the wanton the . . . horses barded.“Barded " trippings of the wind” (ed. Smeaton, is sometimes used, e.g. by Stow, of men 1904, p. 71). There is a close parallel as well as horses. The application of between the present passage and Lyly, the term “barbed” to the walls of a Alexander and Campaspe, 1584, ii. 2 hall hung with armour (Ælla, line 219) and iv. 3. Shakespeare seems to have was one of the signs that betrayed had both these passages in mind. In Chatterton's forgeries.

15

20

To the lascivious pleasing of a lute.
But I, that am not shap'd for sportive tricks,
Nor made to court an amorous looking-glass;
I, that am rudely stamp'd, and want love's majesty,
To strut before a wanton ambling nymph;
I, that am curtail'd of this fair proportion,
Cheated of feature by dissembling Nature,
Deform'd, unfinish'd, sent before my time
Into this breathing world, scarce half made up,
And that so lamely and unfashionable,
That dogs bark at me as I halt by them;
Why, I, in this weak piping time of peace,
Have no delight to pass away the time,

25 13. lute] Ff; loue Qq. 14. shap'd for] Ff; shapte for Qq 1-3; sharpe for Qq 4, 5; sharpe of Qq 6-8. 21. scarce] Qq 1, 2; scarse Ff; omitted Qq 3-8.

13. pleasing) evidently used here for Than feature or proportion." “ pleasure.” No parallel example is Shakespeare does not here imply beauty forthcoming.

of appearance: it is the shape of his 17. ambling] used of leisurely or easy body of which Richard has been motion, as Romeo and Huliet, 1. iv. Io; cheated. Its "feature” is imperfect : Hamlet, III. i. 151. New Eng. Dict. as he explains lower down, he is quotes an apposite passage from Addi- “scarce half made up." son, The Drummer, 1716, i. I: "She dissembling Nature] The idea of has ... play'd at an assembly, and cheating is probably emphasised in ambled in a ball or two." Mr. Craig “dissembling.” Warburton explained suggests that “wanton-ambling” is the phrase as meaning “Nature that possibly one of the double epithets so puts together things of a dissimilar common in this play.

kind, as a brave soul and a deformed 18. proportionj regularity of figure. body," i.e. dis-assembling Nature. Compare Greene, Friar Bacon and But this idea seems rather farFriar Bungay, 1594 (ed. Dyce,p. 158):- fetched. Proportion'd as was Paris, when, 21. this breathing world] Compare in grey,

Sonnet lxxxi. 12. See also 2 Henry
He courted Enon in the vale by VI. 1. ii. 21 (Craig).
Troy";

22. lamely and unfashionable] For Decker, Guls Horn-Booke, 160g (ed. this double adverb with a single terSmeaton, 1904, p. 30): “a head al hid mination compare Ben Jonson, in haire gives even to a most wicked Poetaster, 1601, i. 1: “What, hast face a sweet proportion.

thou buskins on, Luscus, that thou 19. feature] outward appearance swearest so tragically and high." (Lat. factura, Fr. faiture), as Kyd, Sometimes the adverbial termination Spanish Tragedy, c. 1588, act ii. : “My is given to the second of the two words, feature is not to content her sight"; as Fletcher, False One, iv. 2:Spenser, Faerie Queene, 1. viii. 49; “we make louder prayers to die Two Gentlemen of Verona, 11. iv. 73.

nobly, “Feature” and “proportion” occur Than to live high and wantonly." together again in Fletcher, False One, 24. piping] The pipe was an instru1647, i. 2:

ment proper to times of peace, as the * Cæsar is amorous,

fife to times of war. Compare Much And taken more with the title of a Ado About Nothing, 11. iii. 13-15.

queen, ...

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Unless to spy my shadow in the sun,
And descant on mine own deformity.
And therefore, since I cannot prove a lover,
To entertain these fair well-spoken days,
I am determined to prove a villain,
And hate the idle pleasures of these days.
Plots have I laid, inductions dangerous,
By drunken prophecies, libels, and dreams,
To set my brother Clarence and the king
In deadly hate the one against the other :

35
And if King Edward be as true and just,
As I am subtle, false, and treacherous,
This day should Clarence closely be mew'd up,

About a prophecy, which says that G
26. spy] spie Qq; see Ff. 39. a prophecy]adrohesie Qq 4, 5.

27. descant] The usual meaning of “I am resolv'd, since virtue hath “descant” in music was the art of disdain'd constructing variations on a simple To clothe me in her riches, hencemelody called the “ ground” or “plain

forth to prove song.” Richard's deformity is the A villain fatal, black and ominplain-song of his descant. New Eng.

ous.” Dict. quotes Cotgrave, s.v. Contre, “ To 32. inductions] beginnings, preparasing : . . the Plainesong whereon tions; as below, iv. iv. 5. Compare 1 another descants.Compare below, Henry IV. III. i. 2; Cook, Green's Tu III. vii. 49; Edwards, Damon and Quoque, c. 1599 : “ False dice say Pithias, 1571, refers to the jests passed amen : for that's my induction.In on ladies by Aristippus : '“ They are drama, the “induction” is the scene your playne song to singe descant or scenes preparatory to a play, like the upon”; Lyly, Euphues, 1579 (ed. inductions to Taming of the Shrew, or Arber, p. 137): “He that alwayes Jonson's Cynthia's Revels, or Webster's singeth one note without deskant induction to Marston's Malcontent. breedeth no delight.” In Eastward 38. mew'd up] confined, properly of Ho, 1605, Wolf the prison-keeper a hawk while mewing (muer) or moultanswers to Touchstone's puns, “Sir, ing its feathers. It is used again below, your worship may descant as you line 132 and 1. iii. 139. Compare please o' my name.”

Spenser, Faerie Queene, II. iii. 34; 29. entertain ... days) Compare Midsummer-Night's Dream, I. i. 71; Measure for Measure, isi. i. 75 ; Sonnet Beaumont and Fletcher, Womanxxxix. II. Shakespeare uses the word Hater, 1607, iii. I: “Is this your in this act with three different senses, mewing-up, your strict retirement?” (I) as here; (2) as in 1. ii. 257, with The cage was called a “mew": see which compare King Lear, li. vi. 83; Chaucer, Canterbury Tales, A. 349; (3) as in 1. iii. 4, where it corresponds Troilus and Criseyde, iii. 602. In Lonto our phrase " to entertain a hope.” don, the fact that the royal stables

30. Gloucester has expressed this originally were built on the site of the intention previously, 3 Henry VI. v. king's mews for hawks, gave rise to vi. 78-9. The soliloquy of the Duke of the name commonly applied to stables Epire in Machin and Markham, Dumb of town houses. Knight, 1608, act i., is a recollection of 39. a prophecy] Compare Halle (ap. this passage:

Holinshed, iii. 703), “a foolish prophesie,

Of Edward's heirs the murderer shall be.

40 Dive, thoughts, down to my soul ! here Clarence comes.

Enter CLARENCE, guarded, and BRAKENBURY.
Brother, good day: what means this armed guard

That waits upon your grace ?
Clar.

His majesty,
Tendering my person's safety, hath appointed
This conduct, to convey me to the Tower.

45 Glou. Upon what cause ? Clar.

Because my name is George.
Glou. Alack, my lord, that fault is none of yours;

He should for that commit your godfathers.
O, belike his majesty hath some intent
That you shall be new-christ'ned in the Tower. 50

But what's the matter, Clarence? may I know?
Clar. Yea, Richard, when I know; for I protest

As yet I do not: but, as I can learn,
He hearkens after prophecies and dreams,
And from the cross-row plucks the letter G,

55 40. murderer] murtherer Qq 3-8, Ff; murtherers Qq 1, 2. 41. Dive ... comes] one line as Ff; two lines Qq, divided after soule. Enter . . . Brakenbury.) Rowe; Enter Clarence with a guard of men. Qq; Enter Clarence and Brakenbury, guarded. Ff. 42. day] Ff; dayes or daies Qq. 43-45. That waits ... the Tower.] arranged as Pope ; That waits ... Grace ? His ... appointed This ... the Tower (3 lines) Qa; That waits . . . Grace ? His ... safety, Hath ... th' Tower. Ff. 48. godfathers] Qq 1-3, FI; good fathers Oq 4-6; grandfathers Ff 2-4. 50. shall be] Qq 2-8; shalbe Q 1; should be Ff. 51. what's] Ff; whats Qq 1, 2; what is Qq 3-8. 52. know] doe know Q 6. for] Qq; but Ff. which was, that, after K. Edward, one for London and England, 1594 (Dyce, should reigne, whose first letter of his 124): “the duty of lawyers in tendername should be a G.” Q 5 follows e ing the right cause of their clients." 4 in the extraordinary misprint “ad- 54. hearkens after] Compare Much rohesie.”

Ado About Nothing, v. i. 216. New 44. tendering] having regard to. The Eng. Dict. quotes Berners' Froissart, i. word is used about twenty times by 303 : “ There abode styll the EnglysshShakespeare, e.g. II. iv. 72 below; men to hearken after other newes." Richard II. 1. i. 32; Hamlet, 1. iii. prophecies] Malone notes the state107; Tempest, ir. i. 270 : compare 1 ments of Philippe de Commines “that Henry IV. v. iv. 49. See also Lyly, the English at that time were never Euphues (Arber, 147): “When as I unfurnished with some prophecy or see many fathers more cruell to their other, by which they accounted for children then carefull of them, which every event." thinke it not necessarye to haue those 55. cross-row] the alphabet or Christabout them, that most tender them”; cross-row, so called from the cross Lodge and Greene, Looking - Glass which was placed before the alphabet

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