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With Introductions.

Notes, Glossary.

Critical Comments.

and Method of Study



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Critical Comments.



I. The Duke of York reaches London in advance of the King, and is seated by Warwick upon the throne. There the weak-kneed monarch shortly afterwards finds him; nor can he move him from his seat till York is promised the kingly succession after Henry's death. Neither of the rival houses long abides by the treaty. The haughty Queen Margaret becomes enraged at the prospect of her son's deposition, and herself musters an army against York, who is defeated and slain.

II. York's sons, Edward and Richard, though much depressed by these tidings, take heart again upon being joined by the powerful Warwick. The royal forces are engaged once more near Towton. The battle is fiercely fought, but at length the King's-or, more properly, the Queen's-forces are routed. Edward proceeds to London to mount the throne as Edward IV.

III. Having witnessed Edward's coronation, Warwick crosses over to France to obtain for the new sovereign the hand of the Princess Bona. At the French court he encounters Queen Margaret and her son, who had come to implore the French King's aid in their cause. This is almost granted when the arrival of Warwick changes the aspect of affairs, and Edward's overtures are successful. Just at this moment, however, letters from England bear intelligence that Edward has married Lady Elizabeth Grey. Naturally both the King of

France and Warwick are incensed at the broken faith. Warwick then and there becomes reconciled with Queen Margaret, who is also promised French forces to renew the struggle.

IV. Warwick hurries back to England, surprises Edward by forced marches, takes the crown from his head, and gives it back to Henry, who has been languishing in the Tower. But Edward in turn escapes from Warwick's surveillance, and takes refuge in Burgundy, where he recruits fresh troops. Upon returning to England he proceeds to his dukedom of York, and soon gathers strength enough to march on London. The impotent Henry is again seized and consigned to the Tower.

V. Edward meets Warwick in an engagement near Barnet, and the great earl, whose deeds have given him the title of "King-maker," is slain. A still more decisive battle is fought and won against Queen Margaret and the remnants of the Lancastrian forces, supported by the French, on the plains of Tewksbury. Queen Margaret is taken prisoner, and her son is stabbed to the heart by the three brothers of York. Henry's weak, troubled reign is ended by a dagger-thrust at the hands of Edward's brother, Richard of Gloucester; while Edward assumes the crown so bloodily striven for, amid every prospect of peace for himself and security for his infant son. Destiny has not yet revealed the sinister intentions of the ambitious Gloucester.

MCSPADDEN: Shakespearian Synopses.


King Henry.

The Poet, with his instinctive judgement, has given the King a much higher character than the chroniclers assign to him. Their relations leave little doubt upon our minds that his imbecility was very nearly allied to

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