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Denounc'd against thee, are all fallen upon thee;
And God, not we, hath plagu'd thy bloody deed.3
Q. Eliz. So just is God, to right the innocent.*
Hast. O, 'twas the foulest deed, to slay that babe,
And the most merciless, that e'er was heard of.

Riv. Tyrants themselves wept when it was reported.
Dors. No man but prophecy'd revenge for it.

Buck. Northumberland, then present, wept to see it.5 Q. Mar. What! were you snarling all, before I came, Ready to catch each other by the throat,

And turn you all your hatred now on me?

Did York's dread curse prevail so much with heaven,
That Henry's death, my lovely Edward's death,
Their kingdom's loss, my woful banishment,
Could all but answer for that peevish brat?6*
Can curses pierce the clouds, and enter heaven?-
Why, then give way, dull clouds, to my quick curses!-
Though not by war, by surfeit die your king,"

3 hath plagu'd thy bloody deed.] So, in King John: "That he 's not only plagued for her sin."

To plague, in ancient language, is to punish. Hence the scriptural term "the plagues of Egypt." Steevens.

4 So just is God, to right the innocent.] So, in Thomas Lord Crom-, well, 1602:

"How just is God, to right the innocent!" Ritson.

5 Northumberland, then present, wept to see it.] Alluding to a scene in King Henry VI, P. III:

"What, weeping ripe, my lord Northumberland ?"


6 Could all but answer for that peevish brat?] This is the reading of all the editions, yet I have no doubt but we ought to read—

Could all not answer for that peevish brat? The sense seems to require this amendment; and there are no words so frequently mistaken for each other as not and but

M. Mason

* At the first glance the alteration suggested by Mr. Mason, may appear worthy of adoption, but upon examining the passage attentively the meaning will be found sufficiently plain. Margaret enumerates the evils that has befallen her family, and demands if it required all these to atone for the murder of Rutland, to fulfil the curse of York and appease the wrath of heaven,-could all but answer for that peevish brat-could it require such tremen dous punishment to atone for a crime comparatively small. Am. E‹ by surfeit die your king,] Aliuding to his luxurious life.



As ours by murder, to make him a king!
Edward, thy son, that now is prince of Wales,
For Edward, my son, that was prince of Wales,
Die in his youth, by like untimely violence!
Thyself a queen, for me that was a queen,
Out-live thy glory, like my wretched self!
Long may'st thou live, to wail thy children's loss;
And see another, as I see thee now,

Deck'd in thy rights, as thou art stall'd in mine!
Long die thy happy days before thy death;
And, after many lengthen'd hours of grief,
Die neither mother, wife, nor England's queen!-
Rivers, and Dorset,-you were standers by,-
And so wast thou, lord Hastings,-when my son
Was stabb'd with bloody daggers; God, I pray him,
That none of you may live your natural age,
But by some unlook'd accident cut off!

Glo. Have done thy charm, thou hateful wither'd hag. Q. Mar. And leave out thee? stay, dog, for thou shalt hear me.

If heaven have any grievous plague in store,
Exceeding those that I can wish upon thee,
O, let them keep it, till thy sins be ripe,
And then hurl down their indignation

On thee, the troubler of the poor world's peace!
The worm of conscience still be-gnaw thy soul !
Thy friends suspect for traitors while thou liv❜st,
And take deep traitors for thy dearest friends!
No sleep close up that deadly eye of thine,
Unless it be while some tormenting dream
Affrights thee with a hell of ugly devils!
Thou elvish-mark'd, abortive, rooting hog!9


8 · elvish-mark'd,] The common people in Scotland (as I learn from Kelley's proverbs) have still an aversion to those who have any natural defect or redundancy, as thinking them mark'd out for mischief. Steevens.

* An elf, in the language of superstition, is an invisible agent, which delights in injuring every thing endued with life. If a cow or a horse is seized with any sudden illness, it is supposed the animal is elf-shotten, the only remedy for which is to make the animal drink of water in which an elf-stone is placed: This stone is described to be about the size of a pullet's egg, of a flat oval form, and flies with the swiftness of an arrow to the destined

Thou that wast seal'd in thy nativity

The slave of nature,1 and the son of hell!



victim, but leaves no visible mark. The elf is also accused of taking on itself the office of acoucheur, and personates the midwife so perfectly that the messenger is deceived. The fraud however is discovered by some extraordinary deformity of the child, and the elf bears the blame. This superstition to which our author alludes, is still prevalent in Scotland, and the north of Ireland. Am. Ed.

9 - rooting hog!] The expression is fine, alluding (in memory of her young son) to the ravage which hogs make, with the finest flowers, in gardens; and intimating that Elizabeth was to expect no other treatment for her sons. Warburton.

She calls him hog, as an appellation more contemptuous than boar, as he is elsewhere termed from his ensigns armorial.

Johnson. In The Mirror for Magistrates is the following Complaint of Col lingbourne, who was cruelly executed for making a rime:

"For where I meant the king by name of hog,

"I only alluded to his badge the bore:
"To Lovel's name I added more, our dog;
"Because most dogs have borne that name of yore.
"These metaphors I us'd with other more,

"As cat and rat, the half-names of the rest,

"To hide the sense that they so wrongly wrest."

That Lovel was once the common name of a dog may be likewise known from a passage in The Historie of Jacob and Esau, an interlude, 1568:

"Then come on at once, take my quiver and my bowe; "Fette lovell my hounde, and my horne to blowe."

The rhyme for which Collingbourne suffered, was:

"A cat, a rat, and Lovel the dog,

"Kule all England under a hog."


The rhyme of Collingbourne is thus preserved in Heywood's

History of Edward IV, P. II:

The cat, the rat, and Lovell our dog,

"Doe rule all England under a hog.

"The crooke backt boore the way hath found

"To root our roses from our ground.

"Both flower and bud will be confound,

"Till king of beasts the swine be crown'd:

"And then the dog, the cat, and rat,
"Shall in his trough feed and be fat."

The propriety of Dr. Warburton's note, notwithstanding what Dr. Johnson hath subjoined, is fully confirmed by this satire.


The persons levelled at by this rhyme were the King, Catesby, Ratcliff, and Lovel, as appears in The Complaint of Collingbourn "Catesbye was one whom I called a cat, “A craftie lawyer catching all he could;

Thou slander of thy mother's heavy womb!
Thou loathed issue of thy father's loins!
Thou rag of honour!2 thou detested ·

Glo. Margaret.

Q. Mar.

Q. Mar.

Glo. I



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I call thee not.

cry thee mercy then; for I did think,

That thou had'st call'd me all these bitter names.
Q. Mar. Why, so I did; but look'd for no reply.
O, let me make the period to my curse.

Glo. 'Tis done by me; and ends in-Margaret.

Q. Eliz. Thus have you breath'd your curse against yourself.

"The second Ratcliffe, whom I named a rat,
"A cruel beast to gnaw on whom he should:
"Lord Lovel barkt and byt whom Richard would,
"Whom I therefore did rightly terme our dog,

"Wherewith to ryme I cald the king a hog." Malone.

1 The slave of nature,] The expression is strong and noble, and alludes to the ancient custom of masters branding their profligate slaves; by which it is insinuated that his misshapen person was the mark that nature had set upon him to stigmatize his ill conditions. Shakspeare expresses the same thought in The Comedy of Errors:

"He is deformed, crooked, &c.

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But as the speaker rises in her resentment, she expresses this contemptuous thought much more openly, and condemns him to a still worse state of slavery:

"Sin, death, and hell, have set their marks on him."

Only, in the first line, her mention of his moral conditions insinuates her reflections on his deformity: and, in the last, her mention of his deformity insinuates her reflections on his moral condition: And thus he has taught her to scold in all the elegance of figure. Warburton.

Part of Dr. Warburton's note is confirm'd by a line in our author's Rape of Lucrece, from which it appears he was acquainted with the practice of marking slaves:

"Worse than a slavish wipe, or birth-hour's blot "


2 Thou rag of honour! &c.] This word of contempt is used again in Timon:

"If thou wilt curse, thy father, that poor rag, .
"Must be the subject."

Again, in this play :

"These over-weening rags of France." Steevens.


Q. Mar. Poor painted queen, vain flourish of my for-

Why strew'st thou sugar on that bottled"spider,1
Whose deadly web ensnareth thee about?

Fool, fool! thou whet'st a knife to kill thyself.
The day will come, that thou shalt wish for me
To help thee curse this pois'nous bunch-back'd toad.
Hast. False-boding woman, end thy frantick curse;
Lest, to thy harm, thou move our patience.

Q. Mar. Foul shame upon you! you have all mov'd


Riv. Were you well serv'd, you would be taught your


Q. Mar. To serve me well, you all should do me duty,
Teach me to be your queen, and you my subjects:
O, serve me well, and teach yourselves that duty.
Dor. Dispute not with her, she is lunatick.、

Q. Mar. Peace, master marquis, you are malapert:
Your fire-new stamp of honour is scarce current:5
O, that your young nobility could judge,

What 'twere to lose it, and be miserable!

They that stand high, have many blasts to shake them;
And, if they fall, they dash themselves to pieces.

Glo. Good counsel, marry ;-learn it, learn it, marquis.
Dor. It touches you, my lord, as much as me.
Glo. Ay, and much more: But I was born so high,
Our aiery buildeth in the cedar's top,

And dallies with the wind, and scorns the sun.


flourish of my fortune!] This expression is likewise used by Massinger in The Great Duke of Florence:

66- I allow these

"As flourishings of fortune." Steevens.

·bottled spider,] A spider is called bottled, because, like other insects, he has a middle slender, and a belly protuberant. Richard's form and venom, made her liken him to a spider.


A bottled spider, is a large, bloated, glossy spider; supposed to contain venom proportionate to its size. The expression occurs again in Act IV:

"That bottled spider, that foul hunch-back'd toad." Ritson. 5 Your fire-new stamp of honour is scarce current;] Thomas Grey was created Marquis of Dorset, A. D. 1476. Percy.

The present scene, as has been already observed, is in 1477-8.

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