Графични страници
PDF файл

Farewel: The leisure and the fearful time
Cuts off the ceremonious vows of love, 9
And ample interchange of sweet discourse,
Which so long sunder’d friends should dwell upon ;
God give us leisure for these rites of love!
Once more, adieu :-Be valiant, and speed well!

Richm. Good lords, conduct him to his regiment:
I'll strive, with troubled thoughts, to take a nap;
Lest leaden slumber? peise me down to-morrow,2

join the earle of Richmonde at his first arrival in Englande,) the king in no wise would suffer him to depart before he had left as an hostage in the court, George Stanley, lord Strange, his first begotten son and beir.” –

“The lord Stanley lodged in the same town, (Stafford] and hearing that the earle of Richmond was marching thitherward, gave to him place, dislodging him and his,-to avoid all suspicion, being afraide least if he should be seen openly to be a factor or ayder to the earle, his son-in-law, before the day of battayle, that king Richard, which yet not utterly put him in diffidence and mistrust, would put to some evil death his son and heir apparent.”

The young nobleman whom the poet calls George Stauley, was created Baron Strange, in right of his wife, by King Edward IV, in 1482. Malone.

The leisure and the fearful time Guts of the ceremonious vows of love,] We have still a phrase equivalent to this, however harsh it may seem, I would do this, if leisure would permit, where leisure, as in this passage, stands for want of leisure. So again:

More than I have said, -
" The leisure and enforcement of the time

“ Forbids to dwell upon.”- Johnson That is, the small degree of leisure we have. M. Mason. i Lest leaden slumber -] So, in our author's Rape of Lucrece: “Now lựaden slumber with life's strength doth fight.”

Malone. -peise me down to-morrow,] Thus the old copies. The modern editions read-poize. To peize, i. e. to weigh down, from peser, French.

I meet with this word in the old play of The Raigne of King Eilward the Third, 1596:

And peize their deeds with heavy weight of lead.” Again, in All for Momey, 1574:

“Then if you counterpeaze me learning with money.' Again, in Christopher Middleton's Legend of Humphrey Duke of Glocester, 1600:

“Nor was her schooles peisd down with golden waights.” See notes on The Merchant of Venice, Vol. IV, p. 368. Steevens.


When I should mount with wings of victory:
Once more, good night, kind lords and gentlemen.

[Exeunt Lords, &c. with Stan.
O Thou! whose captain I account myself,
Look on my forces with a gracious eye;
Put in their hands thy bruising irons 3 of wrath,
That they may crush down with a heavy fall
The usurping helmets of our adversaries!
Make us thy ministers of chastisement,
That we may praise thee in thy victory!
To thee I do commend my watchful soul,
Ere I let fall the windows of mine eyes;%
Sleeping, and waking, 0, defend me still !

[Sleeps. The Ghosts of Prince EDWARD, Son to Henry the

Sixth, rises between the two Tents.
Ghost. Let me sit heavy on thy soul to-morrow !6

[To K. Rich


- bruising irons -] The allusion is to the ancient mace.

Henley 4 Ere I let fall the windows of mine eyes ;] So, in Romeo and Juliet :

- thy eyes' windows fall “ Like death." Steevens. 5 The Ghost &c.] This circumstance is likewise found in Ni. chols's Legend of King Richard III, (inserted in The Mirrour for Magistrates, edit. 1619,) and was apparently imitated from Shakspeare:

“ As in my tent on slumbring bed I lie,

“ Horrid aspects appear'd unto mine eye:
“I thought that all those murder'd ghosts, whom I

“By death bad sent to their untimely grave,
“ With baleful noise about my tent did crye,
“ And of the heavens, with sad complaint, did crave

“That they on guilty wretch might vengeance have.” His terror on waking is likewise very forcibly described.

Drayton, in the 22d Song of his Polyolbion, may likewise have borrowed from our author:

“Where to the guilty king, the black forerunning night,
“ Appear the dreadful ghosts of Henry and his son,
“Of his own brother George and his two nephews, done
“Most cruelly to death; and of his wife, and friend
"Lord Hastings, with pale hands prepard as they would

“ Him piece-meal; at which oft he roareth in his sleep."

Steevene. The account given by Polydore Virgil, which was copied by

Think, how thou stab’dst me in my prime of youthi
At Tewksbury; Despair, therefore, and die!
Be cheerful, Richmond; for the wronged souls
Of butcher'd princes fight in thy behalf:
King Henry's issue, Richmond, comforts thee.

The Ghost of King HENRY the Sixth rises.
Ghost. When I was mortal, my anointed body

[To K. Rich By thee was punched full of deadly holes: 7 Think on the Tower, and me; Despair, and die; Harry the sixth bids thee despair and die!

Virtuous and holy, be thou conqueror! [TO RICHM.
Harry, that prophecy'd thou should'st be king,
Doth comfort thee in thy sleep; Live, and flourish!9-

The Ghost of CLARENCE rises.
Ghost. Let me sit heavy on thy soul to-morrow!

[70 K. RICH


Hall and Holinshed, is as follows: “The fame went, that he had the same night (the night before the battle of Bosworth) a dread. ful and a terrible dream; for it seemed to him being aslepe, that he saw diverse ymages lyke terrible devilles, which pulled and haled him, not sufferynge him to take any quiet or reste. The which straunge vision not so soday.nly strake his heart with a sodayne feare, but it stuffed his head and troubled his mind with many busy and dreadful imaginations. And least that it might be suspected that he was abashed for fear of his enemies, and for that cause looked so piteously, le recited and declared to his familiar friends, of the morning, his wonderfull vysion, and fearfull dreame." I quote from Holinshed, because he was Shakspeare's authority.

Polydore Virgil, as I have already observed, began to write his history about twenty years after Richard's death Malone.

See p. 125, 11. 5. Steedens. 6 Let me sit heavy on thy soul to-morrow'] So, in King Richard II:

“Be Mowbray's sins so heavy in his bosom." Steevens. 7. By thee was punched full of deadly holes:) The word punched, which sounds but meanly to our ears, is also employed by Chapman in his version of the sixth Iliad:

- with a goad he punch'd each furious dame.” Steevens. 8 Harry that prophecy'd thou shoul.l'st be king,] The prophecy, to which this allusion is made, was uttered in one of the parts of Henry the Sixth Johnson

See Vol. X, p. 393, n 3. Malone.

9 Doth comfort thee in thy sleep; Live, and flourish!'] Surely, we should read with Sir Thomas Hammer:

Doth comfort thee in sleep; Live thou and flourish! Steevens

I, that was wash'd to death with fulsome wine,
Poor Clarence, by thy guile betray'd to death!
To-morrow in the battle think on me,
And fall thy edgeless sword;" Despair, and die !
Thou offspring of the house of Lancaster,

The wronged heirs of York do pray for thee;
Good angels guard thy battle! Live, and flourish!
The Ghosts of Rivers, GREY, and VAUGHAN, rise.
Riv. Let me sit heavy on thy soul to-morrow,

[ To K. Rich. Rivers, that died at Pomfret! Despair, and die! Grey. Think upon Grey, and let thy soul despair!

[To K. Rich. Vaugh. Think upon Vaughan; and, with guilty fear, Let fall thy lance! Despair, and die !- [To K. Rich All. Awake! and think, our wrongs in Richard's bo

[T. Richm. Will conquer him ;-awake, and win the day!

The Ghost of Hastings rises. Ghost. Bloody and guilty, guiltily awake;

[To K. Rich. And in a bloody battle end thy days! Think on lord Hastings; and despair, and die !

Quiet untroubled soul, awake, awake! [To Richm. Arm, fight, and conquer, for fair England's sake!

The Ghosts of the Two young Princes rise. Ghosts. Dream on thy cousins smother'd in the Tower; Let us be lead within thy bosom, Richard, 3



- with fulsome wine, ] Fulsome, was sometimes used, I think, in the sense of unctuous. The wine in which the body of Clarence was thrown, was Malmsey. Malonc.

If Clarence had been choked by this wine, he might fairly enough have employed the epithet fulsome in its vulgar and accepted sense.-Shakspeare, however, seems to have forgot him. self. The Duke (as appears from Act I, sc. ult.) was killed before he was thrown into the Malmsey butt, and consequently could not be washed to death. Steevens.

2 And fall thy edgeless sword;] Fall, in the present instance, is a verb active, signifying to drop, or let fall. So, in Othello:

“ If that the earth could teem with woman's tears,

“ Each drop she falls would prove a crocodile.” Steevens. 3 Let us be lead within thy bosom, Richard,] [The first folio &co

And weigh thee down to ruin, shame, and death!
Thy nephews' souls bid thee despair, and die.

Sleep, Richmond, sleep in peace, and wake in joy;
Good angels guard thee from the boar's annoy!
Live, and beget a happy race of kings!
Edward's unhappy sons do bid thee flourish.

The Ghost of Queen Anne rises. Ghost. Richard, thy wife, that wretched Anne thy wife, That never slept a quiet hour with thee, Now fills thy sleep with perturbations: To-morrow in the battle think on me, And fall thy edgeless sword; Despair, and die Thou, quiet soul, sleep thou a quiet sleep;

[To RichM. Dream of success and happy victory; Thy adversary's wife doth pray for thee.

The Ghost of BuckINGHAM rises. Ghost. The first was I, that help'd thee to the crown;

[To K. Rich. The last was I, that felt thy tyranny: o, in the battle think on Buckingham,

-laid.] This is a poor feeble reading. I havo rostored from the elder quarto, published in 1597, which Mr. Pope does not pretend to have seen:

Let us be lead within thy bosom, Richard." This corresponds with what is said in the line immediately fol. lowing:

" And weigh iiiee down to ruin, shame, and death!” Theobalu. 4 That never slept a quiet hour with thee,] Shakspeare was probably here thinking of Sir Thomas More's animated description of Richard, which Holinshed transcribed: “I have heard (says Sir Thomas) by creditable report of such as were secret with his chamberlaine, that after this abominable deed done [the murder of his nephews] he never had quiet in his mind. He never thought himself sure where he went abroad; his eves whirled about; his body privily fenced; his hand ever upon his dagger; his countenance and manner like one always readie to strike againe. He tooke ill rest a-nights; lay long waking and musing, sore wearied with care and watch; rather slumbered than slept, troubled with fearfull dreames, sodainely sometime start up, leapt our of bed, and ran about the chamber; so was his restless heart continually tost and tumbled with the tedious impression and stormy remembrances of his abominable deede."

With such a companion well might Anne say, that she never slept one quict hour. . Malone.

« ПредишнаНапред »