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ACT II.....SCENE I.

The same. A Room in the Palace.

Enter King EDWARD, (led in sick) Queen ELIZABETH, DORSET, RIVERS, HASTINGS, BUCKINGHAM, GREY, and Others.

K. Edw. Why, so;-now have I done a good day's work ;

You peers, continue this united league:

I every day expect an embassage

From my Redeemer to redeem me hence;
And more in peace1 my soul shall part to heaven,
Since I have made my friends at peace on earth.
Rivers, and Hastings, take each other's hand;
Dissemble not your hatred,2 swear your love.

Riv. By heaven, my soul is purg'd' from grudging
hate;

And with my hand I seal my true heart's love.
Hast. So thrive I, as I truly swear the like!
K. Edw. Take heed, you dally not before your king;
Lest he, that is the supreme King of kings,
Confound your hidden falsehood, and award
Either of you to be the other's end.

Hast. So prosper I, as I swear perfect love!
Riv. And I, as I love Hastings with my heart!
K. Edw. Madam, yourself are not exempt in this,-
Nor your son Dorset,-Buckingham, nor you;—
You have been factious one against the other.
Wife, love lord Hastings, let him kiss your hand;
And what you do, do it unfeignedly.

Q. Eliz. There, Hastings;-I will never more remem

ber

Our former hatred, So thrive I, and mine!

1 And more in peace

] The folio-more to peace. The quarto -And now in peace · Steevens.

2 Dissemble not your hatred,] i. e do not gloss it over. Steevens. I suppose he means, Divest yourselves of that concealed hatred which you have heretofore secretly borne to each other. Do not merely, says Edward, conceal and cover over your secret ill will to each other, by a show of love, but eradicate hatred altogether from your bosoms. Malone.

K. Edw. Dorset, embrace him,-Hastings, love lord

marquis.

Dor. This interchange of love, I here protest,

Upon my part, shall be inviolable.

Hast. And so swear I.

[Embraces Dor.

K. Edw. Now, princely Buckingham, seal thou this

league

With thy embracements to my wife's allies,

And make me happy in your unity.

Buck. Whenever Buckingham doth turn his hate Upon your grace, [to the QUEEN] but with all duteous

love

Doth cherish you, and yours, God punish me

With hate in those where I expect most love!
When I have most need to employ a friend,
And most assured that he is a friend,
Deep, hollow, treacherous, and full of guile,
Be he unto me! this do I beg of heaven,
When I am cold in love, to you, or yours.

[Embracing RIV. &c. K. Edw. A pleasing cordial, princely Buckingham,

Is this thy vow unto my sickly heart.

There wanteth now our brother Gloster here,
To make the blessed period of this peace.

Buck. And, in good time, here comes the noble duke.
Enter GLOSTER.

Glo. Good-morrow to my sovereign king, and queen; And, princely peers, a happy time of day!

K. Edw. Happy, indeed, as we have spent the day
Brother, we have done deeds of charity;
Made peace of enmity, fair love of hate,
Between these swelling wrong-incensed

peers.

Glo. A blessed labour, my most sovereign liege.Among this princely heap, if any here, By false intelligence, or wrong surmise, Hold me a foe;

If I unwittingly, or in my rage,

3

here comes the noble duke ] So the quarto. The folio reads: "And in good time

"Here comes Sir Richard Ratcliffe and the duke." Malone. 4 If I unwittingly, or in my rage,] So the quarto. Folio-unwillingly. This line and the preceding hemistich are printed in

Have aught committed that is hardly borne
By any in this presence, I desire

To reconcile me to his friendly peace:
'Tis death to me, to be at enmity;

of you,

I hate it, and desire all good men's love.-
First, madam, I entreat true peace
Which I will purchase with my duteous service ;—
Of you, my noble cousin Buckingham,

If ever any grudge were lodg'd between us;—
Of you, lord Rivers, and lord Grey, of you.—
That all without desert have frown'd on me;5.
Dukes, earls, lords, gentlemen; indeed, of all.
I do not know that Englishman alive,
With whom my soul is any jot at odds,
More than the infant that is born to-night;
I thank my God for my humility,

the old copies, as one line; a mistake that has very frequently happened in the early editions of these plays. Mr. Pope, by whose licentious alterations our author's text was much corrupted, omitted the words-or in my rage; in which he has been followed by all the subsequent editors. Malone.

5

quarto.

-frown'd on me;] I have followed the original copy in The folio here adds

"Of you, lord Woodville, and lord Scales, of you;-" The eldest son of Earl Rivers was Lord Scales; but there was no such person as Lord Woodville. Malone.

6 I do not know &c.] Milton in his EIKONOKAAΣTH Σ, has this observation: "The poets, and some English, have been in this point so mindful of decorum, as to put never more pious words in the mouth of any person, than of a tyrant. I shall not instance an abstruse author, wherein the king might be less conversant, but one whom we well know was the closet companion of these his solitudes, William Shakspeare; who introduced the person of Richard the Third, speaking in as high a strain of piety and mortification as is uttered in any passage in this book, and sometimes to the same sense and purpose with some words in this place; I intended, saith he, not only to oblige my friends, but my enemies. The like saith Richard, Act II, sc. i:

"I do not know that Englishman alive,
"With whom my soul is any jot at odds,
"More than the infant that is born to-night;
"I thank my god for my humility."

Other stuff of this sort may be read throughout the tragedy, wherein the poet used not much licence in departing from the truth of history, which delivers him a deep dissembler, not of his affections only, but of religion." Steevens.

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Q. Eliz. A holy-day shall this be kept hereafter:-
I would to God, all strifes were well compounded.-
My sovereign lord, I do beseech your highness
To take our brother Clarence to your grace.

Glo. Why, madam, have I offer'd love for this,
To be so flouted in this royal presence?
Who knows not, that the gentle duke is dead?

You do him injury, to scorn his corse.

[They all start.

K. Edw. Who knows not, he is dead! who knows he is? Q. Eliz. All-seeing heaven, what a world is this! Buck. Look I so pale, lord Dorset, as the rest? Dor. Ay, my good lord; and no man in the presence, But his red colour hath forsook his cheeks.

K. Edw. Is Clarence dead? the order was revers'd. Glo. But he, poor man, by your first order died, And that a winged Mercury did bear;

-

Some tardy cripple bore the countermand,7
That came too lag to see him buried:-
God grant, that some, less noble, and less loyal,
Nearer in bloody thoughts, and not in blood,
Deserve not worse than wretched Clarence did,
And yet go current from suspicion!

Enter STANLEY.

8

Stan. A boon, my sovereign, for my service done! K. Edw. I pr'ythee, peace; my soul is full of sorrow. Stan. I will not rise, unless your highness hear me. K. Edw. Then say at once, what is it thou request'st. Stan. The forfeit, sovereign, of my servant's life; Who slew to-day a riotous gentleman,

Lately attendant on the duke of Norfolk.

K. Edw. Have I a tongue to doom my brother's death,1

7 Some tardy cripple &c.] This is an allusion to a proverbial expression which Drayton has versified in the second canto of The Barons' Wars:

"Ill news hath wings, and with the wind doth go;
"Comfort 's a cripple, and comes ever slow."

Steevens.

8 Nearer in bloody thoughts, and not in blood,] In Macbeth we have the same play on words:

66 the near in blood,

"The nearer bloody." Steevens.

9 The forfeit, He means the remission of the forfeit. Johnson. 1 Have I a tongue to doom my brother's death,] This lamentation is very tender and pathetick. The recollection of the good qua.

And shall that tongue give pardon to a slave?
́My brother kill'd no man, his fault was thought,
And yet his punishment was bitter death.

Who sued to me for him? who, in my wrath,
Kneel'd at my feet, and bade me be advis'd?3
Who spoke of brotherhood? who spoke of love?
Who told me, how the poor soul did forsake
The mighty Warwick, and did fight for me?
Who told me, in the field at Tewksbury,
When Oxford had me down, he rescu'd me,
And said, Dear brother, live, and be a king?
Who told me, when we both lay in the field,
Frozen almost to death, how he did lap me
Even in his garments; and did give himself,
All thin and naked, to the numb-cold night?
All this from my remembrance brutish wrath
Sinfully pluck'd, and not a man of you
Had so much grace to put it in my mind.
But, when your carters, or your waiting-vassals,
Have done a drunken slaughter, and defac'd
The precious image of our dear Redeemer,
You straight are on your knees for pardon, pardon;
And I, unjustly too, must grant it you:-
But for my brother, not a man would speak,-
Nor I (ungracious) speak unto myself
For him, poor soul. The proudest of you all
Have been beholden to him in his life;

lities of the dead is very natural, and no less naturally does the King endeavour to communicate the crime to others. Johnson.

2 Who sued to me for him? &c.] This pathetick speech is founded on this slight hint in Sir Thomas More's History of Edward V, inserted by Holinshed in his Chronicle: "Sure it is, that although king Edward were consenting to his death, yet he much did both lament his infortunate chance, and repent his sudden execution. Insomuch that when any person sued to him for the pardon of malefactors condemned to death, he would accustomablie say, and openly speake, O infortunate brother, for whose life not one would make suite! openly and apparently meaning by suche words that by the means of some of the nobilitie he was deceived, and brought to his confusion." Malone.

2

be advis'd?] i. e. deliberate; consider what I was about to do. So, in The Letters of the Paston Family, Vol. II, p. 279: "Written in haste with short advisement," &c. See also, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Vol. II, p. 179, n. 3. Malone.

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