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King EDWARD the Fourth.
EDWARD, Prince of Wales, afterwards
K. Edward V.
-Sons to the King.
RICHARD, Duke of York.
GEORGE, Duke of Clarence,
RICHARD, Duke of Gloster, af-Brothers to the King. terwards King Richard III.
A young Son of Clarence.
HENRY, Earl of Richmond, afterwards K. Henry VII. Cardinal BOURCHIER, Archbishop of Canterbury. THOMAS ROTHERHAM, Archbishop of York. JOHN MORTON, Bishop of Ely.
Duke of BUCKINGHAM.
Duke of NORFOLK: Earl of SURREY, his Son.
Sir THOMAS VAUGHAN. Sir RICHARD RATCLIFF.
ELIZABETH, Queen of King Edward IV.
MARGARET, Widow of King Henry VI.
Duchess of YORK, Mother to King Edward IV. Clarence, and Gloster.
Lady ANNE, Widow of Edward Prince of Wales, Son to King Henry VI.; afterwards married to the Duke of Gloster.
A young Daughter of Clarence.
Lords, and other Attendants; two Gentlemen, a Pursuivant, Scrivener, Citizens, Murderers, Messengers, Ghosts, Soldiers, &c.
LIFE AND DEATH
KING RICHARD III.
SCENE I.-London. A Street.
Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this sun of York;1
Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths;
1- this sun of York ;] Alluding to the cognizance of Edward IV. which was a sun, in memory of the three suns, which are said to have appeared at the battle which he gained over the Lancastrians at Mortimer's Cross.
- delightful measures.] A measure was, strictly speaking, a court dance of a stately turn, though the word is sometimes employed to express dances in general.
To fright the souls of fearful adversaries,
instead of mounting barbed steeds,"
But I,—that am not shap'd for sportive tricks,
I, that am rudely stamp'd, and want love's majesty,
I, that am curtail'd of this fair proportion,
barbed steeds,] i. e. steeds caparisoned in a warlike manner. Barbed, however, may be no more than a corruption of barded. Equus bardatus, in the Latin of the middle ages, was a horse adorned with military trappings.
4 He capers-] War capers. This is poetical, though a little harsh; if it be York that capers, the antecedent is at such a distance, that it is almost forgotten.
5 Cheated of feature by dissembling nature,] By dissembling is not meant hypocritical nature, that pretends one thing, and does another: but nature that puts together things of a dissimilar kind, as a brave soul and a deformed body. Feature is used here, as in other pieces of the same age, for beauty in general.
6 And therefore, since I cannot prove a lover,] Shakspeare very diligently inculcates, that the wickedness of Richard proceeded from his deformity, from the envy that rose at the comparison of his own person with others, and which incited him to disturb the pleasures that he could not partake. JOHNSON.
Plots have I laid, inductions dangerous,"
Dive, thoughts, down to my soul! here Clarence comes.
Enter CLARENCE, guarded, and BRAKENBURY.
Brother, good day: What means this armed guard
Cla. Yea, Richard, when I know; for, I protest,
And, for my name of George begins with G,
inductions dangerous,] Preparations for mischief. The induction is preparatory to the action of the play.
toys-] Fancies, freaks of imagination.
Glo. Why, this it is, when men are rul'd by wo
'Tis not the king, that sends you to the Tower;
Was it not she, and that good man of worship,
Clar. By heaven, I think, there is no man secure,
Glo. Humbly complaining to her deity
The jealous o'er-worn widow, and herself,9
Brak. I beseech your graces both to pardon me;
Glo. Even so? an please your worship, Brakenbury,
A bonny eye, a passing pleasing tongue;
9 The jealous o'er-worn widow, and herself,] That is, the queen