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Would not have touch'd, would not have stain'd

with blood:

But you are more inhuman, more inexorable,
O, ten times more, than tigers of Hyrcania.
See, ruthless queen, a hapless father's tears:
This cloth thou dip'dst in blood of my sweet boy,
And I with tears do wash the blood away.
Keep thou the napkin, and go boast of this:
And if thou tell'st the heavy story right,
Upon my soul, the hearers will shed tears;
Yea, even my foes will shed fast-falling tears,
And say, ‘Alas, it was a piteous deed!'


There, take the crown, and, with the crown, my


And in thy need such comfort come to thee As now I reap at thy too cruel hand! Hard-hearted Clifford, take me from the world: My soul to heaven, my blood upon your heads! North. Had he been slaughter-man to all my kin, I should not for my life but weep with him, 170 To see how inly sorrow gripes his soul.

Q. Mar. What, weeping-ripe, my Lord Northumberland?

Think but upon the wrong he did us all,

And that will quickly dry thy melting tears. Clif. Here's for my oath, here's for my father's


[Stabbing him. Q. Mar. And here's to right our gentle-hearted

king. [Stabbing him. York. Open Thy gate of mercy, gracious God!

169. "to all"; Capell (from Qq.), "of all."-I. G.

My soul flies through these wounds to seek out



Q. Mar. Off with his head, and set it on York


So York may overlook the town of York.


[Flourish. Exeunt.

180. So in Holinshed: "After this victorie, the earle of Salisburie and all the prisoners were sent to Pomfret, and there beheaded; whose heads, togither with the duke of Yorkes head, were conveied to Yorke, and there set on poles over the gate of the city." -All, it should seem, must needs agree that this scene is one of the very best in the whole play. Its logic and its pathos are eminently Shakespearean; and the coloring of Margaret bespeaks, throughout, the same hand which, after a few years more of practice, wrought out the terrible portrait of lady Macbeth. Yet of the 180 lines which the scene contains, only 26 were altered from the quarto, and 19 added in the folio. And of those additions 15 lines are in York's speech at the beginning, while many of the alterations are of a very trifling kind, such as the following:

Quarto. "So doves do peck the raven's piercing talons."
Folio. "So doves do peck the falcon's piercing talons."
Quarto. "That aim'd at mountains with outstretched arm.”
Folio. "That raught at mountains with outstretched arms.”
Quarto. "Look, York: I dipp'd this napkin in the blood."
Folio. "Look, York: I stain'd this napkin with the blood."
Quarto. "Is crown'd so soon, and broke his holy oath.”
Folio. "Is crown'd so soon, and broke his solemn oath."

Moreover, nearly all the pith, marrow, and spirit of the scene are in the quarto, there being even less of improvement than of enlargement in the folio. And yet, according to the more current notion, of this, undoubtedly the most Shakespearean scene but one in the play, only 19 lines were original with Shakespeare; if, indeed, that can be called originality, which gives no new thoughts, but merely amplifies the old. And Malone's celebrated argument was to vindicate Shakespeare from the reproach of having written, into the honor of having stolen, the 161 lines of this scene, either taken whole or slightly altered from the quarto!-H. N. H.

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A plain near Mortimer's Cross in Herefordshire.

A march. Enter Edward, Richard, and

their power.

Edw. I wonder how our princely father 'scaped, Or whether he be 'scaped away or no

From Clifford's and Northumberland's pursuit. Had he been ta'en, we should have heard the news;

Had he been slain, we should have heard the


Or had he 'scaped, methinks we should have heard

The happy tidings of his good escape.


How fares my brother? why is he so sad? Rich. I cannot joy, until I be resolved Where our right valiant father is become. I saw him in the battle range about; And watch'd him how he singled Clifford forth. Methought he bore him in the thickest troop As doth a lion in a herd of neat;

Or as a bear, encompass'd round with dogs,

14. "Neat," says Richardson, "seems properly to denote horned cattle, from the A. S. Hnit-an, cornu petere, to butt or strike with the horn."-H. N. H.


Who having pinch'd a few and made them cry, The rest stand all aloof, and bark at him. So fared our father with his enemies; So fled his enemies my warlike father: Methinks, 'tis prize enough to be his son. See how the morning opes her golden gates, And takes her farewell of the glorious sun! How well resembles it the prime of youth, Trimm'd like a younker prancing to his love! Edw. Dazzle mine eyes, or do I see three suns? Rich. Three glorious suns, each one a perfect sun; Not separated with the racking clouds, But sever'd in a pale clear-shining sky. See, see! they join, embrace, and seem to kiss, As if they vow'd some league inviolable: Now are they but one lamp, one light, one sun. In this the heaven figures some event.


Edw. 'Tis wondrous strange, the like yet never heard of.

I think it cites us, brother, to the field,
That we, the sons of brave Plantagenet,
Each one already blazing by our meeds,

Should notwithstanding join our lights to-

20. "Methinks, 'tis prize enough to be his son"; Ff.; Warburton (from Qq.), "pride."—I. G.

32. The battle of Mortimer's Cross took place February 2, 1461, and the event of the text is spoken of by the chroniclers as having happened on the morning of that day: “At which time the sunne, as some write, appeared to the earle of March like three sunnes, and suddenlie joined altogither in one. Upon which sight he tooke such courage, that he fiercelie setting on his enemies put them to flight: and for this cause men imagined, that he gave the sunne in his full brightnesse for his badge or cognizance."-H. N. H.


And over-shine the earth as this the world. Whate'er it bodes, henceforward will I bear Upon my target three fair-shining suns. Rich. Nay, bear three daughters: by your leave I speak it,

You love the breeder better than the male.

Enter a Messenger.

But what art thou, whose heavy looks foretell Some dreadful story hanging on thy tongue? Mess. Ah, one that was a woful looker-on

When as the noble Duke of York was slain,
Your princely father and my loving lord!

Edw. O, speak no more, for I have heard too much.
Rich. Say how he died, for I will hear it all.
Mess. Environed he was with many foes,


And stood against them, as the hope of Troy
Against the Greeks that would have enter'd

But Hercules himself must yield to odds;
And many strokes, though with a little axe,
Hew down and fell the hardest-timber'd oak.
By many hands your father was subdued;
But only slaughter'd by the ireful arm
Of unrelenting Clifford and the queen,

Who crown'd the gracious duke in high despite,
Laugh'd in his face; and when with grief he

The ruthless queen gave him to dry his cheeks 61
A napkin steeped in the harmless blood

Of sweet young Rutland, by rough Clifford

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