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LIFE AND DEATH
KING RICHARD III.
SCENE I. - London. A Street.
Gloster. Now is the winter of our discontent Made glorious summer by this sun of York;' And all the clouds, that lowr'd upon our house, In the deep bosom of the ocean bury'd. Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths; Our bruised arms hung up for monuments; Our stern alarums chang'd to merry meetings, Our dreadful marches to delightful measures.? Grim-visag'd war hath smooth'd his wrinkled front;
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.
And now, - instead of mounting barbed steeds,'
barbed steeds,] i. e. steeds capárisoned 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.
3 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,?
Enter CLARENCE, guarded, and BRAKENBURY.
Glo. Upon what cause?
Because my name is — George.
Cla. Yea, Richard, when I know; for, I protest,
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 ruld by wo
'Tis not the king, that sends you to the Tower;
Clar. By heaven, I think, there is no man secure,
Glo. Humbly complaining to her deity
Brak. I beseech your graces both to pardon me;
Glo. Even so ? an please your worship, Brakenbury,
9 The jealous o'er-worn widow, and herself.] That is the queen and Shore.
+And the queen's kindred are made gentlefolks ; How say you, sir ? can you deny all this?
Brak. With this, my lord, myself have naught to do.
lord ? Glo. Her husband, knave: — Would'st thou betray
me? Brak. I beseech your grace to pardon me; and withal, Forbear your conference with the noble duke. Clar. We know thy charge, Brakenbury, and will
obey. Glo. We are the queen’s abjects', and must obey. Brother, farewell : I will unto the king ; And whatsoe'er you will employ me in, Were it, to call king Edward's widow - sister, I will perform it, to enfranchise you. Mean time, this deep disgrace in brotherhood, Touches me deeper than you can imagine.
Clar. I know, it pleaseth neither of us well.
Glo. Well, your imprisonment shall not be long;
I must perforce; farewell.
+ “And that the queen's,” &c.- Malone.
the queen's abjects,] The most servile of her subjects, who must of course obey all her commands.
? — lie for you:] i. e. be imprisoned in your stead. To lie was anciently to reside, as appears by many instances in these volumes.