« VorigeDoorgaan »
whence probably the modern French blouse), with circles), but the robe, or gown, was worn appears to have been a sort of supertunic or | so long that little more than the tips of the
toes are seen in illuminations or effigies of the it is said to have been lined with fur. The twelfth and thirteenth centuries, and the colour common Norman mantle used for travelling, or is generally black, though there can be no out-of-door exercise, had a capuchon to it, and doubt they were occasionally of cloth of gold or was called the capa.
silver richly embroidered. The capuchon, or hood, with which this Gloves do not appear to have been generally garment was furnished, appears to have been worn by females; but, as marks of nobility, the usual covering for the head ; but hats and when they were worn they were jewelled on the caps, the former of the shape of the classical
back. Petasus, and the latter sometimes of the Phry. The mantle and robe or tunic, of the effigy gian form, and sometimes flat and round like of Queen Eleanor, are embroidered all over with the Scotch bonnet, are occasionally met with golden crescents. This may have been some during the twelfth century. The beaux, how- family badge, as the crescent and star are seen ever, during John's reign, curled and crisped on the great seal of Richard I., and that monarch their hair with irons, and bound only a slight is said to have possessed a mantle nearly covered fillet round the head, seldom wearing caps, in with half moons and orbs of shining silver. order that their locks might be seen and ad- The armour of the time consisted of a hauberk mired. The beard was closely shaven, but and chausses made of leather, covered with ironJohn and the nobles of his party are said to rings set up edgewise in regular rows, and firmly have worn both beard and moustache, out of stitched upon it, or with small overlapping scales contempt for the discontented Barons. The of metal like the Lorica squamata of the Rofashion of gartering up the long hose, or Nor- | mans. man chausses, sandal-wise prevailed amongst The hauberk had a capuchon attached to it, all classes; and when, on the legs of persons of which could be pulled over the head or thrown rank, these bandages are seen of gold stuff, the back at pleasure. Under this was sometimes effect is very gorgeous and picturesque.
worn a close iron skull-cap, and at others the The dress of the ladies may best be under-hood itself was surmounted by a “chapel de stood from an examination of the effigies of fer," or a large cylindrical helmet, flattened at Eleanor, Queen of Henry II., and of Isabella, top, the face being defended by a perforated Queen of King John, and the figure of Blanch plate or grating, called the “aventaile" (avant of Castile on her great seal. Although these taille), fastened by screws or hinges to the helpersonages are represented in what may be met. A variety of specimens of this early called royal costume, the general dress differed vizored head-piece may be seen on the seals of nothing in form, however it might in material. the Counts of Flanders in Olivarius Vredius' It consisted of one long full robe or gown, History; and the seal of Prince Lewis of girdled round the waist, and high in the neck, France (one of the personages of this play) exwith long tight sleeves to the wrist in the hibits a large and most clumsy helmet of this Sloane MS. above mentioned the hanging cuffs description. The seal of King John presents in fashion about forty years earlier appear upon us with a figure of the monarch wearing over one figure); the collar sometimes fastened with his armour the military surcoat as yet undistina brooch; the head bound by a band or fillet of guished by armorial blazonry. On his head is jewels, and covered with the wimple or veil. either a cylindrical helmet, without the avenTo the girdle was appended, occasionally, a taile, or a cap of cloth or fur. It is difficult, small pouch or aulmoniere. The capa was used from the state of the impressions, to decide in travelling, and in winter pelisses (Pelices, which. He bears the knightly shield, assuming pelissons) richly furred [whence the name) were at this period the triangular or heater shape, worn under it.
but exceedingly curved or embowed, and emKing John orders a gray pelisson with nine blazoned with the three lions, or leopards, pasbars of fur to be made for the Queen. Short sant regardant, in pale, which are first seen on boots, as well as shoes, were worn by the ladies. the shield of his brother, Richard I. The King orders four pairs of women's boots, The spur worn at this period was the goad or one of them to be fretatus de giris (embroidered pryck spur, without a rowel. The principal weapons of the knights were the lance, the nelli, to be made for the King's service, and to sword, and the battle-axe. The shape of the let Droyo de Dieppe and his companions have sword may be best ascertained from the effigy iron and other things necessary for making of of King John, who holds one in his hand; the them. Philip sent to his son Louis a military pommel is diamond shaped, and has an oval engine called the malvoisine (bad neighbour), cavity in the centre for a jewel.
to batter the walls of Dover Castle. The common soldiery fought with bills, long. The costume of the following personages of and cross-bows, slings, clubs, and a variety of the drama will be found in their portraits which rude but terrific weapons, such as scythes are introduced into the Historical Illustrations : fastened to poles (the falcastrum), and a sort -King John, Queen Elinor, King Philip, Prince of spear, with a hook on one side, called the Lewis, Blanch of Castile, Salisbury, Pembroke, guisarme. The arbalaste, or cross-bow, is said Henry III. We have, however, endeavoured to to have been invented in the previous reign, 'give a general impression of the military and but Ware mentions it as having been known to priestly costume of the period, in the following the Normans before the Conquest. In the close group, which refers to the oath taken by the rolls of John is an order, dated 2nd April, 1208, English barons interchangeably with Prince to the bailiff of Porchester, to cause machines Lewis and his knights, for flinging stones, called petrariæ and mango
“Upon the altar at St. Edmund's-Bury."
The first edition was published, in 1597, under the title of The Tragedy of King Richard the Second.' Four editions in quarto appeared before the folio of 1623. But all that part of the fourth act in which Richard is introduced to make the surrender of his crown, comprising one hundred and fifty-four lines, was never printed in the age of Elizabeth. The quarto of 1608 first gives this scene.
We scarcely know how to approach this drama, even for the purpose of a few remarks upon its characteristics. We are almost afraid to trust our own admiration when we turn to the cold criticism by which opinion in this country has been wont to be governed. We have been told that it cannot “be said much to affect the passions or enlarge the understanding.". It may be so. And yet, we think, it might somewhat "affect the passions," — for “gorgeous tragedy” hath here put on her "scepter'd pall," and if she bring not Terror in her train, Pity, at least, claims the sad story for her own. And yet it may somewhat "enlarge the understanding,”—for, though it abound not in those sententious moralities which may fitly adorn "a theme at school," it lays bare more than one human bosom with a most searching
anatomy; and, in the moral and intellectual strength and weakness of humanity, which it discloses with as much precision as the scalpel reveals to the student of our physical nature the symptoms of health or disease, may we read the proximate and final causes of this world's success or loss, safety or danger, honour or disgrace, elevation or ruin. And then, moreover, the profound truths which, half-hidden to the careless reader, are to be drawn out from this drama, are contained in such a splendid frame-work of the picturesque and the poetical, that the setting of the jewel almost distracts our attention from the jewel itself. We are here plunged into the midst of the fierce passions and the gorgeous pageantries of the antique time. We not only enter the halls and galleries, where is hung
“Armoury of the invincible knights of old," but we see the beaver closed, and the spear in rest :-under those cuirasses are hearts knocking against the steel with almost more than mortal rage ;—the banners wave, the trumpet sounds—heralds and marshals are ready to salute the victor-but the absolute king casts down his warder, and the anticipated triumph of one proud champion must end in the unmerited disgrace of both. The transition is easy from the tourney to the
battle-field. A nation must bleed that a - the real merits and the popular attributes subject may be avenged. A crown is to be of him who came to redress and to repair. played for, though
In the other scale were to be placed the afflic* Tumultuous wars
tions of fallen greatness—the revenge and Shall kin with kin and kind with kind confound." treachery by which the fall was produced The luxurious lord
the heartburnings and suspicions which
accompany every great revolution - the " That every day under his household roof Did keep ten thousand men"
struggles for power which ensue when the
established and legitimate authority is thrust perishes in a dungeon ;-the crafty usurper
from its seat. All these phases, personal sits upon his throne, but it is undermined
and political, of a deposition and an usurpby the hatreds even of those who placed him
ation, Shakspere has exhibited with marvelon it. Here is, indeed, “a kingdom for a
lons impartiality. stage.” And has the greatest of poets dealt
It is in the same lofty spirit of impartiality with such a subject without affecting the
which governs the general sentiments of this passions or enlarging the understanding?
drama that Shakspere has conceived the Away with this. We will trust our own
mixed character of Richard. If we compare admiration.
every account, we must say that the Richard II. It is the wonderful subjection of the poeti
of Shakspere is rigidly the true Richard. cal power to the higher law of truth—to the
The poet is the truest historian in all that poetical truth, which is the highest truth,
belongs to the higher attributes of history. comprehending and expounding the histori
But with this surpassing dramatic truth in cal truth-which must furnish the clue to
the 'Richard II.,' perhaps, after all, the most the proper understanding of the drama of
wonderful thing in the whole play-that Richard II.' It appears to us that, when
which makes it so exclusively and entirely the poet first undertook
Shaksperian-is the evolvement of the truth " to ope
under the poetical form. The character of The purple testament of bleeding war,"
Richard, especially, is entirely subordinated to unfold the roll of the causes and conse to the poetical conception of it-to somequences of that usurpation of the house of thing higher than the historical propriety, Lancaster which plunged three or four gene yet including all that historical propriety, rations of Englishmen in bloodshed and and calling it forth under the most striking misery–he approaches the subject with an aspects. All the vacillations and weaknesses inflexibility of purpose as totally removed as of the king, in the hands of an artist like it was possible to be from the levity of a Sbakspere, are reproduced with the most partisan. There were to be weighed in one natural and vivid colours; so as to display scale the follies, the weaknesses, the crimes their own characteristic effects, in combinaof Richard—the injuries of Bolingbroke tion with the principle of poetical beauty, the insults which the capricious despotism which carries them into a higher region than of the king had heaped upon his nobles the the perfect command over the elements of exactions under which the people groaned | strong individualization could alone produce.