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King EDWARD the Fourth.
EDWARD, Prince of Wales, afterwards
K. Edward V.
RICHARD, Duke of York.
GEORGE, Duke of Clarence,
Sons to the King.
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.
Duke of NORFOLK: Earl of SURREY, his Son.
Sir THOMAS VAUGHAN. Sir RICHARD RATCLIFF.
Lord Mayor of London. Sheriff of Wiltshire.
ELIZABETH, Queen of King Edward IV.
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
Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths;
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
express dances in general.
And now, instead of mounting barbed steeds,3
To fright the souls of fearful adversaries, —
But I, that am not shap'd for sportive tricks,
Nor made to court an amorous looking-glass;
I, that am rudely stamp'd, and want love's majesty,
I, that am curtail'd of this fair proportion,
And therefore, since I cannot prove a lover,"
And hate the idle pleasures of these days.
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
Tendering my person's safety, hath appointed
Because my name is - George.
Glo. Alack, my lord, that fault is none of yours;
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,
That made him send lord Hastings to the Tower;
Clar. By heaven, I think, there is no man secure,
The jealous o'er-worn widow, and herself,9
Are mighty gossips in this monarchy.
Brak. I beseech your graces both to pardon me;
That no man shall have private conference,
Glo. Even so? an please your worship, Brakenbury, You may partake of any thing we say :
We speak no treason, man; We say, the king
Is wise, and virtuous; and his noble queen
A bonny eye, a passing pleasing tongue;
9 The jealous o'er-worn widow, and herself,] That is, the and Shore.