« 上一頁繼續 »
detested Life, and most deserved Death. As it hath been lately acted by the Right Honourable the Lord Chamberlaine his servants. Printed by Valentine Sims, for William Wise, 1597.” It was again reprinted, in 4to, in 1598, 1602, 1612 or 1613, 1622, and twice in 1629.
This play was probably written in the year 1593 or 1594. One of Shakspeare's Richards, and most probably this, is alluded to in the Epigrams of John Weever,” published in 1599, but which must have been written in 1595.
AD GULIELMUM SHAKESPEARE.
Honie-tong'd Shakespeare, when I saw thine issue,
The character of Richard had been in part developed in the last parts of King Henry VI., where, Schlegel observes, “his first speeches lead us already to form the most unfavorable prognostications respecting him: he lowers obliquely like a thunder-cloud on the horizon, which gradually approaches nearer and nearer, and first pours out the elements of devastation with which it is charged when it hangs over the heads of mortals.” “The other characters of the drama are of too secondary a nature to excite a powerful sympathy; but in the back ground, the widowed queen Margaret appears as the fury of the past, who calls forth the curse on the future ; every calamity which her enemies draw down on each other, is a cordial to her revengeful heart. Other female voices join, from time to time, in the lamentations and imprecations. But Richard is the soul, or rather the demon, of the whole tragedy, and fulfils the promise, which he formerly made, to
6 set the murderous Machiavel to school.”
Besides the uniform aversion with which he inspires us, he occupies us in the greatest variety of ways, by his profound skill in dissimulation, his wit, his prudence, his presence of mind, his quick activity, and his valor. He fights at last against Richmond like a desperado, and dies the
* This very curious little volume, which is supposed to be unique, is in the possession of Mr. Comb, of Henley. The title is as follows:–% Epigrammes in the oldest Cut and newest Fashion. A twise seven Houres (in so many Weekes) Studie. No longer (like the Fashion) not unlike to continue. The first seven, John Weever. Sit voluisse sit valuisse. At London: printed by V. S. for Thomas Bushele ; and are to be sold at his shop, at the great north doore of Paules. 1599. 120.” There is a portrait of the author, engraved by Cecill, prefixed. According to the date upon this print, Weever was then twenty-three years old; but he tells us, in some introductory stanzas, that, when he wrote the Epigrams which Acompose the volume, he was not twenty years old; that he was one
“That twenty twelvemonths yet did never kncw.” Consequently, these Epigrams must have been written in 1595.
honorable death of the hero on the field of battle.”—But Shakspeare has
* Schlegel’s Lectures on Dramatic Literature, vol. ii. p. 246.
KING EDw ARD THE FourTH.
King Edward W. }s. to the King.
King Richard III. A young Son of Clarence. HENRY, Earl of Richmond, afterwards King Henry VII. CARDINAL BouchıER, Archbishop of Canterbury. THoMAs Rother AM, Archbishop of York. John MoRToN, Bishop of Ely. Duke of Buckingham. Duke of Norfolk: Earl of Surrey, his Son. EARL Rivers, Brother to King Edward's Queen. Marquis of Dorset, and Lord GREY, her Sons. Earl of Oxford. Lord HASTINGs. LoRD STANLEY. LORD LovEL. SIR THoMAs WAUGHAN. SIR RICHARD RATCLIFF. SIR WILLIAM CATESBY. SIR JAMES TYRREL. SIR JAMEs BLount. SIR WALTER HERBERT. SIR Robert BRAKENBURY, Lieutenant of the Tower. CHRISToPHER URswick, a Priest. Another Priest. Lord Mayor of London. Sheriff of Wiltshire.
ELIZABETH, Queen of King Edward IV.
Lords, and other Attendants, two Gentlemen, a Pursuivant, Scrivener, Citizens, Murderers, Messengers, Ghosts, Soldiers, &c.
KING RICHARD THE THIRD.
Gloster. Now is the winter of our discontent Made glorious summer by this sun' of York; And all the clouds, that lowered upon our house, In the deep bosom of the ocean buried. Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths; Our bruised arms hung up for monuments; Our stern alarums changed to merry meetings, Our dreadful marches to delightful measures.” Grim-visaged war hath smoothed his wrinkled front; And now, instead of mounting barbed” steeds, To fright the souls of fearful adversaries, He capers nimbly in a lady’s chamber, To the lascivious pleasing of a lute. But I, that am not shaped for sportive tricks, Nor made to court an amorous looking-glass; I, that am rudely stamped, and want love's majesty, To strut before a wanton, ambling nymph; I, that am curtailed of this fair proportion, Cheated of feature by dissembling nature,”
1 The cognizance of Edward IV. 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. 2 Dances.
3 i.e. steeds caparisoned or clothed in the trappings of war. The word
is properly barded, from equus bardatus, Latin of the middle ages.
4 Feature is proportion, or beauty, in general. By dissembling is not
meant hypocritical nature, but nature that puts together things of a dissimilar kind, as a brave soul and a deformed body.
Deformed, unfinished, sent before my time
Enter CLARENCE, guarded, and BRAKENBURY.
Brother, good day. What means this armed guard. That waits upon your grace P
Clar. His majesty, Tendering my person’s safety, hath appointed This conduct to convey me to the Tower.
Glo. Upon what cause f
Clar. Because my name is—George.
Glo. Alack, my lord, that fault is none of yours;
Clar. Yea, Richard, when I know ; for, I protest,
1 This is from Holinshed.