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To thee I do commend my watchful soul,
[To K. Rich. Think, how thou stab’dst me in the prime of youth At Tewksbury ; Despair therefore, and die ! Be chearful, Richmond; for the wronged souls
[To Richm. Of butcher'd princes fight in thy behalf : King Henry's issue, Richmond, comforts thee.
3 Enter the Ghoft, &c.] This circumstance is likewise found in the old book first called the Mirror for Magistrates, which was afterwards published under the title of the Falles of unfortunate Princes,
" As in my tent on slumbring bed I lie,
“ Horrid aspects appear'd unto mine eye:
66 By death had sent to their untimely grave,
" And of the heavens, with fad complaint, did crave
" That they on guilty wretch might vengeance have." His terror on waking is likewise very forcibly described. Again, Drayton in the 22d Song of his Polyolbion :
“ Where to the guilty king, the black forerunning night,
rend " Him piece-ineal ; at which oft he roareth in his sleep." It is not unpleasant to trace the progress of a poetical idea. Some of our oldest historians had informed us that king Richard was much disturb'd in his dreams. The author of a metrical le, gend, who follows next in succession, proceeds to tell us the quality of these ominous visions. A poet who takes up the story, goes further, and acquaints us with the names of those who are supposed to have appeared in them ; and last of all comes the dramatic writer, who brings the phantoms, speaking in their para ticular characters, on the stage. STEEVENS,
Enter the Ghost of Henry the fixth.
[To K. Rich.
Virtuous and holy, be thou conqueror! (To Richm.
Enter the Ghost of Clarence.
[To K. Rich.
Enter the Ghofts of Rivers, Grey, and Vaughan.
[To K. Rich. Rivers, that dy'd at Pomfret! Despair, and die ! Grey. Think upon Grey, and let thy soul despair !
(70 K. Rich. Vaugh. Think upon Vaughan; and, with guilty fear, Let fall thy lance ! Despair, and die !
[To K. Rich.
Harry, that prophefød thau bould be king,} This prophecy, to which this allution is made, was uttered in one of the Henry the fixth. JOHNSON.
All. Awake! and think, our wrongs in Richard's
bosom Will conquer him ;-awake, and win the day!
[To Richm. Enter the Ghost of Lord Hastings. Ghoft. Bloody and guilty, guiltily awake;
[To K. Rich. And in a bloody battle end thy days ! Think on lord Hastings; and despair, and die !
Quiet untroubled soul, awake, awake! [To Richm. Arm, fight, and conquer, for fair England's sake!
Enter the Ghosts of the two young Princes. . Ghosts. Dream on thy cousins smother'd in the
Tower ; 5 Let us be lead within thy bosom, Richard,
[To K. Rich. And weigh thee down to ruin, shame, and death! Thy nephews' souls bid thee despair and die. Sleep, Richmond, sleep in peace, and wake in joy;
[To Richm. Good angels guard thee from the boar's annoy! Live, and beget a happy race of kings ! Edward's unhappy fons do bid thee flourish.
Enter the Ghost of Lady Anne. Ghost. Richard, thy wife, that wretched Anne thy wife,
[To K. Rich.
5 Let us be laid within thy bofom, Richard, ] This is a poor feeble reading. I have restored from the elder quarto, published in 1597, which Mr. Pope does not pretend to have seen :
Let us be lead within thy bosom, Richard. This corresponds with what is said in the line immediately fol. lowing: And weigh thee down to ruin, Joame, and death!
That never sept a quiet hour with thee,
Enter the Ghost of Buckingham.
[To K. Rich.
6 I dy'd for hope,-) i.e. I died for wishing well to you. But Mr. Theobald, with great fagacity, conjectured holpe or aid; which gave the line this fine sense, I died for giving thee aid before I could give thee aid.
I died forsook,
This, as appears from history, was the case of the duke of Buckingham : that being stopp'd with his army upon the banks of Severn by great deluges of rain, he was deserted by his foldiers, who, being in great distress, half familhed for want of victuals, and destitute of pay, disbanded themselves and fled.
Hanmer's emendation is very plausible ; but may not the meaning of the expreffion be, I died for only having hoped to give you that afstance, which I never had it in my power to afford
It may, however, be observed, that fore, or for, when joined to a verb, had anciently a negative signification. So, in Macbeth :
He shall live a man forbid.” As to bid was to pray, fo to forbid had the meaning directly oppofite, i.e. to curse. In Antony and Cleopatra, to forespeak is to
But cheer thy heart, and be thou not dismay'd : God, and good angels, fight on Richmond's fide ; And Richard falls in height of all his pride.
[The Ghosts vanish.
[K. Richard starts out of his dream. K. Rich. 7 Give me another horse, bind
up my wounds, Have mercy, Jelu !-Soft ; I did but dream.* O coward conscience, how doft thou afflict me! The lights burn blue':--Is it not dead midnight?
Speak againft. In Hamlet, and the Midsummer Night's Dream, to fordo is the very reverse of to do. Holpen or bolp is the old par. ticiple passive of help, and is used in Macbeth:
“ His great love, Marp as his spur, hath holp him
66 To his home before us." Instead of for bope, we may therefore read, forholpe, which would mean unaided, abandon'd, deserted, unhelp'd, which was the real misfortune of the duke of Buckingham. The word holp has occurred likewise in this play:
". Let him thank me that holp to send him thither.” Again, in Coriolanus : - Have holp to make this rescue."
STEEVENS. ? Give me another horse,
] There is in this, as in many of our author's speeches of passion, something very trifling, and something very striking. Richard's debate, whether he thould quarrel with himself, is too long continued, but the subsequent exaggeration of his crimes is truly tragical. Johnson.
coward conscience. This is extremely fine. The speaker had entirely got the better of his conscience, and banished it from all his waking thoughts. But it takes advantage of his sleep, and frights him in his dreams. With greater elegance therefore he is made to call it coward confcience, which dares not encounter him while he is himself awake, and his faculties entire ; but takes ad. Vantage of reason being off its guard, and the powers of the foul diffolved in fleep. But the players, amongst their other innumerable absurdities in the representation of this tragedy, make Richard fay, instead of O coward conscience, O tyrant confcience ! whereby not only a great beauty is lost, but a great blunder committed. For Richard had entirely got the better of his conscience ; which could, on no account, therefore, be said to play the tyrant with him. WARBURTON.
» The lights burn blue.] So, in Lylly's Galathea, 1592: “I thought there was some spirit in it because it burnt fo blue; for