honorable death of the hero on the field of battle." But Shakspeare has satisfied our moral feelings:-"He shows us Richard in his last moments already branded with the stamp of reprobation. We see Richard and Richmond, on the night before battle, sleeping in their tents; the spirits of those murdered by the tyrant ascend in succession, and pour out their curses against him, and their blessings on his adversary. These apparitions are, properly, merely the dreams of the two generals made visible. It is no doubt contrary to sensible probability, that their tents should only be separated by so small a space; but Shakspeare could reckon on poetical spectators, who were ready to take the breadth of the stage for the distance between the two camps, if, by such a favor, they were to be recompensed by beauties of so sublime a nature as this series of spectres, and the soliloquy of Richard on his awaking."*

Steevens observed that the favor with which the tragedy has been received on the stage in modern times "must in some measure be imputed to Cibber's reformation of it." The original play was certainly too long for representation, and there were parts which might, with advantage, have been omitted in representation, as "dramatic encumbrances;" but such a piece of clumsy patchwork as the performance of Cibber, was surely any thing but "judicious;" and it is only surprising, that the taste which has led to other reformations in the performance of our great dramatic Poet's works, has not given to the stage a judicious abridgment of this tragedy in his own words, unencumbered with the superfluous transpositions and gratuitous additions which have been so long inflicted upon us.

* Schlegel's Lectures on Dramatic Literature, vol. ii. p. 246.




EDWARD, Prince of Wales, afterwards

King Edward V.

RICHARD, Duke of York,

GEORGE, Duke of Clarence,

Sons to the King.

RICHARD, Duke of Gloster, afterwards Brothers to the King


King Richard III.

young Son of Clarence.

HENRY, Earl of Richmond, afterwards King Henry VII.

CARDINAL BOUCHIER, Archbishop of Canterbury.

THOMAS ROTHERAM, 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.




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.
MARGARET, Widow of King Henry VI.

Duchess of York, Mother to King Edward IV., Clarence, and

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.

SCENE. England.



SCENE I. London. A Street.


Gloster. Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this sun1 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.2
Grim-visaged war hath smoothed his wrinkled front;
And now,—instead of mounting barbed3 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 Lan castrians 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.

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

Into this breathing world, scarce half made up,
And that so lamely and unfashionable,
That dogs bark at me, as I halt by them ;-
Why, I, in this weak, piping time of peace,
Have no delight to pass away the time;
Unless to spy my shadow in the sun,
And descant on mine own deformity;
And, therefore, since I cannot prove a lover,
To entertain these fair, well-spoken days,-
I am determined to prove a villain,
And hate the idle pleasures of these days.
Plots have I laid, inductions dangerous,
By drunken prophecies, libels, and dreams,
To set my brother Clarence, and the king,
In deadly hate the one against the other;
And, if king Edward be as true and just,
As I am subtle, false, and treacherous,
This day should Clarence closely be mewed up,
About a prophecy, which says-that G

Of Edward's heirs the murderer shall be.1

Dive, thoughts, down to my soul! here Clarence comes

Enter CLARENCE, guarded, and Brakenbury. Brother, good day. What means this armed guard. That waits upon your grace?


His majesty,

Tendering my person's safety, hath appointed
This conduct to convey me to the Tower.

Glo. Upon what cause?


Clar. Because my name is-George. Glo. Alack, my lord, that fault is none of He should, for that, commit your godfathers.O, belike, his majesty hath some intent, That you shall be new christened in the Tower. But what's the matter, Clarence? may I know? Clar. Yea, Richard, when I know; for, I protest,

1 This is from Holinshed.

As yet I do not.

But, as I can learn,

He hearkens after prophecies, and dreams;
And from the cross-row plucks the letter G,
And says-a wizard told him, that by G
His issue disinherited should be;

And, for my name of George begins with G,
It follows in his thought that I am he.

These, as I learn, and such like toys as these,

Have moved his highness to commit me now.

Glo. Why, this it is, when men are ruled by


'Tis not the king that sends you to the Tower;
My lady Grey, his wife, Clarence, 'tis she,
That tempers him to this extremity.

Was it not she, and that good man of worship,
Antony Woodeville, her brother there,

That made him send lord Hastings to the Tower;
From whence this present day he is delivered?
We are not safe, Clarence, we are not safe.

Clar. By Heaven, I think there is no man secure,
But the queen's kindred, and night-walking heralds
That trudge betwixt the king and mistress Shore.
Heard you not what an humble suppliant
Lord Hastings was to her for his delivery?
Glo. Humbly complaining to her deity
Got my lord chamberlain his liberty.
I'll tell you what, I think it is our way,
If we will keep in favor with the king,
To be her men, and wear her livery.

The jealous, o'er-worn widow, and herself,1
Since that our brother dubbed them gentlewomen,

Are mighty gossips in this monarchy.

Brak. Í beseech your graces both to pardon me;

His majesty hath straitly given in charge,

That no man shall have private conference,
Of what degree soever with his brother.

Glo. Even so? An please your worship, Brakenbury You may partake of any thing we say.

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