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Plain near Tamworth. Enter, with Drum and Colours, RICHMOND, OXFORD,?
Sir JAMES BLUNT,8 Sir WALTER HERBERT, and Others, with Forces, marching.
Richm. Fellows in arms, and my most loving friends, Bruis'd underneath the yoke of tyranny, Thus far into the bowels of the land Have we march'd on without impediment ; And here receive we from our father Stanley Lines of fair comfort and encouragement.
1 The wretched, bloody, and usurping boar, That spoil'd your summer fields, and fruitful vines, Swills your warm blood' like wash, and makes his trough In your embowell’d bosoms, i-this foul swine
business of the important day, which put an end to the competition of York and Lancaster. Some of the quarto editions are not divided into Acts, and it is probable, that this and many other plays were left by the author in one unbroken continuity, and af terwards distributed by chance, or what seems to have been a guide very little better, by the judgment or caprice of the first editors. Fohnson.
- Oxford, ] John de Vere, Earl of Oxford, a zealous Lan. castrian, who after a long confinement in Hames Castle in Picar. dy, escaped from thence in 1484, and joined the earl of Richmond at Paris. He commanded the Archers at the battle of Bosworth.
Malone. Sir James Blunt,] He had been captain of the Castle of Hames, and assisted the Earl of Oxford in his escape. Malone. 9 That spoild your summer fields, and fruitful vines,
Swills your warm blood &c.] This sudden change from the past time to the present, and vice versa, is common in Shakspeare. So, in the argument prefixed to his Rape of Lucrece: “ The same night he treacherously stealcth into her chamber, violently ravished her,” &c. Malone.
-emboweld bosoms,) Exenterated ; ''ripped up: alluding, perhaps, to the Promethean vulture; or, more probably, to the sentence pronounced in the English courts against traitors, by which they are condemned to be hanged, drawn, that is, embowelled, and quartered. Johnson.
Drawn, in the sentence pronounced upon traitors only, signifies to be drawn by the heels or on a hurdle from the prison to the place of execution. So, Dr. Johnson has properly expounded it
Lies now? even in the centre of this isle,
the harvest of perpetual peace By this one bloody trial of sharp war.
Oxf. Every man's conscience is a thousand swords, 3 To fight against that bloody homicide.
Herd. I doubt not, but his friends will turn to us.
Blunt. He hath no friends, but who are friends for fear; Which, in his dearest need, will fly from him. Richm. All for our vantage. Then, in God's name,
march: True hope is swift, and flies with swallow's wings, Kings it makes gods, and meaner creatures kings.
Bosworth Field. Enter King RichARD, and Forces; the Duke of Nor
FOLK, Earl of SURREY, and Others. K. Rich. Here pitch our tents, even here in Bosworth
ficlu. My lord of Surrey, why look you so sad?
in Measure for Measure, Act II. So, Holinshed, in the year 1569, and Stowe's Chronicle, edit. 1614, p. 162, 171, 418, 763, 766. Sometimes our historians use a colloquial inaccuracy of expression in writing, hanged, drawn, and quartered; but they often express it-drawn, hanged, and quartered; and sometimes they add-bowelled, or his bowels taken ont, which would be tauto logy, if the same thing was implied in the word drawn. Tollet.
Drawn in the sense of embowellel, is never used but in speak. ing of a fowl. It is true, embowelling is also part of the sentence in high treason, but in order of time it comes after drawing and hanging. Blackstone. 2 Lies now
- ]i. e. sojourns. See Vol. IX, p. 105, n. 2.-For lies, the reading of the quarto, the editors of the folio, probably not understanding the term, substituted-Is. See p. 167, n. 8.
Malone, conscience is a thousand swords,] Alluding to the old adage, « Conscientia mille testes." Blackstone. Thus the quarto. The folio reads--a thousand men. Malone.
and flies with swallow's wings,] Drayton calls joy :
the swallow-winged joy.” Steevens.
Sur. My heart is ten times lighter than my looks.
Here, most gracious liege.
[Soldiers begin to set up the King's Tent, But where, to-morrow - Well, all's one for that. Who hath descried the number of the traitors?
Nor. Six or seven thousand is their utmost power.
K. Rich. Why, our battalia trebles that account:
[Exeunt. Enter on the other side of the Field, RICHMOND, Sir
WILLIAM BRANDON, Oxford, and other Lords. Some of the Soldiers pitch RichMOND's Tent. Richm. The weary sun hath made a golden set,
5 Up with my tent: Here will I lie to-night ;) Richard is reported not to have slept in his tent on the night before the battle, but in the town of Leicester. Steevens.
our battalia trebles that account: ] Richmond's forces are said to have been only five thousand; and Richard's army consisted of about twelve thousand men. But Lord Stanley lay at a small distance with three thousand men, and Richard may be supposed to have reckoned on them as his friends, though the event proved otherwise. Malone. - sound direction:] True judgment; tried military skill.
Fohnson. Oxford, and other Lords.] The direction in the folio is“Enter Richmond and Sir William Brandon, Oxford and Dorset.” In the quarto only, “Enter Richmond, with the lordes.” This is one of numerous proofs that many of the alterations in the folio edition of this play were made by the players, and not by Shakspeare; for Shakspeare had been informed by Holinshed that Dorset was not at the battle of Bosworth; Richmond before his leaving Paris having borrowed a sum of money from the French King, Charles the Eighth, and having left the Marquis of Dor. set and Sir John Bouchier as hostages for the payment. Malone.
And, by the bright track of his fiery car,
Blunt. Unless I have mista'en his colours much,
Richm. If without peril it be possible,
9 Give me some ink and paper - ] I have placed these lines as they stand in the first editions: the rest place them three speeches before, after the words Sir William Brandon, you shall bear my standard; interrupting what there follows; The Earl of Pembroke, &c. I think them more naturally introduced here, when he is retiring to his tent; and considering what he has to do that night.
In the quarto, this and the three following lines are introduced
“I'll make so bold to call,
keeps his regiment;] i. e. remains with it. Thus we say of a person confined by illness--he keeps his chamber, or his bed.
So, in The Two Gentlemen of Verona:
And give him from me this most needful note.
Blunt. Upon my life, my lord, I'll undertake it; And so, God give you quiet rest to-night! Kichm. Good night, good captain Blunt. Come, gen
tlemen, Let us consult upon to-morrow's business; In to my tent, the air is raw.4 and cold.
[They withdraw into the Tent. Enter, to his Tent, King RICHARD, NORFOLK, RAT
CLIFF, and CATESBY.
It's supper time, my lord;
I will not sup to-night.-
my tent? Cates. It is, my liege; and all things are in readiness.
K. Rich. Good Norfolk, hie thee to thy charge;
Nor. I go, my lord.
[Exit. K. Rich. Ratcliff, Rat. My lord ?
K, Rich. Send out a pursuivant at arms
the air is raw -) So the quarto. Folio-the dew.
Malone. 5 It's nine o'clock.] So the folio. The quarto reads—It is six of the clock; full
supper time. Malone. I think, we ought to read-six instead of nine. A supper at so late an hour as nine o'clock, in the year 1485, would have been a prodigy. Steevens.
Give me a watch:] A watch has many significations, but I should believe that it means in this place not a sentinel, which would be regularly placed at the king's tent; nor an instrument to measure time, which was not used in that age; but a waich.