Henry VI Part 3 (1923) Yale/Notes
The Third Part of Henry the Sixth. Here and elsewhere the old editions read 'Sixt' for sixth. So 'fift' for modern 'fifth.'
I. i. S. d. Enter Plantagenet. This is the name under which York is known in 1 Henry VI. See that play, III. i. 163-165, and the note in this edition. It is perhaps remarkable that the Second Part never uses the name.
I. i. 1. I wonder how the king escap'd our hands. This first line, which is identical in the True Tragedy version, contains a violation of historic fact. The king did not escape, or attempt to escape, the Yorkists. He was found by them after the battle with a slight arrow-wound in the neck, and was treated with great outward respect.
I. i. 7-9. Lord Clifford, and Lord Stafford, all abreast, Charg'd our main battle's front, and breaking in Were by the swords of common soldiers slain. This account of Clifford's death is inconsistent with that given in 2 Henry VI, V. ii., where Clifford is slain by York. Compare also line 162 of the present scene and line 47 of I. iii. The inconsistency is in all these cases carried over from the earlier plays of the Contention and True Tragedy.
I. i. 14. brother. The Marquis of Montague, Warwick's brother, who fell at Barnet (cf. V. ii.), was not created Lord Montague till after the battle of Towton (1461), which is dramatized in Act II of the present play. He was not York's brother, but his nephew. Has the historical Montague been merged with Faulconbridge, his uncle, who was Salisbury's brother and York's brother-in-law, and who does not appear in 3 Henry VI? In the True Tragedy version Montague likewise addresses York as 'brother' at this point; but in the next scene (lines 4 and 36), where York calls him 'brother,' the True Tragedy has 'cosen Montague.' See notes on lines 209 and 239.
I. i. 17. Richard hath best deserv'd of all my sons. The precocity of Richard of Gloucester is probably the most striking of all the deviations from history in this play and its predecessor, the Second Part. Born at Fotheringay Castle, October 2, 1452, Richard was incapable of taking part in the first battle of St. Albans, May 22, 1455. He was less than nineteen at the time of the battle of Tewkesbury (May 4, 1471), with which this play concludes.
I. i. 32. S. d. They go up. The chair of state, in which York seats himself (cf. l. 51), is apparently on the upper stage.
I. i. 35. The queen this day here holds her parliament. The author represents these events as following immediately upon the first battle of St. Albans (May 22, 1455), but the Parliament which declared York heir to the throne did not in fact meet till October, 1460.
I. i. 47. Dares stir a wing if Warwick shake his bells. An allusion to falconry. Bells were attached to the legs of falcons. The best illustration I know is a passage in Nicholas Grimald's Latin play, Christus Redivivus (1543), II. iii.:
'Attamen a dominis cum dimittitur,
Sinistra hic ales & in sublime uolitat: eam
Adoritur atque insequitur strenuissime,
Ac motis pendenteis tibijs campanulæ
Tubæ sonitum supplent, crescat ut audacitas.'
'Yet, when the hawk is sent forth by its masters, it flies aloft on the left, and attacks the heron most vigorously; and, as its legs move, the hanging bells give forth the sound of a trumpet, so that the bird's daring increases.' (Translated by L. R. Merrill.)
I. i. 67. Ah! know you not the city favours them. London seems to have sympathized with the Yorkists during the entire struggle, though the citizens took no great part in the fighting. Holinshed says, in regard to the Queen's hostility to the Duke of York: 'She could attempt nothing against him neere to London, because the duke was in more estimation there than either the king hir husband, or hir selfe.' At the close of 2 Henry VI (V. ii. 81) Margaret professes to believe the reverse: 'We shall to London get, where you are lov'd.'
I. i. 88. And that the Lord of Westmoreland shall maintain. Ralph, second Earl of Westmoreland, representative of the older branch of the Nevil family, which sided with the Lancastrians. His wife was a daughter of Hotspur, and he a half-first-cousin of Warwick.
I. i. 155, 156. 'tis not thy southern power, Of Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk, nor of Kent. Northumberland speaks as a Percy of the north. Warwick was strong in the counties mentioned, but his power was great also in the north, the Nevil domains being largely in Yorkshire and Durham.
I. i. 209. And I unto the sea from whence I came. The True Tragedy also assigns this speech to Montague, who, however, in the next scene is found at York's castle. The words do not fit the historical Montague. See note on line 239.
I. i. 226. Father, you cannot disinherit me. The prince was born October 13, 1454, and was therefore only six years old at the time of this scene.
I. i. 239. Stern Faulconbridge commands the narrow seas. This line is echoed in Marlowe's Edward II, line 970: 'The hautie Dane commands the narrow seas.' Faulconbridge is mentioned only here in the play. He is Warwick's uncle, William Nevil, Baron Fauconberg, who commanded at Calais as Warwick's deputy in 1459-1460, led the Yorkist left wing at Towton, and was later made Earl of Kent. The special reference in the present line is to his control of Calais and the Straits of Dover during the year previous to the Parliament of 1460. There is no reason for the assumption of commentators that Fauconberg's son Thomas (also known as Faulconbridge) is referred to. The latter figures at a later period (ca. 1470) and receives much attention in the first part of Heywood's play, King Edward IV. I conjecture that Faulconbridge's part in the drama has been amalgamated with that of his nephew , and that the figure referred to in this line is the same as the speaker of lines 14 and 209 above.
I. ii. 28-31. And, father, do but think How sweet a thing it is to wear a crown, Within whose circuit is Elysium, And all that poets feign of bliss and joy. These beautiful lines, which are not found in the True Tragedy version, reproduce very exactly the sentiment and melody of Marlowe's Tamburlaine. Compare lines 763-765 of that play:
'I thinke the pleasure they enioy in heauen
Can not compare with kingly ioyes in earth,
To weare a Crowne enchac’d with pearle and golde.'
And also lines 863, 879 f.,
'The . . . sweetnes of a crowne . . .
That perfect blisse and sole felicitie,
The sweet fruition of an earthly crowne.'
If the absence of such notable lines from all editions previous to the Shakespeare Folio indicates that they are additions by Shakespeare, they show how capable he was of reproducing the veritable tone of Marlowe.
I. ii. 42, 43. In them I trust; for they are soldiers, Witty, courteous, liberal, full of spirit. These lines also, which so praise the men of Marlowe's native Kent, first appear in the Folio. For Shakespeare's apparent interest in Kent compare notes on IV. i. 9 and IV. vii. 65, 66 of the Second Part.
I. ii. 47. S. d. Enter Gabriel. The name of the actor who represented the messenger has here been preserved. The same thing happens in the stage direction at the opening of Act III. This is good evidence that the Folio text was based on the players' copy used by the prompter. Gabriel is probably Gabriel Spencer, the actor, who was slain by Ben Jonson in a duel, September 22, 1598.
I. iii. 39. But 'twas ere I was born. The author has altered the relative ages of the Duke of York's sons. Edmund, Earl of Rutland, was next to Edward the heir. He was twelve years old at the time of his death and seven when the elder Clifford was killed at St. Albans. Richard of Gloucester, on the other hand, who is represented in the play as a mature warrior, was not born till 1452, and was but eight years old at the battle of Wakefield. Compare note on I. i. 17.
I. iv. 25. The sands are number'd that makes up my life. Modern editors usually print 'make,' but the other is a genuine plural form, characteristic of the northern English dialect. It is frequently employed by Shakespeare and other standard Elizabethan writers. For other examples in this play compare line 150 of the present scene and also II. i. 55, II. i. 83, II. v. 87, II. vi. 6, III. ii. 141, IV. ii. 3, V. v. 26, V. vii. 44.
I. iv. 67. Come, make him stand upon this molehill here. 'Some write that the duke was taken aliue, and in derision caused to stand vpon a molehill.' (Holinshed.)
I. iv. 137. O tiger's heart wrapp'd in a woman's hide! This line, which occurs in the same form in the True Tragedy, has been made famous by Robert Greene's parody in his attack on Shakespeare (Groatsworth of Wit, 1592): 'for there is an upstart Crow, beautified with our feathers, that with his Tygers heart wrapt in a Players hide, supposes he is as well able to bumbast out a blanke verse as the best of you: and being an absolute Johannes fac totum, is in his owne conceit the onely Shake-scene in a countrie.'
I. iv. 164. There, take the crown, and with the crown my curse. This gesture, rather absurd in the case of York's paper crown, is suggestive of the abdication of Marlowe's Edward II (line 2043): 'Here, take my crowne, the life of Edward too.'
II. i. 20. Methinks 'tis prize enough to be his son. The True Tragedy prints 'pride' instead of 'prize,' and the former may be the proper word.
II. i. 25. Dazzle mine eyes, or do I see three suns? The apparition here described is related by the chroniclers as occurring just before Edward's victory at Mortimer's Cross (February 2, 1461): 'At which time the sunne (as some write) appeared to the earle of March like three sunnes, and suddenlie ioined altogither in one. Upon which sight he tooke such courage, that he, fiercelie setting on his enimies, put them to flight.' (Holinshed.) The engagement at Mortimer's Cross has been omitted by the dramatist. The present scene should be imagined as occurring at Chipping Norton where Edward and Warwick met after the latter's defeat at the second battle of St. Albans, February 17, 1461, though the allusion in line 140 to 'the marches here' shows that the dramatist thought of Edward as still in the neighborhood of Mortimer's Cross on the Welsh border.
'Sweet Duke of Guise, our prop to leane vpon,
Now thou art dead, heere is no stay for vs.'
The version of line 69 in the True Tragedy is still closer: 'Now thou art gone there is no hope for vs.'
II. i. 91, 92. Nay, if thou be that princely eagle's bird, Show thy descent by gazing 'gainst the sun. Alluding to the common idea, derived from Pliny, that eagles could gaze at the sun without blinking.
II. i. 113. And very well appointed, as I thought. This line is omitted in the Folio, probably by inadvertence. Otherwise the speech of Warwick is identical in the Folio and True Tragedy versions, save for a few trifling verbal alterations of the reviser.
II. i. 146. your kind aunt, Duchess of Burgundy. 'Isabel, daughter of John I, King of Portugal, by Philippa of Lancaster, eldest daughter of John of Gaunt: she was therefore third cousin to Edward instead of aunt.' (Rolfe.) Holinshed records that after the death of the Duke of York and his second son Rutland, 'The duches of Yorke, seeing hir husband and sonne slaine, and not knowing what should succeed of hir eldest sonnes chance, sent hir two yonger sonnes, George and Richard, ouer the sea, to the citie of Utrecht in Almaine, where they were of Philip duke of Burgognie well receiued; and so remained there, till their brother Edward had got the crowne and gouernement of the realme.'
II. ii. 89-92. Since when, his oath is broke; for, as I hear, You, that are king, though he do wear the crown, Have caus'd him, by new act of parliament, To blot out me, and put his own son in. These lines throw light upon the reviser's method. In the True Tragedy they are assigned to Clarence, and line 92 reads: 'To blot our brother out, and put his owne son in.' In the Folio 'our brother' is replaced by 'me,' for no obvious reason except to reduce the length of the line; but by inadvertence the abbreviated speaker's name, 'Cla.', is left standing before line 89, and it remained for modern editors to rectify the inconsistency.
II. ii. 144, 145. A wisp of straw were worth a thousand crowns, To make this shameless callet know herself. A wisp of straw was the mark of shame attached to a scold or other female offender.
II. ii. 155. And grac'd thy poor sire with his bridal day. Made a present to your father of the expenses of the wedding. There is a gibe at the condition in the marriage contract (2 Henry VI, I. i. 61) that Margaret be 'sent over of the King of England's own proper cost and charges, without having any dowry.'
II. iii. 1, 2. Forspent with toil, as runners with a race, I lay me down a little while to breathe. The battle of Towton lasted ten hours, on Palm Sunday, 1461; thirty thousand men were slain, and it was in all respects the most terrible conflict of the Wars of the Roses. The present picture of the discouragement of the Yorkist leaders, exaggerated for dramatic purposes, is suggested by a local advantage which the Lancastrians under Clifford had gained two days before (March 26) at Ferrybridge.
II. iii. 15. Thy brother's blood the thirsty earth hath drunk. The 'Bastard of Salisbury,' half-brother of Warwick, was slain at Ferrybridge. It is remarkable that in the True Tragedy Richard announces to Warwick the death, not of his brother, but of his father Salisbury. The reviser doubtless made the correction for the sake of accuracy, since Holinshed records the historic fact that Salisbury had already been captured at Wakefield and beheaded.
II. v. 54. The latter part of this soliloquy, from line 20, corresponds to nothing in the True Tragedy and is a good example of the sentimental note found in many of Shakespeare's additions to the original play. There is an evident analogy to the much more mature soliloquy of Richard II on thought (Richard II, V. v. 1-66) and Henry IV on sleep (2 Henry IV, III. i. 4 ff.). It is equally evident, I think, that lines 20-54 are influenced by the style of Greene's pastoral verse.
II. v. 78 S. d. Enter Father, bearing of his son. The Father, whose entrance has been prepared for in the stage direction following line 54, now comes forward.
II. vi. S. d. Enter Clifford, wounded. The True Tragedy reads 'Enter Clifford wounded, with an arrow in his necke.' Clifford was actually slain, in a small engagement on the day before the battle of Towton, by an arrow in the neck.
II. vi. 8. The common people swarm like summer flies. This line is not in the Folio, and has been introduced from the True Tragedy version (cf. II. i. 113). On the other hand, line 17, which also mentions summer flies, is found only in the Folio. Both were probably not intended to remain. With these exceptions, Clifford's speech is virtually the same in the two versions and may pass as a fair sample of the True Tragedy style.
II. vi. 49. But set. An example of confused syntax; 'but' is redundant. Lines 47-51 are a bad example of sentimental amplification of two simple verses in the True Tragedy:
'Who kild our tender brother Rutland,
And stabd our princelie father Duke of Yorke.'
II. vi. 90. the Lady Bona. Daughter to the Duke of Savoy and sister to the French queen. She lived at the court of her brother-in-law, Louis XI. Warwick did advocate this marriage for King Edward, and was displeased when he married Lady Grey; but the negotiations concerning the Lady Bona in 1464 cannot be regarded as the immediate cause of the open rupture between Warwick and Edward five years later.
II. vi. 107. Gloucester's dukedom is too ominous. The chroniclers comment upon the fact that three Dukes of Gloucester before Richard had come to miserable ends. One was Duke Humphrey, who figures in the first and second parts of Henry VI, and another Duke Thomas 'of Woodstock,' whose murder is frequently alluded to in Richard II.
III. i. S. d. Enter Sinklo and Humphrey. The True Tragedy reads 'Enter two keepers with bow and arrowes.' Compare note on I. ii. 47 S. d., where similarly the Folio substitutes the name of the actor. Sinklo is John Sinkler, an unimportant member of Shakespeare's company. His name occurs in connection with small rôles in the Induction to The Taming of the Shrew and in 2 Henry IV, V. iv. (Quarto version). Humphrey seems to be Humphrey Jeffes, a minor actor associated at different times with various companies.
III. i. 24. Let me embrace thee, sour adversity. The Folio reads 'Let me embrace the sower Aduersaries.'
III. ii. 6, 7. Because in quarrel of the house of York The worthy gentleman did lose his life. This statement, which the reviser has taken over from the True Tragedy, is incorrect. Sir John Grey was slain at the second battle of St. Albans, fighting on the side of Queen Margaret. In Richard III, I. iii. 127-130, Shakespeare gives the facts accurately, making Richard say to the Queen:
'In all which time you and your husband Grey
Were factious for the house of Lancaster.
. . . Was not your husband
In Margaret's battle at St. Albans slain?'
(In line 2 of the present passage the name of the lady's husband is given as Sir Richard Grey in both the True Tragedy and the Folio; 'Sir John Grey' is the correction of modern editors.)
III. ii. 114. That's a day longer than a wonder lasts. A 'nine days' wonder' being the proverbial superlative.
III. ii. 161, 162. an unlick'd bear-whelp That carries no impression like the dam. Fabulous natural history, reported by both Ovid and Pliny. The young bear was supposed to be born a formless mass of flesh which the mother reduced to symmetry by licking with her tongue.
III. ii. 193. And set the murtherous Machiavel to school. Machiavelli was born in 1469, five years later than the historical date of this scene; but the anachronism is justified by the fact that Gloucester's character owes much to the current Elizabethan distortion of Machiavelli's doctrine of the Prince.
III. iii. 16-18. Yield not thy neck To fortune's yoke, but let thy dauntless mind Still ride in triumph over all mischance. Lines strikingly suggestive of Marlowe. Since they do not appear in the True Tragedy, they are doubtless to be ascribed to that poet's influence upon the reviser, not actually to his pen. Compare note on I. ii. 28-31.
III. iii. 81, 82. Then Warwick disannuls great John of Gaunt, Which did subdue the greatest part of Spain. John of Gaunt was engaged in an indecisive campaign in Spain in 1386-1387, and in 1367 had served with his brother, the Black Prince, in a more successful expedition. The theme of his rather apocryphal triumphs was apparently popular in England during the Armada era. Kyd's Spanish Tragedy (ca. 1587, I. v. 48 ff.) refers to 'a valiant Englishman,
Braue John of Gaunt, the Duke of Lancaster.
. . . . .
He with a puissant armie came to Spaine,
And tooke our King of Castile prisoner.'
A book (not now extant) was licensed for publication, May 14, 1594, under the title of 'the famous historye of John of Gaunte, sonne to Kinge Edward the Third, with his conquest of Spaine and marriage of his Twoo daughters to the Kinges of Castile and Portugale, &c.'
III. iii. 95, 96. Why, Warwick, canst thou speak against thy liege, Whom thou obeyedst thirty and six years. The True Tragedy reads 'thirtie and eight yeeres.' Warwick was born in 1428 and at the time of the negotiation for the French marriage of Edward (1464) was thirty-six years old. But the dramatists were thinking of the general period during which King Henry's sovereignty had been acknowledged by the Yorkist party: i.e. from his accession in 1422 till the final breach in 1459 or 1460.
III. iii. 101-103. Call him my king, by whose injurious doom My elder brother, the Lord Aubrey Vere, Was done to death? and more than so, my father. Holinshed reports, under date of February, 1462, that 'the earle of Oxford, far striken in age, and his sonne and heire the lord Awbreie Veer, either through malice of their enimies, or for that they had offended the king, were both, with diuerse of their councellours, attainted, and put to execution; which caused Iohn earle of Oxford euer after to rebell.' Actually, however, the present earl did not declare himself for the house of Lancaster till much later (1470).
III. iii. 127. Exempt from envy, but not from disdain. This complex sentence (lines 123-128) is taken practically without change from the True Tragedy. The idea is that Edward's love is so genuine, so solidly rooted in appreciation of Bona's virtue and beauty, that it need apprehend no misconstruction (envy), though its very sincerity lays the king particularly open to pain if Bona should reject his suit.
III. iii. 157. Proud setter up and puller down of kings. Virtually the same words which Margaret here applies to Warwick have been addressed by King Edward to the deity in II. iii. 37: 'Thou setter up and plucker down of kings.'
III. iii. 186, 187. Did I forget that by the house of York My father came untimely to his death? The lines are taken directly from the True Tragedy, but contain no truth. Salisbury, Warwick's father, was captured by the Lancastrians at the battle of Wakefield and by them beheaded. Compare note on II. iii. 15.
III. iii. 188. Did I let pass th' abuse done to my niece? The chronicles report vaguely that Warwick had received some such injury from Edward. (Bulwer-Lytton's novel, The Last of the Barons, ascribes the hostility of Warwick and Edward to abuse done Warwick's daughter.)
III. iii. 242, 243. I'll join mine eldest daughter and my joy To him forthwith in holy wedlock bands. It was Warwick's younger daughter, Anne, who married Prince Edward, the elder having been already married to Clarence. In Richard III, I. i. 152, the error is corrected. Speaking of Prince Edward's widow, Richard says: 'For then I'll marry Warwick's youngest daughter.'
IV. i. 6 S. d. Four stand on one side, and four on the other. The king stands in the middle and the two factions group themselves at opposite sides of the stage.
IV. i. 40. England is safe, if true within itself. A common sentiment which forms the subject of the concluding lines of Shakespeare's King John.
IV. i. 47, 48. For this one speech Lord Hastings well deserves To have the heir of the Lord Hungerford. This passage and lines 51-55 below are based on Halle's report of a complaint against the king which Clarence made to Warwick: 'This you knowe well enough, that the heire of the Lord Scales he hath maried to his wifes brother, the heire also of the lorde Bonuile and Haryngton he hath geuen to his wifes sonne, and theire of the lorde Hungerford he hath graunted to the lorde Hastynges: thre mariages more meter for hys twoo brethren and kynne then for suche newe foundlynges as he hath bestowed theim on.'
IV. i. 70. That I was not ignoble of descent. Her mother, born Jacquetta of Luxemburg, was a great lady of Burgundy, who was married in 1433 to the Duke of Bedford, brother of Henry V. Upon Bedford's death she married Sir Richard Woodville, whose daughter the present queen was.
IV. i. 118. Belike the elder; Clarence will have the younger. Compare note on III. iii. 242, 243. Clarence had married Warwick's elder daughter, Isabel, June 11, 1469, more than a year before the marriage of his younger daughter to Prince Edward.
IV. ii. 20, 21. With sleight and manhood stole to Rhesus' tents, And brought from thence the Thracian fatal steeds. It had been prophesied that Troy could not be taken if the horses of Rhesus, King of Thrace, drank of the Xanthus River and grazed on the Trojan plain. The tenth book of the Iliad tells how Ulysses and Diomede, exponents of craft (sleight) and valor (manhood) respectively, averted the peril by slaying Rhesus on the night of his arrival and carrying off the horses. The story is referred to by both Ovid and Vergil. This allusion is an addition by the reviser of the play: lines 19-25 appear first in the Folio, whereas the rest of Warwick's speech is virtually unchanged from the True Tragedy.
IV. iii. 22 S. d. French Soldiers. This stage direction and all the business of the watchmen (lines 1-22, 26, 27) are added by the reviser. Two separate overthrows of King Edward by Warwick have been merged by the dramatists. The capture of the king here depicted took place in July, 1469, before Warwick's reconciliation with King Henry and without the aid of French soldiers. In March, 1470, Edward suddenly regained his power, and Warwick was obliged to flee to France. Here he united with the Lancastrians, and in September (1470) he landed at Dartmouth, accompanied by French troops. Edward then found himself deserted by his followers and fled to Holland.
IV. iii. 53. When I have fought with Pembroke and his fellows. This fight took place a couple of days before Edward's capture. The Earl of Pembroke was defeated near Banbury, July 26, 1469, and beheaded at Northampton the next day.
IV. iv. In the True Tragedy version this scene follows the present scene five. The reviser's transposition is a dramatic improvement.
IV. iv. 31, 32. I'll hence forthwith unto the sanctuary, To save at least the heir of Edward's right. After Edward's flight from England to Holland, 'his wife queene Elizabeth tooke sanctuarie at Westminster, and there, in great penurie, forsaken of all hir friends, was deliuered of a faire son called Edward.' (Holinshed.) The date of the prince's birth was November, 1470.
IV. v. Two distinct events are combined in this account of Edward's escape from Warwick, as in scene three two separate overthrows of Edward by Warwick have been merged (cf. note on IV. iii. 22 S. d.). Edward's release from surveillance at Middleham Castle occurred, with Warwick's consent, in September, 1469; his precipitate flight to Holland took place just a year later, when Warwick returned to England, September, 1470, at the head of the Lancastrian forces. The stratagem by which Edward is rescued in this scene is apocryphal, but is found in the chroniclers.
IV. vi. 67. it is young Henry, Earl of Richmond. The future King Henry VII. He was the grandson of Katharine of France, widow of Henry V, by her second husband, Owen Tudor. The story of Henry VI's prophecy concerning the boy (who was thirteen years old at the time of this scene) is found in Holinshed. It is an evident fabrication, devised in compliment to the Tudor dynasty.
IV. vii. In the True Tragedy this scene and scene six are transposed. Compare note on scene four above. The arrangement of material before the reviser's changes was, then: scene iii., scene v., scene iv., scene vii., scene vi., scene viii.
IV. vii. 8. Ravenspurgh haven. On the coast of Yorkshire, at the mouth of the Humber River. The site is now submerged. Henry IV (Bolingbroke) landed here in 1399. The landing of Edward IV occurred on March 14, 1471.
IV. vii. 40. Sir John Montgomery. The name is Sir Thomas Montgomery in Holinshed, who reports that it was at Nottingham, not York, that Montgomery joined the King and persuaded him to make open claim to the crown.
IV. vii. 50. Drummer. Some copies of the Folio have 'Drumme,' and the True Tragedy 'Drum.'
IV. viii. S. d. Exeter. The Folio substitutes Somerset's name for Exeter's, but the latter's presence is evidenced by lines 34 ('Cousin of Exeter') and 48 ('No, Exeter'), as well as by the abbreviated name 'Exet.' before lines 37 and 51. It is likely that the rôles of Somerset and Exeter were played by the same actor.
IV. viii. 60, 61. The sun shines hot, and if we use delay, Cold biting winter mars our hop'd-for hay. I.e. let us make hay while the sun shines.
V. i. 45. You left poor Henry at the bishop's palace. Compare IV. viii. 33, where Henry says: 'Here at the palace will I rest awhile.' Halle records that when Edward entered London, King Henry's friends fled, 'leuinge kyng Henry alone, as an hoste that shoulde be sacrificed, in the Bishops palace of London adioyninge to Poules churche.'
V. i. 73, 74. Two of thy name, both Dukes of Somerset, Have sold their lives unto the house of York. Edmund, the second Duke of Somerset, was killed at the first battle of St. Albans (cf. I. i. 16). His son Henry, the third duke, was beheaded after the battle of Hexham, May 15, 1464. (This last battle is not mentioned in the play.) The person addressed in the present lines is Edmund, the fourth duke, younger brother of Duke Henry, who was captured and beheaded after Tewkesbury (cf. V. iv.).
V. i. 81 S. d. Taking the red rose out of his helmet. The revised play has no stage direction at this point, but the True Tragedy inserts the following: 'Sound a Parlie, and Richard and Clarence whispers togither, and then Clarence takes his red Rose out of his hat, and throwes it at Warwike.' The word 'hat' illustrates the fact that the actors were dressed in Elizabethan costume, not in mediæval armor as in modern performances.
V. ii. 31. The queen from France hath brought a puissant power. Queen Margaret's forces landed at Weymouth on the very day on which the battle of Barnet was fought, Easter Day (April 14), 1471. Somerset made his escape from Barnet and soon joined her. (Cf. note on V. i. 73, 74.)
V. ii. 50 S. d. Here they bear away his body. The removal of the bodies of those supposedly slain was an important detail on stages which lacked front curtains.
V. iv. 1-38. A particularly noteworthy example of the reviser's work. In the True Tragedy Margaret's speech consists of but eleven lines, and is less resolute as well as much less ornate. The reviser has deviated from the chroniclers, who report that, on hearing the news of Barnet, Margaret 'like a woman al dismaied for feare, fell to the ground, her harte was perced with sorowe, her speache was in maner passed, all her spirites were tormented with Malencoly.' She was unwilling to risk an immediate battle, but was overruled by Somerset.
V. v. 2. Away with Oxford to Hames Castle straight. Oxford, who escaped from Barnet, was not at Tewkesbury and was only captured several years later (February, 1474) at St. Michael's Mount in Cornwall. He was then sent to the castle of Hanmes near Calais, where he remained in captivity for ten years.
V. vi. 10. What scene of death hath Roscius now to act? Roscius was a famous Roman actor (died 62 B. C.) much praised by Cicero. His distinction lay in comic not tragic rôles, but his name was used proverbially by Elizabethan writers of any excellent actor.
V. vi. 18, 19. Why, what a peevish fool was that of Crete, That taught his son the office of a fowl! I.e. Dædalus, a fabulous contriver of marvelous mechanical inventions. Wishing to escape from Crete against the will of King Minos, he made artificial wings for himself and his son Icarus, fastening them on with wax. Dædalus made the flight in safety, but Icarus flew too near the sun, which melted the wax and caused him to fall into the Ægean.