« 前へ次へ »
espoused the cause of the house of Lancaster. But this reconciliation was not effected easily, as Shakspeare has it. Many days elapsed before Warwick's excuses and Louis's persuasions brought the highspirited Queen to agree to the connexion.
Clarence and the Earl landed in Devonshire, and marched northward in pursuit of Edward, who receiving information of their approach while he lay at Doncaster, fled precipitately to Flanders. The new confederates then proceeded to London, and released King Henry from the Tower. A parliament was held,* and now again Edward became the usurper, and the Yorkists were subjected to attainder.
Edward rallied, being secretly supported by the Duke of Burgundy, and landed in Yorkshire,—at the very place, Ravenspur, it is said, where the first of the Lancastrian kings had disembarked ; and like him, Edward at first disclaimed—though he could scarcely expect to be believed—his pretensions to the crown ; vowing that he sought only his paternal inheritance as Duke of York. It is even said, he raised the cry of “Long live King Henry,' and wore in his own cap the ostrich feather of the Prince of Wales.f Some historians affirm, with doubtful accuracy, that the municipal autho
* Westm., 26 Nov. 1470. Rolls, vi. 191.
rities of York, required him to abjure his pretensions to the crown on the high altar of the cathedral.*
Clarence continued with his father-in-law but for a short time after his open declaration in favour of Henry. He was, however, a professed Lancastrian long enough to be declared by Parliament heir to the crown after Henry and his son, to the exclusion of his elder brother. t Nevertheless, he transferred to the side of his brother the forces which he had raised in the cause of his rival, and once more assumed the badge of York.
I have thought it right to give this sketch of the history, upon a very general notion of which the play is founded; but the truth is, that the histories are not much more precise than the drama ; and it is not possible in every case to compare the two. · Returning to the play, we find the Lancastrian
* The “ Restoration” says (p. 5), nothing of this oath,
says, 660, that he professed only to claim his dukedom, and confirmed it with an oath. Bruce says truly, that he is poor authority. Comines says, liv. 3, ch. 7. in Petitot, xii. 46, that Edward on landing, went straight to London.
+ Rolls, vi. 194.
I“ It is told me by the under.sheriff, that the lord of Clarence is gone to his brother, late king, insomuch that his men have the gorget on their breasts, and the rose over it.” Fenn, ii. 62; Lingard (207) says, the white rose, I know not on what authority.
force in Warwickshire, under Warwick and Oxford, with their French auxiliaries. These are joined by Clarence and Somerset, when the marriage with the daughter of Warwick is agreed upon. Edward's camp is in the neighbourhood, very ill guarded ; he is surprised and taken prisoner. Being placed in the custody of Archbishop Neville, at Middleham, in Yorkshire, he is liberated, while hunting, by Gloucester, with Sir John Stanley and others.
These improbable events, excepting always as to Gloucester, who is improperly brought into every occurrence, are taken from Holinshed.* Some historians disbelieve them, but Lingard, on the authority of one contemporary, and an ambiguous record,+ gives credence to the statement of the captivity of Edward. The error of the dramatist consists in placing the event after the junction between Margaret and Warwick. There is no authority for the mode of escape, which, on the contrary, is said to have occurred with the consent of the Earl of Warwick. There is, in the whole transaction, a mystery which I cannot solve.
When released, Edward did not, as in the play, fly to Lynn, and thence to Flanders ; that flight was in 1470. There is another anachronism in
* P. 293.
+ Rolls, vi. 193, where Edward, in enumerating Clarence's offences, says, that he put him in strait ward.
Warwick’s announcement of his intention to “ fight with Pembroke and his followers ;' their defeat at Edgecote had already occurred.*
We have nowt Warwick and Clarence in the Tower with King Henry, whom they once more acknowledge as king, and who appoints Warwick and Clarence joint protectors. Then says Henry, “Let me entreat, for I command no more,
That Margaret your queen, and my son Edward,
In February, 1671, the Grand Prior of St. John's of Jerusalem was furnished with money for the conveyance of the queen and prince.
The Duke of Somerset is also present, having with him the young Earl of Richmond, whom Henry thus addresses : “Come hither, England's hope ! if secret powers
(laying his hand upon his head.) Suggest but truth to my divining thoughts, This pretty lad will prove our country's bliss.
* Cont. Croyl., 551; Rolls, vi. 223: + Activ. Sc. 8.
| Hol., 300. I believe that Warwick was alone in this commission. See Restoration, p. 8.
Rymer, xi. 693.
His looks are full of peaceful majesty ;
In Holinshed,* it is by his uncle, Lord Pembroke, that Richmond is introduced. The King's speech is thus:
“ Lo, surely this is he, to whom both we and our adversaries, leaving the possession of all things, shall hereafter give room and place.”
This boy, we all know, was afterwards Henry VII., grandfather to Queen Elizabeth.t
In this scene it is repeated that Edward, after his escape from Middleham, had gone over to Burgundy; but in the next, he appears before York, into which city he is admitted upon his bare assertion that he disclaimed the crown. He fled to Flanders ;ļ and now instantly falsifies his decla
* P. 502.
+ He was Earl of Richmond from his father, Edmund, son of Owen Tudor and Catherine, the widow of Henry V. Edmund was so created by his half-brother, Henry VI. He married Margaret, daughter of John, first Duke of Somerset. The Somerset introduced into this scene is he of whom I spoke in p. 68.
Activ. Sc. 7. s Cont. Croyl., 554. Lingard says (204) that he fled upon receiving information, while he lay at Doncaster, that