« 前へ次へ »
flower of either hue, was borne by the soldiers or people.*
We have nowf the battle of Barnet, in which the Nevilles, Warwick and Montagu, were both slain. Queen Margaret landed on the same day, as the play correctly relates, and Somerset and Oxford, escaping from Barnet, joined her before the battle of Tewksbury, ß in which, as the play also tells us correctly, the queen was defeated and taken prisoner with Oxford and Somerset,|| who were afterwards beheaded. “ K. Edw. Away with 'Oxford to Hamme's castle straight;
For Somerset, off with his guilty head !" And they were treated accordingly.
We come now to the first of the incidents which enters into the controversy raised in Horace Wal
* Drake's Eboracum (p. 113) gives a speech of the Lord Mayor of York, referring plainly to the factions of the red and white roses. But for this he quotes Hall who gives no such speech.
+ Act v. Sc. 2. April 14, 1471. Restoration, 19; Hol., 313; Cont. Croyl., 555; Leland, 504, where it is said that Montagu had “privily agreed with King Edward, and had gotten on his livery: one of the Earl of Warwick's servants spying this, fell upon him and killed him." It is also said that Warwick's men mistook the star of the Earl of Oxford for the sun of King Edward, and fired upon Oxford's men, who thereupon cried treason and fled. § May 3, 1471.
|| Rest., 28; Hol., 318.
pole's “ Historic Doubts,” – the manner of the death of Prince Edward.
To this young prince, Shakspeare ascribes a manly spirit, worthy of his mother, whose encouraging exhortations he thus seconds : “Methinks, a woman of this valiant spirit Should, if a coward heard her speak these words, Infuse his breast with magnanimity, And make him, naked, foil a man at arms. I speak not this as worthy any here : For, did I but suspect a fearful man, He should have leave to go away betimes; Lest, in our need, he might infect another, And make him of like spirit to himself. If any such be here, (as God forbid !) Let him depart before we need his help.” That Edward inherited the boldness of Margaret, rather than the meekness of Henry, we may fairly infer from his accompanying her in her dangers; but we have no contemporary authority. After the battle, Edward asks, “ K. Edw. Is proclamation made, that who finds Edward Shall have a large reward, and he his life? Glou. It is : and lo, where youthful Edward comes !
Enter soldiers, with Prince Edward. K. Edw. Bring forth the gallant, let us hear him speak. What! can so young a thorn begin to prick ? Edward, what satisfaction canst thou make,
For bearing arms for stirring up my subjects,
Prince. Speak like a subject, proud ambitious York!
Q. Marg. Ah, that thy father had been so inclin'd!
Glou. That thou might still have worn the petticoat, And ne'er have stol’n the breech from Lancaster.
Prince. Let Æsop fable in a winter's night, His currish riddles suit not with this place.
Glou. By Heaven! but I'll plague thee for that word. Q. Marg. Ay, thou wast born to be a plague to men. Glou. For God's sake, take away this captive scold. Prince. Nay, take away this scolding crook-back
rather. K. Edw. Peace, wilful boy, or I will charm your tongue. Clar. Untutor'd lad, thou art too malapert.
Prince. I know my duty-you are all undutiful: Lascivious Edward, and thou, perjur'd George, And thou, misshapen Dick,- I tell you all, I am your better, traitors as ye are!And thou usurp’st my father's right and mine. K. Edw. Take that, the likeness of this railer here.
[Stabs him. Glou. Sprawl’st thou? Take that to end thy agony,
[Stabs him. Clar. And there's for twitting me with perjury.
Holinshed's account is this :
“ After the field was ended, proclamation was made, that whosoever could bring forth Prince Edward alive or dead, should have an annuity of a hundred pounds during his life, and the prince's life to be saved. Sir Richard Crofts nothing mistrusting the king's promise, brought forth his prisoner. Prince Edward being a fair and well-proportioned young gentleman, whom when King Edward had well-advised, he demanded of him, how he durst so presumptuously enter into his kingdom with banner displayed? Whereunto the prince boldly answered, saying, "To recover my father's kingdom and heritage, from his father and grandfather to him, and from him after him to me, lineally descended. At which words King Edward said nothing, but with his hand thrust him from him, or (as some say) struck him with his gauntlet; when, incontinently, George, Duke of Clarence, Richard, Duke of Gloucester, Thomas Grey, Marquis Dorset, and William, Lord Hastings, that stood by, suddenly murthered, for which cruel act, the most part in their latter days drank of the like cup, by the righteous judgment and due punishment of God.” *
Shakspeare thus follows Holinshed, adding, however, the taunts of young Edward at the perjury of Clarence, and the deformity of Gloucester.
Holinshed copied Hall, t but Hall greatly improved upon his predecessor Fabyan.
“In which battle she (Margaret) was taken, and Sir Edward, her son, so brought before the king. But after the king had questioned with her Edward, and he had heard him contrary to his pleasure, he then struck him with his gauntlet upon the face, after which stroke so by him received, he was by the king's servants incontinently slain upon the fourth day of the month of May."*
Fabyan is thus the earliest authority for the blow given by the king, (which Hall mentions doubtfully), and for the murder in the king's presence; Hall is the first who names the king's brothers as concerned in the deed. It may be observed that the king is the only killer; the stabs of Clarence and Gloucester were added by Shakspeare.
But Fabyan himself is not warranted by contemporaries. The continuation of Croyland only mentions the death of Prince Edward, while that of the others, as occurring either in the field or afterwards.
“ At last King Edward gained a signal victory, there being slain on the part of the queen, as well in the field as afterwards by the revengeful hands of certain persons, Prince Edward himself, the only son of King Henry, the Duke of Somerset, the Earl of Devon, and other lords.” |
* P. 662. Stow follows Fabyan, p. 424.
+ “Tandem potitus est Rex Edvardus præclarâ victoria, interfectis de parte reginæ, tam in campo, tam postea, ultri