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prince Richard, Duke of York. But Shakspeare first takes an opportunity of presenting this young prince as a forward youth, and fit to be the medium of a pun.
“ York. Marry, they say my uncle grew so fast, That he could gnaw a crust at two hours old; 'Twas full two years ere I could get a tooth. Grandam, this would have been a biting jest.”
It is announced that Rivers, Vaughan,* and Grey, have been sent by Gloucester and Buckingham, as prisoners to Pomfret; and another scene produces them on their way to execution.
All this is from More. Edward had reached Stony Stratford in his way to London; the dukes arrived at Northampton, where they found Rivers. Their measures soon betrayed the intention of some violent proceeding. Rivers “determined, upon the surety of his own conscience, to go boldly to them, and ask what this matter might mean. Whom as soon as they saw they began to quarrel with him, and say that he intended to set distance between the king and them, and to bring them to confusion, but it should not lie in his power. And when he began (as he was a very well spoken man) in goodly wise to excuse himself, they tarried not the end of his answer, but shortly took him, and put him in
* Sir Thomas Vaughan, an elderly knight, of the household of the young king,
ward, and that done went to horseback, and took the way to Stóny Stratford, where they found the king and his company ready to leap on horseback, and depart forward to leave that lodging for them, because it was too straight for both companies. And as soon as they came in his presence, they light adown with all their company about them. To whom the Duke of Buck. ingham said, Go afore, gentlemen, and yeomen keep your rooms. And thus in a goodly array they came to the king, and on their knees in very humble wise saluted his grace, which received them in very joyous and amiable manner, nothing earthly knowing or mistrusting as yet. But even by and by, in his presence, they picked a quarrel with the Lord Richard Grey, the king's other brother by his mother, saying that he with the lord marquis his brother, and the Lord Rivers his uncle, had compassed to rule the king and the realm, and to set variance among the states, and to subdue and destroy the noble blood of the realm. Towards the accomplishing whereof, they said, that the lord marquis had entered into the Tower of London, and thence taken out the king's treasure, and sent men to the sea. All which things, the said dukes write, were done for good purposes and necessary, by the whole council at London, saving that somewhat they must say. Unto which words the king answered, 'What my brother marquis hath done I cannot say, but in good-will I dare well answer for mine uncle Rivers and my brother Richard, that they be innocent of any such matter. Yea, my liege, (quoth the Duke of Buckingham) they have kept their
dealing in these matters far from the knowledge of your grace.' And forthwith they arrested the Lord Richard and Sir Thomas Vaughan, knight, in the king's presence, and brought the king and all back unto Northampton, where they took again further counsel. And then they went away from the king when it pleased them, and set new servants about him, such as liked better than him. At which dealings he wept, and was nothing content, but it booted not. And at dinner the Duke of Gloucester sent a dish from his own table unto the Lord Rivers, praying him to be of good cheer, all should be well enough. And he thanked the duke, and prayed the messenger to bear it to his nephew the Lord Richard, with the same message for his comfort, who he thought had more need of comfort, as one to whom such adversity was strange. But himself had been all his days in use therewith, and therefore could bear it the better. But for all this comfortable courtesy of the Duke of Gloucester, he sent the Lord Rivers, with the Lord Richard, and Sir Thomas Vaughan into the north country, into divers places to prison, and afterwards all to Pomfret, where they were in conclusion beheaded.”*
The young king's asseveration of the innocence of his maternal relations is slightly noticed in the play:t
* More in Hol., 366.
+ Act iii., Sc. 1, which is in London, where the king is with Gloucester and Buckingham, and Archbishop Bourchier, who is now a cardinal.
“ Prince. — our crosses on the way Have made it tedious, wearisome, and heavy. I want more uncles here to welcome me.
Glou. Those uncles which you want were dangerous: Your grace attended to their sugar'd words, But look'd not on the poison of their hearts ; God keep you from them, and from such false friends! Prince. God keep me from false friends! but they
were none.” The Queen, with her younger son, the Duke of York, takes sanctuary in Westminster Abbey.* Buckingham enjoins Hastings to take York away from his mother, using force if necessary. When the cardinal objects, Buckingham argues that the prince has done nothing to require sanctuary, and cannot have the benefit of it, ending in the very words ascribed to him by More:t
“ Oft have I heard of sanctuary men,
But sanctuary children ne'er till now.” Sir Thomas More gives a dialogue between the Queen and the Cardinal, very interesting, but too long to be inserted here. Finally, the boy is given up, upon the prelate's pledging himself for his safety. None of this is given in the play. On the other hand, there is a great deal of rather pert lan
guage from the young Duke of York, for which I find no warrant in the Chronicle.
Gloucester* and Buckingham now avow their intention of placing the former upon the throne, and make a confidant of Catesby,t whom they employ to sound Lord Hastings; and they announce their intention to hold “ divided councils ;” the meaning of which is partly explained in another scene, I in which Lord Stanley warns Hastings, by a messenger, that
-“ there are two councils held; And that may be determined at the one, Which may make you and him to rue at th' other.”
And that he had been warned of evil consequences in a dream. Hastings laughs at the dreams; and tells the messenger, “ Bid him not fear the separated councils. His honour and myself are at the one ; And at the other is my good friend Catesby; Where nothing can proceed that toucheth us, Whereof I shall not have intelligence.
* Gloucester was now Protector; his appointment is said to have occurred in council, 27th May, but it was apparently either made or confirmed by the peers. See Lingard, 241; Croyl. Cont., 566; Excerpt. Hist., 13. † Catesby was of an ancient family in Northamptonshire.