« السابقةمتابعة »
THIS History was originally published in 1597, under the following title: The Tragedy of King Richard the Third. Containing his treacherous Plots against his brother Clarence: the pittieful Murther of his innocent Nephewes: his tyrannical Usurpation: with the whole Course of his detested Life and most deserved Death. As it hath been lately acted by the Right Honourable the Lord Chamberlaine his servants. Printed by Valentine Sims, for William Wise, 1597.' It is thus entered in the Stationers' Register:-" Oct. 20, 1597. Andrew Wise. The Tragedie of Kinge Richard the Third, with the Death of the Duke of Clarence." The same Andrew Wise enters the Richard II. on the previous 29th August. This play was reprinted four times in quarto previous to its appearance in the folio of 1623; in which edition it bears the following title: The Tragedy of Richard the Third: with the Landing of Earle Richmond, and the Battell at Bosworth Field.' The running head of the play, in the folio, is The Life and Death of Richard the Third.'
The question of the date when the Richard III. was written will be discussed in our Introduction to this Volume; and the very curious elder play The True Tragedie of Richard the Third,' re
printed by Boswell in 1821, will be there noticed. We shall at present confine ourselves to some observations on the state of the text.
The mode in which the modern text of the Richard III. has been constructed is thus stated by Malone:-" In this play the variations between the original copy in quarto, and the folio, are more numerous than, I believe, in any other of our author's pieces. The alterations, it is highly probable, were made, not by Shakspeare, but by the players, many of them being very injudicious." This would appear a sufficient reason for the modern editors rejecting the text of the folio altogether. But they have not followed this course, which would at least have the merit of consistency. They have adopted these alterations, made "by the players," in by far the greater number of cases. For example: there are about one hundred and twenty new lines introduced in the folio-" by the players," of course; in one case there is a single passage amounting to fifty-five lines. These new lines are all adopted; and they are most important lines. In a great number of minute instances the text of the folio is preferred by them; and Steevens says, unhesitatingly, that it is the best text. On the other hand, there is a remarkable passage, most thoroughly Shaksperian (Act iv., Scene 11.), which is not found in the folio; and the modern text very properly adopts it. This is the only instance in which, to our minds, any advantage has resulted from the collation of the quartos; and this passage was restored by Pope. We will give one or two examples of the mode in which the text of the folio has been preferred by the modern editors to that of the quartos, in addition to their adoption of all the new lines:
FOLIO OF 1623.
And the queen's sons and brothers, haught and proud.
A dream of what thou wast; a garish flag,
Thy school-days, frightful, desperate, wild, and furious;
QUARTO OF 1597
And the queen's kindred, haughty and proud.
A dream of what thou wert, a breath, a bubble,
To be the aim of every dangerous shot.
Thy school days, frightful, desperate, wild, and furious;
Taking, then, the authority of the folio in part, and rejecting it in part, the modern editors have proceeded to manufacture a text upon the principle which has been thus stated by Malone: The text has been formed out of the two copies, the folio and the early quarto; from which the preceding editors have in every scene selected such readings as appeared to them fit to be adopted. To enumerate every variation between the copies would encumber the page, with little use." Nothing, we think, can be more unsatisfactory than this mode of proceeding; and Malone gets out of the difficulty by depreciating the folio at every turn, whilst he in reality adopts all its more important readings. He says, " several alterations were made in this play, evidently unauthorized by Shakspeare." These are the alterations which, no doubt, he passes over sub silentio. We adopt, once for all, the text of the folio, with the exception of three or four passages, where we follow the quarto, and state our reasons for this course. In our foot-notes we have not, adopting the text of the folio, indicated all the variations in the quartos; but we have indicated every passage in which our text is a variation from the received text, and this for the purpose that, when the critical student encounters a reading different from that to which he is accustomed, he may compare and judge for himself.
THE Monk of Croyland informs us that "the new fashion "Edward IV. "chose for his last state dresses was to have very full hanging sleeves, like a monk's, lined with most sumptuous furs, and so rolled over his shoulders as to give his tall person an air of peculiar grandeur." This fashion was continued during the remainder of the century, and was not altogether abandoned in the reign of Henry VIII. By a sumptuary law enacted in the last year of Edward's reign, we find also that purple cloth of gold and silk of a purple colour were confined to the use of the royal family, while none under the degree of a duke might wear cloth of gold of tissue. Inferior noblemen were restricted to plain cloth of gold, knights to velvet, esquires to satin, &c. Short gowns and upperdresses of various descriptions were worn at this time, with long sleeves, having an opening in front, through which the arm came, leaving the outer sleeve to hang as an ornament from the shoulder. This fashion may be seen in the engraving at page 152 of our last Number (Henry VI., Part III.). Feathers became more frequent towards the close of this reign, one or more being worn in the cap, behind, and jewelled up the stem. The hair was worn in large square masses on each side of the head, and low on the forehead.
There are two portraits of Richard III., painted on board, in the meeting-room of the Society of Antiquaries at Somerset House. Both were bequeathed to the society by the late Mr. Kerrich. The first has been lithographed for the fifth volume of the Paston Letters.' It represents the king attired in a robe of cloth of gold over a close dress of scarlet, a black cap with a pearl ornament. His hair brown and long. His right hand is engaged in placing a ring upon, or drawing it off, the third finger of the left hand. This portrait is evidently by the same painter with that of Edward IV. described in our last Number. In the other, Richard is portrayed with a short sword or dagger in his hand, dressed in a black robe, with sleeves of black and crimson, an under-dress of cloth of gold, and a small black cap. In the absence of any well-authenticated portrait or effigy of Richard these paintings are certainly very interesting, as there can be little doubt that they were executed during or immediately subsequent to his reign, and may therefore be presumed to convey a general idea of the style of person and dress, if not an absolute likeness. In both he is represented as a hard-featured man, with rather a forbidding countenance, and certainly not bearing out the flattering description of the old Countess of Desmond, who had danced with him when