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two youthful friends.

On the day pre

KING RICHARD THE THIRD vious to the fatal event, the prince, who

AND LADY ANNE: thought himself about to become the victim, was led, with formal solemnity,

Crosby Hall. from his dungeon into another apartment overlooking the court, the curtains of

BY THOMAS MILLER, the windows being carefully closed so as to AUTHOR OP “ A DAY IN THE WOODS," &c. prevent any exterior view.

At a given

(For the Parterre.) signal, these curtains were drawn aside, and Frederick beheld a scaffold hung

Chap. III. with black. He was suffered to pass

KING RICHARD. -Rumour it abroad, the night under the idea that the morn

That Anne, my wife, is very grievous sick : ing was to close his existence; and it is

1 will take order for her keeping close. said, so fond was he of Katt, that his Look how thou dream'st !- I say again, grief was not diminished, when, the

give out

That Anne, my queen, is sick, and like next morning, he discovered that he was

to die; to suffer in his stead. When the unfor- About it, for it stands me much upon, tunate . youth mounted the scaffold, To stop all hopes. which was immediately on a level with

Anne, my wife, hath bid the world good. the window, the prince was held with

night. his face towards the scene by four grena

Shakspeare's Richard III. diers, who prevented his approach to it or his retreat. Maddened with horror THERE was a sound of merriment in and anguish, he was compelled to behold London: bells were ringing and bonfires the friend of his bosom in the act of blazing, and voices shouted in the streets laying down his life for having attempted Long live King Richard and his Royal to serve him. Several affectionate bursts Queen.” Many a brawl ensued, and of grief were interchanged, and Katt many a sword leaped from its scabbard was in the act of speaking, when his on the night that followed the coronahead, suddenly severed with a single tion of Glo'ster ; for parties met in the blow, felt rolling on the scaffold, while thoroughfares of the metropolis, as they the arms of the trunk were mechanically returned from their late revels, and shout stretched towards the prince, whose in- was opposed to shout; some exclaiming tolerable horror was relieved only by a “ Long live the house of Lancaster! deep swoon. And this is not romance,

Down with the white rose of York," but sober truth, which was, probably, which was answered by “ Down with the much more agonizing in the reality than bloody house of Lancaster! Long reign it can be in description.

King Richard the Third !” for a strong Other, almost incredible, things are feeling still existed among some of the told of this monster; as, for example, citizens in favour of Queen Margaret. that he obliged his family often to dine Others also exclaimed, “ Long live King beneath a tree in the open air, where Edward the Fifth! Down with the they were obliged to sit through all Usurper,” for Glo'ster had already bechanges of weather, sometimes up to come obnoxious to many through his their ancles in mud and water, etc. А acts of cruelty; indeed, there were proofs half hour before his last breath, he given afterwards of his unpopularity, called for a glass, and said with a smile, when such numbers revolted, and joined “I am much changed. I shall make a the standard of Richmond; for during villanous face in dying." I should think the two years of his reign, and the one so, after such a life.

which preceded it, he had been the means of shedding more royal blood than had

been spilt in many battles. The poorest arguments will make their But, amid all these mingled sounds of way, when delivered with firmness and joy and tumult, there was one sad heart, decision.

and one thoughtful brow on which the A man of an irresolute constitution crown sat heavily - a cavern of dark gives himself a treat of the rack, every ruminations, which the splendour of a time he is called to make up his mind diadem could not radiate; for Queen respecting some petty domestic arrange- Anne had retired alone, to sigh over her ment.

sorrows in Crosby Hall, while King Indecision arises from two very differ Richard kept his court, and pursued his ent causes : seeing our way too far, or daring plans in the palace. not far enough. .

Several days had elapsed since the

DECISION.

coronation, and during that time the siveness in the foliage thereon enwrought. queen had resided in the south wing of In place of rushes the floor was now the Hall, while the great dining-parlour covered with carpet, or more properly and throne room were put in order, and tapestry, for the trees and flowers were decorated with becoming splendour for worked upon it after the manner of a queen. It was a portion of King modern embroidery, but ruder than a Richard's policy to spare no wealth, girl's first sampler, and much after that which might add to his greatness in out- fashion. The trees were all made to ward show, and yet appear as if done rule, triangular, with a shaft in the centre solely for the comfort and love he bare for a stem, bearing no bad resemblance to his wife, which could not fail of being to a dunce's cap placed upon a walking rumoured abroad, and would in the end stick. The flowers also appeared like serve as a cloak for the furtherance of cherries fastened upon a splinter of wood, his designs. It was his intention, after each matching each, as old women array the death of Anne, to wed the daughter them to catch the eye of passing urchins. of Queen Elizabeth, widow of Edward The colours were gaudy in the extreme, the Fourth, and thereby prevent Rich- and at a distant glance gave you no bad mond from laying any claim to the idea of the drapery of harlequin. The crown through marriage, thus hoping table was of old English oak, covered to crush for ever the power of the house also with a cloth of velvet, in union with of Lancaster. How far his plans were that upon

the walls. At one end of the successful, history has recorded ; and room stoud a recess : it was so formed as Shakspeare has also thrown the poetry to face the entrance door ; its leaves were of undying thought over his deeds, which thrown open, and displayed a rich array will live when the annals of history are of plate, gold and silver, and in curious doubted. It only comes within the devices, some of them bearing the imlimits of our narrative, to dwell upon press of the royal arms of England. The such portions of his life as were connected iron lamps were also removed, and with the fate of his queen, and took others of silver swung in their places, place within Crosby Hall.

bearing the forms of flying dragons. All the old furniture had been re. Such was the appearance of the diningmoved from the great dining-parlour, parlour ; part of the furniture had been and it had been fitted up in the most removed from the palace, for Richard costly style ; almost every quarter of the had his secret reason for keeping his globe had contributed to its splendour: queen at Crosby Hall, and had intended for the many wars in which England proposing what she so eagerly solicited. had engaged during the last three reigns, But the throne-room above, if it was had made a great revolution in the possible, excelled the lower apartment in domestic arrangements of the English, grandeur. It was hung with the richest causing them to import and copy the drapery, tapestry of gold and silver, on manufactures and luxuries of foreign which was represented in no mean style nations; there being as much competition of execution, the wars of the Titans : among the English nobles in outvying gods stood out in gold, upheaving massy each other in showy grandeur, as there mountains of silver, and tearing up rocks is in our day in two rival houses of from their bases, or grasping trees in Bloomsbury, endeavouring to eclipse their hands, while others showered the each other in dress. The dining-parlour forked lightning from above, or darted walls were now hung with rich arras of down golden thunder-bolts. At the end purple velvet, edged with gold, which of the apartment, facing the chamber reached down beyond the wainscoting: door which we have already described, there was something heavy in its rich. stood a splendid throne, or chair of state, ness—an appearance of solemn splendour, and of sufficient dimensions to contain but this might be owing to the dim light two persons ; it was raised three steps which streamed forth in such a variety of from the floor, and surmounted by a hues from the deep-dyed windows. The canopy of crimson velvet ; the cushions chairs or rather stools, for such they and curtains were also of the same costly might be termed when compared to material. On the top of the canopy were what we now use, were also covered with

two crowns, resembling those worn by velvet cushions, matching the drapery the king and queen of England.

A upon the walls ; the wood-work was golden boar stood grinning above these, black and bright, and wore the appear- as if looking on the splendour below in ance of ebony-and was richly carved, triumph. · This was the king's crest, or rather heavily, for there was a mas- when Duke of Glo'ster.

room

The chairs, or settles--for they were “ Think you my lady,” inquired shaped much like the high-backed Bridget," that his majesty gave sanction benches we now see in tap-rooms, only to the destruction of the princes in the lower at the back--were also covered with Tower ?" crimson velvet, white roses of silver were “I am too certain of it,” replied the emblazoned upon them; over the fire- Queen, “even as much so, as if I had place, which alone was uncumbered with beard him give orders for their death; drapery, hung several valuable pictures, nay, I do believe that Dighton and the productions of eminent masters, which Forrest, whom the King has appointed were brought to England among other for our guards, were they who smotherspoils of war. Marble statues too orna: ed the pretty babes : 't is well known mented this apartment, such as had once that they destroyed Clarence, and for graced the galleries of Italy. In this their villanies have been advanced by

were seated Queen Anne and the King. Oh, Bridget, whenever I Bridget Crosby, side by side, upon one look at Forrest, methinks there is murof the richly-covered seats. It was nights der written on his brow; and it was such and silver lamps shed their bright beams a face as his, that bent over me in my over the apartment, the oil was perfumed, dream, with a dagger in his hand.” and sent forth a pleasant odour. Every “ But,” continued Bridget, “I heard thing around wore an air of comfort his majesty say that if any of your attenand majesty; but the pale face of the dants were obnoxious, he begged you Queen, unharmonized with the scene; would discharge them; marry, I would there was a deep melancholy upon her not allow such a brace of unhanged brow, and a tear stood upon her silken knaves as they appear, to come in my lashes, even Bridget sat with folded presence.” hands, like one who dared not offer com- “'Twould be of no avail," replied Anne, fort, and was attentively listening to the ” I should but remove the savage tiger Queen, who had paused in her conversa- for the prowling wolf, the fierce hyena tion to gather strength to proceed, for for the subtle crocodile. No, he has she appeared greatly excited.

too many instruments at his bidding “ Was it after the shedding of blood for a frail woman to resist, and he hates in the field of Tewksbury,” said Bridget, me on account of my father, Warwick, " that the Prince your husband was who many a time overthrew his strongest murdered ?"

measures." Alas !" sighed Queen Anne,"it “I fear there is too much truth in was: had he fallen in the fight, he what you have stated," said Bridget. “I would have saved me many tears. But have a maiden aunt in Kent, let us fly he died nobly, heaven rest his soul ! to her; the honour and long services of asserting his rights, even in the teeth of my family will be a sure protection to us, those who took his life, and might now and I have a friend in the mayor." have been England's king, but for the “I thank thee, Bridget," answered the dagger of my present lord.”

Queen, “ but I am King Richard's, and May heaven forgive him for the to fly, would be unworthy of the daughdeed !” ejaculated Margaret.

ter of Warwick; moreover, the mayor is Amen,” responded Anne; “and his friend, and already does his behest may the Holy Mother intercede for him, without a murmur ; bethink thee, maifor murdering my husband's father.” den, there is no escaping his power; be

“ It was a dark day for England,” șide, my father met his death valiantly, said Bridget,“ when they first gathered nor should his daughter be a craven.” the white and red roses, and from the “ It ill becomes me,” replied Bridget, fairest flowers drew the foulest factions." “ to advise one so high born as yourself,

“ Little rest has my country had but a man can defend himself better from that hour,” replied the Queen : “it than we, and to die in a battle-field, is has caused many a son to shed the life far nobler than to be stabbed in bed; of his father, and father of son. Ah, methinks, that even your brave father woe is me since the red rose fell ! since would fly from the odds of darkness and the house of Lancaster was shorn of its assassins." plumes, for then I lost one who was a “Mine may be but idle fears after dove to me, but to his enemies a sweep. all,” said Anne; “and if they are not, ing eagle. And I have been deluded there is none to mourn for me, I trow; by the wily tongue of a poisonous ser- neither do I wish to live, for there is a pent, more subtle than that which tempt- worm gnawing at my heart, whose work ed our first mother."

would soon be done, without the aid of steel or poison."

“ It may be so," answered Bridget, night, that it was your intention to take “ but methinks what he has done, would so unceremonious a leave of us; marry make any one fear-in sooth, I would you should have apprised us of your not trust him. Oh do not, if it be but wishes, that an escort might have been to save one heart from sorrowing, for in readiness, for it ill becomes a queen mine would break, were you to leave to journey alone.” me; and oh, how awful to be mur- “ I scarcely deemed,” said the Queen, dered !” and Bridget buried her face in “that your Majesty took so deep an inher hands, while her loud sobs at inter- terest in my weal, for many days have vals, broke the silence that reigned in elapsed since you deigned to honour me the apartment.

with a visit.” The Queen replied not for several “ True,” answered the King, “but minutes, but threw her arms around thou canst not accuse us of paying no Bridget, while the tears gushed from attention to thy comfort,” casting his her eyes, and trickled down her lovely eyes around the splendid apartment, cheeks, like rain-drops stealing down the "and thou art*.well aware, I trow, that stem of a lily; at length she said, “I affairs stood not in the best position will go with thee, take me to a place of when my subjects made me to take the safety, let me spend the remainder of my crown. But thou shalt not complain; days with thee in retirement."

I intend sharing thy company to-night, “ You would not leave us to-night, unless indeed,” added he contemptuously, fair wife,” said. King Richard, closing a “thy fair counsellor Bridget would be a secret door just behind them, by which preferable companion." he had entered, and stood unobserved ...“ I intrude not myself upon her Malong enough to hear that portion of their jesty," said Bridget, undaunted by the conversation which related to himself. King's presence, but methinks it would

Nay, thou givest one but a cold re- ill become me to see her sit day after ception," continued he, knitting his day alone, or her only companions armed brows, for neither of them had as yet ruffians, villains who would murder their spoken, but clung to each other in fear, own father for gold, ill guests for a lady's for they had not the most remote idea society, I wot.” of his being so near at hand until he • Softly, fair maiden,” said King spoke. At length the Queen mustered Richard, gazing on the lovely and highresolution enough to speak, and said in spirited Bridget, as much in admiration à tremulous voice :

as anger, “ by the Holy Paul, methinks ** Methinks your Majesty might have thou holdest my friends in small repute, apprised me of this honour, for we were to speak thus lightly of them." unprepared for a visit at this hour." “I hold them in as high repute,” re

i. Beshrew me,” answered King plied Bridget Crosby, “as every honest Richard, “ for want of courtesy, I know person ought, and perchance as much as it has become much the vogue of late thou dost o King, for as they act to for the husband to give a long notice to others, so would they be tempted to do the wife, in case she should have pledged with thee, for a higher guerdon." her word to visit a play, or walk with “ By the mass, I do believe thee, fair some very dear friend, or be out at a damsel," answered Richard, “and if dance, or have company in her own they be such as thou sayest they are, I chamber whom it would be uncourteous will be rid of them." to intrude upon; but by the holy-rood, “If," answered Bridget, looking full I thought there had been exceptions upon the King's face, until he quailed among kings and queens.

beneath the purity of her glance, and “ That exception extends to me," the consciousness of his own guilt, “ifanswered Anne, “and Bridget Crosby thou knowest they are; thou were not is the only one I would wish to honour wont to hearken to if's, when thou with the name of friend; but, there are orderedst Hastings to be beheaded." those around my person, when you are “ Now out upon thee for a cursed bag,” absent, who intrude upon my privacy at shouted King Richard, drawing his their pleasure, with as little ceremony as sword, and shaking it in Bridget's face, if they were my equals.”

while his rage scarcely left him utterance, " True, fair wife,” replied Glo'ster « art thou to take note of my actions, with a sneer, “but methinks it is necessary and construe them as thou pleasest? out that some one should look to your safety, of my sight, I say, or by hell, I will were it only to receive your commands draw a curtain over thine eyes." at parting, for I was not aware until to. “ Nay, thou darest not to touch me,"

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exclaimed Bridget, “ King as thou art; a tear that stood upon her silken lashes,
thy betters were beholden to my father, like a sorrowing sentinel that kept
and wert thou to draw one drop of my watch.
blood, there are ten thousand daggers in We now return to the Throne-room,
this city which would leap to my re- which adjoined the sleeping apartment,
venge; but I leave thee-and thou fair where Queen Anne had retired and left
Queen, beware of him. The Hall of my the King alone, who only remained so
fathers has not yet been polluted with for a short time, for Dighton and Forrest,
the blood of murder. Nay, thou darest who were at hand, joined him soon after
not to strike me, there is blood enough the Queen's departure, and were seated
upon thy hands, I trow.” And Bridget at the splendid table with the King, con-
left the apartment, followed even to the ferring together in a low tone.
door by Richard, with his sword pointed “ In the garden, you think, would be
at, yet not daring to strike her. So much the most secret,” said the King.
had her proud bearing, and the boldness “ 'Twould be done the speediest I
with which she confronted him, over- trow,” replied Dighton, “ for we might
awed his spirit, which shook beneath the dig a pit in a little time deep enough to
terrible truths she had uttered.

hold her."
For several moments he paced the “ Right,” said Forrest, « and the
apartment with rapid strides, his brow best place would be in the gravel-walk,
flushed with rage, and his dark eyes which would escape suspicion, as we
flashing wildly and frightfully upon the might cover it again, and trample it to
Queen, who still maintained her seat, its former appearance.”
although trembling like the last leaf of “Hold !” said the King, “this must
autumn, and expecting every moment not be; cannot you dispatch her, so as
that the storm of his passion would burst to make it appear that she died a natural
forth. But, no; he had learnt 'to smile death, for now I bethink me I have
and murder while he smiled,' and soon given it out that she is grievous sick, and
walked himself into an apparent calm- would fain have her buried with great
ness, which was more dangerous than splendour, publicly."
his anger, and approaching the Queen “ Not well,” answered Dighton, “for
he said :

though we smothered the young princes “ Hie thee to bed, sweet wife, I will in the Tower, and did it as quietly as be with thee anon.”

possible without much force, still there The Queen took up a silver candlestick, was a difference in their faces to what and lighting the waxen taper, walked there would have been had they died with tearful eyes into the sleeping-room, naturally, for your Majesty may be sure without even summoning her female that they will make a little resistance, attendants. Without unrobing herself, in spite of our persuading them that it is she knelt before a crucifix, and remained all for their benefit.” in prayer for several minutes; when “ Well, you know the best," said these were finished, she continued to Richard, “and I leave it entirely to kneel, with her hands clasped, and her yourself. Could you do the deed withlong bright hair falling in disorder over out marks of violence I would increase her face. She was indeed a picture of your reward; but if not, then bury her beauty in sorrow, for as she removed her in the garden. And now good night, long tresses with one hand, and conti- and let me see you early to-morrow at nued prostrate, the light fell upon one the palace," saying which, he left the side of her face, revealing a profile, such apartment, muffled in a large cloak, and as hath but seldom been excelled in the walked alone to the palace, unknown fairest work of sculptor, or the sweetest even to his menials. dream of poet.

Ai intervals she sighed He had not long retired before Bridget deeply, and when she arose there was an Crosby entered by the private door, by unusual calmness upon her fave, melan- which the King obtained ingress. As choly indeed, but resigned, like one whose she entered without making the slightest mind is made up to meet the worst noise, neither Dighton nor Forrest perwithout a

At length she ceived her, for they were too busily endivested herself of her rich robes, and gaged in devising a plan to dispatch the with aching heart she laid her lovely Queen without leaving marks of violence head upon the pillow, and as if pain and that they might obtain the increased care were wearied with keeping their reward. Bridget Crosby stood in the long vigils, she soon fell asleep; but even shadow of the rich drapery that covered while she slept, the bright taper revealed the wall, and listened to their various

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murmur.

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