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In the Legend of King Richard the Third, Niccols appears to have copied some passages from Shakespeare's Tragedy on that history. In the opening of the play Richard says,

Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths,
Our bruised arms hung up for monuments:
Our stern alarums changed to merry meetings:
Our dreadfull marches to delightfull measures*.
Grim-visag'd War hath smooth'd his wrinkled front;
And now, instead of mounting barbed steeds,
To fright the souls of fearfull adversaries,
He capers nimbly in a lady's chamber

To the lascivious pleasing of a lute.c

These lines evidently gave rise to part of Richard's soliloquy in Niccols's Legend.

The battels fought in field before

Were turn'd to meetings of sweet amitie:

The war-god's thundring cannons dreadfull rore,
And rattling drum-sounds warlike harmonie,
To sweet-tun'd noise of pleasing minstralsie.-

God Mars laid by his Launce and tooke his Lute,
And turn'd his rugged frownes to smiling lookes;
In stead of crimson fields, warres fatall fruit,
He bathed his limbes in Cypre's warbling brookes,
And set his thoughts upon her wanton lookes.d

Part of the tent-scene in Shakespeare is also imitated by Niccols. Richard, starting from his horrid dream, says,

Methought the souls of all that I had murder'd
Came to my tent; and every one did threat
To morrow's vengeance on the head of Richard.e

* [A measure was, strictly speaking, a
court-dance of a stately turn; but the word
was also employed to express dances in
general. Stevens apud Shakspeare.-
d Pag. 753.

с Act i. Sc. i.

e Act v. Sc. ult. Drayton has also described these visionary terrors of Richard. POLYOLB. S. xxii.

When to the guilty king, the black forerunning night,

So Niccols,

I thought that all those murthered ghosts, whom I
By death had sent to their vntimely graue,
With balefull noise about my tent did crie,
And of the heauens with sad complaint did craue,
That they on guiltie wretch might vengeance haue:
To whom I thought the iudge of heauen gaue eare,
And gainst me gaue a iudgement full of feare.f

But some of the stanzas immediately following, which are formed on Shakespeare's ideas, yet with some original imagination, will give the reader the most favourable idea of Niccols as a contributor to this work.

For loe, eftsoones, a thousand hellish hags,
Leauing th' abode of their infernall cell,
Seasing on me, my hatefull body drags

From forth my bed into a place like hell,

Where fiends did naught but bellow, howle and yell,

Who in sterne strife stood gainst each other bent,
Who should my hatefull bodie most torment.
Tormented in such trance long did I lie,
Till extreme feare did rouze me where I lay,
And caus'd me from my naked bed to flie:
Alone within my tente I durst not stay,
This dreadfull dreame my soule did so affray :
When wakt I was from sleepe, I for a space
Thought I had beene in some infernall place.

About mine eares a buzzing feare still flew,
My fainting knees languish for want of might;
Vpon my bodie stands an icie dew;

Appear the dreadful ghosts of Henry, Lord Hastinges, with pale hands pre

pared as they would rend

and his Son,

[blocks in formation]

peacemeal: at which oft he roareth in his sleep.

Most cruelly to death, and of his Wife,

and friend

[blocks in formation]

My heart is dead within, and with affright
The haire vpon my head doth stand vpright:
Each limbe abovt me quaking, doth resemble
A riuers rush, that with the wind doth tremble.

Thus with my guiltie soules sad torture torne
The darke nights dismall houres I past away:
But at cockes crowe, the message of the morne,
My feare I did conceale, &c.

If internal evidence was not a proof, we are sure from other evidences that Shakespeare's tragedy preceded Niccols's legend. The tragedy was written about 1597. Niccols, at eighteen years of age, was admitted into Magdalene college in Oxford, in the year 1602. It is easy to point out other marks of imitation. Shakespeare has taken nothing from Seagars's Richard the Third, printed in Baldwine's collection, or first edition, in the year 1559. Shakespeare, however, probably catched the idea of the royal shades, in the same scene of the tragedy before us, appearing in succession and speaking to Richard and Richmond, from the general plan of the MIRROUR FOR MAGISTRATES: more especially, as many of Shakespeare's ghosts there introduced, for instance, King Henry the Sixth, Clarence, Rivers, Hastings, and Buckingham, are the personages of five of the legends belonging to this poem.

* Pag. 764.

to Magdalene Hall, where he was graRegistr. Univ. Oxon. He retired duated in Arts, 1606. Ibid.


By way of recapitulating what has been said, and in order to give a connected and uniform view of the MIRROUR OF MAGISTRATES in its most complete and extended state, its original contents and additions, I will here detail the subjects of this poem as they stand in this last or Niccols's edition of 1610, with reference to two preceding editions, and some other incidental particularities.

Niccols's edition, (after the Epistle Dedicatorie prefixed to Higgins's edition of 1587, an Advertisement To the Reader by Niccols, a Table of Contents, and Thomas Newton's recommendatory verses above mentioned,) begins with an Induction called the AUTHOR'S INDUCTION, written by Higgins, and properly belonging to his edition. Then follow these Lives.

Albanact youngest son of Brutus. Humber king of the Huns. King Locrine eldest son of Brutus. Queen Elstride concubine of Locrine. Sabrina daughter of Locrine. King Madan. King Malin. King Mempric. King Bladud. Queen Cordelia. Morgan king of Albany. King Jago. Ferrex. Porrex. King Pinnar slain by Molucius Donwallo. King Stater. King Rudacke of Wales. King Kimarus. King Morindus. King Emerianus. King Cherinnus. King Varianus. Irelanglas cousin to Cassibelane. Julius Cesar. Claudius Tiberius Nero. Caligula. King Guiderius. Lelius Hamo. Tiberius Drusus. Domitius Nero. Galba. Vitellius. Londric the Pict. Severus. Fulgentius a Pict. Geta. Caracalla. All these from Albanact, and in the same order, form the first part of Higgins's edition

[In 17 seven-line stanzas: altered from that in the edition of 1575, which had 21 stanzas.-HERBERT.]

a Pag. 1.

Ending with pag. 185.

of the year 1587. But none of them are in Baldwyne's, or the first, collection, of the year 1559. And, as I presume, these lives are all written by Higgins. Then follow in Niccols's edition, Carausius, Queen Helena, Vortigern, Uther Pendragon, Cadwallader, Sigebert, Ebba, Egelred, Edric, and Harold, all written by Thomas Blener Hasset, and never before printed *. We have next a new titled, "The variable Fortvne and vnhappie Falles of such princes as hath happened since the Conquest. Wherein may be seene, &c. At London, by Felix Kyngston. 1609." Then, after an Epistle to the Reader, subscribed R. N. (that is Richard Niccols,) follow, Sackville's INDUCTION. Cavyll's Roger Mortimer. Ferrers's Tresilian. Ferrers's Thomas of Woodstock. Churchyard's [Chaloner's] Mowbray. Ferrers's King Richard the Second. Phaer's Owen Glendour. Henry Percy. Baldwyne's Richard earl of Cambridge. Baldwyne's Montague earl of Salisbury. Ferrers's Eleanor Cobham. Ferrers's Humfrey duke of Gloucester. Baldwyne's William De La Poole earl of Suffolk. Baldwyne's Jack Cade. Ferrers's Edmund duke of Somerset. Richard Plantagenet duke of York. Lord Clifford. Tiptoft earl of Worcester. Richard lord Warwick. King Henry the Sixth. George Plantagenet duke of Clarence. Skelton's King Edward the Fourth. Woodvile lord Rivers. Dolman's Lord Hastings. Sackville's Duke of Buckingham. Collingburne. Cavyll's Blacksmith. Higgins's Sir Nicholas Burdet. Churchyard's Jane Shore. Churchyard's Wolsey. Drayton's Lord Cromwell. All these, (Humfrey, Cobham, Burdet, Cromwell, and Wolsey, excepted,) form the whole, but in a less chronological disposition, of Baldwyne's collection, or edition, of the year 1559, as we have seen above: from whence they were reprinted, with the addition of Humfrey, Cobham, Burdet, and Wolsey, by Higgins, in his edition aforesaid of 1587, and where Wolsey closes the work. Another title then appears in Niccols's edition, "A WINTter Nights

Where they end at fol. 108. a. * [Blenerhasset's contributions to this edition had been previously and sepa


rately printed in 1578.-EDIT.]
d After p. 250.
That is, from p. 250.
f After p. 547.

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