“The world is grown so bad, that wrens make prey where eagles dare not perch.”
William Shakespeare's Richard III
Two hundred and sixty years ago today, the English actor-manager, Thomas Kean (variously spelled Keene, it is uncertain whether he was of the same family as the more famous and tragic Edmund Kean), first staged in New York a production of Shakespeare's Richard III in which he played the title role.
I used to live not far from Bosworth Field and found the area quite eerie, more so than, for instance, Flodden and Waterloo. It was the haunt of curlews who cried an eternal lament for a dedicated victim. It still echoes down the ages, for can anything be more hopeless or self-confounding?
As a small child, I was taught by my father, a meticulous man, that the following verse tells of King Richard's fate at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485. His mount stumbled and his crown was left hanging on a thorn bush when he is supposed to have delivered the anvil-ringing line summing up not only his plight, but his character:
“A horse! A horse! My Kingdom for a horse!”
For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.
Another line, quoted by monarchists of the past, which relates to the event is:
“Cleave to the Crown though it hang on a thorn bush.”
Does anyone know who coined this? I've yet to discover the answer and am fairly sure it wasn't the Bard.
Causes Rosy Cole Supports
World Vision, International Prison Outreach, Salvation Army, Emmaus Project, Poor Clares, DogsTrust, BUAV (against animal testing) WWT (Wildfowl &...