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Or thee?-or thee?-or any of your faction?
The king, of his own royal disposition,
Glo. I cannot tell;-The world is grown so bad, That wrens may prey where eagles dare not perch. Since every Jack became a gentleman,
There's many a gentle person made a Jack.
Q. Eliz. Come, come, we know your meaning, brother Gloster:
You envy my advancement, and my friends';
Our brother is imprison'd by your means,
Held in contempt; while great promotions
That scarce, some two days since, were worth a noble.2
Q. Eliz. By him that rais'd me to this careful height
From that contented hap which I enjoy'd,
Against the duke of Clarence, but have been
Glo. You may deny that you were not the cause
Glo. She may, lord Rivers ?-why, who knows
She may do more, sir, than denying that:
Riv. What, merry, may she?
What you have been ere now, and what you are ; Withal, what I have been, and what I am.
Q. Mar. A murd'rous villain, and so still thou art. Glo. Poor Clarence did forsake his father Warwick,
Ay, and forswore himself,-Which Jesu pardon !— Q. Mar. Which God revenge!
Glo. To fight on Edward's party, for the crown; And, for his meed, poor lord, he is mew'd up:
I would to God, my heart were flint like Edward's, Or Edward's soft and pitiful, like mine;
I am too childish-foolish for this world.
Q. Mar. Hie thee to hell for shame, and leave this world,
Thou cacodæmon! there thy kingdom is.
Riv. My lord of Gloster, in those busy days, Which here you urge to prove us enemies, We follow'd then our lord, our lawful king; So should we you, if you should be our king.
Glo. If I should be-I had rather be a pedlar : Far be it from my heart, the thought thereof!
Q. Eliz. As little joy, my lord, as you suppose You should enjoy, were you this country's king; As little joy you may suppose in me, That I enjoy, being the queen thereof.
Q. Mar. A little joy enjoys the queen thereof; For I am she, and altogether joyless. I can no longer hold me patient.Hear me, you wrangling pirates, that fall out In sharing that which you have pill'd' from me: Which of you trembles not, that looks on me: If not, that I, being queen, you bow like subjects; Yet that, by you depos'd, you quake like rebels?— Ah, gentle villain, do not turn away!
Glo. Foul wrinkled witch, what mak'st thou in my sight?
Q. Mar. But repetition of what thou hast marr'd; That will I make, before I let thee go.
Glo. Wert thou not banished on pain of death? Q. Mar. I was; but I do find more pain in ba
Than death can yield me here by my abode.
Glo. The curse my noble father laid on thee, When thou didst crown hiswarlikebrowswith paper, And with thy scorns drew'st rivers from his eyes; And then to dry them, gav'st the duke a clout,
Glo. What, marry, may she? marry with a king, Steep'd in the faultless blood of pretty Rutland;A bachelor, a handsome stripling too:
I wis,3 your grandam had a worser match.
Q. Eliz. My lord of Gloster, I have too long borne Your blunt upbraidings, and your bitter scoffs: By heaven, I will acquaint his majesty, Of those gross taunts I often have endur'd. had rather be a country servant-maid, Than a great queen with this conditionTo be so baited, scorn'd, and storm'd at: Small joy have I in being England's queen.
Enter QUEEN MARGARET, behind.
Q. Mar. And lessen'd be that small, God, I beseech thee!
Thy honor, state, and seat, is due to me.
Tell him, and spare not: look, what I have said
Q. Mar. Out, devil! I remember them too well:
I was a pack-horse in his great affairs;
Q. Mar. Ay, and much better blood than his, or thine.
Glo. In all which time, you, and your husband
Were factious for the house of Lancaster;-
'Rude, ignorant. A coin rated at 6s. 8d. Think.
His curses, then from bitterness of soul
Dors. No man but prophesied revenge for it.
Though not by war, by surfeit die your king,
That none of you may live your natural age, But by some unlook'd accident cut off!
Glo. Have done thy charm, thou hateful wither'd hag.
Q. Mar. And leave out thee? stay, dog, for thou shalt hear me.
If heaven have any grievous plague in store,
On thee, the troubler of the poor world's peace!
Q. Mar. Glo.
I call thee not. Glo. I cry thee mercy then; for I did think, That thou hadst call'd me all these bitter names. Mar. Why, so I did; but look'd for no reply: let me make the period to my curse.
Glo. 'Tis done by me; and ends in-Margaret. Q. Eliz. Thus have you breath'd your curse against yourself.
Q. Mar. Poor painted queen, vain flourish of my fortune!
Why strew'st thou sugar on that bottled spider,6
Q. Mar. Foul shame upon you! you have all mov'd mine.
Riv. Were you well serv'd, you would be taught your duty.
Q. Mar. To serve me well, you all should do me duty,
Teach me to be your queen, and you my subjects:
And, if they fall, they dash themselves to pieces. Glo. Good counsel, marry;-learn it, learn it, marquis.
Dors. It touches you, my lord, as much as me. Glo. Ay, and much more: But I was born so high, Our aierys buildeth in the cedar's top,
And dallies with the wind, and scorns the sun.
Witness my son, now in the shade of death;
And shamefully by you my hopes are butcher'd.
Q. Mar. O princely Buckingham, I kiss thy hand,
Buck. Nor no one here; for curses never pass The lips of those that breathe them in the air. Q. Mar. I'll not believe but they ascend the sky, Alluding to Gloster's form and venom. 'He was just created marquis of Dorset.
And there awake God's gentle-sleeping peace.
Glo. What doth she say, my lord of Buckingham?
Riv. And so doth mine; I muse,9 why she's at liberty.
Glo. I cannot blame her, by God's holy mother, She hath had too much wrong, and I repent My part thereof, that I have done to her.
Q. Eliz. I never did her any, to my knowledge. Glo. Yet you have all the vantage of her wrong. I was too hot to do some body good, That is too cold in thinking of it now. Marry, as for Clarence, he is well repaid; He is frank'd' up to fatting for his pains;God pardon them that are the cause thereof! Riv. A virtuous and a christian-like conclusion, To pray for them that have done scath2 to us. Glo. So do I ever, being well advis'd;For had I curs'd now, I had curs'd myself. [Aside. Enter CATESBY.
Cates. Madam, his majesty doth call for you,— And for your grace, and you, my noble lords. Q. Eliz. Catesby I come;-Lords, will you go with me?
Riv. Madam, we will attend upon your grace. [Exeunt all but GLOSTER. Glo. I do the wrong, and first begin to brawl. The secret mischiefs that I set abroach, I lay unto the grievous charge of others. Clarence,-whom I, indeed, have laid in dark
I do beweep to many simple gulls;
But soft, here come my executioners.-
Glo. Well thought upon, I have it here about [Gives the Warrant. When you have done, repair to Crosby-place. But, sirs, be sudden in the execution, Withal obdurate, do not hear him plead; For Clarence is well spoken, and, perhaps, May move your hearts to pity, if you mark him. 1 Murd. Tut, tut, my lord, we will not stand to prate,
Talkers are no good doers; be assured.
I like you, lads-about your business straight
So full of fearful dreams, of ugly sights,
Brak. What was your dream, my lord? I pray
Clar. Methought that I had broken from the
And was embark'd to cross to Burgundy;
Who from my cabin tempted me to walk
Enter the two Murderers.
1 Murd. Ho! who's here?
1 Murd. I would speak with Clarence, and I
Brak. What, so brief?
2 Murd. O, sir, 'tis better to be brief than tedious:
Let him see our commission; talk no more.
A Paper is delivered to BRAKENBURY, who reads it,
Upon the hatches; thence we look'd toward Eng- The noble duke of Clarence to your hands:
And cited up a thousand heavy times,
O heaven! methought, what pain it was to drown!
All scattered in the bottom of the sea.
Some lay in dead men's skulls; and, in those holes
Clar. Methought, I had; and often did I strive
Brak. Awak'd you not with this sore agony'
O, then began the tempest to my soul!
The first that there did greet my stranger soul,
That stabb'd me in the field by Tewksbury;—
Clar. O, Brakenbury, I have done these things,-
O God! if my deep prayers cannot appease thee,
I will not reason what is meant hereby,
That I thus have resign'd to you my charge.
1 Murd. You may, sir; 'tis a point of wisdom: Fare you well. [Exit BRAKENBURY. 2 Murd. What, shall we stab him as he sleeps? 1 Murd. No; he'll say, 'twas done cowardly, when he wakes.
2 Murd. When he wakes! why fool, he shall never wake until the great judgment day.
1 Murd. Why, then he'll say, we stabb'd him sleeping.
2 Murd. The urging of that word, judgment, hath bred a kind of remorse in me.
1 Murd. What! art thou afraid?
2 Murd. Not to kill him, having a warrant for it; but to be damn'd for killing him, from the which no warrant can defend me.
1 Murd. I thought, thou hadst been resolute. 2 Murd. So I am, to let him live.
1 Murd. I'll back to the duke of Gloster, and tell him so.
2 Murd. Nay, I pr'ythee, stay a little: I hope, this holy humor of mine will change; it was wont to hold me but while one would tell twenty.
1 Murd. How dost thou feel thyself now?
2 Murd. 'Faith some certain dregs of conscience are yet within me.
1 Murd. Remember our reward, when the deed's done.
2 Murd. Come, he dies; I had forgot the reward. 1 Murd. Where's thy conscience now?
2 Murd. In the duke of Gloster's purse.
1 Murd. So when he opens his purse to give us our reward, thy conscience flies out,
2 Murd. 'Tis no matter; let it go; there's few, or none, will entertain it.
1 Murd. What, if it come to thee again?
2 Murd. I'll not meddle with it, it is a dangerous thing, it makes a man a coward; a man cannot steal, but it accuseth him; a man cannot swear, but it checks him; a man cannot lie with his neighbor's wife, but it detects him: 'Tis a blushing shame-faced spirit, that mutinies in a man's bosom; it fills one full of obstacles: it made me once restore a purse of gold, that by chance I found; it beggars any man that keeps it: it is turned out of all towns and cities for a dangerous thing; and every man, that means to live well, endeavors to trust to himself, and live without it.
1 Murd. 'Zounds, it is even now at my cibow, persuading me not to kill the duke.
2 Murd. Take the devil in thy mind, and believe him not: he would insinuate with thee, but to make thee sigh.
1 Murd. I am strong-framed, he cannot prevail with me.
2 Murd. Spoke like a tall3 fellow, that respects his reputation. Come, shall we fall to work?
1 Murd. Take him over the costard4 with the chil-hilts of thy sword, and then throw him into the malmsey-butt, in the next room.
I pray thee, gentle keeper, stay by me;
[CLARENCE reposes himself on a chair.
They often feel a world of restless cares:
2 Murd. O excellent device! and make a sop of him.
1 Murd. Soft! he wakes.
2 Murd. Strike.
Clar. How darkly, and how deadly dost thou speak?
Your eyes do menace me: Why look you pale?
Clar. You scarcely have the hearts to tell me so, And therefore cannot have the hearts to do it. Wherein, my friends, have I offended you?
1 Murd. Offended us you have not, but the king. Clar. I shall be reconcil'd to him again.
2 Murd. Never, my lord; therefore prepare to die.
Clar. Are you call'd forth from out a world of men,
To slay the innocent? What is my offence?
To threaten me with death is most unlawful.
1 Murd. What we will do, we do upon command. 2 Murd. And he, that hath commanded, is our king.
Clar. Erroneous vassal! the great King of kings
For false forswearing, and for murder too:
1 Murd. And like a traitor to the name of God, Didst break that vow; and, with thy treacherous blade,
Unrip'dst the bowels of thy sovereign's son.
2 Murd. Whom thou wast sworn to cherish and defend.
1 Murd. How canst thou urge God's dreadful law to us,
When thou hast broke it in such dear degree?
1 Murd. Who made thee then a bloody minister, When gallant-springing, brave Plantagenet, That princely novice, was struck dead by thee? Clar. My brother's love, the devil, and my rage. 1 Murd. Thy brother's love, our duty, and thy fault, Provoke us hither now to slaughter thec.
SCENE I-A Room in the Palace.
Clar. O, no; he loves me, and he holds me dear: Go you to him from me. Both Murd. Ay, so we will. Clar. Tell him,when that our princely father York Bless'd his three sons with his victorious arm, And charged us from his soul to love each other, He little thought of this divided friendship: Bid Gloster think on this, and he will weep.
1 Murd. Ay, mill-stones; as he lesson'd us to weep.
Clar. O, do not slander him, for he is kind.
1 Murd. Right, as snow in harvest.-Come, you deceive yourself;
'Tis he that sends us to destroy you here.
Clar. It cannot be; for he bewept my fortune, And hugged me in his arms, and swore, with sobs, That he would labor my delivery.
1 Murd. Why so he doth, when he delivers you From this earth's thraldom to the joys of heaven. 2 Murd. Make peace with God, for you must die,
Clar. Hast thou that holy feeling in thy soul,
To do this deed, will hate you for the deed.
Relent, and save your souls.
1 Murd. Relent! 'tis cowardly, and womanish. Clar. Not to relent, is beastly, savage, devilish.Which of you, if you were a prince's son, Being pents from liberty, as I am now,
Iftwo such murderers as yourselves came to you,-
My friend, I spy some pity in thy looks;
Come thou on my side, and entreat for me,
1 Murd. Take that, and that; if all this will not
I'll drown you in the malmsey-butt within.
[Exit with the body.
Enter KING EDWARD, (led in sick,) QUEEN ELIZABETH, DORSET, RIVERS, HASTINGS, BUCKINGHAM, GREY, and others.
Since I have made my friends at peace on earth.
K. Edw. Why, so:-now have I done a good And with my hand I seal my true heart's love.
You peers continue this united league:
I every day expect an embassage
From my Redeemer to redeem me hence;
And more in peace my soul shall part to heaven,
Hast. So thrive I, as I truly swear the like! K. Edw. Take heed, you dally not before your king Lest he, that is the supreme King of kings, Confound your hidden falsehood, and award Either of you to be the other's end. • Shut up
Hast. So prosper I, as I swear perfect love! Riv. And I, as I love Hastings with my heart! K. Edw.Madam, yourself are not exempt in this,Nor your son Dorset,-Buckingham, nor you;You have been factious one against the other. Wife, love lord Hastings, let him kiss your hand; And what you do, do it unfeignedly.
Q. Eliz. There, Hastings;-I will never more remember
Our former hatred; So thrive I, and mine!
K. Edw. Dorset, embrace him,-Hastings, love lord marquis.
Dor. This interchange of love, I here protest, Upon my part shall be inviolable.
Hast. And so swear I. [Embraces DORSET. K. Edw. Now princely Buckingham, seal thou this league,
With thy embracements to my wife's allies,
Buck. Whenever Buckingham doth turn his hate Upon your grace, [To the QUEEN.] but with all
Doth cherish you, and yours, God punish me
[Embracing RIVERS, &c. K. Edw. A pleasing cordial, princely Bucking
Glo. Good morrow to my sovereign king, and queen;
And, princely peers, a happy time of day!
Brother, we have done deeds of charity;
If I unwittingly, or in my rage,
Have aught committed that is hardly borne
To reconcile me to his friendly peace
I hate it, and desire all good men's love.-
If ever any grudge were lodg'd between us;
Q. Eliz. A holy-day shall this be kept hereafter.
Q. Eliz. All-seeing heaven, what a world is this! Buck. Look I so pale, lord Dorset, as the rest? Dor. Ay, my good lord; and no man in the pre
But his red color hath forsook his cheek.
K. Edw. Is Clarence dead? the order was revers'd.
Glo. But he, poor man, by your first order died, And that a winged Mercury did bear; Some tardy cripple bore the countermand, That came too lag to see him buried:
God grant, that some, less noble, and less loyal,
Stan. A boon, my sovereign, for my service done.
Stan. I will not rise unless your highness hear me. K. Edw. Then say at once, what is it thou request'st.
Stan. The forfeit, sovereign, of my servant's life; Who slew to-day a riotous gentleman, Lately attendant on the duke of Norfolk.
K. Edw. Have I a tongue to doom my brother's death,
And shall that tongue give pardon to a slave?
Had so much grace to put it in my mind.
Yet none of you would once plead for his life.—
[Exeunt KING, QUEEN, HASTINGS, RIVERS, DORSET, and GREY.
Glo. This is the fruit of rashness!-Mark'd you not,
How that the guilty kindred of the queen
SCENE II.-The same.
Enter the DUCHESS OF YORK, with a Son and Daughter of CLARENCE.
Son. Good grandam, tell us, is our father dead? Duch. No, boy.
Daugh. Why do you weep so oft? and beat your breast;
And cry-O Clarence, my unhappy son!
Duch. My pretty cousins, you mistake me both.
Son. Then, grandam, you conclude that he is dead The king my uncle is to blame for this. God will revenge it; whom I will importune With earnest prayers all to that effect. Daugh. And so will I.
Duch. Peace, children, peace! the king doth love you well:
Incapables and shallow innocents,
Son. Grandam, we can; for my good uncle Gloster