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Q. E lix.
I fear, our happiness is at the height.
Enter GLOSTER, HASTINGS, and DORSET. Glo. They do me wrong, and I will not endure it :
Who are they, that complain unto the king,
Grey. To whom in all this presence speaks your grace ?
Glo. To thee, that hast nor honesty, nor grace.
When have I injur'd thee? when done thee wrong ?
Or thee -or thee ?-or any of your faction?
need of you:
Our brother is imprisoned by your means,
Held in contempt; while great promotions
That scarce, come two days since, were worth a noble. t
Q. Eliz. By Him, that rais'd me to this careful height
From that contented hap which I enjoy'd,
My lord, you do me shameful injury,
I wis, your grandam had a worser match. Q. Eliz. My lord of Gloster, I have too long borne
blunt upbraidings, and your bitter
By heaven, I will acquaint his majesty
Enter Queen MARGARET, behind. Q. Mar. And lessen'd be that small, God, I beseech thee!
Thy honour, state, and seat, is due to me. Glo. What? Threat you me with telling of the king?
Tell him, and spare not look, what I have said
I will avouch in presence of the king:
I dare adventure to be sent to the Tower, 'Tis time to speak, my pains are quite forgot. Q. Mar. Out, devil! I remember them too well :
Thou kill'dst my husband Henry in the Tower, And Edward, my poor son, at Tewksbury.
Glo. Ere you were queen, ay, or your husband king,
I was a pack-horse in his great affairs;
To royalize bis blood, I spilt my own.
Q. Mar. Ay, and much better blood than his, or thine.
Glo. In all which time, you, and your husband Grey,
Were factious for the house of Lancaster ;-
In Margaret's battle at Saint Alban's slain ?
Thou cacodæmon?¶ there thy kingdom is.
Glo. You may deny that you were not the So should we you, if you should be our king.
Riv. What, marry, may she?
Glo. What, marry may she? marry with a I can no longer hold me patient.— [Advancing.
Hear me, you wrangling pirates, that fall out
In sharing that which you have pill'd from
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
Than death can yield me here by my abode.
Glo. The curse my noble father laid on thee,
When thou didst crown his warlike brows with paper,
And with thy scorns drew'st rivers from his eyes;
And then, to dry them, gav'st the duke a clout, Steep'd in the faultless blood of pretty Rutland ;
His curses, then from bitterness of soul Denounc'd against thee, are all fall'n upon thee; And God, not we, hath plagu'd thy bloody deed.
Q. Eliz. So just is God, to right the innocent. Hast. O 'twas the foulest deed to slay that babe,
And the most merciless, that e'er was heard of. Riv. Tyrants themselves wept when it was reported.
Dors. No man but prophesied revenge for it. Buck. Northumberland, then present, wept to
That Henry's death, my lovely Edward's death,
Why, then give way, dull clouds, to my quick curses !
Though not by war, by surfeit die your king,
And see another, as I see thee now,
That none of you may live your natural age,
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,
O let them keep it, till thy sins be ripe,
The worm of conscience still begnaw thy soul !
Q. Mar. Richard!
Lest, to thy harm, thou move our patience. 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:
O serve me well, and teach yourselves that duty.
Dor. Dispute not with her, she is lunatic. Q. Mar. Peace, master marquis, you are malapert:
Your fire-new stamp of honour is scarce current: +
O that your young nobility could judge,
Glo. Ay, and much more: But I was born so high,
Our aiery † buildeth in the cedar's top,
Witness my son, now in the shade of death; Whose bright out-shining beams tby cloudy wrath
Hath in eternal darkness folded up,
Q. Mar. Urge neither charity nor shame to ine;
Uncharitably with me have you dealt,
Q. Mar. O princely Buckingham, I kiss thy hand,
In sign of league and amity with thee:
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 bit they ascend the sky,
And there awake God's gentle-sleeping peace.
Look, when he fawns, he bites; and, when he bites,
His venom tooth will rankle to the death:
And thus I clothe my naked villany
But soft, here come my executioners.-
That we may be admitted where he is. 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 assur'd,
Sin, death, and hell have set their marks on We go to use our hands, and not our tongues.
And all their ministers attend on him.
Glo. What doth she say, my lord of Buckingham ?
Buck. Nothing that I respect, my gracious lord.
Q. Mar. What, dost thou scorn me for my gentle counsel ?
And sooth the devil that I warn thee from?
[Exit. Hast. My hair doth stand on end to hear her
Riv. And so doth mine; I muse, why she's at liberty.
Glo. I cannot blame her, by God's holy mother;
She hath had too much wrong, and I repent
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 somebody good,
To pray for them that have done scath to us.
Glo. Your eyes drop mill-stones, when fools' eyes drop tears:
I like you, lads :-about your business straight; Go, go, despatch.
1 Murd. We will, my noble lord. SCENE IV-The same.-A Room in the Tower.
Enter CLARENCE and BRAKENBURY. Brak. Why looks your grace so heavily today?
Clar. Oh! I have pass'd a miserable night, So full of fearful dreams, of ugly sights, That, as I am a Christian faithful man, I would not spend another such a night, Though 'twere to buy a world of happy days; So full of dismal terror was the time. Brak. What was your dream, my lord? I pray you, tell me.
Clar. Methought, that I had broken from the
And was embark'd to cross to Burgundy;
And cited up a thousand heavy times,
Struck me, that thought to stay him, over-board,
What dreadful noise of water in mine ears!
Where eyes did once inhabit, there were crept
Brak. Had you such leisure in the time of death,
To gaze upon these secrets of the deep?
Brak. Awak'd you not with this sore agony ? Clar. Oh no, my dream was lengthen'd after life;
Oh! then began the tempest to my soul!
Unto the kingdom of perpetual night.
The first that there did greet my stranger soul,
Was my great father-in-law, renowned War. wick,
Who cried aloud,-What scourge for perjury Can this dark monarchy afford false
1 Murd. No; he'll say 'twas Jone 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 af-aid?
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 had'st been reso
And so he vanish'd: Then came wand'ring by
A shadow like an angel, with bright hair Dabbled in blood; and he shriek'd out aloud, Clarence is come, false, fleeting, perjur'd Clarence,
That stabb'd me in the field by Tewksbury
Seize on him, furies, take him to your torments!
With that, methought, a legion of foul fiends
I am afraid, methinks to hear you tell it.
That now give evidence against my soul, For Edward's sake; and, see, how he requites me!
O God if my deep prayers cannot appease thee,
But thou wilt be aveng'd on my misdeeds,
I pray thee, gentle keeper, stay by me;
[CLARENCE reposes himself on a Chair. Sorrow breaks seasons, and reposing hours Makes the night morning, and the noon-tide night.
Princes have but their titles for their glories,
They often feel a world of restless cares :
Enter the two MURDERERS.
1 Murd. Ho! who's here ?
Brak. What would'st thou, fellow and how cam'st thou hither?
1 Murd. I would speak with Clarence, and 'I came hither on my legs..
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.
Brak. I am, in this, commanded to deliver The noble duke of Clarence to your hands :I will not reason what is meant thereby, Because I will be guiltless of the meaning. Here are the keys;-there sits the duke asleep: I'll to the king; and signify to him, That thus to you I have resign'd my charge:
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 humour 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 lis with his neighbom's wife, but it detects bim : 'Tis a blushing shame-fac'd 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, endeavours to trust to himself, and live without it.
1 Murd. 'Zounds, it is even now at my elbow, 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-fram'd, he cannot prevail with me.
2 Murd. Spoke like a tall fellow, that respects his reputation. Come, shall we fall to work?
1 Murd. Take him over the costard + with the hilts of thy sword, and then throw him into the malmsey-butt, in the next room.
2 Murd. O excellent device! and make a sop of him.
1 Murd. Soft! he wakes.
2 Murd. Strike.
1 Murd. No, we'll reason with him.
Clar. Where art thou, keeper ? give me a
cup of wine.
1 Mur. You shall have wine enough, my
1 Murd. You may, Sir; 'tis a point of wis-Your
And therefore cannot have the hearts to do it.
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.
Clur. Are you call'd forth from out a world of men,
To slay the innocent? What is my offence?
Unto the frowning judge? or who pronounc'd
To threaten me with death is most unlawful.
That you depart, and lay no hands on me;
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
Hath in the table of his law commanded,
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
Clar. Alas! for whose sake did I that
For Edward, for my brother, for his sake :
To cut off those that have offended him.
1 Murd. Who made thee then a bloody minister,
When gallant-springing, brave Plantagenet, That princely novice, t 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 thee.
Clar. If you do love my brother, hate not
2 Murd. You are deceiv'd, your brother Gloster hates you.
Clar. Oh! 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 fa ther York
Bless'd his three sons with his victorious arm, And charg'd us from his soul to love each other,
He little thought of this divided friendship:
1 Murd. Ay, mill-stones; as he lesson'd us to weep.
Clar. Oh! 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 for.
And hugg'd ine in his arms, and swore, with sobs,
That he would labour my delivery.
1 Murd. Why so he doth, when he delivers
From this earth's thraldom to the joys of heaven.
2 Murd. Make peace with God, for you must die, my lord.
Clar. Hast thou that holy feeling in thy soul,
To counsel me to make my peace with God,
Ah! Sirs, consider, he, that sent you on
1 Murd. Relent! 'tis cowardly, and WO
Clar. Not to relent, is beastly, savage, devilish.
Which of you, if you were a prince's son,
Would not entreat for life?
My friend, I spy some pity in thy looks;
1 Murd. Take that, and that; if all this will
I'll drown you in the malmsey-butt within.
[Exit with the body. 2 Murd. A bloody deed, and desperately despatch'd! How fain, like Pilate, would I wash my hands Of this most grievous guilty murder done!
Re-enter first MURDERER.
1 Murd. How now? what mean'st thou, that thou help'st me not?
By heaven, the duke shall know how slack you have been.
2 Murd. I would he knew, that I had sav'd