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That I should wish for thee to help me curse
That bottled spider, that foul bunch-back'd toad.
Q. Mar. I call'd thee then, vain flourish of my


I call'd thee then, poor shadow, painted queen;
The presentation of but what I was,
The flattering index of a direful pageant,
One heav'd a high, to be hurl'd down below:
A mother only mock'd with two fair babes;
A dream of what thou wast; a garish flag,
To be the aim of every dangerous shot 5
A sign of dignity, a breath, a bubble;
A queen in jest, only to fill the scene.
Where is thy husband now? where be thy brothers?
Where be thy two sons? wherein dost thou joy?
Who sues, and kneels, and says—God save the queen?
Where be the bending peers that flatter'd thee?
Where be the thronging troops that follow'd thee?
Decline all this, and see what now thou art.
For happy wife, a most distressed widow;
For joyful mother, one that wails the name;
For one being sued to, one that humbly sues;
For queen, a very caitiff crown'd with care:
For one that scorn'd at me, now scorn'd of me;
For one being fear'd of all, now fearing one;
For one commanding all, obey'd of none.
Thus hath the course of justice wheel'd about,
And left thee but a very prey to time;
Having no more but thought of what thou wert,

To torture thee the more, being what thou art.

Thou didst usurp my place, And dost thou not

Usurp the just proportion of my sorrow?

Now thy proud neck bears half my burden'd yoke;

From which even here I slip my wearied head,

And leave the burden of it all on thee.

Farewel, York's wife,—and queen of sad mischance,—

These English woes shall make me smile in France.

Q. Eliz. O thou well skill'd in curses, stay a while, And teach me how to curse mine enemies.

Q. Mar. Forbear to sleep the night, and fast the


Compare dead happiness with living woe;
Think that thy babes were fairer than they were,
And he, that slew them, fouler than he is:
Bettering thy loss makes the bad-causer worse;
Revolving this will teach thee how to curse.

Q. Eliz, My words are dull, O, quicken them with thine!

Q. Mar. Thy woes will make them sharp, and pierce like mine. [Exit Q. Margaret.

Duch. Why should calamity be full of words?

Q. Eliz. Windy attorneys to their client woes, Airy succeeders of intestate joys, Poor breathing orators of miseries! Let them have scope: though what they do impart Help nothing else, yet do they ease the heart.

Duch. If so, then be not tongue-ty'd: go with me, And in the breath of bitter words let's smother

My damned son, that thy two sweet sons smother'd.

[Drum within. 1 hear his drum,—be copious in exclaims.

Enter King Richard, and his Train, marching.

K. Rich. Who intercepts me in my expedition?

Duck. O, she, that might have intercepted thee, By strangling thee in her accursed womb, From all the slaughters, wretch, that thou hast done.

Q. /•'/.<:. Hid'st thou that forehead with a golden


Where should be branded, if that right were right, The slaughter of the prince that ow'd that crown, And the dire death of my poor sons, and brothers? Tell me, thou villain-slave, where are my children?

Duch. Thou toad, thou toad, where is thy brother

And little Ned Plantagenet, his son?

Q. Etti. Where is the gentle Rivers, Vaughan,

Duch. Where is kind Hastings?

K. Rich. A flourish, trumpets!—strike alarum,


Let not the heavens hear these tell-tale women
Rail on the Lord's anointed: Strike, I say.—

[Hvurish. Alarums.
Either be patient, and entreat me fair,
Or with the clamorous report of war
Thus will I drown your exclamations.

Duch. Art thou my son?

K. Rich. Ay; I thank God, my father, and yourself.

Duch. Then patiently hear my impatience.

K. Rich. Madam, I have a touch of your condition, That cannot brook the accent of reproof.

Dueh. O, let me speak.

K. Rich. Do, then; but I'll not hear.

Duch. I will be mild and gentle in my words.

K. Rich. And brief, good mother; for I am in haste.

Duch. Art thou so hasty? I have staid for thee, God knows, in torment and in agony.

K. Rich. And came I not at last to comfort you?

Duch. No, by the holy rood, thou know'st it well,
Thou cam'st on earth to make the earth my hell.
A grievous burden was thy birth to me;
Tetchy and wayward was thy infancy;
Thy school-days, frightful, desperate, wild, and furi-

Thy prime of manhood, daring, bold, and venturous;
Thy age confirmed, proud, subtle, sly, and bloody,
More mild, but yet more harmful, kind in hatred:
What comfortable hour canst thou name,
That ever grac'd me in thy company?

K. Rich. 'Faith, none, but Humphrey Hour", that

call'd your grace

To breakfast once, forth of my company.
If 1 be so disgracious in your sight,
Let me march on, and not offend you, madam.—
Strike up the drum.

Duch. I pr'ythee, hear me speak.

K. Rich. You speak too bitterly.

Duch. Hear me a word;

For I shall never speak to thee again.

K. Rich. So.

Duch. Either thou wilt die, by God's just ordinance,

Ere from this war thou turn a conqueror;
Or I with grief and extreme age shall perish,
And never look upon thy face again.
Therefore, take with thee my most heavy curse;
Which, in the day of battle, tire thee more, .

Than all the complete armour that thou wear'st!
My prayers on the adverse party fight;
And there the little souls of Edward's children
Whisper the spirits of thine enemies,
And promise them success and victory.
Bloody thou art, bloody will be thy end;
Shame serves thy life, and doth thy death attend.


Q. Eliz. Though far more cause, yet much less

spirit to curse Abides in me; I say amen to her. [Going.

K. Rich. Stay, madam, I must speak a word with you.

Q. Eliz. I have no more sons of the royal blood, For thee to murder: for my daughters, Richard,— They shall be praying nuns, not weeping queens; And therefore level no- to hit their lives.

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