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Riv. She may, my lord; for

Glo. She may, lord Rivers ?—why, who knows

not so t

She may do more, sir, than denying that:
She may help you to many fair preferments;
And then deny her aiding hand therein,
And lay those honours on your iiigh desert.
What may she not? She may,—ay, marry, may

Riv. What, marry, may she?

Glo. What, marry, may she? marry with a king, A bachelor, a handsome stripling too: I wis, your grandam had a worser match.

Q. Eliz. My lord of Gloster, I have too long borne Your blunt upbraidings, and your bitter scofts: By heaven, I will acquaint his majesty, Of those gross taunts I often have endur'd. I had rather be a country servant-maid, Than a great queen, with this condition— To be so baited, scorn'd, and stormed at: Small joy have I in being England's queen.

Enter Quten 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


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; A weeder-out of his proud adversaries, A liberal rewarder of his friends; To royalize his blood, I spilt mine own.

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 ;—
And, Rivers, so were you :—Was not your husband
In Margaret's battle at saint Albans slain?
Let me put in your minds, if you forget,
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

Thou cacodaemon! there thy kingdom is.

lliv. My lord of Gloster, iii 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.— [Advancing.

8 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. Alar. 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 banishment,

Than death can yield me here by my abode.
A husband, and a son, thou ow'st to me,—
And thou, a kingdom;—all of you, allegiance:
This sorrow that I have, by right is yours;
And all the pleasures you usurp, are mine.

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 fallen 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 prophecy'd revenge for it.

Buck. Northumberland, then present, wept to see it.

Q. Mar. What! were you snarling all, before I


Ready to catch each other by the throat,
And turn you all your hatred now on me?
Did York's dread curse prevail so much with heaven.
That Henry's death, my lovely Edward's death,
Their kingdom's loss, my woful banishment,
Could all but answer for that peevish brat?
Can curses pierce the clouds, and enter heaven ?—

Why, then give way, dull clouds, to my quick

Though not by war, by surfeit die your king,

As ours by murder, to make him a king!

Edward, thy son, that now is prince of Wales,

For Edward my son, that was prince of Wales,

Die in his youth, by like untimely violence!

Thyself a queen, for me that was a queen,

Out-live thy glory, like my wretched self!

Long may'st thou live, to wail thy children's loss;

And see another, as I see thee now,

Deck'd in thy rights, as thou art stall'd in mine!

Long die thy happy days before thy death;

And, after many lengthen'd hours of grief,

Die neither mother, wife, nor England's queen !—

Rivers,—and Dorset,—you were standers by,—

And so wast thou, lord Hastings,—when my son

Was stabb'd with bloody daggers; God, I pray him,

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,
Exceeding those that I can wish upon thee,
O, let them keep it, till thy sins be ripe,
And then hurl down their indignation
On thee, the troubler of the poor world's peace!
The worm of conscience still be-gnaw thy soul!

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