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But them wilt be aveng'd on ray misdeeds,
Yet execute thy wrath on me alone:
O, spare my guiltless wife, and my poor children!—•
I pray thee, gentle keeper, stay by me;
My soul is heavy, and I fain would sleep.
Brak. I will, my lord; God give your grace good rest!— [Clar. reposes himselfon 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, An outward honour for an inward toil; And, for unfelt imaginations, They often feel a world of restless cares: So that, between their titles, and low name, There's nothing differs but the outward fame.
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 te
dious :— 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 hereby.
1 Mnrd. You may, sir; 'tis a point of wisdom: Fare you well. [Exit Brak.
2 Murd. What, shall we stab him as he sleeps?
1 Murd. No; he'll say, 'twas done cowardly, when he wakes.
2 Muni. When he wakes! why, fool, he shall never wake until the great judgement day.
1 Murd. Why, then he'll say, we stabb'd him sleeping.
2 Murd. The urging of that word, judgement, 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.
J Murd. I thought thou had'st 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 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 lie with his neighbour's wife, but it detects him: 'Tis a blushing shamefac'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 (hat keeps it: it is turn'd 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'dj 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 malmseybutt, 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 Murd. You shall have wine enough, my lord,
Clar. In God's name, what art thou) 1 Murd. A man, as you are. Clar. But not, as I am, royal. 1 Murd. Nor you, as we are, loyal. Clar. Thy voice is thunder, but thy looks are
humble. 1 Murd. My voice is now the king's, my looks
mine own. elm-. How darkly, and how deadly dost thou
Your eyes do menace me: Why look you pale?
Clar. Yon 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
To slay the innocent? What is my offence?
1 Murd. What we will do, we do upon command.
2 Murd. And he, that hath commanded, is our
Clar. Erroneous vassal! the great King of kings Hath in the table of his law commanded, That thou shalt do no murder; Wilt thou then Spurn at his edict, and fulfil a man's? Take heed; for he holds vengeance in his hand, To hurl upon their heads that break his law. 2 Murd. And that same vengeance doth he hurl on thee,