« PreviousContinue »
Yet lives our pilot still: Is't meet, that he
Should leave the helm, and like a fearful lad,
With tearful eyes add water to the sea,
And give more strength to that which hath too much;
Whiles, in his moan, the ship splits on the rock,
Which industry and courage might have sav'd?
Ah, what a shame! ah, what a fault were this!
Say, Warwick was our anchor; What of that?
And Montague our top-mast; What of him?
Our slaughter'd friends the tackles; What of these?
Why, is not Oxford here another anchor?
And Somerset another goodly mast?
The friends of France our shrouds and tacklings?
And, though unskilful, why not Ned and I
For once allow'd the skilful pilot's charge?
We will not from the helm, to sit and weep;
But keep our course, though the rough wind say -
no, From shelves and rocks that threaten us with wreck. As good to chide the waves, as speak them fair. And what is Edward, but a ruthless sea? What Clarence, but a quicksand of deceit And Richard, but a ragged fatal rock? All these the enemies to our poor bark. Say, you can swim; alas, 'tis but a while : Tread on the sand; why there you quickly sink : Bestride the rock; the tide will wash you off, Or else you famish, that's a threefold death. This speak I, lords, to let you understand, In case some one of you would fly from us, That there's no hop'd-for mercy with the brothers, More than with ruthless waves, with sands and rocks.
And make him, naked, foil a man at arms.
I speak not this, as doubting any here:
For, did I but suspect a fearful man,
He should have leave to go away betimes;
Lest, in our need, he might infect another,
And make him of like spirit to himself.
If any such be here, as God forbid !
Let him depart, before we need his help.
Orf. Women and children of so high a courage!
And warriors faint! why, 'twere perpetual shame.
O, brave young prince! thy famous grandfather
Doth live again in thee; Long may'st thou live,
To bear his image, and renew his glories!
Som. And he that will not fight for such a hope, Go home to bed, and, like the owl by day, If he arise, be mock'd and wonder'd at.
Q. Mar. Thanks, gentle Somerset ; - sweet Oxford, thanks.
Prince. And take his thanks, that yet hath nothing else.
Enter a Messenger.
Mess. Prepare you, lords, for Edward is at hand, Ready to fight; therefore be resolute.
Orf. I thought no less it is his policy, To haste thus fast, to find us unprovided.
Som. But he's deceiv'd, we are in readiness. Q. Mar. This cheers my heart, to see your forwardness. Orf. Here pitch our battle; hence we will not budge.
March. Enter, at a distance, KING EDWARD,
CLARENCE, GLOSTER, and Forces
K. Edw. Brave followers, yonder stands the thorny wood,
Which, by the heavens' assistance, and your strength,
Must by the roots be hewn up yet ere night.
I need not add more fuel to your fire,
For, well I wot, ye blaze to burn them out :
Give signal to the fight, and to it, lords.
Q. Mar. Lords, knights, and gentlemen, what I should say,
My tears gainsay; for every word I speak,
Ye see, I drink the water of mine eyes.
Therefore, no more but this : - Henry, your sove-
Is prisoner to the foe; his state usurp'd,
His realm a slaughterhouse, his subjects slain,
His statutes cancell'd, and his treasure spent ;
And yonder is the wolf, that makes this spoil.
You fight in justice; then, in God's name, lords,
Be valiant, and give signal to the fight.
[Exeunt both armies.
SCENE V. - Another Part of the same.
Alarums: Excursions: and afterwards a retreat. Then, enter KING EDWARD, CLARENCE, GLOSTer, and Forces: with QUEEN MARGARET, Oxford, and SOMERSET, prisoners.
K. Edw. Now, here a period of tumultuous broils.
Q. Mar. Ay, thou wast born to be a plague to
Glo. For God's sake, take away this captive scold. Prince. Nay, take away this scolding crook-back rather.
K. Edw. Peace, wilful boy, or I will charm your tongue.
Clar. Untutor'd lad, thou art too malapert. Prince. I know my duty, you are all undutiful : Lascivious Edward, · and thou perjur'd George,· And thou misshapen Dick, I tell ye all, I am your better, traitors as ye are ; — And thou usurp'st my father's right and mine. K. Edw. Take that, the likeness of this railer here. [Stabs him. Glo. Sprawl'st thou? take that, to end thy agony. [GLO. stabs him. Clar. And there's for twitting me with perjury. [CLAR. stabs him.
Q. Mar. O, kill me too!
Glo. Marry, and shall.
[Offers to kill her. K. Edw. Hold, Richard, hold, for we have done too much.
Glo. Why should she live, to fill the world with words?
K. Edw. What! doth she swoon? use means for
Glo. Clarence, excuse me to the king my brother;
I'll hence to London on a serious matter:
Ere ye come there, be sure to hear some news.
Clar. What? what?
Q. Mar. So come to you, and yours, as to this
[Exit, led out forcibly.
K. Edw. Where's Richard gone?
Clar. To London, all in post; and, as I guess,
To make a bloody supper in the Tower.
K. Edw. He's sudden, if a thing comes in his head.
Now march we hence: discharge the common sort
With pay and thanks, and let's away to London,
And see our gentle queen how well she fares;
By this, I hope, she hath a son for me.
'Twas sin before, but now 'tis charity.
What! wilt thou not? where is that devil's butcher,
Hard-favour'd Richard? Richard, where art thou?
Thou art not here: Murder is thy alms-deed;
Petitioners for blood thou ne'er put'st back.
K. Edw. Away, I say; I charge ye, bear her hence.
Glo. The Tower! the Tower!
Q. Mar. O, Ned, sweet Ned! speak to thy mo-
Canst thou not speak? O traitors! murderers!
They, that stabb'd Cæsar, shed no blood at all,
Did not offend, nor were not worthy blame,
If this foul deed were by, to equal it.
Glo. Why, what a peevish fool was that of Crete,
That taught his son the office of a fowl?
And yet, for all his wings, the fool was drown'd.
He was a man: this, in respect, a child;
And men ne'er spend their fury on a child.
What's worse than murderer, that I may name it?
No, no; my heart will burst, an if I speak : —
And I will speak, that so my heart may burst.
Butchers and villains, bloody cannibals!
How sweet a plant have you untimely cropp'd!
You have no children, butchers! if you had,
The thought of them would have stirr'd up remorse:
But, if you ever chance to have a child,
Look in his youth to have him so cut off,
K. Hen. I, Dædalus; my poor boy, Icarus;
Thy father, Minos, that denied our course;
The sun, that sear'd the wings of my sweet boy,
Thy brother Edward; and thyself, the sea,
Whose envious gulf did swallow up his life.
Ah, kill me with thy weapon, not with words!
My breast can better brook thy dagger's point,
Than can my ears that tragick history.
But wherefore dost thou come? is't for my life?
Glo. Think'st thou, I am an executioner?
K. Hen. A persecutor, I am sure, thou art;
If murdering innocents be executing,
Why, then thou art an executioner.
As, deathsmen! you have rid this sweet young
K. Edw. Away with her; go, bear her hence perforce.
Q. Mar. Nay, never bear me hence, despatch me
Here sheath thy sword, I'll pardon thee my death:
What! wilt thou not?- then, Clarence, do it thou.
Glo. Thy son I kill'd for his presumption.
K. Hen. Hadst thou been kill'd, when first thou
Thou hadst not liv'd to kill a son of mine.
And thus I prophecy, - that many a thousand,
Which now mistrust no parcel of my fear;
And many an old man's sigh, and many a widows,
And many an orphan's water-standing eye,
Men for their sons, wives for their husbands' fate,
Clar. By heaven, I will not do thee so much ease.
Q. Mar. Good Clarence, do; sweet Clarence, do
thou do it.
Clar. Didst thou not hear me swear, I would not do it?
Q. Mar. Ay, but thou usest to forswear thy- And orphans for their parents' timeless death,
Shall rue the. hour that ever thou wast born.
The owl shriek'd at thy birth, an evil sign;
The night-crow cried, aboding luckless time;
Dogs howl'd, and hideous tempests shook down trees;
The raven rook'd her on the chimney's top,
And chattering pies in dismal discords sung.
The mother felt more than a mother's pain,
Glo. Suspicion always haunts the guilty mind; The thief doth fear each bush an officer.
K. Hen. The bird, that hath been limed in a bush,
With trembling wings misdoubteth every bush :
And I, the hapless male to one sweet bird,
Have now the fatal object in my eye,
Where my poor young was lim'd, was caught, and
And yet brought forth less than a mother's hope;
To wit, —an indigest deformed lump,
Not like the fruit of such a goodly tree.
Teeth hadst thou in thy head, when thou wast born,
To signify, thou cam'st to bite the world:
And, if the rest be true which I have heard,
Glo. I'll hear no more; - Die, prophet, in thy
For this, amongst the rest, was I ordain'd.
K. Hen. Ay, and for much more slaughter after
O God! forgive my sins, and pardon thee! [Dies.
Glo. What, will the aspiring blood of Lancaster
Sink in the ground? I thought it would have
Re-purchas'd with the blood of enemies.
What valiant foe-men, like to autumn's corn,
Have we mow'd down, in tops of all their pride?
Three dukes of Somerset, threefold renown'd
For hardy and undoubted champions :
Two Cliffords, as the father and the son,
And two Northumberlands: two braver men
Ne'er spurr'd their coursers at the trumpet's sound:
With them, the two brave bears, Warwick and
See, how my sword weeps for the poor king's death!
O, may such purple tears be alway shed
From those that wish the downfal of our house!
If any spark of life be yet remaining,
Down, down to hell; and say I sent thee thither,
[Stabs him again.
[Aside. K. Edw. Clarence, and Gloster, love my lovely queen,
I, that have neither pity, love, nor fear.
Indeed, 'tis true, that Henry told me of;
For I have often heard my mother say,
I came into the world with my legs forward :
Had I not reason, think ye, to make haste,
And seek their ruin that usurp'd our right?
The midwife wonder'd: and the women cried,
O, Jesus bless us, he is born with teeth!
And so I was; which plainly signified-
That I should snarl, and bite, and play the dog.
Then, since the heavens have shap'd my body so,
Let hell make crook'd my mind to answer it.
I have no brother, I am like no brother:
And this word-love, which greybeards call divine,
Be resident in men like one another,
And kiss your princely nephew, brothers both.
Clar. The duty, that I owe unto your majesty,
I seal upon the lips of this sweet babe.
K. Edw. Thanks, noble Clarence; worthy bro-
Glo. And, that I love the tree from whence thou sprang'st,
all harm. K. Edw. Now am I seated as my soul delights, Having my country's peace, and brothers' loves. Clar. What will your grace have done with Margaret?
Witness the loving kiss I give the fruit : —
And not in me; I am myself alone.
To say the truth, so Judas kiss'd his master
Clarence, beware; thou keep'st me from the light; And cried all hail! when as he meant
But I will sort a pitchy day for thee:
For I will buz abroad such prophecies,
That Edward shall be fearful of his life;
And, then, to purge his fear, I'll be thy death.
King Henry, and the prince his son, are gone :
Clarence, thy turn is next, and then the rest
Counting myself but bad, till I be best.
I'll throw thy body in another room,
And triumph, Henry, in thy day of doom.. [Exit.
SCENE VII.-The same. A Room in the Palace.
KING EDWARD is discovered sitting on his throne;
QUEEN ELIZABETH with the infant PRINCE, CLA-
RENCE, GLOSTER, HASTINGS, and others, near him.
K. Edw. Once more we sit in England's royal For here, I hope, begins our lasting joy.
Reignier, her father, to the king of France
Hath pawn'd the Sicils and Jerusalem,
And hither have they sent it for her ransome.
K. Edw. Away with her, and waft her hence to
And now what rests, but that we spend the time
With stately triumphs, mirthful comick shows,
Such as befit the pleasures of the court?
Sound, drums and trumpets! - farewell, sour
That in their chains fetter'd the kingly lion,
And made the forest tremble when they roar'd.
Thus have we swept suspicion from our seat,
And made our footstool of security. —
Come hither, Bess, and let me kiss my boy:
Young Ned, for thee, thine uncles, and myself,
Have in our armours watch'd the winter's night;
Went all a foot in summer's scalding heat,
That thou might'st repossess the crown in peace;
And of our labours thou shalt reap the gain.
Glo. I'll blast his harvest, if your head were laid;
For yet I am not look'd on in the world.
This shoulder was ordain'd so thick, to heave;
And heave it shall some weight, or break my
Work thou the way, and thou shalt execute.
KING EDWARD THE FOURTH.
EDWARD, Prince of Wales, after-
wards King Edward V.
RICHARD, Duke of York.
GEORGE, Duke of Clarence,
RICHARD, Duke of Gloster, after-
wards King Richard III.
A young Son of Clarence.
HENRY, Earl of Richmond, afterwards King
Sir RICHARD RATCLIFF.
Sir WILLIAM CATESBY.
sons to the King. Sir JAMES Tyrrel.
Sir JAMES BLOUNT.
Sir WALTER HERBERT.
CARDINAL BOURCHIER, Archbishop of Canterbury.
THOMAS ROTHERAM, Archbishop of York.
JOHN MORTON, Bishop of Ely.
DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM.
DUKE OF NORFOLK.
EARL OF SURREY, his son.
EARL RIVERS, brother to King Edward's Queen. MARQUIS OF DORSET and LORD GREY, her sons. EARL OF OXFORD.
Sir THOMAS VAUGHAN.
SCENE I. London.
Glo. Now is the winter of our discontent, Made glorious summer by this sun of York; And all the clouds, that lowr'd upon our house, In the deep bosom of the ocean bury'd. Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths; Our bruised arms hung up for monuments; Our stern alarums chang'd to merry meetings, Our dreadful marches to delightful measures. Grim-visag'd war hath smooth'd his wrinkled front; And now instead of mounting barbed steeds, To fright the souls of fearful adversaries, He capers nimbly in a lady's chamber, To the lascivious pleasing of a lute.
But I,— that am not shap'd for sportive tricks,
Nor made to court an amorous looking-glass;
I, that am rudely stamp'd, and want love's majesty;
To strut before a wanton ambling nymph;
I, that am curtail'd of this fair proportion,
Cheated of feature by dissembling nature,
Deform'd, unfinish'd, sent before my time
Into this breathing world, scarce half made up,
And that so lamely and unfashionable,
That dogs bark at me, as I halt by them;
Why I, in this weak piping time of peace,
Have no delight to pass away the time;
Unless to spy my shadow in the sun,
And descant on mine own deformity;
And therefore, - since I cannot prove a lover,
To entertain these fair well-spoken days, —
I am determined to prove a villain,
And hate the idle pleasures of these days.
Plots have I laid, inductions dangerous,
By drunken prophecies, libels, and dreams,
To set my brother Clarence, and the king,
In deadly hate the one against the other:
And, if king Edward be as true and just,
As I am subtle, false, and treacherous,
This day should Clarence closely be mew'd up;
About a prophecy, which says that G
Of Edward's heirs the murderer shall be.
Dive, thoughts, down to my soul! here Clarence
Enter CLARENCE, guarded, and BRAKENBURY. Brother, good day: What means this armed guard, That waits upon your grace?
His majesty, Tendering my person's safety, hath appointed This conduct to convey me to the Tower.
Glo. Upon what cause? Because my name is · George. Glo. Alack, my lord, that fault is none of yours; He should, for that, commit your godfathers: O, belike, his majesty hath some intent, That you shall be new christen'd in the Tower. But what's the matter, Clarence? may I know? Clar. Yea, Richard, when I know; for, I protest, As yet I do not: But, as I can learn, He hearkens after prophecies, and dreams; And from the cross-row plucks the letter G, And says-a wizard told him, that by G His issue disinherited should be ;
'Tis not the king, that sends you to the Tower;
My lady Grey, his wife, Clarence, 'tis she,
That tempers him to this extremity.
Was it not she, and that good man of worsnip,
Antony Woodeville, her brother there,
That made him send lord Hastings to the Tower;
From whence this present day he is deliver'd?
We are not safe, Clarenco, we are not safe.
Clar. By heaven, I think, there is no man secure, But the queen's kindred, and night-walking heralds That trudge betwixt the king and mistress Shore. Heard you not, what an humble suppliant Lord Hastings was to her for his delivery?
Glo. Humbly complaining to her deity Got my lord chamberlain his liberty. I'll tell you what, —I think, it is our way, If we will keep in favour with the king, To be her men, and wear her livery: The jealous o'er-worn widow, and herself, Since that our brother dubb'd them gentlewomen, Are mighty gossips in this monarchy.
Brak. I beseech your graces both to pardon me ; His majesty hath straitly given in charge, That no man shall have private conference, Of what degree soever, with his brother.
Glo. Even so? an please your worship, Brakenbury,
u may partake of any thing we say :
We speak no treason, man; — We say, the king
Is wise, and virtuous; and his noble queen
Well struck in years; fair, and not jealous : -
Glo. Her husband, knave: :- Would'st thou betray me?
Brak. I beseech your grace to pardon me; and, withal,
your conference with the noble duke. Clar. We know thy charge, Brakenbury, and will obey.
Glo. We are the queen's abjects, and must obey. Brother, farewell: I will unto the king; And whatsoe'er you will employ me in, Were it, to call king Edward's widow I will perform it, to enfranchise you. Mean time, this deep disgrace in brotherhood, Touches me deeper than you can imagine.
Clar. I know, it pleaseth neither of us well. Glo. Well, your imprisonment shall not be long; I will deliver you, or else lie for you: Mean time, have patience.
And, for my name of George begins with G,
It follows in his thought, that I am he:
These, as I learn, and such like toys as these,
Have mov'd his highness to commit me now.
Simple, plain Clarence! - I do love thee so,
That I will shortly send thy soul to heaven,
If heaven will take the present at our hands.
Glo. Why, this it is, when men are rul'd by But who comes here? the new-deliver'd Hastings?
I must perforce; farewell. [Exeunt CLARENCE, BRAKENBURY, and Guard. Glo. Go, tread the path that thou shalt ne'er return,