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And say, poor Margaret was a prophetess. ·
Live each of you the subjects to his hate,
And he to yours, and all of you to God's!


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 My part thereof, that I have done to her.

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 some body good, That is too cold in thinking of it now. Marry, as for Clarence, he is well repaid; He is frank'd up to fatting for his pains;· God pardon them that are the cause thereof! Riv. A virtuous and a christian-like conclusion, To pray for them that have done scath to us. Glo. So do I ever, being well advis'd; · For had I curs'd now, I had curs'd myself. [Aside. Enter CATESBY.


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Cates. Madam, his majesty doth call for you, And for your grace, and you, my noble lords. Q. Eliz. Catesby, I come: - - Lords, will you go with me?

Riv. Madam, we will attend upon your grace. [Exeunt all but GLOSTER. Glo. I do the wrong, and first begin to brawl. The secret mischiefs that I set abroach, I lay unto the grievous charge of others. Clarence, whom I, indeed, have laid in darkness,

I do beweep to many simple gulls;

Namely, to Stanley, Hastings, Buckingham;
And tell them 'tis the queen and her allies,
That stir the king against the duke my brother.
Now they believe it; and withal whet me
To be reveng'd on Rivers, Vaughan, Grey:
But then I sigh, and, with a piece of scripture,
Tell them that God bids us do good for evil :
And thus I clothe my naked villainy
With old odd ends, stol'n forth of holy writ;
And seem a saint, when most I play the devil.

Enter two Murderers.

But sft, here come my executioners. —
How now, my hardy, stout resolved mates?
Are you now going to despatch this thing?

1 Murd. We are, my lord; and come to have the


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That we may be admitted where he is.

Glo. Well thought upon, I have it here about me: [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, We go to use our hands, and not our tongues. Glo. Your eyes drop mill-stones, when fools' eyes drop tears: I like you, lads ; Go, go, despatch. Murd.

about your business straight;

We will, my noble lord.


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Clar. Methought, that I had broken from the

And was embark'd to cross to Burgundy ;
And, in my company, my brother Gloster:
Who from my cabin tempted me to walk
Upon the hatches; thence we look'd toward England,
And cited up a thousand heavy times,
During the wars of York and Lancaster

That had befall'n us. As we pac'd along
Upon the giddy footing of the hatches,
Methought, that Gloster stumbled; and, in falling,
Struck me, that thought to stay him, over-board,
Into the tumbling billows of the main.

O Lord! methought, what pain it was to drown!
What dreadful noise of water in mine ears!
What sights of ugly death within mine eyes!
Methought, I saw a thousand fearful wrecks;
A thousand men, that fishes gnaw'd upon;
Wedges of gold, great anchors, heaps of pearl,
Inestimable stones, unvalued jewels,
All scatter'd in the bottom of the sea.

Some lay in dead men's skulls; and, in those holes
Where eyes did once inhabit, there were crept
(As 'twere in scorn of eyes,) reflecting gems,
That woo'd the slimy bottom of the deep,
And mock'd the dead bones that lay scatter'd by.

Brak. Had you such leisure in the time of death, To gaze upon these secrets of the deep?

Clar. Methought, I had; and often did I strive To yield the ghost: but still the envious flood Kept in my soul, and would not let it forth To seek the empty, vast, and wand'ring air; But smother'd it within my panting bulk, Which almost burst to belch it in the sea.


Brak. Awak'd you not with this sore agony Clar. O, no, my dream was lengthen'd after life O, then began the tempest to my soul!


I pass'd, methought, the melancholy flood,
With that grim ferryman which poets write of,
Unto the kingdom of perpetual night.
The first that there did greet my stranger soul,
Was my great father-in-law, renowned Warwick;
Who cry'd aloud, What scourge for perjury
Can this dark monarchy afford felse Clarence?
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
Environ'd me, and howled in mine ears
Such hideous cries, that, with the very noise,
I trembling wak'd, and, for a season after,
Could not believe but that I was in hell;
Such terrible impression made my dream.

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Brak. No marvel, lord, though it affrighted you; I am afraid, methinks, to hear you tell it.

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[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, 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 I have resign'd to you my charge.

1 Murd. You may, sir; 'tis a point of wisdom: Fare you well. [Exit BRAKENBURY. 2 Murd. What, shall we stab tum as he sleeps? 1 Murd. No; he'll say, 'twas done 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 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.

1 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 rewar'. 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 shame-faced 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 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 it thou?

1 Murd. A man, as you are.

Clar. But not, as I am, royal.

1 Murd. Nor you, as we are, loval.

Clar. Thy voice is thunder, but thy looks are humble.

1 Murd. My voice is now the king's, my looks mine own.

Clar. How darkly, and how deadly dost thou speak!

Your eyes do menace me: Why look you pale?
Who sent you hither? Wherefore do you come?
Both Murd. To, to, to,

Clar. To murder me?
Both Murd. Ay, ay.

Clar. You 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?
Where is the evidence that doth accuse me?
What lawful quest have given their verdict up
Unto the frowning judge? or who pronounc'd
The bitter sentence of poor Clarence' death?
Before I be convict by course of law,

To threaten me with death, is most unlawful.
I charge you, as you hope for any goodness,
By Christ's dear blood shed for our grievous sins,

That you depart, and lay no hands on me;
The deed you undertake is damnable.

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,
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.

1 Murd. Why, so he doth, when he delivers you

2 Murd. And that same vengeance doth he hurl | From this earth's thraldom to the joys of heaven. 2 Murd. Make peace with God, for you must die, my lord.

on thee,

Clar. Hast thou that holy feeling in thy soul,
To counsel me to make my peace with God,
And art thou yet to thy own soul so blind,
That thou wilt war with God, by murdering
Ah, sirs, consider, he, that set you on

To do this deed, will hate you for the deed.
2 Mur. What shall we do?

For false forswearing, and for murder too :
Thou didst receive the sacrament to fight
In quarrel of the house of Lancaster.

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 degree?

Clar. Alas! for whose sake did I that ill deed?
For Edward, for my brother, for his sake:
He sends you not to murder me for this;
For in that sin he is as deep as I.

If God will be avenged for the deed,
O, know you, that he doth it publickly;
Take not the quarrel from his powerful arm;
He needs no indirect nor lawless course,
To cut off those that have offended him.

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:
Bid Gloster think on this, and he will weep.

A Room in the Palace.

SCENE I. The same.
Enter KING EDWARD, (led in sick,) QUEEN ELIZA-
GREY, and others.

K Edw. Why, so:--
day's work;

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1 Murd. Ay, mill-stones; as he lesson'd us to


Clar. O, do not slander him, for he is kind. 1 Murd. Right, as snow in harvest. you deceive yourself: 'Tis he that sends us to destroy you here.

Clar. It cannot be; for he bewept my fortune, And hugg'd me in his arms, and swore, with sobs, That he would labour my delivery.


Relent, and save your souls.
1 Murd. Relent! 'tis cowardly, and womanish.
Clar. Not to relent, is beastly, savage, devilish. -
Which of you, if you were a prince's son,
Being pent from liberty, as I am now,
If two such murderers as yourselves came to you,
Would not entreat for life?

1 Murd. Who made thee then a bloody minister, When gallant-springing, brave Plantagenet, That princely novice, 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
Provoke us hither now to slaughter thee.

Clar. If you do love my brother, hate not me;
I am his brother, and I love him well.
If you are hir'd for meed, go back again,
And I will send you to my brother Gloster;
Who shall reward you better for my life,
Than Edward will for tidings of my death.

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


2 Murd. You are deceiv'd, your brother Gloster hates you. Clar. O, no; he loves me, and he holds me dear; Go you to him from me.

2 Murd. I would he knew, that I had sav'd his brother!

Both Murd.

Ay, so we will.

Take thou the fee, and tell him what I say;

Clar. Tell him, when that our princely father For I repent me that the duke is slain.


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My friend, I spy some pity in thy looks;
O, if thine eye be not a flatterer,
Come thou on my side, and entreat for me,
As you would beg, were you in my distress.
A begging prince what beggar pities not?
2 Murd. Look behind you, my lord.

1 Murd. Take that, and that; if all this will not
[Stabs him.


do, I'll drown you in the malmsey-butt within. [Exit, with the body.

2 Murd. A bloody deed, and desperately de spatch'd!

How fain, like Pilate, would I wash my hands
Of this most grievous guilty murder done!

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1 Murd. So do not I; go, coward, as thou art.
Well, I'll go hide the body in some hole,
Till that the duke give order for his burial:
And when I have my meed, I will away;
For this will out, and then I must not stay. [Erit.

You peers, continue this united league:
I every day expect an embassage

From my Redeemer to redeem me hence;
And more in peace my soul shall part to heaven,
Since I have made my friends at peace on earth.
now have I done a good Rivers and Hastings, take each other's hand;
Dissemble not your hatred, swear your love.


And with my hand I seal my true heart's love.
Hast. So thrive I, as I truly swear the like!
K. Edw. Take heed, you dally not before your

Riv. By heaven, my soul is purg'd from grudging | If ever any grudge were lodg'd between us ; —
Of lord Rivers,
and lord Grey, of you,
That all without desert have frown'd on me ;-
Dukes, earls, lords, gentlemen; indeed, of all,
I do not know that Englishman alive,
With whom my soul is any jot at odds,
More than the infant that is born to-night;
I thank my God for my humility.

Lest he, that is the supreme King of kings,
Confound your hidden falsehood, and award
Either of you to be the other's end.

Q. Eliz. A holy-day shall this be kept hereafter·
I would to God, all strifes were well compounded.-
My sovereign lord, I do beseech your highness
To take our brother Clarence to your grace.

Hast. So prosper I, as I swear perfect love!
Riv. And I, as I love Hastings with my heart!
K. Edw. Madam, yourself are not exempt in
Nor your son Dorset, - Buckingham, nor you;·
You have been factious one against the other.
Wife, love lord Hastings, let him kiss your hand;
And what you do, do it unfeignedly.

Q. Eliz. There, Hastings;- I will never more


Our former hatred, so thrive I, and mine!
K. Edw. Dorset, embrace him, — Hastings, love
lord marquis.

Dor. This interchange of love, I here protest, Upon my part shall be inviolable.

Hast. And so swear I.

[Embraces DORSET. K. Edw. Now, princely Buckingham, seal thou this league With thy embracements to my wife's allies, And make me happy in your unity.

Buck. Whenever Buckingham doth turn his hate Upon your grace, [to the QUEEN.] but with all

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duteous love

Doth cherish you, and yours, God punish me
With hate in those where I expect most love!
When I have most need to employ a friend,
And most assured that he is a friend,
Deep, hollow, treacherous, and full of guile,
Be he unto me! this do I beg of heaven,
When I am cold in love, to you, or yours.
[Embracing RIVERS, &c.
K. Edw. A pleasing cordial, princely Bucking-

Is this thy vow unto my sickly heart.
There wanteth now our brother Gloster here,
To make the blessed period of this peace.
Buck. And, in good time, here comes the noble

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Brother, we have done deeds of charity;
Made peace of enmity, fair love of hate,
Between these swelling wrong-incensed peers.

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Glo. Why, madam, have I offer'd love for this,
To be so flouted in this royal presence?
Who knows not, that the gentle duke is dead?
[They all start.

You do him injury, to scorn his corse.
K. Edw. Who knows not, he is dead! who knows
he is?

Q. Eliz. All-seeing heaven, what a world is this!
Buck. Look I so pale, lord Dorset, as the rest?
Dor. Ay, my good lord? and no man in the

Stan. The forfeit, sovereign, of my servant's life;
Who slew to-day a riotous gentleman,
Lately attendant on the duke of Norfolk.


K. Edw. Have I a tongue to doom my brother's
And shall that tongue give pardon to a slave?
My brother kill'd no man, his fault was thought,
And yet his punishment was bitter death.
Who sued to me for him? who, in my wrath,
Kneel'd at my feet, and bade me be advis'd?

Glo. Good morrow to my sovereign king, and


And, princely peers, a happy time of day!

K. Edw. Happy, indeed, as we have spent the Who spoke of brotherhood? who spoke of love?


But his red colour hath forsook his cheeks.

K. Edw. Is Clarence dead? the order was re-

Glo. But he, poor man, by your first order died,
And that a winged Mercury did bear;
Some tardy cripple bore the countermand,
That came too lag to see him buried :-

God grant, that some, less noble, and less loyal,
Nearer in bloody thoughts, and not in blood,
Deserve not worse than wretched Clarence did,
And yet go current from suspicion!


Stan. A boon, my sovereign, for my service done!
K. Edw. I pr'ythee, peace; my soul is full of


Stan. I will not rise, unless your highness hear me. K. Edw. Then say at once, what is it thou request'st.

Who told me, how the poor soul did forsake
The mighty Warwick, and did fight for me?
Who told me in the field at Tewksbury,
When Oxford had me down, he rescu'd me,
And said, Dear brother, live, and be a king?
Who told me, when we both lay in the field,
Frozen almost to death, how he did lap me
Even in his garments; and did give himself,
All thin and naked, to the numb-cold night?
All this from my remembrance brutish wrath
Sinfully pluck'd, and not a man of you
Had so much grace to put it in my mind.
But, when your carters, or your waiting-vassals,
Have done a drunken slaughter, and defac'd
The precious image of our dear Redeemer,

You straight are on your knees for pardon, pardon ·

And 1, unjustly too, must grant it you:


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Son. Then, grandam, you conclude that he is dead.
The king my uncle is to blame for this:
God will revenge it; whom I will impórtune
With earnest prayers all to that effect.
Daugh. And so will I.

Duch. Peace, children, peace! the king doth love
you well:

Incapable and shallow innocents,
You cannot guess who caus'd your father's death.
Son. Grandam, we can: for my good uncle

Duch. What means this scene of rude impatience?
Q. Eliz. To make an act of tragick violence:
Edward, my lord, thy son, our king, is dead. ·
Why grow the branches, when the root is gone?
Why wither not the leaves, that want their
sar Tara
If you will live, lament; if die, be brief;
That our swift-winged souls may catch the king's;
Or, like obedient subjects, follow him
To his new kingdom of perpetual rest.

Duch. Ah, so much interest have I in thy sorrow,
As I had title in thy noble husband!

I have bewept a worthy husband's death,
And liv'd by looking on his images:

But now, two mirrors of his princely semblance
Are crack'd in pieces by malignant death;
And I for comfort have but one false glass,
That grieves me when I see my shame in him.
Thou art a widow; yet thou art a mother,
And hast the comfort of thy children left thee:
But death hath snatch'd my husband from my arms,
And pluck'd two crutches from my feeble hands,
Clarence and Edward. O, what cause have I,
(Thine being but a moiety of my grief,)
To over-go thy plaints, and drown thy cries?
Son. Ah, aunt! you wept not for our father's

How can we aid you with our kindred tears?
Daugh. Our fatherless distress was left unmoan'd,
Your widow-dolour likewise be unwept !

Q. Eliz. Give me no help in lamentation,
I am not barren to bring forth laments:
All springs reduce their currents to mine eyes,
That I, being govern'd by the watry moon,
May send forth plenteous tears to drown the world!
Ah, for my husband, for my dear lord Edward!
Chil. Ah, for our father, for our dear lord Clarence.
Duch. Alas, for both, both mine, Edward and

Q. Eliz. What stay had I, but Edward? and he's

Chil. What stay had we, but Clarence? and he's

gone. Duch. What stays had I, but they? and they are gone.

Told me, the king, provok'd to't by the queen,
Devis'd impeachments to imprison him:
And when my uncle told me so, he wept,
And pitied me, and kindly kiss'd my cheek;
Bade me rely on him, as on my father,
And he would love me dearly as his child.

Q. Eliz. Was never widow, had so dear a loss.
Chil. Were never orphans, had so dear a loss.
Duch. Was never mother, had so dear a loss.
Alas! I am the mother of these griefs;
Their woes are parcell'd, mine are general.
She for an Edward weeps, and so do I;
I for a Clarence weep, so doth not she :
These babes for Clarence weep, and so do I:
I for an Edward weep, so do not they :
Alas! you three, on me, threefold distress'd,


Duch. Ah, that deceit should steal such gentle Pour all your tears, I am your sorrow's nurse,


And I will pamper it with lamentations.

Dor. Comfort, dear mother: God is much displeas'd,

And with a virtuous visor hide deep vice!
He is my son, ay, and therein my shame,
Yet from my dugs he drew not this deceit.

Son. Think you, my uncle did dissemble, grandam?
Duch. Ay, boy.

Son. I cannot think it. Hark! what noise is this?
Enter QUEEN ELIZABETH, distractedly; RIVERS and
DORSET following her.

That you take with unthankfulness his doing;
In common worldly things, 'tis call'd- ungrateful,
With dull unwillingness to repay a debt,
Which with a bounteous hand was kindly lent;
Much more to be thus opposite with heaven,
For it requires the royal debt it lent you.

Riv. Madam, bethink you, like a careful mother

Q. Eliz. Ah! who shall hinder me to wail and Of the young prince your son: send straight for



To chide my fortune, and torment myself?
I'll join with black despair against my soul,
And to myself become an enemy.

Let him be crown'd; in him your comfort lives:
Drown desperate sorrow in dead Edward's grace,
And plant your joys in living Edward's throne.

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