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That you should 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;
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 moved his highness to commit me now.
Glo. Why, this it is, when men are ruled by women :
"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 worship,
Anthony 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, Clarence, 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,
You may partake of anything 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:
We say, that Shore's wife hath a pretty foot,
A cherry lip,
A bonny eye, a passing pleasing tongue;
And the queen's kindred are made gentlefolks:
How say you, Sir? can you deny all this?
Brak. With this, my lord, myself have naught to do.
Glo. Naught to do with mistress Shore? I tell thee, fellow,
He that doth naught with her, excepting one,
Were best to do it secretly, alone.
Brak. What one, my lord?
Glo. Her husband, knave:-Wouldst thou betray me?
Brak. I beseech your grace to pardon me; and, withal,
Forbear 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 whatsoever you will employ me in,-
Were it, to call king Edward's widow-sister,—
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.
Clar. I must perforce; farewell.
Exeunt CLARENCE, BRAKENBURY, and guard. Glo. Go, tread the path that thou shalt ne'er return, 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. But who comes here? the new-deliver'd Hastings?
Hast. Good time of day unto my gracious lord!
Glo. As much unto my good lord chamberlain !
Well are you welcome to this open air.
How hath your lordship brook'd imprisonment?
Hast. With patience, noble lord, as prisoners must:
But I shall live, my lord, to give them thanks,
That were the cause of my imprisonment.
Glo. No doubt, no doubt; and so shall Clarence too;
For they, that were your enemies, are his,
And have prevail'd as much on him as you.
Hast. More pity that the eagle should be mew'd,
While kites and buzzards prey at liberty.
Glo. What news abroad?
Hast. No news so bad abroad, as this at home ;—
The king is sickly, weak, and melancholy,
And his physicians fear him mightily.
Glo. Now, by Saint Paul, this news is bad indeed.
O, he hath kept an evil diet‡ long,
And over-much consumed his royal person;
Tis very grievous to be thought upon.
What, is he in his bed?
* Most servile of subjects.
Hast. He is.
Glo. Go you before, and I will follow you.
He cannot live, I hope; and must not die,
Till George be pack'd with posthorse up to heaven.
I'll in, to urge his hatred more to Clarence,
With lies well steel'd with weighty arguments;
And, if I fail not in my deep intent,
Clarence hath not another day to live:
Which done, God take king Edward to his mercy,
And leave the world for me to bustle in!
For then I'll marry Warwick's youngest daughter:
What though I kill'd her husband and her father?
The readiest way to make the wench amends,
Is-to become her husband, and her father:
The which will I; not all so much for love,
As for another secret close intent,
By marrying her, which I must reach unto.
But yet I run before my horse to market:
Clarence still breathes; Edward still lives, and reigns;
When they are gone, then must I count my gains.
SCENE II.-The same. Another Street.
Enter the corpse of KING HENRY the Sixth, borne in an open coffin, Gentlemen bearing halberts, to guard it; and LADY ANNE, as mourner.
Anne. Set down, set down your honourable load,-
If honour may be shrouded in a hearse,-
Whilst I a while obsequiously* lament
The untimely fall of virtuous Lancaster.-
Poor key-cold figure of a holy king!
Pale ashes of the house of Lancaster!
Thou bloodless remnant of that royal blood!
Be it lawful that I invocate thy ghost,
To hear the lamentions of poor Anne,
Wife to thy Edward, to thy slaughter'd son,
Stabb'd by the self-same hand that made these wounds!
Lo, in these windows, that let forth thy life,
I pour the helpless balm of my poor eyes:-
O, cursed be the hand that made these holes!
Cursed the heart, that had the heart to do it!
Cursed the blood, that let this blood from hence!
More direful hap betide that hated wretch,
That makes us wretched by the death of thee,
That I can wish to adders, spiders, toads,
Or any creeping venom'd thing that lives!
If ever he have child, abortive be it,
Prodigious, and untimely brought to light,
Whose ugly and unnatural aspéct
May fright the hopeful mother at the view;
* As a funereal mourner.
And that be heir to his unhappiness!*
If ever he have wife, let her be made
More miserable by the death of him,
Than I am made by my young lord, and thee!
Come, now, toward Chertsey with your holy load,
Taken from Paul's to be interred there;
And, still as you are weary of the weight,
Rest you, whiles I lament king Henry's corse.
[The bearers take up the corpse, and advance.
Glo. Stay you, that bear the corse, and set it down. Anne. What black magician conjures up this fiend, To stop devoted charitable deeds?
Glo. Villains, set down the corse; or, by Saint Paul, I'll make a corse of him that disobeys.
1 Gent. My lord, stand back, and let the coffin pass.
Glo. Unmanner'd dog! stand thou when I command:
Advance thy halbert higher than my breast,
Or, by Saint Paul, I'll strike thee to my foot,
And spurn upon thee, beggar, for thy boldness.
[The bearers set down the coffin. Anne. What, do you tremble ? are you all afraid? Alas, I blame you not: for you are mortal, And mortal eyes cannot endure the devil.Avaunt, thou dreadful minister of hell! Thou hadst but power over his mortal body, His soul thou canst not have; therefore, be gone.
Glo. Sweet saint, for charity be not so curst.
Anne. Foul devil, for God's sake, hence, and trouble us not; For thou hast made the happy earth thy hell, Fill'd it with cursing cries, and deep exclaims. If thou delight to view thy heinous deeds, Behold this patternt of thy butcheries:O, gentlemen, see, see! dead Henry's wounds Open their congeal'd mouths, and bleed afresh! Blush, blush, thou lump of foul deformity; For 'tis thy presence that exhales this blood From cold and empty veins, where no blood dwells; Thy deed, inhuman and unnatural,
Provokes this deluge most unnatural.
O God, which this blood madest, revenge his death!
O earth, which this blood drink'st, revenge his death!
Either, heaven, with lightning strike the murderer dead,
Or, earth, gape open wide, and eat him quick;
As thou dost swallow up this good king's blood,
Which his hell-govern'd arm hath butchered!
Glo. Lady, you know no rules of charity, Which renders good for bad, blessings for curses.
Anne. Villain, thou know'st no law of God nor man; No beast so fierce, but knows some touch of pity.
Glo. But I know none, and therefore am no beast.
Anne. O wonderful, when devils tell the truth!
Glo. More wonderful, when angels are so angry.-
Vouchsafe, divine perfection of a woman,
Of these supposed evils, to give me leave,
By circumstance, but to acquit myself.
Anne. Vouchsafe, diffused infection of a man,*
For these known evils, but to give me leave,
By circumstance, to curse thy cursed self.
Glo. Fairer than tongue can name thee, let me have
Some patient leisure to excuse myself.
Anne. Fouler than heart can think thee, thou canst make No excuse current, but to hang thyself.
Glo. By such despair, I should accuse myself.
Anne. And, by despairing, shalt thou stand excused;
For doing worthy vengeance on thyself,
That didst unworthy slaughter upon others.
Glo. Say, that I slew them not?
Anne. Why then, they are not dead:
But dead they are, and, devilish slave, by thee.
Glo. I did not kill your husband.
Anne. Why, then he is alive.
Glo. Nay, he is dead; and slain by Edward's hand.
Anne. In thy soul's throat thou liest; queen Margaret saw
Thy murderous faulchion smoking in his blood;
The which thou once didst bend against her breast,
But that thy brothers beat aside the point.
Glo. I was provoked by her sland'rous tongue,
That laid their guilt upon my guiltless shoulders.
Anne. Thou wast provoked by thy bloody mind,
That never dreamt on aught but butcheries:
Didst thou not kill this king?
Glo. I grant ye.
Anne. Dost grant me, hedge-hog? then God grant me too, Thou mayst be damned for that wicked deed! O, he was gentle, mild, and virtuous.
Glo. The fitter for the King of heaven that hath him. Anne. He is in heaven, where thou shalt never come. Glo. Let him thank me, that holp to send him thither; For he was fitter for that place, than earth.
Anne. And thou unfit for any place but hell.
Glo. Yes, one place else, if you will hear me name it.
Anne. Some dungeon.
Glo. Your bed-chamber.
Anne. Ill rest betide the chamber where thou liest
Glo. So will it, madam, till I lie with you.
Anne. I hope so.
Glo. I know so.-But, gentle lady Anne,-
To leave this keen encounter of our wits,
And fall somewhat into a slowert method;-
Is not the causer of the timeless deaths
* Wide-spreading pestilence.