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Of these Plantagenets, Henry, and Edward,
As blameful as the executioner?
Anne. Thou wast the cause, and most accursed effect.
Glo. Your beauty was the cause of that effect;
Your beauty, which did haunt me in my sleep,
To undertake the death of all the world,
So I might live one hour in your sweet bosom.
Anne. If I thought that, I tell thee, homicide,
These nails should rend that beauty from my cheeks.
Glo. These eyes would not endure that beauty's wreck,
You should not blemish it, if I stood by:
As all the world is cheered by the sun,
So I by that; it is my day, my life.
Anne. Black night o'ershade thy day, and death thy life!
Glo. Curse not thyself, fair creature; thou art both.
Anne. I would I were, to be revenged on thee.
Glo. It is a quarrel most unnatural,
To be revenged on him that loveth thee.
Anne. It is a quarrel just and reasonable,
To be revenged on him that kill'd my husband.
Glo. He that bereft thee, lady, of thy husband,
Did it to help thee to a better husband.
Anne. His better doth not breathe upon the earth.
Glo. He lives, that loves you better than he could.
Anne. Name him.
Anne. Why, that was he.
Glo. The self-same name, but one of better nature.
Anne. Where is he?
Glo. Here: [She spits at him.] Why dost thou spit at me?
Anne. 'Would it were mortal poison, for thy sake!
Glo. Never came poison from so sweet a place.
Anne. Never hung poison on a fouler toad.
Out of my sight! thou dost infect mine eyes.
Glo. Thine eyes, sweet lady, have infected mine.
Anne. 'Would they were basilisks, to strike thee dead!
Glo. I would they were, that I might die at once;
For now they kill me with a living death.
Those eyes of thine from mine have drawn salt tears,
Shamed their aspécts with store of childish drops:
These eyes, which never shed remorseful* tear,—
Not, when my father York and Edward wept,
To hear the piteous moan that Rutland made,
When black-faced Clifford shook his sword at him:
Nor when thy warlike father, like a child,
Told the sad story of my father's death;
And twenty times made pause, to sob, and weep,
That all the standers-by had wet their cheeks,
Like trees bedash'd with rain: in that sad time,
My manly eyes did scorn an humble tear;
And what these sorrows could not thence exhale,
Thy beauty hath, and made them blind with weeping.
I never sued to friend, nor enemy;
My tongue could never learn sweet soothing word;
But now thy beauty is proposed my fee,
My proud heart sues, and prompts my tongue to speak.
[She looks scornfully at him.
Teach not thy lip such scorn; for it was made
For kissing, lady, not for such contempt.
If thy revengeful heart cannot forgive,
Lo! here I lend thee this sharp-pointed sword,
Which if thou please to hide in this true breast,
And let the soul forth that adoreth thee,
I lay it naked to the deadly stroke,
And humbly beg the death upon my knee.
[He lays his breast open; she offers at it with his sword. Nay, do not pause; for I did kill king Henry ;But 'twas thy beauty that provoked me. Nay, now despatch; 'twas I that stabb'd young Edward ;[She again offers at his breast.
But 'twas thy heavenly face that set me on.
[She lets fall the sword.
Take up the sword again, or take up me.
Anne. Arise, dissembler: though I wish thy death,
I will not be thy executioner.
Glo. Then bid me kill myself, and I will do it.
Anne. I have already.
Glo. That was in thy rage:
Speak it again, and, even with the word,
This hand, which, for thy love, did kill thy love,
Shall, for thy love, kill a far truer love;
To both their deaths shalt thou be accessory,
Anne. I would, I knew thy heart.
Glo. 'Tis figured in my tongue.
Anne. I fear me, both are false.
Glo. Then man was never true.
Anne. Well, well, put up your sword.
Glo. Say then, my peace is made.
Anne. That shall you know hereafter.
Glo. But shall I live in hope?
Anne. All men, I hope, live so.
Glo. Vouchsafe to wear this ring.
Anne. To take, is not to give.
[She puts on the ring.
Glo. Look, how this ring encompasseth thy finger,
Even so thy breast encloseth my poor heart;
Wear both of them, for both of them are thine.
And if thy poor devoted servant may
But beg one favour at thy gracious hand,
Thou dost confirm his happiness for ever.
Anne. What is it?
Glo. That it may please you leave these sad designs
To him that hath more cause to be a mourner,
And presently repair to Crosby-place;
Where-after I have solemnly interr'd,
At Chertsey monast'ry, this noble king,
And wet his grave with my repentant tears,-
I will with all expedient duty see you:
For divers unknown reasons, I beseech you,
Grant me this boon.
Anne. With all my heart; and much it joys me too,
To see you are become so penitent.—
Tressel, and Berkeley, go along with me.
Glo. Bid me farewell.
Anne. "Tis more than you deserve:
But, since you teach me how to flatter you,
Imagine I have said farewell already.
[Exeunt LADY ANNE, TRESSEL, and BERKELEY. Glo. Take up the corse, Sirs. Gent. Towards Chertsey, noble lord ?
Glo. No, to White-Friars; there attend my coming.
[Exeunt the rest, with the corse.
Was ever woman in this humour woo'd?
Was ever woman in this humour won?
I'll have her, but I will not keep her long.
What! I, that kill'd her husband, and his father,
To take her in her heart's extremest hate;
With curses in her mouth, tears in her eyes,
The bleeding witness of her hatred by;
With God, her conscience, and these bars against me,
And I no friends to back my suit withal,
But the plain devil, and dissembling looks,
And yet to win her,-all the world to nothing!
Hath she forgot already that brave prince,
Edward, her lord, whom I some three months since,
Stabb'd in my angry mood at Tewksbury?
A sweeter and a lovelier gentleman,-
Framed in the prodigality of nature,
Young, valiant, wise, and, no doubt, right royal,—
The spacious world cannot again afford:
And will she yet abase her eyes on me,
That cropp'd the golden prime of this sweet prince,
And made her widow to a woeful bed?
On me, whose all not equals Edward's moiety?
On me, that halt, and am misshapen thus?
My dukedom to a beggarly denier,*
I do mistake my person all this while :
Upon my life, she finds, although I cannot,
Myself to be a marvellous proper man.
I'll be at charges for a looking-glass;
And entertain a score or two of tailors,
To study fashions to adorn my body:
Since I am crept in favour with myself,
I will maintain it with some little cost.
But, first, I'll turn yon fellow in his grave;
*The twelfth part of a French sou.
And then return lamenting to my love.-
Shine out, fair sun, till I have bought a glass,
That I may see my shadow as I pass.
Grey. In that you brook it ill, it makes him worse:
Therefore, for God's sake, entertain good comfort,
And cheer his grace with quick and merry words.
Q. Eliz. If he were dead, what would betide of me?
Grey. No other harm, but loss of such a lord.
Q. Eliz. The loss of such a lord includes all harms.
Grey. The heavens have bless'd you with a goodly son,
To be your comforter, when he is gone.
Q. Eliz. Ah, he is young; and his minority
Is put into the trust of Richard Gloster,
A man that loves not me, nor none of you.
Riv. Is it concluded, he shall be protector?
Q. Eliz. It is determined, not concluded yet:
But so it must be, if the king miscarry.
SCENE III.-The same. A Room in the Palace.
Enter QUEEN ELIZABETH, LORD RIVERS, and LORD GREY.
Riv. Have patience, madam; there's no doubt his majesty Will soon recover his accustom'd health.
Enter BUCKINGHAM and STANLEY.
Grey. Here come the lords of Buckingham and Stanley.
Buck. Good time of day unto your royal grace!
Stan. God make your majesty joyful as you have been!
Q. Eliz. The countess Richmond, good my lord of Stanley,
To your good prayer will scarcely say-amen.
Yet, Stanley, notwithstanding she's your wife,
And loves not me, be you, good lord, assured,
I hate not you for her proud arrogance.
Stan. I do beseech you, either not believe
The envious slanders of her false accusers;
Or, if she be accused on true report,
Bear with her weakness, which, I think, proceeds
From wayward sickness, and no grounded malice.
Q. Eliz. Saw you the king to-day, my lord of Stanley?
Stan. But now, the duke of Buckingham, and I,
Are come from visiting his majesty.
Q. Eliz. What likelihood of his amendment, lords?
Buck. Madam, good hope: his grace speaks cheerfully.
Q. Eliz. God grant him health! Did you confer with him?
Buck. Ay, madam: he desires to make atonement
Between the duke of Gloster and your brothers,
And between them and my lord chamberlain ;
And sent to warn* them to his presence.
Q. Eliz. Would all were well!-But that will never be ;I fear, our happiness is at the height.
Enter GLOSTER, HASTINGS, and DORSET.
Glo. They do me wrong, and I will not endure it :--
Who are they, that complain unto the king,
That I, forsooth, am stern, and love them not?
By holy Paul, they love his grace but lightly,
That fill his ear with such dissentious rumours.
Because I cannot flatter, and speak fair,
Smile in men's faces, smooth, deceive, and cog,
Duck with French nods and apish courtesy,
I must be held a rancorous enemy.
Cannot a plain man live, and think no harm,
But thus his simple truth must be abused
By silken, sly, insinuating Jacks?
Grey. To whom in all this presence speaks your grace?
Glo. To thee, that hast nor honesty, nor grace.
When have I injured thee? when done thee wrong?-
Or thee?-or thee ?-or any of your faction?
A plague upon you all! His royal grace,—
Whom God preserve better than you would wish!--
Cannot be quiet scarce a breathing-while,
But you must trouble him with lewd* complaints.
Q. Eliz. Brother of Gloster, you mistake the matter:
The king, of his own royal disposition,
And not provoked by any suitor else;
Aiming, belike, at your interior hatred,
That in your outward action shows itself,
Against my children, brothers, and myself,
Makes him to send; that thereby he may gather
The ground of your ill-will, and so remove it.
Glo. I cannot tell;-The world is grown so bad,
That wrens may prey where eagles dare not perch:
Since every Jack+ became a gentleman,
There's many a gentle person made a Jack.
Q. Eliz. Come, come, we know your meaning, brother Gloster;
You envy my advancement, and my friends;
God grant, we never may have need of you!
Glo. Meantime, God grants that we have need of you:
Our brother is imprison'd by your means,
Myself disgraced, and the nobility
Held in contempt; while great promotions
Are daily given, to ennoble those
That scarce, some two days since, were worth a noble.
Q. Eliz. By Him, that raised me to this careful height From that contented hap which I enjoy'd,
I never did incense his majesty
Against the duke of Clarence, but have been
An earnest advocate to plead for him.
My lord, you do me shameful injury,
Falsely to draw me in these vile suspects.
Glo. You may deny that you were not the cause
Of my lord Hastings' late imprisonment.