“I, that am not shaped 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,
Deformed, 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
“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.”
“Now, by Saint Paul, this news is bad indeed.
O, he hath kept an evil diet long,
And overmuch consumed his royal person:
‘Tis very grievous to be thought upon.
What, is he in his bed?”
“…if I fall 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.”
“If ever he have child, abortive be it,
Prodigious, and untimely brought to light,
Whose ugly and unnatural aspect
May fright the hopeful mother at the view;
And that be heir to his unhappiness!
If ever he have wife, let her he made
A miserable by the death of him
As I am made by my poor lord and thee!”
“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 pattern 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
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!”
I did not kill your husband.
Why, then he is alive.
Nay, he is dead; and slain by Edward’s hand.
In thy foul throat thou liest: Queen Margaret saw
Thy murderous falchion smoking in his blood;
The which thou once didst bend against her breast,
But that thy brothers beat aside the point.
I was provoked by her slanderous tongue,
which laid their guilt upon my guiltless shoulders.
Thou wast provoked by thy bloody mind.
Which never dreamt on aught but butcheries:
Didst thou not kill this king?
I grant ye.
Dost grant me, hedgehog? then, God grant me too
Thou mayst be damned for that wicked deed!
O, he was gentle, mild, and virtuous!
The fitter for the King of heaven, that hath him.
He is in heaven, where thou shalt never come.
Let him thank me, that holp to send him thither;
For he was fitter for that place than earth.
And thou unfit for any place but hell.
Yes, one place else, if you will hear me name it.
Ill rest betide the chamber where thou liest!
So will it, madam till I lie with you.
I hope so.
I know so. But, gentle Lady Anne,
To leave this keen encounter of our wits,
And fall somewhat into a slower method,
Is not the causer of the timeless deaths
Of these Plantagenets, Henry and Edward,
As blameful as the executioner?
Thou art the cause, and most accursed effect.
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.
If I thought that, I tell thee, homicide,
These nails should rend that beauty from my cheeks.
These eyes could never endure sweet 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.
Black night o’ershade thy day, and death thy life!
Curse not thyself, fair creature thou art both.
I would I were, to be revenged on thee.
It is a quarrel most unnatural,
To be revenged on him that loveth you.
It is a quarrel just and reasonable,
To be revenged on him that slew my husband.
He that bereft thee, lady, of thy husband,
Did it to help thee to a better husband.
His better doth not breathe upon the earth.
He lives that loves thee better than he could.
Why, that was he.
The selfsame name, but one of better nature.
Where is he?
She spitteth at him
Why dost thou spit at me?
Would it were mortal poison, for thy sake!
Never came poison from so sweet a place.
Never hung poison on a fouler toad.
Out of my sight! thou dost infect my eyes.
Thine eyes, sweet lady, have infected mine.
Would they were basilisks, to strike thee dead!
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 aspect with store of childish drops:
These eyes that never shed remorseful tear,
No, 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 smoothing 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 lips such scorn, for they were 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 bosom.
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 dispatch; ‘twas I that stabb’d young Edward,
But ‘twas thy heavenly face that set me on.
Here she lets fall the sword
Take up the sword again, or take up me.
Arise, dissembler: though I wish thy death,
I will not be the executioner.
Then bid me kill myself, and I will do it.
I have already.
Tush, that was in thy rage:
Speak it again, and, even with the word,
That hand, which, for thy love, did kill thy love,
Shall, for thy love, kill a far truer love;
To both their deaths thou shalt be accessary.
I would I knew thy heart.
‘Tis figured in my tongue.
I fear me both are false.
Then never man was true.
Well, well, put up your sword.
Say, then, my peace is made.
That shall you know hereafter.
But shall I live in hope?
All men, I hope, live so.
Vouchsafe to wear this ring.
To take is not to give.
Look, how this ring encompasseth finger.
Even so thy breast encloseth my poor heart;
Wear both of them, for both of them are thine.
And if thy poor devoted suppliant may
But beg one favour at thy gracious hand,
Thou dost confirm his happiness for ever.
What is it?
That it would please thee 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 monastery 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.
With all my heart; and much it joys me too,
To see you are become so penitent.
Tressel and Berkeley, go along with me.
Bid me farewell.
‘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”
“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;
Having God, her conscience, and these bars
And I nothing to back my suit at all,
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 debase her eyes on me,
That cropp’d the golden prime of this sweet prince,
And made her widow to a woful bed?
On me, whose all not equals Edward’s moiety?
On me, that halt and am unshapen 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 some score or two of tailors,
To study fashions to adorn my body:
Since I am crept in favour with myself,
Will maintain it with some little cost.
But first I’ll turn yon fellow in his grave;
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.
Oh, he is young and his minority
Is put unto the trust of Richard Gloucester,
A man that loves not me, nor none of you.
Is it concluded that he shall be protector?
It is determined, not concluded yet:
But so it must be, if the king miscarry.”
God grant him health! Did you confer with him?
Madam, we did: he desires to make atonement
Betwixt the Duke of Gloucester and your brothers,
And betwixt them and my lord chamberlain;
And sent to warn them to his royal presence.”
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 ears 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?”
“Since every Jack became a gentleman
There’s many a gentle person made a Jack.”
My Lord of Gloucester, I have too long borne
Your blunt upbraidings and your bitter scoffs:
By heaven, I will acquaint his majesty
With those gross taunts I often have endured.
I had rather be a country servant-maid
Than a great queen, with this condition,
To be thus taunted, scorn’d, and baited at:
Enter QUEEN MARGARET, behind
Small joy have I in being England’s queen.
And lessen’d be that small, God, I beseech thee!
Thy honour, state and seat is due to me.”
To fight on Edward’s party for the crown;
And for his meed, poor lord, he is mew’d up.
I would to God my heart were flint, like Edward’s;
Or Edward’s soft and pitiful, like mine
I am too childish-foolish for this world.
Hie thee to hell for shame, and leave the world,
Thou cacodemon! there thy kingdom is.”
Wert thou not banished on pain of death?
I was; but I do find more pain in banishment
Than death can yield me here by my abode.
A husband and a son thou owest to me;
And thou a kingdom; all of you allegiance:
The sorrow that I have, by right is yours,
And all the pleasures you usurp are mine.
The curse my noble father laid on thee,
When thou didst crown his warlike brows with paper
And with thy scorns drew’st rivers from his eyes,
And then, to dry them, gavest the duke a clout
Steep’d in the faultless blood of pretty Rutland–
His curses, then from bitterness of soul
Denounced against thee, are all fall’n upon thee;
And God, not we, hath plagued thy bloody deed.”
Thy friends suspect for traitors while thou livest,
And take deep traitors for thy dearest friends!
No sleep close up that deadly eye of thine,
Unless it be whilst some tormenting dream
Affrights thee with a hell of ugly devils!
Thou elvish-mark’d, abortive, rooting hog!
Thou that wast seal’d in thy nativity
The slave of nature and the son of hell!
Thou slander of thy mother’s heavy womb!
Thou loathed issue of thy father’s loins!
Thou rag of honour! thou detested–
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 Hastings, Derby, Buckingham;
And say it is the queen and her allies
That stir the king against the duke my brother.
Now, they believe it; and withal whet me
To be revenged 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 villany
With old odd ends stolen out of holy writ;
And seem a saint, when most I play the devil.
Enter two Murderers
But, soft! here come my executioners.
How now, my hardy, stout resolved mates!
Are you now going to dispatch this deed?”
Lord, Lord! methought, what pain it was to drown!
What dreadful noise of waters in mine ears!
What ugly sights of death within mine eyes!
Methought I saw a thousand fearful wrecks;
Ten 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,
Which woo’d the slimy bottom of the deep,
And mock’d the dead bones that lay scatter’d by.
Had you such leisure in the time of death
To gaze upon the secrets of the deep?”
O, no, my dream was lengthen’d after life;
O, then began the tempest to my soul,
Who 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 cried aloud, ‘What scourge for perjury
Can this dark monarchy afford false Clarence?’
And so he vanish’d: then came wandering by
A shadow like an angel, with bright hair
Dabbled in blood; and he squeak’d out aloud,
<Clarence is come; false, fleeting, perjured Clarence,
That stabb’d me in the field by Tewksbury;
Seize on him, Furies, take him to your torments!>
With that, methoughts, a legion of foul fiends
Environ’d me about, and howled in mine ears
Such hideous cries, that with the very noise
I trembling waked, and for a season after
Could not believe but that I was in hell,
Such terrible impression made the dream.”
O Brakenbury, I have done those things,
Which now bear evidence against my soul,
For Edward’s sake; and see how he requites me!
O God! if my deep prayers cannot appease thee,
But thou wilt be avenged on my misdeeds,
Yet execute thy wrath in 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.
I will, my lord: God give your grace good rest!
Sorrow breaks seasons and reposing hours,
Makes the night morning, and the noon-tide night.
Princes have but their tides for their glories,
An outward honour for an inward toil;
And, for unfelt imagination,
They often feel a world of restless cares:
So that, betwixt their tides and low names,
There’s nothing differs but the outward fame.
Enter the two Murderers
What, shall we stab him as he sleeps?
No; then he will say ‘twas done cowardly, when he wakes.
When he wakes! why, fool, he shall never wake till
Why, then he will say we stabbed him sleeping.
The urging of that word ‘judgment’ hath bred a kind
of remorse in me.
What, art thou afraid?
Not to kill him, having a warrant for it; but to be
damned for killing him, from which no warrant can defend us.
I thought thou hadst been resolute.
So I am, to let him live.
Back to the Duke of Gloucester, tell him so.
I pray thee, stay a while: I hope my holy humour
will change; ‘twas wont to hold me but while one
would tell twenty.
How dost thou feel thyself now?
‘Faith, some certain dregs of conscience are yet
Remember our reward, when the deed is done.
‘Zounds, he dies: I had forgot the reward.
Where is thy conscience now?
In the Duke of Gloucester’s purse.
So when he opens his purse to give us our reward,
thy conscience flies out.
Let it go; there’s few or none will entertain it.
How if it come to thee again?
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; he cannot swear, but it cheques him;
he cannot lie with his neighbour’s wife, but it
detects him: ‘tis a blushing shamefast spirit that
mutinies in a man’s bosom; it fills one full of
obstacles: it made me once restore a purse of gold
that 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 to live
‘Zounds, it is even now at my elbow, persuading me
not to kill the duke.
Take the devil in thy mind, and relieve him not: he
would insinuate with thee but to make thee sigh.
Tut, I am strong-framed, he cannot prevail with me,
I warrant thee.
Spoke like a tail fellow that respects his
reputation. Come, shall we to this gear?
Take him over the costard with the hilts of thy
sword, and then we will chop him in the malmsey-butt
in the next room.
O excellent devise! make a sop of him.
Hark! he stirs: shall I strike?
No, first let’s reason with him.
Where art thou, keeper? give me a cup of wine.
You shall have wine enough, my lord, anon.
In God’s name, what art thou?
A man, as you are.
But not, as I am, royal.
Nor you, as we are, loyal.
Thy voice is thunder, but thy looks are humble.
My voice is now the king’s, my looks mine own.
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?
To, to, to–
To murder me?
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?
Offended us you have not, but the king.
I shall be reconciled to him again.
Never, my lord; therefore prepare to die.
Are you call’d forth from out a world of men
To slay the innocent? What is my offence?
Where are the evidence that do accuse me?
What lawful quest have given their verdict up
Unto the frowning judge? or who pronounced
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 to have redemption
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.
What we will do, we do upon command.
And he that hath commanded is the king.
Erroneous vassal! the great King of kings
Hath in the tables of his law commanded
That thou shalt do no murder: and wilt thou, then,
Spurn at his edict and fulfil a man’s?
Take heed; for he holds vengeance in his hands,
To hurl upon their heads that break his law.
And that same vengeance doth he hurl on thee,
For false forswearing and for murder too:
Thou didst receive the holy sacrament,
To fight in quarrel of the house of Lancaster.
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.
Whom thou wert sworn to cherish and defend.
How canst thou urge God’s dreadful law to us,
When thou hast broke it in so dear degree?
Alas! for whose sake did I that ill deed?
For Edward, for my brother, for his sake: Why, sirs,
He sends ye not to murder me for this
For in this sin he is as deep as I.
If God will be revenged for this deed.
O, know you yet, he doth it publicly,
Take not the quarrel from his powerful arm;
He needs no indirect nor lawless course
To cut off those that have offended him.
Who made thee, then, a bloody minister,
When gallant-springing brave Plantagenet,
That princely novice, was struck dead by thee?
My brother’s love, the devil, and my rage.
Thy brother’s love, our duty, and thy fault,
Provoke us hither now to slaughter thee.
Oh, if you love my brother, hate not me;
I am his brother, and I love him well.
If you be hired for meed, go back again,
And I will send you to my brother Gloucester,
Who shall reward you better for my life
Than Edward will for tidings of my death.
You are deceived, your brother Gloucester hates you.
O, no, he loves me, and he holds me dear:
Go you to him from me.
Ay, so we will.
Tell him, when that our princely father York
Bless’d his three sons with his victorious arm,
And charged us from his soul to love each other,
He little thought of this divided friendship:
Bid Gloucester think of this, and he will weep.
Ay, millstones; as be lesson’d us to weep.
O, do not slander him, for he is kind.
As snow in harvest. Thou deceivest thyself:
‘Tis he that sent us hither now to slaughter thee.
It cannot be; for when I parted with him,
He hugg’d me in his arms, and swore, with sobs,
That he would labour my delivery.
Why, so he doth, now he delivers thee
From this world’s thraldom to the joys of heaven.
Make peace with God, for you must die, my lord.
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 me?
Ah, sirs, consider, he that set you on
To do this deed will hate you for the deed.
What shall we do?
Relent, and save your souls.
Relent! ‘tis cowardly and womanish.
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?
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?
Look behind you, my lord.
Take that, and that: if all this will not do,
I’ll drown you in the malmsey-butt within.
Exit, with the body
A bloody deed, and desperately dispatch’d!
How fain, like Pilate, would I wash my hands
Of this most grievous guilty murder done!
Re-enter First Murderer
How now! what mean’st thou, that thou help’st me not?
By heavens, the duke shall know how slack thou art!
I would he knew that I had saved his brother!
Take thou the fee, and tell him what I say;
For I repent me that the duke is slain.
So do not I: go, coward as thou art.
Now must I hide his body in some hole,
Until the duke take order for his burial:And when I have my meed, I must away;
For this will out, and here I must not stay.”
“There wanteth now our brother Gloucester here,
To make the perfect period of this peace.”
“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.”
A holy day shall this be kept hereafter:
I would to God all strifes were well compounded.
My sovereign liege, I do beseech your majesty
To take our brother Clarence to your grace.
Why, madam, have I offer’d love for this
To be so bouted in this royal presence?
Who knows not that the noble duke is dead?
They all start
You do him injury to scorn his corse.
Who knows not he is dead! who knows he is?
All seeing heaven, what a world is this!
Look I so pale, Lord Dorset, as the rest?
Ay, my good lord; and no one in this presence
But his red colour hath forsook his cheeks.
KING EDWARD IV
Is Clarence dead? the order was reversed.
But he, poor soul, 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, but not in blood,
Deserve not worse than wretched Clarence did,
And yet go current from suspicion!”
“Have a tongue to doom my brother’s death,
And shall the same give pardon to a slave?
My brother slew no man; his fault was thought,
And yet his punishment was cruel death.
Who sued to me for him? who, in my rage,
Kneel’d at my feet, and bade me be advised
Who spake of brotherhood? who spake of love?
Who told me how the poor soul did forsake
The mighty Warwick, and did fight for me?
Who told me, in the field by Tewksbury
When Oxford had me down, he rescued 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 own garments, and gave 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 defaced
The precious image of our dear Redeemer,
You straight are on your knees for pardon, pardon;
And I unjustly too, must grant it you
But for my brother not a man would speak,
Nor I, ungracious, speak unto myself
For him, poor soul. The proudest of you all
Have been beholding to him in his life;
Yet none of you would once plead for his life.
O God, I fear thy justice will take hold
On me, and you, and mine, and yours for this!
Come, Hastings, help me to my closet.
Oh, poor Clarence!”
Then, grandam, you conclude that he is dead.
The king my uncle is to blame for this:
God will revenge it; whom I will importune
With daily prayers all to that effect.
And so will I.
DUCHESS OF YORK [mãe de Gloucester e dos assassinados]
Peace, children, peace! the king doth love you well:
Incapable and shallow innocents,
You cannot guess who caused your father’s death.”
“Edward, my lord, your son, our king, is dead.
Why grow the branches now the root is wither’d?
Why wither not the leaves the sap being gone?
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.”
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 mine arms,
And pluck’d two crutches from my feeble limbs,
Edward and Clarence. O, what cause have I,
Thine being but a moiety of my grief,
To overgo thy plaints and drown thy cries!
Good aunt, you wept not for our father’s death;
How can we aid you with our kindred tears?
Our fatherless distress was left unmoan’d;
Your widow-dolour likewise be unwept!
Give me no help in lamentation;
I am not barren to bring forth complaints
All springs reduce their currents to mine eyes,
That I, being govern’d by the watery moon,
May send forth plenteous tears to drown the world!
Oh for my husband, for my dear lord Edward!
Oh for our father, for our dear lord Clarence!
DUCHESS OF YORK
Alas for both, both mine, Edward and Clarence!”
Madam, bethink you, like a careful mother,
Of the young prince your son: send straight for him
Let him be crown’d; in him your comfort lives:
Drown desperate sorrow in dead Edward’s grave,
And plant your joys in living Edward’s throne.
Enter GLOUCESTER, BUCKINGHAM, DERBY, HASTINGS, and RATCLIFF”
My lord, whoever journeys to the Prince,
For God’s sake, let not us two be behind;
For, by the way, I’ll sort occasion,
As index to the story we late talk’d of,
To part the queen’s proud kindred from the king.
My other self, my counsel’s consistory,
My oracle, my prophet! My dear cousin,
I, like a child, will go by thy direction.
Towards Ludlow then, for we’ll not stay behind.
Doth this news hold of good King Edward’s death?
Ay, sir, it is too true; God help the while!
Then, masters, look to see a troublous world.
No, no; by God’s good grace his son shall reign.
Woe to the land that’s govern’d by a child!
In him there is a hope of government,
That in his nonage council under him,
And in his full and ripen’d years himself,
No doubt, shall then and till then govern well.
So stood the state when Henry the Sixth
Was crown’d in Paris but at nine months old.
Stood the state so? No, no, good friends, God wot;
For then this land was famously enrich’d
With politic grave counsel; then the king
Had virtuous uncles to protect his grace.”
“O, full of danger is the Duke of Gloucester!
And the queen’s sons and brothers haught and proud:
And were they to be ruled, and not to rule,
This sickly land might solace as before.”
“When clouds appear, wise men put on their cloaks;
When great leaves fall, the winter is at hand;
When the sun sets, who doth not look for night?
Untimely storms make men expect a dearth.
All may be well; but, if God sort it so,
‘Tis more than we deserve, or I expect.”
“Quando surgem as nuvens, os prudentes trajam capas;
Quando caem todas as folhas, o inverno está bem próximo;
Quando o sol se põe, que tolo não esperaria a noite?
Tempestades inauditas trazem a estiagem.
Que tudo termine bem, Deus esteja conosco!,
Mas é mais do que merecemos…
Ou do que concebo eu!”
“Small herbs have grace, great weeds do grow apace”
“DUCHESS OF YORK
Good faith, good faith, the saying did not hold
In him that did object the same to thee;
He was the wretched’st thing when he was young,
So long a-growing and so leisurely,
That, if this rule were true, he should be gracious”
Marry, they say my uncle grew so fast
That he could gnaw a crust at two hours old
‘Twas full two years ere I could get a tooth.
Grandam, this would have been a biting jest.
DUCHESS OF YORK
I pray thee, pretty York, who told thee this?
Grandam, his nurse.
DUCHESS OF YORK
His nurse! why, she was dead ere thou wert born.
If ‘twere not she, I cannot tell who told me.
A parlous boy: go to, you are too shrewd.
ARCHBISHOP OF YORK
Good madam, be not angry with the child.
Pitchers [jarros] have ears.”
“DUCHESS OF YORK
Accursed and unquiet wrangling days,
How many of you have mine eyes beheld!
My husband lost his life to get the crown;
And often up and down my sons were toss’d,
For me to joy and weep their gain and loss:
And being seated, and domestic broils
Clean over-blown, themselves, the conquerors.
Make war upon themselves; blood against blood,
Self against self: O, preposterous
And frantic outrage, end thy damned spleen;
Or let me die, to look on death no more!”
Those uncles which you want were dangerous;
Your grace attended to their sugar’d words,
But look’d not on the poison of their hearts :
God keep you from them, and from such false friends!”
Where it seems best unto your royal self.
If I may counsel you, some day or two
Your highness shall repose you at the Tower:
Then where you please, and shall be thought most fit
For your best health and recreation.
I do not like the Tower, of any place.
Did Julius Caesar build that place, my lord?”
[Aside] So wise so young, they say, do never
What, will you go unto the Tower, my lord?
My lord protector needs will have it so.
I shall not sleep in quiet at the Tower.
Why, what should you fear?
Marry, my uncle Clarence’ angry ghost:
My grandam told me he was murdered there.
I fear no uncles dead.
Nor none that live, I hope.
An if they live, I hope I need not fear.
But come, my lord; and with a heavy heart,
Thinking on them, go I unto the Tower.”
Now, my lord, what shall we do, if we perceive
Lord Hastings will not yield to our complots?
Chop off his head, man; somewhat we will do:
And, look, when I am king, claim thou of me
The earldom of Hereford, and the moveables
Whereof the king my brother stood possess’d.”
“To fly the boar before the boar pursues,
Were to incense the boar to follow us
And make pursuit where he did mean no chase.”
Now Margaret’s curse is fall’n upon our heads,
For standing by when Richard stabb’d her son.
Then cursed she Hastings, then cursed she Buckingham,
Then cursed she Richard. O, remember, God
To hear her prayers for them, as now for us
And for my sister and her princely sons,
Be satisfied, dear God, with our true blood,
Which, as thou know’st, unjustly must be spilt.”
His grace looks cheerfully and smooth to-day;
There’s some conceit or other likes him well,
When he doth bid good morrow with such a spirit.
I think there’s never a man in Christendom
That can less hide his love or hate than he;
For by his face straight shall you know his heart.”
If I thou protector of this damned strumpet–
Tellest thou me of ‘ifs’? Thou art a traitor:
Off with his head! Now, by Saint Paul I swear,
I will not dine until I see the same.
Lovel and Ratcliff, look that it be done:
The rest, that love me, rise and follow me.”
“Stanley did dream the boar did raze his helm;
But I disdain’d it, and did scorn to fly:
Three times to-day my foot-cloth horse did stumble,
And startled, when he look’d upon the Tower,
As loath to bear me to the slaughter-house.
O, now I want the priest that spake to me:
I now repent I told the pursuivant
As ‘twere triumphing at mine enemies,
How they at Pomfret bloodily were butcher’d,
And I myself secure in grace and favour.
O Margaret, Margaret, now thy heavy curse
Is lighted on poor Hastings’ wretched head!”
O momentary grace of mortal men,
Which we more hunt for than the grace of God!
Who builds his hopes in air of your good looks,
Lives like a drunken sailor on a mast,
Ready, with every nod, to tumble down
Into the fatal bowels of the deep.”
So dear I loved the man, that I must weep.
I took him for the plainest harmless creature
That breathed upon this earth a Christian;
Made him my book wherein my soul recorded
The history of all her secret thoughts:
So smooth he daub’d his vice with show of virtue,
That, his apparent open guilt omitted,
I mean, his conversation with Shore’s wife,
He lived from all attainder of suspect.”
“Nay, for a need, thus far come near my person:
Tell them, when that my mother went with child
Of that unsatiate Edward, noble York
My princely father then had wars in France
And, by just computation of the time,
Found that the issue was not his begot;
Which well appeared in his lineaments,
Being nothing like the noble duke my father:
But touch this sparingly, as ‘twere far off,
Because you know, my lord, my mother lives.”
“Now will I in, to take some privy order,
To draw the brats of Clarence out of sight;
And to give notice, that no manner of person
At any time have recourse unto the princes.
And when mine oratory grew to an end
I bid them that did love their country’s good
Cry ‘God save Richard, England’s royal king!’
Ah! and did they so?
No, so God help me, they spake not a word;
But, like dumb statues or breathing stones,
Gazed each on other, and look’d deadly pale.”
“And some ten voices cried ‘God save King Richard!’
And thus I took the vantage of those few,
‘Thanks, gentle citizens and friends,’ quoth I;
‘This general applause and loving shout
Argues your wisdoms and your love to Richard’’
Ah, ha, my lord, this prince is not an Edward!
He is not lolling on a lewd day-bed,
But on his knees at meditation;
Not dallying with a brace of courtezans,
But meditating with two deep divines;
Not sleeping, to engross his idle body,
But praying, to enrich his watchful soul:
Happy were England, would this gracious prince
Take on himself the sovereignty thereof:
But, sure, I fear, we shall ne’er win him to it.”
Two props of virtue for a Christian prince,
To stay him from the fall of vanity:
And, see, a book of prayer in his hand,
True ornaments to know a holy man.
Famous Plantagenet, most gracious prince,
Lend favourable ears to our request;
And pardon us the interruption
Of thy devotion and right Christian zeal.”
My lord, this argues conscience in your grace;
But the respects thereof are nice and trivial,
All circumstances well considered.
You say that Edward is your brother’s son:
So say we too, but not by Edward’s wife;
For first he was contract to Lady Lucy–
Your mother lives a witness to that vow–
And afterward by substitute betroth’d
To Bona, sister to the King of France.
These both put by a poor petitioner,
A care-crazed mother of a many children,
A beauty-waning and distressed widow,
Even in the afternoon of her best days,
Made prize and purchase of his lustful eye,
Seduced the pitch and height of all his thoughts
To base declension and loathed bigamy
By her, in his unlawful bed, he got
This Edward, whom our manners term the prince.
More bitterly could I expostulate,
Save that, for reverence to some alive,
I give a sparing limit to my tongue.
Then, good my lord, take to your royal self
This proffer’d benefit of dignity;
If non to bless us and the land withal,
Yet to draw forth your noble ancestry
From the corruption of abusing times,
Unto a lineal true-derived course.”
“Yet whether you accept our suit or no,
Your brother’s son shall never reign our king;
But we will plant some other in the throne,
To the disgrace and downfall of your house:
And in this resolution here we leave you.–
Come, citizens: ‘zounds! I’ll entreat no more.”
Cousin of Buckingham, and you sage, grave men,
Since you will buckle fortune on my back,
To bear her burthen, whether I will or no,
I must have patience to endure the load:
But if black scandal or foul-faced reproach
Attend the sequel of your imposition,
Your mere enforcement shall acquittance me
From all the impure blots and stains thereof;
For God he knows, and you may partly see,
How far I am from the desire thereof.
God bless your grace! we see it, and will say it.”
Then I salute you with this kingly title:
Long live Richard, England’s royal king!
Lord Mayor, Citizens
Right well, dear madam. By your patience,
I may not suffer you to visit them;
The king hath straitly charged the contrary.
The king! why, who’s that?
I cry you mercy: I mean the lord protector.”
To LADY ANNE
Come, madam, you must straight to Westminster,
There to be crowned Richard’s royal queen.
O, cut my lace in sunder, that my pent heart
May have some scope to beat, or else I swoon
With this dead-killing news!
Despiteful tidings! O unpleasing news!”
“DUCHESS OF YORK
O ill-dispersing wind of misery!
O my accursed womb, the bed of death!
A cockatrice hast thou hatch’d to the world,
Whose unavoided eye is murderous.”
And I in all unwillingness will go.
I would to God that the inclusive verge
Of golden metal that must round my brow
Were red-hot steel, to sear me to the brain!
Anointed let me be with deadly venom,
And die, ere men can say, God save the queen!”
“I to my grave, where peace and rest lie with me!
Eighty odd years of sorrow have I seen,
And each hour’s joy wrecked with a week of teen.”
“KING RICHARD III
Thus high, by thy advice
And thy assistance, is King Richard seated;
But shall we wear these honours for a day?
Or shall they last, and we rejoice in them?”
“KING RICHARD III
Ha! am I king? ‘tis so: but Edward lives.
True, noble prince.”
“Cousin, thou wert not wont to be so dull:
Shall I be plain? I wish the bastards dead;
And I would have it suddenly perform’d.
What sayest thou? speak suddenly; be brief.”
“The deep-revolving witty Buckingham
No more shall be the neighbour to my counsel:
Hath he so long held out with me untired,
And stops he now for breath?”
“Rumour it abroad
That Anne, my wife, is sick and like to die:
I will take order for her keeping close.
Inquire me out some mean-born gentleman,
Whom I will marry straight to Clarence’s daughter:
The boy is foolish, and I fear not him.
Look, how thou dream’st! I say again, give out
That Anne my wife is sick and like to die:
About it; for it stands me much upon,
To stop all hopes whose growth may damage me.”
“I must be married to my brother’s daughter,
Or else my kingdom stands on brittle glass.
Murder her brothers, and then marry her!
Uncertain way of gain! But I am in
So far in blood that sin will pluck on sin:
Tear-falling pity dwells not in this eye.”
“KING RICHARD III
As I remember, Henry the Sixth
Did prophesy that Richmond should be king,
When Richmond was a little peevish boy.
A king, perhaps, perhaps,–”
KING RICHARD III
a bard of Ireland told me once
I should not live long after I saw Richmond.”
The tyrannous and bloody deed is done.
The most arch of piteous massacre
That ever yet this land was guilty of.”
“The son of Clarence have I pent up close;
His daughter meanly have I match’d in marriage;
The sons of Edward sleep in Abraham’s bosom,
And Anne my wife hath bid the world good night.
Now, for I know the Breton Richmond aims
At young Elizabeth, my brother’s daughter,
And, by that knot, looks proudly o’er the crown,
To her I go, a jolly thriving wooer.”
O thou well skill’d in curses, stay awhile,
And teach me how to curse mine enemies!
Forbear to sleep the nights, and fast the days;
Compare dead happiness with living woe;
Think that thy babes were fairer than they were,
And he that slew them fouler than he is:
Bettering thy loss makes the bad causer worse:
Revolving this will teach thee how to curse.”
“KING RICHARD III
Who intercepts my expedition?
DUCHESS OF YORK
O, she that might have intercepted thee,
By strangling thee in her accursed womb
From all the slaughters, wretch, that thou hast done!”
“…Tell me, thou villain slave, where are my children?
DUCHESS OF YORK
Thou toad, thou toad, where is thy brother Clarence?
And little Ned Plantagenet, his son?
Where is kind Hastings, Rivers, Vaughan, Grey?
KING RICHARD III
A flourish, trumpets! strike alarum, drums!
Let not the heavens hear these tell-tale women
Rail on the Lord’s enointed: strike, I say!
Either be patient, and entreat me fair,
Or with the clamorous report of war
Thus will I drown your exclamations.”
“Thou camest on earth to make the earth my hell.
A grievous burthen was thy birth to me;
Tetchy and wayward was thy infancy;
Thy school-days frightful, desperate, wild, and furious,
Thy prime of manhood daring, bold, and venturous,
Thy age confirm’d, proud, subdued, bloody,
More mild, but yet more harmful, kind in hatred:
What comfortable hour canst thou name,
That ever graced me in thy company?”
“…take with thee my most heavy curse;
Which, in the day of battle, tire thee more
Than all the complete armour that thou wear’st!
My prayers on the adverse party fight;
And there the little souls of Edward’s children
Whisper the spirits of thine enemies
And promise them success and victory.
Bloody thou art, bloody will be thy end;
Shame serves thy life and doth thy death attend.
I have no more sons of the royal blood
For thee to murder: for my daughters, Richard,
They shall be praying nuns, not weeping queens;
And therefore level not to hit their lives.
KING RICHARD III
You have a daughter call’d Elizabeth,
Virtuous and fair, royal and gracious.”
“No doubt the murderous knife was dull and blunt
Till it was whetted on thy stone-hard heart,
To revel in the entrails of my lambs.
But that still use of grief makes wild grief tame,
My tongue should to thy ears not name my boys
Till that my nails were anchor’d in thine eyes;
And I, in such a desperate bay of death,
Like a poor bark, of sails and tackling reft,
Rush all to pieces on thy rocky bosom.”
“KING RICHARD III
Even all I have; yea, and myself and all,
Will I withal endow a child of thine;
So in the Lethe of thy angry soul
Thou drown the sad remembrance of those wrongs
Which thou supposest I have done to thee.”
“If I did take the kingdom from your sons,
To make amends, Ill give it to your daughter.
If I have kill’d the issue of your womb,
To quicken your increase, I will beget
Mine issue of your blood upon your daughter
A grandam’s name is little less in love
Than is the doting title of a mother;
They are as children but one step below,
Even of your mettle, of your very blood;
Of an one pain, save for a night of groans
Endured of her, for whom you bid like sorrow.
Your children were vexation to your youth,
But mine shall be a comfort to your age.
The loss you have is but a son being king,
And by that loss your daughter is made queen.
I cannot make you what amends I would,
Therefore accept such kindness as I can.
Dorset your son, that with a fearful soul
Leads discontented steps in foreign soil,
This fair alliance quickly shall call home
To high promotions and great dignity:
The king, that calls your beauteous daughter wife.
Familiarly shall call thy Dorset brother;
Again shall you be mother to a king,
And all the ruins of distressful times
Repair’d with double riches of content.”
What were I best to say? her father’s brother
Would be her lord? or shall I say, her uncle?
Or, he that slew her brothers and her uncles?
Under what title shall I woo for thee,
That God, the law, my honour and her love,
Can make seem pleasing to her tender years?”
“Day, yield me not thy light; nor, night, thy rest!
Be opposite all planets of good luck
To my proceedings, if, with pure heart’s love,
Immaculate devotion, holy thoughts,
I tender not thy beauteous princely daughter!
In her consists my happiness and thine;
Without her, follows to this land and me,
To thee, herself, and many a Christian soul,
Death, desolation, ruin and decay:
It cannot be avoided but by this;
It will not be avoided but by this.”
But thou didst kill my children.
KING RICHARD III
But in your daughter’s womb I bury them:
Where in that nest of spicery they shall breed
Selves of themselves, to your recomforture.
Shall I go win my daughter to thy will?
KING RICHARD III
And be a happy mother by the deed.
I go. Write to me very shortly.
And you shall understand from me her mind.
KING RICHARD III
Bear her my true love’s kiss; and so, farewell.
Exit QUEEN ELIZABETH
Relenting fool, and shallow, changing woman!”
Sir Christopher, tell Richmond this from me:
That in the sty of this most bloody boar
My son George Stanley is frank’d up in hold:
If I revolt, off goes young George’s head;
The fear of that withholds my present aid.
But, tell me, where is princely Richmond now?
At Pembroke, or at Harford-west, in Wales.
What men of name resort to him?
Sir Walter Herbert, a renowned soldier;
Sir Gilbert Talbot, Sir William Stanley;
Oxford, redoubted Pembroke, Sir James Blunt,
And Rice ap Thomas with a valiant crew;
And many more of noble fame and worth:
And towards London they do bend their course,
If by the way they be not fought withal.
Return unto thy lord; commend me to him:
Tell him the queen hath heartily consented
He shall espouse Elizabeth her daughter.
These letters will resolve him of my mind. Farewell.
Why, then All-Souls’ day is my body’s doomsday.
This is the day that, in King Edward’s time,
I wish’t might fall on me, when I was found
False to his children or his wife’s allies
This is the day wherein I wish’d to fall
By the false faith of him I trusted most;
This, this All-Souls’ day to my fearful soul
Is the determined respite of my wrongs:
That high All-Seer that I dallied with
Hath turn’d my feigned prayer on my head
And given in earnest what I begg’d in jest.
Thus doth he force the swords of wicked men
To turn their own points on their masters’ bosoms:
Now Margaret’s curse is fallen upon my head;
‘When he,’ quoth she, ‘shall split thy heart with sorrow,
Remember Margaret was a prophetess.’
Come, sirs, convey me to the block of shame;
Wrong hath but wrong, and blame the due of blame.”
“I did but dream.
O coward conscience, how dost thou afflict me!
The lights burn blue. It is now dead midnight.
Cold fearful drops stand on my trembling flesh.
What do I fear? myself? there’s none else by:
Richard loves Richard; that is, I am I.
Is there a murderer here? No. Yes, I am:
Then fly. What, from myself? Great reason why:
Lest I revenge. What, myself upon myself?
Alack. I love myself. Wherefore? for any good
That I myself have done unto myself?
O, no! alas, I rather hate myself
For hateful deeds committed by myself!
I am a villain: yet I lie. I am not.
Fool, of thyself speak well: fool, do not flatter.
My conscience hath a thousand several tongues,
And every tongue brings in a several tale,
And every tale condemns me for a villain.
Perjury, perjury, in the high’st degree
Murder, stem murder, in the direst degree;
All several sins, all used in each degree,
Throng to the bar, crying all, Guilty! guilty!
I shall despair. There is no creature loves me;
And if I die, no soul shall pity me:
Nay, wherefore should they, since that I myself
Find in myself no pity to myself?
Methought the souls of all that I had murder’d
Came to my tent; and every one did threat
To-morrow’s vengeance on the head of Richard.”
“By the apostle Paul, shadows to-night
Have struck more terror to the soul of Richard
Than can the substance of ten thousand soldiers
Armed in proof, and led by shallow Richmond.
It is not yet near day. Come, go with me;
Under our tents I’ll play the eaves-dropper [espia],
To see if any mean to shrink from me.”
“…Ten the clock there. Give me a calendar.
Who saw the sun to-day?
Not I, my lord.
KING RICHARD III
Then he disdains to shine; for by the book
He should have braved the east an hour ago
A black day will it be to somebody. Ratcliff!”
“Why, what is that to me
More than to Richmond? for the selfsame heaven
That frowns on me looks sadly upon him.”
Rescue, my Lord of Norfolk, rescue, rescue!
The king enacts more wonders than a man,
Daring an opposite to every danger:
His horse is slain, and all on foot he fights,
Seeking for Richmond in the throat of death.
Rescue, fair lord, or else the day is lost!
Alarums. Enter KING RICHARD III
KING RICHARD III
A horse! a horse! my kingdom for a horse!”
“Slave, I have set my life upon a cast,
And I will stand the hazard of the die:
I think there be six Richmonds in the field;
Five have I slain to-day instead of him.
A horse! a horse! my kingdom for a horse!”
“SCENE V. Another part of the field.
Alarum. Enter KING RICHARD III and RICHMOND; they fight. KING RICHARD III is slain. Retreat and flourish. Re-enter RICHMOND, DERBY bearing the crown, with divers other Lords
God and your arms be praised, victorious friends,
The day is ours, the bloody dog is dead.”
“And then, as we have ta’en the sacrament,
We will unite the white rose and the red:
Smile heaven upon this fair conjunction,
That long have frown’d upon their enmity!
What traitor hears me, and says not amen?
England hath long been mad, and scarr’d herself;
The brother blindly shed the brother’s blood,
The father rashly slaughter’d his own son,
The son, compell’d, been butcher to the sire:
All this divided York and Lancaster,
Divided in their dire division,
O, now, let Richmond and Elizabeth,
The true succeeders of each royal house,
By God’s fair ordinance conjoin together!
And let their heirs, God, if thy will be so.
Enrich the time to come with smooth-faced peace,
With smiling plenty and fair prosperous days!”