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Buck. Madam, good hope; his grace speaks cheerfully.

[him? Q. Eliz. God grant him health! Did you confer with

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 royal presence.

Q. Eliz. 'Would all were well! - but that will never I fear, our happiness is at the height.

[be; 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 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 abus’d 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 injur'd 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 wonld 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 provok'd 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 be may gather The ground of your ill-will, and so remove it.

Clo. I cannoi 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. [Gloster;

Q. Eliz. Come, come, we know your meaning, brother
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 disgrac'd, 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 rais'd me to this careful height From that contented hap which I enjoy'd, I never did incense his inajesty 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.

Riv. She may, my lord; for

Glo. She may, lord Rivers?-why, who knows not so: She may do more, sir, than denying that: She may help you to many fair preferments; And then deny ber aiding hand therein, And lay those honours on your high desert. What may she not? She may-ay, marry, may she,-

Riv. What, marry, may she?

Glo. What, marry, may she? marry with a king,
A bachelor, a handsome stripling too:
I wis, your grandam had a worser match.

Q. Eliz. My lord of Gloster, I have too long borne
Your blunt upbraidings, and your bitter scofis:
By heaven, I will acquaint his majesty,
of those gross taunts I often have endur'd.
I had rather be a country servant-maid,
Than a great queen, with this condition-
To be so baited, scorn'd, and stormed at:
Small joy have I in being England's queen.

B

Enter QUEEN MARGARET, behind. Q. Mar. And lessen'd be that small, God, I beseech Thy honour, state, and seat is due to me. [thee!

Glo. What! threat you me with telling of the king ? Tell him, and spare not: look, what I have said I will avouch, in presence of the king : I dare adventure io be sent to the Tower. 'Tis time to speak, my pains are quite forgot.

Q. Mar. Out, devil! I remember them too well : Thou kill'dst my husband Henry in the Tower, And Edward, my poor son, at Tewksbury.

Glo. Ere you were queen, ay, or your husband king, I was a pack-horse in his great affairs; A weeder-out of his proud

adversaries, A liberal rewarder of his friends; To royalize his blood, I spilt mine own.

Q. Mar. Ay, and much better blood than his, or thine.

Glo. In all which time, you and your husband Grey, Were factious for the house of Lancaster; And, Rivers, so were you :—Was not your husband In Margaret's battle at St. Alban's slain? Let me put in your minds, if you forget, What you have been ere now, and what you are; Withal, what I have been, and what I am.

Q. Mar. A murd'rous villain, and so still thou art.

Glo. Poor Clarence did forsake his father Warwick; Ay, and forswore himself,—which Jesu pardon! Q. Mar. Which God revenge!

Glo. 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.

Q. Mar. Hie thee to hell for shame, and leave this Thou cacodæmon! there thy kingdom is. [world,

Riv. My lord of Gloster, in those busy days,
Which here you urge, to prove us enemies,
We follow'd then our lord, our lawful king;
So should we you, if you should be our king

Glo. If I should be?-I had rather be a pedlar:
Far be it from iny heart, the thought thereof!

Q. Eliz. As litile joy, my lord, as you suppose
You should enjoy, were you this country's king;
As little joy you may suppose in me,
That I enjoy, being the queen thereof.

Q. Mar. A little joy enjoys the queen thereof;
For I am she, and altogether joyless.
I can no longer hold me patient.- [Advancing.
Hear me, you wrangling pirates, that fall out
In sharing that which you have pill'd from me:
Which of you trembles not, that looks on me?
If not, that, I being queen, you bow like subjects;
Yet that, by you depos'd, you quake like rebels?

Ah, gentle villain, do not turn away! [sight?

Glo. Foul wrinkled witch, what mak'st thou in my Q. Mar. But repetition of what thou hast marr'd; That will I make, before I let thee go.

Glo. Wert thou not banished, on pain of death?

Q. Mar. 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 ow'st to me,
And thou, a kingdom;—all of you, allegiance:
This sorrow that I have, by right is yours;
And all the pleasures you usurp, are mine.

Glo. 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. gav'st the duke a clout,
Steep'd in the faultless blood of pretty Rutland;-
His curses, then from bitterness of soul
Denounc'd against thee, are all fall’n upon thee;
And God, not we, hath plagu’d thy bloody deed.

Q. Eliz. So just is God, to right the innocent.

Hast. 0, 'twas the foulest deed to slay that babe,
And the most merciless, that e'er was heard of.

Riv. Tyrants themselves wept when it was reported.
Dor. No man but prophesied revenge for it.
Buck. Northumberland, then present, wept to see it.
Q. Mar. What! were you snarling all, before I came,

Ready to catch each other by the throat,
And turn you all your hatred now on me?
Did York's dread curse prevail so much with heaven,
That Henry's death, my lovely Edward's death,
Their kingdom's loss my woful banishment,
Could all but answer for that peevish brat?
Can curses pierce the clouds, and enter heaven?-
Why, then give way, dull clouds, to my quick curses !
Though not by war, by surfeit die your king,
As ours by murder, to make him a king!
Edward, thy son, that now is prince of Wales,
For Edward, my son, that was prince of Wales,
Die in his youth, by like untimely violence!
Thyself a queen, for me that was a queen,
Outlive thy glory, like my wretched self!
Long may'st thou live, to wail thy children's loss;
And see another, as I see thee now,
Deck'd in thy rights, as thou art stall'd in mine!
Long die thy happy days before thy death;
And, after many lengthen'd hours of grief,
Die neither mother, wife, nor England's queen!-
Rivers,—and Dorset,---you were standers by,
And so wast thou, lord Hastings,—when my son
Was stabb’d with bloody daggers; God, I pray him,
That none of you may live your natural age,
But by some unlook'd accident cut off!

Glo. Have done thy charm, thou hateful wither'd hag.

Q. Mar. And leave out thee? stay, dog, for thou shalt If heaven have any grievous plague in store, [hear me. Exceeding those that I can wish upon thee, o, let thein keep it, till thy sins be ripe, And then harl down their indignation On thee, the troubler of the

poor

world's peace!
The worm of conscience still be-gpaw thy soul!
Thy friends suspect for traitors while thou liv'st,
And take deep traitors for thy dearest friends!
No sleep close up that deadly eye of thine,
Unless it be while some tormenting dream
Affrights thee with a hell of ugly devils!
Thou elvish-mark’d, abortive, rooting hog!

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