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Our stern alarums changed to merry meetings;
jesty To strut before a wanton ambling nymph ; I that am curtailed of this fair proportion, Cheated of feature by dissembling nature, Deformed, unfinished, 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 determinéd 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 mewed up, About a prophecy, which says that “G Of Edward's heirs the murderer shall be."Dive, thoughts, down to my soul! here Clarence
"T is not the King that sends you to the Tower:
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 dubbed 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, Braken
bury, 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 nought
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 ?
betray me? Brak. I beseech your grace to pardon me; and
withal Forbear your conference with the noble duke.
Enter CLARENCE, guarded, and BRAKENBURY. Brother good day. What means this arméd
guard That waits upon your grace ?
Clar. His majesty,
Glo. Upon what cause ?
Glo. Alack, my lord, that fault is none of yours:
you shall be new christened 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,
Clarence hath not another day to live :
reigns : When they are gone then must I count my gains.
Clar. We know thy charge, Brakenbury, ana
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. Meantime, have patience.
Clar. I must perforce : farewell. [E.reunt CLARENCE, BRAKENBURY, and Guard. Glo. Go tread the path that thou shalt ne'er
Glo. As much unto my good lord chamberlain :
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 prevailed as much on him as you. Hast. More pity, that the eagle should be
mewed, 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
Hast. He is.
Enter the corpse of King Henry THE Sixth,
borne in an open coffin; Gentlemen, bearing halberds, 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 awhile 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 lamentations of poor Anne, Wife to thy Edward, to thy slaughtered son, Stabbed 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. Curséd the heart that had the heart to do it: Curséd the blood that let this blood from hence! More direful hap betide that hated wretch That makes us wretched by the death of thee, Than I can wish to adders, spiders, toads, Or any creeping venomed thing that lives ! 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 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 interréd 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. Enter GLOSTER. 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
1st Gent. My lord, stand back and let the
Anne. Vouchsafe, diffused infection of a man,
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:
Glo. I did not kill your husband.
Flo. I was provokéd by her slanderous tongue, Tha said their guilt upon my guiltless shoulders.
Anne. Thou wast provokéd by thy bloody mind, That never dreamt on aught but butcheries. Didst thou not kill this king? Glo.
I grant ye.
grant me too
Glo. Unmannered dog! stand thou when I
command : Advance thy halberd 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
Glo. Sweet saint, for charity be not so curst.
trouble us not:
death! Either Heaven with lightning strike the mur
derer dead, Or earth gape open wide, and eat him quick; As thou dost swallow up this good king's blood, Which his hell-governed arm hath butcheréd !
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
No beast so fierce but knows some touch of pity.
Glo. ButIknow 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 supposéd evils to give me leave, By circumstance, but to acquit myself.
Anne. Some dungeon.
Glo. 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?
Anne. Thou wast the cause and most accursed Told the sad story of my father's death, effect.
And twenty times made pause to sob and weep, Glo. Your beauty was the cause of that effect: That all the standers-by had wet their cheeks, Your beauty, which did haunt me in my sleep Like trees bedashed with rain :-in that sad time To undertake the death of all the world,
My manly eyes did scorn an humble tear : So I might live one hour in your sweet bosom. And what these sorrows could not thence exhale,
Anne. If I thought that, I tell thee, homicide, Thy beauty hath, and made them blind with These nails should rend that beauty from my
I never sued to friend nor enemy; Glo. These eyes could not endure that beauty's | Mytongue could never learn sweet soothing word: wreck :
But now thy beauty is proposed my fee, You should not blemish it if I stood by.
My proud heart sues, and prompts my tongue to As all the world is cheeréd by the sun,
speak. [She looks scornfully at him. So I by that: it is my day, my life.
Teach not thy lip such scorn: for it was made Anne. Black night o'ershade thy day, and For kissing, lady, not for such contempt. death thy life!
If thy revengeful heart cannot forgive, Glo. Curse not thyself, fair creature: thou art Lo here I lend thee this sharp-pointed sword : both.
Which if thou please to hide in this true breast,
I lay it naked to the deadly stroke,
[He lays his breast open; she offers at To be revenged on him that killed my husband.
it with his sword. Glo. He that bereft thee, lady, of thy husband, Nay, do not pause; for I did kill King Henry: Did it to help thee to a better husband.
But 't was thy beauty that provokéd me. Anne. His better doth not breathe upon the Nay, now despatch; 'twas I that stabbed young earth.
Edward: [She again offers at his breast. Glo. He lives that loves you better than be But 't was thy heavenly face that set me on. could.
[She lets fall the sword. Anne. Name him.
Take up the sword again, or take up me. Glo. Plantagenet.
Anne. Arise, dissembler : though I wish thy Anne. Why, that was he.
death, Glo. The self-same name, but one of better I will not be thy executioner. nature.
Glo. Then bid me kill myself, and I will do it. Anne. Where is he?
Anne. I have already. Glo. Here. (She spits at him.) Why Glo. That was in thy rage : dost thou spit at me?
Speak it again, and even with the word, Anne. 'Would it were mortal poison, for thy This hand, which for thy love did kill thy love, sake.
Shall for thy love kill a far truer love: Glo. Never came poison from so sweet a place.
To both their deaths shalt thou be accessary. Anne. Never hung poison on a fouler toad. Anne. I would I knew thy heart. Out of my sight! thou dost infect mine eyes.
Glo. 'T is figured in my tongue. Glo. Thine eyes, sweet lady, have infected Anne. I fear me both are false. mine.
Glo. Then never man was true. Anne. 'Would they were basilisks, to strike Anne. Well, well, put up your sword. thee dead.
Glo. Say, then, my peace is made. Glo. I would they were, that I might die at Anne. That shalt thou know hereafter. once ;
Glo. But shall I live in hope? For now they kill me with a living death.
Anne. All men, I hope, live so. Those eyes of thine from mine have drawn salt Glo. Vouchsafe to wear this ring. tears;
Anne. To take is not to give. Shamed their aspects with store of childish drops :
[She puts on the ring. These eyes, which never shed remorseful tear,- Glo. Look, how this ring encompasseth thy Not when my father York and Edward wept
finger, To hear the piteous moan that Yutland made Even so thy breast encloseth my poor heart: When black-faced Clifford shook his sword at him: Wear both of them, for both of them are thine Nor when thy warlike father, like a child, And if thy poor devoted servant may
But beg one favour at thy gracious band,
Anne. What is it?
Glo. Bid me farewell.
But since you teach me how to flatter you,
ing. (Exeunt the rest, with the corpse.
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