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Our dreadful marches to delightful measures.
Grim-visag'd War has smooth'd his angry front;
And now, instead of mounting barbed steeds
To fright the souls of fearful adversaries,
He capers nimbly, in a lady's chamber,
To the lascivious pleasing of a lute.
But I, that am not shap'd for sportive tricks,
Nor made to court an amo'rous 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 man's fair proportion,
Cheated of feature by dissembling nature,
Deform’d, unfinish’d, sent before my time
Into this breathing world, scarce half made up,
And that so lamely and unfashionably
That dogs bark at me as I halt along ;
Why I, in this weak piping time of peace,
Have no delight to pass away my time;
Unless to see my shadow in the sun,
And déscant on mine own deformity:
I cannot, in these fair well-spoken days,
Find fit precédency : and am determind
To hate the idle pleasures of these days.
Plots have I laid, inductions dangerous,
To set my brother Clarence, and the king,
In deadly hate the one against the other ;
And if king Edward to himself be true,
This day shall 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 Clarence comes. Clarence, under a guard headed by Brakenbury, here passes by: Gloster advances to him:

Brother, good day. What means this armed guard

That waits upon your grace ? [Clarence.] His majesty,

Tendering my person's safety, hath appointed
This conduct to convey me to the Tower.

[Gloster.] Upon what cause ?
[Clarence.) Because my name is George.

He hearkens after prophecies and dreams;
And says, a wizard told him that by G
His issue disinherited should be.
This, as I learn, and such-like toys as these,

Have mov'd his highness to cornmit me now. [Gloster.] Why, this it is, when men are ruld by women :

'Tis not the king that sends you to the Tower ;
My lady Grey, his wife, Clarence, 'tis she.
Was it not she and that good man of worship,
Antony Woodeville, her brother there,
That made him send lord Hastings to the Tower ?

We are not safe. Clarence, we are not safe. [Clarence. By heaven, I think there is no man secure,

But the queen's kindred, and night-walking heralds

That trudge between the king and mistress Shore. [Gloster.] I'll tell you, Clarence,— tis our way, I think,

If we would 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.

Brakenbury interposes : [Brakenbury.] I beseech your graces both to pardon me:

His majesty hath strictly given in charge,
That no man shall have private conference,

Of what degree soever, with his brother. (Gloster.] Even so ? an please your worship, Brakenbury,

You may partake of everything 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 :

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? [Brakenb.] With this, my lord, myself have nought to do. (Gloster.] Naught to do with mistress Shore ? l' tell thee,

He that doth naught with her, excepting one, [fellow,

Were best to do it secretly. (Brakenbury.] What one, my lord ? [Gloster.) Her husband, knave:-would'st thou betray me,

[fellow? [Brakenbury.] I beseech your grace to pardo'n me; and

Forbear your conference with the noble duke. [withal, [Clarence.] We know thy charge, Brakenbury, and will

[obey. [Gloster.] We a’re abjects to the queen, and must obey.

Brother, farewell : I will unto the king ;
And whatsoe’er you will employ me in, -
Were it to call king Edward's widow, sister,--
I will perform it to enfranchise you :

Meantime have patience. (Clarence.) I must perforce: farewell. [a pause.] [Gloster.] 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-enlarged Hastings ?
Good time of day unto my good lord chamberlain :
Right truly welcome to this open air.

How hath your lordship brook'd imprisonment? [Hastings.] With patience, noble lord, as priso'ners must :

But I shall live, my lord, to give them thanks

That were the cause of my imprisonment. (Gloster.] No doubt, no doubt; and so shall Clarence too;

For they that were your enemies, are his.
What news abroad ?

[Hastings.] No news so bad abroad as that at home.

The king is sickly, weak, and melancholy,

And his physicians fear him mightily.
[Gloster.] Now, by Saint Paul, this news is bad indeed.

Oh! he hath kept an evil diet long,
And over-much consum'd his royal person ;
'Tis very grievous to be thought upon.

What, is he in his bed ? [Hastings.] He is my lord.

I may not spend more minutes from my duty,

To which I was returning : pardon me.
[Gloster.] I follow you, lord Hastings : Go before.

[a pause.]
He cannot live, I hope; but must not die,
Till George be sent to heaven.
I'll in, and urge his hatred more against him ;
And if I fail not in my deep intent,
Clarence hath not another day to live;
Which done, Heaven take king Edward to his mercy,

And leave the world for me to bustle in ! Let us now precede Richard to the palace. The queen consort Elizabeth, lord Rivers her brother, and marquess Dorset and lord Grey, her sons by first marriage, are in conversation : lord Rivers 28 speaking:

[majesty [Rivers.] Have patience, madam : there's good hope his

Will soon recover his accustom'd health. [Q. Elizabeth.] If he were dead, what would betide of me? [Rivers.] No other harm than loss of such a lord.

The heavens have bless'd you with the young prince

To be your comforter when he is gone. Edward [Q. Elizabeth.] 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. Buckingham and Stanley here enter from an inner apartment:


How does the king to-day, my lord of Buckingham ?

[ferr'd with him, [Buckingham.] Madam, we still have hopes : we have con

And he desires forthwith to make atonement
Between the duke of Gloster and your

kindred :
And now hath sent to bid him to his presence ;

And you, my noble lords; and Hastings too. [Q. Elizabeth.] Would all were well! but that will never be;

I fear our happiness is at the height.

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Gloster and Hastings here enter, as from without : Gloster speaks as he comes in: [Gloster.] 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 dissensious rumours.
Because I cannot flatter, and speak fair,
Smile in men's faces, smooth, deceive, and cog,
I must be held a ranco'rous enemy.
Cannot a plain man live, and think no harm,
But thus his simple truth must be abus’d

By silken, sly, insinuating Jacks? [Rivers.] To whom, in all this presence, speaks your grace ? [Gloster.] To thee, that hast nor honesty, nor grace.

When have I injur'd thee? when done thee wrong?
Or thee ?-
-or thee?
-or any


faction ?
A plague upon you all! His royal grace,
Whom heaven preserve better than you would wish!~
Cannot be quiet scarce a breathing-while,

But you must trouble him with lewd complaints. [Q. Elizabeth.] Brother of Gloster, you mistake the matter:

The king, of his own royal disposition,
And not provok’d by any suitor here,
Hath sent for you and us, that he may gather
The ground of all ill-will, and so remove it.

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