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Have no delight to pass away the time,
Unless to see 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 Clarence comes.
Enter CLARENCE, guarded, and BRAKENBURY.
Brother, good day. What means this armed guard,
That waits upon your grace ?
Tendering my person's safety, hath appointed
This conduct to convey me to the Tower.
Glo. Upon what cause ?
Because my name is George.
Glo. Alack! my lord, that fault is none of yours;
He should, for that, commit your godfathers
O! belike, his majesty hath some intent,
That you should be new christend in the Tower.
But what's the matter, Clarence ? may I know?
Clar. Yca, Richard, when I know; but 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, And says, a wizard told him, that by G His issue disinherited should be ; And, for my name of George begins with G, It follows in his thought that I am he. These, as I learn, and such like toys as these, Have mov'd his highness to commit me now.
Glo. Why, this it is, when men are ruld by women. 'T is not the king that sends you to the Tower : My lady Grey, his wife, Clarence, 't is she,
1 spy : in quarto.
That tempts him to this harsh' extremity.
Was it not she, and that good man of worship,
Antony Woodeville, her same brother there,
That made him send lord Hastings to the Tower,
From whence this present day he is deliver'd ?
We are not safe, Clarence; we are not safe.
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 ?3
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 dubb’d them gentlewomen,
Are mighty gossips in our 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 your brother.
Glo. Even so; an please your worship, Brakenbury,
You may partake of any thing 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. Nought to do with mistress Shore ? I tell thee,
He that doth naught with her, excepting one,
Were best to do it secretly, alone.
Brak. What one, my lord ?
Glo. Her husband, knave. Wouldst thou betray me?
Brak. I do beseech your grace to pardon me; and
Forbear your conference with the noble duke.
1 tempers him to this extremity: in quartos. 2 Not in f. e. the quartos; folio : Hastings was for her.
Clar. We know thy charge, Brakenbury, and will
obey. Glo. We are the queen's abjects, 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. Mean time, this deep disgrace in brotherhood Touches me deeper than you can imagine.
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.' Mean time, have patience. [Embracing him. Clar.
I must perforce : farewell.
[Exeunt CLARENCE, BRAKENBURY, and Guard.
Glo. 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-deliver'd Hastings ?
Hast. Good time of day unto my gracious lord.
Glo. As much unto my good lord chamberlain.
Well are you welcome to this open air.
How hath your lordship brook'd imprisonment ?
Hast. With patience, noble lord, as prisoners 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 prevail'd as much on him as you.
Hast. More pity, that the eagles should be mew'd, 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“, that news is bad indeed. 0! he hath kept an evil diet long, And over-much consum'd his royal person : 'T is very grievous to be thought upon. Where is he? in his bed ?5 i Lie in prison in your stead.
play: in folio. quartos : What! is he in his bed ?
Hast. He is.
Glo. Go you before, and I will follow you.
He cannot live, I hope ; and must not die,
Till George be pack'd with posthastel up to heaven.
I'll in, to urge his hatred more to Clarence,
With lies well steel'd with weighty arguments;
And, if I fail 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.
[Exit. SCENE II.-The Same. Another Street. 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 a while obsequiously lament Th' 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 slaughter'd son, Stabb'd 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 :0, cursed be the hand that made these holes ! Cursed the heart, that had the heart to do it!
1 posthorse : in f. e. 2 lord : in quarto. 3 fatal : in quartos.
Cursed 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 venom'd 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 interred there ;
And still, as you are weary of this 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 Paul, I'll make a corse of him that disobeys.
1 Gent. My lord, stand back, and let the coffin pass.
Glo. Unmanner'd 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 afraid ?
Alas! I blame you not; for you are mortal,
And mortal eyes cannot endure the devil.-
Avaunt, thou dreadful minister of hell!
Thou hadst but power over his mortal body,
His soul thou canst not have : therefore, be gone.
Glo. Sweet saint, for charity, be not so curst.
Anne. Foul devil, for God's sake, hence, and trouble
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.-
12 These lines are not in the quartos. 34 as : in quartos.