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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, and not in blood t,
Deserve not worse than wretched Clarence did,
And yet go current from suspicion !

Enter STANLEY

Stan. A boon, my sovereign, for my service done!
K. Edw. I pr’ythee, peace; my soul is full of sorrow.
Stan. I will not rise, unless your highness hear me.
K. Edw. Then say at once, what is it thou requestst.

Stan. The forfeit“, sovereign, of my servant's life;
Who slew to-day a riotous gentleman,
Lately attendant on the duke of Norfolk.

K. Edw. Have I a tongue to doom my brother's death“, And shall that tongue give pardon to a slave ? My brother kill'd no man, his fault was thought, And yet his punishment was bitter death. Who sued to me for him ? who, in my wrath, Kneeld at my feet, and bade me be advis'd ? Who spoke of brotherhood ? who spoke 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 at 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 garments; and did give himself,

t - "but not in blood,”—Malone.
3 The forfeit,] He means the remission of the forfeit.

* Have I a tongue to doom my brother's death,] This lamentation is very tender and pathetick. The recollection of the good qualities of the dead is very natural, and no less naturally does the king endeavour to communicate the crime to others.

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 defac’d
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 beholden 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. O,
Poor Clarence !

[Exeunt King, Queen, HASTINGS, RIVERS,

DORSET, and GREY. Glo. This is the fruit of rashness !—Mark'd you not, How that the guilty kindred of the queen Look'd pale, when they did hear of Clarence' death? 0! they did urge it still unto the king: God will revenge it. Come, lords; will you go, To comfort Edward with our company? Buck. We wait upon your grace.

[Exeunt.

SCENE II.

The same.

Enter the Duchess of York, with a Son and Daughter

of CLARENCE.

Son. Good grandam, tell us, is our father dead ?
Duch. No, boy

Daugh. Why do you weep so oft? and beat your

breast; And cry–O Clarence, my unhappy son !

Son. Why do you look on us, and shake your head,
And call us orphans, wretches, cast-aways,
If that our noble father be alive?

Duch. My pretty cousins, you mistake me both ;
I do lament the sickness of the king.
As loath to lose him, not your father's death;
It were lost sorrow, to wail one that's lost.

Son. 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 earnest prayers all to that effect.

Daugh. And so will I.
Duch. Peace, children, peace! the king doth love you

well:
Incapable and shallow innocents",
You cannot guess who caus'd your father's death.

Son. Grandam, we can : for my good uncle Gloster Told me, the king, provok'd to't by the queen, Devis'd impeachments to imprison him : And when my uncle told me so, he wept, And pitied me, and kindly kiss'd my cheek ; Bade me rely on him as on my father, And he would love me dearly as his child.

Duch. Ah, that deceit should steal such gentle shapes, And with a virtuous visor hide deep vice! He is my son, ay, and therein my shame, Yet from my dugs he drew not this deceit.

Son. Think you, my uncle did dissemble, grandam ?

5 My pretty cousins,] The duchess is here addressing her grand-children, but cousin was the term used in Shakspeare's time, by uncles to nephews and nieces, grandfathers to grand-children, &c. It seems to have been used instead of our kinsman, and kinswoman, and to have supplied the place of both.

6 Incapable and shallow innocents, Incapable is unintelligent.

Duch. Ay, boy.
Son. I cannot think it. Hark! what noise is this?

Enter Queen ELIZABETH, distractedly; RIVERS and

DORSET following her. Q. Eliz. Ah! who shall hinder me to wail and weep ? To chide my fortune, and torment myself ? I'll join with black despair against my soul, And to myself become an enemy.

Duch. What means this scene of rude impatience ?

Q. Eliz. To make an act of tragick violence:-
Edward, my lord, thy son, our king, is dead. -
Why grow the branches, when the root is gone ?
Why wither not the leaves, that want their sap ?-
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.

Duch. Ah, so much interest have I in thy sorrow,
As I had title in thy noble husband !
I have bewept a worthy husband's death,
And liv'd by looking on his images?:
But now, two mirrors of his princely semblance
Are crack'd in pieces by malignant death;
And I for comfort have but one false glass,
That grieves me when I see my shame in him
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 my arms,
And pluck'd two crutches from my feeble hands,
Clarence and Edward. O, what cause have I
(Thine being but a moiety of my grief,)
To over-go thy plaints, and drown thy cries !

Son. Ah, aunt! you wept not for our father's death ; How can we aid you with our kindred tears ?

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Daugh. Our fatherless distress was left unmoan'd,
Your widow-dolour likewise be unwept !

Q. Eliz. Give me no help in lamentation,
I am not barren to bring forth laments :
All springs reduce their currents to mine eyes,
That I, being govern'd by the wat’ry moon,
May send forth plenteous tears to drown the world!
Ah, for my husband, for my dear lord Edward !

Chil. Ah, for our father, for our dear lord Clarence.
Duch. Alas, for both, both mine, Edward and

Clarence!
Q. Eliz. What stay had I, but Edward ? and he's gone.
Chil. What stay had we, but Clarence ? and he's gone
Duch. What stays had I, but they ? and they are gone.
Q. Eliz. Was never widow, had so dear a loss.
Chil. Were never orphans, had so dear a loss.

Duch. Was never mother, had so dear a loss.
Alas! I am the mother of these griefs ;
Their woes are parcell’d, mine are general.
She for an Edward weeps, and so do I;
I for a Clarence weep, so doth not she:
These babes for Clarence weep, and so do I:
I for an Edward weep, so do not they :-
Alas! you three, on me, threefold distress'd,
Pour all your tears, I am your sorrow's nurse,
And I will pamper it with lamentations.

Dor. Comfort, dear mother: God is much displeas'd,
That you take with unthankfulness his doing ;
In common worldly things, 'tis call’d-ungrateful,
With dull unwillingness to repay a debt,
Which with a bounteous hand was kindly lent;
Much more to be thus opposite with heaven,
For it requires the royal debt it lent you.

Riv. 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 :

For it requires —] i. e. because.

VOL. VI.

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