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Glos. Now is the winter of our discontent Made glorious summer by this sun of York; And all the clouds, that lower'd upon our house, In the deep bosom of the ocean buried. Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths ; Our bruised arms hung up for monuments; Our stern alarums changed to merry meetings, Our dreadful marches to delightful measures. 1 Grim-visaged War hath smoothed his wrinkled
front; And now,-instead of mounting barbed steeds,? To fright the souls of fearful adversaries, –
. Steeds caparisoned in a warlike manner.
He capers nimbly in a lady's chamber,
To the lascivious pleasing of a lute.
But I,—that am not shaped for sportive tricks,
Nor made to court an amorous 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 this fair proportion,
Cheated of feature by dissembling Nature,1
Deform’d, unfinish’d, sent before
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 determined to prove a villain,
And hate the idle pleasures of these days.
Plots have I laid, inductions dangerous, 2
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,
L'i. e. Nature that puts together things of a dissimilar kind, as a brave soul and a deformed body.'--Warburton,
? Preparations for mischief.
About a prophecy, which says, that G
Of Edward's heirs the murderer shall be.
Dive, thoughts, down to my soul! here Clarence
Enter CLARENCE guarded, and BRAKENBURY. Brother, good day. What means this armed guard, That waits upon your grace? Cla.
Tendering my person's safety, hath appointed
This conduct to convey me to the Tower.
Glos. Upon what cause ?
Because my name is—George.
Glos. 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 shall be new christend in the Tower.
But what's the matter, Clarence? may I know?
Cla. 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, 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 moved his highness to commit me now. Glos. Why, this it is, when men are ruled by
'Tis not the king that sends you to the Tower ;
My lady Grey, his wife, -Clarence, 'tis she,
That tempers him to this extremity.
Was it not she, and that good man of worship,
Antony Woodeville, her 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.
Cla. 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?
Glos. 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 favor with the king, To be her men, and wear her livery. The jealous o’erworn widow, and herself, Since that our brother dubb’d them gentlewomen, Are mighty gossips in this monarchy.
Bra. 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. Glos. Even so ? an please your worship, Braken
bury, You may partake of any thing we say :
1 The queen and mistress Shore.
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
And the queen's kindred are made gentlefolks.
How say you, sir ? can you deny all this?
Bra. With this, my lord, myself have naught to
do. Glos. Naught to do with mistress Shore? I tell
He that doth naught with her, excepting one,
Were best to do it secretly, alone.
Bra. What one, my lord ?
Glos. Her husband, knave. Wouldst thou betray
Bra. I beseech your grace to pardon me; and,
withal, Forbear your conference with the noble duke. Cla. We know thy charge, Brakenbury, and will
Glos. 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.
Meantime, this deep disgrace in brotherhood
Touches me deeper than you can imagine.
Cla. I know it pleaseth neither of us well.
Glos. Well, your imprisonment shall not be long