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1 Murd. So when he opens his purse to give us our reward, thy conscience flies out.

2 Murd. 'Tis no matter; let it go; there's few, or none, will entertain it.

What lawful quest3 have given their verdict up
Unto the frowning judge? or who pronounc'd
The bitter sentence of poor Clarence' death?
Before I be convict by course of law,

To threaten me with death is most unlawful.
I charge you, as you hope for any goodness,
By Christ's dear blood shed for our grievous sins,
you depart, and lay no hands on me;
The deed you undertake is damnable.

1 Murd. What we will do, we do upon command.
2 Murd. And he, that hath commanded, is our

Clar. Erroneous vassal! the great King of kings
Hath in the table of his law commanded,
That thou shalt do no murder; Wilt thou then
Spurn at his edict, and fulfil a man's?

1 Murd. What, if it come to thee again? 2 Murd. I'll not meddle with it, it is a dangerous thing, it makes a man a coward; a man cannot steal, but it accuseth him; a man cannot swear, but it checks him; a man cannot lie with his neighbour's Take heed; for he holds vengeance in his hand, wife, but it detects him: 'Tis a blushing shame-faced To hurl upon their heads that break his law. spirit, that mutinies in a man's bosom; it fills one 2 Murd. And that same vengeance doth he hurl full of obstacles: it made me once restore a purse on thee, of gold, that by chance I found; it beggars any man For false forswearing, and for murder too; that keeps it: it is turned out of all towns and cities Thou didst receive the sacrament, to fight for a dangerous thing; and every man, that means In quarrel of the house of Lancaster. to live well, endeavours to trust to himself, and live without it.

1 Murd. 'Zounds, it is even now at my elbow, persuading me not to kill the duke.

2 Murd. Take the devil in thy mind, and believe him not: he would insinuate with thee, but to make thee sigh.

1 Murd. I am strong-fram'd, he cannot prevail with me.

2 Murd. Spoke like a tall' fellow, that respects his reputation. Come, shall we fall to work?

1 Murd. Take him over the costard with the hilts of thy sword, and then throw him into the malmsey-butt, in the next room.

2 Murd. O excellent device! and make a sop of him.

1 Murd. Soft! he wakes.

2 Murd. Strike.

1 Murd. No, we'll reason with him.

Clar. Where art thou, keeper? give me a cup of wine.

1 Murd. You shall have wine enough, my lord,


Clar. In God's name, what art thou?

1 Murd. A man, as you are.

Clar. But not, as I am, royal.

1 Murd. Nor you, as we are, loyal.

Clar. Thy voice is thunder, but thy looks are


1 Murd. My voice is now the king's, my looks mine own.

Clar. How darkly, and how deadly dost thou

Your eyes do menace me: Why look you pale?
Who sent you hither? Wherefore do you come?
Both Murd. To, to, to,-

Clar. To murder me?

Both Murd. Ay, ay.

1 Murd. And, like a traitor to the name of God, Didst break that vow; and, with thy treacherous blade,

Unrip'dst the bowels of thy sovereign's son.

2 Murd. Whom thou wast sworn to cherish and defend.

1 Murd. How canst thou urge God's dreadful
law to us,

When thou hast broke it in such dear degree?
Clar. Alas! for whose sake did I that ill deed?
For Edward, for my brother, for his sake:
He sends you not to murder me for this;
For in that sin he is as deep as I.
If God will be avenged for the deed,
O, know you, that he doth it publicly;
Take not the quarrel from his powerful arm;
He needs no indirect nor lawless course,
To cut off those that have offended him.

1 Murd. Who made thee then a bloody minister,
When gallant-springing, brave Plantagenet
That princely novice,' was struck dead by thee?
Clar. My brother's love, the devil, and my rage.
1 Murd. Thy brother's love, our duty, and thy


Provoke us hither now to slaughter thee.


Clar. If you do love my brother, hate not me;
I am his brother and I love him well.
If you are hir'd for meed, go back again,
And I will send you to my bother Gloster;
Who shall reward you better for my life,
Than Edward will for tidings of my death.
2 Murd. You are deceiv'd, your brother Gloster
hates you.

Clar. O no; he loves me, and he holds me dear:
Go you to him from me.
Both Murd.
Ay, so we will.
Clar. Tell him when that our princely father

Clar. You scarcely have the hearts to tell me so, Bless'd his three sons with his victorious arm,
And therefore cannot have the hearts to do it.
Wherein, my friends, have I offended you?

1 Murd. Offended us you have not, but the king. Clar. I shall be reconcil'd to him again.

2 Murd. Never, my lord; therefore prepare to die. Clar. Are you call'd forth from out a world of

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And charg'd us from his soul to love each other,
He little thought of this divided friendship:
Bid Gloster think on this, and he will weep.

1 Murd. Ay, mill-stones; as he lesson'd us to

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And hugg'd me in his arms, and swore, with sobs, That he would labour my delivery.

1 Murd. Why, so he doth, when he delivers you From this earth's thraldom to the joys of heaven. 2 Murd. Make peace with God, for you must die, my lord.

Clar. Hast thou that holy feeling in thy soul, To counsel me to make my peace with God, And art thou yet to thy own soul so blind, That thou wilt war with God, by murd'ring me? Ah, sirs, consider, he, that sent you on To do this deed, will hate you for the deed. 2 Murd. What shall we do?

Clar. Relent, and save your souls. 1 Murd. Relent! 'tis cowardly, and womanish. Clar. Not to relent, is beastly, savage, devilish.— Which of you, if you were a prince's son, Being pent' from liberty, as I am now,— If two such murderers as yourselves came to Would not entreat for life?

K. Edw. Take heed, you dally not before your king;

Lest he, that is the supreme King of kings,
Confound your hidden falsehood, and award
Either of you to be the other's end.

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Hast. So prosper I, as I swear perfect love!
Riv. And I, as I love Hastings with my heart!
K. Edw. Madam, yourself are not exempt in this,
Nor your son Dorset,-Buckingham, nor you;-
You have been factious one against the other.
Wife, love lord Hastings, let him kiss your hand;
And what you do, do it unfeignedly.

Q. Eliz. There, Hastings; I will never more

Our former hatred, so thrive I, and mine!

K. Edw. Dorset, embrace him,-Hastings, love lord marquis,

Dor. This interchange of love, I here protest, you,-Upon my part shall be inviolable. Hast. And so swear I.

My friend, I spy some pity in thy looks;
O, if thine eye be not a flatterer,
Come thou on my side, and entreat for me,
As you would beg, were you in my distress.
A begging prince what beggar pities not?
2 Murd. Look behind you, my lord.
1 Murd. Take that, and that; if all this will not
[Stabs him.
I'll drown you in the malmsey-butt within.
[Exit with the body.
2 Murd. A bloody deed, and desperately des-

How fain, like Pilate, would I wash my hands
Of this most grievous guilty murder done!

Re-enter first Murderer.

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[Embraces Dorset, K. Edw. Now, princely Buckingham, seal thou, this league

With thy embracements to my wife's allies,
And make me happy in your unity.

Buck. Whenever Buckingham doth turn his hate Upon your grace, [To the Queen.] but with all duteous love

Doth cherish you, and yours, God punish me
With hate in those where I expect most love!
When I have most need to employ a friend,
And most assured that he is a friend,
Deep, hollow, treacherous, and full of guile,
Be he unto me! this do I beg of heaven,
When I am cold in tove, to you, or yours.

[Embracing Rivers, &c. K. Edw. A pleasing cordial, princely Buckingham,

Is this thy vow unto my sickly heart.
There wanteth now our brother Gloster here,
To make the blessed period of this peace.
Buck. And, in good time, here comes the noble

Enter Gloster.

Glo. Good-morrow to my sovereign king, and queen;

And, princely peers, a happy time of day!
K. Edo. Happy, indeed, as we have spent the

Brother, we have done deeds of charity;
Made peace of enmity, fair love of hate,
Between these swelling wrong-incensed peers.

Glo. A blessed labour, my most sovereign liege.-
Among this princely heap, if any here,
By false intelligence, or wrong surmise,
Hold me a foe;

If I unwittingly, or in my rage,

Have aught committed that is hardly borne
By any in this presence, I desire

K. Edo. Why, so:-now have I done a good To reconcile me to his friendly peace:

day's work;

You peers, continue this united league:
I every day expect an embassage
From my Redeemer to redeemn me hence;
And more in peace my soul shall part to heaven,
Since I have made my friends at peace on earth.
Rivers, and Hastings, take each other's hand;
Dissemble not your hatred, swear your love.
Riv. By heaven, my soul is purg'd from grudging

And with my hand I seal my true heart's love.
Hast. So thrive I, as I truly swear the like!

(1) Shut up.

'Tis death to me, to be at enmity;

I hate it, and desire all good men's love.-
First, madam, I entreat true peace of you,
Which I will purchase with my duteous service;~
Of you, my noble cousin Buckingham,
If ever any grudge were lodg'd between us ;-
Of you, lord Rivers, and, lord Grey, of you,-
That all without desert have frown'd on me ;-
Dukes, earls, lords, gentlemen; indeed, of all.
I do not know that Englishman alive,
With whom my soul is any jot at odds,
More than the infant that is born to-night;
I thank my God for my humility.

Q. Eliz. A holy-day shall this be kept hereafter.

I would to God, all strifes were well compounded.-
My sovereign lord, I do beseech your highness.
To take our brother Clarence to your grace.
Glo. Why, madam, have I offer'd love for this,
To be so flouted in this royal presence?
Who knows not, that the gentle duke is dead?
[They all start.
You do him injury, to scorn his corse.
K. Edro. Who knows not he is dead! who knows
he is?

Q. Eliz. All-seeing heaven, what a world is this!
Buck. Look I so pale, lord Dorset, as the rest?
Dor. Ay, my good lord; and no man in the

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Stan. I will not rise,unless your highness hear me. K. Edw. Then say at once, what is it thou request'st.

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 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,
Kneel'd 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 rescu'd 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,
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. 0,
Poor Clarence!

[Exeunt King, Queen, Hastings, Rivers, Dorset, and Grey.

(1) Ignorant.

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?
O! 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.
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; do lament the sickness of the king,

As loth 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


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

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, gran

dam? 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 tragic violence:-
Edward, my lord, thy son, our king, is dead.
Why grow the branches, when the root is
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 noble 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,

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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

How can we aid you with our kindred tears?

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 Cla


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


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 iuss. 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 sit. 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 displeased,

That you take with unthankfulness is doing;
In common wordly 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: Drown desperate sorrow in dead Edward's grave, And plant your joys in living Edward's throne.

Now cheer each other in each other's love:
Though we have spent our harvest of this king,
We are to reap the harvest of his son.
The broken rancour of your high-swoln hearts,
But lately splinted, knit, and join'd together,
Must gently be preserv'd, cherish'd and kept:
Me seemeth good, that, with some little train,
Forthwith from Ludlow the young prince be fetch'd
Hither to London, to be crown'd our king.

Riv. Why with some little train, my lord of

Buck. Marry, my lord, lest by a multitude,
The new-heal'd wound of malice should break out,
Which would be so much the more dangerous,
By how much the estate green, and yet ungov-

Where every horse bears his commanding rein,
And may direct his course as please himself,
As well the fear of harm, as harm apparent,
In my opinion, ought to be prevented.

Glo. I hope, the king made peace with all of us; And the compact is firm, and true in me.

Riv. And so in me; and so, I think, in all: Yet, since it is but green, it should be put To no apparent likelihood of breach, Which, haply, by much company might be urg'd: Therefore I say, with noble Buckingham, That it is meet so few should fetch the prince. Hast. And so say I.

Glo. Then be it so; and go we to determine, Who they shall be that straight shall post to Ludlow.

Madam,-and you my mother, will you go
To give your censure in this weighty business?
[Exeunt all but Buckingham and Gloster.
Buck. My lord, whoever journeys to the prince,
For God's sake, let not us two stay at home:
For, by the way, I'll sort occasion,

As index to the story we late talk'd of,
To part the queen's proud kindred from the prince.
Glo. My other self, my counsel's consistory,
My oracle, my prophet!-My dear cousin,
I, as a child, will go by thy direction.
Towards Ludlow then, for we'll not stay behind.


SCENE III.-The same. A street. Enter two
Citizens, meeting.

1 Cil. Good morrow, neighbour: Whither away
so fast?

2 Cit. I promise you, I scarcely know myself: Hear you the news abroad? 1 Cit.

Yes; the king's dead. 2 Cit. Ill news, by'r lady; seldom comes the better:

Enter Gloster, Buckingham, Stanley, Hastings, I fear, I fear, 'twill prove a giddy world.

Ratcliff, and others.

Glo. Sister, have comfort: all of us have cause
To wail the dimming of our shining star,
But none can cure the harms by wailing them.
Madam, my mother, I do cry you mercy,

I did not see your grace:-Humbly on my knee
I crave your blessing.

Duch. God bless thee; and put meekness in thy breast,

Love, charity, obedience, and true duty!

Glo. Amen; and make me die a good old man!That is the butt-end of a mother's blessing; [Aside. I marvel, that her grace did leave it out.

Buck. You cloudy princes, and heart-sorrowing peers,

That bear this mutual heavy load of moan, (1) Divided.

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No doubt, shall then, and till then, govern well. 1 Cit. So stood the state, when Henry the Sixth Was crown'd in Paris but at nine months old.

3 Cit. Stood the state so? no, no, good friends, God wot;1

For then this land was famously enrich'd
With politic grave counsel; then the king
Had virtuous uncles to protect his grace.

1 Cit. Why, so hath this, both by his father and mother.

3 Cit. Better it were they all came by his father; Or, by his father there were none at all: For emulation now, who shall be nearest, Will touch us all too near, if God prevent not. O, full of danger is the duke of Gloster;

And the queen's sons, and brothers, haught and proud:

And were they to be rul'd, and not to rule,
This sickly land might solace as before.

1 Cit. Come, come, we fear the worst; all will

be well.

3 Cit. When clouds are seen, wise men put on their cloaks;

When great leaves fall, then winter is at hand;
When the sun sets, who doth not look for night?
Untimely storms make men expect a dearth:
All may be well; but, if God sort it so,
'Tis more than we deserve, or I expect.

2 Cit. Truly, the hearts of men are full of fear: You cannot reason2 almost with a man That looks not heavily, and full of dread.

3 Cit. Before the days of change, still is it so: By a divine instinct, men's minds mistrust Ensuing danger; as, by proof, we see The water swell before a boist'rous storm, But leave it all to God. Whither away?

2 Cit. Marry, we were sent for to the justices. 3 Cit. And so was I; I'll bear you company.


SCENE IV.-The same. A room in the palace. Enter the archbishop of York, the young duke of York, Queen Elizabeth, and the duchess of York.

Arch. Last night, I heard, they lay at Stony-

And at Northampton they do rest to-night:
To-morrow, or next day, they will be here.
Duch. I long with all my heart to see the prince;
I hope, he is much grown since last I saw him.
Q. Eliz. But I hear, no; they say, my son

Hath almost overta'en him in his growth.


York. Ay, mother, but I would not have it so. Duch. Why, my young cousin, it is good to grow. York. Grandam, one night, as we did sit at supper,

My uncle Rivers talk'd how I did grow

More than my brother; Ay, quoth my uncle Gloster, Small herbs have grace, great weeds do grow apace: And since, methinks, I would not grow so fast, Because sweet flowers are slow, and weeds make haste.

Duch. 'Good faith, good faith, the saying did not hold

In him that did object the same to thee:
He was the wretched'st thing, when he was young,
So long a growing, and so leisurely,
That, if his rule were true, he should be gracious.
Arch. And so, no doubt, he is, my gracious

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With them sir Thomas Vaughan, prisoners.
Duch. Who hath committed them?

Gloster and Buckingham.
Q. Eliz.

The mighty dukes,

For what offence? Mess. The sum of all I can I have disclos'd; Why, or for what, the nobles were committed, Is all unknown to me, my gracious lady.

Q. Eliz. Ah me, I see the ruin of my house!
The tiger now hath seiz'd the gentle hind;
Insulting tyranny begins to jut

Upon the innocent and awless throne :-
Welcome, destruction, blood, and massacre!
I see, as in a map, the end of all.

Duch. Accursed and unquiet wrangling days!
How many of you have mine eyes beheld?
My husband lost his life to get the crown;
And often up and down my sons were tost,
For me to joy, and weep, their gain, and loss:
And being seated, and domestic broils
Clean over-blown, themselves, the conquerors,
Make war upon themselves; brother to brother,
Blood to blood, self 'gainst self:-O, preposterous
And frantic courage, end thy damned spleen;
Or let me die, to look on death no more!
Q. Eliz. Come, come, my boy, we will to sanc-
Madam, farewell.
Stay, I will go with you.
Q. Eliz. You have no cause.

My gracious lady, go, [To the Queen.

And thither bear your treasure and your goods.
For my part, I'll resign unto your grace
The seal I keep; And so betide to me,
As well I tender you and all of yours!
Come, I'll conduct you to the sanctuary. [Exeunt.

(3) Perilous, dangerous.

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