Imagini ale paginilor
PDF
ePub

I trembling wak’d, and, for a season after,
Could not believe but that I was in hell;
Such terrible impression made my dream.

Brak. No marvel, lord, though it affrighted you; I am afraid, methinks, to hear you tell it.

Clar. O, Brakenbury, I have done these things,That now give evidence against my soul,For Edward's sake; and, see, how he requites me!O God! if my deep prayers cannot appease thee, But thou wilt be aveng'd on my misdeeds, Yet execute thy wrath on me alone: O, spare my guiltless wife, and my poor children! I pray thee, gentle keeper, stay by me; My soul is heavy, and I fain would sleep. Brak. I will, my lord; God give your grace good

rest!

[Clarence reposes himself on a Chair. Sorrow breaks seasons, and reposing hours, Makes the night morning, and the noon-tide

night.
Princes have but their titles for their glories,
An outward honour for an inward toil;
And, for unfelt imaginations,
They often feel a world of restless cares:
So that, between their titles, and low name,
There's nothing differs but the outward fame.

Enter the Two Murderers.

1 Murd. Ho! who's here? Brak. What would'st thou, fellow? and how

cam'st thou hither? 1 Murd. I would speak with Clarence, and I came hither on my legs.

Brak. What, so brief? 2 Murd. O, sir, 'tis better to be brief than te

dious:-

Let him see our commission; talk no more.

[A Paper is delivered to BRAKENBURY, who

reads it.
Brak. I am, in this, commanded to deliver
The noble duke of Clarence to your hands:-
I will not reason what is meant hereby,
Because I will be guiltless of the meaning.
Here are the keys;--there sits the duke asleep:
I'll to the king; and signify to him,
That thus I have resign'd to you my charge.

1 Murd. You may, sir; 'tis a point of wisdom: Fare you well.

[Exit BRAKENBURY. 2 Murd. What, shall we stab him as he sleeps ?

1 Murd. No; he'll say, 'twas done cowardly, when he wakes.

2 Murd. When he wakes! why, fool, he shall never wake until the great judgment day.

i Murd. Why, then he'll say, we stabb’d him sleeping

2 Murd. The urging of that word, judgment, hath bred a kind of remorse in me.

1 Murd. What? art thou afraid ?

2 Murd. Not to kill him, having a warrant for it; but to be damn'd for killing him, from the which no warrant can defend me,

| Murd. I thought, thou had’st been resolute. 2 Murd. So I am, to let him live. i Murd. I'll back to the duke of Gloster, and tell

him so.

2 Murd. Nay, I pr’ythee, stay a little: I hope, this holy humour of mine will change; it was wont to hold me but while one would tell twenty.

1 Murd. How dost thou feel thyself now?

2 Murd. 'Faith, some certain dregs of conscience are yet within me.

1 Murd. Remember our reward, when the deed's done. VOL. VII.

E

2 Murd. Come, he dies; I had forgot the reward. 1 Murd. Where's thy conscience now? 2 Murd. In the duke of Gloster's purse.

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.

| 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 wife, but it detects him: 'Tis a blushing shame-faced spirit, that mutinies in a man's bosom; it fills one full of obstacles: it made me once restore a purse of gold, that by chance I found; it beggars any man that keeps it: it is turned out of all towns and cities for a dangerous thing; and every man, that means to live well, endeavours to trust to himself, and live without it.

i 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 costards with the hilts of thy sword, and then throw him into the malmsey-butt, in the next room.

4 Spoke like a tall fellow,] The meaning of tall, in old English, is stout, daring, fearless, and strong.

the costard-] i. e. the head; a name adopted from an apple shaped like a man's head.

5

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

1 Murd. Soft! he wakes,
2 Murd. Strike.
i Murd. No, we'll reason with him.
Clar. Where art thou, keeper? give me a cup of

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

anon. 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

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

mine own. Clar. How darkly, and how deadly dost thou

speak!
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:

Clar. You scarcely have the hearts to tell me so, 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 men, To slay the innocent? What is my offence? Where is the evidence that doth accuse me? What lawful quest? have given their verdict up

6

we'll reason -] We'll talk. ? What lawful quest] Quest is inquest or jury.

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,
That you depart, and lay no hands on me;
The deed you undertake is damnable.

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

king.
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?
Take heed; for he holds vengeance in his hand,
To hurl upon their heads that break his law.
2 Murd. And that same vengeance doth he hurl

on thee,
For false forswearing, and for murder too:
Thou didst receive the sacrament, to fight
In quarrel of the house of Lancaster.

i 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 dears 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;

-dear-] This is a word of mere enforcement, and very frequently occurs, with different shades of meaning, in our author.

« ÎnapoiContinuați »