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With whom my soul is any jot at odds,
Q. Eliz. A holy-day shall this be kept hereafter:-
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. Edw. 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 pre
sence, But his red colour hath forsook his cheeks. K. Edw. Is Clarence dead? the order was re
vers'd. Glo. But he, poor man, by your first order died, And that a winged Mercury did bear; 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, 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 Stan. I will not rise, unless your highness hear me. K. Edw. Then say at once, what is it thou re
Stan. The forfeit, sovereign, of my servant's life; Who slew today a riotous gentleman, Lately attendant on the duke of Norfolk.
K. Edw.Havelatongue 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 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 himn in his life; Yet none of you would once plead for his life.
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.
O God! I fear, thy justice will take hold
[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? 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. [Exeunt.
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,
— 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 grandchildren, &c. It seems to have been used instead of our kinsman, and kinswoman, and to have supplied the place of both.
As loath to lose him, not your father's death;
Son. Then, grandam, you conclude that he is dead.
Daugh. And so will I.
Duch. Peace, children, peace! the king doth love Incapable and shallow innocents, You cannot guess who caus'd your father's death.
Son. Grandam, we can: for my good uncle Gloster
Son. Think you, my uncle did dissemble, grandam?
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:
• Incapable and shallow innocents,] Incapable is unintelligent.
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?
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 watry 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
his images:) The children by whom he was represented.