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My damned son, that thy two sweet sons smother'd.
[Drum within. I hear his drum,- be copious in exclaims.
Enter King RICHARD, and his Train, marching. K. Rich. Who intercepts me in my expedition?
Duch. O, she, that might have intercepted thee, By strangling thee in her accursed womb, From all the slaughters, wretch, that thou hast done. Q. Eliz. Hid'st thou that forehead with a golden
crown, Where should be branded, if that right were right, The slaughter of the prince that ow'd that crown, And the dire death of my poor sons, and brothers ? Tell me, thou villain-slave, where are my children? Duch. Thou toad, thou toad, where is thy brother
Clarence ? And little Ned Plantagenet, his son? Q. Eliz. Where is the gentle Rivers, Vaughan,
Grey ? Duch. Where is kind Hastings ? K. Rich. A flourish, trumpets !--strike alarum,
drums! Let not the heavens hear these tell-tale women Rail on the Lord's anointed : Strike, I say.
[Flourish. Alarums. Either be patient, and entreat me fair, Or with the clamorous report of war Thus will I drown your exclamations.
Duch. Art thou my son?
K. Rich. Ay; I thank God, my father, and your
K. Rich. Madam, I have a touch of your condition, That cannot brook the accent of reproof.
Duch. O, let me speak.
Do, then ; but I'll not hear.
haste. Duch. Art thou so hasty ? I have staid for thee, God knows, in torment and in agony.
K. Rich. And came I not at last to comfort you?
Duch. No, by the holy rood, thou know'st it well, Thou cam’st on earth to make the earth my hell. A grievous burden was thy birth to me; Tetchy and wayward was thy infancy; Thy school-days, frightful, desperate, wild, and furi
call'd your grace
I pr'ythee, hear me speak.
Hear me a word ; For I shall never speak to thee again.
K. Rich. So.
[Erit. Q. Eliz. Though far more cause, yet much less
spirit to curse Abides in me; I say amen to her.
[Going K. Rich. Stay, madam, I must speak a word with
K. Rich. You have a daughter call’d-Elizabeth, Virtuous and fair, royal and gracious.
Q. Eliz. And must she die for this? O, let her live,
K. Rich. Wrong not her birth, she is of royal blood.
posite. Q. Eliz. No, to their lives bad friends were con
trary. K. Rich. All unavoided is the doom of destiny.
Q. Eliz. True, when avoided grace makes destiny: My babes were destin'd to a fairer death, If grace had bless'd thee with a fairer life. K. Rich. You speak, as if that I had slain my
cousins. Q. Eliz. Cousins, indeed; and by their uncle
cozen'd Of comfort, kingdom, kindred, freedom, life. Whose hands soever lanc'd their tender hearts, Thy head, all indirectly, gave direction : No doubt the murderous knife was dull and blunt, Till it was whetted on thy stone-hard heart24,
To revel in the entrails of
K. Rich. Madam, so thrive I in my enterprize,
yours, Than ever you or yours by me were harm’d! Q. Eliz. What good is cover'd with the face of
heaven, To be discover'd, that can do me good ? K. Rich. The advancement of your children, gentle
lady. Q. Eliz. Up to some scaffold, there to lose their
heads? K. Rich. No, to the dignity and height of fortune, The high imperial type of this earth's glory.
Q. Eliz. Flatter my sorrows with report of it; Tell me, what state, what dignity, what honour, Canst thou demise to any child of mine ?
K. Rich. Even all I have; ay, and myself and all, Will I withal endow a child of thine; So in the Lethe of thy angry soul Thou drown the sad remembrance of those wrongs, Which, thou supposest, I have done to thee.
Q. Eliz. Be brief, lest that the process of thy kindness Last longer telling than thy kindness' date.