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Come, I have learn'd, that fearful commenting
Is leaden servitor to dull delay ;
Delay leads impotent and snail-pac'd beggary :
Then fiery expedition be my wing,
Jove's Mercury, and herald for a king!
Go, muster men: My counsel is

my shield;
We must be brief, when traitors brave the field.



The same. Before the Palace.

Enter Queen MARGARET. Q. Mar. So, now prosperity begins to mellow, And drop into the rotten mouth of death. Here in these confines slily have I lurk’d, To watch the waning of mine enemies. A dire induction 8 am I witness to, And will to France; hoping, the consequence Will prove as bitter, black, and tragical. Withdraw thee, wretched Margaret! who comes here?

Enter Queen ELIZABETH and the Duchess of YORK.
Q. Eliz. Ah, my poor princes ! ah, my tender

My unblown flowers, new-appearing sweets !
If yet your gentle souls fly in the air,
And be not fix'd in doom perpetual,
Hover about me with your airy wings,

8 Introduction.

And hear your mother's lamentation !

Q.Mar. Hover about her; say, that right for right Hath dimm'd your infant morn to aged night, Duch. So many miseries have craz'd my

voice, That my woe-wearied tongue is still and mute, Edward Plantagenet, why art thou dead?

Q. Mar. Plantagenet doth quit Plantagenet, Edward for Edward pays a dying debt. Q. Eliz. Wilt thou, O God, fly from such gentle

lambs, And throw them in the entrails of the wolf? When didst thou sleep, when such a deed was done!

Q. Mar. When holy Harry died, and my sweet son. Duch. Dead life, blind sight, poor mortal-living

ghost, Woe's scene, world's shame, grave's due by life

usurp'd, Brief abstract and record of tedious days, Rest thy unrest on England's lawful earth,

[Sitting down. Unlawfully made drunk with innocent blood ! Q. Eliz. Ah, that thou would'st as soon afford a

As thou canst yield a melancholy seat;
Then would I hide my bones, not rest them here!
Ah, who hath any cause to mourn, but we?

[Sitting down by her.
Q. Mar. If ancient sorrow be most reverent,
Give mine the benefit of seniory, o
And let my griefs frown on the upper hand.
If sorrow can admit society, [Sitting down with them.

· Seniority.

Tell o'er your woes again by viewing mine :-
I had an Edward, till a Richard kill'd him ;
I had a husband, till a Richard kill'd him :
Thou hadst an Edward, till a Richard kill'd him ;
Thou hadst a Richard, till a Richard kill'd him.

Duch. I had a Richard too, and thou did'st kill him;
I had a Rutland too, thou holp'st to kill him.
Q. Mar. Thou had'st a.Clarence too, and Richard

kill'd him.
From forth the kennel of thy womb hath crept
A hell-hound, that doth hunt us all to death :
That dog, that had his teeth before his eyes,
To worry lambs, and lap their gentle blood;
That foul defacer of God's handy-work;
That excellent grand tyrant of the earth,
That reigns in galled eyes of weeping souls,
Thy womb let loose, to chase us to our graves.-
O upright, just, and true-disposing God,
How do I thank thee, that this carnal cur
Preys on the issue of his mother's body,
And makes her pew-fellow' with others' moan !

Duch. O, Harry's wife, triumph not in my woes; God witness with me, I have wept for thine.

Q. Mar. Bear with me, I am hungry for revenge, And now I cloy me with beholding it. Thy Edward he is dead, that kill'd


Edward ; Thy other Edward dead, to quit my Edward ; Young York he is but boot, a because both they Match not the high perfection of my loss.

, Thy Clarence he is dead, that stabb'd my Edward; And the beholders of this tragick play,


? Thrown in to boot.

The adulterate Hastings, Rivers, Vaughan, Grey,
Untimely smother'd in their dusky graves.
Richard yet lives, hell's black intelligencer;,
Only reserv'd their factor, to buy souls,
And send them thither : But at hand, at hand,
Ensues his piteous and unpitied end :
Earth gapes, hell burns, fiends roar, saints pray,
To have him suddenly convey'd from hence :-
Cancel his bond of life, dear God, I pray,
That I may live to say, The dog is dead !
Q. Eliz. O, thou didst prophecy, the time would

That I should wish for thee to help me curse
That bottled spider, that foul bunch-back'd toad.
Q. Mar. I call’d thee then, vain flourish of my

fortune; I call’d thee then, poor shadow, painted queen; The presentation of but what I was, The flattering index 3 of a direful pageant, One heav'd a high, to be hurl'd down below : A mother only mock'd with two fair babes ; A dream of what thou wast; a garish 4 flag, To be the aim of every dangerous shot; A sign of dignity, a breath, a bubble; A queen in jest, only to fill the scene. Where is thy husband now? where be thy brothers? Where be thy two sons ? wherein dost thou joy? Who sues, and kneels, and says-God save the queen? Where be the bending peers that flatter'd thee? Where be the thronging troops that follow'd thee?

3 Indexes were anciently placed at the beginning of books.

4 Flaring.

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Decline all this, and see what now thou art.
For happy wife, a most distressed widow;
For joyful mother, one that wails the name;
For one being sued to, one that humbly sues

For queen, a very caitiff crown'd with care:
For one that scorn'd at me, now scorn'd of me;
For one being fear'd of all, now fearing one;
For one commanding all, obey'd of none.
Thus hath the course of justice wheel'd about,
And left thee but a very prey to time;
Having no more but thought of what thou wert,
To torture thee the more, being what thou art.
Thou didst usurp my place, And dost thou not
Usurp the just proportion of my sorrow?
Now thy proud neck bears half my burden'd yoke;
Froin which even here I slip my wearied head,
And leave the burden of it all on thee.
Farewell, York's wife, and queen of sadmischance,
These English woes shall make me smile in France.

Q. Eliz. O thou well skill'd in curses, stay a while,
And teach me how to curse mine enemies.

Q. Mar. Forbear to sleep the night, and fast the


Compare dead happiness with living woe;
Think that thy babes were fairer than they were,
And he, that slew them, fouler than he is :
Bettering thy loss makes the bad-causer worse;
Revolving this will teach thee how to curse.
Q. Eliz. My words are dull, O, quicken them with

Q. Mar. Thy woes will make them sharp, and

pierce like mine. [Exit Q. MARGARET.'

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