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Where be thy two sons? wherein dost thou joy? Who sues, and kneels, and says God save the
Where be the bending peers that flatter'd thee? Where be the thronging troops that follow'd
thee? 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 wheeld 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; From which even here I slip my wearied head, And leave the burden of it all on thee. Farewell, York's wife,—and queen of sad mis
chance, These English woes shall make me smile in France.
Q. Eliz. O thou well skill'd in curses, stay a while,
Decline all this,] i. e. run through all this from first to last.
Q. Eliz. My words are dull, O, quicken them with
thine! Q. Mar. Thy woes will make them sharp, and pierce like mine.
[Exit Q. MARGARET. Duch. Why should calamity be full of words?
Q. Eliz. Windy attorneys to their client woes, Airy succeeders of intestate joys, Poor breathing orators of miseries! Let them have scope: though what they do impart Help nothing else, yet do they ease the heart.
Duch. If so, then be not tongue-ty'd: go with me, And in the breath of bitter words let's smother 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 bro
ther 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,
that ow'd that crown,] i. e. that possessed it.
Let not the heavens hear these tell-tale women
son? K. Rich. Ay; I thank God, my father, and your
self. Duch. Then patiently hear my impatience. K. Rich. Madam, I have a touch of your condi
Duch. O, let me speak.
Do, then; but I'll not hear.
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 fuThy prime of manhood, daring, bold, and venturous; Thy age confirm’d, proud, subtle, sly, and bloody, More mild, but yet more harmful, kind in hatred: What comfortable hour canst thou name, That ever grac'd me* in thy company?
- a touch of your condition,] A spice or particle of your temper or disposition.
Tetchy - ] Is touchy, peevish, fretful, ill-tempered. * That ever grac'd me —] To grace seems here to mean the same as to bless, to make happy. So, gracious is kind, and graces are favours. Johnson.
K. Rich. 'Faith, none, but Humphrey Hour,' that
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.
Duch. Either thou wilt die, by God's just ordinance, Ere from this war thou turn a conqueror; Or I with grief and extreme age shall perish, And never look upon thy face again. Therefore, take with thee my most heavy curse; Which, in the day of battle, tire thee more, Than all the complete armour that thou wear'st! My prayers on the adverse party fight; And there the little souls of Edward's children Whisper the spirits of thine enemies, And promise them success and victory. Bloody thou art, bloody will be thy end; Shame serves thy life, and doth thy death attend.
[Exit. 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 Q. Eliz. I have no more sons of the royal blood, For thee to murder: for my daughters, Richard, — They shall be praying nuns, not weeping queens; And therefore level not to hit their lives.
S-Humphrey Hour,) I believe nothing more than a quibble was meant. In our poet's twentieth Sonnet we find a similar conceit; a quibble between hues (colours) and Hughes, (formerly spelt Hewes) the person addressed. Malone.
• Shame serves thy life,] To serve is to accompany, servants being near the persons of their masters.
7 Stay, madam,) On this dialogue 'tis not necessary to bestow cousins.
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, And I'll corrupt her manners, stain her beauty; Slander myself, as false to Edward's bed; Throw over her the veil of infamy: So she may live unscarr'd of bleeding slaughter, I will confess she was not Edward's daughter. K. Rich. Wrong not her birth, she is of royal
blood. Q. Eliz. To save her life, I'll say—she is not so. K. Rich. Her life is safest only in her birth. Q. Eliz. And only in that safety died her brothers. K. Rich. Lo, at their births good stars were oppo
site. 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. Ă. Rich. You speak, as if that I had slain my
much criticism, part of it is ridiculous, and the whole improbable. Johnson.
I cannot agree with Dr. Johnson's opinion. I see nothing ridiculous in any part of this dialogue ; and with respect to probability, it was not unnatural that Richard, who by his art and wheedling tongue, had prevailed on Lady Anne to marry him in her heart's extremest grief, should hope to persuade an ambitious, and, as he thought her, a wicked woman, to consent to his marriage with her daughter, which would make her a queen, and aggrandize her family.
M. Mason. * Au unavoided, &c.] i. e. unavoidable.