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Hast. Good time of day unto my gracious lord! Glo. As much unto my good lord chamberlain ! Well are you welcome to this open air. How hath your lordship brook'd imprisonment?
Hast. With patience, noble lord, as prisoners must: But I shall live, my lord, to give them thanks, That were the cause of my imprisonment.
Glo. No doubt, no doubt; and so shall Clarence too;
For they, that were your enemies, are his,
Hast. More pity, that the eagle should be mew'd,3 While kites and buzzards prey at liberty.
Glo. What news abroad?
Hast. No news so bad abroad, as this at home;— The king is sickly, weak, and melancholy, And his physicians fear him mightily.
Glo. Now, by Saint Paul, this news is bad indeed. O, he hath kept an evil diet* long, And over-much consum'd his royal person; 'Tis very grievous to be thought upon. What, is he in his bed?
Glo. Go you before, and I will follow you.
He cannot live, I hope; and must not die,
should be mew'd,] A mew was the place of confinement where a hawk was kept till he had moulted.
an evil diet-] i. e. a bad regimen.
Which done, God take king Edward to his mercy,
By marrying her, which I must reach unto.
Enter the Corpse of King HENRY the Sixth, borne in an open Coffin, Gentlemen bearing Halberds, to guard it; and Lady ANNE as Mourner.
Anne. Set down, set down your honourable load,If honour may be shrouded in a hearse,Whilst I a while obsequiously lament' The untimely fall of virtuous Lancaster.Poor key-cold" figure of a holy king! Pale ashes of the house of Lancaster! Thou bloodless remnant of that royal blood! Be it lawful that I invocate thy ghost, To hear the lamentations of poor Anne, Wife to thy Edward, to thy slaughter'd son,
obsequiously lament-] Obsequious, in this instance, means funereal.
6 key-cold- A key, on account of the coldness of the metal of which it is composed, was anciently employed to stop any slight bleeding. The epithet is common to many old writers.
Stabb'd by the self-same hand that made these wounds!
Lo, in these windows, that let forth thy life,
And, still as you are weary of the weight, Rest you, whiles I lament king Henry's corse. [The Bearers take up the Corpse, and advance.
Glo. Stay you, that bear the corse, and set it down. Anne. What black magician conjures up this fiend, To stop devoted charitable deeds?
Glo. Villains, set down the corse; or, by Saint Faul, I'll make a corse of him that disobeys.
1 Gent. My lord, stand back, and let the coffin
Glo. Unmanner'd dog! stand thou when I command:
to his unhappiness!] i. e. disposition to mischief.
Advance thy halberd higher than my breast,
For thou hast made the happy earth thy hell,
O God, which this blood mad'st, revenge his death!
Or, earth, gape open wide, and eat him quick;
-pattern of thy butcheries;] Pattern is instance, or ex
see! dead Henry's wounds
Open their congeal'd mouths, and bleed afresh!] It is a tradition very generally received, that the murdered body bleeds on the touch of the murderer. This was so much believed by Sir Kenelm Digby, that he has endeavoured to explain the reason.
Glo. Lady, you know no rules of charity, Which renders good for bad, blessings for curses.
Anne. Villain, thou know'st no law of God nor man; No beast so fierce, but knows some touch of pity.
Glo. But I know none, and therefore am no beast. Anne. O wonderful, when devils tell the truth! Glo. More wonderful, when angels are so angry.Vouchsafe, divine perfection of a woman, Of these supposed evils, to give me leave, By circumstance, but to acquit myself.
Anne. Vouchsafe, diffus'd infection of a man,1 For these known evils, but to give me leave, By circumstance, to curse thy cursed self.
Glo. Fairer than tongue can name thee, let me have Some patient leisure to excuse myself.
Anne. Fouler than heart can think thee, thou canst make
No excuse current, but to hang thyself.
Glo. By such despair, I should accuse myself. Anne. And, by despairing, shalt thou stand excus'd;
For doing worthy vengeance on thyself,
Thy murderous faulchion smoking in his blood;
Why then, they are not dead: and, devilish slave, by thee.
' Vouchsafe, diffus'd infection of a man,] Diffus'd infection of a man may mean, thou that art as dangerous as a pestilence, that infects the air by its diffusion. Diffus'd may, however, mean irregular.