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I had rather be a country servant-maid,
Enter Queen MARGARET, behind.
seech thee! Thy honour, state, and seat, is due to me.
Glo. What? threat you me with telling of the king? Tell him, and spare not: look, what I have said I will avouch, in presence of the king: I dare adventure to be sent to the Tower. 'Tis time to speak, my pains” are quite forgot.
Q. Mar. Out, devil! I remember them too well: Thou kill'dst my husband Henry in the Tower, And Edward, my poor son, at Tewksbury. Glo. Ere you were queen, ay, or your husband
king, I was a pack-horse in his great affairs; A weeder-out of his proud adversaries, A liberal rewarder of his friends; To royalizes his blood, I spilt mine own. Q. Mar. Ay, and much better blood than his, or
thine. Glo. In all which time, you, and your husband
Grey, Were factions for the house of Lancaster; And, Rivers, so were you :-Was not your husband In Margaret's battle* at Saint Albans slain? Let me put in your minds, if you forget, What you have been ere now, and what you are; Withal, what I have been, and what I am.
Q. Mar. A murd'rous villain, and so still thou art.
Glo. Poor Clarence did forsake his father Warwick, Ay, and forswore himself,—Which Jesu pardon!
Q. Mar. Which God revenge!
Glo. To fight on Edward's party, for the crown; And, for his meed, poor lord, he is mew'd up: I would to God, my heart were flint like Edward's, Or Edward's soft and pitiful, like mine; I am too childish-foolish for this world. Q. Mar. Hie thee to hell for shame, and leave this
Riv. My lord of Gloster, in those busy days,
Glo. If I should be? I had rather be a pedlar: Far be it from my heart, the thought thereof!
Q. Eliz. As little joy, my lord, as you suppose You should enjoy, were you this country's king; As little joy you may suppose in me, That I enjoy, being the queen thereof. Q. Mar. A little joy enjoys the queen
thereof; For I am she, and altogether joyless. I can no longer hold me patient. [.Advancing Hear me, you wrangling pirates, that fall out In sharing that which you have pilld from me:Which of you trembles not, that looks on me? If not, that, I being queen, you bow like subjects; Yet that, by you depos’d, you quake like rebels ?Ah, gentle villain, do not turn away!
Glo. Foul wrinkled witch, what mak'st thou in
you have pill'd from me:] To pill is to pillage. * Ah, gentle villain,] Gentle appears to be taken in its common acceptation, but to be used ironically,
what mak'st thou in my sight?] An obsolete expression for-what dost thou in my sight.
Q. Mar. But repetition of what thou hast marr’d; That will I make, before I let thee go.
Glo. Wert thou not banished on pain of death?
Glo. The curse my noble father laid on thee,-
paper, And with thy scorns drew'st rivers from his eyes; And then, to dry them, gav'st the duke a clout, Steep'd in the faultless blood of pretty Rutland ;His curses, then from bitterness of soul Denounc'd against thee, are all fallen upon
thee; And God, not we, hath plagu'd thy bloody deed.
Q. Eliz. So just is God, to right the innocent.
Hast. O, 'twas the foulest deed to slay that babe, And the most merciless, that e'er was heard of. Riv. Tyrants themselves wept when it was re
ported. Dors. No man but prophecied revenge for it. Buck. Northumberland, then present, wept to see
it. Q.Mar. What! were you snarling all, before I came, Ready to catch each other by the throat, And turn you all your hatred now on me? Did York's dread curse prevail so much with heaven, That Henry's death, my lovely Edward's death, Their kingdom's loss, my woful banishment, Could all but answer for that peevish brat? Can curses pierce the clouds, and enter heaven?
hath plagu'd thy bloody deed.] To plague, in ancient language, is to punish.
Why, then give way, dull clouds, to my quick
curses ! Though not by war, by surfeit die your king,' As ours by murder, to make him a king! Edward, thy son, that now is prince of Wales, For Edward, my son, that was prince of Wales, Die in his youth, by like untimely violence! Thyself a queen, for me that was a queen, Outlive thy glory, like my wretched self! Long may'st thou live, to wail thy children's loss; And see another, as I see thee now, Deck'd in thy rights, as thou art stallid in mine! Long die thy happy days before thy death; And, after many lengthen'd hours of grief, Die neither mother, wife, nor England's queen!Rivers,—and Dorset,-you were standers by,— And so wast thou, lord Hastings,—when my son Was stabb'd with bloody daggers; God, I pray him, That none of you may live your natural age, But by some unlook'd accident cut off! Glo. Have done thy charm, thou hateful wither'd
hag. Q. Mar. And leave out thee? stay, dog, for thou
shalt hear me. If heaven have any grievous plague in store, Exceeding those that I can wish upon thee, O, let them keep it, till thy sins be ripe, And then hurl down their indignation On thee, the troubler of the poor world's peace! The worm of conscience still be-gnaw thy soul! Thy friends suspect for traitors while thou liv'st, And take deep traitors for thy dearest friends! No sleep close up that deadly eye of thine, Unless it be while some tormenting dream Affrights thee with a hell of ugly devils!
by surfeit die your king,] Alluding to his luxurious life. elvish-mark'd,] The common people in Scotland, (as we learn from Kelly's Proverbs,) have still an aversion to those who have any natural defect or redundancy, as thinking them mark'd out for mischief.
Thou elvish-mark’d,' abortive, rooting hog!?
I call thee not.
Q. Mar. Why, so I did; but look'd for no reply. 0, let me make the period to my curse. Glo. 'Tis done by me; and ends in-Margaret. Q. Eliz. Thus have you breath'd your curse against
Q. Mar. Poor painted queen, vain flourish of my
fortune! Why strew'st thou sugar on that bottled spider, Whose deadly web ensnareth thee about? Fool, fool! thou whet'st a knife to kill thyself. The day will come, that thou shalt wish for me To help thee curse this pois'nous bunch-back'd toad.
2- rooting hog!] The expression is fine, alluding (in memory of her young son) to the ravage which hogs make, with the finest flowers, in gardens; and intimating that Elizabeth was to expect no other treatment for her sons. WARBURTON.
The slave of nature,] The expression is strong and noble, and alludes to the ancient custom of masters branding their profligate slaves ; by which it is insinuated that his misshapen person was the mark that nature had set upon him to stigmatize his ill conditions.
bottled spider,] A spider is called bottled, because, like other insects, he has a middle slender, and a belly protuberant. Richard's form and venom made her liken him to a spider.