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I had rather be a country servant-maid,
Enter Queen MARGARET, behind.
Q. Mar. And lessen'd be that small, God, I beseech 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;
Q. Mar. Ay, and much better blood than his, or
Glo. In all which time, you, and your husband Grey,
Were factious for the house of Lancaster;-
my pains-] My labours; my toils.
Margaret's battle] Is-Margaret's army.
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 world,
Thou cacodæmon! there thy kingdom is.
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.Hear me, you wrangling pirates, that fall out In sharing that which you have pill'd 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 my sight?"
which you have pill'd from me:] To pill is to pillage. 6 Ah, gentle villain,] Gentle appears to be taken in its common acceptation, but to be used ironically.
7 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?
Than death can yield me here by my abode.
Glo. The curse my noble father laid on thee,-
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 reported.
Dors. No man but prophecied revenge for it.
Q.Mar. What! were you snarling all, before I came, Ready to catch each other by the throat, And turn yo you all hatred now on me? your 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,'
Deck'd in thy rights, as thou art stall'd in mine!
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,
by surfeit die your king,] Alluding to his luxurious life.
Thou elvish-mark'd,' abortive, rooting hog!2
I call thee not.
Glo. I cry thee mercy then; for I did think, That thou had'st call'd me all these bitter names.
Q. Mar. Why, so I did; but look'd for no reply. O, 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 yourself.
Q. Mar. Poor painted queen, vain flourish of my fortune!
Why strew'st thou sugar on that bottled spider,*
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.
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.