« ForrigeFortsett »
If heaven will take the present at our hands.
Glo. As much unto my good lord chamberlain !
Hast. With patience, noble lord, as prisoners must ;
Glo. No doubt, no doubt; and so shall Clarence too; For they, that were your enemies, are his, And have prevailed as much on him, as you.
Hast. More pity that the eagle should be mewed, While kites and buzzards prey at liberty.
Glo. What news abroad?
Hast. No news so bad abroad as this at home;-
Glo. Now, by saint Paul, this news is bad indeed.
[Exit Hastings. He cannot live, I hope ; and must not die Till George be packed with post-horse up to heaven. I'll in, to urge his hatred more to Clarence, With lies well steeled with weighty arguments; And, if I fail not in my deep intent, Clarence hath not another day to live; Which done, God take king Edward to his mercy, And leave the world for me to bustle in ! For then I'll marry Warwick's youngest daughter.
1 Lady Anne, the betrothed widow of Edward prince of Wales. See King Henry VI. Part III.
What though I killed her husband and her father ?
SCENE II. The same.
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 honorable load, -
1 A key, on account of the coldness of the metal of which it is composed, was often employed to stop any slight bleeding. The epithet is common to many old writers.
Or any creeping venomed thing that lives!
Anne. What black magician conjures up this fiend, To stop devoted, charitable deeds ?
Glo. Villains, set down the corse ; or, by saint Paul, I'll make a corse of him that disobeys. 1 Gent. My lord, stand back, and let the coffin
pass. Glo. Unmannered dog! stand thou when I com
[The bearers set down the coffin. Anne. What, do you tremble? are you all afraid ? Alas, I blame you not; for you are mortal,
Glo. Sweet saint, for charity, be not so curst.
, Filled it with cursing cries, and deep exclaims. If thou delight to view thy heinous deeds,
Behold this pattern of thy butcheries;
Glo. Lady, you know no rules of charity,
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.-
Anne. Vouchsafe, diffused' infection of a man,
Glo. Fairer than tongue can name thee, let me have
make No excuse current, but to hang thyself.
Glo. By such despair, I should accuse myself.
Anne. And, by despairing, shalt thou stand excused; For doing worthy vengeance on thyself, That didst unworthy slaughter upon others.
2 This is from Holinshed. It was a tradition, very generally received, that the murdered body bleeds on the touch of the murderer.
3 Diffused anciently signified dark, obscure, strange, uncouth, or confused.
Glo. Say, that I slew them not?
Why, then they are not dead; But dead they are, and, devilish slave, by thee.
Glo. I did not kill
Why, then he is alive. Glo. Nay, he is dead; and slain by Edward's hand. Anne. In thy foul throat thou liest. Queen Margaret
Thy murderous falchion smoking in his blood;
Glo. I was provoked by her slanderous tongue,
Anne. Thou wast provoked by thy bloody mind,
grant ye. Anne. Dost grant me, hedge-hog ? then, God grant
me too, Thou mayst be damned for that wicked deed! O, he was gentle, mild, and virtuous.
Glo. The fitter for the King of heaven, that hath him. Anne. He is in heaven, where thou shalt never
Glo. Let him thank me, that holp to send him
Anne. And thou unfit for any place but hell.
I know so.—But, gentle lady Anne,To leave this keen encounter of our wits, And fall somewhat into a slower method,Is not the causer of the timeless deaths Of these Plantagenets, Henry and Edward, As blameful as the executioner?