And made our footstool of security.

Come hither, Bess, and let me kiss my boy:-
Young Ned, for thee, thine uncles, and myself,
Have in our armours watch'd the winter's night,
Went all a foot in summer's scalding heat,
That thou mightst repossess the crown in peace;
And of our labours thou shalt reap the gain.

Glo. I'll blast his harvest, if your head were laid;
For yet I am not look'd on in the world.
This shoulder was ordain'd so thick, to heave;
And heave it shall some weight, or break my back :-
Work thou the way, and thou shalt execute.

K. Edw. Clarence, and Gloster, love my lovely queen;

And kiss your princely nephew, brothers both.
Clar. The duty that I owe unto your majesty,

I seal upon the lips of this sweet babe.


K. Edw. Thanks, noble Clarence; worthy brother, thanks. Glo. And, that I love the tree from whence thou sprang'st, Witness the loving kiss I give the fruit:

To say the truth, so Judas kiss'd his master;
And cried-all hail! when as he meant

all'harm.} Aside.
K. Edw. Now am I seated as my soul delights,
Having my country's peace, and brothers' loves.

Clar. What will your grace have done with Margaret? Reignier, her father, to the king of France

Hath pawn'd the Sicils and Jerusalem,

And hither have they sent it for her ransom.

K. Edw. Away with her, and waft her hence to France.
And now what rests but that we spend the time
With stately triumphs, § mirthful comic shows,
Such as befit the pleasures of the court ?-

Sound, drums and trumpets!-farewell sour annoy!
For here, I hope, begins our lasting joy.

[blocks in formation]


[graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]



[blocks in formation]




Lieutenant of the Tower.
Another PRIEST.


ELIZABETH, Queen of King Ed ward IV.

MARGARET, Queen of King Henry


DUCHESS OF YORK, Mother to King Edward IV., Clarence, and Gloster.

LADY ANNE, Widow of Edward Prince of Wales, Son to King Henry VI.; afterwards married to the Duke of Gloster.

A young DAUGHTER of Clarence.




SCENE I-London. A Street.


Glo. Now is the winter of our discontent Made glorious summer by this sun* of York; And all the clouds, that lowr'd upon our house,

* The cognizance of Edward IV.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.

Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths;
Our bruised arms hung up for monuments;
Our stern alarums changed to merry meetings,
Our dreadful marches to delightful measures.
Grim-visaged war hath smooth'd his wrinkled front;
And now, instead of mounting barbed steeds,
To fright the souls of fearful adversaries,-
He capers nimbly in a lady's chamber,

To the lascivious pleasing of a lute.

But I,-that am not shaped for sportive tricks,
Nor made to court an amorous looking-glass;

I that am rudely stamp'd, and want love's majesty,
To strut before a wanton ambling nymph;
I, that am curtail'd of this fair proportion,
Cheated of featuret by dissembling nature,
Deform'd, unfinish'd, sent before my time
Into this breathing world, scarce half made up,
And that so lamely and unfashionable,
That dogs bark at me, as I halt by them;-
Why I, in this weak piping time of peace,
Have no delight to pass away the time;
Unless to spy my shadow in the sun,
And descant on mine own deformity;
And therefore, since I cannot prove a lover,
To entertain these fair well-spoken days,-
I am determined to prove a villain,
And hate the idle pleasures of these days.
Plots have I laid, inductions dangerous,§
By drunken prophecies, libels, and dreams,
To set my brother Clarence, and the king,
In deadly hate the one against the other:"
And, if king Edward be as true and just,
As I am subtle, false, and treacherous,
This day should Clarence closely be mew'd up;
About a prophecy,-which says,-that G,
Of Edward's heirs the murderer shall be.

Dive, thoughts, down to my soul! here Clarence comes.

Enter CLARENCE, guarded, and BRAKENBURY.

Brother, good day: What means this armed guard,
That waits upon your grace?

Clar. His majesty,

Tendering my person's safety, hath appointed

This conduct to convey me to the Tower.

Glo. Upon what cause?

Clar. Because my name is-George.

Glo. Alack, my lord, that fault is none of yours;
He should, for that, commit your godfathers:-
O, belike, his majesty hath some intent,


Producing things dissimilar.

+ Beauty.

Preparations for mischief.


That you should be new christen'd in the Tower.
But what's the matter, Clarence? may I know?

Clar. Yea, Richard, when I know; for I protest,
As yet I do not: but, as I can learn,

He hearkens after prophecies, and dreams;
And from the cross-row plucks the letter G,
And says, a wizard told him, that by G
His issue disinherited should be;

And, for my name of George begins with G,
It follows in his thought, that I am he:

These, as I learn, and such like toys* as these,
Have moved his highness to commit me now.

Glo. Why, this it is, when men are ruled by women :-

"Tis not the king, that sends you to the Tower
My lady Grey, his wife, Clarence, 'tis she,
That tempers him to this extremity.

Was it not she, and that good man of worship,
Anthony Woodeville, her brother there,
That made him send lord Hastings to the Tower;
From whence this present day he is deliver'd?
We are not safe, Clarence, we are not safe.

Clar. By heaven, I think, there is no man secure,
But the queen's kindred, and night-walking heralds
That trudge betwixt the king and mistress Shore.
Heard you not, what an humble suppliant
Lord Hastings was to her for his delivery?
Glo. Humbly complaining to her deity
Got my lord chamberlain his liberty.
I'll tell you what,-I think, it is our way,
If we will keep in favour with the king,
To be her men, and wear her livery:
The jealous o'er-worn widow, and herself,t
Since that our brother dubb'd them gentlewomen,
Are mighty gossips in this

Brak. I beseech your graces both to pardon me;
His majesty hath straitly given in charge,
That no man shall have private conference,

Of what degree soever, with his brother.

Glo. Even so? an please your worship, Brakenbury,

You may partake of anything we say:

We speak no treason, man; We say, the king
Is wise, and virtuous; and his noble queen
Well struck in years; fair, and not jealous:
hath a pretty
by foot,

We say, that Shore's
's wife hath

A cherry lip,

A bonny eye, a passing pleasing tongue;

And the queen's kindred are made gentlefolks:

How say you, Sir? can you deny all this?

Brak. With this, my lord, myself have naught to do.

Glo. Naught to do with mistress Shore? I tell thee, fellow,

[blocks in formation]

He that doth naught with her, excepting one,
Were best to do it secretly, alone.

Brak. What one, my lord?

Glo. Her husband, knave:-Wouldst thou betray me? Brak. I beseech your grace to pardon me; and, withal, Forbear your conference with the noble duke.

Clar. We know thy charge, Brakenbury, and will obey. Glo. We are the queen's abjects, and must obey. Brother, farewell; I will unto the king,

And whatsoever you will employ me in,-
Were it, to call king Edward's widow-sister,-
1 will perform it to enfranchise you.

Mean time, this deep disgrace in brotherhood,
Touches me deeper than you can imagine.

Clar. I know it pleaseth neither of us well.
Glo. Well, your imprisonment shall not be long;
I will deliver you, or else lie for you :+

Mean time, have patience.

Clar. I must perforce; farewell.

Exeunt CLARENCE, BRAKENBURY, and guard. Glo. Go, tread the path that thou shalt ne'er return, Simple, plain Clarence!-I do love thee so, That I will shortly send thy soul to heaven, If heaven will take the present at our hands. But who comes here? the new-deliver'd Hastings?


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,

And have prevail'd as much on him as you.

Hast. More pity that the eagle should be mew'd,

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 diett long,

And over-much consumed his royal person;

Tis very grievous to be thought upon.

What, is he in his bed?


Most servile of subjects.

I. e. In prison.

Bad regimen.

« ForrigeFortsett »