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Or any creeping venomed thing that lives!
May fright the hopeful mother at the view;
If ever he have wife, let her be made
Than I am made by my young lord and thee !—
[The bearers take up the corpse, and advance. Enter GLOSter.
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 Paul, I'll make a corse of him that disobeys.
1 Gent. My lord, stand back, and let the coffin pass.
Advance thy halberd higher than my breast,
[The bearers set down the coffin.
For thou hast made the happy earth thy hell,
Behold this pattern of thy butcheries;
O, gentlemen, see, see! dead Henry's wounds
Provokes this deluge most unnatural.
O, God, which this blood mad'st, revenge his death!
Of these supposed evils, to give me leave,
By circumstance, but to acquit myself.
Anne. Vouchsafe, diffused3 infection of a man,
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
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;
Glo. I did not kill your husband.
Thy murderous falchion smoking in his blood;
Glo. I was provoked by her slanderous tongue,
I grant ye. Anne. Dost grant me, hedge-hog? then, God grant
Thou mayst be damned for that wicked deed!
Glo. The fitter for the King of heaven, that hath him.
Glo. Let him thank me, that holp to send him thither;
For he was fitter for that place than earth.
Anne. And thou unfit for any place but hell.
Glo. Yes, one place else, if you will hear me name it. Anne. Some dungeon.
Anne. Il rest betide the chamber where thou liest' Glo. So will it, madam, till I lie with you.
Anne. I hope so.
Glo. 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?
Thou wast the cause, and most accursed effect.
Glo. Your beauty was the cause of that effect;
So I might live one hour in your sweet bosom.
You should not blemish it, if I stood by ;
Anne. Black night o'ershade thy day, and death thy life!
Glo. Curse not thyself, fair creature; thou art both.
To be revenged on him that loveth thee.
Glo. He that bereft thee, lady, of thy husband,
Did it to help thee to a better husband.
Anne. His better doth not breathe upon the earth. Glo. He lives, that loves you better than he could. Anne. Name him.
Why, that was he.
Glo. The self-same name, but one of better nature.
Anne. Where is he?
Here. [She spits at him.
Anne. 'Would it were mortal poison, for thy sake! Glo. Never came poison from so sweet a place. Anne. Never hung poison on a fouler toad. Out of my sight! thou dost infect mine eyes.
Glo. Thine eyes, sweet lady, have infected mine. Anne. 'Would they were basilisks, to strike thee
Glo. I would they were, that I might die at once;
For now they kill me with a living death.
Those eyes of thine from mine have drawn salt tears,
And what these sorrows could not thence exhale,
My tongue could never learn sweet soothing word;
My proud heart sues, and prompts my tongue to speak. [She looks scornfully at him.
Teach not thy lip such scorn; for it was made
If thy revengeful heart cannot forgive,
I lay it naked to the deadly stroke,
And humbly beg the death upon my knee.
[He lays his breast open; she offers at it with
Nay, do not pause; for I did kill king Henry ;-
Nay, now despatch; 'twas I that stabbed young
[She again offers at his breast.
But 'twas thy heavenly face that set me on.
[She lets fall the sword
Take up the sword again, or take up me.