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Q. Mar. When holy Harry died, and my sweet son.

Duch. Dead life, blind sight, poor, mortal-living ghost, Woe's scene, world's shame, grave's due by life usurped, Brief abstract and record of tedious days, Rest thy unrest on England's lawful earth, [Sitting down. Unlawfully made drunk with innocent blood!

Q. Eliz. Ah, that thou wouldst as soon afford a grave, As thou canst yield a melancholy seat; Then would I hide my bones, not rest them here ! Ah, who hath any cause to mourn, but we?

[Sitting down by her. Q. Mar. If ancient sorrow be most reverent, Give mine the benefit of seniory, And let my griefs frown on the upper hand. If sorrow can admit society, [Sitting down with them. Tell o'er your woes again by viewing mine: I had an Edward, till a Richard killed him! I had a husband, till a Richard killed him : Thou hadst an Edward, till a Richard killed him: Thou hadst a Richard, till a Richard killed himn.

Duch. I had a Richard too, and thou didst kill him; I had a Rutland too, thou holp'st to kill him.

Q. Mar. Thou hadst a Clarence too, and Richard killed him; From forth the kennel of thy womb hath crept A hell-hound, that doth hunt us all to death : That dog that had his teeth before his eyes, To worry lambs, and lap their gentle blood; That foul defacer of God's handiwork; That excellent grand tyrant of the earth, That reigns in galled eyes of weeping souls, Thy womb let loose, to chase us to our graves.0, upright, just, and true-disposing God, How do I thank thee, that this carnal cur Preys on the issue of his mother's body, And makes her pew-fellow with others' moan!

Duch. O, Harry's wife, triumph not in my woes;
God witness with me, I have wept for thine.

Q. Mar. Bear with me, I am hungry for revenge,
And now I cloy me with beholding it.
Thy Edward he is dead, that killed my Edward;
Thy other Edward dead, to quit my Edward;
Young York he is but boot, because both they
Match not the high perfection of my loss.
Thy Clarence he is dead, that stabbed my Edward;
And the beholders of this tragic play,
The adulterate Hastings, Rivers, Vaughan, Grey,

Untimely smothered in their dusky graves.
Richard yet lives, hell’s black intelligencer;
Only reserved their factor, to buy souls,
And send them thither. But at hand, at hand,
Ensues bis piteous and unpitied end:
Earth gapes, hell burns, fiends roar, saints pray,
To have him suddenly conveyed from hence :-
Cancel his bond of life, dear God, I pray,
That I may live to say, The dog is dead!

Q. Eliz. O, thou didst prophesy, the time would come,
That I should wish for thee to help me curse
That bottled spider, that foul, bunch-backed toad.

Q. Mar. I called thee then, vain flourish of my fortune; I called thee then, poor shadow, painted queen; The presentation of but what I was, The flattering index of a direful pageant, One heaved a-high, to be hurled down below; A mother only mocked with two fair babes; A dream of what thou wast; a garish flag, To be the aim of every dangerous shot; A sign of dignity, a breath, a bubble; A queen in jest, only to fill the scene. Where is thy husband now? where be thy brothers ? Where be thy two sons ? wherein dost thou joy? Who sues, and kneels, and says-God save the queen? Where be the bending peers that flattered thee? Where be the thronging troops that followed thee? Decline all this, and see what now thou art. For happy wife, a most distressed widow; For joyful mother, one that wails the name; For one being sued to, one that humbly sues ; For queen, a very caitiff crowned with care ; For one that scorned at me, now scorned of me; For one being feared of all, now fearing one; For one commanding all, obeyed of none. Thus hath the course of justice wheeled about, And left .thee but a very prey to time; Having no more but thought of what thou wert, To torture thee the more, being what thou art. Thou didst usurp my place; and dost thou not Usurp the just proportion of my sorrow? Now thy proud neck bears half my burdened yoke ; From which even here I slip my wearied head, And leave the burden of it all on thee. Farewell, York's wife,- and queen of sad mischance, These English woes shall make me smile in France.

Q. Eliz. O, thou well skilled in curses, stay a while, And teach me how to curse mine enemies.

Q. Mar. Forbear to sleep the night, and fast the day; Compare dead happiness with living woe: Think that thy babes were fairer than they were, And he that slew them, fouler than he is : Bettering thy loss makes the bad causer worse; Revolving this will teach thee how to curse.

Q. Eliz. My words are dull; 0, quicken them with thine! Q. Mar. Thy woes will make them_sharp, and pierce like mine.

[Exit Q. MARGARET. Duch. Why should calamity be full of words?

Q. Eliz. Windy attorneys to their client woes,
Airy succeeders of intestate joys,
Poor breathing orators of miseries!
Let them have scope: though what they do impart
Help nothing else, yet do they ease the heart.

Duch. If so, then be not tongue-tied: go with me,
And in the breath of bitter words let's smother
My damned son, that thy two sweet sons smothered.

[Drum within. I hear his drum,— be copious in exclaims.

Enter King RICHARD and his Train, marching. K. Rich. Who intercepts me in my expedition ?

Duch. O, she, that might have intercepted thee, By strangling thee in her accursed womb, From all the slaughters, wretch, that thou hast done.

Q. Eliz. Hid'st thou that forehead with a golden crown, Where should be branded, if that right were right, The slaughter of the prince that owed that crown, And the dire death of my poor sons, and brothers ? Tell me, thou villain slave, where are my children?

Duch. Thou toad, thou toad, where is thy brother Clarence? And little Ned Plantagenet, his son ?

Q. Eliz. Where is the gentle Rivers, Vaughan, Grey ? Duch. Where is kind Hastings ?.

K. Rich. A flourish, trumpets !-strike alarum, drums; Let not the heavens hear these telltale women Rail on the Lord's anointed. Strike, I say.

[Flourish. Alarum8.
Either be patient and entreat me fair,
Or with the clamorous report of war
Thus will I drown your exclamations.

Duch. Art thou my son ?
K. Rich. Ay; I thank God, my father, and yourself.

Duch. Then patiently hear my impatience.

K. Rich. Madam, I have a touch of your condition,
That cannot brook the accent of reproof.

Duch. O, let me speak.
K. Rich.

Do, then ; but I'll not hear.
Duch. I will be mild and gentle in my words.
K. Rich. And brief, good mother; for I am in haste.

Duch. Art thou so hasty? I have staid for thee, God knows, in torment and in agony.

K. Rich. And came I not at last to comfort you? Duch. No, by the holy rood, thou know’st it well, Thou cam'st on earth to make the earth

my

hell.
A grievous burden was thy birth to me;
Tetchy and wayward was thy infancy ;
Thy school-days, frightful, desperate, wild, and furious ;
Thy prime of manhood, daring, bold, and venturous;
Thy age confirmed, proud, subtle, sly, and bloody,
More mild, but yet more harmful, kind in hatred;
What comfortable hour canst thou name
That ever graced me in thy company ?
K. Rich. 'Faith, none, bút Humphrey Hour, that called

your grace
To breakfast once, forth of my company.
If I be so disgracious in your sight,
Let me march on, and not offend you, madam.-
Strike up the drum.
Duch.

I pr’ythee, hear me speak.
K. Rich. You speak too bitterly.
Duch.

Hear me a word; For I shall never speak to thee again.

K. Rich. So.

Duch. Either thou wilt die, by God's just ordinance, Ere from this war thou turn a conqueror; Or I with grief and extreme age shall perish, And never look upon thy face again. Therefore take with thee my most heavy curse ; Which, in the day of battle, tire thee more, Than all the complete armor that thou wear'st! My prayers on the adverse party fight; And there the little souls of Edward's children Whisper the spirits of thine enemies, And promise them success and victory. Bloody thou art, bloody will be thy end; Shame serves thy life, and doth thy death attend. [Exit.

Q. Eliz. Though far more cause, yet much less spirit to curse Abides in me; I say amen to her.

[Going.

K. Rich. Stay, madam; I must speak a word with you.

Q. Eliz. I have no more sons of the royal blood For thee to murder. For my daughters, Richard, They shall be praying nuns, not weeping queens; And therefore level not to hit their lives.

K. Rich. You have a daughter called - Elizabeth,
Virtuous and fair, royal and gracious.

Q. Eliz. And must she die for this? O, let her live,
And I'll corrupt her manners, stain her beauty ;
Slander myself, as false to Edward's bed;
Throw over her the veil of infamy;
So she may live unscarred of bleeding slaughter,
I will confess she was not Edward's daughter.

K. Rich. Wrong not her birth ; she is of royal blood.
Q. Eliz. To save her life, I'll say she is not so.
K. Rich. Her life is safest only in her birth.
Q. Eliz. And only in that safety died her brothers.
K. Rich. Lo, at their births, good stars were opposite.
Q. Eliz. No, to their lives bad friends were contrary.
K. Rich. All unavoided is the doom of destiny.
Q. Eliz. True, when avoided grace makes destiny.
My babes were destined to a fairer death,
If
grace

had blest thee with a fairer life.
K. Rich. You speak as if that I had slain my cousing.
2. Eliz. Cousins, indeed; and by their uncle cozened
Of comfort, kingdom, kindred, freedom, life.
Whose hands soever lanced their tender hearts,
Thy head, all indirectly, gave direction.
No doubt the murderous knife was dull and blunt,
Till it was whetted on thy stone-hard heart,
To revel in the entrails of my lambs.
But that still use of grief makes wild grief tame,
My tongue should to thy ears not name my boys,
Till that my nails were anchored in thine eyes ;
And I, in such a desperate bay of death,
Like a poor bark, of sails and tackling reft,
Rush all to pieces on thy rocky bosom.

K. Rich. Madam, so thrive I in my enterprise,
And dangerous success of bloody wars,
As I intend more good to you and yours,
Than ever you or yours by me were harmed !

Q. Eliz. What good is covered with the face of heaven, To be discovered, that can do me good?

K. Rich. The advancement of your children, gentle lady. Q. Eliz. Up to some scaffold, there to lose their heads ?

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