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Home > Richard III > ACT I - SCENE II. The same. Another street.

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ACT I - SCENE II. The same. Another street.
LADY ANNE
1    Set down, set down your honourable load,
2    If honour may be shrouded in a hearse,
3    Whilst I awhile obsequiously lament
4    The untimely fall of virtuous Lancaster.
5    Poor key-cold figure of a holy king!
6    Pale ashes of the house of Lancaster!
7    Thou bloodless remnant of that royal blood!
8    Be it lawful that I invocate thy ghost,
9    To hear the lamentations of Poor Anne,
10   Wife to thy Edward, to thy slaughter'd son,
11   Stabb'd by the selfsame hand that made these wounds!
12   Lo, in these windows that let forth thy life,
13   I pour the helpless balm of my poor eyes.
14   Cursed be the hand that made these fatal holes!
15   Cursed be the heart that had the heart to do it!
16   Cursed the blood that let this blood from hence!
17   More direful hap betide that hated wretch,
18   That makes us wretched by the death of thee,
19   Than I can wish to adders, spiders, toads,
20   Or any creeping venom'd thing that lives!
21   If ever he have child, abortive be it,
22   Prodigious, and untimely brought to light,
23   Whose ugly and unnatural aspect
24   May fright the hopeful mother at the view;
25   And that be heir to his unhappiness!
26   If ever he have wife, let her he made
27   A miserable by the death of him
28   As I am made by my poor lord and thee!
29   Come, now towards Chertsey with your holy load,
30   Taken from Paul's to be interred there;
31   And still, as you are weary of the weight,
32   Rest you, whiles I lament King Henry's corse.
Enter GLOUCESTER

GLOUCESTER
33   Stay, you that bear the corse, and set it down.
LADY ANNE
34   What black magician conjures up this fiend,
35   To stop devoted charitable deeds?
GLOUCESTER
36   Villains, set down the corse; or, by Saint Paul,
37   I'll make a corse of him that disobeys.
Gentleman
38   My lord, stand back, and let the coffin pass.
GLOUCESTER
39   Unmanner'd dog! stand thou, when I command:
40   Advance thy halbert higher than my breast,
41   Or, by Saint Paul, I'll strike thee to my foot,
42   And spurn upon thee, beggar, for thy boldness.
LADY ANNE
43   What, do you tremble? are you all afraid?
44   Alas, I blame you not; for you are mortal,
45   And mortal eyes cannot endure the devil.
46   Avaunt, thou dreadful minister of hell!
47   Thou hadst but power over his mortal body,
48   His soul thou canst not have; therefore be gone.
GLOUCESTER
49   Sweet saint, for charity, be not so curst.
LADY ANNE
50   Foul devil, for God's sake, hence, and trouble us not;
51   For thou hast made the happy earth thy hell,
52   Fill'd it with cursing cries and deep exclaims.
53   If thou delight to view thy heinous deeds,
54   Behold this pattern of thy butcheries.
55   O, gentlemen, see, see! dead Henry's wounds
56   Open their congeal'd mouths and bleed afresh!
57   Blush, Blush, thou lump of foul deformity;
58   For 'tis thy presence that exhales this blood
59   From cold and empty veins, where no blood dwells;
60   Thy deed, inhuman and unnatural,
61   Provokes this deluge most unnatural.
62   O God, which this blood madest, revenge his death!
63   O earth, which this blood drink'st revenge his death!
64   Either heaven with lightning strike the
65   murderer dead,
66   Or earth, gape open wide and eat him quick,
67   As thou dost swallow up this good king's blood
68   Which his hell-govern'd arm hath butchered!
GLOUCESTER
69   Lady, you know no rules of charity,
70   Which renders good for bad, blessings for curses.
LADY ANNE
71   Villain, thou know'st no law of God nor man:
72   No beast so fierce but knows some touch of pity.
GLOUCESTER
73   But I know none, and therefore am no beast.
LADY ANNE
74   O wonderful, when devils tell the truth!
GLOUCESTER
75   More wonderful, when angels are so angry.
76   Vouchsafe, divine perfection of a woman,
77   Of these supposed-evils, to give me leave,
78   By circumstance, but to acquit myself.
LADY ANNE
79   Vouchsafe, defused infection of a man,
80   For these known evils, but to give me leave,
81   By circumstance, to curse thy cursed self.
GLOUCESTER
82   Fairer than tongue can name thee, let me have
83   Some patient leisure to excuse myself.
LADY ANNE
84   Fouler than heart can think thee, thou canst make
85   No excuse current, but to hang thyself.
GLOUCESTER
86   By such despair, I should accuse myself.
LADY ANNE
87   And, by despairing, shouldst thou stand excused;
88   For doing worthy vengeance on thyself,
89   Which didst unworthy slaughter upon others.
GLOUCESTER
90   Say that I slew them not?
LADY ANNE
91   Why, then they are not dead:
92   But dead they are, and devilish slave, by thee.
GLOUCESTER
93   I did not kill your husband.
LADY ANNE
94   Why, then he is alive.
GLOUCESTER
95   Nay, he is dead; and slain by Edward's hand.
LADY ANNE
96   In thy foul throat thou liest: Queen Margaret saw
97   Thy murderous falchion smoking in his blood;
98   The which thou once didst bend against her breast,
99   But that thy brothers beat aside the point.
GLOUCESTER
100  I was provoked by her slanderous tongue,
101  which laid their guilt upon my guiltless shoulders.
LADY ANNE
102  Thou wast provoked by thy bloody mind.
103  Which never dreamt on aught but butcheries:
104  Didst thou not kill this king?
GLOUCESTER
105  I grant ye.
LADY ANNE
106  Dost grant me, hedgehog? then, God grant me too
107  Thou mayst be damned for that wicked deed!
108  O, he was gentle, mild, and virtuous!
GLOUCESTER
109  The fitter for the King of heaven, that hath him.
LADY ANNE
110  He is in heaven, where thou shalt never come.
GLOUCESTER
111  Let him thank me, that holp to send him thither;
112  For he was fitter for that place than earth.
LADY ANNE
113  And thou unfit for any place but hell.
GLOUCESTER
114  Yes, one place else, if you will hear me name it.
LADY ANNE
115  Some dungeon.
GLOUCESTER
116  Your bed-chamber.
LADY ANNE
117  I'll rest betide the chamber where thou liest!
GLOUCESTER
118  So will it, madam till I lie with you.
LADY ANNE
119  I hope so.
GLOUCESTER
120  I know so. But, gentle Lady Anne,
121  To leave this keen encounter of our wits,
122  And fall somewhat into a slower method,
123  Is not the causer of the timeless deaths
124  Of these Plantagenets, Henry and Edward,
125  As blameful as the executioner?
LADY ANNE
126  Thou art the cause, and most accursed effect.
GLOUCESTER
127  Your beauty was the cause of that effect;
128  Your beauty: which did haunt me in my sleep
129  To undertake the death of all the world,
130  So I might live one hour in your sweet bosom.
LADY ANNE
131  If I thought that, I tell thee, homicide,
132  These nails should rend that beauty from my cheeks.
GLOUCESTER
133  These eyes could never endure sweet beauty's wreck;
134  You should not blemish it, if I stood by:
135  As all the world is cheered by the sun,
136  So I by that; it is my day, my life.
LADY ANNE
137  Black night o'ershade thy day, and death thy life!
GLOUCESTER
138  Curse not thyself, fair creature thou art both.
LADY ANNE
139  I would I were, to be revenged on thee.
GLOUCESTER
140  It is a quarrel most unnatural,
141  To be revenged on him that loveth you.
LADY ANNE
142  It is a quarrel just and reasonable,
143  To be revenged on him that slew my husband.
GLOUCESTER
144  He that bereft thee, lady, of thy husband,
145  Did it to help thee to a better husband.
LADY ANNE
146  His better doth not breathe upon the earth.
GLOUCESTER
147  He lives that loves thee better than he could.
LADY ANNE
148  Name him.
GLOUCESTER
149  Plantagenet.
LADY ANNE
150  Why, that was he.
GLOUCESTER
151  The selfsame name, but one of better nature.
LADY ANNE
152  Where is he?
GLOUCESTER
153  Here.
She spitteth at him
154  Why dost thou spit at me?
LADY ANNE
155  Would it were mortal poison, for thy sake!
GLOUCESTER
156  Never came poison from so sweet a place.
LADY ANNE
157  Never hung poison on a fouler toad.
158  Out of my sight! thou dost infect my eyes.
GLOUCESTER
159  Thine eyes, sweet lady, have infected mine.
LADY ANNE
160  Would they were basilisks, to strike thee dead!
GLOUCESTER
161  I would they were, that I might die at once;
162  For now they kill me with a living death.
163  Those eyes of thine from mine have drawn salt tears,
164  Shamed their aspect with store of childish drops:
165  These eyes that never shed remorseful tear,
166  No, when my father York and Edward wept,
167  To hear the piteous moan that Rutland made
168  When black-faced Clifford shook his sword at him;
169  Nor when thy warlike father, like a child,
170  Told the sad story of my father's death,
171  And twenty times made pause to sob and weep,
172  That all the standers-by had wet their cheeks
173  Like trees bedash'd with rain: in that sad time
174  My manly eyes did scorn an humble tear;
175  And what these sorrows could not thence exhale,
176  Thy beauty hath, and made them blind with weeping.
177  I never sued to friend nor enemy;
178  My tongue could never learn sweet smoothing word;
179  But now thy beauty is proposed my fee,
180  My proud heart sues, and prompts my tongue to speak.
She looks scornfully at him
181  Teach not thy lips such scorn, for they were made
182  For kissing, lady, not for such contempt.
183  If thy revengeful heart cannot forgive,
184  Lo, here I lend thee this sharp-pointed sword;
185  Which if thou please to hide in this true bosom.
186  And let the soul forth that adoreth thee,
187  I lay it naked to the deadly stroke,
188  And humbly beg the death upon my knee.
He lays his breast open: she offers at it with his sword
189  Nay, do not pause; for I did kill King Henry,
190  But 'twas thy beauty that provoked me.
191  Nay, now dispatch; 'twas I that stabb'd young Edward,
192  But 'twas thy heavenly face that set me on.
Here she lets fall the sword
193  Take up the sword again, or take up me.
LADY ANNE
194  Arise, dissembler: though I wish thy death,
195  I will not be the executioner.
GLOUCESTER
196  Then bid me kill myself, and I will do it.
LADY ANNE
197  I have already.
GLOUCESTER
198  Tush, that was in thy rage:
199  Speak it again, and, even with the word,
200  That hand, which, for thy love, did kill thy love,
201  Shall, for thy love, kill a far truer love;
202  To both their deaths thou shalt be accessary.
LADY ANNE
203  I would I knew thy heart.
GLOUCESTER
204  'Tis figured in my tongue.
LADY ANNE
205  I fear me both are false.
GLOUCESTER
206  Then never man was true.
LADY ANNE
207  Well, well, put up your sword.
GLOUCESTER
208  Say, then, my peace is made.
LADY ANNE
209  That shall you know hereafter.
GLOUCESTER
210  But shall I live in hope?
LADY ANNE
211  All men, I hope, live so.
GLOUCESTER
212  Vouchsafe to wear this ring.
LADY ANNE
213  To take is not to give.
GLOUCESTER
214  Look, how this ring encompasseth finger.
215  Even so thy breast encloseth my poor heart;
216  Wear both of them, for both of them are thine.
217  And if thy poor devoted suppliant may
218  But beg one favour at thy gracious hand,
219  Thou dost confirm his happiness for ever.
LADY ANNE
220  What is it?
GLOUCESTER
221  That it would please thee leave these sad designs
222  To him that hath more cause to be a mourner,
223  And presently repair to Crosby Place;
224  Where, after I have solemnly interr'd
225  At Chertsey monastery this noble king,
226  And wet his grave with my repentant tears,
227  I will with all expedient duty see you:
228  For divers unknown reasons. I beseech you,
229  Grant me this boon.
LADY ANNE
230  With all my heart; and much it joys me too,
231  To see you are become so penitent.
232  Tressel and Berkeley, go along with me.
GLOUCESTER
233  Bid me farewell.
LADY ANNE
234  'Tis more than you deserve;
235  But since you teach me how to flatter you,
236  Imagine I have said farewell already.
Exeunt LADY ANNE, TRESSEL, and BERKELEY

GLOUCESTER
237  Sirs, take up the corse.
GENTLEMEN
238  Towards Chertsey, noble lord?
GLOUCESTER
239  No, to White-Friars; there attend my coining.
Exeunt all but GLOUCESTER
240  Was ever woman in this humour woo'd?
241  Was ever woman in this humour won?
242  I'll have her; but I will not keep her long.
243  What! I, that kill'd her husband and his father,
244  To take her in her heart's extremest hate,
245  With curses in her mouth, tears in her eyes,
246  The bleeding witness of her hatred by;
247  Having God, her conscience, and these bars
248  against me,
249  And I nothing to back my suit at all,
250  But the plain devil and dissembling looks,
251  And yet to win her, all the world to nothing!
252  Ha!
253  Hath she forgot already that brave prince,
254  Edward, her lord, whom I, some three months since,
255  Stabb'd in my angry mood at Tewksbury?
256  A sweeter and a lovelier gentleman,
257  Framed in the prodigality of nature,
258  Young, valiant, wise, and, no doubt, right royal,
259  The spacious world cannot again afford
260  And will she yet debase her eyes on me,
261  That cropp'd the golden prime of this sweet prince,
262  And made her widow to a woful bed?
263  On me, whose all not equals Edward's moiety?
264  On me, that halt and am unshapen thus?
265  My dukedom to a beggarly denier,
266  I do mistake my person all this while:
267  Upon my life, she finds, although I cannot,
268  Myself to be a marvellous proper man.
269  I'll be at charges for a looking-glass,
270  And entertain some score or two of tailors,
271  To study fashions to adorn my body:
272  Since I am crept in favour with myself,
273  Will maintain it with some little cost.
274  But first I'll turn yon fellow in his grave;
275  And then return lamenting to my love.
276  Shine out, fair sun, till I have bought a glass,
277  That I may see my shadow as I pass.
Exit

< (Previous) ACT I, SCENE IACT I, SCENE III (Next) >
Scene Index
ACT I
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV


  • ACT II
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV


  • ACT III
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV
  • SCENE V
  • SCENE VI
  • SCENE VII


  • ACT IV
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV
  • SCENE V


  • ACT V
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV
  • SCENE V

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