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ACT II


SCENE I

London. The palace.
Flourish. Enter KING EDWARD sick, QUEEN ELIZABETH, DORSET, RIVERS, HASTINGS, BUCKINGHAM, GREY, and others.

K. Edw.
Why, so: now I have done a good day's work:

You peers, continue this united league:

I every day expect an embassage

From my Redeemer to redeem me hence;

And now in peace my soul shall part to heaven,

Since I have set my friends at peace on earth.

Rivers and Hastings, take each other's hand;

Dissemble not your hatred, swear your love. (9)

Riv.
By heaven, my heart is purged from grudging hate:

And with my hand, I seal my true heart's love.

Hast.
So thrive I, as I truly swear the like!

K. Edw.
Take heed you dally not before your king;

Lest he that is the supreme King of kings

Confound your hidden falsehood, and award

Either of you to be the other's end.

Hast.
So prosper I, as I swear perfect love!

Riv.
And I, as I love Hastings with my heart!

K. Edw.
Madam, yourself are not exempt in this,

Nor your son Dorset, Buckingham, nor you; (20)

You have been factious one against the other.

Wife, love Lord Hastings, let him kiss your hand;

And what you do, do it unfeignedly.

Q. Eliz.
Here, Hastings; I will never more remember

Our former hatred, so thrive I and mine!

K. Edw.
Dorset, embrace him; Hastings, love lord marquess.

Dor.
This interchange of love, I here protest,

Upon my part shall be unviolable.

Hast.
And so swear I, my lord. [They embrace.


K. Edw.
Now, princely Buckingham, seal thou this league (30)

With thy embracements to my wife's allies,

And make me happy in your unity.

Buck.
Whenever Buckingham doth turn his hate

On you or yours [to the Queen]
, but with all duteous love

Doth cherish you and yours, God punish me

With hate in those where I expect most love!

When I have most need to employ a friend,

And most assured that he is a friend,

Deep, hollow, treacherous, and full of guile,

Be he unto me! this do I beg of God, (40)

When I am cold in zeal to you or yours. [They embrace.


K. Edw.
A pleasing cordial, princely Buckingham,

Is this thy vow unto my sickly heart.

There wanteth now our brother Gloucester here,

To make the perfect period of this peace.

Buck.
And, in good time, here comes the noble duke. Enter GLOUCESTER.


Glou.
Good morrow to my sovereign king and queen:

And, princely peers, a happy time of day!

K. Edw.
Happy, indeed, as we have spent the day.

Brother, we have done deeds of charity; (50)

Made peace of enmity, fair love of hate,

Between these swelling wrong-incensed peers.

Glou.
A blessed labor, my most sovereign liege:

Amongst this princely heap, if any here,

By false intelligence, or wrong surmise,

Hold me a foe;

If I unwittingly, or in my rage,

Have aught committed that is hardly borne

By any in this presence, I desire

To reconcile me to his friendly peace: (60)

'Tis death to me to be at enmity:

I hate it, and desire all good men's love.

First, madam, I entreat true peace of you,

Which I will purchase with my duteous service;

Of you, my noble cousin Buckingham,

If ever any grudge were lodged between us;

Of you, Lord Rivers, and, Lord Grey, of you;

That all without desert have frown'd on me;

Dukes, earls, lords, gentlemen; indeed, of all.

I do not know that Englishman alive (70)

With whom my soul is any jot at odds

More than the infant that is born to-night:

I thank my God for my humility.

Q. Eliz.
A holy day shall this be kept hereafter:

I would to God all strifes were well compounded.

My sovereign liege, I do beseech your majesty

To take our brother Clarence to your grace.

Glou.
Why, madam, have I offer'd love for this,

To be so flouted in this royal presence?

Who knows not that the noble duke is dead? [They all start.
(80)

You do him injury to scorn his corse.

Riv.
Who knows not he is dead! who knows he is?

Q. Eliz.
All-seeing heaven, what a world is this!

Buck.
Look I so pale, Lord Dorset, as the rest?

Dor.
Ay, my good lord; and no one in this presence

But his red color hath forsook his cheeks.

K. Edw.
Is Clarence dead? the order was reversed.

Glou.
But he, poor soul, by your first order died,

And that a winged Mercury did bear;

Some tardy cripple bore the countermand, (90)

That came too lag to see him buried.

God grant that some, less noble and less loyal,

Nearer in bloody thoughts, but not in blood,

Deserve not worse than wretched Clarence did,

And yet go current from suspicion! Enter DERBY.


Der.
A boon, my sovereign, for my service done!

K. Edw.
I pray thee, peace: my soul is full of sorrow.

Der.
I will not rise, unless your highness grant.

K. Edw.
Then speak at once what is it thou demand'st.

Der.
The forfeit, sovereign, of my servant's life; (100)

Who slew to-day a righteous gentleman

Lately attendant on the Duke of Norfolk.

K. Edw.
Have I a tongue to doom my brother's death,

And shall the same give pardon to a slave?

My brother slew no man; his fault was thought,

And yet his punishment was cruel death.

Who sued to me for him? who, in my rage,

Kneel'd at my feet, and bade me be advised?

Who spake of brotherhood? who spake of love?

Who told me how the poor soul did forsake

The mighty Warwick, and did fight for me? (111)

Who told me, in the field by Tewksbury,

When Oxford had me down, he rescued me,

And said, 'Dear brother, live, and be a king'?

Who told me, when we both lay in the field

Frozen almost to death, how he did lap me

Even in his own garments, and gave himself,

All thin and naked, to the numb cold night?

All this from my remembrance brutish wrath

Sinfully pluck'd, and not a man of you (120)

Had so much grace to put it in my mind.

But when your carters or your waiting-vassals

Have done a drunken slaughter, and defaced

The precious image of our dear Redeemer,

You straight are on your knees for pardon, pardon;

And I unjustly too, must grant it you:

But for my brother not a man would speak,

Nor I, ungracious, speak unto myself

For him, poor soul. The proudest of you all

Have been beholding to him in his life;

Yet none of you would once plead for his life. (131)

O God, I fear thy justice will take hold

On me, and you, and mine, and yours for this!

Come, Hastings, help me to my closet. Oh, poor Clarence! [Exeunt some with King and Queen.


Glou.
This is the fruit of rashness! Mark'd you not

How that the guilty kindred of the queen

Look'd pale when they did hear of Clarence' death?

O, they did urge it still unto the king!

God will revenge it. But come, let us in,

To comfort Edward with our company.

Buck.
We wait upon your grace. [Exeunt.


SCENE II

The palace.
Enter the DUCHESS OF YORK, with the two children of CLARENCE.

Boy.
Tell me, good grandam, is our father dead?

Duch.
No, boy.

Boy.
Why do you wring your hands, and beat your breast,

And cry 'O Clarence, my unhappy son!'

Girl.
Why do you look on us, and shake your head,

And call us wretches, orphans, castaways,

If that our noble father be alive?

Duch.
My pretty cousins, you mistake me much;

I do lament the sickness of the king.

As loath to lose him, not your father's death; (11)

It were lost sorrow to wail one that's lost.

Boy.
Then, grandam, you conclude that he is dead.

The king my uncle is to blame for this:

God will revenge it; whom I will importune

With daily prayers all to that effect.

Girl.
And so will I.

Duch.
Peace, children, peace! the king doth love you well:

Incapable and shallow innocents,

You cannot guess who caused your father's death. (20)

Boy.
Grandam, we can; for my good uncle Gloucester

Told me, the king, provoked by the queen,

Devised impeachments to imprison him:

And when my uncle told me so he wept,

And hugg'd me in his arm, and kindly kiss'd my cheek;

Bade me rely on him as on my father,

And he would love me dearly as his child.

Duch.
Oh, that deceit should steal such gentle shapes,

And with a virtuous vizard hide foul guile!

He is my son; yea, and therein my shame; (30)

Yet from my dugs he drew not this deceit.

Boy.
Think you my uncle did dissemble, grandam?

Duch.
Ay, boy.

Boy.
I cannot think it. Hark! what noise is this? Enter QUEEN ELIZABETH, with her hair about her ears: RIVERS and DORSET after her.


Q. Eliz.
Oh, who shall hinder me to wail and weep,

To chide my fortune, and torment myself?

I'll join with black despair against my soul,

And to myself become an enemy.

Duch.
What means this scene of rude impatience?

Q. Eliz.
To make an act of tragic violence:

Edward, my lord, your son, our king, is dead. (41)

Why grow the branches now the root is wither'd?

Why wither not the leaves the sap being gone?

If you will live, lament; if die, be brief,

That our swift-winged souls may catch the king's;

Or, like obedient subjects, follow him

To his new kingdom of perpetual rest.

Duch.
Ah, so much interest have I in thy sorrow

As I had title in thy noble husband!

I have bewept a worthy husband's death, (50)

And lived by looking on his images:

But now two mirrors of his princely semblance

Are crack'd in pieces by malignant death,

And I for comfort have but one false glass,

Which grieves me when I see my shame in him.

Thou art a widow; yet thou art a mother,

And hast the comfort of thy children left thee:

But death hath snatch'd my husband from mine arms,

And pluck'd two crutches from my feeble limbs,

Edward and Clarence. O, what cause have I, (60)

Thine being but a moiety of my grief,

To overgo thy plaints and drown thy cries!

Boy.
Good aunt, you wept not for our father's death;

How can we aid you with our kindred tears?

Girl.
Our fatherless distress was left unmoan'd;

Your widow-dolor likewise be unwept!

Q. Eliz.
Give me no help in lamentation;

I am not barren to bring forth complaints:

All springs reduce their currents to mine eyes,

That I, being govern'd by the watery moon, (70)

May send forth plenteous tears to drown the world!

Oh for my husband, for my dear lord Edward!

Chil.
Oh for our father, for our dear lord Clarence!

Duch.
Alas for both, both mine, Edward and Clarence!

Q. Eliz.
What stay had I but Edward? and he's gone,

Chil.
What stay had we but Clarence? and he's gone,

Duch.
What stays had I but they? and they are gone.

Q. Eliz.
Was never widow had so dear a loss!

Chil.
Were never orphans had so dear a loss!

Duch.
Was never mother had so dear a loss! (80)

Alas, I am the mother of these moans!

Their woes are parcell'd, mine are general.

She for an Edward weeps, and so do I;

I for a Clarence weep, so doth not she:

These babes for Clarence weep and so do I;

I for an Edward weep, so do not they:

Alas, you three, on me, threefold distress'd,

Pour all your tears! I am your sorrow's nurse,

And I will pamper it with lamentations.

Dor.
Comfort, dear mother; God is much displeased

That you take with unthankfulness his doing:

In common worldly things, 'tis call'd ungrateful,

With dull unwillingness to repay a debt

Which with a bounteous hand was kindly lent;

Much more to be thus opposite with heaven,

For it requires the royal debt it lent you.

Riv.
Madam, bethink you, like a careful mother,

Of the young prince your son: send straight for him;

Let him be crown'd; in him your comfort lives:

Drown desperate sorrow in dead Edward's grave,

And plant your joys in living Edward's throne. Enter GLOUCESTER, BUCKINGHAM, DERBY, HASTINGS, and RATCLIFF.
(101)

Glou.
Madam, have comfort: all of us have cause

To wail the dimming of our shining star;

But none can cure their harms by wailing them.

Madam, my mother, I do cry you mercy;

I did not see your grace: humbly on my knee

I crave your blessing.

Duch.
God bless thee; and put meekness in thy mind,

Love, charity, obedience, and true duty!

Glou.
[Aside]
Amen; and make me die a good old man!

That is the butt-end of a mother's blessing: (111)

I marvel why her grace did leave it out.

Buck.
You cloudy princes and heart-sorrowing peers,

That bear this mutual heavy load of moan,

Now cheer each other in each other's love:

Though we have spent our harvest of this king,

We are to reap the harvest of his son.

The broken rancor of your high-swoln hearts,

But lately splinter'd, knit, and join'd together,

Must gently be preserved, cherish'd, and kept:

Me seemeth good, that, with some little train, (121)

Forthwith from Ludlow the young prince be fetch'd

Hither to London, to be crown'd our king.

Riv.
Why with some little train, my Lord of Buckingham?

Buck.
Marry, my lord, lest, by a multitude,

The new-heal'd wound of malice should break out;

Which would be so much the more dangerous,

By how much the estate is green and yet ungovern'd:

Where every horse bears his commanding rein,

And may direct his course as please himself,

As well the fear of harm, as harm apparent, (131)

In my opinion, ought to be prevented.

Glou.
I hope the king made peace with all of us;

And the compact is firm and true in me.

Riv.
And so in me; and so, I think, in all:

Yet, since it is but green, it should be put

To no apparent likelihood of breach,

Which haply by much company might be urged:

Therefore I say with noble Buckingham,

That it is meet so few should fetch the prince. (140)

Hast.
And so say I.

Glou.
Then be it so; and go we to determine

Who they shall be that straight shall post to Ludlow.

Madam, and you, my mother, will you go

To give your censures in this weighty business?

Q. Eliz. Duch.
With all our hearts. [Exeunt all but Buckingham and Gloucester.


Buck.
My lord, whoever journeys to the prince,

For God's sake, let not us two be behind;

For, by the way, I'll sort occasion,

As index to the story we late talk'd of, (150)

To part the queen's proud kindred from the king.

Glou.
My other self, my counsel's consistory,

My oracle, my prophet! My dear cousin,

I, like a child, will go by thy direction.

Towards Ludlow then, for we'll not stay behind. [Exeunt.


SCENE III

London. A street.
Enter two Citizens meeting.

First Cit.
Neighbor, well met: whither away so fast?

Sec. Cit.
I promise you, I scarcely know myself:

Hear you the news abroad?

First Cit.
Ay, that the king is dead.

Sec. Cit.
Bad news, by 'r lady; seldom comes the better:

I fear, I fear 'twill prove a troublous world. Enter another Citizen.


Third Cit.
Neighbors, God speed!

First Cit.
Give you good morrow, sir.

Third Cit.
Doth this news hold of good King Edward's death?

Sec. Cit.
Ay, sir, it is too true; God help the while!

Third Cit.
Then, masters, look to see a troublous world. (10)

First Cit.
No, no; by God's good grace his son shall reign.

Third Cit.
Woe to that land that's govern'd by a child!

Sec. Cit.
In him there is a hope of government,

That in his nonage council under him,

And in his full and ripen'd years himself,

No doubt, shall then and till then govern well.

First Cit.
So stood the state when Henry the Sixth

Was crown'd in Paris but at nine months old.

Third Cit.
Stood the state so? No, no, good friends, God wot;

For then this land was famously enrich'd (20)

With politic grave counsel; then the king

Had virtuous uncles to protect his grace.

First Cit.
Why, so hath this, both by the father and mother.

Third Cit.
Better it were they all came by the father,

Or by the father there were none at all;

For emulation now, who shall be nearest,

Will touch us all too near, if God prevent not.

O, full of danger is the Duke of Gloucester!

And the queen's sons and brothers haught and proud:

And were they to be ruled, and not to rule, (30)

This sickly land might solace as before.

First Cit.
Come, come, we fear the worst; all shall be well.

Third Cit.
When clouds appear, wise men put on their cloaks;

When great leaves fall, the winter is at hand;

When the sun sets, who doth not look for night?

Untimely storms make men expect a dearth.

All may be well; but, if God sort it so,

'Tis more than we deserve, or I expect.

Sec. Cit.
Truly, the souls of men are full of dread:

Ye cannot reason almost with a man (40)

That looks not heavily and full of fear.

Third Cit.
Before the times of change, still is it so:

By a divine instinct men's minds mistrust

Ensuing dangers; as, by proof, we see

The waters swell before a boisterous storm.

But leave it all to God. Whither away?

Sec. Cit.
Marry, we were sent for to the justices.

Third Cit.
And so was I: I'll bear you company. [Exeunt.


SCENE IV

London. The palace.
Enter the ARCHBISHOP OF YORK, the young DUKE OF YORK, QUEEN ELIZABETH, and the DUCHESS OF YORK.

Arch.
Last night, I hear, they lay at Northampton;

At Stony-Stratford will they be to-night:

To-morrow, or next day, they will be here.

Duch.
I long with all my heart to see the prince:

I hope he is much grown since last I saw him.

Q. Eliz.
But I hear, no; they say my son of York

Hath almost overta'en him in his growth.

York.
Ay, mother; but I would not have it so.

Duch.
Why, my young cousin, it is good to grow. (10)

York.
Grandam, one night, as we did sit at supper,

My uncle Rivers talk'd how I did grow

More than my brother: 'Ay,' quoth my uncle Gloucester,

'Small herbs have grace, great weeds do grow apace:'

And since, methinks, I would not grow so fast,

Because sweet flowers are slow and weeds make haste.

Duch.
Good faith, good faith, the saying did not hold

ln him that did object the same to thee;

He was the wretched'st thing when he was young,

So long a-growing and so leisurely, (20)

That, if this rule were true, he should be gracious.

Arch.
Why, madam, so, no doubt, he is.

Duch.
I hope he is; but yet let mothers doubt.

York.
Now, by my troth, if I had been remember'd,

I could have given my uncle's grace a flout,

To touch his growth nearer than he touch'd mine.

Duch.
How, my pretty York? I pray thee, let me hear it.

York.
Marry, they say my uncle grew so fast

That he could gnaw a crust at two hours old:

'Twas full two years ere I could get a tooth.

Grandam, this would have been a biting jest. (31)

Duch.
I pray thee, pretty York, who told thee this?

York.
Grandam, his nurse.

Duch.
His nurse! why, she was dead ere thou wert born.

York.
If 'twere not she, I cannot tell who told me.

Q. Eliz.
A parlous boy: go to, you are too shrewd.

Arch.
Good madam, be not angry with the child.

Q. Eliz.
Pitchers have ears. Enter a Messenger.


Arch.
Here comes a messenger. What news?

Mess.
Such news, my lord, as grieves me to unfold.

Q. Eliz.
How fares the prince? (40)

Mess.
Well, madam, and in health.

Duch.
What is thy news then?

Mess.
Lord Rivers and Lord Grey are sent to Pomfret,

With them Sir Thomas Vaughan, prisoners.

Duch.
Who hath committed them?

Mess.
The mighty dukes

Gloucester and Buckingham.

Q. Eliz.
For what offence?

Mess.
The sum of all I can, I have disclosed;

Why or for what these nobles were committed

Is all unknown to me, my gracious lady.

Q. Eliz.
Ay me, I see the downfall of our house! (50)

The tiger now hath seized the gentle hind;

Insulting tyranny begins to jet

Upon the innocent and aweless throne:

Welcome, destruction, death, and massacre!

I see, as in a map, the end of all.

Duch.
Accursed and unquiet wrangling days,

How many of you have mine eyes beheld!

My husband lost his life to get the crown;

And often up and down my sons were toss'd,

For me to joy and weep their gain and loss: (60)

And being seated, and domestic broils

Clean over-blown, themselves, the conquerors,

Make war upon themselves; blood against blood,

Self against self: O, preposterous

And frantic outrage, end thy damned spleen;

Or let me die, to look on death no more!

Q. Eliz.
Come, come, my boy; we will to sanctuary.

Madam, farewell.

Duch.
I'll go along with you.

Q. Eliz.
You have no cause.

Arch.
My gracious lady, go;

And thither bear your treasure and your goods. (70)

For my part, I'll resign unto your grace

The seal I keep: and so betide to me

As well I tender you and all of yours!

Come, I'll conduct you to the sanctuary. [Exeunt.

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