Abbildungen der Seite


Say, that I slew them not?

Why, then they are not dead; But dead they are, and, devilish slave, by thee. Glo. I did not kill your husband.

Why, then he is alive.
Glo. Nay, he is dead; and slain by Edward's hand.
Anne. In thy foul throat thou liest. Queen Margaret


Thy murderous falchion smoking in his blood;
The which thou once didst bend against her breast,
But that thy brothers beat aside the point.

Glo. I was provoked by her slanderous tongue,
That laid their guilt upon my guiltless shoulders.

Anne. Thou wast provoked by thy bloody mind,
That never dreamt on aught but butcheries.
Didst thou not kill this king?


I grant ye.

Anne. Dost grant me, hedge-hog? then, God grant

me too,

Thou mayst be damned for that wicked deed!
O, he was gentle, mild, and virtuous.

Glo. The fitter for the King of heaven, that hath him.
Anne. He is in heaven, where thou shalt never


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.


Your bed-chamber.

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?

[ocr errors]

Thou wast the cause, and most accursed effect.


Glo. Your beauty was the cause of that effect;
Your beauty, which did haunt me in my sleep,
To undertake the death of all the world,

So I might live one hour in your sweet bosom.

Anne. If I thought that, I tell thee, homicide, These nails should rend that beauty from my cheeks.

Glo. These eyes could not endure that beauty's wreck.

You should not blemish it, if I stood by ;
As all the world is cheered by the sun,

So I by that; it is my day, my life.

Anne. Black night o'ershade thy day, and death thy life!

Glo. Curse not thyself, fair creature; thou art both.
Anne. I would I were, to be revenged on thee.
Glo. It is a quarrel most unnatural,
To be revenged on him that loveth thee.

Anne. It is a quarrel just and reasonable,
To be revenged on him that killed my husband.

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? Glo.


Here. [She spits at him.] Why dost thou spit at me 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,
Shamed their aspécts with store of childish drops.
These eyes, which never shed remorseful' tear,-
No,-when my father York and Edward wept,
To hear the piteous moan that Rutland made,
When black-faced Clifford shook his sword at him;
Nor when thy warlike father, like a child,
Told the sad story of my father's death;
And twenty times made pause, to sob, and weep,
That all the standers-by had wet their cheeks,
Like trees bedashed with rain ;—in that sad time,
My manly eyes did scorn an humble tear;
And what these sorrows could not thence exhale,
Thy beauty hath, and made them blind with weeping.
I never sued to friend, nor enemy;

My tongue could never learn sweet soothing word;
But now thy beauty is proposed my fee,

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
For kissing, lady, not for such contempt.
If thy revengeful heart cannot forgive,
Lo! here I lend thee this sharp-pointed sword;
Which if thou please to hide in this true breast,
And let the soul forth that adoreth thee,
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
his sword.

Nay, do not pause; for I did kill king Henry ;-
But 'twas thy beauty that provoked me.

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.


the sword again, or take up me.

[blocks in formation]

Anne. Arise, dissembler: though I wish thy death, I will not be thy executioner.

Glo. Then bid me kill myself, and I will do it.
Anne. I have already.

That was in thy rage.
Speak it again, and, even with the word,
This hand, which, for thy love, did kill thy love,
Shall, for thy love, kill a far truer love;
To both their deaths shalt thou be accessary.
Anne. I would I knew thy heart.
Glo. 'Tis figured in my tongue.
Anne. I fear me, both are false.
Glo. Then never man was true.
Anne. Well, well, put up your sword.
Glo. Say, then, my peace is made.
Anne. That shall you know hereafter.
Glo. But shall I live in hope?
Anne. All men, I hope, live so.
Glo. Vouchsafe to wear this ring.
Anne. To take, is not to give.

[She puts on the ring. Glo. Look, how this ring encompasseth thy finger; Even so thy breast encloseth my poor heart; Wear both of them, for both of them are thine. And if thy poor devoted servant may But beg one favor at thy gracious hand, Thou dost confirm his happiness forever.

Anne. What is it?


Glo. That it may please you leave these sad designs To him that hath more cause to be a mourner, And presently repair to Crosby-place ;' Where-after I have solemnly interred, At Chertsey monast'ry, this noble king,

1 Crosby Place is now Crosby Square, in Bishopsgate Street. This magnificent house was built in 1466, by sir John Crosby, grocer and woolman. He died in 1475. The ancient hall of this fabric is still remaining, though divided by an additional floor, and encumbered with modern galleries, having been converted into a place of worship for Antinomians, &c. The upper part of it was lately the warehouse of an eminent packer. Sir J. Crosby's tomb is in the neighboring church of St. Helen the Great.

And wet his grave with my repentant tears-
I will with all expedient1 duty see you.
For divers unknown reasons, I beseech you,
Grant me this boon.

Anne. With all my heart; and much it joys me too, To see you are become so penitent.— Tressel, and Berkley, go along with me.

Glo. Bid me farewell. Anne. 'Tis more than you deserve; But, since you teach me how to flatter you, Imagine I have said farewell already.


Glo. Sirs, take up the corse.

Towards Chertsey, noble lord? Glo. No, to White Friars; there attend my coming. [Exeunt the rest, with the corse.

Was ever woman in this humor wooed?
Was ever woman in this humor won?
I'll have her,—but I will not keep her long.
What! I, that killed her husband, and his father,
To take her in her heart's extremest hate;
With curses in her mouth, tears in her eyes,
The bleeding witness of her hatred by;

With God, her conscience, and these bars against me,
And I no friends to back my suit withal,

But the plain devil, and dissembling looks,

And yet to win her,—all the world to nothing!

Hath she forgot already that brave prince,
Edward, her lord, whom I, some three months since,
Stabbed in my angry mood at Tewksbury?
A sweeter and a lovelier gentleman—

1 i. e. expeditious.

2 This fixes the exact time of the scene to August, 1471. King Edward, however, is introduced in the second act dying. That king died in April, 1483; consequently there is an interval between this and the next act of almost twelve years. Clarence, who is represented in the preceding scene as committed to the Tower before the burial of king Henry VI., was in fact not confined nor put to death till March, 1477-8, seven years afterwards.

« ZurückWeiter »