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But come, dangers retreat, when boldly they're confronted,
And dull delays lead impotence and fear;
And fatal may it fall on crush'd rebellion!
A Court in the Tower.
Enter QUEEN and DUCHESS OF YORK.
Queen. Oh, my poor children!-Oh, my tender babes!
My unblown flowers, pluck'd by untimely hands:
Duch. of York. So many miseries have drain'd my eyes,
That my woe-weary'd tongue is still and mute;-
Queen. Let's give them scope; for though they
Yet, do they ease, affliction.
Duch.of York. Why, then, let us be loud in exclamations,
To Richard, haste, and pierce him with our cries :
[Trumpet sounds a March. Hark, his trumpet sounds !—this way he must pass.
Queen. Alas, I've not the daring to confront him ! Duch. of York. I have a mother's right-l'll force
him to hear me.
Enter Gloster and CATESBY, with Forces.
Trumpet sounds a March. Glost. Who interrupts me, in my expedition ? Duch. of York. Dost thou not know.me? Art thou
not my son ? Glost. I cry your mercy, madam-is it you? Duch. of York. Art thou my son? Glost. Ay, I thank Heaven, my father, and your
self. Duch. of York. Then I command thee, hear me. Glost. Madam, I have a touch of
your condition, That cannot brook the accent of reproof. Duch. of York. Stay, I'll be mild, and gentle, in my
words. Glost. And brief, good mother, for I am in haste. Duch. of York. Why, I have staid for thee, (just
Glost. And came not I at last, to comfort you?
Glost. If I am so disgracious in thy eye,
Duch, of York. Yet stay, I charge thee, hear me.
Without a tongue.-Methinks, the very sight
Duch. of York. Where is thy brother, Clarence ?
Glost. A flourish, trumpets ; strike alarum, drums;
[Alarm of Drums and Trumpets. Either be patient, and entreat me fair, Or, with the clamorous report of war, Thus will I drown your exclamations. Duch. of York. Then hear me, Heav'n! and Heav'n,
at his latest hour, Be deaf to him, as he is now to me! Ere, from this war he turn a conqueror, Ye Powers, cut off his dangerous thread of life, Lest his black sins rise higher in account, Than hell has, pains to punish! Mischance, and sorrow, wait thee to the field! Heart's discontent, languid, and lean despair, With all the hell of guilt, pursue thy steps, for ever!
[Erit. Queen. Though far more cause, yet much less pow
er to curse
Abides in me, I say amen to her.
you. Queen. What canst thou ask, that I have now to
grant? Is't another son? Gloster, I have none. Glost. You have a beauteous daughter, callid Eli
zabethQueen. Must she die too?
Glost. For whose fair sake, I'll bring more good to
you, Than ever you, or yours, had from me, harm : So, in the Lethe of thy angry soul, Thou'lt drown the sad remembrance of those wrongs, Which, thou supposest me the cruel cause of. Queen. Be brief, lest, that the process of thy kind
ness, Last longer telling, than thy kindness' date. Glost. Know, then, that, from my soul, I love the
fair Elizabeth, and will, with your permission, Seat her on the throne of England.
Queen. Alas, vain man ! how canst thou woo her ?
Glost. That, I would learn of you, As one, being best acquainted with her humour. Queen. If thou wilt learn of me, then woo her
thus : Send to her, by the man who kill'd her brothers, A pair of bleeding hearts; thereon engrav’d, Edward, and York—then, haply, will she weep : On this, present her with an handkerchief, Stain'd with their blood, to wipe her woeful eyes : If this inducement move her not to love, Read o'er the history of thy noble deeds ; Tell her, thy policy took off her uncles, Clarence, Rivers, Grey; nay, and, for her sake, Made quick conveyance with her dear aunt, Anne. Glost. You mock me, madam ; this is not the way
2 To win your daughter.
Queen. What shall I say ?-Still to affront his love, I fear, will but incense him to revenge ; And, to consent, I should abhor myself: Yet I may seemingly comply, and thus, By sending Richmond word of his intent, Shall gain some time, to let my child escape him. It shall be so.
I have consider'd, sir, of your important wishes,
realGlost. Now, by the sacred host of saints above
Queen. Oh, do not swear, my lord, I ask no oath, Unless my daughter like
you more than I.
[Exit QUEEN. Relenting, shallow-thoughted women!
How now the news?
Glost. Post to the Duke of Norfolk, instantly,-