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I will not reason what is meant hereby,
1 Murd. You may, sir; 'tis a point of wisdom : Fare you well.
[Exit BRAK. 2 Murd. What, shall we stab him as he sleeps ?
1 Murd. No; he'll say 'twas done cowardly, when he wakes.
2 Murd. Why, he shall never wake until the great judgmentday.
i Murd. Why, then he'll say we stabb'd him sleeping.
2 Murd. The urging of that word, judgment, hath bred a kind of remorse in me.
1 Murd. What! art thou afraid ?
2 Murd. Not to kill him, having a warrant; but to be damned for killing him, from the which no warrant defend me.
1 Murd. I thought thou hadst been resolute. 2 Murd. So I am, to let him live. 1 Murd. I'll back to the duke of Gloster, and tell him so.
2 Murd. Nay, I prithee, stay a little: I hope this passionate humour of mine will change: it was wont to hold me but while one tells twenty.
1 Murd. How dost thou feel thyself now? 2 Murd. Some certain dregs of conscience are yet within me. 1 Murd. Remember our reward, when the deed's done. 2 Murd. Come, he dies; I had forgot the reward. 1 Murd. Where's thy conscience now? 2 Murd. Oh, in the duke of Gloster's purse.
1 Murd. When he opens his purse to give us our reward, thy conscience flies out.
2 Murd. "Tis no matter; let it go; there's few, or none, will entertain it.
1 Murd. What if it come to thee again?
2 Murd. I'll not meddle with it, it is a dangerous thing, it makes a man a coward; a man cannot steal but it accuseth him; a man cannot swear but it checks him : 'Tis a blushing shame-faced spirit that mutinies in a man's bosom; it fills one full of obstacles : it made me once restore a purse of gold that by chance I found; it beggars any man that keeps it: it is turned out of towns and cities for a dangerous thing; and every man that means to live well endeavours to trust to himself, and live without it.
1 Murd. It is now even at my elbow, persuading me not to kill the duke.
2 Murd. Take the devil in thy mind, and believe him not he would insinuate with thee, but to make thee sigh.
1 Murd. I am strong fram'd, be cannot prevail with me.
2 Murd. Spoken like a tall fellow that respects his reputation. Come, shall we fall to work ?
1 Murd. Take him over the costardwith the hilts of thy sword, and then throw him into the malmsey-butt, in the next
2 Murd. O excellent device! and make a sop of him.
Clar. How darkly, and how deadly, dost thou speak!
2 Murd. To, to, to-
Clar. You scarcely have the hearts to tell me so,
1 Murd. Offended us you have not, but the king.
Clar. Are you drawn forth among a world of men,
(1) A tall fellow. Tall means daring, fearless. (2) Costard, i.e. head.
(3) What lawful quest have given their verdict up? i.e. what legal inquest or jury have given their verdict against me?
1 Murd. What we will do we do upon command.
Clar. Erroneous vassal! the great King of kings
2 Murd. And that same vengeance doth he hurl on thee,
1 Murd. And, like a traitor to the name of God, Didst break that vow; and with thy treacherous blade Unripp'dst the bowels of thy sovereign's son.
2 Murd. Whom thou wast sworn to cherish and defend.
1 Murd. How canst thou urge God's dreadful law to us, When thou hast broke it in such dear degree?
Clar. Alas! for whose sake did I that ill deed ?
1 Murd. Who made thee then a bloody minister,
Clar. My brother's love, the devil, and my rage.
1 Murd. Thy brother's love, our duty, and thy faults, Provoke us hither now to slaughter thee.
Clar. If you do love my brother, hate not me;
2 Murd. You are deceiv'd, your brother Gloster hates you.
Clar. O, no; he loves me, and he holds me dear;
Ay, so we will.
(1) Gallant springing ; i.e. blooming, in the spring of his age. (2) That princely novice; i. e. that youthful prince, viz. Edward prince o Wales.
Clar. Tell him, when that our princely father York
1 Murd. Ay, millstones ; as he lesson'd us to weep.
yourself: 'Tis he that sends us to destroy you here.
Clar. It cannot be, for he bewept my fortune, And hugg'd me in his arms, and swore, with sobs, That he would labour my delivery.
1 Murd. Why, so he doth, when he delivers you From this earth's thraldom to the joys of heaven.
2 Murd. Make peace with God, for you must die, my lord.
Clar. Have you that holy feeling in your souls,
you will war with God, by murthering me?
2 Murd. What shall we do? Clar.
Relent, and save your souls. Which of you, if you were a prince's son, Being pent from liberty, as I am now, If two such murtherers as yourselves came to you, Would not entreat for life, -as you would beg Were you in my distress?
1 Murd. Relent! No. 'Tis cowardly and womanish.
Clar. Not to relent, is beastly, savage, devilish.-
2 Murd. Look behind you, my lord.
[Stabs him. I'll drown you in the malmsey-butt within.
[Exit, with the body. 2 Murd. A bloody deed, and desperately despatch'd ! How fain, like Pilate, would I wash my hands Of this most grievous murther!
Re-enter first Murderer. 1 Murd. How now? what mean'st thou, that thou help'st By Heaven, the duke shall know how slack you have been.
2 Murd. I would he knew that I had saved his brother! Take thou the fee, and tell him what I say; For I repent me that the duke is slain.
[Exit. 1 Murd. So do not I; go, coward as thou art. Well, I'll go hide the body in some hole, Till that the duke give order for his burial; And when I have my meed, I will away; For this will out, and then I must not stay.
SCENE 1.-The same. A Room in the Palace. Enter King EDWARD, (led in sick,) QUEEN ELIZABETH, DORSET,
RIVERS, HASTINGS, BUCKINGHAM, GREY, and others. K. Edw. Why, so :-now have I 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 more to peace my soul shall part to heaven, Since I have made my friends at peace on earth. Rivers and Hastings, take each other's hand; Dissemble not your hatred, swear your love.
Riv. By Heaven, my soul 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;
Hast. So prosper I, as I swear perfect love!
K. Edw. Madam, yourself are not exempt in this.-
Q. Eliz. There, Hastings;- I will never more remember
K. Edw. Dorset, embrace him,--Hastings, love lord marquis.
Dor. This interchange of love, I here protest,