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I will not reason what is meant hereby,
Because I will be guiltless of the meaning.
There lies the duke asleep,—and there, the keys.
I'll to the king; and signify to him
That thus I have resign'd to you my charge.

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.

room.

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.
1 Murd. Soft! he wakes.
2 Murd. Strike.
1 Murd. No, we'll reason with him.
Clar. Where art thou, keeper? give me a cup of wine.
1 Murd. You shall have wine enough, my lord, anon.
Clar. In God's name, what art thou ?
1 Murd. A man, as you are.
Clar. But not, as I am, royal.
1 Murd. Nor you, as we are, loyal.
Clar. Thy voice is thunder, but thy looks are humble.
1 Murd. My voice is now the king's, my looks mine own.

Clar. How darkly, and how deadly, dost thou speak!
Your eyes do menace me: Why look you pale ?
Who sent you hither? Wherefore do you come?

2 Murd. To, to, to-
Clar. To murther me?
Both Murd. Ay, ay:

Clar. You scarcely have the hearts to tell me so,
And therefore cannot have the hearts to do it.
Wherein, my friends, have I offended you?

1 Murd. Offended us you have not, but the king.
Clar. I shall be reconcil'd to him again.
2 Murd. Never, my lord; therefore, prepare to die.

Clar. Are you drawn forth among a world of men,
To slay the innocent? What is my offence?
Where is the evidence that doth accuse me?
What lawful quest have given their verdict up 3
Unto the frowning judge? or who pronounc'd
The bitter sentence of poor Clarence' death ?
Before I be convict by course of law,
To threaten me with death is most unlawful.
I charge you, as you hope for any goodness,
That you depart, and lay no hands on me;
The deed you undertake is damnable.

(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.
2 Murd. And he that hath commanded is our king.

Clar. Erroneous vassal! the great King of kings
Hath in the table of his law commanded,
That thou shalt do no murther: Will you then
Spurn at his edict, and fufil a man's ?
Take heed; for he holds vengeance in his hand,
To hurl upon their heads that break his law.

2 Murd. And that same vengeance doth he hurl on thee,
For false forswearing, and for murther too:
Thou didst receive the sacrament to fight
In quarrel of the house of Lancaster.

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 ?
For Edward, for my brother, for his sake:
He sends you not to murther me for this ;
For in that sin he is as deep as I.
If God will be avenged for the deed,
O, know you, yet he doth it publicly;
Take not the quarrel from his powerful arm;
He needs no indirect or lawless course,
To cut off those that have offended him.

1 Murd. Who made thee then a bloody minister,
When gallant-springing, brave Plantagenet,
That princely novice, was struck dead by thee?

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;
I am his brother, and I love him well.
If you are hir'd for meed, go back again,
And I will send you to my brother Gloster;
Who shall reward you better for my life
Than Edward will for tidings of my death.

2 Murd. You are deceiv'd, your brother Gloster hates you.

Clar. O, no; he loves me, and he holds me dear;
Go you to him from me.
Both Murd.

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
Bless'd his three sons with his victorious arm,
And charged us from his soul to love each other,
He little thought of this divided friendship :
Bid Gloster think on this, and he will weep.

1 Murd. Ay, millstones ; as he lesson'd us to weep.
Clar. O, do not slander him, for he is kind.
1 Murd. Right, as snow in harvest.-Come, you deceive

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,
To counsel me to make my peace with God,
And are you yet to your own souls so blind,
That

you will war with God, by murthering me?
Oh, sirs, consider, they that set you on
To do this deed will hate you for the deed.

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.-
My friend, I spy some pity in thy looks ;
O, if thine eye be not a flatterer,
Come thou on my side, and entreat for me:
A begging prince, what beggar pities not?

2 Murd. Look behind you, my lord.
1 Murd. Take that, and that; if all this will not do,

[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.

me not?

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.

[Exit.

ACT II.

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;
Lest He that is the supreme King of king
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 you, son Dorset,-Buckingham, nor you;-
You have been factious one against the other.
Wile, love lord Hastings, let him kiss your hand;
And what you do, do it unfeignedly.

Q. Eliz. There, Hastings;- I will never more remember
Our former hatred, so thrive I and mine!

K. Edw. Dorset, embrace him,--Hastings, love lord marquis.

Dor. This interchange of love, I here protest,
Upon my part shall be inviolable.
Hast. And so swear I.

[Embraces DORSET.

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