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Why I, in this weak piping · time of peace,
Have no delight ? to pass away the time,
Unless to see my shadow in the sun,
And descant on mine & own deformity:
And therefore, since I cannot prove a lover,
To entertain these fair well-spoken days,
I am determined to prove a villain,
And hate the idle pleasures of these days.
Plots have I laid, inductions - dangerous,
By drunken prophecies, libels, and dreams,
To set my brother Clarence, and the king,
In deadly hate the one against the other:
And, if king Edward be as true and just,
As I am subtle, false, and treacherous,
This day should Clarence closely be mew'd up,
About a prophecy, which says — that G
Of Edward's heirs the murderer shall be. ?
Dive, thoughts, down to my soul: here Clarence comes.

Enter CLARENCE, guarded, and BRAKENBURY.
Brother, good day. What means this armed guard,
That waits upon your grace?

His majesty,
Tendering & my person's safety, hath appointed
This conduct to convey me to the Tower.

GLOSTER. Upon what cause ?

Because my name is George.
Glos. Alack! ' my lord, that fault is none of yours:
He should, for that, commit 10 your godfathers.
O! belike, 11 his majesty hath some intent,
That you should be new christen'd in the Tower.
But what 's the matter, Clarence? may I know?
1. To pipe, to be querulous, to 5. i. e. preparations for mischief.

6. To mew up, to shut up, to piping voice of sick persons. imprison. See note 1, p. 6. 2. Delight, amusement.

7. About a prophecy, which says 3. Mine and thine were formerly that a certain person, the initial used as adjective possessive pro- letter of whose name is G, should nouns before vowels, and euphony be the disinheritor of Edward's heirs. requires the same rule to be ob- 8. Tendering, in kind regard for. served now, in poetry.

Obsolete. 4. Since I am not qualified to 9. Alack, alas. play the lover in these days, when 10. To commit, to imprison. fair speeches and soft words are 11. Belike, probably. necessary.


CLARENCE. Yea, Richard, when I know; but I protest, As yet I do not: but, as I can learn, He hearkens after prophecies, and dreams; And from the cross-row.. plucks the letter G, And says, a wizard told him, that by G His issue disinherited should be; And, for 2 my name of George begins with G, It follows in his thought that I am he. These, as I learn, and such like toys as these, Have mov'd his highness to commit me now.

GLOSTER. Why, this it is, when men are rul'd by women! ’T is not the king, that sends you to the Tower: My lady Grey, his wife, Clarence, 't is she, That tempers 5 him to this extremity. Was it not she, and that good man of worship, Antony Woodville, her brother there, That made him send lord Hastings to the Tower, From whence this present day he is deliver'd? We are not safe, Clarence; we are not safe.


CLAR. By heaven, I think, there is no man secure, But the queen's kindred, and night-walking heralds 6 That trudge betwixt the king and mistress Shore. ?

1. Cross-rom is an old name for was of a very amorous disposition, the alphabet, from a cross having was struck with the lady's beauty, been placed at the beginning to and made her his Queen, the secret denote that the end of learning is of his marriage being kept for piety.

some time. This marriage had the 2. For, because.

effect of alienating the Earl of 3. Toys, fancies, freaks of imagi- Warwick, the so-called king-maker, nation.

who was at the time employed in 4. King Edward IV. had privately negociating a marriage between Ed. married Elizabeth Gray, daugh- ward and a princess of Savoy, sister of Sir Richard Woodville, and ter to the Queen of France, and widow of Sir Jobn Gray, who was who hearing of the marriage with killed in battle fighting on the side Elizabeth Gray, returned in disof Lancaster, and whose 'estate was gust. for that reason confiscated. The 5. i. e. frames his temper, moulds widow had retired with her children it to this extremity. to live with her father, to whose 6. Meaning the courtiers who house the King accidentally came, carry messages between the King after a hunting party. Thinking and his favourite mistress, Jane this a favourable opportunity for Shore. obtaining some grace from the mo 7. Jane Shore was the wife of a narch, the young widow cast her- merchant in the City of London, self at his feet entreating him to and a woman of exquisite beauty take pity on her impoverished and and good sense, but who had not distressed children. The King whol virtue enough to resist the tempta


Heard you not, what an humble suppliant
Lord Hastings was to her for his delivery?

GLOSTER. Humbly complaining to her deity
Got my lord chamberlain his liberty.
I 'll tell you what; I think, it is our way,
If we will keep in favour with the king,
To be her men, and wear her livery:
The jealous o'er-worn widow, and herself, 1
Since that our brother dubb’d them gentlewomen,
Are mighty gossips in our monarchy. *

BRAKENBURY. I beseech your graces both to pardon me:
His majesty hath straitly given in charge, 4
That no man shall have private conference,
Of what degree soever,

• with your brother. Glos. Even so; an 6 please your worship, Brakenbury, , You may partake of any thing we say, We speak no treason, man: we say, the king Is wise and virtuous: and his noble queen Well struck in years; ? fair, and not jealous: We say that Shore's wife hath a pretty foot, A cherry lip, a bonny eye, a passing pleasing tongue; And that the queen's kindred are made gentlefolks. How say you, Sir? can you deny all this?

BRAK. With this, my lord, myself have nought to do.

GLOS. Naught to do with mistress Shore? I tell thee, fellow, He that doth naught with her, excepting one, Were best to do it secretly, alone.



tions of a monarch. After the death | 4. His majesty hath strictly orof the King she lived with Lord dered. Hastings, and being implicated by 5. Of whatever rank he may be. Richard III. in the conspiracy of 6. An, contraction of and if that nobleman, she did penance on

7. Advanced in years. a charge of witchcraft, and ultim 8. Bonny, handsome, beautiful, ately, in the reign of Henry VII., from the French bon; it is now died in the utmost distress; and, as almost exclusively confined to the is said, in the ditch, named after Scotch dialect. Passing is used in her Shoreditch (a street in London old language as an adverb to enat the present time).

force the meaning of another word: 1. i e. the Queen and Jane Shore. as, passing fair, exceedingly beau

2. Since our brother raised them tiful. to the rank of gentlewomen. 9. A play upon the words nought,

3. Have much to say in the go. nothing, and naught, bad, naughty. vernment of our monarchy. A gossip Nought, nothing, is now more prois a chattering person, originally perly written naught, and in the at a christening.

signification of bad it is seldom used.

BRAKENBURY. What one, my lord ?
GLOSTER. Her husband, knave. Would'st thou betray me?

BRAK. I do beseech your grace to pardon me; and withal, 1 Forbear your conference with the noble duke.

CLARENCE. We know thy charge, Brakenbury, and will obey.

Glos. We are the queen's abjects, 2 and must obey. Brother, farewell: I will unto the king; And whatsoe'er you will employ me in, Were it to call king Edward's widow sister, I will perform it to enfranchise you. Mean time, this deep disgrace in brotherhood Touches me deeper than you can imagine.

CLAR. I know, it pleaseth neither of us well.

Glos. Well, your imprisonment shall not be long;
I will deliver you, or else lie for you:
Mean time, have patience.

I must perforce: farewell.
[Exeunt CLARENCE, BRAKENBURY, and Guard.
Glos. Go, tread the path that thou shalt ne'er return,
Simple, plain Clarence! - I do love thee so,
That I will shortly send thy soul to heaven,
If heaven will take the present at our hands.
But who comes here? the new-deliver'd Hastings?

HASTINGS. Good time of day unto my gracions lord.

Glos. As much unto my good lord chamberlain.
Well are you welcome to this open air.
How hath your lordship brook'd imprisonment ?

Hast. With patience, noble lord, as prisoners must;
But I shall live, my lord, to give them thanks,
That were the cause of my imprisonment.

Glos. No doubt, no doubt; and so shall Clarence too, For they that were your enemies are his, And have prevail'd


as much on him as you.

1. Withal, likewise

4. i. e. be imprisoned in your 2. i. e. the most servile of her stead. To lie anciently signified to subjects, who of course must obey reside. all her commands.

5. To prevail on, to overcome, to 3. Even if I have to give the gain the superiority. We should name of sister to the widow whom now say prevailed over, or against: the King has married, I will do it to prevail on signifying to persuade. to gain your freedom.


HASTINGS. More pity, that the eagles should be mew'd,' While kites and buzzards prey at liberty.

GLOSTER. What news abroad?

Hast. No news so bad abroad, as this at home:
The king is sickly, weak, and melancholy,
And his physicians fear him mightily. 2

Glos. Now, by Saint Paul, that news is bad indeed.
O! he hath kept an evil diet long, s
And over-much consum'd his royal person:
'T is very grievous to be thought upon.
Where is he? in his bed?

Hast. He is.
Glos. Go you before, and I will follow you.

He cannot live, I hope; and must not die,
Till George be pack'd with posthorse up to heaven.
I'll in, to urge his hatred more to Clarence,
With lies well steeld with weighty arguments;
And, if I fail not in my deep intent,
Clarence hath not another day to live:
Which done, God take king Edward to his mercy,
And leave the world for me to bustle in, 4
For then I'll marry Warwick's youngest daughter. 5
What though I kill'd her husband, and her father? 6
The readiest way to make the wench amends,
Is to become her husband, and her father:

1. A mew was a place in which weeks later, at the battle of Tewkesfalcons were kept; and being con- bury, which decided the fate of fined therein while moulting, was the Lancastrians, Edward Prince metaphorically used for any close of Wales was taken prisoner, and place or places of confinement. The brought before the King. On being verb was formed from the substan- asked by the latter, in an insulting tive. We now call stables for horses manner, how he dared to invade

his dominions, the young prince, 2. i. e. fear for him, have great more mindful of his high birth than fcars on his account.


of his present fortune, replied that 3. i. e. a bad regimen.

he came thither to claim his just 4. To bustle, to be busy, to be inheritance. Hereupon the King active.

struck him on the face with his 5. Lady Ann, the betrothed widow gauntlet, and the Dukes of Clarence of Edward Prince of Wales, who and Gloucester, Lord Hastings, and appears in the next scene,

Sir Thomas Gray, taking the blow 6. Warwick was slain in the battle as a signal for further violence, of Barnet, near London, A. D. 1471, hurried the prince into the next but history does not say that it was apartment, and there dispatched by Gloucester's own hand. A few him with their daggers.

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