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The which will I; not all so much for love,
As for another .secret close intent,
By marrying her which I must reach unto. 1
But yet I run before my

horse to market:
Clarence still breathes; Edward still lives and reigns;
When they are gone, then must I count my gains.



The Same. Another Street. Enter the Corpse of King HENRY VI., borne in an open Coffin, Gentlemen bearing Halberds ?, to guard it; and

LADY ANNE as mourner. ANNE. Set down, set down your honourable load, If honour may be shrouded in a hearse, Whilst I a while obsequiously 3 lament Th' untimely fall of virtuous Lancaster. Poor key-cold 4 figure of a holy king! Pale ashes of the house of Lancaster! Thou bloodless remnant of that royal blood! Be it lawful that I invocate thy ghost, To hear the lamentations of poor Anne, Wife to thy Edward, to thy slaughter'd son, Stabb’d by the self-same hand that made these wounds! 5 Lo, in these windows, that let forth thy life, I pour the helpless balm of my poor eyes: O, cursed be the hand that made these holes ! Cursed the heart, that had the heart to do it! Cursed the blood, that let this blood from hence! More direful hap betide that hated wretch, That makes us wretched by the death of thee, Than I can wish to adders, spiders, toads, Or any creeping venom'd thing that lives!


1. Which I must reach unto by tain. It is pretended, and was gemarrying her.

nerally believed, that the Duke of 2. Halberd, a battle-axe fixed to Gloucester killed him with his own a long pole.

hands: But the universal odium 3. Obsequiously, with funeral rites. which that prince has incurred, in4. i. e. as cold as a key.

clined perhaps the nation to ag5. The historian Hume says: gravate his crimes without any "King Henry expired in the Tower sufficient authority.” a few days after the battle of Tew 6. i. e. the gaping wounds. kesbury; but whether he died a 7. May a more fearful fate befal natural or violent death is uncer-' that hated wretch.


If ever he have child, abortive be it,
Prodigious, and untimely brought to light,
Whose ugly and unnatural aspect
May fright the hopeful mother at the view;
And that be heir to his unhappiness!
If ever he have wife, let her be made
More miserable by the death of him,
Than I am made by my young lord, and thee! – 2
Come, now toward Chertsey with your holy load,
Taken from Paul's to be interred there;
And still, as you are weary of this weight,
Rest you, whiles 3 I lament king Henry's corse.

[The Bearers take up the Corpse and advance.

GLOSTER. Stay you, that bear the corse, and set it down.

ANNE. What black magician conjures up this fiend,
To stop devoted charitable deeds? 4

Glos. Villains! set down the corse; or, by Saint Paul, I 'll make a corse of him that disobeys.

FIRST GENT. My lord, stand back, and let the coffin pass.

Glos. Unmanner'd dog! stand thou when I command: Advance thy halberd higher than my breast, 5 Or, by Saint Paul, I 'll strike thee to my foot, And spurn upon thee, beggar, for thy boldness.

[The Bearers set down the Coffin. ANNE. What! do you tremble? are you all afraid? Alas! I blame you not; for you are mortal, And mortal eyes cannot endure the devil. Avaunt, thou dreadful minister of hell! Thou hadst but power over his mortal body, His soul thou canst not have: therefore, begone.

Glos. Sweet saint, for charity, be not so curst. 5

ANNE. Foul devil, for God's sake, hence, and trouble us not; For thou hast made the happy earth thy hell, Fill'd it with cursing cries, and deep exclaims.

1. Unhappiness here means dispo 4. To stop consecrated deeds of sition to mischief, wickedness. love. 2. Than I am made by the death

5. i. e. put up, or 'raise, thy of my young lord, and of thee!

halberd (which the gentleman bad

pointed at Gloucester's breast). 3. Whiles, with an s, is no longer 6. Curst, malicious, i, e. be not in use as an adverb.

so bitter of speech.


If thou delight to view thy heinous deeds,
Behold this pattern of thy butcheries. —
O, gentlemen! see, see! dead Henry's wounds
Open their congeald mouths, and bleed afresh!
Blush, blush, thou lump of foul deformity,
For 't is thy presence that exhales 3 this blood
From cold and empty veins, where no blood dwells:
Thy deed, inhuman and unnatural,
Provokes this deluge most unnatural.
O God, which this blood mad'st, revenge his death!
O earth, which this blood drink'st, revenge his death!
Either, heaven, with lightning strike the murderer dead,
Or, earth, gape open wide, and eat him quick,
As thou dost swallow up this good king's blood;
Which • his hell-governd arm hath butchered!

GLOSTER. Lady, you know no rules of charity, 6
Which renders good for bad, blessings for curses.

ANNE. Villain, thou know'st nor law of God nor man: No beast so fierce, but knows some touch of pity.

Glos. But I know none, and therefore am no beast.
ANNE. O wonderful, when devils tell the truth!

Glos. More wonderful, when angels are so angry. -
Vouchsafe, divine perfection of a woman,
Of these supposed evils to give me leave
By circumstancebut to acquit myself.

ANNE. Vouchsafe, diffus'd infection of a man,
For these known evils but to give me leave
By circumstance to curse thy cursed self.

Glos. Fairer than tongue can name thee, let me have Some patient leisure to excuse myself. 9


1. Pattern, example.

6. You do not know the precepts 2. It is a tradition very generally of charity. received, that the murdered body

7. By circumstance, circumstanbleeds on the touch of the murder- tially, explicitly. er. The northern nations anciently

8. Diffused anciently signified dark, practised this mode of trial in dubious cases.

obscure, strange, uncouth, or con3. Exhale here signifies to draw fused. This line is in antithesis to

the second line of Gloucester's out. The word commonly signifies, speech; perhaps it might be interto evaporate, to emit.

preted: Vouchsafe, uncouth pesti4. And swallow him alive.

lence of a man. 5. Which was frequently employed of persons by old writers, as also 9. Let me have a patient hearing who and whom of things.

that I may exonerate myself.

your husband.

ANNE. Fouler than heart can think thee, thou canst make No excuse current, ' but to hang thyself.

GLOSTER. By such despair, ? I should accuse myself.

ANNE. And, by despairing, shalt thou stand excus’d;
For doing worthy vengeance on thyself,
That didst unworthy 3 slaughter upon others.

Glos. Say, 4 that I slew them not?

Then say they were not slain: But dead. they are, and, devilish slave, by thee.

Glos. I did not kill your

Why, then he is alive.
Glos. Nay, he is dead; and slain by Edward's hand.

ANNE. In thy foul throat thou liest: queen Margaret saw Thy murderous falchion smoking in his blood; The which thou once didst bend against her breast, But that thy brothers beat aside the point.

Glos. I was provoked by her sland'rous 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?

Glos. I grant ye.

ANNE. Dost grant me, hedge-hog? then, God grant me too, Thou may'st be damned for that wicked deed! O! he was gentle, mild, and virtuous.

Glos. The fitter for the King of heaven that hath him. ANNE. He is in heaven, where thou shalt never come.

Glos. 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.
Glos. Yes, one place else, if you will hear me name it.
ANNE. Some dungeon.
Glos. Your bed-chamber.
ANNE. Ill rest betide the chamber where thou liest.
Glos. So will it, Madam, till I lie with you.
ANNE. I hope so.

I know so.

- But, gentle lady Anne, To leave this keen encounter of our wits,

1. To be current, to be valid, to prevail.

2. By such a desperate deed.
3. Unworthy, undeserved.
4. Say, suppose, or, let us say.

5. i. e. my brothers' crime.
6. I concede it.

7. Holp, preterit of to help, which was formerly conjugated, help, holp, holpen.


And fall something into a slower method; - 1
Is not the causer of the timeless deaths
Of these Plantagenets, Henry, and Edward,
As blameful as the executioner?

ANNE. Thou wast the cause, and most accurs'd effect. 3

GLOSTER. Your beauty was the cause of that effect;
Your beauty, that 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.

Glos. 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!
Glos. Curse not thyself, fair creature; thou art both.
ANNE. I would I were, to be reveng'd on thee.

Glos. It is a quarrel most unnatural,
To be reveng'd on him that loveth thee.

ANNE. It is a quarrel just and reasonable, To be reveng'd on him that killd my husband.

Glos. 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.
Glos. He lives that loves you better than he could.
ANNE. Name him.


Why, that was he.
GLOS. The self-same name, but one of better nature.
ANNE. Where is he?
Glos. Here: [She spits at him.] Why dost thou spit at me?
ANNE. 'Would it were mortal 4 poison, for thy sake!
Glos. 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.

Glos. Thine eyes, sweet lady, have infected mine. ANNE. Would they were basilisks, to strike thee dead!

Glos. I would they were, that I might die at once, For now they kill me with a living death.

1. And talk in a' somewhat more 3. Effect, agent. serious strain. 2. As much to blame.

4. Mortal, deadly.

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