Act I, Scene 2
London. Another street.
- Enter the corpse of Henry the Sixth, with
- Halberds to guard it, Lady Anne being the
- mourner, attended by Tressel and Berkeley.
Lady Anne1 - 32
- Set down, set down your honorable load,
- If honor may be shrouded in a hearse,
- Whilst I awhile obsequiously lament
- Th’ untimely fall of virtuous Lancaster.
- Poor key-cold 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 slaught’red son,
- Stabb’d by the self-same hand that made these wounds!
- 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 wolves—to spiders, toads,
- Or any creeping venom’d thing that lives!
- 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 life of him
- Than I am made by my young lord and thee!
- Come now towards 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 I lament King Henry’s corse.
- Enter Richard Duke of Gloucester.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester33
- Stay, you that bear the corse, and set it down.
Lady Anne34 - 35
- What black magician conjures up this fiend
- To stop devoted charitable deeds?
Richard, Duke of Gloucester36 - 37
- Villains, set down the corse, or, by Saint Paul,
- I’ll make a corse of him that disobeys.
- My lord, stand back, and let the coffin pass.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester39 - 42
- Unmanner’d dog, stand thou when I command.
- Advance thy halberd higher than my breast,
- Or by Saint Paul I’ll strike thee to my foot,
- And spurn upon thee, beggar, for thy boldness.
Lady Anne43 - 48
- 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 be gone.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester49
- Sweet saint, for charity, be not so curst.
Lady Anne50 - 67
- 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.
- If thou delight to view thy heinous deeds,
- Behold this pattern of thy butcheries.
- O gentlemen, see, see dead Henry’s wounds
- Open their congeal’d mouths and bleed afresh!
- Blush, blush, thou lump of foul deformity;
- For ’tis thy presence that exhales this blood
- From cold and empty veins where no blood dwells.
- Thy deeds 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 heav’n with lightning strike the murd’rer dead;
- Or earth gape open wide and eat him quick,
- As thou dost swallow up this good king’s blood,
- Which his hell-govern’d arm hath butchered!
Richard, Duke of Gloucester68 - 69
- Lady, you know no rules of charity,
- Which renders good for bad, blessings for curses.
Lady Anne70 - 71
- Villain, thou know’st nor law of God nor man:
- No beast so fierce but knows some touch of pity.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester72
- But I know none, and therefore am no beast.
- O wonderful, when devils tell the troth!
Richard, Duke of Gloucester74 - 77
- More wonderful, when angels are so angry.
- Vouchsafe, divine perfection of a woman,
- Of these supposed crimes, to give me leave
- By circumstance but to acquit myself.
Lady Anne78 - 80
- Vouchsafe, defus’d infection of a man,
- Of these known evils, but to give me leave
- By circumstance t’ accuse thy cursed self.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester81 - 82
- Fairer than tongue can name thee, let me have
- Some patient leisure to excuse myself.
Lady Anne83 - 84
- Fouler than heart can think thee, thou canst make
- No excuse current but to hang thyself.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester85
- By such despair I should accuse myself.
Lady Anne86 - 88
- And by despairing shalt thou stand excused
- For doing worthy vengeance on thyself,
- That didst unworthy slaughter upon others.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester89
- Say that I slew them not?
Lady Anne90 - 91
- Then say they were not slain.
- But dead they are, and, devilish slave, by thee.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester92
- I did not kill your husband.
- Why then he is alive.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester94
- Nay, he is dead, and slain by Edward’s hands.
Lady Anne95 - 98
- In thy foul throat thou li’st! Queen Margaret saw
- Thy murd’rous falchion smoking in his blood;
- The which thou once didst bend against her breast,
- But that thy brothers beat aside the point.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester99 - 100
- I was provoked by her sland’rous tongue,
- That laid their guilt upon my guiltless shoulders.
Lady Anne101 - 103
- Thou wast provoked by thy bloody mind,
- That never dream’st on aught but butcheries.
- Didst thou not kill this king?
Richard, Duke of Gloucester104
- I grant ye.
Lady Anne105 - 107
- Dost grant me, hedgehog? Then God grant me too
- Thou mayst be damned for that wicked deed!
- O, he was gentle, mild, and virtuous!
Richard, Duke of Gloucester108
- The better for the King of Heaven that hath him.
- He is in heaven, where thou shalt never come.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester110 - 111
- Let him thank me that holp to send him thither;
- For he was fitter for that place than earth.
- And thou unfit for any place, but hell.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester113
- Yes, one place else, if you will hear me name it.
- Some dungeon.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester115
- Your bedchamber.
- Ill rest betide the chamber where thou liest!
Richard, Duke of Gloucester117
- So will it, madam, till I lie with you.
- I hope so.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester119 - 124
- I know so. But, gentle Lady Anne,
- To leave this keen encounter of our wits
- And fall something into a slower method:
- Is not the causer of the timeless deaths
- Of these Plantagenets, Henry and Edward,
- As blameful as the executioner?
- Thou wast the cause, and most accurs’d effect.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester126 - 129
- 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.
Lady Anne130 - 131
- If I thought that, I tell thee, homicide,
- These nails should rent that beauty from my cheeks.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester132 - 135
- These eyes could not endure that beauty’s wrack;
- 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.
- Black night o’ershade thy day, and death thy life!
Richard, Duke of Gloucester137
- Curse not thyself, fair creature—thou art both.
- I would I were, to be reveng’d on thee.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester139 - 140
- It is a quarrel most unnatural,
- To be reveng’d on him that loveth thee.
Lady Anne141 - 142
- It is a quarrel just and reasonable,
- To be reveng’d on him that kill’d my husband.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester143 - 144
- He that bereft thee, lady, of thy husband,
- Did it to help thee to a better husband.
- His better doth not breathe upon the earth.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester146
- He lives, that loves thee better than he could.
- Name him.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester148
- Why, that was he.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester150
- The self-same name, but one of better nature.
- Where is he?
Richard, Duke of Gloucester152 - 153
- She spits at him.
- Why dost thou spit at me?
- Would it were mortal poison for thy sake!
Richard, Duke of Gloucester155
- Never came poison from so sweet a place.
Lady Anne156 - 157
- Never hung poison on a fouler toad.
- Out of my sight, thou dost infect mine eyes!
Richard, Duke of Gloucester158
- Thine eyes, sweet lady, have infected mine.
- Would they were basilisks, to strike thee dead!
Richard, Duke of Gloucester160 - 192
- I would they were, that I might die at once;
- For now they kill me with a living death.
- Those eyes of thine from mine have drawn salt tears,
- Sham’d their aspects with store of childish drops:
- These eyes, which never shed remorseful tear—
- No, when my father York and Edward wept
- To hear the piteous moan that Rutland made
- When black-fac’d Clifford shook his sword at him;
- Nor when thy warlike father, like a child,
- Told the sad story of my father’s death,
- And twenty times made pause to sob and weep,
- That all the standers-by had wet their cheeks
- Like trees bedash’d with rain—in that sad time
- My manly eyes did scorn an humble tear;
- And what these sorrows could not thence exhale,
- Thy beauty hath, and made them blind with weeping.
- I never sued to friend nor enemy;
- My tongue could never learn sweet smoothing word;
- But now thy beauty is propos’d my fee,
- My proud heart sues, and prompts my tongue to speak.
- She looks scornfully at him.
- Teach not thy lip such scorn; for it was made
- For kissing, lady, not for such contempt.
- If thy revengeful heart cannot forgive,
- Lo here I lend thee this sharp-pointed sword,
- Which if thou please to hide in this true breast,
- And let the soul forth that adoreth thee,
- I lay it naked to the deadly stroke,
- And humbly beg the death upon my knee.
- He lays his breast open: she offers at it with his sword.
- Nay, do not pause: for I did kill King Henry—
- But ’twas thy beauty that provoked me.
- Nay, now dispatch: ’twas I that stabb’d young Edward
- But ’twas thy heavenly face that set me on.
- She falls the sword.
- Take up the sword again, or take up me.
Lady Anne193 - 194
- Arise, dissembler! Though I wish thy death,
- I will not be thy executioner.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester195
- Then bid me kill myself, and I will do it.
- I have already.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester197 - 201
- That was in thy rage.
- Speak it again, and even with the word
- This hand, which for thy love did kill thy love,
- Shall for thy love kill a far truer love;
- To both their deaths shalt thou be accessary.
- I would I knew thy heart.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester203
- ’Tis figur’d in my tongue.
- I fear me both are false.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester205
- Then never was man true.
- Well, well, put up your sword.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester207
- Say then my peace is made.
- That shalt thou know hereafter.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester209
- But shall I live in hope?
- All men, I hope, live so.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester211
- Vouchsafe to wear this ring.
- To take is not to give.
- Gloucester slips the ring on her finger.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester213 - 218
- Look how my ring encompasseth thy finger,
- Even so thy breast encloseth my poor heart:
- Wear both of them, for both of them are thine.
- And if thy poor devoted servant may
- But beg one favor at thy gracious hand,
- Thou dost confirm his happiness forever.
- What is it?
Richard, Duke of Gloucester220 - 228
- That it may please you leave these sad designs
- To him that hath most cause to be a mourner,
- And presently repair to Crosby House;
- Where (after I have solemnly interr’d
- At Chertsey monast’ry this noble king,
- And wet his grave with my repentant tears)
- I will with all expedient duty see you.
- For divers unknown reasons, I beseech you,
- Grant me this boon.
Lady Anne229 - 231
- With all my heart, and much it joys me too,
- To see you are become so penitent.
- Tressel and Berkeley, go along with me.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester232
- Bid me farewell.
Lady Anne233 - 235
- ’Tis more than you deserve;
- But since you teach me how to flatter you,
- Imagine I have said farewell already.
- Exeunt two, Tressel and Berkeley, with Anne.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester236
- Sirs, take up the corse.
- Towards Chertsey, noble lord?
Richard, Duke of Gloucester238 - 275
- No; to White-Friars, there attend my coming.
- Exit corpse with Halberds.
- Was ever woman in this humor woo’d?
- Was ever woman in this humor won?
- I’ll have her, but I will not keep her long.
- What? I, that kill’d her husband and his father,
- To take her in her heart’s extremest hate,
- With curses in her mouth, tears in her eyes,
- The bleeding witness of my hatred by,
- Having God, her conscience, and these bars against me,
- And I no friends to back my suit at all
- But the plain devil and dissembling looks?
- And yet to win her! All the world to nothing!
- Hath she forgot already that brave prince,
- Edward, her lord, whom I, some three months since,
- Stabb’d in my angry mood at Tewksbury?
- A sweeter and a lovelier gentleman,
- Fram’d in the prodigality of nature—
- Young, valiant, wise, and (no doubt) right royal—
- The spacious world cannot again afford.
- And will she yet abase her eyes on me,
- That cropp’d the golden prime of this sweet prince
- And made her widow to a woeful bed?
- On me, whose all not equals Edward’s moi’ty?
- On me, that halts and am misshapen thus?
- My dukedom to a beggarly denier,
- I do mistake my person all this while!
- Upon my life, she finds (although I cannot)
- Myself to be a marv’lous proper man.
- I’ll be at charges for a looking-glass,
- And entertain a score or two of tailors
- To study fashions to adorn my body:
- Since I am crept in favor with myself,
- I will maintain it with some little cost.
- But first I’ll turn yon fellow in his grave,
- And then return lamenting to my love.
- Shine out, fair sun, till I have bought a glass,
- That I may see my shadow as I pass.