Act I, Scene 4
London. The Tower.
- Enter Clarence and Keeper.
Keeper in the Tower1
- Why looks your Grace so heavily today?
George, Duke of Clarence2 - 7
- O, I have pass’d a miserable night,
- So full of fearful dreams, of ugly sights,
- That, as I am a Christian faithful man,
- I would not spend another such a night
- Though ’twere to buy a world of happy days—
- So full of dismal terror was the time.
Keeper in the Tower8
- What was your dream, my lord? I pray you tell me.
George, Duke of Clarence9 - 33
- Methoughts that I had broken from the Tower
- And was embark’d to cross to Burgundy,
- And in my company my brother Gloucester,
- Who from my cabin tempted me to walk
- Upon the hatches. Thence we look’d toward England,
- And cited up a thousand heavy times,
- During the wars of York and Lancaster,
- That had befall’n us. As we pac’d along
- Upon the giddy footing of the hatches,
- Methought that Gloucester stumbled, and in falling
- Struck me (that thought to stay him) overboard
- Into the tumbling billows of the main.
- O Lord, methought what pain it was to drown!
- What dreadful noise of waters in my ears!
- What sights of ugly death within my eyes!
- Methoughts I saw a thousand fearful wracks;
- A thousand men that fishes gnaw’d upon;
- Wedges of gold, great anchors, heaps of pearl,
- Inestimable stones, unvalued jewels,
- All scatt’red in the bottom of the sea:
- Some lay in dead men’s skulls, and in the holes
- Where eyes did once inhabit, there were crept
- (As ’twere in scorn of eyes) reflecting gems,
- That woo’d the slimy bottom of the deep,
- And mock’d the dead bones that lay scatt’red by.
Keeper in the Tower34 - 35
- Had you such leisure in the time of death
- To gaze upon these secrets of the deep?
George, Duke of Clarence36 - 41
- Methought I had, and often did I strive
- To yield the ghost; but still the envious flood
- Stopp’d in my soul, and would not let it forth
- To find the empty, vast, and wand’ring air,
- But smother’d it within my panting bulk,
- Who almost burst to belch it in the sea.
Keeper in the Tower42
- Awak’d you not in this sore agony?
George, Duke of Clarence43 - 63
- No, no, my dream was lengthen’d after life.
- O then began the tempest to my soul!
- I pass’d (methought) the melancholy flood,
- With that sour ferryman which poets write of,
- Unto the kingdom of perpetual night.
- The first that there did greet my stranger soul
- Was my great father-in-law, renowned Warwick,
- Who spake aloud, “What scourge for perjury
- Can this dark monarchy afford false Clarence?”
- And so he vanish’d. Then came wand’ring by
- A shadow like an angel, with bright hair
- Dabbled in blood, and he shriek’d out aloud,
- “Clarence is come—false, fleeting, perjur’d Clarence,
- That stabb’d me in the field by Tewksbury:
- Seize on him, Furies, take him unto torment!”
- With that (methoughts) a legion of foul fiends
- Environ’d me, and howled in mine ears
- Such hideous cries that with the very noise
- I, trembling, wak’d, and for a season after
- Could not believe but that I was in hell,
- Such terrible impression made my dream.
Keeper in the Tower64 - 65
- No marvel, lord, though it affrighted you;
- I am afraid (methinks) to hear you tell it.
Keeper in the Tower66 - 74
- Ah, Keeper, Keeper, I have done these things
- (That now give evidence against my soul)
- For Edward’s sake, and see how he requites me!
- O God! If my deep pray’rs cannot appease thee,
- But thou wilt be aveng’d on my misdeeds,
- Yet execute thy wrath in me alone!
- O, spare my guiltless wife and my poor children!
- Keeper, I prithee sit by me awhile.
- My soul is heavy, and I fain would sleep.
Keeper in the Tower75
- I will, my lord. God give your Grace good rest!
- Clarence sleeps.
- Enter Brakenbury, the Lieutenant.
Brakenbury76 - 83
- Sorrow breaks seasons and reposing hours,
- Makes the night morning and the noontide night:
- Princes have but their titles for their glories,
- An outward honor for an inward toil,
- And for unfelt imaginations
- They often feel a world of restless cares;
- So that between their titles and low name
- There’s nothing differs but the outward fame.
- Enter two Murderers.
- Ho, who’s here?
- What wouldst thou, fellow? And how cam’st thou hither?
- I would speak with Clarence, and I came hither on my legs.
- What, so brief?
Second Murderer88 - 89
- ’Tis better, sir, than to be tedious. Let him see
- our commission, and talk no more.
- Brakenbury reads it.
Brakenbury90 - 96
- I am in this commanded to deliver
- The noble Duke of Clarence to your hands.
- I will not reason what is meant hereby,
- Because I will be guiltless from 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.
First Murderer97 - 98
- You may, sir, ’tis a point of wisdom. Fare you
- Exit Brakenbury with Keeper.
- What, shall I stab him as he sleeps?
First Murderer100 - 101
- No, he’ll say ’twas done cowardly when he
Second Murderer102 - 103
- Why, he shall never wake until the great
- Judgment Day.
- Why, then he’ll say we stabb’d him sleeping.
Second Murderer105 - 106
- The urging of that word “judgment” hath bred a
- kind of remorse in me.
- What? Art thou afraid?
Second Murderer108 - 110
- Not to kill him, having a warrant, but to be
- damn’d for killing him, from the which no
- warrant can defend me.
- I thought thou hadst been resolute.
- So I am—to let him live.
First Murderer113 - 114
- I’ll back to the Duke of Gloucester and tell him
Second Murderer115 - 117
- Nay, I prithee stay a little. I hope this passionate
- humor of mine will change. It was wont to hold
- me but while one tells twenty.
- How dost thou feel thyself now?
Second Murderer119 - 120
- Faith, some certain dregs of conscience are yet
- within me.
- Remember our reward when the deed’s done.
- ’Zounds, he dies! I had forgot the reward.
- Where’s thy conscience now?
- O, in the Duke of Gloucester’s purse.
First Murderer125 - 126
- When he opens his purse to give us our reward,
- thy conscience flies out.
Second Murderer127 - 128
- ’Tis no matter, let it go. There’s few or none will
- entertain it.
- What if it come to thee again?
Second Murderer130 - 141
- I’ll not meddle with it, it makes a man a coward.
- A man cannot steal, but it accuseth him; a man
- cannot swear, but it checks him; a man cannot
- lie with his neighbor’s wife, but it detects him.
- ’Tis a blushing shame-fac’d spirit that mutinies
- in a man’s bosom. It fills a man 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 turn’d out of towns and cities for a
- dangerous thing, and every man that means to
- live well endeavors to trust to himself and live
- without it.
First Murderer142 - 143
- ’Zounds, ’tis even now at my elbow, persuading
- me not to kill the Duke.
Second Murderer144 - 146
- Take the devil in thy mind, and believe him not;
- he would insinuate with thee but to make thee
- I am strong-fram’d, he cannot prevail with me.
Second Murderer148 - 149
- Spoke like a tall man that respects thy
- reputation. Come, shall we fall to work?
First Murderer150 - 152
- Take him on the costard with the hilts of thy
- sword, and then throw him into the
- malmsey-butt in the next room.
- O excellent device! And make a sop of him.
- Soft, he wakes.
- No, we’ll reason with him.
George, Duke of Clarence157
- Where art thou, Keeper? Give me a cup of wine.
- You shall have wine enough, my lord, anon.
George, Duke of Clarence159
- In God’s name, what art thou?
- A man, as you are.
George, Duke of Clarence161
- But not, as I am, royal.
- Nor you, as we are, loyal.
George, Duke of Clarence163
- Thy voice is thunder, but thy looks are humble.
- My voice is now the King’s, my looks mine own.
George, Duke of Clarence165 - 167
- 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?
Both First and Second Murderers168
- To, to, to—
George, Duke of Clarence169
- To murder me?
Both First and Second Murderers170
- Ay, ay.
George, Duke of Clarence171 - 173
- 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?
- Offended us you have not, but the King.
George, Duke of Clarence175
- I shall be reconcil’d to him again.
- Never, my lord, therefore prepare to die.
George, Duke of Clarence177 - 188
- Are you drawn forth among a world of men
- To slay the innocent? What is my offense?
- Where is the evidence that doth accuse me?
- What lawful quest have given their verdict up
- 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 to have redemption
- By Christ’s dear blood shed for our grievous sins,
- That you depart, and lay no hands on me.
- The deed you undertake is damnable.
- What we will do, we do upon command.
- And he that hath commanded is our King.
George, Duke of Clarence191 - 196
- Erroneous vassals, the great King of kings
- Hath in the table of his law commanded
- That thou shalt do no murder. Will you then
- Spurn at his edict, and fulfill a man’s?
- Take heed; for he holds vengeance in his hand,
- To hurl upon their heads that break his law.
Second Murderer197 - 200
- And that same vengeance doth he hurl on thee
- For false forswearing and for murder too.
- Thou didst receive the sacrament to fight
- In quarrel of the house of Lancaster.
First Murderer201 - 203
- And like a traitor to the name of God
- Didst break that vow, and with thy treacherous blade
- Unrip’st the bowels of thy sov’reign’s son.
- Whom thou wast sworn to cherish and defend.
First Murderer205 - 206
- How canst thou urge God’s dreadful law to us,
- When thou hast broke it in such dear degree?
George, Duke of Clarence207 - 215
- Alas! For whose sake did I that ill deed?
- For Edward, for my brother, for his sake.
- He sends you not to murder 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 pow’rful arm;
- He needs no indirect or lawless course
- To cut off those that have offended him.
First Murderer216 - 218
- Who made thee then a bloody minister,
- When gallant-springing brave Plantagenet,
- That princely novice, was struck dead by thee?
George, Duke of Clarence219
- My brother’s love, the devil, and my rage.
First Murderer220 - 221
- Thy brother’s love, our duty, and thy faults
- Provoke us hither now to slaughter thee.
George, Duke of Clarence222 - 227
- O, if you 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 Gloucester,
- Who shall reward you better for my life
- Than Edward will for tidings of my death.
- You are deceiv’d, your brother Gloucester hates you.
George, Duke of Clarence229 - 230
- O no; he loves me and he holds me dear.
- Go you to him from me.
- Ay, so we will.
George, Duke of Clarence232 - 236
- Tell him, when that our princely father York
- Blest his three sons with his victorious arm,
- And charg’d us from his soul to love each other,)
- He little thought of this divided friendship.
- Bid Gloucester think of this, and he will weep.
- Ay, millstones, as he lesson’d us to weep.
George, Duke of Clarence238
- O, do not slander him, for he is kind.
First Murderer239 - 240
- Right, as snow in harvest. Come, you deceive yourself,
- ’Tis he that sends us to destroy you here.
George, Duke of Clarence241 - 243
- It cannot be, for he bewept my fortune,
- And hugg’d me in his arms, and swore with sobs
- That he would labor my delivery.
First Murderer244 - 245
- Why, so he doth, when he delivers you
- From this earth’s thralldom to the joys of heaven.
- Make peace with God, for you must die, my lord.
George, Duke of Clarence247 - 252
- 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 murd’ring me?
- O, sirs, consider, they that set you on
- To do this deed will hate you for the deed.
- What shall we do?
George, Duke of Clarence254 - 258
- 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 murderers as yourselves came to you,
- Would not entreat for life?
- Relent? No: ’tis cowardly and womanish.
George, Duke of Clarence260 - 266
- Not to relent is beastly, savage, devilish.
- My friend
- To Second Murderer
- I spy some pity in thy looks.
- O, if thine eye be not a flatterer,
- Come thou on my side, and entreat for me,
- As you would beg, were you in my distress.
- A begging prince what beggar pities not?
- Look behind you, my lord.
First Murderer268 - 270
- Take that! And that!
- Stabs him.
- If all this will not do,
- I’ll drown you in the malmsey-butt within.
- Exit with the body.
Second Murderer271 - 273
- A bloody deed, and desperately dispatch’d!
- How fain, like Pilate, would I wash my hands
- Of this most grievous murder!
- Enter First Murderer.
First Murderer274 - 275
- How now? What mean’st thou, that thou help’st me not?
- By heavens, the Duke shall know how slack you have been!
Second Murderer276 - 278
- I would he knew that I had sav’d his brother!
- Take thou the fee and tell him what I say,
- For I repent me that the Duke is slain.
First Murderer279 - 283
- 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.