Act II, Scene 2
London. The palace.
- Enter the old Duchess of York with the two
- children of Clarence (Edward and Margaret
- Good grandam, tell us, is our father dead?
Duchess of York2
- No, boy.
Margaret3 - 4
- Why do you weep so oft, and beat your breast,
- And cry, “O Clarence, my unhappy son!”?
Edward5 - 7
- Why do you look on us, and shake your head,
- And call us orphans, wretches, castaways,
- If that our noble father were alive?
Duchess of York8 - 11
- My pretty cousins, you mistake me both:
- I do lament the sickness of the King,
- As loath to lose him, not your father’s death;
- It were lost sorrow to wail one that’s lost.
Edward12 - 15
- Then you conclude, my grandam, he is dead.
- The King mine uncle is to blame for it.
- God will revenge it, whom I will importune
- With earnest prayers all to that effect.
- And so will I.
Duchess of York17 - 19
- Peace, children, peace, the King doth love you well.
- Incapable and shallow innocents,
- You cannot guess who caus’d your father’s death.
Edward20 - 26
- Grandam, we can; for my good uncle Gloucester
- Told me the King, provok’d to it by the Queen,
- Devis’d impeachments to imprison him;
- And when my uncle told me so, he wept,
- And pitied me, and kindly kiss’d my cheek;
- Bade me rely on him as on my father,
- And he would love me dearly as a child.
Duchess of York27 - 30
- Ah! That deceit should steal such gentle shape,
- And with a virtuous visor hide deep vice!
- He is my son—ay, and therein my shame,
- Yet from my dugs he drew not this deceit.
- Think you my uncle did dissemble, grandam?
Duchess of York32
- Ay, boy.
- I cannot think it. Hark, what noise is this?
- Enter the Queen Elizabeth with her hair about
- her ears; Rivers and Dorset after her.
Queen Elizabeth34 - 37
- Ah! Who shall hinder me to wail and weep,
- To chide my fortune, and torment myself?
- I’ll join with black despair against my soul,
- And to myself become an enemy.
Duchess of York38
- What means this scene of rude impatience?
Queen Elizabeth39 - 46
- To make an act of tragic violence.
- Edward, my lord, thy son, our king, is dead!
- Why grow the branches when the root is gone?
- Why wither not the leaves that want their sap?
- If you will live, lament; if die, be brief,
- That our swift-winged souls may catch the King’s,
- Or like obedient subjects follow him
- To his new kingdom of ne’er-changing night.
Duchess of York47 - 61
- Ah, so much interest have I in thy sorrow
- As I had title in thy noble husband!
- I have bewept a worthy husband’s death,
- And liv’d with looking on his images;
- But now two mirrors of his princely semblance
- Are crack’d in pieces by malignant death,
- And I for comfort have but one false glass,
- That grieves me when I see my shame in him.
- Thou art a widow; yet thou art a mother,
- And hast the comfort of thy children left;
- But death hath snatch’d my husband from mine arms,
- And pluck’d two crutches from my feeble hands,
- Clarence and Edward. O, what cause have I
- (Thine being but a moi’ty of my moan)
- To overgo thy woes and drown thy cries!
Edward62 - 63
- Ah, aunt! You wept not for our father’s death;
- How can we aid you with our kindred tears?
Margaret64 - 65
- Our fatherless distress was left unmoan’d,
- Your widow-dolor likewise be unwept!
Queen Elizabeth66 - 71
- Give me no help in lamentation,
- I am not barren to bring forth complaints.
- All springs reduce their currents to mine eyes,
- That I being govern’d by the watery moon,
- May send forth plenteous tears to drown the world!
- Ah for my husband, for my dear Lord Edward!
- Ah for our father, for our dear Lord Clarence!
Duchess of York73
- Alas for both, both mine, Edward and Clarence!
- What stay had I but Edward? And he’s gone.
- What stay had we but Clarence? And he’s gone.
Duchess of York76
- What stays had I but they? And they are gone.
- Was never widow had so dear a loss.
- Were never orphans had so dear a loss.
Duchess of York79 - 88
- Was never mother had so dear a loss.
- Alas! I am the mother of these griefs:
- Their woes are parcell’d, mine is general.
- She for an Edward weeps, and so do I;
- I for a Clarence weep, so doth not she;
- These babes for Clarence weep, and so do I;
- I for an Edward weep, so do not they.
- Alas! You three on me, threefold distress’d,
- Pour all your tears. I am your sorrow’s nurse,
- And I will pamper it with lamentation.
Marquess of Dorset89 - 95
- Comfort, dear mother, God is much displeas’d
- That you take with unthankfulness his doing.
- In common worldly things ’tis call’d ungrateful
- With dull unwillingness to repay a debt,
- Which with a bounteous hand was kindly lent;
- Much more to be thus opposite with heaven,
- For it requires the royal debt it lent you.
Rivers96 - 100
- Madam, bethink you like a careful mother
- Of the young Prince your son. Send straight for him,
- Let him be crown’d, in him your comfort lives.
- Drown desperate sorrow in dead Edward’s grave,
- And plant your joys in living Edward’s throne.
- Enter Richard of Gloucester, Buckingham,
- Stanley Earl of Derby, Hastings, and Ratcliffe.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester101 - 106
- Sister, have comfort. All of us have cause
- To wail the dimming of our shining star;
- But none can help our harms by wailing them.
- Madam, my mother, I do cry you mercy,
- I did not see your Grace. Humbly on my knee
- I crave your blessing.
Duchess of York107 - 108
- God bless thee, and put meekness in thy breast,
- Love, charity, obedience, and true duty!
Richard, Duke of Gloucester109 - 112
- And make me die a good old man!
- That is the butt-end of a mother’s blessing.
- I marvel that her Grace did leave it out.
Duke of Buckingham113 - 123
- You cloudy princes and heart-sorrowing peers
- That bear this heavy mutual load of moan,
- Now cheer each other in each other’s love.
- Though we have spent our harvest of this king,
- We are to reap the harvest of his son.
- The broken rancor of your high-swoll’n hates,
- But lately splinter’d, knit, and join’d together,
- Must gently be preserv’d, cherish’d, and kept.
- Me seemeth good that, with some little train,
- Forthwith from Ludlow the young Prince be fet
- Hither to London, to be crown’d our king.
- Why with some little train, my Lord of Buckingham?
Duke of Buckingham125 - 132
- Marry, my lord, lest by a multitude
- The new-heal’d wound of malice should break out,
- Which would be so much the more dangerous,
- By how much the estate is green and yet ungovern’d.
- Where every horse bears his commanding rein
- And may direct his course as please himself,
- As well the fear of harm, as harm apparent,
- In my opinion, ought to be prevented.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester133 - 134
- I hope the King made peace with all of us,
- And the compact is firm and true in me.
Rivers135 - 140
- And so in me, and so (I think) in all.
- Yet since it is but green, it should be put
- To no apparent likelihood of breach,
- Which haply by much company might be urg’d;
- Therefore I say with noble Buckingham,
- That it is meet so few should fetch the Prince.
- And so say I.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester142 - 145
- Then be it so, and go we to determine
- Who they shall be that straight shall post to Ludlow.
- Madam, and you, my sister, will you go
- To give your censures in this business?
Both Queen Elizabeth and Duchess of York146
- With all our hearts.
- Exeunt. Manent Buckingham and Richard.
Duke of Buckingham147 - 151
- My lord, whoever journeys to the Prince,
- For God sake let not us two stay at home;
- For by the way, I’ll sort occasion,
- As index to the story we late talk’d of,
- To part the Queen’s proud kindred from the Prince.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester152 - 155
- My other self, my counsel’s consistory,
- My oracle, my prophet, my dear cousin,
- I, as a child, will go by thy direction.
- Toward Ludlow then, for we’ll not stay behind.