Act IV, Scene 1
Outside the Tower.
- Enter the Queen Elizabeth, the Duchess of
- York, and Marquess Dorset at one door; Anne
- Duchess of Gloucester leading Lady Margaret
- Plantagenet, Clarence’s young daughter, at
- another door.
Duchess of York1 - 5
- Who meets us here? My niece Plantagenet,
- Led in the hand of her kind aunt of Gloucester?
- Now, for my life, she’s wand’ring to the Tower,
- On pure heart’s love, to greet the tender Prince.
- Daughter, well met.
Lady Anne6 - 7
- God give your Graces both
- A happy and a joyful time of day!
- As much to you, good sister! Whither away?
Lady Anne9 - 11
- No farther than the Tower, and as I guess,
- Upon the like devotion as yourselves,
- To gratulate the gentle Princes there.
Queen Elizabeth12 - 15
- Kind sister, thanks, we’ll enter all together.
- Enter the Lieutenant Brakenbury.
- And in good time, here the Lieutenant comes.
- Master Lieutenant, pray you, by your leave,
- How doth the Prince and my young son of York?
Brakenbury16 - 18
- Right well, dear madam. By your patience,
- I may not suffer you to visit them,
- The King hath strictly charg’d the contrary.
- The King? Who’s that?
- I mean the Lord Protector.
Queen Elizabeth21 - 23
- The Lord protect him from that kingly title!
- Hath he set bounds between their love and me?
- I am their mother, who shall bar me from them?
Duchess of York24
- I am their father’s mother, I will see them.
Lady Anne25 - 27
- Their aunt I am in law, in love their mother;
- Then bring me to their sights. I’ll bear thy blame,
- And take thy office from thee on my peril.
Brakenbury28 - 29
- No, madam, no; I may not leave it so:
- I am bound by oath, and therefore pardon me.
- Exit Lieutenant.
- Enter Stanley.
Stanley30 - 34
- Let me but meet you, ladies, an hour hence,
- And I’ll salute your Grace of York as mother
- And reverend looker-on of two fair queens.
- To Anne.
- Come, madam, you must straight to Westminster,
- There to be crowned Richard’s royal queen.
Queen Elizabeth35 - 37
- Ah, cut my lace asunder,
- That my pent heart may have some scope to beat,
- Or else I swoon with this dead-killing news!
- Despiteful tidings, O unpleasing news!
Marquess of Dorset39
- Be of good cheer. Mother, how fares your Grace?
Queen Elizabeth40 - 48
- O Dorset, speak not to me, get thee gone!
- Death and destruction dogs thee at thy heels;
- Thy mother’s name is ominous to children.
- If thou wilt outstrip death, go cross the seas,
- And live with Richmond, from the reach of hell.
- Go hie thee, hie thee from this slaughter-house,
- Lest thou increase the number of the dead,
- And make me die the thrall of Margaret’s curse,
- Nor mother, wife, nor England’s counted queen.
Stanley49 - 53
- Full of wise care is this your counsel, madam;
- Take all the swift advantage of the hours.
- You shall have letters from me to my son
- In your behalf, to meet you on the way.
- Be not ta’en tardy by unwise delay.
Duchess of York54 - 57
- O ill-dispersing wind of misery!
- O my accursed womb, the bed of death!
- A cockatrice hast thou hatch’d to the world,
- Whose unavoided eye is murderous.
- Come, madam, come, I in all haste was sent.
Lady Anne59 - 64
- And I with all unwillingness will go.
- O would to God that the inclusive verge
- Of golden metal that must round my brow
- Were red-hot steel, to sear me to the brains!
- Anointed let me be with deadly venom,
- And die ere men can say, “God save the Queen!”
Queen Elizabeth65 - 66
- Go, go, poor soul, I envy not thy glory,
- To feed my humor wish thyself no harm.
Lady Anne67 - 88
- No! Why? When he that is my husband now
- Came to me as I follow’d Henry’s corse,
- When scarce the blood was well wash’d from his hands
- Which issued from my other angel husband,
- And that dear saint which then I weeping follow’d—
- O, when, I say, I look’d on Richard’s face,
- This was my wish: “Be thou,” quoth I, “accurs’d
- For making me, so young, so old a widow!
- And when thou wed’st, let sorrow haunt thy bed;
- And be thy wife—if any be so mad—
- More miserable by the life of thee
- Than thou hast made me by my dear lord’s death!”
- Lo, ere I can repeat this curse again,
- Within so small a time, my woman’s heart
- Grossly grew captive to his honey words,
- And prov’d the subject of mine own soul’s curse,
- Which hitherto hath held my eyes from rest;
- For never yet one hour in his bed
- Did I enjoy the golden dew of sleep,
- But with his timorous dreams was still awak’d.
- Besides, he hates me for my father Warwick,
- And will, no doubt, shortly be rid of me.
- Poor heart, adieu, I pity thy complaining.
- No more than with my soul I mourn for yours.
Marquess of Dorset91
- Farewell, thou woeful welcomer of glory!
- Adieu, poor soul, that tak’st thy leave of it!
Duchess of York93 - 98
- To Dorset.
- Go thou to Richmond, and good fortune guide thee!
- To Anne.
- Go thou to Richard, and good angels tend thee!
- To Queen Elizabeth.
- Go thou to sanctuary, and good thoughts possess thee!
- I to my grave, where peace and rest lie with me!
- Eighty odd years of sorrow have I seen,
- And each hour’s joy wrack’d with a week of teen.
Queen Elizabeth99 - 105
- Stay, yet look back with me unto the Tower.
- Pity, you ancient stones, those tender babes
- Whom envy hath immur’d within your walls—
- Rough cradle for such little pretty ones!
- Rude ragged nurse, old sullen playfellow
- For tender princes—use my babies well!
- So foolish sorrows bids your stones farewell.