תמונות בעמוד

Brak. I will, my lord; God give your grace good

rest !-(CLARENCE reposes himself on a Chair. Sorrow breaks seasons, and reposing hours, Makes the night morning, and the noon-tide night. Princes have but their titles for their glories, An outward honour 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 the Two Murderers.

1 Murd. Ho! who's here? Brak. What would'st thou, fellow ? and how cam'st

thou hither? 1 Murd. I would speak with Clarence, and I came hither on my legs.

Brak. What, so brief?

2 Murd. O, sir, 'tis better to be brief than tedious:Let him see our commission t; talk no more.

(A Paper is delivered to BRAKENBURY, who

reads it.
Brak. 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 of the meaning.
Here are the keys;—there sits the duke asleep:
I'll to the king; and signify to him,
That thus I have resign'd to you my charge I.

1 Murd. You may, sir ; 'tis a point of wisdom: Fare you well.

[Exit BRAKENBURY. 2 Murd. What, shall we stab him as he sleeps ?

1 Murd. No; he'll say, 'twas done cowardly, when he wakes.

+ “Show him our commission;"-Malone.
1 “my charge to you.”-Malone.

2 Murd. When he wakes! why, fool, he shall never wake until the great judgment day.

1 Murd. Why, then he'll say, we stabb’d him sleeping

2 Murd. The urging of that word, judgment, hath bred a kind of remorse in me.

I Murd. What ? art thou afraid ?

2 Murd. Not to kill him, having a warrant for it; but to be damn’d for killing him, from the which no warrant can defend me.

1 Murd. I thought, thou had'st been resolute. 2 Murd. So I am, to let him live. 1 Murd. I'll back to the duke of Gloster, and tell

him so.

2 Murd. Nay, I pr’ythee, stay a little : I hope t, this holy humour of mine will change; it was wont to hold me but while one would tell twenty.

1 Murd. How dost thou feel thyself now?

2 Murd. 'Faith, some certain dregs of conscience are yet within me.

1 Murd. Remember our reward, when the deed's done.

2 Murd. Come, he dies; I had forgot the reward.
1 Murd. Where's thy conscience now?
2 Murd. In the duke of Gloster's purse.

1 Murd. So, when he opens his purse to give us our reward, thy conscience flies out.

2 Murd. 'Tis no matter; let it go; there's few or none will entertain it.

1 Murd. What, if it come to thee again?

2 Murd. I'll not meddle with it, it is a dangerous thing, 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 neighbour's wife, but it detects him: 'Tis a blushing shame-faced spirit, that

† "my holy humour,” &c.—Malone.

mutinies in a man's bosom; it fills one 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 turned out of all towns and cities for a dangerous thing; and every man that means to live well, endeavours to trust to himself, and live without it.

1 Murd. 'Zounds, it is even now at my elbow, persuading me not to kill the duke.

2 Murd. Take the devil in thy mind, and believe him not: he would insinuate with thee, but to make thee sigh.

1 Murd. I am strong-fram'd, he cannot prevail with me.

2 Murd. Spoke like a tall fellow “, that respects his reputation. Come, shall we fall to work ?

1 Murd. Take him over the costard" with the hilts of thy sword, and then throw him into the malmsey-butt, in the next room.

2 Murd. O excellent device ! and make a sop of him. 1 Murd. Soft! he wakes. 2 Murd. Strike. 1 Murd. No, we'll reason with him. Clar. Where art thou, keeper? give me a cup of

wine. 1 Murd. You shall have wine enough, my lord, anon. Clar. In God's name, what art thou ? 1 Murd. A man, as you are. Clar. But not, as I am, royal. 1 Murd. Nor you, as we are, loyal. Clar. Thy voice is thunder, but thy looks are humble. 1 Murd. My voice is now the king's, my looks mine


* Spoke like a tall fellow,] The meaning of tall, in old English, is stout, daring, fearless, and strong.

the costard -] i. e. the head : a name adopted from an apple shaped like a man's head.

we'll reason - ] We'll talk.

[ocr errors]

Clar. How darkly, and how deadly dost thou speak! Your

eyes do menace me: Why look you pale ? Who sent


hither ? Wherefore do you come ?
Both Murd. To, to, to,-
Clar. To murder me?
Both Murd. Ay, ay.

Clar. 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?

1 Murd. Offended us you have not, but the king. Clar. I shall be reconcil'd to him again. 2 Murd. Never, my lord; therefore prepare to die.

Clar. Are you call’d forth from out a world of men, To slay the innocent? What is my offence ? 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 for any goodness t, 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.

1 Murd. What we will do, we do upon command, 2 Murd. And he, that hath commanded, is our king.

Clar. Erroneous vassal! the great King of kings Hath in the table of his law commanded, That thou shalt do no murder; Wilt thou then Spurn at his edict, and fulfil a man's ? Take heed; for he holds vengeance in his hand, To hurl upon their heads that break his law. 2 Murd. And that same vengeance doth he hurl on


7 What lauful quest —] Quest is inquest or jury.
t - as you hope to have redemption,”—Malone.

For false forswearing, and for murder too:
Thou didst receive the sacrament, to fight
In quarrel of the house of Lancaster.

1 Murd. And, like a traitor to the name of God, Didst break that vow; and, with thy treacherous blade, Unrip'dst the bowels of thy sovereign's son. 2 Murd. Whom thou wast sworn to cherish and de

fend. 1 Murd. How canst thou urge God's dreadful law

to us,

When thou hast broke it in such dear degree?

Clar. 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,
0, know you, that he doth it publickly;
Take not the quarrel from his powerful arm;
He needs no indirect nor lawless course,
To cut off those that have offended him.

1 Murd. Who made thee then a bloody minister,
When gallant-springing, brave Plantageneto,
That princely novice', was struck dead by thee ?

Clar. My brother's love, the devil, and my rage.

1 Murd. Thy brother's love, our duty, and thy fault, Provoke us hither now to slaughter thee.

Clar. If you do 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,


dear -] This is a word of mere enforcement, and very frequently occurs, with different shades of meaning, in our author. + “Why, sirs, he sends," &c.- Malone. 1 “this sin ”-MALONE.

springing, Plantagenet,] Blooming Plantagenet; a prince in the spring of life.

novice,] Youth; one yet new to the world.



« הקודםהמשך »