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 1.

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.
“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.

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

- we'll reason - ] We'll talk.

Clar. 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 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 friendls, 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. † — "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,
O, 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 Plantagenet',
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,

8 — 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.

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

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

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