Imatges de pÓgina

Who are they, that complain unto the king,
That I, forsooth, am stern, and love them not?
By holy Paul, they love his grace but lightly,
That fill his ears with such dissentious rumours.
Because I cannot flatter, and speak fair,
Smile in men's faces, smooth, deceive, and cog,
Duck with French nods and apish courtesy, 8
I must be held a rancorous enemy.

Cannot a plain man live, and think no harm,
But thus his simple truth must be abus'd
By silken, sly, insinuating Jacks?

Grey. To whom in all this presence speaks your grace? Glo. To thee, that hast nor honesty, nor grace.

or thee?

When have I injur'd thee? when done thee wrong?-
Or thee?
or any of your faction?
A plague upon you all! His royal grace, —

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Whom God preserve better than you would wish!
Cannot be quiet scarce a breathing-while,

But you must trouble him with lewd complaints.


Q. Eliz. Brother of Gloster, you mistake the matter:

The king, of his own royal disposition,

And not provok'd by any suitor else;
Aiming, belike, at your interior hatred,
That in your outward actions shows itself,
Against my children, brothers, and myself,
Makes him to send; that thereby he may gather
The ground of your ill-will, and so remove it.

Glo. I cannot tell; - The world is grown so bad,
That wrens may prey where eagles dare not perch:


speak fair,

Smile in men's faces, smooth, deceive, and cog,

Duck with French nods and apish courtesy,] An importation of artificial manners seems to have afforded our ancient poets a neverfailing topick of invective.

9 with lewd complaints.] Lewd, in the present instance, sig. nifies rude, ignorant; from the Anglo-Saxon, laewede, a laick. Chaucer often uses the word lewd, both for a laick and an ignorant person.


Since every Jack became a gentleman, 1
There's many a gentle person made a Jack.

Q. Eliz. Come, come, we know your meaning, brother

You envy my advancement, and my friends;

God grant, we never may have need of you!

Glo. Meantime, God grants that we have need of you: Our brother is imprison'd by your means,

Myself disgrac❜d, and the nobility

Held in contempt; while great promotions +
Are daily given, to ennoble those

That scarce, some two days since, were worth a noble.
Q. Eliz. By Him, that rais'd me to this careful height
From that contented hap which I enjoy'd,

I never did incense his majesty

Against the duke of Clarence, but have been

An earnest advocate to plead for him.

My lord, you do me shameful injury,

Falsely to draw me in these vile suspects.

Glo. You may deny that you were not the cause

Of my lord Hastings' late imprisonment.

Riv. She may, my lord; for

Glo. She may, lord Rivers?-why, who knows not so? She may do more, sir, than denying that:

She may help you to many fair preferments;
And then deny her aiding hand therein,
And lay those honours on your high desert.

What may she not? She may,—ay, marry, may she,

Riv. What, marry, may


Glo. What, marry, may she? marry with a king, A bachelor, a handsome stripling too :

I wis, your grandam had a worser match.

Q. Eliz. My lord of Gloster, I have too long borne

1 Since every Jack became a gentleman,] This proverbial expression at once demonstrates the origin of the term Jack so often used by Shakspeare. It means one of the very lowest class of people, among whom this name is of the most common and familiar kind.

+"while many fair promotions" — MALONE.


Your blunt upbraidings, and your bitter scoffs:
By heaven, I will acquaint his majesty,
Of those gross taunts I often have endur'd.
I had rather be a country servant-maid,
Than a great queen, with this condition -
To be so baited, scorn'd, and stormed at: +
Small joy have I in being England's queen.

Enter Queen MARGARET, behind.

Q. Mar. And lessen'd be that small, God, I beseech thee!

Thy honour, state, and seat, is due to me.

Glo. What? threat you me with telling of the king?
Tell him, and spare not: look, what I have said
I will avouch, in presence of the king:

I dare adventure to be sent to the Tower.
'Tis time to speak, my pains 2 are quite forgot.
Q. Mar. Out, devil! I remember them too well:
Thou kill'dst my husband Henry in the Tower,
And Edward, my poor son, at Tewksbury.

Glo. Ere you were queen, ay, or your husband king, I was a pack-horse in his great affairs;

A weeder-out of his proud adversaries,

A liberal rewarder of his friends;


To royalize his blood, I spilt mine own.

Q. Mar. Ay, and much better blood than his, or


Glo. In all which time, you and your husband Grey, Were factious for the house of Lancaster:

And, Rivers, so were you:


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In Margaret's battle at Saint Albans' slain?
Let me put in your minds, if you forget,

+"To be thus taunted, scorn'd, and baited at:". - MALONE.



my pains] My labours, my toils.

royalize —] i. e. to make royal.

"Yea," MALONE.

Margaret's battle-] Is Margaret's army.

What you have been ere now, and what you are;
Withal, what I have been, and what I am.

Q. Mar. A murd'rous villain, and so still thou art.
Glo. Poor Clarence did forsake his father Warwick,
Ay, and forswore himself, — Which Jesu pardon!
Q. Mar. Which God revenge!

Glo. To fight on Edward's party, for the crown;
And, for his meed, poor lord, he is mew'd up:
I would to God, my heart were flint like Edward's,
Or Edward's soft and pitiful, like mine;

I am too childish-foolish for this world.

Q. Mar. Hie thee to hell for shame, and leave this world,

Thou cacodæmon! there thy kingdon is.

Riv. My lord of Gloster, in those busy days,
Which here you urge, to prove us enemies,
We follow'd then our lord, our lawful king;
So should we you, if you should be our king.
Glo. If I should be?-I had rather be a pedlar:
Far be it from my heart, the thought thereof!

Q. Eliz. As little joy, my lord, as you suppose
You should enjoy, were you this country's king;
As little joy you may suppose in me,

That I enjoy, being the queen thereof.

Q. Mar. A little joy enjoys the queen thereof; For I am she, and altogether joyless.

I can no longer hold me patient.


Hear me, you wrangling pirates, that fall out
In sharing that which you have pill'd from me : 5
Which of you trembles not, that looks on me?
If not, that, I being queen, you bow like subjects;
Yet that, by you depos'd, you quake like rebels? —
Ah, gentle villain, do not turn away!

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which you have pill'd from me ;] To pill is to pillage. • Ah, gentle villain,] Gentle appears to be taken in its common

acceptation, but to be used ironically.

Glo. Foul wrinkled witch, what mak'st thou in my

sight? 7

Q. Mar. But repetition of what thou hast marr'd; That will I make, before I let thee


Glo. Wert thou not banished, on pain of death?

Q. Mar. I was; but I do find more pain in banishment, Than death can yield me here by my abode.

A husband, and a son, thou ow'st to me,
And thou, a kingdom ; - all of you, allegiance :
This sorrow that I have, by right is yours;
And all the pleasures you usurp, are mine.

Glo. The curse my noble father laid on thee,
When thou didst crown his warlike brows with paper,
And with thy scorns drew'st rivers from his eyes;
And then, to dry them, gav'st the duke a clout,
Steep'd in the faultless blood of pretty Rutland; -
His curses, then from bitterness of soul
Denounc'd against thee, are all fallen upon thee;
And God, not we, hath plagu'd thy bloody deed. 8
Q. Eliz. So just is God, to right the innocent.
Hast. O, 'twas the foulest deed, to slay that babe,
And the most merciless, that e'er was heard of.

Riv. Tyrants themselves wept when it was reported. Dor. No man but prophecy'd revenge for it. Buck. Northumberland, then present, wept to see it. Q. Mar. What! were you snarling all, before I came, Ready to catch each other by the throat,

And turn you all your hatred now on me?

Did York's dread curse prevail so much with heaven,
That Henry's death, my lovely Edward's death,

Their kingdom's loss, my woful banishment,
Could all but answer for that peevish brat?

7-- what mak'st thou in my sight?] An obsolete expression for what dost thou in my sight.

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hath plagu❜d thy bloody deed.] To plague, in ancient language, is to punish.

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