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Cancel his bond of life, dear God, I pray,
Q. Eliz. O, thou didst prophecy, the time would come,
tune; I callid thee then, poor shadow, painted queen; The presentation of but what I was, The flattering index of a direful pageant, One heav'd a high, to be hurld down below: A mother only mock'd with two fair babes; A dream of what thou wast; a garish flag, To be the aim of every dangerous shot; A sign of dignity, a breath, a bubble; A queen in jest, only to fill the scene. Where is thy husband now? where be thy brothers ? Where be thy two sons ? wherein dost thou joy? Who sues, and kneels, and says--God save the queen ? Where be the bending peers that flatter'd thee? Where be the thronging troops that follow'd thee ? Decline all this, and see what now thou art. For happy wife, a most distressed widow; For joyful mother, one that wails the name : For one being sued to, one that humbly sues ; For queen, a very caitiff crown'd with care : For one that scorn’d at me, now scorn’d of me; For one being feard of all, now fearing one; For one commanding all, obey'd of none. Thus hath the course of justice wheel'd about, And left thee but a very prey to time; Having no more but thought of what thou wert,
To torture thee the more, being what thou art.
Q. Eliz. O thou well skill'd in curses, stay a while, And teach me how to curse mine enemies.
Q. Mar. Forbear to sleep the night, and fast the day: Compare dead happiness with living woe; Think that thy babes were fairer than they were, And he, that slew them, fouler than he is : Bettering thy loss makes the bad-causer worse; Revolving this will teach thee how to curse. Q. Eliz. My words are dull, O, quicken them with
thine! Q. Mar. Thy woes will make them sharp and pierce like mine.
[Exit Q. MARGARET. Duch. Why should calamity be full of words ?
Q. Eliz. Windy attorneys to their client woes, Airy succeeders of intestate joys, Poor breathing orators of miseries! Let them have scope: though what they do impart Help nothing else, yet do they ease the heart.
Duch. If so, then be not tongue-ty'd : go with me, And in the breath of bitter words let's smother My damned son, that thy two sweet sons smother'd.
[Drum within. I hear his drum,-be copious in exclaims.
Enter King RICHARD, and his Train, marching. K. Rich. Who intercepts me in my expedition?
Duch. V, she, that might have intercepted thee, By strangling thee in her accursed womb, From all the slaughters, wretch, that thou hast done.
Q. Eliz. Hid'st thou that forehead with a golden
Where should be branded, if that right were right,
Q. Eliz. Where is the gentle Rivers, Vaughan, Grey?
K. Rich. A flourish, trumpets !--strike alarum, drums! Let not the heavens hear these tell-tale women Rail on the Lord's anointed : Strike, I say.
Duch. Art thou my son ?
K. Rich. Madam, I have a touch of your condition, That cannot brook the accent of reproof.
Duch. O, let me speak.
K. Rich. And brief, good mother; for I am in haste.
Duch. Art thou so hasty? I have staid for thee, God knows, in torment and in agony:
K. Rich. And came I not at last to comfort you?
Duch. No, by the holy rood, thou know'st it well,
call'd your grace
Duch. I pry'thee, hear me speak.
Duch. Hear me a word;
K. Rich. So.
Duch. Either thou wilt die by God's just ordinance, Ere from this war thou turn a conqueror; Or I with grief and extreme age shall perish, And never look upon thy face again. Therefore, take with thee my most heavy curse; Which, in the day of battle, tire thee more, Than all the complete armour that thou wear’st ! My prayers on the adverse party fight;
And there the little souls of Edward's children
rit to curse
(Going K. Rich. Stay, madam, I must speak a word with you.
Q. Eliz. I have no more sons of the royal blood, For thee to murder: for my daughters, Richard, They shall be praying nuns, not weeping queens; And therefore level not to hit their lives.
K. Rich. You have a daughter call’d-Elizabeth, Virtuous and fair, royal and gracious.
Q. Eliz. And must she die for this? O, let her live,
K. Rich. Wrong not her birth, she is of royal blood.
site. Q. Eliz. No, to their lives bad friends were contrary. K. Rich. All unavoided is the doom of destiny.
Q. Eliz. True, when avoided grace makes destiny: My babes were destin'd to a fairer death, If grace had bless'd thee with a fairer life.
K. Rich. You speak, as if that I had slain my cousins.