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DYING SPEECH OF THE EARL OF WARWICK.
Aн, who is nigh? come to me, friend, or foe,
And tell me, who is victor, York, or Warwick?
Why ask I that? my mangled body shows,
My blood, my want of strength, my sick heart shows,
That I must yield my body to the earth,
And, by my fall the conquest to my foe.
Thus yields the cedar to the axe's edge,
Whose arms gave shelter to the princely eagle,
Under whose shade the ramping lion slept;
Whose top-branch over-peer'd Jove's spreading tree,
And kept low shrubs from winter's powerful wind.
These eyes, that now are dimm'd with death's black
Have been as piercing as the mid-day sun,
To search the secret treasons of the world:
The wrinkles in my brows now fill'd with blood,
Were liken'd oft to kingly sepulchres;
For who liv'd king, but I could dig his grave?
And who durst smile, when Warwick bent his brow?
Lo, now my glory's smear'd in dust and blood!
My parks, my walks, my manors that I had,
Even now forsake me; and, of all my lands,
Is nothing left me, but my body's length!
QUEEN MARGARET'S SPEECH BEFORE THE BATTLE OF
Lords, knights, and gentlemen, what I should say, My tears gainsay*; for every word I speak, Ye see, I drink the water of mine eyes.
[reign, Therefore, no more but this:-Henry, your sove
Is prisoner to the foe; his state usurp❜d,
His realm a slaughter-house, his subjects slain,
His statutes cancell'd, and his treasure spent ;
And yonder is the wolf, that makes this spoil.
You fight in justice: then, in God's name, lords,
Be valiant, and give signal to the fight.
OMENS ON THE BIRTH OF RICHARD III.
The owl shriek'd at thy birth, an evil sign; The night-crow cried, aboding luckless time; Dogs howl'd, and hideous tempests shook down trees; The raven rook'd* her on the chimney's top, And chattering pies in dismal discords sung. Thy mother felt more than a mother's pain, And yet brought forth less than a mother's hope; To wit, an indigest deformed lump,
Not like the fruit of such a goodly tree.
Teeth hadst thou in thy head, when thou wast born, To signify, thou cam'st to bite the world.
THE DUKE OF GLOSTER ON HIS OWN DEFORMITY.
ow are our brows bound with victorious wreaths;
Our bruised arms hung up for monuments;
Our stern alarums chang'd to merry meetings,
Our dreadful marches to delightful measurest.
Grim-visag'd war hath smooth'd his wrinkled front;
And now, instead of mounting barbed ‡ steeds,
To fright the souls of fearful adversaries,-
He capers nimbly in a lady's chamber,
To the lascivious pleasing of a lute.
But I, that am not shap'd for sportive tricks,
Nor made to court an amorous looking-glass;
I, that am rudely stamp'd, and want love's majesty,
To strut before a wanton ambling nymph;
I, that am curtail'd of this fair proportion,
Cheated of feature by dissembling nature,
* To rook, signified to squat down or lodge on any thing. + Armed.
Deform'd, unfinish'd, sent before my time
Into this breathing world, scarce half made up,
And that so lamely and unfashionable,
That dogs bark at me, as I halt by them ;—
Why I, in this weak piping time of peace,
Have no delight to pass away the time;
Unless to spy my shadow in the sun,
And descant on mine own deformity;
And therefore, since I cannot prove a lover,
To entertain these fair well-spoken days,-
I am determined to prove a villain,
And hate the idle pleasures of these days.
GLOSTER'S LOVE FOR LADY ANNE.
Those eyes of thine from mine have drawn salt tears. Sham'd their aspects with store of childish drops: These eyes, which never shed remorseful* tear,Not, when my father York and Edward wept, To hear the piteous moan that Rutland made, When black-fac'd Clifford shook his sword at him: Nor when thy war-like father, like a child, Told the sad story of my father's death; And twenty times made pause, to sob, and weep, That all the standers-by had wet their cheeks, Like trees bedash'd with rain: in that sad time, My manly eyes did scorn an humble tear; And what these sorrows could not thence exhale, Thy beauty hath, and made them blind with weeping. I never su'd to friend, nor enemy;
My tongue could never learn sweet soothing word; But now thy beauty is propos'd my fee,
My proud heart sues, and prompts my tongue to speak.
GLOSTER'S PRAISES OF HIS OWN PERSON, AFTER HIS
My dukedom to a beggarly denier†,
I do mistake my person all this while :
Upon my life, she finds, though I cannot,
Myself to be a marvellous proper man.
I'll be at charges for a looking-glass;
And entertain a score or two of tailors,
To study fashions to adorn my body:
Since I am crept in favour with myself,
I will maintain it with some little cost.
QUEEN MARGARET'S EXECRATIONS ON GLOSTER.
The worm of conscience still be-gnaw thy soul !
Thy friends suspect for traitors while thou liv'st,
And take deep traitors for thy dearest friends!
No sleep close up that deadly eye of thine,
Unless it be while some tormenting dream
Affrights thee with a hell of ugly devils!
Thou elvish-mark'd, abortive, rooting hog!
Thou that wast seal'd in thy nativity
The slave of nature, and the son of hell!
Thou slander of thy mother's heavy womb!
Thou loathed issue of thy father's loins!
Thou rag of honour, thou detested-
I was born so high,
Our aiery* buildeth in the cedar's top,
And dallies with the wind, and scorns the sun.
But then I sigh, and, with a piece of scripture, Tell them-that God bids us do good for evil: And thus I clothe my naked villany
With old odd ends, stol'n forth of holy writ;
And seem a saint, when most I play the devil.
What was your dream, my lord? I pray you, tell me. Clar. Methought, that I had broken from the Tower, And was embark'd to cross to Burgundy:
And, in my company, my brother Gloster;
Who from my cabin tempted me to walk
Upon the hatches; thence we look'd toward England,
And cited up a thousand heavy times,
During the wars of York and Lancaster
That had befall'n us. As we pac'd along
Upon the giddy footing of the hatches,
Methought that Gloster stumbled; and, in falling,
Struck me, that thought to stay him, overboard,
Into the tumbling billows of the main.
O Lord! methought, what pain it was to drown!
What dreadful noise of water in mine ears!
What sights of ugly death within mine eyes!
Methought I saw a thousand fearful wrecks;
A thousand men, that fishes gnaw'd upon;
Wedges of gold, great anchors, heaps of pearl,
Inestimable stones, unvalued jewels,
All scatter'd in the bottom of the sea,
Some lay in dead men's skulls; and, in those holes
Where eyes did once inhabit, there were crept
(As 'twere in scorn of eyes,) reflecting gems,
That woo'd the slimy bottom of the deep,
And mock'd the dead bones that lay scatter'd by.
Brak. Had you such leisure in the time of death,
To gaze upon these secrets of the deep?
Clar. Methought, I had; and often did I strive
To yield the ghost: but still the envious flood
Kept in my soul, and would not let it forth
To seek the empty, vast, and wand'ring air:
But smother'd it within my panting bulk*,
Which almost burst to belch it in the sea.
Brak. Awak'd you not with this sore agony? Clar. O, no, my dream was lengthen'd after life; O, then began the tempest to my soul!
I pass'd, methought, the melancholy flood,
With that grim ferryman which poets write of,
Unto the kingdom of perpetual night.
The first that there did greet my stranger soul,
Was my great father-in-law, renowned Warwick,
Who cry'd aloud,-What scourge for perjury ·
Can this dark monarchy afford false Clarence?