Rich. The Ghostly Father now hath done his Shrift

Clarence. When hee was made a Shriuer, 'twas for shift

King. Brothers, you muse what Chat wee two haue had

Rich. The Widow likes it not, for shee lookes very sad

King. You'ld thinke it strange, if I should marrie her

Clarence. To who, my Lord? King. Why Clarence, to my selfe

Rich. That would be tenne dayes wonder at the least

Clarence. That's a day longer then a Wonder lasts

Rich. By so much is the Wonder in extremes

King. Well, ieast on Brothers: I can tell you both, Her suit is graunted for her Husbands Lands. Enter a Noble man

Nob. My gracious Lord, Henry your Foe is taken, And brought your Prisoner to your Pallace Gate

King. See that he be conuey'd vnto the Tower: And goe wee Brothers to the man that tooke him, To question of his apprehension. Widow goe you along: Lords vse her honourable.


Manet Richard.

Rich. I, Edward will vse Women honourably: Would he were wasted, Marrow, Bones, and all, That from his Loynes no hopefull Branch may spring, To crosse me from the Golden time I looke for: And yet, betweene my Soules desire, and me, The lustfull Edwards Title buryed, Is Clarence, Henry, and his Sonne young Edward, And all the vnlook'd-for Issue of their Bodies, To take their Roomes, ere I can place my selfe: A cold premeditation for my purpose. Why then I doe but dreame on Soueraigntie, Like one that stands vpon a Promontorie, And spyes a farre-off shore, where hee would tread, Wishing his foot were equall with his eye, And chides the Sea, that sunders him from thence, Saying, hee'le lade it dry, to haue his way: So doe I wish the Crowne, being so farre off, And so I chide the meanes that keepes me from it, And so (I say) Ile cut the Causes off, Flattering me with impossibilities: My Eyes too quicke, my Heart o're-weenes too much, Vnlesse my Hand and Strength could equall them. Well, say there is no Kingdome then for Richard: What other Pleasure can the World affoord? Ile make my Heauen in a Ladies Lappe, And decke my Body in gay Ornaments, And 'witch sweet Ladies with my Words and Lookes. Oh miserable Thought! and more vnlikely, Then to accomplish twentie Golden Crownes. Why Loue forswore me in my Mothers Wombe: And for I should not deale in her soft Lawes, Shee did corrupt frayle Nature with some Bribe, To shrinke mine Arme vp like a wither'd Shrub, To make an enuious Mountaine on my Back, Where sits Deformitie to mocke my Body; To shape my Legges of an vnequall size, To dis-proportion me in euery part: Like to a Chaos, or an vn-lick'd Beare-whelpe, That carryes no impression like the Damme. And am I then a man to be belou'd? Oh monstrous fault, to harbour such a thought. Then since this Earth affoords no Ioy to me, But to command, to check, to o're-beare such, As are of better Person then my selfe: Ile make my Heauen, to dreame vpon the Crowne, And whiles I liue, t' account this World but Hell, Vntill my mis-shap'd Trunke, that beares this Head, Be round impaled with a glorious Crowne. And yet I know not how to get the Crowne, For many Liues stand betweene me and home: And I, like one lost in a Thornie Wood, That rents the Thornes, and is rent with the Thornes, Seeking a way, and straying from the way, Not knowing how to finde the open Ayre, But toyling desperately to finde it out, Torment my selfe, to catch the English Crowne: And from that torment I will free my selfe, Or hew my way out with a bloody Axe. Why I can smile, and murther whiles I smile, And cry, Content, to that which grieues my Heart, And wet my Cheekes with artificiall Teares, And frame my Face to all occasions. Ile drowne more Saylers then the Mermaid shall, Ile slay more gazers then the Basiliske, Ile play the Orator as well as Nestor, Deceiue more slyly then Vlisses could, And like a Synon, take another Troy. I can adde Colours to the Camelion, Change shapes with Proteus, for aduantages, And set the murtherous Macheuill to Schoole. Can I doe this, and cannot get a Crowne? Tut, were it farther off, Ile plucke it downe. Enter.

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

All Pages of This Book