Qu. A holy day shall this be kept heereafter: I would to God all strifes were well compounded. My Soueraigne Lord, I do beseech your Highnesse To take our Brother Clarence to your Grace

Rich. Why Madam, haue I offred loue for this, To be so flowted in this Royall presence? Who knowes not that the gentle Duke is dead?

They all start.

You do him iniurie to scorne his Coarse

King. Who knowes not he is dead? Who knowes he is? Qu. All-seeing heauen, what a world is this? Buc. Looke I so pale Lord Dorset, as the rest? Dor. I my good Lord, and no man in the presence, But his red colour hath forsooke his cheekes

King. Is Clarence dead? The Order was reuerst

Rich. But he (poore man) by your first order dyed, And that a winged Mercurie did beare: Some tardie Cripple bare the Countermand, That came too lagge to see him buried. God grant, that some lesse Noble, and lesse Loyall, Neerer in bloody thoughts, and not in blood, Deserue not worse then wretched Clarence did, And yet go currant from Suspition. Enter Earle of Derby.

Der. A boone my Soueraigne for my seruice done

King. I prethee peace, my soule is full of sorrow

Der. I will not rise, vnlesse your Highnes heare me

King. Then say at once, what is it thou requests

Der. The forfeit (Soueraigne) of my seruants life, Who slew to day a Riotous Gentleman, Lately attendant on the Duke of Norfolke

King. Haue I a tongue to doome my Brothers death? And shall that tongue giue pardon to a slaue? My Brother kill'd no man, his fault was Thought, And yet his punishment was bitter death. Who sued to me for him? Who (in my wrath) Kneel'd and my feet, and bid me be aduis'd? Who spoke of Brother-hood? who spoke of loue? Who told me how the poore soule did forsake The mighty Warwicke, and did fight for me? Who told me in the field at Tewkesbury, When Oxford had me downe, he rescued me: And said deare Brother liue, and be a King? Who told me, when we both lay in the Field, Frozen (almost) to death, how he did lap me Euen in his Garments, and did giue himselfe (All thin and naked) to the numbe cold night? All this from my Remembrance, brutish wrath Sinfully pluckt, and not a man of you Had so much grace to put it in my minde. But when your Carters, or your wayting Vassalls Haue done a drunken Slaughter, and defac'd The precious Image of our deere Redeemer, You straight are on your knees for Pardon, pardon, And I (vniustly too) must grant it you. But for my Brother, not a man would speake, Nor I (vngracious) speake vnto my selfe For him poore Soule. The proudest of you all, Haue bin beholding to him in his life: Yet none of you, would once begge for his life. O God! I feare thy iustice will take hold On me, and you; and mine, and yours for this. Come Hastings helpe me to my Closset. Ah poore Clarence.

Exeunt. some with K[ing]. & Queen.

Rich. This is the fruits of rashnes: Markt you not, How that the guilty Kindred of the Queene Look'd pale, when they did heare of Clarence death. O! they did vrge it still vnto the King, God will reuenge it. Come Lords will you go, To comfort Edward with our company

Buc. We wait vpon your Grace.


Scena Secunda.

Enter the old Dutchesse of Yorke, with the two children of Clarence.

Edw. Good Grandam tell vs, is our Father dead? Dutch. No Boy

Daugh. Why do weepe so oft? And beate your Brest? And cry, O Clarence, my vnhappy Sonne

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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