Dut. Either thou wilt dye, by Gods iust ordinance Ere from this warre thou turne a Conqueror: Or I with greefe and extreame Age shall perish, And neuer more behold thy face againe. Therefore take with thee my most greeuous Curse, Which in the day of Battell tyre thee more Then all the compleat Armour that thou wear'st. My Prayers on the aduerse party fight, And there the little soules of Edwards Children, Whisper the Spirits of thine Enemies, And promise them Successe and Victory: Bloody thou art, bloody will be thy end: Shame serues thy life, and doth thy death attend. Enter.

Qu. Though far more cause, yet much lesse spirit to curse Abides in me, I say Amen to her

Rich. Stay Madam, I must talke a word with you

Qu. I haue no more sonnes of the Royall Blood For thee to slaughter. For my Daughters (Richard) They shall be praying Nunnes, not weeping Queenes: And therefore leuell not to hit their liues

Rich. You haue a daughter call'd Elizabeth, Vertuous and Faire, Royall and Gracious? Qu. And must she dye for this? O let her liue, And Ile corrupt her Manners, staine her Beauty, Slander my Selfe, as false to Edwards bed: Throw ouer her the vaile of Infamy, So she may liue vnscarr'd of bleeding slaughter, I will confesse she was not Edwards daughter

Rich. Wrong not her Byrth, she is a Royall Princesse

Qu. To saue her life, Ile say she is not so

Rich. Her life is safest onely in her byrth

Qu. And onely in that safety, dyed her Brothers

Rich. Loe at their Birth, good starres were opposite

Qu. No, to their liues, ill friends were contrary

Rich. All vnauoyded is the doome of Destiny

Qu. True: when auoyded grace makes Destiny. My Babes were destin'd to a fairer death, If grace had blest thee with a fairer life

Rich. You speake as if that I had slaine my Cosins? Qu. Cosins indeed, and by their Vnckle couzend, Of Comfort, Kingdome, Kindred, Freedome, Life, Whose hand soeuer lanch'd their tender hearts, Thy head (all indirectly) gaue direction. No doubt the murd'rous Knife was dull and blunt, Till it was whetted on thy stone-hard heart, To reuell in the Intrailes of my Lambes. But that still vse of greefe, makes wilde greefe tame, My tongue should to thy eares not name my Boyes, Till that my Nayles were anchor'd in thine eyes: And I in such a desp'rate Bay of death, Like a poore Barke, of sailes and tackling reft, Rush all to peeces on thy Rocky bosome

Rich. Madam, so thriue I in my enterprize And dangerous successe of bloody warres, As I intend more good to you and yours, Then euer you and yours by me were harm'd

Qu. What good is couer'd with the face of heauen, To be discouered, that can do me good

Rich. Th' aduancement of your children, gentle Lady Qu. Vp to some Scaffold, there to lose their heads

Rich. Vnto the dignity and height of Fortune, The high Imperiall Type of this earths glory

Qu. Flatter my sorrow with report of it: Tell me, what State, what Dignity, what Honor, Canst thou demise to any childe of mine

Rich. Euen all I haue; I, and my selfe and all, Will I withall indow a childe of thine: So in the Lethe of thy angry soule, Thou drowne the sad remembrance of those wrongs, Which thou supposest I haue done to thee

Qu. Be breefe, least that the processe of thy kindnesse Last longer telling then thy kindnesse date

Rich. Then know, That from my Soule, I loue thy Daughter

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

All Pages of This Book