[1.2]
Enter Lady Anne [in mourning, attended by Tressill and Barkley] with the hearse of [King Henry VI, carried by pallbearers, and guards bearing halberds].
175Anne
Set down, set down your honorable load,
If honor may be shrouded in a hearse,
Whilst I a while obsequiously lament
The untimely fall of virtuous Lancaster.
[The hearse is set down.]
Poor key-cold figure of a holy king,
180Pale ashes of the House of Lancaster,
Thou bloodless remnant of that royal blood;
Be it lawful that I invocate thy ghost
To hear the lamentations of poor Anne,
Wife to thy Edward, to thy slaughtered son,
185Stabbed by the selfsame hands that made these holes,
Lo, in those windows that let forth thy life
I pour the helpless balm of my poor eyes.
Cursed be the hand that made these fatal holes,
Cursed be the heart that had the heart to do it.
More direful hap betide that hated wretch
That makes us wretched by the death of thee
Than I can wish to adders, spiders, toads,
Or any creeping, venomed thing that lives.
195If ever he have child, abortive be it,
Prodigious and untimely brought to light,
Whose ugly and unnatural aspect
May fright the hopeful mother at the view.
200If ever he have wife, let her be made
As miserable by the death of him
As I am made by my poor lord and thee.
Come now, towards Chertsey with your holy load,
[The pallbearers pick up the hearse.]
Taken from Paul's to be interrèd there,
205And still as you are weary of the weight,
Rest you whiles I lament King Henry's corse.
Enter [Richard].
Richard
Stay, you that bear the corse, and set it down.
Anne
What black magician conjures up this fiend
210To stop devoted charitable deeds?
Richard[Drawing his sword.]
Villain, set down the corse or by Saint Paul
I'll make a corse of him that disobeys.
Gentleman
My lord, stand back and let the coffin pass.
[A guard levels his halberd at Richard.]
Richard
Unmannered dog, 215stand thou when I command.
Advance thy halberd higher than my breast
Or by Saint Paul I'll strike thee to my foot
And spurn upon thee, beggar, for thy boldness.
[The hearse is set down.]
Anne
What? Do you tremble, are you all afraid?
220Alas, I blame you not, for you are mortal
And mortal eyes cannot endure the devil.
[To Richard] Avaunt, thou dreadful minister of hell.
Thou hadst but power over his mortal body;
His soul thou canst not have; therefore be gone.
225Richard
Sweet saint, for charity, be not so curst.
Anne
Foul devil, for God's sake hence and trouble us not,
For thou hast made the happy earth thy hell,
Filled it with cursing cries and deep exclaims.
230If thou delight to view thy heinous deeds,
Behold this pattern of thy butcheries.
[She indicates, or uncovers, the dead body.]
Oh gentlemen, see, see, dead Henry's wounds
Open their congealed mouths and bleed afresh.
Blush, blush, thou lump of foul deformity,
235For 'tis thy presence that exhales this blood
From cold and empty veins where no blood dwells.
Thy deed, inhuman and unnatural,
Provokes this deluge most unnatural.
O God which this blood madest, revenge his death;
240O Earth which this blood drink'st, revenge his death.
Either heaven with lightning strike the murderer dead
Or Earth gape open wide and eat him quick
As thou dost swallow up this good King's blood
Which his hell-governed arm hath butchered.
245Richard
Lady, you know no rules of charity,
Which renders good for bad, blessings for curses.
Anne
Villain, thou knowest no law of God nor man:
No beast so fierce but knows some touch of pity.
Richard
But I know none, and therefore am no beast.
250Anne
Oh wonderful, when devils tell the truth!
Richard
More wonderful when angels are so angry.
Vouchsafe, divine perfection of a woman,
Of these supposèd evils to give me leave
By circumstance but to acquit myself.
255Anne
Vouchsafe, defused infection of a man,
For these known evils but to give me leave
By circumstance to curse thy cursèd self.
Richard
Fairer than tongue can name thee, let me have
Some patient leisure to excuse myself.
260Anne
Fouler than heart can think thee, thou canst make
No excuse current but to hang thyself.
Richard
By such despair I should accuse myself.
Anne
And by despairing shouldst thou stand excused
265For doing worthy vengeance on thyself
Which didst unworthy slaughter upon others.
Richard
Say that I slew them not.
Anne
Why then they are not dead,
But dead they are, and, devilish slave, by thee.
270Richard
I did not kill your husband.
Anne
Why then he is alive.
Richard
Nay, he is dead, and slain by Edward's hand.
Anne
In thy foul throat thou liest. Queen Margaret saw
275Thy bloody falchion smoking in his blood,
The which thou once didst bend against her breast,
But that thy brothers beat aside the point.
Richard
I was provokèd by her slanderous tongue
Which laid their guilt upon my guiltless shoulders.
280Anne
Thou wast provokèd by thy bloody mind
Which never dreamed on aught but butcheries;
Didst thou not kill this King?
Richard
I grant ye, yea.
Anne
Dost grant me, hedgehog? 285Then God grant me too
Thou mayest be damnèd for that wicked deed;
Oh, he was gentle, mild and virtuous.
Richard
The fitter for the King of Heaven that hath him.
Anne
He is in heaven where thou shalt never come.
290Richard
Let him thank me that holp to send him thither,
For he was fitter for that place than earth.
Anne
And thou unfit for any place but hell.
Richard
Yes, one place else, if you will hear me name it.
295Anne
Some dungeon.
Richard
Your bedchamber.
Anne
Ill rest betide the chamber where thou liest!
Richard
So will it, madam, till I lie with you.
Anne
I hope so.
300Richard
I know so; but gentle Lady Anne,
To leave this keen encounter of our wits
And fall somewhat into a slower method,
Is not the causer of the timeless deaths
Of these Plantagenets, Henry and Edward,
305As blameful as the executioner?
Anne
Thou art the cause (*of that most cursed effect.
Richard
Your beauty was the cause of that effect,
Your beauty which did haunt me in my sleep
To undertake the death of all the world
310So I might rest one hour in your sweet bosom.
Anne
If I thought that, I tell thee, homicide,
These nails should rend that beauty from my cheeks.
Richard
These eyes could never endure sweet beauty's wrack.
You should not blemish them if I stood by.
315As all the world is cheerèd by the sun,
So I by that, it is my day, my life.
Anne
Black night overshade thy day, and death thy life.
Richard
Curse not thyself, fair creature, thou art both.
320Anne
I would I were, to be revenged on thee.
Richard
It is a quarrel most unnatural
To be revenged on him that loveth you.
Anne
It is a quarrel just and reasonable
To be revenged on him that slew my husband.
325Richard
He that bereft thee, lady, of thy husband
Did it to help thee to a better husband.
Anne
His better doth not breathe upon the earth.
Richard
Go to, he lives that loves you better than he could.
Anne
Name him.
330Richard
Plantagenet.
Anne
Why that was he.
Richard
The self-same name, but one of better nature.
Anne
Where is he?
Richard
Here.
She spit[s] at him.
335Why dost thou spit at me?
Anne
Would it were mortal poison for thy sake.
Richard
Never came poison from so sweet a place.
Anne
Never hung poison on a fouler toad;
Out of my sight, thou dost infect my eyes.
340Richard
Thine eyes, sweet lady, have infected mine.
Anne
Would they were basilisks to strike thee dead.
Richard
I would they were, that I might die at once,
For now they kill me with a living death.
[He weeps.]
Those eyes of thine from mine have drawn salt tears,
345Shamed their aspect with store of childish drops.
I never sued to friend nor enemy,
My tongue could never learn sweet soothing words,
360But now thy beauty is proposed my fee
My proud heart sues and prompts my tongue to speak.
[She looks scornfully at him.]
Teach not thy lips such scorn, for they were made
For kissing, lady, not for such contempt.
365If thy revengeful heart cannot forgive,
Lo, here I lend thee this sharp pointed sword,
[Richard hands Anne his sword.]
Which, if thou please to hide in this true bosom
And let the soul forth that adoreth thee,
I lay it naked to the deadly stroke
370And humbly beg the death upon my knee.
[He kneels and lays his breast open. She offers at it with his sword.]
Nay, do not pause, 'twas I that killed your husband,
But 'twas thy beauty that provokèd me.
Nay, now dispatch, 'twas I that killed King Henry,
375But 'twas thy heavenly face that set me on.
Here she lets fall the sword.
Take up the sword again or take up me.
Arise dissembler, though I wish thy death,
I will not be the executioner.
380Richard
Then bid me kill myself and I will do it.
I have already.
Richard
Tush, that was in thy rage.
[Richard takes up the sword and points it toward his heart.]
Speak it again and, even with the word,
That hand which for thy love did kill thy love
385Shall for thy love kill a far truer love.
To both their deaths shalt thou be accessory.
I would I knew thy heart.
Richard
'Tis figured in my tongue.
I fear me both are false.
390Richard
Then never was man true.
Well, well, put up your sword.
Richard
Say then my peace is made.
[Richard stands and sheathes the sword.]
That shall you know hereafter.
Richard
But shall I live in hope?
All men, I hope, live so.
Richard
Vouchsafe to wear this ring.
[Richard offers Anne a ring.]
To take is not to give.
[He puts it on her finger.]
Richard
Look how this ring encompasseth thy finger:
Even so thy breast encloseth my poor heart.
Wear both of them, for both of them are thine,
400And if thy poor, devoted suppliant may
But beg one favor at thy gracious hand
Thou dost confirm his happiness for ever.
What is it?
Richard
That it would please thee leave these sad designs
405To him that hath more cause to be a mourner
And presently repair to Crosby Place
Where, after I have solemnly interred
At Chertsey Monastery this noble King
And wet his grave with my repentant tears,
410I will with all expedient duty see you.
For divers unknown reasons, I beseech you
Grant me this boon.
With all my heart, and much it joys me too
To see you are become so penitent.
415Tressill and Barkley, go along with me.
Richard
Bid me farewell.
'Tis more than you deserve:
But since you teach me how to flatter you,
Imagine I have said farewell already.
Exit [with Tressill and Barkley.]
420Richard
Sirs, take up the corse.
[The pallbearers take up the hearse.]
Servant
Towards Chertsey, noble lord?
Richard
No, to Whitefriars; there attend my coming.
Exeunt [pallbearers with the hearse, returning the way they came].[Richard remains.]
Was ever woman in this humor wooed?
425Was ever woman in this humor won?
I'll have her, but I will not keep her long.
What, I that killed her husband and his father,
To take her in her heart's extremest hate,
With curses in her mouth, tears in her eyes,
430The bleeding witness of her hatred by,
Having God, her conscience, and these bars against me,
And I nothing to back my suit at all
But the plain devil and dissembling looks,
And yet to win her? All the world to nothing. 435Hah!
Hath she forgot already that brave Prince,
Edward, her lord, whom I some three months since
Stabbed in my angry mood at Tewkesbury?
A sweeter and a lovelier gentleman
440Framed in the prodigality of nature,
Young, valiant, wise, and no doubt right royal,
The spacious world cannot again afford.
And will she yet debase her eyes on me
That cropped the golden prime of this sweet Prince
445And made her widow to a woeful bed;
On me whose all not equals Edward's moiety;
On me that halt, and am unshapen thus --
My dukedom to a beggarly denier,
I do mistake my person all this while!
450Upon my life she finds, although I cannot,
Myself to be a marvellous proper man.
I'll be at charges for a looking glass
And entertain some score or two of tailors
To study fashions to adorn my body.
455Since I am crept in favor with myself
I will maintain it with some little cost --
But first I'll turn yon fellow in his grave
And then return lamenting to my love.
Shine out, fair sun, till I have bought a glass
460That I may see my shadow as I pass.
Exit.