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An outward honour for an inward toil :
Enter the two Murderers. 1st Murd. Ho! who's here? Brak. What wouldst thou, fellow; and how
cam'st thou hither? 1st Murd. I would speak with Clarence, and I came hither on my legs.
Brak. What, so brief?
2nd Murd. O sir, 't is better to be brief than tedious. Shew him our commission; talk no more. [ A paper is delivered to BRAKENBURY, whoreads it.
Brak. I am in this commanded to delive: The noble Duke of Clarence to your hands : I will not reason what is meant hereby, Because I will be guiltless of the meaning. Here are the keys;—there sits the duke asleep. I'll to the King, and signify to him That thus I have resigned to you my charge..
1st Murd. You may, sir ; 'tis a point of wisdom : fare you well.
Exit BRAKENBURY 2nd Murd. What, shall we stab him as he sleeps ?
1st Murd. No: he 'll say 't was done cowardly when he wakes.
2nd Murd. When he wakes ! why, fool, he shall never wake until the great judgment day.
1st Murd. Why, then he'll say we stabbed him sleeping.
2nd Murd. The urging of that word “judgment" hath bred a kind of remorse in me.
1st Murd. What! art thou afraid ?
2nd Murd. Not to kill him, having a warrant for it: but to be damned for killing him, from the which no warrant can defend me.
1st Murd. I thought thou hadst been resolute. 2nd Murd. So I am-to let him live.
1st Murd. I'll back to the Duke of Gloster, and tell him so.
2nd Murd. Nay, I pr'y thee stay a little. I hope this holy humour of mine will change : it was wont to hold me but while one would tell twenty.
1st Murd. How dost thou feel thyself now?
2nd Murd. 'Faith, some certain dregs of conscience are yet within me.
1st Murd. Remember our reward when the deed 's done.
2nd Murd. Come, he dies : I had forgot the reward.
1st Murd. Where's thy conscience now? 2nd Murd. In the Duke of Gloster's purse.
1st Murd. So, when he opens his purse to give us our reward, thy conscience flies out.
2nd Murd. "T is no matter : let it go : there's few or none will entertain it.
1st Murd. What if it come to thee again?
2nd Murd. I'll not meddle with it, it is a dangerous thing : it makes a man a coward. A man cannot steal but it accuseth him; a man cannot swear but it checks him; a man cannot lie with his neighbour's wife but it detects him. "T is a blushing shame-faced spirit, that mutinies in a man's bosom: it fills one full of obstacles : it made me once restore a purse of gold that by chance I found : it beggsrs any man that keeps it. It is turned out of all towns and cities for a dangerous thing; and every man that means to live well, endeavours to trust to himself and live without it.
1st Murd. Zounds, it is even now at my elbow, persuading me not to kill the duke.
2nd Murd. Take the devil in thy mind, and believe him not: he would insinuate with thee but to make thee sigh.
Ist Murd. I am strong framed, he cannot prevail with me.
2nd Murd. Spoke like a tall fellow that respects his reputation. Come, shall we fall to work ?
Ist Murd. Take him over the costard with the hilts of thy sword, and then throw him into the malmsey-butt in the next room.
2nd Murd. O excellent device! and make a sop of him.
Ist Murd. Soft! he wakes. 2nd Murd. Strike.
Ist Murd. No, we 'll reason with him.
Clar. Where art thou, keeper? give me a cup of wine.
1st Murd. You shall have wine enough, my lord, anon.
Clar. In God's name, what art thon?
looks mine own. Clar. How darkly and how deadly dost thou
speak! Your eyes do menace me. Why look you pale? Who sent you hither? wherefore do you come?
Both Murd. To, to, to
Clar. You scarcely have the hearts to tell me so,
King. Clar. I shall be reconciled to him again. 2nd Murd. Never, my lord : therefore prepare
to die. Clar. Are you called forth from out a world
of men To slay the innocent? What is my offence ? Where is the evidence that doth accuse me? What lawful quest have given their verdict up Unto the frowning judge; or who pronounced The bitter sentence of poor Clarence' death? Before I be convict by course of law, To threaten me with death is most unlawful. I charge you as you hope to have redemption By Christ's dear blood shed for our grievous sins, That you depart and lay no hands on me : The deed you undertake is damnable. 1st Murd. What we will do, we do upon com
mand. 2nd Murd. And he that hath commanded is
our king. Clar. Erroneous vassal! the great King of
kings Hath in the table of his law commanded That thou shalt do no murder : wilt thou, then, Spurn at his edict, and fulfil a man's? Take heed: for he holds vengeance in his hand, To hurl upon their heads that break his law. 2nd Murd. And that same vengeance doth he
hurl on thee,
1st Murd. And, like a traitor to the name of Clar. It cannot be: for he bewept my fortune, God,
And hugged me in his arms, and swore with sobs Didst break that vow; and with thy treacherous That he would labour my delivery. blade
1st Murd. Why, so he doth, when he delivers you Unrip'dst the bowels of thy sovereign's son. From this earth's thraldom to the joys of heaven. 2nd Murd. Whom thou wast sworn to cherish 2nd Murd. Make peace with God, for you and defend.
must die, my lord. Ist Murd. How canst thou urge God's dread Clar. Häst thou that holy feeling in thy soul ful law to us,
To counsel me to make my peace with God, When thou hast broke it in such dear degree? And art thou yet to thy own soul so blind
Clar. Alas! for whose sake did I that ill deed ? That thou wilt war with God, by murdering me! For Edward, for my brother, for his sake. Ah sirs, consider, he that set you on He sends you not to murder me for this :
To do this deed, will hate you for the deed. For in that sin he is as deep as I.
2nd Murd. What shall we do? If God will be avengéd for the deed,
Clar. Relent, and save your souls. O know you that he doth it publicly.
1st Murd. Relent! 't is cowardly and womanish. Take not the quarrel from his powerful arm. Clar. Not to relent is beastly, savage, devilish. He needs no indirect nor lawless course
Which of you, if you were a prince's son, To cut off those that have offended him.
Being pent from liberty, as I am now, 1st Murd. Who made thee, then, a bloody If two such murderers as yourselves came to you, minister,
Would not entreat for life !--
Clar. My brother's love, the devil, and my rage. Come thou on my side, and entreat for me, 1st Murd. Thy brother's love, our duty, and thy As you would beg were you in my distress. fault,
A begging prince what beggar pities not? Provoke us hither now to slaughter thee.
2nd Murd. Look behind you, my lord. Clar. If you do love my brother, hate not me: 1st Murd. Take that, and that! If all this I am his brother, and I love him well.
will not do,
[Stabs him. If you are hired for meed, go back again, I 'll drown you in the malmsey-butt within. And I will send you to my brother Gloster;
(Exit with the body. Who shall reward you better for my life
2nd Murd. A bloody deed, and desperately Than Edward will for tidings of my death.
despatched! 2nd Murd. You are deceived; your brother | How fain, like Pilate, would I wash my hands Gloster hates you.
Of this most grievous guilty murder done! Clar. O no, he loves me, and he holds me dear : Go you to him from me.
Re-enter first Murderer. Both Murd. Ay, so we will.
1st Murd. How now! what mean'st thou that Clar. Tell him, when that our princely father
thou help'st me not? York
By Heaven the duke shall know how slack you Blessed his three sons with his victorious arm,
have been. And charged us from his soul to love each other, 2nd Murd. I would he knew that I had sared He little thought of this divided friendship.
his brother! Bid Gloster think on this, and he will weep. Take thou the fee, and tell him what I say: 1st Murd. Ay, millstones; as he lessoned us For I repent me that the duke is slain. [Erit. to weep.
Ist Murd. So do not I: go, coward as thou art. Clar. O do not slander him, for he is kind. Well, I'll go hide the body in some hole 1st Murd. Right; as snow in harvest.—Come, Till that the duke give order for his burial : you deceive yourself:
And when I have my meed, I will away; "T is he that sends us to destroy you here. | For this will out, and then I must not star.
Scene I.-London. A Room in the Palace. i Dor. This interchange of love, I bere protest,
Upon my part shall be inviolable. Enter King EDWARD (led in sick), QUEEN ELIZA- |
Hast. And so swear I. [Embraces Dorset. BETII, Dorset, Rivers, Hastings, BUCKING
K. Edw. Now, princely Buckingham, seal HAM, Grey, and others.
thou this league K. Edw. Why, so: now have I done a good why thy embracements to my wife's allies, day's work:
And make me happy in your unity. You peers, continue this united league.
Buck. Whenever Buckingham doth turn his I every day expect an embassage
hate From my Redeemer to redeem me hence;
Upon your grace [lo the Queen), but with all And now in peace my soul shall part to heaven,
duteous love Since I have made my friends at peace on earth. Doth cherish you and yours, God punish me Rivers and Hastings, take each other's hand : With hate in those where I expect most love: Dissemble not your hatred, swear your love. When I have most need to employ a friend, Riv. By Heaven, my soul is purged from And most assuréd that he is a friend, grudging hate;
Deep, hollow, treacherous, and full of guile, And with my hand I seal my true heart's love Be he unto me! This do I beg of Heaven,
Hast. So thrive I as I truly swear the like. When I am cold in love to you or yours.
[Embracing Rivers, Sc. king;
K. Edw. A pleasing cordial, princely BuckingLest He that is the supreme King of kings,
ham, Confound your hidden falsehood, and award Is this thy vow unto my sickly heart. Either of you to be the other's end.
There wanteth now our brother Gloster here, Hast. So prosper I as I swear perfect love. To make the blesséd period of this peace. Riv. And I as I love Hastings with my heart. Buck. And in good time here comes the noble K. Edw. Madam, yourself are not exempt in
duke. this: Nor your son Dorset: Buckingham, nor you:
Enter Gloster. You have been factious one against the other. Glo. Good-morrow to my sorereign King Wife, love Lord Hastings, let him kiss your hand:
and Queen : And what you do, do it unfeignedly.
And, princely peers, a happy time of day. Q. Eliz. There, Hastings: I will never more K. Edw. Happy, indeed, as we have spent remember
the day. Our former hatred, so thrive I and mine! | Brother, we have done deeds of charity K. Edw. Dorset, embrace him: IIastings, lore | Made peace of enmity, fair love of hate, lord marquis.
| Between these swelling wrong-incensed peers. VOL. III. 30
Glo. A blesséd labour, my most sovereign liege. Stan. The forfeit, sovereign, of my servant's Among this princely heap, if any here,
life: By false intelligence, or wrong surmise,
Who slew to-day a riotous gentleman, Hold me a foe;
Lately attendant on the Duke of Norfolk, If I unwittingly, or in my rage,
K. Edw. Have I atongue to doom my brother's Have aught committed that is hardly borne
death, By any in this presence, I desire
And shall that tongue give pardon to a slave! To reconcile me to his friendly peace.
My brother killed no man, his fault was thought 'Tis death to me to be at enmity :
And yet his punishment was bitter death. I hate it, and desire all good men's love.
Who sued to me for him ? who, in my wrath, First, madam, I entreat true peace of you, Kneeled at my feet, and bade me be advised ? Which I will purchase with my duteous service: Who spoke of brotherhood; who spoke of love? Of you, my noble cousin Buckingham,
Who told me how the poor soul did forsake If ever any grudge were lodged between us : The mighty Warwick, and did fight for me? Of you, Lord Rivers, and Lord Grey, of you, Who told me, in the field at Tewkesbury, That all without desert have frowned on me: When Oxford had me down, he rescued me, Dukes, earls, lords, gentlemen; indeed, of all. And said “Dear brother, live, and be a king?" I do not know that Englishman alive
Who told me, when we both lay in the field, With whom my soul is any jot at odds
Frozen almost to death, how he did lap me More than the infant that is born to-night: Even in his garments; and did give himself, I thank my God for my humility.
All thin and naked, to the numb-cold night? Q. Eliz. A holy-day shall this be kept hereafter: All this from my remembrance brutish wrath I would to God all strifes were well compounded. Sinfully plucked, and not a man of you My sovereign lord, I do beseech your highness Had so much grace to put it in my mind. To take your brother Clarence to your grace. But when your carters or your waiting-vassals
Glo. Why, madam, have I offered love for this, Have done a drunken slaughter, and defaced To be so flouted in this royal presence ?
The precious image of our dear Redeemer, Who knows not that the gentle duke is dead? You straight are on your knees for pardon, pardon.
[They all start. And I unjustly, too, must grant it you: You do him injury to scorn his corse.
But for my brother not a man would speak; K. Edw. Who knows not he is dead! who Nor I (ungracious) speak unto myself knows he is ?
For him, poor soul. The proudest of you all Q. Eliz. All-seeing Heaven, what a world is this! | Have been beholden to him in his life: Buck. Look I so pale, Lord Dorset, as the rest? Yet none of you would once plead for his life. Dor. Ay, my good lord; and no man in the O God! I fear thy justice will take hold presence
On me, and you, and mine, and yours, for this.But bis red colour hath forsook his cheeks. Come, Hastings, help me to my closet. K. Edw. Is Clarence dead! the order was 0, poor Clarence! reversed.
[Exeunt King, Queen, Hastings, Rivers, Glo. But he, poor man, by your first order died,
Dorset and Grey. And that a wingéd Mercury did bear:
Glo. This is the fruit of rashness! Marked Some tardy cripple bore the countermand,
you not That came too lag to see him buried.
How that the guilty kindred of the Queen God grant that some, less noble and less loyal, Looked pale when they did hear of Clarence' Nearer in bloody thoughts, and not in blood,
death? Deserve not worse than wretched Clarence did, Othey did urge it still unto the King: And yet go current from suspicion !
God will revenge it. Come, lords; will you go
To comfort Edward with our company?
Buck. We wait upon your grace. (Exeunt. Stan. A boon, my sovereign, for my service
done! K. Edw. I pr'y thee, peace; my soul is full of sorrow.
SCENE II.—The same. Slan. I will not rise unless your lighness hear me.
Enter the DUCAESS of York, with a Son and K. Edw. Then say at once what is it thou !
Daughter of CLARENCE. request'st.
Son. Good grandam, tell us is our father dead?