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Now, for my life, she's wand'ring to the Tower,
On pure heart's love, to greet the tender prince.-
Daughter, well met.
Anne.

God give your graces both
A happy and a joyful time of day?
Q. Eliz. As much to you, good sister! Whither

away? Anne. No further than the Tower; and, as I

guess, Upon the like devotion as yourselves, To gratulate the gentle princes there. Q. Eliz. Kind sister, thanks; we'll enter all to

gether:

Enter BRAKENBURY.

And, in good time, here the lieutenant comes.-
Master lieutenant, pray you, by your leave,
How doth the prince, and my young son of York?

Brak. Right well, dear madam: By your patience,
I may not suffer you to visit them;
The king hath strictly charg'd the contrary.
· Q. Eliz. The king! who's that?
Brak.

I mean, the lord protector. Q. Eliz. The Lord protect him from that kingly

title! Hath he set bounds between their love, and me? I am their mother, who shall bar me from them?

Duch. I am their father's mother, I will see them.
Anne. Their aunt I am in law, in love their

mother: Then bring me to their sights; I'll bear thy blame, And take thy office from thee, on thy peril.

Brak. No, madam, no, I may not leave it so; I am bound by oath, and therefore pardon me.

[Exit BRAKENBURY.

Enter STANLEY.
Stan. Let me but meet you, ladies, one hour

stan. Lehence sur grace of two

And I'll salute your grace of York as mother,
And reverend looker-on of two fair queens.-
Come, madam, you must straight to Westminster.

[To the Duchess of Gloster. There to be crowned Richard's royal queen.

Q. Eliz. Ah, cut my lace asunder!
That my pent heart may have some scope to beat,
Or else I swoon with this dead-killing news.

Anne. Despiteful tidings! O unpleasing news!
Dor. Be of good cheer:~Mother, how fares

your grace?
Q. Eliz. O Dorset, speak not to me, get thee gone,
Death and destruction dog thee at the heels;
Thy mother's name is ominous to children:
If thou wilt outstrip death, go cross the seas,
And live with Richmond, from the reach of hell.
Go, hie thee, hie thee, from this slaughter-house,
Lest thou increase the number of the dead;
And make me die the thrall of Margaret's curse,
Nor mother, wife, nor England's counted queen.
Stan. Full of wise care is this your counsel, ma-

dam:
Take all the swift advantage of the hours;
You shall have letters from me to my son
In your behalf, to meet you on the way:
Be not ta'en tardy by unwise delay.

Duch. O ill-dispersing wind of misery! -
O my accursed womb, the bed of death;
A cockatrice hast thou hatch'd to the world,
Whose unavoided eye is murderous !

Stan. Come, madam, come; I in all haste was sent.

Anne. And I with all unwillingness will go. O, would to God, that the inclusive verge

Of golden metal, that must round my brow,
Were red-hot steel, to sear me to the brain !3
Anointed let me be with deadly venom;
And die, ere men can say—God save the queen!

Q. Eliz. Go, go, poor soul, I envy not thy glory;
To feed my humour, wish thyself no harm.
Anne. No! why?-When he, that is my husband

now, Came to me, as I follow'd Henry's corse; When scarce the blood was well wash'd from his

hands, Which issu'd from my other angel husband, And that dead saint which then I weeping follow'd; O, when, I say, I look'd on Richard's face, This was my wish,-Be thou, quoth I, accurs'd, For making me, so young, so old a widow ! And, when thou weđ'st, let sorrow haunt thy bed; And be thy wife (if any be so mad) More miserable by the life of thee, Than thou hast made me by my dear lord's death! Lo, ere I can repeat this curse again, Even in so short a space, my woman's heart Grossly grew captive to his honey words, And prov'd the subject of mine own soul's curse: Which ever since hath held mine eyes from rest; For never yet one hour in his bed Did I enjoy the golden dew of sleep, But with his timorous dreams4 was still awak'd. Besides, he hates me for my father Warwick; And will, no doubt, shortly be rid of me.

Q. Eliz. Poor heart, adieu; I pity thy complaining.

3 Were red-hot steel, to sear me to the brain!] She seems to al. lude to the ancient mode of punishing a regicide, or any other egregious criminal, viz. by placing a crown of iron, heated redhot, upon his head.

* But with his timorous dreams-] 'Tis recorded by Polydore Virgil, that Richard was frequently disturbed by terrible dreams : this is therefore no fiction. Johnson.

Anne. No more than with my soul I mourn for

yours. Dor. Farewell, thou woful welcomer of glory! Anne. Adieu, poor soul, that tak'st thy leave of it! Duch. Go thou to Richmond, and good fortune guide thee!

[To DORSET. Go thou to Richard, and good angels tend thee!

[To Anne. Go thou to sanctuary, and good thoughts possess thee!

[To Q. ELIZABETH. I to my grave, where peace and rest lie with me! Eighty odd years of sorrow have I seen, And each hour's joy wreck'd with a week of teen.”

Q. Eliz. Stay yet; look back, with me, unto the

Go thon guide thee!_chmond, and go

Q. Elizo Tower.

those tender

Pity, you ancient stones, those tender babes,
Whom envy hath immur'd within your walls !
Rough cradle for such little pretty ones!
Rude ragged nurse! old sullen play-fellow
For tender princes, use my babies well!
So foolish sorrow bids your stones farewell.

[Exeunt.

SCENE II.

A Room of State in the Palace.

Flourish of Trumpets. RICHARD, as King upon

his Throne; BUCKINGHAM, CATESBY, a Page,
and Others.
K. Rich. Stand all apart.- Cousin of Bucking-

ham,
Buck. My gracious sovereign.

5 And each hour's joy wreck'd with a week of teen.] Teen is sorrow.

K. Rich. Give me thy hand. Thus high, by thy

advice,
And thy assistance, is king Richard seated:
But shall we wear these glories for a day?
Or shall they last, and we rejoice in them?

Buck. Still live they, and for ever let them last!
K. Rich. Ah, Buckingham, now do I play the

touch, To try if thou be current gold, indeed: Young Edward lives;—Think now what I would

speak. Buck. Say on, my loving lord. K. Rich. Why, Buckingham, I say, I would be

king. Buck. Why, so you are, my thrice-renowned liege. K. Rich. Ha! am I king? 'Tis so: but Edward

lives. Buck. True, noble prince. K. Rich.

O bitter consequence,
That Edward still should live,-true, noble prince!—
Cousin, thou wast not wont to be so dull:-
Shall I be plain? I wish the bastards dead;
And I would have it suddenly perform’d.
What say'st thou now? speak suddenly, be brief.

Buck. Your grace may do your pleasure.
K. Rich. Tut, tut, thou art all ice, thy kindness

freezes: Say, have I thy consent, that they shall die? Buck. Give me some breath, some little pause,

dear lord, Before I positively speak in this: I will resolve your grace iinmediately.

[Exit BuckINGHAM.

6 — now do I play the touch,] To play the touch is to represent the touchstone.

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