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But yet I run before my horse to market:
SCENE II.- The Same. Another Strect.
Enter the corpse of King HENRY the Sixth, borne in an
open coffin, Gentlemen with halberds, to guard it; and Lady ANNE following as chief mourner.
Anne. Set down, set down your honourable load, If honour may be shrouded in a hearse,Whilst I awhile obsequiously lament3 Th' untimely fall of virtuous LancasterPoor key-cold figure of a holy king ! [They set it down. Pale 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 slaughter'd son, Stabb'd by the self-same hand that made these wounds! Lo! in these windows, that let forth thy life, I pour the helpless balm of my poor eyes :0, cursed be the hand that made these holes ! Cursed the heart that had the heart to do it ! Cursed the blood that let this blood from hence ! More direful hap betide that hated wretch, That makes us wretched by the death of thee,
1-OBSEQUIOUSLY lament) i.e., Lament as at the obsequies for the dead-funercally. See Henry VI, Pt. III, act ii, sc. v, p. 47.
Than I can wish to adders, spiders, toads,
[The bearers take up the coffin.
Glo. Stay, you that bear the corse, and set it down.
Anne. What black magician conjures up this fiend, To stop devoted charitable deeds ?
Glo. Villains ! set down the corse; or, by Saint Paul, I'll make a corse of him that disobeys.
First Gent. My lord, stand back, and let the coffin pass.
Glo. Unmanner'd dog! stand 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 bearers set down the coffin. Anne. What ! do you tremble ? are you all afraid ? Alas! I blame you not ; for you are mortal, And mortal eyes cannot endure the devil.
Avaunt, thou dreadful minister of hell!
Glo. Sweet saint, for charity, be not so curst.
Glo. Lady, you know no rules of charity, Which renders good for bad, blessings for curses.
Anne. Villain, thou know'st nor law of God nor man : No beast so fierce but knows some touch of pity.
Glo. But I know none, and therefore am no beast.
Glo. More wonderful, when angels are so angry.---
Of these supposed evils to give me leave
Anne. Vouchsafe, diffus'd infection of a man,
Glo. Fairer than tongue can name thee, let me have Some patient leisure to excuse myself.
Anne. Fouler than heart can think thee, thou canst make No excuse current, but to hang thyself.
Glo. By such despair I should accuse myself.
Anne. And, by despairing, shalt thou stand excus'd
Glo. Say, that I slew them not?
Then say they were not slain : But dead they are, and, devilish slave, by thee.
Glo. I did not kill your husband.
Why, then he is alive. Glo. Nay, he is dead; and slain by Edward's hand.
Anne. In thy foul throat thou liest : queen Margaret saw Thy murderous falchion smoking in his blood; The which thou once didst bend against her breast, But that thy brothers beat aside the point.
Glo. I was provoked by her sland'rous tongue,
Anne. Thou wast provoked by thy bloody mind,
Glo. I grant ye.
Thou mayst be damned for that wicked deed !
Glo. The fitter for the King of heaven, that hath him.
Glo. 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.
I know so.-But, gentle lady Anne, -
Anne. Thou wast the cause, and most accurs'd effect.
Glo. Your beauty was the cause of that effect;
Anne. If I thought that, I tell thee, homicide,
Glo. These eyes could not endure that beauty's wreck ; You should not blemish it, if I stood by : As all the world is cheered by the sun, So I by that; it is my day, my life.
Anne. Black night o'ershade thy day, and death thy life!