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L. Grey. Be pitiful, dread lord, and grant it then. *
K. Edw. Lords, give us leave: I 'll try this widow's wit.

Glo. Ay, good leave have you; for you will have leave,
Till youth take leave, and leave you to the crutch.

[GLOSTER and CLARENCE stand apart.
K. Edw. Now tell me, Madam, do you love your children?
L. Grey. Ay, full as dearly as I love myself.
K. Edw. And would you not do much, to do them good ?
L. Grey. To do them good I would sustain some harm.
K. Edw. Then get your husband's lands, to do them good.
L. Grey. Therefore I came unto your majesty.
K. Edw. I 'll tell you how these lands are to be got.
L. Grey. So shall you bind me to your highness' service.
K. Edw. What service wilt thou do me, if I give them ?
L. Grey. What you command, that rests in me to do;
K. Edw. But you will take exceptions to my boon.
L. Grey. No, gracious lord, except I cannot do it.
K. Edw. Ay, but thou canst do what I mean to ask.
L. Grey. Why then, I will do what your grace commands.
Glo. He plies her hard; and much rain wears the marble. [Aside.
Clar. As red as fire ! 5 nay, then her wax must melt.

L. Grey. Why stops my lord ? shall I not hear my task?
K. Edw. An easy task: 't is but to love a king.
L. Grey. That 's soon perform'd, because I am a subject.
K. Edw. Why then, thy husband's lands I freely give thee.
L. Grey. I take my leave with many thousand thanks.
Glo. The match is made: she seals is with a curt'sy.
K. Edw. But stay thee; 't is the fruits of love I mean.
L. Grey. The fruits of love I mean, my loving liege.

K. Edw. Ay, but, I fear me, in another sense.
What love think'st thou I sue so much to get?

L. Grey. My love till death, my humble thanks, my prayers:
That love which virtue begs, and virtue grants.

K. Edw. No, by my troth, I did not mean such love.
L. Grey. Why, then you mean not as I thought you did.
K. Edw. But now you partly may perceive my mind.

L. Grey. My mind will never grant what I perceive
Your highness aims at, if I aim aright. 6

K. Edw. To tell thee plain, I aim to lie with thee.
L. Grey. To tell you plain, I had rather lie in prison.
K. Edw. Why, then thou shalt not have thy husband's lands.

*) Bemerkenswerth ist die Variante der Qs., welche them für then lesen.
5) as red as fire bezieht sich auf Edward.
6) to aim zielen auf Etwas, nach Etwas streben, und = errathen, vermuthen.

L. Grey. Why, then mine honesty shall be my dower; For by that loss I will not purchase them.

K. Edw. Therein thou wrong'st thy children mightily.

L. Grey. Herein your highness wrongs both them and me.
But, mighty lord, this merry inclination
Accords not with the sadness 7 of my suit;
Please you dismiss me, either with ay, or no.

K. Edw. Ay, if thou wilt say ay to my request;
No, if thou dost say no to my demand.

L. Grey. Then, no, my lord. My suit is at an end.
Glo. The widow likes him not, she knits her brows.

[Aside. Clar. He is the bluntest wooer in Christendom.

K. Edw. Her looks do argue her replete with modesty; [Aside.
Her words do show her wit incomparable;
All her perfections challenge sovereignty:
One way, or other, 8 she is for a king,
And she shall be my love, or else my queen.
Say, 9 that king Edward take thee for his queen?

L. Grey. T is better said than done, my gracious lord:
I am a subject fit to jest withal,
But far unfit to be a sovereign.

K. Edw. Sweet widow, by my state I swear to thee,
I speak no more than what my soul intends;
And that is, to enjoy thee for my love.

L. Grey. And that is more than I will yield unto.
I know, I am too mean to be your queen,
And yet too good to be your concubine.

K. Edw. You cavil, widow: I did mean, my queen. ·
L. Grey. 'T will grieve your grace, my sons should call you father.

K. Edw. No more than when my daughters 10 call thee mother.
Thou art a widow, and thou hast some children;
And, by God's mother, I, being but a bachelor,
Have other some: why, 't is a happy thing
To be the father unto many sons.
Answer no more, for thou shalt be my queen.

9 say

7) sadness = Ernst, ernste Meidung. 5) entweder auf unehrlichem Wege oder auf ehrlichem, ist sie für einen König bestimmt.

nimm an, setze den Fall. Lady Grey in ihrer Antwort fasst to say in gewöhnlichem Sinn. Die Umrisse zu dem nun folgenden Theile des Dialogs fand Sh.

in seinen Chroniken bereits vor. 19) Viele Hgg. setzen stillschweigend thy daughters dafür. my daughters, wio Qs. und

Fol. lesen, sind die unehelich erzeugten Töchter Edward's, die er mit in die Eho bringt.

Glo. The ghostly father 11 now hath done his shrift.

[Aside. Clar. When he was made a shriver, 't was for shift.

K. Edw. Brothers, you muse 12 what chat we two have had.
Glo. The widow likes it not, for she looks very sad.
K. Edw. You'd think it strange if I should marry her.
Clar. To whom, my lord?
K. Edw.

Why, Clarence, to myself?
Glo. That would be ten days' wonder 13 at the least.
Clar. That 's a day longer than a wonder lasts.
Glo. By so much is the wonder in extremes.

K. Edw. Well, jest on, brothers: I can tell you both,
Her suit is granted for her husband's lands.

Enter a Nobleman.
Nob. My gracious lord, Henry your foe is taken,
And brought your prisoner to your palace gate.

K. Edw. See that he be convey'd unto the Tower :
And go we, brothers, to the man that took him,
To question of his apprehension.
Widow, go you along. Lords, use her honourable. 14

[Exeunt King Edw., Lady GREY, CLAR., and Lord.
Glo. Ay, Edward will use women honourably.
'Would he were wasted, marrow, bones, and all,
That from his loins no hopeful branch may spring ,
To cross me 15 from the golden time I look for!
And yet, between my soul's desire, and me,
The lustful Edward's title buried,
Is Clarence, Henry, and his son young Edward,
And all the unlook'd-for issue of their bodies,
To take their rooms, ere I can place myself:
A cold premeditation for my purpose.
Why then, I do but dream on sovereignty;



11) ghostly father = Seelsorger, Beichtvater, wie der Mönch in Romeo and Juliet

öfter neben ghostly confessor genannt wird. 12) to muse = sich wundern über Etwas, verwundert über Etwas grübelu. 13) Ein Wunder, das sprüchwörtlich neun Tage dauert, muss also ein ganz ausserordent

liches sein, wenn es länger dauern soll. Umgekehrt in As you like it (A. 3, Sc. 2)

I was seven of the nine days out of the wonder, before you came. 14) So die Fol., obgleich sie in der nächsten Zeile honourably hat. Die Adjective auf

-able gebraucht Sh. öfter für die Adverbia auf -ably. 15) to cross Jemandem binderlich in den Weg treten, ist hier mit from verbunden,

als ob, wie in den Qs., to hinder dafür stände. 16) wenn auch das Thronrecht des wollüstigen Edward begraben ist, wenn auch Edward

selbst todt ist. "7) Das ist eine vorgängigo Erwägung, die abkühlend, niederschlagend für meinen Plan


Like one that stands upon a promontory,
And spies a far-off shore where he would tread,
Wishing his foot were equal with his eye;
And chides the sea that sunders him from thence,
Saying – he 'll lade it dry 18 to have his way:
So do I wish the crown, being so far off,
And so I chide the means that keep me from it;
And so I say

I 'll cut the causes off,
Flattering me with impossibilities. -
My eye 's too quick, my heart o'erweens too much,
Unless my hand and strength could equal them.
Well, say there is no kingdom then for Richard,
What other pleasure can the world afford ?
I'll make my heaven in a lady's lap,
And deck my body in gay ornaments,
And witch sweet ladies with my words and looks.
0 miserable thought I and more unlikely,
Than to accomplish twenty golden crowns.
Why, love forswore me in my mother's womb:
And, for I should not deal in her 19 soft laws,
She did corrupt frail nature with some bribe
To shrink mine arm up like a wither'd shrub;
To make an envious mountain on my back,
Where sits deformity to mock my body;
To shape my legs of an unequal size;
To disproportion me in every part; 20
Like to a chaos, 21 or an unlick'd bear-whelp,
That carries no impression like the dam. 22
And am I then a man to be belov'd ?
0, monstrous fault, to harbour such a thought!
Then, since this earth affords no joy to me
But to command, to check, to o'erbear such
As are of better person than myself,
I 'll make my heaven to dream upon the crown;
And, whiles I live, to account this world but hell,

18) to lade = ausschöpfen. 19) Wie hier personificirt Sh. auch an einigen andern Stellen love als weiblich, so in Co

medy of Errors (A. 3, Sc. 2) let love, being light, be drowned, if she sink. 20) to disproportion des Ebenmasses berauben, körperlich entstellen. 21) chaos = wüste Masse, hier auspahmsweise von einer einzelnen Person gebraucht. 22) ein ungeleckter junger Bär, der kein bestimmtes, der Mutter ähnliches Gepräge oder

Aussehen hat. Es ist eine Anspielung auf den Volksglauben, dass die Bärin ihr Junges als eine formlose Masse zur Welt bringe und demselben erst später durch eifriges Lecken die Gestalt eines Bären gebe.


Until my mis-shap'd trunk that bears this head,
Be round impaled with a glorious crown.
And yet I know not how to get the crown,
For many lives stand between me and home: 24
And I, like one lost in a thorny wood,
That rents 25 the thorns, and is rent with the thorns,
Seeking a way, and straying from the way,
Not knowing how to find the open air,
But toiling desperately to find it out,
Torment myself to catch the English crown:
And from that torment I will free myself,
Or hew my way out with a bloody axe.
Why, I can smile, and murder while I smile.
And cry, content, to that which grieves my heart,
And wet my cheeks with artificial tears,
And frame my face to all occasions.
I 'll drown more sailors than the mermaid shall, 26
I 'll slay more gazers than the basilisk;
I 'll play the orator as well as Nestor,
Deceive more slily than Ulysses could,
And, like a Sinon, take another Troy. 27
I can add colours to the cameleon,
Change shapes with Proteus, for advantages,
And set the murderous Machiavel to school. 29
Can I do this, and cannot get a crown?
Tut! were it further off, I 'll pluck it down.




23) Die Construction ist ungenau, da be round impaled etc. sich auf this head beziehen

sollte, in der That aber nur von this mis-shap'd trunk abhängt. 24) Mit between me and home leitet Sh. schon von dem direkten Wortsinn zu der Ver

gleichung über, dio in den folgenden Zeilen weiter ausgeführt wird. Ebenso abrupt kehrt er nachher bei den Worten to catch the English crown von dem Gleichnisse wie

der zur Sache zurück. 25) to rent, die ältere Form für to rend, wird bei Sh. unterschiedslos neben der andern

gebraucht 26) scil. shall ever drown. Eine Anspielung auf den Mythus von den Sirenen, ist u. A.

in Comedy of Errors (A. 3, Sc. 2) I'll stop mine ears against the mermaid's song. 27) Sinon, dessen heuchlerische Reden und Thränen das Trojanische Ross in die belagerte

Stadt brachten, wird in ähnlicher Beziehung in Titus Andronicus (A. 5, Sc. 3)

erwähnt Tell us what Sinon hath bewitch'd our ears. 28) So lautet in Two Gentlemen of Verona (A. 2, Sc. 4) auf Silvia's Frage sir Thu

rio, do you change colour? Valentin's spöttische Bemerkung Give him leave, Madam,

he is a kind of cameleon. 29) Der grausame Macchiavell kann noch bei mir in die Schule gehen. Denselben Ana

chronismus beging Sh. in K. Henry VI. First Part (A. 5, Sc. 4) Alençon! that notorious Machiavel. Die Qs. haben dafür the aspiring Catiline.

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