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Vouchsafe, divine perfection of a woman,
Anne. Vouchsafe, diffus'd infection of a man, 1
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; For doing worthy vengeance on thyself, That didst unworthy slaughter upon others.
Glo. Say, that I slew them not? Anne. Why then, they are not dead: But dead they are, and, devilish slave, by thee. Glo. I did not kill your husband.
Thy murderous faulchion smoking in his blood;
Glo. I was provoked by her sland'rous tongue,
1 Vouchsafe, diffus'd infection of a man,] Diffus'd infection of a man may mean, thou that art as dangerous as a pestilence, that infects the air by its diffusion. Diffus'd may, however, mean irregular.
"In thy foul throat," &c.
2 That laid their guilt —] The crime of my brothers. He has just charged the murder of lady Anne's husband upon Edward.
I grant ye.
Anne. Dost grant me, hedge-hog? then, God grant
Thou may'st be damned for that wicked deed!
Glo. The fitter for the King of heaven that hath him. Anne. He is in heaven, where thou shalt never come. 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.
Of these Plantagenets, Henry, and Edward,
Anne. Thou wast the cause, and most accurs'd effect. Glo. 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,
So I might live one hour in your sweet bosom.
Anne. If I thought that, I tell thee, homicide, These nails should rend that beauty from my cheeks.
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!
3- a slower method;] As quick was used for spritely, so slower was put for serious.
Glo. Curse not thyself, fair creature; thou art both.
Anne. It is a quarrel just and reasonable,
Anne. His better doth not breathe upon the earth.
Why, that was he. Glo. The self-same name, but one of better nature. Anne. Where is he?
Here: [She spits at him.] Why dost thou spit at me? Anne. 'Would it were mortal poison, for thy sake! Glo. Never came poison from so sweet a place. Anne. Never hung poison on a fouler toad. Out of my sight! thou dost infect mine eyes.
Glo. Thine eyes, sweet lady, have infected mine. Anne. 'Would they were basilisks, to strike thee dead! Glo. I would they were, that I might die at once; For now they kill me with a living death. Those eyes of thine from mine have drawn salt tears, Sham'd their aspécts with store of childish drops: These eyes, which never shed remorseful tear,+Not, when my father York and Edward wept, To hear the piteous moan that Rutland made, When black-fac'd Clifford shook his sword at him: Nor when thy warlike father, like a child, Told the sad story of my father's death; And twenty times made pause, to sob, and weep, That all the standers-by had wet their cheeks, Like trees bedash'd with rain: in that sad time,
"No, when," &c. - MALONE.
My manly eyes did scorn an humble tear;
And what these sorrows could not thence exhale,
Thy beauty hath, and made them blind with weeping. I never su'd to friend, nor enemy;
My tongue could never learn sweet soothing word;
My proud heart sues, and prompts my tongue to speak.
Lo! here I lend thee this sharp-pointed sword;
I lay it naked to the deadly stroke,
And humbly beg the death upon my knee.
[He lays his Breast open; she offers at it with his Sword.
Nay, do not pause; for I did kill king Henry;
Nay, now despatch; 'twas I that stabb'd young Ed-
[She lets fall the Sword. Take up the sword again, or take up me.
Anne. Arise, dissembler: though I wish thy death, I will not be thy executioner.
Glo. Then bid me kill myself, and I will do it.
To both their deaths shalt thou be accessary.
• But 'twas thy beauty-] Shakspeare countenances the observation, that no woman can ever be offended with the mention of her beauty. JOHNSON,
Anne. I would, I knew thy heart.
I fear me, both are false.
Was never true.†
I hope, live so.
But shall I live in hope?
'Tis figur'd in
Well, well, put up your sword.
That shall you know
Vouchsafe to wear this ring.
Anne. To take, is not to give. [She puts on the Ring.
But beg one favour at thy gracious hand,
Glo. That it may please you leave these sad designs To him that hath more cause to be a mourner, And presently repair to Crosby-place: 5 Where-after I have solemnly interr'd,
At Chertsey monast'ry, this noble king,
+"Then never man was true." - MALONE.
Anne. With all my heart; and much it joys me too, To see you are become so penitent. Tressel, and Berkley, go along with me.
Crosby-place:] A house near Bishopsgate-street, belonging
to the duke of Gloster, now Crosby-square, where part of the house is yet remaining.