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1 Murd. What ? art thou afraid?

2 Murd. Not to kill him, having a warrant for it; but to be damn'd for killing him, from the which no warrant can defend me.

1 Murd. I thought, thou had'st been resolute.
2 Murd. So I am, to let him live.
1 Murd. I'll back to the duke of Gloster, and tell

him so.

2 Murd. Nay, I pr’ythee, stay a little : I hope, this holy humour of mine will change; it was wont to hold me but while one would tell twenty.

| Murd. How dost thou feel thyself now?

2 Murd. 'Faith some certain dregs of conscience are yet within me.

1 Murd. Remember our reward, when the deed's done.

2 Murd. Come, he dies; I had forgot the reward.
1 Murd. Where's thy conscience now?
2 Murd. In the duke of Gloster's purse.

1 Murd. So when he opens his purse to give 'us our reward, thy conscience fies out.

2 Murd. 'Tis no matter ; let it go; there's few, or none, will entertain it.

1 Murd. What, if it come to thee again ?

2 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. 'Tis 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 beggars 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.

1 Murd. 'Zounds, it is even now at my elbow, persuading me not to kill the duke.

2 Murd. Take the devil in thy mind, and believe him not: he would insinuate with thee, but to make thee sigh.


1 Murd. I am strong-fram'd, he cannot prevail

with me.

2 Murd. Spoke like a tall ’ fellow, that respects his reputation. Come, shall we fall to work ?

1 Murd. Take him over the costard' with the hilts of thy sword, and then throw him into the malmsey-butt, in the next room.

2 Murd. O excellent device! and make a sop of him.

1 Murd. Soft! he wakes. 2 Murd. Strike. 1 Murd. No, we'll reason with him. Clar. Where art thou, keeper? give me a cup of

wine. 1 Murd. You shall have wine enongh, my lord,


Clar. In God's name, what art thou? 1 Murd. A man, as you are. Clar. But not, as I am, royal. 1 Murd. Nor you, as we are, loyal. Clar. Thy voice is thunder, but thy looks are

humble. 1 Murd. My voice is now the king's, my 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. To murder me? Both Murd. Ay, ay.

Clar. You scarcely have the hearts to tell me so. And therefore cannot have the hearts to do it. Wherein, my friends, have I offended you?

1 Murd. Offended us you have not, but the king. · Clar. I shall be reconcil'd to him again.

9 Brave.

1 Head.

2 Murd. Never, my lord ; therefore prepare to

die. Clar. Are you call'd forth from out a world of

men, To slay the innocent ? What is


offence? Where is the evidence that doth accuse me? What lawful quest ? have given their verdict up Unto the frowning judge? or who pronounc'd 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 for any goodness, 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.

1 Murd. What we will do, we do upon command. 2 Murd. And he, that hath commanded, is our

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.
2 Murd. And that same vengeance doth he hurl

on thee,
For false forswearing, and for murder too:
Thou didst receive the sacrament, to fight
In quarrel 3 of the house of Lancaster.

1 Murd. And, like a traitor to the name of God, Didst break that vow; and, with thy treacherous

blade, Unrip'dst the bowels of thy sovereign's son. 2 Murd. Whom thou wast sworn to cherish and

defend. 1 Murd. How canst thou urge. God's dreadful law

to us,

2 Inquest, jury.

*3 On the part.

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When thor hast broke it in such dear degree?

Clar. Alas ! for whose sake did I that ill deed ?
For Edward, for my brother, for his sake :
He sends you not to murder me for this ;
For in that sin he is as deep as I.
If God will be avenged for the deed,
0, know you, that he doth it publickly;
Take not the quarrel from his powerful arm;
He needs no indirect nor lawless course,
To cut off those that have offended him.

1 Murd. Who made thee then a bloody minister,
When gallant-springing, brave Plantagenet,
That princely novice, was struck dead by thee ?

Clar. My brother's love, the devil, and my rage.
1 Murd. Thy brother's love, our duty, and thy

Provoke us hither now to slaughter thee.

Clar. If you do love my brother, hate not me;
I am his brother, and I love him well.
If you are hir'd for meed ~, go back again,
And I will send you to my brother Gloster ;
Who shall reward

better for


Than Edward will for tidings of my death.
2 Murd. You are deceiv'd, your brother Gloster

Clar. O, no; he loves me, and he holds me dear
Go you to him from me.
Both Murd.

Ay, so we will.
Clar. Tell him, when that our princely father

Bless'd his three sons with his victorious arm,
And charg'd us from his soul to love each other,
He little thought of this divided friendship :
Bid Gloster think on this, and he will weep.
1 Murd. Ay, mill-stones; as he lesson'd us to

Clar. O, do not slander him, for he is kind.



4 Reward.

- Come, you

my lord.

1 Murd. Right, as snow in harvest.

deceive yourself; 'Tis he that sends us to destroy you here.

Clar. It cannot be ; for he bewept my fortune, And hugg'd me in his arms, and swore, with sobs, That he would labour my delivery.

1 Murd. Why, so he doth, when he delivers you From this earth's thraldom to the joys of heaven.

2 Murd. Make peace with God, for you must die,

Clar. Hast thou that holy feeling in thy soul,
To counsel me to make my peace with God,
And art thou yet to thy own soul so blind,
That thou wilt war with God, by murd'ring me?
Ah, sirs, consider, he, that set you on
To do this deed, will hate you for the deed.

2 Murd. What shall we do?

Relent, and save your souls. 1 Murd. Relent ! 'tis cowardly, and womanish.

Clar. Not to relent, is beastly, savage, dévilish. Which' of you, if you were a prince's son, Being pent' from liberty, as I am now, If two such murderers as yourselves came to you, Would not entreat for life? My friend, I'spy some pity in thy looks ; 0, if thine eye be not a flatterer, Come thou on my side, and entreat for me, As you would beg, were you

in my

distress. A begging prince what beggar pities not?

2 Murd. Look behind you, my lord. 1 Murd. Take that, and that; if all this will not do,

[Stabs him. I'll drown you in the malmsey-butt within.

[Erit, with the Body. 2 Murd. A bloody deed, and desperately de

spatch'd ! How fain, like Pilate, would I wash my hands Of this most grievous guilty murder done!

5 Shut up.

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