Richard III By William Shakespeare Act I

GLOSTER.
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.

GLOSTER.
I was provoked by her slanderous tongue
That laid their guilt upon my guiltless shoulders.

ANNE.
Thou wast provoked by thy bloody mind,
That never dreamt on aught but butcheries:
Didst thou not kill this king?

GLOSTER.
I grant ye.

ANNE.
Dost grant me, hedgehog? then, God grant me too
Thou mayst be damned for that wicked deed!
O, he was gentle, mild, and virtuous.

GLOSTER.
The better for the king of Heaven, that hath him.

ANNE.
He is in heaven, where thou shalt never come.

GLOSTER.
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.

GLOSTER.
Yes, one place else, if you will hear me name it.

ANNE.
Some dungeon.

GLOSTER.
Your bed-chamber.

ANNE.
Ill rest betide the chamber where thou liest!

GLOSTER.
So will it, madam, till I lie with you.

ANNE.
I hope so.

GLOSTER.
I know so. — But, gentle Lady Anne, —
To leave this keen encounter of our wits,
And fall something into a slower method, —
Is not the causer of the timeless deaths
Of these Plantagenets, Henry and Edward,
As blameful as the executioner?

ANNE.
Thou wast the cause and most accurs'd effect.

GLOSTER.
Your beauty was the cause of that effect;
Your beauty, that 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.

GLOSTER.
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!

GLOSTER.
Curse not thyself, fair creature; thou art both.

ANNE.
I would I were, to be reveng'd on thee.

GLOSTER.
It is a quarrel most unnatural,
To be reveng'd on him that loveth thee.

ANNE.
It is a quarrel just and reasonable,
To be reveng'd on him that kill'd my husband.

GLOSTER.
He that bereft thee, lady, of thy husband,
Did it to help thee to a better husband.

ANNE.
His better doth not breathe upon the earth.

GLOSTER.
He lives that loves thee better than he could.

ANNE.
Name him.

GLOSTER.
Plantagenet.

ANNE.
Why, that was he.

GLOSTER.
The self-same name, but one of better nature.

ANNE.
Where is he?

GLOSTER.
Here.

[She spits at him.]

Why dost thou spit at me?

ANNE.
Would it were mortal poison, for thy sake!

GLOSTER.
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.

GLOSTER.
Thine eyes, sweet lady, have infected mine.

ANNE.
Would they were basilisks to strike thee dead!

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