Richard III By William Shakespeare Act I

QUEEN MARGARET.
I was; but I do find more pain in banishment
Than death can yield me here by my abode.
A husband and a son thou ow'st to me, — 
And thou a kingdom, — all of you allegiance:
This sorrow that I have, by right is yours;
And all the pleasures you usurp are mine.

GLOSTER.
The curse my noble father laid on thee,
When thou didst crown his warlike brows with paper,
And with thy scorns drew'st rivers from his eyes;
And then to dry them gav'st the Duke a clout
Steep'd in the faultless blood of pretty Rutland; —
His curses, then from bitterness of soul
Denounc'd against thee, are all fallen upon thee;
And God, not we, hath plagu'd thy bloody deed.

QUEEN ELIZABETH.
So just is God, to right the innocent.

HASTINGS.
O, 'twas the foulest deed to slay that babe,
And the most merciless that e'er was heard of.

RIVERS.
Tyrants themselves wept when it was reported.

DORSET.
No man but prophesied revenge for it.

BUCKINGHAM.
Northumberland, then present, wept to see it.

QUEEN MARGARET.
What, were you snarling all before I came,
Ready to catch each other by the throat,
And turn you all your hatred now on me?
Did York's dread curse prevail so much with heaven
That Henry's death, my lovely Edward's death,
Their kingdom's loss, my woeful banishment,
Should all but answer for that peevish brat?
Can curses pierce the clouds and enter heaven? —
Why, then, give way, dull clouds, to my quick curses! —
Though not by war, by surfeit die your king,
As ours by murder, to make him a king!
Edward thy son, that now is Prince of Wales,
For Edward our son, that was Prince of Wales,
Die in his youth by like untimely violence!
Thyself a queen, for me that was a queen,
Outlive thy glory, like my wretched self!
Long mayest thou live to wail thy children's death;
And see another, as I see thee now,
Deck'd in thy rights, as thou art stall'd in mine!
Long die thy happy days before thy death;
And, after many lengthen'd hours of grief,
Die neither mother, wife, nor England's queen! —
Rivers and Dorset, you were standers by, —
And so wast thou, Lord Hastings, — when my son
Was stabb'd with bloody daggers: God, I pray Him,
That none of you may live his natural age,
But by some unlook'd accident cut off!

GLOSTER.
Have done thy charm, thou hateful wither'd hag.

QUEEN MARGARET.
And leave out thee? stay, dog, for thou shalt hear me.
If heaven have any grievous plague in store
Exceeding those that I can wish upon thee,
O, let them keep it till thy sins be ripe,
And then hurl down their indignation
On thee, the troubler of the poor world's peace!
The worm of conscience still be-gnaw thy soul!
Thy friends suspect for traitors while thou liv'st,
And take deep traitors for thy dearest friends!
No sleep close up that deadly eye of thine,
Unless it be while some tormenting dream
Affrights thee with a hell of ugly devils!
Thou elvish-mark'd, abortive, rooting hog!
Thou that wast seal'd in thy nativity
The slave of nature and the son of hell!
Thou slander of thy heavy mother's womb!
Thou loathed issue of thy father's loins!
Thou rag of honour! thou detested —

GLOSTER.
Margaret.

QUEEN MARGARET.
Richard!

GLOSTER.
Ha!

QUEEN MARGARET.
I call thee not.

GLOSTER.
I cry thee mercy then; for I did think
That thou hadst call'd me all these bitter names.

QUEEN MARGARET.
Why, so I did; but look'd for no reply.
O, let me make the period to my curse!

GLOSTER.
'Tis done by me, and ends in — Margaret.

QUEEN ELIZABETH.
Thus have you breath'd your curse against yourself.

QUEEN MARGARET.
Poor painted queen, vain flourish of my fortune!
Why strew'st thou sugar on that bottled spider,
Whose deadly web ensnareth thee about?
Fool, fool! thou whett'st a knife to kill thyself.
The day will come that thou shalt wish for me
To help thee curse this poisonous bunch-back'd toad.

HASTINGS.
False-boding woman, end thy frantic curse,
Lest to thy harm thou move our patience.

QUEEN MARGARET.
Foul shame upon you! you have all mov'd mine.

RIVERS.
Were you well serv'd, you would be taught your duty.

QUEEN MARGARET.
To serve me well, you all should do me duty,
Teach me to be your queen, and you my subjects:
O, serve me well, and teach yourselves that duty!

DORSET.
Dispute not with her, — she is lunatic.

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