Henry VI, part III; Act III, scene ii: Jim Devita Version

 

Henry 6, Part 3.         Act 3, Scene 2.             Richard of Gloucester

(This text is featured in our interview with Jim Devita)

  1. Ay, Edward will use women honorably.
  2. Would he were wasted, marrow, bones and all,
  3. That from his loins no hopeful branch may spring,
  4. To cross me from the golden time I look for!
  5. And yet, between my soul’d desire and me –
  6. The lustful Edward’s title buried –
  7. Is Clarence, Henry, and his son young Edward
  8. To take their rooms, ere I can place myself.
  9. Why, then, I do but dream on sovereignty.
  10. Well, say there is no kingdom then for Richard;
  11. What other pleasures can the world afford?
  12. I’ll make my heaven in a lady’s lap,
  13. And deck my body with gay ornaments,
  14. And witch sweet ladies with my words and looks.
  15. Miserable thought!  And more unlikely
  16. Than to accomplish twenty golden crowns.
  17. Why, love forswore me in my mother’s womb:
  18. And, for I should not deal in her soft laws,
  19. She did corrupt frail nature with some bribe,
  20. To shrink mine arm up like a withered shrub;
  21. To make an envious mountain on my back,
  22. Where sits deformity to mock my body;
  23. To shape my legs of an unequal size;
  24. To disproportion me in every part,
  25. Like to a chaos.
  26. And am I then a man to be beloved?
  27. Monstrous fault, to harbor such a thought!
  28. Then, since this earth affords no joy to me,
  29. I’ll make my heaven to dream upon the crown –
  30. And yet I know not how to get the crown,
  31. For many lives stand between me and home:
  32. And I, like one lost in a thorny wood,
  33. Seeking a way and straying from the way;
  34. Not knowing how to find the open air,
  35. But toiling desperately to find it out, –
  36. Torment myself to catch the English crown:
  37. And from that torment I will free myself,
  38. Or hew my way out with a bloody axe.
  39. Why, I can smile, and murder whiles I smile,
  40. And cry ‘content’ to that which grieves my heart,
  41. And wet my cheeks with artificial tears,
  42. And frame my face to all occasions.
  43. I can add colors to the chameleon,
  44. And set the murderous Machiavelli to school.
  45. Can I do this, and cannot get a crown?
  46. Tut, were it farther off, I’ll pluck it down.

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