Henry 6, Part 3. Act 3, Scene 2. Richard of Gloucester
124 I, Edward will vse Women honourably:
125 Would he were wasted, Marrow, Bones, and all,
126 That from his Loynes no hopefull Branch may spring,
127 To crosse me from the Golden time I looke for:
128 And yet, betweene my Soules desire, and me,
129 The lustfull Edwards Title buryed,
120 Is Clarence, Henry, and his Sonne young Edward,
131 And all the vnlook’d-for Issue of their Bodies,
132 To take their Roomes, ere I can place my selfe:
133 A cold premeditation for my purpose.
134 Why then I doe but dreame on Soueraigntie,
135 Like one that stands vpon a Promontorie,
136 And spyes a farre-off shore, where hee would tread,
137 Wishing his foot were equall with his eye,
138 And chides the Sea, that sunders him from thence,
139 Saying, hee’le lade it dry, to haue his way:
140 So doe I wish the Crowne, being so farre off,
141 And so I chide the meanes that keepes me from it,
142 And so (I say) Ile cut the Causes off,
143 Flattering me with impossibilities:
144 My Eyes too quicke, my Heart o’re-weenes too much,
145 Vnlesse my Hand and Strength could equall them.
146 Well, say there is no Kingdome then for Richard:
147 What other Pleasure can the World affoord?
148 Ile make my Heauen in a Ladies Lappe,
149 And decke my Body in gay Ornaments,
150 And ‘witch sweet Ladies with my Words and Lookes.
151 Oh miserable Thought! and more vnlikely,
152 Then to accomplish twentie Golden Crownes.
153 Why Loue forswore me in my Mothers Wombe:
154 And for I should not deale in her soft Lawes,
155 Shee did corrupt frayle Nature with some Bribe,
156 To shrinke mine Arme vp like a wither’d Shrub,
157 To make an enuious Mountaine on my Back,
158 Where sits Deformitie to mocke my Body;
159 To shape my Legges of an vnequall size,
160 To dis-proportion me in euery part:
161 Like to a Chaos, or an vn-lick’d Beare-whelpe,
162 That carryes no impression like the Damme.
163 And am I then a man to be belou’d?
164 Oh monstrous fault, to harbour such a thought.
165 Then since this Earth affoords no Ioy to me,
166 But to command, to check, to o’re-beare such,
167 As are of better Person then my selfe:
168 Ile make my Heauen, to dreame vpon the Crowne,
169 And whiles I liue, t’account this World but Hell,
170 Vntill my mis-shap’d Trunke, that beares this Head,
171 Be round impaled with a glorious Crowne.
172 And yet I know not how to get the Crowne,
173 For many Liues stand betweene me and home:
174 And I, like one lost in a Thornie Wood,
175 That rents the Thornes, and is rent with the Thornes,
176 Seeking a way, and straying from the way,
177 Not knowing how to finde the open Ayre,
178 But toyling desperately to finde it out,
179 Torment my selfe, to catch the English Crowne:
180 And from that torment I will free my selfe,
181 Or hew my way out with a bloody Axe.
182 Why I can smile, and murther whiles I smile,
183 And cry, Content, to that which grieues my Heart,
184 And wet my Cheekes with artificiall Teares,
185 And frame my Face to all occasions.
186 Ile drowne more Saylers then the Mermaid shall,
187 Ile slay more gazers then the Basiliske,
188 Ile play the Orator as well as Nestor,
189 Deceiue more slyly then Vlisses could,
190 And like a Synon, take another Troy.
191 I can adde Colours to the Camelion,
192 Change shapes with Proteus, for aduantages,
193 And set the murtherous Macheuill to Schoole.
194 Can I doe this, and cannot get a Crowne?
195 Tut, were it farther off, Ile plucke it downe.