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And yet to win her, all the world to nothing!
Hath she forgot already that brave prince,
Edward, her lord, whom I some three months since,
Young, valiant, wise, and, no doubt, right royal,—
That cropp'd the golden prime of this sweet prince,
On me, whose all not equals Edward's moiety?
I do mistake my person all this while:
a beggarly denier,] A denier is the twelfth part of a French sous, and appears to have been the usual request of a beggar.
A Room in the Palace.
Enter Queen ELIZABETH, Lord RIVERS, and Lord
Riv. Have patience, madam; there's no doubt, his majesty
Will soon recover his accustom'd health.
Grey. In that you brook it ill, it makes him worse: Therefore, for God's sake, entertain good comfort, And cheer his grace with quick and merry words.
Q. Eliz. If he were dead, what would betide of me
To be your comforter, when he is gone.
Q. Eliz. Ah, he is young; and his minority
Enter BUCKINGHAM and STANLEY.
Grey. Here come the lords of Buckingham and
Buck. Good time of day unto your royal grace!
Q. Eliz. The countess Richmond, good my lord
To your good prayer will scarcely say-amen.
And loves not me, be you, good lord, assur'd,
Stan. I do beseech you, either not believe
Bear with her weakness, which, I think, proceeds
Stan. But now, the duke of Buckingham, and I, Are come from visiting his majesty.
Q. Eliz. What likelihood of his amendment, lords? Buck. Madam, good hope; his grace speaks cheerfully.
Q. Eliz. God grant him health! did you confer with him?
Buck. Ay, madam: he desires to make atonement Between the duke of Gloster and your brothers, And between them and my lord chamberlain; And sent to warn them' to his royal presence. Q. Eliz. 'Would all were well!-But that will never be;
I fear, our happiness is at the height.
Enter GLOSTER, HASTINGS, and DORSET.
Glo. They do me wrong, and I will not endure it:
Who are they, that complain unto the king,
7 to warn them] i. e. to summon.
I must be held a rancorous enemy.
Cannot a plain man live, and think no harm,
Grey. To whom in all this presence speaks your grace?
Glo. To thee, that hast nor honesty, nor grace.
But you must trouble him with lewd complaints."
The king, of his own royal disposition,
Glo. I cannot tell;-The world is grown so bad, That wrens may prey where eagles dare not perch: Since every Jack became a gentleman,'
There's many a gentle person made a Jack.
Smile in men's faces, smooth, deceive, and cog,
Duck with French nods and apish courtesy,] An importation of artificial manners seems to have afforded our ancient poets a never failing topick of invective.
9with lewd complaints.] Lewd, in the present instance, signifies rude, ignorant; from the Anglo-Saxon Lacwede, a Laick. Chaucer often uses the word lewd, both for a laick and an ignorant person.
1 Since every Jack became a gentleman,] This proverbial expression at once demonstrates the origin of the term Jack so often used by Shakspeare. It means one of the very lowest class of people, among whom this name is of the most common and familiar kind.
Q. Eliz. Come, come, we know your meaning, brother Gloster;
You envy my advancement, and my friends;
Our brother is imprison'd by your means,
Held in contempt; while great promotions
Are daily given, to ennoble those
That scarce, some two days since, were worth a noble. Q. Eliz. By Him, that rais'd me to this careful height
From that contented hap which I enjoy'd,
I never did incense his majesty
Against the duke of Clarence, but have been
My lord, you do me shameful injury,
Glo. You may deny that you were not the cause
Of my lord Hastings' late imprisonment.
Riv. She may, my lord; for
Glo. She may, lord Rivers?-why, who knows
She may do more, sir, than denying that:
Glo. What, marry, may she? marry with a king, A bachelor, a handsome stripling too:
I wis, your grandam had a worser match.
Q. Eliz. My lord of Gloster, I have too long borne Your blunt upbraidings, and your bitter scoffs: By heaven, I will acquaint his majesty, Of those gross taunts I often have endur'd.