4. SCENE IV. London. A Room in the Tower.
Then be your eyes the witness of their evil:
Look how I am bewitch'd; behold, mine arm
Is, like a blasted sapling, wither'd up:
And this is Edward's wife, that monstrous witch,
Consorted with that harlot-strumpet Shore,
That by their witchcraft thus have marked me.
If they have done this deed, my noble lord,--
If!--thou protector of this damned strumpet,
Talk'st thou to me of "ifs"?--Thou art a traitor:--
Off with his head!--now, by Saint Paul I swear,
I will not dine until I see the same.--
Lovel and Ratcliff:--look that it be done:--
The rest, that love me, rise and follow me.
[Exeunt all except HASTINGS, LOVEL, and RATCLIFF.]
Woe, woe, for England! not a whit for me;
For I, too fond, might have prevented this.
Stanley did dream the boar did raze his helm;
And I did scorn it, and disdain to fly.
Three times to-day my foot-cloth horse did stumble,
And started, when he look'd upon the Tower,
As loth to bear me to the slaughter-house.
O, now I need the priest that spake to me:
I now repent I told the pursuivant,
As too triumphing, how mine enemies
To-day at Pomfret bloodily were butcher'd,
And I myself secure in grace and favour.
O Margaret, Margaret, now thy heavy curse
Is lighted on poor Hastings' wretched head!
Come, come, despatch; the duke would be at dinner:
Make a short shrift; he longs to see your head.
O momentary grace of mortal men,
Which we more hunt for than the grace of God!
Who builds his hope in air of your good looks
Lives like a drunken sailor on a mast,
Ready, with every nod, to tumble down
Into the fatal bowels of the deep.
Come, come, despatch; 'tis bootless to exclaim.
O bloody Richard!--miserable England!
I prophesy the fearfull'st time to thee
That ever wretched age hath look'd upon.--
Come, lead me to the block; bear him my head:
They smile at me who shortly shall be dead.