William Shakespeare: The Life and Death of King Richard III

2. SCENE II. Another Room in the palace.

[Enter the DUCHESS OF YORK, with A SON and DAUGHTER of

Good grandam, tell us, is our father dead?

No, boy.

Why do you weep so oft, and beat your breast,
And cry "O Clarence, my unhappy son!"

Why do you look on us, and shake your head,
And call us orphans, wretches, castaways,
If that our noble father were alive?

My pretty cousins, you mistake me both;
I do lament the sickness of the king,
As loath to lose him, not your father's death;
It were lost sorrow to wail one that's lost.

Then you conclude, my grandam, he is dead.
The king mine uncle is to blame for this:
God will revenge it; whom I will importune
With earnest prayers all to that effect.

And so will I.

Peace, children, peace! the king doth love you well:
Incapable and shallow innocents,
You cannot guess who caus'd your father's death.

Grandam, we can; for my good uncle Gloster
Told me, the king, provok'd to it by the queen,
Devis'd impeachments to imprison him:
And when my uncle told me so, he wept,
And pitied me, and kindly kiss'd my cheek;
Bade me rely on him as on my father,
And he would love me dearly as his child.

Ah, that deceit should steal such gentle shape,
And with a virtuous visard hide deep vice!
He is my son; ay, and therein my shame;
Yet from my dugs he drew not this deceit.

Think you my uncle did dissemble, grandam?

Ay, boy.

I cannot think it.--Hark! what noise is this?

[Enter QUEEN ELIZABETH,dostractedly; RIVERS and DORSET following

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