1. SCENE I. London. Before the Tower
[Enter, on one side, QUEEN ELIZABETH, DUCHESS of YORK, and
MARQUIS of DORSET; on the other, ANNE DUCHESS of GLOSTER,
leading LADY MARGARET PLANTAGENET, CLARENCE's young daughter.]
Who meets us here?--my niece Plantagenet,
Led in the hand of her kind aunt of Gloster?
Now, for my life, she's wandering to the Tower,
On pure heart's love, to greet the tender princes.--
Daughter, well met.
God give your graces both
A happy and a joyful time of day!
As much to you, good sister! Whither away?
No farther than the Tower; and, as I guess,
Upon the like devotion as yourselves,
To gratulate the gentle princes there.
Kind sister, thanks; we'll enter all together:--
And in good time, here the lieutenant comes.
Master Lieutenant, pray you, by your leave,
How doth the prince, and my young son of York?
Right well, dear madam. By your patience,
I may not suffer you to visit them.
The king hath strictly charg'd the contrary.
The king! who's that?
I mean the lord protector.
The Lord protect him from that kingly title!
Hath he set bounds between their love and me?
I am their mother; who shall bar me from them?
I am their father's mother; I will see them.
Their aunt I am in law, in love their mother:
Then bring me to their sights; I'll bear thy blame,
And take thy office from thee on my peril.
No, madam, no,--I may not leave it so:
I am bound by oath, and therefore pardon me.