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QUEEN ELIZABETH

Wilt thou, O God, fly from such gentle lambs
And throw them in the entrails of the wolf?
When didst thou sleep when such a deed was done?

QUEEN ELIZABETH

Will you abandon such gentle lambs, God, and throw them to the wolves? Have you ever slept before while such a terrible deed was done?

QUEEN MARGARET

25 (aside) When holy Harry died, and my sweet son.

QUEEN MARGARET

(to herself) Sure—when my husband, holy

Harry

Harry = Henry VI

Harry
, died and when my sweet son died.

DUCHESS

(sitting down)
Dead life, blind sight, poor mortal living ghost,
Woe’s scene, world’s shame, grave’s due by life usurped,
Brief abstract and record of tedious days,
30Rest thy unrest on England’s lawful earth,
Unlawfully made drunk with innocent blood.

DUCHESS

(sitting down) Sight has gone blind, life is as dead as a ghost. This is a mournful scene—it’s a shame to the world, when someone like me, who should have died long ago, still lives. As a short summary and record of an unbearable life, I’ll settle my restless bones on England’s lawful ground (sitting down), which broke the law when it got drunk on the blood of the innocent!

QUEEN ELIZABETH

(sitting down beside her)
Ah, that thou wouldst as soon afford a grave
As thou canst yield a melancholy seat,
35Then would I hide my bones, not rest them here.
O, who hath any cause to mourn but we?

QUEEN ELIZABETH

(sitting down beside her) Oh, if only the earth would offer me not just a seat for mourning but a grave. Then I would bury myself, not just rest my bones. Oh, who has any reason to mourn except us?

QUEEN MARGARET

(joining them) If ancient sorrow be most reverend,
Give mine the benefit of seigniory,
And let my griefs frown on the upper hand.
40If sorrow can admit society,
Tell o'er your woes again by viewing mine.
I had an Edward till a Richard killed him;
I had a husband till a Richard killed him.
Thou hadst an Edward till a Richard killed him;
45Thou hadst a Richard till a Richard killed him.

QUEEN MARGARET

If the oldest grief is the most revered, then mine should have the most weight here. Let my sorrow have the upper hand. If you can allow for comparison (sitting down with them), consider your losses next to mine. I had an Edward till a Richard killed him, and I had a Harry till a Richard killed him. On your side, you had an Edward till a Richard killed him, and you had the young Richard, York, till a Richard killed him. So, I guess we’re equal.

DUCHESS

I had a Richard too, and thou did’st kill him;
I had a Rutland too; thou holp’st to kill him.

DUCHESS

I had a Richard too—namely, my husband—and you killed him. I had my son Rutland, and you helped kill him.