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Speeches (Lines) for Lady Anne
in "Richard III"

Total: 51

# Act, Scene, Line
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Speech text



(stage directions). [Enter the corpse of KING HENRY the Sixth, Gentlemen] with halberds to guard it; LADY ANNE being the mourner]

Lady Anne. Set down, set down your honourable load,
If honour may be shrouded in a hearse,
Whilst I awhile obsequiously lament
The untimely fall of virtuous Lancaster.
Poor key-cold figure of a holy king!
Pale ashes of the house of Lancaster!
Thou bloodless remnant of that royal blood!
Be it lawful that I invocate thy ghost,
To hear the lamentations of Poor Anne,
Wife to thy Edward, to thy slaughter'd son,
Stabb'd by the selfsame hand that made these wounds!
Lo, in these windows that let forth thy life,
I pour the helpless balm of my poor eyes.
Cursed be the hand that made these fatal holes!
Cursed be the heart that had the heart to do it!
Cursed the blood that let this blood from hence!
More direful hap betide that hated wretch,
That makes us wretched by the death of thee,
Than I can wish to adders, spiders, toads,
Or any creeping venom'd thing that lives!
If ever he have child, abortive be it,
Prodigious, and untimely brought to light,
Whose ugly and unnatural aspect
May fright the hopeful mother at the view;
And that be heir to his unhappiness!
If ever he have wife, let her he made
A miserable by the death of him
As I am made by my poor lord and thee!
Come, now towards Chertsey with your holy load,
Taken from Paul's to be interred there;
And still, as you are weary of the weight,
Rest you, whiles I lament King Henry's corse.



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Stay, you that bear the corse, and set it down.

Lady Anne. What black magician conjures up this fiend,
To stop devoted charitable deeds?



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Unmanner'd dog! stand thou, when I command:
Advance thy halbert higher than my breast,
Or, by Saint Paul, I'll strike thee to my foot,
And spurn upon thee, beggar, for thy boldness.

Lady Anne. What, do you tremble? are you all afraid?
Alas, I blame you not; for you are mortal,
And mortal eyes cannot endure the devil.
Avaunt, thou dreadful minister of hell!
Thou hadst but power over his mortal body,
His soul thou canst not have; therefore be gone.



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Sweet saint, for charity, be not so curst.

Lady Anne. Foul devil, for God's sake, hence, and trouble us not;
For thou hast made the happy earth thy hell,
Fill'd it with cursing cries and deep exclaims.
If thou delight to view thy heinous deeds,
Behold this pattern of thy butcheries.
O, gentlemen, see, see! dead Henry's wounds
Open their congeal'd mouths and bleed afresh!
Blush, Blush, thou lump of foul deformity;
For 'tis thy presence that exhales this blood
From cold and empty veins, where no blood dwells;
Thy deed, inhuman and unnatural,
Provokes this deluge most unnatural.
O God, which this blood madest, revenge his death!
O earth, which this blood drink'st revenge his death!
Either heaven with lightning strike the
murderer dead,
Or earth, gape open wide and eat him quick,
As thou dost swallow up this good king's blood
Which his hell-govern'd arm hath butchered!



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Lady, you know no rules of charity,
Which renders good for bad, blessings for curses.

Lady Anne. Villain, thou know'st no law of God nor man:
No beast so fierce but knows some touch of pity.



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). But I know none, and therefore am no beast.

Lady Anne. O wonderful, when devils tell the truth!



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). More wonderful, when angels are so angry.
Vouchsafe, divine perfection of a woman,
Of these supposed-evils, to give me leave,
By circumstance, but to acquit myself.

Lady Anne. Vouchsafe, defused infection of a man,
For these known evils, but to give me leave,
By circumstance, to curse thy cursed self.



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Fairer than tongue can name thee, let me have
Some patient leisure to excuse myself.

Lady Anne. Fouler than heart can think thee, thou canst make
No excuse current, but to hang thyself.



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). By such despair, I should accuse myself.

Lady Anne. And, by despairing, shouldst thou stand excused;
For doing worthy vengeance on thyself,
Which didst unworthy slaughter upon others.



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Say that I slew them not?

Lady Anne. Why, then they are not dead:
But dead they are, and devilish slave, by thee.



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). I did not kill your husband.

Lady Anne. Why, then he is alive.



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Nay, he is dead; and slain by Edward's hand.

Lady Anne. In thy foul throat thou liest: Queen Margaret saw
Thy murderous falchion smoking in his blood;
The which thou once didst bend against her breast,
But that thy brothers beat aside the point.



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). I was provoked by her slanderous tongue,
which laid their guilt upon my guiltless shoulders.

Lady Anne. Thou wast provoked by thy bloody mind.
Which never dreamt on aught but butcheries:
Didst thou not kill this king?



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). I grant ye.

Lady Anne. Dost grant me, hedgehog? then, God grant me too
Thou mayst be damned for that wicked deed!
O, he was gentle, mild, and virtuous!



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). The fitter for the King of heaven, that hath him.

Lady Anne. He is in heaven, where thou shalt never come.



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Let him thank me, that holp to send him thither;
For he was fitter for that place than earth.

Lady Anne. And thou unfit for any place but hell.



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Yes, one place else, if you will hear me name it.

Lady Anne. Some dungeon.



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Your bed-chamber.

Lady Anne. I'll rest betide the chamber where thou liest!



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). So will it, madam till I lie with you.

Lady Anne. I hope so.



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). I know so. But, gentle Lady Anne,
To leave this keen encounter of our wits,
And fall somewhat into a slower method,
Is not the causer of the timeless deaths
Of these Plantagenets, Henry and Edward,
As blameful as the executioner?

Lady Anne. Thou art the cause, and most accursed effect.



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Your beauty was the cause of that effect;
Your beauty: which did haunt me in my sleep
To undertake the death of all the world,
So I might live one hour in your sweet bosom.

Lady Anne. If I thought that, I tell thee, homicide,
These nails should rend that beauty from my cheeks.



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). These eyes could never endure sweet beauty's wreck;
You should not blemish it, if I stood by:
As all the world is cheered by the sun,
So I by that; it is my day, my life.

Lady Anne. Black night o'ershade thy day, and death thy life!



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Curse not thyself, fair creature thou art both.

Lady Anne. I would I were, to be revenged on thee.



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). It is a quarrel most unnatural,
To be revenged on him that loveth you.

Lady Anne. It is a quarrel just and reasonable,
To be revenged on him that slew my husband.



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). He that bereft thee, lady, of thy husband,
Did it to help thee to a better husband.

Lady Anne. His better doth not breathe upon the earth.



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). He lives that loves thee better than he could.

Lady Anne. Name him.



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Plantagenet.

Lady Anne. Why, that was he.



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). The selfsame name, but one of better nature.

Lady Anne. Where is he?



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Here.
[She spitteth at him]
Why dost thou spit at me?

Lady Anne. Would it were mortal poison, for thy sake!



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Never came poison from so sweet a place.

Lady Anne. Never hung poison on a fouler toad.
Out of my sight! thou dost infect my eyes.



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Thine eyes, sweet lady, have infected mine.

Lady Anne. Would they were basilisks, to strike thee dead!



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). I would they were, that I might die at once;
For now they kill me with a living death.
Those eyes of thine from mine have drawn salt tears,
Shamed their aspect with store of childish drops:
These eyes that never shed remorseful tear,
No, when my father York and Edward wept,
To hear the piteous moan that Rutland made
When black-faced Clifford shook his sword at him;
Nor when thy warlike father, like a child,
Told the sad story of my father's death,
And twenty times made pause to sob and weep,
That all the standers-by had wet their cheeks
Like trees bedash'd with rain: in that sad time
My manly eyes did scorn an humble tear;
And what these sorrows could not thence exhale,
Thy beauty hath, and made them blind with weeping.
I never sued to friend nor enemy;
My tongue could never learn sweet smoothing word;
But now thy beauty is proposed my fee,
My proud heart sues, and prompts my tongue to speak.
[She looks scornfully at him]
Teach not thy lips such scorn, for they were made
For kissing, lady, not for such contempt.
If thy revengeful heart cannot forgive,
Lo, here I lend thee this sharp-pointed sword;
Which if thou please to hide in this true bosom.
And let the soul forth that adoreth thee,
I lay it naked to the deadly stroke,
And humbly beg the death upon my knee.
[He lays his breast open: she offers at it with his sword]
Nay, do not pause; for I did kill King Henry,
But 'twas thy beauty that provoked me.
Nay, now dispatch; 'twas I that stabb'd young Edward,
But 'twas thy heavenly face that set me on.
[Here she lets fall the sword]
Take up the sword again, or take up me.

Lady Anne. Arise, dissembler: though I wish thy death,
I will not be the executioner.



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Then bid me kill myself, and I will do it.

Lady Anne. I have already.



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Tush, that was in thy rage:
Speak it again, and, even with the word,
That hand, which, for thy love, did kill thy love,
Shall, for thy love, kill a far truer love;
To both their deaths thou shalt be accessary.

Lady Anne. I would I knew thy heart.



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). 'Tis figured in my tongue.

Lady Anne. I fear me both are false.



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Then never man was true.

Lady Anne. Well, well, put up your sword.



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Say, then, my peace is made.

Lady Anne. That shall you know hereafter.



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). But shall I live in hope?

Lady Anne. All men, I hope, live so.



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Vouchsafe to wear this ring.

Lady Anne. To take is not to give.



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Look, how this ring encompasseth finger.
Even so thy breast encloseth my poor heart;
Wear both of them, for both of them are thine.
And if thy poor devoted suppliant may
But beg one favour at thy gracious hand,
Thou dost confirm his happiness for ever.

Lady Anne. What is it?



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). That it would please thee leave these sad designs
To him that hath more cause to be a mourner,
And presently repair to Crosby Place;
Where, after I have solemnly interr'd
At Chertsey monastery this noble king,
And wet his grave with my repentant tears,
I will with all expedient duty see you:
For divers unknown reasons. I beseech you,
Grant me this boon.

Lady Anne. With all my heart; and much it joys me too,
To see you are become so penitent.
Tressel and Berkeley, go along with me.



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Bid me farewell.

Lady Anne. 'Tis more than you deserve;
But since you teach me how to flatter you,
Imagine I have said farewell already.



Duchess of York. Who meets us here? my niece Plantagenet
Led in the hand of her kind aunt of Gloucester?
Now, for my life, she's wandering to the Tower,
On pure heart's love to greet the tender princes.
Daughter, well met.

Lady Anne. God give your graces both
A happy and a joyful time of day!



Queen Elizabeth. As much to you, good sister! Whither away?

Lady Anne. No farther than the Tower; and, as I guess,
Upon the like devotion as yourselves,
To gratulate the gentle princes there.



Duchess of York. I am their fathers mother; I will see them.

Lady Anne. 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.



Queen Elizabeth. O, cut my lace in sunder, that my pent heart
May have some scope to beat, or else I swoon
With this dead-killing news!

Lady Anne. Despiteful tidings! O unpleasing news!



Sir William Stanley. Come, madam, come; I in all haste was sent.

Lady Anne. And I in all unwillingness will go.
I would to God that the inclusive verge
Of golden metal that must round my brow
Were red-hot steel, to sear me to the brain!
Anointed let me be with deadly venom,
And die, ere men can say, God save the queen!



Queen Elizabeth. Go, go, poor soul, I envy not thy glory
To feed my humour, wish thyself no harm.

Lady Anne. No! why? When he that is my husband now
Came to me, as I follow'd Henry's corse,
When scarce the blood was well wash'd from his hands
Which issued from my other angel husband
And that dead saint which then I weeping follow'd;
O, when, I say, I look'd on Richard's face,
This was my wish: 'Be thou,' quoth I, ' accursed,
For making me, so young, so old a widow!
And, when thou wed'st, let sorrow haunt thy bed;
And be thy wife—if any be so mad—
As miserable by the life of thee
As thou hast made me by my dear lord's death!
Lo, ere I can repeat this curse again,
Even in so short a space, my woman's heart
Grossly grew captive to his honey words
And proved the subject of my own soul's curse,
Which ever since hath kept my eyes from rest;
For never yet one hour in his bed
Have I enjoy'd the golden dew of sleep,
But have been waked by his timorous dreams.
Besides, he hates me for my father Warwick;
And will, no doubt, shortly be rid of me.



Queen Elizabeth. Poor heart, adieu! I pity thy complaining.

Lady Anne. No more than from my soul I mourn for yours.



Queen Elizabeth. Farewell, thou woful welcomer of glory!

Lady Anne. Adieu, poor soul, that takest thy leave of it!



(stage directions). [Enter the Ghost of LADY ANNE]

Richard, thy wife, that wretched Anne thy wife,
That never slept a quiet hour with thee,
Now fills thy sleep with perturbations
To-morrow in the battle think on me,
And fall thy edgeless sword: despair, and die!
Thou quiet soul, sleep thou a quiet sleep
Dream of success and happy victory!
Thy adversary's wife doth pray for thee.

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