Act 1 - Scene 1
London. A street.
Enter GLOUCESTER, solus
Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this sun of York;
And all the clouds that
lour'd upon our house
In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.
Now are our brows bound with victorious
Our bruised arms hung up for monuments;
Our stern alarums changed to merry meetings,
dreadful marches to delightful measures.
Grim-visaged war hath smooth'd his wrinkled front;
instead of mounting barded steeds
To fright the souls of fearful adversaries,
He capers nimbly in a lady's
To the lascivious pleasing of a lute.
But I, that am not shaped for sportive tricks,
Nor made to
court an amorous looking-glass;
I, that am rudely stamp'd, and want love's majesty
To strut before a wanton
I, that am curtail'd of this fair proportion,
Cheated of feature by dissembling nature,
unfinish'd, sent before my time
Into this breathing world, scarce half made up,
And that so lamely and
That dogs bark at me as I halt by them;
Why, I, in this weak piping time of peace,
delight to pass away the time,
Unless to spy my shadow in the sun
And descant on mine own deformity:
therefore, since I cannot prove a lover,
To entertain these fair well-spoken days,
I am determined to prove
And hate the idle pleasures of these days.
Plots have I laid, inductions dangerous,
prophecies, libels and dreams,
To set my brother Clarence and the king
In deadly hate the one against
And if King Edward be as true and just
As I am subtle, false and treacherous,
This day should
Clarence closely be mew'd up,
About a prophecy, which says that 'G'
Of Edward's heirs the murderer
Dive, thoughts, down to my soul: here
Enter CLARENCE, guarded, and BRAKENBURY
Brother, good day; what means this armed guard
That waits upon your grace?
Tendering my person's safety, hath appointed
This conduct to convey me to the Tower.
Upon what cause?
Because my name is George.
Alack, my lord, that fault is none of yours;
He should, for that, commit your godfathers:
O, belike his majesty
hath some intent
That you shall be new-christen'd in the Tower.
But what's the matter, Clarence? may I
Yea, Richard, when I know; for I protest
As yet I do not: but, as I can learn,
He hearkens after prophecies
And from the cross-row plucks the letter G.
And says a wizard told him that by G
disinherited should be;
And, for my name of George begins with G,
It follows in his thought that I am
These, as I learn, and such like toys as these
Have moved his highness to commit me now.
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