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Scene Study (Male-Female)


Mischance and sorrow go along with you!

Heart’s discontent and sour affliction

Be playfellows to keep you company!

There’s two of you, the devil make a third,

And threefold vengeance tend upon your steps!


Cease, gentle queen, these execrations,

And let thy Suffolk take his heavy leave.


Fie, coward woman and soft-hearted wretch!

Hast thou not spirit to curse thine enemy?


A plague upon them! wherefore should I curse them?

Would curses kill, as doth the mandrake’s groan,

I would invent as bitter searching terms,

As curst, as harsh, and horrible to hear,

Deliver’d strongly through my fixed teeth,

With full as many signs of deadly hate,

As lean-fac’d Envy in her loathsome cave.

My tongue should stumble in mine earnest words,

Mine eyes should sparkle like the beaten flint,

Mine hair be fix’d an end, as one distract;

Ay, every joint should seem to curse and ban;

And even now my burden’d heart would break,

Should I not curse them. Poison be their drink!

Gall, worse than gall, the daintiest that they taste!

Their sweetest shade a grove of cypress trees!

Their chiefest prospect murd’ring basilisks!

Their softest touch as smart as lizards’ stings!

Their music frightful as the serpent’s hiss,

And boding screech-owls make the consort full!

All the foul terrors in dark-seated hell—


Enough, sweet Suffolk, thou torment’st thyself,

And these dread curses, like the sun ’gainst glass,

Or like an overcharged gun, recoil,

And turns the force of them upon thyself.


You bade me ban, and will you bid me leave?

Now by the ground that I am banish’d from,

Well could I curse away a winter’s night,

Though standing naked on a mountain top,

Where biting cold would never let grass grow,

And think it but a minute spent in sport.


O, let me entreat thee cease. Give me thy hand,

That I may dew it with my mournful tears;

Nor let the rain of heaven wet this place

To wash away my woeful monuments.

O, could this kiss be printed in thy hand,

That thou mightst think upon these by the seal,

Through whom a thousand sighs are breath’d for thee!

So get thee gone, that I may know my grief,

’Tis but surmis’d whiles thou art standing by,

As one that surfeits thinking on a want.

I will repeal thee, or, be well assur’d,

Adventure to be banished myself;

And banished I am, if but from thee.

Go, speak not to me; even now be gone.

O, go not yet! Even thus two friends condemn’d

Embrace, and kiss, and take ten thousand leaves,

Loather a hundred times to part than die.

Yet now farewell, and farewell life with thee!


Thus is poor Suffolk ten times banished,

Once by the King, and three times thrice by thee.

’Tis not the land I care for, wert thou thence;

A wilderness is populous enough,

So Suffolk had thy heavenly company:

For where thou art, there is the world itself,

With every several pleasure in the world;

And where thou art not, desolation.

I can no more: live thou to joy thy life;

Myself no joy in nought but that thou liv’st.


Ay me! what is this world! what news are these!

But wherefore grieve I at an hour’s poor loss,

Omitting Suffolk’s exile, my soul’s treasure?

Why only, Suffolk, mourn I not for thee,

And with the southern clouds contend in tears,

Theirs for the earth’s increase, mine for my sorrows?

Now get thee hence, the King, thou know’st, is coming.

If thou be found by me, thou art but dead.


If I depart from thee, I cannot live,

And in thy sight to die, what were it else

But like a pleasant slumber in thy lap?

Here could I breathe my soul into the air,

As mild and gentle as the cradle-babe

Dying with mother’s dug between its lips;

Where, from thy sight, I should be raging mad,

And cry out for thee to close up mine eyes,

To have thee with thy lips to stop my mouth;

So shouldst thou either turn my flying soul,

Or I should breathe it so into thy body,

And then it liv’d in sweet Elysium.

To die by thee were but to die in jest,

From thee to die were torture more than death.

O, let me stay, befall what may befall!


Away! though parting be a fretful corrosive,

It is applied to a deathful wound.

To France, sweet Suffolk! Let me hear from thee;

For wheresoe’er thou art in this world’s globe,

I’ll have an Iris that shall find thee out.


I go.


And take my heart with thee.

She kisseth him.


A jewel, lock’d into the woefull’st cask

That ever did contain a thing of worth.

Even as a splitted bark, so sunder we;

This way fall I to death.


This way for me.


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