E’S FOUR-ACTION SCHEME
Appended to E are instructions for dividing the third Action into two separate Actions. Presumably these represent revisions made for an actual or intended revival performance. The scheme begins with a new scene written to begin the revised third Action. I present an edited version of the new scene and a transcript of the remainder of the document.
The third action
A curten being drawn let Brackenbury be showne kneeling before a picture of our Lorde.
BRACK. Te supplices Deum precamur maximum
Ne turpiter lapsos furor tuus premat.
Malum parit piis malum.
Est poena peccatum sibi.
Affligit authorem scelus. 5
Solus labem purgat Deus.
Mens aegra semper angitur.
Discernit aegrotus male.
Se pestis enutrit magis.
Solus labem solvit Deus 10
O Greene, longum rex iter sospes tenet?
GR. Regi potenti chari Brackenburie,
Arcisque summae Belini custos potens,
Salubre mentem corpus aegram continet.
Regni metu Richardus aestuat ferox. 15
Iniusta sceptra possidet trepida manu,
Novasque suspicatur insidias sibi.
Stipante dum magna caterva rex suam
Inviseret Glocestriam, famam aucupans,
Incerta sortis cogitans ludibria, 20
Quamque facile ruit impetu potentia
Regnique lubricum nimis statum tremens
Dum spiritu vescatur aetherio nepos,
Mox ut suo reddat dolori spiritum
Geminus nepos, et sanguine extinguant suo 25
Regni metum pueri ferox patruus studet.
Tibi literas rege iussus accipe.
Parare tristem regulis iubet necem
Et principibus adferre lethales manus,
Quos vinculis praefectus arcis comprimis. 30
Animus stupet vultumque pallor occupat.
Factum movet tam triste. Dimittit caput
Dubioque volvit iussa regis pectore.
BRACK. Quid agis? Decet te iussa regis exsequi,
Neque is meam condemnet ambiguam fidem. 35
Calcare non decet cruorem principum.
Imperet inique licet, at imperium tamen.
Quid? Imbues manus tuas? Scelus nihil
Demens times? Fidem tueris? Filios
Cur regis Edwardi necabis perfidus? 40
Non impiis parere iussibus decet.
<Faciam quidvis,> iniusta dum non imperet.
GR. Quid principi referre me tandem iubes?
BRACK. <Me fore semper> regi fidelem nuncia.
GR. An regiis mortem parabis fratribus? 45
BRACK. Ego regios <nunquam> nepotes destruam,
<Nec> principum cruores sudabunt manus.
GR. Quod est necesse, sponte nil factum putes.
BRACK. Nil est necesse, si mori prius queas.
GR. <Malum esse> non cogit quod invitus facis. 50
BRACK. Crimen nefandum nullus invitus facit.
GR. Tantum scelesti regis imperium magis.
BRACK. <At haud> potest princeps scelesta cogere.
GR. Nihl furor movet frementis principis?
BRACK. Funesti vitii macula me movet magis. 55
GR. Sed quid moror? Prodesse dum queo nihil
Responsa (licet ingrata) regi perferam.
In lines 44, 46, 50 and 53 words have been added to fill out lines that are incomplete in the ms. In the ms. line 42 reads imperet inique, iniusta dum non imperet. Here the words impereit inique seem wrongly repeated from line 37, and have displaced the original words of the text.
[A curten being drawn let Brackenbury be showne kneeling before a picture of our Lorde.]
BRACK. Great God, we humbly beseech you, let not Your wrath oppress us sinners. In the eyes of the pious, evil begets evil. Sin is its own punishment and crime afflicts the evildoer. Only God cleanses us of our stain. The sick mind is always tortured and, in its affliction, has difficulty judging right from wrong. Only God purges us of our stain. [Enter John Greene.] Oh Greene, did the King conclude his long journey safely?
GR. Brackenbury, dear to our puissant sovereign and mighty Governor of the Tower of Belinus, his healthy body houses a diseased mind. For fierce Richard is burning with anxiety for his kingdom. He wields his illegal scepter with a timid hand and is suspicious of new conspiracies against himself. While the King, guarded by a huge escort, visited his own Gloucester in a quest for popularity, he pondered the deceits of uncertain fortune, how easily power collapses before an onslaught, being exceedingly anxious about the unstable condition of the realm as long as his nephew draws breath. The fierce uncle is eager that his two nephews give up the ghost, to their own sorrow, and that the boys quench his fear for the kingdom with their blood. You are commanded to receive this warrant from the King. He orders you to prepare a sad death for the little princes and lay murderous hands on them whom, as Governor of the Tower, you hold in bondage. [To himself.] His mind hesitates, pallor steals over his face. This very gloomy deed appalls him. He bends down his head, pondering the royal orders in his doubtful heart.
BRACK. [To himself.] What are you doing? It behooves you to carry out the King’s commands. Let him not find grounds for condemning my questionable loyalty. We should not insult the blood of kings. Let Richard give an unjust order — it is nonetheless an order. What? Stain your hands? Are you so foolish as not to fear crime? Will you abide by your loyalty? Why should you faithlessly kill Edward’s sons? I should not obey impious orders. I shall do anything he wants, as long as he does not bid me do injustice.
GR. What answer do you wish me to carry back to the King?
BRACK. Report that I shall always be loyal to him.
GR. But will you accomplish the murder of the royal brothers?
BRACK. I shall never destroy the royal nephews, nor will my hands drip with the princes’ blood.
GR. what you do out of necessity you should not think done of your own free will.
BRACK. One does nothing out of necessity — as long as one is able to die first.
GR. What you do unwillingly does not compel you to be evil.
BRACK. Nobody commits an unspeakable crime involuntarily.
GR. Rather, think this the order of a criminal ruler.
BRACK. No ruler can force us to do evil.
GR. Are you not moved by our raging sovereign’s anger?
BRACK. I am more moved by the stain of sin involved in this murderous misdeed.
GR. When why do I delay, when I can accomplish nothing? I shall bear your response to the King, no matter now unwelcome a one.]
o rector alme caelitum et terr<a>e decus (2775)
quiquis gubernas: parce Brackenburio (2776)
clemens furore iste diri principis (2777)
paena certam libera grat fidem (2778)
horierecessat imperii sitis (2779)
curisusquam solvitur erga ambitio (2780)
solusmactare brackenburius (2798)
natos tuos Edwardi solus perdere (2799)
& so forth as in the first scene & on to the end of the first acte
the 3 acte
Dux buck Episc. Eliens. venerande praesul Eliensis antistes (3063) and so forth unto the verses following
timoris ansam (doleo) quod tacens dedi (3318)
tu macte sis virtute, non falsum fidem (3319)
equos volantes poebus immerget (2879)
nudoque ca<e>lo lucem spargit vagum (2780f.
nitida cohorte luna respendens soror variant)
dubia litebit consilia cras iungere
the fourthe acte
Buck. O magna coeli rector et mundi arbiter (3320)
quantum tibi devincta gens est Anglia (3321)
and so to the end of the s(econ)d acte
the fifth acte
all the third acte of the third night
the fourth night
the first acte
it is to beginne at the fourth act of the third night and continue unto these verses o socia thalami &c. (3860)
the second acte
from that place unto nuntius fuget manus Richmondius comes (4084)
the third acte
from that place unto the fifth acte of the third night
the fourth acte
from the beginning of the former fifth acte unto quis hic locus? quae regio (4352)
the fifth acte
from that place unto the ende