From forth the kennel of thy womb hath crept
A hellhound that doth hunt us all to death:
That dog, that had his teeth before his eyes,
To worry lambs and lap their gentle blood,
That foul defacer of God’s handiwork,
That excellent grand tyrant of the earth
That reigns in gallèd eyes of weeping souls,
Thy womb let loose to chase us to our graves.
O upright, just, and true-disposing God,
How do I thank thee that this charnel cur
Preys on the issue of his mother’s body
And makes her pew fellow with others’ moan.

Wm Shakespeare, Richard III, Act IV, Scene 4, lines 47-58.

The speaker is Queen Margaret to Richard’s mother, the Duchess of York. It is a breathtaking insult, is it not?

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