Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Adrian Kiernander
Not Peer Reviewed

Richard the Third (Modern)

Enter Richard Duke of Gloucester [alone].
Richard Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this sun of York,
5And all the clouds that loured upon our House
In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.
Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths,
Our bruisèd arms hung up for monuments,
Our stern alarums changed to merry meetings,
10Our dreadful marches to delightful measures.
Grim-visaged War hath smoothed his wrinkled front,
And now instead of mounting barbèd steeds
To fright the souls of fearful adversaries
He capers nimbly in a ladies' chamber
15To 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 stamped and want love's majesty
To strut before a wanton, ambling nymph:
20I that am curtailed of this fair proportion,
Cheated of feature by dissembling Nature,
Deformed, unfinished, sent before my time
Into this breathing world scarce half made up,
And that so lamely and unfashionable
25That dogs bark at me as I halt by them:
Why I in this weak piping time of peace
Have no delight to pass away the time,
Unless to spy my shadow in the sun
And descant on mine own deformity.
30And therefore since I cannot prove a lover
To entertain these fair, well-spoken days,
I am determinèd to prove a villain
And hate the idle pleasures of these days.
Plots have I laid, inductious, dangerous,
35By drunken prophesies, libels and dreams
To set my brothers, Clarence and the King,
In deadly hate, the one against the other.
And if King Edward be as true and just
As I am subtle, false and treacherous,
40This day should Clarence closely be mewed up
About a prophecy which says that "G"
Of Edward's heirs the murderer shall be.
Dive, thoughts, down to my soul,
Enter Clarence with a guard of men [under the command of Brakenbury].
Here Clarence comes.
45Brother, good days -- What means this armèd guard
That waits upon your grace?
Clarence His majesty, tendering my person's safety, hath appointed
This conduct to convey me to the Tower.
Richard Upon what cause?
50Clarence Because my name is George.
Richard Alack, my lord, that fault is none of yours;
He should for that commit your godfathers --
Oh, belike his majesty hath some intent
That you shall be new christened in the Tower.
55But what's the matter, Clarence, may I know?
Clarence Yea, Richard, when I know; for I protest
As yet I do not, but as I can learn,
He harkens after prophecies and dreams,
And from the cross-row plucks the letter "G"
60And says a wizard told him that by "G"
His issue disinherited should be;
And for my name of George begins with "G"
It follows in his thought that I am he.
These, as I learn, and such like toys as these
65Have moved his highness to commit me now.
Richard Why, this it is when men are ruled by women;
'Tis not the King that sends you to the Tower:
My Lady Grey his wife, Clarence, 'tis she
That tempers him to this extremity.
70Was it not she, and that good man of worship
Anthony Woodville her brother there,
That made him send Lord Hastings to the Tower,
From whence this present day he is delivered?
We are not safe, Clarence, we are not safe.
75Clarence By heaven, I think there is no man is secured
But the Queen's kindred and night-walking heralds
That trudge betwixt the King and Mistress Shore.
Heard ye not what an humble suppliant
Lord Hastings was to her for his delivery?
80Richard Humbly complaining to her deity
Got my Lord Chamberlain his liberty.
I'll tell you what, I think it is our way,
If we will keep in favor with the King,
To be her men and wear her livery.
85The jealous o'er-worn widow and herself,
Since that our brother dubbed them gentlewomen,
Are mighty gossips in this monarchy.
Brakenbury I beseech your graces both to pardon me;
His majesty hath straitly given in charge
90That no man shall have private conference,
Of what degree soever, with his brother.
Richard Even so? And please your worship Brakenbury,
You may partake of anything we say.
We speak no treason, man: we say the King
95Is wise and virtuous, and his noble Queen
Well struck in years, fair and not jealous.
We say that Shore's wife hath a pretty foot,
A cherry lip, a bonny eye, a passing pleasing tongue,
And that the Queen's kindred are made gentlefolks.
100How say you, sir, can you deny all this?
Brakenbury With this, my lord, myself have nought to do.
Richard Naught to do with Mistress Shore? I tell thee fellow,
He that doth naught with her, excepting one,
105Were best he do it secretly, alone.
Brakenbury What one, my lord?
Richard Her husband, knave; wouldst thou betray me?
Brakenbury I beseech your grace to pardon me and withal forbear
110Your conference with the noble Duke.
Clarence We know thy charge, Brakenbury, and will obey.
Richard We are the Queen's abjects and must obey.
Brother, farewell.
[He hugs Clarence.]
I will unto the King,
And whatsoever you will employ me in,
115Were it to call King Edward's widow "sister",
I will perform it to enfranchise you.
Meantime this deep disgrace in brotherhood
Touches me deeper than you can imagine.
[He weeps.]
I know it pleaseth neither of us well.
120Richard Well, your imprisonment shall not be long:
I will deliver you or lie for you;
Meantime, have patience.
Clarence I must perforce; farewell.
Exit Clar[ence with Brakenbury and guards].
Richard Go, tread the path that thou shalt ne'er return,
125Simple, plain Clarence, I do love thee so
That I will shortly send thy soul to heaven --
If heaven will take the present at our hands.
But who comes here, the new delivered Hastings?
Enter Lord Hastings.
130Hastings Good time of day unto my gracious lord.
Richard As much unto my good Lord Chamberlain.
Well are you welcome to the open air.
How hath your lordship brooked imprisonment?
Hastings With patience, noble lord, as prisoners must;
135But I shall live, my lord, to give them thanks
That were the cause of my imprisonment.
Richard No doubt, no doubt, and so shall Clarence too,
For they that were your enemies are his
And have prevailed as much on him as you.
140Hastings More pity that the eagle should be mewed
While kites and buzzards prey at liberty.
Richard What news abroad?
Hastings No news so bad abroad as this at home:
The King is sickly, weak and melancholy,
145And his physicians fear him mightily.
Richard Now, by Saint Paul, this news is bad indeed;
Oh, he hath kept an evil diet long
And overmuch consumed his royal person;
'Tis very grievous to be thought upon.
150What, is he in his bed?
Hastings He is.
Richard Go you before and I will follow you.
Exit Hast[ings].
He cannot live, I hope, and must not die
155'Till George be packed with post-horse up to heaven.
I'll in to urge his hatred more to Clarence
With lies well steeled with weighty arguments
And, if I fail not in my deep intent,
Clarence hath not another day to live.
160Which done, God take King Edward to his mercy
And leave the world for me to bustle in;
For then I'll marry Warwick's youngest daughter.
What though I killed her husband? And her father?
The readiest way to make the wench amends
165Is to become her husband and her father,
The which will I, not all so much for love
As for another secret close intent
By marrying her which I must reach unto.
But yet I run before my horse to market:
170Clarence still breathes, Edward still lives and reigns;
When they are gone, then must I count my gains.
Enter Lady Anne [in mourning, attended by Tressill and Barkley] with the hearse of [King Henry VI, carried by pallbearers, and guards bearing halberds].
175Anne Set down, set down your honorable load,
If honor may be shrouded in a hearse,
Whilst I a while obsequiously lament
The untimely fall of virtuous Lancaster.
[The hearse is set down.]
Poor key-cold figure of a holy king,
180Pale 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 slaughtered son,
185Stabbed by the selfsame hands that made these holes,
Lo, in those 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.
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, venomed thing that lives.
195If 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.
200If ever he have wife, let her be made
As miserable by the death of him
As I am made by my poor lord and thee.
Come now, towards Chertsey with your holy load,
[The pallbearers pick up the hearse.]
Taken from Paul's to be interrèd there,
205And still as you are weary of the weight,
Rest you whiles I lament King Henry's corse.
Enter [Richard].
Richard Stay, you that bear the corse, and set it down.
Anne What black magician conjures up this fiend
210To stop devoted charitable deeds?
Richard[Drawing his sword.] Villain, set down the corse or by Saint Paul
I'll make a corse of him that disobeys.
Gentleman My lord, stand back and let the coffin pass.
[A guard levels his halberd at Richard.]
Richard Unmannered dog, 215stand thou when I command.
Advance thy halberd higher than my breast
Or by Saint Paul I'll strike thee to my foot
And spurn upon thee, beggar, for thy boldness.
[The hearse is set down.]
Anne What? Do you tremble, are you all afraid?
220Alas, I blame you not, for you are mortal
And mortal eyes cannot endure the devil.
[To Richard] Avaunt, thou dreadful minister of hell.
Thou hadst but power over his mortal body;
His soul thou canst not have; therefore be gone.
225Richard Sweet saint, for charity, be not so curst.
Anne Foul devil, for God's sake hence and trouble us not,
For thou hast made the happy earth thy hell,
Filled it with cursing cries and deep exclaims.
230If thou delight to view thy heinous deeds,
Behold this pattern of thy butcheries.
[She indicates, or uncovers, the dead body.]
Oh gentlemen, see, see, dead Henry's wounds
Open their congealed mouths and bleed afresh.
Blush, blush, thou lump of foul deformity,
235For '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;
240O 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-governed arm hath butchered.
245Richard Lady, you know no rules of charity,
Which renders good for bad, blessings for curses.
Anne Villain, thou knowest no law of God nor man:
No beast so fierce but knows some touch of pity.
Richard But I know none, and therefore am no beast.
250Anne Oh wonderful, when devils tell the truth!
Richard More wonderful when angels are so angry.
Vouchsafe, divine perfection of a woman,
Of these supposèd evils to give me leave
By circumstance but to acquit myself.
255Anne Vouchsafe, defused infection of a man,
For these known evils but to give me leave
By circumstance to curse thy cursèd self.
Richard Fairer than tongue can name thee, let me have
Some patient leisure to excuse myself.
260Anne Fouler than heart can think thee, thou canst make
No excuse current but to hang thyself.
Richard By such despair I should accuse myself.
Anne And by despairing shouldst thou stand excused
265For doing worthy vengeance on thyself
Which didst unworthy slaughter upon others.
Richard Say that I slew them not.
Anne Why then they are not dead,
But dead they are, and, devilish slave, by thee.
270Richard I did not kill your husband.
Anne Why then he is alive.
Richard Nay, he is dead, and slain by Edward's hand.
Anne In thy foul throat thou liest. Queen Margaret saw
275Thy bloody falchion smoking in his blood,
The which thou once didst bend against her breast,
But that thy brothers beat aside the point.
Richard I was provokèd by her slanderous tongue
Which laid their guilt upon my guiltless shoulders.
280Anne Thou wast provokèd by thy bloody mind
Which never dreamed on aught but butcheries;
Didst thou not kill this King?
I grant ye, yea.
Anne Dost grant me, hedgehog? 285Then God grant me too
Thou mayest be damnèd for that wicked deed;
Oh, he was gentle, mild and virtuous.
Richard The fitter for the King of Heaven that hath him.
Anne He is in heaven where thou shalt never come.
290Richard Let him thank me that holp to send him thither,
For he was fitter for that place than earth.
Anne And thou unfit for any place but hell.
Richard Yes, one place else, if you will hear me name it.
295Anne Some dungeon.
Richard Your bedchamber.
Anne Ill rest betide the chamber where thou liest!
Richard So will it, madam, till I lie with you.
Anne I hope so.
300Richard 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,
305As blameful as the executioner?
Anne Thou art the cause (*of that most cursed effect.
Richard 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
310So I might rest one hour in your sweet bosom.
Anne If I thought that, I tell thee, homicide,
These nails should rend that beauty from my cheeks.
Richard These eyes could never endure sweet beauty's wrack.
You should not blemish them if I stood by.
315As all the world is cheerèd by the sun,
So I by that, it is my day, my life.
Anne Black night overshade thy day, and death thy life.
Richard Curse not thyself, fair creature, thou art both.
320Anne I would I were, to be revenged on thee.
Richard It is a quarrel most unnatural
To be revenged on him that loveth you.
Anne It is a quarrel just and reasonable
To be revenged on him that slew my husband.
325Richard He that bereft thee, lady, of thy husband
Did it to help thee to a better husband.
Anne His better doth not breathe upon the earth.
Richard Go to, he lives that loves you better than he could.
Anne Name him.
330Richard Plantagenet.
Anne Why that was he.
Richard The self-same name, but one of better nature.
Anne Where is he?
Richard Here.
She spit[s] at him.
335Why dost thou spit at me?
Anne Would it were mortal poison for thy sake.
Richard Never came poison from so sweet a place.
Anne Never hung poison on a fouler toad;
Out of my sight, thou dost infect my eyes.
340Richard Thine eyes, sweet lady, have infected mine.
Anne Would they were basilisks to strike thee dead.
Richard I would they were, that I might die at once,
For now they kill me with a living death.
[He weeps.]
Those eyes of thine from mine have drawn salt tears,
345Shamed their aspect with store of childish drops.
I never sued to friend nor enemy,
My tongue could never learn sweet soothing words,
360But 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.
365If thy revengeful heart cannot forgive,
Lo, here I lend thee this sharp pointed sword,
[Richard hands Anne his 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
370And humbly beg the death upon my knee.
[He kneels and lays his breast open. She offers at it with his sword.]
Nay, do not pause, 'twas I that killed your husband,
But 'twas thy beauty that provokèd me.
Nay, now dispatch, 'twas I that killed King Henry,
375But 'twas thy heavenly face that set me on.
Here she lets fall the sword.
Take up the sword again or take up me.
Anne Arise dissembler, though I wish thy death,
I will not be the executioner.
380Richard Then bid me kill myself and I will do it.
Anne I have already.
Richard Tush, that was in thy rage.
[Richard takes up the sword and points it toward his heart.]
Speak it again and, even with the word,
That hand which for thy love did kill thy love
385Shall for thy love kill a far truer love.
To both their deaths shalt thou be accessory.
Anne I would I knew thy heart.
Richard 'Tis figured in my tongue.
Anne I fear me both are false.
390Richard Then never was man true.
Anne Well, well, put up your sword.
Richard Say then my peace is made.
[Richard stands and sheathes the sword.]
Anne That shall you know hereafter.
Richard But shall I live in hope?
395Anne All men, I hope, live so.
Richard Vouchsafe to wear this ring.
[Richard offers Anne a ring.]
396.1Anne To take is not to give.
[He puts it on her finger.]
Richard Look how this ring encompasseth thy finger:
Even so thy breast encloseth my poor heart.
Wear both of them, for both of them are thine,
400And if thy poor, devoted suppliant may
But beg one favor at thy gracious hand
Thou dost confirm his happiness for ever.
Anne What is it?
Richard That it would please thee leave these sad designs
405To him that hath more cause to be a mourner
And presently repair to Crosby Place
Where, after I have solemnly interred
At Chertsey Monastery this noble King
And wet his grave with my repentant tears,
410I will with all expedient duty see you.
For divers unknown reasons, I beseech you
Grant me this boon.
Anne With all my heart, and much it joys me too
To see you are become so penitent.
415Tressill and Barkley, go along with me.
Richard Bid me farewell.
Anne 'Tis more than you deserve:
But since you teach me how to flatter you,
Imagine I have said farewell already.
Exit [with Tressill and Barkley.]
420Richard Sirs, take up the corse.
[The pallbearers take up the hearse.]
Servant Towards Chertsey, noble lord?
Richard No, to Whitefriars; there attend my coming.
Exeunt [pallbearers with the hearse, returning the way they came].[Richard remains.]
Was ever woman in this humor wooed?
425Was ever woman in this humor won?
I'll have her, but I will not keep her long.
What, I that killed her husband and his father,
To take her in her heart's extremest hate,
With curses in her mouth, tears in her eyes,
430The bleeding witness of her hatred by,
Having God, her conscience, and these bars against me,
And I nothing to back my suit at all
But the plain devil and dissembling looks,
And yet to win her? All the world to nothing. 435Hah!
Hath she forgot already that brave Prince,
Edward, her lord, whom I some three months since
Stabbed in my angry mood at Tewkesbury?
A sweeter and a lovelier gentleman
440Framed in the prodigality of nature,
Young, valiant, wise, and no doubt right royal,
The spacious world cannot again afford.
And will she yet debase her eyes on me
That cropped the golden prime of this sweet Prince
445And made her widow to a woeful bed;
On me whose all not equals Edward's moiety;
On me that halt, and am unshapen thus --
My dukedom to a beggarly denier,
I do mistake my person all this while!
450Upon my life she finds, although I cannot,
Myself to be a marvellous proper man.
I'll be at charges for a looking glass
And entertain some score or two of tailors
To study fashions to adorn my body.
455Since I am crept in favor with myself
I will maintain it with some little cost --
But first I'll turn yon fellow in his grave
And then return lamenting to my love.
Shine out, fair sun, till I have bought a glass
460That I may see my shadow as I pass.
Enter Queen [Elizabeth], Lord Rivers, Grey [and Dorset].
Rivers Have patience, madam, there's no doubt his majesty
465Will soon recover his accustomed health.
Grey In that you brook it ill, it makes him worse.
Therefore, for God's sake, entertain good comfort,
And cheer his grace with quick and merry words.
Queen Elizabeth If he were dead, what would betide of me?
Rivers No other harm but loss of such a lord.
Queen Elizabeth The loss of such a lord includes all harm.
Grey The heavens have blessed you with a goodly son
To be your comforter when he is gone.
475Queen Elizabeth Oh, he is young, and his minority
Is put unto the trust of Richard Gloucester,
A man that loves not me, nor none of you.
Rivers Is it concluded he shall be Protector?
Queen Elizabeth It is determined, not concluded yet,
480But so it must be, if the King miscarry.
Enter Buck[ingham and Stanley].
Grey Here come the Lords of Buckingham and Stanley.
Buckingham [To the Queen] Good time of day unto your royal grace.
Stanley God make your majesty joyful as you have been.
485Queen Elizabeth The Countess Richmond, good my Lord of Stanley,
To your good prayers will scarcely say "Amen".
Yet Stanley, notwithstanding she's your wife
And loves not me, be you, good lord, assured
I hate not you for her proud arrogance.
490Stanley I do beseech you, either not believe
The envious slanders of her false accusers
Or, if she be accused in true report,
Bear with her weakness which I think proceeds
From wayward sickness, and no grounded malice.
495Rivers Saw you the King today, my Lord of Stanley?
Stanley But now the Duke of Buckingham and I
Came from visiting his majesty.
Queen Elizabeth With likelihood of his amendment, lords?
Buckingham Madam, good hope, his grace speaks cheerfully.
500Queen Elizabeth God grant him health! Did you confer with him?
Buckingham Madam, we did. He desires to make atonement
Betwixt the Duke of Gloucester and your brothers,
And betwixt them and my Lord Chamberlain,
And sent to warn them to his royal presence.
505Queen Elizabeth Would all were well, but that will never be.
I fear our happiness is at the highest.
Enter [Richard and Hastings].
Richard They do me wrong and I will not endure it!
Who are they that complains unto the King
510That I forsooth am stern and love them not?
By holy Paul, they love his grace but lightly
That fill his ears with such dissentious rumors.
Because I cannot flatter and speak fair,
Smile in men's faces, smooth, deceive and cog,
515Duck with French nods and apish courtesy,
I must be held a rancorous enemy.
Cannot a plain man live and think no harm
But thus his simple truth must be abused
By silken, sly, insinuating jacks?
520Rivers To whom in all this presence speaks your grace?
Richard To thee that hast nor honesty nor grace!
When have I injured thee, when done thee wrong?
Or thee, or thee, or any of your faction?
A plague upon you all! His royal person,
525Whom God preserve better than you would wish,
Cannot be quiet scarce a breathing while
But you must trouble him with lewd complaints.
Queen Elizabeth Brother of Gloucester, you mistake the matter.
The King, of his own royal disposition
530And not provoked by any suitor else,
Aiming belike at your interior hatred
Which in your outward actions shows itself
Against my kindred, brother, and myself,
Makes him to send that thereby he may gather
534.1The ground of your ill will and to remove it.
535Richard I cannot tell, the world is grown so bad
That wrens make pray where eagles dare not perch.
Since every jack became a gentleman
There's many a gentle person made a jack.
Queen Elizabeth Come, come, we know your meaning brother Gloucester.
540You envy my advancement and my friends'.
God grant we never may have need of you.
Richard Meantime God grants that we have need of you.
Our brother is imprisoned by your means,
Myself disgraced, and the nobility
545Held in contempt, whilst many fair promotions
Are daily given to enoble those
That scarce some two days since were worth a noble.
Queen Elizabeth By him that raised me to this careful height
From that contented hap which I enjoyed,
550I never did incense his majesty
Against the Duke of Clarence, but have been
An earnest advocate to plead for him.
My lord, you do me shameful injury
Falsely to draw me in these vile suspects.
555Richard You may deny that you were not the cause
Of my Lord Hastings' late imprisonment.
Rivers She may, my lord.
Richard She may, Lord Rivers, why, who knows not so?
She may do more, sir, than denying that;
560She may help you to many fair preferments
And then deny her aiding hand therein
And lay those honors on your high deserts.
What may she not? She may, yea, marry, may she --
Rivers What, marry, may she?
565Richard What marry may she? Marry with a king,
A bachelor, a handsome stripling too.
Iwis your grandam had a worser match.
Queen Elizabeth My Lord of Gloucester, I have too long borne
Your blunt upbraidings and your bitter scoffs.
570By heaven, I will acquaint his majesty
With those gross taunts I often have endured.
I had rather be a country servant maid
Than a great queen with this condition,
To be thus taunted, scorned, and baited at.
Enter Qu[een] Margaret[, unseen by the others].
575Small joy have I in being England's queen.
Queen Margaret [Aside] And lessened be that small, God I beseech thee;
Thy honor, state, and seat is due to me.
Richard What? Threat you me with telling of the King?
579.1Tell him and spare not. Look, what I have said
580I will avouch in presence of the King;
'Tis time to speak, my pains are quite forgot.
Queen Margaret [Aside] Out, devil, 585I remember them too well.
Thou slewest my husband Henry in the Tower,
And Edward my poor son at Tewkesbury.
Richard Ere you were Queen, yea, or your husband King,
590I was a packhorse in his great affairs,
A weeder out of his proud adversaries,
A liberal rewarder of his friends.
To royalize his blood I spilled mine own. . .
Queen Margaret[Aside] Yea, and much better blood 595than his or thine.
Richard In all which time you and your husband Grey
Were factious for the House of Lancaster --
[To Rivers] And Rivers, so were you. [To Elizabeth] Was not your husband
In Margaret's battle at St Albans slain?
600Let me put in your minds, if yours forget,
What you have been ere now, and what you are;
Withal what I have been, and what I am.
Queen Margaret[Aside] A murderous villain, and so still thou art.
Richard Poor Clarence did forsake his father Warwick,
605Yea, and forswore himself, which Jesu pardon. . .
Queen Margaret[Aside] Which God revenge.
Richard To fight on Edward's party for the crown,
And for his meed, poor lord, he is mewed up.
I would to God my heart were flint like Edward's,
610Or Edward's soft and pitiful like mine;
I am too childish, foolish for this world.
Queen Margaret[Aside] Hie thee to hell for shame and leave the world
Thou cacodemon: there thy kingdom is.
Rivers My Lord of Gloucester, in those busy days,
615Which here you urge to prove us enemies,
We followed then our lord, our lawful king;
So should we you, if you should be our king.
Richard If I should be? I had rather be a pedlar!
Far be it from my heart, the thought of it.
620Queen Elizabeth As little joy, my lord, as you suppose
You should enjoy, were you this country's king,
As little joy may you suppose in me
That I enjoy, being the queen thereof.
Queen Margaret[Aside] A little joy enjoys the queen thereof,
625For I am she, and altogether joyless.
I can no longer hold me patient:
[Coming forward.] Hear me you wrangling pirates that fall out
In sharing that which you have pilled from me:
Which of you trembles not that looks on me?
630If not that, I being queen, you bow like subjects,
Yet that, by you deposed, you quake like rebels.
[To Richard]O gentle villain, do not turn away.
Richard Foul wrinkled witch, what mak'st thou in my sight?
Queen Margaret But repetition of what thou hast marred,
635That will I make, before I let thee go:
[To Richard] A husband and a son thou owest to me,
640[To Queen Elizabeth] And thou a kingdom, [To the others] all of you allegiance.
The sorrow that I have by right is yours,
And all the pleasures you usurp are mine.
Richard The curse my noble father laid on thee
When thou didst crown his warlike brows with paper
645And with thy scorn drew'st rivers from his eyes --
And then to dry them gav'st the Duke a clout
Steeped in the faultless blood of pretty Rutland --
His curses then from bitterness of soul
Denounced against thee, are all fallen upon thee,
650And God, not we, hath plagued thy bloody deed.
Queen Elizabeth So just is God to right the innocent.
Hastings Oh, 'twas the foulest deed to slay that babe,
And the most merciless that ever was heard of.
Rivers Tyrants themselves wept when it was reported.
655Dorset No man but prophesied revenge for it.
Buckingham Northumberland, then present, wept to see it.
Queen Margaret What? Were you snarling all before I came,
Ready to catch each other by the throat,
And turn you all your hatred now on me?
660Did York's dread curse prevail so much with heaven
That Henry's death, my lovely Edward's death,
Their kingdom's loss, my woeful banishment
Could all but answer for that peevish brat?
Can curses pierce the clouds and enter heaven?
665Why then, give way dull clouds to my quick curses:
If not by war, by surfeit die your King,
As ours by murder to make him a King.
Edward thy son, which now is Prince of Wales,
For Edward my son, which was Prince of Wales,
670Die in his youth by like untimely violence.
Thyself a queen, for me that was a queen,
Outlive thy glory like my wretched self;
Long mayst thou live to wail thy children's loss
And see another, as I see thee now,
675Decked in thy rights as thou art stalled in mine;
Long die thy happy days before thy death
And, after many lengthened hours of grief,
Die neither mother, wife, nor England's queen;
Rivers and Dorset, you were standers by --
680And so wast thou, Lord Hastings -- when my son
Was stabbed with bloody daggers. God, I pray him
That none of you may live your natural age,
But by some unlooked accident cut off.
Richard Have done thy charm, thou hateful, withered hag.
685Queen Margaret And leave out thee? Stay, dog, for thou shalt hear me:
If heaven have any grievous plague in store
Exceeding those that I can wish upon thee,
Oh, let them keep it till thy sins be ripe
And then hurl down their indignation
690On thee, the troubler of the poor world's peace;
The worm of conscience still begnaw thy soul;
Thy friends suspect for traitors while thou livest
And take deep traitors for thy dearest friends;
No sleep close up that deadly eye of thine
695Unless it be whilst some tormenting dream
Affrights thee with a hell of ugly devils,
Thou elvish-marked, abortive, rooting hog!
Thou that wast sealed in thy nativity
The slave of Nature and the son of Hell,
700Thou slander of thy mother's heavy womb,
Thou loathèd issue of thy father's loins,
Thou rag of honor, thou detested --
Richard Margaret.
Queen Margaret Richard.
Richard Ha?
705Queen Margaret I call thee not.
Richard Then I cry thee mercy, for I had thought
That thou hadst called me all these bitter names.
Queen Margaret Why so I did, but looked for no reply.
Oh, let me make the period to my curse.
710Richard 'Tis done by me, and ends in "Margaret".
Queen Elizabeth Thus have you breathed your curse against yourself.
Queen Margaret Poor painted queen, vain flourish of my fortune,
Why strewest thou sugar on that bottled spider
Whose deadly web ensnareth thee about?
715Fool, fool, thou whet'st a knife to kill thyself.
The time will come that thou shalt wish for me
To help thee curse that poisonous bunch-backed toad.
Hastings False-boding woman, end thy frantic curse,
Lest to thy harm thou move our patience.
720Queen Margaret Foul shame upon you, you have all moved mine.
Rivers Were you well served, you would be taught your duty.
Queen Margaret To serve me well, you all should do me duty.
Teach me to be your queen and you my subjects;
Oh, serve me well and teach yourselves that duty.
725Dorset Dispute not with her, she is lunatic.
Queen Margaret Peace, Master Marquess, you are malapert,
Your fire-new stamp of honor is scarce current.
Oh, that your young nobility could judge
What 'twere to lose it and be miserable;
730They that stand high have many blasts to shake them,
And if they fall they dash themselves to pieces.
Richard Good counsel, marry, learn it, learn it, Marquess.
Dorset It toucheth you, my lord, as much as me.
735Richard Yea, and much more, but I was born so high;
Our eyrie buildeth in the cedar's top
And dallies with the wind and scorns the sun.
Queen Margaret And turns the sun to shade, alas, alas.
Witness my son, now in the shade of death,
740Whose bright outshining beams thy cloudy wrath
Hath in eternal darkness folded up;
Your eyrie buildeth in our eyrie's nest;
O God that seest it, do not suffer it.
As it was won with blood, lost be it so.
745Buckingham Have done, for shame if not for charity.
Queen Margaret Urge neither charity nor shame to me;
Uncharitably with me have you dealt,
And shamefully by you my hopes are butchered;
My charity is outrage, life my shame,
750And in my shame, still live my sorrow's rage.
Buckingham Have done.
Queen Margaret O princely Buckingham, I will kiss thy hand
In sign of league and amity with thee:
Now fair befall thee and thy princely House;
755Thy garments are not spotted with our blood,
Nor thou within the compass of my curse.
Buckingham Nor no one here, for curses never pass
The lips of those that breathe them in the air.
Queen Margaret I'll not believe but they ascend the sky
760And there awake God's gentle, sleeping peace.
[Aside, to Buckingham] O Buckingham, beware of yonder dog;
Look, when he fawns he bites, and when he bites
His venom tooth will rankle thee to death;
Have not to do with him, beware of him,
765Sin, Death and Hell have set their marks on him,
And all their ministers attend on him.
Richard What doth she say, my Lord of Buckingham?
Buckingham Nothing that I respect, my gracious lord.
Queen Margaret What, dost thou scorn me 770for my gentle counsel
And soothe the devil that I warn thee from?
O but remember this another day
When he shall split thy very heart with sorrow
And say poor Margaret was a prophetess:
775Live each of you the subjects of his hate,
And he to yours, and all of you to God's.
Hastings My hair doth stand on end to hear her curses.
Rivers And so doth mine; I wonder she's at liberty.
Richard I cannot blame her, by God's holy mother.
780She hath had too much wrong, and I repent
My part thereof that I have done.
Queen Elizabeth I never did her any to my knowledge.
Richard But you have all the vantage of this wrong.
I was too hot to do somebody good
785That is too cold in thinking of it now.
Marry, as for Clarence, he is well repaid;
He is franked up to fatting for his pains;
God pardon them that are the cause of it.
Rivers A virtuous and a Christian-like conclusion
790To pray for them that have done scathe to us.
Richard So do I ever, being well advised, [Speaks to himself]
For had I cursed now, I had cursed myself.
[Enter Catesby.]
795Catesby Madam, his majesty doth call for you,
And for your grace, and you my noble lord.
Queen Elizabeth Catesby, we come. Lords, will you go with us?
Rivers Madam, we will attend your grace.
Exeunt [all except Richard.]
800Richard I do the wrong, and first began to brawl.
The secret mischiefs that I set abroach
I lay unto the grievous charge of others;
Clarence, whom I indeed have laid in darkness,
I do beweep to many simple gulls --
805Namely to Hastings, Stanley, Buckingham --
And say it is the Queen and her allies
That stir the King against the Duke my brother.
Now they believe me, and withal whet me
To be revenged on Rivers, Vaughan, Grey;
810But then I sigh, and with a piece of scripture
Tell them that God bids us do good for evil,
And thus I clothe my naked villainy
With old odd ends stolen out of holy writ,
And seem a saint when most I play the devil --
But soft, here come my executioners.
Enter executioners.
How now, my hardy, stout-resolvèd mates,
Are you now going to despatch this deed?
1 Executioner We are my lord, and come to have the warrant
820That we may be admitted where he is.
Richard It was well thought upon, I have it here about me.
[Richard gives the executioner a warrant.]
When you have done, repair to Crosby Place.
But sirs, be sudden in the execution,
Withal obdurate, do not hear him plead,
825For Clarence is well spoken and perhaps
May move your hearts to pity if you mark him.
1 Executioner Tush, fear not, my lord, we will not stand to prate;
Talkers are no good doers; be assured
We come to use our hands and not our tongues.
830Richard Your eyes drop millstones when fools' eyes drop tears.
I like you lads, about your business.
Enter Clarence, Brakenbury.
Brakenbury Why looks your grace so heavily today?
Clarence Oh, I have passed a miserable night,
So full of ugly sights, of ghastly dreams,
840That as I am a Christian, faithful man
I would not spend another such a night
Though 'twere to buy a world of happy days,
So full of dismal terror was the time.
Brakenbury What was your dream? I long to hear you tell it.
845Clarence Methoughts I was embarked for Burgundy,
And in my company my brother Gloucester
Who from my cabin tempted me to walk
Upon the hatches; thence we looked toward England
850And cited up a thousand fearful times
During the wars of York and Lancaster
That had befallen us. As we paced along
Upon the giddy footing of the hatches
Methought that Gloucester stumbled, and in stumbling
855Struck me, that thought to stay him, overboard
Into the tumbling billows of the main.
Lord, Lord, methought what pain it was to drown,
What dreadful noise of waters in my ears,
What ugly sights of death within my eyes:
860Methought I saw a thousand fearful wracks,
Ten thousand men that fishes gnawed upon,
Wedges of gold, great anchors, heaps of pearl,
Inestimable stones, unvalued jewels;
865Some lay in dead men's skulls, and in those holes
Where eyes did once inhabit, there were crept,
As 'twere in scorn of eyes, reflecting gems
Which wooed the slimy bottom of the deep
And mocked the dead bones that lay scattered by.
870Brakenbury Had you such leisure in the time of death
To gaze upon the secrets of the deep?
Clarence Methought I had, for still the envious flood
Kept in my soul, and would not let it forth
875To seek the empty, vast and wandering air,
But smothered it within my panting bulk
Which almost burst to belch it in the sea.
Brakenbury Awaked you not with this sore agony?
Clarence Oh no, my dream was lengthened after life.
880Oh, then began the tempest to my soul,
Who passed, methought, the melancholy flood,
With that grim ferryman which poets write of,
Unto the kingdom of perpetual night.
The first that there did greet my stranger soul
885Was my great father-in-law, renownèd Warwick,
Who cried aloud, "What scourge for perjury
Can this dark monarchy afford false Clarence?"
And so he vanished; then came wandring by
A shadow like an angel in bright hair,
890Dabbled in blood, and he squeaked out aloud,
"Clarence is come, false, fleeting, perjured Clarence
That stabbed me in the field by Tewkesbury.
Seize on him, Furies, take him to your torments."
With that, methoughts, a legion of foul fiends
895Environed me about and howled in mine ears
Such hideous cries that with the very noise
I trembling waked, and for a season after
Could not believe but that I was in hell,
Such terrible impression made the dream.
900Brakenbury No marvel, my lord, though it affrighted you.
I promise you, I am afraid to hear you tell it.
Clarence O Brakenbury, I have done those things
Which now bear evidence against my soul
For Edward's sake, and see how he requites me.
I pray thee, gentle keeper, stay by me;
910My soul is heavy and I fain would sleep.
Brakenbury I will, my lord, God give your grace good rest.
[Clarence sleeps.]
Sorrow breaks seasons, and reposing hours
Makes the night morning and the noontide night.
915Princes have but their titles for their glories,
An outward honor for an inward toil,
And for unfelt imagination
They often feel a world of restless cares;
So that betwixt their titles and low names
920There's nothing differs but the outward fame.
The executioners enter.
In God's name, what are you, and how came you hither?
9251 Executioner I would speak with Clarence, and I came hither on my legs.
Brakenbury Yea, are you so brief?
2 Executioner Oh sir, it is better to be brief than tedious.
[To the first executioner] Show him our commission, talk no more.
[The first executioner gives the commission to Brakenbury, who] reads it.
930Brakenbury I am in this commanded to deliver
The noble Duke of Clarence to your hands.
I will not reason what is meant hereby
Because I will be guiltless of the meaning.
Here are the keys, there sits the Duke asleep;
935I'll to his majesty, and certify his grace
That thus I have resigned my charge to you.
1 Executioner Do so, it is a point of wisdom.
2 Executioner What, shall I stab him as he sleeps?
9401 Executioner No, then he will say it was done cowardly when he wakes.
2 Executioner When he wakes? Why, fool, he shall never wake till the judgment day.
1 Executioner Why, then he will say we stabbed him sleeping.
2 Executioner The urging of that word "judgment" hath bred a 945kind of remorse in me.
1 Executioner What? Art thou afraid?
2 Executioner Not to kill him, having a warrant for it, but to be damned for killing him, from which no warrant can defend us.
1 Executioner Back to the Duke of Gloucester, tell him so.
2 Executioner I pray thee stay a while, I hope my holy humor will change; 955'twas wont to hold me but while one would tell twenty.
[He counts to twenty.]
1 Executioner How dost thou feel thyself now?
2 Executioner Faith, some certain dregs of conscience are yet within me.
1 Executioner Remember our reward when the deed is done.
9602 Executioner Zounds, he dies! I had forgot the reward.
1 Executioner Where is thy conscience now?
2 Executioner In the Duke of Gloucester's purse.
1 Executioner So when he opens his purse to give us our reward, thy conscience flies out.
9652 Executioner Let it go, there's few or none will entertain it.
1 Executioner How if it come to thee again?
2 Executioner I'll not meddle with it, it is a dangerous thing. It makes a man a coward: a man cannot steal but it accuses him; he cannot 970swear but it checks him; he cannot lie with his neighbor's wife but it detects him. It is a blushing shamefaced spirit that mutinies in a man's bosom: it fills one full of obstacles. It made me once restore a purse of gold that I found. It beggars any 975man that keeps it: it is turned out of all towns and cities for a dangerous thing, and every man that means to live well endeavors to trust to himself, and to live without it.
1 Executioner Zounds, it is even now at my elbow persuading me not to 980kill the Duke.
2 Executioner Take the devil in thy mind and believe him not. He would insinuate with thee to make thee sigh.
1 Executioner Tut, I am strong in fraud, he cannot prevail with me, I warrant thee.
2 Executioner Spoke like a tall fellow that respects his reputation. 985Come, shall we to this gear?
1 Executioner Take him over the costard with the hilts of thy sword, and then we will chop him in the malmsey butt in the next room.
2 Executioner Oh, excellent device, make a sop of him.
9901 Executioner Hark, he stirs, shall I strike?
2 Executioner No, first let's reason with him.
Clarence Where art thou, keeper, give me a cup of wine.
1 Executioner You shall have wine enough, my lord, anon.
995Clarence In God's name, what art thou?
2 Executioner A man, as you are.
Clarence But not as I am, royal.
2 Executioner Nor you as we are, loyal.
Clarence Thy voice is thunder, but thy looks are humble.
10002 Executioner My voice is now the King's, my looks mine own.
Clarence How darkly and how deadly dost thou speak.
Tell me who are you, wherefore come you hither?
Both To, to, to. . .
1005Clarence To murder me?
Clarence You scarcely have the hearts to tell me so,
And therefore cannot have the hearts to do it.
Wherein, my friends, have I offended you?
10101 Executioner Offended us you have not, but the King.
Clarence I shall be reconciled to him again.
2 Executioner Never, my lord, therefore prepare to die.
Clarence Are you called forth from out a world of men
To slay the innocent? What is my offence?
1015Where are the evidence that do accuse me?
What lawful quest have given their verdict up
Unto the frowning judge, or who pronounced
The bitter sentence of poor Clarence' death
Before I be convict by course of law?
1020To threaten me with death is most unlawful.
I charge you as you hope to have redemption,
1021.1By Christ's dear blood shed for our grievous sins,
That you depart and lay no hands on me.
The deed you undertake is damnable.
1 Executioner What we will do, we do upon command.
10252 Executioner And he that hath commanded is the King.
Clarence Erroneous vassal, the great King of Kings
Hath in the tables of his law commanded
That thou shalt do no murder, and wilt thou then
Spurn at his edict and fulfill a man's?
1030Take heed, for he holds vengeance in his hands
To hurl upon their heads that break his law.
2 Executioner And that same vengeance doth he throw on thee
For false forswearing, and for murder too.
Thou didst receive the holy sacrament
1035To fight in quarrel of the House of Lancaster . . .
1 Executioner And like a traitor to the name of God
Didst break that vow, and with thy treacherous blade
Unripped the bowels of thy sovereign's son. . .
2 Executioner Whom thou wert sworn to cherish and defend.
10401 Executioner How canst thou urge God's dreadful law to us
When thou hast broke it in so dear degree?
Clarence Alas, for whose sake did I that ill deed?
For Edward, for my brother, for his sake.
Why, sirs, he sends ye not to murder me for this,
1045For in this sin he is as deep as I.
If God will be revengèd for this deed,
Take not the quarrel from his powerful arm.
He needs no indirect nor lawless course
1050To cut off those that have offended him.
1 Executioner Who made thee then a bloody minister
When gallant, springing, brave Plantagenet,
That princely novice, was struck dead by thee?
Clarence My brother's love, the devil, and my rage.
10551 Executioner Thy brother's love, the devil and thy fault
Have brought us hither now to murder thee.
Clarence Oh, if you love my brother, hate not me;
I am his brother and I love him well.
If you be hired for meed, go back again
1060And I will send you to my brother Gloucester
Who will reward you better for my life
Than Edward will for tidings of my death.
2 Executioner You are deceived, your brother Gloucester hates you.
1065Clarence Oh no, he loves me, and he holds me dear.
Go you to him from me.
Both Aye, so we will.
Clarence Tell him, when that our princely father York
Blessed his three sons with his victorious arm
1069.1And charged us from his soul to love each other,
1070He little thought of this divided friendship.
Bid Gloucester think of this and he will weep.
Both Aye, millstones, as he lessoned us to weep.
Clarence Oh do not slander him for he is kind.
1 Executioner Right, as snow in harvest; 1075thou deceiv'st thyself.
'Tis he hath sent us hither now to slaughter thee.
Clarence It cannot be, for when I parted with him
He hugged me in his arms, and swore with sobs
That he would labor my delivery.
10802 Executioner Why so he doth, now he delivers thee
From this world's thralldom to the joys of heaven.
1 Executioner Make peace with God, for you must die, my lord.
Clarence Hast thou that holy feeling in thy soul
To counsel me to make my peace with God,
1085And art thou yet to thy own soul so blind
That thou wilt war with God by murdering me?
Ah sirs, consider, he that set you on
To do this deed will hate you for this deed.
2 Executioner What shall we do?
1090Clarence Relent, and save your souls.
1 Executioner Relent, 'tis cowardly and womanish.
Clarence Not to relent is beastly, savage, devilish.
[to the second executioner]
My friend, I spy some pity in thy looks.
Oh, if thy eye be not a flatterer,
1100Come thou on my side and entreat for me;
A begging prince, what beggar pities not?
1 Executioner
He stabs him [or hits him on the head with the hilt of his sword.]
Aye, thus, and thus: if this will not serve,
I'll chop thee in the malmsey butt in the next room.
[Exit with the wounded or unconscious Clarence.]
11052 Executioner A bloody deed and desperately performed.
How fain like Pilate would I wash my hand
Of this most grievous, guilty murder done.
[The first executioner re-enters.]
1 Executioner Why dost thou not help me?
By heavens, the Duke shall know how slack thou 1110art.
2 Executioner I would he knew that I had saved his brother.
Take thou the fee and tell him what I say,
For I repent me that the Duke is slain.
1 Executioner So do not I; go, coward as thou art.
1115Now must I hide his body in some hole
Until the Duke take order for his burial,
And when I have my meed I must away
For this will out and here I must not stay.
[Flourish.] Enter King [Edward, sick], Queen [Elizabeth], Hastings, Rivers, Dorset, [Buckingham and others].
King Edward So, now I have done a good day's work.
1125You peers, continue this united league;
I every day expect an embassage
From my Redeemer to redeem me hence:
And now in peace my soul shall part to heaven
Since I have set my friends at peace on earth.
1130Rivers and Hastings, take each other's hand,
Dissemble not your hatred, swear your love.
Rivers By heaven, my heart is purged from grudging hate,
And with my hand I seal my true heart's love.
[Rivers and Hastings clasp each other by the hand.]
Hastings So thrive I as I truly swear the like.
1135King Edward Take heed you dally not before your King
Lest he that is the supreme King of Kings
Confound your hidden falsehood, and award
Either of you to be the other's end.
Hastings So prosper I, as I swear perfect love.
1140Rivers And I, as I love Hastings with my heart.
King Edward Madam, yourself are not exempt in this,
Nor your son Dorset, Buckingham nor you.
You have been factious one against the other:
Wife, love Lord Hastings, let him kiss your hand,
1145And what you do, do it unfeignedly.
[She offers Hastings her hand to kiss.]
Queen Elizabeth Here, Hastings, I will never more remember
Our former hatred, so thrive I and mine.
1150Dorset This interchange of love I here protest
Upon my part shall be inviolable.
Hastings And so swear I, my lord.
[Hastings and Dorset embrace.]
King Edward Now, princely Buckingham, seal thou this league
With thy embracements to my wife's allies
1155And make me happy in your unity.
Buckingham Whenever Buckingham doth turn his hate
On you or yours; but with all duteous love
Doth cherish you and yours, God punish me
With hate in those where I expect most love:
1160When I have most need to employ a friend,
And most assurèd that he is a friend,
Deep, hollow, treacherous and full of guile
Be he unto me; this do I beg of God
When I am cold in zeal to you or yours.
[Buckingham embraces Rivers and Dorset.]
1165King Edward A pleasing cordial, princely Buckingham,
Is this thy vow unto my sickly heart.
There wanteth now our brother Gloucester here
To make the perfect period of this peace.
Enter [Richard].
Buckingham And in good time 1170here comes the noble Duke.
Richard Good morrow to my sovereign King and Queen,
And princely peers, a happy time of day.
King Edward Happy indeed as we have spent the day:
1175Brother we have done deeds of charity,
Made peace of enmity, fair love of hate
Between these swelling, wrong-incensèd peers.
Richard A blessèd labor, my most sovereign liege;
Amongst this princely heap, if any here
1180By false intelligence or wrong surmise
Hold me a foe; if I unwittingly or in my rage
Have aught committed that is hardly borne
By any in this presence, I desire
To reconcile me to his friendly peace.
1185'Tis death to me to be at enmity;
I hate it, and desire all good men's love.
First, madam, I entreat true peace of you
Which I will purchase with my duteous service;
Of you my noble cousin Buckingham
1190If ever any grudge were lodged between us.
Of you Lord Rivers, and Lord Grey of you,
That all without desert have frowned on me,
Dukes, earls, lords, gentlemen, indeed of all:
1195I do not know that Englishman alive
With whom my soul is any jot at odds
More than the infant that is born tonight;
I thank my God for my humility.
Queen Elizabeth A holy day shall this be kept hereafter.
1200I would to God all strifes were well compounded:
My sovereign liege, I do beseech your majesty
To take our brother Clarence to your grace.
Richard Why madam, have I offered love for this,
To be thus scornèd in this royal presence?
1205Who knows not that the noble Duke is dead?
[They all start.]
You do him injury to scorn his corse.
Rivers Who knows not he is dead? Who knows he is?
Queen Elizabeth All seeing heaven, what a world is this?
1210Buckingham Look I so pale, Lord Dorset, as the rest?
Dorset Aye my good lord, and no one in this presence
But his red color hath forsook his cheeks.
King Edward Is Clarence dead! The order was reversed.
Richard But he, poor soul, by your first order died,
1215And that a winged Mercury did bear.
Some tardy cripple bore the countermand
That came too lag to see him burièd.
God grant that some less noble and less loyal,
Nearer in bloody thoughts but not in blood,
1220Deserve not worse than wretched Clarence did,
And yet go current from suspicion.
[Stanley enters and kneels.]
Stanley A boon, my sovereign, for my service done.
King Edward I pray thee, peace, my soul is full of sorrow.
1225Stanley I will not rise unless your highness grant.
King Edward Then speak at once, what is it thou demand'st.
Stanley The forfeit, sovereign, of my servant's life
Who slew today a riotous gentleman
Lately attendant on the Duke of Norfolk.
1230King Edward Have I a tongue to doom my brother's death
And shall the same give pardon to a slave?
My brother slew no man, his fault was thought,
And yet his punishment was cruel death.
Who sued to me for him? Who in my rage
1235Kneeled at my feet and bade me be advised?
Who spoke of brotherhood? who spoke of love?
Who told me how the poor soul did forsake
The mighty Warwick and did fight for me;
Who told me, in the field by Tewkesbury
1240When Oxford had me down, he rescued me
And said, "Dear brother, live and be a king?"
Who told me, when we both lay in the field
Frozen almost to death, how he did lap me
Even in his own garments, and gave himself
1245All thin and naked to the numbcold night?
All this from my remembrance brutish wrath
Sinfully plucked, and not a man of you
Had so much grace to put it in my mind.
But when your carters or your waiting vassals
1250Have done a drunken slaughter, and defaced
The precious image of our dear Redeemer,
You straight are on your knees for "Pardon, pardon!"
And I, unjustly too, must grant it you. [Stanley rises.]
But for my brother, not a man would speak,
1255Nor I, ungracious, speak unto myself
For him, poor soul. The proudest of you all
Have been beholding to him in his life,
Yet none of you would once plead for his life.
O God, I fear thy justice will take hold
1260On me, and you, and mine, and yours for this.
Come Hastings, help me to my closet; oh, poor Clarence!
[He] exit[s, followed by Queen Elizabeth, Hastings, Rivers, Dorset and Stanley. Richard and Buckingham remain.]
Richard This is the fruit of rashness. Marked you not
How that the guilty kindred of the Queen
1265Looked pale when they did hear of Clarence' death?
Oh, they did urge it still unto the King.
God will revenge it. But come, let's in
To comfort Edward with our company.
Exeunt [Richard and Buckingham].
Enter [the] Duchess of York, with Clarence's children.
Boy Tell me, good granam, is our father dead?
Duchess No, boy.
1275Boy Why do you wring your hands and beat your breast
And cry, "Oh Clarence, my unhappy son?"
Girl Why do you look on us and shake your head
And call us wretches, orphans, castaways
If that our noble father be alive?
1280Duchess My pretty cousins, you mistake me much.
I do lament the sickness of the King,
As loath to lose him, not your father's death.
It were lost labor to weep for one that's lost.
Boy Then granam, you conclude that he is dead.
1285The King my uncle is too blame for this:
God will revenge it, whom I will importune
With daily prayers, all to that effect.
Duchess Peace, children, peace, the King doth love you well.
1290Incapable and shallow innocents,
You cannot guess who caused your father's death.
Boy Granam we can: for my good uncle Gloucester
Told me the King, provokèd by the Queen,
Devised impeachments to imprison him.
1295And when he told me so he wept,
And hugged me in his arm, and kindly kissed my cheek,
And bade me rely on him as in my father,
And he would love me dearly as his child.
Duchess Oh, that deceit should steal such gentle shapes,
1300And with a virtuous vizard hide foul guile.
He is my son, yea, and therein my shame,
Yet from my dugs he drew not this deceit.
Boy Think you my uncle did dissemble, granam?
Duchess Aye, boy.
1305Boy I cannot think it -- [Wailing within] Hark, what noise is this?
Enter the Quee[n, in distress].
Queen Elizabeth Oh, who shall hinder me to wail and weep,
To chide my fortune and torment myself?
1310I'll join with black despair against my soul,
And to myself become an enemy.
Duchess What means this scene of rude impatience?
Queen Elizabeth To make an act of tragic violence:
Edward, my lord, your son, our king is dead.
1315Why grow the branches now the root is withered?
Why wither not the leaves, the sap being gone?
If you will live, lament; if die, be brief
That our swift-wingèd souls may catch the King's,
Or like obedient subjects, follow him
1320To his new kingdom of perpetual rest.
Duchess[To the Queen] Ah, so much interest have I in thy sorrow
As I had title in thy noble husband:
I have bewept a worthy husband's death
And lived by looking on his images.
1325But now two mirrors of his princely semblance
Are cracked in pieces by malignant death,
And I for comfort have but one false glass
Which grieves me when I see my shame in him.
Thou art a widow, yet thou art a mother
1330And hast the comfort of thy children left thee,
But death hath snatched my children from mine arms
And plucked two crutches from my feeble limbs,
Edward and Clarence. Oh, what cause have I
Thine being but moiety of my grief,
1335To overgo thy plaints and drown thy cries?
Boy[To the Queen] Good aunt, you wept not for our father's death;
How can we aid you with our kindred's tears?
Girl[To the Queen] Our fatherless distress was left unmoaned,
Your widow's dolors likewise be unwept.
1340Queen Elizabeth Give me no help in lamentation;
I am not barren to bring forth laments:
All springs reduce their currents to mine eyes,
That I, being governed by the watery moon,
May send forth plenteous tears to drown the world.
1345Oh, for my husband, for my dear Lord Edward.
Both children Oh, for our father, for our dear Lord Clarence.
Duchess Alas for both, both mine, Edward and Clarence.
Queen Elizabeth What stay had I but Edward, and he is gone?
Boy, Girl What stay had we but Clarence, and he is gone?
1350Duchess What stays had I but they, and they are gone?
Queen Elizabeth Was never widow had so dear a loss.
Both children Was never orphans had a dearer loss.
Duchess Was never mother had a dearer loss.
Alas, I am the mother of these moans;
1355Their woes are parcelled, mine are general.
She for an Edward weeps, and so do I.
I for a Clarence weep, so doth not she.
These babes for Clarence weep, and so do I.
1358.1I for an Edward weep, so do not they.
Alas, you three, on me, threefold distressed,
1360Pour all your tears, I am your sorrow's nurse,
And I will pamper it with lamentations.
Enter [Richard] with others [including Buckingham].
Richard Madam, have comfort, all of us have cause
To wail the dimming of our shining star
But none can cure their harms by wailing them.
Madam my mother, I do cry you mercy,
1380I did not see your grace; humbly on my knee[Kneels.]
I crave your blessing.
Duchess God bless thee, and put meekness in thy mind,
Love, charity, obedience, and true duty.
Richard Amen, [He stands.] [Aside] and make me die a good old man;
1385That's the butt end of a mother's blessing.
I marvel why her grace did leave it out.
Buckingham You cloudy princes and heart-sorrowing peers
That bear this mutual heavy load of moan,
Now cheer each other in each other's love;
1390Though we have spent our harvest of this King
We are to reap the harvest of his son.
The broken rancor of your high-swollen hearts,
But lately splinted, knit, and joined together,
Must gently be preserved, cherished and kept.
1395Me seemeth good that with some little train
Forthwith from Ludlow the young Prince be fetched
Hither to London, to be crowned our King.
Richard Then it be so, and go we to determine
Who they shall be that straight shall post to Ludlow.
Madam, and you my mother, will you go
1420To give your censures in this weighty business?
1420.1Both With all our hearts.
Exeunt, [Richard and Buckingham remain].
Buckingham My lord, whoever journeys to the Prince,
For God's sake let not us two stay behind,
For by the way I'll sort occasion,
1425As index to the story we late talked of,
To part the Queen's proud kindred from the King.
Richard My other self, my counsel's consistory,
My oracle, my prophet, my dear cousin!
I like a child will go by thy direction.
1430Towards Ludlow then, for we will not stay behind.
Enter two citizens [at separate doors.]
1 Citizen Neighbor well met, whither away so 1435fast?
2 Citizen I promise you, I scarcely know myself.
1 Citizen Hear you the news abroad?
2 Citizen Aye, that the King is dead.
1 Citizen Bad news by'rlady, seldom comes the better;
1440I fear, I fear, 'twill prove a troublous world.
Ent[er] another cit[izen].
3 Citizen Good morrow neighbors.
Doth this news hold of good King Edward's death?
14451 Citizen It doth.
3Then masters, look to see a troublous world.
1 Citizen No no, by God's good grace his son shall reign.
3 Citizen Woe to that land that's governed by a child.
2 Citizen In him there is a hope of government
1450That, in his nonage, council under him,
And in his full and ripened years himself,
No doubt shall then, and till then, govern well.
1 Citizen So stood the state when Harry the Sixth
Was crowned at Paris but at nine months old.
14553 Citizen Stood the state so? No, good my friend, not so,
For then this land was famously enriched
With politic grave counsel; then the King
Had virtuous uncles to protect his grace.
2 Citizen So hath this, both by the father and mother.
14603 Citizen Better it were they all came by the father,
Or by the father there were none at all.
For emulation now, who shall be nearest
Will touch us all too near, if God prevent not.
Oh, full of danger is the Duke of Gloucester,
1465And the Queen's kindred haughty and proud,
And were they to be ruled and not to rule,
This sickly land might solace as before.
2 Citizen Come, come, we fear the worst, all shall be well.
3 Citizen When clouds appear, wise men put on their cloaks;
1470When great leaves fall, the winter is at hand;
When the sun sets, who doth not look for night?
Untimely storms make men expect a dearth;
All may be well, but if God sort it so
'Tis more than we deserve or I expect.
14751 Citizen Truly the souls of men are full of dread.
Ye cannot almost reason with a man
That looks not heavily and full of fear.
3 Citizen Before the times of change still is it so.
By a divine instinct men's minds mistrust
1480Ensuing dangers, as by proof we see
The waters swell before a boisterous storm.
But leave it all to God. Whither away?
2 Citizen We are sent for to the justice.
3 Citizen And so was I, I'll bear you company.
Enter Cardinal [Rotherham], Duchess of York, Queen [Elizabeth], young [Duke of] York.
Cardinal Rotherham Last night I hear they lay at Northampton.
At Stony Stratford will they be tonight;
1490Tomorrow or next day they will be here.
Duchess I long with all my heart to see the Prince;
I hope he is much grown since last I saw him.
Queen Elizabeth But I hear no, they say my son of York
Hath almost overta'en him in his growth.
1495York Aye mother, but I would not have it so.
Duchess Why, my young cousin, it is good to grow.
York Grandam, one night as we did sit at supper,
My uncle Rivers talked how I did grow
More than my brother. "Aye", quoth my Nuncle Gloucester,
1500"Small herbs have grace, great weeds grow apace",
And since, methinks, I would not grow so fast:
Because sweet flowers are slow, and weeds make haste.
Duchess Good faith, good faith, the saying did not hold
In him that did object the same to thee;
1505He was the wretched'st thing when he was young,
So long a growing, and so leisurely,
That if this were a true rule, he should be gracious.
Cardinal Rotherham Why, madam, so no doubt he is.
Duchess I hope so too, but [yet] let mothers doubt.
1510York Now, by my troth, if I had been remembered
I could have given my uncle's grace a flout
That should have nearer touched his growth than he did mine.
Duchess How, my pretty York? I pray thee let me hear it.
1515York Marry, they say my uncle grew so fast
That he could gnaw a crust at two hours old;
'Twas full two years ere I could get a tooth.
Granam, this would have been a biting jest.
Duchess I pray thee pretty York, who told thee so?
1520York Granam, his nurse.
Duchess His nurse? Why she was dead ere thou wert born.
York If 'twere not she, I cannot tell who told me.
Queen Elizabeth A perilous boy, go to, you are too shrewd.
Cardinal Rotherham Good madam, be not angry with the child.
1525Queen Elizabeth Pitchers have ears.
Enter Dorset.
Cardinal Rotherham Here comes your son, Lord Marquess Dorset.
What news, Lord Marquess?
Dorset Such news, my lord, as grieves me to unfold.
Queen Elizabeth How fares the Prince?
1530Dorset Well, madam, and in health.
Duchess What is thy news then?
Dorset Lord Rivers and Lord Grey are sent to Pomfret,
With them Sir Thomas Vaughan, prisoners.
1535Duchess Who hath committed them?
Dorset The mighty Dukes, Gloucester and Buckingham.
Cardinal Rotherham For what offence?
Dorset The sum of all I can I have disclosed.
Why or for what these nobles were committed
1540Is all unknown to me, my gracious lady.
Queen Elizabeth Aye me, I see the downfall of our House;
The tiger now hath seized the gentle hind,
Insulting tyranny begins to jet
Upon the innocent and lawless throne.
1545Welcome destruction, death and massacre:
I see as in a map the end of all.
Duchess Accursèd and unquiet wrangling days,
How many of you have mine eyes beheld?
My husband lost his life to get the crown,
1550And often up and down my sons were tossed
For me to joy and weep their gain and loss;
And, being seated and domestic broils
Clean overblown, themselves the conquerors
Make war upon themselves, 1555blood against blood,
Self against self. O preposterous
And frantic Outrage, end thy damnèd spleen,
Or let me die, to look on death no more.
Queen Elizabeth Come, come, my boy, we will to sanctuary.
1560Duchess I'll go along with you.
Queen Elizabeth You have no cause.
Cardinal Rotherham My gracious lady, go,
And thither bear your treasure and your goods;
For my part, I'll resign unto your grace
1565The seal I keep, and so betide to me
As well I tender you and all of yours.
Come, I'll conduct you to the sanctuary.
The trumpets sound. 1570Enter young Prince [Edward], the Dukes of Glocester and Buckingham, Cardinal [Bourchier], [Catesby and others].
Buckingham Welcome, sweet Prince, to London, to your chamber.
Richard Welcome dear cousin, my thought's sovereign;
1575The weary way hath made you melancholy.
Prince Edward No, uncle, but our crosses on the way
Have made it tedious, wearisome and heavy.
I want more uncles here to welcome me.
Richard Sweet Prince, the untainted virtue of your years
1580Hath not yet dived into the world's deceit,
Nor more can you distinguish of a man
Than of his outward show, which God he knows,
Seldom or never jumpeth with the heart.
Those uncles which you want were dangerous;
1585Your grace attended to their sugared words
But looked not on the poison of their hearts.
God keep you from them, and from such false friends.
Prince Edward God keep me from false friends, but they were none.
1590Richard My lord, the Mayor of London comes to greet you.
Enter Lord Mayor.
Mayor God bless your grace with health and happy days.
1595Prince Edward I thank you, good my lord, and thank you all.
I thought my mother and my brother York
Would long ere this have met us on the way.
Fie, what a slug is Hastings that he comes not
To tell us whether they will come or no.
Enter L[ord] Hast[ings].
Buckingham And in good time, here comes the sweating lord.
Prince Edward Welcome my lord. What, will our mother come?
1605Hastings On what occasion, God he knows, not I,
The Queen your mother and your brother York
Have taken sanctuary. The tender Prince
Would fain have come with me to meet your grace
But by his mother was perforce withheld.
1610Buckingham Fie, what an indirect and peevish course
Is this of hers! Lord Cardinal, will your grace
Persuade the Queen to send the Duke of York
Unto his princely brother presently?
If she deny, Lord Hastings go with him,
1615And from her jealous arms pluck him perforce.
Cardinal Bourchier My Lord of Buckingham, if my weak oratory
Can from his mother win the Duke of York,
Anon expect him here, but if she be obdurate
To mild entreaties, God in heaven forbid
1620We should infringe the holy privilege
Of blessèd sanctuary; not for all this land
Would I be guilty of so deep a sin.
Buckingham You are too senseless-obstinate my lord,
Too ceremonious and traditional.
1625Weigh it but with the grossness of this age.
You break not sanctuary in seizing him;
The benefit thereof is always granted
To those whose dealings have deserved the place
And those who have the wit to claim the place.
1630This Prince hath neither claimed it nor deserved it
And therefore, in mine opinion, cannot have it.
Then taking him from thence that is not there
You break no privilege nor charter there.
Oft have I heard of sanctuary men,
1635But sanctuary children, never till now.
Cardinal Bourchier My lord you shall overrule my mind for once.
Come on Lord Hastings, will you go with me?
Hastings I go my lord. [Exeunt Hastings and the Cardinal.]
Prince Edward Good lords, make all the speedy haste you may.
1640Say uncle Gloucester, if our brother come,
Where shall we sojourn till our coronation?
Richard Where it seems best unto your royal self.
If I may counsel you, some day or two
Your highness shall repose you at the Tower;
1645Then where you please, and shall be thought most fit
For your best health and recreation.
Prince Edward I do not like the Tower of any place.
Did Julius Caesar build that place, my lord?
Buckingham He did, my gracious lord, begin that place
1650Which, since, succeeding ages have re-edified.
Prince Edward Is it upon record, or else reported
Successively from age to age, he built it?
Buckingham Upon record my gracious lord.
Prince Edward But say, my lord, it were not registered,
1655Methinks the truth should live from age to age,
As 'twere retailed to all posterity,
Even to the general, all-ending day.
Richard [Aside] So wise so young, they say, do never live long.
Prince Edward What say you, uncle?
1660Richard I say, without characters fame lives long.
[Aside] Thus like the formal Vice, Iniquity,
I moralize two meanings in one word.
Prince Edward That Julius Caesar was a famous man;
With what his valor did enrich his wit,
1665His wit set down to make his valor live:
Death makes no conquest of this conqueror
For now he lives in fame, though not in life.
I'll tell you what, my cousin Buckingham.
Buckingham What, my gracious lord?
1670Prince Edward And if I live until I be a man
I'll win our ancient right in France again
Or die a soldier as I lived a king.
Richard [Aside] Short summers lightly have a forward spring.
Enter young York, Hastings, Cardinal.
1675Buckingham Now in good time, here comes the Duke of York.
Prince Edward Richard of York, how fares our loving brother?
York Well, my dread lord, so must I call you now.
1680Prince Edward Aye, brother, to our grief as it is yours;
Too late he died that might have kept that title,
Which by his death hath lost much majesty.
Richard How fares our cousin, noble Lord of York?
York I thank you, gentle uncle. Oh, my lord,
1685You said that idle weeds are fast in growth:
The Prince my brother hath outgrown me far.
Richard He hath, my lord.
York And therefore is he idle?
Richard Oh, my fair cousin, I must not say so.
1690York Then he is more beholding to you than I.
Richard He may command me as my sovereign,
But you have power in me as in a kinsman.
York I pray you uncle, give me this dagger.
Richard My dagger, little cousin, with all my heart.
1695Prince Edward A beggar, brother?
York Of my kind uncle that I know will give,
And being but a toy, which is no grief to give.
Richard A greater gift than that I'll give my cousin.
York A greater gift, oh, that's the sword to it.
1700Richard Aye, gentle cousin, were it light enough.
York Oh, then I see you will part but with light gifts;
In weightier things you'll say a beggar nay.
Richard It is too heavy for your grace to wear.
York I weigh it lightly, were it heavier.
1705Richard What, would you have my weapon, little lord?
York I would, that I might thank you as you call me.
Richard How?
York Little.
1710Prince Edward My Lord of York will still be cross in talk;
Uncle, your grace knows how to bear with him.
York You mean, to bear me, not to bear with me:
Uncle, my brother mocks both you and me:
Because that I am little, like an ape,
1715He thinks that you should bear me on your shoulder.
Buckingham [Aside] With what a sharp-provided wit he reasons:
To mitigate the scorn he gives his uncle
He prettily and aptly taunts himself;
So cunning and so young is wonderful.
1720Richard My lord, will't please you pass along?
Myself and my good cousin Buckingham
Will to your mother, to entreat of her
To meet you at the Tower and welcome you.
York [To Prince Edward] What, will you go unto the Tower, my lord?
1725Prince Edward My Lord Protector needs will have it so.
York I shall not sleep in quiet at the Tower.
Richard Why, what should you fear?
York Marry, my uncle Clarence' angry ghost.
My granam told me he was murdered there.
1730Prince Edward I fear no uncles dead.
Richard Nor none that live, I hope.
Prince Edward And if they live, I hope I need not fear.
But come my lord, with a heavy heart,
Thinking on them, go I unto the Tower.
Exeunt Prin[ce Edward], [Duke of] Yor[k, Cardinal,] Hast[ings, and Mayor]. Rich[ard], Buck[ingham and Catesby remain].
Buckingham Think you, my lord, this little prating York
Was not incensèd by his subtle mother
To taunt and scorn you thus opprobriously?
1740Richard No doubt, no doubt, oh, 'tis a perilous boy,
Bold, quick, ingenious, forward, capable,
He is all the mother's, from the top to toe.
Buckingham Well, let them rest. Come hither, Catesby.[Catesby approaches Richard and Buckingham.]
Thou art sworn as deeply to effect what we intend
1745As closely to conceal what we impart.
Thou knowest our reasons urged upon the way;
What thinkest thou? Is it not an easy matter
To make William Lord Hastings of our mind
For the installment of this noble Duke
1750In the seat royal of this famous isle?
Catesby He for his father's sake so loves the Prince
That he will not be won to aught against him.
Buckingham What thinkest thou then of Stanley, what will he?
1755Catesby He will do all in all as Hastings doth.
Buckingham Well then, no more but this:
Go, gentle Catesby, and as it were afar off,
Sound thou Lord Hastings, how he stands affected
Unto our purpose; if he be willing,
Encourage him and show him all our reasons.
If he be leaden, icy, cold, unwilling,
1765Be thou so too, and so break off your talk
And give us notice of his inclination,
For we tomorrow hold divided councils,
Wherein thyself shalt highly be employed.
Richard Commend me to Lord William, tell him Catesby,
1770His ancient knot of dangerous adversaries
Tomorrow are let blood at Pomfret Castle;
And bid my friend, for joy of this good news,
Give Mistress Shore one gentle kiss the more.
Buckingham Good Catesby, effect this business soundly.
1775Catesby My good lords both, with all the heed I may.
Richard Shall we hear from you, Catesby, ere we sleep?
Catesby You shall my lord.
Richard At Crosby Place, there shall you find us both.
[Exit Catesby.]
1780Buckingham Now my lord, what shall we do if we perceive
William Lord Hastings will not yield to our complots?
Richard Chop off his head, man -- somewhat we will do;
1785And look when I am King, claim thou of me
The earldom of Hereford and the moveables
Whereof the King my brother stood possessed.
Buckingham I'll claim that promise at your grace's hands.
Richard And look to have it yielded with all willingness.
1790Come let us sup betimes, that afterwards
We may digest our complots in some form.
Enter a messenger to Lo[rd] Hastings.
1795Messenger [Knocking at the door.]What ho, my lord.
Hastings [Within.] Who knocks at the door?
Messenger A messenger from the Lord Stanley.
Enter L[ord] Hast[ings].
Hastings What's o'clock?
Messenger Upon the stroke of four.
Hastings Cannot thy master sleep these tedious nights?
Messenger So it should seem by that I have to say:
First he commends him to your noble lordship.
1805Hastings And then?
Messenger And then he sends you word
He dreamed tonight the boar had razed his helm.
Besides, he says there are two councils held,
And that may be determined at the one
1810Which may make you and him to rue at the other.
Therefore he sends to know your lordship's pleasure,
If presently you will take horse with him
And with all speed post into the north
To shun the danger that his soul divines.
1815Hastings Go fellow, go, return unto thy lord,
Bid him not fear the separated councils:
His honor and myself are at the one,
And at the other is my servant Catesby,
Where nothing can proceed that toucheth us
1820Whereof I shall not have intelligence.
Tell him his fears are shallow, wanting instance,
And for his dreams, I wonder he is so fond
To trust the mockery of unquiet slumbers;
To fly the boar before the boar pursues us
1825Were to incense the boar to follow us
And make pursuit where he did mean no chase.
Go bid thy master rise and come to me
And we will both together to the Tower
Where he shall see the boar will use us kindly.
1830Messenger My gracious lord, I'll tell him what you say.
Enter Cates[by].
Catesby Many good morrows to my noble lord.
Hastings Good morrow Catesby, you are early stirring;
1835What news, what news in this our tottering state?
Catesby It is a reeling world indeed, my lord,
And I believe it will never stand upright
Till Richard wear the garland of the realm.
Hastings How? Wear the garland? 1840Dost thou mean the crown?
Catesby Aye, my good lord.
Hastings I'll have this crown of mine cut from my shoulders
Ere I will see the crown so foul misplaced.
But canst thou guess that he doth aim at it?
1845Catesby Upon my life, my lord, and hopes to find you forward
Upon his party for the gain thereof,
And thereupon he sends you this good news,
That this same very day your enemies,
The kindred of the Queen, must die at Pomfret.
1850Hastings Indeed I am no mourner for that news
Because they have been still mine enemies;
But that I'll give my voice on Richard's side
To bar my master's heirs in true descent,
God knows I will not do it, to the death.
1855Catesby God keep your lordship in that gracious mind.
Hastings But I shall laugh at this a twelve-month hence
That they who brought me in my master's hate,
I live to look upon their tragedy.
1860I tell thee Catesby.
What, my lord?
Ere a fortnight make me elder
I'll send some packing that yet think not on it.
Catesby 'Tis a vile thing to die my gracious lord
When men are unprepared and look not for it.
Hastings Oh, monstrous, monstrous, and so falls it out
1865With Rivers, Vaughan, Grey, and so 'twill do
With some men else, who think themselves as safe
As thou and I, who as thou knowest are dear
To princely Richard and to Buckingham.
Catesby The Princes both make high account of you,
1870[Aside] For they account his head upon the bridge.
Hastings I know they do, and I have well deserved it.
Enter Lord Stanley.
What my lord, where is your boar spear, man?
Fear you the boar and go so unprovided?
1875Stanley My lord, good morrow; good morrow Catesby.
You may jest on: but by the holy rood
I do not like these several councils, I.
Hastings My lord I hold my life as dear as you do yours,
And never in my life I do protest
1880Was it more precious to me than it is now.
Think you, but that I know our state secure,
I would be so triumphant as I am?
Stanley The lords at Pomfret when they rode from London
Were jocund, and supposed their states was sure,
1885And they indeed had no cause to mistrust,
But yet you see how soon the day overcast.
This sudden stab of rancor I misdoubt;
Pray God, I say, I prove a needless coward.
But come, my lord, shall we to the Tower?
1890Hastings I go -- but stay, hear you not the news?
This day those men you talked of are beheaded.
Stanley They for their truth might better wear their heads
Than some that have accused them wear their hats.
1895But come my lord, let us away.
Enter Hastin[gs], a pursuivant.
Hastings Go you before, I'll follow presently.
Ex[eun]t Lord Stanley and Catesby.
Well met Hastings, how goes the world with thee?
1900Pursuivant The better that it please your lordship to ask.
Hastings I tell thee fellow, 'tis better with me now
Than when I met thee last where now we meet:
Then was I going prisoner to the Tower
By the suggestion of the Queen's allies,
1905But now I tell thee -- keep it to thyself --
This day those enemies are put to death
And I in better state than ever I was.
Pursuivant God hold it to your Honor's good content.
Hastings Gramercy Hastings -- hold, spend thou that.
He gives him his purse.
Pursuivant God save your lordship!
[Exit pursuivant.]
Enter a priest.
1915Hastings What Sir John, you are well met,
I am beholding to you for your last day's exercise;
Come the next Sabbath and I will content you.
He whispers in his ear.
Enter Buckingham.
1920Buckingham How now Lord Chamberlain, what, talking with a priest?
Your friends at Pomfret, they do need the priest;
Your honor hath no shriving work in hand.
Hastings Good faith, and when I met this holy man
Those men you talk of came into my mind.
1925What, go you to the Tower my lord?
Buckingham I do, but long I shall not stay;
I shall return before your lordship thence.
Hastings 'Tis like enough, for I stay dinner there.
Buckingham [Aside] And supper too, although thou knowest it not.
1930Come shall we go along?
Enter Sir Richard Ratcliffe [and guards], with the lords Rivers, Grey and Vaughan, prisoners.
1934.1Ratcliffe Come, bring forth the prisoners.
1935Rivers Sir Richard Ratcliffe, let me tell thee this:
To day shalt thou behold a subject die
For truth, for duty, and for loyalty.
Grey God keep the Prince from all the pack of you:
A knot you are of damnèd bloodsuckers.
Rivers O Pomfret, Pomfret, O thou bloody prison,
Fatal and ominous to noble peers.
1945Within the guilty closure of thy walls
Richard the Second here was hacked to death,
And for more slander to thy dismal soul
We give thee up our guiltless bloods to drink.
Grey Now Margaret's curse is fallen upon our heads
For standing by when Richard stabbed her son.
Rivers Then cursed she Hastings, then cursed she Buckingham:
Then cursed she Richard. O remember, God,
1955To hear her prayers for them as now for us,
And for my sister and her princely son:
Be satisfied, dear God, with our true bloods,
Which as thou knowest unjustly must be spilled.
Ratcliffe Come, come, dispatch, the limit of your lives is out.
1960Rivers Come Grey, come Vaughan, let us all embrace And take our leave until we meet in heaven.
Enter the lords to Council, [including Hastings, Buckingham, Stanley and the Bishop of Ely, at a table].
Hastings My lords, at once the cause why we are met
Is to determine of the coronation.
In God's name say, when is this royal day?
1970Buckingham Are all things fitting for that royal time?
Stanley It is, and wants but nomination.
Ely Tomorrow then I guess a happy time.
Buckingham Who knows the Lord Protector's mind herein?
Who is most inward with the noble Duke?
1975Ely Why you, my lord; methinks you should soonest know his mind.
Buckingham Who I, my lord? We know each other's faces,
But for our hearts, he knows no more of mine
Than I of yours; nor I no more of his than you of mine.
1980Lord Hastings, you and he are near in love.
Hastings I thank his grace, I know he loves me well,
But for his purpose in the coronation,
I have not sounded him nor he delivered
His grace's pleasure any way therein:
1985But you my noble lords may name the time
And in the Duke's behalf I'll give my voice,
Which I presume he will take in gentle part.
Ely Now in good time, here comes the Duke himself.
Ent[er Richard].
1990Richard My noble lords and cousins all, good morrow,
I have been long a sleeper, but I hope
My absence doth neglect no great designs
Which by my presence might have been concluded.
Buckingham Had not you come upon your cue, my lord,
1995William Lord Hastings had now pronounced your part --
I mean, your voice for crowning of the King.
Richard Than my Lord Hastings no man might be bolder:
His lordship knows me well, and loves me well.
1998.1Hastings I thank your grace.
Richard My Lord of Ely.
Ely My lord?
Richard When I was last in Holborn
2000I saw good strawberries in your garden there.
I do beseech you, send for some of them.
Ely I go, my lord.
Richard Cousin Buckingham, a word with you.
[They move aside.]
2005Catesby hath sounded Hastings in our business
And finds the testy gentleman so hot,
As he will lose his head ere give consent
His master's son as, worshipful, he terms it,
Shall lose the royalty of England's throne.
2010Buckingham Withdraw you hence, my lord, I'll follow you.
Ex[eunt Richard and Buckingham].
Stanley We have not yet set down this day of triumph.
Tomorrow in mine opinion is too sudden
For I myself am not so well provided
Enter B[ishop] of Ely.
2015As else I would be were the day prolonged.
Bishop Where is my Lord Protector? I have sent for these strawberries.
Hastings His grace looks cheerfully and smooth today;
2020There's some conceit or other likes him well
When he doth bid good morrow with such a spirit.
I think there is never a man in Christendom
That can lesser hide his love or hate than he,
For by his face straight shall you know his heart.
2025Stanley What of his heart perceive you in his face
By any likelihood he showed today?
Hastings Marry, that with no man here he is offended,
For if he were, he would have shown it in his looks.
2028.1Stanley I pray God he be not, I say.
Enter [Richard with Buckingham and Catesby].
2030Richard I pray you all, what do they deserve
That do conspire my death with devilish plots
Of damnèd witchcraft, and that have prevailed,
Upon my body with their hellish charms?
Hastings The tender love I bear your grace, my lord,
2035Makes me most forward in this noble presence
To doom the offenders, whatsoever they be.
I say my lord, they have deservèd death.
Richard Then be your eyes the witness of this ill:
See how I am bewitched: behold mine arm
2040Is like a blasted sapling withered up.
This is that Edward's wife, that monstrous witch,
Consorted with that harlot strumpet Shore,
That by their witchcraft thus have markèd me.
Hastings If they have done this thing, my gracious lord --
2045Richard If! Thou protector of this damnèd strumpet,
Tell'st thou me of ifs? Thou art a traitor.
Off with his head! Now by Saint Paul
I will not dine today, I swear,
Until I see the same. Some see it done,
2050The rest that love me, come and follow me.
Exeunt.Cat[esby remains] with Ha[stings].
Hastings Woe, woe for England, not a whit for me,
For I, too fond, might have prevented this.
2055Stanley did dream the boar did race his helm
But I disdained it and did scorn to fly.
Three times today my footcloth horse did stumble
And startled when he looked upon the Tower
As loath to bear me to the slaughterhouse.
2060Oh, now I want the priest that spake to me,
I now repent I told the pursuivant,
As 'twere triumphing at mine enemies,
How they at Pomfret bloodily were butchered,
And I myself secure in grace and favor.
2065O Margaret, Margaret, now thy heavy curse
Is lighted on poor Hastings' wretched head.
Catesby Dispatch, my lord, the Duke would be at dinner:
Make a short shrift, he longs to see your head.
Hastings O momentary state of worldly men
2070Which we more hunt for than the grace of heaven,
Who builds his hopes in air of your fair looks
Lives like a drunken sailor on a mast,
Ready with every nod to tumble down
Into the fatal bowels of the deep.
Come, lead me to the block, bear him my head,
2080They smile at me that shortly shall be dead.
The table is removed.
Enter [Richard] and Buckingham in [rotten] armor[, marvellously ill-favoured].
Richard Come cousin, 2085canst thou quake and change thy color?
Murder thy breath in middle of a word,
And then begin again, and stop again,
As if thou wert distraught and mad with terror?
Buckingham Tut, fear not me.
I can counterfeit the deep tragedian,
2090Speak, and look back, and pry on every side
Intending deep suspicion; ghastly looks
Are at my service like enforcèd smiles,
And both are ready in their offices
2095To grace my stratagems.
Enter Mayor.
Richard Here comes the Mayor.
2097.1Buckingham Let me alone to entertain him. Lord Mayor --
2100Richard [Calling offstage.] Look to the drawbridge there!
Buckingham The reason we have sent for you --
[Calling offstage.]Catesby, overlook the walls!
Buckingham Hark, I hear a drum!
Richard Look back, defend thee, here are enemies!
2105Buckingham God and our innocence defend us!
Enter Catesby with Hast[ings's] head.
Richard Oh, oh, be quiet, it is Catesby.
Catesby Here is the head of that ignoble traitor,
The dangerous and unsuspected Hastings.
[Gives the head to Richard.]
2110Richard So dear I loved the man that I must weep:
[He weeps.]
I took him for the plainest, harmless man
That breathed upon this earth a Christian,
2112.1Look ye, my Lord Mayor,
[Shows, or gives, the head to the Mayor.]
Made him my book wherein my soul recorded
The history of all her secret thoughts.
2115So smooth he daubed his vice with show of virtue
That, his apparent open guilt omitted --
I mean his conversation with Shore's wife --
He lived from all attainder of suspect.
Buckingham Well, well, he was the covertest sheltered traitor
2120That ever lived. Would you have imagined
Or almost believe, wert not by great preservation
We live to tell it you, the subtle traitor
Had this day plotted, in the Council House
2125To murder me and my good Lord of Gloucester?
Mayor What, had he so?
Richard What? Think you we are Turks or Infidels,
Or that we would, against the form of law,
Proceed thus rashly to the villain's death
2130But that the extreme peril of the case,
The peace of England and our person's safety
Enforced us to this execution?
Mayor Now fair befall you, he deserved his death,
And you my good lords both have well proceeded
2135To warn false traitors from the like attempts.
I never looked for better at his hands
After he once fell in with Mistress Shore.
Buckingham Yet had not we determined he should die
Until your lordship came to see his death,
2140Which now the loving haste of these our friends,
Somewhat against our meaning, have prevented,
Because, my lord, we would have had you heard
The traitor speak, and timorously confess
The manner and the purpose of his treason,
2145That you might well have signified the same
Unto the citizens, who haply may
Misconster us in him, and wail his death.
Mayor But, my good lord, your grace's word shall serve
As well as I had seen or heard him speak,
2150And doubt you not, right noble Princes both,
But I'll acquaint your duteous citizens,
With all your just proceedings in this cause.
Richard And to that end we wished your lordship here
To avoid the carping censures of the world.
2155Buckingham But since you come too late of our intents,
Yet witness what we did intend, and so, my lord, adieu.
Exit Mayor.
Richard After, after, cousin Buckingham,
2160The Mayor towards Guildhall hies him in all post.
There at your meet'st advantage of the time
Infer the bastardy of Edward's children.
Tell them how Edward put to death a citizen
Only for saying he would make his son
2165Heir to the Crown, meaning indeed his house
Which by the sign thereof was termèd so.
Moreover, urge his hateful luxury
And bestial appetite in change of lust
Which stretchèd to their servants, daughters, wives,
2170Even where his lustful eye or savage heart
Without control listed to make his prey;
Nay, for a need, thus far come near my person:
Tell them, when that my mother went with child
Of that insatiate Edward, noble York
2175My princely father then had wars in France,
And, by just computation of the time,
Found that the issue was not his begot,
Which well appearèd in his lineaments,
Being nothing like the noble Duke my father.
2180But touch this sparingly, as it were far off,
Because, you know, my lord, my mother lives.
Buckingham Fear not, my lord, I'll play the orator,
As if the golden fee for which I plead
Were for myself.
2185Richard If you thrive well, bring them to Baynard's Castle
Where you shall find me well accompanied
With reverend fathers and well-learned bishops.
Buckingham About three or four o'clock look to hear
What news Guildhall affordeth, and so my lord, farewell.
Exit Buc[kingham].
Richard Now will I in to take some privy order
2195To draw the brats of Clarence out of sight,
And to give notice that no manner of person
At any time have recourse unto the Princes.
[Exeunt Richard and Catesby.]
Enter a scrivener with a paper in his hand.
Scrivener This is the indictment of the good Lord Hastings,
2200Which in a set hand fairly is engrossed
That it may be this day read over in Paul's,
And mark how well the sequel hangs together:
Eleven hours I spent to write it over,
For yesternight by Catesby was it brought me.
2205The precedent was full as long adoing,
And yet within these five hours lived Lord Hastings
Untainted, unexamined, free, at liberty.
Here's a good world the while! Why who's so gross
That sees not this palpable device?
2210Yet who's so bold but says he sees it not?
Bad is the world and all will come to naught
When such bad dealing must be seen in thought.
Enter [Richard] at one door, Buckingham at another.
Richard How now, my lord, what say the citizens?
2215Buckingham Now by the holy mother of our Lord,
The citizens are mum, and speak not a word.
Richard Touched you the bastardy of Edward's children?
2220Buckingham I did, with the insatiate greediness of his desires,
His tyranny for trifles, his own bastardy,
As being got, your father then in France;
2225Withal I did infer your lineaments,
Being the right idea of your father
Both in your form and nobleness of mind;
Laid open all your victories in Scotland,
Your discipline in war, wisdom in peace,
2230Your bounty, virtue, fair humility;
Indeed left nothing fitting for the purpose
Untouched, or slightly handled in discourse.
And when mine oratory grew to an end
I bid them that did love their country's good
2235Cry, "God save Richard, England's royal King!"
Richard Ah, and did they so?
Buckingham No, so God help me,
But like dumb statues or breathing stones
Gazed each on other and looked deadly pale,
2240Which, when I saw, I reprehended them,
And asked the Mayor what meant this wilful silence.
His answer was, the people were not wont
To be spoke to but by the Recorder.
Then he was urged to tell my tale again.
2245"Thus saith the Duke, thus hath the Duke inferred,"
But nothing spake in warrant from himself.
When he had done, some followers of mine own
At the lower end of the hall hurled up their caps
And some ten voices cried, "God save King Richard."
"Thanks loving citizens and friends," quoth I.
"This general applause and loving shout
Argues your wisdoms and your love to Richard,"
And so broke off and came away.
2255Richard What tongueless blocks were they, would they not speak?
2256.1Buckingham No, by my troth, my lord.
Richard Will not the Mayor then and his brethren come?
Buckingham The Mayor is here at hand, intend some fear,
Be not spoken withal but with mighty suit,
2260And look you get a prayer book in your hand,
And stand betwixt two churchmen, good my lord,
For on that ground I'll build a holy descant.
Be not easily won to our request,
Play the maid's part: say no, but take it.
2265Richard Fear not me, if thou canst plead as well for them
As I can say nay to thee for myself,
No doubt we'll bring it to a happy issue.
Buckingham You shall see what I can do, get you up to the leads.
Exit [Richard.]
[Enter the Mayor and citizens].
2270Now my Lord Mayor, I dance attendance here. I think the Duke will not be spoke withal.
Enter Catesby.
Here comes his servant. How now, Catesby, what says he?
2275Catesby My lord, he doth entreat your grace
To visit him tomorrow or next day.
He is within with two right reverend fathers
Divinely bent to meditation
And in no worldly suit would he be moved
2280To draw him from his holy exercise.
Buckingham Return, good Catesby, to thy lord again,
Tell him myself, the Mayor and citizens
In deep designs and matters of great moment
No less importing than our general good
2285Are come to have some conference with his grace.
Catesby I'll tell him what you say, my lord.
Buckingham Aha, my lord, this Prince is not an Edward;
He is not lulling on a lewd day bed
But on his knees at meditation;
2290Not dallying with a brace of courtesans
But meditating with two deep divines;
Not sleeping to engross his idle body
But praying to enrich his watchful soul.
Happy were England would this gracious Prince
2295Take on himself the sovereignty thereon,
But sure, I fear, we shall never win him to it.
Mayor Marry, God forbid his grace should say us nay.
Buckingham I fear he will -- How now Catesby,
Enter Cates[by].
What says your lord?
Catesby My lord, he wonders to what end you have assembled
Such troops of citizens to speak with him,
His grace not being warned thereof before.
2305My lord, he fears you mean no good to him.
Buckingham Sorry I am my noble cousin should
Suspect me that I mean no good to him.
By heaven I come in perfect love to him, And so once more return and tell his grace:
Exit Catesby.
2310[To the Mayor.] When holy and devout religious men
Are at their beads, 'tis hard to draw them thence,
So sweet is zealous contemplation.
Enter Rich[ard] with two bishops, alo[f]t.
Mayor See where he stands between two clergy2315men.
Buckingham Two props of virtue for a Christian prince
To stay him from the fall of vanity.
2320Famous Plantagenet, most gracious Prince,
Lend favorable ears to our request
And pardon us the interruption
Of thy devotion and right Christian zeal.
[Re-enter Catesby.]
Richard My lord, there needs no such apology.
2325I rather do beseech you pardon me
Who, earnest in the service of my God,
Neglect the visitation of my friends.
But leaving this, what is your grace's pleasure?
Buckingham Even that I hope which pleaseth God above
2330And all good men of this ungoverned isle.
Richard I do suspect I have done some offense
That seems disgracious in the city's eyes
And that you come to reprehend my ignorance.
Buckingham You have, my lord, 2335would it please your grace
At our entreaties to amend that fault.
Richard Else wherefore breathe I in a Christian land?
Buckingham Then know it is your fault that you resign
The supreme seat, the throne majestical,
2340The sceptered office of your ancestors,
The lineal glory of your royal House
To the corruption of a blemished stock,
Whilst in the mildness of your sleepy thoughts,
2345Which here we waken to our country's good,
This noble isle doth want her proper limbs,
Her face defaced with scars of infamy,
And almost shouldered in the swallowing gulf
2350Of blind forgetfulness and dark oblivion,
Which to recure, we heartily solicit
Your gracious self to take on you the sovereignty thereof,
Not as protector, steward, substitute,
2355Or lowly factor for another's gain,
But as successively from blood to blood,
Your right of birth, your empery, your own.
For this, consorted with the citizens,
Your very worshipful and loving friends,
2360And by their vehement instigation,
In this just suit come I to move your grace.
Richard I know not, whether to depart in silence
Or bitterly to speak in your reproof
Best fitteth my degree or your condition.
2375Your love deserves my thanks, but my desert
Unmeritable shuns your high request.
First, if all obstacles were cut away,
And that my path were even to the crown
As my ripe revenue and due by birth,
2380Yet so much is my poverty of spirit,
So mighty and so many my defects,
As I had rather hide me from my greatness,
Being a bark to brook no mighty sea,
Than in my greatness covet to be hid,
2385And in the vapor of my glory smothered:
But God be thankèd there's no need of me,
And much I need to help you if need were;
The royal tree hath left us royal fruit
Which, mellowed by the stealing hours of time,
2390Will well become the seat of majesty
And make, no doubt, us happy by his reign;
On him I lay what you would lay on me:
The right and fortune of his happy stars,
Which God defend that I should wring from him.
2395Buckingham My lord, this argues conscience in your grace,
But the respects thereof are nice and trivial,
All circumstances well considerèd:
You say that Edward is your brother's son;
So say we too, but not by Edward's wife,
2400For first he was contract to Lady Lucy --
Your mother lives a witness to that vow --
And afterward by substitute betrothed
To Bona, sister to the King of France.
These both put by, a poor petitioner,
2405A care-crazed mother of a many children,
A beauty-waning and distressèd widow,
Even in the afternoon of her best days
Made prise and purchase of his lustful eye,
Seduced the pitch and height of all his thoughts
2410To base declension and loathed bigamy:
By her in his unlawful bed he got
This Edward, whom our manners term the Prince.
More bitterly could I expostulate,
Save that for reverence to some alive
2415I give a sparing limit to my tongue.
Then good my lord, take to your royal self
This proffered benefit of dignity,
If not to bless us and the land withal,
Yet to draw out your royal stock
2420From the corruption of abusing time
Unto a lineal, true-derivèd course.
Mayor Do, good my lord, your citizens entreat you.
Catesby Oh, make them joyful, grant their lawful suit.
2425Richard Alas, why would you heap these cares on me?
I am unfit for state and dignity;
I do beseech you take it not amiss,
I cannot nor I will not yield to you.
Buckingham If you refuse it, as in love and zeal
2430Loath to depose the child, your brother's son,
As well we know your tenderness of heart
And gentle, kind, effeminate remorse,
Which we have noted in you, to your kin
And equally indeed to all estates,
2435Yet whether you accept our suit or no,
Your brother's son shall never reign our king
But we will plant some other in the throne
To the disgrace and downfall of your House,
And in this resolution here we leave you.
2440Come citizens. Zounds! I'll entreat no more.
[They start to leave.]
2440.1Richard Oh, do not swear, my Lord of Buckingham.
Catesby Call them again, my lord, and accept their suit.
Another citizen Do, good my lord, lest all the land do rue it.
Richard Would you enforce me to a world of care?
Well, call them again,
I am not made of stones
2445But penetrable to your kind entreats,
Albeit against my conscience and my soul.
[Re-enter Buckingham, Mayor, Catesby and citizens.]
Cousin of Buckingham, and you sage, grave men,
Since you will buckle fortune on my back
2450To bear her burden whether I will or no,
I must have patience to endure the load,
But if black scandal or foul-faced reproach
Attend the sequel of your imposition,
Your mere enforcement shall acquittance me
2455From all the impure blots and stains thereof,
For God he knows, and you may partly see,
How far I am from the desire thereof.
Mayor God bless your grace, we see it, and will say it.
2460Richard In saying so, you shall but say the truth.
Buckingham Then I salute you with this kingly title:
Long live Richard, England's royal King!
Mayor Amen.
Buckingham Tomorrow will it please you to be crowned?
2465Richard Even when you will, since you will have it so.
Buckingham Tomorrow then we will attend your grace.
Richard Come, let us to our holy task again --
Farewell good cousin, farewell gentle friends.
Enter [Elizabeth the ]Queen Mother, Duchess of York, Marquess Dorset, at one door, [Anne] Duchess of Gloucest[er] at another door.
Duchess Who meets us here, my niece Plantagenet?
Queen Elizabeth Sister well met; whither away so fast?
Duchess No farther than the Tower, and as I guess
Upon the like devotion as yourselves:
To gratulate the tender princes there.
2485Queen Elizabeth Kind sister thanks, we'll enter all together,
Enter [Brakenbury,] Lieutenant [of the Tower].
And in good time, here the Lieutenant comes.
Master Lieutenant, pray you by your leave,
How fares the Prince?
2490Brakenbury Well, madam, and in health, but by your leave
I may not suffer you to visit him.
The King hath straitly charged the contrary.
Queen Elizabeth The King? Why, who's that?
Brakenbury I cry you mercy, I mean the Lord Protector.
2495Queen Elizabeth The Lord protect him from that kingly title.
Hath he set bounds betwixt their love and me?
I am their mother, who should keep me from them?
Duchess I am their father's mother, I will see them.
2500Anne Their aunt I am in law, in love their mother;
Then fear not thou, I'll bear thy blame
And take thy office from thee on my peril.
Brakenbury I do beseech your graces all to pardon me:
I am bound by oath, I may not do it.
Enter L[ord] Stanley.
Stanley Let me but meet you ladies an hour hence,
And I'll salute your grace of York as mother
And reverent looker-on of two fair queens.
2510Come, madam, you must go with me to Westminster,
There to be crownèd Richard's royal queen.
Queen Elizabeth Oh, cut my lace asunder, that my pent heart
May have some scope to beat, or else I swoon
With this dead-killing news.
Dorset Madam, have comfort, how fares your grace?
Queen Elizabeth Oh, Dorset, speak not to me, get thee hence;
Death and destruction dog thee at the heels.
2520Thy mother's name is ominous to children.
If thou wilt outstrip death, go cross the seas
And live with Richmond, from the reach of hell --
Go, hie thee, hie thee from this slaughter house
Lest thou increase the number of the dead
2525And make me die the thrall of Margaret's curse,
Nor mother, wife, nor England's counted queen.
Stanley Full of wise care is this your counsel, madam --
[To Dorset] Take all the swift advantage of the time;
You shall have letters from me to my son
2530To meet you on the way and welcome you.
Be not ta'en tardy by unwise delay.
Duchess O ill-dispersing wind of misery,
O my accursèd womb, the bed of death:
A cockatrice hast thou hatch to the world
2535Whose unavoided eye is murderous.
Stanley [To Anne] Come, madam, I in all haste was sent.
Anne And I in all unwillingness will go.
I would to God that the inclusive verge
Of golden metal that must round my brow
2540Were red-hot steel, to sear me to the brain;
Annointed let me be with deadly poison
And die ere men can say, "God save the Queen."
Queen Elizabeth Alas, poor soul, I envy not thy glory;
To feed my humor, wish thyself no harm.
2545Anne No. When he that is my husband now
Came to me, as I followed Henry's corse,
When scarce the blood was well washed from his hands
Which issued from my other angel-husband
And that dead saint which then I weeping followed,
2550O when, I say, I looked 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, made
2555As miserable by the death 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
2560And proved the subject of my own soul's curse,
Which ever since hath kept my eyes from sleep,
For never yet one hour in his bed
Have I enjoyed the golden dew of sleep,
But have been wakèd by his timorous dreams.
2565Besides, he hates me for my father Warwick,
And will, no doubt, shortly be rid of me.
Queen Elizabeth Alas poor soul, I pity thy complaints.
Anne No more than from my soul I mourn for yours.
2570Queen Elizabeth [To Anne] Farewell, thou woeful welcomer of glory.
Anne [To Elizabeth] Adieu poor soul, thou tak'st thy leave of it.
Duchess [To Dorset] Go thou to Richmond, and good fortune guide thee;
[To Anne] Go thou to Richard, and good angels guard thee;
2575[To Elizabeth] Go thou to sanctuary, good thoughts possess thee;
I to my grave where peace and rest lie with me.
Eighty-odd years of sorrow have I seen,
And each hour's joy wracked with a week of teen.
[A throne is set forth.] The trumpets sound. Enter Richard crowned, Buckingham, Catesby, with other nobles [and a page boy].
2590King Richard Stand all apart!
[The courtiers stand back.] Cousin of Buckingham,
Give me thy hand:
Here he ascends the throne[, assisted by Buckingham].
Thus high by thy advice
And thy assistance is King Richard seated;
2595But shall we wear these honors for a day?
Or shall they last, and we rejoice in them?
Buckingham Still live they, and for ever may they last.
King Richard Oh, Buckingham, now do I play the touch
To try if thou be current gold indeed:
2600Young Edward lives -- think now what I would say.
Buckingham Say on, my gracious sovereign.
King Richard Why, Buckingham, I say I would be king.
Buckingham Why so you are, my thrice renownèd liege.
King Richard Ha! Am I king? 'Tis so, but Edward lives.
2605Buckingham True, noble Prince.
King Richard Oh, bitter consequence
That Edward still should live true noble prince. . .
Cousin, thou wert not wont to be so dull:
Shall I be plain? I wish the bastards dead
2610And I would have it suddenly performed.
What say'st thou? Speak suddenly, be brief.
Buckingham Your grace may do your pleasure.
King Richard Tut, tut, thou art all ice, thy kindness freezeth;
Say, have I thy consent that they shall die?
2615Buckingham Give me some breath, some little pause, my lord
Before I positively speak herein: I will resolve your grace immediately.
Catesby [Quietly] The King is angry, see, he bites the lip.
King Richard [Aside] I will converse with iron-witted fools
2620And unrespective boys, none are for me
That look into me with considerate eyes.
[A page approaches the throne.]
[Aside] High reaching Buckingham grows circumspect.
Boy My lord.
2625King Richard Know'st thou not any whom corrupting gold
Would tempt unto a close exploit of death?
Boy My lord, I know a discontented gentleman
Whose humble means match not his haughty mind;
Gold were as good as twenty orators
2630And will no doubt tempt him to anything.
King Richard What is his name?
Boy His name, my lord, is Tyrrel.
King Richard Go call him hither presently.
[Exit boy.]
2635The deep-revolving, witty Buckingham
No more shall be the neighbor to my counsel.
Hath he so long held out with me untired
And stops he now for breath?
Enter Stanley.
2640How now, what news with you?
Stanley My lord, I hear the Marquess Dorset
Is fled to Richmond, in those parts beyond the seas where he
[Richard dismisses Stanley, who retreats.]
King Richard Catesby.
Catesby [Approaching King Richard.] My lord.
King Richard Rumor it abroad
2645That Anne my wife is sick and like to die;
I will take order for her keeping close.
Enquire me out some mean-born gentleman
Whom I will marry straight to Clarence' daughter;
The boy is foolish, and I fear not him:
2650Look how thou dream'st! I say again, give out
That Anne my wife is sick and like to die.
About it,
[Exit Catesby.]
for it stands me much upon
To stop all hopes whose growth may damage me.
I must be married to my brother's daughter
2655Or else my kingdom stands on brittle glass.
Murder her brothers, and then marry her. . .
Uncertain way of gain, but I am in
So far in blood that sin will pluck on sin. Tear-falling pity dwells not in this eye.
Enter Tyrrel. [King Richard beckons him.]
Is thy name Tyrrel?
Tyrrel James Tyrrel, and your most obedient subject.
King Richard Art thou indeed?
Tyrrel Prove me my gracious sovereign.
2665King Richard Dar'st thou resolve to kill a friend of mine?
Tyrrel Aye, my lord, but I had rather kill two enemies.
King Richard Why, there thou hast it, two deep enemies,
Foes to my rest, and my sweet sleep's disturbers
2670Are they that I would have thee deal upon:
Tyrrel, I mean those bastards in the Tower.
Tyrrel Let me have open means to come to them
And soon I'll rid you from the fear of them.
King Richard Thou sing'st sweet music. 2675Come hither Tyrrel,
[Tyrrel moves closer to King Richard and kneels; Richard gives him a token.] Go by that token; rise and lend thine ear --
[Tyrrel stands; Richard] whispers in his ear.
'Tis no more but so, say is it done
And I will love thee and prefer thee too.
'Tis done, my gracious lord.
2679.1 King Richard Shall we hear from thee, Tyrrel, ere we sleep?
Tyrrel Ye shall, my lord.
Enter Buc[kingham. He approaches King Richard].
Buckingham My lord, I have considered in my mind
The late demand that you did sound me in.
King Richard Well, let that pass. Dorset is fled to Richmond.
Buckingham I hear that news, my lord.
2685King Richard Stanley, he is your wife's son. Well, look to it.
Buckingham My lord, I claim your gift, my due by promise
For which your honor and your faith is pawned:
The Earldom of Hereford and the moveables
2690The which you promisèd I should possess.
King Richard Stanley, look to your wife; if she convey
Letters to Richmond you shall answer it.
Buckingham What says your highness to my just demand?
King Richard As I remember, Henry the Sixth
2695Did prophesy that Richmond should be king
When Richmond was a little peevish boy:
A king perhaps, perhaps.
Buckingham My lord.
2697.1King Richard How chance the prophet could not at that time
Have told me, I being by, that I should kill him.
Buckingham My lord, your promise for the Earldom.
King Richard Richmond. When last I was at Exeter
2697.5The Mayor in courtesy showed me the Castle
And called it Rouge-mount, at which name I started,
Because a bard of Ireland told me once
I should not live long after I saw Richmond.
Buckingham My lord.
2697.10King Richard Aye, what's o'clock?
Buckingham I am thus bold to put your grace in mind
Of what you promised me.
King Richard Well, but what's o'clock?
Buckingham Upon the stroke of ten.
2697.15King Richard Well, let it strike.
Buckingham Why let it strike?
King Richard Because that like a Jack thou keep'st the stroke
Betwixt thy begging and my meditation.
I am not in the giving vein today.
Buckingham Why then, resolve me whether you will or no!
King Richard Tut, tut, thou troublest me, I am not in the vein.
Exit[. All follow except Buckingham].
2700Buckingham Is it even so, reward'st he my true service
With such deep contempt, made I him King for this?
Oh, let me think on Hastings and be gone To Brecknock while my fearful head is on.
Enter Tyrrel.
2705Tyrrel The tyrannous and bloody deed is done,
The most arch-act of piteous massacre
That ever yet this land was guilty of.
Dighton and Forrest whom I did suborn
To do this ruthless piece of butchery --
2710Although they were fleshed villains, bloody dogs --
Melting with tenderness and kind compassion
Wept like two children in their deaths' sad stories:
"Lo, thus," quoth Dighton, "lay those tender babes."
"Thus, thus," quoth Forrest, "girdling one another
2715Within their innocent alabaster arms;
Their lips were four red roses on a stalk
Which in their summer beauty kissed each other;
A book of prayers on their pillow lay
Which once," quoth Forrest, "almost changed my mind,
2720But oh, the devil -- " There the villain stopped
Whilst Dighton thus told on: "We smotherèd
The most replenishèd sweet work of Nature,
That from the prime creation ever she framed."
Thus both are gone with conscience and remorse;
2725They could not speak and so I left them both
To bring this tidings to the bloody king.
Enter Ki[ng] Richard.
And here he comes: All hail, my sovereign liege.
King Richard Kind Tyrrel, am I happy in thy news?
2730Tyrrel If to have done the thing you gave in charge
Beget your happiness, be happy then
For it is done, my lord.
King Richard But didst thou see them dead?
Tyrrel I did, my lord.
2735King Richard And buried, gentle Tyrrel?
Tyrrel The chaplain of the Tower hath buried them,
But how or in what place I do not know.
King Richard Come to me Tyrrel soon, at after-supper
And thou shalt tell the process of their death.
2740Meantime, but think how I may do thee good
And be inheritor of thy desire.
Farewell till soon.
Exit Tyrrel.
The son of Clarence have I pent up close,
2745His daughter meanly have I matched in marriage,
The sons of Edward sleep in Abraham's bosom,
And Anne my wife hath bid the world goodnight.
Now for I know the Breton Richmond aims
At young Elizabeth, my brother's daughter,
2750And by that knot looks proudly o'er the crown, To her I go, a jolly, thriving wooer.
Enter Catesby.
Catesby My lord.
King Richard Good news or bad that thou com'st in so 2755bluntly?
Catesby Bad news my lord, Ely is fled to Richmond,
And Buckingham backed with the hardy Welshmen
Is in the field, and still his power increaseth.
King Richard Ely with Richmond troubles me more near
2760Than Buckingham and his rash-levied army.
Come, I have heard that fearful commenting
Is leaden servitor to dull delay;
Delay leads impotent and snail-paced beggary.
Then fiery expedition be my wing,
2765Jove's Mercury and herald for a king:
Come, muster men, my counsel is my shield, We must be brief when traitors brave the field.
[The throne is taken away.]
Enter Queen Margaret [alone].
Queen Margaret So, now prosperity begins to mellow
And drop into the rotten mouth of death;
Here in these confines slyly have I lurked
To watch the waning of mine adversaries;
2775A dire induction am I witness to,
And will to France, hoping the consequence
Will prove as bitter, black and tragical.
Withdraw thee, wretched Margaret, who comes here?
Enter [Queen Elizabeth] and the Duchess of York.
2780Queen Elizabeth Ah, my young princes, ah, my tender babes!
My unblown flowers, new-appearing sweets,
If yet your gentle souls fly in the air
And be not fixed in doom perpetual,
Hover about me with your airy wings,
2785And hear your mother's lamentation.
Queen Margaret [Aside] Hover about her, say that right for right
Hath dimmed your infant morn to aged night.
Queen Elizabeth Wilt thou, O God, fly from such gentle lambs
And throw them in the entrails of the wolf?
2795When didst thou sleep when such a deed was done?
Queen Margaret [Aside] When Holy Harry died, and my sweet son.
Duchess Blind sight, dead life, poor mortal living ghost,
Woe's scene, world's shame, grave's due by life usurped,
2800Rest thy unrest on England's lawful earth
Unlawfully made drunk with innocents' blood.
Queen Elizabeth O that thou wouldst as well afford a grave
As thou canst yield a melancholy seat, [Sitting on the ground]
Then would I hide my bones, not rest them here.
2805Oh, who hath any cause to mourn but I!
Duchess So many miseries have crazed my voice
That my woe-wearied tongue is mute and dumb. [Sitting on the ground]
2790Edward Plantagenet, why art thou dead?
Queen Margaret [Coming forward.] If ancient sorrow be most reverent
Give mine the benefit of seniory,
And let my woes frown on the upper hand;
If sorrow can admit society,
2809.1Tell over your woes again by viewing mine:
2810I had an Edward, till a Richard killed him:
I had a Harry, till a Richard killed him:
Thou had'st an Edward, till a Richard killed him:
Thou had'st a Richard, till a Richard killed him.
Duchess I had a Richard too, and thou didst kill him;
2815I had a Rutland too, thou holp'st to kill him.
Queen Margaret Thou had'st a Clarence too, and Richard killed him:
From forth the kennel of thy womb hath crept
A hell-hound that doth hunt us all to death:
2820That dog, that had his teeth before his eyes
To worry lambs and lap their gentle bloods:
That foul defacer of God's handiwork
2825Thy womb let loose, to chase us to our graves.
O upright, just, and true-disposing God,
How do I thank thee that this carnal cur
Preys on the issue of his mother's body
And makes her pew-fellow with others' moan!
2830Duchess Oh, Harry's wife, triumph not in my woes,
God witness with me, I have wept for thine.
Queen Margaret Bear with me, I am hungry for revenge
And now I cloy me with beholding it.
Thy Edward, he is dead, that stabbed my Edward,
2835Thy other Edward dead, to quit my Edward;
Young York, he is but boot because both they
Match not the high perfection of my loss;
Thy Clarence, he is dead, that killed my Edward,
And the beholders of this tragic play,
2840The adulterate Hastings, Rivers, Vaughan, Grey,
Untimely smothered in their dusky graves.
Richard yet lives, hell's black intelligencer,
Only reserved their factor to buy souls
And send them thither: but at hand, at hand
2845Ensues his piteous, and unpitied end;
Earth gapes, hell burns, fiends roar, saints pray
To have him suddenly conveyed away.
Cancel his bond of life, dear God I pray,
That I may live to say, "The dog is dead."
2850Queen Elizabeth Oh, thou didst prophesy the time would come
That I should wish for thee to help me curse
That bottled spider, that foul bunch-backed toad.
Queen Margaret I called thee then vain flourish of my fortune,
I called thee then poor shadow, painted queen,
2855The presentation of but what I was,
The flattering index of a direful pageant,
One heaved a high, to be hurled down below,
A mother only mocked with two sweet babes,
A dream of which thou wert, a breath, a bubble,
A sign of dignity, a garish flag
2860To be the aim of every dangerous shot,
A queen in jest, only to fill the scene.
Where is thy husband now? Where be thy brothers?
Where are thy children? Wherein dost thou joy?
2865Who sues to thee and cries, "God save the Queen?"
Where be the bending peers that flattered thee?
Where be the thronging troops that followed thee?
Decline all this, and see what now thou art,
For happy wife, a most distressèd widow,
2870For joyful mother, one that wails the name,
For queen, a very caitiff crowned with care,
For one being sued to, one that humbly sues,
2875For one commanding all, obeyed of none,