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  • Title: Richard the Third (Modern)
  • Editor: Adrian Kiernander

  • Copyright Internet Shakespeare Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-proift purposes; for all other uses contact the Coordinating Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: Adrian Kiernander
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Richard the Third (Modern)

    1[1.1]
    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.]
    Clarence
    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.
    Exit.
    [1.2]
    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?
    Richard
    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.
    Arise dissembler, though I wish thy death,
    I will not be the executioner.
    380Richard
    Then bid me kill myself and I will do it.
    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.
    I would I knew thy heart.
    Richard
    'Tis figured in my tongue.
    I fear me both are false.
    390Richard
    Then never was man true.
    Well, well, put up your sword.
    Richard
    Say then my peace is made.
    [Richard stands and sheathes the sword.]
    That shall you know hereafter.
    Richard
    But shall I live in hope?
    All men, I hope, live so.
    Richard
    Vouchsafe to wear this ring.
    [Richard offers Anne a ring.]
    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.
    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.
    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.
    '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.
    Exit.
    [1.3]
    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.
    Exit.
    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.
    815Enter 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.
    Exeunt.
    835[1.4]
    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.
    [Exit.]
    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?
    Both Aye.
    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.
    Exit.
    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.
    [Exit].
    [2.1]
    1120[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].
    1270[2.2]
    Enter [the] Duchess of York, with Clarence's children.
    Tell me, good granam, is our father dead?
    Duchess
    No, boy.
    Why do you wring your hands and beat your breast
    And cry, "Oh Clarence, my unhappy son?"
    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.
    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.
    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.
    Think you my uncle did dissemble, granam?
    Duchess
    Aye, boy.
    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?
    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.
    [Exeunt.]
    [2.3]
    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.
    Exeunt.
    1485[2.4]
    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.
    Aye mother, but I would not have it so.
    Duchess
    Why, my young cousin, it is good to grow.
    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.
    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.
    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?
    Granam, his nurse.
    Duchess
    His nurse? Why she was dead ere thou wert born.
    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.
    Exeunt.
    [3.1]
    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.
    1600Enter 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?
    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?
    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.
    And therefore is he idle?
    Richard
    Oh, my fair cousin, I must not say so.
    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.
    I pray you uncle, give me this dagger.
    Richard
    My dagger, little cousin, with all my heart.
    1695Prince Edward
    A beggar, brother?
    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.
    A greater gift, oh, that's the sword to it.
    1700Richard
    Aye, gentle cousin, were it light enough.
    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.
    I weigh it lightly, were it heavier.
    1705Richard
    What, would you have my weapon, little lord?
    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.
    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.
    [To Prince Edward] What, will you go unto the Tower, my lord?
    1725Prince Edward
    My Lord Protector needs will have it so.
    I shall not sleep in quiet at the Tower.
    Richard
    Why, what should you fear?
    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.
    1735Exeunt 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.
    Exeunt.
    [3.2]
    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.
    1800Enter 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.
    [Exit.]
    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.
    1860.1Catesby
    What, my lord?
    Hastings
    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.
    1910He 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?
    Exeunt.
    [3.3]
    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.
    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.
    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.
    Exeunt.
    [3.4]
    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.
    Tomorrow then I guess a happy time.
    Buckingham
    Who knows the Lord Protector's mind herein?
    Who is most inward with the noble Duke?
    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.
    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.
    I go, my lord.
    [Exit.]
    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.
    Exeunt.
    The table is removed.
    2081.1[3.5]
    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 --
    Richard
    [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.
    2190Exit 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.]
    2197.1[3.6]
    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.
    Exit.
    2212.1[3.7]
    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.
    Exit.
    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,
    2300Enter 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,
    [Exit Catesby.]
    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.
    Exeunt.
    2470[4.1]
    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.
    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.
    2505[Exit.]"
    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.
    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.
    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.
    No more than from my soul I mourn for yours.
    2570Queen Elizabeth
    [To Anne] Farewell, thou woeful welcomer of glory.
    [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.
    [Exeunt.]
    [4.2]
    [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.
    Exit.
    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.
    My lord.
    2625King Richard
    Know'st thou not any whom corrupting gold
    Would tempt unto a close exploit of death?
    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?
    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
    abides.?
    [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.
    2660Enter 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.
    Tyrrel
    'Tis done, my gracious lord.
    2679.1 King Richard
    Shall we hear from thee, Tyrrel, ere we sleep?
    Tyrrel
    Ye shall, my lord.
    [Exit.]
    2680Enter 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.
    Exit.
    2703.1[4.3]
    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.]
    Exeunt.
    [4.4]
    2770Enter 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,
    For one that scorned at me, now scorned of me;
    Thus hath the course of justice wheeled about
    And left thee but a very prey to time,
    Having no more but thought of what thou wert
    To torture thee the more, being what thou art.
    2880Thou didst usurp my place, and dost thou not
    Usurp the just proportion of my sorrow?
    Now thy proud neck bears half my burdened yoke,
    From which, even here, I slip my weary neck
    And leave the burden of it all on thee.
    2885Farewell, York's wife and queen of sad mischance,
    These English woes will make me smile in France.
    Queen Elizabeth
    Oh, thou well skilled in curses, stay a while
    And teach me how to curse mine enemies.
    Queen Margaret
    Forbear to sleep the nights, and fast the days,
    2890Compare dead happiness with living woe,
    Think that thy babes were fairer than they were,
    And he that slew them fouler than he is;
    Bett'ring thy loss makes the bad causer worse,
    Revolving this will teach thee how to curse.
    2895Queen Elizabeth
    My words are dull, oh, quicken them with thine.
    Queen Margaret
    Thy woes will make them sharp, and pierce like mine.
    Exit Mar[garet].
    Duchess
    Why should calamity be full of words?
    Queen Elizabeth
    Windy attorneys to your client woes
    2900Airy succeeders of intestate joys,
    Poor breathing orators of miseries,
    Let them have scope; though what they do impart
    Help not at all, yet do they ease the heart.
    Duchess
    If so, then be not tongue-tied, go with me,
    2905And in the breath of bitter words let's smother
    My damnèd son, which thy two sweet sons smothered --
    [Offstage drumming is heard.]
    I hear his drum, be copious in exclaims.
    Enter K[ing] Richard [with attendants, including Catesby,] marching with drums and trumpets.
    King Richard
    Who intercepts my expedition?
    2910Duchess
    A she, that might have intercepted thee
    By strangling thee in her accursèd womb
    From all the slaughters, wretch, that thou hast done.
    Queen Elizabeth
    Hid'st thou that forehead with a golden crown
    Where should be graven, if that right were right,
    2915The slaughter of the Prince that owned that Crown,
    And the dire death of my two sons and brothers;
    Tell me, thou villain slave, where are my children?
    Duchess
    Thou toad, thou toad, where is thy brother Clarence?
    2920And little Ned Plantagenet, his son?
    Queen Elizabeth
    Where is kind Hastings, Rivers, Vaughan, Gray?
    King Richard
    A flourish, trumpets! strike alarum, drums!
    Let not the heavens hear these tell-tale women
    2925Rail on the Lord's anointed. Strike, I say!
    The trumpets [and drums sound].
    Either be patient and entreat me fair,
    Or with the clamorous report of war
    Thus will I drown your exclamations.
    2930Duchess
    Art thou my son?
    King Richard
    Aye, I thank God, my father and yourself.
    Duchess
    Then patiently hear my impatience.
    King Richard
    Madam, I have a touch of your condition,
    Which cannot brook the accent of reproof.
    Duchess
    I will be mild and gentle in my speech.
    King Richard
    And brief, good mother, for I am in haste.
    Duchess
    Art thou so hasty? I have stayed for thee,
    2940God knows, in anguish, pain and agony.
    King Richard
    And came I not at last to comfort you?
    Duchess
    No, by the holy rood, thou know'st it well:
    Thou cam'st on earth to make the earth my hell;
    A grievous burden was thy birth to me,
    2945Tetchy and wayward was thy infancy,
    Thy school-days frightful, desperate, wild and furious,
    Thy prime of manhood daring, bold and venturous,
    Thy age confirmed, proud, subtle, bloody, treacherous;
    2950What comfortable hour canst thou name
    That ever graced me in thy company?
    King Richard
    Faith none but Humphrey hour, that called your grace
    To breakfast once, forth of my company.
    2955If I be so disgracious in your sight,
    Let me march on, and not offend your grace.
    Duchess
    Oh hear me speak, for I shall never see thee more.
    King Richard
    Come, come, you are too bitter.
    Duchess
    Either thou wilt die by God's just ordinance
    Ere from this war thou turn a conqueror,
    2965Or I with grief and extreme age shall perish
    And never look upon thy face again.
    Therefore take with thee my most heavy curse
    Which in the day of battle tire thee more
    Than all the complete armor that thou wear'st;
    2970My prayers on the adverse party fight,
    And there the little souls of Edward's children
    Whisper the spirits of thine enemies
    And promise them success and victory.
    Bloody thou art, bloody will be thy end,
    2975Shame serves thy life, and doth thy death attend.
    Exit.
    Queen Elizabeth
    Though far more cause, yet much less spirit to curse
    Abides in me, I say "Amen" to all.
    King Richard
    Stay, madam, I must speak a word with you.
    Queen Elizabeth
    I have no more sons of the royal blood
    2980For thee to murder. For my daughters, Richard,
    They shall be praying nuns, not weeping queens,
    And therefore level not to hit their lives.
    King Richard
    You have a daughter called Elizabeth,
    Virtuous and fair, royal and gracious.
    2985Queen Elizabeth
    And must she die for this? Oh, let her live
    And I'll corrupt her manners, stain her beauty,
    Slander myself as false to Edward's bed,
    Throw over her the veil of infamy.
    So she may live unscarred from bleeding slaughter
    2990I will confess she was not Edward's daughter.
    King Richard
    Wrong not her birth, she is of royal blood.
    Queen Elizabeth
    To save her life, I'll say she is not so.
    King Richard
    Her life is only safest in her birth.
    Queen Elizabeth
    And only in that safety died her brothers.
    2995King Richard
    Lo, at their births good stars were opposite.
    Queen Elizabeth
    No, to their lives bad friends were contrary.
    King Richard
    All unavoided is the doom of destiny.
    Queen Elizabeth
    True, when avoided grace makes destiny;
    My babes were destined to a fairer death
    3000If grace had blessed thee with a fairer life.
    3015King Richard
    Madam, so thrive I in my dangerous attempt of hostile arms,
    As I intend more good to you and yours
    Than ever you or yours were by me wronged.
    Queen Elizabeth
    What good is covered with the face of heaven
    3020To be discovered that can do me good?
    King Richard
    The advancement of your children, mighty lady.
    Queen Elizabeth
    Up to some scaffold, there to lose their heads.
    King Richard
    No, to the dignity and height of honor,
    The high imperial tipe of this earth's glory.
    3025Queen Elizabeth
    Flatter my sorrows with report of it:
    Tell me, what state, what dignity, what honor
    Canst thou demise to any child of mine?
    King Richard
    Even all I have, yea, and myself and all
    Will I withal endow a child of thine,
    3030So in the Lethe of thy angry soul
    Thou drown the sad remembrance of those wrongs
    Which thou supposest I have done to thee.
    Queen Elizabeth
    Be brief, lest that the process of thy kindness
    Last longer telling than thy kindness do.
    3035King Richard
    Then know that from my soul I love thy daughter.
    Queen Elizabeth
    My daughter's mother thinks it with her soul.
    King Richard
    What do you think?
    Queen Elizabeth
    That thou dost love my daughter from thy soul;
    3040So from thy soul's love didst thou love her brothers,
    And from my heart's love I do thank thee for it.
    King Richard
    Be not so hasty to confound my meaning;
    I mean that with my soul I love thy daughter
    And mean to make her Queen of England.
    3045Queen Elizabeth
    Say then, who dost thou mean shall be her King?
    King Richard
    Even he that makes her Queen; who should be else?
    Queen Elizabeth
    What, thou?
    King Richard
    Aye, even I; what think you of it, madam?
    3050Queen Elizabeth
    How canst thou woo her?
    King Richard
    That would I learn of you,
    As one that are best acquainted with her humor.
    Queen Elizabeth
    And wilt thou learn of me?
    King Richard
    Madam, with all my heart.
    3055Queen Elizabeth
    Send to her, by the man that slew her brothers,
    A pair of bleeding hearts; thereon engrave
    "Edward" and "York"; then haply she will weep.
    Therefore present to her as sometimes Margaret
    Did to thy father, a handkercher steeped in Rutland's blood
    And bid her dry her weeping eyes therewith;
    If this inducement force her not to love,
    Send her a story of thy noble acts:
    3065Tell her thou mad'st away her uncle Clarence,
    Her uncle Rivers, yea, and for her sake
    Mad'st quick conveyance with her good aunt Anne.
    King Richard
    Come, come, you mock me, this is not the way
    To win your daughter.
    3070Queen Elizabeth
    There is no other way
    Unless thou couldst put on some other shape
    And not be Richard that hath done all this.
    King Richard
    Infer fair England's peace by this alliance.
    Queen Elizabeth
    Which she shall purchase with still-lasting war.
    3130King Richard
    Say that the King, which may command, entreats.
    Queen Elizabeth
    That, at her hands, which the King's King forbids.
    King Richard
    Say she shall be a high and mighty Queen.
    Queen Elizabeth
    To wail the title, as her mother doth.
    King Richard
    Say I will love her everlastingly.
    3135Queen Elizabeth
    But how long shall that title, "ever", last?
    King Richard
    Sweetly in force unto her fair life's end.
    Queen Elizabeth
    But how long fairly shall her sweet life last?
    King Richard
    So long as heaven and nature lengthens it.
    Queen Elizabeth
    So long as hell and Richard likes of it.
    3140King Richard
    Say I, her sovereign, am her subject love.
    Queen Elizabeth
    But she, your subject, loathes such sovereignty.
    King Richard
    Be eloquent in my behalf to her.
    Queen Elizabeth
    An honest tale speeds best being plainly told.
    King Richard
    Then in plain terms tell her my loving tale.
    3145Queen Elizabeth
    Plain and not honest is too harsh a style.
    King Richard
    Madam, your reasons are too shallow and too quick.
    Queen Elizabeth
    Oh no, my reasons are too deep and dead.
    Too deep and dead, poor infants, in their grave.
    3150King Richard
    Harp not on that string, madam; that is past.
    Queen Elizabeth
    Harp on it still shall I, till heartstrings break.
    King Richard
    Now by my George, my Garter and my crown --
    Queen Elizabeth
    Profaned, dishonored, and the third usurped.
    King Richard
    I swear --
    Queen Elizabeth
    By nothing, for this is no oath.
    3155The George, profaned, hath lost his holy honor,
    The Garter, blemished, pawned his knightly virtue,
    The crown, usurped, disgraced his kingly dignity.
    If something thou wilt swear, to be believed
    Swear then by something that thou hast not wronged.
    King Richard
    Now by the world --
    Queen Elizabeth
    'Tis full of thy foul wrongs.
    King Richard
    My father's death --
    3165Queen Elizabeth
    Thy life hath that dishonored.
    3160King Richard
    Then by myself --
    Queen Elizabeth
    Thyself, thyself misusest.
    King Richard
    Why then, by God --
    Queen Elizabeth
    God's wrong is most of all:
    If thou had'st feared to break an oath by him,
    The unity the King thy brother made
    3170Had not been broken, nor my brother slain.
    If thou had'st feared to break an oath by him,
    The imperial metal circling now thy brow
    Had graced the tender temples of my child,
    And both the Princes had been breathing here;
    3175Which now, two tender play-fellows for dust,
    Thy broken faith hath made a prey for worms.
    King Richard
    By the time to come --
    Queen Elizabeth
    That thou hast wronged in time o'er-past,
    3180For I myself have many tears to wash
    Hereafter time, for time past, wronged by thee.
    The children live whose parents thou hast slaughtered,
    Ungoverned youth, to wail it in their age;
    The parents live whose children thou hast butchered,
    3185Old withered plants, to wail it in their age.
    Swear not by time to come, for that thou hast
    Misused, ere used, by time misused o're-past.
    King Richard
    As I intend to prosper and repent,
    So thrive I in my dangerous attempt
    3190Of hostile arms; myself myself confound,
    Day yield me not thy light, nor night thy rest,
    Be opposite all planets of good luck
    To my proceedings if with pure heart's love,
    3195Immaculate devotion, holy thoughts
    I tender not thy beauteous, princely daughter;
    In her consists my happiness and thine.
    Without her, follows to this land, and me,
    To thee, herself, and many a Christian soul
    3200Sad desolation, ruin, and decay.
    It cannot be avoided but by this;
    It will not be avoided but by this.
    Therefore, good mother -- I must call you so --
    Be the attorney of my love to her:
    3205Plead what I will be, not what I have been;
    Not my deserts, but what I will deserve;
    Urge the necessity and state of times,
    And be not peevish, fond in great designs.
    Queen Elizabeth
    Shall I be tempted of the devil thus?
    3210King Richard
    Aye, if the devil tempt thee to do good.
    Queen Elizabeth
    Shall I forget myself, to be myself?
    King Richard
    Aye, if your self's remembrance wrong yourself.
    Queen Elizabeth
    But thou didst kill my children.
    King Richard
    But in your daughter's womb I bury them
    3215Where, in that nest of spicery, they shall breed
    Selves of themselves to your recomforture.
    Queen Elizabeth
    Shall I go win my daughter to thy will?
    King Richard
    And be a happy mother by the deed.
    Queen Elizabeth
    I go, write to me very shortly.
    King Richard
    Bear her my true love's kiss,
    [Richard kisses Elizabeth.]
    farewell.
    Exit [Queen Elizabeth].
    Relenting fool, and shallow, changing woman.
    Enter Rat[cliffe].
    3225Ratcliffe
    My gracious sovereign, on the western coast
    Rideth a puissant navy. To the shore
    Throng many doubtful, hollow-hearted friends
    Unarmed, and unresolved to beat them back.
    'Tis thought that Richmond is their admiral,
    3230And there they hull, expecting but the aid
    Of Buckingham to welcome them ashore.
    King Richard
    Some light-foot friend, post to the Duke of Norfolk.
    Ratcliffe thyself, or Catesby, where is he?
    Catesby
    Here my lord.
    3235King Richard
    Fly to the Duke -- [To Ratcliffe] Post thou to Salisbury;
    When thou com'st there -- [To Catesby] Dull, unmindful villain,
    Why standst thou still and goest not to the Duke?
    3240Catesby
    First, mighty sovereign, let me know your mind,
    What from your grace I shall deliver him.
    King Richard
    Oh, true, good Catesby, bid him levy straight
    The greatest strength and power he can make,
    And meet me presently at Salisbury.
    3245[Exit Catesby.]
    Ratcliffe
    What is it your highness' pleasure I shall do at Salisbury?
    King Richard
    Why? What wouldst thou do there before I go?
    3250Ratcliffe
    Your highness told me I should post before.
    King Richard
    My mind is changed, sir, my mind is changed.
    How now, what news with you?
    Enter Stanley.
    Stanley
    None, good my lord, to please you with the hearing,
    3255Nor none so bad but it may well be told.
    King Richard
    Hoyday, a riddle, neither good nor bad:
    Why dost thou run so many mile about
    When thou mayst tell thy tale a nearer way.
    Once more, what news?
    3260Stanley
    Richmond is on the seas.
    King Richard
    There let him sink, and be the seas on him!
    White livered runnagate, what doth he there?
    Stanley
    I know not mighty sovereign, but by guess.
    King Richard
    Well sir, as you guess, as you guess.
    3265Stanley
    Stirred up by Dorset, Buckingham and Ely
    He makes for England, here to claim the crown.
    King Richard
    Is the chair empty? Is the sword unswayed?
    Is the King dead? The Empire unpossessed?
    What heir of York is there alive but we?
    3270And who is England's king but great York's heir?
    Then tell me, what doth he upon the sea?
    Stanley
    Unless for that, my liege, I cannot guess.
    King Richard
    Unless for that he comes to be your liege
    You cannot guess wherefore the Welshman comes.
    3275Thou wilt revolt and fly to him, I fear.
    Stanley
    No, mighty liege, therefore mistrust me not.
    King Richard
    Where is thy power then to beat him back?
    Where are thy tenants and thy followers?
    Are they not now upon the western shore
    3280Safe-conducting the rebels from their ships?
    Stanley
    No, my good lord, my friends are in the north.
    King Richard
    Cold friends to Richard; what do they in the north
    When they should serve their sovereign in the west?
    3285Stanley
    They have not been commanded, mighty sovereign.
    Please it your majesty to give me leave,
    I'll muster up my friends and meet your grace
    Where and what time your majesty shall please.
    King Richard
    Aye, aye, thou wouldest be gone, to join with Richmond;
    3290I will not trust you, sir.
    Stanley
    Most mighty sovereign,
    You have no cause to hold my friendship doubtful;
    I never was nor never will be false.
    King Richard
    Well, go muster men, but hear you, leave behind
    3295Your son, George Stanley; look your faith be firm
    Or else his head's assurance is but frail.
    Stanley
    So deal with him as I prove true to you.
    [Exit.]
    Enter a messenger.
    33001 Messenger
    My gracious sovereign, now in Devonshire
    As I by friends am well advertisèd,
    Sir William Courtney and the haughty prelate
    Bishop of Exeter, his brother there,
    With many more confederates are in arms.
    3305Enter another messenger.
    2 Messenger
    My liege, in Kent the Guilfords are in arms
    And every hour more competitors
    Flock to their aid, and still their power increaseth.
    Enter another messenger.
    33103 Messenger
    My lord, the army of the Duke of Buckingham --
    King Richard
    Out on you, owls, nothing but songs of death?
    [He strikes him.]
    Take that! until thou bring me better news.
    3313.13 Messenger
    Your grace mistakes, the news I bring is good:
    My news 3315is that by sudden flood and fall of water
    The Duke of Buckingham's army is dispersed and scattered,
    And he himself fled, no man knows whither.
    King Richard
    Oh, I cry you mercy, I did mistake.
    3320Ratcliffe, reward him for the blow I gave him.
    [Ratcliffe rewards the messenger.]
    Hath any well-advisèd friend given out
    Rewards for him that brings in Buckingham?
    3 Messenger
    Such proclamation hath been made, my liege.
    Enter another messenger.
    33254 Messenger
    Sir Thomas Lovell and Lord Marquess Dorset,
    'Tis said, my liege, are up in arms;
    Yet this good comfort bring I to your grace,
    The Breton navy is dispersed. Richmond in Dorsetshire
    Sent out a boat 3330to ask them on the shore
    If they were his assistants, yea or no:
    Who answered him they came from Buckingham
    Upon his party. He, mistrusting them,
    Hoist sail and made away for Brittany.
    3335King Richard
    March on, march on, since we are up in arms,
    If not to fight with foreign enemies,
    Yet to beat down these rebels here at home.
    Enter Catesby.
    Catesby
    My liege, the Duke of Buckingham is taken.
    3340That's the best news; that the Earl of Richmond
    Is with a mighty power landed at Milford
    Is colder tidings, yet they must be told.
    King Richard
    Away towards Salisbury! While we reason here
    A royal battle might be won and lost.
    3345Someone take order Buckingham be brought
    To Salisbury; the rest march on with me.
    Exeunt.
    [4.5]
    Enter Stanley, [and] Sir Christopher.
    Stanley
    Sir Christopher, tell Richmond this from me,
    3350That in the sty of this most bloody boar
    My son, George Stanley, is franked up in hold;
    If I revolt, off goes young George's head.
    The fear of that withholds my present aid.
    But tell me, where is princely Richmond now?
    Christopher
    At Pembroke, or at Harford-west in Wales.
    Stanley
    What men of name resort to him?
    3360Christopher
    Sir Walter Herbert, a renownèd soldier,
    Sir Gilbert Talbot, Sir William Stanley,
    Oxford, redoubted Pembroke, Sir James Blunt,
    Rhys ap Thomas with a valiant crew,
    With many more of noble fame and worth;
    3365And towards London they do bend their course,
    If by the way they be not fought withal.
    Stanley
    Return unto thy lord, commend me to him;
    3355Tell him the Queen hath heartily consented
    He shall espouse Elizabeth, her daughter.
    These letters will resolve him of my mind.
    Farewell.
    Exeunt.
    3370[5.1]
    Enter Buckingham[, led] to execution [by Ratcliffe and guard].
    Buckingham
    Will not King Richard let me speak with him?
    Ratcliffe
    No, my lord, therefore be patient.
    3375Buckingham
    Hastings, and Edward's children, Rivers, Grey,
    Holy King Henry and thy fair son Edward,
    Vaughan, and all that have miscarried
    By underhand, corrupted, foul injustice,
    If that your moody, discontented souls
    3380Do through the clouds behold this present hour,
    Even for revenge, mock my destruction.
    This is All Souls' Day, fellows, is it not?
    Ratcliffe
    It is, my lord.
    Buckingham
    Why then, All Souls' Day is my body's doomsday:
    3385This is the day that, in King Edward's time,
    I wished might fall on me when I was found
    False to his children or his wife's allies;
    This is the day wherein I wished to fall
    By the false faith of him I trusted most.
    3390This, this All Souls' Day, to my fearful soul
    Is the determined respite of my wrongs;
    That high All-Seer that I dallied with
    Hath turned my feignèd prayer on my head
    And given in earnest what I begged in jest.
    3395Thus doth he force the swords of wicked men
    To turn their own points on their masters' bosom.
    Now Margaret's curse is fallen upon my head:
    "When he," quoth she, "shall split thy heart with sorrow,
    Remember Margaret was a Prophetess."
    3400Come sirs, convey me to the block of shame,
    Wrong hath but wrong, and blame the due of blame.
    [Exeunt.]
    [5.2]
    Enter Richmond [holding letters, and other lords,] 3405with drums and trumpets.
    Richmond
    Fellows in arms, and my most loving friends
    Bruised underneath the yoke of tyranny,
    Thus far into the bowels of the land
    Have we marched on without impediment;
    3410[Shows the letters.]
    And here receive we from our father Stanley
    Lines of fair comfort and encouragement.
    The wretched, bloody and usurping boar
    That spoiled your summer fields and fruitful vines,
    Swills your warm blood like wash, and makes his trough
    3415In your embowelled bosoms, this foul swine
    Lies now even in the center of this isle,
    Near to the town of Leicester as we learn;
    From Tamworth thither is but one day's march.
    In God's name, cheerly on, courageous friends,
    3420To reap the harvest of perpetual peace
    By this one bloody trial of sharp war.
    1 Lord
    Every man's conscience is a thousand swords
    To fight against that bloody homicide.
    2 Lord
    I doubt not but his friends will fly to us.
    34253 Lord
    He hath no friends but who are friends for fear,
    Which in his greatest need will shrink from him.
    Richmond
    All for our vantage then, in God's name, march!
    True hope is swift, and flies with swallows' wings;
    Kings it makes gods, and meaner creatures kings.
    3430Exeunt.
    3430.1[5.3]
    Enter King Richard [in arms], Norfolk, Ratcliffe, Catesby, with others.
    King Richard
    Here pitch our tents, even here in Bosworth field.
    [Two tents are brought on.]
    Why, how now Catesby, why look'st thou so sad?
    3435Catesby
    My heart is ten times lighter than my looks.
    King Richard
    Norfolk, come hither.
    [Norfolk approaches King Richard.]
    Norfolk, we must have knocks, ha, must we not?
    3440Norfolk
    We must both give and take, my gracious lord.
    King Richard
    Up with my tent there, here will I lie tonight,
    [Soldiers put up the tents.]
    But where tomorrow? Well, all is one for that.
    Who hath descried the number of the foe?
    Norfolk
    Six or seven thousand is their utmost number.
    3445King Richard
    Why, our battalion trebles that account!
    Besides, the King's name is a tower of strength
    Which they upon the adverse party want.
    [To the soldiers pitching the tent]
    Up with my tent there. Valiant gentlemen,
    Let us survey the vantage of the field.
    3450Call for some men of sound direction:
    Let's want no discipline, make no delay,
    For lords, tomorrow is a busy day.
    Exeunt.
    Enter Richmond with the lords, [including Captain Blunt, and other soldiers].
    3455Richmond
    The weary sun hath made a golden set,
    And by the bright track of his fiery car
    Gives signal of a goodly day tomorrow.
    Where is Sir William Brandon? He shall bear my standard;
    3465The Earl of Pembroke keep his regiment.
    Good Captain Blunt, bear my good night to him,
    And by the second hour in the morning
    Desire the Earl to see me in my tent.
    Yet one thing more, good Blunt, before thou goest:
    3470Where is Lord Stanley quartered, dost thou know?
    Blunt
    Unless I have mista'en his colors much,
    Which well I am assured I have not done,
    His regiment lies half a mile at least
    South from the mighty power of the King.
    3475Richmond
    If without peril it be possible,
    Sweet Blunt, make some good means to speak with him
    And give him from me this most needful scroll.
    Blunt
    Upon my life, my lord, I'll undertake it.
    3480Richmond
    Farewell, good Blunt. [Exit Blunt.]
    Give me some ink and paper in my tent;
    3460I'll draw the form and model of our battle,
    Limit each leader to his several charge,
    And part in just proportion our small strength.
    Come, let us consult upon tomorrow's business;
    Into our tent, the air is raw and cold.
    [They withdraw into the tent.]
    3485Enter King Richard, Norf[olk], Ratcliffe, Catesby, and [others].
    King Richard
    What is o'clock?
    Catesby
    It is six o'clock, full supper time.
    King Richard
    I will not sup tonight. Give me some ink and paper;
    [A soldier exits.]
    3490What? Is my beaver easier than it was?
    And all my armor laid into my tent?
    Catesby
    It is, my liege, and all things are in readiness.
    King Richard
    Good Norfolk, hie thee to thy charge,
    Use careful watch, choose trusty sentinel.
    3495Norfolk
    I go, my lord.
    King Richard
    Stir with the lark tomorrow, gentle Norfolk.
    Norfolk
    I warrant you, my lord.
    [Exit.]
    King Richard
    Catesby.
    Catesby
    My lord?
    3500King Richard
    Send out a pursuivant-at-arms
    To Stanley's regiment; bid him bring his power
    Before sun rising lest his son George fall
    Into the blind cave of eternal night.
    [Exit Catesby.]
    Fill me a bowl of wine, give me a watch,
    3505Saddle white Surrey for the field tomorrow;
    Look that my staves be sound and not too heavy. Ratcliffe.
    [Exeunt all except Richard and Ratcliffe.]
    Ratcliffe
    My lord?
    King Richard
    Saw'st thou the melancholy Lord Northumberland?
    Ratcliffe
    Thomas the Earl of Surrey and himself
    3510Much about cockshut time from troop to troop
    Went through the army cheering up the soldiers.
    King Richard
    So, I am satisfied; give me a bowl of wine.
    [Ratcliffe fetches or pours wine.]
    I have not that alacrity of spirit
    Nor cheer of mind that I was wont to have.
    3515Set it down.
    [Ratcliffe puts the bowl down.]
    Is ink and paper ready?
    Ratcliffe
    It is, my lord.
    King Richard
    Bid my guard watch, leave me.
    [Ratcliffe starts to exit.]
    Ratcliffe, about the mid of night come to my tent
    And help to arm me. Leave me I say.
    Exit Ratcliffe. [Richard remains in his tent.]
    3520Enter [Stanley] to Richmond [and the lords] in his tent.
    Stanley
    Fortune and victory sit on thy helm!
    Richmond
    All comfort that the dark night can afford
    Be to thy person, noble father-in-law.
    Tell me, how fares our loving mother?
    3525Stanley
    I by attorney bless thee from thy mother
    Who prays continually for Richmond's good;
    So much for that. The silent hours steal on
    And flaky darkness breaks within the east.
    In brief, for so the season bids us be:
    3530Prepare thy battle early in the morning,
    And put thy fortune to the arbitrement
    Of bloody strokes and mortal-staring War.
    I as I may, (that which I would, I cannot),
    With best advantage will deceive the time
    3535And aid thee in this doubtful shock of arms,
    But on thy side I may not be too forward,
    Lest being seen, thy brother, tender George
    Be executed in his father's sight.
    Farewell. The leisure and the fearful time
    3540Cuts off the ceremonious vows of love
    And ample interchange of sweet discourse
    Which so-long-sundered friends should dwell upon.
    God give us leisure for these rites of love!
    Once more adieu, be valiant and speed well.
    3545Richmond
    Good lords, conduct him to his regiment;
    I'll strive with troubled thoughts to take a nap
    Lest leaden slumber peise me down tomorrow,
    When I should mount with wings of victory.
    Once more good night, kind lords and gentlemen.
    3550Exeunt. [Richmond stays. He kneels in prayer.]
    O thou, whose captain I account myself,
    Look on my forces with a gracious eye:
    Put in their hands thy bruising irons of wrath
    That they may crush down with a heavy fall
    3555The usurping helmets of our adversaries.
    Make us thy ministers of chastisement
    That we may praise thee in the victory;
    To thee I do commend my watchful soul
    Ere I let fall the windows of mine eyes;
    3560Sleeping and waking, O defend me still.
    [Sleeps.]
    Enter the ghost of young Prince Edward, son [of] [Henry] the Sixt[h], to Ri[chard's tent].
    Ghost of young Prince Edward
    To Ri[chard] Let me sit heavy on thy soul tomorrow.
    Think how thou stabd'st me in my prime of youth
    3565At Tewkesbury; despair therefore and die.
    To Rich[mond] Be cheerful Richmond, for the wrongèd souls
    Of butchered princes fight in thy behalf;
    King Henry's issue, Richmond, comforts thee.
    [Exit.]
    3570Enter the ghost of Henry the Sixt[h].
    Ghost of Henry VI
    To Ri[chard] When I was mortal, my anointed body
    By thee was punchèd full of deadly holes;
    Think on the Tower and me, despair and die;
    Harry the Sixth bids thee despair and die.
    3575To Rich[mond] Virtuous and holy, be thou conqueror;
    Harry that prophesied thou shouldst be King
    Doth comfort thee in thy sleep; live and flourish.[Exit.]
    Enter the Ghost of Clarence.
    Ghost of Clarence
    [To Richard] Let me sit heavy in thy soul tomorrow,
    3580I that was washed to death with fulsome wine,
    Poor Clarence, by thy guile betrayed to death:
    Tomorrow in the battle think on me
    And fall thy edgeless sword; despair and die.
    To Rich[mond] Thou offspring of the House of Lancaster,
    3585The wrongèd heirs of York do pray for thee.
    Good angels guard thy battle, live and flourish.[Exit.]
    Enter the ghosts of Rivers, Grey, Vaughan.
    Ghost of Rivers
    [To Richard] Let me sit heavy in thy soul tomorrow,
    Rivers that died at Pomfret; despair and die.
    3590Ghost of Grey
    [To Richard] Think upon Grey and let thy soul despair.
    Ghost of Vaughan
    [To Richard] Think upon Vaughan and, with guilty fear,
    Let fall thy lance, despair and die.
    To Ri[chmond] Awake and think our wrongs in Richard's bosom
    3595Will conquer him: awake and win the day.[Exeunt.]
    Enter the ghosts of the two young Princes.
    GhostsTo Ri[chard] Dream on thy cousins 3605smothered in the Tower;
    Let us be lead within thy bosom, Richard,
    And weigh thee down to ruin, shame and death;
    Thy nephews' souls bid thee despair and die.
    To Rich[mond] Sleep, Richmond, 3610sleep in peace and wake in joy;
    Good angels guard thee from the boar's annoy;
    Live and beget a happy race of kings;
    Edward's unhappy sons do bid thee flourish.[Exeunt.]
    Enter the ghost of Hastings.
    Ghost of Hastings
    [To Richard] Bloody and guilty, guiltily awake
    And in a bloody battle end thy days;
    Think on Lord Hastings, despair and die.
    3600To Rich[mond] Quiet, untroubled soul, awake, awake,
    Arm, fight and conquer for fair England's sake.[Exit.]
    Enter the ghost of Lady Anne, his wife.
    3615Ghost of Lady Anne
    [To Richard] Richard, thy wife, that wretched Anne thy wife
    That never slept a quiet hour with thee
    Now fills thy sleep with perturbations;
    Tomorrow in the battle think on me
    3620And fall thy edgeless sword; despair and die.
    To Rich[mond] Thou quiet soul, sleep thou a quiet sleep,
    Dream of success and happy victory,
    Thy adversary's wife doth pray for thee.
    [Exit.]
    3625Enter the Ghost of Buckingham.
    [Ghost of Buckingham]
    [To Richard]
    The first was I that helped thee to the crown,
    The last was I that felt thy tyranny;
    Oh, in the battle think on Buckingham
    3630And die in terror of thy guiltiness.
    Dream on, dream on of bloody deeds and death,
    Fainting, despair; despairing, yield thy breath.
    To Rich[mond] I died for hope ere I could lend thee aid,
    3635But cheer thy heart and be thou not dismayed;
    God and good angels fight on Richmond's side,
    And Richard falls in height of all his pride.[Exit.]
    Richard starts up out of a dream.
    King Richard
    Give me another horse! Bind up my wounds!
    3640Have mercy Jesu -- soft, I did but dream.
    O coward Conscience, how dost thou afflict me?
    The lights burn blue, it is now dead midnight,
    Cold, fearful drops stand on my trembling flesh.
    What do I fear? Myself? There's none else by;
    3645Richard loves Richard, that is I, and I,
    Is there a murderer here? No -- Yes, I am.
    Then fly -- what, from myself? Great reason, why?
    Lest I revenge. What, myself upon myself?
    Alack, I love myself -- Wherefore? For any good
    3650That I myself have done unto myself?
    O no, alas, I rather hate myself
    For hateful deeds committed by myself:
    I am a villain -- yet I lie, I am not.
    Fool, of thyself speak well -- fool do not flatter,
    3655My conscience hath a thousand several tongues,
    And every tongue brings in a several tale,
    And every tale condemns me for a villain.
    Perjury, perjury in the highest degree,
    Murder, stern murder, in the direst degree.
    3660All several sins, all used in each degree
    Throng to the bar, crying all, "Guilty, guilty!"
    I shall despair, there is no creature loves me,
    And if I die no soul will pity me;
    And wherefore should they, since that I myself
    3665Find in myself no pity to myself.
    Methought the souls of all that I had murdered,
    Came to my tent, and every one did threat
    Tomorrow's vengeance on the head of Richard.
    Enter Ratcliffe.
    3670Ratcliffe
    My lord.
    King Richard
    Zounds! Who is there?
    Ratcliffe
    Ratcliffe, my lord, 'tis I; the early village cock
    Hath twice done salutation to the morn;
    Your friends are up, and buckle on their armor.
    3674.1King Richard
    Oh, Ratcliffe, I have dreamed a fearful dream;
    What think'st thou, will our friends prove all true?
    Ratcliffe
    No doubt, my lord.
    3675King Richard
    O Ratcliffe, I fear, I fear.
    Ratcliffe
    Nay, good my lord, be not afraid of shadows.
    King Richard
    By the Apostle Paul, shadows tonight
    Have struck more terror to the soul of Richard
    Than can the substance of ten thousand soldiers
    3680Armèd in proof and led by shallow Richmond.
    'Tis not yet near day; come, go with me:
    Under our tents I'll play the eavesdropper
    To see if any mean to shrink from me.
    Exeunt.
    3685Enter the lords to Richmond[, sitting in his tent].
    Lords
    Good morrow, Richmond.
    Richmond
    Cry mercy, lords and watchful gentlemen,
    That you have ta'en a tardy sluggard here.
    How have you slept, my lord?
    Richmond
    The sweetest sleep, and fairest-boding dreams
    That ever entered in a drowsy head
    Have I since your departure had, my lords;
    3695Methought their souls whose bodies Richard murdered
    Came to my tent and cried on victory.
    I promise you, my soul is very jocund
    In the remembrance of so fair a dream.
    How far into the morning is it, lords?
    Upon the stroke of four.
    Richmond
    Why then, 'tis time to arm and give direction.
    His oration to his soldiers.
    More than I have said, loving countrymen,
    The leisure and enforcement of the time
    3705Forbids to dwell upon; yet remember this:
    God and our good cause fight upon our side;
    The prayers of holy saints and wrongèd souls,
    Like high-reared bulwarks stand before our faces.
    Richard except, those whom we fight against
    3710Had rather have us win than him they follow;
    For what is he they follow? Truly, gentlemen,
    A bloody tyrant and a homicide.
    One raised in blood, and one in blood established,
    One that made means to come by what he hath
    3715And slaughtered those that were the means to help him;
    A base, foul stone, made precious by the foil
    Of England's chair, where he is falsely set;
    One that hath ever been God's enemy.
    Then, if you fight against God's enemy,
    3720God will in justice ward you as his soldiers;
    If you do sweat to put a tyrant down,
    You sleep in peace, the tyrant being slain;
    If you do fight against your country's foes,
    Your country's fat shall pay your pains the hire;
    3725If you do fight in safeguard of your wives,
    Your wives shall welcome home the conquerors;
    If you do free your children from the sword,
    Your children's children quits it in your age:
    Then, in the name of God and all these rights,
    3730Advance your standards! Draw your willing swords!
    For me, the ransom of my bold attempt
    Shall be this cold corpse on the earth's cold face:
    But if I thrive, the gain of my attempt,
    The least of you shall share his part thereof.
    3735Sound drums and trumpets boldly and cheerfully,
    [Trumpets and drums sound.]
    God and Saint George! Richmond and victory!
    Exeunt.
    Enter King Richard, Rat[cliffe, Catesby and others].
    King Richard
    What said Northumberland as touching Richmond?
    Ratcliffe
    That he was never trainèd up in arms.
    3740King Richard
    He said the truth, and what said Surrey then?
    Ratcliffe
    He smiled and said, "The better for our purpose".
    King Richard
    He was in the right, and so indeed it is --
    The clock strikes.
    Tell the clock there!
    Give me a calendar;
    Who saw the sun today?
    [Richard is given and consults the calendar.]
    3745Ratcliffe
    Not I, my lord.
    King Richard
    Then he disdains to shine, for by the book
    He should have braved the east an hour ago;
    A black day will it be to somebody. Ratcliffe.
    Ratcliffe
    My lord.
    3750King Richard
    The sun will not be seen today,
    The sky doth frown and lour upon our army.
    I would these dewy tears were from the ground.
    Not shine today? Why, what is that to me
    More than to Richmond, for the self-same heaven
    3755That frowns on me looks sadly upon him.
    Enter Norfolk.
    Norfolk
    Arm, arm my lord, the foe vaunts in the field.
    King Richard
    Come, bustle, bustle, caparison my horse,
    Call up Lord Stanley, bid him bring his power.
    [Exit a messenger.]
    3760I will lead forth my soldiers to the plain
    And thus my battle shall be ordered:
    My forward shall be drawn out all in length
    Consisting equally of horse and foot;
    Our archers shall be placèd in the midst;
    3765John Duke of Norfolk, Thomas Earl of Surrey
    Shall have the leading of this foot and horse.
    They thus directed, we will follow
    In the main battle, whose puissance on either side
    Shall be well wingèd with our chiefest horse;
    3770This, and Saint George to boot; what think'st thou, Norfolk?
    Norfolk
    A good direction, warlike sovereign,
    He shows him a paper.
    This found I on my tent this morning.
    Jockey of Norfolk, be not so bold,
    3775For Dickon thy master is bought and sold.
    King Richard
    A thing devisèd by the enemy.
    Go, gentlemen, every man unto his charge;
    Let not our babbling dreams affright our souls;
    Conscience is but a word that cowards use,
    3780Devised at first to keep the strong in awe.
    Our strong arms be our conscience, swords our law.
    March on, join bravely, let us to it pell mell,
    If not to heaven, then hand in hand to hell!
    His oration to his army.
    What shall I say more than I have inferred?
    3785Remember whom you are to cope withal,
    A sort of vagabonds, rascals and runaways,
    A scum of Bretons and base lackey peasants
    Whom their o'er-cloyèd country vomits forth
    To desperate adventures and assured destruction;
    3790You sleeping safe, they bring to you unrest,
    You having lands and blest with beauteous wives,
    They would restrain the one, distain the other;
    And who doth lead them but a paltry fellow,
    Long kept in Brittany at our mother's cost,
    3795A milksop, one that never in his life
    Felt so much cold as over shoes in snow.
    Let's whip these stragglers o'er the seas again,
    Lash hence these overweening rags of France,
    These famished beggars weary of their lives
    3800Who, but for dreaming on this fond exploit,
    For want of means, poor rats, had hanged themselves;
    If we be conquered, let men conquer us
    And not these bastard Bretons, whom our fathers
    Have in their own land beaten, bobbed and thumped,
    3805And in record left them the heirs of shame.
    Shall these enjoy our lands? lie with our wives?
    Ravish our daughters? --
    [Drums offstage]
    hark, I hear their drum:
    Fight, gentlemen of England; fight, bold yeomen;
    3810Draw archers, draw your arrows to the head;
    Spur your proud horses hard and ride in blood;
    Amaze the welkin with your broken staves!
    [Enter a messenger.]
    [To the messenger]
    What says Lord Stanley, will he bring his power?
    3815Messenger
    My lord, he doth deny to come.
    King Richard
    Off with his son George's head!
    Norfolk
    My lord, the enemy is past the marsh;
    After the battle let George Stanley die.
    King Richard
    A thousand hearts are great within my bosom;
    3820Advance our standards, set upon our foes,
    Our ancient word of courage, fair Saint George,
    Inspire us with the spleen of fiery dragons.
    Upon them! Victory sits on our helms!
    Exeunt.
    3823.1[5.4]
    Alarum, excursions. Enter Catesby.
    3825Catesby
    Rescue, my Lord of Norfolk, rescue, rescue!
    The King enacts more wonders than a man,
    Daring an opposite to every danger;
    His horse is slain and all on foot he fights,
    3830Seeking for Richmond in the throat of death;
    Rescue, fair lord, or else the day is lost.
    Enter King Richard.
    King Richard
    A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse!
    3835Catesby
    Withdraw, my lord, I'll help you to a horse.
    King Richard
    Slave, I have set my life upon a cast
    And I will stand the hazard of the die;
    I think there be six Richmonds in the field;
    Five have I slain today instead of him.
    3840A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse!
    [Exeunt King Richard and Catesby.]
    [5.5]
    Alarum. Enter Richard and Richmond; they fight, Richard is slain [Exit Richmond.]
    Then retreat is sounded.Enter Richmond, Stanley bearing the crown, with other lords.
    3845Richmond
    God and your arms be praised, victorious friends,
    The day is ours, the bloody dog is dead.
    Stanley
    Courageous Richmond, well hast thou acquit thee;
    3850Lo, here this long-usurpèd royalty
    From the dead temples of this bloody wretch
    Have I plucked off to grace thy brows withal;
    Wear it, enjoy it, and make much of it.
    [Stanley offers the crown to Richmond.]
    Richmond
    Great God of heaven, say "Amen" to all.
    3855But tell me, is young George Stanley living?
    Stanley
    He is, my lord, and safe in Leicester town,
    Whither, if it please you, we may now withdraw us.
    Richmond
    What men of name are slain on either side?
    [Stanley] [Reads.]
    John Duke of Norfolk, Walter Lord Ferris, Sir
    3860Robert Brakenbury, and Sir William Brandon.
    Richmond
    Inter their bodies as become their births,
    Proclaim a pardon to the soldiers fled
    That in submission will return to us
    And then, as we have ta'en the sacrament,
    3865We will unite the white rose and the red;
    Smile, heaven, upon this fair conjunction
    That long have frowned upon their enmity.
    What traitor hears me and says not "Amen?"
    England hath long been mad and scarred herself,
    3870The brother blindly shed the brother's blood,
    The father rashly slaughtered his own son,
    The son, compelled, been butcher to the sire;
    All this divided York and Lancaster,
    Divided in a dire division.
    3875Oh, now let Richmond and Elizabeth,
    The true succeeders of each royal House,
    By God's fair ordinance conjoin together,
    And let their heirs, God, if thy will be so,
    Enrich the time to come with smooth-faced peace,
    3880With smiling plenty and fair, prosperous days;
    Abate the edge of traitors, gracious Lord,
    That would reduce these bloody days again
    And make poor England weep in streams of blood:
    Let them not live to taste this land's increase
    3885That would with treason wound this fair land's peace.
    Now civil wounds are stopped, peace lives again;
    That she may long live here, God say "Amen."