|The Life and Death of Richard the Third|
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Enter GLOUCESTER, solusGLOUCESTER
Now is the winter of our discontentCLARENCE
Made glorious summer by this sun of York;
And all the clouds that lour'd upon our house
In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.
Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths;
Our bruised arms hung up for monuments;
Our stern alarums changed to merry meetings,
Our dreadful marches to delightful measures.
Grim-visaged war hath smooth'd his wrinkled front;
And now, instead of mounting barbed steeds
To fright the souls of fearful adversaries,
He capers nimbly in a lady's chamber
To 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 stamp'd, and want love's majesty
To strut before a wanton ambling nymph;
I, that am curtail'd of this fair proportion,
Cheated of feature by dissembling nature,
Deformed, unfinish'd, sent before my time
Into this breathing world, scarce half made up,
And that so lamely and unfashionable
That 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:
And therefore, since I cannot prove a lover,
To entertain these fair well-spoken days,
I am determined to prove a villain
And hate the idle pleasures of these days.
Plots have I laid, inductions dangerous,
By drunken prophecies, libels and dreams,
To set my brother 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,
This day should Clarence closely be mew'd up,
About a prophecy, which says that 'G'
Of Edward's heirs the murderer shall be.
Dive, thoughts, down to my soul: here
Enter CLARENCE, guarded, and BRAKENBURYBrother, good day; what means this armed guard
That waits upon your grace?
Tendering my person's safety, hath appointed
This conduct to convey me to the Tower.
Upon what cause?CLARENCE
Because my name is George.GLOUCESTER
Alack, my lord, that fault is none of yours;CLARENCE
He should, for that, commit your godfathers:
O, belike his majesty hath some intent
That you shall be new-christen'd in the Tower.
But what's the matter, Clarence? may I know?
Yea, Richard, when I know; for I protestGLOUCESTER
As yet I do not: but, as I can learn,
He hearkens after prophecies and dreams;
And from the cross-row plucks the letter G.
And 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
Have moved his highness to commit me now.
Why, this it is, when men are ruled by women:CLARENCE
'Tis not the king that sends you to the Tower:
My Lady Grey his wife, Clarence, 'tis she
That tempers him to this extremity.
Was 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 deliver'd?
We are not safe, Clarence; we are not safe.
By heaven, I think there's no man is secureGLOUCESTER
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?
Humbly complaining to her deityBRAKENBURY
Got my lord chamberlain his liberty.
I'll tell you what; I think it is our way,
If we will keep in favour with the king,
To be her men and wear her livery:
The jealous o'erworn widow and herself,
Since that our brother dubb'd them gentlewomen.
Are mighty gossips in this monarchy.
I beseech your graces both to pardon me;GLOUCESTER
His majesty hath straitly given in charge
That no man shall have private conference,
Of what degree soever, with his brother.
Even so; an't please your worship, Brakenbury,BRAKENBURY
You may partake of any thing we say:
We speak no treason, man: we say the king
Is 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 gentle-folks:
How say you sir? Can you deny all this?
With this, my lord, myself have nought to do.GLOUCESTER
Naught to do with mistress Shore! I tell thee, fellow,BRAKENBURY
He that doth naught with her, excepting one,
Were best he do it secretly, alone.
What one, my lord?GLOUCESTER
Her husband, knave: wouldst thou betray me?BRAKENBURY
I beseech your grace to pardon me, and withalCLARENCE
Forbear your conference with the noble duke.
We know thy charge, Brakenbury, and will obey.GLOUCESTER
We are the queen's abjects, and must obey.CLARENCE
Brother, farewell: I will unto the king;
And whatsoever you will employ me in,
Were 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.
I know it pleaseth neither of us well.GLOUCESTER
Well, your imprisonment shall not be long;CLARENCE
Meantime, have patience.
I must perforce. Farewell.GLOUCESTER
Exeunt CLARENCE, BRAKENBURY, and Guard
Go, tread the path that thou shalt ne'er return.HASTINGS
Simple, 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-deliver'd Hastings?
Good time of day unto my gracious lord!GLOUCESTER
As much unto my good lord chamberlain!HASTINGS
Well are you welcome to the open air.
How hath your lordship brook'd imprisonment?
With patience, noble lord, as prisoners must:GLOUCESTER
But I shall live, my lord, to give them thanks
That were the cause of my imprisonment.
No doubt, no doubt; and so shall Clarence too;HASTINGS
For they that were your enemies are his,
And have prevail'd as much on him as you.
More pity that the eagle should be mew'd,GLOUCESTER
While kites and buzzards prey at liberty.
What news abroad?HASTINGS
No news so bad abroad as this at home;GLOUCESTER
The King is sickly, weak and melancholy,
And his physicians fear him mightily.
Now, by Saint Paul, this news is bad indeed.HASTINGS
O, he hath kept an evil diet long,
And overmuch consumed his royal person:
'Tis very grievous to be thought upon.
What, is he in his bed?
Go you before, and I will follow you.
Exit HASTINGSHe cannot live, I hope; and must not die
Till George be pack'd with post-horse up to heaven.
I'll in, to urge his hatred more to Clarence,
With lies well steel'd with weighty arguments;
And, if I fall not in my deep intent,
Clarence hath not another day to live:
Which 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 kill'd her husband and her father?
The readiest way to make the wench amends
Is 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:
Clarence still breathes; Edward still lives and reigns:
When they are gone, then must I count my gains.
Enter the corpse of KING HENRY the Sixth, Gentlemen with halberds to guard it; LADY ANNE being the mournerLADY ANNE
Set down, set down your honourable load,GLOUCESTER
If honour may be shrouded in a hearse,
Whilst I awhile obsequiously lament
The untimely fall of virtuous Lancaster.
Poor key-cold figure of a holy king!
Pale 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 slaughter'd son,
Stabb'd by the selfsame hand that made these wounds!
Lo, in these 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!
Cursed the blood that let this blood from hence!
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 venom'd thing that lives!
If 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;
And that be heir to his unhappiness!
If ever he have wife, let her he made
A miserable by the death of him
As I am made by my poor lord and thee!
Come, now towards Chertsey with your holy load,
Taken from Paul's to be interred there;
And still, as you are weary of the weight,
Rest you, whiles I lament King Henry's corse.
Stay, you that bear the corse, and set it down.LADY ANNE
What black magician conjures up this fiend,GLOUCESTER
To stop devoted charitable deeds?
Villains, set down the corse; or, by Saint Paul,Gentleman
I'll make a corse of him that disobeys.
My lord, stand back, and let the coffin pass.GLOUCESTER
Unmanner'd dog! stand thou, when I command:LADY ANNE
Advance thy halbert higher than my breast,
Or, by Saint Paul, I'll strike thee to my foot,
And spurn upon thee, beggar, for thy boldness.
What, do you tremble? are you all afraid?GLOUCESTER
Alas, I blame you not; for you are mortal,
And mortal eyes cannot endure the devil.
Avaunt, thou dreadful minister of hell!
Thou hadst but power over his mortal body,
His soul thou canst not have; therefore be gone.
Sweet saint, for charity, be not so curst.LADY ANNE
Foul devil, for God's sake, hence, and trouble us not;GLOUCESTER
For thou hast made the happy earth thy hell,
Fill'd it with cursing cries and deep exclaims.
If thou delight to view thy heinous deeds,
Behold this pattern of thy butcheries.
O, gentlemen, see, see! dead Henry's wounds
Open their congeal'd mouths and bleed afresh!
Blush, Blush, thou lump of foul deformity;
For '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!
O earth, which this blood drink'st revenge his death!
Either heaven with lightning strike the
Or earth, gape open wide and eat him quick,
As thou dost swallow up this good king's blood
Which his hell-govern'd arm hath butchered!
Lady, you know no rules of charity,LADY ANNE
Which renders good for bad, blessings for curses.
Villain, thou know'st no law of God nor man:GLOUCESTER
No beast so fierce but knows some touch of pity.
But I know none, and therefore am no beast.LADY ANNE
O wonderful, when devils tell the truth!GLOUCESTER
More wonderful, when angels are so angry.LADY ANNE
Vouchsafe, divine perfection of a woman,
Of these supposed-evils, to give me leave,
By circumstance, but to acquit myself.
Vouchsafe, defused infection of a man,GLOUCESTER
For these known evils, but to give me leave,
By circumstance, to curse thy cursed self.
Fairer than tongue can name thee, let me haveLADY ANNE
Some patient leisure to excuse myself.
Fouler than heart can think thee, thou canst makeGLOUCESTER
No excuse current, but to hang thyself.
By such despair, I should accuse myself.LADY ANNE
And, by despairing, shouldst thou stand excused;GLOUCESTER
For doing worthy vengeance on thyself,
Which didst unworthy slaughter upon others.
Say that I slew them not?LADY ANNE
Why, then they are not dead:GLOUCESTER
But dead they are, and devilish slave, by thee.
I did not kill your husband.LADY ANNE
Why, then he is alive.GLOUCESTER
Nay, he is dead; and slain by Edward's hand.LADY ANNE
In thy foul throat thou liest: Queen Margaret sawGLOUCESTER
Thy murderous falchion smoking in his blood;
The which thou once didst bend against her breast,
But that thy brothers beat aside the point.
I was provoked by her slanderous tongue,LADY ANNE
which laid their guilt upon my guiltless shoulders.
Thou wast provoked by thy bloody mind.GLOUCESTER
Which never dreamt on aught but butcheries:
Didst thou not kill this king?
I grant ye.LADY ANNE
Dost grant me, hedgehog? then, God grant me tooGLOUCESTER
Thou mayst be damned for that wicked deed!
O, he was gentle, mild, and virtuous!
The fitter for the King of heaven, that hath him.LADY ANNE
He is in heaven, where thou shalt never come.GLOUCESTER
Let him thank me, that holp to send him thither;LADY ANNE
For he was fitter for that place than earth.
And thou unfit for any place but hell.GLOUCESTER
Yes, one place else, if you will hear me name it.LADY ANNE
Your bed-chamber.LADY ANNE
Ill rest betide the chamber where thou liest!GLOUCESTER
So will it, madam till I lie with you.LADY ANNE
I hope so.GLOUCESTER
I know so. But, gentle Lady Anne,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,
As blameful as the executioner?
Thou art the cause, and most accursed effect.GLOUCESTER
Your beauty was the cause of that effect;LADY ANNE
Your beauty: which did haunt me in my sleep
To undertake the death of all the world,
So I might live one hour in your sweet bosom.
If I thought that, I tell thee, homicide,GLOUCESTER
These nails should rend that beauty from my cheeks.
These eyes could never endure sweet beauty's wreck;LADY ANNE
You should not blemish it, if I stood by:
As all the world is cheered by the sun,
So I by that; it is my day, my life.
Black night o'ershade thy day, and death thy life!GLOUCESTER
Curse not thyself, fair creature thou art both.LADY ANNE
I would I were, to be revenged on thee.GLOUCESTER
It is a quarrel most unnatural,LADY ANNE
To be revenged on him that loveth you.
It is a quarrel just and reasonable,GLOUCESTER
To be revenged on him that slew my husband.
He that bereft thee, lady, of thy husband,LADY ANNE
Did it to help thee to a better husband.
His better doth not breathe upon the earth.GLOUCESTER
He lives that loves thee better than he could.LADY ANNE
Why, that was he.GLOUCESTER
The selfsame name, but one of better nature.LADY ANNE
Where is he?GLOUCESTER
She spitteth at himWhy dost thou spit at me?
Would it were mortal poison, for thy sake!GLOUCESTER
Never came poison from so sweet a place.LADY ANNE
Never hung poison on a fouler toad.GLOUCESTER
Out of my sight! thou dost infect my eyes.
Thine eyes, sweet lady, have infected mine.LADY ANNE
Would they were basilisks, to strike thee dead!GLOUCESTER
I would they were, that I might die at once;LADY ANNE
For now they kill me with a living death.
Those eyes of thine from mine have drawn salt tears,
Shamed their aspect with store of childish drops:
These eyes that never shed remorseful tear,
No, when my father York and Edward wept,
To hear the piteous moan that Rutland made
When black-faced Clifford shook his sword at him;
Nor when thy warlike father, like a child,
Told the sad story of my father's death,
And twenty times made pause to sob and weep,
That all the standers-by had wet their cheeks
Like trees bedash'd with rain: in that sad time
My manly eyes did scorn an humble tear;
And what these sorrows could not thence exhale,
Thy beauty hath, and made them blind with weeping.
I never sued to friend nor enemy;
My tongue could never learn sweet smoothing word;
But now thy beauty is proposed my fee,
My proud heart sues, and prompts my tongue to speak.
She looks scornfully at himTeach not thy lips such scorn, for they were made
For kissing, lady, not for such contempt.
If thy revengeful heart cannot forgive,
Lo, here I lend thee this sharp-pointed 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,
And humbly beg the death upon my knee.
He lays his breast open: she offers at it with his swordNay, do not pause; for I did kill King Henry,
But 'twas thy beauty that provoked me.
Nay, now dispatch; 'twas I that stabb'd young Edward,
But 'twas thy heavenly face that set me on.
Here she lets fall the swordTake up the sword again, or take up me.
Arise, dissembler: though I wish thy death,GLOUCESTER
I will not be the executioner.
Then bid me kill myself, and I will do it.LADY ANNE
I have already.GLOUCESTER
Tush, that was in thy rage:LADY ANNE
Speak it again, and, even with the word,
That hand, which, for thy love, did kill thy love,
Shall, for thy love, kill a far truer love;
To both their deaths thou shalt be accessary.
I would I knew thy heart.GLOUCESTER
'Tis figured in my tongue.LADY ANNE
I fear me both are false.GLOUCESTER
Then never man was true.LADY ANNE
Well, well, put up your sword.GLOUCESTER
Say, then, my peace is made.LADY ANNE
That shall you know hereafter.GLOUCESTER
But shall I live in hope?LADY ANNE
All men, I hope, live so.GLOUCESTER
Vouchsafe to wear this ring.LADY ANNE
To take is not to give.GLOUCESTER
Look, how this ring encompasseth finger.LADY ANNE
Even so thy breast encloseth my poor heart;
Wear both of them, for both of them are thine.
And if thy poor devoted suppliant may
But beg one favour at thy gracious hand,
Thou dost confirm his happiness for ever.
What is it?GLOUCESTER
That it would please thee leave these sad designsLADY ANNE
To him that hath more cause to be a mourner,
And presently repair to Crosby Place;
Where, after I have solemnly interr'd
At Chertsey monastery this noble king,
And wet his grave with my repentant tears,
I 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,GLOUCESTER
To see you are become so penitent.
Tressel and Berkeley, go along with me.
Bid me farewell.LADY ANNE
'Tis more than you deserve;GLOUCESTER
But since you teach me how to flatter you,
Imagine I have said farewell already.
Exeunt LADY ANNE, TRESSEL, and BERKELEY
Sirs, take up the corse.GENTLEMEN
Towards Chertsey, noble lord?GLOUCESTER
No, to White-Friars; there attend my coining.
Exeunt all but GLOUCESTERWas ever woman in this humour woo'd?
Was ever woman in this humour won?
I'll have her; but I will not keep her long.
What! I, that kill'd her husband and his father,
To take her in her heart's extremest hate,
With curses in her mouth, tears in her eyes,
The bleeding witness of her hatred by;
Having God, her conscience, and these bars
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!
Hath she forgot already that brave prince,
Edward, her lord, whom I, some three months since,
Stabb'd in my angry mood at Tewksbury?
A sweeter and a lovelier gentleman,
Framed 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 cropp'd the golden prime of this sweet prince,
And made her widow to a woful 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:
Upon 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:
Since I am crept in favour with myself,
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,
That I may see my shadow as I pass.
Enter QUEEN ELIZABETH, RIVERS, and GREYRIVERS
Have patience, madam: there's no doubt his majestyGREY
Will soon recover his accustom'd health.
In that you brook it in, it makes him worse:QUEEN ELIZABETH
Therefore, for God's sake, entertain good comfort,
And cheer his grace with quick and merry words.
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 bless'd you with a goodly son,QUEEN ELIZABETH
To be your comforter when he is gone.
Oh, he is young and his minorityRIVERS
Is put unto the trust of Richard Gloucester,
A man that loves not me, nor none of you.
Is it concluded that he shall be protector?QUEEN ELIZABETH
It is determined, not concluded yet:GREY
But so it must be, if the king miscarry.
Enter BUCKINGHAM and DERBY
Here come the lords of Buckingham and Derby.BUCKINGHAM
Good time of day unto your royal grace!DERBY
God make your majesty joyful as you have been!QUEEN ELIZABETH
The Countess Richmond, good my Lord of Derby.DERBY
To your good prayers will scarcely say amen.
Yet, Derby, notwithstanding she's your wife,
And loves not me, be you, good lord, assured
I hate not you for her proud arrogance.
I do beseech you, either not believeRIVERS
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.
Saw you the king to-day, my Lord of Derby?DERBY
But now the Duke of Buckingham and IQUEEN ELIZABETH
Are come from visiting his majesty.
What likelihood of his amendment, lords?BUCKINGHAM
Madam, good hope; his grace speaks cheerfully.QUEEN ELIZABETH
God grant him health! Did you confer with him?BUCKINGHAM
Madam, we did: he desires to make atonementQUEEN ELIZABETH
Betwixt the Duke of Gloucester and your brothers,
And betwixt them and my lord chamberlain;
And sent to warn them to his royal presence.
Would all were well! but that will never beGLOUCESTER
I fear our happiness is at the highest.
Enter GLOUCESTER, HASTINGS, and DORSET
They do me wrong, and I will not endure it:RIVERS
Who are they that complain unto the king,
That I, forsooth, am stern, and love them not?
By holy Paul, they love his grace but lightly
That fill his ears with such dissentious rumours.
Because I cannot flatter and speak fair,
Smile in men's faces, smooth, deceive and cog,
Duck 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?
To whom in all this presence speaks your grace?GLOUCESTER
To thee, that hast nor honesty nor grace.QUEEN ELIZABETH
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,--
Whom God preserve better than you would wish!--
Cannot be quiet scarce a breathing-while,
But you must trouble him with lewd complaints.
Brother of Gloucester, you mistake the matter.GLOUCESTER
The king, of his own royal disposition,
And not provoked by any suitor else;
Aiming, belike, at your interior hatred,
Which in your outward actions shows itself
Against my kindred, brothers, and myself,
Makes him to send; that thereby he may gather
The ground of your ill-will, and so remove it.
I cannot tell: the world is grown so bad,QUEEN ELIZABETH
That wrens make prey where eagles dare not perch:
Since every Jack became a gentleman
There's many a gentle person made a Jack.
Come, come, we know your meaning, brotherGLOUCESTER
You envy my advancement and my friends':
God grant we never may have need of you!
Meantime, God grants that we have need of you:QUEEN ELIZABETH
Your brother is imprison'd by your means,
Myself disgraced, and the nobility
Held in contempt; whilst many fair promotions
Are daily given to ennoble those
That scarce, some two days since, were worth a noble.
By Him that raised me to this careful heightGLOUCESTER
From that contented hap which I enjoy'd,
I 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.
You may deny that you were not the causeRIVERS
Of my Lord Hastings' late imprisonment.
She may, my lord, for--GLOUCESTER
She may, Lord Rivers! why, who knows not so?RIVERS
She may do more, sir, than denying that:
She may help you to many fair preferments,
And then deny her aiding hand therein,
And lay those honours on your high deserts.
What may she not? She may, yea, marry, may she--
What, marry, may she?GLOUCESTER
What, marry, may she! marry with a king,QUEEN ELIZABETH
A bachelor, a handsome stripling too:
I wis your grandam had a worser match.
My Lord of Gloucester, I have too long borneQUEEN MARGARET
Your blunt upbraidings and your bitter scoffs:
By 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, scorn'd, and baited at:
Enter QUEEN MARGARET, behindSmall joy have I in being England's queen.
And lessen'd be that small, God, I beseech thee!GLOUCESTER
Thy honour, state and seat is due to me.
What! threat you me with telling of the king?QUEEN MARGARET
Tell him, and spare not: look, what I have said
I will avouch in presence of the king:
I dare adventure to be sent to the Tower.
'Tis time to speak; my pains are quite forgot.
Out, devil! I remember them too well:GLOUCESTER
Thou slewest my husband Henry in the Tower,
And Edward, my poor son, at Tewksbury.
Ere you were queen, yea, or your husband king,QUEEN MARGARET
I was a pack-horse in his great affairs;
A weeder-out of his proud adversaries,
A liberal rewarder of his friends:
To royalize his blood I spilt mine own.
Yea, and much better blood than his or thine.GLOUCESTER
In all which time you and your husband GreyQUEEN MARGARET
Were factious for the house of Lancaster;
And, Rivers, so were you. Was not your husband
In Margaret's battle at Saint Alban's slain?
Let me put in your minds, if you forget,
What you have been ere now, and what you are;
Withal, what I have been, and what I am.
A murderous villain, and so still thou art.GLOUCESTER
Poor Clarence did forsake his father, Warwick;QUEEN MARGARET
Yea, and forswore himself,--which Jesu pardon!--
Which God revenge!GLOUCESTER
To fight on Edward's party for the crown;QUEEN MARGARET
And for his meed, poor lord, he is mew'd up.
I would to God my heart were flint, like Edward's;
Or Edward's soft and pitiful, like mine
I am too childish-foolish for this world.
Hie thee to hell for shame, and leave the world,RIVERS
Thou cacodemon! there thy kingdom is.
My Lord of Gloucester, in those busy daysGLOUCESTER
Which here you urge to prove us enemies,
We follow'd then our lord, our lawful king:
So should we you, if you should be our king.
If I should be! I had rather be a pedlar:QUEEN ELIZABETH
Far be it from my heart, the thought of it!
As little joy, my lord, as you supposeQUEEN MARGARET
You should enjoy, were you this country's king,
As little joy may you suppose in me.
That I enjoy, being the queen thereof.
A little joy enjoys the queen thereof;GLOUCESTER
For I am she, and altogether joyless.
I can no longer hold me patient.
AdvancingHear me, you wrangling pirates, that fall out
In sharing that which you have pill'd from me!
Which of you trembles not that looks on me?
If not, that, I being queen, you bow like subjects,
Yet that, by you deposed, you quake like rebels?
O gentle villain, do not turn away!
Foul wrinkled witch, what makest thou in my sight?QUEEN MARGARET
But repetition of what thou hast marr'd;GLOUCESTER
That will I make before I let thee go.
Wert thou not banished on pain of death?QUEEN MARGARET
I was; but I do find more pain in banishmentGLOUCESTER
Than death can yield me here by my abode.
A husband and a son thou owest to me;
And thou a kingdom; all of you allegiance:
The sorrow that I have, by right is yours,
And all the pleasures you usurp are mine.
The curse my noble father laid on thee,QUEEN ELIZABETH
When thou didst crown his warlike brows with paper
And with thy scorns drew'st rivers from his eyes,
And then, to dry them, gavest the duke a clout
Steep'd in the faultless blood of pretty Rutland--
His curses, then from bitterness of soul
Denounced against thee, are all fall'n upon thee;
And God, not we, hath plagued thy bloody deed.
So just is God, to right the innocent.HASTINGS
O, 'twas the foulest deed to slay that babe,RIVERS
And the most merciless that e'er was heard of!
Tyrants themselves wept when it was reported.DORSET
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,GLOUCESTER
Ready to catch each other by the throat,
And turn you all your hatred now on me?
Did York's dread curse prevail so much with heaven?
That Henry's death, my lovely Edward's death,
Their kingdom's loss, my woful banishment,
Could all but answer for that peevish brat?
Can curses pierce the clouds and enter heaven?
Why, 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,
Die 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,
Deck'd in thy rights, as thou art stall'd in mine!
Long die thy happy days before thy death;
And, after many lengthen'd hours of grief,
Die neither mother, wife, nor England's queen!
Rivers and Dorset, you were standers by,
And so wast thou, Lord Hastings, when my son
Was stabb'd with bloody daggers: God, I pray him,
That none of you may live your natural age,
But by some unlook'd accident cut off!
Have done thy charm, thou hateful wither'd hag!QUEEN MARGARET
And leave out thee? stay, dog, for thou shalt hear me.GLOUCESTER
If heaven have any grievous plague in store
Exceeding those that I can wish upon thee,
O, let them keep it till thy sins be ripe,
And then hurl down their indignation
On 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,
Unless it be whilst some tormenting dream
Affrights thee with a hell of ugly devils!
Thou elvish-mark'd, abortive, rooting hog!
Thou that wast seal'd in thy nativity
The slave of nature and the son of hell!
Thou slander of thy mother's heavy womb!
Thou loathed issue of thy father's loins!
Thou rag of honour! thou detested--
I call thee not.GLOUCESTER
I cry thee mercy then, for I had thoughtQUEEN MARGARET
That thou hadst call'd me all these bitter names.
Why, so I did; but look'd for no reply.GLOUCESTER
O, let me make the period to my curse!
'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!HASTINGS
Why strew'st thou sugar on that bottled spider,
Whose deadly web ensnareth thee about?
Fool, fool! thou whet'st a knife to kill thyself.
The time will come when thou shalt wish for me
To help thee curse that poisonous bunchback'd toad.
False-boding woman, end thy frantic curse,QUEEN MARGARET
Lest to thy harm thou move our patience.
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,DORSET
Teach me to be your queen, and you my subjects:
O, serve me well, and teach yourselves that duty!
Dispute not with her; she is lunatic.QUEEN MARGARET
Peace, master marquess, you are malapert:GLOUCESTER
Your fire-new stamp of honour is scarce current.
O, that your young nobility could judge
What 'twere to lose it, and be miserable!
They that stand high have many blasts to shake them;
And if they fall, they dash themselves to pieces.
Good counsel, marry: learn it, learn it, marquess.DORSET
It toucheth you, my lord, as much as me.GLOUCESTER
Yea, and much more: but I was born so high,QUEEN MARGARET
Our aery buildeth in the cedar's top,
And dallies with the wind and scorns the sun.
And turns the sun to shade; alas! alas!BUCKINGHAM
Witness my son, now in the shade of death;
Whose bright out-shining beams thy cloudy wrath
Hath in eternal darkness folded up.
Your aery buildeth in our aery's nest.
O God, that seest it, do not suffer it!
As it was won with blood, lost be it so!
Have done! for shame, if not for charity.QUEEN MARGARET
Urge neither charity nor shame to me:BUCKINGHAM
Uncharitably with me have you dealt,
And shamefully by you my hopes are butcher'd.
My charity is outrage, life my shame
And in that shame still live my sorrow's rage.
Have done, have done.QUEEN MARGARET
O princely Buckingham I'll kiss thy hand,BUCKINGHAM
In sign of league and amity with thee:
Now fair befal thee and thy noble house!
Thy garments are not spotted with our blood,
Nor thou within the compass of my curse.
Nor no one here; for curses never passQUEEN MARGARET
The lips of those that breathe them in the air.
I'll not believe but they ascend the sky,GLOUCESTER
And there awake God's gentle-sleeping peace.
O Buckingham, take heed of yonder dog!
Look, when he fawns, he bites; and when he bites,
His venom tooth will rankle to the death:
Have not to do with him, beware of him;
Sin, death, and hell have set their marks on him,
And all their ministers attend on him.
What doth she say, my Lord of Buckingham?BUCKINGHAM
Nothing that I respect, my gracious lord.QUEEN MARGARET
What, dost thou scorn me for my gentle counsel?HASTINGS
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!
Live each of you the subjects to his hate,
And he to yours, and all of you to God's!
My hair doth stand on end to hear her curses.RIVERS
And so doth mine: I muse why she's at liberty.GLOUCESTER
I cannot blame her: by God's holy mother,QUEEN ELIZABETH
She hath had too much wrong; and I repent
My part thereof that I have done to her.
I never did her any, to my knowledge.GLOUCESTER
But you have all the vantage of her wrong.RIVERS
I was too hot to do somebody good,
That is too cold in thinking of it now.
Marry, as for Clarence, he is well repaid,
He is frank'd up to fatting for his pains
God pardon them that are the cause of it!
A virtuous and a Christian-like conclusion,GLOUCESTER
To pray for them that have done scathe to us.
So do I ever:CATESBY
For had I cursed now, I had cursed myself.
Madam, his majesty doth call for you,QUEEN ELIZABETH
And for your grace; and you, my noble lords.
Catesby, we come. Lords, will you go with us?RIVERS
Madam, we will attend your grace.GLOUCESTER
Exeunt all but GLOUCESTER
I do the wrong, and first begin to brawl.First Murderer
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
Namely, to Hastings, Derby, Buckingham;
And say it is the queen and her allies
That stir the king against the duke my brother.
Now, they believe it; and withal whet me
To be revenged on Rivers, Vaughan, Grey:
But 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 villany
With old odd ends stolen out of holy writ;
And seem a saint, when most I play the devil.
Enter two MurderersBut, soft! here come my executioners.
How now, my hardy, stout resolved mates!
Are you now going to dispatch this deed?
We are, my lord; and come to have the warrantGLOUCESTER
That we may be admitted where he is.
Well thought upon; I have it here about me.First Murderer
Gives the warrantWhen you have done, repair to Crosby Place.
But, sirs, be sudden in the execution,
Withal obdurate, do not hear him plead;
For Clarence is well-spoken, and perhaps
May move your hearts to pity if you mark him.
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.
Your eyes drop millstones, when fools' eyes drop tears:First Murderer
I like you, lads; about your business straight;
Go, go, dispatch.
We will, my noble lord.
Enter CLARENCE and BRAKENBURYBRAKENBURY
Why looks your grace so heavily today?CLARENCE
O, I have pass'd a miserable night,BRAKENBURY
So full of ugly sights, of ghastly dreams,
That, 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!
What was your dream? I long to hear you tell it.CLARENCE
Methoughts that I had broken from the Tower,BRAKENBURY
And was embark'd to cross to Burgundy;
And, in my company, my brother Gloucester;
Who from my cabin tempted me to walk
Upon the hatches: thence we looked toward England,
And cited up a thousand fearful times,
During the wars of York and Lancaster
That had befall'n us. As we paced along
Upon the giddy footing of the hatches,
Methought that Gloucester stumbled; and, in falling,
Struck 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 mine ears!
What ugly sights of death within mine eyes!
Methought I saw a thousand fearful wrecks;
Ten thousand men that fishes gnaw'd upon;
Wedges of gold, great anchors, heaps of pearl,
Inestimable stones, unvalued jewels,
All scatter'd in the bottom of the sea:
Some 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 woo'd the slimy bottom of the deep,
And mock'd the dead bones that lay scatter'd by.
Had you such leisure in the time of deathCLARENCE
To gaze upon the secrets of the deep?
Methought I had; and often did I striveBRAKENBURY
To yield the ghost: but still the envious flood
Kept in my soul, and would not let it forth
To seek the empty, vast and wandering air;
But smother'd it within my panting bulk,
Which almost burst to belch it in the sea.
Awaked you not with this sore agony?CLARENCE
O, no, my dream was lengthen'd after life;BRAKENBURY
O, then began the tempest to my soul,
Who pass'd, 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,
Was my great father-in-law, renowned Warwick;
Who cried aloud, 'What scourge for perjury
Can this dark monarchy afford false Clarence?'
And so he vanish'd: then came wandering by
A shadow like an angel, with bright hair
Dabbled in blood; and he squeak'd out aloud,
'Clarence is come; false, fleeting, perjured Clarence,
That stabb'd me in the field by Tewksbury;
Seize on him, Furies, take him to your torments!'
With that, methoughts, a legion of foul fiends
Environ'd 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.
No marvel, my lord, though it affrighted you;CLARENCE
I promise, I am afraid to hear you tell it.
O Brakenbury, I have done those things,BRAKENBURY
Which now bear evidence against my soul,
For Edward's sake; and see how he requites me!
O God! if my deep prayers cannot appease thee,
But thou wilt be avenged on my misdeeds,
Yet execute thy wrath in me alone,
O, spare my guiltless wife and my poor children!
I pray thee, gentle keeper, stay by me;
My soul is heavy, and I fain would sleep.
I will, my lord: God give your grace good rest!First Murderer
CLARENCE sleepsSorrow breaks seasons and reposing hours,
Makes the night morning, and the noon-tide night.
Princes have but their tides for their glories,
An outward honour for an inward toil;
And, for unfelt imagination,
They often feel a world of restless cares:
So that, betwixt their tides and low names,
There's nothing differs but the outward fame.
Enter the two Murderers
Ho! who's here?BRAKENBURY
In God's name what are you, and how came you hither?First Murderer
I would speak with Clarence, and I came hither on my legs.BRAKENBURY
Yea, are you so brief?Second Murderer
O sir, it is better to be brief than tedious. ShowBRAKENBURY
him our commission; talk no more.
BRAKENBURY reads it
I am, in this, commanded to deliverFirst Murderer
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:
I'll to the king; and signify to him
That thus I have resign'd my charge to you.
Do so, it is a point of wisdom: fare you well.Second Murderer
What, shall we stab him as he sleeps?First Murderer
No; then he will say 'twas done cowardly, when he wakes.Second Murderer
When he wakes! why, fool, he shall never wake tillFirst Murderer
Why, then he will say we stabbed him sleeping.Second Murderer
The urging of that word 'judgment' hath bred a kindFirst Murderer
of remorse in me.
What, art thou afraid?Second Murderer
Not to kill him, having a warrant for it; but to beFirst Murderer
damned for killing him, from which no warrant can defend us.
I thought thou hadst been resolute.Second Murderer
So I am, to let him live.First Murderer
Back to the Duke of Gloucester, tell him so.Second Murderer
I pray thee, stay a while: I hope my holy humourFirst Murderer
will change; 'twas wont to hold me but while one
would tell twenty.
How dost thou feel thyself now?Second Murderer
'Faith, some certain dregs of conscience are yetFirst Murderer
Remember our reward, when the deed is done.Second Murderer
'Zounds, he dies: I had forgot the reward.First Murderer
Where is thy conscience now?Second Murderer
In the Duke of Gloucester's purse.First Murderer
So when he opens his purse to give us our reward,Second Murderer
thy conscience flies out.
Let it go; there's few or none will entertain it.First Murderer
How if it come to thee again?Second Murderer
I'll not meddle with it: it is a dangerous thing: itFirst Murderer
makes a man a coward: a man cannot steal, but it
accuseth him; he cannot swear, but it cheques him;
he cannot lie with his neighbour's wife, but it
detects him: 'tis a blushing shamefast 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 man that keeps it: it
is turned out of all towns and cities for a
dangerous thing; and every man that means to live
well endeavours to trust to himself and to live
'Zounds, it is even now at my elbow, persuading meSecond Murderer
not to kill the duke.
Take the devil in thy mind, and relieve him not: heFirst Murderer
would insinuate with thee but to make thee sigh.
Tut, I am strong-framed, he cannot prevail with me,Second Murderer
I warrant thee.
Spoke like a tail fellow that respects hisFirst Murderer
reputation. Come, shall we to this gear?
Take him over the costard with the hilts of thySecond Murderer
sword, and then we will chop him in the malmsey-butt
in the next room.
O excellent devise! make a sop of him.First Murderer
Hark! he stirs: shall I strike?Second Murderer
No, first let's reason with him.CLARENCE
Where art thou, keeper? give me a cup of wine.Second murderer
You shall have wine enough, my lord, anon.CLARENCE
In God's name, what art thou?Second Murderer
A man, as you are.CLARENCE
But not, as I am, royal.Second Murderer
Nor you, as we are, loyal.CLARENCE
Thy voice is thunder, but thy looks are humble.Second Murderer
My voice is now the king's, my looks mine own.CLARENCE
How darkly and how deadly dost thou speak!Both
Your eyes do menace me: why look you pale?
Who sent you hither? Wherefore do you come?
To, to, to--CLARENCE
To murder me?Both
You scarcely have the hearts to tell me so,First Murderer
And therefore cannot have the hearts to do it.
Wherein, my friends, have I offended you?
Offended us you have not, but the king.CLARENCE
I shall be reconciled to him again.Second Murderer
Never, my lord; therefore prepare to die.CLARENCE
Are you call'd forth from out a world of menFirst Murderer
To slay the innocent? What is my offence?
Where 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,
To threaten me with death is most unlawful.
I charge you, as you hope to have redemption
By Christ's dear blood shed for our grievous sins,
That you depart and lay no hands on me
The deed you undertake is damnable.
What we will do, we do upon command.Second Murderer
And he that hath commanded is the king.CLARENCE
Erroneous vassal! the great King of kingsSecond Murderer
Hath in the tables of his law commanded
That thou shalt do no murder: and wilt thou, then,
Spurn at his edict and fulfil a man's?
Take heed; for he holds vengeance in his hands,
To hurl upon their heads that break his law.
And that same vengeance doth he hurl on thee,First Murderer
For false forswearing and for murder too:
Thou didst receive the holy sacrament,
To fight in quarrel of the house of Lancaster.
And, like a traitor to the name of God,Second Murderer
Didst break that vow; and with thy treacherous blade
Unrip'dst the bowels of thy sovereign's son.
Whom thou wert sworn to cherish and defend.First Murderer
How canst thou urge God's dreadful law to us,CLARENCE
When thou hast broke it in so dear degree?
Alas! for whose sake did I that ill deed?First Murderer
For Edward, for my brother, for his sake: Why, sirs,
He sends ye not to murder me for this
For in this sin he is as deep as I.
If God will be revenged for this deed.
O, know you yet, he doth it publicly,
Take not the quarrel from his powerful arm;
He needs no indirect nor lawless course
To cut off those that have offended him.
Who made thee, then, a bloody minister,CLARENCE
When gallant-springing brave Plantagenet,
That princely novice, was struck dead by thee?
My brother's love, the devil, and my rage.First Murderer
Thy brother's love, our duty, and thy fault,CLARENCE
Provoke us hither now to slaughter thee.
Oh, if you love my brother, hate not me;Second Murderer
I am his brother, and I love him well.
If you be hired for meed, go back again,
And I will send you to my brother Gloucester,
Who shall reward you better for my life
Than Edward will for tidings of my death.
You are deceived, your brother Gloucester hates you.CLARENCE
O, no, he loves me, and he holds me dear:Both
Go you to him from me.
Ay, so we will.CLARENCE
Tell him, when that our princely father YorkFirst Murderer
Bless'd his three sons with his victorious arm,
And charged us from his soul to love each other,
He little thought of this divided friendship:
Bid Gloucester think of this, and he will weep.
Ay, millstones; as be lesson'd us to weep.CLARENCE
O, do not slander him, for he is kind.First Murderer
As snow in harvest. Thou deceivest thyself:
'Tis he that sent us hither now to slaughter thee.
It cannot be; for when I parted with him,Second Murderer
He hugg'd me in his arms, and swore, with sobs,
That he would labour my delivery.
Why, so he doth, now he delivers theeFirst Murderer
From this world's thraldom to the joys of heaven.
Make peace with God, for you must die, my lord.CLARENCE
Hast thou that holy feeling in thy soul,Second Murderer
To counsel me to make my peace with God,
And 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 the deed.
What shall we do?CLARENCE
Relent, and save your souls.First Murderer
Relent! 'tis cowardly and womanish.CLARENCE
Not to relent is beastly, savage, devilish.Second Murderer
Which of you, if you were a prince's son,
Being pent from liberty, as I am now,
if two such murderers as yourselves came to you,
Would not entreat for life?
My friend, I spy some pity in thy looks:
O, if thine eye be not a flatterer,
Come thou on my side, and entreat for me,
As you would beg, were you in my distress
A begging prince what beggar pities not?
Look behind you, my lord.First Murderer
Take that, and that: if all this will not do,Second Murderer
Stabs himI'll drown you in the malmsey-butt within.
Exit, with the body
A bloody deed, and desperately dispatch'd!First Murderer
How fain, like Pilate, would I wash my hands
Of this most grievous guilty murder done!
Re-enter First Murderer
How now! what mean'st thou, that thou help'st me not?Second Murderer
By heavens, the duke shall know how slack thou art!
I would he knew that I had saved his brother!First Murderer
Take thou the fee, and tell him what I say;
For I repent me that the duke is slain.
So do not I: go, coward as thou art.
Now must I hide his body in some hole,
Until the duke take order for his burial:
And when I have my meed, I must away;
For this will out, and here I must not stay.
Flourish. Enter KING EDWARD IV sick, QUEEN ELIZABETH, DORSET, RIVERS, HASTINGS, BUCKINGHAM, GREY, and othersKING EDWARD IV
Why, so: now have I done a good day's work:RIVERS
You 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.
Rivers and Hastings, take each other's hand;
Dissemble not your hatred, swear your love.
By heaven, my heart is purged from grudging hate:HASTINGS
And with my hand I seal my true heart's love.
So thrive I, as I truly swear the like!KING EDWARD IV
Take heed you dally not before your king;HASTINGS
Lest he that is the supreme King of kings
Confound your hidden falsehood, and award
Either of you to be the other's end.
So prosper I, as I swear perfect love!RIVERS
And I, as I love Hastings with my heart!KING EDWARD IV
Madam, yourself are not exempt in this,QUEEN ELIZABETH
Nor your son Dorset, Buckingham, nor you;
You have been factious one against the other,
Wife, love Lord Hastings, let him kiss your hand;
And what you do, do it unfeignedly.
Here, Hastings; I will never more rememberKING EDWARD IV
Our former hatred, so thrive I and mine!
Dorset, embrace him; Hastings, love lord marquess.DORSET
This interchange of love, I here protest,HASTINGS
Upon my part shall be unviolable.
And so swear I, my lordKING EDWARD IV
Now, princely Buckingham, seal thou this leagueBUCKINGHAM
With thy embracements to my wife's allies,
And make me happy in your unity.
Whenever Buckingham doth turn his hateKING EDWARD IV
On you or yours,
To the Queenbut with all duteous love
Doth cherish you and yours, God punish me
With hate in those where I expect most love!
When I have most need to employ a friend,
And most assured 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 yours.
A pleasing cordial, princely Buckingham,BUCKINGHAM
is this thy vow unto my sickly heart.
There wanteth now our brother Gloucester here,
To make the perfect period of this peace.
And, in good time, here comes the noble duke.GLOUCESTER
Good morrow to my sovereign king and queen:KING EDWARD IV
And, princely peers, a happy time of day!
Happy, indeed, as we have spent the day.GLOUCESTER
Brother, we done deeds of charity;
Made peace enmity, fair love of hate,
Between these swelling wrong-incensed peers.
A blessed labour, my most sovereign liege:QUEEN ELIZABETH
Amongst this princely heap, if any here,
By 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:
'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,
If ever any grudge were lodged between us;
Of you, Lord Rivers, and, Lord Grey, of you;
That without desert have frown'd on me;
Dukes, earls, lords, gentlemen; indeed, of all.
I do not know that Englishman alive
With whom my soul is any jot at odds
More than the infant that is born to-night
I thank my God for my humility.
A holy day shall this be kept hereafter:GLOUCESTER
I would to God all strifes were well compounded.
My sovereign liege, I do beseech your majesty
To take our brother Clarence to your grace.
Why, madam, have I offer'd love for thisRIVERS
To be so bouted in this royal presence?
Who knows not that the noble duke is dead?
They all startYou do him injury to scorn his corse.
Who knows not he is dead! who knows he is?QUEEN ELIZABETH
All seeing heaven, what a world is this!BUCKINGHAM
Look I so pale, Lord Dorset, as the rest?DORSET
Ay, my good lord; and no one in this presenceKING EDWARD IV
But his red colour hath forsook his cheeks.
Is Clarence dead? the order was reversed.GLOUCESTER
But he, poor soul, by your first order died,DERBY
And that a winged Mercury did bear:
Some tardy cripple bore the countermand,
That came too lag to see him buried.
God grant that some, less noble and less loyal,
Nearer in bloody thoughts, but not in blood,
Deserve not worse than wretched Clarence did,
And yet go current from suspicion!
A boon, my sovereign, for my service done!KING EDWARD IV
I pray thee, peace: my soul is full of sorrow.DERBY
I will not rise, unless your highness grant.KING EDWARD IV
Then speak at once what is it thou demand'st.DERBY
The forfeit, sovereign, of my servant's life;KING EDWARD IV
Who slew to-day a righteous gentleman
Lately attendant on the Duke of Norfolk.
Have a tongue to doom my brother's death,GLOUCESTER
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,
Kneel'd at my feet, and bade me be advised
Who spake of brotherhood? who spake 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 Tewksbury
When 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,
All thin and naked, to the numb cold night?
All this from my remembrance brutish wrath
Sinfully pluck'd, and not a man of you
Had so much grace to put it in my mind.
But when your carters or your waiting-vassals
Have 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
But for my brother not a man would speak,
Nor 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
On me, and you, and mine, and yours for this!
Come, Hastings, help me to my closet.
Oh, poor Clarence!
Exeunt some with KING EDWARD IV and QUEEN MARGARET
This is the fruit of rashness! Mark'd you notBUCKINGHAM
How that the guilty kindred of the queen
Look'd pale when they did hear of Clarence' death?
O, they did urge it still unto the king!
God will revenge it. But come, let us in,
To comfort Edward with our company.
We wait upon your grace.
Enter the DUCHESS OF YORK, with the two children of CLARENCEBoy
Tell me, good grandam, is our father dead?DUCHESS OF YORK
Why do you wring your hands, and beat your breast,Girl
And cry 'O Clarence, my unhappy son!'
Why do you look on us, and shake your head,DUCHESS OF YORK
And call us wretches, orphans, castaways
If that our noble father be alive?
My pretty cousins, you mistake me much;Boy
I do lament the sickness of the king.
As loath to lose him, not your father's death;
It were lost sorrow to wail one that's lost.
Then, grandam, you conclude that he is dead.Girl
The king my uncle is to blame for this:
God will revenge it; whom I will importune
With daily prayers all to that effect.
And so will I.DUCHESS OF YORK
Peace, children, peace! the king doth love you well:Boy
Incapable and shallow innocents,
You cannot guess who caused your father's death.
Grandam, we can; for my good uncle GloucesterDUCHESS OF YORK
Told me, the king, provoked by the queen,
Devised impeachments to imprison him :
And when my uncle told me so, he wept,
And hugg'd me in his arm, and kindly kiss'd my cheek;
Bade me rely on him as on my father,
And he would love me dearly as his child.
Oh, that deceit should steal such gentle shapes,Boy
And 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, grandam?DUCHESS OF YORK
I cannot think it. Hark! what noise is this?QUEEN ELIZABETH
Enter QUEEN ELIZABETH, with her hair about her ears; RIVERS, and DORSET after her
Oh, who shall hinder me to wail and weep,DUCHESS OF YORK
To chide my fortune, and torment myself?
I'll join with black despair against my soul,
And to myself become an enemy.
What means this scene of rude impatience?QUEEN ELIZABETH
To make an act of tragic violence:DUCHESS OF YORK
Edward, my lord, your son, our king, is dead.
Why grow the branches now the root is wither'd?
Why wither not the leaves the sap being gone?
If you will live, lament; if die, be brief,
That our swift-winged souls may catch the king's;
Or, like obedient subjects, follow him
To his new kingdom of perpetual rest.
Ah, so much interest have I in thy sorrowBoy
As I had title in thy noble husband!
I have bewept a worthy husband's death,
And lived by looking on his images:
But now two mirrors of his princely semblance
Are crack'd 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,
And hast the comfort of thy children left thee:
But death hath snatch'd my husband from mine arms,
And pluck'd two crutches from my feeble limbs,
Edward and Clarence. O, what cause have I,
Thine being but a moiety of my grief,
To overgo thy plaints and drown thy cries!
Good aunt, you wept not for our father's death;Girl
How can we aid you with our kindred tears?
Our fatherless distress was left unmoan'd;QUEEN ELIZABETH
Your widow-dolour likewise be unwept!
Give me no help in lamentation;Children
I am not barren to bring forth complaints
All springs reduce their currents to mine eyes,
That I, being govern'd by the watery moon,
May send forth plenteous tears to drown the world!
Oh for my husband, for my dear lord Edward!
Oh for our father, for our dear lord Clarence!DUCHESS OF YORK
Alas for both, both mine, Edward and Clarence!QUEEN ELIZABETH
What stay had I but Edward? and he's gone.Children
What stay had we but Clarence? and he's gone.DUCHESS OF YORK
What stays had I but they? and they are gone.QUEEN ELIZABETH
Was never widow had so dear a loss!Children
Were never orphans had so dear a loss!DUCHESS OF YORK
Was never mother had so dear a loss!DORSET
Alas, I am the mother of these moans!
Their woes are parcell'd, 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;
I for an Edward weep, so do not they:
Alas, you three, on me, threefold distress'd,
Pour all your tears! I am your sorrow's nurse,
And I will pamper it with lamentations.
Comfort, dear mother: God is much displeasedRIVERS
That you take with unthankfulness, his doing:
In common worldly things, 'tis call'd ungrateful,
With dull unwilligness to repay a debt
Which with a bounteous hand was kindly lent;
Much more to be thus opposite with heaven,
For it requires the royal debt it lent you.
Madam, bethink you, like a careful mother,GLOUCESTER
Of the young prince your son: send straight for him
Let him be crown'd; in him your comfort lives:
Drown desperate sorrow in dead Edward's grave,
And plant your joys in living Edward's throne.
Enter GLOUCESTER, BUCKINGHAM, DERBY, HASTINGS, and RATCLIFF
Madam, have comfort: all of us have causeDUCHESS OF YORK
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;
I did not see your grace: humbly on my knee
I crave your blessing.
God bless thee; and put meekness in thy mind,GLOUCESTER
Love, charity, obedience, and true duty!
[Aside] Amen; and make me die a good old man!BUCKINGHAM
That is the butt-end of a mother's blessing:
I marvel why her grace did leave it out.
You cloudy princes and heart-sorrowing peers,RIVERS
That bear this mutual heavy load of moan,
Now cheer each other in each other's love
Though we have spent our harvest of this king,
We are to reap the harvest of his son.
The broken rancour of your high-swoln hearts,
But lately splinter'd, knit, and join'd together,
Must gently be preserved, cherish'd, and kept:
Me seemeth good, that, with some little train,
Forthwith from Ludlow the young prince be fetch'd
Hither to London, to be crown'd our king.
Why with some little train, my Lord of Buckingham?BUCKINGHAM
Marry, my lord, lest, by a multitude,GLOUCESTER
The new-heal'd wound of malice should break out,
Which would be so much the more dangerous
By how much the estate is green and yet ungovern'd:
Where every horse bears his commanding rein,
And may direct his course as please himself,
As well the fear of harm, as harm apparent,
In my opinion, ought to be prevented.
I hope the king made peace with all of usRIVERS
And the compact is firm and true in me.
And so in me; and so, I think, in all:HASTINGS
Yet, since it is but green, it should be put
To no apparent likelihood of breach,
Which haply by much company might be urged:
Therefore I say with noble Buckingham,
That it is meet so few should fetch the prince.
And so say I.GLOUCESTER
Then be it so; and go we to determineQUEEN ELIZABETH DUCHESS OF YORK
Who they shall be that straight shall post to Ludlow.
Madam, and you, my mother, will you go
To give your censures in this weighty business?
With all our harts.BUCKINGHAM
Exeunt all but BUCKINGHAM and GLOUCESTER
My lord, whoever journeys to the Prince,GLOUCESTER
For God's sake, let not us two be behind;
For, by the way, I'll sort occasion,
As index to the story we late talk'd of,
To part the queen's proud kindred from the king.
My other self, my counsel's consistory,
My oracle, my prophet! My dear cousin,
I, like a child, will go by thy direction.
Towards Ludlow then, for we'll not stay behind.
Enter two Citizens meetingFirst Citizen
Neighbour, well met: whither away so fast?Second Citizen
I promise you, I scarcely know myself:First Citizen
Hear you the news abroad?
Ay, that the king is dead.Second Citizen
Bad news, by'r lady; seldom comes the better:Third Citizen
I fear, I fear 'twill prove a troublous world.
Enter another Citizen
Neighbours, God speed!First Citizen
Give you good morrow, sir.Third Citizen
Doth this news hold of good King Edward's death?Second Citizen
Ay, sir, it is too true; God help the while!Third Citizen
Then, masters, look to see a troublous world.First Citizen
No, no; by God's good grace his son shall reign.Third Citizen
Woe to the land that's govern'd by a child!Second Citizen
In him there is a hope of government,First Citizen
That in his nonage council under him,
And in his full and ripen'd years himself,
No doubt, shall then and till then govern well.
So stood the state when Henry the SixthThird Citizen
Was crown'd in Paris but at nine months old.
Stood the state so? No, no, good friends, God wot;First Citizen
For then this land was famously enrich'd
With politic grave counsel; then the king
Had virtuous uncles to protect his grace.
Why, so hath this, both by the father and mother.Third Citizen
Better it were they all came by the father,First Citizen
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.
O, full of danger is the Duke of Gloucester!
And the queen's sons and brothers haught and proud:
And were they to be ruled, and not to rule,
This sickly land might solace as before.
Come, come, we fear the worst; all shall be well.Third Citizen
When clouds appear, wise men put on their cloaks;Second Citizen
When 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.
Truly, the souls of men are full of dread:Third Citizen
Ye cannot reason almost with a man
That looks not heavily and full of fear.
Before the times of change, still is it so:Second Citizen
By a divine instinct men's minds mistrust
Ensuing dangers; as by proof, we see
The waters swell before a boisterous storm.
But leave it all to God. whither away?
Marry, we were sent for to the justices.Third Citizen
And so was I: I'll bear you company.
Enter the ARCHBISHOP OF YORK, young YORK, QUEEN ELIZABETH, and the DUCHESS OF YORKARCHBISHOP OF YORK
Last night, I hear, they lay at Northampton;DUCHESS OF YORK
At Stony-Stratford will they be to-night:
To-morrow, or next day, they will be here.
I long with all my heart to see the prince:QUEEN ELIZABETH
I hope he is much grown since last I saw him.
But I hear, no; they say my son of YorkYORK
Hath almost overta'en him in his growth.
Ay, mother; but I would not have it so.DUCHESS OF YORK
Why, my young cousin, it is good to grow.YORK
Grandam, one night, as we did sit at supper,DUCHESS OF YORK
My uncle Rivers talk'd how I did grow
More than my brother: 'Ay,' quoth my uncle
'Small herbs have grace, great weeds do grow apace:'
And since, methinks, I would not grow so fast,
Because sweet flowers are slow and weeds make haste.
Good faith, good faith, the saying did not holdARCHBISHOP OF YORK
In him that did object the same to thee;
He was the wretched'st thing when he was young,
So long a-growing and so leisurely,
That, if this rule were true, he should be gracious.
Why, madam, so, no doubt, he is.DUCHESS OF YORK
I hope he is; but yet let mothers doubt.YORK
Now, by my troth, if I had been remember'd,DUCHESS OF YORK
I could have given my uncle's grace a flout,
To touch his growth nearer than he touch'd mine.
How, my pretty York? I pray thee, let me hear it.YORK
Marry, they say my uncle grew so fastDUCHESS OF YORK
That he could gnaw a crust at two hours old
'Twas full two years ere I could get a tooth.
Grandam, this would have been a biting jest.
I pray thee, pretty York, who told thee this?YORK
Grandam, his nurse.DUCHESS OF YORK
His nurse! why, she was dead ere thou wert born.YORK
If 'twere not she, I cannot tell who told me.QUEEN ELIZABETH
A parlous boy: go to, you are too shrewd.ARCHBISHOP OF YORK
Good madam, be not angry with the child.QUEEN ELIZABETH
Pitchers have ears.ARCHBISHOP OF YORK
Enter a Messenger
Here comes a messenger. What news?Messenger
Such news, my lord, as grieves me to unfold.QUEEN ELIZABETH
How fares the prince?Messenger
Well, madam, and in health.DUCHESS OF YORK
What is thy news then?Messenger
Lord Rivers and Lord Grey are sent to Pomfret,DUCHESS OF YORK
With them Sir Thomas Vaughan, prisoners.
Who hath committed them?Messenger
The mighty dukesQUEEN ELIZABETH
Gloucester and Buckingham.
For what offence?Messenger
The sum of all I can, I have disclosed;QUEEN ELIZABETH
Why or for what these nobles were committed
Is all unknown to me, my gracious lady.
Ay me, I see the downfall of our house!DUCHESS OF YORK
The tiger now hath seized the gentle hind;
Insulting tyranny begins to jet
Upon the innocent and aweless throne:
Welcome, destruction, death, and massacre!
I see, as in a map, the end of all.
Accursed and unquiet wrangling days,QUEEN ELIZABETH
How many of you have mine eyes beheld!
My husband lost his life to get the crown;
And often up and down my sons were toss'd,
For me to joy and weep their gain and loss:
And being seated, and domestic broils
Clean over-blown, themselves, the conquerors.
Make war upon themselves; blood against blood,
Self against self: O, preposterous
And frantic outrage, end thy damned spleen;
Or let me die, to look on death no more!
Come, come, my boy; we will to sanctuary.DUCHESS OF YORK
I'll go along with you.QUEEN ELIZABETH
You have no cause.ARCHBISHOP OF YORK
My gracious lady, go;
And thither bear your treasure and your goods.
For my part, I'll resign unto your grace
The seal I keep: and so betide to me
As well I tender you and all of yours!
Come, I'll conduct you to the sanctuary.
The trumpets sound. Enter the young PRINCE EDWARD, GLOUCESTER, BUCKINGHAM, CARDINAL, CATESBY, and othersBUCKINGHAM
Welcome, sweet prince, to London, to your chamber.GLOUCESTER
Welcome, dear cousin, my thoughts' sovereignPRINCE EDWARD
The weary way hath made you melancholy.
No, uncle; but our crosses on the wayGLOUCESTER
Have made it tedious, wearisome, and heavy
I want more uncles here to welcome me.
Sweet prince, the untainted virtue of your yearsPRINCE EDWARD
Hath 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;
Your grace attended to their sugar'd words,
But look'd not on the poison of their hearts :
God keep you from them, and from such false friends!
God keep me from false friends! but they were none.GLOUCESTER
My lord, the mayor of London comes to greet you.Lord Mayor
Enter the Lord Mayor and his train
God bless your grace with health and happy days!PRINCE EDWARD
I thank you, good my lord; and thank you all.BUCKINGHAM
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!
And, in good time, here comes the sweating lord.PRINCE EDWARD
Welcome, my lord: what, will our mother come?HASTINGS
On what occasion, God he knows, not I,BUCKINGHAM
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.
Fie, what an indirect and peevish courseCARDINAL
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,
And from her jealous arms pluck him perforce.
My Lord of Buckingham, if my weak oratoryBUCKINGHAM
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
We should infringe the holy privilege
Of blessed sanctuary! not for all this land
Would I be guilty of so deep a sin.
You are too senseless--obstinate, my lord,CARDINAL
Too ceremonious and traditional
Weigh 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:
This prince hath neither claim'd 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;
But sanctuary children ne'er till now.
My lord, you shall o'er-rule my mind for once.HASTINGS
Come on, Lord Hastings, will you go with me?
I go, my lord.PRINCE EDWARD
Good lords, make all the speedy haste you may.GLOUCESTER
Exeunt CARDINAL and HASTINGSSay, uncle Gloucester, if our brother come,
Where shall we sojourn till our coronation?
Where it seems best unto your royal self.PRINCE EDWARD
If I may counsel you, some day or two
Your highness shall repose you at the Tower:
Then where you please, and shall be thought most fit
For your best health and recreation.
I do not like the Tower, of any place.BUCKINGHAM
Did Julius Caesar build that place, my lord?
He did, my gracious lord, begin that place;PRINCE EDWARD
Which, since, succeeding ages have re-edified.
Is it upon record, or else reportedBUCKINGHAM
Successively from age to age, he built it?
Upon record, my gracious lord.PRINCE EDWARD
But say, my lord, it were not register'd,GLOUCESTER
Methinks the truth should live from age to age,
As 'twere retail'd to all posterity,
Even to the general all-ending day.
[Aside] So wise so young, they say, do neverPRINCE EDWARD
What say you, uncle?GLOUCESTER
I say, without characters, fame lives long.PRINCE EDWARD
AsideThus, like the formal vice, Iniquity,
I moralize two meanings in one word.
That Julius Caesar was a famous man;BUCKINGHAM
With what his valour did enrich his wit,
His wit set down to make his valour 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,--
What, my gracious lord?PRINCE EDWARD
An if I live until I be a man,GLOUCESTER
I'll win our ancient right in France again,
Or die a soldier, as I lived a king.
[Aside] Short summers lightly have a forward spring.BUCKINGHAM
Enter young YORK, HASTINGS, and the CARDINAL
Now, in good time, here comes the Duke of York.PRINCE EDWARD
Richard of York! how fares our loving brother?YORK
Well, my dread lord; so must I call you now.PRINCE EDWARD
Ay, brother, to our grief, as it is yours:GLOUCESTER
Too late he died that might have kept that title,
Which by his death hath lost much majesty.
How fares our cousin, noble Lord of York?YORK
I thank you, gentle uncle. O, my lord,GLOUCESTER
You said that idle weeds are fast in growth
The prince my brother hath outgrown me far.
He hath, my lord.YORK
And therefore is he idle?GLOUCESTER
O, my fair cousin, I must not say so.YORK
Then is he more beholding to you than I.GLOUCESTER
He may command me as my sovereign;YORK
But you have power in me as in a kinsman.
I pray you, uncle, give me this dagger.GLOUCESTER
My dagger, little cousin? with all my heart.PRINCE EDWARD
A beggar, brother?YORK
Of my kind uncle, that I know will give;GLOUCESTER
And being but a toy, which is no grief to give.
A greater gift than that I'll give my cousin.YORK
A greater gift! O, that's the sword to it.GLOUCESTER
A gentle cousin, were it light enough.YORK
O, then, I see, you will part but with light gifts;GLOUCESTER
In weightier things you'll say a beggar nay.
It is too heavy for your grace to wear.YORK
I weigh it lightly, were it heavier.GLOUCESTER
What, would you have my weapon, little lord?YORK
I would, that I might thank you as you call me.GLOUCESTER
My Lord of York will still be cross in talk:YORK
Uncle, your grace knows how to bear with him.
You mean, to bear me, not to bear with me:BUCKINGHAM
Uncle, my brother mocks both you and me;
Because that I am little, like an ape,
He thinks that you should bear me on your shoulders.
With what a sharp-provided wit he reasons!GLOUCESTER
To mitigate the scorn he gives his uncle,
He prettily and aptly taunts himself:
So cunning and so young is wonderful.
My lord, will't please you pass along?YORK
Myself and my good cousin Buckingham
Will to your mother, to entreat of her
To meet you at the Tower and welcome you.
What, will you go unto the Tower, my lord?PRINCE EDWARD
My lord protector needs will have it so.YORK
I shall not sleep in quiet at the Tower.GLOUCESTER
Why, what should you fear?YORK
Marry, my uncle Clarence' angry ghost:PRINCE EDWARD
My grandam told me he was murdered there.
I fear no uncles dead.GLOUCESTER
Nor none that live, I hope.PRINCE EDWARD
An if they live, I hope I need not fear.BUCKINGHAM
But come, my lord; and with a heavy heart,
Thinking on them, go I unto the Tower.
A Sennet. Exeunt all but GLOUCESTER, BUCKINGHAM and CATESBY
Think you, my lord, this little prating YorkGLOUCESTER
Was not incensed by his subtle mother
To taunt and scorn you thus opprobriously?
No doubt, no doubt; O, 'tis a parlous boy;BUCKINGHAM
Bold, quick, ingenious, forward, capable
He is all the mother's, from the top to toe.
Well, let them rest. Come hither, Catesby.CATESBY
Thou art sworn as deeply to effect what we intend
As closely to conceal what we impart:
Thou know'st our reasons urged upon the way;
What think'st thou? is it not an easy matter
To make William Lord Hastings of our mind,
For the instalment of this noble duke
In the seat royal of this famous isle?
He for his father's sake so loves the prince,BUCKINGHAM
That he will not be won to aught against him.
What think'st thou, then, of Stanley? what will he?CATESBY
He will do all in all as Hastings doth.BUCKINGHAM
Well, then, no more but this: go, gentle Catesby,GLOUCESTER
And, as it were far off sound thou Lord Hastings,
How doth he stand affected to our purpose;
And summon him to-morrow to the Tower,
To sit about the coronation.
If thou dost find him tractable to us,
Encourage him, and show him all our reasons:
If he be leaden, icy-cold, unwilling,
Be thou so too; and so break off your talk,
And give us notice of his inclination:
For we to-morrow hold divided councils,
Wherein thyself shalt highly be employ'd.
Commend me to Lord William: tell him, Catesby,BUCKINGHAM
His ancient knot of dangerous adversaries
To-morrow are let blood at Pomfret-castle;
And bid my friend, for joy of this good news,
Give mistress Shore one gentle kiss the more.
Good Catesby, go, effect this business soundly.CATESBY
My good lords both, with all the heed I may.GLOUCESTER
Shall we hear from you, Catesby, ere we sleep?CATESBY
You shall, my lord.GLOUCESTER
At Crosby Place, there shall you find us both.BUCKINGHAM
Now, my lord, what shall we do, if we perceiveGLOUCESTER
Lord Hastings will not yield to our complots?
Chop off his head, man; somewhat we will do:BUCKINGHAM
And, look, when I am king, claim thou of me
The earldom of Hereford, and the moveables
Whereof the king my brother stood possess'd.
I'll claim that promise at your grace's hands.GLOUCESTER
And look to have it yielded with all willingness.
Come, let us sup betimes, that afterwards
We may digest our complots in some form.
Enter a MessengerMessenger
What, ho! my lord!HASTINGS
[Within] Who knocks at the door?Messenger
A messenger from the Lord Stanley.HASTINGS
What is't 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.HASTINGS
First, he commends him to your noble lordship.
And then he sends you wordHASTINGS
He dreamt to-night the boar had razed his helm:
Besides, he says there are two councils held;
And that may be determined at the one
which 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 with him toward the north,
To shun the danger that his soul divines.
Go, fellow, go, return unto thy lord;Messenger
Bid him not fear the separated councils
His honour and myself are at the one,
And at the other is my servant Catesby
Where nothing can proceed that toucheth us
Whereof 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,
Were 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.
My gracious lord, I'll tell him what you say.CATESBY
Many good morrows to my noble lord!HASTINGS
Good morrow, Catesby; you are early stirringCATESBY
What news, what news, in this our tottering state?
It is a reeling world, indeed, my lord;HASTINGS
And I believe twill never stand upright
Till Richard wear the garland of the realm.
How! wear the garland! dost thou mean the crown?CATESBY
Ay, my good lord.HASTINGS
I'll have this crown of mine cut from my shouldersCATESBY
Ere I will see the crown so foul misplaced.
But canst thou guess that he doth aim at it?
Ay, on my life; and hopes to find forwardHASTINGS
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.
Indeed, I am no mourner for that news,CATESBY
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.
God keep your lordship in that gracious mind!HASTINGS
But I shall laugh at this a twelve-month hence,CATESBY
That they who brought me in my master's hate
I live to look upon their tragedy.
I tell thee, Catesby--
What, my lord?HASTINGS
Ere a fortnight make me elder,CATESBY
I'll send some packing that yet think not on it.
'Tis a vile thing to die, my gracious lord,HASTINGS
When men are unprepared and look not for it.
O monstrous, monstrous! and so falls it outCATESBY
With Rivers, Vaughan, Grey: and so 'twill do
With some men else, who think themselves as safe
As thou and I; who, as thou know'st, are dear
To princely Richard and to Buckingham.
The princes both make high account of you;HASTINGS
AsideFor they account his head upon the bridge.
I know they do; and I have well deserved it.STANLEY
Enter STANLEYCome on, come on; where is your boar-spear, man?
Fear you the boar, and go so unprovided?
My lord, good morrow; good morrow, Catesby:HASTINGS
You may jest on, but, by the holy rood,
I do not like these several councils, I.
I hold my life as dear as you do yours;
And never in my life, I do protest,
Was it more precious to me than 'tis now:
Think you, but that I know our state secure,
I would be so triumphant as I am?
The lords at Pomfret, when they rode from London,HASTINGS
Were jocund, and supposed their state was sure,
And they indeed had no cause to mistrust;
But yet, you see how soon the day o'ercast.
This sudden stag of rancour I misdoubt:
Pray God, I say, I prove a needless coward!
What, shall we toward the Tower? the day is spent.
Come, come, have with you. Wot you what, my lord?LORD STANLEY
To-day the lords you talk of are beheaded.
They, for their truth, might better wear their headsHASTINGS
Than some that have accused them wear their hats.
But come, my lord, let us away.
Enter a Pursuivant
Go on before; I'll talk with this good fellow.Pursuivant
Exeunt STANLEY and CATESBYHow now, sirrah! how goes the world with thee?
The better that your lordship please to ask.HASTINGS
I tell thee, man, 'tis better with me nowPursuivant
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;
But now, I tell thee--keep it to thyself--
This day those enemies are put to death,
And I in better state than e'er I was.
God hold it, to your honour's good content!HASTINGS
Gramercy, fellow: there, drink that for me.Pursuivant
Throws him his purse
God save your lordship!Priest
Enter a Priest
Well met, my lord; I am glad to see your honour.HASTINGS
I thank thee, good Sir John, with all my heart.BUCKINGHAM
I am in your debt for your last exercise;
Come the next Sabbath, and I will content you.
He whispers in his ear
What, talking with a priest, lord chamberlain?HASTINGS
Your friends at Pomfret, they do need the priest;
Your honour hath no shriving work in hand.
Good faith, and when I met this holy man,BUCKINGHAM
Those men you talk of came into my mind.
What, go you toward the Tower?
I do, my lord; but long I shall not stayHASTINGS
I shall return before your lordship thence.
'Tis like enough, for I stay dinner there.BUCKINGHAM
[Aside] And supper too, although thou know'st it not.HASTINGS
Come, will you go?
I'll wait upon your lordship.
Enter RATCLIFF, with halberds, carrying RIVERS, GREY, and VAUGHAN to deathRATCLIFF
Come, bring forth the prisoners.RIVERS
Sir Richard Ratcliff, let me tell thee this:GREY
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!VAUGHAN
A knot you are of damned blood-suckers!
You live that shall cry woe for this after.RATCLIFF
Dispatch; the limit of your lives is out.RIVERS
O Pomfret, Pomfret! O thou bloody prison,GREY
Fatal and ominous to noble peers!
Within the guilty closure of thy walls
Richard the second here was hack'd to death;
And, for more slander to thy dismal seat,
We give thee up our guiltless blood to drink.
Now Margaret's curse is fall'n upon our heads,RIVERS
For standing by when Richard stabb'd her son.
Then cursed she Hastings, then cursed she Buckingham,RATCLIFF
Then cursed she Richard. O, remember, God
To hear her prayers for them, as now for us
And for my sister and her princely sons,
Be satisfied, dear God, with our true blood,
Which, as thou know'st, unjustly must be spilt.
Make haste; the hour of death is expiate.RIVERS
Come, Grey, come, Vaughan, let us all embrace:
And take our leave, until we meet in heaven.
Enter BUCKINGHAM, DERBY, HASTINGS, the BISHOP OF ELY, RATCLIFF, LOVEL, with others, and take their seats at a tableHASTINGS
My lords, at once: the cause why we are metBUCKINGHAM
Is, to determine of the coronation.
In God's name, speak: when is the royal day?
Are all things fitting for that royal time?DERBY
It is, and wants but nomination.BISHOP OF ELY
To-morrow, then, I judge a happy day.BUCKINGHAM
Who knows the lord protector's mind herein?BISHOP OF ELY
Who is most inward with the royal duke?
Your grace, we think, should soonest know his mind.BUCKINGHAM
Who, I, my lord I we know each other's faces,HASTINGS
But for our hearts, he knows no more of mine,
Than I of yours;
Nor I no more of his, than you of mine.
Lord Hastings, you and he are near in love.
I thank his grace, I know he loves me well;BISHOP OF ELY
But, for his purpose in the coronation.
I have not sounded him, nor he deliver'd
His gracious pleasure any way therein:
But you, my noble lords, may name the time;
And in the duke's behalf I'll give my voice,
Which, I presume, he'll take in gentle part.
Now in good time, here comes the duke himself.GLOUCESTER
My noble lords and cousins all, good morrow.BUCKINGHAM
I have been long a sleeper; but, I hope,
My absence doth neglect no great designs,
Which by my presence might have been concluded.
Had not you come upon your cue, my lordGLOUCESTER
William Lord Hastings had pronounced your part,--
I mean, your voice,--for crowning of the king.
Than my Lord Hastings no man might be bolder;HASTINGS
His lordship knows me well, and loves me well.
I thank your grace.GLOUCESTER
My lord of Ely!BISHOP OF ELY
When I was last in Holborn,BISHOP OF ELY
I saw good strawberries in your garden there
I do beseech you send for some of them.
Marry, and will, my lord, with all my heart.GLOUCESTER
Cousin of Buckingham, a word with you.BUCKINGHAM
Drawing him asideCatesby 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 as he terms it,
Shall lose the royalty of England's throne.
Withdraw you hence, my lord, I'll follow you.DERBY
Exit GLOUCESTER, BUCKINGHAM following
We have not yet set down this day of triumph.BISHOP OF ELY
To-morrow, in mine opinion, is too sudden;
For I myself am not so well provided
As else I would be, were the day prolong'd.
Re-enter BISHOP OF ELY
Where is my lord protector? I have sent for theseHASTINGS
His grace looks cheerfully and smooth to-day;DERBY
There's some conceit or other likes him well,
When he doth bid good morrow with such a spirit.
I think there's never a man in Christendom
That can less hide his love or hate than he;
For by his face straight shall you know his heart.
What of his heart perceive you in his faceHASTINGS
By any likelihood he show'd to-day?
Marry, that with no man here he is offended;DERBY
For, were he, he had shown it in his looks.
I pray God he be not, I say.GLOUCESTER
Re-enter GLOUCESTER and BUCKINGHAM
I pray you all, tell me what they deserveHASTINGS
That do conspire my death with devilish plots
Of damned witchcraft, and that have prevail'd
Upon my body with their hellish charms?
The tender love I bear your grace, my lord,GLOUCESTER
Makes me most forward in this noble presence
To doom the offenders, whatsoever they be
I say, my lord, they have deserved death.
Then be your eyes the witness of this ill:HASTINGS
See how I am bewitch'd; behold mine arm
Is, like a blasted sapling, wither'd up:
And this is Edward's wife, that monstrous witch,
Consorted with that harlot strumpet Shore,
That by their witchcraft thus have marked me.
If they have done this thing, my gracious lord--GLOUCESTER
If I thou protector of this damned strumpet--HASTINGS
Tellest thou me of 'ifs'? Thou art a traitor:
Off with his head! Now, by Saint Paul I swear,
I will not dine until I see the same.
Lovel and Ratcliff, look that it be done:
The rest, that love me, rise and follow me.
Exeunt all but HASTINGS, RATCLIFF, and LOVEL
Woe, woe for England! not a whit for me;RATCLIFF
For I, too fond, might have prevented this.
Stanley did dream the boar did raze his helm;
But I disdain'd it, and did scorn to fly:
Three times to-day my foot-cloth horse did stumble,
And startled, when he look'd upon the Tower,
As loath to bear me to the slaughter-house.
O, 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 butcher'd,
And I myself secure in grace and favour.
O Margaret, Margaret, now thy heavy curse
Is lighted on poor Hastings' wretched head!
Dispatch, my lord; the duke would be at dinner:HASTINGS
Make a short shrift; he longs to see your head.
O momentary grace of mortal men,LOVEL
Which we more hunt for than the grace of God!
Who builds his hopes in air of your good looks,
Lives like a drunken sailor on a mast,
Ready, with every nod, to tumble down
Into the fatal bowels of the deep.
Come, come, dispatch; 'tis bootless to exclaim.HASTINGS
O bloody Richard! miserable England!
I prophesy the fearful'st time to thee
That ever wretched age hath look'd upon.
Come, lead me to the block; bear him my head.
They smile at me that shortly shall be dead.
Enter GLOUCESTER and BUCKINGHAM, in rotten armour, marvellous ill-favouredGLOUCESTER
Come, cousin, canst thou quake, and change thy colour,BUCKINGHAM
Murder thy breath in the middle of a word,
And then begin again, and stop again,
As if thou wert distraught and mad with terror?
Tut, I can counterfeit the deep tragedian;GLOUCESTER
Speak and look back, and pry on every side,
Tremble and start at wagging of a straw,
Intending deep suspicion: ghastly looks
Are at my service, like enforced smiles;
And both are ready in their offices,
At any time, to grace my stratagems.
But what, is Catesby gone?
He is; and, see, he brings the mayor along.BUCKINGHAM
Enter the Lord Mayor and CATESBY
Look to the drawbridge there!BUCKINGHAM
Hark! a drum.GLOUCESTER
Catesby, o'erlook the walls.BUCKINGHAM
Lord mayor, the reason we have sent--GLOUCESTER
Look back, defend thee, here are enemies.BUCKINGHAM
God and our innocency defend and guard us!GLOUCESTER
Be patient, they are friends, Ratcliff and Lovel.LOVEL
Enter LOVEL and RATCLIFF, with HASTINGS' head
Here is the head of that ignoble traitor,GLOUCESTER
The dangerous and unsuspected Hastings.
So dear I loved the man, that I must weep.BUCKINGHAM
I took him for the plainest harmless creature
That breathed upon this earth a Christian;
Made him my book wherein my soul recorded
The history of all her secret thoughts:
So smooth he daub'd 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.
Well, well, he was the covert'st shelter'd traitorLord Mayor
That ever lived.
Would you imagine, or almost believe,
Were't not that, by great preservation,
We live to tell it you, the subtle traitor
This day had plotted, in the council-house
To murder me and my good Lord of Gloucester?
What, had he so?GLOUCESTER
What, think You we are Turks or infidels?Lord Mayor
Or that we would, against the form of law,
Proceed thus rashly to the villain's death,
But that the extreme peril of the case,
The peace of England and our persons' safety,
Enforced us to this execution?
Now, fair befall you! he deserved his death;GLOUCESTER
And you my good lords, both have well proceeded,
To warn false traitors from the like attempts.
I never look'd for better at his hands,
After he once fell in with Mistress Shore.
Yet had not we determined he should die,Lord Mayor
Until your lordship came to see his death;
Which 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;
That you might well have signified the same
Unto the citizens, who haply may
Misconstrue us in him and wail his death.
But, my good lord, your grace's word shall serve,GLOUCESTER
As well as I had seen and heard him speak
And doubt you not, right noble princes both,
But I'll acquaint our duteous citizens
With all your just proceedings in this cause.
And to that end we wish'd your lord-ship here,BUCKINGHAM
To avoid the carping censures of the world.
But since you come too late of our intents,GLOUCESTER
Yet witness what you hear we did intend:
And so, my good lord mayor, we bid farewell.
Exit Lord Mayor
Go, after, after, cousin Buckingham.BUCKINGHAM
The 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
Heir to the crown; meaning indeed his house,
Which, by the sign thereof was termed so.
Moreover, urge his hateful luxury
And bestial appetite in change of lust;
Which stretched to their servants, daughters, wives,
Even 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 unsatiate Edward, noble York
My princely father then had wars in France
And, by just computation of the time,
Found that the issue was not his begot;
Which well appeared in his lineaments,
Being nothing like the noble duke my father:
But touch this sparingly, as 'twere far off,
Because you know, my lord, my mother lives.
Fear not, my lord, I'll play the oratorGLOUCESTER
As if the golden fee for which I plead
Were for myself: and so, my lord, adieu.
If you thrive well, bring them to Baynard's Castle;BUCKINGHAM
Where you shall find me well accompanied
With reverend fathers and well-learned bishops.
I go: and towards three or four o'clockGLOUCESTER
Look for the news that the Guildhall affords.
Go, Lovel, with all speed to Doctor Shaw;
To CATESBYGo thou to Friar Penker; bid them both
Meet me within this hour at Baynard's Castle.
Exeunt all but GLOUCESTERNow will I in, to take some privy order,
To 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.
Enter a Scrivener, with a paper in his handScrivener
This is the indictment of the good Lord Hastings;
Which in a set hand fairly is engross'd,
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;
The precedent was full as long a-doing:
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 seeth not this palpable device?
Yet who's so blind, but says he sees it not?
Bad is the world; and all will come to nought,
When such bad dealings must be seen in thought.
Enter GLOUCESTER and BUCKINGHAM, at several doorsGLOUCESTER
How now, my lord, what say the citizens?BUCKINGHAM
Now, by the holy mother of our Lord,GLOUCESTER
The citizens are mum and speak not a word.
Touch'd you the bastardy of Edward's children?BUCKINGHAM
I did; with his contract with Lady Lucy,GLOUCESTER
And his contract by deputy in France;
The insatiate greediness of his desires,
And his enforcement of the city wives;
His tyranny for trifles; his own bastardy,
As being got, your father then in France,
His resemblance, being not like the duke;
Withal 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 dicipline in war, wisdom in peace,
Your bounty, virtue, fair humility:
Indeed, left nothing fitting for the purpose
Untouch'd, or slightly handled, in discourse
And when mine oratory grew to an end
I bid them that did love their country's good
Cry 'God save Richard, England's royal king!'
Ah! and did they so?BUCKINGHAM
No, so God help me, they spake not a word;GLOUCESTER
But, like dumb statues or breathing stones,
Gazed each on other, and look'd deadly pale.
Which when I saw, I reprehended them;
And ask'd 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,
'Thus saith the duke, thus hath the duke inferr'd;'
But nothing spake in warrant from himself.
When he had done, some followers of mine own,
At the lower end of the hall, hurl'd up their caps,
And some ten voices cried 'God save King Richard!'
And thus I took the vantage of those few,
'Thanks, gentle citizens and friends,' quoth I;
'This general applause and loving shout
Argues your wisdoms and your love to Richard:'
And even here brake off, and came away.
What tongueless blocks were they! would not they speak?BUCKINGHAM
No, by my troth, my lord.GLOUCESTER
Will not the mayor then and his brethren come?BUCKINGHAM
The mayor is here at hand: intend some fear;GLOUCESTER
Be not you spoke with, but by mighty suit:
And 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:
And be not easily won to our request:
Play the maid's part, still answer nay, and take it.
I go; and if you plead as well for themBUCKINGHAM
As I can say nay to thee for myself,
No doubt well bring it to a happy issue.
Go, go, up to the leads; the lord mayor knocks.CATESBY
Enter the Lord Mayor and CitizensWelcome my lord; I dance attendance here;
I think the duke will not be spoke withal.
Enter CATESBYHere comes his servant: how now, Catesby,
What says he?
My lord: he doth entreat your grace;BUCKINGHAM
To visit him to-morrow or next day:
He is within, with two right reverend fathers,
Divinely bent to meditation;
And no worldly suit would he be moved,
To draw him from his holy exercise.
Return, good Catesby, to thy lord again;CATESBY
Tell him, myself, the mayor and citizens,
In deep designs and matters of great moment,
No less importing than our general good,
Are come to have some conference with his grace.
I'll tell him what you say, my lord.BUCKINGHAM
Ah, ha, my lord, this prince is not an Edward!Lord Mayor
He is not lolling on a lewd day-bed,
But on his knees at meditation;
Not dallying with a brace of courtezans,
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
Take on himself the sovereignty thereof:
But, sure, I fear, we shall ne'er win him to it.
Marry, God forbid his grace should say us nay!BUCKINGHAM
I fear he will.CATESBY
Re-enter CATESBYHow now, Catesby, what says your lord?
He wonders to what end you have assembled
Such troops of citizens to speak with him,
His grace not being warn'd thereof before:
My lord, he fears you mean no good to him.
Sorry I am my noble cousin shouldLord Mayor
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 CATESBYWhen holy and devout religious men
Are at their beads, 'tis hard to draw them thence,
So sweet is zealous contemplation.
Enter GLOUCESTER aloft, between two Bishops. CATESBY returns
See, where he stands between two clergymen!BUCKINGHAM
Two props of virtue for a Christian prince,GLOUCESTER
To stay him from the fall of vanity:
And, see, a book of prayer in his hand,
True ornaments to know a holy man.
Famous Plantagenet, most gracious prince,
Lend favourable ears to our request;
And pardon us the interruption
Of thy devotion and right Christian zeal.
My lord, there needs no such apology:BUCKINGHAM
I 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?
Even that, I hope, which pleaseth God above,GLOUCESTER
And all good men of this ungovern'd isle.
I do suspect I have done some offenceBUCKINGHAM
That seems disgracious in the city's eyes,
And that you come to reprehend my ignorance.
You have, my lord: would it might please your grace,GLOUCESTER
At our entreaties, to amend that fault!
Else wherefore breathe I in a Christian land?BUCKINGHAM
Then know, it is your fault that you resignGLOUCESTER
The supreme seat, the throne majestical,
The scepter'd office of your ancestors,
Your state of fortune and your due of birth,
The lineal glory of your royal house,
To the corruption of a blemished stock:
Whilst, in the mildness of your sleepy thoughts,
Which here we waken to our country's good,
This noble isle doth want her proper limbs;
Her face defaced with scars of infamy,
Her royal stock graft with ignoble plants,
And almost shoulder'd in the swallowing gulf
Of blind forgetfulness and dark oblivion.
Which to recure, we heartily solicit
Your gracious self to take on you the charge
And kingly government of this your land,
Not as protector, steward, substitute,
Or 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,
And by their vehement instigation,
In this just suit come I to move your grace.
I know not whether to depart in silence,BUCKINGHAM
Or bitterly to speak in your reproof.
Best fitteth my degree or your condition
If not to answer, you might haply think
Tongue-tied ambition, not replying, yielded
To bear the golden yoke of sovereignty,
Which fondly you would here impose on me;
If to reprove you for this suit of yours,
So season'd with your faithful love to me.
Then, on the other side, I cheque'd my friends.
Therefore, to speak, and to avoid the first,
And then, in speaking, not to incur the last,
Definitively thus I answer you.
Your 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
Yet 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,
And in the vapour of my glory smother'd.
But, God be thank'd, 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, mellow'd by the stealing hours of time,
Will 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!
My lord, this argues conscience in your grace;Lord Mayor
But the respects thereof are nice and trivial,
All circumstances well considered.
You say that Edward is your brother's son:
So say we too, but not by Edward's wife;
For first he was contract to Lady Lucy--
Your mother lives a witness to that vow--
And afterward by substitute betroth'd
To Bona, sister to the King of France.
These both put by a poor petitioner,
A care-crazed mother of a many children,
A beauty-waning and distressed widow,
Even in the afternoon of her best days,
Made prize and purchase of his lustful eye,
Seduced the pitch and height of all his thoughts
To 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,
I give a sparing limit to my tongue.
Then, good my lord, take to your royal self
This proffer'd benefit of dignity;
If non to bless us and the land withal,
Yet to draw forth your noble ancestry
From the corruption of abusing times,
Unto a lineal true-derived course.
Do, good my lord, your citizens entreat you.BUCKINGHAM
Refuse not, mighty lord, this proffer'd love.CATESBY
O, make them joyful, grant their lawful suit!GLOUCESTER
Alas, why would you heap these cares on me?BUCKINGHAM
I am unfit for state and majesty;
I do beseech you, take it not amiss;
I cannot nor I will not yield to you.
If you refuse it,--as, in love and zeal,GLOUCESTER
Loath 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 egally indeed to all estates,--
Yet 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.--
Come, citizens: 'zounds! I'll entreat no more.
O, do not swear, my lord of Buckingham.CATESBY
Exit BUCKINGHAM with the Citizens
Call them again, my lord, and accept their suit.ANOTHER
Do, good my lord, lest all the land do rue it.GLOUCESTER
Would you enforce me to a world of care?Lord Mayor
Well, call them again. I am not made of stone,
But penetrable to your. kind entreats,
Albeit against my conscience and my soul.
Re-enter BUCKINGHAM and the restCousin of Buckingham, and you sage, grave men,
Since you will buckle fortune on my back,
To bear her burthen, 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
From all the impure blots and stains thereof;
For God he knows, and you may partly see,
How far I am from the desire thereof.
God bless your grace! we see it, and will say it.GLOUCESTER
In saying so, you shall but say the truth.BUCKINGHAM
Then I salute you with this kingly title:Lord Mayor Citizens
Long live Richard, England's royal king!
To-morrow will it please you to be crown'd?GLOUCESTER
Even when you please, since you will have it so.BUCKINGHAM
To-morrow, then, we will attend your grace:GLOUCESTER
And so most joyfully we take our leave.
Come, let us to our holy task again.
Farewell, good cousin; farewell, gentle friends.
Enter, on one side, QUEEN ELIZABETH, DUCHESS OF YORK, and DORSET; on the other, ANNE, Duchess of Gloucester, leading Lady Margaret Plantagenet, CLARENCE's young DaughterDUCHESS OF YORK
Who m eets us here? my niece PlantagenetLADY ANNE
Led in the hand of her kind aunt of Gloucester?
Now, for my life, she's wandering to the Tower,
On pure heart's love to greet the tender princes.
Daughter, well met.
God give your graces bothQUEEN ELIZABETH
A happy and a joyful time of day!
As much to you, good sister! Whither away?LADY ANNE
No farther than the Tower; and, as I guess,QUEEN ELIZABETH
Upon the like devotion as yourselves,
To gratulate the gentle princes there.
Kind sister, thanks: we'll enter all together.BRAKENBURY
Enter BRAKENBURYAnd, in good time, here the lieutenant comes.
Master lieutenant, pray you, by your leave,
How doth the prince, and my young son of York?
Right well, dear madam. By your patience,QUEEN ELIZABETH
I may not suffer you to visit them;
The king hath straitly charged the contrary.
The king! why, who's that?BRAKENBURY
I cry you mercy: I mean the lord protector.QUEEN ELIZABETH
The Lord protect him from that kingly title!DUCHESS OF YORK
Hath he set bounds betwixt their love and me?
I am their mother; who should keep me from them?
I am their fathers mother; I will see them.LADY ANNE
Their aunt I am in law, in love their mother:BRAKENBURY
Then bring me to their sights; I'll bear thy blame
And take thy office from thee, on my peril.
No, madam, no; I may not leave it so:LORD STANLEY
I am bound by oath, and therefore pardon me.
Enter LORD STANLEY
Let me but meet you, ladies, one hour hence,QUEEN ELIZABETH
And I'll salute your grace of York as mother,
And reverend looker on, of two fair queens.
To LADY ANNECome, madam, you must straight to Westminster,
There to be crowned Richard's royal queen.
O, cut my lace in sunder, that my pent heartLADY ANNE
May have some scope to beat, or else I swoon
With this dead-killing news!
Despiteful tidings! O unpleasing news!DORSET
Be of good cheer: mother, how fares your grace?QUEEN ELIZABETH
O Dorset, speak not to me, get thee hence!LORD STANLEY
Death and destruction dog thee at the heels;
Thy 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;
And make me die the thrall of Margaret's curse,
Nor mother, wife, nor England's counted queen.
Full of wise care is this your counsel, madam.DUCHESS OF YORK
Take all the swift advantage of the hours;
You shall have letters from me to my son
To meet you on the way, and welcome you.
Be not ta'en tardy by unwise delay.
O ill-dispersing wind of misery!LORD STANLEY
O my accursed womb, the bed of death!
A cockatrice hast thou hatch'd to the world,
Whose unavoided eye is murderous.
Come, madam, come; I in all haste was sent.LADY ANNE
And I in all unwillingness will go.QUEEN ELIZABETH
I would to God that the inclusive verge
Of golden metal that must round my brow
Were red-hot steel, to sear me to the brain!
Anointed let me be with deadly venom,
And die, ere men can say, God save the queen!
Go, go, poor soul, I envy not thy gloryLADY ANNE
To feed my humour, wish thyself no harm.
No! why? When he that is my husband nowQUEEN ELIZABETH
Came to me, as I follow'd Henry's corse,
When scarce the blood was well wash'd from his hands
Which issued from my other angel husband
And that dead saint which then I weeping follow'd;
O, when, I say, I look'd 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 mad--
As miserable by the life 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
And proved the subject of my own soul's curse,
Which ever since hath kept my eyes from rest;
For never yet one hour in his bed
Have I enjoy'd the golden dew of sleep,
But have been waked by his timorous dreams.
Besides, he hates me for my father Warwick;
And will, no doubt, shortly be rid of me.
Poor heart, adieu! I pity thy complaining.LADY ANNE
No more than from my soul I mourn for yours.QUEEN ELIZABETH
Farewell, thou woful welcomer of glory!LADY ANNE
Adieu, poor soul, that takest thy leave of it!DUCHESS OF YORK
[To DORSET]QUEEN ELIZABETH
Go thou to Richmond, and good fortune guide thee!
To LADY ANNEGo thou to Richard, and good angels guard thee!
To QUEEN ELIZABETHGo thou to sanctuary, and 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 wrecked with a week of teen.
Stay, yet look back with me unto the Tower.
Pity, you ancient stones, those tender babes
Whom envy hath immured within your walls!
Rough cradle for such little pretty ones!
Rude ragged nurse, old sullen playfellow
For tender princes, use my babies well!
So foolish sorrow bids your stones farewell.
Sennet. Enter KING RICHARD III, in pomp, crowned; BUCKINGHAM, CATESBY, a page, and othersKING RICHARD III
Stand all apart Cousin of Buckingham!BUCKINGHAM
My gracious sovereign?KING RICHARD III
Give me thy hand.BUCKINGHAM
Here he ascendeth his throneThus high, by thy advice
And thy assistance, is King Richard seated;
But shall we wear these honours for a day?
Or shall they last, and we rejoice in them?
Still live they and for ever may they last!KING RICHARD III
O Buckingham, now do I play the touch,BUCKINGHAM
To try if thou be current gold indeed
Young Edward lives: think now what I would say.
Say on, my loving lord.KING RICHARD III
Why, Buckingham, I say, I would be king,BUCKINGHAM
Why, so you are, my thrice renowned liege.KING RICHARD III
Ha! am I king? 'tis so: but Edward lives.BUCKINGHAM
True, noble prince.KING RICHARD III
O bitter consequence,BUCKINGHAM
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;
And I would have it suddenly perform'd.
What sayest thou? speak suddenly; be brief.
Your grace may do your pleasure.KING RICHARD III
Tut, tut, thou art all ice, thy kindness freezeth:BUCKINGHAM
Say, have I thy consent that they shall die?
Give me some breath, some little pause, my lordCATESBY
Before I positively herein:
I will resolve your grace immediately.
[Aside to a stander by]KING RICHARD III
The king is angry: see, he bites the lip.
I will converse with iron-witted foolsPage
And unrespective boys: none are for me
That look into me with considerate eyes:
High-reaching Buckingham grows circumspect.
My lord?KING RICHARD III
Know'st thou not any whom corrupting goldPage
Would tempt unto a close exploit of death?
My lord, I know a discontented gentleman,KING RICHARD III
Whose humble means match not his haughty mind:
Gold were as good as twenty orators,
And will, no doubt, tempt him to any thing.
What is his name?Page
His name, my lord, is Tyrrel.KING RICHARD III
I partly know the man: go, call him hither.STANLEY
Exit PageThe deep-revolving witty Buckingham
No more shall be the neighbour to my counsel:
Hath he so long held out with me untired,
And stops he now for breath?
Enter STANLEYHow now! what news with you?
My lord, I hear the Marquis Dorset's fledKING RICHARD III
To Richmond, in those parts beyond the sea
Where he abides.
My lord?KING RICHARD III
Rumour it abroadTYRREL
That Anne, my wife, is sick and like to die:
I will take order for her keeping close.
Inquire me out some mean-born gentleman,
Whom I will marry straight to Clarence' daughter:
The boy is foolish, and I fear not him.
Look, how thou dream'st! I say again, give out
That Anne my wife is sick and like to die:
About it; for it stands me much upon,
To stop all hopes whose growth may damage me.
Exit CATESBYI must be married to my brother's daughter,
Or 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.
Re-enter Page, with TYRRELIs thy name Tyrrel?
James Tyrrel, and your most obedient subject.KING RICHARD III
Art thou, indeed?TYRREL
Prove me, my gracious sovereign.KING RICHARD III
Darest thou resolve to kill a friend of mine?TYRREL
Ay, my lord;KING RICHARD III
But I had rather kill two enemies.
Why, there thou hast it: two deep enemies,TYRREL
Foes to my rest and my sweet sleep's disturbers
Are they that I would have thee deal upon:
Tyrrel, I mean those bastards in the Tower.
Let me have open means to come to them,KING RICHARD III
And soon I'll rid you from the fear of them.
Thou sing'st sweet music. Hark, come hither, TyrrelTYRREL
Go, by this token: rise, and lend thine ear:
WhispersThere is no more but so: say it is done,
And I will love thee, and prefer thee too.
'Tis done, my gracious lord.KING RICHARD III
Shall we hear from thee, Tyrrel, ere we sleep?TYRREL
Ye shall, my Lord.BUCKINGHAM
My Lord, I have consider'd in my mindKING RICHARD III
The late demand that you did sound me in.
Well, let that pass. Dorset is fled to Richmond.BUCKINGHAM
I hear that news, my lord.KING RICHARD III
Stanley, he is your wife's son well, look to it.BUCKINGHAM
My lord, I claim your gift, my due by promise,KING RICHARD III
For which your honour and your faith is pawn'd;
The earldom of Hereford and the moveables
The which you promised I should possess.
Stanley, look to your wife; if she conveyBUCKINGHAM
Letters to Richmond, you shall answer it.
What says your highness to my just demand?KING RICHARD III
As I remember, Henry the SixthBUCKINGHAM
Did prophesy that Richmond should be king,
When Richmond was a little peevish boy.
A king, perhaps, perhaps,--
My lord!KING RICHARD III
How chance the prophet could not at that timeBUCKINGHAM
Have told me, I being by, that I should kill him?
My lord, your promise for the earldom,--KING RICHARD III
Richmond! When last I was at Exeter,BUCKINGHAM
The mayor in courtesy show'd me the castle,
And call'd it Rougemont: at which name I started,
Because a bard of Ireland told me once
I should not live long after I saw Richmond.
My Lord!KING RICHARD III
Ay, what's o'clock?BUCKINGHAM
I am thus bold to put your grace in mindKING RICHARD III
Of what you promised me.
Well, but what's o'clock?BUCKINGHAM
Upon the stroke of ten.KING RICHARD III
Well, let it strike.BUCKINGHAM
Why let it strike?KING RICHARD III
Because that, like a Jack, thou keep'st the strokeBUCKINGHAM
Betwixt thy begging and my meditation.
I am not in the giving vein to-day.
Why, then resolve me whether you will or no.KING RICHARD III
Thou troublest me; am not in the vein.
Exeunt all but BUCKINGHAM
Is it even so? rewards he my true service
With such deep contempt made I him king for this?
O, let me think on Hastings, and be gone
To Brecknock, while my fearful head is on!
The tyrannous and bloody deed is done.KING RICHARD III
The most arch 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,
Although they were flesh'd 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
Within their innocent alabaster arms:
Their lips were four red roses on a stalk,
Which in their summer beauty kiss'd each other.
A book of prayers on their pillow lay;
Which once,' quoth Forrest, 'almost changed my mind;
But O! the devil'--there the villain stopp'd
Whilst Dighton thus told on: 'We smothered
The most replenished sweet work of nature,
That from the prime creation e'er she framed.'
Thus both are gone with conscience and remorse;
They could not speak; and so I left them both,
To bring this tidings to the bloody king.
And here he comes.
Enter KING RICHARD IIIAll hail, my sovereign liege!
Kind Tyrrel, am I happy in thy news?TYRREL
If to have done the thing you gave in chargeKING RICHARD III
Beget your happiness, be happy then,
For it is done, my lord.
But didst thou see them dead?TYRREL
I did, my lord.KING RICHARD III
And buried, gentle Tyrrel?TYRREL
The chaplain of the Tower hath buried them;KING RICHARD III
But how or in what place I do not know.
Come to me, Tyrrel, soon at after supper,CATESBY
And thou shalt tell the process of their death.
Meantime, but think how I may do thee good,
And be inheritor of thy desire.
Farewell till soon.
Exit TYRRELThe son of Clarence have I pent up close;
His daughter meanly have I match'd in marriage;
The sons of Edward sleep in Abraham's bosom,
And Anne my wife hath bid the world good night.
Now, for I know the Breton Richmond aims
At young Elizabeth, my brother's daughter,
And, by that knot, looks proudly o'er the crown,
To her I go, a jolly thriving wooer.
My lord!KING RICHARD III
Good news or bad, that thou comest in so bluntly?CATESBY
Bad news, my lord: Ely is fled to Richmond;KING RICHARD III
And Buckingham, back'd with the hardy Welshmen,
Is in the field, and still his power increaseth.
Ely with Richmond troubles me more near
Than 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,
Jove's Mercury, and herald for a king!
Come, muster men: my counsel is my shield;
We must be brief when traitors brave the field.
Enter QUEEN MARGARETQUEEN MARGARET
So, now prosperity begins to mellowQUEEN ELIZABETH
And drop into the rotten mouth of death.
Here in these confines slily have I lurk'd,
To watch the waning of mine adversaries.
A 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
Ah, my young princes! ah, my tender babes!QUEEN MARGARET
My unblown flowers, new-appearing sweets!
If yet your gentle souls fly in the air
And be not fix'd in doom perpetual,
Hover about me with your airy wings
And hear your mother's lamentation!
Hover about her; say, that right for rightDUCHESS OF YORK
Hath dimm'd your infant morn to aged night.
So many miseries have crazed my voice,QUEEN MARGARET
That my woe-wearied tongue is mute and dumb,
Edward Plantagenet, why art thou dead?
Plantagenet doth quit Plantagenet.QUEEN ELIZABETH
Edward for Edward pays a dying debt.
Wilt thou, O God, fly from such gentle lambs,QUEEN MARGARET
And throw them in the entrails of the wolf?
When didst thou sleep when such a deed was done?
When holy Harry died, and my sweet son.DUCHESS OF YORK
Blind sight, dead life, poor mortal living ghost,QUEEN ELIZABETH
Woe's scene, world's shame, grave's due by life usurp'd,
Brief abstract and record of tedious days,
Rest thy unrest on England's lawful earth,
Sitting downUnlawfully made drunk with innocents' blood!
O, that thou wouldst as well afford a graveQUEEN MARGARET
As thou canst yield a melancholy seat!
Then would I hide my bones, not rest them here.
O, who hath any cause to mourn but I?
Sitting down by her
If ancient sorrow be most reverend,DUCHESS OF YORK
Give mine the benefit of seniory,
And let my woes frown on the upper hand.
If sorrow can admit society,
Sitting down with themTell o'er your woes again by viewing mine:
I had an Edward, till a Richard kill'd him;
I had a Harry, till a Richard kill'd him:
Thou hadst an Edward, till a Richard kill'd him;
Thou hadst a Richard, till a Richard killed him;
I had a Richard too, and thou didst kill him;QUEEN MARGARET
I had a Rutland too, thou holp'st to kill him.
Thou hadst a Clarence too, and Richard kill'd him.DUCHESS OF YORK
From forth the kennel of thy womb hath crept
A hell-hound that doth hunt us all to death:
That dog, that had his teeth before his eyes,
To worry lambs and lap their gentle blood,
That foul defacer of God's handiwork,
That excellent grand tyrant of the earth,
That reigns in galled eyes of weeping souls,
Thy womb let loose, to chase us to our graves.
O upright, just, and true-disposing God,
How do I thank thee, that this carnal cur
Preys on the issue of his mother's body,
And makes her pew-fellow with others' moan!
O Harry's wife, triumph not in my woes!QUEEN MARGARET
God witness with me, I have wept for thine.
Bear with me; I am hungry for revenge,QUEEN ELIZABETH
And now I cloy me with beholding it.
Thy Edward he is dead, that stabb'd my Edward:
Thy 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 kill'd my Edward;
And the beholders of this tragic play,
The adulterate Hastings, Rivers, Vaughan, Grey,
Untimely smother'd 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,
Ensues his piteous and unpitied end:
Earth gapes, hell burns, fiends roar, saints pray.
To have him suddenly convey'd away.
Cancel his bond of life, dear God, I prey,
That I may live to say, The dog is dead!
O, thou didst prophesy the time would comeQUEEN MARGARET
That I should wish for thee to help me curse
That bottled spider, that foul bunch-back'd toad!
I call'd thee then vain flourish of my fortune;QUEEN ELIZABETH
I call'd thee then poor shadow, painted queen;
The presentation of but what I was;
The flattering index of a direful pageant;
One heaved a-high, to be hurl'd down below;
A mother only mock'd with two sweet babes;
A dream of what thou wert, a breath, a bubble,
A sign of dignity, a garish flag,
To 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?
Who sues to thee and cries 'God save the queen'?
Where be the bending peers that flatter'd thee?
Where be the thronging troops that follow'd thee?
Decline all this, and see what now thou art:
For happy wife, a most distressed widow;
For joyful mother, one that wails the name;
For queen, a very caitiff crown'd with care;
For one being sued to, one that humbly sues;
For one that scorn'd at me, now scorn'd of me;
For one being fear'd of all, now fearing one;
For one commanding all, obey'd of none.
Thus hath the course of justice wheel'd 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.
Thou didst usurp my place, and dost thou not
Usurp the just proportion of my sorrow?
Now thy proud neck bears half my burthen'd yoke;
From which even here I slip my weary neck,
And leave the burthen of it all on thee.
Farewell, York's wife, and queen of sad mischance:
These English woes will make me smile in France.
O thou well skill'd in curses, stay awhile,QUEEN MARGARET
And teach me how to curse mine enemies!
Forbear to sleep the nights, and fast the days;QUEEN ELIZABETH
Compare dead happiness with living woe;
Think that thy babes were fairer than they were,
And he that slew them fouler than he is:
Bettering thy loss makes the bad causer worse:
Revolving this will teach thee how to curse.
My words are dull; O, quicken them with thine!QUEEN MARGARET
Thy woes will make them sharp, and pierce like mine.DUCHESS OF YORK
Why should calamity be full of words?QUEEN ELIZABETH
Windy attorneys to their client woes,DUCHESS OF YORK
Airy succeeders of intestate joys,
Poor breathing orators of miseries!
Let them have scope: though what they do impart
Help not all, yet do they ease the heart.
If so, then be not tongue-tied: go with me.KING RICHARD III
And in the breath of bitter words let's smother
My damned son, which thy two sweet sons smother'd.
I hear his drum: be copious in exclaims.
Enter KING RICHARD III, marching, with drums and trumpets
Who intercepts my expedition?DUCHESS OF YORK
O, she that might have intercepted thee,QUEEN ELIZABETH
By strangling thee in her accursed womb
From all the slaughters, wretch, that thou hast done!
Hidest thou that forehead with a golden crown,DUCHESS OF YORK
Where should be graven, if that right were right,
The slaughter of the prince that owed that crown,
And the dire death of my two sons and brothers?
Tell me, thou villain slave, where are my children?
Thou toad, thou toad, where is thy brother Clarence?QUEEN ELIZABETH
And little Ned Plantagenet, his son?
Where is kind Hastings, Rivers, Vaughan, Grey?KING RICHARD III
A flourish, trumpets! strike alarum, drums!DUCHESS OF YORK
Let not the heavens hear these tell-tale women
Rail on the Lord's enointed: strike, I say!
Flourish. AlarumsEither be patient, and entreat me fair,
Or with the clamorous report of war
Thus will I drown your exclamations.
Art thou my son?KING RICHARD III
Ay, I thank God, my father, and yourself.DUCHESS OF YORK
Then patiently hear my impatience.KING RICHARD III
Madam, I have a touch of your condition,DUCHESS OF YORK
Which cannot brook the accent of reproof.
O, let me speak!KING RICHARD III
Do then: but I'll not hear.DUCHESS OF YORK
I will be mild and gentle in my speech.KING RICHARD III
And brief, good mother; for I am in haste.DUCHESS OF YORK
Art thou so hasty? I have stay'd for thee,KING RICHARD III
God knows, in anguish, pain and agony.
And came I not at last to comfort you?DUCHESS OF YORK
No, by the holy rood, thou know'st it well,KING RICHARD III
Thou camest on earth to make the earth my hell.
A grievous burthen was thy birth to me;
Tetchy and wayward was thy infancy;
Thy school-days frightful, desperate, wild, and furious,
Thy prime of manhood daring, bold, and venturous,
Thy age confirm'd, proud, subdued, bloody,
More mild, but yet more harmful, kind in hatred:
What comfortable hour canst thou name,
That ever graced me in thy company?
Faith, none, but Humphrey Hour, that call'dDUCHESS OF YORK
To breakfast once forth of my company.
If I be so disgracious in your sight,
Let me march on, and not offend your grace.
Strike the drum.
I prithee, hear me speak.KING RICHARD III
You speak too bitterly.DUCHESS OF YORK
Hear me a word;KING RICHARD III
For I shall never speak to thee again.
So.DUCHESS OF YORK
Either thou wilt die, by God's just ordinance,QUEEN ELIZABETH
Ere from this war thou turn a conqueror,
Or 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 armour that thou wear'st!
My 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;
Shame serves thy life and doth thy death attend.
Though far more cause, yet much less spirit to curseKING RICHARD III
Abides in me; I say amen to all.
Stay, madam; I must speak a word with you.QUEEN ELIZABETH
I have no more sons of the royal bloodKING RICHARD III
For thee to murder: for my daughters, Richard,
They shall be praying nuns, not weeping queens;
And therefore level not to hit their lives.
You have a daughter call'd Elizabeth,QUEEN ELIZABETH
Virtuous and fair, royal and gracious.
And must she die for this? O, let her live,KING RICHARD III
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 unscarr'd of bleeding slaughter,
I will confess she was not Edward's daughter.
Wrong not her birth, she is of royal blood.QUEEN ELIZABETH
To save her life, I'll say she is not so.KING RICHARD III
Her life is only safest in her birth.QUEEN ELIZABETH
And only in that safety died her brothers.KING RICHARD III
Lo, at their births good stars were opposite.QUEEN ELIZABETH
No, to their lives bad friends were contrary.KING RICHARD III
All unavoided is the doom of destiny.QUEEN ELIZABETH
True, when avoided grace makes destiny:KING RICHARD III
My babes were destined to a fairer death,
If grace had bless'd thee with a fairer life.
You speak as if that I had slain my cousins.QUEEN ELIZABETH
Cousins, indeed; and by their uncle cozen'dKING RICHARD III
Of comfort, kingdom, kindred, freedom, life.
Whose hand soever lanced their tender hearts,
Thy head, all indirectly, gave direction:
No doubt the murderous knife was dull and blunt
Till it was whetted on thy stone-hard heart,
To revel in the entrails of my lambs.
But that still use of grief makes wild grief tame,
My tongue should to thy ears not name my boys
Till that my nails were anchor'd in thine eyes;
And I, in such a desperate bay of death,
Like a poor bark, of sails and tackling reft,
Rush all to pieces on thy rocky bosom.
Madam, so thrive I in my enterpriseQUEEN ELIZABETH
And dangerous success of bloody wars,
As I intend more good to you and yours,
Than ever you or yours were by me wrong'd!
What good is cover'd with the face of heaven,KING RICHARD III
To be discover'd, that can do me good?
The advancement of your children, gentle lady.QUEEN ELIZABETH
Up to some scaffold, there to lose their heads?KING RICHARD III
No, to the dignity and height of honourQUEEN ELIZABETH
The high imperial type of this earth's glory.
Flatter my sorrows with report of it;KING RICHARD III
Tell me what state, what dignity, what honour,
Canst thou demise to any child of mine?
Even all I have; yea, and myself and all,QUEEN ELIZABETH
Will I withal endow a child of thine;
So in the Lethe of thy angry soul
Thou drown the sad remembrance of those wrongs
Which thou supposest I have done to thee.
Be brief, lest that be process of thy kindnessKING RICHARD III
Last longer telling than thy kindness' date.
Then know, that from my soul I love thy daughter.QUEEN ELIZABETH
My daughter's mother thinks it with her soul.KING RICHARD III
What do you think?QUEEN ELIZABETH
That thou dost love my daughter from thy soul:KING RICHARD III
So from thy soul's love didst thou love her brothers;
And from my heart's love I do thank thee for it.
Be not so hasty to confound my meaning:QUEEN ELIZABETH
I mean, that with my soul I love thy daughter,
And mean to make her queen of England.
Say then, who dost thou mean shall be her king?KING RICHARD III
Even he that makes her queen who should be else?QUEEN ELIZABETH
What, thou?KING RICHARD III
I, even I: what think you of it, madam?QUEEN ELIZABETH
How canst thou woo her?KING RICHARD III
That would I learn of you,QUEEN ELIZABETH
As one that are best acquainted with her humour.
And wilt thou learn of me?KING RICHARD III
Madam, with all my heart.QUEEN ELIZABETH
Send to her, by the man that slew her brothers,KING RICHARD III
A pair of bleeding-hearts; thereon engrave
Edward and York; then haply she will weep:
Therefore present to her--as sometime Margaret
Did to thy father, steep'd in Rutland's blood,--
A handkerchief; which, say to her, did drain
The purple sap from her sweet brother's body
And bid her dry her weeping eyes therewith.
If this inducement force her not to love,
Send her a story of thy noble acts;
Tell her thou madest away her uncle Clarence,
Her uncle Rivers; yea, and, for her sake,
Madest quick conveyance with her good aunt Anne.
Come, come, you mock me; this is not the wayQUEEN ELIZABETH
To win our daughter.
There is no other wayKING RICHARD III
Unless thou couldst put on some other shape,
And not be Richard that hath done all this.
Say that I did all this for love of her.QUEEN ELIZABETH
Nay, then indeed she cannot choose but hate thee,KING RICHARD III
Having bought love with such a bloody spoil.
Look, what is done cannot be now amended:QUEEN ELIZABETH
Men shall deal unadvisedly sometimes,
Which after hours give leisure to repent.
If I did take the kingdom from your sons,
To make amends, Ill give it to your daughter.
If I have kill'd the issue of your womb,
To quicken your increase, I will beget
Mine issue of your blood upon your daughter
A grandam's name is little less in love
Than is the doting title of a mother;
They are as children but one step below,
Even of your mettle, of your very blood;
Of an one pain, save for a night of groans
Endured of her, for whom you bid like sorrow.
Your children were vexation to your youth,
But mine shall be a comfort to your age.
The loss you have is but a son being king,
And by that loss your daughter is made queen.
I cannot make you what amends I would,
Therefore accept such kindness as I can.
Dorset your son, that with a fearful soul
Leads discontented steps in foreign soil,
This fair alliance quickly shall call home
To high promotions and great dignity:
The king, that calls your beauteous daughter wife.
Familiarly shall call thy Dorset brother;
Again shall you be mother to a king,
And all the ruins of distressful times
Repair'd with double riches of content.
What! we have many goodly days to see:
The liquid drops of tears that you have shed
Shall come again, transform'd to orient pearl,
Advantaging their loan with interest
Of ten times double gain of happiness.
Go, then my mother, to thy daughter go
Make bold her bashful years with your experience;
Prepare her ears to hear a wooer's tale
Put in her tender heart the aspiring flame
Of golden sovereignty; acquaint the princess
With the sweet silent hours of marriage joys
And when this arm of mine hath chastised
The petty rebel, dull-brain'd Buckingham,
Bound with triumphant garlands will I come
And lead thy daughter to a conqueror's bed;
To whom I will retail my conquest won,
And she shall be sole victress, Caesar's Caesar.
What were I best to say? her father's brotherKING RICHARD III
Would be her lord? or shall I say, her uncle?
Or, he that slew her brothers and her uncles?
Under what title shall I woo for thee,
That God, the law, my honour and her love,
Can make seem pleasing to her tender years?
Infer fair England's peace by this alliance.QUEEN ELIZABETH
Which she shall purchase with still lasting war.KING RICHARD III
Say that the king, which may command, entreats.QUEEN ELIZABETH
That at her hands which the king's King forbids.KING RICHARD III
Say, she shall be a high and mighty queen.QUEEN ELIZABETH
To wail the tide, as her mother doth.KING RICHARD III
Say, I will love her everlastingly.QUEEN ELIZABETH
But how long shall that title 'ever' last?KING RICHARD III
Sweetly in force unto her fair life's end.QUEEN ELIZABETH
But how long fairly shall her sweet lie last?KING RICHARD III
So long as heaven and nature lengthens it.QUEEN ELIZABETH
So long as hell and Richard likes of it.KING RICHARD III
Say, I, her sovereign, am her subject love.QUEEN ELIZABETH
But she, your subject, loathes such sovereignty.KING RICHARD III
Be eloquent in my behalf to her.QUEEN ELIZABETH
An honest tale speeds best being plainly told.KING RICHARD III
Then in plain terms tell her my loving tale.QUEEN ELIZABETH
Plain and not honest is too harsh a style.KING RICHARD III
Your reasons are too shallow and too quick.QUEEN ELIZABETH
O no, my reasons are too deep and dead;KING RICHARD III
Too deep and dead, poor infants, in their grave.
Harp not on that string, madam; that is past.QUEEN ELIZABETH
Harp on it still shall I till heart-strings break.KING RICHARD III
Now, by my George, my garter, and my crown,--QUEEN ELIZABETH
Profaned, dishonour'd, and the third usurp'd.KING RICHARD III
I swear--QUEEN ELIZABETH
By nothing; for this is no oath:KING RICHARD III
The George, profaned, hath lost his holy honour;
The garter, blemish'd, pawn'd his knightly virtue;
The crown, usurp'd, disgraced his kingly glory.
if something thou wilt swear to be believed,
Swear then by something that thou hast not wrong'd.
Now, by the world--QUEEN ELIZABETH
'Tis full of thy foul wrongs.KING RICHARD III
My father's death--QUEEN ELIZABETH
Thy life hath that dishonour'd.KING RICHARD III
Then, by myself--QUEEN ELIZABETH
Thyself thyself misusest.KING RICHARD III
Why then, by God--QUEEN ELIZABETH
God's wrong is most of all.KING RICHARD III
If thou hadst fear'd to break an oath by Him,
The unity the king thy brother made
Had not been broken, nor my brother slain:
If thou hadst fear'd 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,
Which now, two tender playfellows to dust,
Thy broken faith hath made a prey for worms.
What canst thou swear by now?
The time to come.QUEEN ELIZABETH
That thou hast wronged in the time o'erpast;KING RICHARD III
For I myself have many tears to wash
Hereafter time, for time past wrong'd by thee.
The children live, whose parents thou hast
Ungovern'd youth, to wail it in their age;
The parents live, whose children thou hast butcher'd,
Old wither'd plants, to wail it with their age.
Swear not by time to come; for that thou hast
Misused ere used, by time misused o'erpast.
As I intend to prosper and repent,QUEEN ELIZABETH
So thrive I in my dangerous attempt
Of hostile arms! myself myself confound!
Heaven and fortune bar me happy hours!
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,
Immaculate 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,
Death, desolation, ruin and decay:
It cannot be avoided but by this;
It will not be avoided but by this.
Therefore, good mother,--I must can you so--
Be the attorney of my love to her:
Plead 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.
Shall I be tempted of the devil thus?KING RICHARD III
Ay, if the devil tempt thee to do good.QUEEN ELIZABETH
Shall I forget myself to be myself?KING RICHARD III
Ay, if yourself's remembrance wrong yourself.QUEEN ELIZABETH
But thou didst kill my children.KING RICHARD III
But in your daughter's womb I bury them:QUEEN ELIZABETH
Where in that nest of spicery they shall breed
Selves of themselves, to your recomforture.
Shall I go win my daughter to thy will?KING RICHARD III
And be a happy mother by the deed.QUEEN ELIZABETH
I go. Write to me very shortly.KING RICHARD III
And you shall understand from me her mind.
Bear her my true love's kiss; and so, farewell.RATCLIFF
Exit QUEEN ELIZABETHRelenting fool, and shallow, changing woman!
Enter RATCLIFF; CATESBY followingHow now! what news?
My gracious sovereign, on the western coastKING RICHARD III
Rideth a puissant navy; to the shore
Throng many doubtful hollow-hearted friends,
Unarm'd, and unresolved to beat them back:
'Tis thought that Richmond is their admiral;
And there they hull, expecting but the aid
Of Buckingham to welcome them ashore.
Some light-foot friend post to the Duke of Norfolk:CATESBY
Ratcliff, thyself, or Catesby; where is he?
Here, my lord.KING RICHARD III
Fly to the duke:CATESBY
To RATCLIFFPost thou to Salisbury
When thou comest thither--
To CATESBYDull, unmindful villain,
Why stand'st thou still, and go'st not to the duke?
First, mighty sovereign, let me know your mind,KING RICHARD III
What from your grace I shall deliver to him.
O, true, good Catesby: bid him levy straightCATESBY
The greatest strength and power he can make,
And meet me presently at Salisbury.
What is't your highness' pleasure I shall do atKING RICHARD III
Why, what wouldst thou do there before I go?RATCLIFF
Your highness told me I should post before.KING RICHARD III
My mind is changed, sir, my mind is changed.STANLEY
Enter STANLEYHow now, what news with you?
None good, my lord, to please you with the hearing;KING RICHARD III
Nor none so bad, but it may well be told.
Hoyday, a riddle! neither good nor bad!STANLEY
Why dost thou run so many mile about,
When thou mayst tell thy tale a nearer way?
Once more, what news?
Richmond is on the seas.KING RICHARD III
There let him sink, and be the seas on him!STANLEY
White-liver'd runagate, what doth he there?
I know not, mighty sovereign, but by guess.KING RICHARD III
Well, sir, as you guess, as you guess?STANLEY
Stirr'd up by Dorset, Buckingham, and Ely,KING RICHARD III
He makes for England, there to claim the crown.
Is the chair empty? is the sword unsway'd?STANLEY
Is the king dead? the empire unpossess'd?
What heir of York is there alive but we?
And who is England's king but great York's heir?
Then, tell me, what doth he upon the sea?
Unless for that, my liege, I cannot guess.KING RICHARD III
Unless for that he comes to be your liege,STANLEY
You cannot guess wherefore the Welshman comes.
Thou wilt revolt, and fly to him, I fear.
No, mighty liege; therefore mistrust me not.KING RICHARD III
Where is thy power, then, to beat him back?STANLEY
Where are thy tenants and thy followers?
Are they not now upon the western shore.
Safe-conducting the rebels from their ships!
No, my good lord, my friends are in the north.KING RICHARD III
Cold friends to Richard: what do they in the north,STANLEY
When they should serve their sovereign in the west?
They have not been commanded, mighty sovereign:KING RICHARD III
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.
Ay, ay. thou wouldst be gone to join with Richmond:STANLEY
I will not trust you, sir.
Most mighty sovereign,KING RICHARD III
You have no cause to hold my friendship doubtful:
I never was nor never will be false.
Go muster men; but, hear you, leave behind
Your son, George Stanley: look your faith be firm.
Or else his head's assurance is but frail.
So deal with him as I prove true to you.Messenger
Enter a Messenger
My gracious sovereign, now in Devonshire,Second Messenger
As I by friends am well advertised,
Sir Edward Courtney, and the haughty prelate
Bishop of Exeter, his brother there,
With many more confederates, are in arms.
Enter another Messenger
My liege, in Kent the Guildfords are in arms;Third Messenger
And every hour more competitors
Flock to their aid, and still their power increaseth.
Enter another Messenger
My lord, the army of the Duke of Buckingham--KING RICHARD III
Out on you, owls! nothing but songs of death?Third Messenger
He striketh himTake that, until thou bring me better news.
The news I have to tell your majestyKING RICHARD III
Is, that by sudden floods and fall of waters,
Buckingham's army is dispersed and scatter'd;
And he himself wander'd away alone,
No man knows whither.
I cry thee mercy:Third Messenger
There is my purse to cure that blow of thine.
Hath any well-advised friend proclaim'd
Reward to him that brings the traitor in?
Such proclamation hath been made, my liege.Fourth Messenger
Enter another Messenger
Sir Thomas Lovel and Lord Marquis Dorset,KING RICHARD III
'Tis said, my liege, in Yorkshire are in arms.
Yet this good comfort bring I to your grace,
The Breton navy is dispersed by tempest:
Richmond, in Yorkshire, sent out a boat
Unto the shore, to ask those on the banks
If they were his assistants, yea or no;
Who answer'd him, they came from Buckingham.
Upon his party: he, mistrusting them,
Hoisted sail and made away for Brittany.
March on, march on, since we are up in arms;CATESBY
If not to fight with foreign enemies,
Yet to beat down these rebels here at home.
My liege, the Duke of Buckingham is taken;KING RICHARD III
That is the best news: that the Earl of Richmond
Is with a mighty power landed at Milford,
Is colder tidings, yet they must be told.
Away towards Salisbury! while we reason here,
A royal battle might be won and lost
Some one take order Buckingham be brought
To Salisbury; the rest march on with me.
Enter DERBY and SIR CHRISTOPHER URSWICKDERBY
Sir Christopher, tell Richmond this from me:CHRISTOPHER
That in the sty of this most bloody boar
My son George Stanley is frank'd 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?
At Pembroke, or at Harford-west, in Wales.DERBY
What men of name resort to him?CHRISTOPHER
Sir Walter Herbert, a renowned soldier;DERBY
Sir Gilbert Talbot, Sir William Stanley;
Oxford, redoubted Pembroke, Sir James Blunt,
And Rice ap Thomas with a valiant crew;
And many more of noble fame and worth:
And towards London they do bend their course,
If by the way they be not fought withal.
Return unto thy lord; commend me to him:
Tell him the queen hath heartily consented
He shall espouse Elizabeth her daughter.
These letters will resolve him of my mind. Farewell.
Enter the Sheriff, and BUCKINGHAM, with halberds, led to executionBUCKINGHAM
Will not King Richard let me speak with him?Sheriff
No, my good lord; therefore be patient.BUCKINGHAM
Hastings, and Edward's children, Rivers, Grey,Sheriff
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
Do through the clouds behold this present hour,
Even for revenge mock my destruction!
This is All-Souls' day, fellows, is it not?
It is, my lord.BUCKINGHAM
Why, then All-Souls' day is my body's doomsday.
This is the day that, in King Edward's time,
I wish't might fall on me, when I was found
False to his children or his wife's allies
This is the day wherein I wish'd to fall
By the false faith of him I trusted most;
This, this All-Souls' day to my fearful soul
Is the determined respite of my wrongs:
That high All-Seer that I dallied with
Hath turn'd my feigned prayer on my head
And given in earnest what I begg'd in jest.
Thus doth he force the swords of wicked men
To turn their own points on their masters' bosoms:
Now Margaret's curse is fallen upon my head;
'When he,' quoth she, 'shall split thy heart with sorrow,
Remember Margaret was a prophetess.'
Come, sirs, convey me to the block of shame;
Wrong hath but wrong, and blame the due of blame.
Enter RICHMOND, OXFORD, BLUNT, HERBERT, and others, with drum and coloursRICHMOND
Fellows in arms, and my most loving friends,OXFORD
Bruised underneath the yoke of tyranny,
Thus far into the bowels of the land
Have we march'd on without impediment;
And here receive we from our father Stanley
Lines of fair comfort and encouragement.
The wretched, bloody, and usurping boar,
That spoil'd your summer fields and fruitful vines,
Swills your warm blood like wash, and makes his trough
In your embowell'd bosoms, this foul swine
Lies now even in the centre 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,
To reap the harvest of perpetual peace
By this one bloody trial of sharp war.
Every man's conscience is a thousand swords,HERBERT
To fight against that bloody homicide.
I doubt not but his friends will fly to us.BLUNT
He hath no friends but who are friends for fear.RICHMOND
Which in his greatest need will shrink from him.
All for our vantage. Then, in God's name, march:
True hope is swift, and flies with swallow's wings:
Kings it makes gods, and meaner creatures kings.
Enter KING RICHARD III in arms, with NORFOLK, SURREY, and othersKING RICHARD III
Here pitch our tents, even here in Bosworth field.SURREY
My Lord of Surrey, why look you so sad?
My heart is ten times lighter than my looks.KING RICHARD III
My Lord of Norfolk,--NORFOLK
Here, most gracious liege.KING RICHARD III
Norfolk, we must have knocks; ha! must we not?NORFOLK
We must both give and take, my gracious lord.KING RICHARD III
Up with my tent there! here will I lie tonight;NORFOLK
But where to-morrow? Well, all's one for that.
Who hath descried the number of the foe?
Six or seven thousand is their utmost power.KING RICHARD III
Why, our battalion trebles that account:RICHMOND
Besides, the king's name is a tower of strength,
Which they upon the adverse party want.
Up with my tent there! Valiant gentlemen,
Let us survey the vantage of the field
Call for some men of sound direction
Let's want no discipline, make no delay,
For, lords, to-morrow is a busy day.
Enter, on the other side of the field, RICHMOND, Sir William Brandon, OXFORD, and others. Some of the Soldiers pitch RICHMOND's tent
The weary sun hath made a golden set,BLUNT
And by the bright track of his fiery car,
Gives signal, of a goodly day to-morrow.
Sir William Brandon, you shall bear my standard.
Give me some ink and paper in my tent
I'll draw the form and model of our battle,
Limit each leader to his several charge,
And part in just proportion our small strength.
My Lord of Oxford, you, Sir William Brandon,
And you, Sir Walter Herbert, stay with me.
The Earl of Pembroke keeps 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 go'st,
Where is Lord Stanley quarter'd, dost thou know?
Unless I have mista'en his colours much,RICHMOND
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.
If without peril it be possible,BLUNT
Good Captain Blunt, bear my good-night to him,
And give him from me this most needful scroll.
Upon my life, my lord, I'll under-take it;RICHMOND
And so, God give you quiet rest to-night!
Good night, good Captain Blunt. Come gentlemen,KING RICHARD III
Let us consult upon to-morrow's business
In to our tent; the air is raw and cold.
They withdraw into the tent
Enter, to his tent, KING RICHARD III, NORFOLK, RATCLIFF, CATESBY, and others
What is't o'clock?CATESBY
It's supper-time, my lord;KING RICHARD III
It's nine o'clock.
I will not sup to-night.CATESBY
Give me some ink and paper.
What, is my beaver easier than it was?
And all my armour laid into my tent?
If is, my liege; and all things are in readiness.KING RICHARD III
Good Norfolk, hie thee to thy charge;NORFOLK
Use careful watch, choose trusty sentinels.
I go, my lord.KING RICHARD III
Stir with the lark to-morrow, gentle Norfolk.NORFOLK
I warrant you, my lord.KING RICHARD III
My lord?KING RICHARD III
Send out a pursuivant at armsRATCLIFF
To Stanley's regiment; bid him bring his power
Before sunrising, lest his son George fall
Into the blind cave of eternal night.
Exit CATESBYFill me a bowl of wine. Give me a watch.
Saddle white Surrey for the field to-morrow.
Look that my staves be sound, and not too heavy.
My lord?KING RICHARD III
Saw'st thou the melancholy Lord Northumberland?RATCLIFF
Thomas the Earl of Surrey, and himself,KING RICHARD III
Much about cock-shut time, from troop to troop
Went through the army, cheering up the soldiers.
So, I am satisfied. Give me a bowl of wine:RATCLIFF
I have not that alacrity of spirit,
Nor cheer of mind, that I was wont to have.
Set it down. Is ink and paper ready?
It is, my lord.KING RICHARD III
Bid my guard watch; leave me.DERBY
Ratcliff, about the mid of night come to my tent
And help to arm me. Leave me, I say.
Exeunt RATCLIFF and the other Attendants
Enter DERBY to RICHMOND in his tent, Lords and others attending
Fortune and victory sit on thy helm!RICHMOND
All comfort that the dark night can affordDERBY
Be to thy person, noble father-in-law!
Tell me, how fares our loving mother?
I, by attorney, bless thee from thy motherRICHMOND
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,--
Prepare 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,
And 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
Cuts off the ceremonious vows of love
And ample interchange of sweet discourse,
Which so long sunder'd friends should dwell upon:
God give us leisure for these rites of love!
Once more, adieu: be valiant, and speed well!
Good lords, conduct him to his regiment:of Prince Edward
I'll strive, with troubled thoughts, to take a nap,
Lest leaden slumber peise me down to-morrow,
When I should mount with wings of victory:
Once more, good night, kind lords and gentlemen.
Exeunt all but RICHMONDO 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
The 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:
Sleeping and waking, O, defend me still!
Enter the Ghost of Prince Edward, son to King Henry VIGhost
[To KING RICHARD III]of King Henry VI
Let me sit heavy on thy soul to-morrow!
Think, how thou stab'dst me in my prime of youth
At Tewksbury: despair, therefore, and die!
To RICHMONDBe cheerful, Richmond; for the wronged souls
Of butcher'd princes fight in thy behalf
King Henry's issue, Richmond, comforts thee.
Enter the Ghost of King Henry VIGhost
[To KING RICHARD III]Ghost of CLARENCE
When I was mortal, my anointed body
By thee was punched full of deadly holes
Think on the Tower and me: despair, and die!
Harry the Sixth bids thee despair, and die!
To RICHMONDVirtuous and holy, be thou conqueror!
Harry, that prophesied thou shouldst be king,
Doth comfort thee in thy sleep: live, and flourish!
Enter the Ghost of CLARENCE
[To KING RICHARD III]Ghost of RIVERS
Let me sit heavy on thy soul to-morrow!
I, that was wash'd to death with fulsome wine,
Poor Clarence, by thy guile betrayed to death!
To-morrow in the battle think on me,
And fall thy edgeless sword: despair, and die!--
To RICHMONDThou offspring of the house of Lancaster
The wronged heirs of York do pray for thee
Good angels guard thy battle! live, and flourish!
Enter the Ghosts of RIVERS, GRAY, and VAUGHAN
[To KING RICHARD III]Ghost of GREY
Let me sit heavy on thy soul to-morrow,
Rivers. that died at Pomfret! despair, and die!
[To KING RICHARD III]Ghost of VAUGHAN
Think upon Grey, and let thy soul despair!
[To KING RICHARD III]All
Think upon Vaughan, and, with guilty fear,
Let fall thy lance: despair, and die!
[To RICHMOND]Ghost of HASTINGS
Awake, and think our wrongs in Richard's bosom
Will conquer him! awake, and win the day!
Enter the Ghost of HASTINGS
[To KING RICHARD III]of young Princes
Bloody and guilty, guiltily awake,
And in a bloody battle end thy days!
Think on Lord Hastings: despair, and die!
To RICHMONDQuiet untroubled soul, awake, awake!
Arm, fight, and conquer, for fair England's sake!
Enter the Ghosts of the two young PrincesGhosts
[To KING RICHARD III]Ghost of LADY ANNE
Dream on thy cousins smother'd in the Tower:
Let us be led within thy bosom, Richard,
And weigh thee down to ruin, shame, and death!
Thy nephews' souls bid thee despair and die!
To RICHMONDSleep, Richmond, sleep 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.
Enter the Ghost of LADY ANNE
[To KING RICHARD III]of BUCKINGHAM
Richard, thy wife, that wretched Anne thy wife,
That never slept a quiet hour with thee,
Now fills thy sleep with perturbations
To-morrow in the battle think on me,
And fall thy edgeless sword: despair, and die!
To RICHMONDThou quiet soul, sleep thou a quiet sleep
Dream of success and happy victory!
Thy adversary's wife doth pray for thee.
Enter the Ghost of BUCKINGHAMGhost
[To KING RICHARD III]KING RICHARD III
The last was I that helped thee to the crown;
The last was I that felt thy tyranny:
O, in the battle think on Buckingham,
And die in terror of thy guiltiness!
Dream on, dream on, of bloody deeds and death:
Fainting, despair; despairing, yield thy breath!
To RICHMONDI died for hope ere I could lend thee aid:
But cheer thy heart, and be thou not dismay'd:
God and good angel fight on Richmond's side;
And Richard falls in height of all his pride.
The Ghosts vanish
KING RICHARD III starts out of his dream
Give me another horse: bind up my wounds.RATCLIFF
Have 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:
Richard loves Richard; that is, I am 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
That 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.
My 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 high'st degree
Murder, stem murder, in the direst degree;
All 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 shall pity me:
Nay, wherefore should they, since that I myself
Find in myself no pity to myself?
Methought the souls of all that I had murder'd
Came to my tent; and every one did threat
To-morrow's vengeance on the head of Richard.
My lord!KING RICHARD III
'Zounds! who is there?RATCLIFF
Ratcliff, my lord; 'tis I. The early village-cockKING RICHARD III
Hath twice done salutation to the morn;
Your friends are up, and buckle on their armour.
O Ratcliff, I have dream'd a fearful dream!RATCLIFF
What thinkest thou, will our friends prove all true?
No doubt, my lord.KING RICHARD III
O Ratcliff, I fear, I fear,--RATCLIFF
Nay, good my lord, be not afraid of shadows.KING RICHARD III
By the apostle Paul, shadows to-nightLORDS
Have struck more terror to the soul of Richard
Than can the substance of ten thousand soldiers
Armed in proof, and led by shallow Richmond.
It is not yet near day. Come, go with me;
Under our tents I'll play the eaves-dropper,
To see if any mean to shrink from me.
Enter the Lords to RICHMOND, sitting in his tent
Good morrow, Richmond!RICHMOND
Cry mercy, lords and watchful gentlemen,LORDS
That you have ta'en a tardy sluggard here.
How have you slept, my lord?RICHMOND
The sweetest sleep, and fairest-boding dreamsLORDS
That ever enter'd in a drowsy head,
Have I since your departure had, my lords.
Methought their souls, whose bodies Richard murder'd,
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.KING RICHARD III
His oration to his soldiersMore than I have said, loving countrymen,
The leisure and enforcement of the time
Forbids to dwell upon: yet remember this,
God and our good cause fight upon our side;
The prayers of holy saints and wronged souls,
Like high-rear'd bulwarks, stand before our faces;
Richard except, those whom we fight against
Had 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 establish'd;
One that made means to come by what he hath,
And slaughter'd those that were the means to help him;
Abase 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,
God 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;
If 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 quit it in your age.
Then, in the name of God and all these rights,
Advance 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.
Sound drums and trumpets boldly and cheerfully;
God and Saint George! Richmond and victory!
Re-enter KING RICHARD, RATCLIFF, Attendants and Forces
What said Northumberland as touching Richmond?RATCLIFF
That he was never trained up in arms.KING RICHARD III
He said the truth: and what said Surrey then?RATCLIFF
He smiled and said 'The better for our purpose.'KING RICHARD III
He was in the right; and so indeed it is.RATCLIFF
Clock strikethTen the clock there. Give me a calendar.
Who saw the sun to-day?
Not I, my lord.KING RICHARD III
Then he disdains to shine; for by the bookRATCLIFF
He should have braved the east an hour ago
A black day will it be to somebody. Ratcliff!
My lord?KING RICHARD III
The sun will not be seen to-day;NORFOLK
The sky doth frown and lour upon our army.
I would these dewy tears were from the ground.
Not shine to-day! Why, what is that to me
More than to Richmond? for the selfsame heaven
That frowns on me looks sadly upon him.
Arm, arm, my lord; the foe vaunts in the field.KING RICHARD III
Come, bustle, bustle; caparison my horse.NORFOLK
Call up Lord Stanley, bid him bring his power:
I will lead forth my soldiers to the plain,
And thus my battle shall be ordered:
My foreward shall be drawn out all in length,
Consisting equally of horse and foot;
Our archers shall be placed in the midst
John 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 winged with our chiefest horse.
This, and Saint George to boot! What think'st thou, Norfolk?
A good direction, warlike sovereign.KING RICHARD III
This found I on my tent this morning.
He sheweth him a paper
'Jockey of Norfolk, be not too bold,
For Dickon thy master is bought and sold.'
A thing devised by the enemy.
Go, gentleman, every man unto his charge
Let not our babbling dreams affright our souls:
Conscience is but a word that cowards use,
Devised at first to keep the strong in awe:
Our strong arms be our conscience, swords our law.
March on, join bravely, let us to't pell-mell
If not to heaven, then hand in hand to hell.
His oration to his ArmyWhat shall I say more than I have inferr'd?
Remember 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-cloyed country vomits forth
To desperate ventures and assured destruction.
You 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 Bretagne at our mother's cost?
A milk-sop, 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 famish'd beggars, weary of their lives;
Who, but for dreaming on this fond exploit,
For want of means, poor rats, had hang'd themselves:
If we be conquer'd, let men conquer us,
And not these bastard Bretons; whom our fathers
Have in their own land beaten, bobb'd, and thump'd,
And in record, left them the heirs of shame.
Shall these enjoy our lands? lie with our wives?
Ravish our daughters?
Drum afar offHark! I hear their drum.
Fight, gentlemen of England! fight, bold yoemen!
Draw, 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 MessengerWhat says Lord Stanley? will he bring his power?
My lord, he doth deny to come.KING RICHARD III
Off with his son George's head!NORFOLK
My lord, the enemy is past the marshKING RICHARD III
After the battle let George Stanley die.
A thousand hearts are great within my bosom:
Advance 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.
Alarum: excursions. Enter NORFOLK and forces fighting; to him CATESBYCATESBY
Rescue, my Lord of Norfolk, rescue, rescue!KING RICHARD III
The king enacts more wonders than a man,
Daring an opposite to every danger:
His horse is slain, and all on foot he fights,
Seeking for Richmond in the throat of death.
Rescue, fair lord, or else the day is lost!
Alarums. Enter KING RICHARD III
A horse! a horse! my kingdom for a horse!CATESBY
Withdraw, my lord; I'll help you to a horse.KING RICHARD III
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 to-day instead of him.
A horse! a horse! my kingdom for a horse!
Alarum. Enter KING RICHARD III and RICHMOND; they fight. KING RICHARD III is slain. Retreat and flourish. Re-enter RICHMOND, DERBY bearing the crown, with divers other LordsRICHMOND
God and your arms be praised, victorious friends,DERBY
The day is ours, the bloody dog is dead.
Courageous Richmond, well hast thou acquit thee.RICHMOND
Lo, here, this long-usurped royalty
From the dead temples of this bloody wretch
Have I pluck'd off, to grace thy brows withal:
Wear it, enjoy it, and make much of it.
Great God of heaven, say Amen to all!DERBY
But, tell me, is young George Stanley living?
He is, my lord, and safe in Leicester town;RICHMOND
Whither, if it please you, we may now withdraw us.
What men of name are slain on either side?DERBY
John Duke of Norfolk, Walter Lord Ferrers,RICHMOND
Sir Robert Brakenbury, and Sir William Brandon.
Inter their bodies as becomes 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,
We will unite the white rose and the red:
Smile heaven upon this fair conjunction,
That long have frown'd upon their enmity!
What traitor hears me, and says not amen?
England hath long been mad, and scarr'd herself;
The brother blindly shed the brother's blood,
The father rashly slaughter'd his own son,
The son, compell'd, been butcher to the sire:
All this divided York and Lancaster,
Divided in their dire division,
O, 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,
With 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
That would with treason wound this fair land's peace!
Now civil wounds are stopp'd, peace lives again:
That she may long live here, God say amen!