Richard III - Entire Play
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Navigate this workRichard III - Entire Play
As Richard III opens, Richard is Duke of Gloucester and his brother, Edward IV, is king. Richard is eager to clear his way to the crown. He manipulates Edward into imprisoning their brother, Clarence, and then has Clarence murdered in the Tower. Meanwhile, Richard succeeds in marrying Lady Anne, even though he killed her father-in-law, Henry VI, and her husband.
When the ailing King Edward dies, Prince Edward, the older of his two young sons, is next in line for the throne. Richard houses the Prince and his younger brother in the Tower. Richard then stages events that yield him the crown.
After Richard’s coronation, he has the boys secretly killed. He also disposes of Anne, his wife, in order to court his niece, Elizabeth of York. Rebellious nobles rally to Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond. When their armies meet, Richard is defeated and killed. Richmond becomes Henry VII. His marriage to Elizabeth of York ends the Wars of the Roses and starts the Tudor dynasty.
0001 Now is the winter of our discontent
0002 Made glorious summer by this son of York,
0003 And all the clouds that loured upon our house
0004 In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.
0005 5 Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths,
0006 Our bruisèd arms hung up for monuments,
0007 Our stern alarums changed to merry meetings,
0008 Our dreadful marches to delightful measures.
0009 Grim-visaged war hath smoothed his wrinkled front;
0010 10 And now, instead of mounting barbèd steeds
0011 To fright the souls of fearful adversaries,
0012 He capers nimbly in a lady’s chamber
0013 To the lascivious pleasing of a lute.
0014 But I, that am not shaped for sportive tricks,
0015 15 Nor made to court an amorous looking glass;
0016 I, that am rudely stamped and want love’s majesty
0017 To strut before a wanton ambling nymph;
0018 I, that am curtailed of this fair proportion,
0019 Cheated of feature by dissembling nature,
0020 20 Deformed, unfinished, sent before my time
0021 Into this breathing world scarce half made up,
0022 And that so lamely and unfashionable
0023 That dogs bark at me as I halt by them—
0025 25 Have no delight to pass away the time,
0026 Unless to see my shadow in the sun
0027 And descant on mine own deformity.
0028 And therefore, since I cannot prove a lover
0029 To entertain these fair well-spoken days,
0030 30 I am determinèd to prove a villain
0031 And hate the idle pleasures of these days.
0032 Plots have I laid, inductions dangerous,
0033 By drunken prophecies, libels, and dreams,
0034 To set my brother Clarence and the King
0035 35 In deadly hate, the one against the other;
0036 And if King Edward be as true and just
0037 As I am subtle, false, and treacherous,
0038 This day should Clarence closely be mewed up
0039 About a prophecy which says that “G”
0040 40 Of Edward’s heirs the murderer shall be.
0041 Dive, thoughts, down to my soul. Here Clarence
Enter Clarence, guarded, and Brakenbury.
0043 Brother, good day. What means this armèd guard
0044 That waits upon your Grace?
CLARENCE 0045 45 His Majesty,
0046 Tend’ring my person’s safety, hath appointed
0047 This conduct to convey me to the Tower.
0048 Upon what cause?
CLARENCE 0049 Because my name is
0050 50 George.
0051 Alack, my lord, that fault is none of yours.
0052 He should, for that, commit your godfathers.
0053 O, belike his Majesty hath some intent
0054 That you should be new christened in the Tower.
0055 55 But what’s the matter, Clarence? May I know?
0056 Yea, Richard, when I know, ⟨for⟩ I protest
0057 As yet I do not. But, as I can learn,
0058 He hearkens after prophecies and dreams,
0059 And from the crossrow plucks the letter G,
0060 60 And says a wizard told him that by “G”
0061 His issue disinherited should be.
0062 And for my name of George begins with G,
0063 It follows in his thought that I am he.
0064 These, as I learn, and such like toys as these
0065 65 Hath moved his Highness to commit me now.
0066 Why, this it is when men are ruled by women.
0067 ’Tis not the King that sends you to the Tower.
0068 My Lady Grey his wife, Clarence, ’tis she
0069 That ⟨tempers⟩ him to this extremity.
0070 70 Was it not she and that good man of worship,
0071 Anthony Woodeville, her brother there,
0072 That made him send Lord Hastings to the Tower,
0073 From whence this present day he is delivered?
0074 We are not safe, Clarence; we are not safe.
0075 75 By heaven, I think there is no man secure
0076 But the Queen’s kindred and night-walking heralds
0077 That trudge betwixt the King and Mistress Shore.
0078 Heard you not what an humble suppliant
0079 Lord Hastings was ⟨to her⟩ for ⟨his⟩ delivery?
0080 80 Humbly complaining to her Deity
0081 Got my Lord Chamberlain his liberty.
0082 I’ll tell you what: I think it is our way,
0083 If we will keep in favor with the King,
0084 To be her men and wear her livery.
0085 85 The jealous o’erworn widow and herself,
0086 Since that our brother dubbed them gentlewomen,
0087 Are mighty gossips in our monarchy.
0088 I beseech your Graces both to pardon me.
0089 His Majesty hath straitly given in charge
0090 90 That no man shall have private conference,
0091 Of what degree soever, with your brother.
0092 Even so. An please your Worship, Brakenbury,
0093 You may partake of anything we say.
0094 We speak no treason, man. We say the King
0095 95 Is wise and virtuous, and his noble queen
0096 Well struck in years, fair, and not jealous.
0097 We say that Shore’s wife hath a pretty foot,
0098 A cherry lip, a bonny eye, a passing pleasing tongue,
0099 And that the Queen’s kindred are made gentlefolks.
0100 100 How say you, sir? Can you deny all this?
0101 With this, my lord, myself have naught to do.
0102 Naught to do with Mistress Shore? I tell thee,
0104 He that doth naught with her, excepting one,
0105 105 Were best to do it secretly, alone.
0106 I do beseech your Grace to pardon me, and withal
0107 Forbear your conference with the noble duke.
0108 We know thy charge, Brakenbury, and will obey.
0109 We are the Queen’s abjects and must obey.—
0110 110 Brother, farewell. I will unto the King,
0111 And whatsoe’er you will employ me in,
0112 Were it to call King Edward’s widow “sister,”
0113 I will perform it to enfranchise you.
0114 Meantime, this deep disgrace in brotherhood
0115 115 Touches me deeper than you can imagine.
0116 I know it pleaseth neither of us well.
0117 Well, your imprisonment shall not be long.
0118 I will deliver you or else lie for you.
0119 Meantime, have patience.
CLARENCE 0120 120 I must, perforce. Farewell.
Exit Clarence, ⌜Brakenbury, and guard.⌝
0121 Go tread the path that thou shalt ne’er return.
0122 Simple, plain Clarence, I do love thee so
0123 That I will shortly send thy soul to heaven,
0124 If heaven will take the present at our hands.
0125 125 But who comes here? The new-delivered Hastings?
Enter Lord Hastings.
0126 Good time of day unto my gracious lord.
0127 As much unto my good Lord Chamberlain.
0128 Well are you welcome to ⟨the⟩ open air.
0129 How hath your Lordship brooked imprisonment?
0130 130 With patience, noble lord, as prisoners must.
0131 But I shall live, my lord, to give them thanks
0132 That were the cause of my imprisonment.
0133 No doubt, no doubt; and so shall Clarence too,
0134 For they that were your enemies are his
0135 135 And have prevailed as much on him as you.
0136 More pity that the eagles should be mewed,
0137 Whiles kites and buzzards ⟨prey⟩ at liberty.
RICHARD 0138 What news abroad?
0139 No news so bad abroad as this at home:
0141 And his physicians fear him mightily.
0142 Now, by Saint John, that news is bad indeed.
0143 O, he hath kept an evil diet long,
0144 And overmuch consumed his royal person.
0145 145 ’Tis very grievous to be thought upon.
0146 Where is he, in his bed?
HASTINGS 0147 He is.
0148 Go you before, and I will follow you.
0149 He cannot live, I hope, and must not die
0150 150 Till George be packed with post-horse up to heaven.
0151 I’ll in to urge his hatred more to Clarence
0152 With lies well steeled with weighty arguments,
0153 And, if I fail not in my deep intent,
0154 Clarence hath not another day to live;
0155 155 Which done, God take King Edward to His mercy,
0156 And leave the world for me to bustle in.
0157 For then I’ll marry Warwick’s youngest daughter.
0158 What though I killed her husband and her father?
0159 The readiest way to make the wench amends
0160 160 Is to become her husband and her father;
0161 The which will I, not all so much for love
0162 As for another secret close intent
0163 By marrying her which I must reach unto.
0164 But yet I run before my horse to market.
0165 165 Clarence still breathes; Edward still lives and reigns.
0166 When they are gone, then must I count my gains.
Halberds to guard it, Lady Anne being the mourner,
⌜accompanied by Gentlemen.⌝
0167 Set down, set down your honorable load,
0168 If honor may be shrouded in a hearse,
0169 Whilst I awhile obsequiously lament
0170 Th’ untimely fall of virtuous Lancaster.
⌜They set down the bier.⌝
0171 5 Poor key-cold figure of a holy king,
0172 Pale ashes of the house of Lancaster,
0173 Thou bloodless remnant of that royal blood,
0174 Be it lawful that I invocate thy ghost
0175 To hear the lamentations of poor Anne,
0176 10 Wife to thy Edward, to thy slaughtered son,
0177 Stabbed by the selfsame hand that made these
0179 Lo, in these windows that let forth thy life
0180 I pour the helpless balm of my poor eyes.
0181 15 O, cursèd be the hand that made these holes;
0182 Cursèd the heart that had the heart to do it;
0183 Cursèd the blood that let this blood from hence.
0184 More direful hap betide that hated wretch
0185 That makes us wretched by the death of thee
0186 20 Than I can wish to wolves, to spiders, toads,
0187 Or any creeping venomed thing that lives.
0188 If ever he have child, abortive be it,
0189 Prodigious, and untimely brought to light,
0190 Whose ugly and unnatural aspect
0191 25 May fright the hopeful mother at the view,
0192 And that be heir to his unhappiness.
0193 If ever he have wife, let her be made
0194 More miserable by the death of him
0195 Than I am made by my young lord and thee.—
0197 Taken from Paul’s to be interrèd there.
⌜They take up the bier.⌝
0198 And still, as you are weary of this weight,
0199 Rest you, whiles I lament King Henry’s corse.
Enter Richard, Duke of Gloucester.
0200 Stay, you that bear the corse, and set it down.
0201 35 What black magician conjures up this fiend
0202 To stop devoted charitable deeds?
0203 Villains, set down the corse or, by Saint Paul,
0204 I’ll make a corse of him that disobeys.
0205 My lord, stand back and let the coffin pass.
0206 40 Unmannered dog, ⟨stand⟩ thou when I command!—
0207 Advance thy halberd higher than my breast,
0208 Or by Saint Paul I’ll strike thee to my foot
0209 And spurn upon thee, beggar, for thy boldness.
⌜They set down the bier.⌝
ANNE, ⌜to the Gentlemen and Halberds⌝
0210 What, do you tremble? Are you all afraid?
0211 45 Alas, I blame you not, for you are mortal,
0212 And mortal eyes cannot endure the devil.—
0213 Avaunt, thou dreadful minister of hell.
0214 Thou hadst but power over his mortal body;
0215 His soul thou canst not have. Therefore begone.
0216 50 Sweet saint, for charity, be not so curst.
0217 Foul devil, for God’s sake, hence, and trouble us
0219 For thou hast made the happy Earth thy hell,
0221 55 If thou delight to view thy heinous deeds,
0222 Behold this pattern of thy butcheries.
⌜She points to the corpse.⌝
0223 O, gentlemen, see, see dead Henry’s wounds
0224 Open their congealed mouths and bleed afresh!—
0225 Blush, blush, thou lump of foul deformity,
0226 60 For ’tis thy presence that exhales this blood
0227 From cold and empty veins where no blood dwells.
0228 Thy deeds, inhuman and unnatural,
0229 Provokes this deluge most unnatural.—
0230 O God, which this blood mad’st, revenge his death!
0231 65 O Earth, which this blood drink’st, revenge his
0233 Either heaven with lightning strike the murderer
0235 Or Earth gape open wide and eat him quick,
0236 70 As thou dost swallow up this good king’s blood,
0237 Which his hell-governed arm hath butcherèd.
0238 Lady, you know no rules of charity,
0239 Which renders good for bad, blessings for curses.
0240 Villain, thou know’st nor law of God nor man.
0241 75 No beast so fierce but knows some touch of pity.
0242 But I know none, and therefore am no beast.
0243 O, wonderful, when devils tell the truth!
0244 More wonderful, when angels are so angry.
0245 Vouchsafe, divine perfection of a woman,
0246 80 Of these supposèd crimes to give me leave
0247 By circumstance but to acquit myself.
0248 Vouchsafe, defused infection of ⟨a⟩ man,
0250 By circumstance to curse thy cursèd self.
0251 85 Fairer than tongue can name thee, let me have
0252 Some patient leisure to excuse myself.
0253 Fouler than heart can think thee, thou canst make
0254 No excuse current but to hang thyself.
0255 By such despair I should accuse myself.
0256 90 And by despairing shalt thou stand excused
0257 For doing worthy vengeance on thyself
0258 That didst unworthy slaughter upon others.
RICHARD 0259 Say that I slew them not.
ANNE 0260 Then say they were not slain.
0261 95 But dead they are, and, devilish slave, by thee.
RICHARD 0262 I did not kill your husband.
ANNE 0263 Why then, he is alive.
0264 Nay, he is dead, and slain by Edward’s hands.
0265 In thy foul throat thou liest. Queen Margaret saw
0266 100 Thy murd’rous falchion smoking in his blood,
0267 The which thou once didst bend against her breast,
0268 But that thy brothers beat aside the point.
0269 I was provokèd by her sland’rous tongue,
0270 That laid their guilt upon my guiltless shoulders.
0271 105 Thou wast provokèd by thy bloody mind,
0272 That never dream’st on aught but butcheries.
0273 Didst thou not kill this king?
RICHARD 0274 I grant you.
0275 Dost grant me, hedgehog? Then, God grant me too
0277 O, he was gentle, mild, and virtuous.
0278 The better for the King of heaven that hath him.
0279 He is in heaven, where thou shalt never come.
0280 Let him thank me, that holp to send him thither,
0281 115 For he was fitter for that place than Earth.
0282 And thou unfit for any place but hell.
0283 Yes, one place else, if you will hear me name it.
ANNE 0284 Some dungeon.
RICHARD 0285 Your bedchamber.
0286 120 Ill rest betide the chamber where thou liest!
0287 So will it, madam, till I lie with you.
0288 I hope so.
RICHARD 0289 I know so. But, gentle Lady Anne,
0290 To leave this keen encounter of our wits
0291 125 And fall something into a slower method:
0292 Is not the causer of the timeless deaths
0293 Of these Plantagenets, Henry and Edward,
0294 As blameful as the executioner?
0295 Thou wast the cause and most accursed effect.
0296 130 Your beauty was the cause of that effect—
0297 Your beauty, that did haunt me in my sleep
0298 To undertake the death of all the world,
0299 So I might live one hour in your sweet bosom.
0300 If I thought that, I tell thee, homicide,
0303 These eyes could not endure that beauty’s wrack.
0304 You should not blemish it, if I stood by.
0305 As all the world is cheerèd by the sun,
0306 140 So I by that. It is my day, my life.
0307 Black night o’ershade thy day, and death thy life.
0308 Curse not thyself, fair creature; thou art both.
0309 I would I were, to be revenged on thee.
0310 It is a quarrel most unnatural
0311 145 To be revenged on him that loveth thee.
0312 It is a quarrel just and reasonable
0313 To be revenged on him that killed my husband.
0314 He that bereft thee, lady, of thy husband
0315 Did it to help thee to a better husband.
0316 150 His better doth not breathe upon the earth.
0317 He lives that loves thee better than he could.
0318 Name him.
RICHARD 0319 Plantagenet.
ANNE 0320 Why, that was he.
0321 155 The selfsame name, but one of better nature.
0322 Where is he?
RICHARD 0323 Here. (⟨She⟩ spits at him.) Why dost
0324 thou spit at me?
0325 Would it were mortal poison for thy sake.
0326 160 Never came poison from so sweet a place.
0327 Never hung poison on a fouler toad.
0328 Out of my sight! Thou dost infect mine eyes.
0329 Thine eyes, sweet lady, have infected mine.
0330 Would they were basilisks’ to strike thee dead.
0331 165 I would they were, that I might die at once,
0332 For now they kill me with a living death.
0333 Those eyes of thine from mine have drawn salt
0335 Shamed their aspects with store of childish drops.
0336 170 These eyes, which never shed remorseful tear—
0337 No, when my father York and Edward wept
0338 To hear the piteous moan that Rutland made
0339 When black-faced Clifford shook his sword at him;
0340 Nor when thy warlike father, like a child,
0341 175 Told the sad story of my father’s death
0342 And twenty times made pause to sob and weep,
0343 That all the standers-by had wet their cheeks
0344 Like trees bedashed with rain—in that sad time,
0345 My manly eyes did scorn an humble tear;
0346 180 And what these sorrows could not thence exhale
0347 Thy beauty hath, and made them blind with
0349 I never sued to friend nor enemy;
0350 My tongue could never learn sweet smoothing word.
0351 185 But now thy beauty is proposed my fee,
0352 My proud heart sues and prompts my tongue to
0353 speak.She looks scornfully at him.
0354 Teach not thy lip such scorn, for it was made
0356 190 If thy revengeful heart cannot forgive,
0357 Lo, here I lend thee this sharp-pointed sword,
0358 Which if thou please to hide in this true breast
0359 And let the soul forth that adoreth thee,
0360 I lay it naked to the deadly stroke
0361 195 And humbly beg the death upon my knee.
He ⌜kneels and⌝ lays his breast open;
she offers at ⌜it⌝ with his sword.
0362 Nay, do not pause, for I did kill King Henry—
0363 But ’twas thy beauty that provokèd me.
0364 Nay, now dispatch; ’twas I that stabbed young
0366 200 But ’twas thy heavenly face that set me on.
She falls the sword.
0367 Take up the sword again, or take up me.
0368 Arise, dissembler. Though I wish thy death,
0369 I will not be thy executioner.
0370 Then bid me kill myself, and I will do it.
0371 205 I have already.
RICHARD 0372 That was in thy rage.
0373 Speak it again and, even with the word,
0374 This hand, which for thy love did kill thy love,
0375 Shall for thy love kill a far truer love.
0376 210 To both their deaths shalt thou be accessory.
ANNE 0377 I would I knew thy heart.
RICHARD 0378 ’Tis figured in my tongue.
ANNE 0379 I fear me both are false.
RICHARD 0380 Then never ⟨was man⟩ true.
ANNE 0381 215Well, well, put up your sword.
RICHARD 0382 Say then my peace is made.
ANNE 0383 That shalt thou know hereafter.
RICHARD 0384 But shall I live in hope?
⟨RICHARD⟩ 0386 220Vouchsafe to wear this ring.
⟨ANNE 0387 To take is not to give.⟩
⌜He places the ring on her hand.⌝
0388 Look how my ring encompasseth thy finger;
0389 Even so thy breast encloseth my poor heart.
0390 Wear both of them, for both of them are thine.
0391 225 And if thy poor devoted servant may
0392 But beg one favor at thy gracious hand,
0393 Thou dost confirm his happiness forever.
ANNE 0394 What is it?
0395 That it may please you leave these sad designs
0396 230 To him that hath most cause to be a mourner,
0397 And presently repair to Crosby House,
0398 Where, after I have solemnly interred
0399 At Chertsey monast’ry this noble king
0400 And wet his grave with my repentant tears,
0401 235 I will with all expedient duty see you.
0402 For divers unknown reasons, I beseech you,
0403 Grant me this boon.
0404 With all my heart, and much it joys me too
0405 To see you are become so penitent.—
0406 240 Tressel and Berkeley, go along with me.
0407 Bid me farewell.
ANNE 0408 ’Tis more than you deserve;
0409 But since you teach me how to flatter you,
0410 Imagine I have said “farewell” already.
Two exit with Anne. ⌜The bier is taken up.⌝
GENTLEMAN 0411 245Towards Chertsey, noble lord?
0412 No, to Whitefriars. There attend my coming.
⌜Halberds and gentlemen⌝ exit ⌜with⌝ corse.
0414 Was ever woman in this humor won?
0415 I’ll have her, but I will not keep her long.
0416 250 What, I that killed her husband and his father,
0417 To take her in her heart’s extremest hate,
0418 With curses in her mouth, tears in her eyes,
0419 The bleeding witness of my hatred by,
0420 Having God, her conscience, and these bars against
0421 255 me,
0422 And I no friends to back my suit ⟨at all⟩
0423 But the plain devil and dissembling looks?
0424 And yet to win her, all the world to nothing!
0426 260 Hath she forgot already that brave prince,
0427 Edward, her lord, whom I some three months since
0428 Stabbed in my angry mood at Tewkesbury?
0429 A sweeter and a lovelier gentleman,
0430 Framed in the prodigality of nature,
0431 265 Young, valiant, wise, and, no doubt, right royal,
0432 The spacious world cannot again afford.
0433 And will she yet abase her eyes on me,
0434 That cropped the golden prime of this sweet prince
0435 And made her widow to a woeful bed?
0436 270 On me, whose all not equals Edward’s moiety?
0437 On me, that halts and am misshapen thus?
0438 My dukedom to a beggarly denier,
0439 I do mistake my person all this while!
0440 Upon my life, she finds, although I cannot,
0441 275 Myself to be a marv’lous proper man.
0442 I’ll be at charges for a looking glass
0443 And entertain a score or two of tailors
0444 To study fashions to adorn my body.
0445 Since I am crept in favor with myself,
0446 280 I will maintain it with some little cost.
0447 But first I’ll turn yon fellow in his grave
0449 Shine out, fair sun, till I have bought a glass,
0450 That I may see my shadow as I pass.
Lord Rivers, and Lord Grey.
0451 Have patience, madam. There’s no doubt his
0453 Will soon recover his accustomed health.
0454 In that you brook it ill, it makes him worse.
0455 5 Therefore, for God’s sake, entertain good comfort
0456 And cheer his Grace with quick and merry eyes.
0457 If he were dead, what would betide on me?
0458 No other harm but loss of such a lord.
0459 The loss of such a lord includes all harms.
0460 10 The heavens have blessed you with a goodly son
0461 To be your comforter when he is gone.
0462 Ah, he is young, and his minority
0463 Is put unto the trust of Richard Gloucester,
0464 A man that loves not me nor none of you.
0465 15 Is it concluded he shall be Protector?
0466 It is determined, not concluded yet;
0467 But so it must be if the King miscarry.
0468 Here comes the lord of Buckingham, and Derby.
BUCKINGHAM, ⌜to Queen Elizabeth⌝
0469 Good time of day unto your royal Grace.
0470 20 God make your Majesty joyful, as you have been.
0471 The Countess Richmond, good my lord of Derby,
0472 To your good prayer will scarcely say amen.
0473 Yet, Derby, notwithstanding she’s your wife
0474 And loves not me, be you, good lord, assured
0475 25 I hate not you for her proud arrogance.
0476 I do beseech you either not believe
0477 The envious slanders of her false accusers,
0478 Or if she be accused on true report,
0479 Bear with her weakness, which I think proceeds
0480 30 From wayward sickness and no grounded malice.
0481 Saw you the King today, my lord of Derby?
0482 But now the Duke of Buckingham and I
0483 Are come from visiting his Majesty.
0484 What likelihood of his amendment, lords?
0485 35 Madam, good hope. His Grace speaks cheerfully.
0486 God grant him health. Did you confer with him?
0487 Ay, madam. He desires to make atonement
0488 Between the Duke of Gloucester and your brothers,
0489 And between them and my Lord Chamberlain,
0490 40 And sent to warn them to his royal presence.
0491 Would all were well—but that will never be.
0492 I fear our happiness is at the height.
Enter Richard, ⌜Duke of Gloucester, and Hastings.⌝
0493 They do me wrong, and I will not endure it!
0494 Who is it that complains unto the King
0495 45 That I, forsooth, am stern and love them not?
0496 By holy Paul, they love his Grace but lightly
0497 That fill his ears with such dissentious rumors.
0498 Because I cannot flatter and look fair,
0499 Smile in men’s faces, smooth, deceive, and cog,
0500 50 Duck with French nods and apish courtesy,
0501 I must be held a rancorous enemy.
0502 Cannot a plain man live and think no harm,
0503 But thus his simple truth must be abused
0504 With silken, sly, insinuating Jacks?
0505 55 To who in all this presence speaks your Grace?
0506 To thee, that hast nor honesty nor grace.
0507 When have I injured thee? When done thee
0509 Or thee?—Or thee? Or any of your faction?
0510 60 A plague upon you all! His royal Grace,
0511 Whom God preserve better than you would wish,
0512 Cannot be quiet scarce a breathing while
0513 But you must trouble him with lewd complaints.
0514 Brother of Gloucester, you mistake the matter.
0515 65 The King, on his own royal disposition,
0516 And not provoked by any suitor else,
0517 Aiming belike at your interior hatred
0518 That in your outward action shows itself
0519 Against my children, brothers, and myself,
0520 70 Makes him to send, that he may learn the ground.
0521 I cannot tell. The world is grown so bad
0522 That wrens make prey where eagles dare not perch.
0523 Since every Jack became a gentleman,
0524 There’s many a gentle person made a Jack.
0525 75 Come, come, we know your meaning, brother
0527 You envy my advancement, and my friends’.
0528 God grant we never may have need of you.
0529 Meantime God grants that ⟨we⟩ have need of
0530 80 you.
0531 Our brother is imprisoned by your means,
0532 Myself disgraced, and the nobility
0533 Held in contempt, while great promotions
0534 Are daily given to ennoble those
0535 85 That scarce some two days since were worth a
0537 By Him that raised me to this careful height
0538 From that contented hap which I enjoyed,
0539 I never did incense his Majesty
0540 90 Against the Duke of Clarence, but have been
0541 An earnest advocate to plead for him.
0542 My lord, you do me shameful injury
0543 Falsely to draw me in these vile suspects.
0544 You may deny that you were not the mean
0545 95 Of my Lord Hastings’ late imprisonment.
RIVERS 0546 She may, my lord, for—
0547 She may, Lord Rivers. Why, who knows not so?
0548 She may do more, sir, than denying that.
0549 She may help you to many fair preferments
0551 And lay those honors on your high desert.
0552 What may she not? She may, ay, marry, may she—
RIVERS 0553 What, marry, may she?
0554 What, marry, may she? Marry with a king,
0555 105 A bachelor, and a handsome stripling too.
0556 Iwis, your grandam had a worser match.
0557 My lord of Gloucester, I have too long borne
0558 Your blunt upbraidings and your bitter scoffs.
0559 By heaven, I will acquaint his Majesty
0560 110 Of those gross taunts that oft I have endured.
0561 I had rather be a country servant-maid
0562 Than a great queen with this condition,
0563 To be so baited, scorned, and stormèd at.
Enter old Queen Margaret, ⌜apart from the others.⌝
0564 Small joy have I in being England’s queen.
QUEEN MARGARET, ⌜aside⌝
0565 115 And lessened be that small, God I beseech Him!
0566 Thy honor, state, and seat is due to me.
RICHARD, ⌜to Queen Elizabeth⌝
0567 What, threat you me with telling of the King?
0568 ⟨Tell him and spare not. Look, what I have said,⟩
0569 I will avouch ’t in presence of the King;
0570 120 I dare adventure to be sent to th’ Tower.
0571 ’Tis time to speak. My pains are quite forgot.
QUEEN MARGARET, ⌜aside⌝
0572 Out, devil! I do remember them too well:
0573 Thou killed’st my husband Henry in the Tower,
0574 And Edward, my poor son, at Tewkesbury.
RICHARD, ⌜to Queen Elizabeth⌝
0575 125 Ere you were queen, ay, or your husband king,
0576 I was a packhorse in his great affairs,
0577 A weeder-out of his proud adversaries,
0579 To royalize his blood, I spent mine own.
QUEEN MARGARET, ⌜aside⌝
0580 130 Ay, and much better blood than his or thine.
RICHARD, ⌜to Queen Elizabeth⌝
0581 In all which time, you and your husband Grey
0582 Were factious for the House of Lancaster.—
0583 And, Rivers, so were you.—Was not your husband
0584 In Margaret’s battle at Saint Albans slain?
0585 135 Let me put in your minds, if you forget,
0586 What you have been ere this, and what you are;
0587 Withal, what I have been, and what I am.
QUEEN MARGARET, ⌜aside⌝
0588 A murd’rous villain, and so still thou art.
RICHARD, ⌜to Queen Elizabeth⌝
0589 Poor Clarence did forsake his father Warwick,
0590 140 Ay, and forswore himself—which Jesu pardon!—
QUEEN MARGARET, ⌜aside⌝ 0591 Which God revenge!
0592 To fight on Edward’s party for the crown;
0593 And for his meed, poor lord, he is mewed up.
0594 I would to God my heart were flint, like Edward’s,
0595 145 Or Edward’s soft and pitiful, like mine.
0596 I am too childish-foolish for this world.
QUEEN MARGARET, ⌜aside⌝
0597 Hie thee to hell for shame, and leave this world,
0598 Thou cacodemon! There thy kingdom is.
0599 My lord of Gloucester, in those busy days
0600 150 Which here you urge to prove us enemies,
0601 We followed then our lord, our sovereign king.
0602 So should we you, if you should be our king.
0603 If I should be? I had rather be a peddler.
0604 Far be it from my heart, the thought thereof.
0605 155 As little joy, my lord, as you suppose
0606 You should enjoy were you this country’s king,
0607 As little joy you may suppose in me
0608 That I enjoy, being the queen thereof.
QUEEN MARGARET, ⌜aside⌝
0609 ⌜As⌝ little joy enjoys the queen thereof,
0610 160 For I am she, and altogether joyless.
0611 I can no longer hold me patient.
⌜She steps forward.⌝
0612 Hear me, you wrangling pirates, that fall out
0613 In sharing that which you have pilled from me!
0614 Which of you trembles not that looks on me?
0615 165 If not, that I am queen, you bow like subjects,
0616 Yet that, by you deposed, you quake like rebels.—
0617 Ah, gentle villain, do not turn away.
0618 Foul, wrinkled witch, what mak’st thou in my
0620 170 But repetition of what thou hast marred.
0621 That will I make before I let thee go.
0622 Wert thou not banishèd on pain of death?
0623 I was, but I do find more pain in banishment
0624 Than death can yield me here by my abode.
0625 175 A husband and a son thou ow’st to me;
0626 ⌜To Queen Elizabeth.⌝ And thou a kingdom;—all
0627 of you, allegiance.
0628 This sorrow that I have by right is yours,
0629 And all the pleasures you usurp are mine.
0630 180 The curse my noble father laid on thee
0631 When thou didst crown his warlike brows with
0634 And then, to dry them, gav’st the Duke a clout
0635 185 Steeped in the faultless blood of pretty Rutland—
0636 His curses then, from bitterness of soul
0637 Denounced against thee, are all fall’n upon thee,
0638 And God, not we, hath plagued thy bloody deed.
0639 So just is God to right the innocent.
0640 190 O, ’twas the foulest deed to slay that babe,
0641 And the most merciless that e’er was heard of!
0642 Tyrants themselves wept when it was reported.
0643 No man but prophesied revenge for it.
0644 Northumberland, then present, wept to see it.
0645 195 What, were you snarling all before I came,
0646 Ready to catch each other by the throat,
0647 And turn you all your hatred now on me?
0648 Did York’s dread curse prevail so much with
0650 200 That Henry’s death, my lovely Edward’s death,
0651 Their kingdom’s loss, my woeful banishment,
0652 Should all but answer for that peevish brat?
0653 Can curses pierce the clouds and enter heaven?
0654 Why then, give way, dull clouds, to my quick
0655 205 curses!
0656 Though not by war, by surfeit die your king,
0657 As ours by murder to make him a king.
0658 ⌜To Queen Elizabeth.⌝ Edward thy son, that now is
0659 Prince of Wales,
0660 210 For Edward our son, that was Prince of Wales,
0661 Die in his youth by like untimely violence.
0662 Thyself a queen, for me that was a queen,
0664 Long mayst thou live to wail thy children’s death
0665 215 And see another, as I see thee now,
0666 Decked in thy rights, as thou art stalled in mine.
0667 Long die thy happy days before thy death,
0668 And, after many lengthened hours of grief,
0669 Die neither mother, wife, nor England’s queen.—
0670 220 Rivers and Dorset, you were standers-by,
0671 And so wast thou, Lord Hastings, when my son
0672 Was stabbed with bloody daggers. God I pray Him
0673 That none of you may live his natural age,
0674 But by some unlooked accident cut off.
0675 225 Have done thy charm, thou hateful, withered hag.
0676 And leave out thee? Stay, dog, for thou shalt hear
0678 If heaven have any grievous plague in store
0679 Exceeding those that I can wish upon thee,
0680 230 O, let them keep it till thy sins be ripe
0681 And then hurl down their indignation
0682 On thee, the troubler of the poor world’s peace.
0683 The worm of conscience still begnaw thy soul.
0684 Thy friends suspect for traitors while thou liv’st,
0685 235 And take deep traitors for thy dearest friends.
0686 No sleep close up that deadly eye of thine,
0687 Unless it be while some tormenting dream
0688 Affrights thee with a hell of ugly devils.
0689 Thou elvish-marked, abortive, rooting hog,
0690 240 Thou that wast sealed in thy nativity
0691 The slave of nature and the son of hell,
0692 Thou slander of thy heavy mother’s womb,
0693 Thou loathèd issue of thy father’s loins,
0694 Thou rag of honor, thou detested—
RICHARD 0695 245 Margaret.
RICHARD 0697 Ha?
QUEEN MARGARET 0698 I call thee not.
0699 I cry thee mercy, then, for I did think
0700 250 That thou hadst called me all these bitter names.
0701 Why, so I did, but looked for no reply.
0702 O, let me make the period to my curse!
0703 ’Tis done by me and ends in “Margaret.”
QUEEN ELIZABETH, ⌜to Queen Margaret⌝
0704 Thus have you breathed your curse against yourself.
0705 255 Poor painted queen, vain flourish of my fortune,
0706 Why strew’st thou sugar on that bottled spider,
0707 Whose deadly web ensnareth thee about?
0708 Fool, fool, thou whet’st a knife to kill thyself.
0709 The day will come that thou shalt wish for me
0710 260 To help thee curse this poisonous bunch-backed
0712 False-boding woman, end thy frantic curse,
0713 Lest to thy harm thou move our patience.
0714 Foul shame upon you, you have all moved mine.
0715 265 Were you well served, you would be taught your
0717 To serve me well, you all should do me duty:
0718 Teach me to be your queen, and you my subjects.
0719 O, serve me well, and teach yourselves that duty!
DORSET, ⌜to Rivers⌝
0720 270 Dispute not with her; she is lunatic.
0721 Peace, Master Marquess, you are malapert.
0722 Your fire-new stamp of honor is scarce current.
0723 O, that your young nobility could judge
0724 What ’twere to lose it and be miserable!
0725 275 They that stand high have many blasts to shake
0727 And if they fall, they dash themselves to pieces.
0728 Good counsel, marry.—Learn it, learn it, marquess.
0729 It touches you, my lord, as much as me.
0730 280 Ay, and much more; but I was born so high.
0731 Our aerie buildeth in the cedar’s top,
0732 And dallies with the wind and scorns the sun.
0733 And turns the sun to shade. Alas, alas,
0734 Witness my son, now in the shade of death,
0735 285 Whose bright out-shining beams thy cloudy wrath
0736 Hath in eternal darkness folded up.
0737 Your aerie buildeth in our aerie’s nest.
0738 O God, that seest it, do not suffer it!
0739 As it is won with blood, lost be it so.
0740 290 Peace, peace, for shame, if not for charity.
0741 Urge neither charity nor shame to me.
0742 ⌜Addressing the others.⌝ Uncharitably with me have
0743 you dealt,
0744 And shamefully my hopes by you are butchered.
0745 295 My charity is outrage, life my shame,
0746 And in that shame still live my sorrows’ rage.
BUCKINGHAM 0747 Have done, have done.
0748 O princely Buckingham, I’ll kiss thy hand
0750 300 Now fair befall thee and thy noble house!
0751 Thy garments are not spotted with our blood,
0752 Nor thou within the compass of my curse.
0753 Nor no one here, for curses never pass
0754 The lips of those that breathe them in the air.
0755 305 I will not think but they ascend the sky,
0756 And there awake God’s gentle sleeping peace.
0757 ⌜Aside to Buckingham.⌝ O Buckingham, take heed of
0758 yonder dog!
0759 Look when he fawns, he bites; and when he bites,
0760 310 His venom tooth will rankle to the death.
0761 Have not to do with him. Beware of him.
0762 Sin, death, and hell have set their marks on him,
0763 And all their ministers attend on him.
0764 What doth she say, my lord of Buckingham?
0765 315 Nothing that I respect, my gracious lord.
0766 What, dost thou scorn me for my gentle counsel,
0767 And soothe the devil that I warn thee from?
0768 O, but remember this another day,
0769 When he shall split thy very heart with sorrow,
0770 320 And say poor Margaret was a prophetess.—
0771 Live each of you the subjects to his hate,
0772 And he to yours, and all of you to God’s.She exits.
0773 My hair doth stand an end to hear her curses.
0774 And so doth mine. I muse why she’s at liberty.
0775 325 I cannot blame her. By God’s holy mother,
0777 My part thereof that I have done to her.
0778 I never did her any, to my knowledge.
0779 Yet you have all the vantage of her wrong.
0780 330 I was too hot to do somebody good
0781 That is too cold in thinking of it now.
0782 Marry, as for Clarence, he is well repaid;
0783 He is franked up to fatting for his pains.
0784 God pardon them that are the cause thereof.
0785 335 A virtuous and a Christian-like conclusion
0786 To pray for them that have done scathe to us.
0787 So do I ever—(speaks to himself) being well advised,
0788 For had I cursed now, I had cursed myself.
0789 Madam, his Majesty doth call for you,—
0790 340 And for your Grace,—and yours, my gracious
0792 Catesby, I come.—Lords, will you go with me?
RIVERS 0793 We wait upon your Grace.
All but ⌜Richard, Duke of⌝ Gloucester exit.
0794 I do the wrong and first begin to brawl.
0795 345 The secret mischiefs that I set abroach
0796 I lay unto the grievous charge of others.
0797 Clarence, who I indeed have cast in darkness,
0798 I do beweep to many simple gulls,
0799 Namely, to Derby, Hastings, Buckingham,
0800 350 And tell them ’tis the Queen and her allies
0801 That stir the King against the Duke my brother.
0803 To be revenged on Rivers, Dorset, Grey;
0804 But then I sigh and, with a piece of scripture,
0805 355 Tell them that God bids us do good for evil;
0806 And thus I clothe my naked villainy
0807 With odd old ends stol’n forth of Holy Writ,
0808 And seem a saint when most I play the devil.
Enter two Murderers.
0809 But soft, here come my executioners.—
0810 360 How now, my hardy, stout, resolvèd mates?
0811 Are you now going to dispatch this thing?
0812 We are, my lord, and come to have the warrant
0813 That we may be admitted where he is.
0814 Well thought upon. I have it here about me.
⌜He gives a paper.⌝
0815 365 When you have done, repair to Crosby Place.
0816 But, sirs, be sudden in the execution,
0817 Withal obdurate; do not hear him plead,
0818 For Clarence is well-spoken and perhaps
0819 May move your hearts to pity if you mark him.
0820 370 Tut, tut, my lord, we will not stand to prate.
0821 Talkers are no good doers. Be assured
0822 We go to use our hands and not our tongues.
0823 Your eyes drop millstones when fools’ eyes fall
0825 375 I like you lads. About your business straight.
0826 Go, go, dispatch.
⌜MURDERERS⌝ 0827 We will, my noble lord.
0828 Why looks your Grace so heavily today?
0829 O, I have passed a miserable night,
0830 So full of fearful dreams, of ugly sights,
0831 That, as I am a Christian faithful man,
0832 5 I would not spend another such a night
0833 Though ’twere to buy a world of happy days,
0834 So full of dismal terror was the time.
0835 What was your dream, my lord? I pray you tell me.
0836 Methoughts that I had broken from the Tower
0837 10 And was embarked to cross to Burgundy,
0838 And in my company my brother Gloucester,
0839 Who from my cabin tempted me to walk
0840 Upon the hatches. ⟨Thence⟩ we looked toward
0842 15 And cited up a thousand heavy times,
0843 During the wars of York and Lancaster,
0844 That had befall’n us. As we paced along
0845 Upon the giddy footing of the hatches,
0846 Methought that Gloucester stumbled, and in falling
0847 20 Struck me, that thought to stay him, overboard
0848 Into the tumbling billows of the main.
0849 O Lord, methought what pain it was to drown,
0850 What dreadful noise of ⟨waters⟩ in ⟨my⟩ ears,
0851 What sights of ugly death within ⟨my⟩ eyes.
0852 25 Methoughts I saw a thousand fearful wracks,
0853 A thousand men that fishes gnawed upon,
0854 Wedges of gold, great anchors, heaps of pearl,
0855 Inestimable stones, unvalued jewels,
0856 All scattered in the bottom of the sea.
0858 Where eyes did once inhabit, there were crept—
0859 As ’twere in scorn of eyes—reflecting gems,
0860 That wooed the slimy bottom of the deep
0861 And mocked the dead bones that lay scattered by.
0862 35 Had you such leisure in the time of death
0863 To gaze upon these secrets of the deep?
0864 Methought I had, and often did I strive
0865 To yield the ghost, but still the envious flood
0866 Stopped in my soul and would not let it forth
0867 40 To find the empty, vast, and wand’ring air,
0868 But smothered it within my panting bulk,
0869 Who almost burst to belch it in the sea.
0870 Awaked you not in this sore agony?
0871 No, no, my dream was lengthened after life.
0872 45 O, then began the tempest to my soul.
0873 I passed, methought, the melancholy flood,
0874 With that sour ferryman which poets write of,
0875 Unto the kingdom of perpetual night.
0876 The first that there did greet my stranger-soul
0877 50 Was my great father-in-law, renownèd Warwick,
0878 Who spake aloud “What scourge for perjury
0879 Can this dark monarchy afford false Clarence?”
0880 And so he vanished. Then came wand’ring by
0881 A shadow like an angel, with bright hair
0882 55 Dabbled in blood, and he shrieked out aloud
0883 “Clarence is come—false, fleeting, perjured
0885 That stabbed me in the field by Tewkesbury.
0886 Seize on him, furies. Take him unto torment.”
0887 60 With that, ⟨methoughts,⟩ a legion of foul fiends
0889 Such hideous cries that with the very noise
0890 I trembling waked, and for a season after
0891 Could not believe but that I was in hell,
0892 65 Such terrible impression made my dream.
0893 No marvel, lord, though it affrighted you.
0894 I am afraid, methinks, to hear you tell it.
0895 Ah keeper, keeper, I have done these things,
0896 That now give evidence against my soul,
0897 70 For Edward’s sake, and see how he requites me.—
0898 O God, if my deep prayers cannot appease thee,
0899 But thou wilt be avenged on my misdeeds,
0900 Yet execute thy wrath in me alone!
0901 O, spare my guiltless wife and my poor children!—
0902 75 Keeper, I prithee sit by me awhile.
0903 My soul is heavy, and I fain would sleep.
0904 I will, my lord. God give your Grace good rest.
Enter Brakenbury the Lieutenant.
0905 Sorrow breaks seasons and reposing hours,
0906 Makes the night morning, and the noontide night.
0907 80 Princes have but their titles for their glories,
0908 An outward honor for an inward toil,
0909 And, for unfelt imaginations,
0910 They often feel a world of restless cares,
0911 So that between their titles and low name
0912 85 There’s nothing differs but the outward fame.
Enter two Murderers.
FIRST MURDERER 0913 Ho, who’s here?
0914 What wouldst thou, fellow? And how cam’st thou
SECOND MURDERER 0916 I would speak with Clarence, and I
0917 90 came hither on my legs.
BRAKENBURY 0918 What, so brief?
FIRST MURDERER 0919 ’Tis better, sir, than to be tedious.—
0920 Let him see our commission, and talk no more.
⌜Brakenbury⌝ reads ⌜the commission.⌝
0921 I am in this commanded to deliver
0922 95 The noble Duke of Clarence to your hands.
0923 I will not reason what is meant hereby
0924 Because I will be guiltless from the meaning.
0925 There lies the Duke asleep, and there the keys.
⌜He hands them keys.⌝
0926 I’ll to the King and signify to him
0927 100 That thus I have resigned to you my charge.
FIRST MURDERER 0928 You may, sir. ’Tis a point of wisdom.
0929 Fare you well.
⌜Brakenbury and the Keeper⌝ exit.
SECOND MURDERER 0930 What, shall ⟨I⟩ stab him as he
FIRST MURDERER 0932 105No. He’ll say ’twas done cowardly,
0933 when he wakes.
SECOND MURDERER 0934 Why, he shall never wake until the
0935 great Judgment Day.
FIRST MURDERER 0936 Why, then he’ll say we stabbed him
0937 110 sleeping.
SECOND MURDERER 0938 The urging of that word “judgment”
0939 hath bred a kind of remorse in me.
FIRST MURDERER 0940 What, art thou afraid?
SECOND MURDERER 0941 Not to kill him, having a warrant,
0942 115 but to be damned for killing him, from the which
0943 no warrant can defend me.
FIRST MURDERER 0944 I thought thou hadst been resolute.
FIRST MURDERER 0946 I’ll back to the Duke of Gloucester
0947 120 and tell him so.
SECOND MURDERER 0948 Nay, I prithee stay a little. I hope
0949 this passionate humor of mine will change. It was
0950 wont to hold me but while one tells twenty.
FIRST MURDERER 0951 How dost thou feel thyself now?
SECOND MURDERER 0952 125⟨Faith,⟩ some certain dregs of conscience
0953 are yet within me.
FIRST MURDERER 0954 Remember our reward when the
0955 deed’s done.
SECOND MURDERER 0956 ⟨Zounds,⟩ he dies! I had forgot the
0957 130 reward.
FIRST MURDERER 0958 Where’s thy conscience now?
SECOND MURDERER 0959 O, in the Duke of Gloucester’s
FIRST MURDERER 0961 When he opens his purse to give us
0962 135 our reward, thy conscience flies out.
SECOND MURDERER 0963 ’Tis no matter. Let it go. There’s
0964 few or none will entertain it.
FIRST MURDERER 0965 What if it come to thee again?
SECOND MURDERER 0966 I’ll not meddle with it. It makes a
0967 140 man a coward: a man cannot steal but it accuseth
0968 him; a man cannot swear but it checks him; a man
0969 cannot lie with his neighbor’s wife but it detects
0970 him. ’Tis a blushing, shamefaced spirit that mutinies
0971 in a man’s bosom. It fills a man full of
0972 145 obstacles. It made me once restore a purse of gold
0973 that by chance I found. It beggars any man that
0974 keeps it. It is turned out of towns and cities for a
0975 dangerous thing, and every man that means to live
0976 well endeavors to trust to himself and live without it.
FIRST MURDERER 0977 150⟨Zounds,⟩ ’tis even now at my elbow,
0978 persuading me not to kill the Duke.
SECOND MURDERER 0979 Take the devil in thy mind, and
0981 to make thee sigh.
FIRST MURDERER 0982 155I am strong-framed. He cannot prevail
0983 with me.
SECOND MURDERER 0984 Spoke like a tall man that respects
0985 thy reputation. Come, shall we fall to work?
FIRST MURDERER 0986 Take him on the costard with the
0987 160 hilts of thy sword, and then throw him into the
0988 malmsey butt in the next room.
SECOND MURDERER 0989 O, excellent device—and make a
0990 sop of him!
FIRST MURDERER 0991 Soft, he wakes.
SECOND MURDERER 0992 165Strike!
FIRST MURDERER 0993 No, we’ll reason with him.
0994 Where art thou, keeper? Give me a cup of wine.
0995 You shall have wine enough, my lord, anon.
0996 In God’s name, what art thou?
FIRST MURDERER 0997 170 A man, as you are.
CLARENCE 0998 But not, as I am, royal.
FIRST MURDERER 0999 Nor you, as we are, loyal.
1000 Thy voice is thunder, but thy looks are humble.
1001 My voice is now the King’s, my looks mine own.
1002 175 How darkly and how deadly dost thou speak!
1003 Your eyes do menace me. Why look you pale?
1004 Who sent you hither? Wherefore do you come?
SECOND MURDERER 1005 To, to, to—
CLARENCE 1006 To murder me?
BOTH 1007 180Ay, ay.
1008 You scarcely have the hearts to tell me so
1009 And therefore cannot have the hearts to do it.
1010 Wherein, my friends, have I offended you?
1011 Offended us you have not, but the King.
1012 185 I shall be reconciled to him again.
1013 Never, my lord. Therefore prepare to die.
1014 Are you drawn forth among a world of men
1015 To slay the innocent? What is my offense?
1016 Where is the evidence that doth accuse me?
1017 190 What lawful quest have given their verdict up
1018 Unto the frowning judge? Or who pronounced
1019 The bitter sentence of poor Clarence’ death
1020 Before I be convict by course of law?
1021 To threaten me with death is most unlawful.
1022 195 I charge you, as you hope ⟨to have redemption,
1023 By Christ’s dear blood shed for our grievous sins,⟩
1024 That you depart, and lay no hands on me.
1025 The deed you undertake is damnable.
1026 What we will do, we do upon command.
1027 200 And he that hath commanded is our king.
1028 Erroneous vassals, the great King of kings
1029 Hath in the table of His law commanded
1030 That thou shalt do no murder. Will you then
1031 Spurn at His edict and fulfill a man’s?
1032 205 Take heed, for He holds vengeance in His hand
1033 To hurl upon their heads that break His law.
1034 And that same vengeance doth He hurl on thee
1036 Thou didst receive the sacrament to fight
1037 210 In quarrel of the House of Lancaster.
1038 And, like a traitor to the name of God,
1039 Didst break that vow, and with thy treacherous
1041 ⌜Unrippedst⌝ the bowels of thy sovereign’s son.
1042 215 Whom thou wast sworn to cherish and defend.
1043 How canst thou urge God’s dreadful law to us
1044 When thou hast broke it in such dear degree?
1045 Alas! For whose sake did I that ill deed?
1046 For Edward, for my brother, for his sake.
1047 220 He sends you not to murder me for this,
1048 For in that sin he is as deep as I.
1049 If God will be avengèd for the deed,
1050 O, know you yet He doth it publicly!
1051 Take not the quarrel from His powerful arm;
1052 225 He needs no indirect or lawless course
1053 To cut off those that have offended Him.
1054 Who made thee then a bloody minister
1055 When gallant-springing, brave Plantagenet,
1056 That princely novice, was struck dead by thee?
1057 230 My brother’s love, the devil, and my rage.
1058 Thy brother’s love, our duty, and thy faults
1059 Provoke us hither now to slaughter thee.
1060 If you do love my brother, hate not me.
1061 I am his brother, and I love him well.
1062 235 If you are hired for meed, go back again,
1064 Who shall reward you better for my life
1065 Than Edward will for tidings of my death.
1066 You are deceived. Your brother Gloucester hates
1067 240 you.
1068 O no, he loves me, and he holds me dear.
1069 Go you to him from me.
FIRST MURDERER 1070 Ay, so we will.
1071 Tell him, when that our princely father York
1072 245 Blessed his three sons with his victorious arm,
1073 He little thought of this divided friendship.
1074 Bid Gloucester think ⟨of⟩ this, and he will weep.
1075 Ay, millstones, as he lessoned us to weep.
1076 O, do not slander him, for he is kind.
1077 250 Right, as snow in harvest. Come, you deceive
1079 ’Tis he that sends us to destroy you here.
1080 It cannot be, for he bewept my fortune,
1081 And hugged me in his arms, and swore with sobs
1082 255 That he would labor my delivery.
1083 Why, so he doth, when he delivers you
1084 From this Earth’s thralldom to the joys of heaven.
1085 Make peace with God, for you must die, my lord.
1086 Have you that holy feeling in your souls
1087 260 To counsel me to make my peace with God,
1088 And are you yet to your own souls so blind
1090 O sirs, consider: they that set you on
1091 To do this deed will hate you for the deed.
SECOND MURDERER, ⌜to First Murderer⌝
1092 265 What shall we do?
CLARENCE 1093 Relent, and save your souls.
1094 Which of you—if you were a prince’s son
1095 Being pent from liberty, as I am now—
1096 If two such murderers as yourselves came to you,
1097 270 Would not entreat for life? ⌜Ay,⌝ you would beg,
1098 Were you in my distress.
1099 Relent? No. ’Tis cowardly and womanish.
1100 Not to relent is beastly, savage, devilish.
1101 ⌜To Second Murderer.⌝ My friend, I spy some pity
1102 275 in thy looks.
1103 O, if thine eye be not a flatterer,
1104 Come thou on my side and entreat for me.
1105 A begging prince what beggar pities not?
SECOND MURDERER 1106 Look behind you, my lord.
1107 280 Take that, and that. (Stabs him.) If all this will not
1109 I’ll drown you in the malmsey butt within.
He exits ⌜with the body.⌝
1110 A bloody deed, and desperately dispatched.
1111 How fain, like Pilate, would I wash my hands
1112 285 Of this most grievous murder.
Enter First Murderer.
1113 How now? What mean’st thou that thou help’st me
1116 have been.
1117 290 I would he knew that I had saved his brother.
1118 Take thou the fee, and tell him what I say,
1119 For I repent me that the Duke is slain.He exits.
1120 So do not I. Go, coward as thou art.
1121 Well, I’ll go hide the body in some hole
1122 295 Till that the Duke give order for his burial.
1123 And when I have my meed, I will away,
1124 For this will out, and then I must not stay.
Lord Marquess Dorset, Rivers, Hastings, Buckingham,
Woodeville, ⌜Grey, and Scales.⌝
1125 Why, so. Now have I done a good day’s work.
1126 You peers, continue this united league.
1127 I every day expect an embassage
1128 From my Redeemer to redeem me hence,
1129 5 And more ⟨in⟩ peace my soul shall part to heaven
1130 Since I have made my friends at peace on Earth.
1131 ⟨Rivers and Hastings,⟩ take each other’s hand.
1132 Dissemble not your hatred. Swear your love.
RIVERS, ⌜taking Hastings’ hand⌝
1133 By heaven, my soul is purged from grudging hate,
1134 10 And with my hand I seal my true heart’s love.
1135 So thrive I as I truly swear the like.
1136 Take heed you dally not before your king,
1137 Lest He that is the supreme King of kings
1138 Confound your hidden falsehood and award
1139 15 Either of you to be the other’s end.
1140 So prosper I as I swear perfect love.
1141 And I as I love Hastings with my heart.
KING EDWARD, ⌜to Queen Elizabeth⌝
1142 Madam, yourself is not exempt from this,—
1143 Nor you, son Dorset,—Buckingham, nor you.
1144 20 You have been factious one against the other.—
1145 Wife, love Lord Hastings. Let him kiss your hand,
1146 And what you do, do it unfeignedly.
1147 There, Hastings, I will never more remember
1148 Our former hatred, so thrive I and mine.
⌜Hastings kisses her hand.⌝
1149 25 Dorset, embrace him.—Hastings, love Lord
1151 This interchange of love, I here protest,
1152 Upon my part shall be inviolable.
HASTINGS 1153 And so swear I.⌜They embrace.⌝
1154 30 Now, princely Buckingham, seal thou this league
1155 With thy embracements to my wife’s allies
1156 And make me happy in your unity.
BUCKINGHAM, ⌜to Queen Elizabeth⌝
1157 Whenever Buckingham doth turn his hate
1158 Upon your Grace, but with all duteous love
1159 35 Doth cherish you and yours, God punish me
1160 With hate in those where I expect most love.
1161 When I have most need to employ a friend,
1162 And most assurèd that he is a friend,
1163 Deep, hollow, treacherous, and full of guile
1164 40 Be he unto me: this do I beg of ⟨God,⟩
1165 When I am cold in love to you or yours.
⌜Queen Elizabeth and Buckingham⌝ embrace.
1166 A pleasing cordial, princely Buckingham,
1168 There wanteth now our brother Gloucester here
1169 45 To make the blessèd period of this peace.
BUCKINGHAM 1170 And in good time
1171 Here comes Sir Richard Ratcliffe and the Duke.
Enter Ratcliffe, and ⌜Richard, Duke of⌝ Gloucester.
1172 Good morrow to my sovereign king and queen,
1173 And, princely peers, a happy time of day.
1174 50 Happy indeed, as we have spent the day.
1175 Gloucester, we have done deeds of charity,
1176 Made peace of enmity, fair love of hate,
1177 Between these swelling, wrong-incensèd peers.
1178 A blessèd labor, my most sovereign lord.
1179 55 Among this princely heap, if any here
1180 By false intelligence or wrong surmise
1181 Hold me a foe,
1182 If I ⟨unwittingly,⟩ or in my rage,
1183 Have aught committed that is hardly borne
1184 60 ⟨By⟩ any in this presence, I desire
1185 To reconcile me to his friendly peace.
1186 ’Tis death to me to be at enmity;
1187 I hate it, and desire all good men’s love.
1188 First, madam, I entreat true peace of you,
1189 65 Which I will purchase with my duteous service;—
1190 Of you, my noble cousin Buckingham,
1191 If ever any grudge were lodged between us;—
1192 Of you and you, Lord Rivers and of Dorset,
1193 That all without desert have frowned on me;—
1194 70 Of you, Lord Woodeville and Lord Scales;—of you,
1195 Dukes, earls, lords, gentlemen; indeed, of all.
1196 I do not know that Englishman alive
1197 With whom my soul is any jot at odds
1199 75 I thank my God for my humility.
1200 A holy day shall this be kept hereafter.
1201 I would to God all strifes were well compounded.
1202 My sovereign lord, I do beseech your Highness
1203 To take our brother Clarence to your grace.
1204 80 Why, madam, have I offered love for this,
1205 To be so flouted in this royal presence?
1206 Who knows not that the gentle duke is dead?
They all start.
1207 You do him injury to scorn his corse.
1208 Who knows not he is dead! Who knows he is?
1209 85 All-seeing heaven, what a world is this!
1210 Look I so pale, Lord Dorset, as the rest?
1211 Ay, my good lord, and no man in the presence
1212 But his red color hath forsook his cheeks.
1213 Is Clarence dead? The order was reversed.
1214 90 But he, poor man, by your first order died,
1215 And that a wingèd Mercury did bear.
1216 Some tardy cripple bare the countermand,
1217 That came too lag to see him burièd.
1218 God grant that some, less noble and less loyal,
1219 95 Nearer in bloody thoughts, and not in blood,
1220 Deserve not worse than wretched Clarence did,
1221 And yet go current from suspicion.
Enter ⌜Lord Stanley,⌝ Earl of Derby.
1222 A boon, my sovereign, for my service done.
1223 I prithee, peace. My soul is full of sorrow.
1224 100 I will not rise unless your Highness hear me.
1225 Then say at once what is it thou requests.
1226 The forfeit, sovereign, of my servant’s life,
1227 Who slew today a riotous gentleman
1228 Lately attendant on the Duke of Norfolk.
1229 105 Have I a tongue to doom my brother’s death,
1230 And shall that tongue give pardon to a slave?
1231 My brother killed no man; his fault was thought,
1232 And yet his punishment was bitter death.
1233 Who sued to me for him? Who, in my wrath,
1234 110 Kneeled ⟨at⟩ my feet, and ⟨bade⟩ me be advised?
1235 Who spoke of brotherhood? Who spoke of love?
1236 Who told me how the poor soul did forsake
1237 The mighty Warwick and did fight for me?
1238 Who told me, in the field at Tewkesbury,
1239 115 When Oxford had me down, he rescued me,
1240 And said “Dear brother, live, and be a king”?
1241 Who told me, when we both lay in the field
1242 Frozen almost to death, how he did lap me
1243 Even in his garments and did give himself,
1244 120 All thin and naked, to the numb-cold night?
1245 All this from my remembrance brutish wrath
1246 Sinfully plucked, and not a man of you
1247 Had so much grace to put it in my mind.
1248 But when your carters or your waiting vassals
1249 125 Have done a drunken slaughter and defaced
1250 The precious image of our dear Redeemer,
1252 And I, unjustly too, must grant it you.
1253 But for my brother, not a man would speak,
1254 130 Nor I, ungracious, speak unto myself
1255 For him, poor soul. The proudest of you all
1256 Have been beholding to him in his life,
1257 Yet none of you would once beg for his life.
1258 O God, I fear Thy justice will take hold
1259 135 On me and you, and mine and yours for this!—
1260 Come, Hastings, help me to my closet.—
1261 Ah, poor Clarence.
Some exit with King and Queen.
1262 This is the fruits of rashness. Marked you not
1263 How that the guilty kindred of the Queen
1264 140 Looked pale when they did hear of Clarence’ death?
1265 O, they did urge it still unto the King.
1266 God will revenge it. Come, lords, will you go
1267 To comfort Edward with our company?
BUCKINGHAM 1268 We wait upon your Grace.
children of Clarence.
1269 Good grandam, tell us, is our father dead?
DUCHESS 1270 No, boy.
1271 Why do ⟨you⟩ weep so oft, and beat your breast,
1272 And cry “O Clarence, my unhappy son”?
1273 5 Why do you look on us and shake your head,
1275 If that our noble father were alive?
1276 My pretty cousins, you mistake me both.
1277 I do lament the sickness of the King,
1278 10 As loath to lose him, not your father’s death.
1279 It were lost sorrow to wail one that’s lost.
1280 Then, you conclude, my grandam, he is dead.
1281 The King mine uncle is to blame for it.
1282 God will revenge it, whom I will importune
1283 15 With earnest prayers, all to that effect.
DAUGHTER 1284 And so will I.
1285 Peace, children, peace. The King doth love you
1287 Incapable and shallow innocents,
1288 20 You cannot guess who caused your father’s death.
1289 Grandam, we can, for my good uncle Gloucester
1290 Told me the King, provoked to it by the Queen,
1291 Devised impeachments to imprison him;
1292 And when my uncle told me so, he wept,
1293 25 And pitied me, and kindly kissed my cheek,
1294 Bade me rely on him as on my father,
1295 And he would love me dearly as a child.
1296 Ah, that deceit should steal such gentle shape,
1297 And with a virtuous visor hide deep vice.
1298 30 He is my son, ay, and therein my shame,
1299 Yet from my dugs he drew not this deceit.
1300 Think you my uncle did dissemble, grandam?
DUCHESS 1301 Ay, boy.
1302 I cannot think it. Hark, what noise is this?
Rivers and Dorset after her.
1303 35 Ah, who shall hinder me to wail and weep,
1304 To chide my fortune and torment myself?
1305 I’ll join with black despair against my soul
1306 And to myself become an enemy.
1307 What means this scene of rude impatience?
1308 40 To make an act of tragic violence.
1309 Edward, my lord, thy son, our king, is dead.
1310 Why grow the branches when the root is gone?
1311 Why wither not the leaves that want their sap?
1312 If you will live, lament. If die, be brief,
1313 45 That our swift-wingèd souls may catch the King’s,
1314 Or, like obedient subjects, follow him
1315 To his new kingdom of ne’er-changing night.
1316 Ah, so much interest have ⟨I⟩ in thy sorrow
1317 As I had title in thy noble husband.
1318 50 I have bewept a worthy husband’s death
1319 And lived with looking on his images;
1320 But now two mirrors of his princely semblance
1321 Are cracked in pieces by malignant death,
1322 And I, for comfort, have but one false glass
1323 55 That grieves me when I see my shame in him.
1324 Thou art a widow, yet thou art a mother,
1325 And hast the comfort of thy children left,
1326 But death hath snatched my husband from mine
1328 60 And plucked two crutches from my feeble hands,
1329 Clarence and Edward. O, what cause have I,
1330 Thine being but a moiety of my moan,
1331 To overgo thy woes and drown thy cries!
1332 Ah, aunt, you wept not for our father’s death.
1333 65 How can we aid you with our kindred tears?
DAUGHTER, ⌜to Queen Elizabeth⌝
1334 Our fatherless distress was left unmoaned.
1335 Your widow-dolor likewise be unwept!
1336 Give me no help in lamentation.
1337 I am not barren to bring forth complaints.
1338 70 All springs reduce their currents to mine eyes,
1339 That I, being governed by the watery moon,
1340 May send forth plenteous tears to drown the world.
1341 Ah, for my husband, for my dear lord Edward!
1342 Ah, for our father, for our dear lord Clarence!
1343 75 Alas for both, both mine, Edward and Clarence!
1344 What stay had I but Edward? And he’s gone.
1345 What stay had we but Clarence? And he’s gone.
1346 What stays had I but they? And they are gone.
1347 Was never widow had so dear a loss.
1348 80 Were never orphans had so dear a loss.
1349 Was never mother had so dear a loss.
1350 Alas, I am the mother of these griefs.
1351 Their woes are parceled; mine is general.
1352 She for an Edward weeps, and so do I;
1353 85 I for a Clarence ⟨weep;⟩ so doth not she.
1354 These babes for Clarence weep, ⟨and so do I;
1355 I for an Edward weep;⟩ so do not they.
1356 Alas, you three, on me, threefold distressed,
1358 90 And I will pamper it with lamentation.
DORSET, ⌜to Queen Elizabeth⌝
1359 Comfort, dear mother. God is much displeased
1360 That you take with unthankfulness His doing.
1361 In common worldly things, ’tis called ungrateful
1362 With dull unwillingness to repay a debt
1363 95 Which with a bounteous hand was kindly lent;
1364 Much more to be thus opposite with heaven,
1365 For it requires the royal debt it lent you.
1366 Madam, bethink you, like a careful mother,
1367 Of the young prince your son. Send straight for
1368 100 him.
1369 Let him be crowned. In him your comfort lives.
1370 Drown desperate sorrow in dead Edward’s grave
1371 And plant your joys in living Edward’s throne.
Enter Richard, ⌜Duke of Gloucester,⌝ Buckingham, ⌜Lord
Stanley, Earl of⌝ Derby, Hastings, and Ratcliffe.
RICHARD, ⌜to Queen Elizabeth⌝
1372 Sister, have comfort. All of us have cause
1373 105 To wail the dimming of our shining star,
1374 But none can help our harms by wailing them.—
1375 Madam my mother, I do cry you mercy;
1376 I did not see your Grace. Humbly on my knee
1377 I crave your blessing.⌜He kneels.⌝
1378 110 God bless thee, and put meekness in thy breast,
1379 Love, charity, obedience, and true duty.
1380 Amen. ⌜Aside.⌝ And make me die a good old man!
1381 That is the butt end of a mother’s blessing;
1382 I marvel that her Grace did leave it out.
1383 115 You cloudy princes and heart-sorrowing peers
1385 Now cheer each other in each other’s love.
1386 Though we have spent our harvest of this king,
1387 We are to reap the harvest of his son.
1388 120 The broken rancor of your high-swoll’n hates,
1389 But lately splintered, knit, and joined together,
1390 Must gently be preserved, cherished, and kept.
1391 Meseemeth good that with some little train
1392 Forthwith from Ludlow the young prince be fet
1393 125 Hither to London, to be crowned our king.
1394 Why “with some little train,” my lord of
1396 Marry, my lord, lest by a multitude
1397 The new-healed wound of malice should break out,
1398 130 Which would be so much the more dangerous
1399 By how much the estate is green and yet
1401 Where every horse bears his commanding rein
1402 And may direct his course as please himself,
1403 135 As well the fear of harm as harm apparent,
1404 In my opinion, ought to be prevented.
1405 I hope the King made peace with all of us;
1406 And the compact is firm and true in me.
1407 And so in me, and so, I think, in all.
1408 140 Yet since it is but green, it should be put
1409 To no apparent likelihood of breach,
1410 Which haply by much company might be urged.
1411 Therefore I say with noble Buckingham
1412 That it is meet so few should fetch the Prince.
HASTINGS 1413 145And so say I.
1414 Then be it so, and go we to determine
1417 Madam, and you, my sister, will you go
1418 150 To give your censures in this business?
All but Buckingham and Richard exit.
1419 My lord, whoever journeys to the Prince,
1420 For ⟨God’s⟩ sake let not us two stay at home.
1421 For by the way I’ll sort occasion,
1422 As index to the story we late talked of,
1423 155 To part the Queen’s proud kindred from the Prince.
1424 My other self, my council’s consistory,
1425 My oracle, my prophet, my dear cousin,
1426 I, as a child, will go by thy direction.
1427 Toward ⟨Ludlow⟩ then, for we’ll not stay behind.
1428 Good morrow, neighbor, whither away so fast?
1429 I promise you I scarcely know myself.
1430 Hear you the news abroad?
FIRST CITIZEN 1431 Yes, that the King is dead.
1432 5 Ill news, by ’r Lady. Seldom comes the better.
1433 I fear, I fear, ’twill prove a giddy world.
Enter another Citizen.
1434 Neighbors, God speed.
FIRST CITIZEN 1435 Give you good morrow, sir.
1436 Doth the news hold of good King Edward’s death?
1437 10 Ay, sir, it is too true, God help the while.
1438 Then, masters, look to see a troublous world.
1439 No, no, by God’s good grace, his son shall reign.
1440 Woe to that land that’s governed by a child.
1441 In him there is a hope of government,
1442 15 Which, in his nonage, council under him,
1443 And, in his full and ripened years, himself,
1444 No doubt shall then, and till then, govern well.
1445 So stood the state when Henry the Sixth
1446 Was crowned in Paris but at nine months old.
1447 20 Stood the state so? No, no, good friends, God wot,
1448 For then this land was famously enriched
1449 With politic grave counsel; then the King
1450 Had virtuous uncles to protect his Grace.
1451 Why, so hath this, both by his father and mother.
1452 25 Better it were they all came by his father,
1453 Or by his father there were none at all,
1454 For emulation who shall now be nearest
1455 Will touch us all too near if God prevent not.
1456 O, full of danger is the Duke of Gloucester,
1457 30 And the Queen’s sons and brothers haught and
1459 And were they to be ruled, and not to rule,
1460 This sickly land might solace as before.
1461 Come, come, we fear the worst. All will be well.
1462 35 When clouds are seen, wise men put on their
1464 When great leaves fall, then winter is at hand;
1465 When the sun sets, who doth not look for night?
1466 Untimely storms makes men expect a dearth.
1467 40 All may be well; but if God sort it so,
1468 ’Tis more than we deserve or I expect.
1469 Truly, the hearts of men are full of fear.
1470 You cannot reason almost with a man
1471 That looks not heavily and full of dread.
1472 45 Before the days of change, still is it so.
1473 By a divine instinct, men’s minds mistrust
1474 Ensuing danger, as by proof we see
1475 The water swell before a boist’rous storm.
1476 But leave it all to God. Whither away?
1477 50 Marry, we were sent for to the Justices.
1478 And so was I. I’ll bear you company.
Queen ⌜Elizabeth,⌝ and the Duchess ⌜of York.⌝
1479 Last night, I ⟨hear,⟩ they lay at Stony Stratford,
1480 And at Northampton they do rest tonight.
1481 Tomorrow or next day they will be here.
1482 I long with all my heart to see the Prince.
1483 5 I hope he is much grown since last I saw him.
1484 But I hear no; they say my son of York
1485 Has almost overta’en him in his growth.
1486 Ay, mother, but I would not have it so.
1487 Why, my good cousin? It is good to grow.
1488 10 Grandam, one night as we did sit at supper,
1489 My uncle Rivers talked how I did grow
1490 More than my brother. “Ay,” quoth my uncle
1492 “Small herbs have grace; great weeds do grow
1493 15 apace.”
1494 And since, methinks I would not grow so fast
1495 Because sweet flowers are slow and weeds make
1497 Good faith, good faith, the saying did not hold
1498 20 In him that did object the same to thee!
1499 He was the wretched’st thing when he was young,
1500 So long a-growing and so leisurely,
1501 That if his rule were true, he should be gracious.
1502 And so no doubt he is, my gracious madam.
1503 25 I hope he is, but yet let mothers doubt.
1504 Now, by my troth, if I had been remembered,
1505 I could have given my uncle’s Grace a flout
1506 To touch his growth nearer than he touched mine.
1507 How, my young York? I prithee let me hear it.
1508 30 Marry, they say my uncle grew so fast
1509 That he could gnaw a crust at two hours old.
1510 ’Twas full two years ere I could get a tooth.
1511 Grandam, this would have been a biting jest.
1512 I prithee, pretty York, who told thee this?
YORK 1513 35Grandam, his nurse.
1514 His nurse? Why, she was dead ere thou wast born.
1515 If ’twere not she, I cannot tell who told me.
1516 A parlous boy! Go to, you are too shrewd.
1517 Good madam, be not angry with the child.
QUEEN ELIZABETH 1518 40Pitchers have ears.
Enter a Messenger.
ARCHBISHOP 1519 Here comes a messenger.—What news?
1520 Such news, my lord, as grieves me to report.
QUEEN ELIZABETH 1521 How doth the Prince?
MESSENGER 1522 Well, madam, and in health.
DUCHESS 1523 45What is thy news?
1524 Lord Rivers and Lord Grey are sent to Pomfret,
1525 And, with them, Sir Thomas Vaughan, prisoners.
DUCHESS 1526 Who hath committed them?
1527 The mighty dukes, Gloucester and Buckingham.
ARCHBISHOP 1528 50For what offense?
1529 The sum of all I can, I have disclosed.
1530 Why, or for what, the nobles were committed
1531 Is all unknown to me, my gracious lord.
1532 Ay me! I see the ruin of my house.
1533 55 The tiger now hath seized the gentle hind.
1534 Insulting tyranny begins to jut
1535 Upon the innocent and aweless throne.
1536 Welcome, destruction, blood, and massacre.
1537 I see, as in a map, the end of all.
1538 60 Accursèd and unquiet wrangling days,
1539 How many of you have mine eyes beheld?
1540 My husband lost his life to get the crown,
1541 And often up and down my sons were tossed
1542 For me to joy, and weep, their gain and loss.
1543 65 And being seated, and domestic broils
1544 Clean overblown, themselves the conquerors
1545 Make war upon themselves, brother to brother,
1546 Blood to blood, self against self. O, preposterous
1547 And frantic outrage, end thy damnèd spleen,
1548 70 Or let me die, to look on Earth no more.
QUEEN ELIZABETH, ⌜to York⌝
1549 Come, come, my boy. We will to sanctuary.—
1550 Madam, farewell.
DUCHESS 1551 Stay, I will go with you.
1552 You have no cause.
ARCHBISHOP, ⌜to Queen Elizabeth⌝ 1553 75 My gracious lady, go,
1554 And thither bear your treasure and your goods.
1555 For my part, I’ll resign unto your Grace
1556 The seal I keep; and so betide to me
1557 As well I tender you and all of yours.
1558 80 Go. I’ll conduct you to the sanctuary.
⌜Richard Duke of⌝ Gloucester, Buckingham,
⌜the⌝ Cardinal, ⌜Catesby,⌝ and others.
1559 Welcome, sweet prince, to London, to your chamber.
RICHARD, ⌜to Prince⌝
1560 Welcome, dear cousin, my thoughts’ sovereign.
1561 The weary way hath made you melancholy.
1562 No, uncle, but our crosses on the way
1563 5 Have made it tedious, wearisome, and heavy.
1564 I want more uncles here to welcome me.
1565 Sweet prince, the untainted virtue of your years
1566 Hath not yet dived into the world’s deceit;
1567 Nor more can you distinguish of a man
1568 10 Than of his outward show, which, God He knows,
1569 Seldom or never jumpeth with the heart.
1570 Those uncles which you want were dangerous.
1571 Your Grace attended to their sugared words
1572 But looked not on the poison of their hearts.
1573 15 God keep you from them, and from such false
1575 God keep me from false friends, but they were none.
1576 My lord, the Mayor of London comes to greet you.
Enter Lord Mayor ⌜with others.⌝
1577 God bless your Grace with health and happy days.
1578 20 I thank you, good my lord, and thank you all.—
1579 I thought my mother and my brother York
1580 Would long ere this have met us on the way.
1581 Fie, what a slug is Hastings that he comes not
1582 To tell us whether they will come or no!
Enter Lord Hastings.
1583 25 And in good time here comes the sweating lord.
1584 Welcome, my lord. What, will our mother come?
1585 On what occasion God He knows, not I,
1586 The Queen your mother and your brother York
1587 Have taken sanctuary. The tender prince
1588 30 Would fain have come with me to meet your Grace,
1589 But by his mother was perforce withheld.
1590 Fie, what an indirect and peevish course
1591 Is this of hers!—Lord Cardinal, will your Grace
1592 Persuade the Queen to send the Duke of York
1593 35 Unto his princely brother presently?—
1594 If she deny, Lord Hastings, go with him,
1595 And from her jealous arms pluck him perforce.
1596 My lord of Buckingham, if my weak oratory
1598 40 Anon expect him here; but if she be obdurate
1599 To mild entreaties, God in heaven forbid
1600 We should infringe the holy privilege
1601 Of blessèd sanctuary! Not for all this land
1602 Would I be guilty of so deep a sin.
1603 45 You are too senseless obstinate, my lord,
1604 Too ceremonious and traditional.
1605 Weigh it but with the grossness of this age,
1606 You break not sanctuary in seizing him.
1607 The benefit thereof is always granted
1608 50 To those whose dealings have deserved the place
1609 And those who have the wit to claim the place.
1610 This prince hath neither claimed it nor deserved it
1611 And therefore, in mine opinion, cannot have it.
1612 Then taking him from thence that is not there,
1613 55 You break no privilege nor charter there.
1614 Oft have I heard of sanctuary men,
1615 But sanctuary children, never till now.
1616 My lord, you shall o’errule my mind for once.—
1617 Come on, Lord Hastings, will you go with me?
HASTINGS 1618 60I go, my lord.
1619 Good lords, make all the speedy haste you may.
[The Cardinal and Hastings exit.]
1620 Say, uncle Gloucester, if our brother come,
1621 Where shall we sojourn till our coronation?
1622 Where it seems best unto your royal self.
1623 65 If I may counsel you, some day or two
1624 Your Highness shall repose you at the Tower;
1625 Then where you please and shall be thought most fit
1626 For your best health and recreation.
1627 I do not like the Tower, of any place.—
1628 70 Did Julius Caesar build that place, my lord?
1629 He did, my gracious lord, begin that place,
1630 Which, since, succeeding ages have re-edified.
1631 Is it upon record, or else reported
1632 Successively from age to age, he built it?
BUCKINGHAM 1633 75Upon record, my gracious lord.
1634 But say, my lord, it were not registered,
1635 Methinks the truth should live from age to age,
1636 As ’twere retailed to all posterity,
1637 Even to the general all-ending day.
1638 80 So wise so young, they say, do never live long.
PRINCE 1639 What say you, uncle?
1640 I say, without characters fame lives long.
1641 ⌜Aside.⌝ Thus, like the formal Vice, Iniquity,
1642 I moralize two meanings in one word.
1643 85 That Julius Caesar was a famous man.
1644 With what his valor did enrich his wit,
1645 His wit set down to make his [valor] live.
1646 Death makes no conquest of this conqueror,
1647 For now he lives in fame, though not in life.
1648 90 I’ll tell you what, my cousin Buckingham—
BUCKINGHAM 1649 What, my gracious lord?
1650 An if I live until I be a man,
1651 I’ll win our ancient right in France again
1652 Or die a soldier, as I lived a king.
1653 95 Short summers lightly have a forward spring.
1654 Now in good time here comes the Duke of York.
1655 Richard of York, how fares our loving brother?
1656 Well, my dread lord—so must I call you now.
1657 Ay, brother, to our grief, as it is yours.
1658 100 Too late he died that might have kept that title,
1659 Which by his death hath lost much majesty.
1660 How fares our cousin, noble lord of York?
1661 I thank you, gentle uncle. O my lord,
1662 You said that idle weeds are fast in growth.
1663 105 The Prince my brother hath outgrown me far.
1664 He hath, my lord.
YORK 1665 And therefore is he idle?
1666 O my fair cousin, I must not say so.
1667 Then he is more beholding to you than I.
1668 110 He may command me as my sovereign,
1669 But you have power in me as in a kinsman.
1670 I pray you, uncle, give me this dagger.
1671 My dagger, little cousin? With all my heart.
PRINCE 1672 A beggar, brother?
1673 115 Of my kind uncle, that I know will give,
1674 And being but a toy, which is no grief to give.
1675 A greater gift than that I’ll give my cousin.
1676 A greater gift? O, that’s the sword to it.
1677 Ay, gentle cousin, were it light enough.
1678 120 O, then I see you will part but with light gifts.
1679 In weightier things you’ll say a beggar nay.
1680 It is too heavy for your Grace to wear.
1681 I weigh it lightly, were it heavier.
1682 What, would you have my weapon, little lord?
1683 125 I would, that I might thank you as you call me.
RICHARD 1684 How?
YORK 1685 Little.
1686 My lord of York will still be cross in talk.
1687 Uncle, your Grace knows how to bear with him.
1688 130 You mean, to bear me, not to bear with me.—
1689 Uncle, my brother mocks both you and me.
1690 Because that I am little, like an ape,
1691 He thinks that you should bear me on your
1693 135 With what a sharp-provided wit he reasons!
1694 To mitigate the scorn he gives his uncle,
1695 He prettily and aptly taunts himself.
1696 So cunning and so young is wonderful.
RICHARD, ⌜to Prince⌝
1697 My lord, will ’t please you pass along?
1699 Will to your mother, to entreat of her
1700 To meet you at the Tower and welcome you.
YORK, ⌜to Prince⌝
1701 What, will you go unto the Tower, my lord?
1702 My Lord Protector needs will have it so.
1703 145 I shall not sleep in quiet at the Tower.
RICHARD 1704 Why, what should you fear?
1705 Marry, my uncle Clarence’ angry ghost.
1706 My grandam told me he was murdered there.
PRINCE 1707 I fear no uncles dead.
RICHARD 1708 150Nor none that live, I hope.
1709 An if they live, I hope I need not fear.
1710 ⌜To York.⌝ But come, my lord. With a heavy heart,
1711 Thinking on them, go I unto the Tower.
[A sennet. Prince ⌜Edward, the Duke of⌝ York,
⌜and⌝ Hastings exit. Richard, Buckingham,
and Catesby remain.]
BUCKINGHAM, ⌜to Richard⌝
1712 Think you, my lord, this little prating York
1713 155 Was not incensèd by his subtle mother
1714 To taunt and scorn you thus opprobriously?
1715 No doubt, no doubt. O, ’tis a parlous boy,
1716 Bold, quick, ingenious, forward, capable.
1717 He is all the mother’s, from the top to toe.
1718 160 Well, let them rest.—Come hither, Catesby.
1719 Thou art sworn as deeply to effect what we intend
1720 As closely to conceal what we impart.
1721 Thou knowest our reasons, urged upon the way.
1723 165 To make William Lord Hastings of our mind
1724 For the installment of this noble duke
1725 In the seat royal of this famous isle?
1726 He, for his father’s sake, so loves the Prince
1727 That he will not be won to aught against him.
1728 170 What think’st thou then of Stanley? Will not he?
1729 He will do all in all as Hastings doth.
1730 Well then, no more but this: go, gentle Catesby,
1731 And, as it were far off, sound thou Lord Hastings
1732 How he doth stand affected to our purpose
1733 175 And summon him tomorrow to the Tower
1734 To sit about the coronation.
1735 If thou dost find him tractable to us,
1736 Encourage him and tell him all our reasons.
1737 If he be leaden, icy, cold, unwilling,
1738 180 Be thou so too, and so break off the talk,
1739 And give us notice of his inclination;
1740 For we tomorrow hold divided councils,
1741 Wherein thyself shalt highly be employed.
1742 Commend me to Lord William. Tell him, Catesby,
1743 185 His ancient knot of dangerous adversaries
1744 Tomorrow are let blood at Pomfret Castle,
1745 And bid my lord, for joy of this good news,
1746 Give Mistress Shore one gentle kiss the more.
1747 Good Catesby, go effect this business soundly.
1748 190 My good lords both, with all the heed I can.
1749 Shall we hear from you, Catesby, ere we sleep?
1751 At Crosby House, there shall you find us both.
1752 Now, my lord, what shall we do if we perceive
1753 195 Lord Hastings will not yield to our complots?
1754 Chop off his head. Something we will determine.
1755 And look when I am king, claim thou of me
1756 The earldom of Hereford, and all the movables
1757 Whereof the King my brother was possessed.
1758 200 I’ll claim that promise at your Grace’s hand.
1759 And look to have it yielded with all kindness.
1760 Come, let us sup betimes, that afterwards
1761 We may digest our complots in some form.
MESSENGER, ⌜knocking⌝ 1762 My lord, my lord.
HASTINGS, ⌜within⌝ 1763 Who knocks?
MESSENGER 1764 One from the Lord Stanley.
HASTINGS, ⌜within⌝ 1765 What is ’t o’clock?
MESSENGER 1766 5Upon the stroke of four.
Enter Lord Hastings.
1767 Cannot my Lord Stanley sleep these tedious nights?
1768 So it appears by that I have to say.
1769 First, he commends him to your noble self.
1771 10 Then certifies your Lordship that this night
1772 He dreamt the boar had razèd off his helm.
1773 Besides, he says there are two councils kept,
1774 And that may be determined at the one
1775 Which may make you and him to rue at th’ other.
1776 15 Therefore he sends to know your Lordship’s
1778 If you will presently take horse with him
1779 And with all speed post with him toward the north
1780 To shun the danger that his soul divines.
1781 20 Go, fellow, go. Return unto thy lord.
1782 Bid him not fear the separated council.
1783 His Honor and myself are at the one,
1784 And at the other is my good friend Catesby,
1785 Where nothing can proceed that toucheth us
1786 25 Whereof I shall not have intelligence.
1787 Tell him his fears are shallow, without instance.
1788 And for his dreams, I wonder he’s so simple
1789 To trust the mock’ry of unquiet slumbers.
1790 To fly the boar before the boar pursues
1791 30 Were to incense the boar to follow us
1792 And make pursuit where he did mean no chase.
1793 Go, bid thy master rise and come to me,
1794 And we will both together to the Tower,
1795 Where he shall see the boar will use us kindly.
1796 35 I’ll go, my lord, and tell him what you say.He exits.
1797 Many good morrows to my noble lord.
1798 Good morrow, Catesby. You are early stirring.
1799 What news, what news in this our tott’ring state?
1800 It is a reeling world indeed, my lord,
1801 40 And I believe will never stand upright
1802 Till Richard wear the garland of the realm.
1803 How “wear the garland”? Dost thou mean the
CATESBY 1805 Ay, my good lord.
1806 45 I’ll have this crown of mine cut from my shoulders
1807 Before I’ll see the crown so foul misplaced.
1808 But canst thou guess that he doth aim at it?
1809 Ay, on my life, and hopes to find you forward
1810 Upon his party for the gain thereof;
1811 50 And thereupon he sends you this good news,
1812 That this same very day your enemies,
1813 The kindred of the Queen, must die at Pomfret.
1814 Indeed, I am no mourner for that news,
1815 Because they have been still my adversaries.
1816 55 But that I’ll give my voice on Richard’s side
1817 To bar my master’s heirs in true descent,
1818 God knows I will not do it, to the death.
1819 God keep your Lordship in that gracious mind.
1820 But I shall laugh at this a twelve-month hence,
1821 60 That they which brought me in my master’s hate,
1822 I live to look upon their tragedy.
1823 Well, Catesby, ere a fortnight make me older
1824 I’ll send some packing that yet think not on ’t.
1825 ’Tis a vile thing to die, my gracious lord,
1826 65 When men are unprepared and look not for it.
1827 O monstrous, monstrous! And so falls it out
1828 With Rivers, Vaughan, Grey; and so ’twill do
1829 With some men else that think themselves as safe
1830 As thou and I, who, as thou know’st, are dear
1831 70 To princely Richard and to Buckingham.
1832 The Princes both make high account of you—
1833 ⌜Aside.⌝ For they account his head upon the Bridge.
1834 I know they do, and I have well deserved it.
Enter Lord Stanley.
1835 Come on, come on. Where is your boar-spear, man?
1836 75 Fear you the boar and go so unprovided?
1837 My lord, good morrow.—Good morrow, Catesby.—
1838 You may jest on, but, by the Holy Rood,
1839 I do not like these several councils, I.
1840 My lord, I hold my life as dear as ⟨you do⟩ yours,
1841 80 And never in my days, I do protest,
1842 Was it so precious to me as ’tis now.
1843 Think you but that I know our state secure,
1844 I would be so triumphant as I am?
1845 The lords at Pomfret, when they rode from London,
1846 85 Were jocund and supposed their states were sure,
1847 And they indeed had no cause to mistrust;
1848 But yet you see how soon the day o’ercast.
1849 This sudden stab of rancor I misdoubt.
1850 Pray God, I say, I prove a needless coward!
1851 90 What, shall we toward the Tower? The day is spent.
1852 Come, come. Have with you. Wot you what, my lord?
1853 Today the lords you ⟨talked⟩ of are beheaded.
1854 They, for their truth, might better wear their heads
1855 Than some that have accused them wear their hats.
1856 95 But come, my lord, let’s away.
Enter a Pursuivant.
1857 Go on before. I’ll talk with this good fellow.
Lord Stanley and Catesby exit.
1858 How now, sirrah? How goes the world with thee?
1859 The better that your Lordship please to ask.
1860 I tell thee, man, ’tis better with me now
1861 100 Than when thou met’st me last where now we meet.
1862 Then was I going prisoner to the Tower
1863 By the suggestion of the Queen’s allies.
1864 But now, I tell thee—keep it to thyself—
1865 This day those enemies are put to death,
1866 105 And I in better state than e’er I was.
1867 God hold it, to your Honor’s good content!
1868 Gramercy, fellow. There, drink that for me.
Throws him his purse.
PURSUIVANT 1869 I thank your Honor.Pursuivant exits.
Enter a Priest.
1870 Well met, my lord. I am glad to see your Honor.
1871 110 I thank thee, good Sir John, with all my heart.
1873 Come the next sabbath, and I will content you.
PRIEST 1874 I’ll wait upon your Lordship.⌜Priest exits.⌝
1875 What, talking with a priest, Lord Chamberlain?
1876 115 Your friends at Pomfret, they do need the priest;
1877 Your Honor hath no shriving work in hand.
1878 Good faith, and when I met this holy man,
1879 The men you talk of came into my mind.
1880 What, go you toward the Tower?
1881 120 I do, my lord, but long I cannot stay there.
1882 I shall return before your Lordship thence.
1883 Nay, like enough, for I stay dinner there.
1884 And supper too, although thou know’st it not.—
1885 Come, will you go?
HASTINGS 1886 125 I’ll wait upon your Lordship.
nobles ⟨Rivers, Grey, and Vaughan⟩ to death at Pomfret.
1887 Sir Richard Ratcliffe, let me tell thee this:
1888 Today shalt thou behold a subject die
1889 For truth, for duty, and for loyalty.
GREY, ⌜to Ratcliffe⌝
1890 God bless the Prince from all the pack of you!
1891 5 A knot you are of damnèd bloodsuckers.
1892 You live that shall cry woe for this hereafter.
1893 Dispatch. The limit of your lives is out.
1894 O Pomfret, Pomfret! O thou bloody prison,
1895 Fatal and ominous to noble peers!
1896 10 Within the guilty closure of thy walls,
1897 Richard the Second here was hacked to death,
1898 And, for more slander to thy dismal seat,
1899 We give to thee our guiltless blood to drink.
1900 Now Margaret’s curse is fall’n upon our heads,
1901 15 When she exclaimed on Hastings, you, and I,
1902 For standing by when Richard stabbed her son.
1903 Then cursed she Richard. Then cursed she
1905 Then cursed she Hastings. O, remember, God,
1906 20 To hear her prayer for them as now for us!
1907 And for my sister and her princely sons,
1908 Be satisfied, dear God, with our true blood,
1909 Which, as thou know’st, unjustly must be spilt.
1910 Make haste. The hour of death is expiate.
1911 25 Come, Grey. Come, Vaughan. Let us here embrace.
1912 Farewell until we meet again in heaven.
Hastings, Bishop of Ely, Norfolk, Ratcliffe, Lovell, with
others, at a table.
1913 Now, noble peers, the cause why we are met
1914 Is to determine of the coronation.
1915 In God’s name, speak. When is the royal day?
1916 Is all things ready for the royal time?
1917 5 It is, and wants but nomination.
1918 Tomorrow, then, I judge a happy day.
1919 Who knows the Lord Protector’s mind herein?
1920 Who is most inward with the noble duke?
1921 Your Grace, we think, should soonest know his
1922 10 mind.
1923 We know each other’s faces; for our hearts,
1924 He knows no more of mine than I of yours,
1925 Or I of his, my lord, than you of mine.—
1926 Lord Hastings, you and he are near in love.
1927 15 I thank his Grace, I know he loves me well.
1928 But for his purpose in the coronation,
1929 I have not sounded him, nor he delivered
1930 His gracious pleasure any way therein.
1931 But you, my honorable lords, may name the time,
1932 20 And in the Duke’s behalf I’ll give my voice,
1933 Which I presume he’ll take in gentle part.
Enter ⌜Richard, Duke of⌝ Gloucester.
1934 In happy time here comes the Duke himself.
1935 My noble lords and cousins all, good morrow.
1936 I have been long a sleeper; but I trust
1937 25 My absence doth neglect no great design
1938 Which by my presence might have been concluded.
1939 Had you not come upon your cue, my lord,
1940 William Lord Hastings had pronounced your part—
1941 I mean your voice for crowning of the King.
1942 30 Than my Lord Hastings no man might be bolder.
1943 His Lordship knows me well and loves me well.—
1944 My lord of Ely, when I was last in Holborn
1945 I saw good strawberries in your garden there;
1946 I do beseech you, send for some of them.
1947 35 Marry and will, my lord, with all my heart.
Exit Bishop ⌜of Ely.⌝
1948 Cousin of Buckingham, a word with you.
⌜They move aside.⌝
1949 Catesby hath sounded Hastings in our business
1950 And finds the testy gentleman so hot
1951 That he will lose his head ere give consent
1952 40 His master’s child, as worshipfully he terms it,
1953 Shall lose the royalty of England’s throne.
1954 Withdraw yourself awhile. I’ll go with you.
⌜Richard and Buckingham⌝ exit.
1955 We have not yet set down this day of triumph.
1956 Tomorrow, in my judgment, is too sudden,
1957 45 For I myself am not so well provided
1958 As else I would be, were the day prolonged.
1959 Where is my lord the Duke of Gloucester?
1960 I have sent for these strawberries.
1961 His Grace looks cheerfully and smooth this
1962 50 morning.
1963 There’s some conceit or other likes him well
1964 When that he bids good morrow with such spirit.
1965 I think there’s never a man in Christendom
1966 Can lesser hide his love or hate than he,
1967 55 For by his face straight shall you know his heart.
1968 What of his heart perceive you in his face
1969 By any livelihood he showed today?
1970 Marry, that with no man here he is offended,
1971 For were he, he had shown it in his looks.
Enter Richard and Buckingham.
1972 60 I pray you all, tell me what they deserve
1973 That do conspire my death with devilish plots
1974 Of damnèd witchcraft, and that have prevailed
1975 Upon my body with their hellish charms?
1976 The tender love I bear your Grace, my lord,
1977 65 Makes me most forward in this princely presence
1978 To doom th’ offenders, whosoe’er they be.
1979 I say, my lord, they have deservèd death.
1980 Then be your eyes the witness of their evil.
⌜He shows his arm.⌝
1981 Look how I am bewitched! Behold mine arm
1982 70 Is like a blasted sapling withered up;
1984 Consorted with that harlot, strumpet Shore,
1985 That by their witchcraft thus have markèd me.
1986 If they have done this deed, my noble lord—
1987 75 If? Thou protector of this damnèd strumpet,
1988 Talk’st thou to me of “ifs”? Thou art a traitor.—
1989 Off with his head. Now by Saint Paul I swear
1990 I will not dine until I see the same.—
1991 Lovell and Ratcliffe, look that it be done.—
1992 80 The rest that love me, rise and follow me.
They exit. Lovell and Ratcliffe remain,
with the Lord Hastings.
1993 Woe, woe for England! Not a whit for me,
1994 For I, too fond, might have prevented this.
1995 Stanley did dream the boar did ⟨raze his helm,⟩
1996 And I did scorn it and disdain to fly.
1997 85 Three times today my foot-cloth horse did stumble,
1998 And started when he looked upon the Tower,
1999 As loath to bear me to the slaughterhouse.
2000 O, now I need the priest that spake to me!
2001 I now repent I told the pursuivant,
2002 90 As too triumphing, how mine enemies
2003 Today at Pomfret bloodily were butchered,
2004 And I myself secure in grace and favor.
2005 O Margaret, Margaret, now thy heavy curse
2006 Is lighted on poor Hastings’ wretched head.
2007 95 Come, come, dispatch. The Duke would be at
2009 Make a short shrift. He longs to see your head.
2010 O momentary grace of mortal men,
2011 Which we more hunt for than the grace of God!
2013 Lives like a drunken sailor on a mast,
2014 Ready with every nod to tumble down
2015 Into the fatal bowels of the deep.
2016 Come, come, dispatch. ’Tis bootless to exclaim.
2017 105 O bloody Richard! Miserable England,
2018 I prophesy the fearfull’st time to thee
2019 That ever wretched age hath looked upon.—
2020 Come, lead me to the block. Bear him my head.
2021 They smile at me who shortly shall be dead.
2022 Come, cousin, canst thou quake and change thy
2024 Murder thy breath in middle of a word,
2025 And then again begin, and stop again,
2026 5 As if thou were distraught and mad with terror?
2027 Tut, I can counterfeit the deep tragedian,
2028 Speak, and look back, and pry on every side,
2029 Tremble and start at wagging of a straw,
2030 Intending deep suspicion. Ghastly looks
2031 10 Are at my service, like enforcèd smiles,
2032 And both are ready, in their offices,
2033 At any time to grace my stratagems.
2034 But what, is Catesby gone?
2035 He is; and see he brings the Mayor along.
BUCKINGHAM 2036 15Lord Mayor—
RICHARD 2037 Look to the drawbridge there!
BUCKINGHAM 2038 Hark, a drum!
RICHARD 2039 Catesby, o’erlook the walls.
BUCKINGHAM 2040 Lord Mayor, the reason we have sent—
2041 20 Look back! Defend thee! Here are enemies.
2042 God and our ⟨innocence⟩ defend and guard us!
Enter Lovell and Ratcliffe, with Hastings’ head.
2043 Be patient. They are friends, Ratcliffe and Lovell.
2044 Here is the head of that ignoble traitor,
2045 The dangerous and unsuspected Hastings.
2046 25 So dear I loved the man that I must weep.
2047 I took him for the plainest harmless creature
2048 That breathed upon the Earth a Christian;
2049 Made him my book, wherein my soul recorded
2050 The history of all her secret thoughts.
2051 30 So smooth he daubed his vice with show of virtue
2052 That, his apparent open guilt omitted—
2053 I mean his conversation with Shore’s wife—
2054 He lived from all attainder of suspects.
2055 Well, well, he was the covert’st sheltered traitor
2056 35 That ever lived.—
2057 Would you imagine, or almost believe,
2058 Were ’t not that by great preservation
2059 We live to tell it, that the subtle traitor
2061 40 To murder me and my good lord of Gloucester?
MAYOR 2062 Had he done so?
2063 What, think you we are Turks or infidels?
2064 Or that we would, against the form of law,
2065 Proceed thus rashly in the villain’s death,
2066 45 But that the extreme peril of the case,
2067 The peace of England, and our persons’ safety
2068 Enforced us to this execution?
2069 Now fair befall you! He deserved his death,
2070 And your good Graces both have well proceeded
2071 50 To warn false traitors from the like attempts.
2072 I never looked for better at his hands
2073 After he once fell in with Mistress Shore.
2074 Yet had we not determined he should die
2075 Until your Lordship came to see his end
2076 55 (Which now the loving haste of these our friends,
2077 Something against our meanings, have prevented),
2078 Because, my lord, I would have had you heard
2079 The traitor speak and timorously confess
2080 The manner and the purpose of his treasons,
2081 60 That you might well have signified the same
2082 Unto the citizens, who haply may
2083 Misconster us in him, and wail his death.
2084 But, my good lord, your Graces’ words shall serve
2085 As well as I had seen and heard him speak;
2086 65 And do not doubt, right noble princes both,
2087 But I’ll acquaint our duteous citizens
2088 With all your just proceedings in this case.
2089 And to that end we wished your Lordship here,
2090 T’ avoid the censures of the carping world.
2091 70 Which since you come too late of our intent,
2092 Yet witness what you hear we did intend.
2093 And so, my good Lord Mayor, we bid farewell.
2094 Go after, after, cousin Buckingham.
2095 The Mayor towards Guildhall hies him in all post.
2096 75 There, at your meetest vantage of the time,
2097 Infer the bastardy of Edward’s children.
2098 Tell them how Edward put to death a citizen
2099 Only for saying he would make his son
2100 Heir to the Crown—meaning indeed his house,
2101 80 Which, by the sign thereof, was termèd so.
2102 Moreover, urge his hateful luxury
2103 And bestial appetite in change of lust,
2104 Which stretched unto their servants, daughters,
2106 85 Even where his raging eye or savage heart,
2107 Without control, lusted to make a prey.
2108 Nay, for a need, thus far come near my person:
2109 Tell them when that my mother went with child
2110 Of that insatiate Edward, noble York
2111 90 My princely father then had wars in France,
2112 And, by true computation of the time,
2113 Found that the issue was not his begot,
2114 Which well appearèd in his lineaments,
2115 Being nothing like the noble duke my father.
2116 95 Yet touch this sparingly, as ’twere far off,
2117 Because, my lord, you know my mother lives.
2118 Doubt not, my lord. I’ll play the orator
2119 As if the golden fee for which I plead
2120 Were for myself. And so, my lord, adieu.
2121 100 If you thrive well, bring them to Baynard’s Castle,
2123 With reverend fathers and well-learnèd bishops.
2124 I go; and towards three or four o’clock
2125 Look for the news that the Guildhall affords.
2126 105 Go, Lovell, with all speed to Doctor Shaa.
2127 ⌜To Ratcliffe.⌝ Go thou to Friar Penker. Bid them
2129 Meet me within this hour at Baynard’s Castle.
⌜Ratcliffe and Lovell⌝ exit.
2130 Now will I go to take some privy order
2131 110 To draw the brats of Clarence out of sight,
2132 And to give order that no manner person
2133 Have any time recourse unto the Princes.
2134 Here is the indictment of the good Lord Hastings,
2135 Which in a set hand fairly is engrossed,
2136 That it may be today read o’er in Paul’s.
2137 And mark how well the sequel hangs together:
2138 5 Eleven hours I have spent to write it over,
2139 For yesternight by Catesby was it sent me;
2140 The precedent was full as long a-doing,
2141 And yet within these five hours Hastings lived,
2142 Untainted, unexamined, free, at liberty.
2143 10 Here’s a good world the while! Who is so gross
2144 That cannot see this palpable device?
2145 Yet who so bold but says he sees it not?
2147 When such ill dealing must be seen in thought.
2148 How now, how now? What say the citizens?
2149 Now, by the holy mother of our Lord,
2150 The citizens are mum, say not a word.
2151 Touched you the bastardy of Edward’s children?
2152 5 I did; with his contract with Lady Lucy
2153 And his contract by deputy in France;
2154 Th’ unsatiate greediness of his desire
2155 And his enforcement of the city wives;
2156 His tyranny for trifles; his own bastardy,
2157 10 As being got, your father then in France,
2158 And his resemblance being not like the Duke.
2159 Withal, I did infer your lineaments,
2160 Being the right idea of your father,
2161 Both in your form and nobleness of mind;
2162 15 Laid open all your victories in Scotland,
2163 Your discipline in war, wisdom in peace,
2164 Your bounty, virtue, fair humility;
2165 Indeed, left nothing fitting for your purpose
2166 Untouched or slightly handled in discourse.
2167 20 And when ⟨mine⟩ oratory drew toward end,
2168 I bid them that did love their country’s good
2169 Cry “God save Richard, England’s royal king!”
RICHARD 2170 And did they so?
2171 No. So God help me, they spake not a word
2172 25 But, like dumb statues or breathing stones,
2173 Stared each on other and looked deadly pale;
2174 Which when I saw, I reprehended them
2175 And asked the Mayor what meant this willful silence.
2176 His answer was, the people were not used
2177 30 To be spoke to but by the Recorder.
2178 Then he was urged to tell my tale again:
2179 “Thus saith the Duke. Thus hath the Duke
2181 But nothing spoke in warrant from himself.
2182 35 When he had done, some followers of mine own,
2183 At lower end of the hall, hurled up their caps,
2184 And some ten voices cried “God save King Richard!”
2185 And thus I took the vantage of those few.
2186 “Thanks, gentle citizens and friends,” quoth I.
2187 40 “This general applause and cheerful shout
2188 Argues your ⟨wisdoms⟩ and your love to Richard”—
2189 And even here brake off and came away.
2190 What tongueless blocks were they! Would they not
2192 45 Will not the Mayor then and his brethren come?
2193 The Mayor is here at hand. Intend some fear;
2194 Be not you spoke with but by mighty suit.
2195 And look you get a prayer book in your hand
2196 And stand between two churchmen, good my lord,
2197 50 For on that ground I’ll make a holy descant.
2198 And be not easily won to our requests.
2199 Play the maid’s part: still answer “nay,” and take it.
2200 I go. An if you plead as well for them
2201 As I can say “nay” to thee for myself,
2202 55 No doubt we bring it to a happy issue.
2203 Go, go, up to the leads. The Lord Mayor knocks.
Enter the Mayor and Citizens.
2204 Welcome, my lord. I dance attendance here.
2205 I think the Duke will not be spoke withal.
2206 Now, Catesby, what says your lord to my request?
2207 60 He doth entreat your Grace, my noble lord,
2208 To visit him tomorrow or next day.
2209 He is within, with two right reverend fathers,
2210 Divinely bent to meditation,
2211 And in no worldly suits would he be moved
2212 65 To draw him from his holy exercise.
2213 Return, good Catesby, to the gracious duke.
2214 Tell him myself, the Mayor, and aldermen,
2215 In deep designs, in matter of great moment
2216 No less importing than our general good,
2217 70 Are come to have some conference with his Grace.
2218 I’ll signify so much unto him straight.He exits.
2219 Ah ha, my lord, this prince is not an Edward!
2220 He is not lolling on a lewd love-bed,
2221 But on his knees at meditation;
2222 75 Not dallying with a brace of courtesans,
2223 But meditating with two deep divines;
2224 Not sleeping, to engross his idle body,
2225 But praying, to enrich his watchful soul.
2226 Happy were England would this virtuous prince
2228 But sure I fear we shall not win him to it.
2229 Marry, God defend his Grace should say us nay.
2230 I fear he will. Here Catesby comes again.
2231 Now, Catesby, what says his Grace?
2232 85 He wonders to what end you have assembled
2233 Such troops of citizens to come to him,
2234 His Grace not being warned thereof before.
2235 He fears, my lord, you mean no good to him.
2236 Sorry I am my noble cousin should
2237 90 Suspect me that I mean no good to him.
2238 By heaven, we come to him in perfect love,
2239 And so once more return and tell his Grace.
2240 When holy and devout religious men
2241 Are at their beads, ’tis much to draw them thence,
2242 95 So sweet is zealous contemplation.
Enter Richard aloft, between two Bishops.
2243 See where his Grace stands, ’tween two clergymen.
2244 Two props of virtue for a Christian prince,
2245 To stay him from the fall of vanity;
2246 And, see, a book of prayer in his hand,
2247 100 True ornaments to know a holy man.—
2248 Famous Plantagenet, most gracious prince,
2249 Lend favorable ear to our requests,
2251 Of thy devotion and right Christian zeal.
2252 105 My lord, there needs no such apology.
2253 I do beseech your Grace to pardon me,
2254 Who, earnest in the service of my God,
2255 Deferred the visitation of my friends.
2256 But, leaving this, what is your Grace’s pleasure?
2257 110 Even that, I hope, which pleaseth God above
2258 And all good men of this ungoverned isle.
2259 I do suspect I have done some offense
2260 That seems disgracious in the city’s eye,
2261 And that you come to reprehend my ignorance.
2262 115 You have, my lord. Would it might please your
2264 On our entreaties, to amend your fault.
2265 Else wherefore breathe I in a Christian land?
2266 Know, then, it is your fault that you resign
2267 120 The supreme seat, the throne majestical,
2268 The sceptered office of your ancestors,
2269 Your state of fortune, and your due of birth,
2270 The lineal glory of your royal house,
2271 To the corruption of a blemished stock,
2272 125 Whiles in the mildness of your sleepy thoughts,
2273 Which here we waken to our country’s good,
2274 The noble isle doth want ⟨her⟩ proper limbs—
2275 ⟨Her⟩ face defaced with scars of infamy,
2276 ⌜Her⌝ royal stock graft with ignoble plants,
2277 130 And almost shouldered in the swallowing gulf
2278 Of dark forgetfulness and deep oblivion;
2279 Which to recure, we heartily solicit
2281 And kingly government of this your land,
2282 135 Not as Protector, steward, substitute,
2283 Or lowly factor for another’s gain,
2284 But as successively, from blood to blood,
2285 Your right of birth, your empery, your own.
2286 For this, consorted with the citizens,
2287 140 Your very worshipful and loving friends,
2288 And by their vehement instigation,
2289 In this just cause come I to move your Grace.
2290 I cannot tell if to depart in silence
2291 Or bitterly to speak in your reproof
2292 145 Best fitteth my degree or your condition.
2293 If not to answer, you might haply think
2294 Tongue-tied ambition, not replying, yielded
2295 To bear the golden yoke of sovereignty,
2296 Which fondly you would here impose on me.
2297 150 If to reprove you for this suit of yours,
2298 So seasoned with your faithful love to me,
2299 Then on the other side I checked my friends.
2300 Therefore, to speak, and to avoid the first,
2301 And then, in speaking, not to incur the last,
2302 155 Definitively thus I answer you:
2303 Your love deserves my thanks, but my desert
2304 Unmeritable shuns your high request.
2305 First, if all obstacles were cut away
2306 And that my path were even to the crown
2307 160 As the ripe revenue and due of birth,
2308 Yet so much is my poverty of spirit,
2309 So mighty and so many my defects,
2310 That I would rather hide me from my greatness,
2311 Being a bark to brook no mighty sea,
2312 165 Than in my greatness covet to be hid
2313 And in the vapor of my glory smothered.
2314 But, God be thanked, there is no need of me,
2316 The royal tree hath left us royal fruit,
2317 170 Which, mellowed by the stealing hours of time,
2318 Will well become the seat of majesty,
2319 And make, no doubt, us happy by his reign.
2320 On him I lay that you would lay on me,
2321 The right and fortune of his happy stars,
2322 175 Which God defend that I should wring from him.
2323 My lord, this argues conscience in your Grace,
2324 But the respects thereof are nice and trivial,
2325 All circumstances well considerèd.
2326 You say that Edward is your brother’s son;
2327 180 So say we too, but not by Edward’s wife.
2328 For first was he contract to Lady Lucy—
2329 Your mother lives a witness to his vow—
2330 And afterward by substitute betrothed
2331 To Bona, sister to the King of France.
2332 185 These both put off, a poor petitioner,
2333 A care-crazed mother to a many sons,
2334 A beauty-waning and distressèd widow,
2335 Even in the afternoon of her best days,
2336 Made prize and purchase of his wanton eye,
2337 190 Seduced the pitch and height of his degree
2338 To base declension and loathed bigamy.
2339 By her in his unlawful bed he got
2340 This Edward, whom our manners call “the Prince.”
2341 More bitterly could I expostulate,
2342 195 Save that, for reverence to some alive,
2343 I give a sparing limit to my tongue.
2344 Then, good my lord, take to your royal self
2345 This proffered benefit of dignity,
2346 If not to bless us and the land withal,
2347 200 Yet to draw forth your noble ancestry
2348 From the corruption of abusing times
2349 Unto a lineal, true-derivèd course.
2350 Do, good my lord. Your citizens entreat you.
2351 Refuse not, mighty lord, this proffered love.
2352 205 O, make them joyful. Grant their lawful suit.
2353 Alas, why would you heap this care on me?
2354 I am unfit for state and majesty.
2355 I do beseech you, take it not amiss;
2356 I cannot, nor I will not, yield to you.
2357 210 If you refuse it, as in love and zeal
2358 Loath to depose the child, your brother’s son—
2359 As well we know your tenderness of heart
2360 And gentle, kind, effeminate remorse,
2361 Which we have noted in you to your kindred
2362 215 And equally indeed to all estates—
2363 Yet know, whe’er you accept our suit or no,
2364 Your brother’s son shall never reign our king,
2365 But we will plant some other in the throne,
2366 To the disgrace and downfall of your house.
2367 220 And in this resolution here we leave you.—
2368 Come, citizens. ⟨Zounds, I’ll⟩ entreat no more.
2369 O, do not swear, my lord of Buckingham!⟩
⌜Buckingham and some others⌝ exit.
2370 Call him again, sweet prince. Accept their suit.
2371 If you deny them, all the land will rue it.
2372 225 Will you enforce me to a world of cares?
2373 Call them again. I am not made of stones,
2374 But penetrable to your kind entreaties,
2375 Albeit against my conscience and my soul.
Enter Buckingham and the rest.
2377 230 Since you will buckle Fortune on my back,
2378 To bear her burden, whe’er I will or no,
2379 I must have patience to endure the load;
2380 But if black scandal or foul-faced reproach
2381 Attend the sequel of your imposition,
2382 235 Your mere enforcement shall acquittance me
2383 From all the impure blots and stains thereof,
2384 For God doth know, and you may partly see,
2385 How far I am from the desire of this.
2386 God bless your Grace! We see it and will say it.
2387 240 In saying so, you shall but say the truth.
2388 Then I salute you with this royal title:
2389 Long live Richard, England’s worthy king!
ALL 2390 Amen.
2391 Tomorrow may it please you to be crowned?
2392 245 Even when you please, for you will have it so.
2393 Tomorrow, then, we will attend your Grace,
2394 And so most joyfully we take our leave.
RICHARD, ⌜to the Bishops⌝
2395 Come, let us to our holy work again.—
2396 Farewell, my ⟨cousin.⟩ Farewell, gentle friends.
the Lord⌝ Marquess ⌜of⌝ Dorset, at one door; ⌜Anne,⌝
Duchess of Gloucester ⌜with Clarence’s daughter,⌝ at
2397 Who meets us here? My niece Plantagenet
2398 Led in the hand of her kind aunt of Gloucester?
2399 Now, for my life, she’s wandering to the Tower,
2400 On pure heart’s love, to greet the tender prince.—
2401 5 Daughter, well met.
ANNE 2402 God give your Graces both
2403 A happy and a joyful time of day.
2404 As much to you, good sister. Whither away?
2405 No farther than the Tower, and, as I guess,
2406 10 Upon the like devotion as yourselves,
2407 To gratulate the gentle princes there.
2408 Kind sister, thanks. We’ll enter all together.
Enter ⌜Brakenbury,⌝ the Lieutenant.
2409 And in good time here the Lieutenant comes.—
2410 Master Lieutenant, pray you, by your leave,
2411 15 How doth the Prince and my young son of York?
2412 Right well, dear madam. By your patience,
2413 I may not suffer you to visit them.
2414 The King hath strictly charged the contrary.
2415 The King? Who’s that?
BRAKENBURY 2416 20 I mean, the Lord Protector.
2417 The Lord protect him from that kingly title!
2418 Hath he set bounds between their love and me?
2419 I am their mother. Who shall bar me from them?
2420 I am their father’s mother. I will see them.
2421 25 Their aunt I am in law, in love their mother.
2422 Then bring me to their sights. I’ll bear thy blame
2423 And take thy office from thee, on my peril.
2424 No, madam, no. I may not leave it so.
2425 I am bound by oath, and therefore pardon me.
⌜Brakenbury the⌝ Lieutenant exits.
2426 30 Let me but meet you ladies one hour hence,
2427 And I’ll salute your Grace of York as mother
2428 And reverend looker-on of two fair queens.
2429 ⌜To Anne.⌝ Come, madam, you must straight to
2431 35 There to be crownèd Richard’s royal queen.
QUEEN ELIZABETH 2432 Ah, cut my lace asunder
2433 That my pent heart may have some scope to beat,
2434 Or else I swoon with this dead-killing news!
2435 Despiteful tidings! O, unpleasing news!
2436 40 Be of good cheer, mother. How fares your Grace?
2437 O Dorset, speak not to me. Get thee gone.
2438 Death and destruction dogs thee at thy heels.
2439 Thy mother’s name is ominous to children.
2440 If thou wilt outstrip death, go, cross the seas,
2441 45 And live with Richmond, from the reach of hell.
2442 Go, hie thee, hie thee from this slaughterhouse,
2443 Lest thou increase the number of the dead
2444 And make me die the thrall of Margaret’s curse,
2445 Nor mother, wife, nor England’s counted queen.
2446 50 Full of wise care is this your counsel, madam.
2447 ⌜To Dorset.⌝ Take all the swift advantage of the
2449 You shall have letters from me to my son
2450 In your behalf, to meet you on the way.
2451 55 Be not ta’en tardy by unwise delay.
2452 O ill-dispersing wind of misery!
2453 O my accursèd womb, the bed of death!
2454 A cockatrice hast thou hatched to the world,
2455 Whose unavoided eye is murderous.
STANLEY, ⌜to Anne⌝
2456 60 Come, madam, come. I in all haste was sent.
2457 And I with all unwillingness will go.
2458 O, would to God that the inclusive verge
2459 Of golden metal that must round my brow
2460 Were red-hot steel to sear me to the brains!
2461 65 Anointed let me be with deadly venom,
2462 And die ere men can say “God save the Queen.”
2463 Go, go, poor soul, I envy not thy glory.
2464 To feed my humor, wish thyself no harm.
2465 No? Why? When he that is my husband now
2466 70 Came to me as I followed Henry’s corse,
2467 When scarce the blood was well washed from his
2469 Which issued from my other angel husband
2470 And that dear saint which then I weeping followed—
2471 75 O, when, I say, I looked on Richard’s face,
2472 This was my wish: be thou, quoth I, accursed
2473 For making me, so young, so old a widow;
2474 And, when thou wedd’st, let sorrow haunt thy bed;
2475 And be thy wife, if any be so mad,
2476 80 More miserable by the life of thee
2477 Than thou hast made me by my dear lord’s death.
2478 Lo, ere I can repeat this curse again,
2479 Within so small a time my woman’s heart
2480 Grossly grew captive to his honey words
2481 85 And proved the subject of mine own soul’s curse,
2482 Which hitherto hath held ⟨my⟩ eyes from rest,
2483 For never yet one hour in his bed
2484 Did I enjoy the golden dew of sleep,
2485 But with his timorous dreams was still awaked.
2486 90 Besides, he hates me for my father Warwick,
2487 And will, no doubt, shortly be rid of me.
2488 Poor heart, adieu. I pity thy complaining.
2489 No more than with my soul I mourn for yours.
2490 Farewell, thou woeful welcomer of glory.
2491 95 Adieu, poor soul that tak’st thy leave of it.
DUCHESS, ⌜to Dorset⌝
2492 Go thou to Richmond, and good fortune guide thee.
2493 ⌜To Anne.⌝ Go thou to Richard, and good angels
2494 tend thee.
2496 100 good thoughts possess thee.
2497 I to my grave, where peace and rest lie with me.
2498 Eighty-odd years of sorrow have I seen,
2499 And each hour’s joy wracked with a week of teen.
2500 Stay, yet look back with me unto the Tower.—
2501 105 Pity, you ancient stones, those tender babes
2502 Whom envy hath immured within your walls—
2503 Rough cradle for such little pretty ones.
2504 Rude ragged nurse, old sullen playfellow
2505 For tender princes, use my babies well.
2506 110 So foolish sorrows bids your stones farewell.
Catesby, Ratcliffe, Lovell, ⌜and others, including a Page.⌝
2507 Stand all apart.—Cousin of Buckingham.
⌜The others move aside.⌝
BUCKINGHAM 2508 My gracious sovereign.
2509 Give me thy hand.
⟨Here he ascendeth the throne.⟩ Sound ⌜trumpets.⌝
2510 Thus high, by thy advice
2511 5 And thy assistance is King Richard seated.
2512 But shall we wear these glories for a day,
2513 Or shall they last and we rejoice in them?
2514 Still live they, and forever let them last.
2515 Ah, Buckingham, now do I play the touch,
2516 10 To try if thou be current gold indeed:
2517 Young Edward lives; think now what I would speak.
2519 Why, Buckingham, I say I would be king.
2520 Why so you are, my thrice-renownèd lord.
2521 15 Ha! Am I king? ’Tis so—but Edward lives.
2522 True, noble prince.
RICHARD 2523 O bitter consequence
2524 That Edward still should live “true noble prince”!
2525 Cousin, thou wast not wont to be so dull.
2526 20 Shall I be plain? I wish the bastards dead,
2527 And I would have it suddenly performed.
2528 What sayst thou now? Speak suddenly. Be brief.
BUCKINGHAM 2529 Your Grace may do your pleasure.
2530 Tut, tut, thou art all ice; thy kindness freezes.
2531 25 Say, have I thy consent that they shall die?
2532 Give me some little breath, some pause, dear lord,
2533 Before I positively speak in this.
2534 I will resolve you herein presently.
CATESBY, ⌜aside to the other Attendants⌝
2535 The King is angry. See, he gnaws his lip.
2536 30 I will converse with iron-witted fools
2537 And unrespective boys. None are for me
2538 That look into me with considerate eyes.
2539 High-reaching Buckingham grows circumspect.—
PAGE, ⌜coming forward⌝ 2541 35My lord?
2542 Know’st thou not any whom corrupting gold
2543 Will tempt unto a close exploit of death?
2544 I know a discontented gentleman
2545 Whose humble means match not his haughty spirit.
2546 40 Gold were as good as twenty orators,
2547 And will, no doubt, tempt him to anything.
2548 What is his name?
PAGE 2549 His name, my lord, is Tyrrel.
2550 I partly know the man. Go, call him hither, boy.
2551 45 ⌜Aside.⌝ The deep-revolving witty Buckingham
2552 No more shall be the neighbor to my counsels.
2553 Hath he so long held out with me, untired,
2554 And stops he now for breath? Well, be it so.
2555 How now, Lord Stanley, what’s the news?
STANLEY 2556 50Know, my loving lord,
2557 The Marquess Dorset, as I hear, is fled
2558 To Richmond, in the parts where he abides.
⌜He walks aside.⌝
2559 Come hither, Catesby. Rumor it abroad
2560 That Anne my wife is very grievous sick.
2561 55 I will take order for her keeping close.
2562 Inquire me out some mean poor gentleman,
2563 Whom I will marry straight to Clarence’ daughter.
2564 The boy is foolish, and I fear not him.
2565 Look how thou dream’st! I say again, give out
2566 60 That Anne my queen is sick and like to die.
2567 About it, for it stands me much upon
2568 To stop all hopes whose growth may damage me.
2569 ⌜Aside.⌝ I must be married to my brother’s daughter,
2570 Or else my kingdom stands on brittle glass.
2572 Uncertain way of gain. But I am in
2573 So far in blood that sin will pluck on sin.
2574 Tear-falling pity dwells not in this eye.
2575 Is thy name Tyrrel?
2576 70 James Tyrrel, and your most obedient subject.
2577 Art thou indeed?
TYRREL 2578 Prove me, my gracious lord.
2579 Dar’st thou resolve to kill a friend of mine?
2580 Please you. But I had rather kill two enemies.
2581 75 Why then, thou hast it. Two deep enemies,
2582 Foes to my rest, and my sweet sleep’s disturbers,
2583 Are they that I would have thee deal upon.
2584 Tyrrel, I mean those bastards in the Tower.
2585 Let me have open means to come to them,
2586 80 And soon I’ll rid you from the fear of them.
2587 Thou sing’st sweet music. Hark, come hither, Tyrrel.
⌜Tyrrel approaches Richard and kneels.⌝
2588 Go, by this token. Rise, and lend thine ear.
⌜Tyrrel rises, and Richard⌝ whispers
⌜to him. Then Tyrrel steps back.⌝
2589 There is no more but so. Say it is done,
2590 And I will love thee and prefer thee for it.
TYRREL 2591 85I will dispatch it straight.He exits.
2592 My lord, I have considered in my mind
2593 The late request that you did sound me in.
2594 Well, let that rest. Dorset is fled to Richmond.
BUCKINGHAM 2595 I hear the news, my lord.
2596 90 Stanley, he is your wife’s son. Well, look unto it.
2597 My lord, I claim the gift, my due by promise,
2598 For which your honor and your faith is pawned—
2599 Th’ earldom of ⟨Hereford⟩ and the movables
2600 Which you have promisèd I shall possess.
2601 95 Stanley, look to your wife. If she convey
2602 Letters to Richmond, you shall answer it.
2603 What says your Highness to my just request?
2604 I do remember me, Henry the Sixth
2605 Did prophesy that Richmond should be king,
2606 100 When Richmond was a little peevish boy.
2607 A king perhaps—
⟨BUCKINGHAM 2608 My lord—
2609 How chance the prophet could not at that time
2610 Have told me, I being by, that I should kill him?
2611 105 My lord, your promise for the earldom—
2612 Richmond! When last I was at Exeter,
2613 The Mayor in courtesy showed me the castle
2614 And called it Rougemont, at which name I started,
2615 Because a bard of Ireland told me once
2616 110 I should not live long after I saw Richmond.
BUCKINGHAM 2617 My lord—
2619 I am thus bold to put your Grace in mind
2620 Of what you promised me.
RICHARD 2621 115Well, but what’s o’clock?
BUCKINGHAM 2622 Upon the stroke of ten.
RICHARD 2623 Well, let it strike.
BUCKINGHAM 2624 Why let it strike?
2625 Because that, like a jack, thou keep’st the stroke
2626 120 Betwixt thy begging and my meditation.
2627 I am not in the giving vein today.
2628 Why then, resolve me whether you will or no.⟩
2629 Thou troublest me; I am not in the vein.
He exits, ⌜and is followed by all but Buckingham.⌝
2630 And is it thus? Repays he my deep service
2631 125 With such contempt? Made I him king for this?
2632 O, let me think on Hastings and be gone
2633 To Brecknock, while my fearful head is on!
2634 The tyrannous and bloody act is done,
2635 The most arch deed of piteous massacre
2636 That ever yet this land was guilty of.
2637 Dighton and Forrest, who I did suborn
2638 5 To do this piece of ⌜ruthless⌝ butchery,
2639 Albeit they were fleshed villains, bloody dogs,
2640 Melted with tenderness and mild compassion,
2642 “O thus,” quoth Dighton, “lay the gentle babes.”
2643 10 “Thus, thus,” quoth Forrest, “girdling one another
2644 Within their alabaster innocent arms.
2645 Their lips were four red roses on a stalk,
2646 And in their summer beauty kissed each other.
2647 A book of prayers on their pillow lay,
2648 15 Which ⟨once,⟩” quoth Forrest, “almost changed my
2650 But, O, the devil—” There the villain stopped;
2651 When Dighton thus told on: “We smotherèd
2652 The most replenishèd sweet work of nature
2653 20 That from the prime creation e’er she framed.”
2654 Hence both are gone with conscience and remorse;
2655 They could not speak; and so I left them both
2656 To bear this tidings to the bloody king.
2657 And here he comes.—All health, my sovereign lord.
2658 25 Kind Tyrrel, am I happy in thy news?
2659 If to have done the thing you gave in charge
2660 Beget your happiness, be happy then,
2661 For it is done.
RICHARD 2662 But did’st thou see them dead?
2663 30 I did, my lord.
RICHARD 2664 And buried, gentle Tyrrel?
2665 The chaplain of the Tower hath buried them,
2666 But where, to say the truth, I do not know.
2667 Come to me, Tyrrel, soon ⟨at⟩ after-supper,
2668 35 When thou shalt tell the process of their death.
2669 Meantime, but think how I may do thee good,
2671 Farewell till then.
TYRREL 2672 I humbly take my leave.
2673 40 The son of Clarence have I pent up close,
2674 His daughter meanly have I matched in marriage,
2675 The sons of Edward sleep in Abraham’s bosom,
2676 And Anne my wife hath bid this world goodnight.
2677 Now, for I know the Breton Richmond aims
2678 45 At young Elizabeth, my brother’s daughter,
2679 And by that knot looks proudly on the crown,
2680 To her go I, a jolly thriving wooer.
RATCLIFFE 2681 My lord.
2682 Good or bad news, that thou com’st in so bluntly?
2683 50 Bad news, my lord. Morton is fled to Richmond,
2684 And Buckingham, backed with the hardy Welshmen,
2685 Is in the field, and still his power increaseth.
2686 Ely with Richmond troubles me more near
2687 Than Buckingham and his rash-levied strength.
2688 55 Come, I have learned that fearful commenting
2689 Is leaden servitor to dull delay;
2690 Delay ⟨leads⟩ impotent and snail-paced beggary;
2691 Then fiery expedition be my wing,
2692 Jove’s Mercury, and herald for a king.
2693 60 Go, muster men. My counsel is my shield.
2694 We must be brief when traitors brave the field.
2695 So now prosperity begins to mellow
2696 And drop into the rotten mouth of death.
2697 Here in these confines slyly have I lurked
2698 To watch the waning of mine enemies.
2699 5 A dire induction am I witness to,
2700 And will to France, hoping the consequence
2701 Will prove as bitter, black, and tragical.
2702 Withdraw thee, wretched Margaret. Who comes
2703 here?⌜She steps aside.⌝
Enter Duchess ⟨of York⟩ and Queen ⌜Elizabeth.⌝
2704 10 Ah, my poor princes! Ah, my tender babes,
2705 My ⟨unblown⟩ flowers, new-appearing sweets,
2706 If yet your gentle souls fly in the air
2707 And be not fixed in doom perpetual,
2708 Hover about me with your airy wings
2709 15 And hear your mother’s lamentation.
QUEEN MARGARET, ⌜aside⌝
2710 Hover about her; say that right for right
2711 Hath dimmed your infant morn to agèd night.
2712 So many miseries have crazed my voice
2713 That my woe-wearied tongue is still and mute.
2714 20 Edward Plantagenet, why art thou dead?
QUEEN MARGARET, ⌜aside⌝
2715 Plantagenet doth quit Plantagenet;
2716 Edward for Edward pays a dying debt.
2717 Wilt thou, O God, fly from such gentle lambs
2718 And throw them in the entrails of the wolf?
2719 25 When didst thou sleep when such a deed was done?
2720 When holy Harry died, and my sweet son.
DUCHESS, ⌜to Queen Elizabeth⌝
2721 Dead life, blind sight, poor mortal living ghost,
2722 Woe’s scene, world’s shame, grave’s due by life
2724 30 Brief abstract and record of tedious days,
2725 Rest thy unrest on England’s lawful earth,
2726 Unlawfully made drunk with innocent blood.
QUEEN ELIZABETH, ⌜as they both sit down⌝
2727 Ah, that thou wouldst as soon afford a grave
2728 As thou canst yield a melancholy seat,
2729 35 Then would I hide my bones, not rest them here.
2730 Ah, who hath any cause to mourn but we?
QUEEN MARGARET, ⌜coming forward⌝
2731 If ancient sorrow be most reverend,
2732 Give mine the benefit of seigniory,
2733 And let my griefs frown on the upper hand.
2734 40 If sorrow can admit society,
2735 ⟨Tell over your woes again by viewing mine.⟩
2736 I had an Edward till a Richard killed him;
2737 I had a husband till a Richard killed him.
2738 Thou hadst an Edward till a Richard killed him;
2739 45 Thou hadst a Richard till a Richard killed him.
2740 I had a Richard too, and thou did’st kill him;
2741 I had a Rutland too; thou ⌜holp’st⌝ to kill him.
2742 Thou hadst a Clarence too, and Richard killed him.
2743 From forth the kennel of thy womb hath crept
2744 50 A hellhound that doth hunt us all to death—
2745 That dog, that had his teeth before his eyes,
2746 To worry lambs and lap their gentle blood;
2747 That excellent grand tyrant of the Earth,
2748 That reigns in gallèd eyes of weeping souls;
2749 55 That foul defacer of God’s handiwork
2751 O upright, just, and true-disposing God,
2752 How do I thank thee that this carnal cur
2753 Preys on the issue of his mother’s body
2754 60 And makes her pew-fellow with others’ moan!
DUCHESS , ⌜standing⌝
2755 O Harry’s wife, triumph not in my woes!
2756 God witness with me, I have wept for thine.
2757 Bear with me. I am hungry for revenge,
2758 And now I cloy me with beholding it.
2759 65 Thy Edward he is dead, that killed my Edward,
2760 ⟨Thy⟩ other Edward dead, to quit my Edward;
2761 Young York, he is but boot, because both they
2762 Matched not the high perfection of my loss.
2763 Thy Clarence he is dead that stabbed my Edward,
2764 70 And the beholders of this frantic play,
2765 Th’ adulterate Hastings, Rivers, Vaughan, Grey,
2766 Untimely smothered in their dusky graves.
2767 Richard yet lives, hell’s black intelligencer,
2768 Only reserved their factor to buy souls
2769 75 And send them thither. But at hand, at hand
2770 Ensues his piteous and unpitied end.
2771 Earth gapes, hell burns, fiends roar, saints pray,
2772 To have him suddenly conveyed from hence.
2773 Cancel his bond of life, dear God I pray,
2774 80 That I may live and say “The dog is dead.”
QUEEN ELIZABETH , ⌜standing⌝
2775 O, thou didst prophesy the time would come
2776 That I should wish for thee to help me curse
2777 That bottled spider, that foul bunch-backed toad!
2778 I called thee then “vain flourish of my fortune.”
2779 85 I called thee then poor shadow, “painted queen,”
2780 The presentation of but what I was,
2781 The flattering index of a direful pageant,
2783 A mother only mocked with two fair babes,
2784 90 A dream of what thou wast, a garish flag
2785 To be the aim of every dangerous shot,
2786 A sign of dignity, a breath, a bubble,
2787 A queen in jest, only to fill the scene.
2788 Where is thy husband now? Where be thy brothers?
2789 95 Where ⟨are⟩ thy two sons? Wherein dost thou joy?
2790 Who sues and kneels and says “God save the
2792 Where be the bending peers that flattered thee?
2793 Where be the thronging troops that followed thee?
2794 100 Decline all this, and see what now thou art:
2795 For happy wife, a most distressèd widow;
2796 For joyful mother, one that wails the name;
2797 For one being sued to, one that humbly sues;
2798 For queen, a very caitiff crowned with care;
2799 105 For she that scorned at me, now scorned of me;
2800 For she being feared of all, now fearing one;
2801 For she commanding all, obeyed of none.
2802 Thus hath the course of justice whirled about
2803 And left thee but a very prey to time,
2804 110 Having no more but thought of what thou wast
2805 To torture thee the more, being what thou art.
2806 Thou didst usurp my place, and dost thou not
2807 Usurp the just proportion of my sorrow?
2808 Now thy proud neck bears half my burdened yoke,
2809 115 From which even here I slip my ⟨weary⟩ head
2810 And leave the burden of it all on thee.
2811 Farewell, York’s wife, and queen of sad mischance.
2812 These English woes shall make me smile in France.
⌜She begins to exit.⌝
2813 O, thou well-skilled in curses, stay awhile,
2814 120 And teach me how to curse mine enemies.
2815 Forbear to sleep the ⟨nights,⟩ and fast the ⟨days;⟩
2816 Compare dead happiness with living woe;
2817 Think that thy babes were sweeter than they were,
2818 And he that slew them fouler than he is.
2819 125 Bettering thy loss makes the bad causer worse.
2820 Revolving this will teach thee how to curse.
2821 My words are dull. O, quicken them with thine!
2822 Thy woes will make them sharp and pierce like
2823 mine.Margaret exits.
2824 130 Why should calamity be full of words?
2825 Windy attorneys to their clients’ woes,
2826 Airy succeeders of ⟨intestate⟩ joys,
2827 Poor breathing orators of miseries,
2828 Let them have scope; though what they will impart
2829 135 Help nothing else, yet do they ease the heart.
2830 If so, then be not tongue-tied. Go with me,
2831 And in the breath of bitter words let’s smother
2832 My damnèd son that thy two sweet sons smothered.
⌜A trumpet sounds.⌝
2833 The trumpet sounds. Be copious in exclaims.
Enter King Richard and his train, ⌜including Catesby.⌝
2834 140 Who intercepts me in my expedition?
2835 O, she that might have intercepted thee,
2836 By strangling thee in her accursèd womb,
2837 From all the slaughters, wretch, that thou hast done.
2838 Hid’st thou that forehead with a golden crown
2839 145 Where should be branded, if that right were right,
2840 The slaughter of the prince that owed that crown
2841 And the dire death of my poor sons and brothers?
2842 Tell me, thou villain-slave, where are my children?
DUCHESS, ⌜to Richard⌝
2843 Thou toad, thou toad, where is thy brother Clarence,
2844 150 And little Ned Plantagenet his son?
QUEEN ELIZABETH, ⌜to Richard⌝
2845 Where is the gentle Rivers, Vaughan, Grey?
DUCHESS, ⌜to Richard⌝ 2846 Where is kind Hastings?
2847 A flourish, trumpets! Strike alarum, drums!
2848 Let not the heavens hear these telltale women
2849 155 Rail on the Lord’s anointed. Strike, I say!
2850 Either be patient and entreat me fair,
2851 Or with the clamorous report of war
2852 Thus will I drown your exclamations.
DUCHESS 2853 Art thou my son?
2854 160 Ay, I thank God, my father, and yourself.
2855 Then patiently hear my impatience.
2856 Madam, I have a touch of your condition,
2857 That cannot brook the accent of reproof.
2858 O, let me speak!
RICHARD 2859 165 Do then, but I’ll not hear.
2860 I will be mild and gentle in my words.
2861 And brief, good mother, for I am in haste.
2862 Art thou so hasty? I have stayed for thee,
2863 God knows, in torment and in agony.
2864 170 And came I not at last to comfort you?
2865 No, by the Holy Rood, thou know’st it well.
2866 Thou cam’st on Earth to make the Earth my hell.
2867 A grievous burden was thy birth to me;
2868 Tetchy and wayward was thy infancy;
2869 175 Thy school days frightful, desp’rate, wild, and
2871 Thy prime of manhood daring, bold, and venturous;
2872 Thy age confirmed, proud, subtle, sly, and bloody,
2873 More mild, but yet more harmful, kind in hatred.
2874 180 What comfortable hour canst thou name,
2875 That ever graced me with thy company?
2876 Faith, none but Humfrey Hower, that called your
2878 To breakfast once, forth of my company.
2879 185 If I be so disgracious in your eye,
2880 Let me march on and not offend you, madam.—
2881 Strike up the drum.
DUCHESS 2882 I prithee, hear me speak.
2883 You speak too bitterly.
DUCHESS 2884 190 Hear me a word,
2885 For I shall never speak to thee again.
RICHARD 2886 So.
2887 Either thou wilt die by God’s just ordinance
2888 Ere from this war thou turn a conqueror,
2889 195 Or I with grief and extreme age shall perish
2890 And nevermore behold thy face again.
2891 Therefore take with thee my most grievous curse,
2893 Than all the complete armor that thou wear’st.
2894 200 My prayers on the adverse party fight,
2895 And there the little souls of Edward’s children
2896 Whisper the spirits of thine enemies
2897 And promise them success and victory.
2898 Bloody thou art; bloody will be thy end.
2899 205 Shame serves thy life and doth thy death attend.
2900 Though far more cause, yet much less spirit to
2902 Abides in me. I say amen to her.
2903 Stay, madam. I must talk a word with you.
2904 210 I have no more sons of the royal blood
2905 For thee to slaughter. For my daughters, Richard,
2906 They shall be praying nuns, not weeping queens,
2907 And therefore level not to hit their lives.
2908 You have a daughter called Elizabeth,
2909 215 Virtuous and fair, royal and gracious.
2910 And must she die for this? O, let her live,
2911 And I’ll corrupt her manners, stain her beauty,
2912 Slander myself as false to Edward’s bed,
2913 Throw over her the veil of infamy.
2914 220 So she may live unscarred of bleeding slaughter,
2915 I will confess she was not Edward’s daughter.
2916 Wrong not her birth. She is a royal princess.
2917 To save her life, I’ll say she is not so.
2918 Her life is safest only in her birth.
2919 225 And only in that safety died her brothers.
2920 Lo, at their birth good stars were opposite.
2921 No, to their lives ill friends were contrary.
2922 All unavoided is the doom of destiny.
2923 True, when avoided grace makes destiny.
2924 230 My babes were destined to a fairer death
2925 If grace had blessed thee with a fairer life.
2926 You speak as if that I had slain my cousins.
2927 Cousins, indeed, and by their uncle cozened
2928 Of comfort, kingdom, kindred, freedom, life.
2929 235 Whose hand soever launched their tender hearts,
2930 Thy head, all indirectly, gave direction.
2931 No doubt the murd’rous knife was dull and blunt
2932 Till it was whetted on thy stone-hard heart,
2933 To revel in the entrails of my lambs.
2934 240 But that still use of grief makes wild grief tame,
2935 My tongue should to thy ears not name my boys
2936 Till that my nails were anchored in thine eyes,
2937 And I, in such a desp’rate bay of death,
2938 Like a poor bark of sails and tackling reft,
2939 245 Rush all to pieces on thy rocky bosom.
2940 Madam, so thrive I in my enterprise
2941 And dangerous success of bloody wars
2942 As I intend more good to you and yours
2943 Than ever you ⟨or⟩ yours by me were harmed!
2944 250 What good is covered with the face of heaven,
2945 To be discovered, that can do me good?
2946 Th’ advancement of your children, gentle lady.
2947 Up to some scaffold, there to lose their heads.
2948 Unto the dignity and height of fortune,
2949 255 The high imperial type of this Earth’s glory.
2950 Flatter my sorrow with report of it.
2951 Tell me what state, what dignity, what honor,
2952 Canst thou demise to any child of mine?
2953 Even all I have—ay, and myself and all—
2954 260 Will I withal endow a child of thine;
2955 So in the Lethe of thy angry soul
2956 Thou drown the sad remembrance of those wrongs
2957 Which thou supposest I have done to thee.
2958 Be brief, lest that the process of thy kindness
2959 265 Last longer telling than thy kindness’ date.
2960 Then know that from my soul I love thy daughter.
2961 My daughter’s mother thinks it with her soul.
RICHARD 2962 What do you think?
2963 That thou dost love my daughter from thy soul.
2964 270 So from thy soul’s love didst thou love her brothers,
2965 And from my heart’s love I do thank thee for it.
2966 Be not so hasty to confound my meaning.
2967 I mean that with my soul I love thy daughter
2968 And do intend to make her Queen of England.
2969 275 Well then, who dost thou mean shall be her king?
2970 Even he that makes her queen. Who else should be?
2971 What, thou?
RICHARD 2972 Even so. How think you of it?
2973 How canst thou woo her?
RICHARD 2974 280 That ⟨would I⟩ learn of you,
2975 As one being best acquainted with her humor.
QUEEN ELIZABETH 2976 And wilt thou learn of me?
RICHARD 2977 Madam, with all my heart.
2978 Send to her, by the man that slew her brothers,
2979 285 A pair of bleeding hearts; thereon engrave
2980 “Edward” and “York.” Then haply will she weep.
2981 Therefore present to her—as sometime Margaret
2982 Did to thy father, steeped in Rutland’s blood—
2983 A handkerchief, which say to her did drain
2984 290 The purple sap from her sweet brother’s body,
2985 And bid her wipe her weeping eyes withal.
2986 If this inducement move her not to love,
2987 Send her a letter of thy noble deeds;
2988 Tell her thou mad’st away her uncle Clarence,
2989 295 Her uncle Rivers, ay, and for her sake
2990 Mad’st quick conveyance with her good aunt Anne.
2991 You mock me, madam. This ⟨is⟩ not the way
2992 To win your daughter.
QUEEN ELIZABETH 2993 There is no other way,
2994 300 Unless thou couldst put on some other shape
2995 And not be Richard, that hath done all this.
2996 Say that I did all this for love of her.
2997 Nay, then indeed she cannot choose but hate thee,
2998 Having bought love with such a bloody spoil.
2999 305 Look what is done cannot be now amended.
3000 Men shall deal unadvisedly sometimes,
3001 Which after-hours gives leisure to repent.
3002 If I did take the kingdom from your sons,
3003 To make amends I’ll give it to your daughter.
3004 310 If I have killed the issue of your womb,
3005 To quicken your increase I will beget
3006 Mine issue of your blood upon your daughter.
3007 A grandam’s name is little less in love
3008 Than is the doting title of a mother.
3009 315 They are as children but one step below,
3010 Even of your metal, of your very blood,
3011 Of all one pain, save for a night of groans
3012 Endured of her for whom you bid like sorrow.
3013 Your children were vexation to your youth,
3014 320 But mine shall be a comfort to your age.
3015 The loss you have is but a son being king,
3016 And by that loss your daughter is made queen.
3017 I cannot make you what amends I would;
3018 Therefore accept such kindness as I can.
3019 325 Dorset your son, that with a fearful soul
3020 Leads discontented steps in foreign soil,
3021 This fair alliance quickly shall call home
3022 To high promotions and great dignity.
3023 The king that calls your beauteous daughter wife
3024 330 Familiarly shall call thy Dorset brother.
3025 Again shall you be mother to a king,
3026 And all the ruins of distressful times
3027 Repaired with double riches of content.
3028 What, we have many goodly days to see!
3029 335 The liquid drops of tears that you have shed
3030 Shall come again, transformed to orient pearl,
3031 Advantaging their love with interest
3032 Of ten times double gain of happiness.
3033 Go then, my mother; to thy daughter go.
3035 Prepare her ears to hear a wooer’s tale;
3036 Put in her tender heart th’ aspiring flame
3037 Of golden sovereignty; acquaint the Princess
3038 With the sweet silent hours of marriage joys;
3039 345 And when this arm of mine hath chastisèd
3040 The petty rebel, dull-brained Buckingham,
3041 Bound with triumphant garlands will I come
3042 And lead thy daughter to a conqueror’s bed,
3043 To whom I will retail my conquest won,
3044 350 And she shall be sole victoress, Caesar’s Caesar.
3045 What were I best to say? Her father’s brother
3046 Would be her lord? Or shall I say her uncle?
3047 Or he that slew her brothers and her uncles?
3048 Under what title shall I woo for thee,
3049 355 That God, the law, my honor, and her love
3050 Can make seem pleasing to her tender years?
3051 Infer fair England’s peace by this alliance.
3052 Which she shall purchase with still-lasting war.
3053 Tell her the King, that may command, entreats—
3054 360 That, at her hands, which the King’s King forbids.
3055 Say she shall be a high and mighty queen.
3056 To vail the title, as her mother doth.
3057 Say I will love her everlastingly.
3058 But how long shall that title “ever” last?
3059 365 Sweetly in force unto her fair life’s end.
3060 But how long fairly shall her sweet life last?
3061 As long as heaven and nature lengthens it.
3062 As long as hell and Richard likes of it.
3063 Say I, her sovereign, am her subject low.
3064 370 But she, your subject, loathes such sovereignty.
3065 Be eloquent in my behalf to her.
3066 An honest tale speeds best being plainly told.
3067 Then plainly to her tell my loving tale.
3068 Plain and not honest is too harsh a style.
3069 375 Your reasons are too shallow and too quick.
3070 O no, my reasons are too deep and dead—
3071 Too deep and dead, poor infants, in their graves.
3072 ⟨Harp not on that string, madam; that is past.
3073 Harp on it still shall I till heart-strings break.
3074 380 Now by my George, my Garter, and my crown—
3075 Profaned, dishonored, and the third usurped.
3076 I swear—
QUEEN ELIZABETH 3077 By nothing, for this is no oath.
3078 Thy George, profaned, hath lost his lordly honor;
3080 Thy crown, usurped, disgraced his kingly glory.
3081 If something thou wouldst swear to be believed,
3082 Swear then by something that thou hast not
3084 390 Then, by myself—
QUEEN ELIZABETH 3085 Thyself is self-misused.
3086 Now, by the world—
QUEEN ELIZABETH 3087 ’Tis full of thy foul wrongs.
3088 My father’s death—
QUEEN ELIZABETH 3089 395 Thy life hath it dishonored.
3090 Why then, by ⟨God.⟩
QUEEN ELIZABETH 3091 ⟨God’s⟩ wrong is most of all.
3092 If thou didst fear to break an oath with Him,
3093 The unity the King my husband made
3094 400 Thou hadst not broken, nor my brothers died.
3095 If thou hadst feared to break an oath by Him,
3096 Th’ imperial metal circling now thy head
3097 Had graced the tender temples of my child,
3098 And both the Princes had been breathing here,
3099 405 Which now, two tender bedfellows for dust,
3100 Thy broken faith hath made the prey for worms.
3101 What canst thou swear by now?
RICHARD 3102 The time to come.
3103 That thou hast wrongèd in the time o’erpast;
3104 410 For I myself have many tears to wash
3105 Hereafter time, for time past wronged by thee.
3106 The children live whose fathers thou hast
3108 Ungoverned youth, to wail it ⟨in⟩ their age;
3111 Old barren plants, to wail it with their age.
3112 Swear not by time to come, for that thou hast
3113 Misused ere used, by times ill-used ⟨o’erpast.⟩
3114 420 As I intend to prosper and repent,
3115 So thrive I in my dangerous affairs
3116 Of hostile arms! Myself myself confound,
3117 Heaven and fortune bar me happy hours,
3118 Day, yield me not thy light, nor night thy rest,
3119 425 Be opposite all planets of good luck
3120 To my proceeding if, with dear heart’s love,
3121 Immaculate devotion, holy thoughts,
3122 I tender not thy beauteous princely daughter.
3123 In her consists my happiness and thine.
3124 430 Without her follows to myself and thee,
3125 Herself, the land, and many a Christian soul,
3126 Death, desolation, ruin, and decay.
3127 It cannot be avoided but by this;
3128 It will not be avoided but by this.
3129 435 Therefore, dear mother—I must call you so—
3130 Be the attorney of my love to her;
3131 Plead what I will be, not what I have been;
3132 Not my deserts, but what I will deserve.
3133 Urge the necessity and state of times,
3134 440 And be not peevish found in great designs.
3135 Shall I be tempted of the devil thus?
3136 Ay, if the devil tempt you to do good.
3137 Shall I forget myself to be myself?
3138 Ay, if your self’s remembrance wrong yourself.
QUEEN ELIZABETH 3139 445Yet thou didst kill my children.
3140 But in your daughter’s womb I bury them,
3141 Where, in that nest of spicery, they will breed
3142 Selves of themselves, to your recomforture.
3143 Shall I go win my daughter to thy will?
3144 450 And be a happy mother by the deed.
QUEEN ELIZABETH 3145 I go. Write to me very shortly,
3146 And you shall understand from me her mind.
3147 Bear her my true love’s kiss; and so, farewell.
3148 Relenting fool and shallow, changing woman!
3149 455 How now, what news?
3150 Most mighty sovereign, on the western coast
3151 Rideth a puissant navy. To our shores
3152 Throng many doubtful hollow-hearted friends,
3153 Unarmed and unresolved to beat them back.
3154 460 ’Tis thought that Richmond is their admiral;
3155 And there they hull, expecting but the aid
3156 Of Buckingham to welcome them ashore.
3157 Some light-foot friend post to the Duke of
3159 465 Ratcliffe thyself, or Catesby. Where is he?
3160 Here, my good lord.
RICHARD 3161 Catesby, fly to the Duke.
3162 I will, my lord, with all convenient haste.
3163 ⌜Ratcliffe,⌝ come hither. Post to Salisbury.
3165 unmindful villain,
3166 Why stay’st thou here and go’st not to the Duke?
3167 First, mighty liege, tell me your Highness’ pleasure,
3168 What from your Grace I shall deliver to him.
3169 475 O true, good Catesby. Bid him levy straight
3170 The greatest strength and power that he can make
3171 And meet me suddenly at Salisbury.
CATESBY 3172 I go.He exits.
3173 What, may it please you, shall I do at Salisbury?
3174 480 Why, what wouldst thou do there before I go?
3175 Your Highness told me I should post before.
3176 My mind is changed.
Enter Lord Stanley.
3177 Stanley, what news with you?
3178 None good, my liege, to please you with the hearing,
3179 485 Nor none so bad but well may be reported.
3180 Hoyday, a riddle! Neither good nor bad.
3181 What need’st thou run so many miles about
3182 When thou mayst tell thy tale the nearest way?
3183 Once more, what news?
STANLEY 3184 490 Richmond is on the seas.
3185 There let him sink, and be the seas on him!
3186 White-livered runagate, what doth he there?
3187 I know not, mighty sovereign, but by guess.
3189 495 Stirred up by Dorset, Buckingham, and Morton,
3190 He makes for England, here to claim the crown.
3191 Is the chair empty? Is the sword unswayed?
3192 Is the King dead, the empire unpossessed?
3193 What heir of York is there alive but we?
3194 500 And who is England’s king but great York’s heir?
3195 Then tell me, what makes he upon the seas?
3196 Unless for that, my liege, I cannot guess.
3197 Unless for that he comes to be your liege,
3198 You cannot guess wherefore the Welshman comes.
3199 505 Thou wilt revolt and fly to him, I fear.
3200 No, my good lord. Therefore mistrust me not.
3201 Where is thy power, then, to beat him back?
3202 Where be thy tenants and thy followers?
3203 Are they not now upon the western shore,
3204 510 Safe-conducting the rebels from their ships?
3205 No, my good lord. My friends are in the north.
3206 Cold friends to me. What do they in the north
3207 When they should serve their sovereign in the west?
3208 They have not been commanded, mighty king.
3209 515 Pleaseth your Majesty to give me leave,
3210 I’ll muster up my friends and meet your Grace
3211 Where and what time your Majesty shall please.
3212 Ay, thou wouldst be gone to join with Richmond,
3213 But I’ll not trust thee.
3215 You have no cause to hold my friendship doubtful.
3216 I never was nor never will be false.
3217 Go then and muster men, but leave behind
3218 Your son George Stanley. Look your heart be firm,
3219 525 Or else his head’s assurance is but frail.
3220 So deal with him as I prove true to you.
Enter a Messenger.
3221 My gracious sovereign, now in Devonshire,
3222 As I by friends am well advertisèd,
3223 Sir Edward Courtney and the haughty prelate,
3224 530 Bishop of Exeter, his elder brother,
3225 With many more confederates are in arms.
Enter another Messenger.
3226 In Kent, my liege, the Guilfords are in arms,
3227 And every hour more competitors
3228 Flock to the rebels, and their power grows strong.
Enter another Messenger.
3229 535 My lord, the army of great Buckingham—
3230 Out on you, owls! Nothing but songs of death.
He striketh him.
3231 There, take thou that till thou bring better news.
3232 The news I have to tell your Majesty
3233 Is that by sudden floods and fall of waters
3234 540 Buckingham’s army is dispersed and scattered,
3236 No man knows whither.
RICHARD 3237 I cry thee mercy.
3238 There is my purse to cure that blow of thine.
⌜He gives money.⌝
3239 545 Hath any well-advisèd friend proclaimed
3240 Reward to him that brings the traitor in?
3241 Such proclamation hath been made, my lord.
Enter another Messenger.
3242 Sir Thomas Lovell and Lord Marquess Dorset,
3243 ’Tis said, my liege, in Yorkshire are in arms.
3244 550 But this good comfort bring I to your Highness:
3245 The Breton navy is dispersed by tempest.
3246 Richmond, in Dorsetshire, sent out a boat
3247 Unto the shore to ask those on the banks
3248 If they were his assistants, yea, or no—
3249 555 Who answered him they came from Buckingham
3250 Upon his party. He, mistrusting them,
3251 Hoised sail and made his course again for Brittany.
3252 March on, march on, since we are up in arms,
3253 If not to fight with foreign enemies,
3254 560 Yet to beat down these rebels here at home.
3255 My liege, the Duke of Buckingham is taken.
3256 That is the best news. That the Earl of Richmond
3257 Is with a mighty power landed at Milford