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Richard III - Act 4, scene 3
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Navigate this workRichard III - Act 4, scene 3
Act 4, scene 3
Tyrrel reports the deaths of Edward IV’s sons. Richard then reveals that Anne is dead and that he will now woo his niece Elizabeth, whom Richmond also seeks in marriage. Ratcliffe informs Richard that Morton, Bishop of Ely, has fled to Richmond, and that Buckingham is “in the field.” Richard musters his army.Enter Tyrrel.
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,
p. 2172641 Wept like two children in their deaths’ sad story.
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,
p. 2192670 And be inheritor of thy desire.
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.