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The Life and Death of King Richard III
by William Shakespeare [Collins edition]
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BUCKINGHAM. Well, well, he was the covert'st shelter'd traitor That ever liv'd.— Would you imagine, or almost believe,— Were't not that by great preservation We live to tell it you,—that the subtle traitor This day had plotted, in the council-house, To murder me and my good Lord of Gloster!

MAYOR. Had he done so?

GLOSTER. What! think you we are Turks or Infidels? Or that we would, against the form of law, Proceed thus rashly in the villain's death, But that the extreme peril of the case, The peace of England and our persons' safety, Enforc'd us to this execution?

MAYOR. Now, fair befall you! he deserv'd his death; And your good graces both have well proceeded, To warn false traitors from the like attempts. I never look'd for better at his hands After he once fell in with Mistress Shore.

BUCKINGHAM. Yet had we not determin'd he should die Until your lordship came to see his end; Which now the loving haste of these our friends, Something against our meanings, have prevented: Because, my lord, we would have had you heard The traitor speak, and timorously confess The manner and the purpose of his treasons; That you might well have signified the same Unto the citizens, who haply may Misconster us in him, and wail his death.

MAYOR. But, my good lord, your grace's word shall serve As well as I had seen and heard him speak: And do not doubt, right noble princes both, But I'll acquaint our duteous citizens With all your just proceedings in this case.

GLOSTER. And to that end we wish'd your lordship here, To avoid the the the censures of the carping world.

BUCKINGHAM. But since you come too late of our intent, Yet witness what you hear we did intend: And so, my good lord mayor, we bid farewell.

[Exit LORD MAYOR.]

GLOSTER. Go, after, after, cousin Buckingham. The Mayor towards Guildhall hies him in all post:— There, at your meet'st advantage of the time, Infer the bastardy of Edward's children: Tell them how Edward put to death a citizen, Only for saying he would make his son Heir to the crown;—meaning, indeed, his house, Which, by the sign thereof, was termed so. Moreover, urge his hateful luxury, And bestial appetite in change of lust; Which stretch'd unto their servants, daughters, wives, Even where his raging eye or savage heart, Without control, listed to make a prey. Nay, for a need, thus far come near my person:— Tell them, when that my mother went with child Of that insatiate Edward, noble York, My princely father, then had wars in France And, by true computation of the time, Found that the issue was not his begot; Which well appeared in his lineaments, Being nothing like the noble duke my father. Yet touch this sparingly, as 'twere far off; Because, my lord, you know my mother lives.

BUCKINGHAM. Doubt not, my lord, I'll play the orator As if the golden fee for which I plead Were for myself: and so, my lord, adieu.

GLOSTER. If you thrive well, bring them to Baynard's Castle; Where you shall find me well accompanied With reverend fathers and well learned bishops.

BUCKINGHAM. I go; and towards three or four o'clock Look for the news that the Guildhall affords.

[Exit.]

GLOSTER. Go, Lovel, with all speed to Doctor Shaw.— Go thou [to CATESBY] to Friar Penker;—bid them both Meet me within this hour at Baynard's Castle.

[Exeunt LOVEL and CATESBY.]

Now will I in, to take some privy order To draw the brats of Clarence out of sight; And to give order that no manner person Have any time recourse unto the princes.

[Exit.]



SCENE VI. London. A street.

[Enter a SCRIVENER.]

SCRIVENER. Here is the indictment of the good Lord Hastings; Which in a set hand fairly is engross'd, That it may be to-day read o'er in Paul's. And mark how well the sequel hangs together:— Eleven hours I have spent to write it over, For yesternight by Catesby was it sent me; The precedent was full as long a-doing: And yet within these five hours Hastings liv'd, Untainted, unexamin'd, free, at liberty. Here's a good world the while! Who is so gross That cannot see this palpable device! Yet who so bold but says he sees it not! Bad is the world; and all will come to naught, When such ill dealing must be seen in thought.

[Exit.]



SCENE VII. London. Court of Baynard's Castle.

[Enter GLOSTER and BUCKINGHAM, meeting.]

GLOSTER. How now, how now! what say the citizens?

BUCKINGHAM. Now, by the holy mother of our Lord, The citizens are mum, say not a word.

GLOSTER. Touch'd you the bastardy of Edward's children?

BUCKINGHAM. I did; with his contract with Lady Lucy, And his contract by deputy in France; The insatiate greediness of his desires, And his enforcement of the city wives; His tyranny for trifles; his own bastardy,— As being got, your father then in France, And his resemblance, being not like the duke: Withal I did infer your lineaments,— Being the right idea of your father, Both in your form and nobleness of mind; Laid open all your victories in Scotland, Your discipline in war, wisdom in peace, Your bounty, virtue, fair humility; Indeed, left nothing fitting for your purpose Untouch'd or slightly handled in discourse: And when mine oratory drew toward end I bid them that did love their country's good Cry "God save Richard, England's royal king!"

GLOSTER. And did they so?

BUCKINGHAM. No, so God help me, they spake not a word; But, like dumb statues or breathing stones, Star'd each on other, and look'd deadly pale. Which when I saw, I reprehended them; And ask'd the mayor what meant this wilful silence: His answer was—the people were not us'd To be spoke to but by the recorder. Then he was urg'd to tell my tale again,— "Thus saith the duke, thus hath the duke inferr'd;" But nothing spoke in warrant from himself. When he had done, some followers of mine own, At lower end of the hall hurl'd up their caps, And some ten voices cried, "God save King Richard!" And thus I took the vantage of those few,— "Thanks, gentle citizens and friends," quoth I; "This general applause and cheerful shout Argues your wisdoms and your love to Richard:" And even here brake off and came away.

GLOSTER. What, tongueless blocks were they! would they not speak? Will not the mayor, then, and his brethren, come?

BUCKINGHAM. The mayor is here at hand. Intend some fear; Be not you spoke with but by mighty suit: And look you get a prayer-book in your hand, And stand between two churchmen, good my lord; For on that ground I'll make a holy descant: And be not easily won to our requests; Play the maid's part,—still answer nay, and take it.

GLOSTER. I go; and if you plead as well for them As I can say nay to thee for myself, No doubt we bring it to a happy issue.

BUCKINGHAM. Go, go, up to the leads; the lord mayor knocks.

[Exit GLOSTER.]

[Enter the LORD MAYOR, ALDERMEN, and Citizens.]

Welcome, my lord. I dance attendance here; I think the duke will not be spoke withal.

[Enter, from the Castle, CATESBY.]

Now, Catesby,—what says your lord to my request?

CATESBY. He doth entreat your grace, my noble lord, To visit him to-morrow or next day: He is within, with two right reverend fathers, Divinely bent to meditation: And in no worldly suit would he be mov'd, To draw him from his holy exercise.

BUCKINGHAM. Return, good Catesby, to the gracious duke; Tell him, myself, the mayor and aldermen, In deep designs, in matter of great moment, No less importing than our general good, Are come to have some conference with his grace.

CATESBY. I'll signify so much unto him straight.

[Exit.]

BUCKINGHAM. Ah, ha, my lord, this prince is not an Edward! He is not lolling on a lewd day-bed, But on his knees at meditation; Not dallying with a brace of courtezans, But meditating with two deep divines; Not sleeping, to engross his idle body, But praying, to enrich his watchful soul: Happy were England would this virtuous prince Take on his grace the sovereignty thereof: But, sure, I fear, we shall not win him to it.

MAYOR. Marry, God defend his grace should say us nay!

BUCKINGHAM. I fear he will. Here Catesby comes again.

[Re-enter CATESBY.]

Now, Catesby, what says his grace?

CATESBY. He wonders to what end you have assembled Such troops of citizens to come to him: His grace not being warn'd thereof before, He fears, my lord, you mean no good to him.

BUCKINGHAM. Sorry I am my noble cousin should Suspect me, that I mean no good to him: By heaven, we come to him in perfect love; And so once more return and tell his grace.

[Exit CATESBY.]

When holy and devout religious men Are at their beads, 'tis much to draw them thence,— So sweet is zealous contemplation.

[Enter GLOSTER in a Galery above, between two BISHOPS. CATESBY returns.]

MAYOR. See where his grace stands 'tween two clergymen!

BUCKINGHAM. Two props of virtue for a Christian prince, To stay him from the fall of vanity: And, see, a book of prayer in his hand,— True ornaments to know a holy man.— Famous Plantagenet, most gracious prince, Lend favourable ear to our requests; And pardon us the interruption Of thy devotion and right Christian zeal.

GLOSTER. My lord, there needs no such apology: I rather do beseech you pardon me, Who, earnest in the service of my God, Deferr'd the visitation of my friends. But, leaving this, what is your grace's pleasure?

BUCKINGHAM. Even that, I hope, which pleaseth God above, And all good men of this ungovern'd isle.

GLOSTER. I do suspect I have done some offence That seems disgracious in the city's eye; And that you come to reprehend my ignorance.

BUCKINGHAM. You have, my lord: would it might please your grace, On our entreaties, to amend your fault!

GLOSTER. Else wherefore breathe I in a Christian land?

BUCKINGHAM. Know then, it is your fault that you resign The supreme seat, the throne majestical, The scepter'd office of your ancestors, Your state of fortune and your due of birth, The lineal glory of your royal house, To the corruption of a blemish'd stock: Whilst, in the mildness of your sleepy thoughts,— Which here we waken to our country's good,— The noble isle doth want her proper limbs; Her face defac'd with scars of infamy, Her royal stock graft with ignoble plants, And almost shoulder'd in the swallowing gulf Of dark forgetfulness and deep oblivion. Which to recure, we heartily solicit Your gracious self to take on you the charge And kingly government of this your land;— Not as protector, steward, substitute, Or lowly factor for another's gain; But as successively, from blood to blood, Your right of birth, your empery, your own. For this, consorted with the citizens, Your very worshipful and loving friends, And, by their vehement instigation, In this just cause come I to move your grace.

GLOSTER. I cannot tell if to depart in silence Or bitterly to speak in your reproof Best fitteth my degree or your condition: If not to answer, you might haply think Tongue-tied ambition, not replying, yielded To bear the golden yoke of sovereignty, Which fondly you would here impose on me; If to reprove you for this suit of yours, So season'd with your faithful love to me, Then, on the other side, I check'd my friends. Therefore,—to speak, and to avoid the first, And then, in speaking, not to incur the last,— Definitively thus I answer you. Your love deserves my thanks; but my desert Unmeritable shuns your high request. First, if all obstacles were cut away, And that my path were even to the crown, As the ripe revenue and due of birth, Yet so much is my poverty of spirit, So mighty and so many my defects, That I would rather hide me from my greatness,— Being a bark to brook no mighty sea,— Than in my greatness covet to be hid, And in the vapour of my glory smother'd. But, God be thank'd, there is no need of me,— And much I need to help you, were there need;— The royal tree hath left us royal fruit, Which, mellow'd by the stealing hours of time, Will well become the seat of majesty, And make, no doubt, us happy by his reign. On him I lay that you would lay on me,— The right and fortune of his happy stars; Which God defend that I should wring from him!

BUCKINGHAM. My lord, this argues conscience in your grace; But the respects thereof are nice and trivial, All circumstances well considered. You say that Edward is your brother's son: So say we too, but not by Edward's wife; For first was he contract to Lady Lucy,— Your mother lives a witness to his vow,— And afterward by substitute betroth'd To Bona, sister to the King of France. These both put off, a poor petitioner, A care-craz'd mother to a many sons, A beauty-waning and distressed widow, Even in the afternoon of her best days, Made prize and purchase of his wanton eye, Seduc'd the pitch and height of his degree To base declension and loath'd bigamy: By her, in his unlawful bed, he got This Edward, whom our manners call the prince. More bitterly could I expostulate, Save that, for reverence to some alive, I give a sparing limit to my tongue. Then, good my lord, take to your royal self This proffer'd benefit of dignity; If not to bless us and the land withal, Yet to draw forth your noble ancestry From the corruption of abusing time Unto a lineal true-derived course.

MAYOR. Do, good my lord; your citizens entreat you.

BUCKINGHAM. Refuse not, mighty lord, this proffer'd love.

CATESBY. O, make them joyful, grant their lawful suit!

GLOSTER. Alas, why would you heap those cares on me? I am unfit for state and majesty:— I do beseech you, take it not amiss: I cannot nor I will not yield to you.

BUCKINGHAM. If you refuse it,—as, in love and zeal, Loath to depose the child, your brother's son— As well we know your tenderness of heart And gentle, kind, effeminate remorse, Which we have noted in you to your kindred, And equally, indeed, to all estates,— Yet know, whe'er you accept our suit or no, Your brother's son shall never reign our king; But we will plant some other in the throne, To the disgrace and downfall of your house: And in this resolution here we leave you.— Come, citizens, we will entreat no more.

[Exeunt BUCKINGHAM, the MAYOR and citizens retiring.]

CATESBY. Call them again, sweet prince, accept their suit: If you deny them, all the land will rue it.

GLOSTER. Will you enforce me to a world of cares? Call them again.

[CATESBY goes to the MAYOR, &c., and then exit.]

I am not made of stone, But penetrable to your kind entreaties, Albeit against my conscience and my soul.

[Re-enter BUCKINGHAM and CATESBY, MAYOR, &c., coming forward.]

Cousin of Buckingham,—and sage grave men, Since you will buckle fortune on my back, To bear her burden, whe'er I will or no, I must have patience to endure the load: But if black scandal or foul-fac'd reproach Attend the sequel of your imposition, Your mere enforcement shall acquittance me From all the impure blots and stains thereof; For God doth know, and you may partly see, How far I am from the desire of this.

MAYOR. God bless your grace! we see it, and will say it.

GLOSTER. In saying so, you shall but say the truth.

BUCKINGHAM. Then I salute you with this royal title,— Long live King Richard, England's worthy king!

ALL. Amen.

BUCKINGHAM. To-morrow may it please you to be crown'd?

GLOSTER. Even when you please, for you will have it so.

BUCKINGHAM. To-morrow, then, we will attend your grace: And so, most joyfully, we take our leave.

GLOSTER. [To the BISHOPS.] Come, let us to our holy work again.— Farewell, my cousin;—farewell, gentle friends.

[Exeunt.]



ACT IV.

SCENE I. London. Before the Tower

[Enter, on one side, QUEEN ELIZABETH, DUCHESS of YORK, and MARQUIS of DORSET; on the other, ANNE DUCHESS of GLOSTER, leading LADY MARGARET PLANTAGENET, CLARENCE's young daughter.]

DUCHESS. Who meets us here?—my niece Plantagenet, Led in the hand of her kind aunt of Gloster? Now, for my life, she's wandering to the Tower, On pure heart's love, to greet the tender princes.— Daughter, well met.

ANNE. God give your graces both A happy and a joyful time of day!

QUEEN ELIZABETH. As much to you, good sister! Whither away?

ANNE. No farther than the Tower; and, as I guess, Upon the like devotion as yourselves, To gratulate the gentle princes there.

QUEEN ELIZABETH. Kind sister, thanks; we'll enter all together:— And in good time, here the lieutenant comes.

[Enter BRAKENBURY.]

Master Lieutenant, pray you, by your leave, How doth the prince, and my young son of York?

BRAKENBURY. Right well, dear madam. By your patience, I may not suffer you to visit them. The king hath strictly charg'd the contrary.

QUEEN ELIZABETH. The king! who's that?

BRAKENBURY. I mean the lord protector.

QUEEN ELIZABETH. The Lord protect him from that kingly title! Hath he set bounds between their love and me? I am their mother; who shall bar me from them?

DUCHESS. I am their father's mother; I will see them.

ANNE. Their aunt I am in law, in love their mother: Then bring me to their sights; I'll bear thy blame, And take thy office from thee on my peril.

BRAKENBURY. No, madam, no,—I may not leave it so: I am bound by oath, and therefore pardon me.

[Exit.]

[Enter STANLEY.]

STANLEY. Let me but meet you, ladies, one hour hence, And I'll salute your grace of York as mother And reverend looker-on of two fair queens.— [To the DUCHESS OF GLOSTER.] Come, madam, you must straight to Westminster, There to be crowned Richard's royal queen.

QUEEN ELIZABETH. Ah, cut my lace asunder, That my pent heart may have some scope to beat, Or else I swoon with this dead-killing news!

ANNE. Despiteful tidings! O unpleasing news!

DORSET. Be of good cheer: mother, how fares your grace?

QUEEN ELIZABETH. O Dorset, speak not to me, get thee gone! Death and destruction dog thee at thy heels; Thy mother's name is ominous to children. If thou wilt outstrip death, go cross the seas, And live with Richmond, from the reach of hell: Go, hie thee, hie thee from this slaughter-house, Lest thou increase the number of the dead; And make me die the thrall of Margaret's curse, Nor mother, wife, nor England's counted queen.

STANLEY. Full of wise care is this your counsel, madam.— Take all the swift advantage of the hours; You shall have letters from me to my son In your behalf, to meet you on the way: Be not ta'en tardy by unwise delay.

DUCHESS. O ill-dispersing wind of misery!— O my accursed womb, the bed of death! A cockatrice hast thou hatch'd to the world, Whose unavoided eye is murderous.

STANLEY. Come, madam, come; I in all haste was sent.

ANNE. And I with all unwillingness will go.— O, would to God that the inclusive verge Of golden metal that must round my brow Were red-hot steel, to sear me to the brain ! Anointed let me be with deadly venom, And die ere men can say God save the queen!

QUEEN ELIZABETH. Go, go, poor soul; I envy not thy glory; To feed my humour, wish thyself no harm.

ANNE. No, why?—When he that is my husband now Came to me, as I follow'd Henry's corse; When scarce the blood was well wash'd from his hands Which issued from my other angel husband, And that dear saint which then I weeping follow'd; O, when, I say, I look'd on Richard's face, This was my wish,—"Be thou," quoth I, "accurs'd For making me, so young, so old a widow! And when thou wedd'st, let sorrow haunt thy bed; And be thy wife,—if any be so mad,— More miserable by the life of thee Than thou hast made me by my dear lord's death!" Lo, ere I can repeat this curse again, Within so small a time, my woman's heart Grossly grew captive to his honey words, And prov'd the subject of mine own soul's curse,— Which hitherto hath held my eyes from rest; For never yet one hour in his bed Did I enjoy the golden dew of sleep, But with his timorous dreams was still awak'd. Besides, he hates me for my father Warwick; And will, no doubt, shortly be rid of me.

QUEEN ELIZABETH. Poor heart, adieu! I pity thy complaining.

ANNE. No more than with my soul I mourn for yours.

DORSET. Farewell, thou woeful welcomer of glory!

ANNE. Adieu, poor soul, that tak'st thy leave of it!

DUCHESS. [To DORSET.] Go thou to Richmond, and good fortune guide thee!—

[To ANNE.] Go thou to Richard, and good angels tend thee!—

[To QUEEN ELIZABETH.] Go thou to sanctuary, and good thoughts possess thee! I to my grave, where peace and rest lie with me! Eighty odd years of sorrow have I seen, And each hour's joy wreck'd with a week of teen.

QUEEN ELIZABETH. Stay yet, look back with me unto the Tower.— Pity, you ancient stones, those tender babes Whom envy hath immur'd within your walls! Rough cradle for such little pretty ones! Rude ragged nurse, old sullen playfellow For tender princes, use my babies well! So foolish sorrows bids your stones farewell.

[Exeunt.]



SCENE II. London. A Room of State in the Palace.

[Flourish of trumpets. RICHARD, as King, upon his throne; BUCKINGHAM, CATESBY, RATCLIFF, LOVEL, a Page, and others.]

KING RICHARD. Stand all apart—Cousin of Buckingham,—

BUCKINGHAM. My gracious sovereign?

KING RICHARD. Give me thy hand. Thus high, by thy advice And thy assistance, is King Richard seated:— But shall we wear these glories for a day? Or shall they last, and we rejoice in them?

BUCKINGHAM. Still live they, and for ever let them last!

KING RICHARD. Ah, Buckingham, now do I play the touch, To try if thou be current gold indeed:— Young Edward lives;—think now what I would speak.

BUCKINGHAM. Say on, my loving lord.

KING RICHARD. Why, Buckingham, I say I would be king.

BUCKINGHAM. Why, so you are, my thrice-renowned lord.

KING RICHARD. Ha! am I king? 'tis so: but Edward lives.

BUCKINGHAM. True, noble prince.

KING RICHARD. O bitter consequence, That Edward still should live,—true, noble Prince!— Cousin, thou wast not wont to be so dull:— Shall I be plain?—I wish the bastards dead; And I would have it suddenly perform'd. What say'st thou now? speak suddenly, be brief.

BUCKINGHAM. Your grace may do your pleasure.

KING RICHARD. Tut, tut, thou art all ice, thy kindness freezes: Say, have I thy consent that they shall die?

BUCKINGHAM. Give me some little breath, some pause, dear lord, Before I positively speak in this: I will resolve your grace immediately.

[Exit.]

CATESBY. [Aside.] The king is angry: see, he gnaws his lip.

KING RICHARD. I will converse with iron-witted fools [Descends from his throne.] And unrespective boys; none are for me That look into me with considerate eyes: High-reaching Buckingham grows circumspect. Boy!—

PAGE. My lord?

KING RICHARD. Know'st thou not any whom corrupting gold Will tempt unto a close exploit of death?

PAGE. I know a discontented gentleman Whose humble means match not his haughty spirit: Gold were as good as twenty orators, And will, no doubt, tempt him to anything.

KING RICHARD. What is his name?

PAGE. His name, my lord, is Tyrrel.

KING RICHARD. I partly know the man: go, call him hither, boy.

[Exit PAGE.]

The deep-revolving witty Buckingham No more shall be the neighbour to my counsels: Hath he so long held out with me untir'd, And stops he now for breath?—well, be it so.

[Enter STANLEY.]

How now, Lord Stanley! what's the news?

STANLEY. Know, my loving lord, The Marquis Dorset, as I hear, is fled To Richmond, in the parts where he abides.

KING RICHARD. Come hither, Catesby: rumour it abroad That Anne, my wife, is very grievous sick; I will take order for her keeping close: Inquire me out some mean poor gentleman, Whom I will marry straight to Clarence' daughter;— The boy is foolish, and I fear not him.— Look how thou dream'st!—I say again, give out That Anne, my queen, is sick and like to die: About it; for it stands me much upon, To stop all hopes whose growth may damage me.

[Exit CATESBY.]

I must be married to my brother's daughter, Or else my kingdom stands on brittle glass:— Murder her brothers, and then marry her! Uncertain way of gain! But I am in So far in blood that sin will pluck on sin: Tear-falling pity dwells not in this eye.

[Re-enter PAGE, with TYRREL.]

Is thy name Tyrrel?

TYRREL. James Tyrrel, and your most obedient subject.

KING RICHARD. Art thou, indeed?

TYRREL. Prove me, my gracious lord.

KING RICHARD. Dar'st thou resolve to kill a friend of mine?

TYRREL. Please you. But I had rather kill two enemies.

KING RICHARD. Why, then thou hast it: two deep enemies, Foes to my rest, and my sweet sleep's disturbers, Are they that I would have thee deal upon:— Tyrell, I mean those bastards in the Tower.

TYRREL. Let me have open means to come to them, And soon I'll rid you from the fear of them.

KING RICHARD. Thou sing'st sweet music. Hark, come hither, Tyrrel: Go, by this token:—rise, and lend thine ear: [Whispers.] There is no more but so:—say it is done, And I will love thee, and prefer thee for it.

TYRREL. I will despatch it straight.

[Exit.]

[Re-enter BUCKINGHAM.]

BUCKINGHAM. My lord, I have consider'd in my mind The late request that you did sound me in.

KING RICHARD. Well, let that rest. Dorset is fled to Richmond.

BUCKINGHAM. I hear the news, my lord.

KING RICHARD. Stanley, he is your wife's son:—well, look to it.

BUCKINGHAM. My lord, I claim the gift, my due by promise, For which your honour and your faith is pawn'd: The earldom of Hereford, and the movables Which you have promised I shall possess.

KING RICHARD. Stanley, look to your wife: if she convey Letters to Richmond, you shall answer it.

BUCKINGHAM. What says your highness to my just request?

KING RICHARD. I do remember me:—Henry the Sixth Did prophesy that Richmond should be king, When Richmond was a little peevish boy. A king!—perhaps,—

BUCKINGHAM. My lord,—

KING RICHARD. How chance the prophet could not at that time Have told me, I being by, that I should kill him?

BUCKINGHAM. My lord, your promise for the earldom,—

KING RICHARD. Richmond!—When last I was at Exeter, The mayor in courtesy show'd me the castle And call'd it Rougemount; at which name I started, Because a bard of Ireland told me once I should not live long after I saw Richmond.

BUCKINGHAM. My lord—

KING RICHARD. Ay, what's o'clock?

BUCKINGHAM. I am thus bold to put your grace in mind Of what you promis'd me.

KING RICHARD. Well, but what's o'clock?

BUCKINGHAM. Upon the stroke of ten.

KING RICHARD. Well, let it strike.

BUCKINGHAM. Why let it strike?

KING RICHARD. Because that, like a Jack, thou keep'st the stroke Betwixt thy begging and my meditation. I am not in the giving vein to-day.

BUCKINGHAM. Why then, resolve me whether you will or no.

KING RICHARD. Thou troublest me; I am not in the vein.

[Exeunt KING RICHARD and Train.]

BUCKINGHAM. And is it thus? repays he my deep service With such contempt? made I him king for this? O, let me think on Hastings, and be gone To Brecknock while my fearful head is on!

[Exit.]



SCENE III. London. Another Room in the Palace.

[Enter TYRREL.]

TYRREL. The tyrannous and bloody act is done,— The most arch deed of piteous massacre That ever yet this land was guilty of. Dighton and Forrest, who I did suborn To do this piece of ruthless butchery, Albeit they were flesh'd villains, bloody dogs, Melted with tenderness and mild compassion, Wept like two children in their deaths' sad story. "O, thus," quoth Dighton, "lay the gentle babes,"— "Thus, thus," quoth Forrest, "girdling one another Within their alabaster innocent arms: Their lips were four red roses on a stalk, And in their summer beauty kiss'd each other. A book of prayers on their pillow lay; Which once," quoth Forrest, "almost chang'd my mind; But, O, the devil,"—there the villain stopp'd; When Dighton thus told on:—"We smothered The most replenished sweet work of nature That from the prime creation e'er she framed."— Hence both are gone; with conscience and remorse They could not speak; and so I left them both, To bear this tidings to the bloody king:— And here he comes:—

[Enter KING RICHARD.]

All health, my sovereign lord!

KING RICHARD. Kind Tyrrel, am I happy in thy news?

TYRREL. If to have done the thing you gave in charge Beget your happiness, be happy then, For it is done.

KING RICHARD. But didst thou see them dead?

TYRREL. I did, my lord.

KING RICHARD. And buried, gentle Tyrrel?

TYRREL. The chaplain of the Tower hath buried them; But where, to say the truth, I do not know.

KING RICHARD. Come to me, Tyrrel, soon, at after supper, When thou shalt tell the process of their death. Meantime, but think how I may do thee good, And be inheritor of thy desire. Farewell till then.

TYRREL. I humbly take my leave.

[Exit.]

KING RICHARD. The son of Clarence have I pent up close; His daughter meanly have I match'd in marriage; The sons of Edward sleep in Abraham's bosom, And Anne my wife hath bid the world good-night. Now, for I know the Britagne Richmond aims At young Elizabeth, my brother's daughter, And by that knot looks proudly on the crown, To her go I, a jolly thriving wooer.

[Enter RATCLIFF.]

RATCLIFF. My lord,—

KING RICHARD. Good or bad news, that thou com'st in so bluntly?

RATCLIFF. Bad news, my lord: Morton is fled to Richmond; And Buckingham, back'd with the hardy Welshmen, Is in the field, and still his power increaseth.

KING RICHARD. Ely with Richmond troubles me more near Than Buckingham and his rash-levied strength. Come,—I have learn'd that fearful commenting Is leaden servitor to dull delay; Delay leads impotent and snail-pac'd beggary: Then fiery expedition be my wing, Jove's Mercury, and herald for a king! Go, muster men: my counsel is my shield; We must be brief when traitors brave the field.

[Exeunt.]



SCENE IV. London. Before the Palace.

[Enter QUEEN MARGARET.]

QUEEN MARGARET. So, now prosperity begins to mellow, And drop into the rotten mouth of death. Here in these confines slily have I lurk'd To watch the waning of mine enemies. A dire induction am I witness to, And will to France; hoping the consequence Will prove as bitter, black, and tragical.— Withdraw thee, wretched Margaret: who comes here?

[Retires.]

[Enter QUEEN ELIZABETH and the DUCHESS OF YORK.]

QUEEN ELIZABETH. Ah, my poor princes! ah, my tender babes! My unblown flowers, new-appearing sweets! If yet your gentle souls fly in the air And be not fix'd in doom perpetual, Hover about me with your airy wings And hear your mother's lamentation!

QUEEN MARGARET. Hover about her; say that right for right Hath dimm'd your infant morn to aged night.

DUCHESS. So many miseries have craz'd my voice That my woe-wearied tongue is still and mute.— Edward Plantagenet, why art thou dead?

QUEEN MARGARET. Plantagenet doth quit Plantagenet, Edward for Edward pays a dying debt.

QUEEN ELIZABETH. Wilt thou, O God, fly from such gentle lambs, And throw them in the entrails of the wolf? When didst Thou sleep when such a deed was done?

QUEEN MARGARET. When holy Harry died, and my sweet son.

DUCHESS. Dead life, blind sight, poor mortal living ghost, Woe's scene, world's shame, grave's due by life usurp'd, Brief abstract and record of tedious days, Rest thy unrest on England's lawful earth, [Sitting down.] Unlawfully made drunk with innocent blood.

QUEEN ELIZABETH. Ah, that thou wouldst as soon afford a grave As thou canst yield a melancholy seat! Then would I hide my bones, not rest them here. Ah, who hath any cause to mourn but we? [Sitting down by her.]

QUEEN MARGARET. [Coming forward.] If ancient sorrow be most reverent, Give mine the benefit of seniory, And let my griefs frown on the upper hand. If sorrow can admit society, [Sitting down with them.] Tell o'er your woes again by viewing mine:— I had an Edward, till a Richard kill'd him; I had a Henry, till a Richard kill'd him: Thou hadst an Edward, till a Richard kill'd him; Thou hadst a Richard, till a Richard kill'd him.

DUCHESS. I had a Richard too, and thou didst kill him; I had a Rutland too, thou holp'st to kill him.

QUEEN MARGARET. Thou hadst a Clarence too, and Richard kill'd him. From forth the kennel of thy womb hath crept A hell-hound that doth hunt us all to death: That dog, that had his teeth before his eyes, To worry lambs and lap their gentle blood; That foul defacer of God's handiwork; That excellent grand tyrant of the earth, That reigns in galled eyes of weeping souls,— Thy womb let loose to chase us to our graves.— O upright, just, and true-disposing God, How do I thank Thee that this carnal cur Preys on the issue of his mother's body, And makes her pew-fellow with others' moan!

DUCHESS. O Harry's wife, triumph not in my woes! God witness with me, I have wept for thine.

QUEEN MARGARET. Bear with me; I am hungry for revenge, And now I cloy me with beholding it. Thy Edward he is dead, that kill'd my Edward; The other Edward dead to quit my Edward; Young York he is but boot, because both they Match not the high perfection of my loss: Thy Clarence he is dead that stabb'd my Edward; And the beholders of this frantic play, The adulterate Hastings, Rivers, Vaughan, Grey, Untimely smother'd in their dusky graves. Richard yet lives, hell's black intelligencer; Only reserv'd their factor to buy souls, And send them thither: but at hand, at hand, Ensues his piteous and unpitied end: Earth gapes, hell burns, fiends roar, saints pray, To have him suddenly convey'd from hence.— Cancel his bond of life, dear God, I pray, That I may live to say "The dog is dead."

QUEEN ELIZABETH. O, thou didst prophesy the time would come That I should wish for thee to help me curse That bottled spider, that foul bunch-back'd toad!

QUEEN MARGARET. I call'd thee then, vain flourish of my fortune; I call'd thee then, poor shadow, painted queen; The presentation of but what I was, The flattering index of a direful pageant; One heav'd a-high to be hurl'd down below, A mother only mock'd with two fair babes; A dream of what thou wast; a garish flag, To be the aim of every dangerous shot; A sign of dignity, a breath, a bubble; A queen in jest, only to fill the scene. Where is thy husband now? where be thy brothers? Where be thy two sons? wherein dost thou joy? Who sues, and kneels, and says, "God save the queen?" Where be the bending peers that flatter'd thee? Where be the thronging troops that follow'd thee? Decline all this, and see what now thou art: For happy wife, a most distressed widow; For joyful mother, one that wails the name; For one being su'd to, one that humbly sues; For queen, a very caitiff crown'd with care; For she that scorn'd at me, now scorn'd of me; For she being fear'd of all, now fearing one; For she commanding all, obey'd of none. Thus hath the course of justice wheel'd about And left thee but a very prey to time; Having no more but thought of what thou wast, To torture thee the more, being what thou art. Thou didst usurp my place, and dost thou not Usurp the just proportion of my sorrow? Now thy proud neck bears half my burden'd yoke; From which even here I slip my weary head, And leave the burden of it all on thee. Farewell, York's wife, and queen of sad mischance:— These English woes shall make me smile in France.

QUEEN ELIZABETH. O thou well skill'd in curses, stay awhile, And teach me how to curse mine enemies!

QUEEN MARGARET. Forbear to sleep the night, and fast the day; Compare dead happiness with living woe; Think that thy babes were sweeter than they were, And he that slew them fouler than he is; Bettering thy loss makes the bad-causer worse; Revolving this will teach thee how to curse.

QUEEN ELIZABETH. My words are dull; O, quicken them with thine!

QUEEN MARGARET. Thy woes will make them sharp, and pierce like mine.

[Exit.]

DUCHESS. Why should calamity be full of words?

QUEEN ELIZABETH. Windy attorneys to their client woes, Airy succeeders of intestate joys, Poor breathing orators of miseries! Let them have scope: though what they do impart Help nothing else, yet do they ease the heart.

DUCHESS. If so, then be not tongue-tied: go with me, And in the breath of bitter words let's smother My damned son, that thy two sweet sons smother'd.

[Drum within.]

I hear his drum:—be copious in exclaims.

[Enter KING RICHARD and his Train, marching.]

KING RICHARD. Who intercepts me in my expedition?

DUCHESS. O, she that might have intercepted thee, By strangling thee in her accursed womb, From all the slaughters, wretch, that thou hast done!

QUEEN ELIZABETH. Hidest thou that forehead with a golden crown, Where should be branded, if that right were right, The slaughter of the prince that ow'd that crown, And the dire death of my poor sons and brothers? Tell me, thou villain-slave, where are my children?

DUCHESS. Thou toad, thou toad, where is thy brother Clarence? And little Ned Plantagenet, his son?

QUEEN ELIZABETH. Where is the gentle Rivers, Vaughan, Grey?

DUCHESS. Where is kind Hastings?

KING RICHARD. A flourish, trumpets! strike alarum, drums! Let not the heavens hear these tell-tale women Rail on the Lord's anointed: strike, I say!

[Flourish. Alarums.]

Either be patient and entreat me fair, Or with the clamorous report of war Thus will I drown your exclamations.

DUCHESS. Art thou my son?

KING RICHARD. Ay, I thank God, my father, and yourself.

DUCHESS. Then patiently hear my impatience.

KING RICHARD. Madam, I have a touch of your condition That cannot brook the accent of reproof.

DUCHESS. O, let me speak!

KING RICHARD. Do, then; but I'll not hear.

DUCHESS. I will be mild and gentle in my words.

KING RICHARD. And brief, good mother; for I am in haste.

DUCHESS. Art thou so hasty? I have stay'd for thee, God knows, in torment and in agony.

KING RICHARD. And came I not at last to comfort you?

DUCHESS. No, by the holy rood, thou know'st it well Thou cam'st on earth to make the earth my hell. A grievous burden was thy birth to me; Tetchy and wayward was thy infancy; Thy school-days frightful, desperate, wild, and furious; Thy prime of manhood daring, bold, and venturous; Thy age confirm'd, proud, subtle, sly, and bloody, More mild, but yet more harmful, kind in hatred: What comfortable hour canst thou name That ever grac'd me with thy company?

KING RICHARD. Faith, none but Humphrey Hour, that call'd your grace To breakfast once forth of my company. If I be so disgracious in your eye, Let me march on and not offend you, madam.— Strike up the drum.

DUCHESS. I pr'ythee hear me speak.

KING RICHARD. You speak too bitterly.

DUCHESS. Hear me a word; For I shall never speak to thee again.

KING RICHARD. So.

DUCHESS. Either thou wilt die by God's just ordinance Ere from this war thou turn a conqueror; Or I with grief and extreme age shall perish And never more behold thy face again. Therefore take with thee my most grievous curse; Which in the day of battle tire thee more Than all the complete armour that thou wear'st! My prayers on the adverse party fight; And there the little souls of Edward's children Whisper the spirits of thine enemies, And promise them success and victory. Bloody thou art; bloody will be thy end: Shame serves thy life and doth thy death attend.

[Exit.]

QUEEN ELIZABETH. Though far more cause, yet much less spirit to curse Abides in me; I say amen to her.

[Going.]

KING RICHARD. Stay, madam, I must talk a word with you.

QUEEN ELIZABETH. I have no more sons of the royal blood For thee to slaughter: for my daughters, Richard,— They shall be praying nuns, not weeping queens; And therefore level not to hit their lives.

KING RICHARD. You have a daughter call'd Elizabeth. Virtuous and fair, royal and gracious.

QUEEN ELIZABETH. And must she die for this? O, let her live, And I'll corrupt her manners, stain her beauty: Slander myself as false to Edward's bed; Throw over her the veil of infamy: So she may live unscarr'd of bleeding slaughter, I will confess she was not Edward's daughter.

KING RICHARD. Wrong not her birth; she is of royal blood.

QUEEN ELIZABETH. To save her life I'll say she is not so.

KING RICHARD. Her life is safest only in her birth.

QUEEN ELIZABETH. And only in that safety died her brothers.

KING RICHARD. Lo, at their births good stars were opposite.

QUEEN ELIZABETH. No, to their lives bad friends were contrary.

KING RICHARD. All unavoided is the doom of destiny.

QUEEN ELIZABETH. True, when avoided grace makes destiny: My babes were destined to a fairer death, If grace had bless'd thee with a fairer life.

KING RICHARD. You speak as if that I had slain my cousins.

QUEEN ELIZABETH. Cousins, indeed; and by their uncle cozen'd Of comfort, kingdom, kindred, freedom, life. Whose hand soever lanc'd their tender hearts, Thy head, all indirectly, gave direction: No doubt the murderous knife was dull and blunt Till it was whetted on thy stone-hard heart, To revel in the entrails of my lambs. But that still use of grief makes wild grief tame, My tongue should to thy ears not name my boys Till that my nails were anchor'd in thine eyes; And I, in such a desperate bay of death, Like a poor bark, of sails and tackling reft, Rush all to pieces on thy rocky bosom.

KING RICHARD. Madam, so thrive I in my enterprise And dangerous success of bloody wars, As I intend more good to you and yours Than ever you or yours by me were harm'd!

QUEEN ELIZABETH. What good is cover'd with the face of heaven, To be discover'd, that can do me good?

KING RICHARD. Advancement of your children, gentle lady.

QUEEN ELIZABETH. Up to some scaffold, there to lose their heads?

KING RICHARD. Unto the dignity and height of honour, The high imperial type of this earth's glory.

QUEEN ELIZABETH. Flatter my sorrows with report of it; Tell me what state, what dignity, what honour, Canst thou demise to any child of mine?

KING RICHARD. Even all I have; ay, and myself and all Will I withal endow a child of thine; So in the Lethe of thy angry soul Thou drown the sad remembrance of those wrongs Which thou supposest I have done to thee.

QUEEN ELIZABETH. Be brief, lest that the process of thy kindness Last longer telling than thy kindness' date.

KING RICHARD. Then know, that from my soul I love thy daughter.

QUEEN ELIZABETH. My daughter's mother thinks it with her soul.

KING RICHARD. What do you think?

QUEEN ELIZABETH. That thou dost love my daughter from thy soul: So from thy soul's love didst thou love her brothers; And from my heart's love I do thank thee for it.

KING RICHARD. Be not so hasty to confound my meaning: I mean that with my soul I love thy daughter, And do intend to make her Queen of England.

QUEEN ELIZABETH. Well, then, who dost thou mean shall be her king?

KING RICHARD. Even he that makes her queen: who else should be?

QUEEN ELIZABETH. What, thou?

KING RICHARD. I, even I: what think you of it, madam?

QUEEN ELIZABETH. How canst thou woo her?

KING RICHARD. That would I learn of you, As one being best acquainted with her humour.

QUEEN ELIZABETH. And wilt thou learn of me?

KING RICHARD. Madam, with all my heart.

QUEEN ELIZABETH. Send to her, by the man that slew her brothers, A pair of bleeding hearts; thereon engrave "Edward" and "York." Then haply will she weep: Therefore present to her,—as sometimes Margaret Did to thy father, steep'd in Rutland's blood,— A handkerchief; which, say to her, did drain The purple sap from her sweet brothers' bodies, And bid her wipe her weeping eyes withal. If this inducement move her not to love, Send her a letter of thy noble deeds; Tell her thou mad'st away her uncle Clarence, Her uncle Rivers; ay, and for her sake Mad'st quick conveyance with her good aunt Anne.

KING RICHARD. You mock me, madam; this is not the way To win your daughter.

QUEEN ELIZABETH. There is no other way; Unless thou couldst put on some other shape, And not be Richard that hath done all this.

KING RICHARD. Say that I did all this for love of her?

QUEEN ELIZABETH. Nay, then indeed she cannot choose but hate thee, Having bought love with such a bloody spoil.

KING RICHARD. Look, what is done cannot be now amended: Men shall deal unadvisedly sometimes, Which after-hours gives leisure to repent. If I did take the kingdom from your sons, To make amends I'll give it to your daughter. If I have kill'd the issue of your womb, To quicken your increase I will beget Mine issue of your blood upon your daughter. A grandam's name is little less in love Than is the doating title of a mother; They are as children but one step below, Even of your mettle, of your very blood; Of all one pain,—save for a night of groans Endur'd of her, for whom you bid like sorrow. Your children were vexation to your youth; But mine shall be a comfort to your age. The loss you have is but a son being king, And by that loss your daughter is made queen. I cannot make you what amends I would, Therefore accept such kindness as I can. Dorset your son, that with a fearful soul Leads discontented steps in foreign soil, This fair alliance quickly shall call home To high promotions and great dignity: The king, that calls your beauteous daughter wife, Familiarly shall call thy Dorset brother; Again shall you be mother to a king, And all the ruins of distressful times Repair'd with double riches of content. What! we have many goodly days to see: The liquid drops of tears that you have shed Shall come again, transform'd to orient pearl, Advantaging their loan with interest Of ten times double gain of happiness. Go, then, my mother, to thy daughter go; Make bold her bashful years with your experience; Prepare her ears to hear a wooer's tale: Put in her tender heart the aspiring flame Of golden sovereignty; acquaint the princess With the sweet silent hours of marriage joys: And when this arm of mine hath chastised The petty rebel, dull-brain'd Buckingham, Bound with triumphant garlands will I come, And lead thy daughter to a conqueror's bed; To whom I will retail my conquest won, And she shall be sole victoress, Caesar's Caesar.

QUEEN ELIZABETH. What were I best to say? her father's brother Would be her lord? or shall I say her uncle? Or he that slew her brothers and her uncles? Under what title shall I woo for thee, That God, the law, my honour, and her love Can make seem pleasing to her tender years?

KING RICHARD. Infer fair England's peace by this alliance.

QUEEN ELIZABETH. Which she shall purchase with still-lasting war.

KING RICHARD. Tell her the king, that may command, entreats.

QUEEN ELIZABETH. That at her hands which the king's King forbids.

KING RICHARD. Say she shall be a high and mighty queen.

QUEEN ELIZABETH. To wail the title, as her mother doth.

KING RICHARD. Say I will love her everlastingly.

QUEEN ELIZABETH. But how long shall that title, "ever," last?

KING RICHARD. Sweetly in force unto her fair life's end.

QUEEN ELIZABETH. But how long fairly shall her sweet life last?

KING RICHARD. As long as heaven and nature lengthens it.

QUEEN ELIZABETH. As long as hell and Richard likes of it.

KING RICHARD. Say I, her sovereign, am her subject low.

QUEEN ELIZABETH. But she, your subject, loathes such sovereignty.

KING RICHARD. Be eloquent in my behalf to her.

QUEEN ELIZABETH. An honest tale speeds best being plainly told.

KING RICHARD. Then plainly to her tell my loving tale.

QUEEN ELIZABETH. Plain and not honest is too harsh a style.

KING RICHARD. Your reasons are too shallow and too quick.

QUEEN ELIZABETH. O, no, my reasons are too deep and dead;— Too deep and dead, poor infants, in their graves.

KING RICHARD. Harp not on that string, madam; that is past.

QUEEN ELIZABETH. Harp on it still shall I till heartstrings break.

KING RICHARD. Now, by my George, my garter, and my crown,—

QUEEN ELIZABETH. Profan'd, dishonour'd, and the third usurp'd.

KING RICHARD. I swear,—

QUEEN ELIZABETH. By nothing; for this is no oath: Thy George, profan'd, hath lost his lordly honour; Thy garter, blemish'd, pawn'd his knightly virtue; Thy crown, usurp'd, disgrac'd his kingly glory. If something thou wouldst swear to be believ'd, Swear then by something that thou hast not wrong'd.

KING RICHARD. Now, by the world,—

QUEEN ELIZABETH. 'Tis full of thy foul wrongs.

KING RICHARD. My father's death,—

QUEEN ELIZABETH. Thy life hath that dishonour'd.

KING RICHARD. Then, by myself,—

QUEEN ELIZABETH. Thy self is self-misus'd.

KING RICHARD. Why, then, by God,—

QUEEN ELIZABETH. God's wrong is most of all. If thou hadst fear'd to break an oath by Him, The unity the king thy brother made Had not been broken, nor my brother slain: If thou hadst fear'd to break an oath by Him, The imperial metal, circling now thy head, Had grac'd the tender temples of my child; And both the princes had been breathing here, Which now, two tender bedfellows for dust, Thy broken faith hath made a prey for worms. What canst thou swear by now?

KING RICHARD. The time to come.

QUEEN ELIZABETH. That thou hast wronged in the time o'erpast; For I myself have many tears to wash Hereafter time, for time past wronged by thee. The children live whose fathers thou hast slaughter'd, Ungovern'd youth, to wail it in their age; The parents live whose children thou hast butcher'd, Old barren plants, to wail it with their age. Swear not by time to come: for that thou hast Misus'd ere used, by times ill-us'd o'erpast.

KING RICHARD. As I intend to prosper and repent! So thrive I in my dangerous attempt Of hostile arms! myself myself confound! Heaven and fortune bar me happy hours! Day, yield me not thy light; nor, night, thy rest! Be opposite all planets of good luck To my proceeding!—if, with pure heart's love, Immaculate devotion, holy thoughts, I tender not thy beauteous princely daughter! In her consists my happiness and thine; Without her, follows to myself and thee, Herself, the land, and many a Christian soul, Death, desolation, ruin, and decay: It cannot be avoided but by this; It will not be avoided but by this. Therefore, dear mother,—I must call you so,— Be the attorney of my love to her: Plead what I will be, not what I have been; Not my deserts, but what I will deserve: Urge the necessity and state of times, And be not peevish found in great designs.

QUEEN ELIZABETH. Shall I be tempted of the devil thus?

KING RICHARD. Ay, if the devil tempt you to do good.

QUEEN ELIZABETH. Shall I forget myself to be myself?

KING RICHARD. Ay, if your self's remembrance wrong yourself.

QUEEN ELIZABETH. Yet thou didst kill my children.

KING RICHARD. But in your daughter's womb I bury them: Where, in that nest of spicery, they shall breed Selves of themselves, to your recomforture.

QUEEN ELIZABETH. Shall I go win my daughter to thy will?

KING RICHARD. And be a happy mother by the deed.

QUEEN ELIZABETH. I go.—Write to me very shortly, And you shall understand from me her mind.

KING RICHARD. Bear her my true love's kiss; and so, farewell.

[Kissing her. Exit QUEEN ELIZABETH.]

Relenting fool, and shallow, changing woman!

[Enter RATCLIFF; CATESBY following.]

How now! what news?

RATCLIFF. Most mighty sovereign, on the western coast Rideth a puissant navy; to the shore Throng many doubtful hollow-hearted friends, Unarm'd, and unresolv'd to beat them back: 'Tis thought that Richmond is their admiral; And there they hull, expecting but the aid Of Buckingham to welcome them ashore.

KING RICHARD. Some light-foot friend post to the Duke of Norfolk:— Ratcliff, thyself,—or Catesby; where is he?

CATESBY. Here, my good lord.

KING RICHARD. Catesby, fly to the duke.

CATESBY. I will my lord, with all convenient haste.

KING RICHARD. Ratcliff, come hither: post to Salisbury: When thou com'st thither,— [To CATESBY.] Dull, unmindful villain, Why stay'st thou here, and go'st not to the duke?

CATESBY. First, mighty liege, tell me your highness' pleasure, What from your grace I shall deliver to him.

KING RICHARD. O, true, good Catesby:—bid him levy straight The greatest strength and power that he can make, And meet me suddenly at Salisbury.

CATESBY. I go.

[Exit.]

RATCLIFF. What, may it please you, shall I do at Salisbury?

KING RICHARD. Why, what wouldst thou do there before I go?

RATCLIFF. Your highness told me I should post before.

[Enter STANLEY.]

KING RICHARD. My mind is chang'd.—Stanley, what news with you?

STANLEY. None good, my liege, to please you with the hearing; Nor none so bad but well may be reported.

KING RICHARD. Hoyday, a riddle! neither good nor bad! What need'st thou run so many miles about, When thou mayest tell thy tale the nearest way? Once more, what news?

STANLEY. Richmond is on the seas.

KING RICHARD. There let him sink, and be the seas on him! White-liver'd runagate, what doth he there?

STANLEY. I know not, mighty sovereign, but by guess.

KING RICHARD. Well, as you guess?

STANLEY. Stirr'd up by Dorset, Buckingham, and Morton, He makes for England here, to claim the crown.

KING RICHARD. Is the chair empty? is the sword unsway'd? Is the king dead? the empire unpossess'd? What heir of York is there alive but we? And who is England's king but great York's heir? Then tell me, what makes he upon the seas?

STANLEY. Unless for that, my liege, I cannot guess.

KING RICHARD. Unless for that he comes to be your liege, You cannot guess wherefore the Welshman comes. Thou wilt revolt and fly to him, I fear.

STANLEY. No, mighty leige; therefore mistrust me not.

KING RICHARD. Where is thy power, then, to beat him back? Where be thy tenants and thy followers? Are they not now upon the western shore, Safe-conducting the rebels from their ships?

STANLEY. No, my good lord, my friends are in the north.

KING RICHARD. Cold friends to me: what do they in the north, When they should serve their sovereign in the west?

STANLEY. They have not been commanded, mighty king: Pleaseth your majesty to give me leave, I'll muster up my friends, and meet your grace Where and what time your majesty shall please.

KING RICHARD. Ay, ay, thou wouldst be gone to join with Richmond; But I'll not trust thee.

STANLEY. Most mighty sovereign, You have no cause to hold my friendship doubtful: I never was nor never will be false.

KING RICHARD. Go, then, and muster men. But leave behind Your son, George Stanley: look your heart be firm, Or else his head's assurance is but frail.

STANLEY. So deal with him as I prove true to you.

[Exit.]

[Enter a MESSENGER.]

MESSENGER. My gracious sovereign, now in Devonshire, As I by friends am well advertised, Sir Edward Courtney, and the haughty prelate, Bishop of Exeter, his elder brother, With many more confederates, are in arms.

[Enter a second MESSENGER.]

SECOND MESSENGER. In Kent, my liege, the Guilfords are in arms; And every hour more competitors Flock to the rebels, and their power grows strong.

[Enter a third MESSENGER.]

THIRD MESSENGER. My lord, the army of great Buckingham,—

KING RICHARD. Out on you, owls! Nothing but songs of death?

[He strikes him.]

There, take thou that till thou bring better news.

THIRD MESSENGER. The news I have to tell your majesty Is, that by sudden floods and fall of waters, Buckingham's army is dispers'd and scatter'd; And he himself wander'd away alone, No man knows whither.

KING RICHARD. I cry you mercy: There is my purse to cure that blow of thine. Hath any well-advised friend proclaim'd Reward to him that brings the traitor in?

THIRD MESSENGER. Such proclamation hath been made, my liege.

[Enter a fourth MESSENGER.]

FOURTH MESSENGER. Sir Thomas Lovel and Lord Marquis Dorset, 'Tis said, my liege, in Yorkshire are in arms. But this good comfort bring I to your highness,— The Britagne navy is dispers'd by tempest: Richmond, in Dorsetshire, sent out a boat Unto the shore, to ask those on the banks If they were his assistants, yea or no; Who answer'd him they came from Buckingham Upon his party. He, mistrusting them, Hois'd sail, and made his course again for Britagne.

KING RICHARD. March on, march on, since we are up in arms; If not to fight with foreign enemies, Yet to beat down these rebels here at home.

[Re-enter CATESBY.]

CATESBY. My liege, the Duke of Buckingham is taken,— That is the best news: that the Earl of Richmond Is with a mighty power landed at Milford Is colder tidings, yet they must be told.

KING RICHARD. Away towards Salisbury! while we reason here A royal battle might be won and lost:— Some one take order Buckingham be brought To Salisbury; the rest march on with me.

[Flourish. Exeunt.]



SCENE V. A Room in LORD STANLEY'S house.

[Enter STANLEY and SIR CHRISTOPHER URSWICK.]

STANLEY. Sir Christopher, tell Richmond this from me:— That in the sty of the most deadly boar My son George Stanley is frank'd up in hold: If I revolt, off goes young George's head; The fear of that holds off my present aid. So, get thee gone: commend me to thy lord; Withal say that the queen hath heartily consented He should espouse Elizabeth her daughter. But tell me, where is princely Richmond now?

CHRISTOPHER. At Pembroke, or at Ha'rford-west in Wales.

STANLEY. What men of name resort to him?

CHRISTOPHER. Sir Walter Herbert, a renowned soldier; Sir Gilbert Talbot, Sir William Stanley; Oxford, redoubted Pembroke, Sir James Blunt, And Rice ap Thomas, with a valiant crew; And many other of great name and worth: And towards London do they bend their power, If by the way they be not fought withal.

STANLEY. Well, hie thee to thy lord; I kiss his hand; My letter will resolve him of my mind. Farewell.

[Gives papers to SIR CHRISTOPHER. Exeunt.]



ACT V.

SCENE I. Salisbury. An open place.

[Enter the Sheriff and Guard, with BUCKINGHAM, led to execution.]

BUCKINGHAM. Will not King Richard let me speak with him?

SHERIFF. No, my good lord; therefore be patient.

BUCKINGHAM. Hastings, and Edward's children, Grey, and Rivers, Holy King Henry, and thy fair son Edward, Vaughan, and all that have miscarried By underhand corrupted foul injustice,— If that your moody discontented souls Do through the clouds behold this present hour, Even for revenge mock my destruction!— This is All-Souls' day, fellow, is it not?

SHERIFF. It is, my lord.

BUCKINGHAM. Why, then All-Souls' day is my body's doomsday. This is the day which in King Edward's time I wish'd might fall on me, when I was found False to his children and his wife's allies; This is the day wherein I wish'd to fall By the false faith of him whom most I trusted; This, this All-Souls' day to my fearful soul Is the determin'd respite of my wrongs: That high All-Seer which I dallied with Hath turn'd my feigned prayer on my head And given in earnest what I begg'd in jest. Thus doth He force the swords of wicked men To turn their own points in their masters' bosoms: Thus Margaret's curse falls heavy on my neck,— "When he," quoth she, "shall split thy heart with sorrow, Remember Margaret was a prophetess."— Come lead me, officers, to the block of shame; Wrong hath but wrong, and blame the due of blame.

[Exeunt.]



SCENE II. Plain near Tamworth.

[Enter with drum and colours, RICHMOND, OXFORD, SIR JAMES BLUNT, SIR WALTER HERBERT, and others, with Forces, marching.]

RICHMOND. Fellows in arms, and my most loving friends, Bruis'd underneath the yoke of tyranny, Thus far into the bowels of the land Have we march'd on without impediment; And here receive we from our father Stanley Lines of fair comfort and encouragement. The wretched, bloody, and usurping boar That spoil'd your summer fields and fruitful vines, Swills your warm blood like wash, and makes his trough In your embowell'd bosoms,—this foul swine Lies now even in the centre of this isle, Near to the town of Leicester, as we learn: From Tamworth thither is but one day's march. In God's name cheerly on, courageous friends, To reap the harvest of perpetual peace By this one bloody trial of sharp war.

OXFORD. Every man's conscience is a thousand swords, To fight against that bloody homicide.

HERBERT. I doubt not but his friends will turn to us.

BLUNT. He hath no friends but what are friends for fear, Which in his dearest need will fly from him.

RICHMOND. All for our vantage. Then in God's name, march: True hope is swift, and flies with swallow's wings; Kings it makes gods, and meaner creatures kings.

[Exeunt.]



SCENE III. Bosworth Field.

[Enter KING RICHARD and Forces; the DUKE OF NORFOLK, the EARL of SURREY, and others.]

KING RICHARD. Here pitch our tents, even here in Bosworth field.— My Lord of Surrey, why look you so sad?

SURREY. My heart is ten times lighter than my looks.

KING RICHARD. My Lord of Norfolk,—

NORFOLK. Here, most gracious liege.

KING RICHARD. Norfolk, we must have knocks; ha! must we not?

NORFOLK. We must both give and take, my loving lord.

KING RICHARD. Up With my tent! Here will I lie to-night;

[Soldiers begin to set up the King's tent.]

But where to-morrow? Well, all's one for that.— Who hath descried the number of the traitors?

NORFOLK. Six or seven thousand is their utmost power.

KING RICHARD. Why, our battalia trebles that account: Besides, the king's name is a tower of strength, Which they upon the adverse faction want.— Up with the tent!—Come, noble gentlemen, Let us survey the vantage of the ground;— Call for some men of sound direction:— Let's lack no discipline, make no delay; For, lords, to-morrow is a busy day.

[Exeunt.]

[Enter, on the other side of the field, RICHMOND, SIR WILLIAM BRANDON, OXFORD, and other Lords. Some of the Soldiers pitch RICHMOND'S tent.]

RICHMOND. The weary sun hath made a golden set, And by the bright tract of his fiery car Gives token of a goodly day to-morrow. Sir William Brandon, you shall bear my standard.— Give me some ink and paper in my tent: I'll draw the form and model of our battle, Limit each leader to his several charge, And part in just proportion our small power.— My Lord of Oxford,—you, Sir William Brandon,— And you, Sir Walter Herbert,—stay with me.— The Earl of Pembroke keeps his regiment:— Good Captain Blunt, bear my good night to him, And by the second hour in the morning Desire the earl to see me in my tent: Yet one thing more, good captain, do for me,— Where is Lord Stanley quarter'd, do you know?

BLUNT. Unless I have mista'en his colours much,— Which well I am assur'd I have not done,— His regiment lies half a mile at least South from the mighty power of the king.

RICHMOND. If without peril it be possible, Sweet Blunt, make some good means to speak with him And give him from me this most needful note.

BLUNT. Upon my life, my lord, I'll undertake it; And so, God give you quiet rest to-night!

RICHMOND. Good night, good Captain Blunt.—Come, gentlemen, Let us consult upon to-morrow's business: In to my tent; the air is raw and cold.

[They withdraw into the tent.]

[Enter, to his tent, KING RICHARD, NORFOLK, RATCLIFF, and CATESBY.]

KING RICHARD. What is't o'clock?

CATESBY. It's supper-time, my lord; It's six o'clock.

KING RICHARD. I will not sup to-night.— Give me some ink and paper.— What, is my beaver easier than it was? And all my armour laid into my tent?

CATESBY. It is, my liege; and all things are in readiness.

KING RICHARD. Good Norfolk, hie thee to thy charge; Use careful watch, choose trusty sentinels.

NORFOLK. I go, my lord.

KING RICHARD. Stir with the lark to-morrow, gentle Norfolk.

NORFOLK. I warrant you, my lord.

[Exit.]

KING RICHARD. Ratcliff,—

RATCLIFF. My lord?

KING RICHARD. Send out a pursuivant-at-arms To Stanley's regiment; bid him bring his power Before sunrising, lest his son George fall Into the blind cave of eternal night.— Fill me a bowl of wine.—Give me a watch.— Saddle white Surrey for the field to-morrow.— Look that my staves be sound, and not too heavy.— Ratcliff,—

RATCLIFF. My lord?

KING RICHARD. Saw'st thou the melancholy Lord Northumberland?

RATCLIFF. Thomas the Earl of Surrey and himself, Much about cock-shut time, from troop to troop Went through the army, cheering up the soldiers.

KING RICHARD. So, I am satisfied.—Give me a bowl of wine: I have not that alacrity of spirit Nor cheer of mind that I was wont to have. Set it down.—Is ink and paper ready?

RATCLIFF. It is, my lord.

KING RICHARD. Bid my guard watch; leave me. Ratcliff, about the mid of night come to my tent And help to arm me. Leave me, I say.

[KING RICHARD retires into his tent. Exeunt RATCLIFF and CATESBY.]

[RICHMOND's tent opens, and discovers him and his Officers, &c.]

STANLEY. Fortune and victory sit on thy helm!

RICHMOND. All comfort that the dark night can afford Be to thy person, noble father-in-law! Tell me, how fares our loving mother?

STANLEY. I, by attorney, bless thee from thy mother, Who prays continually for Richmond's good. So much for that.—The silent hours steal on, And flaky darkness breaks within the east. In brief,—for so the season bids us be,— Prepare thy battle early in the morning, And put thy fortune to the arbitrement Of bloody strokes and mortal-staring war. I, as I may,—that which I would I cannot,— With best advantage will deceive the time, And aid thee in this doubtful stroke of arms: But on thy side I may not be too forward, Lest, being seen, thy brother, tender George, Be executed in his father's sight. Farewell: the leisure and the fearful time Cuts off the ceremonious vows of love And ample interchange of sweet discourse, Which so-long-sunder'd friends should dwell upon: God give us leisure for these rites of love! Once more, adieu: be valiant, and speed well!

RICHMOND. Good lords, conduct him to his regiment: I'll strive with troubled thoughts to take a nap, Lest leaden slumber peise me down to-morrow, When I should mount with wings of victory: Once more, good night, kind lords and gentlemen.

[Exeunt Lords, &c., with STANLEY.]

O Thou Whose captain I account myself, Look on my forces with a gracious eye; Put in their hands Thy bruising irons of wrath, That they may crush down with a heavy fall The usurping helmets of our adversaries! Make us Thy ministers of chastisement, That we may praise Thee in Thy victory! To Thee I do commend my watchful soul Ere I let fall the windows of mine eyes: Sleeping and waking, O, defend me still!

[Sleeps.]

[The Ghost of PRINCE EDWARD, son to HENRY THE SIXTH, rises between the two tents.]

GHOST. [To KING RICHARD.] Let me sit heavy on thy soul to-morrow! Think how thou stabb'dst me in my prime of youth At Tewksbury: despair, therefore, and die!— [To RICHMOND.] Be cheerful, Richmond; for the wronged souls Of butcher'd princes fight in thy behalf: King Henry's issue, Richmond, comforts thee.

[The Ghost of HENRY THE SIXTH rises.]

GHOST. [To KING RICHARD.] When I was mortal, my anointed body By thee was punched full of deadly holes: Think on the Tower and me: despair, and die,— Harry the Sixth bids thee despair and die.— [To RICHMOND.] Virtuous and holy, be thou conqueror! Harry, that prophesied thou shouldst be king, Doth comfort thee in thy sleep: live, and flourish!

[The Ghost of CLARENCE rises.]

GHOST. [To KING RICHARD.] Let me sit heavy in thy soul to-morrow! I that was wash'd to death with fulsome wine, Poor Clarence, by thy guile betray'd to death! To-morrow in the battle think on me, And fall thy edgeless sword: despair, and die!— [To RICHMOND.] Thou offspring of the house of Lancaster, The wronged heirs of York do pray for thee: Good angels guard thy battle! live, and flourish!

[The Ghosts of RIVERS, GREY, and VAUGHAN rise.]

GHOST OF RIVERS. [To KING RICHARD.] Let me sit heavy in thy soul to-morrow, Rivers that died at Pomfret! despair and die!

GHOST OF GREY. [To KING RICHARD.] Think upon Grey, and let thy soul despair!

GHOST OF VAUGHAN. [To KING RICHARD.] Think upon Vaughan, and, with guilty fear, Let fall thy lance: despair and die!—

ALL THREE. [To RICHMOND.] Awake, and think our wrongs in Richard's bosom Will conquer him!—awake, and win the day!

[The GHOST of HASTINGS rises.]

GHOST. [To KING RICHARD.] Bloody and guilty, guiltily awake, And in a bloody battle end thy days! Think on Lord Hastings: despair and die!— [To RICHMOND.] Quiet untroubled soul, awake, awake! Arm, fight, and conquer, for fair England's sake!

[The Ghosts of the two young PRINCES rise.]

GHOSTS. [To KING RICHARD.] Dream on thy cousins smothered in the Tower: Let us be lead within thy bosom, Richard, And weigh thee down to ruin, shame, and death! Thy nephews' souls bid thee despair and die!— [To RICHMOND.] Sleep, Richmond, sleep in peace, and wake in joy; Good angels guard thee from the boar's annoy! Live, and beget a happy race of kings! Edward's unhappy sons do bid thee flourish.

[The GHOST of QUEEN ANNE rises.]

GHOST. [To KING RICHARD.] Richard, thy wife, that wretched Anne thy wife, That never slept a quiet hour with thee, Now fills thy sleep with perturbations: To-morrow in the battle think on me, And fall thy edgeless sword: despair and die!— [To RICHMOND.] Thou quiet soul, sleep thou a quiet sleep; Dream of success and happy victory: Thy adversary's wife doth pray for thee.

[The Ghost of BUCKINGHAM rises.]

GHOST. [To KING RICHARD.] The first was I that help'd thee to the crown; The last was I that felt thy tyranny: O, in the battle think on Buckingham, And die in terror of thy guiltiness! Dream on, dream on of bloody deeds and death: Fainting, despair; despairing, yield thy breath!— [To RICHMOND.] I died for hope ere I could lend thee aid: But cheer thy heart and be thou not dismay'd: God and good angels fight on Richmond's side; And Richard falls in height of all his pride.

[The GHOSTS vanish. KING RICHARD starts out of his dream.]

KING RICHARD. Give me another horse,—bind up my wounds,— Have mercy, Jesu!—Soft! I did but dream.— O coward conscience, how dost thou afflict me!— The lights burn blue.—It is now dead midnight. Cold fearful drops stand on my trembling flesh. What, do I fear myself? there's none else by: Richard loves Richard; that is, I am I. Is there a murderer here? No;—yes, I am: Then fly. What, from myself? Great reason why,— Lest I revenge. What,—myself upon myself! Alack, I love myself. Wherefore? for any good That I myself have done unto myself? O, no! alas, I rather hate myself For hateful deeds committed by myself! I am a villain: yet I lie, I am not. Fool, of thyself speak well:—fool, do not flatter. My conscience hath a thousand several tongues, And every tongue brings in a several tale, And every tale condemns me for a villain. Perjury, perjury, in the high'st degree; Murder, stern murder, in the dir'st degree; All several sins, all us'd in each degree, Throng to the bar, crying all "Guilty! guilty!" I shall despair. There is no creature loves me; And if I die no soul will pity me: And wherefore should they,—since that I myself Find in myself no pity to myself? Methought the souls of all that I had murder'd Came to my tent; and every one did threat To-morrow's vengeance on the head of Richard.

[Enter RATCLIFF.]

RATCLIFF. My lord,—

KING RICHARD. Who's there?

RATCLIFF. Ratcliff, my lord; 'tis I. The early village-cock Hath twice done salutation to the morn; Your friends are up, and buckle on their armour.

KING RICHARD. O Ratcliff, I have dream'd a fearful dream!— What think'st thou,—will our friends prove all true?

RATCLIFF. No doubt, my lord.

KING RICHARD. O Ratcliff, I fear, I fear,—

RATCLIFF. Nay, good my lord, be not afraid of shadows.

KING RICHARD By the apostle Paul, shadows to-night Have stuck more terror to the soul of Richard Than can the substance of ten thousand soldiers Armed in proof and led by shallow Richmond. It is not yet near day. Come, go with me; Under our tents I'll play the eaves-dropper, To see if any mean to shrink from me.

[Exeunt KING RICHARD and RATCLIFF.]

[RICHMOND wakes. Enter OXFORD and others.]

LORDS. Good morrow, Richmond!

RICHMOND. Cry mercy, lords and watchful gentlemen, That you have ta'en a tardy sluggard here.

LORDS. How have you slept, my lord?

RICHMOND. The sweetest sleep and fairest-boding dreams That ever enter'd in a drowsy head Have I since your departure had, my lords. Methought their souls whose bodies Richard murder'd Came to my tent and cried on victory: I promise you, my heart is very jocund In the remembrance of so fair a dream. How far into the morning is it, lords?

LORDS. Upon the stroke of four.

RICHMOND. Why, then 'tis time to arm and give direction.—

[He advances to the Troops.]

More than I have said, loving countrymen, The leisure and enforcement of the time Forbids to dwell on: yet remember this,— God and our good cause fight upon our side; The prayers of holy saints and wronged souls, Like high-rear'd bulwarks, stand before our faces; Richard except, those whom we fight against Had rather have us win than him they follow: For what is he they follow? truly, gentlemen, A bloody tyrant and a homicide; One rais'd in blood, and one in blood establish'd; One that made means to come by what he hath, And slaughter'd those that were the means to help him; A base foul stone, made precious by the foil Of England's chair, where he is falsely set; One that hath ever been God's enemy. Then, if you fight against God's enemy, God will, in justice, ward you as His soldiers; If you do sweat to put a tyrant down, You sleep in peace, the tyrant being slain; If you do fight against your country's foes, Your country's fat shall pay your pains the hire; If you do fight in safeguard of your wives, Your wives shall welcome home the conquerors; If you do free your children from the sword, Your children's children quit it in your age. Then, in the name of God and all these rights, Advance your standards, draw your willing swords. For me, the ransom of my bold attempt Shall be this cold corpse on the earth's cold face; But if I thrive, the gain of my attempt The least of you shall share his part thereof. Sound drums and trumpets boldly and cheerfully; God and Saint George! Richmond and victory!

[Exeunt.]

[Re-enter KING RICHARD, RATCLIFF, Attendants, and Forces.]

KING RICHARD. What said Northumberland as touching Richmond?

RATCLIFF. That he was never trained up in arms.

KING RICHARD. He said the truth; and what said Surrey then?

RATCLIFF. He smil'd, and said, "the better for our purpose."

KING RICHARD. He was in the right; and so indeed it is.

[Clock strikes.]

Tell the clock there.—Give me a calendar.— Who saw the sun to-day?

RATCLIFF. Not I, my lord.

KING RICHARD. Then he disdains to shine; for by the book He should have brav'd the east an hour ago: A black day will it be to somebody.— Ratcliff,—

RATCLIFF. My lord?

KING RICHARD. The sun will not be seen to-day; The sky doth frown and lower upon our army. I would these dewy tears were from the ground. Not shine to-day! Why, what is that to me More than to Richmond? for the selfsame heaven That frowns on me looks sadly upon him.

[Enter NORFOLK.]

NORFOLK. Arm, arm, my lord; the foe vaunts in the field.

KING RICHARD. Come, bustle, bustle; caparison my horse;— Call up Lord Stanley, bid him bring his power: I will lead forth my soldiers to the plain, And thus my battle shall be ordered:— My foreward shall be drawn out all in length, Consisting equally of horse and foot; Our archers shall be placed in the midst: John Duke of Norfolk, Thomas Earl of Surrey, Shall have the leading of this foot and horse. They thus directed, we will follow In the main battle; whose puissance on either side Shall be well winged with our chiefest horse. This, and Saint George to boot!—What think'st thou, Norfolk?

NORFOLK. A good direction, warlike sovereign.— This found I on my tent this morning.

[Giving a scroll.]

KING RICHARD. [Reads.] "Jockey of Norfolk, be not too bold, For Dickon thy master is bought and sold." A thing devised by the enemy.— Go, gentlemen, every man unto his charge: Let not our babbling dreams affright our souls; Conscience is but a word that cowards use, Devis'd at first to keep the strong in awe: Our strong arms be our conscience, swords our law. March on, join bravely, let us to't pell-mell; If not to heaven, then hand in hand to hell.— What shall I say more than I have inferr'd? Remember whom you are to cope withal;— A sort of vagabonds, rascals, and runaways, A scum of Britagnes, and base lackey peasants, Whom their o'er-cloyed country vomits forth To desperate adventures and assur'd destruction. You sleeping safe, they bring to you unrest; You having lands, and bless'd with beauteous wives, They would restrain the one, distain the other. And who doth lead them but a paltry fellow, Long kept in Britagne at our mother's cost? A milk-sop, one that never in his life Felt so much cold as over shoes in snow? Let's whip these stragglers o'er the seas again; Lash hence these over-weening rags of France, These famish'd beggars, weary of their lives; Who, but for dreaming on this fond exploit, For want of means, poor rats, had hang'd themselves: If we be conquered, let men conquer us, And not these bastard Britagnes, whom our fathers Have in their own land beaten, bobb'd, and thump'd, And, on record, left them the heirs of shame. Shall these enjoy our lands? lie with our wives, Ravish our daughters?—Hark! I hear their drum. [Drum afar off.] Fight, gentlemen of England! fight, bold yeomen! Draw, archers, draw your arrows to the head! Spur your proud horses hard, and ride in blood; Amaze the welkin with your broken staves!

[Enter a MESSENGER.]

What says Lord Stanley? will he bring his power?

MESSENGER. My lord, he doth deny to come.

KING RICHARD. Off with his son George's head!

NORFOLK. My lord, the enemy is pass'd the marsh: After the battle let George Stanley die.

KING RICHARD. A thousand hearts are great within my bosom: Advance our standards, set upon our foes; Our ancient word of courage, fair Saint George, Inspire us with the spleen of fiery dragons! Upon them! Victory sits on our helms.

[Exeunt.]



SCENE IV. Another part of the Field.

[Alarum; excursions. Enter NORFOLK and forces; to him CATESBY.]

CATESBY. Rescue, my Lord of Norfolk, rescue, rescue! The king enacts more wonders than a man, Daring an opposite to every danger: His horse is slain, and all on foot he fights, Seeking for Richmond in the throat of death. Rescue, fair lord, or else the day is lost!

[Alarum. Enter KING RICHARD.]

KING RICHARD. A horse! a horse! my kingdom for a horse!

CATESBY. Withdraw, my lord! I'll help you to a horse.

KING RICHARD. Slave, I have set my life upon a cast, And I will stand the hazard of the die: I think there be six Richmonds in the field: Five have I slain to-day instead of him.— A horse! a horse! my kingdom for a horse!

[Exeunt.]



SCENE V. Another part of the Field.

[Alarums. Enter, from opposite sides, KING RICHARD and RICHMOND; and exeunt fighting. Retreat and flourish. Then re-enter RICHMOND, with STANLEY bearing the crown, and divers other Lords and Forces.]

RICHMOND. God and your arms be prais'd, victorious friends; The day is ours, the bloody dog is dead.

STANLEY. Courageous Richmond, well hast thou acquit thee! Lo, here, this long-usurped royalty From the dead temples of this bloody wretch Have I pluck'd off, to grace thy brows withal. Wear it, enjoy it, and make much of it.

RICHMOND. Great God of heaven, say Amen to all!— But, tell me is young George Stanley living?

STANLEY. He is, my lord, and safe in Leicester town, Whither, if it please you, we may now withdraw us.

RICHMOND. What men of name are slain on either side?

STANLEY. John Duke of Norfolk, Walter Lord Ferrers, Sir Robert Brakenbury, and Sir William Brandon.

RICHMOND. Inter their bodies as becomes their births: Proclaim a pardon to the soldiers fled That in submission will return to us: And then, as we have ta'en the sacrament, We will unite the white rose and the red:— Smile heaven upon this fair conjunction, That long have frown'd upon their emnity! What traitor hears me, and says not Amen? England hath long been mad, and scarr'd herself; The brother blindly shed the brother's blood, The father rashly slaughter'd his own son, The son, compell'd, been butcher to the sire: All this divided York and Lancaster, Divided in their dire division,— O, now let Richmond and Elizabeth, The true succeeders of each royal house, By God's fair ordinance conjoin together! And let their heirs,—God, if Thy will be so,— Enrich the time to come with smooth'd-fac'd peace, With smiling plenty, and fair prosperous days! Abate the edge of traitors, gracious Lord, That would reduce these bloody days again, And make poor England weep in streams of blood! Let them not live to taste this land's increase That would with treason wound this fair land's peace! Now civil wounds are stopp'd, peace lives again: That she may long live here, God say Amen!

[Exeunt.]

THE END

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