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by William Shakespeare

Dramatis Personae


Sons to the King

Brothers to the King

A YOUNG SON OF CLARENCE (EdwardEarl of Warwick)








EARL RIVERSbrother to King Edward's Queen













SIR ROBERT BRAKENBURYLieutenant of the Tower




HASTINGSa pursuivant

TRESSEL and BERKELEYgentlemen attending on Lady Anne

ELIZABETHQueen to King Edward IV

MARGARETwidow of King Henry VI

DUCHESS OF YORKmother to King Edward IV

LADY ANNEwidow of EdwardPrince of Walesson to King

Henry VI; afterwards married to the Duke of Gloucester


Countess of Salisbury)

Ghostsof Richard's victims

LordsGentlemenand Attendants; PriestScrivenerPage


SCENE: England

King Richard the Third


London. A street


GLOUCESTER. Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this sun of York;
And all the clouds that lour'd upon our house
In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.
Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths;
Our bruised arms hung up for monuments;
Our stern alarums chang'd to merry meetings
Our dreadful marches to delightful measures.
Grim-visag'd war hath smooth'd his wrinkled front
And nowinstead of mounting barbed steeds
To fright the souls of fearful adversaries
He capers nimbly in a lady's chamber
To the lascivious pleasing of a lute.
But I-that am not shap'd for sportive tricks
Nor made to court an amorous looking-glassI-
that am rudely stamp'dand want love's majesty
To strut before a wanton ambling nymph-
I-that am curtail'd of this fair proportion
Cheated of feature by dissembling nature
Deform'dunfinish'dsent before my time
Into this breathing world scarce half made up
And that so lamely and unfashionable
That dogs bark at me as I halt by themWhy
Iin this weak piping time of peace
Have no delight to pass away the time
Unless to spy my shadow in the sun
And descant on mine own deformity.
And thereforesince I cannot prove a lover
To entertain these fair well-spoken days
I am determined to prove a villain
And hate the idle pleasures of these days.
Plots have I laidinductions dangerous
By drunken prophecieslibelsand dreams
To set my brother Clarence and the King
In deadly hate the one against the other;
And if King Edward be as true and just
As I am subtlefalseand treacherous
This day should Clarence closely be mew'd upAbout
a prophecy which says that G
Of Edward's heirs the murderer shall be.

Divethoughtsdown to my soul. Here Clarence comes.


Brothergood day. What means this armed guard
That waits upon your Grace?

CLARENCE. His Majesty
Tend'ring my person's safetyhath appointed
This conduct to convey me to th' Tower.

GLOUCESTER. Upon what cause?
CLARENCE. Because my name is George.
GLOUCESTER. Alackmy lordthat fault is none of yours:

He shouldfor thatcommit your godfathers.
Obelike his Majesty hath some intent
That you should be new-christ'ned in the Tower.
But what's the matterClarence? May I know?

CLARENCE. YeaRichardwhen I know; for I protest
As yet I do not; butas I can learn
He hearkens after prophecies and dreams
And from the cross-row plucks the letter G
And says a wizard told him that by G
His issue disinherited should be;
Andfor my name of George begins with G
It follows in his thought that I am he.
Theseas I learnand such like toys as these
Hath mov'd his Highness to commit me now.

GLOUCESTER. Whythis it is when men are rul'd by women:
'Tis not the King that sends you to the Tower;
My Lady Grey his wifeClarence'tis she
That tempers him to this extremity.
Was it not she and that good man of worship
Antony Woodvilleher brother there
That made him send Lord Hastings to the Tower
From whence this present day he is delivered?
We are not safeClarence; we are not safe.

CLARENCE. By heavenI think there is no man is secure
But the Queen's kindredand night-walking heralds
That trudge betwixt the King and Mistress Shore.
Heard you not what an humble suppliant
Lord Hastings wasfor her delivery?

GLOUCESTER. Humbly complaining to her deity
Got my Lord Chamberlain his liberty.
I'll tell you what-I think it is our way
If we will keep in favour with the King
To be her men and wear her livery:
The jealous o'er-worn widowand herself
Since that our brother dubb'd them gentlewomen
Are mighty gossips in our monarchy.

BRAKENBURY. I beseech your Graces both to pardon me:
His Majesty hath straitly given in charge
That no man shall have private conference
Of what degree soeverwith your brother.

GLOUCESTER. Even so; an't please your worshipBrakenbury
You may partake of any thing we say:
We speak no treasonman; we say the King
Is wise and virtuousand his noble queen
Well struck in yearsfairand not jealous;
We say that Shore's wife hath a pretty foot
A cherry lipa bonny eyea passing pleasing tongue;
And that the Queen's kindred are made gentlefolks.
How say yousir? Can you deny all this?

BRAKENBURY. With thismy lordmyself have naught to do.
GLOUCESTER. Naught to do with Mistress Shore! I tell thee

He that doth naught with herexcepting one

Were best to do it secretly alone.
BRAKENBURY. What onemy lord?
GLOUCESTER. Her husbandknave! Wouldst thou betray me?
BRAKENBURY. I do beseech your Grace to pardon meand

Forbear your conference with the noble Duke.
CLARENCE. We know thy chargeBrakenburyand will

GLOUCESTER. We are the Queen's abjects and must obey.
Brotherfarewell; I will unto the King;
And whatsoe'er you will employ me inWere
it to call King Edward's widow sister-
I will perform it to enfranchise you.
Meantimethis deep disgrace in brotherhood
Touches me deeper than you can imagine.

CLARENCE. I know it pleaseth neither of us well.

GLOUCESTER. Wellyour imprisonment shall not be long;
I will deliver or else lie for you.
Meantimehave patience.

CLARENCE. I must perforce. Farewell.

GLOUCESTER. Go tread the path that thou shalt ne'er return.
Simpleplain ClarenceI do love thee so
That I will shortly send thy soul to heaven
If heaven will take the present at our hands.
But who comes here? The new-delivered Hastings?


HASTINGS. Good time of day unto my gracious lord!

GLOUCESTER. As much unto my good Lord Chamberlain!
Well are you welcome to the open air.
How hath your lordship brook'd imprisonment?

HASTINGS. With patiencenoble lordas prisoners must;
But I shall livemy lordto give them thanks
That were the cause of my imprisonment.

GLOUCESTER. No doubtno doubt; and so shall Clarence too;
For they that were your enemies are his
And have prevail'd as much on him as you.

HASTINGS. More pity that the eagles should be mew'd

Whiles kites and buzzards prey at liberty.
GLOUCESTER. What news abroad?
HASTINGS. No news so bad abroad as this at home:

The King is sicklyweakand melancholy
And his physicians fear him mightily.

GLOUCESTER. Nowby Saint Johnthat news is bad indeed.
Ohe hath kept an evil diet long
And overmuch consum'd his royal person!
'Tis very grievous to be thought upon.
Where is he? In his bed?

GLOUCESTER. Go you beforeand I will follow you.

He cannot liveI hopeand must not die
Till George be pack'd with posthorse up to heaven.
I'll in to urge his hatred more to Clarence
With lies well steel'd with weighty arguments;
Andif I fail not in my deep intent
Clarence hath not another day to live;
Which doneGod take King Edward to his mercy
And leave the world for me to bustle in!
For then I'll marry Warwick's youngest daughter.
What though I kill'd her husband and her father?

The readiest way to make the wench amends
Is to become her husband and her father;
The which will I-not all so much for love
As for another secret close intent
By marrying her which I must reach unto.
But yet I run before my horse to market.
Clarence still breathes; Edward still lives and reigns;
When they are gonethen must I count my gains. Exit


London. Another street

Enter corpse of KING HENRY THE SIXTHwith halberds to guard it;
LADY ANNE being the mournerattended by TRESSEL and BERKELEY

ANNE. Set downset down your honourable load

If honour may be shrouded in a hearse;

Whilst I awhile obsequiously lament

Th' untimely fall of virtuous Lancaster.

Poor key-cold figure of a holy king!

Pale ashes of the house of Lancaster!

Thou bloodless remnant of that royal blood!

Be it lawful that I invocate thy ghost

To hear the lamentations of poor Anne

Wife to thy Edwardto thy slaughtered son

Stabb'd by the self-same hand that made these wounds.

Loin these windows that let forth thy life

I pour the helpless balm of my poor eyes.

Ocursed be the hand that made these holes!

Cursed the heart that had the heart to do it!

Cursed the blood that let this blood from hence!

More direful hap betide that hated wretch

That makes us wretched by the death of thee

Than I can wish to addersspiderstoads

Or any creeping venom'd thing that lives!

If ever he have childabortive be it

Prodigiousand untimely brought to light

Whose ugly and unnatural aspect

May fright the hopeful mother at the view

And that be heir to his unhappiness!

If ever he have wifelet her be made

More miserable by the death of him

Than I am made by my young lord and thee!

Comenow towards Chertsey with your holy load

Taken from Paul's to be interred there;

And still as you are weary of this weight

Rest youwhiles I lament King Henry's corse.

[The bearers take up the coffin]


GLOUCESTER. Stayyou that bear the corseand set it down.
ANNE. What black magician conjures up this fiend
To stop devoted charitable deeds?
GLOUCESTER. Villainsset down the corse; orby Saint Paul
I'll make a corse of him that disobeys!
FIRST GENTLEMAN. My lordstand backand let the coffin
GLOUCESTER. Unmanner'd dog! Stand thouwhen I command.
Advance thy halberd higher than my breast

Orby Saint PaulI'll strike thee to my foot
And spurn upon theebeggarfor thy boldness.
[The bearers set down the coffin]

ANNE. Whatdo you tremble? Are you all afraid?
AlasI blame you notfor you are mortal
And mortal eyes cannot endure the devil.
Avauntthou dreadful minister of hell!
Thou hadst but power over his mortal body
His soul thou canst not have; thereforebe gone.

GLOUCESTER. Sweet saintfor charitybe not so curst.

ANNE. Foul devilfor God's sakehence and trouble us not;
For thou hast made the happy earth thy hell
Fill'd it with cursing cries and deep exclaims.
If thou delight to view thy heinous deeds
Behold this pattern of thy butcheries.
Ogentlemenseesee! Dead Henry's wounds
Open their congeal'd mouths and bleed afresh.
Blushblushthou lump of foul deformity
For 'tis thy presence that exhales this blood
From cold and empty veins where no blood dwells;
Thy deeds inhuman and unnatural
Provokes this deluge most unnatural.
O Godwhich this blood mad'strevenge his death!
O earthwhich this blood drink'strevenge his death!
Eitherheav'nwith lightning strike the murd'rer dead;
Orearthgape open wide and eat him quick
As thou dost swallow up this good king's blood
Which his hell-govern'd arm hath butchered.

GLOUCESTER. Ladyyou know no rules of charity
Which renders good for badblessings for curses.
ANNE. Villainthou knowest nor law of God nor man:

No beast so fierce but knows some touch of pity.
GLOUCESTER. But I know noneand therefore am no beast.
ANNE. O wonderfulwhen devils tell the truth!
GLOUCESTER. More wonderful when angels are so angry.

Vouchsafedivine perfection of a woman
Of these supposed crimes to give me leave
By circumstance but to acquit myself.

ANNE. Vouchsafediffus'd infection of a man
Of these known evils but to give me leave
By circumstance to accuse thy cursed self.

GLOUCESTER. Fairer than tongue can name theelet me have
Some patient leisure to excuse myself.
ANNE. Fouler than heart can think theethou canst make

No excuse current but to hang thyself.
GLOUCESTER. By such despair I should accuse myself.
ANNE. And by despairing shalt thou stand excused

For doing worthy vengeance on thyself

That didst unworthy slaughter upon others.
GLOUCESTER. Say that I slew them not?
ANNE. Then say they were not slain.

But dead they areanddevilish slaveby thee.
GLOUCESTER. I did not kill your husband.
ANNE. Whythen he is alive.
GLOUCESTER. Nayhe is deadand slain by Edward's hands.
ANNE. In thy foul throat thou liest: Queen Margaret saw

Thy murd'rous falchion smoking in his blood;
The which thou once didst bend against her breast
But that thy brothers beat aside the point.

GLOUCESTER. I was provoked by her sland'rous tongue
That laid their guilt upon my guiltless shoulders.

ANNE. Thou wast provoked by thy bloody mind
That never dream'st on aught but butcheries.
Didst thou not kill this king?

GLOUCESTER. I grant ye.

ANNE. Dost grant mehedgehog? ThenGod grant me too
Thou mayst be damned for that wicked deed!
Ohe was gentlemildand virtuous!

GLOUCESTER. The better for the King of Heaventhat hath

ANNE. He is in heavenwhere thou shalt never come.
GLOUCESTER. Let him thank me that holp to send him


For he was fitter for that place than earth.
ANNE. And thou unfit for any place but hell.
GLOUCESTER. Yesone place elseif you will hear me name it.
ANNE. Some dungeon.
GLOUCESTER. Your bed-chamber.
ANNE. Ill rest betide the chamber where thou liest!
GLOUCESTER. So will itmadamtill I lie with you.
ANNE. I hope so.
GLOUCESTER. I know so. Butgentle Lady Anne

To leave this keen encounter of our wits
And fall something into a slower methodIs
not the causer of the timeless deaths
Of these PlantagenetsHenry and Edward
As blameful as the executioner?

ANNE. Thou wast the cause and most accurs'd effect.

GLOUCESTER. Your beauty was the cause of that effectYour
beauty that did haunt me in my sleep
To undertake the death of all the world
So I might live one hour in your sweet bosom.

ANNE. If I thought thatI tell theehomicide
These nails should rend that beauty from my cheeks.

GLOUCESTER. These eyes could not endure that beauty's
You should not blemish it if I stood by.
As all the world is cheered by the sun
So I by that; it is my daymy life.

ANNE. Black night o'ershade thy dayand death thy life!
GLOUCESTER. Curse not thyselffair creature; thou art both.
ANNE. I would I wereto be reveng'd on thee.
GLOUCESTER. It is a quarrel most unnatural

To be reveng'd on him that loveth thee.
ANNE. It is a quarrel just and reasonable
To be reveng'd on him that kill'd my husband.
GLOUCESTER. He that bereft theeladyof thy husband

Did it to help thee to a better husband.
ANNE. His better doth not breathe upon the earth.
GLOUCESTER. He lives that loves thee better than he could.
ANNE. Name him.
GLOUCESTER. Plantagenet.
ANNE. Whythat was he.
GLOUCESTER. The self-same namebut one of better nature.
ANNE. Where is he?
GLOUCESTER. Here. [She spits at him] Why dost thou spit

at me?
ANNE. Would it were mortal poisonfor thy sake!
GLOUCESTER. Never came poison from so sweet a place.
ANNE. Never hung poison on a fouler toad.

Out of my sight! Thou dost infect mine eyes.
GLOUCESTER. Thine eyessweet ladyhave infected mine.
ANNE. Would they were basilisks to strike thee dead!
GLOUCESTER. I would they werethat I might die at once;

For now they kill me with a living death.
Those eyes of thine from mine have drawn salt tears
Sham'd their aspects with store of childish dropsThese
eyeswhich never shed remorseful tear

Nowhen my father York and Edward wept
To hear the piteous moan that Rutland made
When black-fac'd Clifford shook his sword at him;
Nor when thy warlike fatherlike a child
Told the sad story of my father's death
And twenty times made pause to sob and weep
That all the standers-by had wet their cheeks
Like trees bedash'd with rain-in that sad time
My manly eyes did scorn an humble tear;
And what these sorrows could not thence exhale
Thy beauty hathand made them blind with weeping.
I never sued to friend nor enemy;
My tongue could never learn sweet smoothing word;
Butnow thy beauty is propos'd my fee
My proud heart suesand prompts my tongue to speak.

[She looks scornfully at him]
Teach not thy lip such scorn; for it was made
For kissingladynot for such contempt.
If thy revengeful heart cannot forgive
Lo here I lend thee this sharp-pointed sword;
Which if thou please to hide in this true breast
And let the soul forth that adoreth thee
I lay it naked to the deadly stroke
And humbly beg the death upon my knee.

[He lays his breast open; she offers at it with his sword]
Naydo not pause; for I did kill King HenryBut
'twas thy beauty that provoked me.
Naynow dispatch; 'twas I that stabb'd young EdwardBut
'twas thy heavenly face that set me on.

[She falls the sword]
Take up the sword againor take up me.
ANNE. Arisedissembler; though I wish thy death

I will not be thy executioner.
GLOUCESTER. Then bid me kill myselfand I will do it.
ANNE. I have already.
GLOUCESTER. That was in thy rage.

Speak it againand even with the word
This handwhich for thy love did kill thy love
Shall for thy love kill a far truer love;
To both their deaths shalt thou be accessary.

ANNE. I would I knew thy heart.
GLOUCESTER. 'Tis figur'd in my tongue.
ANNE. I fear me both are false.
GLOUCESTER. Then never was man true.
ANNE. well put up your sword.
GLOUCESTER. Saythenmy peace is made.
ANNE. That shalt thou know hereafter.
GLOUCESTER. But shall I live in hope?
ANNE. All menI hopelive so.
GLOUCESTER. Vouchsafe to wear this ring.
ANNE. To take is not to give. [Puts on the ring]
GLOUCESTER. Look how my ring encompasseth thy finger

Even so thy breast encloseth my poor heart;
Wear both of themfor both of them are thine.
And if thy poor devoted servant may
But beg one favour at thy gracious hand
Thou dost confirm his happiness for ever.

ANNE. What is it?

GLOUCESTER. That it may please you leave these sad designs
To him that hath most cause to be a mourner
And presently repair to Crosby House;
Where-after I have solemnly interr'd
At Chertsey monast'ry this noble king
And wet his grave with my repentant tears

I will with all expedient duty see you.

For divers unknown reasonsI beseech you

Grant me this boon.

ANNE. With all my heart; and much it joys me too

To see you are become so penitent.

Tressel and Berkeleygo along with me.

GLOUCESTER. Bid me farewell.

ANNE. 'Tis more than you deserve;

But since you teach me how to flatter you

Imagine I have said farewell already.


GLOUCESTER. Sirstake up the corse.

GENTLEMEN. Towards Chertseynoble lord?

GLOUCESTER. Noto White Friars; there attend my coming.

Exeunt all but GLOUCESTER

Was ever woman in this humour woo'd?

Was ever woman in this humour won?

I'll have her; but I will not keep her long.

What! I that kill'd her husband and his father

To take her in her heart's extremest hate

With curses in her mouthtears in her eyes

The bleeding witness of my hatred by;

Having Godher conscienceand these bars against me

And I no friends to back my suit at all

But the plain devil and dissembling looks

And yet to win herall the world to nothing!


Hath she forgot already that brave prince

Edwardher lordwhom Isome three months since

Stabb'd in my angry mood at Tewksbury?

A sweeter and a lovelier gentleman

Fram'd in the prodigality of nature

Youngvaliantwiseand no doubt right royal

The spacious world cannot again afford;

And will she yet abase her eyes on me

That cropp'd the golden prime of this sweet prince

And made her widow to a woeful bed?

On mewhose all not equals Edward's moiety?

On methat halts and am misshapen thus?

My dukedom to a beggarly denier

I do mistake my person all this while.

Upon my lifeshe findsalthough I cannot

Myself to be a marv'llous proper man.

I'll be at charges for a looking-glass

And entertain a score or two of tailors

To study fashions to adorn my body.

Since I am crept in favour with myself

I will maintain it with some little cost.

But first I'll turn yon fellow in his grave

And then return lamenting to my love.

Shine outfair suntill I have bought a glass

That I may see my shadow as I pass. Exit


London. The palace


RIVERS. Have patiencemadam; there's no doubt his Majesty
Will soon recover his accustom'd health.

GREY. In that you brook it illit makes him worse;
Thereforefor God's sakeentertain good comfort
And cheer his Grace with quick and merry eyes.

QUEEN ELIZABETH. If he were deadwhat would betide on

GREY. No other harm but loss of such a lord.
QUEEN ELIZABETH. The loss of such a lord includes all

GREY. The heavens have bless'd you with a goodly son
To be your comforter when he is gone.

QUEEN ELIZABETH. Ahhe is young; and his minority
Is put unto the trust of Richard Gloucester
A man that loves not menor none of you.

RIVER. Is it concluded he shall be Protector?
QUEEN ELIZABETH. It is determin'dnot concluded yet;
But so it must beif the King miscarry.


GREY. Here come the Lords of Buckingham and Derby.
BUCKINGHAM. Good time of day unto your royal Grace!
DERBY. God make your Majesty joyful as you have been.
QUEEN ELIZABETH. The Countess Richmondgood my Lord

of Derby
To your good prayer will scarcely say amen.
YetDerbynotwithstanding she's your wife
And loves not mebe yougood lordassur'd
I hate not you for her proud arrogance.

DERBY. I do beseech youeither not believe
The envious slanders of her false accusers;
Orif she be accus'd on true report
Bear with her weaknesswhich I think proceeds
From wayward sickness and no grounded malice.

QUEEN ELIZABETH. Saw you the King to-daymy Lord of
DERBY. But now the Duke of Buckingham and I
Are come from visiting his Majesty.
QUEEN ELIZABETH. What likelihood of his amendment
BUCKINGHAM. Madamgood hope; his Grace speaks
QUEEN ELIZABETH. God grant him health! Did you confer
with him?

BUCKINGHAM. Aymadam; he desires to make atonement
Between the Duke of Gloucester and your brothers
And between them and my Lord Chamberlain;
And sent to warn them to his royal presence.

QUEEN ELIZABETH. Would all were well! But that will
never be.
I fear our happiness is at the height.


GLOUCESTER. They do me wrongand I will not endure it.
Who is it that complains unto the King
That Iforsootham stern and love them not?
By holy Paulthey love his Grace but lightly
That fill his ears with such dissentious rumours.
Because I cannot flatter and look fair
Smile in men's facessmoothdeceiveand cog
Duck with French nods and apish courtesy
I must be held a rancorous enemy.
Cannot a plain man live and think no harm
But thus his simple truth must be abus'd

With silkenslyinsinuating Jacks?
GREY. To who in all this presence speaks your Grace?
GLOUCESTER. To theethat hast nor honesty nor grace.

When have I injur'd thee? when done thee wrong
Or theeor theeor any of your faction?
A plague upon you all! His royal GraceWhom
God preserve better than you would wish!Cannot
be quiet searce a breathing while
But you must trouble him with lewd complaints.

QUEEN ELIZABETH. Brother of Gloucesteryou mistake the
The Kingon his own royal disposition
And not provok'd by any suitor elseAiming
belikeat your interior hatred
That in your outward action shows itself
Against my childrenbrothersand myselfMakes
him to send that he may learn the ground.

GLOUCESTER. I cannot tell; the world is grown so bad
That wrens make prey where eagles dare not perch.
Since every Jack became a gentleman
There's many a gentle person made a Jack.

QUEEN ELIZABETH. Comecomewe know your meaning
brother Gloucester:
You envy my advancement and my friends';
God grant we never may have need of you!

GLOUCESTER. MeantimeGod grants that I have need of you.
Our brother is imprison'd by your means
Myself disgrac'dand the nobility
Held in contempt; while great promotions
Are daily given to ennoble those
That scarce some two days since were worth a noble.

QUEEN ELIZABETH. By Him that rais'd me to this careful
From that contented hap which I enjoy'd
I never did incense his Majesty
Against the Duke of Clarencebut have been
An earnest advocate to plead for him.
My lordyou do me shameful injury
Falsely to draw me in these vile suspects.

GLOUCESTER. You may deny that you were not the mean

Of my Lord Hastings' late imprisonment.
RIVERS. She maymy lord; forGLOUCESTER.
She mayLord Rivers? Whywho knows

not so?
She may do moresirthan denying that:
She may help you to many fair preferments
And then deny her aiding hand therein
And lay those honours on your high desert.
What may she not? She may-aymarrymay she

RIVERS. Whatmarrymay she?

GLOUCESTER. Whatmarrymay she? Marry with a king
A bachelorand a handsome stripling too.
Iwis your grandam had a worser match.

QUEEN ELIZABETH. My Lord of GloucesterI have too long
Your blunt upbraidings and your bitter scoffs.
By heavenI will acquaint his Majesty
Of those gross taunts that oft I have endur'd.
I had rather be a country servant-maid
Than a great queen with this conditionTo
be so baitedscorn'dand stormed at.

Enter old QUEEN MARGARETbehind

Small joy have I in being England's Queen.

QUEEN MARGARET. And less'ned be that smallGodI
beseech Him!
Thy honourstateand seatis due to me.

GLOUCESTER. What! Threat you me with telling of the
Tell him and spare not. Look what I have said
I will avouch't in presence of the King.
I dare adventure to be sent to th' Tow'r.
'Tis time to speak-my pains are quite forgot.

QUEEN MARGARET. Outdevil! I do remember them to
Thou kill'dst my husband Henry in the Tower
And Edwardmy poor sonat Tewksbury.

GLOUCESTER. Ere you were queenayor your husband
I was a pack-horse in his great affairs
A weeder-out of his proud adversaries
A liberal rewarder of his friends;
To royalize his blood I spent mine own.

QUEEN MARGARET. Ayand much better blood than his or

GLOUCESTER. In all which time you and your husband Grey
Were factious for the house of Lancaster;
AndRiversso were you. Was not your husband
In Margaret's battle at Saint Albans slain?
Let me put in your mindsif you forget
What you have been ere thisand what you are;
Withalwhat I have beenand what I am.

QUEEN MARGARET. A murd'rous villainand so still thou art.
GLOUCESTER. Poor Clarence did forsake his fatherWarwick

Ayand forswore himself-which Jesu pardon!QUEEN
MARGARET. Which God revenge!
GLOUCESTER. To fight on Edward's party for the crown;

And for his meedpoor lordhe is mewed up.
I would to God my heart were flint like Edward's
Or Edward's soft and pitiful like mine.
I am too childish-foolish for this world.

QUEEN MARGARET. Hie thee to hell for shame and leave this
Thou cacodemon; there thy kingdom is.

RIVERS. My Lord of Gloucesterin those busy days
Which here you urge to prove us enemies
We follow'd then our lordour sovereign king.
So should we youif you should be our king.

GLOUCESTER. If I should be! I had rather be a pedlar.
Far be it from my heartthe thought thereof!

QUEEN ELIZABETH. As little joymy lordas you suppose
You should enjoy were you this country's king
As little joy you may suppose in me
That I enjoybeing the Queen thereof.

QUEEN MARGARET. As little joy enjoys the Queen thereof;
For I am sheand altogether joyless.
I can no longer hold me patient. [Advancing]
Hear meyou wrangling piratesthat fall out
In sharing that which you have pill'd from me.
Which of you trembles not that looks on me?
If not thatI am Queenyou bow like subjects
Yet thatby you depos'dyou quake like rebels?
Ahgentle villaindo not turn away!

GLOUCESTER. Foul wrinkled witchwhat mak'st thou in my
QUEEN MARGARET. But repetition of what thou hast marr'd
That will I make before I let thee go.

GLOUCESTER. Wert thou not banished on pain of death?

QUEEN MARGARET. I was; but I do find more pain in
Than death can yield me here by my abode.
A husband and a son thou ow'st to me;
And thou a kingdom; all of you allegiance.
This sorrow that I have by right is yours;
And all the pleasures you usurp are mine.

GLOUCESTER. The curse my noble father laid on thee
When thou didst crown his warlike brows with paper
And with thy scorns drew'st rivers from his eyes
And then to dry them gav'st the Duke a clout
Steep'd in the faultless blood of pretty RutlandHis
curses then from bitterness of soul
Denounc'd against thee are all fall'n upon thee;
And Godnot wehath plagu'd thy bloody deed.

QUEEN ELIZABETH. So just is God to right the innocent.
HASTINGS. O'twas the foulest deed to slay that babe

And the most merciless that e'er was heard of!
RIVERS. Tyrants themselves wept when it was reported.
DORSET. No man but prophesied revenge for it.
BUCKINGHAM. Northumberlandthen presentwept to see it.
QUEEN MARGARET. Whatwere you snarling all before I came

Ready to catch each other by the throat
And turn you all your hatred now on me?
Did York's dread curse prevail so much with heaven
That Henry's deathmy lovely Edward's death
Their kingdom's lossmy woeful banishment
Should all but answer for that peevish brat?
Can curses pierce the clouds and enter heaven?
Why thengive waydull cloudsto my quick curses!
Though not by warby surfeit die your king
As ours by murderto make him a king!
Edward thy sonthat now is Prince of Wales
For Edward our sonthat was Prince of Wales
Die in his youth by like untimely violence!
Thyself a queenfor me that was a queen
Outlive thy glorylike my wretched self!
Long mayest thou live to wail thy children's death
And see anotheras I see thee now
Deck'd in thy rightsas thou art stall'd in mine!
Long die thy happy days before thy death;
Andafter many length'ned hours of grief
Die neither motherwifenor England's Queen!
Rivers and Dorsetyou were standers by
And so wast thouLord Hastingswhen my son
Was stabb'd with bloody daggers. GodI pray him
That none of you may live his natural age
But by some unlook'd accident cut off!

GLOUCESTER. Have done thy charmthou hateful wither'd

QUEEN MARGARET. And leave out thee? Staydogfor thou
shalt hear me.
If heaven have any grievous plague in store
Exceeding those that I can wish upon thee
Olet them keep it till thy sins be ripe
And then hurl down their indignation
On theethe troubler of the poor world's peace!
The worm of conscience still be-gnaw thy soul!
Thy friends suspect for traitors while thou liv'st
And take deep traitors for thy dearest friends!
No sleep close up that deadly eye of thine
Unless it be while some tormenting dream
Affrights thee with a hell of ugly devils!

Thou elvish-mark'dabortiverooting hog
Thou that wast seal'd in thy nativity
The slave of nature and the son of hell
Thou slander of thy heavy mother's womb
Thou loathed issue of thy father's loins
Thou rag of honourthou detested

QUEEN MARGARET. I call thee not.
GLOUCESTER. I cry thee mercy thenfor I did think

That thou hadst call'd me all these bitter names.
QUEEN MARGARET. Whyso I didbut look'd for no reply.

Olet me make the period to my curse!
GLOUCESTER. 'Tis done by meand ends in-Margaret.
QUEEN ELIZABETH. Thus have you breath'd your curse

against yourself.

QUEEN MARGARET. Poor painted queenvain flourish of my
Why strew'st thou sugar on that bottled spider
Whose deadly web ensnareth thee about?
Foolfool! thou whet'st a knife to kill thyself.
The day will come that thou shalt wish for me
To help thee curse this poisonous bunch-back'd toad.

HASTINGS. False-boding womanend thy frantic curse
Lest to thy harm thou move our patience.
QUEEN MARGARET. Foul shame upon you! you have all
mov'd mine.
RIVERS. Were you well serv'dyou would be taught your

QUEEN MARGARET. To serve me well you all should do me
Teach me to be your queen and you my subjects.
Oserve me welland teach yourselves that duty!

DORSET. Dispute not with her; she is lunatic.

QUEEN MARGARET. PeaceMaster Marquisyou are malapert;
Your fire-new stamp of honour is scarce current.
Othat your young nobility could judge
What 'twere to lose it and be miserable!
They that stand high have many blasts to shake them
And if they fall they dash themselves to pieces.

GLOUCESTER. Good counselmarry; learn itlearn itMarquis.
DORSET. It touches youmy lordas much as me.
GLOUCESTER. Ayand much more; but I was born so high

Our aery buildeth in the cedar's top
And dallies with the windand scorns the sun.

QUEEN MARGARET. And turns the sun to shade-alas! alas!
Witness my sonnow in the shade of death
Whose bright out-shining beams thy cloudy wrath
Hath in eternal darkness folded up.
Your aery buildeth in our aery's nest.
O God that seest itdo not suffer it;
As it is won with bloodlost be it so!

BUCKINGHAM. Peacepeacefor shameif not for charity!

QUEEN MARGARET. Urge neither charity nor shame to me.
Uncharitably with me have you dealt
And shamefully my hopes by you are butcher'd.
My charity is outragelife my shame;
And in that shame still live my sorrow's rage!

BUCKINGHAM. Have donehave done.

QUEEN MARGARET. O princely BuckinghamI'll kiss thy
In sign of league and amity with thee.
Now fair befall thee and thy noble house!

Thy garments are not spotted with our blood
Nor thou within the compass of my curse.
BUCKINGHAM. Nor no one here; for curses never pass
The lips of those that breathe them in the air.

QUEEN MARGARET. I will not think but they ascend the sky
And there awake God's gentle-sleeping peace.
O Buckinghamtake heed of yonder dog!
Look when he fawnshe bites; and when he bites
His venom tooth will rankle to the death:
Have not to do with himbeware of him;
Sindeathand hellhave set their marks on him
And all their ministers attend on him.

GLOUCESTER. What doth she saymy Lord of Buckingham?
BUCKINGHAM. Nothing that I respectmy gracious lord.
QUEEN MARGARET. Whatdost thou scorn me for my gentle

And soothe the devil that I warn thee from?
Obut remember this another day
When he shall split thy very heart with sorrow
And say poor Margaret was a prophetess!
Live each of you the subjects to his hate
And he to yoursand all of you to God's! Exit

BUCKINGHAM. My hair doth stand an end to hear her curses.
RIVERS. And so doth mine. I muse why she's at liberty.
GLOUCESTER. I cannot blame her; by God's holy Mother

She hath had too much wrong; and I repent

My part thereof that I have done to her.
QUEEN ELIZABETH. I never did her any to my knowledge.
GLOUCESTER. Yet you have all the vantage of her wrong.

I was too hot to do somebody good
That is too cold in thinking of it now.
Marryas for Clarencehe is well repaid;
He is frank'd up to fatting for his pains;
God pardon them that are the cause thereof!

RIVERS. A virtuous and a Christian-like conclusion
To pray for them that have done scathe to us!
GLOUCESTER. So do I ever-[Aside] being well advis'd;
For had I curs'd nowI had curs'd myself.


CATESBY. Madamhis Majesty doth can for you
And for your Graceand youmy gracious lords.
QUEEN ELIZABETH. CatesbyI come. Lordswill you go
with me?
RIVERS. We wait upon your Grace.
Exeunt all but GLOUCESTER

GLOUCESTER. I do the wrongand first begin to brawl.
The secret mischiefs that I set abroach
I lay unto the grievous charge of others.
Clarencewho I indeed have cast in darkness
I do beweep to many simple gulls;
Namelyto DerbyHastingsBuckingham;
And tell them 'tis the Queen and her allies
That stir the King against the Duke my brother.
Now they believe itand withal whet me
To be reveng'd on RiversDorsetGrey;
But then I sigh andwith a piece of Scripture
Tell them that God bids us do good for evil.
And thus I clothe my naked villainy
With odd old ends stol'n forth of holy writ
And seem a saint when most I play the devil.


Butsofthere come my executioners.
How nowmy hardy stout resolved mates!
Are you now going to dispatch this thing?

FIRST MURDERER. We aremy lordand come to have the
That we may be admitted where he is.

GLOUCESTER. Well thought upon; I have it here about me.

[Gives the warrant]
When you have donerepair to Crosby Place.
Butsirsbe sudden in the execution
Withal obduratedo not hear him plead;
For Clarence is well-spokenand perhaps
May move your hearts to pityif you mark him.

FIRST MURDERER. Tuttutmy lordwe will not stand to
Talkers are no good doers. Be assur'd
We go to use our hands and not our tongues.

GLOUCESTER. Your eyes drop millstones when fools' eyes fall
I like youlads; about your business straight;

FIRST MURDERER. We willmy noble lord. Exeunt


London. The Tower


KEEPER. Why looks your Grace so heavily to-day?

CLARENCE. OI have pass'd a miserable night
So full of fearful dreamsof ugly sights
Thatas I am a Christian faithful man
I would not spend another such a night
Though 'twere to buy a world of happy daysSo
full of dismal terror was the time!

KEEPER. What was your dreammy lord? I pray you
tell me.

CLARENCE. Methoughts that I had broken from the Tower
And was embark'd to cross to Burgundy;
And in my company my brother Gloucester
Who from my cabin tempted me to walk
Upon the hatches. Thence we look'd toward England
And cited up a thousand heavy times
During the wars of York and Lancaster
That had befall'n us. As we pac'd along
Upon the giddy footing of the hatches
Methought that Gloucester stumbledand in falling
Struck methat thought to stay himoverboard
Into the tumbling billows of the main.
O Lordmethought what pain it was to drown
What dreadful noise of waters in my ears
What sights of ugly death within my eyes!
Methoughts I saw a thousand fearful wrecks
A thousand men that fishes gnaw'd upon
Wedges of goldgreat anchorsheaps of pearl
Inestimable stonesunvalued jewels
All scatt'red in the bottom of the sea;
Some lay in dead men's skullsand in the holes
Where eyes did once inhabit there were crept

As 'twere in scorn of eyesreflecting gems
That woo'd the slimy bottom of the deep
And mock'd the dead bones that lay scatt'red by.

KEEPER. Had you such leisure in the time of death
To gaze upon these secrets of the deep?

CLARENCE. Methought I had; and often did I strive
To yield the ghostbut still the envious flood
Stopp'd in my soul and would not let it forth
To find the emptyvastand wand'ring air;
But smother'd it within my panting bulk
Who almost burst to belch it in the sea.

KEEPER. Awak'd you not in this sore agony?

CLARENCE. Nonomy dream was lengthen'd after life.
Othen began the tempest to my soul!
I pass'dmethoughtthe melancholy flood
With that sour ferryman which poets write of
Unto the kingdom of perpetual night.
The first that there did greet my stranger soul
Was my great father-in-lawrenowned Warwick
Who spake aloud 'What scourge for perjury
Can this dark monarchy afford false Clarence?'
And so he vanish'd. Then came wand'ring by
A shadow like an angelwith bright hair
Dabbled in bloodand he shriek'd out aloud
'Clarence is come-falsefleetingperjur'd Clarence
That stabb'd me in the field by Tewksbury.
Seize on himFuriestake him unto torment!'
With thatmethoughtsa legion of foul fiends
Environ'd meand howled in mine ears
Such hideous cries thatwith the very noise
I trembling wak'dand for a season after
Could not believe but that I was in hell
Such terrible impression made my dream.

KEEPER. No marvellordthough it affrighted you;
I am afraidmethinksto hear you tell it.

CLARENCE. AhKeeperKeeperI have done these things
That now give evidence against my soul
For Edward's sakeand see how he requites me!
O God! If my deep prayers cannot appease Thee
But Thou wilt be aveng'd on my misdeeds
Yet execute Thy wrath in me alone;
Ospare my guiltless wife and my poor children!

KEEPERI prithee sit by me awhile;
My soul is heavyand I fain would sleep.
KEEPER. I willmy lord. God give your Grace good rest.
[CLARENCE sleeps]

Enter BRAKENBURY the Lieutenant

BRAKENBURY. Sorrow breaks seasons and reposing hours
Makes the night morning and the noontide night.
Princes have but their titles for their glories
An outward honour for an inward toil;
And for unfelt imaginations
They often feel a world of restless cares
So that between their tides and low name
There's nothing differs but the outward fame.

Enter the two MURDERERS

FIRST MURDERER. Ho! who's here?
BRAKENBURY. What wouldst thoufellowand how cam'st
thou hither?
FIRST MURDERER. I would speak with Clarenceand I came

hither on my legs.

BRAKENBURY. Whatso brief?

SECOND MURDERER. 'Tis bettersirthan to be tedious. Let
him see our commission and talk no more.
[BRAKENBURY reads it]

BRAKENBURY. I amin thiscommanded to deliver
The noble Duke of Clarence to your hands.
I will not reason what is meant hereby
Because I will be guiltless from the meaning.
There lies the Duke asleep; and there the keys.
I'll to the King and signify to him
That thus I have resign'd to you my charge.

FIRST MURDERER. You maysir; 'tis a point of wisdom. Fare
you well. Exeunt BRAKENBURY and KEEPER

SECOND MURDERER. Whatshall I stab him as he sleeps?

FIRST MURDERER. No; he'll say 'twas done cowardlywhen
he wakes.

SECOND MURDERER. Whyhe shall never wake until the great

FIRST MURDERER. Whythen he'll say we stabb'd him

SECOND MURDERER. The urging of that word judgment hath
bred a kind of remorse in me.

FIRST MURDERER. Whatart thou afraid?

SECOND MURDERER. Not to kill himhaving a warrant; but to
be damn'd for killing himfrom the which no warrant can
defend me.

FIRST MURDERER. I thought thou hadst been resolute.

SECOND MURDERER. So I amto let him live.

FIRST MURDERER. I'll back to the Duke of Gloucester and
tell him so.

SECOND MURDERER. NayI pritheestay a little. I hope this
passionate humour of mine will change; it was wont to
hold me but while one tells twenty.

FIRST MURDERER. How dost thou feel thyself now?
SECOND MURDERER. Faithsome certain dregs of conscience
are yet within me.

FIRST MURDERER. Remember our rewardwhen the deed's

SECOND MURDERER. Zoundshe dies; I had forgot the reward.

FIRST MURDERER. Where's thy conscience now?

SECOND MURDERER. Oin the Duke of Gloucester's purse!

FIRST MURDERER. When he opens his purse to give us our
rewardthy conscience flies out.

SECOND MURDERER. 'Tis no matter; let it go; there's few or
none will entertain it.

FIRST MURDERER. What if it come to thee again?

SECOND MURDERER. I'll not meddle with it-it makes a man
coward: a man cannot stealbut it accuseth him; a man
cannot swearbut it checks him; a man cannot lie with his
neighbour's wifebut it detects him. 'Tis a blushing shamefac'd
spirit that mutinies in a man's bosom; it fills a man
full of obstacles: it made me once restore a purse of gold
that-by chance I found. It beggars any man that keeps it.
It is turn'd out of towns and cities for a dangerous thing;
and every man that means to live well endeavours to trust
to himself and live without it.

FIRST MURDERER. Zounds'tis even now at my elbow
persuading me not to kill the Duke.

SECOND MURDERER. Take the devil in thy mind and believe
him not; he would insinuate with thee but to make thee

FIRST MURDERER. I am strong-fram'd; he cannot prevail with

SECOND MURDERER. Spoke like a tall man that respects thy
reputation. Comeshall we fall to work?

FIRST MURDERER. Take him on the costard with the hilts of
thy swordand then chop him in the malmsey-butt in the
next room.

SECOND MURDERER. O excellent device! and make a sop of

FIRST MURDERER. Soft! he wakes.
FIRST MURDERER. Nowe'll reason with him.
CLARENCE. Where art thouKeeper? Give me a cup of wine.
SECOND MURDERER. You shall have wine enoughmy lord

CLARENCE. In God's namewhat art thou?
FIRST MURDERER. A manas you are.
CLARENCE. But not as I amroyal.
SECOND MURDERER. Nor you as we areloyal.
CLARENCE. Thy voice is thunderbut thy looks are humble.
FIRST MURDERER. My voice is now the King'smy looks

mine own.

CLARENCE. How darkly and how deadly dost thou speak!
Your eyes do menace me. Why look you pale?
Who sent you hither? Wherefore do you come?

To murder me?
CLARENCE. You scarcely have the hearts to tell me so

And therefore cannot have the hearts to do it.

Whereinmy friendshave I offended you?
FIRST MURDERER. Offended us you have notbut the King.
CLARENCE. I shall be reconcil'd to him again.
SECOND MURDERER. Nevermy lord; therefore prepare to die.
CLARENCE. Are you drawn forth among a world of men

To slay the innocent? What is my offence?
Where is the evidence that doth accuse me?
What lawful quest have given their verdict up
Unto the frowning judgeor who pronounc'd
The bitter sentence of poor Clarence' death?
Before I be convict by course of law
To threaten me with death is most unlawful.
I charge youas you hope to have redemption
By Christ's dear blood shed for our grievous sins
That you depart and lay no hands on me.
The deed you undertake is damnable.

FIRST MURDERER. What we will dowe do upon command.
SECOND MURDERER. And he that hath commanded is our

CLARENCE. Erroneous vassals! the great King of kings
Hath in the tables of his law commanded
That thou shalt do no murder. Will you then
Spurn at his edict and fulfil a man's?
Take heed; for he holds vengeance in his hand
To hurl upon their heads that break his law.

SECOND MURDERER. And that same vengeance doth he hurl
on thee
For false forswearingand for murder too;
Thou didst receive the sacrament to fight
In quarrel of the house of Lancaster.

FIRST MURDERER. And like a traitor to the name of God
Didst break that vow; and with thy treacherous blade
Unripp'dst the bowels of thy sov'reign's son.

SECOND MURDERER. Whom thou wast sworn to cherish and
FIRST MURDERER. How canst thou urge God's dreadful law

to us
When thou hast broke it in such dear degree?

CLARENCE. Alas! for whose sake did I that ill deed?
For Edwardfor my brotherfor his sake.
He sends you not to murder me for this
For in that sin he is as deep as I.
If God will be avenged for the deed
Oknow you yet He doth it publicly.
Take not the quarrel from His pow'rful arm;
He needs no indirect or lawless course
To cut off those that have offended Him.

FIRST MURDERER. Who made thee then a bloody minister
When gallant-springing brave Plantagenet
That princely novicewas struck dead by thee?

CLARENCE. My brother's lovethe deviland my rage.

FIRST MURDERER. Thy brother's loveour dutyand thy
Provoke us hither now to slaughter thee.

CLARENCE. If you do love my brotherhate not me;
I am his brotherand I love him well.
If you are hir'd for meedgo back again
And I will send you to my brother Gloucester
Who shall reward you better for my life
Than Edward will for tidings of my death.

SECOND MURDERER. You are deceiv'd: your brother Gloucester
hates you.
CLARENCE. Onohe loves meand he holds me dear.

Go you to him from me.
FIRST MURDERER. Ayso we will.
CLARENCE. Tell him when that our princely father York

Bless'd his three sons with his victorious arm
And charg'd us from his soul to love each other
He little thought of this divided friendship.
Bid Gloucester think of thisand he will weep.

FIRST MURDERER. Aymillstones; as he lesson'd us to weep.
CLARENCE. Odo not slander himfor he is kind.
FIRST MURDERER. Rightas snow in harvest. Comeyou

deceive yourself:
'Tis he that sends us to destroy you here.
CLARENCE. It cannot be; for he bewept my fortune
And hugg'd me in his armsand swore with sobs
That he would labour my delivery.

FIRST MURDERER. Whyso he dothwhen he delivers you
From this earth's thraldom to the joys of heaven.
SECOND MURDERER. Make peace with Godfor you must die
my lord.

CLARENCE. Have you that holy feeling in your souls
To counsel me to make my peace with God
And are you yet to your own souls so blind
That you will war with God by murd'ring me?
Osirsconsider: they that set you on
To do this deed will hate you for the deed.

SECOND MURDERER. What shall we do?
CLARENCE. Relentand save your souls.
FIRST MURDERER. Relent! No'tis cowardly and womanish.
CLARENCE. Not to relent is beastlysavagedevilish.

Which of youif you were a prince's son
Being pent from liberty as I am now
If two such murderers as yourselves came to you
Would not entreat for life?
My friendI spy some pity in thy looks;
Oif thine eye be not a flatterer
Come thou on my side and entreat for meAs
you would beg were you in my distress.

A begging prince what beggar pities not?

SECOND MURDERER. Look behind youmy lord.

FIRST MURDERER. [Stabbing him] Take thatand that. If all

this will not do
I'll drown you in the malmsey-butt within.
Exit with the body

SECOND MURDERER. A bloody deedand desperately
How fainlike Pilatewould I wash my hands
Of this most grievous murder!
FIRST MURDERER-How nowwhat mean'st thou that thou
help'st me not?
By heavensthe Duke shall know how slack you have
SECOND MURDERER. I would he knew that I had sav'd his
Take thou the feeand tell him what I say;
For I repent me that the Duke is slain. Exit
FIRST MURDERER. So do not I. Gocoward as thou art.
WellI'll go hide the body in some hole
Till that the Duke give order for his burial;
And when I have my meedI will away;
For this will outand then I must not stay. Exit



London. The palace


KING EDWARD. Whyso. Now have I done a good day's


You peerscontinue this united league.

I every day expect an embassage

From my Redeemer to redeem me hence;

And more at peace my soul shall part to heaven

Since I have made my friends at peace on earth.

Hastings and Riverstake each other's hand;

Dissemble not your hatredswear your love.
RIVERS. By heavenmy soul is purg'd from grudging hate;

And with my hand I seal my true heart's love.
HASTINGS. So thrive Ias I truly swear the like!
KING EDWARD. Take heed you dally not before your king;

Lest He that is the supreme King of kings

Confound your hidden falsehood and award

Either of you to be the other's end.
HASTINGS. So prosper Ias I swear perfect love!
RIVERS. And Ias I love Hastings with my heart!
KING EDWARD. Madamyourself is not exempt from this;

Nor youson Dorset; Buckinghamnor you:
You have been factious one against the other.
Wifelove Lord Hastingslet him kiss your hand;
And what you dodo it unfeignedly.

QUEEN ELIZABETH. ThereHastings; I will never more
Our former hatredso thrive I and mine!

KING EDWARD. Dorsetembrace him; Hastingslove Lord
DORSET. This interchange of loveI here protest

Upon my part shall be inviolable.
HASTINGS. And so swear I. [They embrace]
KING EDWARD. Nowprincely Buckinghamseal thou this

With thy embracements to my wife's allies
And make me happy in your unity.

BUCKINGHAM. [To the QUEEN] Whenever Buckingham
doth turn his hate
Upon your Gracebut with all duteous love
Doth cherish you and yoursGod punish me
With hate in those where I expect most love!
When I have most need to employ a friend
And most assured that he is a friend
Deephollowtreacherousand full of guile
Be he unto me! This do I beg of God
When I am cold in love to you or yours.

[They embrace]

KING EDWARD. A pleasing cordialprincely Buckingham
Is this thy vow unto my sickly heart.
There wanteth now our brother Gloucester here
To make the blessed period of this peace.

BUCKINGHAM. Andin good time
Here comes Sir Richard Ratcliff and the Duke.


GLOUCESTER. Good morrow to my sovereign king and
Andprincely peersa happy time of day!

KING EDWARD. Happyindeedas we have spent the day.
Gloucesterwe have done deeds of charity
Made peace of enmityfair love of hate
Between these swelling wrong-incensed peers.

GLOUCESTER. A blessed labourmy most sovereign lord.
Among this princely heapif any here
By false intelligence or wrong surmise
Hold me a foeIf
I unwittinglyor in my rage
Have aught committed that is hardly borne
To any in this presenceI desire
To reconcile me to his friendly peace:
'Tis death to me to be at enmity;
I hate itand desire all good men's love.
FirstmadamI entreat true peace of you
Which I will purchase with my duteous service;
Of youmy noble cousin Buckingham
If ever any grudge were lodg'd between us;
Of youand youLord Riversand of Dorset
That all without desert have frown'd on me;
Of youLord WoodvilleandLord Scalesof you;

Dukesearlslordsgentlemen-indeedof all.
I do not know that Englishman alive
With whom my soul is any jot at odds
More than the infant that is born to-night.
I thank my God for my humility.

QUEEN ELIZABETH. A holy day shall this be kept hereafter.
I would to God all strifes were well compounded.
My sovereign lordI do beseech your Highness
To take our brother Clarence to your grace.

GLOUCESTER. Whymadamhave I off'red love for this
To be so flouted in this royal presence?
Who knows not that the gentle Duke is dead?

[They all start]
You do him injury to scorn his corse.
KING EDWARD. Who knows not he is dead! Who knows

he is?
QUEEN ELIZABETH. All-seeing heavenwhat a world is this!
BUCKINGHAM. Look I so paleLord Dorsetas the rest?
DORSET. Aymy good lord; and no man in the presence

But his red colour hath forsook his cheeks.
KING EDWARD. Is Clarence dead? The order was revers'd.
GLOUCESTER. But hepoor manby your first order died

And that a winged Mercury did bear;
Some tardy cripple bare the countermand
That came too lag to see him buried.
God grant that someless noble and less loyal
Nearer in bloody thoughtsan not in blood
Deserve not worse than wretched Clarence did
And yet go current from suspicion!


DERBY. A boonmy sovereignfor my service done!
KING EDWARD. I pritheepeace; my soul is full of sorrow.
DERBY. I Will not rise unless your Highness hear me.
KING EDWARD. Then say at once what is it thou requests.
DERBY. The forfeitsovereignof my servant's life;

Who slew to-day a riotous gentleman
Lately attendant on the Duke of Norfolk.

KING EDWARD. Have I a tongue to doom my brother's death
And shall that tongue give pardon to a slave?
My brother killed no man-his fault was thought
And yet his punishment was bitter death.
Who sued to me for him? Whoin my wrath
Kneel'd at my feetand bid me be advis'd?
Who spoke of brotherhood? Who spoke of love?
Who told me how the poor soul did forsake
The mighty Warwick and did fight for me?
Who told mein the field at Tewksbury
When Oxford had me downhe rescued me
And said 'Dear Brotherliveand be a king'?
Who told mewhen we both lay in the field
Frozen almost to deathhow he did lap me
Even in his garmentsand did give himself
All thin and nakedto the numb cold night?
All this from my remembrance brutish wrath
Sinfully pluck'dand not a man of you
Had so much grace to put it in my mind.
But when your carters or your waiting-vassals
Have done a drunken slaughter and defac'd
The precious image of our dear Redeemer
You straight are on your knees for pardonpardon;
And Iunjustly toomust grant it you. [DERBY rises]
But for my brother not a man would speak;

Nor Iungraciousspeak unto myself
For himpoor soul. The proudest of you all
Have been beholding to him in his life;
Yet none of you would once beg for his life.
O GodI fear thy justice will take hold
On meand youand mineand yoursfor this!
ComeHastingshelp me to my closet. Ahpoor Clarence!

Exeunt some with KING and QUEEN

GLOUCESTER. This is the fruits of rashness. Mark'd you not
How that the guilty kindred of the Queen
Look'd pale when they did hear of Clarence' death?
Othey did urge it still unto the King!
God will revenge it. Comelordswill you go
To comfort Edward with our company?

BUCKINGHAM. We wait upon your Grace. Exeunt


London. The palace

Enter the old DUCHESS OF YORKwith the SON and DAUGHTER of

SON. Good grandamtell usis our father dead?
DAUGHTER. Why do you weep so oftand beat your breast

And cry 'O Clarencemy unhappy son!'?

SON. Why do you look on usand shake your head
And call us orphanswretchescastaways
If that our noble father were alive?

DUCHESS. My pretty cousinsyou mistake me both;
I do lament the sickness of the King
As loath to lose himnot your father's death;
It were lost sorrow to wail one that's lost.

SON. Then you concludemy grandamhe is dead.
The King mine uncle is to blame for it.
God will revenge it; whom I will importune
With earnest prayers all to that effect.

DAUGHTER. And so will I.

DUCHESS. Peacechildrenpeace! The King doth love you
Incapable and shallow innocents
You cannot guess who caus'd your father's death.

SON. Grandamwe can; for my good uncle Gloucester
Told me the Kingprovok'd to it by the Queen
Devis'd impeachments to imprison him.
And when my uncle told me sohe wept
And pitied meand kindly kiss'd my cheek;
Bade me rely on him as on my father
And he would love me dearly as a child.

DUCHESS. Ahthat deceit should steal such gentle shape
And with a virtuous vizor hide deep vice!
He is my son; ayand therein my shame;
Yet from my dugs he drew not this deceit.

SON. Think you my uncle did dissemblegrandam?
SON. I cannot think it. Hark! what noise is this?

Enter QUEEN ELIZABETHwith her hair about her
ears; RIVERS and DORSET after her

QUEEN ELIZABETH. Ahwho shall hinder me to wail and
To chide my fortuneand torment myself?
I'll join with black despair against my soul
And to myself become an enemy.

DUCHESS. What means this scene of rude impatience?
QUEEN ELIZABETH. To make an act of tragic violence.
EDWARDmy lordthy sonour kingis dead.

Why grow the branches when the root is gone?
Why wither not the leaves that want their sap?
If you will livelament; if diebe brief
That our swift-winged souls may catch the King's
Or like obedient subjects follow him
To his new kingdom of ne'er-changing night.

DUCHESS. Ahso much interest have I in thy sorrow
As I had title in thy noble husband!
I have bewept a worthy husband's death
And liv'd with looking on his images;
But now two mirrors of his princely semblance
Are crack'd in pieces by malignant death
And I for comfort have but one false glass
That grieves me when I see my shame in him.
Thou art a widowyet thou art a mother
And hast the comfort of thy children left;
But death hath snatch'd my husband from mine arms
And pluck'd two crutches from my feeble handsClarence
and Edward. Owhat cause have IThine
being but a moiety of my moanTo
overgo thy woes and drown thy cries?

SON. Ahauntyou wept not for our father's death!
How can we aid you with our kindred tears?
DAUGHTER. Our fatherless distress was left unmoan'd;
Your widow-dolour likewise be unwept!

QUEEN ELIZABETH. Give me no help in lamentation;
I am not barren to bring forth complaints.
All springs reduce their currents to mine eyes
That Ibeing govern'd by the watery moon
May send forth plenteous tears to drown the world!
Ah for my husbandfor my dear Lord Edward!

CHILDREN. Ah for our fatherfor our dear Lord Clarence!
DUCHESS. Alas for bothboth mineEdward and Clarence!
QUEEN ELIZABETH. What stay had I but Edward? and he's

CHILDREN. What stay had we but Clarence? and he's gone.
DUCHESS. What stays had I but they? and they are gone.
QUEEN ELIZABETH. Was never widow had so dear a loss.
CHILDREN. Were never orphans had so dear a loss.
DUCHESS. Was never mother had so dear a loss.

AlasI am the mother of these griefs!
Their woes are parcell'dmine is general.
She for an Edward weepsand so do I:
I for a Clarence weepso doth not she.
These babes for Clarence weepand so do I:
I for an Edward weepso do not they.
Alasyou three on methreefold distress'd
Pour all your tears! I am your sorrow's nurse
And I will pamper it with lamentation.

DORSET. Comfortdear mother. God is much displeas'd
That you take with unthankfulness his doing.
In common worldly things 'tis called ungrateful
With dull unwillingness to repay a debt
Which with a bounteous hand was kindly lent;
Much more to be thus opposite with heaven
For it requires the royal debt it lent you.

RIVERS. Madambethink youlike a careful mother
Of the young prince your son. Send straight for him;
Let him be crown'd; in him your comfort lives.
Drown desperate sorrow in dead Edward's grave
And plant your joys in living Edward's throne.


GLOUCESTER. Sisterhave comfort. All of us have cause
To wail the dimming of our shining star;
But none can help our harms by wailing them.
Madammy motherI do cry you mercy;
I did not see your Grace. Humbly on my knee
I crave your blessing.

DUCHESS. God bless thee; and put meekness in thy breast
Lovecharityobedienceand true duty!

GLOUCESTER. Amen! [Aside] And make me die a good old
That is the butt end of a mother's blessing;
I marvel that her Grace did leave it out.

BUCKINGHAM. You cloudy princes and heart-sorrowing
That bear this heavy mutual load of moan
Now cheer each other in each other's love.
Though we have spent our harvest of this king
We are to reap the harvest of his son.
The broken rancour of your high-swol'n hearts
But lately splinter'dknitand join'd together
Must gently be preserv'dcherish'dand kept.
Me seemeth good thatwith some little train
Forthwith from Ludlow the young prince be fet
Hither to Londonto be crown'd our King.

RIVERS. Why with some little trainmy Lord of

BUCKINGHAM. Marrymy lordlest by a multitude
The new-heal'd wound of malice should break out
Which would be so much the more dangerous
By how much the estate is green and yet ungovern'd;
Where every horse bears his commanding rein
And may direct his course as please himself
As well the fear of harm as harm apparent
In my opinionought to be prevented.

GLOUCESTER. I hope the King made peace with all of us;
And the compact is firm and true in me.

RIVERS. And so in me; and soI thinkin all.
Yetsince it is but greenit should be put
To no apparent likelihood of breach
Which haply by much company might be urg'd;
Therefore I say with noble Buckingham
That it is meet so few should fetch the Prince.

HASTINGS. And so say I.

GLOUCESTER. Then be it so; and go we to determine
Who they shall be that straight shall post to Ludlow.
Madamand youmy sisterwill you go
To give your censures in this business?


BUCKINGHAM. My lordwhoever journeys to the Prince
For God's sakelet not us two stay at home;
For by the way I'll sort occasion
As index to the story we late talk'd of
To part the Queen's proud kindred from the Prince.

GLOUCESTER. My other selfmy counsel's consistory

My oraclemy prophetmy dear cousin
Ias a childwill go by thy direction.
Toward Ludlow thenfor we'll not stay behind. Exeunt


London. A street

Enter one CITIZEN at one doorand another at the other

FIRST CITIZEN. Good morrowneighbour. Whither away so
SECOND CITIZEN. I promise youI scarcely know myself.

Hear you the news abroad?
FIRST CITIZEN. Yesthat the King is dead.
SECOND CITIZEN. Ill newsby'r lady; seldom comes the

I fearI fear 'twill prove a giddy world.

Enter another CITIZEN

THIRD CITIZEN. NeighboursGod speed!
FIRST CITIZEN. Give you good morrowsir.
THIRD CITIZEN. Doth the news hold of good King Edward's

SECOND CITIZEN. Aysirit is too true; God help the while!
THIRD CITIZEN. Thenmasterslook to see a troublous

FIRST CITIZEN. Nono; by God's good gracehis son shall

THIRD CITIZEN. Woe to that land that's govern'd by a child.
SECOND CITIZEN. In him there is a hope of government

Whichin his nonagecouncil under him
Andin his full and ripened yearshimself
No doubtshall thenand till thengovern well.

FIRST CITIZEN. So stood the state when Henry the Sixth
Was crown'd in Paris but at nine months old.

THIRD CITIZEN. Stood the state so? Nonogood friends
God wot;
For then this land was famously enrich'd
With politic grave counsel; then the King
Had virtuous uncles to protect his Grace.

FIRST CITIZEN. Whyso hath thisboth by his father and

THIRD CITIZEN. Better it were they all came by his father
Or by his father there were none at all;
For emulation who shall now be nearest
Will touch us all too nearif God prevent not.
Ofull of danger is the Duke of Gloucester!
And the Queen's sons and brothers haught and proud;
And were they to be rul'dand not to rule
This sickly land might solace as before.

FIRST CITIZEN. Comecomewe fear the worst; all will be

THIRD CITIZEN. When clouds are seenwise men put on
their cloaks;
When great leaves fallthen winter is at hand;
When the sun setswho doth not look for night?
Untimely storms make men expect a dearth.
All may be well; butif God sort it so
'Tis more than we deserve or I expect.

SECOND CITIZEN. Trulythe hearts of men are fun of fear.
You cannot reason almost with a man
That looks not heavily and fun of dread.

THIRD CITIZEN. Before the days of changestill is it so;
By a divine instinct men's minds mistrust
Ensuing danger; as by proof we see
The water swell before a boist'rous storm.
But leave it all to God. Whither away?

SECOND CITIZEN. Marrywe were sent for to the justices.
THIRD CITIZEN. And so was I; I'll bear you company.


London. The palace


ARCHBISHOP. Last nightI hearthey lay at Stony Stratford
And at Northampton they do rest to-night;
To-morrow or next day they will be here.

DUCHESS. I long with all my heart to see the Prince.
I hope he is much grown since last I saw him.
QUEEN ELIZABETH. But I hear no; they say my son of York

Has almost overta'en him in his growth.
YORK. Aymother; but I would not have it so.
DUCHESS. Whymy good cousinit is good to grow.
YORK. Grandamone night as we did sit at supper

My uncle Rivers talk'd how I did grow
More than my brother. 'Ay' quoth my uncle Gloucester
'Small herbs have grace: great weeds do grow apace.'
And sincemethinksI would not grow so fast
Because sweet flow'rs are slow and weeds make haste.

DUCHESS. Good faithgood faiththe saying did not hold
In him that did object the same to thee.
He was the wretched'st thing when he was young
So long a-growing and so leisurely
Thatif his rule were truehe should be gracious.

ARCHBISHOP. And so no doubt he ismy gracious madam.
DUCHESS. I hope he is; but yet let mothers doubt.
YORK. Nowby my trothif I had been rememb'red

I could have given my uncle's Grace a flout

To touch his growth nearer than he touch'd mine.
DUCHESS. Howmy young York? I prithee let me hear it.
YORK. Marrythey say my uncle grew so fast

That he could gnaw a crust at two hours old.
'Twas full two years ere I could get a tooth.
Grandamthis would have been a biting jest.

DUCHESS. I pritheepretty Yorkwho told thee this?
YORK. Grandamhis nurse.
DUCHESS. His nurse! Why she was dead ere thou wast

YORK. If 'twere not sheI cannot tell who told me.
QUEEN ELIZABETH. A parlous boy! Go toyou are too

ARCHBISHOP. Good madambe not angry with the child.
QUEEN ELIZABETH. Pitchers have ears.


ARCHBISHOP. Here comes a messenger. What news?

MESSENGER. Such newsmy lordas grieves me to report.

QUEEN ELIZABETH. How doth the Prince?

MESSENGER. Wellmadamand in health.

DUCHESS. What is thy news?

MESSENGER. Lord Rivers and Lord Grey

Are sent to Pomfretand with them

Sir Thomas Vaughanprisoners.

DUCHESS. Who hath committed them?

MESSENGER. The mighty DukesGloucester and Buckingham.

ARCHBISHOP. For what offence?

MESSENGER. The sum of all I canI have disclos'd.

Why or for what the nobles were committed

Is all unknown to memy gracious lord.

QUEEN ELIZABETH. Ay meI see the ruin of my house!

The tiger now hath seiz'd the gentle hind;

Insulting tyranny begins to jet

Upon the innocent and aweless throne.

Welcomedestructionbloodand massacre!

I seeas in a mapthe end of all.

DUCHESS. Accursed and unquiet wrangling days

How many of you have mine eyes beheld!

My husband lost his life to get the crown;

And often up and down my sons were toss'd

For me to joy and weep their gain and loss;

And being seatedand domestic broils

Clean over-blownthemselves the conquerors

Make war upon themselves-brother to brother

Blood to bloodself against self. Opreposterous

And frantic outrageend thy damned spleen

Or let me dieto look on death no more!

QUEEN ELIZABETH. Comecomemy boy; we will to



DUCHESS. StayI will go with you.

QUEEN ELIZABETH. You have no cause.

ARCHBISHOP. [To the QUEEN] My gracious ladygo.

And thither bear your treasure and your goods.

For my partI'll resign unto your Grace

The seal I keep; and so betide to me

As well I tender you and all of yours!

GoI'll conduct you to the sanctuary. Exeunt



London. A street

The trumpets sound. Enter the PRINCE OF WALESGLOUCESTER


BUCKINGHAM. Welcomesweet Princeto Londonto your
GLOUCESTER. Welcomedear cousinmy thoughts' sovereign.
The weary way hath made you melancholy.

PRINCE. Nouncle; but our crosses on the way
Have made it tediouswearisomeand heavy.
I want more uncles here to welcome me.

GLOUCESTER. Sweet Princethe untainted virtue of your
Hath not yet div'd into the world's deceit;
Nor more can you distinguish of a man
Than of his outward show; whichGod He knows
Seldom or never jumpeth with the heart.
Those uncles which you want were dangerous;
Your Grace attended to their sug'red words
But look'd not on the poison of their hearts.
God keep you from them and from such false friends!

PRINCE. God keep me from false friends! but they were
GLOUCESTER. My lordthe Mayor of London comes to greet

Enter the LORD MAYOR and his train

MAYOR. God bless your Grace with health and happy days!

PRINCE. I thank yougood my lordand thank you all.
I thought my mother and my brother York
Would long ere this have met us on the way.
Fiewhat a slug is Hastingsthat he comes not
To tell us whether they will come or no!


BUCKINGHAM. Andin good timehere comes the sweating

PRINCE. Welcomemy lord. Whatwill our mother come?
HASTINGS. On what occasionGod He knowsnot I

The Queen your mother and your brother York
Have taken sanctuary. The tender Prince
Would fain have come with me to meet your Grace
But by his mother was perforce withheld.

BUCKINGHAM. Fiewhat an indirect and peevish course
Is this of hers? Lord Cardinalwill your Grace
Persuade the Queen to send the Duke of York
Unto his princely brother presently?
If she denyLord Hastingsgo with him
And from her jealous arms pluck him perforce.

CARDINAL. My Lord of Buckinghamif my weak oratory
Can from his mother win the Duke of York
Anon expect him here; but if she be obdurate
To mild entreatiesGod in heaven forbid
We should infringe the holy privilege
Of blessed sanctuary! Not for all this land
Would I be guilty of so deep a sin.

BUCKINGHAM. You are too senseless-obstinatemy lord
Too ceremonious and traditional.
Weigh it but with the grossness of this age
You break not sanctuary in seizing him.
The benefit thereof is always granted
To those whose dealings have deserv'd the place
And those who have the wit to claim the place.
This Prince hath neither claim'd it nor deserv'd it

And thereforein mine opinioncannot have it.
Thentaking him from thence that is not there
You break no privilege nor charter there.
Oft have I heard of sanctuary men;
But sanctuary children never till now.

CARDINAL. My lordyou shall o'errule my mind for once.

Come onLord Hastingswill you go with me?
HASTINGS. I gomy lord.
PRINCE. Good lordsmake all the speedy haste you may.

Sayuncle Gloucesterif our brother come
Where shall we sojourn till our coronation?

GLOUCESTER. Where it seems best unto your royal self.
If I may counsel yousome day or two
Your Highness shall repose you at the Tower
Then where you please and shall be thought most fit
For your best health and recreation.

PRINCE. I do not like the Towerof any place.
Did Julius Caesar build that placemy lord?
BUCKINGHAM. He didmy gracious lordbegin that place
Whichsincesucceeding ages have re-edified.
PRINCE. Is it upon recordor else reported

Successively from age to agehe built it?
BUCKINGHAM. Upon recordmy gracious lord.
PRINCE. But saymy lordit were not regist'red

Methinks the truth should live from age to age
As 'twere retail'd to all posterity
Even to the general all-ending day.

GLOUCESTER. [Aside] So wise so youngthey saydo never

live long.
PRINCE. What say youuncle?
GLOUCESTER. I saywithout charactersfame lives long.

[Aside] Thuslike the formal viceIniquity
I moralize two meanings in one word.

PRINCE. That Julius Caesar was a famous man;
With what his valour did enrich his wit
His wit set down to make his valour live.
Death makes no conquest of this conqueror;
For now he lives in famethough not in life.
I'll tell you whatmy cousin Buckingham

BUCKINGHAM. Whatmy gracious lord?

PRINCE. An if I live until I be a man
I'll win our ancient right in France again
Or die a soldier as I liv'd a king.

GLOUCESTER. [Aside] Short summers lightly have a forward


BUCKINGHAM. Nowin good timehere comes the Duke of

PRINCE. Richard of Yorkhow fares our loving brother?
YORK. Wellmy dread lord; so must I can you now.
PRINCE. Ay brotherto our griefas it is yours.

Too late he died that might have kept that title

Which by his death hath lost much majesty.
GLOUCESTER. How fares our cousinnoble Lord of York?
YORK. I thank yougentle uncle. Omy lord

You said that idle weeds are fast in growth.

The Prince my brother hath outgrown me far.
GLOUCESTER. He hathmy lord.
YORK. And therefore is he idle?
GLOUCESTER. Omy fair cousinI must not say so.
YORK. Then he is more beholding to you than I.

GLOUCESTER. He may command me as my sovereign;

But you have power in me as in a kinsman.
YORK. I pray youunclegive me this dagger.
GLOUCESTER. My daggerlittle cousin? With all my heart!
PRINCE. A beggarbrother?
YORK. Of my kind unclethat I know will give

And being but a toywhich is no grief to give.
GLOUCESTER. A greater gift than that I'll give my cousin.
YORK. A greater gift! Othat's the sword to it!
GLOUCESTER. Aygentle cousinwere it light enough.
YORK. OthenI see you will part but with light gifts:

In weightier things you'll say a beggar nay.
GLOUCESTER. It is too heavy for your Grace to wear.
YORK. I weigh it lightlywere it heavier.
GLOUCESTER. Whatwould you have my weaponlittle

YORK. I wouldthat I might thank you as you call me.
YORK. Little.
PRINCE. My Lord of York will still be cross in talk.

Uncleyour Grace knows how to bear with him.

YORK. You meanto bear menot to bear with me.
Unclemy brother mocks both you and me;
Because that I am littlelike an ape
He thinks that you should bear me on your shoulders.

BUCKINGHAM. With what a sharp-provided wit he reasons!
To mitigate the scorn he gives his uncle
He prettily and aptly taunts himself.
So cunning and so young is wonderful.

GLOUCESTER. My lordwill't please you pass along?
Myself and my good cousin Buckingham
Will to your motherto entreat of her
To meet you at the Tower and welcome you.

YORK. Whatwill you go unto the Towermy lord?
PRINCE. My Lord Protector needs will have it so.
YORK. I shall not sleep in quiet at the Tower.
GLOUCESTER. Whywhat should you fear?
YORK. Marrymy uncle Clarence' angry ghost.

My grandam told me he was murder'd there.
PRINCE. I fear no uncles dead.
GLOUCESTER. Nor none that liveI hope.
PRINCE. An if they liveI hope I need not fear.

But comemy lord; and with a heavy heart
Thinking on themgo I unto the Tower.
A sennet.


BUCKINGHAM. Think youmy lordthis little prating York
Was not incensed by his subtle mother
To taunt and scorn you thus opprobriously?

GLOUCESTER. No doubtno doubt. O'tis a perilous boy;
He is all the mother'sfrom the top to toe.

BUCKINGHAM. Welllet them rest. Come hitherCatesby.
Thou art sworn as deeply to effect what we intend
As closely to conceal what we impart.
Thou know'st our reasons urg'd upon the way.
What think'st thou? Is it not an easy matter
To make William Lord Hastings of our mind
For the instalment of this noble Duke
In the seat royal of this famous isle?

CATESBY. He for his father's sake so loves the Prince
That he will not be won to aught against him.
BUCKINGHAM. What think'st thou then of Stanley? Will
not he?

CATESBY. He will do all in all as Hastings doth.

BUCKINGHAM. Well thenno more but this: gogentle
Andas it were far offsound thou Lord Hastings
How he doth stand affected to our purpose;
And summon him to-morrow to the Tower
To sit about the coronation.
If thou dost find him tractable to us
Encourage himand tell him all our reasons;
If he be leadenicycoldunwilling
Be thou so tooand so break off the talk
And give us notice of his inclination;
For we to-morrow hold divided councils
Wherein thyself shalt highly be employ'd.

GLOUCESTER. Commend me to Lord William. Tell him
His ancient knot of dangerous adversaries
To-morrow are let blood at Pomfret Castle;
And bid my lordfor joy of this good news
Give Mistress Shore one gentle kiss the more.

BUCKINGHAM. Good Catesbygo effect this business soundly.
CATESBY. My good lords bothwith all the heed I can.
GLOUCESTER. Shall we hear from youCatesbyere we sleep?
CATESBY. You shallmy lord.
GLOUCESTER. At Crosby Housethere shall you find us both.


BUCKINGHAM. Nowmy lordwhat shall we do if we
Lord Hastings will not yield to our complots?

GLOUCESTER. Chop off his head-something we will
Andlook when I am Kingclaim thou of me
The earldom of Hereford and all the movables
Whereof the King my brother was possess'd.

BUCKINGHAM. I'll claim that promise at your Grace's hand.

GLOUCESTER. And look to have it yielded with all kindness.
Comelet us sup betimesthat afterwards
We may digest our complots in some form. Exeunt


Before LORD HASTING'S house

Enter a MESSENGER to the door of HASTINGS

MESSENGER. My lordmy lord! [Knocking]
HASTINGS. [Within] Who knocks?
MESSENGER. One from the Lord Stanley.
HASTINGS. [Within] What is't o'clock?
MESSENGER. Upon the stroke of four.


HASTINGS. Cannot my Lord Stanley sleep these tedious
MESSENGER. So it appears by that I have to say.

Firsthe commends him to your noble self.
HASTINGS. What then?
MESSENGER. Then certifies your lordship that this night

He dreamt the boar had razed off his helm.
Besideshe says there are two councils kept

And that may be determin'd at the one
Which may make you and him to rue at th' other.
Therefore he sends to know your lordship's pleasureIf
you will presently take horse with him
And with all speed post with him toward the north
To shun the danger that his soul divines.

HASTINGS. Gofellowgoreturn unto thy lord;
Bid him not fear the separated council:
His honour and myself are at the one
And at the other is my good friend Catesby;
Where nothing can proceed that toucheth us
Whereof I shall not have intelligence.
Tell him his fears are shallowwithout instance;
And for his dreamsI wonder he's so simple
To trust the mock'ry of unquiet slumbers.
To fly the boar before the boar pursues
Were to incense the boar to follow us
And make pursuit where he did mean no chase.
Gobid thy master rise and come to me;
And we will both together to the Tower
Wherehe shall seethe boar will use us kindly.

MESSENGER. I'll gomy lordand tell him what you say.


CATESBY. Many good morrows to my noble lord!
HASTINGS. Good morrowCatesby; you are early stirring.
What newswhat newsin this our tott'ring state?

CATESBY. It is a reeling world indeedmy lord;
And I believe will never stand upright
Till Richard wear the garland of the realm.

HASTINGS. Howwear the garland! Dost thou mean the

CATESBY. Aymy good lord.
HASTINGS. I'll have this crown of mine cut from my

Before I'll see the crown so foul misplac'd.
But canst thou guess that he doth aim at it?

CATESBY. Ayon my life; and hopes to find you forward
Upon his party for the gain thereof;
And thereupon he sends you this good news
That this same very day your enemies
The kindred of the Queenmust die at Pomfret.

HASTINGS. IndeedI am no mourner for that news
Because they have been still my adversaries;
But that I'll give my voice on Richard's side
To bar my master's heirs in true descent
God knows I will not do it to the death.

CATESBY. God keep your lordship in that gracious mind!

HASTINGS. But I shall laugh at this a twelve month hence
That they which brought me in my master's hate
I live to look upon their tragedy.
WellCatesbyere a fortnight make me older
I'll send some packing that yet think not on't.

CATESBY. 'Tis a vile thing to diemy gracious lord
When men are unprepar'd and look not for it.

HASTINGS. O monstrousmonstrous! And so falls it out
With RiversVaughanGrey; and so 'twill do
With some men else that think themselves as safe
As thou and Iwhoas thou knowestare dear
To princely Richard and to Buckingham.

CATESBY. The Princes both make high account of you[
Aside] For they account his head upon the bridge.

HASTINGS. I know they doand I have well deserv'd it.


Come oncome on; where is your boar-spearman?
Fear you the boarand go so unprovided?

STANLEY. My lordgood morrow; good morrowCatesby.
You may jest onbutby the holy rood
I do not like these several councilsI.

HASTINGS. My lordI hold my life as dear as yours
And never in my daysI do protest
Was it so precious to me as 'tis now.
Think youbut that I know our state secure
I would be so triumphant as I am?

STANLEY. The lords at Pomfretwhen they rode from
Were jocund and suppos'd their states were sure
And they indeed had no cause to mistrust;
But yet you see how soon the day o'ercast.
This sudden stab of rancour I misdoubt;
Pray GodI sayI prove a needless coward.
Whatshall we toward the Tower? The day is spent.

HASTINGS. Comecomehave with you. Wot you whatmy
To-day the lords you talk'd of are beheaded.

STANLEY. Theyfor their truthmight better wear their
Than some that have accus'd them wear their hats.
But comemy lordlet's away.

Enter HASTINGSa pursuivant

HASTINGS. Go on before; I'll talk with this good fellow.

How nowHastings! How goes the world with thee?
PURSUIVANT. The better that your lordship please to ask.
HASTINGS. I tell theeman'tis better with me now

Than when thou met'st me last where now we meet:
Then was I going prisoner to the Tower
By the suggestion of the Queen's allies;
But nowI tell thee-keep it to thyselfThis
day those enernies are put to death
And I in better state than e'er I was.

PURSUIVANT. God hold itto your honour's good content!
HASTINGS. GramercyHastings; theredrink that for me.
[Throws him his purse]
PURSUIVANT. I thank your honour. Exit

Enter a PRIEST

PRIEST. Well metmy lord; I am glad to see your honour.

HASTINGS. I thank theegood Sir Johnwith all my heart.
I am in your debt for your last exercise;
Come the next Sabbathand I will content you.

[He whispers in his ear]
PRIEST. I'll wait upon your lordship.


BUCKINGHAM. Whattalking with a priestLord
Your friends at Pomfretthey do need the priest:
Your honour hath no shriving work in hand.

HASTINGS. Good faithand when I met this holy man

The men you talk of came into my mind.
Whatgo you toward the Tower?
BUCKINGHAM. I domy lordbut long I cannot stay there;

I shall return before your lordship thence.
HASTINGS. Naylike enoughfor I stay dinner there.
BUCKINGHAM. [Aside] And supper tooalthough thou

knowest it not.Come
will you go?
HASTINGS. I'll wait upon your lordship. Exeunt


Pomfret Castle

Enter SIR RICHARD RATCLIFFwith halberdscarrying the Nobles

RIVERS. Sir Richard Ratclifflet me tell thee this:
To-day shalt thou behold a subject die
For truthfor dutyand for loyalty.

GREY. God bless the Prince from all the pack of you!

A knot you are of damned blood-suckers.
VAUGHAN. You live that shall cry woe for this hereafter.
RATCLIFF. Dispatch; the limit of your lives is out.
RIVERS. O PomfretPomfret! O thou bloody prison

Fatal and ominous to noble peers!
Within the guilty closure of thy walls

RICHARD the Second here was hack'd to death;
And for more slander to thy dismal seat
We give to thee our guiltless blood to drink.

GREY. Now Margaret's curse is fall'n upon our heads
When she exclaim'd on Hastingsyouand I
For standing by when Richard stabb'd her son.

RIVERS. Then curs'd she Richardthen curs'd she
Then curs'd she Hastings. OrememberGod
To hear her prayer for themas now for us!
And for my sisterand her princely sons
Be satisfieddear Godwith our true blood
Whichas thou know'stunjustly must be spilt.

RATCLIFF. Make haste; the hour of death is expiate.
RIVERS. ComeGrey; comeVaughan; let us here embrace.
Farewelluntil we meet again in heaven. Exeunt


London. The Tower

with others and seat themselves at a table

HASTINGS. Nownoble peersthe cause why we are met
Is to determine of the coronation.
In God's name speak-when is the royal day?

BUCKINGHAM. Is all things ready for the royal time?
DERBY. It isand wants but nomination.
BISHOP OF ELY. To-morrow then I judge a happy day.

BUCKINGHAM. Who knows the Lord Protector's mind
Who is most inward with the noble Duke?

BISHOP OF ELY. Your Gracewe thinkshould soonest know
his mind.

BUCKINGHAM. We know each other's faces; for our hearts
He knows no more of mine than I of yours;
Or I of hismy lordthan you of mine.
Lord Hastingsyou and he are near in love.

HASTINGS. I thank his GraceI know he loves me well;
But for his purpose in the coronation
I have not sounded himnor he deliver'd
His gracious pleasure any way therein.
But youmy honourable lordsmay name the time;
And in the Duke's behalf I'll give my voice
WhichI presumehe'll take in gentle part.


BISHOP OF ELY. In happy timehere comes the Duke himself.

GLOUCESTER. My noble lords and cousins allgood morrow.
I have been long a sleeperbut I trust
My absence doth neglect no great design
Which by my presence might have been concluded.

BUCKINGHAM. Had you not come upon your cuemy lord
WILLIAM Lord Hastings had pronounc'd your partI
meanyour voice for crowning of the King.

GLOUCESTER. Than my Lord Hastings no man might be
His lordship knows me well and loves me well.
My lord of Elywhen I was last in Holborn
I saw good strawberries in your garden there.
I do beseech you send for some of them.

BISHOP of ELY. Marry and willmy lordwith all my heart.
GLOUCESTER. Cousin of Buckinghama word with you.

[Takes him aside]
Catesby hath sounded Hastings in our business
And finds the testy gentleman so hot
That he will lose his head ere give consent
His master's childas worshipfully he terms it
Shall lose the royalty of England's throne.

BUCKINGHAM. Withdraw yourself awhile; I'll go with you.

DERBY. We have not yet set down this day of triumph.
To-morrowin my judgmentis too sudden;
For I myself am not so well provided
As else I would bewere the day prolong'd.

Re-enter the BISHOP OF ELY

BISHOP OF ELY. Where is my lord the Duke of Gloucester?
I have sent for these strawberries.

HASTINGS. His Grace looks cheerfully and smooth this
There's some conceit or other likes him well
When that he bids good morrow with such spirit.
I think there's never a man in Christendom
Can lesser hide his love or hate than he;
For by his face straight shall you know his heart.

DERBY. What of his heart perceive you in his face
By any livelihood he show'd to-day?
HASTINGS. Marrythat with no man here he is offended;
Forwere hehe had shown it in his looks.


GLOUCESTER. I pray you alltell me what they deserve
That do conspire my death with devilish plots
Of damned witchcraftand that have prevail'd
Upon my body with their hellish charms?

HASTINGS. The tender love I bear your Gracemy lord
Makes me most forward in this princely presence
To doom th' offenderswhosoe'er they be.
I saymy lordthey have deserved death.

GLOUCESTER. Then be your eyes the witness of their evil.
Look how I am bewitch'd; beholdmine arm
Is like a blasted sapling wither'd up.
And this is Edward's wifethat monstrous witch
Consorted with that harlot strumpet Shore
That by their witchcraft thus have marked me.

HASTINGS. If they have done this deedmy noble lord

GLOUCESTER. If?-thou protector of this damned strumpet
Talk'st thou to me of ifs? Thou art a traitor.
Off with his head! Now by Saint Paul I swear
I will not dine until I see the same.
Lovel and Ratclifflook that it be done.
The rest that love merise and follow me.

HASTINGS. Woewoefor England! not a whit for me;
For Itoo fondmight have prevented this.

STANLEY did dream the boar did raze our helms
And I did scorn it and disdain to fly.
Three times to-day my foot-cloth horse did stumble
And started when he look'd upon the Tower
As loath to bear me to the slaughter-house.
Onow I need the priest that spake to me!
I now repent I told the pursuivant
As too triumphinghow mine enemies
To-day at Pomfret bloodily were butcher'd
And I myself secure in grace and favour.
O MargaretMargaretnow thy heavy curse
Is lighted on poor Hastings' wretched head!

RATCLIFF. Comecomedispatch; the Duke would be at
Make a short shrift; he longs to see your head.

HASTINGS. O momentary grace of mortal men
Which we more hunt for than the grace of God!
Who builds his hope in air of your good looks
Lives like a drunken sailor on a mast
Ready with every nod to tumble down
Into the fatal bowels of the deep.

LOVEL. Comecomedispatch; 'tis bootless to exclaim.

HASTINGS. O bloody Richard! Miserable England!
I prophesy the fearfull'st time to thee
That ever wretched age hath look'd upon.
Comelead me to the block; bear him my head.
They smile at me who shortly shall be dead. Exeunt


London. The Tower-walls

Enter GLOUCESTER and BUCKINGHAM in rotten armourmarvellous

GLOUCESTER. Comecousincanst thou quake and change
thy colour
Murder thy breath in middle of a word
And then again beginand stop again
As if thou were distraught and mad with terror?

BUCKINGHAM. TutI can counterfeit the deep tragedian;
Speak and look backand pry on every side
Tremble and start at wagging of a straw
Intending deep suspicion. Ghastly looks
Are at my servicelike enforced smiles;
And both are ready in their offices
At any time to grace my stratagems.
But whatis Catesby gone?

GLOUCESTER. He is; andseehe brings the mayor along.


Look to the drawbridge there!
BUCKINGHAM. Hark! a drum.
GLOUCESTER. Catesbyo'erlook the walls.
BUCKINGHAM. Lord Mayorthe reason we have sentGLOUCESTER.
Look backdefend thee; here are enemies.
BUCKINGHAM. God and our innocence defend and guard us!


GLOUCESTER. Be patient; they are friends-Ratcliff and Lovel.
LOVEL. Here is the head of that ignoble traitor
The dangerous and unsuspected Hastings.

GLOUCESTER. So dear I lov'd the man that I must weep.
I took him for the plainest harmless creature
That breath'd upon the earth a Christian;
Made him my bookwherein my soul recorded
The history of all her secret thoughts.
So smooth he daub'd his vice with show of virtue
Thathis apparent open guilt omitted
I mean his conversation with Shore's wifeHe
liv'd from all attainder of suspects.

BUCKINGHAM. Wellwellhe was the covert'st shelt'red
That ever liv'd.
Would you imagineor almost believeWere't
not that by great preservation
We live to tell it-that the subtle traitor
This day had plottedin the council-house
To murder me and my good Lord of Gloucester.

MAYOR. Had he done so?

GLOUCESTER. What! think you we are Turks or Infidels?
Or that we wouldagainst 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. Nowfair 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 endWhich
now the loving haste of these our friends
Something against our meaningshave prevented

Becausemy lordI would have had you heard
The traitor speakand timorously confess
The manner and the purpose of his treasons:
That you might well have signified the same
Unto the citizenswho haply may
Misconster us in him and wail his death.

MAYOR. Butmy good lordyour Grace's words shall serve
As well as I had seen and heard him speak;
And do not doubtright noble Princes both
But I'll acquaint our duteous citizens
With all your just proceedings in this cause.

GLOUCESTER. And to that end we wish'd your lordship here
T' avoid the the the censures of the carping world.

BUCKINGHAM. Which since you come too late of our intent
Yet witness what you hear we did intend.
And somy good Lord Mayorwe bid farewell.


GLOUCESTER. Goafteraftercousin Buckingham.
The Mayor towards Guildhall hies him in all post.
Thereat 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.
Moreoverurge his hateful luxury
And bestial appetite in change of lust
Which stretch'd unto their servantsdaughterswives
Even where his raging eye or savage heart
Without control lusted to make a prey.
Nayfor a needthus far come near my person:
Tell themwhen that my mother went with child
Of that insatiate Edwardnoble York
My princely father then had wars in France
Andby 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 sparinglyas 'twere far off;
Becausemy lordyou know my mother lives.

BUCKINGHAM. Doubt notmy lordI'll play the orator
As if the golden fee for which I plead
Were for myself; and somy lordadieu.

GLOUCESTER. If you thrive wellbring them to Baynard's
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

GLOUCESTER. GoLovelwith all speed to Doctor Shaw.
[To CATESBY] Go thou to Friar Penker. Bid them both
Meet me within this hour at Baynard's Castle.

Exeunt all but GLOUCESTER
Now will I go 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

London. A street


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
Untaintedunexamin'dfreeat liberty.
Here's a good world the while! Who is so gross
That cannot see this palpable device?
Yet who's so bold but says he sees it not?
Bad is the world; and all will come to nought
When such ill dealing must be seen in thought. Exit


London. Baynard's Castle

Enter GLOUCESTER and BUCKINGHAMat several doors

GLOUCESTER. How nowhow now! What say the citizens?
BUCKINGHAM. Nowby the holy Mother of our Lord
The citizens are mumsay not a word.
GLOUCESTER. Touch'd you the bastardy of Edward's

BUCKINGHAM. I did; with his contract with Lady Lucy
And his contract by deputy in France;
Th' insatiate greediness of his desire
And his enforcement of the city wives;
His tyranny for trifles; his own bastardy
As being gotyour father then in France
And his resemblancebeing 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 warwisdom in peace
Your bountyvirtuefair humility;
Indeedleft 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 RichardEngland's royal King!'

GLOUCESTER. And did they so?

BUCKINGHAM. Noso God help methey spake not a word;
Butlike dumb statues or breathing stones
Star'd each on otherand look'd deadly pale.
Which when I sawI reprehended them
And ask'd the Mayor what meant this wilfull silence.
His answer wasthe people were not used
To be spoke to but by the Recorder.
Then he was urg'd to tell my tale again.
'Thus saith the Dukethus hath the Duke inferr'd'But
nothing spoke in warrant from himself.
When he had donesome 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'
Thanksgentle 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.

GLOUCESTER. Whattongueless 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 churchmengood 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 nayand take it.

GLOUCESTER. 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. Gogoup to the leads; the Lord Mayor
knocks. Exit GLOUCESTER

Enter the LORD MAYORALDERMENand citizens

Welcomemy lord. I dance attendance here;
I think the Duke will not be spoke withal.


NowCatesbywhat says your lord to my request?

CATESBY. He doth entreat your Gracemy noble lord
To visit him to-morrow or next day.
He is withinwith two right reverend fathers
Divinely bent to meditation;
And in no worldly suits would he be mov'd
To draw him from his holy exercise.

BUCKINGHAM. Returngood Catesbyto the gracious Duke;
Tell himmyselfthe Mayor and Aldermen
In deep designsin 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 hamy lordthis prince is not an Edward!
He is not lolling on a lewd love-bed
But on his knees at meditation;
Not dallying with a brace of courtezans
But meditating with two deep divines;
Not sleepingto engross his idle body
But prayingto enrich his watchful soul.
Happy were England would this virtuous prince
Take on his Grace the sovereignty thereof;
ButsureI fear we shall not win him to it.

MAYOR. MarryGod defend his Grace should say us nay!
BUCKINGHAM. I fear he will. Here Catesby comes again.

Re-enter CATESBY

NowCatesbywhat says his Grace?

CATESBY. My lord
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 fearsmy lordyou mean no good to him.

BUCKINGHAM. Sorry I am my noble cousin should
Suspect me that I mean no good to him.

By heavenwe come to him in perfect love;

And so once more return and tell his Grace.


When holy and devout religious men

Are at their beads'tis much to draw them thence

So sweet is zealous contemplation.

Enter GLOUCESTER aloftbetween 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;

Andseea book of prayer in his hand

True ornaments to know a holy man.

Famous Plantagenetmost gracious Prince

Lend favourable ear to our requests

And pardon us the interruption

Of thy devotion and right Christian zeal.
GLOUCESTER. My lordthere needs no such apology:

I do beseech your Grace to pardon me

Whoearnest in the service of my God

Deferr'd the visitation of my friends.

Butleaving thiswhat is your Grace's pleasure?
BUCKINGHAM. Even thatI hopewhich pleaseth God above

And all good men of this ungovern'd isle.
GLOUCESTER. 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 havemy lord. Would it might please

your Grace

On our entreatiesto amend your fault!
GLOUCESTER. Else wherefore breathe I in a Christian land?
BUCKINGHAM. Know thenit is your fault that you resign

The supreme seatthe throne majestical

The scept'red 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;

Whiles 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 should'red in the swallowing gulf

Of dark forgetfulness and deep oblivion.

Which to recurewe heartily solicit

Your gracious self to take on you the charge

And kingly government of this your land

Not as protectorstewardsubstitute

Or lowly factor for another's gain;

But as successivelyfrom blood to blood

Your right of birthyour emperyyour own.

For thisconsorted with the citizens

Your very worshipful and loving friends

And by their vehement instigation

In this just cause come I to move your Grace.
GLOUCESTER. 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 answeryou might haply think

Tongue-tied ambitionnot replyingyielded

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
Thenon the other sideI check'd my friends.
Therefore-to speakand to avoid the first
And thenin speakingnot to incur the lastDefinitively
thus I answer you:
Your love deserves my thanksbut my desert
Unmeritable shuns your high request.
Firstif 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 greatnessBeing
a bark to brook no mighty seaThan
in my greatness covet to be hid
And in the vapour of my glory smother'd.
ButGod be thank'dthere is no need of meAnd
much I need to help youwere there need.
The royal tree hath left us royal fruit
Whichmellow'd by the stealing hours of time
Will well become the seat of majesty
And makeno doubtus happy by his reign.
On him I lay that you would lay on meThe
right and fortune of his happy stars
Which God defend that I should wring from him.

BUCKINGHAM. My lordthis argues conscience in your
But the respects thereof are nice and trivial
All circumstances well considered.
You say that Edward is your brother's son.
So say we toobut not by Edward's wife;
For first was he contract to Lady LucyYour
mother lives a witness to his vowAnd
afterward by substitute betroth'd
To Bonasister to the King of France.
These both put offa 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 herin his unlawful bedhe got
This Edwardwhom our manners call the Prince.
More bitterly could I expostulate
Save thatfor reverence to some alive
I give a sparing limit to my tongue.
Thengood my lordtake 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 times
Unto a lineal true-derived course.

MAYOR. Dogood my lord; your citizens entreat you.
BUCKINGHAM. Refuse notmighty lordthis proffer'd love.
CATESBY. Omake them joyfulgrant their lawful suit!
GLOUCESTER. Alaswhy would you heap this care on me?

I am unfit for state and majesty.
I do beseech youtake it not amiss:
I cannot nor I will not yield to you.

BUCKINGHAM. If you refuse it-asin love and zeal
Loath to depose the childyour brother's son;
As well we know your tenderness of heart

And gentlekindeffeminate remorse
Which we have noted in you to your kindred
And egally indeed to all estatesYet
knowwhe'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.
Comecitizens. ZoundsI'll entreat no more.

GLOUCESTER. Odo not swearmy lord of Buckingham.
Exeunt BUCKINGHAMMAYORand citizens
CATESBY. Call him againsweet Princeaccept their suit.
If you deny themall the land will rue it.

GLOUCESTER. Will you enforce me to a world of cares?
Call them again. I am not made of stones
But penetrable to your kind entreaties
Albeit against my conscience and my soul.

Re-enter BUCKINGHAM and the rest

Cousin of Buckinghamand sage grave men
Since you will buckle fortune on my back
To bear her burdenwhe'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 knowand you may partly see
How far I am from the desire of this.

MAYOR. God bless your Grace! We see itand will say it.
GLOUCESTER. In saying soyou shall but say the truth.
BUCKINGHAM. Then I salute you with this royal title

Long live King RichardEngland's worthy King!
ALL. Amen.
BUCKINGHAM. To-morrow may it please you to be crown'd?
GLOUCESTER. Even when you pleasefor you will have it so.
BUCKINGHAM. To-morrowthenwe will attend your Grace;

And somost joyfullywe take our leave.

GLOUCESTER. [To the BISHOPS] Comelet us to our holy
work again.
Farewellmy cousin; farewellgentle friends. Exeunt



London. Before the Tower

one door;

CLARENCE's young daughterat another door

DUCHESS. Who meets us here? My niece Plantagenet
Led in the hand of her kind aunt of Gloucester?
Nowfor my lifeshe's wand'ring to the Tower
On pure heart's loveto greet the tender Princes.
Daughterwell met.

ANNE. God give your Graces both
A happy and a joyful time of day!
QUEEN ELIZABETH. As much to yougood sister! Whither

ANNE. No farther than the Tower; andas I guess
Upon the like devotion as yourselves
To gratulate the gentle Princes there.

QUEEN ELIZABETH. Kind sisterthanks; we'll enter
all together.


And in good timehere the lieutenant comes.
Master Lieutenantpray youby your leave
How doth the Princeand my young son of York?

BRAKENBURY. Right welldear 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

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 lawin love their mother.
Then bring me to their sights; I'll bear thy blame
And take thy office from thee on my peril.

BRAKENBURY. Nomadamno. I may not leave it so;
I am bound by oathand therefore pardon me. Exit


STANLEY. Let me but meet youladiesone hour hence
And I'll salute your Grace of York as mother
And reverend looker-on of two fair queens.
[To ANNE] Comemadamyou must straight to
There to be crowned Richard's royal queen.

QUEEN ELIZABETH. Ahcut 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; motherhow fares your Grace?
QUEEN ELIZABETH. O Dorsetspeak not to meget thee

Death and destruction dogs thee at thy heels;
Thy mother's name is ominous to children.
If thou wilt outstrip deathgo cross the seas
And live with Richmondfrom the reach of hell.
Gohie theehie thee from this slaughter-house
Lest thou increase the number of the dead
And make me die the thrall of Margaret's curse
Nor motherwifenor England's counted queen.

STANLEY. Full of wise care is this your counselmadam.
Take all the swift advantage of the hours;
You shall have letters from me to my son

In your behalfto meet you on the way.
Be not ta'en tardy by unwise delay.

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

STANLEY. Comemadamcome; I in all haste was sent.

ANNE. And I with all unwillingness will go.
Owould to God that the inclusive verge
Of golden metal that must round my brow
Were red-hot steelto sear me to the brains!
Anointed let me be with deadly venom
And die ere men can say 'God save the Queen!'

QUEEN ELIZABETH. Gogopoor soul; I envy not thy glory.
To feed my humourwish thyself no harm.

ANNE. Nowhy? When he that is my husband now
Came to meas 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'dO
whenI sayI look'd on Richard's face
This was my wish: 'Be thou' quoth I 'accurs'd
For making meso youngso old a widow;
And when thou wed'stlet sorrow haunt thy bed;
And be thy wifeif any be so mad
More miserable by the life of thee
Than thou hast made me by my dear lord's death.'
Loere I can repeat this curse again
Within so small a timemy 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.
Besideshe hates me for my father Warwick;
And willno doubtshortly be rid of me.

QUEEN ELIZABETH. Poor heartadieu! I pity thy complaining.
ANNE. No more than with my soul I mourn for yours.
DORSET. Farewellthou woeful welcomer of glory!
ANNE. Adieupoor soulthat tak'st thy leave of it!
DUCHESS. [To DORSET] Go thou to Richmondand good

fortune guide thee!
[To ANNE] Go thou to Richardand good angels tend
thee! [To QUEEN ELIZABETH] Go thou to sanctuaryand good
thoughts possess thee!
I to my gravewhere 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. Stayyet look back with me unto the
Pityyou ancient stonesthose tender babes
Whom envy hath immur'd within your walls
Rough cradle for such little pretty ones.
Rude ragged nurseold sullen playfellow
For tender princesuse my babies well.
So foolish sorrows bids your stones farewell. Exeunt

London. The palace

Sound a sennet. Enter RICHARDin pompas KING; BUCKINGHAM

KING RICHARD. Stand all apart. Cousin of Buckingham!
BUCKINGHAM. My gracious sovereign?
KING RICHARD. Give me thy hand.

[Here he ascendeth the throne. Sound]
Thus highby thy advice
And thy assistanceis King Richard seated.
But shall we wear these glories for a day;
Or shall they lastand we rejoice in them?

BUCKINGHAM. Still live theyand for ever let them last!

KING RICHARD. AhBuckinghamnow do I play the touch
To try if thou be current gold indeed.
Young Edward lives-think now what I would speak.

BUCKINGHAM. Say onmy loving lord.
KING RICHARD. WhyBuckinghamI say I would be King.
BUCKINGHAM. Whyso you aremy thrice-renowned lord.
KING RICHARD. Ha! am I King? 'Tis so; but Edward lives.
BUCKINGHAM. Truenoble Prince.
KING RICHARD. O bitter consequence:

That Edward still should live-true noble Prince!
Cousinthou 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 suddenlybe brief.

BUCKINGHAM. Your Grace may do your pleasure.
KING RICHARD. Tuttutthou art all ice; thy kindness freezes.
Sayhave I thy consent that they shall die?

BUCKINGHAM. Give me some little breathsome pause
dear Lord
Before I positively speak in this.
I will resolve you herein presently. Exit

CATESBY. [Aside to another] The King is angry; seehe
gnaws his lip.
KING RICHARD. I will converse with iron-witted fools

[Descends from the throne]
And unrespective boys; none are for me
That look into me with considerate eyes.
High-reaching Buckingham grows circumspect.

PAGE. My lord?

KING RICHARD. Know'st thou not any whom corrupting
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 willno doubttempt him to anything.

KING RICHARD. What is his name?
PAGE. His namemy lordis Tyrrel.
KING RICHARD. I partly know the man. Gocall 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 meuntir'd
And stops he now for breath? Wellbe it so.


How nowLord Stanley! What's the news?
STANLEY. Knowmy loving lord

The Marquis Dorsetas I hearis fled
To Richmondin the parts where he abides. [Stands apart]

KING RICHARD. Come hitherCatesby. Rumour it abroad
That Annemy wifeis 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' daughterThe
boy is foolishand I fear not him.
Look how thou dream'st! I say againgive out
That Annemy queenis sick and like to die.
About it; for it stands me much upon
To stop all hopes whose growth may damage me.

I must be married to my brother's daughter
Or else my kingdom stands on brittle glass.
Murder her brothersand 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 PAGEwith TYRREL

Is thy name Tyrrel?
TYRREL. James Tyrreland your most obedient subject.
KING RICHARD. Art thouindeed?
TYRREL. Prove memy 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. Whythen thou hast it. Two deep enemies
Foes to my restand my sweet sleep's disturbers

Are they that I would have thee deal upon.
TYRRELI 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. Harkcome
Goby this token. Riseand 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 dispatch it straight. Exit

BUCKINGHAM. My lordI have consider'd in my mind
The late request that you did sound me in.
KING RICHARD. Welllet that rest. Dorset is fled to

BUCKINGHAM. I hear the newsmy lord.
KING RICHARD. Stanleyhe is your wife's son: welllook

unto it.

BUCKINGHAM. My lordI claim the giftmy due by promise
For which your honour and your faith is pawn'd:
Th' earldom of Hereford and the movables
Which you have promised I shall possess.

KING RICHARD. Stanleylook to your wife; if she convey

Letters to Richmondyou 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

RICHARD. How chance the prophet could not at that


Have told meI being bythat I should kill him?
BUCKINGHAM. My lordyour promise for the earldomKING
RICHARD. Richmond! When last I was at Exeter

The mayor in courtesy show'd me the castle
And call'd it Rugemountat which name I started
Because a bard of Ireland told me once
I should not live long after I saw Richmond.

RICHARD. Aywhat's o'clock?
BUCKINGHAM. I am thus bold to put your Grace in mind

Of what you promis'd me.
KING RICHARD. Wellbut o'clock?
BUCKINGHAM. Upon the stroke of ten.
KING RICHARD. Welllet it strike.
BUCKINGHAM. Why let it strike?
KING RICHARD. Because that like a Jack thou keep'st the

Betwixt thy begging and my meditation.
I am not in the giving vein to-day.

BUCKINGHAM. May it please you to resolve me in my suit.
KING RICHARD. Thou troublest me; I am not in the vein.
Exeunt all but Buckingham

BUCKINGHAM. And is it thus? Repays he my deep service
With such contempt? Made I him King for this?
Olet me think on Hastingsand be gone
To Brecknock while my fearful head is on! Exit


London. The palace


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 Forrestwho I did suborn
To do this piece of ruthless butchery
Albeit they were flesh'd villainsbloody dogs
Melted with tenderness and mild compassion
Wept like two children in their deaths' sad story.
'Othus' quoth Dighton 'lay the gentle babes''
Thusthus' 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;
ButOthe 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. All healthmy sovereign lord!
KING RICHARD. Kind Tyrrelam I happy in thy news?

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

KING RICHARD. But didst thou see them dead?
TYRREL. I didmy lord.
KING RICHARD. And buriedgentle Tyrrel?
TYRREL. The chaplain of the Tower hath buried them;

But whereto say the truthI do not know.

KING RICHARD. Come to meTyrrelsoon at after supper
When thou shalt tell the process of their death.
Meantimebut 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 this world good night.
Nowfor I know the Britaine Richmond aims
At young Elizabethmy brother's daughter
And by that knot looks proudly on the crown
To her go Ia jolly thriving wooer.


RATCLIFF. My lord!
KING RICHARD. Good or bad newsthat thou com'st in so

RATCLIFF. Bad newsmy lord: Morton is fled to Richmond;
And Buckinghamback'd with the hardy Welshmen
Is in the fieldand still his power increaseth.

KING RICHARD. Ely with Richmond troubles me more near
Than Buckingham and his rash-levied strength.
ComeI 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 Mercuryand herald for a king!
Gomuster men. My counsel is my shield.
We must be brief when traitors brave the field. Exeunt


London. Before the palace


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 Francehoping the consequence
Will prove as bitterblackand tragical.
Withdraw theewretched Margaret. Who comes here?



QUEEN ELIZABETH. Ahmy poor princes! ahmy tender

My unblown flowersnew-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 Plantagenetwhy art thou dead?

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

QUEEN ELIZABETH. Wilt thouO Godfly from such gentle
And throw them in the entrails of the wolf?
When didst thou sleep when such a deed was done?

QUEEN MARGARET. When holy Harry diedand my sweet

DUCHESS. Dead lifeblind sightpoor mortal living ghost
Woe's sceneworld's shamegrave'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. Ahthat thou wouldst as soon afford a
As thou canst yield a melancholy seat!
Then would I hide my bonesnot rest them here.
Ahwho hath any cause to mourn but we?

[Sitting down by her]

QUEEN MARGARET. [Coming forward] If ancient sorrow be
most reverend
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 Edwardtill a Richard kill'd him;
I had a husbandtill a Richard kill'd him:
Thou hadst an Edwardtill a Richard kill'd him;
Thou hadst a Richardtill a Richard kill'd him.

DUCHESS. I had a Richard tooand thou didst kill him;
I had a Rutland toothou holp'st to kill him.

QUEEN MARGARET. Thou hadst a Clarence tooand Richard
kill'd him.
From forth the kennel of thy womb hath crept
A hell-hound that doth hunt us all to death.
That dogthat 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 uprightjustand 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 wifetriumph not in my woes!
God witness with meI 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 deadthat kill'd my Edward;
The other Edward deadto quit my Edward;
Young York he is but bootbecause both they
Match'd not the high perfection of my loss.
Thy Clarence he is dead that stabb'd my Edward;

And the beholders of this frantic play
Th' adulterate HastingsRiversVaughanGrey
Untimely smother'd in their dusky graves.
Richard yet liveshell's black intelligencer;
Only reserv'd their factor to buy souls
And send them thither. But at handat hand
Ensues his piteous and unpitied end.
Earth gapeshell burnsfiends roarsaints pray
To have him suddenly convey'd from hence.
Cancel his bond of lifedear GodI pray
That I may live and say 'The dog is dead.'

QUEEN ELIZABETH. Othou didst prophesy the time would

That I should wish for thee to help me curse
That bottled spiderthat foul bunch-back'd toad!

QUEEN MARGARET. I Call'd thee then vain flourish of my

I call'd thee then poor shadowpainted 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 wasta garish flag
To be the aim of every dangerous shot
A sign of dignitya breatha bubble
A queen in jestonly to fill the scene.
Where is thy husband now? Where be thy brothers?
Where be thy two sons? Wherein dost thou joy?
Who suesand kneelsand says 'God save the Queen'?
Where be the bending peers that flattered thee?
Where be the thronging troops that followed thee?
Decline all thisand see what now thou art:
For happy wifea most distressed widow;
For joyful motherone that wails the name;
For one being su'd toone that humbly sues;
For Queena very caitiff crown'd with care;
For she that scorn'd at menow scorn'd of me;
For she being fear'd of allnow fearing one;
For she commanding allobey'd of none.
Thus hath the course of justice whirl'd about
And left thee but a very prey to time
Having no more but thought of what thou wast
To torture thee the morebeing what thou art.
Thou didst usurp my placeand 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.
FarewellYork's wifeand queen of sad mischance;
These English woes shall make me smile in France.

QUEEN ELIZABETH. O thou well skill'd in cursesstay awhile
And teach me how to curse mine enemies!
QUEEN MARGARET. Forbear to sleep the nightsand fast the

Compare dead happiness with living woe;
Think that thy babes were sweeter than they were
And he that slew them fouler than he is.
Bett'ring thy loss makes the bad-causer worse;
Revolving this will teach thee how to curse.

QUEEN ELIZABETH. My words are dull; Oquicken 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 will impart
Help nothing elseyet do they ease the heart.

DUCHESS. If sothen 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.
The trumpet sounds; be copious in exclaims.

Enter KING RICHARD and his trainmarching with
drums and trumpets

KING RICHARD. Who intercepts me in my expedition?

DUCHESS. Oshe that might have intercepted thee
By strangling thee in her accursed womb
From all the slaughterswretchthat thou hast done!

QUEEN ELIZABETH. Hidest thou that forehead with a golden
Where't should be brandedif 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 methou villain slavewhere are my children?

DUCHESS. Thou toadthou toadwhere is thy brother
And little Ned Plantagenethis son?

QUEEN ELIZABETH. Where is the gentle RiversVaughan

DUCHESS. Where is kind Hastings?
KING RICHARD. A flourishtrumpets! Strike alarumdrums!

Let not the heavens hear these tell-tale women
Rail on the Lord's anointed. StrikeI 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. AyI thank Godmy fatherand yourself.
DUCHESS. Then patiently hear my impatience.
KING RICHARD. MadamI have a touch of your condition

That cannot brook the accent of reproof.
DUCHESS. Olet me speak!
KING RICHARD. Dothen; but I'll not hear.
DUCHESS. I will be mild and gentle in my words.
KING RICHARD. And briefgood mother; for I am in haste.
DUCHESS. Art thou so hasty? I have stay'd for thee

God knowsin torment and in agony.
KING RICHARD. And came I not at last to comfort you?
DUCHESS. Noby the holy roodthou 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 frightfuldesp'ratewildand furious;
Thy prime of manhood daringboldand venturous;
Thy age confirm'dproudsubtleslyand bloody
More mildbut yet more harmful-kind in hatred.
What comfortable hour canst thou name
That ever grac'd me with thy company?

KING RICHARD. Faithnone but Humphrey Hourthat 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 youmadam.
Strike up the drum.

DUCHESS. I prithee hear me speak.
KING RICHARD. You speak too bitterly.
DUCHESS. Hear me a word;

For I shall never speak to thee again.
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 causeyet much less
spirit to curse

Abides in me; I say amen to her.
KING RICHARD. StaymadamI must talk a word with you.
QUEEN ELIZABETH. I have no moe sons of the royal blood

For thee to slaughter. For my daughtersRichard
They shall be praying nunsnot weeping queens;
And therefore level not to hit their lives.

KING RICHARD. You have a daughter call'd Elizabeth.
Virtuous and fairroyal and gracious.
QUEEN ELIZABETH. And must she die for this? Olet her

And I'll corrupt her mannersstain 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 a royal

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

KING RICHARD. Loat their birth good stars were opposite.
QUEEN ELIZABETH. Noto their lives ill friends were

KING RICHARD. All unavoided is the doom of destiny.
QUEEN ELIZABETH. Truewhen avoided grace makes destiny.

My babes were destin'd 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. Cousinsindeed; and by their uncle

Of comfortkingdomkindredfreedomlife.
Whose hand soever lanc'd their tender hearts
Thy headall indirectlygave direction.
No doubt the murd'rous knife was dull and blunt
Till it was whetted on thy stone-hard heart
To revel in the entrails of my lambs.
But that stiff 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 Iin such a desp'rate bay of death
Like a poor barkof sails and tackling reft
Rush all to pieces on thy rocky bosom.

KING RICHARD. Madamso 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
To be discover'dthat can do me good?
KING RICHARD. advancement of your childrengentle
QUEEN ELIZABETH. Up to some scaffoldthere to lose their
KING RICHARD. Unto the dignity and height of Fortune
The high imperial type of this earth's glory.

QUEEN ELIZABETH. Flatter my sorrow with report of it;
Tell me what statewhat dignitywhat honour
Canst thou demise to any child of mine?

KING RICHARD. Even all I have-ayand 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 brieflest that the process of thy
Last longer telling than thy kindness' date.
KING RICHARD. Then knowthat from my soul I love thy
QUEEN ELIZABETH. My daughter's mother thinks it with her

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. Wellthenwho dost thou mean shall be
her king?
KING RICHARD. Even he that makes her Queen. Who else

should be?
KING RICHARD. Even so. How think you of it?
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. Madamwith all my heart.
QUEEN ELIZABETH. Send to herby the man that slew her

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 fathersteep'd in Rutland's bloodA
handkerchief; whichsay to herdid drain
The purple sap from her sweet brother's body
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; ayand for her sake
Mad'st quick conveyance with her good aunt Anne.

KING RICHARD. You mock memadam; 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. Naythen 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 metalof your very blood;

Of all one painsave for a night of groans

Endur'd of herfor 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 sonthat with a fearful soul

Leads discontented steps in foreign soil

This fair alliance quickly shall call home

To high promotions and great dignity.

The Kingthat 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 againtransform'd to orient pearl

Advantaging their loan with interest

Of ten times double gain of happiness.

Gothenmy motherto 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 th' aspiring flame

Of golden sovereignty; acquaint the Princes

With the sweet silent hours of marriage joys.

And when this arm of mine hath chastised

The petty rebeldull-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 victoressCaesar's Caesar.
QUEEN ELIZABETH. What were I best to say? Her father's


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 Godthe lawmy honourand 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 Kingthat may command

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 titleas 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

KING RICHARD. As long as heaven and nature lengthens it.
QUEEN ELIZABETH. As long as hell and Richard likes of it.
KING RICHARD. Say Iher sovereignam her subject low.
QUEEN ELIZABETH. But sheyour subjectloathes such

KING RICHARD. Be eloquent in my behalf to her.
QUEEN ELIZABETH. An honest tale speeds best being plainly

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. Onomy reasons are too deep and


Too deep and deadpoor infantsin their graves.
KING RICHARD. Harp not on that stringmadam; that is past.
QUEEN ELIZABETH. Harp on it still shall I till heartstrings

KING RICHARD. Nowby my Georgemy garterand my
ELIZABETH. Profan'ddishonour'dand the third

ELIZABETH. By nothing; for this is no oath:

Thy Georgeprofan'dhath lost his lordly honour;
Thy garterblemish'dpawn'd his knightly virtue;
Thy crownusurp'ddisgrac'd his kingly glory.
If something thou wouldst swear to be believ'd
Swear then by something that thou hast not wrong'd.

ELIZABETH. Thy self is self-misus'd.
KING RICHARD. Nowby the world-
QUEEN ELIZABETH. 'Tis full of thy foul wrongs.
KING RICHARD. My father's deathQUEEN
ELIZABETH. Thy life hath it dishonour'd.
ELIZABETH. God's wrong is most of all.

If thou didst fear to break an oath with Him
The unity the King my husband made
Thou hadst not brokennor my brothers died.
If thou hadst fear'd to break an oath by Him
Th' imperial metalcircling now thy head
Had grac'd the tender temples of my child;
And both the Princes had been breathing here
Which nowtwo tender bedfellows for dust
Thy broken faith hath made the prey for worms.
What canst thou swear by now?

KING RICHARD. The time to come.

QUEEN ELIZABETH. That thou hast wronged in the time
For I myself have many tears to wash
Hereafter timefor time past wrong'd by thee.
The children live whose fathers thou hast slaughter'd
Ungovern'd youthto wail it in their age;
The parents live whose children thou hast butcher'd
Old barren plantsto wail it with their age.
Swear not by time to come; for that thou hast

Misus'd ere us'dby times ill-us'd o'erpast.

KING RICHARD. As I intend to prosper and repent
So thrive I in my dangerous affairs
Of hostile arms! Myself myself confound!
Heaven and fortune bar me happy hours!
Dayyield me not thy light; nornightthy rest!
Be opposite all planets of good luck
To my proceeding!-ifwith dear heart's love
Immaculate devotionholy thoughts
I tender not thy beauteous princely daughter.
In her consists my happiness and thine;
Without herfollows to myself and thee
Herselfthe landand many a Christian soul
Deathdesolationruinand decay.
It cannot be avoided but by this;
It will not be avoided but by this.
Thereforedear mother-I must call you soBe
the attorney of my love to her;
Plead what I will benot what I have been;
Not my desertsbut what I will deserve.
Urge the necessity and state of times
And be not peevish-fond in great designs.

QUEEN ELIZABETH. Shall I be tempted of the devil thus?
KING RICHARD. Ayif the devil tempt you to do good.
QUEEN ELIZABETH. Shall I forget myself to be myself?
KING RICHARD. Ayif your self's remembrance wrong

QUEEN ELIZABETH. Yet thou didst kill my children.
KING RICHARD. But in your daughter's womb I bury them;

Wherein that nest of spicerythey will breed

Selves of themselvesto 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 sofarewell.
Kissing her. Exit QUEEN ELIZABETH
Relenting fooland shallowchanging woman!

Enter RATCLIFF; CATESBY following

How now! what news?

RATCLIFF. Most mighty sovereignon the western coast
Rideth a puissant navy; to our shores
Throng many doubtful hollow-hearted friends
Unarm'dand unresolv'd to beat them back.
'Tis thought that Richmond is their admiral;
And there they hullexpecting but the aid
Of Buckingham to welcome them ashore.

KING RICHARD. Some light-foot friend post to the Duke of
Ratcliffthyself-or Catesby; where is he?

CATESBY. Heremy good lord.
KING RICHARD. Catesbyfly to the Duke.
CATESBY. I will my lordwith all convenient haste.
KING RICHARD. Ratcliffcome hither. Post to Salisbury;

When thou com'st thither-[To CATESBY] Dull
unmindfull villain
Why stay'st thou hereand go'st not to the Duke?

CATESBY. Firstmighty liegetell me your Highness' pleasure
What from your Grace I shall deliver to him.

KING RICHARD. Otruegood 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. Whatmay it please youshall I do at Salisbury?
KING RICHARD. Whywhat wouldst thou do there before I

RATCLIFF. Your Highness told me I should post before.
KING RICHARD. My mind is chang'd.


STANLEYwhat news with you?

STANLEY. None goodmy liegeto please you with
the hearing;
Nor none so bad but well may be reported.

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

STANLEY. Richmond is on the seas.
KING RICHARD. There let him sinkand be the seas on him!

White-liver'd runagatewhat doth he there?
STANLEY. I know notmighty sovereignbut by guess.
KING RICHARD. Wellas you guess?
STANLEY. Stirr'd up by DorsetBuckinghamand Morton

He makes for England here to claim the crown.

KING RICHARD. Is the chair empty? Is the sword unsway'd?
Is the King deadthe 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 thatmy liegeI 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 himI fear.

STANLEY. Nomy good lord; therefore mistrust me not.

KING RICHARD. Where is thy power thento 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. Nomy good lordmy friends are in the north.

KING RICHARD. Cold friends to me. What do they in the
When they should serve their sovereign in the west?

STANLEY. They have not been commandedmighty 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. Ayaythou wouldst be gone to join with
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. Gothenand muster men. But leave behind
Your sonGeorge 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


MESSENGER. My gracious sovereignnow in Devonshire
As I by friends am well advertised
Sir Edward Courtney and the haughty prelate
Bishop of Exeterhis elder brother
With many moe confederatesare in arms.

Enter another MESSENGER

SECOND MESSENGER. In Kentmy liegethe Guilfords are in
And every hour more competitors
Flock to the rebelsand their power grows strong.

Enter another MESSENGER

THIRD MESSENGER. My lordthe army of great Buckingham

KING RICHARD. Out on youowls! Nothing but songs of
death? [He strikes him]
Theretake 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 wand'red away alone
No man knows whither.

KING RICHARD. I cry thee 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 Lord.

Enter another MESSENGER

FOURTH MESSENGER. Sir Thomas Lovel and Lord Marquis
'Tis saidmy liegein Yorkshire are in arms.
But this good comfort bring I to your HighnessThe
Britaine navy is dispers'd by tempest.
Richmond in Dorsetshire sent out a boat
Unto the shoreto ask those on the banks
If they were his assistantsyea or no;
Who answer'd him they came from Buckingham
Upon his party. Hemistrusting them
Hois'd sailand made his course again for Britaine.

KING RICHARD. March onmarch onsince we are up in
If not to fight with foreign enemies
Yet to beat down these rebels here at home.

Re-enter CATESBY

CATESBY. My liegethe 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 tidingsyet they must be told.

KING RICHARD. Away towards Salisbury! While we reason
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




STANLEY. Sir Christophertell 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 revoltoff goes young George's head;
The fear of that holds off my present aid.
Soget thee gone; commend me to thy lord.
Withal say that the Queen hath heartily consented
He should espouse Elizabeth her daughter.
But tell mewhere is princely Richmond now?

CHRISTOPHER. At Pembrokeor at Ha'rford west in Wales.
STANLEY. What men of name resort to him?
CHRISTOPHER. Sir Walter Herberta renowned soldier;
SIR Gilbert TalbotSir William Stanley
OXFORDredoubted PembrokeSir James Blunt

And Rice ap Thomaswith 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. Wellhie thee to thy lord; I kiss his hand;
My letter will resolve him of my mind.
Farewell. Exeunt



Salisbury. An open place

Enter the SHERIFF and guardwith BUCKINGHAMled to execution

BUCKINGHAM. Will not King Richard let me speak with

SHERIFF. Nomy good lord; therefore be patient.
BUCKINGHAM. Hastingsand Edward's childrenGreyand

Holy King Henryand thy fair son Edward
Vaughanand 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' dayfellowis it not?

SHERIFF. It ismy lord.

BUCKINGHAM. Whythen All-Souls' day is my body's
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;

Thisthis 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 meofficersto the block of shame;

Wrong hath but wrongand blame the due of blame.


Camp near Tamworth

with drum and colours

RICHMOND. Fellows in armsand 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 wretchedbloodyand usurping boar

That spoil'd your summer fields and fruitful vines

Swills your warm blood like washand makes his trough

In your embowell'd bosoms-this foul swine

Is now even in the centre of this isle

Near to the town of Leicesteras we learn.

From Tamworth thither is but one day's march.

In God's name cheerly oncourageous friends

To reap the harvest of perpetual peace

By this one bloody trial of sharp war.

OXFORD. Every man's conscience is a thousand men

To fight against this guilty 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 godsand meaner creatures kings. Exeunt


Bosworth Field

the EARL of SURREY and others

KING RICHARD. Here pitch our tenteven here in Bosworth


My Lord of Surreywhy look you so sad?

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

KING RICHARD. My Lord of Norfolk!
NORFOLK. Heremost gracious liege.
KING RICHARD. Norfolkwe must have knocks; ha! must we

NORFOLK. We must both give and takemy 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? Wellall's one for that.
Who hath descried the number of the traitors?

NORFOLK. Six or seven thousand is their utmost power.

KING RICHARD. Whyour battalia trebles that account;
Besidesthe King's name is a tower of strength
Which they upon the adverse faction want.
Up with the tent! Comenoble gentlemen
Let us survey the vantage of the ground.
Call for some men of sound direction.
Let's lack no disciplinemake no delay;
Forlordsto-morrow is a busy day. Exeunt

Enteron the other side of the field
and others. Some 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 Brandonyou 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-youSir William Brandon-
And youSir Walter Herbert-stay with me.
The Earl of Pembroke keeps his regiment;
Good Captain Bluntbear 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 moregood Captaindo for meWhere
is Lord Stanley quarter'ddo you know?

BLUNT. Unless I have mista'en his colours muchWhich
well I am assur'd I have not doneHis
regiment lies half a mile at least
South from the mighty power of the King.

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

BLUNT. Upon my lifemy lordI'll undertake it;
And soGod give you quiet rest to-night!

RICHMOND. Good nightgood Captain Blunt. Come
Let us consult upon to-morrow's business.
In to my tent; the dew is raw and cold.

[They withdraw into the tent]


KING RICHARD. What is't o'clock?
CATESBY. It's supper-timemy lord;
It's nine o'clock.

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

CATESBY. It ismy liege; and all things are in readiness.
KING RICHARD. Good Norfolkhie thee to thy charge;

Use careful watchchoose trusty sentinels.
NORFOLK. I gomy lord.
KING RICHARD. Stir with the lark to-morrowgentle Norfolk.
NORFOLK. I warrant youmy lord. Exit
CATESBY. My lord?
KING RICHARD. Send out a pursuivant-at-arms

To Stanley's regiment; bid him bring his power
Before sunrisinglest his son George fall
Into the blind cave of eternal night. Exit CATESBY
Fill me a bowl of wine. Give me a watch.
Saddle white Surrey for the field to-morrow.
Look that my staves be soundand not too heavy.

RATCLIFF. My lord?
KING RICHARD. Saw'st thou the melancholy Lord

RATCLIFF. Thomas the Earl of Surrey and himself
Much about cock-shut timefrom troop to troop
Went through the armycheering up the soldiers.

KING RICHARD. SoI 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 ismy lord.
KING RICHARD. Bid my guard watch; leave me.
RATCLIFFabout the mid of night come to my tent

And help to arm me. Leave meI say.

Enter DERBY to RICHMOND in his tent;
LORDS attending

DERBY. Fortune and victory sit on thy helm!

RICHMOND. All comfort that the dark night can afford
Be to thy personnoble father-in-law!
Tell mehow fares our loving mother?

DERBY. Iby attorneybless 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 brieffor 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.
Ias I may-that which I would I cannot-
With best advantage will deceive the time
And aid thee in this doubtful shock of arms;
But on thy side I may not be too forward
Lestbeing seenthy brothertender 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-sund'red friends should dwell upon.
God give us leisure for these rites of love!
Once moreadieu; be valiantand speed well!

RICHMOND. Good lordsconduct 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 moregood nightkind lords and gentlemen.

Exeunt all but RICHMOND
O Thouwhose captain I account myself
Look on my forces with a gracious eye;
Put in their hands Thy bruising irons of wrath
That they may crush down with a heavy fall
The usurping helmets of our adversaries!
Make us Thy ministers of chastisement
That we may praise Thee in the victory!
To Thee I do commend my watchful soul
Ere I let fall the windows of mine eyes.
Sleeping and wakingOdefend me still! [Sleeps]


GHOST. [To RICHARD] Let me sit heavy on thy soul
Think how thou stabb'dst me in my prime of youth
At Tewksbury; despairthereforeand die!
[To RICHMOND] Be cheerfulRichmond; for the wronged
Of butcher'd princes fight in thy behalf.
King Henry's issueRichmondcomforts thee.


GHOST. [To RICHARD] When I was mortalmy anointed
By thee was punched full of deadly holes.
Think on the Tower and me. Despairand die.
Harry the Sixth bids thee despair and die.
[To RICHMOND] Virtuous and holybe thou conqueror!
Harrythat prophesied thou shouldst be King
Doth comfort thee in thy sleep. Live and flourish!


GHOST. [To RICHARD] Let me sit heavy in thy soul
to-morrow! I that was wash'd to death with fulsome wine
Poor Clarenceby 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!


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

GHOST OF GREY. [To RICHARD] Think upon Greyand let
thy soul despair!

GHOST OF VAUGHAN. [To RICHARD] Think upon Vaughan
and with guilty fear
Let fall thy lance. Despair and die!

ALL. [To RICHMOND] Awakeand think our wrongs in
Richard's bosom
Will conquer him. Awake and win the day.


GHOST. [To RICHARD] Bloody and guiltyguiltily awake
And in a bloody battle end thy days!

Think on Lord Hastings. Despair and die.
[To RICHMOND] Quiet untroubled soulawakeawake!
Armfightand conquerfor fair England's sake!

Enter the GHOSTS of the two young PRINCES

GHOSTS. [To RICHARD] Dream on thy cousins smothered in
the Tower.
Let us be lead within thy bosomRichard
And weigh thee down to ruinshameand death!
Thy nephews' souls bid thee despair and die.
[To RICHMOND] SleepRichmondsleep in peaceand
wake in joy;
Good angels guard thee from the boar's annoy!
Liveand beget a happy race of kings!
Edward's unhappy sons do bid thee flourish.

Enter the GHOST of LADY ANNEhis wife

GHOST. [To RICHARD] Richardthy wifethat 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 soulsleep thou a quiet sleep;
Dream of success and happy victory.
Thy adversary's wife doth pray for thee.


GHOST. [To RICHARD] The first was I that help'd thee
to the crown;
The last was I that felt thy tyranny.
Oin the battle think on Buckingham
And die in terror of thy guiltiness!
Dream ondream on of bloody deeds and death;
Faintingdespair; despairingyield 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. RICHARD starts out of his dream]

KING RICHARD. Give me another horse. Bind up my wounds.
Have mercyJesu! Soft! I did but dream.
O coward consciencehow 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 isI am I.
Is there a murderer here? No-yesI am.
Then fly. Whatfrom myself? Great reason whyLest
I revenge. Whatmyself upon myself!
AlackI love myself. Wherefore? For any good
That I myself have done unto myself?
Ono! AlasI rather hate myself
For hateful deeds committed by myself!
I am a villain; yet I lieI am not.
Foolof thyself speak well. Fooldo 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.
Perjuryperjuryin the high'st degree;
Murderstern murderin the dir'st degree;

All several sinsall us'd in each degree
Throng to the barcrying all 'Guilty! guilty!'
I shall despair. There is no creature loves me;
And if I die no soul will pity me:
And wherefore should theysince that I myself
Find in myself no pity to myself?
Methought the souls of all that I had murder'd
Came to my tentand every one did threat
To-morrow's vengeance on the head of Richard.


RATCLIFF. My lord!
KING RICHARD. Zoundswho is there?
RATCLIFF. Ratcliffmy 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 RatcliffI have dream'd a fearful dream!

What think'st thou-will our friends prove all true?
RATCLIFF. No doubtmy lord.
KING RICHARD. O RatcliffI fearI fear.
RATCLIFF. Naygood my lordbe not afraid of shadows.
KING RICHARD By the apostle Paulshadows 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.
'Tis not yet near day. Comego with me;
Under our tents I'll play the eaves-dropper
To see if any mean to shrink from me. Exeunt

Enter the LORDS to RICHMOND sitting in his tent

LORDS. Good morrowRichmond!
RICHMOND. Cry mercylords and watchful gentlemen

That you have ta'en a tardy sluggard here.
LORDS. How have you sleptmy lord?
RICHMOND. The sweetest sleep and fairest-boding dreams

That ever ent'red in a drowsy head
Have I since your departure hadmy lords.
Methought their souls whose bodies Richard murder'd
Came to my tent and cried on victory.
I promise you my soul is very jocund
In the remembrance of so fair a dream.
How far into the morning is itlords?

LORDS. Upon the stroke of four.
RICHMOND. Whythen 'tis time to arm and give direction.


More than I have saidloving countrymen
The leisure and enforcement of the time
Forbids to dwell upon; yet remember this:
God and our good cause fight upon our side;
The prayers of holy saints and wronged souls
Like high-rear'd bulwarksstand before our faces;
Richard exceptthose whom we fight against
Had rather have us win than him they follow.
For what is he they follow? Trulygentlemen
A bloody tyrant and a homicide;
One rais'd in bloodand one in blood establish'd;
One that made means to come by what he hath
And slaughtered those that were the means to help him;
A base foul stonemade precious by the foil
Of England's chairwhere 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 peacethe tyrant being slain;
If you do fight against your country's foes
Your country's foes 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 quits it in your age.
Thenin the name of God and all these rights
Advance your standardsdraw your willing swords.
For methe ransom of my bold attempt
Shall be this cold corpse on the earth's cold face;
But if I thrivethe 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

and forces

KING RICHARD. What said Northumberland as touching

RATCLIFF. That he was never trained up in arms.
KING RICHARD. He said the truth; and what said Surrey

RATCLIFF. He smil'dand said 'The better for our purpose.'
KING 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 Imy 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. My lord?

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


NORFOLK. Armarmmy lord; the foe vaunts in the field.

KING RICHARD. Comebustlebustle; caparison my horse;
Call up Lord Stanleybid 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 NorfolkThomas Earl of Surrey
Shall have the leading of this foot and horse.
They thus directedwe will follow
In the main battlewhose puissance on either side
Shall be well winged with our chiefest horse.
Thisand Saint George to boot! What think'st thou

NORFOLK. A good directionwarlike sovereign.

This found I on my tent this morning.

[He sheweth him a paper]


'Jockey of Norfolkbe not so bold

For Dickon thy master is bought and sold.'

A thing devised by the enemy.

Gogentlemenevery 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 conscienceswords our law.

March onjoin bravelylet us to it pell-mell;

If not to heaventhen 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 vagabondsrascalsand runaways

A scum of Britainesand base lackey peasants

Whom their o'er-cloyed country vomits forth

To desperate adventures and assur'd destruction.

You sleeping safethey bring to you unrest;

You having landsand bless'd with beauteous wives

They would restrain the onedistain the other.

And who doth lead them but a paltry fellow

Long kept in Britaine at our mother's cost?

A milk-sopone 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 beggarsweary of their lives;

Whobut for dreaming on this fond exploit

For want of meanspoor ratshad hang'd themselves.

If we be conqueredlet men conquer us

And not these bastard Britaineswhom our fathers

Have in their own land beatenbobb'dand thump'd

Andin recordleft them the heirs of shame.

Shall these enjoy our lands? lie with our wives

Ravish our daughters? [Drum afar off] Hark! I hear their


Fightgentlemen of England! Fightbold yeomen!

Drawarchersdraw your arrows to the head!

Spur your proud horses hardand ride in blood;

Amaze the welkin with your broken staves!


What says Lord Stanley? Will he bring his power?

MESSENGER. My lordhe doth deny to come.

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

NORFOLK. My lordthe enemy is pass'd the marsh.

After the battle let George Stanley die.

KING RICHARD. A thousand hearts are great within my


Advance our standardsset upon our foes;

Our ancient word of couragefair Saint George

Inspire us with the spleen of fiery dragons!

Upon them! Victory sits on our helms. Exeunt


Another part of the field

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

CATESBY. Rescuemy Lord of Norfolkrescuerescue!
The King enacts more wonders than a man
Daring an opposite to every danger.
His horse is slainand all on foot he fights
Seeking for Richmond in the throat of death.
Rescuefair lordor else the day is lost.

Alarums. Enter KING RICHARD

KING RICHARD. A horse! a horse! my kingdom for a horse!
CATESBY. Withdrawmy lord! I'll help you to a horse.
KING RICHARD. SlaveI 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


Another part of the field

Alarum. Enter RICHARD and RICHMOND; they fight; RICHARD is slain.
Retreat and flourish. Enter RICHMONDDERBY bearing the crown
with other LORDS

RICHMOND. God and your arms be prais'dvictorious friends;
The day is oursthe bloody dog is dead.

DERBY. Courageous Richmondwell hast thou acquit thee!
Loherethis long-usurped royalty
From the dead temples of this bloody wretch
Have I pluck'd offto grace thy brows withal.
Wear itenjoy itand make much of it.

RICHMOND. Great God of heavensay Amen to all!
ButteLL me is young George Stanley living.
DERBY. He ismy lordand safe in Leicester town

Whitherif it please youwe may now withdraw us.
RICHMOND. What men of name are slain on either side?
DERBY. John Duke of NorfolkWalter Lord Ferrers

Sir Robert Brakenburyand 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 thenas 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 meand says not Amen?
England hath long been madand scarr'd herself;
The brother blindly shed the brother's blood
The father rashly slaughter'd his own son
The soncompell'dbeen butcher to the sire;
All this divided York and Lancaster
Divided in their dire division
Onow let Richmond and Elizabeth
The true succeeders of each royal house
By God's fair ordinance conjoin together!

And let their heirsGodif thy will be so

Enrich the time to come with smooth-fac'd peace

With smiling plentyand fair prosperous days!

Abate the edge of traitorsgracious 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'dpeace lives again

That she may long live hereGod say Amen! Exeunt