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And now for KickAss Shakespeare's presentation of
The Tragedy of Richard the Third:
with the Landing fo Earle Richmond, and the
Batell at Bosworth Field
Act I. Scene I. London. A street.
Enter Gloucester, solus
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 changed to merry meetings,
Our dreadful marches to delightful measures.
Grim-visaged war hath smooth'd his wrinkled front;10
And now, instead of mounting barded steeds
To fright the souls of fearful adversaries,
He capers nimbly in a lady's chamber
To the lascivious pleasing of a lute.
But I, that am not shaped for sportive tricks,
Nor made to court an amorous looking-glass;
I, that am rudely stamp'd, and want love's majesty
To strut before a wanton ambling nymph;
I, that am curtail'd of this fair proportion,
Cheated of feature by dissembling nature,20
Deformed, unfinish'd, sent before my time
Into this breathing world, scarce half made up,
And that so lamely and unfashionable
That dogs bark at me as I halt by them;
Why, I, in this weak piping time of peace,
Have no delight to pass away the time,
Unless to spy my shadow in the sun
And descant on mine own deformity:
And therefore, since I cannot prove a lover,
To entertain these fair well-spoken days,30
I am determined to prove a villain
And hate the idle pleasures of these days.
Plots have I laid, inductions dangerous,
By drunken prophecies, libels and dreams,
To set my brother Clarence and the king
In deadly hate the one against the other:
And if King Edward be as true and just
As I am subtle, false and treacherous,
This day should Clarence closely be mew'd up,
About a prophecy, which says that 'G'40
Of Edward's heirs the murderer shall be.
Dive, thoughts, down to my soul: here
Enter Clarence, guarded, and Brakenbury
Brother, good day; what means this armed guard
That waits upon your grace?
Tendering my person's safety, hath appointed
This conduct to convey me to the Tower.
Upon what cause?
Because my name is George.
Alack, my lord, that fault is none of yours;
He should, for that, commit your godfathers:
O, belike his majesty hath some intent
That you shall be new-christen'd in the Tower.
But what's the matter, Clarence? may I know?
Yea, Richard, when I know; for I protest
As yet I do not: but, as I can learn,
He hearkens after prophecies and dreams;
And from the cross-row plucks the letter G.
And says a wizard told him that by G60
His issue disinherited should be;
And, for my name of George begins with G,
It follows in his thought that I am he.
These, as I learn, and such like toys as these
Have moved his highness to commit me now.
Why, this it is, when men are ruled by women:
'Tis not the king that sends you to the Tower:
My Lady Grey his wife, Clarence, 'tis she
That tempers him to this extremity.
Was it not she and that good man of worship,70
Anthony Woodville, her brother there,
That made him send Lord Hastings to the Tower,
From whence this present day he is deliver'd?
We are not safe, Clarence; we are not safe.
By heaven, I think there's no man is secure
But the queen's kindred and night-walking heralds
That trudge betwixt the king and Mistress Shore.
Heard ye not what an humble suppliant
Lord Hastings was to her for his delivery?
Humbly complaining to her deity80
Got my lord chamberlain his liberty.
I'll tell you what; I think it is our way,
If we will keep in favour with the king,
To be her men and wear her livery:
The jealous o'erworn widow and herself,
Since that our brother dubb'd them gentlewomen.
Are mighty gossips in this monarchy.
I beseech your graces both to pardon me;
His majesty hath straitly given in charge
That no man shall have private conference,90
Of what degree soever, with his brother.
Even so; an't please your worship, Brakenbury,
You may partake of any thing we say:
We speak no treason, man: we say the king
Is wise and virtuous, and his noble queen
Well struck in years, fair, and not jealous;
We say that Shore's wife hath a pretty foot,
A cherry lip, a bonny eye, a passing pleasing tongue;
And that the queen's kindred are made gentle-folks:
How say you sir? Can you deny all this?
With this, my lord, myself have nought to do.
Naught to do with mistress Shore! I tell thee, fellow,
He that doth naught with her, excepting one,
Were best he do it secretly, alone.
What one, my lord?
Her husband, knave: wouldst thou betray me?
I beseech your grace to pardon me, and withal
Forbear your conference with the noble duke.
We know thy charge, Brakenbury, and will obey.
We are the queen's abjects, and must obey.110
Brother, farewell: I will unto the king;
And whatsoever you will employ me in,
Were it to call King Edward's widow sister,
I will perform it to enfranchise you.
Meantime, this deep disgrace in brotherhood
Touches me deeper than you can imagine.
I know it pleaseth neither of us well.
Well, your imprisonment shall not be long;
Meantime, have patience.
I must perforce. Farewell.
Exeunt Clarence, Brakenbury, and Guard
Go, tread the path that thou shalt ne'er return.
Simple, plain Clarence! I do love thee so,
That I will shortly send thy soul to heaven,
If heaven will take the present at our hands.
But who comes here? the new-deliver'd Hastings?
Good time of day unto my gracious lord!
As much unto my good lord chamberlain!
Well are you welcome to the open air.
How hath your lordship brook'd imprisonment?
With patience, noble lord, as prisoners must:130
But I shall live, my lord, to give them thanks
That were the cause of my imprisonment.
No doubt, no doubt; and so shall Clarence too;
For they that were your enemies are his,
And have prevail'd as much on him as you.
More pity that the eagle should be mew'd,
While kites and buzzards prey at liberty.
What news abroad?
No news so bad abroad as this at home;
The King is sickly, weak and melancholy,140
And his physicians fear him mightily.
Now, by Saint Paul, this news is bad indeed.
O, he hath kept an evil diet long,
And overmuch consumed his royal person:
'Tis very grievous to be thought upon.
What, is he in his bed?
Go you before, and I will follow you.
He cannot live, I hope; and must not die
Till George be pack'd with post-horse up to heaven.150
I'll in, to urge his hatred more to Clarence,
With lies well steel'd with weighty arguments;
And, if I fall not in my deep intent,
Clarence hath not another day to live:
Which done, God take King Edward to his mercy,
And leave the world for me to bustle in!
For then I'll marry Warwick's youngest daughter.
What though I kill'd her husband and her father?
The readiest way to make the wench amends
Is to become her husband and her father:160
The which will I; not all so much for love
As for another secret close intent,
By marrying her which I must reach unto.
But yet I run before my horse to market:
Clarence still breathes; Edward still lives and reigns:
When they are gone, then must I count my gains.
Act I. Scene II. The same. Another street.
Enter the corpse of King Henry the Sixth, Gentlemen with halberds to guard
Set down, set down your honourable load,
If honour may be shrouded in a hearse,
Whilst I awhile obsequiously lament
The untimely fall of virtuous Lancaster.
Poor key-cold figure of a holy king!
Pale ashes of the house of Lancaster!
Thou bloodless remnant of that royal blood!
Be it lawful that I invocate thy ghost,
To hear the lamentations of Poor Anne,10
Wife to thy Edward, to thy slaughter'd son,
Stabb'd by the selfsame hand that made these wounds!
Lo, in these windows that let forth thy life,
I pour the helpless balm of my poor eyes.
Cursed be the hand that made these fatal holes!
Cursed be the heart that had the heart to do it!
Cursed the blood that let this blood from hence!
More direful hap betide that hated wretch,
That makes us wretched by the death of thee,
Than I can wish to adders, spiders, toads,20
Or any creeping venom'd thing that lives!
If ever he have child, abortive be it,
Prodigious, and untimely brought to light,
Whose ugly and unnatural aspect
May fright the hopeful mother at the view;
And that be heir to his unhappiness!
If ever he have wife, let her he made
A miserable by the death of him
As I am made by my poor lord and thee!
Come, now towards Chertsey with your holy load,30
Taken from Paul's to be interred there;
And still, as you are weary of the weight,
Rest you, whiles I lament King Henry's corse.
Stay, you that bear the corse, and set it down.
What black magician conjures up this fiend,
To stop devoted charitable deeds?
Villains, set down the corse; or, by Saint Paul,
I'll make a corse of him that disobeys.
My lord, stand back, and let the coffin pass.
Unmanner'd dog! stand thou, when I command:40
Advance thy halbert higher than my breast,
Or, by Saint Paul, I'll strike thee to my foot,
And spurn upon thee, beggar, for thy boldness.
What, do you tremble? are you all afraid?
Alas, I blame you not; for you are mortal,
And mortal eyes cannot endure the devil.
Avaunt, thou dreadful minister of hell!
Thou hadst but power over his mortal body,
His soul thou canst not have; therefore be gone.
Sweet saint, for charity, be not so curst.
Foul devil, for God's sake, hence, 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.
O, gentlemen, see, see! dead Henry's wounds
Open their congeal'd mouths and bleed afresh!
Blush, Blush, thou lump of foul deformity;
For 'tis thy presence that exhales this blood
From cold and empty veins, where no blood dwells;60
Thy deed, inhuman and unnatural,
Provokes this deluge most unnatural.
O God, which this blood madest, revenge his death!
O earth, which this blood drink'st revenge his death!
Either heaven with lightning strike the
Or earth, gape open wide and eat him quick,
As thou dost swallow up this good king's blood
Which his hell-govern'd arm hath butchered!
Lady, you know no rules of charity,70
Which renders good for bad, blessings for curses.
Villain, thou know'st no law of God nor man:
No beast so fierce but knows some touch of pity.
But I know none, and therefore am no beast.
O wonderful, when devils tell the truth!
More wonderful, when angels are so angry.
Vouchsafe, divine perfection of a woman,
Of these supposed-evils, to give me leave,
By circumstance, but to acquit myself.
Vouchsafe, defused infection of a man,80
For these known evils, but to give me leave,
By circumstance, to curse thy cursed self.
Fairer than tongue can name thee, let me have
Some patient leisure to excuse myself.
Fouler than heart can think thee, thou canst make
No excuse current, but to hang thyself.
By such despair, I should accuse myself.
And, by despairing, shouldst thou stand excused;
For doing worthy vengeance on thyself,
Which didst unworthy slaughter upon others.
Say that I slew them not?
Why, then they are not dead:
But dead they are, and devilish slave, by thee.
I did not kill your husband.
Why, then he is alive.
Nay, he is dead; and slain by Edward's hand.
In thy foul throat thou liest: Queen Margaret saw
Thy murderous falchion smoking in his blood;
The which thou once didst bend against her breast,
But that thy brothers beat aside the point.
I was provoked by her slanderous tongue,
which laid their guilt upon my guiltless shoulders.
Thou wast provoked by thy bloody mind.
Which never dreamt on aught but butcheries:
Didst thou not kill this king?
I grant ye.
Dost grant me, hedgehog? then, God grant me too
Thou mayst be damned for that wicked deed!
O, he was gentle, mild, and virtuous!
The fitter for the King of heaven, that hath him.
He is in heaven, where thou shalt never come.
Let him thank me, that holp to send him thither;
For he was fitter for that place than earth.
And thou unfit for any place but hell.
Yes, one place else, if you will hear me name it.
I'll rest betide the chamber where thou liest!
So will it, madam till I lie with you.
I hope so.
I know so. But, gentle Lady Anne,
To leave this keen encounter of our wits,
And fall somewhat into a slower method,
Is not the causer of the timeless deaths
Of these Plantagenets, Henry and Edward,
As blameful as the executioner?
Thou art the cause, and most accursed effect.
Your beauty was the cause of that effect;
Your beauty: which did haunt me in my sleep
To undertake the death of all the world,130
So I might live one hour in your sweet bosom.
If I thought that, I tell thee, homicide,
These nails should rend that beauty from my cheeks.
These eyes could never endure sweet beauty's wreck;
You should not blemish it, if I stood by:
As all the world is cheered by the sun,
So I by that; it is my day, my life.
Black night o'ershade thy day, and death thy life!
Curse not thyself, fair creature thou art both.
I would I were, to be revenged on thee.
It is a quarrel most unnatural,
To be revenged on him that loveth you.
It is a quarrel just and reasonable,
To be revenged on him that slew my husband.
He that bereft thee, lady, of thy husband,
Did it to help thee to a better husband.
His better doth not breathe upon the earth.
He lives that loves thee better than he could.
Why, that was he.
The selfsame name, but one of better nature.
Where is he?
She spitteth at him
Why dost thou spit at me?
Would it were mortal poison, for thy sake!
Never came poison from so sweet a place.
Never hung poison on a fouler toad.
Out of my sight! thou dost infect my eyes.
Thine eyes, sweet lady, have infected mine.
Would they were basilisks, to strike thee dead!
I would they were, that I might die at once;
For now they kill me with a living death.
Those eyes of thine from mine have drawn salt tears,
Shamed their aspect with store of childish drops:
These eyes that never shed remorseful tear,
No, when my father York and Edward wept,
To hear the piteous moan that Rutland made
When black-faced Clifford shook his sword at him;
Nor when thy warlike father, like a child,170
Told the sad story of my father's death,
And twenty times made pause to sob and weep,
That all the standers-by had wet their cheeks
Like trees bedash'd with rain: in that sad time
My manly eyes did scorn an humble tear;
And what these sorrows could not thence exhale,
Thy beauty hath, and made them blind with weeping.
I never sued to friend nor enemy;
My tongue could never learn sweet smoothing word;
But now thy beauty is proposed my fee,180
My proud heart sues, and prompts my tongue to speak.
She looks scornfully at him
Teach not thy lips such scorn, for they were made
For kissing, lady, not for such contempt.
If thy revengeful heart cannot forgive,
Lo, here I lend thee this sharp-pointed sword;
Which if thou please to hide in this true bosom.
And let the soul forth that adoreth thee,
I lay it naked to the deadly stroke,
And humbly beg the death upon my knee.
He lays his breast open: she offers at it with his sword
Nay, do not pause; for I did kill King Henry,190
But 'twas thy beauty that provoked me.
Nay, now dispatch; 'twas I that stabb'd young Edward,
But 'twas thy heavenly face that set me on.
Here she lets fall the sword
Take up the sword again, or take up me.
Arise, dissembler: though I wish thy death,
I will not be the executioner.
Then bid me kill myself, and I will do it.
I have already.
Tush, that was in thy rage:
Speak it again, and, even with the word,200
That hand, which, for thy love, did kill thy love,
Shall, for thy love, kill a far truer love;
To both their deaths thou shalt be accessary.
I would I knew thy heart.
'Tis figured in my tongue.
I fear me both are false.
Then never man was true.
Well, well, put up your sword.
Say, then, my peace is made.
That shall you know hereafter.
But shall I live in hope?
All men, I hope, live so.
Vouchsafe to wear this ring.
To take is not to give.
Look, how this ring encompasseth finger.
Even so thy breast encloseth my poor heart;
Wear both of them, for both of them are thine.
And if thy poor devoted suppliant may
But beg one favour at thy gracious hand,
Thou dost confirm his happiness for ever.
What is it?
That it would please thee leave these sad designs
To him that hath more cause to be a mourner,
And presently repair to Crosby Place;
Where, after I have solemnly interr'd
At Chertsey monastery this noble king,
And wet his grave with my repentant tears,
I will with all expedient duty see you:
For divers unknown reasons. I beseech you,
Grant me this boon.
With all my heart; and much it joys me too,
To see you are become so penitent.
Tressel and Berkeley, go along with me.
Bid me farewell.
'Tis more than you deserve;
But since you teach me how to flatter you,
Imagine I have said farewell already.
Exeunt Lady Anne, TRESSEL, and BERKELEY
Sirs, take up the corse.
Towards Chertsey, noble lord?
No, to White-Friars; there attend my coining.
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 mouth, tears in her eyes,
The bleeding witness of her hatred by;
Having God, her conscience, and these bars
And I nothing to back my suit at all,250
But the plain devil and dissembling looks,
And yet to win her, all the world to nothing!
Hath she forgot already that brave prince,
Edward, her lord, whom I, some three months since,
Stabb'd in my angry mood at Tewksbury?
A sweeter and a Lovelier gentleman,
Framed in the prodigality of nature,
Young, valiant, wise, and, no doubt, right royal,
The spacious world cannot again afford260
And will she yet debase her eyes on me,
That cropp'd the golden prime of this sweet prince,
And made her widow to a woful bed?
On me, whose all not equals Edward's moiety?
On me, that halt and am unshapen thus?
My dukedom to a beggarly denier,
I do mistake my person all this while:
Upon my life, she finds, although I cannot,
Myself to be a marvellous proper man.
I'll be at charges for a looking-glass,270
And entertain some score or two of tailors,
To study fashions to adorn my body:
Since I am crept in favour with myself,
Will maintain it with some little cost.
But first I'll turn yon fellow in his grave;
And then return lamenting to my love.
Shine out, fair sun, till I have bought a glass,
That I may see my shadow as I pass.
Act I. Scene III. The palace.
Enter Queen Elizabeth, Rivers, and Grey
Have patience, madam: there's no doubt his majesty
Will soon recover his accustom'd health.
In that you brook it in, it makes him worse:
Therefore, for God's sake, entertain good comfort,
And cheer his grace with quick and merry words.
If he were dead, what would betide of me?
No other harm but loss of such a lord.
The loss of such a lord includes all harm.
The heavens have bless'd you with a goodly son,10
To be your comforter when he is gone.
Oh, he is young and his minority
Is put unto the trust of Richard Gloucester,
A man that loves not me, nor none of you.
Is it concluded that he shall be protector?
It is determined, not concluded yet:
But so it must be, if the king miscarry.
Enter Buckingham and Derby
Here come the lords of Buckingham and Derby.
Good time of day unto your royal grace!
God make your majesty joyful as you have been!
The Countess Richmond, good my Lord of Derby.
To your good prayers will scarcely say amen.
Yet, Derby, notwithstanding she's your wife,
And loves not me, be you, good lord, assured
I hate not you for her proud arrogance.
I do beseech you, either not believe
The envious slanders of her false accusers;
Or, if she be accused in true report,
Bear with her weakness, which, I think proceeds
From wayward sickness, and no grounded malice.
Saw you the king today, my Lord of Derby?
But now the Duke of Buckingham and I
Are come from visiting his majesty.
What likelihood of his amendment, lords?
Madam, good hope; his grace speaks cheerfully.
God grant him health! Did you confer with him?
Madam, we did: he desires to make atonement
Betwixt the Duke of Gloucester and your brothers,
And betwixt them and my lord chamberlain;
And sent to warn them to his royal presence.
Would all were well! but that will never be
I fear our happiness is at the highest.
Enter Gloucester, Hastings, and Dorset
They do me wrong, and I will not endure it:
Who are they that complain unto the king,
That I, forsooth, am stern, and love them not?
By holy Paul, they love his grace but lightly
That fill his ears with such dissentious rumours.
Because I cannot flatter and speak fair,
Smile in men's faces, smooth, deceive and cog,
Duck with French nods and apish courtesy,50
I must be held a rancorous enemy.
Cannot a plain man live and think no harm,
But thus his simple truth must be abused
By silken, sly, insinuating Jacks?
To whom in all this presence speaks your grace?
To thee, that hast nor honesty nor grace.
When have I injured thee? when done thee wrong?
Or thee? or thee? or any of your faction?
A plague upon you all! His royal person,--
Whom God preserve better than you would wish!--60
Cannot be quiet scarce a breathing-while,
But you must trouble him with lewd complaints.
Brother of Gloucester, you mistake the matter.
The king, of his own royal disposition,
And not provoked by any suitor else;
Aiming, belike, at your interior hatred,
Which in your outward actions shows itself
Against my kindred, brothers, and myself,
Makes him to send; that thereby he may gather
The ground of your ill-will, and so remove it.
I cannot tell: the world is grown so bad,
That wrens make prey where eagles dare not perch:
Since every Jack became a gentleman
There's many a gentle person made a Jack.
Come, come, we know your meaning, brother
You envy my advancement and my friends':
God grant we never may have need of you!
Meantime, God grants that we have need of you:
Your brother is imprison'd by your means,80
Myself disgraced, and the nobility
Held in contempt; whilst many fair promotions
Are daily given to ennoble those
That scarce, some two days since, were worth a noble.
By Him that raised me to this careful height
From that contented hap which I enjoy'd,
I never did incense his majesty
Against the Duke of Clarence, but have been
An earnest advocate to plead for him.
My lord, you do me shameful injury,90
Falsely to draw me in these vile suspects.
You may deny that you were not the cause
Of my Lord Hastings' late imprisonment.
She may, my lord, for--
She may, Lord Rivers! why, who knows not so?
She may do more, sir, than denying that:
She may help you to many fair preferments,
And then deny her aiding hand therein,
And lay those honours on your high deserts.
What may she not? She may, yea, marry, may she--
What, marry, may she?
What, marry, may she! marry with a king,
A bachelor, a handsome stripling too:
I wis your grandam had a worser match.
My Lord of Gloucester, I have too long borne
Your blunt upbraidings and your bitter scoffs:
By heaven, I will acquaint his majesty
With those gross taunts I often have endured.
I had rather be a country servant-maid
Than a great queen, with this condition,110
To be thus taunted, scorn'd, and baited at:
Enter Queen Margaret, behind
Small joy have I in being England's queen.
And lessen'd be that small, God, I beseech thee!
Thy honour, state and seat is due to me.
What! threat you me with telling of the king?
Tell him, and spare not: look, what I have said
I will avouch in presence of the king:
I dare adventure to be sent to the Tower.
'Tis time to speak; my pains are quite forgot.
Out, devil! I remember them too well:120
Thou slewest my husband Henry in the Tower,
And Edward, my poor son, at Tewksbury.
Ere you were queen, yea, or your husband king,
I was a pack-horse in his great affairs;
A weeder-out of his proud adversaries,
A liberal rewarder of his friends:
To royalize his blood I spilt mine own.
Yea, and much better blood than his or thine.
In all which time you and your husband Grey
Were factious for the house of Lancaster;130
And, Rivers, so were you. Was not your husband
In Margaret's battle at Saint Alban's slain?
Let me put in your minds, if you forget,
What you have been ere now, and what you are;
Withal, what I have been, and what I am.
A murderous villain, and so still thou art.
Poor Clarence did forsake his father, Warwick;
Yea, and forswore himself,--which Jesu pardon!--
Which God revenge!
To fight on Edward's party for the crown;140
And for his meed, poor lord, he is mew'd up.
I would to God my heart were flint, like Edward's;
Or Edward's soft and pitiful, like mine
I am too childish-foolish for this world.
Hie thee to hell for shame, and leave the world,
Thou cacodemon! there thy kingdom is.
My Lord of Gloucester, in those busy days
Which here you urge to prove us enemies,
We follow'd then our lord, our lawful king:
So should we you, if you should be our king.
If I should be! I had rather be a pedlar:
Far be it from my heart, the thought of it!
As little joy, my lord, as you suppose
You should enjoy, were you this country's king,
As little joy may you suppose in me.
That I enjoy, being the queen thereof.
A little joy enjoys the queen thereof;
For I am she, and altogether joyless.
I can no longer hold me patient.
Hear me, you wrangling pirates, that fall out160
In sharing that which you have pill'd from me!
Which of you trembles not that looks on me?
If not, that, I being queen, you bow like subjects,
Yet that, by you deposed, you quake like rebels?
O gentle villain, do not turn away!
Foul wrinkled witch, what makest thou in my sight?
But repetition of what thou hast marr'd;
That will I make before I let thee go.
Wert thou not banished on pain of death?
I was; but I do find more pain in banishment170
Than death can yield me here by my abode.
A husband and a son thou owest to me;
And thou a kingdom; all of you allegiance:
The sorrow that I have, by right is yours,
And all the pleasures you usurp are mine.
The curse my noble father laid on thee,
When thou didst crown his warlike brows with paper
And with thy scorns drew'st rivers from his eyes,
And then, to dry them, gavest the duke a clout
Steep'd in the faultless blood of pretty Rutland--180
His curses, then from bitterness of soul
Denounced against thee, are all fall'n upon thee;
And God, not we, hath plagued thy bloody deed.
So just is God, to right the innocent.
O, 'twas the foulest deed to slay that babe,
And the most merciless that e'er was heard of!
Tyrants themselves wept when it was reported.
No man but prophesied revenge for it.
Northumberland, then present, wept to see it.
What were you snarling all before I came,190
Ready to catch each other by the throat,
And turn you all your hatred now on me?
Did York's dread curse prevail so much with heaven?
That Henry's death, my Lovely Edward's death,
Their kingdom's loss, my woful banishment,
Could all but answer for that peevish brat?
Can curses pierce the clouds and enter heaven?
Why, then, give way, dull clouds, to my quick curses!
If not by war, by surfeit die your king,
As ours by murder, to make him a king!200
Edward thy son, which now is Prince of Wales,
For Edward my son, which was Prince of Wales,
Die in his youth by like untimely violence!
Thyself a queen, for me that was a queen,
Outlive thy glory, like my wretched self!
Long mayst thou live to wail thy children's loss;
And see another, as I see thee now,
Deck'd in thy rights, as thou art stall'd in mine!
Long die thy happy days before thy death;
And, after many lengthen'd hours of grief,210
Die neither mother, wife, nor England's queen!
Rivers and Dorset, you were standers by,
And so wast thou, Lord Hastings, when my son
Was stabb'd with bloody daggers: God, I pray him,
That none of you may live your natural age,
But by some unlook'd accident cut off!
Have done thy charm, thou hateful wither'd hag!
And leave out thee? stay, dog, for thou shalt hear me.
If heaven have any grievous plague in store
Exceeding those that I can wish upon thee,220
O, let them keep it till thy sins be ripe,
And then hurl down their indignation
On thee, the troubler of the poor world's peace!
The worm of conscience still begnaw thy soul!
Thy friends suspect for traitors while thou livest,
And take deep traitors for thy dearest friends!
No sleep close up that deadly eye of thine,
Unless it be whilst some tormenting dream
Affrights thee with a hell of ugly devils!
Thou elvish-mark'd, abortive, rooting hog!230
Thou that wast seal'd in thy nativity
The slave of nature and the son of hell!
Thou slander of thy mother's heavy womb!
Thou loathed issue of thy father's loins!
Thou rag of honour! thou detested--
I call thee not.
I cry thee mercy then, for I had thought240
That thou hadst call'd me all these bitter names.
Why, so I did; but look'd for no reply.
O, let me make the period to my curse!
'Tis done by me, and ends in 'Margaret.'
Thus have you breathed your curse against yourself.
Poor painted queen, vain flourish of my fortune!
Why strew'st thou sugar on that bottled spider,
Whose deadly web ensnareth thee about?
Fool, fool! thou whet'st a knife to kill thyself.
The time will come when thou shalt wish for me250
To help thee curse that poisonous bunchback'd toad.
False-boding woman, end thy frantic curse,
Lest to thy harm thou move our patience.
Foul shame upon you! you have all moved mine.
Were you well served, you would be taught your duty.
To serve me well, you all should do me duty,
Teach me to be your queen, and you my subjects:
O, serve me well, and teach yourselves that duty!
Dispute not with her; she is lunatic.
Peace, master marquess, you are malapert:260
Your fire-new stamp of honour is scarce current.
O, that your young nobility could judge
What 'twere to lose it, and be miserable!
They that stand high have many blasts to shake them;
And if they fall, they dash themselves to pieces.
Good counsel, marry: learn it, learn it, marquess.
It toucheth you, my lord, as much as me.
Yea, and much more: but I was born so high,
Our aery buildeth in the cedar's top,
And dallies with the wind and scorns the sun.
And turns the sun to shade; alas! alas!
Witness my son, now in the shade of death;
Whose bright out-shining beams thy cloudy wrath
Hath in eternal darkness folded up.
Your aery buildeth in our aery's nest.
O God, that seest it, do not suffer it!
As it was won with blood, lost be it so!
Have done! for shame, if not for charity.
Urge neither charity nor shame to me:
Uncharitably with me have you dealt,280
And shamefully by you my hopes are butcher'd.
My charity is outrage, life my shame
And in that shame still live my sorrow's rage.
Have done, have done.
O princely Buckingham I'll kiss thy hand,
In sign of league and amity with thee:
Now fair befal thee and thy noble house!
Thy garments are not spotted with our blood,
Nor thou within the compass of my curse.
Nor no one here; for curses never pass290
The lips of those that breathe them in the air.
I'll not believe but they ascend the sky,
And there awake God's gentle-sleeping peace.
O Buckingham, take heed of yonder dog!
Look, when he fawns, he bites; and when he bites,
His venom tooth will rankle to the death:
Have not to do with him, beware of him;
Sin, death, and hell have set their marks on him,
And all their ministers attend on him.
What doth she say, my Lord of Buckingham?
Nothing that I respect, my gracious lord.
What, dost thou scorn me for my gentle counsel?
And soothe the devil that I warn thee from?
O, but remember this another day,
When he shall split thy very heart with sorrow,
And say poor Margaret was a prophetess!
Live each of you the subjects to his hate,
And he to yours, and all of you to God's!
My hair doth stand on end to hear her curses.
And so doth mine: I muse why she's at liberty.
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.
I never did her any, to my knowledge.
But 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.
Marry, as for Clarence, he is well repaid,
He is frank'd up to fatting for his pains
God pardon them that are the cause of it!
A virtuous and a Christian-like conclusion,
To pray for them that have done scathe to us.
So do I ever:
For had I cursed now, I had cursed myself.
Madam, his majesty doth call for you,
And for your grace; and you, my noble lords.
Catesby, we come. Lords, will you go with us?
Madam, we will attend your grace.
Exeunt all but Gloucester
I do the wrong, and first begin to brawl.330
The secret mischiefs that I set abroach
I lay unto the grievous charge of others.
Clarence, whom I, indeed, have laid in darkness,
I do beweep to many simple gulls
Namely, to Hastings, Derby, Buckingham;
And say it is the queen and her allies
That stir the king against the duke my brother.
Now, they believe it; and withal whet me
To be revenged on Rivers, Vaughan, Grey:
But then I sigh; and, with a piece of scripture,340
Tell them that God bids us do good for evil:
And thus I clothe my naked villany
With old odd ends stolen out of holy writ;
And seem a saint, when most I play the devil.
But, soft! here come my executioners.
Enter two Murderers
How now, my hardy, stout resolved mates!
Are you now going to dispatch this deed?
We are, my lord; and come to have the warrant
That we may be admitted where he is.
Well thought upon; I have it here about me.
Gives the warrant
When you have done, repair to Crosby Place.
But, sirs, be sudden in the execution,
Withal obdurate, do not hear him plead;
For Clarence is well-spoken, and perhaps
May move your hearts to pity if you mark him.
Fear not, my lord, we will not stand to prate;
Talkers are no good doers: be assured
We come to use our hands and not our tongues.
Your eyes drop millstones, when fools' eyes drop tears:360
I like you, lads; about your business straight;
Go, go, dispatch.
We will, my noble lord.
Act I. Scene IV. London. The Tower.
Enter Clarence and Brakenbury
Why looks your grace so heavily today?
O, I have pass'd a miserable night,
So full of ugly sights, of ghastly dreams,
That, as I am a Christian faithful man,
I would not spend another such a night,
Though 'twere to buy a world of happy days,
So full of dismal terror was the time!
What was your dream? I long to hear you tell it.
Methoughts that I had broken from the Tower,10
And was embark'd to cross to Burgundy;
And, in my company, my brother Gloucester;
Who from my cabin tempted me to walk
Upon the hatches: thence we looked toward England,
And cited up a thousand fearful times,
During the wars of York and Lancaster
That had befall'n us. As we paced along
Upon the giddy footing of the hatches,
Methought that Gloucester stumbled; and, in falling,
Struck me, that thought to stay him, overboard,20
Into the tumbling billows of the main.
Lord, Lord! methought, what pain it was to drown!
What dreadful noise of waters in mine ears!
What ugly sights of death within mine eyes!
Methought I saw a thousand fearful wrecks;
Ten thousand men that fishes gnaw'd upon;
Wedges of gold, great anchors, heaps of pearl,
Inestimable stones, unvalued jewels,
All scatter'd in the bottom of the sea:
Some lay in dead men's skulls; and, in those holes30
Where eyes did once inhabit, there were crept,
As 'twere in scorn of eyes, reflecting gems,
Which woo'd the slimy bottom of the deep,
And mock'd the dead bones that lay scatter'd by.
Had you such leisure in the time of death
To gaze upon the secrets of the deep?
Methought I had; and often did I strive
To yield the ghost: but still the envious flood
Kept in my soul, and would not let it forth
To seek the empty, vast and wandering air;40
But smother'd it within my panting bulk,
Which almost burst to belch it in the sea.
Awaked you not with this sore agony?
O, no, my dream was lengthen'd after life;
O, then began the tempest to my soul,
Who pass'd, methought, the melancholy flood,
With that grim ferryman which poets write of,
Unto the kingdom of perpetual night.
The first that there did greet my stranger soul,
Was my great father-in-law, renowned Warwick;50
Who cried aloud, 'What scourge for perjury
Can this dark monarchy afford false Clarence?'
And so he vanish'd: then came wandering by
A shadow like an angel, with bright hair
Dabbled in blood; and he squeak'd out aloud,
'Clarence is come; false, fleeting, perjured Clarence,
That stabb'd me in the field by Tewksbury;
Seize on him, Furies, take him to your torments!'
With that, methoughts, a legion of foul fiends
Environ'd me about, and howled in mine ears60
Such hideous cries, that with the very noise
I trembling waked, and for a season after
Could not believe but that I was in hell,
Such terrible impression made the dream.
No marvel, my lord, though it affrighted you;
I promise, I am afraid to hear you tell it.
O Brakenbury, I have done those things,
Which now bear evidence against my soul,
For Edward's sake; and see how he requites me!
O God! if my deep prayers cannot appease thee,70
But thou wilt be avenged on my misdeeds,
Yet execute thy wrath in me alone,
O, spare my guiltless wife and my poor children!
I pray thee, gentle keeper, stay by me;
My soul is heavy, and I fain would sleep.
I will, my lord: God give your grace good rest!
Sorrow breaks seasons and reposing hours,
Makes the night morning, and the noon-tide night.
Princes have but their tides for their glories,
An outward honour for an inward toil;80
And, for unfelt imagination,
They often feel a world of restless cares:
So that, betwixt their tides and low names,
There's nothing differs but the outward fame.
Enter the two Murderers
Ho! who's here?
In God's name what are you, and how came you hither?
I would speak with Clarence, and I came hither on my legs.
Yea, are you so brief?
O sir, it is better to be brief than tedious. Show
him our commission; talk no more.
Brakenbury reads it
I am, in this, commanded to deliver
The noble Duke of Clarence to your hands:
I will not reason what is meant hereby,
Because I will be guiltless of the meaning.
Here are the keys, there sits the duke asleep:
I'll to the king; and signify to him
That thus I have resign'd my charge to you.
Do so, it is a point of wisdom: fare you well.
What, shall we stab him as he sleeps?
No; then he will say 'twas done cowardly, when he wakes.
When he wakes! why, fool, he shall never wake till
Why, then he will say we stabbed him sleeping.
The urging of that word 'judgment' hath bred a kind
of remorse in me.
What, art thou afraid?
Not to kill him, having a warrant for it; but to be
damned for killing him, from which no warrant can defend us.
I thought thou hadst been resolute.
So I am, to let him live.
Back to the Duke of Gloucester, tell him so.
I pray thee, stay a while: I hope my holy humour
will change; 'twas wont to hold me but while one
would tell twenty.
How dost thou feel thyself now?
'Faith, some certain dregs of conscience are yet
Remember our reward, when the deed is done.
'Zounds, he dies: I had forgot the reward.
Where is thy conscience now?
In the Duke of Gloucester's purse.
So when he opens his purse to give us our reward,
thy conscience flies out.
Let it go; there's few or none will entertain it.
How if it come to thee again?
I'll not meddle with it: it is a dangerous thing: it
makes a man a coward: a man cannot steal, but it
accuseth him; he cannot swear, but it cheques him;
he cannot lie with his neighbour's wife, but it
detects him: 'tis a blushing shamefast spirit that130
mutinies in a man's bosom; it fills one full of
obstacles: it made me once restore a purse of gold
that I found; it beggars any man that keeps it: it
is turned out of all towns and cities for a
dangerous thing; and every man that means to live
well endeavours to trust to himself and to live
'Zounds, it is even now at my elbow, persuading me
not to kill the duke.
Take the devil in thy mind, and relieve him not: he140
would insinuate with thee but to make thee sigh.
Tut, I am strong-framed, he cannot prevail with me,
I warrant thee.
Spoke like a tail fellow that respects his
reputation. Come, shall we to this gear?
Take him over the costard with the hilts of thy
sword, and then we will chop him in the malmsey-butt
in the next room.
O excellent devise! make a sop of him.
Hark! he stirs: shall I strike?
No, first let's reason with him.
Where art thou, keeper? give me a cup of wine.
You shall have wine enough, my lord, anon.
In God's name, what art thou?
A man, as you are.
But not, as I am, royal.
Nor you, as we are, loyal.
Thy voice is thunder, but thy looks are humble.
My voice is now the king's, my looks mine own.
How darkly and how deadly dost thou speak!160
Your eyes do menace me: why look you pale?
Who sent you hither? Wherefore do you come?
To, to, to--
To murder me?
You scarcely have the hearts to tell me so,
And therefore cannot have the hearts to do it.
Wherein, my friends, have I offended you?
Offended us you have not, but the king.
I shall be reconciled to him again.
Never, my lord; therefore prepare to die.
Are you call'd forth from out a world of men
To slay the innocent? What is my offence?
Where are the evidence that do accuse me?
What lawful quest have given their verdict up
Unto the frowning judge? or who pronounced
The bitter sentence of poor Clarence' death?
Before I be convict by course of law,
To threaten me with death is most unlawful.
I charge you, as you hope to have redemption180
By Christ's dear blood shed for our grievous sins,
That you depart and lay no hands on me
The deed you undertake is damnable.
What we will do, we do upon command.
And he that hath commanded is the king.
Erroneous vassal! the great King of kings
Hath in the tables of his law commanded
That thou shalt do no murder: and wilt thou, then,
Spurn at his edict and fulfil a man's?
Take heed; for he holds vengeance in his hands,190
To hurl upon their heads that break his law.
And that same vengeance doth he hurl on thee,
For false forswearing and for murder too:
Thou didst receive the holy sacrament,
To fight in quarrel of the house of Lancaster.
And, like a traitor to the name of God,
Didst break that vow; and with thy treacherous blade
Unrip'dst the bowels of thy sovereign's son.
Whom thou wert sworn to cherish and defend.
How canst thou urge God's dreadful law to us,200
When thou hast broke it in so dear degree?
Alas! for whose sake did I that ill deed?
For Edward, for my brother, for his sake: Why, sirs,
He sends ye not to murder me for this
For in this sin he is as deep as I.
If God will be revenged for this deed.
O, know you yet, he doth it publicly,
Take not the quarrel from his powerful arm;
He needs no indirect nor lawless course
To cut off those that have offended him.
Who made thee, then, a bloody minister,
When gallant-springing brave Plantagenet,
That princely novice, was struck dead by thee?
My brother's love, the devil, and my rage.
Thy brother's love, our duty, and thy fault,
Provoke us hither now to slaughter thee.
Oh, if you love my brother, hate not me;
I am his brother, and I love him well.
If you be hired for meed, go back again,
And I will send you to my brother Gloucester,220
Who shall reward you better for my life
Than Edward will for tidings of my death.
You are deceived, your brother Gloucester hates you.
O, no, he loves me, and he holds me dear:
Go you to him from me.
Ay, so we will.
Tell him, when that our princely father York
Bless'd his three sons with his victorious arm,
And charged us from his soul to love each other,
He little thought of this divided friendship:230
Bid Gloucester think of this, and he will weep.
Ay, millstones; as be lesson'd us to weep.
O, do not slander him, for he is kind.
As snow in harvest. Thou deceivest thyself:
'Tis he that sent us hither now to slaughter thee.
It cannot be; for when I parted with him,
He hugg'd me in his arms, and swore, with sobs,
That he would labour my delivery.
Why, so he doth, now he delivers thee240
From this world's thraldom to the joys of heaven.
Make peace with God, for you must die, my lord.
Hast thou that holy feeling in thy soul,
To counsel me to make my peace with God,
And art thou yet to thy own soul so blind,
That thou wilt war with God by murdering me?
Ah, sirs, consider, he that set you on
To do this deed will hate you for the deed.
What shall we do?
Relent, and save your souls.
Relent! 'tis cowardly and womanish.
Not to relent is beastly, savage, devilish.
Which of you, if you were a prince's son,
Being pent from liberty, as I am now,
if two such murderers as yourselves came to you,
Would not entreat for life?
My friend, I spy some pity in thy looks:
O, if thine eye be not a flatterer,
Come thou on my side, and entreat for me,
As you would beg, were you in my distress260
A begging prince what beggar pities not?
Look behind you, my lord.
Take that, and that: if all this will not do,
I'll drown you in the malmsey-butt within.
Exit, with the body
A bloody deed, and desperately dispatch'd!
How fain, like Pilate, would I wash my hands
Of this most grievous guilty murder done!
Enter First Murderer
How now! what mean'st thou, that thou help'st me not?
By heavens, the duke shall know how slack thou art!
I would he knew that I had saved his brother!270
Take thou the fee, and tell him what I say;
For I repent me that the duke is slain.
So do not I: go, coward as thou art.
Now must I hide his body in some hole,
Until the duke take order for his burial:
And when I have my meed, I must away;
For this will out, and here I must not stay.
Act II. Scene I. London. The palace.
Flourish. Enter King Edward IV sick, Queen Elizabeth, Dorset, Rivers, Hastings, Buckingham, Grey, and others
Why, so: now have I done a good day's work:
You peers, continue this united league:
I every day expect an embassage
From my Redeemer to redeem me hence;
And now in peace my soul shall part to heaven,
Since I have set my friends at peace on earth.
Rivers and Hastings, take each other's hand;
Dissemble not your hatred, swear your love.
By heaven, my heart is purged from grudging hate:10
And with my hand I seal my true heart's love.
So thrive I, as I truly swear the like!
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.
So prosper I, as I swear perfect love!
And I, as I love Hastings with my heart!
Madam, yourself are not exempt in this,
Nor your son Dorset, Buckingham, nor you;20
You have been factious one against the other,
Wife, love Lord Hastings, let him kiss your hand;
And what you do, do it unfeignedly.
Here, Hastings; I will never more remember
Our former hatred, so thrive I and mine!
Dorset, embrace him; Hastings, love lord marquess.
This interchange of love, I here protest,
Upon my part shall be unviolable.
And so swear I, my lord
Now, princely Buckingham, seal thou this league30
With thy embracements to my wife's allies,
And make me happy in your unity.
Whenever Buckingham doth turn his hate
On you or yours,
To the Queen
but with all duteous love
Doth cherish you and yours, God punish me
With hate in those where I expect most love!
When I have most need to employ a friend,
And most assured that he is a friend
Deep, hollow, treacherous, and full of guile,40
Be he unto me! this do I beg of God,
When I am cold in zeal to yours.
A pleasing cordial, princely Buckingham,
is this thy vow unto my sickly heart.
There wanteth now our brother Gloucester here,
To make the perfect period of this peace.
And, in good time, here comes the noble duke.
Good morrow to my sovereign king and queen:
And, princely peers, a happy time of day!
Happy, indeed, as we have spent the day.50
Brother, we done deeds of charity;
Made peace enmity, fair love of hate,
Between these swelling wrong-incensed peers.
A blessed labour, my most sovereign liege:
Amongst this princely heap, if any here,
By false intelligence, or wrong surmise,
Hold me a foe;
If I unwittingly, or in my rage,
Have aught committed that is hardly borne
By any in this presence, I desire60
To reconcile me to his friendly peace:
'Tis death to me to be at enmity;
I hate it, and desire all good men's love.
First, madam, I entreat true peace of you,
Which I will purchase with my duteous service;
Of you, my noble cousin Buckingham,
If ever any grudge were lodged between us;
Of you, Lord Rivers, and, Lord Grey, of you;
That without desert have frown'd on me;
Dukes, earls, lords, gentlemen; indeed, of all.70
I do not know that Englishman alive
With whom my soul is any jot at odds
More than the infant that is born toight
I thank my God for my humility.
A holy day shall this be kept hereafter:
I would to God all strifes were well compounded.
My sovereign liege, I do beseech your majesty
To take our brother Clarence to your grace.
Why, madam, have I offer'd love for this
To be so bouted in this royal presence?80
Who knows not that the noble duke is dead?
They all start
You do him injury to scorn his corse.
Who knows not he is dead! who knows he is?
All seeing heaven, what a world is this!
Look I so pale, Lord Dorset, as the rest?
Ay, my good lord; and no one in this presence
But his red colour hath forsook his cheeks.
Is Clarence dead? the order was reversed.
But he, poor soul, by your first order died,
And that a winged Mercury did bear:90
Some tardy cripple bore the countermand,
That came too lag to see him buried.
God grant that some, less noble and less loyal,
Nearer in bloody thoughts, but not in blood,
Deserve not worse than wretched Clarence did,
And yet go current from suspicion!
A boon, my sovereign, for my service done!
I pray thee, peace: my soul is full of sorrow.
I will not rise, unless your highness grant.
Then speak at once what is it thou demand'st.
The forfeit, sovereign, of my servant's life;
Who slew today a righteous gentleman
Lately attendant on the Duke of Norfolk.
Have a tongue to doom my brother's death,
And shall the same give pardon to a slave?
My brother slew no man; his fault was thought,
And yet his punishment was cruel death.
Who sued to me for him? who, in my rage,
Kneel'd at my feet, and bade me be advised
Who spake of brotherhood? who spake of love?110
Who told me how the poor soul did forsake
The mighty Warwick, and did fight for me?
Who told me, in the field by Tewksbury
When Oxford had me down, he rescued me,
And said, 'Dear brother, live, and be a king'?
Who told me, when we both lay in the field
Frozen almost to death, how he did lap me
Even in his own garments, and gave himself,
All thin and naked, to the numb cold night?
All this from my remembrance brutish wrath120
Sinfully pluck'd, and not a man of you
Had so much grace to put it in my mind.
But when your carters or your waiting-vassals
Have done a drunken slaughter, and defaced
The precious image of our dear Redeemer,
You straight are on your knees for pardon, pardon;
And I unjustly too, must grant it you
But for my brother not a man would speak,
Nor I, ungracious, speak unto myself
For him, poor soul. The proudest of you all130
Have been beholding to him in his life;
Yet none of you would once plead for his life.
O God, I fear thy justice will take hold
On me, and you, and mine, and yours for this!
Come, Hastings, help me to my closet.
Oh, poor Clarence!
Exeunt some with King Edward IV and Queen Margaret
This is the fruit of rashness! Mark'd you not
How that the guilty kindred of the queen
Look'd pale when they did hear of Clarence' death?
O, they did urge it still unto the king!140
God will revenge it. But come, let us in,
To comfort Edward with our company.
We wait upon your grace.
Act II. Scene II. The palace.
Enter the Duchess of York, with the two children of Clarence
Tell me, good grandam, is our father dead?
Why do you wring your hands, and beat your breast,
And cry 'O Clarence, my unhappy son!'
Why do you look on us, and shake your head,
And call us wretches, orphans, castaways
If that our noble father be alive?
My pretty cousins, you mistake me much;
I do lament the sickness of the king.10
As loath to lose him, not your father's death;
It were lost sorrow to wail one that's lost.
Then, grandam, you conclude that he is dead.
The king my uncle is to blame for this:
God will revenge it; whom I will importune
With daily prayers all to that effect.
And so will I.
Peace, children, peace! the king doth love you well:
Incapable and shallow innocents,
You cannot guess who caused your father's death.
Grandam, we can; for my good uncle Gloucester
Told me, the king, provoked by the queen,
Devised impeachments to imprison him :
And when my uncle told me so, he wept,
And hugg'd me in his arm, and kindly kiss'd my cheek;
Bade me rely on him as on my father,
And he would love me dearly as his child.
Oh, that deceit should steal such gentle shapes,
And with a virtuous vizard hide foul guile!
He is my son; yea, and therein my shame;30
Yet from my dugs he drew not this deceit.
Think you my uncle did dissemble, grandam?
I cannot think it. Hark! what noise is this?
Enter Queen Elizabeth, with her hair about her ears; Rivers, and Dorset
Oh, who shall hinder me to wail and weep,
To chide my fortune, and torment myself?
I'll join with black despair against my soul,
And to myself become an enemy.
What means this scene of rude impatience?
To make an act of tragic violence:40
Edward, my lord, your son, our king, is dead.
Why grow the branches now the root is wither'd?
Why wither not the leaves the sap being gone?
If you will live, lament; if die, be brief,
That our swift-winged souls may catch the king's;
Or, like obedient subjects, follow him
To his new kingdom of perpetual rest.
Ah, so much interest have I in thy sorrow
As I had title in thy noble husband!
I have bewept a worthy husband's death,50
And lived by looking on his images:
But now two mirrors of his princely semblance
Are crack'd in pieces by malignant death,
And I for comfort have but one false glass,
Which grieves me when I see my shame in him.
Thou art a widow; yet thou art a mother,
And hast the comfort of thy children left thee:
But death hath snatch'd my husband from mine arms,
And pluck'd two crutches from my feeble limbs,
Edward and Clarence. O, what cause have I,60
Thine being but a moiety of my grief,
To overgo thy plaints and drown thy cries!
Good aunt, you wept not for our father's death;
How can we aid you with our kindred tears?
Our fatherless distress was left unmoan'd;
Your widow-dolour likewise be unwept!
Give me no help in lamentation;
I am not barren to bring forth complaints
All springs reduce their currents to mine eyes,
That I, being govern'd by the watery moon,70
May send forth plenteous tears to drown the world!
Oh for my husband, for my dear lord Edward!
Oh for our father, for our dear lord Clarence!
Alas for both, both mine, Edward and Clarence!
What stay had I but Edward? and he's gone.
What stay had we but Clarence? and he's gone.
What stays had I but they? and they are gone.
Was never widow had so dear a loss!
Were never orphans had so dear a loss!
Was never mother had so dear a loss!80
Alas, I am the mother of these moans!
Their woes are parcell'd, mine are general.
She for an Edward weeps, and so do I;
I for a Clarence weep, so doth not she:
These babes for Clarence weep and so do I;
I for an Edward weep, so do not they:
Alas, you three, on me, threefold distress'd,
Pour all your tears! I am your sorrow's nurse,
And I will pamper it with lamentations.
Comfort, dear mother: God is much displeased90
That you take with unthankfulness, his doing:
In common worldly things, 'tis call'd ungrateful,
With dull unwilligness to repay a debt
Which with a bounteous hand was kindly lent;
Much more to be thus opposite with heaven,
For it requires the royal debt it lent you.
Madam, bethink you, like a careful mother,
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,100
And plant your joys in living Edward's throne.
Enter Gloucester, Buckingham, Derby, Hastings, and Ratcliff
Madam, have comfort: all of us have cause
To wail the dimming of our shining star;
But none can cure their harms by wailing them.
Madam, my mother, I do cry you mercy;
I did not see your grace: humbly on my knee
I crave your blessing.
God bless thee; and put meekness in thy mind,
Love, charity, obedience, and true duty!
[Aside] Amen; and make me die a good old man!110
That is the butt-end of a mother's blessing:
I marvel why her grace did leave it out.
You cloudy princes and heart-sorrowing peers,
That bear this mutual heavy load of moan,
Now cheer each other in each other's love
Though we have spent our harvest of this king,
We are to reap the harvest of his son.
The broken rancour of your high-swoln hearts,
But lately splinter'd, knit, and join'd together,
Must gently be preserved, cherish'd, and kept:120
Me seemeth good, that, with some little train,
Forthwith from Ludlow the young prince be fetch'd
Hither to London, to be crown'd our king.
Why with some little train, my Lord of Buckingham?
Marry, my lord, lest, 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,130
As well the fear of harm, as harm apparent,
In my opinion, ought to be prevented.
I hope the king made peace with all of us
And the compact is firm and true in me.
And so in me; and so, I think, in all:
Yet, since it is but green, it should be put
To no apparent likelihood of breach,
Which haply by much company might be urged:
Therefore I say with noble Buckingham,
That it is meet so few should fetch the prince.
And so say I.
Then be it so; and go we to determine
Who they shall be that straight shall post to Ludlow.
Madam, and you, my mother, will you go
To give your censures in this weighty business?
With all our harts.
Exeunt all but Buckingham and Gloucester
My lord, whoever journeys to the Prince,
For God's sake, let not us two be behind;
For, by the way, I'll sort occasion,
As index to the story we late talk'd of,150
To part the queen's proud kindred from the king.
My other self, my counsel's consistory,
My oracle, my prophet! My dear cousin,
I, like a child, will go by thy direction.
Towards Ludlow then, for we'll not stay behind.
Act II. Scene III. London. A street.
Enter two Citizens meeting
Neighbour, well met: whither away so fast?
I promise you, I scarcely know myself:
Hear you the news abroad?
Ay, that the king is dead.
Bad news, by'r lady; seldom comes the better:
I fear, I fear 'twill prove a troublous world.
Enter another Citizen
Neighbours, God speed!
Give you good morrow, sir.
Doth this news hold of good King Edward's death?
Ay, sir, it is too true; God help the while!
Then, masters, look to see a troublous world.
No, no; by God's good grace his son shall reign.
Woe to the land that's govern'd by a child!
In him there is a hope of government,
That in his nonage council under him,
And in his full and ripen'd years himself,
No doubt, shall then and till then govern well.
So stood the state when Henry the Sixth
Was crown'd in Paris but at nine months old.
Stood the state so? No, no, good 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.
Why, so hath this, both by the father and mother.
Better it were they all came by the father,
Or by the father there were none at all;
For emulation now, who shall be nearest,
Will touch us all too near, if God prevent not.
O, full of danger is the Duke of Gloucester!30
And the queen's sons and brothers haught and proud:
And were they to be ruled, and not to rule,
This sickly land might solace as before.
Come, come, we fear the worst; all shall be well.
When clouds appear, wise men put on their cloaks;
When great leaves fall, the winter is at hand;
When the sun sets, who doth not look for night?
Untimely storms make men expect a dearth.
All may be well; but, if God sort it so,
'Tis more than we deserve, or I expect.
Truly, the souls of men are full of dread:
Ye cannot reason almost with a man
That looks not heavily and full of fear.
Before the times of change, still is it so:
By a divine instinct men's minds mistrust
Ensuing dangers; as by proof, we see
The waters swell before a boisterous storm.
But leave it all to God. whither away?
Marry, we were sent for to the justices.
And so was I: I'll bear you company.
Act II. Scene IV. London. The palace.
Enter the Archbishop of York, young York, Queen Elizabeth, and the Duchess of York
Last night, I hear, they lay at Northampton;
At Stony-Stratford will they be toight:
To-morrow, or next day, they will be here.
I long with all my heart to see the prince:
I hope he is much grown since last I saw him.
But I hear, no; they say my son of York
Hath almost overta'en him in his growth.
Ay, mother; but I would not have it so.
Why, my young cousin, it is good to grow.
Grandam, one night, as we did sit at supper,
My uncle Rivers talk'd how I did grow
More than my brother: 'Ay,' quoth my uncle
'Small herbs have grace, great weeds do grow apace:'
And since, methinks, I would not grow so fast,
Because sweet flowers are slow and weeds make haste.
Good faith, good faith, the saying did not hold
In him that did object the same to thee;
He was the wretched'st thing when he was young,20
So long a-growing and so leisurely,
That, if this rule were true, he should be gracious.
Why, madam, so, no doubt, he is.
I hope he is; but yet let mothers doubt.
Now, by my troth, if I had been remember'd,
I could have given my uncle's grace a flout,
To touch his growth nearer than he touch'd mine.
How, my pretty York? I pray thee, let me hear it.
Marry, they say my uncle grew so fast
That he could gnaw a crust at two hours old30
'Twas full two years ere I could get a tooth.
Grandam, this would have been a biting jest.
I pray thee, pretty York, who told thee this?
Grandam, his nurse.
His nurse! why, she was dead ere thou wert born.
If 'twere not she, I cannot tell who told me.
A parlous boy: go to, you are too shrewd.
Good madam, be not angry with the child.
Pitchers have ears.
Enter a Messenger
Here comes a messenger. What news?
Such news, my lord, as grieves me to unfold.
How fares the prince?
Well, madam, and in health.
What is thy news then?
Lord Rivers and Lord Grey are sent to Pomfret,
With them Sir Thomas Vaughan, prisoners.
Who hath committed them?
The mighty dukes
Gloucester and Buckingham.
For what offence?
The sum of all I can, I have disclosed;
Why or for what these nobles were committed
Is all unknown to me, my gracious lady.
Ay me, I see the downfall of our house!
The tiger now hath seized the gentle hind;
Insulting tyranny begins to jet
Upon the innocent and aweless throne:
Welcome, destruction, death, and massacre!
I see, as in a map, the end of all.
Accursed and unquiet wrangling days,60
How many of you have mine eyes beheld!
My husband lost his life to get the crown;
And often up and down my sons were toss'd,
For me to joy and weep their gain and loss:
And being seated, and domestic broils
Clean over-blown, themselves, the conquerors.
Make war upon themselves; blood against blood,
Self against self: O, preposterous
And frantic outrage, end thy damned spleen;
Or let me die, to look on death no more!
Come, come, my boy; we will to sanctuary.
I'll go along with you.
You have no cause.
My gracious lady, go;
And thither bear your treasure and your goods.
For my part, I'll resign unto your grace
The seal I keep: and so betide to me
As well I tender you and all of yours!
Come, I'll conduct you to the sanctuary.
Act III. Scene I. London. A street.
The trumpets sound. Enter the young Prince Edward, Gloucester, Buckingham, Carcinal, Catesby, and others.
Welcome, sweet prince, to London, to your chamber.
Welcome, dear cousin, my thoughts' sovereign
The weary way hath made you melancholy.
No, uncle; but our crosses on the way
Have made it tedious, wearisome, and heavy
I want more uncles here to welcome me.
Sweet prince, the untainted virtue of your years
Hath not yet dived into the world's deceit
Nor more can you distinguish of a man10
Than of his outward show; which, God he knows,
Seldom or never jumpeth with the heart.
Those uncles which you want were dangerous;
Your grace attended to their sugar'd words,
But look'd not on the poison of their hearts :
God keep you from them, and from such false friends!
God keep me from false friends! but they were none.
My lord, the mayor of London comes to greet you.
Enter the Lord Mayor and his followers
God bless your grace with health and happy days!
I thank you, good my lord; and thank you all.20
I thought my mother, and my brother York,
Would long ere this have met us on the way
Fie, what a slug is Hastings, that he comes not
To tell us whether they will come or no!
And, in good time, here comes the sweating lord.
Welcome, my lord: what, will our mother come?
On what occasion, God he knows, not 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,30
But by his mother was perforce withheld.
Fie, what an indirect and peevish course
Is this of hers! Lord cardinal, will your grace
Persuade the queen to send the Duke of York
Unto his princely brother presently?
If she deny, Lord Hastings, go with him,
And from her jealous arms pluck him perforce.
My Lord of Buckingham, if my weak oratory
Can from his mother win the Duke of York,
Anon expect him here; but if she be obdurate40
To mild entreaties, God in heaven forbid
We should infringe the holy privilege
Of blessed sanctuary! not for all this land
Would I be guilty of so deep a sin.
You are too senseless--obstinate, my lord,
Too ceremonious and traditional
Weigh it but with the grossness of this age,
You break not sanctuary in seizing him.
The benefit thereof is always granted
To those whose dealings have deserved the place,50
And those who have the wit to claim the place:
This prince hath neither claim'd it nor deserved it;
And therefore, in mine opinion, cannot have it:
Then, taking him from thence that is not there,
You break no privilege nor charter there.
Oft have I heard of sanctuary men;
But sanctuary children ne'er till now.
My lord, you shall o'er-rule my mind for once.
Come on, Lord Hastings, will you go with me?
I go, my lord.
Good lords, make all the speedy haste you may.
Exeunt Cardinal and Hastings
Say, uncle Gloucester, if our brother come,
Where shall we sojourn till our coronation?
Where it seems best unto your royal self.
If I may counsel you, some day or two
Your highness shall repose you at the Tower:
Then where you please, and shall be thought most fit
For your best health and recreation.
I do not like the Tower, of any place.
Did Julius Caesar build that place, my lord?
He did, my gracious lord, begin that place;
Which, since, succeeding ages have re-edified.
Is it upon record, or else reported
Successively from age to age, he built it?
Upon record, my gracious lord.
But say, my lord, it were not register'd,
Methinks the truth should live from age to age,
As 'twere retail'd to all posterity,
Even to the general all-ending day.
[Aside] So wise so young, they say, do never80
What say you, uncle?
I say, without characters, fame lives long.
Thus, like the formal vice, Iniquity,
I moralize two meanings in one word.
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 fame, though not in life.90
I'll tell you what, my cousin Buckingham,--
What, my gracious lord?
An if I live until I be a man,
I'll win our ancient right in France again,
Or die a soldier, as I lived a king.
[Aside] Short summers lightly have a forward spring.
Enter young York, Hastings, and the Cardinal
Now, in good time, here comes the Duke of York.
Richard of York! how fares our loving brother?
Well, my dread lord; so must I call you now.
Ay, brother, to our grief, as it is yours:100
Too late he died that might have kept that title,
Which by his death hath lost much majesty.
How fares our cousin, noble Lord of York?
I thank you, gentle uncle. O, my lord,
You said that idle weeds are fast in growth
The prince my brother hath outgrown me far.
He hath, my lord.
And therefore is he idle?
O, my fair cousin, I must not say so.
Then is he more beholding to you than I.
He may command me as my sovereign;
But you have power in me as in a kinsman.
I pray you, uncle, give me this dagger.
My dagger, little cousin? with all my heart.
A beggar, brother?
Of my kind uncle, that I know will give;
And being but a toy, which is no grief to give.
A greater gift than that I'll give my cousin.
A greater gift! O, that's the sword to it.
A gentle cousin, were it light enough.
O, then, I see, you will part but with light gifts;
In weightier things you'll say a beggar nay.
It is too heavy for your grace to wear.
I weigh it lightly, were it heavier.
What, would you have my weapon, little lord?
I would, that I might thank you as you call me.
My Lord of York will still be cross in talk:
Uncle, your grace knows how to bear with him.
You mean, to bear me, not to bear with me:
Uncle, my brother mocks both you and me;
Because that I am little, like an ape,
He thinks that you should bear me on your shoulders.
With what a sharp-provided wit he reasons!
To mitigate the scorn he gives his uncle,
He prettily and aptly taunts himself:
So cunning and so young is wonderful.
My lord, will't please you pass along?
Myself and my good cousin Buckingham140
Will to your mother, to entreat of her
To meet you at the Tower and welcome you.
What, will you go unto the Tower, my lord?
My lord protector needs will have it so.
I shall not sleep in quiet at the Tower.
Why, what should you fear?
Marry, my uncle Clarence' angry ghost:
My grandam told me he was murdered there.
I fear no uncles dead.
Nor none that live, I hope.
An if they live, I hope I need not fear.
But come, my lord; and with a heavy heart,
Thinking on them, go I unto the Tower.
A Sennet. Exeunt all but Gloucester, Buckingham and Catesby
Think you, my lord, this little prating York
Was not incensed by his subtle mother
To taunt and scorn you thus opprobriously?
No doubt, no doubt; O, 'tis a parlous boy;
Bold, quick, ingenious, forward, capable
He is all the mother's, from the top to toe.
Well, let them rest. Come hither, Catesby.160
Thou art sworn as deeply to effect what we intend
As closely to conceal what we impart:
Thou know'st our reasons urged upon the way;
What think'st thou? is it not an easy matter
To make William Lord Hastings of our mind,
For the instalment of this noble duke
In the seat royal of this famous isle?
He for his father's sake so loves the prince,
That he will not be won to aught against him.
What think'st thou, then, of Stanley? what will he?
He will do all in all as Hastings doth.
Well, then, no more but this: go, gentle Catesby,
And, as it were far off sound thou Lord Hastings,
How doth he stand affected to our purpose;
And summon him to-morrow to the Tower,
To sit about the coronation.
If thou dost find him tractable to us,
Encourage him, and show him all our reasons:
If he be leaden, icy-cold, unwilling,
Be thou so too; and so break off your talk,180
And give us notice of his inclination:
For we to-morrow hold divided councils,
Wherein thyself shalt highly be employ'd.
Commend me to Lord William: tell him, Catesby,
His ancient knot of dangerous adversaries
To-morrow are let blood at Pomfret-castle;
And bid my friend, for joy of this good news,
Give mistress Shore one gentle kiss the more.
Good Catesby, go, effect this business soundly.
My good lords both, with all the heed I may.
Shall we hear from you, Catesby, ere we sleep?
You shall, my lord.
At Crosby Place, there shall you find us both.
Now, my lord, what shall we do, if we perceive
Lord Hastings will not yield to our complots?
Chop off his head, man; somewhat we will do:
And, look, when I am king, claim thou of me
The earldom of Hereford, and the moveables
Whereof the king my brother stood possess'd.
I'll claim that promise at your grace's hands.
And look to have it yielded with all willingness.
Come, let us sup betimes, that afterwards
We may digest our complots in some form.
Act III. Scene II. Before Lord Hastings' house.
Enter a Messenger
What, ho! my lord!
[Within] Who knocks at the door?
A messenger from the Lord Stanley.
What is't o'clock?
Upon the stroke of four.
Cannot thy master sleep these tedious nights?
So it should seem by that I have to say.
First, he commends him to your noble lordship.
And then he sends you word
He dreamt toight the boar had razed his helm:
Besides, he says there are two councils held;
And that may be determined at the one
which may make you and him to rue at the other.
Therefore he sends to know your lordship's pleasure,
If presently you will take horse with him,
And with all speed post with him toward the north,
To shun the danger that his soul divines.
Go, fellow, go, return unto thy lord;20
Bid him not fear the separated councils
His honour and myself are at the one,
And at the other is my servant Catesby
Where nothing can proceed that toucheth us
Whereof I shall not have intelligence.
Tell him his fears are shallow, wanting instance:
And for his dreams, I wonder he is so fond
To trust the mockery of unquiet slumbers
To fly the boar before the boar pursues,
Were to incense the boar to follow us30
And make pursuit where he did mean no chase.
Go, bid thy master rise and come to me
And we will both together to the Tower,
Where, he shall see, the boar will use us kindly.
My gracious lord, I'll tell him what you say.
Many good morrows to my noble lord!
Good morrow, Catesby; you are early stirring
What news, what news, in this our tottering state?
It is a reeling world, indeed, my lord;
And I believe twill never stand upright40
Tim Richard wear the garland of the realm.
How! wear the garland! dost thou mean the crown?
Ay, my good lord.
I'll have this crown of mine cut from my shoulders
Ere I will see the crown so foul misplaced.
But canst thou guess that he doth aim at it?
Ay, on my life; and hopes to find forward
Upon his party for the gain thereof:
And thereupon he sends you this good news,
That this same very day your enemies,50
The kindred of the queen, must die at Pomfret.
Indeed, I am no mourner for that news,
Because they have been still mine enemies:
But, that I'll give my voice on Richard's side,
To bar my master's heirs in true descent,
God knows I will not do it, to the death.
God keep your lordship in that gracious mind!
But I shall laugh at this a twelve-month hence,
That they who brought me in my master's hate
I live to look upon their tragedy.60
I tell thee, Catesby--
What, my lord?
Ere a fortnight make me elder,
I'll send some packing that yet think not on it.
'Tis a vile thing to die, my gracious lord,
When men are unprepared and look not for it.
O monstrous, monstrous! and so falls it out
With Rivers, Vaughan, Grey: and so 'twill do
With some men else, who think themselves as safe
As thou and I; who, as thou know'st, are dear70
To princely Richard and to Buckingham.
The princes both make high account of you;
For they account his head upon the bridge.
I know they do; and I have well deserved it.
Come on, come on; where is your boar-spear, man?
Fear you the boar, and go so unprovided?
My lord, good morrow; good morrow, Catesby:
You may jest on, but, by the holy rood,
I do not like these several councils, I.
I hold my life as dear as you do yours;
And never in my life, I do protest,
Was it more precious to me than 'tis now:
Think you, but that I know our state secure,
I would be so triumphant as I am?
The lords at Pomfret, when they rode from London,
Were jocund, and supposed their state was sure,
And they indeed had no cause to mistrust;
But yet, you see how soon the day o'ercast.
This sudden stag of rancour I misdoubt:90
Pray God, I say, I prove a needless coward!
What, shall we toward the Tower? the day is spent.
Come, come, have with you. Wot you what, my lord?
Today the lords you talk of are beheaded.
They, for their truth, might better wear their heads
Than some that have accused them wear their hats.
But come, my lord, let us away.
Enter a Pursuivant
Go on before; I'll talk with this good fellow.
Exeunt Stanley and Catesby
How now, sirrah! how goes the world with thee?
The better that your lordship please to ask.
I tell thee, man, 'tis better with me now
Than when I met thee last where now we meet:
Then was I going prisoner to the Tower,
By the suggestion of the queen's allies;
But now, I tell thee--keep it to thyself--
This day those enemies are put to death,
And I in better state than e'er I was.
God hold it, to your honour's good content!
Gramercy, fellow: there, drink that for me.
Throws him his purse
God save your lordship!
Enter a Priest
Well met, my lord; I am glad to see your honour.
I thank thee, good Sir John, with all my heart.
I am in your debt for your last exercise;
Come the next Sabbath, and I will content you.
He whispers in his ear
What, talking with a priest, lord chamberlain?
Your friends at Pomfret, they do need the priest;
Your honour hath no shriving work in hand.
Good faith, and when I met this holy man,
Those men you talk of came into my mind.
What, go you toward the Tower?
I do, my lord; but long I shall not stay
I shall return before your lordship thence.
'Tis like enough, for I stay dinner there.
[Aside] And supper too, although thou know'st it not.
Come, will you go?
I'll wait upon your lordship.
Act III. Scene III. Pomfret Castle.
Enter Ratcliff, with halberds, carrying Rivers, Grey, and Vaughan to death
Come, bring forth the prisoners.
Sir Richard Ratcliff, let me tell thee this:
Today shalt thou behold a subject die
For truth, for duty, and for loyalty.
God keep the prince from all the pack of you!
A knot you are of damned blood-suckers!
You live that shall cry woe for this after.
Dispatch; the limit of your lives is out.
O Pomfret, Pomfret! O thou bloody prison,10
Fatal and ominous to noble peers!
Within the guilty closure of thy walls
Richard the second here was hack'd to death;
And, for more slander to thy dismal seat,
We give thee up our guiltless blood to drink.
Now Margaret's curse is fall'n upon our heads,
For standing by when Richard stabb'd her son.
Then cursed she Hastings, then cursed she Buckingham,
Then cursed she Richard. O, remember, God
To hear her prayers for them, as now for us20
And for my sister and her princely sons,
Be satisfied, dear God, with our true blood,
Which, as thou know'st, unjustly must be spilt.
Make haste; the hour of death is expiate.
Come, Grey, come, Vaughan, let us all embrace:
And take our leave, until we meet in heaven.
Act III. Scene IV. The Tower of London.
Enter Buckingham, Derby, Hastings, the Bishop of Ely, Ratcliff, Lovel, with others, and thake their seats at a table
My lords, at once: the cause why we are met
Is, to determine of the coronation.
In God's name, speak: when is the royal day?
Are all things fitting for that royal time?
It is, and wants but nomination.
To-morrow, then, I judge a happy day.
Who knows the lord protector's mind herein?
Who is most inward with the royal duke?
Your grace, we think, should soonest know his mind.
Who, I, my lord I we know each other's faces,
But for our hearts, he knows no more of mine,
Than I of yours;
Nor I no more of his, than you of mine.
Lord Hastings, you and he are near in love.
I thank his grace, I know he loves me well;
But, for his purpose in the coronation.
I have not sounded him, nor he deliver'd
His gracious pleasure any way therein:
But you, my noble lords, may name the time;20
And in the duke's behalf I'll give my voice,
Which, I presume, he'll take in gentle part.
Now in good time, here comes the duke himself.
My noble lords and cousins all, good morrow.
I have been long a sleeper; but, I hope,
My absence doth neglect no great designs,
Which by my presence might have been concluded.
Had not you come upon your cue, my lord
William Lord Hastings had pronounced your part,--
I mean, your voice,--for crowning of the king.
Than my Lord Hastings no man might be bolder;
His lordship knows me well, and loves me well.
I thank your grace.
My lord of Ely!
When I was last in Holborn,
I saw good strawberries in your garden there
I do beseech you send for some of them.
Marry, and will, my lord, with all my heart.
Cousin of Buckingham, a word with you.
Drawing him aside
Catesby hath sounded Hastings in our business,
And finds the testy gentleman so hot,
As he will lose his head ere give consent
His master's son, as worshipful as he terms it,
Shall lose the royalty of England's throne.
Withdraw you hence, my lord, I'll follow you.
Exit Gloucester, Buckingham following
We have not yet set down this day of triumph.
To-morrow, in mine opinion, is too sudden;
For I myself am not so well provided
As else I would be, were the day prolong'd.
Enter Bishop of Ely
Where is my lord protector? I have sent for these
His grace looks cheerfully and smooth today;
There's some conceit or other likes him well,
When he doth bid good morrow with such a spirit.
I think there's never a man in Christendom
That can less hide his love or hate than he;
For by his face straight shall you know his heart.
What of his heart perceive you in his face
By any likelihood he show'd today?
Marry, that with no man here he is offended;
For, were he, he had shown it in his looks.
I pray God he be not, I say.
Enter Gloucester and Buckingham
I pray you all, tell me what they deserve
That do conspire my death with devilish plots
Of damned witchcraft, and that have prevail'd
Upon my body with their hellish charms?
The tender love I bear your grace, my lord,
Makes me most forward in this noble presence
To doom the offenders, whatsoever they be70
I say, my lord, they have deserved death.
Then be your eyes the witness of this ill:
See how I am bewitch'd; behold mine arm
Is, like a blasted sapling, wither'd up:
And this is Edward's wife, that monstrous witch,
Consorted with that harlot strumpet Shore,
That by their witchcraft thus have marked me.
If they have done this thing, my gracious lord--
If I thou protector of this damned strumpet--
Tellest thou me of 'ifs'? Thou art a traitor:80
Off with his head! Now, by Saint Paul I swear,
I will not dine until I see the same.
Lovel and Ratcliff, look that it be done:
The rest, that love me, rise and follow me.
Exeunt all but Hastings, Ratcliff, and Lovel
Woe, woe for England! not a whit for me;
For I, too fond, might have prevented this.
Stanley did dream the boar did raze his helm;
But I disdain'd it, and did scorn to fly:
Three times today my foot-cloth horse did stumble,
And startled, when he look'd upon the Tower,90
As loath to bear me to the slaughter-house.
O, now I want the priest that spake to me:
I now repent I told the pursuivant
As 'twere triumphing at mine enemies,
How they at Pomfret bloodily were butcher'd,
And I myself secure in grace and favour.
O Margaret, Margaret, now thy heavy curse
Is lighted on poor Hastings' wretched head!
Dispatch, my lord; the duke would be at dinner:
Make a short shrift; he longs to see your head.
O momentary grace of mortal men,
Which we more hunt for than the grace of God!
Who builds his hopes in air of your good looks,
Lives like a drunken sailor on a mast,
Ready, with every nod, to tumble down
Into the fatal bowels of the deep.
Come, come, dispatch; 'tis bootless to exclaim.
O bloody Richard! miserable England!
I prophesy the fearful'st time to thee
That ever wretched age hath look'd upon.110
Come, lead me to the block; bear him my head.
They smile at me that shortly shall be dead.
Act III. Scene V. The Tower-walls.
Enter Gloucester and Buckingham, in rotten armour, marvellous ill-favoured
Come, cousin, canst thou quake, and change thy colour,
Murder thy breath in the middle of a word,
And then begin again, and stop again,
As if thou wert distraught and mad with terror?
Tut, I can counterfeit the deep tragedian;
Speak and look back, and pry on every side,
Tremble and start at wagging of a straw,
Intending deep suspicion: ghastly looks
Are at my service, like enforced smiles;10
And both are ready in their offices,
At any time, to grace my stratagems.
But what, is Catesby gone?
He is; and, see, he brings the mayor along.
Enter the Lord Mayor and Catesby
Look to the drawbridge there!
Hark! a drum.
Catesby, o'erlook the walls.
Lord mayor, the reason we have sent--
Look back, defend thee, here are enemies.
God and our innocency defend and guard us!
Be patient, they are friends, Ratcliff and Lovel.
Enter Lovel and Ratcliff, with Hastings' head
Here is the head of that ignoble traitor,
The dangerous and unsuspected Hastings.
So dear I loved the man, that I must weep.
I took him for the plainest harmless creature
That breathed upon this earth a Christian;
Made him my book wherein my soul recorded
The history of all her secret thoughts:
So smooth he daub'd his vice with show of virtue,30
That, his apparent open guilt omitted,
I mean, his conversation with Shore's wife,
He lived from all attainder of suspect.
Well, well, he was the covert'st shelter'd traitor
That ever lived.
Would you imagine, or almost believe,
Were't not that, by great preservation,
We live to tell it you, the subtle traitor
This day had plotted, in the council-house
To murder me and my good Lord of Gloucester?
What, had he so?
What, think You we are Turks or infidels?
Or that we would, against the form of law,
Proceed thus rashly to the villain's death,
But that the extreme peril of the case,
The peace of England and our persons' safety,
Enforced us to this execution?
Now, fair befall you! he deserved his death;
And you my good lords, both have well proceeded,
To warn false traitors from the like attempts.50
I never look'd for better at his hands,
After he once fell in with Mistress Shore.
Yet had not we determined he should die,
Until your lordship came to see his death;
Which now the loving haste of these our friends,
Somewhat against our meaning, have prevented:
Because, my lord, we would have had you heard
The traitor speak, and timorously confess
The manner and the purpose of his treason;
That you might well have signified the same60
Unto the citizens, who haply may
Misconstrue us in him and wail his death.
But, my good lord, your grace's word shall serve,
As well as I had seen and heard him speak
And doubt you not, right noble princes both,
But I'll acquaint our duteous citizens
With all your just proceedings in this cause.
And to that end we wish'd your lord-ship here,
To avoid the carping censures of the world.
But since you come too late of our intents,70
Yet witness what you hear we did intend:
And so, my good lord mayor, we bid farewell.
Exit Lord Mayor
Go, after, after, cousin Buckingham.
The mayor towards Guildhall hies him in all post:
There, at your meet'st advantage of the time,
Infer the bastardy of Edward's children:
Tell them how Edward put to death a citizen,
Only for saying he would make his son
Heir to the crown; meaning indeed his house,
Which, by the sign thereof was termed so.80
Moreover, urge his hateful luxury
And bestial appetite in change of lust;
Which stretched to their servants, daughters, wives,
Even where his lustful eye or savage heart,
Without control, listed to make his prey.
Nay, for a need, thus far come near my person:
Tell them, when that my mother went with child
Of that unsatiate Edward, noble York
My princely father then had wars in France
And, by just computation of the time,90
Found that the issue was not his begot;
Which well appeared in his lineaments,
Being nothing like the noble duke my father:
But touch this sparingly, as 'twere far off,
Because you know, my lord, my mother lives.
Fear not, my lord, I'll play the orator
As if the golden fee for which I plead
Were for myself: and so, my lord, adieu.
If you thrive well, bring them to Baynard's Castle;
Where you shall find me well accompanied100
With reverend fathers and well-learned bishops.
I go: and towards three or four o'clock
Look for the news that the Guildhall affords.
Go, Lovel, with all speed to Doctor Shaw;
Go thou to Friar Penker; bid them both
Meet me within this hour at Baynard's Castle.
Exeunt all but Gloucester
Now will I in, to take some privy order,
To draw the brats of Clarence out of sight;
And to give notice, that no manner of person
At any time have recourse unto the princes.
Act III. Scene VI. The same.
Enter a Scrivener, with a paper in his hand
This is the indictment of the good Lord Hastings;
Which in a set hand fairly is engross'd,
That it may be this day read over in Paul's.
And mark how well the sequel hangs together:
Eleven hours I spent to write it over,
For yesternight by Catesby was it brought me;
The precedent was full as long a-doing:
And yet within these five hours lived Lord Hastings,
Untainted, unexamined, free, at liberty10
Here's a good world the while! Why who's so gross,
That seeth not this palpable device?
Yet who's so blind, but says he sees it not?
Bad is the world; and all will come to nought,
When such bad dealings must be seen in thought.
Act III. Scene VII. Baynard's Castle.
Enter Gloucester and Buckingham, at several doors
How now, my lord, what say the citizens?
Now, by the holy mother of our Lord,
The citizens are mum and speak not a word.
Touch'd you the bastardy of Edward's children?
I did; with his contract with Lady Lucy,
And his contract by deputy in France;
The insatiate greediness of his desires,
And his enforcement of the city wives;
His tyranny for trifles; his own bastardy,10
As being got, your father then in France,
His resemblance, being not like the duke;
Withal I did infer your lineaments,
Being the right idea of your father,
Both in your form and nobleness of mind;
Laid open all your victories in Scotland,
Your dicipline in war, wisdom in peace,
Your bounty, virtue, fair humility:
Indeed, left nothing fitting for the purpose
Untouch'd, or slightly handled, in discourse20
And when mine oratory grew to an end
I bid them that did love their country's good
Cry 'God save Richard, England's royal king!'
Ah! and did they so?
No, so God help me, they spake not a word;
But, like dumb statues or breathing stones,
Gazed each on other, and look'd deadly pale.
Which when I saw, I reprehended them;
And ask'd the mayor what meant this wilful silence:
His answer was, the people were not wont30
To be spoke to but by the recorder.
Then he was urged to tell my tale again,
'Thus saith the duke, thus hath the duke inferr'd;'
But nothing spake in warrant from himself.
When he had done, some followers of mine own,
At the lower end of the hall, hurl'd up their caps,
And some ten voices cried 'God save King Richard!'
And thus I took the vantage of those few,
'Thanks, gentle citizens and friends,' quoth I;
'This general applause and loving shout40
Argues your wisdoms and your love to Richard:'
And even here brake off, and came away.
What tongueless blocks were they! would not they speak?
No, by my troth, my lord.
Will not the mayor then and his brethren come?
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 betwixt two churchmen, good my lord;
For on that ground I'll build a holy descant:50
And be not easily won to our request:
Play the maid's part, still answer nay, and take it.
I go; and if you plead as well for them
As I can say nay to thee for myself,
No doubt well bring it to a happy issue.
Go, go, up to the leads; the lord mayor knocks.
Enter the Lord Mayor and Citizens
Welcome my lord; I dance attendance here;
I think the duke will not be spoke withal.
Here comes his servant: how now, Catesby,
What says he?
My lord: he doth entreat your grace;
To visit him to-morrow or next day:
He is within, with two right reverend fathers,
Divinely bent to meditation;
And no worldly suit would he be moved,
To draw him from his holy exercise.
Return, good Catesby, to thy lord again;
Tell him, myself, the mayor and citizens,
In deep designs and matters of great moment,
No less importing than our general good,70
Are come to have some conference with his grace.
I'll tell him what you say, my lord.
Ah, ha, my lord, this prince is not an Edward!
He is not lolling on a lewd day-bed,
But on his knees at meditation;
Not dallying with a brace of courtezans,
But meditating with two deep divines;
Not sleeping, to engross his idle body,
But praying, to enrich his watchful soul:
Happy were England, would this gracious prince80
Take on himself the sovereignty thereof:
But, sure, I fear, we shall ne'er win him to it.
Marry, God forbid his grace should say us nay!
I fear he will.
How now, Catesby, what says your lord?
He wonders to what end you have assembled
Such troops of citizens to speak with him,
His grace not being warn'd thereof before:
My lord, he fears you mean no good to him.
Sorry I am my noble cousin should
Suspect me, that I mean no good to him:
By heaven, I come in perfect love to him;
And so once more return and tell his grace.
When holy and devout religious men
Are at their beads, 'tis hard to draw them thence,
So sweet is zealous contemplation.
Enter Gloucester aloft, between two Bishops. Catesby returns
See, where he stands between two clergymen!
Two props of virtue for a Christian prince,
To stay him from the fall of vanity:100
And, see, a book of prayer in his hand,
True ornaments to know a holy man.
Famous Plantagenet, most gracious prince,
Lend favourable ears to our request;
And pardon us the interruption
Of thy devotion and right Christian zeal.
My lord, there needs no such apology:
I rather do beseech you pardon me,
Who, earnest in the service of my God,
Neglect the visitation of my friends.110
But, leaving this, what is your grace's pleasure?
Even that, I hope, which pleaseth God above,
And all good men of this ungovern'd isle.
I do suspect I have done some offence
That seems disgracious in the city's eyes,
And that you come to reprehend my ignorance.
You have, my lord: would it might please your grace,
At our entreaties, to amend that fault!
Else wherefore breathe I in a Christian land?
Then know, it is your fault that you resign120
The supreme seat, the throne majestical,
The scepter'd office of your ancestors,
Your state of fortune and your due of birth,
The lineal glory of your royal house,
To the corruption of a blemished stock:
Whilst, in the mildness of your sleepy thoughts,
Which here we waken to our country's good,
This noble isle doth want her proper limbs;
Her face defaced with scars of infamy,
Her royal stock graft with ignoble plants,130
And almost shoulder'd in the swallowing gulf
Of blind forgetfulness and dark oblivion.
Which to recure, we heartily solicit
Your gracious self to take on you the charge
And kingly government of this your land,
Not as protector, steward, substitute,
Or lowly factor for another's gain;
But as successively from blood to blood,
Your right of birth, your empery, your own.
For this, consorted with the citizens,140
Your very worshipful and loving friends,
And by their vehement instigation,
In this just suit come I to move your grace.
I know not whether to depart in silence,
Or bitterly to speak in your reproof.
Best fitteth my degree or your condition
If not to answer, you might haply think
Tongue-tied ambition, not replying, yielded
To bear the golden yoke of sovereignty,
Which fondly you would here impose on me;150
If to reprove you for this suit of yours,
So season'd with your faithful love to me.
Then, on the other side, I cheque'd my friends.
Therefore, to speak, and to avoid the first,
And then, in speaking, not to incur the last,
Definitively thus I answer you.
Your love deserves my thanks; but my desert
Unmeritable shuns your high request.
First if all obstacles were cut away,
And that my path were even to the crown,160
As my ripe revenue and due by birth
Yet so much is my poverty of spirit,
So mighty and so many my defects,
As I had rather hide me from my greatness,
Being a bark to brook no mighty sea,
Than in my greatness covet to be hid,
And in the vapour of my glory smother'd.
But, God be thank'd, there's no need of me,
And much I need to help you, if need were;
The royal tree hath left us royal fruit,170
Which, mellow'd by the stealing hours of time,
Will well become the seat of majesty,
And make, no doubt, us happy by his reign.
On him I lay what you would lay on me,
The right and fortune of his happy stars;
Which God defend that I should wring from him!
My lord, this argues conscience in your grace;
But the respects thereof are nice and trivial,
All circumstances well considered.
You say that Edward is your brother's son:180
So say we too, but not by Edward's wife;
For first he was contract to Lady Lucy--
Your mother lives a witness to that vow--
And afterward by substitute betroth'd
To Bona, sister to the King of France.
These both put by a poor petitioner,
A care-crazed mother of a many children,
A beauty-waning and distressed widow,
Even in the afternoon of her best days,
Made prize and purchase of his lustful eye,190
Seduced the pitch and height of all his thoughts
To base declension and loathed bigamy
By her, in his unlawful bed, he got
This Edward, whom our manners term the prince.
More bitterly could I expostulate,
Save that, for reverence to some alive,
I give a sparing limit to my tongue.
Then, good my lord, take to your royal self
This proffer'd benefit of dignity;
If non to bless us and the land withal,200
Yet to draw forth your noble ancestry
From the corruption of abusing times,
Unto a lineal true-derived course.
Do, good my lord, your citizens entreat you.
Refuse not, mighty lord, this proffer'd love.
O, make them joyful, grant their lawful suit!
Alas, why would you heap these cares on me?
I am unfit for state and majesty;
I do beseech you, take it not amiss;
I cannot nor I will not yield to you.
If you refuse it,--as, in love and zeal,
Loath to depose the child, Your brother's son;
As well we know your tenderness of heart
And gentle, kind, effeminate remorse,
Which we have noted in you to your kin,
And egally indeed to all estates,--
Yet whether you accept our suit or no,
Your brother's son shall never reign our king;
But we will plant some other in the throne,
To the disgrace and downfall of your house:220
And in this resolution here we leave you.--
Come, citizens: 'zounds! I'll entreat no more.
O, do not swear, my lord of Buckingham.
Exit Buckingham with the Citizens
Call them again, my lord, and accept their suit.
Do, good my lord, lest all the land do rue it.
Would you enforce me to a world of care?
Well, call them again. I am not made of stone,
But penetrable to your. kind entreats,
Albeit against my conscience and my soul.
Enter Buckingham and the rest
Cousin of Buckingham, and you sage, grave men,230
Since you will buckle fortune on my back,
To bear her burthen, whether I will or no,
I must have patience to endure the load:
But if black scandal or foul-faced reproach
Attend the sequel of your imposition,
Your mere enforcement shall acquittance me
From all the impure blots and stains thereof;
For God he knows, and you may partly see,
How far I am from the desire thereof.
God bless your grace! we see it, and will say it.
In saying so, you shall but say the truth.
Then I salute you with this kingly title:
Long live Richard, England's royal king!
To-morrow will it please you to be crown'd?
Even when you please, since you will have it so.
To-morrow, then, we will attend your grace:
And so most joyfully we take our leave.
Come, let us to our holy task again.
Farewell, good cousin; farewell, gentle friends.
Act IV. Scene I. Before the Tower.
Enter, on one side, Queen Elizabeth, Duchess of York, and Dorset; on the other, Anne, Duchess of Gloucester, leading Lady Margaret
Who m eets us here? my niece Plantagenet
Led in the hand of her kind aunt of Gloucester?
Now, for my life, she's wandering to the Tower,
On pure heart's love to greet the tender princes.
Daughter, well met.
God give your graces both
A happy and a joyful time of day!
As much to you, good sister! Whither away?
No farther than the Tower; and, as I guess,10
Upon the like devotion as yourselves,
To gratulate the gentle princes there.
Kind sister, thanks: we'll enter all together.
And, in good time, here the lieutenant comes.
Master lieutenant, pray you, by your leave,
How doth the prince, and my young son of York?
Right well, dear madam. By your patience,
I may not suffer you to visit them;
The king hath straitly charged the contrary.
The king! why, who's that?
I cry you mercy: I mean the lord protector.
The Lord protect him from that kingly title!
Hath he set bounds betwixt their love and me?
I am their mother; who should keep me from them?
I am their fathers mother; I will see them.
Their aunt I am in law, in love their mother:
Then bring me to their sights; I'll bear thy blame
And take thy office from thee, on my peril.
No, madam, no; I may not leave it so:
I am bound by oath, and therefore pardon me.
Enter Lord Stanley
Let me but meet you, ladies, one hour hence,
And I'll salute your grace of York as mother,
And reverend looker on, of two fair queens.
To Lady Anne
Come, madam, you must straight to Westminster,
There to be crowned Richard's royal queen.
O, cut my lace in sunder, that my pent heart
May have some scope to beat, or else I swoon
With this dead-killing news!
Despiteful tidings! O unpleasing news!
Be of good cheer: mother, how fares your grace?