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The Complete Works of William Shakespeare

Part 48 out of 63

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Lo, ere I can repeat this curse again,
Within so small a time, my woman's heart
Grossly grew captive to his honey words
And prov'd the subject of mine own soul's curse,
Which hitherto hath held my eyes from rest;
For never yet one hour in his bed
Did I enjoy the golden dew of sleep,
But with his timorous dreams was still awak'd.
Besides, he hates me for my father Warwick;
And will, no doubt, shortly be rid of me.
QUEEN ELIZABETH. Poor heart, adieu! I pity thy complaining.
ANNE. No more than with my soul I mourn for yours.
DORSET. Farewell, thou woeful welcomer of glory!
ANNE. Adieu, poor soul, that tak'st thy leave of it!
DUCHESS. [To DORSET] Go thou to Richmond, and good
fortune guide thee!
[To ANNE] Go thou to Richard, and good angels tend
thee! [To QUEEN ELIZABETH] Go thou to sanctuary, and good
thoughts possess thee!
I to my grave, where peace and rest lie with me!
Eighty odd years of sorrow have I seen,
And each hour's joy wreck'd with a week of teen.
QUEEN ELIZABETH. Stay, yet look back with me unto the
Pity, you ancient stones, those tender babes
Whom envy hath immur'd within your walls,
Rough cradle for such little pretty ones.
Rude ragged nurse, old sullen playfellow
For tender princes, use my babies well.
So foolish sorrows bids your stones farewell. Exeunt


London. The palace

Sound a sennet. Enter RICHARD, in pomp, as KING; BUCKINGHAM, CATESBY,
RATCLIFF, LOVEL, a PAGE, and others

KING RICHARD. Stand all apart. Cousin of Buckingham!
BUCKINGHAM. My gracious sovereign?
KING RICHARD. Give me thy hand.
[Here he ascendeth the throne. Sound]
Thus high, by thy advice
And thy assistance, is King Richard seated.
But shall we wear these glories for a day;
Or shall they last, and we rejoice in them?
BUCKINGHAM. Still live they, and for ever let them last!
KING RICHARD. Ah, Buckingham, now do I play the touch,
To try if thou be current gold indeed.
Young Edward lives-think now what I would speak.
BUCKINGHAM. Say on, my loving lord.
KING RICHARD. Why, Buckingham, I say I would be King.
BUCKINGHAM. Why, so you are, my thrice-renowned lord.
KING RICHARD. Ha! am I King? 'Tis so; but Edward lives.
BUCKINGHAM. True, noble Prince.
KING RICHARD. O bitter consequence:
That Edward still should live-true noble Prince!
Cousin, thou wast not wont to be so dull.
Shall I be plain? I wish the bastards dead.
And I would have it suddenly perform'd.
What say'st thou now? Speak suddenly, be brief.
BUCKINGHAM. Your Grace may do your pleasure.
KING RICHARD. Tut, tut, thou art all ice; thy kindness freezes.
Say, have I thy consent that they shall die?
BUCKINGHAM. Give me some little breath, some pause,
dear Lord,
Before I positively speak in this.
I will resolve you herein presently. Exit
CATESBY. [Aside to another] The King is angry; see, he
gnaws his lip.
KING RICHARD. I will converse with iron-witted fools
[Descends from the throne]
And unrespective boys; none are for me
That look into me with considerate eyes.
High-reaching Buckingham grows circumspect.
PAGE. My lord?
KING RICHARD. Know'st thou not any whom corrupting
Will tempt unto a close exploit of death?
PAGE. I know a discontented gentleman
Whose humble means match not his haughty spirit.
Gold were as good as twenty orators,
And will, no doubt, tempt him to anything.
KING RICHARD. What is his name?
PAGE. His name, my lord, is Tyrrel.
KING RICHARD. I partly know the man. Go, call him hither,
boy. Exit PAGE
The deep-revolving witty Buckingham
No more shall be the neighbour to my counsels.
Hath he so long held out with me, untir'd,
And stops he now for breath? Well, be it so.


How now, Lord Stanley! What's the news?
STANLEY. Know, my loving lord,
The Marquis Dorset, as I hear, is fled
To Richmond, in the parts where he abides. [Stands apart]
KING RICHARD. Come hither, Catesby. Rumour it abroad
That Anne, my wife, is very grievous sick;
I will take order for her keeping close.
Inquire me out some mean poor gentleman,
Whom I will marry straight to Clarence' daughter-
The boy is foolish, and I fear not him.
Look how thou dream'st! I say again, give out
That Anne, my queen, is sick and like to die.
About it; for it stands me much upon
To stop all hopes whose growth may damage me.
I must be married to my brother's daughter,
Or else my kingdom stands on brittle glass.
Murder her brothers, and then marry her!
Uncertain way of gain! But I am in
So far in blood that sin will pluck on sin.
Tear-falling pity dwells not in this eye.

Re-enter PAGE, with TYRREL

Is thy name Tyrrel?
TYRREL. James Tyrrel, and your most obedient subject.
KING RICHARD. Art thou, indeed?
TYRREL. Prove me, my gracious lord.
KING RICHARD. Dar'st'thou resolve to kill a friend of mine?
TYRREL. Please you;
But I had rather kill two enemies.
KING RICHARD. Why, then thou hast it. Two deep enemies,
Foes to my rest, and my sweet sleep's disturbers,
Are they that I would have thee deal upon.
TYRREL, I mean those bastards in the Tower.
TYRREL. Let me have open means to come to them,
And soon I'll rid you from the fear of them.
KING RICHARD. Thou sing'st sweet music. Hark, come
hither, Tyrrel.
Go, by this token. Rise, and lend thine ear. [Whispers]
There is no more but so: say it is done,
And I will love thee and prefer thee for it.
TYRREL. I will dispatch it straight. Exit


BUCKINGHAM. My lord, I have consider'd in my mind
The late request that you did sound me in.
KING RICHARD. Well, let that rest. Dorset is fled to
BUCKINGHAM. I hear the news, my lord.
KING RICHARD. Stanley, he is your wife's son: well, look
unto it.
BUCKINGHAM. My lord, I claim the gift, my due by promise,
For which your honour and your faith is pawn'd:
Th' earldom of Hereford and the movables
Which you have promised I shall possess.
KING RICHARD. Stanley, look to your wife; if she convey
Letters to Richmond, you shall answer it.
BUCKINGHAM. What says your Highness to my just request?
KING RICHARD. I do remember me: Henry the Sixth
Did prophesy that Richmond should be King,
When Richmond was a little peevish boy.
A king!-perhaps-
KING RICHARD. How chance the prophet could not at that
Have told me, I being by, that I should kill him?
BUCKINGHAM. My lord, your promise for the earldom-
KING RICHARD. Richmond! When last I was at Exeter,
The mayor in courtesy show'd me the castle
And call'd it Rugemount, at which name I started,
Because a bard of Ireland told me once
I should not live long after I saw Richmond.
KING RICHARD. Ay, what's o'clock?
BUCKINGHAM. I am thus bold to put your Grace in mind
Of what you promis'd me.
KING RICHARD. Well, but o'clock?
BUCKINGHAM. Upon the stroke of ten.
KING RICHARD. Well, let it strike.
BUCKINGHAM. Why let it strike?
KING RICHARD. Because that like a Jack thou keep'st the
Betwixt thy begging and my meditation.
I am not in the giving vein to-day.
BUCKINGHAM. May it please you to resolve me in my suit.
KING RICHARD. Thou troublest me; I am not in the vein.
Exeunt all but Buckingham
BUCKINGHAM. And is it thus? Repays he my deep service
With such contempt? Made I him King for this?
O, let me think on Hastings, and be gone
To Brecknock while my fearful head is on! Exit


London. The palace


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


And here he comes. All health, my sovereign lord!
KING RICHARD. Kind Tyrrel, am I happy in thy news?
TYRREL. If to have done the thing you gave in charge
Beget your happiness, be happy then,
For it is done.
KING RICHARD. But didst thou see them dead?
TYRREL. I did, my lord.
KING RICHARD. And buried, gentle Tyrrel?
TYRREL. The chaplain of the Tower hath buried them;
But where, to say the truth, I do not know.
KING RICHARD. Come to me, Tyrrel, soon at after supper,
When thou shalt tell the process of their death.
Meantime, but think how I may do thee good
And be inheritor of thy desire.
Farewell till then.
TYRREL. I humbly take my leave. Exit
KING RICHARD. The son of Clarence have I pent up close;
His daughter meanly have I match'd in marriage;
The sons of Edward sleep in Abraham's bosom,
And Anne my wife hath bid this world good night.
Now, for I know the Britaine Richmond aims
At young Elizabeth, my brother's daughter,
And by that knot looks proudly on the crown,
To her go I, a jolly thriving wooer.


RATCLIFF. My lord!
KING RICHARD. Good or bad news, that thou com'st in so
RATCLIFF. Bad news, my lord: Morton is fled to Richmond;
And Buckingham, back'd with the hardy Welshmen,
Is in the field, and still his power increaseth.
KING RICHARD. Ely with Richmond troubles me more near
Than Buckingham and his rash-levied strength.
Come, I have learn'd that fearful commenting
Is leaden servitor to dull delay;
Delay leads impotent and snail-pac'd beggary.
Then fiery expedition be my wing,
Jove's Mercury, and herald for a king!
Go, muster men. My counsel is my shield.
We must be brief when traitors brave the field. Exeunt


London. Before the palace


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


QUEEN ELIZABETH. Ah, my poor princes! ah, my tender
My unblown flowers, new-appearing sweets!
If yet your gentle souls fly in the air
And be not fix'd in doom perpetual,
Hover about me with your airy wings
And hear your mother's lamentation.
QUEEN MARGARET. Hover about her; say that right for right
Hath dimm'd your infant morn to aged night.
DUCHESS. So many miseries have craz'd my voice
That my woe-wearied tongue is still and mute.
Edward Plantagenet, why art thou dead?
QUEEN MARGARET. Plantagenet doth quit Plantagenet,
Edward for Edward pays a dying debt.
QUEEN ELIZABETH. Wilt thou, O God, fly from such gentle
And throw them in the entrails of the wolf?
When didst thou sleep when such a deed was done?
QUEEN MARGARET. When holy Harry died, and my sweet
DUCHESS. Dead life, blind sight, poor mortal living ghost,
Woe's scene, world's shame, grave's due by life usurp'd,
Brief abstract and record of tedious days,
Rest thy unrest on England's lawful earth, [Sitting down]
Unlawfully made drunk with innocent blood.
QUEEN ELIZABETH. Ah, that thou wouldst as soon afford a
As thou canst yield a melancholy seat!
Then would I hide my bones, not rest them here.
Ah, who hath any cause to mourn but we?
[Sitting down by her]
QUEEN MARGARET. [Coming forward] If ancient sorrow be
most reverend,
Give mine the benefit of seniory,
And let my griefs frown on the upper hand.
If sorrow can admit society, [Sitting down with them]
Tell o'er your woes again by viewing mine.
I had an Edward, till a Richard kill'd him;
I had a husband, till a Richard kill'd him:
Thou hadst an Edward, till a Richard kill'd him;
Thou hadst a Richard, till a Richard kill'd him.
DUCHESS. I had a Richard too, and thou didst kill him;
I had a Rutland too, thou holp'st to kill him.
QUEEN MARGARET. Thou hadst a Clarence too, and Richard
kill'd him.
From forth the kennel of thy womb hath crept
A hell-hound that doth hunt us all to death.
That dog, that had his teeth before his eyes
To worry lambs and lap their gentle blood,
That foul defacer of God's handiwork,
That excellent grand tyrant of the earth
That reigns in galled eyes of weeping souls,
Thy womb let loose to chase us to our graves.
O upright, just, and true-disposing God,
How do I thank thee that this carnal cur
Preys on the issue of his mother's body
And makes her pew-fellow with others' moan!
DUCHESS. O Harry's wife, triumph not in my woes!
God witness with me, I have wept for thine.
QUEEN MARGARET. Bear with me; I am hungry for revenge,
And now I cloy me with beholding it.
Thy Edward he is dead, that kill'd my Edward;
The other Edward dead, to quit my Edward;
Young York he is but boot, because both they
Match'd not the high perfection of my loss.
Thy Clarence he is dead that stabb'd my Edward;
And the beholders of this frantic play,
Th' adulterate Hastings, Rivers, Vaughan, Grey,
Untimely smother'd in their dusky graves.
Richard yet lives, hell's black intelligencer;
Only reserv'd their factor to buy souls
And send them thither. But at hand, at hand,
Ensues his piteous and unpitied end.
Earth gapes, hell burns, fiends roar, saints pray,
To have him suddenly convey'd from hence.
Cancel his bond of life, dear God, I pray,
That I may live and say 'The dog is dead.'
QUEEN ELIZABETH. O, thou didst prophesy the time would
That I should wish for thee to help me curse
That bottled spider, that foul bunch-back'd toad!
QUEEN MARGARET. I Call'd thee then vain flourish of my
I call'd thee then poor shadow, painted queen,
The presentation of but what I was,
The flattering index of a direful pageant,
One heav'd a-high to be hurl'd down below,
A mother only mock'd with two fair babes,
A dream of what thou wast, a garish flag
To be the aim of every dangerous shot,
A sign of dignity, a breath, a bubble,
A queen in jest, only to fill the scene.
Where is thy husband now? Where be thy brothers?
Where be thy two sons? Wherein dost thou joy?
Who sues, and kneels, and says 'God save the Queen'?
Where be the bending peers that flattered thee?
Where be the thronging troops that followed thee?
Decline an this, and see what now thou art:
For happy wife, a most distressed widow;
For joyful mother, one that wails the name;
For one being su'd to, one that humbly sues;
For Queen, a very caitiff crown'd with care;
For she that scorn'd at me, now scorn'd of me;
For she being fear'd of all, now fearing one;
For she commanding all, obey'd of none.
Thus hath the course of justice whirl'd about
And left thee but a very prey to time,
Having no more but thought of what thou wast
To torture thee the more, being what thou art.
Thou didst usurp my place, and dost thou not
Usurp the just proportion of my sorrow?
Now thy proud neck bears half my burden'd yoke,
From which even here I slip my weary head
And leave the burden of it all on thee.
Farewell, York's wife, and queen of sad mischance;
These English woes shall make me smile in France.
QUEEN ELIZABETH. O thou well skill'd in curses, stay awhile
And teach me how to curse mine enemies!
QUEEN MARGARET. Forbear to sleep the nights, and fast the
Compare dead happiness with living woe;
Think that thy babes were sweeter than they were,
And he that slew them fouler than he is.
Bett'ring thy loss makes the bad-causer worse;
Revolving this will teach thee how to curse.
QUEEN ELIZABETH. My words are dull; O, quicken them
with thine!
QUEEN MARGARET. Thy woes will make them sharp and
pierce like mine. Exit
DUCHESS. Why should calamity be fun of words?
QUEEN ELIZABETH. Windy attorneys to their client woes,
Airy succeeders of intestate joys,
Poor breathing orators of miseries,
Let them have scope; though what they will impart
Help nothing else, yet do they case the heart.
DUCHESS. If so, then be not tongue-tied. Go with me,
And in the breath of bitter words let's smother
My damned son that thy two sweet sons smother'd.
The trumpet sounds; be copious in exclaims.

Enter KING RICHARD and his train, marching with
drums and trumpets

KING RICHARD. Who intercepts me in my expedition?
DUCHESS. O, she that might have intercepted thee,
By strangling thee in her accursed womb,
From all the slaughters, wretch, that thou hast done!
QUEEN ELIZABETH. Hidest thou that forehead with a golden
Where't should be branded, if that right were right,
The slaughter of the Prince that ow'd that crown,
And the dire death of my poor sons and brothers?
Tell me, thou villain slave, where are my children?
DUCHESS. Thou toad, thou toad, where is thy brother
And little Ned Plantagenet, his son?
QUEEN ELIZABETH. Where is the gentle Rivers, Vaughan,
DUCHESS. Where is kind Hastings?
KING RICHARD. A flourish, trumpets! Strike alarum, drums!
Let not the heavens hear these tell-tale women
Rail on the Lord's anointed. Strike, I say!
[Flourish. Alarums]
Either be patient and entreat me fair,
Or with the clamorous report of war
Thus will I drown your exclamations.
DUCHESS. Art thou my son?
KING RICHARD. Ay, I thank God, my father, and yourself.
DUCHESS. Then patiently hear my impatience.
KING RICHARD. Madam, I have a touch of your condition
That cannot brook the accent of reproof.
DUCHESS. O, let me speak!
KING RICHARD. Do, then; but I'll not hear.
DUCHESS. I will be mild and gentle in my words.
KING RICHARD. And brief, good mother; for I am in haste.
DUCHESS. Art thou so hasty? I have stay'd for thee,
God knows, in torment and in agony.
KING RICHARD. And came I not at last to comfort you?
DUCHESS. No, by the holy rood, thou know'st it well
Thou cam'st on earth to make the earth my hell.
A grievous burden was thy birth to me;
Tetchy and wayward was thy infancy;
Thy school-days frightful, desp'rate, wild, and furious;
Thy prime of manhood daring, bold, and venturous;
Thy age confirm'd, proud, subtle, sly, and bloody,
More mild, but yet more harmful-kind in hatred.
What comfortable hour canst thou name
That ever grac'd me with thy company?
KING RICHARD. Faith, none but Humphrey Hour, that call'd
your Grace
To breakfast once forth of my company.
If I be so disgracious in your eye,
Let me march on and not offend you, madam.
Strike up the drum.
DUCHESS. I prithee hear me speak.
KING RICHARD. You speak too bitterly.
DUCHESS. Hear me a word;
For I shall never speak to thee again.
DUCHESS. Either thou wilt die by God's just ordinance
Ere from this war thou turn a conqueror;
Or I with grief and extreme age shall perish
And never more behold thy face again.
Therefore take with thee my most grievous curse,
Which in the day of battle tire thee more
Than all the complete armour that thou wear'st!
My prayers on the adverse party fight;
And there the little souls of Edward's children
Whisper the spirits of thine enemies
And promise them success and victory.
Bloody thou art; bloody will be thy end.
Shame serves thy life and doth thy death attend. Exit
QUEEN ELIZABETH. Though far more cause, yet much less
spirit to curse
Abides in me; I say amen to her.
KING RICHARD. Stay, madam, I must talk a word with you.
QUEEN ELIZABETH. I have no moe sons of the royal blood
For thee to slaughter. For my daughters, Richard,
They shall be praying nuns, not weeping queens;
And therefore level not to hit their lives.
KING RICHARD. You have a daughter call'd Elizabeth.
Virtuous and fair, royal and gracious.
QUEEN ELIZABETH. And must she die for this? O, let her
And I'll corrupt her manners, stain her beauty,
Slander myself as false to Edward's bed,
Throw over her the veil of infamy;
So she may live unscarr'd of bleeding slaughter,
I will confess she was not Edward's daughter.
KING RICHARD. Wrong not her birth; she is a royal
QUEEN ELIZABETH. To save her life I'll say she is not so.
KING RICHARD. Her life is safest only in her birth.
QUEEN ELIZABETH. And only in that safety died her
KING RICHARD. Lo, at their birth good stars were opposite.
QUEEN ELIZABETH. No, to their lives ill friends were
KING RICHARD. All unavoided is the doom of destiny.
QUEEN ELIZABETH. True, when avoided grace makes destiny.
My babes were destin'd to a fairer death,
If grace had bless'd thee with a fairer life.
KING RICHARD. You speak as if that I had slain my cousins.
QUEEN ELIZABETH. Cousins, indeed; and by their uncle
Of comfort, kingdom, kindred, freedom, life.
Whose hand soever lanc'd their tender hearts,
Thy head, an indirectly, gave direction.
No doubt the murd'rous knife was dull and blunt
Till it was whetted on thy stone-hard heart
To revel in the entrails of my lambs.
But that stiff use of grief makes wild grief tame,
My tongue should to thy ears not name my boys
Till that my nails were anchor'd in thine eyes;
And I, in such a desp'rate bay of death,
Like a poor bark, of sails and tackling reft,
Rush all to pieces on thy rocky bosom.
KING RICHARD. Madam, so thrive I in my enterprise
And dangerous success of bloody wars,
As I intend more good to you and yours
Than ever you or yours by me were harm'd!
QUEEN ELIZABETH. What good is cover'd with the face of
To be discover'd, that can do me good?
KING RICHARD. advancement of your children, gentle
QUEEN ELIZABETH. Up to some scaffold, there to lose their
KING RICHARD. Unto the dignity and height of Fortune,
The high imperial type of this earth's glory.
QUEEN ELIZABETH. Flatter my sorrow with report of it;
Tell me what state, what dignity, what honour,
Canst thou demise to any child of mine?
KING RICHARD. Even all I have-ay, and myself and all
Will I withal endow a child of thine;
So in the Lethe of thy angry soul
Thou drown the sad remembrance of those wrongs
Which thou supposest I have done to thee.
QUEEN ELIZABETH. Be brief, lest that the process of thy
Last longer telling than thy kindness' date.
KING RICHARD. Then know, that from my soul I love thy
QUEEN ELIZABETH. My daughter's mother thinks it with her
KING RICHARD. What do you think?
QUEEN ELIZABETH. That thou dost love my daughter from
thy soul.
So from thy soul's love didst thou love her brothers,
And from my heart's love I do thank thee for it.
KING RICHARD. Be not so hasty to confound my meaning.
I mean that with my soul I love thy daughter
And do intend to make her Queen of England.
QUEEN ELIZABETH. Well, then, who dost thou mean shall be
her king?
KING RICHARD. Even he that makes her Queen. Who else
should be?
KING RICHARD. Even so. How think you of it?
QUEEN ELIZABETH. How canst thou woo her?
KING RICHARD. That would I learn of you,
As one being best acquainted with her humour.
QUEEN ELIZABETH. And wilt thou learn of me?
KING RICHARD. Madam, with all my heart.
QUEEN ELIZABETH. Send to her, by the man that slew her
A pair of bleeding hearts; thereon engrave
'Edward' and 'York.' Then haply will she weep;
Therefore present to her-as sometimes Margaret
Did to thy father, steep'd in Rutland's blood-
A handkerchief; which, say to her, did drain
The purple sap from her sweet brother's body,
And bid her wipe her weeping eyes withal.
If this inducement move her not to love,
Send her a letter of thy noble deeds;
Tell her thou mad'st away her uncle Clarence,
Her uncle Rivers; ay, and for her sake
Mad'st quick conveyance with her good aunt Anne.
KING RICHARD. You mock me, madam; this is not the way
To win your daughter.
QUEEN ELIZABETH. There is no other way;
Unless thou couldst put on some other shape
And not be Richard that hath done all this.
KING RICHARD. Say that I did all this for love of her.
QUEEN ELIZABETH. Nay, then indeed she cannot choose but
hate thee,
Having bought love with such a bloody spoil.
KING RICHARD. Look what is done cannot be now amended.
Men shall deal unadvisedly sometimes,
Which after-hours gives leisure to repent.
If I did take the kingdom from your sons,
To make amends I'll give it to your daughter.
If I have kill'd the issue of your womb,
To quicken your increase I will beget
Mine issue of your blood upon your daughter.
A grandam's name is little less in love
Than is the doating title of a mother;
They are as children but one step below,
Even of your metal, of your very blood;
Of all one pain, save for a night of groans
Endur'd of her, for whom you bid like sorrow.
Your children were vexation to your youth;
But mine shall be a comfort to your age.
The loss you have is but a son being King,
And by that loss your daughter is made Queen.
I cannot make you what amends I would,
Therefore accept such kindness as I can.
Dorset your son, that with a fearful soul
Leads discontented steps in foreign soil,
This fair alliance quickly shall can home
To high promotions and great dignity.
The King, that calls your beauteous daughter wife,
Familiarly shall call thy Dorset brother;
Again shall you be mother to a king,
And all the ruins of distressful times
Repair'd with double riches of content.
What! we have many goodly days to see.
The liquid drops of tears that you have shed
Shall come again, transform'd to orient pearl,
Advantaging their loan with interest
Of ten times double gain of happiness.
Go, then, my mother, to thy daughter go;
Make bold her bashful years with your experience;
Prepare her ears to hear a wooer's tale;
Put in her tender heart th' aspiring flame
Of golden sovereignty; acquaint the Princes
With the sweet silent hours of marriage joys.
And when this arm of mine hath chastised
The petty rebel, dull-brain'd Buckingham,
Bound with triumphant garlands will I come,
And lead thy daughter to a conqueror's bed;
To whom I will retail my conquest won,
And she shall be sole victoress, Caesar's Caesar.
QUEEN ELIZABETH. What were I best to say? Her father's
Would be her lord? Or shall I say her uncle?
Or he that slew her brothers and her uncles?
Under what title shall I woo for thee
That God, the law, my honour, and her love
Can make seem pleasing to her tender years?
KING RICHARD. Infer fair England's peace by this alliance.
QUEEN ELIZABETH. Which she shall purchase with
still-lasting war.
KING RICHARD. Tell her the King, that may command,
QUEEN ELIZABETH. That at her hands which the King's
King forbids.
KING RICHARD. Say she shall be a high and mighty queen.
QUEEN ELIZABETH. To wail the title, as her mother doth.
KING RICHARD. Say I will love her everlastingly.
QUEEN ELIZABETH. But how long shall that title 'ever' last?
KING RICHARD. Sweetly in force unto her fair life's end.
QUEEN ELIZABETH. But how long fairly shall her sweet life
KING RICHARD. As long as heaven and nature lengthens it.
QUEEN ELIZABETH. As long as hell and Richard likes of it.
KING RICHARD. Say I, her sovereign, am her subject low.
QUEEN ELIZABETH. But she, your subject, loathes such
KING RICHARD. Be eloquent in my behalf to her.
QUEEN ELIZABETH. An honest tale speeds best being plainly
KING RICHARD. Then plainly to her tell my loving tale.
QUEEN ELIZABETH. Plain and not honest is too harsh a style.
KING RICHARD. Your reasons are too shallow and too quick.
QUEEN ELIZABETH. O, no, my reasons are too deep and
Too deep and dead, poor infants, in their graves.
KING RICHARD. Harp not on that string, madam; that is past.
QUEEN ELIZABETH. Harp on it still shall I till heartstrings
KING RICHARD. Now, by my George, my garter, and my
QUEEN ELIZABETH. Profan'd, dishonour'd, and the third
QUEEN ELIZABETH. By nothing; for this is no oath:
Thy George, profan'd, hath lost his lordly honour;
Thy garter, blemish'd, pawn'd his knightly virtue;
Thy crown, usurp'd, disgrac'd his kingly glory.
If something thou wouldst swear to be believ'd,
Swear then by something that thou hast not wrong'd.
KING RICHARD. Then, by my self-
QUEEN ELIZABETH. Thy self is self-misus'd.
KING RICHARD. Now, by the world-
QUEEN ELIZABETH. 'Tis full of thy foul wrongs.
KING RICHARD. My father's death-
QUEEN ELIZABETH. Thy life hath it dishonour'd.
KING RICHARD. Why, then, by God-
QUEEN ELIZABETH. God's wrong is most of all.
If thou didst fear to break an oath with Him,
The unity the King my husband made
Thou hadst not broken, nor my brothers died.
If thou hadst fear'd to break an oath by Him,
Th' imperial metal, circling now thy head,
Had grac'd the tender temples of my child;
And both the Princes had been breathing here,
Which now, two tender bedfellows for dust,
Thy broken faith hath made the prey for worms.
What canst thou swear by now?
KING RICHARD. The time to come.
QUEEN ELIZABETH. That thou hast wronged in the time
For I myself have many tears to wash
Hereafter time, for time past wrong'd by thee.
The children live whose fathers thou hast slaughter'd,
Ungovern'd youth, to wail it in their age;
The parents live whose children thou hast butcheed,
Old barren plants, to wail it with their age.
Swear not by time to come; for that thou hast
Misus'd ere us'd, by times ill-us'd o'erpast.
KING RICHARD. As I intend to prosper and repent,
So thrive I in my dangerous affairs
Of hostile arms! Myself myself confound!
Heaven and fortune bar me happy hours!
Day, yield me not thy light; nor, night, thy rest!
Be opposite all planets of good luck
To my proceeding!-if, with dear heart's love,
Immaculate devotion, holy thoughts,
I tender not thy beauteous princely daughter.
In her consists my happiness and thine;
Without her, follows to myself and thee,
Herself, the land, and many a Christian soul,
Death, desolation, ruin, and decay.
It cannot be avoided but by this;
It will not be avoided but by this.
Therefore, dear mother-I must call you so-
Be the attorney of my love to her;
Plead what I will be, not what I have been;
Not my deserts, but what I will deserve.
Urge the necessity and state of times,
And be not peevish-fond in great designs.
QUEEN ELIZABETH. Shall I be tempted of the devil thus?
KING RICHARD. Ay, if the devil tempt you to do good.
QUEEN ELIZABETH. Shall I forget myself to be myself?
KING RICHARD. Ay, if your self's remembrance wrong
QUEEN ELIZABETH. Yet thou didst kill my children.
KING RICHARD. But in your daughter's womb I bury them;
Where, in that nest of spicery, they will breed
Selves of themselves, to your recomforture.
QUEEN ELIZABETH. Shall I go win my daughter to thy will?
KING RICHARD. And be a happy mother by the deed.
QUEEN ELIZABETH. I go. Write to me very shortly,
And you shall understand from me her mind.
KING RICHARD. Bear her my true love's kiss; and so, farewell.
Kissing her. Exit QUEEN ELIZABETH
Relenting fool, and shallow, changing woman!

Enter RATCLIFF; CATESBY following

How now! what news?
RATCLIFF. Most mighty sovereign, on the western coast
Rideth a puissant navy; to our shores
Throng many doubtful hollow-hearted friends,
Unarm'd, and unresolv'd to beat them back.
'Tis thought that Richmond is their admiral;
And there they hull, expecting but the aid
Of Buckingham to welcome them ashore.
KING RICHARD. Some light-foot friend post to the Duke of
Ratcliff, thyself-or Catesby; where is he?
CATESBY. Here, my good lord.
KING RICHARD. Catesby, fly to the Duke.
CATESBY. I will my lord, with all convenient haste.
KING RICHARD. Ratcliff, come hither. Post to Salisbury;
When thou com'st thither- [To CATESBY] Dull,
unmindfull villain,
Why stay'st thou here, and go'st not to the Duke?
CATESBY. First, mighty liege, tell me your Highness' pleasure,
What from your Grace I shall deliver to him.
KING RICHARD. O, true, good Catesby. Bid him levy straight
The greatest strength and power that he can make
And meet me suddenly at Salisbury.
CATESBY. I go. Exit
RATCLIFF. What, may it please you, shall I do at Salisbury?
KING RICHARD. Why, what wouldst thou do there before I
RATCLIFF. Your Highness told me I should post before.
KING RICHARD. My mind is chang'd.


STANLEY, what news with you?
STANLEY. None good, my liege, to please you with
the hearing;
Nor none so bad but well may be reported.
KING RICHARD. Hoyday, a riddle! neither good nor bad!
What need'st thou run so many miles about,
When thou mayest tell thy tale the nearest way?
Once more, what news?
STANLEY. Richmond is on the seas.
KING RICHARD. There let him sink, and be the seas on him!
White-liver'd runagate, what doth he there?
STANLEY. I know not, mighty sovereign, but by guess.
KING RICHARD. Well, as you guess?
STANLEY. Stirr'd up by Dorset, Buckingham, and Morton,
He makes for England here to claim the crown.
KING RICHARD. Is the chair empty? Is the sword unsway'd?
Is the King dead, the empire unpossess'd?
What heir of York is there alive but we?
And who is England's King but great York's heir?
Then tell me what makes he upon the seas.
STANLEY. Unless for that, my liege, I cannot guess.
KING RICHARD. Unless for that he comes to be your liege,
You cannot guess wherefore the Welshman comes.
Thou wilt revolt and fly to him, I fear.
STANLEY. No, my good lord; therefore mistrust me not.
KING RICHARD. Where is thy power then, to beat him back?
Where be thy tenants and thy followers?
Are they not now upon the western shore,
Safe-conducting the rebels from their ships?
STANLEY. No, my good lord, my friends are in the north.
KING RICHARD. Cold friends to me. What do they in the
When they should serve their sovereign in the west?
STANLEY. They have not been commanded, mighty King.
Pleaseth your Majesty to give me leave,
I'll muster up my friends and meet your Grace
Where and what time your Majesty shall please.
KING RICHARD. Ay, ay, thou wouldst be gone to join with
But I'll not trust thee.
STANLEY. Most mighty sovereign,
You have no cause to hold my friendship doubtful.
I never was nor never will be false.
KING RICHARD. Go, then, and muster men. But leave behind
Your son, George Stanley. Look your heart be firm,
Or else his head's assurance is but frail.
STANLEY. So deal with him as I prove true to you. Exit


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

Enter another MESSENGER

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

Enter another MESSENGER

THIRD MESSENGER. My lord, the army of great Buckingham-
KING RICHARD. Out on you, owls! Nothing but songs of
death? [He strikes him]
There, take thou that till thou bring better news.
THIRD MESSENGER. The news I have to tell your Majesty
Is that by sudden floods and fall of waters
Buckingham's army is dispers'd and scatter'd;
And he himself wand'red away alone,
No man knows whither.
KING RICHARD. I cry thee mercy.
There is my purse to cure that blow of thine.
Hath any well-advised friend proclaim'd
Reward to him that brings the traitor in?
THIRD MESSENGER. Such proclamation hath been made,
my Lord.

Enter another MESSENGER

FOURTH MESSENGER. Sir Thomas Lovel and Lord Marquis
'Tis said, my liege, in Yorkshire are in arms.
But this good comfort bring I to your Highness-
The Britaine navy is dispers'd by tempest.
Richmond in Dorsetshire sent out a boat
Unto the shore, to ask those on the banks
If they were his assistants, yea or no;
Who answer'd him they came from Buckingham
Upon his party. He, mistrusting them,
Hois'd sail, and made his course again for Britaine.
KING RICHARD. March on, march on, since we are up in
If not to fight with foreign enemies,
Yet to beat down these rebels here at home.

Re-enter CATESBY

CATESBY. My liege, the Duke of Buckingham is taken-
That is the best news. That the Earl of Richmond
Is with a mighty power landed at Milford
Is colder tidings, yet they must be told.
KING RICHARD. Away towards Salisbury! While we reason
A royal battle might be won and lost.
Some one take order Buckingham be brought
To Salisbury; the rest march on with me.
Flourish. Exeunt




STANLEY. Sir Christopher, tell Richmond this from me:
That in the sty of the most deadly boar
My son George Stanley is frank'd up in hold;
If I revolt, off goes young George's head;
The fear of that holds off my present aid.
So, get thee gone; commend me to thy lord.
Withal say that the Queen hath heartily consented
He should espouse Elizabeth her daughter.
But tell me, where is princely Richmond now?
CHRISTOPHER. At Pembroke, or at Ha'rford west in Wales.
STANLEY. What men of name resort to him?
CHRISTOPHER. Sir Walter Herbert, a renowned soldier;
SIR Gilbert Talbot, Sir William Stanley,
OXFORD, redoubted Pembroke, Sir James Blunt,
And Rice ap Thomas, with a valiant crew;
And many other of great name and worth;
And towards London do they bend their power,
If by the way they be not fought withal.
STANLEY. Well, hie thee to thy lord; I kiss his hand;
My letter will resolve him of my mind.
Farewell. Exeunt



Salisbury. An open place

Enter the SHERIFF and guard, with BUCKINGHAM, led to execution

BUCKINGHAM. Will not King Richard let me speak with
SHERIFF. No, my good lord; therefore be patient.
BUCKINGHAM. Hastings, and Edward's children, Grey, and
Holy King Henry, and thy fair son Edward,
Vaughan, and all that have miscarried
By underhand corrupted foul injustice,
If that your moody discontented souls
Do through the clouds behold this present hour,
Even for revenge mock my destruction!
This is All-Souls' day, fellow, is it not?
SHERIFF. It is, my lord.
BUCKINGHAM. Why, then All-Souls' day is my body's
This is the day which in King Edward's time
I wish'd might fall on me when I was found
False to his children and his wife's allies;
This is the day wherein I wish'd to fall
By the false faith of him whom most I trusted;
This, this All-Souls' day to my fearful soul
Is the determin'd respite of my wrongs;
That high All-Seer which I dallied with
Hath turn'd my feigned prayer on my head
And given in earnest what I begg'd in jest.
Thus doth He force the swords of wicked men
To turn their own points in their masters' bosoms.
Thus Margaret's curse falls heavy on my neck.
'When he' quoth she 'shall split thy heart with sorrow,
Remember Margaret was a prophetess.'
Come lead me, officers, to the block of shame;
Wrong hath but wrong, and blame the due of blame. Exeunt


Camp near Tamworth

with drum and colours

RICHMOND. Fellows in arms, and my most loving friends,
Bruis'd underneath the yoke of tyranny,
Thus far into the bowels of the land
Have we march'd on without impediment;
And here receive we from our father Stanley
Lines of fair comfort and encouragement.
The wretched, bloody, and usurping boar,
That spoil'd your summer fields and fruitful vines,
Swills your warm blood like wash, and makes his trough
In your embowell'd bosoms-this foul swine
Is now even in the centre of this isle,
Near to the town of Leicester, as we learn.
From Tamworth thither is but one day's march.
In God's name cheerly on, courageous friends,
To reap the harvest of perpetual peace
By this one bloody trial of sharp war.
OXFORD. Every man's conscience is a thousand men,
To fight against this guilty homicide.
HERBERT. I doubt not but his friends will turn to us.
BLUNT. He hath no friends but what are friends for fear,
Which in his dearest need will fly from him.
RICHMOND. All for our vantage. Then in God's name march.
True hope is swift and flies with swallow's wings;
Kings it makes gods, and meaner creatures kings. Exeunt


Bosworth Field

the EARL of SURREYS and others

KING RICHARD. Here pitch our tent, even here in Bosworth
My Lord of Surrey, why look you so sad?
SURREY. My heart is ten times lighter than my looks.
KING RICHARD. My Lord of Norfolk!
NORFOLK. Here, most gracious liege.
KING RICHARD. Norfolk, we must have knocks; ha! must we
NORFOLK. We must both give and take, my loving lord.
KING RICHARD. Up With my tent! Here will I lie to-night;
[Soldiers begin to set up the KING'S tent]
But where to-morrow? Well, all's one for that.
Who hath descried the number of the traitors?
NORFOLK. Six or seven thousand is their utmost power.
KING RICHARD. Why, our battalia trebles that account;
Besides, the King's name is a tower of strength,
Which they upon the adverse faction want.
Up with the tent! Come, noble gentlemen,
Let us survey the vantage of the ground.
Call for some men of sound direction.
Let's lack no discipline, make no delay;
For, lords, to-morrow is a busy day. Exeunt

Enter, on the other side of the field,
and others. Some pitch RICHMOND'S tent

RICHMOND. The weary sun hath made a golden set,
And by the bright tract of his fiery car
Gives token of a goodly day to-morrow.
Sir William Brandon, you shall bear my standard.
Give me some ink and paper in my tent.
I'll draw the form and model of our battle,
Limit each leader to his several charge,
And part in just proportion our small power.
My Lord of Oxford-you, Sir William Brandon-
And you, Sir Walter Herbert-stay with me.
The Earl of Pembroke keeps his regiment;
Good Captain Blunt, bear my good night to him,
And by the second hour in the morning
Desire the Earl to see me in my tent.
Yet one thing more, good Captain, do for me-
Where is Lord Stanley quarter'd, do you know?
BLUNT. Unless I have mista'en his colours much-
Which well I am assur'd I have not done-
His regiment lies half a mile at least
South from the mighty power of the King.
RICHMOND. If without peril it be possible,
Sweet Blunt, make some good means to speak with him
And give him from me this most needful note.
BLUNT. Upon my life, my lord, I'll undertake it;
And so, God give you quiet rest to-night!
RICHMOND. Good night, good Captain Blunt. Come,
Let us consult upon to-morrow's business.
In to my tent; the dew is raw and cold.
[They withdraw into the tent]

Enter, to his-tent, KING RICHARD, NORFOLK,

KING RICHARD. What is't o'clock?
CATESBY. It's supper-time, my lord;
It's nine o'clock.
KING RICHARD. I will not sup to-night.
Give me some ink and paper.
What, is my beaver easier than it was?
And all my armour laid into my tent?
CATESBY. It is, my liege; and all things are in readiness.
KING RICHARD. Good Norfolk, hie thee to thy charge;
Use careful watch, choose trusty sentinels.
NORFOLK. I go, my lord.
KING RICHARD. Stir with the lark to-morrow, gentle Norfolk.
NORFOLK. I warrant you, my lord. Exit
CATESBY. My lord?
KING RICHARD. Send out a pursuivant-at-arms
To Stanley's regiment; bid him bring his power
Before sunrising, lest his son George fall
Into the blind cave of eternal night. Exit CATESBY
Fill me a bowl of wine. Give me a watch.
Saddle white Surrey for the field to-morrow.
Look that my staves be sound, and not too heavy.
RATCLIFF. My lord?
KING RICHARD. Saw'st thou the melancholy Lord
RATCLIFF. Thomas the Earl of Surrey and himself,
Much about cock-shut time, from troop to troop
Went through the army, cheering up the soldiers.
KING RICHARD. So, I am satisfied. Give me a bowl of wine.
I have not that alacrity of spirit
Nor cheer of mind that I was wont to have.
Set it down. Is ink and paper ready?
RATCLIFF. It is, my lord.
KING RICHARD. Bid my guard watch; leave me.
RATCLIFF, about the mid of night come to my tent
And help to arm me. Leave me, I say.

Enter DERBY to RICHMOND in his tent;
LORDS attending

DERBY. Fortune and victory sit on thy helm!
RICHMOND. All comfort that the dark night can afford
Be to thy person, noble father-in-law!
Tell me, how fares our loving mother?
DERBY. I, by attorney, bless thee from thy mother,
Who prays continually for Richmond's good.
So much for that. The silent hours steal on,
And flaky darkness breaks within the east.
In brief, for so the season bids us be,
Prepare thy battle early in the morning,
And put thy fortune to the arbitrement
Of bloody strokes and mortal-staring war.
I, as I may-that which I would I cannot-
With best advantage will deceive the time
And aid thee in this doubtful shock of arms;
But on thy side I may not be too forward,
Lest, being seen, thy brother, tender George,
Be executed in his father's sight.
Farewell; the leisure and the fearful time
Cuts off the ceremonious vows of love
And ample interchange of sweet discourse
Which so-long-sund'red friends should dwell upon.
God give us leisure for these rites of love!
Once more, adieu; be valiant, and speed well!
RICHMOND. Good lords, conduct him to his regiment.
I'll strive with troubled thoughts to take a nap,
Lest leaden slumber peise me down to-morrow
When I should mount with wings of victory.
Once more, good night, kind lords and gentlemen.
Exeunt all but RICHMOND
O Thou, whose captain I account myself,
Look on my forces with a gracious eye;
Put in their hands Thy bruising irons of wrath,
That they may crush down with a heavy fall
The usurping helmets of our adversaries!
Make us Thy ministers of chastisement,
That we may praise Thee in the victory!
To Thee I do commend my watchful soul
Ere I let fall the windows of mine eyes.
Sleeping and waking, O, defend me still! [Sleeps]


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


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


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


GHOST OF RIVERS. [To RICHARD] Let me sit heavy in thy
soul to-morrow,
Rivers that died at Pomfret! Despair and die!
GHOST OF GREY. [To RICHARD] Think upon Grey, and let
thy soul despair!
GHOST OF VAUGHAN. [To RICHARD] Think upon Vaughan,
and with guilty fear
Let fall thy lance. Despair and die!
ALL. [To RICHMOND] Awake, and think our wrongs in
Richard's bosom
Will conquer him. Awake and win the day.


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

Enter the GHOSTS of the two young PRINCES

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

Enter the GHOST of LADY ANNE, his wife

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


GHOST. [To RICHARD] The first was I that help'd thee
to the crown;
The last was I that felt thy tyranny.
O, in the battle think on Buckingham,
And die in terror of thy guiltiness!
Dream on, dream on of bloody deeds and death;
Fainting, despair; despairing, yield thy breath!
[To RICHMOND] I died for hope ere I could lend thee aid;
But cheer thy heart and be thou not dismay'd:
God and good angels fight on Richmond's side;
And Richard falls in height of all his pride.
[The GHOSTS vanish. RICHARD starts out of his dream]
KING RICHARD. Give me another horse. Bind up my wounds.
Have mercy, Jesu! Soft! I did but dream.
O coward conscience, how dost thou afflict me!
The lights burn blue. It is now dead midnight.
Cold fearful drops stand on my trembling flesh.
What do I fear? Myself? There's none else by.
Richard loves Richard; that is, I am I.
Is there a murderer here? No-yes, I am.
Then fly. What, from myself? Great reason why-
Lest I revenge. What, myself upon myself!
Alack, I love myself. Wherefore? For any good
That I myself have done unto myself?
O, no! Alas, I rather hate myself
For hateful deeds committed by myself!
I am a villain; yet I lie, I am not.
Fool, of thyself speak well. Fool, do not flatter.
My conscience hath a thousand several tongues,
And every tongue brings in a several tale,
And every tale condemns me for a villain.
Perjury, perjury, in the high'st degree;
Murder, stern murder, in the dir'st degree;
All several sins, all us'd in each degree,
Throng to the bar, crying all 'Guilty! guilty!'
I shall despair. There is no creature loves me;
And if I die no soul will pity me:
And wherefore should they, since that I myself
Find in myself no pity to myself?
Methought the souls of all that I had murder'd
Came to my tent, and every one did threat
To-morrow's vengeance on the head of Richard.


RATCLIFF. My lord!
KING RICHARD. Zounds, who is there?
RATCLIFF. Ratcliff, my lord; 'tis I. The early village-cock
Hath twice done salutation to the morn;
Your friends are up and buckle on their armour.
KING RICHARD. O Ratcliff, I have dream'd a fearful dream!
What think'st thou-will our friends prove all true?
RATCLIFF. No doubt, my lord.
KING RICHARD. O Ratcliff, I fear, I fear.
RATCLIFF. Nay, good my lord, be not afraid of shadows.
KING RICHARD By the apostle Paul, shadows to-night
Have stuck more terror to the soul of Richard
Than can the substance of ten thousand soldiers
Armed in proof and led by shallow Richmond.
'Tis not yet near day. Come, go with me;
Under our tents I'll play the eaves-dropper,
To see if any mean to shrink from me. Exeunt

Enter the LORDS to RICHMOND sitting in his tent

LORDS. Good morrow, Richmond!
RICHMOND. Cry mercy, lords and watchful gentlemen,
That you have ta'en a tardy sluggard here.
LORDS. How have you slept, my lord?
RICHMOND. The sweetest sleep and fairest-boding dreams
That ever ent'red in a drowsy head
Have I since your departure had, my lords.
Methought their souls whose bodies Richard murder'd
Came to my tent and cried on victory.
I promise you my soul is very jocund
In the remembrance of so fair a dream.
How far into the morning is it, lords?
LORDS. Upon the stroke of four.
RICHMOND. Why, then 'tis time to arm and give direction.


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

Re-enter KING RICHARD, RATCLIFF, attendants,
and forces

KING RICHARD. What said Northumberland as touching
RATCLIFF. That he was never trained up in arms.
KING RICHARD. He said the truth; and what said Surrey
RATCLIFF. He smil'd, and said 'The better for our purpose.'
KING He was in the right; and so indeed it is.
[Clock strikes]
Tell the clock there. Give me a calendar.
Who saw the sun to-day?
RATCLIFF. Not I, my lord.
KING RICHARD. Then he disdains to shine; for by the book
He should have brav'd the east an hour ago.
A black day will it be to somebody.
RATCLIFF. My lord?
KING RICHARD. The sun will not be seen to-day;
The sky doth frown and lour upon our army.
I would these dewy tears were from the ground.
Not shine to-day! Why, what is that to me
More than to Richmond? For the selfsame heaven
That frowns on me looks sadly upon him.


NORFOLK. Arm, arm, my lord; the foe vaunts in the field.
KING RICHARD. Come, bustle, bustle; caparison my horse;
Call up Lord Stanley, bid him bring his power.
I will lead forth my soldiers to the plain,
And thus my battle shall be ordered:
My foreward shall be drawn out all in length,
Consisting equally of horse and foot;
Our archers shall be placed in the midst.
John Duke of Norfolk, Thomas Earl of Surrey,
Shall have the leading of this foot and horse.
They thus directed, we will follow
In the main battle, whose puissance on either side
Shall be well winged with our chiefest horse.
This, and Saint George to boot! What think'st thou,
NORFOLK. A good direction, warlike sovereign.
This found I on my tent this morning.
[He sheweth him a paper]
'Jockey of Norfolk, be not so bold,
For Dickon thy master is bought and sold.'
A thing devised by the enemy.
Go, gentlemen, every man unto his charge.
Let not our babbling dreams affright our souls;
Conscience is but a word that cowards use,
Devis'd at first to keep the strong in awe.
Our strong arms be our conscience, swords our law.
March on, join bravely, let us to it pell-mell;
If not to heaven, then hand in hand to hell.


What shall I say more than I have inferr'd?
Remember whom you are to cope withal-
A sort of vagabonds, rascals, and runaways,
A scum of Britaines, and base lackey peasants,
Whom their o'er-cloyed country vomits forth
To desperate adventures and assur'd destruction.
You sleeping safe, they bring to you unrest;
You having lands, and bless'd with beauteous wives,
They would restrain the one, distain the other.
And who doth lead them but a paltry fellow,
Long kept in Britaine at our mother's cost?
A milk-sop, one that never in his life
Felt so much cold as over shoes in snow?
Let's whip these stragglers o'er the seas again;
Lash hence these over-weening rags of France,
These famish'd beggars, weary of their lives;
Who, but for dreaming on this fond exploit,
For want of means, poor rats, had hang'd themselves.
If we be conquered, let men conquer us,
And not these bastard Britaines, whom our fathers
Have in their own land beaten, bobb'd, and thump'd,
And, in record, left them the heirs of shame.
Shall these enjoy our lands? lie with our wives,
Ravish our daughters? [Drum afar off] Hark! I hear their
Fight, gentlemen of England! Fight, bold yeomen!
Draw, archers, draw your arrows to the head!
Spur your proud horses hard, and ride in blood;
Amaze the welkin with your broken staves!


What says Lord Stanley? Will he bring his power?
MESSENGER. My lord, he doth deny to come.
KING RICHARD. Off with his son George's head!
NORFOLK. My lord, the enemy is pass'd the marsh.
After the battle let George Stanley die.
KING RICHARD. A thousand hearts are great within my
Advance our standards, set upon our foes;
Our ancient word of courage, fair Saint George,
Inspire us with the spleen of fiery dragons!
Upon them! Victory sits on our helms. Exeunt


Another part of the field

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

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

Alarums. Enter KING RICHARD

KING RICHARD. A horse! a horse! my kingdom for a horse!
CATESBY. Withdraw, my lord! I'll help you to a horse.
KING RICHARD. Slave, I have set my life upon a cast
And I Will stand the hazard of the die.
I think there be six Richmonds in the field;
Five have I slain to-day instead of him.
A horse! a horse! my kingdom for a horse! Exeunt


Another part of the field

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

RICHMOND. God and your arms be prais'd, victorious friends;
The day is ours, the bloody dog is dead.
DERBY. Courageous Richmond, well hast thou acquit thee!
Lo, here, this long-usurped royalty
From the dead temples of this bloody wretch
Have I pluck'd off, to grace thy brows withal.
Wear it, enjoy it, and make much of it.
RICHMOND. Great God of heaven, say Amen to all!
But, teLL me is young George Stanley living.
DERBY. He is, my lord, and safe in Leicester town,
Whither, if it please you, we may now withdraw us.
RICHMOND. What men of name are slain on either side?
DERBY. John Duke of Norfolk, Walter Lord Ferrers,
Sir Robert Brakenbury, and Sir William Brandon.
RICHMOND. Inter their bodies as becomes their births.
Proclaim a pardon to the soldiers fled
That in submission will return to us.
And then, as we have ta'en the sacrament,
We will unite the white rose and the red.
Smile heaven upon this fair conjunction,
That long have frown'd upon their emnity!
What traitor hears me, and says not Amen?
England hath long been mad, and scarr'd herself;
The brother blindly shed the brother's blood,
The father rashly slaughter'd his own son,
The son, compell'd, been butcher to the sire;
All this divided York and Lancaster,
Divided in their dire division,
O, now let Richmond and Elizabeth,
The true succeeders of each royal house,
By God's fair ordinance conjoin together!
And let their heirs, God, if thy will be so,
Enrich the time to come with smooth-fac'd peace,
With smiling plenty, and fair prosperous days!
Abate the edge of traitors, gracious Lord,
That would reduce these bloody days again
And make poor England weep in streams of blood!
Let them not live to taste this land's increase
That would with treason wound this fair land's peace!
Now civil wounds are stopp'd, peace lives again-
That she may long live here, God say Amen! Exeunt





by William Shakespeare

Dramatis Personae


Escalus, Prince of Verona.
Paris, a young Count, kinsman to the Prince.
Montague, heads of two houses at variance with each other.
Capulet, heads of two houses at variance with each other.
An old Man, of the Capulet family.
Romeo, son to Montague.
Tybalt, nephew to Lady Capulet.
Mercutio, kinsman to the Prince and friend to Romeo.
Benvolio, nephew to Montague, and friend to Romeo
Tybalt, nephew to Lady Capulet.
Friar Laurence, Franciscan.
Friar John, Franciscan.
Balthasar, servant to Romeo.
Abram, servant to Montague.
Sampson, servant to Capulet.
Gregory, servant to Capulet.
Peter, servant to Juliet's nurse.
An Apothecary.
Three Musicians.
An Officer.

Lady Montague, wife to Montague.
Lady Capulet, wife to Capulet.
Juliet, daughter to Capulet.
Nurse to Juliet.

Citizens of Verona; Gentlemen and Gentlewomen of both houses;
Maskers, Torchbearers, Pages, Guards, Watchmen, Servants, and

SCENE.--Verona; Mantua.


Enter Chorus.

Chor. Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life;
Whose misadventur'd piteous overthrows
Doth with their death bury their parents' strife.
The fearful passage of their death-mark'd love,
And the continuance of their parents' rage,
Which, but their children's end, naught could remove,
Is now the two hours' traffic of our stage;
The which if you with patient ears attend,
What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend.


ACT I. Scene I.
Verona. A public place.

Enter Sampson and Gregory (with swords and bucklers) of the house of Capulet.

Samp. Gregory, on my word, we'll not carry coals.
Greg. No, for then we should be colliers.
Samp. I mean, an we be in choler, we'll draw.
Greg. Ay, while you live, draw your neck out of collar.
Samp. I strike quickly, being moved.
Greg. But thou art not quickly moved to strike.
Samp. A dog of the house of Montague moves me.
Greg. To move is to stir, and to be valiant is to stand.
Therefore, if thou art moved, thou runn'st away.
Samp. A dog of that house shall move me to stand. I will take the
wall of any man or maid of Montague's.
Greg. That shows thee a weak slave; for the weakest goes to the
Samp. 'Tis true; and therefore women, being the weaker vessels, are
ever thrust to the wall. Therefore I will push Montague's men
from the wall and thrust his maids to the wall.
Greg. The quarrel is between our masters and us their men.
Samp. 'Tis all one. I will show myself a tyrant. When I have fought
with the men, I will be cruel with the maids- I will cut off
their heads.
Greg. The heads of the maids?
Samp. Ay, the heads of the maids, or their maidenheads.
Take it in what sense thou wilt.
Greg. They must take it in sense that feel it.
Samp. Me they shall feel while I am able to stand; and 'tis known I
am a pretty piece of flesh.
Greg. 'Tis well thou art not fish; if thou hadst, thou hadst been
poor-John. Draw thy tool! Here comes two of the house of

Enter two other Servingmen [Abram and Balthasar].

Samp. My naked weapon is out. Quarrel! I will back thee.
Greg. How? turn thy back and run?
Samp. Fear me not.
Greg. No, marry. I fear thee!
Samp. Let us take the law of our sides; let them begin.
Greg. I will frown as I pass by, and let them take it as they list.
Samp. Nay, as they dare. I will bite my thumb at them; which is
disgrace to them, if they bear it.
Abr. Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?
Samp. I do bite my thumb, sir.
Abr. Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?
Samp. [aside to Gregory] Is the law of our side if I say ay?
Greg. [aside to Sampson] No.
Samp. No, sir, I do not bite my thumb at you, sir; but I bite my
thumb, sir.
Greg. Do you quarrel, sir?
Abr. Quarrel, sir? No, sir.
Samp. But if you do, sir, am for you. I serve as good a man as you.
Abr. No better.
Samp. Well, sir.

Enter Benvolio.

Greg. [aside to Sampson] Say 'better.' Here comes one of my
master's kinsmen.
Samp. Yes, better, sir.
Abr. You lie.
Samp. Draw, if you be men. Gregory, remember thy swashing blow.
They fight.
Ben. Part, fools! [Beats down their swords.]
Put up your swords. You know not what you do.

Enter Tybalt.

Tyb. What, art thou drawn among these heartless hinds?
Turn thee Benvolio! look upon thy death.
Ben. I do but keep the peace. Put up thy sword,
Or manage it to part these men with me.
Tyb. What, drawn, and talk of peace? I hate the word
As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee.
Have at thee, coward! They fight.

Enter an officer, and three or four Citizens with clubs or

Officer. Clubs, bills, and partisans! Strike! beat them down!
Citizens. Down with the Capulets! Down with the Montagues!

Enter Old Capulet in his gown, and his Wife.

Cap. What noise is this? Give me my long sword, ho!
Wife. A crutch, a crutch! Why call you for a sword?
Cap. My sword, I say! Old Montague is come
And flourishes his blade in spite of me.

Enter Old Montague and his Wife.

Mon. Thou villain Capulet!- Hold me not, let me go.
M. Wife. Thou shalt not stir one foot to seek a foe.

Enter Prince Escalus, with his Train.

Prince. Rebellious subjects, enemies to peace,
Profaners of this neighbour-stained steel-
Will they not hear? What, ho! you men, you beasts,
That quench the fire of your pernicious rage
With purple fountains issuing from your veins!
On pain of torture, from those bloody hands
Throw your mistempered weapons to the ground
And hear the sentence of your moved prince.
Three civil brawls, bred of an airy word
By thee, old Capulet, and Montague,
Have thrice disturb'd the quiet of our streets
And made Verona's ancient citizens
Cast by their grave beseeming ornaments
To wield old partisans, in hands as old,
Cank'red with peace, to part your cank'red hate.
If ever you disturb our streets again,
Your lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace.
For this time all the rest depart away.
You, Capulet, shall go along with me;
And, Montague, come you this afternoon,
To know our farther pleasure in this case,
To old Freetown, our common judgment place.
Once more, on pain of death, all men depart.
Exeunt [all but Montague, his Wife, and Benvolio].
Mon. Who set this ancient quarrel new abroach?
Speak, nephew, were you by when it began?
Ben. Here were the servants of your adversary
And yours, close fighting ere I did approach.
I drew to part them. In the instant came
The fiery Tybalt, with his sword prepar'd;
Which, as he breath'd defiance to my ears,
He swung about his head and cut the winds,
Who, nothing hurt withal, hiss'd him in scorn.
While we were interchanging thrusts and blows,
Came more and more, and fought on part and part,
Till the Prince came, who parted either part.
M. Wife. O, where is Romeo? Saw you him to-day?
Right glad I am he was not at this fray.
Ben. Madam, an hour before the worshipp'd sun
Peer'd forth the golden window of the East,
A troubled mind drave me to walk abroad;
Where, underneath the grove of sycamore
That westward rooteth from the city's side,
So early walking did I see your son.
Towards him I made; but he was ware of me
And stole into the covert of the wood.
I- measuring his affections by my own,
Which then most sought where most might not be found,
Being one too many by my weary self-
Pursu'd my humour, not Pursuing his,
And gladly shunn'd who gladly fled from me.
Mon. Many a morning hath he there been seen,
With tears augmenting the fresh morning's dew,
Adding to clouds more clouds with his deep sighs;
But all so soon as the all-cheering sun
Should in the farthest East bean to draw
The shady curtains from Aurora's bed,
Away from light steals home my heavy son
And private in his chamber pens himself,
Shuts up his windows, locks fair daylight
And makes himself an artificial night.
Black and portentous must this humour prove
Unless good counsel may the cause remove.
Ben. My noble uncle, do you know the cause?
Mon. I neither know it nor can learn of him
Ben. Have you importun'd him by any means?
Mon. Both by myself and many other friend;
But he, his own affections' counsellor,
Is to himself- I will not say how true-
But to himself so secret and so close,
So far from sounding and discovery,
As is the bud bit with an envious worm
Ere he can spread his sweet leaves to the air
Or dedicate his beauty to the sun.
Could we but learn from whence his sorrows grow,
We would as willingly give cure as know.

Enter Romeo.

Ben. See, where he comes. So please you step aside,
I'll know his grievance, or be much denied.
Mon. I would thou wert so happy by thy stay
To hear true shrift. Come, madam, let's away,
Exeunt [Montague and Wife].
Ben. Good morrow, cousin.
Rom. Is the day so young?
Ben. But new struck nine.
Rom. Ay me! sad hours seem long.
Was that my father that went hence so fast?
Ben. It was. What sadness lengthens Romeo's hours?
Rom. Not having that which having makes them short.
Ben. In love?
Rom. Out-
Ben. Of love?
Rom. Out of her favour where I am in love.
Ben. Alas that love, so gentle in his view,
Should be so tyrannous and rough in proof!
Rom. Alas that love, whose view is muffled still,
Should without eyes see pathways to his will!
Where shall we dine? O me! What fray was here?
Yet tell me not, for I have heard it all.
Here's much to do with hate, but more with love.
Why then, O brawling love! O loving hate!
O anything, of nothing first create!
O heavy lightness! serious vanity!
Misshapen chaos of well-seeming forms!
Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health!
Still-waking sleep, that is not what it is
This love feel I, that feel no love in this.
Dost thou not laugh?
Ben. No, coz, I rather weep.
Rom. Good heart, at what?
Ben. At thy good heart's oppression.
Rom. Why, such is love's transgression.
Griefs of mine own lie heavy in my breast,
Which thou wilt propagate, to have it prest
With more of thine. This love that thou hast shown
Doth add more grief to too much of mine own.
Love is a smoke rais'd with the fume of sighs;
Being purg'd, a fire sparkling in lovers' eyes;
Being vex'd, a sea nourish'd with lovers' tears.
What is it else? A madness most discreet,
A choking gall, and a preserving sweet.
Farewell, my coz.
Ben. Soft! I will go along.
An if you leave me so, you do me wrong.
Rom. Tut! I have lost myself; I am not here:
This is not Romeo, he's some other where.
Ben. Tell me in sadness, who is that you love?
Rom. What, shall I groan and tell thee?
Ben. Groan? Why, no;
But sadly tell me who.
Rom. Bid a sick man in sadness make his will.
Ah, word ill urg'd to one that is so ill!
In sadness, cousin, I do love a woman.
Ben. I aim'd so near when I suppos'd you lov'd.
Rom. A right good markman! And she's fair I love.
Ben. A right fair mark, fair coz, is soonest hit.
Rom. Well, in that hit you miss. She'll not be hit
With Cupid's arrow. She hath Dian's wit,
And, in strong proof of chastity well arm'd,
From Love's weak childish bow she lives unharm'd.
She will not stay the siege of loving terms,
Nor bide th' encounter of assailing eyes,
Nor ope her lap to saint-seducing gold.
O, she's rich in beauty; only poor
That, when she dies, with beauty dies her store.
Ben. Then she hath sworn that she will still live chaste?
Rom. She hath, and in that sparing makes huge waste;
For beauty, starv'd with her severity,
Cuts beauty off from all posterity.
She is too fair, too wise, wisely too fair,
To merit bliss by making me despair.
She hath forsworn to love, and in that vow
Do I live dead that live to tell it now.
Ben. Be rul'd by me: forget to think of her.
Rom. O, teach me how I should forget to think!
Ben. By giving liberty unto thine eyes.
Examine other beauties.
Rom. 'Tis the way
To call hers (exquisite) in question more.
These happy masks that kiss fair ladies' brows,
Being black puts us in mind they hide the fair.
He that is strucken blind cannot forget
The precious treasure of his eyesight lost.
Show me a mistress that is passing fair,
What doth her beauty serve but as a note
Where I may read who pass'd that passing fair?
Farewell. Thou canst not teach me to forget.
Ben. I'll pay that doctrine, or else die in debt. Exeunt.

Scene II.
A Street.

Enter Capulet, County Paris, and [Servant] -the Clown.

Cap. But Montague is bound as well as I,
In penalty alike; and 'tis not hard, I think,
For men so old as we to keep the peace.
Par. Of honourable reckoning are you both,
And pity 'tis you liv'd at odds so long.
But now, my lord, what say you to my suit?
Cap. But saying o'er what I have said before:
My child is yet a stranger in the world,
She hath not seen the change of fourteen years;
Let two more summers wither in their pride
Ere we may think her ripe to be a bride.
Par. Younger than she are happy mothers made.
Cap. And too soon marr'd are those so early made.
The earth hath swallowed all my hopes but she;
She is the hopeful lady of my earth.
But woo her, gentle Paris, get her heart;
My will to her consent is but a part.
An she agree, within her scope of choice
Lies my consent and fair according voice.
This night I hold an old accustom'd feast,
Whereto I have invited many a guest,
Such as I love; and you among the store,
One more, most welcome, makes my number more.
At my poor house look to behold this night
Earth-treading stars that make dark heaven light.
Such comfort as do lusty young men feel
When well apparell'd April on the heel
Of limping Winter treads, even such delight
Among fresh female buds shall you this night
Inherit at my house. Hear all, all see,
And like her most whose merit most shall be;
Which, on more view of many, mine, being one,
May stand in number, though in reck'ning none.
Come, go with me. [To Servant, giving him a paper] Go, sirrah,
trudge about
Through fair Verona; find those persons out
Whose names are written there, and to them say,
My house and welcome on their pleasure stay-
Exeunt [Capulet and Paris].
Serv. Find them out whose names are written here? It is written
that the shoemaker should meddle with his yard and the tailor
with his last, the fisher with his pencil and the painter with
his nets; but I am sent to find those persons whose names are

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