The Tragedie of Richard the Third by William Shakespeare

*** Scanner’s Notes: What this is and isn’t. This was taken from a copy of Shakespeare’s first folio and it is as close as I can come in ASCII to the printed text. The elongated S’s have been changed to small s’s and the conjoined ae have been changed to ae. I have left the
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Scanner’s Notes: What this is and isn’t. This was taken from a copy of Shakespeare’s first folio and it is as close as I can come in ASCII to the printed text.

The elongated S’s have been changed to small s’s and the conjoined ae have been changed to ae. I have left the spelling, punctuation, capitalization as close as possible to the printed text. I have corrected some spelling mistakes (I have put together a spelling dictionary devised from the spellings of the Geneva Bible and Shakespeare’s First Folio and have unified spellings according to this template), typo’s and expanded abbreviations as I have come across them. Everything within brackets [] is what I have added. So if you don’t like that you can delete everything within the brackets if you want a purer Shakespeare.

Another thing that you should be aware of is that there are textual differences between various copies of the first folio. So there may be differences (other than what I have mentioned above) between this and other first folio editions. This is due to the printer’s habit of setting the type and running off a number of copies and then proofing the printed copy and correcting the type and then continuing the printing run. The proof run wasn’t thrown away but incorporated into the printed copies. This is just the way it is. The text I have used was a composite of more than 30 different First Folio editions’ best pages.

If you find any scanning errors, out and out typos, punctuation errors, or if you disagree with my spelling choices please feel free to email me those errors. I wish to make this the best etext possible. My email address for right now are and I hope that you enjoy this.

David Reed

The Tragedie of Richard the Third

with the Landing of Earle Richmond, and the Battell at Bosworth Field

Actus Primus. Scoena Prima.

Enter Richard Duke of Gloster, solus.

Now is the Winter of our Discontent,
Made glorious Summer by this Son of Yorke: And all the clouds that lowr’d vpon our house In the deepe bosome of the Ocean buried. Now are our browes bound with Victorious Wreathes, Our bruised armes hung vp for Monuments; Our sterne Alarums chang’d to merry Meetings; Our dreadfull Marches, to delightfull Measures. Grim-visag’d Warre, hath smooth’d his wrinkled Front: And now, in stead of mounting Barbed Steeds, To fright the Soules of fearfull Aduersaries, He capers nimbly in a Ladies Chamber,
To the lasciuious pleasing of a Lute. But I, that am not shap’d for sportiue trickes, Nor made to court an amorous Looking-glasse: I, that am Rudely stampt, and want loues Maiesty, To strut before a wonton ambling Nymph:
I, that am curtail’d of this faire Proportion, Cheated of Feature by dissembling Nature, Deform’d, vn-finish’d, sent before my time Into this breathing World, scarse halfe made vp, And that so lamely and vnfashionable,
That dogges barke at me, as I halt by them. Why I (in this weake piping time of Peace) Haue no delight to passe away the time,
Vnlesse to see my Shadow in the Sunne, And descant on mine owne Deformity.
And therefore, since I cannot proue a Louer, To entertaine these faire well spoken dayes, I am determined to proue a Villaine,
And hate the idle pleasures of these dayes. Plots haue I laide, Inductions dangerous, By drunken Prophesies, Libels, and Dreames, To set my Brother Clarence and the King
In deadly hate, the one against the other: And if King Edward be as true and iust,
As I am Subtle, False, and Treacherous, This day should Clarence closely be mew’d vp: About a Prophesie, which sayes that G,
Of Edwards heyres the murtherer shall be. Diue thoughts downe to my soule, here Clarence comes. Enter Clarence, and Brakenbury, guarded.

Brother, good day: What meanes this armed guard That waites vpon your Grace?
Cla. His Maiesty tendring my persons safety, Hath appointed this Conduct, to conuey me to th’ Tower Rich. Vpon what cause?
Cla. Because my name is George

Rich. Alacke my Lord, that fault is none of yours: He should for that commit your Godfathers. O belike, his Maiesty hath some intent,
That you should be new Christned in the Tower, But what’s the matter Clarence, may I know? Cla. Yea Richard, when I know: but I protest As yet I do not: But as I can learne,
He hearkens after Prophesies and Dreames, And from the Crosse-row pluckes the letter G: And sayes, a Wizard told him, that by G, His issue disinherited should be.
And for my name of George begins with G, It followes in his thought, that I am he. These (as I learne) and such like toyes as these, Hath moou’d his Highnesse to commit me now

Rich. Why this it is, when men are rul’d by Women: ‘Tis not the King that sends you to the Tower, My Lady Grey his Wife, Clarence ’tis shee, That tempts him to this harsh Extremity. Was it not shee, and that good man of Worship, Anthony Woodeuile her Brother there,
That made him send Lord Hastings to the Tower? From whence this present day he is deliuered? We are not safe Clarence, we are not safe

Cla. By heauen, I thinke there is no man secure But the Queenes Kindred, and night-walking Heralds, That trudge betwixt the King, and Mistris Shore. Heard you not what an humble Suppliant
Lord Hastings was, for her deliuery? Rich. Humbly complaining to her Deitie, Got my Lord Chamberlaine his libertie.
Ile tell you what, I thinke it is our way, If we will keepe in fauour with the King, To be her men, and weare her Liuery.
The iealous ore-worne Widdow, and her selfe, Since that our Brother dub’d them Gentlewomen, Are mighty Gossips in our Monarchy

Bra. I beseech your Graces both to pardon me, His Maiesty hath straightly giuen in charge, That no man shall haue priuate Conference (Of what degree soeuer) with your Brother

Rich. Euen so, and please your Worship Brakenbury, You may partake of any thing we say:
We speake no Treason man; We say the King Is wise and vertuous, and his Noble Queene Well strooke in yeares, faire, and not iealious. We say, that Shores Wife hath a pretty Foot, A cherry Lip, a bonny Eye, a passing pleasing tongue: And that the Queenes Kindred are made gentle Folkes. How say you sir? can you deny all this?
Bra. With this (my Lord) my selfe haue nought to doo

Rich. Naught to do with Mistris Shore? I tell thee Fellow, he that doth naught with her (Excepting one) were best to do it secretly alone

Bra. What one, my Lord?
Rich. Her Husband Knaue, would’st thou betray me? Bra. I do beseech your Grace
To pardon me, and withall forbeare
Your Conference with the Noble Duke

Cla. We know thy charge Brakenbury, and wil obey

Rich. We are the Queenes abiects, and must obey. Brother farewell, I will vnto the King,
And whatsoe’re you will imploy me in, Were it to call King Edwards Widdow, Sister, I will performe it to infranchise you.
Meane time, this deepe disgrace in Brotherhood, Touches me deeper then you can imagine

Cla. I know it pleaseth neither of vs well

Rich. Well, your imprisonment shall not be long, I will deliuer you, or else lye for you: Meane time, haue patience

Cla. I must perforce: Farewell.

Exit Clar[ence].

Rich. Go treade the path that thou shalt ne’re return: Simple plaine Clarence, I do loue thee so, That I will shortly send thy Soule to Heauen, If Heauen will take the present at our hands. But who comes heere? the new deliuered Hastings? Enter Lord Hastings.

Hast. Good time of day vnto my gracious Lord

Rich. As much vnto my good Lord Chamberlaine: Well are you welcome to this open Ayre,
How hath your Lordship brook’d imprisonment? Hast. With patience (Noble Lord) as prisoners must: But I shall liue (my Lord) to giue them thankes That were the cause of my imprisonment

Rich. No doubt, no doubt, and so shall Clarence too, For they that were your Enemies, are his, And haue preuail’d as much on him, as you, Hast. More pitty, that the Eagles should be mew’d, Whiles Kites and Buzards play at liberty

Rich. What newes abroad?
Hast. No newes so bad abroad, as this at home: The King is sickly, weake, and melancholly, And his Physitians feare him mightily

Rich. Now by S[aint]. Iohn, that Newes is bad indeed. O he hath kept an euill Diet long,
And ouer-much consum’d his Royall Person: ‘Tis very greeuous to be thought vpon.
Where is he, in his bed?
Hast. He is

Rich. Go you before, and I will follow you.

Exit Hastings.

He cannot liue I hope, and must not dye, Till George be pack’d with post-horse vp to Heauen. Ile in to vrge his hatred more to Clarence, With Lyes well steel’d with weighty Arguments, And if I faile not in my deepe intent,
Clarence hath not another day to liue: Which done, God take King Edward to his mercy, And leaue the world for me to bussle in. For then, Ile marry Warwickes yongest daughter. What though I kill’d her Husband, and her Father, The readiest way to make the Wench amends, Is to become her Husband, and her Father: The which will I, not all so much for loue, As for another secret close intent,
By marrying her, which I must reach vnto. But yet I run before my horse to Market: Clarence still breathes, Edward still liues and raignes, When they are gone, then must I count my gaines.


Scena Secunda.

Enter the Coarse of Henrie the sixt with Halberds to guard it, Lady Anne
being the Mourner.

Anne. Set downe, set downe your honourable load, If Honor may be shrowded in a Herse;
Whil’st I a-while obsequiously lament Th’ vntimely fall of Vertuous Lancaster. Poore key-cold Figure of a holy King,
Pale Ashes of the House of Lancaster; Thou bloodlesse Remnant of that Royall Blood, Be it lawfull that I inuocate thy Ghost, To heare the Lamentations of poore Anne, Wife to thy Edward, to thy slaughtred Sonne, Stab’d by the selfesame hand that made these wounds. Loe, in these windowes that let forth thy life, I powre the helplesse Balme of my poore eyes. O cursed be the hand that made these holes: Cursed the Heart, that had the heart to do it: Cursed the Blood, that let this blood from hence: More direfull hap betide that hated Wretch That makes vs wretched by the death of thee, Then I can wish to Wolues, to Spiders, Toades, Or any creeping venom’d thing that liues. If euer he haue Childe, Abortiue be it,
Prodigeous, and vntimely brought to light, Whose vgly and vnnaturall Aspect
May fright the hopefull Mother at the view, And that be Heyre to his vnhappinesse.
If euer he haue Wife, let her be made More miserable by the death of him,
Then I am made by my young Lord, and thee. Come now towards Chertsey with your holy Lode, Taken from Paules, to be interred there. And still as you are weary of this waight, Rest you, whiles I lament King Henries Coarse. Enter Richard Duke of Gloster.

Rich. Stay you that beare the Coarse, & set it down

An. What blacke Magitian coniures vp this Fiend, To stop deuoted charitable deeds?
Rich. Villaines set downe the Coarse, or by S[aint]. Paul, Ile make a Coarse of him that disobeyes

Gen. My Lord stand backe, and let the Coffin passe

Rich. Vnmanner’d Dogge,
Stand’st thou when I commaund:
Aduance thy Halbert higher then my brest, Or by S[aint]. Paul Ile strike thee to my Foote, And spurne vpon thee Begger for thy boldnesse

Anne. What do you tremble? are you all affraid? Alas, I blame you not, for you are Mortall, And Mortall eyes cannot endure the Diuell. Auant thou dreadfull minister of Hell;
Thou had’st but power ouer his Mortall body, His Soule thou canst not haue: Therefore be gone

Rich. Sweet Saint, for Charity, be not so curst

An. Foule Diuell,
For Gods sake hence, and trouble vs not, For thou hast made the happy earth thy Hell: Fill’d it with cursing cries, and deepe exclaimes: If thou delight to view thy heynous deeds, Behold this patterne of thy Butcheries.
Oh Gentlemen, see, see dead Henries wounds, Open their congeal’d mouthes, and bleed afresh. Blush, blush, thou lumpe of fowle Deformitie: For ’tis thy presence that exhales this blood From cold and empty Veines where no blood dwels. Thy Deeds inhumane and vnnaturall,
Prouokes this Deluge most vnnaturall. O God! which this Blood mad’st, reuenge his death: O Earth! which this Blood drink’st, reuenge his death. Either Heau’n with Lightning strike the murth’rer dead: Or Earth gape open wide, and eate him quicke, As thou dost swallow vp this good Kings blood, Which his Hell-gouern’d arme hath butchered

Rich. Lady, you know no Rules of Charity, Which renders good for bad, Blessings for Curses

An. Villaine, thou know’st nor law of God nor Man, No Beast so fierce, but knowes some touch of pitty

Rich. But I know none, and therefore am no Beast

An. O wonderfull, when diuels tell the truth! Rich. More wonderfull, when Angels are so angry: Vouchsafe (diuine perfection of a Woman) Of these supposed Crimes, to giue me leaue By circumstance, but to acquit my selfe

An. Vouchsafe (defus’d infection of man) Of these knowne euils, but to giue me leaue By circumstance, to curse thy cursed Selfe

Rich. Fairer then tongue can name thee, let me haue Some patient leysure to excuse my selfe

An. Fouler then heart can thinke thee, Thou can’st make no excuse currant,
But to hang thy selfe

Rich. By such dispaire, I should accuse my selfe

An. And by dispairing shalt thou stand excused, For doing worthy Vengeance on thy selfe, That did’st vnworthy slaughter vpon others

Rich. Say that I slew them not

An. Then say they were not slaine:
But dead they are, and diuellish slaue by thee

Rich. I did not kill your Husband

An. Why then he is aliue

Rich. Nay, he is dead, and slaine by Edwards hands

An. In thy foule throat thou Ly’st, Queene Margaret saw
Thy murd’rous Faulchion smoaking in his blood: The which, thou once didd’st bend against her brest, But that thy Brothers beate aside the point

Rich. I was prouoked by her sland’rous tongue, That laid their guilt, vpon my guiltlesse Shoulders

An. Thou was’t prouoked by thy bloody minde, That neuer dream’st on ought but Butcheries: Did’st thou not kill this King?
Rich. I graunt ye

An. Do’st grant me Hedge-hogge,
Then God graunt me too
Thou may’st be damned for that wicked deede, O he was gentle, milde, and vertuous

Rich. The better for the King of heauen that hath him

An. He is in heauen, where thou shalt neuer come

Rich. Let him thanke me, that holpe to send him thither: For he was fitter for that place then earth

An. And thou vnfit for any place, but hell

Rich. Yes one place else, if you will heare me name it

An. Some dungeon

Rich. Your Bed-chamber

An. Ill rest betide the chamber where thou lyest

Rich. So will it Madam, till I lye with you

An. I hope so

Rich. I know so. But gentle Lady Anne, To leaue this keene encounter of our wittes, And fall something into a slower method. Is not the causer of the timelesse deaths Of these Plantagenets, Henrie and Edward, As blamefull as the Executioner

An. Thou was’t the cause, and most accurst effect

Rich. Your beauty was the cause of that effect: Your beauty, that did haunt me in my sleepe, To vndertake the death of all the world, So I might liue one houre in your sweet bosome

An. If I thought that, I tell thee Homicide, These Nailes should rent that beauty from my Cheekes

Rich. These eyes could not endure y beauties wrack, You should not blemish it, if I stood by; As all the world is cheared by the Sunne, So I by that: It is my day, my life

An. Blacke night ore-shade thy day, & death thy life

Rich. Curse not thy selfe faire Creature, Thou art both

An. I would I were, to be reueng’d on thee

Rich. It is a quarrell most vnnaturall, To be reueng’d on him that loueth thee

An. It is a quarrell iust and reasonable, To be reueng’d on him that kill’d my Husband

Rich. He that bereft the Lady of thy Husband, Did it to helpe thee to a better Husband

An. His better doth not breath vpon the earth

Rich. He liues, that loues thee better then he could

An. Name him

Rich. Plantagenet

An. Why that was he

Rich. The selfesame name, but one of better Nature

An. Where is he?
Rich. Heere:

Spits at him.

Why dost thou spit at me

An. Would it were mortall poyson, for thy sake

Rich. Neuer came poyson from so sweet a place

An. Neuer hung poyson on a fowler Toade. Out of my sight, thou dost infect mine eyes

Rich. Thine eyes (sweet Lady) haue infected mine

An. Would they were Basiliskes, to strike thee dead

Rich. I would they were, that I might dye at once: For now they kill me with a liuing death. Those eyes of thine, from mine haue drawne salt Teares; Sham’d their Aspects with store of childish drops: These eyes, which neuer shed remorsefull teare, No, when my Father Yorke, and Edward wept, To heare the pittious moane that Rutland made When black-fac’d Clifford shooke his sword at him. Nor when thy warlike Father like a Childe, Told the sad storie of my Fathers death, And twenty times, made pause to sob and weepe: That all the standers by had wet their cheekes Like Trees bedash’d with raine. In that sad time, My manly eyes did scorne an humble teare: And what these sorrowes could not thence exhale, Thy Beauty hath, and made them blinde with weeping. I neuer sued to Friend, nor Enemy:
My Tongue could neuer learne sweet smoothing word. But now thy Beauty is propos’d my Fee,
My proud heart sues, and prompts my tongue to speake.

She lookes scornfully at him.

Teach not thy lip such Scorne; for it was made For kissing Lady, not for such contempt. If thy reuengefull heart cannot forgiue, Loe heere I lend thee this sharpe-pointed Sword, Which if thou please to hide in this true brest, And let the Soule forth that adoreth thee, I lay it naked to the deadly stroke,
And humbly begge the death vpon my knee,

He layes his brest open, she offers at with his sword.

Nay do not pause: For I did kill King Henrie, But ’twas thy Beauty that prouoked me.
Nay now dispatch: ‘Twas I that stabb’d yong Edward, But ’twas thy Heauenly face that set me on.

She fals the Sword.

Take vp the Sword againe, or take vp me

An. Arise Dissembler, though I wish thy death, I will not be thy Executioner

Rich. Then bid me kill my selfe, and I will do it

An. I haue already

Rich. That was in thy rage:
Speake it againe, and euen with the word, This hand, which for thy loue, did kill thy Loue, Shall for thy loue, kill a farre truer Loue, To both their deaths shalt thou be accessary

An. I would I knew thy heart

Rich. ‘Tis figur’d in my tongue

An. I feare me, both are false

Rich. Then neuer Man was true

An. Well, well, put vp your Sword

Rich. Say then my Peace is made

An. That shalt thou know heereafter

Rich. But shall I liue in hope

An. All men I hope liue so.
Vouchsafe to weare this Ring

Rich. Looke how my Ring incompasseth thy Finger, Euen so thy Brest incloseth my poore heart: Weare both of them, for both of them are thine. And if thy poore deuoted Seruant may
But beg one fauour at thy gracious hand, Thou dost confirme his happinesse for euer

An. What is it?
Rich. That it may please you leaue these sad designes, To him that hath most cause to be a Mourner, And presently repayre to Crosbie House:
Where (after I haue solemnly interr’d At Chertsey Monast’ry this Noble King,
And wet his Graue with my Repentant Teares) I will with all expedient duty see you,
For diuers vnknowne Reasons, I beseech you, Grant me this Boon

An. With all my heart, and much it ioyes me too, To see you are become so penitent.
Tressel and Barkley, go along with me

Rich. Bid me farwell

An. ‘Tis more then you deserue:
But since you teach me how to flatter you, Imagine I haue saide farewell already.

Exit two with Anne.

Gent. Towards Chertsey, Noble Lord?
Rich. No: to White Friars, there attend my comming

Exit Coarse

Was euer woman in this humour woo’d?
Was euer woman in this humour wonne? Ile haue her, but I will not keepe her long. What? I that kill’d her Husband, and his Father, To take her in her hearts extreamest hate, With curses in her mouth, Teares in her eyes, The bleeding witnesse of my hatred by,
Hauing God, her Conscience, and these bars against me, And I, no Friends to backe my suite withall, But the plaine Diuell, and dissembling lookes? And yet to winne her? All the world to nothing. Hah!
Hath she forgot alreadie that braue Prince, Edward, her Lord, whom I (some three monthes since) Stab’d in my angry mood, at Tewkesbury?
A sweeter, and a louelier Gentleman, Fram’d in the prodigallity of Nature:
Yong, Valiant, Wise, and (no doubt) right Royal, The spacious World cannot againe affoord: And will she yet abase her eyes on me,
That cropt the Golden prime of this sweet Prince, And made her Widdow to a wofull Bed?
On me, whose All not equals Edwards Moytie? On me, that halts, and am mishapen thus? My Dukedome, to a Beggerly denier!
I do mistake my person all this while: Vpon my life she findes (although I cannot) My selfe to be a maru’llous proper man.
Ile be at Charges for a Looking-glasse, And entertaine a score or two of Taylors, To study fashions to adorne my body:
Since I am crept in fauour with my selfe, I will maintaine it with some little cost. But first Ile turne yon Fellow in his Graue, And then returne lamenting to my Loue.
Shine out faire Sunne, till I haue bought a glasse, That I may see my Shadow as I passe.

Scena Tertia.

Enter the Queene Mother, Lord Riuers, and Lord Gray.

Riu. Haue patience Madam, ther’s no doubt his Maiesty Will soone recouer his accustom’d health

Gray. In that you brooke it ill, it makes him worse, Therefore for Gods sake entertaine good comfort, And cheere his Grace with quicke and merry eyes Qu. If he were dead, what would betide on me? If he were dead, what would betide on me? Gray. No other harme, but losse of such a Lord

Qu. The losse of such a Lord, includes all harmes

Gray. The Heauens haue blest you with a goodly Son, To be your Comforter, when he is gone

Qu. Ah! he is yong; and his minority Is put vnto the trust of Richard Glouster, A man that loues not me, nor none of you

Riu. Is it concluded he shall be Protector? Qu. It is determin’d, not concluded yet: But so it must be, if the King miscarry. Enter Buckingham and Derby.

Gray. Here comes the Lord of Buckingham & Derby

Buc. Good time of day vnto your Royall Grace

Der. God make your Maiesty ioyful, as you haue bin Qu. The Countesse Richmond, good my L[ord]. of Derby. To your good prayer, will scarsely say, Amen. Yet Derby, not withstanding shee’s your wife, And loues not me, be you good Lord assur’d, I hate not you for her proud arrogance

Der. I do beseech you, either not beleeue The enuious slanders of her false Accusers: Or if she be accus’d on true report,
Beare with her weaknesse, which I thinke proceeds From wayward sicknesse, and no grounded malice

Qu. Saw you the King to day my Lord of Derby

Der. But now the Duke of Buckingham and I, Are come from visiting his Maiesty

Que. What likelyhood of his amendment Lords

Buc. Madam good hope, his Grace speaks chearfully

Qu. God grant him health, did you confer with him? Buc. I Madam, he desires to make attonement Betweene the Duke of Glouster, and your Brothers, And betweene them, and my Lord Chamberlaine, And sent to warne them to his Royall presence

Qu. Would all were well, but that will neuer be, I feare our happinesse is at the height. Enter Richard.

Rich. They do me wrong, and I will not indure it, Who is it that complaines vnto the King, That I (forsooth) am sterne, and loue them not? By holy Paul, they loue his Grace but lightly, That fill his eares with such dissentious Rumors. Because I cannot flatter, and looke faire, Smile in mens faces, smooth, deceiue, and cogge, Ducke with French nods, and Apish curtesie, I must be held a rancorous Enemy.
Cannot a plaine man liue, and thinke no harme, But thus his simple truth must be abus’d, With silken, slye, insinuating Iackes?
Grey. To who in all this presence speaks your Grace? Rich. To thee, that hast nor Honesty, nor Grace: When haue I iniur’d thee? When done thee wrong? Or thee? or thee? or any of your Faction? A plague vpon you all. His Royall Grace
(Whom God preserue better then you would wish) Cannot be quiet scarse a breathing while, But you must trouble him with lewd complaints

Qu. Brother of Glouster, you mistake the matter: The King on his owne Royall disposition, (And not prouok’d by any Sutor else)
Ayming (belike) at your interiour hatred, That in your outward action shewes it selfe Against my Children, Brothers, and my Selfe, Makes him to send, that he may learne the ground

Rich. I cannot tell, the world is growne so bad, That Wrens make prey, where Eagles dare not pearch. Since euerie Iacke became a Gentleman,
There’s many a gentle person made a Iacke

Qu. Come, come, we know your meaning Brother Gloster You enuy my aduancement, and my friends: God grant we neuer may haue neede of you

Rich. Meane time, God grants that I haue need of you. Our Brother is imprison’d by your meanes, My selfe disgrac’d, and the Nobilitie
Held in contempt, while great Promotions Are daily giuen to ennoble those
That scarse some two dayes since were worth a Noble

Qu. By him that rais’d me to this carefull height, From that contented hap which I inioy’d, I neuer did incense his Maiestie
Against the Duke of Clarence, but haue bin An earnest aduocate to plead for him.
My Lord you do me shamefull iniurie, Falsely to draw me in these vile suspects

Rich. You may deny that you were not the meane Of my Lord Hastings late imprisonment

Riu. She may my Lord, for-
Rich. She may Lord Riuers, why who knowes not so? She may do more sir then denying that:
She may helpe you to many faire preferments, And then deny her ayding hand therein,
And lay those Honors on your high desert. What may she not, she may, I marry may she

Riu. What marry may she?
Ric. What marrie may she? Marrie with a King, A Batcheller, and a handsome stripling too, Iwis your Grandam had a worser match

Qu. My Lord of Glouster, I haue too long borne Your blunt vpbraidings, and your bitter scoffes: By heauen, I will acquaint his Maiestie
Of those grosse taunts that oft I haue endur’d. I had rather be a Countrie seruant maide Then a great Queene, with this condition, To be so baited, scorn’d, and stormed at, Small ioy haue I in being Englands Queene. Enter old Queene Margaret.

Mar. And lesned be that small, God I beseech him, Thy honor, state, and seate, is due to me

Rich. What? threat you me with telling of the King? I will auouch’t in presence of the King: I dare aduenture to be sent to th’ Towre. ‘Tis time to speake,
My paines are quite forgot

Margaret. Out Diuell,
I do remember them too well:
Thou killd’st my Husband Henrie in the Tower, And Edward my poore Son, at Tewkesburie

Rich. Ere you were Queene,
I, or your Husband King:
I was a packe-horse in his great affaires: A weeder out of his proud Aduersaries,
A liberall rewarder of his Friends, To royalize his blood, I spent mine owne

Margaret. I and much better blood
Then his, or thine

Rich. In all which time, you and your Husband Grey Were factious, for the House of Lancaster; And Riuers, so were you: Was not your Husband, In Margarets Battaile, at Saint Albons, slaine? Let me put in your mindes, if you forget What you haue beene ere this, and what you are: Withall, what I haue beene, and what I am

Q.M. A murth’rous Villaine, and so still thou art

Rich. Poore Clarence did forsake his Father Warwicke, I, and forswore himselfe (which Iesu pardon.) Q.M. Which God reuenge

Rich. To fight on Edwards partie, for the Crowne, And for his meede, poore Lord, he is mewed vp: I would to God my heart were Flint, like Edwards, Or Edwards soft and pittifull, like mine; I am too childish foolish for this World

Q.M. High thee to Hell for shame, & leaue this World Thou Cacodemon, there thy Kingdome is

Riu. My Lord of Gloster: in those busie dayes, Which here you vrge, to proue vs Enemies, We follow’d then our Lord, our Soueraigne King, So should we you, if you should be our King

Rich. If I should be? I had rather be a Pedler: Farre be it from my heart, the thought thereof

Qu. As little ioy (my Lord) as you suppose You should enioy, were you this Countries King, As little ioy you may suppose in me,
That I enioy, being the Queene thereof

Q.M. A little ioy enioyes the Queene thereof, For I am shee, and altogether ioylesse:
I can no longer hold me patient.
Heare me, you wrangling Pyrates, that fall out, In sharing that which you haue pill’d from me: Which off you trembles not, that lookes on me? If not, that I am Queene, you bow like Subiects; Yet that by you depos’d, you quake like Rebells. Ah gentle Villaine, doe not turne away

Rich. Foule wrinckled Witch, what mak’st thou in my sight? Q.M. But repetition of what thou hast marr’d, That will I make, before I let thee goe

Rich. Wert thou not banished, on paine of death? Q.M. I was: but I doe find more paine in banishment, Then death can yeeld me here, by my abode. A Husband and a Sonne thou ow’st to me,
And thou a Kingdome; all of you, allegeance: This Sorrow that I haue, by right is yours, And all the Pleasures you vsurpe, are mine

Rich. The Curse my Noble Father layd on thee, When thou didst Crown his Warlike Brows with Paper, And with thy scornes drew’st Riuers from his eyes, And then to dry them, gau’st the Duke a Clowt, Steep’d in the faultlesse blood of prettie Rutland: His Curses then, from bitternesse of Soule, Denounc’d against thee, are all falne vpon thee: And God, not we, hath plagu’d thy bloody deed

Qu. So iust is God, to right the innocent

Hast. O, ’twas the foulest deed to slay that Babe, And the most mercilesse, that ere was heard of

Riu. Tyrants themselues wept when it was reported

Dors. No man but prophecied reuenge for it

Buck. Northumberland, then present, wept to see it

Q.M. What? were you snarling all before I came, Ready to catch each other by the throat, And turne you all your hatred now on me? Did Yorkes dread Curse preuaile so much with Heauen, That Henries death, my louely Edwards death, Their Kingdomes losse, my wofull Banishment, Should all but answer for that peeuish Brat? Can Curses pierce the Clouds, and enter Heauen? Why then giue way dull Clouds to my quick Curses. Though not by Warre, by Surfet dye your King, As ours by Murther, to make him a King.
Edward thy Sonne, that now is Prince of Wales, For Edward our Sonne, that was Prince of Wales, Dye in his youth, by like vntimely violence. Thy selfe a Queene, for me that was a Queene, Out-liue thy glory, like my wretched selfe: Long may’st thou liue, to wayle thy Childrens death, And see another, as I see thee now,
Deck’d in thy Rights, as thou art stall’d in mine. Long dye thy happie dayes, before thy death, And after many length’ned howres of griefe, Dye neyther Mother, Wife, nor Englands Queene. Riuers and Dorset, you were standers by, And so wast thou, Lord Hastings, when my Sonne Was stab’d with bloody Daggers: God, I pray him, That none of you may liue his naturall age, But by some vnlook’d accident cut off

Rich. Haue done thy Charme, y hateful wither’d Hagge

Q.M. And leaue out thee? stay Dog, for y shalt heare me. If Heauen haue any grieuous plague in store, Exceeding those that I can wish vpon thee, O let them keepe it, till thy sinnes be ripe, And then hurle downe their indignation
On thee, the troubler of the poore Worlds peace. The Worme of Conscience still begnaw thy Soule, Thy Friends suspect for Traytors while thou liu’st, And take deepe Traytors for thy dearest Friends: No sleepe close vp that deadly Eye of thine, Vnlesse it be while some tormenting Dreame Affrights thee with a Hell of ougly Deuills. Thou eluish mark’d, abortiue rooting Hogge, Thou that wast seal’d in thy Natiuitie
The slaue of Nature, and the Sonne of Hell: Thou slander of thy heauie Mothers Wombe, Thou loathed Issue of thy Fathers Loynes, Thou Ragge of Honor, thou detested-
Rich. Margaret

Q.M. Richard

Rich. Ha

Q.M. I call thee not

Rich. I cry thee mercie then: for I did thinke, That thou hadst call’d me all these bitter names

Q.M. Why so I did, but look’d for no reply. Oh let me make the Period to my Curse

Rich. ‘Tis done by me and ends in Margaret

Qu. Thus haue you breath’d your Curse against your self

Q.M. Poore painted Queen, vain flourish of my fortune, Why strew’st thou Sugar on that Bottel’d Spider, Whose deadly Web ensnareth thee about?
Foole, foole, thou whet’st a Knife to kill thy selfe: The day will come, that thou shalt wish for me, To helpe thee curse this poysonous Bunch-backt Toade

Hast. False boding Woman, end thy frantick Curse, Least to thy harme, thou moue our patience

Q.M. Foule shame vpon you, you haue all mou’d mine

Ri. Were you wel seru’d, you would be taught your duty

Q.M. To serue me well, you all should do me duty, Teach me to be your Queene, and you my Subiects: O serue me well, and teach your selues that duty

Dors. Dispute not with her, shee is lunaticke

Q.M. Peace Master Marquesse, you are malapert, Your fire-new stampe of Honor is scarce currant. O that your yong Nobility could iudge
What ’twere to lose it, and be miserable. They that stand high, haue many blasts to shake them, And if they fall, they dash themselues to peeces

Rich. Good counsaile marry, learne it, learne it Marquesse

Dor. It touches you my Lord, as much as me

Rich. I, and much more: but I was borne so high: Our ayerie buildeth in the Cedars top,
And dallies with the winde, and scornes the Sunne

Mar. And turnes the Sun to shade: alas, alas, Witnesse my Sonne, now in the shade of death, Whose bright out-shining beames, thy cloudy wrath Hath in eternall darknesse folded vp.
Your ayery buildeth in our ayeries Nest: O God that seest it, do not suffer it,
As it is wonne with blood, lost be it so

Buc. Peace, peace for shame: If not, for Charity

Mar. Vrge neither charity, nor shame to me: Vncharitably with me haue you dealt,
And shamefully my hopes (by you) are butcher’d. My Charity is outrage, Life my shame,
And in that shame, still liue my sorrowes rage

Buc. Haue done, haue done

Mar. O Princely Buckingham, Ile kisse thy hand, In signe of League and amity with thee:
Now faire befall thee, and thy Noble house: Thy Garments are not spotted with our blood: Nor thou within the compasse of my curse

Buc. Nor no one heere: for Curses neuer passe The lips of those that breath them in the ayre

Mar. I will not thinke but they ascend the sky, And there awake Gods gentle sleeping peace. O Buckingham, take heede of yonder dogge: Looke when he fawnes, he bites; and when he bites, His venom tooth will rankle to the death. Haue not to do with him, beware of him,
Sinne, death, and hell haue set their markes on him, And all their Ministers attend on him

Rich. What doth she say, my Lord of Buckingham

Buc. Nothing that I respect my gracious Lord

Mar. What dost thou scorne me
For my gentle counsell?
And sooth the diuell that I warne thee from. O but remember this another day:
When he shall split thy very heart with sorrow: And say (poore Margaret) was a Prophetesse: Liue each of you the subiects to his hate, And he to yours, and all of you to Gods. Enter.

Buc. My haire doth stand an end to heare her curses

Riu. And so doth mine, I muse why she’s at libertie

Rich. I cannot blame her, by Gods holy mother, She hath had too much wrong, and I repent My part thereof, that I haue done to her

Mar. I neuer did her any to my knowledge

Rich. Yet you haue 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 repayed: He is frank’d vp to fatting for his paines, God pardon them, that are the cause thereof

Riu. A vertuous, and a Christian-like conclusion To pray for them that haue done scath to vs

Rich. So do I euer, being well aduis’d.

Speakes to himselfe.

For had I curst now, I had curst my selfe. Enter Catesby.

Cates. Madam, his Maiesty doth call for you, And for your Grace, and yours my gracious Lord

Qu. Catesby I come, Lords will you go with mee

Riu. We wait vpon your Grace.

Exeunt. all but Gloster.

Rich. I do the wrong, and first begin to brawle. The secret Mischeefes that I set abroach, I lay vnto the greeuous charge of others. Clarence, who I indeede haue cast in darknesse, I do beweepe to many simple Gulles,
Namely to Derby, Hastings, Buckingham, And tell them ’tis the Queene, and her Allies, That stirre the King against the Duke my Brother. Now they beleeue it, and withall whet me To be reueng’d on Riuers, Dorset, Grey.
But then I sigh, and with a peece of Scripture, Tell them that God bids vs do good for euill: And thus I cloath my naked Villanie
With odde old ends, stolne forth of holy Writ, And seeme a Saint, when most I play the deuill. Enter two murtherers.

But soft, heere come my Executioners, How now my hardy stout resolued Mates,
Are you now going to dispatch this thing? Vil. We are my Lord, and come to haue the Warrant, That we may be admitted where he is

Ric. Well thought vpon, I haue it heare about me: When you haue done, repayre to Crosby place; But sirs be sodaine in the execution,
Withall obdurate, do not heare him pleade; For Clarence is well spoken, and perhappes May moue your hearts to pitty, if you marke him

Vil. Tut, tut, my Lord, we will not stand to prate, Talkers are no good dooers, be assur’d:
We go to vse our hands, and not our tongues

Rich. Your eyes drop Mill-stones, when Fooles eyes fall Teares:
I like you Lads, about your businesse straight. Go, go, dispatch

Vil. We will my Noble Lord.

Scena Quarta.

Enter Clarence and Keeper.

Keep. Why lookes your Grace so heauily to day

Cla. O, I haue past a miserable night, So full of fearefull Dreames, of vgly sights, That as I am a Christian faithfull man,
I would not spend another such a night Though ’twere to buy a world of happy daies: So full of dismall terror was the time

Keep. What was your dream my Lord, I pray you tel me Cla. Me thoughts that I had broken from the Tower, And was embark’d to crosse to Burgundy,
And in my company my Brother Glouster, Who from my Cabin tempted me to walke,
Vpon the Hatches: There we look’d toward England, And cited vp a thousand heauy times,
During the warres of Yorke and Lancaster That had befalne vs. As we pac’d along
Vpon the giddy footing of the Hatches, Me thought that Glouster stumbled, and in falling Strooke me (that thought to stay him) ouer-boord, Into the tumbling billowes of the maine. O Lord, me thought what paine it was to drowne, What dreadfull noise of water in mine eares, What sights of vgly death within mine eyes. Me thoughts, I saw a thousand fearfull wrackes: A thousand men that Fishes gnaw’d vpon:
Wedges of Gold, great Anchors, heapes of Pearle, Inestimable Stones, vnvalewed Iewels,
All scattred in the bottome of the Sea, Some lay in dead-mens Sculles, and in the holes Where eyes did once inhabit, there were crept (As ’twere in scorne of eyes) reflecting Gemmes, That woo’d the slimy bottome of the deepe, And mock’d the dead bones that lay scattred by

Keep. Had you such leysure in the time of death To gaze vpon these secrets of the deepe? Cla. Me thought I had, and often did I striue To yeeld the Ghost: but still the enuious Flood Stop’d in my soule, and would not let it forth To find the empty, vast, and wand’ring ayre: But smother’d it within my panting bulke, Who almost burst, to belch it in the Sea

Keep. Awak’d you not in this sore Agony? Clar. No, no, my Dreame was lengthen’d after life. O then, began the Tempest to my Soule.
I past (me thought) the Melancholly Flood, With that sowre Ferry-man which Poets write of, Vnto the Kingdome of perpetuall Night.
The first that there did greet my Stranger-soule, Was my great Father-in-Law, renowned Warwicke, Who spake alowd: What scourge for Periurie, Can this darke Monarchy affoord false Clarence? And so he vanish’d. Then came wand’ring by, A Shadow like an Angell, with bright hayre Dabbel’d in blood, and he shriek’d out alowd Clarence is come, false, fleeting, periur’d Clarence, That stabb’d me in the field by Tewkesbury: Seize on him Furies, take him vnto Torment. With that (me thought) a Legion of foule Fiends Inuiron’d me, and howled in mine eares
Such hiddeous cries, that with the very Noise, I (trembling) wak’d, and for a season after, Could not beleeue, but that I was in Hell, Such terrible Impression made my Dreame

Keep. No maruell Lord, though it affrighted you, I am affraid (me thinkes) to heare you tell it

Cla. Ah Keeper, Keeper, I haue done these things (That now giue euidence against my Soule) For Edwards sake, and see how he requits mee. O God! if my deepe prayres cannot appease thee, But thou wilt be aueng’d on my misdeeds, Yet execute thy wrath in me alone:
O spare my guiltlesse Wife, and my poore children. Keeper, I prythee sit by me a-while,
My Soule is heauy, and I faine would sleepe

Keep. I will my Lord, God giue your Grace good rest. Enter Brakenbury the Lieutenant.

Bra. Sorrow breakes Seasons, and reposing houres, Makes the Night Morning, and the Noon-tide night: Princes haue but their Titles for their Glories, An outward Honor, for an inward Toyle,
And for vnfelt Imaginations
They often feele a world of restlesse Cares: So that betweene their Titles, and low Name, There’s nothing differs, but the outward fame. Enter two Murtherers.

1.Mur. Ho, who’s heere?
Bra. What would’st thou Fellow? And how camm’st thou hither

2.Mur. I would speak with Clarence, and I came hither on my Legges

Bra. What so breefe?
1. ‘Tis better (Sir) then to be tedious: Let him see our Commission, and talke no more.


Bra. I am in this, commanded to deliuer The Noble Duke of Clarence to your hands. I will not reason what is meant heereby, Because I will be guiltlesse from the meaning. There lies the Duke asleepe, and there the Keyes. Ile to the King, and signifie to him,
That thus I haue resign’d to you my charge. Enter.

1 You may sir, ’tis a point of wisedome: Far you well

2 What, shall we stab him as he sleepes

1 No: hee’l say ’twas done cowardly, when he wakes 2 Why he shall neuer wake, vntill the great Iudgement day

1 Why then hee’l say, we stab’d him sleeping

2 The vrging of that word Iudgement, hath bred a kinde of remorse in me

1 What? art thou affraid?
2 Not to kill him, hauing a Warrant, But to be damn’d for killing him, from the which No Warrant can defend me

1 I thought thou had’st bin resolute

2 So I am, to let him liue

1 Ile backe to the Duke of Glouster, and tell him so

2 Nay, I prythee stay a little:
I hope this passionate humor of mine, will change, It was wont to hold me but while one tels twenty

1 How do’st thou feele thy selfe now? 2 Some certaine dregges of conscience are yet within mee

1 Remember our Reward, when the deed’s done

2 Come, he dies: I had forgot the Reward

1 Where’s thy conscience now

2 O, in the Duke of Glousters purse

1 When hee opens his purse to giue vs our Reward, thy Conscience flyes out

2 ‘Tis no matter, let it goe: There’s few or none will entertaine it

1 What if it come to thee againe?
2 Ile not meddle with it, it makes a man a Coward: A man cannot steale, but it accuseth him: A man cannot Sweare, but it Checkes him: A man cannot lye with his Neighbours Wife, but it detects him. ‘Tis a blushing shamefac’d spirit, that mutinies in a mans bosome: It filles a man full of Obstacles. It made me once restore a Pursse of Gold that (by chance) I found: It beggars any man that keepes it: It is turn’d out of Townes and Citties for a dangerous thing, and euery man that means to liue well, endeuours to trust to himselfe, and liue without it

1 ‘Tis euen now at my elbow, perswading me not to kill the Duke

2 Take the diuell in thy minde, and beleeue him not: He would insinuate with thee but to make thee sigh

1 I am strong fram’d, he cannot preuaile with me

2 Spoke like a tall man, that respects thy reputation. Come, shall we fall to worke?
1 Take him on the Costard, with the hiltes of thy Sword, and then throw him into the Malmesey-Butte in the next roome

2 O excellent deuice; and make a sop of him

1 Soft, he wakes

2 Strike

1 No, wee’l reason with him

Cla. Where art thou Keeper? Giue me a cup of wine

2 You shall haue Wine enough my Lord anon

Cla. In Gods name, what art thou?
1 A man, as you are

Cla. But not as I am Royall

1 Nor you as we are, Loyall

Cla. Thy voice is Thunder, but thy looks are humble

1 My voice is now the Kings, my lookes mine owne

Cla. How darkly, and how deadly dost thou speake? Your eyes do menace me: why looke you pale? Who sent you hither? Wherefore do you come? 2 To, to, to-
Cla. To murther me?
Both. I, I

Cla. You scarsely haue the hearts to tell me so, And therefore cannot haue the hearts to do it. Wherein my Friends haue I offended you?
1 Offended vs you haue not, but the King

Cla. I shall be reconcil’d to him againe

2 Neuer my Lord, therefore prepare to dye

Cla. Are you drawne forth among a world of men To slay the innocent? What is my offence? Where is the Euidence that doth accuse me? What lawfull Quest haue giuen their Verdict vp Vnto the frowning Iudge? Or who pronounc’d The bitter sentence of poore Clarence death, Before I be conuict by course of Law?
To threaten me with death, is most vnlawfull. I charge you, as you hope for any goodnesse, That you depart, and lay no hands on me: The deed you vndertake is damnable

1 What we will do, we do vpon command

2 And he that hath commanded, is our King

Cla. Erroneous Vassals, the great King of Kings Hath in the Table of his Law commanded
That thou shalt do no murther. Will you then Spurne at his Edict, and fulfill a Mans? Take heed: for he holds Vengeance in his hand, To hurle vpon their heads that breake his Law

2 And that same Vengeance doth he hurle on thee, For false Forswearing, and for murther too: Thou did’st receiue the Sacrament, to fight In quarrell of the House of Lancaster

1 And like a Traitor to the name of God, Did’st breake that Vow, and with thy treacherous blade, Vnrip’st the Bowels of thy Sou’raignes Sonne

2 Whom thou was’t sworne to cherish and defend

1 How canst thou vrge Gods dreadfull Law to vs, When thou hast broke it in such deere degree? Cla. Alas! for whose sake did I that ill deede? For Edward, for my Brother, for his sake. He sends you not to murther me for this: For in that sinne, he is as deepe as I.
If God will be auenged for the deed, O know you yet, he doth it publiquely,
Take not the quarrell from his powrefull arme: He needs no indirect, or lawlesse course, To cut off those that haue offended him

1 Who made thee then a bloudy minister, When gallant springing braue Plantagenet, That Princely Nouice was strucke dead by thee? Cla. My Brothers loue, the Diuell, and my Rage

1 Thy Brothers Loue, our Duty, and thy Faults, Prouoke vs hither now, to slaughter thee

Cla. If you do loue my Brother, hate not me: I am his Brother, and I loue him well.
If you are hyr’d for meed, go backe againe, And I will send you to my Brother Glouster: Who shall reward you better for my life, Then Edward will for tydings of my death

2 You are deceiu’d,
Your Brother Glouster hates you

Cla. Oh no, he loues me, and he holds me deere: Go you to him from me

1 I so we will

Cla. Tell him, when that our Princely Father Yorke, Blest his three Sonnes with his victorious Arme, He little thought of this diuided Friendship: Bid Glouster thinke on this, and he will weepe

1 I Milstones, as he lessoned vs to weepe

Cla. O do not slander him, for he is kinde

1 Right, as Snow in Haruest:
Come, you deceiue your selfe,
‘Tis he that sends vs to destroy you heere

Cla. It cannot be, for he bewept my Fortune, And hugg’d me in his armes, and swore with sobs, That he would labour my deliuery

1 Why so he doth, when he deliuers you From this earths thraldome, to the ioyes of heauen

2 Make peace with God, for you must die my Lord

Cla. Haue you that holy feeling in your soules, To counsaile me to make my peace with God, And are you yet to your owne soules so blinde, That you will warre with God, by murd’ring me. O sirs consider, they that set you on
To do this deede will hate you for the deede

2 What shall we do?
Clar. Relent, and saue your soules: Which of you, if you were a Princes Sonne, Being pent from Liberty, as I am now,
If two such murtherers as your selues came to you, Would not intreat for life, as you would begge Were you in my distresse

1 Relent? no: ‘Tis cowardly and womanish

Cla. Not to relent, is beastly, sauage, diuellish: My Friend, I spy some pitty in thy lookes: O, if thine eye be not a Flatterer,
Come thou on my side, and intreate for mee, A begging Prince, what begger pitties not

2 Looke behinde you, my Lord

1 Take that, and that, if all this will not do,

Stabs him.

Ile drowne you in the MalmeseyBut within. Enter.

2 A bloody deed, and desperately dispatcht: How faine (like Pilate) would I wash my hands Of this most greeuous murther.

Enter 1.Murtherer]

1 How now? what mean’st thou that thou help’st me not? By Heauen the Duke shall know how slacke you haue beene

2.Mur. I would he knew that I had sau’d his brother, Take thou the Fee, and tell him what I say, For I repent me that the Duke is slaine. Enter.

1.Mur. So do not I: go Coward as thou art. Well, Ile go hide the body in some hole, Till that the Duke giue order for his buriall: And when I haue my meede, I will away,
For this will out, and then I must not stay.


Actus Secundus. Scoena Prima.


Enter the King sicke, the Queene, Lord Marquesse Dorset, Riuers, Hastings,
Catesby, Buckingham, Wooduill.

King. Why so: now haue I done a good daies work. You Peeres, continue this vnited League: I, euery day expect an Embassage
From my Redeemer, to redeeme me hence. And more to peace my soule shall part to heauen, Since I haue made my Friends at peace on earth. Dorset and Riuers, take each others hand, Dissemble not your hatred, Sweare your loue

Riu. By heauen, my soule is purg’d from grudging hate And with my hand I seale my true hearts Loue

Hast. So thriue I, as I truly sweare the like

King. Take heed you dally not before your King, Lest he that is the supreme King of Kings Confound your hidden falshood, and award Either of you to be the others end

Hast. So prosper I, as I sweare perfect loue

Ri. And I, as I loue Hastings with my heart, King. Madam, your selfe is not exempt from this: Nor you Sonne Dorset, Buckingham nor you; You haue bene factious one against the other. Wife, loue Lord Hastings, let him kisse your hand, And what you do, do it vnfeignedly

Qu. There Hastings, I will neuer more remember Our former hatred, so thriue I, and mine

King. Dorset, imbrace him:
Hastings, loue Lord Marquesse

Dor. This interchange of loue, I heere protest Vpon my part, shall be inuiolable

Hast. And so sweare I

King. Now Princely Buckingham, seale y this league With thy embracements to my wiues Allies, And make me happy in your vnity

Buc. When euer Buckingham doth turne his hate Vpon your Grace, but with all dutious loue, Doth cherish you, and yours, God punish me With hate in those where I expect most loue, When I haue most need to imploy a Friend, And most assured that he is a Friend,
Deepe, hollow, treacherous, and full of guile, Be he vnto me: This do I begge of heauen, When I am cold in loue, to you, or yours.


King. A pleasing Cordiall, Princely Buckingham Is this thy Vow, vnto my sickely heart:
There wanteth now our Brother Gloster heere, To make the blessed period of this peace

Buc. And in good time,
Heere comes Sir Richard Ratcliffe, and the Duke. Enter Ratcliffe, and Gloster.

Rich. Good morrow to my Soueraigne King & Queen And Princely Peeres, a happy time of day

King. Happy indeed, as we haue spent the day: Gloster, we haue done deeds of Charity,
Made peace of enmity, faire loue of hate, Betweene these swelling wrong incensed Peeres

Rich. A blessed labour my most Soueraigne Lord: Among this Princely heape, if any heere
By false intelligence, or wrong surmize Hold me a Foe: If I vnwillingly, or in my rage, Haue ought committed that is hardly borne, To any in this presence, I desire
To reconcile me to his Friendly peace: ‘Tis death to me to be at enmitie:
I hate it, and desire all good mens loue, First Madam, I intreate true peace of you, Which I will purchase with my dutious seruice. Of you my Noble Cosin Buckingham,
If euer any grudge were lodg’d betweene vs. Of you and you, Lord Riuers and of Dorset, That all without desert haue frown’d on me: Of you Lord Wooduill, and Lord Scales of you, Dukes, Earles, Lords, Gentlemen, indeed of all. I do not know that Englishman aliue,
With whom my soule is any iot at oddes, More then the Infant that is borne to night: I thanke my God for my Humility

Qu. A holy day shall this be kept heereafter: I would to God all strifes were well compounded. My Soueraigne Lord, I do beseech your Highnesse To take our Brother Clarence to your Grace

Rich. Why Madam, haue I offred loue for this, To be so flowted in this Royall presence? Who knowes not that the gentle Duke is dead?

They all start.

You do him iniurie to scorne his Coarse

King. Who knowes not he is dead?
Who knowes he is?
Qu. All-seeing heauen, what a world is this? Buc. Looke I so pale Lord Dorset, as the rest? Dor. I my good Lord, and no man in the presence, But his red colour hath forsooke his cheekes

King. Is Clarence dead? The Order was reuerst

Rich. But he (poore man) by your first order dyed, And that a winged Mercurie did beare:
Some tardie Cripple bare the Countermand, That came too lagge to see him buried.
God grant, that some lesse Noble, and lesse Loyall, Neerer in bloody thoughts, and not in blood, Deserue not worse then wretched Clarence did, And yet go currant from Suspition.
Enter Earle of Derby.

Der. A boone my Soueraigne for my seruice done

King. I prethee peace, my soule is full of sorrow

Der. I will not rise, vnlesse your Highnes heare me

King. Then say at once, what is it thou requests

Der. The forfeit (Soueraigne) of my seruants life, Who slew to day a Riotous Gentleman,
Lately attendant on the Duke of Norfolke

King. Haue I a tongue to doome my Brothers death? And shall that tongue giue pardon to a slaue? My Brother kill’d no man, his fault was Thought, And yet his punishment was bitter death. Who sued to me for him? Who (in my wrath) Kneel’d and my feet, and bid me be aduis’d? Who spoke of Brother-hood? who spoke of loue? Who told me how the poore soule did forsake The mighty Warwicke, and did fight for me? Who told me in the field at Tewkesbury,
When Oxford had me downe, he rescued me: And said deare Brother liue, and be a King? Who told me, when we both lay in the Field, Frozen (almost) to death, how he did lap me Euen in his Garments, and did giue himselfe (All thin and naked) to the numbe cold night? All this from my Remembrance, brutish wrath Sinfully pluckt, and not a man of you
Had so much grace to put it in my minde. But when your Carters, or your wayting Vassalls Haue done a drunken Slaughter, and defac’d The precious Image of our deere Redeemer, You straight are on your knees for Pardon, pardon, And I (vniustly too) must grant it you.
But for my Brother, not a man would speake, Nor I (vngracious) speake vnto my selfe
For him poore Soule. The proudest of you all, Haue bin beholding to him in his life:
Yet none of you, would once begge for his life. O God! I feare thy iustice will take hold On me, and you; and mine, and yours for this. Come Hastings helpe me to my Closset.
Ah poore Clarence.

Exeunt. some with K[ing]. & Queen.

Rich. This is the fruits of rashnes: Markt you not, How that the guilty Kindred of the Queene Look’d pale, when they did heare of Clarence death. O! they did vrge it still vnto the King, God will reuenge it. Come Lords will you go, To comfort Edward with our company

Buc. We wait vpon your Grace.


Scena Secunda.

Enter the old Dutchesse of Yorke, with the two children of Clarence.

Edw. Good Grandam tell vs, is our Father dead? Dutch. No Boy

Daugh. Why do weepe so oft? And beate your Brest? And cry, O Clarence, my vnhappy Sonne

Boy. Why do you looke on vs, and shake your head, And call vs Orphans, Wretches, Castawayes, If that our Noble Father were aliue?
Dut. My pretty Cosins, you mistake me both, I do lament the sicknesse of the King,
As loath to lose him, not your Fathers death: It were lost sorrow to waile one that’s lost

Boy. Then you conclude, (my Grandam) he is dead: The King mine Vnckle is too blame for it. God will reuenge it, whom I will importune With earnest prayers, all to that effect

Daugh. And so will I

Dut. Peace children peace, the King doth loue you wel. Incapeable, and shallow Innocents,
You cannot guesse who caus’d your Fathers death

Boy. Grandam we can: for my good Vnkle Gloster Told me, the King prouok’d to it by the Queene, Deuis’d impeachments to imprison him;
And when my Vnckle told me so, he wept, And pittied me, and kindly kist my cheeke: Bad me rely on him, as on my Father,
And he would loue me deerely as a childe

Dut. Ah! that Deceit should steale such gentle shape, And with a vertuous Vizor hide deepe vice. He is my sonne, I, and therein my shame, Yet from my dugges, he drew not this deceit

Boy. Thinke you my Vnkle did dissemble Grandam? Dut. I Boy

Boy. I cannot thinke it. Hearke, what noise is this? Enter the Queene with her haire about her ears, Riuers & Dorset after

Qu. Ah! who shall hinder me to waile and weepe? To chide my Fortune, and torment my Selfe. Ile ioyne with blacke dispaire against my Soule, And to my selfe, become an enemie

Dut. What meanes this Scene of rude impatience? Qu. To make an act of Tragicke violence. Edward my Lord, thy Sonne, our King is dead. Why grow the Branches, when the Roote is gone? Why wither not the leaues that want their sap? If you will liue, Lament: if dye, be breefe, That our swift-winged Soules may catch the Kings, Or like obedient Subiects follow him,
To his new Kingdome of nere-changing night

Dut. Ah so much interest haue in thy sorrow, As I had Title in thy Noble Husband:
I haue bewept a worthy Husbands death, And liu’d with looking on his Images:
But now two Mirrors of his Princely semblance, Are crack’d in pieces, by malignant death, And I for comfort, haue but one false Glasse, That greeues me, when I see my shame in him. Thou art a Widdow: yet thou art a Mother, And hast the comfort of thy Children left, But death hath snatch’d my Husband from mine Armes, And pluckt two Crutches from my feeble hands, Clarence, and Edward. O, what cause haue I, (Thine being but a moity of my moane)
To ouer-go thy woes, and drowne thy cries

Boy. Ah Aunt! you wept not for our Fathers death: How can we ayde you with our Kindred teares? Daugh. Our fatherlesse distresse was left vnmoan’d, Your widdow-dolour, likewise be vnwept

Qu. Giue me no helpe in Lamentation, I am not barren to bring forth complaints: All Springs reduce their currents to mine eyes, That I being gouern’d by the waterie Moone, May send forth plenteous teares to drowne the World. Ah, for my Husband, for my deere Lord Edward

Chil. Ah for our Father, for our deere Lord Clarence

Dut. Alas for both, both mine Edward and Clarence

Qu. What stay had I but Edward, and hee’s gone? Chil. What stay had we but Clarence? and he’s gone

Dut. What stayes had I, but they? and they are gone

Qu. Was neuer widdow had so deere a losse

Chil. Were neuer Orphans had so deere a losse

Dut. Was neuer Mother had so deere a losse. Alas! I am the Mother of these Greefes,
Their woes are parcell’d, mine is generall. She for an Edward weepes, and so do I:
I for a Clarence weepes, so doth not shee: These Babes for Clarence weepe, so do not they. Alas! you three, on me threefold distrest: Power all your teares, I am your sorrowes Nurse, And I will pamper it with Lamentation

Dor. Comfort deere Mother, God is much displeas’d, That you take with vnthankfulnesse his doing. In common worldly things, ’tis call’d vngratefull, With dull vnwillingnesse to repay a debt, Which with a bounteous hand was kindly lent: Much more to be thus opposite with heauen, For it requires the Royall debt it lent you

Riuers. Madam, bethinke you like a carefull Mother Of the young Prince your sonne: send straight for him, Let him be Crown’d, in him your comfort liues. Drowne desperate sorrow in dead Edwards graue, And plant your ioyes in liuing Edwards Throne. Enter Richard, Buckingham, Derbie, Hastings, and Ratcliffe.

Rich. Sister haue comfort, all of vs haue cause To waile the dimming of our shining Starre: But none can helpe our harmes by wayling them. Madam, my Mother, I do cry you mercie,
I did not see your Grace. Humbly on my knee, I craue your Blessing

Dut. God blesse thee, and put meeknes in thy breast, Loue Charity, Obedience, and true Dutie

Rich. Amen, and make me die a good old man, That is the butt-end of a Mothers blessing; I maruell that her Grace did leaue it out

Buc. You clowdy-Princes, & hart-sorowing-Peeres, That beare this heauie mutuall loade of Moane, Now cheere each other, in each others Loue: Though we haue spent our Haruest of this King, We are to reape the Haruest of his Sonne. The broken rancour of your high-swolne hates, But lately splinter’d, knit, and ioyn’d together, Must gently be preseru’d, cherisht, and kept: Me seemeth good, that with some little Traine, Forthwith from Ludlow, the young Prince be set Hither to London, to be crown’d our King

Riuers. Why with some little Traine, My Lord of Buckingham?
Buc. Marrie my Lord, least by a multitude, The new-heal’d wound of Malice should breake out, Which would be so much the more dangerous, By how much the estate is greene, and yet vngouern’d. Where euery Horse beares his commanding Reine, And may direct his course as please himselfe, As well the feare of harme, as harme apparant, In my opinion, ought to be preuented

Rich. I hope the King made peace with all of vs, And the compact is firme, and true in me

Riu. And so in me, and so (I thinke) in all. Yet since it is but greene, it should be put To no apparant likely-hood of breach,
Which haply by much company might be vrg’d: Therefore I say with Noble Buckingham,
That it is meete so few should fetch the Prince

Hast. And so say I

Rich. Then be it so, and go we to determine Who they shall be that strait shall poste to London. Madam, and you my Sister, will you go
To giue your censures in this businesse.


Manet Buckingham, and Richard.

Buc. My Lord, who euer iournies to the Prince, For God sake let not vs two stay at home: For by the way, Ile sort occasion,
As Index to the story we late talk’d of, To part the Queenes proud Kindred from the Prince

Rich. My other selfe, my Counsailes Consistory, My Oracle, My Prophet, my deere Cosin,
I, as a childe, will go by thy direction, Toward London then, for wee’l not stay behinde.


Scena Tertia.

Enter one Citizen at one doore, and another at the other.

1.Cit. Good morrow Neighbour, whether away so fast?
2.Cit. I promise you, I scarsely know my selfe: Heare you the newes abroad?
1. Yes, that the King is dead

2. Ill newes byrlady, seldome comes the better: I feare, I feare, ’twill proue a giddy world. Enter another Citizen.

3. Neighbours, God speed

1. Giue you good morrow sir

3. Doth the newes hold of good king Edwards death? 2. I sir, it is too true, God helpe the while

3. Then Masters looke to see a troublous world

1. No, no, by Gods good grace, his Son shall reigne

3. Woe to that Land that’s gouern’d by a Childe

2. In him there is a hope of Gouernment, Which in his nonage, counsell vnder him, And in his full and ripened yeares, himselfe No doubt shall then, and till then gouerne well

1. So stood the State, when Henry the sixt Was crown’d in Paris, but at nine months old

3. Stood the State so? No, no, good friends, God wot For then this Land was famously enrich’d With politike graue Counsell; then the King Had vertuous Vnkles to protect his Grace

1. Why so hath this, both by his Father and Mother

3. Better it were they all came by his Father: Or by his Father there were none at all: For emulation, who shall now be neerest, Will touch vs all too neere, if God preuent not. O full of danger is the Duke of Glouster, And the Queenes Sons, and Brothers, haught and proud: And were they to be rul’d, and not to rule, This sickly Land, might solace as before

1. Come, come, we feare the worst: all will be well

3. When Clouds are seen, wisemen put on their clokes; When great leaues fall, then Winter is at hand; When the Sun sets, who doth not looke for night? Vntimely stormes, makes men expect a Dearth: All may be well; but if God sort it so,
‘Tis more then we deserue, or I expect

2. Truly, the hearts of men are full of feare: You cannot reason (almost) with a man,
That lookes not heauily, and full of dread

3. Before the dayes of Change, still is it so, By a diuine instinct, mens mindes mistrust Pursuing danger: as by proofe we see
The Water swell before a boyst’rous storme: But leaue it all to God. Whither away?
2 Marry we were sent for to the Iustices

3 And so was I: Ile beare you company.


Scena Quarta.

Enter Arch-bishop, yong Yorke, the Queene, and the Dutchesse.

Arch. Last night I heard they lay at Stony Stratford, And at Northampton they do rest to night: To morrow, or next day, they will be heere

Dut. I long with all my heart to see the Prince: I hope he is much growne since last I saw him

Qu. But I heare no, they say my sonne of Yorke Ha’s almost ouertane him in his growth

Yorke. I Mother, but I would not haue it so

Dut. Why my good Cosin, it is good to grow

Yor. Grandam, one night as we did sit at Supper, My Vnkle Riuers talk’d how I did grow
More then my Brother. I, quoth my Vnkle Glouster, Small Herbes haue grace, great Weeds do grow apace. And since, me thinkes I would not grow so fast, Because sweet Flowres are slow, and Weeds make hast

Dut. Good faith, good faith, the saying did not hold In him that did obiect the same to thee. He was the wretched’st thing when he was yong, So long a growing, and so leysurely,
That if his rule were true, he should be gracious

Yor. And so no doubt he is, my gracious Madam

Dut. I hope he is, but yet let Mothers doubt

Yor. Now by my troth, if I had beene remembred, I could haue giuen my Vnkles Grace, a flout, To touch his growth, neerer then he toucht mine

Dut. How my yong Yorke,
I prythee let me heare it

Yor. Marry (they say) my Vnkle grew so fast,