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LIFE AND DEATH OF
KING RICHARD III.
KING EDWARD THE FOURTH.
SIR RICHARD RATCLIFF. EDWARD, Prince of Wales, after
SIR WILLIAM CATESBY. wards King Edward V., Sons to the King. Sir James TYRREL. RICHARD, Duke of York,
Sir JAMES BLOUNT, GEORGE, Duke of Clarence,
SIR WALTER HERBERT.
Brothers to the RICHARD, Duke of Gloster, after
Sir ROBERT BRAKENBURY, Lieutenant of the Touer,
King. wards King Richard III.
CHRISTOPHER URSWICK, a Priest.
Sheriff of Wiltshire,
MARGARET, Widow of King Henry VI.
Duchess of York, Mother to King Edward IV., DUKE OF NORFOLK.
Clarence, and Gloster. EARL OF SURREY, his Son.
LADY ANNE, Widow of Edward, Prince of Wales,
A young Daughter of Clarence.
Lords, and other Attendants; two Gentlemen, a LORD LOVEL.
Pursuivant, Scrivener, Citizens, Murderers, MesSIR THOMAS VAUGHAN.
sengers, Ghosts, Soldiers, &c. SCENE, - England.
SCENE I. - London, Street.
To strut before a wanton ambling nymph;
I, that am curtail'd of this fair proportion,
Cheated of feature by dissembling nature,
Deform’d, unfinish'd, sent before my time
That dogs bark at me, as I halt by them;
And hate the idle pleasures of these days, –
Plots have I laid, inductions dangerous, But I, - that am not shap'd for sportive tricks, By drunken prophecies, libels, and dreams, Nor made to court an amorous looking-glass ; To set my brother Clarence, and the king, I, that am rudely stamp'd, and want love's majesty, In deadly hate the one against the other :
3 Preparations for mischief.
And, if king Edward be as true and just
And I beseech your grace to pardon me; and, withal, As I am subtle, false, and treacherous,
Forbear your conference with the noble duke. This day should Clarence closely be mew'd up; Clar. We know thy charge, Brakenbury, and About a prophecy, which says that G
will obey. Of Edward's heirs the murderer shall be.
Glo. We are the queen's abjects, and must obey. Dive, thoughts, down to my soul! here Clarence Brother, farewell: I will unto the king ;
And whatsoever you will employ me in,
Were it, to call king Edward's widow - sister, Enter CLARENCE, guarded, and BRAKENBURY.
I will perform it to enfranchise you. Brother, good day : What means this armed guard Mean time, this deep disgrace in brotherhood, That waits upon your grace ?
Touches me deeper than you can imagine, Clar.
Clar. I know it pleaseth neither of us well. Tendering my person's safety, hath appointed Glo. Well, your imprisonment shall not be long; This conduct to convey me to the Tower.
I will deliver you, or else lie for you :
Mean time, have patience.
I must perforce; farewell. Glo. Alack, my lord, that fault is none of yours;
[Exeunt CLARENCE, BRAKENBURY, and He should, for that, commit your godfathers :
Guard. Belike his majesty hath some intent,
Glo. Go, tread the path that thou shalt ne'er return, That you shall be new christen'd in the Tower.
Simple, plain Clarence! - I do love thee so, But what's the matter, Clarence? may I know ? That I will shortly send thy soul to heaven,
Clar. Yea, Richard, when I know ; for I protest, If heaven will take the present at our hands. As yet I do not : But, as I can learn,
But who comes here ? the new-deliver'd Hastings? He hearkens after prophecies, and dreams; And from the cross-row plucks the letter G,
Enter HASTINGS. And says — a wizard told him, that by G
Hast. Good time of day unto my gracious lord ! His issue disinherited should be ;
Glo. As much unto my good lord chamberlain ! And, for my name of George begins with G, Well are you welcome to this open air. It follows in his thought that I am he:
How hath your lordship brook'd imprisonment? These as I learn, and such like toys as these,
Hast. With patience, noble lord, as prisoners Have mov'd his highness to commit me now.
Glo. Why,this itis,when men are rul’d by women :- But I shall live, my lord, to give them thanks, 'Tis not the king, that sends you to the Tower ; That were the cause of my imprisonment. My lady Grey, his wife, Clarence, 'tis she,
Glo. No doubt, no doubt; and so shall Clarence That tempers him to this extremity. Was it not she, and that good man of worship, For they, that were your enemies, are his, Antony Woodeville, her brother there,
And have prevail'd as much on him, as you. That made him send lord Hastings to the Tower ; Hast. More pity that the eagle should be mew'd, From whence this present day he is deliver'd ? While kites and buzzards prey at liberty. We are not safe, Clarence, we are not safe.
Glo. What news abroad ? Clar. By heaven, I think, there is no man secure, Hast. No news so bad abroad, as this at home ;But the queen's kindred, and night-walking heralds The king is sickly, weak, and melancholy, That trudge betwixt the king and mistress Shore. And his
physicians fear him mightily. Heard you not what an humble suppliant
Glo. Now, by saint Paul, this news is bad indeed. Lord Hastings was to her for his delivery? O, he hath kept an evil diet long, Glo. Humbly complaining to her deity
And over-much consum'd his royal person ; Got my lord chamberlain his liberty.
"Tis very grievous to be thought upon. I'll tell you what, - I think, it is our way,
What, is he in his bed ? If we will keep in favour with the king,
He is. To be her men, and wear her livery :
Glo. Go you before, and I will follow you. The jealous o'er-worn widow, and herself“,
(Erit HASTINGS. Since that our brother dubb’d them gentlewomen, He cannot live, I hope ; and must not die, Are mighty gossips in this monarchy.
Till George be pack'd with post-horse up to heaven. Brak. I beseech your graces both to pardon me; I'll in, to urge his hatred more to Clarence, His majesty hath straitly given in charge,
With lies well steel'd with weighty arguments ; That no man shall have private conference, And, if I fail not in my deep intent, Of what degree soever with his brother.
Clarence hath not another day to live: Glo. Even so ? an please your worship, Braken- Which done, Heaven take king Edward to his mercy, bury,
And leave the world for me to bustle in ! You may partake of any thing we say :
For then I'll marry Warwick's youngest daughter : We speak no treason, man ; – We say, the king What though I kill'd her husband, and her father? Is wise, and virtuous; and his noble queen The readiest way to make the wench amends, Well struck in years; fair, and not jealous : Is — to become her husband, and her father : We say, that Shore's wife hath a pretty foot, The which will I ; not all so much for love, A cherry lip,
As for another secret close intent, A bonny eye, a passing pleasing tongue ;
By marrying her, which I must reach unto, And the queen's kindred are made gentlefolks : But yet I run before my horse to market : How say you, sir ? can you deny all this? Clarence still breathes: Edwardstill lives, and reigns; Brak. With this, my lord, myself have nought to do, when they are gone, then must I count my gains. • The queen and Shore.
SCENE II.-Another Street.
For 'tis thy presence that exhales this blood Enter the Corpse of King Henry the Sixth, borne in Thy deed, inhuman and unnatural,
From cold and empty veins, where no blood dwells ; an open Coffin ; Gentlemen bearing Halberds, to Provokes this deluge most unnatural. guard it; and LADY ANNz as Mourner.
O Thou, which this blood mad'st, revenge his death! Anne. Set down, set down your honourable load — O earth, which this blood drink'st, revenge his death! If honour may be shrouded in a hearse, –
Either, Heaven, with lightning strike the murderer Whilst I a while obsequiously lament
dead, The untimely fall of virtuous Lancaster.
Or, earth, gape open wide, and eat him quick; Poor key-cold figure of a holy king !
As thou dost swallow up this good king's blood, Pale ashes of the house of Lancaster!
Which his hell-govern'd arm hath butchered !: Thou bloodless remnant of that royal blood !
Glo. Lady, you know no rules of charity, Be it lawful that I invocate thy ghost,
Which renders good for bad, blessings for curses. To hear the lamentations of poor Anne,
Anne. Villain, thou know'st no law of God nor Wife to thy Edward, to thy slaughter'd son, Stabb'd by the self-same hand that made these wounds! No beast so fierce, but knows some touch of pity. Lo, in these windows, that let forth thy life,
Glo. But I know none, and therefore am no beast I pour the helpless balm of my poor eyes :
Anne. O wonderful, when devils tell the truth! o, cursed be the hand that made these holes ! Glo. More wonderful, when angels are so angry.Cursed the heart, that had the heart to do it! Vouchsafe, divine perfection of a woman, Cursed the blood, that let this blood from hence ! Of these supposed evils, to give me leave, More direful hap betide that hated wretch, By circumstance, but to acquit myself. That makes us wretched by the death of thee, Anne. Vouchsafe, diffus'd infection of a man, Than I can wish to adders, spiders, toads,
For these known evils, but to give me leave, Or any creeping venom'd thing that lives!
By circumstance, to curse thy cursed self. If ever he have child, abortive be it,
Glo. Fairer than tongue can name thee, let me Prodigious, and untimely brought to light,
have Whose ugly and unnatural aspect
Some patient leisure to excuse myself. May fright the hopeful mother at the view;
Anne. Fouler than heart can think thee, thou canst And that be heir to his unhappiness !
make If ever he have wife, let her be made
No excuse current, but to hang thyself. More miserable by the death of him,
Glo. By such despair, I should accuse myself. Than I am made by my young lord, and thee ! Anne. And, by despairing, shalt thou standercus'd; Come, now, toward Chertsey with your holy load, For doing worthy vengeance on thyself, Taken from Paul's to be interred there;
That didst unworthy slaughter upon others. And still, as you are weary of the weight,
Glo. Say, that I slew them not? Rest you, whiles I lament king Henry's corse. Anne.
Why, then, they are not dead: (The Bearers take up the Corpse, and advance. But dead they are, and, devilish slave, by thee.
Glo. I did not kill your husband.
Why, then he is alive. Glo. Stay you that bear the corse, and set it down.
Glo. Nay, he is dead; and slain by Edward's hand. Anne. What black magician conjures up this fiend, Anne. In thy souls throat thou liest : queen To stop devoted charitable deeds?
Margaret saw Glo. Villains, set down the corse; or, by saint Paul, Thy murd'rous faulchion smoking in his blood; I'll make a corse of him that disobeys.
The which thou once didst bend against her breast, i Gent. My lord, stand back, and let the coffin But that thy brothers beat aside the point. pass.
Glo. I was provoked by her sland'rous tongue, Glo. Unmanner'd dog : stand thou when I com- That laid their guilt upon my guiltless shoulders. mand :
Anne. Thou wast provoked by thy bloody mind, Advance thy halberd higher than my breast, That never dreamt on aught but butcheries; Or, by saint Paul, I'll strike thee to my foot, Didst thou not kill this king ? And spurn upon thee, beggar, for thy boldness.
I grant ye. [The Bearers set down the Coffin. Anne. O, he was gentle, mild, and virtuous. Anne. What, do you tremble ? are you all afraid ? Glo. The fitter for the King of heaven that hath him. Alas, I blame you not; for you are mortal,
Anne. He is in heaven, where thou shalt never And mortal eyes cannot endure the devil. Avaunt, thou dreadful minister of hell !
Glo. Let him thank me, that holp to send him Thou hadst but power over his mortal body,
thither; His soul thou canst not have ; therefore, begone. For he was fitter for that place, than earth.
Glo. Sweet saint, for charity, be not so curst. Anne. And thou unfit for any place but hell. Anne. Foul devil, for heaven's sake, hence, and Glo. Yes, one place else, if you will hear me trouble us not ;
name it. For thou hast made the happy earth thy hell, Anne. Some dungeon. Fill'd it with cursing cries, and deep exclaims. Glo.
Your bed-chamber. If thou delight to view thy heinous deeds,
Anne. Ill rest betide the chamber where thou liest! Behold this pattern of thy butcheries :
Glo. So will it, madam, till I lie with you. O, gentlemen, see, see! dead Henry's wounds Anne. I hope so. Open their congeal'd mouths, and bleed afresh! Glo. I know so. — But, gentle lady Anne,Blush, blush, thou lump of foul deformity; To leave this keen encounter of our wits, $ With becoming reverence for the dead.
And fall somewhat into a slower method ;
Is not the causer of the timeless deaths
And let the soul forth that adoreth thee,
And humbly beg the death upon my knee. Anne. Thou wast the cause, and most accurs'd (He lays his Breast open ; she offers at it with effect.
his Sword. Glo. Your beauty was the cause of that effect; Nay, do not pause; for I did kill king Henry; Your beauty which did haunt me in my sleep, But 'twas thy beauty that provok'd me. To undertake the death of all the world.
Nay, now despatch ; 'twas I that stabb'd young Anne. If I thought that, I tell thee, homicide,
Edward ; — (She again offers at his Breast. These nails should rend that beauty from my cheeks. But 'twas thy heavenly face that set me on. Glo. These eyes could not endure that beauty's
(She lets fall the Sword. wreck;
Take up the sword again, or take up me. You should not blemish it, if I stood by :
Anne. Arise, dissembler: though I wish thy death, As all the world is cheered by the sun,
I will not be thy executioner. So I by that ; it is my day, my life.
Glo. Then bid me kill myself, and I will do it. Anne. Black night o'ershade thy day, and death Anne. I have already. thy life!
That was in thy rage : Glo. Curse not thyself, fair creature; thou art Speak it again, and, even with the word, both.
This hand, which for thy love, did kill thy love, Anne. would I were, to be reveng'd on thee. Shall, for thy love, kill a far truer love; Glo. It is a quarrel most unnatural,
To both their deaths shalt thou be accessary. To be revengd on him that loveth thee.
Anne. I would, I knew thy heart. - Anne. It is a quarrel just and reasonable,
Glo. 'Tis figur'd in my tongue. To be reveng'd on him that kill'd my husband. Anne. I fear me, both are false.
Glo. He that bereft thee, lady, of thy husband, Glo. Then man was never true. Did it to help thee to a better husband.
Anne. Well, well, put up your sword.
Anne. That shall you know hereafter.
Anne. All men, I hope, live so.
Glo. Vouchsafe to wear this ring.
Why, that was he. Anne. To take, is not to give. Glo. The self-same name, but one of better nature.
[She puts on the Ring. Anne. Where is he?
Glo. Look, how this ring encompasseth thy finger, Glo.
Here: (She spits at him.] Why Even so thy breast encloseth my poor heart; dost thou spit at me ?
Wear both of them, for both of them are thine. Anne. 'Would it were mortal poison, for thy sake! And if thy poor devoted servant may Glo. Never came poison from so sweet a place. But beg one favour at thy gracious hand,
Anne. Never hung poison on a fouler toad. Thou dost confirm his happiness for ever. Out of my sight! thou dost infect mine eyes.
Anne. What is it? Glo. Thine eyes, sweet lady, have infected mine. Glo. That it may please you leave these sad deAnne. 'Would they were basilisks, to strike thee
To him that hath more cause to be a mourner, Glo. I would they were, that I might die at once; And presently repair to Crosby-place ? : For now they kill me with a living death.
Where - after I have solemnly interrd, Those eyes of thine froin mine have drawn salt tears, At Chertsey monast'ry this noble king, Sham'd their aspects with store of childish drops : And wet his grave with my repentant tears, — These eyes, which never shed remorseful 6 tear, I will with all expedient duty see you. Nor when my father York and Edward wept, For divers unknown reasons, I beseech you, To hear the piteous moan that Rutland made, Grant me this boon. When black-fac'd Clifford shook his sword at him : Anne. With all my heart; and much it joys me too, Nor when thy warlike father, like a child,
To see you are become so penitent.
Tressel, and Berkley go along with me.
'Tis more than you deserve; Like trees bedash'd with rain : in that sad time, But, since you teach me how to flatter you, My manly eyes did scorn an humble tear ;
Imagine I have said farewell already. And what these sorrows could not hence exhale,
[Exeunt Lady Anne, TRESSEL, and BERKLEY. Thy beauty hath, and made them blind with weeping. Glo. Take up the corse, sirs. I never su'd to friend, nor enemy;
Towards Chertsey, noble lord ? My tongue could never learn sweet soothing word; Glo. No, to White Friars; there attend my But now thy beauty is propos'd my fee,
coming. (Exeunt the rest, with the Corpse. My proud heart sues, and prompts my tongue to Was ever woman in this humour wood ?
speak. [She looks scornfully at him. Was ever woman in this humour won ? Teach not thy lip such scorn; for it was made I'll have her, — but I will not keep her long. For kissing, lady, not for such contempt.
What! I, that kill'd her husband, and his father, If thy revengeful heart cannot forgive,
To take her in her heart's extremest hate ;
7 In Bishopsgate-street,
With Heaven, her conscience, and these bars against Stan. I do beseech you, either not believe me,
The envious slanders of her false accusers; And I no friends to back my suit withal,
Or, if she be accus'd on true report, But the plain devil and dissembling looks,
Bear with her weakness, which, I think, proceeds And yet to win her, — all the world to nothing ! From wayward sickness, and no grounded malice. Ha !
Q. Elis. Saw you the king to-day, my lord of Hath she forgot already that brave prince,
Stanley ? Edward, her lord, whom I some three months since, Stan. But now the duke of Buckingham, and I, Stabb’d in my angry mood at Tewksbury?
Are come from visiting his majesty. A sweeter and a lovelier gentleman,
Q. Eliz. What likelihood of his amendment, Fram'd in the prodigality of nature,
lords? Young, valiant, wise, and, no doubt, right royal, - Buck. Madam, good hope; his grace speaks The spacious world cannot again afford :
cheerfully. And will she yet abase her eyes on me,
Q. Eliz. God grant him health! Did you confer That cropp'd the golden prime of this sweet prince,
with him ? And made her widow to a woful bed ?
Buck. Ay, madam, he desires to make atonement On me, whose all not equals Edward's moiety? Between the duke of Gloster and your brothers, On me, that halt, and am misshapen thus ?
And between them and my lord chamberlain ; My dukedom to a beggerly denier 8,
And sent to warn them to his royal presence. I do mistake my person all this while :
Q. Eliz. Would all were well! - But that will Upon my life, she finds, although I cannot,
never be;Myself to be a marvellous proper man.
I fear, our happiness is at the height.
Enter GLOSTER, HASTINGs, and DORSET,
Glo. They do me wrong, and I will not endure Since I am crept in favour with myself,
it, I will maintain it with some little cost.
Who are they, that complain unto the king, But, first, I'll turn yon' fellow in his grave;
That I, forsooth, am stern, and love them not? And then return lamenting to my love.
By holy Paul, they love his grace but lightly, Shine out, fair sun, till I have bought a glass,
That fill his ears with such dissentious rumours. That I may see my shadow as I pass. [Exit. Because I cannot flatter, and speak fair,
Smile in men's faces, smooth, deceive, and cog, SCENE III. – A room in the Palace.
Duck with French nods, and apish courtesy,
I must be held a rancorous enemy.
Cannot a plain man live, and think no harm,
But thus his simple truth must be abus'd
Grey. To whom in all this presence speaks your Will soon recover his accustom'd health.
grace? Grey. In that you brook it ill, it makes him Glo. To thee, that hast nor honesty, nor grace.
When have I injur'd thee? when done thee wrong? Therefore, for heaven's sake, entertain good comfort, Or thee ? — or thee? - or any of your faction? And cheer his grace with quick and merry words. A plague upon you all! His royal grace, Q. Eliz. If he were dead, what would betide of whom God preserve better than you would wish! me?
Cannot be quiet scarce a breathing-while, Grey. No other harm but loss of such a lord. But you must trouble him with rude complaints. Q. Eliz. The loss of such a lord includes all harms. Q. Eliz. Brother of Gloster, you mistake the Grey. The heavens have bless'd you with a
matter : goodly son,
The king, of his own royal disposition,
And not provok'd by any suitor else :
That in your outward action shows itself,
Riv. Is it concluded, he shall be protector ? Makes him to send; that thereby he may gather
Q. Eliz. It is determin’d, not concluded yet : The ground of your ill-will, and so remove it. But so it must be, if the king miscarry.
Glo. I cannot tell; – The world is grown so bad,
That wrens may prey where eagles dare not perch. Enter BUCKINGHAM and STANLEY.
Since every Jack 9 became a gentleman, Grey. Here come the lords of Buckingham and There's many a gentle person made a Jack. Stanley.
Q. Elix. Come, come, we know your meaning, Buck. Good time of day unto your royal grace !
brother Gloster: Stan. Heaven make your majesty joyful as you You envy my advancement, and my friends; have been !
Heaven grant, we never may have need of you ! Q. Elis. The countess Richmond, good my lord Glo. Meantime, heaven grants that we have need of Stanley,
of you! To your good prayer will scarcely say
Our brother is imprison'd by your means,
Are daily given, to ennoble those
9 Low fellow.