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May. Marry, God defend his grace should say us nay! Tongue-tied ambition, not replying, yielded
Which fondly you would here impose on me :
If to reprove you for this suit of yours, Cate. He wonders to what end you have assembled So season'd with your fa
ful love to me, Such troops of citizens to come to him:
Then, on the other side, I check'd my friends. His grace not being warn'd thereof before,
Therefore, to speak, and to avoid the first, He fears, my lord, you mean no good to him. And then, in speaking, not to incur the last,
Buck. Sorry I am, my noble cousin should Definitively thus I answer you. Suspect me, that I mean no good to him :
Your love deserves my thanks; but my desert, By heaven, we come to him in perfect love ;
Unmeritable, shuns your high request. And so once more return, and tell his grace.
First, if all obstacles were cut away,
[Exit Catesby. And that my path were even to the crown, When holy and devout religious men
As the ripe revenue and due of birth ; Are at their beads, 'tis much to draw them thence; Yet so much is my poverty of spirit, So sweet is zealous contemplation.
So mighty, and so many, my defects, Enter Gloster, with a book, in a Gallery above, be- That I would rather hide me from my greatness,
tween two Bishops. Catesby returns. Being a bark to brook no mighty sea, May. See, where his grace stands 'tween two clergy- Than in my greatness covet to be hid, men !
And in the vapour of my glory smother'd. Buck. Two props of virtue for a Christian prince, But, God be thank'd, there is no need of me; To stay him from the fall of vanity;
And much I need to help you, were there need : And, see, a book of prayer in his hand;
The royal tree hath left us royal fruit, True ornament to know a holy man.
Which, mellow'd by the stealing hours of time, Famous Plantagenet, most gracious prince,
Will well become the seat of majesty, Lend favourable ear to our requests,
And make, no doubt, us happy by his reign. And pardon us the interruption
On him I lay that you would lay on me, Of thy devotion, and right-christian zeal.
The right and fortune of his happy stars; Glo. My lord, there needs no such apology; Which God defend that I should wring from him. I do beseech your grace to pardon me,
Buck. My lord, this argues conscience in your grace; Who, earnest in the service of my God,
But the respects thereof are nice and trivial,
All circumstances well considered.
Buck. Even that, I hope, which pleaseth God above, So say we too, but not by Edward's wife;
For first was he contract to lady Lucy; Glo. I do suspect, I have done some offence, Your mother lives a witness to his vow : That seems disgracious in the city's eye ;
And afterward by substitute betroth'd And that you come to reprehend my ignorance. To Bona, sister to the king of France. Buck. You have, my lord : would it might please These both put off
, a poor petitioner, your grace,
A care-craz'd mother to a many sons, On our entreaties to amend your fault.
A beauty-waning and distressed widow, Glo. Else wherefore breathe I in a Christian land ? Even in the afternoon of her best days,
Buck. Know then, it is your fault that you resign Made prize and purchase of his wanton eye, The supreme seat, the throne majestical,
Seduc'd the pitch and height of his degree The scepter'd office of your ancestors,
To base declension and loath'd bigamy. Your state of fortune, and your due of birth,
By her, in his unlawful bed, he got The lineal glory of your royal house,
This Edward, whom our manners call the prince. To the corruption of a blemish'd stock;
More bitterly could I expostulate, Whiles, in the mildness of your sleepy thoughts, Save that, for reverence to some alive, Which here we waken to our country's good,
I give a sparing limit to my tongue. This noble isle doth want her proper limbs;
Then, good my lord, take to your royal self Her face defac'd with scars of infamy,
This proffer'd benefit of dignity; Her royal stock graft with ignoble plants,
If not to bless us and the land withal, And almost shoulder'd in the swallowing gulf Yet to draw forth your noble ancestry Of dark forgetfulness, and deep oblivion.
From the corruption of abusing times, Which to recure, we heartily solicit
Unto a lineal true-derived course. Your gracious self to take on you the charge
May. Do, good my lord; your citizens entreat you. And kingly government of this your land :
Buck. Refuse not, mighty lord, this proffer'd love. Not as protector, steward, substitute,
Cate. O! make them joyful : grant their lawful suit. Or lowly factor for another's gain;
Glo. Alas! why would you heap this care on me? But as successively from blood to blood,
I am unfit for state and majesty : Your right of birth, your empery, your own.
I do beseech you, take it not amiss ; For this, consorted with the citizens,
I cannot, nor I will not, yield to you. Your very worshipful and loving friends,
Buck. If you refuse it, -as in love and zeal,
Loath to depose the child, your brother's son ;
And gentle, kind, effeminate remorse,
Which we have noted in you to your kindred, Best fitteth my degree, or your condition :
And equally, indeed, to all estates, If, not to answer, you might haply think,
Yet know, whe'r you accept our suit or no,
Your brother's son shall never reign our king;
[Exit BuckINGHAM. Cate. Call him again, sweet prince; accept their suit: If you deny them, all the land will rue it.
Glo. Will you enforce me to a world of cares ?
Attend the sequel of your imposition,
May. God bless your grace! we see it, and will
Buck. Then I salute you with this royal title,
Buck. To-morrow, then, we will attend your grace:
To the Bishops.
Or else I swoon with this dead-killing news.
Anne. Despiteful tidings ! 0, unpleasing news! Enter, on one side, Queen Elizabeth, Duchess of York,
Dor. Be of good cheer :-mother, how fares your and Marquess of Dorset; on the other, Anne, Duchess
grace ? of Gloster, leading Lady MARGARET PLANTAGENET,
Q. Eliz. O Dorset! speak not to me, get thee gone; Clarence's young Daughter.
Death and destruction dog thee at thy heels: Duch. Who meets us here?—my niece Plantagenet, Thy mother's name is ominous to her children. Led in the hand of her kind aunt of Gloster!
If thou wilt outstrip death, go cross the seas, Now, for my life, she's wandering to the Tower, And live with Richmond from the reach of hell. In
pure heart's love, to greet the tender prince.- Go, hie thee, hie thee, from this slaughter-house, Daughter, well met.
Lest thou increase the number of the dead, Anne.
God give your graces both And make me die the thrall of Margaret's curse,A happy and a joyful time of day.
Nor mother, wife, nor England's counted queen. Q. Eliz. As much to you, good sister: whither away? Stan. Full of wise care is this your counsel, madam.
Anne. No farther than the Tower; and, as I guess, Take all the swift advantage of the hours; Upon the like devotion as yourselves,
You shall have letters from me to my son To gratulate the gentle princes there.
In your behalf, to meet you on the way: 2. Eliz. Kind sister, thanks: we'll enter all together: Be not ta'en tardy by unwise delay. Enter BRAKENBURY.
Duch. O ill-dispersing wind of misery! And in good time here the lieutenant comes.
O, my accursed womb, the bed of death! Master lieutenant, pray you, by your leave,
A cockatrice hast thou hatch'd to the world, How doth the prince, and my young son
York ? Whose unavoided eye is murderous ! Brak. Right well, dear madam. By your patience, Stan. Come, madam, come : I in all haste was sent. I may not suffer you to visit them :
Anne. And I with all unwillingness will go. The king hath strictly charg'd the contrary.
O! would to God, that the inclusive verge Q. Eliz. The king! who's that?
Of golden metal, that must round my brow, Brak.
I mean the lord protector. Were red-hot steel to sear me to the brain!
Duch. I am their father's mother; I will see them. To feed my humour, wish thyself no harm.
husband Then, bring me to their sights; I'll bear thy blame,
now, And take thy office from thee, on my peril.
Came to me, as I follow'd Henry's corse ;
And that dear saint which, then, I weeping follow'd;
For making me, so young, so old a widow ! Come, madam, you must straight to Westminster, And, when thou wedd'st, let sorrow haunt thy bed;
[To the Duchess of Gloster. And be thy wife (if any be so mad) There to be crowned Richard's royal queen.
More miserable by the life of thee, Q. Eliz. Ah! cut my lace asunder,
Than thou hast made me by my dear lord's death!” That my pent heart may have some scope to beat, Lo! ere I can repeat this curse again,
Within so small a time, my woman's heart
And unrespective boys: none are for me,
That look into me with considerate eyes.
Page. My lord.
K. Rich. Know'st thou not any, whom corrupting But with his timorous dreams was still awak'd.
gold Besides, he hates me for my father Warwick; Will tempt unto a close exploit of death? And will, no doubt, shortly be rid of me.
Page. I know a discontented gentleman,
And will, no doubt, tempt him to any thing.
His name, my lord, is Tyrrel. Duch. Go thou to Richmond, and good fortune K. Rich. I partly know the man: go, call him hither. guide thee! [To Dorset.
[Exit Page. Go thou to Richard, and good angels tend thee! - The deep-revolving, witty Buckingham
[To Anne. No more shall be the neighbour to my counsels. Go thou to sanctuary, and good thoughts possess Hath he so long held out with me untir’d, thee!
[To Queen ELIZABETH. And stops he now for breath ?- Well, be it so.I to my grave, where peace and rest lie with me!
Enter STANLEY. Eighty odd years of sorrow have I seen,
How now, lord Stanley ? what's the news with you? And each hour's joy wreck'd with a week of teen. Stan. Know, my loving lord, Q. Eliz. Stay yet; look back, with me, unto the The marquis Dorset, as I hear, is filed Tower.
To Richmond, in the parts where he abides. Pity, you ancient stones, those tender babes,
K. Rich. Come hither, Catesby : rumour it abroad, Whom envy hath immur'd within your walls;
That Anne, my wife, is very grievous sick; Rough cradle for such little pretty ones!
I will take order for her keeping close. Rude ragged nurse, old sullen play-fellow
Inquire me out some mean poor gentleman, For tender princes, use my babies well!
Whom I will marry straight to Clarence' daughter :So foolish sorrow bids your stones farewell. [Exeunt. The boy is foolish, and I fear not him.SCENE II.-A Room of State in the Palace.
Look, how thou dream'st!-I say again, give out, Sound a Sennet. Richard, crowned upon his Throne ; | About it; for it stands me much upon,
That Anne my queen is sick, and like to die : BUCKINGHAM, Catesby, a Page, and others.
To stop all hopes whose growth may damage me. K. Rich. Stand all apart.-Cousin of Buckingham!
[Exit Catesby. Buck. My gracious sovereign.
I must be married to my brother's daughter, K. Rich. Give me thy hand. Thus high, by thy Or else my kingdom stands on brittle glass.-advice,
[Trumpets sound. Murder her brothers, and then marry her? And thy assistance, is king Richard seated :
Uncertain way of gain! But I am in But shall we wear these glories for a day,
So far in blood, that sin will pluck on sin. Or shall they last, and we rejoice in them?
Tear-falling pity dwells not in this eye.Buck. Still live they, and for ever let them last!
Re-enter Page, with TYRREL. K. Rich. Ah! Buckingham, now do I play the Is thy name Tyrrel? touch,
Tyr. James Tyrrel, and your most obedient subject. To try if thou be current gold, indeed.
K. Rich. Art thou, indeed? Young Edward lives.—Think now what I would speak. Tyr.
Prove me, my gracious lord. Buck. Say on, my loving lord.
K. Rich. Dar'st thou resolve to kill a friend of mine? K. Rich. Why, Buckingham, I say, I would be king. Tyr. Please you; but I had rather kill two enemies. Buck. Why, so you are, my thrice-renowned lord. K. Rich. Why, then thou hast it: two deep enemies, K. Rich. Ha! am I king? 'Tis so; but Edward lives. Foes to my rest, and my sweet sleep's disturbers, Buck. True, noble prince.
Are they that I would have thee deal upon. K. Rich.
O bitter consequence!
Tyrrel, I mean those bastards in the Tower. That Edward still should live,-true, noble prince.- Tyr. Let me have open means to come to them, Cousin, thou wast not wont to be so dull:
And soon I'll rid you from the fear of them. [Kneeling. Shall I be plain ?-I wish the bastards dead;
K. Rich. Thou sing'st sweet music. Hark, come And I would have it suddenly perform’d.
hither, Tyrrel: What say'st thou now? speak suddenly; be brief. Go, by this token.-Rise, and lend thine ear. Buck. Your grace may do your pleasure.
[TYRREL rises, and RICHARD whispers. K. Rich. Tut, tut! thou art all ice, thy kindness There is no more but so :say, it is done, freezes.
And I will love thee, and prefer thee for it. Say, have I thy consent that they shall die ?
Tyr. I will despatch it straight.
[Exit. Buck. Give me some little breath, some pause,
Re-enter BUCKINGHAM. dear lord,
Buck. My lord, I have consider'd in my mind Before I positively speak in this :
The late demand that you did sound me in. I will resolve you herein presently. [Exit Buckingham. K. Rich. Well, let that rest. Dorset is fled to Cate. The king is angry: see, he gnaws his lip.
Richmond. [ Aside.
Buck. I hear the news, my lord. K. Rich. I will converse with iron-witted fools, K. Rich. Stanley, he is your wife's son :-well look [Descends from his Throne. unto it.
Buck. My lord, I claim the gift, my due by promise, For it is done.
Tyr. I did, my lord.
And buried, gentle Tyrrel? K. Rich. Stanley, look to your wife : if she convey Tyr. The chaplain of the Tower hath buried them; Letters to Richmond, you shall answer it.
But where, to say the truth, I do not know. Buck. What says your highness to my just request? K. Rich. Come to me, Tyrrel, soon, and after supper, K. Rich. I do remember me,-Henry the sixth When thou shalt tell the process of their death. Did prophesy that Richmond should be king, Mean time, but think how I may do thee good, When Richmond was a little peevish boy.
And be inheritor of thy desire. A king !-perhaps
Farewell, till then. Buck. My lord,
I humbly take my leave. [Exit. K. Rich. How chance, the prophet could not at K. Rich. The son of Clarence have I pent up close; that time
His daughter meanly have I match'd in marriage; Have told me, I being by, that I should kill him? The sons of Edward sleep in Abraham's bosom,
Buck. My lord, your promise for the earldom, And Anne my wife hath bid this world good night.
K. Rich. Richmond !-When last I was at Exeter, Now, for I know the Bretagne Richard aims The mayor in courtesy show'd me the castle,
At young Elizabeth, mny brother's daughter, And call'd it-Rouge-mont: at which name I started, And by that knot looks proudly on the crown, Because a bard of Ireland told me once,
To her go I, a jolly thriving wooer. I should not live long after I saw Richmond.
Enter Catesby, in haste. Buck. My lord,
Cate. My lord K. Rich. Ay; what's o'clock ?
K. Rich. Good or bad news, that thou com'st in so Buck. I am thus bold to put your grace in mind
bluntly? Of what you promis'd me.
Cate. Bad news, my lord : Morton is fled to RichK. Rich. Well, but what's o'clock ?
Upon the stroke of ten. And Buckingham, back'd with the hardy Welshmen, K. Rich. Well, let it strike.
Is in the field, and still his power encreaseth. Buck
Why, let it strike ? K. Rich. Ely with Richmond troubles me more near, K. Rich. Because that, like a Jack, thou keep'st Than Buckingham and his rash-levied strength. the stroke
Come; I have learn'd, that fearful commenting Betwixt thy begging and my
Is leaden servitor to dull delay;
Delay leads impotent and snail-pac'd beggary:
[Exeunt King RICHARD angrily, and his Train. Go, muster men: my counsel is my shield; Buck. And is it thus ? repays he my deep service We must be brief, when traitors brave the field. With such contempt? made I him king for this?
[Exeunt. 0! let me think on Hastings, and be gone
SCENE IV.-The Same. Before the Palace. To Brecknock, while my fearful head is on. [Exit.
Enter Queen MARGARET.
Q. Mar. So, now prosperity begins to mellow,
And drop into the rotten mouth of death. Tyr. The tyrannous and bloody act is done; Here in these confines slily have I lurk’d, The most arch deed of piteous massacre,
To watch the waning of mine enemies. That ever yet this land was guilty of.
A dire induction am I witness to, Dighton and Forrest, whom I did suborn
And will to France; hoping, the consequence To do this piece of ruthful butchery,
Will prove as bitter, black, and tragical. Albeit they were flesh'd villains, blooded dogs, Withdraw thee, wretched Margaret: who comes here? Melted with tenderness and mild compassion,
[She stands back. Wept like two children in their death's sad story. Enter Queen ELIZABETH and the Duchess of York. "O! thus," quoth Dighton, “lay the gentle babes,”- Q. Eliz. Ah, my poor princes ! ah, my tender babes! “ Thus, thus," quoth Forrest, "girdling one another My unblown flowers, new-appearing sweets ! Within their alabaster innocent arms:
If yet your gentle souls fly in the air, Their lips were four red roses on a stalk,
And bé not fix'd in doom perpetual, And in their summer beauty kiss'd each other. Hover about me with your airy wings, A book of prayers on their pillow lay;
And hear your mother's lamentation. Which once," quoth Forrest, almost chang'd my mind; Q. Mar. Hover about her; say, that right for right But, O! the devil”—there the villain stopp'd ; Hath dimm'd your infant morn to aged night. [ Aside. When Dighton thus told on,"we smothered
Duch. So many miseries have craz'd my voice, The most replenished sweet work of nature,
That my woe-wearied tongue is still and mute.That, from the prime creation, e'er she fram'd.” Edward Plantagenet! why; art thou dead? Hence both are gone : with conscience and remorse, Q. Mar. Plantagenet doth quit Plantagenet; [Aside. They could not speak; and so I left them both, Edward for Edward pays a dying debt. To bear this tidings to the bloody king.
Q. Eliz. Wilt thou, o God! fly from such gentle Enter King RICHARD.
lambs, And here he comes.- All health, my sovereign lord ! And throw them in the entrails of the wolf?
K. Rich. Kind Tyrrel, am I happy in thy news? When didst thou sleep, when such a deed was done?
Tyr. If to have done the thing you gave in charge Q. Mar. When holy Harry died, and my sweet Beget your happiness, be happy then,
Duch. Dead life, blind sight, poor mortal living A sign of dignity, a breath, a bubble;
A queen in jest, only to fill the scene.
Where be thy two sons ? wherein dost thou joy? Rest thy unrest on England's lawful earth, (Sitting down. Who sues, and kneels, and says-God save the queen? Unlawfully made drunk with innocent blood ! Where be the bending peers that flatter'd thee?
Q. Eliz. Ah! that thou would'st as soon afford a grave, Where be the thronging troops that follow'd thee? As thou canst yield a melancholy seat;
Decline all this, and see what now thou art. Then would I hide my bones, not rest them here. For happy wife, a most distressed widow; Ah! who hath any cause to mourn, but we?
For joyful mother, one that wails the name;
[Sitting down by her. For one being sued to, one that humbly sues ; Q. Mar. If ancient sorrow be most reverent, For queen, a very caitiff crown'd with care:
[Coming forward. For one that scorn'd at me, now scorn'd of me; Give mine the benefit of seniory,
For one being fear'd of all, now fearing one;
For one commanding all, obey'd of none.
And left thee but a very prey to time;
Having no more but thought of what thou wast I had a husband, till a Richard kill'd him:
To torture thee the more, being what thou art. Thou hadst an Edward, till a Richard kill'd him; Thou didst usurp my place, and dost thou not Thou hadst a Richard, till a Richard kill'd him. Usurp the just proportion of my sorrow?
Duch. I had a Richard too, and thou didst kill him: Now, thy proud neck bears half my burden'd yoke; I had a Rutland too; thou holp'st to kill him. From which, even here, I slip my wearied head, Q. Mar. Thou hadst a Clarence too, and Richard And leave the burden of it all on thee. kill'd him.
Farewell, York's wife, and queen of sad mischance: From forth the kennel of thy womb hath crept These English woes shall make me smile in France. A hell-hound, that doth hunt us all to death :
Q. Eliz. O! thou well skill'd in curses, stay a while, That dog, that had his teeth before his eyes,
And teach me how to curse mine enemies. To worry lambs, and lap their gentle blood :
Q. Mar. Forbear to sleep the night, and fast the day; That foul defacer of God's handy-work,
Compare dead happiness with living woe; That reigns in galled eyes of weeping souls,
Think that thy babes were fairer than they were, That excellent grand tyrant of the earth
And he that slew them fouler than he is : Thy womb let loose, to chase us to our graves.- Bettering thy loss makes the bad-causer worse : 0! upright, just, and true-disposing God,
Revolving this will teach thee how to curse. How do I thank thee, that this carnal cur
Q. Eliz. My words are dull; 0! quicken them with Preys on the issue of his mother's body,
thine. And makes her pew-fellow with others' moan!
Q. Mar. Thy woes will make them sharp, and Duch. O, Harry's wife ! triumph not in my woes: pierce like mine. [Exit Queen MARGARET. God witness with me, I have wept for thine.
Duch. Why should calamity be full of words? Q. Mar. Bear with me: I am hungry for revenge, Q. Eliz. Windy attorneys to their client woes, And now I cloy me with beholding it.
Airy succeeders of intestate joys, Thy Edward he is dead, that kill'd my Edward; Poor breathing orators of miseries ! Thy other Edward dead, to quit my Edward; Let them have scope: though what they do impart Young York he is but boot, because both they Help nothing else, yet do they ease the heart. Match not the high perfection of my loss.
Duch. If so, then be not tongue-ty'd: go with me, Thy Clarence he is dead, that stabb'd my Edward; And in the breath of bitter words let's smother And the beholders of this frantic play,
My damned son, that thy two sweet sons smother'd. Th' adulterate Hastings, Rivers, Vaughan, Grey,
[A Trumpet heard. Untimely smother'd in their dusky graves.
The trumpet sounds: be copious in exclaims. Richard yet lives, hell's black intelligencer,
Enter King RICHARD, and his Train, marching. Only reserv'd their factor, to buy souls,
K. Rich. Who intercepts me in my expedition? And send them thither; but at hand, at hand,
Duch. O! she, that might have intercepted thee, Ensues his piteous and unpitied end :
By stravgling thee in her accursed womb, Earth gapes, hell burns, fiends roar, saints pray, From all the slaughters, wretch, that thou hast done. To have him suddenly convey'd from hence.
Q. Eliz. Hid'st thou that forehead with a golden crown, Cancel his bund of life, dear God! I pray,
Where't should be branded, if that right were right, That I may live and say, the dog is dead.
For slaughter of the prince that ow'd that crown, Q. Eliz. 0! thou didst prophesy, the time would And the dire death of my poor sons, and brothers ? come,
Tell me, thou villain-slave, where are my children? That I should wish for thee to help me curse
Duch. Thou toad, thou toad, where is thy brother That bottle spider, that foul bunch-back d toad.
Q. Eliz. Where is the gentle Rivers, Vaughan, Grey? I call'd thee then, poor shadow, painted queen;
Duch. Where is kind Hastings? The presentation of but what I was,
K. Rich. A flourish, trumpets !--strike alarum, drums! The Hattering index of a direful pageant,
Let not the heavens hear these tell-tale women One heav'd o' high, to be hurl'd down below: Rail on the Lord's anointed. Strike, I say !A mother only mock'd with two fair babes;
[Flourish. Alarums. A dream of what thou wast; a garish flag,
Either be patient, and entreat me fair, To be the aim of every dangerous shot;
Or with the clamorous report of war