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For Somerset, off with his guilty head.
Away! I will not hear them speak.

Oxf. For my part, I'll not trouble thee with
Som. Nor I, but stoop with patience to my
K. Edw. Now, Edward, what satisfaction canst
thou make

For stirring up my subjects to rebellion?
Prince. Speak like a subject, proud ambitious

Suppose that I am now my father's mouth; Resign thy chair, and, where I stand, kneel thou, Whilst I propose the selfsame words to thee, Which, traitor, thou wouldst have me answer to. Queen. Oh, that thy father had been so resolv'd! Glo. That you might still have kept your petticoat,

And ne'er have stol'n the breech from Lancaster. Prince. Let Æsop fable in a winter's night; His currish riddles sort not with this place.

Glo. By Heaven, brat, I'll plague you for that word!

Queen. Ay, thou wast born to be a plague to men. Glo. For God's sake, take away this captive scold. Prince. Nay, take away this scolding crook-back rather.

K. Edw. Peace, wilful boy, or I will tame your tongue.

Cla. Untutor'd lad, thou art too malapert. Prince. I know my duty, you are all undutiful. Lascivious Edward, and thou perjur'd George, And thou misshapen Dick, I tell you all I am your better, traitors as you be.

K. Edw. Take that, thou likeness of this railer here. [Stabs him.

Queen. Ob, kill me too!

Glo. Marry, and shall.

K. Edw. Hold, Richard, hold, for we have done too much already.

Glo. Why should she live to fill the world with words?

K. Edw. What, doth she swoon? Make means for her recovery.

Glo. Clarence, excuse me to the king my brother; I must to London on a serious matter; Ere you come there you shall hear more news. Cla About what, prithee tell me?

Glo. The Tower, man, the Tower: I'll root them [Exit.


Queen. Ah, Ned, speak to thy mother, boy: Ah, thou canst not speak. Traitors, tyrants, bloody homicides, They that stabb'd Cæsar shed no blood at all, For he was a man; this, in respect, a child; And men ne'er spend their fury on a child. What's worse than tyrant that I may not name? You have no children, devils; if you had, The thought of them would then have stopp'd your rage:

But if you ever hope to have a son,
Look in his youth to have him so cut off,

As, traitors, you have done this sweet young prince.
K. Edw. Away, and bear her hence.

Queen. Nay, never bear me hence, despatch me here; Here sheathe thy sword; I'll pardon thee my death. Wilt thou not? Then, Clarence, do thou do it. Cla. By heaven, I would not do thee so much


Queen. Good Clarence, do; sweet Clarence, kill' me to.

Cla. Didst thou not hear me swear I would not do it?

Queen. Ay, but thou usest to forswear thyself. 'T was sin before, but now 't is charity. Where's the devil's butcher,



Richard, where art thou?

He is not here: Murther is his alms-deed;
Petitioners for blood he 'll ne'er put back.

K.Edw. Away, I say, and take her hence perforce.
Queen. So come to you and yours, as to this

K. Edw. Clarence, whither is Gloster gone? Cla. Marry, my lord, to London; and, as I guess, To make a bloody supper in the Tower.

K.Edw. He is sudden, if a thing come in his head. Well, discharge the common soldiers with pay and thanks;

And now let's toward London,

To see our gentle queen how she doth fare; For by this I hope she hath a son for us. [Exeunt omnes.

(SCENE VI.) Enter GLOSTER to KING HENRY in the Tower. Glo. Good day, my lord! What, at your book so hard?

King. Ay, my good lord. rather;

Lord, I should say

'Tis sin to flatter, good was little better; Good Gloster, and good devil, were all alike. What scene of death bath Roscius now to act? Glo. Suspicion always hauuts a guilty mind. King. The bird once lim'd doth fear the fatal bush; And I, the hapless male to one poor bird, Have now the fatal object in mine eye, Where my poor young was lim'd, was caught, and kill'd.

Glo. Why, what a fool was that of Crete, That taught his son the office of a bird! And yet, for all that, the poor fowl was drown'd. King. I, Daedalus; my poor son, Icarus; Thy father, Minos, that denied our course; Thy brother Edward the sun that sear'd his wings; And thou the enviest gulf that swallow'd him. Oh, better can my breast abide thy dagger's point, Than can mine ears that tragic history.

Glo. Why, dost thou think I am an executioner? King. A persecutor, I am sure thou art; And if murthering innocents be executions, Then I know thou art an executioner.

Glo. Thy son I kill'd for his presumption.
King. Hadst thou been kill'd when first thou
didst presume,
Thou hadst not liv'd to kill a son of mine.
And thus I prophesy of thee:

That many a widow for her husband's death,
And many an infant's water-standing eye,
Widows for their husbands, children for their

Shall curse the time that ever thou wert born,
The owl shriek'd at thy birth, an evil sign;
The night-crow cried, a boding luckless tune;
Dogs howl'd, and hideous tempests shook down


The raven rook'd her on the chimney's top, And chattering pies in dismal discord sung;


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Now may such purple tears be always shed For such as seek the downfal of our house. "f any spark of life remain in thee,"

[Stabs him again. Down, down to hell, and say I sent thee thither: I, that have neither pity, love, nor fear. Indeed, 't was true that Henry told me of, For I have often heard my mother say I came into the world with my legs forward: And had I not reason, think you, to make haste, And seek their ruins that usurp'd our rights? The women wept, and the midwife cried, "O, Jesus bless us, he is born with teeth!" And so I was, indeed; which plainly signified That I should snarl, and bite, and play the dog. Then, since Heaven hath made my body so, Let hell make crook'd my mind to answer it. I had no father, I am like no father;

I have no brothers, I am like no brothers;
And this word love, which greybeards term

Be resident in men like one another,
And not in me; I am myself alone.
Clarence, beware; thou keep'st me from the

But I will sort a pitchy day for thee:
For I will buzz abroad such prophecies,
Under pretence of outward seeming ill,
As Edward shall be fearful of his life,
And then, to purge his fear, I'll be thy death.
King Henry, and the prince his son, are gone;
And, Clarence, thou art next must follow them:
So by one and one despatching all the rest,
Counting myself but bad, till I be best.
I'll drag thy body in another room,
And triumph, Henry, in thy day of doom. [Exit.

a This line is not in the edition of 1619, but is found in the earlier quartos of 1595 and 1600.

b So the edition of 1595; that of 1619—

"The women weeping, and the midwife crying.

c This line is not found in the edition of 1595.

d The lines stand thus in the edition of 1595:

"Henry and his son are gone, thou Clarence next, And by one and one I will despatch the rest."


Enter KING EDWARD, QUEEN ELIZABETH, and a Nurse with the young Prince, and CLARENCE, GLOSTER, HASTINGS, and others.

K. Edw. Once more we sit in England's royal" throne,

Repurchas'd with the blood of enemies.
What valiant foemen, like to autumn's corn,
Have we mow'd down in tops of all their pride!
Three dukes of Somerset, threefold renown'd
For hardy and undoubted champions;
Two Cliffords, as the father and the son;
And two Northumberlands; two braver men
Ne'er spurr'd their coursers at the trumpet's sound.
With them the two rough bears, Warwick and

That in their chains fetter'd the kingly lion,
And made the forest tremble when they roar'd.
Thus have we swept suspicion from our seat,
And made our footstool of security.
Come hither, Bess, and let me kiss my boy:
Young Ned, for thee, thine uncles and myself
Have in our armours watch'd the winter's night;
March'd all afoot in summer's scalding heat,
That thou mightst repossess the crown in peace;
And of our labours thou shalt reap the gain.

Glo. I'll blast his harvest, if your head were laid;
For yet I am not look'd on in the world.
This shoulder was ordain'd so thick, to heave;
And heave it shall some weight, or break my back:
Work thou the way, and thou shalt execute.

K. Edw. Clarence and Gloster, love my lovely

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THIS History was originally published in 1597, under the following title :-'The Tragedy of King Richard the Third. Containing his treacherous Plots against his brother Clarence: the pittieful Murther of his innocent Nephewes: his tyrannical Usurpation: with the whole Course of his detested Life and most, deserved Death. As it hath been lately acted by the Right Honourable the Lord Chamberlaine his servants. Printed by Valentine Sims, for William Wise, 1597.' It is thus entered in the Stationers' Register:-" Oct. 20, 1597. Andrew Wise. The Tragedie of Kinge Richard the Third, with the Death of the Duke of Clarence." The same Andrew Wise enters the Richard II. on the previous 29th August. This play was reprinted four times in quarto previous to its appearance in the folio of 1623; in which edition it bears the following title: The Tragedy of Richard the Third: with the Landing of Earle Richmond, and the Battell at Bosworth Field.' The running head of the play, in the folio, is 'The Life and Death of Richard the Third.'


The question of the date when the Richard III. was written will be discussed in our 'Essay on the Three Parts of Henry the Sixth and Richard the Third;' and the very curious elder play 'The True

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