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Come, lead me to the block, bear him
They smile at me, who shortly shall be dead.
SCENE V-The same. The Tower walls. ter Gloster and Buckingham, in rusty armour, marvellous ill-favoured.
Glo. Come, cousin, canst thou quake, and change thy colour?
Murder thy breath in middle of a word,-
And then again begin, and stop again,
As if thou wert distraught, and inad with terror?
Buck. Tut, I can counterfeit the deep tragedian;
Speak, and look back, and pry on every side,
Tremble and start at wagging of a straw,
Intending1 deep suspicion: ghastly looks
Are at my service, like enforced smiles;
And both are ready in their offices,
At any time, to grace my stratagems.
But what, is Catesby gone?
Glo. He is; and, see, he brings the mayor along.
Enter the Lord Mayor and Catesby. Buck. Let me alone to entertain him.-Lord
Glo. Look to the draw-bridge there.
Hark, hark! a drum.
Glo. Catesby, o'erlook the walls.
Buck. Lord mayor, the reason we have sent for
Glo. Look back, defend thee, here are enemies. Buck. God and our innocence defend and guard us!
Enter Lovel and Ratcliff, with Hastings' head. Glo. Be patient, they are friends,; Ratcliff and Lovel.
Lov. Here is the head of that ignoble traitor, 'The dangerous and unsuspected Hastings.
Glo. So dear I lov'd the man, that I must weep. I took him for the plainest harmless't creature, That breath'd upon the earth a Christian; Made him my book, wherein my soul recorded The history of all her secret thoughts: So smooth he daub'd his vice with show of virtue, That, his apparent open guilt omitted,I mean, his conversation with Shore's wife,— He liv'd from all attainder of suspect.
Buck. Well, well, he was the covert'st shelter'd traitor
That ever liv'd.-Look you, my lord mayor,
Would you imagine, or almost believe,
(Were't not, that by great preservation
We live to tell it you,) the subtle traitor
This day had plotted in the council-house,
To murder me, and my good lord of Gloster?
May. What! had he so?
Glo. What! think you we are Turks, or infidels?
Or that we would, against the form of law,
Proceed thus rashly in the villain's death;
But that the extreme peril of the case,
The peace of England, and our persons' safety,
Enforc'd us to this execution?
Because, my lord, we would have had you heard
The traitor speak, and timorously confess
The manner and the purpose of his treasons;
That you might well have signified the same
Unto the citizens, who, haply, may
Misconstrue us in him, and wail his death.
May. Now, fair befall you! he deserv'd his death; And your good graces both have well proceeded, To warn false traitors from the like attempts. I never look'd for better at his hands, After he once fell in with mistress Shore.
Buck. Yet had we not determin'd he should die, Until your lordship came to see his end; Which now the loving haste of these our friends, Somewhat against our meaning, hath prevented:
(2) Original draft.
To avoid the censures of the carping world.
Buck. But since you came too late of our intent,
Yet witness what you hear we did intend :
And so, my good lord mayor, we bid farewell.
[Exit Lord Mayor.
Glo. Go after, after, cousin Buckingham.
The mayor towards Guildhall hies him in all post :-
There, at your meetest vantage of the time,
Infer the bastardy of Edward's children :
Tell them how Edward put to death a citizen,
Only for saying-he would make his son
Heir to the crown; meaning, indeed, his house,
Which, by the sign thereof, was termed so.
Moreover, urge his hateful luxury,
And bestial appetite in change of lust;
Which stretch'd unto their servants, daughters,
Even where his raging eye, or savage heart,
Without control, listed to make his prey.
Nay, for a need, thus far come near my person :--
Tell them, when that my mother went with child
Of that insatiate Edward, noble York,
My princely father, then had wars in France;
And, by just computation of the time,
Found, that the issue was not his begot;
Which well appeared in his lineaments,
Being nothing like the noble duke my
Yet touch this sparingly, as 'twere far off;
Because, my lord, you know, my mother lives.
Buck. Doubt not, my lord; I'll play the orator,
As if the golden fee, for which I plead,
Were for myself: and so, my lord, adieu.
Glo. If you thrive well, bring them to Baynard's castle;
Where you shall find me well accompanied,
With reverend fathers, and well-learned bishops.
Buck. Igo; and, towards three or four o'clock,
Look for the news that the Guildhall affords.
Glo. Go, Lovel, with all speed to doctor Shaw,-
Go thou [to Cate.] to friar Penker;-bid them both
Meet me, within this hour, at Baynard's castle.
[Exeunt Lovel and Catesby,
Now will I in, to take some privy order
To draw the brats of Clarence out of sight;
And to give notice, that no manner of person
Have, any time, recourse unto the princes. [Exit.
SCENE VIA street. Enter a Scrivener.
Scriv. Here is the indictment of the good lord
Which in a set hand fairly is engross'd,
That it may be to-day read o'er in Paul's.
And mark how well the sequel hangs together:-
Eleven hours I have spent to write it over,
For yesternight by Catesby was it sent me ;
The precedent2 was full as long a-doing:
yet within these five hours Hastings liv'd,
Untainted, unexamin'd, free, at liberty.
Here's a good world the while!-Who is so gross,
SCENE VII.-The same. Court of Baynard's castle. Enter Gloster and Buckingham, meeting. Glo. How now, how now? what say the citizens? Buck. Now by the holy mother of our Lord, The citizens are mum, say not a word.
Glo. Touch'd you the bastardy of Edward's children?
Buck. I did; with his contract with lady Lucy, And his contract by deputy in France; The insatiate greediness of his desires, And his enforcement of the city wives;. His tyranny for trifles; his own bastardy,As being got, your father then in France; And his resemblance, being not like the duke. Withal, I did infer your lineaments,Being the right idea of your father, Both in your form and nobleness of mind: Laid victories in Scotland, open all your Your discipline in war, wisdom in peace, Your bounty, virtue, fair humility; Indeed, left nothing, fitting for your purpose, Untouch'd, or slightly handled, in discourse. And, when my oratory grew to an end, I bade them, that did love their country's good, Cry-God save Richard, England's royal king!
Glo. And did they so?
Buck. No, so God help me, they spake not a word; But, like dumb statues, or breathless stones, Star'd on each other, and look'd deadly pale. Which when I saw, I reprehended them; And ask'd the mayor, what meant this wilful silence: His answer was,-the people were not us'd To be spoke to but by the recorder. Then he was urg'd to tell my tale again: Thus saith the duke, thus hath the duke inferr'd; But nothing spoke in warrant from himself. When he had done, some followers of mine own, At lower end o' the hall, hurl'd up their caps, And some ten voices cried, God save king Richard! And thus I took the vantage of those few,Thanks, gentle citizens, and friends, quoth I; This general applause, and cheerful shout, Argues your wisdom, and your love to Richard: And even here brake off and came away.
Glo. What tongueless blocks were they; would they not speak? Will not the mayor then, and his brethren, come? Buck. The mayor is here at hand; intend1 some fear;
Cate. He doth entreat your grace, my noble lord, To visit him to-morrow, or next day:
He is within, with two right reverend fathers,
Divinely bent to meditation;
And in no worldly suit would he be mov'd,
To draw him from his holy exercise.
Be not you spoke with, but by mighty suit:
And look you get a prayer-book in your hand,
And stand between two churchmen, good my lord;
For on that ground I'll make a holy descant :
And be not easily won to our requests;
Play the maid's part, still answer nay, and take it.
Glo. I go; and if you plead as well for them,
As I can say nay to thee for myself,
No doubt we'll bring it to a happy issue.
Buck. Go, go, up to the leads; the lord mayor knocks. [Exit Gloster. Enter the Lord Mayor, Aldermen, and Citizens. Welcome, my lord; I dance attendance here; I think, the duke will not be spoke withal.-Enter, from the castle, Catesby. Now, Catesby! what says your lord to my request? (1) Pretend. (2) A couch. (3) Fatten.
Tell him, myself, the mayor and aldermen,
Buck. Return, good Catesby, to the gracious duke;
In deep designs, in matter of great moment,
No less importing than our general good,
Are come to have some conference with his grace.
Cate. I'll signify so much unto him straight.
Buck. Ah, ha, my lord, this prince is not an
He is not lolling on a lewd day-bed,2
But on his knees at meditation;
Not dallying with a brace of courtezans,
But meditating with two deep divines;
Not sleeping, to engross3 his idle body,
But praying, to enrich his watchful soul:
Happy were England, would this virtuous prince
Take on himself the sovereignty thereof:
But, sure, I fear, we shall ne'er win him to it.
May. Marry, God defend, his grace should say
Buck. I fear, he will: Here Catesby comes again;
Enter Gloster, in a gallery above, between two Bishops. Catesby returns.
May. See, where his grace stands 'tween two clergymen !
Buck. Two props of virtue for a Christian prince, To stay him from the fall of vanity: And, see, a book of prayer in his hand; True ornaments to know a holy man.Famous Plantagenet, most gracious prince, Lend favourable ear to our requests; And pardon us the interruption Of thy devotion, and right Christian zeal.
Glo. My lord, there needs no such apology; I rather do beseech you pardon me, Who, earnest in the service of my God, Neglect the visitation of my friends. But, leaving this, what is your grace's pleasure? Buck. Even that, I hope, which pleaseth God above,
And all good men of this ungovern'd isle.
Glo. I do suspect, I have done some offence,
That seems disgracious in the city's eye;
And that you come to reprehend my ignorance.
Buck. You have, my lord; Would it might please
On our entreaties to amend your fault!
Glo. Else wherefore breathe I in a Christian land?
Buck. Know, then, it is your fault, that you resign
The supreme seat, the throne majestical,
The scepter'd office of your ancestors,
Your state of fortune, and your due of birth,
The lineal glory of your royal house,
To the corruption of a blemish'd stock:
Whilst, in the mildness of your sleepy thoughts
(Which here we waken to our country's good,)
The noble isle doth want her proper limbs;
Her face defac'd with scars of infamy,
Her royal stock graft with ignoble plants,
And almost shoulder'd' in the swallowing gulf
Of dark forgetfulness and deep oblivion.
Which to recure,2 we heartily solicit
Your gracious self to take on you the charge
And kingly government of this your land:
Not as protector, steward, substitute,
Or lowly factor for another's gain:
But as successively, from blood to blood,
Your right of birth, your empery,3 your own.
For this, consorted with the citizens,
Your very worshipful and loving friends,
And by their vehement instigation,
In this just suit come I to move your grace.
Glo. I cannot tell, if to depart in silence,
Or bitterly to speak in your reproof,
Best fitteth my degree, or your condition:
If, not to answer,--you might haply think,
Tongue-tied ambition, not replying, yielded
To bear the golden yoke of sovereignty,
Which fondly you would here impose on me;
If to reprove you for this suit of yours,
So season'd with your faithful love to me,
Then, on the other side, I check'd my friends.
Therefore, to speak, and to avoid the first;
And, then in speaking, not to incur the last,—
Definitively thus I answer you.
Your love deserves my thanks; but my desert
Unmeritable, shuns your high request.
First, if all obstacles were cut away,
And that my path were even to the crown,
As the ripe revenue and due of birth;
Yet so much is my poverty of spirit,
So mighty, and so many, my defects,
That I would rather hide me from my greatness,
Being a bark to brook no mighty sea,-
Than in my greatness covet to be hid,
And in the vapour of my glory smother'd.
But, God be thank'd, there is no need of me;
(And much I need to help you, if need were ;)
The royal tree hath left us royal fruit,
Which, mellow'd by the stealing hours of time,
Will well become the seat of majesty,
And make, no doubt, us happy by his reign.
On him I lay what you would lay on me,
The right and fortune of his happy stars,-
Which, God defend, that I should wring from him!
Buck. My lord, this argues conscience in your
But the respects thereof are nices and trivial,
All circumstances well considered.
say, that Edward is your brother's son;
say we too, but not by Edward's wife :
For first he was contract to lady Lucy,
Your mother lives a witness to his vow;
And afterwards by substitute betroth'd
To Bona, sister to the king of France.
These both put by, a poor petitioner,
A care-craz'd mother to a many sons,
A beauty-waning and distressed widow,
Even in the afternoon of her best days,
Made prize and purchase of his wanton eye,
Seduc'd the pitch and height of all his thoughts
(1) Thrust into. (2) Recover.
To base declension and loath'd bigamy:
By her, in his unlawful bed, he got
This Edward, whom our manners call-the prince,
More bitterly could I expostulate,
Save that, for reverence to some alive,
I give a sparing limit to my tongue.
Then, good my lord, take to your royal self
This proffer'd benefit of dignity:
If not to bless us and the land withal,
Yet to draw forth your noble ancestry
From the corruption of abusing time,
Unto a lineal true-derived course.
May. Do, good my lord; your citizens entreat
Buck. Refuse not, mighty lord, this proffer'd love.
Cate. O, make them joyful, grant their lawful suit.
Glo. Alas, why would you heap those cares on me?
I am unfit for state and majesty :
I do beseech you, take it not amiss;
I cannot, nor I will not, yield to you.
Buck. If you refuse it,-as in love and zeal,
Loath to depose the child, your brother's son ;
As well we know your tenderness of heart,
And gentle, kind, effeminate remorse,6
Which we have noted in you to your kindred,
And equally, indeed, to all estates,-
Yet know, whe'r you accept our suit or no,
Your brother's son shall never reign our king;
But we will plant some other in your throne,
To the disgrace and downfall of your house.
And, in this resolution, here we leave you;
Come, citizens, we will entreat no more.
[Exeunt Buckingham and Citizens.
Cate. Call them again, sweet prince, accept
you deny them, all the land will rue it.
Glo. Vill you enforce me to a world of cares?
Well, call them again; I am not made of stone,
But penetrable to your kind entreaties, [Ex. Cate.
Albeit against my conscience and my soul.-
Re-enter Buckingham, and the rest.
Cousin of Buckingham, and sage, grave men,—
Since you will buckle fortune on my back,
To bear her burden, whe'r I will, or no,
I must have patience to endure the load:
But if black scandal, or foul-fac'd reproach,
Attend the sequel of your imposition,
Your mere enforcement shall acquittance me
From all the impure blots and stains thereof;
For God he knows, and you may partly see,
How far I am from the desire of this.
May. God bless your grace! we see it, and will
Glo. In saying so, you shall but say the truth. Buck. Then I salute you with this royal title,Long live king Richard, England's worthy king! All. Amen.
Buck. To-morrow may it please you to be crown'd?
Glo. Even when you please, since you will have
Buck. To-morrow then we will attend your
So, most joyfully, we take our leave.
Glo. Come, let us to our holy work again.-
[To the Bishops.
Farewell, good cousin ;-farewell, gentle friends.
(5) Minute. (6) Pity.
(4) Want ability.
SCENE I-Before the Tower. Enter on one side, Queen Elizabeth, duchess of York, and marquis of Dorset; on the other, Anne, duchess of Gloster, leading Lady Margaret Plantagenet, Clarence's young daughter.
Duch. Who meets us here?-my niece Plantagenet
Led in the hand of her kind aunt of Gloster? Now, for my life, she's wand'ring to the Tower, On pure heart's love, to greet the tender prince. Daughter, well met.
Anne. God give your graces both A happy and a joyful time of day! Q. Eliz. As much to you, good sister? Whither away?
Anne. No further than the Tower; and, as I guess,
Upon the like devotion as yourselves,
To gratulate the gentle princes there.
Came to me, as I follow'd Henry's corse;
QEliz. Kind sister, thanks; we'll enter all When scarce the blood was well wash'd from his
Hath he set bounds between their love, and me? I am their mother, who shall bar me from them?
Duch. I am their father's mother, I will see them. Anne. Their aunt I am in law, in love their
Then bring me to their sights; I'll bear thy blame, And take thy office from thee, on thy peril.
Brak. No, madam, no, I may not leave it so; I am bound by oath, and therefore pardon me. [Exit Brakenbury.
Stan. Let me but meet you, ladies, one hour hence,
And I'll salute your grace of York as mother,
And reverend looker-on of two fair queens.-
Come, madam, you must straight to Westminster.
[To the duchess of Gloster.
There to be crowned Richard's royal queen.
Q. Eliz. Ah, cut my lace asunder!
That my pent heart may have some scope to beat,
Or else I swoon with this dead-killing news.
Anne. Despiteful tidings! O unpleasing news! Dor. Be of good cheer:-Mother, how fares your grace?
QEliz. O Dorset, speak not to me, get thee gone, Death and destruction dog thee at the heels; Thy mother's name is ominous to children: If thou wilt outstrip death, go cross the seas, And live with Richmond, from the reach of hell. Go, hie thee, hie thee, from this slaughter-house, Lest thou increase the number of the dead; And make me die the thrall of Margaret's curse,→ Nor mother, wife, nor England's counted queen.
Stan. Full of wise care is this your counsel, madam:
Take all the swift advantage of the hours;
(1) A serpent supposed to originate from a cock's
You shall have letters from me to my son
In your behalf, to meet you on the way.
Be not ta'en tardy by unwise delay.
Duch. O ill-dispersing wind of misery!
O my accursed womb, the bed of death;
A cockatrice! hast thou hatch'd to the world,
Whose unavoided eye is murderous!
Stan. Come, madam, come; I in all haste was
Anne. And I with all unwillingness will go.→→ O, would to God, that the inclusive verge Of golden metal,2 that must round my brow, Were red-hot steel, to sear3 me to the brain! Anointed let me be with deadly venom; And die, ere men can say-God save the queen! Q. Eliz. Go, go, poor soul, I envy not thy glory; To feed my humour, wish thyself no harm. Anne. No! why?-When he, that is my
Which issu'd from my other angel husband,
And that dead saint which then I weeping follow'd;
O, when, I say, I look'd on Richard's face,
This was my wish,-Be thou, quoth I, accurs'd,
For making me, so young, so old a widow!
And, when thou wedd'st, let sorrow haunt thy bed;
And be thy wife (if any be so mad)
More miserable by the life of thee,
Than thou hast made me by my dear lord's death!
Lo, ere I can repeat this curse again,
Even in so short a space, my woman's heart
Grossly grew captive to his honey words,
And prov'd the subject of mine own soul's curse :
Which ever since hath held mine eyes from rest;
For never yet one hour in his bed
Did I enjoy the golden dew of sleep,,
But with his timorous dreams was still awak'd
Besides, he hates me for my father Warwick;
And will, no doubt, shortly be rid of me.
Q. Eliz. Poor heart, adieu: I pity thy complaining.
Anne. No more than with my soul I mourn for
Dor. Farewell, thou woful welcomer of glory! Anne. Adieu, poor soul, that tak'st thy leave of it!
Duch. Go thou to Richmond, and good fortune guide thee![To Dorset Go thou to Richard, and good angels tend thee!— [To Anne. Go thou to sanctuary, and good thoughts possess [To Q. Elizabeth. I to my grave, where peace and rest lie with me! Eighty odd years of sorrow have I seen, And each hour's joy wreck'd with a week of teen.4 Q. Eliz. Stay yet; look back, with me, unto the Tower.
Pity, you ancient stones, those tender babes,
Whom envy hath immur'd within your walls! .
Rough cradle for such little pretty ones!
Rude ragged nurse! old sullen play-fellow
For tender princes, use my babies well!
So foolish sorrow bids your stones farewell. [Exe,
SCENE II-A room of state in the palace.
Flourish of trumpets. Richard, as king upon
his throne; Buckingham, Catesby, a Page, and
K. Rich. Stand all apart.--Cousin of Bucking
(2) The crown.
Buck. My gracious sovereign. Look, how thou dream'st!-I say again, give out, K. Rich. Give me thy hand. Thus high, by thy That Anne my queen is sick, and like to die : advice, About it; for it stands me much upon,5 To stop all hopes, whose growth may damage me.[Exit Catesby. I must be married to my brother's daughter, Or else my kingdom stands on brittle glass: Murder her brothers, and then marry her! Uncertain way of gain! But I am in To try if thou be current gold, indeed :So far in blood, that sin will pluck on sin. Young Edward lives;-Think now what I would Tear-falling pity dwells not in this eye.speak.
Buck. Say on, my loving lord.
K. Rich. Why, Buckingham, I say, I would be king.
Buck. Why, so you are, my thrice-renowned liege.
K. Rich. Ha! am I king? 'Tis so: but Edward
Buck. True, noble prince.
O bitter consequence,
That Edward still should live,-true, noble prince!--
Cousin, thou wast not wont to be so dull :-
Shall I be plain? I wish the bastards dead;
And I would have it suddenly perform'd.
What say'st thou now? speak suddenly, be brief.
Buck. Your grace may do your pleasure.
K. Rich. Tut, tut, thou art all ice, thy kindness
And thy assistance, is king Richard seated :-
But shall we wear these glories for a day?
Or shall they last, and we rejoice in them?
Buck. Still live they, and for ever let them last!
K. Rich. Ah, Buckingham, now do I play the
Say, have I thy consent, that they shall die?
Buck. Give me some breath, some little pause,
Before I positively speak in this:
I will resolve your grace immediately. [Ex. Buck.
Cate. The king is angry; see, he gnaws his lip.
K. Rich. I will converse with iron-witted fools,
[Descends from his throne.
And unrespective2 boys: none are for me,
That look into me with considerate eyes ;-
High-reaching Buckingham grows circumspect.
Re-enter Page, with Tyrrel. me-Tyrrel?
Is thy name
Tyr. James Tyrrel, and your most obedient
K. Rich. Art thou, indeed?
Prove me, my gracious lord. K. Rich. Dar'st thou resolve to kill a friend of mine?
Tyr. Please you; but I had rather kill two enemies.
K. Rich. Why, then thou hast it; two deep ene-
Foes to my rest, and my sweet sleep's disturbers,
Are they that I would have thee deal upon :
Tyrrel, I mean those bastards in the Tower.
Tyr. Let me have open means to come to them,
And soon I'll rid you from the fear of them.
K. Rich. Thou sing'st sweet music. Hark, coma
Go, by this token :-Rise, and lend thine ear:
Page. My lord.
K. Rich. Know'st thou not any, whom corrupt-
Would tempt unto a close exploit3 of death?
Page. I know a discontented gentleman,
Whose humble means match not his haughty mind:
Gold were as good as twenty orators,
And will, no doubt, tempt him to any thing.
K. Rich. What is his name?
His name, my lord, is-Tyrrel. ||
K. Rich. I partly know the man; Go, call him
The deep-revolving, witty4 Buckingham
No more shall be the neighbour to my counsels :
Hath he so long held out with me untir'd,
And stops he now for breath?-well, be it so.-
How now, lord Stanley? what's the news?
Know, my loving lord,
The marquis Dorset, as I hear, is fled
To Richmond, in the parts where he abides.
K. Rich. Come hither, Catesby: rumour it abroad,
That Anne, my wife, is very grievous sick;
I will take order for her keeping close.
Inquire me out some mean-born gentleman,
Whom I will marry straight to Clarence' daugh-I
The boy is foolish, and I fear not him.-
There is no more but so:-Say, it is done,
And I will love thee, and prefer thee for it.
Tyr. I will despatch it straight.
Buck. My lord, I have consider'd in my mind
The late demand that you did sound me in.
K. Rich. Well, let that rest. Dorset is fled to
Buck. I hear the news, my lord.
K. Rich. Stanley, he is your wife's son :- -Well, look to it.
Buck. My lord, I claim the gift, my due by
For which your honour and your faith is pawn'd;
The earldom of Hereford, and the moveables,
Which you have promised I shall possess.
K. Rich. Stanley, look to your wife; if she convey
Letters to Richmond, you shall answer it.
Buck. What says your highness to my just re-
K. Rich. I do remember me,-Henry the Sixth
Did prophesy, that Richmond should be king,
When Richmond was a little peevish boy.
Buck. My lord,
K. Rich. How chance, the prophet could not at
Have told me, I being by, that I should kill him?
Buck. My lord, your promise for the earldom,-
K. Rich. Richmond!-When last I was at Exeter,
The mayor in courtesy show'd me the castle,
And call'd it-Rouge-mont: at which name,
Because a bard of Ireland told me once,
should not live long after I sav Richmond.
Buck. My lord,-
Ay, what's o'clock?
(5) It is of the utmost consequence to my designs.