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I am thus bold | At young Elizabeth, my brother's daughter, To put your grace in mind of what you promis'd me. And, by that knot, looks proudly on the crown, K. Rich. Well, but what is't o'clock? To her I go, a jolly thriving wooer. Buck. Upon the stroke Of ten.

Enter Catesby.

K. Rich. Well, let it strike.

Why, let it strike? K. Rich. Because that, like a Jack,' thou keep'st the stroke


Betwixt thy begging and
I am not in the giving vein to-day.
Buck. Why, then resolve me whe'r you will,

or no.

K. Rich. Thou troublest me; I am not in the!
vein. [Exeunt King Richard, and train.
Buck. And is it thus? repays he my deep service
With such contempt? made I him king for this?
O, let me think on Hastings; and be
To Brecknock,2 while my fearful head is on. [Exit.
SCENE III.-The same. Enter Tyrrel.
Tyr. The tyrannous and bloody act is done;
The most arch deed of piteous massacre,
That ever yet this land was guilty of.
Dighton and Forrest, whom I did suborn
To do this piece of ruthless3 butchery,
Albeit they were flesh'd villains, bloody dogs,
Melting with tenderness and mild compassion,
Wept like two children, in their death's sad story.
O thus, quoth Dighton, lay the gentle babes,—
Thus, thus, quoth Forrest, girdling one another
Within their alabaster innocent arms:
Their lips were four red roses on a stalk,
Which, in their summer beauty, kiss'd each other.
A book of prayers on their pillow lay;
Which once, quoth Forrest, almost chang'd my

But, O, the devil-there the villain stopp'd;
When Dighton thus told on,-we smothered
The most replenished sweet work of nature,
That, from the prime creation, e'er she fram'd.
Hence both are gone with conscience and remorse,
They could not speak; and so I left them both,
To bear this tidings to the bloody king.

Enter King Richard.

And here he comes:- -All health, my sovereign lord!
K. Rich. Kind Tyrrel! am I happy in thy news?
Tyr. If to have done the thing you gave in charge
Beget your happiness, be happy then,
For it is done.
K. Rich. But didst thou see them dead?
Tyr. I did, my lord.
K. Rich.
And buried, gentle Tyrrel?
Tyr. The chaplain of the Tower hath buried

But where, to say the truth, I do not know.

K. Rich. Come to me, Tyrrel, soon, at after

When thou shalt tell the process of their death.
Mean time, but think how I may do thee good,
And be inheritor of thy desire.
Farewell, till then.


I humbly take my leave. [Exit. K. Rich. The son of Clarence have I penn'd up close;

His daughter meanly match'd in marriage;
The sons of Edward sleep in Abraham's bosom,
And Anne my wife hath bid the world good night
Now, for I know the Bretagne4 Richmond aims

(1) An image like those at St. Dunstan's church in Fleet-street. (3) Merciless.

(2) His castle in Wales.


Cate. My lord,

K. Rich. Good news or bad, that thou com'st in
so bluntly?

Cate. Bad news, my lord: Mortons is fled to

And Buckingham, back'd with the hardy Welsh


Is in the field, and still his power increaseth.
K. Rich. Ely with Richmond troubles me more


Than Buckingham, and his rash-levied strength.
Come,-I have learn'd, that fearful commenting
Is leaden servitor to dull delay;

Delay leads impotent and snail-pac'd beggary:
Then fiery expedition be my wing,
Jove's Mercury, and herald for a king!
Go, muster men: My counsel is my shield;
We must be brief, when traitors brave the field.
SCENE IV-The same. Before the Palace.
Enter Queen Margaret.

Q. Mar. So, now prosperity begins to mellow,
And drop into the rotten mouth of death.
Here in these confines slily have I lurk'd,
To watch the waning of mine enemies.
A dire induction6 am I witness to,
And will to France; hoping, the consequence
Will prove as bitter, black, and tragical.
Withdraw thee, wretched Margaret! who comes

Enter Queen Elizabeth and the Duchess of York. Q. Eliz. Ah, my poor princes! ah, my tender babes

My unblown flowers, new-appearing sweets!
If yet your gentle souls fly in the air,
And be not fix'd in doom perpetual,
Hover about me with your airy wings,
And hear your mother's lamentation!
Q. Mar. Hover about her; say, that right for right
Hath dimm'd your infant morn to aged night.
Duch. So many miseries have craz❜d my voice,
That my wo-wearied tongue is still and mute,-
Edward Plantagenet, why art thou dead?

Q. Mar. Plantagenet doth quit Plantagenet,
Edward for Edward pays a dying debt.

Q. Eliz. Wilt thou, O God, fly from such gentle

And throw them in the entrails of the wolf?
When didst thou sleep, when such a deed was done?
Q. Mar. When haly Harry died, and my sweet

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Ah, who hath any cause to mourn, but we?
[Sitting down by her.
Q. Mar. If ancient sorrow be most reverent,
Give mine the benefit of seniory,1
And let my griefs frown on the upper hand.
If sorrow can admit society,

[Sitting down with them. Tell o'er your woes again by viewing mine :I had an Edward, till a Richard kill'd him; I had a husband, till a Richard kill'd him: Thou hadst an Edward, till a Richard kill'd him; Thou hadst a Richard, till a Richard kill'd him. Duch. I had a Richard too, and thou didst kill him; I had a Rutland too, thou holp'st to kill him.

Q. Mar. Thou hadst a Clarence too, and Richard kill'd him.

From forth the kennel of thy womb hath crept
A hell-hound, that doth hunt us all to death:
That dog, that had his teeth before his eyes,
To worry lambs, and lap their gentle blood;
That foul defacer of God's handy-work;
That excellent grand tyrant of the earth,
That reigns in galled eyes of weeping souls,
Thy womb let loose, to chase us to our graves.-
O upright, just, and true-disposing God,
How do I thank thee, that this carnal cur
Preys on the issue of his mother's body,
And makes her pew-fellow2 with others' moan!

Duch. O, Harry's wife, triumph not in my woes; God witness with me, I have wept for thine.

Q. Mar. Bear with me, I am hungry for revenge, And now I cloy me with beholding it. Thy Edward he is dead, that kill'd my Edward; Thy other Edward dead, to quit my Edward; Young York he is but boot, because both they Match not the high perfection of my loss. Thy Clarence he is dead, that stabb'd my Edward; And the beholders of this tragic play, The adulterate Hastings, Rivers, Vaughan, Grey, Untinely smother'd in their dusky graves. Richard yet lives, hell's black intelligencer; Only reserv'd their factor, to buy souls, And send them thither: But at hand, at hand, Ensues his piteous and unpitied end: Earth hell burns, fiends roar, gapes, saints pray, To have him suddenly convey'd from hence:-Cancel his bond of life, dear God, I pray, That I may live to say, The dog is dead!

Q. Eliz. O, thou didst prophesy, the time would


That I should wish for thee to help me curse That bottled spider, that foul bunch-back'd toad.

Q. Mar. I call'd thee then, vain flourish of my fortune;

I call'd thee then, poor shadow, painted queen;
The presentation of but what I was,
The flattering index4 of a direful pageant,
One heav'd a high, to be hurl'd down below:
A mother only mock'd with two fair babes;
A dream of what thou wast; a garish5 flag,
To be the aim of every dangerous shot;
A sign of dignity, a breath, a bubble;
A queen in jest, only to fill the scene.
Where is thy husband now? where be thy brothers?
Where be thy two sons? wherein dost thou joy?
Who sues, and kneels, and says-God save the

Where be the bending peers that flatter'd thee?
Where be the thronging troops that follow'd thee?
Decline all this, and see what now thou art.
For happy wife, a most distressed widow;

For joyful mother, one that wails the name;
For one being sued to, one that humbly sues;
For queen, a very caitiff crown'd with care:
For one that scorn'd at me, now scorn'd of me;
For one being fear'd of all, now fearing one;
For one commanding all, obey'd of none.
Thus hath the course of justice wheel'd about,
And left thee but a very prey to time;
Having no more but thought of what thou wert,
To torture thee the more, being what thou art.
Thou didst usurp my place, And dost thou not
Usurp the just proportion of my sorrow?
Now thy proud neck bears half my burden'd yoke,
From which even here I slip my wearied head,
And leave the burden of it all on thee.
Farewell, York's wife, and queen of sad mis-


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K. Rich. Ay; I thank God, my father, and your-

Duch. Then patiently hear my impatience.
K. Rich. Madam, I have a touch of your con-

That cannot brook the accent of reproof.
Duch. O, let me speak.
K. Rich.
Do, then; but I'll not hear.
Duch. I will be mild and gentle in my words.
K. Rich. And brief, good mother; for I am in

Duch. Art thou so hasty? I have staid for thee,
God knows, in torment and in agony.

K. Rich. And came I not at last to comfort you?
Duch. No, by the holy rood,2 thou know'st it well,|
Thou cam'st on earth to make the earth my hell.
A grievous burden was thy birth to me;
Tetchy and wayward was thy infancy;
Thy school-days, frightful, desperate, wild, and fu-

call'd your grace To breakfast once, forth of my company. If I be so disgracious in your sight, Let me march on, and not offend you, madam.--Strike up the drum.


I pr'ythee, hear me speak.
K. Rich. You speak too bitterly.
Hear me a word;
For I shall never speak to thee again.
K. Rich. So.

Duch. Either thou wilt die, by God's just ordi


Thy prime of manhood, daring, bold, and ven-No turous;

Ere from this war thou turn a conqueror;
Or I with grief and extreme age shall perish,
And never look upon thy face again.
Therefore, take with thee my most heavy curse,
Which, in the day of battle, tire thee more,
Than all the complete armour that thou wear'st!
My prayers on the adverse party fight;
And there the little souls of Edward's children
Whisper the spirits of thine enemies,
And promise them success and victory.
Bloody thou art, bloody will be thy end;
Shame serves thy life, and doth thy death attend.

Q. Eliz. Though far more cause, yet much less
spirit to curse
Abides in me; I say amen to her.
K. Rich. Stay, madam, I must speak a word with


Q. Eliz. I have no more sons of the royal blood, For thee to murder: for my daughters, Richard,They shall be praying nuns, not weeping queens; And therefore level not to hit their lives.

Till it was whetted on thy stone-hard heart,
To revel in the entrails of my lambs.

Thy age confirm'd, proud, subtle, sly, and bloody,
More mild, but yet more harmful, kind in hatred:
What comfortable hour canst thou name,
That ever grac'd me in thy company?

But that still5 use of grief makes wild grief tame,
My tongue should to thy ears not name my boys,

K. Rich. 'Faith, none, but Humphrey Hour, that Till that my nails were anchor'd in thine eyes;

And I, in such a desperate bay of death,
Like a poor bark, of sails and tackling reft,
Rush all to pieces on thy rocky bosom.

K. Rich. Madam, so thrive I in my enterprize,
And dangerous success of bloody wars,
As I intend more good to you and yours,
Than ever you or yours by me were harm'd!

Q. Eliz. What good is cover'd with the face of

To be discover'd, that can do me good?

K. Rich. The advancement of your children, gentle lady.

Q. Eliz. Up to some scaffold, there to lose their heads?

K. Rich. You have a daughter call'd-Elizabeth,||
Virtuous and fair, royal and gracious.

Q. Eliz. And must she die for this? O, let her live,
And I'll corrupt her manners, stain her beauty;
Slander myself, as false to Edward's bed;
Throw over her the veil of infamy:
So she may live unscarr'd of bleeding slaughter,
I will confess she was not Edward's daughter.
K. Rich. Wrong not her birth, she is of royal

(1) Disposition.
(3) Touchy, fretful.

Q. Eliz. To save her life, I'll say-she is not so.
K. Rich. Her life is safest only in her birth.
Q. Eliz. And only in that safety died her bro-

(2) Cross.

K. Rich. Lo, at their births good stars were opposite.

Q. Eliz. No, to their lives bad friends were contrary.

K. Rich. All unavoided4 is the doom of destiny.
Q. Eliz. True, when avoided grace makes des-

My babes were destin'd to a fairer death,
If grace had bless'd thee with a fairer life.
K. Rich. You speak, as if that I had slain my


(4) Unavoidable.

Q. Eliz. Cousins, indeed; and by their uncle cozen'd

Of comfort, kingdom, kindred, freedom, life.
Whose hands soever lanc'd their tender hearts,
Thy head, all indirectly, gave direction:

doubt the murderous knife was dull and

K. Rich. No, to the dignity and height of fortune, The high imperial type of this earth's glory.

Q. Eliz. Flatter my sorrows with report of it;
Tell me, what state, what dignity, what honour,
Canst thou demise? to any child of mine?

K. Rich. Even all I have; ay, and myself and all,
Will I withal endow a child of thine;
So in the Lethe of thy angry soul

Thou drown the sad remembrance of those wrongs,
Which, thou supposest, I have done to thee.
Q. Eliz. Be brief, lest that the process of thy

Last longer telling than thy kindness' date.
K. Rich. Then know, that from my soul, I love
thy daughter.

Q. Eliz. My daughter's mother thinks it with her


K. Rich. What do you think?

Q. Eliz. That thou dost love my daughter, from
thy soul :-

So, from thy soul's love, didst thou love her brothers;
And, from my heart's love, I do thank thee for it.
K. Rich. Be not so hasty to confound my mean-

I mean, that with my soul I love thy daughter,
And do intend to make her queen of England.
Q. Eliz. Well then, who dost thou mean shall be
her king?

K. Rich. Even he, that makes her queen: Who
else should be?

Q. Eliz. What, thou?

(5) Constant. (6) A crown. (7) Bequeath,

K. Rich.

Even so: What think

of it, madam?

Q. Eliz. How canst thou woo her? K. Rich. That I would learn of you, As one being best acquainted with her humour. Q. Eliz. And wilt thou learn of me? K. Rich. Madam, with all my heart.

Q. Eliz. Send to her by the man that slew her brothers,

A pair of bleeding hearts; thereon engrave,
Edward, and York, then, haply, will she weep:
Therefore present to her, as sometime Margaret
Did to thy father, steep'd in Rutland's blood,-
A handkerchief; which, say to her, did drain
The purple sap from her sweet brother's body,
And bid her wipe her weeping eyes withal.
If this inducement move her not to love,
Send her a letter of thy noble deeds;
Tell her, thou mad'st away her uncle Clarence,
Her uncle Rivers; ay, and, for her sake,
Mad'st quick conveyance with her good aunt Anne.
K. Rich. You mock me, madam; this is not the
To win your daughter.
Q. Eliz.
There is no other way;
Unless thou could'st put on some other shape,
And not be Richard that hath done all this.


K. Rich. Say, that I did all this for love of her? Q. Eliz. Nay, then indeed, she cannot choose but have thee,

Having bought love with such a bloody spoil. K. Rich. Look, what is done cannot be now amended:

Men shall deal unadvisedly sometimes, Which after-hours give leisure to repent. If I did take the kingdom from your sons, To make amends, I'll give it to your daughter, If I have kill'd the issue of your womb, To quicken your increase, I will beget Mine issue of your blood upon your daughter. A grandam's name is little less in love, Than is the doting title of a mother; They are as children, but one step below, Even of your mettle, of your very blood; Of all one pain,-save for a night of groans Endur'd of her, for whom you bid like sorrow. Your children were vexation to your youth, But mine shall be a comfort to your age. The loss, you have, is but-a son being king, And, by that loss, your daughter is made queen. I cannot make you what amends I would, Therefore accept such kindness as I can. Dorset, your son, that, with a fearful soul, Leads discontented steps in foreign soil, This fair alliance quickly shall call home To high promotions and great dignity: The king, that calls your beauteous daughter-wife, Familiarly shall call thy Dorset-brother; Again shall you be mother to a king, And all the ruins of distressful times Repair'd with double riches of content. What! we have many goodly days to see: The liquid drops of tears that you have shed, Shall come again, transform'd to orient pearl; Advantaging their loan, with interest Of ten-times-double gain of happiness. Go then, my mother, to thy daughter, go; Make bold her bashful years with your experience; Prepare her ears to hear a wooer's tale; Put in her tender heart the aspiring flame Of golden sovereignty; acquaint the princess

(1) Perhaps.

(2) In the Levitical law, chap. xviii. 14.

With the sweet silent hours of marriage joys:
And when this arm of mine hath chastised
The petty rebel, dull-brain'd Buckingham,
Bound with triumphant garlands will I come,
And lead thy daughter to a conqueror's bed;
To whom I will retail my conquest won,
And she shall be sole victress, Cæsar's Cæsar.
Q. Eliz. What were I best to say? her father's

Would be her lord? Or shall I say, her uncle?
Or, he that slew her brothers, and her uncles?
Under what title shall I woo for thee,
That God, the law, my honour, and her love,
Can make seem pleasing to her tender years?
K. Rich. Infer fair England's peace by this al-

Q. Eliz. Which she shall purchase with still lasting war.

K. Rich. Tell her, the king, that may comm mmand,


Q. Eliz. That at her hands, which the king's King forbids.2

K. Rich. Say, she shall be a high and mighty


Q. Eliz. To wail the title, as her mother doth,
K. Rich. Say, I will love her everlastingly.
Q. Eliz. But how long shall that title, ever, last?
K. Rich. Sweetly in force unto her fair life's end.
Q. Eliz. But how long fairly shall her sweet life

K. Rich. As long as Heaven, and nature lengthens it.

Q. Eliz. As long as hell, and Richard, likes of it. K. Rich. Say, I, her sovereign, am her subject low.

Q. Eliz. But she, your subject, loaths such sovereignty.

K. Rich. Be eloquent in my behalf to her. Q. Eliz. An honest tale speeds best, being plainly told.

K. Rich. Then, in plain terms tell her my loving tale.

Q. Eliz. Plain, and not honest, is too harsh a style. K. Rich. Your reasons are too shallow and too


Q. Eliz. O, no, my reasons are too deep and dead;

Too deep and dead, poor infants, in their graves. K. Rich. Harp not on that string, madam; that is past.

Q. Eliz. Harp on it still shall I, till heart-strings break.

K. Rich. Now, by my George, my garter,3 and my crown,

Q. Eliz. Profan'd, dishonour'd, and the third usurp❜d.

K. Rich, I swear. Q. Eliz. By nothing; for this is no oath, Thy George, profan'd, hath lost its holy honour; Thy garter, blemish'd, pawn'd his knightly virtue; Thy crown, usurp'd, disgrac'd his kingly glory: If something thou wouldst swear to be believ'd, Swear then by something that thou hast not wrong'd. K. Rich. Now by the world,Q. Eliz.

'Tis full of thy foul wrongs,

K. Rich. My father's death,-
Q. Eliz.

Thy life hath that dishonour'd.
K. Rich. Then, by myself,-
Q. Eliz.

K. Rich. Why then, by God,-
Q. Eliz.

God's wrong is most of all. If thou had'st fear'd to break an oath by him,

(3) The ensigns of the order of the Garter.

Thyself is self-misus'd.

The unity, the king thy brother made,
Had not been broken, nor my brother slain.
If thou hadst fear'd to break an oath by him,
The imperial metal, circling now thy head,
Had grac'd the tender temples of my child;
And both the princes had been breathing here,
Which now, two tender bed-fellows for dust,
Thy broken faith hath made a prey for worms.
What canst thou swear by now?

K. Rich.

By the time to come. Q. Eliz. That thou hast wronged in the time o'erpast;

For I myself have many tears to wash
Hereafter time, for time past, wrong'd by thee.
The children live, whose parents thou hast slaugh-

Ungovern'd youth, to wail it in their age:
The parents live, whose children thou hast butcher'd,
Old barren plants, to wail it with their age.
Swear not by time to come: for that thou hast
Misus'd ere us'd, by times ill-us'd o'erpast.

K. Rich. As I intend to prosper, and repent!
So thrive I in my dangerous attempt
Of hostile arms! myself myself confound!
Heaven, and fortune, bar me happy hours!
Day, yield me not thy light; nor, night, thy rest!
Be opposite all planets of good luck
To my proceeding, if, with pure heart's love,
Immaculate devotion, holy thoughts,
I tender not thy beauteous princely daughter!
In her consists my happiness, and thine;
Without her, follows to myself, and thee,
Herself, the land, and many a Christian soul,
Death, desolation, ruin, and decay :
It cannot be avoided but by this;
It will not be avoided, but by this.
Therefore, dear mother (I must call you so,)
Be the attorney of my love to her.
Plead what I will be, not what I have been;
Not my deserts, but what I will deserve:
Urge the necessity and state of times,
And be not peevish1 found in great designs.
QEliz. Shall I be tempted of the devil thus ?
K. Rich. Ay, if the devil tempt thee to do good.
Q. Eliz. Shall I forget myself, to be myself?
K. Rich. Ay, if yourself's remembrance wrong

Q. Eliz. But thou didst kill my children. K. Rich. But in your daughter's womb I bury them :

Where, in that nest of spicery,2 they shall breed Selves of themselves, to your recomforture.

Q. Eliz. Shall I go win my daughter to thy will? K. Rich. And be a happy mother by the deed. Q. Eliz. I go.-Write to me very shortly, And you shall understand from me her mind.

K. Rich. Bear her my true love's kiss, and so farewell. [Kissing her. Exit Q. Eliz. Relenting fool, and shallow, changing-woman! How now? what news?

Enter Ratcliff; Catesby following.

Rat. Most mighty sovereign, on the western coast Rideth a puissant navy; to the shore Throng many doubtful hollow-hearted friends, Unarm'd, and unresolv'd to beat them back : 'Tis thought, that Richmond is their admiral; And there they hull, expecting but the aid Of Buckingham, to welcome them ashore.

K. Rich. Some light-foot friend post to the duke of Norfolk :-Ratcliff, thyself,-or Catesby; where is he?

(1) Foolish. (2) The phoenix's nest.

Cate. Here, my good lord. K. Rich. Catesby, fly to the duke. Cate. I will, my lord, with all convenient haste. K. Rich. Ratcliff, come hither: Post to Salisbury; When thou com'st thither,-Dull unmindful villain, [To Catesby. Why stay'st thou here, and go'st not to the duke Cate. First, mighty liege, tell me your highness' pleasure,

What from your grace I shall deliver to him. K. Rich. O, true, good Catesby ;-Bid him levy straight

The greatest strength and power he can make,
And meet me suddenly at Salisbury.
Cate. I go.

[Exit. Rat. What, may it please you, shall I do at Salisbury?

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