Glo. So dear I lov'd the man, that I must weep.
I took him for the plainest harmless 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
That ever liv'd.
Would you imagine, or almost believe.
Were 't not that, by great preservation.
We live to tell it, that the subtle traitor
This day had jilotted, in the covmcil-house,
To murther me and my good Lord of Gloster ?
King Ricliard ITT
May. Had he done 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 ?
May. Now, fair befall you I he deserv'd his
And your good graces both have well proceeded,
To warn false tiaitors from the like attempts.
Buck. I never look'd for better at his hands,
After he once fell in with Mistress Shore :
Yet had we not deteruiin'd he should die,
Until your lordship came to see his end ;
Which now the loving haste of these oui' friends,
Something against our meaning, have pre-
Because, my lord, I 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. But, my good lord, your grace's word
As well as I had seen and heard him speak :
And do not doubt, right noble princes both.
But I '11 acquaint our duteous citizens
With all your just proceedings in this case.
Glo. And to that end we wish'd your lordship
To avoid the censures of the carping world.
Buck. But since you come too late of our
Yet witness what you hear we did intend ;
Act III Scene 5
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 terined 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 lusted to make a 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 true 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 father.
Yet touch this sparingly, as 'twere far off ;
Because, my lord, you know my mother lives.
Biick. Doubt not, my lord, I '11 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,* [on the Thames at Blackfriars
Where you shall find me well accompanied
With reverend fathers and well-learned bishops.
Buck. I go ; and towards three or four o'clock
Look for the news that the Guildhall affords.
7 N 193
King Richard III
Glo. Go, Lovel, with all speed to Doctor
Go thou [to Catesby] to Friar Penker ;â€” bid them
Meet me within this hour at Baynard's Castle.
[Exeunt Lovel and Catesby.
Now will I go to take some privy order
To draw the brats of Clarence out of sight ;
And to give order that no manner person
Have any time recourse unto the princes. [Exit.
Scene 6.â€” A Street.
Enter a Scmvener.
Scriv. Here is the indictment of the good
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 precedent was full as long a-doiug ;
And 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,
That cannot see this palpable device ?
Yet who so bold but says he sees it not ?
Bad is the Avorld ; and all will come to nought.
When such ill dealing must be seen in thought.
Scene 7. â€” Baynard's Castle.
Enter Gloster and Buckingham, meeting.
Glo. How now, how now ! what say the
Buck. Now by the holy mother of our Lord,
Act III Scene 7
The citizens are mum, say not a word.
Glo. Touch'd you the bastardy of Edward's
Btwk. 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 open all your victories in Scotland,
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 drew toward end,
I bade them that did love their country's good
Cry ' God save Richard, England's royal king ! '
Glo. And did they so ?
Btick. No, so God help me, they spake not a
But, like dumb statuas or breathing stones,
Star'd each on other and look'd deadly pale ;
Which when I saw, I reprehended them,
And ask'd the mayor what meant this wilful
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
King Kic])ard III
At lower end of 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 hrake off and came away.
Glo. What tongueless blocks were they 1 would
they not speak ?
"Will not the mayor then and his brethren come ?
Brick. The mayor is here at hand. Intend
some fear ;
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 ; [ilisquisition
For on that ground I '11 make a holy descant.*
And be not easily won to our requests ;
Play the maid's part, still answer nay, and
Glo. I go ; and if you plead as well for them
As 1 can say nay to thee for myself,
No doubt we bring it to a happy issue.
Bitck. 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.
Now, Catesby, what says your lord to my
Gate. He doth entreat your grace, my noble
To visit him to-morrow or next day.
Act III Scene 7
He is within, with two right reverend fathers,
Divinely bent to meditation ;
And in no worldly suits would he be mov'd
To draw him from his holy exercise.
Buch. Return, good Catesby, to the gracious
Tell him, myself, the mayor and aldermen.
In deep designs, in matter of great moment,
No less importing than our general good.
Are come to have some conference withhisgi^ace.
Cate. I '11 signify so much unto him straight,
Buck. Ah, ha, my lord, this prince is not an
He is not lulling on a lewd day-bed,* [sofa
But on his knees at meditation ;
Not dallying with a brace of courtesans.
But meditating with two deep divines ;
Not sleeping to engross his idle body,
But praying to enrich his watchful soul.
Happy were England would this virtuous prince
Take on his grace the sovei-eignty thereof ;
But sure, I fear, we shall not win him to it.
May. Marry, God defend his grace should say
us nay !
Buck. I fear he will. Here Catesby comes
Now, Catesby, what says his grace ?
Cate. He wonders to what end you have
Such troops of citizens to come to him ;
His grace not being warn'd thereof before.
He fears, my lord, you mean no good to him.
Buck. Sorry I am my noble cousin should
King Ricliard III
Suspect me, that I mean no good to him :
By heaven, we come to him in perfect love ;
And so once more return and tell his grace.
When holy and devout religious men
Are at their beads, 'tis much to draw them
So sweet is zealous contemplation.
Enter Gloster, in a gallery above, beticcen two
Bishops. Catesby returns.
May. See, where his grace stands 'tween two
Buck. Two props of virtue for a Christian
To stay him from the fall of vanity ;
And, see, a book of prayer in his hand,
True ornament to know a holy man. â€”
Famous Plantagenet, most gracious prince.
Lend favourable ear to ovir requests,
And pardon us the interruption
Of thy devotion and right Christian zeal.
Glo. My lord, there needs no such apology ;
I do beseech your grace to pardon me,
"Who, earnest in the service of my God,
Deferr'd the visitation of my friends.
But, leaving this, what is your grace's pleasure ?
Buck. Even that, I hope, which pleaseth (Jod
And all good men of this ungovern'd isle.
Glo. I do suspect I have done some ollence
That seems disgracious in the city's eye.
And that you come to reprehend my ignerance.
Buck. You have, my lord ; would it miglit
please your grace
On our entreaties to amend your fault !
Act III Scene 7
Glo. Else wherefore breathe I in a Christian
Biick. Know then, it is your fault that you
The supreme seat, the throne majestical.
The sceptred 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 ;
Whiles, in the mildness of your sleepy thoughts,
Which here we waken to our coimtry's good.
This 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, 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, i
But as successively from blood to blood, â€¢â–
Your right of birth, your empery, your own.
For this, consorted with the citizens.
Your very worshipful and loving friends, \
And by their vehement instigation, i
In this just cause come I to move your grace.
Glo. I cannot tell, if to depart in silence, j
Or bitterly to speak in your reproof, !
Best fitteth my degree or your condition : â€¢
If not to answer, you might haply think ^
Tongue-tied ambition, not replying, yielded i
To bear the golden yoke of sovereignty, j
Which fondly you would here impose on me ; I
If to reprove you for this sviit of yours, ;
So season'd with your faithful love to me, '
King Ricliard III
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,
Tlofinitively thus I answer yon :
Your love deserves my thanks, hut my desert
Unmeritahle shuns your high request.
First, if all ohstacles 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 he hid.
And in the vapour of my glory smother'd.
But, God be thank'd, there is no need of me,
And nuich I need to help you, were there need.
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 n)ake, no doubt, us happy by his reign.
On him I lay that you would lay on me,
The right and fortune of his happy stars.
Which God defend that I should wring from him 1
Buck. My lord, this argues conscience in your
But the respects thereof are nice and trivial.
All circumstances well considered.
You say that Edward is your brother's son :
So say we too, but not by Edward's wife ;
For first was he contract to Lady Lucy â€”
Your mother lives a witness to his vow â€”
And afterward by substitute betroth'd
To Bona, sister to the King of France.
These both put off, a poor petitioner,
A care-craz'd mother to a many sons,
Act III Scene 7
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 his degree
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 iny tongue.
Then, good my lord, take to your royal self
This protfer'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 times
Unto a lineal true-derived course.
May. Do, good my lord, your citizens entreat
Buck. Refuse not, mighty lord, this proffer'd
Cate. O, make them joyful, grant their la\\'f ul
Glo. Alas, why would you heap this care 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, â€” 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.
Which we have noted in you to your kindred.
And egally,* indeed, to all estates,â€” requaiiy
Yet know, whether you accept our suit or no.
Your brother's son shall never reign our king ;
But we will plant some other in the throne.
To the disgrace and downfall of your house.
King Kichard III
And in this resolution here we leave you. â€”
Come, citizens, we will entreat no more.
[Exit Buckingham ; the Mayor, Aldermen,
and Citizens retiring.
Cate. Call him again, sweet prince, accept
their suit ;
If you deny them, all the land will rue it.
Glo. V<"\\\ you enforce me to a world of cares ?
Call them again. I am not made of stone,
But penetrable to your kind entreaties.
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 burthen, whether 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 doth know, 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 1
Buck. To-morrow may it please you to be
Glo. P^ven when you please, for you will have
Buck. To-morrow, then, we will attend your
And so most joyfully we take our leave.
Act IV Scene 1
Glo. Come, let us to our holy work again.
[ To the Bishops.
Farewell, my cousin ;â€” farewell, gentle friends.
Scene 1. â€” Before the Tower.
Enter, on one side, Queen Elisabeth, Duchess of
York, and Marquis of Dorset ; on the other,
Anne Duchess of Gloster, leading Lady
Margaret Plantagenet, Clarence's young
Duck. Who meets us here? my niece Plan-
Led in the hand of her kind aunt of Gloster !
Now, for my life, she 's wandering to the Tower,
On pure heart's love to greet the tenderprinces. â€”
Daughter, well met.
Anne. God give your graces both
A happy and a joyful time of day 1
Q. Elis, As much to you, good sister ! whither
Anne. No farther than the Tower, and, as I
Upon the like devotion as yourselves,
To gratulate the gentle princes there.
Q. Eliz. Kind sister, thanks ; we '11 enter all
And, in good time, here the lieutenant comes.
Master lieutenant, pray you, by your leave.
How doth the prince, and my young son of
Brak. Right well, dear madam. By your
King Ricliard III
I may not suif er you to visit them ;
The kiiifif hath strictly charg'd the contrary.
Q. Eliz. The king ! \vho 's that ?
Brak. I mean the lord protector.
Q. Eliz. The Lord protect him from that
Hath he set boimds between their love and me ?
I am their mother ; who shall bar me from them ?
Diich. I am their father's mother; I will see
Anne. Their aunt I am in law, in love their
Then bring me to their sights ; I '11 bear thy
And take thy office from thee, on my peril.
Brak. No, madam, no ; I may not leave it so :
I am bound by oath, and therefore pardon me.
Stan. Let me but meet you, ladies, one hour
And I '11 salute yoiu' grace of York as mother
And reverend looker-on of two fair queens. â€”
Come, madam, you must straight to West-
minster, [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
Or else I swoon with this dead-killing news I
Anne. Despiteful tidings I O, unpleasingnews !
Dor. Be of good cheer.â€” Mother, how fares
your grace ?
Q. Eliz. O Dorset, speak not to me, get thee
Death and destruction dog thee at thy heels;
Act IV Scene 1
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,
Take all the swift advantage of the hours ;
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 murtherous.
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 that must round my brow
Were red-hot steel to sear 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
To feed my humour, w^ish thyself no harm.
Anne. No ! why ? When he that is my
Came to me, as I follow'd Henry's corse.
When scarce the blood was well wash'd from
WTiich issued from my other angel husband.
And that dear saint which then I weeping
King Richard III
O, when, I say, I look'd on Richard's face,
This was my wish : ' Be thou,' quoth I, 'accurs'd,
For making nie, so young, so old a widow !
And, when thou wed'st, let sorrow haunt thy
And be thy wifeâ€” 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.
Within so small a time, my woman's heart
Grossly grew captive to his honey words.
And prov'd the subject of mine own soul's curse.
Which hitherto 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. EUz. Poor heart, adieu ! I pity thy com-
Anne. No more than with my soul I mourn
Dor. Farewell, thou woful welcomer of glory I
Anne. Adieu, poor soul, that tak'st thy leave
of it !
Dnch. Go thou to Richmond, and good for-
tune guide thee ! [To Dorset.
Go thou to Richard, and good angels tend thee I
Go thou to sanctuary, and good thoughts
possess thee ! [To Queen Elizabeth.
I to ray grave, where peace and rest lie with me !
Eighty odd years of sorrow have I seen,
And each hour's joy wrack'd with a week of
Act IV Scene 2
Q. Eliz. Stay, yet look back with me unto the
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.
Scene 2. â€” A Room of State in the Palace.
A sennet. Entei^ Richard, croivned, and in
state; Buckingham, Catesby, a Page, and
K. Rich. Stand all apart. â€” Cousin of Bucking-
Buck. My gracious sovereign.
K. Rich. Give me thy hand. [Rich, ascends
the tJirone.] Thus high, by thy advice
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
To try if thou be current gold indeed !
Young Edward lives. Think now what I would
Buxk. Say on, my loving lord.
K. Rich. Why, Buckingham, I say I would
Bxick. Why, so you are, my thrice-renowned
K. Rich. Ha! am I king? 'Tis so; but
King liichard III
Buck, True, noble prince.
K. Rich. 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 kind-
Say, have I thy consent that they shall die?
Buck. Give me some little breath, some pause,
Before I positively speak in this ;
I will resolve you herein presently. [Exit.
Cate. [Aside to another] The king is angry ;
see, he gnaws his lip.
K. Rich. I will converse with iron-witted fools.
[Descends fi'om his thrcnie.
And \inrespective* boys ; none are for me [thoughUesi
That look into me with considerate eyes.
High-reaching Buckingham grows circum-
Page. My lord ?
K. Rich. Know'st thou not any whom cor-
"Will tempt unto a close exploit of death ?
Page. I know a discontented gentleman,
Whose humble means match not his haughty
Gold were as good as twenty orators.
And Avill, no doubt, tempt him to any thing.
A'. Rich. A\'hat is his name ?
Page. His name, my lord, is TyiTel.
Act IV Scene 2
K. Rich. I partly know the man ; go, call
him hither, boy. [Exit Page.
The deep-revolving witty 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 ?
Stan. 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
That Anne my wife is very grievous sick ;
I will take order for her keeping close.
Inquire me out some mean poor gentleman.
Whom I will marry straight to Clarence'
The boy is foolish, and I fear not him.
Look, how thou dream'st 1 I say again, give out
That Anne iny queen is sick, and like to die.
About it ; for it stands me much upon
To stop all hopes whose growth inay damage me.
I must be married to my brother's daughter,
Or else my kingdom stands on brittle glass.
Murther her brothers, and then marry her ?
Uncertain way of gain ! But I am in
So far in blood, that sin will pluck on sin.