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O, let me think on Hastings; and be gone
SCENE III.-The same.
Tyr. The tyrannous and bloody act is done;
O thus, quoth Dighton, lay the gentle babes,—
Within their alabaster innocent arms:
They could not speak; and so I left them both,
When thou shalt tell the process of their death.
Tyr. I humbly take my leave. [Exit.
K. Rich. Ely with Richmond troubles me
Than Buckingham and his rash-levied strength.
SCENE IV.-The same.-Before the Palace.
Q. Mar. So, now prosperity begins to mellow,
Enter Queen ELIZABETH and the Duchess of
Q. Eliz. Ah, my poor princes! ah, my tender
My unblown flowers, new-appearing sweets!
Q. Mar. Hover about her; say, that right for
Q. Eliz. Wilt thou, O God, fly from such
And throw them in the entrails of the wolf? When didst thou sleep, when such a deed was done?
Q. Mur. When holy Harry died, and my
Duch. Dead life, blind sight, poor mortalliving ghost,
Woe's scene, world's shame, grave's due by
Brief abstract and record of tedious days,
Tell o'er your woes again by viewing mine:-
Thou hadst a Richard, till a Richard kill'd him.
Duch. I had a Richard too, and thou did'st | For one commanding all, obey'd of none.
I had a Rutland too, thou holp'st to kill him.
From forth the kennel of thy womb hath crept
O upright, just, and true-disposing God,
God witness with me, I have wept for thine. Q. Mur. Bear with me, I am hungry for revenge,
And now I cloy me with beholding it. [ward; Thy Edward he is dead, that kill'd my EdThy other Edward dead, to quit my Edward; Young York he is but boot,t because both they
Match not the high perfection of my loss.
And the beholders of this tragic play, [Grey,
Q. Eliz. O, thou didst prophesy, the time would come,
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
The flattering index of a direful pageant,
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.
Thus hath the course of justice wheel'd about,
From which even here I slip my wearied head,
And teach me how to curse mine enemies. Q. Mar. Forbear to sleep the night, and fast the day;
Compare dead happiness with living woe; Think that thy babes were fairer than they
And he, that slew them, fouler than he is: Bettering thy loss makes the bad-causer worse; Revolving this will teach thee how to curse. Q. Eliz. My words are dull, O, quicken them with thine!
Q. Mar. Thy woes will make them sharp, and pierce like mine.
[Exit Q. MARGARET. Duch. Why should calamity be full of words? Q Eliz. Windy attornies to their client woes, Airy succeeders of intestate joys, Poor breathing orators of miseries! [impart Let them have scope: though what they do Help nothing else, yet do they ease the heart. Duch. If so, then be not tongue-ty'd: go with me,
And in the breath of bitter words let's smother My damned son, that thy two sweet sons smother'd. [Drum within.
I hear his drum,-be copious in exclaims. Enter King RICHARD, and his Train, marching. K. Rich. Who intercepts me in my expedition?
Duch. O, she, that might have intercepted thee,
By strangling thee in her accursed womb, From all the slaughters, wretch, that thou
Q. Eliz. Hid'st thou that forehead with a golden crown, Where should be branded, if that right were [right, The slaughter of the prince that owd that [thers? And the dire death of my poor sons, and broTell me, thou villain-slave, where are my children?
Duch. Thou toad, thou toad, where is thy
And little Ned Plantagenet, his son?
Duch. Where is kind Hastings?
Let not the heavens hear these tell-tale women
Duch. Art thou my son?
K. Rich. Ay; I thank God, my father, and yourself,
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,t thou know'st it well,
Thou cam'st on earth to make the earth my hell. A grievous burden was thy birth to me; Teichy; and wayward was thy infancy; Thy school-days, frightful, desperate, wild, and furious; [turous; Thy prime of manhood, daring, bold, and venThy age confirm'd, proud, subtle, sly, and bloody, [hatred: More mild, but yet more harmful, kind in What comfortable hour canst thou name, That ever grac'd me in thy company?
K. Rich. 'Faith, none, but Humphrey Hour,
To breakfast once, forth of my company.
Duch. I pr'ythee, hear me speak.
For I shall never speak to thee again.
Duch. Either thou wilt die, by God's just or
Ere from this war thou turn a conqueror;
Abides in me; I say Amen to her. [Going. K. Rich. Stay, madam, I must speak a word with you.
Q. Eliz. I have no more sons of the royal
For thee to murder: for my daughters,
K. Rich. You have a daughter call'd-ElizaVirtuous and fair, royal and gracious. [beth, Q. Eliz. And must she die for this? O, let her live,
And I'll corrupt her manners, stain her beauty;
Q. Eliz. To save her life, I'll say-she is not
K. Rich. Her life is safest only in her birth. Q. Eliz. And only in that safety died her brothers.
K. Rich. Lo, at their births good stars were opposite.
Q. Eliz. No, to their lives bad friends were contrary.
K. Rich. All unavoided is the doom of destiny.
Q. Eliz. True, when avoided grace makes destiny:
My babes were destin'd to a fairer death,
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: No doubt the murderous knife was dull and blunt, Till it was whetted on thy stone-hard heart, To revel in the entrails of my lambs. But that still use of grief makes wild grief tame, [boys, My tongue should to thy ears not name ny 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,
I mean, that with my soul I love thy daughter, And do intend to make her queen of England.
* Unavoidable. + Constant. A crown. Bequeath
Q. Eliz. Well then, who dost thou mean shall | Go then, my mother, to thy daughter go; be her king? Make bold her bashful years with your expe
K. Rich. Even he, that makes her queen : Who else should be?
Q. Eliz. What, thou?
Prepare her ears to hear a wooer's tale; Put in her tender heart the aspiring flame
K. Rich. Even so: What think you of it, Of golden sovereignty; acquaint the princess
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,
Did to thy father, steep'd in Rutland's blood,
K. Rich. You mock me, madam; this is not the way 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,
I cannot make you what amends I would,
Of ten-times-double gain of happiness.
With the sweet silent hours of marriage joys:
Would be her lord? Or shall I say, her uncle?
K. Rich. Say, I, her sovereign, am her subject low.
Q. Eliz. But she, your subject, loaths such sov'reignty.
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 quick.
Q. Elio. O, no, my reasons are too deep and
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 heartstrings break.
K. Rich. Now by my George, my garter,
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 his holy
Thy garter, blemish'd, pawn'd his knightly Thy crown, usurp'd, disgrac'd his kingly glory; If something thou would'st swear to be be
In the Levitical Law, chap. xviii. 14. The ensigns of the Order of the Garter.
Swear then by something that thou hast not | Relenting fool, and shallow, changing--wo
K. Rich. Now by the world,
Q. Eliz. "Tis full of thy foul wrongs.
Q. Eliz. Thy life hath that dishonour'd.
K. Rich. Then, by myself,-
Q. Eliz. God's wrong is most of all.
If thou hadst fear'd to break an oath by him,
K. Rich. By the time to come.
Q. Eliz. That thou hast wrong'd 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 slaughter'd,
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 used, 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 Be opposite all planets of good luck [rest! 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 peevish* found in great designs. Q. Eliz. 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 your self's remembrance wrong yourself.
Q. Eliz. But thou didst kill my children. K. Rich. But in your daughter's womb I bury them: [breed Where, in that nest of spicery, they shall Selves of themselves, to your recomfortu re. Q. Eliz. Shall I go win my daughter to thy
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. ELIZABETH.
man! How now? what news?
Enter RATCLIFF; CATESBY following.
Rat. Most mighty sovereign, on the western
Rideth a puissant navy; to the shore
K. Rich. Some light-foot friend post to the duke of Norfolk :
Ratcliff, thyself,-or Catesby; where is he? Cate. Here, my good lord.
K. Rich. Catesby, fly to the duke.
Cate. I will, my lord, with all convenient
K. Rich. Ratcliff, come hither; Post to
When thou com'st thither,-Dull unmindful villain, Why stay'st thou here, and go'st not to the [TO CATESBY. 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,
[Exit. Rat. What, may it please you, shall i d₺ at Salisbury?
K. Rich. Why, what would'st thou do there, before I go?
Rat. Your highness told me, I should post before.