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O, let me think on Hastings; and be gone
To Brecknock, while my fearful head is on.

SCENE III.-The same.


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 ruthlesst butchery,
Albeit they were flesh'd villains, bloody dogs,
Melting with tenderness and mild compassion,
Wept like two children, in their death's sad

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; [mind;
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 re-

They could not speak; and so I left them both,
To bear this tidings to the bloody king.

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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.

Tyr. I humbly take my leave. [Exit.
K. Rich. The son of Clarence have I penn'd
up close;
His daughter meanly have I match'd in mar-
The sons of Edward sleep in Abraham's bosom,
And Anne my wife hath bid the world good
Now, for I know the Bretagne Richmond
At young Elizabeth, my brother's daughter,
And, by that knot, looks proudly on the crown,
To her go I, a jolly thriving wooer.

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K. Rich. Ely with Richmond troubles me

more near,

Than Buckingham and his rash-levied strength.
Come,-I have learn'd, that fearful comment-
Is leaden servitor to dull delay;
Delay leads impotent and snail-pac'd beggary:
Jove's Mercury, and herald for a king!
Then fiery expedition be my wing,
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 induction* am I witness to,
And will to France; hoping, the consequence
Will prove as bitter, black, and tragical.
Withdraw thee, wretched Margaret! who
comes here?

Enter Queen ELIZABETH and the Duchess of

Q. Eliz. Ah, my poor princes! ah, my tender

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
Hath dimm'd your infant morn to aged night.
Duch. So many miseries have craz'd my
That my woe-wearied tongue is still and
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 lambs,

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

sweet son.

Duch. Dead life, blind sight, poor mortalliving ghost,

Woe's scene, world's shame, grave's due by
life usurp'd,

Brief abstract and record of tedious days,
Rest thy unrest on England's lawful earth,
[Sitting down.
Unlawfully made drunk with innocent blood!
Q. Eliz. Ah, that thou would'st as soon af-
ford a grave,
As thou canst yield a melancholy seat;
Then would I hide my bones, not rest them
Ah, who has any cause to mourn, but we?
[Sitting down by her.
Q. Mar. If ancient sorrow be most reverent,
Give mine the benefit of seniory,t
And let my griefs frown on the upper hand.
If sorrow can admit society,

Tell o'er your woes again by viewing mine:-
[Sitting down with them.
I had a husband, till a Richard kill'd him:
had an Edward, till a Richard kill'd him;
Thou hadst an Edward, till a Richard kill'd

Thou hadst a Richard, till a Richard kill'd him.

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Duch. I had a Richard too, and thou did'st | For one commanding all, obey'd of none.

kill him;

I had a Rutland too, thou holp'st to kill him.
Q. Mar. Thou had'st 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

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-fellow with others' moan!
Duch. O, Harry's wife, triumph not in my


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.
Thy Clarence he is dead, that stabb'd my Ed-

And the beholders of this tragic play, [Grey,
The adulterate Hastings, Rivers, Vaughan,
Untimely 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: [pray,
Earth gapes, hell burns, fiends roar, saints
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 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,
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 garish 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
Where be thy two sons? Wherein dost thou
Who sues, and kneels, and says-God save

the queen?

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;

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Thus hath the course of justice wheel'd about,
And left thee but a very prey to time; [wert,
Having no more but thought of what thou
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

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-
These English woes shall make me smile in
Q. Eliz. O thou well skill'd in curses, stay
a while,

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

hast done.

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
brother Clarence?

And little Ned Plantagenet, his son?
Q. Eliz. Where is the gentle Rivers, Vang-
han, Grey?

Duch. Where is kind Hastings?
K. Rich. A flourish, trumpets!-strike ala-
rum, drums!

Let not the heavens hear these tell-tale women
Rail on the Lord's auointed: Strike, I say.—
[Flourish. Alarums.
Either be patient, and entreat me fair,
Thus will I drown your exclamations.
Or with the clamorous report of war

Duch. Art thou my son?

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

* Owned.

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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,
that 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.

Duch. I pr'ythee, hear me speak.
K. Rich. You speak too bitterly.
Duch. Hear me a word;

For I shall never speak to thee again.
K. Rich. So.

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


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 batele, 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 at-
Q. Eliz. Though far more cause, yet much
less spirit to curse

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,
They shall be praying nuns, not weeping
And therefore level not to hit their lives.

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;
Slander myself, as false to Edward's bed;
Throw over her the veil of infamy:
So she may live unscarr'd of bleeding slaugh-
I will confess she was not Edward's daughter.
K. Rich. Wrong not her birth, she is of royal

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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,
If grace had bless'd thee with a fairer life.
K. Rich. You speak, as if that I had slain
my cousins.

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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,
As I intend more good to you and yours,
Then ever you or yours by me were harm'd!
Q. Eliz. What good is cover'd with the face

of heaven,

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I mean, that with my soul I love thy daughter, And do intend to make her queen of England.

* Unavoidable. + Constant. A crown. Bequeath

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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,
Edward, and York, then, haply, will she weep:
Therefore present to her, as sometime Mar-

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


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,
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, 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


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: [wife,
The king, that calls your beauteous daughter,-
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.


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

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of it.

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

Q. Eliz. Thy life hath that dishonour'd.

K. Rich. Then, by myself,-
Q. Eliz. Thyself is self-misus'd.
K.Rich. Why then, by God,-

Q. Eliz. God's wrong is most of all.

If thou hadst fear'd to break an oath by him,
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 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.

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man! How now? what news?

Enter RATCLIFF; CATESBY following.

Rat. Most mighty sovereign, on the western


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? 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,
And meet me suddenly at Salisbury.
Cate. I go.

[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.

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