Richard III simplified

Synopsis

In this last in a series of eight fifteenth century histories, Richard duke of Gloucester, the late Richard Plantagenet’s third son, the soon-to-be Richard III, is in charge of events.  In the last play, this Richard (along with his two brothers) had stabbed to death the eighteen year old Prince Edward.  Immediately before he was murdered, the young prince, the heir to England’s crown, had said to the Plantagenet brothers “I know my duty --- you are all undutiful. I am your better, traitors as ye are, and thou usurp’st my father’s right and mine.” Prince Edward’s mother, the queen, having fainted and then recovered at the time of her son’s murder, had said “He was a man --- this, in respect, a child; and men ne’er spend their fury on a child.”  She was soon taken away, to be banished from England.  Following the murder of the young Prince Edward, showing no compassion and taking no time, Richard moved quickly on to the infamous Tower of London where he stabbed to death the weak and defenseless Henry VI. Pretty much by default, Richard’s older brother, Edward IV, was now king.

This is the Plantagenet brothers’ time.  At the end of the last play, Edward IV and his queen, the Lady Grey, had celebrated the birth of their son, the new Prince Edward.  Edward IV had recently wooed and won the widowed Elizabeth Woodville, known as the Lady Grey, she becoming his queen.  Warwick, The Kingmaker, the strong leader who mid-way through the last play had turned on Edward IV; turned on him at the moment he learned to his considerable surprise that the philandering Edward had just married Elizabeth Grey; the moment being when Warwick was on a delicate mission in France to secure the Lady Bonne as Edward’s wife, Lady Bonne being the French king’s sister-in-law. This audaciously quick marriage by Edward was an embarrassing moment for the proud Warwick, who then promptly shifted his allegiance to the weak Henry VI.  So Warwick can be added to the list of key players who were murdered or died late in the last play, all of which opened the door to the young and physically challenged Richard duke of Gloucester who came to be, as you will soon see, the most ruthless of English kings.  This play is a story of the shift of Plantagenet power from the house of Lancaster to the house of York.   

The family name for Edward IV, Clarence and Richard was Plantagenet, Plantagenet having been the royal family’s surname since early in the twelfth century.  As descendents on their father’s side of Edward III’s fifth son, the original duke of York, and as descendents on their mother’s side of Edward III’s third son, the original duke of Clarence, the three young men, the Plantagenet brothers, have strong blood lines, and justifiably can make the case that they are the ones who should be kings.  Edward III had died in 1399 and was, as we’ve said before, the patriarch of all these royals.  The late Henry VI represented the house of Lancaster, as had his father and his grandfather, all tied to Edward III’s fourth son.  Within this greater Plantagenet family, the Yorks and Lancasters have been fighting among themselves for decades. 

Shakespeare opens this play with a soliloquy, letting Richard set the play’s theme. Clarence soon enters, led in by guards on his way to London’s Tower, Richard blaming Queen Elizabeth (The Lady Grey and, by association, her husband and his brother, the king) for Clarence’s arrest. Clarence was the duke of Clarence, or George, the second of three remaining Plantagenet brothers.  A royal (Lord Hastings) is also imprisoned; quietly the result of Richard’s doing, as was Clarence’s imprisonment.  Hastings, always loyal to Richard, is soon released and reports to Richard that his brother Edward IV is “sickly, weak and melancholy.”  Richard responds that “He hath kept an evil diet long, and overmuch consumed his royal person.”  We soon learn that Hastings’ loyalty to Richard isn’t reciprocated.  Alone on the stage, Richard lays out his plans.  Back in Part 3 Warwick had offered Anne, his younger daughter, as a wife to Prince Edward, Henry VI’s only child.  Prince Edward and Anne later married, he being a young groom, but when the Plantagenet brothers stabbed her husband to death, Anne became a young widow. 

Early in this play the late King Henry VI’s body is carried onto the stage.  Anne, as we say, Warwick’s daughter and the late king’s daughter-in-law, mourns the death of her father-in-law. Richard, physically disadvantaged, known earlier as Crookback Richard, having killed Anne’s father, her father-in-law (Henry VI), and her young husband (Prince Edward), deftly and disbelievingly, successfully woos Anne, the young widow. Meanwhile during a meeting between Queen Elizabeth (Lady Grey) and her brother and two sons from her prior marriage, Richard and Hastings enter, Richard wanting to know who has been saying nasty things about him to the king, his brother.  He places most of the blame on the queen.  The testy Margaret, the widow and queen of the late Henry VI, supposedly having been banished from England by Edward IV in the last play, quietly enters unseen by the others.  Margaret soon steps out onto center stage, having listened to the heated exchanges between and among Queen Elizabeth, her family, Richard and Hastings. That she is there in London, much the less that she has the courage to step into the middle of this angry conversation, is a distinct surprise to every one.  Margaret and Richard lash out at each other. Both have a rough edge, he having killed her husband and her son; she having helped to kill his father and Rutland, his brother.  Margaret says “What, were you snarling all before I came, ready to catch each other by the throat, and turn you all your hatred now on me?”  All except Richard soon exit.  Richard, alone on the stage, tells us how he plans to have his brother Clarence killed, and how he plans to transfer blame to his other brother Edward IV.  Two hired assassins enter.  Richard provides them with last minute instructions. The two murderers enter London’s Tower, present papers to the guards, and meet with Clarence.  The three of them have a candid, adult conversation about the subject of murder.  The two murderers take different routes; one walks away; the other kills Clarence. 

For continuity, back in Henry VI Part 2, Richard Plantagenet duke of York, the Plantagenet brothers’ father, had killed Young Clifford’s father, Old Clifford having been a confidant of the house of Lancaster king, Henry VI.  Late in the last play, avenging his father’s death, Young Clifford had killed this duke of York.  In Part 3, Young Clifford (now Lord Clifford), continuing to seek revenge, had had a hand in killing the young Rutland, Rutland being York’s (Richard Plantagenet) second son.  Henry VI’s queen Margaret also had had a part in the stabbing death of young Rutland.

Meanwhile, a seriously ill Edward IV does his best to bring harmony to his fractured extended family.  When his brother Richard lets all know that Clarence is dead, the king gently recalls how kind Clarence had been to him. As Cecily Neville, the Duchess of York, the Plantagenet brothers’ mother, enters mourning the death of her son Clarence, a shrieking Queen Elizabeth enters, announcing the death of the king, her husband (and another of the Duchess’ sons).  The Duke of Buckingham, a very loyal-to-Richard noble, hearing the news, suggests that the young Prince Edward, heir to his father’s throne, be brought quickly and quietly to London.  Richard exits, recognizing the depraved opportunity this moment represents for him. With events moving quickly, a messenger reports that Richard and Buckingham have imprisoned Rivers and Grey, Queen Elizabeth’s brother and older son from her prior marriage. A legitimately frightened Queen Elizabeth takes her younger son, the current Richard duke of York, to hide in a sanctuary.

Having earlier been appointed Lord Protector of Edward IV’s sons, Richard unconscionably suggests Prince Edward be sequestered in London’s Tower to await his coronation, the boy now having been brought to London. Shakespeare portrays the young Prince Edward as a talented, confident, spirited young man, characteristics we attribute to the revered late Henry V.  Richard and Buckingham learn that their friend Lord Hastings supports the effort to appoint the young Prince Edward to succeed his father as king.  Hearing that bit of intelligence, Richard says Hastings must die.  In the meantime Rivers and Grey are executed at Pomfret Castle.  Richard claims Hastings, his long time ally, has plotted his death through witchcraft, using that excuse to have him executed.

Richard and Buckingham then hatch a plan to win London’s mayor’s support in their effort to have Richard succeed his brother as king.  Buckingham is quite the good salesman.  Richard coyly plays the reluctant candidate. As part of their act, Buckingham publicly and persuasively convinces the appearing-to-be-reluctant Richard as well as the mayor and others that Richard, representing the house of York, must serve as king, for the benefit of England. With London’s mayor and the public convinced, Richard shyly says “Even when you please, for you will have it so.”

At about this point Queen Elizabeth and others arrive at the Tower to visit the queen’s sons.  Richard duke of York, the younger of the Elizabeth’s two boys, has been transferred to the Tower, on instructions from Richard duke of Gloucester, ironically being the Lord Protector of his brother’s (the late king’s) sons.  The prison visitors promptly learn that Richard duke of Gloucester, acting under his authority as the boys’ Lord Protector, has denied the boys all visitor rights.  Anne, Warwick’s daughter and the late Henry VI’s daughter-in-law, learns that she must rush to Westminster to be named Richard’s queen, having recklessly, naively and recently married Richard, Richard having just been crowned King Richard III. Fearing the worst, Edward IV’s widow Elizabeth instructs her son Dorset (son by a prior marriage) to flee to the Earl of Richmond, a prospective king in waiting, now living in France.  Richard III tells Catesby to start the rumor that his brand-new wife Anne is “very grievous sick.”  Richard III soon says that at Anne’s death he plans to marry the young Elizabeth, the Lady Grey’s daughter.  Interestingly, we learn that the identity of the young Elizabeth’s father is known only to her mother. Meanwhile Richard III asks Buckingham, his generally willing cohort in crime, to kill his late brother’s and Elizabeth’s two sons.  Buckingham begs time to think about it.  The king, tolerating no act of insubordination, then summons a “discontented gentleman,” James Tyrrel, to kill the boys, offering him a reward.  Tyrell does what he was hired to do.  Richard dismisses Buckingham, summarily reneging on his promises to Buckingham of an earldom and many of the late king’s possessions.  Richard III then tells us that Anne has “bid this world goodnight” and that he will now as “a jolly thriving wooer” seek to win the young Elizabeth. The bishop of Ely leaves for France to join Richmond.  A legitimately vengeful Buckingham forms an army of “hardy Welshmen.” 

Queen Elizabeth, Queen Margaret and the Duchess share the miseries of their lives, mostly caused by the new king. Elizabeth envies Margaret’s cursing skills. Queen Margaret exits as Richard III enters.  The Plantagenet brothers’ mother (Cecily Neville) proceeds to curse her son and exits.  Richard III, in an amazingly persuasive performance, convinces the Lady Grey (Elizabeth) to persuade her daughter to become his wife and queen.  The Lady Grey tells him “I will confess she was not Edward’s daughter.” Shakespeare casts Richard as both smooth and despicable.  Richard III soon learns that Richmond is on his way to England “to claim the crown.”  Stanley offers the king his help, but the king, suspecting Stanley’s loyalty, holds Stanley’s son George as a hostage.  The king learns to his joy that Buckingham’s forces have “dispersed and scattered.” But he also learns to his misfortune that Richmond “with a mighty power” has landed in Wales.

Buckingham is captured.  Richard has him executed, his most loyal friend and aide throughout the play.  Richmond and his army move from Wales into England.  The king and Richmond march separately to war; Richmond confident; Richard III discouraged.  Ghosts of those murdered by Richard visit the sleeping adversaries.  The ghosts say to Richard, “Despair and die.”  To Richmond the ghosts say, “Live and flourish.”  The next morning Richmond eloquently encourages his troops; Richard III’s comments to his troops are less inspiring. The fight begins at Bosworth Field near Leicester in central England.  Richard’s horse dies beneath him and he famously cries “A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse.”  Richard III is slain.  Richmond accepts the crown offered by Stanley.  Stanley’s son is found to be safe.  Richmond (now Henry VII) tells his troops how he plans to draw the wounded nation together, which we’re led to believe he does. The reign of the Tudor kings begins.

Principal Characters

Anne.  Anne is Lady Anne, the young widow of the late Prince Edward, the son and only child of Queen Margaret and the late King Henry VI.  Anne was Warwick’s second daughter, promised to the young prince at the time Warwick shifted his allegiance from Edward IV to Henry VI.  Warwick was also known as Richard Neville and as “The Kingmaker”.  Most unbelievably, she briefly becomes Queen Anne, the wife of Richard III, the Richard who had killed her father, her first husband and her father-in-law.  Richard III has her killed soon after their marriage.

Buckingham.   Buckingham is the Duke of Buckingham.  For most of the play he is extraordinarily loyal to Richard duke of Gloucester, who tells him half way through the play that “when I am king I will name you earl of Hereford and provide you with all the movable possessions whereof the king my brother was possessed.”  More than any other one person, Buckingham guides Richard to the crown.  However, immediately upon being named king, Richard III rescinds his promises to Buckingham; Buckingham responding reasonably “made I him king for this?” 

Clarence.  Clarence is George Plantagenet duke of Clarence, the third son of the late Richard Plantagenet.  He is the hapless brother who was imprisoned early in the play, thought by many to be imprisoned by Edward IV, seeking retribution, since Clarence had briefly supported Henry VI  back in Henry VI Part 3, his brother’s arch rival.  But, in truth, Richard, Clarence’s younger brother, had imprisoned him, wanting him out of the way so that he more easily might be able to succeed the current king, his brother.  Richard had him killed.

DorsetDorset is the Marquess of Dorset, also known as Marquess.  He is one of Queen Elizabeth’s sons by a prior marriage.  He survives Richard’s assault on those who might threaten his ambition to be king, Dorset included.  Late in the play Dorset joins Richmond in France; later returning with Richmond to England to defeat Richard III.

Duchess of York.  The Duchess is Cecily Neville, the widow of Richard Plantagenet.  She is the mother of the Plantagenet brothers, Edward, Clarence and Richard.  She spends most of her time in the play offering her remorse for being Richard’s mother and asking others for their forgiveness.

Edward.   Edward is Edward IV; the late Richard Plantagenet’s oldest of four sons.  Mistress Shore was his mistress.  He married Elizabeth Lady Grey in Henry VI Part 3.  Edward IV and Queen Elizabeth had two sons, Prince Edward and Richard; Richard in time becoming the Duke of York.  Edward IV was not the father of Elizabeth, Queen Elizabeth’s daughter, born while they were married.  The beautiful Elizabeth (the daughter) later married Richard III, and even later married Richmond, who became England’s Henry VII.

Hastings.  Lord William Hastings is a loyal confidant to both Richard and Buckingham.  But when Richard learns that Hastings has thrown his support to the young Prince Edward to succeed his late father as king, Richard turns on him and has him killed.  Hastings is also known as Lord Chamberlain.  Hastings married a Neville, one of Warwick’s and Montague’s sisters.  Oxford is his brother-in-law, marrying Margaret, another of Warwick’s and Montague’s sisters.  Lord Hastings seems like a fine guy, another victim of Richard’s whatever-it-takes-to-be-king ruthlessness.  

Lady Grey.  Lady Grey is Queen Elizabeth, King Edward IV’s wife, also known as Elizabeth Woodville and Elizabeth Lady Grey.  Her brother is Anthony Woodville, also known as Earl Rivers.  She was the widow of Sir John Grey.  Her two sons by her first marriage are Lord Grey and the Marquess of Dorset.  She and Edward IV have two sons: Prince Edward and Richard, Duke of York, both killed in 1483 in London’s Tower by Richard Plantagenet duke of Gloucester.  Her daughter, Elizabeth, was born while she was married to King Edward IV.

Prince Edward.  The Prince Edward in this play is Edward IV’s and Elizabeth’s older son.  Shakespeare makes him out to have the makings of a strong king, though he has but a brief appearance in the play.  Richard says, “So wise so young, they say, do never live long.”  Richard soon has him killed. 

Queen Margaret.  Margaret is often referred to as the old Queen Margaret.  She was the daughter of Reignier, a French nobleman, who married the young Henry VI. The married William de la Pole, better known as Suffolk, who had his eye on her when she was a maid in France, believed that if he could match her up with the young King Henry VI, he could influence public policy in England.  He was right.  She was the widow of Henry VI and the mother of Prince Edward, both of whom were stabbed to death by Richard duke of Gloucester.  She was appealing to men but had a ruthless streak, taking part in the stabbing deaths of Rutland and Richard Duke of York, the Plantagenet brothers’ brother and father. 

Richard.  Late in the play Richard duke of Gloucester becomes Richard III.  He marries Warwick’s younger daughter, Anne, the widow of Prince Edward, the late King Henry VI’s son.  This helped secure his rise to king, he being a descendent of the York side of the Plantagenet’s and Anne, by marriage, being of the Lancaster side, these two competing factions of the extended family fighting for the crown.  Richard duke of Gloucester is often referred to as Gloucester.  Back in Henry VI Part 3 he was named Lord Protector of King Edward IV’s two sons.  Soon after he was crowned king, Richard tells Catesby of his plans to kill his wife Anne and marry his “brother’s daughter.”  He was physically misshapen at birth, known earlier as Crookback Richard.  He is a ruthless and remorseless young man who represents the epitome in the abuse of power.  Richard was killed by Richmond at Bosworth Field in 1485.

 

Richmond.  This Earl of Richmond is Henry Tudor.  At the very end of the play he becomes Henry VII.   His mother was Margaret Beaufort, a descendent of John of Gaunt and the widow of Edmund Tudor, the Earl of Richmond. This Richmond was their son.  Lord Stanley then married the widow Margaret, Margaret Beaufort.  Richmond, therefore, is Stanley’s stepson.  Richmond marries Elizabeth of York, Queen Elizabeth’s daughter, who was briefly married to Richard III.  Richmond’s grandfather was Owen Tudor.  Richmond’s grandmother was Katherine, Henry V’s widow.  Richmond had real talent and of course a unique ancestry and a politically important wife in Elizabeth.   He led the ending of the century-old War of the Roses.   Richmond becomes the first of those who become known as the Tudor kings. 

StanleyStanley is Thomas Lord Stanley, the Earl of Derby.  His wife is Margaret Beaufort, the widow of Edmund Tudor, the Earl of Richmond.  Margaret and Edmund Tudor had a son, Henry Tudor, who succeeded his father as Earl of Richmond.  Richmond becomes Henry VII late in the play.  Stanley is Richmond’s step-father.  Richmond’s mother, Margaret Beaufort was a descendant of John of Gaunt and his second wife, Catherine Swynford.  In Henry VI Part 3, Henry VI had prophesied that Richmond would in time be king. 

York.  York in this play is Edward IV and Elizabeth’s younger son, Richard duke of York.  He has almost no role, this young Richard duke of York, being killed by Richard duke of Gloucester; killed soon after his father died.

The Play


  • Act 1, Scene 1
  • The play opens with Richard alone on stage.
  •  
  •  
  • Richard to himself, No. 1
  •  
  • This is the winter of our discontent
  • Made glorious summer by this king. Spent
  • Are the dark clouds that hung o’er our house. Our
  • Brows now bound with flowered wreaths; our dreadful
  • Marches changed to delightful dances. Sour
  • War hath uncreased his wrinkled face. Playful
  • Skips he nimbly in a lady’s chamber,
  • But I, cheated by dissembled nature,
  • Pass away the time. Since I cannot prove
  • A lover, I’m determined to let fate
  • Prove I’m a villain. Plots I’ve laid will move
  • Brother George and the king to deadly hate,
  • The one against the other. And I the
  • Murderer of King Edward’s heirs shall be.
  • RICHARD
  • Dive thoughts down to my soul.
  • Clarence enters, guarded by Brakenbury, the Lieutenant of the Tower of London.
  • RICHARD
  • Brother, good day. What means this armed guard that waits upon your Grace?
  • CLARENCE
  • His Majesty, tend’ring my person’s safety, hath appointed this escort to convey me to the Tower.
  • RICHARD
  • But what’s the matter, Clarence? May I know?
  • CLARENCE
  • Yea, Richard, when I know, for I protest as yet I do not.
  • RICHARD
  • Why, this it is when men are ruled by women. ‘Tis not the King that sends you to the Tower. My Lady Grey his wife, Clarence, ‘tis she that guides him to this extremity. Was it not she that made him send Lord Hastings to the Tower, from whence this present day he is delivered? We are not safe, Clarence; we are not safe.
  • CLARENCE
  • By heaven, I think there is no man secure. The Queen’s kindred heralds trudge betwixt the King and Mistress Shore.
  • BRAKENBURY
  • I beseech your Graces both to pardon me. His Majesty hath strictly given in charge that no man shall have private conference with your brother.
  • RICHARD
  • Even so, Brakenbury, you may partake of anything we say. We speak no treason, man.
  • BRAKENBURY
  • I do beseech your Grace to pardon me, and withal forbear your conference with the noble duke.
  • RICHARD
  • We are the Queen’s people and must obey. This deep disgrace in brotherhood touches me deeper than you can imagine.
  • CLARENCE
  • I know it pleaseth neither of us well.
  • RICHARD
  • Well, your imprisonment shall not be long. I will deliver you or else lie for you.
  • Clarence and Brakenbury exit.
  • RICHARD
  • Simple, plain Clarence, I do love thee so that I will shortly send thy soul to heaven.
  • Lord Hastings enters.
  • RICHARD
  • How hath your Lordship brooked imprisonment?
  • HASTINGS
  • With patience, noble lord, as prisoners must.
  • RICHARD
  • No doubt, no doubt; and so shall Clarence too, for they that were your enemies are his and have prevailed as much on him as you. What news abroad?
  • HASTINGS
  • No news so bad abroad as this at home: the King is sickly, weak, and melancholy.
  • RICHARD
  • O, he hath kept an evil diet long, and overmuch consumed his royal person. Where is he, in his bed?
  • HASTINGS
  • He is.
  • Hastings exits.
  •  
  •  
  • Richard to himself, No. 2
  •  
  • He must die, yet must not die till I forge
  • My well steeled lies for King Edward, and George
  • Is packed to heaven. Clarence hath a few
  • Hours to live, then God in His kind mercy
  • Can take brother Edward, leaving me to
  • Make commotion in the world. I’ll marry
  • Warwick’s daughter Anne, for she never saw
  • Me kill her husband or father-in-law.
  • To become her husband and his father
  • Is the quick way to make amends, which I
  • Will do, not for love but for another
  • Secret intent. Yet I run before my
  • Horse to market. Clarence breathes. Edward reigns.
  • Till they are gone I must not count my gains.
  • He exits.
  • Act 1, Scene 2
  • The late King Henry VI’s corpse is carried on to the stage. Anne, King Henry’s daughter-in-law, is the mourner. Richard had killed King Henry VI, and along with his brothers had killed the late king’s son, Prince Edward.
  •  
  •  
  • Anne to the deceased Henry VI
  •  
  • O Lancaster, be it lawful that I
  • Ask thy ghost to hear poor Anne, wife to thy
  • Edward, stabbed by the selfsame hand that made
  • These wounds. Cursed be the heart that had the heart
  • To do it. And cursed be the hand that laid
  • Thy shrouded corpse here; our dreams fell apart
  • By the death of thee. If the blood that let
  • This blood acquire a wife, let her beget
  • A child that will fright the hopeful mother,
  • Born prematurely, portending a life
  • Of unhappiness, one who will be her
  • Heir to his evil being. For his wife,
  • May his death make a more miserable she
  • Than I am made by my young lord and thee.
  • Halberds take up the corpse. Halberds are guards with weapons. Richard, Duke of Gloucester, enters.
  • RICHARD
  • Stay, you that bear the corpse, and set it down.
  • The Halberds set down the corpse.
  • ANNE
  • What, do you tremble? Are you all afraid? Alas, I blame you not, for you are mortal. And mortal eyes cannot endure the devil.
  • RICHARD
  • Sweet saint, for charity, be not so curst.
  • ANNE
  • Foul devil, for God’s sake, hence, and trouble us not.
  • She points to the corpse.
  • ANNE
  • O, gentlemen, see, see dead Henry’s wounds open their congealed mouths and bleed afresh! O God, which this blood mad’st, revenge his death! Either heaven with lightning strike the murderer dead, or earth gape open wide and eat him quick.
  • RICHARD
  • Lady, you know no rules of charity, which renders good for bad, blessings for curses.
  • ANNE
  • Villain, thou know’st nor law of God nor man. No beast so fierce but knows some touch of pity.
  • RICHARD
  • But I know none, and therefore am no beast.
  • ANNE
  • O, wonderful, when devils tell the truth!
  • RICHARD
  • More wonderful, when angels are so angry. I did not kill your husband.
  • ANNE
  • Why then, he is alive.
  • RICHARD
  • Nay, he is dead, and slain by Edward’s hands.
  • ANNE
  • In thy foul throat thou liest. Didst thou not kill this king?
  • RICHARD
  • I grant you.
  • ANNE
  • Dost grant me, hedgehog? O, he was gentle, mild, and virtuous.
  • RICHARD
  • The better for the King of heaven that hath him.
  • ANNE
  • He is in heaven, where thou shalt never come.
  • RICHARD
  • Gentle Lady Anne, leave this keen encounter of our wits.
  • ANNE
  • Thou wast the cause and most accursed consequence.
  • RICHARD
  • Your beauty was the cause of that consequence --- your beauty, that did haunt me in my sleep.
  • ANNE
  • Out of my sight! Thou dost infect mine eyes.
  • RICHARD
  • Thine eyes, sweet lady, have infected mine.
  • ANNE
  • Would they were snakes to strike thee dead.
  • RICHARD
  • I would they were, that I might die at once, for now they kill me with a living death. Those eyes of thine from mine have drawn salt tears.
  •  
  •  
  • Richard to Anne
  •  
  • Neither when with less than manly eyes shown,
  • My father York and Edward, at the moan
  • Made by the piteous cry from Rutland,
  • Wept; when black-faced Clifford shook his sword at
  • Him, nor when thy father Warwick, the hand
  • That led this weak king, childishly told that
  • Sad story of my father’s death, and I
  • Saw him pause too many times to sob, my
  • Eyes scorned a tear. What death could not exhale,
  • Thy beauty makes mine eyes blind with weeping.
  • I humbly beg death, for my soul did fail
  • To keep my killing Henry and stabbing
  • Your young Edward. It was thy heavenly
  • Face that did provoke and set upon me.
  • RICHARD
  • My tongue could never learn sweet smoothing word. But now thy beauty prompts my tongue to speak.
  • She looks scornfully at him.
  • RICHARD
  • Teach not thy lip such scorn, for it was made for kissing, lady, not for such contempt.
  • He kneels. She holds up a sword.
  • RICHARD
  • ‘Twas thy beauty that provoked me. ‘Twas I that stabbed young Edward --- but ‘twas thy heavenly face that set me on.
  • ANNE
  • Though I wish thy death, I will not be thy executioner. I would I knew thy heart.
  • RICHARD
  • Say, then my peace is made.
  • ANNE
  • That shalt thou know hereafter.
  • RICHARD
  • But shall I live in hope?
  • ANNE
  • All men I hope live so.
  • RICHARD
  • Vouchsafe to wear this ring.
  • ANNE
  • To take is not go give.
  • He places a ring on her finger.
  • RICHARD
  • If thy poor devoted servant may but beg one favor at thy gracious hand, thou dost confirm his happiness forever.
  • ANNE
  • What is it?
  • RICHARD
  • That it may please you leave these sad designs to him that hath most cause to be a mourner.
  • ANNE
  • With all my heart, and much it joys me too to see you are become so penitent.
  • Anne exits. The Halberds exit with the corpse.
  • RICHARD
  • Was ever woman in this humor wooed? Was ever woman in this humor won?
  •  
  •  
  • Richard to himself, No. 3
  •  
  • She will be mine, but I will not keep her
  • Long, killing her husband and his father,
  • Taking her heart to its most extreme hate,
  • Having God and her conscience against me,
  • And yet I’ll win her with no friends to wait
  • On me but the devil and looks that be.
  • Ha! Hath she forgot her Edward, whom I
  • Some three months since stabbed in angry mood? Why,
  • The world cannot again afford a
  • Sweeter and a lovelier gentleman,
  • Framed valiant, wise and royal by nature. The
  • Thought that she’ll lower her eyes on me can
  • Change how I’m seen. I’ll have tailors study
  • Fashions and have them adorn my body.
  • RICHARD
  • Shine out, fair sun, till I have bought a glass, that I may see my shadow as I pass.
  • Act 1, Scene 3
  • Queen Elizabeth (Lady Grey), Dorset, Lord Rivers and Lord Grey enter.
  • RIVERS
  • Have patience, madam. There’s no doubt his Majesty will soon recover his accustomed health.
  • QUEEN ELIZABETH
  • If he were dead, what would befall on me?
  • GREY
  • The heavens have blessed you with a goodly son to be your comforter when he is gone.
  • QUEEN ELIZABETH
  • Ah, he is young, and his minority is put unto the trust of Richard Gloucester, a man that loves not me nor none of you.
  • Buckingham and Lord Stanley (Derby), enter. Buckingham is ---------
  • QUEEN ELIZABETH
  • Derby, the countess Richmond, notwithstanding she’s your wife and loves not me, be you, good lord, assured I hate not you for her proud arrogance. Saw you the King today, my Lord of Derby?
  • STANLEY
  • But now the Duke of Buckingham and I are come from visiting his Majesty. His Grace speaks cheerfully.
  • QUEEN ELIZABETH
  • God grant him health. Did you confer with him?
  • BUCKINGHAM
  • Ay, madam. He desires to make atonement between the Duke of Gloucester and your brothers.
  • QUEEN ELIZABETH
  • Would all were well --- but that will never be. I fear our happiness is at the height.
  • Richard and Hastings enter.
  • RICHARD
  • They do me wrong, and I will not endure it!
  •  
  •  
  • Richard to Elizabeth and her relatives
  •  
  • Who is it that complains to the king, my
  • Brother, that I’m stern and love him not? I
  • Must be held the enemy, unable
  • To flatter men or look deceitfully
  • Or offer a fraudulent smile or cull
  • Friends as the French with apish courtesy.
  • Those who will fill his ears with dissentious
  • Rumors love him not. Cannot a righteous
  • Man live and think no harm, lest his simple
  • Truth be abused by sly, flattering Jacks?
  • When have I injured thee or done thee ill?
  • Yet you must trouble him with these attacks.
  • A plague on you all. The world so doth lurch
  • That wrens make prey where eagles dare not perch.
  • GREY
  • To who in all this presence speaks your Grace?
  • QUEEN ELIZABETH
  • Come, come, we know your meaning, brother Gloucester. You envy my advancement, and my friends’. God grant we never may have need of you.
  • RICHARD
  • Our brother is imprisoned by your means, myself disgraced, and the nobility held in contempt, while great promotions are daily given to ennoble those that scarce some two days since were worth a noble.
  • QUEEN ELIZABETH
  • I never did incense his Majesty against the Duke of Clarence. My lord, you do me shameful injury falsely to draw me in these vile suspects.
  • RICHARD
  • You may deny that you were not the mean of my Lord Hastings’ late imprisonment.
  • RIVERS
  • She may, my lord, for ----
  • RICHARD
  • She may, Lord Rivers. Why, who knows not so? She may do more, sir, than denying that. What may she not?
  • RIVERS
  • What, marry, may she?
  • RICHARD
  • What, marry, may she? Marry with a king, a bachelor, and a handsome stripling too.
  • QUEEN ELIZABETH
  • My Lord of Gloucester, I have too long borne your blunt upbraidings and your bitter scoffs. By heaven, I will acquaint his Majesty of those gross taunts that oft I have endured.
  • Queen Margaret enters, apart from the others.
  • QUEEN ELIZABETH
  • Small joy have I in being England’s queen.
  • QUEEN MARGARET ASIDE
  • And lessened be that small, God I beseech Him! Thy honor, state, and seat is due to me.
  • RICHARD TO QUEEN ELIZABETH
  • What, threat you me with telling of the King?
  • QUEEN MARGARET ASIDE
  • Out, devil! Thou killed’st my husband Henry in the Tower, and Edward, my poor son, at Tewkesbury.
  • RICHARD TO QUEEN ELIZABETH
  • Ere you were queen, ay, or your husband king, I was a packhorse in his great affairs, a liberal rewarder of his friends. To royalize his blood, I spent mine own.
  • QUEEN MARGARET ASIDE
  • Ay, and much better blood than his or thine.
  • RICHARD TO QUEEN ELIZABETH
  • In all which time, you and your husband Grey were factious for the House of Lancaster. And, Rivers, so were you. Was not your husband in Margaret’s battle at Saint Albans slain?
  • QUEEN MARGARET ASIDE
  • A murd’rous villain, and so still thou art.
  • RICHARD TO QUEEN ELIZABETH
  • Poor Clarence did forsake his father-in-law Warwick. I would to God my heart were flint, like Edward’s or Edward’s soft and pitiful, like mine. I am too childish-foolish for this world.
  • QUEEN MARGARET ASIDE
  • Leave this world, thou evil spirit. There thy kingdom is.
  • RIVERS
  • We followed then our lord, our sovereign king. So should we you, if you should be our king.
  • RICHARD
  • If I should be? I had rather be a peddler. Far be it from my heart, the thought thereof.
  • QUEEN MARGARET ASIDE
  • I can no longer hold me patient.
  • She steps forward.
  • QUEEN MARGARET
  • You quake like rebels. Ah, gentle villain, do not turn away.
  • RICHARD
  • Foul, wrinkled witch, what mak’st thou in my sight? Wert thou not banished on pain of death?
  • QUEEN MARGARET
  • I was. A husband and a son thou ow’st to me.
  • QUEEN MARGARET TO QUEEN ELIZABETH
  • And thou a kingdom. This sorrow that I have by right is yours, and all the pleasures you usurp are mine.
  • RICHARD
  • The curse my noble father laid on thee when thou didst crown his warlike brows with paper, and with thy scorns drew’st rivers from his eyes, and then, to dry them, gav’st the duke a clout steeped in the faultless blood of Rutland. And God, not we, hath plagued thy bloody deed.
  • QUEEN ELIZABETH
  • So just is God to right the innocent.
  • HASTINGS
  • O, ‘twas the foulest deed to slay that babe.
  • QUEEN MARGARET
  • What, were you snarling all before I came, ready to catch each other by the throat, and turn you all your hatred now on me? Did York’s dread curse prevail so much with heaven that Henry’s death, my lovely Edward’s death, their kingdom’s loss, my woeful banishment, should all but answer for that peevish brat?
  •  
  •  
  • Margaret to Elizabeth and Richard
  •  
  • Elizabeth, thyself a queen, like my
  • Wretched self that was a queen, mayst thy
  • Outlive thy glory to wail thy sons’ deaths
  • And see another, as I see thee, decked
  • In thy rights, thou stalled in mine. May your breathes
  • Be pained with sullen grief from a life wrecked,
  • Dieing neither mother, wife, nor England’s
  • Queen. Richard, if justice lies in the hands
  • Of God, let heaven hold any harsh plagues
  • That exceed those scourges I will have sought
  • Till your risks are great and your cruel heart begs
  • Peace. May conscience gnaw your soul. May you not
  • Close up your deadly eyes unless sleep beam
  • In thy spiteful mind some tormenting dream.
  • RICHARD
  • Margaret.
  • QUEEN MARGARET
  • Richard!
  • RICHARD
  • Ha?
  • QUEEN MARGARET
  • I call thee not.
  • RICHARD
  • I beg your pardon.
  • QUEEN MARGARET
  • Why, so I did, but looked for no reply.
  • QUEEN ELIZABETH TO QUEEN MARGARET
  • Thus have you breathed your curse against yourself.
  • QUEEN MARGARET
  • Poor painted queen, vain flourish of my fortune, why strew’st thou sugar on that bottled spider, whose deadly web ensnareth thee about? Fool, fool, thou whet’st a knife to kill thyself.
  • HASTINGS
  • False-boding woman, end thy frantic curse, lest to thy harm thou move our patience.
  • QUEEN MARGARET
  • Foul shame upon you, you have all moved mine. To serve me well, you all should do me duty: teach me to be your queen, and you my subjects.
  • DORSET TO RIVERS
  • Dispute not with her; she is lunatic.
  • QUEEN MARGARET
  • Peace, Master Marquess, you are impudent.
  • RICHARD
  • Good counsel, marry. Learn it, learn it, Marquess.
  • DORSET
  • It touches you, my lord, as much as me.
  • RICHARD
  • Ay, and much more; but I was born so high. Our eagle’s nest buildeth in the cedar’s top.
  • QUEEN MARGARET
  • And turns the sun to shade.
  • BUCKINGHAM
  • Peace, peace, for shame, if not for charity.
  • QUEEN MARGARET
  • My charity is outrage, life my shame. And in that shame still live my sorrows’ rage.
  • BUCKINGHAM
  • Have done, have done.
  • QUEEN MARGARET
  • O princely Buckingham, I’ll kiss thy hand in sign of league and amity with thee.
  • BUCKINGHAM
  • Nor no one here, for curses never pass the lips of those that breathe them in the air.
  • QUEEN MARGARET ASIDE TO BUCKINGHAM
  • O Buckingham, take heed of yonder dog! Look when he fawns, he bites; and when he bites, his venom tooth will rankle to the death.
  • RICHARD
  • What doth she say, my Lord of Buckingham.
  • BUCKINGHAM
  • Nothing that I respect, my gracious lord.
  • QUEEN MARGARET
  • What, dost thou scorn me for my gentle counsel, and soothe the devil that I warn thee from?
  • She exits.
  • BUCKINGHAM
  • My hair doth stand on end to hear her curses.
  • RIVERS
  • And so doth mine. I muse why she’s at liberty.
  • RICHARD
  • I cannot blame her. She hath had too much wrong, and I repent my part thereof that I have done to her.
  • QUEEN ELIZABETH
  • I never did her any, to my knowledge.
  • RICHARD
  • Yet you have all the vantage of her wrong.
  • RIVERS
  • A virtuous and a Christian-like conclusion to pray for them that have done harm to us.
  • Catesby enters.
  • CATESBY
  • Madam, his Majesty call for you.
  • QUEEN ELIZABETH
  • Catesby, I come.
  • All exit but Richard.
  • RICHARD
  • I do the wrong and first begin to squabble. The secret mischiefs that I set afoot I lay unto the grievous charge of others. Clarence, who I indeed have cast in darkness, I do weep about to many gullible people, namely, to Derby, Hastings, Buckingham, and tell them ‘tis the Queen and her allies that stir the King against the Duke my brother. Now they believe it and withal whet me to be revenged on Rivers, Dorset, Grey; but then I sigh and, with a piece of scripture, tell them that God bids us do good for evil; and thus I clothe my naked villainy with odd old ends stol’n forth of Holy Writ, and seem a saint when most I play the devil.
  • Two murderers enter. Richard gives them a paper.
  • RICHARD
  • When you have done, repair to Crosby Place. But, sirs, be sudden in the execution; do not hear him plead, for Clarence is well-spoken and perhaps may move your hearts to pithy if you mark him.
  • MURDERER
  • Tut, tut, my lord, we will not stand to chat. Talkers are no good doers. Be assured we go to use our hands and not our tongues.
  • RICHARD
  • I like you lads. About your business straight.
  • They exit.
  • Act 1, Scene 4
  • Clarence and his jailer are on stage.
  • KEEPER
  • Why looks your Grace so heavily today?
  • CLARENCE
  • O, I have passed a miserable night, so full of fearful dreams, of ugly sights, that I would not spend another such a night though ‘twere to buy a world of happy days, so full of dismal terror was the time.
  • KEEPER
  • What was your dream, my lord? I pray you tell me.
  •  
  •  
  • Clarence to Jailer
  •  
  • Methought Gloucester fell overboard taking
  • Me stumbling with him into the tumbling
  • Billows of the sea. Methought what a pain
  • Drowning was, as I passed the flood and saw
  • The kingdom of eternal night. My bane
  • Was first greeted by my father-in-law,
  • The renowned Warwick, who spake, “What scourge for
  • Falseness can this dark kingdom bring before
  • Clarence?” Then he vanished. Then a shadow,
  • With bright hair dabbled in blood, wand‘red by
  • Shrieking out aloud “Clarence is come, so
  • False, stabbing me at Tewkesbury.” Then I
  • Trembled awake under the ocean’s swell,
  • And for awhile believed I was in hell.
  • KEEPER
  • No marvel, lord, though it frightened you. I am afraid, methinks, to hear you tell it.
  • CLARENCE
  • O God, spare my guiltless wife and poor children! Keeper, I prithee sit by me awhile.
  • Clarence sleeps. Brakenbury, the Lieutenant of the Tower, enters.
  • BRAKENBURY
  • Princes have but their titles for their glories, an outward honor for an inward toil. They often feel a world of restless cares, so that between their titles and low names there’s nothing differs but the outward fame.
  • The two murderers enter.
  • FIRST MURDERER
  • Ho, who’s here?
  • BRAKENBURY
  • What wouldst thou, fellow?
  • SECOND MURDERER
  • I would speak with Clarence.
  • FIRST MURDERER
  • Let him see our commission, and talk no more.
  • Brakenbury reads the commission.
  • BRAKENBURY
  • I am in this commanded to deliver the noble Duke of Clarence to your hands. I will not reason what is meant hereby because I will be guiltless from the meaning.
  • He hands them the keys. Brakenbury and the Keeper exit.
  • SECOND MURDERER
  • What, shall I stab him as he sleeps?
  • FIRST MURDERER
  • What, art thou afraid?
  • SECOND MURDERER
  • Not to kill him, having a warrant, but to be damned for killing him, from the which no warrant can defend me.
  • FIRST MURDERER
  • Remember our reward when the deed’s done.
  • SECOND MURDERER
  • Zounds, he dies! I had forgot the reward. Come, shall we fail to work?
  • FIRST MURDERER
  • Soft, he wakes.
  • SECOND MURDERER
  • Strike!
  • FIRST MURDERER
  • No, we’ll reason with him.
  • Clarence wakes.
  • CLARENCE
  • Where art thou, keeper? Give me a cup of wine.
  • SECOND MURDERER
  • You shall have wine enough, my lord, soon.
  • CLARENCE
  • What art thou?
  • FIRST MURDERER
  • A man, as you are.
  • CLARENCE
  • But not, as I am, royal.
  • FIRST MURDERER
  • But not, as I am, loyal.
  • CLARENCE
  • Wherefore do you come?
  • SECOND MURDERER
  • To, to, to ---
  • CLARENCE
  • To murder me?
  • BOTH
  • Ay, ay.
  • CLARENCE
  • You scarcely have the hearts to tell me so and therefore cannot have the hearts to do it. Wherein, my friends, have I offended you?
  • FIRST MURDERER
  • Offended us you have not, but the King. What we will do, we do upon command.
  • SECOND MURDERER
  • And he that hath commanded is our king.
  • CLARENCE
  • Erroneous vassals, the great King of kings hath commanded that thou shalt do no murder. Will you then spurn at His edict and fulfill a man’s. Take heed, for He holds vengeance in His hand to hurl upon their heads that break His law.
  • SECOND MURDERER
  • And that same vengeance doth He hurl on thee for false forswearing and for murder too.
  • FIRST MURDERER
  • With thy treacherous blade thou unrippedst the bowels of Prince Edward, son of Henry VI.
  • CLARENCE
  • Alas! For whose sake did I that ill deed? For Edward, for my brother, for his sake.
  • FIRST MURDERER
  • Who made thee then a bloody minister when gallant-springing, brave Plantagenet, that princely novice, was struck dead by thee?
  • CLARENCE
  • My brother’s love, the devil, and my rage.
  • FIRST MURDERER
  • Thy brother’s love, our duty, and thy faults provoke us hither now to slaughter thee.
  • CLARENCE
  • If you are hired for reward, go back again, and I will send you to my brother Gloucester, who shall reward you better for my life than Edward will for tidings of my death.
  • SECOND MURDERER
  • Your brother Gloucester hates you.
  • CLARENCE
  • O no, he loves me, and he holds me dear. Go you to him from me.
  • FIRST MURDERER
  • Ay, so we will. Come, you deceive yourself. ‘Tis he that sends us to destroy you here.
  • CLARENCE
  • I cannot be, for he hugged me in his arms, and swore with sobs that he would labor my delivery.
  • FIRST MURDERER
  • Why, so he doth, when he delivers you from this earth’s enslavement to the joys of heaven.
  • SECOND MURDERER
  • Make peace with God, for you must die, my lord.
  • CLARENCE
  • O sirs, consider: they that set you on to do this deed will hate you for the deed.
  • SECOND MURDERER TO FIRST MURDERER
  • What shall we do?
  • CLARENCE
  • Relent, and save your souls.
  • FIRST MURDERER
  • Relent? No. ‘Tis cowardly and womanish.
  • CLARENCE TO SECOND MURDERER
  • My friend, I spy some pity in thy looks. Come thou on my side and entreat for me.
  • SECOND MURDERER
  • Look behind you, my lord.
  • FIRST MURDERER
  • Take that, and that.
  • He stabs him. He exits with the body.
  • SECOND MURDERER
  • A bloody deed, and desperately dispatched.
  • First Murderer enters.
  • FIRST MURDERER
  • What mean’st thou that thou help’st me not? The Duke shall know how slack you have been.
  • SECOND MURDERER
  • I would he knew that I had saved his brother. Take thou the fee, and tell him what I say, for I repent me that the Duke is slain.
  • He exits.
  • FIRST MURDERER
  • So do not I. Go, coward as thou art. When I have my reward, I will away, for this will out, and then I must not stay.
  • He exits.
  • Act 2, Scene 1
  • A sick King Edward enters along with his wife and her family. Hastings and Buckingham are also present.
  • KING EDWARD
  • You peers, continue this united league. Rivers and Hastings, take each other’s hand. Dissemble not your hatred. Swear your love.
  • KING EDWARD TO QUEEN ELIZABETH
  • Madam, yourself is not exempt from this, nor you, son Dorset. Buckingham, nor you. You have been factious one against the other. Wife, love Lord Hastings. Let him kiss your hand.
  • QUEEN ELIZABETH
  • There, Hastings, I will never more remember our former hatred.
  • Hastings kisses her hand. Richard duke of Gloucester and Ratcliffe enter.
  • KING EDWARD
  • Gloucester, we have made peace of enmity, fair love of hate, between these swelling, wrong-incensed peers.
  • RICHARD
  • A blessed labor, my most sovereign lord. By false intelligence or wrong surmise hold me a foe. I desire all good men’s love. First, madam, I entreat true peace of you; of you, dukes, earls, lords, gentlemen; indeed, of all. I thank my God for my humility.
  • QUEEN ELIZABETH
  • A holy day shall this be kept hereafter. My sovereign lord, I do beseech your Highness to take our brother Clarence to your grace.
  • RICHARD
  • Who knows not that the gentle duke is dead?
  • They all start.
  • RICHARD
  • You do him injury to scorn his corpse.
  • KING EDWARD
  • Who knows not he is dead! Who knows he is? Is Clarence dead? The order was reversed.
  • RICHARD
  • God grant that some, less noble and less loyal, deserve not worse than wretched Clarence did, and yet go current from suspicion.
  • Lord Stanley, Earl of Derby enters. Stanley kneels.
  • STANLEY
  • A favor, my sovereign, for my service done.
  • KING EDWARD
  • Say at once what is it thou requests.
  • STANLEY
  • The forfeit, sovereign, of my servant’s life, who slew today a riotous gentleman lately attendant on the Duke of Norfolk.
  • KING EDWARD
  • Have I a tongue to doom my brother’s death, and shall that tongue give pardon to a slave?
  •  
  •  
  • King Edward to Stanley and others.
  •  
  • My brother’s fault was thought. He hath killed no
  • Man, yet his punishment was harsh death. So,
  • Who begged my favor for him? Who spoke of
  • Brotherhood? Who told me how the poor soul
  • Forsook mighty Warwick, turning his love
  • To me? When Oxford was taking his toll,
  • Who rescued me, saying, “Dear brother, live,
  • And be king”? Who told me how he did give
  • Me his garments when we both in the field
  • Lay frozen almost to death, and how he
  • Gave himself, bare, to the numb-cold night? Yield
  • From my past brutish wrath hath sinfully
  • Restored, and not a man of you did find
  • So much grace as to put it in my mind.
  • KING EDWARD
  • You straight are on your knees for pardon, pardon, and I, unjustly too, must grant it you.
  • Stanley rises.
  • KING EDWARD
  • But for my brother, not a man would speak, nor I, ungracious, speak unto myself for him, poor soul. None of you would once beg for his life. O God, I fear Thy justice will take hold on me and you, and mine and yours for this!
  • Some exit with the King and Queen.
  • RICHARD
  • Marked you not how that the guilty kindred of the Queen looked pale when they did hear of Clarence’ death? God will revenge it.
  • BUCKNGHAM
  • We wait upon your Grace.
  • They exit.
  • Act 2, Scene 2
  • The Duchess of York enters along with Clarence’s two children. She is the mother of the Plantagenet brothers, known simply as the Duchess.
  • DAUGHTER
  • Why do you weep so oft, and beat your breast, and cry “O Clarence, my unhappy son?”
  • BOY
  • Why do you look on us and shake your head, and call us orphans.
  • DUCHESS
  • I do lament the sickness of the King, as loath to lose him, not your father’s death. It were lost sorrow to wail one that’s lost.
  • BOY
  • Then, you conclude, my grandam, he is dead. The King mine uncle is to blame for it.
  • DUCHESS
  • You cannot guess who caused your father’s death.
  • BOY
  • Grandam, we can, for my good uncle Gloucester told me the King, provoked to it by the Queen, devised impeachments to imprison him.
  • DUCHESS
  • He is my son, ay, and therein my shame.
  • BOY
  • Think you my uncle did dissemble, grandam?
  • DUCHESS
  • Ay, boy.
  • Queen Elizabeth enters with her hair dissembled. Rivers and Dorset follow her.
  • QUEEN ELIZABETH
  • Ah, who shall hinder me to wail and weep.
  • DUCHESS
  • What means this scene of rude impatience?
  • QUEEN ELIZABETH
  • Edward, my lord, thy son, our king, is dead. Why grow the branches when the root is gone? Why wither not the leaves that want their sap?
  •  
  •  
  • Dutchess to Elizabeth and others
  •  
  • A worthy husband’s death I have bewept,
  • And by looking on his three sons have kept
  • My life, but now two heirs of his princely
  • Being are cracked by malignant death, and
  • I have but one false image that grieves me
  • When I see my shame that threatens the land.
  • Elizabeth, what support had they but
  • George Clarence? My two crutches are gone. What
  • Stays had I but they? You’re widowed, but goes
  • On your son. These deaths have taken their toll,
  • And I am the mother of these dear woes.
  • Your griefs are parceled; mine is general.
  • Alas, you three, on me pour all your tears.
  • I’ll be sorrow’s nurse and pamper your years.
  • DORSET
  • Comfort, dear mother. God is much displeased that you take with unthankfulness his doing.
  • RIVERS
  • Madam, bethink you, like a careful mother, of the young prince your son. Send straight for him. Let him be crowned. In him your comfort lives. Plant your joys in living Edward’s throne.
  • Richard, Buckingham, Stanley, Hastings and others enter.
  • RICHARD TO QUEEN ELIZABETH
  • Sister, have comfort. All of us have cause to wail the dimming of our shining star, but none can help our harms by wailing them. Madam my mother, I crave your blessing.
  • He kneels.
  • DUCHESS
  • God bless thee, and put meekness in thy breast, love, charity, obedience, and true duty.
  • Richard stands.
  • RICHARD
  • Amen.
  • RICHARD ASIDE
  • And make me die a good old man! That is the butt end of a mother’s blessing; I marvel that her Grace did leave it out.
  • BUCKINGHAM
  • It seems to me that with some little train forthwith from Ludlow the young prince be get hither to London, to be crowned our king.
  • RIVERS
  • Why “with some little train,” my Lord of Buckingham.
  • BUCKINGHAM
  • Marry, my lord, lest by a multitude the new-healed would of malice should break out, which would be so much the more dangerous by how much the estate is green and yet ungoverned.
  • RICHARD
  • I hope the King made peace with all of us.
  • All but Buckingham and Richard exit.
  • BUCKINGHAM
  • My lord, whoever journeys to the Prince, for God’s sake let not us two stay at home.
  • RICHARD
  • I, as a child, will go by thy direction toward Ludlow then, for we’ll not stay behind.
  • They exit.
  • Act 2, Scene 3
  • Citizens are on stage.
  • SECOND CITIZEN
  • Hear you the news abroad?
  • FIRST CITIZEN
  • Yes, that the King is dead.
  • SECOND CITIZEN
  • Ill news. Seldom comes the better.
  • FIRST CITIZEN
  • By God’s good grace, his son shall reign.
  • THIRD CITIZEN
  • Woe to that land that’s governed by a child.
  • SECOND CITIZEN
  • In him there is a hope of government, which, council under him, and himself shall govern well.
  • FIRST CITIZEN
  • So stood the state when Henry the sixth was but nine months old.
  • THIRD CITIZEN
  • So stood the state so? No, no good friends.
  • FIRST CITIZEN
  • Come, come, we fear the worst. All will be well.
  • THIRD CITIZEN
  • When clouds are seen, wise men put on their cloaks; when great leaves fall, then winter is at hand; when the sun sets, who doth not look for night?
  • SECOND CITIZEN
  • Truly, the hearts of men are full of fear.
  • THIRD CITIZEN
  • By a divine instinct, men’s minds mistrust ensuing danger, as by proof we see the water swell before a boist’rous storm.
  • They exit.
  • Act 2, Scene 4
  • The Archbishop, the young Duke of York, Queen Elizabeth and the Duchess of York are on stage.
  • ARCHBISHOP
  • I hear they do rest tonight. Tomorrow or next day they will be here.
  • DUCHESS
  • I long with all my heart to see the Prince. I hope he is much grown since last I saw him.
  • A Messenger enters.
  • ARCHBISHOP
  • Here comes a messenger. What news?
  • MESSENGER
  • Such news, my lord, as grieves me to report.
  • DUCHESS
  • What is thy news?
  • MESSENGER
  • Lord Rivers and Lord Grey are sent to Pomfret.
  • DUCHESS
  • Who hath committed them?
  • MESSENGER
  • The mighty dukes, Gloucester and Buckingham.
  • ARCHBISHOP
  • For what offense?
  • MESSENGER
  • The sum of all I can, I have disclosed.
  • QUEEN ELIZABETH
  • Ay me! I see the ruin of my house.
  • DUCHESS
  • Accursed and unquiet wrangling days. How many of you have mine eyes beheld? My husband lost his life to get the crown. O, monstrous and frantic outrage, end thy spleen, or let me die, to look on earth no more.
  • QUEEN ELIZABETH TO YORK
  • Come, come, my boy. We will to sanctuary. Madam, farewell.
  • DUCHESS
  • Stay, I will go with you.
  • QUEEN ELIZABETH
  • You have no cause.
  • ARCHBISHOP TO QUEEN ELIZABETH
  • My gracious lady, go, and thither bear your treasure and your goods. Go. I’ll conduct you to the sanctuary.
  • They exit.
  • Act 3, Scene 1
  • Young Prince Edward, Richard Duke of Gloucester, Buckingham Catesby and others enter.
  • RICHARD TO PRINCE
  • The weary way hath made you melancholy.
  • PRINCE
  • No, uncle, I want more uncles here to welcome me.
  • RICHARD
  • Those uncles which you want were dangerous. God keep you from them, and from such false friends.
  • PRINCE
  • God keep me from false friends, but they were none.
  • The Lord Mayor of London enters.
  • MAYOR
  • God bless your Grace with health and happy days.
  • PRINCE
  • I thank you, good my lord, and thank you all. I thought my mother and my brother York would long ere this have met us on the way.
  • Lord Hastings enters.
  • HASTINGS
  • The Queen your mother and your brother York have taken sanctuary.
  • BUCKINGHAM
  • Fie, what an indirect and peevish course is this of hers!
  • CARDINAL
  • God in heaven forbid we should infringe the holy privilege of blessed sanctuary!
  • BUCKINGHAM
  • You are too senseless obstinate, my lord. You break not sanctuary in seizing him. Oft have I heard of sanctuary men, but sanctuary children, never till now.
  • CARDINAL
  • My lord, you shall o’errule my mind for once. Come on, Lord Hastings, will you go with me?
  • The Cardinal and Hastings exit.
  • PRINCE
  • Say, uncle Gloucester, if our brother come, where shall we sojourn till our coronation?
  • RICHARD
  • If I may counsel you, some day or two your Highness shall repose you at the Tower.
  • PRINCE
  • I do not like the Tower, of any place.
  •  
  •  
  • Prince Edward to Richard and Buckingham
  •  
  • I’ve heard Julius Caesar began building
  • It, which has been rebuilt by succeeding
  • Ages, and recorded so, but let’s say
  • It were not registered. Methinks truth should
  • Live through all posterity to doomsday.
  • Fame doth live long and Julius Caesar would
  • Be famous, with his valor enriching
  • His wit and his uncommon wit making
  • His valor live. Death hath made no conquest
  • Of this conqueror, for now he lives in
  • Fame, though not in life. Please tell all the rest,
  • Buckingham, I’ll die a soldier to win
  • Our ancient right in France again. I can
  • Conquer France, if I live to be a man.
  • RICHARD ASIDE
  • So wise so young, they say, do never live long.
  • Young Duke of York, Hastings and the Cardinal enter.
  • RICHARD TO PRINCE
  • My lord, myself and my good cousin Buckingham will to your mother, to entreat of her to meet you at the Tower and welcome you.
  • YORK TO PRINCE
  • What, will you go unto the Tower, my lord?
  • PRINCE
  • My Lord Protector needs will have it so.
  • YORK
  • I shall not sleep in quiet at the Tower.
  • RICHARD
  • Why, what should you fear?
  • YORK
  • Marry, my uncle Clarence’ angry ghost. My grandam told me he was murdered there.
  • PRINCE
  • I fear no uncles dead.
  • RICHARD
  • Nor none that live, I hope.
  • PRINCE
  • An if they live, I hope I need not fear.
  • PRINCE TO YORK
  • But come, my lord. With a heavy heart, go I unto the Tower.
  • Prince Edward, the Duke of York and Hastings exit. Richard, Buckingham and Catesby remain.
  • BUCKINGHAM
  • Come hither, Catesby. Thou art sworn as deeply to effect what we intend as closely to conceal what we impart. Is it not an easy matter to make William Lord Hastings of our mind for the installation of Richard as king of England.
  • CATESBY
  • He, for his father’s sake, so loves the Prince that he will not be won to aught against him.
  • BUCKINGHAM
  • Well then, no more but this: go, gentle Catesby, sound thou Lord Hastings how he doth stand affected to our purpose.
  • RICHARD
  • Commend me to Lord William. And bid my lord give Mistress Shore one gentle kiss the more.
  • BUCKINGHAM
  • Good Catesby, go effect this business soundly.
  • RICHARD
  • Shall we hear from you, Catesby, ere we sleep?
  • CATESBY
  • You shall, my lord.
  • Catesby exits.
  • BUCKINGHAM
  • What shall we do if we perceive Lord Hastings will not yield to our complots?
  • RICHARD
  • Chop off his head. And look when I am king, claim thou of me the earldom of Hereford, and all the movable possessions whereof the King my brother was possessed.
  • BUCKINGHAM
  • I’ll claim that promise at your Grace’s hand.
  • RICHARD
  • And look to have it yielded with all kindness.
  • They exit.
  • Act 3, Scene 2
  • A messenger knocks at Hastings door at 4:00 in the morning.
  • MESSENGER
  • My lord, my lord. One from the Lord Stanley
  • Hastings enters.
  • HASTINGS
  • Cannot my Lord Stanley sleep these tedious nights?
  • MESSENGER
  • He dreamt the boar had been obliterated as the heraldic crest on his helmet. Therefore he sends to know if your Lordship will take horse with him to shun the danger that his soul divines. He says there are two councils kept.
  • HASTINGS
  • Go, fellow, go. Return unto thy lord. Bid him not fear the separated council. To fly the boar before the boar pursues were to incense the boar to follow us and make pursuit where he did mean no chase. Go, bid thy master rise and come to me, and we will both together to the Tower, where he shall see the boar will use us kindly.
  • The Messenger exits. Catesby enters.
  • HASTINGS
  • Good morrow, Catesby. What news?
  • CATESBY
  • It is a reeling world indeed, my lord, and I believe will never stand upright till Richard wear the garland of the realm.
  • HASTINGS
  • How “wear the garland?” Dost thou mean the “crown?”
  • CATESBY
  • Ay, my good lord.
  • HASTINGS
  • I’ll have this crown of mine cut from my shoulders before I’ll see the crown so foul misplaced.
  • CATESBY
  • Ay, thereupon he sends you this good news, that this same very day your enemies, the kindred of the Queen, must die at Pomfret.
  • HASTINGS
  • Indeed, I am no mourner for that news. But that I’ll give my voice on Richard’s side to bar my master’s heirs in true descent, God knows I will not do it, to the death.
  • Lord Stanley enters.
  • HASTINGS
  • Where is your boar-spear, man? Fear you the boar and go so unprovided?
  • STANLEY
  • My lord, you may jest on, but I do not like these several councils, I. The lords at Pomfret, when they rode from London, were jocund and supposed their states were sure. Yet you see how soon the day o’ercast. Pray God, I say, I prove a needless coward! What, shall we toward the Tower?
  • A Messenger enters.
  • HASTINGS
  • Go on before. I’ll talk with this good fellow.
  • Lord Stanley and Catesby exit.
  • HASTINGS
  • How goes the world with thee?
  • MESSENGER
  • The better that your Lordship please to ask.
  • HASTINGS
  • I tell thee, man, ‘tis better with me now than when thou met’st me last where now we meet. Then was I going prisoner to the Tower by the suggestion of the Queen’s allies. I tell thee, this day those enemies are put to death, and I in better state than e’er I was.
  • The Messenger exits. Buckingham enters.
  • BUCKINGHAM
  • Your friends at Pomfret, they do need a priest.
  • HASTINGS
  • Go you toward the Tower?
  • BUCKINGHAM
  • I do, my lord, but long I cannot stay there.
  • HASTINGS
  • I stay dinner there.
  • BUCKINGHAM ASIDE
  • And supper too, although thou know’st it not.
  • They exit.
  • Act 3, Scene 3
  • Sir Richard Ratcliffe enters along with guards carrying Rivers and Grey to death at Pomfret.
  • RIVERS
  • Sir Richard Ratcliffe, let me tell thee this: today shalt thou behold a subject die for truth, for duty, and for loyalty.
  • GREY TO RATCLIFFE
  • A knot you are of damned bloodsuckers.
  • RATCLIFFE
  • The limit of your lives is out.
  • RIVERS
  • O Pomfret, fatal and ominous to noble peers! Richard the Second here was hacked to death.
  • GREY
  • Now Margaret’s curse is fall’n upon our heads.
  • RIVERS
  • Then cursed she Richard. Then cursed she Buckingham. Then cursed she Hastings. O, remember, God, to hear her prayer for them as now for us!
  • RATCLIFFE
  • Make haste. The hour of death is fully come.
  • RIVERS
  • Farewell until we meet again in heaven.
  • They exit.
  • Act 3, Scene 4
  • Buckingham, Stanley, Hastings, the Bishop of Ely, Ratcliffe and others are at a table.
  • HASTINGS
  • Now, noble peers, the cause why we are met is to determine of the coronation. When is the royal day?
  • ELY
  • Tomorrow, then, I judge a happy day.
  • BUCKINGHAM
  • Who knows the Lord Protector’s mind herein? Who is most inward with the noble duke? Lord Hastings, you and he are near in love.
  • HASTINGS
  • I thank his Grace, I know he loves me well. But for his purpose in the coronation, I have not sounded him any way therein.
  • Richard, Duke of Gloucester, enters.
  • RICHARD
  • I trust my absence doth neglect no great design which by my presence might have been concluded. My Lord of Ely, I saw good strawberries in your garden. I do beseech you, send for some of them.
  • The Bishop of Ely exits.
  • RICHARD
  • Cousin of Buckingham, a word with you.
  • They move aside.
  • RICHARD
  • Catesby hath sounded Hastings in our business and finds he will lose his head ere give consent his master’s child shall lose the royalty of England’s throne.
  • BUCKINGHAM
  • Withdraw yourself awhile. I’ll go with you.
  • Richard and Buckingham exit. The Bishop of Ely enters.
  • ELY
  • Where is my lord the Duke of Gloucester? I have sent for these strawberries.
  • HASTINGS
  • His Grace looks cheerfully and smooth this morning. I think there’s never a man in Christendom can lesser hide his love or hate than he, for by his face straight shall you know his heart.
  • Richard and Buckingham enter.
  • RICHARD
  • I pray you all, tell me what they deserve that do conspire my death with devilish plots of damned witchcraft.
  • HASTINGS
  • The tender love I bear your Grace, my lord, makes me most forward in this princely presence to doom th’ offenders, whosoe’er they be.
  • RICHARD
  • Then be your eyes the witness of their evil.
  • He shows his arm.
  • RICHARD
  • Look how I am bewitched! This is Edward’s wife, that monstrous witch, in league with that harlot, strumpet Shore, that by their witchcraft thus have marked me.
  • HASTINGS
  • If they have done this deed, my noble lord-----
  • RICHARD
  • If? Thou protector of this damned strumpet, talk’st thou to me of “ifs”? Thou art a traitor. Off with his head.
  • Some exit. Ratcliffe remains with the Lord Hastings.
  •  
  •  
  • Hastings to Ratcliffe
  •  
  • Woe for England, not for me, for I might
  • Have prevented this. Stanley did that night
  • Dream the boar did destroy his line, and I
  • Did scorn it, disdaining to fly. O, how,
  • Margaret, thy curse is lighted on my
  • Head. Where’s the priest that spake to me. I now
  • Repent I told the messenger as too
  • Triumphing those deaths at Pomfret. He who
  • Carries mortal men’s momentary love
  • May find his life’s ship striking a sunken
  • Rock, just as he who builds hope in air on
  • Apparent favor lives like a drunken
  • Sailor on a mast ready at every
  • Nod to tumble into the fatal sea.
  • RATCLIFFE
  • Come, come, dispatch. The Duke would be at dinner. He longs to see your head.
  • HASTINGS
  • O bloody Richard! Miserable England, I prophesy the fearfull’st time to thee that ever wretched age hath looked upon. Come, lead me to the block. Bear him my head. They smile at me who shortly shall be dead.
  • They exit.
  • Act 3, Scene 5
  • Richard and Buckingham enter in rotten armor, marvelous ill-favored.
  • RICHARD
  • Come, cousin, canst thou quake and change thy color, as if thou were distraught and mad with terror?
  • BUCKINGHAM
  • Tut, I can counterfeit the deep tragedian, intending deep suspicion. Is Catesby gone?
  • The Mayor and Catesby enter.
  • RICHARD
  • Catesby, o’erlook the walls.
  • Catesby exits.
  • RICHARD
  • Look back! Defend thee! Here are enemies.
  • Ratcliffe and Lovell enter, with Hastings’ head.
  • RICHARD
  • Be patient. They are friends.
  • LOVELL
  • Here is the head of that ignoble traitor, the dangerous and unsuspected Hastings.
  • RICHARD
  • So dear I loved the man that I must weep.
  • BUCKINGHAM
  • Well, well, he was the covert’st sheltered traitor that ever lived. Would you imagine, that the subtle traitor this day had plotted to murder me and my good Lord of Gloucester?
  • MAYOR
  • Had he done so?
  • RICHARD
  • What, think you we are Turks or infidels? The peace of England, and our persons’ safety enforced us to this execution?
  • MAYOR
  • He deserved his death.
  • BUCKINGHAM
  • I never looked for better at his hands after he once fell in with Mistress Shore.
  • MAYOR
  • And do not doubt, right noble princes both, but I’ll acquaint our duteous citizens with all your just proceedings in this case.
  • The Mayor exits.
  •  
  •  
  • Richard to Buckingham
  •  
  • Go to the Guildhall; follow the mayor.
  • Tell the people of Edward’s flaws. Infer
  • That his children are bastards. Moreover,
  • Tell them of his vile, bestial lust which stretched
  • Unto their daughters and wives, wherever
  • His raging eye or savage heart desired
  • To make a prey. Tell them when my mother
  • Went with child, Edward, my princely father
  • Then had wars in France, and by computing
  • Time, and as seen in his facial feature,
  • Found the male issue was not his, being
  • Nothing like the noble duke my father.
  • Yet this message you must sparingly give,
  • For, my lord, you know my mother doth live.
  • BUCKINGHAM
  • I’ll play the orator as if the golden fee for which I plead were for myself.
  • RICHARD
  • If you thrive well, bring them to Baynard’s Castle, where you shall find me well accompanied with reverend fathers and well-learned bishops.
  • Buckingham exits.
  • RICHARD
  • Go, Lovell, with all speed to Doctor Shaa.
  • RICHARD TO RATCLIFFE
  • Go thou to Friar Penker. Bid them meet me within this hour at Baynard’s Castle.
  • Ratcliffe and Lovell exit.
  • RICHARD
  • Now will I go to give order that no one whatsoever shall have access unto the Princes.
  • He exits.
  • Act 3, Scene 6
  • A Scrivener (a professional copyist) enters.
  • SCRIVENER
  • Here is the indictment of the good Lord Hastings. Yesternight by Catesby was it sent me, yet within these five hours Hastings lived, free, at liberty. Who is so gross that cannot see this palpable device? Who so bold but says he sees it not? Bad is the world, and all will come to naught when such ill dealing must be seen in thought.
  • He exits.
  • Act 3, Scene 7
  • Richard and Buckingham enter through separate doors.
  • RICHARD
  • What say the citizens?
  • BUCKINGHAM
  • The citizens are mum, say not a word.
  • RICHARD
  • Touched you the bastardy of Edward’s children?
  • BUCKINGHAM
  • I did; with his contract with Lady Lucy; his tyranny for trifles; his own bastardy, as being got, your father then in France, and his resemblance being not like the Duke. I did infer your lineaments, your discipline in war, wisdom in peace, your virtue, fair humility. I bid them that did love their country’s good cry “God save Richard, England’s royal king!”
  • RICHARD
  • And did they so?
  • BUCKNGHAM
  • No. They spake not a word but, like dumb statues or breathing stones, stared each on other and looked deadly pale.
  • RICHARD
  • What tongueless blocks were they! Will not the Mayor then and his brethren come?
  • BUCKINGHAM
  • The Mayor is here at hand. Get a prayer book in your hand and stand between two churchmen, good my lord. Play the maid’s part: still answer “nay,” and take it.
  • Knocking within.
  • BUCKINGHAM
  • Go, go, up to the roof. The Lord Mayor knocks.
  • Richard exits. The Mayor and citizens enter.
  • BUCKINGHAM
  • Welcome, my lord. I thank the Duke will not be spoke withal.
  • Catesby enters.
  • BUCKINGHAM
  • Now, Catesby, what says your lord to my request?
  • CATESBY
  • He is within, with two right reverend fathers, divinely bent to meditation.
  • BUCKINGHAM
  • Return, tell him myself, the Mayor, and aldermen are come to have some conference with his Grace.
  • Catesby exits.
  • BUCKINGHAM
  • Ah ha, my lord, this prince is not an Edward! He is on his knees at meditation; meditating with two deep divines; praying, to enrich his watchful soul.
  • MAYOR
  • God defend his Grace should say us nay.
  • BUCKINGHAM
  • I fear he will.
  • Catesby enters.
  • CATESBY
  • He fears, my lord, you mean no good to him.
  • BUCKINGHAM
  • By heaven, we come to him in perfect love, and so once more return and tell his Grace.
  • Catesby exits. Richard enters aloft, between two clergymen. Catesby reenters.
  • MAYOR
  • See where his Grace stands, ‘tween two clergymen.
  • BUCKINGHAM
  • And see, a book of prayer in his hand, true ornaments to know a holy man. Famous Plantagenet, lend favorable ear to our requests.
  • RICHARD
  • My lord, there needs no such apology. What is your Grace’s pleasure?
  • BUCKINGHAM
  • I hope, which pleaseth God above and all good men of this ungoverned isle.
  • RICHARD
  • I do suspect I have done some offense that seems disgracious in the city’s eye.
  • BUCKNGHAM
  • You have, my lord. Would it might please your Grace to amend your fault.
  • RICHARD
  • Else otherwise why breathe I?
  •  
  •  
  • Buckingham to Richard, No. 1
  •  
  • It is your fault to resign the supreme
  • Seat of your royal ancestors that doth seem
  • Your due by birth, the lineal glory
  • Of your house, to the corruption of a
  • Blemished stock, whiles in your mildly sleepy
  • Thoughts, which we must waken to a new day,
  • The noble isle wants her own limbs, defaced
  • With scars of infamy, royal stock grafted
  • With ignoble plants shouldered almost in
  • Darkest oblivion; which to restore,
  • We solicit you to take charge and win
  • Back for all this land, not as Protector,
  • But as successor in blood to the throne,
  • Your right of birth, your empery, your own.
  • RICHARD
  • I answer you: your love deserves my thanks, but my desert unmeritable shuns your high request. First, so much is my poverty of spirit, so mighty and so many my defects, that I would rather hide me from my greatness. The royal tree hath left us royal fruit, which will well become the seat of majesty, and make, no doubt, us happy by his reign.
  •  
  •  
  • Buckingham to Richard, No. 2
  •  
  • You say that the prince is your brother’s son,
  • As say we, but brought not forth by the one
  • Edward calls wife, his mother, fair Lucy,
  • Then under contract to Edward. Later
  • Betrothed he by substitute to Bonne,
  • Sister-in-law to the French king. Both were
  • Put off by a beauty-waning, distressed
  • Widow, even in the time of her best
  • Days, who of all his women deserved less.
  • I could expostulate more bitterly,
  • Save that for reverence to the Dutchess.
  • Good sir, give us the gift of dignity,
  • Lead this blessed land from your noble source,
  • Do bless us through a true lineal course.
  • MAYOR
  • Do, good my lord. Your citizens entreat you.
  • BUCKINGHAM
  • Refuse not, mighty lord, this proffered love.
  • CATESBY
  • O, make them joyful. Grant their lawful suit.
  • RICHARD
  • Alas, why would you heap this care on me? I cannot nor I will not, yield to you.
  • BUCKINGHAM
  • If you refuse it, 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.
  • Buckingham and others exit.
  • CATESBY
  • If you deny them, all the land will rue it.
  • RICHARD
  • I am not made of stones, but penetrable to your kind entreaties, albeit against my conscience and my soul.
  • Buckingham and others enter.
  • RICHARD
  • Since you will buckle fortune on my back, to bear her burden, I must have patience to endure the load. God doth know, and you may partly see, how far I am from the desire of this.
  • MAYOR
  • God bless your Grace! We see it and will say it.
  • BUCKINGHAM
  • Long live Richard, England’s worthy king!
  • ALL
  • Amen.
  • BUCKINGHAM
  • Tomorrow may it please you to be crowned?
  • RICHARD
  • Even when you please, for you will have it so.
  • BUCKINGHAM
  • Tomorrow, then, we will attend your Grace.
  • RICHARD TO THE BISHOPS
  • Farewell, my cousin. Farewell, gentle friends.
  • They exit.
  • Act 4, Scene 1
  • Queen Elizabeth, the Duchess of York and Dorset enter one door; Anne, the Duchess of Gloucester and Clarence’s daughter enter another. They all are on their way to the Tower to see Queen Elizabeth’s two sons, Prince Edward and Richard, Duke of York.
  • DUCHESS OF YORK
  • Who meets us here? My niece Plantagenet (Clarence’s daughter) led in the hand of her kind aunt of Gloucester. Daughter, well met.
  • ANNE
  • God give your Graces both a happy and a joyful time of day.
  • QUEEN ELIZABETH
  • As much to you, good sister-in-law.
  • Brakenbury, the Lieutenant of the Tower, enters.
  • QUEEN ELIZABETH
  • How doth the Prince and my young son of York?
  • BRAKENBURY
  • Right well, dear madam. By your patience, I may not suffer you to visit them. The King hath strictly charged the contrary.
  • QUEEN ELIZABETH
  • The King? Who’s that?
  • BRAKENBURY
  • I mean, the Lord Protector.
  • QUEEN ELIZABETH
  • The Lord protect him from that kingly title! Hath he set bounds between their love and me? I am their mother.
  • DUCHESS OF YORK
  • I am their father’s mother. I will see them.
  • ANNE
  • Their aunt I am in law, in love their mother, then bring me to their sights.
  • BRAKENBURY
  • No, madam, no. I may not leave it so. Therefore pardon me.
  • Brakenbury exits. Stanley enters.
  • STANLEY TO ANNE
  • Come, madam, you must straight to Westminster, there to be crowned Richard’s royal queen.
  • QUEEN ELIZABETH
  • Ah, cut my lace asunder that my pent heart may have some scope to beat.
  • ANNE
  • Cruel tidings. O, unpleasing news!
  • DORSET TO QUEEN ELIZABETH
  • Be of good cheer, mother.
  • QUEEN ELIZABETH
  • O Dorset, speak not to me. Get thee gone. If thou wilt outstrip death, go, cross the seas, and live with Richmond.
  • STANLEY TO DORSET
  • Take all the swift advantage of the hours. You shall have letters from me to my stepson. Be not ta’en tardy by unwise delay.
  • DUCHESS OF YORK
  • O ill-dispersing wind of misery!
  • STANLEY TO ANNE
  • Come, madam, come. I in all haste was sent.
  • ANNE
  • And I with all unwillingness will go.
  • QUEEN ELIZABETH
  • Go, go, poor soul. I envy not thy glory.
  •  
  •  
  • Anne to the others
  •  
  • O, let me die. My wish has been the same,
  • Ever since he that is my husband came
  • To me as I followed Henry’s corpse: be
  • Thou accursed for making me a widow,
  • And when thou wedd’st, may the wife of thee
  • Suffer more grief and miserable woe
  • Than thou hast brought to me by my lord’s death.
  • Lo, before I could take another breath,
  • My woman’s heart grossly grew captive to
  • His honey words and proved the subject of
  • Mine own soul’s curse, denying me the dew
  • Of sleep, and the peace that was Edward’s love.
  • Then methinks, besides, he hates me for my
  • Father Warwick, and for that I’ll soon die.
  • QUEEN ELIZABETH
  • Poor heart, adieu. I pity thy complaining.
  • DORSET
  • Farewell, thou woeful welcomer of glory.
  • DUCHESS OF YORK TO DORSET
  • Go thou to Richmond, and good fortune guide thee.
  • DUCHESS OF YORK TO ANNE
  • Go thou to Richard, and good angels tend thee.
  • DUCHESS OF YORK TO ELIZABETH
  • Go thou to sanctuary, and good thoughts possess thee.
  • DUCHESS OF YORK
  • I to my grace, where peace and rest lie with me.
  • QUEEN ELIZABETH
  • Stay, yet look back with me unto the Tower. You ancient stones, use my babies well.
  • They exit.
  • Act 4, Scene 2
  • Having just been crowned king, Richard enters along with Buckingham, Catesby, Ratcliffe and others.
  • RICHARD
  • Stand all apart. Cousin of Buckingham.
  • The others move aside.
  • RICHARD
  • Give me thy hand.
  • Richard ascends the throne.
  • RICHARD
  • Thus high, by thy advice and thy assistance is King Richard seated. Ah, Buckingham, young Edward lives; think now what I would speak.
  • BUCKINGHAM
  • Say on, my loving lord.
  • RICHARD
  • Ha! Am I king? ‘Tis so --- but Edward lives.
  • BUCKINGHAM
  • True, noble prince.
  • RICHARD
  • Shall I be plain? I wish the bastards dead. And I would have it suddenly performed. What sayst thou now?
  • BUCKINGHAM
  • Give me some pause, dear lord, before I positively speak in this.
  • Buckingham exits.
  • CATESBY ASIDE
  • The King is angry.
  • Richard calls for a page.
  • RICHARD
  • Boy!
  • RICHARD
  • Know’st thou not any whom corrupting gold will tempt unto a close exploit of death?
  • PAGE
  • I know a discontented gentleman whose humble means match not his haughty spirit.
  • RICHARD
  • What is his name?
  • PAGE
  • His name, my lord, is Tyrrel.
  • RICHARD
  • Go, call him hither, boy.
  • The Page exits.
  • RICHARD ASIDE
  • The deep-revolving witty Buckingham no more shall be the neighbor to my counsels.
  • Stanley enters.
  • STANLEY
  • Know, my loving lord, the Marquess Dorset, as I hear, is fled to Richmond.
  • He walks aside.
  • RICHARD
  • Come hither, Catesby. Rumor it abroad that Anne my wife is very grievous sick. I will command that she be kept secluded. I will marry straight to my brother’s daughter.
  • RICHARD ASIDE
  • I must be married to my brother’s daughter, or else my kingdom stands on brittle glass. Murder her cousins, and then marry her --- uncertain way of gain. But I am in so far in blood that sin will pluck on sin. Tear-falling pity dwells not in this eye.
  • Tyrell enters.
  • RICHARD
  • Is thy name Tyrrel?
  • TYRELL
  • James Tyrrel, and your most obedient subject.
  • RICHARD
  • Dar’st thou resolve to kill a friend of mine?
  • TYRREL
  • Please you. But I had rather kill two enemies. Let me have open means to come to them, and soon I’ll rid you from the fear of them.
  • RICHARD
  • Thou sing’st sweet music.
  • Richard whispers in Tyrrel’s ear. Tyrrel steps back.
  • RICHARD
  • Say it is done, and I will love thee and prefer thee for it.
  • Tyrrel exits. Buckingham enters.
  • BUCKINGHAM
  • My lord, I have considered in my mind the late request that you did sound me in.
  • RICHARD
  • Well, let that rest. Dorset is fled to Richmond.
  • BUCKINGHAM
  • I hear the news, my lord.
  • RICHARD
  • Stanley, he is your wife’s son. Well, look unto it.
  • BUCKINGHAM
  • What says your Highness to my just request?
  • RICHARD
  • I do remember me, Henry the Sixth did prophesy that Richmond should be king.
  • BUCKINGHAM
  • My lord -----Your promise for the earldom.
  • RICHARD
  • Richmond! A bard of Ireland told me once I should not live long after I saw Richmond.
  • BUCKINGHAM
  • My lord, I am thus bold to put your Grace in mind of what you promised me.
  • RICHARD
  • I am not in the giving vein today.
  • BUCKINGHAM
  • Why then, resolve me whether you will or no.
  • RICHARD
  • Thou troublest me; I am not in the vein.
  • Richard exits. All but Buckingham follow.
  • BUCKINGHAM
  • And is it thus? Made I him king for this? O, let me think on Hastings and be gone to Wales, while my fearful head is on!
  • He exits.
  • Act 4, Scene 3
  • Tyrrel is on stage.
  • TYRREL
  • The tyrannous and bloody act is done, the most arch deed of piteous massacre that ever yet this land was guilty of.
  • Richard enters.
  • RICHARD
  • Kind Tyrrel, am I happy in thy news?
  • TYRREL
  • It is done.
  • RICHARD
  • And buried, gentle Tyrrel?
  • TYRREL
  • The chaplain of the Tower hath buried them, but where, to say the truth, I do not know.
  • RICHARD
  • Come to me, Tyrrel, soon after supper, when thou shalt tell the process of their death.
  • Tyrrel exits.
  • RICHARD
  • And Anne my wife hath bid this world goodnight. Now, at young Elizabeth, my brother’s daughter, to her go I, a jolly thriving wooer.
  • Ratcliffe enters.
  • RATCLIFFE
  • Bad news, my lord. The bishop of Ely is fled to Richmond, and Buckingham, backed with the hardy Welshmen, is in the field, and still has power increaseth.
  • RICHARD
  • Ely with Richmond troubles me more near than Buckingham and his rash-levied strength. Go, muster men. My counsel is my shield.
  • They exit.
  • Act 4, Scene 4
  • Queen Margaret is alone on stage.
  • QUEEN MARGARET
  • So now prosperity begins to mellow and drop into the rotten mouth of death. Withdraw thee, wretched Margaret. Who come here?
  • She steps aside. The Duchess of York and Queen Elizabeth enter.
  • QUEEN ELIZABETH
  • Ah, my poor princes!
  • DUCHESS
  • So many miseries have crazed my voice that my woe-wearied tongue is still and mute.
  • QUEEN ELIZABETH
  • 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?
  • QUEEN MARGARET ASIDE
  • When holy Harry died, and my sweet son.
  • QUEEN ELIZABETH
  • Ah, who hath any cause to mourn but we?
  • Queen Margaret joins them.
  • QUEEN MARGARET
  • If sorrow can admit society, I had an Edward till a Richard killed him; I had a husband till a Richard killed him. Thou hadst an Edward till a Richard killed him; thou hadst a Richard till a Richard killed him.
  • DUCHESS
  • I had a Richard too, and thou did’st kill him; I had a Rutland too; thou helped to kill him.
  • QUEEN MARGARET
  • Thou hadst a Richard too, and Richard killed him, that dog, that had his teeth before his eyes, that excellent grand tyrant of the earth, that foul defacer of God’s handiwork.
  • DUCHESS
  • O Harry’s wife, triumph not in my woes! God witness with me, I have wept for thine.
  • QUEEN MARGARET
  • Bear with me. I am hungry for revenge.
  •  
  •  
  • Queen Margaret to Queen Elizabeth
  •  
  • I called thee a shadow of my fortune,
  • The perception of but what I was, one
  • Heaved high to be hurled down below, a sign
  • Of dignity, a breath, a queen in jest,
  • Only to fill the scene. Where is the line
  • Of kneeling gift seekers? Where are the rest,
  • The peers that flattered thee, the thronging troops
  • That followed thee, the ever clinging groups?
  • Justice now swirls ‘bout the one with the gall
  • To mock me, enduring scorn by me, one
  • Now feared by none, once being feared by all,
  • Once commanding all, now obeyed by none,
  • Having but the tortured thoughts of the part
  • Of the realm thou wast, being what thou art.
  • QUEEN MARGARET
  • Farewell, York’s wife, and queen of sad mischance. These English woes shall make me smile in France.
  • She begins to exit.
  • QUEEN ELIZABETH
  • O, thou well-skilled in curses, stay awhile, and teach me how to curse mine enemies.
  • QUEEN MARGARET
  • Compare dead happiness with living woe; think that thy babes were sweeter than they were, and he that slew them fouler than he is.
  • QUEEN ELIZABETH
  • My words are dull. O, quicken them with thine!
  • QUEEN MARGARET
  • Thy woes will make them sharp and pierce like mine.
  • Margaret exits.
  • DUCHESS
  • Go with me, and in the breath of bitter words let’s smother my damned son that thy two sweet sons smothered.
  • They rise. King Richard and his train along with Catesby enter.
  • RICHARD
  • Who intercepts me in my expedition?
  • DUCHESS
  • O, she that might have intercepted thee, by strangling thee in her accursed womb, from all the slaughters, wretch, that thou hast done.
  • QUEEN ELIZABETH TO RICHARD
  • Tell me, thou villain-slave, where are my children?
  • DUCHESS TO RICHARD
  • Thou toad, where is thy brother Clarence, and little Ned Plantagenet his son?
  • QUEEN ELIZABETH TO RICHARD
  • Where is the gentle Rivers, Vaughan, Grey?
  • DUCHESS TO RICHARD
  • Where is kind Hastings?
  • RICHARD
  • A flourish, trumpets! Let not the heavens hear these telltale women rail on the Lord’s anointed. Either be patient and entreat me fair or will I drown your exclamations.
  • DUCHESS
  • Art thou my son? O, let me speak!
  • RICHARD
  • Do then, but I’ll not hear.
  • DUCHESS
  • I will be mild and gentle in my words.
  • RICHARD
  • And brief, good mother, for I am in haste.
  • DUCHESS
  • Art thou so hasty? I prithee, hear me speak.
  • RICHARD
  • You speak too bitterly.
  • DUCHESS
  • Take with thee my most grievous curse, which in the day of battle tire thee more than all the complete armor 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.
  • She exits.
  • QUEEN ELIZABETH
  • I say amen to her.
  • RICHARD
  • Stay, madam. I must talk a word with you.
  • QUEEN ELIZABETH
  • I have no more sons of the royal blood for thee to slaughter.
  • RICHARD
  • You have a daughter called Elizabeth, virtuous and fair, royal and gracious.
  • QUEEN ELIZABETH
  • And must she die for this? O, let her live. I will confess she was not Edward’s daughter.
  • RICHARD
  • She is a royal princess.
  • QUEEN ELIZABETH
  • To save her life, I’ll say she is not so. My babes were destined to a fairer death if grace had blessed thee with a fairer life.
  • QUEEN ELIZABETH
  • Cousins, indeed, and by their uncle cheated of comfort, kingdom, kindred, freedom, life.
  • RICHARD
  • Madam, so thrive I in my enterprise and dangerous success of bloody wars as I intend more good to you and yours than ever you or yours by me were harmed!
  • QUEEN ELIZABETH
  • Tell me what state, what dignity, what honor, canst thou convey to any child of mine?
  • RICHARD
  • From my soul I love thy daughter. I mean that with my soul I love thy daughter and do intend to make her Queen of England.
  • QUEEN ELIZABETH
  • Well then, who dost thou mean shall be her king?
  • RICHARD
  • Who else should be?
  • QUEEN ELIZABETH
  • What, thou?
  • RICHARD
  • How think you of it?
  • QUEEN ELIZABETH
  • How canst thou woo her?
  • RICHARD
  • Madam, with all my heart.
  • QUEEN ELIZABETH
  • Send to her, by the man that slew her brothers, a pair of bleeding hearts; thereon engrave “Edward” and “York.”
  • RICHARD
  • You mock me, madam. Say that I did all this for love of her.
  • QUEEN ELIZABETH
  • Nay, then indeed she cannot chose but hate thee, having bought love with such a bloody spoil.
  •  
  •  
  • Richard III to Queen Elizabeth, No. 1
  •  
  • Look, what’s been done cannot be amended,
  • And men do repent sins unintended.
  • I’ll give the kingdom to your daughter to
  • Make amends if it was taken from your
  • Sons, and I’ll beget your blood issue through
  • Her; children one step below those you bore,
  • Your loss being but a son being king,
  • And by that loss to you a queen I bring.
  • The king that calls your beauteous daughter
  • Wife shall soon call home Dorset your son to
  • High promotion, calling Dorset brother,
  • While being the king’s mother honors you.
  • And when I am Buckingham’s conqueror,
  • She shall be victoress, Caesar’s Caesar.
  • QUEEN ELIZABETH
  • What were I best to say? Her father’s brother 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 honor, and her love can make seem pleasing to her tender years?
  • RICHARD
  • Infer fair England’s peace by this alliance. Say I will love her everlastingly. Be eloquent in my behalf to her. Plainly to her tell my loving tale.
  • QUEEN ELIZABETH
  • Plain and not honest is too harsh a style.
  • RICHARD
  • Your reasons are too shallow and too quick.
  • QUEEN ELIZABETH
  • O no, my reasons are too deep and dead --- too deep and dead, poor infants, in their graves.
  • RICHARD
  • Harp not on that string, madam; that is past.
  • QUEEN ELIZABETH
  • Harp on it still shall I till heart-strings break.
  •  
  •  
  • Richard III to Queen Elizabeth, No. 2
  •  
  • May fortune bar me happy hours, day yield
  • Me not thy light and nightly rest be sealed
  • From me if with dear heart’s devoted love,
  • I tender not thy beautiful princely
  • Daughter. In her consists promised hope of
  • Thee and me, herself, the land and many
  • A Christian soul from ruin and decay.
  • For us, dear mother, be my attorney.
  • Happiness will be avoided but by
  • This, and not avoided but by this. We
  • Serve of necessity with you the tie
  • Between her and me. Plead what I will be,
  • Not how some others have served those we serve;
  • Not what I’ve been, but what I will deserve.
  • QUEEN ELIZABETH
  • Shall I be tempted of the devil thus?
  • RICHARD
  • Ay, if the devil tempt you to do good.
  • QUEEN ELIZABETH
  • Yet thou didst kill my children. Shall I do win my daughter to thy will? I go. Write to me very shortly, and you shall understand from me her mind.
  • RICHARD
  • Bear her my true love’s kiss; and so, farewell.
  • Queen exits.
  • RICHARD
  • Relenting fool and shallow, changing woman!
  • Ratcliffe enters.
  • RATCLIFFE
  • Most mighty sovereign, on the western coast rideth a powerful navy. ‘Tis thought that Richmond is their admiral; and there they hull, expecting but the aid of Buckingham to welcome them ashore.
  • RICHARD
  • Catesby. Where is he?
  • CATESBY
  • Here, my good Lord.
  • RICHARD
  • Catesby, fly to the Duke. Ratcliffe, come hither. Post to Salisbury.
  • RICHARD TO CATESBY
  • Dull, unmindful villain, why stay’st thou here and go’st not to the Duke?
  • CATESBY
  • First, mighty liege, what from your Grace I shall deliver to him.
  • RICHARD
  • O true, good Catesby. Bid him levy straight the greatest strength and power tht he can make and meet me suddenly at Salisbury.
  • Catesby exits.
  • RATCLIFFE
  • What, may it please you, shall I do at Salisbury? Your Highness told me I should post before.
  • RICHARD
  • My mind is changed.
  • Lord Stanley enters.
  • RICHARD
  • What news?
  • STANLEY
  • Richmond is on the seas.
  • RICHARD
  • What doth he there?
  • STANLEY
  • He makes for England, here to claim the crown.
  • RICHARD
  • Is the chair empty? Is the King dead. What heir of York is there alive but we? And who is England’s king but great York’s heir? Then tell me, what makes he upon the seas?
  • STANLEY
  • Unless for that, my liege. I cannot guess.
  • RICHARD
  • Where is thy power, then, to beat him back? Where be thy tenants and thy followers?
  • STANLEY
  • I’ll muster up my friends and meet your Grace where and what time your Majesty shall please.
  • RICHARD
  • Ay, thou wouldst be gone to join with Richmond, but I’ll not trust thee.
  • STANLEY
  • Most mighty sovereign, I never was nor never will be false.
  • RICHARD
  • Go then and muster men, but leave behind you son George Stanley.
  • STANLEY
  • So deal with him as I prove true to you.
  • Stanley exits. Messengers enter.
  • FIRST MESSENGER
  • My gracious sovereign, now in Devonshire, the haughty prelate, Bishop of Exeter, with many more confederates are in arms.
  • SECOND MESSENGER
  • In Kent, my liege, the Guilfords are in arms.
  • THIRD MESSENGER
  • My lord, the army of great Buckingham -----
  • Richard strikes him.
  • THIRD MESSENGER
  • The news I have to tell you Majesty is that Buckingham’s army is dispersed and scattered, and he himself wandered away alone.
  • Richard gives him money.
  • RICHARD
  • Hath any well-advised friend proclaimed reward to him that brings the traitor in?
  • THIRD MESSENGER
  • Such proclamation hath been made, my lord.
  • Another Messenger enters.
  • FOURTH MESSENGER
  • Sir Thomas Lovell and Lord Marquess Dorset, ‘tis said, my liege, in Yorkshire are in arms. The Breton navy is dispersed by tempest. Richmond, in Dorsetshire, sent out a boat unto the shore to ask those on the banks if they were his assistants. He, mistrusting the, hoised sail and made his course again for Brittany.
  • Catesby enters.
  • CATESBY
  • My liege, the Duke of Buckingham is taken. This is the best news. That the Earl of Richmond is with a mighty power landed at Milford in Wales is colder tidings, yet they must be told.
  • RICHARD
  • Away towards Salisbury! A royal battle might be won and lost. Someone take order Buckingham be brought to Salisbury.
  • They exit.
  • Act 4, Scene 5
  • Stanley and Sir Christopher are on stage.
  • STANLEY
  • Sir Christopher, tell Richmond this from me
  • My son George Stanley is penned up in hold; if I revolt, off goes young George’s head. The fear of that holds off my present aid. So get thee gone. But tell me, where is princely Richmond now?
  • CHRISTOPHER
  • At Pembroke, or at Ha’rfordwest in Wales.
  • STANLEY
  • What men of name resort to him?
  • CHRISTOPHER
  • Many of great name and worth, and towards London do they bend their power.
  • Stanley gives Sir Christopher a paper.
  • STANLEY
  • My letter will resolve him of my mind.
  • They exit.
  • Act 5, Scene 1
  • Buckingham is being led to his execution.
  • BUCKINGHAM
  • Will not King Richard let me speak with him?
  • SHERIFF
  • No, my good lord.
  • BUCKINGHAM
  • Hastings and Edward’s children, Grey and Rivers, Holy King Henry and thy fair son Edward and all that have miscarried foul injustice do through the clouds behold this present hour. This is All Souls’ Day, fellow, is it not?
  • SHERIFF
  • It is.
  • BUCKINGHAM
  • Why, then, All Souls’ Day is my body’s doomsday. Thus Margaret’s curse falls heavy on my neck: “When he,” quoth she, “shall split thy heart with sorrow.” Come, lead me, officers, to the block of shame.
  • Buckingham exits with officers.
  • Act 5, Scene 2
  • Richmond, Oxford, Blunt, Herbert, and others enter.
  • RICHMOND
  • Fellows in arms, and my most loving friends, bruised underneath the yoke of tyranny, thus far into the bowels of the land have we marched on without impediment, and here receive we from our father Stanley lines of fair comfort and encouragement. This foul swine is now even in the center of this isle, as we learn. From Tamworth hither is but one day’s march. In God’s name, cheerly on, courageous friends, to reap the harvest of perpetual peace by this one bloody trial of sharp war.
  • All exit.
  • Act 5, Scene 3
  • Richard, Norfolk, Ratcliffe, the Earl of Surrey and others enter.
  • RICHARD
  • Here pitch our tent, even here in Bosworth field. Here will I lie tonight. But where tomorrow? Who hath descried the number of the traitors?
  • NORFOLK
  • Six or seven thousand is their utmost power.
  • RICHARD
  • Why, our main body of troops trebles that account. Besides, the King’s name is a tower of strength which they upon the adverse faction want. Let’s lack no discipline, make no delay, for, lords, tomorrow is a busy day.
  • They exit. Richmond, Oxford, Dorset Blunt and others enter.
  • RICHMOND
  • The weary sun hath made a golden set, and gives token of a goodly day tomorrow. Where is Lord Stanley quartered, do you know?
  • BLUNT
  • His regiment lies half a mile, at least, south from the mighty power of the King.
  • RICHMOND
  • Blunt, give him from me this most needful note.
  • BLUNT
  • Upon my life, my lord, I’ll undertake it.
  • Blunt exits. Richmond, Brandon, Dorset, Oxford and others withdraw into the tent. Richard, Ratcliffe, Norfolk and Catesby enter the king’s tent.
  • RICHARD
  • Catesby.
  • CATESBY
  • My lord.
  • RICHARD
  • Send out an officer to Stanley’s regiment. Bid him bring his power before sun rising, lest his son George fall into the blind cave of eternal night.
  • Catesby exits.
  • RICHARD
  • Give me a bowl of wine. I have not that alacrity of spirit nor cheer of mind that I was accustomed to have.
  • Stanley enters Richmond’s tent.
  • RICHMOND
  • All comfort that the dark night can afford be to thy person, noble father-in-law.
  • STANLEY
  • I, as I may, with best advantage will deceive the time and aid thee in this doubtful shock of arms. But on thy side I may not be too forward lest, being seen, thy brother, tender George, be executed in his father’s sight. Farewell. Be valiant and speed well.
  • RICHMOND
  • Good lords, conduct him to his regiment.
  • All but Richmond leave his tent. Richmond kneels.
  • RICHMOND
  • O Thou, whose captain I account myself, look on my forces with a gracious eye. Make us Thy ministers of chastisement, that we may praise Thee in the victory. Sleeping and waking, I, defend me still!
  • He sleeps. The Ghost of young Prince Edward, Henry VI’s son, enters.
  • GHOST OF EDWARD TO RICHARD
  • Let me sit heavy on thy soul tomorrow. Think how thou stabbed’st me in my prime of youth at Tewkesbury. Despair therefore, and die!
  • GHOST OF EDWARD TO RICHMOND
  • Be cheerful, Richmond. King Henry’s issue, Richmond, comforts thee.
  • He exits. The Ghost of Henry VI enters.
  • GHOST OF HENRY TO RICHARD
  • When I was mortal, my anointed body by thee was punched full of deadly holes. Despair and die!
  • GHOST OF HENRY TO RICHMOND
  • Virtuous and holy, be thou conqueror. Harry, that prophesied thou shouldst be king, doth comfort thee in thy sleep.
  • He exits. The Ghost of Clarence enters.
  • GHOST OF CLARENCE TO RICHARD
  • Tomorrow in the battle think on me. Despair and die!
  • GHOST OF CLARENCE TO RICHMOND
  • Thou offspring of the house of Lancaster, the wronged heirs of York do pray of thee. Good angels guard thy battle. Live and Flourish.
  • He exits. Ghosts of Rivers, Grey and Vaughn enter.
  • GHOSTS TO RICHARD
  • Think upon us, and let thy soul despair!
  • GHOSTS TO RICHMOND
  • Awake, and think our wrongs. Awake, and win the day.
  • They exit. The Ghosts of the two young princes enter.
  • GHOSTS OF PRINCES TO RICHARD
  • Dream on thy cousins smothered in the Tower. Let us weigh down to ruin, shame, and death.
  • GHOSTS OF PRINCES TO RICHMOND
  • Sleep, Richmond, sleep in peace and wake in joy. Edward’s unhappy sons do bid thee flourish.
  • They exit. The Ghost of Hastings enters.
  • GHOST OF HASTINGS TO RICHARD
  • Think on Lord Hastings. Despair and die!
  • GHOST OF HASTINGS TO RICHMOND
  • Quiet, untroubled soul, awake. Arm, fight and conquer for fair England’s sake.
  • He exits. The Ghost of Lady Anne enters.
  • GHOST OF ANNE TO RICHARD
  • Richard, thy wife, that wretched Anne thy wife, that never slept a quiet hour with thee, now fills thy sleep with perturbations. Despair and die.
  • GHOST OF ANNE TO RICHMOND
  • Sleep thou a quiet sleep. The adversary’s wife doth pray for thee.
  • She exits. The Ghost of Buckingham enters.
  • GHOST OF BUCKINGHAM TO RICHARD
  • The first was I that helped thee to the crown; the last was I that felt thy tyranny. O, in the battle think on Buckingham, and die in terror of they guiltiness.
  • GHOST OF BUCKINGHAM TO RICHMOND
  • I died for hope ere I could lend thee aid, but cheer thy heart, and be thou not dismayed.
  • He exits. Richard wakes up out of a dream.
  • RICHARD
  • Give me another horse! Bind up my wounds! Soft, I did but dream.
  •  
  •  
  • Richard III to himself, No. 4
  •  
  • O coward conscience, thou dost afflict me,
  • As the lights burn blue at dead midnight. See
  • How cold fearful drops stand on my trembling
  • Flesh. What do I fear? Me? There’s none else by.
  • It’s me, Richard. Is there a murdering
  • Man here? No. Yes. Could I from myself fly?
  • So, I rather hate myself for hateful
  • Deeds committed by myself. I’m a fool.
  • My weak conscience hath a thousand or more
  • Tongues, and from each unique tongue people see
  • A unique tale, each condemning me for
  • A villain. There is no creature loves me,
  • And if I die no soul will pity me,
  • And why should they, when I find no pity.
  • RICHARD
  • Methought the souls of all that I had murdered came to my tent, and every one did threat tomorrow’s vengeance on the head of Richard.
  • Ratcliffe enters.
  • RICHARD
  • Who is there?
  • RATCLIFFE
  • Ratcliffe, my lord, ‘tis I. Your friends are up and buckle on their armor.
  • RICHARD
  • O Ratcliffe, I have dreamed a fearful dream! Will our friends prove all true?
  • RATCLIFFE
  • No doubt, my lord.
  • RICHARD
  • O Ratcliffe, I fear, I fear.
  • RATCLIFFE
  • Nay, good my lord, be not afraid of shadows.
  • RICHARD
  • Come, go with me. Under our tents I’ll play the eavesdropper to see if any mean to shrink from me.
  • Richard and Ratcliffe exit. The Lords enter Richmond’s tent.
  • A LORD
  • How have you slept, my lord?
  • RICHMOND
  • The sweetest sleep and fairest-boding dreams that ever entered in a drowsy head have I since your departure had, my lords. Methought their souls whose bodies Richard murdered came to my tent and cried on victory. How far into the morning is it, lords?
  • A LORD
  • Upon the stroke of four.
  • RICHMOND
  • Why, then ‘tis time to arm and give direction.
  •  
  •  
  • Richmond to his soldiers, No. 1
  •  
  • Remember this: God, and our good cause, fight
  • For us. The prayers of holy saints to right
  • Wronged souls are for us. Except for Richard,
  • Those against us would rather have us win
  • Than him they follow, the base foul stone lured
  • Falsely, now set in England’s chair through sin,
  • Now God’s enemy. If you fight God’s foe,
  • God will, justly, protect you as you go
  • To battle. If you do fight against this
  • Foe, your country’s wealth will pay you for your
  • Pain, and your wives, being safe, with a kiss
  • Will welcome you each as a conqueror.
  • If you free your children from Richard’s sword,
  • Their children will honor you as a lord.
  • RICHMOND
  • For me, the ransom of my bold attempt shall be this cold corpse on the earth’s cold face, but if I thrive, the gain of my attempt the least of you shall share his part thereof.
  • They exit. Richard, Ratcliffe and soldiers enter.
  • RICHARD
  • Who saw the sun today?
  • RATCLIFFE
  • Not I, my lord.
  • RICHARD
  • The sun will not be seen today. The sky doth frown upon our army. I would these dewy tears were from the ground. Not shine today? Why, what is that to me more than to Richmond, for the selfsame heaven that frowns on me looks sadly upon him.
  • Norfolk enters.
  • NORFOLK
  • Arm, arm, my lord. The foe vaunts in the field.
  • RICHARD
  • Come, bustle, bustle. Prepare my horse. Call up Lord Stanley; bid him bring his power. My vanguard shall be drawn out all in length, consisting equally of horse and foot. What think’st thou, Norfolk?
  • NORFOLK
  • A good direction, warlike sovereign.
  • Richard speaks to his army.
  • RICHARD
  • What shall I say more than I have inferred? Remember whom you are to cope withal, a sort of vagabonds, rascals, and runaways. You have lands and blessed with beauteous wives. They would restrain the one, distain the other. And who lead them but a paltry fellow, long kept in Brittany at our mother’s cost.
  • Far off drums sound.
  • RICHARD
  • Hark, I hear their drum. Fight, gentlemen of England. Fight, bold yeomen. Spur your proud horses hard, and ride in blood. Terrify the sky with your broken staves.
  • A Messenger enters.
  • RICHARD
  • What says Lord Stanley? Will he bring his power?
  • MESSENGER
  • My lord, he doth deny to come.
  • RICHARD
  • Off with his son George’s head!
  • NORFOLK
  • My lord, the enemy is past the marsh. After the battle let George Stanley die.
  • They exit.
  • Act 5, Scene 4
  • Catesby, Norfolk and soldiers enter.
  • CATESBY
  • Rescue, my Lord of Norfolk, rescue, rescue! The King enacts more wonders than a man, daring an opposite to every danger. His horse is slain, and all on foot he fights, seeking for Richmond in the throat of death. Rescue, fair lord, or else the day is lost.
  • Norfolk exits with soldiers. Richard enters.
  • RICHARD
  • A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse!
  • CATESBY
  • Withdraw, my lord. I’ll help you to a horse.
  • RICHARD; Slave, I have set my life upon a cast, and I will stand the hazard of the die. A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse!
  • They exit.
  • Act 5, Scene 5
  • Richard and Richmond enter. They fight. Richard is slain. Richmond exits. Richard’s body is removed. Richmond enters. Stanley enters bearing the crown.
  • Stanley offers Richmond the crown.
  • STANLEY
  • Courageous Richmond, well hast thou acquit thee. Wear it, enjoy it, and make much of it.
  • Richmond becomes King Henry VII.
  • RICHMOND
  • But tell me, is young George Stanley living?
  • STANLEY
  • He is, my lord, and safe in Leicester town.
  • RICHMOND
  • What men of name are slain on either side?
  • STANLEY
  • Duke of Norfolk, Lord Ferrers, Sir Robert Brakenbury and Sir William Brandon.
  • RICHMOND
  • Inter their bodies as becomes their births.
  •  
  •  
  • Richmond to his soldiers, No. 2
  •  
  • Proclaim a pardon to the soldiers fled,
  • Those we acknowledge were men poorly led.
  • Now, may heaven smile on this fair union
  • That will unite the white rose and the red,
  • Having ‘oft frowned behind a hidden sun,
  • York and Lancaster so long divided.
  • Let Richmond and Elizabeth, the true
  • Succeeders of each house, be joined one to
  • One, and let their issue no longer wait
  • To enrich the future with smooth-faced peace;
  • With smiling, fair, prosperous days. Abate
  • Traitors that they may share this land’s increase.
  • Now civil wounds are stopped, peace lives again.
  • May she here live long, far from what has been.
  • RICHMOND
  • God say amen.
  • They exit.

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