Page images

Quiet, untroubled soul, awake, awake! [To Richm. Arm, fight, and conquer, for fair England's sake!

The Ghosts of the two young Princes rise. Ghosts. Dream on thy cousins smother'd in the Tower;

Let us be lead within thy bosom, Richard,
And weigh thee down to ruin, shame, and death!
Thy nephews' souls bid thee despair, and die.-

Sleep, Richmond, sleep in peace, and wake in joy;
Good angels guard thee from the boar's annoy!
Live, and beget a happy race of kings!
Edward's unhappy sons do bid thee flourish.
The Ghost of Queen Anne rises.

Ghost. Richard, thy wife, that wretched Anne thy wife,

That never slept a quiet hour with thee,
Now fills thy sleep with perturbations:
To-morrow in the battle think on me,
And fall thy edgeless sword; Despair, and die!—
Thou, quiet soul, sleep thou a quiet sleep;
[To Rich.

Dream of success and happy victory;
Thy adversary's wife doth pray for thee.
The Ghost of Buckingham rises.

Ghost. The first was I, that help'd thee to the crown;

[To K. Rich.

The last was I that felt thy tyranny:
O, in the battle think on Buckingham,
And die in terror of thy guiltiness!
Dream on, dream on, of bloody deeds and death;
Fainting, despair; despairing, yield thy breath!--

I died for hope, ere I could lend thee aid: [To Rich.
But cheer thy heart, and be thou not dismay'd:
God, and good angels fight on Richmond's side;
And Richard falls in height of all his pride.

[The Ghosts vanish. King Richard starts out of his dream.

[ocr errors]

K. Rich. Give me another horse,-bind up my

Have mercy, Jesu !-Soft; I did but dream.-
O coward conscience, how dost thou afflict me!--
The lights burn blue.-It is now dead midnight.
Cold fearful drops stand on my trembling flesh.
What do I fear? myself? there's none else by:
Richard loves Richard; that is, I am I.
Is there a murderer here? No;-Yes; I am:
Then fly,-What, from myself? Great reason: Why?
Lest I revenge. What? Myself on myself?
I love myself. Wherefore? for any good,

That I myself have done unto myself?
O, no; alas, I rather hate myself,

For hateful deeds committed by myself.

I am a villain: Yet I lie, I am not.
Fool, of thyself speak well :-Fool, do not flatter.
My conscience hath a thousand several tongues,
And every tongue brings in a several tale,
And every tale condemns me for a villain.
Perjury, perjury, in the high'st degree,
Murder, stern murder, in the dir'st degree;
All several sins, all us'd in each degree,
Throng to the bar, crying all,-Guilty! guilty!
I shall despair. There is no creature loves me;
And, if I die, no soul will pity me:--
Nay, wherefore should they? since that I myself
Find in myself no pity to myself.
Methought, the souls of all that I had murder'd
Came to my tent: and every one did threat
To-morrow's vengeance on the head of Richard.

Enter Ratcliff.

Rat. My lord,

K. Rich. Who's there?

Rat. Ratcliff, my lord, 'tis I.

The early village

cock Hath twice done salutation to the morn;

Your friends are up, and buckle on their armour.
K. Rich. O, Ratcliff, I have dream'd a fearful

What thinkest thou? will our friends prove all true?
Rat. No doubt, my lord.
K. Rich.
Ratcliff, I fear, I fear,—
Rat. Nay, good my lord, be not afraid of shadows.
K. Rich. By the apostle Paul, shadows to-night
Have struck more terror to the soul of Richard,
Than can the substance of ten thousand soldiers,
Armed in proof, and led by shallow Richmond.
It is not yet near day. Come, go with me;
Under our tents I'll play the eaves-dropper,
To hear, if any mean to shrink from me.

[Exeunt King Richard and Ratcliff. Richmond wakes. Enter Oxford and others. Lords. Good morrow, Richmond.

Rich. 'Cry mercy, lords, and watchful gentlemen, That you have ta'eu a tardy sluggard here. Lords. How have you slept, my lord?

Rich. The sweetest sleep, and fairest-boding dreams, That ever enter'd in a drowsy head,

Have I since your departure had, my lords. Methought, their souls, whose bodies Richard murder'd, Came to my tent, and cried-On! victory!

I promise you, my heart is very jocund
In the remembrance of so fair a dream.
How far into the morning is it, lords?

Lords. Upon the stroke of four.

Rich. Why, then 'tis time to arm, and give direetion. [He advances to the troops. -More than I have said, loving countrymen, The leisure and enforcement of the time Forbids to dwell on : Yet remember this,God, and our good cause, fight upon our side; The prayers of holy saints, and wronged souls, Like high-rear'd bulwarks, stand before our faces;

Richard except, those, whom we fight against,
Had rather have us win, than him they follow.
For what is he they follow? truly, gentlemen,
A bloody tyrant, and a homicide;

侨 One rais'd in blood, and one in blood establish'd;
One that made means to come by what he hath,

And slaughter'd those that were the means to help him;

A base foul stone, made precious by the foil

Of England's chair, where he is falsely set;
One that hath ever been God's enemy:
Then, if you fight against God's enemy,
God will, in justice, ward you as his soldiers;
If you do sweat to put a tyrant down,

You sleep in peace, the tyrant being slain;
If you do fight against your country's foes,
Your country's fat shall pay your pains the hire;
If you do fight in safeguard of your wives,
Your wives shall welcome home the conquerors;
If you do free your children from the sword,
Your children's children quit it in your age.
Then, in the name of God, and all these rights,
Advance your standards, draw your willing swords:
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.
Sound, drums and trumpets, boldly and cheerfully;
God, and Saint George! Richinond, and victory!

[Exeunt. Re-enter King Richard, Rateliff, Attendants, and Forces.

K. Rich. What said Northumberland, as touching

Rat. That he was never trained up in arms.

K. Rich. He said the truth: and what said Surrey

Rat. He smil'd and said, the better for our purpose.

[ocr errors]

K. Rich. He was i'the right; and so, indeed, it is

[Clock strikes.

Tell the clock there.-Give me a kalendar.-
Who saw the sun to-day?


Not I, my lord.

K. Rich. Then he disdains to shine; for, by the book, He should have brav'd the east an hour ago:

A black day will it be to somebody.


[ocr errors]

Rat. My lord?.

K. Richa The sun will not be seen to day; The sky doth frown and lour upon our army. I would, these dewy tears were from the ground. Not shine to-day! Why, what is that to me, More than to Richmond? for the self-same heaven, That frowns on me, looks sadly upon him.

Enter Norfolk.

Nor. Arm, arm, my lord; the foe vaunts in the field. K. Rich. Come, bustle, bustle ;-Caparison my horse ;

Call up lord Stanley, bid him bring his power:-
I will lead forth my soldiers to the plain,
And thus my battle shall be ordered.
My foreward shall be drawn out all in length,
Consisting equally of horse and foot;

Our archers shall be placed in the midst:
John duke of Norfolk, Thomas earl of Surrey,
Shall have the leading of this foot and horse.
They thus directed, we ourself will follow

In the main battle; whose puissance on either side
Shall be well winged with our chiefest horse..
This, and Saint George to boot!-What think'st thou,

Nor. A good direction, warlike sovereign.— This found I on my tent this morning.

[Giving a scroll.

« PreviousContinue »