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Mean time, but think how I may do thee good,
And be inheritor of thy desire.
Farewell, 'till then.
Tyr. I humbly take my leave.
K. Rich. The son of Clarence have I penn'd up 5.
His daughter meanly have I match'd in marriage;
The sons of Edward sleep in Abraham's bosom,
And Anne my wife hath bid the world good night.)
Now, for I know the Bretagne Richmond aims
At young Elizabeth, my brother's daughter,
And, by that knot, looks proudly on the crown,
To her go I, a jolly thriving wooer.
Brief abstract and record of tedious days,
Rest thy unrest on England's lawful earth,
Unlawfully made drunk with innocent blood!
Queen. Ah, that thou wouldst as soon afford a
As thou canst yield a melancholy seat; [grave,
Then would I hide my bones, not rest them here!
Ah, who hath any cause to mourn, but we?
[Sitting down by her.
2. Mar. If ancient sorrow be most reverent,
Give mine the benefit of signiory,
And let my griefs frown on the upper hand.
[Sitting down with them.
If sorrow can admit society,
Tell o'er your woes again by viewing mine:-
I had an Edward, 'till a Richard kill'd him;
I had a husband, 'till a Richard kill'd him :'
Thou hadst an Edward, 'till a Richard kill'd him;
Thou hadst a Richard, 'till a Richard kill'd him.
Dutch. I had a Richard too, and thou didst kill
I had a Rutland too, thou holp'st to kill him.
2. Mar. Thou hadst a Clarence too, and Ri
chard kill'd him.
From forth the kennel of thy womb hath crept
A hell-hound, that doth hunt us all to death:
That dog that had his teeth before his eyes,
To worry lambs, and lap their gentle blood;
That foul defacer of God's handy-work;
Enter Queen Margaret.
2. Mar. So, now prosperity begins to mellow, 35 That excellent grand tyrant of the earth,
And drop into the rotten mouth of death.
Here in these confines slily have I lurk'd,
To watch the waining of mine enemies.
A dire induction 2 am I witness to,
That reigns in galled eyes of weeping souls,
Thy womb let loose, to chase us to our graves.-
O upright, just, and true-disposing God,
How do I thank thee, that this carnal cur
Preys on the issue of his mother's body,
And makes her pue-fellow with others' moan!
Dutch. O, Harry's wife, triumph not in my
Cates. My lord,-
K. Rich. Good news or bad, that thou com'st in so bluntly? [Richmond; Cates. Bad news, my lord: Morton is fled to And Buckingham, back'd with the hardy WelshIs in the field, and still his power increaseth. [men, 20 K.Rich. Ely with Richmond troubles me more
Than Buckingham and his rash-levied strength.
Come,-I have learn'd, that fearful commenting
Is leaden servitor to dull delay';
Delay leads impotent and snail-pac'd beggary:
Then fiery expedition be my wing,
Jove's Mercury, and herald for a king!
Go, muster men; My counsel is my shield;
We must be brief, when traitors brave the field. 30
2. Mar. When holy Henry dy'd, and my sweet [ghost, Dutch. Dead life, blind sight, pocr mortal living Woe's scene, world's shame, grave's due by life usurp'd,
And will to France; hoping, the consequence
Will prove as bitter, black, and tragical.— [here?|
Withdraw thee, wretched Margaret! who comes
Enter the Queen and the Dutchess of York.
Queen. Ah,my poor princes! ah,my tender babes!
My unblown flowers, new-appearing sweets!
If yet your gentle souls fly in the air,
And be not fix'd in doom perpetual,
Hover about me with your airy wings,
And hear your mother's lamentation!
2. Mar. Hover about her; say, that right for Hath dimm'd your infant morn to aged night.
Dutch. So many miseries have craz'd my voice, That my woe-wearied tongue is still and mute.Edward Plantagenet, why art thou dead?
2. Mar. Plantagenet doth quit Plantagenet, Edward for Edward pays a dying debt. [lambs, Queen. Wilt thou, O God! fly from such gentle And throw them in the entrails of the wolf? Why didst thou sleep, when such a deed was done?
God witness with me, I have wept for thine!
2. Mar. Bear with me; I am hungry for reg
And now I cloy me with beholding it.
Thy Edward he is dead, that kill'd my Edward;
Thy other Edward dead, to quit my Edward;
Young York he is but boot, because both they
Match not the high perfection of my loss.
Thy Clarence he is dead, that stabb'dmy Edward;
And the beholders of this tragic play,
The adulterate Hastings, Rivers, Vaughan,Grey,
Untimely smother'd in their dusky graves.
Richard yet lives, hell's black intelligencer;
Only reserv'd their factor, to buy souls,
And send them thither: But at hand, at hand,
Ensues his piteous and unpitied end:
disquisition are the dull attendants on delay. In Right for right is justice answering to the claims Pue-fellow seems to be companion.-We
Meaning that timorous thought and cautious duction means preface, introduction, first part. of justice. Signiory is here used for seniority. still say of persons in the same difficulties, that they are in the same box. thrown in to mend a purchase. i.e. Faithless
Boot is that which is or adulterate may be put for adult:rer, U u 2
Queen. Windy attorneys to their client-woes,
Airy succeeders of intestate joys,
Poor breathing orators of miseries! [part
Let them have scope: though what they do im-
Help nothing else, yet they do ease the heart. [me,
Dutch. If so, then be not tongue-ty'd: go with
And in the breath of bitter words let's smother
My damned son, that thy two sweet sons smo-
hear his drum,~be copious in exclaims.
Enter King Richard, and his train, marching.
K.Rich. Who intercepts me in my expedition?
Dutch. O, she, that might have intercepted thee,
15 By strangling thee in her accursed womb,
From all the slaughters, wretch, that thou hast
Queen. Hid'st thou that forehead with a golden
Where should be branded, if that right were right,
The slaughter of the prince that ow'd that crown,
And the dire death of my poor sons, and brothers?
Tell me,thou villain-slave,where are my children?
Dutch. Thou toad, thou toad, where is thy bro-
Earth gapes, hell burns, fiends roar, saints pray,
To have him suddenly convey'd from hence:-
Cancel his bond of life, dear God, I pray,
That I may live to say, The dog is dead! [come,
Queen. O, thou didst prophesy, the time would 5
That I should wish for thee to help me curse
That bottled spider, that foul hunch-back'd toad.
2. Mar. I call'd thee then vain flourish of my
I call'd thee then poor shadow, painted queen; I
The presentation of but what I was,
The flatt'ring index of a direful pageant',
One heav'd a-high, to be hurl'd down below;
A mother only mock'd with two fair babes;
A dream of what thou wast; a garish flag,
To be the aim of every dangerous shot';
A sign of dignity, a breath, a bubble;
A queen in jest, only to fill the scene.
Where is thyhusband now? where be thy brothers?
Where be thy two sons? wherein dost thou joy
Who sues, and kneels, and says—God save thef
Where be the bending peers that flatter'd thee?
Where be the thronging troops that follow'd thee?
Decline all this, and see what now thou art.
For happy wife, a most distressed widow;
For joyful mother, one that wails the name;
For one being su'd to, one that humbly sues;
For queen, a very caitiff crown'd with care;
For one that scorn'd at me, now scorn'd of me;
For one being fear'd of all, now fearing one;
For one commanding all, obey'd of none.
Thus hath the course of justice wheel'd about,
And left thee but a very prey to time;
Having no more but thought of what thou wert,
To torture thee the more, being what thou art.
Thou didst usurp my place: And dost thou not
Usurp the just proportion of my sorrow?
Nowthy proudneck bears half my burden'd yoke;
From which even here I slip my wearied head, 40
And leave the burden of it all on thec.
Farewell, York's wife, andqueen of sad mischance,
These English woes shall make me sinile inFrance.
Queen. Othou well skill'd in curses! stay a while, And teach me how to curse mine enemies.
25 And little Ned Plantagenet his son? [Grey?
Queen. Where is the gentle Rivers, Vaughan,
Dutch. Where is kind Hastings? [drums!
K. Rich. A flourish, trumpets! strike alarum,
Let not the heavens hear these tell-tale women
30 Rail on the Lord's anointed: Strike, I say.-
Either be patient, and entreat me fair,
Or with the clamorous report of war,
Thus will I drown your exclamations.
Dutch. Art thou my son?
[self. K. Rich. Ay, I thank God, my father, and your Dutch. Then patiently hear my impatience, K.Rick. Madam, I have a touch of your condition,
That cannot brook the accent of reproof.
Dutch. O, let me speak.
K. Rich. Do, then; but I'll not hear.
Dutch. I will be mild and gentle in my words.
K. Rich. And brief, good mother; for I am in
2. Mur. Forbear to sleep the night, and fast the day; Compare dead happiness with living woe; Think that thy babes were fairer than they were, And he that slew them, fouler than he is: Bettering thy loss makes the bad causer worse; Revolving this will teach thee how to curse. Queen. My words are dull; O, quicken them with thine!
2. Mar. Thy woes will make them sharp, and 55
pierce like mine.
Dutch. Why should calamity be full of words?
Dutch. Art thou so hasty? I have stay'd for thee, God knows, in torment and in agony.
K. Rich. And came I not at last to comfort you? Dutch. No, by the holy rood, thou know'st it well,
Thou cam'st on earth to make the earth my helk
A grievous burden was thy birth to me;
Tetchy and wayward was thy infancy;
Thy school-days, frightful, desperate, wild, and
Thy prime of manhood, daring, bold, and ven-
Thy age confirm'd, proud,subtle,sly, and bloody,
The pageants displayed on public occasions in those days, were generally preceded by a short account of the order in which the characters were to walk. These indexes were distributed among the spectators, that they might understand the meaning of the allegory exhibited. The index of every book was anciently placed before the beginning of it. 2 This alludes to the dangerous situation of those persons to whose care the standards of armies were entrusted. 3i.e. words, tun'd to complaints, succeed joys that are dead; and unbequeath'd to them, to whom they should properly descend. i.e. a spice or particle of your disposition.
More mild, but yet more harmful, kind in hatred;
What comfortable hour canst thou name,
That ever grac'd' me in thy company?
K. Rich. Faith, none, but Humphry Houre',
that call'd your grace
To breakfast once, forth of my company,
If I be so disgracious in your sight,
Let me march on, and not offend you, madam.—
Strike up the drum.
Dutch. I pr'ythee, hear me speak.
K. Rich. You speak too bitterly.
Dutch. Hear me a word;
For I shall never speak to thee again.
K. Rich. So.
Of comfort, kingdom, kindred, freedom, life,
Whose hands soever lanc'd their tender hearts,.
Thy head, all indirectly, gave direction :
No doubt the murderous knife was dull and blunt;
5Till it was whetted on thy stone-hard heart,
To reyel in the entrails of my lambs.
But that still use of grief makes wild grief tame,
My tongue should to thy ears not name my boys;
Till that my nails were anchor'd in thine eyes;
10 And I, in such a desperate bay of death,
Like a poor bark, of sails and tackling reft,
Rush all to pieces on thy rocky bosom.
K. Rich. Madam, so thrive l'in my enterprize,
And dangerous success of bloody wars,
As I intend more good to you and yours,
Than ever you or yours by me were harm'd!
Queen. What good is cover'd with the face of
To be discover'd, that can do me good?
K. Rich. The advancement of your children,
Queen. Up to some scaffold, there to lose their
K. Rich. No, to the dignity and height of
25 The high imperial type of this earth's glory,
Queen, Flatter my sorrows with report of it;
Tell me, what state, what dignity, what honour,
Canst thou demise to any child of mine? [all,
K. Rich. Even all I have; ay, and myself and
30 Will I withal endow a child of thine;
So in the Lethe of thy angry soul
Thou drownthe sad remembrance of thosewrongs,
Which, thou supposest, I have done to thee.
Queen. Be brief, lest that the process of thy
Dutch. Either thou wilt die, by God's just or-15
Ere from this war thou turn a conqueror;
Or I with grief and extreme age shall perish,
And never look upon thy face again.
Therefore, take with thee my most heavy curse;
Which, in the day of battle, tire thee more,
Than all the complete armour that thou wear'st!
My prayers on the adverse party fight;
And there the little souls of Edward's children
Whisper the spirits of thine enemies,
And promise them success and victory!
Bloody thou art, bloody will be thy end;
Shame serves' thy life, and doth thy death attend.
Queen. Though far more cause, yet much less spirit to curse Abides in me; I say Amen to her, [Going. K. Rich. Stay, madam, I must speak a word with you.
Queen. I have no more sons of the royal blood, For thee to murder: for my daughters, Richard, 35 They shall be praying nuns, not weeping queens; And therefore level not to hit their lives.
Queen. To save her life, I'll say-she is not so.
K. Rich. Her life is safest only in her birth.
Queen. And only in that safety dy'd her brothers. 50
K. Rich. Lo, at their births good stars were
Queen. No, to their liyes bad friends were
K. Rich. All unavoided is the doom of destiny.
Queen. True, when avoided grace makes destiny: 55
My babes were destin'd to a fairer death,
If grace had bless'd thee with a fairer life.
K. Rich. You speak, as if that I had slain my
Queen. Cousins, indeed; and by their uncle 60
Last longer telling, than thy kindness' date.
K. Rich. Then know, that, from my soul, I
love thy daughter.
Queen. My daughter's mother thinks it with her.
K. Rich. What do you think? [thy soul;
Queen. That thou dost love my daughter, from
So, from thy soul's love, didst thou love her
K.Rich. You have a daughter call'd-Elizabeth, Virtuous and fair, royal and gracious.
Queen. And must she die for this? O, let her 40
And I'll corrupt her manners, stain her beauty;
Slander myself, as false to Edward's bed;
Throw over her the veil of infamy:
So she may live unscarr'd of bleeding slaughter,
I will confess she was not Edward's daughter.
K. Rich. Wrong not her birth, she is of royal
And, from my heart's love, I do thank thee for it.
K. Rich. Be not so hasty to confound my
mean, that with my soul I love thy daughter, And do intend to make her queen of England, Queen. Well then, who dost thou mean shall be her king?
K. Rich. Even he that makes her queen; Who
else should be?
Queen. What, thou?
K. Rich. I, even I: What think you of it,
Queen. How canst thou woo her?
K. Rich. That I would learn of
As one being best acquainted with her humour,
Queen. And wilt thou learn of me?
K, Rich. Madam, with all my heart. [brothers,
Queen. Send to her, by the man that slew her
1i. e. bless'd, or made me happy. 2 Mr. Steevens remarks, that this may probably be an allusion to some affair of gallantry of which the Dutchess had been suspected; or, that the poet's fondness for a quibble may perhaps have induced him at once to personify and christen that hour of the day which summon'd his mother to breakfast. 1i. e. accompanies. i. e. exhibition, shew.
V ụ 3
A pair of bleeding hearts; thereon engrave,
Edward, and York; then, haply, will she weep:
Therefore present to her, as sometime Margaret
Did to thy father, steep'd in Rutland's blood,-
A handkerchief; which, say to her, did drain
The purple sap from her sweet brothers' bodies,
And bid her wipe her weeping eyes withal.
If this inducement move her not to love,
Send her a letter of thy noble deeds;
Tell her, thou mad'st away her uncle Clarence, 10
Her uncle Rivers; ay, and, for her sake,
Mad'st quick conveyance with her good aunt
K. Rich. You mock me, madam; this is not
To win your daughter,
Queen. There is no other way;
That God, the law, my honour, and her love,
Can make seem pleasing to her tender years?
K. Rich. Infer fair England's peace by this
Queen, Which she shall purchase with still last-
K. Rich. Tell her, the king, that may command,
Queen. That at her hands, which the king's King forbids. [queen, K. Rich. Say, she shall be a high and mighty Queen. To wail the title, as her mother doth. K. Rich. Say, I will love her everlastingly. Queen. But how long shall that title, ever, last? K. Rich. Sweetly in force unto her fair life's end. Queen. But how long fairly shall her sweet life last? [it. K.Rich. As long as heaven,and nature, lengthens Que As long as hell, and Richard, likes of it. K, Rich. Say, I, her sov'reign, am her subject [sov'reignty, Queen. But she, your subject, loaths such K. Rich. Be eloquent in my behalf to her. Queen. An honest tale speeds best, being plainly told. [ving tale. K. Rich. Then, in plain terms tell her my loQueen. Plain, and not honest, is too harsh a style. K. Rich. Your reasons are too shallow and too quick. [dead;Queen. O, no, my reasons are too deep and Two deep and dead, poor infants, in their graves. K. Rich. Harp not on that string, madam; that is past. [break. Queen. Harp on it still shall I, 'till heart-strings K. Rich. Now, by my george, my garter, and my crown,[usurp❜d. Queen. Profan'd, dishonour'd, and the third K. Rich. I swear.
Unless thou could'st put on some other shape,
And not be Richard that hath done all this.
Put in her tender heart the aspiring flame
Of golden sov'reignty; acquaint the princess
With the sweet silent hours of marriage joys;
And when this arm of mine hath chastised
5 The petty rebel, dull-brain'd Buckingham,
Bound with triumphant garlands will I come,
And lead thy daughter to a conqueror's bed;
To whom I will retail my conquest won,
And she shall be sole victress, Cæsar's Cæsar.
Queen. What were I best to say? her father's
K. Rich. Say, that I did all this for love of her? Queen. Nay, then indeed, she cannot chuse but 20 hate thee,
Having bought love with such a bloody spoil'. K. Rich. Look, what is done cannot be now amended:
Men shall deal unadvisedly sometimes,
Which after-hours give leisure to repent.
If I did take the kingdom from your sons,
To make amends, I'll give it to your daughter.
If I have kill'd the issue of your womb,
To quicken your increase, I will beget
Mine issue of your blood upon your daughter,
A grandam's name is little less in love,
Than is the doting title of a mother;
They are as children, but one step below,
Even of your metal, of your very blood;
Of all one pain, save for a night of groans
Endur'd of her, for whom you bid' like sorrow.
Your children were vexation to your youth,
But mine shall be a comfort to your age.
The loss you have, is but-a son being king,
And, by that loss, your daughter is made queen.
I cannot make you what amends I would,
Therefore accept such kindness as I can.
Dorset your son, that, with a fearful soul,
Leads discontented steps in foreign soil,
This fair alliance quickly shall call home
To high promotions and great dignity.
Theking, thatcalls your beauteousdaughter-wife,
Familiarly shall call thy Dorset-brother;
Again shall you be mother to a king,
And all the ruins of distressful times
Repair'd with double riches of content,
What! we have many goodly days to see:
The liquid drops of tears that you have shed,
Shall come again, transform'd to orient pearl;
Advantaging their loan, with interest
Of ten times double gain of happiness,
Go then, my mother, to thy daughter go;
Make bold her bashful yearswith your experience;
Prepare her ears to hear a wooer's tale;
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,
Queen. By nothing; for this is no oath. The george, profan'd, hath lost his holy honour; The garter, blemish'd, pawn'd his knightly virtue; 55 The crown, usurp'd, disgrac'd his kingly glory:
If something thou wouldst swear to be believ'd,
Swear then by something that thou hast not
K. Rich. Now by the world,-
Queen. "Tis full of thy foul wrongs.
1i. e. havock. 2 Bid is in the past sense from bide. Levitical law. See Leviticus xviii. 14.
Alluding to the prohibition in the
K. Rich. My father's death,
Queen. Thy life hath that dishonour'd.
K. Rich. Then, by myself,—
Queen. Thyself is self-inis-us'd.
K. Rich. Why then, by heaven,→
Queen. Heaven's wrong is most of all.
If thou didst fear to break an oath with heaven,
The unity, the king my husband made,
Had not been broken, nor my brother slain.
If thou hadst fear'd to break an oath by him,
The imperial metal, circling now thy head,
Had grac'd the tender temples of my child,
And both the princes had been breathing here,
Which now, two tender bed-fellows for dust,
Thy broken faith hath made a prey for worms.
What canst thou swear by now?
Old barren plants, to wail it with their age.
Swear not by time to come; for that thou hast
Misus'd ere us'd, by times ill-us'd o'er-past.
K. Rich. As I intend to prosper, and repent!
So thrive I in my dangerous attempt
Of hostile arms! myself myself confound!
Heaven, and fortune, bar me happy hours!
Day, yield me not thy light; nor, night, thy rest!
Be opposite all planets of good luck
To my proceeding, if, with pure heart's love,
Immaculate devotion, holy thoughts,
I tender not thy beauteous princely daughter!
In her consists my happiness, and thine;
Without her, follows to myself, and thee,
Herself, the land, and many a christian soul,
Death, desolation, ruin, and decay:
It cannot be avoided, but by this;
It will not be avoided, but by this;
Therefore, dear mother, (I must call you so)
Be the attorney of my love to her:
Plead what I will be, not what I have been;
Not my deserts, but what I will deserve:
Urge the necessity and state of times,
And be not peevish found in great designs.
Queen. Shall I be tempted of the devil thus?
K. Rich. Ay, if the devil tempt thee to do good.
Queen. Shall I forget myself, to be myself?
K. Rich. Ay, if yourself's remembrance wrong
Queen. I go.-Write to me very shortly, And you shall understand from me her mind. K. Rich. Bear her my true love's kiss, and so farewell, [Kissing her. Exit Queen. 5 Relenting fool, and shallow, changing woman! How now? what news?
Rideth a puissant navy; to the shore
Throng many doubtful hollow-hearted friends,
Unarm'd, and unresolv'd to beat them back:
"Tis thought, that Richmond is their admiral;
And there they hull, expecting but the aid
Of Buckingham, to welcome them ashore.
K. Rich. By time to come.
K. Rich. Some light-foot friend post to the
duke of Norfolk ;-
Queen. That thou hast wronged in the time
For I myself have many tears to wash
Hereafter time, for time past, wrong'd by thee. 20
The children live, whose parents thou hast
Ratcliff, thyself, or Catesby; where is he?
Cutes. Here, my good lord.
Ungovern'd youth, to wail it in their age.
The parents live, whose children thou hast but-
K. Rich. Catesby, fly to the duke.
Cates. I will, my lord, with all convenient haste.
K.Rich.Ratcliff,come hither: Post to Salisbury;
Whenthoucom'st thither,--Dull unmindfulvillain,
Why stay'st thou here, and go'st not to the duke?
Cates. First, mighty liege, tell me your highness!
What from your grace I shall deliver to him.
K. Rich. O, true, good Catesby;-Bid him
The greatest strength and power he can make,
And meet me suddenly at Salisbury,
Cates. I go,
Queen. But thou didst kill my children.
K. Rich. But in your daughter's womb I bury
Enter Ratcliff, and Catesby.
Rat. Most mighty sovereign, on the western
Enter Lord Stanley. K. Rich. My mind is chang'd.-Stanley, what news with you?
Stanl. None good, my liege, to please you
with the hearing;
45 Nor none so bad, but well may be reported.
K.Rich, Heyday, a riddle! neither good, nor bad!
What need'st thou run so many miles about,
When thou may'st tell thy tale the nearest way?
Once more, what news?
Stanl. Richmond is on the seas,
K, Rich. There lét him sink, and be the seas on him!
Where, in that nest of spicery', they shall breed
Selves of themselves, to your recomforture.
Queen. Shall I go win my daughter to thy will? 60
K, Rich, And be a happy mother by the deed.
[Exit. Rat. What, may it please you, shall I do at Salisbury? [before I go? K. Rich. Why, what wouldst thou do there, Rat. Your highness told me, I should post before,
White-liver'd runagate, what doth he there?
Stanl. I knownot,mightysovereign,but byguess,
K. Rich. Well, as you guess? [Morton,
Stanl. Stirr'd up by Dorset, Buckingham, and
He makes for England, here to claim the crown,
K. Rich. Is the chair empty? is the sword un-
Is the king dead? the empire unpossess'd?
What heir of York is there alive, but we?