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Glou. Alas! why would you heap this care on me?
I am unfit for state and majesty:
I do beseech you, take it not amiss;
Buck. If you refuse it, as in love and zeal,
Exeunt BUCKINGHAM and Citizens. Cates. Call him again, sweet prince; accept their suit:
If you deny them, all the land will rue it.
Exit CATESBY. Albeit against my conscience and my soul.
Re-enter BUCKINGHAM and the rest. Cousin of Buckingham, and sage, grave men, Since you will buckle fortune on my back, To bear her burden, whe'r I will or no, I must have patience to endure the load: But if black scandal or foul-fac'd reproach Attend the sequel of your imposition, Your mere enforcement shall acquittance me From all the impure blots and stains thereof; For God doth know, and you may partly see, How far I am from the desire of this.
May. God bless your grace! we see it, and will say it.
Glou. In saying so you shall but say the truth. Buck. Then I salute you with this royal title: Long live King Richard, England's worthy king! All. Amen.
Buck. To-morrow may it please you to be crown'd?
Enter, on one side, Queen ELIZABETH, Duchess of YORK, and Marquess of DORSET; on the other, ANNE, Duchess of GLOUCESTER, leading Lady MARGARET PLANTAGENET, CLARENCE'S young daughter.
Duch. Who meets us here? my niece Plantagenet,
Led in the hand of her kind aunt of Gloucester !
Now, for my life, she's wand'ring to the Tower,
Anne. No further than the Tower; and, as I
And, in good time, here the lieutenant comes.
I may not suffer you to visit them :
I mean the lord protector. Q. Eliz. The Lord protect him from that kingly title!
Hath he set bounds between their love and me? I am their mother; who shall bar me from them? Duch. I am their father's mother; I will see them.
Dor. Be of good cheer: mother, how fares your grace?
Q. Eliz. O Dorset ! speak not to me, get thee gone;
Death and destruction dog thee at thy heels :
Take all the swift advantage of the hours;
Duch. O ill-dispersing wind of misery!
Stan. Come, madam, come; I in all haste was sent.
Which issu'd from my other angel husband,
Q. Eliz. Poor heart, adieu! I pity thy complaining.
Anne. No more than with my soul I mourn for yours.
Dor. Farewell! thou woeful welcomer of glory. Anne. Adieu! poor soul, that tak'st thy leave of it.
SCENE II.-The Same. A Room of State. Flourish of trumpets. RICHARD, in pomp, crowned; BUCKINGHAM, CATESBY, a Page, and Others. K. Rich. Standall apart. Cousin of Buckingham! Buck. My gracious sovereign!
K. Rich. Give me thy hand.
He ascends the throne. Thus high, by thy advice And thy assistance, is King Richard seated: But shall we wear these glories for a day, Or shall they last, and we rejoice in them? Buck. Still live they, and for ever let them last! K. Rich. Ah! Buckingham, now do I play the touch,
To try if thou be current gold indeed: Young Edward lives: think now what I would speak.
Buck. Say on, my loving lord.
K. Rich. Why, Buckingham, I say I would be king.
Buck. Why, so you are, my thrice-renowned lord.
Buck. True, noble prince.
O bitter consequence, That Edward still should live! "True, noble prince.'
Cousin, thou wert not wont to be so dull:
K. Rich. Know'st thou not any whom corrupting gold
Will tempt unto a close exploit of death?
Gold were as good as twenty orators,
His name, my lord, is Tyrrel.
How now, Lord Stanley! what's the news?
The Marquess Dorset, as I hear, is fled
To Richmond, in the parts where he abides. K. Rich. Come hither, Catesby: rumour it abroad
Buck. My lord, I have consider'd in my mind The late request that you did sound me in. K. Rich. Well, let that rest. Dorset is fled to Richmond.
Buck. I hear the news, my lord.
K. Rich. Stanley, he is your wife's son; well look unto it.
Buck. My lord, I claim the gift, my due by promise,
For which your honour and your faith is pawn'd; The earldom of Hereford and the moveables Which you have promised I shall possess.
Buck. My lord!
K. Rich. How chance the prophet could not at that time
Have told me, I being by, that I should kill him?
I should not live long after I saw Richmond.
K. Rich. Ay, what 's o'clock ?
Buck. I am thus bold to put your grace in mind Of what you promis'd me.
K. Rich. Well, but what's o'clock ?
Upon the stroke of ten. 110
K. Rich. Well, let it strike.
Why let it strike? K. Rich. Because that, like a Jack, thou keep'st the stroke
Between thy begging and my meditation.
I am not in the giving vein to-day.
in so bluntly?
Cates. Bad news, my lord: Morton is fled to Richmond; And Buckingham, back'd with the hardy Welsh
Is in the field, and still his power increaseth.
Than Buckingham and his rash-levied strength.
Cates. My lord!
K. Rich. Good or bad news, that thou com'st Give mine the benefit of seniory,
SCENE IV. The Same. Before the Palace.
Q. Mar. So, now prosperity begins to mellow
Enter Queen ELIZABETH and the Duchess of YORK.
Q. Eliz. Ah! my poor princes, ah! my tender babes,
My unblown flowers, new-appearing sweets,
If yet your gentle souls fly in the air
Q. Mar. Hover about her; say, that right for right
Hath dimm'd your infant morn to aged night.
Q. Eliz. Wilt thou, O God! fly from such gentle lambs,
And throw them in the entrails of the wolf? When didst thou sleep when such a deed was done?
Q. Mar. When holy Harry died, and my sweet
Duch. Dead life, blind sight, poor mortal living ghost,
Woe's scene, world's shame, grave's due by life usurp'd,
Brief abstract and record of tedious days,
And let my griefs frown on the upper hand. If sorrow can admit society,
I had a Rutland too, thou holp'st to kill him.
Sitting down with them. Tell o'er your woes again by viewing mine: I had an Edward, till a Richard kill'd him; I had a Harry, 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. Duch. I had a Richard too, and thou dids: kill him;
From forth the kennel of thy womb hath crept
Duch. O! Harry's wife, triumph not in my woes: God witness with me, I have wept for thine. »
Q. Mar. Bear with me; I am hungry for revenge, 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'd my Edward; And the beholders of this frantic play,
The adulterate Hastings, Rivers, Vaughan, Grey,
Q. Eliz. O! thou didst prophesy the time would
That I should wish for thee to help me curse 80
I call'd thee then poor shadow, painted queen;
To be the aim of every dangerous shot;
Where be the bending peers that flatter'd thee?
And teach me how to curse mine enemies.
Q. Mar. Forbear to sleep the night, and fast the day;
Compare dead happiness with living woe;
Q. Mar. Thy woes will make them sharp, and pierce like mine.
Exit. Duch. Why should calamity be full of words? Q. Eliz. Windy attorneys to their client woes, Airy succeeders of intestate joys, Poor breathing orators of miseries!
Let them have scope: though what they do impart Help nothing else, yet do they ease the heart.
Let not the heavens hear these tell-tale women
Either be patient, and entreat me fair,
K. Rich. Ay, I thank God, my father, and yourself.
Duch. Then patiently hear my impatience.
That cannot brook the accent of reproof.
Duch. 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? Duch. No, by the holy rood, thou know'st it well, Thou cam'st on earth to make the earth my hell. A grievous burden was thy birth to me; Tetchy and wayward was thy infancy; Thy school-days frightful, desperate, wild and furious;
Thy prime of manhood daring, bold and venturous;
K. Rich. Faith, none, but Humphrey Hour, that call'd your grace
To breakfast once forth of my company.