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We may imagine a room of state in the palace : Gloster, now Richard. The Third, is seated on his throne : Buckingham, Catesby, and many others are in presence : Richard speaks : (K. Richard.] Stand all apart.-Cousin of Buckingham,[Buckingham.] My gracious sovereign : [K. Richard.] Give me thy hand. Thus high, by thy ad

And thy assistance, is king Richard seated : (vice,
But say, my cousin,
What, shall we wear these glories for a day?
Or shall they last, and we rejoice in them?

[you ! [Buckingham.] I hope for ages, sir : long may they grace {K. Richard.] O Buckingham, now do I play the touch

To try if thou be current friend indeed. [stone,
Young Edward lives,--so doth his brother York;

Now, think what I would speak. [Buckingham.] Say on, my gracious lord. [K. Richard.] I tell thee, coz, I've lately had two spiders

Crawling upon my startled hopes :
Now, though thy friendly hand has brush'd them from
Yet still they crawl, offensive to my eyes : [me,
I would have some kind friend to tread upon them :

I would be king, my cousin.
[Buckingham ] Why so I think you are, my royal lord.

[lives. [K. Richard.] Ha! am I king? 'Tis so; but-Edward [Buckingham.] Most true, my lord. (K. Richard.] Cousin, thou wast not wont to be so dull.

Shall I be plain ?—I wish the bastards dead,
And I would have it suddenly perform'd.

What say'st thou now? [Buckingham.] None dare dispute your highness' pleasure.


[cousin : [K. Richard.] Indeed ! methinks thy kindness freezes,

Thou dost refuse me, then ?—they shall not die ? [Buckingham.] Give me some breath, some little pause, my Before I positively speak in this :

[lord, I will retire but to return again,

And instantly resolve your highness. The courtiers at a distance see and remark upon the frown gathering over the face of Richard ; and the angry gnawing of his lip when Buckingham has retired; but none of them approach him till he subsequently calls : meanwhile he soliloquizes :

[K. Richard.] I'll henceforth deal with shorter-sighted None are for me that look into


deeds [fools :
With thinking eyes,
High-reaching Buckingham grows circumspect :
The best of i't is, it may be done without him;
Though not so well, perhaps -had he consented,
Why then the murder had been his, not mine.-
We'll make a shift as ’tis.- Come hither, Catesby :
Where 's that same Tyrrel that thou told’st me of?
Hast given him those sums of gold I order'd ?


[Catesby.] I have, my liege.
[K. Richard.] Where is he?
[Catesby ] He waits your highness' pleasure.
[K. Richard.] Give him this ring; and say, myself

Will bring him further orders instantly. [a pause.]
The deep revolving duke of Buckingham
No more shall be the neighbour to my counsels :
Has he so long held out with me untir'd,
And stops he now for breath? Well, be it so.
How now, lord Stanley, what 's the news with you?
You a're late at court, sir.

[Stanley.] Pardon me, my liege.

The news I hear is, that the marquess Dorset

Is fled to Richmond, now in Bretany. [K. Richard.] Why, let him go ; he may be spar'd, my lord. .

Hark thee, Ratcliffe, when saw'st thou Anne, my queen?

Is she still weak ? Has my physician seen her ? [Ratcliffe.] He has, my lord, and fears her mightily.

[shortly. [K. Richard.] But he's exceeding skilful; she ?ll mend [Ratcliffe.] I hope she will, my lord. [K. Richard in an under tone, as aside.] And if she does, I

[have mistaken my man:
I must be married to my brother's daughter,
At whom I know the Breton Richmond aims,
And by that knot looks proudly to the crown.
But then, to stain me with the brother's blood,
Is that the way to gain the sister's love ?
No matter what's the way; for while they live,
My goodly kingdom 's on a weak foundation :

'Tis done; my daring heart's resolv'd ;-they're dead. Buckingham re-enters at this moment, and approaches Richard : [Buckingham.] My lord, I have consider'd in my mind The late request that you did sound me in

[mond. [K. Richard.] Well, let that rest: Dorset is fled to Rich[Buckingham.] I have heard the news, my lord.

[look to him. [K. Richard.] Stanley, he is your near kinsman: well, [Buckingham.] My lord, I claim that gift, my due by pro

For which your honour and your faith's engaged, [mise,
The earldom of Hereford, and the movables
Which you have promis'd that I shall possess.


[K. Richard.] Stanley, look to your wife : if she convey

Letters to Richmond, you shall answer it. [Buckingham.] What says your highness to my just request ? [K. Richard.] I do remember me, Harry the Sixth

Did prophesy that Richmond should be king,
When Richmond was a little peevish boy :

"Tis odd: a king ?-perhaps [Buckingham.] May 't please you to resolve me in my suit ? [K. Richard.] Catesby,

Lead Tyrrel to my closet; there I'll meet him. [Buckingham.] I beg your highness' ear, my lord,

[i' the vein. [K. Richard.] I'm busy'—thou troublest me, - I'm not

Richard suddenly quits the room; the groups of courtiers follow him : Buckingham exclaims : [Buckingham.] And is it thus ? does he repay my service

With such contempt? Oh, let me think of Hastings,
And save my head, while yet I may be

gone. We must imugine some little interval of time; and a change to a more private apartment in the palace. Sir James Tyrrel, while waiting to see the king, speaks as to himself: [Tyrrel.] The tyrannous and bloody act is done;

The darkest deed of piteous massacre
That ever yet this land was guilty of.
Dighton and Forest, whom I did suborn
To do this piece of ruthless butchery,
Albeit they were flesh'd villains,
Wept like two children when they told their story.

Oh, thus,” quoth Dighton, “lay the gentle babes”-
Thus, thus," quoth Forest, “ girdling one another
Within their alabaster, innocent arms.
Their lips were four red roses on a stalk,
Which, in their summer beauty, kiss'd each other :

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A book of prayers on their pillow lay,
Which once," quoth Forest, “ almost chang'd my mind;
But oh, the devil”- there the villain stopp'd;
When Dighton thus told on,—“We smother'd,
The sweetest, most replenish'd work of nature,
That, from the prime creation, ere she fram’d”—
Hence both are gone with conscience and remorse.
They could not speak; and so I left them both
To bear these tidings to the bloody king :

And see, he comes; -All health, my sovereign lord! [K. Richard.] Kind Tyrrel, am I happy in thy news ? (Tyrrel.] If to have done the thing you gave in charge

Beget your happiness, you are, my liege. [K. Richard.] But didst thou see them dead ? [Tyrrel.] I did, my lord. [K. Richard.] And buried, gentle Tyrrel ? [Tyrre!.] The chaplain of the Tower hath buried them. [K. Richard.] Come to me, Tyrrel, soon at after-supper,

Where thou shalt tell the manner of their death;
Meantime, but think how I may do thee good :
Farewell till then.

[a pause.]
Why, now my loudest fears are hush'd :
The sons of Edward have eternal rest:
Anne, ny late wife, is dead; and fair Elizabeth,

Like a new morn, lights onward to my wishes. During the remainder of the scene, various persons of the court, on matters of urgent moment, break in upon

his privacy. Good news or bad, that thou com'st in so bluntly?

[mond; [Ratcliffe.] Bad news, my lord ; Morton is fled to Rich

And Buckingham, back'd by the hardy Welshmen,
Is in the field, and still his power increases :
A powerful navy awes your western shores,

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