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KING RICHARD III.
1 Murd. No; he'll say, 'twas done cowardly, I
when he wakes.
2 Murd. When he wakes! why, fool, he shall never wake until the great judgment day. 1 Murd. Why, then he'll say, we stabb'd him sleeping.
2 Murd. The urging of that word, judgment, hath bred a kind of remorse in me.
1 Murd. What? art thou afraid?
2 Murd. Not to kill him, having a warrant for it; but to be damn'd for killing him, from the which no warrant can defend me.
2 Murd. Never, my lord; therefore prepare to die. Clar. Are you call'd forth from out a world of
1 Murd. I thought, thou had'st been resolute. [him so. 2 Murd. So I am, to let him live. 1 Murd. I'll back to the duke of Gloster, and tell 2 Murd. Nay, I pr'ythee, stay a little: I hope, this holy humour of mine will change; it was wont to hold me but while one would tell twenty.
1 Murd. How dost thou feel thyself now? 2 Murd. 'Faith, some certain dregs of conscience [done. are yet within me.
1 Murd. Remember our reward, when the deed's
1 Murd. So, when he opens his purse to give us our reward, thy conscience flies out.
2 Murd. "Tis no matter; let it go; there's few, or none, will entertain it.
To slay the innocent? What is my offence?
1 Murd. What we will do, we do upon command.
1 Murd. What, if it come to thee again?
2 Murd. I'll not meddle with it, it is a dangerous thing, it makes a man a coward; a man cannot steal, but it accuseth him; a man cannot swear, but it checks him; a man cannot lie with his neighbour's wife, but it detects him: 'Tis a blushing shame-faced spirit, that mutinies in a man's bosom; it fills one full of obstacles: it made me once restore a purse of gold, that by chance I found; it beggars any man that keeps it: it is turned out of all towns and cities for a dangerous thing; and every man, that means to live well, endeavours to trust to himself, and live without it.
1 Murd. 'Zounds, it is even now at my elbow, persuading me not to kill the duke.
2 Murd. Take the devil in thy mind, and believe him not: he would insinuate with thee, but to make [with me. thee sigh. 1 Murd. I am strong-fram'd, he cannot prevail 2 Murd. Spoke like a tall fellow, that respects his reputation. Come, shall we fall to work?
1 Murd. Take him over the costard with the hilts of thy sword, and then throw him into the malmseybutt, in the next room.
2 Murd. O excellent device! and make a sop of 1 Murd. Soft! he wakes.
For false forswearing, and for murder too:
1 Murd. And, like a traitor to the name of God,
Clar. Alas! for whose sake did I that ill deed?
2 Murd. Strike.
1 Murd. No, we'll reason with him.
Clar. Where art thou, keeper? give me a cap of
1 Murd. Who made thee then a bloody minister, When gallant-springing, brave Plantagenet, That princely novice, was struck dead by thee? Clar. My brother's love, the devil, and my rage. Murd. Thy brother's love, our duty, and thy Provoke us hither now to slaughter thee. [fault, Clar. If you do love my brother, hate not me; am his brother, and I love him well. If you are hir'd for meed, go back again, And I will send you to my brother Gloster; Who shall reward you better for my life, Than Edward will for tidings of my death.
2 Murd. You are deceiv'd, your brother Gloster hates you. Clar. O, no; he loves me, and he holds me dear: Ay, so we will. [York Both Murd. Go you to him from me. Clar. Tell him, when that our princely father Bless'd his three sons with his victorious arm, And charg'd us from his soul to love each other, He little thought of this divided friendship: Bid Gloster think on this, and he will weep.
1 Murd. Ay, mill-stones; as he lesson'd us to
1 Murd. A man, as you are.
1 Murd. My voice is now the king's, my looks Clar. How darkly, and how deadly dost thou speak! Your eyes do menace me: Why look you pale? Who sent you hither? Wherefore do you come? Both Murd. To, to, to,
Clar. To murder me?
Clar. You scarcely have the hearts to tell me so,
1 Murd. Offended us you have not, but the king. Clar. I shall be reconcil'd to him again.
Clar. O, do not slander him, for he is kind.. 1 Murd. Right, as snow in harvest.-Come, you deceive yourself;
"Tis he that sends us to destroy you here.
Clar. It cannot be; for he bewept my fortune, And hugg'd me in his arms, and swore, with sobs, That he would labour my delivery.
1 Mur. Why, so he doth, when he delivers you From this earth's thraldom to the joys of heaven. 2 Murd. Make peace with God, for you must die, my lord.
Clar. Hast thou that holy feeling in thy soul, To counsel me to make my peace with God, And art thon yet to thy own soul so blind, That thou wilt war with God, by murdering me?Ah, sirs, consider, he, that set you on To do this deed, will hate you for the deed. 2 Mur. What shall we do?
My friend, I spy some pity in thy looks;
Come thou on my side, and entreat for me,
1 Murd. Take that, and that; if all this will not do, (Stabs him.) I'll drown you in the malmsey-butt within. [Exit, with the body.
2 Murd. A bloody deed, and desperately despatch'd!
How fain, like Pilate, would I wash my hands Of this most grievous guilty murder done!
Re-enter first Murderer.
1 Murd. How now? what mean'st thou, that thou help'st me not?
By heaven, the duke shall know how slack you have [brother!
2 Murd. I would he knew, that I had sav'd his Take thou the fee, and tell him what I say; For I repent me that the duke is slain. [Exit. 1 Murd. So do not I; go, coward, as thou art.Well, I'll go hide the body in some hole, Till that the duke give order for his burial: And when I have my meed, I will away; For this will out, and then I must not stay. [Exit.
SCENE I.-The same. A Room in the Palace. Enter King EDWARD, (led in sick,) Queen ELIZABETH, DORSET, RIVERS, HASTINGS, BUCKINGHAM, GREY, and others.
K. Edw. Why, so:-now have I done a good day's work;
You peers, continue this united league:
Riv. By heaven, my soul is purg'd from grudging hate;
And with my hand I seal my true heart's love.
Dor. This interchange of love, I here protest,
With thy embracements to my wife's allies,
Buck. Whenever Buckingham doth turn his hate Upon your grace, (to the Queen) but with all da. teous love
Lest he, that is the supreme King of kings,
Hast. So prosper I, as I swear perfect love!
Doth cherish you and yours, God punish me
Glo. Good-morrow to my sovereign king, and
And, princely peers, a happy time of day!
If I unwittingly, or in my rage,
I bate it, and desire all good men's love.
Q. Eliz. A holy-day shall this be kept hereafter:I would to God, all strifes were well compounded.My sovereign lord, I do beseech your highness To take our brother Clarence to your grace.
Glo. Why, madam, have I offer'd love for this, To be so flouted in this royal presence? Who knows not, that the gentle duke is dead? (They all start.)
You do him injury, to scorn his corse. K. Edw. Who knows not, he is dead! who knows he is?
Q. Eliz. All-seeing heaven, what a world is this! Buck. Look I so pale, lord Dorset, as the rest? Dor. Ay, my good lord; and no man in the
But his red colour hath forsook his cheeks.
K. Edw. Is Clarence dead? the order was revers'd. Glo. But he, poor man, by your first order died, And that a winged Mercury did bear; Some tardy cripple bore the countermand, That came too lag to see him buried:God grant, that some, less noble, and less loyal, Nearer in bloody thoughts, and not in blood, Deserve not worse than wretched Clarence did, And yet go current from suspicion!
Stan. I will not rise, unless your highness hear me. K. Edw. Then say at once, what is it thou request'st.
Stan. The forfeit, sovereign, of my servant's life;
K. Edw. Have I a tongue to doom my brother's And shall that tongue give pardon to a slave? My brother kill'd no man, his fault was thought, And yet his punishment was bitter death. Who sued to me for him? who, in my wrath, Kneel'd at my feet, and bade me be advis'd? Who spoke of brotherhood? who spoke of love? Who told me, how the poor soul did forsake The mighty Warwick, and did fight for me? Who told me, in the field at Tewksbury, When Oxford had me down, he rescu'd me, And said, Dear brother, live, and be a king? Who told me, when we both lay in the field, Frozen almost to death, how he did lap me Even in his garments; and did give himself, All thin and naked, to the numb-cold night? All this from my remembrance brutish wrath Sinfully pluck'd, and not a man of you Had so much grace to put it in my mind. But, when your carters, or your waiting-vassals, Have done a drunken slaughter, and defac'd The precious image of our dear Redeemer, You straight are on your knees for pardon, pardon; And I, unjustly too, must grant it you :But for my brother, not a man would speak,Nor I (ungracious) speak unto myself For him, poor soul. The proudest of you all Have been beholden to him in his life; Yet none of you would once plead for his life.O God! I fear, thy justice will take hold On me, and you, and mine, and yours, for this.Come, Hastings, help me to my closet. O, Poor Clarence!
Devis'd impeachments to imprison him :
And with a virtuous visor hide deep vice!
Son. I cannot think it. Hark! what noise is this?
Enter Queen ELIZABETH, distractedly; RIVERS,
Q. Eliz. Ah! who shall hinder me to wail and
To chide my fortune, and torment myself?
Duch. What means this scene of rude impatience?
To his new kingdom of perpetual rest.
Duch. Ah, so much interest have I in thy sorrow,
But now, two mirrors of his princely semblance
Son. Ah, aunt! you wept not for our father's death;
Daugh. Our fatherless distress was left unmoan'd, Your widow-dolour likewise be unwept!
[Exeunt King, Queen, Hastings, Rivers, Dorset, and Grey. Glo. This is the fruit of rashness!-Mark'd you [not, How that the guilty kindred of the queen Look'd pale, when they did hear of Clarence' death? O, they did urge it still unto the king: God will revenge it. Come, lords; will you go, To comfort Edward with our company?
Buck. We wait upon your grace.
SCENE II.-The same. Enter the Duchess of YORK, with a Son and Daughter of CLARENCE.
Son. Why do you look on us, and shake your
Q. Eliz. Give me no help in lamentation,
Q. Eliz. What stay had I, but Edward? and he's
Dor. Comfort, dear mother; God is much dis
In common worldly things, 'tis call'd-ungratefu
Duch. My pretty cousins, you mistake me both;
Son. Then, grandam, you conclude that he is dead.
Duch. Peace, children, peace! the king doth love
Told me, the king, provok'd to't by the queen,
Which with a bounteous hand was kindly lent;
Riv. Madam, bethink you, like a careful mother, Of the young prince your son: send straight for him, Let him be crown'd; in him your comfort lives: Drown desperate sorrow in dead Edward's grave, And plant your joys in living Edward's throne. Enter GLOSTER, BUCKINGHAM, STANLEY, HASTINGS, RATCLIFF, and others.
Glo. Sister, have comfort: all of us have cause To wail the dimming of our shining star; But none can cure their harms by wailing them.Madam, my mother, I do cry you mercy, I did not see your grace:-Humbly on my knee I crave your blessing.
[breast, Duch. God bless thee; and put meekness in thy Love, charity, obedience, and true duty!
Glo. Amen; 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. (Aside.) Buck. You cloudy princes, and heart sorrowing
That bear this mutual heavy load of moan,
Riv. Why with some little train, my lord of Buckingham?
Buck. Marry, my lord, lest, by a multitude, The new-heal'd wound of malice should break out; Which would be so much the more dangerous, By how much the estate is green, and yet ungovern'd:
Where every horse bears his commanding rein,
Glo. I hope, the king made peace with all of us; And the compact is firm, and true, in me.
Riv. And so in me; and so, I think, in all: Yet, since it is but green, it should be put To no apparent likelihood of breach, Which, haply, by much company might be urg'd: Therefore I say, with noble Buckingham, That it is meet so few should fetch the prince. Hast. And so say I.
Glo. Then be it so; and go we to determine Who they shall be that straight shall post to Ludlow. Madam, and you my mother, will you go To give your censures in this weighty business? [Exeunt all but Buckingham and Gloster. Buck. My lord, whoever journeys to the prince, For God's sake, let not us two stay at home: For, by the way, I'll sort occasion, As index to the story we late talk'd of, To part the queen's proud kindred from the prince. Glo. My other self, my counsel's consistory, My oracle, my prophet!-My dear cousin, I, as a child, will go by thy direction. Towards Ludlow then, for we'll not stay behind. [Exeunt.
SCENE III.-The same. A Street.
1 Cit. Good morrow, neighbour: Whither away
2 Cit. I promise you, I scarcely know myself: Hear you the news abroad?
Yes; the king's dead. 2 Cit. Ill news, by'rlady; seldom comes the betI fear, I fear, 'twill prove a giddy world. [ter:
Enter another Citizen. 3 Cit. Neighbours, God speed! 1 Cit.
Give you good morrow, sir. 3 Cit. Doth the news hold of good king Ed
2 Cit. Ay, sir, it is too true; God help, the while! 3 Cit. Then, masters, look to see a troublous world. [reign. 1 Cit. No, no; by God's good grace, his son shall 3 Cit. Woe to that land, that's govern'd by a child! 2 Cit. In him there is a hope of government; That, in his nonage, council under him, And, in his full and ripen'd years, himself, No doubt, shall then, and till then, govern well.
1 Cit. So stood the state, when Henry the Sixth Was crown'd in Paris but at nine months old.
3 Cit. Stood the state so? no, no, good friends, God wot;
For then this land was famously enrich'd
1 Cit. Why, so hath this, both by his father and
3 Cit. Betterit were, they all came by his father; Or, by his father, there were none at all: For emulation now, who shall be nearest, Will touch us all too near, if God prevent not. O, full of danger is the duke of Gloster; And the queen's sons, and brothers, haught and proud:
And were they to be rul'd, and not to rule,
1 Cit. Come, come, we fear the worst; all will be well. [their cloaks; 3 Cit. When clouds are seen, wise men put on When great leaves fall, then winter is at hand; Untimely storms make men expect a dearth: When the sun sets, who doth not look for night? All may be well; but, if God sort it so, 'Tis more than we deserve, or I expect.
2 Cit. Truly, the hearts of men are full of fear: You cannot reason almost with a man That looks not heavily, and full of dread.
3 Cit. Before the days of change, still is it so: Ensuing danger; as, by proof, we see By a divine instinct, men's minds mistrust The water swell before a boist'rous storm. But leave it all to God. Whither away?
2 Cit. Marry, we were sent for to the justices. 3 Cit. And so was I; I'll bear you company.
SCENE IV. The same. A Room in the Palace. Enter the Archbishop of YORK, the young Duke of YORK, Queen ELIZABETH, and the Duchess of
Arch. Last night, I heard, they lay at Stony-
And at Northampton they do rest to-night:
Duch. I long with all my heart to see the prince; I hope, he is much grown since last I saw him.
Q. Eliz. But I hear, no; they say, my son of York Hath almost overta'en him in his growth.
York. Ay, mother, but I would not bave it so. Duch. Why, my young cousin? it is good to grow. York. Grandam, one night, as we did sit at supper, My uncle Rivers talk'd how I did grow More than my brother; Ay, quoth my uncle Gloster, Small herbs have grace, great weeds do grow apace: And since, methinks, I would not grow so fast, Because sweet flowers are slow, and weeds make haste. [not hold Duch. 'Good faith, 'good faith, the saying did In him that did object the same to thee: He was the wretched'st thing, when he was young, So long a growing, and so leisurely, That, if his rule were true, he should be gracious.
Gloster and Buckingham.
The mighty dukes,
For what offence?
Mess. The sum of all I can, I have disclos'd; Why, or for what, the nobles were committed, Is all unknown to me, my gracious lady.
Q. Eliz. Ah me, I see the ruin of my house!
Upon the innocent and awless throne :-
Duch. Accursed and unquiet wrangling days!
Q. Eliz. Come, come, my boy, we will to sancMadam, farewell. [tuary.Duch. Stay, I will go with you. Q. Eliz. You have no cause. Arch.
My gracious lady, go, (To the Queen.) And thither bear your treasure and your goods. For my part, I'll resign unto your grace The seal I keep; And so betide to me, As well I tender you, and all of yours! Come, I'll conduct you to the sanctuary. [Exeunt.
Prince. No, uncle; but our crosses on the way Have made it tedious, wearisome, and heavy: I want more uncles here to welcome me.
Glo. Sweet prince, the untainted virtue of your years
Hath not yet div'd into the world's deceit :
Glo. My lord, the mayor of London comes to greet you.
SCENE 1.-The same. A Street.
The trumpets sound. Enter the Prince of WALES, GLOSTER, BUCKINGHAM, Cardinal BourCHIER, and others.
Buck. Welcome, sweet prince, to London, to your chamber. [reign: Glo. Welcome, dear cousin, my thoughts' soveThe weary way hath made you melancholy.
Enter the Lord Mayor, and his Train.
May. God bless your grace with health and happy days! Prince. I thank you, good my lord;-and thank you all. [Exeunt Mayor, &c. I thought my mother, and my brother York, Would long ere this have met us on the way: Fy, what a slug is Hastings! that he comes not To tell us, whether they will come, or no. Enter HASTINGS.
Buck. And in good time, here comes the sweating lord. [ther come? Prince. Welcome, my lord: What, will our moHast. On what occasion, God he knows, not I, The queen your mother, and your brother York, Have taken sanctuary: The tender prince Would fain have come with me to meet your grace, But by his mother was perforce withheld.
Buck. Fy! what an indirect and peevish course Is this of hers?-Lord cardinal, will your grace Persuade the queen to send the duke of York Unto his princely brother presently? If she deny,-lord Hastings, go with him, And from her jealous arms pluck him perforce. Card. My lord of Buckingham, if my weak oratory Can from his mother win the duke of York, Anon expect him here: But if she be obdurate To mild entreaties, God in heaven forbid We should infringe the holy privilege Of blessed sanctuary! not for all this land, Would I be guilty of so deep a sin.
Buck. You are too senseless-obstinate, my lord,
To those whose dealings have deserv'd the place,
Card. My lord, you shall o'er-rule my mind for
Come on, lord Hastings, will you go with me?
Prince. Good lords, make all the speedy haste you
Glo. Where it seems best unto your royal self. If I may counsel you, some day, or two, Your highness shall repose you at the Tower: Then where you please, and shall be thought most fit For your best health and recreation.
Prince. I do not like the Tower, of any place :Did Julius Cæsar build that place, my lord? Glo. He did, my gracious lord, begin that place; Which, since, succeeding ages have re-edified.