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LIFE AND DEATH OF

KING RICHARD III.

King Edward the Fourth. Edward, prince of Wales, afterwards King Edward V.

Richard, duke of York, George, duke of Clarence, Richard, duke of Gloster, afterwards King Rich. III. A young Son of Clarence.

PERSONS REPRESENTED.

Sir William Catesby. Sir James Tyrrel.
Sir James Blount. Sir Walter Herbert.

Sons to the king. Sir Robert Brakenbury, lieutenant of the Tower.
Christopher Urswick, a priest. Another priest..
Lord Mayor of London. Sheriff of Wiltshire.

Brothers to the king.

Henry, earl of Richmond, afterwards king
Henry VII.

Cardinal Bouchier, archbishop of Canterbury.
Thomas Rotheram, archbishop of York.
John Morton, bishop of Ely.

Duke of Buckingham.

Duke of Norfolk; Earl of Surrey, his son.
Earl Rivers, brother to king Edward's queen:
Marquis of Dorset, and Lord Grey, her sons.
Earl of Oxford. Lord Hastings. Lord Stanley.
Lord Lovel.

Sir Thomas Vaughan. Sir Richard Ratcliff.

ACT I.

Elizabeth, queen of king Edward IV.
Margaret, widow of king Henry VI
Duchess of York, mother to king Edward IV.
Clarence, and Gloster.

Lady Anne, widow of Edward, prince of Wales, son to king Henry VI.; afterwards married to the Duke of Gloster.

A young Daughter of Clarence.

Lords and other attendants; two Gentlemen, a Pursuivant, Scrivener, Citizens, Murderers, Messengers, Ghosts, Soldiers, &c.

Scene, England.

And hate the idle pleasures of these days. Plots have I laid, inductions3 dangerous,

SCENE I.-London. A street. Enter Gloster. By drunken prophecies, libels, and dreams,

Gloster.

Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this sun of York;
And all the clouds, that lower'd upon our house,
In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.
Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths;
Our bruised arms hung up for monuments;
Our stern alarums chang'd to merry meetings,
Our dreadful marches to delightful measures.1
Grim-visag'd War hath smooth'd his wrinkled front;
And now, instead of mounted barbed2 steeds,
To fright the souls of fearful adversaries,-
He capers nimbly in a lady's chamber,
To the lascivious pleasing of a lute.
But I,-that am not shap'd for sportive tricks,
Nor made to court an amorous looking-glass;
I, that am rudely stamp'd, and want love's majesty,
To strut before a wanton ambling nymph;
I, that am curtail'd of this fair proportion,
Cheated of feature by dissembling nature,
Deform'd, unfinish'd, sent before my time
Into this breathing world, scarce half made up,
And that so lamely and unfashionable,
That dogs bark at me, as I halt by them;-
Why I, in this weak piping time of peace,
Have no delight to pass away the time;
Unless to spy my shadow in the sun,
And descant on mine own deformity;
And therefore, since I cannot prove a lover,
To entertain these fair well-spoken days,—
I am determined to prove a villain,

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To set my brother Clarence, and the king,
In deadly hate the one against the other:
And, if king Edward be as true and just,
As I am subtle, false, and treacherous,
This day should Clarence closely be mew'd up;
About a prophecy, which says-that G
Of Edward's heirs the murderer shall be.
Dive, thoughts, down to my soul! here Clarence

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His majesty, Tendering my person's safety, hath appointed This conduct to convey me to the Tower. Glo. Upon what cause?

Clar.

Because my name is-George. Glo. Alack, my lord, that fault is none of yours; He should, for that, commit your godfathers:O, belike, his majesty hath some intent, That you shall be new christen'd in the Tower. But what's the matter, Clarence? may I know? Clar. Yea, Richard, when I know; for I protest, As yet I do not: But, as I can learn, He hearkens after prophecies, and dreams; And from the cross-row plucks the letter G, And says-a wizard told him, that by G His issue disinherited should be; And, for my name of George begins with G, It follows in his thought, that I am he: These, as I learn, and such like toys as these, Have mov'd his highness to commit me now. (3) Preparations for mischief.

(4) Fancies.

Glo. Why, this it is, when men are rul'd by;

women:

'Tis not the king that sends you to the Tower;
My lady Grey, his wife, Clarence, 'tis she,
That tempers him to this extremity.
Was it not she, and that good man of worship,
Antony Woodeville, her brother there,
That made him send lord Hastings to the Tower;
From whence this present day he is deliver'd?
We are not safe, Clarence, we are not safe.

Clar. By heaven, I think, there is no man secure,
But the queen's kindred, and night-walking heralds
That trudge betwixt the king and mistress Shore.
Heard you not, what an humble suppliant
Lord Hastings was to her for his delivery?

Glo. Humbly complaining to her deity Got my lord chamberlain his liberty. I'll tell you what,-I think, it is our way, If we will keep in favour with the king, To be her men, and wear her livery: The jealous o'er-worn widow, and herself,1 Since that our brother dubb'd them gentlewomen, Are mighty gossips in this monarchy.

Brak. I beseech your graces both to pardon me; His majesty hath straitly given in charge, That no man shall have private conference, Of what degree soever, with his brother.

Glo. Even so? an please your worship, Brakenbury,

You may partake of any thing we say:
We speak no treason, man;-We say the king
Is wise and virtuous; and his noble
queen
Well struck in years; fair, and not jealous;
We say, that Shore's wife hath a pretty foot,
A cherry lip,

A bonny eye, a passing pleasing tongue;
And the queen's kindred are made gentlefolks:
How say you, sir? can you deny all this?
Brak. With this, my lord, myself have nought

to do.

Glo. Naught to do with mistress Shore? I tell thee, fellow,

He that doth naught with her, excepting one,
Were best to do it secretly, alone.
Brak. What one, my lord?

Glo. Her husband, knave :-Would'st
betray me?

thou

Brak. I beseech your grace to pardon me; and, withal,

Forbear your conference with the noble duke. Clar. We know thy charge, Brakenbury, and will obey.

Glo. We are the queen's abjects,2 and must obey. Brother, farewell : will unto the king; And whatsoever you will employ me in,Were it, to call king Edward's widow-sister,I will perform it to enfranchise you. Mean time, this deep disgrace in brotherhood, Touches me deeper than you can imagine.

Clar. know it pleaseth neither of us well. Glo. Well, your imprisonment shall not be long; I will deliver you, or else lie for you: Mean time, have patience. Clar. I must perforce; farewell. [Exeunt Clarence, Brakenbury, and Guard. Glo. Go, tread the path that thou shalt ne'er

return.

Simple, plain Clarence!—I do love thee so,
That I will shortly send thy soul to heaven,
If heaven will take the present at our hands.
But who comes here? the new-deliver'd Hastings?

(1) The queen and Shore.
(2) Lowest of subjects.

Enter Hastings.

Hast. Good time of day unto my gracious lord! Glo. As much unto my good lord chamberlain ! Well are you welcome to this open air. How hath your lordship brook'd imprisonment? Hast. With patience, noble lord, as prisoners

must:

But I shall live, my lord, to give them thanks,
That were the cause of my imprisonment.

Glo. No doubt, no doubt; and so shall Clarence
too;

For they, that were your enemies, are his,
And have prevail'd as much on him, as you.

Hast. More pity that the eagle should be mew'd,3 While kites and buzzards prey at liberty.

Glo. What news abroad?

Hast. No news so bad abroad, as this at home:The king is sickly, weak, and melancholy. And his physicians fear him mightily.

Glo. Now, by saint Paul, this news is bad indeed. O, he hath kept an evil diet long, And over-much consum'd his royal person; What, is he in his bed? 'Tis very grievous to be thought upon. He is.

Hast.

Glo. Go you before, and I will follow you. He cannot live, I hope; and must not die, [Exit Hastings. Till George be pack'd with posthorse up to heaven. I'll in to urge his hatred more to Clarence, With lies well steel'd with weighty arguments; And, if I fail not in my deep intent, Clarence hath not another day to live: Which done, God take king Edward to his mercy, And leave the world for me to bustle in! For then I'll marry Warwick's youngest daughter: What though I kill'd her husband, and her father? Is to become her husband, and her father: The readiest way to make the wench amends, The which will I; not all so much for love, As for another secret close intent, By marrying her, which I must reach unto. But yet I run before my horse to market: Clarence still breathes: Edward still lives, and reigns;

When they are gone, then must I count my gains. [Exit.

SCENE II.-The same.

Another street. En

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If honour may be shrouded in a hearse,-
Whilst I a while obsequiously4 lament
The untimely fall of virtuous Lancaster.--
Poor key-cold figure of a holy king!
Pale ashes of the house of Lancaster!

Thou bloodless remnant of that royal blood!
Be it lawful that I'invocate thy ghost,
To hear the lamentations of poor Anne,
Wife to thy Edward, to thy slaughter'd son,
Stabb'd by the self-same hand that made these
wounds!

Lo, in these windows, that let forth thy life,
I pour the helpless balm of my poor eyes
O, cursed be the hand that made these holes!
Cursed the heart, that had the heart to do it!
Cursed the blood, that let this blood from hence!
More direful hap betide that hated wretch,

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That makes us wretched by the death of thee,
That I can wish to adders, spiders, toads,
Or any creeping venom'd thing that lives!
If ever he have child, abortive be it,
Prodigious, and untimely brought to light,
Whose ugly and unnatural aspect

May fright the hopeful mother at the view;
And that be heir to his unhappiness!
If ever he have wife, let her be made
More miserable by the death of him,
Than I am made by my young lord, and thee!
Come, now, toward Chertsey with your holy load,
Taken from Paul's to be interred there;
And, still as you are weary of the weight,
Rest you, whiles I lament king Henry's corse.
[The Bearers takes up the corpse, and advance.

Enter Gloster.

Glo. Stay you, that bear the corse, and set it down.

Anne. What black magician conjures up this fiend,

To stop devoted charitable deeds?

For these known evils, but to give me leave,
By circumstance, to curse thy cursed self.
Glo. Fairer than tongue can name thee, let me have
Some patient leisure to excuse myself.

Anne. Fouler than heart can think thee, thou canst make

No excuse current, but to hang thyself.

Glo. By such despair, I should accuse myself. Anne. And, by despairing, shalt thou stand excus'd;

For doing worthy vengeance on thyself,
That didst unworthy slaughter upon others.
Glo. Say, that I slew thein not?

Anne.

Why then, they are not dead: But dead they are, and, devilish slave, by thee. Glo. I did not kill your husband.

Anne.
Why, then he is alive.
Glo. Nay, he is dead; and slain by Edward's

hand.

Anne, In thy soul's throat thou liest; queen
Margaret saw

Thy murderous faulchion smoking in his blood;
The which thou once didst bend against her breast,

Glo. Villains, set down the corse; or, by saint But that thy brothers beat aside the point.
Paul,

I'll make a corse of him that disobeys.

1 Gent. My lord, stand back, and let the coffin pass. Glo. Unmanner'd dog! stand thou when I command:

Advance thy halberd higher than my breast,
Or, by saint Paul, I'll strike thee to my foot,
And spurn upon thee, beggar, for thy boldness.
[The bearers set down the coffin.
Anne. What, do you tremble? are you all afraid?
Alas, I blame you not; for you are inortal,
And mortal eyes cannot endure the devil.→
Avaunt, thou dreadful minister of hell!
Thou hadst but power over his mortal body,
His soul thou canst not have; therefore be gone.
Glo. Sweet saint, for charity, be not so curst.
Anne. Foul devil, for God's sake, hence, and
trouble us not:

For thou hast made the happy earth thy hell,
Fill'd it with cursing cries, and deep exclaims.
If thou delight to view thy heinous deeds,
Behold this pattern of thy butcheries:-
O, gentlemen, see, see! dead Henry's wounds
Open their congeal'd mouths, and bleed afresh!-
Blush, blush, thou lump of foul deformity;
For 'tis thy presence that exhales this blood
From cold and empty veins, where no blood dwells;
Thy deed, inhuman and unnatural,

.

Provokes this deluge most unnatural.

O God, which this blood mad'st, revenge his death! O earth, which this blood drink'st, revenge his death! Either, heaven, with lightning strike the murderer dead,

Or, earth, gape open wide, and eat him quick; As thou dost swallow up this good king's blood, Which his hell-govern'd arm hath butchered!

Glo. Lady, you know no rules of charity, Which renders good for bad, blessings for curses. Anne. Villain, thou know'st no law of God nor man;

No beast so fierce, but knows some touch of pity.
Glo. But I know none, and therefore am no beast.
Anne. O wonderful, when devils tell the truth!
Glo. More wonderful, when angels are so angry.
Vouchsafe, divine perfection of a woman,
Of these supposed evils, to give me leave,
By circumstance, but to acquit myself.
Anne. Vouchsafe, diffus'd infection of a man,
(1) Example.

Glo, I was provoked by her sland'rous tongue, That laid their guilt upon my guiltless shoulders. Anne. Thou wast provoked by thy bloody mind, That never dreamt on aught but butcheries: Didst thou not kill this king? Glo. I grant ye.

Anne. Dost grant me, hedge-hog? then God grant me too,

Thou may'st be damned for that wicked deed!
O, he was gentle, mild, and virtuous.

Glo. The fitter for the King of heaven, that hath

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ture. Anne. Where is he? Glo.

Here: [She spits at him.] Why dost thou spit at me? Anne. 'Would it were mortal poison, for thy sake! Glo. Never came poison from so sweet a place. Anne. Never hung poison on a fouler toad. Out of my sight! thou dost infect mine eyes. Glo. Thine eyes, sweet lady, have infected mine. Anne. 'Would they were basilisks, to strike thee dead!

Glo. I would they were, that I might die at once; For now they kill me with a living death. Those eyes of thine from mine have drawn salt tears, Sham'd their aspects with store of childish drops: These eyes, which never shed remorsefull tear,Not, when my father York and Edward wept, To hear the piteous moan that Rutland made, When black-fac'd Clifford shook his sword at him: Nor when thy warlike father, like a child, Told the sad story of my father's death; And twenty times made pause, to sob, and weep, That all the standers-by had wet their cheeks, Like trees bedash'd with rain: in that sad time, My manly eyes did scorn an humble tear;

And what these sorrows could not thence exhale, Thy beauty hath, and made them blind with weeping.

I never sued to friend, nor enemy;

My tongue could never learn sweet soothing word;
But now thy beauty is propos'd my fee,
My proud heart sues, and prompts my tongue to
speak. [She looks scornfully at him.
Teach not thy lip such scorn; for it was made
For kissing, lady, not for such contempt.
If thy revengeful heart cannot forgive,
Lo! here I lend thee this sharp-pointed sword;
Which if thou please to hide in this true breast,
And let the soul forth that adoreth thee,
I lay it naked to the deadly stroke,
And humbly beg the death upon my knee.

[He lays his breast open; she offers at
with his sword.

it

Nay, do not pause: for I did kill king Henry;-
But 'twas thy beauty that provoked me.
Nay, now despatch; 'twas I that stabb'd young
Edward;-

[She again offers at his breast. But 'twas thy heavenly face that set me on. [She lets fall the sword. Take up the sword again, or take up me. Anne. Arise, dissembler: though I wish thy death, I will not be thy executioner.

Glo. Then bid me kill myself, and I will do it. Anne. I have already.

Glo.

That was in thy rage: Speak it again, and, even with the word, This hand, which, for thy love, did kill thy love, Shall, for thy love, kill a far truer love;

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To beth their deaths shalt thou be accessary.

Anne. I would, I knew thy heart.
Glo. 'Tis figur'd in my tongue.
Anne. I fear me, both are false.
Glo. Then man was never true.
Anne. Well, well, put up your sword
Glo. Say then, my peace is made.
Anne. That shall you know hereafter.
Glo. But shall I live in hope?
Anne. All men, I hope, live so.
Glo. Vouchsafe to wear this ring.
Anne: To take, is not to give.

She puts on the ring. Glo. Look, how this ring encompasseth thy finger, Even so thy breast encloseth my poor heart; Wear both of them, for both of them are thine. And if thy poor devoted servant may But beg one favour at thy gracious hand, Thou dost confirm his happiness for ever. Anne. What is it?

Glo. That it may please you leave these sad de

signs

To him that hath more cause to be a mourner,
And presently repair to Crosby-place :2
Where-after I have solemnly interr'd
At Chertsey monast'ry this noble king,
And wet his grave with my repentant tears,→→
I will with all expedient duty see you:
For divers unknown reasons, I beseech you,
Grant me this boon.

Anne. With all my heart! and much it joys me, too,

To see you are become so penitent.
Tressel, and Berkley, go along with me.
Glo. Bid me farewell.
Anne.

'Tis more than you deserve: But, since you teach me how to flatter you, Imagine I have said farewell already.

[Exeunt Lady Anne, Tressel, and Berkley. Glo. Take up the corse, sirs.

Gent. Towards Chertsey, noble lord? Glo. No, to White-Friars; there attend my coming. [Exeunt the rest, with the corse. Was ever woman in this humour woo'd? Was ever woman in this humour won? I'll have her, but I will not keep her long. What! I, that kill'd her husband, and his father, To take her in her heart's extremest hate; With curses in her mouth, tears in her eyes, The bleeding witness of her hatred by ; With God, her conscience, and these bars against me,

And I no friends to back my suit withal,

But the plain devil, and dissembling looks,
And yet to win her, all the world to nothing!
Ha!

Hath she forgot already that brave prince,
Edward, her lord, whom I, some three months since,
Stabb'd in my angry mood at Tewksbury?
A sweeter and a lovelier gentleman,—
Fram'd in the prodigality of nature,

Young, valiant, wise, and, no doubt, right royal,---
The spacious world cannot again afford:
And will she yet abase her eyes on me,
That cropp'd the golden prime of this sweet prince,,
And made her widow to a woful bed?

On me, whose all not equals Edward's moiety?
On me, that halt, and am misshapen thus?
My dukedom to a beggarly denier,3
I do mistake my person all this while:
Upon my life, she finds, although I cannot.
Myself to be a marvellous proper man.

(3) A small French coin.

I'll be at charges for a looking-glass;
And entertain a score or two of tailors,
To study fashions to adorn my body:
Since I am crept in favour with myself,
I will maintain it with some little cost.
But, first, I'll turn yon' fellow in his grave:
And then return lamenting to my love.-
Shine out, fair sun, till I have bought a glass,
That I may see my shadow as I pass.
SCENE III.—The same. A room in the palace.
Enter Queen Elizabeth, Lord Rivers, and Lord
Grey.

[Exit.

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Grey. No other harm, but loss of such a lord.
Q. Eliz. The loss of such a lord includes all

harms.

Grey. The heavens have bless'd you with

goodly son,

To be your comforter, when he is gone.

Q. Eliz. Ah, he is young; and his minority
Is put unto the trust of Richard Gloster,
A man that loves not me, nor none of you.

Riv. Is it concluded, he shall be protector?
Q. Eliz. It is determin'd, not concluded yet:
But so it must be, if the king miscarry.

Enter Buckingham and Stanley.

a

Grey. Here come the lords of Buckingham and
Stanley.

Buck. Good time of day unto your royal grace!
Stan. God make your majesty joyful as you
have been!

Q. Eliz. The countess Richmond, good my lord
of Stanley,

To your good prayer will scarcely say-amen.
Yet, Stanley, notwithstanding she's your wife,
And loves not me, be you, good lord, assur'd,
I hate not you for her proud arrogance.

Stan. I do beseech you, either not believe
The envious slanders of her false accusers;
Or, if she be accus'd on true report,

Bear with her weakness, which, I think, proceeds
From wayward sickness, and no grounded malice.
Q. Eliz. Saw you the king to-day, my lord of
Stanley?

Stan. But now, the duke of Buckingham, and I,
Are come from visiting his majesty.

Q. Eliz. What likelihood of his amendment, lords?

Buck. Madam, good hope; his grace speaks cheerfully.

Q. Eliz. God grant him health! Did you confer

with him?

Buck. Ay, madam: he desires to make atonement
Between the duke of Gloster and your brothers,
And between them and my lord chamberlain;
And sent to warn them to his royal presence.
Q. Eliz. 'Would all were well!-But that will
never be ;-

I fear, our happiness is at the height.

Enter Gloster, Hastings, and Dorset.

|

Who are they, that complain unto the king,
That I, forsooth, am stern, and love them not?
By holy Paul, they love his grace but lightly,
That fill his ears with such dissentious rumours.
Because I cannot flatter, and speak fair,
Smile in men's faces, smooth, deceive, and cog,
Duck with French nods and apish courtesy,
I must be held a rancorous enemy.
Cannot a plain man live, and think no harm,
But thus his simple truth must be abus'd
By silken, sly, insinuating Jacks?

Grey. To whom in all this presence speaks your
grace?

Glo. To thee, that hast nor honesty, nor grace.
When have I injur'd thee? when done thee wrong?-
Or thee?-or thee?-or any of your faction?
A plague upon you all! His royal grace,—
Whom God preserve better than you would wish!---
Cannot be quiet scarce a breathing-while,
But you must trouble him with lewd2 complaints.
QEliz. Brother of Gloster, you mistake the

matter:

The king, of his own royal disposition,
And not provok'd by any suitor else;
Aiming, belike, at your interior hatred,
That in your outward action shows itself,
Against my children, brothers, and myself,
Makes him to send; that thereby he may gather
The ground of your ill-will, and so remove it.

Glo. I cannot tell ;-The world is grown so bad,
That wrens may prey where eagles dare not perch
Since every Jacks became a gentleman,
There's many a gentle person made a Jack.

Q. Eliz. Čome, come, we know your meaning,
brother Gloster;

You envy my advancement, and my friends;
God grant, we never may have need of you!
Glo. Meantime, God grants that we have need
of you:

Our brother is imprison'd by your means,
Myself disgrac'd, and the nobility
Held in contempt; while great promotions
Are daily given, to ennoble those

That scarce, some two days since, were worth a
noble.4

Q. Eliz. By Him, that rais'd me to this careful
height

From that contented hap which I enjoy'd,
I never did incense his majesty
Against the duke of Clarence, but have been
An earnest advocate to plead for him.
My lord, you do me shameful injury,
Falsely to draw me in these vile suspects.

Glo. You may deny that you were not the cause
Of my lord Hastings' late imprisonment.
Riv. She may, my lord; for-

Glo. She may, lord Rivers?-why, who knows
not so?

She may do more, sir, than denying that:
She may help you to many fair preferments;
And then deny her aiding hand therein,
And lay those honours on your high desert.
What may she not? She may,-ay, marry, may
she,-

Riv. What, marry, may she?

Glo. What, marry, may she? marry with a king,
A bachelor, a handsome stripling too:

I wis5 your grandam had a worser match.
Q. Eliz. My lord of Gloster, I have too long borne
Your blunt upbraidings, and your bitter scoffs:

Glo. They do me wrong, and I will not endure it: By heaven, I will acquaint his majesty,

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Of those gross taunts I often have endur'd.

(4) A coin rated at 6s, 8d, (5) Think.

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