Page images


EDWARD, Prince of Wales, afterwards
King Edward v.

Sons to the King.
RICHARD, Duke of York.
GEORGE, Duke of Clarence.
RICHARD, Duke of Gloster, afterwards < Brothers to the King.

King Richard III. A young Son of Clarence. 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. SIR WILLIAM CATESBY. SIR JAMES TYRREL. SIR JAMES BLOUNT. SIR WALTER HERBERT. SIR ROBERT BRAKENBURY, Lieutenant of The Tower. CHRISTOPHER URSWICK, a Priest. Another Priest. Lord Mayor of London. Sheriff of Wiltshire.

ELIZABETH, Queen of King Edward IV.
MARGARET, Widow of King Henry VI.
Duchess of York, Mother to King Edward IV., Clarence, and

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, Scriv

ener, Citizens, Murderers, Messengers, Ghosts, Soldiers, &c.

SCENE. England.



SCENE I. London. A Street.

Enter GLOSTER. Gloster. Now is the winter of our discontent Made glorious summer by this sun of York; And all the clouds, that lowered 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 changed to merry meetings, Our dreadful marches to delightful measures. Grim-visaged war hath smoothed his wrinkled front; And now,- instead of mounting barbed 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 shaped for sportive tricks, Nor made to court an amorous looking-glass; I, that am rudely stamped, and want love's majesty, To strut before a wanton, ambling nymph; I, that am curtailed of this fair proportion, Cheated of feature by dissembling nature, Deformed, unfinished, 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,
And hate the idle pleasures of these days.
Plots have I laid, inductions dangerous,
By drunken prophecies, libels, and dreams,
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 mewed up,
About a prophecy, which says — that G
Of Edward's heirs the murderer shall be.
Dive, thoughts, down to my soul! here Clarence comes.

Enter CLARENCE, guarded, and BRAKENBURY.
Brother, good day. What means this armed guard,
That waits upon your grace?

His majesty,
Tendering my person's safety, hath appointed
This conduct to convey me to the Tower.

Glo. Upon what cause?

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 christened 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 bim, 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 moved his highness to commit me now.

Glo. Why, this it is, when men are ruled 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 delivered ?
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 favor with the king,
To be her men, and wear her livery.
The jealous, o'er-worn widow, and herself,
Since that our brother dubbed them gentlewomen,
Are mighty gossips in this monarchy.

Brak. I beseech your graces both to pardon me;
His majesty hath strictly 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 that 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 thou betray me?

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, and must obey.
Brother, farewell. I will unto the king;
And whatsoe'er 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. I 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.

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-delivered 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 brooked 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 prevailed as much on him, as you.

Hast. More pity that the eagle should be mewed, 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 consumed his royal person;
'Tis very grievous to be thought upon.
What, is he in his bed ?

He is.
Glo. Go you before, and I will follow you.

He cannot live, I hope; and must not die
Till George be packed with post-horse up to heaven.
I'll in, to urge his hatred more to Clarence,
With lies well steeled 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 killed her husband and her father ?
The readiest way to make the wench amends,

« PreviousContinue »