« PreviousContinue »
And, if I die, no soul will pity me:-
Nay, wherefore should they? since that I myself
Find in myself no pity to myself.
Methought the souls of all that I had murdered
Came to my tent; and every one did threat
To-morrow's vengeance on the head of Richard.
Rat. My lord,
K. Rich. Who's there?
, my lord; 'tis I. The early village cock Hath twice done salutation to the morn. Your friends are up, and buckle on their armor.
K. Rich. O, Ratcliff, I have dreamed a fearful dream! What thinkest thou? will our friends prove all true ?
Rat. No doubt, my lord.
Ratcliff, I fear, I fear, Rat. Nay, good my lord, be not afraid of shadows.
K. Rich. By the apostle Paul, shadows to-night
Have struck more terror to the soul of Richard,
Than can the substance of ten thousand soldiers,
Armed in proof, and led by shallow Richmond.
It is not yet near day. Come, go with me;
Under our tents I'll play the eaves-dropper,
To hear if any mean to shrink from me.
[Exeunt KING RICHARD and RATCLIFF. RICHMOND wakes. Enter OXFORD and others. Lords. Good-morrow, Richmond.
Richm. 'Cry mercy, lords, and watchful gentlemen, That you have ta'en a tardy sluggard here.
Lords. How have you slept, my lord ?
Richm. The sweetest sleep, and fairest-boding dreams,
That ever entered in a drowsy head,
Have I since your departure had, my lords.
Methought their souls, whose bodies Richard murdered,
Came to my tent, and cried — On! victory!
I promise you, my heart is very jocund
In the remembrance of so fair a dream.
How far into the morning is it, lords?
Lords. Upon the stroke of four.
Richm. Why, then 'tis time to arm, and give direction.-
[He advances to the troops.
More than I have said, loving countrymen,
The leisure and enforcement of the time
Forbids to dwell on. Yet, remember this,-
God, and our good cause, fight upon our side:
The prayers of holy saints, and wronged souls,
Like high-reared bulwarks, stand before our faces;
Richard except, those, whom we fight against,
Had rather have us win, than him they follow.
For what is he they follow? Truly, gentlemen,
A bloody tyrant, and a homicide;
One raised in blood, and one in blood established;
One that made means to come by what he hath,
And slaughtered those that were the means to help him;
A base, foul stone, made precious by the foil
Of England's chair, where he is falsely set;
One that hath ever been God's enemy:
Then, if you fight against God's enemy,
God will, in justice, ward you as his soldiers;
If you do sweat to put a tyrant down,
You sleep in peace, the tyrant being slain;
If you do fight against your country's foes,
Your country's fat shall pay your pains the hire;
If you do fight in safeguard of your wives,
Your wives shall welcome home the conquerors ;
If you do free your children from the sword,
Your children's children quit it in your age.
Then, in the name of God, and all these rights,
Advance your standards, draw your willing swords;
For me, the ransom of my bold attempt
Shall be this cold corpse on the earth's cold face;
But if I thrive, the gain of my attempt
The least of you shall share his part thereof.
Sound, drums and trumpets, boldly and cheerfully;
God, and saint George ! Richmond, and victory! [Exeunt.
Re-enter KING RICHARD, RATCLIFF, Attendants, and Forces.
K. Rich. What said Northumberland, as touching Rich-
Rat. That he was never trained up in arms.
K. Rich. IIe said the truth. And what said Surrey then?
Rat. He smiled, and said, the better for our purpose.
K. Rich. He was i’ the right; and so, indeed, it is.
[Clock strikes. Tell the clock there.— Give me a Calendar. Who saw the sun to-day? Rat.
Not I, my lord. K. Rich. Then he disdains to shine; for, by the book, He should have braved the east an hour ago:
A black day will it be to somebody.—
Rat. My lord ?
K. Rich. The sun will not be seen to-day;
The sky doth frown and lower upon our army.
I would these dewy tears were from the ground.
Not shine to-day! Why, what is that to me,
More than to Richmond? for the self-same heaven,
That frowns on me, looks sadly upon him.
Nor. Arm, arm, my lord; the foe vaunts in the field.
K. Rich. Come, bustle, bustle ; — caparison my horse; Call up lord Stanley ; bid him bring his power :I will lead forth my soldiers to the plain, And thus my battle shall be ordered. My forward shall be drawn out all in length, Consisting equally of horse and foot; Our archers shall be placed in the midst : John duke of Norfolk, Thomas earl of Surrey, Shall have the leading of this foot and horse. They thus directed, we ourself will follow In the main battle; whose puissance on either side Shall be well winged with our chiefest horse. This, and saint George to boot !—What think'st thou,
Norfolk ? Nor. A good direction, warlike sovereign.This found I on my tent this morning. [Giving a scroll.
K. Rich. Jocky of Norfolk, be not too bold, [Reads. For Dickon thy master is bought and sold. A thing devised by the enemy. Go, gentlemen, every man unto his charge: Let not our babbling dreams affright our souls; Conscience is but a word that cowards use, Devised at first to keep the strong in awe; Our strong arms be our conscience, swords our law. March on, join bravely, let us to't pell-mell; If not to heaven, then hand in hand to hell.What shall I say more than I have inferred ? Remember whom you are to cope withal; A sort of vagabonds, rascals, and runaways, A scum of Bretagnes, and base lackey peasants, Whom their o'er-cloyed country vomits forth To desperate ventures and assured destruction. You sleeping safe, they bring you to unrest; You having lands, and blessed with beauteous wives,
They would restrain the one, distain the other.
And who doth lead them, but a paltry fellow,
Long kept in Bretagne at our mother's cost ?
A milk-sop, one that never in his life
Felt so much cold as over shoes in snow?
Let's whip these stragglers o'er the seas again ;
Lash hence these over-weening rags of France,
These famished beggars, weary of their lives;
Who, but for dreaming on this fond exploit,
For want of means, poor rats, had hanged themselves :
If we be conquered, let men conquer us,
And not these bastard Bretagnes; whom our fathers
Have in their own land beaten, bobbed, and thumped,
And, on record, left them the heirs of shame.
Shall these enjoy our lands? lie with our wives?
Ravish our daughters ?-Hark, I hear their drum.
[Drum afar off.
Fight, gentlemen of England, fight, bold yeomen!
Draw, archers, draw your arrows to the head!
Spur your proud horses hard, and ride in blood;
Amaze the welkin with your broken staves !
Enter a Messenger.
What says lord Stanley? will he bring his power?
Mess. My lord, he doth deny to come.
K. Rich. Off instantly with his son George's head.
Nor. My lord, the enemy is passed the marsh;
After the battle let George Stanley die.
K. Rich. A thousand hearts are great within
bosom. Advance our standards, set upon our foes; Our ancient word of courage, fair Saint George, Inspire us with the spleen of fiery dragons! Upon them! Victory sits on our helms. [Exeunt.
SCENE IV. Another Part of the Field.
Alarum. Excursions. Enter NORFOLK, and Forces ; to
Cate. Rescue, my lord of Norfolk, rescue, rescue!
The king enacts more wonders than a man,
Daring an opposite to every danger;
His horse is slain, and all on foot he fights,
Seeking for Richmond in the throat of death :
Rescue, fair lord, or else the day is lost !
Alarum. Enter KING RICHARD. K. Rich. A horse! a horse ! my kingdom for a horse ! Cate. Withdraw, my lord, I'll help you to a horse.
K. Rich. Slave, I have set my life upon a cast,
And I will stand the hazard of the die;
I think there be six Richmonds in the field;
Five have I slain to-day, instead of him :-
A horse! a horse ! my kingdom for a horse! [Exeunt.
Alarums. Enter KING RICHARD and RICHMOND; and
exeunt fighting. Retreat and flourish. Then enter
RICHMOND, STANLEY, bearing the crown, with divers other
Lords, and Forces.
Richm. God, and your arms, be praised, victorious
friends; The day is ours; the bloody dog is dead. Stan. Courageous Richmond, well hast thou acquit
Lo, here, this long-usurped royalty,
From the dead temples of this bloody wretch
Have I plucked off, to grace thy brows withal:
Wear it, enjoy it, and make much of it.
Richm. Great God of heaven, say, Amen, to all !-But, tell me first, is young George Stanley living ?
Stan. He is, my lord, and safe in Leicester town; Whither, if it please you, we may now withdraw us.
Richm. What men of name are slain on either side ?
Stan. John duke of Norfolk, Walter lord Ferrers,
Sir Robert Brakenbury, and Sir William Brandon.
Richm. Inter their bodies as becomes their births.
Proclaim a pardon to the soldiers fled,
That in submission will return to us;
And then, as we have ta’en the sacrement,
We will unite the white rose with the red.-
Smile heaven upon this fair conjunction,
That long hath frowned upon their enmity!
What traitor hears me, and says not,— Amen?
England hath long been mad, and scarred herself;
The brother blindly shed the brother's blood,
The father rashly slaughtered his own son,
The son, compelled, been butcher to the sire;
All this divided York and Lancaster,
Divided, in their dire division. -