Page images
PDF
EPUB

K. Rich. Send out a pursuivant at arms
To Stanley's regiment: bid him bring his power
Before sunrising, lest his son George fall
Into the blind cave of eternal night.
Fill me a bowl of wine. Give me a watch! [To CATESBY.
Saddle white Surrey for the field to-morrow.-
Look that my staves be sound, and not too heavy.
Ratcliff !
RAT. My loi ?
K. Rich. Saw'st thou the melancholy lord Northumber-

land ?
Rat. Thomas the earl of Surrey, and himself,
Much about cock-shut time, from troop to troop,
Went through the army cheering up the soldiers.

K. Rich. So, I am satisfied. Give me a bowl of wine:
I have not that alacrity of spirit,
Nor cheer of mind, that I was wont to have.
Set it down.—Is ink and paper ready?

Rat. It is, my lord.
K. RICH.

Bid my guard watch; leave me.
Ratcliff, about the mid of night come to my tent,
And help to arm me.—Leave me, I say.
[K. RICHARD retires into his tent. Esceunt RATCLIFF

and CATESBY. RICHMOND's tent opens, and discovers him and his Officers,

&c. Enter STANLEY.
STAN. Fortune and victory sit on thy helm!

RICHM. All comfort that the dark night can afford
Be to thy person, noble father-in-law!
Tell me how fares our poble mother?

Stan. I, by attorney, bless thee from thy mother,
Who prays continually for Richmond's good:
So much for that. The silent hours steal on,
And filaky darkness breaks within the east.
In brief, for so the season bids us be,
Prepare thy battle early in the morning;
And put thy fortune to the arbitrement
Of bloody strokes, and mortal-staring war.
I, as I may, (that which I would I cannot,)
With best advantage will deceive the time,

And aid thee in this doubtful shock of arms:
But on thy side I may not be too forward,
Lest, being seen, thy brother, tender George,
Be executed in his father's sight.
Farewell: The leisure and the fearful time
Cuts off the ceremonious vows of love,
And ample interchange of sweet discourse,
Which so long sunder'd friends should dwell upon;
God give us leisure for these rites of love!
Once more, adieu :—be valiant, and speed well!

RICHM. Good lords, conduct him to his regiment;
I'll strive, with troubled thoughts, to take a nap;
Lest leaden slumber peise me down to-morrow,
When I should mount with wings of victory:
Once more, good night, kind lords and gentlemen.

[Exeunt Lords, &c., with STANLEY.
O Thou! whose captain I account myself,
Look on my forces with a gracious eye;
Put in their hands thy bruising irons of wrath,
That they may crush down with a heavy fall
The usurping helmets of our adversaries !
Make us thy ministers of chastisement,
That we may praise thee in thy victory!
To thee I do commend my watchful soul,
Ere I let fall the windows of mine eyes;
Sleeping, and waking, O, defend me still !

[Sleeps.

The Ghost of PRINCE EDWARD, son to HENRY THE SIXTH,

rises between the two tents.

Ghost. Let me sit heavy on thy soul to-morrow!

[To KING RICHARD Think, how thou stabb’dst me in my prime of youth At Tewksbury: Despair therefore, and die!

Be cheerful, Richmond; for the wronged souls
Of butcher'd princes fight in thy behalf :
King Henry's issue, Richmond, comforts thee,

The Ghost of KING HENRY THE Sixth rises. Ghost. When I was mortal, my anointed body

[To KING RICHARD

By thee was punched full of deadly holes:
Think on the Tower and me: Despair, and die;
Harry the sixth bids thee despair, and die

Virtuous and holy, be thou conqueror ! [To RICHMOND.
Harry, that prophesied thou shouldst be king,
Doth comfort thee in thy sleep: Live, and flourish!

The Ghost of CLARENCE rises.
Ghost. Let me sit heavy on thy soul to-morrow!

[To KING RICHARD.
I, that was wash'd to death with fulsome wine,
Poor Clarence, by thy guile betray'd to death!
To-morrow in the battle think on me,
And fall thy edgeless sword: Despair, and die !-

Thou offspring of the house of Lancaster, [To RICHMOND. The wronged heirs of York do pray for thee; Good angels guard thy battle! Live, and flourish!

The Ghosts of RIVERS, GREY, and VAUGHAN rise.

Riv. Let me sit heavy on thy soul to-morrow,

[To KING RICHARD. Rivers, that died at Pomfret! Despair, and die! Grey. Think upon Grey, and let thy soul despair!

[To KING RICHARD. VAUGHAN. Think upon Vaughan; and, with guilty fear, Let fall thy lance! Despair, and die! [To KING RICHARD. ALL. Awake! and think, our wrongs in Richard's bosom

[TO RICHMOND. Will conquer him ;-awake, and win the day!

The Ghost of HASTINGS rises. Ghost. Bloody and guilty, guiltily awake,

[TO KING RICHARD. And in a bloody battle end thy days! Think on lord Hastings; and despair, and die!

Quiet, untroubled soul, awakė, awake! [To RICHMOND. Arma, fight, and conquer, for fair England's sake!

The Ghosts of the two young Princes rise.
Ghosts. Dream on thy cousins smother'd in the Tower.
Let us be laid within thy bosom, Richard,
And weigh thee down to ruin, shame, and death!
Thy nephews' souls bid thee despair, and die !-

Sleep, Richmond, sleep in peace, and wake in joy;
Good angels guard thee from the boar's annoy!
Live, and beget a happy race of kings!
Edward's unhappy sons do bid thee flourish.

The Ghost of QUEEN ANNE rises.
GHOST. Richard, thy wife, that wretched Anne thy wife,
That never slept a quiet hour with thee,
Now fills thy sleep with perturbations:
To-morrow in the battle think on me,
And fall thy edgeless sword: Despair, and die!—

Thou, quiet soul, sleep thou a quiet sleep; [To RICHMOND.
Dream of success and happy victory;
Thy adversary's wife doth pray for thee.

The Ghost of BUCKINGHAM rises.
Ghost. The first was I that help'd thee to the crown;

[To KING RICHARD The last was I that felt thy tyranny: 0, in the battle think on Buckingham, And die in terror of thy guiltiness! Dream on, dream on, of bloody deeds and death! Fainting, despair; despairing, yield thy breath! I died for hope, ere I could lend thee aid:

[TO RICHMOND. But cheer thy heart, and be thou not dismay'd: God and good angels fight on Richmond's side; And Richard fall in height of all his pride.

[The Ghosts vanish. KING RICHARD starts out of

his dream. K. RICH. Give me another horse,-bind up my wounds,Have mercy, Jesu !—Soft; I did but dream. O coward conscience, how dost thou afflict me! The lights burn blue.—It is now dead midnight.

Cold fearful drops stand on my trembling flesh.
What, do I fear myself? there 's none else by:
Richard loves Richard; that is, I am I.
Is there a murtherer here? No ;-Yes; I am:
Then fly. What, from myself ? Great reason: Why?
Lest I revenge. What? Myself upon myseif ?
Alack, I love myself. Wherefore ? for any good
That I myself have done unto myself ?
O, no: alas, I rather hate myself,
For hateful deeds committed by myself.
I am a villain: Yet I lie, I am not.
Fool, of thyself speak well:-Fool, do not flatter.
My conscience hath a thousand several tongues,
And every tongue brings in a several tale,
And every tale condemns me for a villain.
Perjury, perjury, in the high'st degree,
Murther, stern murther, in the dir'st degree;
All several sins, all us'd in each degree,
Throng to the bar, crying all,—Guilty! guilty!
I shall despair.—There is no creature loves me;
And if I die, no soul shall 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 murther'd
Came to my tent: and every one did threat
To-morrow's vengeance on the head of Richard.

Enter RATCLIFF.
Rat. My lord!
K. Rich. Who's there?

Rat. Ratcliff, my lord; 't is I. The early village cock
Hath twice done salutation to the morn;
Your friends are up, and buckle on their armour.

K. RICH. O, Ratcliff, I have dream'd a fearful dream! What thinkest thou, will our friends prove all true?

Rat. No doubt, my lord.
K. RICH,

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,

« PreviousContinue »