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Speeches (Lines) for Richard III (Duke of Gloucester)
in "Henry VI, Part III"

Total: 108

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Speech text



Marquess of Montague. And, brother, here's the Earl of Wiltshire's blood,
Whom I encounter'd as the battles join'd.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Speak thou for me and tell them what I did.



Duke of Norfolk. Such hope have all the line of John of Gaunt!

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Thus do I hope to shake King Henry's head.



Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). The queen this day here holds her parliament,
But little thinks we shall be of her council:
By words or blows here let us win our right.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Arm'd as we are, let's stay within this house.



Henry VI. The lord protector lost it, and not I:
When I was crown'd I was but nine months old.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). You are old enough now, and yet, methinks, you lose.
Father, tear the crown from the usurper's head.



Marquess of Montague. Good brother, as thou lovest and honourest arms,
Let's fight it out and not stand cavilling thus.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Sound drums and trumpets, and the king will fly.



(stage directions). [Enter RICHARD, EDWARD, and MONTAGUE]

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Brother, though I be youngest, give me leave.



Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). About what?

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). About that which concerns your grace and us;
The crown of England, father, which is yours.



Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). Mine boy? not till King Henry be dead.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Your right depends not on his life or death.



King Edward IV (Plantagenet). But for a kingdom any oath may be broken:
I would break a thousand oaths to reign one year.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). No; God forbid your grace should be forsworn.



Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). I shall be, if I claim by open war.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). I'll prove the contrary, if you'll hear me speak.



Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). Thou canst not, son; it is impossible.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). An oath is of no moment, being not took
Before a true and lawful magistrate,
That hath authority over him that swears:
Henry had none, but did usurp the place;
Then, seeing 'twas he that made you to depose,
Your oath, my lord, is vain and frivolous.
Therefore, to arms! And, father, do but think
How sweet a thing it is to wear a crown;
Within whose circuit is Elysium
And all that poets feign of bliss and joy.
Why do we finger thus? I cannot rest
Until the white rose that I wear be dyed
Even in the lukewarm blood of Henry's heart.



Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). What, with five thousand men?

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Ay, with five hundred, father, for a need:
A woman's general; what should we fear?



King Edward IV (Plantagenet). I wonder how our princely father 'scaped,
Or whether he be 'scaped away or no
From Clifford's and Northumberland's pursuit:
Had he been ta'en, we should have heard the news;
Had he been slain, we should have heard the news;
Or had he 'scaped, methinks we should have heard
The happy tidings of his good escape.
How fares my brother? why is he so sad?

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). I cannot joy, until I be resolved
Where our right valiant father is become.
I saw him in the battle range about;
And watch'd him how he singled Clifford forth.
Methought he bore him in the thickest troop
As doth a lion in a herd of neat;
Or as a bear, encompass'd round with dogs,
Who having pinch'd a few and made them cry,
The rest stand all aloof, and bark at him.
So fared our father with his enemies;
So fled his enemies my warlike father:
Methinks, 'tis prize enough to be his son.
See how the morning opes her golden gates,
And takes her farewell of the glorious sun!
How well resembles it the prime of youth,
Trimm'd like a younker prancing to his love!



King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Dazzle mine eyes, or do I see three suns?

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Three glorious suns, each one a perfect sun;
Not separated with the racking clouds,
But sever'd in a pale clear-shining sky.
See, see! they join, embrace, and seem to kiss,
As if they vow'd some league inviolable:
Now are they but one lamp, one light, one sun.
In this the heaven figures some event.



King Edward IV (Plantagenet). 'Tis wondrous strange, the like yet never heard of.
I think it cites us, brother, to the field,
That we, the sons of brave Plantagenet,
Each one already blazing by our meeds,
Should notwithstanding join our lights together
And over-shine the earth as this the world.
Whate'er it bodes, henceforward will I bear
Upon my target three fair-shining suns.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Nay, bear three daughters: by your leave I speak it,
You love the breeder better than the male.
[Enter a Messenger]
But what art thou, whose heavy looks foretell
Some dreadful story hanging on thy tongue?



King Edward IV (Plantagenet). O, speak no more, for I have heard too much.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Say how he died, for I will hear it all.



King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Sweet Duke of York, our prop to lean upon,
Now thou art gone, we have no staff, no stay.
O Clifford, boisterous Clifford! thou hast slain
The flower of Europe for his chivalry;
And treacherously hast thou vanquish'd him,
For hand to hand he would have vanquish'd thee.
Now my soul's palace is become a prison:
Ah, would she break from hence, that this my body
Might in the ground be closed up in rest!
For never henceforth shall I joy again,
Never, O never shall I see more joy!

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). I cannot weep; for all my body's moisture
Scarce serves to quench my furnace-burning heart:
Nor can my tongue unload my heart's great burthen;
For selfsame wind that I should speak withal
Is kindling coals that fires all my breast,
And burns me up with flames that tears would quench.
To weep is to make less the depth of grief:
Tears then for babes; blows and revenge for me
Richard, I bear thy name; I'll venge thy death,
Or die renowned by attempting it.



King Edward IV (Plantagenet). His name that valiant duke hath left with thee;
His dukedom and his chair with me is left.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Nay, if thou be that princely eagle's bird,
Show thy descent by gazing 'gainst the sun:
For chair and dukedom, throne and kingdom say;
Either that is thine, or else thou wert not his.



Earl of Warwick. How now, fair lords! What fare? what news abroad?

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Great Lord of Warwick, if we should recount
Our baleful news, and at each word's deliverance
Stab poniards in our flesh till all were told,
The words would add more anguish than the wounds.
O valiant lord, the Duke of York is slain!



Earl of Warwick. Some six miles off the duke is with the soldiers;
And for your brother, he was lately sent
From your kind aunt, Duchess of Burgundy,
With aid of soldiers to this needful war.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). 'Twas odds, belike, when valiant Warwick fled:
Oft have I heard his praises in pursuit,
But ne'er till now his scandal of retire.



Earl of Warwick. Nor now my scandal, Richard, dost thou hear;
For thou shalt know this strong right hand of mine
Can pluck the diadem from faint Henry's head,
And wring the awful sceptre from his fist,
Were he as famous and as bold in war
As he is famed for mildness, peace, and prayer.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). I know it well, Lord Warwick; blame me not:
'Tis love I bear thy glories makes me speak.
But in this troublous time what's to be done?
Shall we go throw away our coats of steel,
And wrap our bodies in black mourning gowns,
Numbering our Ave-Maries with our beads?
Or shall we on the helmets of our foes
Tell our devotion with revengeful arms?
If for the last, say ay, and to it, lords.



Earl of Warwick. Why, therefore Warwick came to seek you out;
And therefore comes my brother Montague.
Attend me, lords. The proud insulting queen,
With Clifford and the haught Northumberland,
And of their feather many more proud birds,
Have wrought the easy-melting king like wax.
He swore consent to your succession,
His oath enrolled in the parliament;
And now to London all the crew are gone,
To frustrate both his oath and what beside
May make against the house of Lancaster.
Their power, I think, is thirty thousand strong:
Now, if the help of Norfolk and myself,
With all the friends that thou, brave Earl of March,
Amongst the loving Welshmen canst procure,
Will but amount to five and twenty thousand,
Why, Via! to London will we march amain,
And once again bestride our foaming steeds,
And once again cry 'Charge upon our foes!'
But never once again turn back and fly.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Ay, now methinks I hear great Warwick speak:
Ne'er may he live to see a sunshine day,
That cries 'Retire,' if Warwick bid him stay.



Earl of Warwick. No longer Earl of March, but Duke of York:
The next degree is England's royal throne;
For King of England shalt thou be proclaim'd
In every borough as we pass along;
And he that throws not up his cap for joy
Shall for the fault make forfeit of his head.
King Edward, valiant Richard, Montague,
Stay we no longer, dreaming of renown,
But sound the trumpets, and about our task.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Then, Clifford, were thy heart as hard as steel,
As thou hast shown it flinty by thy deeds,
I come to pierce it, or to give thee mine.



Lord Clifford. And reason too:
Who should succeed the father but the son?

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Are you there, butcher? O, I cannot speak!



Lord Clifford. Ay, crook-back, here I stand to answer thee,
Or any he the proudest of thy sort.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). 'Twas you that kill'd young Rutland, was it not?



Lord Clifford. Ay, and old York, and yet not satisfied.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). For God's sake, lords, give signal to the fight.



Earl of Northumberland. No, nor your manhood that durst make you stay.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Northumberland, I hold thee reverently.
Break off the parley; for scarce I can refrain
The execution of my big-swoln heart
Upon that Clifford, that cruel child-killer.



Lord Clifford. I slew thy father, call'st thou him a child?

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Ay, like a dastard and a treacherous coward,
As thou didst kill our tender brother Rutland;
But ere sunset I'll make thee curse the deed.



Lord Clifford. My liege, the wound that bred this meeting here
Cannot be cured by words; therefore be still.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Then, executioner, unsheathe thy sword:
By him that made us all, I am resolved
that Clifford's manhood lies upon his tongue.



Prince Edward. If that be right which Warwick says is right,
There is no wrong, but every thing is right.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Whoever got thee, there thy mother stands;
For, well I wot, thou hast thy mother's tongue.



Queen Margaret. But thou art neither like thy sire nor dam;
But like a foul mis-shapen stigmatic,
Mark'd by the destinies to be avoided,
As venom toads, or lizards' dreadful stings.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Iron of Naples hid with English gilt,
Whose father bears the title of a king,—
As if a channel should be call'd the sea,—
Shamest thou not, knowing whence thou art extraught,
To let thy tongue detect thy base-born heart?



(stage directions). [Enter RICHARD]

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Ah, Warwick, why hast thou withdrawn thyself?
Thy brother's blood the thirsty earth hath drunk,
Broach'd with the steely point of Clifford's lance;
And in the very pangs of death he cried,
Like to a dismal clangour heard from far,
'Warwick, revenge! brother, revenge my death!'
So, underneath the belly of their steeds,
That stain'd their fetlocks in his smoking blood,
The noble gentleman gave up the ghost.



King Edward IV (Plantagenet). O Warwick, I do bend my knee with thine;
And in this vow do chain my soul to thine!
And, ere my knee rise from the earth's cold face,
I throw my hands, mine eyes, my heart to thee,
Thou setter up and plucker down of kings,
Beseeching thee, if with they will it stands
That to my foes this body must be prey,
Yet that thy brazen gates of heaven may ope,
And give sweet passage to my sinful soul!
Now, lords, take leave until we meet again,
Where'er it be, in heaven or in earth.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Brother, give me thy hand; and, gentle Warwick,
Let me embrace thee in my weary arms:
I, that did never weep, now melt with woe
That winter should cut off our spring-time so.



(stage directions). [Excursions. Enter RICHARD and CLIFFORD]

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Now, Clifford, I have singled thee alone:
Suppose this arm is for the Duke of York,
And this for Rutland; both bound to revenge,
Wert thou environ'd with a brazen wall.



(stage directions). [They fight. WARWICK comes; CLIFFORD flies]

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Nay Warwick, single out some other chase;
For I myself will hunt this wolf to death.



(stage directions). [CLIFFORD groans, and dies]EDWARD. Whose soul is that which takes her heavy leave?

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). A deadly groan, like life and death's departing.



King Edward IV (Plantagenet). See who it is: and, now the battle's ended,
If friend or foe, let him be gently used.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Revoke that doom of mercy, for 'tis Clifford;
Who not contented that he lopp'd the branch
In hewing Rutland when his leaves put forth,
But set his murdering knife unto the root
From whence that tender spray did sweetly spring,
I mean our princely father, Duke of York.



Earl of Warwick. I think his understanding is bereft.
Speak, Clifford, dost thou know who speaks to thee?
Dark cloudy death o'ershades his beams of life,
And he nor sees nor hears us what we say.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). O, would he did! and so perhaps he doth:
'Tis but his policy to counterfeit,
Because he would avoid such bitter taunts
Which in the time of death he gave our father.



George Plantagenet (Duke of Clarence). If so thou think'st, vex him with eager words.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Clifford, ask mercy and obtain no grace.



George Plantagenet (Duke of Clarence). While we devise fell tortures for thy faults.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Thou didst love York, and I am son to York.



Earl of Warwick. They mock thee, Clifford: swear as thou wast wont.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). What, not an oath? nay, then the world goes hard
When Clifford cannot spare his friends an oath.
I know by that he's dead; and, by my soul,
If this right hand would buy two hour's life,
That I in all despite might rail at him,
This hand should chop it off, and with the
issuing blood
Stifle the villain whose unstanched thirst
York and young Rutland could not satisfy.



King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Even as thou wilt, sweet Warwick, let it be;
For in thy shoulder do I build my seat,
And never will I undertake the thing
Wherein thy counsel and consent is wanting.
Richard, I will create thee Duke of Gloucester,
And George, of Clarence: Warwick, as ourself,
Shall do and undo as him pleaseth best.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Let me be Duke of Clarence, George of Gloucester;
For Gloucester's dukedom is too ominous.



King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Brother of Gloucester, at Saint Alban's field
This lady's husband, Sir Richard Grey, was slain,
His lands then seized on by the conqueror:
Her suit is now to repossess those lands;
Which we in justice cannot well deny,
Because in quarrel of the house of York
The worthy gentleman did lose his life.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Your highness shall do well to grant her suit;
It were dishonour to deny it her.



King Edward IV (Plantagenet). It were no less; but yet I'll make a pause.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). [Aside to CLARENCE] Yea, is it so?
I see the lady hath a thing to grant,
Before the king will grant her humble suit.



George Plantagenet (Duke of Clarence). [Aside to GLOUCESTER] He knows the game: how true
he keeps the wind!

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). [Aside to CLARENCE] Silence!



Queen Elizabeth. Right gracious lord, I cannot brook delay:
May it please your highness to resolve me now;
And what your pleasure is, shall satisfy me.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). [Aside to CLARENCE] Ay, widow? then I'll warrant
you all your lands,
An if what pleases him shall pleasure you.
Fight closer, or, good faith, you'll catch a blow.



George Plantagenet (Duke of Clarence). [Aside to GLOUCESTER] I fear her not, unless she
chance to fall.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). [Aside to CLARENCE] God forbid that! for he'll
take vantages.



George Plantagenet (Duke of Clarence). [Aside to GLOUCESTER] I think he means to beg a
child of her.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). [Aside to CLARENCE] Nay, whip me then: he'll rather
give her two.



Queen Elizabeth. Three, my most gracious lord.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). [Aside to CLARENCE] You shall have four, if you'll
be ruled by him.



King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Lords, give us leave: I'll try this widow's wit.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). [Aside to CLARENCE] Ay, good leave have you; for
you will have leave,
Till youth take leave and leave you to the crutch.



Queen Elizabeth. Why, then I will do what your grace commands.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). [Aside to CLARENCE] He plies her hard; and much rain
wears the marble.



Queen Elizabeth. I take my leave with many thousand thanks.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). [Aside to CLARENCE] The match is made; she seals it
with a curtsy.



Queen Elizabeth. Then, no, my lord. My suit is at an end.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). [Aside to CLARENCE] The widow likes him not, she
knits her brows.



King Edward IV (Plantagenet). No more than when my daughters call thee mother.
Thou art a widow, and thou hast some children;
And, by God's mother, I, being but a bachelor,
Have other some: why, 'tis a happy thing
To be the father unto many sons.
Answer no more, for thou shalt be my queen.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). [Aside to CLARENCE] The ghostly father now hath done
his shrift.



King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Brothers, you muse what chat we two have had.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). The widow likes it not, for she looks very sad.



King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Why, Clarence, to myself.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). That would be ten days' wonder at the least.



George Plantagenet (Duke of Clarence). That's a day longer than a wonder lasts.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). By so much is the wonder in extremes.



(stage directions). [Exeunt all but GLOUCESTER]

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Ay, Edward will use women honourably.
Would he were wasted, marrow, bones and all,
That from his loins no hopeful branch may spring,
To cross me from the golden time I look for!
And yet, between my soul's desire and me—
The lustful Edward's title buried—
Is Clarence, Henry, and his son young Edward,
And all the unlook'd for issue of their bodies,
To take their rooms, ere I can place myself:
A cold premeditation for my purpose!
Why, then, I do but dream on sovereignty;
Like one that stands upon a promontory,
And spies a far-off shore where he would tread,
Wishing his foot were equal with his eye,
And chides the sea that sunders him from thence,
Saying, he'll lade it dry to have his way:
So do I wish the crown, being so far off;
And so I chide the means that keeps me from it;
And so I say, I'll cut the causes off,
Flattering me with impossibilities.
My eye's too quick, my heart o'erweens too much,
Unless my hand and strength could equal them.
Well, say there is no kingdom then for Richard;
What other pleasure can the world afford?
I'll make my heaven in a lady's lap,
And deck my body in gay ornaments,
And witch sweet ladies with my words and looks.
O miserable thought! and more unlikely
Than to accomplish twenty golden crowns!
Why, love forswore me in my mother's womb:
And, for I should not deal in her soft laws,
She did corrupt frail nature with some bribe,
To shrink mine arm up like a wither'd shrub;
To make an envious mountain on my back,
Where sits deformity to mock my body;
To shape my legs of an unequal size;
To disproportion me in every part,
Like to a chaos, or an unlick'd bear-whelp
That carries no impression like the dam.
And am I then a man to be beloved?
O monstrous fault, to harbour such a thought!
Then, since this earth affords no joy to me,
But to command, to cheque, to o'erbear such
As are of better person than myself,
I'll make my heaven to dream upon the crown,
And, whiles I live, to account this world but hell,
Until my mis-shaped trunk that bears this head
Be round impaled with a glorious crown.
And yet I know not how to get the crown,
For many lives stand between me and home:
And I,—like one lost in a thorny wood,
That rends the thorns and is rent with the thorns,
Seeking a way and straying from the way;
Not knowing how to find the open air,
But toiling desperately to find it out,—
Torment myself to catch the English crown:
And from that torment I will free myself,
Or hew my way out with a bloody axe.
Why, I can smile, and murder whiles I smile,
And cry 'Content' to that which grieves my heart,
And wet my cheeks with artificial tears,
And frame my face to all occasions.
I'll drown more sailors than the mermaid shall;
I'll slay more gazers than the basilisk;
I'll play the orator as well as Nestor,
Deceive more slily than Ulysses could,
And, like a Sinon, take another Troy.
I can add colours to the chameleon,
Change shapes with Proteus for advantages,
And set the murderous Machiavel to school.
Can I do this, and cannot get a crown?
Tut, were it farther off, I'll pluck it down.



(stage directions). [Enter GLOUCESTER, CLARENCE, SOMERSET, and MONTAGUE]

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Now tell me, brother Clarence, what think you
Of this new marriage with the Lady Grey?
Hath not our brother made a worthy choice?



Duke/Earl of Somerset. My lords, forbear this talk; here comes the king.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). And his well-chosen bride.



King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Suppose they take offence without a cause,
They are but Lewis and Warwick: I am Edward,
Your king and Warwick's, and must have my will.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). And shall have your will, because our king:
Yet hasty marriage seldom proveth well.



King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Yea, brother Richard, are you offended too?

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Not I:
No, God forbid that I should wish them sever'd
Whom God hath join'd together; ay, and 'twere pity
To sunder them that yoke so well together.



George Plantagenet (Duke of Clarence). Then this is mine opinion: that King Lewis
Becomes your enemy, for mocking him
About the marriage of the Lady Bona.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). And Warwick, doing what you gave in charge,
Is now dishonoured by this new marriage.



King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Ay, what of that? it was my will and grant;
And for this once my will shall stand for law.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). And yet methinks your grace hath not done well,
To give the heir and daughter of Lord Scales
Unto the brother of your loving bride;
She better would have fitted me or Clarence:
But in your bride you bury brotherhood.



King Edward IV (Plantagenet). My love, forbear to fawn upon their frowns:
What danger or what sorrow can befall thee,
So long as Edward is thy constant friend,
And their true sovereign, whom they must obey?
Nay, whom they shall obey, and love thee too,
Unless they seek for hatred at my hands;
Which if they do, yet will I keep thee safe,
And they shall feel the vengeance of my wrath.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). [Aside] I hear, yet say not much, but think the more.



(stage directions). [Exit CLARENCE, and SOMERSET follows]

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). [Aside] Not I:
My thoughts aim at a further matter; I
Stay not for the love of Edward, but the crown.



King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Now, brother Richard, will you stand by us?

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Ay, in despite of all that shall withstand you.



(stage directions). [Enter GLOUCESTER, HASTINGS, and STANLEY]

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Now, my Lord Hastings and Sir William Stanley,
Leave off to wonder why I drew you hither,
Into this chiefest thicket of the park.
Thus stands the case: you know our king, my brother,
Is prisoner to the bishop here, at whose hands
He hath good usage and great liberty,
And, often but attended with weak guard,
Comes hunting this way to disport himself.
I have advertised him by secret means
That if about this hour he make his way
Under the colour of his usual game,
He shall here find his friends with horse and men
To set him free from his captivity.



King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Nay, this way, man: see where the huntsmen stand.
Now, brother of Gloucester, Lord Hastings, and the rest,
Stand you thus close, to steal the bishop's deer?

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Brother, the time and case requireth haste:
Your horse stands ready at the park-corner.



Lord Hastings. To Lynn, my lord,
And ship from thence to Flanders.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Well guess'd, believe me; for that was my meaning.



King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Stanley, I will requite thy forwardness.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). But wherefore stay we? 'tis no time to talk.



Huntsman. Better do so than tarry and be hang'd.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Come then, away; let's ha' no more ado.



King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Now, brother Richard, Lord Hastings, and the rest,
Yet thus far fortune maketh us amends,
And says that once more I shall interchange
My waned state for Henry's regal crown.
Well have we pass'd and now repass'd the seas
And brought desired help from Burgundy:
What then remains, we being thus arrived
From Ravenspurgh haven before the gates of York,
But that we enter, as into our dukedom?

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). The gates made fast! Brother, I like not this;
For many men that stumble at the threshold
Are well foretold that danger lurks within.



King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Why, and I challenge nothing but my dukedom,
As being well content with that alone.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). [Aside] But when the fox hath once got in his nose,
He'll soon find means to make the body follow.



(stage directions). [They descend]

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). A wise stout captain, and soon persuaded!



(stage directions). [March. Enter MONTGOMERY, with drum and soldiers]

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Brother, this is Sir John Montgomery,
Our trusty friend, unless I be deceived.



Marquess of Montague. What talk you of debating? in few words,
If you'll not here proclaim yourself our king,
I'll leave you to your fortune and be gone
To keep them back that come to succor you:
Why shall we fight, if you pretend no title?

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Why, brother, wherefore stand you on nice points?



Lord Hastings. Away with scrupulous wit! now arms must rule.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). And fearless minds climb soonest unto crowns.
Brother, we will proclaim you out of hand:
The bruit thereof will bring you many friends.



King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Seize on the shame-faced Henry, bear him hence;
And once again proclaim us King of England.
You are the fount that makes small brooks to flow:
Now stops thy spring; my sea shall suck them dry,
And swell so much the higher by their ebb.
Hence with him to the Tower; let him not speak.
[Exeunt some with KING HENRY VI]
And, lords, towards Coventry bend we our course
Where peremptory Warwick now remains:
The sun shines hot; and, if we use delay,
Cold biting winter mars our hoped-for hay.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Away betimes, before his forces join,
And take the great-grown traitor unawares:
Brave warriors, march amain towards Coventry.



King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Go, trumpet, to the walls, and sound a parle.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). See how the surly Warwick mans the wall!



Earl of Warwick. Nay, rather, wilt thou draw thy forces hence,
Confess who set thee up and pluck'd thee own,
Call Warwick patron and be penitent?
And thou shalt still remain the Duke of York.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). I thought, at least, he would have said the king;
Or did he make the jest against his will?



Earl of Warwick. Is not a dukedom, sir, a goodly gift?

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Ay, by my faith, for a poor earl to give:
I'll do thee service for so good a gift.



King Edward IV (Plantagenet). But Warwick's king is Edward's prisoner:
And, gallant Warwick, do but answer this:
What is the body when the head is off?

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Alas, that Warwick had no more forecast,
But, whiles he thought to steal the single ten,
The king was slily finger'd from the deck!
You left poor Henry at the Bishop's palace,
And, ten to one, you'll meet him in the Tower.



King Edward IV (Plantagenet). 'Tis even so; yet you are Warwick still.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Come, Warwick, take the time; kneel down, kneel down:
Nay, when? strike now, or else the iron cools.



(stage directions). [He and his forces enter the city]

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). The gates are open, let us enter too.



(stage directions). [He and his forces enter the city]

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Thou and thy brother both shall buy this treason
Even with the dearest blood your bodies bear.



(stage directions). [He and his forces enter the city]

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Two of thy name, both Dukes of Somerset,
Have sold their lives unto the house of York;
And thou shalt be the third if this sword hold.



King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Now welcome more, and ten times more beloved,
Than if thou never hadst deserved our hate.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Welcome, good Clarence; this is brotherlike.



George Plantagenet (Duke of Clarence). A little gale will soon disperse that cloud
And blow it to the source from whence it came:
The very beams will dry those vapours up,
For every cloud engenders not a storm.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). The queen is valued thirty thousand strong,
And Somerset, with Oxford fled to her:
If she have time to breathe be well assured
Her faction will be full as strong as ours.



King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Is proclamation made, that who finds Edward
Shall have a high reward, and he his life?

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). It is: and lo, where youthful Edward comes!



Queen Margaret. Ah, that thy father had been so resolved!

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). That you might still have worn the petticoat,
And ne'er have stol'n the breech from Lancaster.



Prince Edward. Let AEsop fable in a winter's night;
His currish riddles sort not with this place.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). By heaven, brat, I'll plague ye for that word.



Queen Margaret. Ay, thou wast born to be a plague to men.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). For God's sake, take away this captive scold.



(stage directions). [Stabs him]

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Sprawl'st thou? take that, to end thy agony.



Queen Margaret. O, kill me too!

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Marry, and shall.



King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Hold, Richard, hold; for we have done too much.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Why should she live, to fill the world with words?



King Edward IV (Plantagenet). What, doth she swoon? use means for her recovery.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Clarence, excuse me to the king my brother;
I'll hence to London on a serious matter:
Ere ye come there, be sure to hear some news.



George Plantagenet (Duke of Clarence). What? what?

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). The Tower, the Tower.



(stage directions). [Enter KING HENRY VI and GLOUCESTER, with the]
Lieutenant, on the walls]

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Good day, my lord. What, at your book so hard?



Henry VI. Ay, my good lord:—my lord, I should say rather;
'Tis sin to flatter; 'good' was little better:
'Good Gloucester' and 'good devil' were alike,
And both preposterous; therefore, not 'good lord.'

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Sirrah, leave us to ourselves: we must confer.



Henry VI. So flies the reckless shepherd from the wolf;
So first the harmless sheep doth yield his fleece
And next his throat unto the butcher's knife.
What scene of death hath Roscius now to act?

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Suspicion always haunts the guilty mind;
The thief doth fear each bush an officer.



Henry VI. The bird that hath been limed in a bush,
With trembling wings misdoubteth every bush;
And I, the hapless male to one sweet bird,
Have now the fatal object in my eye
Where my poor young was limed, was caught and kill'd.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Why, what a peevish fool was that of Crete,
That taught his son the office of a fowl!
An yet, for all his wings, the fool was drown'd.



Henry VI. I, Daedalus; my poor boy, Icarus;
Thy father, Minos, that denied our course;
The sun that sear'd the wings of my sweet boy
Thy brother Edward, and thyself the sea
Whose envious gulf did swallow up his life.
Ah, kill me with thy weapon, not with words!
My breast can better brook thy dagger's point
Than can my ears that tragic history.
But wherefore dost thou come? is't for my life?

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Think'st thou I am an executioner?



Henry VI. A persecutor, I am sure, thou art:
If murdering innocents be executing,
Why, then thou art an executioner.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Thy son I kill'd for his presumption.



Henry VI. Hadst thou been kill'd when first thou didst presume,
Thou hadst not lived to kill a son of mine.
And thus I prophesy, that many a thousand,
Which now mistrust no parcel of my fear,
And many an old man's sigh and many a widow's,
And many an orphan's water-standing eye—
Men for their sons, wives for their husbands,
And orphans for their parents timeless death—
Shall rue the hour that ever thou wast born.
The owl shriek'd at thy birth,—an evil sign;
The night-crow cried, aboding luckless time;
Dogs howl'd, and hideous tempest shook down trees;
The raven rook'd her on the chimney's top,
And chattering pies in dismal discords sung.
Thy mother felt more than a mother's pain,
And, yet brought forth less than a mother's hope,
To wit, an indigested and deformed lump,
Not like the fruit of such a goodly tree.
Teeth hadst thou in thy head when thou wast born,
To signify thou camest to bite the world:
And, if the rest be true which I have heard,
Thou camest—

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). I'll hear no more: die, prophet in thy speech:
[Stabs him]
For this amongst the rest, was I ordain'd.



(stage directions). [Dies]

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). What, will the aspiring blood of Lancaster
Sink in the ground? I thought it would have mounted.
See how my sword weeps for the poor king's death!
O, may such purple tears be alway shed
From those that wish the downfall of our house!
If any spark of life be yet remaining,
Down, down to hell; and say I sent thee thither:
[Stabs him again]
I, that have neither pity, love, nor fear.
Indeed, 'tis true that Henry told me of;
For I have often heard my mother say
I came into the world with my legs forward:
Had I not reason, think ye, to make haste,
And seek their ruin that usurp'd our right?
The midwife wonder'd and the women cried
'O, Jesus bless us, he is born with teeth!'
And so I was; which plainly signified
That I should snarl and bite and play the dog.
Then, since the heavens have shaped my body so,
Let hell make crook'd my mind to answer it.
I have no brother, I am like no brother;
And this word 'love,' which graybeards call divine,
Be resident in men like one another
And not in me: I am myself alone.
Clarence, beware; thou keep'st me from the light:
But I will sort a pitchy day for thee;
For I will buz abroad such prophecies
That Edward shall be fearful of his life,
And then, to purge his fear, I'll be thy death.
King Henry and the prince his son are gone:
Clarence, thy turn is next, and then the rest,
Counting myself but bad till I be best.
I'll throw thy body in another room
And triumph, Henry, in thy day of doom.



King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Once more we sit in England's royal throne,
Re-purchased with the blood of enemies.
What valiant foemen, like to autumn's corn,
Have we mow'd down, in tops of all their pride!
Three Dukes of Somerset, threefold renown'd
For hardy and undoubted champions;
Two Cliffords, as the father and the son,
And two Northumberlands; two braver men
Ne'er spurr'd their coursers at the trumpet's sound;
With them, the two brave bears, Warwick and Montague,
That in their chains fetter'd the kingly lion
And made the forest tremble when they roar'd.
Thus have we swept suspicion from our seat
And made our footstool of security.
Come hither, Bess, and let me kiss my boy.
Young Ned, for thee, thine uncles and myself
Have in our armours watch'd the winter's night,
Went all afoot in summer's scalding heat,
That thou mightst repossess the crown in peace;
And of our labours thou shalt reap the gain.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). [Aside] I'll blast his harvest, if your head were laid;
For yet I am not look'd on in the world.
This shoulder was ordain'd so thick to heave;
And heave it shall some weight, or break my back:
Work thou the way,—and thou shalt execute.



Queen Elizabeth. Thanks, noble Clarence; worthy brother, thanks.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). And, that I love the tree from whence thou sprang'st,
Witness the loving kiss I give the fruit.
[Aside] To say the truth, so Judas kiss'd his master,]
And cried 'all hail!' when as he meant all harm.

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