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History of Richard III

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Act IV, Scene 2

London. The palace.


[Sennet. Enter KING RICHARD III, in pomp, crowned; BUCKINGHAM, CATESBY, a page, and others]

  • Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Give me thy hand.
    [Here he ascendeth his throne]
    Thus high, by thy advice 2585
    And thy assistance, is King Richard seated;
    But shall we wear these honours for a day?
    Or shall they last, and we rejoice in them?
  • Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). O Buckingham, now do I play the touch, 2590
    To try if thou be current gold indeed
    Young Edward lives: think now what I would say.
  • Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). O bitter consequence,
    That Edward still should live! 'True, noble prince!'
    Cousin, thou wert not wont to be so dull: 2600
    Shall I be plain? I wish the bastards dead;
    And I would have it suddenly perform'd.
    What sayest thou? speak suddenly; be brief.
  • Duke of Buckingham. Give me some breath, some little pause, my lord
    Before I positively herein:
    I will resolve your grace immediately.


  • Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). I will converse with iron-witted fools
    And unrespective boys: none are for me
    That look into me with considerate eyes: 2615
    High-reaching Buckingham grows circumspect.
  • Page. My lord, I know a discontented gentleman,
    Whose humble means match not his haughty mind:
    Gold were as good as twenty orators,
    And will, no doubt, tempt him to any thing.
  • Page. His name, my lord, is Tyrrel.
  • Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). I partly know the man: go, call him hither.
    [Exit Page]
    The deep-revolving witty Buckingham
    No more shall be the neighbour to my counsel: 2630
    Hath he so long held out with me untired,
    And stops he now for breath?
    [Enter STANLEY]
    How now! what news with you?
  • Sir William Stanley. My lord, I hear the Marquis Dorset's fled 2635
    To Richmond, in those parts beyond the sea
    Where he abides.

[Stands apart]

  • Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Rumour it abroad
    That Anne, my wife, is sick and like to die:
    I will take order for her keeping close.
    Inquire me out some mean-born gentleman,
    Whom I will marry straight to Clarence' daughter: 2645
    The boy is foolish, and I fear not him.
    Look, how thou dream'st! I say again, give out
    That Anne my wife is sick and like to die:
    About it; for it stands me much upon,
    To stop all hopes whose growth may damage me. 2650
    [Exit CATESBY]
    I must be married to my brother's daughter,
    Or else my kingdom stands on brittle glass.
    Murder her brothers, and then marry her!
    Uncertain way of gain! But I am in 2655
    So far in blood that sin will pluck on sin:
    Tear-falling pity dwells not in this eye.
    [Re-enter Page, with TYRREL]
    Is thy name Tyrrel?
  • Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Why, there thou hast it: two deep enemies,
    Foes to my rest and my sweet sleep's disturbers
    Are they that I would have thee deal upon:
    Tyrrel, I mean those bastards in the Tower.
  • Sir James Tyrrel. Let me have open means to come to them, 2670
    And soon I'll rid you from the fear of them.
  • Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Thou sing'st sweet music. Hark, come hither, Tyrrel
    Go, by this token: rise, and lend thine ear:
    There is no more but so: say it is done, 2675
    And I will love thee, and prefer thee too.



  • Duke of Buckingham. My Lord, I have consider'd in my mind. The late demand that you did sound me in.
  • Duke of Buckingham. My lord, I claim your gift, my due by promise,
    For which your honour and your faith is pawn'd;
    The earldom of Hereford and the moveables
    The which you promised I should possess.
  • Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). As I remember, Henry the Sixth
    Did prophesy that Richmond should be king,
    When Richmond was a little peevish boy. 2695
    A king, perhaps, perhaps,—
  • Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Richmond! When last I was at Exeter,
    The mayor in courtesy show'd me the castle,
    And call'd it Rougemont: at which name I started,
    Because a bard of Ireland told me once
    I should not live long after I saw Richmond. 2705
  • Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Because that, like a Jack, thou keep'st the stroke
    Betwixt thy begging and my meditation. 2715
    I am not in the giving vein to-day.

[Exeunt all but BUCKINGHAM]

  • Duke of Buckingham. Is it even so? rewards he my true service
    With such deep contempt made I him king for this?
    O, let me think on Hastings, and be gone
    To Brecknock, while my fearful head is on!