Richard III - William Shakespeare - ebook
Opis

A historical play by William Shakespeare describing the life and death of Richard III. The play begins with Richard describing the accession to the throne of his brother, King Edward IV of England, eldest son of the late Richard, Duke of York. Richard plots to have his brother Clarence, who stands before him in the line of succession, conducted to the Tower of London over a prophecy he bribed a soothsayer to finagle the suspicious King with.

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William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare

Richard III

The Life and Death of Richard the Third

LONDON ∙ NEW YORK ∙ TORONTO ∙ SAO PAULO ∙ MOSCOW

PARIS ∙ MADRID ∙ BERLIN ∙ ROME ∙ MEXICO CITY ∙ MUMBAI ∙ SEOUL ∙ DOHA

TOKYO ∙ SYDNEY ∙ CAPE TOWN ∙ AUCKLAND ∙ BEIJING

New Edition

Published by Sovereign Classic

www.sovereignclassic.net

This Edition

First published in 2015

Copyright © 2015 Sovereign Classic

Contents

CAST

ACT I

ACT II

ACT III

ACT IV

ACT V

CAST

King Edward the Fourth

Edward, Prince of Wales, [afterwards King Edward V], son to the King

Richard, Duke of York

George, Duke of Clarence, Richard, Duke of Gloucester, [afterwards King Richard III],brothers to the King

A young son of Clarence

Henry, Earl of Richmond, [afterwards King Henry VII]

Cardinal Bourchier, Archbishop of Canterbury

Thomas Rotherham, Archbishop of York

John Morton, Archbishop of Ely

Duke of Buckingham

Duke of Norfolk

Earl of Surrey, his son

Earl Rivers, brother to Elizabeth

Marquis of Dorset and Lord Grey, sons to Elizabeth

Earl of Oxford

Lord Hastings

Lord Stanley, called also Earl of Derby

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

Second Priest

Tressel and Berkeley, gentlemen attending on the Lady Anne

Lord Mayor of London. Sheriff of Wiltshire

Elizabeth, Queen to King Edward IV

Margaret, widow of King Henry VI

Duchess of York, mother to King Edward IV

Lady Anne, widow of Edward Prince of Wales (son to King Henry VI) [afterwards married to Richard]

A young Daughter of Clarence

Ghosts of those murdered by Richard III, Lords and other Attendants; a Pursuivant, Scrivener, Citizens, Murderers, Messengers, Soldiers, &c.

Scene: England

ACT I

SCENE I. LONDON. A STREET.

Enter GLOUCESTER, solus

GLOUCESTER

Now is the winter of our discontentMade glorious summer by this sun of York;And all the clouds that lour’d upon our houseIn 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 smooth’d his wrinkled front;And now, instead of mounting barded steedsTo fright the souls of fearful adversaries,He capers nimbly in a lady’s chamberTo 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 stamp’d, and want love’s majestyTo strut before a wanton ambling nymph;I, that am curtail’d of this fair proportion,Cheated of feature by dissembling nature,Deformed, unfinish’d, sent before my timeInto this breathing world, scarce half made up,And that so lamely and unfashionableThat 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 sunAnd 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 villainAnd 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 kingIn deadly hate the one against the other:And if King Edward be as true and justAs I am subtle, false and treacherous,This day should Clarence closely be mew’d up,About a prophecy, which says that ‘G’Of Edward’s heirs the murderer shall be.Dive, thoughts, down to my soul: hereClarence comes.

Enter CLARENCE, guarded, and BRAKENBURY

Brother, good day; what means this armed guardThat waits upon your grace?

CLARENCE

His majestyTendering my person’s safety, hath appointedThis conduct to convey me to the Tower.

GLOUCESTER

Upon what cause?

CLARENCE

Because my name is George.

GLOUCESTER

Alack, my lord, that fault is none of yours;He should, for that, commit your godfathers:O, belike his majesty hath some intentThat you shall be new-christen’d in the Tower.But what’s the matter, Clarence? may I know?

CLARENCE

Yea, Richard, when I know; for I protestAs 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 him that by GHis 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 theseHave moved his highness to commit me now.

GLOUCESTER

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 sheThat tempers him to this extremity.Was it not she and that good man of worship,Anthony Woodville, her brother there,That made him send Lord Hastings to the Tower,From whence this present day he is deliver’d?We are not safe, Clarence; we are not safe.

CLARENCE

By heaven, I think there’s no man is secureBut the queen’s kindred and night-walking heraldsThat trudge betwixt the king and Mistress Shore.Heard ye not what an humble suppliantLord hastings was to her for his delivery?

GLOUCESTER

Humbly complaining to her deityGot my lord chamberlain his liberty.I’ll tell you what; I think it is our way,If we will keep in favour with the king,To be her men and wear her livery:The jealous o’erworn widow and herself,Since that our brother dubb’d them gentlewomen.Are mighty gossips in this monarchy.

BRAKENBURY

I beseech your graces both to pardon me;His majesty hath straitly given in chargeThat no man shall have private conference,Of what degree soever, with his brother.

GLOUCESTER

Even so; an’t please your worship, Brakenbury,You may partake of any thing we say:We speak no treason, man: we say the kingIs wise and virtuous, and his noble queenWell 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 gentle-folks:How say you sir? Can you deny all this?

BRAKENBURY

With this, my lord, myself have nought to do.

GLOUCESTER

Naught to do with mistress Shore! I tell thee, fellow,He that doth naught with her, excepting one,Were best he do it secretly, alone.

BRAKENBURY

What one, my lord?

GLOUCESTER

Her husband, knave: wouldst thou betray me?

BRAKENBURY

I beseech your grace to pardon me, and withalForbear your conference with the noble duke.

CLARENCE

We know thy charge, Brakenbury, and will obey.

GLOUCESTER

We are the queen’s abjects, and must obey.Brother, farewell: I will unto the king;And whatsoever you will employ me in,Were it to call King Edward’s widow sister,I will perform it to enfranchise you.Meantime, this deep disgrace in brotherhoodTouches me deeper than you can imagine.

CLARENCE

I know it pleaseth neither of us well.

GLOUCESTER

Well, your imprisonment shall not be long;Meantime, have patience.

CLARENCE

I must perforce. Farewell.

Exeunt CLARENCE, BRAKENBURY, and Guard

GLOUCESTER

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-deliver’d Hastings?

Enter HASTINGS

HASTINGS

Good time of day unto my gracious lord!

GLOUCESTER

As much unto my good lord chamberlain!Well are you welcome to the open air.How hath your lordship brook’d imprisonment?

HASTINGS

With patience, noble lord, as prisoners must:But I shall live, my lord, to give them thanksThat were the cause of my imprisonment.

GLOUCESTER

No doubt, no doubt; and so shall Clarence too;For they that were your enemies are his,And have prevail’d as much on him as you.

HASTINGS

More pity that the eagle should be mew’d,While kites and buzzards prey at liberty.

GLOUCESTER

What news abroad?

HASTINGS

No news so bad abroad as this at home;The King is sickly, weak and melancholy,And his physicians fear him mightily.

GLOUCESTER

Now, by Saint Paul, this news is bad indeed.O, he hath kept an evil diet long,And overmuch consumed his royal person:‘Tis very grievous to be thought upon.What, is he in his bed?

HASTINGS

He is.

GLOUCESTER

Go you before, and I will follow you.

Exit HASTINGS

He cannot live, I hope; and must not dieTill George be pack’d with post-horse up to heaven.I’ll in, to urge his hatred more to Clarence,With lies well steel’d with weighty arguments;And, if I fall 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 kill’d her husband and her father?The readiest way to make the wench amendsIs to become her husband and her father:The which will I; not all so much for loveAs for another secret close intent,By marrying her which I must reach unto.But yet I run before my horse to market:Clarence still breathes; Edward still lives and reigns:When they are gone, then must I count my gains.

Exit

SCENE II. THE SAME. ANOTHER STREET.

Enter the corpse of KING HENRY the Sixth, Gentlemen with halberds to guard it; LADY ANNE being the mourner

LADY ANNE

Set down, set down your honourable load,If honour may be shrouded in a hearse,Whilst I awhile obsequiously lamentThe untimely fall of virtuous Lancaster.Poor key-cold figure of a holy king!Pale ashes of the house of Lancaster!Thou bloodless remnant of that royal blood!Be it lawful that I invocate thy ghost,To hear the lamentations of Poor Anne,Wife to thy Edward, to thy slaughter’d son,Stabb’d by the selfsame hand that made these wounds!Lo, in these windows that let forth thy life,I pour the helpless balm of my poor eyes.Cursed be the hand that made these fatal holes!Cursed be the heart that had the heart to do it!Cursed the blood that let this blood from hence!More direful hap betide that hated wretch,That makes us wretched by the death of thee,Than I can wish to adders, spiders, toads,Or any creeping venom’d thing that lives!If ever he have child, abortive be it,Prodigious, and untimely brought to light,Whose ugly and unnatural aspectMay fright the hopeful mother at the view;And that be heir to his unhappiness!If ever he have wife, let her he madeA miserable by the death of himAs I am made by my poor lord and thee!Come, now towards Chertsey with your holy load,Taken from Paul’s to be interred there;And still, as you are weary of the weight,Rest you, whiles I lament King Henry’s corse.

Enter GLOUCESTER

GLOUCESTER

Stay, you that bear the corse, and set it down.

LADY ANNE

What black magician conjures up this fiend,To stop devoted charitable deeds?

GLOUCESTER

Villains, set down the corse; or, by Saint Paul,I’ll make a corse of him that disobeys.

Gentleman

My lord, stand back, and let the coffin pass.

GLOUCESTER

Unmanner’d dog! stand thou, when I command:Advance thy halbert higher than my breast,Or, by Saint Paul, I’ll strike thee to my foot,And spurn upon thee, beggar, for thy boldness.

LADY ANNE

What, do you tremble? are you all afraid?Alas, I blame you not; for you are mortal,And mortal eyes cannot endure the devil.Avaunt, thou dreadful minister of hell!Thou hadst but power over his mortal body,His soul thou canst not have; therefore be gone.

GLOUCESTER

Sweet saint, for charity, be not so curst.

LADY ANNE

Foul devil, for God’s sake, hence, and trouble us not;For thou hast made the happy earth thy hell,Fill’d it with cursing cries and deep exclaims.If thou delight to view thy heinous deeds,Behold this pattern of thy butcheries.O, gentlemen, see, see! dead Henry’s woundsOpen their congeal’d mouths and bleed afresh!Blush, Blush, thou lump of foul deformity;For ‘tis thy presence that exhales this bloodFrom cold and empty veins, where no blood dwells;Thy deed, inhuman and unnatural,Provokes this deluge most unnatural.O God, which this blood madest, revenge his death!O earth, which this blood drink’st revenge his death!Either heaven with lightning strike themurderer dead,Or earth, gape open wide and eat him quick,As thou dost swallow up this good king’s bloodWhich his hell-govern’d arm hath butchered!

GLOUCESTER

Lady, you know no rules of charity,Which renders good for bad, blessings for curses.

LADY ANNE

Villain, thou know’st no law of God nor man:No beast so fierce but knows some touch of pity.

GLOUCESTER

But I know none, and therefore am no beast.

LADY ANNE

O wonderful, when devils tell the truth!

GLOUCESTER

More wonderful, when angels are so angry.Vouchsafe, divine perfection of a woman,Of these supposed-evils, to give me leave,By circumstance, but to acquit myself.

LADY ANNE

Vouchsafe, defused infection of a man,For these known evils, but to give me leave,By circumstance, to curse thy cursed self.

GLOUCESTER

Fairer than tongue can name thee, let me haveSome patient leisure to excuse myself.

LADY ANNE

Fouler than heart can think thee, thou canst makeNo excuse current, but to hang thyself.

GLOUCESTER

By such despair, I should accuse myself.

LADY ANNE

And, by despairing, shouldst thou stand excused;For doing worthy vengeance on thyself,Which didst unworthy slaughter upon others.

GLOUCESTER

Say that I slew them not?

LADY ANNE

Why, then they are not dead:But dead they are, and devilish slave, by thee.

GLOUCESTER

I did not kill your husband.

LADY ANNE

Why, then he is alive.

GLOUCESTER

Nay, he is dead; and slain by Edward’s hand.

LADY ANNE

In thy foul throat thou liest: Queen Margaret sawThy murderous falchion smoking in his blood;The which thou once didst bend against her breast,But that thy brothers beat aside the point.

GLOUCESTER

I was provoked by her slanderous tongue,which laid their guilt upon my guiltless shoulders.

LADY ANNE

Thou wast provoked by thy bloody mind.Which never dreamt on aught but butcheries:Didst thou not kill this king?

GLOUCESTER

I grant ye.

LADY ANNE

Dost grant me, hedgehog? then, God grant me tooThou mayst be damned for that wicked deed!O, he was gentle, mild, and virtuous!

GLOUCESTER

The fitter for the King of heaven, that hath him.

LADY ANNE

He is in heaven, where thou shalt never come.

GLOUCESTER

Let him thank me, that holp to send him thither;For he was fitter for that place than earth.

LADY ANNE

And thou unfit for any place but hell.

GLOUCESTER

Yes, one place else, if you will hear me name it.

LADY ANNE

Some dungeon.

GLOUCESTER

Your bed-chamber.

LADY ANNE

Ill rest betide the chamber where thou liest!

GLOUCESTER

So will it, madam till I lie with you.

LADY ANNE

I hope so.

GLOUCESTER

I know so. But, gentle Lady Anne,To leave this keen encounter of our wits,And fall somewhat into a slower method,Is not the causer of the timeless deathsOf these Plantagenets, Henry and Edward,As blameful as the executioner?

LADY ANNE

Thou art the cause, and most accursed effect.

GLOUCESTER

Your beauty was the cause of that effect;Your beauty: which did haunt me in my sleepTo undertake the death of all the world,So I might live one hour in your sweet bosom.

LADY ANNE

If I thought that, I tell thee, homicide,These nails should rend that beauty from my cheeks.

GLOUCESTER

These eyes could never endure sweet beauty’s wreck;You should not blemish it, if I stood by:As all the world is cheered by the sun,So I by that; it is my day, my life.

LADY ANNE

Black night o’ershade thy day, and death thy life!

GLOUCESTER

Curse not thyself, fair creature thou art both.

LADY ANNE

I would I were, to be revenged on thee.

GLOUCESTER

It is a quarrel most unnatural,To be revenged on him that loveth you.

LADY ANNE

It is a quarrel just and reasonable,To be revenged on him that slew my husband.

GLOUCESTER

He that bereft thee, lady, of thy husband,Did it to help thee to a better husband.

LADY ANNE

His better doth not breathe upon the earth.

GLOUCESTER

He lives that loves thee better than he could.

LADY ANNE

Name him.

GLOUCESTER

Plantagenet.

LADY ANNE

Why, that was he.

GLOUCESTER

The selfsame name, but one of better nature.

LADY ANNE

Where is he?

GLOUCESTER

Here.

She spitteth at him

Why dost thou spit at me?

LADY ANNE

Would it were mortal poison, for thy sake!

GLOUCESTER

Never came poison from so sweet a place.

LADY ANNE

Never hung poison on a fouler toad.Out of my sight! thou dost infect my eyes.

GLOUCESTER

Thine eyes, sweet lady, have infected mine.

LADY ANNE

Would they were basilisks, to strike thee dead!

GLOUCESTER

I would they were, that I might die at once;For now they kill me with a living death.Those eyes of thine from mine have drawn salt tears,Shamed their aspect with store of childish drops:These eyes that never shed remorseful tear,No, when my father York and Edward wept,To hear the piteous moan that Rutland madeWhen black-faced Clifford shook his sword at him;Nor when thy warlike father, like a child,Told the sad story of my father’s death,And twenty times made pause to sob and weep,That all the standers-by had wet their cheeksLike trees bedash’d with rain: in that sad timeMy manly eyes did scorn an humble tear;And what these sorrows could not thence exhale,Thy beauty hath, and made them blind with weeping.I never sued to friend nor enemy;My tongue could never learn sweet smoothing word;But now thy beauty is proposed my fee,My proud heart sues, and prompts my tongue to speak.

She looks scornfully at him

Teach not thy lips such scorn, for they were madeFor kissing, lady, not for such contempt.If thy revengeful heart cannot forgive,Lo, here I lend thee this sharp-pointed sword;Which if thou please to hide in this true bosom.And let the soul forth that adoreth thee,I lay it naked to the deadly stroke,And humbly beg the death upon my knee.

He lays his breast open: she offers at it with his sword

Nay, do not pause; for I did kill King Henry,But ‘twas thy beauty that provoked me.Nay, now dispatch; ‘twas I that stabb’d young Edward,But ‘twas thy heavenly face that set me on.

Here she lets fall the sword

Take up the sword again, or take up me.

LADY ANNE

Arise, dissembler: though I wish thy death,I will not be the executioner.

GLOUCESTER

Then bid me kill myself, and I will do it.

LADY ANNE

I have already.