SCENE II. London. The palace.
Sennet. Enter KING RICHARD III, in pomp, crowned; BUCKINGHAM, CATESBY, a page, and others
Stand all apart Cousin of Buckingham!
My gracious sovereign?
Give me thy hand.
Here he ascendeth his throneThus high, by thy advice
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?
Still live they and for ever may they last!
O Buckingham, now do I play the touch,
To try if thou be current gold indeed
Young Edward lives: think now what I would say.
Say on, my loving lord.
Why, Buckingham, I say, I would be king,
Why, so you are, my thrice renowned liege.
Ha! am I king? ’tis so: but Edward lives.
True, noble prince.
O bitter consequence,
That Edward still should live! ‘True, noble prince!’
Cousin, thou wert not wont to be so dull:
Shall I be plain? I wish the bastards dead;
And I would have it suddenly perform’d.
What sayest thou? speak suddenly; be brief.
Your grace may do your pleasure.
Tut, tut, thou art all ice, thy kindness freezeth:
Say, have I thy consent that they shall die?
Give me some breath, some little pause, my lord
Before I positively herein:
I will resolve your grace immediately.
[Aside to a stander by]
The king is angry: see, he bites the lip.
I will converse with iron-witted fools
And unrespective boys: none are for me
That look into me with considerate eyes:
High-reaching Buckingham grows circumspect.
Know’st thou not any whom corrupting gold
Would tempt unto a close exploit of death?
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.
What is his name?
His name, my lord, is Tyrrel.
I partly know the man: go, call him hither.
Exit PageThe deep-revolving witty Buckingham
No more shall be the neighbour to my counsel:
Hath he so long held out with me untired,
And stops he now for breath?
Enter STANLEYHow now! what news with you?
My lord, I hear the Marquis Dorset’s fled
To Richmond, in those parts beyond the sea
Where he abides.
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:
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.
Exit CATESBYI 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
So far in blood that sin will pluck on sin:
Tear-falling pity dwells not in this eye.
Re-enter Page, with TYRRELIs thy name Tyrrel?
James Tyrrel, and your most obedient subject.
Art thou, indeed?
Prove me, my gracious sovereign.
Darest thou resolve to kill a friend of mine?
Ay, my lord;
But I had rather kill two enemies.
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.
Let me have open means to come to them,
And soon I’ll rid you from the fear of them.
Thou sing’st sweet music. Hark, come hither, Tyrrel
Go, by this token: rise, and lend thine ear:
WhispersThere is no more but so: say it is done,
And I will love thee, and prefer thee too.
‘Tis done, my gracious lord.
Shall we hear from thee, Tyrrel, ere we sleep?
Ye shall, my Lord.
My Lord, I have consider’d in my mind
The late demand that you did sound me in.
Well, let that pass. Dorset is fled to Richmond.
I hear that news, my lord.
Stanley, he is your wife’s son well, look to it.
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.
Stanley, look to your wife; if she convey
Letters to Richmond, you shall answer it.
What says your highness to my just demand?
As I remember, Henry the Sixth
Did prophesy that Richmond should be king,
When Richmond was a little peevish boy.
A king, perhaps, perhaps,–
How chance the prophet could not at that time
Have told me, I being by, that I should kill him?
My lord, your promise for the earldom,–
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.
Ay, what’s o’clock?
I am thus bold to put your grace in mind
Of what you promised me.
Well, but what’s o’clock?
Upon the stroke of ten.
Well, let it strike.
Why let it strike?
Because that, like a Jack, thou keep’st the stroke
Betwixt thy begging and my meditation.
I am not in the giving vein to-day.
Why, then resolve me whether you will or no.
Thou troublest me; am not in the vein.
Exeunt all but 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!