Richard III


Text
Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V
Sound a sennet. Enter Richard as King, in pomp,

Buckingham, Catesby, Ratcliffe, Lovel, a Page, and

attendants


KING RICHARD

Stand all apart. Cousin of Buckingham –


BUCKINGHAM

My gracious sovereign?


KING RICHARD

Give me thy hand.

Sound

Here he ascendeth his throne

                         Thus high, by thy advice

And thy assistance, is King Richard seated.

But shall we wear these glories for a day?

Or shall they last, and we rejoice in them?


BUCKINGHAM

Still live they, and for ever let them last!


KING RICHARD

Ah, Buckingham, now do I play the touch,
touch (n.) 6 touchstone, test, proof

To try if thou be current gold indeed.

Young Edward lives. Think now what I would say.


BUCKINGHAM

Say on, my loving lord.


KING RICHARD

Why, Buckingham, I say I would be king.


BUCKINGHAM

Why, so you are, my thrice renowned lord.


KING RICHARD

Ha! Am I king? 'Tis so. But Edward lives.


BUCKINGHAM

True, noble prince.
consequence (n.) 2 upshot, outcome, sequel


KING RICHARD

                         O bitter consequence

That Edward still should live true noble prince!

Cousin, thou wast not wont to be so dull.
wont (v.) be accustomed, used [to], be in the habit of See Topics: Frequency count

Shall I be plain? I wish the bastards dead,

And I would have it suddenly performed.
suddenly (adv.) 1 immediately, at once, without delay

What sayest thou now? Speak suddenly, be brief.


BUCKINGHAM

Your grace may do your pleasure.


KING RICHARD

Tut, tut, thou art all ice; thy kindness freezes.
kindness (n.) 3 friendship, affection, good will

Say, have I thy consent that they shall die?


BUCKINGHAM

Give me some little breath, some pause, dear lord,
breath (n.) 7 breathing-space, respite

Before I positively speak in this.

I will resolve you herein presently.
presently (adv.) 2 after a short time, soon, before long
resolve (v.) 1 answer, respond to

Exit Buckingham


CATESBY

(aside)

The King is angry. See, he gnaws his lip.


KING RICHARD

I will converse with iron-witted fools
iron-witted (adj.) dull-witted, obtuse, dense

And unrespective boys. None are for me
unrespective (adj.) 1 inattentive, heedless, negligent

That look into me with considerate eyes.
considerate (adj.) 2 deliberate, calculating, wary

High-reaching Buckingham grows circumspect.

Boy!


PAGE

My lord?


KING RICHARD

Know'st thou not any whom corrupting gold

Would tempt unto a close exploit of death?
close (adj.) 4 secret, covert, underhanded
exploit (n.) 1 act, deed, enterprise


PAGE

I know a discontented gentleman

Whose humble means match not his haughty spirit.

Gold were as good as twenty orators,

And will, no doubt, tempt him to anything.


KING RICHARD

What is his name?


PAGE

                         His name, my lord, is Tyrrel.


KING RICHARD

I partly know the man. Go call him hither, boy.

Exit Page

The deep-revolving witty Buckingham
deep-revolving (adj.) deeply considering, meditating, pondering
witty (adj.) 3 crafty, cunning, wily

No more shall be the neighbour to my counsels.

Hath he so long held out with me, untired,

And stops he now for breath? Well, be it so.

Enter the Earl of Derby

How now, Lord Stanley? What's the news?


DERBY

                         Know, my loving lord,

The Marquess Dorset, as I hear, is fled

To Richmond in the parts where he abides.

Derby stands aside


KING RICHARD

Come hither, Catesby. Rumour it abroad

That Anne my wife is grievous sick.

I will take order for her keeping close.
close (adj.) 2 private, secluded, sequestered

Inquire me out some mean poor gentleman,
mean (adj.) 1 of low rank, inferior in position, less important

Whom I will marry straight to Clarence' daughter.
straight (adv.) straightaway, immediately, at once See Topics: Frequency count

The boy is foolish, and I fear not him.
foolish (adj.) 1 like an idiot, lacking in sense

Look how thou dream'st! I say again, give out

That Anne, my Queen, is sick and like to die.
like (adv.) 1 likely, probable / probably See Topics: Frequency count

About it! For it stands me much upon
stand upon (v.) 3 concern, be of importance to

To stop all hopes whose growth may damage me.

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

So far in blood that sin will pluck on sin.
pluck on (v.) 1 draw on, pull in, drag in

Tear-falling pity dwells not in this eye.

Enter Page, with Tyrrel

Is thy name Tyrrel?


TYRREL

James Tyrrel, and your most obedient subject.


KING RICHARD

Art thou, indeed?


TYRREL

                         Prove me, my gracious lord.


KING RICHARD

Dar'st thou resolve to kill a friend of mine?


TYRREL

Please you;

But I had rather kill two enemies.


KING RICHARD

Why, there thou hast it! Two deep enemies,
deep (adj.) 7 deadly, grave, mortal

Foes to my rest and my sweet sleep's disturbers,
disturb (n.) disturbance

Are they that I would have thee deal upon.
deal upon (v.) deal with, proceed against

Tyrrel, I mean those bastards in the Tower.


TYRREL

Let me have open means to come to them,

And soon I'll rid you from the fear of them.


KING RICHARD

Thou sing'st sweet music. Hark, come hither, Tyrrel.

Go by this token. Rise, and lend thine ear.

Whispers

There is no more but so; say it is done,

And I will love thee and prefer thee for it.
prefer (v.) 1 promote, advance, recommend


TYRREL

I will dispatch it straight.
dispatch, despatch (v.) 1 deal with promptly, settle, get [something] done quickly
straight (adv.) straightaway, immediately, at once See Topics: Frequency count

Exit

Enter Buckingham


BUCKINGHAM

My Lord, I have considered in my mind

The late demand that you did sound me in.


KING RICHARD

Well, let that rest. Dorset is fled to Richmond.


BUCKINGHAM

I hear the news, my lord.


KING RICHARD

Stanley, he is your wife's son. Well, look unto it.


BUCKINGHAM

My lord, I claim the gift, my due by promise,

For which your honour and your faith is pawned,

Th' earldom of Hereford and the movables
movable, moveable (n.) (plural) personal possessions, private effects, pieces of property

Which you promised I shall possess.


KING RICHARD

Stanley, look to your wife; if she convey

Letters to Richmond, you shall answer it.
answer (v.) 4 suffer the consequences [for], be accountable [for]


BUCKINGHAM

What says your highness to my just request?


KING RICHARD

I do remember me Henry the Sixth

Did prophesy that Richmond should be king
remember (v.) 2 recollect, recall, call to mind

When Richmond was a little peevish boy.
peevish (adj.) 1 silly, foolish; or: headstrong, impulsive

A king! – Perhaps! –


BUCKINGHAM

My lord –


KING RICHARD

How chance the prophet could not at that time

Have told me, I being by, that I should kill him?


BUCKINGHAM

My lord, your promise for the earldom!


KING RICHARD

Richmond! When last I was at Exeter,

The Mayor in courtesy showed me the castle,

And called it Rouge-mount; at which name I started,

Because a bard of Ireland told me once

I should not live long after I saw Richmond.


BUCKINGHAM

My lord –


KING RICHARD

Ay, what's a clock?


BUCKINGHAM

I am thus bold to put your grace in mind

Of what you promised me.


KING RICHARD

                         Well, but what's a clock?


BUCKINGHAM

Upon the stroke of ten.


KING RICHARD

                         Well, let it strike.


BUCKINGHAM

Why let it strike?


KING RICHARD

Because that like a Jack thou keep'st the stroke
jack (n.) 2 figure of a man who strikes a bell on the outside of a clock

Betwixt thy begging and my meditation.

I am not in the giving vein today.
vein (n.) 1 state of mind, motive, mood


BUCKINGHAM

May it please you to resolve me in my suit?
resolve (v.) 1 answer, respond to
suit (n.) 1 formal request, entreaty, petition See Topics: Frequency count


KING RICHARD

Thou troublest me; I am not in the vein.

Exeunt all but Buckingham


BUCKINGHAM

And is it thus? Repays he my deep service
deep (adj.) 1 solemn, weighty, important

With such contempt? Made I him king for this?

O, let me think on Hastings, and be gone

To Brecknock, while my fearful head is on!

Exit

 
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