Richard III


Text
Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V
Enter old Queen Margaret


QUEEN MARGARET

So now prosperity begins to mellow

And drop into the rotten mouth of death.

Here in these confines slyly have I lurked,
confine (n.) 1 territory, region, domain
slyly (adv.) stealthily, secretly, quietly

To watch the waning of mine enemies.

A dire induction am I witness to,
induction (n.) opening scene [of a play], initial step, preparation

And will to France, hoping the consequence

Will prove as bitter, black, and tragical.

Withdraw thee, wretched Margaret! Who comes here?
withdraw (v.) turn aside, stand apart

Queen Margaret retires

Enter Duchess of York and Queen Elizabeth


QUEEN ELIZABETH

Ah, my poor princes! Ah, my tender babes!

My unblown flowers, new-appearing sweets!
sweet (n.) 2 sweet-scented flower, fragrant plant
unblown (adj.) unopened, not yet blooming, immature

If yet your gentle souls fly in the air
gentle (adj.) 6 soft, tender, kind

And be not fixed in doom perpetual,
doom (n.) 2 final destiny, deciding fate, death and destruction

Hover about me with your airy wings

And hear your mother's lamentation!


QUEEN MARGARET

(aside)
right (n.) 1 just claim, rights, title

Hover about her. Say that right for right

Hath dimmed your infant morn to aged night.
morn (n.) morning, dawn See Topics: Frequency count


DUCHESS OF YORK

So many miseries have crazed my voice
craze (v.) crack, break down, shatter

That my woe-wearied tongue is still and mute.

Edward Plantagenet, why art thou dead?


QUEEN MARGARET

(aside)
quit (v.) 6 avenge, requite, take vengeance [on]

Plantagenet doth quit Plantagenet;

Edward for Edward pays a dying debt.


QUEEN ELIZABETH

Wilt thou, O God, fly from such gentle lambs

And throw them in the entrails of the wolf?

When didst Thou sleep when such a deed was done?


QUEEN MARGARET

(aside)

When holy Harry died, and my sweet son.


DUCHESS OF YORK

Dead life, blind sight, poor mortal-living ghost,

Woe's scene, world's shame, grave's due by life usurped,

Brief abstract and record of tedious days,
abstract (n.) 1 summary, digest

Rest thy unrest on England's lawful earth,

Sits down

Unlawfully made drunk with innocents' blood!


QUEEN ELIZABETH

Ah, that thou wouldst as soon afford a grave

As thou canst yield a melancholy seat!

Then would I hide my bones, not rest them here.

Ah, who hath any cause to mourn but we?

Sits down by her


QUEEN MARGARET

(comes forward)

If ancient sorrow be most reverend,

Give mine the benefit of seniory
seigniory (n.) lordship, domain, dominion
seniory (n.) seniority

And let my griefs frown on the upper hand.
grief (n.) 1 grievance, complaint, hurt, injury

If sorrow can admit society,

Sits down with them

Tell over your woes again by viewing mine.

I had an Edward, till a Richard killed him;

I had a Harry, till a Richard killed him:

Thou hadst an Edward, till a Richard killed him;

Thou hadst a Richard, till a Richard killed him.


DUCHESS OF YORK

I had a Richard too, and thou didst kill him;

I had a Rutland too, thou holp'st to kill him.


QUEEN MARGARET

Thou hadst a Clarence too, and Richard killed him.

From forth the kennel of thy womb hath crept

A hellhound that doth hunt us all to death.

That dog, that had his teeth before his eyes,

To worry lambs and lap their gentle blood,
gentle (adj.) 6 soft, tender, kind

That foul defacer of God's handiwork

That reigns in galled eyes of weeping souls,
galled (adj.) 1 sore, swollen, inflamed

That excellent grand tyrant of the earth
excellent (adj.) 1 [of people] all-excelling, pre-eminent, superlative

Thy womb let loose to chase us to our graves.

O upright, just, and true-disposing God,

How do I thank Thee that this carnal cur
carnal (adj.) bloody, murderous

Preys on the issue of his mother's body
issue (n.) 1 child(ren), offspring, family, descendant See Topics: Frequency count

And makes her pew-fellow with others' moan!
pew-fellow (n.) one who shares a church bench; companion, associate


DUCHESS OF YORK

O Harry's wife, triumph not in my woes!

God witness with me I have wept for thine.


QUEEN MARGARET

Bear with me! I am hungry for revenge,

And now I cloy me with beholding it.
cloy (v.) 1 satiate, gorge, satisfy

Thy Edward he is dead, that killed my Edward;

Thy other Edward dead, to quit my Edward;
quit (v.) 6 avenge, requite, take vengeance [on]

Young York he is but boot, because both they
boot (n.) 3 additional element, something added to the bargain

Matched not the high perfection of my loss.

Thy Clarence he is dead that stabbed my Edward,

And the beholders of this frantic play,
frantic (adj.) mad, insane, frenzied, out of one's senses

Th' adulterate Hastings, Rivers, Vaughan, Grey,
adulterate (adj.) adulterous

Untimely smothered in their dusky graves.
untimely (adv.) 1 prematurely, too soon, before due time

Richard yet lives, hell's black intelligencer;
intelligencer (n.) 2 secret agent, spy, operative

Only reserved their factor to buy souls
factor (n.) agent, representative, broker
reserve (v.) preserve, retain, keep

And send them thither. But at hand, at hand,

Ensues his piteous and unpitied end.

Earth gapes, hell burns, fiends roar, saints pray,

To have him suddenly conveyed from hence.
convey (v.) 1 carry off, make away with, take by force

Cancel his bond of life, dear God, I pray,

That I may live and say, ‘ The dog is dead.’


QUEEN ELIZABETH

O, thou didst prophesy the time would come

That I should wish for thee to help me curse

That bottled spider, that foul bunch-backed toad!
bottled (adj.) bottle-shaped, hunched, swollen
bunch-backed (adj.) hunch-backed


QUEEN MARGARET

I called thee then vain flourish of my fortune;
flourish (n.) 3 ornamentation, decoration, adornment
vain (adj.) 2 worthless, idle, useless, empty

I called thee then poor shadow, painted queen,
painted (adj.) 2 unreal, artificial, superficial
shadow (n.) 1 image, likeness, portrait, semblance

The presentation of but what I was,
presentation (n.) semblance, display, show

The flattering index of a direful pageant,
direful (adj.) dreadful, terrible, frightful
index (n.) prologue, preface, table of contents

One heaved a-high to be hurled down below,
a-high (adv.) on high, aloft

A mother only mocked with two fair babes,

A dream of what thou wast, a garish flag

To be the aim of every dangerous shot;
aim (n.) 2 target, object, goal
shot (n.) 2 armed soldier, gunner, marksman

A sign of dignity, a breath, a bubble,
sign (n.) 3 mere semblance, token symbol, show

A queen in jest, only to fill the scene.

Where is thy husband now? Where be thy brothers?

Where are thy two sons? Wherein dost thou joy?
joy (v.) 1 feel joy, be happy, rejoice

Who sues and kneels and says, ‘ God save the Queen ’?
sue (v.) 1 beg, plead, beseech

Where be the bending peers that flattered thee?
bending (adj.) 2 bowing, reverential, respectful

Where be the thronging troops that followed thee?
troop (n.) company, retinue, band of followers

Decline all this, and see what now thou art:
decline (v.) 4 go systematically through, recite in order

For happy wife, a most distressed widow;

For joyful mother, one that wails the name;
wail (v.) bewail, lament, grieve [for]

For one being sued to, one that humbly sues;

For queen, a very caitiff crowned with care;
caitiff (n.) [sympathetic or contemptuous] miserable wretch, wretched creature

For she that scorned at me, now scorned of me;

For she being feared of all, now fearing one;

For she commanding all, obeyed of none.

Thus hath the course of justice wheeled about
course (n.) 2 habit, custom, practise, normal procedure

And left thee but a very prey to time,

Having no more but thought of what thou wast,

To torture thee the more, being what thou art.

Thou didst usurp my place, and dost thou not
place (n.) 1 position, post, office, rank See Topics: Frequency count

Usurp the just proportion of my sorrow?

Now thy proud neck bears half my burdened yoke,
burdened, burthened (adj.) burdensome, heavy, oppressive

From which even here I slip my weary head

And leave the burden of it all on thee.

Farewell, York's wife, and Queen of sad mischance!
sad (adj.) 3 downcast, distressed, mournful, gloomy

These English woes shall make me smile in France.


QUEEN ELIZABETH

O thou well skilled in curses, stay awhile

And teach me how to curse mine enemies!


QUEEN MARGARET

Forbear to sleep the nights, and fast the days;
forbear (v.) 1 stop, cease, desist See Topics: Frequency count

Compare dead happiness with living woe;

Think that thy babes were sweeter than they were

And he that slew them fouler than he is.

Bettering thy loss makes the bad causer worse;

Revolving this will teach thee how to curse.
revolve (v.) consider, ponder, meditate


QUEEN ELIZABETH

My words are dull. O, quicken them with thine!
quicken (v.) 1 revive, rejuvenate, give life [to]


QUEEN MARGARET

Thy woes will make them sharp and pierce like mine.

Exit Queen Margaret


DUCHESS OF YORK

Why should calamity be full of words?


QUEEN ELIZABETH

Windy attorneys to their client's woes,

Airy succeeders of intestate joys,
intestate (adj.) leaving no will, lacking inheritance

Poor breathing orators of miseries,

Let them have scope! Though what they will impart

Help nothing else, yet do they ease the heart.


DUCHESS OF YORK

If so, then be not tongue-tied: go with me,

And in the breath of bitter words let's smother

My damned son that thy two sweet sons smothered.

The trumpet sounds. Be copious in exclaims.
exclaim (n.) exclamation, outcry, protest

Enter King Richard and his train, marching, with

drums and trumpets


KING RICHARD

Who intercepts my expedition?
expedition (n.) 3 warlike enterprise, setting out for war


DUCHESS OF YORK

O, she that might have intercepted thee,

By strangling thee in her accursed womb,

From all the slaughters, wretch, that thou hast done!


QUEEN ELIZABETH

Hid'st thou that forehead with a golden crown

Where should be branded, if that right were right,

The slaughter of the prince that owed that crown
owe (v.) 1 own, possess, have See Topics: Frequency count

And the dire death of my poor sons and brothers?

Tell me, thou villain-slave, where are my children?
villain-slave (n.) villainous wretch


DUCHESS OF YORK

Thou toad, thou toad, where is thy brother Clarence?

And little Ned Plantagenet, his son?


QUEEN ELIZABETH

Where is the gentle Rivers, Vaughan, Grey?
gentle (adj.) 1 well-born, honourable, noble See Topics: Frequency count


DUCHESS OF YORK

Where is kind Hastings?


KING RICHARD

A flourish, trumpets! Strike alarum, drums!
alarm, alarum, 'larm, 'larum (n.) 1 call to arms, call to battle, signal to begin fighting See Topics: Stage directions
drum (n.) drummer See Topics: Stage directions
flourish (n.) 1 fanfare See Topics: Stage directions
strike (v.), past form stroke 2 beat, sound, strike up
trumpet (n.) 1 trumpeter; herald, announcer See Topics: Stage directions

Let not the heavens hear these tell-tale women

Rail on the Lord's anointed. Strike, I say!
rail (v.) rant, rave, be abusive [about] See Topics: Frequency count

Flourish. Alarums
entreat, intreat (v.) 4 treat, handle, deal with
fair (adv.) 1 kindly, encouragingly, courteously

Either be patient and entreat me fair,

Or with the clamorous report of war

Thus will I drown your exclamations.
exclamation (n.) 1 loud reproach, outcry, clamorous complaint


DUCHESS OF YORK

Art thou my son?


KING RICHARD

Ay, I thank God, my father, and yourself.


DUCHESS OF YORK

Then patiently hear my impatience.


KING RICHARD

Madam, I have a touch of your condition

That cannot brook the accent of reproof.
brook (v.) 1 endure, tolerate, put up with


DUCHESS OF YORK

O, let me speak!


KING RICHARD

                         Do then, but I'll not hear.


DUCHESS OF YORK

I will be mild and gentle in my words.
gentle (adj.) 4 peaceful, calm, free from violence


KING RICHARD

And brief, good mother, for I am in haste.


DUCHESS OF YORK

Art thou so hasty? I have stayed for thee,
stay for (v.) wait for, await

God knows, in torment and in agony.


KING RICHARD

And came I not at last to comfort you?


DUCHESS OF YORK

No, by the Holy Rood, thou know'st it well,

Thou cam'st on earth to make the earth my hell.

A grievous burden was thy birth to me;

Tetchy and wayward was thy infancy;
tetchy, teachy (adj.) irritable, peevish, fretful

Thy schooldays frightful, desperate, wild, and furious;
frightful (adj.) frightening, terrifying, full of horror

Thy prime of manhood daring, bold, and venturous;
prime (n.) 2 early years, prime of life, fullness of youth

Thy age confirmed, proud, subtle, sly, and bloody,
age (n.) 2 mature years, old age
confirmed (adj.) resolute, determined, purposeful

More mild, but yet more harmful – kind in hatred.

What comfortable hour canst thou name
comfortable (adj.) 1 cheerful, cheery, light-hearted

That ever graced me with thy company?


KING RICHARD

Faith, none, but Humphrey Hour, that called your grace

To breakfast once, forth of my company.

If I be so disgracious in your eye,
disgracious (adj.) disliked, out of favour, displeasing

Let me march on and not offend you, madam.

Strike up the drum.


DUCHESS OF YORK

                         I prithee hear me speak.


KING RICHARD

You speak too bitterly.


DUCHESS OF YORK

                         Hear me a word,

For I shall never speak to thee again.


KING RICHARD

So.


DUCHESS OF YORK

Either thou wilt die by God's just ordinance

Ere from this war thou turn a conqueror,
turn (v.) 5 return, come back

Or I with grief and extreme age shall perish

And never more behold thy face again.

Therefore take with thee my most grievous curse,

Which in the day of battle tire thee more

Than all the complete armour that thou wearest!

My prayers on the adverse party fight,

And there the little souls of Edward's children

Whisper the spirits of thine enemies

And promise them success and victory!

Bloody thou art, bloody will be thy end;

Shame serves thy life and doth thy death attend.
attend (v.) 1 await, wait for, expect See Topics: Frequency count

Exit


QUEEN ELIZABETH

Though far more cause, yet much less spirit to curse

Abides in me, I say amen to her.


KING RICHARD

Stay, madam; I must talk a word with you.


QUEEN ELIZABETH

I have no more sons of the royal blood

For thee to slaughter. For my daughters, Richard,

They shall be praying nuns, not weeping queens;

And therefore level not to hit their lives.
level (v.) aim, direct, target


KING RICHARD

You have a daughter called Elizabeth

Virtuous and fair, royal and gracious.


QUEEN ELIZABETH

And must she die for this? O, let her live,

And I'll corrupt her manners, stain her beauty,

Slander myself as false to Edward's bed,
false (adj.) 2 disloyal, faithless, inconstant, unfaithful

Throw over her the veil of infamy.

So she may live unscarred of bleeding slaughter,

I will confess she was not Edward's daughter.


KING RICHARD

Wrong not her birth; she is a royal princess.


QUEEN ELIZABETH

To save her life, I'll say she is not so.


KING RICHARD

Her life is safest only in her birth.


QUEEN ELIZABETH

And only in that safety died her brothers.


KING RICHARD

Lo, at their births good stars were opposite.
opposite (adj.) opposed, hostile, adverse, antagonistic [to]


QUEEN ELIZABETH

No, to their lives ill friends were contrary.
ill (adj.) 2 evil, wicked, immoral


KING RICHARD

All unavoided is the doom of destiny.
unavoided (adj.) unavoidable, inevitable, inescapable


QUEEN ELIZABETH

True, when avoided grace makes destiny.

My babes were destined to a fairer death

If grace had blessed thee with a fairer life.


KING RICHARD

You speak as if that I had slain my cousins!


QUEEN ELIZABETH

Cousins indeed, and by their uncle cozened
cozen (v.) cheat, dupe, trick, deceive

Of comfort, kingdom, kindred, freedom, life.

Whose hand soever lanched their tender hearts,
lanch (v.) pierce, stab, wound

Thy head, all indirectly, gave direction.
all (conj.) although

No doubt the murderous knife was dull and blunt

Till it was whetted on thy stone-hard heart

To revel in the entrails of my lambs.

But that still use of grief makes wild grief tame,
still (adj.) 5 constant, continual, perpetual
use (n.) 1 usual practice, habit, custom

My tongue should to thy ears not name my boys

Till that my nails were anchored in thine eyes;
anchor (v.) 2 embed, sink, fix firmly

And I, in such a desperate bay of death,
bay (n.) 1 [hunting] last stand, point of capture

Like a poor bark of sails and tackling reft,
bark, barque (n.) ship, vessel
tackling (n.) rigging [of a ship], tackle See Topics: Ships

Rush all to pieces on thy rocky bosom.


KING RICHARD

Madam, so thrive I in my enterprise

And dangerous success of bloody wars
success (n.) 1 result, outcome, issue

As I intend more good to you and yours

Than ever you or yours were by me harmed!


QUEEN ELIZABETH

What good is covered with the face of heaven,

To be discovered, that can do me good?
discover (v.) 1 reveal, show, make known See Topics: Frequency count


KING RICHARD

Th' advancement of your children, gentle lady.
gentle (adj.) 1 well-born, honourable, noble See Topics: Frequency count


QUEEN ELIZABETH

Up to some scaffold, there to lose their heads?


KING RICHARD

Unto the dignity and height of fortune,

The high imperial type of this earth's glory.
type (n.) 2 emblem, symbol, insignia


QUEEN ELIZABETH

Flatter my sorrows with report of it.

Tell me, what state, what dignity, what honour
state (n.) 2 status, rank, position

Canst thou demise to any child of mine?
demise (v.) transmit, confer, convey


KING RICHARD

Even all I have – yea, and myself and all –

Will I withal endow a child of thine,

So in the Lethe of thy angry soul

Thou drown the sad remembrance of those wrongs
remembrance (n.) 1 memory, bringing to mind, recollection See Topics: Frequency count
sad (adj.) 3 downcast, distressed, mournful, gloomy

Which thou supposest I have done to thee.


QUEEN ELIZABETH

Be brief, lest that the process of thy kindness
process (n.) 3 account, report, story

Last longer telling than thy kindness' date.
date (n.) 1 duration, period of existence


KING RICHARD

Then know that from my soul I love thy daughter.


QUEEN ELIZABETH

My daughter's mother thinks it with her soul.


KING RICHARD

What do you think?


QUEEN ELIZABETH

That thou dost love my daughter from thy soul.

So from thy soul's love didst thou love her brothers,

And from my heart's love I do thank thee for it.


KING RICHARD

Be not so hasty to confound my meaning.
confound (v.) 4 challenge, defy, overturn

I mean that with my soul I love thy daughter

And mean to make her Queen of England.


QUEEN ELIZABETH

Well then, who dost thou mean shall be her king?


KING RICHARD

Even he that makes her queen. Who else should be?


QUEEN ELIZABETH

What, thou?


KING RICHARD

                         Even so. How think you of it?


QUEEN ELIZABETH

How canst thou woo her?


KING RICHARD

                         That would I learn of you,

As one being best acquainted with her humour.
humour (n.) 1 mood, disposition, frame of mind, temperament [as determined by bodily fluids] See Topics: Frequency count


QUEEN ELIZABETH

And wilt thou learn of me?


KING RICHARD

                         Madam, with all my heart.


QUEEN ELIZABETH

Send to her by the man that slew her brothers

A pair of bleeding hearts; thereon engrave

‘ Edward ’ and ‘ York ’; then haply she will weep.
haply (adv.) perhaps, maybe, by chance, with luck See Topics: Frequency count

Therefore present to her – as sometimes Margaret
sometimes (adv.) formerly, once, at one time, previously

Did to thy father, steeped in Rutland's blood –

A handkerchief, which say to her did drain

The purple sap from her sweet brother's body,
purple (adj.) bright-red, blood-coloured, bloody
sap (n.) vital fluid, life-blood

And bid her wipe her weeping eyes withal.

If this inducement move her not to love,

Send her a letter of thy noble deeds:

Tell her thou mad'st away her uncle Clarence,

Her uncle Rivers; yea, and for her sake,

Mad'st quick conveyance with her good aunt Anne!
conveyance (n.) 3 removal, carrying off, elimination [of]


KING RICHARD

You mock me, madam; this is not the way

To win your daughter.


QUEEN ELIZABETH

                         There is no other way,

Unless thou couldst put on some other shape,

And not be Richard that hath done all this.


KING RICHARD

Say that I did all this for love of her.


QUEEN ELIZABETH

Nay, then indeed she cannot choose but hate thee,

Having bought love with such a bloody spoil.
spoil (n.) 3 slaughter, destruction, ruination


KING RICHARD

Look what is done cannot be now amended.

Men shall deal unadvisedly sometimes,
deal (v.) 1 proceed, behave, conduct oneself

Which after-hours give leisure to repent.
after-hours (n.) subsequent time, later moments

If I did take the kingdom from your sons,

To make amends I'll give it to your daughter.

If I have killed the issue of your womb,
issue (n.) 1 child(ren), offspring, family, descendant See Topics: Frequency count

To quicken your increase I will beget
increase (n.) 2 offspring, descendants, procreation
quicken (v.) 1 revive, rejuvenate, give life [to]

Mine issue of your blood upon your daughter;

A grandam's name is little less in love
grandam (n.) grandmother See Topics: Family

Than is the doting title of a mother;

They are as children but one step below,

Even of your metal, of your very blood,
metal (n.) substance, material, fabric

Of all one pain, save for a night of groans
pain (n.) effort, endeavour, exertion, labour

Endured of her for whom you bid like sorrow.
bide (v.) 1 endure, suffer, undergo
like (adj.) 1 same, similar, alike, equal See Topics: Frequency count

Your children were vexation to your youth

But mine shall be a comfort to your age.

The loss you have is but a son being king,

And by that loss your daughter is made queen.

I cannot make you what amends I would;

Therefore accept such kindness as I can.

Dorset your son, that with a fearful soul
fearful (adj.) 1 timid, timorous, frightened, full of fear

Leads discontented steps in foreign soil,

This fair alliance quickly shall call home

To high promotions and great dignity.

The King, that calls your beauteous daughter wife,

Familiarly shall call thy Dorset brother.
familiarly (adv.) as a member of the same family, with intimate acquaintance

Again shall you be mother to a king,

And all the ruins of distressful times

Repaired with double riches of content.
content (n.) 2 contentment, peace of mind

What! We have many goodly days to see:

The liquid drops of tears that you have shed

Shall come again, transformed to orient pearl,
orient (adj.) 1 lustrous, brilliant, bright

Advantaging their love with interest
advantage (v.) 2 enrich, augment, add value to

Of ten times double gain of happiness.

Go then, my mother; to thy daughter go;

Make bold her bashful years with your experience;

Prepare her ears to hear a wooer's tale;

Put in her tender heart th' aspiring flame

Of golden sovereignty; acquaint the Princess

With the sweet silent hours of marriage joys;

And when this arm of mine hath chastised

The petty rebel, dull-brained Buckingham,

Bound with triumphant garlands will I come
triumphant (adj.) triumphal, glorious, celebrating a great victory

And lead thy daughter to a conqueror's bed;

To whom I will retail my conquest won,
retail (v.) recount, relate in detail, retell

And she shall be sole victoress, Caesar's Caesar.


QUEEN ELIZABETH

What were I best to say? Her father's brother

Would be her lord? Or shall I say her uncle?

Or he that slew her brothers and her uncles?

Under what title shall I woo for thee
title (n.) 3 name, label, designation

That God, the law, my honour, and her love

Can make seem pleasing to her tender years?


KING RICHARD

Infer fair England's peace by this alliance.
infer (v.) 1 adduce, bring up, put forward


QUEEN ELIZABETH

Which she shall purchase with still-lasting war.


KING RICHARD

Tell her the King, that may command, entreats.


QUEEN ELIZABETH

That at her hands which the King's king forbids.


KING RICHARD

Say she shall be a high and mighty queen.


QUEEN ELIZABETH

To vail the title, as her mother doth.
vail (v.) 2 let fall, yield, surrender


KING RICHARD

Say I will love her everlastingly.


QUEEN ELIZABETH

But how long shall that title ‘ ever ’ last?
title (n.) 3 name, label, designation


KING RICHARD

Sweetly in force unto her fair life's end.


QUEEN ELIZABETH

But how long fairly shall her sweet life last?
fairly (adv.) 6 free from foul play, in a healthy state


KING RICHARD

As long as heaven and nature lengthens it.


QUEEN ELIZABETH

So long as hell and Richard likes of it.


KING RICHARD

Say I, her sovereign, am her subject love.


QUEEN ELIZABETH

But she, your subject, loathes such sovereignty.


KING RICHARD

Be eloquent in my behalf to her.


QUEEN ELIZABETH

An honest tale speeds best being plainly told.
speed (v.) 1 meet with success, prosper, flourish See Topics: Politeness


KING RICHARD

Then plainly to tell her my loving tale.


QUEEN ELIZABETH

Plain and not honest is too harsh a style.
honest (adj.) 2 honourable, respectable, upright


KING RICHARD

Your reasons are too shallow and too quick.
quick (adj.) 9 hasty, hurried
reason (n.) 5 observation, remark, point


QUEEN ELIZABETH

O no, my reasons are too deep and dead –

Too deep and dead, poor infants, in their graves.


KING RICHARD

Harp not on that string, madam; that is past.


QUEEN ELIZABETH

Harp on it still shall I till heart-strings break.
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count


KING RICHARD

Now, by my George, my Garter, and my crown –


QUEEN ELIZABETH

Profaned, dishonoured, and the third usurped.


KING RICHARD

I swear –


QUEEN ELIZABETH

                         By nothing, for this is no oath.

The George, profaned, hath lost his lordly honour;
George (n.) badge [of the Order of the Garter] displaying St George and the dragon

Thy Garter, blemished, pawned his knightly virtue;
virtue (n.) 1 quality, accomplishment, ability

Thy crown, usurped, disgraced his kingly glory.

If something thou wouldst swear to be believed,

Swear then by something that thou hast not wronged.


KING RICHARD

Then by myself –


QUEEN ELIZABETH

                         Thyself is self-misused.


KING RICHARD

Now by the world –


QUEEN ELIZABETH

                         'Tis full of thy foul wrongs.


KING RICHARD

My father's death –


QUEEN ELIZABETH

                         Thy life hath it dishonoured.


KING RICHARD

Why then, by God –


QUEEN ELIZABETH

                         God's wrong is most of all.

If thou didst fear to break an oath with Him,

The unity the King my husband made
unity (n.) reconciliation, concord, harmony

Thou hadst not broken, nor my brothers died.

If thou hadst feared to break an oath by Him,

Th' imperial metal, circling now thy head,

Had graced the tender temples of my child,

And both the princes had been breathing here,

Which now, two tender bedfellows for dust,

Thy broken faith hath made the prey for worms.

What canst thou swear by now?


KING RICHARD

                         The time to come.


QUEEN ELIZABETH

That thou hast wronged in the time o'erpast;

For I myself have many tears to wash

Hereafter time, for time past wronged by thee.
hereafter (adj.) future, forthcoming, later

The children live whose fathers thou hast slaughtered,

Ungoverned youth, to wail it in their age;

The parents live whose children thou hast butchered,

Old barren plants, to wail it with their age.

Swear not by time to come, for that thou hast

Misused ere used, by times ill-used o'erpast.
overpast (adj.) past, now ended, former


KING RICHARD

As I intend to prosper and repent,

So thrive I in my dangerous affairs

Of hostile arms! Myself myself confound!

Heaven and fortune bar me happy hours!
bar (v.) 1 prevent, obstruct, block

Day, yield me not thy light, nor, night, thy rest!

Be opposite all planets of good luck
opposite (adj.) opposed, hostile, adverse, antagonistic [to]

To my proceedings if, with dear heart's love,

Immaculate devotion, holy thoughts,

I tender not thy beauteous princely daughter!
tender (v.) 2 feel concern for, hold dear, care for

In her consists my happiness and thine;

Without her, follows to myself and thee,

Herself, the land, and many a Christian soul,

Death, desolation, ruin, and decay.
decay (n.) 1 destruction, downfall, ending

It cannot be avoided but by this;

It will not be avoided but by this.

Therefore, dear mother – I must call you so –

Be the attorney of my love to her:
attorney (n.) 2 advocate, mediator, promoter

Plead what I will be, not what I have been –

Not my deserts, but what I will deserve;

Urge the necessity and state of times,
state (n.) 1 condition, circumstances, situation, state of affairs
time (n.) 1 (the) world, (the) age, society

And be not peevish-fond in great designs.
design (n.) 1 undertaking, purpose, enterprise
peevish-fond (adj.) obstinately foolish


QUEEN ELIZABETH

Shall I be tempted of the devil thus?


KING RICHARD

Ay, if the devil tempt you to do good.


QUEEN ELIZABETH

Shall I forget myself to be myself?


KING RICHARD

Ay, if yourself's remembrance wrong yourself.
remembrance (n.) 1 memory, bringing to mind, recollection See Topics: Frequency count


QUEEN ELIZABETH

Yet thou didst kill my children.


KING RICHARD

But in your daughter's womb I bury them,

Where, in that nest of spicery, they will breed

Selves of themselves, to your recomforture.
recomforture (n.) consolation, comfort, solace


QUEEN ELIZABETH

Shall I go win my daughter to thy will?


KING RICHARD

And be a happy mother by the deed.


QUEEN ELIZABETH

I go. Write to me very shortly,

And you shall understand from me her mind.


KING RICHARD

Bear her my true love's kiss; and so farewell –

Exit Queen Elizabeth

Relenting fool, and shallow, changing woman!
relenting (adj.) soft-hearted, sympathetic, pitying
shallow (adj.) naive, gullible, lacking in depth of character

Enter Ratcliffe, Catesby following

How now? What news?


RATCLIFFE

Most mighty sovereign, on the western coast

Rideth a puissant navy; to our shores
puissant (adj.) powerful, mighty, strong

Throng many doubtful, hollow-hearted friends,

Unarmed, and unresolved to beat them back.

'Tis thought that Richmond is their admiral;

And there they hull, expecting but the aid
hull (v.) lie, float, drift [with sails furled]

Of Buckingham to welcome them ashore.


KING RICHARD

Some light-foot friend post to the Duke of Norfolk:
light-foot (adj.) light-footed
post (v.) 1 hasten, speed, ride fast

Ratcliffe, thyself – or Catesby – where is he?


CATESBY

Here, my good lord.


KING RICHARD

                         Catesby, fly to the Duke.


CATESBY

I will, my lord, with all convenient haste.
convenient (adj.) fitting, suitable, appropriate


KING RICHARD

Ratcliffe, come hither. Post to Salisbury.

When thou com'st thither – (To Catesby) Dull unmindful villain,

Why stay'st thou here and go'st not to the Duke?


CATESBY

First, mighty liege, tell me your highness' pleasure,

What from your grace I shall deliver to him.


KING RICHARD

O, true, good Catesby; bid him levy straight
straight (adv.) straightaway, immediately, at once See Topics: Frequency count

The greatest strength and power that he can make
make (v.) 8 raise, acquire, procure
power (n.) 1 armed force, troops, host, army See Topics: Frequency count

And meet me suddenly at Salisbury.
suddenly (adv.) 1 immediately, at once, without delay


CATESBY

I go.

Exit


RATCLIFFE

What, may it please you, shall I do at Salisbury?


KING RICHARD

Why, what wouldst thou do there before I go?


RATCLIFFE

Your highness told me I should post before.


KING RICHARD

My mind is changed.

Enter Earl of Derby

                         Stanley, what news with you?


DERBY

None good, my liege, to please you with the hearing,

Nor none so bad but well may be reported.


KING RICHARD

Hoyday, a riddle! Neither good nor bad!

What need'st thou run so many miles about,

When thou mayst tell thy tale a nearest way?

Once more, what news?


DERBY

                         Richmond is on the seas.


KING RICHARD

There let him sink, and be the seas on him!

White-livered runagate, what doth he there?
runagate (n.) 2 renegade, turncoat, rebel
white-livered (adj.) lily-livered, cowardly, feeble-spirited


DERBY

I know not, mighty sovereign, but by guess.


KING RICHARD

Well, as you guess?


DERBY

Stirred up by Dorset, Buckingham, and Morton,

He makes for England, here to claim the crown.


KING RICHARD

Is the chair empty? Is the sword unswayed?
chair (n.) 1 throne
unswayed (adj.) unwielded, uncontrolled, lacking direction

Is the King dead? The empire unpossessed?

What heir of York is there alive but we?

And who is England's king but great York's heir?

Then tell me, what makes he upon the seas?


DERBY

Unless for that, my liege, I cannot guess.


KING RICHARD

Unless for that he comes to be your liege,

You cannot guess wherefore the Welshman comes.

Thou wilt revolt and fly to him, I fear.


DERBY

No, my good lord; therefore mistrust me not.


KING RICHARD

Where is thy power then to beat him back?
power (n.) 1 armed force, troops, host, army See Topics: Frequency count

Where be thy tenants and thy followers?

Are they not now upon the western shore,

Safe-conducting the rebels from their ships?


DERBY

No, my good lord, my friends are in the north.


KING RICHARD

Cold friends to me! What do they in the north

When they should serve their sovereign in the west?


DERBY

They have not been commanded, mighty king.

Pleaseth your majesty to give me leave,

I'll muster up my friends and meet your grace

Where and what time your majesty shall please.


KING RICHARD

Ay, thou wouldst be gone to join with Richmond;

I will not trust thee.


DERBY

                         Most mighty sovereign,

You have no cause to hold my friendship doubtful.

I never was nor never will be false.
false (adj.) 1 treacherous, traitorous, perfidious See Topics: Frequency count


KING RICHARD

Go then, and muster men. But leave behind

Your son, George Stanley. Look your heart be firm,

Or else his head's assurance is but frail.
assurance (n.) 4 safety, security


DERBY

So deal with him as I prove true to you.

Exit

Enter a Messenger


FIRST MESSENGER

My gracious sovereign, now in Devonshire,

As I by friends am well advertised,
advertise, advertize (v.) 1 make aware, inform, notify; warn

Sir Edward Courtney and the haughty prelate,

Bishop of Exeter, his elder brother,

With many more confederates, are in arms.

Enter another Messenger


SECOND MESSENGER

In Kent, my liege, the Guildfords are in arms,

And every hour more competitors
competitor (n.) 1 partner, associate, colleague

Flock to the rebels and their power grows strong.
power (n.) 1 armed force, troops, host, army See Topics: Frequency count

Enter another Messenger


THIRD MESSENGER

My lord, the army of great Buckingham –


KING RICHARD

Out on you, owls! Nothing but songs of death?

He striketh him

There, take thou that, till thou bring better news.


THIRD MESSENGER

The news I have to tell your majesty

Is that by sudden flood and fall of water

Buckingham's army is dispersed and scattered,

And he himself wandered away alone,

No man knows whither.


KING RICHARD

                         I cry thee mercy.

There is my purse to cure that blow of thine.

Hath any well-advised friend proclaimed
well-advised (adj.) 1 prudent, sensible, thoughtful

Reward to him that brings the traitor in?


THIRD MESSENGER

Such proclamation hath been made, my lord.

Enter another Messenger


FOURTH MESSENGER

Sir Thomas Lovel and Lord Marquess Dorset,

'Tis said, my liege, in Yorkshire are in arms.

But this good comfort bring I to your highness:

The Britain navy is dispersed by tempest;
Britain (adj.) living in Brittany, from Brittany

Richmond in Dorsetshire sent out a boat

Unto the shore to ask those on the banks

If they were his assistants, yea or no;

Who answered him they came from Buckingham,

Upon his party. He, mistrusting them,
party (n.) 1 side, faction, camp

Hoised sail, and made his course again for Britain.
hoise (v.) 1 hoist


KING RICHARD

March on, march on, since we are up in arms;

If not to fight with foreign enemies,

Yet to beat down these rebels here at home.

Enter Catesby


CATESBY

My liege, the Duke of Buckingham is taken.

That is the best news. That the Earl of Richmond

Is with a mighty power landed at Milford
power (n.) 1 armed force, troops, host, army See Topics: Frequency count

Is colder tidings, but yet they must be told.
cold (adj.) 9 bad, unwelcome, disagreeable


KING RICHARD

Away towards Salisbury! While we reason here,
reason (v.) 1 talk, speak, converse

A royal battle might be won and lost.

Someone take order Buckingham be brought

To Salisbury; the rest march on with me.

Flourish. Exeunt

 
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