sons to


the King.

SIR JAMES TYRREL. GEORGE, duke of Clarence,


brothers to RICHARD, duke of Gloucester, afterwards

the King.


Sir, ROBERT BRAKENBURY, lieutenant of the Tower. A young son of Clarence.

CHRISTOPHER URSWICK, a priest. HENRY, earl of Richmond, afterwards KING HENRY VII. Another Priest. CARDINAL BOURCHIER, archbishop of Canterbury. TRESSEL and BERKELEY, gentlemen attending on the THOMAS ROTHERHAM, archbishop of York.

Lady Anne. JOAN Morton, bishop of Ely.

Lord Mayor of London.

Sheriff of Wiltshire.
EARL OF SURREY, his son.

ELIZABETH, queen to King Edward IV.
EARL RIVERS, brother to Elizabeth.

MARGARET, widow of King Henry VI.

DUCHESS OF YORK, mother to King Edward IV.

LADY ANNE, widow of Edward Prince of Wales, son to EARL OF OXFORD.

King Henry VI ; afterwards married to Richard. LORD HASTINGS.

A young Daughter of Clarence (MARGARET PLANTALORD STANLEY, called also EARL OF DERBY.

GENET). LORD LOVEL. Ghosts of those murdered by Richard III; Lords and other Attendants ; a Pursuivant, Scrivener, Citizens,

Murderers, Messengers, Soldiers, etc.

SCENE: England.]





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SCENE I. (London. A street.)

Glou. Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this sun of York;
And all the clouds that lour'd upon our house
In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.
Now are

our brows bound with victorious

Our bruised arms hung up for monuments;
Our stern alarums chang'd to merry meetings,
Our dreadful marches to delightful measures.
Grim-visag'd War hath smooth'd his wrinkled

And now, instead of mounting barbed steeds 10
To fright the souls of fearful adversaries,
He capers nimbly in a lady's chamber
To the lascivious pleasing of a lute.
But I, that am not shap'd for sportive tricks,
Nor made to court an amorous looking-glass ; 15
I, that am rudely stamp'd, and want love's

To strut before a wanton ambling nymph ;
I, that am curtail'd of this fair proportion,
Cheated of feature by dissembling nature,
Deform'd, unfinish'd, sent before my time
Into this breathing world, scarce half made up,
And that so lamely and unfashionable
That 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 see my shadow in the sun
And 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 villain
And hate the idle pleasures of these days.
Plots have I laid, inductions dangerous,
By drunken prophecies, libels, and dreams,
To set iny brother Clarence and the King
In deadly hate the one against the other;
And if King Edward be as true and just
As 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; here Clarence

Enter CLARENCE, guarded, and BRAKENBURY.
Brother, good day. What means this armed
That waits upon your Grace ?

His Majesty,
Tend'ring my person's safety, hath appointed
This conduct to convey me to the Tower.

Glou. Upon what cause ?

Because my name is George.
Glou. Alack, my lord, that fault is none of

yours; He should, for that, commit your godfathers. O, belike his Majesty hath some intent




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That you should be new christ'ned in the

Tower. But what's the matter, Clarence? May I

know? Clar. Yea, Richard, when I know, for I pro

test As yet I do not ; but, as I can learn, He hearkens after prophecies and dreams, And from the cross-row plucks the letter G, 65 And says a wizard told him that by G His 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 these bo Have mov'd his Highness to commit me now,

Glou. Why, this it is, when men are rul'd by 'Tis not the King that sends you to the Tower; My Lady Grey his wife, Clarence, 't is she That tempts him to this harsh 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 delivered ? We are not safe, Clarence; we are not safe. 70

Clar. By heaven, I think there is no man But the Queen's kindred, and night-walking

heralds That trudge betwixt the King and Mistress

Heard you not what an humble suppliant
Lord Hastings was to her for his delivery ?

Glou. Humbly complaining to her deity
Got 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 gentle-

women, Are mighty gossips in our monarchy. Brak. I beseech your Graces both to pardon

me : His Majesty hath straitly given in charge That no man shall have private conference, Of what degree soever, with your brother. Glou. Even so ? An't please your worship,

Brakenbury, You may partake of anything we say. We speak no treason, man. We say the King Is wise and virtuous, and his noble queen Well 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? Brak. With this, my lord, myself have

nought to do. Glou. Naught to do with Mistress Shore! I

tell thee, fellow, He that doth nanght with her, excepting one, Were best to do it secretly, alone.

Brak. What one, my lord ?


Glou. Her husband, knave. Wouldst thou

betray me? Brak. I do beseech your Grace to pardon me,

and withal Forbear your conference with the noble Duke. Clar. We know thy charge, Brakenbury,

and will obey. Glou. We are the Queen's abjects, and must

obey. Brother, farewell! I will unto the King; And whatsoe'er 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 brotherhood Touches me deeper than you can imagine.

Clar. I know it pleaseth neither of us well.
Glou. Well, your imprisonment shall not be

I will deliver you, or else lie for you.
Meantime, have patience.

I must perforce. Farewell. [Exeunt Clarence (Brakenbury, and

Guard). Glou. 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 delivered Hastings?

Enter LORD HASTINGS. Hast. Good time of day unto my gracious

lord ! Glou. As much unto my good Lord Cham

berlain! Well are you welcome to the open air. How hath your lordship brook'd imprisonment? Hast. With patience, noble lord, as prisoners

must; But I shall live, my lord, to give them thanks That were the cause of my imprisonment. Glou. 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. Hast. More pity that the eagles should be

Whiles kites and buzzards play at liberty.

Glou. What news abroad?
Hast. No news so bad abroad as this at

The King is sickly, weak, and melancholy,
And his physicians fear him mightily.
Glou. Now, by Saint John, that news is bad

0, he hath kept an evil diet long,
And overmuch consum'd his royal person.
'T is very grievous to be thought upon.
Where is he? In his bed ?

Hast. He is.
Glou. Go you before, and I will follow you.

[Erit Hastings. He cannot live, I hope ; and must not die Till George be pack'd with post-horse up to

heaven. I'll in, to urge his hatred more to Clarence



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With lies well steel'd with weighty arguments;
And, if I fail 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 amends Is to become her husband and her father ; The which will I; not all so much for love As 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.

(Erit. SCENE II. (The same. Another street.] Enter the corpse of King HENRY VI, [GENTLEMEN) with halberds to guard it, (among them TRESSEL and BERKELEY;] LADY ANNE being the mourner. Anne. Set down, set down your honourable

If honour may be shrouded in a hearse,
Whilst I a while obsequiously lament
The untimely fall of virtuous Lancaster.

(The coffin is set down.]
Poor key-cold figure of a holy king!
Pale ashes of the house of Lancaster!
Thon 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 slaught'red son,
Stabb'd by the self-same hand that made these

wounds! Lo, in these windows that let forth thy life, I pour the helpless balm of my poor eyes. O cursed be the hand that made these holes ! Cursed 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 wolves, to 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 aspect May fright the hopeful mother at the view; And that be heir to his unhappiness! If ever he have wife, let her be made More miserable by the death of him Than I am made by my young 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 this weight, Rest you, whiles I lament King Henry's corse,

(The bearers take up the coffin.)

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Enter GLOUCESTER. Glou. Stay, you that bear the corse, and set

it down. Anne. What black magician conjures up this

fiend To stop devoted charitable deeds? Glou. Villains, set down the corse; or, by

Saint Paul, I'll make a corse of him that disobeys. Gent. My lord, stand back, and let the coffin

pass. Glou. Unmanner'd dog! stand thou, when I

command. Advance thy halberd higher than my breast, 40 Or, by Saint Paul, I'll strike thee to my foot, And spurn upon thee, beggar, for thy boldness.

[The coffin is set down again.) 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. Glou. Sweet saint, for charity, be not so

curst. 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 wounds 65 Open their congeal'd mouths and bleed afresh! Blush, blush, thou lump of foul deformity; For 't is thy presence that exhales this blood From cold and empty veins, where no blood

dwells. Thy deed, inhuman and unnatural, Provokes this deluge most unnatural. O God, which this blood mad'st, revenge his

death! O earth, which this blood drink'st, revenge his

death! Either heaven with lightning strike the mur

derer dead, Or earth gape open wide and eat him quick, 65 As thou dost swallow up this good king's blood, Which his hell-govern'd arm hath butchered!

Glou. Lady, you know no rules of charity, Which renders good for bad, blessings for Anne. Villain, thou know'st nor law of God

nor man. No beast so fierce but knows some touch of

pity. Glou. But I know none, and therefore am

no beast. Anne. O wonderful, when devils tell the

truth! Glou. More wonderful, when angels are so

Vouchsafe, divine perfection of a woman,
Of these supposed crimes, to give me leave
By circumstance but to acquit myself.


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76 80






Anne. Vouchsafe, defus'd infection of a

man, For these known evils, but to give me leave, By circumstance, to curse thy cursed self. Glou. Fairer than tongue can name thee, let

me have Some patient leisure to excuse myself. Anne. Fouler than heart can think thee,

thou canst make No excuse current but to hang thyself. Glou. By such despair I should accuse my

self. Anne. And by despairing shalt thou stand

For doing worthy vengeance on thyself,
That didst unworthy slaughter upon others.

Glou. Say that I slew them not ?

Then say they were not slain. But dead they are, and, devilish slave, by

thee. Glou. I did not kill your husband. Anne.

Why, then he is alive. Glou. Nay, he is dead; and slain by Ed

ward's hands. Anne. In thy foul throat thou liest ! Queen

Margaret saw Thy murderous falchion smoking in his blood ; The which thou once didst bend against her

breast, But that thy brothers beat aside the point. Glou. I was provoked by her slanderous

tongue, That laid their guilt upon my guiltless shoul

ders. Anne. Thou wast provoked by thy bloody

mind, That never dreamst on aught but butcher

ies. Didst thou not kill this king ? Glou.

I grant ye. Anne. Dost grant me, hedgehog ? Then,

God grant me too Thou mayst be damned for that wicked deed ! O, he was gentle, mild, and virtuous ! "Glou. The better for the King of heaven,

that hath him. Anne. He is in heaven, where thou shalt

never come. Glou. Let him thank me, that holp to send

him thither; For he was fitter for that place than earth. Anne. And thou unfit for any place but

hell. Glou. Yes, one place else, if you will hear me

name it. Anne. Some dungeon. Glou.

Your bed-chamber, Anne. Il rest betide the chamber where

thou liest! Glou. So will it, madam, till I lie with you. Anne. I hope so.

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

Anne. Thou wast the cause,

and most ac curs'd effect. Glou. Your beauty was the cause of that

effect; Your beauty, that did haunt me in my sleep To undertake the death of all the world, So I might live one hour in your sweet bosom. Anne. If I thought that, I tell thee, homi

cide, These nails should rend that beauty from my

cheeks. Glou. These eyes could not endure that

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. Anne. Black night o'ershade thy day, and

death thy life! Glou. Curse not thyself, fair creature; thou

art both. Anne. I would I were, to be reveng'd on

thee. Glou. It is a quarrel most unnatural, To be reveng'd on him that loveth thee.

Anne. It is a quarrel just and reasonable, To be reveng'd on him that kill'd my husband. Glou. He that bereft thee, lady, of thy hus

band, Did it to help thee to a better husband. Anne. His better doth not breathe upon the

earth. Glou. He lives that loves thee better than

he could. Anne. Name him. Glou.

Plantagenet. Anne.

Why, that was he. Glou. The self-same name, but one of better

nature. Anne. Where is he? Glou. Here. (She spits at him.) Why

dost thou spit at me ? Anne. Would it were mortal poison for thy

sake! Glou. Never came poison from so sweet a

place. Anne. Never hung poison on a fouler toad. Out of my sight! Thou dost infect mine eyes. Glou. Thine eyes, sweet lady, have infected

mine. Anne. Would they were basilisks, to strike

thee dead! Glou. 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, Sham'd their aspects with store of childish

drops. These eyes, which never shed remorseful tear, No, when my father York and Edward wept To hear the piteous moan that Rutland made When black-fac'd Clifford shook his sword at

him ; Nor when thy warlike father, like a child, 150 Told the sad story of my father's death, And twenty times made pause to sob and weep, That all the standers-by bad wet their cheeks,















Like trees bedash'd with rain, - in that sad

time My manly eyes did scorn an humble tear; And what these sorrows could not thence ex

hale, Thy beauty hath, and made them blind with

weeping. I never sued to friend nor enemy; My tongue could never learn sweet smoothing

words; But, now thy beauty is propos'd my fee, My proud heart sues, and prompts my tongue to

speak. (She looks scornfully at him. Teach not thy lip such scorn, for it was made For 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 breast, 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 't was thy beauty that provoked me. Nay, now dispatch; 't was I that stabb'd

young Edward But 'twas thy heavenly face that set me on.

(She falls the sword. Take up the sword again, or take up me. Anne. Arise, dissembler ! Though I wish

thy death, I will not be thy executioner. Glou. Then bid me kill myself, and I will do

it. Anne. I have already. Glou.

That was in thy rage. Speak it again, and, even with the word, This hand, which for thy love did kill thy

love, Shall for thy love kill a far truer love ; To both their deaths shalt thou be accessary. Anne. I would I knew thy heart. Glou. 'Tis figur'd in my tongue. Anne. I fear me both are false. Glou. Then never man was true. Anne. Well, well, put up your sword. Glou. Say, then, my peace is made. Anne. That shalt thou know hereafter. Glou. But shall I live in hope ? Anne. All men, I hope, live so. (Glou.] Vouchsafe to wear this ring. (Anne. To take is not to give.]

(Puts on the ring.] Glou. Look, how my ring encompasseth thy

Even so thy breast encloseth my poor heart. 205
Wear both of them, for both of them are thine.
And if thy poor devoted servant may
But beg one favour at thy gracious hand,
Thou dost confirm his happiness for ever.

Anne. What is it?
Glou. That it may please you leave these sad

To him that hath most cause to be a mourner,
And presently repair to Crosby House;
Where, after I have solemnly interr'd

At Chertsey monastery this noble king,
And wet his grave with my repentant tears,
I will with all expedient duty see you.
For divers unknown reasons, I beseech you,
Grant me this boon.
Anne. With all my heart, and much it joys

me too,
To see you are become so penitent.
Tressel and Berkeley, go along with me.

Glou. Bid me farewell.

'Tis more than you deserve; But since you teach me how to flatter you, Imagine I have said farewell already.

[Eceunt Lady Anne, Pressel, and

[Glou. Sirs, take up the corse.]
Gent. Towards Chertsey, noble lord ?
Glou. No, to White-Friars; there attend my

coming (Exeunt all but Gloucester.
Was ever woman in this humour woo'd ?
Was ever woman in this humour won ?
I'll have her; but I will not keep her long. 280
What! I, that kill'd her husband and his father,
To take her in her heart's extremest hate,
With curses in her mouth, tears in her eyes,
The bleeding witness of my hatred by;
Having God, her conscience, and these bars

against me, And I no friends to back my suit withal But the plain devil and dissembling looks, And yet to win her, all the world to nothing ! Ha! Hath she forgot already that brave prince, Edward, her lord, whom I, some three months

since, Stabb'd in my angry mood at Tewksbury? A sweeter and a lovelier gentleman, Fram'd in the prodigality of nature, Young, valiant, wise, and, no doubt, right royal, The spacious world cannot again afford. And will she yet abase her eyes on me, That cropp'd the golden prime of this sweet

prince, And made her widow to a woeful bed ? On me, whose all not equals Edward's moiety? On me, that halts and am misshapen thus ? My dukedom to a beggarly denier, I do mistake my person all this while. Upon my life, she finds, although I cannot, Myself to be a marvellous proper man. I'll be at charges for a looking-glass, And entertain a score or two of tailors, To study fashions to adorn my body. Since I am crept in favour with myself, I will maintain it with some little cost. But first I'll turn yon fellow in his grave; And then return lamenting to my love. Shine out, fair sun, till I have bought a glass, That I may see my shadow as I pass. (Erit.

SCENE III. (The palace.)

Riv. Have patience, madam ; there's no

doubt his Majesty
Will soon recover his accustom'd health.









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