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That taught his son the office of a fowl!
And yet, for all his wings, the fool was drown'd.
K. Hen. I, Daedalus; my poor boy, Icarus ;
Thy father, Minos, that denied our course;
The sun that sear'd the wings of my sweet boy
Thy brother Edward, and thyself the sea
Whose envious gulf did swallow up his life.
Ah, kill me with thy weapon, not with words!
My breast can better brook thy dagger's point
Than can my ears that tragic history.

But wherefore dost thou come ? is't for my life? 29

Glou. Think'st thou I am an executioner? K. Hen. A persecutor, I am sure, thou art : If murdering innocents be executing, Why, then thou art an executioner.

Glou. Thy son I kill'd for his presumption. K. Hen. Hadst thou been kill'd when first thou didst presume

Thou hadst not lived to kill a son of mine.
And thus I prophesy, that many a thousand,
Which now mistrust no parcel of my fear,
And many an old man's sigh and many a


And many an orphan's water-standing eyeMen for their sons, wives for their husbands, And orphans for their parents' timeless deathShall rue the hour that ever thou wast born. The owl shriek'd at thy birth,-an evil sign; The night-crow cried, aboding luckless time; Dogs howl'd, and hideous tempest shook down trees;

The raven rook'd her on the chimney's top, And chattering pies in dismal discords sung. Thy mother felt more than a mother's pain, And yet brought forth less than a mother's hope,


To wit, an indigested and deformed lump,
Not like the fruit of such a goodly tree.
Teeth hadst thou in thy head when thou wast

To signify thou camest to bite the world:
And, if the rest be true which I have heard,
Thon camest-

Glou. I'll hear no more: die, prophet, in thy speech: [Stabs him. For this, amongst the rest, was I ordain'd. K. Hen. Ay, and for much more slaughter after this.

9, God forgive my sins, and pardon thee! [Dies. 60 Glou. What, will the aspiring blood of Lan


Sink in the ground? I thought it would have mounted.

See how my sword weeps for the poor king's death!

O, may such purple tears be alway shed From those that wish the downfall of our house!

If any spark of life be yet remaining, Down, down to hell; and say I sent thee thither : [Stabs him again. I, that have neither pity, love, nor fear. Indeed, 'tis true that Henry told me of; For I have often heard my mother say


I came into the world with my legs forward :
Had I not reason, think ye, to make haste,
And seek their ruin that usurp'd our right?
The midwife wonder'd and the women cried
O, Jesus bless us, he is born with teeth!'
And so I was; which plainly signified
That I should snarl and bite and play the dog.
Then, since the heavens have shaped my body


Let hell inake crook'd my mind to answer it.
I have no brother, I am like no brother; 80
And this word 'love,' which greybeards call

Be resident in men like one another
And not in me: I am myself alone.
Clarence, beware; thou keep'st me from the

But I will sort a pitchy day for thee;
For I will buz abroad such prophecies
That Edward shall be fearful of his life,
And then, to purge his fear, I'll be thy death.
King Henry and the prince his son are gone :
Clarence, thy turn is next, and then the rest,
Counting myself but bad till I be best.
I'll throw thy body in another room
And triumph, Henry, in thy day of doom.
[Exit, with the body.


SCENE VII. London. The palace. Flourish. Enter KING EDWARD, QUEEN ELIZABETH, Clarence, GLOUCESTER, HASTINGS, a Nurse with the young Prince, and Attendants.

K. Edw.

Once more we sit in England's royal throne,

Re-purchased with the blood of enemies.
What valiant foemen, like to autumn's corn,
Have we mow'd down in tops of all their

Three Dukes of Somerset, threefold renown'd
For hardy and undoubted champions;
Two Cliffords, as the father and the son,
And two Northumberlands; two braver men
Ne'er spurr'd their coursers at the trumpet's

With them, the two brave bears, Warwick and

That in their chains fetter'd the kingly lion And made the forest tremble when they roar'd. Thus have we swept suspicion from our seat And made our footstool of security.

Come hither, Bess, and let me kiss my boy. Young Ned, for thee, thine uncles and myself Have in our armors watch'd the winter's night,

Went all afoot in summer's scalding heat, That thou mightst repossess the crown in peace;

And of our labors thou shalt reap the gain. 20 Glou. [Aside] I'll blast his harvest, if your head were laid;

For yet I am not look'd on in the world.
This shoulder was ordain'd so thick to heave;
And heave it shall some weight, or break my

Work thou the way,-and thou shalt execute.

K. Edw. Clarence and Gloucester, love my lovely queen;

And kiss your princely nephew, brothers both. Clar. The duty that I owe unto your majesty

I seal upon the lips of this sweet babe.

Q. Eliz. Thanks, noble Clarence; worthy brother, thanks.

Glou. And, that I love the tree from whence thou sprang'st,

Witness the loving kiss I give the fruit. [Aside] To say the truth, so Judas kiss'd his


And cried all hail!' when as he meant all harm.

K. Edw. Now am I seated as my soul delights

Having my country's peace and brothers' loves.

Clar. What will your grace have done with
Margaret ?

Reignier, her father, to the king of France
Hath pawn'd the Sicils and Jerusalem,
And hither have they sent it for her ransom.
K. Edu. Away with her, and waft her hence
to France.

And now what rests but that we spend the time

With stately triumphs, mirthful comic shows Such as befits the pleasure of the court? Sound drums and trumpets! farewell sour an noy!

For here, I hope, begins our lasting joy.



(WRITTEN IN 1593.)


This play, because among other alleged reasons it exhibits so much smaller a proportion of rhyme than Richard II., is held by some crities to be the later of the two in chronological order; bit here Shakespeare was working, though not in the presence, yet under the influence and in the HALLer of the great master of dramatic blank verse, Marlowe. Richard III. carries on with the highest energy, and we may suppose, after brief delay on Shakespeare's part, the subject of the fortules of the house of York from the point when it was dropped in 3 Hry VI. It would hardly be Psible that Shakespeare should subsequently continue to write in a manner so Marlowesque as that of Richard III., he was not yet in comedy or tragedy delivered from rhyme. What more natural than that he should pass in Richard II. to a manner perhaps inferior bat more his own, more varied, more subtle, and marked by finer if less forcible characterization? Richard III. can hardly be later in date than 1593. Shakespeare was indebted little, if at all, to the old play The True Tragedie of Richard III., and certainly not at all to Dr. Legge's Latin play upon the same subject. A highly popular subject with Elizabethan audiences this was-the fall of the Yorkist usurper, and the accession of the first Tudor king as champion of justice. Shakespeare's play was printed in quarto in seven editions between 1597 and 1650. His materials the dramatist found in the chronicles of Helinshed and Hall. The entire play may be said to be the exhibition of the one central character of Richard; all subordinate persons are created that he may wreak his will upon them. This is quite in the manner of Marlowe. Like Marlowe also is the fierce energy of the central character, unempered by moral restraints, the heaping up of violent deeds, the absence of all reserve or mystery in the characterization, the broad and bold touches, the demoniac force and intensity of the whole. There is something sublime and terrible in so great and fierce a human energy as that of Richard, concentrated within one withered and distorted body. This is the evil offspring and flower of the ong and cruel civil wars-this distorted creature, a hater and scorner of man, an absolute cynic, loveless and alone, disregarding all human bonds and human affections, yet full of intellect, of fire, of power. The accumulated crimes of civil war are at last atoned for, and the evil which culminates in Richard falls with Richard from its bad eminence.

KING EDWARD the Fourth.


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SIR ROBERT BRAKENBURY, Lieutenant of the

CHRISTOPHER URSWICK, a priest. Another

TRESSEL and BERKELEY, gentlemen attend-
ing 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

LADY ANNE, widow of Edward Prince of
Wales, son to King Henry VI.; after-
wards married to Richard.
A young Daughter of Clarence (MARGARET

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

SCENE: England.

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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 changed to merry meetings,
Our dreadful marches to delightful measures.
Grim-visaged war hath smooth'd his wrinkled


And now, instead of mounting barded steeds
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 shaped for sportive tricks,
Nor made to court an amorous looking-glass
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,
Deformed, unfinish'd, sent before my time 20
Into this breathing world, scarce half made


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 spy 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 my 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 Clar-.

ence comes.


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But what's the matter, Clarence? may I know? Clar. Yea, Richard, when I know; for I protest

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,
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 60
Have moved his highness to commit me now.
Glou. 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 she That 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. 70 Clar. By heaven, I think there's no man is

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His majesty hath straitly given in charge That no man shall have private conference, Of what degree soever, with his brother.

Glou Even so; an't please your worship

You may partake of any thing we say :
We speak no treason, man: we say the king 9
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 pleasin

And that the queen's kindred are made gentl

folks :

How say you, sir? can you deny all this? Brak. With this, my lord, myself hay nought to do.

Glou. Naught to do with Mistress Shore ! tell thee, fellow,

He that doth naught with her, excepting one
Were best he do it secretly, alone.
Brak. What one, my lord?


Glou. Her husband, knave: wouldst th betray me?

Brak. I 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 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 brotherhood
Touches me deeper than you can imagine.
Clar. I know it pleaseth neither of us well.
Gou. 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-deliver'd Has-
tings ?


Hast. Good time of day unto my gracious lord!

Glou. As much unto my good lord chamberlain !

Well are you welcome to the open air.
How hath your lordship brook'd imprison-


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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, 130
And have prevail'd as much on him as you.
Hast. More pity that the eagle should be

While kites and buzzards prey at liberty.
Glou. What news abroad?

Hast. No news so bad abroad as this at home;

The king is sickly, weak and melancholy,
And his physicians fear him mightily.

Glou. Now, by Saint Paul, this news is bad indeed.

0, he hath kept an evil diet long,

And overmuch consumed his royal person: 140 "Tis very grievous to be thought upon. What, is he in his bed?

Hast. He is.

Glou. Go you before, and I will follow you. [Exit 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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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! 20
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
As miserable by the death of him
As I am made by my poor lord and thee!
Come, now towards Chertsey with your hoy


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

Anne. What black magician conjures up this fiend,

With lies well steel'd with weighty arguments; To stop devoted charitable deeds?

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