I mean, my lords, those powers that the Queen Hath rais'd in Gallia have arriv'd our coast And, as we hear, march on to fight with us. Clar. A little gale will soon disperse that

cloud And blow it to the source from whence it came. The very beams will dry those vapours up, For every cloud engenders not a storm. Glou. The Queen is valued thirty thousand

strong, And Somerset, with Oxford, fled to her. If she have time to breathe, be well assur'd Her faction will be full as strong as ours. K. Edw. We are advertis'd by our loving

friends That they do hold their course toward Tewks

bury. We, having now the best at Barnet field, Will thither straight, for willingness rids way; And, as we march, our strength will be aug

mented In every county as we go along: Strike up the drum! Cry, Courage!” and away.

(Exeunt. (SCENE IV. Plains near Tewksbury.] March. Enter QUEEN MARGARET, PRINCE EDWARD, SOMERSET, OXFORD, and soldiers. Q. Mar. Great lords, wise men ne'er sit and

wail their loss, But cheerly seek how to redress their harms. What though the mast be now blown overboard, The cable broke, the holding-anchor lost, And half our sailors swallow'd in the flood ? Yet lives our pilot still. Is't meet that he Should leave the helm and like a fearful lad With tearful eyes add water to the sea And give more strength to that which hath too

much, Whiles, in his moan, the ship splits on the rock, Which industry and courage might have sav'd ? Ah, what a shame ! ah, what a fault were this! Say Warwick was our anchor; what of that ? And Montague our topmast; what of him ? Our slaught'red friends the tackles; what of

these? Why, is not Oxford here another anchor ? And Somerset another goodly mast? The friends of France our shrouds and tac

klings? And, though unskilful, why not Ned and I For once allow'd the skilful pilot's charge ? We will not from the helm to sit and weep, But keep our course, though the rough wind

say no, From shelves and rocks that threaten us with

wreck. As good to chide the waves as speak them fair. And what is Edward but a ruthless sea ? What Clarence but a quicksand of deceit ? And Richard but a ragged fatal rock? All these the enemies to our poor bark. Say you can swim ; alas, 't is but a while ! Tread on the sand ; why, there you quickly

sink. Bestride the rock; the tide will wash you off,

Or else you famish; that's a threefold death.
This speak I, lords, to let you understand,
If case some one of you would fly from us.
That there's no hop'd-for mercy with the

brothers More than with ruthless waves, with sands and

rocks. Why, courage then! What cannot be avoided 'T were childish weakness to lament or fear. Prince. Methinks a woman of this valiant

spirit Should, if a coward heard her speak these

words, Infuse his breast with magnanimity And make him, naked, foil a man at arms. I speak not this as doubting any here; For did I but suspect a fearful man, He should have leave to go away betimes, Lest in our need he might infect another And make him of like spirit to himself. If any such be here - as God forbid !, Let him depart before we need his help. Oxf. Women and children of so high a cour

age, And warriors faint! Why, 't were perpetual

shame. O brave young prince ! thy famous grandfather Doth live again in thee. Long may'st thou live To bear his image and renew his glories! Som. And he that will not fight for such a

hope Go bome to bed, and like the owl by day, If he arise, be mock'd and wond'red at. Q. Mar. Thanks, gentle Somerset ; sweet

Oxford, thanks. Prince. And take his thanks that yet hath nothing else.

Enter a MESSENGER. Mess. Prepare you, lords, for Edward is at

hand, Ready to fight; therefore be resolute.

Oxf. I thought no less. It is his policy To haste thus fast, to find us unprovided.

Som. But he's deceiv'd; we are in readiness. Q. Mar. This cheers my heart, to see your

forwardness. Oxf. Here pitch our battle; hence we will

not budge. Flourish and march. Enter KING EDWARD,

GLOUCESTER, CLARENCE, and soldiers. K. Edw. Brave followers, yonder stands the

thorny wood, Which, by the heavens' assistance and your

strength, Must by the roots be hewn up yet ere night. I need not add more fuel to your fire, For well I wot ye blaze to burn them out. Give signal to the fight, and to it, lords ! Q. Mar. Lords, knights, and gentlemen,

what I should say My tears gainsay; for, every word I speak, Ye see, I drink the water of my eye. Therefore, no more but this: Henry, your

sovereign Is prisoner to the foe; his state usurp'd.


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His realm a slaughter-house, his subjects slain,
His statutes cancell'd, and his treasure spent ;
And yonder is the wolf that makes this spoil.
You fight in justice; then, in God's name,

Be valiant and give signal to the fight.

(Alarum. Retreat. Excursions.








Prince. Nay, take away this scolding crook

back rather. K. Edw. Peace, wilful boy, or I will charm

your tongue. Clar. Untutor'd lad, thou art too malapert. Prince. I know my duty; you are all undu

tiful. Lascivious Edward, and thou perjur'd George, And thou mis-shapen Dick, I tell ye all I am your better, traitors as ye are ; And thou usurp'st my father's right and mine. K. Edw. Take that, thou likeness of this railer here.

[Stabs him. Glou. Sprawl'st thou ? Take that, to end thy agony.

[Stabs him. Clar. And there's for twitting me with perjury.

[Stabs him. 40
Q: Mar. O, kill me too!
Glou. Marry, and shall. [Offers to kill her.
K. Edw. Hold, Richard, hold; for we have

done too much.
Glou. Why should she live, to fill the world

with words? K. Edw. What, doth she swoon? Use means for her

recovery. Glou. Clarence, excuse me to the King my

I'll hence to London on a serious matter.
Ere ye come there, be sure to hear some news.

Clar. What? what?
Glou. The Tower, the Tower. [Exit. 50
Q. Mar. 0 Ned, sweet Nedl speak to thy

mother, boy!
Canst thou not speak? O traitors ! murder-
They that stabb'd Cæsar shed no blood at

Did not offend, nor were not worthy blame,
If this foul deed were by to equal it.
He was a man ; this, in respect, a child,
And men ne'er spend their fury on a child.
What's worse than murderer, that I may name

No, no, my heart will burst, an if I speak;
And I will speak, that so my heart may

Butchers and villains ! bloody cannibals !
How sweet a plant have you untimely cropp'd !
You have no children, butchers ! if you had,
The thought of them would have stirr'd up re-

morse ;
But if you ever chance to have a child,
Look in his youth to have him so cut off
As, deathsmen, you have rid this sweet young

K. Edw. Away with her! Go, bear her

hence perforce.
Q. Mar. Nay, never bear me hence, dis-

patch me here;
Here sheathe thy sword, I'll pardon thee my

What, wilt thou not? Then, Clarence, do it

Clar. By heaven, I will not do thee so much
Q. Mar. Good Clarence, do; sweet Clarence,

(SCENE V. Another part of the field.] Flourish. Enter KING EDWARD, GLOUCESTER,

CLARENCE, (and soldiers ; with] QUEEN MAR-
GARET, OXFORD, and SOMERSET ( prisoners).
K. Edw. Now here a period of tumultuous

Away with Oxford to Hames Castle straight;
For Somerset, off with his guilty head.
Go, bear them hence; I will not hear them

Orf. For my part, I'll not trouble thee with

words. Som. Nor I, but stoop with patience to my fortune. (Exeunt (Oxford and Somerset,

guarded). Q. Mar. So part we sadly in this troublous

world, To meet with joy in sweet Jerusalem. K. Edw. Is proclamation made, that who

finds Edward Shall have a high reward, and he his life? Glou. It is; and lo, where youthful Edward

comes !
Enter (soldiers, with] PRINCE EDWARD.
K. Edw. Bring forth the gallant, let us hear

him speak.
What! can so young a thorn begin to prick ?
Edward, what satisfaction canst thou make
For bearing arms, for stirring up my sub-

And all the trouble thou hast turn'd me to?
Prince. Speak like a subject, proud am-

bitious York! Suppose that I am now my father's mouth; Resign thy chair, and where I stand kneel

thou, Whilst I propose the self-same words to

thee, Which, traitor, thou wouldst have me answer

to. Q. Mar. Ah, that thy father had been so

resolv'd! Glou. That you might still have worn the

petticoat, And ne'er have stolen the breech from Lan

caster. Prince. Let Æsop fable in a winter's

night ; His currish riddles sorts not with this place. Glou. By heaven, brat, I'll plague ye for

that word. Q. Mar. Ay, thou wast born to be a plague Glou. For God's sake, take away this cap









do thou do it.

tive scold.

to men.



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Clar. Didst thou not hear me swear I would

not do it? Q. Mar. Ay, but thou usest to forswear

thyself; 'T was sin before, but now 't is charity. What, wilt thou not? Where is that devil's

butcher, Richard, Hard-favour'd Richard ? Richard, where art

thou? Thou art not here. Murder is thy alms-deed ; Petitioners for blood thou ne'er put'st back. 80 K. Edw. Away, I say; I charge ye, bear

her hence. Q. Mar. So come to you and yours, as to

this prince! |Exit (led out forcibly). K. Edw. Where's Richard gone ? Clar. To London, all in post; and, as I

guess, To make a bloody supper in the Tower. K. Edw. He's sudden, if a thing comes in

his head. Now march we hence. Discharge the common

sort With pay and thanks, and let's away to LonAnd see our gentle queen how well she fares. By this, I hope, she hath a son for me.

(Exeunt. (SCENE VI. London. The Tower.] Enter King HENRY and GLOUCESTER, with the

Lieutenant, on the walls. Glou. Good day, my lord. What, at your

book so hard? K. Hen. Ay, my good lord:-my lord, I

should say rather. 'Tis sin to flatter; good” was little better. "Good Gloucester" and " good devil ” were

alike, And both preposterous; therefore, not " good

lord. Glou. Sirrah, leave us to ourselves. We must confer.

(Exit Lieutenant. K. Hen. So flies the reckless shepherd from

the wolf; So first the harmless sheep doth yield his fleece And next his throat unto the butcher's knife. What scene of death hath Roscius now to act ? Glou. Suspicion always haunts the guilty

mind. The thief doth fear each bush an officer. K. Hen. The bird that hath been limed in a

bush, With trembling wings misdoubteth every bush ; And I, the hapless male to one sweet bird, Have now the fatal object in my eye Where my poor young was lim'd, was caught,

and kill'd. Glou. Why, what a peevish fool was that of

Crete, That taught his son the office of a fowl! And yet, for all his wings, the fool was

drown'd. K. Hen. I, Dædalus; my poor boy, Icarus ; Thy father, Minos, that deni'd 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

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 liv'd 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

widow's, And many an orphan's waterstanding eye Men for their sons, wives for their husbands, And orphans for their parents' timeless death Shall 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; e 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

born, To signify thou cam'st to bite the world; And, if the rest be true which I have heard, s Thou cam'st Glou. I'll hear no more ; die, prophet, in thy speech.

I Stabs him. For this, amongst the rest, was I ordain'd. K. Hen. Ay, and for much more slanghter

after this. 0, God forgive my sins, and pardon thee!

(Dies. Glou. What, will the aspiring blood of Lan

caster 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, 't is 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, 0, Jesus bless us, he is born with teeth! And so I was; which plainly signified












That I should snarl and bite and play the Then, since the heavens have shap'd my body

SO, Let hell make crook'd my mind to answer it. I have no brother, I am like no brother; And this word “ love," which grey beards call

divine, Be resident in men like one another And not in me. I am myself alone. Clarence, beware! Thou keep'st me from the

light, But I will sort a pitchy day for thee ; For I will buzz 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, so Counting myself but bad till I be best. I'll throw thy body in another room And triumph, Henry, in thy day of doom.

(Erit (with the body). (SCENE VII. London. The palace.] Flourish. King EDWARD, (upon the throne ;]

Ter, HASTINGS, a Nurse (with the young
Prince.,) and Attendants.
K. Edw. Once more sit in England's

royal throne,
Re-purchas'd with the blood of enemies.
What valiant foemen, like to autumn's corn,
Have we mow'd down in tops of all their pride !
Three Dukes of Somerset, threefold renown'do
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

sound; With them, the two brave bears, Warwick and

Montague, 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. 15 Young Ned, for thee, thine uncles and myself Have in our armours watch'd the winter's

night, Went als afoot in summer's scalding heat, That thou mightst repossess the crown in peace ; And of our labours thou shalt reap the gain. 20 Glou. (Aside.] l'U 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

back. 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

master, And cried, “ All hail !" when as he meant all

harm. K. Edw. Now am I seated as my soul de

lights, 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. 40 K. Edw. 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

annoy! For here, I hope, begins our lasting joy.


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The only external evidence for the date of Richard III is the publication of the First Quarto in 1597. The marks of Shakespeare's early style, and especially of the influence of Marlowe, are, however, so pronounced as to have led to a general agreement that the play was composed some years before that date, probably about 1593.

The Quarto of 1597 was reprinted in 1598, with the name of Shakespeare on the title-page, but without further change. Other quartos appeared in 1602, 1605, 1612, 1622, 1629, and 1634, but all derive ultimately from the text of 1597. The version in the First Folio is independent, and differs widely in detail from the text of the Quartos. The question of the comparative authority of these texts is exceedingly complicated. Each contains passages essential to the context but lacking in the other. The Folio has besides many additions quite apposite and in the manner of Shakespeare, though the corresponding place in the Quarto shows no lacuna. The difficulty is thus to determine which goes back to the earlier original, and whether Shakespeare himself is responsible for the variations. Opinions still differ widely on these points, but are for the most part agreed that the Folio is to be regarded as the more authentic version; and it is, accordingly, made the basis of the present text. A striking peculiarity of the case is that the variations are too numerous to be plausibly accounted for as mistakes of copyist or printer, and are often so slight in their effect on meaning or rhythm that it is hard to believe them the result of conscious revision. They are very frequently such differences as might be explained by lapse of memory; and it is probable that in the First Quarto we have an exceptionally correct short-hand writer's report of the play, the variations being largely due to the slips of the actors.

The chief basis of the action is, as usual, Holinshed, who, in dealing with the events of Acts I, II, III, and part of iv, follows the history of the reigns of Edward V and Richard III ascribed to Sir Thomas More, as it had been transmitted in the Chronicles of Hardyng and Halle; and who, in the story corresponding to the rest of Act iv and to Act v, follows Halle. But before Shakespeare's there had been two, if not more, dramatic treatments of the theme. The Richardus Tertius of Dr. Legge is a Latin chronicle play written, perhaps as early as 1573, for performance at the University of Cambridge. The True Tragedie of Richard III is anonymous and of uncertain date, but was apparently a sequel to 3 Henry VI. Both of these contributed to the dramatic tradition of Richard, but whether they affected Shakespeare directly or through a lost intermediary remains to be proved. Details seem also to have been gathered from such narratives as those in The Mirror for Magistrates.

But it was the Chronicles of Holinshed or Halle which supplied almost all the episodes and the outlines of most of the characters, especially the men. These outlines, however, are in every case filled in by Shakespeare, whose imagination caught up and vitalized the merest hints of character. Most of the famous speeches are purely the invention of the dramatist. The opening soliloquy, the wooing of Anne, the two great cursing scenes in which Margaret of Anjou plays the chief part, the dream and the murder scene of Clarence, and the exchange of repartee between Gloucester and the little Duke of York, are all without foundation in Holinshed. Gloucester's hypocritical pre-occupation with holy exercises on the occasion of the visit of the Mayor and Buckingham with the offer of the crown, is based on the parenthetical phrase, “ with a bishop on every hand of him.” The substance and tone of the addresses of the rival leaders to their armies in v. iii. are suggested by the Chronicle.

The historical accuracy, in its main lines, of the portrait of Richard is still a matter of dispute among historians. But the falsification, if such there be, is only in a small degree due to Shakespeare; it had already occurred in the authorities from whom he drew the facts for which be supplied a plausible psychological explanation.

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