Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Richard III


ACT IV SCENE IILondon. The palace.
[ Sennet. Enter KING RICHARD III, in pomp, crowned; BUCKINGHAM, CATESBY, a page, and others ]
KING RICHARD IIIStand all apart Cousin of Buckingham!
BUCKINGHAMMy gracious sovereign?
KING RICHARD IIIGive me thy hand.
[Here he ascendeth his throne]
Thus high, by thy advice
And thy assistance, is King Richard seated;5
But shall we wear these honours for a day?
Or shall they last, and we rejoice in them?
BUCKINGHAMStill live they and for ever may they last!
KING RICHARD IIIO Buckingham, now do I play the touch,
To try if thou be current gold indeed10
Young Edward lives: think now what I would say.
BUCKINGHAMSay on, my loving lord.
KING RICHARD IIIWhy, Buckingham, I say, I would be king,
BUCKINGHAMWhy, so you are, my thrice renowned liege.
KING RICHARD IIIHa! am I king? ’tis so: but Edward lives.15
BUCKINGHAMTrue, noble prince.
KING RICHARD IIIO bitter consequence,
That Edward still should live! ‘True, noble prince!’
Cousin, thou wert not wont to be so dull:
Shall I be plain? I wish the bastards dead;20
And I would have it suddenly perform’d.
What sayest thou? speak suddenly; be brief.
BUCKINGHAMYour grace may do your pleasure.
KING RICHARD IIITut, tut, thou art all ice, thy kindness freezeth:
Say, have I thy consent that they shall die?25
BUCKINGHAMGive me some breath, some little pause, my lord
Before I positively herein:
I will resolve your grace immediately.
CATESBY[Aside to a stander by]
The king is angry: see, he bites the lip.30
KING RICHARD IIII will converse with iron-witted fools
And unrespective boys: none are for me
That look into me with considerate eyes:
High-reaching Buckingham grows circumspect.
PageMy lord?
KING RICHARD IIIKnow’st thou not any whom corrupting gold
Would tempt unto a close exploit of death?
PageMy lord, I know a discontented gentleman,
Whose humble means match not his haughty mind:40
Gold were as good as twenty orators,
And will, no doubt, tempt him to any thing.
KING RICHARD IIIWhat is his name?
PageHis name, my lord, is Tyrrel.
KING RICHARD IIII partly know the man: go, call him hither.45
[Exit Page]
The deep-revolving witty Buckingham
No more shall be the neighbour to my counsel:
Hath he so long held out with me untired,
And stops he now for breath?
How now! what news with you?50
STANLEYMy lord, I hear the Marquis Dorset’s fled
To Richmond, in those parts beyond the sea
Where he abides.
[Stands apart]
CATESBYMy lord?55
KING RICHARD IIIRumour it abroad
That Anne, my wife, is sick and like to die:
I will take order for her keeping close.
Inquire me out some mean-born gentleman,
Whom I will marry straight to Clarence’ daughter:60
The boy is foolish, and I fear not him.
Look, how thou dream’st! I say again, give out
That Anne my wife is sick and like to die:
About it; for it stands me much upon,
To stop all hopes whose growth may damage me.65
I must be married to my brother’s daughter,
Or else my kingdom stands on brittle glass.
Murder her brothers, and then marry her!
Uncertain way of gain! But I am in
So far in blood that sin will pluck on sin:70
Tear-falling pity dwells not in this eye.
[Re-enter Page, with TYRREL]
Is thy name Tyrrel?
TYRRELJames Tyrrel, and your most obedient subject.
KING RICHARD IIIArt thou, indeed?
TYRRELProve me, my gracious sovereign.75
KING RICHARD IIIDarest thou resolve to kill a friend of mine?
TYRRELAy, my lord;
But I had rather kill two enemies.
KING RICHARD IIIWhy, there thou hast it: two deep enemies,
Foes to my rest and my sweet sleep’s disturbers80
Are they that I would have thee deal upon:
Tyrrel, I mean those bastards in the Tower.
TYRRELLet me have open means to come to them,
And soon I’ll rid you from the fear of them.
KING RICHARD IIIThou sing’st sweet music. Hark, come hither, Tyrrel85
Go, by this token: rise, and lend thine ear:
There is no more but so: say it is done,
And I will love thee, and prefer thee too.
TYRREL‘Tis done, my gracious lord.
KING RICHARD IIIShall we hear from thee, Tyrrel, ere we sleep?90
TYRRELYe shall, my Lord.
BUCKINGHAMMy Lord, I have consider’d in my mind
The late demand that you did sound me in.
KING RICHARD IIIWell, let that pass. Dorset is fled to Richmond.
BUCKINGHAMI hear that news, my lord.95
KING RICHARD IIIStanley, he is your wife’s son well, look to it.
BUCKINGHAMMy lord, I claim your gift, my due by promise,
For which your honour and your faith is pawn’d;
The earldom of Hereford and the moveables
The which you promised I should possess.100
KING RICHARD IIIStanley, look to your wife; if she convey
Letters to Richmond, you shall answer it.
BUCKINGHAMWhat says your highness to my just demand?
KING RICHARD IIIAs I remember, Henry the Sixth
Did prophesy that Richmond should be king,105
When Richmond was a little peevish boy.
A king, perhaps, perhaps,–
KING RICHARD IIIHow chance the prophet could not at that time
Have told me, I being by, that I should kill him?110
BUCKINGHAMMy lord, your promise for the earldom,–
KING RICHARD IIIRichmond! When last I was at Exeter,
The mayor in courtesy show’d me the castle,
And call’d it Rougemont: at which name I started,
Because a bard of Ireland told me once115
I should not live long after I saw Richmond.
KING RICHARD IIIAy, what’s o’clock?
BUCKINGHAMI am thus bold to put your grace in mind
Of what you promised me.120
KING RICHARD IIIWell, but what’s o’clock?
BUCKINGHAMUpon the stroke of ten.
KING RICHARD IIIWell, let it strike.
BUCKINGHAMWhy let it strike?
KING RICHARD IIIBecause that, like a Jack, thou keep’st the stroke125
Betwixt thy begging and my meditation.
I am not in the giving vein to-day.
BUCKINGHAMWhy, then resolve me whether you will or no.
Thou troublest me; am not in the vein.130
[Exeunt all but BUCKINGHAM]
BUCKINGHAMIs it even so? rewards he my true service
With such deep contempt made I him king for this?
O, let me think on Hastings, and be gone
To Brecknock, while my fearful head is on!

Richard III, Act 4, Scene 3