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Richard III


ACT V SCENE IIIBosworth Field.
[ Enter KING RICHARD III in arms, with NORFOLK, SURREY, and others ]
KING RICHARD IIIHere pitch our tents, even here in Bosworth field.
My Lord of Surrey, why look you so sad?
SURREYMy heart is ten times lighter than my looks.
KING RICHARD IIIMy Lord of Norfolk,–
NORFOLKHere, most gracious liege.5
KING RICHARD IIINorfolk, we must have knocks; ha! must we not?
NORFOLKWe must both give and take, my gracious lord.
KING RICHARD IIIUp with my tent there! here will I lie tonight;
But where to-morrow? Well, all’s one for that.
Who hath descried the number of the foe?10
NORFOLKSix or seven thousand is their utmost power.
KING RICHARD IIIWhy, our battalion trebles that account:
Besides, the king’s name is a tower of strength,
Which they upon the adverse party want.
Up with my tent there! Valiant gentlemen,15
Let us survey the vantage of the field
Call for some men of sound direction
Let’s want no discipline, make no delay,
For, lords, to-morrow is a busy day.
[ Enter, on the other side of the field, RICHMOND, Sir William Brandon, OXFORD, and others. Some of the Soldiers pitch RICHMOND’s tent ]
RICHMONDThe weary sun hath made a golden set,20
And by the bright track of his fiery car,
Gives signal, of a goodly day to-morrow.
Sir William Brandon, you shall bear my standard.
Give me some ink and paper in my tent
I’ll draw the form and model of our battle,25
Limit each leader to his several charge,
And part in just proportion our small strength.
My Lord of Oxford, you, Sir William Brandon,
And you, Sir Walter Herbert, stay with me.
The Earl of Pembroke keeps his regiment:30
Good Captain Blunt, bear my good night to him
And by the second hour in the morning
Desire the earl to see me in my tent:
Yet one thing more, good Blunt, before thou go’st,
Where is Lord Stanley quarter’d, dost thou know?35
BLUNTUnless I have mista’en his colours much,
Which well I am assured I have not done,
His regiment lies half a mile at least
South from the mighty power of the king.
RICHMONDIf without peril it be possible,40
Good Captain Blunt, bear my good-night to him,
And give him from me this most needful scroll.
BLUNTUpon my life, my lord, I’ll under-take it;
And so, God give you quiet rest to-night!
RICHMONDGood night, good Captain Blunt. Come gentlemen,45
Let us consult upon to-morrow’s business
In to our tent; the air is raw and cold.
[They withdraw into the tent]
[ Enter, to his tent, KING RICHARD III, NORFOLK, RATCLIFF, CATESBY, and others ]
KING RICHARD IIIWhat is’t o’clock?
CATESBYIt’s supper-time, my lord;
It’s nine o’clock.50
KING RICHARD IIII will not sup to-night.
Give me some ink and paper.
What, is my beaver easier than it was?
And all my armour laid into my tent?
CATESBYIf is, my liege; and all things are in readiness.55
KING RICHARD IIIGood Norfolk, hie thee to thy charge;
Use careful watch, choose trusty sentinels.
NORFOLKI go, my lord.
KING RICHARD IIIStir with the lark to-morrow, gentle Norfolk.
NORFOLKI warrant you, my lord.60
KING RICHARD IIISend out a pursuivant at arms
To Stanley’s regiment; bid him bring his power
Before sunrising, lest his son George fall65
Into the blind cave of eternal night.
Fill me a bowl of wine. Give me a watch.
Saddle white Surrey for the field to-morrow.
Look that my staves be sound, and not too heavy.
KING RICHARD IIISaw’st thou the melancholy Lord Northumberland?
RATCLIFFThomas the Earl of Surrey, and himself,
Much about cock-shut time, from troop to troop
Went through the army, cheering up the soldiers.75
KING RICHARD IIISo, I am satisfied. Give me a bowl of wine:
I have not that alacrity of spirit,
Nor cheer of mind, that I was wont to have.
Set it down. Is ink and paper ready?
RATCLIFFIt is, my lord.80
KING RICHARD IIIBid my guard watch; leave me.
Ratcliff, about the mid of night come to my tent
And help to arm me. Leave me, I say.
[Exeunt RATCLIFF and the other Attendants]
[ Enter DERBY to RICHMOND in his tent, Lords and others attending ]
DERBYFortune and victory sit on thy helm!
RICHMONDAll comfort that the dark night can afford85
Be to thy person, noble father-in-law!
Tell me, how fares our loving mother?
DERBYI, by attorney, bless thee from thy mother
Who prays continually for Richmond’s good:
So much for that. The silent hours steal on,90
And flaky darkness breaks within the east.
In brief,–for so the season bids us be,–
Prepare thy battle early in the morning,
And put thy fortune to the arbitrement
Of bloody strokes and mortal-staring war.95
I, as I may–that which I would I cannot,–
With best advantage will deceive the time,
And aid thee in this doubtful shock of arms:
But on thy side I may not be too forward
Lest, being seen, thy brother, tender George,100
Be executed in his father’s sight.
Farewell: the leisure and the fearful time
Cuts off the ceremonious vows of love
And ample interchange of sweet discourse,
Which so long sunder’d friends should dwell upon:105
God give us leisure for these rites of love!
Once more, adieu: be valiant, and speed well!
RICHMONDGood lords, conduct him to his regiment:
I’ll strive, with troubled thoughts, to take a nap,
Lest leaden slumber peise me down to-morrow,110
When I should mount with wings of victory:
Once more, good night, kind lords and gentlemen.
[Exeunt all but RICHMOND]
O Thou, whose captain I account myself,
Look on my forces with a gracious eye;
Put in their hands thy bruising irons of wrath,115
That they may crush down with a heavy fall
The usurping helmets of our adversaries!
Make us thy ministers of chastisement,
That we may praise thee in the victory!
To thee I do commend my watchful soul,120
Ere I let fall the windows of mine eyes:
Sleeping and waking, O, defend me still!
[Enter the Ghost of Prince Edward, son to King Henry VI]
Ghost of Prince Edward[To KING RICHARD III]
Let me sit heavy on thy soul to-morrow!
Think, how thou stab’dst me in my prime of youth125
At Tewksbury: despair, therefore, and die!
Be cheerful, Richmond; for the wronged souls
Of butcher’d princes fight in thy behalf
King Henry’s issue, Richmond, comforts thee.
[Enter the Ghost of King Henry VI]
Ghost of King Henry VI[To KING RICHARD III]130
When I was mortal, my anointed body
By thee was punched full of deadly holes
Think on the Tower and me: despair, and die!
Harry the Sixth bids thee despair, and die!
Virtuous and holy, be thou conqueror!135
Harry, that prophesied thou shouldst be king,
Doth comfort thee in thy sleep: live, and flourish!
[Enter the Ghost of CLARENCE]
Let me sit heavy on thy soul to-morrow!
I, that was wash’d to death with fulsome wine,140
Poor Clarence, by thy guile betrayed to death!
To-morrow in the battle think on me,
And fall thy edgeless sword: despair, and die!–
Thou offspring of the house of Lancaster
The wronged heirs of York do pray for thee145
Good angels guard thy battle! live, and flourish!
[Enter the Ghosts of RIVERS, GRAY, and VAUGHAN]
Let me sit heavy on thy soul to-morrow,
Rivers. that died at Pomfret! despair, and die!
Think upon Grey, and let thy soul despair!
Think upon Vaughan, and, with guilty fear,
Let fall thy lance: despair, and die!
Awake, and think our wrongs in Richard’s bosom
Will conquer him! awake, and win the day!
[Enter the Ghost of HASTINGS]
Bloody and guilty, guiltily awake,
And in a bloody battle end thy days!160
Think on Lord Hastings: despair, and die!
Quiet untroubled soul, awake, awake!
Arm, fight, and conquer, for fair England’s sake!
[Enter the Ghosts of the two young Princes]
Ghosts of young Princes[To KING RICHARD III]
Dream on thy cousins smother’d in the Tower:165
Let us be led within thy bosom, Richard,
And weigh thee down to ruin, shame, and death!
Thy nephews’ souls bid thee despair and die!
Sleep, Richmond, sleep in peace, and wake in joy;
Good angels guard thee from the boar’s annoy!170
Live, and beget a happy race of kings!
Edward’s unhappy sons do bid thee flourish.
[Enter the Ghost of LADY ANNE]
Richard, thy wife, that wretched Anne thy wife,
That never slept a quiet hour with thee,175
Now fills thy sleep with perturbations
To-morrow in the battle think on me,
And fall thy edgeless sword: despair, and die!
Thou quiet soul, sleep thou a quiet sleep
Dream of success and happy victory!180
Thy adversary’s wife doth pray for thee.
[Enter the Ghost of BUCKINGHAM]
The last was I that helped thee to the crown;
The last was I that felt thy tyranny:
O, in the battle think on Buckingham,185
And die in terror of thy guiltiness!
Dream on, dream on, of bloody deeds and death:
Fainting, despair; despairing, yield thy breath!
I died for hope ere I could lend thee aid:
But cheer thy heart, and be thou not dismay’d:190
God and good angel fight on Richmond’s side;
And Richard falls in height of all his pride.
[The Ghosts vanish]
[KING RICHARD III starts out of his dream]
KING RICHARD IIIGive me another horse: bind up my wounds.
Have mercy, Jesu!–Soft! I did but dream.
O coward conscience, how dost thou afflict me!195
The lights burn blue. It is now dead midnight.
Cold fearful drops stand on my trembling flesh.
What do I fear? myself? there’s none else by:
Richard loves Richard; that is, I am I.
Is there a murderer here? No. Yes, I am:200
Then fly. What, from myself? Great reason why:
Lest I revenge. What, myself upon myself?
Alack. I love myself. Wherefore? for any good
That I myself have done unto myself?
O, no! alas, I rather hate myself205
For hateful deeds committed by myself!
I am a villain: yet I lie. I am not.
Fool, of thyself speak well: fool, do not flatter.
My conscience hath a thousand several tongues,
And every tongue brings in a several tale,210
And every tale condemns me for a villain.
Perjury, perjury, in the high’st degree
Murder, stem murder, in the direst degree;
All several sins, all used in each degree,
Throng to the bar, crying all, Guilty! guilty!215
I shall despair. There is no creature loves me;
And if I die, no soul shall pity me:
Nay, wherefore should they, since that I myself
Find in myself no pity to myself?
Methought the souls of all that I had murder’d220
Came to my tent; and every one did threat
To-morrow’s vengeance on the head of Richard.
KING RICHARD III‘Zounds! who is there?
RATCLIFFRatcliff, my lord; ’tis I. The early village-cock225
Hath twice done salutation to the morn;
Your friends are up, and buckle on their armour.
KING RICHARD IIIO Ratcliff, I have dream’d a fearful dream!
What thinkest thou, will our friends prove all true?
RATCLIFFNo doubt, my lord.230
KING RICHARD IIIO Ratcliff, I fear, I fear,–
RATCLIFFNay, good my lord, be not afraid of shadows.
KING RICHARD IIIBy the apostle Paul, shadows to-night
Have struck more terror to the soul of Richard
Than can the substance of ten thousand soldiers235
Armed in proof, and led by shallow Richmond.
It is not yet near day. Come, go with me;
Under our tents I’ll play the eaves-dropper,
To see if any mean to shrink from me.
[Enter the Lords to RICHMOND, sitting in his tent]
LORDSGood morrow, Richmond!240
RICHMONDCry mercy, lords and watchful gentlemen,
That you have ta’en a tardy sluggard here.
LORDSHow have you slept, my lord?
RICHMONDThe sweetest sleep, and fairest-boding dreams
That ever enter’d in a drowsy head,245
Have I since your departure had, my lords.
Methought their souls, whose bodies Richard murder’d,
Came to my tent, and cried on victory:
I promise you, my soul is very jocund
In the remembrance of so fair a dream.250
How far into the morning is it, lords?
LORDSUpon the stroke of four.
RICHMONDWhy, then ’tis time to arm and give direction.
[His oration to his soldiers]
More than I have said, loving countrymen,
The leisure and enforcement of the time255
Forbids to dwell upon: yet remember this,
God and our good cause fight upon our side;
The prayers of holy saints and wronged souls,
Like high-rear’d bulwarks, stand before our faces;
Richard except, those whom we fight against260
Had rather have us win than him they follow:
For what is he they follow? truly, gentlemen,
A bloody tyrant and a homicide;
One raised in blood, and one in blood establish’d;
One that made means to come by what he hath,265
And slaughter’d those that were the means to help him;
Abase foul stone, made precious by the foil
Of England’s chair, where he is falsely set;
One that hath ever been God’s enemy:
Then, if you fight against God’s enemy,270
God will in justice ward you as his soldiers;
If you do sweat to put a tyrant down,
You sleep in peace, the tyrant being slain;
If you do fight against your country’s foes,
Your country’s fat shall pay your pains the hire;275
If you do fight in safeguard of your wives,
Your wives shall welcome home the conquerors;
If you do free your children from the sword,
Your children’s children quit it in your age.
Then, in the name of God and all these rights,280
Advance your standards, draw your willing swords.
For me, the ransom of my bold attempt
Shall be this cold corpse on the earth’s cold face;
But if I thrive, the gain of my attempt
The least of you shall share his part thereof.285
Sound drums and trumpets boldly and cheerfully;
God and Saint George! Richmond and victory!
[ Re-enter KING RICHARD, RATCLIFF, Attendants and Forces ]
KING RICHARD IIIWhat said Northumberland as touching Richmond?
RATCLIFFThat he was never trained up in arms.
KING RICHARD IIIHe said the truth: and what said Surrey then?290
RATCLIFFHe smiled and said ‘The better for our purpose.’
KING RICHARD IIIHe was in the right; and so indeed it is.
[Clock striketh]
Ten the clock there. Give me a calendar.
Who saw the sun to-day?
RATCLIFFNot I, my lord.295
KING RICHARD IIIThen he disdains to shine; for by the book
He should have braved the east an hour ago
A black day will it be to somebody. Ratcliff!
KING RICHARD IIIThe sun will not be seen to-day;300
The sky doth frown and lour upon our army.
I would these dewy tears were from the ground.
Not shine to-day! Why, what is that to me
More than to Richmond? for the selfsame heaven
That frowns on me looks sadly upon him.305
NORFOLKArm, arm, my lord; the foe vaunts in the field.
KING RICHARD IIICome, bustle, bustle; caparison my horse.
Call up Lord Stanley, bid him bring his power:
I will lead forth my soldiers to the plain,
And thus my battle shall be ordered:310
My foreward shall be drawn out all in length,
Consisting equally of horse and foot;
Our archers shall be placed in the midst
John Duke of Norfolk, Thomas Earl of Surrey,
Shall have the leading of this foot and horse.315
They thus directed, we will follow
In the main battle, whose puissance on either side
Shall be well winged with our chiefest horse.
This, and Saint George to boot! What think’st thou, Norfolk?
NORFOLKA good direction, warlike sovereign.320
This found I on my tent this morning.
[He sheweth him a paper]
‘Jockey of Norfolk, be not too bold,
For Dickon thy master is bought and sold.’
A thing devised by the enemy.325
Go, gentleman, every man unto his charge
Let not our babbling dreams affright our souls:
Conscience is but a word that cowards use,
Devised at first to keep the strong in awe:
Our strong arms be our conscience, swords our law.330
March on, join bravely, let us to’t pell-mell
If not to heaven, then hand in hand to hell.
[His oration to his Army]
What shall I say more than I have inferr’d?
Remember whom you are to cope withal;
A sort of vagabonds, rascals, and runaways,335
A scum of Bretons, and base lackey peasants,
Whom their o’er-cloyed country vomits forth
To desperate ventures and assured destruction.
You sleeping safe, they bring to you unrest;
You having lands, and blest with beauteous wives,340
They would restrain the one, distain the other.
And who doth lead them but a paltry fellow,
Long kept in Bretagne at our mother’s cost?
A milk-sop, one that never in his life
Felt so much cold as over shoes in snow?345
Let’s whip these stragglers o’er the seas again;
Lash hence these overweening rags of France,
These famish’d beggars, weary of their lives;
Who, but for dreaming on this fond exploit,
For want of means, poor rats, had hang’d themselves:350
If we be conquer’d, let men conquer us,
And not these bastard Bretons; whom our fathers
Have in their own land beaten, bobb’d, and thump’d,
And in record, left them the heirs of shame.
Shall these enjoy our lands? lie with our wives?355
Ravish our daughters?
[Drum afar off]
Hark! I hear their drum.
Fight, gentlemen of England! fight, bold yoemen!
Draw, archers, draw your arrows to the head!
Spur your proud horses hard, and ride in blood;360
Amaze the welkin with your broken staves!
[Enter a Messenger]
What says Lord Stanley? will he bring his power?
MessengerMy lord, he doth deny to come.
KING RICHARD IIIOff with his son George’s head!
NORFOLKMy lord, the enemy is past the marsh365
After the battle let George Stanley die.
KING RICHARD IIIA thousand hearts are great within my bosom:
Advance our standards, set upon our foes
Our ancient word of courage, fair Saint George,
Inspire us with the spleen of fiery dragons!370
Upon them! victory sits on our helms.

Richard III, Act 5, Scene 4