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Richard III: Act 1, Scene 1

Richard III
Act 1, Scene 1

Scene 1

London. A street.

  1. Enter Richard Duke of Gloucester solus.

Richard, Duke of Gloucester

2 - 46
  1. Now is the winter of our discontent
  2. Made glorious summer by this son of York;
  3. And all the clouds that low’r’d upon our house
  4. In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.
  5. Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths,
  6. Our bruised arms hung up for monuments,
  7. Our stern alarums chang’d to merry meetings,
  8. Our dreadful marches to delightful measures.
  9. Grim-visag’d War hath smooth’d his wrinkled front;
  10. And now, in stead of mounting barbed steeds
  11. To fright the souls of fearful adversaries,
  12. He capers nimbly in a lady’s chamber
  13. To the lascivious pleasing of a lute.
  14. But I, that am not shap’d for sportive tricks,
  15. Nor made to court an amorous looking-glass;
  16. I, that am rudely stamp’d, and want love’s majesty
  17. To strut before a wanton ambling nymph;
  18. I, that am curtail’d of this fair proportion,
  19. Cheated of feature by dissembling nature,
  20. Deform’d, unfinish’d, sent before my time
  21. Into this breathing world, scarce half made up,
  22. And that so lamely and unfashionable
  23. That dogs bark at me as I halt by them
  24. Why, I, in this weak piping time of peace,
  25. Have no delight to pass away the time,
  26. Unless to see my shadow in the sun
  27. And descant on mine own deformity.
  28. And therefore, since I cannot prove a lover
  29. To entertain these fair well-spoken days,
  30. I am determined to prove a villain
  31. And hate the idle pleasures of these days.
  32. Plots have I laid, inductions dangerous,
  33. By drunken prophecies, libels, and dreams,
  34. To set my brother Clarence and the King
  35. In deadly hate the one against the other;
  36. And if King Edward be as true and just
  37. As I am subtle, false, and treacherous,
  38. This day should Clarence closely be mew’d up
  39. About a prophecy, which says that G
  40. Of Edward’s heirs the murderer shall be.
  41. Dive, thoughts, down to my soul, here Clarence comes!
  42. Enter Clarence, guarded, and Brakenbury, Lieutenant of the
  43. Tower.
  44. Brother, good day. What means this armed guard
  45. That waits upon your Grace?

George, Duke of Clarence

47 - 49
  1.                             His Majesty,
  2. Tend’ring my person’s safety, hath appointed
  3. This conduct to convey me to the Tower.

Richard, Duke of Gloucester

50
  1. Upon what cause?

George, Duke of Clarence

51
  1.                  Because my name is George.

Richard, Duke of Gloucester

52 - 56
  1. Alack, my lord, that fault is none of yours;
  2. He should for that commit your godfathers.
  3. O, belike his Majesty hath some intent
  4. That you should be new christ’ned in the Tower.
  5. But what’s the matter, Clarence, may I know?

George, Duke of Clarence

57 - 66
  1. Yea, Richard, when I know; but I protest
  2. As yet I do not. But, as I can learn,
  3. He hearkens after prophecies and dreams,
  4. And from the cross-row plucks the letter G,
  5. And says a wizard told him that by G
  6. His issue disinherited should be;
  7. And for my name of George begins with G,
  8. It follows in his thought that I am he.
  9. These (as I learn) and such-like toys as these
  10. Hath mov’d his Highness to commit me now.

Richard, Duke of Gloucester

67 - 75
  1. Why, this it is, when men are rul’d by women:
  2. ’Tis not the King that sends you to the Tower;
  3. My Lady Grey his wife, Clarence, ’tis she
  4. That tempers him to this extremity.
  5. Was it not she, and that good man of worship,
  6. Anthony Woodvile, her brother there,
  7. That made him send Lord Hastings to the Tower,
  8. From whence this present day he is delivered?
  9. We are not safe, Clarence, we are not safe.

George, Duke of Clarence

76 - 80
  1. By heaven, I think there is no man is secure
  2. But the Queen’s kindred, and night-walking heralds
  3. That trudge betwixt the King and Mistress Shore.
  4. Heard you not what an humble suppliant
  5. Lord Hastings was to her for his delivery?

Richard, Duke of Gloucester

81 - 88
  1. Humbly complaining to her deity
  2. Got my Lord Chamberlain his liberty.
  3. I’ll tell you what, I think it is our way,
  4. If we will keep in favor with the King,
  5. To be her men and wear her livery.
  6. The jealous o’erworn widow and herself,
  7. Since that our brother dubb’d them gentlewomen,
  8. Are mighty gossips in our monarchy.

Brakenbury

89 - 92
  1. I beseech your Graces both to pardon me:
  2. His Majesty hath straitly given in charge
  3. That no man shall have private conference
  4. (Of what degree soever) with your brother.

Richard, Duke of Gloucester

93 - 101
  1. Even so? And please your worship, Brakenbury,
  2. You may partake of any thing we say:
  3. We speak no treason, man. We say the King
  4. Is wise and virtuous, and his noble queen
  5. Well struck in years, fair, and not jealous;
  6. We say that Shore’s wife hath a pretty foot,
  7. A cherry lip, a bonny eye, a passing pleasing tongue;
  8. And that the Queen’s kindred are made gentlefolks.
  9. How say you, sir? Can you deny all this?

Brakenbury

102
  1. With this, my lord, myself have nought to do.

Richard, Duke of Gloucester

103 - 105
  1. Naught to do with Mistress Shore? I tell thee, fellow,
  2. He that doth naught with her (excepting one)
  3. Were best to do it secretly alone.

Brakenbury

106
  1. What one, my lord?

Richard, Duke of Gloucester

107
  1. Her husband, knave. Wouldst thou betray me?

Brakenbury

108 - 109
  1. I do beseech your Grace to pardon me, and withal
  2. Forbear your conference with the noble Duke.

George, Duke of Clarence

110
  1. We know thy charge, Brakenbury, and will obey.

Richard, Duke of Gloucester

111 - 117
  1. We are the Queen’s abjects, and must obey.
  2. Brother, farewell, I will unto the King,
  3. And whatsoe’er you will employ me in,
  4. Were it to call King Edward’s widow sister,
  5. I will perform it to enfranchise you.
  6. Mean time, this deep disgrace in brotherhood
  7. Touches me deeper than you can imagine.

George, Duke of Clarence

118
  1. I know it pleaseth neither of us well.

Richard, Duke of Gloucester

119 - 121
  1. Well, your imprisonment shall not be long,
  2. I will deliver you, or else lie for you.
  3. Mean time, have patience.

George, Duke of Clarence

122
  1.                           I must perforce. Farewell.
  1. Exit Clarence with Brakenbury and Guard.

Richard, Duke of Gloucester

124 - 128
  1. Go tread the path that thou shalt ne’er return:
  2. Simple plain Clarence, I do love thee so
  3. That I will shortly send thy soul to heaven,
  4. If heaven will take the present at our hands.
  5. But who comes here? The new-delivered Hastings?
  1. Enter Lord Hastings.

Hastings

130
  1. Good time of day unto my gracious lord!

Richard, Duke of Gloucester

131 - 133
  1. As much unto my good Lord Chamberlain!
  2. Well are you welcome to the open air.
  3. How hath your lordship brook’d imprisonment?

Hastings

134 - 136
  1. With patience, noble lord, as prisoners must;
  2. But I shall live, my lord, to give them thanks
  3. That were the cause of my imprisonment.

Richard, Duke of Gloucester

137 - 139
  1. No doubt, no doubt, and so shall Clarence too,
  2. For they that were your enemies are his,
  3. And have prevail’d as much on him as you.

Hastings

140 - 141
  1. More pity that the eagles should be mew’d,
  2. Whiles kites and buzzards prey at liberty.

Richard, Duke of Gloucester

142
  1. What news abroad?

Hastings

143 - 145
  1. No news so bad abroad as this at home:
  2. The King is sickly, weak, and melancholy,
  3. And his physicians fear him mightily.

Richard, Duke of Gloucester

146 - 150
  1. Now by Saint John, that news is bad indeed!
  2. O, he hath kept an evil diet long,
  3. And overmuch consum’d his royal person:
  4. ’Tis very grievous to be thought upon.
  5. Where is he? In his bed?

Hastings

151
  1. He is.

Richard, Duke of Gloucester

152 - 171
  1. Go you before, and I will follow you.
  2. Exit Hastings.
  3. He cannot live, I hope, and must not die
  4. Till George be pack’d with post-horse up to heaven.
  5. I’ll in, to urge his hatred more to Clarence
  6. With lies well steel’d with weighty arguments,
  7. And if I fail not in my deep intent,
  8. Clarence hath not another day to live:
  9. Which done, God take King Edward to his mercy,
  10. And leave the world for me to bustle in!
  11. For then I’ll marry Warwick’s youngest daughter.
  12. What though I kill’d her husband and her father?
  13. The readiest way to make the wench amends
  14. Is to become her husband and her father:
  15. The which will I, not all so much for love
  16. As for another secret close intent
  17. By marrying her which I must reach unto.
  18. But yet I run before my horse to market:
  19. Clarence still breathes, Edward still lives and reigns;
  20. When they are gone, then must I count my gains.
  1. Exit.
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