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Richard III: Act I, Scene 2

Richard III
Act I, Scene 2

London. Another street.

  1. Enter the corpse of Henry the Sixth, with
  2. Halberds to guard it, Lady Anne being the
  3. mourner, attended by Tressel and Berkeley.

Lady Anne

1 - 32
  1. Set down, set down your honorable load,
  2. If honor may be shrouded in a hearse,
  3. Whilst I awhile obsequiously lament
  4. Th’ untimely fall of virtuous Lancaster.
  5. Poor key-cold figure of a holy king,
  6. Pale ashes of the house of Lancaster,
  7. Thou bloodless remnant of that royal blood,
  8. Be it lawful that I invocate thy ghost
  9. To hear the lamentations of poor Anne,
  10. Wife to thy Edward, to thy slaught’red son,
  11. Stabb’d by the self-same hand that made these wounds!
  12. Lo, in these windows that let forth thy life
  13. I pour the helpless balm of my poor eyes.
  14. O, cursed be the hand that made these holes!
  15. Cursed the heart that had the heart to do it!
  16. Cursed the blood that let this blood from hence!
  17. More direful hap betide that hated wretch
  18. That makes us wretched by the death of thee
  19. Than I can wish to wolvesto spiders, toads,
  20. Or any creeping venom’d thing that lives!
  21. If ever he have child, abortive be it,
  22. Prodigious, and untimely brought to light,
  23. Whose ugly and unnatural aspect
  24. May fright the hopeful mother at the view,
  25. And that be heir to his unhappiness!
  26. If ever he have wife, let her be made
  27. More miserable by the life of him
  28. Than I am made by my young lord and thee!
  29. Come now towards Chertsey with your holy load,
  30. Taken from Paul’s to be interred there;
  31. And still as you are weary of this weight,
  32. Rest you, whiles I lament King Henry’s corse.
  1. Enter Richard Duke of Gloucester.

Richard, Duke of Gloucester

33
  1. Stay, you that bear the corse, and set it down.

Lady Anne

34 - 35
  1. What black magician conjures up this fiend
  2. To stop devoted charitable deeds?

Richard, Duke of Gloucester

36 - 37
  1. Villains, set down the corse, or, by Saint Paul,
  2. I’ll make a corse of him that disobeys.

Gentleman

38
  1. My lord, stand back, and let the coffin pass.

Richard, Duke of Gloucester

39 - 42
  1. Unmanner’d dog, stand thou when I command.
  2. Advance thy halberd higher than my breast,
  3. Or by Saint Paul I’ll strike thee to my foot,
  4. And spurn upon thee, beggar, for thy boldness.

Lady Anne

43 - 48
  1. What do you tremble? Are you all afraid?
  2. Alas, I blame you not, for you are mortal,
  3. And mortal eyes cannot endure the devil.—
  4. Avaunt, thou dreadful minister of hell!
  5. Thou hadst but power over his mortal body,
  6. His soul thou canst not have. Therefore be gone.

Richard, Duke of Gloucester

49
  1. Sweet saint, for charity, be not so curst.

Lady Anne

50 - 67
  1. Foul devil, for God’s sake hence, and trouble us not,
  2. For thou hast made the happy earth thy hell,
  3. Fill’d it with cursing cries and deep exclaims.
  4. If thou delight to view thy heinous deeds,
  5. Behold this pattern of thy butcheries.
  6. O gentlemen, see, see dead Henry’s wounds
  7. Open their congeal’d mouths and bleed afresh!
  8. Blush, blush, thou lump of foul deformity;
  9. For ’tis thy presence that exhales this blood
  10. From cold and empty veins where no blood dwells.
  11. Thy deeds inhuman and unnatural
  12. Provokes this deluge most unnatural.
  13. O God! Which this blood mad’st, revenge his death!
  14. O earth! Which this blood drink’st, revenge his death!
  15. Either heav’n with lightning strike the murd’rer dead;
  16. Or earth gape open wide and eat him quick,
  17. As thou dost swallow up this good king’s blood,
  18. Which his hell-govern’d arm hath butchered!

Richard, Duke of Gloucester

68 - 69
  1. Lady, you know no rules of charity,
  2. Which renders good for bad, blessings for curses.

Lady Anne

70 - 71
  1. Villain, thou know’st nor law of God nor man:
  2. No beast so fierce but knows some touch of pity.

Richard, Duke of Gloucester

72
  1. But I know none, and therefore am no beast.

Lady Anne

73
  1. O wonderful, when devils tell the troth!

Richard, Duke of Gloucester

74 - 77
  1. More wonderful, when angels are so angry.
  2. Vouchsafe, divine perfection of a woman,
  3. Of these supposed crimes, to give me leave
  4. By circumstance but to acquit myself.

Lady Anne

78 - 80
  1. Vouchsafe, defus’d infection of a man,
  2. Of these known evils, but to give me leave
  3. By circumstance t’ accuse thy cursed self.

Richard, Duke of Gloucester

81 - 82
  1. Fairer than tongue can name thee, let me have
  2. Some patient leisure to excuse myself.

Lady Anne

83 - 84
  1. Fouler than heart can think thee, thou canst make
  2. No excuse current but to hang thyself.

Richard, Duke of Gloucester

85
  1. By such despair I should accuse myself.

Lady Anne

86 - 88
  1. And by despairing shalt thou stand excused
  2. For doing worthy vengeance on thyself,
  3. That didst unworthy slaughter upon others.

Richard, Duke of Gloucester

89
  1. Say that I slew them not?

Lady Anne

90 - 91
  1. Then say they were not slain.
  2. But dead they are, and, devilish slave, by thee.

Richard, Duke of Gloucester

92
  1. I did not kill your husband.

Lady Anne

93
  1.                              Why then he is alive.

Richard, Duke of Gloucester

94
  1. Nay, he is dead, and slain by Edward’s hands.

Lady Anne

95 - 98
  1. In thy foul throat thou li’st! Queen Margaret saw
  2. Thy murd’rous falchion smoking in his blood;
  3. The which thou once didst bend against her breast,
  4. But that thy brothers beat aside the point.

Richard, Duke of Gloucester

99 - 100
  1. I was provoked by her sland’rous tongue,
  2. That laid their guilt upon my guiltless shoulders.

Lady Anne

101 - 103
  1. Thou wast provoked by thy bloody mind,
  2. That never dream’st on aught but butcheries.
  3. Didst thou not kill this king?

Richard, Duke of Gloucester

104
  1.                                I grant ye.

Lady Anne

105 - 107
  1. Dost grant me, hedgehog? Then God grant me too
  2. Thou mayst be damned for that wicked deed!
  3. O, he was gentle, mild, and virtuous!

Richard, Duke of Gloucester

108
  1. The better for the King of Heaven that hath him.

Lady Anne

109
  1. He is in heaven, where thou shalt never come.

Richard, Duke of Gloucester

110 - 111
  1. Let him thank me that holp to send him thither;
  2. For he was fitter for that place than earth.

Lady Anne

112
  1. And thou unfit for any place, but hell.

Richard, Duke of Gloucester

113
  1. Yes, one place else, if you will hear me name it.

Lady Anne

114
  1. Some dungeon.

Richard, Duke of Gloucester

115
  1.               Your bedchamber.

Lady Anne

116
  1. Ill rest betide the chamber where thou liest!

Richard, Duke of Gloucester

117
  1. So will it, madam, till I lie with you.

Lady Anne

118
  1. I hope so.

Richard, Duke of Gloucester

119 - 124
  1. I know so. But, gentle Lady Anne,
  2. To leave this keen encounter of our wits
  3. And fall something into a slower method:
  4. Is not the causer of the timeless deaths
  5. Of these Plantagenets, Henry and Edward,
  6. As blameful as the executioner?

Lady Anne

125
  1. Thou wast the cause, and most accurs’d effect.

Richard, Duke of Gloucester

126 - 129
  1. Your beauty was the cause of that effect
  2. Your beauty, that did haunt me in my sleep
  3. To undertake the death of all the world,
  4. So I might live one hour in your sweet bosom.

Lady Anne

130 - 131
  1. If I thought that, I tell thee, homicide,
  2. These nails should rent that beauty from my cheeks.

Richard, Duke of Gloucester

132 - 135
  1. These eyes could not endure that beauty’s wrack;
  2. You should not blemish it, if I stood by:
  3. As all the world is cheered by the sun,
  4. So I by that; it is my day, my life.

Lady Anne

136
  1. Black night o’ershade thy day, and death thy life!

Richard, Duke of Gloucester

137
  1. Curse not thyself, fair creaturethou art both.

Lady Anne

138
  1. I would I were, to be reveng’d on thee.

Richard, Duke of Gloucester

139 - 140
  1. It is a quarrel most unnatural,
  2. To be reveng’d on him that loveth thee.

Lady Anne

141 - 142
  1. It is a quarrel just and reasonable,
  2. To be reveng’d on him that kill’d my husband.

Richard, Duke of Gloucester

143 - 144
  1. He that bereft thee, lady, of thy husband,
  2. Did it to help thee to a better husband.

Lady Anne

145
  1. His better doth not breathe upon the earth.

Richard, Duke of Gloucester

146
  1. He lives, that loves thee better than he could.

Lady Anne

147
  1. Name him.

Richard, Duke of Gloucester

148
  1.           Plantagenet.

Lady Anne

149
  1.              Why, that was he.

Richard, Duke of Gloucester

150
  1. The self-same name, but one of better nature.

Lady Anne

151
  1. Where is he?

Richard, Duke of Gloucester

152 - 153
  1.              Here.
  2. She spits at him.
  3.       Why dost thou spit at me?

Lady Anne

154
  1. Would it were mortal poison for thy sake!

Richard, Duke of Gloucester

155
  1. Never came poison from so sweet a place.

Lady Anne

156 - 157
  1. Never hung poison on a fouler toad.
  2. Out of my sight, thou dost infect mine eyes!

Richard, Duke of Gloucester

158
  1. Thine eyes, sweet lady, have infected mine.

Lady Anne

159
  1. Would they were basilisks, to strike thee dead!

Richard, Duke of Gloucester

160 - 192
  1. I would they were, that I might die at once;
  2. For now they kill me with a living death.
  3. Those eyes of thine from mine have drawn salt tears,
  4. Sham’d their aspects with store of childish drops:
  5. These eyes, which never shed remorseful tear
  6. No, when my father York and Edward wept
  7. To hear the piteous moan that Rutland made
  8. When black-fac’d Clifford shook his sword at him;
  9. Nor when thy warlike father, like a child,
  10. Told the sad story of my father’s death,
  11. And twenty times made pause to sob and weep,
  12. That all the standers-by had wet their cheeks
  13. Like trees bedash’d with rainin that sad time
  14. My manly eyes did scorn an humble tear;
  15. And what these sorrows could not thence exhale,
  16. Thy beauty hath, and made them blind with weeping.
  17. I never sued to friend nor enemy;
  18. My tongue could never learn sweet smoothing word;
  19. But now thy beauty is propos’d my fee,
  20. My proud heart sues, and prompts my tongue to speak.
  21. She looks scornfully at him.
  22. Teach not thy lip such scorn; for it was made
  23. For kissing, lady, not for such contempt.
  24. If thy revengeful heart cannot forgive,
  25. Lo here I lend thee this sharp-pointed sword,
  26. Which if thou please to hide in this true breast,
  27. And let the soul forth that adoreth thee,
  28. I lay it naked to the deadly stroke,
  29. And humbly beg the death upon my knee.
  30. He lays his breast open: she offers at it with his sword.
  31. Nay, do not pause: for I did kill King Henry
  32. But ’twas thy beauty that provoked me.
  33. Nay, now dispatch: ’twas I that stabb’d young Edward
  34. But ’twas thy heavenly face that set me on.
  35. She falls the sword.
  36. Take up the sword again, or take up me.

Lady Anne

193 - 194
  1. Arise, dissembler! Though I wish thy death,
  2. I will not be thy executioner.

Richard, Duke of Gloucester

195
  1. Then bid me kill myself, and I will do it.

Lady Anne

196
  1. I have already.

Richard, Duke of Gloucester

197 - 201
  1.                 That was in thy rage.
  2. Speak it again, and even with the word
  3. This hand, which for thy love did kill thy love,
  4. Shall for thy love kill a far truer love;
  5. To both their deaths shalt thou be accessary.

Lady Anne

202
  1. I would I knew thy heart.

Richard, Duke of Gloucester

203
  1. ’Tis figur’d in my tongue.

Lady Anne

204
  1. I fear me both are false.

Richard, Duke of Gloucester

205
  1. Then never was man true.

Lady Anne

206
  1. Well, well, put up your sword.

Richard, Duke of Gloucester

207
  1. Say then my peace is made.

Lady Anne

208
  1. That shalt thou know hereafter.

Richard, Duke of Gloucester

209
  1. But shall I live in hope?

Lady Anne

210
  1. All men, I hope, live so.

Richard, Duke of Gloucester

211
  1. Vouchsafe to wear this ring.

Lady Anne

212
  1. To take is not to give.
  1. Gloucester slips the ring on her finger.

Richard, Duke of Gloucester

213 - 218
  1. Look how my ring encompasseth thy finger,
  2. Even so thy breast encloseth my poor heart:
  3. Wear both of them, for both of them are thine.
  4. And if thy poor devoted servant may
  5. But beg one favor at thy gracious hand,
  6. Thou dost confirm his happiness forever.

Lady Anne

219
  1. What is it?

Richard, Duke of Gloucester

220 - 228
  1. That it may please you leave these sad designs
  2. To him that hath most cause to be a mourner,
  3. And presently repair to Crosby House;
  4. Where (after I have solemnly interr’d
  5. At Chertsey monast’ry this noble king,
  6. And wet his grave with my repentant tears)
  7. I will with all expedient duty see you.
  8. For divers unknown reasons, I beseech you,
  9. Grant me this boon.

Lady Anne

229 - 231
  1. With all my heart, and much it joys me too,
  2. To see you are become so penitent.
  3. Tressel and Berkeley, go along with me.

Richard, Duke of Gloucester

232
  1. Bid me farewell.

Lady Anne

233 - 235
  1.                  ’Tis more than you deserve;
  2. But since you teach me how to flatter you,
  3. Imagine I have said farewell already.
  1. Exeunt two, Tressel and Berkeley, with Anne.

Richard, Duke of Gloucester

236
  1. Sirs, take up the corse.

Gentleman

237
  1.                          Towards Chertsey, noble lord?

Richard, Duke of Gloucester

238 - 275
  1. No; to White-Friars, there attend my coming.
  2. Exit corpse with Halberds.
  3. Was ever woman in this humor woo’d?
  4. Was ever woman in this humor won?
  5. I’ll have her, but I will not keep her long.
  6. What? I, that kill’d her husband and his father,
  7. To take her in her heart’s extremest hate,
  8. With curses in her mouth, tears in her eyes,
  9. The bleeding witness of my hatred by,
  10. Having God, her conscience, and these bars against me,
  11. And I no friends to back my suit at all
  12. But the plain devil and dissembling looks?
  13. And yet to win her! All the world to nothing!
  14. Hah!
  15. Hath she forgot already that brave prince,
  16. Edward, her lord, whom I, some three months since,
  17. Stabb’d in my angry mood at Tewksbury?
  18. A sweeter and a lovelier gentleman,
  19. Fram’d in the prodigality of nature
  20. Young, valiant, wise, and (no doubt) right royal
  21. The spacious world cannot again afford.
  22. And will she yet abase her eyes on me,
  23. That cropp’d the golden prime of this sweet prince
  24. And made her widow to a woeful bed?
  25. On me, whose all not equals Edward’s moi’ty?
  26. On me, that halts and am misshapen thus?
  27. My dukedom to a beggarly denier,
  28. I do mistake my person all this while!
  29. Upon my life, she finds (although I cannot)
  30. Myself to be a marv’lous proper man.
  31. I’ll be at charges for a looking-glass,
  32. And entertain a score or two of tailors
  33. To study fashions to adorn my body:
  34. Since I am crept in favor with myself,
  35. I will maintain it with some little cost.
  36. But first I’ll turn yon fellow in his grave,
  37. And then return lamenting to my love.
  38. Shine out, fair sun, till I have bought a glass,
  39. That I may see my shadow as I pass.
  1. Exit.
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