Act I, Scene 3
London. The palace.
- Enter the Queen Mother Elizabeth, Lord Rivers, Marquess of Dorset, and Lord Grey.
Rivers1 - 2
- Have patience, madam, there’s no doubt his Majesty
- Will soon recover his accustom’d health.
Grey3 - 5
- In that you brook it ill, it makes him worse;
- Therefore for God’s sake entertain good comfort,
- And cheer his Grace with quick and merry eyes.
- If he were dead, what would betide on me?
- No other harm but loss of such a lord.
- The loss of such a lord includes all harms.
Grey9 - 10
- The heavens have blest you with a goodly son
- To be your comforter when he is gone.
Queen Elizabeth11 - 13
- Ah! He is young; and his minority
- Is put unto the trust of Richard Gloucester,
- A man that loves not me, nor none of you.
- Is it concluded he shall be Protector?
Queen Elizabeth15 - 16
- It is determin’d, not concluded yet;
- But so it must be, if the King miscarry.
- Enter Buckingham and Lord Stanley, Earl of Derby.
- Here come the lords of Buckingham and Derby.
Duke of Buckingham18
- Good time of day unto your royal Grace!
- God make your Majesty joyful, as you have been!
Queen Elizabeth20 - 24
- The Countess Richmond, good my Lord of Derby,
- To your good prayer will scarcely say amen.
- Yet, Derby, notwithstanding she’s your wife
- And loves not me, be you, good lord, assur’d
- I hate not you for her proud arrogance.
Stanley25 - 29
- I do beseech you, either not believe
- The envious slanders of her false accusers;
- Or if she be accus’d on true report,
- Bear with her weakness, which I think proceeds
- From wayward sickness and no grounded malice.
- Saw you the King today, my Lord of Derby?
Stanley31 - 32
- But now the Duke of Buckingham and I
- Are come from visiting his Majesty.
- What likelihood of his amendment, lords?
Duke of Buckingham34
- Madam, good hope, his Grace speaks cheerfully.
- God grant him health! Did you confer with him?
Duke of Buckingham36 - 39
- Ay, madam, he desires to make atonement
- Between the Duke of Gloucester and your brothers,
- And between them and my Lord Chamberlain,
- And sent to warn them to his royal presence.
Queen Elizabeth40 - 41
- Would all were well! But that will never be:
- I fear our happiness is at the height.
- Enter Richard Duke of Gloucester and Lord Hastings.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester42 - 53
- They do me wrong, and I will not endure it!
- Who is it that complains unto the King
- That I, forsooth, am stern, and love them not?
- By holy Paul, they love his Grace but lightly
- That fill his ears with such dissentious rumors.
- Because I cannot flatter and look fair,
- Smile in men’s faces, smooth, deceive, and cog,
- Duck with French nods and apish courtesy,
- I must be held a rancorous enemy.
- Cannot a plain man live and think no harm,
- But thus his simple truth must be abus’d
- With silken, sly, insinuating Jacks?
- To who in all this presence speaks your Grace?
Richard, Duke of Gloucester55 - 61
- To thee, that hast nor honesty nor grace:
- When have I injur’d thee? When done thee wrong?
- Or thee? Or thee? Or any of your faction?
- A plague upon you all! His royal Grace
- (Whom God preserve better than you would wish!)
- Cannot be quiet scarce a breathing while
- But you must trouble him with lewd complaints.
Queen Elizabeth62 - 68
- Brother of Gloucester, you mistake the matter:
- The King, on his own royal disposition
- (And not provok’d by any suitor else),
- Aiming, belike, at your interior hatred,
- That in your outward action shows itself
- Against my children, brothers, and myself,
- Makes him to send, that he may learn the ground.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester69 - 72
- I cannot tell, the world is grown so bad
- That wrens make prey where eagles dare not perch.
- Since every Jack became a gentleman,
- There’s many a gentle person made a Jack.
Queen Elizabeth73 - 75
- Come, come, we know your meaning, brother Gloucester;
- You envy my advancement and my friends’.
- God grant we never may have need of you!
Richard, Duke of Gloucester76 - 81
- Mean time, God grants that I have need of you.
- Our brother is imprison’d by your means,
- Myself disgrac’d, and the nobility
- Held in contempt, while great promotions
- Are daily given to ennoble those
- That scarce some two days since were worth a noble.
Queen Elizabeth82 - 88
- By Him that rais’d me to this careful height
- From that contented hap which I enjoy’d,
- I never did incense his Majesty
- Against the Duke of Clarence, but have been
- An earnest advocate to plead for him.
- My lord, you do me shameful injury
- Falsely to draw me in these vile suspects.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester89 - 90
- You may deny that you were not the mean
- Of my Lord Hastings’ late imprisonment.
- She may, my lord, for—
Richard, Duke of Gloucester92 - 97
- She may, Lord Rivers! Why, who knows not so?
- She may do more, sir, than denying that:
- She may help you to many fair preferments,
- And then deny her aiding hand therein
- And lay those honors on your high desert.
- What may she not, she may, ay, marry, may she.
- What, marry, may she?
Richard, Duke of Gloucester99 - 101
- What, marry, may she? Marry with a king,
- A bachelor, and a handsome stripling too:
- Iwis your grandam had a worser match.
Queen Elizabeth102 - 109
- My Lord of Gloucester, I have too long borne
- Your blunt upbraidings and your bitter scoffs.
- By heaven, I will acquaint his Majesty
- Of those gross taunts that oft I have endur’d.
- I had rather be a country servant maid
- Than a great queen with this condition,
- To be so baited, scorn’d, and stormed at.
- Enter old Queen Margaret behind.
- Small joy have I in being England’s queen.
Queen Margaret110 - 111
- And less’ned be that small, God I beseech him!
- Thy honor, state, and seat is due to me.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester112 - 116
- What? Threat you me with telling of the King?
- Tell him, and spare not. Look what I have said,
- I will avouch’t in presence of the King.
- I dare adventure to be sent to th’ Tow’r.
- ’Tis time to speak, my pains are quite forgot.
Queen Margaret117 - 119
- Out, devil! I do remember them too well:
- Thou kill’dst my husband Henry in the Tower,
- And Edward, my poor son, at Tewksbury.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester120 - 124
- Ere you were queen, ay, or your husband king,
- I was a pack-horse in his great affairs:
- A weeder-out of his proud adversaries,
- A liberal rewarder of his friends;
- To royalize his blood I spent mine own.
- Ay, and much better blood than his or thine.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester126 - 132
- In all which time you and your husband Grey
- Were factious for the house of Lancaster;
- And, Rivers, so were you. Was not your husband
- In Margaret’s battle at Saint Albans slain?
- Let me put in your minds, if you forget,
- What you have been ere this, and what you are;
- Withal, what I have been, and what I am.
- A murd’rous villain, and so still thou art.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester134 - 135
- Poor Clarence did forsake his father, Warwick,
- Ay, and forswore himself—which Jesu pardon!—
- Which God revenge!
Richard, Duke of Gloucester137 - 141
- To fight on Edward’s party for the crown,
- And for his meed, poor lord, he is mewed up.
- I would to God my heart were flint, like Edward’s,
- Or Edward’s soft and pitiful, like mine:
- I am too childish-foolish for this world.
Queen Margaret142 - 143
- Hie thee to hell for shame, and leave this world,
- Thou cacodemon, there thy kingdom is.
Rivers144 - 147
- My Lord of Gloucester, in those busy days,
- Which here you urge to prove us enemies,
- We follow’d then our lord, our sovereign king.
- So should we you, if you should be our king.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester148 - 149
- If I should be? I had rather be a pedlar:
- Far be it from my heart, the thought thereof!
Queen Elizabeth150 - 153
- As little joy, my lord, as you suppose
- You should enjoy, were you this country’s king—
- As little joy you may suppose in me
- That I enjoy, being the queen thereof.
Queen Margaret154 - 162
- A little joy enjoys the queen thereof,
- For I am she, and altogether joyless.
- I can no longer hold me patient.
- Comes forward.
- Hear me, you wrangling pirates, that fall out
- In sharing that which you have pill’d from me!
- Which of you trembles not that looks on me?
- If not, that I am queen, you bow like subjects,
- Yet that, by you depos’d, you quake like rebels?
- Ah, gentle villain, do not turn away!
Richard, Duke of Gloucester163
- Foul wrinkled witch, what mak’st thou in my sight?
Queen Margaret164 - 165
- But repetition of what thou hast marr’d,
- That will I make before I let thee go.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester166
- Wert thou not banished on pain of death?
Queen Margaret167 - 172
- I was; but I do find more pain in banishment
- Than death can yield me here by my abode.
- A husband and a son thou ow’st to me—
- And thou a kingdom—all of you allegiance.
- This sorrow that I have, by right is yours,
- And all the pleasures you usurp are mine.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester173 - 180
- The curse my noble father laid on thee
- When thou didst crown his warlike brows with paper,
- And with thy scorns drew’st rivers from his eyes,
- And then, to dry them, gav’st the Duke a clout
- Steep’d in the faultless blood of pretty Rutland—
- His curses then, from bitterness of soul
- Denounc’d against thee, are all fall’n upon thee;
- And God, not we, hath plagu’d thy bloody deed.
- So just is God, to right the innocent.
Hastings182 - 183
- O, ’twas the foulest deed to slay that babe,
- And the most merciless, that e’er was heard of!
- Tyrants themselves wept when it was reported.
Marquess of Dorset185
- No man but prophesied revenge for it.
Duke of Buckingham186
- Northumberland, then present, wept to see it.
Queen Margaret187 - 213
- What? Were you snarling all before I came,
- Ready to catch each other by the throat,
- And turn you all your hatred now on me?
- Did York’s dread curse prevail so much with heaven
- That Henry’s death, my lovely Edward’s death,
- Their kingdom’s loss, my woeful banishment,
- Should all but answer for that peevish brat?
- Can curses pierce the clouds and enter heaven?
- Why then give way, dull clouds, to my quick curses!
- Though not by war, by surfeit die your king,
- As ours by murder, to make him a king!
- Edward thy son, that now is Prince of Wales,
- For Edward our son, that was Prince of Wales,
- Die in his youth by like untimely violence!
- Thyself a queen, for me that was a queen,
- Outlive thy glory like my wretched self!
- Long mayst thou live to wail thy children’s death,
- And see another, as I see thee now,
- Deck’d in thy rights as thou art stall’d in mine!
- Long die thy happy days before thy death,
- And after many length’ned hours of grief,
- Die neither mother, wife, nor England’s queen!
- Rivers and Dorset, you were standers-by,
- And so wast thou, Lord Hastings, when my son
- Was stabb’d with bloody daggers: God, I pray him
- That none of you may live his natural age,
- But by some unlook’d accident cut off!
Richard, Duke of Gloucester214
- Have done thy charm, thou hateful with’red hag.
Queen Margaret215 - 232
- And leave out thee? Stay, dog, for thou shalt hear me.
- If heaven have any grievous plague in store
- Exceeding those that I can wish upon thee,
- O, let them keep it till thy sins be ripe,
- And then hurl down their indignation
- On thee, the troubler of the poor world’s peace!
- The worm of conscience still begnaw thy soul!
- Thy friends suspect for traitors while thou liv’st,
- And take deep traitors for thy dearest friends!
- No sleep close up that deadly eye of thine,
- Unless it be while some tormenting dream
- Affrights thee with a hell of ugly devils!
- Thou elvish-mark’d, abortive, rooting hog!
- Thou that wast seal’d in thy nativity
- The slave of nature and the son of hell!
- Thou slander of thy heavy mother’s womb!
- Thou loathed issue of thy father’s loins!
- Thou rag of honor! Thou detested—
Richard, Duke of Gloucester233
Richard, Duke of Gloucester235
- I call thee not.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester237 - 238
- I cry thee mercy then; for I did think
- That thou hadst call’d me all these bitter names.
Queen Margaret239 - 240
- Why, so I did, but look’d for no reply.
- O, let me make the period to my curse!
Richard, Duke of Gloucester241
- ’Tis done by me, and ends in “Margaret.”
- Thus have you breath’d your curse against yourself.
Queen Margaret243 - 248
- Poor painted queen, vain flourish of my fortune!
- Why strew’st thou sugar on that bottled spider
- Whose deadly web ensnareth thee about?
- Fool, fool, thou whet’st a knife to kill thyself.
- The day will come that thou shalt wish for me
- To help thee curse this poisonous bunch-back’d toad.
Hastings249 - 250
- False-boding woman, end thy frantic curse,
- Lest to thy harm thou move our patience.
- Foul shame upon you, you have all mov’d mine.
- Were you well serv’d, you would be taught your duty.
Queen Margaret253 - 255
- To serve me well, you all should do me duty,
- Teach me to be your queen, and you my subjects:
- O, serve me well, and teach yourselves that duty!
Marquess of Dorset256
- Dispute not with her, she is lunatic.
Queen Margaret257 - 262
- Peace, Master Marquess, you are malapert,
- Your fire-new stamp of honor is scarce current.
- O that your young nobility could judge
- What ’twere to lose it and be miserable!
- They that stand high have many blasts to shake them,
- And if they fall, they dash themselves to pieces.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester263
- Good counsel, marry! Learn it, learn it, Marquess.
Marquess of Dorset264
- It touches you, my lord, as much as me.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester265 - 267
- Ay, and much more; but I was born so high,
- Our aery buildeth in the cedar’s top
- And dallies with the wind and scorns the sun.
Queen Margaret268 - 274
- And turns the sun to shade—alas, alas!
- Witness my son, now in the shade of death,
- Whose bright out-shining beams thy cloudy wrath
- Hath in eternal darkness folded up.
- Your aery buildeth in our aery’s nest:
- O God that seest it, do not suffer it!
- As it is won with blood, lost be it so!
Duke of Buckingham275
- Peace, peace, for shame! If not, for charity.
Queen Margaret276 - 280
- Urge neither charity nor shame to me.
- Turning to the others.
- Uncharitably with me have you dealt,
- And shamefully my hopes, by you, are butcher’d.
- My charity is outrage, life my shame,
- And in that shame still live my sorrow’s rage!
Duke of Buckingham281
- Have done, have done.
Queen Margaret282 - 286
- O princely Buckingham, I’ll kiss thy hand
- In sign of league and amity with thee.
- Now fair befall thee and thy noble house!
- Thy garments are not spotted with our blood;
- Nor thou within the compass of my curse.
Duke of Buckingham287 - 288
- Nor no one here; for curses never pass
- The lips of those that breathe them in the air.
Queen Margaret289 - 296
- I will not think but they ascend the sky,
- And there awake God’s gentle-sleeping peace.
- O Buckingham, take heed of yonder dog!
- Look when he fawns he bites; and when he bites,
- His venom tooth will rankle to the death.
- Have not to do with him, beware of him;
- Sin, death, and hell have set their marks on him,
- And all their ministers attend on him.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester297
- What doth she say, my Lord of Buckingham?
Duke of Buckingham298
- Nothing that I respect, my gracious lord.
Queen Margaret299 - 305
- What, dost thou scorn me for my gentle counsel?
- And soothe the devil that I warn thee from?
- O but remember this another day,
- When he shall split thy very heart with sorrow,
- And say poor Margaret was a prophetess!
- Live each of you the subjects to his hate,
- And he to yours, and all of you to God’s!
Duke of Buckingham306
- My hair doth stand an end to hear her curses.
- And so doth mine. I muse why she’s at liberty.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester308 - 310
- I cannot blame her; by God’s holy Mother,
- She hath had too much wrong, and I repent
- My part thereof that I have done to her.
- I never did her any to my knowledge.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester312 - 317
- Yet you have all the vantage of her wrong.
- I was too hot to do somebody good
- That is too cold in thinking of it now.
- Marry, as for Clarence, he is well repaid;
- He is frank’d up to fatting for his pains—
- God pardon them that are the cause thereof!
Rivers318 - 319
- A virtuous and a Christian-like conclusion—
- To pray for them that have done scathe to us.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester320 - 322
- So do I ever—
- Speaks to himself.
- being well advis’d;
- For had I curs’d now, I had curs’d myself.
- Enter Catesby.
Catesby323 - 324
- Madam, his Majesty doth call for you,
- And for your Grace, and yours, my gracious lord.
- Catesby, I come. Lords, will you go with me?
- We wait upon your Grace.
- Exeunt all but Gloucester.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester327 - 344
- I do the wrong, and first begin to brawl.
- The secret mischiefs that I set abroach
- I lay unto the grievous charge of others.
- Clarence, who I indeed have cast in darkness,
- I do beweep to many simple gulls—
- Namely, to Derby, Hastings, Buckingham—
- And tell them ’tis the Queen and her allies
- That stir the King against the Duke my brother.
- Now they believe it, and withal whet me
- To be reveng’d on Rivers, Dorset, Grey.
- But then I sigh, and, with a piece of scripture,
- Tell them that God bids us do good for evil:
- And thus I clothe my naked villainy
- With odd old ends stol’n forth of holy writ,
- And seem a saint, when most I play the devil.
- Enter two Murderers.
- But soft, here come my executioners.
- How now, my hardy, stout, resolved mates,
- Are you now going to dispatch this thing?
First Murderer345 - 346
- We are, my lord, and come to have the warrant,
- That we may be admitted where he is.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester347 - 352
- Well thought upon, I have it here about me.
- Gives the warrant.
- When you have done, repair to Crosby Place.
- But, sirs, be sudden in the execution,
- Withal obdurate, do not hear him plead;
- For Clarence is well-spoken, and perhaps
- May move your hearts to pity if you mark him.
First Murderer353 - 355
- Tut, tut, my lord, we will not stand to prate;
- Talkers are no good doers. Be assur’d;
- We go to use our hands, and not our tongues.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester356 - 358
- Your eyes drop millstones, when fools’ eyes fall tears.
- I like you, lads, about your business straight.
- Go, go, dispatch.
- We will, my noble lord.