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Richard III: Act 1, Scene 4

Richard III
Act 1, Scene 4

London. The Tower.

  1. Enter Clarence and Keeper.

Keeper in the Tower

2
  1. Why looks your Grace so heavily today?

George, Duke of Clarence

3 - 8
  1. O, I have pass’d a miserable night,
  2. So full of fearful dreams, of ugly sights,
  3. That, as I am a Christian faithful man,
  4. I would not spend another such a night
  5. Though ’twere to buy a world of happy days
  6. So full of dismal terror was the time.

Keeper in the Tower

9
  1. What was your dream, my lord? I pray you tell me.

George, Duke of Clarence

10 - 34
  1. Methoughts that I had broken from the Tower
  2. And was embark’d to cross to Burgundy,
  3. And in my company my brother Gloucester,
  4. Who from my cabin tempted me to walk
  5. Upon the hatches. Thence we look’d toward England,
  6. And cited up a thousand heavy times,
  7. During the wars of York and Lancaster,
  8. That had befall’n us. As we pac’d along
  9. Upon the giddy footing of the hatches,
  10. Methought that Gloucester stumbled, and in falling
  11. Struck me (that thought to stay him) overboard
  12. Into the tumbling billows of the main.
  13. O Lord, methought what pain it was to drown!
  14. What dreadful noise of waters in my ears!
  15. What sights of ugly death within my eyes!
  16. Methoughts I saw a thousand fearful wracks;
  17. A thousand men that fishes gnaw’d upon;
  18. Wedges of gold, great anchors, heaps of pearl,
  19. Inestimable stones, unvalued jewels,
  20. All scatt’red in the bottom of the sea:
  21. Some lay in dead men’s skulls, and in the holes
  22. Where eyes did once inhabit, there were crept
  23. (As ’twere in scorn of eyes) reflecting gems,
  24. That woo’d the slimy bottom of the deep,
  25. And mock’d the dead bones that lay scatt’red by.

Keeper in the Tower

35 - 36
  1. Had you such leisure in the time of death
  2. To gaze upon these secrets of the deep?

George, Duke of Clarence

37 - 42
  1. Methought I had, and often did I strive
  2. To yield the ghost; but still the envious flood
  3. Stopp’d in my soul, and would not let it forth
  4. To find the empty, vast, and wand’ring air,
  5. But smother’d it within my panting bulk,
  6. Who almost burst to belch it in the sea.

Keeper in the Tower

43
  1. Awak’d you not in this sore agony?

George, Duke of Clarence

44 - 64
  1. No, no, my dream was lengthen’d after life.
  2. O then began the tempest to my soul!
  3. I pass’d (methought) the melancholy flood,
  4. With that sour ferryman which poets write of,
  5. Unto the kingdom of perpetual night.
  6. The first that there did greet my stranger soul
  7. Was my great father-in-law, renowned Warwick,
  8. Who spake aloud, What scourge for perjury
  9. Can this dark monarchy afford false Clarence?”
  10. And so he vanish’d. Then came wand’ring by
  11. A shadow like an angel, with bright hair
  12. Dabbled in blood, and he shriek’d out aloud,
  13. Clarence is comefalse, fleeting, perjur’d Clarence,
  14. That stabb’d me in the field by Tewksbury:
  15. Seize on him, Furies, take him unto torment!”
  16. With that (methoughts) a legion of foul fiends
  17. Environ’d me, and howled in mine ears
  18. Such hideous cries that with the very noise
  19. I, trembling, wak’d, and for a season after
  20. Could not believe but that I was in hell,
  21. Such terrible impression made my dream.

Keeper in the Tower

65 - 66
  1. No marvel, lord, though it affrighted you;
  2. I am afraid (methinks) to hear you tell it.

Keeper in the Tower

67 - 75
  1. Ah, Keeper, Keeper, I have done these things
  2. (That now give evidence against my soul)
  3. For Edward’s sake, and see how he requites me!
  4. O God! If my deep pray’rs cannot appease thee,
  5. But thou wilt be aveng’d on my misdeeds,
  6. Yet execute thy wrath in me alone!
  7. O, spare my guiltless wife and my poor children!
  8. Keeper, I prithee sit by me awhile.
  9. My soul is heavy, and I fain would sleep.

Keeper in the Tower

76
  1. I will, my lord. God give your Grace good rest!
  1. Clarence sleeps.
  1. Enter Brakenbury, the Lieutenant.

Brakenbury

79 - 86
  1. Sorrow breaks seasons and reposing hours,
  2. Makes the night morning and the noontide night:
  3. Princes have but their titles for their glories,
  4. An outward honor for an inward toil,
  5. And for unfelt imaginations
  6. They often feel a world of restless cares;
  7. So that between their titles and low name
  8. There’s nothing differs but the outward fame.
  1. Enter two Murderers.

First Murderer

88
  1. Ho, who’s here?

Brakenbury

89
  1. What wouldst thou, fellow? And how cam’st thou hither?

First Murderer

90
  1. I would speak with Clarence, and I came hither on my legs.

Brakenbury

91
  1. What, so brief?

Second Murderer

92
  1. ’Tis better, sir, than to be tedious. Let him see our commission, and talk no more.
  1. Brakenbury reads it.

Brakenbury

94 - 100
  1. I am in this commanded to deliver
  2. The noble Duke of Clarence to your hands.
  3. I will not reason what is meant hereby,
  4. Because I will be guiltless from the meaning.
  5. There lies the Duke asleep, and there the keys.
  6. I’ll to the King and signify to him
  7. That thus I have resign’d to you my charge.

First Murderer

101
  1. You may, sir, ’tis a point of wisdom. Fare you well.
  1. Exit Brakenbury with Keeper.

Second Murderer

103
  1. What, shall I stab him as he sleeps?

First Murderer

104
  1. No, he’ll say ’twas done cowardly when he wakes.

Second Murderer

105
  1. Why, he shall never wake until the great Judgment Day.

First Murderer

106
  1. Why, then he’ll say we stabb’d him sleeping.

Second Murderer

107 - 108
  1. The urging of that word judgment hath bred a kind of
  2. remorse in me.

First Murderer

109
  1. What? Art thou afraid?

Second Murderer

110 - 111
  1. Not to kill him, having a warrant, but to be damn’d for
  2. killing him, from the which no warrant can defend me.

First Murderer

112
  1. I thought thou hadst been resolute.

Second Murderer

113
  1. So I amto let him live.

First Murderer

114
  1. I’ll back to the Duke of Gloucester and tell him so.

Second Murderer

115 - 117
  1. Nay, I prithee stay a little. I hope this passionate humor
  2. of mine will change. It was wont to hold me but while one
  3. tells twenty.

First Murderer

118
  1. How dost thou feel thyself now?

Second Murderer

119
  1. Faith, some certain dregs of conscience are yet within me.

First Murderer

120
  1. Remember our reward when the deed’s done.

Second Murderer

121
  1. ’Zounds, he dies! I had forgot the reward.

First Murderer

122
  1. Where’s thy conscience now?

Second Murderer

123
  1. O, in the Duke of Gloucester’s purse.

First Murderer

124 - 125
  1. When he opens his purse to give us our reward, thy
  2. conscience flies out.

Second Murderer

126 - 127
  1. ’Tis no matter, let it go. There’s few or none will
  2. entertain it.

First Murderer

128
  1. What if it come to thee again?

Second Murderer

129 - 138
  1. I’ll not meddle with it, it makes a man a coward. A man
  2. cannot steal, but it accuseth him; a man cannot swear, but
  3. it checks him; a man cannot lie with his neighbor’s wife,
  4. but it detects him. ’Tis a blushing shame-fac’d spirit that
  5. mutinies in a man’s bosom. It fills a man full of obstacles.
  6. It made me once restore a purse of gold that (by chance) I
  7. found. It beggars any man that keeps it. It is turn’d out of
  8. towns and cities for a dangerous thing, and every man that
  9. means to live well endeavors to trust to himself and live
  10. without it.

First Murderer

139 - 140
  1. ’Zounds, ’tis even now at my elbow, persuading me not to
  2. kill the Duke.

Second Murderer

141 - 142
  1. Take the devil in thy mind, and believe him not; he would
  2. insinuate with thee but to make thee sigh.

First Murderer

143
  1. I am strong-fram’d, he cannot prevail with me.

Second Murderer

144 - 145
  1. Spoke like a tall man that respects thy reputation. Come,
  2. shall we fall to work?

First Murderer

146 - 147
  1. Take him on the costard with the hilts of thy sword, and
  2. then throw him into the malmsey-butt in the next room.

Second Murderer

148
  1. O excellent device! And make a sop of him.

First Murderer

149
  1. Soft, he wakes.

Second Murderer

150
  1. Strike!

First Murderer

151
  1. No, we’ll reason with him.

George, Duke of Clarence

152
  1. Where art thou, Keeper? Give me a cup of wine.

Second Murderer

153
  1. You shall have wine enough, my lord, anon.

George, Duke of Clarence

154
  1. In God’s name, what art thou?

First Murderer

155
  1. A man, as you are.

George, Duke of Clarence

156
  1. But not, as I am, royal.

Second Murderer

157
  1. Nor you, as we are, loyal.

George, Duke of Clarence

158
  1. Thy voice is thunder, but thy looks are humble.

First Murderer

159
  1. My voice is now the King’s, my looks mine own.

George, Duke of Clarence

160 - 162
  1. How darkly and how deadly dost thou speak!
  2. Your eyes do menace me. Why look you pale?
  3. Who sent you hither? Wherefore do you come?

Both First and Second Murderers

163
  1. To, to, to

George, Duke of Clarence

164
  1. To murder me?

Both First and Second Murderers

165
  1. Ay, ay.

George, Duke of Clarence

166 - 168
  1. You scarcely have the hearts to tell me so,
  2. And therefore cannot have the hearts to do it.
  3. Wherein, my friends, have I offended you?

First Murderer

169
  1. Offended us you have not, but the King.

George, Duke of Clarence

170
  1. I shall be reconcil’d to him again.

Second Murderer

171
  1. Never, my lord, therefore prepare to die.

George, Duke of Clarence

172 - 183
  1. Are you drawn forth among a world of men
  2. To slay the innocent? What is my offense?
  3. Where is the evidence that doth accuse me?
  4. What lawful quest have given their verdict up
  5. Unto the frowning judge? Or who pronounc’d
  6. The bitter sentence of poor Clarence’ death?
  7. Before I be convict by course of law,
  8. To threaten me with death is most unlawful.
  9. I charge you, as you hope to have redemption
  10. By Christ’s dear blood shed for our grievous sins,
  11. That you depart, and lay no hands on me.
  12. The deed you undertake is damnable.

First Murderer

184
  1. What we will do, we do upon command.

Second Murderer

185
  1. And he that hath commanded is our King.

George, Duke of Clarence

186 - 191
  1. Erroneous vassals, the great King of kings
  2. Hath in the table of his law commanded
  3. That thou shalt do no murder. Will you then
  4. Spurn at his edict, and fulfill a man’s?
  5. Take heed; for he holds vengeance in his hand,
  6. To hurl upon their heads that break his law.

Second Murderer

192 - 195
  1. And that same vengeance doth he hurl on thee
  2. For false forswearing and for murder too.
  3. Thou didst receive the sacrament to fight
  4. In quarrel of the house of Lancaster.

First Murderer

196 - 198
  1. And like a traitor to the name of God
  2. Didst break that vow, and with thy treacherous blade
  3. Unrip’st the bowels of thy sov’reign’s son.

Second Murderer

199
  1. Whom thou wast sworn to cherish and defend.

First Murderer

200 - 201
  1. How canst thou urge God’s dreadful law to us,
  2. When thou hast broke it in such dear degree?

George, Duke of Clarence

202 - 210
  1. Alas! For whose sake did I that ill deed?
  2. For Edward, for my brother, for his sake.
  3. He sends you not to murder me for this,
  4. For in that sin he is as deep as I.
  5. If God will be avenged for the deed,
  6. O, know you yet he doth it publicly.
  7. Take not the quarrel from his pow’rful arm;
  8. He needs no indirect or lawless course
  9. To cut off those that have offended him.

First Murderer

211 - 213
  1. Who made thee then a bloody minister,
  2. When gallant-springing brave Plantagenet,
  3. That princely novice, was struck dead by thee?

George, Duke of Clarence

214
  1. My brother’s love, the devil, and my rage.

First Murderer

215 - 216
  1. Thy brother’s love, our duty, and thy faults
  2. Provoke us hither now to slaughter thee.

George, Duke of Clarence

217 - 222
  1. O, if you love my brother, hate not me!
  2. I am his brother and I love him well.
  3. If you are hir’d for meed, go back again,
  4. And I will send you to my brother Gloucester,
  5. Who shall reward you better for my life
  6. Than Edward will for tidings of my death.

Second Murderer

223
  1. You are deceiv’d, your brother Gloucester hates you.

George, Duke of Clarence

224 - 225
  1. O no; he loves me and he holds me dear.
  2. Go you to him from me.

First Murderer

226
  1.                        Ay, so we will.

George, Duke of Clarence

227 - 231
  1. Tell him, when that our princely father York
  2. Blest his three sons with his victorious arm,
  3. And charg’d us from his soul to love each other,)
  4. He little thought of this divided friendship.
  5. Bid Gloucester think of this, and he will weep.

First Murderer

232
  1. Ay, millstones, as he lesson’d us to weep.

George, Duke of Clarence

233
  1. O, do not slander him, for he is kind.

First Murderer

234 - 235
  1. Right, as snow in harvest. Come, you deceive yourself,
  2. ’Tis he that sends us to destroy you here.

George, Duke of Clarence

236 - 238
  1. It cannot be, for he bewept my fortune,
  2. And hugg’d me in his arms, and swore with sobs
  3. That he would labor my delivery.

First Murderer

239 - 240
  1. Why, so he doth, when he delivers you
  2. From this earth’s thralldom to the joys of heaven.

Second Murderer

241
  1. Make peace with God, for you must die, my lord.

George, Duke of Clarence

242 - 247
  1. Have you that holy feeling in your souls
  2. To counsel me to make my peace with God,
  3. And are you yet to your own souls so blind
  4. That you will war with God by murd’ring me?
  5. O, sirs, consider, they that set you on
  6. To do this deed will hate you for the deed.

Second Murderer

248
  1. What shall we do?

George, Duke of Clarence

249 - 253
  1.                   Relent, and save your souls.
  2. Which of you, if you were a prince’s son,
  3. Being pent from liberty, as I am now,
  4. If two such murderers as yourselves came to you,
  5. Would not entreat for life?

First Murderer

254
  1. Relent? No: ’tis cowardly and womanish.

George, Duke of Clarence

255 - 262
  1. Not to relent is beastly, savage, devilish.
  2. My friend
  3. To Second Murderer
  4.           I spy some pity in thy looks.
  5. O, if thine eye be not a flatterer,
  6. Come thou on my side, and entreat for me,
  7. As you would beg, were you in my distress.
  8. A begging prince what beggar pities not?

Second Murderer

263
  1. Look behind you, my lord.

First Murderer

264 - 267
  1. Take that! And that!
  2. Stabs him.
  3.                      If all this will not do,
  4. I’ll drown you in the malmsey-butt within.
  1. Exit with the body.

Second Murderer

269 - 271
  1. A bloody deed, and desperately dispatch’d!
  2. How fain, like Pilate, would I wash my hands
  3. Of this most grievous murder!
  1. Enter First Murderer.

First Murderer

273 - 274
  1. How now? What mean’st thou, that thou help’st me not?
  2. By heavens, the Duke shall know how slack you have been!

Second Murderer

275 - 277
  1. I would he knew that I had sav’d his brother!
  2. Take thou the fee and tell him what I say,
  3. For I repent me that the Duke is slain.
  1. Exit.

First Murderer

279 - 283
  1. So do not I. Go, coward as thou art.
  2. Well, I’ll go hide the body in some hole
  3. Till that the Duke give order for his burial;
  4. And when I have my meed, I will away,
  5. For this will out, and then I must not stay.
  1. Exit.
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