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Liberty Fund Staff
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In this series of discussions we want to explore a number of issues, including tyranny and resistance to unjust power, the rules which govern succession, the connection between sovereignty and the tragic form, the problem of weak kingship, and the connection between sovereignty and the republican ideal.
For additional reading at this website see:
William Shakespeare, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (The Oxford Shakespeare), ed. with a glossary by W.J. Craig M.A. (Oxford University Press, 1916).
Accessed from oll.libertyfund.org/title/1622 on 2008-01-30
The text is in the public domain.
|KING EDWARD THE FOURTH.|
|EDWARD, Prince of Wales; afterwards King Edward the Fifth, }||Sons to the King.|
|RICHARD, Duke of York, }|
|GEORGE, Duke of Clarence, }||Brothers to the King.|
|RICHARD, Duke of Gloucester, afterwards King Richard the Third, }|
|A young Son of Clarence.|
|HENRY,||Earl of Richmond; afterwards King Henry the Seventh.|
|CARDINAL BOURCHIER,||Archbishop of Canterbury.|
|THOMAS ROTHERHAM,||Archbishop of York.|
|JOHN MORTON,||Bishop of Ely.|
|DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM.|
|DUKE OF NORFOLK.|
|EARL OF SURREY,||his Son.|
|EARL RIVERS,||Brother to King Edward’s Queen.|
|MARQUESS OF DORSET, and LORD GREY,||her Sons.|
|EARL OF OXFORD.|
|LORD STANLEY, called also EARL OF DERBY.|
|SIR THOMAS VAUGHAN.|
|SIR RICHARD RATCLIFF.|
|SIR WILLIAM CATESBY.|
|SIR JAMES TYRRELL.|
|SIR JAMES BLOUNT.|
|SIR WALTER HERBERT.|
|SIR ROBERT BRAKENBURY,||Lieutenant of the Tower.|
|SIR WILLIAM BRANDON.|
|CHRISTOPHER URSWICK,||a Priest.|
|Lord Mayor of London.||Sheriff of Wiltshire.|
|TRESSEL and BERKELEY,||Gentlemen attending on Lady Anne.|
|ELIZABETH,||Queen of King Edward the Fourth.|
|MARGARET,||Widow of King Henry the Sixth.|
|DUCHESS OF YORK,||Mother to King Edward the Fourth, Clarence, and Gloucester.|
|LADY ANNE,||Widow of Edward, Prince of Wales, Son to King Henry the Sixth; afterwards married to the Duke of Gloucester.|
|LADY MARGARET PLANTAGENET,||a young Daughter of Clarence.|
|Lords, and other Attendants; two Gentlemen, a Pursuivant, Scrivener, Citizens, Murderers, Messengers, Ghosts of those murdered by Richard the Third, Soldiers, &c.|
Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this sun of York;
And all the clouds that lour’d upon our house
In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.
Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths;
Our bruised arms hung up for monuments;
Our stern alarums changed to merry meetings;
Our dreadful marches to delightful measures.
Grim-visag’d war hath smooth’d his wrinkled front;
And now,—instead of mounting barbed steeds,
To fright the souls of fearful adversaries,—
He capers nimbly in a lady’s chamber
To the lascivious pleasing of a lute.
But I, that am not shap’d for sportive tricks,
Nor made to court an amorous looking-glass;
I, that am rudely stamp’d, and want love’s majesty
To strut before a wanton ambling nymph;
I, that am curtail’d of this fair proportion,
Cheated of feature by dissembling nature,
Deform’d, unfinish’d, sent before my time
Into this breathing world, scarce half made up,
And that so lamely and unfashionable
That dogs bark at me, as I halt by them;
Why, I, in this weak piping time of peace,
Have no delight to pass away the time,
Unless to see my shadow in the sun
And descant on mine own deformity:
And therefore, since I cannot prove a lover,
To entertain these fair well-spoken days,
I am determined to prove a villain,
And hate the idle pleasures of these days.
Plots have I laid, inductions dangerous,
By drunken prophecies, libels, and dreams,
To set my brother Clarence and the king
In deadly hate the one against the other:
And if King Edward be as true and just
As I am subtle, false, and treacherous,
This day should Clarence closely be mew’d up,
About a prophecy, which says, that G
Of Edward’s heirs the murderer shall be.
Dive, thoughts, down to my soul: here Clarence comes.
Brother, good day: what means this armed guard
That waits upon your Grace?
Tendering my person’s safety, hath appointed
This conduct to convey me to the Tower.
Upon what cause?
Because my name is George.
Alack! my lord, that fault is none of yours;
He should, for that, commit your godfathers.
O! belike his majesty hath some intent
That you should be new-christen’d in the Tower.
But what’s the matter, Clarence? may I know?
Yea, Richard, when I know; for I protest
As yet I do not: but, as I can learn,
He hearkens after prophecies and dreams;
And from the cross-row plucks the letter G,
And says a wizard told him that by G
His issue disinherited should be;
And, for my name of George begins with G,
It follows in his thought that I am he.
These, as I learn, and such like toys as these,
Have mov’d his highness to commit me now.
Why, this it is, when men are rul’d by women:
’Tis not the king that sends you to the Tower;
My Lady Grey, his wife, Clarence, ’tis she
That tempers him to this extremity.
Was it not she and that good man of worship,
Antony Woodville, her brother there,
That made him send Lord Hastings to the Tower,
From whence this present day he is deliver’d?
We are not safe, Clarence; we are not safe.
By heaven, I think there is no man secure
But the queen’s kindred and night-walking heralds
That trudge betwixt the king and Mistress Shore.
Heard you not what a humble suppliant
Lord Hastings was to her for his delivery?
Humbly complaining to her deity
Got my lord chamberlain his liberty.
I’ll tell you what; I think it is our way,
If we will keep in favour with the king,
To be her men and wear her livery:
The jealous o’er-worn widow and herself,
Since that our brother dubb’d them gentlewomen,
Are mighty gossips in our monarchy.
I beseech your Graces both to pardon me;
His majesty hath straitly given in charge
That no man shall have private conference,
Of what degree soever, with your brother.
Even so; an please your worship, Brakenbury,
You may partake of anything we say:
We speak no treason, man: we say the king
Is wise and virtuous, and his noble queen
Well struck in years, fair, and not jealous;
We say that Shore’s wife hath a pretty foot,
A cherry lip, a bonny eye, a passing pleasing tongue;
And that the queen’s kindred are made gentlefolks.
How say you, sir? can you deny all this?
With this, my lord, myself have nought to do.
Naught to do with Mistress Shore! I tell thee, fellow,
He that doth naught with her, excepting one,
Were best to do it secretly, alone.
What one, my lord?
Her husband, knave. Wouldst thou betray me?
I beseech your Grace to pardon me; and withal
Forbear your conference with the noble duke.
We know thy charge, Brakenbury, and will obey.
We are the queen’s abjects, and must obey.
Brother, farewell: I will unto the king;
And whatsoe’er you will employ me in,
Were it to call King Edward’s widow sister,
I will perform it to enfranchise you.
Meantime, this deep disgrace in brotherhood
Touches me deeper than you can imagine.
I know it pleaseth neither of us well.
Well, your imprisonment shall not be long;
I will deliver you, or else lie for you:
Meantime, have patience.
I must perforce: farewell.
[ExeuntClarence, Brakenbury,and Guard.
Go, tread the path that thou shalt ne’er return,
Simple, plain Clarence! I do love thee so
That I will shortly send thy soul to heaven,
If heaven will take the present at our hands.
But who comes here? the new-deliver’d Hastings!
Good time of day unto my gracious lord!
As much unto my good lord chamberlain!
Well are you welcome to this open air.
How hath your lordship brook’d imprisonment?
With patience, noble lord, as prisoners must:
But I shall live, my lord, to give them thanks
That were the cause of my imprisonment.
No doubt, no doubt; and so shall Clarence too;
For they that were your enemies are his,
And have prevail’d as much on him as you.
More pity that the eagles should be mew’d,
While kites and buzzards prey at liberty.
What news abroad?
No news so bad abroad as this at home;
The king is sickly, weak, and melancholy,
And his physicians fear him mightily.
Now by Saint Paul, this news is bad indeed.
O! he hath kept an evil diet long,
And over-much consum’d his royal person:
’Tis very grievous to be thought upon.
What, is he in his bed?
Go you before, and I will follow you.
He cannot live, I hope; and must not die
Till George be pack’d with post-horse up to heaven.
I’ll in, to urge his hatred more to Clarence,
With lies well steel’d with weighty arguments;
And, if I fail not in my deep intent,
Clarence hath not another day to live:
Which done, God take King Edward to his mercy,
And leave the world for me to bustle in!
For then I’ll marry Warwick’s youngest daughter.
What though I kill’d her husband and her father,
The readiest way to make the wench amends
Is to become her husband and her father:
The which will I; not all so much for love
As for another secret close intent,
By marrying her, which I must reach unto.
But yet I run before my horse to market:
Clarence still breathes; Edward still lives and reigns:
When they are gone, then must I count my gains.
Enter the corpse ofKing Henry the Sixth,borne in an open coffin; Gentlemen bearing halberds to guard it; andLady Anne,as mourner.
Set down, set down your honourable load,
If honour may be shrouded in a hearse,
Whilst I a while obsequiously lament
The untimely fall of virtuous Lancaster.
Poor key-cold figure of a holy king!
Pale ashes of the house of Lancaster!
Thou bloodless remnant of that royal blood!
Be it lawful that I invocate thy ghost,
To hear the lamentations of poor Anne,
Wife to thy Edward, to thy slaughter’d son,
Stabb’d by the self-same hand that made these wounds!
Lo, in these windows that let forth thy life,
I pour the helpless balm of my poor eyes.
O! cursed be the hand that made these holes;
Cursed the heart that had the heart to do it!
Cursed the blood that let this blood from hence!
More direful hap betide that hated wretch,
That makes us wretched by the death of thee,
Than I can wish to adders, spiders, toads,
Or any creeping venom’d thing that lives!
If ever he have child, abortive be it,
Prodigious, and untimely brought to light,
Whose ugly and unnatural aspect
May fright the hopeful mother at the view;
And that be heir to his unhappiness!
If ever he have wife, let her be made
More miserable by the death of him
Than I am made by my young lord and thee!
Come, now toward Chertsey with your holy load,
Taken from Paul’s to be interred there;
And still, as you are weary of the weight,
Rest you, whiles I lament King Henry’s corse.
[The Bearers take up the corpse and advance.
Stay, you that bear the corse, and set it down.
What black magician conjures up this fiend,
To stop devoted charitable deeds?
Villains! set down the corse; or, by Saint Paul,
I’ll make a corse of him that disobeys.
My lord, stand back, and let the coffin pass.
Unmanner’d dog! stand thou when I command:
Advance thy halberd higher than my breast,
Or, by Saint Paul, I’ll strike thee to my foot,
And spurn upon thee, beggar, for thy boldness.
[The Bearers set down the coffin.
What! do you tremble? are you all afraid?
Alas! I blame you not; for you are mortal,
And mortal eyes cannot endure the devil.
Avaunt! thou dreadful minister of hell,
Thou hadst but power over his mortal body,
His soul thou canst not have: therefore, be gone.
Sweet saint, for charity, be not so curst.
Foul devil, for God’s sake hence, and trouble us not;
For thou hast made the happy earth thy hell,
Fill’d it with cursing cries and deep exclaims.
If thou delight to view thy heinous deeds,
Behold this pattern of thy butcheries.
O! gentlemen; see, see! dead Henry’s wounds
Open their congeal’d mouths and bleed afresh.
Blush, blush, thou lump of foul deformity,
For ’tis thy presence that exhales this blood
From cold and empty veins, where no blood dwells:
Thy deed, inhuman and unnatural,
Provokes this deluge most unnatural.
O God! which this blood mad’st, revenge his death;
O earth! which this blood drink’st, revenge his death;
Either heaven with lightning strike the murderer dead,
Or earth, gape open wide, and eat him quick,
As thou dost swallow up this good king’s blood,
Which his hell-govern’d arm hath butchered!
Lady, you know no rules of charity,
Which renders good for bad, blessings for curses.
Villain, thou know’st no law of God nor man:
No beast so fierce but knows some touch of pity.
But I know none, and therefore am no beast.
O! wonderful, when devils tell the truth.
More wonderful when angels are so angry.
Vouchsafe, divine perfection of a woman,
Of these supposed evils, to give me leave,
By circumstance, but to acquit myself.
Vouchsafe, diffus’d infection of a man,
For these known evils, but to give me leave,
By circumstance, to curse thy cursed self.
Fairer than tongue can name thee, let me have
Some patient leisure to excuse myself.
Fouler than heart can think thee, thou canst make
No excuse current, but to hang thyself.
By such despair I should accuse myself.
And by despairing shouldst thou stand excus’d
For doing worthy vengeance on thyself,
Which didst unworthy slaughter upon others.
Say that I slew them not.
Then say they were not slain:
But dead they are, and, devilish slave, by thee.
I did not kill your husband.
Why, then he is alive.
Nay, he is dead; and slain by Edward’s hand.
In thy foul throat thou liest: Queen Margaret saw
Thy murderous falchion smoking in his blood;
The which thou once didst bend against her breast,
But that thy brothers beat aside the point.
I was provoked by her sland’rous tongue,
That laid their guilt upon my guiltless shoulders.
Thou wast provoked by thy bloody mind,
That never dreamt on aught but butcheries.
Didst thou not kill this king?
I grant ye.
Dost grant me, hedge-hog? Then, God grant me too
Thou mayst be damned for that wicked deed!
O! he was gentle, mild, and virtuous.
The fitter for the King of heaven, that hath him.
He is in heaven, where thou shalt never come.
Let him thank me, that help’d to send him thither;
For he was fitter for that place than earth.
And thou unfit for any place but hell.
Yes, one place else, if you will bear me name it.
Ill rest betide the chamber where thou liest!
So will it, madam, till I lie with you.
I hope so.
I know so. But, gentle Lady Anne,
To leave this keen encounter of our wits,
And fall somewhat into a slower method,
Is not the causer of the timeless deaths
Of these Plantagenets, Henry and Edward,
As blameful as the executioner?
Thou wast the cause, and most accurs’d effect.
Your beauty was the cause of that effect;
Your beauty, that did haunt me in my sleep
To undertake the death of all the world,
So might I live one hour in your sweet bosom.
If I thought that, I tell thee, homicide,
These nails should rend that beauty from my cheeks.
These eyes could not endure that beauty’s wrack;
You should not blemish it if I stood by:
As all the world is cheered by the sun,
So I by that; it is my day, my life.
Black night o’ershade thy day, and death thy life!
Curse not thyself, fair creature; thou art both.
I would I were, to be reveng’d on thee.
It is a quarrel most unnatural,
To be reveng’d on him that loveth thee.
It is a quarrel just and reasonable,
To be reveng’d on him that kill’d my husband.
He that bereft thee, lady, of thy husband,
Did it to help thee to a better husband.
His better doth not breathe upon the earth.
He lives that loves thee better than he could.
Why, that was he.
The self-same name, but one of better nature.
Where is he?
Here. [She spitteth at him.] Why dost thou spit at me?
Would it were mortal poison, for thy sake!
Never came poison from so sweet a place.
Never hung poison on a fouler toad.
Out of my sight! thou dost infect mine eyes.
Thine eyes, sweet lady, have infected mine.
Would they were basilisks, to strike thee dead!
I would they were, that I might die at once;
For now they kill me with a living death.
Those eyes of thine from mine have drawn salt tears,
Sham’d their aspects with store of childish drops;
These eyes, which never shed remorseful tear;
No, when my father York and Edward wept
To hear the piteous moan that Rutland made
When black-fac’d Clifford shook his sword at him;
Nor when thy war-like father like a child,
Told the sad story of my father’s death,
And twenty times made pause to sob and weep,
That all the standers-by had wet their cheeks,
Like trees bedash’d with rain: in that sad time,
My manly eyes did scorn an humble tear;
And what these sorrows could not thence exhale,
Thy beauty hath, and made them blind with weeping.
I never su’d to friend, nor enemy;
My tongue could never learn sweet smoothing words;
But, now thy beauty is propos’d my fee,
My proud heart sues, and prompts my tongue to speak.
[She looks scornfully at him.
Teach not thy lip such scorn, for it was made
For kissing, lady, not for such contempt.
If thy revengeful heart cannot forgive,
Lo! here I lend thee this sharp-pointed sword;
Which if thou please to hide in this true breast,
And let the soul forth that adoreth thee,
I lay it open to the deadly stroke,
And humbly beg the death upon my knee.
[He lays his breast open: she offers at it with his sword.
Nay, do not pause; for I did kill King Henry;
But ’twas thy beauty that provoked me.
Nay, now dispatch; ’twas I that stabb’d young Edward;
[She again offers at his breast.
But ’twas thy heavenly face that set me on.
[She lets fall the sword.
Take up the sword again, or take up me.
Arise, dissembler: though I wish thy death,
I will not be thy executioner.
Then bid me kill myself, and I will do it.
I have already.
That was in thy rage:
Speak it again, and, even with the word,
This hand, which for thy love did kill thy love,
Shall, for thy love, kill a far truer love:
To both their deaths shalt thou be accessary.
I would I knew thy heart.
’Tis figur’d in my tongue.
I fear me both are false.
Then never man was true.
Well, well, put up your sword.
Say, then, my peace is made.
That shalt thou know hereafter.
But shall I live in hope?
All men, I hope, live so.
Vouchsafe to wear this ring.
To take is not to give.
[She puts on the ring.
Look, how my ring encompasseth thy finger,
Even so thy breast encloseth my poor heart;
Wear both of them, for both of them are thine.
And if thy poor devoted servant may
But beg one favour at thy gracious hand,
Thou dost confirm his happiness for ever.
What is it?
That it may please you leave these sad designs
To him that hath most cause to be a mourner,
And presently repair to Crosby-place;
Where, after I have solemnly interr’d
At Chertsey monastery this noble king,
And wet his grave with my repentant tears,
I will with all expedient duty see you:
For divers unknown reasons, I beseech you,
Grant me this boon.
With all my heart; and much it joys me too
To see you are become so penitent.
Tressel and Berkeley, go along with me.
Bid me farewell.
’Tis more than you deserve;
But since you teach me how to flatter you,
Imagine I have said farewell already.
[ExeuntLady Anne, Tressel,andBerkeley.
Sirs, take up the corse.
Toward Chertsey, noble lord?
No, to White-Friars; there attend my coming.
[Exeunt all butGloucester.
Was ever woman in this humour woo’d?
Was ever woman in this humour won?
I’ll have her; but I will not keep her long.
What! I, that kill’d her husband, and his father,
To take her in her heart’s extremest hate;
With curses in her mouth, tears in her eyes,
The bleeding witness of her hatred by;
Having God, her conscience, and these bars against me,
And nothing I to back my suit withal
But the plain devil and dissembling looks,
And yet to win her, all the world to nothing!
Hath she forgot already that brave prince,
Edward, her lord, whom I, some three months since,
Stabb’d in my angry mood at Tewksbury?
A sweeter and a lovelier gentleman,
Fram’d in the prodigality of nature,
Young, valiant, wise, and, no doubt, right royal,
The spacious world cannot again afford:
And will she yet abase her eyes on me,
That cropp’d the golden prime of this sweet prince,
And made her widow to a woeful bed?
On me, whose all not equals Edward’s moiety?
On me, that halt and am misshapen thus?
My dukedom to a beggarly denier
I do mistake my person all this while:
Upon my life, she finds, although I cannot,
Myself to be a marvellous proper man.
I’ll be at charges for a looking-glass,
And entertain a score or two of tailors,
To study fashions to adorn my body:
Since I am crept in favour with myself,
I will maintain it with some little cost.
But first I’ll turn yon fellow in his grave,
And then return lamenting to my love.
Shine out, fair sun, till I have bought a glass,
That I may see my shadow as I pass.
EnterQueen Elizabeth, Lord Rivers,andLord Grey.
Have patience, madam: there’s no doubt his majesty
Will soon recover his accustom’d health.
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 words.
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.
The heavens have bless’d you with a goodly son,
To be your comforter when he is gone.
Ah! he is young; and his minority
Is put into the trust of Richard Gloucester,
A man that loves not me, nor none of you.
Is it concluded he shall be protector?
It is determin’d, not concluded yet:
But so it must be if the king miscarry.
Here come the Lords of Buckingham and Stanley.
Good time of day unto your royal Grace!
God make your majesty joyful as you have been!
The Countess Richmond, good my Lord of Stanley,
To your good prayer will scarcely say amen.
Yet, Stanley, notwithstanding she’s your wife,
And loves not me, be you, good lord, assur’d
I hate not you for her proud arrogance.
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 to-day, my Lord of Stanley?
But now the Duke of Buckingham and I,
Are come from visiting his majesty.
What likelihood of his amendment, lords?
Madam, good hope; his Grace speaks cheerfully.
God grant him health! did you confer with him?
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.
Would all were well! But that will never be.
I fear our happiness is at the highest.
They do me wrong, and I will not endure it:
Who are they that complain 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 rumours.
Because I cannot flatter and speak 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
By silken, sly, insinuating Jacks?
To whom in all this presence speaks your Grace?
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 person,—
Whom God preserve better than you would wish!—
Cannot be quiet scarce a breathing-while,
But you must trouble him with lewd complaints.
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 thereby he may gather
The ground of your ill-will, and so remove it.
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.
Come, come, we know your meaning, brother Gloucester;
You envy my advancement and my friends’.
God grant we never may have need of you!
Meantime, God grants that we 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.
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.
You may deny that you were not the mean
Of my Lord Hastings’ late imprisonment.
She may, my lord; for—
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 honours on your high deserts.
What may she not? She may,—ay, marry, may she,—
What, marry, may she?
What, marry, may she! marry with a king,
A bachelor, a handsome stripling too.
I wis your grandam had a worser match.
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 servantmaid
Than a great queen, with this condition,
To be so baited, scorn’d, and stormed at:
Small joy have I in being England’s queen.
[Apart.] And lessen’d be that small, God, I beseech him!
Thy honour, state, and seat is due to me.
What! threat you me with telling of the king?
Tell him, and spare not: look, what I have said
I will avouch in presence of the king:
I dare adventure to be sent to the Tower.
’Tis time to speak; my pains are quite forgot.
[Apart.] Out, devil! I remember them too well:
Thou kill’dst my husband Henry in the Tower,
And Edward, my poor son, at Tewksbury.
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 split mine own.
Ay, and much better blood than his, or thine.
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 Alban’s slain?
Let me put in your minds, if you forget,
What you have been ere now, and what you are;
Withal, what I have been, and what I am.
A murderous villain, and so still thou art.
Poor Clarence did forsake his father, Warwick,
Ay, and forswore himself,—which Jesu pardon!—
Which God revenge!
To fight on Edward’s party for the crown;
And for his meed, poor lord, he is mew’d 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.
Hie thee to hell for shame, and leave this world,
Thou cacodemon! there thy kingdom is.
My Lord of Gloucester, in those busy days
Which here you urge to prove us enemies,
We follow’d then our lord, our lawful king;
So should we you, if you should be our king.
If I should be! I had rather be a pedlar.
Far be it from my heart the thought thereof!
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.
As little joy enjoys the queen thereof;
For I am she, and altogether joyless.
I can no longer hold me patient.
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 being queen, you bow like subjects,
Yet that, by you depos’d, you quake like rebels?
Ah! gentle villain, do not turn away.
Foul wrinkled witch, what mak’st thou in my sight?
But repetition of what thou hast marr’d;
That will I make before I let thee go.
Wert thou not banished on pain of death?
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.
The curse my noble father laid on thee,
When thou didst crown his war-like 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
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.
No man but prophesied revenge for it.
Northumberland, then present, wept to see it.
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, my son, which 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 loss,
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 lengthen’d 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 your natural age,
But by some unlook’d accident cut off.
Have done thy charm, thou hateful wither’d hag!
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 mother’s heavy womb!
Thou loathed issue of thy father’s loins!
Thou rag of honour! thou detested—
I call thee not.
I cry thee mercy then, for I did think
That thou hadst call’d me all these bitter names.
Why, so I did; but look’d for no reply.
O! let me make the period to my curse.
’Tis done by me, and ends in ‘Margaret.’
Thus have you breath’d your curso against yourself.
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 pois’nous bunch-back’d toad.
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.
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.
Dispute not with her, she is lunatic.
Peace! Master marquess, you are malapert:
Your fire-new stamp of honour 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.
Good counsel, marry: learn it, learn it, marquess.
It touches you, my lord, as much as me.
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.
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 was won with blood, lost be it so!
Peace, peace! for shame, if not for charity.
Urge neither charity nor shame to me:
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!
Have done, have done.
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.
Nor no one here; for curses never pass
The lips of those that breathe them in the air.
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.
What doth she say, my Lord of Buckingham?
Nothing that I respect, my gracious lord.
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 subject to his hate,
And he to yours, and all of you to God’s!
My hair doth stand on end to hear her curses.
And so doth mine. I muse why she’s at liberty.
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.
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!
A virtuous and a Christian-like conclusion,
To pray for them that have done scath to us.
So do I ever [Aside], being well-advis’d;
For had I curs’d now, I had curs’d myself.
Madam, his majesty doth call for you;
And for your Grace; and you, my noble lords.
Catesby, I come. Lords, will you go with me?
We wait upon your Grace.
[Exeunt all butGloucester.
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, whom I, indeed, have cast in darkness,
I do beweep to many simple gulls;
Namely, to Stanley, 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, Vaughan, 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 villany
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?
We are, my lord; and come to have the warrant,
That we may be admitted where he is.
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.
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.
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.
Why looks your Grace so heavily to-day?
O, I have pass’d a miserable night,
So full of ugly sights, of ghastly dreams,
That, as I am a Christian faithful man,
I would not spend another such a night,
Though ’twere to buy a world of happy days,
So full of dismal terror was the time.
What was your dream, my lord? I pray you, tell me.
Methought that I had broken from the Tower,
And was embark’d to cross to Burgundy;
And in my company my brother Gloucester,
Who from my cabin tempted me to walk
Upon the hatches: thence we look’d toward England,
And cited up a thousand heavy times,
During the wars of York and Lancaster,
That had befall’n us. As we pac’d along
Upon the giddy footing of the hatches,
Methought that Gloucester stumbled; and, in falling,
Struck me, that thought to stay him, overboard,
Into the tumbling billows of the main.
Lord, Lord! methought what pain it was to drown:
What dreadful noise of water in mine ears!
What sights of ugly death within mine eyes!
Methought I saw a thousand fearful wracks;
A thousand men that fishes gnaw’d upon;
Wedges of gold, great anchors, heaps of pearl,
Inestimable stones, unvalu’d jewels,
All scatter’d in the bottom of the sea.
Some lay in dead men’s skulls; and in those holes
Where eyes did once inhabit, there were crept,
As ’twere in scorn of eyes, reflecting gems,
That woo’d the slimy bottom of the deep,
And mock’d the dead bones that lay scatter’d by.
Had you such leisure in the time of death
To gaze upon those secrets of the deep?
Methought I had; and often did I strive
To yield the ghost; but still the envious flood
Stopt in my soul, and would not let it forth
To find the empty, vast, and wandering air;
But smother’d it within my panting bulk,
Which almost burst to belch it in the sea.
Awak’d you not with this sore agony?
No, no, my dream was lengthen’d after life;
O! then began the tempest to my soul.
I pass’d, methought, the melancholy flood,
With that grim ferryman which poets write of,
Unto the kingdom of perpetual night.
The first that there did greet my stranger soul,
Was my great father-in-law, renowned Warwick;
Who cried aloud, ‘What scourge for perjury
Can this dark monarchy afford false Clarence?’
And so he vanish’d: then came wandering by
A shadow like an angel, with bright hair
Dabbled in blood; and he shriek’d out aloud,
‘Clarence is come,—false, fleeting, perjur’d Clarence,
That stabb’d me in the field by Tewksbury;—
Seize on him! Furies, take him unto torment.’
With that, methought, a legion of foul fiends
Environ’d me, and howled in mine ears
Such hideous cries, that, with the very noise
I trembling wak’d, and, for a season after
Could not believe but that I was in hell,
Such terrible impression made my dream.
No marvel, lord, though it affrighted you;
I am afraid, methinks, to hear you tell it.
O Brakenbury! I have done these things
That now give evidence against my soul,
For Edward’s sake; and see how he requites me.
O God! if my deep prayers cannot appease thee,
But thou wilt be aveng’d on my misdeeds,
Yet execute thy wrath on me alone:
O! spare my guiltless wife and my poor children.
I pray thee, gentle keeper, stay by me;
My soul is heavy, and I fain would sleep.
I will, my lord. God give your Grace good rest!
Sorrow breaks seasons and reposing hours,
Makes the night morning, and the noon-tide night.
Princes have but their titles for their glories,
An outward honour for an inward toil;
And, for unfelt imaginations,
They often feel a world of restless cares:
So that, between their titles and low names,
There’s nothing differs but the outward fame.
Enter the two Murderers.
Ho! who’s here?
What wouldst thou, fellow? and how cam’st thou hither?
I would speak with Clarence, and I came hither on my legs.
What! so brief?
’Tis better, sir, than to be tedious.—
Let him see our commission, and talk no more.
[A paper is delivered toBrakenbury,who reads it.
I am, in this, commanded to deliver
The noble Duke of Clarence to your hands:
I will not reason what is meant hereby,
Because I will be guiltless of the meaning.
There lies the duke asleep, and there the keys.
I’ll to the king; and signify to him
That thus I have resign’d to you my charge.
You may, sir; ’tis a point of wisdom: fare you well.
What! shall we stab him as he sleeps?
No; he’ll say ’twas done cowardly, when he wakes.
When he wakes! why, fool, he shall never wake till the judgment-day.
Why, then he’ll say we stabbed him sleeping.
The urging of that word ‘judgment’ hath bred a kind of remorse in me.
What! art thou afraid?
Not to kill him, having a warrant for it; but to be damn’d for killing him, from the which no warrant can defend me.
I thought thou hadst been resolute.
So I am, to let him live.
I’ll back to the Duke of Gloucester, and tell him so.
Nay, I prithee, stay a little: I hope my holy humour will change; it was wont to hold me but while one tells twenty.
How dost thou feel thyself now?
Some certain dregs of conscience are yet within me.
Remember our reward when the deed’s done.
’Zounds! he dies: I had forgot the reward.
Where’s thy conscience now?
In the Duke of Gloucester’s purse.
So when he opens his purse to give us our reward, thy conscience flies out.
’Tis no matter; let it go: there’s few or none will entertain it.
What if it come to thee again?
I’ll not meddle with it; it makes a man a coward; a man cannot steal, but it accuseth him; a man cannot swear, but it checks him; a man cannot lie with his neighbour’s wife, but it detects him: ’tis a blushing shamefast spirit, that mutinies in a man’s bosom; it fills one full of obstacles; it made me once restore a purse of gold that I found; it beggars any man that keeps it; it is turned out of all towns and cities for a dangerous thing; and every man that means to live well, endeavours to trust to himself and live without it.
’Zounds! it is even now at my elbow, persuading me not to kill the duke.
Take the devil in thy mind, and believe him not: he would insinuate with thee but to make thee sigh.
Tut, I am strong-framed; he cannot prevail with me.
Spoke like a tall fellow that respects his reputation. Come, shall we to this gear?
Take him over the costard with the hilts of thy sword, and then throw him into the malmsey-butt in the next room.
O, excellent device! make a sop of him.
Soft! he wakes.
No, we’ll reason with him.
Where art thou, keeper? give me a cup of wine.
You shall have wine enough, my lord, anon.
In God’s name, what art thou?
A man, as you are.
But not, as I am, royal.
Nor you, as we are, loyal.
Thy voice is thunder, but thy looks are humble.
My voice is now the king’s, my looks mine own.
How darkly, and how deadly dost thou speak!
Your eyes do menace me: why look you pale?
Who sent you hither? Wherefore do you come?
To, to, to—
To murder me?
You scarcely have the hearts to tell me so,
And therefore cannot have the hearts to do it.
Wherein, my friends, have I offended you?
Offended us you have not, but the king.
I shall be reconcil’d to him again.
Never, my lord; therefore prepare to die.
Are you call’d forth from out a world of men
To slay the innocent? What is my offence?
Where is the evidence that doth accuse me?
What lawful quest have given their verdict up
Unto the frowning judge? or who pronounc’d
The bitter sentence of poor Clarence’ death?
Before I be convict by course of law,
To threaten me with death is most unlawful.
I charge you, as you hope to have redemption
By Christ’s dear blood shed for our grievous sins,
That you depart and lay no hands on me;
The deed you undertake is damnable.
What we will do, we do upon command.
And he that hath commanded is our king.
Erroneous vassal! the great King of kings
Hath in the table of his law commanded
That thou shalt do no murder: will you, then,
Spurn at his edict and fulfil a man’s?
Take heed; for he holds vengeance in his hand,
To hurl upon their heads that break his law.
And that same vengeance doth he hurl on thee,
For false forswearing and for murder too:
Thou didst receive the sacrament to fight
In quarrel of the house of Lancaster.
And, like a traitor to the name of God,
Didst break that vow, and, with thy treacherous blade
Unripp’dst the bowels of thy sovereign’s son.
Whom thou wast sworn to cherish and defend.
How canst thou urge God’s dreadful law to us,
When thou hast broke it in such dear degree?
Alas! for whose sake did I that ill deed?
For Edward, for my brother, for his sake:
He sends you not to murder me for this;
For in that sin he is as deep as I.
If God will be avenged for the deed,
O! know you yet, he doth it publicly:
Take not the quarrel from his powerful arm;
He needs no indirect or lawless course
To cut off those that have offended him.
Who made thee then a bloody minister,
When gallant-springing, brave Plantagenet,
That princely novice, was struck dead by thee?
My brother’s love, the devil, and my rage.
Thy brother’s love, our duty, and thy fault,
Provoke us hither now to slaughter thee.
If you do love my brother, hate not me;
I am his brother, and I love him well.
If you are hir’d for meed, go back again,
And I will send you to my brother Gloucester,
Who shall reward you better for my life
Than Edward will for tidings of my death.
You are deceiv’d, your brother Gloucester hates you.
O, no! he loves me, and he holds me dear:
Go you to him from me.
Ay, so we will.
Tell him, when that our princely father York
Bless’d his three sons with his victorious arm,
And charg’d us from his soul to love each other,
He little thought of this divided friendship:
Bid Gloucester think on this, and he will weep.
Ay, millstones; as he lesson’d us to weep.
O! do not slander him, for he is kind.
As snow in harvest. Thou deceiv’st thyself:
’Tis he that sends us to destroy you here.
It cannot be; for he bewept my fortune,
And hugg’d me in his arms, and swore, with sobs,
That he would labour my delivery.
Why, so he doth, when he delivers you
From this earth’s thraldom to the joys of heaven.
Make peace with God, for you must die, my lord.
Hast thou that holy feeling in thy soul,
To counsel me to make my peace with God,
And art thou yet to thy own soul so blind,
That thou wilt war with God by murdering me?
O! sirs, consider, he that set you on
To do this deed, will hate you for the deed.
What shall we do?
Relent and save your souls.
Relent! ’tis cowardly, and womanish.
Not to relent, is beastly, savage, devilish.
Which of you, if you were a prince’s son,
Being pent from liberty, as I am now,
If two such murd’rers as yourselves came to you,
Would not entreat for life?
My friend, I spy some pity in thy looks;
O! if thine eye be not a flatterer,
Come thou on my side, and entreat for me,
As you would beg, were you in my distress:
A begging prince what beggar pities not?
Look behind you, my lord.
[Stabs him.] Take that, and that: if all this will not do,
I’ll drown you in the malmsey-butt within.
[Exit with the body.
A bloody deed, and desperately dispatch’d!
How fain, like Pilate, would I wash my hands
Of this most grievous murder.
Re-enter first Murderer.
How now! what mean’st thou, that thou help’st me not?
By heaven, the duke shall know how slack you have been.
I would he knew that I had sav’d his brother!
Take thou the fee, and tell him what I say;
For I repent me that the duke is slain.
So do not I: go, coward as thou art.
Well, I’ll go hide the body in some hole,
Till that the duke give order for his burial:
And when I have my meed, I will away;
For this will out, and here I must not stay.
EnterKing Edwardsick,Queen Elizabeth, Dorset, Rivers, Hastings, Buckingham, Grey,and Others.
Why, so: now have I done a good day’s work.
You peers, continue this united league:
I every day expect an embassage
From my Redeemer to redeem me hence;
And more in peace my soul shall part to heaven,
Since I have made my friends at peace on earth.
Rivers and Hastings, take each other’s hand;
Dissemble not your hatred, swear your love.
By heaven, my soul is purg’d from grudging hate;
And with my hand I seal my true heart’s love.
So thrive I, as I truly swear the like!
Take heed, you dally not before your king;
Lest he that is the supreme King of kings
Confound your hidden falsehood, and award
Either of you to be the other’s end.
So prosper I, as I swear perfect love!
And I, as I love Hastings with my heart!
Madam, yourself are not exempt in this,
Nor you, son Dorset, Buckingham, nor you;
You have been factious one against the other.
Wife, love Lord Hastings, let him kiss your hand;
And what you do, do it unfeignedly.
There, Hastings; I will never more remember
Our former hatred, so thrive I and mine!
Dorset, embrace him; Hastings, love lord marquess.
This interchange of love, I here protest,
Upon my part shall be inviolable.
And so swear I.
Now, princely Buckingham, seal thou this league
With thy embracements to my wife’s allies,
And make me happy in your unity.
[To theQueen.] Whenever Buckingham doth turn his hate
Upon your Grace, but with all duteous love
Doth cherish you and yours, God punish me
With hate in those where I expect most love!
When I have most need to employ a friend,
And most assured that he is a friend,
Deep, hollow, treacherous, and full of guile,
Be he unto me! This do I beg of God,
When I am cold in love to you or yours.
A pleasing cordial, princely Buckingham,
Is this thy vow unto my sickly heart.
There wanteth now our brother Gloucester here
To make the blessed period of this peace.
And, in good time, here comes the noble duke.
Good morrow to my sovereign king and queen;
And princely peers, a happy time of day!
Happy, indeed, as we have spent the day.
Gloucester, we have done deeds of charity;
Made peace of enmity, fair love of hate,
Between these swelling wrong-incensed peers.
A blessed labour, my most sovereign lord.
Among this princely heap, if any here,
By false intelligence, or wrong surmise,
Hold me a foe;
If I unwittingly, or in my rage,
Have aught committed that is hardly borne
By any in this presence, I desire
To reconcile me to his friendly peace:
’Tis death to me to be at enmity;
I hate it, and desire all good men’s love.
First, madam, I entreat true peace of you,
Which I will purchase with my duteous service;
Of you, my noble cousin Buckingham,
If ever any grudge were lodg’d between us;
Of you, Lord Rivers, and Lord Grey, of you,
That all without desert have frown’d on me;
Of you, Lord Woodvile, and Lord Scales, of you;
Dukes, earls, lords, gentlemen; indeed, of all.
I do not know that Englishman alive
With whom my soul is any jot at odds
More than the infant that is born to-night:
I thank my God for my humility.
A holy day shall this be kept hereafter:
I would to God all strifes were well compounded.
My sov’reign lord, I do beseech your highness
To take our brother Clarence to your grace.
Why, madam, have I offer’d love for this,
To be so flouted in this royal presence?
Who knows not that the gentle duke is dead?
[They all start.
You do him injury to scorn his corse.
Who knows not he is dead! who knows he is?
All-seeing heaven, what a world is this!
Look I so pale, Lord Dorset, as the rest?
Ay, my good lord; and no man in the presence
But his red colour hath forsook his cheeks.
Is Clarence dead? the order was revers’d.
But he, poor man, by your first order died,
And that a winged Mercury did bear;
Some tardy cripple bore the countermand,
That came too lag to see him buried.
God grant that some, less noble and less loyal,
Nearer in bloody thoughts, and not in blood,
Deserve not worse than wretched Clarence did,
And yet go current from suspicion.
A boon, my sov’reign, for my service done!
I prithee, peace: my soul is full of sorrow.
I will not rise, unless your highness hear me.
Then say at once, what is it thou request’st.
The forfeit, sovereign, of my servant’s life;
Who slew to-day a riotous gentleman
Lately attendant on the Duke of Norfolk.
Have I a tongue to doom my brother’s death,
And shall that tongue give pardon to a slave?
My brother kill’d no man, his fault was thought;
And yet his punishment was bitter death.
Who su’d to me for him? who, in my wrath,
Kneel’d at my feet, and bade me be advis’d?
Who spoke of brotherhood? who spoke of love?
Who told me how the poor soul did forsake
The mighty Warwick, and did fight for me?
Who told me, in the field at Tewksbury,
When Oxford had me down, he rescu’d me,
And said, ‘Dear brother, live, and be a king?’
Who told me, when we both lay in the field
Frozen almost to death, how he did lap me
Even in his garments; and did give himself,
All thin and naked, to the numb cold night?
All this from my remembrance brutish wrath
Sinfully pluck’d, and not a man of you
Had so much grace to put it in my mind.
But when your carters or your waiting-vassals
Have done a drunken slaughter, and defac’d
The precious image of our dear Redeemer,
You straight are on your knees for pardon, pardon;
And I, unjustly too, must grant it you;
But for my brother not a man would speak,
Nor I, ungracious, speak unto myself
For him, poor soul. The proudest of you all
Have been beholding to him in his life,
Yet none of you would once beg for his life.
O God! I fear, thy justice will take hold
On me and you and mine and yours for this.
Come, Hastings, help me to my closet. O! poor Clarence!
[ExeuntKing Edward, Queen, Hastings, Rivers, Dorset,andGrey.
This is the fruit of rashness. Mark’d you not
How that the guilty kindred of the queen
Look’d pale when they did hear of Clarence’ death?
O! they did urge it still unto the king:
God will revenge it. Come, lords; will you go
To comfort Edward with our company?
We wait upon your Grace.
Enter theDuchess of York,with a Son and Daughter ofClarence.
Good grandam, tell us, is our father dead?
Why do you wring your hands, and beat your breast,
And cry—‘O Clarence, my unhappy son?’
Why do you look on us, and shake your head,
And call us orphans, wretches, castaways,
If that our noble father be alive?
My pretty cousins, you mistake me much;
I do lament the sickness of the king,
As loath to lose him, not your father’s death;
It were lost sorrow to wail one that’s lost.
Then, grandam, you conclude that he is dead.
The king mine uncle is to blame for it:
God will revenge it; whom I will importune
With earnest prayers all to that effect.
And so will I.
Peace, children, peace! the king doth love you well:
Incapable and shallow innocents,
You cannot guess who caus’d your father’s death.
Grandam, we can; for my good uncle Gloucester
Told me, the king, provok’d to’t by the queen,
Devis’d impeachments to imprison him:
And when my uncle told me so, he wept,
And pitied me, and kindly kiss’d my cheek;
Bade me rely on him, as on my father,
And he would love me dearly as his child.
Ah! that deceit should steal such gentle shape,
And with a virtuous vizard hide deep vice.
He is my son, ay, and therein my shame,
Yet from my dugs he drew not this deceit.
Think you my uncle did dissemble, grandam?
I cannot think it. Hark! what noise is this?
EnterQueen Elizabeth,distractedly;RiversandDorsetfollowing her.
Oh! who shall hinder me to wail and weep,
To chide my fortune, and torment myself?
I’ll join with black despair against my soul,
And to myself become an enemy.
What means this scene of rude impatience?
To make an act of tragic violence:
Edward, my lord, thy son, our king, is dead!
Why grow the branches now the root is wither’d?
Why wither not the leaves that want their sap?
If you will live, lament: if die, be brief,
That our swift-winged souls may catch the king’s;
Or, like obedient subjects, follow him
To his new kingdom of perpetual rest.
Ah! so much interest have I in thy sorrow
As I had title in thy noble husband.
I have bewept a worthy husband’s death,
And liv’d with looking on his images;
But now two mirrors of his princely semblance
Are crack’d in pieces by malignant death,
And I for comfort have but one false glass,
That grieves me when I see my shame in him.
Thou art a widow; yet thou art a mother,
And hast the comfort of thy children left thee:
But death hath snatch’d my husband from mine arms,
And pluck’d two crutches from my feeble limbs,
Clarence and Edward. O! what cause have I—
Thine being but a moiety of my grief—
To overgo thy plaints, and drown thy cries!
Ah, aunt, you wept not for our father’s death;
How can we aid you with our kindred tears?
Our fatherless distress was left unmoan’d;
Your widow-dolour likewise be unwept.
Give me no help in lamentation;
I am not barren to bring forth complaints:
All springs reduce their currents to mine eyes,
That I, being govern’d by the wat’ry moon,
May send forth plenteous tears to drown the world!
Ah! for my husband, for my dear Lord Edward!
Ah! for our father, for our dear Lord Clarence!
Alas! for both, both mine, Edward and Clarence!
What stay had I but Edward? and he’s gone.
What stay had we but Clarence? and he’s gone.
What stays had I but they? and they are gone.
Was never widow had so dear a loss.
Were never orphans had so dear a loss.
Was never mother had so dear a loss.
Alas! I am the mother of these griefs:
Their woes are parcell’d, mine are general.
She for an Edward weeps, and so do I;
I for a Clarence weep, so doth not she:
These babes for Clarence weep, and so do I;
I for an Edward weep, so do not they:
Alas! you three, on me, threefold distress’d,
Pour all your tears; I am your sorrow’s nurse,
And I will pamper it with lamentation.
Comfort, dear mother: God is much displeas’d
That you take with unthankfulness his doing.
In common worldly things ’tis call’d ungrateful
With dull unwillingness to repay a debt
Which with a bounteous hand was kindly lent;
Much more to be thus opposite with heaven,
For it requires the royal debt it lent you.
Madam, bethink you, like a careful mother,
Of the young prince your son: send straight for him;
Let him be crown’d; in him your comfort lives.
Drown desperate sorrow in dead Edward’s grave,
And plant your joys in living Edward’s throne.
EnterGloucester, Buckingham, Stanley, Hastings, Ratcliff,and Others.
Sister, have comfort: all of us have cause
To wail the dimming of our shining star;
But none can cure their harms by wailing them.
Madam, my mother, I do cry you mercy;
I did not see your Grace: humbly on my knee
I crave your blessing.
God bless thee! and put meekness in thy mind,
Love, charity, obedience, and true duty.
Amen; [Aside.] and make me die a good old man!
That is the butt-end of a mother’s blessing;
I marvel that her Grace did leave it out.
You cloudy princes and heart-sorrowing peers,
That bear this heavy mutual load of moan,
Now cheer each other in each other’s love:
Though we have spent our harvest of this king,
We are to reap the harvest of his son.
The broken rancour of your high-swoln hearts,
But lately splinter’d, knit, and join’d together,
Must gently be preserv’d, cherish’d, and kept:
Me seemeth good, that, with some little train,
Forthwith from Ludlow the young prince be fetch’d
Hither to London, to be crown’d our king.
Why with some little train, my Lord of Buckingham?
Marry, my lord, lest, by a multitude,
The new-heal’d wound of malice should break out;
Which would be so much the more dangerous,
By how much the estate is green and yet ungovern’d;
Where every horse bears his commanding rein,
And may direct his course as please himself,
As well the fear of harm, as harm apparent,
In my opinion, ought to be prevented.
I hope the king made peace with all of us;
And the compact is firm and true in me.
And so in me; and so, I think, in all:
Yet, since it is but green, it should be put
To no apparent likelihood of breach,
Which haply by much company might be urg’d:
Therefore I say with noble Buckingham,
That it is meet so few should fetch the prince.
And so say I.
Then be it so; and go we to determine
Who they shall be that straight shall post to Ludlow.
Madam, and you my mother, will you go
To give your censures in this business?
[Exeunt all exceptBuckinghamandGloucester.
My lord, whoever journeys to the prince,
For God’s sake, let not us two stay at home:
For by the way I’ll sort occasion,
As index to the story we late talk’d of,
To part the queen’s proud kindred from the prince.
My other self, my counsel’s consistory,
My oracle, my prophet! My dear cousin,
I, as a child, will go by thy direction.
Towards Ludlow then, for we’ll not stay behind.
Enter two Citizens, meeting.
Good morrow, neighbour: whither away so fast?
I promise you, I scarcely know myself:
Hear you the news abroad?
Ay; that the king is dead.
Ill news, by’r lady; seldom comes the better:
I fear, I fear, ’twill prove a giddy world.
Enter a third Citizen.
Neighbours, God speed!
Give you good morrow, sir.
Doth the news hold of good King Edward’s death?
Ay, sir, it is too true; God help the while!
Then, masters, look to see a troublous world.
No, no; by God’s good grace, his son shall reign.
Woe to that land that’s govern’d by a child!
In him there is a hope of government,
That in his nonage council under him,
And in his full and ripen’d years himself,
No doubt, shall then and till then govern well.
So stood the state when Henry the Sixth
Was crown’d at Paris but at nine months old.
Stood the state so? no, no, good friends, God wot;
For then this land was famously enrich’d
With politic grave counsel; then the king
Had virtuous uncles to protect his Grace.
Why, so hath this, both by his father and mother.
Better it were they all came by his father,
Or by his father there were none at all;
For emulation, who shall now be nearest,
Will touch us all too near, if God prevent not.
O! full of danger is the Duke of Gloucester!
And the queen’s sons and brothers haught and proud;
And were they to be rul’d, and not to rule,
This sickly land might solace as before.
Come, come, we fear the worst, all will be well.
When clouds are seen, wise men put on their cloaks;
When great leaves fall, then winter is at hand;
When the sun sets, who doth not look for night?
Untimely storms make men expect a dearth.
All may be well; but, if God sort it so,
’Tis more than we deserve, or I expect.
Truly, the hearts of men are full of fear:
You cannot reason almost with a man
That looks not heavily and full of dread.
Before the days of change, still is it so:
By a divine instinct men’s minds mistrust
Ensuing danger; as, by proof, we see
The waters swell before a boisterous storm.
But leave it all to God. Whither away?
Marry, we were sent for to the justices.
And so was I: I’ll bear you company.
Enter theArchbishop of York,the youngDuke of York, Queen Elizabeth,and theDuchess of York.
Last night, I hear, they lay at Northampton;
At Stony-Stratford they do rest to-night:
To-morrow, or next day, they will be here.
I long with all my heart to see the prince.
I hope he is much grown since last I saw him.
But I hear, no; they say my son of York
Hath almost overta’en him in his growth.
Ay, mother, but I would not have it so.
Why, my young cousin, it is good to grow.
Grandam, one night, as we did sit at supper,
My uncle Rivers talk’d how I did grow
More than my brother: ‘Ay,’ quoth my uncle Gloucester,
‘Small herbs have grace, great weeds do grow apace:’
And since, methinks, I would not grow so fast,
Because sweet flowers are slow and weeds make haste.
Good faith, good faith, the saying did not hold
In him that did object the same to thee:
He was the wretched’st thing when he was young,
So long a-growing, and so leisurely,
That, if his rule were true, he should be gracious.
And so, no doubt, he is, my gracious madam.
I hope he is; but yet let mothers doubt.
Now, by my troth, if I had been remember’d,
I could have given my uncle’s grace a flout,
To touch his growth nearer than he touch’d mine.
How, my young York? I prithee, let me hear it.
Marry, they say my uncle grew so fast,
That he could gnaw a crust at two hours old:
’Twas full two years ere I could get a tooth.
Grandam, this would have been a biting jest.
I prithee, pretty York, who told thee this?
Grandam, his nurse.
His nurse! why, she was dead ere thou wast born.
If ’twere not she, I cannot tell who told me.
A parlous boy: go to, you are too shrewd.
Good madam, be not angry with the child.
Pitchers have ears.
Enter a Messenger.
Here comes a messenger. What news?
Such news, my lord, as grieves me to report.
How doth the prince?
Well, madam, and in health.
What is thy news?
Lord Rivers and Lord Grey are sent to Pomfret,
With them Sir Thomas Vaughan, prisoners.
Who hath committed them?
The mighty dukes,
Gloucester and Buckingham.
For what offence?
The sum of all I can I have disclos’d:
Why or for what the nobles were committed
Is all unknown to me, my gracious lord.
Ah me! I see the ruin of my house!
The tiger now hath seiz’d the gentle hind;
Insulting tyranny begins to jet
Upon the innocent and aweless throne:
Welcome, destruction, death, and massacre!
I see, as in a map, the end of all.
Accursed and unquiet wrangling days,
How many of you have mine eyes beheld!
My husband lost his life to get the crown,
And often up and down my sons were toss’d,
For me to joy and weep their gain and loss:
And being seated, and domestic broils
Clean over-blown, themselves, the conquerors,
Make war upon themselves; brother to brother,
Blood to blood, self against self: O! preposterous
And frantic outrage, end thy damned spleen;
Or let me die, to look on death no more.
Come, come, my boy; we will to sanctuary.
Stay, I will go with you.
You have no cause.
[To theQueen.] My gracious lady, go;
And thither bear your treasure and your goods.
For my part, I’ll resign unto your Grace
The seal I keep: and so betide to me
As well I tender you and all of yours!
Come; I’ll conduct you to the sanctuary.
The Trumpets sound. Enter thePrince of Wales, Gloucester, Buckingham, Catesby, Cardinal Bourchier,and Others.
Welcome, sweet prince, to London, to your chamber.
Welcome, dear cousin, my thoughts’ sovereign;
The weary way hath made you melancholy.
No, uncle; but our crosses on the way
Have made it tedious, wearisome, and heavy:
I want more uncles here to welcome me.
Sweet prince, the untainted virtue of your years
Hath not yet div’d into the world’s deceit:
No more can you distinguish of a man
Than of his outward show; which, God he knows,
Seldom or never jumpeth with the heart.
Those uncles which you want were dangerous;
Your Grace attended to their sugar’d words,
But look’d not on the poison of their hearts:
God keep you from them, and from such false friends!
God keep me from false friends! but they were none.
My lord, the Mayor of London comes to greet you.
Enter the Lord Mayor and his Train.
God bless your Grace with health and happy days!
I thank you, good my lord; and thank you all.
I thought my mother and my brother York
Would long ere this have met us on the way:
Fie! what a slug is Hastings, that he comes not
To tell us whether they will come or no.
And in good time here comes the sweating lord.
Welcome, my lord. What, will our mother come?
On what occasion, God he knows, not I,
The queen your mother, and your brother York,
Have taken sanctuary: the tender prince
Would fain have come with me to meet your Grace,
But by his mother was perforce withheld.
Fie! what an indirect and peevish course
Is this of hers! Lord Cardinal, will your Grace
Persuade the queen to send the Duke of York
Unto his princely brother presently?
If she deny, Lord Hastings, go with him,
And from her jealous arms pluck him perforce.
My Lord of Buckingham, if my weak oratory
Can from his mother win the Duke of York,
Anon expect him here; but if she be obdurate
To mild entreaties, God in heaven forbid
We should infringe the holy privilege
Of blessed sanctuary! not for all this land
Would I be guilty of so great a sin.
You are too senseless-obstinate, my lord,
Too ceremonious and traditional:
Weigh it but with the grossness of this age,
You break not sanctuary in seizing him.
The benefit thereof is always granted
To those whose dealings have deserv’d the place
And those who have the wit to claim the place:
This prince hath neither claim’d it, nor deserv’d it;
And therefore, in mine opinion, cannot have it:
Then, taking him from thence that is not there,
You break no privilege nor charter there.
Oft have I heard of sanctuary men,
But sanctuary children ne’er till now.
My lord, you shall o’er-rule my mind for once.
Come on, Lord Hastings, will you go with me?
I go, my lord.
Good lords, make all the speedy haste you may.
Say, uncle Gloucester, if our brother come,
Where shall we sojourn till our coronation?
Where it seems best unto your royal self.
If I may counsel you, some day or two
Your highness shall repose you at the Tower:
Then where you please, and shall be thought most fit
For your best health and recreation.
I do not like the Tower, of any place:
Did Julius Cæsar build that place, my lord?
He did, my gracious lord, begin that place,
Which, since, succeeding ages have re-edified.
Is it upon record, or else reported
Successively from age to age, he built it?
Upon record, my gracious lord.
But say, my lord, it were not register’d,
Methinks the truth should live from age to age,
As ’twere retail’d to all posterity,
Even to the general all-ending day.
[Aside.] So wise so young, they say, do never live long.
What say you, uncle?
I say, without characters, fame lives long.
[Aside.] Thus, like the formal Vice, Iniquity,
I moralize two meanings in one word.
That Julius Cæsar was a famous man;
With what his valour did enrich his wit,
His wit set down to make his valour live:
Death makes no conquest of this conqueror,
For now he lives in fame, though not in life.
I’ll tell you what, my cousin Buckingham,—
What, my gracious lord?
An if I live until I be a man,
I’ll win our ancient right in France again,
Or die a soldier, as I liv’d a king.
[Aside.] Short summers lightly have a forward spring.
EnterYork, Hastings,andCardinal Bourchier.
Now, in good time, here comes the Duke of York.
Richard of York! how fares our loving brother?
Well, my dread lord; so must I call you now.
Ay, brother, to our grief, as it is yours:
Too late he died that might have kept that title,
Which by his death hath lost much majesty.
How fares our cousin, noble Lord of York?
I thank you, gentle uncle. O, my lord,
You said that idle weeds are fast in growth:
The prince my brother hath outgrown me far.
He hath, my lord.
And therefore is he idle?
O, my fair cousin, I must not say so.
Then he is more beholding to you than I.
He may command me as my sovereign;
But you have power in me as in a kinsman.
I pray you, uncle, give me this dagger.
My dagger, little cousin? with all my heart.
A beggar, brother?
Of my kind uncle, that I know will give;
And, being but a toy, which is no grief to give.
A greater gift than that I’ll give my cousin.
A greater gift! O, that’s the sword to it.
Ay, gentle cousin, were it light enough.
O, then, I see, you’ll part but with light gifts;
In weightier things you’ll say a beggar nay.
It is too weighty for your Grace to wear.
I weigh it lightly, were it heavier.
What! would you have my weapon, little lord?
I would, that I might thank you, as you call me.
My Lord of York will still be cross in talk.
Uncle, your Grace knows how to bear with him.
You mean, to bear me, not to bear with me:
Uncle, my brother mocks both you and me.
Because that I am little, like an ape,
He thinks that you should bear me on your shoulders.
With what a sharp provided with he reasons!
To mitigate the scorn he gives his uncle,
He prettily and aptly taunts himself:
So cunning and so young is wonderful.
My lord, will’t please you pass along?
Myself and my good cousin Buckingham
Will to your mother, to entreat of her
To meet you at the Tower and welcome you.
What! will you go unto the Tower, my lord?
My Lord Protector needs will have it so.
I shall not sleep in quiet at the Tower.
Why, what would you fear?
Marry, my uncle Clarence’ angry ghost:
My grandam told me he was murder’d there.
I fear no uncles dead.
Nor none that live, I hope.
An if they live, I hope, I need not fear.
But come, my lord; and, with a heavy heart,
Thinking on them, go I unto the Tower.
[Sennet. Exeunt all butGloucester, Buckingham,andCatesby.
Think you, my lord, this little prating York
Was not incensed by his subtle mother
To taunt and scorn you thus opprobriously?
No doubt, no doubt: O! ’tis a parlous boy;
Bold, quick, ingenious, forward, capable:
He’s all the mother’s, from the top to toe.
Well, let them rest. Come hither, Catesby; thou art sworn
As deeply to effect what we intend
As closely to conceal what we impart.
Thou know’st our reasons urg’d upon the way:
What think’st thou? is it not an easy matter
To make William Lord Hastings of our mind,
For the instalment of this noble duke
In the seat royal of this famous isle?
He for his father’s sake so loves the prince
That he will not be won to aught against him.
What think’st thou then of Stanley? what will he?
He will do all in all as Hastings doth.
Well then, no more but this: go, gentle Catesby,
And, as it were far off, sound thou Lord Hastings,
How he doth stand affected to our purpose;
And summon him to-morrow to the Tower,
To sit about the coronation.
If thou dost find him tractable to us,
Encourage him, and tell him all our reasons:
If he be leaden, icy-cold, unwilling,
Be thou so too, and so break off the talk,
And give us notice of his inclination;
For we to-morrow hold divided councils,
Wherein thyself shalt highly be employ’d.
Commend me to Lord William: tell him, Catesby,
His ancient knot of dangerous adversaries
To-morrow are let blood at Pomfret Castle;
And bid my lord, for joy of this good news,
Give Mistress Shore one gentle kiss the more.
Good Catesby, go, effect this business soundly.
My good lords both, with all the heed I can.
Shall we hear from you, Catesby, ere we sleep?
You shall, my lord.
At Crosby-place, there shall you find us both.
Now, my lord, what shall we do if we perceive
Lord Hastings will not yield to our complots?
Chop off his head; something we will determine:
And, look, when I am king, claim thou of me
The earldom of Hereford, and all the moveables
Whereof the king my brother stood possess’d.
I’ll claim that promise at your Grace’s hand.
And look to have it yielded with all kindness.
Come, let us sup betimes, that afterwards
We may digest our complots in some form.
Enter a Messenger.
[Knocking.] My lord! my lord!
[Within.] Who knocks?
One from the Lord Stanley.
[Within.] What is’t o’clock?
Upon the stroke of four.
Cannot my Lord Stanley sleep these tedious nights?
So it appears by that I have to say.
First, he commends him to your noble self.
Then certifies your lordship, that this night
He dreamt the boar had razed off his helm:
Besides, he says there are two councils held;
And that may be determin’d at the one
Which may make you and him to rue at the other.
Therefore he sends to know your lordship’s pleasure,
If you will presently take horse with him,
And with all speed post with him towards the north,
To shun the danger that his soul divines.
Go, fellow, go, return unto thy lord;
Bid him not fear the separated councils:
His honour and myself are at the one,
And at the other is my good friend Catesby;
Where nothing can proceed that toucheth us
Whereof I shall not have intelligence.
Tell him his fears are shallow, wanting instance:
And for his dreams, I wonder he’s so fond
To trust the mockery of unquiet slumbers.
To fly the boar before the boar pursues,
Were to incense the boar to follow us
And make pursuit where he did mean no chase.
Go, bid thy master rise and come to me;
And we will both together to the Tower,
Where, he shall see, the boar will use us kindly.
I’ll go, my lord, and tell him what you say.
Many good morrows to my noble lord!
Good morrow, Catesby; you are early stirring.
What news, what news, in this our tottering state?
It is a reeling world, indeed, my lord;
And I believe will never stand upright
Till Richard wear the garland of the realm.
How! wear the garland! dost thou mean the crown?
Ay, my good lord.
I’ll have this crown of mine cut from my shoulders
Before I’ll see the crown so foul misplac’d.
But canst thou guess that he doth aim at it?
Ay, on my life; and hopes to find you forward
Upon his party for the gain thereof:
And thereupon he sends you this good news,
That this same very day your enemies,
The kindred of the queen, must die at Pomfret.
Indeed, I am no mourner for that news,
Because they have been still my adversaries;
But that I’ll give my voice on Richard’s side,
To bar my master’s heirs in true descent,
God knows I will not do it, to the death.
God keep your lordship in that gracious mind!
But I shall laugh at this a twelve-month hence,
That they which brought me in my master’s hate,
I live to look upon their tragedy.
Well, Catesby, ere a fortnight make me older,
I’ll send some packing that yet think not on’t.
’Tis a vile thing to die, my gracious lord,
When men are unprepar’d and look not for it.
O monstrous, monstrous! and so falls it out
With Rivers, Vaughan, Grey; and so ’twill do
With some men else, who think themselves as safe
As thou and I; who, as thou know’st, are dear
To princely Richard and to Buckingham.
The princes both make high account of you;
[Aside.] For they account his head upon the bridge.
I know they do, and I have well deserv’d it.
Come on, come on; where is your boar-spear, man?
Fear you the boar, and go so unprovided?
My lord, good morrow; good morrow Catesby:
You may jest on, but by the holy rood,
I do not like these several councils, I.
My lord, I hold my life as dear as you do yours;
And never, in my days, I do protest,
Was it so precious to me as ’tis now.
Think you, but that I know our state secure,
I would be so triumphant as I am?
The lords at Pomfret, when they rode from London,
Were jocund and suppos’d their state was sure,
And they indeed had no cause to mistrust;
But yet you see how soon the day o’ercast.
This sudden stab of rancour I misdoubt;
Pray God, I say, I prove a needless coward!
What, shall we toward the Tower? the day is spent.
Come, come, have with you. Wot you what, my lord?
To-day the lords you talk of are beheaded.
They, for their truth, might better wear their heads,
Than some that have accus’d them wear their hats.
But come, my lord, let’s away.
Enter a Pursuivant.
Go on before; I’ll talk with this good fellow.
How now, sirrah! how goes the world with thee?
The better that your lordship please to ask.
I tell thee, man, ’tis better with me now
Than when I met thee last where now we meet:
Then was I going prisoner to the Tower,
By the suggestion of the queen’s allies;
But now, I tell thee,—keep it to thyself,—
This day those enemies are put to death,
And I in better state than e’er I was.
God hold it to your honour’s good content!
Gramercy, fellow: there, drink that for me.
[Throws him his purse.
God save your lordship.
Enter a Priest.
Well met, my lord; I am glad to see your honour.
I thank thee, good Sir John, with all my heart.
I am in your debt for your last exercise;
Come the next Sabbath, and I will content you.
What, talking with a priest, lord chamberlain?
Your friends at Pomfret, they do need the priest:
Your honour hath no shriving work in hand.
Good faith, and when I met this holy man,
The men you talk of came into my mind.
What, go you toward the Tower?
I do, my lord; but long I shall not stay:
I shall return before your lordship thence.
Nay, like enough, for I stay dinner there.
[Aside.] And supper too, although thou know’st it not.
Come, will you go?
I’ll wait upon your lordship.
EnterRatcliff,with halberds, carryingRivers, Grey,andVaughanto death.
Sir Richard Ratcliff, let me tell thee this:
To-day shalt thou behold a subject die
For truth, for duty, and for loyalty.
God bless the prince from all the pack of you!
A knot you are of damned blood suckers.
You live that shall cry woe for this hereafter.
Dispatch; the limit of your lives is out.
O Pomfret, Pomfret! O thou bloody prison!
Fatal and ominous to noble peers!
Within the guilty closure of thy walls
Richard the Second here was hack’d to death;
And, for more slander to thy dismal seat,
We give thee up our guitless blood to drink.
Now Margaret’s curse is fall’n upon our heads,
When she exclaim’d on Hastings, you, and I,
For standing by when Richard stabb’d her son.
Then curs’d she Richard, then curs’d she Buckingham,
Then curs’d she Hastings: O! remember, God,
To hear her prayer for them, as now for us;
And for my sister and her princely sons,
Be satisfied, dear God, with our true blood,
Which, as thou know’st, unjustly must be spilt.
Make haste; the hour of death is expiate.
Come, Grey, come, Vaughan; let us here embrace:
And take our leave until we meet in heaven.
Buckingham, Stanley, Hastings,theBishop of Ely, Ratcliff, Lovel,and Others, sitting at a table. Officers of the Council attending.
My lords, at once: the cause why we are met
Is to determine of the coronation:
In God’s name, speak, when is the royal day?
Are all things ready for that royal time?
It is; and wants but nomination.
To-morrow then I judge a happy day.
Who knows the Lord Protector’s mind herein?
Who is most inward with the noble duke?
Your Grace, we think, should soonest know his mind.
We know each other’s faces; for our hearts,
He knows no more of mine than I of yours;
Nor I of his, my lord, than you of mine.
Lord Hastings, you and he are near in love.
I thank his Grace, I know he loves me well;
But, for his purpose in the coronation,
I have not sounded him, nor he deliver’d
His gracious pleasure any way therein:
But you, my noble lords, may name the time;
And in the duke’s behalf I’ll give my voice,
Which, I presume, he’ll take in gentle part.
In happy time, here comes the duke himself.
My noble lords and cousins all, good morrow.
I have been long a sleeper; but, I trust,
My absence doth neglect no great design,
Which by my presence might have been concluded.
Had you not come upon your cue, my lord,
William Lord Hastings had pronounc’d your part,
I mean, your voice, for crowning of the king.
Than my Lord Hastings no man might be bolder:
His lordship knows me well, and loves me well.
My Lord of Ely, when I was last in Holborn,
I saw good strawberries in your garden there;
I do beseech you send for some of them.
Marry, and will, my lord, with all my heart.
Cousin of Buckingham, a word with you.
[Takes him aside.
Catesby hath sounded Hastings in our business,
And finds the testy gentleman so hot,
That he will lose his head ere give consent
His master’s child, as worshipfully he terms it,
Shall lose the royalty of England’s throne.
Withdraw yourself a while; I’ll go with you.
We have not yet set down this day of triumph.
To-morrow, in my judgment, is too sudden;
For I myself am not so well provided
As else I would be, were the day prolong’d.
Re-enterBishop of Ely.
Where is my lord, the Duke of Gloucester?
I have sent for these strawberries.
His Grace looks cheerfully and smooth this morning:
There’s some conceit or other likes him well,
When that he bids good morrow with such spirit.
I think there’s never a man in Christendom
Can lesser hide his hate or love than he;
For by his face straight shall you know his heart.
What of his heart perceiv’d you in his face
By any livelihood he show’d to-day?
Marry, that with no man here he is offended;
For, were he, he had shown it in his looks.
I pray you all, tell me what they deserve
That do conspire my death with devilish plots
Of damned witchcraft, and that have prevail’d
Upon my body with their hellish charms?
The tender love I bear your Grace, my lord,
Makes me most forward in this princely presence
To doom th’ offenders, whosoe’er they be:
I say, my lord, they have deserved death.
Then be your eyes the witness of their evil.
Look how I am bewitch’d; behold mine arm
Is like a blasted sapling, wither’d up:
And this is Edward’s wife, that monstrous witch
Consorted with that harlot strumpet Shore,
That by their witchcraft thus have marked me.
If they have done this thing, my noble lord,—
If! thou protector of this damned strumpet,
Talk’st thou to me of ifs? Thou art a traitor:
Off with his head! now, by Saint Paul, I swear,
I will not dine until I see the same.
Lovel and Ratcliff, look that it be done:
The rest, that love me, rise, and follow me.
[Exeunt all butHastings, Ratcliff,andLovel.
Woe, woe, for England! not a whit for me;
For I, too fond, might have prevented this.
Stanley did dream the boar did raze his helm;
And I did scorn it, and disdain’d to fly.
Three times to-day my foot-cloth horse did stumble,
And startled when he looked upon the Tower,
As loath to bear me to the slaughter-house.
O! now I need the priest that spake to me:
I now repent I told the pursuivant,
As too triumphing, how mine enemies
To-day at Pomfret bloodily were butcher’d
And I myself secure in grace and favour.
O Margaret, Margaret! now thy heavy curse
Is lighted on poor Hastings’ wretched head.
Come, come, dispatch; the duke would be at dinner:
Make a short shrift, he longs to see your head.
O momentary grace of mortal man,
Which we more hunt for than the grace of God!
Who builds his hope in air of your good looks,
Lives like a drunken sailor on a mast;
Ready with every nod to tumble down
Into the fatal bowels of the deep.
Come, come, dispatch; ’tis bootless to exclaim.
O bloody Richard! miserable England!
I prophesy the fearfull’st time to thee
That ever wretched age hath look’d upon.
Come, lead me to the block; bear him my head:
They smile at me who shortly shall be dead.
EnterGloucesterandBuckingham,in rotten armour, marvellous ill-favoured.
Come, cousin, canst thou quake, and change thy colour,
Murder thy breath in middle of a word,
And then again begin, and stop again,
As if thou wert distraught and mad with terror?
Tut! I can counterfeit the deep tragedian,
Speak and look back, and pry on every side,
Tremble and start at wagging of a straw,
Intending deep suspicion: ghastly looks
Are at my service, like enforced smiles;
And both are ready in their offices,
At any time, to grace my stratagems.
But what! is Catesby gone?
He is; and, see, he brings the mayor along.
Enter the Lord Mayor andCatesby.
Look to the drawbridge there!
Hark! a drum.
Catesby, o’erlook the walls.
Lord Mayor, the reason we have sent,—
Look back, defend thee; here are enemies.
God and our innocency defend and guard us!
Be patient, they are friends, Ratcliff and Lovel.
Here is the head of that ignoble traitor,
The dangerous and unsuspected Hastings.
So dear I lov’d the man, that I must weep.
I took him for the plainest harmless creature
That breath’d upon the earth a Christian;
Made him my book, wherein my soul recorded
The history of all her secret thoughts:
So smooth he daub’d his vice with show of virtue,
That, his apparent open guilt omitted,
I mean his conversation with Shore’s wife,
He liv’d from all attainder of suspect.
Well, well, he was the covert’st shelter’d traitor
That ever liv’d.
Would you imagine, or almost believe,—
Were’t not that by great preservation
We live to tell it, that the subtle traitor
This day had plotted, in the council-house,
To murder me and my good Lord of Gloucester?
Had he done so?
What! think you we are Turks or infidels?
Or that we would, against the form of law,
Proceed thus rashly in the villain’s death,
But that the extreme peril of the case,
The peace of England and our person’s safety,
Enforc’d us to this execution?
Now, fair befall you! he deserv’d his death;
And your good Graces both have well proceeded,
To warn false traitors from the like attempts.
I never look’d for better at his hands,
After he once fell in with Mistress Shore.
Yet had we not determin’d he should die,
Until your lordship came to see his end;
Which now the loving haste of these our friends,
Something against our meaning, hath prevented:
Because, my lord, we would have had you heard
The traitor speak, and timorously confess
The manner and the purpose of his treason;
That you might well have signified the same
Unto the citizens, who haply may
Misconster us in him, and wail his death.
But, my good lord, your Grace’s word shall serve,
As well as I had seen and heard him speak:
And do not doubt, right noble princes both,
But I’ll acquaint our duteous citizens
With all your just proceedings in this cause.
And to that end we wish’d your lordship here,
To avoid the censures of the carping world.
But since you come too late of our intent,
Yet witness what you hear we did intend:
And so, my good Lord Mayor, we bid farewell.
[Exit Lord Mayor.
Go, after, after, cousin Buckingham.
The mayor towards Guildhall hies him in all post:
There, at your meetest vantage of the time,
Infer the bastardy of Edward’s children:
Tell them how Edward put to death a citizen,
Only for saying he would make his son
Heir to the crown; meaning indeed his house,
Which by the sign thereof was termed so.
Moreover, urge his hateful luxury
And bestial appetite in change of lust;
Which stretch’d unto their servants, daughters, wives,
Even where his raging eye or savage heart
Without control lusted to make a prey.
Nay, for a need, thus far come near my person:
Tell them, when that my mother went with child
Of that insatiate Edward, noble York
My princely father then had wars in France;
And, by true computation of the time,
Found that the issue was not his begot;
Which well appeared in his lineaments,
Being nothing like the noble duke my father.
Yet touch this sparingly, as ’twere far off;
Because, my lord, you know my mother lives.
Doubt not, my lord, I’ll play the orator
As if the golden fee for which I plead
Were for myself: and so, my lord, adieu.
If you thrive well, bring them to Baynard’s Castle;
Where you shall find me well accompanied
With reverend fathers and well-learned bishops.
I go; and towards three or four o’clock
Look for the news that the Guildhall affords.
Go, Lovel, with all speed to Doctor Shaw;
[ToCatesby.] Go thou to Friar Penker; bid them both
Meet me within this hour at Baynard’s Castle.
Now will I in, to take some privy order,
To draw the brats of Clarence out of sight;
And to give notice that no manner person
Have any time recourse unto the princes.
Enter a Scrivener.
Here is the indictment of the good Lord Hastings;
Which in a set hand fairly is engross’d,
That it may be to-day read o’er in Paul’s:
And mark how well the sequel hangs together.
Eleven hours I have spent to write it over,
For yesternight by Catesby was it sent me.
The precedent was full as long a-doing;
And yet within these five hours Hastings liv’d,
Untainted, unexamin’d, free, at liberty.
Here’s a good world the while! Who is so gross
That cannot see this palpable device?
Yet who so bold but says he sees it not?
Bad is the world; and all will come to naught,
When such ill dealing must be seen in thought.
How, now, how now! what say the citizens?
Now, by the holy mother of our Lord,
The citizens are mum, say not a word.
Touch’d you the bastardy of Edward’s children?
I did; with his contract with Lady Lucy,
And his contract by deputy in France;
The insatiate greediness of his desires,
And his enforcement of the city wives;
His tyranny for trifles; his own bastardy,
As being got, your father then in France,
And his resemblance, being not like the duke:
Withal I did infer your lineaments,
Being the right idea of your father,
Both in your form and nobleness of mind;
Laid open all your victories in Scotland,
Your discipline in war, wisdom in peace,
Your bounty, virtue, fair humility;
Indeed, left nothing fitting for your purpose
Untouch’d or slightly handled in discourse;
And when my oratory drew toward end,
I bade them that did love their country’s good
Cry ‘God save Richard, England’s royal king!’
And did they so?
No, so God help me, they spake not a word;
But, like dumb statuas or breathing stones,
Star’d each on other, and look’d deadly pale.
Which when I saw, I reprehended them;
And ask’d the mayor what meant this wilful silence:
His answer was, the people were not wont
To be spoke to but by the recorder.
Then he was urg’d to tell my tale again:
‘Thus saith the duke, thus hath the duke inferr’d;’
But nothing spoke in warrant from himself.
When he had done, some followers of mine own,
At lower end of the hall, hurl’d up their caps,
And some ten voices cried, ‘God save King Richard!’
And thus I took the vantage of those few,
‘Thanks, gentle citizens and friends,’ quoth I;
‘This general applause and cheerful shout
Argues your wisdom and your love to Richard:’
And even here brake off, and came away.
What tongueless blocks were they! would they not speak?
Will not the mayor then and his brethren come?
The mayor is here at hand. Intend some fear;
Be not you spoke with but by mighty suit:
And look you get a prayer-book in your hand,
And stand between two churchmen, good my lord:
For on that ground I’ll make a holy descant:
And be not easily won to our requests;
Play the maid’s part, still answer nay, and take it.
I go; and if you plead as well for them
As I can say nay to thee for myself,
No doubt we bring it to a happy issue.
Go, go, up to the leads! the Lord Mayor knocks.
Enter the Lord Mayor, Aldermen, and Citizens.
Welcome, my lord: I dance attendance here;
I think the duke will not be spoke withal.
Enter, from the Castle,Catesby.
Now, Catesby! what says your lord to my request?
He doth entreat your Grace, my noble lord,
To visit him to-morrow or next day.
He is within, with two right reverend fathers,
Divinely bent to meditation;
And in no worldly suit would he be mov’d,
To draw him from his holy exercise.
Return, good Catesby, to the gracious duke:
Tell him, myself, the mayor and aldermen,
In deep designs in matter of great moment,
No less importing than our general good,
Are come to have some conference with his Grace.
I’ll signify so much unto him straight.
Ah, ha, my lord, this prince is not an Edward!
He is not lolling on a lewd day-bed,
But on his knees at meditation;
Not dallying with a brace of courtezans,
But meditating with two deep divines;
Not sleeping, to engross his idle body,
But praying, to enrich his watchful soul.
Happy were England, would this virtuous prince
Take on his Grace the sovereignty thereof:
But sore, I fear, we shall not win him to it.
Marry, God defend his Grace should say us nay!
I fear he will. Here Catesby comes again.
Now, Catesby, what says his Grace?
He wonders to what end you have assembled
Such troops of citizens to come to him,
His Grace not being warn’d thereof before:
My lord, he fears you mean no good to him.
Sorry I am my noble cousin should
Suspect me that I mean no good to him.
By heaven, we come to him in perfect love;
And so once more return, and tell his Grace.
When holy and devout religious men
Are at their beads, ’tis much to draw them thence;
So sweet is zealous contemplation.
EnterGloucester,in a gallery above, between two Bishops. Catesbyreturns.
See, where his Grace stands ’tween two clergymen!
Two props of virtue for a Christian prince,
To stay him from the fall of vanity;
And, see, a book of prayer in his hand;
True ornament to know a holy man.
Famous Plantagenet, most gracious prince,
Lend favourable ear to our requests,
And pardon us the interruption
Of thy devotion, and right Christian zeal.
My lord, there needs no such apology;
I do beseech your Grace to pardon me,
Who, earnest in the service of my God,
Deferr’d the visitation of my friends.
But, leaving this, what is your Grace’s pleasure?
Even that, I hope, which pleaseth God above,
And all good men of this ungovern’d isle.
I do suspect I have done some offence
That seems disgracious in the city’s eye;
And that you come to reprehend my ignorance.
You have, my lord: would it might please your Grace,
On our entreaties to amend your fault!
Else wherefore breathe I in a Christian land?
Know then, it is your fault that you resign
The supreme seat, the throne majestical,
The sceptred office of your ancestors,
Your state of fortune and your due of birth,
The lineal glory of your royal house,
To the corruption of a blemish’d stock;
Whiles, in the mildness of your sleepy thoughts,—
Which here we waken to our country’s good,—
This noble isle doth want her proper limbs;
Her face defac’d with scars of infamy,
Her royal stock graft with ignoble plants,
And almost shoulder’d in the swallowing gulf
Of dark forgetfulness and deep oblivion.
Which to recure we heartily solicit
Your gracious self to take on you the charge
And kingly government of this your land;
Not as protector, steward, substitute,
Or lowly factor for another’s gain;
But as successively from blood to blood,
Your right of birth, your empery, your own.
For this, consorted with the citizens,
Your very worshipful and loving friends,
And by their vehement instigation,
In this just cause come I to move your Grace.
I cannot tell, if to depart in silence
Or bitterly to speak in your reproof,
Best fitteth my degree or your condition:
If not to answer, you might haply think
Tongue-tied ambition, not replying, yielded
To bear the golden yoke of sov’reignty,
Which fondly you would here impose on me;
If to reprove you for this suit of yours,
So season’d with your faithful love to me,
Then, on the other side, I check’d my friends.
Therefore, to speak, and to avoid the first,
And then, in speaking, not to incur the last,
Definitively thus I answer you.
Your love deserves my thanks; but my desert
Unmeritable shuns your high request.
First, if all obstacles were cut away,
And that my path were even to the crown,
As the ripe revenue and due of birth,
Yet so much is my poverty of spirit,
So mighty and so many my defects,
That I would rather hide me from my greatness,
Being a bark to brook no mighty sea,
Than in my greatness covet to be hid,
And in the vapour of my glory smother’d.
But, God be thank’d, there is no need of me;
And much I need to help you, were there need;
The royal tree hath left us royal fruit,
Which, mellow’d by the stealing hours of time,
Will well become the seat of majesty,
And make, no doubt, us happy by his reign.
On him I lay that you would lay on me,
The right and fortune of his happy stars;
Which God defend that I should wring from him!
My lord, this argues conscience in your Grace;
But the respects thereof are nice and trivial,
All circumstances well considered.
You say that Edward is your brother’s son:
So say we too, but not by Edward’s wife;
For first was he contract to Lady Lucy,
Your mother lives a witness to his vow,
And afterward by substitute betroth’d
To Bona, sister to the King of France.
These both put by, a poor petitioner,
A care-craz’d mother to a many sons,
A beauty-waning and distressed widow,
Even in the afternoon of her best days,
Made prize and purchase of his wanton eye,
Seduc’d the pitch and height of his degree
To base declension and loath’d bigamy:
By her, in his unlawful bed, he got
This Edward, whom our manners call the prince.
More bitterly could I expostulate,
Save that, for reverence to some alive,
I give a sparing limit to my tongue.
Then, good my lord, take to your royal self
This proffer’d benefit of dignity;
If not to bless us and the land withal,
Yet to draw forth your noble ancestry
From the corruption of abusing times,
Unto a lineal true-derived course.
Do, good my lord; your citizens entreat you.
Refuse not, mighty lord, this proffer’d love.
O! make them joyful: grant their lawful suit:
Alas! why would you heap those cares on me?
I am unfit for state and majesty:
I do beseech you, take it not amiss,
I cannot nor I will not yield to you.
If you refuse it, as, in love and zeal,
Loath to depose the child, your brother’s son;
As well we know your tenderness of heart
And gentle, kind, effeminate remorse,
Which we have noted in you to your kindred,
And egally, indeed, to all estates,
Yet whether you accept our suit or no,
Your brother’s son shall never reign our king;
But we will plant some other in the throne,
To the disgrace and downfall of your house:
And in this resolution here we leave you.
Come, citizens, we will entreat no more.
Call them again, sweet prince; accept their suit:
If you deny them, all the land will rue it.
Will you enforce me to a world of cares?
Call them again: I am not made of stone,
But penetrable to your kind entreats,
Albeit against my conscience and my soul.
Re-enterBuckinghamand the rest.
Cousin of Buckingham, and sage, grave men,
Since you will buckle fortune on my back,
To bear her burden, whe’r I will or no,
I must have patience to endure the load:
But if black scandal or foul-fac’d reproach
Attend the sequel of your imposition,
Your mere enforcement shall acquittance me
From all the impure blots and stains thereof;
For God doth know, and you may partly see,
How far I am from the desire of this.
God bless your Grace! we see it, and will say it.
In saying so, you shall but say the truth.
Then I salute you with this royal title:
Long live King Richard, England’s worthy king!
To-morrow may it please you to be crown’d?
Even when you please, for you will have it so.
To-morrow then we will attend your Grace:
And so most joyfully we take our leave.
[To the Bishops.] Come, let us to our holy work again.
Farewell, my cousin;—farewell, gentle friends.
Enter on one side,Queen Elizabeth, Duchess of York,andMarquess of Dorset;on the other,Anne, Duchess of Gloucester,leadingLady Margaret Plantagenet, Clarence’syoung daughter.
Who meets us here? my niece Plantagenet,
Led in the hand of her kind aunt of Gloucester?
Now, for my life, she’s wand’ring to the Tower,
On pure heart’s love, to greet the tender princes.
Daughter, well met.
God give your Graces both
A happy and a joyful time of day!
As much to you, good sister! whither away?
No further than the Tower; and, as I guess,
Upon the like devotion as yourselves,
To gratulate the gentle princes there.
Kind sister, thanks: we’ll enter all together:—
And, in good time, here the lieutenant comes.
Master lieutenant, pray you, by your leave,
How doth the prince, and my young son of York?
Right well, dear madam. By your patience,
I may not suffer you to visit them:
The king hath strictly charg’d the contrary.
The king! who’s that?
I mean the Lord Protector.
The Lord protect him from that kingly title!
Hath he set bounds between their love and me?
I am their mother; who shall bar me from them?
I am their father’s mother; I will see them.
Their aunt I am in law, in love their mother:
Then bring me to their sights; I’ll bear thy blame,
And take thy office from thee, on my peril.
No, madam, no, I may not leave it so:
I am bound by oath, and therefore pardon me.
Let me but meet you, ladies, one hour hence,
And I’ll salute your Grace of York as mother,
And reverend looker-on of two fair queens.
[To theDuchess of Gloucester.] Come, madam, you must straight to Westminster,
There to be crowned Richard’s royal queen.
Ah! cut my lace asunder,
That my pent heart may have some scope to beat,
Or else I swoon with this dead-killing news.
Despiteful tidings! O! unpleasing news!
Be of good cheer: mother, how fares your Grace?
O, Dorset! speak not to me, get thee gone;
Death and destruction dog thee at the heels:
Thy mother’s name is ominous to children.
If thou wilt outstrip death, go cross the seas,
And live with Richmond, from the reach of hell:
Go, hie thee, hie thee, from this slaughter-house,
Lest thou increase the number of the dead,
And make me die the thrall of Margaret’s curse,
Nor mother, wife, nor England’s counted queen.
Full of wise care is this your counsel, madam.
[ToDorset.] Take all the swift advantage of the hours;
You shall have letters from me to my son
In your behalf, to meet you on the way:
Be not ta’en tardy by unwise delay.
O ill-dispersing wind of misery!
O! my accursed womb, the bed of death,
A cockatrice hast thou hatch’d to the world,
Whose unavoided eye is murderous!
Come, madam, come; I in all haste was sent.
And I with all unwillingness will go.
O! would to God that the inclusive verge
Of golden metal that must round my brow
Were red-hot steel to sear me to the brain.
Anointed let me be with deadly venom;
And die, ere men can say ‘God save the queen!’
Go, go, poor soul, I envy not thy glory;
To feed my humour, wish thyself no harm.
No! why? When he, that is my husband now
Came to me, as I follow’d Henry’s corse;
When scarce the blood was well wash’d from his hands,
Which issu’d from my other angel husband,
And that dead saint which then I weeping follow’d;
O! when I say, I look’d on Richard’s face,
This was my wish, ‘Be thou,’ quoth I, ‘accurs’d,
For making me so young, so old a widow!
And, when thou wedd’st, let sorrow haunt thy bed;
And be thy wife—if any be so mad—
More miserable by the life of thee
Than thou hast made me by my dear lord’s death!’
Lo! ere I can repeat this curse again,
Within so small a time, my woman’s heart
Grossly grew captive to his honey words,
And prov’d the subject of mine own soul’s curse:
Which hitherto hath held mine eyes from rest;
For never yet one hour in his bed
Did I enjoy the golden dew of sleep,
But with his timorous dreams was still awak’d.
Besides, he hates me for my father Warwick,
And will, no doubt, shortly be rid of me.
Poor heart, adieu! I pity thy complaining.
No more than with my soul I mourn for yours.
Farewell! thou woeful welcomer of glory!
Adieu, poor soul, that tak’st thy leave of it!
[ToDorset.] Go thou to Richmond, and good fortune guide thee!
[ToAnne.] Go thou to Richard, and good angels tend thee!
[To Q. Elizabeth.] Go thou to sanctuary, and good thoughts possess thee!
I to my grave, where peace and rest lie with me!
Eighty odd years of sorrow have I seen,
And each hour’s joy wrack’d with a week of teen.
Stay yet, look back with me unto the Tower.
Pity, you ancient stones, those tender babes
Whom envy hath immur’d within your walls,
Rough cradle for such little pretty ones!
Rude ragged nurse, old sullen playfellow
For tender princes, use my babies well.
So foolish sorrow bids your stones farewell.
Sennet.Richard,in pomp, crowned:Buckingham, Catesby,a Page, and Others.
Stand all apart. Cousin of Buckingham.
My gracious sovereign!
Give me thy hand. [He ascends the throne.] Thus high, by thy advice,
And thy assistance, is King Richard seated:
But shall we wear these glories for a day?
Or shall they last, and we rejoice in them?
Still live they, and for ever let them last!
Ah! Buckingham, now do I play the touch,
To try if thou be current gold indeed:
Young Edward lives: think now what I would speak.
Say on, my loving lord.
Why, Buckingham, I say, I would be king.
Why, so you are, my thrice-renowned liege.
Ha! am I king? ’Tis so: but Edward lives.
True, noble prince.
O bitter consequence,
That Edward still should live! ‘True, noble prince!’
Cousin, thou wast not wont to be so dull:
Shall I be plain? I wish the bastards dead;
And I would have it suddenly perform’d.
What sayst thou now? speak suddenly, be brief.
Your Grace may do your pleasure.
Tut, tut! thou art all ice, thy kindness freezes:
Say, have I thy consent that they shall die?
Give me some little breath, some pause, dear lord,
Before I positively speak in this:
I will resolve you herein presently.
[Aside to another.] The king is angry: see, he gnaws his lip.
[Descends from his throne.] I will converse with iron-witted fools
And unrespective boys: none are for me
That look into me with considerate eyes.
High-reaching Buckingham grows circumspect.
Know’st thou not any whom corrupting gold
Will tempt unto a close exploit of death?
I know a discontented gentleman,
Whose humble means match not his haughty spirit:
Gold were as good as twenty orators,
And will, no doubt, tempt him to anything.
What is his name?
His name, my lord, is Tyrrell.
I partly know the man: go, call him hither.
The deep-revolving witty Buckingham
No more shall be the neighbour to my counsel.
Hath he so long held out with me untir’d,
And stops he now for breath? well, be it so.
How now, Lord Stanley! what’s the news?
Know, my loving lord,
The Marquess Dorset, as I hear, is fled
To Richmond, in the parts where he abides.
Come hither, Catesby: rumour it abroad,
That Anne my wife is very grievous sick;
I will take order for her keeping close.
Inquire me out some mean poor gentleman,
Whom I will marry straight to Clarence’ daughter:
The boy is foolish, and I fear not him.
Look, how thou dream’st! I say again, give out
That Anne my queen is sick, and like to die:
About it; for it stands me much upon,
To stop all hopes whose growth may damage me.
I must be married to my brother’s daughter,
Or else my kingdom stands on brittle glass.
Murder her brothers, and then marry her!
Uncertain way of gain! But I am in
So far in blood, that sin will pluck on sin:
Tear-falling pity dwells not in this eye.
Re-enter Page, withTyrrell.
Is thy name Tyrrell?
James Tyrrell, and your most obedient subject.
Art thou, indeed?
Prove me, my gracious lord.
Dar’st thou resolve to kill a friend of mine?
Please you; but I had rather kill two enemies.
Why, then thou hast it: two deep enemies,
Foes to my rest, and my sweet sleep’s disturbers,
Are they that I would have thee deal upon.
Tyrrell, I mean those bastards in the Tower.
Let me have open means to come to them,
And soon I’ll rid you from the fear of them.
Thou sing’st sweet music. Hark, come hither, Tyrrell:
Go, by this token: rise, and lend thine ear.
There is no more but so: say it is done,
And I will love thee, and prefer thee for it.
I will dispatch it straight.
My lord, I have consider’d in my mind
The late demand that you did sound me in.
Well, let that rest. Dorset is fled to Richmond.
I hear the news, my lord.
Stanley, he is your wife’s son: well, look to it.
My lord, I claim the gift, my due by promise,
For which your honour and your faith is pawn’d;
The earldom of Hereford and the moveables
Which you have promised I shall possess.
Stanley, look to your wife: if she convey
Letters to Richmond, you shall answer it.
What says your highness to my just request?
I do remember me, Henry the Sixth
Did prophesy that Richmond should be king,
When Richmond was a little peevish boy.
A king! perhaps—
How chance the prophet could not at that time
Have told me, I being by, that I should kill him?
My lord, your promise for the earldom,—
Richmond! When last I was at Exeter,
The mayor in courtesy show’d me the castle,
And call’d it Rougemont: at which name I started,
Because a bard of Ireland told me once
I should not live long after I saw Richmond.
Ay, what’s o’clock?
I am thus bold to put your Grace in mind
Of what you promis’d me.
Well, but what is’t o’clock?
Upon the stroke of ten.
Well, let it strike.
Why let it strike?
Because that, like a Jack, thou keep’st the stroke
Betwixt thy begging and my meditation.
I am not in the giving vein to-day.
Why, then resolve me whe’r you will, or no.
Thou troublest me: I am not in the vein.
[ExeuntKing Richardand Train.
And is it thus? repays he my deep service
With such contempt? made I him king for this?
O, let me think on Hastings, and be gone
To Brecknock, while my fearful head is on.
The tyrannous and bloody act is done;
The most arch deed of piteous massacre
That ever yet this land was guilty of.
Dighton and Forrest, whom I did suborn
To do this piece of ruthless butchery,
Albeit they were flesh’d villains, bloody dogs,
Melting with tenderness and mild compassion,
Wept like to children in their death’s sad story.
‘Oh! thus,’ quoth Dighton, ‘lay the gentle babes:’
‘Thus, thus,’ quoth Forrest, ‘girdling one another
Within their alabaster innocent arms:
Their lips were four red roses on a stalk,
Which in their summer beauty kiss’d each other.
A book of prayers on their pillow lay;
Which once,’ quoth Forrest, ‘almost chang’d my mind;
But, O, the devil’—there the villain stopp’d;
When Dighton thus told on: ‘We smothered
The most replenished sweet work of nature,
That from the prime creation e’er she fram’d.’
Hence both are gone with conscience and remorse;
They could not speak; and so I left them both,
To bear this tidings to the bloody king:
And here he comes.
All health, my sovereign lord!
Kind Tyrrell, am I happy in thy news?
If to have done the thing you gave in charge
Beget your happiness, be happy then,
For it is done.
But didst thou see them dead?
I did, my lord.
And buried, gentle Tyrrell?
The chaplain of the Tower hath buried them;
But how or in what place I do not know.
Come to me, Tyrrell, soon at after-supper,
When thou shalt tell the process of their death.
Meantime, but think how I may do thee good,
And be inheritor of thy desire.
Farewell till then.
I humbly take my leave.
The son of Clarence have I pent up close;
His daughter meanly have I match’d in marriage;
The sons of Edward sleep in Abraham’s bosom,
And Anne my wife hath bid the world good night.
Now, for I know the Breton Richmond aims
At young Elizabeth, my brother’s daughter,
And, by that knot, looks proudly on the crown,
To her go I, a jolly thriving wooer.
Good or bad news, that thou com’st in so bluntly?
Bad news, my lord: Morton is fled to Richmond;
And Buckingham, back’d with the hardy Welshmen,
Is in the field, and still his power increaseth.
Ely with Richmond troubles me more near
Than Buckingham and his rash-levied strength.
Come; I have learn’d that fearful commenting
Is leaden servitor to dull delay:
Delay leads impotent and snail-pac’d beggary:
Then fiery expedition be my wing,
Jove’s Mercury, and herald for a king!
Go, muster men: my counsel is my shield;
We must be brief when traitors brave the field.
So, now prosperity begins to mellow
And drop into the rotten mouth of death.
Here in these confines slily have I lurk’d
To watch the waning of mine enemies.
A dire induction am I witness to,
And will to France, hoping the consequence
Will prove as bitter, black, and tragical.
Withdraw thee, wretched Margaret: who comes here?
EnterQueen Elizabethand theDuchess of York.
Ah! my poor princes! ah, my tender babes,
My unblown flowers, new-appearing sweets,
If yet your gentle souls fly in the air
And be not fix’d in doom perpetual,
Hover about me with your airy wings,
And hear your mother’s lamentation.
Hover about her; say, that right for right
Hath dimm’d your infant morn to aged night.
So many miseries have craz’d my voice,
That my woe-wearied tongue is still and mute.
Edward Plantagenet, why art thou dead?
Plantagenet doth quit Plantagenet;
Edward for Edward pays a dying debt.
Wilt thou, O God! fly from such gentle lambs,
And throw them in the entrails of the wolf?
When didst thou sleep when such a deed was done?
When holy Harry died, and my sweet son.
Dead life, blind sight, poor mortal living ghost,
Woe’s scene, world’s shame, grave’s due by life usurp’d,
Brief abstract and record of tedious days,
Rest thy unrest on England’s lawful earth,
Unlawfully made drunk with innocent blood!
Ah! that thou wouldst as soon afford a grave
As thou canst yield a melancholy seat;
Then would I hide my bones, not rest them here.
Ah! who hath any cause to mourn but I?
[Sitting down by her.
If ancient sorrow be most reverend,
Give mine the benefit of seniory,
And let my griefs frown on the upper hand,
If sorrow can admit society.
[Sitting down with them.
Tell o’er your woes again by viewing mine:
I had an Edward, till a Richard kill’d him;
I had a Harry, till a Richard kill’d him:
Thou hadst an Edward, till a Richard kill’d him;
Thou hadst a Richard, till a Richard kill’d him.
I had a Richard too, and thou didst kill him;
I had a Rutland too, thou holp’st to kill him.
Thou hadst a Clarence too, and Richard kill’d him.
From forth the kennel of thy womb hath crept
A hellhound that doth hunt us all to death:
That dog, that had his teeth before his eyes,
To worry lambs, and lap their gentle blood,
That foul defacer of God’s handiwork,
That excellent grand-tyrant of the earth,
That reigns in galled eyes of weeping souls,
Thy womb let loose, to chase us to our graves.
O! upright, just, and true-disposing God,
How do I thank thee that this carnal cur
Preys on the issue of his mother’s body,
And makes her pew-fellow with others’ moan.
O! Harry’s wife, triumph not in my woes:
God witness with me, I have wept for thine.
Bear with me; I am hungry for revenge,
And now I cloy me with beholding it.
Thy Edward he is dead, that kill’d my Edward;
Thy other Edward dead, to quit my Edward;
Young York he is but boot, because both they
Match not the high perfection of my loss:
Thy Clarence he is dead that stabb’d my Edward;
And the beholders of this tragic play,
The adulterate Hastings, Rivers, Vaughan, Grey,
Untimely smother’d in their dusky graves.
Richard yet lives, hell’s black intelligencer,
Only reserv’d their factor, to buy souls
And send them thither; but at hand, at hand,
Ensues his piteous and unpitied end:
Earth gapes, hell burns, fiends roar, saints pray,
To have him suddenly convey’d from hence.
Cancel his bond of life, dear God! I pray,
That I may live to say, The dog is dead.
O! thou didst prophesy the time would come
That I should wish for thee to help me curse
That bottled spider, that foul bunchback’d toad.
I call’d thee then vain flourish of my fortune;
I call’d thee then poor shadow, painted queen;
The presentation of but what I was;
The flattering index of a direful pageant;
One heav’d a-high to be hurl’d down below;
A mother only mock’d with two fair babes;
A dream of what thou wert, a breath, a bubble,
A sign of dignity, a garish flag,
To be the aim of every dangerous shot;
A queen in jest, only to fill the scene.
Where is thy husband now? where be thy brothers?
Where are thy children? wherein dost thou joy?
Who sues and kneels and cries God save the queen?
Where be the bending peers that flatter’d thee?
Where be the thronging troops that follow’d thee?
Decline all this, and see what now thou art:
For happy wife, a most distressed widow;
For joyful mother, one that wails the name;
For one being su’d to, one that humbly sues;
For queen, a very caitiff crown’d with care;
For one that scorn’d at me, now scorn’d of me;
For one being fear’d of all, now fearing one;
For one commanding all, obey’d of none.
Thus hath the course of justice whirl’d about,
And left thee but a very prey to time;
Having no more but thought of what thou wert,
To torture thee the more, being what thou art.
Thou didst usurp my place, and dost thou not
Usurp the just proportion of my sorrow?
Now thy proud neck bears half my burden’d yoke;
From which even here, I slip my wearied head,
And leave the burden of it all on thee.
Farewell, York’s wife, and queen of sad mischance:
These English woes shall make me smile in France.
O thou, well skill’d in curses, stay awhile,
And teach me how to curse mine enemies.
Forbear to sleep the night, and fast the day;
Compare dead happiness with living woe;
Think that thy babes were fairer than they were,
And he that slew them fouler than he is:
Bettering thy loss makes the bad causer worse:
Revolving this will teach thee how to curse.
My words are dull; O! quicken them with thine!
Thy woes will make them sharp, and pierce like mine.
Why should calamity be full of words?
Windy attorneys to their client woes,
Airy succeeders of intestate joys,
Poor breathing orators of miseries!
Let them have scope: though what they do impart
Help nothing else, yet do they ease the heart.
If so, then be not tongue-tied: go with me,
And in the breath of bitter words let’s smother
My damned son, that thy two sweet sons smother’d.
[A trumpet heard.
The trumpet sounds: be copious in exclaims.
EnterKing Richard,and his Train, marching.
Who intercepts me in my expedition?
O! she that might have intercepted thee,
By strangling thee in her accursed womb,
From all the slaughters, wretch, that thou hast done!
Hid’st thou that forehead with a golden crown,
Where should be branded, if that right were right,
The slaughter of the prince that ow’d that crown,
And the dire death of my poor sons and brothers?
Tell me, thou villain slave, where are my children?
Thou toad, thou toad, where is thy brother Clarence
And little Ned Plantagenet, his son?
Where is the gentle Rivers, Vaughan, Grey?
Where is kind Hastings?
A flourish, trumpets! strike alarum, drums!
Let not the heavens hear these tell-tale women
Rail on the Lord’s anointed. Strike, I say!
Either be patient, and entreat me fair,
Or with the clamorous report of war
Thus will I drown your exclamations.
Art thou my son?
Ay; I thank God, my father, and yourself.
Then patiently hear my impatience.
Madam, I have a touch of your condition,
That cannot brook the accent of reproof.
O, let me speak!
Do, then; but I’ll not hear.
I will be mild and gentle in my words.
And brief, good mother; for I am in haste.
Art thou so hasty? I have stay’d for thee,
God knows, in torment and in agony.
And came I not at last to comfort you?
No, by the holy rood, thou know’st it well,
Thou cam’st on earth to make the earth my hell.
A grievous burden was thy birth to me;
Tetchy and wayward was thy infancy;
Thy school-days frightful, desperate, wild and furious;
Thy prime of manhood daring, bold, and venturous;
Thy age confirm’d, proud, subtle, sly, and bloody,
More mild, but yet more harmful, kind in hatred:
What comfortable hour canst thou name
That ever grac’d me in thy company?
Faith, none, but Humphrey Hour, that call’d your Grace
To breakfast once forth of my company.
If I be so disgracious in your eye,
Let me march on, and not offend you, madam.
Strike up the drum!
I prithee, hear me speak.
You speak too bitterly.
Hear me a word;
For I shall never speak to thee again.
Either thou wilt die by God’s just ordinance,
Ere from this war thou turn a conqueror;
Or I with grief and extreme age shall perish
And never look upon thy face again.
Therefore take with thee my most grievous curse,
Which, in the day of battle, tire thee more
Than all the complete armour that thou wear’st!
My prayers on the adverse party fight;
And there the little souls of Edward’s children
Whisper the spirits of thine enemies
And promise them success and victory.
Bloody thou art, bloody will be thy end;
Shame serves thy life and doth thy death attend.
Though far more cause, yet much less spirit to curse
Abides in me: I say amen to her.
Stay, madam; I must talk a word with you.
I have no moe sons of the royal blood
For thee to slaughter: for my daughters, Richard,
They shall be praying nuns, not weeping queens;
And therefore level not to hit their lives.
You have a daughter call’d Elizabeth,
Virtuous and fair, royal and gracious.
And must she die for this? O! let her live,
And I’ll corrupt her manners, stain her beauty;
Slander myself as false to Edward’s bed;
Throw over her the veil of infamy:
So she may live unscarr’d of bleeding slaughter,
I will confess she was not Edward’s daughter.
Wrong not her birth; she is of royal blood.
To save her life, I’ll say she is not so.
Her life is safest only in her birth.
And only in that safety died her brothers.
Lo! at their births good stars were opposite!
No, to their lives ill friends were contrary.
All unavoided is the doom of destiny.
True, when avoided grace makes destiny.
My babes were destin’d to a fairer death,
If grace had bless’d thee with a fairer life.
You speak as if that I had slain my cousins.
Cousins, indeed; and by their uncle cozen’d
Of comfort, kingdom, kindred, freedom, life.
Whose hands soever lanc’d their tender hearts
Thy head, all indirectly, gave direction:
No doubt the murderous knife was dull and blunt
Till it was whetted on thy stone-hard heart,
To revel in the entrails of my lambs.
But that still use of grief makes wild grief tame,
My tongue should to thy ears not name my boys
Till that my nails were anchor’d in thine eyes;
And I, in such a desperate bay of death,
Like a poor bark, of sails and tackling reft,
Rush all to pieces on thy rocky bosom.
Madam, so thrive I in my enterprise
And dangerous success of bloody wars,
As I intend more good to you and yours
Than ever you or yours by me were harm’d.
What good is cover’d with the face of heaven,
To be discover’d, that can do me good?
The advancement of your children, gentle lady.
Up to some scaffold, there to lose their heads?
No, to the dignity and height of fortune,
The high imperial type of this earth’s glory.
Flatter my sorrow with report of it:
Tell me what state, what dignity, what honour,
Canst thou demise to any child of mine?
Even all I have; ay, and myself and all,
Will I withal endow a child of thine;
So in the Lethe of thy angry soul
Thou drown the sad remembrance of those wrongs
Which thou supposest I have done to thee.
Be brief, lest that the process of thy kindness
Last longer telling than thy kindness’ date.
Then know, that from my soul I love thy daughter.
My daughter’s mother thinks it with her soul.
What do you think?
That thou dost love my daughter from thy soul:
So from thy soul’s love didst thou love her brothers;
And from my heart’s love I do thank thee for it.
Be not too hasty to confound my meaning:
I mean, that with my soul I love thy daughter,
And do intend to make her Queen of England.
Well then, who dost thou mean shall be her king?
Even he that makes her queen: who else should be?
Even so: what think you of it?
How canst thou woo her?
That I would learn of you,
As one being best acquainted with her humour.
And wilt thou learn of me?
Madam, with all my heart.
Send to her, by the man that slew her brothers,
A pair of bleeding hearts; thereon engrave
Edward and York; then haply will she weep:
Therefore present to her, as sometime Margaret
Did to thy father, steep’d in Rutland’s blood,
A handkerchief, which, say to her, did drain
The purple sap from her sweet brother’s body,
And bid her wipe her weeping eyes withal.
If this inducement move her not to love,
Send her a letter of thy noble deeds;
Tell her thou mad’st away her uncle Clarence,
Her uncle Rivers; ay, and for her sake,
Mad’st quick conveyance with her good aunt Anne.
You mock me, madam; this is not the way
To win your daughter.
There is no other way
Unless thou couldst put on some other shape,
And not be Richard that hath done all this.
Say, that I did all this for love of her?
Nay, then indeed, she cannot choose but hate thee,
Having bought love with such a bloody spoil.
Look, what is done cannot be now amended:
Men shall deal unadvisedly sometimes,
Which after-hours give leisure to repent.
If I did take the kingdom from your sons,
To make amends I’ll give it to your daughter.
If I have kill’d the issue of your womb,
To quicken your increase, I will beget
Mine issue of your blood upon your daughter:
A grandam’s name is little less in love
Than is the doting title of a mother;
They are as children but one step below,
Even of your mettle, of your very blood;
Of all one pain, save for a night of groans
Endur’d of her for whom you bid like sorrow.
Your children were vexation to your youth,
But mine shall be a comfort to your age.
The loss you have is but a son being king,
And by that loss your daughter is made queen.
I cannot make you what amends I would,
Therefore accept such kindness as I can.
Dorset your son, that with a fearful soul
Leads discontented steps in foreign soil,
This fair alliance quickly shall call home
To high promotions and great dignity:
The king that calls your beauteous daughter wife,
Familiarly shall call thy Dorset brother;
Again shall you be mother to a king,
And all the ruins of distressful times
Repair’d with double riches of content.
What! we have many goodly days to see:
The liquid drops of tears that you have shed
Shall come again, transform’d to orient pearl,
Advantaging their loan with interest
Of ten times double gain of happiness.
Go then, my mother; to thy daughter go:
Make bold her bashful years with your experience;
Prepare her ears to hear a wooer’s tale;
Put in her tender heart the aspiring flame
Of golden sovereignty; acquaint the princess
With the sweet silent hours of marriage joys:
And when this arm of mine hath chastised
The petty rebel, dull-brain’d Buckingham,
Bound with triumphant garlands will I come,
And lead thy daughter to a conqueror’s bed;
To whom I will retail my conquest won,
And she shall be sole victress, Cæsar’s Cæsar.
What were I best to say? her father’s brother
Would be her lord? Or shall I say, her uncle?
Or, he that slew her brothers and her uncles?
Under what title shall I woo for thee,
That God, the law, my honour, and her love
Can make seem pleasing to her tender years?
Infer fair England’s peace by this alliance.
Which she shall purchase with still lasting war.
Tell her, the king, that may command, entreats.
That at her hands which the king’s King forbids.
Say, she shall be a high and mighty queen.
To wail the title, as her mother doth.
Say, I will love her everlastingly.
But how long shall that title ‘ever’ last?
Sweetly in force unto her fair life’s end.
But how long fairly shall her sweet life last?
As long as heaven and nature lengthens it.
As long as hell and Richard likes of it.
Say, I, her sovereign, am her subject low.
But she, your subject, loathes such sovereignty.
Be eloquent in my behalf to her.
An honest tale speeds best being plainly told.
Then plainly to her tell my loving tale.
Plain and not honest is too harsh a style.
Your reasons are too shallow and too quick.
O, no! my reasons are too deep and dead;
Too deep and dead, poor infants, in their graves.
Harp not on that string, madam; that is past.
Harp on it still shall I till heart-strings break.
Now, by my George, my garter, and my crown,—
Profan’d, dishonour’d, and the third usurp’d.
By nothing; for this is no oath.
Thy George, profan’d, hath lost his holy honour;
Thy garter, blemish’d, pawn’d his knightly virtue;
Thy crown, usurp’d, disgrac’d his kingly glory.
If something thou wouldst swear to be believ’d,
Swear, then, by something that thou hast not wrong’d.
Now, by the world,—
’Tis full of thy foul wrongs.
My father’s death,—
Thy life hath that dishonour’d.
Then, by myself,—
Thyself is self-misus’d.
Why, then, by God,—
God’s wrong is most of all.
If thou hadst fear’d to break an oath by him,
The unity the king my husband made
Had not been broken, nor my brothers died:
If thou hadst fear’d to break an oath by him,
The imperial metal, circling now thy head,
Had grac’d the tender temples of my child,
And both the princes had been breathing here,
Which now, too tender bed-fellows for dust,
Thy broken faith hath made a prey for worms.
What canst thou swear by now?
The time to come.
That thou hast wronged in the time o’erpast;
For I myself have many tears to wash
Hereafter time for time past wrong’d by thee.
The children live, whose parents thou hast slaughter’d,
Ungovern’d youth, to wail it in their age:
The parents live, whose children thou hast butcher’d,
Old barren plants, to wail it with their age.
Swear not by time to come; for that thou hast
Misus’d ere us’d, by times ill-us’d o’erpast.
As I intend to prosper, and repent,
So thrive I in my dangerous affairs
Of hostile arms! myself myself confound!
Heaven and fortune bar me happy hours!
Day, yield me not thy light; nor, night, thy rest!
Be opposite all planets of good luck
To my proceeding, if, with pure heart’s love,
Immaculate devotion, holy thoughts,
I tender not thy beauteous princely daughter!
In her consists my happiness and thine;
Without her, follows to myself, and thee,
Herself, the land, and many a Christian soul,
Death, desolation, ruin, and decay:
It cannot be avoided but by this;
It will not be avoided but by this.
Therefore, dear mother,—I must call you so,—
Be the attorney of my love to her:
Plead what I will be, not what I have been;
Not my deserts, but what I will deserve:
Urge the necessity and state of times,
And be not peevish-fond in great designs.
Shall I be tempted of the devil thus?
Ay, if the devil tempt thee to do good.
Shall I forget myself to be myself?
Ay, if your self’s remembrance wrong yourself.
Yet thou didst kill my children.
But in your daughter’s womb I bury them:
Where, in that nest of spicery, they shall breed
Selves of themselves, to your recomforture.
Shall I go win my daughter to thy will?
And be a happy mother by the deed.
I go. Write to me very shortly,
And you shall understand from me her mind.
Bear her my true love’s kiss; and so farewell.
[Kissing her. ExitQueen Elizabeth.
Relenting fool, and shallow changing woman!
How now! what news?
Most mighty sovereign, on the western coast
Rideth a puissant navy; to the shores
Throng many doubtful hollow-hearted friends,
Unarm’d, and unresolv’d to beat them back.
’Tis thought that Richmond is their admiral;
And there they hull, expecting but the aid
Of Buckingham to welcome them ashore.
Some light-foot friend post to the Duke of Norfolk:
Ratcliff, thyself, or Catesby; where is he?
Here, my good lord.
Catesby, fly to the duke.
I will, my lord, with all convenient haste.
Ratcliff, come hither. Post to Salisbury:
When thou com’st thither,—[ToCatesby.] Dull, unmindful villain,
Why stay’st thou here, and go’st not to the duke?
First, mighty liege, tell me your highness’ pleasure,
What from your Grace I shall deliver to him.
O! true, good Catesby: bid him levy straight
The greatest strength and power he can make,
And meet me suddenly at Salisbury.
What, may it please you, shall I do at Salisbury?
Why, what wouldst thou do there before I go?
Your highness told me I should post before.
My mind is chang’d. Stanley, what news with you?
None good, my liege, to please you with the hearing;
Nor none so bad but well may be reported.
Hoyday, a riddle! neither good nor bad!
What need’st thou run so many miles about,
When thou mayst tell thy tale the nearest way?
Once more, what news?
Richmond is on the seas.
There let him sink, and be the seas on him!
White-liver’d runagate! what doth he there?
I know not, mighty sovereign, but by guess.
Well, as you guess?
Stirr’d up by Dorset, Buckingham, and Morton,
He makes for England, here to claim the crown.
Is the chair empty? is the sword unsway’d?
Is the king dead? the empire unpossess’d?
What heir of York is there alive but we?
And who is England’s king but great York’s heir?
Then, tell me, what makes he upon the seas?
Unless for that, my liege, I cannot guess.
Unless for that he comes to be your liege,
You cannot guess wherefore the Welshman comes.
Thou wilt revolt and fly to him I fear.
No, my good lord; therefore mistrust me not.
Where is thy power then to beat him back?
Where be thy tenants and thy followers?
Are they not now upon the western shore,
Safe-conducting the rebels from their ships?
No, my good lord, my friends are in the north.
Cold friends to me: what do they in the north
When they should serve their sovereign in the west?
They have not been commanded, mighty king:
Pleaseth your majesty to give me leave,
I’ll muster up my friends, and meet your Grace,
Where and what time your majesty shall please.
Ay, ay, thou wouldst be gone to join with Richmond:
But I’ll not trust thee.
Most mighty sovereign,
You have no cause to hold my friendship doubtful.
I never was nor never will be false.
Go then and muster men: but leave behind
Your son, George Stanley: look your heart be firm,
Or else his head’s assurance is but frail.
So deal with him as I prove true to you.
Enter a Messenger.
My gracious sovereign, now in Devonshire,
As I by friends am well advertised,
Sir Edward Courtney, and the haughty prelate,
Bishop of Exeter, his brother there,
With many moe confederates are in arms.
Enter a second Messenger.
In Kent, my liege, the Guildfords are in arms;
And every hour more competitors
Flock to the rebels, and their power grows strong.
Enter a third Messenger.
My lord, the army of great Buckingham—
Out on ye, owls! nothing but songs of death?
[He strikes him.
There, take thou that, till thou bring better news.
The news I have to tell your majesty
Is, that by sudden floods and fall of waters,
Buckingham’s army is dispers’d and scatter’d;
And he himself wander’d away alone,
No man knows whither.
I cry thee mercy:
There is my purse, to cure that blow of thine.
Hath any well-advised friend proclaim’d
Reward to him that brings the traitor in?
Such proclamation hath been made, my liege.
Enter a fourth Messenger.
Sir Thomas Lovel, and Lord Marquess Dorset,
’Tis said, my liege, in Yorkshire are in arms:
But this good comfort bring I to your highness,
The Breton navy is dispers’d by tempest.
Richmond, in Dorsetshire, sent out a boat
Unto the shore to ask those on the banks
If they were his assistants, yea or no;
Who answer’d him, they came from Buckingham
Upon his party: he, mistrusting them,
Hois’d sail, and made away for Brittany.
March on, march on, since we are up in arms;
If not to fight with foreign enemies,
Yet to beat down these rebels here at home.
My liege, the Duke of Buckingham is taken,
That is the best news: that the Earl of Richmond
Is with a mighty power landed at Milford
Is colder news, but yet they must be told.
Away towards Salisbury! while we reason here,
A royal battle might be won and lost.
Some one take order Buckingham be brought
To Salisbury; the rest march on with me.
EnterStanleyandSir Christopher Urswick.
Sir Christopher, tell Richmond this from me:
That in the sty of this most bloody boar
My son George Stanley is frank’d up in hold:
If I revolt, off goes young George’s head;
The fear of that holds off my present aid.
So, get thee gone: commend me to thy lord.
Withal, say that the queen hath heartily consented
He should espouse Elizabeth her daughter.
But, tell me, where is princely Richmond now?
At Pembroke, or at Ha’rford-west, in Wales.
What men of name resort to him?
Sir Walter Herbert, a renowned soldier,
Sir Gilbert Talbot, Sir William Stanley,
Oxford, redoubted Pembroke, Sir James Blunt,
And Rice ap Thomas, with a valiant crew;
And many other of great name and worth:
And towards London do they bend their power,
If by the way they be not fought withal.
Well, hie thee to thy lord; I kiss his hand:
My letter will resolve him of my mind.
Enter the Sheriff and Guard, withBuckingham,led to execution.
Will not King Richard let me speak with him?
No, my good lord; therefore be patient.
Hastings, and Edward’s children, Grey and Rivers,
Holy King Henry, and thy fair son Edward,
Vaughan, and all that have miscarried
By underhand corrupted foul injustice,
If that your moody discontented souls
Do through the clouds behold this present hour,
Even for revenge mock my destruction!
This is All-Souls’ day, fellows, is it not?
It is, my lord.
Why, then All-Souls’ day is my body’s doomsday.
This is the day that, in King Edward’s time,
I wish’d might fall on me, when I was found
False to his children or his wife’s allies;
This is the day wherein I wish’d to fall
By the false faith of him whom most I trusted;
This, this All-Souls’ day to my fearful soul
Is the determin’d respite of my wrongs.
That high All-Seer which I dallied with
Hath turn’d my feigned prayer on my head,
And given in earnest what I begg’d in jest.
Thus doth he force the swords of wicked men
To turn their own points on their masters’ bosoms:
Thus Margaret’s curse falls heavy on my neck:
‘When he,’ quoth she, ‘shall split thy heart with sorrow,
Remember Margaret was a prophetess.’
Come, lead me, officers, to the block of shame:
Wrong hath but wrong, and blame the due of blame.
Enter with drum and colours,Richmond, Oxford, Sir James Blunt, Sir Walter Herbert,and Others, with Forces, marching.
Fellows in arms, and my most loving friends,
Bruis’d underneath the yoke of tyranny,
Thus far into the bowels of the land
Have we march’d on without impediment:
And here receive we from our father Stanley
Lines of fair comfort and encouragement.
The wretched, bloody, and usurping boar,
That spoil’d your summer fields and fruitful vines,
Swills your warm blood like wash, and makes his trough
In your embowell’d bosoms, this foul swine
Is now even in the centre of this isle,
Near to the town of Leicester, as we learn:
From Tamworth thither is but one day’s march.
In God’s name, cheerly on, courageous friends,
To reap the harvest of perpetual peace
By this one bloody trial of sharp war.
Every man’s conscience is a thousand men,
To fight against this guilty homicide.
I doubt not but his friends will turn to us.
He hath no friends but what are friends for fear,
Which in his dearest need will fly from him.
All for our vantage: then, in God’s name, march:
True hope is swift, and flies with swallow’s wings;
Kings it makes gods, and meaner creatures kings.
EnterKing Richardand Forces; theDuke of Norfolk, Earl of Surrey,and Others.
Here pitch our tent, even here in Bosworth field.
My Lord of Surrey, why look you so sad?
My heart is ten times lighter than my looks.
My Lord of Norfolk,—
Here, most gracious liege.
Norfolk, we must have knocks; ha! must we not?
We must both give and take, my loving lord.
Up with my tent! here will I lie to-night;
[Soldiers begin to set up theKing’stent.
But where to-morrow? Well, all’s one for that.
Who hath descried the number of the traitors?
Six or seven thousand is their utmost power.
Why, our battalia trebles that account;
Besides, the king’s name is a tower of strength,
Which they upon the adverse faction want.
Up with the tent! Come, noble gentlemen,
Let us survey the vantage of the ground;
Call for some men of sound direction:
Let’s lack 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 other Officers. Some of the Soldiers pitchRichmond’stent.
The weary sun hath made a golden set,
And, by the bright track of his fiery car,
Gives token 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,
Limit each leader to his several charge,
And part in just proportion our small power.
My Lord of Oxford, you, Sir William Brandon,
And you, Sir Walter Herbert, stay with me.
The Earl of Pembroke keeps his regiment:
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 captain, do for me;
Where is Lord Stanley quarter’d, do you know?
Unless I have mista’en his colours much,—
Which, well I am assur’d, I have not done,—
His regiment lies half a mile at least
South from the mighty power of the king.
If without peril it be possible,
Good Captain Blunt, bear my good-night to him,
And give him from me this most needful note.
Upon my life, my lord, I’ll undertake it;
And so, God give you quiet rest to-night!
Good-night, good Captain Blunt. Come, gentlemen,
Let us consult upon to-morrow’s business;
In to my tent, the air is raw and cold.
[They withdraw into the tent.
Enter, to his tent,King Richard, Norfolk, Ratcliff,andCatesby.
What is ’t o’clock?
It’s supper-time, my lord;
It’s nine o’clock.
I 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?
It is, my liege; and all things are in readiness.
Good Norfolk, hie thee to thy charge;
Use careful watch; choose trusty sentinels.
I go, my lord.
Stir with the lark to-morrow, gentle Norfolk.
I warrant you, my lord.
Send out a pursuivant at arms
To Stanley’s regiment; bid him bring his power
Before sun-rising, lest his son George fall
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.
Saw’st thou the melancholy Lord Northumberland?
Thomas the Earl of Surrey, and himself,
Much about cock-shut time, from troop to troop
Went through the army, cheering up the soldiers.
So, 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?
It is, my lord.
Bid my guard watch; leave me.
Ratcliff, about the mid of night come to my tent
And help to arm me. Leave me, I say.
[King Richardretires into his tent. ExeuntRatcliffandCatesby.
Richmond’stent opens, and discovers him and his Officers, &c.
Fortune and victory sit on thy helm!
All comfort that the dark night can afford
Be to thy person, noble father-in-law!
Tell me, how fares our loving mother?
I, by attorney, bless thee from thy mother,
Who prays continually for Richmond’s good:
So much for that. The silent hours steal on,
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.
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,
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:
God give us leisure for these rites of love!
Once more, adieu: be valiant, and speed well!
Good lords, conduct him to his regiment.
I’ll strive, with troubled thoughts, to take a nap,
Lest leaden slumber peise me down to-morrow,
When I should mount with wings of victory.
Once more, good-night, kind lords and gentlemen.
[Exeunt all butRichmond.
O! thou, whose captain I account myself,
Look on my forces with a gracious eye;
Put in their hands thy bruising irons of wrath,
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 thy victory!
To thee I do commend my watchful soul,
Ere I let fall the windows of mine eyes:
Sleeping and waking, O! defend me still!
The Ghost ofPrince Edward,Son to Henry the Sixth, rises between the two tents.
[ToKing Richard.] Let me sit heavy on thy soul to-morrow!
Think how thou stab’dst me in my prime of youth
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.
The Ghost ofKing Henry the Sixthrises.
[ToKing Richard.] When I was mortal, my anointed body
By thee was punched full of deadly holes:
Think on the Tower and me; despair and die!
Henry the Sixth bids thee despair and die.
[ToRichmond.] Virtuous and holy, be thou conqueror!
Harry, that prophesied thou shouldst be the king,
Doth comfort thee in thy sleep: live thou and flourish!
The Ghost ofClarencerises.
[ToKing Richard.] Let me sit heavy on thy soul to-morrow!
I, that was wash’d to death with fulsome wine,
Poor Clarence, by thy guile betray’d to death!
To-morrow in the battle think on me,
And fall thy edgeless sword: despair, and die!
[ToRichmond.] Thou offspring of the house of Lancaster,
The wronged heirs of York do pray for thee:
Good angels guard thy battle! live, and flourish!
The Ghosts ofRivers, Grey,andVaughanrise.
[ToKing Richard.] Let me sit heavy on thy soul to-morrow!
Rivers, that died at Pomfret! despair, and die!
[ToKing Richard.] Think upon Grey, and let thy soul despair.
[ToKing Richard.] Think upon Vaughan, and with guilty fear
Let fall thy pointless lance: despair, and die!—
[ToRichmond.] Awake! and think our wrongs in Richard’s bosom
Will conquer him: awake, and win the day!
The Ghost ofHastingsrises.
[ToKing Richard.] Bloody and guilty, guiltily awake;
And in a bloody battle end thy days!
Think on Lord Hastings, so despair, and die!—
[ToRichmond.] Quiet, untroubled soul, awake, awake!
Arm, fight, and conquer, for fair England’s sake!
The Ghosts of the two youngPrincesrise.
[ToKing Richard.] Dream on thy cousins smother’d in the Tower:
Let us be lead within thy bosom, Richard,
And weigh thee down to ruin, shame, and death!
Thy nephews’ souls bid thee despair, and die!
[ToRichmond.] Sleep, Richmond, sleep in peace, and wake in joy;
Good angels guard thee from the boar’s annoy!
Live, and beget a happy race of kings!
Edward’s unhappy sons do bid thee flourish.
The Ghost ofLady Annerises.
[ToKing Richard.] Richard, thy wife, that wretched Anne thy wife,
That never slept a quiet hour with thee,
Now fills thy sleep with perturbations:
To-morrow in the battle think on me,
And fall thy edgeless sword: despair, and die!
[ToRichmond.] Thou quiet soul, sleep thou a quiet sleep;
Dream of success and happy victory!
Thy adversary’s wife doth pray for thee.
The Ghost ofBuckinghamrises.
[ToKing Richard.] The first was I that help’d thee to the crown;
The last was I that felt thy tyranny.
O! in the battle think on Buckingham,
And die in terror of thy guiltiness!
Dream on, dream on, of bloody deeds and death:
Fainting, despair; despairing, yield thy breath!
[ToRichmond.] I died for hope ere I could lend thee aid:
But cheer thy heart, and be thou not dismay’d:
God and good angels fight on Richmond’s side;
And Richard falls in height of all his pride.
[The Ghosts vanish.King Richardstarts out of his dream.
Give me another horse! bind up my wounds!
Have mercy, Jesu! Soft! I did but dream.
O coward conscience, how dost thou afflict me!
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:
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 myself
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,
And every tale condemns me for a villain.
Perjury, perjury, in the high’st degree:
Murder, stern murder, in the dir’st degree;
All several sins, all us’d in each degree,
Throng to the bar, crying all, ‘Guilty! guilty!’
I shall despair. There is no creature loves me;
And if I die, no soul will 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’d
Came to my tent; and every one did threat
To-morrow’s vengeance on the head of Richard.
’Zounds! who’s there?
Ratcliff, my lord; ’tis I. The early village cock
Hath twice done salutation to the morn;
Your friends are up, and buckle on their armour.
O Ratcliff! I have dream’d a fearful dream.
What thinkest thou, will our friends prove all true?
No doubt, my lord.
O Ratcliff! I fear, I fear,—
Nay, good my lord, be not afraid of shadows.
By the apostle Paul, shadows to-night
Have struck more terror to the soul of Richard
Than can the substance of ten thousand soldiers
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 hear if any mean to shrink from me.
Richmondwakes. EnterOxfordand Others.
Good morrow, Richmond!
Cry mercy, lords, and watchful gentlemen,
That you have ta’en a tardy sluggard here.
How have you slept, my lord?
The sweetest sleep, the fairest-boding dreams
That ever enter’d in a drowsy head,
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 heart is very jocund
In the remembrance of so fair a dream.
How far into the morning is it, lords?
Upon the stroke of four.
Why, 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 time
Forbids to dwell on: 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 against
Had rather have us win than him they follow.
For what is he they follow? truly, gentlemen,
A bloody tyrant and a homicide;
One rais’d in blood, and one in blood establish’d;
One that made means to come by what he hath,
And slaughter’d those that were the means to help him;
A base 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,
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;
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,
Advance your standards, draw your willing swords.
For me, the ransom of my bold attempt
Shall be this cold corse on the earth’s cold face;
But if I thrive, the gain of my attempt
The least of your shall share his part thereof.
Sound drums and trumpets, boldly and cheerfully;
God and Saint George! Richmond and victory!
Re-enterKing Richard, Ratcliff, Attendants, and Forces.
What said Northumberland as touching Richmond?
That he was never trained up in arms.
He said the truth: and what said Surrey then?
He smil’d, and said, ‘The better for our purpose.’
He was i’ the right; and so, indeed, it is.
Tell the clock there. Give me a calendar.
Who saw the sun to-day?
Not I, my lord.
Then he disdains to shine; for by the book
He should have brav’d the east an hour ago:
A black day will it be to somebody.
The sun will not be seen to-day;
The sky doth frown and lower 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 self-same heaven
That frowns on me looks sadly upon him.
Arm, arm, my lord! the foe vaunts in the field.
Come, 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:
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.
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?
A good direction, war-like sovereign.
This found I on my tent this morning.
[Giving a scroll.
Jockey of Norfolk, be not too bold,
For Dickon thy master is bought and sold.
A thing devised by the enemy.
Go, gentlemen; every man to his charge:
Let not our babbling dreams affright our souls;
Conscience is but a word that cowards use,
Devis’d at first to keep the strong in awe:
Our strong arms be our conscience, swords our law.
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 run-aways,
A scum of Bretons and base lackey peasants,
Whom their o’er-cloyed country vomits forth
To desperate adventures and assur’d destruction.
You sleeping safe, they bring you to unrest;
You having lands, and bless’d with beauteous wives,
They would restrain the one, distain the other.
And who doth lead them but a paltry fellow,
Long kept in Britaine at our mother’s cost?
A milksop, one that never in his life
Felt so much cold as over shoes in snow?
Let’s whip these stragglers o’er the sea 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:
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, on record, left them the heirs of shame.
Shall these enjoy our lands? lie with our wives?
Ravish our daughters?
[Drum afar off.
Hark! I hear their drum.
Fight, gentlemen of England! fight, bold yeomen!
Draw, archers, draw your arrows to the head!
Spur your proud horses hard, and ride in blood;
Amaze the welkin with your broken staves!
Enter a Messenger.
What says Lord Stanley? will he bring his power?
My lord, he doth deny to come.
Off with his son George’s head!
My lord, the enemy is pass’d the marsh:
After the battle let George Stanley die.
A 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!
Upon them! Victory sits upon our helms.
Alarum: Excursions. EnterNorfolkand Forces; to himCatesby.
Rescue, my Lord of Norfolk! rescue, rescue!
The king enacts more wonders than a man,
Daring an opposite to every danger:
His horse is slain, and all on foot he fights,
Seeking for Richmond in the throat of death.
Rescue, fair lord, or else the day is lost!
Alarum. EnterKing Richard.
A horse! a horse! my kingdom for a horse!
Withdraw, my lord; I’ll help you to a horse.
Slave! I have set my life upon a cast,
And I will stand the hazard of the die.
I think there be six Richmonds in the field;
Five have I slain to-day, instead of him.—
A horse! a horse! my kingdom for a horse!
Alarums. Enter from opposite sidesKing RichardandRichmond,and exeunt fighting. Retreat and flourish. Then re-enterRichmond, Stanley,bearing the crown, with divers other Lords, and Forces.
God and your arms be prais’d, victorious friends;
The day is ours, the bloody dog is dead.
Courageous Richmond, well hast thou acquit thee!
Lo! here, this long-usurped royalty
From the dead temples of this bloody wretch
Have I pluck’d off, to grace thy brows withal:
Wear it, enjoy it, and make much of it.
Great God of heaven, say amen to all!
But, tell me, is young George Stanley living?
He is, my lord, and safe in Leicester town;
Whither, if you please, we may withdraw us.
What men of name are slain on either side?
John Duke of Norfolk, Walter Lord Ferrers,
Sir Robert Brakenbury, and Sir William Brandon.
Inter their bodies as becomes their births:
Proclaim a pardon to the soldiers fied
That in submission will return to us;
And then, as we have ta’en the sacrament,
We will unite the white rose and the red:
Smile, heaven, upon this fair conjunction,
That long hath frown’d upon their enmity!
What traitor hears me, and says not amen?
England hath long been mad, and scarr’d herself;
The brother blindly shed the brother’s blood,
The father rashly slaughter’d his own son,
The son, compell’d, been butcher to the sire:
All this divided York and Lancaster,
Divided in their dire division,
O! now, let Richmond and Elizabeth,
The true succeeders of each royal house,
By God’s fair ordinance conjoin together;
And let their heirs—God, if thy will be so,—
Enrich the time to come with smooth-fac’d peace,
With smiling plenty, and fair prosperous days!
Abate the edge of traitors, gracious Lord,
That would reduce these bloody days again,
And make poor England weep in streams of blood!
Let them not live to taste this land’s increase,
That would with treason wound this fair land’s peace!
Now civil wounds are stopp’d, peace lives again:
That she may long live here, God say amen!
In Session Three we will discuss “Liberty, Sovereignty, and the Tragic Form” in connection with Richard III and Titus Andronicus.
William Shakespeare, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (The Oxford Shakespeare), ed. with a glossary by W.J. Craig M.A. (Oxford University Press, 1916).
Accessed from oll.libertyfund.org/title/1646 on 2008-01-30
The text is in the public domain.
|SATURNINUS,||Son to the late Emperor of Rome, and afterwards declared Emperor.|
|BASSIANUS,||Brother to Saturninus, in love with Lavinia.|
|TITUS ANDRONICUS,||a Roman, General against the Goths.|
|MARCUS ANDRONICUS,||Tribune of the People, and brother to Titus.|
|LUCIUS,}||Sons to Titus Andronicus.|
|YOUNG LUCIUS,||a Boy, Son to Lucius.|
|PUBLIUS,||Son to Marcus Andronicus.|
|SEMPRONIUS,}||Kinsmen to Titus.|
|ÆMILIUS,||a noble Roman.|
|ALARBUS,}||Sons to Tamora.|
|AARON,||a Moor, beloved by Tamora.|
|A Captain, Tribune, Messenger, and Clown; Romans.|
|Goths and Romans.|
|TAMORA,||Queen of the Goths.|
|LAVINIA,||Daughter to Titus Andronicus.|
|A Nurse, and a black Child.|
|Senators, Tribunes, Officers, Soldiers, and Attendants.|
Scene.—Rome, and the Country near it.
The Tomb of the Andronici appearing. The Tribunes and Senators aloft; and then enter Saturninus and his Followers at one door, and Bassianus and his Followers at the other, with drum and colours.
Noble patricians, patrons of my right,
Defend the justice of my cause with arms;
And, countrymen, my loving followers,
Plead my successive title with your swords:
I am his first-born son that was the last
That wore the imperial diadem of Rome;
Then let my father’s honours live in me,
Nor wrong mine age with this indignity.
Romans, friends, followers, favourers of my right,
If ever Bassianus, Cæsar’s son,
Were gracious in the eyes of royal Rome,
Keep then this passage to the Capitol,
And suffer not dishonour to approach
The imperial seat, to virtue consecrate,
To justice, continence, and nobility;
But let desert in pure election shine,
And, Romans, fight for freedom in your choice.
EnterMarcus Andronicus,aloft, with the crown.
Princes, that strive by factions and by friends
Ambitiously for rule and empery,
Know that the people of Rome, for whom we stand
A special party, have, by common voice,
In election for the Roman empery,
Chosen Andronicus, surnamed Pius,
For many good and great deserts to Rome:
A nobler man, a braver warrior,
Lives not this day within the city walls:
He by the senate is accited home
From weary wars against the barbarous Goths;
That, with his sons, a terror to our foes,
Hath yok’d a nation, strong, train’d up in arms.
Ten years are spent since first he undertook
This cause of Rome, and chastised with arms
Our enemies’ pride: five times he hath return’d
Bleeding to Rome, bearing his valiant sons
In coffins from the field;
And now at last, laden with honour’s spoils,
Returns the good Andronicus to Rome,
Renowned Titus, flourishing in arms.
Let us entreat, by honour of his name,
Whom worthily you would have now succeed,
And in the Capitol and senate’s right,
Whom you pretend to honour and adore,
That you withdraw you and abate your strength;
Dismiss your followers, and, as suitors should,
Plead your deserts in peace and humbleness.
How fair the tribune speaks to calm my thoughts!
Marcus Andronicus, so I do affy
In thy uprightness and integrity,
And so I love and honour thee and thine,
Thy noble brother Titus and his sons,
And her to whom my thoughts are humbled all,
Gracious Lavinia, Rome’s rich ornament,
That I will here dismiss my loving friends,
And to my fortunes and the people’s favour
Commit my cause in balance to be weigh’d.
[Exeunt the Followers ofBassianus.
Friends, that have been thus forward in my right,
I thank you all and here dismiss you all;
And to the love and favour of my country
Commit myself, my person, and the cause.
[Exeunt the Followers ofSaturninus.
Rome, be as just and gracious unto me
As I am confident and kind to thee.
Open the gates, and let me in.
Tribunes, and me, a poor competitor.
[Flourish. They go up into the Senate-house.
Enter a Captain.
Romans, make way! the good Andronicus,
Patron of virtue, Rome’s best champion,
Successful in the battles that he fights,
With honour and with fortune is return’d
From where he circumscribed with his sword,
And brought to yoke, the enemies of Rome.
Drums and trumpets sounded, and then enterMartiusandMutius;after them two Men bearing a coffin covered with black; thenLuciusandQuintus.After themTitus Andronicus;and thenTamora,withAlarbus, Chiron, Demetrius, Aaron,and other Goths, prisoners; Soldiers and people following. The bearers set down the coffin, andTitusspeaks.
Hail, Rome, victorious in thy mourning weeds!
Lo! as the bark, that hath discharg’d her fraught,
Returns with precious lading to the bay
From whence at first she weigh’d her anchorage,
Cometh Andronicus, bound with laurel boughs,
To re-salute his country with his tears,
Tears of true joy for his return to Rome.
Thou great defender of this Capitol,
Stand gracious to the rites that we intend!
Romans, of five-and-twenty valiant sons,
Half of the number that King Priam had,
Behold the poor remains, alive, and dead!
These that survive let Rome reward with love;
These that I bring unto their latest home.
With burial among their ancestors:
Here Goths have given me leave to sheathe my sword.
Titus, unkind and careless of thine own,
Why suffer’st thou thy sons, unburied yet
To hover on the dreadful shore of Styx?
Make way to lay them by their brethren.
[The tomb is opened.
There greet in silence, as the dead are wont,
And sleep in peace, slain in your country’s wars!
O sacred receptacle of my joys,
Sweet cell of virtue and nobility,
How many sons of mine hast thou in store,
That thou wilt never render to me more!
Give us the proudest prisoner of the Goths,
That we may hew his limbs, and on a pile
Ad manes fratrum sacrifice his flesh,
Before this earthy prison of their bones;
That so the shadows be not unappeas’d,
Nor we disturb’d with prodigies on earth.
I give him you, the noblest that survives
The eldest son of this distressed queen.
Stay, Roman brethren! Gracious conqueror,
Victorious Titus, rue the tears I shed,
A mother’s tears in passion for her son:
And if thy sons were ever dear to thee,
O! think my son to be as dear to me.
Sufficeth not that we are brought to Rome,
To beautify thy triumphs and return,
Captive to thee and to thy Roman yoke;
But must my sons be slaughter’d in the streets
For valiant doings in their country’s cause?
O! if to fight for king and commonweal
Were piety in thine, it is in these.
Andronicus, stain not thy tomb with blood:
Wilt thou draw near the nature of the gods?
Draw near them then in being merciful;
Sweet mercy is nobility’s true badge:
Thrice-noble Titus, spare my first-born son.
Patient yourself, madam, and pardon me.
These are their brethren, whom your Goths beheld
Alive and dead, and for their brethren slain
Religiously they ask a sacrifice:
To this your son is mark’d, and die he must,
To appease their groaning shadows that are gone.
Away with him! and make a fire straight;
And with our swords, upon a pile of wood,
Let’s hew his limbs till they be clean consum’d.
[ExeuntLucius, Quintus, Martius,andMutius,withAlarbus.
O cruel, irreligious piety!
Was ever Scythia half so barbarous?
Oppose not Scythia to ambitious Rome.
Alarbus goes to rest, and we survive
To tremble under Titus’ threatening look.
Then, madam, stand resolv’d; but hope withal
The self-same gods, that arm’d the Queen of Troy
With opportunity of sharp revenge
Upon the Thracian tyrant in his tent,
May favour Tamora, the Queen of Goths—
When Goths were Goths, and Tamora was queen—
To quit the bloody wrongs upon her foes.
Re-enterLucius, Quintus, Martius,andMutius,with their swords bloody.
See, lord and father, how we have perform’d
Our Roman rites. Alarbus’ limbs are lopp’d,
And entrails feed the sacrificing fire,
Whose smoke, like incense, doth perfume the sky.
Remaineth nought but to inter our brethren,
And with loud ’larums welcome them to Rome.
Let it be so; and let Andronicus
Make this his latest farewell to their souls.
[Trumpets sounded, and the coffin laid in the tomb.
In peace and honour rest you here, my sons;
Rome’s readiest champions, repose you here in rest,
Secure from worldly chances and mishaps!
Here lurks no treason, here no envy swells,
Here grow no damned drugs, here are no storms,
No noise, but silence and eternal sleep:
In peace and honour rest you here, my sons!
In peace and honour live Lord Titus long;
My noble lord and father, live in fame!
Lo! at this tomb my tributary tears
I render for my brethren’s obsequies;
And at thy feet I kneel, with tears of joy
Shed on the earth for thy return to Rome.
O! bless me here with thy victorious hand,
Whose fortunes Rome’s best citizens applaud.
Kind Rome, that hast thus lovingly reserv’d
The cordial of mine age to glad my heart!
Lavinia, live; outlive thy father’s days,
And fame’s eternal date, for virtue’s praise!
EnterMarcus Andronicusand Tribunes; re-enterSaturninus, Bassianus,and Others.
Long live Lord Titus, my beloved brother,
Gracious triumpher in the eyes of Rome!
Thanks, gentle Tribune, noble brother Marcus.
And welcome, nephews, from successful wars,
You that survive, and you that sleep in fame!
Fair lords, your fortunes are alike in all,
That in your country’s service drew your swords;
But safer triumph is this funeral pomp,
That hath aspir’d to Solon’s happiness,
And triumphs over chance in honour’s bed.
Titus Andronicus, the people of Rome,
Whose friend in justice thou hast ever been,
Send thee by me, their tribune and their trust,
This palliament of white and spotless hue;
And name thee in election for the empire,
With these our late-deceased emperor’s sons:
Be candidatus then, and put it on,
And help to set a head on headless Rome.
A better head her glorious body fits
Than his that shakes for age and feebleness.
What should I don this robe, and trouble you?
Be chosen with proclamations to-day,
To-morrow yield up rule, resign my life,
And set abroad new business for you all?
Rome, I have been thy soldier forty years,
And led my country’s strength successfully,
And buried one-and-twenty valiant sons,
Knighted in field, slain manfully in arms,
In right and service of their noble country.
Give me a staff of honour for mine age,
But not a sceptre to control the world:
Upright he held it, lords, that held it last.
Titus, thou shalt obtain and ask the empery.
Proud and ambitious tribune, canst thou tell?
Patience, Prince Saturninus.
Romans, do me right:
Patricians, draw your swords, and sheathe them not
Till Saturninus be Rome’s emperor.
Andronicus, would thou wert shipp’d to hell,
Rather than rob me of the people’s hearts!
Proud Saturnine, interrupter of the good
That noble-minded Titus means to thee!
Content thee, prince; I will restore to thee
The people’s hearts, and wean them from themselves.
Andronicus, I do not flatter thee,
But honour thee, and will do till I die:
My faction if thou strengthen with thy friends,
I will most thankful be; and thanks to men
Of noble minds is honourable meed.
People of Rome, and people’s tribunes here,
I ask your voices and your suffrages:
Will you bestow them friendly on Andronicus?
To gratify the good Andronicus,
And gratulate his safe return to Rome,
The people will accept whom he admits.
Tribunes, I thank you; and this suit I make,
That you create your emperor’s eldest son,
Lord Saturnine; whose virtues will, I hope,
Reflect on Rome as Titan’s rays on earth,
And ripen justice in this commonweal:
Then, if you will elect by my advice,
Crown him, and say, ‘Long live our emperor!’
With voices and applause of every sort,
Patricians and plebeians, we create
Lord Saturninus Rome’s great emperor,
And say, ‘Long live our Emperor Saturnine!’
[A long flourish.
Titus Andronicus, for thy favours done
To us in our election this day,
I give thee thanks in part of thy deserts,
And will with deeds requite thy gentleness:
And, for an onset, Titus, to advance
Thy name and honourable family,
Lavinia will I make my empress,
Rome’s royal mistress, mistress of my heart,
And in the sacred Pantheon her espouse.
Tell me, Andronicus, doth this motion please thee?
It doth, my worthy lord; and in this match
I hold me highly honour’d of your Grace:
And here in sight of Rome to Saturnine,
King and commander of our commonweal,
The wide world’s emperor, do I consecrate
My sword, my chariot, and my prisoners;
Presents well worthy Rome’s imperious lord:
Receive them then, the tribute that I owe,
Mine honour’s ensigns humbled at thy feet.
Thanks, noble Titus, father of my life!
How proud I am of thee and of thy gifts
Rome shall record, and, when I do forget
The least of these unspeakable deserts,
Romans, forget your fealty to me.
[ToTamora.] Now, madam, are you prisoner to an emperor;
To him that, for your honour and your state,
Will use you nobly and your followers.
A goodly lady, trust me; of the hue
That I would choose, were I to choose anew.
Clear up, fair queen, that cloudy countenance:
Though chance of war hath wrought this change of cheer,
Thou com’st not to be made a scorn in Rome:
Princely shall be thy usage every way.
Rest on my word, and let not discontent
Daunt all your hopes: madam, he comforts you
Can make you greater than the Queen of Goths.
Lavinia, you are not displeas’d with this?
Not I, my lord; sith true nobility
Warrants these words in princely courtesy.
Thanks, sweet Lavinia. Romans, let us go;
Ransomless here we set our prisoners free:
Proclaim our honours, lords, with trump and drum.
[Flourish.SaturninuscourtsTamorain dumb show.
Lord Titus, by your leave, this maid is mine.
How, sir! Are you in earnest then, my lord?
Ay, noble Titus; and resolv’d withal
To do myself this reason and this right.
Suum cuique is our Roman justice:
This prince in justice seizeth but his own.
And that he will, and shall, if Lucius live.
Traitors, avaunt! Where is the emperor’s guard?
Treason, my lord! Lavinia is surpris’d.
Surpris’d! By whom?
By him that justly may
Bear his betroth’d from all the world away.
Brothers, help to convey her hence away,
And with my sword I’ll keep this door safe.
Follow, my lord, and I’ll soon bring her back.
My lord, you pass not here.
What! villain boy;
Barr’st me my way in Rome?
Help, Lucius, help!
My lord, you are unjust; and, more than so,
In wrongful quarrel you have slain your son.
Nor thou, nor he, are any sons of mine;
My sons would never so dishonour me.
Traitor, restore Lavinia to the emperor.
Dead, if you will; but not to be his wife
That is another’s lawful promis’d love.
No, Titus, no; the emperor needs her not,
Nor her, nor thee, nor any of thy stock:
I’ll trust, by leisure, him that mocks me once;
Thee never, nor thy traitorous haughty sons,
Confederates all thus to dishonour me.
Was none in Rome to make a stale
But Saturnine? Full well, Andronicus,
Agreed these deeds with that proud brag of thine,
That saidst I begg’d the empire at thy hands.
O monstrous! what reproachful words are these!
But go thy ways; go, give that changing piece
To him that flourish’d for her with his sword.
A valiant son-in-law thou shalt enjoy;
One fit to bandy with thy lawless sons,
To ruffle in the commonwealth of Rome.
These words are razors to my wounded heart.
And therefore, lovely Tamora, Queen of Goths,
That like the stately Phœbe ’mongst her nymphs,
Dost overshine the gallant’st dames of Rome,
If thou be pleas’d with this my sudden choice,
Behold, I choose thee, Tamora, for my bride,
And will create thee Empress of Rome.
Speak, Queen of Goths, dost thou applaud my choice?
And here I swear by all the Roman gods,
Sith priest and holy water are so near,
And tapers burn so bright, and every thing
In readiness for Hymenæus stand,
I will not re-salute the streets of Rome,
Or climb my palace, till from forth this place
I lead espous’d my bride along with me.
And here, in sight of heaven, to Rome I swear,
If Saturnine advance the Queen of Goths,
She will a handmaid be to his desires,
A loving nurse, a mother to his youth.
Ascend, fair queen, Pantheon. Lords, accompany
Your noble emperor, and his lovely bride,
Sent by the heavens for Prince Saturnine,
Whose wisdom hath her fortune conquered:
There shall we consummate our spousal rights.
[Exeunt all butTitus.
I am not bid to wait upon this bride.
Titus, when wert thou wont to walk alone,
Dishonour’d thus, and challenged of wrongs?
Re-enterMarcus, Lucius, Quintus,andMartius.
O! Titus, see, O! see what thou hast done;
In a bad quarrel slain a virtuous son.
No, foolish tribune, no; no son of mine,
Nor thou, nor these, confederates in the deed
That hath dishonour’d all our family:
Unworthy brother, and unworthy sons!
But let us give him burial, as becomes;
Give Mutius burial with our brethren.
Traitors, away! he rests not in this tomb.
This monument five hundred years hath stood,
Which I have sumptuously re-edified:
Here none but soldiers and Rome’s servitors
Repose in fame; none basely slain in brawls.
Bury him where you can; he comes not here.
My lord, this is impiety in you.
My nephew Mutius’ deeds do plead for him;
He must be buried with his brethren.
And shall, or him we will accompany.
And shall, or him we will accompany.
And shall! What villain was it spake that word?
He that would vouch it in any place but here.
What! would you bury him in my despite?
No, noble Titus; but entreat of thee
To pardon Mutius, and to bury him.
Marcus, even thou hast struck upon my crest,
And, with these boys, mine honour thou hast wounded:
My foes I do repute you every one;
So, trouble me no more, but get you gone.
He is not with himself; let us withdraw.
Not I, till Mutius’ bones be buried.
[Marcusand the sons ofTituskneel.
Brother, for in that name doth nature plead,—
Father, and in that name doth nature speak,—
Speak thou no more, if all the rest will speed.
Renowned Titus, more than half my soul,—
Dear father, soul and substance of us all,—
Suffer thy brother Marcus to inter
His noble nephew here in virtue’s nest,
That died in honour and Lavinia’s cause.
Thou art a Roman; be not barbarous:
The Greeks upon advice did bury Ajax
That slew himself; and wise Laertes’ son
Did graciously plead for his funerals.
Let not young Mutius then, that was thy joy,
Be barr’d his entrance here.
Rise, Marcus, rise.
The dismall’st day is this that e’er I saw,
To be dishonour’d by my sons in Rome!
Well, bury him, and bury me the next.
[Mutiusis put into the tomb.
There lie thy bones, sweet Mutius, with thy friends,
Till we with trophies do adorn thy tomb.
[Kneeling.] No man shed tears for noble Mutius;
He lives in fame that died in virtue’s cause.
My lord,—to step out of these dreary dumps,—
How comes it that the subtle Queen of Goths
Is of a sudden thus advanc’d in Rome?
I know not, Marcus; but I know it is,
Whether by device or no, the heavens can tell.
Is she not, then, beholding to the man
That brought her for this high good turn so far?
Yes, and will nobly him remunerate.
Flourish. Re-enter, on one side,Saturninus,attended;Tamora, Demetrius, Chiron,andAaron:on the other side,Bassianus, Laviniaand Others.
So, Bassianus, you have play’d your prize:
God give you joy, sir, of your gallant bride.
And you of yours, my lord! I say no more,
Nor wish no less; and so I take my leave.
Traitor, if Rome have law or we have power,
Thou and thy faction shall repent this rape.
Rape call you it, my lord, to seize my own,
My true-betrothed love and now my wife?
But let the laws of Rome determine all;
Meanwhile, I am possess’d of that is mine.
’Tis good, sir: you are very short with us;
But, if we live, we’ll be as sharp with you.
My lord, what I have done, as best I may,
Answer I must and shall do with my life.
Only thus much I give your Grace to know:
By all the duties that I owe to Rome,
This noble gentleman, Lord Titus here,
Is in opinion and in honour wrong’d;
That, in the rescue of Lavinia,
With his own hand did slay his youngest son,
In zeal to you and highly mov’d to wrath
To be controll’d in that he frankly gave:
Receive him then to favour, Saturnine,
That hath express’d himself in all his deeds
A father and a friend to thee and Rome.
Prince Bassianus, leave to plead my deeds:
’Tis thou and those that have dishonour’d me.
Rome and the righteous heavens be my judge,
How I have lov’d and honour’d Saturnine!
My worthy lord, if ever Tamora
Were gracious in those princely eyes of thine,
Then hear me speak indifferently for all;
And at my suit, sweet, pardon what is past.
What, madam! be dishonour’d openly,
And basely put it up without revenge?
Not so, my lord; the gods of Rome forfend
I should be author to dishonour you!
But on mine honour dare I undertake
For good Lord Titus’ innocence in all,
Whose fury not dissembled speaks his griefs.
Then, at my suit, look graciously on him;
Lose not so noble a friend on vain suppose,
Nor with sour looks afflict his gentle heart.
[Aside toSaturninus.] My lord, be rul’d by me, be won at last;
Dissemble all your griefs and discontents:
You are but newly planted in your throne;
Lest then, the people, and patricians too,
Upon a just survey, take Titus’ part,
And so supplant you for ingratitude,
Which Rome reputes to be a heinous sin,
Yield at entreats, and then let me alone.
I’ll find a day to massacre them all,
And raze their faction and their family,
The cruel father, and his traitorous sons,
To whom I sued for my dear son’s life;
And make them know what ’tis to let a queen
Kneel in the streets and beg for grace in vain.
[Aloud.] Come, come, sweet emperor; come, Andronicus;
Take up this good old man, and cheer the heart
That dies in tempest of thy angry frown:
Rise, Titus, rise; my empress hath prevail’d.
I thank your majesty, and her, my lord.
These words, these looks, infuse new life in me.
Titus, I am incorporate in Rome,
A Roman now adopted happily,
And must advise the emperor for his good.
This day all quarrels die, Andronicus;
And let it be mine honour, good my lord,
That I have reconcil’d your friends and you.
For you, Prince Bassianus, I have pass’d
My word and promise to the emperor,
That you will be more mild and tractable.
And fear not, lords, and you, Lavinia,
By my advice, all humbled on your knees,
You shall ask pardon of his majesty.
We do; and vow to heaven and to his highness,
That what we did was mildly, as we might,
Tendering our sister’s honour and our own.
That on mine honour here I do protest.
Away, and talk not; trouble us no more.
Nay, nay, sweet emperor, we must all be friends:
The tribune and his nephews kneel for grace;
I will not be denied: sweet heart, look back.
Marcus, for thy sake, and thy brother’s here,
And at my lovely Tamora’s entreats,
I do remit these young men’s heinous faults:
Lavinia, though you left me like a churl,
I found a friend, and sure as death I swore
I would not part a bachelor from the priest.
Come; if the emperor’s court can feast two brides,
You are my guest, Lavinia, and your friends.
This day shall be a love-day, Tamora.
To-morrow, an it please your majesty
To hunt the panther and the hart with me,
With horn and hound we’ll give your Grace bon jour.
Be it so, Titus, and gramercy too.
Now climbeth Tamora Olympus’ top,
Safe out of Fortune’s shot; and sits aloft,
Secure of thunder’s crack or lightning flash,
Advanc’d above pale envy’s threat’ning reach.
As when the golden sun salutes the morn,
And, having gilt the ocean with his beams,
Gallops the zodiac in his glistering coach,
And overlooks the highest-peering hills;
Upon her wit doth earthly honour wait
And virtue stoops and trembles at her frown.
Then, Aaron, arm thy heart, and fit thy thoughts
To mount aloft with thy imperial mistress,
And mount her pitch, whom thou in triumph long
Hast prisoner held, fetter’d in amorous chains,
And faster bound to Aaron’s charming eyes
Than is Prometheus tied to Caucasus.
Away with slavish weeds and servile thoughts!
I will be bright, and shine in pearl and gold,
To wait upon this new-made empress.
To wait, said I? to wanton with this queen,
This goddess, this Semiramis, this nymph,
This siren, that will charm Rome’s Saturnine,
And see his shipwrack and his commonweal’s.
Holla! what storm is this?
Chiron, thy years want wit, thy wit wants edge
And manners, to intrude where I am grac’d,
And may, for aught thou know’st, affected be.
Demetrius, thou dost over-ween in all
And so in this, to bear me down with braves.
’Tis not the difference of a year or two
Makes me less gracious or thee more fortunate:
I am as able and as fit as thou
To serve, and to deserve my mistress’ grace;
And that my sword upon thee shall approve,
And plead my passions for Lavinia’s love.
Clubs, clubs! these lovers will not keep the peace.
Why, boy, although our mother, unadvis’d,
Gave you a dancing-rapier by your side,
Are you so desperate grown, to threat your friends?
Go to; have your lath glu’d within your sheath
Till you know better how to handle it.
Meanwhile, sir, with the little skill I have,
Full well shalt thou perceive how much I dare.
Ay, boy, grow ye so brave?
Why, how now, lords!
So near the emperor’s palace dare you draw,
And maintain such a quarrel openly?
Full well I wot the ground of all this grudge:
I would not for a million of gold
The cause were known to them it most concerns;
Nor would your noble mother for much more
Be so dishonour’d in the court of Rome.
For shame, put up.
Not I, till I have sheath’d
My rapier in his bosom, and withal
Thrust those reproachful speeches down his throat
That he hath breath’d in my dishonour here.
For that I am prepar’d and full resolv’d,
Foul-spoken coward, that thunder’st with thy tongue,
And with thy weapon nothing dar’st perform!
Away, I say!
Now, by the gods that war-like Goths adore,
This petty brabble will undo us all.
Why, lords, and think you not how dangerous
It is to jet upon a prince’s right?
What! is Lavinia then become so loose,
Or Bassianus so degenerate,
That for her love such quarrels may be broach’d
Without controlment, justice, or revenge?
Young lords, beware! an should the empress know
This discord’s ground, the music would not please.
I care not, I, knew she and all the world:
I love Lavinia more than all the world.
Youngling, learn thou to make some meaner choice:
Lavinia is thine elder brother’s hope.
Why, are ye mad? or know ye not in Rome
How furious and impatient they be,
And cannot brook competitors in love?
I tell you, lords, you do but plot your deaths
By this device.
Aaron, a thousand deaths
Would I propose, to achieve her whom I love.
To achieve her! how?
Why mak’st thou it so strange?
She is a woman, therefore may be woo’d;
She is a woman, therefore may be won;
She is Lavinia, therefore must be lov’d.
What, man! more water glideth by the mill
Than wots the miller of; and easy it is
Of a cut loaf to steal a shive, we know:
Though Bassianus be the emperor’s brother,
Better than he have worn Vulcan’s badge.
[Aside.] Ay, and as good as Saturninus may.
Then why should he despair that knows to court it
With words, fair looks, and liberality?
What! hast thou not full often struck a doe,
And borne her cleanly by the keeper’s nose?
Why, then, it seems, some certain snatch or so
Would serve your turns.
Ay, so the turn were serv’d.
Aaron, thou hast hit it.
Would you had hit it too!
Then should not we be tir’d with this ado.
Why, hark ye, hark ye! and are you such fools
To square for this? Would it offend you then
That both should speed?
Faith, not me.
Nor me, so I were one.
For shame, be friends, and join for that you jar:
’Tis policy and stratagem must do
That you affect; and so must you resolve,
That what you cannot as you would achieve,
You must perforce accomplish as you may.
Take this of me: Lucrece was not more chaste
Than this Lavinia, Bassianus’ love.
A speedier course than lingering languishment
Must we pursue, and I have found the path.
My lords, a solemn hunting is in hand;
There will the lovely Roman ladies troop:
The forest walks are wide and spacious,
And many unfrequented plots there are
Fitted by kind for rape and villany:
Single you thither then this dainty doe,
And strike her home by force, if not by words:
This way, or not at all, stand you in hope.
Come, come, our empress, with her sacred wit
To villany and vengeance consecrate,
Will we acquaint with all that we intend;
And she shall file our engines with advice,
That will not suffer you to square yourselves,
But to your wishes’ height advance you both.
The emperor’s court is like the house of Fame,
The palace full of tongues, of eyes, and ears:
The woods are ruthless, dreadful, deaf, and dull;
There speak, and strike, brave boys, and take your turns;
There serve your lusts, shadow’d from heaven’s eye,
And revel in Lavinia’s treasury.
Thy counsel, lad, smells of no cowardice.
Sit fas aut nefas, till I find the stream
To cool this heat, a charm to calm these fits,
Per Styga, per manes vehor.
Horns and cry of hounds heard. EnterTitus Andronicus,with Hunters, &c.;Marcus, Lucius, Quintus,andMartius.
The hunt is up, the morn is bright and grey,
The fields are fragrant and the woods are green.
Uncouple here and let us make a bay,
And wake the emperor and his lovely bride,
And rouse the prince and ring a hunter’s peal,
That all the court may echo with the noise.
Sons, let it be your charge, as it is ours,
To attend the emperor’s person carefully:
I have been troubled in my sleep this night,
But dawning day new comfort hath inspir’d.
[A cry of hounds, and horns winded in a peal.
EnterSaturninus, Tamora, Bassianus, Lavinia, Demetrius, Chiron,and Attendants.
Many good morrows to your majesty;
Madam, to you as many and as good;
I promised your Grace a hunter’s peal.
And you have rung it lustily, my lord;
Somewhat too early for new-married ladies.
Lavinia, how say you?
I say, no;
I have been broad awake two hours and more.
Come on, then; horse and chariots let us have,
And to our sport.—[ToTamora.] Madam, now shall ye see
Our Roman hunting.
I have dogs, my lord,
Will rouse the proudest panther in the chase,
And climb the highest promontory top.
And I have horse will follow where the game
Makes way, and run like swallows o’er the plain.
[Aside.] Chiron, we hunt not, we, with horse nor hound,
But hope to pluck a dainty doe to ground.
EnterAaron,with a bag of gold.
He that had wit would think that I had none,
To bury so much gold under a tree,
And never after to inherit it.
Let him that thinks of me so abjectly
Know that this gold must coin a stratagem,
Which, cunningly effected, will beget
A very excellent piece of villany:
And so repose, sweet gold, for their unrest
That have their alms out of the empress’ chest.
[Hides the gold.
My lovely Aaron, wherefore look’st thou sad,
When every thing doth make a gleeful boast?
The birds chant melody on every bush,
The snake lies rolled in the cheerful sun,
The green leaves quiver with the cooling wind,
And make a chequer’d shadow on the ground.
Under their sweet shade, Aaron, let us sit,
And, whilst the babbling echo mocks the hounds,
Replying shrilly to the well-tun’d horns,
As if a double hunt were heard at once,
Let us sit down and mark their yelping noise;
And after conflict, such as was suppos’d
The wandering prince and Dido once enjoy’d,
When with a happy storm they were surpris’d,
And curtain’d with a counsel-keeping cave,
We may, each wreathed in the other’s arms,
Our pastimes done, possess a golden slumber;
Whiles hounds and horns and sweet melodious birds
Be unto us as is a nurse’s song
Of lullaby to bring her babe asleep.
Madam, though Venus govern your desires,
Saturn is dominator over mine:
What signifies my deadly-standing eye,
My silence and my cloudy melancholy;
My fleece of woolly hair that now uncurls
Even as an adder when she doth unroll
To do some fatal execution?
No, madam, these are no venereal signs:
Vengeance is in my heart, death in my hand,
Blood and revenge are hammering in my head.
Hark, Tamora, the empress of my soul,
Which never hopes more heaven than rests in thee,
This is the day of doom for Bassianus;
His Philomel must lose her tongue to-day,
Thy sons make pillage of her chastity,
And wash their hands in Bassianus’ blood.
Seest thou this letter? take it up, I pray thee,
And give the king this fatal-plotted scroll.
Now question me no more; we are espied;
Here comes a parcel of our hopeful booty,
Which dreads not yet their lives’ destruction.
Ah! my sweet Moor, sweeter to me than life.
No more, great empress; Bassianus comes:
Be cross with him; and I’ll go fetch thy sons
To back thy quarrels, whatsoe’er they be.
Who have we here? Rome’s royal empress,
Unfurnish’d of her well-beseeming troop?
Or is it Dian, habited like her,
Who hath abandoned her holy groves,
To see the general hunting in this forest?
Saucy controller of our private steps!
Had I the power that some say Dian had,
Thy temples should be planted presently
With horns, as was Actæon’s; and the hounds
Should drive upon thy new-transformed limbs,
Unmannerly intruder as thou art!
Under your patience, gentle empress,
’Tis thought you have a goodly gift in horning;
And to be doubted that your Moor and you
Are singled forth to try experiments.
Jove shield your husband from his hounds to-day!
’Tis pity they should take him for a stag.
Believe me, queen, your swarth Cimmerian
Doth make your honour of his body’s hue,
Spotted, detested, and abominable.
Why are you sequester’d from all your train,
Dismounted from your snow-white goodly steed,
And wander’d hither to an obscure plot,
Accompanied but with a barbarous Moor,
If foul desire had not conducted you?
And, being intercepted in your sport,
Great reason that my noble lord be rated
For sauciness. I pray you, let us hence,
And let her joy her raven-colour’d love;
This valley fits the purpose passing well.
The king my brother shall have note of this.
Ay, for these slips have made him noted long:
Good king, to be so mightily abus’d!
Why have I patience to endure all this?
How now, dear sovereign, and our gracious mother!
Why doth your highness look so pale and wan?
Have I not reason, think you, to look pale?
These two have ’tic’d me hither to this place:
A barren detested vale, you see, it is;
The trees, though summer, yet forlorn and lean,
O’ercome with moss and baleful mistletoe:
Here never shines the sun; here nothing breeds,
Unless the nightly owl or fatal raven:
And when they show’d me this abhorred pit,
They told me, here, at dead time of the night,
A thousand fiends, a thousand hissing snakes,
Ten thousand swelling toads, as many urchins,
Would make such fearful and confused cries,
As any mortal body hearing it
Should straight fall mad, or else die suddenly.
No sooner had they told this hellish tale,
But straight they told me they would bind me here
Unto the body of a dismal yew,
And leave me to this miserable death:
And then they called me foul adulteress,
Lascivious Goth, and all the bitterest terms
That ever ear did hear to such effect;
And, had you not by wondrous fortune come,
This vengeance on me had they executed.
Revenge it, as you love your mother’s life,
Or be ye not henceforth call’d my children.
This is a witness that I am thy son.
And this for me, struck home to show my strength.
[Also stabsBassianus,who dies.
Ay, come, Semiramis, nay, barbarous Tamora;
For no name fits thy nature but thy own.
Give me thy poniard; you shall know, my boys,
Your mother’s hand shall right your mother’s wrong.
Stay, madam; here is more belongs to her:
First thrash the corn, than after burn the straw.
This minion stood upon her chastity,
Upon her nuptial vow, her loyalty,
And with that painted hope she braves your mightiness:
And shall she carry this unto her grave?
An if she do, I would I were an eunuch.
Drag hence her husband to some secret hole,
And make his dead trunk pillow to our lust.
But when ye have the honey ye desire,
Let not this wasp outlive, us both to sting.
I warrant you, madam, we will make that sure.
Come, mistress, now perforce we will enjoy
That nice-preserved honesty of yours.
O Tamora! thou bear’st a woman’s face,—
I will not hear her speak; away with her!
Sweet lords, entreat her hear me but a word.
Listen, fair madam: let it be your glory
To see her tears; but be your heart to them
As unrelenting flint to drops of rain.
When did the tiger’s young ones teach the dam?
O! do not learn her wrath; she taught it thee;
The milk thou suck’dst from her did turn to marble;
Even at thy teat thou hadst thy tyranny.
Yet every mother breeds not sons alike:
[ToChiron.] Do thou entreat her show a woman pity.
What! wouldst thou have me prove myself a bastard?
’Tis true! the raven doth not hatch a lark:
Yet have I heard, O! could I find it now,
The lion mov’d with pity did endure
To have his princely paws par’d all away.
Some say that ravens foster forlorn children,
The whilst their own birds famish in their nests:
O! be to me, though thy hard heart say no,
Nothing so kind, but something pitiful.
I know not what it means; away with her!
O, let me teach thee! for my father’s sake,
That gave thee life when well he might have slain thee,
Be not obdurate, open thy deaf ears.
Hadst thou in person ne’er offended me,
Even for his sake am I pitiless.
Remember, boys, I pour’d forth tears in vain
To save your brother from the sacrifice;
But fierce Andronicus would not relent:
Therefore, away with her, and use her as you will:
The worse to her, the better lov’d of me.
O Tamora! be call’d a gentle queen,
And with thine own hands kill me in this place;
For ’tis not life that I have begg’d so long;
Poor I was slain when Bassianus died.
What begg’st thou then? fond woman, let me go.
’Tis present death I beg; and one thing more
That womanhood denies my tongue to tell.
O! keep me from their worse than killing lust,
And tumble me into some loathsome pit,
Where never man’s eye may behold my body:
Do this, and be a charitable murderer.
So should I rob my sweet sons of their fee:
No, let them satisfy their lust on thee.
Away! for thou hast stay’d us here too long.
No grace! no womanhood! Ah, beastly creature,
The blot and enemy to our general name.
Nay, then I’ll stop your mouth. Bring thou her husband:
This is the hole where Aaron bid us hide him.
[Demetriusthrows the body ofBassianusinto the pit; then exeuntDemetriusandChiron,dragging offLavinia.
Farewell, my sons: see that you make her sure.
Ne’er let my heart know merry cheer indeed
Till all the Andronici be made away.
Now will I hence to seek my lovely Moor,
And let my spleenful sons this trull deflower.
Come on, my lords, the better foot before:
Straight will I bring you to the loathsome pit
Where I espied the panther fast asleep.
My sight is very dull, whate’er it bodes.
And mine, I promise you: were’t not for shame,
Well could I leave our sport to sleep awhile.
[Falls into the pit.
What! art thou fall’n? What subtle hole is this,
Whose mouth is cover’d with rude-growing briers,
Upon whose leaves are drops of new-shed blood
As fresh as morning’s dew distill’d on flowers?
A very fatal place it seems to me.
Speak, brother, hast thou hurt thee with the fall?
O brother! with the dismall’st object hurt
That ever eye with sight made heart lament.
[Aside.] Now will I fetch the king to find them here,
That he thereby may give a likely guess
How these were they that made away his brother.
Why dost not comfort me, and help me out
From this unhallow’d and blood-stained hole?
I am surprised with an uncouth fear;
A chilling sweat o’erruns my trembling joints:
My heart suspects more than mine eye can see.
To prove thou hast a true-divining heart,
Aaron and thou look down into this den,
And see a fearful sight of blood and death.
Aaron is gone; and my compassionate heart
Will not permit mine eyes once to behold
The thing whereat it trembles by surmise.
O! tell me how it is; for ne’er till now
Was I a child, to fear I know not what.
Lord Bassianus lies embrewed here,
All on a heap, like to a slaughter’d lamb,
In this detested, dark, blood-drinking pit.
If it be dark, how dost thou know ’tis he?
Upon his bloody finger he doth wear
A precious ring, that lightens all the hole,
Which, like a taper in some monument,
Doth shine upon the dead man’s earthy cheeks,
And shows the ragged entrails of the pit:
So pale did shine the moon on Pyramus
When he by night lay bath’d in maiden blood.
O brother! help me with thy fainting hand,
If fear hath made thee faint, as me it hath,
Out of this fell devouring receptacle,
As hateful as Cocytus’ misty mouth.
Reach me thy hand, that I may help thee out;
Or, wanting strength to do thee so much good
I may be pluck’d into the swallowing womb
Of this deep pit, poor Bassianus’ grave.
I have no strength to pluck thee to the brink.
Nor I no strength to climb without thy help.
Thy hand once more; I will not loose again,
Till thou art here aloft, or I below.
Thou canst not come to me: I come to thee.
Along with me: I’ll see what hole is here,
And what he is that now is leap’d into it.
Say, who art thou that lately didst descend
Into this gaping hollow of the earth?
The unhappy son of old Andronicus;
Brought hither in a most unlucky hour,
To find thy brother Bassianus dead.
My brother dead! I know thou dost but jest:
He and his lady both are at the lodge,
Upon the north side of this pleasant chase;
’Tis not an hour since I left him there.
We know not where you left him all alive;
But, out alas! here have we found him dead.
EnterTamora,with Attendants; Titus Andronicus,andLucius.
Where is my lord, the king?
Here, Tamora; though griev’d with killing grief.
Where is thy brother Bassianus?
Now to the bottom dost thou search my wound:
Poor Bassianus here lies murdered.
Then all too late I bring this fatal writ,
[Giving a letter.
The complot of this timeless tragedy;
And wonder greatly that man’s face can fold
In pleasing smiles such murderous tyranny.
And if we miss to meet him handsomely,
Sweet huntsman, Bassianus ’tis we mean,
Do thou so much as dig the grave for him:
Thou know’st our meaning. Look for thy reward
Among the nettles at the elder-tree
Which overshades the mouth of that same pit
Where we decreed to bury Bassianus:
Do this, and purchase us thy lasting friends.
O Tamora! was ever heard the like?
This is the pit, and this the elder-tree.
Look, sirs, if you can find the huntsman out
That should have murder’d Bassianus here.
My gracious lord, here is the bag of gold.
[ToTitus.] Two of thy whelps, fell curs of bloody kind,
Have here bereft my brother of his life.
Sirs, drag them from the pit unto the prison:
There let them bide until we have devis’d
Some never-heard-of torturing pain for them.
What! are they in this pit? O wondrous thing!
How easily murder is discovered!
High emperor, upon my feeble knee
I beg this boon with tears not lightly shed;
That this fell fault of my accursed sons,
Accursed, if the fault be prov’d in them,—
If it be prov’d! you see it is apparent.
Who found this letter? Tamora, was it you?
Andronicus himself did take it up.
I did, my lord: yet let me be their bail;
For, by my father’s reverend tomb, I vow
They shall be ready at your highness’ will
To answer their suspicion with their lives.
Thou shalt not bail them: see thou follow me.
Some bring the murder’d body, some the murderers:
Let them not speak a word; the guilt is plain;
For, by my soul, were there worse end than death,
That end upon them should be executed.
Andronicus, I will entreat the king:
Fear not thy sons, they shall do well enough.
Come, Lucius, come; stay not to talk with them.
EnterDemetriusandChiron,withLavinia,ravished; her hands cut off, and her tongue cut out.
So, now go tell, an if thy tongue can speak,
Who ’twas that cut thy tongue and ravish’d thee.
Write down thy mind, bewray thy meaning so;
An if thy stumps will let thee play the scribe.
See, how with signs and tokens she can scrowl.
Go home, call for sweet water, wash thy hands.
She hath no tongue to call, nor hands to wash;
And so let’s leave her to her silent walks.
An ’twere my case, I should go hang myself.
If thou hadst hands to help thee knit the cord.
Who’s this? my niece, that flies away so fast?
Cousin, a word; where is your husband?
If I do dream, would all my wealth would wake me!
If I do wake, some planet strike me down,
That I may slumber in eternal sleep!
Speak, gentle niece, what stern ungentle hands
Have lopp’d and hew’d and made thy body bare
Of her two branches, those sweet ornaments,
Whose circling shadows kings have sought to sleep in,
And might not gain so great a happiness
As have thy love? Why dost not speak to me?
Alas! a crimson river of warm blood,
Like to a bubbling fountain stirr’d with wind,
Doth rise and fall between thy rosed lips,
Coming and going with thy honey breath.
But, sure, some Tereus hath deflower’d thee,
And, lest thou shouldst detect him, cut thy tongue.
Ah! now thou turn’st away thy face for shame;
And, notwithstanding all this loss of blood,
As from a conduit with three issuing spouts,
Yet do thy cheeks look red as Titan’s face
Blushing to be encounter’d with a cloud.
Shall I speak for thee? shall I say ’tis so?
O! that I knew thy heart; and knew the beast,
That I might rail at him to ease my mind.
Sorrow concealed, like to an oven stopp’d,
Doth burn the heart to cinders where it is.
Fair Philomela, she but lost her tongue,
And in a tedious sampler sew’d her mind:
But, lovely niece, that mean is cut from thee;
A craftier Tereus hast thou met withal,
And he hath cut those pretty fingers off,
That could have better sew’d than Philomel.
O! had the monster seen those lily hands
Tremble, like aspen-leaves, upon a lute,
And make the silken strings delight to kiss them,
He would not, then, have touch’d them for his life;
Or had he heard the heavenly harmony
Which that sweet tongue hath made,
He would have dropp’d his knife, and fell asleep,
As Cerberus at the Thracian poet’s feet.
Come, let us go, and make thy father blind;
For such a sight will blind a father’s eye:
One hour’s storm will drown the fragrant meads;
What will whole months of tears thy father’s eyes?
Do not draw back, for we will mourn with thee:
O! could our mourning ease thy misery.
Enter Senators, Tribunes, and Officers of Justice, withMartiusandQuintus,bound, passing on to the place of execution;Titusgoing before, pleading.
Hear me, grave fathers! noble tribunes, stay!
For pity of mine age, whose youth was spent
In dangerous wars, whilst you securely slept;
For all my blood in Rome’s great quarrel shed;
For all the frosty nights that I have watch’d;
And for these bitter tears, which now you see
Filling the aged wrinkles in my cheeks;
Be pitiful to my condemned sons,
Whose souls are not corrupted as ’tis thought.
For two and twenty sons I never wept,
Because they died in honour’s lofty bed.
For these, these, tribunes, in the dust I write
[He throws himself on the ground.
My heart’s deep languor and my soul’s sad tears.
Let my tears stanch the earth’s dry appetite;
My sons’ sweet blood will make it shame and blush.
[Exeunt Senators, Tribunes, &c., with the Prisoners.
O earth! I will befriend thee more with rain,
That shall distil from these two ancient urns,
Than youthful April shall with all his showers:
In summer’s drought I’ll drop upon thee still;
In winter with warm tears I’ll melt the snow,
And keep eternal spring-time on thy face,
So thou refuse to drink my dear sons’ blood.
EnterLucius,with his sword drawn.
O reverend tribunes! O gentle, aged men!
Unbind my sons, reverse the doom of death:
And let me say, that never wept before,
My tears are now prevailing orators.
O noble father, you lament in vain:
The tribunes hear you not, no man is by;
And you recount your sorrows to a stone.
Ah! Lucius, for thy brothers let me plead.
Grave tribunes, once more I entreat of you,—
My gracious lord, no tribune hears you speak.
Why, ’tis no matter, man: if they did hear,
They would not mark me, or if they did mark,
They would not pity me, yet plead I must,
All bootless unto them.
Therefore I tell my sorrows to the stones,
Who, though they cannot answer my distress,
Yet in some sort they are better than the tribunes,
For that they will not intercept my tale.
When I do weep, they humbly at my feet
Receive my tears, and seem to weep with me;
And, were they but attired in grave weeds,
Rome could afford no tribune like to these.
A stone is soft as wax, tribunes more hard than stones;
A stone is silent, and offendeth not,
And tribunes with their tongues doom men to death.
But wherefore stand’st thou with thy weapon drawn?
To rescue my two brothers from their death;
For which attempt the judges have pronounc’d
My everlasting doom of banishment.
O happy man! they have befriended thee.
Why, foolish Lucius, dost thou not perceive
That Rome is but a wilderness of tigers?
Tigers must prey; and Rome affords no prey
But me and mine: how happy art thou then,
From these devourers to be banished!
But who comes with our brother Marcus here?
Titus, prepare thy aged eyes to weep;
Or, if not so, thy noble heart to break:
I bring consuming sorrow to thine age.
Will it consume me? let me see it then.
This was thy daughter.
Why, Marcus, so she is.
Ay me! this object kills me.
Faint-hearted boy, arise, and look upon her.
Speak, Lavinia, what accursed hand
Hath made thee handless in thy father’s sight?
What fool hath added water to the sea,
Or brought a faggot to bright-burning Troy?
My grief was at the height before thou cam’st;
And now, like Nilus, it disdaineth bounds.
Give me a sword, I’ll chop off my hands too;
For they have fought for Rome, and all in vain;
And they have nurs’d this woe, in feeding life;
In bootless prayer have they been held up,
And they have serv’d me to effectless use:
Now all the service I require of them
Is that the one will help to cut the other.
’Tis well, Lavinia, that thou hast no hands,
For hands, to do Rome service, are but vain.
Speak, gentle sister, who hath martyr’d thee?
O! that delightful engine of her thoughts,
That blabb’d them with such pleasing eloquence,
Is torn from forth that pretty hollow cage,
Where, like a sweet melodious bird, it sung
Sweet varied notes, enchanting every ear.
O! say thou for her, who hath done this deed?
O! thus I found her straying in the park,
Seeking to hide herself, as doth the deer,
That hath receiv’d some unrecuring wound.
It was my dear; and he that wounded her
Hath hurt me more than had he kill’d me dead:
For now I stand as one upon a rock
Environ’d with a wilderness of sea,
Who marks the waxing tide grow wave by wave,
Expecting ever when some envious surge
Will in his brinish bowels swallow him.
This way to death my wretched sons are gone;
Here stands my other son, a banish’d man,
And here my brother, weeping at my woes:
But that which gives my soul the greatest spurn,
Is dear Lavinia, dearer than my soul.
Had I but seen thy picture in this plight
It would have madded me: what shall I do
Now I behold thy lively body so?
Thou hast no hands to wipe away thy tears,
Nor tongue to tell me who hath martyr’d thee:
Thy husband he is dead, and for his death
Thy brothers are condemn’d, and dead by this.
Look! Marcus; ah! son Lucius, look on her:
When I did name her brothers, then fresh tears
Stood on her cheeks, as doth the honey-dew
Upon a gather’d lily almost wither’d.
Perchance she weeps because they kill’d her husband;
Perchance because she knows them innocent.
If they did kill thy husband, then be joyful,
Because the law hath ta’en revenge on them.
No, no, they would not do so foul a deed;
Witness the sorrow that their sister makes.
Gentle Lavinia, let me kiss thy lips;
Or make some sign how I may do thee ease.
Shall thy good uncle, and thy brother Lucius,
And thou, and I, sit round about some fountain,
Looking all downwards, to behold our cheeks
How they are stain’d, like meadows yet not dry,
With miry alime left on them by a flood?
And in the fountain shall we gaze so long
Till the fresh taste be taken from that clearness,
And made a brine-pit with our bitter tears?
Or shall we cut away our hands, like thine?
Or shall we bite our tongues, and in dumb shows
Pass the remainder of our hateful days?
What shall we do? let us, that have our tongues,
Plot some device of further misery,
To make us wonder’d at in time to come.
Sweet father, cease your tears; for at your grief
See how my wretched sister sobs and weeps.
Patience, dear niece. Good Titus, dry thine eyes.
Ah! Marcus, Marcus, brother; well I wot
Thy napkin cannot drink a tear of mine,
For thou, poor man, hast drown’d it with thine own.
Ah! my Lavinia, I will wipe thy cheeks.
Mark, Marcus, mark! I understand her signs:
Had she a tongue to speak, now would she say
That to her brother which I said to thee:
His napkin, with his true tears all bewet,
Can do no service on her sorrowful cheeks.
O! what a sympathy of woe is this;
As far from help as limbo is from bliss.
Titus Andronicus, my lord the emperor
Sends thee this word: that, if thou love thy sons,
Let Marcus, Lucius, or thyself, old Titus,
Or any one of you, chop off your hand,
And send it to the king: he for the same
Will send thee hither both thy sons alive;
And that shall be the ransom for their fault.
O gracious emperor! O gentle Aaron!
Did ever raven sing so like a lark,
That gives sweet tidings of the sun’s uprise?
With all my heart, I’ll send the emperor my hand:
Good Aaron, wilt thou help to chop it off?
Stay, father! for that noble hand of thine,
That hath thrown down so many enemies,
Shall not be sent; my hand will serve the turn:
My youth can better spare my blood than you;
And therefore mine shall save my brothers’ lives.
Which of your hands hath not defended Rome,
And rear’d aloft the bloody battle-axe,
Writing destruction on the enemy’s castle?
O! none of both but are of high desert:
My hand hath been but idle; let it serve
To ransom my two nephews from their death;
Then have I kept it to a worthy end.
Nay, come, agree whose hand shall go along,
For fear they die before their pardon come.
My hand shall go.
By heaven, it shall not go!
Sirs, strive no more: such wither’d herbs as these
Are meet for plucking up, and therefore mine.
Sweet father, if I shall be thought thy son,
Let me redeem my brothers both from death.
And for our father’s sake, and mother’s care,
Now let me show a brother’s love to thee.
Agree between you; I will spare my hand.
Then I’ll go fetch an axe.
But I will use the axe.
Come hither, Aaron; I’ll deceive them both:
Lend me thy hand, and I will give thee mine.
[Aside.] If that be call’d deceit, I will be honest,
And never, whilst I live, deceive men so:
But I’ll deceive you in another sort,
And that you’ll say, ere half an hour pass.
[Cuts offTitus’ hand.
Now stay your strife: what shall be is dispatch’d.
Good Aaron, give his majesty my hand:
Tell him it was a hand that warded him
From thousand dangers; bid him bury it;
More hath it merited; that let it have.
As for my sons, say I account of them
As jewels purchas’d at an easy price;
And yet dear too, because I bought mine own.
I go, Andronicus; and for thy hand,
Look by and by to have thy sons with thee.
[Aside.] Their heads, I mean. O! how this villany
Doth fat me with the very thoughts of it.
Let fools do good, and fair men call for grace,
Aaron will have his soul black like his face.
O! here I lift this one hand up to heaven,
And how this feeble ruin to the earth:
If any power pities wretched tears,
To that I call! [ToLavinia.] What! wilt thou kneel with me?
Do, then, dear heart; for heaven shall hear our prayers,
Or with our sighs we’ll breathe the welkin dim,
And stain the sun with fog, as sometime clouds
When they do hug him in their melting bosoms.
O! brother, speak with possibilities,
And do not break into these deep extremes.
Is not my sorrow deep, having no bottom?
Then be my passions bottomless with them.
But yet let reason govern thy lament.
If there were reason for these miseries,
Then into limits could I bind my woes.
When heaven doth weep, doth not the earth o’erflow?
If the winds rage, doth not the sea wax mad,
Threat’ning the welkin with his big-swoln face?
And wilt thou have a reason for this coil?
I am the sea; hark! how her sighs do blow;
She is the weeping welkin, I the earth:
Then must my sea be moved with her sighs;
Then must my earth with her continual tears
Become a deluge, overflow’d and drown’d;
For why my bowels cannot hide her woes,
But like a drunkard must I vomit them.
Then give me leave, for losers will have leave
To ease their stomachs with their bitter tongues.
Enter a Messenger, with two heads and a hand.
Worthy Andronicus, ill art thou repaid
For that good hand thou sent’st the emperor.
Here are the heads of thy two noble sons,
And here’s thy hand, in scorn to thee sent back:
Thy griefs their sports, thy resolution mock’d;
That woe is me to think upon thy woes,
More than remembrance of my father’s death.
Now let hot Ætna cool in Sicily,
And be my heart an ever burning hell!
These miseries are more than may be borne.
To weep with them that weep doth ease some deal,
But sorrow flouted at is double death.
Ah! that this sight should make so deep a wound,
And yet detested life not shrink thereat,
That ever death should let life bear his name,
Where life hath no more interest but to breathe.
Alas! poor heart; that kiss is comfortless
As frozen water to a starved snake.
When will this fearful slumber have an end?
Now, farewell, flattery: die, Andronicus;
Thou dost not slumber: see, thy two sons’ heads,
Thy war-like hand, thy mangled daughter here;
Thy other banish’d son, with this dear sight
Struck pale and bloodless; and thy brother, I,
Even like a stony image, cold and numb.
Ah! now no more will I control thy griefs.
Rent off thy silver hair, thy other hand
Gnawing with thy teeth; and be this dismal sight
The closing up of our most wretched eyes!
Now is a time to storm; why art thou still?
Ha, ha, ha!
Why dost thou laugh? it fits not with this hour.
Why, I have not another tear to shed:
Besides, this sorrow is an enemy,
And would usurp upon my watery eyes,
And make them blind with tributary tears:
Then which way shall I find Revenge’s cave?
For these two heads do seem to speak to me,
And threat me I shall never come to bliss
Till all these mischiefs be return’d again
Even in their throats that have committed them.
Come, let me see what task I have to do.
You heavy people, circle me about,
That I may turn me to each one of you,
And swear unto my soul to right your wrongs.
The vow is made. Come, brother, take a head;
And in this hand the other will I bear.
Lavinia, thou shalt be employ’d in these things:
Bear thou my hand, sweet wench, between thy teeth.
As for thee, boy, go get thee from my sight;
Thou art an exile, and thou must not stay:
Hie to the Goths, and raise an army there:
And if you love me, as I think you do,
Let’s kiss and part, for we have much to do.
Farewell, Andronicus, my noble father;
The woefull’st man that ever liv’d in Rome:
Farewell, proud Rome; till Lucius come again,
He leaves his pledges dearer than his life.
Farewell, Lavinia, my noble sister;
O! would thou wert as thou tofore hast been;
But now nor Lucius nor Lavinia lives
But in oblivion and hateful griefs.
If Lucius live, he will requite your wrongs,
And make proud Saturnine and his empress
Beg at the gates like Tarquin and his queen.
Now will I to the Goths, and raise a power,
To be reveng’d on Rome and Saturnine.
EnterTitus, Marcus, Lavinia,and youngLucius,a Boy.
So, so; now sit; and look you eat no more
Than will preserve just so much strength in us
As will revenge these bitter woes of ours.
Marcus, unknit that sorrow-wreathen knot:
Thy niece and I, poor creatures, want our hands,
And cannot passionate our ten-fold grief
With folded arms. This poor right hand of mine
Is left to tyrannize upon my breast;
And when my heart, all mad with misery,
Beats in this hollow prison of my flesh,
Then thus I thump it down.
[ToLavinia.] Thou map of woe, that thus dost talk in signs!
When thy poor heart beats with outrageous beating
Thou canst not strike it thus to make it still.
Wound it with sighing, girl, kill it with groans;
Or get some little knife between thy teeth,
And just against thy heart make thou a hole;
That all the tears that thy poor eyes let fall
May run into that sink, and, soaking in,
Drown the lamenting fool in sea-salt tears.
Fie, brother, fie! teach her not thus to lay
Such violent hands upon her tender life.
How now! has sorrow made thee dote already?
Why, Marcus, no man should be mad but I.
What violent hands can she lay on her life?
Ah! wherefore dost thou urge the name of hands;
To bid Æaeas tell the tale twice o’er,
How Troy was burnt and he made miserable?
O! handle not the theme, to talk of hands,
Lest we remember still that we have none.
Fie, fie! how franticly I square my talk,
As if we should forget we had no hands,
If Marcus did not name the word of hands.
Come, let’s fall to; and, gentle girl, eat this:
Here is no drink. Hark, Marcus, what she says;
I can interpret all her martyr’d signs:
She says she drinks no other drink but tears,
Brew’d with her sorrow, mash’d upon her cheeks.
Speechless complainer, I will learn thy thought;
In thy dumb action will I be as perfect
As begging hermits in their holy prayers:
Thou shalt not sigh, nor hold thy stumps to heaven,
Nor wink, nor nod, nor kneel, nor make a sign,
But I of these will wrest an alphabet,
And by still practice learn to know thy meaning.
Good grandsire, leave these bitter deep laments:
Make my aunt merry with some pleasing tale.
Alas! the tender boy, in passion mov’d,
Doth weep to see his grandsire’s heaviness.
Peace, tender sapling; thou art made of tears,
And tears will quickly melt thy life away.
[Marcusstrikes the dish with a knife.
What dost thou strike at, Marcus, with thy knife?
At that that I have kill’d, my lord; a fly.
Out on thee, murderer! thou kill’st my heart;
Mine eyes are cloy’d with view of tyranny:
A deed of death, done on the innocent,
Becomes not Titus’ brother. Get thee gone;
I see, thou art not for my company.
Alas! my lord, I have but kill’d a fly.
But how if that fly had a father and a mother?
How would he hang his slender gilded wings
And buzz lamenting doings in the air!
Poor harmless fly,
That, with his pretty buzzing melody,
Came here to make us merry! and thou hast kill’d him.
Pardon me, sir; it was a black ill-favour’d fly,
Like to the empress’ Moor; therefore I kill’d him.
O, O, O!
Then pardon me for reprehending thee,
For thou hast done a charitable deed.
Give me thy knife, I will insult on him;
Flattering myself, as if it were the Moor
Come hither purposely to poison me.
There’s for thyself, and that’s for Tamora.
Yet I think we are not brought so low,
But that between us we can kill a fly
That comes in likeness of a coal-black Moor.
Alas! poor man; grief has so wrought on him,
He takes false shadows for true substances.
Come, take away. Lavinia, go with me:
I’ll to thy closet; and go read with thee
Sad stories chanced in the times of old.
Come, boy, and go with me: thy sight is young,
And thou shalt read when mine begins to dazzle.
EnterTitusandMarcus.Then enter youngLucius, Laviniaranning after him.
Help, grandsire, help! my aunt Lavinia
Follows me everywhere, I know not why:
Good uncle Marcus, see how swift she comes:
Alas! sweet aunt, I know not what you mean.
Stand by me, Lucius; do not fear thine aunt.
She loves thee, boy, too well to do thee harm.
Ay, when my father was in Rome, she did.
What means my niece Lavinia by these signs?
Fear her not, Lucius: somewhat doth she mean.
See, Lucius, see how much she makes of thee;
Somewhither would she have thee go with her.
Ah! boy; Cornelia never with more care
Read to her sons, than she hath read to thee
Sweet poetry and Tully’s Orator.
Canst thou not guess wherefore she plies thee thus?
My lord, I know not, I, nor can I guess,
Unless some fit or frenzy do possess her;
For I have heard my grandsire say full oft,
Extremity of griefs would make men mad;
And I have read that Hecuba of Troy
Ran mad through sorrow; that made me to fear,
Although, my lord, I know my noble aunt
Loves me as dear as e’er my mother did,
And would not, but in fury, fright my youth;
Which made me down to throw my books and fly,
Causeless, perhaps. But pardon me, sweet aunt;
And, madam, if my uncle Marcus go,
I will most willingly attend your ladyship.
Lucius, I will.
[Laviniaturns over the books whichLuciushad let fall.
How now, Lavinia! Marcus, what means this?
Some book there is that she desires to see.
Which is it, girl, of these? Open them, boy.
But thou art deeper read, and better skill’d;
Come, and take choice of all my library,
And so beguile thy sorrow, till the heavens
Reveal the damn’d contriver of this deed.
Why lifts she up her arms in sequence thus?
I think she means that there was more than one
Confederate in the fact: ay, more there was;
Or else to heaven she heaves them for revenge.
Lucius; what book is that she tosseth so?
Grandsire, ’tis Ovid’s Metamorphoses;
My mother gave it me.
For love of her that’s gone,
Perhaps, she cull’d it from among the rest.
Soft! see how busily she turns the leaves!
What would she find? Lavinia, shall I read?
This is the tragic tale of Philomel,
And treats of Tereus’ treason and his rape;
And rape, I fear, was root of thine annoy.
See, brother, see! note how she quotes the leaves.
Lavinia, wert thou thus surpris’d, sweet girl,
Ravish’d and wrong’d, as Philomela was,
Forc’d in the ruthless, vast, and gloomy woods?
Ay, such a place there is, where we did hunt,—
O! had we never, never hunted there,—
Pattern’d by that the poet here describes,
By nature made for murders and for rapes.
O! why should nature build so foul a den,
Unless the gods delight in tragedies?
Give signs, sweet girl, for here are none but friends,
What Roman lord it was durst do the deed:
Or slunk not Saturnine, as Tarquin erst,
That left the camp to sin in Lucrece’ bed?
Sit down, sweet niece: brother, sit down by me.
Apollo, Pallas, Jove, or Mercury,
Inspire me, that I may this treason find!
My lord, look here; look here, Lavinia:
This sandy plot is plain; guide, if thou canst,
This after me.
[He writes his name with his staff, and guides it with his feet and mouth.
I have writ my name
Without the help of any hand at all.
Curs’d be that heart that forc’d us to this shift!
Write thou, good niece, and here display at last
What God will have discover’d for revenge.
Heaven guide thy pen to print thy sorrows plain,
That we may know the traitors and the truth!
[She takes the staff in her mouth, and guides it with her stumps, and writes.
O! do you read, my lord, what she hath writ?
Stuprum, Chiron, Demetrius.
What, what! the lustful sons of Tamora
Performers of this heinous, bloody deed?
Magni dominator poli,
Tam lentus audis scelera? tam lentus vides?
O! calm thee, gentle lord; although I know
There is enough written upon this earth
To stir a mutiny in the mildest thoughts
And arm the minds of infants to exclaims.
My lord, kneel down with me; Lavinia, kneel;
And kneel, sweet boy, the Roman Hector’s hope;
And swear with me, as, with the woeful fere
And father of that chaste dishonour’d dame,
Lord Junius Brutus sware for Lucrece’ rape,
That we will prosecute by good advice
Mortal revenge upon these traitorous Goths,
And see their blood, or die with this reproach.
’Tis sure enough, an you knew how;
But if you hunt these bear-whelps, then beware:
The dam will wake, an if she wind you once:
She’s with the lion deeply still in league,
And lulls him whilst she playeth on her back,
And when he sleeps will she do what she list.
You’re a young huntsman, Marcus; let it alone;
And, come, I will go get a leaf of brass,
And with a gad of steel will write these words,
And lay it by: the angry northern wind
Will blow these sands like Sibyl’s leaves abroad,
And where’s your lesson then? Boy, what say you?
I say, my lord, that if I were a man,
Their mother’s bed-chamber should not be safe
For these bad bondmen to the yoke of Rome.
Ay, that’s my boy! thy father hath full oft
For his ungrateful country done the like.
And, uncle, so will I, an if I live.
Come, go with me into mine armoury:
Lucius, I’ll fit thee; and withal my boy
Shall carry from me to the empress’ sons
Presents that I intend to send them both:
Come, come; thou’lt do thy message, wilt thou not?
Ay, with my dagger in their bosoms, grandsire.
No, boy, not so; I’ll teach thee another course.
Lavinia, come. Marcus, look to my house;
Lucius and I’ll go brave it at the court:
Ay, marry, will we, sir; and we’ll be waited on.
[ExeuntTitus, Lavinia,and Boy.
O heavens! can you hear a good man groan,
And not relent or not compassion him?
Marcus, attend him in his ecstasy,
That hath more scars of sorrow in his heart
Than foemen’s marks upon his batter’d shield;
But yet so just that he will not revenge.
Revenge, ye heavens, for old Andronicus!
Enter, from one side,Aaron, Demetrius,andChiron;from the other youngLucius,and an Attendant, with a bundle of weapons, and verses writ upon them.
Demetrius, here’s the son of Lucius;
He hath some message to deliver us.
Ay, some mad message from his mad grandfather.
My lords, with all the humbleness I may,
I greet your honours from Andronicus;
[Aside.] And pray the Roman gods, confound you both!
Gramercy, lovely Lucius: what’s the news?
[Aside.] That you are both decipher’d, that’s the news,
For villains mark’d with rape. [Aloud.] May it please you,
My grandsire, well advis’d, hath sent by me
The goodliest weapons of his armoury,
To gratify your honourable youth,
The hope of Rome, for so he bade me say;
And so I do, and with his gifts present
Your lordships, that whenever you have need,
You may be armed and appointed well.
And so I leave you both: [Aside.] like bloody villains.
[Exeunt Boy and Attendant.
What’s here? A scroll; and written round about?
O! ’tis a verse in Horace; I know it well:
I read it in the grammar long ago.
Ay just, a verse in Horace; right, you have it.
[Aside.] Now, what a thing it is to be an ass!
Here’s no sound jest! the old man hath found their guilt
And sends them weapons wrapp’d about with lines,
That wound, beyond their feeling, to the quick;
But were our witty empress well afoot,
She would applaud Andronicus’ conceit:
But let her rest in her unrest awhile.
[To them.] And now, young lords, was’t not a happy star
Led us to Rome, strangers, and more than so,
Captives, to be advanced to this height?
It did me good before the palace gate
To brave the tribune in his brother’s hearing.
But me more good, to see so great a lord
Basely insinuate and send us gifts.
Had he not reason, Lord Demetrius?
Did you not use his daughter very friendly?
I would we had a thousand Roman dames
At such a bay, by turn to serve our lust.
A charitable wish and full of love.
Here lacks but your mother for to say amen.
And that would she for twenty thousand more.
Come, let us go and pray to all the gods
For our beloved mother in her pains.
[Aside.] Pray to the devils; the gods have given us over.
Why do the emperor’s trumpets flourish thus?
Belike, for joy the emperor hath a son.
Soft! who comes here?
Enter a Nurse, with a blackamoor Child.
Good morrow, lords. O! tell me, did you see
Aaron the Moor?
Well, more or less, or ne’er a whit at all,
Here Aaron is; and what with Aaron now?
O gentle Aaron! we are all undone.
Now help, or woe betide thee evermore!
Why, what a caterwauling dost thou keep!
What dost thou wrap and fumble in thine arms?
O! that which I would hide from heaven’s eye,
Our empress’ shame, and stately Rome’s disgrace!
She is deliver’d, lords, she is deliver’d.
I mean, she’s brought a-bed.
Well, God give her good rest! What hath he sent her?
Why, then she’s the devil’s dam: a joyful issue.
A joyless, dismal, black, and sorrowful issue.
Here is the babe, as loathsome as a toad
Amongst the fairest breeders of our clime.
The empress sends it thee, thy stamp, thy seal,
And bids thee christen it with thy dagger’s point.
’Zounds, ye whore! is black so base a hue?
Sweet blowse, you are a beauteous blossom, sure.
Villain, what hast thou done?
That which thou canst not undo.
Thou hast undone our mother.
Villain, I have done thy mother.
And therein, hellish dog, thou hast undone.
Woe to her chance, and damn’d her loathed choice!
Accurs’d the offspring of so foul a fiend!
It shall not live.
It shall not die.
Aaron, it must; the mother wills it so.
What! must it, nurse? then let no man but I
Do execution on my flesh and blood.
I’ll broach the tadpole on my rapier’s point:
Nurse, give it me; my sword shall soon dispatch it.
Sooner this sword shall plough thy bowels up.
[Takes the Child from the Nurse, and draws.
Stay, murderous villains! will you kill your brother?
Now, by the burning tapers of the sky,
That shone so brightly when this boy was got,
He dies upon my scimitar’s sharp point
That touches this my first-born son and heir.
I tell you, younglings, not Enceladus,
With all his threatening band of Typhon’s brood,
Nor great Alcides, nor the god of war,
Shall seize this prey out of his father’s hands.
What, what, ye sanguine, shallow-hearted boys!
Ye white-lim’d walls! ye alehouse painted signs!
Coal-black is better than another hue,
In that it scorns to bear another hue;
For all the water in the ocean
Can never turn the swan’s black legs to white,
Although she lave them hourly in the flood.
Tell the empress from me, I am of age
To keep mine own, excuse it how she can.
Wilt thou betray thy noble mistress thus?
My mistress is my mistress; this myself;
The vigour, and the picture of my youth:
This before all the world do I prefer;
This maugre all the world will I keep safe,
Or some of you shall smoke for it in Rome.
By this our mother is for ever sham’d.
Rome will despise her for this foul escape.
The emperor in his rage will doom her death.
I blush to think upon this ignomy.
Why, there’s the privilege your beauty bears.
Fie, treacherous hue! that will betray with blushing
The close enacts and counsels of the heart:
Here’s a young lad fram’d of another leer:
Look how the black slavesmiles upon the father,
As who should say, ‘Old lad, I am thine own.’
He is your brother, lords, sensibly fed
Of that self blood that first gave life to you;
And from that womb where you imprison’d were
He is enfranchised and come to light:
Nay, he is your brother by the surer side,
Although my seal be stamped in his face.
Aaron, what shall I say unto the empress?
Advise thee, Aaron, what is to be done,
And we will all subscribe to thy advice:
Save thou the child, so we may all be safe.
Then sit we down, and let us all consult,
My son and I will have the wind of you:
Keep there; now talk at pleasure of your safety.
How many women saw this child of his?
Why, so, brave lords! when we join in league,
I am a lamb; but if you brave the Moor,
The chafed boar, the mountain lioness,
The ocean swells not so as Aaron storms.
But say, again, how many saw the child?
Cornelia the midwife, and myself,
And no one else but the deliver’d empress.
The empress, the midwife, and yourself:
Two may keep counsel when the third’s away.
Go to the empress; tell her this I said:
So cries a pig prepared to the spit.
What mean’st thou, Aaron? Wherefore didst thou this?
O lord, sir, ’tis a deed of policy:
Shall she live to betray this guilt of ours,
A long-tongu’d babbling gossip? no, lords, no.
And now be it known to you my full intent.
Not far, one Muli lives, my countryman;
His wife but yesternight was brought to bed.
His child is like to her, fair as you are:
Go pack with him, and give the mother gold,
And tell them both the circumstance of all,
And how by this their child shall be advanc’d,
And be received for the emperor’s heir,
And substituted in the place of mine,
To calm this tempest whirling in the court;
And let the emperor dandle him for his own.
Hark ye, lords; you see, I have given her physic,
[Pointing to the Nurse.
And you must needs bestow her funeral;
The fields are near, and you are gallant grooms.
This done, see that you take no longer days,
But send the midwife presently to me.
The midwife and the nurse well made away,
Then let the ladies tattle what they please.
Aaron, I see thou wilt not trust the air
For this care of Tamora,
Herself and hers are highly hound to thee.
[ExeuntDemetriusandChiron,bearing off the Nurse’s body.
Now to the Goths, as swift as swallow flies:
There to dispose this treasure in mine arms,
And secretly to greet the empress’ friends.
Come on, you thick-lipp’d slave, I’ll bear you hence;
For it is you that puts us to our shifts:
I’ll make you feed on berries and on roots,
And feed on curds and whey, and suck the goat,
And cabin in a cave, and bring you up
To be a warrior, and command a camp.
[Exit with the Child.
EnterTitus,bearing arrows, with letters on the ends of them; with himMarcus,youngLucius, Publius, Sempronius, Caius,and other Gentlemen, with bows.
Come, Marcus, come; kinsmen, this is the way.
Sir boy, now let me see your archery:
Look ye draw home enough, and ’tis there straight.
Terras Astræa reliquit:
Be you remember’d, Marcus, she’s gone, she’s fled.
Sirs, take you to your tools. You, cousins, shall
Go sound the ocean, and cast your nets;
Happily you may find her in the sea;
Yet there’s as little justice as at land.
No; Publius and Sempronius, you must do it;
’Tis you must dig with mattock and with spade,
And pierce the inmost centre of the earth:
Then, when you come to Pluto’s region,
I pray you, deliver him this petition;
Tell him, it is for justice and for aid,
And that it comes from old Andronicus,
Shaken with sorrows in ungrateful Rome.
Ah! Rome. Well, well; I made thee miserable
What time I threw the people’s suffrages
On him that thus doth tyrannize o’er me.
Go, get you gone; and pray be careful all,
And leave you not a man-of-war unsearch’d:
This wicked emperor may have shipp’d her hence;
And, kinsmen, then we may go pipe for justice.
O Publius! is not this a heavy case,
To see thy noble uncle thus distract?
Therefore, my lord, it highly us concerns
By day and night to attend him carefully,
And feed his humour kindly as we may,
Till time beget some careful remedy.
Kinsmen, his sorrows are past remedy.
Join with the Goths, and with revengeful war
Take wreak on Rome for this ingratitude,
And vengeance on the traitor Saturnine.
Publius, how now! how now, my masters!
What! have you met with her?
No, my good lord; but Pluto sends you word,
If you will have Revenge from hell, you shall:
Marry, for Justice, she is so employ’d,
He thinks, with Jove in heaven, or somewhere else,
So that perforce you must needs stay a time.
He doth me wrong to feed me with delays.
I’ll dive into the burning lake below,
And pull her out of Acheron by the heels.
Marcus, we are but shrubs, no cedars we;
No big-bon’d men fram’d of the Cyclops’ size;
But metal, Marcus, steel to the very back,
Yet wrung with wrongs more than our backs can bear:
And sith there’s no justice in earth nor hell,
We will solicit heaven and move the gods
To send down Justice for to wreak our wrongs.
Come, to this gear. You are a good archer, Marcus.
[He gives them the arrows.
Ad Javem, that’s for you: here, ad Apollinem:
Ad Martem, that’s for myself:
Here, boy, to Pallas: here, to Mercury:
To Saturn, Caius, not to Saturnine;
You were as good to shoot against the wind.
To it, boy! Marcus, loose when I bid.
Of my word, I have written to effect;
There’s not a god left unsolicited.
Kinsmen, shoot all your shafts into the court:
We will afflict the emperor in his pride.
Now, masters, draw. [They shoot.] O! well said, Lucius!
Good boy, in Virgo’s lap: give it Pallas.
My lord, I aim a mile beyond the moon;
Your letter is with Jupiter by this.
Ha! Publius, Publius, what hast thou done?
See, see! thou hast shot off one of Taurus’ horns.
This was the sport, my lord: when Publius shot,
The Bull, being gall’d, gave Aries such a knock
That down fell both the Ram’s horns in the court;
And who should find them but the empress’ villain?
She laugh’d, and told the Moor, he should not choose
But give them to his master for a present.
Why, there it goes: God give his lordship joy!
Enter a Clown, with a basket, and two pigeons in it.
News! news from heaven! Marcus, the post is come.
Sirrah, what tidings? have you any letters?
Shall I have justice? what says Jupiter?
O! tho gibbet-maker? He says that he hath taken them down again, for the man must not be hanged till the next week.
But what says Jupiter, I ask thee?
Alas! sir, I know not Jupiter; I never drank with him in all my life.
Why, villain, art not thou the carrier?
Ay, of my pigeons, sir; nothing else.
Why, didst thou not come from heaven?
From heaven! alas! sir, I never came there. God forbid I should be so bold to press to heaven in my young days. Why, I am going with my pigeons to the tribunal plebs, to take up a matter of brawl betwixt my uncle and one of the emperial’s men.
Why, sir, that is as fit as can be to serve for your oration; and let him deliver the pigeons to the emperor from you.
Tell me, can you deliver an oration to the emperor with a grace?
Nay, truly, sir, I could never say grace in all my life.
Sirrah, come hither: make no more ado,
But give your pigeons to the emperor:
By me thou shalt have justice at his hands.
Hold, hold; meanwhile, here’s money for thy charges.
Give me pen and ink.
Sirrah, can you with a grace deliver a supplication?
Then here is a supplication for you. And when you come to him, at the first approach you must kneel; then kiss his foot; then deliver up your pigeons; and then look for your reward. I’ll be at hand, sir; see you do it bravely.
I warrant you, sir; let me alone.
Sirrah, hast thou a knife? Come, let me see it.
Here, Marcus, fold it in the oration;
For thou hast made it like a humble suppliant:
And when thou hast given it to the emperor,
Knock at my door, and tell me what he says.
God be with you, sir; I will.
Come, Marcus, let us go. Publius, follow me.
EnterSaturninus, Tamora, Demetrius, Chiron, Lords, and Others:Saturninuswith the arrows in his hand thatTitusshot.
Why, lords, what wrongs are these! Was ever seen
An emperor of Rome thus overborne,
Troubled, confronted thus; and, for the extent
Of egal justice, us’d in such contempt?
My lords, you know, as do the mightful gods,—
However these disturbers of our peace
Buzz in the people’s ears,—there nought hath pass’d,
But even with law, against the wilful sons
Of old Andronicus. And what an if
His sorrows have so overwhelm’d his wits,
Shall we be thus afflicted in his wreaks,
His fits, his frenzy, and his bitterness?
And now he writes to heaven for his redress:
See, here’s to Jove, and this to Mercury;
This to Apollo; this to the god of war;
Sweet scrolls to fly about the streets of Rome!
What’s this but libelling against the senate,
And blazoning our injustice every where?
A goodly humour, is it not, my lords?
As who would say, in Rome no justice were.
But if I live, his feigned ecstasies
Shall be no shelter to these outrages;
But he and his shall know that justice lives
In Saturninus’ health; whom, if she sleep,
He’ll so awake, as she in fury shall
Cut off the proud’st conspirator that lives.
My gracious lord, my lovely Saturnine,
Lord of my life, commander of my thoughts,
Calm thee, and bear the faults of Titus’ age,
The effects of sorrow for his valiant sons,
Whose loss hath pierc’d him deep and scarr’d his heart;
And rather comfort his distressed plight
Than prosecute the meanest or the best
For these contempts.—[Aside.] Why, thus it shall become
High-witted Tamora to gloze with all:
But, Titus, I have touch’d thee to the quick,
Thy life-blood out: if Aaron now be wise,
Then is all safe, the anchor’s in the port.
How now, good fellow! wouldst thou speak with us?
Yea, forsooth, an your mistership be emperial.
Empress I am, but yonder sits the emperor.
’Tis he. God and Saint Stephen give you good den.
I have brought you a letter and a couple of pigeons here.
[Saturninusreads the letter.
Go, take him away, and hang him presently.
How much money must I have?
Come, sirrah, you must be hanged.
Hanged! By ’r, lady, then I have brought up a neck to a fair end.
Despiteful and intolerable wrongs!
Shall I endure this monstrous villany?
I know from whence this same device proceeds:
May this be borne? As if his traitorous sons,
That died by law for murder of our brother,
Have by my means been butcher’d wrongfully!
Go, drag the villain hither by the hair;
Nor age nor honour shall shape privilege.
For this proud mock I’ll be thy slaughterman;
Sly frantic wretch, that holp’st to make me great,
In hope thyself should govern Rome and me.
What news with thee, Æmilius?
Arm, arm, my lord! Rome never had more cause.
The Goths have gather’d head, and with a power
Of high-resolved men, bent to the spoil,
They hither march amain, under conduct
Of Lucius, son to old Andronicus;
Who threats, in course of this revenge, to do
As much as ever Coriolanus did.
Is war-like Lucius general of the Goths?
These tidings nip me, and I hang the head
As flowers with frost or grass beat down with storms.
Ay, now begin our sorrows to approach:
’Tis he the common people love so much;
Myself hath often heard them say,
When I have walked like a private man,
That Lucius’ banishment was wrongfully,
And they have wish’d that Lucius were their emperor.
Why should you fear? is not your city strong?
Ay, but the citizens favour Lucius,
And will revolt from me to succour him.
King, be thy thoughts imperious, like thy name.
Is the sun dimm’d, that gnats do fly in it?
The eagle suffers little birds to sing,
And is not careful what they mean thereby,
Knowing that with the shadow of his wings
He can at pleasure stint their melody;
Even so mayst thou the giddy men of Rome.
Then cheer thy spirit; for know, thou emperor,
I will enchant the old Andronicus
With words more sweet, and yet more dangerous,
Than baits to fish, or honey-stalks to sheep,
Whenas the one is wounded with the bait,
The other rotted with delicious feed.
But he will not entreat his son for us.
If Tamora entreat him, then he will:
For I can smooth and fill his aged ear
With golden promises, that, were his heart
Almost impregnable, his old ears deaf,
Yet should both ear and heart obey my tongue.
[ToÆmilius.] Go thou before, be our ambassador:
Say that the emperor requests a parley
Of war-like Lucius, and appoint the meeting,
Even at his father’s house, the old Andronicus.
Æmilius, do this message honourably:
And if he stand on hostage for his safety,
Bid him demand what pledge will please him best.
Your bidding shall I do effectually.
Now will I to that old Andronicus,
And temper him with all the art I have,
To pluck proud Lucius from the war-like Goths.
And now, sweet emperor, be blithe again,
And bury all thy fear in my devices.
Then go successantly, and plead to him.
Flourish. EnterLucius,and an army of Goths, with drums and colours.
Approved warriors, and my faithful friends,
I have received letters from great Rome,
Which signify what hate they bear their emperor,
And how desirous of our sight they are.
Therefore, great lords, be, as your titles witness,
Imperious and impatient of your wrongs;
And wherein Rome hath done you any scath,
Let him make treble satisfaction.
Brave slip, sprung from the great Andronicus,
Whose name was once our terror, now our comfort;
Whose high exploits and honourable deeds
Ingrateful Rome requites with foul contempt,
Be bold in us: we’ll follow where thou lead’st,
Like stinging bees in hottest summer’s day
Led by their master to the flower’d fields,
And be aveng’d on cursed Tamora.
And, as he saith, so say we all with him.
I humbly thank him, and I thank you all.
But who comes here, led by a lusty Goth?
Enter a Goth, leadingAaron,with his Child in his arms.
Renowned Lucius, from our troops I stray’d,
To gaze upon a ruinous monastery;
And as I earnestly did fix mine eye
Upon the wasted building, suddenly
I heard a child cry underneath a wall.
I made unto the noise; when soon I heard
The crying babe controll’d with this discourse:
‘Peace, tawny slave, half me and half thy dam!
Did not thy hue bewray whose brat thou art,
Had nature lent thee but thy mother’s look,
Villain, thou mightst have been an emperor:
But where the bull and cow are both milk-white,
They never do beget a coal-black calf.
Peace, villain, peace!’—even thus he rates the babe,—
‘For I must bear thee to a trusty Goth;
Who, when he knows thou art the empress’ babe,
Will hold thee dearly for thy mother’s sake.’
With this, my weapon drawn, I rush’d upon him,
Surpris’d him suddenly, and brought him hither,
To use as you think needful of the man.
O worthy Goth, this is the incarnate devil
That robb’d Andronicus of his good hand:
This is the pearl that pleas’d your empress’ eye,
And here’s the base fruit of his burning lust.
Say, wall-ey’d slave, whither wouldst thou convey
This growing image of thy fiend-like face?
Why dost not speak? What! deaf? not a word?
A halter, soldiers! hang him on this tree,
And by his side his fruit of bastardy.
Touch not the boy; he is of royal blood.
Too like the sire for ever being good.
First hang the child, that he may see it sprawl;
A sight to vex the father’s soul withal.
Get me a ladder.
[A ladder brought, whichAaronis made to ascend.
Lucius, save the child;
And bear it from me to the empress.
If thou do this, I’ll show thee wondrous things,
That highly may advantage thee to hear:
If thou wilt not, befall what may befall,
I’ll speak no more but ‘Vengeance rot you all!’
Say on; and if it please me which thou speak’st,
Thy child shall live, and I will see it nourish’d.
An if it please thee! why, assure thee, Lucius,
’Twill vex’thy soul to hear what I shall speak;
For I must talk of murders, rapes, and massacres,
Acts of black night, abominable deeds,
Complots of mischief, treason, villanies
Ruthful to hear, yet piteously perform’d:
And this shall all be buried by my death,
Unless thou swear to me my child shall live.
Tell on thy mind: I say, thy child shall live.
Swear that he shall, and then I will begin.
Who should I swear by? thou believ’st no god:
That granted, how canst thou believe an oath?
What if I do not? as, indeed, I do not;
Yet, for I know thou art religious,
And hast a thing within thee called conscience,
With twenty popish tricks and ceremonies,
Which I have seen thee careful to observe,
Therefore I urge thy oath; for that I know
An idiot holds his bauble for a god,
And keeps the oath which by that god he swears,
To that I’ll urge him: therefore thou shalt vow
By that same god, what god soe’er it be,
That thou ador’st and hast in reverence,
To save my boy, to nourish and bring him up:
Or else I will discover nought to thee.
Even by my god I swear to thee I will.
First, know thou, I begot him on the empress.
O most insatiate and luxurious woman!
Tut! Lucius, this was but a deed of charity
To that which thou shalt hear of me anon.
’Twas her two sons that murder’d Bassianus;
They cut thy sister’s tongue and ravish’d her,
And cut her hands and trimm’d her as thou saw’st.
O detestable villain! call’st thou that trimming?
Why, she was wash’d, and cut, and trimm’d, and ’twas
Trim sport for them that had the doing of it.
O barbarous, beastly villains, like thyself!
Indeed, I was their tutor to instruct them.
That codding spirit had they from their mother,
As sure a card as ever won the set;
That bloody mind, I think, they learn’d of me
As true a dog as ever fought at head.
Well, let my deeds be witness of my worth.
I train’d thy brethren to that guileful hole
Where the dead corpse of Bassianus lay;
I wrote the letter that thy father found,
And hid the gold within the letter mention’d,
Confederate with the queen and her two sons:
And what not done, that thou hast cause to rue,
Wherein I had no stroke of mischief in it?
I play’d the cheater for thy father’s hand,
And, when I had it, drew myself apart,
And almost broke my heart with extreme laughter.
I pry’d me through the crevice of a wall
When, for his hand, he had his two sons’ heads;
Beheld his tears, and laugh’d so heartily,
That both mine eyes were rainy like to his:
And when I told the empress of this sport,
She swounded almost at my pleasing tale,
And for my tidings gave me twenty kisses.
What! canst thou say all this, and never blush?
Ay, like a black dog, as the saying is.
Art thou not sorry for these heinous deeds?
Ay, that I had not done a thousand more.
Even now I curse the day, and yet, I think,
Few come within the compass of my curse,
Wherein I did not some notorious ill:
As kill a man, or else devise his death;
Ravish a maid, or plot the way to do it;
Accuse some innocent, and forswear myself;
Set deadly enmity between two friends;
Make poor men’s cattle break their necks;
Set fire on barns and hay-stacks in the night,
And bid the owners quench them with their tears,
Oft have I digg’d up dead men from their graves,
And set them upright at their dear friends’ doors,
Even when their sorrows almost were forgot;
And on their skins, as on the bark of trees,
Have with my knife carved in Roman letters,
‘Let not your sorrow die, though I am dead.’
Tut! I have done a thousand dreadful things
As willingly as one would kill a fly,
And nothing grieves me heartily indeed
But that I cannot do ten thousand more.
Bring down the devil, for he must not die
So sweet a death as hanging presently.
If there be devils, would I were a devil,
To live and burn in everlasting fire,
So I might have your company in hell,
But to torment you with my bitter tongue!
Sirs, stop his mouth, and let him speak no more.
Enter a Goth.
My lord, there is a messenger from Rome
Desires to be admitted to your presence.
Let him come near.
Welcome, Æmilius! what’s the news from Rome?
Lord Lucius, and you princes of the Goths,
The Roman emperor greets you all by me;
And, for he understands you are in arms,
He craves a parley at your father’s house,
Willing you to demand your hostages,
And they shall be immediately deliver’d.
What says our general?
Æmilius, let the emperor give his pledges
Unto my father and my uncle Marcus,
And we will come. March away.
Thus, in this strange and sad habiliment,
I will encounter with Andronicus,
And say I am Revenge, sent from below
To join with him and right his heinous wrongs.
Knock at his study, where, they say, he keeps,
To ruminate strange plots of dire revenge;
Tell him, Revenge is come to join with him,
And work confusion on his enemies.
Who doth molest my contemplation?
Is it your trick to make me ope the door,
That so my sad decrees may fly away,
And all my study be to no effect?
You are deceiv’d; for what I mean to do,
See here, in bloody lines I have set down;
And what is written shall be executed.
Titus, I am come to talk with thee.
No, not a word; how can I grace my talk,
Wanting a hand to give it action?
Thou hast the odds of me; therefore no more.
If thou didst know me, thou wouldst talk with me.
I am not mad; I know thee well enough:
Witness this wretched stump, witness these crimson lines;
Witness these trenches made by grief and care;
Witness the tiring day and heavy night;
Witness all sorrow, that I know thee well
For our proud empress, mighty Tamora.
Is not thy coming for my other hand?
Know, thou sad man, I am not Tamora;
She is thy enemy, and I thy friend:
I am Revenge, sent from the infernal kingdom,
To ease the gnawing vulture of thy mind,
By working wreakful vengeance on thy foes.
Come down, and welcome me to this world’s light;
Confer with me of murder and of death.
There’s not a hollow cave or lurking-place,
No vast obscurity or misty vale,
Where bloody murder or detested rape
Can couch for fear, but I will find them out;
And in their ears tell them my dreadful name,
Revenge, which makes the foul offender quake.
Art thou Revenge? and art thou sent to me,
To be a torment to mine enemies?
I am; therefore come down, and welcome me.
Do me some service ere I come to thee.
Lo, by thy side where Rape and Murder stands;
Now give some surance that thou art Revenge:
Stab them, or tear them on thy chariot-wheels,
And then I’ll come and be thy waggoner,
And whirl along with thee about the globe.
Provide two proper palfreys, black as jet,
To hale thy vengeful waggon swift away,
And find out murderers in their guilty caves:
And when thy car is loaden with their heads,
I will dismount, and by the waggon-wheel
Trot like a servile footman all day long,
Even from Hyperion’s rising in the east
Until his very downfall in the sea:
And day by day I’ll do this heavy task,
So thou destroy Rapine and Murder there.
These are my ministers, and come with me.
Are these thy ministers? what are they call’d?
Rapine and Murder; therefore called so,
Cause they take vengeance of such kind of men.
Good Lord, how like the empress’ sons they are,
And you the empress! but we worldly men
Have miserable, mad, mistaking eyes.
O sweet Revenge! now do I come to thee;
And, if one arm’s embracement will content thee,
I will embrace thee in it by and by.
This closing with him fits his lunacy.
Whate’er I forge to feed his brain-sick fits,
Do you uphold and maintain in your speeches,
For now he firmly takes me for Revenge;
And, being credulous in this mad thought,
I’ll make him send for Lucius his son;
And, whilst I at a banquet hold him sure,
I’ll find some cunning practice out of hand
To scatter and disperse the giddy Goths,
Or, at the least, make them his enemies.
See, here he comes, and I must ply my theme.
Long have I been forlorn, and all for thee:
Welcome, dread Fury, to my woeful house:
Rapine and Murder, you are welcome too.
How like the empress and her sons you are!
Well are you fitted had you but a Moor:
Could not all hell afford you such a devil?
For well I wot the empress never wags
But in her company there is a Moor;
And would you represent our queen aright,
It were convenient you had such a devil.
But welcome as you are. What shall we do?
What wouldst thou have us do, Andronicus?
Show me a murderer, I’ll deal with him.
Show me a villain that hath done a rape,
And I am sent to be reveng’d on him.
Show me a thousand that have done thee wrong,
And I will be revenged on them all.
Look round about the wicked streets of Rome,
And when thou find’st a man that’s like thyself,
Good Murder, stab him; he’s a murderer.
Go thou with him; and when it is thy hap
To find another that is like to thee,
Good Rapine, stab him; he’s a ravisher.
Go thou with them; and in the emperor’s court
There is a queen attended by a Moor;
Well mayst thou know her by thy own proportion,
For up and down she doth resemble thee:
I pray thee, do on them some violent death;
They have been violent to me and mine.
Well hast thou lesson’d us; this shall we do.
But would it please thee, good Andronicus,
To send for Lucius, thy thrice-valiant son,
Who leads towards Rome a band of war-like Goths,
And bid him come and banquet at thy house:
When he is here, even at thy solemn feast,
I will bring in the empress and her sons,
The emperor himself, and all thy foes,
And at thy mercy shall they stoop and kneel,
And on them shalt thou ease thy angry heart.
What says Andronicus to this device?
Marcus, my brother! ’tis sad Titus calls.
Go, gentle Marcus, to thy nephew Lucius;
Thou shalt inquire him out among the Goths:
Bid him repair to me, and bring with him
Some of the chiefest princes of the Goths;
Bid him encamp his soldiers where they are:
Tell him, the emperor and the empress too
Feast at my house, and he shall feast with them.
This do thou for my love; and so let him,
As he regards his aged father’s life.
This will I do, and soon return again.
Now will I hence about thy business,
And take my ministers along with me.
Nay, nay, let Rape and Murder stay with me;
Or else I’ll call my brother back again,
And cleave to no revenge but Lucius.
[Aside to her sons.] What say you, boys? will you abide with him,
Whiles I go tell my lord the emperor
How I have govern’d our determin’d jest?
Yield to his humour, smooth and speak him fair,
And tarry with him till I turn again.
[Aside.] I know them all, though they suppose me mad;
And will o’er-reach them in their own devices;
A pair of cursed hell-hounds and their dam.
[Aside toTamora.] Madam, depart at pleasure; leave us here.
Farewell, Andronicus: Revenge now goes
To lay a complot to betray thy foes.
I know thou dost; and, sweet Revenge, farewell.
Tell us, old man, how shall we be employ’d?
Tut! I have work enough for you to do.
Publius, come hither, Caius, and Valentine!
What is your will?
Know you these two?
The empress’ sons,
I take them, Chiron and Demetrius.
Fie, Publius, fie! thou art too much deceiv’d;
The one is Murder, Rape is the other’s name;
And therefore bind them, gentle Publius;
Caius and Valentine, lay hands on them;
Oft have you heard me wish for such an hour,
And now I find it: therefore bind them sure,
And stop their mouths, if they begin to cry.
Villains, forbear! we are the empress’ sons.
And therefore do we what we are commanded.
Stop close their mouths, let them not speak a word.
Is he sure bound? look that you bind them fast.
Re-enterTitus,withLavinia;she bearing a basin, and he a knife.
Come, come, Lavinia; look, thy foes are bound.
Sirs, stop their mouths, let them not speak to me,
But let them hear what fearful words I utter.
O villains, Chiron and Demetrius!
Here stands the spring whom you have stain’d with mud,
This goodly summer with your winter mix’d.
You kill’d her husband, and for that vile fault
Two of her brothers were condemn’d to death,
My hand cut off and made a merry jest:
Both her sweet hands, her tongue, and that more dear
Than hands or tongue, her spotless chastity,
Inhuman traitors, you constrain’d and forc’d.
What would you say if I should let you speak?
Villains! for shame you could not beg for grace.
Hark, wretches! how I mean to martyr you.
This one hand yet is left to cut your throats,
Whilst that Levinia ’tween her stumps doth hold
The basin that receives your guilty blood.
You know your mother means to feast with me,
And calls herself Revenge, and thinks me mad.
Hark! villains, I will grind your bones to dust,
And with your blood and it I’ll make a paste;
And of the paste a coffin I will rear,
And make two pasties of your shameful heads;
And bid that strumpet, your unhallow’d dam,
Like to the earth swallow her own increase.
This is the feast that I have bid her to,
And this the banquet she shall surfeit on;
For worse than Philomel you us’d my daughter,
And worse than Procne I will be reveng’d.
And now prepare your throats. Lavinia, come.
[He cuts their throats.
Receive the blood: and when that they are dead,
Let me go grind their bones to powder small,
And with this hateful liquor temper it;
And in that paste let their vile heads be bak’d.
Come, come, be every one officious
To make this banquet, which I wish may prove
More stern and bloody than the Centaurs’ feast.
So, now bring them in, for I will play the cook,
And see them ready ’gainst their mother comes.
[Exeunt, bearing the dead bodies.
EnterLucius, Marcusand Goths, withAaronprisoner.
Uncle Marcus, since it is my father’s mind
That I repair to Rome, I am content.
And ours with thine, befall what fortune will.
Good uncle, take you in this barbarous Moor,
This ravenous tiger, this accursed devil;
Let him receive no sustenance, fetter him,
Till he be brought unto the empress’ face,
For testimony of her foul proceedings:
And see the ambush of our friends be strong;
I fear the emperor means no good to us.
Some devil whisper curses in mine ear,
And prompt me, that my tongue may utter forth
The venomous malice of my swelling heart!
Away, inhuman dog! unhallow’d slave!
Sirs, help our uncle to convey him in.
[Exeunt Goths, withAaron.Trumpets sound.
The trumpets show the emperor is at hand.
EnterSaturninusandTamora,withÆmilius, Senators, Tribunes, and Others.
What! hath the firmament more suns than one?
What boots it thee, to call thyself a sun?
Rome’s emperor, and nephew, break the parle;
These quarrels must be quietly debated.
The feast is ready which the careful Titus
Hath ordain’d to an honourable end,
For peace, for love, for league, and good to Rome:
Please you, therefore, draw nigh, and take your places.
Marcus, we will.
EnterTitus,dressed like a cook,Lavinia,veiled, youngLucius,and Others.Titusplaces the dishes on the table.
Welcome, my gracious lord; welcome, dread queen;
Welcome, ye war-like Goths; welcome, Lucius;
And welcome, all. Although the cheer be poor,
’Twill fill your stomachs; please you eat of it.
Why art thou thus attir’d, Andronicus?
Because I would be sure to have all well
To entertain your highness, and your empress.
We are beholding to you, good Andronicus.
An if your highness knew my heart, you were.
My lord the emperor, resolve me this:
Was it well done of rash Virginius
To slay his daughter with his own right hand,
Because she was enforced, stain’d, and deflower’d?
It was, Andronicus.
Your reason, mighty lord?
Because the girl should not survive her shame,
And by her presence still renew his sorrows.
A reason mighty, strong, and effectual;
A pattern, precedent, and lively warrant,
For me most wretched, to perform the like.
Die, die. Lavinia, and thy shame with thee;
And with thy shame thy father’s sorrow die!
What hast thou done, unnatural and unkind?
Kill’d her, for whom my tears have made me blind.
I am as woeful as Virginius was,
And have a thousand times more cause than he
To do this outrage: and it is now done.
What! was she ravish’d? tell who did the deed.
Will ’t please you eat? will ’t please your highness feed?
Why hast thou slain thine only daughter thus?
Not I; ’twas Chiron and Demetrius:
They ravish’d her, and cut away her tongue:
And they, ’twas they, that did her all this wrong.
Go fetch them hither to us presently.
Why, there they are both, baked in that pie;
Whereof their mother daintily hath fed,
Eating the flesh that she herself hath bred.
’Tis true, ’tis true; witness my knife’s sharp point.
Die, frantic wretch, for this accursed deed!
Can the son’s eye behold his father bleed?
There’s meed for meed, death for a deadly deed!
[KillsSaturninus.A great tumult. The people in confusion disperse.Marcus, Lucius,and their partisans, go up into the balcony.
You sad-fac’d men, people and sons of Rome,
By uproar sever’d, like a flight of fowl
Scatter’d by winds and high tempestuous gusts,
O! let me teach you how to knit again
This scatter’d corn into one mutual sheaf,
These broken limbs again into one body,
Lest Rome herself be bane unto herself,
And she whom mighty kingdoms curtsy to,
Like a forlorn and desperate castaway,
Do shameful execution on herself.
But if my frosty signs and chaps of age,
Grave witnesses of true experience,
Cannot induce you to attend my words,
[ToLucius.] Speak, Rome’s dear friend, as erst our ancestor,
When with his solemn tongue he did discourse
To love-sick Dido’s sad attending ear
The story of that baleful burning night
When subtle Greeks surpris’d King Priam’s Troy;
Tell us what Sinon hath bewitch’d our ears,
Or who hath brought the fatal engine in
That gives our Troy, our Rome, the civil wound.
My heart is not compact of flint nor steel,
Nor can I utter all our bitter grief,
But floods of tears will drown my oratory,
And break my very utterance, even in the time
When it should move you to attend me most,
Lending your kind commiseration.
Here is a captain, let him tell the tale;
Your hearts will throb and weep to hear him speak.
Then, noble auditory, be it known to you,
That cursed Chiron and Demetrius
Were they that murdered our emperor’s brother;
And they it was that ravished our sister.
For their fell faults our brothers were beheaded,
Our father’s tears despis’d, and basely cozen’d
Of that true hand that fought Rome’s quarrel out,
And sent her enemies unto the grave:
Lastly, myself unkindly banished,
The gates shut on me, and turn’d weeping out,
To beg relief among Rome’s enemies;
Who drown’d their enmity in my true tears,
And op’d their arms to embrace me as a friend:
And I am the turn’d forth, be it known to you,
That have preserv’d her welfare in my blood,
And from her bosom took the enemy’s point,
Sheathing the steel in my adventurous body.
Alas! you know I am no vaunter, I;
My scars can witness, dumb although they are,
That my report is just and full of truth.
But, soft! methinks I do digress too much,
Citing my worthless praise: O! pardon me;
For when no friends are by, men praise themselves.
Now is my turn to speak. Behold this child;
Of this was Tamora delivered,
The issue of an irreligious Moor,
Chief architect and plotter of these woes.
The villain is alive in Titus’ house,
Damn’d as he is, to witness this is true.
Now judge what cause had Titus to revenge
These wrongs, unspeakable, past patience,
Or more than any living man could bear.
Now you have heard the truth, what say you Romans?
Have we done aught amiss, show us wherein,
And, from the place where you behold us now,
The poor remainder of Andronici
Will, hand in hand, all headlong cast us down,
And on the ragged stones beat forth our brains,
And make a mutual closure of our house.
Speak, Romans, speak! and if you say we shall,
Lo! hand in hand, Lucius and I will fall.
Come, come, thou reverend man of Rome,
And bring our emperor gently in thy hand,
Lucius, our emperor; for well I know
The common voice do cry it shall be so.
Lucius, all hail! Rome’s royal emperor!
[To Attendants.] Go, go into old Titus’ sorrowful house,
And hither, hale that misbelieving Moor,
To be adjudg’d some direful slaughtering death,
As punishment for his most wicked life.
Lucius, Marcus,and the Others descend.
Lucius, all hail! Rome’s gracious governor!
Thanks, gentle Romans: may I govern so,
To heal Rome’s harms, and wipe away her woe!
But, gentle people, give me aim awhile,
For nature puts me to a heavy task.
Stand all aloof; but, uncle, draw you near,
To shed obsequious tears upon this trunk.
O! take this warm kiss on thy pale cold lips,
These sorrowful drops upon thy blood-stain’d face,
The last true duties of thy noble son!
Tear for tear, and loving kiss for kiss,
Thy brother Marcus tenders on thy lips:
O! were the sum of these that I should pay
Countless and infinite, yet would I pay them.
Come hither, boy; come, come, and learn of us
To melt in showers: thy grandsire lov’d thee well:
Many a time he danc’d thee on his knee,
Sung thee asleep, his loving breast thy pillow;
Many a matter hath he told to thee,
Meet and agreeing with thine infancy;
In that respect, then, like a loving child,
Shed yet some small drops from thy tender spring,
Because kind nature doth require it so:
Friends should associate friends in grief and woe.
Bid him farewell; commit him to the grave;
Do him that kindness, and take leave of him.
O grandsire, grandsire! even with all my heart
Would I were dead, so you did live again.
O Lord! I cannot speak to him for weeping;
My tears will choke me if I ope my mouth.
Re-enter Attendants, withAaron.
You sad Andronici, have done with woes:
Give sentence on this execrable wretch,
That hath been breeder of these dire events.
Set him breast-deep in earth, and famish him;
There let him stand, and rave, and cry for food:
If any one relieves or pities him,
For the offence he dies. This is our doom:
Some stay to see him fasten’d in the earth.
O! why should wrath be mute, and fury dumb?
I am no baby, I, that with base prayers
I should repent the evils I have done.
Ten thousand worse than ever yet I did
Would I perform, if I might have my will:
If one good deed in all my life I did,
I do repent it from my very soul.
Some loving friends convey the emperor hence,
And give him burial in his father’s grave.
My father and Lavinia shall forthwith
Be closed in our household’s monument.
As for that heinous tiger, Tamora,
No funeral rite, nor man in mournful weeds,
No mournful bell shall ring her burial;
But throw her forth to beasts and birds of prey.
Her life was beast-like, and devoid of pity;
And, being so, shall have like want of pity.
See justice done on Aaron, that damn’d Moor,
By whom our heavy haps had their beginning:
Then, afterwards, to order well the state,
That like events may ne’er it ruinate.
William Shakespeare, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (The Oxford Shakespeare), ed. with a glossary by W.J. Craig M.A. (Oxford University Press, 1916).
Accessed from oll.libertyfund.org/title/1643 on 2008-01-30
The text is in the public domain.
|KING RICHARD THE SECOND.|
|JOHN OF GAUNT, Duke of Lancaster, }||Uncles to the King.|
|EDMUND OF LANGLEY, Duke of York, }|
|HENRY, surnamed BOLINGBROKE, Duke of Hereford, Son to John of Gaunt: afterwards King Henry IV.|
|DUKE OF AUMERLE,||Son to the Duke of York.|
|THOMAS MOWBRAY,||Duke of Norfolk.|
|DUKE OF SURREY.|
|EARL OF SALISBURY.|
|BUSHY, }||Servants to King Richard.|
|EARL OF NORTHUMBERLAND.|
|HENRY PERCY,||surnamed Hotspur, his Son.|
|BISHOP OF CARLISLE.|
|ABBOT OF WESTMINSTER.|
|SIR PIERCE OF EXTON.|
|SIR STEPHEN SCROOP.|
|Captain of a Band of Welshmen.|
|QUEEN TO KING RICHARD.|
|DUCHESS OF GLOUCESTER.|
|DUCHESS OF YORK.|
|Lady attending on the Queen.|
|Lords, Heralds, Officers, Soldiers, Gardeners, Keeper, Messenger, Groom, and other Attendants.|
Scene.—Dispersedly in England and Wales.
EnterKing Richard,attended;John of Gaunt,and other Nobles.
Old John of Gaunt, time-honour’d Lancaster,
Hast thou, according to thy oath and band,
Brought hither Henry Hereford thy bold son,
Here to make good the boisterous late appeal,
Which then our leisure would not let us hear,
Against the Duke of Norfolk, Thomas Mowbray?
I have, my liege.
Tell me, moreover, hast thou sounded him,
If he appeal the duke on ancient malice,
Or worthily, as a good subject should,
On some known ground of treachery in him?
As near as I could sift him on that argument,
On some apparent danger seen in him
Aim’d at your highness, no inveterate malice.
Then call them to our presence: face to face,
And frowning brow to brow, ourselves will hear
The accuser and the accused freely speak:
[Exeunt some Attendants.
High-stomach’d are they both, and full of ire,
In rage deaf as the sea, hasty as fire.
Re-enter Attendants, withBolingbrokeandMowbray.
Many years of happy days befall
My gracious sovereign, my most loving liege!
Each day still better other’s happiness;
Until the heavens, envying earth’s good hap,
Add an immortal title to your crown!
We thank you both: yet one but flatters us,
As well appeareth by the cause you come;
Namely, to appeal each other of high treason.
Cousin of Hereford, what dost thou object
Against the Duke of Norfolk, Thomas Mowbray?
First,—heaven be the record to my speech!—
In the devotion of a subject’s love,
Tendering the precious safety of my prince,
And free from other misbegotten hate,
Come I appellant to this princely presence.
Now, Thomas Mowbray, do I turn to thee,
And mark my greeting well; for what I speak
My body shall make good upon this earth,
Or my divine soul answer it in heaven.
Thou art a traitor and a miscreant;
Too good to be so and too bad to live,
Since the more fair and crystal is the sky,
The uglier seem the clouds that in it fly.
Once more, the more to aggravate the note,
With a foul traitor’s name stuff I thy throat;
And wish, so please my sovereign, ere I move,
What my tongue speaks, my right drawn sword may prove.
Let not my cold words here accuse my zeal:
’Tis not the trial of a woman’s war,
The bitter clamour of two eager tongues,
Can arbitrate this cause betwixt us twain;
The blood is hot that must be cool’d for this:
Yet can I not of such tame patience boast
As to be hush’d and nought at all to say.
First, the fair reverence of your highness curbs me
From giving reins and spurs to my free speech;
Which else would post until it had return’d
These terms of treason doubled down his throat.
Setting aside his high blood’s royalty,
And let him be no kinsman to my liege,
I do defy him, and I spit at him;
Call him a slanderous coward and a villain:
Which to maintain I would allow him odds,
And meet him, were I tied to run afoot
Even to the frozen ridges of the Alps,
Or any other ground inhabitable,
Wherever Englishman durst set his foot.
Meantime let this defend my loyalty:
By all my hopes, most falsely doth he lie.
Pale trembling coward, there I throw my gage,
Disclaiming here the kindred of the king;
And lay aside my high blood’s royalty,
Which fear, not reverence, makes thee to except:
If guilty dread have left thee so much strength
As to take up mine honour’s pawn, then stoop:
By that, and all the rites of knighthood else,
Will I make good against thee, arm to arm,
What I have spoke, or thou canst worse devise.
I take it up; and by that sword I swear,
Which gently laid my knighthood on my shoulder,
I’ll answer thee in any fair degree,
Or chivalrous design of knightly trial:
And when I mount, alive may I not light,
If I be traitor or unjustly fight!
What doth our cousin lay to Mowbray’s charge?
It must be great that can inherit us
So much as of a thought of ill in him.
Look, what I speak, my life shall prove it true;
That Mowbray hath receiv’d eight thousand nobles
In name of lendings for your highness’ soldiers,
The which he hath detain’d for lewd employments,
Like a false traitor and injurious villain.
Besides I say and will in battle prove,
Or here or elsewhere to the furthest verge
That ever was survey’d by English eye,
That all the treasons for these eighteen years
Complotted and contrived in this land,
Fetch from false Mowbray their first head and spring.
Further I say and further will maintain
Upon his bad life to make all this good,
That he did plot the Duke of Gloucester’s death,
Suggest his soon believing adversaries,
And consequently, like a traitor coward,
Sluic’d out his innocent soul through streams of blood:
Which blood, like sacrificing Abel’s, cries,
Even from the tongueless caverns of the earth,
To me for justice and rough chastisement;
And, by the glorious worth of my descent,
This arm shall do it, or this life be spent.
How high a pitch his resolution soars!
Thomas of Norfolk, what sayst thou to this?
O! let my sovereign turn away his face
And bid his ears a little while be deaf,
Till I have told this slander of his blood
How God and good men hate so foul a liar.
Mowbray, impartial are our eyes and ears:
Were he my brother, nay, my kingdom’s heir,—
As he is but my father’s brother’s son,—
Now, by my sceptre’s awe I make a vow,
Such neighbour nearness to our sacred blood
Should nothing privilege him, nor partialize
The unstooping firmness of my upright soul.
He is our subject, Mowbray; so art thou:
Free speech and fearless I to thee allow.
Then, Bolingbroke, as low as to thy heart,
Through the false passage of thy throat, thou liest.
Three parts of that receipt I had for Calais
Disburs’d I duly to his highness’ soldiers;
The other part reserv’d I by consent,
For that my sovereign liege was in my debt
Upon remainder of a dear account,
Since last I went to France to fetch his queen.
Now swallow down that lie. For Gloucester’s death,
I slew him not; but to mine own disgrace
Neglected my sworn duty in that case.
For you, my noble Lord of Lancaster,
The honourable father to my foe,
Once did I lay an ambush for your life,
A trespass that doth vex my grieved soul;
But ere I last receiv’d the sacrament
I did confess it, and exactly begg’d
Your Grace’s pardon, and I hope I had it.
This is my fault: as for the rest appeal’d,
It issues from the rancour of a villain,
A recreant and most degenerate traitor;
Which in myself I boldly will defend,
And interchangeably hurl down my gage
Upon this overweening traitor’s foot,
To prove myself a loyal gentleman
Even in the best blood chamber’d in his bosom.
In haste whereof, most heartily I pray
Your highness to assign our trial day.
Wrath-kindled gentlemen, be rul’d by me;
Let’s purge this choler without letting blood:
This we prescribe, though no physician;
Deep malice makes too deep incision:
Forget, forgive; conclude and be agreed,
Our doctors say this is no month to bleed.
Good uncle, let this end where it begun;
We’ll calm the Duke of Norfolk, you your son.
To be a make-peace shall become my age:
Throw down, my son, the Duke of Norfolk’s gage.
And, Norfolk, throw down his.
When, Harry, when?
Obedience bids I should not bid again.
Norfolk, throw down, we bid; there is no boot.
Myself I throw, dread sovereign, at thy foot.
My life thou shalt command, but not my shame:
The one my duty owes; but my fair name,—
Despite of death that lives upon my grave,—
To dark dishonour’s use thou shalt not have.
I am disgrac’d, impeach’d, and baffled here,
Pierc’d to the soul with slander’s venom’d spear,
The which no balm can cure but his heart-blood
Which breath’d this poison.
Rage must be withstood:
Give me his gage: lions make leopards tame.
Yea, but not change his spots: take but my shame,
And I resign my gage. My dear dear lord,
The purest treasure mortal times afford
Is spotless reputation; that away,
Men are but gilded loam or painted clay.
A jewel in a ten-times-barr’d-up chest
Is a bold spirit in a loyal breast.
Mine honour is my life; both grow in one;
Take honour from me, and my life is done:
Then, dear my liege, mine honour let me try;
In that I live and for that will I die.
Cousin, throw down your gage: do you begin.
O! God defend my soul from such deep sin.
Shall I seem crest fall’n in my father’s sight,
Or with pale beggar-fear impeach my height
Before this out-dar’d dastard? Ere my tongue
Shall wound mine honour with such feeble wrong,
Or sound so base a parle, my teeth shall tear
The slavish motive of recanting fear,
And spit it bleeding in his high disgrace,
Where shame doth harbour, even in Mowbray’s face.
We were not born to sue, but to command:
Which since we cannot do to make you friends,
Be ready, as your lives shall answer it,
At Coventry, upon Saint Lambert’s day:
There shall your swords and lances arbitrate
The swelling difference of your settled hate:
Since we cannot atone you, we shall see
Justice design the victor’s chivalry.
Marshal, command our officers-at-arms
Be ready to direct these home alarms.
EnterGauntandDuchess of Gloucester.
Alas! the part I had in Woodstock’s blood
Doth more solicit me than your exclaims,
To stir against the butchers of his life.
But since correction lieth in those hands
Which made the fault that we cannot correct,
Put we our quarrel to the will of heaven;
Who, when they see the hours ripe on earth,
Will rain hot vengeance on offenders’ heads.
Finds brotherhood in thee no sharper spur?
Hath love in thy old blood no living fire?
Edward’s seven sons, whereof thyself art one,
Were as seven vials of his sacred blood,
Or seven fair branches springing from one root:
Some of those seven are dried by nature’s course,
Some of those branches by the Destinies cut;
But Thomas, my dear lord, my life, my Gloucester,
One vial full of Edward’s sacred blood,
One flourishing branch of his most royal root,
Is crack’d, and all the precious liquor spilt;
Is hack’d down, and his summer leaves all vaded,
By envy’s hand and murder’s bloody axe.
Ah, Gaunt! his blood was thine: that bed, that womb,
That metal, that self-mould, that fashion’d thee
Made him a man; and though thou liv’st and breath’st,
Yet art thou slain in him: thou dost consent
In some large measure to thy father’s death
In that thou seest thy wretched brother die,
Who was the model of thy father’s life.
Call it not patience, Gaunt; it is despair:
In suffering thus thy brother to be slaughter’d
Thou show’st the naked pathway to thy life,
Teaching stern murder how to butcher thee:
That which in mean men we entitle patience
Is pale cold cowardice in noble breasts.
What shall I say? to safeguard thine own life,
The best way is to venge my Gloucester’s death.
God’s is the quarrel; for God’s substitute,
His deputy anointed in his sight,
Hath caus’d his death; the which if wrongfully,
Let heaven revenge, for I may never lift
An angry arm against his minister.
Where then, alas! may I complain myself?
To God, the widow’s champion and defence.
Why then, I will. Farewell, old Gaunt.
Thou go’st to Coventry, there to behold
Our cousin Hereford and fell Mowbray fight:
O! sit my husband’s wrongs on Hereford’s spear,
That it may enter butcher Mowbray’s breast.
Or if misfortune miss the first career,
Be Mowbray’s sins so heavy in his bosom
That they may break his foaming courser’s back,
And throw the rider headlong in the lists,
A caitiff recreant to my cousin Hereford!
Farewell, old Gaunt: thy sometimes brother’s wife
With her companion grief must end her life.
Sister, farewell; I must to Coventry.
As much good stay with thee as go with me!
Yet one word more. Grief boundeth where it falls,
Not with the empty hollowness, but weight:
I take my leave before I have begun,
For sorrow ends not when it seemeth done.
Commend me to my brother, Edmund York.
Lo! this is all: nay, yet depart not so;
Though this be all, do not so quickly go;
I shall remember more. Bid him—ah, what?—
With all good speed at Plashy visit me.
Alack! and what shall good old York there see
But empty lodgings and unfurnish’d walls,
Unpeopled offices, untrodden stones?
And what hear there for welcome but my groans?
Therefore commend me; let him not come there,
To seek out sorrow that dwells every where.
Desolate, desolate will I hence, and die:
The last leave of thee takes my weeping eye.
Enter the Lord Marshal andAumerle.
My Lord Aumerle, is Harry Hereford arm’d?
Yea, at all points, and longs to enter in.
The Duke of Norfolk, sprightfully and bold,
Stays but the summons of the appellant’s trumpet.
Why then, the champions are prepar’d, and stay
For nothing but his majesty’s approach.
Flourish. EnterKing Richard,who takes his seat on his Throne;Gaunt, Bushy, Bagot, Green,and Others, who take their places. A trumpet is sounded, and answered by another trumpet within. Then enterMowbray,in armour, defendant, preceded by a Herald.
Marshal, demand of yonder champion
The cause of his arrival here in arms:
Ask him his name, and orderly proceed
To swear him in the justice of his cause.
In God’s name, and the king’s, say who thou art,
And why thou com’st thus knightly clad in arms,
Against what man thou com’st, and what thy quarrel.
Speak truly, on thy knighthood and thine oath:
As so defend thee heaven and thy valour!
My name is Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk,
Who hither come engaged by my oath,—
Which God defend a knight should violate!—
Both to defend my loyalty and truth
To God, my king, and his succeeding issue,
Against the Duke of Hereford that appeals me;
And, by the grace of God and this mine arm,
To prove him, in defending of myself,
A traitor to my God, my king, and me:
And as I truly fight, defend me heaven!
[He takes his seat.
Trumpet sounds. EnterBolingbroke,appellant, in armour, preceded by a Herald.
Marshal, ask yonder knight in arms,
Both who he is and why he cometh hither
Thus plated in habiliments of war;
And formally, according to our law,
Depose him in the justice of his cause.
What is thy name? and wherefore com’st thou hither,
Before King Richard in his royal lists?
Against whom comest thou? and what’s thy quarrel?
Speak like a true knight, so defend thee heaven!
Harry of Hereford, Lancaster, and Derby,
Am I; who ready here do stand in arms,
To prove by God’s grace and my body’s valour,
In lists, on Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk,
That he’s a traitor foul and dangerous,
To God of heaven, King Richard, and to me:
And as I truly fight, defend me heaven!
On pain of death, no person be so bold
Or daring-hardy as to touch the lists,
Except the marshal and such officers
Appointed to direct these fair designs.
Lord marshal, let me kiss my sovereign’s hand,
And bow my knee before his majesty:
For Mowbray and myself are like two men
That vow a long and weary pilgrimage;
Then let us take a ceremonious leave
And loving farewell of our several friends.
The appellant in all duty greets your highness,
And craves to kiss your hand and take his leave.
[Descends from his throne.] We will descend and fold him in our arms.
Cousin of Hereford, as thy cause is right,
So be thy fortune in this royal fight!
Farewell, my blood; which if to-day thou shed,
Lament we may, but not revenge thee dead.
O! let no noble eye profane a tear
For me, if I be gor’d with Mowbray’s spear.
As confident as is the falcon’s flight
Against a bird, do I with Mowbray fight.
My loving lord, I take my leave of you;
Of you, my noble cousin, Lord Aumerle;
Not sick, although I have to do with death,
But lusty, young, and cheerly drawing breath.
Lo! as at English feasts, so I regreet
The daintiest last, to make the end most sweet:
O thou, the earthly author of my blood,
Whose youthful spirit, in me regenerate,
Doth with a two-fold vigour lift me up
To reach at victory above my head,
Add proof unto mine armour with thy prayers,
And with thy blessings steel my lance’s point,
That it may enter Mowbray’s waxen coat,
And furbish new the name of John a Gaunt,
Even in the lusty haviour of his son.
God in thy good cause make thee prosperous!
Be swift like lightning in the execution;
And let thy blows, doubly redoubled,
Fall like amazing thunder on the casque
Of thy adverse pernicious enemy:
Rouse up thy youthful blood, be valiant and live.
Mine innocency and Saint George to thrive!
[He takes his seat.
[Rising.] However God or fortune cast my lot,
There lives or dies, true to King Richard’s throne,
A loyal, just, and upright gentleman.
Never did captive with a freer heart
Cast off his chains of bondage and embrace
His golden uncontroll’d enfranchisement,
More than my dancing soul doth celebrate
This feast of battle with mine adversary.
Most mighty liege, and my companion peers,
Take from my mouth the wish of happy years.
As gentle and as jocund as to jest,
Go I to fight: truth has a quiet breast.
Farewell, my lord: securely I espy
Virtue with valour couched in thine eye.
Order the trial, marshal, and begin.
[TheKingand the Lords return to their seats.
Harry of Hereford, Lancaster, and Derby,
Receive thy lance; and God defend the right!
[Rising.] Strong as a tower in hope, I cry ‘amen.’
[To an Officer.] Go bear this lance to Thomas, Duke of Norfolk.
Harry of Hereford, Lancaster, and Derby,
Stands here for God, his sovereign, and himself,
On pain to be found false and recreant,
To prove the Duke of Norfolk, Thomas Mowbray,
A traitor to his God, his king, and him;
And dares him to set forward to the fight.
Here standeth Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk,
On pain to be found false and recreant,
Both to defend himself and to approve
Henry of Hereford, Lancaster, and Derby,
To God, his sovereign, and to him, disloyal;
Courageously and with a free desire,
Attending but the signal to begin.
Sound, trumpets; and set forward, combatants.
[A charge sounded.
Stay, stay, the king hath thrown his warderdown.
Let them lay by their helmets and their spears,
And both return back to their chairs again:
Withdraw with us; and let the trumpets sound
While we return these dukes what we decree.
[A long flourish.
[To the Combatants.] Draw near,
And list what with our council we have done.
For that our kingdom’s earth should not be soil’d
With that dear blood which it hath fostered;
And for our eyes do hate the dire aspect
Of civil wounds plough’d up with neighbours’ swords;
And for we think the eagle-winged pride
Of sky-aspiring and ambitious thoughts,
With rival-hating envy, set on you
To wake our peace, which in our country’s cradle
Draws the sweet infant breath of gentle sleep;
Which so rous’d up with boist’rous untun’d drums,
With harsh-resounding trumpets’ dreadful bray,
And grating shock of wrathful iron arms,
Might from our quiet confines fright fair peace
And make us wade even in our kindred’s blood:
Therefore, we banish you our territories:
You, cousin Hereford, upon pain of life,
Till twice five summers have enrich’d our fields,
Shall not regreet our fair dominions,
But tread the stranger paths of banishment.
Your will be done: this must my comfort be,
That sun that warms you here shall shine on me;
And those his golden beams to you here lent
Shall point on me and gild my banishment.
Norfolk, for thee remains a heavier doom,
Which I with some unwillingness pronounce:
The sly slow hours shall not determinate
The dateless limit of thy dear exile;
The hopeless word of ‘never to return’
Breathe I against thee, upon pain of life.
A heavy sentence, my most sovereign liege,
And all unlook’d for from your highness’ mouth:
A dearer merit, not so deep a maim
As to be cast forth in the common air,
Have I deserved at your highness’ hands.
The language I have learn’d these forty years,
My native English, now I must forego;
And now my tongue’s use is to me no more
Than an unstringed viol or a harp,
Or like a cunning instrument cas’d up,
Or, being open, put into his hands
That knows no touch to tune the harmony:
Within my mouth you have engaol’d my tongue,
Doubly portcullis’d with my teeth and lips;
And dull, unfeeling, barren ignorance
Is made my gaoler to attend on me.
I am too old to fawn upon a nurse,
Too far in years to be a pupil now:
What is thy sentence then but speechless death,
Which robs my tongue from breathing native breath?
It boots thee not to be compassionate:
After our sentence plaining comes too late.
Then, thus I turn me from my country’s light,
To dwell in solemn shades of endless night.
Return again, and take an oath with thee.
Lay on our royal sword your banish’d hands;
Swear by the duty that you owe to God—
Our part therein we banish with yourselves—
To keep the oath that we administer.
You never shall,—so help you truth and God!—
Embrace each other’s love in banishment;
Nor never look upon each other’s face;
Nor never write, regreet, nor reconcile
This low’ring tempest of your home-bred hate;
Nor never by advised purpose meet
To plot, contrive, or complot any ill
’Gainst us, our state, our subjects, or our land.
And I, to keep all this.
Norfolk, so far, as to mine enemy:—
By this time, had the king permitted us,
One of our souls had wander’d in the air,
Banish’d this frail sepulchre of our flesh,
As now our flesh is banish’d from this land:
Confess thy treasons ere thou fly the realm;
Since thou hast far to go, bear not along
The clogging burden of a guilty soul.
No, Bolingbroke: if ever I were traitor,
My name be blotted from the book of life,
And I from heaven banish’d as from hence!
But what thou art, God, thou, and I do know;
And all too soon, I fear, the king shall rue.
Farewell, my liege. Now no way can I stray;
Save back to England, all the world’s my way.
Uncle, even in the glasses of thine eyes
I see thy grieved heart: thy sad aspect
Hath from the number of his banish’d years
Pluck’d four away.—[ToBolingbroke.] Six frozen winters spent,
Return with welcome home from banishment.
How long a time lies in one little word!
Four lagging winters and four wanton springs
End in a word: such is the breath of kings.
I thank my liege, that in regard of me
He shortens four years of my son’s exile;
But little vantage shall I reap thereby:
For, ere the six years that he hath to spend
Can change their moons and bring their times about,
My oil-dried lamp and time-bewasted light
Shall be extinct with age and endless night;
My inch of taper will be burnt and done,
And blindfold death not let me see my son.
Why, uncle, thou hast many years to live.
But not a minute, king, that thou canst give:
Shorten my days thou canst with sullen sorrow,
And pluck nights from me, but not lend a morrow;
Thou canst help time to furrow me with age.
But stop no wrinkle in his pilgrimage;
Thy word is current with him for my death,
But dead, thy kingdom cannot buy my breath.
Thy son is banish’d upon good advice,
Whereto thy tongue a party-verdict gave:
Why at our justice seem’st thou then to lower?
Things sweet to taste prove in digestion sour.
You urg’d me as a judge; but I had rather
You would have bid me argue like a father.
O! had it been a stranger, not my child,
To smooth his fault I should have been more mild:
A partial slander sought I to avoid,
And in the sentence my own life destroy’d.
Alas! I look’d when some of you should say,
I was too strict to make mine own away;
But you gave leave to my unwilling tongue
Against my will to do myself this wrong.
Cousin, farewell; and, uncle, bid him so:
Six years we banish him, and he shall go.
[Flourish. ExeuntKing Richardand Train.
Cousin, farewell: what presence must not know,
From where you do remain let paper show.
My lord, no leave take I; for I will ride,
As far as land will let me, by your side.
O! to what purpose dost thou hoard thy words,
That thou return’st no greeting to thy friends?
I have too few to take my leave of you,
When the tongue’s office should be prodigal
To breathe the abundant dolour of the heart.
Thy grief is but thy absence for a time.
Joy absent, grief is present for that time.
What is six winters? they are quickly gone.
To men in joy; but grief makes one hour ten.
Call it a travel that thou tak’st for pleasure.
My heart will sigh when I miscall it so,
Which finds it an inforced pilgrimage.
The sullen passage of thy weary steps
Esteem as foil wherein thou art to set
The precious jewel of thy home return.
Nay, rather, every tedious stride I make
Will but remember me what a deal of world
I wander from the jewels that I love.
Must I not serve a long apprenticehood
To foreign passages, and in the end,
Having my freedom, boast of nothing else
But that I was a journeyman to grief?
All places that the eye of heaven visits
Are to a wise man ports and happy havens.
Teach thy necessity to reason thus;
There is no virtue like necessity.
Think not the king did banish thee,
But thou the king. Woe doth the heavier sit,
Where it perceives it is but faintly borne.
Go, say I sent thee forth to purchase honour,
And not the king exil’d thee; or suppose
Devouring pestilence hangs in our air,
And thou art flying to a fresher clime.
Look, what thy soul holds dear, imagine it
To lie that way thou go’st, not whence thou com’st.
Suppose the singing birds musicians,
The grass whereon thou tread’st the presence strew’d,
The flowers fair ladies, and thy steps no more
Than a delightful measure or a dance;
For gnarling sorrow hath less power to bite
The man that mocks at it and sets it light.
O! who can hold a fire in his hand
By thinking on the frosty Caucasus?
Or cloy the hungry edge of appetite
By bare imagination of a feast?
Or wallow naked in December snow
By thinking on fantastic summer’s heat?
O, no! the apprehension of the good
Gives but the greater feeling to the worse:
Fell sorrow’s tooth doth never rankle more
Than when it bites, but lanceth not the sore.
Come, come, my son, I’ll bring thee on thy way.
Had I thy youth and cause, I would not stay.
Then, England’s ground, farewell; sweet soil, adieu:
My mother, and my nurse, that bears me yet!
Where’er I wander, boast of this I can,
Though banish’d, yet a true-born Englishman.
EnterKing Richard, Bagot,andGreenat one door;Aumerleat another.
We did observe. Cousin Aumerle,
How far brought you high Hereford on his way?
I brought high Hereford, if you call him so,
But to the next highway, and there I left him.
And say, what store of parting tears were shed?
Faith, none for me; except the northeast wind,
Which then blew bitterly against our faces,
Awak’d the sleeping rheum, and so by chance
Did grace our hollow parting with a tear.
What said our cousin when you parted with him?
And, for my heart disdained that my tongue
Should so profane the word, that taught me craft
To counterfeit oppression of such grief
That words seem’d buried in my sorrow’s grave.
Marry, would the word ‘farewell’ have lengthen’d hours
And added years to his short banishment,
He should have had a volume of farewells;
But, since it would not, he had none of me.
He is our cousin, cousin; but ’tis doubt,
When time shall call him home from banishment,
Whether our kinsman come to see his friends.
Ourself and Bushy, Bagot here and Green
Observ’d his courtship to the common people,
How he did seem to dive into their hearts
With humble and familiar courtesy,
What reverence he did throw away on slaves,
Wooing poor craftsmen with the craft of smiles
And patient underbearing of his fortune,
As ’twere to banish their affects with him.
Off goes his bonnet to an oyster-wench;
A brace of draymen bid God speed him well,
And had the tribute of his supple knee,
With ‘Thanks, my countrymen, my loving friends;’
As were our England in reversion his,
And he our subjects’ next degree in hope.
Well, he is gone; and with him go these thoughts.
Now for the rebels which stand out in Ireland;
Expedient manage must be made, my liege,
Ere further leisure yield them further means
For their advantage and your highness’ loss.
We will ourself in person to this war.
And, for our coffers with too great a court
And liberal largess are grown somewhat light,
We are enforc’d to farm our royal realm;
The revenue whereof shall furnish us
For our affairs in hand. If that come short,
Our substitutes at home shall have blank charters;
Whereto, when they shall know what men are rich,
They shall subscribe them for large sums of gold,
And send them after to supply our wants;
For we will make for Ireland presently.
Bushy, what news?
Old John of Gaunt is grievous sick, my lord,
Suddenly taken, and hath sent post-haste
To entreat your majesty to visit him.
Where lies he?
At Ely House.
Now, put it, God. in his physician’s mind
To help him to his grave immediately!
The lining of his coffers shall make coats
To deck our soldiers for these Irish wars.
Come, gentlemen, let’s all go visit him:
Pray God we may make haste, and come too late.
Gaunton a couch; theDuke of Yorkand Others standing by him.
Will the king come, that I may breathe my last
In wholesome counsel to his unstaid youth?
Vex not yourself, nor strive not with your breath;
For all in vain comes counsel to his ear.
O! but they say the tongues of dying men
Enforce attention like deep harmony:
Where words are scarce, they are seldom spent in vain,
For they breathe truth that breathe their words in pain.
He that no more must say is listen’d more
Than they whom youth and ease have taught to glose;
More are men’s ends mark’d than their lives before:
The setting sun, and music at the close,
As the last taste of sweets, is sweetest last,
Writ in remembrance more than things long past:
Though Richard my life’s counsel would not hear,
My death’s sad tale may yet undeaf his ear.
No; it is stopp’d with other flattering sounds,
As praises of his state: then there are fond
Lascivious metres, to whose venom sound
The open ear of youth doth always listen:
Report of fashions in proud Italy,
Whose manners still our tardy apish nation
Limps after in base imitation.
Where doth the world thrust forth a vanity,—
So it be new there’s no respect how vile,—
That is not quickly buzz’d into his ears?
Then all too late comes counsel to be heard,
Where will doth mutiny with wit’s regard.
Direct not him whose way himself will choose:
’Tis breath thou lack’st, and that breath wilt thou lose.
Methinks I am a prophet new inspir’d,
And thus expiring do foretell of him:
His rash fierce blaze of riot cannot last,
For violent fires soon burn out themselves;
Small showers last long, but sudden storms are short;
He tires betimes that spurs too fast betimes;
With eager feeding food doth choke the feeder:
Light vanity, insatiate cormorant,
Consuming means, soon preys upon itself.
This royal throne of kings, this scepter’d isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise,
This fortress built by Nature for herself
Against infection and the hand of war,
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in the silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall,
Or as a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier lands,
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England,
This nurse, this teeming womb of royal kings,
Fear’d by their breed and famous by their birth,
Renowned for their deeds as far from home,—
For Christian service and true chivalry,—
As is the sepulchre in stubborn Jewry
Of the world’s ransom, blessed Mary’s Son:
This land of such dear souls, this dear, dear land,
Dear for her reputation through the world,
Is now leas’d out,—I die pronouncing it,—
Like to a tenement, or pelting farm:
England, bound in with the triumphant sea,
Whose rocky shore beats back the envious siege
Of watery Neptune, is now bound in with shame,
With inky blots, and rotten parchment bonds:
That England, that was wont to conquer others,
Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.
Ah! would the scandal vanish with my life,
How happy then were my ensuing death.
EnterKing RichardandQueen; Aumerle, Bushy, Green, Bagot, Ross,andWilloughby.
The king is come: deal mildly with his youth;
For young hot colts, being rag’d, do rage the more.
How fares our noble uncle, Lancaster?
What comfort, man? How is’t with aged Gaunt?
O! how that name befits my composition;
Old Gaunt indeed, and gaunt in being old:
Within me grief hath kept a tedious fast;
And who abstains from meat that is not gaunt?
For sleeping England long time have I watch’d;
Watching breeds leanness, leanness is all gaunt.
The pleasure that some fathers feed upon
Is my strict fast, I mean my children’s looks;
And therein fasting hast thou made me gaunt.
Gaunt am I for the grave, gaunt as a grave,
Whose hollow womb inherits nought but bones.
Can sick men play so nicely with their names?
No; misery makes sport to mock itself:
Since thou dost seek to kill my name in me,
I mock my name, great king, to flatter thee.
Should dying men flatter with those that live?
No, no; men living flatter those that die.
Thou, now a-dying, sayst thou flatter’st me.
O, no! thou diest, though I the sicker be.
I am in health, I breathe, and see thee ill.
Now, he that made me knows I see thee ill;
Ill in myself to see, and in thee seeing ill.
Thy death-bed is no lesser than thy land
Wherein thou liest in reputation sick:
And thou, too careless patient as thou art,
Committ’st thy anointed body to the cure
Of those physicians that first wounded thee:
A thousand flatterers sit within thy crown,
Whose compass is no bigger than thy head;
And yet, incaged in so small a verge,
The waste is no whit lesser than thy land.
O! had thy grandsire, with a prophet’s eye,
Seen how his son’s son should destroy his sons,
From forth thy reach he would have laid thy shame,
Deposing thee before thou wert possess’d,
Which art possess’d now to depose thyself.
Why, cousin, wert thou regent of the world,
It were a shame to let this land by lease;
But for thy world enjoying but this land,
Is it not more than shame to shame it so?
Landlord of England art thou now, not king:
Thy state of law is bond-slave to the law,
And thou a lunatic lean-witted fool,
Presuming on an ague’s privilege,
Dar’st with thy frozen admonition
Make pale our cheek, chasing the royal blood
With fury from his native residence.
Now, by my seat’s right royal majesty,
Wert thou not brother to great Edward’s son,—
This tongue that runs so roundly in thy head
Should run thy head from thy unreverent shoulders.
O! spare me not, my brother Edward’s son,
For that I was his father Edward’s son.
That blood already, like the pelican,
Hast thou tapp’d out and drunkenly carous’d:
My brother Gloucester, plain well-meaning soul,—
Whom fair befall in heaven ’mongst happy souls!—
May be a precedent and witness good
That thou respect’st not spilling Edward’s blood:
Join with the present sickness that I have;
And thy unkindness be like crooked age,
To crop at once a too-long wither’d flower.
Live in thy shame, but die not shame with thee!
These words hereafter thy tormentors be!
Convey me to my bed, then to my grave:
Love they to live that love and honour have.
[Exit, borne out by his Attendants.
And let them die that age and sullens have;
For both hast thou, and both become the grave.
I do beseech your majesty, impute his words
To wayward sickliness and age in him:
He loves you, on my life, and holds you dear
As Harry, Duke of Hereford, were he here.
Right, you say true: as Hereford’s love, so his;
As theirs, so mine; and all be as it is.
My liege, old Gaunt commends him to your majesty.
What says he?
Nay, nothing; all is said:
His tongue is now a stringless instrument;
Words, life, and all, old Lancaster hath spent.
Be York the next that must be bankrupt so!
Though death be poor, it ends a mortal woe.
The ripest fruit first falls, and so doth he:
His time is spent; our pilgrimage must be.
So much for that. Now for our Irish wars.
We must supplant those rough rug-headed kerns,
Which live like venom where no venom else
But only they have privilege to live.
And for these great affairs do ask some charge,
Towards our assistance we do seize to us
The plate, coin, revenues, and moveables,
Whereof our uncle Gaunt did stand possess’d.
How long shall I be patient? Ah! how long
Shall tender duty make me suffer wrong?
Not Gloucester’s death, nor Hereford’s banishment,
Not Gaunt’s rebukes, nor England’s private wrongs,
Nor the prevention of poor Bolingbroke
About his marriage, nor my own disgrace,
Have ever made me sour my patient cheek,
Or bend one wrinkle on my sovereign’s face.
I am the last of noble Edward’s sons,
Of whom thy father, Prince of Wales, was first;
In war was never lion rag’d more fierce,
In peace was never gentle lamb more mild,
Than was that young and princely gentleman.
His face thou hast, for even so look’d he,
Accomplish’d with the number of thy hours;
But when he frown’d, it was against the French,
And not against his friends; his noble hand
Did win what he did spend, and spent not that
Which his triumphant father’s hand had won:
His hands were guilty of no kindred’s blood,
But bloody with the enemies of his kin.
O, Richard! York is too far gone with grief,
Or else he never would compare between.
Why, uncle, what’s the matter?
O! my liege.
Pardon me, if you please; if not, I, pleas’d
Not to be pardon’d, am content withal.
Seek you to seize and gripe into your hands
The royalties and rights of banish’d Hereford?
Is not Gaunt dead, and doth not Hereford live?
Was not Gaunt just, and is not Harry true?
Did not the one deserve to have an heir?
Is not his heir a well-deserving son?
Take Hereford’s rights away, and take from Time
His charters and his customary rights;
Let not to-morrow then ensue to-day;
Be not thyself; for how art thou a king
But by fair sequence and succession?
Now, afore God,—God forbid I say true!—
If you do wrongfully seize Hereford’s rights,
Call in the letters-patent that he hath
By his attorneys-general to sue
His livery, and deny his offer’d homage,
You pluck a thousand dangers on your head,
You lose a thousand well-disposed hearts,
And prick my tender patience to those thoughts
Which honour and allegiance cannot think.
Think what you will: we seize into our hands
His plate, his goods, his money, and his lands.
I’ll not be by the while: my liege, farewell:
What will ensue hereof, there’s none can tell;
But by bad courses may be understood
That their events can never fall out good.
Go, Bushy, to the Earl of Wiltshire straight:
Bid him repair to us to Ely House
To see this business. To-morrow next
We will for Ireland; and ’tis time, I trow:
And we create, in absence of ourself,
Our uncle York lord governor of England;
For he is just, and always lov’d us well.
Come on, our queen: to-morrow must we part;
Be merry, for our time of stay is short.
[ExeuntKing, Queen, Bushy, Aumerle, Green,andBagot.
Well, lords, the Duke of Lancaster is dead.
And living too; for now his son is duke.
Barely in title, not in revenue.
Richly in both, if justice had her right.
My heart is great; but it must break with silence,
Ere’t be disburden’d with a liberal tongue.
Nay, speak thy mind; and let him ne’er speak more
That speaks thy words again to do thee harm!
Tends that thou’dst speak to the Duke of Hereford?
If it be so, out with it boldly, man;
Quick is mine ear to hear of good towards him.
No good at all that I can do for him,
Unless you call it good to pity him,
Bereft and gelded of his patrimony.
Now, afore God, ’tis shame such wrongs are borne
In him, a royal prince, and many more
Of noble blood in this declining land.
The king is not himself, but basely led
By flatterers; and what they will inform,
Merely in hate, ’gainst any of us all,
That will the king severely prosecute
’Gainst us, our lives, our children, and our heirs.
The commons hath he pill’d with grievous taxes,
And quite lost their hearts: the nobles hath he fin’d
For ancient quarrels, and quite lost their hearts.
And daily new exactions are devis’d;
As blanks, benevolences, and I wot not what:
But what, o’ God’s name, doth become of this?
Wars have not wasted it, for warr’d he hath not,
But basely yielded upon compromise
That which his ancestors achiev’d with blows.
More hath he spent in peace than they in wars.
The Earl of Wiltshire hath the realm in farm.
The king’s grown bankrupt, like a broken man.
Reproach and dissolution hangeth over him.
He hath not money for these Irish wars,
His burdenous taxations notwithstanding,
But by the robbing of the banish’d duke.
His noble kinsman: most degenerate king!
But, lords, we hear this fearful tempest sing,
Yet seek no shelter to avoid the storm;
We see the wind sit sore upon our sails,
And yet we strike not, but securely perish.
We see the very wrack that we must suffer;
And unavoided is the danger now,
For suffering so the causes of our wrack.
Not so: even through the hollow eyes of death
Ispy life peering; but I dare not say
How near the tidings of our comfort is.
Nay, let us share thy thoughts, as thou dost ours.
Be confident to speak, Northumberland:
We three are but thyself: and, speaking so,
Thy words are but as thoughts; therefore, be bold.
Then thus: I have from Port le Blanc, a bay
In Brittany, receiv’d intelligence
That Harry Duke of Hereford, Rainold Lord Cobham,
That late broke from the Duke of Exeter,
His brother, Archbishop late of Canterbury,
Sir Thomas Erpingham, Sir John Ramston,
Sir John Norbery, Sir Robert Waterton, and Francis Quoint,
All these well furnish’d by the Duke of Britaine,
With eight tall ships, three thousand men of war,
Are making hither with all due expedience,
And shortly mean to touch our northern shore.
Perhaps they had ere this, but that they stay
The first departing of the king for Ireland.
If then we shall shake off our slavish yoke,
Imp out our drooping country’s broken wing,
Redeem from broking pawn the blemish’d crown,
Wipe off the dust that hides our sceptre’s gilt,
And make high majesty look like itself,
Away with me in post to Ravenspurgh;
But if you faint, as fearing to do so,
Stay and be secret, and myself will go.
To horse, to horse! urge doubts to them that fear.
Hold out my horse, and I will first be there.
Madam, your majesty is too much sad:
You promis’d, when you parted with the king,
To lay aside life-harming heaviness,
And entertain a cheerful disposition.
To please the king I did; to please myself
I cannot do it; yet I know no cause
Why I should welcome such a guest as grief,
Save bidding farewell to so sweet a guest
As my sweet Richard: yet, again, methinks,
Some unborn sorrow, ripe in fortune’s womb,
Is coming towards me, and my inward soul
With nothing trembles; at some thing it grieves
More than with parting from my lord the king.
Each substance of a grief hath twenty shadows,
Which show like grief itself, but are not so.
For sorrow’s eye, glazed with blinding tears,
Divides one thing entire to many objects;
Like perspectives, which rightly gaz’d upon
Show nothing but confusion; ey’d awry
Distinguish form: so your sweet majesty,
Looking awry upon your lord’s departure,
Finds shapes of grief more than himself to wail;
Which, look’d on as it is, is nought but shadows
Of what it is not. Then, thrice-gracious queen,
More than your lord’s departure weep not: more’s not seen;
Or if it be, ’tis with false sorrow’s eye,
Which for things true weeps things imaginary.
It may be so; but yet my inward soul
Persuades me it is otherwise: howe’er it be,
I cannot but be sad, so heavy sad,
As, though in thinking on no thought I think,
Makes me with heavy nothing faint and shrink.
’Tis nothing but conceit, my gracious lady.
’Tis nothing less: conceit is still deriv’d
From some forefather grief; mine is not so,
For nothing hath begot my something grief;
Or something hath the nothing that I grieve:
’Tis in reversion that I do possess;
But what it is, that is not yet known; what
I cannot name; ’tis nameless woe, I wot.
God save your majesty! and well met, gentlemen:
I hope the king is not yet shipp’d for Ireland.
Why hop’st thou so? ’tis better hope he is,
For his designs crave haste, his haste good hope:
Then wherefore dost thou hope he is not shipp’d?
That he, our hope, might have retir’d his power,
And driven into despair an enemy’s hope,
Who strongly hath set footing in this land:
The banish’d Bolingbroke repeals himself,
And with uplifted arms is safe arriv’d
Now God in heaven forbid!
Ah! madam, ’tis too true: and that is worse,
The Lord Northumberland, his son young Henry Percy,
The Lords of Ross, Beaumond, and Willoughby,
With all their powerful friends, are fled to him.
Why have you not proclaim’d Northumberland
And all the rest of the revolted faction traitors?
We have: whereupon the Earl of Worcester
Hath broke his staff, resign’d his stewardship,
And all the household servants fled with him
So, Green, thou art the midwife to my woe,
And Bolingbroke my sorrow’s dismal heir:
Now hath my soul brought forth her prodigy,
And I, a gasping new-deliver’d mother,
Have woe to woe, sorrow to sorrow join’d.
Despair not, madam.
Who shall hinder me?
I will despair, and be at enmity
With cozening hope: he is a flatterer,
A parasite, a keeper-back of death,
Who gently would dissolve the bands of life,
Which false hope lingers in extremity.
Here comes the Duke of York.
With signs of war about his aged neck:
O! full of careful business are his looks.
Uncle, for God’s sake, speak comfortable words.
Should I do so, I should belie my thoughts:
Comfort’s in heaven; and we are on the earth,
Where nothing lives but crosses, cares, and grief.
Your husband, he is gone to save far off,
Whilst others come to make him lose at home:
Here am I left to underprop his land,
Who, weak with age, cannot support myself.
Now comes the sick hour that his surfeit made;
Now shall he try his friends that flatter’d him.
Enter a Servant.
My lord, your son was gone before I came.
He was? Why, so! go all which way it will!
The nobles they are fled, the commons they are cold,
And will, I fear, revolt on Hereford’s side.
Sirrah, get thee to Plashy, to my sister Gloucester;
Bid her send me presently a thousand pound.
Hold, take my ring.
My lord, I had forgot to tell your lordship:
To-day, as I came by, I called there;
But I shall grieve you to report the rest.
What is’t, knave?
An hour before I came the duchess died.
God for his mercy! what a tide of woes
Comes rushing on this woeful land at once!
I know not what to do: I would to God,—
So my untruth had not provok’d him to it,—
The king had cut off my head with my brother’s.
What! are there no posts dispatch’d for Ireland?
How shall we do for money for these wars?
Come, sister,—cousin, I would say,—pray, pardon me.—
Go, fellow, get thee home; provide some carts
And bring away the armour that is there.
Gentlemen, will you go muster men? If I know
How or which way to order these affairs
Thus thrust disorderly into my hands,
Never believe me. Both are my kinsmen:
The one is my sovereign, whom both my oath
And duty bids defend; the other again
Is my kinsman, whom the king hath wrong’d,
Whom conscience and my kindred bids to right.
Well, somewhat we must do. Come, cousin,
I’ll dispose of you. Gentlemen, go muster up your men,
And meet me presently at Berkeley Castle.
I should to Plashy too:
But time will not permit. All is uneven,
And every thing is left at six and seven.
The wind sits fair for news to go to Ireland,
But none returns. For us to levy power
Proportionable to the enemy
Is all unpossible.
Besides, our nearness to the king in love
Is near the hate of those love not the king.
And that’s the wavering commons; for their love
Lies in their purses, and whoso empties them,
By so much fills their hearts with deadly hate.
Wherein the king stands generally condemn’d.
If judgment lie in them, then so do we,
Because we ever have been near the king.
Well, I’ll for refuge straight to Bristol Castle;
The Earl of Wiltshire is already there.
Thither will I with you; for little office
Will the hateful commons perform for us,
Except like curs to tear us all to pieces.
Will you go along with us?
No; I will to Ireland to his majesty.
Farewell: if heart’s presages be not vain,
We three here part that ne’er shall meet again.
That’s as York thrives to beat back Bolingbroke.
Alas, poor duke! the task he undertakes
Is numbering sands and drinking oceans dry:
Where one on his side fights, thousands will fly.
Farewell at once; for once, for all, and ever.
Well, we may meet again.
I fear me, never.
How far is it, my lord, to Berkeley now?
Believe me, noble lord,
I am a stranger here in Gloucestershire:
These high wild hills and rough uneven ways
Draw out our miles and make them wearisome;
But yet your fair discourse hath been as sugar,
Making the hard way sweet and delectable.
But I bethink me what a weary way
From Ravenspurgh to Cotswold will be found
In Ross and Willoughby, wanting your company,
Which, I protest, hath very much beguil’d
The tediousness and process of my travel:
But theirs is sweeten’d with the hope to have
The present benefit which I possess;
And hope to joy is little less in joy
Than hope enjoy’d: by this the weary lords
Shall make their way seem short, as mine hath done
By sight of what I have, your noble company.
Of much less value is my company
Than your good words. But who comes here?
It is my son, young Harry Percy,
Sent from my brother Worcester, whencesoever.
Harry, how fares your uncle?
I had thought, my lord, to have learn’d his health of you.
Why, is he not with the queen?
No, my good lord; he hath forsook the court,
Broken his staff of office, and dispers’d
The household of the king.
What was his reason?
He was not so resolv’d when last we spake together.
Because your lordship was proclaimed traitor.
But he, my lord, is gone to Ravenspurgh,
To offer service to the Duke of Hereford,
And sent me over by Berkeley to discover
What power the Duke of York had levied there;
Then with direction to repair to Ravenspurgh.
Have you forgot the Duke of Hereford, boy?
No, my good lord; for that is not forgot
Which ne’er I did remember: to my knowledge
I never in my life did look on him.
Then learn to know him now: this is the duke.
My gracious lord, I tender you my service,
Such as it is, being tender, raw, and young,
Which elder days shall ripen and confirm
To more approved service and desert.
I thank thee, gentle Percy; and be sure
I count myself in nothing else so happy
As in a soul remembering my good friends;
And as my fortune ripens with thy love,
It shall be still thy true love’s recompense:
My heart this covenant makes, my hand thus seals it.
How far is it to Berkeley? and what stir
Keeps good old York there with his men of war?
There stands the castle, by yon tuft of trees,
Mann’d with three hundred men, as I have heard;
And in it are the Lords of York, Berkeley, and Seymour;
None else of name and noble estimate.
Here come the Lords of Ross and Willoughby,
Bloody with spurring, fiery-red with haste.
Welcome, my lords. I wot your love pursues
A banish’d traitor; all my treasury
Is yet but unfelt thanks, which, more enrich’d,
Shall be your love and labour’s recompense.
Your presence makes us rich, most noble lord.
And far surmounts our labour to attain it.
Evermore thanks, the exchequer of the poor;
Which, till my infant fortune comes to years,
Stands for my bounty. But who comes here?
It is my Lord of Berkeley, as I guess.
My lord of Hereford, my message is to you.
My lord, my answer is—to Lancaster;
And I am come to seek that name in England;
And I must find that title in your tongue
Before I make reply to aught you say.
Mistake me not, my lord; ’tis not my meaning
To raze one title of your honour out:
To you, my lord, I come, what lord you will,
From the most gracious regent of this land,
The Duke of York, to know what pricks you on
To take advantage of the absent time
And fright our native peace with self-born arms.
I shall not need transport my words by you:
Here comes his Grace in person.
My noble uncle!
Show me thy humble heart, and not thy knee,
Whose duty is deceivable and false.
My gracious uncle—
Grace me no grace, nor uncle me no uncle:
I am no traitor’s uncle; and that word ‘grace’
In an ungracious mouth is but profane.
Why have those banish’d and forbidden legs
Dar’d once to touch a dust of England’s ground?
But then, more ‘why?’ why have they dar’d to march
So many miles upon her peaceful bosom,
Frighting her pale-fac’d villages with war
And ostentation of despised arms?
Com’st thou because the anointed king is hence?
Why, foolish boy, the king is left behind,
And in my loyal bosom lies his power.
Were I but now the lord of such hot youth
As when brave Gaunt thy father, and myself,
Rescu’d the Black Prince, that young Mars of men,
From forth the ranks of many thousand French,
O! then, how quickly should this arm of mine,
Now prisoner to the palsy, chastise thee
And minister correction to thy fault!
My gracious uncle, let me know my fault:
On what condition stands it and wherein?
Even in condition of the worst degree,
In gross rebellion and detested treason:
Thou art a banish’d man, and here art come
Before the expiration of thy time,
In braving arms against thy sovereign.
As I was banish’d, I was banish’d Hereford;
But as I come, I come for Lancaster.
And, noble uncle, I beseech your Grace
Look on my wrongs with an indifferent eye:
You are my father, for methinks in you
I see old Gaunt alive: O! then, my father,
Will you permit that I shall stand condemn’d
A wandering vagabond; my rights and royalties
Pluck’d from my arms perforce and given away
To upstart unthrifts? Wherefore was I born?
If that my cousin king be King of England,
It must be granted I am Duke of Lancaster.
You have a son, Aumerle, my noble kinsman;
Had you first died, and he been thus trod down,
He should have found his uncle Gaunt a father,
To rouse his wrongs and chase them to the bay.
I am denied to sue my livery here,
And yet my letters-patent give me leave:
My father’s goods are all distrain’d and sold,
And these and all are all amiss employ’d.
What would you have me do? I am a subject,
And challenge law: attorneys are denied me,
And therefore personally I lay my claim
To my inheritance of free descent.
The noble duke hath been too much abus’d.
It stands your Grace upon to do him right.
Base men by his endowments are made great.
My lords of England, let me tell you this:
I have had feeling of my cousin’s wrongs,
And labour’d all I could to do him right;
But in this kind to come, in braving arms,
Be his own carver and cut out his way,
To find out right with wrong, it may not be;
And you that do abet him in this kind
Cherish rebellion and are rebels all.
The noble duke hath sworn his coming is
But for his own; and for the right of that
We all have strongly sworn to give him aid;
And let him ne’er see joy that breaks that oath!
Well, well, I see the issue of these arms:
I cannot mend it, I must needs confess,
Because my power is weak and all ill left;
But if I could, by him that gave me life,
I would attach you all and make you stoop
Unto the sovereign mercy of the king;
But since I cannot, be it known to you
I do remain as neuter. So, fare you well;
Unless you please to enter in the castle
And there repose you for this night.
An offer, uncle, that we will accept:
But we must win your Grace to go with us
To Bristol Castle; which they say is held
By Bushy, Bagot, and their complices,
The caterpillars of the commonwealth,
Which I have sworn to weed and pluck away.
It may be I will go with you; but yet I’ll pause;
For I am loath to break our country’s laws.
Nor friends nor foes, to me welcome you are:
Things past redress are now with me past care.
EnterSalisburyand a Captain.
My Lord of Salisbury, we have stay’d ten days,
And hardly kept our countrymen together,
And yet we hear no tidings from the king;
Therefore we will disperse ourselves: farewell.
Stay yet another day, thou trusty Welshman:
The king reposeth all his confidence in thee.
’Tis thought the king is dead: we will not stay.
The bay-trees in our country are all wither’d
And meteors fright the fixed stars of heaven,
The pale-fac’d moon looks bloody on the earth
And lean-look’d prophets whisper fearful change,
Rich men look sad and ruffians dance and leap,
The one in fear to lose what they enjoy,
The other to enjoy by rage and war:
These signs forerun the death or fall of kings.
Farewell: our countrymen are gone and fled,
As well assur’d Richard their king is dead.
Ah, Richard! with the eyes of heavy mind
I see thy glory like a shooting star
Fall to the base earth from the firmament.
Thy sun sets weeping in the lowly west,
Witnessing storms to come, woe, and unrest.
Thy friends are fled to wait upon thy foes,
And crossly to thy good all fortune goes.
EnterBolingbroke, York, Northumberland, Henry Percy, Willoughby, Ross; Officers behind, withBushyandGreenprisoners.
Bring forth these men.
Bushy and Green, I will not vex your souls—
Since presently your souls must part your bodies—
With too much urging your pernicious lives,
For ’twere no charity; yet, to wash your blood
From off my hands, here in the view of men
I will unfold some causes of your deaths.
You have misled a prince, a royal king,
A happy gentleman in blood and lineaments,
By you unhappied and disfigur’d clean:
You have in manner with your sinful hours
Made a divorce betwixt his queen and him,
Broke the possession of a royal bed,
And stain’d the beauty of a fair queen’s cheeks
With tears drawn from her eyes by your foul wrongs.
Myself, a prince by fortune of my birth,
Near to the king in blood, and near in love
Till you did make him misinterpret me,
Have stoop’d my neck under your injuries,
And sigh’d my English breath in foreign clouds,
Eating the bitter bread of banishment;
Whilst you have fed upon my signories,
Dispark’d my parks, and felled my forest woods,
From mine own windows torn my household coat,
Raz’d out my impress, leaving me no sign,
Save men’s opinions and my living blood,
To show the world I am a gentleman.
This and much more, much more than twice all this,
Condemns you to the death. See them deliver’d over
To execution and the hand of death.
More welcome is the stroke of death to me
Than Bolingbroke to England. Lords, farewell.
My comfort is, that heaven will take our souls
And plague injustice with the pains of hell.
My Lord Northumberland, see them dispatch’d.
[ExeuntNorthumberlandand Others, withBushyandGreen.
Uncle, you say the queen is at your house;
For God’s sake, fairly let her be entreated:
Tell her I send to her my kind commends;
Take special care my greetings be deliver’d.
A gentleman of mine I have dispatch’d
With letters of your love to her at large.
Thanks, gentle uncle. Come, lords, away,
To fight with Glendower and his complices:
Awhile to work, and after holiday.
Flourish: drams and trumpets. EnterKing Richard,theBishop of Carlisle, Aumerle,and Soldiers.
Barkloughly Castle call they this at hand?
Yea, my lord. How brooks your Grace the air,
After your late tossing on the breaking seas?
Needs must I like it well: I weep for joy
To stand upon my kingdom once again.
Dear earth, I do salute thee with my hand,
Though rebels wound thee with their horses’ hoofs:
As a long-parted mother with her child
Plays fondly with her tears and smiles in meeting,
So, weeping, smiling, greet I thee, my earth,
And do thee favour with my royal hands.
Feed not thy sovereign’s foe, my gentle earth,
Nor with thy sweets comfort his revenous sense;
But let thy spiders, that suck up thy venom,
And heavy-gaited toads lie in their way,
Doing annoyance to the treacherous feet
Which with usurping steps do trample thee.
Yield stinging nettles to mine enemies;
And when they from thy bosom pluck a flower,
Guard it, I pray thee, with a lurking adder
Whose double tongue may with a mortal touch
Throw death upon thy sovereign’s enemies.
Mock not my senseless conjuration, lords:
This earth shall have a feeling and these stones
Prove armed soldiers, ere her native king
Shall falter under foul rebellion’s arms.
Fear not, my lord: that power that made you king
Hath power to keep you king in spite of all.
The means that heaven yields must be embrac’d,
And not neglected; else, if heaven would,
And we will not, heaven’s offer we refuse,
The proffer’d means of succour and redress.
He means, my lord, that we are too remiss;
Whilst Bolingbroke, through our security,
Grows strong and great in substance and in friends.
Discomfortable cousin! know’st thou not
That when the searching eye of heaven is hid
Behind the globe, and lights the lower world,
Then thieves and robbers range abroad unseen,
In murders and in outrage bloody here;
But when, from under this terrestrial ball
He fires the proud tops of the eastern pines
And darts his light through every guilty hole,
Then murders, treasons, and detested sins,
The cloak of night being pluck’d from off their backs,
Stand bare and naked, trembling at themselves?
So when this thief, this traitor, Bolingbroke,
Who all this while hath revell’d in the night
Whilst we were wandering with the antipodes,
Shall see us rising in our throne, the east,
His treasons will sit blushing in his face,
Not able to endure the sight of day,
But self-affrighted tremble at his sin.
Not all the water in the rough rude sea
Can wash the balm from an anointed king;
The breath of worldly men cannot depose
The deputy elected by the Lord.
For every man that Bolingbroke hath press’d
To lift shrewd steel against our golden crown,
God for his Richard hath in heavenly pay
A glorious angel: then, if angels fight,
Weak men must fall, for heaven still guards the right.
Welcome, my lord: how far off lies your power?
Nor near nor further off, my gracious lord,
Than this weak arm: discomfort guides my tongue
And bids me speak of nothing but despair.
One day too late, I fear me, noble lord,
Hath clouded all thy happy days on earth.
O! call back yesterday, bid time return,
And thou shalt have twelve thousand fighting men:
To-day, to-day, unhappy day too late,
O’erthrows thy joys, friends, fortune, and thy state;
For all the Welshmen, hearing thou wert dead,
Are gone to Bolingbroke, dispers’d, and fled.
Comfort, my liege! why looks your Grace so pale?
But now, the blood of twenty thousand men
Did triumph in my face, and they are fled;
And till so much blood thither come again
Have I not reason to look pale and dead?
All souls that will be safe, fly from my side;
For time hath set a blot upon my pride.
Comfort, my liege! remember who you are.
I had forgot myself. Am I not king?
Awake, thou sluggard majesty! thou sleepest.
Is not the king’s name twenty thousand names?
Arm, arm, my name! a puny subject strikes
At thy great glory. Look not to the ground,
Ye favourites of a king: are we not high?
High be our thoughts: I know my uncle York
Hath power enough to serve our turn. But who comes here?
EnterSir Stephen Scroop.
More health and happiness betide my liege
Than can my care-tun’d tongue deliver him!
Mine ear is open and my heart prepar’d:
The worst is worldly loss thou canst unfold.
Say, is my kingdom lost? why, ’twas my care;
And what loss is it to be rid of care?
Strives Bolingbroke to be as great as we?
Greater he shall not be: if he serve God
We’ll serve him too, and be his fellow so:
Revolt our subjects? that we cannot mend;
They break their faith to God as well as us:
Cry woe, destruction, ruin, loss, decay;
The worst is death, and death will have his day.
Glad am I that your highness is so arm’d
To bear the tidings of calamity.
Like an unseasonable stormy day
Which makes the silver rivers drown their shores,
As if the world were all dissolv’d to tears,
So high above his limits swells the rage
Of Bolingbroke, covering your fearful land
With hard bright steel and hearts harder than steel.
White-beards have arm’d their thin and hairless scalps
Against thy majesty; and boys, with women’s voices,
Strive to speak big, and clap their female joints
In stiff unwieldy arms against thy crown;
Thy very beadsmen learn to bend their bows
Of double-fatal yew against thy state;
Yea, distaff-women manage rusty bills
Against thy seat: both young and old rebel,
And all goes worse than I have power to tell.
Too well, too well thou tell’st a tale so ill.
Where is the Earl of Wiltshire? where is Bagot?
What is become of Bushy? where is Green?
That they have let the dangerous enemy
Measure our confines with such peaceful steps?
If we prevail, their heads shall pay for it.
I warrant they have made peace with Bolingbroke.
Peace have they made with him, indeed, my lord.
O villains, vipers, damn’d without redemption!
Dogs, easily won to fawn on any man!
Snakes, in my heart-blood warm’d, that sting my heart!
Three Judases, each one thrice worse than Judas!
Would they make peace? terrible hell make war
Upon their spotted souls for this offence!
Sweet love, I see, changing his property,
Turns to the sourest and most deadly hate.
Again uncurse their souls; their peace is made
With heads and not with hands: those whom you curse
Have felt the worst of death’s destroying wound
And lie full low, grav’d in the hollow ground.
Is Bushy, Green, and the Earl of Wiltshire dead?
Yea, all of them at Bristol lost their heads.
Where is the duke my father with his power?
No matter where. Of comfort no man speak:
Let’s talk of graves, of worms, and epitaphs;
Make dust our paper, and with rainy eyes
Write sorrow on the bosom of the earth;
Let’s choose executors and talk of wills:
And yet not so—for what can we bequeath
Save our deposed bodies to the ground?
Our lands, our lives, and all are Bolingbroke’s,
And nothing can we call our own but death,
And that small model of the barren earth
Which serves as paste and cover to our bones.
For God’s sake, let us sit upon the ground
And tell sad stories of the death of kings:
How some have been depos’d, some slain in war,
Some haunted by the ghosts they have depos’d,
Some poison’d by their wives, some sleeping kill’d;
All murder’d: for within the hollow crown
That rounds the mortal temples of a king
Keeps Death his court, and there the antick sits,
Scoffing his state and grinning at his pomp;
Allowing him a breath, a little scene,
To monarchize, be fear’d, and kill with looks,
Infusing him with self and vain conceit
As if this flesh which walls about our life
Were brass impregnable; and humour’d thus
Comes at the last, and with a little pin
Bores through his castle wall, and farewell king!
Cover your heads, and mock not flesh and blood
With solemn reverence: throw away respect,
Tradition, form, and ceremonious duty,
For you have but mistook me all this while:
I live with bread like you, feel want,
Taste grief, need friends: subjected thus,
How can you say to me I am a king?
My lord, wise men ne’er sit and wail their woes,
But presently prevent the ways to wail.
To fear the foe, since fear oppresseth strength,
Gives in your weakness strength unto your foe,
And so your follies fight against yourself.
Fear and be slain; no worse can come to fight:
And fight and die is death destroying death;
Where fearing dying pays death servile breath.
My father hath a power; inquire of him
And learn to make a body of a limb.
Thou chid’st me well. Proud Boling broke, I come
To change blows with thee for our day of doom.
This ague-fit of fear is over-blown;
An easy task it is, to win our own.—
Say, Scroop, where lies our uncle with his power?
Speak sweetly, man, although thy looks be sour.
Men judge by the complexion of the sky
The state and inclination of the day;
So may you by my dull and heavy eye,
My tongue hath but a heavier tale to say.
I play the torturer, by small and small
To lengthen out the worst that must be spoken.
Your uncle York is join’d with Bolingbroke,
And all your northern castles yielded up,
And all your southern gentlemen in arms
Upon his party.
Thou hast said enough.
[ToAumerle.] Beshrew thee, cousin, which didst lead me forth
Of that sweet way I was in to despair!
What say you now? What comfort have we now?
By heaven, I’ll hate him everlastingly
That bids me be of comfort any more.
Go to Flint Castle: there I’ll pine away;
A king, woe’s slave, shall kingly woe obey.
That power I have, discharge; and let them go
To ear the land that hath some hope to grow,
For I have none: let no man speak again
To alter this, for counsel is but vain.
My liege, one word.
He does me double wrong,
That wounds me with the flatteries of his tongue.
Discharge my followers: let them hence away,
From Richard’s night to Bolingbroke’s fair day.
Enter, with drum and colours,Bolingbrokeand Forces;York, Northumberland,and Others.
So that by this intelligence we learn
The Welshmen are dispers’d and Salisbury
Is gone to meet the king, who lately landed
With some few private friends upon this coast.
The news is very fair and good, my lord:
Richard not far from hence hath hid his head.
It would beseem the Lord Northumberland
To say, ‘King Richard:’ alack the heavy day
When such a sacred king should hide his head!
Your Grace mistakes; only to be brief
Left I his title out.
The time hath been,
Would you have been so brief with him, he would
Have been so brief with you, to shorten you,
For taking so the head, your whole head’s length.
Mistake not, uncle, further than you should.
Take not, good cousin, further than you should,
Lest you mistake the heavens are o’er our heads.
I know it, uncle; and oppose not myself
Against their will. But who comes here?
Welcome, Harry: what, will not this castle yield?
The castle royally is mann’d, my lord,
Against thy entrance.
Why, it contains no king?
Yes, my good lord,
It doth contain a king: King Richard lies
Within the limits of yon lime and stone;
And with him are the Lord Aumerle, Lord Salisbury,
Sir Stephen Scroop; besides a clergyman
Of holy reverence; who, I cannot learn.
O! belike it is the Bishop of Carlisle.
[ToNorth.] Noble lord,
Go to the rude ribs of that ancient castle,
Through brazen trumpet send the breath of parley
Into his ruin’d ears, and thus deliver:
On both his knees doth kiss King Richard’s hand,
And sends allegiance and true faith of heart
To his most royal person; hither come
Even at his feet to lay my arms and power,
Provided that my banishment repeal’d,
And lands restor’d again be freely granted.
If not, I’ll use the advantage of my power,
And lay the summer’s dust with showers of blood
Rain’d from the wounds of slaughter’d Englishmen:
The which, how far off from the mind of Bolingbroke
It is, such crimson tempest should bedrench
The fresh green lap of fair King Richard’s land,
My stooping duty tenderly shall show.
Go, signify as much, while here we march
Upon the grassy carpet of this plain.
Let’s march without the noise of threat’ning drum,
That from the castle’s totter’d battlements
Our fair appointments may be well perus’d.
Methinks King Richard and myself should meet
With no less terror than the elements
Of fire and water, when their thundering shock
At meeting tears the cloudy cheeks of heaven.
Be he the fire, I’ll be the yielding water:
The rage be his, while on the earth I rain
My waters; on the earth, and not on him.
March on, and mark King Richard how he looks.
A Parley sounded, and answered by a Trumpet within. Flourish. Enter on the WallsKing Richard,theBishop of Carlisle, Aumerle, Scroop,andSalisbury.
See, see, King Richard doth himself appear,
As doth the blushing discontented sun
From out the fiery portal of the east,
When he perceives the envious clouds are bent
To dim his glory and to stain the track
Of his bright passage to the occident.
Yet looks he like a king: behold, his eye,
As bright as is the eagle’s, lightens forth
Controlling majesty: alack, alack, for woe,
That any harm should stain so fair a show!
[ToNorthumberland.] We are amaz’d; and thus long have we stood
To watch the fearful bending of thy knee,
Because we thought ourself thy lawful king:
And if we be, how dare thy joints forget
To pay their awful duty to our presence?
If we be not, show us the hand of God
That hath dismiss’d us from our stewardship;
For well we know, no hand of blood and bone
Can gripe the sacred handle of our sceptre,
Unless he do profane, steal, or usurp.
And though you think that all, as you have done,
Have torn their souls by turning them from us,
And we are barren and bereft of friends;
Yet know, my master, God omnipotent,
Is mustering in his clouds on our behalf
Armies of pestilence; and they shall strike
Your children yet unborn and unbegot,
That lift your vassal hands against my head
And threat the glory of my precious crown.
Tell Bolingbroke,—for yond methinks he is,—
That every stride he makes upon my land
Is dangerous treason: he is come to open
The purple testament of bleeding war;
But ere the crown he looks for live in peace,
Ten thousand bloody crowns of mothers’ sons
Shall ill become the flower of England’s face,
Change the complexion of her maid-pale peace
To scarlet indignation, and bedew
Her pastures’ grass with faithful English blood.
The king of heaven forbid our lord the king
Should so with civil and uncivil arms
Be rush’d upon! Thy thrice-noble cousin,
Harry Bolingbroke, doth humbly kiss thy hand;
And by the honourable tomb he swears,
That stands upon your royal grandsire’s bones,
And by the royalties of both your bloods,
Currents that spring from one most gracious head,
And by the buried hand of war-like Gaunt,
And by the worth and honour of himself,
Comprising all that may be sworn or said,
His coming hither hath no further scope
Than for his lineal royalties and to beg
Enfranchisement immediate on his knees:
Which on thy royal party granted once,
His glittering arms he will commend to rust,
His barbed steeds to stables, and his heart
To faithful service of your majesty.
This swears he, as he is a prince, is just;
And, as I am a gentleman, I credit him.
Northumberland, say, thus the king returns:
His noble cousin is right welcome hither;
And all the number of his fair demands
Shall be accomplish’d without contradiction:
With all the gracious utterance thou hast
Speak to his gentle hearing kind commends.
[ToAumerle.] We do debase ourself, cousin, do we not,
To look so poorly and to speak so fair?
Shall we call back Northumberland and send
Defiance to the traitor, and so die?
No, good my lord; let’s fight with gentle words,
Till time lend friends and friends their helpful swords.
O God! O God! that e’er this tongue of mine,
That laid the sentence of dread banishment
On yond proud man, should take it off again
With words of sooth. O! that I were as great
As is my grief, or lesser than my name,
Or that I could forget what I have been,
Or not remember what I must be now.
Swell’st thou, proud heart? I’ll give thee scope to beat,
Since foes have scope to beat both thee and me.
Northumberland comes back from Bolingbroke.
What must the king do now? Must he submit?
The king shall do it: must he be depos’d?
The king shall be contented: must he lose
The name of king? o’ God’s name, let it go:
I’ll give my jewels for a set of beads,
My gorgeous palace for a hermitage,
My gay apparel for an almsman’s gown,
My figur’d goblets for a dish of wood,
My sceptre for a palmer’s walking-staff,
My subjects for a pair of carved saints,
And my large kingdom for a little grave,
A little little grave, an obscure grave;
Or I’ll be buried in the king’s highway,
Some way of common trade, where subjects’ feet
May hourly trample on their sovereign’s head;
For on my heart they tread now whilst I live;
And buried once, why not upon my head?
Aumerle, thou weep’st, my tender-hearted cousin!
We’ll make foul weather with despised tears;
Our sighs and they shall lodge the summer corn,
And make a dearth in this revolting land.
Or shall we play the wantons with our woes,
And make some pretty match with shedding tears?
As thus; to drop them still upon one place,
Till they have fretted us a pair of graves
Within the earth; and, there inlaid: ‘There lies
Two kinsmen digg’d their graves with weeping eyes.’
Would not this ill do well? Well, well, I see
I talk but idly and you laugh at me.
Most mighty prince, my Lord Northumberland,
What says King Bolingbroke? will his majesty
Give Richard leave to live till Richard die?
You make a leg, and Bolingbroke says ay.
My lord, in the base court he doth attend
To speak with you; may’t please you to come down?
Down, down, I come; like glistering Phaethon,
Wanting the manage of unruly jades.
In the base court? Base court, where kings grow base,
To come at traitors’ calls and do them grace.
In the base court? Come down? Down, court! down, king!
For night-owls shriek where mounting larks should sing.
[Exeunt from above.
What says his majesty?
Sorrow and grief of heart
Makes him speak fondly, like a frantic man:
Yet he is come.
EnterKing Richard,and his Attendants.
Stand all apart,
And show fair duty to his majesty.
My gracious lord,—
Fair cousin, you debase your princely knee
To make the base earth proud with kissing it:
Me rather had my heart might feel your love
Than my unpleas’d eye see your courtesy.
Up, cousin, up; your heart is up, I know,
Thus high at least, although your knee be low.
My gracious lord, I come but for mine own.
Your own is yours, and I am yours, and all.
So far be mine, my most redoubted lord,
As my true service shall deserve your love.
Well you deserve: they well deserve to have
That know the strong’st and surest way to get.
Uncle, give me your hand: nay, dry your eyes;
Tears show their love, but want their remedies.
Cousin, I am too young to be your father,
Though you are old enough to be my heir.
What you will have I’ll give, and willing too;
For do we must what force will have us do.
Set on towards London. Cousin, is it so?
Yea, my good lord.
Then I must not say no.
Enter theQueenand two Ladies.
What sport shall we devise here in this garden,
To drive away the heavy thought of care?
Madam, we’ll play at bowls.
’Twill make me think the world is full of rubs;
And that my fortune runs against the bias.
Madam, we’ll dance.
My legs can keep no measure in delight
When my poor heart no measure keeps in grief:
Therefore, no dancing, girl; some other sport.
Madam, we’ll tell tales.
Of sorrow or of joy?
Of either, madam.
Of neither, girl:
For if of joy, being altogether wanting,
It doth remember me the more of sorrow;
Or if of grief, being altogether had,
It adds more sorrow to my want of joy:
For what I have I need not to repeat,
And what I want it boots not to complain.
Madam, I’ll sing.
’Tis well that thou hast cause;
But thou shouldst please me better wouldst thou weep.
I could weep, madam, would it do you good.
And I could sing would weeping do me good,
And never borrow any tear of thee.
But stay, here come the gardeners:
Let’s step into the shadow of these trees.
My wretchedness unto a row of pins,
They’ll talk of state; for every one doth so
Against a change: woe is forerun with woe.
[Queenand Ladies retire.
Enter a Gardener and two Servants.
Go, bind thou up yon dangling apricocks,
Which, like unruly children, make their sire
Stoop with oppression of their prodigal weight:
Give some supportance to the bending twigs.
Go thou, and like an executioner,
Cut off the heads of too fast growing sprays,
That look too lofty in our commonwealth:
All must be even in our government.
You thus employ’d, I will go root away
The noisome weeds, that without profit suck
The soil’s fertility from wholesome flowers.
Why should we in the compass of a pale
Keep law and form and due proportion,
Showing, as in a model, our firm estate,
When our sea-walled garden, the whole land,
Is full of weeds, her fairest flowers chok’d up,
Her fruit-trees all unprun’d, her hedges ruin’d,
Her knots disorder’d, and her wholesome herbs
Swarming with caterpillars?
Hold thy peace:
He that hath suffer’d this disorder’d spring
Hath now himself met with the fall of leaf;
The weeds that his broad-spreading leaves did shelter,
That seem’d in eating him to hold him up,
Are pluck’d up root and all by Bolingbroke;
I mean the Earl of Wiltshire, Bushy, Green.
What! are they dead?
They are; and Bolingbroke
Hath seiz’d the wasteful king. O! what pity is it
That he hath not so trimm’d and dress’d his land
As we this garden. We at time of year
Do wound the bark, the skin of our fruit-trees,
Lest, being over-proud with sap and blood,
With too much riches it confound itself:
Had he done so to great and growing men,
They might have liv’d to bear and he to taste
Their fruits of duty: superfluous branches
We lop away that bearing boughs may live:
Had he done so, himself had borne the crown,
Which waste of idle hours hath quite thrown down.
What! think you then the king shall be depos’d?
Depress’d he is already, and depos’d
’Tis doubt he will be: letters came last night
To a dear friend of the good Duke of York’s,
That tell black tidings.
O! I am press’d to death through want of speaking.
Thou, old Adam’s likeness, set to dress this garden,
How dares thy harsh rude tongue sound this unpleasing news?
What Eve, what serpent, hath suggested thee
To make a second fall of cursed man?
Why dost thou say King Richard is depos’d?
Dar’st thou, thou little better thing than earth,
Divine his downfall? Say, where, when, and how
Cam’st thou by these ill tidings? speak, thou wretch.
Pardon me, madam: little joy have I
To breathe these news, yet what I say is true.
King Richard, he is in the mighty hold
Of Bolingbroke; their fortunes both are weigh’d:
In your lord’s scale is nothing but himself,
And some few vanities that make him light;
But in the balance of great Bolingbroke,
Besides himself, are all the English peers,
And with that odds he weighs King Richard down.
Post you to London and you’ll find it so;
I speak no more than every one doth know.
Nimble mischance. that art so light of foot,
Doth not thy embassage belong to me,
And am I last that knows it? O! thou think’st
To serve me last, that I may longest keep
Thy sorrow in my breast. Come, ladies, go,
To meet at London London’s king in woe.
What! was I born to this, that my sad look
Should grace the triumph of great Bolingbroke?
Gardener, for telling me these news of woe,
Pray God the plants thou graft’st may never grow.
Poor queen! so that thy state might be no worse,
I would my skill were subject to thy curse.
Here did she fall a tear; here, in this place,
I’ll set a bank of rue, sour herb of grace;
Rue, even for ruth, here shortly shall be seen,
In the remembrance of a weeping queen.
The Lords spiritual on the right side of the throne: the Lords temporal on the left; the Commons below. EnterBolingbroke, Aumerle, Surrey, Northumberland, Henry Percy, Fitzwater,another Lord, theBishop of Carlisle,theAbbot of Westminster,and Attendants. Officers behind withBagot.
Call forth Bagot.
Now, Bagot, freely speak thy mind;
What thou dost know of noble Gloucester’s death,
Who wrought it with the king, and who perform’d
The bloody office of his timeless end.
Then set before my face the Lord Aumerle.
Cousin, stand forth, and look upon that man.
My Lord Aumerle, I know your daring tongue
Scorns to unsay what once it hath deliver’d.
In that dead time when Gloucester’s death was plotted,
I heard you say, ‘Is not my arm of length,
That reacheth from the restful English court
As far as Calais, to my uncle’s head?’
Amongst much other talk, that very time,
I heard you say that you had rather refuse
The offer of a hundred thousand crowns
Than Bolingbroke’s return to England;
Adding withal, how blest this land would be
In this your cousin’s death.
Princes and noble lords,
What answer shall I make to this base man?
Shall I so much dishonour my fair stars,
On equal terms to give him chastisement?
Either I must, or have mine honour soil’d
With the attainder of his slanderous lips.
There is my gage, the manual seal of death,
That marks thee out for hell: I say thou liest,
And will maintain what thou hast said is false
In thy heart-blood, though being all too base
To stain the temper of my knightly sword.
Bagot, forbear; thou shalt not take it up.
Excepting one, I would he were the best
In all this presence that hath mov’d me so.
If that thy valour stand on sympathies,
There is my gage, Aumerle, in gage to thine:
By that fair sun which shows me where thou stand’st,
I heard thee say, and vauntingly thou spak’st it,
That thou wert cause of noble Gloucester’s death.
If thou deny’st it twenty times, thou liest;
And I will turn thy falsehood to thy heart,
Where it was forged, with my rapier’s point.
Thou dar’st not, coward, live to see that day.
Now, by my soul, I would it were this hour.
Fitzwater, thou art damn’d to hell for this.
Aumerle, thou liest; his honour is as true
In this appeal as thou art all unjust;
And that thou art so, there I throw my gage,
To prove it on thee to the extremest point
Of mortal breathing: seize it if thou dar’st.
And if I do not may my hands rot off
And never brandish more revengeful steel
Over the glittering helmet of my foe!
I task the earth to the like, forsworn Aumerle;
And spur thee on with full as many lies
As may be holla’d in thy treacherous ear
From sun to sun: there is my honour’s pawn;
Engage it to the trial if thou dar’st.
Who sets me else? by heaven, I’ll throw at all:
I have a thousand spirits in one breast,
To answer twenty thousand such as you.
My Lord Fitzwater, I do remember well
The very time Aumerle and you did talk.
’Tis very true: you were in presence then;
And you can witness with me this is true.
As false, by heaven, as heaven itself is true.
Surrey, thou best.
That he shall lie so heavy on my sword
That it shall render vengeance and revenge,
Till thou the lie-giver and that lie do lie
In earth as quiet as thy father’s skull.
In proof whereof, there is my honour’s pawn:
Engage it to the trial if thou dar’st.
How fondly dost thou spur a forward horse!
If I dare eat, or drink, or breathe, or live,
I dare meet Surrey in a wilderness,
And spit upon him, whilst I say he lies,
And lies, and lies: there is my bond of faith
To tie thee to my strong correction.
As I intend to thrive in this new world,
Aumerle is guilty of my true appeal:
Besides, I heard the banish’d Norfolk say
That thou, Aumerle, didst send two of thy men
To execute the noble duke at Calais.
Some honest Christian trust me with a gage.
That Norfolk lies, here do I throw down this,
If he may be repeal’d to try his honour.
These differences shall all rest under gage
Till Norfolk be repeal’d: repeal’d he shall be,
And though mine enemy, restor’d again
To all his lands and signories; when he’s return’d,
Against Aumerle we will enforce his trial.
That honourable day shall ne’er be seen.
Many a time hath banish’d Norfolk fought
For Jesu Christ in glorious Christian field,
Streaming the ensign of the Christian cross
Against black pagans, Turks, and Saracens;
And toil’d with works of war, retir’d himself
To Italy; and there at Venice gave
His body to that pleasant country’s earth,
And his pure soul unto his captain Christ,
Under whose colours he had fought so long.
Why, bishop, is Norfolk dead?
As surely as I live, my lord.
Sweet peace conduct his sweet soul to the bosom
Of good old Abraham! Lords appellants,
Your differences shall all rest under gage
Till we assign you to your days of trial.
Great Duke of Lancaster, I come to thee
From plume-pluck’d Richard; who with willing soul
Adopts thee heir, and his high sceptre yields
To the possession of thy royal hand.
Ascend his throne, descending now from him;
And long live Henry, of that name the fourth!
In God’s name, I’ll ascend the regal throne.
Marry, God forbid!
Worst in this royal presence may I speak,
Yet best beseeming me to speak the truth.
Would God that any in this noble presence
Were enough noble to be upright judge
Of noble Richard! then, true noblesse would
Learn him forbearance from so foul a wrong.
What subject can give sentence on his king?
And who sits here that is not Richard’s subject?
Thieves are not judg’d but they are by to hear,
Although apparent guilt be seen in them;
And shall the figure of God’s majesty,
His captain, steward, deputy elect,
Anointed, crowned, planted many years,
Be judg’d by subject and inferior breath,
And he himself not present? O! forfend it, God,
That in a Christian climate souls refin’d
Should show so heinous, black, obscene a deed.
I speak to subjects, and a subject speaks,
Stirr’d up by God thus boldly for his king.
My Lord of Hereford here, whom you call king,
Is a foul traitor to proud Hereford’s king;
And if you crown him, let me prophesy,
The blood of English shall manure the ground
And future ages groan for this foul act;
Peace shall go sleep with Turks and infidels,
And in this seat of peace tumultuous wars
Shall kin with kin and kind with kind confound;
Disorder, horror, fear and mutiny
Shall here inhabit, and this land be call’d
The field of Golgotha and dead men’s skulls.
O! if you rear this house against this house,
It will the woefullest division prove
That ever fell upon this cursed earth.
Prevent it, resist it, let it not be so,
Lest child, child’s children, cry against you ‘woe!’
Well have you argu’d, sir; and, for your pains,
Of capital treason we arrest you here.
My Lord of Westminster, be it your charge
To keep him safely till his day of trial.
May it please you, lords, to grant the commons’ suit?
Fetch hither Richard, that in common view
He may surrender; so we shall proceed
I will be his conduct.
Lords, you that here are under our arrest,
Procure your sureties for your days of answer.
[ToCarlisle.] Little are we beholding to your love,
And little look’d for at your helping hands.
Re-enterYork,withKing Richard,and Officers bearing the Crown, &c.
Alack! why am I sent for to a king
Before I have shook off the regal thoughts
Wherewith I reign’d? I hardly yet have learn’d
To insinuate, flatter, bow, and bend my limbs:
Give sorrow leave awhile to tutor me
To this submission. Yet I well remember
The favours of these men: were they not mine?
Did they not sometime cry, ‘All haill’ to me?
So Judas did to Christ: but he, in twelve,
Found truth in all but one; I, in twelve thousand, none.
God save the king! Will no man say, amen?
Am I both priest and clerk? well then, amen.
God save the king! although I be not he;
And yet, amen, if heaven do think him me.
To do what service am I sent for hither?
To do that office of thine own good will
Which tired majesty did make thee offer,
The resignation of thy state and crown
To Henry Bolingbroke.
Give me the crown. Here, cousin, seize the crown;
On this side my hand and on that side thine.
Now is this golden crown like a deep well
That owes two buckets filling one another;
The emptier ever dancing in the air,
The other down, unseen and full of water:
That bucket down and full of tears am I,
Drinking my griefs, whilst you mount up on high.
I thought you had been willing to resign.
My crown, I am; but still my griefs are mine.
You may my glories and my state depose,
But not my griefs; still am I king of those.
Part of your cares you give me with your crown.
Your cares set up do not pluck my cares down.
My care is loss of care, by old care done;
Your care is gain of care, by new care won.
The cares I give I have, though given away;
They tend the crown, yet still with me they stay.
Are you contented to resign the crown?
Ay, no; no, ay; for I must nothing be;
Therefore no no, for I resign to thee.
Now mark me how I will undo myself:
I give this heavy weight from off my head,
And this unwieldy sceptre from my hand,
The pride of kingly sway from out my heart;
With mine own tears I wash away my balm,
With mine own hands I give away my crown,
With mine own tongue deny my sacred state,
With mine own breath release all duteous rites:
All pomp and majesty I do forswear;
My manors, rents, revenues, I forego;
My acts, decrees, and statutes I deny:
God pardon all oaths that are broke to me!
God keep all vows unbroke are made to thee!
Make me, that nothing have, with nothing griev’d,
And thou with all pleas’d, that hast all achiev’d!
Long mayst thou live in Richard’s seat to sit,
And soon lie Richard in an earthy pit!
God save King Henry, unking’d Richard says,
And send him many years of sunshine days!
What more remains?
[Offering a paper.] No more, but that you read
These accusations and these grievous crimes
Committed by your person and your followers
Against the state and profit of this land;
That, by confessing them, the souls of men
May deem that you are worthily depos’d.
Must I do so? and must I ravel out
My weav’d-up follies? Gentle Northumberland,
If thy offences were upon record,
Would it not shame thee in so fair a troop
To read a lecture of them? If thou wouldst,
There shouldst thou find one heinous article,
Containing the deposing of a king,
And cracking the strong warrant of an oath,
Mark’d with a blot, damn’d in the book of heaven.
Nay, all of you that stand and look upon me,
Whilst that my wretchedness doth bait myself,
Though some of you with Pilate wash your hands,
Showing an outward pity; yet you Pilates
Have here deliver’d me to my sour cross,
And water cannot wash away your sin.
My lord, dispatch; read o’er these articles.
Mine eyes are full of tears, I cannot see:
And yet salt water blinds them not so much
But they can see a sort of traitors here.
Nay, if I turn mine eyes upon myself,
I find myself a traitor with the rest;
For I have given here my soul’s consent
To undeck the pompous body of a king;
Made glory base and sovereignty a slave,
Proud majesty a subject, state a peasant,
No lord of thine, thou haught insulting man,
Nor no man’s lord; I have no name, no title,
No, not that name was given me at the font,
But ’tis usurp’d: alack the heavy day!
That I have worn so many winters out,
And know not now what name to call myself.
O! that I were a mockery king of snow,
Standing before the sun of Bolingbroke,
To melt myself away in water-drops.
Good king, great king,—and yet not greatly good,
An if my word be sterling yet in England,
Let it command a mirror hither straight,
That it may show me what a face I have,
Since it is bankrupt of his majesty.
Go some of you and fetch a looking-glass.
[Exit an Attendant.
Read o’er this paper while the glass doth come.
Fiend! thou torment’st me ere I come to hell.
Urge it no more, my Lord Northumberland.
The commons will not then be satisfied.
They shall be satisfied: I’ll read enough
When I do see the very book indeed
Where all my sins are writ, and that’s myself.
Re-enter Attendant, with a glass.
Give me the glass, and therein will I read.
No deeper wrinkles yet? Hath sorrow struck
So many blows upon this face of mine
And made no deeper wounds? O, flattering glass!
Like to my followers in prosperity,
Thou dost beguile me. Was this face the face
That every day under his household roof
Did keep ten thousand men? Was this the face
That like the sun did make beholders wink?
Was this the face that fac’d so many follies,
And was at last out-fac’d by Bolingbroke?
A brittle glory shineth in this face:
As brittle as the glory is the face;
[Dashes the glass against the ground.
For there it is, crack’d in a hundred shivers.
Mark, silent king, the moral of this sport,
How soon my sorrow hath destroy’d my face.
The shadow of your sorrow hath destroy’d
The shadow of your face.
Say that again.
The shadow of my sorrow! Ha! let’s see:
’Tis very true, my grief lies all within;
And these external manners of laments
Are merely shadows to the unseen grief
That swells with silence in the tortur’d soul;
There lies the substance: and I thank thee, king,
For thy great bounty, that not only giv’st
Me cause to wail, but teachest me the way
How to lament the cause. I’ll beg one boon,
And then be gone and trouble you no more.
Shall I obtain it?
Name it, fair cousin.
‘Fair cousin!’ I am greater than a king;
For when I was a king, my flatterers
Were then but subjects; being now a subject,
I have a king here to my flatterer.
Being so great, I have no need to beg.
And shall I have?
Then give me leave to go.
Whither you will, so I were from your sights.
Go, some of you convey him to the Tower.
O, good! convey? conveyers are you all,
That rise thus nimbly by a true king’s fall.
[ExeuntKing Richardand Guard.
On Wednesday next we solemnly set down
Our coronation: lords, prepare yourselves.
[Exeunt all except theBishop of Carlisle,theAbbot of Westminster,andAumerle.
A woeful pageant have we here beheld.
The woe’s to come; the children yet unborn
Shall feel this day as sharp to them as thorn.
You holy clergymen, is there no plot
To rid the realm of this pernicious blot?
Before I freely speak my mind herein,
You shall not only take the sacrament
To bury mine intents, but also to effect
Whatever I shall happen to devise.
I see your brows are full of discontent,
Your hearts of sorrow, and your eyes of tears:
Come home with me to supper; I will lay
A plot shall show us all a merry day.
This way the king will come; this is the way
To Julius Cæsar’s ill-erected tower,
To whose flint bosom my condemned lord
Is doom’d a prisoner by proud Bolingbroke.
Here let us rest, if this rebellious earth
Have any resting for her true king’s queen.
EnterKing Richardand Guard.
But soft, but see, or rather do not see,
My fair rose wither: yet look up, behold,
That you in pity may dissolve to dew,
And wash him fresh again with true-love tears.
Ah! thou, the model where old Troy did stand,
Thou map of honour, thou King Richard’s tomb,
And not King Richard; thou most beauteous inn,
Why should hard-favour’d grief be lodg’d in thee,
When triumph is become an alehouse guest?
Join not with grief, fair woman, do not so,
To make my end too sudden: learn, good soul,
To think our former state a happy dream;
From which awak’d, the truth of what we are
Shows us but this. I am sworn brother, sweet,
To grim Necessity, and he and I
Will keep a league till death. Hie thee to France,
And cloister thee in some religious house:
Our holy lives must win a new world’s crown,
Which our profane hours here have stricken down.
What! is my Richard both in shape and mind
Transform’d and weaken’d! Hath Bolingbroke depos’d
Thine intellect? hath he been in thy heart?
The lion dying thrusteth forth his paw
And wounds the earth, if nothing else, with rage
To be o’erpower’d; and wilt thou, pupil-like,
Take thy correction mildly, kiss the rod,
And fawn on rage with base humility,
Which art a lion and a king of beasts?
A king of beasts indeed; if aught but beasts,
I had been still a happy king of men.
Good sometime queen, prepare thee hence for France,
Think I am dead, and that even here thou tak’st,
As from my death-bed, my last living leave.
In winter’s tedious nights sit by the fire
With good old folks, and let them tell thee tales
Of woeful ages, long ago betid;
And ere thou bid good night, to quit their grief,
Tell thou the lamentable tale of me,
And send the hearers weeping to their beds:
For why the senseless brands will sympathize
The heavy accent of thy moving tongue,
And in compassion weep the fire out;
And some will mourn in ashes, some coal-black,
For the deposing of a rightful king.
My lord, the mind of Bolingbroke is chang’d;
You must to Pomfret, not unto the Tower.
And, madam, there is order ta’en for you;
With all swift speed you must away to France.
Northumberland, thou ladder wherewithal
The mounting Bolingbroke ascends my throne,
The time shall not be many hours of age
More than it is, ere foul sin gathering head
Shall break into corruption. Thou shalt think,
Though he divide the realm and give thee half,
It is too little, helping him to all;
And he shall think that thou, which know’st the way
To plant unrightful kings, wilt know again,
Being ne’er so little urg’d, another way
To pluck him headlong from the usurped throne.
The love of wicked friends converts to fear;
That fear to hate, and hate turns one or both
To worthy danger and deserved death.
My guilt be on my head, and there an end.
Take leave and part; for you must part forthwith.
Doubly divorc’d! Bad men, ye violate
A two-fold marriage; ’twixt my crown and me,
And then, betwixt me and my married wife.
Let me unkiss the oath ’twixt thee and me;
And yet not so, for with a kiss ’twas made.
Part us, Northumberland: I towards the north,
Where shivering cold and sickness pines the clime;
My wife to France: from whence, set forth in pomp,
She came adorned hither like sweet May,
Sent back like Hallowmas or short’st of day.
And must we be divided? must we part?
Ay, hand from hand, my love, and heart from heart.
Banish us both and send the king with me.
That were some love but little policy.
Then whither he goes, thither let me go.
So two, together weeping, make one woe.
Weep thou for me in France, I for thee here;
Better far off, than near, be ne’er the near.
Go, count thy way with sighs, I mine with groans.
So longest way shall have the longest moans.
Twice for one step I’ll groan, the way being short,
And piece the way out with a heavy heart.
Come, come, in wooing sorrow let’s be brief,
Since, wedding it, thero is such length in grief.
One kiss shall stop our mouths, and dumbly part;
Thus give I mine, and thus take I thy heart.
Give me mine own again; ’twere no good part
To take on me to keep and kill thy heart.
[They kiss again.
So, now I have mine own again, be gone,
That I may strive to kill it with a groan.
We make woe wanton with this fond delay:
Once more, adieu; the rest let sorrow say.
My lord, you told me you would tell the rest,
When weeping made you break the story off,
Of our two cousins coming into London.
Where did I leave?
At that sad stop, my lord,
Where rude misgovern’d hands, from windows’ tops,
Threw dust and rubbish on King Richard’s head.
Then, as I said, the duke, great Bolingbroke,
Mounted upon a hot and fiery steed,
Which his aspiring rider seem’d to know,
With slow but stately pace kept on his course,
While all tongues cried, ‘God save thee, Bolingbroke!’
You would have thought the very windows spake,
So many greedy looks of young and old
Through casements darted their desiring eyes
Upon his visage, and that all the walls
With painted imagery had said at once
‘Jesu preserve thee! welcome, Bolingbroke!’
Whilst he, from one side to the other turning,
Bare-headed, lower than his proud steed’s neck,
Bespake them thus, ‘I thank you, countrymen:’
And thus still doing, thus he pass’d along.
Alack, poor Richard! where rode he the whilst?
As in a theatre, the eyes of men,
After a well-grac’d actor leaves the stage,
Are idly bent on him that enters next,
Thinking his prattle to be tedious;
Even so, or with much more contempt, men’s eyes
Did scowl on Richard: no man cried, ‘God save him;’
No joyful tongue gave him his welcome home;
But dust was thrown upon his sacred head,
Which with such gentle sorrow he shook off,
His face still combating with tears and smiles,
The badges of his grief and patience,
That had not God, for some strong purpose, steel’d
The hearts of men, they must perforce have melted,
And barbarism itself have pitied him.
But heaven hath a hand in these events,
To whose high will we bound our calm contents.
To Bolingbroke are we sworn subjects now,
Whose state and honour I for aye allow.
Here comes my son Aumerle.
Aumerle that was;
But that is lost for being Richard’s friend,
And, madam, you must call him Rutland now.
I am in parliament pledge for his truth
And lasting fealty to the new-made king.
Welcome, my son: who are the violets now
That strew the green lap of the new come spring?
Madam, I know not, nor I greatly care not:
God knows I had as lief be none as one.
Well, bear you well in this new spring of time,
Lest you be cropp’d before you come to prime.
What news from Oxford? hold those justs and triumphs?
For aught I know, my lord, they do.
You will be there, I know.
If God prevent it not, I purpose so.
What seal is that that hangs without thy bosom?
Yea, look’st thou pale? let me see the writing.
My lord, ’tis nothing.
No matter then, who sees it:
I will be satisfied; let me see the writing.
I do beseech your Grace to pardon me:
It is a matter of small consequence,
Which for some reasons I would not have seen.
Which for some reasons, sir, I mean to see.
I fear, I fear,—
What should you fear?
’Tis nothing but some bond he’s enter’d into
For gay apparel ’gainst the triumph day.
Bound to himself! what doth he with a bond
That he is bound to? Wife, thou art a fool.
Boy, let me see the writing.
I do beseech you, pardon me; I may not show it.
I will be satisfied; let me see it, I say.
[Snatches it, and reads.
Treason! foul treason! villain! traitor! slave!
What is the matter, my lord?
Ho! who is within there?
Enter a Servant.
Saddle my horse.
God for his mercy! what treachery is here!
Why, what is it, my lord?
Give me my boots, I say; saddle my horse.
Now, by mine honour, by my life, my troth,
I will appeach the villain.
What’s the matter?
Peace, foolish woman.
I will not peace. What is the matter, Aumerle?
Good mother, be content; it is no more
Than my poor life must answer.
Thy life answer!
Bring me my boots: I will unto the king.
Re-enter Servant with boots.
Strike him, Aumerle. Poor boy, thou art amaz’d.
[To Servant.] Hence, villain! never more come in my sight.
Give me my boots, I say.
Why, York, what wilt thou do?
Wilt thou not hide the trespass of thine own?
Have we more sons, or are we like to have?
Is not my teeming date drunk up with time?
And wilt thou pluck my fair son from mine age,
And rob me of a happy mother’s name?
Is he not like thee? is he not thine own?
Thou fond, mad woman,
Wilt thou conceal this dark conspiracy?
A dozen of them here have ta’en the sacrament,
And interchangeably set down their hands,
To kill the king at Oxford.
He shall be none;
We’ll keep him here: then, what is that to him?
Away, fond woman! were he twenty times
My son, I would appeach him.
Hadst thou groan’d for him
As I have done, thou’dst be more pitiful.
But now I know thy mind: thou dost suspect
That I have been disloyal to thy bed,
And that he is a bastard, not thy son:
Sweet York, sweet husband, be not of that mind:
He is as like thee as a man may be,
Not like to me, nor any of my kin,
And yet I love him.
Make way, unruly woman!
After, Aumerle! Mount thee upon his horse;
Spur post, and get before him to the king,
And beg thy pardon ere he do accuse thee.
I’ll not be long behind; though I be old,
I doubt not but to ride as fast as York:
And never will I rise up from the ground
Till Bolingbroke have pardon’d thee. Away! be gone.
EnterBolingbrokeas King;Henry Percy,and other Lords.
Can no man tell of my unthrifty son?
’Tis full three months since I did see him last.
If any plague hang over us, ’tis he.
I would to God, my lords, he might be found:
Inquire at London, ’mongst the taverns there,
For there, they say, he daily doth frequent,
With unrestrained loose companions,
Even such, they say, as stand in narrow lanes
And beat our watch and rob our passengers;
While he, young wanton and effeminate boy,
Takes on the point of honour to support
So dissolute a crew.
My lord, some two days since I saw the prince,
And told him of these triumphs held at Oxford.
And what said the gallant?
His answer was: he would unto the stews,
And from the common’st creature pluck a glove,
And wear it as a favour; and with that
He would unhorse the lustiest challenger.
As dissolute as desperate; yet, through both,
I see some sparkles of a better hope,
Which elder days may happily bring forth.
But who comes here?
Where is the king?
Our cousin, that he stares and looks so wildly?
God save your Grace! I do beseech your majesty,
To have some conference with your Grace alone.
Withdraw yourselves, and leave us here alone.
[Exeunt H. Percyand Lords.
What is the matter with our cousin now?
[Kneels.] For ever may my knees grow to the earth,
My tongue cleave to my roof within my mouth,
Unless a pardon ere I rise or speak.
Intended or committed was this fault?
If on the first, how heinous e’er it be,
To win thy after-love I pardon thee.
Then give me leave that I may turn the key,
That no man enter till my tale be done.
Have thy desire.
[Aumerlelocks the door.
[Within.] My liege, beware! look to thyself;
Thou hast a traitor in thy presence there.
[Drawing.] Villain, I’ll make thee safe.
Stay thy revengeful hand; thou hast no cause to fear.
[Within.] Open the door, secure, foolhardy king:
Shall I for love speak treason to thy face?
Open the door, or I will break it open.
[Bolingbrokeunlocks the door; and afterwards relocks it.
What is the matter, uncle? speak;
Recover breath; tell us how near is danger,
That we may arm us to encounter it.
Peruse this writing here, and thou shalt know
The treason that my haste forbids me show.
Remember, as thou read’st, thy promise pass’d:
I do repent me; read not my name there;
My heart is not confederate with my hand.
’Twas, villain, ere thy hand did set it down.
I tore it from the traitor’s bosom, king;
Fear, and not love, begets his penitence.
Forget to pity him, lest thy pity prove
A serpent that will sting thee to the heart.
O heinous, strong, and bold conspiracy!
O loyal father of a treacherous son!
Thou sheer, immaculate, and silver fountain,
From whence this stream through muddy passages
Hath held his current and defil’d himself!
Thy overflow of good converts to bad,
And thy abundant goodness shall excuse
This deadly blot in thy digressing son.
So shall my virtue be his vice’s bawd,
And he shall spend mine honour with his shame,
As thriftless sons their scraping fathers’ gold.
Mine honour lives when his dishonour dies,
Or my sham’d life in his dishonour lies:
Thou kill’st me in his life; giving him breath,
The traitor lives, the true man’s put to death.
[Within.] What ho, my liege! for God’s sake let me in.
What shrill-voic’d suppliant makes this eager cry?
[Within.] A woman, and thine aunt, great king; ’tis I.
Speak with me, pity me, open the door:
A beggar begs, that never begg’d before.
Our scene is alter’d from a serious thing,
And now chang’d to ‘The Beggar and the King.’
My dangerous cousin, let your mother in:
I know she’s come to pray for your foul sin.
[Aumerleunlocks the door.
If thou do pardon, whosoever pray,
More sins, for this forgiveness, prosper may.
This fester’d joint cut off, the rest rests sound;
This, let alone, will all the rest confound.
O king! believe not this hard-hearted man:
Love, loving not itself, none other can.
Thou frantic woman, what dost thou make here?
Shall thy old dugs once more a traitor rear?
Sweet York, be-patient.
Hear me, gentle liege.
Rise up, good aunt.
Not yet, I thee beseech.
For ever will I walk upon my knees,
And never see day that the happy sees,
Till thou give joy; until thou bid me joy,
By pardoning Rutland, my transgressing boy.
Unto my mother’s prayers I bend my knee.
Against them both my true joints bended be.
Ill mayst thou thrive if thou grant any grace!
Pleads he in earnest? look upon his face;
His eyes do drop no tears, his prayers are in jest;
His words come from his mouth, ours from our breast:
He prays but faintly and would be denied;
We pray with heart and soul and all beside:
His weary joints would gladly rise, I know;
Our knees shall kneel till to the ground they grow:
His prayers are full of false hypocrisy;
Ours of true zeal and deep integrity.
Our prayers do out-pray his; then let them have
That mercy which true prayer ought to have.
Good aunt, stand up.
Nay, do not say ‘stand up;’
But ‘pardon’ first, and afterwards ‘stand up.’
An if I were thy nurse, thy tongue to teach,
‘Pardon’ should be the first word of thy speech.
I never long’d to hear a word till now;
Say ‘pardon,’ king; let pity teach thee how:
The word is short, but not so short as sweet;
No word like ‘pardon,’ for kings’ mouths so meet.
Speak it in French, king; say, ‘pardonnez moy.’
Dost thou teach pardon pardon to destroy?
Ah! my sour husband, my hard-hearted lord,
That sett’st the word itself against the word.
Speak ‘pardon’ as ’tis current in our land;
The chopping French we do not understand.
Thine eye begins to speak, set thy tongue there,
Or in thy piteous heart plant thou thine ear,
That hearing how our plants and prayers do pierce,
Pity may move thee pardon to rehearse.
Good aunt, stand up.
I do not sue to stand;
Pardon is all the suit I have in hand.
I pardon him, as God shall pardon me.
O happy vantage of a kneeling knee!
Yet am I sick for fear: speak it again;
Twice saying ‘pardon’ doth not pardon twain,
But makes one pardon strong.
With all my heart
I pardon him.
A god on earth thou art.
But for our trusty brother-in-law and the abbot,
With all the rest of that consorted crew,
Destruction straight shall dog them at the heels.
Good uncle, help to order several powers
To Oxford, or where’er these traitors are:
They shall not live within this world, I swear,
But I will have them, if I once know where.
Uncle, farewell: and cousin too, adieu:
Your mother well hath pray’d, and prove you true.
Come, my old son: I pray God make thee new.
EnterExtonand a Servant.
Didst thou not mark the king, what words he spake?
‘Have I no friend will rid me of this living fear?’
Was it not so?
Those were his very words.
‘Have I no friend?’ quoth he: he spake it twice,
And urg’d it twice together, did he not?
And speaking it, he wistly looked on me,
As who should say, ‘I would thou wert the man
That would divorce this terror from my heart;’
Meaning the king at Pomfret. Come, let’s go:
I am the king’s friend, and will rid his foe.
I have been studying how I may compare
This prison where I live unto the world:
And for because the world is populous,
And here is not a creature but myself,
I cannot do it; yet I’ll hammer it out.
My brain I’ll prove the female to my soul;
My soul the father: and these two beget
A generation of still-breeding thoughts,
And these same thoughts people this little world
In humours like the people of this world,
For no thought is contented. The better sort,
As thoughts of things divine, are intermix’d
With scruples, and do set the word itself
Against the word:
As thus, ‘Come, little ones;’ and then again,
‘It is as hard to come as for a camel
To thread the postern of a needle’s eye.’
Thoughts tending to ambition, they do plot
Unlikely wonders; how these vain weak nails
May tear a passage through the flinty ribs
Of this hard world, my ragged prison walls;
And, for they cannot, die in their own pride.
Thoughts tending to content flatter themselves
That they are not the first of fortune’s slaves,
Nor shall not be the last; like silly beggars
Who sitting in the stocks refuge their shame,
That many have and others must sit there:
And in this thought they find a kind of ease,
Bearing their own misfortune on the back
Of such as have before endur’d the like.
Thus play I in one person many people,
And none contented: sometimes am I king;
Then treason makes me wish myself a beggar,
And so I am: then crushing penury
Persuades me I was better when a king;
Then am I king’d again; and by and by
Think that I am unking’d by Bolingbroke,
And straight am nothing: but whate’er I be,
Nor I nor any man that but man is
With nothing shall be pleas’d, till he be eas’d
With being nothing. Music do I hear?
Ha, ha! keep time. How sour sweet music is
When time is broke and no proportion kept!
So is it in the music of men’s lives.
And here have I the daintiness of ear
To check time broke in a disorder’d string;
But for the concord of my state and time
Had not an ear to hear my true time broke.
I wasted time, and now doth time waste me;
For now hath time made me his numbering clock:
My thoughts are minutes, and with sighs they jar
Their watches on unto mine eyes, the outward watch,
Whereto my finger, like a dial’s point,
Is pointing still, in cleansing them from tears.
Now sir, the sound that tells what hour it is
Are clamorous groans, that strike upon my heart
Which is the bell: so sighs and tears and groans
Show minutes, times, and hours; but my time
Runs posting on in Bolingbroke’s proud joy,
While I stand fooling here, his Jack o’ the clock.
This music mads me: let it sound no more;
For though it have holp madmen to their wits,
In me it seems it will make wise men mad.
Yet blessing on his heart that gives it me!
For ’tis a sign of love, and love to Richard
Is a strange brooch in this all-hating world.
Enter Groom of the Stable.
Hail, royal prince!
Thanks, noble peer;
The cheapest of us is ten groats too dear.
What art thou? and how comest thou hither, man,
Where no man never comes but that sad dog
That brings me food to make misfortune live?
I was a poor groom of thy stable, king,
When thou wert king; who, travelling towards York,
With much ado at length have gotten leave
To look upon my sometimes royal master’s face.
O! how it yearn’d my heart when I beheld
In London streets, that coronation day
When Bolingbroke rode on roan Barbary,
That horse that thou so often hast bestrid,
That horse that I so carefully have dress’d.
Rode he on Barbary? Tell me, gentle friend,
How went he under him?
So proudly as if he disdain’d the ground.
So proud that Bolingbroke was on his back!
That jade hath eat bread from my royal hand;
This hand hath made him proud with clapping him.
Would he not stumble? Would he not fall down,—
Since pride must have a fall,—and break the neck
Of that proud man that did usurp his back?
Forgiveness, horse! why do I rail on thee,
Since thou, created to be aw’d by man,
Wast born to bear? I was not made a horse;
And yet I bear a burden like an ass,
Spur-gall’d and tir’d by jauncing Bolingbroke.
Enter Keeper, with a dish.
[To the Groom.] Fellow, give place; here is no longer stay.
If thou love me, ’tis time thou wert away.
What my tongue dares not, that my heart shall say.
My lord, will’t please you to fall to?
Taste of it first, as thou art wont to do.
My lord, I dare not: Sir Pierce of Exton, who lately came from the king, commands the contrary.
The devil take Henry of Lancaster, and thee!
Patience is stale, and I am weary of it.
[Strikes the Keeper.
Help, help, help!
EnterExtonand Servants, armed.
How now! what means death in this rude assault?
Villain, thine own hand yields thy death’s instrument.
[Snatching a weapon and killing one.
Go thou and fill another room in hell.
[He kills another: thenExtonstrikes him down.
That hand shall burn in never-quenching fire
That staggers thus my person. Exton, thy fierce hand
Hath with the king’s blood stain’d the king’s own land.
Mount, mount, my soul! thy seat is up on high,
Whilst my gross flesh sinks downward, here to die.
As full of valour as of royal blood:
Both have I spilt; O! would the deed were good;
For now the devil, that told me I did well,
Says that this deed is chronicled in hell.
This dead king to the living king I’ll bear.
Take hence the rest and give them burial here.
EnterBolingbrokeandYork,with Lords and Attendants.
Kind uncle York, the latest news we hear
Is that the rebels have consum’d with fire
Our town of Cicester in Gloucestershire;
But whether they be ta’en or slain we hear not.
Welcome, my lord. What is the news?
First, to thy sacred state wish I all happiness.
The next news is: I have to London sent
The heads of Salisbury, Spencer, Blunt, and Kent.
The manner of their taking may appear
At large discoursed in this paper here.
We thank thee, gentle Percy, for thy pains,
And to thy worth will add right worthy gains.
My lord, I have from Oxford sent to London
The heads of Brocas and Sir Bennet Seely,
Two of the dangerous consorted traitors
That sought at Oxford thy dire overthrow.
Thy pains, Fitzwater, shall not be forgot;
Right noble is thy merit, well I wot.
EnterHenry Percy,with theBishop of Carlisle.
The grand conspirator, Abbot of Westminster,
With clog of conscience and sour melancholy,
Hath yielded up his body to the grave;
But here is Carlisle living, to abide
Thy kingly doom and sentence of his pride.
Carlisle, this is your doom:
Choose out some secret place, some reverend room,
More than thou hast, and with it joy thy life;
So, as thou livest in peace, die free from strife:
For though mine enemy thou hast ever been,
High sparks of honour in thee have I seen.
EnterExton,with Attendants bearing a coffin
Great king, within this coffin I present
Thy buried fear: herein all breathless lies
The mightiest of thy greatest enemies,
Richard of Bordeaux, by me hither brought.
Exton, I thank thee not; for thou hast wrought
A deed of slander with thy fatal hand
Upon my head and all this famous land.
From your own mouth, my lord, did I this deed.
They love not poison that do poison need,
Nor do I thee: though I did wish him dead,
I hate the murderer, love him murdered.
The guilt of conscience take thou for thy labour,
But neither my good word nor princely favour:
With Cain go wander through the shade of night,
And never show thy head by day nor light.
Lords, I protest, my soul is full of woe,
That blood should sprinkle me to make me grow:
Come, mourn with me for that I do lament,
And put on sullen black incontinent.
I’ll make a voyage to the Holy Land,
To wash this blood off from my guilty hand.
March sadly after; grace my mournings here,
In weeping after this untimely bier.
In Session Six we will have a general discussion of all the themes we have so far covered.
William Shakespeare, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, ed. with a glossary by W.J. Craig M.A. (Oxford University Press, 1916).
Accessed from oll.libertyfund.org/title/1616 on 2008-01-30
The text is in the public domain.
|JULIUS CæSAR. }||Triumvirs after the Death of Julius Cæsar.|
|OCTAVIUS CæSAR, }|
|MARCUS ANTONIUS, }|
|M. ÆMILIUS LEPIDUS, }|
|POPILIUS LENA, }|
|MARCUS BRUTUS, }||Conspirators against Julius Cæsar.|
|DECIUS BRUTUS, }|
|METELLUS CIMBER, }|
|FLAVIUS and MARULLUS,||Tribunes.|
|ARTEMIDORUS,||a Sophist of Cnidos.|
|LUCILIUS, TITINIUS, MESSALA, Young CATO, and VOLUMNIUS; Friends to Brutus and Cassius.|
|VARRO, CLITUS, CLAUDIUS, STRATO, LUCIUS, DARDANIUS; Servants to Brutus.|
|PINDARUS,||Servant to Cassius.|
|CALPHURNIA,||Wife to Cæsar.|
|PORTIA,||Wife to Brutus.|
|Senators, Citizens, Guards, Attendants, &c.|
Scene.—During a great part of the Play, at Rome; afterwards, Sardis and near Philippi.
EnterFlavius, Marullus,and certain Commoners.
Hence! home, you idle creatures, get you home:
Is this a holiday? What! know you not,
Being mechanical, you ought not walk
Upon a labouring day without the sign
Of your profession? Speak, what trade art thou?
Why, sir, a carpenter.
Where is thy leather apron, and thy rule?
What dost thou with thy best apparel on?
You, sir, what trade are you?
Truly, sir, in respect of a fine workman, I am but, as you would say, a cobbler.
But what trade art thou? Answer me directly.
A trade, sir, that, I hope, I may use with a safe conscience; which is, indeed, sir, a mender of bad soles.
What trade, thou knave? thou naughty knave, what trade?
Nay, I beseech you, sir, be not out with me: yet, if you be out, sir, I can mend you.
What meanest thou by that? Mend me, thou saucy fellow!
Why, sir, cobble you.
Thou art a cobbler, art thou?
Truly, sir, all that I live by is with the awl: I meddle with no tradesman’s matters, nor women’s matters, but with awl. I am, indeed, sir, a surgeon to old shoes; when they are in great danger, I recover them. As proper men as ever trod upon neat’s leather have gone upon my handiwork.
But wherefore art not in thy shop to-day?
Why dost thou lead these men about the streets?
Truly, sir, to wear out their shoes, to get myself into more work. But, indeed, sir, we make holiday to see Cæsar and to rejoice in his triumph.
Wherefore rejoice? What conquest brings he home?
What tributaries follow him to Rome
To grace in captive bonds his chariot wheels?
You blocks, you stones, you worse than senseless things!
O you hard hearts, you cruel men of Rome,
Knew you not Pompey? Many a time and oft
Have you climb’d up to walls and battlements,
To towers and windows, yea, to chimney-tops,
Your infants in your arms, and there have sat
The livelong day, with patient expectation,
To see great Pompey pass the streets of Rome:
And when you saw his chariot but appear,
Have you not made a universal shout,
That Tiber trembled underneath her banks,
To hear the replication of your sounds
Made in her concave shores?
And do you now put on your best attire?
And do you now cull out a holiday?
And do you now strew flowers in his way,
That comes in triumph over Pompey’s blood?
Run to your houses, fall upon your knees,
Pray to the gods to intermit the plague
That needs must light on this ingratitude.
Go, go, good countrymen, and, for this fault
Assemble all the poor men of your sort;
Draw them to Tiber banks, and weep your tears
Into the channel, till the lowest stream
Do kiss the most exalted shores of all.
[Exeunt all the Commoners.
See whe’r their basest metal be not mov’d;
They vanish tongue-tied in their guiltiness.
Go you down that way towards the Capitol;
This way will I. Disrobe the images
If you do find them deck’d with ceremonies.
May we do so?
You know it is the feast of Lupercal.
It is no matter; let no images
Be hung with Cæsar’s trophies. I’ll about
And drive away the vulgar from the streets:
So do you too where you perceive them thick.
These growing feathers pluck’d from Cæsar’s wing
Will make him fly an ordinary pitch,
Who else would soar above the view of men
And keep us all in servile fearfulness.
Enter, in procession, with music,Cæsar; Antony,for the course;Calphurnia, Portia, Decius, Cicero, Brutus, Cassius,andCasca;a great crowd following, among them a Soothsayer.
Peace, ho! Cæsar speaks.
Here, my lord.
Stand you directly in Antonius’ way
When he doth run his course. Antonius!
Cæsar, my lord.
Forget not, in your speed, Antonius,
To touch Calphurnia; for our elders say,
The barren, touched in this holy chase,
Shake off their sterile curse.
I shall remember:
When Cæsar says ‘Do this,’ it is perform’d.
Set on; and leave no ceremony out.
Ha! Who calls?
Bid every noise be still: peace yet again!
Who is it in the press that calls on me?
I hear a tongue, shriller than all the music,
Cry ‘Cæsar.’ Speak; Cæsar is turn’d to hear.
Beware the ides of March.
What man is that?
A soothsayer bids you beware the ides of March.
Set him before me; let me see his face.
Fellow, come from the throng; look upon Cæsar.
What sayst thou to me now? Speak once again.
Beware the ides of March.
He is a dreamer; let us leave him: pass.
[Sennet. Exeunt all butBrutusandCassius.
Will you go see the order of the course?
I pray you, do.
I am not gamesome: I do lack some part
Of that quick spirit that is in Antony.
Let me not hinder, Cassius, your desires;
I’ll leave you.
Brutus, I do observe you now of late:
I have not from your eyes that gentleness
And show of love as I was wont to have:
You bear too stubborn and too strange a hand
Over your friend that loves you.
Be not deceiv’d: if I have veil’d my look,
I turn the trouble of my countenance
Merely upon myself. Vexed I am
Of late with passions of some difference,
Conceptions only proper to myself,
Which give some soil perhaps to my behaviours;
But let not therefore my good friends be griev’d,—
Among which number, Cassius, be you one,—
Nor construe any further my neglect,
Than that poor Brutus, with himself at war,
Forgets the shows of love to other men.
Then, Brutus, I have much mistook your passion;
By means whereof this breast of mine hath buried
Thoughts of great value, worthy cogitations.
Tell me, good Brutus, can you see your face?
No, Cassius; for the eye sees not itself,
But by reflection, by some other things.
And it is very much lamented, Brutus,
That you have no such mirrors as will turn
Your hidden worthiness into your eye,
That you might see your shadow. I have heard,
Where many of the best respect in Rome,—
Except immortal Cæsar,—speaking of Brutus,
And groaning underneath this age’s yoke,
Have wish’d that noble Brutus had his eyes.
Into what dangers would you lead me, Cassius,
That you would have me seek into myself
For that which is not in me?
Therefore, good Brutus, be prepar’d to hear;
And, since you know you cannot see yourself
So well as by reflection, I, your glass,
Will modestly discover to yourself
That of yourself which you yet know not of.
And be not jealous on me, gentle Brutus:
Were I a common laugher, or did use
To stale with ordinary oaths my love
To every new protester; if you know
That I do fawn on men and hug them hard,
And after scandal them; or if you know
That I profess myself in banqueting
To all the rout, then hold me dangerous.
[Flourish and shout.
What means this shouting? I do fear the people
Choose Cæsar for their king.
Ay, do you fear it?
Then must I think you would not have it so.
I would not, Cassius; yet I love him well.
But wherefore do you hold me here so long?
What is it that you would impart to me?
If it be aught toward the general good,
Set honour in one eye and death i’ the other,
And I will look on both indifferently;
For let the gods so speed me as I love
The name of honour more than I fear death.
I know that virtue to be in you, Brutus,
As well as I do know your outward favour.
Well, honour is the subject of my story.
I cannot tell what you and other men
Think of this life; but, for my single self,
I had as lief not be as live to be
In awe of such a thing as I myself.
I was born free as Cæsar; so were you:
We both have fed as well, and we can both
Endure the winter’s cold as well as he:
For once, upon a raw and gusty day,
The troubled Tiber chafing with her shores,
Cæsar said to me, ‘Dar’st thou, Cassius, now
Leap in with me into this angry flood,
And swim to yonder point?’ Upon the word,
Accoutred as I was, I plunged in
And bade him follow; so, indeed he did.
The torrent roar’d, and we did buffet it
With lusty sinews, throwing it aside
And stemming it with hearts of controversy;
But ere we could arrive the point propos’d,
Cæsar cried, ‘Help me, Cassius, or I sink!’
I, as Æneas, our great ancestor,
Did from the flames of Troy upon his shoulder
The old Anchises bear, so from the waves of Tiber
Did I the tired Cæsar. And this man
Is now become a god, and Cassius is
A wretched creature and must bend his body
If Cæsar carelessly but nod on him.
He had a fever when he was in Spain,
And when the fit was on him, I did mark
How he did shake; ’tis true, this god did shake;
His coward lips did from their colour fly,
And that same eye whose bend doth awe the world
Did lose his lustre; I did hear him groan;
Ay, and that tongue of his that bade the Romans
Mark him and write his speeches in their books,
Alas! it cried, ‘Give me some drink, Titinius,’
As a sick girl. Ye gods, it doth amaze me,
A man of such a feeble temper should
So get the start of the majestic world,
And bear the palm alone.
Another general shout!
I do believe that these applauses are
For some new honours that are heaped on Cæsar.
Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world
Like a Colossus; and we petty men
Walk under his huge legs, and peep about
To find ourselves dishonourable graves.
Men at some time are masters of their fates:
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.
Brutus and Cæsar: what should be in that ‘Cæsar?’
Why should that name be sounded more than yours?
Write them together, yours is as fair a name;
Sound them, it doth become the mouth as well;
Weigh them, it is as heavy; conjure with ’em,
‘Brutus’ will start a spirit as soon as ‘Cæsar.’
Now, in the names of all the gods at once,
Upon what meat doth this our Cæsar feed,
That he is grown so great? Age, thou art sham’d!
Rome, thou hast lost the breed of noble bloods!
When went there by an age, since the great flood,
But it was fam’d with more than with one man?
When could they say, till now, that talk’d of Rome,
That her wide walls encompass’d but one man?
Now is it Rome indeed and room enough,
When there is in it but one only man.
O! you and I have heard our fathers say,
There was a Brutus once that would have brook’d
Th’ eternal devil to keep his state in Rome
As easily as a king.
That you do love me, I am nothing jealous;
What you would work me to, I have some aim:
How I have thought of this and of these times,
I shall recount hereafter; for this present,
I would not, so with love I might entreat you,
Be any further mov’d. What you have said
I will consider; what you have to say
I will with patience hear, and find a time
Both meet to hear and answer such high things.
Till then, my noble friend, chew upon this:
Brutus had rather be a villager
Than to repute himself a son of Rome
Under these hard conditions as this time
Is like to lay upon us.
I am glad
That my weak words have struck but thus much show
Of fire from Brutus.
The games are done and Cæsar is returning.
As they pass by, pluck Casca by the sleeve,
And he will, after his sour fashion, tell you
What hath proceeded worthy note to-day.
Re-enterCæsarand his Train.
I will do so. But, look you, Cassius,
The angry spot doth glow on Cæsar’s brow,
And all the rest look like a chidden train:
Calphurnia’s cheek is pale, and Cicero
Looks with such ferret and such fiery eyes
As we have seen him in the Capitol,
Being cross’d in conference by some senators.
Casca will tell us what the matter is.
Let me have men about me that are fat;
Sleek-headed men and such as sleep o’ nights.
Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look;
He thinks too much: such men are dangerous:
Fear him not, Cæsar, he’s not dangerous;
He is a noble Roman, and well given.
Would he were fatter! but I fear him not:
Yet if my name were liable to fear,
I do not know the man I should avoid
So soon as that spare Cassius. He reads much;
He is a great observer, and he looks
Quite through the deeds of men; he loves no plays,
As thou dost, Antony; he hears no music;
Seldom he smiles, and smiles in such a sort
As if he mock’d himself, and scorn’d his spirit
That could be mov’d to smile at any thing.
Such men as he be never at heart’s ease
Whiles they behold a greater than themselves,
And therefore are they very dangerous.
I rather tell thee what is to be fear’d
Than what I fear, for always I am Cæsar.
Come on my right hand, for this ear is deaf,
And tell me truly what thou think’st of him.
[Sennet. ExeuntCæsarand his Train.Cascastays behind.
You pull’d me by the cloak; would you speak with me?
Ay, Casca; tell us what hath chanc’d to-day,
That Cæsar looks so sad.
Why, you were with him, were you not?
I should not then ask Casca what had chanc’d.
Why, there was a crown offered him; and, being offered him, he put it by with the back of his hand, thus; and then the people fell a-shouting.
What was the second noise for?
Why, for that too.
They shouted thrice: what was the last cry for?
Why, for that too.
Was the crown offered him thrice?
Ay, marry, was ’t, and he put it by thrice, everytime gentler than other; and at every putting-by mine honest neighbours shouted.
Who offered him the crown?
Tell us the manner of it, gentle Casca.
I can as well be hanged as tell the manner of it: it was mere foolery; I did not mark it. I saw Mark Antony offer him a crown; yet ’twas not a crown neither, ’twas one of these coronets; and, as I told you, he put it by once; but, for all that, to my thinking, he would fain have had it. Then he offered it to him again; then he put it by again; but, to my thinking, he was very loath to lay his fingers off it. And then he offered it the third time; he put it the third time by; and still as he refused it the rabblement shouted and clapped their chopped hands, and threw up their sweaty night-caps, and uttered such a deal of stinking breath because Cæsar refused the crown, that it had almost choked Cæsar; for he swounded and fell down at it: and for mine own part, I durst not laugh, for fear of opening my lips and receiving the bad air.
But soft, I pray you: what! did Cæsar swound?
He fell down in the market-place, and foamed at mouth, and was speechless.
’Tis very like: he hath the falling-sickness.
No, Cæsar hath it not; but you, and I, And honest Casca, we have the falling-sickness.
I know not what you mean by that; but I am sure Cæsar fell down. If the tag-rag people did not clap him and hiss him, according as he pleased and displeased them, as they use to do the players in the theatre, I am no true man.
What said he, when he came unto himself?
Marry, before he fell down, when he perceiv’d the common herd was glad he refused the crown, he plucked me ope his doublet and offered them his throat to cut. An I had been a man of any occupation, if I would not have taken him at a word, I would I might go to hell among the rogues. And so he fell. When he came to himself again, he said, if he had done or said any thing amiss, he desired their worships to think it was his infirmity. Three or four wenches, where I stood, cried, ‘Alas! good soul,’ and forgave him with all their hearts: but there’s no head to be taken of them; if Cæsar had stabbed their mothers, they would have done no less.
And after that he came, thus sad, away?
Did Cicero say any thing?
Ay, he spoke Greek.
To what effect?
Nay, an I tell you that, I’ll ne’er look you i’ the face again; but those that understood him smiled at one another and shook their heads; but, for mine own part, it was Greek to me. I could tell you more news too; Marullus and Flavius, for pulling scarfs off Cæsar’s images, are put to silence. Fare you well. There was more foolery yet, if I could remember it.
Will you sup with me to-night, Casca?
No, I am promised forth.
Will you dine with me to-morrow?
Ay, if I be alive, and your mind hold, and your dinner worth the eating.
Good; I will expect you.
Do so. Farewell, both.
What a blunt fellow is this grown to be!
He was quick mettle when he went to school.
So is he now in execution
Of any bold or noble enterprise,
However he puts on this tardy form.
This rudeness is a sauce to his good wit,
Which gives men stomach to digest his words
With better appetite.
And so it is. For this time I will leave you:
To-morrow, if you please to speak with me,
I will come home to you; or, if you will,
Come home to me, and I will wait for you.
I will do so: till then, think of the world.
Well, Brutus, thou art noble; yet, I see,
Thy honourable metal may be wrought
From that it is dispos’d: therefore ’tis meet
That noble minds keep ever with their likes;
For who so firm that cannot be seduc’d?
Cæsar doth bear me hard; but he loves Brutus:
If I were Brutus now and he were Cassius
He should not humour me. I will this night,
In several hands, in at his windows throw,
As if they came from several citizens,
Writings all tending to the great opinion
That Rome holds of his name; wherein obscurely
Cæsar’s ambition shall be glanced at:
And after this let Cæsar seat him sure;
For we will shake him, or worse days endure.
Thunder and lightning. Enter, from opposite sides,Casca,with his sword drawn, andCicero.
Good even, Casca: brought you Cæsar home?
Why are you breathless? and why stare you so?
Are not you mov’d, when all the sway of earth
Shakes like a thing unfirm? O Cicero!
I have seen tempests, when the scolding winds
Have riv’d the knotty oaks; and I have seen
The ambitious ocean swell and rage and foam,
To be exalted with the threat’ning clouds:
But never till to-night, never till now,
Did I go through a tempest dropping fire.
Either there is a civil strife in heaven,
Or else the world, too saucy with the gods,
Incenses them to send destruction.
Why, saw you any thing more wonderful?
A common slave—you know him well by sight—
Held up his left hand, which did flame and burn
Like twenty torches join’d; and yet his hand,
Not sensible of fire, remain’d unscorch’d.
Besides,—I have not since put up my sword,—
Against the Capitol I met a hon,
Who glar’d upon me, and went surly by,
Without annoying me; and there were drawn
Upon a heap a hundred ghastly women,
Transformed with their fear, who swore they saw
Men all in fire walk up and down the streets.
And yesterday the bird of night did sit,
Even at noon-day, upon the market-place,
Hooting and shrieking. When these prodigies
Do so conjointly meet, let not men say
‘These are their reasons, they are natural;’
For, I believe, they are portentous things
Unto the climate that they point upon.
Indeed, it is a strange-disposed time:
But men may construe things after their fashion,
Clean from the purpose of the things themselves.
Comes Cæsar to the Capitol to-morrow?
He doth; for he did bid Antonius
Send word to you he would be there to-morrow.
Good-night then, Casca: this disturbed sky
Is not to walk in.
Casca, by your voice.
Your ear is good. Cassius, what night is this!
A very pleasing night to honest men.
Who ever knew the heavens menace so?
Those that have known the earth so full of faults.
For my part, I have walk’d about the streets,
Submitting me unto the perilous night,
And, thus unbraced, Casca, as you see,
Have bar’d my bosom to the thunder-stone;
And, when the cross blue lightning seem’d to open
The breast of heaven, I did present myself
Even in the aim and very flash of it.
But wherefore did you so much tempt the heavens?
It is the part of men to fear and tremble
When the most mighty gods by tokens send
Such dreadful heralds to astonish us.
You are dull, Casca, and those sparks of life
That should be in a Roman you do want,
Or else you use not. You look pale, and gaze,
And put on fear, and cast yourself in wonder,
To see the strange impatience of the heavens;
But if you would consider the true cause
Why all these fires, why all these gliding ghosts,
Why birds and beasts, from quality and kind;
Why old men, fools, and children calculate;
Why all these things change from their ordinance,
Their natures, and pre-formed faculties,
To monstrous quality, why, you shall find
That heaven hath infus’d them with these spirits
To make them instruments of fear and warning
Unto some monstrous state.
Now could I, Casca, name to thee a man
Most like this dreadful night,
That thunders, lightens, opens graves, and roars
As doth the lion in the Capitol,
A man no mightier than thyself or me
In personal action, yet prodigious grown
And fearful as these strange eruptions are.
’Tis Cæsar that you mean; is it not, Cassius?
Let it be who it is: for Romans now
Have thews and limbs like to their ancestors;
But, woe the while! our fathers’ minds are dead,
And we are govern’d with our mothers’ spirits;
Our yoke and sufferance show us womanish.
Indeed, they say the senators to-morrow
Mean to establish Cæsar as a king;
And he shall wear his crown by sea and land,
In every place, save here in Italy.
I know where I will wear this dagger then;
Cassius from bondage will deliver Cassius:
Therein, ye gods, you make the weak most strong;
Therein, ye gods, you tyrants do defeat:
Nor stony tower, nor walls of beaten brass,
Nor airless dungeon, nor strong links of iron,
Can be retentive to the strength of spirit;
But life, being weary of those worldly bars,
Never lacks power to dismiss itself.
If I know this, know all the world besides,
That part of tyranny that I do bear
I can shake off at pleasure.
So can I:
So every bondman in his own hand bears
The power to cancel his captivity.
And why should Cæsar be a tyrant then?
Poor man! I know he would not be a wolf
But that he sees the Romans are but sheep;
He were no lion were not Romans hinds.
Those that with haste will make a mighty fire
Begin it with weak straws; what trash is Rome,
What rubbish, and what offal, when it serves
For the base matter to illuminate
So vile a thing as Cæsar! But, O grief!
Where hast thou led me? I, perhaps, speak this
Before a willing bondman; then I know
My answer must be made: but I am arm’d,
And dangers are to me indifferent.
You speak to Casca, and to such a man
That is no fleering tell-tale. Hold, my hand:
Be factious for redress of all these griefs,
And I will set this foot of mine as far
As who goes furthest.
There’s a bargain made.
Now know you, Casca, I have mov’d already
Some certain of the noblest-minded Romans
To undergo with me an enterprise
Of honourable-dangerous consequence;
And I do know by this they stay for me
In Pompey’s porch: for now, this fearful night,
There is no stir, or walking in the streets;
And the complexion of the element
In favour’s like the work we have in hand,
Most bloody, fiery, and most terrible.
Stand close awhile, for here comes one in haste.
’Tis Cinna; I do know him by his gait:
He is a friend.
Cinna, where haste you so?
To find out you. Who’s that? Metellus Cimber?
No, it is Casca; one incorporate
To our attempts. Am I not stay’d for, Cinna?
I am glad on ’t. What a fearful night is this!
There’s two or three of us have seen strange sights.
Am I not stay’d for? Tell me.
Yes, you are.
O Cassius! if you could
But win the noble Brutus to our party—
Be you content. Good Cinna, take this paper,
And look you lay it in the prætor’s chair,
Where Brutus may but find it; and throw this
In at his window; set this up with wax
Upon old Brutus’ statue: all this done,
Repair to Pompey’s porch, where you shall find us.
Is Decius Brutus and Trebonius there?
All but Metellus Cimber; and he’s gone
To seek you at your house. Well, I will hie,
And so bestow these papers as you bade me.
That done, repair to Pompey’s theatre.
Come, Casca, you and I will yet ere day
See Brutus at his house: three parts of him
Is ours already, and the man entire
Upon the next encounter yields him ours.
O! he sits high in all the people’s hearts:
And that which would appear offence in us,
His countenance, like richest alchemy,
Will change to virtue and to worthiness.
Him and his worth and our great need of him
You have right well conceited. Let us go,
For it is after midnight; and ere day
We will awake him and be sure of him.
What, Lucius! ho!
I cannot, by the progress of the stars,
Give guess how near to day. Lucius, I say!
I would it were my fault to sleep so soundly.
When, Lucius, when! Awake, I say! what, Lucius!
Call’d you, my lord?
Get me a taper in my study, Lucius:
When it is lighted, come and call me here.
I will, my lord.
It must be by his death: and, for my part,
I know no personal cause to spurn at him,
But for the general. He would be crown’d:
How that might change his nature, there’s the question:
It is the bright day that brings forth the adder;
And that craves wary walking. Crown him?—that!
And then, I grant, we put a sting in him,
That at his will he may do danger with.
The abuse of greatness is when it disjoins
Remorse from power; and, to speak truth of Cæsar,
I have not known when his affections sway’d
More than his reason. But ’tis a common proof,
That lowliness is young ambition’s ladder,
Whereto the climber-upward turns his face;
But when he once attains the upmost round,
He then unto the ladder turns his back,
Looks in the clouds, scorning the base degrees
By which he did ascend. So Cæsar may:
Then, lest he may, prevent. And, since the quarrel
Will bear no colour for the thing he is,
Fashion it thus; that what he is, augmented,
Would run to these and these extremities;
And therefore think him as a serpent’s egg
Which, hatch’d, would, as his kind, grow mischievous,
And kill him in the shell.
The taper burneth in your closet, sir.
Searching the window for a flint, I found
This paper, thus seal’d up; and I am sure
It did not lie there when I went to bed.
Get you to bed again; it is not day.
Is not to-morrow, boy, the ides of March?
I know not, sir.
Look in the calendar, and bring me word.
I will, sir.
The exhalations whizzing in the air
Give so much light that I may read by them.
[Opens the letter.
Brutus, thou sleep’st: awake and see thyself.
Shall Rome, &c. Speak, strike, redress!
Brutus, thou sleep’st: awake!
Such instigations have been often dropp’d
Where I have took them up.
‘Shall Rome, &c.’ Thus must I piece it out:
Shall Rome stand under one man’s awe? What, Rome?
My ancestors did from the streets of Rome
The Tarquin drive, when he was call’d a king.
‘Speak, strike, redress!’ Am I entreated
To speak, and strike? O Rome! I make thee promise;
If the redress will follow, thou receiv’st
Thy full petition at the hand of Brutus!
Sir, March is wasted fourteen days.
’Tis good. Go to the gate: somebody knocks.
Since Cassius first did whet me against Cæsar,
I have not slept.
Between the acting of a dreadful thing
And the first motion, all the interim is
Like a phantasma, or a hideous dream:
The genius and the mortal instruments
Are then in council; and the state of man,
Like to a little kingdom, suffers then
The nature of an insurrection.
Sir, ’tis your brother Cassius at the door,
Who doth desire to see you.
Is he alone?
No, sir, there are more with him.
Do you know them?
No, sir; their hats are pluck’d about their ears,
And half their faces buried in their cloaks,
That by no means I may discover them
By any mark of favour.
Let ’em enter.
They are the faction. O conspiracy!
Sham’st thou to show thy dangerous brow by night,
When evils are most free? O! then by day
Where wilt thou find a cavern dark enough
To mask thy monstrous visage? Seek none, conspiracy;
Hide it in smiles and affability:
For if thou path, thy native semblance on,
Not Erebus itself were dim enough
To hide thee from prevention.
Enter the Conspirators,Cassius, Casca, Decius, Cinna, Metellus Cimber,andTrebonius.
I think we are too bold upon your rest:
Good morrow, Brutus; do we trouble you?
I have been up this hour, awake all night.
Know I these men that come along with you?
Yes, every man of them; and no man here
But honours you; and every one doth wish
You had but that opinion of yourself
Which every noble Roman bears of you.
This is Trebonius.
He is welcome hither.
This, Decius Brutus.
He is welcome too.
This, Casca; this, Cinna;
And this, Metellus Cimber.
They are all welcome.
What watchful cares do interpose themselves
Betwixt your eyes and night?
Shall I entreat a word?
Here lies the east: doth not the day break here?
O! pardon, sir, it doth; and yon grey lines
That fret the clouds are messengers of day.
You shall confess that you are both deceiv’d.
Here, as I point my sword, the sun arises;
Which is a great way growing on the south,
Weighing the youthful season of the year.
Some two months hence up higher toward the north
He first presents his fire; and the high east
Stands, as the Capitol, directly here.
Give me your hands all over, one by one.
And let us swear our resolution.
No, not an oath: if not the face of men,
The sufferance of our souls, the time’s abuse,
If these be motives weak, break off betimes,
And every man hence to his idle bed;
So let high-sighted tyranny range on,
Till each man-drop by lottery. But if these,
As I am sure they do, bear fire enough
To kindle cowards and to steel with valour
The melting spirits of women, then, countrymen,
What need we any spur but our own cause
To prick us to redress? what other bond
Than secret Romans, that have spoke the word
And will not palter? and what other oath
Than honesty to honesty engag’d,
That this shall be, or we will fall for it?
Swear priests and cowards and men cautelous,
Old feeble carrions and such suffering souls
That welcome wrongs; unto bad causes swear
Such creatures as men doubt; but do not stain
The even virtue of our enterprise,
Nor th’ insuppressive mettle of our spirits,
To think that or our cause or our performance
Did need an oath; when every drop of blood
That every Roman bears, and nobly bears,
Is guilty of a several bastardy,
If he do break the smallest particle
Of any promise that hath pass’d from him.
But what of Cicero? Shall we sound him?
I think he will stand very strong with us.
Let us not leave him out.
No, by no means.
O! let us have him; for his silver hairs
Will purchase us a good opinion
And buy men’s voices to commend our deeds:
It shall be said his judgment rul’d our hands;
Our youths and wildness shall no whit appear,
But all be buried in his gravity.
O! name him not: let us not break with him;
For he will never follow any thing
That other men begin.
Then leave him out.
Indeed he is not fit.
Shall no man else be touch’d but only Cæsar?
Decius, well urg’d. I think it is not meet,
Mark Antony, so well belov’d of Cæsar,
Should outlive Cæsar: we shall find of him
A shrewd contriver; and, you know, his means,
If he improve them, may well stretch so far
As to annoy us all; which to prevent,
Let Antony and Cæsar fall together.
Our course will seem too bloody, Caius Cassius,
To cut the head off and then hack the limbs,
Like wrath in death and envy afterwards;
For Antony is but a limb of Cæsar.
Let us be sacrificers, but not butchers, Caius.
We all stand up against the spirit of Cæsar;
And in the spirit of men there is no blood:
O! then that we could come by Cæsar’s spirit,
And not dismember Cæsar. But, alas!
Cæsar must bleed for it. And, gentle friends,
Let’s kill him boldly, but not wrathfully;
Let’s carve him as a dish fit for the gods,
Not hew him as a carcass fit for hounds:
And let our hearts, as subtle masters do,
Stir up their servants to an act of rage,
And after seem to chide ’em. This shall make
Our purpose necessary and not envious;
Which so appearing to the common eyes,
We shall be call’d purgers, not murderers.
And, for Mark Antony, think not of him;
For he can do no more than Cæsar’s arm
When Cæsar’s head is off.
Yet I fear him;
For in the engrafted love he bears to Cæsar—
Alas! good Cassius, do not think of him:
If he love Cæsar, all that he can do
Is to himself, take thought and die for Cæsar:
And that were much he should; for he is given
To sports, to wildness, and much company.
There is no fear in him; let him not die:
For he will live, and laugh at this hereafter.
Peace! count the clock.
The clock hath stricken three.
’Tis time to part.
But it is doubtful yet
Whether Cæsar will come forth to-day or no;
For he is superstitious grown of late,
Quite from the main opinion he held once
Of fantasy, of dreams, and ceremonies.
It may be, these apparent prodigies,
The unaccustom’d terror of this night,
And the persuasion of his augurers,
May hold him from the Capitol to-day.
Never fear that: if he be so resolv’d,
I can o’ersway him; for he loves to hear
That unicorns may be betray’d with trees,
And bears with glasses, elephants with holes,
Lions with toils, and men with flatterers;
But when I tell him he hates flatterers,
He says he does, being then most flattered.
Let me work;
For I can give his humour the true bent,
And I will bring him to the Capitol.
Nay, we will all of us be there to fetch him.
By the eighth hour: is that the uttermost?
Be that the uttermost, and fail not then.
Caius Ligarius doth bear Cæsar hard,
Who rated him for speaking well of Pompey:
I wonder none of you have thought of him.
Now, good Metellus, go along by him:
He loves me well, and I have given him reasons;
Send him but hither, and I’ll fashion him.
The morning comes upon ’s: we’ll leave you, Brutus.
And, friends, disperse yourselves; but all remember
What you have said, and show yourselves true Romans.
Good gentlemen, look fresh and merrily;
Let not our looks put on our purposes,
But bear it as our Roman actors do,
With untir’d spirits and formal constancy:
And so good morrow to you every one.
[Exeunt all exceptBrutus.
Boy! Lucius! Fast asleep? It is no matter;
Enjoy the honey-heavy dew of slumber:
Thou hast no figures nor no fantasies
Which busy care draws in the brains of men;
Therefore thou sleep’st so sound.
Brutus, my lord!
Portia, what mean you? Wherefore rise you now?
It is not for your health thus to commit
Your weak condition to the raw cold morning.
Nor for yours neither. You’ve ungently, Brutus,
Stole from my bed; and yesternight at supper
You suddenly arose, and walk’d about,
Musing and sighing, with your arms across,
And when I ask’d you what the matter was,
You star’d upon me with ungentle looks.
I urg’d you further; then you scratch’d your head,
And too impatiently stamp’d with your foot;
Yet I insisted, yet you answer’d not,
But, with an angry wafture of your hand.
Gave sign for me to leave you. So I did,
Fearing to strengthen that impatience
Which seem’d too much enkindled, and withal
Hoping it was but an effect of humour,
Which sometime hath his hour with every man.
It will not let you eat, nor talk, nor sleep,
And could it work so much upon your shape
As it hath much prevail’d on your condition,
I should not know you, Brutus. Dear my lord,
Make me acquainted with your cause of grief.
I am not well in health, and that is all.
Brutus is wise, and were he not in health,
He would embrace the means to come by it.
Why, so I do. Good Portia, go to bed.
Is Brutus sick, and is it physical
To walk unbraced and suck up the humours
Of the dank morning? What! is Brutus sick,
And will he steal out of his wholesome bed
To dare the vile contagion of the night,
And tempt the rheumy and unpurged air
To add unto his sickness? No, my Brutus;
You have some sick offence within your mind,
Which, by the right and virtue of my place,
I ought to know of; and, upon my knees,
I charm you, by my once-commended beauty,
By all your vows of love, and that great vow
Which did incorporate and make us one,
That you unfold to me, your self, your half,
Why are you heavy, and what men to-night
Have had resort to you; for here have been
Some six or seven, who did hide their faces
Even from darkness.
Kneel not, gentle Portia.
I should not need, if you were gentle Brutus.
Within the bond of marriage, tell me, Brutus,
Is it excepted, I should know no secrets
That appertain to you? Am I yourself
But, as it were, in sort of limitation,
To keep with you at meals, comfort your bed,
And talk to you sometimes? Dwell I but in the suburbs
Of your good pleasure? If it be no more,
Portia is Brutus’ harlot, not his wife.
You are my true and honourable wife,
As dear to me as are the ruddy drops
That visit my sad heart.
If this were true then should I know this secret.
I grant I am a woman, but, withal,
A woman that Lord Brutus took to wife;
I grant I am a woman, but, withal,
A woman well-reputed, Cato’s daughter.
Think you I am no stronger than my sex,
Being so father’d and so husbanded?
Tell me your counsels, I will not disclose ’em.
I have made strong proof of my constancy,
Giving myself a voluntary wound
Here, in the thigh: can I bear that with patience
And not my husband’s secrets?
O ye gods!
Render me worthy of this noble wife.
Hark, hark! one knocks. Portia, go in awhile;
And by and by thy bosom shall partake
The secrets of my heart.
All my engagements I will construe to thee,
All the charactery of my sad brows.
Leave me with haste.
Lucius, who’s that knocks?
Here is a sick man that would speak with you.
Caius Ligarius, that Metellus spoke of.
Boy, stand aside. Caius Ligarius! how?
Vouchsafe good morrow from a feeble tongue.
O! what a time have you chose out, brave Caius,
To wear a kerchief. Would you were not sick.
I am not sick if Brutus have in hand
Any exploit worthy the name of honour.
Such an exploit have I in hand, Ligarius,
Had you a healthful ear to hear of it.
By all the gods that Romans bow before
I here discard my sickness. Soul of Rome!
Brave son, deriv’d from honourable loins!
Thou, like an exorcist, hast conjur’d up
My mortified spirit. Now bid me run,
And I will strive with things impossible;
Yea, get the better of them. What’s to do?
A piece of work that will make sick men whole.
But are not some whole that we must make sick?
That must we also. What it is, my Caius,
I shall unfold to thee as we are going
To whom it must be done.
Set on your foot,
And with a heart new-fir’d I follow you,
To do I know not what; but it sufficeth
That Brutus leads me on.
Follow me then.
Thunder and lightning. EnterCæsarin his night-gown.
Nor heaven nor earth have been at peace to-night:
Thrice hath Calphurnia in her sleep cried out,
‘Help, ho! They murder Cæsar!’ Who’s within?
Enter a Servant.
Go bid the priests do present sacrifice,
And bring me their opinions of success.
I will, my lord.
What mean you, Cæsar? Think you to walk forth?
You shall not stir out of your house to-day.
Cæsar shall forth: the things that threaten’d me
Ne’er look’d but on my back; when they shall see
The face of Cæsar, they are vanished.
Cæsar, I never stood on ceremonies,
Yet now they fright me. There is one within,
Besides the things that we have heard and seen,
Recounts most horrid sights seen by the watch.
A lioness hath whelped in the streets;
And graves have yawn’d and yielded up their dead;
Fierce fiery warriors fought upon the clouds,
In ranks and squadrons and right form of war,
Which drizzled blood upon the Capitol;
The noise of battle hurtled in the air,
Horses did neigh, and dying men did groan,
And ghosts did shriek and squeal about the streets.
O Cæsar! these things are beyond all use,
And I do fear them.
What can be avoided
Whose end is purpos’d by the mighty gods?
Yet Cæsar shall go forth; for these predictions
Are to the world in general as to Cæsar.
When beggars die there are no comets seen;
The heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes.
Cowards die many times before their deaths;
The valiant never taste of death but once.
Of all the wonders that I yet have heard,
It seems to me most strange that men should fear;
Seeing that death, a necessary end,
Will come when it will come.
What say the augurers?
They would not have you to stir forth to-day.
Plucking the entrails of an offering forth,
They could not find a heart within the beast.
The gods do this in shame of cowardice:
Cæsar should be a beast without a heart
If he should stay at home to-day for fear.
No, Cæsar shall not; danger knows full well
That Cæsar is more dangerous than he:
We are two lions litter’d in one day,
And I the elder and more terrible:
And Cæsar shall go forth.
Alas! my lord,
Your wisdom is consum’d in confidence.
Do not go forth to-day: call it my fear
That keeps you in the house, and not your own.
We’ll send Mark Antony to the senate-house,
And he shall say you are not well to-day:
Let me, upon my knee, prevail in this.
Mark Antony shall say I am not well;
And, for thy humour, I will stay at home.
Here’s Decius Brutus, he shall tell them so.
Cæsar, all hail! Good morrow, worthy Cæsar:
I come to fetch you to the senate-house.
And you are come in very happy time
To bear my greeting to the senators,
And tell them that I will not come to-day:
Cannot, is false, and that I dare not, falser;
I will not come to-day: tell them so, Decius.
Say he is sick.
Shall Cæsar send a lie?
Have I in conquest stretch’d mine arm so far
To be afeard to tell greybeards the truth?
Decius, go tell them Cæsar will not come.
Most mighty Cæsar, let me know some cause,
Lest I be laugh’d at when I tell them so.
The cause is in my will: I will not come;
That is enough to satisfy the senate:
But for your private satisfaction,
Because I love you, I will let you know:
Calphurnia here, my wife, stays me at home:
She dreamt to-night she saw my statua,
Which, like a fountain with a hundred spouts,
Did run pure blood; and many lusty Romans
Came smiling, and did bathe their hands in it:
And these does she apply for warnings and portents,
And evils imminent; and on her knee
Hath begg’d that I will stay at home to-day.
This dream is all amiss interpreted;
It was a vision fair and fortunate:
Your statue spouting blood in many pipes,
In which so many smiling Romans bath’d,
Signifies that from you great Rome shall suck
Reviving blood, and that great men shall press
For tinctures, stains, relics, and cognizance.
This by Calphurnia’s dream is signified.
And this way have you well expounded it.
I have, when you have heard what I can say:
And know it now: the senate have concluded
To give this day a crown to mighty Cæsar.
If you shall send them word you will not come,
Their minds may change. Besides, it were a mock
Apt to be render’d, for some one to say
‘Break up the senate till another time,
When Cæsar’s wife shall meet with better dreams.’
If Cæsar hide himself, shall they not whisper
‘Lo! Cæsar is afraid?’
Pardon me, Cæsar; for my dear dear love
To your proceeding bids me tell you this,
And reason to my love is liable.
How foolish do your fears seem now, Calphurnia!
I am ashamed I did yield to them.
Give me my robe, for I will go:
EnterPublius, Brutus, Ligarius, Metellus, Casca, Trebonius,andCinna.
And look where Publius is come to fetch me.
Good morrow, Cæsar.
What! Brutus, are you stirr’d so early too?
Good morrow, Casca. Caius Ligarius,
Cæsar was ne’er so much your enemy
As that same ague which hath made you lean.
What is’t o’clock?
Cæsar, ’tis strucken eight.
I thank you for your pains and courtesy.
See! Antony, that revels long o’ nights,
Is notwithstanding up. Good morrow, Antony.
So to most noble Cæsar.
Bid them prepare within:
I am to blame to be thus waited for.
Now, Cinna; now, Metellus; what, Trebonius!
I have an hour’s talk in store for you;
Remember that you call on me to-day:
Be near me, that I may remember you.
Cæsar, I will:—[Aside.] and so near will I be,
That your best friends shall wish I had been further.
Good friends, go in, and taste some wine with me;
And we, like friends, will straightway go together.
[Aside.] That every like is not the same, O Cæsar!
The heart of Brutus yearns to think upon.
EnterArtemidorus,reading a paper.
Cæsar, beware of Brutus; take heed of Cassius; come not near Casca; have an eye to Cinna; trust not Trebonius; mark well Metellus Cimber; Decius Brutus loves thee not; thou hast wronged Caius Ligarius. There is but one mind in all these men, and it is bent against Cæsar. If thou be’st not immortal, look about you: security gives way to conspiracy. The mighty gods defend thee! Thy lover,
Here will I stand till Cæsar pass along,
And as a suitor will I give him this.
My heart laments that virtue cannot live
Out of the teeth of emulation.
If thou read this, O Cæsar! thou mayst live;
If not, the Fates with traitors do contrive.
I prithee, boy, run to the senate-house;
Stay not to answer me, but get thee gone.
Why dost thou stay?
To know my errand, madam.
I would have had thee there, and here again,
Ere I can tell thee what thou shouldst do there.
O constancy! be strong upon my side;
Set a huge mountain ’tween my heart and tongue;
I have a man’s mind, but a woman’s might.
How hard it is for women to keep counsel!
Art thou here yet?
Madam, what shall I do?
Run to the Capitol, and nothing else?
And so return to you, and nothing else?
Yes, bring me word, boy, if thy lord look well,
For he went sickly forth; and take good note
What Cæsar doth, what suitors press to him.
Hark, boy! what noise is that?
I hear none, madam.
Prithee, listen well:
I heard a bustling rumour, like a fray,
And the wind brings it from the Capitol.
Sooth, madam, I hear nothing.
Enter the Soothsayer.
Come hither, fellow: which way hast thou been?
At mine own house, good lady.
What is ’t o’clock?
About the ninth hour, lady.
Is Cæsar yet gone to the Capitol?
Madam, not yet: I go to take my stand,
To see him pass on to the Capitol.
Thou hast some suit to Cæsar, hast thou not?
That I have, lady: if it will please Cæsar
To be so good to Cæsar as to hear me,
I shall beseech him to befriend himself.
Why, know’st thou any harm’s intended towards him?
None that I know will be, much that I fear may chance.
Good morrow to you. Here the street is narrow:
The throng that follows Cæsar at the heels,
Of senators, of prætors, common suitors,
Will crowd a feeble man almost to death:
I’ll get me to a place more void, and there
Speak to great Cæsar as he comes along.
I must go in. Ay me! how weak a thing
The heart of woman is. O Brutus!
The heavens speed thee in thine enterprise.
Sure, the boy heard me: Brutus hath a suit
That Cæsar will not grant. O! I grow faint.
Run, Lucius, and commend me to my lord;
Say I am merry: come to me again,
And bring me word what he doth say to thee.
A crowd of People; among themArtemidorusand the Soothsayer. Flourish. EnterCæsar, Brutus, Cassius, Casca, Decius, Metellus, Trebonius, Cinna, Antony, Lepidus, Popilius, Publius,and Others.
[To the Soothsayer.] The idea of March are come.
Ay, Cæsar; but not gone.
Hail, Cæsar! Read this schedule.
Trebonius doth desire you to o’er-read,
At your best leisure, this his humble suit.
O Cæsar! read mine first; for mine’s a suit
That touches Cæsar nearer. Read it, great Cæsar.
What touches us ourself shall be last serv’d
Delay not, Cæsar; read it instantly.
What! is the fellow mad?
Sirrah, give place.
What! urge you your petitions in the street?
Come to the Capitol.
Cæsargoes up to the Senate-House, the rest following. All the Senators rise.
I wish your enterprise to-day may thrive.
What enterprise, Popilius?
Fare you well.
What said Popilius Lena?
He wish’d to-day our enterprise might thrive.
I fear our purpose is discovered.
Look, how he makes to Cæsar: mark him.
Casca, be sudden, for we fear prevention.
Brutus, what shall be done? If this be known,
Cassius or Cæsar never shall turn back,
For I will slay myself.
Cassius, be constant:
Popilius Lena speaks not of our purposes;
For, look, he smiles, and Cæsar doth not change.
Trebonius knows his time; for, look you, Brutus,
He draws Mark Antony out of the way.
[ExeuntAntonyandTrebonius. Cæsarand the Senators take their seats.
Where is Metellus Cimber? Let him go,
And presently prefer his suit to Cæsar.
He is address’d; press near and second him.
Casca, you are the first that rears your hand.
Are we all ready? What is now amiss,
That Cæsar and his senate must redress?
Most high, most mighty, and most puissant Cæsar,
Metellus Cimber throws before thy seat
A humble heart,—
I must prevent thee, Cimber.
These couchings and these lowly courtesies,
Might fire the blood of ordinary men,
And turn pre-ordinance and first decree
Into the law of children. Be not fond,
To think that Cæsar bears such rebel blood
That will be thaw’d from the true quality
With that which melteth fools; I mean sweet words,
Low-crooked curtsies, and base spaniel fawning.
Thy brother by decree is banished:
If thou dost bend and pray and fawn for him,
I spurn thee like a cur out of my way.
Know, Cæsar doth not wrong, nor without cause
Will he be satisfied.
Is there no voice more worthy than my own,
To sound more sweetly in great Cæsar’s ear
For the repealing of my banish’d brother?
I kiss thy hand, but not in flattery, Cæsar;
Desiring thee, that Publius Cimber may
Have an immediate freedom of repeal.
Pardon, Cæsar; Cæsar, pardon:
As low as to thy foot doth Cassius fall,
To beg enfranchisement for Publius Cimber.
I could be well mov’d if I were as you;
If I could pray to move, prayers would move me;
But I am constant as the northern star,
Of whose true-fix’d and resting quality
There is no fellow in the firmament.
The skies are painted with unnumber’d sparks,
They are all fire and every one doth shine,
But there’s but one in all doth hold his place:
So, in the world; ’tis furnish’d well with men,
And men are flesh and blood, and apprehensive;
Yet in the number I do know but one
That unassailable holds on his rank,
Unshak’d of motion: and that I am he,
Let me a little show it, even in this,
That I was constant Cimber should be banish’d,
And constant do remain to keep him so.
Hence! Wilt thou lift up Olympus!
Doth not Brutus bootless kneel?
Speak, hands, for me!
[They stab Cæsar.
Et tu, Brute? Then fall, Cæsar!
Liberty! Freedom! Tyranny is dead!
Run hence, proclaim, cry it about the streets.
Some to the common pulpits, and cry out,
‘Liberty, freedom, and enfranchisement!’
People and senators be not affrighted;
Fly not; stand still; ambition’s debt is paid.
Go to the pulpit, Brutus.
And Cassius too.
Here, quite confounded with this mutiny.
Stand fast together, lest some friend of Cæsar’s
Talk not of standing. Publius, good cheer;
There is no harm intended to your person,
Nor to no Roman else; so tell them, Publius.
And leave us, Publius; lest that the people,
Rushing on us, should do your age some mischief.
Do so; and let no man abide this deed
But we the doers.
Fled to his house amaz’d.
Men, wives and children stare, cry out and run
As it were doomsday.
Fates, we will know your pleasures.
That we shall die, we know; ’tis but the time
And drawing days out, that men stand upon.
Why, he that cuts off twenty years of life
Cuts off so many years of fearing death.
Grant that, and then is death a benefit:
So are we Cæsar’s friends, that have abridg’d
His time of fearing death. Stoop, Romans, stoop,
And let us bathe our hands in Cæsar’s blood
Up to the elbows, and besmear our swords:
Then walk we forth, even to the market-place;
And waving our red weapons o’er our heads,
Let’s all cry, ‘Peace, freedom, and liberty!’
Stoop, then, and wash. How many ages hence
Shall this our lofty scene be acted o’er,
In states unborn and accents yet unknown!
How many times shall Cæsar bleed in sport,
That now on Pompey’s basis lies along
No worthier than the dust!
So oft as that shall be,
So often shall the knot of us be call’d
The men that gave their country liberty.
What! shall we forth?
Ay, every man away:
Brutus shall lead; and we will grace his heels
With the most boldest and best hearts of Rome.
Enter a Servant.
Soft! who comes here? A friend of Antony’s.
Thus, Brutus, did my master bid me kneel;
Thus did Mark Antony bid me fall down;
And, being prostrate, thus he bade me say:
Brutus is noble, wise, valiant, and honest;
Cæsar was mighty, bold, royal, and loving:
Say I love Brutus, and I honour him;
Say I fear’d Cæsar, honour’d him, and lov’d him.
If Brutus will vouchsafe that Antony
May safely come to him, and be resolv’d
How Cæsar hath deserv’d to lie in death,
Mark Antony shall not love Cæsar dead
So well as Brutus living; but will follow
The fortunes and affairs of noble Brutus
Thorough the hazards of this untrod state
With all true faith. So says my master Antony.
Thy master is a wise and valiant Roman;
I never thought him worse.
Tell him, so please him come unto this place,
He shall be satisfied; and, by my honour,
I’ll fetch him presently.
I know that we shall have him well to friend.
I wish we may: but yet have I a mind
That fears him much; and my misgiving still
Falls shrewdly to the purpose.
But here comes Antony. Welcome, Mark Antony.
O mighty Cæsar! dost thou lie so low?
Are all thy conquests, glories, triumphs, spoils,
Shrunk to this little measure? Fare thee well.
I know not, gentlemen, what you intend,
Who else must be let blood, who else is rank:
If I myself, there is no hour so fit
As Cæsar’s death’s hour, nor no instrument
Of half that worth as those your swords, made rich
With the most noble blood of all this world.
I do beseech ye, if ye bear me hard,
Now, whilst your purpled hands do reek and smoke,
Fulfil your pleasure. Live a thousand years,
I shall not find myself so apt to die:
No place will please me so, no mean of death,
As here by Cæsar, and by you cut off,
The choice and master spirits of this age.
O Antony! beg not your death of us.
Though now we must appear bloody and cruel,
As, by our hands and this our present act,
You see we do, yet see you but our hands
And this the bleeding business they have done:
Our hearts you see not; they are pitiful;
And pity to the general wrong of Rome—
As fire drives out fire, so pity pity—
Hath done this deed on Cæsar. For your part,
To you our swords have leaden points, Mark Antony;
Our arms, in strength of malice, and our hearts
Of brothers’ temper, do receive you in
With all kind love, good thoughts, and reverence.
Your voice shall be as strong as any man’s
In the disposing of new dignities.
Only be patient till we have appeas’d
The multitude, beside themselves with fear,
And then we will deliver you the cause
Why I, that did love Cæsar when I struck him,
Have thus proceeded.
I doubt not of your wisdom.
Let each man render me his bloody hand:
First, Marcus Brutus, will I shake with you;
Next, Caius Cassius, do I take your hand;
Now, Decius Brutus, yours; now yours, Metellus;
Yours, Cinna; and, my valiant Casca, yours;
Though last, not least in love, yours, good Trebonius.
Gentlemen all,—alas! what shall I say?
My credit now stands on such slippery ground,
That one of two bad ways you must conceit me,
Either a coward or a flatterer.
That I did love thee, Cæsar, O! ’tis true:
If then thy spirit look upon us now,
Shall it not grieve thee dearer than thy death,
To see thy Antony making his peace,
Shaking the bloody fingers of thy foes,
Most noble! in the presence of thy corse?
Had I as many eyes as thou hast wounds,
Weeping as fast as they stream forth thy blood,
It would become me better than to close
In terms of friendship with thine enemies.
Pardon me, Julius! Here wast thou bay’d, brave hart;
Here didst thou fall; and here thy hunters stand,
Sign’d in thy spoil, and crimson’d in thy leth
O world! thou wast the forest to this hart;
And this, indeed, O world! the heart of thee.
How like a deer, strucken by many princes,
Dost thou here lie!
Pardon me, Caius Cassius:
The enemies of Cæsar shall say this;
Then, in a friend, it is cold modesty.
I blame you not for praising Cæsar so;
But what compact mean you to have with us?
Will you be prick’d in number of our friends,
Or shall we on, and not depend on you?
Therefore I took your hands, but was indeed
Sway’d from the point by looking down on Cæsar.
Friends am I with you all, and love you all,
Upon this hope, that you shall give me reasons
Why and wherein Cæsar was dangerous.
Or else were this a savage spectacle.
Our reasons are so full of good regard
That were you, Antony, the son of Cæsar,
You should be satisfied.
That’s all I seek:
And am moreover suitor that I may
Produce his body to the market place;
And in the pulpit, as becomes a friend,
Speak in the order of his funeral.
You shall, Mark Antony.
Brutus, a word with you.
[Aside toBrutus.] You know not what you do; do not consent
That Antony speak in his funeral:
Know you how much the people may be mov’d
By that which he will utter?
By your pardon;
I will myself into the pulpit first,
And show the reason of our Cæsar’s death:
What Antony shall speak, I will protest
He speaks by leave and by permission,
And that we are contented Cæsar shall
Have all true rites and lawful ceremonies.
It shall advantage more than do us wrong.
I know not what may fall; I like it not.
Mark Antony, here, take you Cæsar’s body.
You shall not in your funeral speech blame us,
But speak all good you can devise of Cæsar,
And say you do ’t by our permission;
Else shall you not have any hand at all
About his funeral; and you shall speak
In the same pulpit whereto I am going,
After my speech is ended.
Be it so;
I do desire no more.
Prepare the body then, and follow us.
[Exeunt all butAntony.
O! pardon me, thou bleeding piece of earth,
That I am meek and gentle with these butchers;
Thou art the ruins of the noblest man
That ever lived in the tide of times.
Woe to the hand that shed this costly blood!
Over thy wounds now do I prophesy,
Which like dumb mouths do ope their ruby lips,
To beg the voice and utterance of my tongue,
A curse shall light upon the limbs of men;
Domestic fury and fierce civil strife
Shall cumber all the parts of Italy;
Blood and destruction shall be so in use,
And dreadful objects so familiar,
That mothers shall but smile when they behold
Their infants quarter’d with the hands of war;
All pity chok’d with custom of fell deeds:
And Cæsar’s spirit, ranging for revenge,
With Ate by his side come hot from hell,
Shall in these confines with a monarch’s voice
Cry ‘Havoc!’ and let slip the dogs of war;
That this foul deed shall smell above the earth
With carrion men, groaning for burial.
Enter a Servant.
You serve Octavius Cæsar, do you not?
I do, Mark Antony.
Cæsar did write for him to come to Rome.
He did receive his letters, and is coming;
And bid me say to you by word of mouth—
[Seeing the body.
Thy heart is big, get thee apart and weep.
Passion, I see, is catching; for mine eyes,
Seeing those beads of sorrow stand in thine,
Began to water. Is thy master coming?
He lies to-night within seven leagues of Rome.
Post back with speed, and tell him what hath chanc’d:
Hare is a mourning Rome, a dangerous Rome,
No Rome of safety for Octavius yet;
Hie hence and tell him so. Yet, stay awhile;
Thou shalt not back till I have borne this corpse
Into the market-place; there shall I try,
In my oration, how the people take
The cruel issue of these bloody men;
According to the which thou shalt discourse
To young Octavius of the state of things.
Lead me your hand.
EnterBrutusandCassius,and a throng of Citizens.
We will be satisfied: let us be satisfied.
Then follow me, and give me audience, friends.
Cassius, go you into the other street,
And part the numbers.
Those that will hear me speak, let ’em stay here;
Those that will follow Cassius, go with him;
And public reasons shall be rendered
Of Cæsar’s death.
I will hear Brutus speak.
I will hear Cassius; and compare their reasons,
When severally we hear them rendered.
[ExitCassius,with some of the Citizens; Brutusgoes into the pulpit.
The noble Brutus is ascended: silence!
Be patient till the last.
Romans, countrymen, and lovers! hear me for my cause; and be silent, that you may hear: believe me for mine honour, and have respect to mine honour, that you may believe: censure me in your wisdom, and awake your senses, that you may the better judge. If there be any in this assembly, any dear friend of Cæsar’s, to him I say, that Brutus’ love to Cæsar was no less than his. If then that friend demand why Brutus rose against Cæsar, this is my answer: Not that I loved Cæsar less, but that I loved Rome more. Had you rather Cæsar were living, and die all slaves, than that Cæsar were dead, to live all free men? As Cæsar loved me, I weep for him; as he was fortunate, I rejoice at it; as he was valiant, I honour him; but, as he was ambitious, I slew him. There is tears for his love; joy for his fortune; honour for his valour; and death for his ambition. Who is here so base that would be a bondman? If any, speak; for him have I offended. Who is here so rude that would not be a Roman? If any, speak; for him have I offended. Who is here so vile that will not love his country? If any, speak; for him have I offended. I pause for a reply.
None, Brutus, none.
Then none have I offended. I have done no more to Cæsar, than you shall do to Brutus. The question of his death is enrolled in the Capitol; his glory not extenuated, wherein he was worthy, nor his offences enforced, for which he suffered death.
EnterAntonyand Others, withCæsar’sbody.
Here comes his body, mourned by Mark Antony: who, though he had no hand in his death, shall receive the benefit of his dying, a place in the commonwealth; as which of you shall not? With this I depart: that, as I slew my best lover for the good of Rome, I have the same dagger for myself, when it shall please my country to need my death.
Live, Brutus! live! live!
Bring him with triumph home unto his house.
Give him a statue with his ancestors.
Let him be Cæsar.
Cæsar’s better parts
Shall be crown’d in Brutus.
We’ll bring him to his house with shouts and clamours.
Peace! silence! Brutus speaks.
Good countrymen, let me depart alone,
And, for my sake, stay here with Antony.
Do grace to Cæsar’s corpse, and grace his speech
Tending to Cæsar’s glories, which Mark Antony,
By our permission, is allow’d to make.
I do entreat you, not a man depart,
Save I alone, till Antony have spoke.
Stay, ho! and let us hear Mark Antony.
Let him go up into the public chair;
We’ll hear him. Noble Antony, go up.
For Brutus’ sake, I am beholding to you.
What does he say of Brutus?
He says, for Brutus’ sake,
He finds himself beholding to us all.
’Twere best he speak no harm of Brutus here.
This Cæsar was a tyrant.
Nay, that’s certain:
We are bless’d that Rome is rid of him.
Peace! let us hear what Antony can say.
You gentle Romans,—
Peace, ho! let us hear him.
Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
I come to bury Cæsar, not to praise him.
The evil that men do lives after them,
The good is oft interred with their bones;
So let it be with Cæsar. The noble Brutus
Hath told you Cæsar was ambitious;
If it were so, it was a grievous fault,
And grievously hath Cæsar answer’d it.
Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest,—
For Brutus is an honourable man;
So are they all, all honourable men,—
Come I to speak in Cæsar’s funeral.
He was my friend, faithful and just to me:
But Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honourable man.
He hath brought many captives home to Rome,
Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill:
Did this in Cæsar seem ambitious?
When that the poor have cried, Cæsar hath wept;
Ambition should be made of sterner stuff:
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honourable man.
You all did see that on the Lupercal
I thrice presented him a kingly crown,
Which he did thrice refuse: was this ambition?
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
And, sure, he is an honourable man.
I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke,
But here I am to speak what I do know,
You all did love him once, not without cause:
What cause withholds you then to mourn for him?
O judgment! thou art fled to brutish beasts,
And men have lost their reason. Bear with me;
My heart is in the coffin there with Cæsar,
And I must pause till it come back to me.
Methinks there is much reason in his sayings.
If thou consider rightly of the matter,
Cæsar has had great wrong.
Has he, masters?
I fear there will a worse come in his place.
Mark’d ye his words? He would not take the crown;
Therefore ’tis certain he was not ambitious.
If it be found so, some will dear abide it.
Poor soul! his eyes are red as fire with weeping.
There’s not a nobler man in Rome than Antony.
Now mark him; he begins again to speak.
But yesterday the word of Cæsar might
Have stood against the world; now lies he there,
And none so poor to do him reverence.
O masters! if I were dispos’d to stir
Your hearts and minds to mutiny and rage,
I should do Brutus wrong, and Cassius wrong,
Who, you all know, are honourable men.
I will not do them wrong; I rather choose
To wrong the dead, to wrong myself, and you,
Than I will wrong such honourable men
But here’s a parchment with the seal of Cæsar;
I found it in his closet, ’tis his will.
Let but the commons hear this testament—
Which, pardon me, I do not mean to read—
And they would go and kiss dead Cæsar’s wounds,
And dip their napkins in his sacred blood,
Yea, beg a hair of him for memory,
And, dying, mention it within their wills,
Bequeathing it as a rich legacy
Unto their issue.
We’ll hear the will: read it, Mark Antony.
The will, the will! we will hear Cæsar’s will.
Have patience, gentle friends; I must not read it:
It is not meet you know how Cæsar lov’d you.
You are not wood, you are not stones, but men;
And, being men, hearing the will of Cæsar,
It will inflame you, it will make you mad.
’Tis good you know not that you are his heirs;
For if you should, O! what would come of it.
Read the will! we’ll hear it, Antony;
You shall read us the will, Cæsar’s will.
Will you be patient? Will you stay awhile?
I have o’ershot myself to tell you of it.
I fear I wrong the honourable men
Whose daggers have stabb’d Cæsar; I do fear it.
They were traitors: honourable men!
The will! the testament!
They were villains, murderers. The will! read the will.
You will compel me then to read the will?
Then make a ring about the corpse of Cæsar,
And let me show you him that made the will.
Shall I descend? and will you give me leave?
You shall have leave.
A ring; stand round.
Stand from the hearse; stand from the body.
Room for Antony; most noble Antony.
Nay, press not so upon me; stand far off.
Stand back! room! bear back!
If you have tears, prepare to shed them now.
You all do know this mantle: I remember
The first time ever Cæsar put it on;
’Twas on a summer’s evening, in his tent,
That day he overcame the Nervii.
Look! in this place ran Cassius’ dagger through:
See what a rent the envious Casca made:
Through this the well-beloved Brutus stabb’d;
And, as he pluck’d his cursed steel away,
Mark how the blood of Cæsar follow’d it,
As rushing out of doors, to be resolv’d
If Brutus so unkindly knock’d or no;
For Brutus, as you know, was Cæsar’s angel:
Judge, O you gods! how dearly Cæsar lov’d him.
This was the most unkindest cut of all;
For when the noble Cæsar saw him stab,
Ingratitude, more strong than traitors’ arms,
Quite vanquish’d him: then burst his mighty heart;
And, in his mantle muffling up his face,
Even at the base of Pompey’s status,
Which all the while ran blood, great Cæsar fell.
O! what a fall was there, my countrymen;
Then I, and you, and all of us fell down,
Whilst bloody treason flourish’d over us.
O! now you weep, and I perceive you feel
The dint of pity; these are gracious drops.
Kind souls, what! weep you when you but behold
Our Cæsar’s vesture wounded? Look you here,
Here is himself, marr’d, as you see, with traitors.
O piteous spectacle!
O noble Cæsar!
O woeful day!
O traitors! villains!
O most bloody sight!
We will be revenged.
Fire!—Kill!—Slay! Let not a traitor live.
Peace there! Hear the noble Antony.
We’ll hear him, we’ll follow him, we’ll die with him.
Good friends, sweet friends, let me not stir you up
To such a sudden flood of mutiny.
They that have done this deed are honourable:
What private griefs they have, alas! I know not,
That made them do it; they are wise and honourable,
And will, no doubt, with reasons answer you.
I come not, friends, to steal away your hearts:
I am no orator, as Brutus is;
But, as you know me all, a plain blunt man,
That love my friend; and that they know full well
That gave me public leave to speak of him.
For I have neither wit, nor words, nor worth,
Action, nor utterance, nor the power of speech,
To stir men’s blood: I only speak right on;
I tell you that which you yourselves do know,
Show you sweet Cæsar’s wounds, poor poor dumb mouths,
And bid them speak for me: but were I Brutus,
And Brutus Antony, there were an Antony
Would ruffle up your spirits, and put a tongue
In every wound of Cæsar, that should move
The stones of Rome to rise and mutiny.
We’ll burn the house of Brutus.
Away, then! come, seek the conspirators.
Yet hear me, countrymen; yet hear me speak.
Peace, ho!—Hear Antony,—most noble Antony.
Why, friends, you go to do you know not what.
Wherein hath Cæsar thus deserv’d your loves?
Alas! you know not: I must tell you then.
You have forgot the will I told you of.
Most true. The will! let’s stay and hear the will.
Here is the will, and under Cæsar’s seal.
To every Roman citizen he gives,
To every several man, seventy-five drachmas.
Most noble Cæsar! we’ll revenge his death.
O royal Cæsar!
Hear me with patience.
Moreover, he hath left you all his walks,
His private arbours, and new-planted orchards,
On this side Tiber; he hath left them you,
And to your heirs for ever; common pleasures,
To walk abroad, and recreate yourselves.
Here was a Cæsar! when comes such another?
Never, never! Come, away, away!
We’ll burn his body in the holy place,
And with the brands fire the traitors’ houses.
Take up the body.
Go fetch fire.
Pluck down benches.
Pluck down forms, windows, any thing.
[Exeunt Citizens, with the body.
Now let it work: mischief, thou art afoot,
Take thou what course thou wilt!
Enter a Servant.
How now, fellow!
Sir, Octavius is already come to Rome.
Where is he?
He and Lepidus are at Cæsar’s house.
And thither will I straight to visit him.
He comes upon a wish. Fortune is merry,
And in this mood will give us any thing.
I heard him say Brutus and Cassius
Are rid like madmen through the gates of Rome.
Belike they had some notice of the people,
How I had mov’d them. Bring me to Octavius.
I dreamt to-night that I did feast with Cæsar,
And things unlucky charge my fantasy:
I have no will to wander forth of doors,
Yet something leads me forth.
What is your name?
Whither are you going?
Where do you dwell?
Are you a married man, or a bachelor?
Answer every man directly.
Ay, and briefly.
Ay, and wisely.
Ay, and truly, you were best.
What is my name? Whither am I going? Where do I dwell? Am I a married man, or a bachelor? Then, to answer every man directly and briefly, wisely and truly: wisely I say, I am a bachelor.
That’s as much as to say, they are fools that marry; you’ll bear me a bang for that, I fear. Proceed; directly.
Directly, I am going to Cæsar’s funeral.
As a friend or an enemy?
As a friend.
That matter is answered directly.
For your dwelling, briefly.
Briefly, I dwell by the Capitol.
Your name, sir, truly.
Truly, my name is Cinna.
Tear him to pieces; he’s a conspirator.
I am Cinna the poet, I am Cinna the poet.
Tear him for his bad verses, tear him for his bad verses.
I am not Cinna the conspirator.
It is no matter, his name’s Cinna; pluck but his name out of his heart, and turn him going.
Tear him, tear him! Come, brands, ho! firebrands! To Brutus’, to Cassius’; burn all. Some to Decius’ house, and some to Casca’s; some to Ligarius’. Away! go!
Antony, Octavius,andLepidus,seated at a table.
These many then shall die; their names are prick’d.
Your brother too must die; consent you, Lepidus?
I do consent.
Prick him down, Antony.
Upon condition Publius shall not live,
Who is your sister’s son, Mark Antony.
He shall not live; look, with a spot I damn him.
But, Lepidus, go you to Cæsar’s house;
Fetch the will hither, and we shall determine
How to cut off some charge in legacies.
What! shall I find you here?
Or here or at the Capitol.
This is a slight unmeritable man,
Meet to be sent on errands: is it fit,
The three-fold world divided, he should stand
One of the three to share it?
So you thought him;
And took his voice who should be prick’d to die,
In our black sentence and proscription.
Octavius, I have seen more days than you:
And though we lay these honours on this man,
To ease ourselves of divers slanderous loads,
He shall but bear them as the ass bears gold,
To groan and sweat under the business,
Either led or driven, as we point the way;
And having brought our treasure where we will,
Then take we down his load, and turn him off,
Like to the empty ass, to shake his ears,
And graze in commons.
You may do your will;
But he’s a tried and valiant soldier.
So is my horse, Octavius; and for that
I do appoint him store of provender.
It is a creature that I teach to fight,
To wind, to stop, to run directly on,
His corporal motion govern’d by my spirit.
And, in some taste, is Lepidus but so;
He must be taught, and train’d, and bid go forth;
A barren-spirited fellow; one that feeds
On abject orts, and imitations,
Which, out of use and stal’d by other men,
Begin his fashion: do not talk of him
But as a property. And now, Octavius,
Listen great things: Brutus and Cassius
Are levying powers; we must straight make head;
Therefore let our alliance be combin’d,
Our best friends made, and our best means stretch’d out;
And let us presently go sit in council,
How covert matters may be best disclos’d,
And open perils surest answered.
Let us do so: for we are at the stake,
And bay’d about with many enemies;
And some that smile have in their hearts, I fear,
Millions of mischiefs.
Drum. EnterBrutus, Lucilius, Lucius,and Soldiers: TitiniusandPindarusmeet them.
Give the word, ho! and stand.
What now, Lucilius! is Cassius near?
He is at hand; and Pindarus is come
To do you salutation from his master.
[Pindarusgives a letter toBrutus.
He greets me well. Your master, Pindarus,
In his own change, or by ill officers,
Hath given me some worthy cause to wish
Things done, undone; but, if he be at hand,
I shall be satisfied.
I do not doubt
But that my noble master will appear
Such as he is, full of regard and honour.
He is not doubted. A word, Lucilius;
How he receiv’d you, let me be resolv’d.
With courtesy and with respect enough;
But not with such familiar instances,
Nor with such free and friendly conference,
As he hath us’d of old.
Thou hast describ’d
A hot friend cooling. Ever note, Lucilius,
When love begins to sicken and decay,
It useth an enforced ceremony.
There are no tricks in plain and simple faith;
But hollow men, like horses hot at hand,
Make gallant show and promise of their mettle;
But when they should endure the bloody spur,
They fall their crests, and, like deceitful jades,
Sink in the trial. Comes his army on?
They mean this night in Sardis to be quarter’d;
The greater part, the horse in general,
Are come with Cassius.
Hark! he is arriv’d.
[Low march within.
March gently on to meet him.
Stand, ho! Speak the word along.
Most noble brother, you have done me wrong.
Judge me, you gods! Wrong I mine enemies?
And, if not so, how should I wrong a brother?
Brutus, this sober form of yours hides wrongs;
And when you do them—
Cassius, be content;
Speak your griefs softly: I do know you well.
Before the eyes of both our armies here,
Which should perceive nothing but love from us,
Let us not wrangle: bid them move away;
Then in my tent, Cassius, enlarge your griefs,
And I will give you audience.
Bid our commanders lead their charges off
A little from this ground.
Lucilius, do you the like; and let no man
Come to our tent till we have done our conference.
Let Lucius and Titinius guard our door.
That you have wrong’d me doth appear in this:
You have condemn’d and noted Lucius Pella
For taking bribes here of the Sardians;
Wherein my letters, praying on his side,
Because I knew the man, were slighted off.
You wrong’d yourself to write in such a case.
In such a time as this it is not meet
That every nice offence should bear his comment.
Let me tell you, Cassius, you yourself
Are much condemn’d to have an itching palm;
To sell and mart your offices for gold
I an itching palm!
You know that you are Brutus that speak this,
Or, by the gods, this speech were else your last.
The name of Cassius honours this corruption,
And chastisement doth therefore hide his head.
Remember March, the ides of March remember:
Did not great Julius bleed for justice’ sake?
What villain touch’d his body, that did stab,
And not for justice? What! shall one of us,
That struck the foremost man of all this world
But for supporting robbers, shall we now
Contaminate our fingers with base bribes,
And sell the mighty space of our large honours
For so much trash as may be grasped thus?
I had rather be a dog, and bay the moon,
Than such a Roman.
Brutus, bay not me;
I’ll not endure it: you forget yourself,
To hedge me in. I am a soldier, I,
Older in practice, abler than yourself
To make conditions.
Go to; you are not, Cassius.
I say you are not.
Urge me no more, I shall forget myself;
Have mind upon your health; tempt me no further.
Away, slight man!
Is ’t possible?
Hear me, for I will speak.
Must I give way and room to your rash choler?
Shall I be frighted when a madman stares?
O ye gods! ye gods! Must I endure all this?
All this! ay, more: fret till your proud heart break;
Go show your slaves how choleric you are,
And make your bondmen tremble. Must I budge?
Must I observe you? Must I stand and crouch
Under your testy humour? By the gods,
You shall digest the venom of your spleen,
Though it do split you; for, from this day forth,
I’ll use you for my mirth, yea, for my laughter,
When you are waspish.
Is it come to this?
You say you are a better soldier:
Let it appear so; make your vaunting true,
And it shall please me well. For mine own part,
I shall be glad to learn of noble men.
You wrong me every way; you wrong me, Brutus;
I said an elder soldier, not a better:
Did I say, ‘better?’
If you did, I care not.
When Cæsar liv’d, he durst not thus have mov’d me.
Peace, peace! you durst not so have tempted him.
I durst not!
What! durst not tempt him!
For your life you durst not.
Do not presume too much upon my love;
I may do that I shall be sorry for.
You have done that you should be sorry for.
There is no terror, Cassius, in your threats;
For I am arm’d so strong in honesty
That they pass by me as the idle wind,
Which I respect not. I did send to you
For certain sums of gold, which you denied me;
For I can raise no money by vile means:
By heaven, I had rather coin my heart,
And drop my blood for drachmas, than to wring
From the hard hands of peasants their vile trash
By any indirection. I did send
To you for gold to pay my legions,
Which you denied me: was that done like Cassius?
Should I have answer’d Caius Cassius so?
When Marcus Brutus grows so covetous,
To lock such rascal counters from his friends,
Be ready, gods, with all your thunderbolts;
Dash him to pieces!
I denied you not.
I did not: he was but a fool
That brought my answer back. Brutus hath riv’d my heart.
A friend should bear his friend’s infirmities,
But Brutus makes mine greater than they are.
I do not, till you practise them on me.
You love me not.
I do not like your faults.
A friendly eye could never see such faults.
A flatterer’s would not, though they do appear
As huge as high Olympus.
Come, Antony, and young Octavius, come,
Revenge yourselves alone on Cassius,
For Cassius is aweary of the world;
Hated by one he loves; brav’d by his brother;
Check’d like a bondman; all his faults observ’d,
Set in a note-book, learn’d, and conn’d by rote,
To cast into my teeth. O! I could weep
My spirit from mine eyes. There is my dagger,
And here my naked breast; within, a heart
Dearer than Plutus’ mine, richer than gold:
If that thou be’st a Roman, take it forth;
I, that denied thee gold, will give my heart:
Strike, as thou didst at Cæsar; for, I know,
When thou didst hate him worst, thou lov’dst him better
Than ever thou lov’dst Cassius.
Sheathe your dagger:
Be angry when you will, it shall have scope;
Do what you will, dishonour shall be humour.
O Cassius! you are yoked with a lamb
That carries anger as the flint bears fire,
Who, much enforced, shows a hasty spark,
And straight is cold again.
Hath Cassius liv’d
To be but mirth and laughter to his Brutus,
When grief and blood ill-temper’d vexeth him?
When I spoke that I was ill-temper’d too.
Do you confess so much? Give me your hand.
And my heart too.
What’s the matter?
Have not you love enough to bear with me,
When that rash humour which my mother gave me
Makes me forgetful?
Yes, Cassius; and from henceforth
When you are over-earnest with your Brutus,
He’ll think your mother chides, and leave you so.
[Within.] Let me go in to see the generals;
There is some grudge between ’em, ’tis not meet
They be alone.
[Within.] You shall not come to them.
[Within.] Nothing but death shall stay me.
Enter Poet, followed byLucilius, Titinius,andLucius.
How now! What’s the matter?
For shame, you generals! What do you mean?
Love, and be friends, as two such men should be;
For I have seen more years, I’m sure, than ye.
Ha, ha! how vilely doth this cynic rime!
Get you hence, sirrah; saucy fellow, hence!
Bear with him, Brutus; ’tis his fashion.
I’ll know his humour, when he knows his time:
What should the wars do with these jigging fools?
Away, away! be gone.
Lucilius and Titinius, bid the commanders
Prepare to lodge their companies to-night.
And come yourselves, and bring Messala with you,
Immediately to us.
Lucius, a bowl of wine!
I did not think you could have been so angry.
O Cassius! I am sick of many griefs.
Of your philosophy you make no use
If you give place to accidental evils.
No man bears sorrow better: Portia is dead.
She is dead.
How ’scap’d I killing when I cross’d you so?
O insupportable and touching loss!
Upon what sickness?
Impatient of my absence,
And grief that young Octavius with Mark Antony
Have made themselves so strong;—for with her death
That tidings came:—with this she fell distract,
And, her attendants absent, swallow’d fire.
And died so?
O ye immortal gods!
EnterLucius,with wine and tapers.
Speak no more of her. Give me a bowl of wine.
In this I bury all unkindness, Cassius.
My heart is thirsty for that noble pledge.
Fill, Lucius, till the wine o’erswell the cup;
I cannot drink too much of Brutus’ love.
Come in, Titinius.
Welcome, good Messala.
Now sit we close about this taper here,
And call in question our necessities.
Portia, art thou gone?
No more, I pray you.
Messala, I have here received letters,
That young Octavius and Mark Antony
Come down upon us with a mighty power,
Bending their expedition towards Philippi.
Myself have letters of the self-same tenour.
With what addition?
That by proscription and bills of outlawry,
Octavius, Antony, and Lepidus,
Have put to death an hundred senators.
Therein our letters do not well agree;
Mine speak of seventy senators that died
By their proscriptions, Cicero being one.
Cicero is dead,
And by that order of proscription.
Had you your letters from your wife, my lord?
Nor nothing in your letters writ of her?
That, methinks, is strange.
Why ask you? Hear you aught of her in yours?
No, my lord.
Now, as you are a Roman, tell me true.
Then like a Roman bear the truth I tell:
For certain she is dead, and by strange manner.
Why, farewell, Portia. We must die, Messala:
With meditating that she must die once,
I have the patience to endure it now.
Even so great men great losses should endure.
I have as much of this in art as you,
But yet my nature could not bear it so.
Well, to our work alive. What do you think
Of marching to Philippi presently?
I do not think it good.
This is it:
’Tis better that the enemy seek us:
So shall he waste his means, weary his soldiers,
Doing himself offence; whilst we, lying still,
Are full of rest, defence, and nimbleness.
Good reasons must, of force, give place to better,
The people ’twixt Philippi and this ground
Do stand but in a forc’d affection;
For they have grudg’d us contribution:
The enemy, marching along by them,
By them shall make a fuller number up,
Come on refresh’d, new-added, and encourag’d;
From which advantage shall we cut him off,
If at Philippi we do face him there,
These people at our back.
Hear me, good brother.
Under your pardon. You must note beside,
That we have tried the utmost of our friends,
Our legions are brim-full, our cause is ripe:
The enemy increaseth every day;
We, at the height, are ready to decline.
There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat;
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.
Then, with your will, go on;
We’ll along ourselves, and meet them at Philippi.
The deep of night is crept upon our talk,
And nature must obey necessity,
Which we will niggard with a little rest.
There is no more to say?
No more. Good-night:
Early to-morrow will we rise, and hence.
Farewell, good Messala:
Good-night, Titinius. Noble, noble Cassius,
Good-night, and good repose.
O my dear brother!
This was an ill beginning of the night:
Never come such division ’tween our souls!
Let it not, Brutus.
Every thing is well.
Good-night, my lord.
Good-night, good brother.
Good-night, Lord Brutus.
Good-night, Lord Brutus.
Farewell, every one.
Re-enterLucius,with the gown.
Give me the gown. Where is thy instrument?
Here in the tent.
What! thou speak’st drowsily?
Poor knave, I blame thee not; thou art o’erwatch’d.
Call Claudius and some other of my men;
I’ll have them sleep on cushions in my tent.
Varro! and Claudius!
Calls my lord?
I pray you, sirs, lie in my tent and sleep:
It may be I shall raise you by and by
On business to my brother Cassius.
So please you, we will stand and watch your pleasure.
I will not have it so; lie down, good sirs;
It may be I shall otherwise bethink me.
Look, Lucius, here’s the book I sought for so;
I put it in the pocket of my gown.
I was sure your lordship did not give it me.
Bear with me, good boy, I am much forgetful.
Canst thou hold up thy heavy eyes awhile,
And touch thy instrument a strain or two?
Ay, my lord, an ’t please you.
It does, my boy:
I trouble thee too much, but thou art willing.
It is my duty, sir.
I should not urge thy duty past thy might;
I know young bloods look for a time of rest.
I have slept, my lord, already.
It was well done, and thou shalt sleep again;
I will not hold thee long: if I do live,
I will be good to thee.
[Music, and a Song.
This is a sleepy tune: O murderous slumber!
Lay’st thou thy leaden mace upon my boy,
That plays thee music? Gentle knave, good-night;
I will not do thee so much wrong to wake thee.
If thou dost nod, thou break’st thy instrument;
I’ll take it from thee; and, good boy, good-night.
Let me see, let me see; is not the leaf turn’d down
Where I left reading? Here it is, I think.
Enter the Ghost ofCæsar.
How ill this taper burns! Ha! who comes here?
I think it is the weakness of mine eyes
That shapes this monstrous apparition.
It comes upon me. Art thou any thing?
Art thou some god, some angel, or some devil,
That mak’st my blood cold and my hair to stare?
Speak to me what thou art.
Thy evil spirit, Brutus.
Why com’st thou?
To tell thee thou shalt see me at Philippi.
Well; then I shall see thee again?
Ay, at Philippi.
Why, I will see thee at Philippi then.
Now I have taken heart thou vanishest:
Ill spirit, I would hold more talk with thee.
Boy, Lucius! Varro! Claudius! Sirs, awake!
The strings, my lord, are false.
He thinks he still is at his instrument.
Didst thou dream, Lucius, that thou so criedst out?
My lord, I do not know that I did cry.
Yes, that thou didst. Didst thou see any thing?
Nothing, my lord.
Sleep again, Lucius. Sirrah, Claudius!
Fellow thou! awake!
Why did you so cry out, sirs, in your sleep?
Did we, my lord?
Did we, my lord?
Ay: saw you any thing?
No, my lord, I saw nothing.
Nor I, my lord.
Go, and commend me to my brother Cassius.
Bid him set on his powers betimes before,
And we will follow.
It shall be done, my lord.
It shall be done, my lord.
EnterOctavius, Antony,and their Army.
Now, Antony, our hopes are answered:
You said the enemy would not come down,
But keep the hills and upper regions;
It proves not so; their battles are at hand;
They mean to warn us at Philippi here,
Answering before we do demand of them.
Tut! I am in their bosoms, and I know
Wherefore they do it: they could be content
To visit other places; and come down
With fearful bravery, thinking by this face
To fasten in our thoughts that they have courage;
But ’tis not so.
Enter a Messenger.
Prepare you, generals:
The enemy comes on in gallant show;
Their bloody sign of battle is hung out,
And something to be done immediately.
Octavius, lead your battle softly on,
Upon the left hand of the even field.
Upon the right hand I; keep thou the left.
Why do you cross me in this exigent?
I do not cross you; but I will do so.
Drum. EnterBrutus, Cassius,and their Army;Lucilius, Titinius, Messala,and Others.
They stand, and would have parley.
Stand fast, Titinius: we must out and talk.
Mark Antony, shall we give sign of battle?
No, Cæsar, we will answer on their charge.
Make forth; the generals would have some words.
Stir not until the signal.
Words before blows: is it so, countrymen?
Not that we love words better, as you do.
Good words are better than bad strokes, Octavius.
In your bad strokes, Brutus, you give good words:
Witness the hole you made in Cæsar’s heart,
Crying, ‘Long live! hail, Cæsar!’
The posture of your blows are yet unknown;
But for your words, they rob the Hybla bees,
And leave them honeyless.
Not stingless too.
O! yes, and soundless too;
For you have stol’n their buzzing, Antony,
And very wisely threat before you sting.
Villains! you did not so when your vile daggers
Hack’d one another in the sides of Cæsar:
How show’d your teeth like apes, and fawn’d like hounds,
And bow’d like bondmen, kissing Cæsar’s feet;
Whilst damned Casca, like a cur, behind
Struck Cæsar on the neck. O you flatterers!
Flatterers! Now, Brutus, thank yourself:
This tongue had not offended so to-day,
If Cassius might have rul’d.
Come, come, the cause: if arguing make us sweat,
The proof of it will turn to redder drops.
I draw a sword against conspirators;
When think you that the sword goes up again?
Never, till Cæsar’s three-and-thirty wounds
Be well aveng’d; or till another Cæsar
Have added slaughter to the sword of traitors.
Cæsar, thou canst not die by traitors’ hands,
Unless thou bring’st them with thee.
So I hope;
I was not born to die on Brutus’ sword.
O! if thou wert the noblest of thy strain,
Young man, thou couldst not die more honourable.
A peevish schoolboy, worthless of such honour,
Join’d with a masquer and a reveller.
Old Cassius still!
Come, Antony; away!
Defiance, traitors, hurl we in your teeth.
If you dare fight to-day, come to the field;
If not, when you have stomachs.
[ExeuntOctavius, Antony,and their Army.
Why now, blow wind, swell billow, and swim bark!
The storm is up, and all is on the hazard.
Lucilius! hark, a word with you.
What says my general?
This is my birth-day; as this very day
Was Cassius born. Give me thy hand, Messala:
Be thou my witness that against my will,
As Pompey was, am I compell’d to set
Upon one battle all our liberties.
You know that I held Epicurus strong,
And his opinion; now I change my mind,
And partly credit things that do presage.
Coming from Sardis, on our former ensign
Two mighty eagles fell, and there they perch’d,
Gorging and feeding from our soldiers’ hands;
Who to Philippi here consorted us:
This morning are they fled away and gone,
And in their stead do ravens, crows, and kites
Fly o’er our heads, and downward look on us,
As we were sickly prey: their shadows seem
A canopy most fatal, under which
Our army lies, ready to give up the ghost.
Believe not so.
I but believe it partly,
For I am fresh of spirit and resolv’d
To meet all perils very constantly.
Even so, Lucilius.
Now, most noble Brutus,
The gods to-day stand friendly, that we may,
Lovers in peace, lead on our days to age!
But since the affairs of men rest still incertain,
Let’s reason with the worst that may befall.
If we do lose this battle, then is this
The very last time we shall speak together:
What are you then, determined to do?
Even by the rule of that philosophy
By which I did blame Cato for the death
Which he did give himself; I know not how,
But I do find it cowardly and vile,
For fear of what might fall, so to prevent
The time of life: arming myself with patience,
To stay the providence of some high powers
That govern us below.
Then, if we lose this battle,
You are contented to be led in triumph
Thorough the streets of Rome?
No, Cassius, no: think not, thou noble Roman,
That ever Brutus will go bound to Rome;
He bears too great a mind: but this same day
Must end that work the ides of March begun;
And whether we shall meet again I know not.
Therefore our everlasting farewell take:
For ever, and for ever, farewell, Cassius!
If we do meet again, why, we shall smile;
If not, why then, this parting was well made.
For ever, and for ever, farewell, Brutus!
If we do meet again, we’ll smile indeed;
If not, ’tis true this parting was well made.
Why, then, lead on. O! that a man might know
The end of this day’s business, ere it come;
But it sufficeth that the day will end,
And then the end is known. Come, ho! away!
Ride, ride, Messala, ride, and give these bills
Unto the legions on the other side.
Let them set on at once, for I perceive
But cold demeanour in Octavius’ wing,
And sudden push gives them the overthrow.
Ride, ride, Messala: let them all come down.
O! look, Titinius, look, the villains fly:
Myself have to mine own turn’d enemy;
This ensign here of mine was turning back;
I slew the coward, and did take it from him.
O Cassius! Brutus gave the word too early;
Who, having some advantage on Octavius,
Took it too eagerly: his soldiers fell to spoil,
Whilst we by Antony are all enclos’d.
Fly further off, my lord, fly further off;
Mark Antony is in your tents, my lord:
Fly, therefore, noble Cassius, fly far off.
This hill is far enough. Look, look, Titinius;
Are those my tents where I perceive the fire?
They are, my lord.
Titinius, if thou lov’st me,
Mount thou my horse, and hide thy spurs in him,
Till he have brought thee up to yonder troops
And here again; that I may rest assur’d
Whether yond troops are friend or enemy.
I will be here again, even with a thought.
Go, Pindarus, get higher on that hill;
My sight was ever thick; regard Titinius,
And tell me what thou not’st about the field.
[Pindarusascends the hill.
This day I breathed first; time is come round,
And where I did begin, there shall I end;
My life is run his compass. Sirrah, what news?
[Above.] O my lord!
Titinius is enclosed round about
With horsemen, that make to him on the spur;
Yet he spurs on: now they are almost on him;
Now, Titinius! now some light; O! he lights too:
He’s ta’en; [Shout.] and, hark! they shout for joy.
Come down; behold no more.
O, coward that I am, to live so long,
To see my best friend ta’en before my face!
Come hither, sirrah:
In Parthia did I take thee prisoner;
And then I swore thee, saving of thy life,
That whatsoever I did bid thee do,
Thou shouldst attempt it. Come now, keep thine oath;
Now be a freeman; and with this good sword,
That ran through Cæsar’s bowels, search this bosom.
Stand not to answer; here, take thou the hilts;
And, when my face is cover’d, as ’tis now,
Guide thou the sword. Cæsar, thou art reveng’d,
Even with the sword that kill’d thee.
So, I am free; yet would not so have been;
Durst I have done my will. O Cassius,
Far from this country Pindarus shall run,
Where never Roman shall take note of him.
It is but change, Titinius; for Octavius
Is overthrown by noble Brutus’ power,
As Cassius’ legions are by Antony.
These tidings will well comfort Cassius.
Where did you leave him?
With Pindarus his bondman, on this hill.
Is not that he that lies upon the ground?
He lies not like the living. O my heart!
Is not that he?
No, this was he, Messala,
But Cassius is no more. O setting sun!
As in thy red rays thou dost sink to-night,
So in his red blood Cassius’ day is set;
The sun of Rome is set. Our day is gone;
Clouds, dews, and dangers come; our deeds are done.
Mistrust of my success hath done this deed.
Mistrust of good success hath done this deed.
O hateful error, melancholy’s child!
Why dost thou show to the apt thoughts of men
The things that are not? O error! soon conceiv’d,
Thou never com’st unto a happy birth,
But kill’st the mother that engender’d thee.
What, Pindarus! Where art thou, Pindarus?
Seek him, Titinius, whilst I go to meet
The noble Brutus, thrusting this report
Into his ears; I may say, thrusting it;
For piercing steel and darts envenomed
Shall be as welcome to the ears of Brutus
As tidings of this sight.
Hie you, Messala,
And I will seek for Pindarus the while.
Why didst thou send me forth, brave Cassius?
Did I not meet thy friends? and did not they
Put on my brows this wreath of victory,
And bid me give it thee? Didst thou not hear their shouts?
Alas! thou hast misconstru’d every thing.
But, hold thee, take this garland on thy brow;
Thy Brutus bid me give it thee, and I
Will do his bidding. Brutus, come apace,
And see how I regarded Caius Cassius.
By your leave, gods: this is a Roman’s part:
Come, Cassius’ sword, and find Titinius’ heart.
Alarum. Re-enterMessala,withBrutus,YoungCato, Strato, Volumnius,andLucilius.
Where, where, Messala, doth his body lie?
Lo, yonder: and Titinius mourning it.
Titinius’ face is upward.
He is slain.
O Julius Cæsar! thou art mighty yet!
Thy spirit walks abroad, and turns our swords
In our own proper entrails.
Look whe’r he have not crown’d dead Cassius!
Are yet two Romans living such as these?
The last of all the Romans, fare thee well!
It is impossible that ever Rome
Should breed thy fellow. Friends, I owe more tears
To this dead man than you shall see me pay.—
I shall find time, Cassius, I shall find time.—
Come therefore, and to Thassos send his body:
His funerals shall not be in our camp,
Lest it discomfort us. Lucilius, come;
And come, young Cato;—let us to the field.
Labeo and Flavius, set our battles on:—
’Tis three o’clock; and, Romans, yet ere night
We shall try fortune in a second fight.
Alarum. Enter fighting, Soldiers of both armies; thenBrutus,YoungCato, Lucilius,and Others.
Yet, countrymen, O! yet hold up your heads!
What bastard doth not? Who will go with me?
I will proclaim my name about the field:
I am the son of Marcus Cato, ho!
A foe to tyrants, and my country’s friend;
I am the son of Marcus Cato, ho!
And I am Brutus, Marcus Brutus, I;
Brutus, my country’s friend; know me for Brutus!
[Exit, charging the enemy.Catois overpowered, and falls.
O young and noble Cato, art thou down?
Why, now thou diest as bravely as Titinius,
And mayst be honour’d being Cato’s son.
Yield, or thou diest.
Only I yield to die:
There is so much that thou wilt kill me straight.
Kill Brutus, and be honour’d in his death.
We must not. A noble prisoner!
Room, ho! Tell Antony, Brutus is ta’en.
I’ll tell the news: here comes the general.
Brutus is ta’en, my lord.
Where is he?
Safe, Antony; Brutus is safe enough:
I dare assure thee that no enemy
Shall ever take alive the noble Brutus:
The gods defend him from so great a shame!
When you do find him, or alive or dead,
He will be found like Brutus, like himself.
This is not Brutus, friend; but, I assure you,
A prize no less in worth. Keep this man safe,
Give him all kindness: I had rather have
Such men my friends than enemies. Go on,
And see whe’r Brutus be alive or dead;
And bring us word unto Octavius’ tent,
How every thing is chanc’d.
EnterBrutus, Dardanius, Clitus, Strato,andVolumnius.
Come, poor remains of friends, rest on this rock.
Statilius show’d the torch-light; but, my lord,
He came not back: he is or ta’en or slain.
Sit thee down, Clitus: slaying is the word;
It is a deed in fashion. Hark thee, Clitus.
What, I, my lord? No, not for all the world.
Peace, then! no words.
I’ll rather kill myself.
Hark thee, Dardanius.
Shall I do such a deed?
What ill request did Brutus make to thee?
To kill him, Clitus. Look, he meditates.
Now is that noble vessel full of grief,
That it runs over even at his eyes.
Come hither, good Volumnius: list a word.
What says my lord?
Why this, Volumnius:
The ghost of Cæsar hath appear’d to me
Two several times by night; at Sardis once,
And this last night here in Philippi fields.
I know my hour is come.
Not so, my lord.
Nay, I am sure it is, Volumnius.
Thou seest the world, Volumnius, how it goes;
Our enemies have beat us to the pit:
It is more worthy to leap in ourselves,
Than tarry till they push us. Good Volumnius,
Thou know’st that we two went to school together:
Even for that our love of old, I prithee,
Hold thou my sword-hilts, whilst I run on it.
That’s not an office for a friend, my lord.
Fly, fly, my lord! there is no tarrying here.
Farewell to you; and you; and you, Volumnius.
Strato, thou hast been all this while asleep;
Farewell to thee too, Strato. Countrymen,
My heart doth joy that yet, in all my life,
I found no man but he was true to me.
I shall have glory by this losing day,
More than Octavius and Mark Antony
By this vile conquest shall attain unto.
So fare you well at once; for Brutus’ tongue
Hath almost ended his life’s history:
Night hangs upon mine eyes; my bones would rest,
That have but labour’d to attain this hour.
[Alarum. Cry within, ‘Fly, fly, fly!’
Fly, my lord, fly.
Hence! I will follow.
I prithee, Strato, stay thou by thy lord:
Thou art a fellow of a good respect;
Thy life hath had some smatch of honour in it:
Hold then my sword, and turn away thy face,
While I do run upon it. Wilt thou, Strato?
Give me your hand first: fare you well, my lord.
Farewell, good Strato.—[He runs on his sword.] Cæsar, now be still;
I kill’d not thee with half so good a will.
Alarum. Retreat. EnterOctavius, Antony, Messala, Lucilius,and Army.
What man is that?
My master’s man. Strato, where is thy master?
Free from the bondage you are in, Messala;
The conquerors can but make a fire of him;
For Brutus only overcame himself,
And no man else hath honour by his death.
So Brutus should be found. I thank thee, Brutus,
That thou hast prov’d Lucilius’ saying true.
All that serv’d Brutus, I will entertain them.
Fellow, wilt thou bestow thy time with me?
Ay, if Messala will prefer me to you.
Do so, good Messala.
How died my master, Strato?
I held the sword, and he did run on it.
Octavius, then take him to follow thee,
That did the latest service to my master.
This was the noblest Roman of them all;
All the conspirators save only he
Did that they did in envy of great Cæsar;
He only, in a general honest thought
And common good to all, made one of them.
His life was gentle, and the elements
So mix’d in him that Nature might stand up
And say to all the world, ‘This was a man!’
According to his virtue let us use him,
With all respect and rites of burial.
Within my tent his bones to-night shall lie,
Most like a soldier, order’d honourably.
So, call the field to rest; and let’s away,
To part the glories of this happy day.