Richard III By William Shakespeare Act IV

SCENE II. London. A Room of State in the Palace.

[Flourish of trumpets. RICHARD, as King, upon his throne;
BUCKINGHAM, CATESBY, RATCLIFF, LOVEL, a Page, and others.]

KING RICHARD.
Stand all apart — Cousin of Buckingham, —

BUCKINGHAM.
My gracious sovereign?

KING RICHARD.
Give me thy hand. 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?

BUCKINGHAM.
Still live they, and for ever let them last!

KING RICHARD.
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.

BUCKINGHAM.
Say on, my loving lord.

KING RICHARD.
Why, Buckingham, I say I would be king.

BUCKINGHAM.
Why, so you are, my thrice-renowned lord.

KING RICHARD.
Ha! am I king? 'tis so: but Edward lives.

BUCKINGHAM.
True, noble prince.

KING RICHARD.
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 say'st thou now? speak suddenly, be brief.

BUCKINGHAM.
Your grace may do your pleasure.

KING RICHARD.
Tut, tut, thou art all ice, thy kindness freezes:
Say, have I thy consent that they shall die?

BUCKINGHAM.
Give me some little breath, some pause, dear lord,
Before I positively speak in this:
I will resolve your grace immediately.

[Exit.]

CATESBY.
[Aside.] The king is angry: see, he gnaws his lip.

KING RICHARD.
I will converse with iron-witted fools
[Descends from his throne.]
And unrespective boys; none are for me
That look into me with considerate eyes:
High-reaching Buckingham grows circumspect.
Boy! —

PAGE.
My lord?

KING RICHARD.
Know'st thou not any whom corrupting gold
Will tempt unto a close exploit of death?

PAGE.
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.

KING RICHARD.
What is his name?

PAGE.
His name, my lord, is Tyrrel.

KING RICHARD.
I partly know the man: go, call him hither, boy.

[Exit PAGE.]

The deep-revolving witty Buckingham
No more shall be the neighbour to my counsels:
Hath he so long held out with me untir'd,
And stops he now for breath? — well, be it so.

[Enter STANLEY.]

How now, Lord Stanley! what's the news?

STANLEY.
Know, my loving lord,
The Marquis Dorset, as I hear, is fled
To Richmond, in the parts where he abides.

KING RICHARD.
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.

[Exit CATESBY.]

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, with TYRREL.]

Is thy name Tyrrel?

TYRREL.
James Tyrrel, and your most obedient subject.

KING RICHARD.
Art thou, indeed?

TYRREL.
Prove me, my gracious lord.

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