Richard III By William Shakespeare Act II

Comfort, dear mother: God is much displeas'd
That you take with unthankfulness His doing:
In common worldly things 'tis called 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.


Sister, have comfort: all of us have cause
To wail the dimming of our shining star;
But none can help our 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 breast,
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 fetched
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 but BUCKINGHAM and GLOSTER.]

My lord, whoever journeys to the prince,
For God'd 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.
Toward Ludlow then, for we'll not stay behind.


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At the beginning of the play, who appears to be dominating King Edward IV?