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.]
Stand all apart — Cousin of Buckingham, —
My gracious sovereign?
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?
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 lord.
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 say'st 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 your grace immediately.
[Aside.] The king is angry: see, he gnaws his lip.
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.
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 Tyrrel.
I partly know the man: go, call him hither, boy.
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.
How now, Lord Stanley! what's the news?
Know, my loving lord,
The Marquis 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, with TYRREL.]
Is thy name Tyrrel?
James Tyrrel, and your most obedient subject.
Art thou, indeed?
Prove me, my gracious lord.