Richard III By William Shakespeare Act V

[To KING RICHARD.] Dream on thy cousins smothered 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! — 
[To RICHMOND.] 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 of QUEEN ANNE rises.]

[To KING 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! —
[To RICHMOND.] Thou quiet soul, sleep thou a quiet sleep;
Dream of success and happy victory:
Thy adversary's wife doth pray for thee.

[The Ghost of BUCKINGHAM rises.]

[To KING 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! —
[To RICHMOND.] 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 RICHARD starts 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:
And 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.


My lord, —

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 think'st 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 stuck 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 see if any mean to shrink from me.


[RICHMOND wakes. Enter OXFORD and 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 and 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.

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