ACT IV
Scene 2.
 

London. The palace

Sound a sennet. Enter RICHARD, in pomp, as KING; 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.

[Here he ascendeth the throne. Sound]

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 you herein presently.

Exit

CATESBY
[Aside to another] The King is angry; see, he
gnaws his lip.

KING RICHARD
I will converse with iron-witted fools

[Descends from the 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.

[Stands apart]

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.

KING RICHARD
Dar'st thou resolve to kill a friend of mine?

TYRREL
Please you;
But I had rather kill two enemies.

KING RICHARD
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.
TYRREL, I mean those bastards in the Tower.

TYRREL
Let me have open means to come to them,
And soon I'll rid you from the fear of them.

KING RICHARD
Thou sing'st sweet music. Hark, come
hither, Tyrrel.
Go, by this token. Rise, and lend thine ear. [Whispers]
There is no more but so: say it is done,
And I will love thee and prefer thee for it.

TYRREL
I will dispatch it straight.

Exit

Re-enter BUCKINGHAM

BUCKINGHAM
My lord, I have consider'd in my mind
The late request that you did sound me in.

KING RICHARD
Well, let that rest. Dorset is fled to
Richmond.

BUCKINGHAM
I hear the news, my lord.

KING RICHARD
Stanley, he is your wife's son: well, look
unto it.

BUCKINGHAM
My lord, I claim the gift, my due by promise,
For which your honour and your faith is pawn'd:
Th' earldom of Hereford and the movables
Which you have promised I shall possess.

KING RICHARD
Stanley, look to your wife; if she convey
Letters to Richmond, you shall answer it.

BUCKINGHAM
What says your Highness to my just request?

KING RICHARD
I do remember me: Henry the Sixth
Did prophesy that Richmond should be King,
When Richmond was a little peevish boy.
A king!-perhaps-

BUCKINGHAM
My lord-

KING RICHARD
How chance the prophet could not at that
time
Have told me, I being by, that I should kill him?

BUCKINGHAM
My lord, your promise for the earldom-

KING RICHARD
Richmond! When last I was at Exeter,
The mayor in courtesy show'd me the castle
And call'd it Rugemount, at which name I started,
Because a bard of Ireland told me once
I should not live long after I saw Richmond.

BUCKINGHAM
My lord-

KING RICHARD
Ay, what's o'clock?

BUCKINGHAM
I am thus bold to put your Grace in mind
Of what you promis'd me.

KING RICHARD
Well, but o'clock?

BUCKINGHAM
Upon the stroke of ten.

KING RICHARD
Well, let it strike.

BUCKINGHAM
Why let it strike?

KING RICHARD
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.

BUCKINGHAM
May it please you to resolve me in my suit.

KING RICHARD
Thou troublest me; I am not in the vein.

Exeunt all but Buckingham

BUCKINGHAM
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!

Exit