Enter the Sheriff, and Buckingham, with halberds, led to execution
Buckingham Will not King Richard let me speak with him?
Sheriff No, my good lord; therefore be patient.
Buckingham Hastings, and Edward’s children, Rivers, Grey,
Holy King Henry, and thy fair son Edward,
Vaughan, and all that have miscarried
By underhand corrupted foul injustice,
If that your moody discontented souls
Do through the clouds behold this present hour,
Even for revenge mock my destruction!
This is All-Souls’ day, fellows, is it not?
Sheriff It is, my lord.
Buckingham Why, then All-Souls’ day is my body’s doomsday.
This is the day that, in King Edward’s time,
I wish’t might fall on me, when I was found
False to his children or his wife’s allies
This is the day wherein I wish’d to fall
By the false faith of him I trusted most;
This, this All-Souls’ day to my fearful soul
Is the determined respite of my wrongs:
That high All-Seer that I dallied with
Hath turn’d my feigned prayer on my head
And given in earnest what I begg’d in jest.
Thus doth he force the swords of wicked men
To turn their own points on their masters’ bosoms:
Now Margaret’s curse is fallen upon my head;
‘When he,’ quoth she, ‘shall split thy heart with sorrow,
Remember Margaret was a prophetess.’
Come, sirs, convey me to the block of shame;
Wrong hath but wrong, and blame the due of blame.
Enter Richmond, Oxford, Blunt, Herbert, and others, with drum and colours
Richmond Fellows in arms, and my most loving friends,
Bruised underneath the yoke of tyranny,
Thus far into the bowels of the land
Have we march’d on without impediment;
And here receive we from our father Stanley
Lines of fair comfort and encouragement.
The wretched, bloody, and usurping boar,
That spoil’d your summer fields and fruitful vines,
Swills your warm blood like wash, and makes his trough
In your embowell’d bosoms, this foul swine
Lies now even in the centre of this isle,
Near to the town of Leicester, as we learn
From Tamworth thither is but one day’s march.
In God’s name, cheerly on, courageous friends,
To reap the harvest of perpetual peace
By this one bloody trial of sharp war.
Oxford Every man’s conscience is a thousand swords,
To fight against that bloody homicide.
Herbert I doubt not but his friends will fly to us.
Blunt He hath no friends but who are friends for fear.
Which in his greatest need will shrink from him.
Richmond All for our vantage. Then, in God’s name, march:
True hope is swift, and flies with swallow’s wings:
Kings it makes gods, and meaner creatures kings.
Enter King Richard III in arms, with Norfolk, Surrey, and others
King Richard III Here pitch our tents, even here in Bosworth field.
My Lord of Surrey, why look you so sad?
Surrey My heart is ten times lighter than my looks.
King Richard III My Lord of Norfolk —
Norfolk Here, most gracious liege.
King Richard III Norfolk, we must have knocks; ha! must we not?
Norfolk We must both give and take, my gracious lord.
King Richard III Up with my tent there! here will I lie tonight;
But where to-morrow? Well, all’s one for that.
Who hath descried the number of the foe?
Norfolk Six or seven thousand is their utmost power.
King Richard III Why, our battalion trebles that account:
Besides, the king’s name is a tower of strength,
Which they upon the adverse party want.
Up with my tent there! Valiant gentlemen,
Let us survey the vantage of the field
Call for some men of sound direction
Let’s want no discipline, make no delay,
For, lords, to-morrow is a busy day.
Enter, on the other side of the field, Richmond, Sir William Brandon, Oxford, and others. Some of the Soldiers pitch Richmond’s tent
Richmond The weary sun hath made a golden set,
And by the bright track of his fiery car,
Gives signal, of a goodly day to-morrow.
Sir William Brandon, you shall bear my standard.
Give me some ink and paper in my tent
I’ll draw the form and model of our battle,
Limit each leader to his several charge,
And part in just proportion our small strength.
My Lord of Oxford, you, Sir William Brandon,
And you, Sir Walter Herbert, stay with me.
The Earl of Pembroke keeps his regiment:
Good Captain Blunt, bear my good night to him
And by the second hour in the morning
Desire the earl to see me in my tent:
Yet one thing more, good Blunt, before thou go’st,
Where is Lord Stanley quarter’d, dost thou know?
Blunt Unless I have mista’en his colours much,
Which well I am assured I have not done,
His regiment lies half a mile at least
South from the mighty power of the king.
Richmond If without peril it be possible,
Good Captain Blunt, bear my good-night to him,
And give him from me this most needful scroll.
Blunt Upon my life, my lord, I’ll under-take it;
And so, God give you quiet rest to-night!
Richmond Good night, good Captain Blunt. Come gentlemen,
Let us consult upon to-morrow’s business
In to our tent; the air is raw and cold.
They withdraw into the tent
Enter, to his tent, King Richard III, Norfolk, Ratcliff, Catesby, and others
King Richard III What is’t o’clock?
Catesby It’s supper-time, my lord;
It’s nine o’clock.
King Richard III I will not sup to-night.
Give me some ink and paper.
What, is my beaver easier than it was?
And all my armour laid into my tent?
Catesby If is, my liege; and all things are in readiness.
King Richard III Good Norfolk, hie thee to thy charge;
Use careful watch, choose trusty sentinels.
Norfolk I go, my lord.
King Richard III Stir with the lark to-morrow, gentle Norfolk.
Norfolk I warrant you, my lord.
King Richard III Catesby!
Catesby My lord?
King Richard III Send out a pursuivant at arms
To Stanley’s regiment; bid him bring his power
Before sunrising, lest his son George fall
Into the blind cave of eternal night.
Fill me a bowl of wine. Give me a watch.
Saddle white Surrey for the field to-morrow.
Look that my staves be sound, and not too heavy.
Ratcliff My lord?
King Richard III Saw’st thou the melancholy Lord Northumberland?
Ratcliff Thomas the Earl of Surrey, and himself,
Much about cock-shut time, from troop to troop
Went through the army, cheering up the soldiers.
King Richard III So, I am satisfied. Give me a bowl of wine:
I have not that alacrity of spirit,
Nor cheer of mind, that I was wont to have.
Set it down. Is ink and paper ready?
Ratcliff It is, my lord.
King Richard III Bid my guard watch; leave me.
Ratcliff, about the mid of night come to my tent
And help to arm me. Leave me, I say.
Exeunt Ratcliff and the other Attendants
Enter Derby to Richmond in his tent, Lords and others attending
Derby Fortune and victory sit on thy helm!
Richmond All comfort that the dark night can afford
Be to thy person, noble father-in-law!
Tell me, how fares our loving mother?
Derby I, by attorney, bless thee from thy mother
Who prays continually for Richmond’s good:
So much for that. The silent hours steal on,
And flaky darkness breaks within the east.
In brief — for so the season bids us be —
Prepare thy battle early in the morning,
And put thy fortune to the arbitrement
Of bloody strokes and mortal-staring war.
I, as I may — that which I would I cannot —
With best advantage will deceive the time,
And aid thee in this doubtful shock of arms:
But on thy side I may not be too forward
Lest, being seen, thy brother, tender George,
Be executed in his father’s sight.
Farewell: the leisure and the fearful time
Cuts off the ceremonious vows of love
And ample interchange of sweet discourse,
Which so long sunder’d friends should dwell upon:
God give us leisure for these rites of love!
Once more, adieu: be valiant, and speed well!
Richmond Good lords, conduct him to his regiment:
I’ll strive, with troubled thoughts, to take a nap,
Lest leaden slumber peise me down to-morrow,
When I should mount with wings of victory:
Once more, good night, kind lords and gentlemen.
Exeunt all but Richmond
O Thou, whose captain I account myself,
Look on my forces with a gracious eye;
Put in their hands thy bruising irons of wrath,
That they may crush down with a heavy fall
The usurping helmets of our adversaries!
Make us thy ministers of chastisement,
That we may praise thee in the victory!
To thee I do commend my watchful soul,
Ere I let fall the windows of mine eyes:
Sleeping and waking, O, defend me still!
Enter the Ghost of Prince Edward, son to King Henry VI
Ghost of Prince Edward [To King Richard III]
Let me sit heavy on thy soul to-morrow!
Think, how thou stab’dst me in my prime of youth
At Tewksbury: despair, therefore, and die!
Be cheerful, Richmond; for the wronged souls
Of butcher’d princes fight in thy behalf
King Henry’s issue, Richmond, comforts thee.
Enter the Ghost of King Henry VI
Ghost of King Henry VI [To King Richard III]
When I was mortal, my anointed body
By thee was punched full of deadly holes
Think on the Tower and me: despair, and die!
Harry the Sixth bids thee despair, and die!
Virtuous and holy, be thou conqueror!
Harry, that prophesied thou shouldst be king,
Doth comfort thee in thy sleep: live, and flourish!
Enter the Ghost of Clarence
Ghost of Clarence [To King Richard III]
Let me sit heavy on thy soul to-morrow!
I, that was wash’d to death with fulsome wine,
Poor Clarence, by thy guile betrayed to death!
To-morrow in the battle think on me,
And fall thy edgeless sword: despair, and die! —
Thou offspring of the house of Lancaster
The wronged heirs of York do pray for thee
Good angels guard thy battle! live, and flourish!
Enter the Ghosts of Rivers, Gray, and Vaughan
Ghost of Rivers [To King Richard III]
Let me sit heavy on thy soul to-morrow,
Rivers. that died at Pomfret! despair, and die!
Ghost of Grey [To King Richard III]
Think upon Grey, and let thy soul despair!
Ghost of Vaughan [To King Richard III]
Think upon Vaughan, and, with guilty fear,
Let fall thy lance: despair, and die!
All [To Richmond]
Awake, and think our wrongs in Richard’s bosom
Will conquer him! awake, and win the day!
Enter the Ghost of Hastings
Ghost of Hastings [To King Richard III]
Bloody and guilty, guiltily awake,
And in a bloody battle end thy days!
Think on Lord Hastings: despair, and die!
Quiet untroubled soul, awake, awake!
Arm, fight, and conquer, for fair England’s sake!
Enter the Ghosts of the two young Princes
Ghosts of young Princes [To King Richard III]
Dream on thy cousins smother’d in the Tower:
Let us be led within thy bosom, Richard,
And weigh thee down to ruin, shame, and death!
Thy nephews’ souls bid thee despair and die!
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.
Enter the Ghost of Lady Anne
Ghost of Lady Anne [To King Richard III]
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!
Thou quiet soul, sleep thou a quiet sleep
Dream of success and happy victory!
Thy adversary’s wife doth pray for thee.
Enter the Ghost of Buckingham
Ghost of Buckingham [To King Richard III]
The last was I that helped 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!
I died for hope ere I could lend thee aid:
But cheer thy heart, and be thou not dismay’d:
God and good angel fight on Richmond’s side;
And Richard falls in height of all his pride.
The Ghosts vanish
King Richard III starts out of his dream
King Richard III 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, stem murder, in the direst degree;
All several sins, all used 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 shall pity me:
Nay, 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.
Ratcliff My lord!
King Richard III ’Zounds! who is there?
Ratcliff 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.
King Richard III O Ratcliff, I have dream’d a fearful dream!
What thinkest thou, will our friends prove all true?
Ratcliff No doubt, my lord.
King Richard III O Ratcliff, I fear, I fear —
Ratcliff Nay, good my lord, be not afraid of shadows.
King Richard III By the apostle Paul, shadows to-night
Have struck 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.
Enter the Lords to Richmond, sitting in his tent
Lords Good morrow, Richmond!
Richmond Cry mercy, lords and watchful gentlemen,
That you have ta’en a tardy sluggard here.
Lords How have you slept, my lord?
Richmond 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 soul is very jocund
In the remembrance of so fair a dream.
How far into the morning is it, lords?
Lords Upon the stroke of four.
Richmond Why, then ’tis time to arm and give direction.
His oration to his soldiers
More than I have said, loving countrymen,
The leisure and enforcement of the time
Forbids to dwell upon: yet remember this,
God and our good cause fight upon our side;
The prayers of holy saints and wronged souls,
Like high-rear’d bulwarks, stand before our faces;
Richard except, those whom we fight against
Had rather have us win than him they follow:
For what is he they follow? truly, gentlemen,
A bloody tyrant and a homicide;
One raised in blood, and one in blood establish’d;
One that made means to come by what he hath,
And slaughter’d those that were the means to help him;
Abase foul stone, made precious by the foil
Of England’s chair, where he is falsely set;
One that hath ever been God’s enemy:
Then, if you fight against God’s enemy,
God will in justice ward you as his soldiers;
If you do sweat to put a tyrant down,
You sleep in peace, the tyrant being slain;
If you do fight against your country’s foes,
Your country’s fat shall pay your pains the hire;
If you do fight in safeguard of your wives,
Your wives shall welcome home the conquerors;
If you do free your children from the sword,
Your children’s children quit it in your age.
Then, in the name of God and all these rights,
Advance your standards, draw your willing swords.
For me, the ransom of my bold attempt
Shall be this cold corpse on the earth’s cold face;
But if I thrive, the gain of my attempt
The least of you shall share his part thereof.
Sound drums and trumpets boldly and cheerfully;
God and Saint George! Richmond and victory!
Re-enter King Richard, Ratcliff, Attendants and Forces
King Richard III What said Northumberland as touching Richmond?
Ratcliff That he was never trained up in arms.
King Richard III He said the truth: and what said Surrey then?
Ratcliff He smiled and said ‘The better for our purpose.’
King Richard III He was in the right; and so indeed it is.
Ten the clock there. Give me a calendar.
Who saw the sun to-day?
Ratcliff Not I, my lord.
King Richard III Then he disdains to shine; for by the book
He should have braved the east an hour ago
A black day will it be to somebody. Ratcliff!
Ratcliff My lord?
King Richard III The sun will not be seen to-day;
The sky doth frown and lour upon our army.
I would these dewy tears were from the ground.
Not shine to-day! Why, what is that to me
More than to Richmond? for the selfsame heaven
That frowns on me looks sadly upon him.
Norfolk Arm, arm, my lord; the foe vaunts in the field.
King Richard III Come, bustle, bustle; caparison my horse.
Call up Lord Stanley, bid him bring his power:
I will lead forth my soldiers to the plain,
And thus my battle shall be ordered:
My foreward shall be drawn out all in length,
Consisting equally of horse and foot;
Our archers shall be placed in the midst
John Duke of Norfolk, Thomas Earl of Surrey,
Shall have the leading of this foot and horse.
They thus directed, we will follow
In the main battle, whose puissance on either side
Shall be well winged with our chiefest horse.
This, and Saint George to boot! What think’st thou, Norfolk?
Norfolk A good direction, warlike sovereign.
This found I on my tent this morning.
He sheweth him a paper
King Richard III [Reads]
‘Jockey of Norfolk, be not too bold,
For Dickon thy master is bought and sold.’
A thing devised by the enemy.
Go, gentleman, every man unto his charge
Let not our babbling dreams affright our souls:
Conscience is but a word that cowards use,
Devised at first to keep the strong in awe:
Our strong arms be our conscience, swords our law.
March on, join bravely, let us to’t pell-mell
If not to heaven, then hand in hand to hell.
His oration to his Army
What shall I say more than I have inferr’d?
Remember whom you are to cope withal;
A sort of vagabonds, rascals, and runaways,
A scum of Bretons, and base lackey peasants,
Whom their o’er-cloyed country vomits forth
To desperate ventures and assured destruction.
You sleeping safe, they bring to you unrest;
You having lands, and blest with beauteous wives,
They would restrain the one, distain the other.
And who doth lead them but a paltry fellow,
Long kept in Bretagne at our mother’s cost?
A milk-sop, one that never in his life
Felt so much cold as over shoes in snow?
Let’s whip these stragglers o’er the seas again;
Lash hence these overweening rags of France,
These famish’d beggars, weary of their lives;
Who, but for dreaming on this fond exploit,
For want of means, poor rats, had hang’d themselves:
If we be conquer’d, let men conquer us,
And not these bastard Bretons; whom our fathers
Have in their own land beaten, bobb’d, and thump’d,
And in record, left them the heirs of shame.
Shall these enjoy our lands? lie with our wives?
Ravish our daughters?
Drum afar off
Hark! I hear their drum.
Fight, gentlemen of England! fight, bold yoemen!
Draw, archers, draw your arrows to the head!
Spur your proud horses hard, and ride in blood;
Amaze the welkin with your broken staves!
Enter a Messenger
What says Lord Stanley? will he bring his power?
Messenger My lord, he doth deny to come.
King Richard III Off with his son George’s head!
Norfolk My lord, the enemy is past the marsh
After the battle let George Stanley die.
King Richard III A thousand hearts are great within my bosom:
Advance our standards, set upon our foes
Our ancient word of courage, fair Saint George,
Inspire us with the spleen of fiery dragons!
Upon them! victory sits on our helms.
Alarum: excursions. Enter Norfolk and forces fighting; to him Catesby
Catesby Rescue, my Lord of Norfolk, rescue, rescue!
The king enacts more wonders than a man,
Daring an opposite to every danger:
His horse is slain, and all on foot he fights,
Seeking for Richmond in the throat of death.
Rescue, fair lord, or else the day is lost!
Alarums. Enter King Richard III
King Richard III A horse! a horse! my kingdom for a horse!
Catesby Withdraw, my lord; I’ll help you to a horse.
King Richard III Slave, I have set my life upon a cast,
And I will stand the hazard of the die:
I think there be six Richmonds in the field;
Five have I slain to-day instead of him.
A horse! a horse! my kingdom for a horse!
Alarum. Enter King Richard III and Richmond; they fight. King Richard III is slain. Retreat and flourish. Re-enter Richmond, Derby bearing the crown, with divers other Lords
Richmond God and your arms be praised, victorious friends,
The day is ours, the bloody dog is dead.
Derby Courageous Richmond, well hast thou acquit thee.
Lo, here, this long-usurped royalty
From the dead temples of this bloody wretch
Have I pluck’d off, to grace thy brows withal:
Wear it, enjoy it, and make much of it.
Richmond Great God of heaven, say Amen to all!
But, tell me, is young George Stanley living?
Derby He is, my lord, and safe in Leicester town;
Whither, if it please you, we may now withdraw us.
Richmond What men of name are slain on either side?
Derby John Duke of Norfolk, Walter Lord Ferrers,
Sir Robert Brakenbury, and Sir William Brandon.
Richmond Inter their bodies as becomes their births:
Proclaim a pardon to the soldiers fled
That in submission will return to us:
And then, as we have ta’en the sacrament,
We will unite the white rose and the red:
Smile heaven upon this fair conjunction,
That long have frown’d upon their enmity!
What traitor hears me, and says not amen?
England hath long been mad, and scarr’d herself;
The brother blindly shed the brother’s blood,
The father rashly slaughter’d his own son,
The son, compell’d, been butcher to the sire:
All this divided York and Lancaster,
Divided in their dire division,
O, now, let Richmond and Elizabeth,
The true succeeders of each royal house,
By God’s fair ordinance conjoin together!
And let their heirs, God, if thy will be so.
Enrich the time to come with smooth-faced peace,
With smiling plenty and fair prosperous days!
Abate the edge of traitors, gracious Lord,
That would reduce these bloody days again,
And make poor England weep in streams of blood!
Let them not live to taste this land’s increase
That would with treason wound this fair land’s peace!
Now civil wounds are stopp’d, peace lives again:
That she may long live here, God say amen!
This web edition published by:
The University of Adelaide Library
University of Adelaide
South Australia 5005
Last updated Monday, December 22, 2014 at 10:54