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King Richard III: Act 3 Scene 5
Scene V The Tower-walls.
- [Enter GLOUCESTER and BUCKINGHAM, in rotten armour,
- marvellous ill-favoured]
- Come, cousin, canst thou quake, and change thy colour,
- Murder thy breath in the middle of a word,
- And then begin again, and stop again,
- As if thou wert distraught and mad with terror?
- Tut, I can counterfeit the deep tragedian;
- Speak and look back, and pry on every side,
- Tremble and start at wagging of a straw,
- Intending deep suspicion: ghastly looks
- Are at my service, like enforced smiles;
- And both are ready in their offices,
- At any time, to grace my stratagems.
- But what, is Catesby gone?
- He is; and, see, he brings the mayor along.
- [Enter the Lord Mayor and CATESBY]
- Lord mayor,--
- Look to the drawbridge there!
- Hark! a drum.
- Catesby, o'erlook the walls.
- Lord mayor, the reason we have sent--
- Look back, defend thee, here are enemies.
- God and our innocency defend and guard us!
- Be patient, they are friends, Ratcliff and Lovel.
- [Enter LOVEL and RATCLIFF, with HASTINGS' head]
- Here is the head of that ignoble traitor,
- The dangerous and unsuspected Hastings.
- So dear I loved the man, that I must weep.
- I took him for the plainest harmless creature
- That breathed upon this earth a Christian;
- Made him my book wherein my soul recorded
- The history of all her secret thoughts:
- So smooth he daub'd his vice with show of virtue,
- That, his apparent open guilt omitted,
- I mean, his conversation with Shore's wife,
- He lived from all attainder of suspect.
- Well, well, he was the covert'st shelter'd traitor
- That ever lived.
- Would you imagine, or almost believe,
- Were't not that, by great preservation,
- We live to tell it you, the subtle traitor
- This day had plotted, in the council-house
- To murder me and my good Lord of Gloucester?
- LORD MAYOR
- What, had he so?
- What, think You we are Turks or infidels?
- Or that we would, against the form of law,
- Proceed thus rashly to the villain's death,
- But that the extreme peril of the case,
- The peace of England and our persons' safety,
- Enforced us to this execution?
- LORD MAYOR
- Now, fair befall you! he deserved his death;
- And you my good lords, both have well proceeded,
- To warn false traitors from the like attempts.
- I never look'd for better at his hands,
- After he once fell in with Mistress Shore.
- Yet had not we determined he should die,
- Until your lordship came to see his death;
- Which now the loving haste of these our friends,
- Somewhat against our meaning, have prevented:
- Because, my lord, we would have had you heard
- The traitor speak, and timorously confess
- The manner and the purpose of his treason;
- That you might well have signified the same
- Unto the citizens, who haply may
- Misconstrue us in him and wail his death.
- LORD MAYOR
- But, my good lord, your grace's word shall serve,
- As well as I had seen and heard him speak
- And doubt you not, right noble princes both,
- But I'll acquaint our duteous citizens
- With all your just proceedings in this cause.
- And to that end we wish'd your lord-ship here,
- To avoid the carping censures of the world.
- But since you come too late of our intents,
- Yet witness what you hear we did intend:
- And so, my good lord mayor, we bid farewell.
- [Exit Lord Mayor]
- Go, after, after, cousin Buckingham.
- The mayor towards Guildhall hies him in all post:
- There, at your meet'st advantage of the time,
- Infer the bastardy of Edward's children:
- Tell them how Edward put to death a citizen,
- Only for saying he would make his son
- Heir to the crown; meaning indeed his house,
- Which, by the sign thereof was termed so.
- Moreover, urge his hateful luxury
- And bestial appetite in change of lust;
- Which stretched to their servants, daughters, wives,
- Even where his lustful eye or savage heart,
- Without control, listed to make his prey.
- Nay, for a need, thus far come near my person:
- Tell them, when that my mother went with child
- Of that unsatiate Edward, noble York
- My princely father then had wars in France
- And, by just computation of the time,
- Found that the issue was not his begot;
- Which well appeared in his lineaments,
- Being nothing like the noble duke my father:
- But touch this sparingly, as 'twere far off,
- Because you know, my lord, my mother lives.
- Fear not, my lord, I'll play the orator
- As if the golden fee for which I plead
- Were for myself: and so, my lord, adieu.
- If you thrive well, bring them to Baynard's Castle;
- Where you shall find me well accompanied
- With reverend fathers and well-learned bishops.
- I go: and towards three or four o'clock
- Look for the news that the Guildhall affords.
- [Exit BUCKINGHAM]
- Go, Lovel, with all speed to Doctor Shaw;
- [To CATESBY]
- Go thou to Friar Penker; bid them both
- Meet me within this hour at Baynard's Castle.
- [Exeunt all but GLOUCESTER]
- Now will I in, to take some privy order,
- To draw the brats of Clarence out of sight;
- And to give notice, that no manner of person
- At any time have recourse unto the princes.