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Q. Eliz. O, no, my reasons are too deep and dead;Too deep and dead, poor infants, in their graves. K. Rich. Harp not on that string, madam; that is
past. Q. Eliz. Harp on it still shall I, till heart-strings
break. K. Rich. Now, by my George, my garter, and my
crown, Q. Eliz. Profan'd, dishonour'd, and the third usurp'd. K. Rich. I swear.
Q. Eliz. By nothing; for this is no oath.
Thy George, profan’d, hath lost his holy honour;
Thy garter, blemish’d, pawn'd his knightly virtue ;
Thy crown, usurp'd, disgrac'd his kingly glory:
If something thou would'st swear to be believ'd,
Swear then by something, that thou hast not wrong’d.
K. Rich. Now by the world,
Q. Eliz. 'Tis full of thy foul wrongs.
K. Rich. My father's death,
Q. Eliz. Thy life hath that dishonour'd.
K. Rich. Then, by myself,-
Q. Eliz. Thyself is self-misus’d.
K. Rich. Why then, by God,
Q. Eliz. God's wrong is most of all.
If thou had'st fear'd to break an oath by him,
The unity, the king thy brother made,
Had not been broken, nor my brother slain.
If thou had'st fear'd to break an oath by him,
The imperial metal, circling now thy head,
Had grac'd the tender temples of my child;
And both the princes had been breathing here,
Which now, two tender bed-fellows for dust,
Thy broken faith hath made
for worms. What canst thou swear by now?
K. Rich. By the time to come.
Q. Eliz. That thou hast wronged in the time o'er-
For I myself have many tears to wash
Hereafter time, for time past, wrong’d by thee.
The children live, whose parents thou hast slaughter'd,
Ungovern’d youth, to wail it in their age:
The parents live, whose children thou hast butcher'd,
Old barren plants, to wail it with their age.
Swear not by time to come; for that thou hast
Misus'd ere used, by times ill-us'd o'er past.
K. Rich. As I intend to prosper, and repent!
So thrive I in my dangerous attempt
Of hostile arms! myself myself confound !
Heaven, and fortune, bar me happy hours !
Day, yield me not thy light; nor, night, thy rest!
Be opposite all planets of good luck
Το my proceeding, if, with pure heart's love,
Immaculate devotion, holy thoughts,
I tender not thy beauteous princely daughter !
In her consists my happiness, and thine;
Without her, follows to myself, and thee,
Herself, the land, and many a christian soul,
Death, desolation, ruin, and decay:
It cannot be avoided, but by this;
It will not be avoided, but by this.
Therefore, dear mother, (I must call you so,)
Be the attorney of my love to her.
Plead what I will be, not what I have been;
Not my deserts, but what I will deserve:
Urge the necessity and state of times,
And be not peevish found in great designs.
Q. Eliz. Shall I be tempted of the devil thus?
K. Rich. Ay, if the devil tempt thee to do good.
Q. Eliz. Shall I forget myself, to be myself?
K. Rich. Ay, if your self's remembrance wrong your-
Q. Eliz. But thou didst kill my children.
K. Rich. But in your daughter's womb I bury them:
Where, in that nest of spicery, they shall breed
Selves of themselves, to your recomforture.
Q. Eliz. Shall I go win my daughter to thy will?]
K. Rich. And be a happy mother by the deed.
Q. Eliz. I go.-Write to me very shortly,
And you shall understand from me her mind. .
K. Rich. Bear ber my true love's kiss, and so fare-
[Kissing her. Exit Q. ELIZABETH. Relenting fool, and shallow, changing-woman! How now? what news?
Enter RATCLIFF; Catesby following:
Rat. Most mighty sovereign, on the western coast
Rideth a puissant navy; to the shore
Throng many doubtful hollow-hearted friends,
Unarm’d, and unresolv'd to beat them back :
'Tis thought, that Richmond is their admiral ;
And there they hull, expecting but the aid
Of Buckingham, to welcome them ashore.
K. Rich. Some light-foot friend post to the duke of
Ratcliff, thyself,—or Catesby; where is he?
Cate. Here, my good lord.
K. Rich. Catesby, fly to the duke.
Cate. I will, my lord, with all convenient haste.
K. Rich. Ratcliff, come hither: Post to Salisbury;
When thou com'st thither,-Dull unmindful villain,
[To Catesby. Why stay'st thou here, and go'st not to the duke? Cate. First, mighty liege, tell me your highness' plea
What from your grace I shall deliver to him.
K. Rich. O, true, good Catesby ;-Bid him levy
The greatest strength and power he can make,
And meet me suddenly at Salisbury.
[Exit. Rat. What, may it please you, shall I do at Salis
K. Rich. Why, what would'st thou do there, before
Rat. Your highness told me, I should post before.
K. Rich. My mind is chang'd.--Stanley, what news
Stan. None good, my liege, to please you with the
Nor none so bad, but well may be reported.
K. Rich. Heyday, a riddle! neither good nor bad !
What need'st thou run so many miles about,
When thou may’st tell thy tale the nearest way?
more, what news?
Stan. Richmond is on the seas.
K. Rich. There let him sink, and be the seas on him! White liver'd runagate, what doth he there?
Stan. I know not, mighty sovereign, but by guess.
K. Rich. Well, as you guess ?
Stan. Stirr'd up by Dorset, Buckingham, and Mor-
He makes for England, here to claim the crown.
K. Rich. Is the chair empty ? is the sword unsway'd ? Is the king dead! the empire un possess'd? What heir of York is there alive, but we? And who is England's king, but great York's heir ? Then, tell me, what makes he upon the seas?
Stan. Unless for that, my liege, I cannot guess.
K. Rich. Unless for that he comes to be your liege, You cannot guess wherefore the Welshman comes. Thou wilt revolt, and fly to him, I fear.
Stan. No, mighty liege; therefore mistrust me not.
K. Rich. Where is thy power then, to beat him back ? Where be thy tenants, and thy followers ? Are they not now upon the western shore, Safe-conducting the rebels from their ships ?
Stan. No, my good lord, my friends are in the north. K. Rich. Cold friends to me: What do they in the
north, When they should serve their sovereign in the west?
Stan. They have not been commanded, mighty king: Pleaseth your majesty to give me leave, I'll muster up my friends; and meet your grace, Where, and what time, your majesty shall please. K. Rich, Ay, ay, thou wouldst be gone to join with
Richmond:. I will not trust you, sir.