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Act III

Scene I

London. A street

The trumpets sound. Enter the young Prince Edward, include("$IP_TMPL_DIR/pretitle.php");?>William Shakespeare: Richard III, Act III | Infoplease.com

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Act III

Scene I

London. A street

The trumpets sound. Enter the young Prince Edward, Gloucester, Buckingham, Cardinal, Catesby, and others

Buckingham

Welcome, sweet prince, to London, to your chamber.

Gloucester

Welcome, dear cousin, my thoughts' sovereign
The weary way hath made you melancholy.

Prince Edward

No, uncle; but our crosses on the way
Have made it tedious, wearisome, and heavy
I want more uncles here to welcome me.

Gloucester

Sweet prince, the untainted virtue of your years
Hath not yet dived into the world's deceit
Nor more can you distinguish of a man
Than of his outward show; which, God he knows,
Seldom or never jumpeth with the heart.
Those uncles which you want were dangerous;
Your grace attended to their sugar'd words,
But look'd not on the poison of their hearts :
God keep you from them, and from such false friends!

Prince Edward

God keep me from false friends! but they were none.

Gloucester

My lord, the mayor of London comes to greet you.

Enter the Lord Mayor and his train

Lord Mayor

God bless your grace with health and happy days!

Prince Edward

I thank you, good my lord; and thank you all.
I thought my mother, and my brother York,
Would long ere this have met us on the way
Fie, what a slug is Hastings, that he comes not
To tell us whether they will come or no!

Enter Hastings

Buckingham

And, in good time, here comes the sweating lord.

Prince Edward

Welcome, my lord: what, will our mother come?

Hastings

On what occasion, God he knows, not I,
The queen your mother, and your brother York,
Have taken sanctuary: the tender prince
Would fain have come with me to meet your grace,
But by his mother was perforce withheld.

Buckingham

Fie, what an indirect and peevish course
Is this of hers! Lord cardinal, will your grace
Persuade the queen to send the Duke of York
Unto his princely brother presently?
If she deny, Lord Hastings, go with him,
And from her jealous arms pluck him perforce.

Cardinal

My Lord of Buckingham, if my weak oratory
Can from his mother win the Duke of York,
Anon expect him here; but if she be obdurate
To mild entreaties, God in heaven forbid
We should infringe the holy privilege
Of blessed sanctuary! not for all this land
Would I be guilty of so deep a sin.

Buckingham

You are too senseless—obstinate, my lord,
Too ceremonious and traditional
Weigh it but with the grossness of this age,
You break not sanctuary in seizing him.
The benefit thereof is always granted
To those whose dealings have deserved the place,
And those who have the wit to claim the place:
This prince hath neither claim'd it nor deserved it;
And therefore, in mine opinion, cannot have it:
Then, taking him from thence that is not there,
You break no privilege nor charter there.
Oft have I heard of sanctuary men;
But sanctuary children ne'er till now.

Cardinal

My lord, you shall o'er-rule my mind for once.
Come on, Lord Hastings, will you go with me?

Hastings

I go, my lord.

Prince Edward

Good lords, make all the speedy haste you may.

Exeunt Cardinal and Hastings

Say, uncle Gloucester, if our brother come,
Where shall we sojourn till our coronation?

Gloucester

Where it seems best unto your royal self.
If I may counsel you, some day or two
Your highness shall repose you at the Tower:
Then where you please, and shall be thought most fit
For your best health and recreation.

Prince Edward

I do not like the Tower, of any place.
Did Julius Caesar build that place, my lord?

Buckingham

He did, my gracious lord, begin that place;
Which, since, succeeding ages have re-edified.

Prince Edward

Is it upon record, or else reported
Successively from age to age, he built it?

Buckingham

Upon record, my gracious lord.

Prince Edward

But say, my lord, it were not register'd,
Methinks the truth should live from age to age,
As 'twere retail'd to all posterity,
Even to the general all-ending day.

Gloucester

Aside

So wise so young, they say, do never live long.

Prince Edward

What say you, uncle?

Gloucester

I say, without characters, fame lives long.

Aside

Thus, like the formal vice, Iniquity,
I moralize two meanings in one word.

Prince Edward

That Julius Caesar was a famous man;
With what his valour did enrich his wit,
His wit set down to make his valour live
Death makes no conquest of this conqueror;
For now he lives in fame, though not in life.
I'll tell you what, my cousin Buckingham,—

Buckingham

What, my gracious lord?

Prince Edward

An if I live until I be a man,
I'll win our ancient right in France again,
Or die a soldier, as I lived a king.

Gloucester

Aside

Short summers lightly have a forward spring.

Enter young York, Hastings, and the Cardinal

Buckingham

Now, in good time, here comes the Duke of York.

Prince Edward

Richard of York! how fares our loving brother?

York

Well, my dread lord; so must I call you now.

Prince Edward

Ay, brother, to our grief, as it is yours:
Too late he died that might have kept that title,
Which by his death hath lost much majesty.

Gloucester

How fares our cousin, noble Lord of York?

York

I thank you, gentle uncle. O, my lord,
You said that idle weeds are fast in growth
The prince my brother hath outgrown me far.

Gloucester

He hath, my lord.

York

And therefore is he idle?

Gloucester

O, my fair cousin, I must not say so.

York

Then is he more beholding to you than I.

Gloucester

He may command me as my sovereign;
But you have power in me as in a kinsman.

York

I pray you, uncle, give me this dagger.

Gloucester

My dagger, little cousin? with all my heart.

Prince Edward

A beggar, brother?

York

Of my kind uncle, that I know will give;
And being but a toy, which is no grief to give.

Gloucester

A greater gift than that I'll give my cousin.

York

A greater gift! O, that's the sword to it.

Gloucester

A gentle cousin, were it light enough.

York

O, then, I see, you will part but with light gifts;
In weightier things you'll say a beggar nay.

Gloucester

It is too heavy for your grace to wear.

York

I weigh it lightly, were it heavier.

Gloucester

What, would you have my weapon, little lord?

York

I would, that I might thank you as you call me.

Gloucester

How?

York

Little.

Prince Edward

My Lord of York will still be cross in talk:
Uncle, your grace knows how to bear with him.

York

You mean, to bear me, not to bear with me:
Uncle, my brother mocks both you and me;
Because that I am little, like an ape,
He thinks that you should bear me on your shoulders.

Buckingham

With what a sharp-provided wit he reasons!
To mitigate the scorn he gives his uncle,
He prettily and aptly taunts himself:
So cunning and so young is wonderful.

Gloucester

My lord, will't please you pass along?
Myself and my good cousin Buckingham
Will to your mother, to entreat of her
To meet you at the Tower and welcome you.

York

What, will you go unto the Tower, my lord?

Prince Edward

My lord protector needs will have it so.

York

I shall not sleep in quiet at the Tower.

Gloucester

Why, what should you fear?

York

Marry, my uncle Clarence' angry ghost:
My grandam told me he was murdered there.

Prince Edward

I fear no uncles dead.

Gloucester

Nor none that live, I hope.

Prince Edward

An if they live, I hope I need not fear.
But come, my lord; and with a heavy heart,
Thinking on them, go I unto the Tower.

A Sennet. Exeunt all but Gloucester, Buckingham and Catesby

Buckingham

Think you, my lord, this little prating York
Was not incensed by his subtle mother
To taunt and scorn you thus opprobriously?

Gloucester

No doubt, no doubt; O, 'tis a parlous boy;
Bold, quick, ingenious, forward, capable
He is all the mother's, from the top to toe.

Buckingham

Well, let them rest. Come hither, Catesby.
Thou art sworn as deeply to effect what we intend
As closely to conceal what we impart:
Thou know'st our reasons urged upon the way;
What think'st thou? is it not an easy matter
To make William Lord Hastings of our mind,
For the instalment of this noble duke
In the seat royal of this famous isle?

Catesby

He for his father's sake so loves the prince,
That he will not be won to aught against him.

Buckingham

What think'st thou, then, of Stanley? what will he?

Catesby

He will do all in all as Hastings doth.

Buckingham

Well, then, no more but this: go, gentle Catesby,
And, as it were far off sound thou Lord Hastings,
How doth he stand affected to our purpose;
And summon him to-morrow to the Tower,
To sit about the coronation.
If thou dost find him tractable to us,
Encourage him, and show him all our reasons:
If he be leaden, icy-cold, unwilling,
Be thou so too; and so break off your talk,
And give us notice of his inclination:
For we to-morrow hold divided councils,
Wherein thyself shalt highly be employ'd.

Gloucester

Commend me to Lord William: tell him, Catesby,
His ancient knot of dangerous adversaries
To-morrow are let blood at Pomfret-castle;
And bid my friend, for joy of this good news,
Give mistress Shore one gentle kiss the more.

Buckingham

Good Catesby, go, effect this business soundly.

Catesby

My good lords both, with all the heed I may.

Gloucester

Shall we hear from you, Catesby, ere we sleep?

Catesby

You shall, my lord.

Gloucester

At Crosby Place, there shall you find us both.

Exit Catesby

Buckingham

Now, my lord, what shall we do, if we perceive
Lord Hastings will not yield to our complots?

Gloucester

Chop off his head, man; somewhat we will do:
And, look, when I am king, claim thou of me
The earldom of Hereford, and the moveables
Whereof the king my brother stood possess'd.

Buckingham

I'll claim that promise at your grace's hands.

Gloucester

And look to have it yielded with all willingness.
Come, let us sup betimes, that afterwards
We may digest our complots in some form.

Exeunt

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