William Shakespeare: Richard III, Act IV, Scene II
Sennet. Enter King Richard III, in pomp, crowned; Buckingham, Catesby, a page, and others
Here he ascendeth his throne
And thy assistance, is King Richard seated;
But shall we wear these honours for a day?
Or shall they last, and we rejoice in them?
To try if thou be current gold indeed
Young Edward lives: think now what I would say.
That Edward still should live! 'True, noble prince!'
Cousin, thou wert not wont to be so dull:
Shall I be plain? I wish the bastards dead;
And I would have it suddenly perform'd.
What sayest thou? speak suddenly; be brief.
Say, have I thy consent that they shall die?
Before I positively herein:
I will resolve your grace immediately.
And unrespective boys: none are for me
That look into me with considerate eyes:
High-reaching Buckingham grows circumspect.
Whose humble means match not his haughty mind:
Gold were as good as twenty orators,
And will, no doubt, tempt him to any thing.
No more shall be the neighbour to my counsel:
Hath he so long held out with me untired,
And stops he now for breath?
To Richmond, in those parts beyond the sea
Where he abides.
That Anne, my wife, is sick and like to die:
I will take order for her keeping close.
Inquire me out some mean-born 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 wife is sick and like to die:
About it; for it stands me much upon,
To stop all hopes whose growth may damage me.
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
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.
Go, by this token: rise, and lend thine ear:
And I will love thee, and prefer thee too.
For which your honour and your faith is pawn'd;
The earldom of Hereford and the moveables
The which you promised I should possess.
Did prophesy that Richmond should be king,
When Richmond was a little peevish boy.
A king, perhaps, perhaps,—
Have told me, I being by, that I should kill him?
The mayor in courtesy show'd me the castle,
And call'd it Rougemont: at which name I started,
Because a bard of Ireland told me once
I should not live long after I saw Richmond.
Betwixt thy begging and my meditation.
I am not in the giving vein to-day.
Exeunt all but Buckingham
With such deep contempt made I him king for this?
O, let me think on Hastings, and be gone
To Brecknock, while my fearful head is on!