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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.
K. Rich. Now by the world,
'Tis full of thy foul wrongs. K. Rich. My father's death, Q. Eliz.
Thy life hath that dishonour'd. Ř. Rich. Then, by myself,— Q. Eliz.
Thyself is self-mis-us'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 a prey 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
past; For I myself have many tears to wash Hereafter time, for time past, wrong'd by thee. The children live, whose parents thou hastslaughter'd.
Ungovern'd' youth, to wail it in their age:
K. Rich. As I intend to prosper, and repent!
Q. Eliz. Shall I be tempted of the devil thus?
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 her my true love's kiss, and so
[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 Norfolk :-
Cate. Here, my good lord.
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'
pleasure, What from your grace I shall deliver to him.
-changing-woman!] Such was the real character of this Queen dowager, who would have married her daughter to King Richard, and did all in her power to alienate the Marquis of Dorset, her son, from the earl of Richmond.
? Some light-foot friend, &c.] Richard's precipitation and confusion is in this scene very happily represented by inconsistent orders, and sudden variations of opinion. Johnson. VOL. VII.
K. Rich. O, true, good Catesby ;-—Bid him levy
straight 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
bury? K. Rich. Why, what would'st thou do there, before
Cate. I go.
Rat. Your highness told me, I should post before.
K. Rich. My mind is chang’d.—Stanley, what
news with you? Stan. None good, my liege, to please you with
the hearing; 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? Once more, what news? Stan.
Richmond is on the seas. K. Rich. There let him sink, and be the seas on
Slan. I know not, mighty sovereign, but by guess.
K. Rich. Is the chair empty? Is the sword un
Is the king dead ? the empire unpossess’d?
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. Stan.
Most mighty sovereign, You have no cause to hold my friendship doubtful; I never was, nor never will be false. K. Rich. Well, go, muster men. But, hear you
leave behind Your son, George Stanley; look your heart be firm, Or else his head's assurance is but frail. Stan. So deal with him, as I prove true to you.
[Exit STANLEY. Enter a Messenger. Mess. My gracious sovereign, now in Devonshire, As I by friends am well advertised, Sir Edward Courtney, and the haughty prelate,