Reference > William Shakespeare > The Oxford Shakespeare > Richard III.
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William Shakespeare (1564–1616).  The Oxford Shakespeare.  1914.
 
The Tragedy of King Richard the Third
 
Act III. Scene I.
 
The Same.  A Street.
 
The Trumpets sound.  Enter the PRINCE OF WALES, GLOUCESTER, BUCKINGHAM, CATESBY, CARDINAL BOURCHIER, and Others.
  Buck.  Welcome, sweet prince, to London, to your chamber.
  Glo.  Welcome, dear cousin, my thoughts’ sovereign;
The weary way hath made you melancholy.        5
  Prince.  No, uncle; but our crosses on the way
Have made it tedious, wearisome, and heavy:
I want more uncles here to welcome me.
  Glo.  Sweet prince, the untainted virtue of your years
Hath not yet div’d into the world’s deceit:        10
No 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,        15
But look’d not on the poison of their hearts:
God keep you from them, and from such false friends!
  Prince.  God keep me from false friends! but they were none.
  Glo.  My lord, the Mayor of London comes to greet you.
 
Enter the Lord Mayor and his Train.
        20
  May.  God bless your Grace with health and happy days!
  Prince.  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        25
To tell us whether they will come or no.
 
Enter HASTINGS.
  Buck.  And in good time here comes the sweating lord.
  Prince.  Welcome, my lord. What, will our mother come?
  Hast.  On what occasion, God he knows, not I,        30
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.
  Buck.  Fie! what an indirect and peevish course        35
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.        40
  Card.  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        45
Of blessed sanctuary! not for all this land
Would I be guilty of so great a sin.
  Buck.  You are too senseless-obstinate, my lord,
Too ceremonious and traditional:
Weigh it but with the grossness of this age,        50
You break not sanctuary in seizing him.
The benefit thereof is always granted
To those whose dealings have deserv’d the place
And those who have the wit to claim the place:
This prince hath neither claim’d it, nor deserv’d it;        55
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.        60
  Card.  My lord, you shall o’er-rule my mind for once.
Come on, Lord Hastings, will you go with me?
  Hast.  I go, my lord.
  Prince.  Good lords, make all the speedy haste you may.  [Exeunt CARDINAL BOURCHIER and HASTINGS.
Say, uncle Gloucester, if our brother come,        65
Where shall we sojourn till our coronation?
  Glo.  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        70
For your best health and recreation.
  Prince.  I do not like the Tower, of any place:
Did Julius Cæsar build that place, my lord?
  Buck.  He did, my gracious lord, begin that place,
Which, since, succeeding ages have re-edified.        75
  Prince.  Is it upon record, or else reported
Successively from age to age, he built it?
  Buck.  Upon record, my gracious lord.
  Prince.  But say, my lord, it were not register’d,
Methinks the truth should live from age to age,        80
As ’twere retail’d to all posterity,
Even to the general all-ending day.
  Glo.  [Aside.]  So wise so young, they say, do never live long.
  Prince.  What say you, uncle?
  Glo.  I say, without characters, fame lives long.        85
[Aside.]  Thus, like the formal Vice, Iniquity,
I moralize two meanings in one word.
  Prince.  That Julius Cæsar was a famous man;
With what his valour did enrich his wit,
His wit set down to make his valour live:        90
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,—
  Buck.  What, my gracious lord?
  Prince.  An if I live until I be a man,        95
I’ll win our ancient right in France again,
Or die a soldier, as I liv’d a king.
  Glo.  [Aside.]  Short summers lightly have a forward spring.
 
Enter YORK, HASTINGS, and CARDINAL BOURCHIER.
  Buck.  Now, in good time, here comes the Duke of York.        100
  Prince.  Richard of York! how fares our loving brother?
  York.  Well, my dread lord; so must I call you now.
  Prince.  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.        105
  Glo.  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.
  Glo.  He hath, my lord.        110
  York.        And therefore is he idle?
  Glo.  O, my fair cousin, I must not say so.
  York.  Then he is more beholding to you than I.
  Glo.  He may command me as my sovereign;
But you have power in me as in a kinsman.        115
  York.  I pray you, uncle, give me this dagger.
  Glo.  My dagger, little cousin? with all my heart.
  Prince.  A beggar, brother?
  York.  Of my kind uncle, that I know will give;
And, being but a toy, which is no grief to give.        120
  Glo.  A greater gift than that I’ll give my cousin.
  York.  A greater gift! O, that’s the sword to it.
  Glo.  Ay, gentle cousin, were it light enough.
  York.  O, then, I see, you’ll part but with light gifts;
In weightier things you’ll say a beggar nay.        125
  Glo.  It is too weighty for your Grace to wear.
  York.  I weigh it lightly, were it heavier.
  Glo.  What! would you have my weapon, little lord?
  York.  I would, that I might thank you, as you call me.
  Glo.  How?        130
  York.  Little.
  Prince.  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.        135
Because that I am little, like an ape,
He thinks that you should bear me on your shoulders.
  Buck.  With what a sharp provided wit he reasons!
To mitigate the scorn he gives his uncle,
He prettily and aptly taunts himself:        140
So cunning and so young is wonderful.
  Glo.  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.        145
  York.  What! will you go unto the Tower, my lord?
  Prince.  My Lord Protector needs will have it so.
  York.  I shall not sleep in quiet at the Tower.
  Glo.  Why, what would you fear?
  York.  Marry, my uncle Clarence’ angry ghost:        150
My grandam told me he was murder’d there.
  Prince.  I fear no uncles dead.
  Glo.  Nor none that live, I hope.
  Prince.  An if they live, I hope, I need not fear.
But come, my lord; and, with a heavy heart,        155
Thinking on them, go I unto the Tower.  [Sennet.  Exeunt all but GLOUCESTER, BUCKINGHAM, and CATESBY.
  Buck.  Think you, my lord, this little prating York
Was not incensed by his subtle mother
To taunt and scorn you thus opprobriously?
  Glo.  No doubt, no doubt: O! ’tis a parlous boy;        160
Bold, quick, ingenious, forward, capable:
He’s all the mother’s, from the top to toe.
  Buck.  Well, let them rest. Come hither, Catesby; thou art sworn
As deeply to effect what we intend
As closely to conceal what we impart.        165
Thou know’st our reasons urg’d 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?        170
  Cate.  He for his father’s sake so loves the prince
That he will not be won to aught against him.
  Buck.  What think’st thou then of Stanley? what will he?
  Cate.  He will do all in all as Hastings doth.
  Buck.  Well then, no more but this: go, gentle Catesby,        175
And, as it were far off, sound thou Lord Hastings,
How he doth 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,        180
Encourage him, and tell him all our reasons:
If he be leaden, icy-cold, unwilling,
Be thou so too, and so break off the talk,
And give us notice of his inclination;
For we to-morrow hold divided councils,        185
Wherein thyself shalt highly be employ’d.
  Glo.  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 lord, for joy of this good news,        190
Give Mistress Shore one gentle kiss the more.
  Buck.  Good Catesby, go, effect this business soundly.
  Cate.  My good lords both, with all the heed I can.
  Glo.  Shall we hear from you, Catesby, ere we sleep?
  Cate.  You shall, my lord.        195
  Glo.  At Crosby-place, there shall you find us both.  [Exit CATESBY.
  Buck.  Now, my lord, what shall we do if we perceive
Lord Hastings will not yield to our complots?
  Glo.  Chop off his head; something we will determine:
And, look, when I am king, claim thou of me        200
The earldom of Hereford, and all the moveables
Whereof the king my brother stood possess’d.
  Buck.  I’ll claim that promise at your Grace’s hand.
  Glo.  And look to have it yielded with all kindness.
Come, let us sup betimes, that afterwards        205
We may digest our complots in some form.  [Exeunt.
 
 
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