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  • Enter KING RICHARD III in arms, with NORFOLK,
    SURREY, and others

  • Here pitch our tents, even here in Bosworth field.
    My Lord of Surrey, why look you so sad?

  • My heart is ten times lighter than my looks.

  • Here, most gracious liege.

  • Norfolk, we must have knocks; ha! must we not?

  • We must both give and take, my gracious lord.

  • Up with my tent there! here will I lie tonight;
    But where to-morrow? Well, all's one for that.
    Who hath descried the number of the foe?

  • Six or seven thousand is their utmost power.

  • Why, our battalion trebles that account:
    Besides, the king's name is a tower of strength,
    Which they upon the adverse party want.
    Up with my tent there! Valiant gentlemen,
    Let us survey the vantage of the field
    Call for some men of sound direction
    Let's want no discipline, make no delay,
    For, lords, to-morrow is a busy day.

  • Enter, on the other side of the field, RICHMOND,
    Sir William Brandon, OXFORD, and others. Some of
    the Soldiers pitch RICHMOND's tent

  • The weary sun hath made a golden set,
    And by the bright track of his fiery car,
    Gives signal, of a goodly day to-morrow.
    Sir William Brandon, you shall bear my standard.
    Give me some ink and paper in my tent
    I'll draw the form and model of our battle,
    Limit each leader to his several charge,
    And part in just proportion our small strength.
    My Lord of Oxford, you, Sir William Brandon,
    And you, Sir Walter Herbert, stay with me.
    The Earl of Pembroke keeps his regiment:
    Good Captain Blunt, bear my good night to him
    And by the second hour in the morning
    Desire the earl to see me in my tent:
    Yet one thing more, good Blunt, before thou go'st,
    Where is Lord Stanley quarter'd, dost thou know?

  • Unless I have mista'en his colours much,
    Which well I am assured I have not done,
    His regiment lies half a mile at least
    South from the mighty power of the king.

  • If without peril it be possible,
    Good Captain Blunt, bear my good-night to him,
    And give him from me this most needful scroll.

  • Upon my life, my lord, I'll under-take it;
    And so, God give you quiet rest to-night!

  • Good night, good Captain Blunt. Come gentlemen,
    Let us consult upon to-morrow's business
    In to our tent; the air is raw and cold.

  • They withdraw into the tent

  • Enter, to his tent, KING RICHARD III, NORFOLK,
    RATCLIFF, CATESBY, and others

  • It's supper-time, my lord;
    It's nine o'clock.

  • I will not sup to-night.
    Give me some ink and paper.
    What, is my beaver easier than it was?
    And all my armour laid into my tent?

  • If is, my liege; and all things are in readiness.

  • Good Norfolk, hie thee to thy charge;
    Use careful watch, choose trusty sentinels.

  • Stir with the lark to-morrow, gentle Norfolk.

  • I warrant you, my lord.

  • Send out a pursuivant at arms
    To Stanley's regiment; bid him bring his power
    Before sunrising, lest his son George fall
    Into the blind cave of eternal night.
    Exit CATESBY
    Fill me a bowl of wine. Give me a watch.
    Saddle white Surrey for the field to-morrow.
    Look that my staves be sound, and not too heavy.

  • Saw'st thou the melancholy Lord Northumberland?

  • Thomas the Earl of Surrey, and himself,
    Much about cock-shut time, from troop to troop
    Went through the army, cheering up the soldiers.

  • So, I am satisfied. Give me a bowl of wine:
    I have not that alacrity of spirit,
    Nor cheer of mind, that I was wont to have.
    Set it down. Is ink and paper ready?

  • Bid my guard watch; leave me.
    Ratcliff, about the mid of night come to my tent
    And help to arm me. Leave me, I say.

  • Exeunt RATCLIFF and the other Attendants

  • Enter DERBY to RICHMOND in his tent, Lords and
    others attending

  • Fortune and victory sit on thy helm!

  • All comfort that the dark night can afford
    Be to thy person, noble father-in-law!
    Tell me, how fares our loving mother?

  • I, by attorney, bless thee from thy mother
    Who prays continually for Richmond's good:
    So much for that. The silent hours steal on,
    And flaky darkness breaks within the east.
    In brief,--for so the season bids us be,--
    Prepare thy battle early in the morning,
    And put thy fortune to the arbitrement
    Of bloody strokes and mortal-staring war.
    I, as I may--that which I would I cannot,--
    With best advantage will deceive the time,
    And aid thee in this doubtful shock of arms:
    But on thy side I may not be too forward
    Lest, being seen, thy brother, tender George,
    Be executed in his father's sight.
    Farewell: the leisure and the fearful time
    Cuts off the ceremonious vows of love
    And ample interchange of sweet discourse,
    Which so long sunder'd friends should dwell upon:
    God give us leisure for these rites of love!
    Once more, adieu: be valiant, and speed well!

  • Good lords, conduct him to his regiment:
    I'll strive, with troubled thoughts, to take a nap,
    Lest leaden slumber peise me down to-morrow,
    When I should mount with wings of victory:
    Once more, good night, kind lords and gentlemen.
    Exeunt all but RICHMOND
    O Thou, whose captain I account myself,
    Look on my forces with a gracious eye;
    Put in their hands thy bruising irons of wrath,
    That they may crush down with a heavy fall
    The usurping helmets of our adversaries!
    Make us thy ministers of chastisement,
    That we may praise thee in the victory!
    To thee I do commend my watchful soul,
    Ere I let fall the windows of mine eyes:
    Sleeping and waking, O, defend me still!

  • Enter the Ghost of Prince Edward, son to King Henry VI

    Let me sit heavy on thy soul to-morrow!
    Think, how thou stab'dst me in my prime of youth
    At Tewksbury: despair, therefore, and die!
    Be cheerful, Richmond; for the wronged souls
    Of butcher'd princes fight in thy behalf
    King Henry's issue, Richmond, comforts thee.

  • Enter the Ghost of King Henry VI

    When I was mortal, my anointed body
    By thee was punched full of deadly holes
    Think on the Tower and me: despair, and die!
    Harry the Sixth bids thee despair, and die!
    Virtuous and holy, be thou conqueror!
    Harry, that prophesied thou shouldst be king,
    Doth comfort thee in thy sleep: live, and flourish!

  • Enter the Ghost of CLARENCE

    Let me sit heavy on thy soul to-morrow!
    I, that was wash'd to death with fulsome wine,
    Poor Clarence, by thy guile betrayed to death!
    To-morrow in the battle think on me,
    And fall thy edgeless sword: despair, and die!--
    Thou offspring of the house of Lancaster
    The wronged heirs of York do pray for thee
    Good angels guard thy battle! live, and flourish!

  • Enter the Ghosts of RIVERS, GRAY, and VAUGHAN

    Let me sit heavy on thy soul to-morrow,
    Rivers. that died at Pomfret! despair, and die!

    Think upon Grey, and let thy soul despair!

    Think upon Vaughan, and, with guilty fear,
    Let fall thy lance: despair, and die!

    Awake, and think our wrongs in Richard's bosom
    Will conquer him! awake, and win the day!

  • Enter the Ghost of HASTINGS

    Bloody and guilty, guiltily awake,
    And in a bloody battle end thy days!
    Think on Lord Hastings: despair, and die!
    Quiet untroubled soul, awake, awake!
    Arm, fight, and conquer, for fair England's sake!

  • Enter the Ghosts of the two young Princes

    Dream on thy cousins smother'd in the Tower:
    Let us be led within thy bosom, Richard,
    And weigh thee down to ruin, shame, and death!
    Thy nephews' souls bid thee despair and die!
    Sleep, Richmond, sleep in peace, and wake in joy;
    Good angels guard thee from the boar's annoy!
    Live, and beget a happy race of kings!
    Edward's unhappy sons do bid thee flourish.

  • Enter the Ghost of LADY ANNE

    Richard, thy wife, that wretched Anne thy wife,
    That never slept a quiet hour with thee,
    Now fills thy sleep with perturbations
    To-morrow in the battle think on me,
    And fall thy edgeless sword: despair, and die!
    Thou quiet soul, sleep thou a quiet sleep
    Dream of success and happy victory!
    Thy adversary's wife doth pray for thee.

  • Enter the Ghost of BUCKINGHAM

    The last was I that helped thee to the crown;
    The last was I that felt thy tyranny:
    O, in the battle think on Buckingham,
    And die in terror of thy guiltiness!
    Dream on, dream on, of bloody deeds and death:
    Fainting, despair; despairing, yield thy breath!
    I died for hope ere I could lend thee aid:
    But cheer thy heart, and be thou not dismay'd:
    God and good angel fight on Richmond's side;
    And Richard falls in height of all his pride.

  • The Ghosts vanish

  • KING RICHARD III starts out of his dream

  • Give me another horse: bind up my wounds.
    Have mercy, Jesu!--Soft! I did but dream.
    O coward conscience, how dost thou afflict me!
    The lights burn blue. It is now dead midnight.
    Cold fearful drops stand on my trembling flesh.
    What do I fear? myself? there's none else by:
    Richard loves Richard; that is, I am I.
    Is there a murderer here? No. Yes, I am:
    Then fly. What, from myself? Great reason why:
    Lest I revenge. What, myself upon myself?
    Alack. I love myself. Wherefore? for any good
    That I myself have done unto myself?
    O, no! alas, I rather hate myself
    For hateful deeds committed by myself!
    I am a villain: yet I lie. I am not.
    Fool, of thyself speak well: fool, do not flatter.
    My conscience hath a thousand several tongues,
    And every tongue brings in a several tale,
    And every tale condemns me for a villain.
    Perjury, perjury, in the high'st degree
    Murder, stem murder, in the direst degree;
    All several sins, all used in each degree,
    Throng to the bar, crying all, Guilty! guilty!
    I shall despair. There is no creature loves me;
    And if I die, no soul shall pity me:
    Nay, wherefore should they, since that I myself
    Find in myself no pity to myself?
    Methought the souls of all that I had murder'd
    Came to my tent; and every one did threat
    To-morrow's vengeance on the head of Richard.

  • Enter RATCLIFF

  • 'Zounds! who is there?

  • Ratcliff, my lord; 'tis I. The early village-cock
    Hath twice done salutation to the morn;
    Your friends are up, and buckle on their armour.

  • O Ratcliff, I have dream'd a fearful dream!
    What thinkest thou, will our friends prove all true?

  • No doubt, my lord.

  • O Ratcliff, I fear, I fear,--

  • Nay, good my lord, be not afraid of shadows.

  • By the apostle Paul, shadows to-night
    Have struck more terror to the soul of Richard
    Than can the substance of ten thousand soldiers
    Armed in proof, and led by shallow Richmond.
    It is not yet near day. Come, go with me;
    Under our tents I'll play the eaves-dropper,
    To see if any mean to shrink from me.

  • Enter the Lords to RICHMOND, sitting in his tent

  • Good morrow, Richmond!

  • Cry mercy, lords and watchful gentlemen,
    That you have ta'en a tardy sluggard here.

  • How have you slept, my lord?

  • The sweetest sleep, and fairest-boding dreams
    That ever enter'd in a drowsy head,
    Have I since your departure had, my lords.
    Methought their souls, whose bodies Richard murder'd,
    Came to my tent, and cried on victory:
    I promise you, my soul is very jocund
    In the remembrance of so fair a dream.
    How far into the morning is it, lords?

  • Upon the stroke of four.

  • Why, then 'tis time to arm and give direction.
    His oration to his soldiers
    More than I have said, loving countrymen,
    The leisure and enforcement of the time
    Forbids to dwell upon: yet remember this,
    God and our good cause fight upon our side;
    The prayers of holy saints and wronged souls,
    Like high-rear'd bulwarks, stand before our faces;
    Richard except, those whom we fight against
    Had rather have us win than him they follow:
    For what is he they follow? truly, gentlemen,
    A bloody tyrant and a homicide;
    One raised in blood, and one in blood establish'd;
    One that made means to come by what he hath,
    And slaughter'd those that were the means to help him;
    Abase foul stone, made precious by the foil
    Of England's chair, where he is falsely set;
    One that hath ever been God's enemy:
    Then, if you fight against God's enemy,
    God will in justice ward you as his soldiers;
    If you do sweat to put a tyrant down,
    You sleep in peace, the tyrant being slain;
    If you do fight against your country's foes,
    Your country's fat shall pay your pains the hire;
    If you do fight in safeguard of your wives,
    Your wives shall welcome home the conquerors;
    If you do free your children from the sword,
    Your children's children quit it in your age.
    Then, in the name of God and all these rights,
    Advance your standards, draw your willing swords.
    For me, the ransom of my bold attempt
    Shall be this cold corpse on the earth's cold face;
    But if I thrive, the gain of my attempt
    The least of you shall share his part thereof.
    Sound drums and trumpets boldly and cheerfully;
    God and Saint George! Richmond and victory!

  • Re-enter KING RICHARD, RATCLIFF, Attendants
    and Forces

  • What said Northumberland as touching Richmond?

  • That he was never trained up in arms.

  • He said the truth: and what said Surrey then?

  • He smiled and said 'The better for our purpose.'

  • He was in the right; and so indeed it is.
    Clock striketh
    Ten the clock there. Give me a calendar.
    Who saw the sun to-day?

  • Then he disdains to shine; for by the book
    He should have braved the east an hour ago
    A black day will it be to somebody. Ratcliff!

  • The sun will not be seen to-day;
    The sky doth frown and lour upon our army.
    I would these dewy tears were from the ground.
    Not shine to-day! Why, what is that to me
    More than to Richmond? for the selfsame heaven
    That frowns on me looks sadly upon him.

  • Enter NORFOLK

  • Arm, arm, my lord; the foe vaunts in the field.

  • Come, bustle, bustle; caparison my horse.
    Call up Lord Stanley, bid him bring his power:
    I will lead forth my soldiers to the plain,
    And thus my battle shall be ordered:
    My foreward shall be drawn out all in length,
    Consisting equally of horse and foot;
    Our archers shall be placed in the midst
    John Duke of Norfolk, Thomas Earl of Surrey,
    Shall have the leading of this foot and horse.
    They thus directed, we will follow
    In the main battle, whose puissance on either side
    Shall be well winged with our chiefest horse.
    This, and Saint George to boot! What think'st thou, Norfolk?

  • A good direction, warlike sovereign.
    This found I on my tent this morning.

  • He sheweth him a paper

  • Reads
    'Jockey of Norfolk, be not too bold,
    For Dickon thy master is bought and sold.'
    A thing devised by the enemy.
    Go, gentleman, every man unto his charge
    Let not our babbling dreams affright our souls:
    Conscience is but a word that cowards use,
    Devised at first to keep the strong in awe:
    Our strong arms be our conscience, swords our law.
    March on, join bravely, let us to't pell-mell
    If not to heaven, then hand in hand to hell.
    His oration to his Army
    What shall I say more than I have inferr'd?
    Remember whom you are to cope withal;
    A sort of vagabonds, rascals, and runaways,
    A scum of Bretons, and base lackey peasants,
    Whom their o'er-cloyed country vomits forth
    To desperate ventures and assured destruction.
    You sleeping safe, they bring to you unrest;
    You having lands, and blest with beauteous wives,
    They would restrain the one, distain the other.
    And who doth lead them but a paltry fellow,
    Long kept in Bretagne at our mother's cost?
    A milk-sop, one that never in his life
    Felt so much cold as over shoes in snow?
    Let's whip these stragglers o'er the seas again;
    Lash hence these overweening rags of France,
    These famish'd beggars, weary of their lives;
    Who, but for dreaming on this fond exploit,
    For want of means, poor rats, had hang'd themselves:
    If we be conquer'd, let men conquer us,
    And not these bastard Bretons; whom our fathers
    Have in their own land beaten, bobb'd, and thump'd,
    And in record, left them the heirs of shame.
    Shall these enjoy our lands? lie with our wives?
    Ravish our daughters?
    Drum afar off
    Hark! I hear their drum.
    Fight, gentlemen of England! fight, bold yoemen!
    Draw, archers, draw your arrows to the head!
    Spur your proud horses hard, and ride in blood;
    Amaze the welkin with your broken staves!
    Enter a Messenger
    What says Lord Stanley? will he bring his power?

  • My lord, he doth deny to come.

  • Off with his son George's head!

  • My lord, the enemy is past the marsh
    After the battle let George Stanley die.

  • A thousand hearts are great within my bosom:
    Advance our standards, set upon our foes
    Our ancient word of courage, fair Saint George,
    Inspire us with the spleen of fiery dragons!
    Upon them! victory sits on our helms.