previous next


The same.

The tyrannous and bloody deed is done,

The most arch act of piteous massacre

That ever yet this land was guilty of.

Dighton and Forrest, whom I did suborn

To do this ruthless piece of butchery,

Although they were flesh'd villains, bloody dogs,

Melting with tenderness and kind compassion

Wept like two children in their deaths' sad stories.

'Lo, thus,' quoth Dighton, 'lay those tender babes:' (10)

'Thus, thus," quoth Forrest, 'girdling one another

Within their innocent alabaster arms:

Their lips were four red roses on a stalk,

Which in their summer beauty kiss'd each other.

A book of prayers on their pillow lay;

Which once,' quoth Forrest, 'almost changed my mind;

But O! the devil'--there the villain stopp'd:

Whilst Dighton thus told on: 'We smothered

The most replenished sweet work of nature,

That from the prime creation e'er she framed.' (20)

Thus both are gone with conscience and remorse;

They could not speak; and so I left them both,

To bring this tidings to the bloody king.

And here he comes. Enter KING RICHARD.

All hail, my sovereign liege!

K. Rich.
Kind Tyrrel, am I happy in thy news?

If to have done the thing you gave in charge

Beget your happiness, be happy then,

For it is done, my lord.

K. Rich.
But didst thou see them dead?

I did, my lord.

K. Rich.
And buried, gentle Tyrrel?

The chaplain of the Tower hath buried them; (30)

But how or in what place I do not know.

K. Rich.
Come to me, Tyrrel, soon at after supper,

And thou shalt tell the process of their death.

Meantime, but think how I may do thee good,

And be inheritor of thy desire.

Farewell till soon. [Exit Tyrrel.

The son of Clarence have I pent up close;

His daughter meanly have I match'd in marriage;

The sons of Edward sleep in Abraham's bosom,

And Anne my wife hath bid the world good night.

Now, for I know the Breton Richmond aims (41)

At young Elizabeth, my brother's daughter,

And, by that knot, looks proudly o'er the crown,

To her I go, a jolly thriving wooer. Enter CATESBY.

My lord!

K. Rich.
Good news or bad, that thou comest in so bluntly?

Bad news, my lord: Ely is fled to Richmond;

And Buckingham, back'd with the hardy Welshmen,

Is in the field, and still his power increaseth. (49)

K. Rich.
Ely with Richmond troubles me more near

Than Buckingham and his rash-levied army.

Come, I have heard that fearful commenting

Is leaden servitor to dull delay;

Delay leads impotent and snail-paced beggary:

Then fiery expedition be my wing,

Jove's Mercury, and herald for a king!

Come, muster men: my counsel is my shield;

We must be brief when traitors brave the field. [Exeunt.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: