Page images
PDF
EPUB

SCENE IV.

Bosworth Field.

Enter GLOSTER, RATCLIFF, NORFOLK, and

CATESBY.

Glost. Catesby!
Catesby. Here, my lord.

Glost. Send out a pursuivant at arms
To Stanley's regiment-bid him, 'fore sun-rise,
Meet me with his power, or young George's head
Shall pay the forfeit of his cold delay.
What, is my beaver easier than it was,
And all my armour laid into my tent?

Catesby. It is, my liege, all in readiness.

Glost. Good Norfolk, hie thee to thy charge!
Use careful watch-chuse trusty centinels.

Nor. Doubt not, my lord.
Glost. Be stirring with the lark, good Norfolk!
Nor. I shall, my lord.

[Exit. Glost. Saddle White Surry for the field, to-mor

row.

Is ink and paper ready?

Catesby. It is, my lord.

Glost. An hour after midnight, come to my tent, And help to arm me.--A good night, my friends.

Erit. Catesby. Methinks, the king has not that pleas'd

alacrity, Nor cheer of mind, that he was wont to have.

Ratcliff. The mere effect of business ; You'll find him, sir, another man, i' th' field.

When

you

shall see him with his beaver up, Ready to mount his neighing steed, with whom He smiling seems to have some wanton talk, Clapping his pamper'd sides to hold him still; Then, with a motion swift and light as air, Like fiery Mars, he vaults him to the saddle; Looks terror to the foe, and courage to his soldiers. Catesby. Good night to Richmond, then; for, as I

hear, His numbers are so few, and those so sick, And famish'd in their march, if he dares fight usHe jumps into the sea to cool his fever. But come, 'tis late-Now let us to our tents; We've few hours good, before the trumpet wakes us.

[Exeunt.

SCENE V.

Gloster's Tent, in another Part of the Field.

Enter GLOSTER, from his Tent. Glost. 'Tis now the dead of night, and half the

world Is in a lonely solemn darkness hung; Yet I, (so coy a dame is sleep to me) With all the weary courtship of My care tir'd thoughts, can't win her to my bed; Though ev'n the stars do wink, as 'twere with over

watching: I'll forth, and walk a while the air's refreshing, And the ripe harvest of the new-mown hay Gives it. a sweet and wholesome odour. How awful is this gloom!—and, hark! from camp to

camp,

[ocr errors]

The hum of either army stilly sounds,
That the fix'd centinels almost receive
The secret whispers of each other's watch;
Steed threatens steed, in high and boastful neighings,
Piercing the night's dull ear -Hark! from the tents
The armourers accomplishing the knights,
With clink of hammer, closing rivets up,
Give dreadful note of preparation; while some,
Like sacrifices, by their fires of watch,
With patience sit, and inly ruminate
The morning's danger-By yon heav'n, my stern
Impatience chides this tardy-gaited night,
Who, like a foul and ugly witch, does limp
So tediously away—I'll to my couch,
And once more try to sleep her into morning.

*[Lies down ; a Groan is heard. Ha! what means that dismal voice? sure 'tis The echo of some yawning grave, That teems with an untimely ghost-'tis gone! 'Twas but my fancy, or perhaps the wind, Forcing his entrance through some hollow cavern. No matter what I feel my eyes grow heavy. [Sleeps.

King HENRY's Ghost rises.
K. Hen. Oh! thou, whose unrelenting thoughts,

not all
The hideous terrors of thy guilt can shake,
Whose conscience with thy body ever sleeps,
Sleep on; while I, by Heav'n's high ordinance,
In dreams of horror wake thy frightful soul :
Now give thy thoughts to me; let them behold
These gaping wounds, which thy death-dealing hand,
Within the Tower, gave my anointed body:
Now shall thy own devouring conscience gnaw
Thy heart, and terribly revenge my murder.

LADY Anne's Ghost rises.
Lady A. Think on the wrongs of wretched Anne,

thy wife!

[ocr errors]

E'en in the battle's heat remember me,
And edgeless fall thy sword despair, and die!
The Ghosts of Prince EDWARD and the DUKE OF.

York rise.
P. Ed. Richard, dream on, and see the wand'ring

spirits
Of thy young nephews, murder'd in the Tower.
Could not our youth, our innocence, persuade
Thy cruel heart to spare our harmless lives ?
Who, but for thee, alas ! might have enjoy'd
Our many promis'd years of happiness.
No soul, save thine, but pities our misusage;
Oh, 'twas a cruel deed! therefore, alone,
Unpitying, unpitied shalt thou fall.
K. Hen. The morning's dawn has summon'd me

away;
Now, Richard, wake, in all the bells of guilt!
And let that wild despair, which now does prey
Upon thy mangled thoughts, alarm the world.
Awake, Richard, awake! to guilty minds
A terrible example!

[All the Ghosts sink. Glost. Give me a horse !-bind up my wounds! Have mercy, Heaven -Ha! soft ! 'twas but a

dream;
But then so terrible, it shakes my

soul!
Cold drops of sweat hang on my trembling flesh;
My blood grows chilly, and I frecze with horror!
Oh, tyrant conscience ! how dost thou afflict me!
When I look back, 'tis terrible retreating;
I cannot bear the thought, nor dare repent:
I am but man; and, fate, do thou dispose me!
Who's there?

Enter CATESBY. Catesby. 'Tis I, my lord; the early village cock Has thrice done salutation to the morn. Your friends are up, and buckle on their armour.

Glost. On, Catesby, I have had such horrid dreams! Catesby. Shadows, my lord !-below the soldier's

heeding. Glost. Now, by my this day's hopes, shadows, to

night,
Have struck more terror to the soul of Richard,
Than can the substance of ten thousand soldiers,
Arm'd all in proof, and led by shallow Richmond.

Catesby. Be more yourself, my lord: consider, sir,
Were it but known a dream had frighted you,
How would your animated foes presume on't !

Glost. Perish that thought!--no, never be it said That fate itself could awe the soul of Richard ! Hence, babbling dreams! you threaten here in vain; Conscience, avaunt! Richard's himself again! Hark! the shrill trumpet sounds to horse ! away! My soul's in arms, and eager for the fray! (E.reunt.

SCENE VI,

A Wood,

Enter RICHMOND, OXFORD, SIR W. BRANDON,
Sir R. BRACKENBURY, BLUNT, SOLDIERS, &c.
Rich, Halt!
Sold. Halt!-halt!
Rich. How far into the morning is it, friends?
Sir R. Brack. Near four, my lord.

Rich. "Tis well-
I am glad to find we are such early stirrers.
Sir W. Brand. Methinks the foes less forward than

we thought them ; Worn as we are, we brave the field before them.

« PreviousContinue »