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William Shakespeare (1564–1616). The Oxford Shakespeare. 1914.

Act V. Scene IV.

The Tragedy of King Richard the Third

Another Part of the Field.

Alarum: Excursions.Enter NORFOLK and Forces; to him CATESBY.

Cate.Rescue, my Lord of Norfolk! rescue, rescue!

The king enacts more wonders than a man,

Daring an opposite to every danger:

His horse is slain, and all on foot he fights,

Seeking for Richmond in the throat of death.

Rescue, fair lord, or else the day is lost!

Alarum.Enter KING RICHARD.

K. Rich.A horse! a horse! my kingdom for a horse!

Cate.Withdraw, my lord; I’ll help you to a horse.

K. Rich.Slave! I have set my life upon a cast,

And I will stand the hazard of the die.

I think there be six Richmonds in the field;

Five have I slain to-day, instead of him.—

A horse! a horse! my kingdom for a horse![Exeunt.

Alarums.Enter from opposite sides KING RICHARD and RICHMOND, and exeunt fighting.Retreat and flourish.Then re-enter RICHMOND, STANLEY, bearing the crown, with divers other Lords, and Forces.

Richm.God and your arms be prais’d, victorious friends;

The day is ours, the bloody dog is dead.

Stan.Courageous Richmond, well hast thou acquit thee!

Lo! here, this long-usurped royalty

From the dead temples of this bloody wretch

Have I pluck’d off, to grace thy brows withal:

Wear it, enjoy it, and make much of it.

Richm.Great God of heaven, say amen to all!

But, tell me, is young George Stanley living?

Stan.He is, my lord, and safe in Leicester town;

Whither, if you please, we may withdraw us.

Richm.What men of name are slain on either side?

Stan.John Duke of Norfolk, Walter Lord Ferrers,

Sir Robert Brakenbury, and Sir William Brandon.

Richm.Inter their bodies as becomes their births:

Proclaim a pardon to the soldiers fled

That in submission will return to us;

And then, as we have ta’en the sacrament,

We will unite the white rose and the red:

Smile, heaven, upon this fair conjunction,

That long hath frown’d upon their enmity!

What traitor hears me, and says not amen?

England hath long been mad, and scarr’d herself;

The brother blindly shed the brother’s blood,

The father rashly slaughter’d his own son,

The son, compell’d, been butcher to the sire:

All this divided York and Lancaster,

Divided in their dire division,

O! now, let Richmond and Elizabeth,

The true succeeders of each royal house,

By God’s fair ordinance conjoin together;

And let their heirs—God, if thy will be so,—

Enrich the time to come with smooth-fac’d peace,

With smiling plenty, and fair prosperous days!

Abate the edge of traitors, gracious Lord,

That would reduce these bloody days again,

And make poor England weep in streams of blood!

Let them not live to taste this land’s increase,

That would with treason wound this fair land’s peace!

Now civil wounds are stopp’d, peace lives again:

That she may long live here, God say amen![Exeunt.