William Shakespeare: The Life and Death of King Richard III

7. SCENE VII. London. Court of Baynard's Castle.

[Enter GLOSTER and BUCKINGHAM, meeting.]

How now, how now! what say the citizens?

Now, by the holy mother of our Lord,
The citizens are mum, say not a word.

Touch'd you the bastardy of Edward's children?

I did; with his contract with Lady Lucy,
And his contract by deputy in France;
The insatiate greediness of his desires,
And his enforcement of the city wives;
His tyranny for trifles; his own bastardy,--
As being got, your father then in France,
And his resemblance, being not like the duke:
Withal I did infer your lineaments,--
Being the right idea of your father,
Both in your form and nobleness of mind;
Laid open all your victories in Scotland,
Your discipline in war, wisdom in peace,
Your bounty, virtue, fair humility;
Indeed, left nothing fitting for your purpose
Untouch'd or slightly handled in discourse:
And when mine oratory drew toward end
I bid them that did love their country's good
Cry "God save Richard, England's royal king!"

And did they so?

No, so God help me, they spake not a word;
But, like dumb statues or breathing stones,
Star'd each on other, and look'd deadly pale.
Which when I saw, I reprehended them;
And ask'd the mayor what meant this wilful silence:
His answer was--the people were not us'd
To be spoke to but by the recorder.
Then he was urg'd to tell my tale again,--
"Thus saith the duke, thus hath the duke inferr'd;"
But nothing spoke in warrant from himself.
When he had done, some followers of mine own,
At lower end of the hall hurl'd up their caps,
And some ten voices cried "God save King Richard!"
And thus I took the vantage of those few,--
"Thanks, gentle citizens and friends," quoth I;
"This general applause and cheerful shout
Argues your wisdoms and your love to Richard:"
And even here brake off and came away.

What, tongueless blocks were they! would they not speak?
Will not the mayor, then, and his brethren, come?

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