Gary Taylor, John Jowett, Terri Bourus, and Gabriel Egan (eds), The New Oxford Shakespeare: Modern Critical Edition

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[5.5]Sc. 25

Editor’s NoteEnter King Richard, Ratcliffe, and Catesby

king richard What said Northumberland as touching Richmond?


ratcliffe That he was never trainèd up in arms.


king richard He said the truth. And what said Surrey then?


ratcliffe He smiled and said, 'The better for our purpose'.


king richard He was in the right, and so indeed it is.

Editor’s Note6Tell the clock there.

Clock strikes

Give me a calendar.

7Who saw the sun today?

ratcliffe Not I, my lord.

Editor’s Note8

king richard Then he disdains to shine; for by the book

9He should have braved the east an hour ago.

10A black day will it be to somebody. Ratcliffe.


ratcliffe My lord.

king richard The sun will not be seen today.

12The sky doth frown and lour upon our army.

Editor’s Note13I would these dewy tears were from the ground.—

14Not shine today? Why, what is that to me

15More than to Richmond? For the selfsame heaven

16That frowns on me looks sadly upon him.

Enter Norfolk

norfolk Arm, arm, my lord! The foe vaunts in the field.

Editor’s Note18

king richard Come, bustle, bustle! Caparison my horse.

Editor’s Note19Call up Lord Stanley; bid him bring his power.

20I will lead forth my soldiers to the plain;

Editor’s Note21And thus my battle shall be orderèd:

Editor’s Note22My foreward shall be drawn out all in length,

Editor’s Note23Consisting equally of horse and foot;

24Our archers shall be placèd in the midst;

25John Duke of Norfolk, Thomas Earl of Surrey,

26Shall have the leading of this foot and horse.

Editor’s Note27They thus directed, we will follow

Editor’s Note28In the main battle, whose puïssance on either side

Editor’s Note29Shall be well-wingèd with our chiefest horse.

Editor’s Note30This, and Saint George to boot! What think'st thou, Norfolk?


norfolk A good direction, warlike sovereign.

32This found I on my tent this morning:

33'Jockey of Norfolk, be not so bold,

Editor’s Note34For Dickin thy master is bought and sold.'


king richard A thing devisèd by the enemy.

36Go, gentlemen, each man unto his charge.

pg 63637Let not our babbling dreams affright our souls.

Editor’s Note38Conscience is but a word that cowards use,

Editor’s Note39Devised at first to keep the strong in awe.

Editor’s Note40Our strong arms be our conscience, swords our law.

Editor’s Note41March on, join bravely, let us to't pell-mell,

42If not to heaven, then hand in hand to hell.

Editor’s Note43What shall I say more then I have inferred?

44Remember whom you are to cope withal:

Editor’s Note45A sort of vagabonds, rascals, and runaways,

Editor’s Note46A scum of Bretons and base lackey peasants,

Editor’s Note47Whom their o'ercloyèd country vomits forth

48To desperate ventures and assured destruction.

49You sleeping safe, they bring to you unrest;

50You having lands and blessed with beauteous wives,

Editor’s Note51They would restrain the one, distain the other.

52And who doth lead them but a paltry fellow,

53Long kept in Bretagne at our mother's cost,

54A milksop, one that never in his life

55Felt so much cold as overshoes in snow.

Editor’s Note56Let's whip these stragglers o'er the seas again,

57Lash hence these overweening rags of France—

58These famished beggars, weary of their lives,

Editor’s Note59Who, but for dreaming on this fond exploit,

Editor’s Note60For want of means, poor rats, had hanged themselves.

61If we be conquered, let men conquer us,

62And not these bastard Bretons, whom our fathers

Editor’s Note63Have in their own land beaten, bobbed, and thumped,

Editor’s Note64And in recòrd left them the heirs of shame.

65Shall these enjoy our lands? lie with our wives?

66Ravish our daughters?

Drum afar off

Hark, I hear their drum.

67Fight, gentlemen of England! Fight, bold yeomen!

68Draw, archers, draw your arrows to the head!

Editor’s Note69Spur your proud horses hard, and ride in blood!

Editor’s Note70Amaze the welkin with your broken staves!

Enter a Messenger

71What says Lord Stanley, will he bring his power?


messenger My lord, he doth deny to come.

king richard Off with his son George's head!


norfolk My lord, the enemy is past the marsh.

74After the battle let George Stanley die.


king richard A thousand hearts are great within my bosom.

76Advance our standards! Set upon our foes!

Editor’s Note77Our ancient word of courage, fair Saint George,

pg 637Editor’s Note78Inspire us with the spleen of fiery dragons!

Editor’s Note79Upon them! Victory sits on our helms.

Notes Settings


Editor’s Note
5.5.0 Enter … Catesby The properties of the clock (5.5.6) and the book (5.5.5) suggest that the tent may still be in use.
Editor’s Note
5.5.6 calendar almanac (giving times of sunrise, etc.)
Editor’s Note
5.5.8 by the book Richard consults an almanac ('calendar', 5.5.6).
Editor’s Note
5.5.13 dewy tears i.e. morning dew ('tears' because the sky frowns, 5.5.12)
Editor’s Note
5.5.18 Caparison put the trappings on
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5.5.18 Come … horse Richard begins to arm, with help from soldiers. One or more soldiers leaves to equip his horse.
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5.5.19 power forces
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5.5.21 battle army
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5.5.22 foreward front rank
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5.5.23 horse and foot cavalry and foot soldiers
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5.5.27 directed positioned; commanded
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5.5.28 puïssance power
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5.5.29 wingèd flanked (but also suggesting speed)
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5.5.29 chiefest horse best horseman
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5.5.30 Saint George to boot i.e. with the aid of our patron saint as a bonus
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5.5.34 Dickin Dick (i.e. Richard)
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5.5.34 bought and sold betrayed
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5.5.38 but just
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5.5.39 in awe i.e. of the weak
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5.5.40 strong arms be our conscience i.e. might makes right
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5.5.41 join join battle
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5.5.43–70 What … staves perhaps spoken to the audience, imagined as soldiers. Richard might come forward to a flourish of trumpets and drums.
Editor’s Note
5.5.45 sort company, gang
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5.5.46 lackey low servant, footboy
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5.5.47 o'ercloyèd overfull (hence nauseous)
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5.5.51 restrain withhold
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5.5.51 distain dishonour, sully
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5.5.56 whip English vagabonds were whipped out of the parish.
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5.5.59 but for if it were not for
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5.5.59 fond foolish
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5.5.60 means the wherewithal to live
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5.5.63 bobbed drubbed
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5.5.64 in on
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5.5.69 in blood in full vigour (a hunting term); smeared with blood from spurring or of the battlefield
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5.5.70 welkin … staves sky … lance shafts
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5.5.77 word battle cry
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5.5.78 spleen angry temper
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5.5.79 helms helmets
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