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Scene 1

Salisbury. An open place.

(Buckingham; Halberds/Officers; Sheriff)

As he is led to his death, Buckingham learns that Richard will not speak to him. He reflects on his crimes and how he called this fate down upon himself in earlier days, and recalls Margaret’s curse. (29 lines)

Enter Buckingham, with Halberds and the Sheriff, led to execution.


Will not King Richard let me speak with him?


No, my good lord, therefore be patient.


Hastings, and Edward’s children, Grey and Rivers,

Holy King Henry and thy fair son Edward,

Vaughan, and all that have miscarried

By underhand corrupted foul injustice,

If that your moody discontented souls

Do through the clouds behold this present hour,

Even for revenge mock my destruction!

This is All-Souls’ day, fellow, is it not?


It is, my lord.


Why then All-Souls’ day is my body’s doomsday.

This is the day which, in King Edward’s time,

I wish’d might fall on me when I was found

False to his children and his wive’s allies;

This is the day wherein I wish’d to fall

By the false faith of him whom most I trusted;

This, this All-Souls’ day to my fearful soul,

Is the determin’d respite of my wrongs.

That high All-Seer, which I dallied with,

Hath turn’d my feigned prayer on my head,

And given in earnest what I begg’d in jest.

Thus doth he force the swords of wicked men

To turn their own points in their masters’ bosoms;

Thus Margaret’s curse falls heavy on my neck:

“When he,” quoth she, “shall split thy heart with sorrow,

Remember Margaret was a prophetess.”

Come lead me, officers, to the block of shame;

Wrong hath but wrong, and blame the due of blame.

Exeunt Buckingham and Sheriff with Officers.


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