410 RICHARD THE THIRD. An. Dom. 1483
to his faith and promise, to the which (God be my iudge) I neuer agreed, nor condescended; O Lord, how my veines panted, how my bodie trembled, and how my heart inwardlie grudged ! insomuch that I so abhorred the sight, and much more the companie of him, that I could no longer abide in his court, except I should be openlie reuenged: the end whereof was doubtfull. And so I feined a cause to depart, and with a merrie countenance and a despitefull heart I tooke my leaue humblie of him (he thinking nothing lesse than that I was displeased) and so returned to Brecknocke to you.
The imaginations of the duke of Buckingham to depriue K. Richard.
But in that iournie (as I returned) whither it were by the inspiration of the Holie ghost, or by melancholious disposition, I had diuerse and sundrie imaginations how to depriue this vnnaturall vncle, and bloudie butcher, from his roiall seat, and princelie dignitie. First I fantised, that if I list to take vpon me the crowne, and imperiall scepter of the realme, now was the time propice and conuenient. For now was the waie made plaine, and the gate opened, and occasion giuen : which now neglected, should peraduenture neuer take such effect and conclusion. For I saw he was disdeined of the lords temporall, abhored and accurssed of the lords spirituall, detested of all gentlemen, and despised of all the communaltie: so that I saw my chance as perfectlie as I saw mine owne image in a glasse, that there was no person (if I had been greedie to attempt the enterprise) could nor should haue woone the ring, or got the gole before me. And on this point I rested in imagination secretlie with my selfe two daies at Tewkesburie.
Note the working of ambition in the duke.
From thence so iournieng, I mused and thought that it was not best nor conuenient to take vpon me as a conqueror. For then I knew that all men, and especiallie the nobilitie, would with all their power withstand me, both for rescuing of possessions. and tenures, as also for subuerting of the whole estate, laws and customes of the realme: such a power hath a conqueror, as you know well inough my lord. But at the last, in all this doubtfull case there sprang a new branch out of my head, which suerlie I thought should haue brought forth faire floures; but the sunne was so hot, that they turned to drie weeds. For I suddenlie remembred that the lord Edmund duke of Summerset my grandfather, was with king Henrie the sixt in the two and three degrees, from Iohn duke of Lancaster lawfullie begotten: so that I thought sure, my mother being eldest daughter to duke Edmund, that I was next heire to king Henrie the sixt of the house of Lancaster.
This title pleased well such as I made priuie of my counsell, but much more it incouraged my foolish desire, and eleuated my ambitious intent; insomuch that I cleerelie iudged, and in mine owne mind was determinatlie resolued, that I was indubitate heire of the house of Lancaster, and therevpon concluded to make my first foundation, and erect my new building. But whether God so ordeined, or by fortune it so chanced, while I was in a maze either to conclude suddenlie on this title, & to set it open amongst the common people, or to keepe it secret a while, see the chance: as I rode betweene Worcester and Bridgenorth, I incountered with the ladie Margaret countesse of Richmond, now wife vnto the lord Stanlie, which is the verie daughter and sole heire to lord Iohn duke of Summerset, my grandfathers elder brother, which was as cleane out of my mind, as though I had neuer seene hir: so that she and hir sonne the earle of Richmond be both bulworke and portcullice betweene me and the gate, to enter into the maiestie roiall and getting of the crowne.
Now when we had communed a little concerning hir sonne, as I shall shew you after, and were departed, shee to our ladie of Worcester, and I to Shrewsburie: I then new changed, and in maner amazed, began to dispute with my selfe, little considering that thus my earnest title was turned to a tittell not so good as Est Amen. Eftsoones I imagined whether were best to take vpon me, by election of the nobilitie and communaltie, which me thought easie to be done, the vsurper king thus being in hatred