Page 442

442 RICHARD THE THIRD. An. Dom. 1485

patrimonie & lineall inheritance. For he that calleth himselfe king, keepeth from me the crowne and regiment of this noble realme and countrie, contrarie to all iustice and equitie.

A great motiue to the nobles & gentles assisting the earle.

Likewise, his mates and friends occupie your lands, cut downe your woods, and destroie your manors, letting your wiues and children range abroade for their liuing: which persons for their penance and punishment I doubt not, but God of his goodnes will either deliuer into our hands, as a great gaine and bootie; or cause them (being greeued and compuncted with the pricke of their corrupt consciences) cowardlie to flie, and not abide the battell. Beside this I assure you, that there be yonder in the great battell, men brought thither for feare, and not for loue; souldiers by force compelled, and not with good will assembled; persons which desire rather the destruction than saluation of their maister and capteine : and finallie, a multitude, whereof the most part will be our friends, and the least part our enimies.

K. Richards offenses and ill qualities summarilie touched by the earle.

For truelie I doubt which is greater, the malice of the soldiors toward their capteine; or the feare of him conceiued of his people. For suerlie this rule is infallible, that as ill men dailie couet to destroie the good; so God appointeth the good men to confound the ill. And of all worldlie goods the greatest is to suppresse tyrants, and releeue innocents; whereof the one is as much hated, as the other is beloued. If this be true (as clearkes preach) who will spare yonder tyrant. Richard duke of Glocester, vntruelie calling himselfe king, considering that he hath violated and broken both the lawes of God and man? What vertue is in him which was the confusion of his brother, and murtherer of his nephues? What mercie is in him that sleieth his trustie freends as well as his extreame enimies? Who can haue confidence in him which putteth diffidence in all men?

K. Richard a notorious tyrant.

If you haue not read, I haue heard good clearkes saie, that Tarquine the proud for the vice of the bodie lost the kingdome of Rome; and the name of Tarquine banished the citie for euer : yet was not his fault so detestable as the fact of cruell Nero, which slue his own mother, and opened hir entrailes, to behold the place of his conception. Behold yonder Richard, which is both Tarquine and Nero: yea a tyrant more than Nero, for he hath not onlie murthered his nephue being his king and souereigne lord, bastarded his noble brethren, and defamed the wombe of his vertuous and womanlie mother; but also compassed all the meanes and waies that he could inuent, how to defile and carnallie know his owne neece, under the pretense of a cloked matrimonie, which ladie I haue sworne and promised to take to my mate and wife, as yon all know and beleeue.

Incouragements to his armie to plaie the men in a iust cause.

If this cause be not iust, and this quarell godlie; let God (the giuer of victorie) iudge. and determine. We haue (thanks be giuen to Christ) escaped the secret treasons in Britaine, and auoided the subtill snares of our fraudulent enimies there, passed the troublous seas in good and quiet safegard, and without resistance haue ouergone the ample region & large countrie of Wales, and are now come to the place which we so much desired: for long we haue sought the furious bore, and now we haue found him. Wherefore let vs not feare to enter into the toile, where we may suerlie sleie him; for God knoweth that we haue liued in the vales of miserie, tossing our ships in dangerous stormes : let vs not now dread to set vp our full sailes in faire weather, hauing with vs both God and good fortune.

If we had come to conquer Wales and had atchiued it, our praise had beene great, and our gaine more: but if we win this battell, the whole rich realme of England, with the lords and rulers of the same, shall be ours; the profit shall be ours, and the honour shall be ours. Therefore labour for your gaine, & sweat for your right. While we were in Britaine, we had small liuings and little plentie of wealth or welfare, now is the time come to get aboundance of riches, and copie of profit; which is the reward of your seruice, and merit of your paines. And this remember with your selues